Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ohio State President gives senile view of BCS

So the Ohio State President E Gordon Gee went off and flapped his guns the other day saying how Boise State and TCU do not deserve a shot at the national title over a 1 loss Ohio State claiming their schedules are not strong enough. First I will respond to the schedule issue.

Let's look at the Ohio State schedule for this year.....Hmmmm....Marshall, Ohio, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Purdue, Minnesota, Illinois. A murderers row for sure. In fact, Ohio State will have played exactly two teams that are ranked by the end of the season and they will have lost one of those two (Iowa). One win. Boise State will have played two and TCU will have played one. So throw that schedule issue out the window.

Here are some exerpts the response from TCU AD Chris Del Conte from his interview on ESPN radio:
1. TCU is 16-3 against BCS schools over the last decade.
2. We know we've arrived when the president of a major university makes these kinds of comments, you know we are on a national stage when this happens
3. Buckeyes vs. Horned Frogs -- anytime, any place -- we'll tee it up!
4. On teams who haven't played us and don't know us yet...."When they get their teeth knocked in, they'll know who we are"....

Here is the response from the Boise State President Chadd Cripe:
1. "Presidents who stand up and talk about values and trust and fairness and access and equity speak with forked tongue when it comes to athletics — and it makes no sense to me how they can be so absolutely wrong and know it and yet stand up as the pillars of moral rectitude."

What a joke. Both TCU and Boise would blast Ohio State this year head to head. Too bad Ohio State would never schedule either school as they are too busy with a nonconference schedule of Marshall, Ohio and Eastern Michigan.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Some interesting statistics regarding ObamaCare

A recent "Investor's Business Daily" article provided very interesting statistics from a survey by the United Nations International Health Organization. The article included a survey comparing the US healthcare system with the socialized healthcare systems in Canada and England which ObamaCare moves the nation towards.

Percentage of men and women who survived a cancer five years after diagnosis:
U.S. 65%
England 46%
Canada 42%

Percentage of patients diagnosed with diabetes who received treatment within six months:
U.S. 93%
England 15%
Canada 43%

Percentage of seniors needing hip replacement who received it within six months:
U.S. 90%
England 15%
Canada 43%

Percentage referred to a medical specialist who see one within one month:
U.S. 77%
England 40%
Canada 43%

Number of MRI scanners (a prime diagnostic tool) per million people:
U.S. 71%
England 14%
Canada 18%

Percentage of seniors (65+), with low income, who say they are in "excellent health":
U.S. 12%
England 2%
Canada 6%

I don't know about you, but I don't want "Universal Healthcare" comparable to England or Canada.

This explains the business sense of the Obama administration

The percentage of each past president's cabinet who had worked in the private business sector prior to their appointment to the cabinet. You know what the private business sector is... a real life business, not a government job. Here are the percentages:

T. Roosevelt........ 38%
Wilson ...............52%
Coolidge............ 48%
Hoover............... 42%
F. Roosevelt........ 50%
Kennedy............. 30%
Nixon................. 53%
Carter................ 32%
GH Bush.............. 51%
Clinton ............... 39%
GW Bush.............. 55%

And the winner is:
Obama................ 8%

This alone can explain the business incompetence of this administration.
Yep! That's right! Only Eight Percent! The least by far of the last 19 presidents!! And these people are trying to tell our big corporations how to run their business? They know what's best for GM...Chrysler... Wall Street... and you and me?

How can the president of a major nation and society...the one with the most successful economic system in world history..stand and talk about business when he's never worked for one?.. or about jobs when he has never really had one??! And neither has 92% of his senior staff and closest advisers! They've spent most of their time in academia, government and/or non-profit jobs....or as "community organizers" when they should have been in an employment line.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Three Cheers to Oklahoma for a great Vote!

Wow, there's seems to be a small patch of sanity left in this country out in Oklahoma. It's appears to be one of the few places in America that's still American. Last night's vote proved it. They rejected European health care, Mexican language, international law, Islamic law, and made it so only people who can prove they are Americans can vote. Three cheers for Oklahoma on a great vote!

Aren't these three measures common sense though? Seriously. Oklahoma passed a measure that states English is the state's "common and unifying language". Now what is wrong with that? This is America right?

Oklahoma also passed a measure stating that in order to vote you must produce a valid government-issued photo ID such as a social security card or drivers license. Any red blooded American will have no problem with this as well as we all have proper id.

Finally, Oklahoma passed a measure that prohibits state courts from considering international law or Islamic law when deciding cases. Well we are in America and when trying a case in America it probably should be based upon US laws.....just saying.....

So once again, Thank You Oklahoma for some common sense in your voting.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thomas Sowell on the 2010 Election

An important message from economist Thomas Sowell:

"Most elections are about particular policies, particular scandals or particular personalities. But these issues don't mean as much this year -- not because they are not important, but because this election is a crossroads election, one that can decide what path this country will take for many years to come. Runaway 'stimulus' spending, high unemployment and ObamaCare are all legitimate and important issues. It is just that freedom and survival are more important. For all its sweeping and scary provisions, ObamaCare is not nearly as important as the way it was passed. If legislation can become laws passed without either the public or the Congress knowing what is in those laws, then the fundamental principle of a free, self-governing people is completely undermined. ... Other actions and proposals by this administration likewise represent moves in the direction of arbitrary rule, worthy of a banana republic, with only a mocking facade of freedom. These include threats against people who simply choose to express opinions counter to administration policy, such as a warning to an insurance company that there would be 'zero tolerance' for 'misinformation' when the insurance company said that ObamaCare would create costs that force up premiums. Zero tolerance for the right of free speech guaranteed by the Constitution? ... This election is a crossroads, because either [Barack Obama's] power will be curbed by depriving him of his huge Congressional majorities or he will continue on a road that jeopardizes both our freedom and our survival."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Eight simple ideas to promote your Facebook page

Well I would venture to say that just about everybody is on Facebook these days. And with tons of individual users come the businesses and webpages that follow the potential consumer. So you want to build a Facebook page to promote your business, nonprofit or webpage? Here are 8 simple ideas to promote your Facebook page!

