Monday, January 31, 2011

Newt Gingrich... (*SIGH*)


Well, folks, more evidence highlighted in today's WSJ buttressing my fear that Newt Gingrich has "gone rogue."

Quoting:

The former Speaker blew through Des Moines last Tuesday for the Renewable Fuels Association summit, and his keynote speech to the ethanol lobby was as pious a tribute to the fuel made from corn and tax dollars as we've ever heard.

Mr. Gingrich explained that "the big-city attacks" on ethanol subsidies are really attempts to deny prosperity to rural America, adding that "Obviously big urban newspapers want to kill it because it's working, and you wonder, 'What are their values?'"

Ah, Newt... why'd ya have to do it...?

Bad enough you supported TARP... bad enough you "accepted" the supposed "necessity" of some government bailouts... but ethanol...? Really...???

Quoting:

Given that Mr. Gingrich aspires to be President, his ethanol lobbying raises larger questions about his convictions and judgment.

Nope. No more "questions." Gingrich has - unfortunately - just given us the answer.

Newt Gingrich has now officially "Jumped the Shark" as far as I'm concerned.

Ethanol is a litmus test. Period. Support for "corn ethanol" subsidies is simply beyond the pale.

Quoting:

In his Iowa speak-power-to-truth lecture, [Gingrich] even suggested that the government should mandate that all new cars in the U.S. be flex-fuel vehicles - meaning those that can run on an ethanol-gas mix as high as 85% - as if King Corn were in any danger of being deposed.

(*SIGH*)

Quoting:

[F]lex-fuel cars when they get 25% to 30% fewer miles per gallon with E85, according to Energy Department data.

(*SIGH*)

Quoting:

Some pandering is inevitable in presidential politics, but, befitting a college professor, Mr. Gingrich insists on portraying his low vote-buying as high "intellectual" policy. This doesn't bode well for his judgment as a president. Even Al Gore now admits that the only reason he supported ethanol in 2000 was to goose his presidential prospects, and the only difference now between Al and Newt is that Al admits he was wrong.

Folks... the only thing I can say is... "The King is dead - let's bury the son of a bitch."

Barker's Newsbites: Monday, January 31, 2011


Not only one of my favorite songs of all time...

(*PAUSE*)

...but very apropos considering what's heading our way!

AGAIN...!!!

Global "warming," huh? Huh! Huh...?!?!?

(*SHAKING MY HEAD IN DISGUST*)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weekend Newsbites: Sat. & Sun., Jan. 29 & 30, 2011


I just sent an email to Shirley Temple!

Why...???

Because this song was swimming around in my brain this morning.

(I don't know why... no conscious memory of hearing the song played on TV or radio...)

Anyway, I basically told Ms. Temple (Black) that it would be good for her and good for the nation if she were to increase her public visibility.

Why...???

Well, to those who know their American history and American film history, you'll no doubt be aware that Shirley Temple's films were a real morale booster to an American Public caught in the midst of the Great Depression.

In my opinion, the remaining "Great Stars" from those days who are still with us can still provide a measure of comfort to America today.

Did you know that Shirley Temple (Black) is only in her 80's? (She was born on April 23, 1928.)

I wasn't able to find anything about her current state of health, but as I wrote to her, my Aunt Ruth is still kick'n like a Rockette at 91... the Great Maureen O'Hara is still going strong at 90... and, hell, tomorrow night the Great Ernest Borgnine with be receiving the 47th Annual Life Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild!

All I know is that when I see the great actors - those people whom I grew up watching on TV as a child... the people whose movies and public persona's helped to assimilate me into the American I am today - still playing a role on the public stage it gives me hope that... well... that there's still an America worth fighting for.

Sentimental? Me...??? Yep. You bet.

And proud of it...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Unfrigg'nbelievable...


(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)

How's this for convoluted "logic," folks...

"In 2010, Obama announced a three-year freeze on certain discretionary spending. He now proposes to extend that freeze for another two years, for net additional savings of $15 billion annually."

(*HEADACHE*)

Folks... does anyone besides me know what a "freeze" is?

How does a FREEZE create "savings" - let alone "additional savings...???"

Say my vacation budget for last year was $4,500.

Say I "freeze" that budget at the same $4,500. for this year and stick to it.

How have I "saved" one frigg'n red cent...?!?!

Is it me...?!?!

N*gger This, N*gger That...


I don't wanna get my blog taken down by the blog host so I'm showing... er... "discretion"... with the title of this post.

I was just outside chipping away the remaining ice under and around Hank so that after the big snowstorm I'll be able to get into the car without falling on my ass and also so that Hank can get out to the street with no trouble tomorrow.

For the second day in a row some damned fool across the street is blasting explicit rap music with his windows open to "entertain" the neighborhood.

Yep... N*gger this... N*gger that...

Ho this... Ho that...


...and so on and so forth.

(*SMIRK*)

What the frig is wrong with people...?!?!

"People." I use the word loosely...

Hey, folks... before anyone goes off on me for my "racist" statement or "tone," let me remind you... I haven't identified the race of the... er... "offender."

So as not to leave anyone in suspense, we are in fact talking about a guy... a black guy.

(I caught a glimpse of the guy gazing out his window yesterday - yesterday when my ears were first assaulted by this... er... anti-social "urban poetry." When the guy caught me looking up and staring at him yesterday, though, he had the common decency to turn down the volume so that he was no longer "serenading" me and random passersby.)

(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)

Hey... my point in even bringing up "ethnicity" is to preface that if we were talking about the heir to the god-damned British Throne - or a Nordic princess - I'd be just as pissed off and disgusted.

(When I say "I use the term people loosely" I'm referring to behavior - not color... not ethnicity... not religion...)

I haven't called the cops yet. Hopefully it won't come to that. I did address the issue with a representative of our development's management company. We'll see what happens.

Why not simple "handle" it myself? Age and maturity. Also... quite frankly... I'm worried about retaliatory vandalism to Hank if the guy is as unstable as a love of such music indicates to me he might be.

Still... if it happens again after today... I'm gonna take my chances and say something.

You've gotta nip this sort of crap in the bud. Period.

Barker's Newsbites: Wednesday, January 26, 2011


You're gonna LUV today's newsbites theme video!

Yeah, yeah... it's from May 2010, but give me a break - I just stumbled upon it today!

(*GRIN*)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

God Bless Michele Bachmann


Wow...

I mean... WOW...!!!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

First off, let me say that I have yet to watch President Obama's SOTUA.

A confession: Rather than watch the President's speech tonight... (*PAUSE*)... I was at the movies watching "The King's Speech."

(Hey... what can I tell you... Tuesday is "bargain night" - all seats $6.25)

On the drive home I started to listen to the President's speech but almost immediately thought better of coming in at the middle while also missing the visual context. Rest assured, I'll watch the speech tomorrow morning... and then comment.

I arrived home in time to catch the President's autograph tour as he was leaving the Capital Building...

Both Sinatra and Elvis knew better than to get caught up in "post show" mob scenes...

I did watch Paul Ryan's official GOP response to the Presidential Address.

(*PAUSE*)

Ryan did fine. He came across as a bit stiff, but the message definitely came through that he and the GOP have got the message regarding the deficit and ever-expanding national debt.

And then...

(*DRUM ROLL PLEASE*)

There was Michele Bachmann.

