Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Consumer CRI - Autozone on Cortaro / Silverbell

Normally I stick to highlighting the CRI of the local political scene. Today, however, I am venting some frustration with a local business.

That business: Autozone on Cortaro Farms and Silverbell.

You see, about two weeks ago, the fuel pump went out on my wife's Ford F-150. We didn't have the extra money to buy a new pump at the time, so we waited a bit and saved up some cash. Finally, by Friday of last week, I had enough to purchase the pump - after visiting the Autozone site to confirm the cost of the part. 

Now, I am going to qualify this first by saying up til now, I have been quite pleased with the service I have received at this particular auto parts store. 

Back to the tale: Friday I called in, (as I live approx. 20 mi. from the store to begin with) to see if the part was in stock. The gentleman who answered the phone looked up the part, checked the shelf (I am assuming, as he said he was, then I was put on hold for a few minutes), and responded with the statement that the part was not in stock, but they could get it transferred in over the weekend. He took my name and phone number. I figured I would get a call Saturday, as there were pumps at the warehouse, and they get a daily delivery of parts.

No call Saturday.

Well, it's a holiday weekend, give them the benefit of the doubt...

My wife calls in Tuesday to ask if the pump has arrived yet. The person who answers the phone responds with the statement that the 'computers are down, so I have no idea'. Read: I am too lazy to look in the back for a delivery with your name on it.

My wife calls today. "Computers are still down, so sorry, have no idea.' Again, read: I am too lazy to look in the back for a delivery with your name on it.

OK, fine, I text her to call again, and let them know if it is not in today, we will make our purchases elsewhere, as we are sick of waiting to get my wife's truck up and running.

So she calls back to the store. This time, a different person answers; findsout that the pump in question is 'always' in stock, but there is an extra one in the back with my name on it, has been sitting there for the past couple days. No calls from them, mind you... So she tells them that I will be headed that way (out of my way driving, mind you) to go and pick up the part.


Yeah, a sign that says, "Computers and register down. Store closed. Sorry for the inconvenience."

Do you think, maybe, just maybe, that while my wife was on the phone with them TODAY not once, but twice, they could have mentioned that the store is CLOSED because of the computer problem? NO, they did not.

I almost drove my truck through the front doors. 

That's alright, Autozone has now managed to lose a customer for LIFE. I will happily drive past them the extra 4 miles to get to Merle's Automotive, which most of the local shops use for their parts service. 

And now I know why they do.

Friday, May 22, 2009

And it came to pass ....

And it came to pass in the Age of Insanity that the people of the land called America , having lost their morals, their initiative, and their will to defend their liberties, chose as their Supreme Leader that person known as The One.  He emerged from the vapors with a message that had no meaning; but He hypnotized the people telling them, "I am sent to save you.  My lack of experience, my questionable ethics, my monstrous ego, and my association with evil doers are of no consequence.  For I shall save you with Hope and Change.  Go, therefore, and proclaim throughout the land that he who preceded me is evil, that he has defiled the nation, and that all he has built must be destroyed."
And the people rejoiced.  For even though they knew not what The One would do, He had promised that it was good; and they believed.
And The One said "We live in the greatest country in the world.  Help me change everything about it!" 
And the people said, "Hallelujah!!  Change is good!"

Then He said, 
"We are going to tax the rich fat-cats,"----
And the people said "Sock it to them!"

"---- and redistribute their wealth."

And the people said, 
"Show us the money!"

And then He said, 
"Redistribution of wealth is good for everybody" 

And Joe the plumber asked, 
"Are you kidding me?  You're going to steal my money and give it to the deadbeats??"

And The One ridiculed and taunted him, and Joe's personal records were hacked and publicized. 

One lone reporter asked, "Isn't that Marxist policy?"

And she was banished from the kingdom!

Then a citizen asked, 
"With no foreign relations experience and having zero military experience or knowledge, how will you deal with radical terrorists?" 

The One  said, "Simple. I shall sit with them and talk with them and show them how nice we really are; and they will forget that they ever wanted to kill us all!"

And the people said,
"Hallelujah!!  We are safe at last, and we can beat our weapons into free cars for the people!"
Then The One said, "I shall give 95% of you lower taxes." 

And one, lone voice said, 
"But 40% of us don't pay ANY taxes."

The One  said, "Then I shall give you some of the taxes the fat-cats pay!" 