1.) Promote your page to your friends -- You have your own group of friends on Facebook and I am willing to bet some of them are interested in the work you do. Send them a personal message inviting them to check out your page. Just invite your friends who may truly be interested.

2.) Put a Facebook button on your webpage -- This might seem obvious, but most organizations don’t do it. Grab a button and flaunt it on your website, your blog, or anywhere else you have available pixels.

3.) Send updates to your fans -- Facebook allows you to send updates to your fans, and by all means you should. Just make sure they’re interesting to your fans, not just to yourself.

4.) Use Facebook Ads -- This is an inexpensive way to reach tons and tons of people. Create different ads targeting different chunks of your target audience, or several for the same audience, and track them to see which ones are most effective.

5.) Create an incentive to become a fan -- There are a lot of Facebook pages out there, so give people a reason to become a fan of yours. Have a monthly prize draw just for your fans, offer a discount to an upcoming event, or make special announcements on your page before you do elsewhere.

6.) Keep your Facebook page fresh -- Do not make the mistake of neglecting your Facebook page. Keep the content fresh. Don’t forget the viral nature of Facebook. When someone interacts on your page it may appear on that person’s Facebook feed, promoting your page to their friends.

7.) Interact with your fans -- Don’t leave your fans hanging. Respond to comments on your page. Ask them questions in the discussion board. When someone new becomes a fan of your page, sent them a message to say hello.

8.) Do not SPAM! This is actually one way not to promote your Facebook page, but just don’t do it. No one likes to receive Facebook updates every other day from anyone, so don’t abuse the privilege.

Best of luck on your Facebook journey. We have been using the above ideas to help promote our two Facebook pages, Soccermogul and Ecoistabode. Feel free to check us out on Facebook and we hope you enjoyed our eight simple ideas to promote your Facebook page!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What is BYU thinking?

Wow, talk about dumbest move of the century. BYU going independent in football has to be one of the most ill-thought moves in college football history. BYU was already a program drifting downward. They have fallen well behind fellow Moutain West mates Utah and TCU. Adding Boise State to the MWC made BYU want to do nothing but run for the hills.

So what will be the result? BYU gets a game against Texas and then what is left of the WAC (not much after Boise, Neveada and Fresno are gone) is going to supplement part of the schedule. OK. So that's a game with Texas followed with Utah State, Hawaii, Idaho Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State. Now that's a great schedule shaping up there. Fill it out with other schools that aren't playing conference games in November that are willing to play.....ok so we'll finish the schedule with Akron, Memphis and North Texas.

Whew that's some bigtime college football there. But hey, at least BYU can air all their games on BYUTV and they won't have to get plastered by TCU on ESPN anymore.

Let's not even bring up the rest of BYU athletics which get thrown out the window completely. They get to play in the WCC conference. So much for BYU basketball. Can't wait for that conference home and home schedule of Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Portland and St Mary's.

So once again....BYU what are you thinking?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Welcome to the University of Texas Conference

Eliminate Nebraska: Check.

Eliminate Colorado: Check.

Eliminate Big 12 Championship Game, a game in which we came within an eyelash of losing last year: Check.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present you the University of Texas Conference.

When the Big 12 lost Colorado and Nebraska last week, the conference was on life support. Apparently that's right where Texas wanted it to be. UT manipulated this entire realignment situation to get more money while playing weaker competition.

Mission accomplished.

The resurrection of the Big 12 is nothing more than a stay of execution for the embattled conference. Sure, the conference higher ups will tell you that it's in the best interest of the league to continue on as a 10 team conference. They'd be wrong. The shift of power to the south, which is what ultimately sent Colorado and Nebraska packing, only becomes amplified with this 11th hour deal. In this new look Big 12, the winner of the Red River shootout between Texas and Oklahoma will essentially have a cake walk to the BCS Championship Game. Something tells me that's not going to go over well in the long run.

Texas' manipulation of the rest of the Big 12 is baffling, but the big picture is even more frustrating. College football took two steps toward the era of the super-conference last week. Sure, it wouldn't be a playoff, but it'd be a nice substitute. After all, we may not settle it on the field, but eventually, the major players would be on equal footing.

Monday evening, it took four steps back.

With this new Big 12 setup, we are farther away from a college football playoff than we've been since the pre-Bowl Coalition days. Do you think that the other conferences are going to allow a playoff to exist when they're not playing on equal ground? I don't.

Texas gets TV money. Texas gets its TV network. Texas will probably get a lot of Big 12 championships too. But it made a lot of enemies in the process. Hope it was worth it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

TCU athletics in select company

Only four schools in the country have top ten football and baseball programs this year. TCU, Texas, Alabama and Florida. All finished in the top 10 in football and have baseball teams make the super regional round.

