Friday, September 28, 2012

Weekend Humor




Have a Great Weekend Everybody!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Benefits?


I have been taking a break from blogging....A well deserved break if I may say so myself... (Don't count Escapades...Those posts are written and scheduled weeks in advance!) but I have been taking a break from this and my other blog, "Good Foodie", but don't worry...I'll be back on the grind soon...

I would be remiss if I didn't speak on this little tidbit I just happened to be privy to yesterday while nearly falling asleep and slobbering on myself while watching the news...Actually the news was about to watch me...and then I heard this....(Now I see how so much gets by so many.)

Have you noticed, your Social Security check is now referred to as a "Federal Benefit Payment"?

The government is now referring to our Social Security checks as a “Federal Benefit Payment.” This isn’t a benefit – its earned income! Not only did we all contribute to Social Security but our employers did too.

It totaled 15% of our income before taxes. If you averaged $30K per year over your working life, that's close to $180,000 invested in Social Security.

If you calculate the future value of your monthly investment in social security ($375/month, including both your and your employer’s contributions) at a meager 1% interest rate compounded monthly, after 40 years of working you'd have more than $1.3+ million dollars saved! This is your personal investment.


Upon retirement, if you took out only 3% per year, you'd receive $39,318 per year, or $3,277 per month. That’s almost three times more than today’s average Social Security benefit of $1,230 per month, according to the Social Security Administration (Google it - it’s a fact). And your retirement fund would last more than 33 years (until you're 98 if you retire at age 65)!

 One can only imagine how much better most average-income people could live in retirement if the government had just invested your money in low-risk interest-earning accounts.

Instead, the folks in Washington have pulled off a bigger Ponzi scheme than Bernie Madoff ever did. They took your money and mine and used it elsewhere. They “forgot” that it was OUR money they were taking.

They didn’t have a referendum to ask us if we wanted to lend the money to them. And they didn’t pay interest on the debt they assumed. And recently, they’ve told us that the money won’t support us for very much longer.

 But of course now is it our fault they misused our investments? And also, to add insult to injury, they’re calling it a “benefit,” A Benefit?? as if we never worked to earn every penny of it. Just because they “borrowed” the money, doesn't mean that our investments were a charity donation!

You should be outraged...I am. Take a stand. We have earned our right to Social Security and Medicare. Demand that our legislators bring some sense into our government – (now there’s a real challenge).

Find a way to keep Social Security and Medicare going, for the sake of that 92% of our population who need it. Then call it what it really is: Our Earned Retirement Income.

Just a rant and public service announcemant from the Maverick of All Bloggers!

Monday, September 24, 2012

R.I.P. Dorothy Carter

1918-2012

Over the weekend, it was brought to my attention  that a Black trailblazer has left this existence...A trailblazer that maybe few if any of you even knew about...

Dorothy Carter, a former stage actress who starred in the adaptation of the groundbreaking novel “Strange Fruit” on Broadway and later became an educator and a children’s book author, has died after battling bladder cancer. She was 94 years old.  She  actually died  on Sept. 14 in New York City, family friend Mary Zaslofsky said Friday.

Dorothy Carter was born in 1918 in Kissimee, Fla., (A place where I also have family.)She studied drama at Spelman College and later was taught by Stella Adler in New York. She made her Broadway debut in 1945 in Lillian Smith’s adaptation of her novel “Strange Fruit,” an interracial love story.

The show, directed by Jose Ferrer and starring Jane White and Earl Jones, closed after 60 performances but got a positive write-up by then-first lady Eleanor Roosevelt in her syndicated column. Dorothy Carter, who was black, became part of the American Negro Theater under the direction of Abe Hill and played Ruth Lawson in its 1946 Broadway production of “Walk Hard.” She also appeared in Lou Peterson’s “Take a Giant Step” in 1953.

After moving to Milwaukee, she enrolled in the Wisconsin State Teachers College and later earned her master’s degree. She taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and became the first female African-American professor at Bank Street College of Education in New York City in 1981.

In her 80s, she wrote three children’s books inspired by her childhood: “Bye, Mis’ Lela”, “Wilhe’mina Miles: After the Stork Night” and “Grandma’s General Store – the Ark.” She is survived by her daughter, Carol Carter; a son, James Carter Jr.; and a grandson, James Yates Carter.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday 7 -Seven Reasons why the Republican Party is faltering in the polls!


1.For allowing the Tea Party to find a home in your party. Ronald Reagan would have viewed these people as a terrorist group and treated them accordingly. Blame yourselves for funding them through the Republican National Committee  in the 2010 elections knowing good and well, good and damn well they were morons that had no clue about how to govern in those positions.


2.For embracing Grover Nordquist, The Koch Brothers, and all of these losers who formally were the laughing stock of your party and letting them have a home by funding the Tea Party activists.


3.  For allowing the Tea Party and all of the other loonies to push your party so far right, that your party is at the point of being repulsive.


4.  For the deplorable way you treated brother Michael Steele after he helped you take back the House and make substantial in the Senate. Everybody saw what you did to him and that verified that he was nothing more than a token Black man used to counter the black skin of  Barack Obama.


This is the  reason that now Brother Steele makes his money with MSNBC  and there was no job or platform for him on Fox News. While I'm on this topic , Is there a reason that Fox News has NO Blacks, Latinos or Asians that HOST a show on the network? Not one...Not a damn one!! If you start with Fox and Friends to Sean Hannity, to Bill O'Reilly, to Greta Van Susteran, you have not one non-white person to host your propoganda machine. (Maybe that's a good thing!)



5.For the using of the filibuster to death. You truly thought that all of America wouldnt see that? Did you really think that if you all stalled the country by blocking everything we would REALLY blame President Obama? Did you really think that when you said "Obama had the House and the Senate his first two years" that we would not know that the rules of the Senate allowed for the filibuster? Really? You couldnt possibly think we didnt see that.  Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles saw that!

