Does Mr. Obama know who this NSA Really is?
ANSWER: Scary!

obamansa2The big news today was that President Obama has formally addressed the NSA’s (National Security Agency) recent cell phone record faux pas. The New York Times had some pretty good coverage of the entire back pedaling event.

My congratulations go out to our President for openly dealing with this unsavory and embarrassing issue.

NSA1But… We he would probably not even talk about this if it was not for the recent revelations that the NSA was listening in on European government leader cell phone calls. Basically if the NSA would not have been caught they would still be doing the same thing they have been doing many years. All in the name of national security of course.

So now it’s all out in the open and there will be new guidelines?

I really don’t think anything will be any different except that the NSA will be more diligent at plugging leaks so they don’t get caught again. No one likes it but their job is and always has been to listen in on all voice and data traffic.

WiresNSAMany months back a Wired Magazine article talked about a new NSA facility located out in the Utah Desert desert with the sole purpose of capturing and analyzing all forms of communications.

So I guess to make a few extra bucks now the NSA is going stop using the Utah facility to listen in on us and rent it out to Netflix so they can stream movies even faster?  I don’t think so.

Presidents come and go. Senators come and go. Congressman come and go. Supreme court Judges come and go. But… There will always be an NSA and they will always be listening to anything they can get their hands on.

New NetFlix Movie Streaming facility?

New NetFlix Movie Streaming facility?

Bottom line… Assume everything you say or write over your phone or on the internet is going through the NSA’s computers. If you don’t have anything to hide, no worries. Use the wrong words that the NSA computers are targeting and anything can happen. I won’t include any example sensitive words here for fear that these snoops will start going through my stuff.

The time to start worrying is if/when all that information and listening capability falls into the wring hands.  But how do you define “wrong”?

 

 

Healthcare.gov… Is this the best they can do?

Healtcare1Just so you know where I stand on this ObamaCare issue in general… I am not excited about the prospect of the government taking over healthcare for many reasons like: 1) when was the last time the government did anything well. 2) I’m not sure if I want the government making decisions about my healthcare. 3) By basically doubling (or more) the number of people with access to healthcare on January 1, 2014 there will not be enough doctors, nurses, or hospital. beds.

Now that said, I do believe that National Healthcare is essential. Maybe just not the way the Government is doing it. They should have looked closer at how it is done in most other big-time countries like Germany, Canada, France and the United Kingdom where they seem to have it working.

So… Today they finally launched Healthcare.gov, the web page were we can learn more about ObamaCare and research the various plans available in our specific states. Exciting stuff!

I was curious to see how their Government plans compared with the plan I have now so I decided to take a look at the site. After a long pause, “Thank You For Your Patients” a healthcare2page finally came up to guide me through setting up an account. You know, the kind of process we have all gone through to set up online accounts at most any online retail store or online bank. I looked simple enough until I got to the page that asks for those personal answers to general questions. I expected questions like. “What  high school did you attend?” or “Who was the best man at your wedding?”…

But the question box never filled in with questions.

Odd… This seems like something that should have been tested.

I think they had something like three years to get this Healthcare.gov website up and running. This scares me a little bit. These are the people who will be ultimately responsible for our healthcare and they can’t seem to get a basic web page running? The same kind of web page a one man retail site can probably set up in a week or less.

healthcare3Scary…

And… When I called the toll-free number the kind person on the phone apologized and seemed like the fact that the site was not working was a surprise to her. This is even though I found an online article in the Miami Herald talking about the problem.

She nicely told me to expect the problem to be fixed in a few hours or days. What?

I asked to speak with someone there who could tell me about the health plans in my state. Then she told me that the only way to get that information was online. They did not have anyone there I could talk to. I verified with her that the only way I could sign up for one of their plans was online and she said, yes. You have to do it online.

healthcare4I asked what there plan was for all those people Obamacare was meant to help but who may not have access to a computer or the internet? She said they would need to find a way to sign up online.

I don’t know about you but I think they are going to miss a few people.

And here’s the most fun part about Obamacare… We are all required to have some kind of health insurance or we will be forced to pay a penalty. Who will be in charge of verifying we all have insurance? Our friends at the Internal Revenue Service.

healthcare5This is going to be interesting to see how this all unfolds.

So… Back to my initial point about National Healthcare… Why don’t they just give it to everyone. Cut out all the middlemen. Charge us on our income tax returns every year.

And… They should get their website working!

 

Putin Makes John Kerry Wait 3 HOURS! What’s the message here?

kerryr1bIn what is probably the most under reported story this week Russian President Vladimir Putin kept U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry waiting for three hours to meet with him.

As reported in the U.K. Daily Mail’s Mail Online story this meeting between Kerry and Putin was  intended to help improve relations and pave the way for Obama to hold talks with Putin in September, when Russia hosts a summit of the Group of 20 nations. Obama and Putin are also to meet at a Group of Eight summit in Britain in June.

