Saturday, February 28, 2009

Scaled Ramp Up

Subterranean Homesick Blues ~ Bob Dylan
Had this song in my head all day.... had to post it!

Temporary Layoff- Version #5

The latest deal with the December 15, temporary two week layoff, is the company does not bother to return calls.
They say "call in On Monday Feb 23 for an update about starting work on Monday March 2."

They have a pre recorded message stating " We are getting ready to restart production operations, selectively start to call people back for a scaled ramp up, additional employees, will be added each week as we fill up the lines, and sales volume increases. Employees will continue to have health care premiums deferred."

The effing supervisor he reports to does not even have the decency to return the call.
Left hanging in the wind the whole damned week & still we just have the pre-recorded message.

Health care premium deferral means they cover your premium & when you return to work it will be taken in bulk out of your check. So far, 12 weeks of backlogged payments. When the unemployment considers you are making money so then disqualified for unemployment, yet not taking any money home. I suppose it is good to have the continued coverage, but the longer you are unemployed, the deeper into that hole you get. If, eventually, you are NOT called back, then you owe all the backpayments.

Just had jangled nerves all this week, waiting to hear something more than a vague prerecorded message.
Meanwhile the local news media is calling it "furlough", and Oregon hit the 9.9% unemployment rate-- soon to crest a double digit unemployment rate.

Money~ Beatles

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Octomom is starting to flip out

As for Nadya Suleman, the "Octomom" with 8 newborns, and 6 other children. Single parent, mother of 14 children, finally, reality is setting in.

‘Reality is hitting me.’ She said because the babies have been cared for by the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), she feels like she’s kind of been on a temporary vacation because all these nurses were doing such wonderful work. 

Suleman was panicked because she was given a list from the hospital that is several pages long, and it is labeled
A Nursing Care Plan

Very soon, within a week, at least one of these babies is ready to come home and probably two or three. She said three of them are bottle feeding at this point. But there is a list of requirements that have to be met before they’re willing to release these babies into her care.

The extensive list concerns housing and safety. The hospital is saying they will not release these babies until she can demonstrate that she has a safe, secure environment to take them home to.

Clearly, Octomom did not think this through. There are already nine people living in a 3 bedroom house.  She has 8 infants to care for, does not have her own place to live, not a space big enough to house her tribe/family of 15. 

If the fertility specialist did not have the sense or medical ethics to review or question the sanity of a single Mother who already had 6 children, 3 with special needs,  having 14 children, at least Children's protective services & the medical staff do.  They are requiring Octomom to show them she has it together.  Finally some sanity injected into this story. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wrapping up Black History Month

I'd like to dedicate this post to Black History month. I've been giving lots of thought to non-violence, and really hung up on figuring out a way for us to stop the wars & violence this country can't seem to stop.

This video montage combines the U-2 song *In the name of Love*, with clips of the civil rights movement.
Dr. King insisted that the movement be strictly non-violent, in a situation that was ripe for violence.
Police clubbed people, brought out attack dogs, used high powered fire hoses to drive back marches & protests.
They had every right to respond violently, as they were provoked beyond reason.
But at his insistence, they remained peaceful, and by so doing, prevented additional & unnecessary deaths, and the movement breaking down into a violent failure.
The Civil Rights movement did move forward. Even though Dr. King was shot and killed, the taking of his life only made his words and actions, his life's work even stronger.
So as we move forward in the 21st century, I certainly hope we never look back at the things Dr. Martin Luther King jr. did as "something of the past", as a person who headed up a movement that practiced non-violence and the teachings of Gandhi (his mentor), as some historic relic. He did not fight that fight for us to become complacent- to allow discrimination, to turn away from injustice, to accept violence... even in foreign countries.
We spent so many years listening to the former president mention the talking points.... Enemies. Terrorists. Fear.
You don't get to a place of understanding or forge diplomatic resolutions by widening divisions. He knew back in the day, that wars and violence were something that gained profit for the military industrial complex. They are just another form of exploitation- because it is the poor and disadvantaged people fighting & dying in those wars. He even said we'd be fighting more & more wars globally unless we recognized the problem, and solved issues in a sane way.

I don't mean to be trite in just mentioning honor to the most heroic and well known member of the black community.
I just admire him so much for the strength and fortitude he had to endure everything it took to open the door to civil rights.
But I also honor the unsung heros. Those who just did & continue to do those everyday acts of kindness and justice, and refuse to accept 21st century prejudice and hatred. Just because you don't make it into the history books, does not mean your contributions are not worthwhile or help make changes, keep the Dream alive - not the nightmare.

Be it against the LBGT community & the denial of the basic right of marriage, or the discrimination that allows us to let the government practice war as terrorism in other countries. MLK gave us an excellent start, but our work is not done. His gift to us was enlightenment- a movement for us to keep alive.

