Sunday, August 31, 2008

Someone Please Help Me Understand!

The whole Federal Reserve thing. I was trying to tackle that but it made my little pea brain hurt. I don't get it. I need someone to break it down for me kindergarten style.

1. What/Who decides how much money the Federal Reserve makes? I don't get it.

2. If we are so far in debt as a nation... how is the Federal Reserve being paid back... And why do they have to be paid back if the money was just made? I don't get it.

3. Why not just make all the money that is needed?

Talk to me slow and don't use big brainy words.

One Salient Oversight answers:

I won't answer 1 & 2 because I'm pretty sure I did a month or two back.

*Sorry! I will go back and look at that again... I just can't grasp it and retain it! Some subjects make me cross eyed and itchy.

#3 is an interesting one.

Money is created by 2 institutions. The first is the central bank (in America's case, the Federal Reserve). The second is commercial banks.

Most of the growth in the money supply happens because of commercial banks. They are the ones lending out money and they are the ones who take people's deposits.

By leaving money creation to commercial banks, both the supply and the demand for money is determined by the market.

If banks were not allowed to create money, and if the Federal Reserve did it all, then the money supply would be determined by the Federal Reserve Bank - in other words, the government.

If money creation stopped, and if the amount of money in an economy simply stopped growing, then the economy would value it more and more because it becomes a finite resource. If an economy wants to grow and the money supply remains at the same level, then the production of goods and services will devalue in relation to money. The outward result of this would be a rather large dose of deflation.

Money is very useful because it is the only "thing" we use to attribute numerical value to the things we buy. A Chocolate is "1", while a house is "300,000".

But for money to do its job properly, it needs to retain its value. Inflation or Deflation affects the use of money and confuses the market when it attempts to value goods and services. If inflation is at 100%, for example, then the chocolate you bought for "1" is now "2" a year later.

Keeping a lid on either inflation or deflation is the responsibility of the Federal Reserve. Inflation is dealt with by increasing interest rates. Deflation is dealt with by decreasing interest rates.


Two Dogs answers:

As far as the actual supply of currency, I deem that unimportant, welcome to that island, population ONE. Most of us no longer carry much more cash than absolutely necessary, we plop down the plastic. This does seem to cause a problem to folks that still think that actual paper means something, but in my opinion it means nothing to actual wealth.

If economic issues are where the questions are directed, lemme say this. The government removes money from the economy with taxes. Then they redistribute that "wealth" to other areas that do nothing to grow the wealth of this country. One dollar removed, is a dollar lost forever. We build government subsidized housing, provide medical care for around 45% of our population, feed them, clothe them, and educate them. Oddly enough, this philosophy has been created mostly in my lifetime.

Understand this point: fully 12 million people are employed by the Fed solely to give your money to other people. IF those 12,000,000 people ONLY made minimum wage, do you realize that is 158 BILLION dollars in salary alone per year? I am not counting the continuous upgrades to government facilities to house them, the heating and cooling costs of those facilities, nor the facilities themselves. I'm guessing that kinda slows down the economy to remove that money and place it directly into the hands of someone that produces NOTHING.

Paper money? Not on my radar.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Under Construction...

I am working on a post that includes the bios for all of the contributors... I am also going to change up the template so that this is easier to read. I am going to have to work on this stuff here and there through this busy holiday weekend as I am able.

I am going to have a giveaway drawing every Friday for a $10 Starbucks gift card. All you have to do to be eligible is comment on each of the new posts that week. You can also get your name thrown into the hat an additional time if you post about it on your blog... and additional entries each time someone comments and says that they were directed to this blog via your blog.

Friday, August 29, 2008

D R A M A!!!

I actually watched Obama's speech last night after we got home from a football game. I intended to focus on that today... However, McCain announced that he has chosen Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, as his running mate.

My questions for today are:

1. Any thoughts on Obama's speech?

2. What do you think about McCain's choice for his running mate?

Don't know much about Sarah Palin? Roland does a great job on his blog of introducing Sarah Palin. If you are wondering how this could happen... here's a link to Adam Brickley's blog. He was homeschooled through high school and just graduated from college in May. He worked long and hard to draft Sarah Palin for Vice President.

Liam answers:

1. Any thoughts on Obama's speech?

Just about everyone, liberal and conservative, said it was an excellent speech. Pat Buchanan, the staunch conservative, said "It was a genuinely outstanding speech. It was magnificent." I loved the speech. He showed the Republicans that he wasn't going to sit back, but rather he was going to fight.

