Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare – John Roberts sides with Liberal Justices and Hand President Obama A Stunning Victory

Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare – John Roberts sides with Liberal Justices and Hand President Obama A Stunning Victory

Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare – John Roberts sides with Liberal Justices and Hand President Obama A Stunning Victory

Chief Justice John Roberts revealed in the final Supreme Court ruling, that he had joined the liberal wing in a 5-4 ruling that the federal government indeed has the power to impose a penalty on those who fail to buy insurance, and that as a whole the law is constitutional.

It was a truly stunning moment for many, especially President Obama; since everyone in Washington and the country had expected the Supreme Court Of The United States (SCOTUS) to issue a narrow 5-4 decision along party lines striking down all or part of the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional.

The man of the hour for this, was actually Chief Justice John Roberts, who determined that the individual mandate was valid since the government could impose it as a tax, not under the Interstate Commerce Clause, as the administration had argued.

Roberts joined the high court’s liberal wing – Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – in upholding the law. Four conservative justices – Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas – dissented.

Full SCOUS release:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-393c3a2.pdf

 

Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare – John Roberts sides with Liberal Justices and Hand President Obama A Stunning Victory

Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare – John Roberts sides with Liberal Justices and Hand President Obama A Stunning Victory

WHO REALLY WON

As to whether the Affordable Care Act will really benefit you, or the country will be left to history to decide.

As you can tell from my article on Healthcare:

https://pusz4frog.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/us-healthcare-costs-in-the-are-rising-disproportionately-compared-to-quality-of-care-what-are-the-options-to-solve-the-problem-for-profit-or-single-payer/

As a solution for America’s healthcare issues, the Affordable Care Act doesn’t really fix the problem, but at least it is a step forward.

This decision by the Supreme Court gives both sides something to work with in this election – spin.

Obama

This is a victory for the President, anyway you look at it. His signature act, has been validated as constitutional, and although the Republicans and their SuperPAC’s have spent hundreds of millions of dollar telling everyone that this act is evil and unconstitutional, SCOTUS cleared it of doubt and will allow it’s implementation in 2014. The evil Kenyan President has been declared constitutional…

Romney

He can now claim that President Obama has raised your taxes, and that on the first day as President he will repeal the Affordable Care Act. OK, he can’t actually do that, since he will need 60% of the Senate to vote to repeal the act, and this election will not allow that to happen. His current new theme this day is ‘Repeal and Replace’ and that Obamacare is a tax increase. Since he doesn’t release any details about how he is going to do anything, Romney will probably not define his ‘replace’ details so nobody will be able to compare and/or criticize it.

Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare – John Roberts sides with Liberal Justices and Hand President Obama A Stunning Victory

Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare – John Roberts sides with Liberal Justices and Hand President Obama A Stunning Victory

HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF

Although the SCOTUS decision on the Affordable Care Act was a surprise with Roberts moving to the liberal side, some of the dissenting judges have a valid point – this decision effectively allows Congress to tell people they must do something, or get taxed.

I don’t see this being a big issue, since Congress is now so divided and useless that they will really never pass many acts that have something like the Individual mandate. This is not the death of freedom in America, but it is something that we all should be aware of and watch Congress carefully on this issue.

President Obama has done something unique, he got a compressive healthcare act passed by Congress, and found Constitutional by the Supreme Court.

He was helped by Chief Justice John Roberts who came up with the ‘it’s a tax’ argument that made the individual mandate constitutional, but I think Roberts sided with the Liberal because he was conscious that his 5-4 Bush election, and the 5-4 Citizens United rulings where votes that will historically be seen as partisan court rulings.

I think Roberts has become aware, that if he wants to have history judge him well, he can’t vote on party lines, but instead he has to focus on the Constitution.

I also think he was smart about it, and gave Romney the Obama is raising your taxes with Obamacare, but I think the American people will see through that one easily.

Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare – John Roberts sides with Liberal Justices and Hand President Obama A Stunning Victory

Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare – John Roberts sides with Liberal Justices and Hand President Obama A Stunning Victory

How Technology is Making High Unemployment a Fact For the New Work Force of Our Future – What You and Our Government Can Do About It

Obama Romney 2012 - How Technology is Making High Unemployment a Fact For the New Work Force of Our Future – What You and Our Government Can Do About It

Obama Romney 2012 – How Technology is Making High Unemployment a Fact For the New Work Force of Our Future – What You and Our Government Can Do About It

The 2012 American election is going to be about one thing – The Economy. Why the economy? Because unemployment is high which mean a lot of people do not have jobs, and this makes everyone nervous with the fear that they will never get a job; or for the employed, that they will become unemployed soon.