And furthermore, Since you guys filibustered any and everything, it is evident that you all arent afraid to block things. So when you blame President Obama's policies, which policies are you talking about? The Stimulus, which was too small because you wouldnt allow for more to be added?  Which policies exactly are you talking about? Name one policy of President Obama's that could POSSIBLY be blamed, because if it was an Obama policy that made it through Congress, that means Republicans HAD to sign off on it. Now please ask yourselves, what policies are you speaking on?


(Crickets!....Yeah, just what I thought!)
 
6.For public hypocrisy .  In one breath you people preach that the stimulus bill was a bad idea and didnt work. Yet Paul Ryan, your Vice Presidential candidtate, asked for and got 20 million in stimulus money that created jobs in his district. Michelle "Soccor Mom"Bachmann asked for and got millions in stimulus money in her district. Hell you even had Republicans posing in pictures with businesses who received stimulus monies AFTER publicly speaking on how the Stimulus didnt work and was bad for America.

7. And finally for George Bush and Dick Cheney...who brought us Two unfunded and unnecessary wars, Tax cuts for the wealthy (two during those wars), deregulation that caused greedy avaricious Bankers and others to run this country damn near into the ground when you all had the White House, Senate, and House from 2001 - 2007.

Phew....Need I say anything else? 


Vote in November! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Weekend Humor




Who Wants to Go to Heaven.... ???

  A preacher goes into a lounge and says "Anybody who wants to go to heaven, stand up."


Everybody stands up except for a drunk woman who had been napping in the corner.

The preacher says "My sister, don't you want to go to heaven when you die?" The woman smiles pleasently as she is waking up from a long sleep and says -

"When I die?  Oh Sure. I thought you were taking a load up now."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cleared!




I thought I'd write about this, because nobody else is talking about it AND THEY SHOULD BE...!

The Republicans spent a larger part of the early summer trying to demonize the Attorney General...Even threatening to sue him and yesterday he was cleared of all of their ridiculous charges...But this is not in the news...It's buried....

The long-awaited report on the U.S. government’s controversial gun-trafficking operation known as “Fast and Furious” released yesterday found no evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder knew of the botched effort to trace the flow of guns to Mexico’s drug cartels prior to its public unraveling in January 2011.

This report by the Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz said there is "no evidence that ...Attorney General Holder was informed about Operation Fast and Furious, or learned about the tactics employed by ATF in the investigation" before Congress began pressing him for information about it in early 2011.

Hear that Republicans ? Hear that Rush? Hear that Sean, Hear that Michelle Malkin???
The way they have demonized this man the past year has been shameful.

The inspector general did determine that the acting deputy attorney general, Gary Grindler, received a briefing about the ill-fated gun-tracing operation in March 2010, but that the briefing "failed to alert Grindler to problems in the investigation."

The report also concluded that the operation was "seriously flawed and supervised irresponsibly" by federal officials in Arizona, who allowed it to continue in hopes of scoring a big case against a gun-trafficking organization despite obvious problems. No one in Arizona, at ATF headquarters in Washington or at the Justice Department acted to end the operation until two weapons that were allowed to flow into Mexico were found at the scene of a shootout where a federal border agent, Brian Terry, was killed in December 2010.

"Fast and Furious" was an attempt to trace the flow of guns from the US into Mexico. ATF agents were instructed to allow suspected gun runners for the Mexican cartels to take guns into Mexico, because local ATF officials and local prosecutors believed they could then follow the weapons to the cartel higher-ups in Mexico. It didn't work that way, and roughly 2,000 guns were lost, most of them AK-47-type rifles, the report said.

Even after two of the trafficked guns showed up at the scene of Terry's death, senior ATF leaders did little to find out what went wrong. Instead, the report said, Kenneth Melson, then the acting ATF director, seemed more concern that agents were leaking information to the news media about the botched operation.

Attorney General Holder, in a statement issued immediately after the report's release, said its "key conclusions are consistent with what I, and other Justice Department officials, have said for many months now," that senior Justice Department officials were unaware of the "flawed strategy and tactics" that dated back to the administration of George W. Bush and made no effort to "cover up information or mislead Congress about it."

Attorney General Holder also announced that Kenneth Melson, who was transferred out of the top job at the ATF last year, was retiring, effective immediately. A second Justice Department official, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, has already resigned. The report said Jason Weinstein failed to tell Attorney General Holder about problems with the Fast and Furious operation.

In all, 14 current federal employees were singled out in the report for potential disciplinary action.

The report's publication seemed to do little to end the bitter rivalry between Holder and Rep. Darrel Issa, the California Republican who was among the first to question the Fast and Furious operation.


"It is unfortunate that some were so quick to make baseless accusations before they possessed the facts about these operations -- accusations that turned out to be without foundation and that have caused a great deal of unnecessary harm and confusion," Eric Holder said in his statement.

"I hope today's report acts as a reminder of the dangers of adopting as fact unsubstantiated conclusions before an investigation of the circumstances is completed," he said.

Of course..not to be out done...The Republicans, who are having a very bad week this week are still going to try to spin this their way...

In his own statement, Represenative Darrell Issa said, "Contrary to the denials of the attorney general and his political defenders in Congress, the investigation found that information in wiretap applications approved by senior Justice Department officials in Washington did contain red flags showing reckless tactics and faults Attorney General Eric Holder’s inner circle for their conduct.It’s time for President Obama to step in and provide accountability for officials at both the Department of Justice and ATF who failed to do their jobs," Issa said.


In the words of Yosemite Sam....."Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Shadddddup!"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Would You Believe....?



I know that right now, everybody is talking about Mitt Romney calling half of you out there lazy, shiftless ,free loading bums...and I would pontificate more on what he said yesterday...but I feel like this...

When a man is drowning , when a man is cutting his own throat.....YOU LET HIM!!