And… In case you have missed the Wall Street Journal article it has been revealed that Russia plans to sell Syria advanced weapons systems that could significantly effect the unstable military balance in the region.

kerry1nSo think about this… Syria’s Assad gang is basically counting down the days until he is run out of town on a rail and forced to stand trial in some international court for crimes against humanity. You know, genocide and lovely things like that. And Russia’s Mr. Putin is supplying him the weapons to carry out his dastardly deeds.

Last time I checked if you knowingly provide the means to criminal you are just as guilty.

Kerry3So why is this Putin slight against our Mr. Kerry being under reported?

This means that someone at the New York Times who has to be aware (it is in a major U.K. newspaper) of this significant insult to Mr. Kerry, President Obama, and the American people has decided to hide the story.

Scary times indeed.

Russian ships brings arms to Syria?

Russian ships brings arms to Syria?

A women I know was confused when her boyfriend at the time gave here a cheap “Travel to Michigan” T-Shirt as a birthday present. She asked me what I thought and I told her it was not a gift it was a message. They broke up shortly after that.

This Putin slight is a message Mr. Kerry (and Mr. Obama). Choose to ignore it and you will be the fools. The problem is that millions more innocent people will pay for your mistakes.

 

What Questions Surround Tomorrow’s Obama/Romney Lunch Date?

Did Ann Romney ask Barack Obama to invite Mitt to lunch to get him out of the house?

Mitt Romney has been hiding out in his Southern California home since his November 6th Presidential Election loss. But tomorrow he will venture out to have lunch at the Whitehouse with Barack Obama.

Many questions are floating in the air about this lunch date. And there is probably very little guidance in any of those etiquette books.

The last time these two men met was on the Presidential debate circuit. All I can remember is how after the debate, up on the stage and the candidates and their families mixed it up, one of Romney’s grandchildren reached over and hugged Mr. Obama’s leg. A proficient team of Secret Service types whisked the child away to an undisclosed location and I fear he is enjoying free room and board down in Guantanamo Bay along with some middle eastern guest.

White House lunch menu – Yum!

But what about this lunch? What could these two rivals possibly talk about?  

Will the President offer Mr. Romney an ambassadorship to some garden spot like Bangladesh,  Iran, Zimbabwe or North Korea?  Anything is possible. To get him to accept Obama could tell him that there is a future Olympics planned for the country.

What could Romney have to say to Obama?

After all the rough campaign language I hope some adult supervision is present at this lunch. These thing could devolve into some kind of physical altercation. Sure in a fair fight Obama would probably kick Mr. Romney ass but I’m sure Mitt will show up with some brass knuckles in

Does Mitt Romney like hamburgers?

his pocket or an a Microsoft Surface he could use as a weapon. Unfortunately that’s about all the Surface is good for.

Maybe Obama will ask Romney for his ideas on how to get the economy heated up again?

Would you like to tap into Obama’s thoughts as Romney outlines his vision? The current President will be a million miles away probably reviewing his secret plan to nationalize the Twinkie company on the basis of national defense.

Which Mitt Romney will show up at the lunch? The good Romney or the bad Romney.

Yes, if you haven’t noticed there are at least two Mitt Romneys walking around. The good Mitt who seems to have it all together and the bad Mitt or Mitts who seem to always say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Usually when there is a video camera of tape recorder near by.

The real Obama Mit will have lunch with

Either way, I’m sorry that the lunch will be a closed-door affair. Couldn’t they just put up a few cameras so we could sort of watch like a fly on the wall? People would pay good money for that if it was set up as a pay-per-view event.  Maybe someone will sneak in a secret camera.

Or maybe… Mitt Romney will be really having lunch with Barack’s eleven-year-old daughter Sasha.  When the invitation went out it just said that Romney would be having lunch at the White House with an Obama.

Could this finally be the big night for the Republicans fighting it out for a chance to challenge Obama?

Super Tuesday is finally here and before we know it the day will be over.

In a matter of hours the airwaves will be alive with news reports on who is leading where and firm predictions on winners in some races.  And if you believe the candidates they all plan to stay in the race no matter what happens.

Unfortunately for the Republicans this primary season has dragged on far too long. With every attack ad they look worse and Obama looks better. It’s too bad the only way these guys can differentiate themselves is by tearing down their opponents. How can voters make a decision when there is so much negativity flying around.

The human brain works in strange ways…

Once a leader emerges and the other candidates step back, Republicans will forget about all the mud that has been slung. Plus former foes will be on their best behavior in hopes of getting some plumb job if the guy they have been bashing for a year actually gets the top job.

Ah politics… Always fun to watch no matter how bloody it gets.

Michigan primary could end things for someone…
But who?

It seems like it could come down to next Tuesday on this Republican primary circus. This has definitely been one of the oddest primary seasons in history and whoever comes out as the winner of this process may not really be a winner. 