Com'on, folks... grand slam home run over the wall into the parking lot...

(*TRIGGER CAR ALARM*)

The charts...

The specificity...

The dead on honest analysis...

I've gotta say, folks... I couldn't have done better myself!

Not that Many People Watch CNN, but...


I watch CNN once in awhile. Not often... but once in awhile.

Indeed, I'll be tuning to CNN after tonight's SOTU Address; apparently (according to Rush Limbaugh) CNN is the only television news outlet planning to carry Michele Bachman's "Tea Party" response to the presidential address, which the Minnesota Congresswoman will be delivering live directly following Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan's official GOP response.

(But back to CNN and why I rarely lend them my viewership...)

This morning "Hank" had to see the "doctor." (Turns out he needs a new power steering pump; on order; warranty work.)

While waiting for Hank to be seen and examined I hung out in the customer waiting area reading my book while the TV played in the background.

My ears perked up when I heard one of the CNN anchors babbling about ObamaCare.

Next thing you know I'm just shaking my head muttering "frigg'n liar" as the CNN spinmeister "explained" that yes... "according to the CBO, ObamaCare is a federal budget boon."

(*SNORT*)

Well, folks... I just came upon a typically reasonable and informative op-ed by Gov. Pete DuPont which originally ran in yesterday's Wall Street Journal.

Allow me to highlight some key facts which have been highlighted ad nauseum here at Barker's Newsbites but which apparently bear repeating:

Excerpting from Gov. DuPont's op-ed... "The bill contains 10 years of higher taxes - on earned and investment income beginning in 2013 - to fund only six years of subsidies. It double-counts $398 billion of Medicare savings and adds 32 million more people to government health-care coverage, while claiming implausibly to reduce the federal deficit at the same time."

You want more...? O.K.!

Continuing to excerpt... "[ObamaCare's] projections are false: The Medicare actuary says 375,000 people should have already signed up for the new high risk pools for the uninsured, but only 8,000 have. In the state of New Hampshire the government has spent nearly double the $650,000 that the federal government allotted to help run the program, and yet only about 80 members have signed up for the program. In a recent survey by the Physicians Foundation, 60% of private practice doctors say the law will force them to close their practices or restrict them to certain patients."

Now I already knew all this prior to reading DuPont's op-ed.

Most of you reading this will find the examples cited familiar.

These truths and many others have been highlighted time and time again via my Newsbites.

Are we really to believe that CNN - the "original" American cable news network and still the one you're most likely to find being broadcast abroad as "American news" - is unaware of real truth concerning ObamaCare's flawed cost projections...???

I think not.

Do you suppose news of all the various ObamaCare waivers has somehow escaped the notice of the fine folks at CNN? (It's a safe bet that these waivers - 222 so far; 1.5 million individuals exempted - effect cost/savings projections made prior to the waivers being granted... right...???)

Folks... sorry if some of you feel I'm beating a dead horse here... but it can't be overstated how biased and indeed corrupt large segments of the mainstream media are. You know damned well that the anchor I saw lying about ObamaCare's costs (supposed "savings") knew damn well he was lying. He just didn't care. To many people... many powerful people in positions of influence and authority... the ends will always justify the means.

Keep on tuning in to Barker's Newsbites, folks!

I'm here for you... and I won't lie to you.

Barker's Newsbites: Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I say bring back the ol' Variety Show format!

("Glee" my frigg'n ass...)

(*GRUMBLE*) (*GRUMBLE*) (*GRUMBLE*) (*SPIT*)

Different Day; Same Obama


It never ceases to amaze me how many stupid, easily manipulated fools there are out there.

I typically employ the word "ignorant" to describe the average member of the herd, but when you really think about it, unless the person has some sort of actual learning disability, you've simply got to face the fact that someone who is ignorant in this day and age is... well... stupid.

(*SHRUG*)

Obama's polls are on the upswing. Why? Stupidity.

President Obama is the same guy today that he was yesterday. He's the same guy today who he was last week, last month, last year.

President Obama is no "centrist," no "moderate." He's a Leftist.

You folks read my newsbites. (Well... at least a few of you read them regularly; others tune in perhaps two or three times a week.) Have you noticed any "pivots to the Right" in terms of fundamental policy coming out of Obama's White House? I haven't.

Yet listen to the network anchors and the rest of the liberal mainstream media! Obama has apparently "been moving towards the center - moderating his views."

Funny... I see no evidence to support such an analysis and I read, watch, listen to, and analyze the news and current events to the nth degree day in and day out.

Most Americans long to think the best of the occupant of the Oval Office - whomever he is.

Heck... I myself overestimated the intelligence and integrity of "candidate" Obama back in 2007 and 2008; I myself bought in to - at least to a certain extent - the portrayal of then-Senator Obama as the candidate of "hope" and "change." I enthusiastically supported him over "the devil I knew" - Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Clinton machine - and on Election Day 2008 I pulled the lever for Bob Barr rather than lend my support to self-serving, phony, back-stabbing John McCain.

(I actually had more faith in Barak Obama's basic integrity than in John McCain's...)

Well, folks... it's been two years... Barak Obama is certainly not the man I thought he was.

Am I sorry I voted for Barr over McCain? No. McCain would have destroyed the GOP from within while being only slightly worse in terms of policies than Obama. Had John McCain won... Nancy Pelosi would still be Speaker of the House - only with a larger Democratic majority!

In any case, here's all I say in warning: Don't get fooled again!

The liberal media - news as well as entertainment - is in full damage control mode. Their goals haven't changed, but their tactics are evolving to meet the new reality, namely, that folks have wised up (to a certain extent) about the threat posed by the hard Left. Heck... when Keith Olbermann is "sacrificed" in order to paint a picture of "new moderation" even on the part of MSNBC you know that those behind the curtain understand that they've spooked the electorate and that only by assuming the guise of "contrition" and "positive reflection" can they hope to win back a slice of the Independent vote which fled the Democratic fold this past November.

Oh... and beware the RINOs as well - the RINOs and "establishment conservative Republicans" who are desperate not to lose their prestige and power to the likes of Jim DeMint, Sarah Palin, and the "Tea Party."

Don't automatically think you can trust the likes of Charles Krauthammer and each and every pundit, reporter, and columnist associated with Fox News or the Wall Street Journal.

There's an ongoing struggle taking place for the heart and soul of the Republican Party and folks like Carl Rove, Mitch McConnell, and the aforementioned double-dealing, back-stabbing John McCain are the foxes loose in the Republican hen house.

All I can do is what I've been doing - coming out with my newsbites.

You folks know where I stand. Perhaps more important, you folks know my standards. I'm a man of principle. I call 'em like I see 'em and let the chips fall where they may. I'm not in anyone's pocket and I'll never deliberately shade the truth nor mislead by omission in some sleazy, underhanded attempt to manipulate reader reaction.

Continue to read Barker's Newsbites. Armed with the information I share, decide for yourselves who's right, who's wrong, and where you should stand.

You can trust me, people...

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Reaction To My Congresswoman's Facebook Page


Well, folks... I just received the following group email from Congresswoman Nan Hayworth's office:

Friends,

Now that we have transitioned into office I want to ensure the same level of access and communication with you continues.

To that end, I've created official congressional Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube pages. I'll be using these new pages for all the latest congressional news and information.