If you are a supporter of the President, there is good news right now...The percentage of voters believing that the country is better off since Barack Obama became president jumped seven points after the two political conventions, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Thirty-eight percent of registered voters now say the nation is better off, which is up from 31 percent in the August NBC/Wall Street Journal poll conducted before the conventions. Still, a plurality of voters -- 41 percent -- believe the country is worse off, while 21 percent think it's in the same place.

"Are you better off than you were four years ago?" has been a question that Republicans raised  ad nauseum right before the Democratic convention began earlier this month. And top officials and surrogates from President Obama's campaign had a difficult time, initially, answering the question.

But in his convention address the day before President Obama's acceptance speech, former President Bill Clinton answered the question affirmatively. “No president -- not me or any of my predecessors -- could have repaired all the damage in just four years. But conditions are improving, and if you'll renew the president's contract you will feel it.”

I believe this...and I hope that more people will actually see and feel this..I definitely..when I look at the big picture see that as a nation we are better off now than in 2008.  People just can't imagine how bad things could have been if the banks and the auto industry had taken a twin dive at the same time...

The Obama campaign has  followed up with a new TV ad -- on the fourth anniversary of Lehman Brothers' collapse  which also making the case that the country is better offnow than in 2008.

The new NBC/Wall Street Journal  poll asks a separate question: Which candidate -- President Obama or Mitt Romney -- is better prepared to lead the country four years from now? On this question, 47 percent of voters pick the president(there goes that 47% that Mitt was talking about!), while 36 percent choose Romney.

The full NBC/Wall Street Journal poll -- which was taken of 900 registered voters (270 by cell phone) from Sept. 12-16 and which has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.3 percentage points -- will be released at 6:30 pm ET. That release will include the poll's initial look at the presidential contest among likely voters.

All I can say is that right now...I'd rather be in the Obama camp instead of the Romney camp...Stay tuned people!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mitt's Dirty Little Secret (Tape)


< "The overwhelming majority of voters who back President Barack Obama do so because they are "dependent on government" and "believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing," Mitt Romney told a closed-door gathering of about 30 major donors earlier this year, according to video of the event that has surfaced on the Internet.

Oh Really?

Yesterday, The person who uploaded a series of potentially inflammatory videos from the fundraiser has claimed authorship of them in an email exchange with The Huffington Post. This source said he or she wishes to remain anonymous for professional reasons and to avoid a lawsuit.

The videos, which have created a buzz on the Internet, were blurred and at times blacked out to obscure the location of the filming, the source said. "I have obviously degraded the quality to attempt to camo the location," said the clandestine filmmaker. The original, which has not been posted in full, is very high quality, the source said.

The source has given the full video to Mother Jones' David Corn. The videos capture  Mitt Romney speaking loosely about Obama supporters, immigrants, privilege and a host of other controversial issues. The candidate seems unguarded and displays the sense of humor that is often mentioned by those close to him, but is so rarely on public display.


It's Mitt Romney's remark about the president's backers that might have the most potential to undermine his candidacy, however, as Mitt Romney seeks to persuade people who voted for Barrack Obama in 2008 to switch to his side this time.
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney says in one clip. "All right -- there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing."  Want to take a guess who these people are he's talking about? What they look like?



Mitt Romney's comments on the video go a step beyond his August claim, made in public, that the Obama administration's state-by-state welfare waivers were an effort to "shore up his base."

In the behind-closed-doors speech to donors, Mitt Romney seems to be suggesting that nearly half of Americans expect to have all their needs supplied by the government. "[M]y job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,"

Mitt Romney also said in the video, according to Mother Jones. As for the other 53 percent? Mitt Romney may have been referencing a meme started by conservative blogger Erick Erickson, who has noted that only 53 percent of Americans pay federal income taxes. Erickson argued that the rest of the country, and in particular the Occupy Wall Street movement, should "suck it up you whiners."

Code Words....Code Words for Black ,Latino and poor destitute whites...... I don't know...maybe it's me, but in a race that still is very close at this late date...Should you really be trying to aileanate any segment of  the voting populace?


This  notion that the Democrats and progressives hope to ride dependency to political power is one that has no shortage of adherents among conservatives and tea party types...Many who are ironically on some type of government dependency program themselves.

 “We are reaching the tipping point where the majority of Americans are recipients of government programs,” columnist George Will said recently on Laura Ingraham's radio show. "Heavens, one in seven of Americans is on food stamps today. The gamble -- it's really not a gamble, the tactic -- of the Democratic Party is to run up the dependency ratio in this country until you get 50-60 percent of Americans dependent on the government in at least one or often in multiple ways, at which point they figure the party of government will always win."

I'm just shaking my head... But there are a few problems with this idea (fiction)of the overburdened "53 percent." Many Americans don't pay federal income taxes, in part, because of deductions like the child tax credit that have been championed by conservatives and progressives alike. Almost all of the "47 percent" do pay other federal taxes in the form of Social Security and Medicare payroll deductions and gas levies, as well as a variety of state and local sales and property taxes that aren't dependent on income. Do the Republican fiction writers ever talk about that?


"Mitt Romney wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy. As the governor has made clear all year, he is concerned about the growing number of people who are dependent on the federal government, including the record number of people who are on food stamps, nearly one in six Americans in poverty, and the 23 million Americans who are struggling to find work,"

Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said in a statement responding to the video's release. "Mitt Romney's plan creates 12 million new jobs in four years, grows the economy and moves Americans off of government dependency and into jobs." And what is this plan?  I haven't heard it yet!  Have you? Has anybody???

 A separate video clip that featured Mitt Romney addressing deplorable conditions at a Chinese factory began making the rounds on the Internet last month. In that video, he contrasted the conditions he witnessed on a business trip to China with conditions in the United States, where he said, "Ninety-five percent of life is set up for you if you were born in this country."Amazing HE would say that, considering his upbringing.