I once heard King's daughter, Yolanda speak. she said "Don't wait around for a leader, be one."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Running on Empty

Ooooh the irony of it all! The republican John McCain's campaign is being sued for copyright violation for using Jackson Browne's song RUNNING ON EMPTY, for commercial purposes without permission!

"My friends, I didn't do it. I didn't even know it was going on."

That's the line former Republican presidential nominee and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is taking in a federal lawsuit that claims he violated the copyright of Jackson Browne's 1977 hit song, "Running on Empty," when it aired in one of his presidential campaign commercials.

A federal judge allowed the suit to move forward Friday.

More striking, perhaps, is that McCain effectively claimed in a statement to the judge that he was a puppet for the Republican National Committee in the production of advertising for his campaign.

"I was not involved at all in any way in the writing, creation, production, distribution or dissemination of the video, nor do I have any knowledge whatsoever of how this video was written, created, produced or disseminated or who was involved in any aspect of the writing, creation, production, distribution or dissemination of the video," McCain said in a statement acquired by Wired's David Kravets. "I was completely unaware that this video even existed until I was informed of it after this lawsuit was filed." (Source: Raw Story)

How funny is this- the Candidate with the Drill Baby Drill mantra, is in trouble for swiping
Running on Empty.  Befitting of both his candidacy AND the republican party!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Art Break because reality is annoying

Tribute to Van Gogh

Posted some art & music as an escape from it all for a while.

Waiting to see if revision #4 of the layoff return to work for Mr. Ramblings, sticks or revision #5 kicks in. We will know this week.

Taxes are done... Our final year to claim our very own tax deduction, there is a college tuition break that is saving our hides. What kind of economist comes to the financial conclusion that Expenses to feed & house a college student for an entire year, college books, plus over $4000 tuition equals a pittance of a tax credit? That is some fancy math! Not even fricking close to a fraction of the real costs~ still we will take whatever break we can get. But in the end there is no break~ it all has to go to the State. We live in a no sales tax state, so we are one of the heaviest taxed states in the union.

Even with that hefty tax, the State has an $850 million budget deficit this year.

"The perfect storm is here and Oregon is feeling the recession stronger than many other states,"
The classic cuts- schools, social services & public safety. Bah! I'm calling it a day.

Thankfully, we have music & art to get our minds off all these annoying realities.
I love the French Impressionist paintings/style. Van Gogh~ take me away!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Have we learned nothing?

Gandhi Quotes

I have to say I find myself incensed by the casual and complicit views on the United States ongoing engagement in wars.
Have we become numb to the atrocities, that we accept continued warfare, even when the country is financially bankrupt?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Where HAS all that money gone?

Bank of America's CEO is subpoenaed

Have you been wondering where have all those TARP bailout billions have gone- the money the Bush admin tossed to Wall Street haphazardly- with no strings attached? 

Bank of America CEO and Chairman Kenneth Lewis has been issued a subpoena by the New York State Attorney General's Office, which is investigating whether the bank violated state law by withholding information from investors. Last week, he accused Merrill Lynch, which was acquired by Bank of America late last year, of secretly doling out big bonuses before reporting a huge quarterly loss.

"Merrill Lynch's decision to secretly and prematurely award approximately $3.6 billion in bonuses, and Bank of America's apparent complicity in it, raise serious and disturbing questions," A.G. Cuomo wrote in a letter to Rep. Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts, chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services.

In his letter to Frank, Cuomo said Merrill gave bonuses of at least $1 million each to 696 employees, with a combined $121 million going to the top four recipients. The next four recipients were awarded a total of $62 million, and the next six received $66 million, he said. In all, the bonuses for 2008 totaled $3.6 billion.

"While more than 39,000 Merrill employees received bonuses from the pool, the vast majority of these funds were disproportionately distributed to a small number of individuals," Cuomo wrote. "Indeed, Merrill chose to make millionaires out of a select group of 700 employees."

The attorney general said Merrill "awarded an even smaller group of top executives what can only be described as gigantic bonuses."
Cuomo also claimed Merrill handed out the bonuses ahead of its federally funded acquisition by Bank of America, which was announced in mid-September and closed by year's end.

It "appears that, instead of disclosing their bonus plans in a transparent way as requested by my office, Merrill Lynch secretly moved up the planned date to allocate bonuses and then richly rewarded their failed executives," Cuomo wrote.

Bank of America has received $45 billion in federal bailout money, including $20 billion to support its takeover of Merrill. Bank of America reported a net loss of $1.79 billion for the fourth quarter. Merrill reported a net loss of $15.31 billion for the fourth quarter. (CNN)

So there you have it! The TARP funds are getting handed out as million dollar bonus money. People getting rewarded for running banks into the ground & take taxpayer money to celebrate the whole ordeal! Did we get screwed big time or what?
I hope they nail the bastards.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lives in the balance...

President Barack Obama has authorized sending 17,000 additional troops into Afghanistan.

