Saturday, December 27, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Here are some things that he and I have in common...
*We both have a cutting wit. It's just the truth. We can hurl jokes like nobody's business. It often worked to my disadvantage when I was a teenager and would overstep during arguments, however. But it's amusing when we get together now. :)
*We both have a strong aversion to vomit. (it sets off a chain reaction you don't want to be witness to)
*We both have feet like hobbits. His are only slightly more hairy. ( I said only slightly)
*We both are excellent cooks. Although I didn't practice this much while I lived at home, I learned most of what I know about cooking from my dad. He can whip up some mean vittles.
*We are both musically inclined. If you're ever around when he picks up his guitar, you'll be staying 'till he's done. He also played the trumpet way back when...
*We're both into photography. He always has a camera in his hand. And we also both enjoy the amusement that comes from stalking people with said camera.
*We're both pranksters, Much to the dismay of my poor mother.
*We both have an affinity for weather watching. His catchphrase is "look to the west". In high school that translated to "it's probably not a good idea for you to be going out tonight, because there is a weather system headed our way, and i don't want you getting caught in it", now it means "ha ha Dad, there are clouds over there"
*We would both go barefoot year round if it was socially accepted. (but not likely, what with the hobbit feet and all)
*We are both part Czechoslovakian (spelling, eh, whatever), and we look it!
There are many more, but I have to go return his gift, because apparently he already has the one I got him.
Thanks, Dad for being a wonderful man, and a great Dad, and an awesome Papa. Us girls absolutely cherish you.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Posted: 12/17/08 05:41 PM [ET]
A crumbling economy, more than 2 million constituents who have lost their jobs this year, and congressional demands of CEOs to work for free did not convince lawmakers to freeze their own pay.
Instead, they will get a $4,700 pay increase, amounting to an additional $2.5 million that taxpayers will spend on congressional salaries, and watchdog groups are not happy about it.
“As lawmakers make a big show of forcing auto executives to accept just $1 a year in salary, they are quietly raiding the vault for their own personal gain,” said Daniel O’Connell, chairman of The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a non-partisan group. “This money would be much better spent helping the millions of seniors who are living below the poverty line and struggling to keep their heat on this winter.”
However, at 2.8 percent, the automatic raise that lawmakers receive is only half as large as the 2009 cost of living adjustment of Social Security recipients.
Still, Steve Ellis, vice president of the budget watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense, said Congress should have taken the rare step of freezing its pay, as lawmakers did in 2000.
“Look at the way the economy is and how most people aren’t counting on a holiday bonus or a pay raise — they’re just happy to have gainful employment,” said Ellis. “But you have the lawmakers who are set up and ready to get their next installment of a pay raise and go happily along their way.”
Member raises are often characterized as examples of wasteful spending, especially when many constituents and businesses in members’ districts are in financial despair.
Rep. Harry Mitchell, a first-term Democrat from Arizona, sponsored legislation earlier this year that would have prevented the automatic pay adjustments from kicking in for members next year. But the bill, which attracted 34 cosponsors, failed to make it out of committee.
“They don’t even go through the front door. They have it set up so that it’s wired so that you actually have to undo the pay raise rather than vote for a pay raise,” Ellis said.
Freezing congressional salaries is hardly a new idea on Capitol Hill.
Lawmakers have floated similar proposals in every year dating back to 1995, and long before that. Though the concept of forgoing a raise has attracted some support from more senior members, it is most popular with freshman lawmakers, who are often most vulnerable.
In 2006, after the Republican-led Senate rejected an increase to the minimum wage, Democrats, who had just come to power in the House with a slew of freshmen, vowed to block their own pay raise until the wage increase was passed. The minimum wage was eventually increased and lawmakers received their automatic pay hike.
In the beginning days of 1789, Congress was paid only $6 a day, which would be about $75 daily by modern standards. But by 1965 members were receiving $30,000 a year, which is the modern equivalent of about $195,000.
Currently the average lawmaker makes $169,300 a year, with leadership making slightly more. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) makes $217,400, while the minority and majority leaders in the House and Senate make $188,100.
Ellis said that while freezing the pay increase would be a step in the right direction, it would be better to have it set up so that members would have to take action, and vote, for a pay raise and deal with the consequences, rather than get one automatically.
“It is probably never going to be politically popular to raise Congress’s salary,” he said. “I don’t think you’re going to find taxpayers saying, ‘Yeah I think I should pay my congressman more’.”