 Commentators have seized on the assertion that people are mostly set if they're born in the U.S. In fact, tens of millions of Americans are jobless or living in poverty. The notion also cuts against one of Mitt Romney's campaign themes, which is that those who are successful have gotten to where they are completely on their own.

 In addition, the video is notable for Mitt Romney's recounting of conditions he saw at the factory. By his own telling, he seemed satisfied when the factory owner told him the barbed wire was to keep job-seekers out, not to keep workers in.

Mitt Romney may have been referring to conditions at Global Tech Appliances Inc., a Chinese manufacturer, in which Bain Capital invested, that was fined $2.65 million for ripping off a deep-fat fryer design, according to Boston Globe reporter Matt Viser. There are at least 10 of these videos, each allegedly clipped from the same fundraiser. A YouTube link to the Chinese factory clip, it turns out, was initially posted in May in the comments section of The Huffington Post under the handle romneyexposed.

The commenter posted a link to a YouTube account by the same name, which includes a version of the factory video and three others. Six more videos exist under another account. In one of the other videos, Mitt Romney lamented, in a joking way, that he would have a better chance of being elected if his father had been ethnically Mexican, rather than born to white parents living in Mexico. "My dad, as you probably, know was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company. But he was born in Mexico ... and, uh, had he been born of, uh, Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot at winning this," Romney said.

"But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico(Oh yes, that's a big misfortune!). ... I mean I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino." In a separate video, Mitt Romney talks about his success. "Both my dad and [wife] Ann's dad did quite well in their lives. But when they came to the end of their lives and passed along the inheritance to Ann and me, we both decided to give it all away. So I have inherited nothing. Everything that Ann and I have, we earned the old-fashioned way."

OH REALLY?


 Mitt Romney's parents did pay for his boarding school, his college, his graduate school and his first home. He got closer to the truth in another clip. "There's a perception that all of you were born with a silver spoon. You know, you never had to earn anything and so forth," Mitt Romney said to the donors. "Frankly, I was born with a silver spoon, which is the greatest gift you can have -- which is to get born in America."

Hmmmmmmm....Knowing Mitt, in a few days, he'll claim that this wasn't him on the tape!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Gettin My Eagle On Early






Yeah...I'm a Monday Morning Quarterback....  Perhaps I'm getting my hopes up high very early...but my hometown team the Philadelphia Eagles have won all of their pre-season games... and so far are a perfect 2-0 in games that actually count.  I tell myself that this can't last forever and believe me...I know that it won't, but I enjoy being undefeated and sitting at the top of the division for the time being...

Yesterday...Mike Vick scored on a 1-yard TD run with 1:55 left in the game, helping the Philadelphia Eagles overcome a slew of turnovers to beat the Baltimore Ravens 24-23.

Rookie kicker Justin Tucker made field goals of 56, 51 and 48 yards for the Baltimore Ravens, but  Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco couldn't get Baltimore (1-1) in his range in the final minute. Joe Flacco overthrew Ray Rice on fourth-and-1 from the Ravens 46, and the Eagles ran out the clock.

Mike Vick threw four interceptions at Cleveland last week, but rallied the Eagles (2-0) to a 17-16 win. He did it again, though the replacement officials almost made a costly mistake.

Down 23-17, the Eagles started at their own 20 with 4:43 left. Mike Vick threw passes of 24 and 13 yards to Brent Celek. A 19-yard pass to Clay Harbor coupled with a roughing-the-passer penalty put the ball at the 3. Vick then threw incomplete as he was being hit by Haloti Ngata, but the play was ruled a fumble.


It was recovered by the Ravens, but  instant replay overturned the call and Mike Vick scored on the next play. The Eagles committed three turnovers in the red zone in the first half and lost two starting offensive linemen in the second. Vick finished 23 of 32 for 371 yards with one touchdown and  just two interceptions.
A little better than the four he threw in last week's season opener with the Cleveland Browns.

Brent Celek had eight catches for 157 yards and DeSean Jackson had seven receptions for 114 yards. This was a homecoming of sorts for  Joe Flacco and Ravens coach John Harbaugh.

Joe Flacco grew up in nearby Haddon Township, N.J. and John Harbaugh spent 10 seasons  here in Philly as an assistant under Andy Reid before going to Baltimore in 2008.

Justin Tucker almost made them winners. An un drafted rookie out of Texas, Justin Tucker beat out veteran kicker Billy Cundiff in the preseason and has made all six of his field goals in the first two games.
Tucker's 56-yarder at the end of the first half sent the Ravens into the locker room up 17-7. His 51-yarder early in the fourth made it 17-14. Cundiff was 1-for-6 from beyond 50 yards last year, and missed a potential game-tying, 32-yarder against New England in the waning seconds of the AFC championship game.

 Two plays after center Jason Kelce sprained his right knee and was carted back to the locker room, the Eagles got within 17-14 on Vick's 23-yard TD pass to Jeremy Maclin. Vick scrambled to his left and threw on the run to Maclin, who slipped behind coverage and went to his knees to make a nifty catch. The Birds lost two more starters on its next drive. First, King Dunlap left with a hamstring injury. Jeremy Maclin was then carted off with a hip pointer after making a block on Brent Celek's 24-yard catch.

Still, the Eagles reached the 5 yard line before settling for Alex Henery's tying 23-yard field goal. The starting quarterbacks were coming off opposite performances in Week 1. While Mike Vick struggled against the Cleveland Browns, Joe Flacco was near-flawless in a dominant 44-13 win against Cincinnati last Monday night.I must admit...I was a little worried about the Ravens coming in here and maybe embarrassing us on our home turf....But that did not happen today!

Joe Flacco was 22 of 42 for 232 yards, one TD and one interception against the Eagles. Using the no-huddle from the start, the Eagles moved the ball effectively to the Ravens 12. But Mike Vick made yet another errant throw and was intercepted in the end zone by Bernard Pollard.