That person could emerge with so many scars they may not be able to do the job for their party in the general election.

Right now the media has been quoting polls that show Romney and Santorum in a dead heat. Interesting since this was a former home state for Mr. Romney.

Do you think Mr. Romney’s position that GM should not have been bailed out by the government is affecting his popularity in Michigan? Maybe he thought he was going to edge out his competitors before things got to the motor state. That would be a big whoops on someone’s part.  Sometimes I think these guys live in some alternate universe.

I’m surprized Romney is even allowed to set foot in Michigan with his position on the GM bailout. How many bazillion workers would have lost their jobs if the government would not have done the bailout?

Romney has said that the government should have let private investor groups bail out General Motors but smart people have said that no one was in line to make the save. The company, its parts suppliers and possibly the entire US auto industry could have evaporated over a weekend.

It’s easy to say it was good for the Government to bail out GM since at this point GM has either paid back most of the money or converted it to GM stock. It is looking like a three-way win for Washington.

Tuesday night all will be known.

Sometimes I think the media created these kind of “dead heat” situations to keep people interested.

 And… Why do we need more debates. This has been one of the most debated primaries of all time. I guess the good thing is that whoever comes out of this they will be ready to debate Obama.

Could Clint Eastwood really be the best choice for president?

Just before the super bowl halftime show the hoopla around the big screen TV last night was too much for me to hear the Clint Eastwood Chrysler ad. The picture were dark and I could tell the ad was not going down the more typical humorous road.

So in a more quiet moment today I watched the ad. If you missed it I suggest that you watch it too.

This was deffinitely the wrong ad for a superbowl. There was no way people were going to amp down enough to really listemn to what Clint was saying a really let the images sink in. This was probably the best ad all night but most people just didn’t know it at teh time. We do thing like watch football and drink beer to forget about what’s going on in our country right now.

But… Even though the ad was trying to sell Chryslers the message in the ad was that sure we as a country may be down now but we always seem to make things right. It’s the kind of hopefull message I sort of wish teh current crop of politicians could rally behind.

Maybe the ad should be mandatory viewing for our people in D.C.

What if Clint decided to run for President?  I think you might be surprised how many peopel would vot for him. It will probably take a Clint-sized person to get congress to work together. If someone ready to take some personal risks.

The ad was caleld “Halftime in America”… I hope it’s true. Too many people out there are rooting for us to fail.

Tomorrow is the big day in Florida!

It has been an odd primary season. First it looks like Romney has won Iowa then he hasn’t. But then he does win the Romney friendly state of New Hampshire while Gingrich whips his butt in South Carolina. Now the drama in Florida. Gingrich claims his opponent has outspent him by about 10 to 1 as the latest polls show Mr. Gingrich losing his lead.

This is all like watching a sporting even like the super bowl to me. It’s a game. Unfortunately the stakes are high. But with the economy appearing to be on the mend and a ramping down of the war effort (along with the huge defense bills) who ever wins the White House in November should do okay.

On Gingrich… The best thing that has come out of his campaign and people actually taking him seriously is that he may have lowered the bar for what it takes to be considered a viable candidate. In the old days, two years ago, a candidate that was thrown out of office on some kind of ethics violation, took money from special interest groups, and had to install a revolving door in his home to accommodate a stream of wife’s and lovers would not have even made it onto the ticket. Thank you Mr. Gingrich for clearing the way for future potential candidates. After you most will look pretty clean.

What is the name “Mitt” short for anyway?

 

Who is really creating all the jobs?

I heard Mitt Romney this morning on CNBC and he had some interesting and surprising things to say. Beside all the stuff we have been hearing for the last few years he talked more about Bain Capital where he was one of the guys at the top.

I guess some of the other prospective Republican contenders have been taking pot shots at Romney because of his past association with an actual company that made money for its investors. I guess Mr. Romney should get ready for more of this if he is the eventual guy up against Mr. Obama in November.

But the interesting thing Romney said was that when he worked for Bain Capital (A combined Venture Capital Firm and private equity company) he created more jobs than Mr. Obama has so far. I hope he has the numbers to back this one up. If not, expect some need for damage control.

Keep an eye on how Mr. Romney deals with these attacks on his private sector history. It will be very telling on how the next ten months could go for him.

Unfortunately all this proves is that once again it is very hard to get qualified people to run for President of the United States. What can they do to fix that? Offer a bigger pay package and stock options?

Are we all too excited about New Hampshire?

I’ve been to New Hampshire. Lots of trees and quaint small towns. And for about one week every four years we all watch the fine people of New Hampshire go out and vote. It’s makes for good T.V. but does it really matter?

Let me save you some time… It will probably be a Romney win but it will be close enough to keep the number tow guy in the race for a while… Sorry to spoil the surprise.