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Monday, December 31, 2007




I've grown weary of the constant schoolyard buzz whirling about presidential candidates. It has become tedious. And boring. I don't think I can take much more of reading tea leaves to predict who is going to win Iowa, or New Hampshire, etc. It has become so predictable that I've decided to just leap ahead a couple of years.

What my crystal ball tells me is no less accurate than professional pontificators, or any less honest. Well, I'll concede on the honesty part because with this crop of hopefuls outright lying is not beyond the realm of possibility.

But I digress from my digression. Assume for a moment that the year 2008 has come and gone, and we find ourselves a few months into 2009. Here I offer a small collection of what-might-as-well-be's:

President-elect Hillary Clinton stunned experts by naming her husband, former President Bill Clinton, as American Ambassador to Monaco. Relations with several European countries were strained upon learning that Bill Clinton "got to know" a number of female members of European royalty as well as the wives of prominent politicians. Republicans in Congress were also outraged that a special Presidential aircraft was permanently assigned to the "First Bubba" for his exclusive use. Demanding an all-female flight crew was the cherry on top for the opponents of the Clinton(s) administration.

By February 2009 it became fashionable (and required of White House reporters) to refer to the new president as "Hillary The Great." By March, President Hillary had issued more signing statements than former President George W. Bush had in his entire eight years of tenure. Some of the over 900 Presidential edicts are listed below:

Tax on cigarettes to be $150 per pack.
Possession of cigarettes to be a federal felony offense.
Frowning prohibited in public.
Any woman with a better physique than the president barred from federal employment (this resulted in a severe shortage of employees, solved only by a then-illegal data-mining of the Lane Bryant customer base.)

Tom Brady stunned the sporting world by simultaneously dating both Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. This might explain New England's 2-14 record after their Superbowl win the previous January.

Former President Bush was named as honorary President of Baylor University in recognition of his extraordinary grasp of economics. The university subsequently filed for bankruptcy. President Bush finally fulfilled his promise to sit on the porch of Trent Lott's Katrina-damaged chalet in Mississippi. The FEMA-financed cottage had somehow expanded into a 14,000 square foot monstrosity with a final cost of $18.7 million. Former President Bush observed that if it hadn't been for that Kelo decision the costs would have been much higher in running off all those poor folks whose land Trent needed.

Many were surprised that two hours after her inauguration, Hillary The Great ordered the arrest of Karl Rove and had him placed in Gitmo as an "enemy noncombatant." In a special signing statement, HTG announced that "enemy noncomatant" was anyone she didn't like, calling Rove a "fat slob" who needed "to be taught a lesson." Rove was released after 7 weeks, in large part due to the efforts of his supporters, who had purchased and established THE KARL ROVE PRESIDENTIAL ASSISTANT LIBARY (not a mis-spelling, that's the way they say library) in Tickturd, Texas. The library is a simple structure built in the middle of 40 acres of bull manure-infested pasture. "Seems kinda right to me," quipped one of the site workers.

With the total collapse of the home mortgage market in 2008, along with a number of large banks and corporations, the administration decided to take immediate action by using government funds in the oil commodities market. Citing the president's luck in cattle futures in Arkansas, the thought was that funds could thus be raised to bail out destitute speculators on the government's dime. This was known as "No Greedy Pig Left Behind."

It was not forseen (except by about 298 million Americans) that the price of oil would skyrocket. By March 2009 a barrel of oil peaked at $275 . President Clinton Her Ladyship pointed to the positive effects: with so few people actually having jobs or the money to get to work, the number of traffic deaths and injuries had plummeted. Al Gore was enthusiastic, noting that the atmosphere now looked a lot cleaner from the cabin of his private jet.

62 bridges collapsed in 2008, primarily caused by overloaded Mexican trucks. A Dept. of Transportation official said that a weight limit of 34 tons was being ignored, with many Mexican trucks topping 50 to 60 tons. However, this was cited as another example of the success of NAFTA. (???)

The Clinton adminstration blamed the infrastructure shortcomings on the Bush adminstration, who immediately placed the blame on the Clinton administration (no, the first one I mean), who immediately blamed it on the Bush administration (the first one, again), who immediately blamed it on Jimmy Carter. The Houses of Bush and Clinton finally agreed to blame everything on Jimmy Carter.

As we all look forward to 2010, we can thank our lucky stars that our leaders are looking out for us almost as much as they look after themselves.

Well, it's nice to think so, anyway.

Happy New Year!!!!
Cross-posted at

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

United States of Jesus Christ

In this little experiment that we call America there is the freedom of religion as one of the many foundation blocks of our entire society. Added to that foundation is our freedom of speech. Toss in the Bill of Rights and you have a firm base to build your nation on. Then you add in all the decisions by the Supreme Court that becomes the support beams to hold up the roof.

When it comes to the Presidency in the Unites States it is not a bad thing for the President to have a strong sense of faith and belief that there is a higher power but you can not govern by it. Square peg, round hole. With such a diverse population we are not a society of one size fits all and when it comes to religion that little theory can or should implode a candidacy for President. We may be a nation under God but we are also one nation with many variations under God. Over at the Washington Post they have this interesting piece of Reverend Huckabee’s version of faith and the Presidency.