And the people said, 
"Hallelujah!!  Show us the money!"

The One said, "I shall tax your Capital Gains when you sell your homes!" 

And the people yawned and the slumping housing market collapsed further.

And He said, 
"I shall mand ate employer- funded health care for EVERY worker and raise the minimum wage.  And I shall give every person unlimited health care and medicine and transportation to the clinics." 

And the people said, 
"Gim'me some of that!"

Then he said, 
"I shall penalize employers who ship jobs overseas." 

And the people said, 
"Where's my rebate check?"

The One said, "I shall bankrupt the coal industry and electricity rates will skyrocket!" 

And the people said, 
"Coal is dirty, coal is evil, no more coal!  But we don't care for that part about higher electric rates."

The One said, "Not to worry. If your rebate isn't enough to cover your expenses, we shall bail you out. Just sign up with ACORN and your troubles are over!"

Then He said, 
"Illegal immigrants feel scorned and slighted. Let's grant them amnesty, Social Security, free education, free lunches, free medical care, bi-lingual signs and guaranteed housing..."

And the people said, 
"Hallelujah!!"  And they made him King!

And so it came to pass that employers, facing spiraling costs and ever-higher taxes, raised their prices and laid off workers.  Others simply gave up and went out of business and the economy sank like unto a rock dropped from a cliff.   The banking industry was destroyed.  Manufacturing slowed to a crawl.  And more of the people were without a means of support.

The One said, "I am the The One –  The Messiah - and I'm here to save you!  We shall just print more money so everyone will have enough!"

But our foreign trading partners said unto Him, "Wait a minute. Your dollar is not worth a pile of camel dung!  You will have to pay more..." 

And the people said, 
"Wait a minute. That is unfair!!"

And the world said, "Neither are these other idiotic programs you have embraced. Lo, you have become a Socialist state and a second-rate power. Now you shall play by 
our rules!" 

And the people cried out,
"Alas, alas!! What have we done?"

But yea verily, it was too late.  The people set upon The One and spat upon him and=2 0stoned him, and his name was dung.  And the once mighty nation was no more; and the once proud people were without sustenance or shelter or hope.  And the Change The One had given them was as like unto a poison that had destroyed them and like a whirlwind that consumed all that they had built. 
And the people beat their chests in despair and cried out in anguish, "Give us back our nation and our pride and our hope!!"
But it was too late, and their homeland was no more.
If you think this is hyperbole, check again soon… 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Griffin's and Tucson's life on the B-List

Yeah... paid for with Rio Nuevo money.

Oh, and the road was narrowed. NARROWED...  since when is making a road smaller considered  progress? Traffic is bad enough near and around downtown, and in their infinite wisdom, they paid good money to make it worse. Good Job, City of Tucson!

 ***Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.***
Peter Schmugge

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

FW: Words of Wisdom

Thank-you Glenn... was too good, so had to post in order to keep this around...

Number 10 is a popular favorite!   15 & 17 are my personal favorites.

Words of Wisdom
1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt or a flat tire.

3. It's always darkest before dawn, so if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

4. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

5. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.

6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

7. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments or house payments.

8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

9. If at first you don't succeed...... skydiving is not for you.

10.Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

11. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

12. Some days you're the bug, some days you're the windshield.

13. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

14. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put back in your pocket.

15. A closed mouth gathers no foot.   (Yeah, but you then subject yourself to being tread upon!) GNF

16. Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

17. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

18. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it

Insert movie times and more without leaving Hotmail®. See how.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Good article on the state of education

 ***Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.***
Peter Schmugge

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rep. Stevens, NOT a member of the CRI

Published: 05.10.2009
Rep. Stevens wears US Constitution on his chest
By Daniel Scarpinato

PHOENIX — This week we chat for two minutes with state Rep. David Stevens.
District: 25. An 18,000-square-mile district that stretches from the New Mexico border through Southern Arizona and all the way up into Maricopa County.
Residence: Sierra Vista.
Party: Republican.
Background: Elected to the House last November. Defense contractor since 1988.

Q: What's been the most surprising thing you've found here?
A: The speed at which legislation passes, which is very slow.

Q: So does that affect some of the priorities you came up here with?
A: Oh no. I had almost no priorities per se, just to do what was right for my district and the state.