2. What do you think about McCain's choice for his running mate?

Setting aside my obvious partisanship... It is VERY risky. By selecting Palin he's completely giving up on the argument that Obama doesn't have the experience to be President. How can you make that claim when you've selected as your running mate someone who's only been the governor of a state who's population is smaller than most major cities... and only been the governor for less than 18 months. Her elected office before that? Mayor of Wasilla, population 9,000. That being said, it's quite obvious he's going after the women's vote and more pointedly the Hillary/Anti-Obama Democrats... The question is are they going support a staunch pro-life, Lifetime NRA member Republican? Ed Rollins, who was the campaign chair for Huckabee, called the pick a "hail mary pass"... And how often do hail mary passes actually work?

One Salient Oversight answers:

I've only been aware of Sarah Palin's selection for about half an hour. A few things have gone through my brain.

1. Both Republicans and Democrats are aware that women can't be considered a single voting "block". Democrat-leaning women are far more likely to vote for Obama than a Republican women. Similarly, Republican-leaning women were far less likely to vote for Hillary Clinton if she was in the race.

2. There is a chance that McCain said "Let's pick a woman so we can gain votes from Clinton supporters who are still annoyed at Obama's nomination." If that was his reason then I have very, very serious doubts about not just his chances in November but also the wisdom of his political advisors.

3. But if McCain chose Palin because he thought she was the best choice (as he would say publicly), then what is it about her that would endear her to voters? Being a Republican she is obviously a Conservative, but is she "centrist" enough to appeal? More than that, does her record show a competence in governing and a willingness to put aside partisanship to get things done?

4. I agree with your point that the whole "inexperience" argument is sort of contradicted here, but you could also argue that both teams have one person who is "young" (Obama/Palin) and one person who is "experienced" (McCain/Biden).Anyway that's my initial thoughts. When I know more I'll have a firmer opinion.

Two Dogs answers:

1. Typical yawner of the Democrat speech that Jimmy Carter gave in 1975. Only interesting to really dense people that have collectivist mentalities. Since Jimmy's 1975 campaign, every single Democrat has given the same speech with a different delivery. Barry's delivery comes from the Al Gore school of talking down to kindergarteners. Sandpoundingly bad in delivery, terrible talking points, and awful philosophy of more redistribution of wealth. Number one word was "promise." He said it 33 times. Remember, Barry lied about being on food stamps, his promises are worth nothing.

At least Britney Spears' set designers continue to work only with morons.

2. Palin is conservative and will be the thing that brings me into the McCain camp if John promises to only be president for one term. She has mathematically 5.1 times the executive experience than Obama has as senator. Of course that is comparing apples to oranges and apples are worth at least ten times as much as oranges. I have more on my first take of her at my blog. I don't want to cloud up your place too badly. And it includes the "v" word.

Elysa answers:

Okay...here's my ever humble opinion... ;)

1. Obama's speech was boring. It went on and on and on. It fluctuated between trying to sound like a Republican Conservative on some points (saying that it wasn't about govt. but people being responsible) to liberalism and socialism (with his long list of things that the govt. would provide since people can't do it for themselves or others and these things would be payed for by extortion...taxes). Some of the things he said are in direct contradiction to things he has said in other speeches. And some of the things he said just don't have anything to stand on based on his own life and what he has accomplished. To be honest, I was surprised. I've heard him speak before and though I don't agree with the majority of his political views, I've always admired his speaking ability and likeable on-screen personality. We were bored and my kids (2 of which are teenage girls)kept complaining that we were making them watch it because we told them it was a "historical" event.

2. I LOVE the Palin choice. And EVERY SINGLE conservative, Republican woman that I have talked to or interacted with via email, etc. has gotten pumped up! To be honest, I don't think ANYONE of them liked McCain very much and the majority of us were planning on either NOT voting at all, voting for a third candidate/write-in out of protest, or holding our noses tightly and voting. I don't know of any Republican/conservative friend that was excited about his race or willing to campaign on his behalf. Now it's a totally different story and we're ready to do what we can to get Palin in the White House...oh, and John, too.

3. Yes, experience matters. But just as much if not MORE than experience is character and right thinking. Palin has the character, she's got the right stands on the issues (supported by the way she lives her life and has acted in the past), and she definitely has more EXECUTIVE experience than Barak Obama.

4. I think McCain's choice of a true conservative gave a very clear message to the party base that he DOES value us and he wants us part of his administration...something that most of us weren't too sure about in the past.

So there you have it from this SAHM Southern Belle. :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sixty-Eight Days People!!!