Huckabee Stands by 'Christ' Comment

The Associated Press
Sunday, December 30, 2007; 5:19 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Mike Huckabee, a Republican relying on support from religious conservatives in Thursday's hard-fought presidential caucuses, on Sunday stood by a decade-old comment in which he said, "I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ."

In a television interview, the ordained Southern Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor made no apologies for the 1998 comment made at a Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Salt Lake City.

"It was a speech made to a Christian gathering, and, and certainly that would be appropriate to be said to a gathering of Southern Baptists," Huckabee said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

He gave the speech the same year he endorsed the Baptist convention's statement of beliefs on marriage that "a wife is to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ." Huckabee and his wife, Janet, signed a full-page ad in USA Today in support of the statement with 129 other evangelical leaders.

Snip - Cut - Co-Pay

In the NBC interview, Huckabee, a longtime opponent of legalized abortion, said he does not believe that women should be punished for undergoing the procedure, but that doctors might need to face sanctions.

"I don't know that you'd put him in prison, but there's something to me untoward about a person who has committed himself to healing people and to making people alive who would take money to take an innocent life and to make that life dead," Huckabee said.

He also argued that his emphasis on his Christian beliefs does not mean he's alienating atheists. He said, if elected, he would have no problem appointing atheists to government posts.
- Washington Post

Where do I start when it comes to Governor Reverend Huckabee? I’m just guessing that Mike Huckabee believes that God made women with smaller feet than men so they could get that much closer to the kitchen sink to do the dishes. For that matter all of you woman that were beaten or abused by an abusive testosterone bag of bones should have pulled a Tammy Wynette and stand by your man. Bruises heal, bones mend and you probably did something wrong anyway. In his mind or in his teaching woman are and will always be second class citizens and that is just simply wrong. Then there is the added point that if Hillary is elected then Bill is really the President. That hurts my head to even think how that would work.

Roe vs. Wade, under Huckabee, nope. Kiss it good bye under the cause of the Christian Right. All you pro choice people that think your body is your own will need to line up for womb inspections under Das Fuhrer Huckabee. You better start praying that your babies didn’t have sharp finger or toe nails. Any scratches on the sacred chalice and life building organ will be cause for lethal injection. He isn’t totally against the death penalty but I could be wrong.

Then he pulls a Paul Pot from Cambodia and locks up all of the OBGYN doctors that might have performed an abortion. Then they can focus on all of the Lawyers that fought for and defended Roe vs. Wade and lock their asses up too. He will pay for it first by the added tax on one bedroom trailer home sales for back alley locations that will skyrocket as Planned Parenthood and other such medical offices are shut down. Then he might just add a wire coat hanger tax but that is a little to graphic to explain.

Mike Huckabee is standing by his statements on bringing America back to Christ but he can’t see the difference between Americans and America. No two American’s are alike and where one person finds abortion totally disgusting and wants the law changed, that same person believes that the death penalty is appropriate for crimes against our citizens. Pick one but you can not have it both ways if you swear to God above to be righteous.

As for all you Atheists or other icky religious persona non grata, the Post Office will be plastered with Huckabee appointees. Don’t even think about SCOTUS. Those positions will be reserved for zealous religious proponents of bringing America back to Christ.

By the way, screw all you Jew’s too from the Huckabee campaign. Merry Christmas, Happy Easter and all of the other religious holy days we as Christians will stuff down your throat under a Huckabee administration.

Thomas Jefferson is rolling in his grave at about fifteen thousand RPM’s right now. Look up for yourself on Google why he wrote the separation of church and state. Then look up whom he wrote it for and against.

Voting for Mike Huckabee is voting against all that America was founded on. Your right to believe in the choice of faith you want or to ignore faith entirely. Huckabee is hoping that many people will take their faith to the poll and elect him as America’s beacon of light back to Christ but I personally do not believe Jesus ever wanted a political office that proposed hate or judgment on anyone he loved. All you non believers included.

Our nation and the foundation it was built on will stand strong when we have a President that believes that his or her faith can not come first when governing. We are a house built with many products called faith and the roof needs to be replaced. Mike Huckabee is not Jesus Christ, I know Jesus Christ Sir. And you Sir are no Jesus Christ.

I’ll probably go to hell for that last one but I could not resist.

Cross posted at Michael Linn and Bring It ON!

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All We Have to Fear Are Candidates Selling Fear


Courtesy If one is fortunate they never experience the trauma of long-term and chronic fear. I agree wholeheartedly with the "fight or flight" syndrome; that is, when confronted with a threat we either avoid it or fight back if cornered.

But fear can also be used, manipulated. Very few Americans have ever heard of Bobby Sands. He was incarcerated at Long Kesh Prison for possession of firearms. Sands was a volunteer with the Irish Republican Army. Claiming that he and other IRA members were political, rather than criminal prisoners, he took part in a hunger strike. In May, 1981, Bobby Sands died.

Following his death there were numerous mock funerals for Mr. Sands. I was in the city of Limerick when one occurred there. It was the first time in my life that I saw fear on peoples' faces. Or trepidation. There was also anger, as the "funeral" was surrounded by an air of intimidation. If any business was open during the march down O'Connell Street, there were implied repercussions. What was eye-opening was the display of how civil authority could be so openly challenged.