It marks the second year in a row for TCU, a little fish in a big pond. The Horned Frogs are a small private school in Fort Worth that doesn't even have an enrollment of 10,000 students. Yet, they are becoming a force in college athletics. The football team has three top 10 finishes in the last five years. The baseball team is in their 2nd super regional in a row.

TCU baseball opens Super Regional play Friday at Texas. First pitch is 2 pm on ESPN2. Saturday's game is at noon on ESPN. Sunday's contest, if necessary, is at 3pm on ESPN.

Oh look at those Frogs.  Taking out Texas in Austin and heading on to the College World Series!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Is War coming between North Korea and South Korea?

Is war coming between North Korea and South Korea? Last month's sinking of a South Korean warship and the recently released findings from the investigation have stoked the fire of hatred between the two countries. Tensions were rising on the divided Korean peninsula in the wake of an investigation report blaming North Korea for a torpedo attack that sank the Cheonan warship killing 46 South Korean sailors.

South Korea announced yesterday plans to slash trade with the North and to not allow North Korean shipping to pass through South Korean waters. Today North Korea responded by declaring it would cut all ties with the South until President Lee Myung-bak leaves office in early 2013. South Korean ships and airliners will be banned from passing through its territory and the North will start "all-out counterattacks" against the South's psychological warfare.

South Korea also wants to bring North Korea before the UN Security Council over the sinking. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday he expects the council to take action against North Korea, but China has so far done little but urge calm on all sides.

Hopefully the sides will stop escalating tensions and avoid some sort of war.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mountain West fires back at BCS

From Sports Illustrated

The BCS fired back at Washington last week with a long letter in which BCS coordinator Bill Hancock, in the nicest possible way, asked Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and his congressional cronies to butt out and let the Old Boy Network keep running college football with the completely voluntary BCS. On Monday, the Washington-based law firm representing the Mountain West Conference and Boise State fired back at the BCS by presenting an intriguing question.

Why does the BCS offer automatic bids to conferences that don't hold up their end of the bargain competitively or economically? And why do some major bowls continue to do business with the group when they know they're going to get lower ratings and draw teams that bring fewer fans? Using data available on the Web sites of the BCS and the NCAA, attorneys at Arent Fox showed that since the end of the 2006 season, the Mountain West and WAC champions that have played in BCS bowls have, on average, been ranked higher, drawn better TV ratings and brought more fans to BCS games than the ACC and Big East champions -- which are guaranteed a spot in a BCS bowl because the ACC and Big East are part of the cartel that created the BCS in 1998.

This information isn't new, but this is the first time anyone has presented the data this way. It begs another question: Why do the ACC and Big East still hold automatic qualifying spots if they can't outdraw or beat in the ratings conferences with far fewer advantages? Obviously, the ACC and Big East beat the WAC and Mountain West in attendance and ratings during the regular season, but, as BCS leaders often point out, the BCS only controls college football's postseason.

Nothing can be done about this now, because all the contracts are signed through 2014. But when the BCS deal comes up for renewal, these questions should be asked. Because if the conferences and bowls that make up the BCS aren't acting in their own economic and competitive best interests, they're at best extremely poor businesspeople -- at worst guilty of collusion.

So with all due respect to Hancock and his request that the government butt out of the business of more than 100 taxpayer-funded universities, maybe the Justice Department has some evidence if it wants to investigate whether the BCS violates the Sherman Antitrust Act.

(A note before we go any further. The proposed Big Ten expansion and possible domino effect could render this discussion moot. The Big East and Big 12 could look radically different, and that could change the dynamics of the automatic qualifying berths. For now, though, we'll operate on the assumption that college football's power structure will remain essentially the same.)

BCS organizers have argued that schools such as Utah and Boise State would get far less without the BCS. That's entirely true. In his letter, Hancock argued that the 2008 Utah team would have played in the Las Vegas Bowl instead of the Sugar Bowl without BCS rules forcing one of the four BCS bowls to take the Utes. What BCS folks always fail to mention, though, is that those rules came into existence only after BCS leaders were dragged before Congress and threatened with government intervention.

So what do the Mountain West and WAC get for providing teams that make more money for the BCS' bowl and television partners than their ACC and Big East counterparts? They get to split their share of the money, the five have-nots receive about the same amount as an AQ conference that puts two teams in BCS bowls, with Conference USA, the MAC and the Sun Belt.

Hancock always argues that the five have-nots are welcome to split their share of the dough any way they wish, but consider this hypothetical. Let's say establishes a bonus pool for the writers who cover college sports and allows us to vote on how the pool is split. I have no hard data on this, but let's say Stewart Mandel brings far more traffic to the site than myself or college basketball writer Luke Winn because of his dazzling prose, devastating good looks and guilty-pleasure Lost podcasts. Let's say the discrepancy is so great that Mandel clearly deserves to keep all of the bonus money. How would Winn and I vote? We'd take the money, of course. It's human nature to look out for #1.

And that's exactly what happens with the have-nots in the BCS. This past year, the Mountain West sent TCU to the Fiesta Bowl and received $9.8 million. The WAC sent Boise State to the Fiesta Bowl and received $7.8 million. Conference USA, the MAC and the Sun Belt, which did nothing, received $2.8, $2.1 and $1.5 million, respectively. At the BCS meetings last month, Hancock said that split was the will of those conferences. Balderdash, said Alan Fishel, the Arent Fox attorney who represents the Mountain West and Boise State. "The BCS has created that fiction," Fishel said.