Whew! Can you believe it is only 68 days until the election? Okay, not only am I an uneducated housewife, but I am scatterbrained too. I used to think I had Wonder Woman multi-tasking skills but... someone has apparently placed some kryptonite nearby. Wrong super hero? Anyway, my invisible plane is also missing in action. So, I am changing it up again!

Rather than spend my time researching things and trying to pretend that I really do understand things enough to turn around and articulate that here on this blog, I am going to be asking questions. Some very awesome people have agreed to take part by being contributors to this blog by answering my questions... and any questions y'all might have (I am sitting here typing this out, imagining that someone other than those who have agreed to take part are reading. That's a little weird).

I am going to be putting information about the contributors with links to their sites on my sidebar. I just want to get with them first and find out what they would like to be said in their little blurbs. If you are reading this and would like to be a contributor, please e-mail me at coffeebeankel@earthlink.net.

What is the BIG thing going on this week? Yep, The Democratic National Convention. I'll tell you a little secret... I haven't watched much of it. Why? Because... I really don't understand why it is such a big deal. It would be much more interesting if the outcome was more uncertain. To me it is just an outdated formality and a bunch of posturing for the cameras. I won't watch much of the Republican National Convention either. The expense of these little docu-dramas bothers me too.

Liam, who is one of the new contributors, gave an excellent run down on the history of the Democratic National Convention in the comments.

Well luckily you happen to have someone who has a degree in History and a minor in Political Science... and is a politics junkie to boot.

So... the Democratic National Convention... It meets every 4 years to decide a couple of things... First is the biggest... Who the Democratic presidential nominee is going to be. The primaries and caucuses are MOSTLY about deciding how many delegates a candidate has to send to the convention. Those delegates are the ones who vote on who the nominee is going to be.

Going into the convention, Sen Obama has 2,345 delegates and Sen Clinton has 1,972 delegates. 2,210 delegates are needed for the nomination. On Wednesday night they'll have the role call of states. At that time each delegation will have an opportunity to cast it's votes. "The great state of Colorado casts 36 votes for Senator Barack Obama and 19 votes for Senator Hillary Clinton!" yadda yadda...

You may hear some things about "releasing delegates". Senator Clinton won a number of delegates in the primaries and caucuses and those delegates are pledged to her. She may go ahead and tell them "It's ok, you don't have to vote for me, vote for Senator Obama". That's the rumour at least.

The other major task of the Convention is creating what is called a "platform". This is essentially a listing of all the things the party stands for. Individual issues are called... planks (go figure).Since Sen Obama will undoubtedly be the nominee, most of the the things he stands for will be in the platform. Hope that helps...

I then e-mailed Liam and asked him if delegates can change their votes. I did not think so... but something in the back of my mind was still wondering. This was his response:

First you have to remember there are two different types of delegates... Pledged and unpledged.

Unpledged delegates, or superdelegates, are party officials and elected people like senators and congressmen... they are unpledged and can vote for whoever they want for whatever reason and can change whenever they want...

Pledge delegates are delegates won in primaries and caucuses... They are pledged to the candidate that won them. Now what THAT means depends on the state. Some states require pledged delegates to remain loyal. Some states require them to remain loyal through the 2nd or 3rd ballot (ie if someone doesn't get enough votes to win on the 1st ballot). Some states make no rules on pledged delegate loyalty.

So... yes and no to your answer.

My questions are:

What do y'all think about the party conventions? Are they still important?

What do you think of Barak Obama's running mate Joe Biden?

Any thoughts on the speeches so far? (Go here for transcripts of the speeches... Michelle Obama's is on the very bottom of the page)

Liam answers:

First off... the roll call was last night and as you may have noticed not all of Clinton's delegates voted for her... Why? well because earlier in the day she "released" her delegates, essentially telling them they could vote for whomever they wanted.

Then of course came the big moment... Sen Clinton asked the convention to suspend the rules and nominate Sen Obama by acclamation. What does that mean? Essentially they ask the convention a big yea/nay and if they thing there were 2/3 of them say "yea" then it's over. Now that we have the "what" covered... the bigger question is the "why"... Because of "unity". Sen Clinton wanted to show her supporters that they'd better get behind Obama...

So tonight Sen Obama will give his acceptance speech... 45 years to the day MLK gave his "I Have A Dream" speech.

Now your questions...

What do y'all think about the party conventions? Are they still important?

The conventions are big infomercials for the parties... And that's not a bad thing. Every 4 years they get together and show the country what they supposedly believe.

What do you think of Barak Obama's running mate Joe Biden?