That memory was the first thing to come to my mind when I read Bill Clinton Warns of "Unexpected", a Washington Post article by Alec MacGillis.

Addressing more than 100 supporters gathered at a VFW hall here, Clinton said that there were four reasons to vote for his wife: her vision, her plans, her experience -- the three reasons he has been giving in his stump speech until now -- plus, he said, a fourth, the threat of the unknown.

"Here's the other thing you need to know, the most important thing of all. You have to have a leader who is strong and commanding and convincing deal with the unexpected," he said. "There is a better than a 50 percent chance that sometime in the first year or 18 months of the next presidency something will happen that is not being discussed in this campaign. President Bush never talked about Osama Bin Laden and didn't foresee Hurricane Katrina. And if you're not ready for that then everything else you do can be undermined. You need a president that you trust to deal with something that we will not discuss in this campaign....And I think on this score she's the best of all."

I know that there are a number of endorsements for different candidates being offered. The best I can do is put forth a few "un-endorsements," specifically for two candidates. They are Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. Guiliani has been a fear-monger from the get-go, and now we have the one man in America we can all trust telling us that his wife is our only salvation. From "it," whatever "it" is or will be.

Before contemplating who would be the best person to sit in the Oval Office on January 20th, 2009, it behooves us to look at 16 years of the Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton(?) dynasty. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush both scrambled for their "legacies" in the waning months of their presidencies. It can best be summed up thusly: 8 years of a very cynical con artist followed by 8 years of a very cynical bully.

With the death of Benizar Bhutto, the emphasis of the campaign is veering towards the appeal of fear. Fear is a very emotional and irrational reaction to a threat. Constant fear, promoted for political gain, is nothing more than subjecting an entire society to massive Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It's quite an effective technique in shredding the Constitution along with an extremely dangerous expansion of executive power.

But....but....there's a war on, ya know? Of course there is; there always will be. Orwell's 1984 describes the ever-changing alliances in the world, with allies and enemies constantly changing. And, with history itself re-written every few years to accommodate the agenda of "Big Brother." A common theme in Orwell's book is "Big Brother loves you."

Well, to hell with Big Brother. I don't want any government "loving" me to death because that's exactly what happens. Instilling fear into the populace is the key to the door of oppression.

Hatred is fear's roommate. Watch closely; see beyond the rhetoric and in most cases you'll see fear transformed into hatred.

In the meantime, the earth may be melting, Martians may conquer us, Islamic hordes may sweep across the world, and God forbid I might actually be mortal and die someday, despite the nanny state assuring me that this will not come to pass if I just fear everything.

How about a little encouragment? You know, the kind that tells us that we can make things happen; that tells us to believe in ourelves and our republic DESPITE the oafs who "serve" in the government.

But perhaps hope is too much to hope for.

************************ This post kindly featured at MemeOrandum

Cross-posted at

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Biden is on FIRE in Iowa

One of the ways to tell if a candidates message is catching on is when ordinary folks know that the message needs to get out to even more people. Out in the rural parts of Iowa that has been the problem for many people that like Joe Biden for President. Taking the initiative, many people in Iowa are paying for advertisements supporting Joe Biden out of their own pockets. One such group is making sure that an additional 85,000 Iowans get the opportunity to consider Joe Biden’s stand on many of the issues facing our nation.

My thanks to Susan in Iowa for pointing this out to me.
Speaking of Susan in Iowa this is the email that she has allowed me the courtesy to post that I found so invigorating and encouraging when it comes to supporting an underdog like Joe Biden...
Dear friends,

Several groups of Biden supporters, who are independent of the campaign, have purchased ads that will be seen by a combined circulation of at least 85,000 people in Iowa. They were created entirely by the people who bought them, and each one is different. To see the ads that are public as of today, go
here. If you want to write a letter to the editor, there are lists of Iowa papers at the same site. There may be more ads in the works. To those of you who contributed to one of them, a sincere thank you.

If you are undecided, please go to and read about his ideas for making this country, and the world, better. And if you live near Mason City, Iowa, come to the Masonic Temple on Sunday at noon, where he will be speaking. If you do, you will understand why he inspires people to want to help him. He is the most sincere, passionate, bright, and down-to-earth politician that I have ever met. You have to see it to believe it: a politician who doesn't change the subject when he gets a tough question.

Joe Biden is a leader on the most important issues we face as a country. Months ago, he was talking about what we
need to do to defuse the dangers in Pakistan, why we should not be stampeded into war with Iran, and why his Plan for Iraq may be the best of the available tough choices. His plans for health care, education, and veterans are practical and can attract bipartisan support. If you have not made up your mind yet, I hope you will give him your consideration.


Susan Nelson
Now that is an Iowan that sees what is best for the people and Joe Biden deserves more than a second look.

Other folks talking about Joe Biden and Iowa
Daily Kos

*****Reuters has picked up this entire post...

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Iowa and New Hampshire Decision

All of the main stream media is in a buzz and so are all of the candidates running for President. This is the time of the last dash to the finish line and it is not a time for stupid mistakes by anyone associated with any campaign. Iowa and New Hampshire can pull any single campaign up out of the dust and propel them into super stardom in the next week. Mistakes, errors in judgment, or even a comment taken off the record could kill a campaign.