Please help spread the word by passing these links along. Also, make sure to go to my official website at www.hayworth.house.gov and sign up to receive newsletter updates.

Yours truly,

Nan

And here's how I replied after browsing these new "Hayworth Links"

Nan,

With all due respect, I'm more interested in exactly WHAT your views are and WHAT you said to others and WHAT they said to you than in knowing that you've been "chatting" with your colleagues.

What's the point of directing viewers to videos of press conferences? What we're looking for - what I'm looking for at least - is for SPECIFIC updates of what you think, why you think it, what you're doing about it, and how you're progressing in terms of forwarding our agenda.

Perhaps it's simply a generational thing. (Though you and I are the same generation.) Call me "stuffy," but I'm looking for info, not soundbites. I'm looking for you to share your thoughts with me and others.

Nan, I've advised you before and I'll advise you again - start a blog which will serve as your online public diary. Whether you find time to update every day or not... whether you have time on some days to write a sentence or a paragraph or two and perhaps on other days a short essay... communicate with us directly.

Facebook, Flickr, Twitter... (*SIGH*)... I suppose they have their place. But, Nan, "reaching out" effectively means far more than simply establishing "contact." I want to know what you're thinking and doing in real time - or as close to it as is feasible.

You might wanna follow the lead of Ron Paul. He sends out his "Texas Straight Talk" emails once or twice a week.

You might also want to emulate Sarah Palin's use of Facebook to issue straight from the heart statements which come across more as genuine conversation than internet press release.

I know it's going to take time for you and the staff to get everything set up the way you want it. I know you understand that what I'm trying to give you here is CONSTRUCTIVE advice on how best to do your job and connect with constituents and our fellow out-of-district American citizens.

BILL

Barker's Newsbites: Monday, January 25, 2011


We're NOT going to discuss last night's game...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Weekend Newsbites: Sat. & Sun., Jan. 22 & 23, 2011


My two elder nephews - Sean and Dom - are on a northeast "acoustic duo" tour. Last night Mary and I went to see them perform in Beacon, N.Y.

As usual... they were awesome.

On Sunday they'll be playing in Boston.

Next month they go on tour with the Indigo Girls.

If you folks have never checked out my nephews' band, A Fragile Tomorrow, you should!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Spotlight on a Particular Newsbite via Today's WSJ


First... (*SIGH*)... the story.

Now... (*GRITTING MY TEETH*)... my response to it:

* SUBTITLE THIS NEWSBITE: "RIDDLE ME THIS, BATMAN..."

It sounds like a bad commercial for a local car dealership: "These rates are so low, we're barely making money!" But more than three years after the recession threw car sales into a tailspin, many dealers have started offering loans at interest rates so low they don't make much of a profit...

* BUT, WAIT... IT GETS WORSE THAN "THEY DON'T MAKE MUCH OF A PROFIT"!

Typically when dealers offer a loan, they do so at a rate several percentage points higher than what a bank or credit union might offer. The dealer isn't lending his own money, he's just a middleman - the money for the loan comes from the lending arm of the dealer's associated automaker. And everybody makes money.

* RIGHT... (*PAUSE*)... THE KEY WORDS BEING "MAKES MONEY."

* BUT WAIT...!

But now dealers are offering interest rates that are 0% or close to it - for less than what it costs a financing arm to raise capital to lend. In this case, the dealer is not making money...

* REPEAT: "...THE DEALER IS NOT MAKING MONEY..."

(WAIT FOR IT... WAIT FOR IT...)

...and, because the automakers subsidize the loans to help dealers move cars that aren't selling, the automakers are losing money.

* ONE MORE TIME: "...LOSING MONEY."

(*PAUSE*) (*BLOOD PRESSURE RISING*) (*HEADACHE BUILDING*)

On average, automakers lost $2,139 for each car they helped finance in 2010, slightly less than the $2,229 they lost per car in 2009, according to Edmunds.com.

* SO... TO RECAP... OVER THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS WE'VE ALL BEEN READING THAT TARP AND THE BAILOUTS WERE SUCCESSFUL, THAT GM IS DOING GREAT... THAT FORD HAS BEEN DOING GREAT ALL ALONG... THAT EVEN CHRYSLER IS STARTING TO GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER, YET...

(*PAUSE*) (*REITERATING*)

On average, automakers lost $2,139 for each car they helped finance in 2010, slightly less than the $2,229 they lost per car in 2009, according to Edmunds.com.

* AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO SEES A BIT OF... er... umm... A DISCONNECT HERE...???

Barker's Newsbites: Thursday, January 20, 2011


Still I'm sure that you could rock the cynics if you try...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Barker's Newsbites: Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Here's a happy song about an English Sheepdog... or Jane Asher... take your pick!

Sorry about no newsbites yesterday; I was hangin' with my bud Phil as his lovely wine drinking, meat pie baking wife had a bit of her lower intestine cut out.

She's fine; and as an added bonus the hospital bought Phil and I lunch!

(*HUGE FRIGG'N GRIN*)

Oh... and Phil's sister Susan brought me some tasty bakery treats as a reward for being a good friend!

(*SMILE*)

I do love a good bakery treat...

(*CONTENTED SIGH*)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Barker's Newsbites: Monday, January 17, 2011


Hey... question... did you know that today isn't Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday?

No... seriously... Martin Luther King was born on January 15, 1929.

Yep... another "convenience" holiday "staging." (God forbid every holiday isn't turned into an artificial three day weekend...)

(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)

Today we remember Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy. I also remember another "Jr." - Mr. Sammy Davis Jr.

To those who know history, you'll recognize that as important as Martin Luther King's impact was to our nation's history, so too was the impact of black entertainers.

If you've never heard the following song...

Well? I found it moving.

And because today should be a day or happiness and celebration - as well as reflection - here's something a bit more upbeat.

Folks... you could do worth today than to spend fifteen or twenty minutes - or even more - just browsing the internet using the two provided links as a starting point.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Disgusting Display


My God...

As I write this I'm watching the so-called "Memorial Service" in Arizona.

Prior to President Obama walking out on stage, while the talking heads were talking a separate video feed was running on my screen showing the "mourners" - many of whom were laughing and joking... many of whom were dressed inappropriately... and what I especially can't get out of my head is watching that piece of garbage Sheriff Dupnik actually posing with people who wanted photos with him... glad-handing as if he were at a political function.

Disgusting...

But then again, this being the Age of Obama, this "memorial" apparently is a political rally, not a dignified demonstration of mourning.

The "blessing" is being given by an individual who introduced himself in part by somewhat wryly noting that he is not a "medicine man."

As he gives his speech - identifying his ethnic background - something I'm not really "getting" as being relevant to a memorial ceremony - many in the crowd cheer and whistle as if they were attending a sporting event or perhaps a concert... or perhaps a political rally...

My God... I simply can't believe what I'm watching.

O.K., now as I watch Gov. Brewer speak while the split screen also focusing on President Obama, I can't help but notice that there's a gentleman behind the president apparently half-listening while also concentrating on his lap... perhaps involved with his blackberry or IPhone.

Now Napolitano is speaking... she's quoting from Scripture which I find very appropriate indeed... but to those who are also watching live - did you notice how she was introduced... the background screams of "We Love You" as if this "memorial" were a rock concert?