The Mountain West may play its way into the Old Boy Network for the final two years of this cycle. We know the bottom of the conference is keeping the Mountain West from reaching the necessary level to earn an automatic qualifying berth, but the league might soon poach Boise State from the WAC, and the Broncos would bolster all the average rankings the BCS uses to determine whether a have-not receives a golden ticket.

Still, why are golden tickets going to leagues that don't bring in additional gold? On Monday at the Big East meetings in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Big East commissioner John Marinatto said losing the conference's contractually guaranteed automatic bid is a non-issue. But why should the BCS extend the ACC and Big East's automatic qualifying status the next time around if they can't bring as much to the table as the Mountain West? The argument that the AQ conferences are more valuable commercial properties than the non-AQs is entirely correct, but all AQs are not created equal. The Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-10 and SEC have pulled their weight for the BCS in the past five years by bringing in monster ratings and by filling stadiums. The Big East and ACC have not.

For sending Georgia Tech to an Orange Bowl played with empty seats and fewer television viewers than the Fiesta, the ACC received a cool $17.7 million. For argument's sake, let's assume the Fiesta Bowl's 8.23 rating, compared to the Orange's 6.80, was a result of the novelty of watching two teams from outside the power structure playing in a BCS bowl. That still doesn't explain why Georgia Tech didn't even sell its entire 17,500-ticket allotment.

That ratings discrepancy comes into sharper relief if we travel back a season. Utah's win over Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl received a 7.8 rating. Virginia Tech's win over Cincinnati in the 2009 Orange Bowl received a dismal 5.4 rating. Even more telling, the Sugar Bowl had a choice between the Mountain West's Utah and the Big East's Cincinnati. Sugar Bowl officials chose the Utes. The Mountain West received $9 million from the BCS for that season. The Big East, with a team in less demand than the team the Mountain West provided, received almost twice that.

So what will the BCS do next time around? Based on recent bowl ratings, only four conferences actually deserve automatic qualifying spots. If the government does back off and allows the BCS to keep running college football's postseason, it will be interesting to watch the next round of BCS contract negotiations. If, during those negotiations, the BCS continues to give more money and more power to conferences that can't hold up their end of the bargain, then maybe government intervention is necessary.

Because either the people running the BCS are fiscally irresponsible, or they're trying to keep the Old Boy Network in power no matter the cost.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Stephen Hawking: We should avoid contact with Aliens

Famed British scientist Stephen Hawking is warning us that alien contact might not be the best thing. Hawking acknowledges that aliens could very well exist, but contact with Earth could bring devastating consequences. On the probability of alien life existing, he says: "To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational."

"Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach," warned Stephen Hawking. "If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans."

Threats would not just be from attack. The aliens could carry diseases that Earthlife would be succeptable to.

Mankind has already made a number of attempts to contact extraterrestrial civilisations. The history of humanity's efforts to contact aliens stretches back some years. The US probes Pioneer 10 and 11 were launched in 1972 and 1973 bearing plaques of a naked man and woman and symbols seeking to convey the positions of the Earth and the Sun. Voyager 1 and 2, launched in 1977, each carry a gold-plated copper phonogram disk with recordings of sounds and images on Earth.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

How Efficient was Cash for Clunkers?

Just how efficient was the Cash for Clunkers program last year? I do agree that there is an environmental impact that cannot be quantified, but here is some number crunching to get at the monetary impact of the program. I thought it was quite interesting.

A 15 mpg clunker that travels 12,000 miles a year uses 800 gallons of gas a year.

A 25 mpg vehicle that travels 12,000 miles a year uses 480 gallons a year.

The average Cash for Clunkers transaction will reduce US gasoline consumption by 320 gallons per year.

Reports were that about 700,000 clunkers were traded in using the program. So that is 224 million gallons saved per year.

That equates to a bit over 5 million barrels of oil.

5 million barrels is about 5 hours worth of US consumption.

More importantly, 5 million barrels of oil at $70 per barrel costs about $350 million dollars

So, the government paid $3 billion of our tax dollars to save $350 million.

We spent $8.57 for every dollar we saved.

The program did have some merits, but in the end it was extremely inefficient and not a good use of tax dollars........BUT......I'm pretty sure they will do a great job with our health care, though.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Democrats running scared as more announce retirements

Seems the Democrats forced healthcare upon us and then are running for the hills rather than face election campaigns that will more than likely see them have to answer to their contituents and most likely be voted out of office. The most controversial Democrat Representative of them all announced his plans to run away and hide i.e. retire today. Michigan Representative Bart Stupak, who sold out on the final day of the healthcare debate, announced he would not be seeking re-election.

Stupak was adamant that he was not running from the consequences of his controversial sellout.

"The tea party did not run me out," he said in a telephone interview. "If you know me and my personality, I would welcome the challenge."

Maybe the tea parties and angry constituents did not run him out, but it seems pretty obvious he is hiding from facing the music.