MikeVick scrambled out of the pocket and had space, but he fired opposite his momentum. Trent Cole stripped  Joe Flacco on Baltimore's second play and Cullen Jenkins recovered at the Ravens 15.

Shady McCoy ran in from the 1 for a 7-0 lead. Vonta Leach scored on a 5-yard TD run to tie it at 7. After the Ravens failed to convert on a fake punt - Sean Considine ran 3 yards on fourth-and-4 - the Eagles took over at Baltimore's 45. The drive ended in another turnover.
\
Rookie Bryce Brown fumbled a handoff on third-and-1 at the 20, and Albert McClellan recovered at the 30. Flacco connected with Jacoby Jones on a 21-yard TD pass to give the Ravens a 14-7 lead. The Eagles drove to the Ravens 9 before Lardarius Webb caused McCoy to fumble. Ray Lewis recovered and was slammed down to the ground by Mike Vick.

 It was another ugly football  game , but in the words of my cousin...."Like a drunken hook up at 2:00 am....I'll take it."  Yeah...Wrap it up...I'll take it!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Weekend Humor


I don't need to say anything else do I?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Good News!



Here is some good news for a change!

Florida residents -- and the Obama Administration -- must be jumping for joy: Today a Florida court decided to return voting rights to all naturalized citizens as opposed to forcing them to prove their citizenship within 30 days or be stripped of their right to vote.

 This ruling can easily change the narrative across other states who are seeking to employ voter suppression methods. Nice going, Florida!!!

Blood On Their Hands!



We all have a right to free speech.....but every journalism student  knows that that free speech right does not allow you to scream "Fire" in a crowded theater ,thus endangering the lives and safety of others....

Today, because someone exercised their right to free speech...some imbecile.....A U.S. Ambassador and several others are dead and property was destroyed thousands of miles away...

Violent outbursts against the U.S. tore through Libya and Egypt last night, with protestors in Cairo scaling the embassy walls and tearing down an American flag and armed militiamen in Benghazi attacking a consultate and killing the U.S. ambassador and three other diplomats.

Florida's resident idiot and imbecile,  hate-mongering pastor Terry Jones, of course, played a role in sparking the violence.


Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, called Pastor Jones this afternoon to withdraw his support for the video that sparked the violence. Initially, the New York Times and other outlets reported that the violence was set off by Terry Jones' latest stunt: proclaiming Sept. 11 as "International Judge Muhammad Day." But the latest reports this morning say Terry Jones was only a peripheral player in sparking the riots, which appear to have been primarily fueled by an amateurish anti-Islamic film produced by a California real estate developer.

 This film, called "The Innocence of Muslims," depicts the Prophet Muhammad having sex and jokes about his ignorance. The film was made by Sam Bacile, a  52 year old virulently anti-Islamic activist who made the piece after collecting $5 million. There is a tie to Terry Jones, the central-Florida pastor who sparked his own bloody riots in Afghanistan after promoting a "Burn a Koran Day" at his church and has more recently hung  President Obama in effigy.



Pastor Jones initially seemed unaware of the film, the , but then quickly sent an email  to Bacile praising it for "reveal(ing) in a satirical light the life of Muhammad." The attacks in Libya have devastated the American diplomatic core. The State Department confirmed this morning that among the four diplomats killed was Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to the nation. "Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi," President Obama said in a statement this morning that also condemned the "cowardly" attacks.

The blood of these people is dripping from the hands of Sam Bacile and Terry Jones...I doubt if either one of these kooks cares...and there is probably nothing legally that can be done to either one of  them... Sam Bacile....Coward that he is...Is in hiding right now. Wonder why?  I hope the equally fanatical Islamist extremists find him...It would serve him right.

As for Pastor and I say that with as little reverence as possible, Terry Jones..I am 100 percent certain that when he dies , he's going to get the biggest surprise ever.... If I were him, I might invest in a couple of powerful air conditioners...because where he's going...he'll need them!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The New Face Of Credit Cards




I take time off from the political discourse to talk to something that might be of interest to all of us...Credit Card usage...We all use them....Debit Cards...These are some new things that are sure to be of interest that are coming down the pike..

The way we pay for stuff with plastic has changed a lot over the years, from the explosion in debit card usage over the last couple decades(Remember MAC cards??) to the proliferation of rewards cards from retail stores, airlines and hotel chains.(Seems like every store has it's own card and it'sown rewards plan doesn't it?) The physical features of cards have also evolved.

Here are some of the ways that the look and feel of your credit or debit card has changed over the last several years, and how it will continue to change in the near future.


 A. The End of Raised Numbers
Seeing credit cards with embossed characters -- that is, those raised numbers and letters on the front of the card -- brings to mind the old days, when credit card transactions were carried out with "knuckle buster" devices that took a physical imprint of the card.(I worked in retail and I hated those machines..believe me..I busted my knuckles a couple of times on them.) The embossed characters also served a security function by making it harder to duplicate a card.

"At the time, an embossing machine was pretty expensive for crooks to get their hands on," says Raul Vargas of Identity Theft 911.

Both functions now seem somewhat archaic. It's easier for identity thieves to replicate the embossing, and most transactions are carried out by swiping the magnetic strip. As such, both Visa and MasterCard now offer customers flat cards without the 3-D lettering.

One advantage to unembossed cards is that your local bank can make you one on the spot, allowing you to go into a bank and walk out with a new credit card.

"There has been a move to put instant issuance of the card into the branch," explains David Robertson, publisher of consumer payment journal The Nilson Report. "It's there that you're seeing cards issued with less levels of personalization than are available to the bureau mailing the card."

Unembossed cards are far from becoming the standard, in part because many merchants still rely on old-fashioned carbon-copy devices as a backup. Robertson says hundreds of thousands of the devices are still sold every year. But don't be surprised if the next card you get is smooth to the touch.