1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare.. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you will need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.
10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!!!"
Did you read this carefully? Ho Ho Ho!
MERRY CHRISTMAS and a have a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
My struggle is this: how do I lead my children to have faith in something they cannot see, yet give them faith in something that's visible everywhere but is, in fact, not real? Where do I draw the line between holiday fun, and choosing the right side of the divide to take up against the world? It's important to me that my girls stay childlike, and don't grow up too fast, but also that they realize that knowing our culture is relevant to spreading their faith. What do we do as parents to set up boundaries for them?
I'd like to hear from other moms and dads, or just anyone with an opinion about what you're doing during our Celebration of the Savior's birth, i.e. CHRISTmas.
Is Santa real in your house?
Got any thoughts?
*this post is the result of an annual discussion between myself and a very awesome friend I have. We still haven't figured it out. Please help.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
This year, all the girls were old enough to participate in the "sister tree" that I've been doing every year since I was pregnant with Taylor. They get to give special gifts for each other that they can open on Christmas Eve. It's their own ornaments, decorations, and they really enjoy it. So, we did that (with some extra special help from Ella who loved to move the ornaments around). Then it was bedtime. Kayleigh in her bed, and Taylor and Ella in their beds in their own room. I put Taylor to bed first, (she's "making" her list for her sisters) and then put Ella to bed and shut the door. Of course she runs screaming at me as I shut the door, so I go back in to settle her down. It's all quiet in the room as I snuggle her in, and I can hear Taylor up there in her bunk bed scribbling on her paper. I quietly start to sing "Jesus loves me" and by the second time around, Taylor is softly singing with me. We sing the song over one more time, and by the time it's over, yep, she's fast asleep. Eyes closed, and the most peaceful look is upon her face (if you know her, you know she rarely sits still, so this is such a joy to see).
I walk out of the room and Taylor quietly says "I love you so much, mommy".
This is what makes life on earth worthwhile.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
More positive and happy blog posts to come in a few days when I'm ready. Yay!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
But, in spite of my funk, I still recognize the things in my life that are blessings, and right now, I'll ask if you'll count them with me. They are not necessarily in order.
* First and foremost, God has blessed me with the most amazing husband. He's supportive when I need him to be. He talks when I need advice, and he's quiet (most of the time) when I need an ear.
* My kids. They keep me absolutely busier than I've ever been, but when they say "I Love you, mommy" "You're pretty and sparkly" it makes it all worth it.
* My Church. I can't say enough good things about the great home that God has brought us into.
* My Parents. They give me so much support as a mom and a daughter, and I'm glad I get the opportunity to be friends with them as an adult. I'm so glad they moved a block away from me.
* Pistachios. They have been such a blessing when I'm hungry for a snack.
* Being able to lose the weight that I have so desperately wanted to lose. I feel so much better about myself than I used to. I'm thankful to myself for working so hard.
* I'm thankful that this year, we are financially stable, but too remember last year when we were blessed with people in our lives who shared their blessings with us. We plan to do the same this year.
How about you? What are you thankful for?
(these are by no means the only things I'm thankful for. I just have to go now, because my children are fighting.)
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Taylor had a "Thanksgiving Feast" today at preschool, and I got some pictures and video of the play they performed for us about the first thanksgiving. My battery was going dead, so I just shot Taylor's part of the play. Sorry other less talented children... She was the star.
Monday, November 17, 2008
So, they told me that because of the size of the lenses, she would need plastic frames in order for the lenses not to pop out so easily. (It happens all the time). Okay. They got her to try on several pair and were oohing and ahhing for her benefit. We picked out a pair that she liked, we sat down to start to process and oops, they are out of that one (It's going to be discontinued soon). We start the whole process again and we end up with a $75 pair of frames. With everything together though, her glasses are $200.00!!! Frames, fees, and estra buffing to make the lenses thinner sure sent me into shell shock. I paid, called Baxter (who took her last time) and he told me that they had previously recommended to him the metal frames because they are more flexible. I feel like a heel.
I hope Kayleigh enjoys her "Hilary Duff" spectacles when they come in next week. I'll be sure to post a picture.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I'm trying to keep myself from totally destroying my body by raiding the pantry and tearing into all the halloween candy like a crazed maniac. I can just imagine the girls walking in on that, paper flying everywhere, and me, with a pound of nougat in my teeth.