The military operations will set up a string of bases and smaller combat outposts, allowing the troops to move around and engage in counterterrorism against foreign fighters and counterinsurgency operations against the Taliban and other local enemies, the official said.

The goal is to have enough troops to "seize and hold" territory and maintain basic security, which hasn't been possible under current troop levels, the official said. The Taliban continues to maintain at least half a dozen safe areas inside Afghanistan, which are prime targets for the U.S. military.

About 38,000 U.S. troops are currently serving in Afghanistan.

The increased troop levels are expected to last three to four years, the military official said.

Meanwhile, there have been three U.S. missile strikes in Pakistan since Obama took office, which really upsets me.

Will those in power not be satisfied until we have nuclear annihilation?

One war leads to another?

Was there any attempt at diplomacy and peaceful resolutions?

Tech Trends (Language Warning!)

Since half of our local stations ARE converting to Digital broadcasting today, this little Tech Trends clip seems most appropriate.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Things that piss me off

The title should give a hint that I am in the mood to unleash some frustration. 

• Alleged Democrat: A big WTF to Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon)
DeFazio saw fit to join Republicans in the House in voting NO to the Stimulus bill. 
First he voted for it, then 4 times more he voted against it. 

DeFazio voted against the Iraq war, then mostly voted to approve however many billions more Bush asked for. Saying NO to war, and YES to funding, is essentially saying YES to war. 
His answer was "must support the troops".

If DeFazio is comfortable spending so many billions on war, but can't muster a yes vote for money to help the people and to support the new Democratic President's effort to fix the widespread problems, you are either a part of the problem, or part of the solution.

• Judd's Personal Bailout: 
Sen. Judd Gregg cited concerns over the census and the new stimulus package among his reasons for telling the administration thanks but no thanks for the Commerce job.

Actually this item makes me happy~ President Barack Obama has a new policy of keeping a White House thumb on the Bureau of the Census in advance of the 2010 count. Obama wants supervision of the Census information.
It has been a GOP tactic to manipulate the data, moving borders, missing counts, and making the homeless and those living in poverty disappear. The director of the Census Bureau, who must be confirmed by the Senate, will report directly to the White House and not the secretary of commerce. Democrats favor using sampling methodology of counting, which would likely result in a higher count of poor people and minorities not caught in the regular survey and thus would change financial allocations (and maybe get a real picture of nationwide poverty & homelessness).
Census reports are used for everything from the allocation of seats in the House of Representatives to distribution of federal aid in countless programs. Honest, non-partisan statistics are absolutely essential to public confidence. The GOP is whining about it, but too effing bad. We've not have accurate statistics for almost a decade. There is a new party in town & they don't play the old games.

The fact that Judd wanted the job, then realized he was not going to be able to "GOP it up", made him decide to tuck tail & bail. Too bad he wasted any of Obama's time, I think old Judd did us a favor. Besides how much of this mug do we want to see? He's sure got a guilty/creepy look on his face ~ like he's thinking I ain't gonna be the next one to get my ass raked over the coals with the next exposed scandal.

(U.S. News Opinion Quote): "The Republicans are kicking and screaming and pulling rank stunts like this one (I was for being in the cabinet before I was against it). Are there no sane, mature, country-first Republicans left in the party? Or is it true all the moderates either lost their elections or quit the party in disgust?

They are increasingly relegating themselves to long term minority status."

And the Wars Drone On:

They call them UAV's ~ unmanned aerial vehicles, the latest in war toys for the hawks. 

With classic macho names such as "the Predator" and its newly introduced cousin, "the Reaper". While the Predator carries two laser-guided Hellfire missiles and can travel 135 mph, the Reaper can fly twice as high, at 50,000 feet, and three times as fast. It can also carry eight times more weaponry and has a range of more than 1,800 miles, vs. 450 for the Predator.

Ugh! The Grim Reaper is causing feelings of hellfire & damnation. The military would have us believe the drone planes are used for surveillance. But obviously the trend is to build drone planes carrying 8x as more weaponry... is not so much for surveillance than it is for massacre.
This is the third U.S. missile strike in Pakistani territory after President Barack Obama took office, which really upsets me.

Will those in power not be satisfied until we have nuclear annihilation?

One war leads to another?

Just a surge away from winning?

Declaring Iraq a success?

I'm not going to drone on about the drone situation, other then to say go ahead & Google it for yourself, drones in pakistan, and get some worldwide perspective on it.

One Pakistani citizen framed it best: "Would the U.S. tolerate Pakistan flying into your country and dropping bombs?" Excellent question.

I'll simply close with this thought ~ Don't pretend to honor Dr. Martin Luther King jr, by placing a wreath on his grave.
Honor him by living non violence, and finding peaceful solutions.