So really, the election is about Jobs, and which Candidate/Party can change the situation in a positive way that will give people hope that the can get a job, or keep their job.

The sides are clearly divided; one side is less government, low taxes, the rich will help the poor –  the other side is more government, higher taxes, and wealth redistribution will help the poor.

The fact is that elections are won by the person who has the most money. For this election, this will be the Republicans.

That is cynical you say:

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/11/money-wins-white-house-and.html

In the 2008-2010 elections, 93 percent of House of Representatives races and 94 percent of Senate races; the candidate who spent the most money ended up winning, according to a post-election analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The findings are based on candidates’ spending as reported to the Federal Election Commission.

The Buck Will Not Stop Here

OK, so Romney wins, how will that really affect the economy and jobs? That is a good question, because Romney has yet to actually spell out the details of his economic plan, except to say that it is based on ‘Republican economics principles’.

The U.S. economy has expanded at a healthy clip for most of the last 70 years, but by a wide range of measures, it stagnated in the first decade of the new millennium.

Job growth was essentially zero, and modest job creation from 2003 to 2007 wasn’t enough to make up for two recessions in the decade. Rises in the nation’s economic output, as measured by gross domestic product, was weak. And household net worth, when adjusted for inflation, fell as stock prices stagnated, home prices declined in the second half of the decade and consumer debt skyrocketed.

The below chart shows a definite flattening of job growth curve during the Republican term of George Bush:

Job Growth Chart by President, Since 1950 - How Technology is Making High Unemployment a Fact For the New Work Force of Our Future

Job Growth Chart by President, Since 1950 – How Technology is Making High Unemployment a Fact For the New Work Force of Our Future

The numbers below are the overall jobs growth data for each presidential term from Carter till Obama and based are Bureau of Labor Statistics.

President                Party    Term              Ave. Job Growth for Term
Jimmy Carter           D         1977–1981      +2.30%
Ronald Reagan        R         1981–1985      +1.75%
Ronald Reagan        R         1985–1989      +2.53%
George Bush            R         1989–1993      +0.69%
Bill Clinton                 D         1993–1997      +2.60%
Bill Clinton                 D         1997–2001      +1.60%
George W. Bush       R         2001–2005      +0.51%
George W. Bush       R         2005–2009       -0.84%
Barack Obama         D         2009–2013      +0.75%

The Republican polices of George W. Bush clearly show the lowest and worst job growth numbers since his father. The decade of the 2000’s (The W Bush Decade) shows stunningly low job growth rates, even though the Republican policies of low taxes (Bush Tax Cuts), less government regulation, strong military spending were in full effect:

Job Growth Chart by Decade, Since 1940 - How Technology is Making High Unemployment a Fact For the New Work Force of Our Future

Job Growth Chart by Decade, Since 1940 – How Technology is Making High Unemployment a Fact For the New Work Force of Our Future

The main gist of Romney’s campaign right now is that there have been no jobs created during the Obama administration, except for the public sector (government). The data actually shows significant private sector job growth, and declining public sector job growth:

Private and Public Sector Job Growth Chart - How Technology is Making High Unemployment a Fact For the New Work Force of Our Future

Private and Public Sector Job Growth Chart – How Technology is Making High Unemployment a Fact For the New Work Force of Our Future

Damn Commies

The Republicans are positioning themselves against the Democrats by stating that Obamas policies are ‘Socialist’ and are destroying job growth in the USA.

The Facts say something else:

654,000: The net gain in jobs since the national job number hit a 10-year low of 129.6 million in December 2009, seasonally adjusted.

54.2 million: The number of jobs created during the nearly 30 years in which Democrats have held the presidency, beginning with President Truman in April 1945. (Comparable BLS data is not available for full presidencies before then.)

34.6 million: The number of jobs created during the 36 years in which Republicans have controlled the White House during the same time period.