Bart Stupak's decision to bow out comes amid a string of recent retirements by Democrats, including Reps. William Delahunt of Massachusetts and Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, and Senators Evan Bayh of Indiana, Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Byron Dorgan.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Listen to the Texans when it comes to ObamaCare

Nobody likes their freedoms and civil liberties more than Texans. Heck their state motto is "Don't Mess With Texas". The new Obama Healthcare Plan fires Texans up more than anything else. More government....socialism at its best...and forcing American citizens to take actions no matter what they feel only to be saddled with more taxation.

Here are some thoughts from the main Texas politicians on the Obama Healthcare Plan:

Governor Rick Perry, R-Texas:
"Unfortunately, the health care vote had more to do with expanding socialism on American soil than it does fixing our health care finance and delivery systems. The Obama health care bill undermines patient choice, personal responsibility, medical innovation and fiscal responsibility in America. As passed by the US House, the bill will cost Texas taxpayers billions more, and drive our nation much deeper into debt. Congress's backroom deals and parliamentary maneuvers undermined the public trust and increased cynicism in our political process. Texas leaders will continue to do everything in our power to fight this federal excess and find ways to protect our families, taxpayers and medical providers from this gross federal overreach."

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas:
“While Democrats in Washington have shown a willful disregard for the views of their constituents, I’m proud to continue to stand with the millions who have spoken out in opposition to the government takeover of our health care system. In tough economic times, the last thing our nation needs is higher taxes, higher insurance premiums, and an unconstitutional power grab by the federal government.”

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas:“Well, I think, you know, what this will demonstrate is the desperation of the Administration and Democrats in Congress to jam this bill through. And I don't underestimate their willingness to be ruthless about the process. So, that could happen. But I guarantee it will happen on television, on c-span, and on FOX News for 300 million people to see, and I think there will be a terrible price to be paid for this sort of defying public opinion.”

US Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio:
“The health care bill is built on the shifting sands of higher premiums, increased taxes and reduced benefits. Such a foundation cannot last and will be washed away by the American people in the November election.”

US Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin:“For Republicans our bill is too long or too short, it’s too thick or too thin, never just right, because their real answer to reform is ‘never, never, never!’ Our determined efforts should not be derided as a four letter word, but you can certainly sum up our many, many pages with 4 words—‘you’ve got health care.’"

US Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin:
“My Republican colleagues and I proposed legislation that would address the core reforms of ensuring access to care regardless of means and pre-existing conditions without needlessly punishing individuals, families and businesses, without killing jobs, and without driving an estimated one-third of doctors out of their profession, as is cited in the New England Journal of Medicine. Instead, the Democrats opted to push through their partisan, social agenda against the will of a majority of the American people.”

US Rep. John Carter, R-Georgetown:"An unconstitutional bill passed illegally will not stand as law," says Carter, a former Texas judge. Not only did President Obama and Speaker Pelosi act with utter contempt towards the voters by pushing this horror of a bill against the wishes of the majority of public, they violated House and Senate rules repeatedly to do so. This was the most convoluted, disingenuous, and deceptive legislative process in the history of Congress. This place is now truly a swamp of corruption."

William H. Fleming III, MD, president of the Texas Medical Association:
“Make no mistake — Texas physicians support health system reform — reform that truly puts our patients first. We’ve told Congress for the past year, to ‘keep what’s good and fix only what’s wrong’ in our health care system. Today, Congress did the opposite. It passed a bill that does nothing to fix glaring problems in our current health care system. Instead, it saddles Texans with higher costs, higher taxes, more red tape and more bureaucracy.”

Cathie Adams, Chairwoman, Republican Party of Texas:“To those Obama-Reid-Pelosi Democrats in Texas, today we send a message: In November, Texans will remember. It's time to fire Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, and the surest way to do that is to vote Republican in November.”

Thomas J. Tradewell, Sr., President, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the US and its Auxiliaries:“The president and the Democratic leadership are betraying America's veterans…. And what makes matters worse is the leadership and the president knows the bill is flawed, yet they are pushing for passage today like it’s a do-or-die situation. This nation deserves the best from their elected officials, and the rush to pass legislation of this magnitude is not it.”

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Healthcare win will cost Obama long term

President Barack Obama's victory on healthcare may spell defeat for his other domestic priorities if Republicans, incensed by Democrats' legislative tactics, succeed in blocking energy and immigration reform.

Obama, a Democrat, signed the controversial bill to overhaul the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare industry into law on Tuesday, delivering a major political victory for his party while antagonizing Republicans, who vowed to repeal the measure and fight his agenda going forward.

"There will be no cooperation for the rest of this year," Senator John McCain, Obama's opponent in the 2008 presidential election, told a radio program, criticizing the way Democrats steered the bill through Congress. "They have poisoned the well in what they have done and how they have done it," he said.

The healthcare legislation passed both houses of Congress without Republican votes, and many Democrats say the opposition party has done little to support Obama's agenda anyway.

Even so, if the legislative "well" is in fact poisoned, the impact could be broad.

Obama's hopes to upgrade US education standards, rewrite rules that govern the financial industry, fight climate change and address illegal immigration depend largely on his ability to get backing in the Senate, where Democrats lack the 60 votes necessary to overcome Republican procedural hurdles.

White House advisers, who see political momentum from the healthcare success, played down concerns about other policy initiatives being blocked.

"It would be a shame if, as a political strategy, the other side adopted a kind of 'just say no' approach," David Axelrod, one of Obama's top policy advisers, told Reuters, adding that was not what Americans wanted from their government.