One thing that is certain in this election is that the people of Iowa and New Hampshire will get a better look at any of the candidates than you and I could ever dream of. Being able to size the candidates up by actually meeting them one on one is the best possible way to cast a vote for the most powerful office in the world. Somehow the actual person in the same room with you and being able to actually interact with them is by far a better way to form an opinion on their ability to serve as President of the United States. Personal chemistry is funny like that.

The next obvious question is if we should trust Iowans or the good folks of New Hampshire with this process of vetting our next political parties choice for President? Peggy Noonan is somewhat asking that same question over at WSJ Opinion Journal…

Be Reasonable
As Iowa sizes up the candidates, so do I.

Friday, December 28, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST

By next week politically active Iowans will have met and tallied their votes. Their decision this year will have a huge impact on the 2008 election, and a decisive impact on various candidacies. Some will be done in. Some will be made. Some will land just right or wrong and wake up the next day to read raves or obits. A week after that, New Hampshire. The endless campaign is in fact nearing its climax.

But all eyes are on Iowa. Iowans bear a heck of a lot of responsibility this year, the first time since 1952 when there is no incumbent president or vice president in the race. All of it is wide open.

Iowa can make Obama real. It can make Hillary yesterday. It can make Huckabee a phenom and not a flash, McCain the future and not the past. Moments like this happen in history. They're the reason we get up in the morning. "What happened?" "Who won?"

This is my 2008 slogan: Reasonable Person for President. That is my hope, what I ask Iowa to produce, and I claim here to speak for thousands, millions. We are grown-ups, we know our country needs greatness, but we do not expect it and will settle at the moment for good. We just want a reasonable person. We would like a candidate who does not appear to be obviously insane. We'd like knowledge, judgment, a prudent understanding of the world and of the ways and histories of the men and women in it.
- Opinion Journal

Putting our faith in the folks living in Iowa and New Hampshire is not the issue. We live in a world of bombardment news and advertisers that simply cash the checks from the political campaigns. Iowans I’m sure are sick to death of the non stop political ads as much as the people of New Hampshire are. And in that respect the advertisement are not the candidates.

We should be thankful that our election process is not full of the blood boiling hate that is found in some parts of the world. Places where a candidate is shot at and a suicide bomber detonates his opinion maker that kills the candidate as well as anyone in close proximity. My heart goes out to the people of Pakistan with the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Her candidacy could have had a huge impact on the much needed changes in that part of the world if she were elected.

If elected is a key point for all of the candidates running here in America as well. America needs substance in our next President and not someone that gives a great speech. We need someone that knows the world issues just as well as they know the street map of our nations capitol. They will need to know how to drive from the White House over to the House to get the job done as it should be done. Selling ideas is not about who can stand the firmest on their soap box, its about who is willing to move that soap box over to the folks that will listen and actually think about your ideas, be convinced about your ideas, and vote for them. That has been the mistake of the house of Bush and the house of Clinton.

One of things mentioned to me over and over again is the thought that our nation has been taken over by two families for more than two decades. Starting with Papa Bush with one term of four years and then moving on to Bill Clinton and eight years, followed by Junior W Bush with another eight years. Can America truly survive if ruled by two families for close to thirty years if Hillary Clinton is elected President and possibly serves two terms?

So what are the choices facing the people of Iowa and New Hampshire?

From the Democrats, something isn’t right about Hillary and her having Billy take over her campaign. It screams of “I’m not really doing this, Bill is!” but I could be wrong. Then again, if she could not keep an eye on what his sexual tensions were as first lady then what the hell is she going to do as President. I don’t think we need the FBI to be renamed FBB or FIND BILL’s BABES. Enough with the Clinton legacy of endless political scandals.

Barack Obama, probably a nice guy. Most likely one of the most highly educated people in the run for President but being book smart does not always make you common sense smart. During every single debate he was slapped down by people that actually know about world events on the same stage. Vice President, hell yes! President, not this go round.

John Edwards… No! Your wife is dying of cancer and you have something better to do? God bless his wife Elizabeth for letting him go out and play while she is facing her last days. The character of a man is shown on how he treats his wife no matter her wishes. If he bowed out of this race, in four years he would have a solid chance at the Presidency because he bowed out simply to care for the love of his life, his wife. Huge family values bump.

Meat and Potatoes of this election is in Joe Biden’s campaign. He isn’t running on dollars from the political elite contributors in the Democrat Party. He’s running on the same gas as Ron Paul. Grass roots and people to people. He isn’t counting on anyone in the media to support him because he is not sending them all checks to cash. He has however criss crossed all of Iowa to talk to the people one on one. One of things I like about Joe Biden is that he is not owned by any special interest group. His personal wealth of knowledge on anything happening here at home or abroad is not delegated to a staffer on what he should say, he just speaks his mind. That is the best you could ever get. When it comes to crossing party lines, if it is right then Joe is Right! That fact is something that will sell come the general election come next November that will be the deciding factor. No other candidate can do what he does and win the Oval Office in the Democrat Party.

But I’m sure that the people of Iowa and New Hampshire already know that simply because they have met Joe Biden one on one all across their states.