The only thought that's keeping me sane right now is that I have yoga tonight. I'll probably go early and run too. Yep, that sounds like a great plan.
It's just one of those days.
Uh oh, here they come. Quick someone hide me.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Taylor: "ok, I'm gonna say the blessing"
Me: "go for it, sweetie!"
Me" "what did she say"
Baxter: " I have no idea"
Kayleigh:" Okay, I have no idea what she just said"
Taylor: "me, either"
Here's another one on the way home from church.
Kayleigh and Taylor in the back of the car
Kayleigh: "Taylor, I wanna call you by a nickname." "can I call you T-Bone?"
Kayleigh: "can I call you tater tot?"
Kayleigh: "what would you like me to call you?"
Taylor: "you can call me rainbow unicorn"
Kayleigh: "how about T-Bone?"
kayleigh: 'how's it going, T-Bone?"
Taylor: "pretty good"
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
There are many instances in the Bible. of God bringing His people through dark times.
I can only ask myself these questions.
Will I suffer? Maybe.
Will I question authority? Definitely
Will I let God take the reigns and make my decisions? Definitely
From Carter to Reagan, from Obama to ???
Monday, November 3, 2008
26. She used to make me french toast when we were 15 and 12 ( I swore I would never be one of those "cooking" type moms)
25. she knows all my secrets
24. she still lets me tease her about the time we were in the Sharp County beauty pageant and she got on stage and got lost and couldn't figure out how to get off of the stage.
23. she can't drive in the snow, but she tries.
22. she was the only person that would swim with me in the icy depths of my grandparent's pool.
21. she was the popular one in high school, but she didn't know it.
20. I still laugh when I picture her face wrapped around a clarinet.
19. she still laughs when I do the cockatiel bird dance
18. she's a modern day hippie
17. she and I tag team while making my mom laugh so hard she cries
16. she only gives advice when she's asked. (something I need to work on)
15. I remember going fishing with her when we were in high school, and she carried her bait in her pocket.
14. How Ella reminds me of her when she was little and had a nasty temper.
13. How we both laughed out loud at the part of the exorcist where the girl crab walked down the stairs backwards.
12. her blackmailing me into playing barbies with her until I was 13 or so.
11. her blackmailing me for a ride to school until I graduated.
10. our early morning wardrobe fights ("you let go of my hair" "no, you let go of mine first".)
9. her love for all things steak
8. all night super mario brothers tournaments
7. her ability to make a joke about you and make you forget that you're mad at her
6. the secret way we make fun of our husbands together.
5. the fact that she's just about the best aunt EVER!
4. the late night talks we ALWAYS have when we get together.
3. her choice of husband. Choice beef, prime cut. Excellent man.
2. the way we annoy everyone else around us with our constant "twin" laughter
1. being able to be grown ups together and friends with the best sister a girl could ask for!
I'm tempted to turn off my television tomorrow...
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Hello fall/winter, my old friend. It seems like only yesterday I basked in the phlegm of your presence. How quickly I had forgotten all about this part about you when I wished for colder weather on those days that it was too hot to go to the pool. So, November is in 5 days, that means there's only 5 or so months until spring...
Friday, October 24, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
"From the dawn of civilization, mankind has been preoccupied with its own demise. All of the world's major religions have their own theories about how and when the world will end. Apocalypse How asks: If the apocalypse is coming, what form will it take?"
Is this something that people want to sit around and watch after a hard day? What a way to wind down. I can't think of a better way to bond with my husband than learning of all the ways we're doomed as a planet. No thanks, I'd rather just watch my Golden Girls, thank you very much.
Anybody watch it?
Friday, October 17, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Here's to breaking a sweat!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
In the last 7 days the Origami Bank has folded, the Sumo Bank has gone belly up and the Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.
Yesterday, it was announced that the Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song, while today’s shares in the Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived. While Samurai Bank is soldiering on following sharp cuts, the Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black. Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at the Sushi Bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal.
Now I have to make an announcement. After McCain's $300 Billion Dollar proposal to help out people who can't afford their mortgages, I have to relinquish my hope for his campaign. It's not that I don't hurt for those people, but that doesn't mean I want to pay for their houses. I don't want either candidate AT ALL. Where do we go from here? I have to vote, but for whom? Should I write in someone else? I told you all to vote for Mike Huckabee, but you just wouldn't listen. At least now I can watch his show....