"They want us to work together. They want us to disagree where we disagree and find common ground where we find common ground, and that's what the president's going to continue to work to do," he said.

Axelrod said the president would turn his attention to advancing financial regulatory reform and fighting a recent Supreme Court ruling on corporate campaign contributions, two issues the White House sees as political winners. Republicans and Democrats are both claiming momentum after the healthcare debate. The coming months will show whether that leads to progress or stalemate for both sides' policy goals.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pelosi and Harry Reid approval ratings

So you think the country was against the Obama Healthcare Plan that was rammed through the House of Representatives last night? Check out the latest CBS poll from the day after the bill passed. Not pretty at all.

Speaker Pelosi approval rating: 11% favorable

Senate majority leader Harry Reid approval rating: 8% favorable

Keep in mind this is not a Fox News poll which you might expect to have some bias....this is a CBS poll!

Can't wait to watch the carnage in the November elections later this year. I predict the largest political massacre in the history of the United States. Democrats will be voted out in droves. It's unfortunate that our many of elected officials chose to go against the will of their constituents.

What is next for Obama? Go After the Banks

President Barack Obama is clearly eager to maintain momentum after US lawmakers passed his cornerstone overhaul of healthcare on Sunday. He still faces a stack of pressing domestic issues, but it seems his next target are American banks.

Obama, in a clear signal financial reform could be the next priority after healthcare passed, used his weekly address on Saturday to urge support for laws cracking down on Wall Street excess that would eat into banking profits.

On Monday, Senator Chris Dodd will lead a vote in the Senate Banking Committee over a package of measures he has crafted to prevent a repeat of mistakes that triggered the 2008 financial crisis. Republicans oppose crucial elements of the measures, allowing the White House to portray them as sticking up for rich bankers at the expense of ordinary Americans.

Dodd has enough votes without Republican support to move the bill out of committee and onto the floor of the Senate. Debate could begin after its two week Easter break. The House of Representatives passed its own bill three months ago.

Obama wants a strong consumer financial protection agency to prevent banks from luring customers into risky products they don't understand and action to prevent leading firms from getting too big to fail. Obama has also called for a tax on big banks to repay the multibillion dollar bailout they got at the height of the crisis, and a rule barring them from risky trading named after White House adviser Paul Volcker. The White House says he expects to sign a financial reform bill in 2010.

Obama Healthcare win is a perversion of Democracy

So the Democrats have a healthcare win in the House—of Representatives. This win that could prove mighty Pyrrhic. It will cost them dearly in the midterm elections as well as in 2012. Barack Obama, who seemed a lock for a second term at the time of his inauguration, will stand every chance of losing to any decent candidate the Republicans can muster. And in truth, Obama, who has collapsed in stature since the day of the inauguration will have wrought his own eclipse.

Americans have witnessed an ugly and extraordinary display of how the practice of democracy can so often overwhelm its theory. Firstly, they saw how those who claim an exalted moral stature for healthcare reform made a naked attempt to dodge a basic constitutional requirement for the passing of a bill. The subversion of the Constitution was abandoned when it became clear that the Supreme Court would not put up with a law that had been deemed to have passed.

What Americans saw next was the legislative process at its most squalid: bribing, cajoling, threatening, wheedling, all designed to bring on board those Democratic congressmen whose votes were needed to attain the number 216, and whose“principles” were getting in the way of a yes”vote. Hewing to principle is difficult, because it makes party whips angry, spoils dinner parties, and ends careers and friendships. So Kucinich, Stupak & Co. caved and succumbed. To borrow a phrase from historian Tony Judt, writing in the latest New York Review of Books: “We… have abandoned politics to those for whom actual power is far more interesting than its metaphorical implications.”

So we’re now on the verge of a tectonic change in the way American society is regulated—a change vigorously opposed by over 55% of all Americans. Barack Obama did, of course, promise“change in his presidential campaign. He just left out the bit about its being change in which those who think they know what’is good for us pass a law that most of us oppose with a passion—a passion born not merely of political opposition, but of a sense that President Obama has dealt the nation a calamitous hand.

The State by State Roll Call from the Healthcare Vote

Here is how every member of the US House of Representatives voted Sunday night in the Obama Healthcare Plan vote.

A "yes" vote is a vote to pass the bill.
Voting yes were 219 Democrats and 0 Republicans.
Voting no were 34 Democrats and 178 Republicans.
There are 4 vacancies in the 435-member House.

Democrats -- Bright, N; Davis, N.
Republicans -- Aderholt, N; Bachus, N; Bonner, N; Griffith, N; Rogers, N.

Republicans -- Young, N.

Democrats -- Giffords, Y; Grijalva, Y; Kirkpatrick, Y; Mitchell, Y; Pastor, Y.
Republicans -- Flake, N; Franks, N; Shadegg, N.

Democrats -- Berry, N; Ross, N; Snyder, Y.
Republicans -- Boozman, N.

