What is a Voter to Do ?

 

It’s pretty clear that Bob is not happy with President Obama’s agenda and what the Democrats are trying to push through Congress, so my question to Bob is what is a voter to do ?   

Since voters in most area’s of our country typically only have one alternative, Bob’s response would most likely be to vote Republican. With the mid-term elections coming up in approximately three months I decided to start doing some research and in the process of doing so I stumbled across this article titled, “What Will a Republican Majority Do Next”.

The article mentions four things that the Republican majority might do, none of which I am in favor of.

Shut down the Government – This has happened before as the article states back in 1995 and from what I recall it was a huge mess because government employees had to be furloughed and alot of wages were lost. Besides I wonder what a government shutdown would do to such a fragile economy, would it push us into a double dip ?

Propose Massive Budget Cuts – I would be interested to know where these massive cuts are going to come from. Typically Republicans are in favor of strong National Security so that means continuing to fund the two wars we are currently fighting. What usually happens is services the government currently provides to the poor and needy end up getting cut and the people who need help the most end up getting the shaft.

Begin Proceedings Leading Toward the Impeachment of President Obama – Please, I don’t want to go there again. When the Republicans tried to impeach Clinton I felt like it was a whole lot of hoopla over a huge mistake in judgement on his part. I firmly believe Obama has done nothing dishonest and don’t want our country to be put through another charade like that one.

Repeal the Health – Reform Bill – Having worked in the health insurance industry for most of my adult life, I think the bill while not perfect has alot of good things in it. The article mentions the elimination of pre-existing conditions, but I like the idea of giving parents an option of keeping their dependent children on their insurance plans until age 27. 

So if a voter does vote for a Republican and they do get the majority, this article mentions the “Roadmap for America’s Future“, created by Paul Ryan as one of only a few suggested agenda items put forth by Republicans. 

I took a look at some of Ryan’s recommendations and for Medicare and Social Security people age 55 and older are grandfathered in under the current system.

Hmmmm …… being age 54 and about to be age 55 next June I wonder which way I am going to vote in November.

The President On The View

Tomorrow President Obama will be taping an appearance on The View that will be aired ThursdayThe View is an ABC-TV morning show that features a number of women sitting around, talking.  The View is predictably touting the President’s appearance as legitimizing the show; Barbara Walters, one of show’s hosts, says that the President’s appearance means that the show is recognized as “an influential and important source of information and news.”

I recognize that politicians these days will grab just about any opportunity to appear before an audience.  President Obama already has broken new ground in that regard by appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  I’m sure that The View is considered a safe, controlled environment for such an appearance, too.  The President can sit, relax, and drink coffee out of a mug with The View logo on it, chat with the star-struck hosts while getting out all of his talking points, and amiably answer a few softball questions. Maybe his appearance will help his approval ratings among the show’s viewers.

Still, a sitting President appearing on The View seems jarring to me, like a line is being crossed between seriousness and celebrity.  It seems inconsistent with the dignity of the office for the President to show up on daytime TV, chuckling at one of the host’s scripted lines.  I’m left with the same, inescapable thought:  doesn’t the President have other, more important things to do?  If The View is an acceptable forum for a presidential appearance, where is the line now being drawn?

The Risk Of Overexposure

The Risk Of Overexposure (II)

The Northport Promise

Kish and I have spent some time in Northport, Michigan on our vacation, and you can’t go into a local business without seeing a collection receptacle and a sign for the “Northport Promise.”  It turns out that the Northport Promise is a tuition assistance program for students of local schools, to help them attend Michigan public colleges and universities.  In 2010 seven Northport students received full or partial Northport Promise scholarships, and since the first scholarships were awarded in 2008 the program has provided $71,000 in tuition assistance to local college students.

