Saturday, August 6, 2011

Busy Saturday

This has been a busy Saturday. First I went to have breakfast with my brother -in-law and from there went to Wal Mart to buy a few groceries and dog and cat food. Then I went to the church to take some groceries out there for our food basket and the school supplies I had bought last week. From there I went to Windsor Place to visit Phyllis. She was very tired and only spoke to me twice. The rest of the 40 minutes I was there, she simply slept. She must have been tired.

Then I came back home and dug out my old sprinkler and set it up to do some watering.
My newer sprinkler had a glitch in it and would not work properly.

I moved the sprinkler at 11:30 and Slinky was ready to come in so I guess I will do some cleaning, reading and reading on the computer this afternoon. That means I'll have to stay home.

I posted on the church's web board when I got home and watched this short video with a graph to show what happened during the Bush administration to mess up the budget so badly.

Here is a link to the site.

Anyhow, this short video with graph and will easily show what happened to the nice surpluses we had following the Clinton administration.

This afternoon I have done some cleaning. I am having the Living the Questions group tomorrow evening. I have been cleaning "at" my house for several weeks now. It needed a good cleaning.

I changed my bed and washed the sheets, ran the vacuum cleaner and now I need to do some dusting. It isn't bad but when I have company I don't want to have any dust on the tables.

I will fix an Earthquake Cake. A friend of mine gave me the recipe. It's one of those recipes you start with a cake mix and add other ingredients to it. I am going to try it out on my friends. I hope it's good. I should probably get some vanilla ice cream to serve with it. We'll see...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Still Filing

It's 98 degrees so far today. Not as hot as usual but Slinky wanted in anyhow. He's lying here in the kitchen taking a nap on the cool kitchen floor.

I have to mow this evening. After the rains on Wednesday night, my grass began growing again. Then I will have to wash my hair. It will be soaked.

I will meet Bob A. for breakfast tomorrow morning. We missed that last week since I went to Joplin for that meeting and his grandchildren from the west coast were here.

But for right now, I am just resting.

I got my lawn mowed and I must do some watering in the morning. It's 107 right now at 7:45.

By the way, I will admit when I am wrong. Indeed, I was wrong about one of my points:

In 2009 1400 people reporting over $1 million in income paid ZERO tax, not just lower than middle-class rates. The average rate for people with over $1 million in adjusted gross income (235,413 people) is 24.4%. 22,000+ of these people declare $5 million or more income.

You have to dig through a lot of data, but Page 23 is instructive.

Note also that most of us here pay 7.65% in Social Security taxes. If you earn $1 million per year, you will pay no more than 1% in basic SS tax, so the rich get a break here as well.

Taxed Enough Already? There is a reason, and it is NOT President Obama, who has brought taxes on the middle class to their lowest rates in many decades (another fact that tea-baggers can't accept).

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Another Busy Day

Today was another busy day at work. It is so good to be busy the entire morning. I visited some with the folks I work with (while I worked) and enjoyed the camaraderie.

It is only 89 degree right now. It rained last night. That is a welcome relief but I don't know how long it will last. I should take advantage of it and go job search while I have slightly cooler weather.

First I will find something to eat for lunch though.

More later...

Well I spent an hour out there in 98 degree weather doing my job search. Of course, I didn't find anything. I did leave three resume's and made applications though. I dropped by my brother-in-law's and left him my new Consumer Report magazine since I had finished with it. He had just come in from working in the yard and was very damp with sweat. We visited awhile and then I came on home. I let Slinky in because he was pretty miserable. He is lying here now panting for all he's worth. When he cools down, he will drink some water.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

About the Deficit

When GWB and the Republicans took control of government in 2000, the first thing they did was remove the rule providing for pay-go, ie, the rule that said any spending had to be balanced with cuts or revenues. They proceeded to dramatically increase the size and cost of government, through creating large new bureaucracies (Homeland Security) and entitlement programs (Medicare Drug Benefit).

Meanwhile, a Republican governor was applauded for reforming health care in his State (Massachusetts) in accordance with a long-held republican model of individual responsibility, providing a boon for insurance companies and a mandate on citizens to purchase insurance, as had been suggested by the conservative Heritage foundation back in the early '90s.