Democrats -- Baca, Y; Becerra, Y; Berman, Y; Capps, Y; Cardoza, Y; Chu, Y; Costa, Y; Davis, Y; Eshoo, Y; Farr, Y; Filner, Y; Garamendi, Y; Harman, Y; Honda, Y; Lee, Y; Lofgren, Zoe, Y; Matsui, Y; McNerney, Y; Miller, George, Y; Napolitano, Y; Pelosi, Y; Richardson, Y; Roybal-Allard, Y; Sanchez, Linda T., Y; Sanchez, Loretta, Y; Schiff, Y; Sherman, Y; Speier, Y; Stark, Y; Thompson, Y; Waters, Y; Watson, Y; Waxman, Y; Woolsey, Y.
Republicans -- Bilbray, N; Bono Mack, N; Calvert, N; Campbell, N; Dreier, N; Gallegly, N; Herger, N; Hunter, N; Issa, N; Lewis, N; Lungren, Daniel E., N; McCarthy, N; McClintock, N; McKeon, N; Miller, Gary, N; Nunes, N; Radanovich, N; Rohrabacher, N; Royce, N.

Democrats -- DeGette, Y; Markey, Y; Perlmutter, Y; Polis, Y; Salazar, Y.
Republicans -- Coffman, N; Lamborn, N.

Democrats -- Courtney, Y; DeLauro, Y; Himes, Y; Larson, Y; Murphy, Y.

Republicans -- Castle, N.

Democrats -- Boyd, Y; Brown, Corrine, Y; Castor, Y; Grayson, Y; Hastings, Y; Klein, Y; Kosmas, Y; Meek, Y; Wasserman Schultz, Y.
Republicans -- Bilirakis, N; Brown-Waite, Ginny, N; Buchanan, N; Crenshaw, N; Diaz-Balart, L., N; Diaz-Balart, M., N; Mack, N; Mica, N; Miller, N; Posey, N; Putnam, N; Rooney, N; Ros-Lehtinen, N; Stearns, N; Young, N.

Democrats -- Barrow, N; Bishop, Y; Johnson, Y; Lewis, Y; Marshall, N; Scott, Y.
Republicans -- Broun, N; Deal, N; Gingrey, N; Kingston, N; Linder, N; Price, N; Westmoreland, N.

Democrats -- Hirono, Y.

Democrats -- Minnick, N.
Republicans -- Simpson, N.

Democrats -- Bean, Y; Costello, Y; Davis, Y; Foster, Y; Gutierrez, Y; Halvorson, Y; Hare, Y; Jackson, Y; Lipinski, N; Quigley, Y; Rush, Y; Schakowsky, Y.
Republicans -- Biggert, N; Johnson, N; Kirk, N; Manzullo, N; Roskam, N; Schock, N; Shimkus, N.

Democrats -- Carson, Y; Donnelly, Y; Ellsworth, Y; Hill, Y; Visclosky, Y.
Republicans -- Burton, N; Buyer, N; Pence, N; Souder, N.

Democrats -- Boswell, Y; Braley, Y; Loebsack, Y.
Republicans -- King, N; Latham, N.

Democrats -- Moore, Y.
Republicans -- Jenkins, N; Moran, N; Tiahrt, N.

Democrats -- Chandler, N; Yarmuth, Y.
Republicans -- Davis, N; Guthrie, N; Rogers, N; Whitfield, N.

Democrats -- Melancon, N.
Republicans -- Alexander, N; Boustany, N; Cao, N; Cassidy, N; Fleming, N; Scalise, N.

Democrats -- Michaud, Y; Pingree, Y.

Democrats -- Cummings, Y; Edwards, Y; Hoyer, Y; Kratovil, N; Ruppersberger, Y; Sarbanes, Y; Van Hollen, Y.
Republicans -- Bartlett, N.

Democrats -- Capuano, Y; Delahunt, Y; Frank, Y; Lynch, N; Markey, Y; McGovern, Y; Neal, Y; Olver, Y; Tierney, Y; Tsongas, Y.

Democrats -- Conyers, Y; Dingell, Y; Kildee, Y; Kilpatrick, Y; Levin, Y; Peters, Y; Schauer, Y; Stupak, Y.

Republicans -- Camp, N; Ehlers, N; Hoekstra, N; McCotter, N; Miller, N; Rogers, N; Upton, N.

Democrats -- Ellison, Y; McCollum, Y; Oberstar, Y; Peterson, N; Walz, Y.
Republicans -- Bachmann, N; Kline, N; Paulsen, N.

Democrats -- Childers, N; Taylor, N; Thompson, Y.
Republicans -- Harper, N.

Democrats -- Carnahan, Y; Clay, Y; Cleaver, Y; Skelton, N.
Republicans -- Akin, N; Blunt, N; Emerson, N; Graves, N; Luetkemeyer, N.

Republicans -- Rehberg, N.

Republicans -- Fortenberry, N; Smith, N; Terry, N.

Democrats -- Berkley, Y; Titus, Y.
Republicans -- Heller, N.

Democrats -- Hodes, Y; Shea-Porter, Y.

Democrats -- Adler, N; Andrews, Y; Holt, Y; Pallone, Y; Pascrell, Y; Payne, Y; Rothman, Y; Sires, Y.
Republicans -- Frelinghuysen, N; Garrett, N; Lance, N; LoBiondo, N; Smith, N.

Democrats -- Heinrich, Y; Lujan, Y; Teague, N.

Democrats -- Ackerman, Y; Arcuri, N; Bishop, Y; Clarke, Y; Crowley, Y; Engel, Y; Hall, Y; Higgins, Y; Hinchey, Y; Israel, Y; Lowey, Y; Maffei, Y; Maloney, Y; McCarthy, Y; McMahon, N; Meeks, Y; Murphy, Y; Nadler, Y; Owens, Y; Rangel, Y; Serrano, Y; Slaughter, Y; Tonko, Y; Towns, Y; Velazquez, Y; Weiner, Y.
Republicans -- King, N; Lee, N.