Biden's the perfect little pitbull. He has great experience and he's a fighter... they call him a "happy warrior"... He'll be smiling the entire time he's sticking a dagger in your back.

Any thoughts on the speeches so far?

Maybe I'm nuts, but I've never thought Hillary was a great speaker... they've always said how great this speech was or how great this one was... I'm just like "eeeehhhhh"... not impressed. Bill on the other hand... he rocked it. My wife and I have debated whether he was going senile after all the stupid things he's said during the campaign... but his speech last night was outstanding. Biden had the unfortunate timing of going after Bill... His speech was good, but not as good Bill... Tonight's the big one... Obama's speech in front of up to 80,000...

August 28, 2008 12:30 PM

Roland answers:

Q: What do y'all think about the party conventions? Are they still important?

A: I think I agree with Liam's suggestion that they're a sounding board. This year, what with the party being split between Obama and Hillary, I think it was more important than ever to show unity and have the Hillary and Obama camp combine and march off in a unified direction (against McCain.)That being said - it's all party political and that's quite boring. A lot of back slapping and hand shaking. I think what promises to make this campaign so interesting is that McCain, at least, used to be a bit of a bipartisan and he used to do his own thing instead of towing the party line (like the Democrats are currently doing.)When it comes to Obama, I think people will vote for the party as much as the man, so the convention is important. With McCain, I think a lot of moderate Democrats might vote for him because he's kind of centrist and a maverick - and the Republican National Convention might scare them off (once the right wing loonies get rolling.)

Q: What do you think of Barak Obama's running mate Joe Biden?

A: I think ol' Joe's not as good a bet as Obama might have suspected. He's got a big mouth on him and those soundbites of his will turn around to bite him on the rump during the election.I admire Biden because he's down to earth. He takes the train to Washington everyday, he still lives in his district and he's stuck to his guns on his beliefs. But I don't like the fact that he's been caught plagiarizing, lying and talking rubbish on more than one occasion.I suspect Obama picked him to sew up Pennsylvania - a vital state in the election. Who knows if that strategy will work or not.

Q: Any thoughts on the speeches so far?

A: I thought they've all been pretty good. Ted Kennedy is a powerhouse, Michelle's speech was a bit sappy, but sweet (although when she kept going on about needing a persistent president, I couldn't helping remembering how dogged Hillary had been) and both Clintons reminded me of why they're such effective politicians when they took to the podium.

August 28, 2008 1:06 PM

Two Dogs answers:

Since I was asked, I shall reply. With no cussy words either, no matter how bad I want to let them just slide off my tongue on this topic.

1. I don't think that conventions have been important for some time now. I am even beginning to question the importance of parties. I am a Constitutionalist and neither party comes even remotely close to honoring the Constitution. To have a NATIONAL party endorse abortion and produce legislation to FORCE states to allow it, is a travesty. That is a state issue in that the Constitution doesn't even mention the word "abortion" and the Consitution expressly forbids the federal government to have an opinion on anything that is not expressly granted to the federal government. Welfare is a direct violation of the Consitution. Nationalizing criminal aliens? Uh, they are CRIMINALS, what part of their breaking the law is so hard to understand? Education? Same thing. FEMA? Yes again. National "healthcare?" Puhleeeze. We have completely lost our way and I see no end in sight until there is honesty from our media which will never happen. Freedom of the press doesn't grant them the power to print whatever they want despite it being lies.

2. Joe Biden is more liberal than 98.2% of of our national representatives and tugs us further away from the Constitution. He is far from "middle of the road." I guess if you believe in the Democrat platform of fascism, he is great, almost as good as Obama. Please recall that fascism is a system of government that states plainly that the state or nation is the highest priority, rather than personal or individual freedoms. I think that fits the Democrats perfectly and the Republicans are not far behind. Call a spade a spade. Words mean something.Obama and Joe Biden both are currently fighting to restrict the first amendment rights of citizens trying to keep the commercials placing Obama with William Ayers, the terrorist. They are fighting it using the provisions laid down by the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Law, how ironic? They are also completely agsint the Second Amendment and both have "F's" from the NRA while holding 95% ratings from the Brady Ban all the Guns, Forget the Constitution Political Action Committee. Recall Barry saying to PAC money? He lied, bald faced. He has also taken money from oil company executives, despite what he has said. Executives from Exxon have even given him more money than they have McCain. By the way, despite what Obama says, it has been illegal for corporations to donate money to political candidates since the early 1900s. So neither candidate has taken money directly from oil COMPANIES. Obama lies.