Q: And what's "right"?
A: Well, it depends on the issue. I mean, what's right for water is not the same as what's right for the Second Amendment. Usually, why some people run for office is they've got an ax to grind on an issue. I didn't have that. I'm here as the whole legislator. I want to see things like lower taxes, less government. But I didn't propose any bills to do that.

Q: Everyone says this is a really tough year because of the budget deficit. But for someone like you, maybe it's a great time, since you wanted small government, and now you get to do it.
A: I wouldn't say it's a great time, but now that I'm up here, I have the opportunity to bring in smaller government. You could probably say I'm unencumbered. Some people have 40, 50 bills. I don't have that — for lack of a better term — baggage. My focus isn't just on what I want to get done; it's on what's right for the state.

Q: Your necktie is an illustration of the U.S. Constitution.
A: Yes it is. This is where it begins — over 200 years ago — this is where it all begins, and this is where we have to get back to. We had a discussion with a couple of legislators in the hall, and they were upset with some of the projected reductions of government. And the comment was, "We're supposed to provide for the general welfare." And I corrected her and said, "No, we're supposed to provide for common defense — promote the general welfare." So there's a misunderstanding of what exactly the Constitution is, obviously, if they can't even get the preamble correct. I've had it memorized since seventh grade. You want to hear it?

Q: That's OK.
It's very important to know where we began.

Q: But everyone has this different idea of what the Constitution means. So isn't it all in the eye of beholder?
A: Well, it's primarily what people want to see out of the Constitution. And if they think it's a living document, I think we need to play poker with these people, 'cause I think I can actually win at that game.

Contact reporter Daniel Scarpinato at 307-4339 or

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Good Opinion Piece.

Not going to take credit for this. It was in today's Tucson Citizen, but was so good, I had to copy for posterity...


Ruben Navarrette Jr.
It's all about ME: Mentality of entitlement 'toxic to society'
Published: 05.06.2009
Jean Twenge has a knack for chronicling the obsession that many Americans have with, well, themselves.
In 2006, the psychology professor at San Diego State University wrote a highly informed book on what she called "Generation Me" - Americans in their teens, 20s and 30s who display very healthy levels of self-esteem even if they haven't accomplished much to earn it.
Now, with fellow psychologist W. Keith Campbell, Twenge has co-authored a new and timely book: "The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement."
Twenge thinks the entitlement mentality might have helped cause America's economic crisis.
"People were very overconfident about what size mortgage they could afford and the same thing with the bankers who were giving the loans," she told me. "Everybody was overconfident and didn't anticipate the downside and so when the downside came, it was worse than anyone imagined."
And Twenge has seen it on college campuses. She recalled the student who asked her to postpone a final exam because it interfered with his plans for a birthday outing to Las Vegas.
And in the work force. She heard from one person who runs a company in Minnesota who said it was not uncommon for employees to call into the office and say they were too tired to come to work and needed to go back to sleep.
In their book, Twenge and Campbell list the factors fueling the entitlement mentality:
• Parenting, schools and a culture that build self-esteem by giving everyone a trophy;
• The Internet, where all can shape their images, post their opinions and be their own publicist;
• Celebrity culture and media, which teach Americans that they're entitled to be famous;
• Ready credit, which, Twenge says, "allows people the fantasy of getting something and not paying for it right away."
What is the harm of all this?
"Narcissism is absolutely toxic to society," Twenge said. "When faced with common resources, narcissists take more for themselves and leave less for others. They tend to be greedy and take too many risks. They feel entitled, don't think about consequences and think that everything will turn out great."
And when things don't turn out great - as with a flailing economy? Often times, when confronted with adversity, failure or even mild setbacks, narcissists fall to pieces.
Lately, I've been collecting my own examples of entitlements - many of them offered by readers.
• There was the teacher of eighth-grade honors English who said she was floored by the fact that about one-third of her class thought it was unfair that she gave them a pop quiz.
According to the teacher, the students insisted that she tell them about the quiz ahead of time and divulge exactly what was going to be covered. A quiz maybe, but there's not much "pop" to that.
• There was the chef who reported that young workers in his kitchen give him strange looks when he asks them "to do something like wash both the inside and outside of a pot or pan or to merely complete a job the best they can." They're more apt to say: "That's not my job!" The chef's response is to tell them that - speaking of jobs - it might be time to look for another one.
• Then there was the custom designer and contractor, a former Marine Corps fighter pilot, who insisted that he hires employees only with "very high standards of workmanship."
The man said that he had tried "sometimes desperately, to hire only native-born young men," and pay them well - $12 an hour for workers with limited or no skills and as much as $35 an hour for those with more skills.
However, he said, native-born workers tended to demand the top wages even when they lacked skills, complained about the pace of jobs and missed work. It was, he said, as if they felt entitled to a job.
Now, the contractor said he much preferred "first-generation immigrants, legal and otherwise," who often have an "astounding work ethic, are willing to start at the bottom, will do the job as directed without complaint and will work until the job is done regardless of the hour . . . offering up a fair day's work for a fair day's pay."
We need to listen to these stories. They illustrate another consequence of Americans foolishly thinking themselves entitled to things they haven't earned: It puts them at a terrible disadvantage in a global marketplace that is, all the time, getting more competitive and less willing to suffer fools.
Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a columnist and editorial board member of The San Diego Union-Tribune. E-mail:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Letcher: time for Tucson to make tough choices
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 05.03.2009