Check out the Soldiers of Peace trailer

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Here is the quick Stimulus overview~

$400 tax credit~ up to $800 for couples
$1000 child tax credit for low income families
First time homebuyers in 2009 $8,000 tax credit
Homeowners who add energy efficient windows & other energy items get a tax credit to cover 30% up to $1,500
College students tax credit up to $2,500
Those getting unemployment- no federal income tax on the first $2,400

Government picks up 66% of Cobra Health Ins. costs for the first 9 months of unemployment.
$87 billion to Medicaid~ giving healthcare to poor people
$4 billion for Head Start early education program
Pell Grant College increases
$32 billion for College expenses
5 million unemployed will get a $25 benefit increase, as well as a longer period of benefits
$3 billion for emergency assistance to needy families

The spending will increase the debt~ interest on the debt $500 billion a year.

It is a step in the right direction. A beginning. This is full of things that are going to help people who are struggling and need a break. The first spending for the taxpayers in a very long time. 

Republicans are expressing "sour grapes"-John McCain says the $787 billion measure will create what he calls "generational theft" — huge federal deficits for years to come.

Thanks for that newsflash John-- the $10.7 billion debt the Republicans rang up in the last 8 years has nothing to do with this--right? This from the man who has so many houses, he can't keep track of just how many. Also his wife, Cindy Lou refused to disclose her income during the presidential primary--So wealthy it's embarrassing?

Just to illustrate in stark terms what we are dealing with, check out this article on how someRepublicans touted provisions in the stimulus bill that will help their districts in press releases WITHOUT MENTIONING that they voted AGAINST the bill.


Here are some offerings from the the NYC 2009 Fall Fashion show~ I am not much of a fashion buff, but we can indulge in mockery and sarcasm.

Nothing is more practical in the fall than a strapless, shoulderless ultra short dress!
Apparently anorexia is in style.

Not sure what to make of this get up, other than to say it is reminiscent of a faded pink flamingo?
Pink for Fall?

This busy pattern hurts my eyes. How about those spiked red high heel shoes? Not sure I could wear those long enough to make my way the Chiroprachter's Office.

Excuse me~ Which way to the set of Star Trek?
I'm doing an episode called Invasion of the Space Aged Potato Sack!

Red, White & Gawdawful!
Did you know the proper way to dispose of a flag is to BURN IT?

Ooops! She's not a part of the fashion show- the queen of silicon- this lady had her breasts blown up to a size 38KKK.
I have mixed feelings about this- I'm not sure if I would want to sit next to her on a flight- on one hand the elevation pressure might make her chest explode, on the other hand if the implants held up, she would make an excellent flotation device!
It looks as if she had an ass implanted on her chest!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Moonlight Sonata~ Beethoven

We call this the "Smitten song"~ it is a song Beethoven wrote for a piano student of his. 
Smitten = very much in love....
A beautiful love song

Friday, February 13, 2009


Yes, Valentines Day is Saturday & thoughts of love are in the air.... so here are some offerings to nurture love,  & find balance in our hearts.

Bob Dylan Wedding Song~ And if there is eternity, I'll love you there again.....

Hearts need healing, and I love Mandalas.... 

Mandalas Vision~ Spread your Light

Sand Mandala

We all can put a little love in our hearts ~ friends, family, lovers. 
An act of love goes a long way

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ode to Rabbit Ears

If you have rabbit ears, you will see
The digital change will black out your TV
The conversion dates and times are a changing mush
Maybe better your TV you crush?

The digital TV switchover is getting more & more complicated.
February 17 was the deadline for the changeover.
It was announced for three years. Major PR blitz.
Last week Congress voted to delay the change to June 12. Not enough people had converted. The Federal coupon program ran out of money.

I am an analog holdout. We just did not want to pay to watch TV. We realize there is better programing, reception, and variety- oh & C-Span pure live coverage without the talking heads. But I can get that on the Internet.

That being said all this week, our local station scrolls the message that they ARE going to the digital conversion as originally scheduled. They claim "people here are prepared and ready to go". A local media rep said it would only confuse people to change the date. I don't know if this TV station rep listens to the news, but our county unemployment rate is at 9.5 percent, according to the state Employment Department. It was the county’s highest December rate in 24 years — since it hit 10 percent in 1984, the department said.

There were 17,711 people unemployed in this County in December. That’s 2,162 more than in November. The county lost 4,200 nonfarm payroll jobs last year — half of them in manufacturing. Ready!

Congress' action gives local stations the option of keeping the Feb 17 deadline.

So rabbit ears are "out" & become obsolete, and converter boxes are "in" till a digital TV replacement happens.

We have a back up little solid state portable TV, so old, it does not have a remote!
You have to get up off your ass to change the channels, and the dial is a hard click to change the channels. Yes it is a color TV.... Our main TV is converter digital ready, but as the main breadwinner in our house is on a temporary layoff that has been extended 4 times now, we are not spending money on a 2nd digital converter at this time.
Old reliable is going to the dark ages on Tuesday, the 17th.

