Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday At Last and Fact Checking the Debate

It was a terrifically busy Friday at work. I never did find the time to scan documents but I suppose they will still be there Monday.

Bob and I are going to Independence in about an hour to get my hair done for the weekend and have breakfast at Eggberts. Then I have no idea what the plan is. I have my pork cutlets thawed and will fix them for dinner/lunch today.

The Vice Presidential debate is over. Biden certainly held his own against Ryan but found once again they both stretched the facts.

Ryan said Obama’s proposal to let tax rates rise for high-income individuals would “tax about 53 percent of small-business income.” Wrong. Ryan is counting giant hedge funds and thousands of other multimillion-dollar enterprises as “small” businesses.

Biden exaggerated when he said House Republicans cut funding for embassy security by $300 million. The amount approved for fiscal year 2012 was $264 million less than requested, and covers construction and maintenance, not just security.

Ryan was wrong when he said a rise in the jobless rate in Biden’s hometown was “how it’s going all around America.” The rate nationally has sunk back to where it was when Obama took office. And in Ryan’s hometown, it’s more than 4 percentage points lower that it was at the start of Obama’s term.

Biden seemed to question Ryan’s assertion that administration officials called Syrian President Bashar Assad “a reformer” even when he was killing his own civilian countrymen. Ryan was right. Early in the bloody Syrian uprising Hillary Clinton called Assad a “different leader” who many in Congress believe is “a reformer.”

Ryan claimed the Obama administration spent stimulus money on “electric cars in Finland.” Not true. Although the cars have been assembled in Finland, the money went for work in the United States.

Biden quoted Romney as saying that he would not “move heaven and earth” to get Osama bin Laden. What Romney said was that he’d go after other terrorists as well.

Ryan misquoted a Medicare official as saying “one out of six hospitals and nursing homes are going to go out of business” as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Not quite. The official said that many could become “unprofitable,” and the the situation could be monitored to head off bad outcomes.

Ryan claimed that the ACA contains “taxpayer funding” of abortion. In fact the law provides no direct funding of abortion except in cases of rape or incest or to save the mother’s life. And it’s a matter of interpretation whether subsidized private insurance would amount to indirect federal support for abortion.

Ryan was off base when he said of a cost-saving panel created by the Affordable Care Act, “not one of them even has to have medical training.” Actually, the board must include physicians and other health care professionals among its members.

Ryan at one point ground out a collection of shopworn misstatements about the health care law that we’ve had to rebut time and again, claiming “20 million people … are projected to lose their health insurance” (not true), that premiums have gone up $3,000 (no, they haven’t) and that 7.4 million seniors “are going to lose” Medicare Advantage plans (maybe, but they’d still be covered by traditional Medicare).

And both Biden and Ryan continued to twist the facts about Romney’s tax plan. Biden again misrepresented the findings of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, and Ryan repeated a misleading claim that “six studies have verified” that the plan is mathematically possible.

And as we can readily see by checking the truth meter on this page, much of what politicians say is baloney! The American public needs to do their own research of the facts with the help of these resources.

Ho Hum...what's new under the sun. Politicians!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thursday At Last

This will be my last working day this week. I don't work on Fridays. I never finished all my work yesterday. Five o'clock came very quickly. I began by filing everything and then I scanned everything in the basket and began filing those documents too. I only got a few of the second batch filed and had to leave the rest until this afternoon.

There was a nice article in the County Chronicle about our political forum. Andy did a fine job reporting it. It will be interesting to see if either of the other newspapers will use the story. Andy took some photos but didn't use any of them. I heard nothing about it on the radio either and the station manager was there.

I will attend the support group that Bob attends with him today. It is in Independence at Big Cheese. I may get another mini-pizza for lunch.

Tonight is the Biden/Ryan debate. I hope Biden can recover some of the lost ground the president caused by his lack of performance. I will watch it.

Tomorrow I have an early hair appointment at 7:00. Then I will fix lunch/dinner for myself and Bob. Other then that, I have no plans for the day.

On the political front:

I wonder how conservative Republicans would feel if they knew about the esoteric beliefs of Mormons. For example: It is probable that Romney will have been taught to lie about his movement. You notice he says very little about his religion and it's belief system. This is because the culture of lying is deeply embedded in the Mormon church and forms a key component of the missionary training program that Romney will have attended at Brigham Young University.

