Monday, January 28, 2008

Senator Obama discusses making a mark on history

So Barack Obama had a big day, Caroline Kennedy announced that she is inspired by the first term Senator from Illinois, and then Senator Kennedy announced he would be endorsing him for President...I had a moment prior to the SOTU response in flight to ask him what this endorsement means to his run.
"There is nothing we cannot do if the American people decide it is time. There is a moment in the life of every generation, if it is to make its mark on history, its spirit has to come through. This is our moment."
*hat tip to smays for the picture

unqualified predictions

Lot's of people have made predictions and cast aspersions about what motivated Governor Blunt's recent announcement that he won't seek re-election and I can't resist chiming in.
Governor Blunt will be the Republican Vice Presidential nominee, picked up by Romney after super Tuesday secures Romney as the Republican nominee.

Or maybe not...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

When the rubber meets the road

Anyone else find it interesting that for years the Democrats and Republicans fight over what the Democrats pejoratively refer to as “tax cuts for the rich” but when the economy looks like it is ACTUALLY in trouble, suddenly the Dems and Republicans are on the same page?
If the Democrats truly believe in principle what they have been claiming in their rhetoric over the past few years, now would be the time for them to say, “see---America can’t afford the tax cuts and we should immediately raise taxes in order to provide the services that the poorest among us so desperately need.”
But that’s not at all what they are saying, is it? Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are meeting with President Bush to discuss “stimulus” packages that will try to stave off the falling dollar, the falling Dow and the plummeting consumer confidence. What’s their stimulating idea? TAX CUTS! Of course, they won't allow a tax cut without increased spending on Medicaid, food stamps and unemployment benefits because rhetorically they've backed themselves into a corner: if tax cuts are a handout to "the rich" then they must also give a hand out to the poor via increased spending on their preferred government programs.
This is exactly why people distrust politicians, if the Democrats have spent approximately 7 years railing against Bush’s tax cuts---then why on earth are they advocating cutting taxes now? Because the dirty secret is that they never believed what they were saying and when the rubber meets the road and we face an actual possible economic downturn that will taint the coming election, suddenly the Democrats are on board with putting more of our money in our pockets as long as they get to look like they are helping the poor.
A simplified tax structure that doesn’t penalize investment or savings and encourages growth and entrepreneurial endeavors would do more to make the markets calm down than another rebate or tax credit….but if they want to send me a bipartisan check for $800-1600 dollars, I will take it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I choose to be an optimist

I am not naturally an optimist…I’m not necessarily a “glass is half empty guy” so much as a “Where did this glass come from? Do I have to use this glass? And how come my glass has less than some peoples but more than others?” guy…

I have read a boat load of positive mental attitude books---boat load is probably inaccurate, let’s say 5, (it’s a small boat). Each one of them agrees: much of life---your measurement of success, what you prioritize as most important, and what you are able to achieve hinges on your ability to have a positive attitude, to be an optimist in the face of adversity, to overcome obstacles.

I believe that you can make a conscious decision to choose to be an optimist if you are not naturally inclined that way.

"People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Abraham Lincoln

“The optimist sees opportunity in every danger; the pessimist sees danger in every opportunity." Winston Churchill

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

It's not a pyramid scheme, per se...

I like that women get together and “host parties” for each other where they invite people that they are marginally friends with and then a third party pressures them into buying overpriced tchotchke’s, or overpriced kitchen utensils, or overpriced makeup, or overpriced ____, and then the third party gets a small commission and the hostess gets a trinket for her trouble…I have an even better idea: cut out all the extra ordering and buying stuff and exchanging checks for inventory and make it a pure wealth redistribution system…you can have a group of friends, (12 total would be ideal) and then each month you could have one party at one of the member’s homes. The host/hostess would be responsible for planning the activities, the food, the drink, the theme etc…each of the group member’s brings $20 to the party in an envelope. At the end of the party, the host/hostess gets the money.

I know what you’re thinking: “Darin, if I pay 20 dollars a month for 11 months of attending these parties then I pay in exactly the same amount that I get out when I host the party…”

That is true but think: going out with your friends, having a meal or hors devours and drinks, etc…that’s worth 20 bucks right? And one month, when you host it, instead of paying 20 bucks, you walk away with an envelope with $220 cash in it! Who couldn’t use an extra 220 every once in a while?

OK, now tell me why my idea sucks…

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Koan of the week: Muddy Road

Two monks, Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was falling.
Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.
"Come on, girl" said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.

Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. "We monks don't go near females," he told Tanzan, "especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?"
"I left the girl there," said Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?"