The times they are a changin'

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nuff's Enough

MoveOn is circulating a petition to reverse the free for all Wall Street Bailout money w retroactive rules.
"W"~ the ex-decider did his usual shoddy job & just let the money be mismanaged in a big way - his last gasp lame duck (in)action.

Now Obama & We the People are left with his elephant dung to clean up. 
Rather than just wave goodbye to all those Billions of tax dollars, while Wall Street Execs squander the money any damned way they like.... impose retroactive rules. 

I think this is a great concept:

Limit Salaries at All Banks Taking Taxpayer Dollars
Wall Street banks distributed $18.4 billion in year-end bonuses in 2008. $18.4 billion to the people who crippled our economy with their recklessness and greed and then took $700 billion of our money.

President Obama took an important first step, limiting pay at companies taking bailouts going forward. But Congress is considering going even further.

Congress can apply the limits retroactively, and might even take back some of the most extravagant bonuses at firms that take taxpayer money. A huge public outcry will put them over the edge.

A compiled petition with your individual comment will be presented to your senators and representative.


Hat tip to Anok~

Monday, February 9, 2009




Bad Bank Q & A

Q: What is the bad bank?
A: The "bad bank" would be a government-run entity set up to buy assets that a re weighing down the balance sheets financial institutions. By replacing these assets, many of them mortgage backed securities, with cash, Treasury hopes to free up the banks to begin lending again.

Q: What's so bad about the "bad bank"?
A: It's not the bank that's bad, it's the assets the bank will purchase. Some are non-performing, meaning that they are based on mortgage loans that borrowers have stopped paying, others are illiquid, which means they may be valuable, but no one wants to buy them in this uncertain economic environment.

Q: Why is this being considered now?
A: The money the banks already took helped them stay afloat, but it didn't solve the fundamental problem: Too much of the banks' money is tied up in these problem assets. It could potentially restore stability to the financial sector.

Q: What are the advantages to the bad bank concept?
A: Many economists say the "toxic assets" are the fundamental problem at the bans, and until these are removed from the balance sheets, banks will remain unstable, making it difficult for investors and others to understand how much the banks are worth.

Q: What are the downsides of the "bad bank" plan?
A: It is extremely difficult to determine how much the government should pay for these assets, since there is no market for them right now. If the government pays too much, it will waste taxpayer dollars. If it pays too little, not enough banks will want to participate and the program won't do any good. Also, accounting rules state that all asset prices have to be set at the current market value. That means that without rule changes, any lowball prices the government offers could be applied to the assets the banks choose not to sell, forcing them to take massive writedowns that would reduce their overall worth." (From the Register Guard)

Seriously? If the banks were operating under Accounting rules, we would not be in this sub prime mortgage mess in the first place! Whether the bank itself, or a subsidiary, or vendor pool they do business with was engaged in predatory lending, by not scrutinizing what it was they were buying or trading or otherwise becoming the owner of, it is theirs to own.

My biggest contention around this banking/mortgage mess is that they created the problem.
If you get greedy, and sloppy and or predatory- taking advantage of elderly, or otherwise new to mortgage purchase people, then the loss or default is the bank's to own.
I argue that if taxpayer dollars are used to "rescue" the banks, from their own shoddy, self regulated practices- they learn nothing, they lose nothing, and We the People, take the financial hit for their gross mismanagement and mistakes.

For banks that really abused the system, and failed to make sound business decisions, then just like in the private sector, they should go out of business, or be subject to take over, by a more stable bank. For those who played in the sub prime, junk mortgage game, set up a mandatory requirement to refinance those homes. For people with steady payment history, redo the loans with an affordable payment. The banks would STILL be making money- just at a slower pace and longer term. Too bad if it is not a hand over first money fest. They bought those loans, and it should be their job to make them viable. If taxpayer money is needed, in part to help them in the transition, I would be open to that- but ONLY if it comes with the strictest of regulating. The transition LOAN money would need to be paid back.

Another potential scenario is let the banks who did not engage in this sub prime mortgage nightmare take over the loans, being allowed to rewrite them in a way that people can afford them, and give them more assets to do so.

I also favor a new set of mortgage rules.

• Put a 5 year moratorium on ARM- adjustable rate/balloon payment, and Variable rate loans.
The people who sell these mortgages are trained (just like the car salesman) to emphasize-
You could be paying just $600 a month for mortgage!!!! But failing to complete the sentence, but in XX amount of time you will pay more than double that amount.

Same deal with Variable rates.... they tend to push these kinds of mortgages when interest rates temporarily drop- but as they fluctuate, so does your mortgage payment. You want to roll the dice on what the roof over your head loan will cost on any given month?

Even with conventional loans... I think there needs to be even more strict uniform, standardized truth in lending format that spells out everything.... and like in days of old, tight guidelines on what percentage of income is allowed for housing costs.

• Giving mortgage loans that set people up to fail, because they would not have enough money to live on is not responsible lending either.