Again, folks... my point... this is part political rally, part pep rally... not what I would have ever in a million years envisioned.

Now Eric Holder is up. Now Holder is reading from Scripture. Respect is one thing, but since these people are being introduced as politicians - as government officials - two public officials in a row reading Scripture whereas neither a Rabbi nor Reverend was chosen to give the opening blessing... it just strikes me as strange.

Now the "Master of Ceremonies" is introducing President Obama... lauding his intellect... this "memorial" gets stranger and stranger.

From the crowd more shouts of "We love you!" More yells and "woos!" Very, very, very disconcerting - to me at least.

Oh... and now President Obama is reading Scripture...

This all seems so fake... so contrived... so political... so insincere. Let me ask you... if 8:00 p.m. is the appropriate hour for honoring the victims of the Arizona shooting... why not 8:00 p.m. Arizona time - why 8:00 p.m. eastern standard time...??? I understand that sporting events must be shoeboxed in to a convenient TV "window," but would it not have been more respectful to the victims and especially their families to have had the memorial at say 8:00 a.m. Arizona time, or 12:00 p.m. Arizona time, or 8:00 p.m. Arizona time? I would think so.

Believe me, folks, I'm not trying to be petty, I'm not looking for a reason to be critical; it's simply that this whole exercise just seems so... off... to me.

Now President Obama is speaking of the little girl who was killed - 9-year old Christina Taylor Green. The thing is... the President is still in "rally" mode... I see no grief - either from the President or from the crowd.

This is bizarre. I'm a New Yorker. I remember how New York was for weeks and weeks after 9/11. Oh, yes, sure... there was the "Tribute to Heroes" concert held on September 21, 2001... look at that concert... the grief was still up front - from the bands, from the audience - along with the letting go of some of the grief as people enjoyed that concert. Still... today's "memorial" in Tucson is not supposed to be the equivalent of the New York concert... today's "memorial" is supposed to be... a memorial.

This is "Campaign Obama" I'm watching. There's no other way to put it. Remember President Reagan's funeral... remember the speeches... recall various presidential speeches following national tragedies... to those of you watching this, does this seem of a kind to you...???

I'm going to close now... close while the president is still speaking.

Some may disagree with my reaction. Some may react differently. So be it. I'm simply reporting in real time what I'm feeling.

May God bless the victims, their families, and their friends and loved ones.

Hey, Nan, are you a fan of the think tank Taxpayers For Common Sense?


Well, I am.

(*PAUSE*)

I'm taking the time to look through their latest report outlining their concrete suggestions for bringing federal spending under control; I hope you will do likewise.

In the meantime, allow me to highlight their recommendations:

Eliminate the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) -- Savings $25 billion

Eliminate Commodity Crop Subsidies -- Savings $26 billion

Reduce Nuclear Weapons Delivery Platforms -- Savings $35 billion

Disallow expensing of Intangible Exploration and Drilling Costs -- Savings $8.9 billion

Cancel the Upper Mississippi River Navigation Lock Expansion -- Savings $2.1 billion

Defund the I-710 Tunnel Project -- Savings $11.8 billion

Now obviously, Nan, there are two sides to every story and one person's pork is another person's (claimed) responsible and necessary spending.

Thing is... we're broke. Busted. Indebted.

At the very frigg'n least Republicans need to stop adding to the national debt via deficit spending.

Capisce...???

Where and how to cut defense spending is always tricky for "strong defense" Republicans such as you... and I. That said, "strong defense" doesn't mean a blank check; or at least it shouldn't. There's such a thing as overkill. Just as with social programs, hard choices are going to have to be made - meaning cuts - as applied to our nation's defense budget.

The American People will no more accept from Republicans a knee-jerk "No cost is too great to bear when it comes to our national defense" than they were willing to accept a knee-jerk "No cost is too great to bear when it comes to the social safety net."

Capisce...???

I want spending cuts, Nan. I want belt-tightening.

I'm far from alone...

Your friend and supporter,

William R. Barker
Harriman, NY

Barker's Newsbites: Wednesday, January 12, 2011


How'bout some nice, soothing music...

Yeah, yeah... I know... not my usual style.

This is a great movie, though; "love" makes me smile; "love" makes me happy.

(Anyone got a frigg'n PROBLEM with that...?!?!) (Nah... didn't think so...)

8:15 a.m. - First cup of coffee.

9:50 a.m. - Ate an apple.

10:10 a.m. - Second cup of coffee.

11:55 a.m. - Ham, cheese, and tomato sandwich on whole grain bread.

12:25 p.m. - Some cheddar cheese goldfish dipped in plain sour cream.

3:30 p.m. - Glass of lite iced tea.

4:55 p.m. - Lite yogurt with quarter cup of "Special K" mixed in.

7:55 p.m. - Pepperoni and mushroom pizza with extra cheese.

8:20 p.m. - Some pineapple.

9:40 p.m. - A glass of Crystal Lite with mega-vitamins and a brandy filled chocolate.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's "Thinking" Like Pete King's Which Is The Problem


Of all the knee-jerk, simplistic, unthoughtful reactions to the Arizona tragedy, Congressman Pete King's - while not taking the prize - deserves special mention simply because the man is Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

The Long Island congressman has announced that he's working on a bill that would ban the carrying of firearms within 1,000 feet of federal officials at public events.

Another law... surely that will solve all our problems!

(*ROLLING MY EYES*)

So... random pat-downs of citizens within 1,000 of any member of King's envisioned "protected class?"

How'bout knives...??? Box cutters?

Hey... Pete... what's the range of a sniper rifle? (Hell... if you or a member of your staff would simple do a bit of googling you'd know that a scoped hunting rifle can easily have an effective accurate range far beyond 1,000 feet in the hands of a reasonably skilled shooter.)

Oh, Pete... where to begin...

(*SIGH*)

Listen... folks... there's this document called the Constitution and attached to it - in our nation's Bill of Rights - there's this little blurb our Founders "filed" under the heading: Second Amendment.

(I thought members of the new Republican majority in the House were supposed to be first consider Constitutional ramifications prior to attempting to add new laws to the books...???)

Beyond the Constitution there are state carry laws. If an individual is properly licensed to carry a weapon then that's that as far as I'm concerned.

No doubt King and/or his staff have already thought about exempting not just on-duty but also off-duty police officers from "King's Law." How about duly licensed private investigators, bounty hunters; how about corrections personnel; how about non-federal judges and state and county district attorneys and ADAs who are licensed and carry for personal protection? How about business owners and other private citizens who carry licensed arms based upon the fact that the nature of their jobs/professions entails carrying large sums of money on occasion?

I mean, folks... this is just off the top of my head.

Nope. Peter King had better start thinking more clearly now that his Party is in control of the House.

The last thing the Republican "brand" needs is for one of their most visible federal officeholders to come across as a man interested in expanding rather than contracting federal limits upon the rights of ordinary citizens while at the same time calling for "special protections" for "special folks." (Folks who happen to have the same "title" as... er... King himself.)

There's... No... Hope...


Insert your favorite string of curse words here: ___________________________...!

A growing number of state and local governments are now offering what are called "down payment assistance programs," grants or low- and no-interest loans to first-time buyers or those who haven't owned a house in a few years.