B. So Called Smart Cards

Magnetic strips replaced carbon-copying a long time ago, but even they aren't the most up-to-date way of paying with a credit card. So-called smart cards use embedded chips instead of magnetic strips to make payments. Depending on the technology, the chip may require you to insert the card into a slot or simply wave it at a special terminal.

The terminals can be found everywhere from gas stations to New York City cabs, and issuers offer a variety of contactless cards (like MasterCard's PayPass line). Still, chipped cards are by no means common in the U.S., as adaptation of the chipped cards (and the terminals that accept them) has been relatively slow here when compared with Europe, where smart cards are the standard. But that's going to change in the next decade.






"(The issuers) have all committed to chipped cards," says Robertson. "It's a multistep process, and the first step will involve the merchants' side, with banks sending out directives to the merchant community."

The first deadline is just a year away, he says, and he estimates there will be widespread use by 2015.

Even then, don't expect to see the magnetic strips disappear. Even those ahead-of-the-curve folks among you who currently use smart cards generally have hybrid cards with both chips and magnetic strips, so that they can be used at either kind of terminal. That's likely to continue for the foreseeable future as retailers and some of us,myself included are slow to adapt.

"There will be some merchants who deploy terminals by the deadline, but it's overwhelmingly likely that most will not meet the deadline," says Robertson. "This is not a situation where someone snaps their finger and it all gets done."

C. Security Features of the Future


Embossed numbers are among several physical security features implemented by card makers over the years, all with the goal of making the cards difficult to replicate.

"They updated the signature panel so it's not just a blank sticker," says Vargas. For instance, the background of the panel was layered with the words "Visa" or "MasterCard." A similar approach was taken with the logo itself: On closer inspection the Visa logo was revealed to be made up of tiny V's. And then there were the holograms embedded in the front of the card, which were likewise difficult to copy. But all three have seemingly fallen out of favor.

"They used holograms because they're hard to replicate, but I don't think many issuers use holograms anymore," says Vargas. The same holds true for the special logos designed from tiny letters. Meanwhile, the patterned background of the signature panel appears on fewer cards these days. It seems that as crooks became more sophisticated, it stopped being worth the trouble for banks to load their cards up with fraud-proof design features.

"U.S. banks care about cost versus rewards," says Vargas. "Twenty years ago the hologram stopped fraud, but now that the crooks have the technology to reproduce that, it's no longer worth it."

What security features will remain? There is the CVV code, the three-digit numerical string on the back of the card intended for card-not-present transactions. And if you have a smart card -- especially one without a magnetic strip -- it will be difficult for a thief to steal the payment data off it (whether or not you wrap it in tinfoil.) The hologram is evolving, too. In 2005, for instance, MasterCard introduced cards that embed holograms directly into the magnetic strip.
 
D. Crazy and Offbeat Designs
 
 
If doing away with embossed lettering doesn't make your card sleek and stylish, why not take the next step and just do away with numbers and lettering altogether? That's what Discover did with its Discover it card, which removes the name and number from the front of the card, leaving only the logo. The relevant information is instead on the back of the card.
 
And lest you think that a card with no readily visible name on the front is less secure, note that it comes with a patterned signature field, a hologram-embedded magnetic strip and $0 liability on fraudulent purchases. And the rewards aren't bad, either.
Other issuers have gone in the opposite direction, adorning the card with bells and whistles in an attempt to separate themselves from the pack. Take the Citi 2G, a rewards card that Citibank began testing back in 2010. The card is adorned with two tiny buttons: one for regular credit card transactions, and another which allows you to pay for your purchase with whatever rewards you've managed to accumulate. A tiny light will even indicate which mode you're in.
 
E.New Materials
 
In closing, a lot of credit and debit card issuers have experimented with different materials for their cards. The American Express Centurion card, for instance, is made of anodized titanium, while the J.P. Morgan Palladium card is made of palladium and gold.

These and other nonplastic credit cards are generally geared toward an exclusive, high-income crowd, so chances are you won't get to pull one out of your pocket. Still, it's a good example of how issuers are using unique design choices to differentiate their cards from the competition.
 
At this rate...actually dollar bills and coins may one day be seen as a thing of the past!
 
A public service announcement from the Maverick of All Bloggers!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What I've Learned



1.Want what you need as opposed to wanting what you want!

2.Everybody has the option to walk away from something...It's the person that chooses to stay and deal with it that really shines.

3.Sometimes you just have to live long enough for people to get who you are!

4.Ignorance doesn't anger me....If you don't know something, you don't know it.

5. Stupidity does bother me....It means you don't wish to know something.

6.I learned early that you gotta work a little harder to stand out from the pack!

7.It's Important to have a sense of where you come from...It leads you to where you might be headed.

8.One thing I learned about the good old days...The operative words there is old days..They're gone....This is now..This is all that counts...Right now!

9. You can't start a new chapter of your life if you keep reading the previous chapter.

10.I didn't really start making anything resembling decent money until I was in my mid thirties...Considering my personality...That was probably for the best!



PEACE!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Game ,Set, Match



Do I need to say more? You saw the Democratic National Convention....It made the Republican National Convention of the week before look like it didn't even happen. Just my non-objective and biased opinion.

On the real though... President Obama’s acceptance speech last Thursday night served several purposes -- One,it attempted to rally his core base,(African Americans, Latinos, Gays, Women, Workers and their families and the elderly) Two, It tried to take advantage of the opening his opponent, Mitt Romney left for him, and three, it looked to define the election as a choice.


Motivating his supporters two months before Election Day, President Obama said, “If you turn away now, if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn't possible, well, change will not happen. If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void.”

He seized on Mitt Romney and the Republicans surprisingly not mentioning the war in Afghanistan at all last week, and he devoted a larger-than-expected share of the night to national security.

In one of his more than humorous remarks on Thursday he said-“My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy, but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly.”