Tax & insurance costs should be included in monthly payments. Cut out all hidden or extra expenses, eliminating costs that could potentially make a homebuyer default on the mortgage loan.

I also wish the government would go after predatory lenders. Those who sought out elderly people on fixed incomes & took them out of a stable mortgage situation, and sold them the ticket to foreclosure. Either make them have to rewrite & carry the new loans, or have them fined to the fullest extent of the law - also making them pay the legal fees of the people who have to retain a lawyer, to keep their homes.

The idea of the Federal Government creating a new bank with all bad assets sounds like a really bad idea to me- because if and when it too goes bad, guess who pays?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Worthwhile Rant ~ Lion's Roar

This is one of the best rants on the Senate floor, ever.
Ted Kennedy has his say about federal minimum wage not being raised in 10 years. It is vintage footage, but something Congress can learn from now-- they need to stop the partisan bickering & realize what it is they are supposed to be doing- working for the PEOPLE. While Congress got a $4000 raise this year, the people are hurting.

When does the greed stop? he asked
He accuses the republicans of "filibustering by delays and amendments".
Yes, some things never change.

But that vote did happen and federal minimum wage was raised for the first time in 10 years.

Federal minimum wage is now $6.55 per hour, and goes up to $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.

We still need people to get up there on the Senate floor and rant about taking care of the "little people". Because the latest cuts to the Stimulus package include head start, child nutrition, food stamps & public transit.

When DOES the greed stop?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

What it is!

What it is ~ a phrase from the 70's ~ right out of the Aretha Franklin song~ Rock Steady. Check out young Aretha with her 'Fro ~ but even back then, she could belt out a tune in a way, that only she could. Performing on SOUL TRAIN no less.

Ya know the repuglicans are going to have to understand it's * a funky and low down feeling*, a majority of  We the People are having, over this DEPRESSION. Yea baby.... because ~ What it is... is a DEPRESSION. The recession was in 2007.

We've evolved. They held off (during the election year) saying we were in a recession, till the dam burst just before the election & banks were failing along with the mortgage scene. While foreclosures were popping up everywhere, so were tent cities.

WE are going to have to be ROCK STEADY. If you have a republican congressperson stalling, voting no, bullshitting around with the political process and denying funds for OUR needs, we need to pounce on them. Write them, call, protest, pressure, write editorials.. because these same spendthrifts, tightwads, and cautious spenders, never denied Bush one damned dime for billions of dollars back door war budgets, for Wall Street bailouts & for tax breaks for the wealthy.

Suddenly they are frugal and unwilling to put out money to help the people who fill the federal coffers with cash, and pay their fat salaries?

No! We have to be mad as hell & not gonna take it any more!

That being said, this presents itself as a good segway to put in a plug for a new blog site by Enigma, (of Watergate Summer fame), titled THE 2009 DEPRESSION
a place to journal the goings on of our historic place in time.  Swing by & share your thoughts & observations of the 2009 depression ~ What it is!

Killer Peanuts

The list of recalled products continues to grow-as of Feb 6, 2009, more than 1679 products have been recalled at this time. The salmonella outbreak has been blamed for at least eight deaths and 575 illnesses in 43 states. The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation.
It includes things like energy bars, trail mix, and Pet food. The bottom line, is if you do not know the source of peanuts, you should not eat them. 

Brownie Product Recalls
Cake and Pie Product Recalls
Candy Product Recalls
Cookie Product Recalls
Cracker Product Recalls
Donut Product Recalls
Dressing and Seasoning Product Recalls
Fruit and Vegetable Product Recalls
Ice Cream Product Recalls
Peanut Butter Product Recalls
Peanut Paste Product Recalls
Peanuts Product Recalls
Pet Food Product Recalls
Pre-Packaged Meals Product Recalls
Snack Bar Product Recalls
Snack Mix Product Recalls
Topping Product Recall

Too long to post, here is the link to the expanded FDA (potentially) salmonella tainted peanut containing foods recall list.

Friday, February 6, 2009

saturday tune

I seem to have the working class blues, so this song is appropriate for today.
The husband did a first draft of the taxes ~ I can't believe we work so hard, live so simply & still *the Man* wants more money from us- when he is on extended temporary layoff. Still we have to hit the taxes early to figure out a way to pay the federal government more money so Wall Street people can live high on the hog, and keep their summer homes in the Hamptons.
I am going to scour those forms for the box that says "simple oversight" or "honest mistake".

Best Wishes

The sole active Female Supreme Court Justice~ Ruth Bader Ginsburg is hospitalized for surgery to remove a tumor on her pancreas. Ginsburg is one of only two female justices to ever serve. The other is Sandra Day O'Connor, who retired in 2006.

The only woman on the court, Ginsburg has been a justice since 1993. She is a liberal-leaning justice who has been vocal in recent years about the court's more conservative stance.