4.3 million: The jobs created since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009. More than the 8 years that George W. Bush was in office.

1.1 million: The number of jobs gained under President George W. Bush, the smallest job growth for any president completing at least one term. The seasonally adjusted jobs number fell in each of Bush’s last 12 months in office as 4.4 million jobs were lost.

22.7 million: The number of jobs gained under President Clinton, the biggest job growth of any president.

This chart shows how job growth experienced it worst decline ever as the Bush/Republican policies achieved full effect:

Private Sector Job Growth Chart for Bush and Obama - How Technology is Making High Unemployment a Fact For the New Work Force of Our Future

Private Sector Job Growth Chart for Bush and Obama – How Technology is Making High Unemployment a Fact For the New Work Force of Our Future

The Obama/Democrats policies clearly had a positive effect on job growth, even though we still have traditionally high unemployment:

Unemployment since 1950 - How Technology is Making High Unemployment a Fact For the New Work Force of Our Future

Unemployment since 1950 – How Technology is Making High Unemployment a Fact For the New Work Force of Our Future

Job Creation in the 2000’s flattened out, one of the lowest in history, and now unemployment number are coming down at the slowest pace ever recorded after a recession.

The question: Is the flat job growth, and slowly declining unemployment number related to the economic policies of our government who has been purchased by the 1% percent and the corporations, or is it something else?

Flat Top

There are many factors related to the question of why job growth has flattened in the last decade, and why employment is taking too long to recover from the recession.

I think one of the most over looked and least discussed factor is the effect that technology has had in our society and economy.

How Technology is Making High Unemployment a Fact For the New Work Force of Our Future

How Technology is Making High Unemployment a Fact For the New Work Force of Our Future

The current conventional thought on technology is that even though technological change may adversely effect the demand for labor in some industries, the overall effect of technological change on total employment may be positive.

Technological change tends to increase the rate of economic growth. Higher rates of economic growth are generally associated with lower unemployment rates.

“Okun’s law,” states that this relationship between changes in the rate of economic growth and the change in the unemployment rate. It says that a 1% increase in the rate of economic growth lowers the unemployment rate by 0.3%. While there is some doubt about the exact magnitude of this effect, there is substantial evidence that unemployment rates tend to fall when the rate of economic growth is higher.
Basically, the jobs created by the economic growth provided by new technology, will off-set the job loses created by the new efficiency and productivity that a new technology will provide.

The question of whether the widespread use of computers in the workplace has enhanced productivity, is an important debate. Preliminary studies suggested that the introduction of computers had no significant effect on productivity. More recent studies have generated mixed results.

It is fairly clear, though, that the widespread introduction of computers has, to date, had a less dramatic effect on productivity and economic growth than resulted from the widespread introduction of such earlier innovations as the steam engine, electricity, and the internal combustion engine.

I think that this train of thought about technology is missing and important point.

How has the technology changed society and the way business functions?

Remote Control

Recently I have discovered through my own work experience in the last year, the real effect of technology on jobs – and why they are not coming back.

20 years ago, in order to run a small service business, you needed 10 employees and a building for them to work out of and meet.

10 years ago, you would need 5 employees, and a building to work out of and meet.

Now, you could run the same business with 2 people, and work out of their homes.

Actually, this is exactly what a growing number of people are doing. They work from home. They find work as a small business, with a website as their business face, and they cruse other websites and Craigslist in search of work.

Many small businesses run with a minimum of people, often spread over the country, working out of their homes.

This way of running a small business is due to the technological advances such as VOIP telephone, video conferencing, internet, payroll and accounting service now provided by you bank and a whole host of other innovations.

For years it has been said that small business power job growth. Well, then if that it true, no wonder job creation has flattened out and slowed in the last decade.

Small businesses are not hiring the numbers of people as they did in the past, and they are not renting small offices like they used to, which is why industrial real estate is so bad.

This does not mean small businesses are not hiring people, but as more and more small businesses become more virtual, then the less people they will need to hire.

There is only so much business to go around, small business can now run very lean, which means there are more of them, but they need significantly less staff with the technology now at hand.

So What to Do About It?