Mike Letcher was named Tucson city manager about two weeks ago after the City Council decided to forego a national search to replace former manager Mike Hein, who was fired last month. Letcher, the former deputy city manager who has 30 years of city management experience, has the daunting task of guiding the city through tumultuous economic times. His first task: Recommend a budget for fiscal 2010. Letcher talked with the Star's Editorial Board last week about the budget and his plans for stabilizing the city's fiscal situation. We've excerpted some of his comments here.
Star: What are your reactions to the public hearing on Tuesday night, when so many Tucsonans expressed opposition to tax increases?
Letcher: We need to spend a lot more time communicating with the public on line of sight between the money we're asking them to pay and the services that they are provided.
It's really critical because last night I heard repeatedly don't cut public safety, "Why did you cut public safety, why are my potholes not being filled?"
And the reason why is because we don't have the money.
I also heard last night that "Why haven't you cut like I had to, 25 percent of my budget and overhead?"
Well, the city of Tucson has already cut over 20 percent; and we're hit over the next two fiscal years. By the time we get done, unless this economy picks up, we're going to have over a 30 percent cut overall in our budget.
I heard, "Why don't you reduce salaries a few points?" We've reduced them 2 percent through furloughs.
There wasn't an opportunity for us to really explain what we've done and why we are where we are now. Once people understand what's at stake — if you cut, here's what's going to be cut, here's the results of the cut — we're fine.
And they need to understand if we don't get the increased revenues what's going to happen. We have totally eliminated our residential street maintenance. We're barely able to keep up with potholes. We have problems getting the weeds in our medians. We have cut hours at the pools and we've trimmed staff in parks and recreation.
If we don't get these revenues, other things are going to happen.
In addition to that, we are fenced in, we are boxed in. Someone mentions, "Well, you should take some lessons from the county. But the county has property tax, a significant amount of property tax. We get $11 million from property tax, and it's capped by the city charter. We're fenced in. We don't have an easy out or a stable source of revenue.
So, Letcher starts right off the bat by admitting they are cutting back on BASIC city services: Street Maintenance and Parks and Rec. This is important, read on...
Star: Why put $2 million in the housing trust fund that could contribute to reducing the proposed $10 million rental tax or any other revenue shortfall?
Letcher: I have heard that. It's not just the housing fund. There's some folks saying why even have money go toward human services? We spend about 76 percent of the general fund to maintain core services, police, fire, et cetera. For human services, it's 24 percent.
A society is not just built with brick, mortar, police, fire. It's built also about how do you take care of those that are least in society. That's what our society's about. That's what's made this country a great country. But the bottom line is we think that we've taken a balanced approach.
Now we get to the meat and gristle. They are 'spreading the pain' around. Little off the city teat, a little off of basic services.  Churchill said it best,"The inherent vice of capitalism is the uneven division of blessings, while the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal division of misery." This is an upside-down and bass-ackwards way to approach city funding. The first responsiblility is to fully fund your core services: Police, Fire, Water and Utilities, Roads, Parks and Rec. ONCE, and only once those are funded, if there is money left over, then you can fund the pet projects and freebie human services. 