And after Mitt Romney’s very nostalgic speech that focused on the past, President Obama’s address concentrated mostly on the future. “Our challenges can be met. The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place. And I'm asking you to choose that future.”

The President did a few more things in his speech. He attempted to make the case that this is a choice election, using the words “choice” or “choose” more than 20 or more  times.

“The choice you face won’t just be between two candidates or two parties. It will be a choice between two different paths for America.”

He tried to turn  Candidate Romney into a punch line. “You don't call Russia our number one enemy -- and not al Qaeda -- unless you're still stuck in a Cold War time warp,” he said. “You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can't visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally.”

President Obama argued passionately that now isn’t the time to change horses.

 “The truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. It will require common effort, shared responsibility.”



While not showing his full hand, which I wouldn't expect him to do...He chartered a vision of the future without making a lot of promises and without telling people what they might want to hear which is that everything is going to be alright...He instead asked people to be hopeful and faithful....Which is the more courageous message.

And the Republicans?? What did they tell you? They told you everything  that is wrong, but what I was waiting for was their plan...I didn't hear it, the two and a half nights I did bother to watch their convention...I heard a lot of snide personal attacks, but no plan....Except the one they always roll out...Tax Cuts...Trickle down economics...Job Creators...The language is a little new, but it's the same show we've seen since the great communicator, Ronald Reagon was in office.

You saw both conventions...Do you think there is an enthusiasm gap as some of the pundits are saying?

You saw the crowd....You Heard Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Joe Biden and Barack himself...

GAME-SET -MATCH........See you in November!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Weekend Humor


 

A DEA officer stopped at our farm yesterday

"I need to inspect your farm for illegal growing drugs."

I said "Okay , but don't go in that field over there.....",

The DEA officer verbally exploded saying, " Look here buddy, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me!"

Reaching into his rear pants pocket, the arrogant officer removed his badge and shoved it in my face. "See this damn badge?! This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish.... On any land !! No questions asked or answers given!! Have I made myself clear?.... do you understand?!!"




 I nodded politely, apologized, and went about my chores

"Okay Boss, you got it." I said.



A short time later, I heard loud screams, looked up, and saw the DEA officer running for his life, being chased by my big old mean bull...... With every step the bull was gaining ground on the officer, and it seemed likely that he'd sure enough get gored before he reached safety. The officer was clearly terrified.

"ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHH....HELP....HELPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!  OHHHHHHHH HELPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!....HELP MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.... OH LAWDDDDDD, ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH"




I threw down my tools, ran to the fence and yelled at the top of my lungs.....


"Your badge, show him your damn BADGE!!"

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Waiting For Bill Clinton....



One Day I want to be like Bill Clinton.....Old, retired and at the point where I can say damn near anything I want and my job won't be affected and the press can't hurt me...Wait...some may say...don't you say what you want to say anyway?  Yeah...but I still like the relaxed look Bill Clinton has now of days....

I am watching night two of the Democratic National Convention...and eagerly awaiting Bill Clinton's speech.
By the time most of you read this, he will have delivered his speech... I'm watching Facebook and Twitter simultaneously and watching a youtube feed of the Democratic National  Convention and blogging....I am in my element.... I am utilizing the technology of the 21st Century aint I ?


Former President Bill Clinton is set to eviscerate (there is one of those college words for ya)Republicans for being responsible for policies that led to the 2008 economic meltdown - and yet wanting voters to put them back in power.  (The nerve of them!!)


“In Tampa the Republican argument against the president's re-election was pretty simple: We left him a total mess, he hasn't finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in," Clinton will say. “I like the argument for President Obama's re-election a lot better. He inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long hard road to recovery, and laid the foundation for a more modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant new businesses, and lots of new wealth for the innovators."


I also expect him to tout the president's vision for the country.

The most important question is," Clinton will say, "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you want a you're-on-your-own, winner-take-all society, you should support the Republican ticket. If you want a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility -- a we're-all-in-this-together society -- you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.”

I got these quotes and excerpts from various commentators on MSNBC and CNN who played snippets of an earlier Clinton speech.....

Yeah, one day...I want to be Bill Clinton...

9:10 pm est. This is as close to real time as I can get!

II- The Morning After Update-

Here is a Keith's Space first-  A real time or as close to it as I can get update on last night.....

President Obama , who so far had been a no show at the convention showed up last night....Why? To see keynote speaker, Former President, Bill Clinton give his address
to the floor.

Clinton didn't disapoint...President Obama and his administration got what they wanted....

If all campaigns are about the future, bringing in the popular former president was an attempt to use an envoy from past prosperity to explain why brighter days were just around the corner.

Bill Clinton has now spoken for a total of more than five hours at Democratic conventions. It seemed at times that he was in the middle of a five-hour speech last night.

 The crowd of delegates and party stalwarts didn't seem to mind. For the last five minutes of the speech, everyone in the auditorium stood to let his words fall on their faces.

Bill Clinton seemed to delight in the whole event, luxuriating in the speech like it was a vast terrycloth robe.

Mr. Clinton's speech had several parts: an answer to the question “Are you better off?," a shaming of the modern GOP with the example set by past Republican presidents, and a deeper attempt to tie Obama's policies to bedrock American values, a job Michelle Obama had begun the night before.

Paul Ryan said the Democrats have tried to duck the question "Are you better off?" Bill Clinton took the question on directly and at length. "Are we better off than we were when he took office, with an economy in free fall, losing 750,000 jobs a month?

The answer is yes!" Mr. Clinton talked at length about the Recovery Act, the Affordable Care Act, and the auto-industry bailout. He linked President Obama’s policies for education and job retraining to people's anxieties about how they could get a job in an economy where the remaining jobs required more skill. If Clinton was building a bridge between the two presidencies, he spent a lot of time on the Obama side.

