Saturday, October 6, 2012

Chilly Saturday

It's chilly today...about 47 degrees with light mist rain. Bob and I met for breakfast this morning and then he came by about 10:00 to drive just down to south of Tulsa to eat at Olive Garden. Following that we walked around the shopping center and he stopped for gas while it was $3.40.9 per gallon.

We enjoyed ourselves. Neither of us bought anything except our lunches. It got very chilly though and we came home early.

He will pick me up for church in the morning. This afternoon he may watch that DVD I got at the library, Dead Poets Society. He will return it to the library on Tuesday.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Unemployment Rate Down.

U.S. unemployment rate decreased to 7.8 percent in September, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 114,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on October 5th. Employment increased in health care and in transportation and warehousing but changed little in most other major industries.

The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 7.8 percent in September. For the first 8 months of the year, the rate held within a narrow range of 8.1 and 8.3 percent. The number of unemployed persons, at 12.1 million, decreased by 456,000 in September.

In September, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs decreased by 468,000 to 6.5 million.

Total employment rose by 873,000 in September, following 3 months of little change. The employment-population ratio increased by 0.4 percentage point to 58.7 percent, after edging down in the prior 2 months. The overall trend in the employment-population ratio for this year has been flat. The civilian labor force rose by 418,000 to 155.1 million in September, while the labor force participation rate was little changed at 63.6 percent.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 114,000 in September. In 2012, employment growth has averaged 146,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011. In September, employment rose in health care and in transportation and warehousing.

Health care added 44,000 jobs in September. Employment increased by 17,000 in transportation and warehousing. Employment in financial activities edged up 13,000. Manufacturing employment edged down in September (-16,000). Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, information, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little change over the month.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised from +141,000 to +181,000, and the change for August was revised from +96,000 to +142,000.

Friday's Busy Schedule

I leave at 6:30 to go to Independence to get my hair done at 7:00 and then on to Bartlesville for my 8:50 appointment with Dr. Eslicker, the dermatologist. After that, I will go out to the mall to meet Myra for lunch. If I have time, I will drop my glasses off at Caney on the way and have a new right lens put in. It will be tight and I'm not sure they are even open on Fridays. I have left Bob the leftover lunch from yesterday so he will have lunch today. I would have taken him too but Myra issued the invitation. She didn't mention bringing him. But at least he will have lunch.

I was listening to NPR this morning and they said the pundits expected the president's numbers to go down after the debate but instead they have continued to rise. It may be a bit fruitless to spend too much time worrying about the Thursday afternoon forecast when Wednesday night’s debate had the potential to change the election landscape. But for the sake of continuity, here goes.

The forecast had Mr. Obama gaining slightly on Thursday, estimating that he had a 86.1 percent chance of winning the Electoral College on Nov. 6 — up from 84.7 percent in Tuesday’s forecast.

This came despite the fact that it appeared there actually had been a modest shift back toward Mitt Romney in the polls even before the debate. In our “now-cast” — an estimate of what would happen if an election were held immediately — Mr. Obama’s projected margin of victory in the national popular vote had fallen by about one percentage point between Sunday and Wednesday.

Our Nov. 6 forecast, however, had already anticipated some decline for Mr. Obama, and so has been less sensitive to the shift.

In addition, there is a particular Electoral College outlook that is becoming problematic for Mr. Romney. As of Wednesday, the Nov. 6 forecast had Mr. Obama winning the popular vote by 4.1 percentage points. However, his advantage was larger than that — at least 4.9 percentage points, in 22 states (and the District of Columbia) — totaling 275 electoral votes:

I hope the rest of the polls show the same thing. Romney scares me. I wonder what he thinks the role of government really is. He says he wants to give the states the medicaid money to administer. Some southern states consider people with $700 a month ineligible. If states can make those decisions, the really poor people will suffer. Alabama, for example, counts anyone with a family of four ineligible if they have $18,500 annual income. My income, living alone and without my part time job with SER, would be $14,376 and I have a small savings. My problem is my age. Everywhere I have applied, I am sure, sees me as an old woman who might die anytime. I am nearly 77 after all, but in perfect health. They don't know that though. Everyone I know, over 60, has the same problem.

Three fourths of the medicaid money goes to pay for elders in nursing homes and the disabled and blind. Most people don't even know that.