And the comment about taking care of the 'least'? Thinly veiled socialism. These are non-profit groups that have gotten so used to lining up at the easy money ATM of the City of Tucson, they have forgotten how to raise their own funds. Yes, holding fund raisers, bake sales, car washes and the like take time and energy - but this just goes to show that once someone becomes DEPENDENT on the government for their livelyhood, they will always rely on the government for their livelyhood. I am not saying it is easy to tell all the non-profit leaches it's time to find another host for a year or two, but that is what needs to happen.
Star: We haven't heard an explanation of the rental tax is fair. We think that's what people most of all want in taxation. We know we have to pay some. But is it fair?
Letcher: The council took action last night on raising the transit fare. They still have to make some decisions on that. We are going to be going to the council to adjust fees. But those aren't going to raise $10 million dollars, as the 2 percent renter tax would do. We do have not a lot of options in the city to raise $10 million. That's the problem.
I don't think it's a question of being fair. It's a question of what options do we have available. Again, if we had a tax like a property tax that was stable, that generated the money, we would be fine. The problem we've got is we've got a sales tax, both state and local, that has bled $68 million dollars, that's been sliding.
And so the only option we've got to raise that kind of money without making some significant cuts is the tax that's in front of you. It's not a question of fair, it's a matter of what options do we have.
NO, the option that you seem to fail to grasp is that when the budget is bigger than the supply, do not grow the supply, but TRIM THE BUDGET. Why is this so hard to understand? It's not about unfair taxation. It's about the people's desire to have the city stop raising taxes as the answer to budget problems. CUT SPENDING!!! How many more times can it be said?

Just in case you can't figure it out, here's the quickie guide to working the budget:

Start with the estimated income for next year. Make sure that income amount is realistic in nature!

Then fully fund Police and Fire, subtract from the income amount, if > zero, continue on...
Next, fully fund Water and Utilities,  subtract from the income amount, if > zero, continue on...
Next, fully fund Roads,  subtract from the income amount, if > zero, continue on...
if < zero, now you go back and start to reduce each department
Next, fully fund Parks and Rec,  subtract from the income amount, if > zero, continue on...
if <>
Next, fully fund any other neccessary services,  subtract from the income amount, if > zero, continue on...
if <>
Next, fund your human services departments,  subtract from the income amount, if > zero, continue on...
<> if <>
LASTLY, pet projects, non-profits, etc,  subtract from the income amount, if > zero, continue on...
if <>

How simple is that?
Star: Do you actually expect the City Council to approve this budget?
Letcher: This is a proposed budget. And that's what the purpose of the public hearing last night was, to hear from the community and see what the community wants. We would expect by June 2 that the council would have to approve a tentative budget. The policy makers now have to decide where they need to go.
Read: No, it's just some razzle-dazzle...We'll go back to Hein's budget, everyone will be happy since it does not raise taxes in the process, and people won't notice how much pet projects are still alive in it. It's the old bait and switch. Hein's budget was going too gather heat as well, so let's make it SOOOooooo overly bloated, that when they go back, everyone thinks they won, everyone is happy.... but you think we don't see what is going on?