Mormons are literally trained to hide key facts about their sect’s teaching and are taught a variety of techniques to obscure the truth about their more esoteric beliefs. If someone who is educated in Mormon history asks a missionary about the more bizarre tenants of their faith, they are taught to avoid answering the question directly but to deflect it onto something else. Do Americans want someone with this background to be their President?

For instance, they believe every Mormon man in good standing will become a god in the afterlife with his own planet. They still believe in polygamy but just can't practice it until the "kingdom" is established.

And I wonder if the poor are aware they also believe churches should care for the poor. They don't believe the government should be in the relief business.

Interested readers can find a synopsis of their beliefs here:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Phew...A Quiet Wednesday

I'm so glad yesterday is over. I left immediately after work and went to the library board meeting and after that stayed for the foundation meeting. It finished early about 6:30 so I rushed over to the senior center and was in time to greet our audience as they came in. I got them all to register at the door and at 7:00 welcomed everyone to the forum. Karlas introduced Darrel and I introduced Jim. Jim is the Republican incumbent and Darrel is the challenger. Both were excellent candidates and did a great job in their introductory remarks and answered all questions from the audience intelligently. Both had done their homework. It will be a tough decision to know who to vote for. Even though I know and like Jim, I will probably vote for the Democrat, Darrel because there are only eight Democrats in the Kansas legislature. We had 54 that attended. Since it was the evening of the city commission meeting, we had some competition for the evening. We were well pleased. It lasted an hour and 15 minutes. That was just about what we had hoped.

I got home in time to see the last hour of the Frontline program on PBS. I hated to miss that because it was about Romney and Obama's lives and history.

Today, I have nothing but work (and the noon meal). That is so much of a relief.

More later...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Scarey Polls Today

This is a scarey time in our history. Romney is one of the most scarey candidates we've had in years. His plans for the economy are some some of the most secret. He doesn't seem to be ever to give us any specifics but just expects up to vote for him with little information. This morning on NPR, they announced he had pulled out in front of the president in the polls following the president's pitiful performance in the debate. NPR listed what few specifics Romney listed yesterday and most of it was a duplicate of the president's, except it seems he just might get us in the middle of the fray in Africa and the middle east. Just what we need after 11 years of unfunded war.

The Associated Press and factcheck said this:

A closer look at some of the Republican presidential nominee's statements in his foreign policy speech:

ROMNEY: "I will roll back President Obama's deep and arbitrary cuts to our national defense that would devastate our military."

THE FACTS: "Arbitrary" defense cuts do not belong to Obama alone but also to congressional Republicans, including his vice presidential running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan. The first round of cuts in projected defense spending is the result of a bipartisan deal in August 2011 between Congress and the White House to wrestle down the deficit. Unless a new budget deal is reached in time, additional spending cuts will begin in January across government, and the cost to the Pentagon would be $500 billion over a decade. Lawmakers are working to avoid that. Separately, Obama wants to slow the growth of military spending, now that the war in Iraq is ended and the war in Afghanistan is drawing to a close. The Pentagon's budget, including war costs, is $670 billion this year, or about 18 percent of total federal spending. Even setting aside the costs of the wars, military spending has more than doubled since 2001.

At its heart, Romney's statement marks a disagreement with Obama over the proper level of military spending but also skips past a deficit-reduction deal that he recently criticized Republicans in Congress for negotiating.

___ ROMNEY: "The president has not signed one new free trade agreement in the past four years."

THE FACTS: Obama hasn't opened new trade negotiations, but he's completed some big ones, overcoming opposition from fellow Democrats to do so. After taking office, he revived a free-trade deal with Colombia that had been negotiated by his Republican predecessor but left to languish without congressional approval and sought similar progress with South Korean and Panamanian free-trade pacts. The president delayed submitting the three deals to Congress while he tried to placate Democrats who opposed some of the terms, but finally submitted them in 2011, and Congress approved them.