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
During the U.S. kickoff of her "Sticky and Sweet" tour at the Meadowlands in New Jersey on Saturday night, she shouted: "Sarah Palin can't come to my party. Sarah Palin can't come to my show. It's nothing personal," according to the New York Post's Page Six gossip column.
She also told the crowd, "Here's the sound of Sarah Palin's husband's snowmobile when it won't start," followed by a loud screeching noise.
Well, I don't know anyone who doesn't like to watch a surgically enhanced geriatric writhe around in leather leotards while "singing" songs that all sound the same (and have sounded the same for 25 years), but I bet Sarah Palin is down in the dumps today...
Thanks, Madge for the entertainment and for reaffirming my position. If I disagree with you, I know I'm right.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Being a mom (or dad, okay?) is a great joy, yet a great trial. I've been craving a "real" job lately. I've been actually feeling the onset of panick attacks because I just don't feel a purpose at this point. I haven't been getting my daily dose of praise, or acknowledgement. I spend most of my time either breaking up fights, or cleaning up some bodily function gone awry. I love the teaching moments where I know my child understands the point of her punishment, and I love enjoying the simplicity of childhood with them. I guess most of my desire to get out is that if I succeed in the job market, there'd be somebody there saying, "Hey, look what she did" "Great Job". Who doesn't love affirmation that they are, in fact, worthy of a little praise? Could I even succeed anywhere else? I haven't held a job in 8 years! Don't get me wrong, my husband knows that I need that affirmation, and he shows his appreciation for all I do. I'll only really know if I've done a good job in 10 or so years. If you know me, you know I'm not a patient person. I simply don't like to wait on anything. It's this endless cycle for me. There's this fear that I want to step out and extend myself, but to what end? What do I even do with myself? Excuses are becoming rationale, and time is becoming cruel.
There's passion inside me somewhere, I feel it for our family, ministry, and my circle of friends, but beyond that, I don't know where to direct myself.
Meanwhile, I'll keep picking up the toys off of the floor, doing the endless supply of laundry, sending various children to various corners, and I'll keep the baby wipes handy in case anyone needs me.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Feminists, elitists, and the election
I grew up in the era of the birth of women's rights, equal pay for equal work, equal opportunities, bra-burning, and the whole gamut. On the surface it seemed like a logical position. Why not pay a woman the same as a man? Why not hire a woman over a man if she was equally or better qualified? Although the ERA amendment never passed, it seemed we made progress, and with time, would see our gender on equal footing with our male counterparts.
Fast forward 30 years, and the leaders of the 'Women's Movement' has morphed into a bitter, hate-filled, vitriolic group of voices who have turned against the very constituency they claimed to represent. The nomination of Sarah Palin has brought out the very worst in some of the members of our fair sex, simply because she does not share their particular views. Believing in gun rights, hunting, life, and being a working wife seem to be qualities that drive the feminazis right over the edge. I thought the whole movement in the 60's and 70's was to enable women to make their own life choices, and now I discover that it only applies to people who are Pro-PETA, pro-abortion, and I guess pro-divorce. Most of these harpies have been married multiple times, view men as the enemy, and have complete disdain for women who elect to be stay at home wives/mothers.
It is just another facet of those on the left. March in lock-step with us and our position, or we'll crucify your reputation. Leftists like to line up groups of people that are 'disenfranchised', and lump them all together. But if individual members of those groups raise objections to methods or messages, they are maligned and ridiculed. Take, for instance Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas. According to the politics of the left, they should be aligned with the Democratic Party, because they are members of a 'disenfranchised' group. But because they are, in fact, conservative, the merits of their views are not even discussed. They are simply ridiculed as 'Uncle Tom's', or more disgustingly as 'house n*ggers'. The same thing is happening to Palin. Her views don't line up with the feminazis, so she is depicted as mindless and inept, completely disregarding her accomplishments as a woman in her own right. And sadly, it is our media that allows them, and is complicit in their efforts, to do so.
Americans need to wake up. Our country is being overtaken by elitists who don't really believe in free thinking, and they are doing their best to make us believe that they are better suited to deciding issues for us.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
> Status: Married
> Location: Wylie
> Question 1.
> Can you explain what your job entails? I work for a local representative. I handle casework for people having problems with Federal agencies. I also do community outreach.
> Question 2:
> What is your favorite/least favorite part of your job? Somedays it feels like I work for the customer complaints line of the government. Also, it is hard when it feels like you can't help people who really need it.