What the poor really need is job training so they can find jobs. I know the frustrations of trying to find a job. As well qualified as I am for a number of jobs, I am working for a government program that has me working 16 hours a week for minimum wage. Romney would probably eliminate the program. It is funded through the department of labor.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thursday after the first debate

So how did the candidates do in the first debate last night?

According to, not too well.

They found exaggerations and false claims flying thick and fast during the first debate between President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.

Obama accused Romney of proposing a $5 trillion tax cut. Not true. Romney proposes to offset his rate cuts and promises he won’t add to the deficit.

Romney again promised to “not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans” and also to “lower taxes on middle-income families,” but didn’t say how he could possibly accomplish that without also increasing the deficit.

Obama oversold his health care law, claiming that health care premiums have “gone up slower than any time in the last 50 years.” That’s true of health care spending, but not premiums. And the health care law had little to do with the slowdown in overall spending.

Romney claimed a new board established by the Affordable Care Act is “going to tell people ultimately what kind of treatments they can have.” Not true. The board only recommends cost-saving measures for Medicare, and is legally forbidden to ration care or reduce benefits.

Obama said 5 million private-sector jobs had been created in the past 30 months. Perhaps so, but that counts jobs that the Bureau of Labor Statistics won’t add to the official monthly tallies until next year. For now, the official tally is a bit over 4.6 million.

Romney accused Obama of doubling the federal deficit. Not true. The annual deficit was already running at $1.2 trillion when Obama took office.

Obama again said he’d raise taxes on upper-income persons only to the “rates that we had when Bill Clinton was president.” Actually, many high-income persons would pay more than they did then, because of new taxes in Obama’s health care law.

Romney claimed that middle-income Americans have “seen their income come down by $4,300.” That’s too high. Census figures show the decline in median household income during Obama’s first three years was $2,492, even after adjusting for inflation.

Obama again touted his “$4 trillion” deficit reduction plan, which includes $1 trillion from winding down wars that are coming to an end in any event.

Romney sometimes came off as a serial exaggerator. He said “up to” 20 million might lose health insurance under the new law, citing a Congressional Budget Office study that actually put the likely number who would lose employer-sponsored coverage at between 3 million and 5 million. He said 23 million Americans are “out of work” when the actual number of jobless is much lower. He claimed half of all college grads this year can’t find work, when, in fact, an AP story said half either were jobless or underemployed. And he again said Obama “cut” $716 billion from Medicare, a figure that actually reflects a 10-year target for slowing Medicare spending, which will continue to grow.

So, what do you think? Do we know any more today then we did yesterday morning? Or did we just hear more of the same...."facts" that just don't check out?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cool Wednesday

The weather has definitely cooled down. It is in the 60's this morning.

After work yesterday I came home and warmed up the leftovers I had from Sunday's Mexican food. It was good but not quite enough. I had an e-mail from Adrian at the library that the DVD I had ordered "Dead Poet's Society" was in so I drove back into town and picked it up. Then I phoned Bob to see if he would like to drop by Brahms and get an ice cream cone. He was willing so I picked him up. We visited while we ate and afterward I took him home.

Then I came back home to work on reading my John Whitmer Historical Association journal. There is some really fascinating information in this issue.

Tonight is the first debate between the presidential candidates. I will watch it simply because I want to see how well Romney does.

The seller of that DVD would not let me return it and would not refund my money. He said he clearly said on the Amazon website that it was a "region 2" DVD, whatever that is. I looked but could find no mention of such information. So, I am stuck with it and I can't play it.

More later....

I watched the debates tonight and I think Romney was a clear winner. The president looked very tired and kept saying uh...uh...uh. Still no specifics from Romney through.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Frustrating Tuesday Already

What a day. A couple of weeks ago I ordered a DVD of Dead Poet's Society. I thought I would like to see that movie again. It had such a good message behind it. I received the video in good time but it was blue ray and would not play on my player. I had played blue ray before and did not have a problem. This one simply would not work. So I applied to return it.

Then I ordered one that was not blue ray. I received it yesterday and wanted to be sure it would work so this morning I put it in my DVD player and this one said "wrong region". I have never seen an error message like that before. But it simply would not work. So I got a DVD I had seen before and put it in the player. It worked fine. Now I am applying to Amazon to return this one too. What a morning. I have ordered the DVD through our library and perhaps it will be in soon.