In 1999, Ginsburg had surgery for colon cancer and had chemotherapy and radiation treatment. The new cancer was discovered during a routine, annual exam late last month at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly cancers: Nearly 38,000 cases a year are diagnosed and overall, fewer than 5 percent of patients survive five years. Hers was caught early, so it is hopeful she will respond to the treatment.

Ginsberg is one of the few voices of reason in the Supreme Court.

I wish her well.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Dave Letterman had Blagojevich as a guest on his show.

DL: So, what brings you here?

Blago: I've always wanted to be on your show, in the worst way

DL: You sure are....

Wrapping your head around the numbers

President-elect Barack Obama said the deficit appears on track to hit $1 trillion soon. Speaking to reporters after meeting with top economic aides, Mr. Obama said: "Potentially we've got trillion-dollar deficits for years to come, even with the economic recovery that we are working on."— Jan. 2009

Actually, the deficit is on track to hit $1.2 trillion this year, but what's $200 billion among friends?

Seriously, what is it? To the average person, a number that big probably doesn't mean much. At some point long before the hundred-billion-dollar mark, large numbers simply become figures on the page, well beyond human scale and intuitive understanding.

But that similarity trips us up when it comes time to imagine how those figures translate to the real world, where three more zeros make all the difference.
"My favorite way to think of it is in terms of seconds," says David Schwartz, a children's book author whose How Much Is a Million? tries to wrap young minds around the concept.

One million seconds comes out to be about 11½ days.
A billion seconds is 32 years.
And a trillion seconds is 32,000 years.

I like to say that I have a pretty good idea what I'll be doing a million seconds from now, no idea what I'll be doing a billion seconds from now, and an excellent idea of what I'll be doing a trillion seconds from now." ~ Time

So that is the deficit, then there is the debt....

The estimated population of the United States is 305,589,466
so each citizen's share of this debt is $34,926.72.

The National Debt has continued to increase an average of
$3.36 billion per day since September 28, 2007

--- "Budget Deficit" vs. "National Debt"---
Suppose you want to spend more money this month than your income. This situation is called a "budget deficit". So you borrow. The amount you borrowed (and now owe) is called your debt. You have to pay interest on your debt. If next month you don't have enough money to cover your spending (another deficit), you must borrow some more, and you'll still have to pay the interest on the loan. If you have a deficit every month, you keep borrowing and your debt grows. Soon the interest payment on your loan is bigger than any other item in your budget. Eventually, all you can do is pay the interest payment, and you don't have any money left over for anything else. This situation is known as bankruptcy.

Each year since 1969, Congress has spent more money than its income. The Treasury Department has to borrow money to meet Congress's appropriations. The total borrowed is more than $10,000,000,000,000 and growing. Even when government officials claim to have a surplus, they still spend more than they get in. We pay interest on that huge debt.

In Fiscal Year 2008, the U. S. Government spent $412 Billion of your money on interest payments* to the holders of the National Debt. Compare that to NASA at $15 Billion, Education at $61 Billion, and Department of Transportation at $56 Billion.

The total debt has increased over $500 billion each year since FY 2003, (Bush!!!). The annual US budget deficit increased to $455 billion in 2008. The annual change in debt surpassed $1 trillion for the first time in FY 2008.

The bottom line is We the People are made to pay taxes, taken right out of our paychecks, and there are no allowances for oversights with the IRS. We are in serious trouble... the Feds have to get a grip on the money issue.

Rachel Maddow does a blurb on the National Priorities Project

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Generally Clueless

General Motors is investing one billion dollars in Brazil! Thank you American Taxpayers! The Latin American Herald Tribune ran the story.

Anyone notice Cadillac (GM) ws a major sponsor of the Super Bowl?

Must be nice they are doing so well.

Wait a minute~ General Motors was the biggest whiner @ the recent Big Three begging for bailout sessions.
They were hurting the most- on the brink of bankruptcy. Finally, they were able to declare themselves a bank, as they have the GMAC lending wing of the company, & got $9.2 billion bailout money.

So all that song & dance was just that- According to the president of GM Brazil-Mercosur, Jaime Ardila, the funding will come from the package of financial aid that the manufacturer will receive from the U.S. government and will be used to "complete the renovation of the line of products up to 2012."

As they say in Brazil: Siempre mamones!

So long suckers!

Shhhhh! Business as usual~ (GARY MYERS DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER) reports:

"TAMPA - Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes will get his brand-new Cadillac, even if financially troubled General Motors would just as soon nobody knows about it.
Holmes picked out Cadillac's most expensive model Monday as his reward for winning the MVP: the Escalade Hybrid Platinum with an $85,200 sticker price, according to Cadillac spokeswoman Joanne Krell.
This time there was no Cadillac on the field Sunday night during the awards ceremony and no Cadillac in the hotel ballroom Monday for the MVP news conference. Usually the MVP marks off on a board which car he wants. There was no board, either. It was all done in private.
There was no mention of Cadillac or of Holmes winning the car at the news conference. It was at the request of Cadillac, commissioner Roger Goodell told the Daily News Monday.