The number of programs, now somewhere around 1,000 nationally, has increased 3% to 5% in the last six months alone, estimates Marc Savitt, president of the National Association of Independent Housing Professionals, an advocacy group.

And, in a stark reversal, some banks are now far more willing to work with borrowers who need down payment assistance, buyers who were considered too risky 18 months ago.

These programs are targeted at low- and middle-income buyers who have either never owned a home, or haven't owned one in a few years. And then the benefits are substantial: Typically, the programs offer up to $80,000 in loans with interest rates from 0% to 2% to people with little or no money to put down. And then, because participants often have to get their mortgage through the programs' preferred lenders, the primary mortgage rates are also low, often 0.75% to 1% lower than average rates. That can be a better deal than Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages, which require annual mortgage insurance and an upfront fee, and may have higher interest rates.

To fund the programs, many states and municipalities are using money raised by selling municipal bonds. Also helping: A program funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development increased its support to local down payment assistance programs by 16% in its last fiscal year to $44 million.

There is absolutely, positively no frigg'n hope for this once great country.

William R. Barker
January 11, 2011

Barker's Newsbites: Tuesday, January 11, 2011


A happy, happy song!

Indeed... hard to believe I haven't used it before... but my notes say no!

8:00 a.m. - "Special K" with sliced banana.

10:20 a.m. - A salad with lettuce, tomato, sliced pickle, green olives, grated and diced cheddar cheese, pepperoni, and sliced and diced cold pork chop. (Mayo as dressing.)

3:10 p.m. - A glass of diet Pepsi.

5:15 p.m. - Ham, cheese, and tomato sandwich on whole grain bread. (Yes... mayo.)

8:00 p.m. - Buttered popcorn.

8:55 p.m. - Glass of lite Iced Tea.

10:00 p.m. - Small chunk of cheddar cheese and rosemary raisin crisps.

Monday, January 10, 2011

One More Thing, Nan... And This Matters...


The "Megavote" email I previously referred to as an addendum to my last posting also referred to your YES vote on House Roll Call Vote #8 which reduces operating expenses for lawmakers and committee offices. Budgets for House salaries and office expenses in 2011 and 2012 will be 5% less than the 2010 level.

THANK YOU...!!! I'm certainly proud of you for supporting this important gesture of putting... er... your (expenses) money where your mouth is!

(*WINK*)

Thing is, Nan...

(*PAUSE*)

As you no doubt recall, on the campaign trail you pledged to cut your own personal congressional office budget by 10%.

(The soundbite can be found at approximately 02.57 minutes into the video clip; for complete context start at approximately 02.20 minutes.)

You are going to stand by that pledge, right Nan?

Of course you are! You're the real deal; that's why I supported you!

But this is the kind of thing I was talking about in my earlier post concerning the website. You should be posting front and center on your website your intention to fulfill this campaign pledge and go even further than you're legally obligated to as it applies to cutting your own budget.

Nan... certainly the fine folks at the Rockland, Orange, Putnam, and Westchester newspapers aren't going to trumpet your accomplishments unless forced to do so. Citing your efforts directly on your own official website is the best way for you to get the message out there that you say what you mean, mean what you say, and that unlike most politicians, your word is your bond.

Congressional Websites (Psst...! Hey Nan...! Listen Up...)


My congresswoman, Dr. Nan Hayworth, is no doubt busy as all get out finding her way through her first full week as a Member of the United States House of Representatives.

I expect her to lead, not micromanage her office in terms of doing the People's Business, so just to be clear, this post concerning her official webpage(s) isn't meant to be a criticism as such, but rather a useful critique.

Nan... if you're reading this...

Your official website is nothing more than an official template. That'll do for now and certainly you're not alone - particularly when it comes to freshmen Members.

That said
...

Put yourself in the position of a constituent pulling up your website in order to see what you've been doing - and what you plan to do in terms of actual legislation - now that you're no longer a candidate for Congress, but rather a Member of Congress.

Go to your homepage's "Media Center." Look under "In the News," "Press Releases," and "Speeches."

(*SHRUG*)

See what I'm saying...???

(Oh... and by the way, Nan... there should have been a statement from you on the front page of your official website within hours of the Arizona shooting; someone getting paid to pay attention better start paying attention to details such as these.)

Anyway, Nan, I'm sure your staff will soon get the hang of properly utilizing the website - making it at least as informative and interactive as your campaign website was - but before I drop the topic allow me to reiterate a past suggestion:

Nan. You need a blog.

The blog should be found "within" your official congressional Member's Website, but it should reflect your thoughts, observations and messages to your constituents and the nation - yours alone... not some staffers.

Perhaps at times you'll go days without adding an entry. Maybe you'll open the page to comments; maybe you won't. Even if you do you will of course be under no obligation to directly answer each and every public inquiry or even most of them assuming you get high traffic.

What you do need to do however is establish a method of bypassing media spin and the "editing" of your comments.

Note how I do it, Nan!

Everyone reading my blog knows where I stand on the issues.

Now if people (who care to) know private citizen Bill Barker's feelings on local, state, and national issues of importance, wouldn't you agree that people should likewise have a clear window available to them in order to gaze upon the thought process, feelings, and voting logic of Congresswoman Nan Hayworth?

That's it, Nan; my two cents worth for today.

(*SMILE*)

Keep reading my postings and availing yourself of my newsbites! (Again... "Barker's Newsbites should be required reading for your staff.)

* UPDATE...

Here's a perfect example of what I'm talking about:

I just this moment received an email from "MegaVote" informing me that you have been recorded as Not Voting with regard to House Roll Call Vote #10 (1/07/2011) which approved the rules for debating H.R.2, the bill to repeal the 2010 health care law.

What gives...???

Not a word of explanation on your website as far as I can tell...

** UPDATE #2...

Just heard from Nan personally. She responds as follows:

Yes, I missed a five-minute vote on the rule last Friday. The rule was to allow the repeal vote for the Affordable Care Act. The way these votes on rules are done, two votes are made in quick succession. The first vote is on the Previous Question, and it simply means that we approve taking a vote on the rule. The second vote is the one that actually approves the rule.

I so clearly approved of the rule that I made a one- minute speech in support of the rule during the debate before the Previous Question was moved. The speech, which emphasized that the vote to repeal PPACA is not merely symbolic but in fact represents the true will of the American people, was remarkable enough to be picked up by national media outlets, including National Public Radio and the Los Angeles Times. After the debate ended, the first vote, for the Previous Question, was held and I voted yes. I proceeded to spend the next approximately 15 minutes discussing the vote with colleagues on the House floor, followed by voting on the question of resolving the issue of the delayed swearing-in of two fellow House Members.

So I was participating as fully as I thought possible, and I didn't realize that I had missed the second of a two-part vote. Given my newness to legislative process, I've been fortunate to have the counsel of our Legislative Director, Matt Turkstra, who ensures that I'm fully aware of the votes we're taking each day. However, on Friday Matt was home sick with a fever, so I didn't have him to advise me regarding the two-part vote.

We will be entering a statement into the Congressional Record regarding my intention to have voted yes to the rule, and of course I will not err on a two-part vote again.

I hope that this explanation will clear things up, and apologies to you and all friends for any inconvenience caused by my inadvertent omission.

Yep... I knew there'd be a good explanation!

Anyway, folks... there you have it.