> Question 3:
> Where do you get most of your news? Fox News Channel and MSNBC.com
> Question 4:
> What is your favorite thing to go out and do on the
> weekends? Spend time with my husband and dogs (Cooper and Chloe). We can usually be found watching movies.
> Question 5:
> Favorite Book, can you summarize the plot? The Great Gatsby. I fell in love with this book as a kid and still pick it up. It is about the age old story of wanting love and a lifestyle outside of your grasp and the lengths people will go to get it.
> Question 6:
> What is your biggest hope for the future of our country? That the economy and political climate stabilize. That Social Security will be fixed before we retire. That we leave this world a better place for our children.
> Question 7:
> Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Hopefully with children. But I am not quite sure where I see myself in one year. Eric and I are nomadic at heart.
> Question 8:
> What did you want to be when you were 10 years old? A lawyer. Law school got that out of my system!
> Question 9:
> What is your biggest success thus far in life? Finding a man who loves me and who I love just as much. Relationships are a lot of work, but sooo worth it.
> Question 10:
> What is your biggest failure thus far in life? Wow. Depressing. Not being closer in proximity to family in NM. I feel like now that I am an adult I want to know my family in a different way than I did as a kid. Losing my grandparents was a wake-up call, because you always think that you have more time left with a person.
> Question 11:
> What's your guilty pleasure? i.e. chocolate, cheesy
> lifetime movies, 80's hair bands...Baked goods. Brownies, pie a-la-mode, cookies. The holidays are pure torture.
> Question 12:
> Name something that you seen in the past 5 years that has
> inspired you? I can't think of one thing in particular. But I am always inspired by those around me that lead the types of lives that I strive to. People who are good, Godly, patient, kind. People who are strong in the areas where I often struggle.
> Question 13:
> Where's the best vacation locale that you've ever
> been? Aruba. As a beach bum, I enjoy a good seaside getaway. But Aruba's white sands are the consistency of brown sugar (no seaweed, shells, etc.). The waters are this amazing aqua color, but are so clear you can see amazing fish swimming around.
> Question 14:
> What advice would you give a newly married couple? Fight naked.
> Question 15:
> Favorite Bible Verse, why? "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:25-34). I am such a worrier and a control freak. Sometimes I have to just remember these words.
> Would you rather....
> Sleep in your car on the side of the road, or listen to
> smooth jazz for 24 hours straight? Listen to smooth jazz. Serial killers seem to strike on lonely roads.
> Eat an onion sandwich or have to kiss someone who just had? Kiss someone who just had. Hopefully the onions were not raw.
> Give a 20 minute extemporanious speech on the fundamentals
> of the Constitution, or Try out for the Dallas Cowboy
> Cheerleading squad? Try out for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleading squad. I would rather look foolish than sound foolish.
> Meet President Bush, or Oprah Winfrey. President Bush
A few other tidbits about Gabi: She's my shortest friend, she's really great at analyzing literature, and her new favorite animal is the Manatee. I love you, girl!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Hey Mom, I'm makin' a tower.
We call this face
Why do I get the feeling Taylor's
about to push Ella back down?
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The Washington Times is reporting that the California Democrat's husband, Paul F. Pelosi, owns Financial Leasing Services Inc., which has received $99,000 in rent, utilities and accounting fees from the speaker's "PAC to the Future" over the PAC's nine-year history.
Last year, Pelosi supported a bill that would have banned members of Congress from putting spouses on their campaign staffs. The bill banned not only direct payments by congressional campaign committees and PACs to spouses for services including consulting and furndraising, but also "indirect compensation," such as payments to companies that employ spouses.
The bill passed the House in a voice vote but died in a Senate committee.
Last week, Pelosi's office defended the payments, saying they were legal because she is compensating her husband at fair market value for the work his firm has performed for the PAC.
Ethical watchdogs called Pelosi's arrangement "problematic."
Here's the problem, we don't trust anyone in Washington. Either party, either ideology. Americans simply don't believe a word that comes out of their mouths. That's the main reason the bailout bill failed. We're done, we're ready to just scrap them all and start over. Granted, there are a few that are actually decent, but they are akin to covering up the smell of diarrhea with potporri. Come November, we're going to fire some people, aren't we?
Monday, September 29, 2008
I would like to select you as my new interview-ee. Comment me if you want to participate...
I'll wait a week and if you haven't checked back in, I'll pick someone else and come back to you later.
(If you can remember your password that is, tee hee)
if not, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. :) Hope to hear from you soon.