Cadillac has a multiyear contract with the NFL to sponsor the award but knows how bad it would have looked to make a big deal of it this year. This is the eighth year it has been the sponsor.

"Given the current business environment, it was much more appropriate we not do that," Krell said in a phone interview. "We made the decision not to actively participate in the Super Bowl. We congratulate the MVP, it is a great achievement. We are very sensitive to the federal assistance loan we have received and we want to carry on our fiduciary responsibility. The Super Bowl was not a place for us to be this year. That is not to say it's not a great platform."
Holmes will get his car, she said.

There went $85,200. But we should not be upset.... no one else actually had the money to buy such a vehicle.... certainly not the 200,000 people who lost their jobs, just last month.

By the way, to the folks at General Motors- when the mandate of change came with the bailout money, they did not mean to be covert about wreckless expenditures- they meant actual change.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Epidemic of innocent mistakes

Damn! We can't seem to find any clean politicians. When they fail to pay taxes, they are "oversights" or "Innocent mistakes". So a little oversight on Geithner's part, failed to pay $35,000 self-employment taxes for several years. He paid $15,000 in interest, but no penalties. Hey! Anyone who can get away with bilking the IRS of $35,000 for all those years, AND not pay a penalty must be a financial genius!

Now we have Daschle & his baggage. His post Senate situation prohibited lobbying, so he worked as a "special policy advisor" of a lobbying firm. Daschle did not pay taxes on an additional $83,333 that he earned as a consultant to InterMedia Advisors in 2007,
He also took tax deductions on $14,963 in charitable donations that did not qualify. Daschle just now paid owed taxes and interest -- an amount totaling $140,167 -- in January 2009. No penalties for him either?
Worse, his work was for big pharma. Clearly that is a major breech of the ethics policy Obama rolled out.
#1 No making up different names for lobbying, such as special policy advisor
#2 Does no one else see this as a conflict of interest? The Health & Human services director comes from a position of lobbying for makor pharmaceuticals?

Maybe we can just restore the Federal Treasury by nominating a string of politicians and find their tax oversights? Everyday people have to pay hefty penalties for money owed to the IRS. Do we have special rules for politicians, because it was just an oversight/ mistake?

Happy Birthday

A happy birthday shout out to Grandpa Mac-- 82 years old today. He is celebrating while in the hospital. The 4th chemo treatment proved to be too much. 5 days later he is feeling better, but still under observation. We love you Grandpa!!!!! 


With the economic shit hitting the fan, I was beginning to be concerned about Mr. Rambings extended layoff situation. But it would appear our worries are over, when I discovered this in my inbox:


This email is to notify you that you have won an Award Sum of €1,000,000.00 in an E-mail program held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Please contact the claim officer with your winning info below;

TICKET NUMBER: 860655927438
Lucky No 2-10-18-22-36-4/6
Batch Number: 074/05/ZY369
Ref Number: SP/9850X/09

Mr. Mark Edwin.
Tel: 0031-681-752-263

Please note that the validity period of these winning is 30 working days; hence you are expected to make your claims immediately. Any claim not made before this date will be CANCELLED.

Congratulations !!!

Yours Sincerely,
Mrs.Karen Olanna.
Public Relation Officer.

I quit my job, and discontinued the husband's unemployment claim. I am not exactly sure what the conversion rate is, but that is a lot of zeros!!!

Huge over-the-top party to be announced.

You are all invited!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Blogroll Amnesty Day

The point of this folly is to give a hat tip to other up & coming bloggers.
That being said I am giving "linky love" to the following bloggers:

A nice sampling of news & opinion, fresh off the press, good doses of humor.

• Lulu Maude ~ Take Your Medicine
Queen of photoshop finesse, and a heck of a writer. Edgy & fun ~ Fantastic Feminist.

Tends to do in depth writing, with healthy doses of snark & wit.

• Kellybelle ~ Ephphatha
Maybe she should have been a stand up comedian? Kellybelle brings a unique black perspective
to the blogospere, with a slant towards mental health.

In a demanding job, sometimes her cat Baxter takes over the keyboard & give his feline take on the two legged ones. That is one introspective cat! Maybe we need catnip awards?

Skirting the edge of the Blogroll Amnesty guidelines~ I am throwing in one more plug. Some may call it a shameless promotion, but I am only one of many writers on the fledgling cornucopia compendium site known as

Siren's Chronicles ~ A rainbow pallet of writers contributing to the blogosphere. Pretty much left leaning, if not an outright radical liberal bent - news, opinion, music, and perspectives on a full spectrum of issues. The folks at Siren's have also participated in Blogswarms- a day where all writers contribute to a particular topic. The Iraq war, and Poverty were two swarm topics in '08. Kind of a fledgling in comment volume, there is good stuff there. Something for everyone!

Coin Parody