Here are some things that America and it’s people can do about jobs in the new and efficient 2010’s:

1) Create manufacturing jobs for workers who need they type of job, by sticking tariffs on imported goods from countries that have tariffs on our products (like China)

2) Train yourself in the basic computers skills and technologies: Office suite, teleconferencing, basic networking, VOIP, accounting software, website technologies like WordPress and mobile technologies and apps.

3) America needs to find a way to make higher education affordable again. Students are having to take on a mortgage in order to get a basic university education, and there is no really good reason for this high cost.

4) Vote this election.

Good Luck America!!!

Here is the chart the Republicans and Romney don’t want anyone to see or think about:

Causes Of Deficits - How Technology is Making High Unemployment a Fact For the New Work Force of Our Future

Causes Of Deficits – How Technology is Making High Unemployment a Fact For the New Work Force of Our Future

1% Romney the Job Creator - How Technology is Making High Unemployment a Fact For the New Work Force of Our Future

Top Boston University Economist Laurence Kotlikoff says the U.S. Is Bankrupt and should double taxes

Top Boston University Economist Laurence Kotlikoff says the U.S. Is Bankrupt and should double taxes

Top Boston University Economist Laurence Kotlikoff says the U.S. Is Bankrupt and should double taxes

The day after I posted my ‘The US Economic Crisis – Spending, Debt and Possible Solutions’ blog post:

https://pusz4frog.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/the-us-economic-crisis-%e2%80%93-spending-debt-and-possible-solutions/

Bloomberg published and article by top Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff titled ‘U.S. Is Bankrupt and We Don’t Even Know It’:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-11/u-s-is-bankrupt-and-we-don-t-even-know-commentary-by-laurence-kotlikoff.html

Let me tell you, it is a real downer of an article, since it basically summarized the blog post I had made the day earlier:

We are screwed because there is simply no way to balance the US budget and pay off the national debt, without doubling everyone’s taxes, and even then it would take a couple of decades.

It is nice to know that a top economist and Bloomberg basically said the samething I did, but I would much rather that our country didn’t have the problem in the first place.

The article basically provided the following ‘good news’:

‘What it [USA] can and must do is radically simplify its tax, health-care, retirement and financial systems, each of which is a complete mess. But this is the good news. It means they can each be redesigned to achieve their legitimate purposes at much lower cost and, in the process, revitalize the economy.”

It might sound like ‘good news’ but it is missing a key ingredient – politicians in congress with enough balls to put the betterment of the country ahead of the corporate interests that paid for them to win the election, the party politics, own self-interests and thier own fear that if they do anything all about anything – they might not win re-election.

We need some politicians who will make the tough decisions to:

1) Limit the payments of the ponzi scheme known as Social Security, and actually reduce them. This will mean the people who paid in will get screwed, but it means their children and grand children will be better off. I just don’t think the selfish baby boomer’s will care, and will whine like babies and threaten to riot in the streets, which will scare the pussy politician in to not doing it.

2) Scale back the US role as the police force of the world. The $678 billion US military budget is larger then all the other countries (on the planet) combined military budgets. It is ridiculous that we spend so much money on our military.

3) Significantly raise taxes over a period of years, till the cuts in Social Security and the military reach a point where the budget is balanced and we can start paying off our nation debt.

See, it really is simple. Right?

Good Luck again people.

The US Economic Crisis – Spending, Debt and Possible Solutions

 

The US Economic Crisis – Spending, Debt and Possible Solutions

The US Economic Crisis – Spending, Debt and Possible Solutions

For the last couple of months, I have actually had to work, not only work to pay the bills but interesting work on doing research for an author friend’s upcoming book on the US economy.

In doing this research, I got to collect a lot of data on the US economy. I can tell you that it will scare you more then watching Paul Volcker getting brutally stabbed to death in a back alley of some Washington DC suburb.

The US economy (or any economy for that matter) is a very complex thing, and for people like me or politician trying to reduce it down to a simple statement doesn’t do it justice. I am writing this to simply summarize what I know about it, and try to set down my questions and look at some possible solutions.

I am writing this to try to bring some awareness to the issues that we are facing concerning our economy and our National Budget Deficit and National Debt.

Just the facts, ma’am

The Federal Government Debt is all the money that our government has borrowed from banks and other countries that it has not paid back. Everyday we pay some of the debt back, and everyday we borrow more money.