Notwithstanding a quickly passed and sweeping law restricting individual freedoms and empowering the President with new authorities (Patriot Act) GWB engaged in widespread spying on Americans contrary even to loose laws on the subject. When he was discovered, Congress passed laws retroactively immunizing the complicit crimes of the telecoms industries and changed the laws to make what the President had done illegally, legal.

When the economy tanked in 2007, GWB signed a $152Billion stimulus package passed by a bipartisan majority in Congress. Later in 2008, GWB asked for and received hundreds of billions more to protect banks from economic difficulties and to prevent the auto industry from going out of business.

All of this increased the deficit to record levels despite GWB and the Republican Congress inheriting a balanced budget and a large surplus just a few short years earlier.

When the presidency was returned to Democratic hands in 2009, Congress and Obama passed large tax cuts, along with federal spending in a stimulus package roughly the same size as what GWB did in the prior year. Obama then adopted the Republican health care plan that had proved so popular and successful in Massachusetts. Since then Obama and the Democrats have continued to cut taxes and spending to the point we are now at record low taxes.

However, during the GWB years, tea party people didn't have any problem with Article 1 Section 8. So either that's not what they believe, or they are painfully unaware of obvious facts. I tend to believe the former is true.

First Day At Work

I think this new job training is going to work out well. They kept me busy the entire morning 8:00 until noon.

The only downside is when I got home Slinky was almost sick. He is in the kitchen now struggling to get his breath and get cooled down. I don't know how I will do my job search. I can't put him back outside. I guess I will have to do it on Monday and Tuesday mornings until the hot weather breaks. ...if it ever does.

I am looking forward to going to work tomorrow. The work is very interesting.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Final Decision

I see the so-called "compromise" the president and the Democrats have agreed to as a terrible mistake.

The Republicans have allowed an unelected group of people to dictate their actions in this debt crisis. I agree there is a debt crisis. But who created it? The simple fact is that the GOP under George W. Bush created two wars, an unfunded Medicare drug benefit, and tax cuts heavily slanted toward the rich and left that on the taxpayers backs. And now they want the Democrats and President Obama to take the credit for that deficit.

The New York Times published a graphic recently comparing the total cost of new government policies under Bush ($5.07 trillion) and Obama ($1.4 trillion). How can the American public be so dense as to not see the truth?

In January 2009, just before President Obama took office, the budget office projected a $1.2 trillion deficit for 2009 and deficits in subsequent years, based on continuing Mr. Bush's policies and the effects of recession. Mr. Obama's policies in 2009 and 2010, including the stimulus package, added to the deficits in those years but are largely temporary. But that's not how we Republicans have painted it.

So when Speaker Boehner speaks of "the largest spending binge in American history," he's hiding who's responsible. The Obama administration has added a comparative fraction to the National Debt, almost all by necessity. Also due to recession, tax revenues are way down and the very rich are getting a free ride with the tax breaks Bush handed them. The very rich do not pay much income tax and their capitol gains tax, the last time I checked, worked out to be about 15%.

Furthermore according to an expose' by 60 Minutes, many of these companies are opening offices overseas where their tax is almost non existent. They man the office with a receptionist but the actual operation is still in America. They escape paying American taxes at the American rate that way. Big business and the tea party are calling the shots and playing the music and the Republicans are dancing to their tune.

Is that their fair share?

The answer to that rhetorical question is "NO".

Tuesday Again

This morning I got up at my regular time after a good night's sleep. I fed and watered the animals and then took Slinky for a short walk. It's 82 degrees out there at 7:00 in the morning. It's supposed to get up to 111 today. I am so ready for fall.

At 10:00 or thereabouts I will go see Phyllis and hopefully Gerry too. It's been several weeks since I've seen Gerry. I have been sending her the congregation's newsletter so she can feel somewhat in touch with the rest of us.

This afternoon I will have top let Slinky into the kitchen again. 111 degrees is just too hot to expect him to stay outdoors. I guess I will read and take the laptop into the dining area. I will need to job search again after work tomorrow. I only have one application out this pay period.

I am happy to hear that congress is now being more reasonable about the budget crisis. Perhaps no one wanted to find out just how bad it would be to allow that crisis to actually happen. As it was, the markets were very unsteady about the entire mess.

