Monday, June 30, 2008

Budget Crisis in California?

Every once in awhile the San Francisco Chronicle does a good investigative piece. Could this have something to do with the budget crisis in California?

(06-29) 20:24 PDT -- A nurse at a state prison in Monterey County collected $198,000 in overtime last year - bringing her total pay to more than $310,000.

The chief investment officer for the state's pension system earned $403,000 in bonuses - for a total paycheck of $945,000.

<< Find state workers' overtime and other extra pay >>

And a deputy chief for the California Highway Patrol collected a lump-sum payout of $103,000, even though she retired almost two years ago and didn't collect a cent of regular pay last year, according to a Chronicle analysis of state workers' pay.

The extra pay is among $2.1 billion given to state employees in 2007 - including overtime, bonuses, premium pay, relocation allowances and lump-sum payouts.

Pushed upward by a surge in overtime, these payouts are helping to drive up the state's costs at a time when California is facing a $17.2 billion budget deficit.

"There's a lot of unaccountability around these types of extra pay," said Christina Lokke of the nonpartisan government watchdog group California Common Cause. "Who is making the decisions about who gets this money? Why are certain people getting these benefits that others don't get? Many of these things seem to be decided under a veil of secrecy."

The extra pay pushed the total earnings of 616 of the state's 364,000 employees to more than the $212,000 Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would make if he accepted his annual paycheck. That included 274 psychiatrists, 48 investment officers, 23 prison guards, 18 nurses and three fire battalion chiefs.

Continue Reading

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gordon Smith?

A Republican the Republican party does not need.

Any Republican who would support a far-left radical who is Obama is not a conservative and does not belong in the Republican party.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pelosi and Obama

Pelosi continues to thrash the free trade deal with Columbia, our ally in South America. She continues her push to try and wreck our economy.

“This free trade agreement is in our national interests, yet that bill is dead unless the speaker schedules a definite vote,” the president said. “And it’s not in our country’s interest that we stiff an ally like Colombia and that we don’t encourage our goods and services to be sold overseas.”

Ms. Pelosi fired back, hurriedly scheduling a rare Monday meeting with reporters to suggest that the president was putting his trade agenda ahead of Americans’ economic troubles while pursuing stale economic policy.


"We cannot drill our way out of this," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California countered. Opening the wildlife refuge in Alaska would reduce U.S. gasoline prices by one penny per gallon, she said. She and other Democrats blame President George W. Bush's energy policies for the gasoline price spike.

"A barrel of oil now costs four times more than it did when President Bush took office," Pelosi said. "Two oil men in the White House, cost of oil four times higher. Price at the pump: $4 a gallon."


I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment. The fact that this is such a shock to American pocketbooks is not a good thing. But if we take some steps right now to help people make the adjustment, first of all by putting more money in their pockets, but also by encouraging the market to adapt to these new circumstances more rapidly, particularly U.S. automakers

The conclusion - they don't believe drilling for oil is the answer. Is that nuts are what? Since when is increasing the supply not part of the solution. Nothing will change with the Democrats in power

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

There is an energy revolt coming….

If you think your representatives are looking out for you, think again!

How many think gas prices are too high? I am not talking flatulence here – I am talking about that petrol one sticks in his/her gas tank, usually just under 100 dollars a pop.

If you ever get a chance to watch the Senate or the House energy debates on C-SPAN, you should gander on over (you might find it a bit boring, but you will also come to the realization to how many idiots we keep electing over and over again.)

First, write this number down, 202-224-3121. This is the congressional switchboard so you can make your voice known. Everyone should be calling and writing their congressmen and representatives so we can start drilling for oil (we have more oil in the United States than Saudi Arabia) and start building nuclear power plants. If we call now, maybe drilling will start by 2030. We need to flood the mailboxes and the switchboard.

If you don't think this energy crisis can lead to a worldwide recession or worse, then you better think again. If there is the slightest hiccup in the Middle East or if there is some other economic disaster, we can be in a world of hurt.

GOP Representative John Peterson of Pennsylvania was pushing his house amendment for offshore drilling yesterday, but Democrats don't really believe in energy independence unless it has to do with raising your food prices by corn ethanol or taxing the oil companies. They don't really believe in ethanol. What they believe in is subsidizing the corn lobbies since they have put huge tariffs on the sugar ethanol from Brazil. In any event, the bill for off shore drilling was killed yesterday. Everyone against was democrat. Everyone in favor was republican. The Republicans vow to keep pressing the issue. An FYI, Barack Obama is against the measure, and McCain is waffling. McCain will need another barrage of calls like happened on the immigration bill. What is it these guys don't get?


