I’ve maintained a strong interest in the long-term budget proposed by President Obama, and his press conference last night renewed some of my concerns. Frankly, I’m conflicted about it. I understand and appreciate his attempt to fix some of the hard problems that are facing America, but I’m also concerned about the future and what the nation would be like if the budget back-fired.
We need an energy policy – yes. We need a sustainable way to provide power for future generations. I tend to agree with T. Boone Pickens, in that our reliance on foreign oil is more of a national security problem than a economic problem, but it’s most certainly both. I’m curious why Obama didn’t use some stimulus money to build nuclear power plants or wind farms, instead helping cities like Dallas build fancy government-run hotels.
No question health care is a burden to many families. Hey, I just had a baby and my family’s healthcare costs are increasing 1,000%. Trust me, when I learned that, you better believe I said “bring on socialism!”. In all seriousness, health care is a real problem we need to confront, particularly medicare and medicaid. Cutting-edge technology and treatment options aren’t getting cheaper, so the bottom line is the government will have to take more money. I don’t see any other way around that.
We’re falling behind – no doubt. I’m not sure that it’s because we don’t invest enough, I think it may be more attributable to a culture that is becoming more lazy. Japanese, Indian, Chinese – they are all more driven than ever, while the American student is less driven and feels more of a sense of entitlement. I’m not sure that spending a ton of money on education will reverse that trend, unfortunately.
The budget and the future
If I’m reading Obama’s budget properly, he makes some pretty presumptuous assumptions and even with those the debt is staggering in 5 and 10 years. I applaud him for including all spending, including military operational spending, in the budgets – definitely should have happened with GWB. But this budget…it’s like he’s going “all-in” with the USA. If something unexpected happens (terrorist attack, natural disaster, pandemic, etc.) in the next ten years, we have no emergency fund. Our emergency fund so far has been the Chinese, and their patience is waning.
The president enjoys lambasting the investors and speculators who took huge risks and helped cripple the economy, but I’m really struggling to see how this kind of government spending is not equally as risky.
Please…chime in with your thoughts below.
I think everyone had high hopes for Obama’s economic team, made up of so-called moderates. But some of the recent statements from budget director Peter Orszag just don’t pass the smell test.
Earlier this week Orszag spoke before a congressional panel about the Obama budget, claiming it will save $2 trillion over the next ten years. Wow – sign me up! Luckily somebody asked him to explain those numbers in a little bit more detail, and here’s what he conceded: We will save $1.6 trillion in the next tens years by not sustaining the troop surge for the next decade. Uh…OK, but who was going to do that!? Had anybody even considered keeping surge troop levels in Iraq for ten more years? Uh…no. I just went and told my wife our family was going to save $1.5 million by not buying a private jet – she was equally confused.
A few days later on CNN, Orszag argued that the Obama administration had no power to change the omnibus spending bill which is loading with almost $8 billion in earmarks. Come on…gimme a break. I think it would be easy, try this line:
“Congress, this bill is filled with earmarks and I told you we were going to be different. Take out the earmarks and I will sign it. The America people voted for change, and change is what they are going to get.”
See, that even sounds campaign-ish so I’m sure Obama could pull it off.
OK, so McCain is smarted than I originally thought and actually picked my choice for Veep, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. It’s definitely a gamble, but one worth taking at this point for his campaign.
So I’ve finished my brown-bag lunch and have been watching Twitter comments on Palin…here are some of my favorite lines so far:
@badbanana: “As a young mother, Palin will be a huge help to McCain. Food doesn’t cut itself into tiny pieces, people.”
@hodgman: “Palin will almost certainly woo away all of Hillary Clinton supporters who are pro-life and pro-gun.”
@cschweitzer: “If Obama supporters say he should be elected because he TALKS pretty, I say Palin should because she IS.”
@ctp: “I didn’t know Michael Palin could be the vice president, but it’s cool that he’s running. I’m excited.”