Barker's Newsbites: Monday, January 10, 2011


Let's start this week off with a bit of cheery "Kinky" Van Halen...


Oh... breakfast...???
A bit of hammy, cheesy, egg salad with a couple cups of java.

Lunch...??? Healthy Choice "garden vegetable" soup (yeah, yeah... with some cheddar cheese grated in and a few cheddar goldfish thrown as crackers...) followed by a few Trader Joe's Rosemary Raisin Crisps with butter.

4:30 p.m. - A nice juicy crisp apple!

5:30 p.m. - Broccoli and hummus.

6:45 p.m. - A salad of lettuce, tomato, pickle slices, green olives, cheddar cheese, pepperoni, and diced chicken breast with mayo as dressing.

9:30 p.m. - A slice of apple pie
"topped" with half an Eskimo pie washed down with a glass of milk.

10:30 p.m. - A few rosemary raisin crisps.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

To Those Who Would Distort Reality For Political Gain


My God, is it so damned hard to utilize the internet to find out what this lunatic Jared Lee Loughner is all about?

The guy is a frigg'n nut. He's not a "Right Wing Nut," he's not a "Left Wing Nut," he's simply a nut. Indeed, my guess is that he'll be institutionalized after an insanity plea is accepted.

Still... (*SIGH*)... scum like Andrew Sullivan suggest that there's some "political context" to the murder of bystander Judge John Roll.

No, Andrew... the only "context" is that John Roll was in the wrong place at the wrong time...

(*SIGH*)

Dirtbag Andrew Sullivan also writes on his blog, "After today, it's harder to ignore threats of violence from the far right, isn't it?"

No, Andrew, it's not. Again, this tragedy has nothing to do with "politics," "policy," or "ideology." Loughner is a nut. Perhaps as I type this you're researching the writings of 9-year old victim Christina Taylor Greene so as to make the case that she too was "targeted" because of her progressive proclivities.

(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)

Folks... Andrew Sullivan is not the only unprincipled vulture out there. You'll be reading and hearing all sorts of ridiculous attempts to link the Tuscan shooting to "Tea Party" and "Right Wing" sentiment. That's bullshit. Do your own research and you'll see this.

I truly can't believe so many are so low as to attempt to use this tragedy as a political weapon against conservatives and Republicans.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords


On Thursday Newsbites gave the Arizona congresswoman a shout-out for submitting a bill calling for the next Congress to take a 5% pay cut.

Today... the Congresswoman lies in a hospital, the victim of a madman's bullet.

Even hours after the fact I don't believe we can depend upon the accuracy of ongoing news coverage. This isn't a slam of the media per se but rather a recognition that in today's age of instant communication the flip-side is instant miscommunication.

In any case, it's being reported that the Congresswoman survived the shooting and the subsequent surgery. Reports are that she was shot in the head and that the bullet went through and through.

I've heard several times that Congresswoman Giffords is expected to "recover."

Being shot in the head... through and through... I'm not sure what the word "recovery" means in this particular case, but my thoughts and prayers go out for the congresswoman and to her husband, family, friends, and loved ones.

Others were shot in the same attack. Some are wounded; some were killed.

I pray for all the victims and their loved ones.

As of now it's being reported that the shooter is basically a nut.

Time and further investigation will tell...

I'm hearing a great deal of talk concerning "upgrading security" around our elected representatives. My reaction: NO!

No one wants our elected representatives and government officials to be under threat, but to a certain extent it's part of the price one pays for power or celebrity.

Our nation is a Republic. Public officials are public servants. Our politicians are already isolated from normal citizen experiences far more than is good for them - or more importantly, good for us. The last thing we need to do is to "protect" them in a fashion that will place Members of Congress on a higher pedestal than they're on already.

Any Member of Congress or Senator who feels the risk of public service is too high... resign or retire at the end of your next term.

Frankly, I believe the presidency has too much security. Not just Obama... but Bush before him... Clinton before him... Bush before him... Reagan before him...

I believe inconveniencing hundreds of thousands of people every time a sitting president comes to New York or Los Angeles or Chicago or any other major city is too high a price to pay in order to raise the "safety" level from 99.99998% to 99.99999%.

I'm not saying we remove all security from the president and other protectees; I'm simply saying that there's got to be more cost/benefit arithmetic applied.

In any case... as concerns Members of U.S. House and U.S. Senate... no, I don't want them to have government security unless specific creditable threats are in play - the kind of creditable threats that would get a private citizen police protection.

What happened in Tuscan today is a tragedy. That said, the nation can't overreact. We can't increase the separation between leaders and led.

And that's my two cents worth...

Weekend Newsbites: Sat. & Sun., Jan. 8 & 9, 2011


Com'on, folks... where else would you have this song thrown at you but here on Usually Right?

Listen to the strength of that voice! Listen to the clarity... the vibrato... the range...

(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD IN ADMIRATION*)

No lip-synching... no "background dancers"... just a girl, a mic, and her back-up band and singers.

God I miss "my" America...

(*SHAKING MY HEAD IN SADNESS*)

(*PAUSE*)

O.K., so on to today's diet log:

Saturday...

10:00 a.m. - Two hard boiled eggs.

12:30 p.m. - Tuna with diced tomato, cheese, and mayo on Triscuits.

1:45 p.m. - Glass of Crystal Lite with mega-vitamins.

(The usual two cups of coffee - cream, no sugar - over the course of the morning.

6:45 p.m. - Roast beef, turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pepperoni and mayo on garlic facaccia bread.

(I only ate half of the sandwich; saving the other half for tomorrow!)

7:45 p.m. - Glass of milk and a cupcake.

9:00 p.m. - Glass of white wine.

9:30 p.m. - Maple ham roll-ups - mayo, cheese, and pineapple.

Sunday...

11:45 a.m. - Amy's mom's leftover Indian food with cheese and sour cream added. (Yum!)

3:10 p.m. - Ate the other half of my roast beef, turkey and cheese sandwich from last night.

3:50 p.m. - Had a few corn chips and some dried banana chips with peanut butter and jelly "dip."

5:30 p.m. - Ate an apple.

6:00 p.m. - Had a cup of hot tea with cream & one "fake" sugar.

6:45 p.m. - One boneless pork chop (marinated, not breaded), garlic potatoes with cheese added to mixed veggies.

7:25 p.m. - Drank a glass of Diet Pepsi.

10:00 p.m. - A small slice of apple pie with half a Klondike bar.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Is Today April Fool's Day By Any Chance...???


Folks...

(*GRITTING MY TEETH*)

...you're not going to believe this:

The words “mother” and “father” will be removed from U.S. passport applications and replaced with gender neutral terminology, the State Department says.

I truly don't know what to say...

“The words in the old form were ‘mother’ and ‘father,’” said Brenda Sprague, deputy assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services. "They are now ‘parent one’ and ‘parent two.’"

(*MASSIVE MIGRAINE HEADACHE BUILDING*)

A statement on the State Department website noted: “These improvements are being made to provide a gender neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families.”

And you don't believe the inmates are running the asylum... that the Obama executive branch is out of control?

Sprague said the decision to remove the traditional parenting names was not an act of political correctness.

NOT an act of political correctness...???

Folks... these people are DELUSIONAL...!!!