The message of Bill Clinton's speech wasn't just continuity; it was a foreshadowing of what was to come. He said he knew what Obama was going through because he had gone through it, too. "Our policies were working and the economy was growing but most people didn't feel it yet." He asked for patience. "If you'll renew the president's contract you will feel it.

As Bill Clinton explained how President Obama's student-loan policies would help people, he nodded to an argument that's been heard a lot over the last few days. "Mitt Romney's convention was all about success that was determined by what you earned," said Tony Coehlo, the former congressman and chairman of the Gore campaign. "What about the success you can have as a teacher or a journalist or a fireman?" Clinton appealed to this sentiment when he said,

"No one will have to turn down a job, as a teacher, a police officer, or a small town doctor because it doesn't pay enough to make the debt payments." This was a subtle but clever way to weave President Obama's policies right into the fabric of the middle-class sense of aspiration.
 
Bill Clinton changed the metrics for this speech from the ones he used in 2008 at the Democratic convention. In that speech, he talked about declining incomes, poverty, inequality, and foreclosures, areas that have either gotten worse or not gotten much better under President Obama.


He also launched full defenses against Republican attacks on Obama's Medicare plans and the welfare waivers his administration has approved. "I didn't know whether to laugh or cry," he said in one of the few asides that wasn't ad-libbed. (As you noted, Dave, Clinton spread ad-libbed material like grout throughout his remarks.) He also made a broader critique of the modern Republican Party, arguing that it was in the thrall of its most conservative elements.

 He lauded both Bush presidents and President Eisenhower in an attempt to shame current Republicans for their obstructionism and in a political bid to woo swing voters. He seemed to be trying to stir some life in the post-partisan pragmatic vision that Barack Obama had offered in 2008 by saying that despite all of the recent bitterness, Barack Obama was still committed to trying to work with Republicans who practiced that old strain of cooperative lawmaking.

There is a big debate in political circles about whether presidents can really persuade. Well,Clinton gave a classic persuasion speech, treating his audience like it was listening, laying out the case with an argument behind it. Will it work? Do people even listen to long-reasoned arguments anymore?(Hmmmm) Bill Clinton certainly thinks so: "Folks, whether the American people believe what I just said or not may be the whole election. I just want you to know that I believe it. With all my heart, I believe it." And I believe that he does...If you listened last night , you believed him too!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

And Now....The Real Convention Begins!


Normally, around this time of the month I'd be writing my "What I've Learned " Post.... You know my personal recollection of things this life has taught me... Maybe later on this week....Right now, there is a Democratic National Convention to cover that is kicking off as I write this.

I didn't write anything about that other convention because well, I didn't watch too much of it...The night I did watch it , the last night ,turned out to be the most bizarre night of all..I watched an American Icon and one of my favorite actors, Clint Eastwood (who I didn't even know was a Republican ) make a fool out of himself , talking to an empty chair...(At least I hope he knew the chair was empty...)

I commented on my Facebook and Twitter pages the next day- " Last night I watched whatever it was Clint Eastwood was trying to say at the RNC..Clint was upstaged by both a piece of furniture and his own dementia. For a lifelong fan of the man ,that was truly painful for me to watch. I'm just saying."





Anyway...Enough about Clint and enough about the Republican convention....If I wanted to see fantasy..I could just watch HBO's "True Blood" or ABC's "Once Upon a Time"

Now the real meat and potatoes convention begins.....
Democrats are set to showcase their own diversity on the opening evening of their convention in Charlotte, a week after Republicans put their rising women and Latino stars on display in Tampa. First lady Michelle Obama is set to lead a gathering of voices meant to energize some of President Barack Obama's and the Democratic Party’s core voters and stymie Republican efforts to make inroads with those communities.


San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (photo below) will deliver the keynote address as a prime-time counterpoint to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s speech to the Republican National Convention last week. And other slots will go to speakers meant to motivate young voters, women, and African-Americans to turn out to the polls in November.


President Obama's campaign downplays the idea of an enthusiasm gap between its supporters and those of Republican nominee Mitt Romney. They also dismiss the notion of waning excitement from their own key constituencies now vs. four years ago. “No, hell no,” a top Obama campaign official said of the notion in previewing the night’s speeches. Polls, though, suggest that one of the enduring challenges for the president will be in making sure core Democratic groups turn out to the polls this fall.




Right now...President Obama leads  Mitt Romney by 10 points among women and by 35 points among Latinos, according to last August’s NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, the challenge for Democrats involves making sure those voters turn out to the polls. That challenge is particularly evident in North Carolina, the home to this week’s convention and where President Obama won by only 14,000 votes in 2008; a victory due in large part to high turnout from young voters and African Americans.African American voters who they are trying to supress at the polls, Latino voters who they are trying to supress at the polls...

President Obama  has staked much of his re-election effort on making the 2012 race into a "choice," rather than a referendum on his first term. He often admonishes audiences: “Don't boo – vote!”



But as Republicans push a time-tested attack on incumbents “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?” (and raise Ronald Reagon from the grave) this week, tonight’s speakers will try to reverse any sense of disillusionment or disappointment.

To that end, the GOP trotted out a series of high-profile figures, like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, and would-be first lady Ann Romney, to make the case against Obama, with an eye toward women and Latinos.

Many of the Democrats who will speak tonight are arranged to make the counterpoint to Republicans’ messaging last week.

The important thing that I keep saying here is that whether you think so or not...Somebody thinks your vote is important!!! If they didn't...They wouldn't be trying to keep you from voting with all of this voter fraud nonsense and demanding that you produce a photo ID (possibly one day a DNA sample, a birth certificate and a copy of your report card from grade school!)

But I digress...The convention is about to begin as I write this.....I'm off to watch the coverage on Television...

6:06 pm EST!





KEEPING THE FAITH: RANDOM PRAYERS "ON THE DOWNLOAD"
























































"Mommy, can I go to Timmy's blog and play?"



































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