We won't notice? Yeah, come November you'll see just how much we didn't notice...
Star: Why not cut spending more? 
Letcher: Seventy-six percent of our money is the core, things that people see: parks, roads, cops, paramedics, all that, fire. So we can continue to cut. But it's going to have huge consequences, down the road.
The problem is, the physical appearance of this community is not acceptable. I live here in Tucson. This is my home. When I drive to work, and I have people visit, my mom was here three weeks ago — potholes, there's trash blowing all over the roads. Our parks we can't maintain as well as we should.
And it's very simple that if we keep cutting, I can cut people; I can continue to cut finance people because that's what we've been cutting. I can continue to cut procurement people. We can reduce the clerk's office. But the real money is in everything people want.
If we can give people a line of sight — what we're trying to do now is stop this, is to stop the decline and then we can start building this place back. But we're going to need to do something other than have the city rely on sales tax. It's that simple.
Ok, again, you still have 24% going to???? If you started slicing into that, you could have the cops that keep downtown safe, the fire department necessary to provide emergency services, the parks department to keep the parks clean, and roads to keep up on road repairs. Quilters, 'urban artists', and the like will not improve the 'look' of Tucson, so why fund them when we can't afford it?
Star: How are you going to pull that off though politically?
Letcher: I have a lot of faith in the democratic process. We have got to take time, and we can't just talk to people when we need money or have a problem that we need to fix. You talk to them throughout the year. You share with them. You give them more information. The more that they understand about the consequences of the actions that they take.
So we're going to start talking. In July, one of my goals is an engagement process in the community to really listen and to say here's what our problems are, both short term and long term. And then we make informed decisions.
It's about how are we going to maintain our police, our fire? How are we going to improve our streets? How are we going to make sure our parks are taken care of? How are we going to make sure that people who need to be served are taken care of?
And then we figure out where we're going to go. And as long as the community does that, then we're fine. I'm fine with it. But without that, what you've got is chaos.
He actually has the order right, as he goes through the services... now if he just would fund in that order, everything would be great!
Star: What about selling assets?
Letcher: One of the things we're trying to do is a stability plan to ask, how do we recover from this?
We're trying to get a three-year plan together for recovery. And one of those strategies in that plan for recovery is going to be can we dispose of assets. That's a two-edged sword: We can sell the asset, but if you use it for recurring costs, you burn through it like a savings account.
But what it does is buy us time. Let's say we get out of the recession in two years. If that buys us time to limp through and to get the two years and we stabilize.
We'll roll this thing out this summer, first with the council and then the community, this whole stability plan. And it's really what the community wants to do.
I'm not going to do something that is going to burden this community, like for a quick fix to make my life easy. My goal is just to stabilize the city.
Plans, strategies, yes, they are all neccessary, I would want them to have some plan... but the first step is mandating via Town Charter a minimum of expectation for Police and Fire. If the City Council cannot get it through their heads that this is what the town wants, then we must take the ability for them to have the freedom to choose away from them. Yes, I hate limiting the freedoms of the people, and it pains me to have to go to this kind of solution, but this has gone on for too long. The City Council has lost touch with it's people. They worry only about their pet projects, only about the leaches that show up in their offices on a daily basis asking for funding for their underwater basket weaving social program, rather than the needs of the average Joe or Jane out there working hard to make a better life for themselves.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Notice something? I do....

I was checking out the Agenda for the next Pima County Supervisors Meeting (May 5, 2009). I noticed a trend, maybe you will notice it too... Something about tea parties, grass roots efforts, etc.... Think maybe, just maybe 2010 will be a little different when it comes time to the vote?

Pursuant to A.R.S. §16-821B, approval of Precinct Committeemen resignations and appointments:

Burgess, Patricia H. 010 DEM
Edmunds, James B. 091 REP
Kinsey, Adam D. 103 DEM
Benedict, Ruth L. 345 DEM
Kennedy, Michael M. 395 REP

Schmugge, Peter H. 005 REP
Wilcox, Brook E. 005 REP
Wishnick, Yale 008 REP
Hamed, Sami Y. 019 DEM
Kinsey, Adam D. 045 DEM
Fimbres, Mary L. 064 DEM
Fimbres, Richard G. 064 DEM
Davis, Vicki 088 REP
Tumpes, Sandra S. 088 REP
Curtis, George H. 091 REP
Sutton, Katherine L. 100 GRN
Venne, Marilyn R. 100 REP
Martin, Marjory 108 REP
Watts, Michael A. 118 REP
Hutchison, Joyce A. 141 REP
Lowe, Doug 163 REP
Lowe, Penny 163 REP
Donatelli, Esther 171 REP
Donatelli, Jeff 171 REP
Wagner, James R. 188 REP
Pine, Dan L. 193 REP
Nevins, Donald L. 202 REP
Markhart, William T. 203 REP
Holden, Phyliss A. 205 REP
Lee, Linda P. 206 REP
Perry, Glenn M. 214 REP
Perry, Marjorie S. 214 REP
Yee, Marilyn A. 214 REP
Summers, Bret W. 223 REP
Summers, Fabiola A. 223 REP
Fields, Tom W. 224 REP
Scheller, Pat A. 224 REP
Herrell, Emily J. 231 DEM
Strasburg, Jack E. 236 GRN
McLaughlin, Jeff A. 242 REP
Buino, Terrence M. 246 REP
Kelly, Aubrey Y. 261 REP
Peyton, Laura 261 REP
Bengds, Erik E. 269 REP
McDonald, Steven J. 280 REP
Butler, Seth A. 281 REP
Origer, Mara L. 290 DEM
Langione Hillwig, Denise N. 310 REP
Reynolds, Merton D. 318 REP
Blanchard, Jean P. 328 REP
Blanchard, Mark 328 REP
MacInnes, Darlene R. 328 REP
Romanowski, Jolanta 328 REP
Ferrell, Denise A. 359 REP
Hagge, Ruth L. 359 REP
Leslie, Jennifer I. 359 REP
Flowers, Judith A. 376 REP
Flowers, Odis E. 376 REP
Thomas, Steve N. 385 REP
Pickett, Christopher H. 391 REP
Egbert, Kara S. 392 REP
Matthews, Rachel M. 392 REP
Walton, Cade A. 392 REP
Walton, Michelle M. 392 REP
Hann, Gina R. 393 REP
Botsko, Joseph A. 415 REP
Tanberg, Mary E. 417 REP
CC 5-5-09 (3)