“We find that with changes in medical science and reproductive technology that we are confronting situations now that we would not have anticipated 10 or 15 years ago,” she said.

There's a sperm... there's an egg; the sperm comes from the male - the father - the egg comes from the female - the mother. Has evolution somehow been turned upon its head since Barak Hussein Obama took the Oath of Office as President of the United States...???

“Changing the term mother and father to the more global term of parent..."

STOP...!!! I can't frigg'n take it any more...!!! This is lunacy...!!!

“Our government needs to recognize that the family structure is changing,” [says Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of Family Equality Council.] “The best thing that we can do is support people who are raising kids in loving, stable families.”

SPERM... EGG... PENIS... WOMB...

Folks... no matter what sort of family dynamic we're talking about - take the penis and the womb right out of the picture if need be - we're still talking SPERM... we're still talking EGG...

(*HEAD READY TO EXPLODE*)

The new gender-neutral passport application will be rolled out in February.

Yeah... February in Orwell's 1984... Obama's 2011.

* UPDATE - 1/9/11:

In a bid to forestall a backlash from congressional conservatives, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has ordered the State Department to amend a bureaucratic change that would have eliminated the titles "mother" and "father" in favor of the gender-neutral term "parent" in passport applications and other documents.

The State Department said Saturday that Clinton had instructed the department to retain "mother" and "father" in passport applications as well as in a form known as a "Consular Report of Birth Abroad" that U.S. embassies use to document the birth of a child to expatriate Americans. It said the forms will now ask for the names of the child's "mother or parent 1" and "father or parent 2."

Well thank frigg'n God for small favors...!

Today's Diet Log


Started off big... a slice of leftover pizza from yesterday. (8:30 a.m.)

(Oh, yeah... and the usual two cups of coffee - cream, no sugar.)

1:15 p.m. - Ate a grapefruit.

2:15 p.m. - Drank my Crystal Lite with mega-vitamin dose mixed in.

3:45 p.m. - Lettuce (as opposed to chips!) and onion dip.

4:45 p.m. - A few slices of pepperoni.

5:45 p.m. - Turkey chili with Angus beef hot dogs, cheese, sour cream; onion rings and sweet potato fries.

Portion control, folks... portion control...

6:30 p.m. - Glass of port and a piece of fudge.

8:00 p.m. - Small portion of Amy's mom's Indian rice pudding.

9:45 p.m. - A bit of sliced pineapple.

Barker's Newsbites: Friday, January 7, 2011


Did anyone happen to catch Glenn Beck's TV show yesterday?

I watch Beck's show faithfully (therefore, so should you), but as with anything, not all episodes of Beck's program are created equally. Some are better than others.

Yesterday's (Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011) show was outstanding.

Beck pointed out what I often focus on, namely, that we're constantly being lied to, manipulated, and given false (and at best contradictory) information from government and the media.

Seriously, folks... how often do I "deconstruct" reporting and even government press releases and thus prove my point? This ain't "conspiracy stuff" folks...

(*SHRUG*)

To those of you who rely upon me for a part of your daily news and "continuing education," I'll continue to do my best. Understand though, with Republicans now controlling the House as well as so many state governorships and statehouses, the administration and their allies in the media and academia are going to pull out all the stops in order to confuse, conflate, and distort what our present reality and probable future actually look like.

Keep tuned in, folks! Don't simply depend upon me. Don't simply assume I'm right - though chances are I am! Do your own research. Trust but verify!

Anyway...

(*SMILE*)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Obama Giveth... Obama Taketh Away...


Folks... I'm begging you... you've GOTTA access this link!

Here's the newsbite synopsis:

Compared to how January 2011 might have played out, where every taxpayer in the United States would have received a smaller paycheck if the 111th U.S. Congress hadn't acted to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, the Congress' late action to extend those tax rates for another two years, while also throwing in a 2.0% payroll tax cut, might seem like a great deal.

But then we saw the changes the IRS rushed out for the income tax withholding rates that will apply in 2011 and we can confirm that the odds that you'll actually have a full additional 2.0% of your income to take home aren't very good at all.

From what we can tell, you'll only see that much of a change over your 2010 paycheck take-home pay if your income is less than $2,100 if you're a single filer, and $7,900 if you are a married filer.

Meanwhile, many of you may find yourselves actually taking home less money on your paychecks!

As for why the promise of a 2.0% payroll tax cut really doesn't add up to 2.0% of your salary or wage income... the Obama administration is altering tax withholding for 2011 with respect to what they established in 2010.

By lowering the income threshold at which income tax withholding begins to apply for the lowest income earners, the government effectively reduces the size of the payroll tax break. [This] will have economic consequences in that wage and salary earners won't actually have anywhere near as much money, and therefore, ["the breaks" will] nowhere near the impact that the Obama administration's economic planners [have led people to believe they will].

Anyone wanna wager a guess as to how much play this info will get via the mainstream media...?

Folks... as friends, relatives, and most other readers know, my Sainted Wife Mary...

(*SIGN OF THE CROSS*)

...works for a top-flight CPA firm.

When I came upon the article excerpted above I immediately sent her the link and asked her to verify it.

Folks... everything being reported in this analysis is true.

Gates, Obama, and Washington Post Reporting


God help this once great Republic!

[The headline reads:] "Pentagon to cut spending by $78 billion, reduce troop strength."

FINE AND DANDY. I APPROVE! HOWEVER... HOWEVER...

(*PAUSE*)

IF WE'RE GOING TO CUT MILITARY SPENDING, THEN WE'VE GOT TO CUT MILITARY COMMITMENTS - NO? IN OTHER WORDS, HERE'S THE RUB: IF WE'RE GOING TO GIVE THE MILITARY LESS, THAN BY GOD WE'D BETTER SURE AS HECK DOWNSIZE THE RESPONSIBILITIES IT SHOULDERS. RIGHT...? LOGICAL...???

The Pentagon will have to cut spending by $78 billion over the next five years...

MEANING $15.6 BILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR... RIGHT? CUT FROM WHAT THOUGH?! CUT FROM THE BASE OF THIS YEAR'S BUDGET OR LAST YEAR'S BUDGET, OR "CUT" FROM THE "INFLATION ADJUSTED" AUTOMATIC INCREASES...???

FOLKS... ARE YOU FOLLOWING? I'M JUST LOOKING FOR STRAIGHT ANSWERS HERE. (I KNOW... I KNOW... "GOOD LUCK, BILL!")

The surprise announcement from Gates was a reminder for the military establishment - which has benefited from a gusher of new money over the past decade - that it will not remain exempt from painful austerity measures that federal lawmakers say will be necessary to control the soaring national debt.

FAIR ENOUGH... BUT I REITERATE: IS THE "MISSION" GOING TO SHRINK ALONG WITH THE RESOURCES? ARE COMMITMENTS GOING TO BE CUT? IF NOT... THEN WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IS RANK IRRESPONSIBILITY. (AS IF ANYONE WOULD BE SURPRISED...)

"We must come to realize that not every defense program is necessary, not every defense dollar is sacred or well-spent, and more of everything is simply not sustainable," Gates said.

GREAT. SO WHAT COMMITMENTS ARE ON THE CUTTING BLOCK? WHICH DEFENSE TREATIES WILL WE BE ABROGATING?