Democrats -- Butterfield, Y; Etheridge, Y; Kissell, N; McIntyre, N; Miller, Y; Price, Y; Shuler, N; Watt, Y.
Republicans -- Coble, N; Foxx, N; Jones, N; McHenry, N; Myrick, N.

Democrats -- Pomeroy, Y.

Democrats -- Boccieri, Y; Driehaus, Y; Fudge, Y; Kaptur, Y; Kilroy, Y; Kucinich, Y; Ryan, Y; Space, N; Sutton, Y; Wilson, Y.
Republicans -- Austria, N; Boehner, N; Jordan, N; LaTourette, N; Latta, N; Schmidt, N; Tiberi, N; Turner, N.

Democrats -- Boren, N.
Republicans -- Cole, N; Fallin, N; Lucas, N; Sullivan, N.

Democrats -- Blumenauer, Y; DeFazio, Y; Schrader, Y; Wu, Y.
Republicans -- Walden, N.

Democrats -- Altmire, N; Brady, Y; Carney, Y; Dahlkemper, Y; Doyle, Y; Fattah, Y; Holden, N; Kanjorski, Y; Murphy, Patrick, Y; Schwartz, Y; Sestak, Y.
Republicans -- Dent, N; Gerlach, N; Murphy, Tim, N; Pitts, N; Platts, N; Shuster, N; Thompson, N.

Democrats -- Kennedy, Y; Langevin, Y.

Democrats -- Clyburn, Y; Spratt, Y.
Republicans -- Barrett, N; Brown, N; Inglis, N; Wilson, N.

Democrats -- Herseth Sandlin, N.

Democrats -- Cohen, Y; Cooper, Y; Davis, N; Gordon, Y; Tanner, N.
Republicans -- Blackburn, N; Duncan, N; Roe, N; Wamp, N.

Democrats -- Cuellar, Y; Doggett, Y; Edwards, N; Gonzalez, Y; Green, Al, Y; Green, Gene, Y; Hinojosa, Y; Jackson Lee, Y; Johnson, E. B., Y; Ortiz, Y; Reyes, Y; Rodriguez, Y.
Republicans -- Barton, N; Brady, N; Burgess, N; Carter, N; Conaway, N; Culberson, N; Gohmert, N; Granger, N; Hall, N; Hensarling, N; Johnson, Sam, N; Marchant, N; McCaul, N; Neugebauer, N; Olson, N; Paul, N; Poe, N; Sessions, N; Smith, N; Thornberry, N.

Democrats -- Matheson, N.
Republicans -- Bishop, N; Chaffetz, N.

Democrats -- Welch, Y.

Democrats -- Boucher, N; Connolly, Y; Moran, Y; Nye, N; Perriello, Y; Scott, Y.
Republicans -- Cantor, N; Forbes, N; Goodlatte, N; Wittman, N; Wolf, N.

Democrats -- Baird, Y; Dicks, Y; Inslee, Y; Larsen, Y; McDermott, Y; Smith, Y.
Republicans -- Hastings, N; McMorris Rodgers, N; Reichert, N.

Democrats -- Mollohan, Y; Rahall, Y.
Republicans -- Capito, N.

Democrats -- Baldwin, Y; Kagen, Y; Kind, Y; Moore, Y; Obey, Y.
Republicans -- Petri, N; Ryan, N; Sensenbrenner, N.

Republicans -- Lummis, N.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Our taxpayer dollars used to send a letter warning of another letter

I just received a letter telling me to be ready next week to receive another letter. How silly is that you ask? Well ridiculous. Who would ever do such a thing you ask? Well it is our US Government spending our taxpayer dollars. In this time of massive national debt, budget cuts and overruns, unemployment and tough economic times our tax money is being spent to send letters telling to expect another letter in a week.

I received a letter yesterday telling me I would get another letter next week for the US Census. I wonder how many millions of taxpayer dollars and how many hours of federal employee work time went into sending millions of US citizens the letter to watch out for another letter. What a joke.

And we wonder why government is so inneficient and runs at such a deficit. The people who decided to send the letter speaking of another letter should be fired.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mafia Wars Bangkok is Live!

Well Mafia Wars Bangkok has gone live and Zynga has given a select few special passports to gain access and play the Bangkok beta. I am level 441 and did not get one of the passports but luckily a friend did and shared one with me. So now I am live in Mafia Wars Bangkok.

Here are some of my initial thoughts. There are two factions in Mafia Wars Bangkok. Yakuza and Triad. You'll support one or the other as you progress. After perusing through the store it looks to me like Yakuza is definitely the more offensive group as they have weapons almost double the power of Triad. On the other hand, Triad is much more defensive minded offering less attack but much more defense. Yakuza offers an assassin while Triad offers a Shaolin Bodyguard instead. These are only available in the Faction Store. There is the traditional set of weaponry, vehicles and armor that is available to all.

Another very obvious issue is that the experience reward in relation to energy spent on the jobs is poor compared with New York, Cuba and Moscow. Level 1 jobs on return 47xp for 35 energy, 43xp for 31 energy and 108xp for 91 energy.

Keep an eye out as I will post more as I get deeper into Mafia Wars Bangkok.