What a great concept and program!  Kish and I have frequented some of the local businesses supporting the program and have made some donations to the Northport Promise.  It is wonderful to see a local community and local businesses band together, develop their own program to achieve the important goal of providing opportunities to local youth, and then see their plans successfully realized.  It just goes to show that we don’t need government to direct every activity and program, and that well-meaning private citizens who work together can have a real positive impact on their communities.

The Wondrous Sound Of Silence

The quiet of dawn over the Grand Traverse Bay

Kish and I have been staying for a few marvelous days in our friends’ house along the Grand Traverse Bay.  The house is just north of Omena, Michigan.  It is separated from its neighbors by stands of trees to the north, south, and west; to the east stretch the wide and bright waters of the Bay.

The house has a great deck that looks out over the Bay.  It is perfect for a morning cup of coffee or an evening adult beverage.  As we have enjoyed our getaway and reveled in the beautiful view from that deck, we also have reflected on how quiet it is.  The perfect silence has made us realize how much distracting background noise is found in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives.  How pleasant to experience the wondrous silence now and again!

Earths, Everywhere

The Kepler mission, a space observatory designed to examine deep space, has only been operational for six weeks but it already is starting to pay dividends.  The observatory has located 140 suspected Earth-like planets among 700 suspected new planet discoveries.  Previously, telescopes looking outside our solar system have identified only large gas giants.

Scientists need to confirm that the suspected planets are, in fact, planets, but their speculation based on the findings to date is that there may be as many as 100 million habitable planets in the Milky Way galaxy.

Imagine — the possibility of 100 million habitable planets in our galaxy, some of which may have their own life forms.  Increasingly, science fiction is becoming reality.  When will we begin to boldly go where no man has gone before?

Nothing Like a Good Game of Euchre

Well Cathy and I are on a short vacation in Naples Florida visiting our cousin Beth, her husband Craig and mom’s brother Uncle Gilbert (fondly referred to as UG throughout the rest of this blog).

Beth’s brother our cousin Gib also decided to fly in to Naples from Chicago with his family, wife Mary Ann and their two children Haley and Macky.

Cathy was due for time away from her family and some well deserved r & r and since I am semi-retired I was more than happy to accompany her on the trip. So far our days have consisted of lounging around on the beach or by the pool, then dining out for lunch and/or dinner, however the most important part of the vacation is the evening festivities which consist of playing euchre with anyone who is in the mood to play.

As I recall last time we visited Naples I teamed up with UG and we blew through any and all of the competition with an undefeated record. This time UG and I teamed up again and things started out in the same fashion on Friday night as we beat up on Cathy, Beth, Mary Ann and Gibby going undefeated.

I consider UG to be one of the top euchre players in our family not only because he plays his cards well, but as an opponent you have to be prepared and have the mental wherewithal to fight off the constant onslaught of his verbal taunts. One of his favorite’s which is “you are one the best losers I have ever played with”.

Typically UG’s mental game throws my sister Cathy off of her game early and often, but last night she was determined to win and did. Gib and Cathy beat us three games to two, but I guess it’s like they say you can’t win all of the time !

A Movie At The Bay

Yesterday it was overcast and there were intermittent sprinkles, and Kish and I decided to explore Sutton’s Bay, another nearby town.  While there we decided that we had to watch a movie at The Bay, the town’s lone theatre.

The ticket and concession stand at The Bay

Our trip to The Bay — where we watched Inception, which was well worth a second viewing — was like a trip back in time.  We went to a matinee, and the theatre appeared to be a one-man operation.  The same employee sold tickets, popcorn, candy, and soda.  There was only one theatre, and I’d be willing to bet that the metal seats are the originals, although plastic cupholder armrests clearly have been added more recently.  The show consisted of a 1970s-vintage plea for people to throw away their trash, one or two previews, and then the feature.

Our visit to The Bay reminded me of Mom’s descriptions of going to movies when she was a child.  The theatre was within walking distance her neighborhood, one of several storefronts.  The Bay is exactly like that.  I am sure that the other establishments in Sutton’s Bay like having it around.