Friday, May 1, 2009

AP story on Obama's 100 days...

This was just so good, I wanted to keep a copy for reference later... So enjoy!

FACT CHECK: Obama disowns deficit he helped shape

WASHINGTON (AP) — "That wasn't me," President Barack Obama said on his 100th day in office, disclaiming responsibility for the huge budget deficit waiting for him on Day One.

It actually was him — and the other Democrats controlling Congress the previous two years — who shaped a budget so out of balance.

And as a presidential candidate and president-elect, he backed the twilight Bush-era stimulus plan that made the deficit deeper, all before he took over and promoted spending plans that have made it much deeper still.

Obama met citizens at an Arnold, Mo., high school Wednesday in advance of his prime-time news conference. Both forums were a platform to review his progress at the 100-day mark and look ahead.

At various times, he brought an air of certainty to ambitions that are far from cast in stone.

His assertion that his proposed budget "will cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term" is an eyeball-roller among many economists, given the uncharted terrain of trillion-dollar deficits and economic calamity that the government is negotiating.

His vow that the recovery plan will "double the supply of renewable energy" will require a congressional mandate that won't be easy to achieve.

And he promised vast savings from increased spending on preventive health care in the face of doubts that such an effort, however laudable it might be for public welfare, can pay for itself, let alone yield huge savings.

A look at some of his claims Wednesday:

OBAMA: "Number one, we inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit.... That wasn't me. Number two, there is almost uniform consensus among economists that in the middle of the biggest crisis, financial crisis, since the Great Depression, we had to take extraordinary steps. So you've got a lot of Republican economists who agree that we had to do a stimulus package and we had to do something about the banks. Those are one-time charges, and they're big, and they'll make our deficits go up over the next two years." — in Missouri.


Congress controls the purse strings, not the president, and it was under Democratic control for Obama's last two years as Illinois senator. Obama supported the emergency bailout package in President George W. Bush's final months — a package Democratic leaders wanted to make bigger.

To be sure, Obama opposed the Iraq war, a drain on federal coffers for six years before he became president. But with one major exception, he voted in support of Iraq war spending.

The economy has worsened under Obama, though from forces surely in play before he became president, and he can credibly claim to have inherited a grim situation.

Still, his response to the crisis goes well beyond "one-time charges."

He's persuaded Congress to expand children's health insurance, education spending, health information technology and more. He's moving ahead on a variety of big-ticket items on health care, the environment, energy and transportation that, if achieved, will be more enduring than bank bailouts and aid for homeowners.

The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated his policy proposals would add a net $428 billion to the deficit over four years, even accounting for his spending reduction goals. Now, the deficit is nearly quadrupling to $1.75 trillion.


OBAMA: "I think one basic principle that we know is that the more we do on the (disease) prevention side, the more we can obtain serious savings down the road. ... If we're making those investments, we will save huge amounts of money in the long term." — in Missouri.

THE FACTS: It sounds believable that preventing illness should be cheaper than treating it, and indeed that's the case with steps like preventing smoking and improving diets and exercise. But during the 2008 campaign, when Obama and other presidential candidates were touting a focus on preventive care, the New England Journal of Medicine cautioned that "sweeping statements about the cost-saving potential of prevention, however, are overreaching." It said that "although some preventive measures do save money, the vast majority reviewed in the health economics literature do not."

And a study released in December by the Congressional Budget Office found that increasing preventive care "could improve people's health but would probably generate either modest reductions in the overall costs of health care or increases in such spending within a 10-year budgetary time frame."

Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report.