3. I have no desire at all to listen to either party pander to stupid people. And that is exactly what they do. It is a get together to promise to spend the money of hard working people by giving it to nonworking people and "nonprofits" that back stuff that is far from what normal people deem just. Have you heard a single new idea escape from someone's mouth at the DNC? Of course not, they have to hide the fact that their candidates think nothing of slaughtering a baby that actually survived an abortion attempt. You have also heard Nancy Pelosi say, day before yesterday, that the Catholic Church has never been able to determine when life starts. Another lie that the media let slide. The Catholic Church has maintained SINCE THE FIRST CENTURY that life begins at conception. The Church has NEVER waivered on this issue. The Speaker of the House of Representatives lied to the nation on national television and no one said a word.

Michelle Obama is a blithering moron, just like her husband. She also makes over 300,000 dollars a year to influence her husband to funnel money to UoC hospital. Which he has done on many ocassions. Check it. When rich people get up on stage and tell you that they are just like you normal folks, don't believe it, you know better. Do you think that someone that grossed 4.5 million dollars last year knows what it is like to worry about paying 4 dollars for a gallon of gas? Or even knows which combo meal to order at Wendys? The Kerrys didn't even know what CHILI was.

Obama is just another PROOF of beauty being skin deep. No intelligence at all, just a thirst for power with no accomplishments, like the majority of other elected officials. And the farthest left of any national elected official. And has never in his very short history reached across the aisle to vote with the Republicans. Ever.

McCain? Absolute Centrist, which is not good either. True enough, he would slow our slide toward fascism, but slowing it is not enough. The news media heralded him a mere four years ago and said that he would have been a great VP pick for Kerry, now they are dumping him like a piece of garbage. Why is that, do you think? It is because the Obamessiah has arrived to save the sheeple.

Here's a couple of salient thoughts about your federal government: Wonder what one cancer has never reduced in percentage of population affected since the anti-smoking people lobbied Congress to place restrictions on an industry that was producing a legal product? Lung cancer. Wonder where the attorney that brought the initial lawsuit is right now? In a federal penetentiary for attempting to bribe a judge to allow him to keep more of his fee that he kept from another attorney that participated in the lawsuit.

Lastly, when the Republicans are considered the party of fiscal conservatism and STILL raise spending 47% in ten years, you know that something is wrong. And of course, there is no recession now either. There has been not a single negative growth quarter since 1983 (much less two) which is required before the economy can be considered in a recession. Consider your news source and determine what they are trying to accomplish with their reporting. And know that the New York Times has lost almost 90% of their stock value in the last three years.

Those of you that actually like Obama, only God can help you in your ignorance. it will take a miracle to teach you to feed yourselves.Remember 1994 and the groundswell to turn the rip-off artists out of office? We can do that again at some point and enjoy the fruits of our own labor yet again if we are diligent.

August 28, 2008 1:21 PM

Monday, August 25, 2008

I am Coming Back Today!!!

Okay, Liam, you made me laugh. I am coming back today but won't be putting my post up until later. I had wanted to go at this by first going over some basic information on United States history and how our government works... but after thinking it over some... decided to start with the basics of economics. However, my darling daughter, who I just dropped off at college last week, asked me who the governor of Colorado is... my darling daughter who will be voting in 3 months. My oldest daughter will also be voting in 3 months. It is my hope to lay things out in such a way as to get them thinking for themselves and make their own decisions. I thought we would have accomplished this when they were being homeschooled... but, apparently not. Interestingly, I've also come to realize that I am not even sure why I think the way I do on certain issues. So, hopefully, I will also learn to think for myself where politics are concerned and be able to adequately explain why I stand where I do.

So, I am changing direction. The decision to write this blog was made without my taking into consideration what we had coming up as a family. I really should have waited until now to start this. But, I didn't, and I'm a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal so it is what it is. With there only being 3 months until the election I want to look at what is happening now and throw in the history stuff as we go along and as it pertains to what is happening. We've got the Democratic National Convention this week in Denver so... I am going to start with that. But... Guess what? I don't really know how to explain it so I am having to do some research and get it all sorted out before I post about it. I am uneducated after all.

I am really hoping that the few of you that read this will help me along the way... Correct me when I am wrong... Point out things I didn't think of... Share resources that back up what you believe and why. I really and truly know just enough to get me in trouble.

I am going to take care of a few housewifely things and then I need to read a bit more before I write my real post for today.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Will Be Back to Posting on August 25

I probably should have held off on starting this blog until the end of summer... Things are just really busy right now and I need to focus on some other things. This blog is important to me so I will definitely be picking this back up.