Do not be surprised if the good people of Iowa and New Hampshire vote for substance over spin. I have faith that they will vote for a realistic choice for President.

As for the Republicans, umm, over at the Gun Toting Liberal he has this latest melt down from the Giuliani campaign. Crooks and Liars has it too… Muslims are bad people? I didn’t say it the Giuliani camp did!


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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tankless Hot Water Heater

There is nothing worse than jumping into the shower and all the hot water is gone just as you finish soaping up. Needless to say the expletives coming from Mom and Dad as they finish their cold shower can be heard throughout the entire home. In my home the culprit for the expletives is usually me because Mom is up first, followed by two teenage daughters.

In our previous home we had a tankless gas hot water heater from Bosch Aquastar installed that I loved. No huge tank heating water 24 hours a day burning natural gas even if we were off on vacation. When you turned the hot water on the water was instantly heated from the time it left the unit till you were damn good and ready to get out of the shower. Even if your wife and five daughters had all previously showered just before you. The true benefit is that even with long showers by every person in the house we still saved a ton of cash on our gas bill every single month. We averaged about $40 bucks a month in savings.

There is only one downside to converting from the ancient technology of heating water in a forty or fifty-five gallon monster that sucks money out of your checking account every month, the start up cost. Depending on the size of your home and your hot water needs you can spend between $1000 to $1800 to convert your gas or electric water heater over to tankless hot water. With some of the higher priced units supplying six gallons per minute of hot water you get what you pay for so sizing your home to the usage is critical before you invest dollar one. The payback according to some sites is a 20% to 50% savings on your hot water utility bill every month.

If you want to explore this just a tad further then you can Google search it in the link on the sidebar by copying and pasting:

Tankless Gas Water Heater
Tankless Electric Water Heater
Tankless Liquid Propane Gas Water Heater

One of the other advantages to having a tankless hot water heater is the lifetime of the products is far greater than any form of tank water heater. On our Aquastar it was rated for a 25 year lifetime based on average use. On these newer units you would have to do a little research and see what they are up to now. Needless to say the payback on any of the tankless hot water heaters is probably around the three to five year range.

Just for the record, some of these units are pretty complex with the installation so you might want to contact the appropriate trade for the installation of the unit. This is not the average do it yourself project since the work involves gas pipes and electric wiring to service most of the units. Make sure you ask them if they have ever installed one before you hire them to do your install. My guesstimate to convert your home to tankless hot water included the cost of having it professionally installed.

Happy Hot Water Showering,
This post is dedicated to my cousin Julie who inspired me to write it. Thanks Jules!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Now It’s Working

The post featured below is from my newest friend BJ from South Carolina. She is a former Newspaper Editor and her political opinion writing can be found at I See My Dreams. Not many people can write like she does and I was so glad that she allowed me to cross post “Now, it’s working…” here at Papamoka Straight Talk. Thank you BJ!

Now, it's working ...

There’s a joke in upstate South Carolina about two Clemson University students riding around campus. The driver pulls over and asks his buddy to get out and tell him if his right blinker is working. The buddy yells back to the driver, “Now, it’s working; now, it’s not; now, it’s working, now it’s not.”

So, is the so-called U.S. troop “surge” in Iraq working – or not?

Can the surge be working when armed U.S. troops celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in the heart of a Muslim country?

Can the surge be working when a single American soldier looks into the camera and wishes his family “Happy Holidays” with tears running down his cheeks?

Can the surge be working when there are those who would have the United States become a fundamentalist theocracy while our soldiers are dying to prevent one in a Muslim country?

Can the surge be working when U.S. troops are fighting to liberate Iraqis from years of tyranny while the Bush administration has systematically chipped away at our own freedoms here?

Can the surge be working when major Iraqi factions cannot exist in harmony, and there are, quite literally, "warring" factions right here in America?

Can the surge be working as long as the neoconservatives who have shaped this administration’s foreign policy are building the world’s largest foreign embassy – a virtual fortress – in Baghdad with plans for a U.S. presence and U.S. bases protecting Iraq’s oil reserves for the unforeseeable future?

And, finally, you are hearing that the surge is working militarily, if not in terms of a successful Iraqi government. Is this true?

Examine six periods of this almost five-year war in terms of U.S. troop deaths in Iraq, verified by the DoD:

20 March 2003 through 1 May 2003 (end of major combat operations): 140 in 43 days

2 May 2003 through 28 June 2004 (sovereignty turned over to Iraq): 718 in 424 days

29 June 2004 through 30 January 2005 (Iraq elections): 580 in 216 days

31 January 2005 through 14 December 2005 (Iraq general elections): 715 in 318 days

15 December 2005 through 31 January 2007: 933 in 412 days

Beginning of the surge – 1 February 2007 to date: 811 in 328 days

Total deaths: 3,897 U.S. troops (Total coalition: UK, 174; other, 133)

Check out I See My Dreams for other great posts by BJ…


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Patriots vs. Giants Simulcast!

There is a roar full of cheer coming from every household in Worcester, Mass-a-two-sticks from the latest news that the fans in this city will actually be able to watch the home team on television. Anyone with a Charter Communications cable subscription was going to be blacked out for Saturday nights game against the Giants. That was Not a good thing when it comes to all of the die hard New England Patriots fans in the second largest city in the region.