In response to questions, he emphasized that the $78 billion reduction over the next five years actually represents a "decline in the rate of growth," since the Pentagon budget will grow "in absolute dollars" every year.

(*SMIRK*)

GUESS THAT ANSWERS ONE OF MY QUESTION, HUH?! (DISINGENUOUS PINHEAD...)

Gates also stressed that even after the reductions in troop strength, the Army and Marine Corps both will still be larger than they were when he became defense secretary four years ago. The Army will be bigger by about 40,000 soldiers, and the Marines will still have 7,000 to 12,000 more troops, he said.

FOLKS... (*SIGH*)... SHOULDN'T WE BE LOOKING AT WHAT OUR MILITARY NEEDS ARE FIRST - WHAT WE NEED TO BACK UP OUR COMMITMENTS - AND THEN FIGURE OUT WHAT THAT WILL COST? THEN.... IF THE COSTS ARE UNAFFORDABLE... WOULDN'T THE LOGICAL NEXT STEP BE TO CUT BACK OUR COMMITMENTS...? HMM...??? (BUT NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS... JUST ME...) (*SIGH*)

Gates predicted that the decisions would come under fire from critics who charge that "we either are gutting defense or we are not cutting nearly enough."

OR... GATES MIGHT CONSIDER WHAT I'M SAYING HERE..!!! (FRIGG'N PHONY...)

Gates had hoped to spare the Pentagon from the budget ax.

WHY?! (EITHER THERE ARE SACRED COWS ARE THERE AREN'T; I VOTE FOR "AREN'T.")

The Pentagon will see a short-term boost in its budget next year to about $554 billion, excluding the cost of fighting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

(*SNORT*)

WELL OF COURSE... I MEAN, AFTER ALL... WHAT'S ACTUAL FIGHTING HAVE TO DO WITH A PENTAGON BUDGET...

(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)

After that, however, annual spending increases will dwindle until they flatten completely in 2015 and 2016, with no extra money beyond the rate of inflation.

SO FIRST OF ALL THERE ARE NO REAL "CUTS" COMING AS YOU AND I UNDERSTAND THE WORD "CUT." SECOND OF ALL... (*SIGH*)... GATES' "FAKE" CUTS AREN'T COMING TILL 2015 AND 2016 - WHEN WE'LL HAVE NOT ONLY A NEW CONGRESS BUT POTENTIALLY A NEW PRESIDENT.

FOLKS... THESE PEOPLE ARE SO FULL OF SHIT I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN!

Barker's Newsbites: Thursday, January 6, 2011


Homey don't play dat!

(*GRIN*)

See...! I do too enjoy some rap and hippity-hop!

O.K., now back to "What's Obama Screwed Up Today" and the ol' diet journal...

8:00 a.m. - A sip of coffee contaminated with the vinegar I had left in the coffee maker from yesterday's cleaning... YUCK...!!!

11:30 a.m. - One half of a chicken, lettuce, pepperoni, tomato, and cheddar cheese sandwich on who grain bread. (With mayo...) (One pickle on the side!)

12:00 p.m. - My second cup of coffee. (I take my coffee with cream, no sugar.)

1:30 p.m. - Ate the second half of my sandwich.

4:30 p.m. - Drank a glass of Crystal Lite with mega-vitamin powder packet mixed in.

7:30 p.m. - Attended a Shiva and had a few scotches and some fruit and cookies.

8:30 p.m. - Snacked on a few broccoli crowns with some onion dip.

8:45 p.m. - Drank a Diet Coke.

9:00 p.m. - Had one slice of pizza.

10:00 p.m. - Had some orange sherbet.

Now I know... I know... my daily diet menus don't always sound like diet menus, but again, if I'm sticking to under 2,000 calories on average then that counts as dieting... for me.

Finally... to reiterate... this diet log is for me... it serves as a reminder and a tripwire. It's a means of backing myself into a corner with regards to keeping my will-power strong.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What I'm Reading and What's on Deck


I finished off Ted Bell's "Warlord" earlier this week.

Presently I'm reading "The High Tide of American Conservatism: Davis, Coolidge, and the 1924 Election" by Garland S. Tucker III, a Christmas present from by best bud Carl.

It's a great book! I highly recommend it and heartily congratulate and thank Mr. Tucker for sharing his natural storytelling talent and obvious research skills. (More on this book after I've finished it...)

Carl was also kind enough to gift me with "Frank: The Voice" by James Kaplan. (Really looking forward to reading this one!)

Speaking of good friends and the gift of knowledge and entertainment, my "brother" Phil was kind enough pick me up a copy of "Decision Points" by President George W. Bush.

While I have my problems with Bush, I truly believe the man is sincere and has always tried to serve the best interests of our country as he saw them and sees them. (Again... I'll be reviewing the book after I've read it.)

Oh...! And the Poops? She picked me up... er... "Late, Late At Night" by Rick Springfield.

(*GRIN*)

Hey... what can I tell ya... I'm a man of eclectic tastes!

Brainstorm: Man... wouldn't it be GREAT if ABC were to come out with a DVD set or downloads of the entire "Luke and Laura" saga from beginning to...

(*SHRUG*)

Anyway...

Barker's Newsbites: Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Actually, these daily newsbite posts should be subtitled "Bill's Diet Journal."

(*GRIN*)

Hey... like I said when I started the diet log, it's simply a willpower support device!

O.K., now where was I...???

Oh, yeah... today's newsbites.

Today's newsbites theme song is...

So... just for a moment think about the fact that if by some miracle another one of your fellow citizens isn't killed or grievously wounded in Afghanistan today, then surely by tomorrow, the next day, or next week our nation will suffer more casualties and squander more treasure we can ill afford to waste.

Anyway...

(*SIGH*)

First cup of coffee - 7:50 a.m.

8:30 a.m. - Nonfat lite yogurt with Special K mixed in.

12:00 p.m. - Chicken & cheese sandwich on whole grain bread with lettuce, tomato, and mayo; side of two pickles.

12:45 p.m. - Crystal Lite with mega-vitamins.

3:00 p.m. - Goat cheese on rye Tristcuits.

6:30 p.m. - Amy's mom's Indian food with sour cream and cheese - i.e. "Barkerized."

6:45 p.m. - Chocolate covered strawberry.

8:00 p.m. - Amy's mom's Indian rice pudding.

10:00 p.m. - Handful of cheddar goldfish crackers with some goat cheese; a glass of port.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Barker's Newsbites: Tuesday, January 4, 2011


O.K., let's remember who we used to be...

As to my diet...

Started off the day - 7:45 a.m. - with a banana and a cup of coffee.

Was out all morning and early afternoon; got back home at 3:30 p.m. and made myself an iceberg lettuce, tomato, broccoli, mushrooms, green olives, and pickle slices salad with two tablespoons of mayo, a few shakes of hot sauce, a teaspoon of mustard, and maybe an ounce of cheddar cheese grated on.

7:00 p.m. - Glass of Crystal Light with mega-vitamin.

7:45 p.m. - Glass of "lite" iced tea.

8:00 p.m. - Two slices of pizza.

8:30 p.m. - One grapefruit.

9:00 p.m. - One chocolate covered strawberry.

9:45 p.m. - A glass of Diet Pepsi.

10:00 p.m. - A few goldfish crackers (8 or 9 maybe).