@MtnMom: “Palin: sounds like she has kicked some corrupt fossilized Republical rear end in Alaska. Gonna be interesting to this one play out.”
@kevinbinversie: “Little Known Fact: Sarah Palin was the original “Deadliest Catch.”"
@triciamckinney: “Am I the only one who sees the Sarah Palin/Tina Fey resemblance? Will Tina make a guest appearance on SNL?”
@everysandwich: “Today in pot-kettle. Obama camp sez Gov. Palin doesn’t have the experience. Thousands flee glass houses.”
@way2busymom: “He picked Palin? When I mentioned that to my spouse, he asked wait…the Monty Python guy???”
I woke up this morning to an email from Bank of America, alerting me of "irregular activity" on my account. Sure enough, after logging in to examine the damages, someone in Plano had scored $900 worth of merch at a local Wal-Mart overnight.
I don’t know about you, but this happens to me about once a year and never really surprises me anymore. It’s relatively easy to deal with, and only a minor inconvenience (not even a fraction of trouble compared to identity fraud). Furthermore, I’m always thankful that guidelines are in place that protect the account holder and encourage banks and merchants to be alert and vigilant.
Anyways, after 10 minutes on the phone this morning I’m back to my regular routine. While reading through the headlines, I saw this story from the NY Times. Timely, eh? Maybe I should reconsider my accounts with Bank of America…
You smell that?? Smells like Clemens is getting grilled…he’d better hope that this first congressman is the meat and not the appetizer.
Whew…with a side of McNamee (sounds like fast food).
Roger Clemens is barreling through, making clear his intentions for anyone in his way: GET UNDER MY BUS!
Well, it’s over and here’s how I see it. Clemens was a good witness, but still couldn’t escape or explain some obvious inconsistencies and improbabilities in his testimony. McNamee looked bad and got caught in some lies of his own, but he has much less to lose and so he probably wasn’t as prepared to answer the hard questions.
Andy (and Laura) Pettitte provided the most incriminating testimony, one which Roger could not explain away. As a congressman pointed out early in the hearing, if Andy spoke with Roger about HGH in 2000 and Debbie Clemens didn’t take HGH until 2003, it would have been impossible for Andy to have mistaken Clemens for his wife in their first conversation in 2000 as Clemens suggests. Were Ms. Vito there, she would have loudly pronounced that the defense’s case does not hold water. (Incidentally, it seems unlikely that Debbie Clemens would have considered taking HGH without first talking to her husband.)
Secondly, prior to the hearing, the Clemens camp paraded the fact that Clemens was not at the Conseco party as remembered by McNamee. McNamee was able to provide very specific detail about specific individuals at the party, including Clemens young child and nanny. As the hearing proceeded, the possibility arose that Clemens did in fact stop by the Conseco house late after a morning golf game. Furthermore, it hurt Clemens case that he tried to speak with his former nanny before turning over her contact information to Congress.
In the end, there may or may not be a perjury case brought by DoJ. I happen to believe that many people are so burned out on Barry Bonds and Marion Jones and such that these cases and getting old and uninteresting.
As for my personal opinion, if this were a court of law and I were a juror, I say Clemens is convicted under the balance of probabilities standard, but not beyond a shadow or a doubt. That basically means Clemens is O.J. 2.0.
Man…so much you could say about this transaction if it goes down. This has long been the speculation, but Yahoo in the past has scoffed at the idea. At this point however, and given the recent news out of Sunnyvale, I would be surprised if this deal didn’t happen.
Let’s look at some of the assets MS would be acquiring:
- The Yahoo brand (arguably the strongest online brand ever)
- The #1 trafficked news site
- Top social site Yahoo Answers
- Top photo site Flickr
- #1 web mail product
- Yahoo Music
- Yahoo Shopping / Stores
- A legitimate search engine and PPC network
I’ll try to post more later, but I’d like to hear your thoughts on this deal.