Over at the Washington Post they have the latest news on where to tune in for the last game of the season to see if the Pat’s can win a perfect season…

Pats-Giants Game to be Simulcast on NBC, CBS

The Saturday night game in which the New England Patriots will be trying to set an NFL record by finishing the regular season with an undefeated record will be simulcast on CBS and NBC, the NFL has just announced.

Originally the 8:15 p.m. game against the Giants in East Rutherford, N.J., was scheduled to be carried only on the NFL Network. Because of a dispute with Time Warner and Comcast, that network is available in fewer than 40 percent of the nation's homes that have televisions.

"We have taken this extraordinary step because it is in the best interest of our fans," Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a written statement. "What we have seen for the past year is a very strong consumer demand for NFL Network. We appreciate CBS and NBC delivering the NFL Network telecast on Saturday night to the broad audience that deserves to see this potentially historic game. Our commitment to the NFL Network is stronger than ever."

This will be the first three-network simulcast in NFL history and is the first simulcast of any kind for the NFL since Super Bowl I (between the AFL and NFL) on CBS and NBC on Jan. 15, 1967.
- Mark Maske, Washington Post

Thank you dear God in heaven, thank you Senator Kerry, thank you Bob Kraft Macaroni and Cheese… Sorry, I was in deep prayer there. This blackout was a very large, huge, even gigantic problem for all of the fans that have been supporting the Patriots. Having the Pat’s last game of the season blocked on your own television is like telling a crack or heroine addict not to touch your stash and locking it up in a glass case right in front of them.

I don’t care how the NFL Network and NBC and CBS worked out this deal, I’m freaking loving it! I have to run. I have to find five Tom Brady OFFICIAL NFL shirts for a five year old, a seven year old, a ten year old, a twelve year old and a seventeen year old girl. Papamoka is having a mega football party at his house this Saturday and my five girls and I are watching it right here at home. WoooooHOOOOO!

Speaking of excitement. This is for football enthusiast fans of the Patriots. Today they also announced that they have to lay down new sod in the end zones at Gillette Stadium. Apparently, there was to much MOSS IN IT!!!



Back to my prayers, thank you for Tom Brady, thank you for Bill Belichick, thank you for Randy Moss and Teddy Bruschi #54…

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NOT THE NEWS FLASH! Monica Lewinsky Throws Thong In The Ring: Cites White House "Experience"



P.U. News Service (Washington)--- In a hastily arranged press conference, former White House intern Monica Lewinsky declared herself a candidate for president.

Lewinsky is basing her qualifications upon the premise of White House experience, basing THAT upon Senator Hillary Clinton's claim of said experience.

The new candidate expanded upon this: "Look, I've thought about this. A lot. I mean, I have White House experience too. (snide chortling from some reporters). I've been willing to stick my neck out on the job (murmured laughter) and besides, I wouldn't have gotten into all that trouble if Hillary had been doing her REAL White House job in the first place."

Asked about foreign policy experience, Lewinsky emphasised that she visits Cancun at least once a year. Also, she claims extensive service in South Padre Island. (statement later retracted when it was pointed out that South Padre Island is in Texas)

Lewinsky continued:

"We need a woman in the White House. But not just any woman, and certainly not THAT woman (Hillary Clinton). This country needs someone in the White House who is willing to get on their knees in the Oval Office in service to the American people. And I've done that. Just ask the Smithsonian, they have the proof."

A reporter asked, "Does this mean you're willing to put your money where your mouth is?"

Lewinsky replied, "Yes. Or vice versa"

Riotous laughter broke out, security was called and the room vacated, ending the press conference.

Asked for comment, Senator Clinton demurred, although one reporter overheard her muttering, "That stupid b****!"

Former President Bill Clinton was also contacted. His first response was "Who?" Pressed on the matter, however, Mr. Clinton said that he has not ever had sexual relations with either woman.

Clinton brushed by reporters on his way to begin a short vacation from his wife's campaign.

Reportedly, his destination is.....Cancun.


P.U. Weather Update:

After Green Bay's loss to the Chicago Bears at Soldier's Field...a game played in conditions so bleak even Polar bears wouldn't do the wave....quarterback Brett Favre was asked for comment.

"I'll be honest with you. It was cold as hell out there."

Nicely said, Mr. Favre, and let's hope the Dallas Cowboys regret having home field "advantage" when the Packers come calling. (NOTE: P.U. News is totally biased. Since the Carolina Panthers totally turned to mush this year we don't really care who wins the Superbowl. As long as it's not Dallas. So there.)
Cross-posted at

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Minimum Wage for Grandma to Pay the Taxes

One of the largest expenses for the elderly in our nation after healthcare is property taxes. Homes that were purchased forty or fifty years ago for five to ten grand are now appraised at over three hundred grand in some areas of the Northeast. Tack on a property tax bill at thirty dollars per thousand and we have a senior citizen on a fixed income nightmare.

One of the problems with a one for all tax base fee per thousand dollar home value is that it does not in fact take into consideration the age and income level of the homeowner. Granted good old Donald Trump is at the age of AARP membership level but the average senior citizen is not anywhere close to his income level. Should the two have homes and property taxed at the same level? Personally, I don’t think so.