A 27-year-old federal moratorium has prevented offshore drilling in most coastal waters except parts of the Gulf of Mexico. Virginia lawmakers have expressed interest in pursuing drilling, particularly for natural gas. Peterson, who is retiring next year, said offshore drilling could provide enough oil to replace Middle East oil imports for 35 years. He said the plan would also yield an 18-year supply of natural gas. "There is no valid reason for Congress to continue keeping Americans from the offshore resources they own," Peterson said. But Democrats, who control Congress, said offshore drilling would have no immediate effect on the price of gasoline and would do little to lower the world price of oil. "We are kidding ourselves, as we routinely do in this town, if we think we can drill our way out of this problem," said Rep. Dave Obey, D-Wis.…"The American people are going to have a lot to say about this," said Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., the ranking Republican on the full House Appropriations Committee.

The Wall Street Journal has reported the following:

A century and a half after oil production began, there is ample evidence that a lot of oil — and natural gas — remains to be found in the U.S. and its territorial waters. Some of those areas are wide open to oil companies, including most of the Gulf of Mexico where deep-water floating rigs now routinely drill wells hundreds of miles from shore. Even in the gulf, areas are off limits, including most of the waters off the Florida coast. The entire East and West Coasts are off limits for new drilling. Last week, Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Rex Tillerson chided President Bush for asking Saudi Arabia to boost its production, while not doing more to increase production at home in the U.S., particularly off the coasts of Florida and California."There is no question in my mind that there are significant conventional resources available," Mr. Tillerson said in an interview last week. "If you are looking for larger fields, they will probably be found in the offshore areas that are currently off limits."

Those offshore areas are closed to exploration and drilling under congressional moratoriums and presidential executive orders that command broad support among elected officials in the politically powerful states of California and Florida. Opening these areas up could prove nettlesome.

Little data exist about how much oil and gas might be found under the waters now closed for exploration. Federal agencies are prevented from doing rudimentary geological surveys in most areas to pinpoint areas of interest. The last time the industry shot seismic imagery was in the 1970s when this widely used search technology was in its infancy.

Other promising areas onshore also are off-limits. In a report last week, the federal Bureau of Land Management stated that at current U.S. consumption levels there are four years worth of oil and 10 years worth of natural gas under federal lands. However, more than 90% of that energy was under lands either closed to development or open with significant environmental restrictions. The federal Minerals Management Service said an additional three years worth of oil and gas is in offshore areas where drilling isn't allowed.

Congressman Roy Blunt put together these data to highlight the differences between House Republicans and House Democrats on energy policy:

ANWR Exploration House Republicans: 91% Supported House Democrats: 86% Opposed

House Republicans: 97% Supported
House Democrats: 78% Opposed

Oil Shale Exploration
House Republicans: 90% Supported
House Democrats: 86% Opposed

Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Exploration
House Republicans: 81% Supported
House Democrats: 83% Opposed

Refinery Increased Capacity
House Republicans: 97% Supported
House Democrats: 96% Opposed


91% of House Republicans have historically voted to increase the production of American-made oil and gas.

86% of House Democrats have historically voted against increasing the production of American-made oil and gas.

I was watching C-SPAN the energy debates. The Democrats talked of stopping speculation, windfall profit taxes, and solar and wind power. Only the Republicans mentioned drilling for oil and nuclear power. I do agree that something has to be done with speculators, but the idea we are not drilling for oil at this very second is imbecilic. In 1995, a bill reached Bill Clinton's desk to drill in ANWR. When he vetoed it, he stated he would veto any bill that came across his desk that would open ANWR to drilling. Had he signed it, we would be extracting that oil at this moment.

The Democrats love talking about a windfall property tax. We tried the windfall property taxes during the disastrous carter years, the 1980s. Windfall property taxes will hurt the poor the most. Why is it Democrats can't figure out when you tax the oil companies, the consumer is the one that picks up the tab, not the oil companies. If mandates are placed on oil companies, there is nothing that stops them from selling elsewhere. We will see gas lines again. Exxon Mobil's profit margin was 10.4% for the fiscal year 2007. Microsoft was 27% and Safeway was 2.7%, all normal for their respective industries. Taxing the excess profits of oil companies is not the answer, but taxing big oil goes along with the Democrats socialist mindset.

The Democrats also talked about solar and wind power, a Hillary favorite. Solar and wind power will take care of maybe 2% of the energy required in the United States, so now we have our swimming pools covered.

According to the book The Elephant and the Dragon by Robyn Meredith, the United States uses 20.6 million barrels of oil per day while China with a billion more people uses 6.9 million barrels a day. India uses about the same as Germany about 2.6 million barrels a day. Per capita, Americans today use thirteen times more oil than Chinese and twenty-six times more than Indians. Currently, the United States uses much more oil than both China and India, but there are a combined 600 million Americans and Europeans but more than a billion Chinese and a billion Indians. India's oil consumption has doubled since 1992, and China since 1994. China already consumes more coal and steel than any other nation. Both China and India have barely touched the surface of their oil consumption. By the year 2020, India and China will consume as much oil per day as the United States at their current rate. There is one problem. If that is the current trend, there will not be enough oil for the world.