___ ROMNEY: "I will recommit America to the goal of a democratic, prosperous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the Jewish state of Israel. On this vital issue, the president has failed, and what should be a negotiation process has devolved into a series of heated disputes at the United Nations. In this old conflict, as in every challenge we face in the Middle East, only a new president will bring the chance to begin anew."

THE FACTS: With this statement, Romney has moved toward the balance enshrined in U.S. policy from one administration to another on the question of Israelis and Palestinians and away from his provocative remarks to a May fundraiser that recently came to light.

In those remarks, he said "the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace," `'the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish," Palestinians are "committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel" and it would be "the worst idea in the world" to put pressure on the Israelis to give up something in hopes Palestinians would respond accordingly.

Now he is appearing to put faith in a negotiation process he all but dismissed before.

Scarey, scarey, scarey....

Today will be a nightmare of activity. I never would have chosen this evening for the local political forum. I already have the library board meeting and the library foundation meeting after work. My choice was tomorrow or Thursday but the candidates were already busy on those evenings. So I will be juggling my meetings this evening.

I baked cookies for the meeting and others will have to get the key and set up chairs for the meeting. I will be working this afternoon. I also have to pick up my thyroid prescription on my lunch hour.

Bob and I have haircut appointments in Independence this morning. We will have lunch there in Independence at Big Cheese after that. I will pick him up at 9:30 this morning.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Holiday Monday

Today is Columbus Day and we are closed at the office. I don't know what I will do today..possibly nothing since tomorrow will be a huge day. Tomorrow at 10:00 I have a hair appointment and Bob will get a haircut at the same time. Then we will eat at Big Cheese. After that, I will go to work. After work, I have library board meeting at 5:00 and foundation meeting at 6:00. Immediately following that, I have the political forum at the Senior Center and I am in charge.

I will take my questions and urge others to ask theirs. These two men are running for State Representative. I want to find out what they think of Governor Brownback's eliminating the state food sales tax from low income citizen's tax refund. I also want to know if he plans to also do away with the homestead exemption. This is a Republican state and he appears to be poised to balance the state's budget by cutting social programs for the poor. I hope others have questions as well.

I see that Romney has now pulled up even with the president in the polls. That's scarey. He is working in Florida this week and if he wins Florida, he may be able to win the White House. Shades of George W. Bush and eight years of hell! We wouldn't be in this mess if he and Cheney hadn't allowed the elimination of the regulations on the banks. I actually believe Cheney ran most of the White House decisions. He made himself the vice-presidential candidate because he knew full well he could never have been elected to the White House and as a career politician, he knew exactly what he wanted to do to the country. Those terrible failed Bush/Cheney policies put us in this predicament. Two unnecessary and unfunded wars and an unfunded prescription drug plan and tax cuts for the wealthy finished the job on the country.

Back to today... I have made chili for our lunch/dinner. I made it Saturday evening and so all I have to do is warm it up. I hope it's good. The beans I used in it came from the ham and beans I had frozen a couple of weeks ago. I usually use canned pinto beans so I am not sure about the chili until I eat it.

More later...

The chili was good. After lunch/dinner I divided up the leftover chili and put it in the frig. Bob and I drove over to Sedan to see what was going on there. That town like all small towns, is drying up too. I was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the drive.

Then we came back here and he picked up his chili, freetoes and cheese and went home to take a nap. I read. I occasionally dozed off but primarily I read my kindle. Tonight I will just watch TV. Tomorrow will be plenty busy.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Another Sunday

I will be presiding at church this morning and Sue will bring our communion message. I have everything ready.

We will probably eat with some of the congregation after the services. At least we always do.

I fixed our chili yesterday evening so tomorrow's lunch is ready. I will have Freeto scoops and multigrain crackers and cheese with it. Yesterday was very brisk..the first really cool day in the fall. I turned on my furnace yesterday evening. I attempted to watch "Message in a Bottle" last night but had to just turn it off. I need to watch more upbeat videos. Films about death are counterproductive.

This afternoon I will do my regular letters and then read my journal. I have been reading the John Whitmer Historical Association journal since I got back from the conference. I will watch 60 Minutes at 6:00 (or whenever the football game is over). If it isn't golf that holds up regular programming, it's football.

I have tomorrow off work for Columbus Day.

More later...