Today, our Total Federal Debt is: $13.2 trillion

You can find the actual number here: http://www.usdebtclock.org/

For a point of reference, in 2000, our Total Federal Debt was: $5.6 trillion

You can find the history of our Federal Government debt (or US National Debt as it is also referred to) here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USDebt.png

US National Debt Chart - The US Economic Crisis – Spending, Debt and Possible Solutions

US National Debt Chart - The US Economic Crisis – Spending, Debt and Possible Solutions

$13.2 Trillion Dollars is what we as a Government owes the world.

It comes out to about $120,000 per taxpayer (there are only 101 million of us). If you want to feel better, you can simply say that it is $42,000 for every citizen of this country.

Every year, our Total Federal Debt goes up – why?

Living Like The Middle Class

Every year our government spends more then it gets in revenue – I simply call this ‘living like the middle class’.

Our Government gets money in the form of taxes, and this year it will receive $2.2 trillion of tax income.

If our government stopped spending any money, it would take it 6 years to pay off the Total Federal Debt our annual tax revenue didn’t change from the current level.

So, our government gets $2.2 trillion in revenue this year.

The problem is that our government will spend $3.5 trillion, which means we will have to borrow another paltry $1.3 trillion dollars to cover the difference.

So, next year, our Total Federal Debt will grow from $13.2 Trillion to $14.5 Trillion.

US Budget Deficit Chart - The US Economic Crisis – Spending, Debt and Possible Solutions

US Budget Decficit Chart - The US Economic Crisis – Spending, Debt and Possible Solutions

Bulk Bins

$3.5 trillion is a lot of money – so what the hell do we spend it all on?

The following are the big four items of our budget (these are the items that both moderate Republicans and Democrats say we can’t cut/touch):

Medicare/Medicaid

$785 billion

Social Security

$691 billion

Military

$676 billion

Interest Debt

$198 billion

Big Four Total = $2.35 trillion

That’s interesting; the big four actually cost more then all the tax revenue that the government gets from taxes.

In surveys of Americans (Republicans, tea party, conservatives, liberals right, left and Democrats) – most of them agree that we can not cut the big four.

But our government is actually going to spend an additional $1.15 trillion beyond the Big Four.

This includes: Education, science, transportation, pensions, earmarks (only a trivial $17 billion), and the cost of running the government.

So what have we learned here? Well, if you want to reduce the government to nothing more then Medicare, Social Security, the military and the obligatory interest payment on our debt – we still will need to borrow money.

Hare-brained

Let’s make an assumption based on what economists from around the world all agree on:

The Federal Deficit and National Debt is a BAD thing, and will damage an economy.

For this article, let’s just leave it at this assumption.

For more info on the effects of the Deficit, see this Congressional Budget Office (CBO) article ‘Federal Debt and the Risk of a Fiscal Crisis’:

http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=11659

So, when Republicans say lower taxes and make government smaller, and Democrats say lets raise taxes to pay for the programs – I want to pull my hair out!!!!

None of it can possibly work. Our debt is too big, and year after year our budgets are much bigger then the tax base could ever be.

I mean, we would have to double our tax income to meet the current budgets and have a little left over to pay off a small faction of our National Debt!!

Doubling taxes would simply cause rioting in the streets and destroy our country and economy, so that isn’t going to happen. It is not a solution even though it would work to balance the budget and start to pay off the National Debt – the sacrifice would be too much for the current US population.

OK, we could try cutting our budget in half. That would allow for a budget that the tax income would cover, and leave about $500 billion to go for paying of the Debt (which at that rate would take 26 years to pay off).

The problem is that even with this solution, we would be taking $1.79 trillion out of the economy in the form of salaries, government purchase of services and product, medical, welfare and education, etc. The result would be a significant lowering of tax revenue, and a crashing of the economy that would probably result in the tax income being less then the halved budget – which would be the same situation that we are currently in.

So, the extreme one sided solutions – only raising taxes significantly, or only cutting the budget significantly would create such social and economic unrest; that it would result in a much worse situation for all.

Treadmill from Hell

It seems that economically we are on a treadmill from Hell – it is though we will never be able to pay off our debt, and if we try our economy would suffer in the short term.

The deficit is another thing, for a brief time during the Clinton administration, the economy was doing OK and the government actually had a surplus of money that could be used for paying down the National Debt.