It was a great weekend, and I'd reccomend the lodge to anyone, however, if you're married, I'd suggest asking about a room without the twin beds. Must've slipped Baxter's mind. :)
Here are some visual highlights from our trip.
*p.s. A big thank you goes out to Baxter's sister "Aunt G" for taking the girls on this weekend. You're a very brave woman!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
How We Can Clean Up A Lot of the Economic Problems
Remember Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, and other companies had artificially put assets on the books? They'd say something was worth $10M when they bought it, but eventually it decreased in value, and they never updated the value in the books. That was part of the fraud. Under current laws at that time, they were all convicted and put in jail for fraud.
Then we got all mad and made all these new laws that are coming out the wazoo called sarbanes oxley. It's a huge, massive law but the idea is that we were going to mandate ethics to corporate America because apparently they didn't have any, according to the Enron failure. It's now a total pain in the butt to execute it in a publicly traded company.
It didn't work because you can't cause ethics to happen. However, it does make each company each day restate what their assets are worth if sold on the market. This accounting procedure is mark to market accounting--you need to remember that. It's a good concept and keeps companies from having loaded balance sheets.
How This Affects Us Today
However, it's part of what's caused this in the news now. Merrill Lynch was sitting with $30 billion tied up in sub-prime loans with houses. Stupid! They get what they deserve for doing that, and I'm with you on that. Those houses didn't become worthless all of a sudden because those people couldn't sell their bonds. Since they couldn't sell them, they basically gave them away for 22 cents on the dollar. Now do you think all those houses lost 80% of their value underneath that deal? No, they didn't, so they gave them away for 22 cents on the dollar (about $6 billion total) because there was no market for them. Nobody wants to buy sub-prime bonds because they suck. They're junk bonds. But at 22 cents on the dollar, it's a bargain because even if you foreclosed on every one of the houses in there, you'd probably get $20 billion back out of $30 billion, and so the company that bought those for $6 billion got a deal! But there's no market for them. That's where these companies are stuck. They can't sell this stuff, but accounting-wise, they've had to mark it down to market and it's frozen the marketplace.
Economist Wesbury is saying that if we change that one rule and don't force them to mark down to market value and just let them hold on to all the stuff, and say just on sub-primes for this period of time you can change that rule -- a temporary change -- that'll free the market up. It's seized right now; it's frozen. This will thaw it out and get it going again. He says that'll solve 60% of the problem ... and I think he's right.
That one accounting rule is what made Merrill Lynch sell out. That one accounting rule is what's driving other ones into the dirt. Would you rather let them change their accounting rule or loan them $700 billion for us to buyout their bad paper?
I'd rather them work their own crap out than change the accounting rule.
I don't like giving them any money or any help with my tax dollars. But I'd rather see that than see the whole thing turn completely upside down in a fruit basket turnover than have a whole meltdown or something and freak out here in the middle of the election season. Why don't we just take the FHA insurance program and extend it across these sub-primes? What that means is that you and I are guaranteeing the lender that they're not going to lose as much or any money on those mortgages. Now I don't like guaranteeing them, but I like it better than buying them. In other words, instead of $700 billion in tax-payer debt going out there to bail out these companies, just extend the insurance out. You could probably do that for less than $40 billion. It's like a 95% savings!
If the government insured those mortgages, they would then be marketable. And could sell them. And the companies would stay afloat. And we, the people, don't have to get into the mortgage business. Now we're going to get in there a little bit because of the insurance on those getting foreclosed on. But foreclosures aren't causing this. This is being caused because these companies are frozen and seized up. We've got to let some of the steam come off and put some oil in there to get this thing moving again. We can do that without going into debt $700 billion.
Here's Your Plan
Call your Congressman. Call your Senator. Tell them to change the mark-to-market accounting law and to extend insurance but extend no loans. If they extend loans - if they borrow the money on the national debt in order for us to all go into the mortgage business a trillion dollars - you're going to fire their butts and send them home.
I've talked with several people today, and it's on the tables in Washington, but it's not something you're going to see on TV. If you'll let your Congressmen know you know about this and that you'll vote against them if they don't vote to change the mark-to-market law and you'll contribute your money to make sure they never serve in office again. That's what you need to tell them early and often.
If you're pissed, this is the time to step up and do something about it, America! You can stop this! It's being railroaded down your throat, but you can stop them if you call them in mass starting now. READY ... SET ... GO
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