I’m a large supporter of letting senior citizens keep their homes. Not for one second is their one iota of thought in my mind that thinks that we should toss them to the home if they can’t pay the property taxes due. Over at the Houston Chronicle I found this interesting piece on helping the elderly that are able to help themselves…

N.Y. town lets seniors work off property taxes — for $7 an hour

Associated Press

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Audrey Davison lives alone, gets a $620 Social Security check each month and worries about the sharply rising taxes on her four-bedroom house. Davison, 76, raised her family there and after 43 years, she really doesn't want to leave Greenburgh.

Greenburgh doesn't want her to leave, either.

The town is pushing a program that would let seniors work part-time, for $7 an hour, to help pay off some of their property taxes.

"People shouldn't have to sell their house, move away to a place with less taxes, leave behind their family and friends," said Town Supervisor Paul Feiner.

He envisions retired doctors mentoring schoolchildren, retired accountants helping with the town's finances, retired lawyers offering their services for a discount. But there are plenty of less-skilled jobs that need doing, he said.

"It's not like we're going to see grandma running the snowplow," he said. "There are lots of things people can do for the town and it wouldn't cost us that much to pay them."
- Houston Chronicle

Growing up I had my neighbors in a small town in New England that actually were able to live in their homes till the day they died because the town cared about it’s elderly citizens. After a certain age the elderly based on income paid no property tax to the town. The end result was my neighbor Betty Stein, may she rest in peace, that lived out her days in the home she and her husband bought sixty years prior. Betty was never in the best of health but she loved the kids in the neighborhood and always had treats for my friends and I that played in her yard, searching for crawfish in the pond behind her home, or just stopping in to say hello to her. Betty would never have been able to keep her home if she had to pay property tax on it. Her deceased husbands pension and Social Security were next to nothing.

Betty was wheel chair bound for all the time that I knew her growing up. Neighbors helped her every single day because she was just Betty. She had no living children or family to speak of and maybe that is why she adopted all of us neighborhood brats. What about all the other Betty’s in the nation today? Granted, our workforce in America has changed where both the husband and the wife worked a full career and with or without a pension still struggle to survive in the homes they bought so many years ago. This is an issue that needs to be looked at and solutions or probabilities discovered to save the senior citizens all across America.

Back just a few years ago the cost for just one senior citizen to live in a nursing home was averaging five grand a month for full round the clock care. How I know that little bit of information is simply because that was the bill I received every month for my father with Alzheimer’s Disease. Till we were forced to sell his home, which went entirely from the lawyers hand to the nursing home for his care. We were lucky with Blaire House of Worcester for Dad. Many other cared for elderly family or friends are not. What happens to the individual that gets placed in that home?

Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes
Nursing Home Abuse News

Watching our grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles grow older has its own set of stresses. As those we love fall victim to the ailments of aging, we worry about our lives without them, all the while learning to provide care for them. We look to medicines, doctors, diets, vitamins—anything we can find—in hopes of keeping them healthy and happy and able to live as independently as they wish to. When finally the complications get too great, we turn to an assisted living, nursing home, or other long-term care facility to continue the thoughtful and conscientious care we are no longer able to provide.

Many of these facilities provide excellent care, however, far too many do not. Often understaffed with underpaid and poorly trained employees, many nursing homes push the bottom line so far that they endanger the lives of their patients.

Neglected, abused, and threatened, nursing home residents may suffer physically and emotionally. Painful bedsores, broken bones, or even premature death can result from neglectful and outright abusive treatment.
- Nursing Home Abuse

What about the Betty’s that live just next door into their nineties that do not need a nursing home and still want to live their days out in their own damn home? We need to think of people like her or for that matter ourselves because the simple fact is that you or I will be in that position eventually. Would you want to be kicked out of your home because your home was taken for back property tax bills?

Don’t get me wrong, I give full credit to all of our nations senior citizens that work every single day. God bless them for being able to do so. One of my friends and co-workers is eighty four, another is seventy four. There is a difference to what these two friends are doing and what this program is all about. This work for property taxes can work for some people but it is not a fix all for blindly abusing the elderly. Did these people not live through the worst times our nation has ever seen and survived? It sickens me as a political opinion writer to think that anyone could have any argument against giving elderly retired homeowners living below poverty level any kind of break but feel free to speak your peace.

As much as America needs to protect its children with the full diligence that they deserve we need to do the same for our aged and elderly. That is a direct reflection on our society and way of life as a people. We all know that we can do better for all of our senior citizens. Should I mention that senior citizens vote too? That probably isn’t supposed to be relevant when it comes to this topic. I happen to think it is. Everyone forty and younger forget that I wrote that part. All of you forty and older bookmark this page. Maybe we should take back America by taking care of our Grandparents and elder neighbors first.
This liberal stands by all senior citizens no matter what political affiliation and will bitch the loudest when it comes to protecting them. They were the ones that paid the ultimate sacrafice and you can never forget that fact. What freedoms we enjoy today were bought and paid for by the previous generation. Maybe we should look to them as to what really being an American is all about?