More later....

Well I went out earlier and trimmed. I worked about 45 minutes. It really needed it. It is 90 degrees now at 9:30 and I am soaked again. It doesn't take much activity to do that in this weather..

Much later..

It's 3:30 in the afternoon now and 110 here. Slinky really wants to be outside but can only stay out for ten minutes or so.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Busy Monday

I did my usual chores this morning except I didn't have to water much. We had that inch of rain yesterday morning and the ground is still damp from that. I took Slinky for his morning walk...and once again, he only wanted to go four blocks. That's fine. I let him dictate the length of the walk.

I swept off my front walk and driveway and noticed that weeds and Bermuda grass had about taken over my front flowerbed. So while it was only 7:00 AM, I decided to tackle it. It took me an hour and fifteen minutes and when I finished I was soaked with sweat. I put an entire trash bag of grass and weeds in the trash. Thank goodness the trash people come today. But the bed looks pretty good now. All I have planted in there is my creeping phlox but it was about to get choked out altogether. In the spring it always looks lovely around the front of my house. I will be so glad when fall comes. And we still have August to go. I want to get the patio cement floor painted, paint the trim on my house and paint the privacy fence in back. I can only do that in the fall or spring.

Later this morning I want to go visit Phyllis. I'll go about 10:00 because Bob goes at 11:00. I'll try to visit Gerry after I leave Phyllis.

I want to do some more cleaning today too. Undoubtedly I will be stuck in the house with Slinky in the kitchen this afternoon so I will clean then. I did the laminated floors yesterday afternoon but the carpets need to be swept and I need to do some more dusting too. If I get all that done, I may work on Scott and Becky's scrapbook.

It will be a busy day off if I get all that finished.

Perhaps more later....

I didn't get to see Phyllis. I called Blake's to see if they did windshield repair and he wanted to see the chip. So it was about twenty till 10:00 and I figured I would run out there first. He said it could be done for $70.00 and since I didn't want to lose the windshield, I stayed the hour it took to do it. I missed getting to see Phyllis. I'll go see her tomorrow.

When I got home it was 100 degrees out there and Slinky was miserable. So I let him in the kitchen. He panted something terrible for awhile and when he cooled down a bit he drank a lot of water. He is now napping on the cool kitchen floor.

My daughter sent me the latest update from Harvard Medical School on the development of new guidelines for Alzheimer's Disease. I printed it off to read and then have saved the article for my brother-in-law. I called and told him I had it. When and if he gets out this afternoon, he will come by and pick it up.

I will finish this up later. I will wait until 8:00 this evening to mow. After the sun goes down it is better (if not cooler). It's 5:00 PM and 108 degrees. I went ahead and mowed at 5:00. It didn't look like it was going to get any cooler right away. It's done and I am sweaty and hot. I will take a bath here in a few minutes.

I'll trim in the morning. It's only about 82 degrees in the mornings.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Salad Luncheon

Well, today is the day of the guest minister and salad luncheon. Ordinarily when we have a salad luncheon, folks come out in force. There's something about feeding them that makes a big difference. They'll make the effort for a social event. Well, they don't have to go home and fix lunch or pay to go buy lunch. That's a plus. Plus...there's the guest minster who is usually a pretty good speaker.

I will feed the animals and water the plants this morning and then get my salad started and that pie in the oven.

More later:

That salad was a big project. All that onion and green pepper and red pepper needed to be chopped and the lettuce needed to be washed and torn. It was really good but there was so much food that everyone took some home. I will be eating layered pea salad for awhile. I brought home part of the pie too. We had a nice crowd and they all mostly stayed for lunch. We had some fine fellowship.

Vivian had a great sermon too.

Afterward when Bob A. brought me home, John and Leslie were here cleaning up the limbs we cut down last Monday. They hauled them off to the farm.

I have the nicest kids!

I got my letters done this afternoon and out on the mailbox. Now I will just plan to watch TV in the air conditioned house. Slinky was in the kitchen most all afternoon but he wanted back out a little bit ago and now he is out on the patio on his bed taking a nap. Unfortunately, It's 101 out there. He'll be barking to get back in shortly, I'll bet!