Then George Bush came along and spent the surplus and doubled our National Debt. Add to that the incompetence/greed in the financial sector and the government oversight; and in 2008 a new President was dealing with a US economic melt down. Obama decided to solve the problem by throwing a lot of money at it, and increasing both the Federal Deficit and National Debt.

History will judge whether throwing money at the financial crisis was really the best course of action, but I can say the direction things were going was really bad, and now the economy is somewhat stable and not bleeding all over the place.

The problem is that people are scared, and with unemployment near 10%, consumers are saving their money instead of spending it.

The bad part of that is that the state governments, who get much of their income from sales taxes, are suffering and asking the Federal Government to help them – which the feds do by increasing our National Debt.

Are There Any Solutions?

No, not in our lifetimes. Sorry.

I think the problem is now too big to be solved without changing the fabric of American life, and I don’t believe that Americans are willing to make such a sacrifice.

We have been trained to be the manipulated spending machine of the multi-national corporations. I mean seriously, American’s main social activity is to go shopping.

The real solution is to lower the standard of living by slashing the federal budget by 50% and freezing it at that level until the National Debt is paid off, increase taxes by 50%, let the economy hit bottom, deal with 20%+ unemployment and starving homeless people, balance the budget, pay off the National Debt, then start rebuilding the economy by slowly lowering taxes while maintaining a balanced budget. Probably could return America’s standard of living to something close to what we currently have in say…20-30 years.

Nope, Americans would not choose this path – it would involve making a sacrifice so our children could have a better life. The corporations would not allow us to make this choice, since it would result in their bottom lines being lowered.

So what can we do?

1) LOL when a politician says that they are going to cut taxes significantly and that will solve our economic situation, then vote for someone else

2) LOL when a politician says that they are going to cut government spending and that will solve our economic situation, then vote for someone else

3) If you are going to vote, find out which corporations are sponsoring which politician, then vote for one’s that are not sponsored by a corporation (if you can find one) then vote for them

4) Live your life simply. Pay off your debt, reduce spending and save money, you will need it later when our economy collapses under the weight of our National Debt

5) Go solar if you can – when our electric grid collapses from cyber attacks, lack of maintenance and/or increased demand from global climate change – you will still have some electricity

6) If you believe that America must cut the budget significantly and raise taxes significantly in order to make a secure future for it’s children – run for office on that platform and vote for people who do the same

7) If you believe that we can solve our economic problems, have a balanced budget and not have to raise taxes – go to the mall and spend all your money; and then borrow money in order to spend more – and see if that works

8 ) Wait for the economy to slowly improve (not a certainty) and reduce the Federal Budget slightly and raise taxes slightly and hope to have a balanced budget in the next 4-5 years. Then find a way to then increase taxes a little more to start slowly paying off some of the National debt

9) Go to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) website and educate yourself on our Budget and National Debt: http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=11579

10) Pray

Below is the best case and worst case scenario for the Budget/Debt situation.

Good Luck.

Revenue Spending CBO Projections

Revenue Spending CBO Projection

Great BP Oil Leak of 2010 – Threatening the World with Oil – Oil Slick moving toward Florida Keys!!

Great BP Oil Leak of 2010 - Treatening the World with Oil - Oil Slick moving toward Florida Keys!!

Great BP Oil Leak of 2010 - Threatening the World with Oil - Oil Slick moving toward Florida Keys!!

Well, it has been about a month since my last posting about Paul Murad and his campaign for Lt. Gov of Nevada – www.paulmurad.com

Sorry, but I was traveling on business, and just really didn’t have time for it. Hopefully this month I can post 2-4 times. We will see 😉

So, I have been reading about the ‘Great BP Oil Leak of 2010’ and it is so sad and frightening. I remember Paul Murad saying why it is so important to get off oil, and this tragedy came along to help hammer the point home.

Even more dramatic, is President Obama allowing off shore drilling to start a few months before. Now that is what I call egg on the face. Still, the Prez didn’t get as much on the face as Palin and the ‘Drill Babe, Drill’ Republican TeaBaggers.

The real tragedy is not the politics or the money – it is the people and animals lives that are affected by this. A great loss of life and nature for all of mankind, with the oil on beaches, dead fish and low oxygen dead zones near the slick.