Have you heard of the Warner-Lieberman bill? You should have. It is the latest cap and trade climate change scam by the Democrats. President Bush has promised to veto it, but for the time being it appears the Republicans have successfully tabled it, but it will be resurrected again especially if Barack is elected. According to the Heritage Foundation, a think tank, it will cost Americans hundreds of thousands of jobs annually, and it could double the price of electricity, natural gas and gasoline by 2030.

We not only must become free of foreign oil because we send our petrodollars to countries to nations who hate us. We need to become free of foreign oil because China and India will continue to push the demand of oil to the brink. It is vital we free ourselves from foreign oil yet the Democrats keep pushing bills and introducing legislation that will not only not work, but will reduce our competiveness in the global marketplace. We could even lose our status as a world power.

What did Barack Obama tell CNN's John Hardwood yesterday?

I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment. The fact that this is such a shock to American pocketbooks is not a good thing. But if we take some steps right now to help people make the adjustment, first of all by putting more money in their pockets, but also by encouraging the market to adapt to these new circumstances more rapidly, particularly U.S. automakers

So Barack Obama doesn't mind high gasoline prices just as long as they go up slowly, not too fast. Nor, does he have any solution to the energy crisis. He doesn't believe in drilling nor does he believe in nuclear energy, but he does believe in global warming. If you are a global warming advocate, how you plan to solve it without nuclear energy is beyond me. With Barack as president, you will be paying higher prices for gas, because to him, it doesn't matter. Tax the rich give to the poor. Of course anytime, the Democrats have tried that, it always backfires, and Barack Obama has yet to explain how doubling the capital gains rate and dividends rate doesn't affect the middle class. He just tells an untruth. The middle class doesn't buy stocks except in their 401Ks. He also doesn't have an answer as to why when you tax capital gains or dividends, the stock market and economy is always adversely affected.

If Democrats really listened to what their party was saying about the price of gasoline, I do not know how they could vote Democrat, but most Democrats don't listen. They are still in the "Bush derangement syndrome" phase.

I am a Republican, but I look to common sense first. If it doesn't make sense, I look for another alternative. I have seen what the Democrats have to offer, and I am not impressed. I have seen what the Republicans have to offer, and I am not impressed. But, the Republicans go a lot further in the path this nation needs to head. The Democrats are still trying the failed policies of the Carter years. You often hear, McCain is just another Bush term. There were things that worked in Bush's term, and there were things that didn't work. You fix it. But, you don't choose a leftist Radical in the vein of the leaders of Latin America who doesn't have a clue on the economy or on foreign affairs. That is just stupid.

My son who is apolitical and never pays attention to what is going on around him knew how much he was paying in taxes on a gallon of gasoline, (about 47 cents state and federal.) He knows because he is starting to pay attention because he is feeling the bite, but until we start a revolt, until we start throwing out the incompetent politicians head first, and until the message is heard loud and clear, the politicians will just keep going down the same path. And, now that the Democrats will have control of both houses, don't expect any changes. Look for the politicians who are making a difference, and vote out the rest. There is only one thing I heard from the Democrats that made any sense – control the speculators. Currently stock traders can borrow up to 50% of their stocks (this is called margin), but oil speculators are only required to put up 7% of their own money in the speculation of an oil contract. This amplifies the oil price in an up market, and has the opposite effect in a down market. Margin requirements have always been regulated. Connecticut Representative John Larson, a Democrat stated "But what I don't understand is that people are buying oil even though they'll never get it from people who never had it, and making big profits as they run up the price of oil." He is right. Speculation probably increases the oil price by 40%. Requiring more stringent margin requirements can have the potential of decreasing the price.

But nothing will have more impact than candidate John McCain coming out with a Manhattan type of project calling for the drilling of oil, the building of nuclear power plants, and viable alternative sources of energy like natural gas to become energy independent. Will it happen? I don't know. With the Democrats, there is no chance. With the Republicans, we might have a chance. McCain wants nuclear power and he wants to drill for oil, but he needs to come out and be more aggressive in his energy policy, and it needs to be paramount in his platform. McCain also needs to change his stance on ANWR and cap and trade. We need leadership. The Democrats are adrift in the ocean without a sail. They haven't a clue. The only hope is to elect John McCain and hope that he will follow through on his promises and start paving the way to make us energy independent.

If not, we are headed for rough waters. Remember this election cycle who is really getting us off foreign oil, not the populist rhetoric we have been hearing that helps no one except for special interest groups. It is time we start a revolt.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Barack Obama

Video on Barack Obama. Note: video starts out by saying Dreams of my father. Should be Dreams from my Father.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Dating Game starring my favorite daughter Raeann

This is my daughter's Spanish project on the dating game. She is the one on the far left. She is the one on the left. The other girl is her friend Alejandra who did the project with her and her brother.
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