I spent a good part of the morning steam cleaning my bathrooms. It had been awhile since they had had a good steaming. I paid some bills this morning and ran out of checkbook register. Luckily, Bob has an extra and will bring it to me. I will pick him up at 9:30 to take the cakes to Independence and have my hair fixed. Then we will have lunch at Big Cheese. I will work this afternoon.

More later...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Again

Today is to be a quiet day. I will do some cleaning this morning before I begin to cook dinner. I vacuumed Friday morning but didn't get the bathrooms cleaned or dusting done. I will try to get some of that done this morning.

We will have chicken tenders, mashed potatoes and gravy, veggies and coleslaw for dinner. We will have some mixed fruit for dessert.

After work, I will mow and try to trim too. I never got my trimming done last week so it will really need it this week. Then I will bake my two cakes. I will ice them in the morning before I leave for Independence. I have a 10:30 hair appointment tomorrow and then, if Bob goes along to help me with the cakes, we will eat at Big Cheese. Otherwise, I will come home to get dinner together a little later.

I went out to Wal Mart and bought a new skillet. My old one was showing a lot of wear.

More later...

Our dinner turned out very good and we both enjoyed it. Then I went to work and they kept me very busy the entire afternoon. When I got home I immediately got the mower out and mowed and trimmed too. Then I came in the house and baked my two cakes for the First Christian church in Independence tomorrow. They are in the oven now. I will ice them in the morning. I am very tired.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Busy Sunday

This has been a very busy Sunday. I got up about 5:00 after sleeping restlessly most of the night.

I went to Church School and Church and afterward Bob and I went with John and Leslie and Maia to El Pueblo for lunch.

Afterward Bob brought me home to do my letters. He went home to take a nap, I imagine.

I had forgotten to get paper for my printer so I went to the dollar store and bought some. While I was at it, I bought the things I needed for my shoebox for the Samaritan Child project. I had to put my new ink cartridges in to do the letters. I also needed to drop by Brahms to buy milk. I was nearly out.

This evening I will watch 60 Minutes. I don't know what else is on that I'm interested in checking out.

In watching 60 minutes this evening I cannot understand why we are still there. Years ago, Michael Scheuer, tried to tell the government exactly what the problem is in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Scheuer served in the CIA for 22 years before resigning in 2004. He was chief of the Osama bin Laden unit at the Counterterrorist Center from 1996 to 1999.[12] He worked as Special Adviser to the Chief of the bin Laden Unit from September 2001 to November 2004. He is now known to have been the anonymous author of both the 2004 book Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror and the earlier anonymous work, Through Our Enemies' Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America.

After his anonymously-published books had been publicly associated with his name, he was mentioned in an Osama bin Laden statement of September 7, 2007. According to bin Laden, "If you want to understand what's going on and if you would like to get to know some of the reasons for your losing the war against us, then read the book of Michael Scheuer in this regard."

After leaving the CIA in 2004, Scheuer worked as a news analyst for CBS News and a terrorism analyst for The Jamestown Foundation's online publication Global Terrorism Analysis. He also makes radio and television appearances and teaches a graduate-level course on Al-Qaeda at Georgetown University. He also participates in conferences on terrorism and national security issues, such as the New America Foundation's December 2004 conference, "Al Qaeda 2.0: Transnational Terrorism After 9/11."

He laid out clearly what our problem is in dealing with Islamic countries. He says our problem with then is:

(1) US support for Israel that keeps Palestinians in the Israelis thrall. (2) US and other Western troops on the Arabian Peninsula, (3) US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, (their holy land is that peninsula) (4) US support for Russia, India and China against their Muslim militants, (5) US pressure on Arab energy producers to keep oil prices low, (6) US support for apostate, corrupt, and Tyrannical Muslim governments.

I have a Muslim friend and she is a wonderful person but she agrees these policies are the problem. Our arrogance and imperialistic tendencies are a great part of the problem. We just don't get it. And we continue to repeat old mistakes. We're wasting billions there and they are not going to be our friends...ever. Not as long as we are occupying their holy land and trying to control them constantly. Let us just ask ourselves how we would feel if the tables were turned and they were occupying our land under those circumstances.