This morning, I saw an article in the New York Times that examines the prospect that oil from the gulf spill could reach the so-called loop current, which could carry it into the Florida Keys and the Atlantic Ocean.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/18/us/18spill.html?scp=1&sq=broder%20and%20loop%20current&st=cse

Satellite image at the top of this blog entry sheds some light on the trajectory of the oil and the current. It shows the oil spill from space and the oil slick is clearly outlined. Using an array of sensors, these satellites detect the spectral reflection of the ocean, allowing a wide variety of observations on things like water temperature and surface features like the oil spill.

The long tail of oil being dragged away from the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig by ocean currents is moving toward Fla. Responsible for the current is a giant eddy, also known as a cyclone, about 150 miles wide from east to west. It has spun off the much larger loop current, a powerful and unpredictable ocean feature that transports warm water in a clockwise motion from the Yucatán Peninsula into the northern Gulf of Mexico, then south to the Florida Keys and out into the Atlantic.

It seems that nobody knows the thickness of the oil in the tail, but Federal officials have characterized it as a light sheen, while some independent scientists say they believe it is considerably thicker. I would bet on the scientists over the Fed’s. The fact that the tail of oil is easily visible from space is one indication that it may be thicker than a light sheen.

Our oceans are all ready in big trouble.  Oil spills, plastic clouds, oxygen dead zones, over fishing and fertilizer pollution is really setting us up for some big problems in the future. Lack of food being number 1, followed by global climate change.

Want to help?

Give to the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund:

www.gnof.org

The top image shows the spill, upper left, in relation to the loop current on May 6-7.

The below image shows the spill on Monday, with a long tongue of oil snaking out to sea.

Great BP Oil Leak of 2010 - Treatening the World with Oil - Oil Slick moving toward Florida Keys!!

Great BP Oil Leak of 2010 - Threatening the World with Oil - Oil Slick moving toward Florida Keys!!

All images by Chuanmin Hu of the Institute for Optical Oceanography at the University of South Florida:

http://optics.marine.usf.edu/events/GOM_rigfire/

Great BP Oil Leak of 2010 - Treatening the World with Oil - Oil Slick moving toward Florida Keys!!

Great BP Oil Leak of 2010 - Threatening the World with Oil - Oil Slick moving toward Florida Keys!!

Obama extends first time home buyer tax credit

Obama extends first time home buyer tax credit

Obama extends first time home buyer tax credit

Well, it looks like if you are dreaming of owning a home in the next few months (Yes, I am 😉 then there is some heartening news for home buyers who want to get the $8,000 tax credit from the federal government stimulus package, but are running out of time in closing the deal by Nov. 30.

Trying to create more of an incentive for home buyers, the senate agreed Wednesday to expand and extend the tax credit till June 30, 2010 Trying to create more of an incentive for home buyers and to spur home buying, the Senate unanimously agreed Wednesday to extend and expand the termination of home buyer tax credit into spring.

President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill today. Like the current phase of the government’s homebuyer tax-credit program, only first-time purchasers were eligible for up to $8,000 in tax credits.

The new bill extends that to April 30, 2010 for have purchase agreements signed, and those sales must close on their new property by June 30. It also gives an opportunity of up to $6,500 tax credit for homebuyers who have lived in their current homes for at least five years, but are now buying a new one.

The credit facility would be extended for another year, until June 30, 2011, for members of the military serving outside the United States for at least 90 days.

Now although this may not apply to most of us, those who qualify for the incentive are people with an annual income of up to $125,000 or couples earning $250,000 which is an increase from $75,000 and $150,000, respectively, from the current tax credit.  However, the credit can only be used for the purchase of homes that cost $800,000 or less and not for to vacation or second homes.

A Republican Senator from Georgiam Johnny Isakson, states that the consumers need to take advantage of the credit while it lasts.

“This is the last extension of the home buyer tax credit, and I urge all Americans whether they’re first-time buyers who’ve always dreamed of having a home of their own or someone who’s been gridlocked in the failure of our move-up market to take advantage of this opportunity,” he added.

Also, the fact is that we the tax payers are paying for it, so you can bet I am going to try to take advantage of it before it ends.

Obama extends first time home buyer tax credit

Needed: Obama extends first time home buyer tax credit