In the words of former President Ronald Reagan, “As I fade into the sunset of my life…”

Cross posted at Bring IT ON! And Michael Linn Jones
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Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas from Papamoka

I'm wishing all of you the very Merriest of Christmas celebrations.

You have to appreciate the talent and voice of these ladies...

And of course you can not have a true American Christmas without the TSO and Christams lights set to music...

Merry Christmas to all,

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Catch the Biden Wave

While Hillary and Barack think they have the lead tied in Iowa they are forgetting that the real substance of this election is stepping around their brow beating to get the folks attention. While catch phrases sound great on a commercial they really do not work when you actually talk to the people of Iowa. Studied answers to the obvious questions might make a candidate sound knowledgeable but it’s the 101st question that starts them to stuttering. That will eventually lead to the question never being answered because a twenty three year old staffer never thought of it.

Joe Biden is running for President because he does have the answers we as a nation need to hear. Sometimes the truth is better than total avoidance to our national dilemmas. As much as the main stream media would like you to believe that this election is a popularity contest or beauty pageant it is not that at all. America has some serious problems that have been growing for almost eight years now and pretending they do not exist will not fix the need to have them all rectified as soon as possible. Having a political candidate that can and has worked across party lines on the most difficult issues our nation has faced is what substance is all about. Joe Biden has shown that ability time and time again. There is a reason why the name Biden and McCain are linked on many hot political issues. They both have had the political guts to tackle them head on and work together to try and resolve them.

With that being said, Biden is pulling out of the ranks of non contenders and I’m sure he will pull close to second or even first in Iowa simply because he tells the truth. Iowans are big on the truth. Joe is full of it and he isn’t afraid to speak his mind. Real life is not television and our nations government is not Hollywood. Hillary and Barack Obama may be able to bombard the airwaves for canned reasons to vote for them but Biden still speaks the truth every single day. Over at the Washington Post they have this little linked to article on Joe Biden…

Biden Pushes for 3rd in Iowa Caucuses
The Associated Press
Friday, December 21, 2007; 5:02 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Joe Biden's aides call it "Mo-Joe" _ a last-minute surge of momentum and good luck they hope could power the Delaware senator into a better-than-expected showing in Iowa's leadoff caucuses.

"There's a fingertip instinct that tells me something is going on. I feel like I'm still in the game," Biden said in a telephone interview as he traveled to a campaign event in Cedar Rapids.

Aides acknowledge it remains an uphill trudge for Biden, a Democrat whose distinguished 35-year Senate career has been eclipsed by the star power of rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

But with all eyes on those two candidates and former Sen. John Edwards as they compete for the lead in Iowa, Biden is on a high-energy sprint across the state hoping to catch on with enough voters to make a difference.
- Washington Post

One of the things that I admire about Joe Biden is that he does not have to reinvent himself to make you want to vote for him. In one breath he can explain what we as a nation should be doing about foreign policy and in the next breath what we need to do about our growing energy needs. Skip a breath and he can tell us what our immigration policy should be and how we can fix the 12 to 16 million illegal aliens in our midst. Fast forward and he can talk monetary policy or rebuilding our nations crippled infrastructure. Miss a breath and he can tell us what realistically needs to be done to fix our nations education system. Take a deeper breath and he can recite from memory historical events that are relevant to our quagmire in Iraq. Only Joe Biden has an in depth plan to get us out from under Iraq that is realistic. At no time is he forsaking our military or our nations flag to do it either.

You may ask how Joe Biden can do all of this with full experience and not blink and eye or say “ummm?” when put on the hot seat for the hot questions. Simple answer to that is his many years of experience in the Senate trying to fix our nations problems. Even with overwhelming odds he has crossed party lines for the greater good without care for public opinion when he thought it was the right thing to do. Joe Biden lives for this nation because he is not a Wall Street bought and paid for candidate. He is obligated to none. His integrity is unquestionable. Can the other candidates from all political parties state that as a fact?

That all being said, voting for the truth when the primary elections hit my state comes down to experience and getting over the negligence of the past eight years. Moderate Liberals and Conservatives prefer real substance over a manipulated campaign based on what we need to hear. We just might have had enough of window dressing and canned responses from all of the political candidates from both sides of the race. Thus, Joe Biden is the moderate answer to both political parties and the chance for a change in the status quo. On both sides of the political aisle there is far to much rhetoric and excuses that point across the aisle. Maybe we just need a President that simply tells the truth to his people and is beholding to not one person other than you and I. Would that not be a total change in current politics or what?

I have faith in Iowans that they will know who is realistic and who is passing the buck on what our nation really needs. It does not take a political genius to see who the ones that are selling sound bites and who is just talking the truth. Joe Biden will be sipping a cup of coffee down at the corner luncheon with real Iowans while the rock star political rallies are happening over at the Clinton and Obama scheduled ticketed stops. Politics in America is not always about who has the most money to spend but whom has the most substance. Iowa is the proving ground for this election and I trust the people of Iowa. Joe does too.

Let me leave you with just this video from Joe and his heart about his dedication to this nation, ruled under God, ruled under men.

Courtesy of Bright Cove

Other folks talking about Joe Biden
Bleeding Heartland... on Joe Biden's latest endorsements...
Susan In Iowa on Joe Biden's much needed advertising in Iowa...


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