Friday, February 26, 2010


Between 18 and 22, a woman is like Africa . Half-discovered, half-wild, fertile and naturally beautiful!

Between 23 and 30, a woman is like Europe . Well-developed and open to trade, especially for someone of real value.

Between 31 and 35, a woman is like Spain, very hot, relaxed and convinced of her own beauty.

Between 36 and 40, a woman is like Greece, gently aging but still a warm and desirable place to visit.

Between 41 and 50, a woman is like Great Britain, with a glorious and all-conquering past.

Between 51 and 60, a woman is like Israel, has been through war, doesn't make the same mistakes twice, takes care of business.

Between 61 and 70, a woman is like Canada, self-preserving, but open to meeting new people.

After 70, she becomes Tibet ... Wildly beautiful, with a mysterious past and the wisdom of the ages ... an adventurous spirit and a thirst for spiritual knowledge.

Between 1 and 80, a man is like Iran, ruled by nuts ...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dig Two Holes

MOSCOW, Ohio -- Like many people, Terry Hoskins has had troubles with his bank. But his solution to foreclosure might be unique.

Hoskins said he's been in a struggle with RiverHills Bank over his Clermont County home for nearly a decade, a struggle that was coming to an end as the bank began foreclosure proceedings on his $350,000 home.

"When I see I owe $160,000 on a home valued at $350,000, and someone decides they want to take it – no, I wasn't going to stand for that, so I took it down," Hoskins said.

Hoskins said the Internal Revenue Service placed liens on his carpet store and commercial property on state Route 125 after his brother, a one-time business partner, sued him.

The bank claimed his home as collateral, Hoskins said, and went after both his residential and commercial properties.

"The average homeowner that can't afford an attorney or can fight as long as we have, they don't stand a chance," he said.

Hoskins said he'd gotten a $170,000 offer from someone to pay off the house, but the bank refused, saying they could get more from selling it in foreclosure.

---- The opinion survey with this story showed 78% checked "good for him." That shows the animosity and aimless anger of folks. Mr. Hoskins basically bulldozed his own life.

Hoskins had to owe the bank more than the $170K offer - perhaps for loans on his commercial property or business loans and any monies from his business property would go to the IRS. In his own words Hoskins says the house is "cross-collateral" which means he's in hock with other loans to the bank. The IRS is always first in line. It also doesn't make sense to me why the IRS would place liens "after his brother ... sued him." The IRS places liens for taxes owed to the IRS.

Why did his own brother sue him, for business practices that brought in the IRS? If Hoskins paid attorneys for a lengthy battle, why not put that money toward the debts and liens? Were those attorneys to fight his brother's suit or the IRS or both? It's legal to transfer assets prior to an IRS lien, why didn't the man do that? He could negotiate a better deal with the IRS if assets are out of their reach. Did his business go under after the IRS liens? IRS liens ruin your personal and business credit.

No one likes dealing with the IRS, no one likes dealing with banks. For 15 minutes Hoskins can play the common man's hero, but he's dug himself a very deep hole, faces possible prosecution, and in more debt than ever as he owes the bank the full value of the home now. The new American breed - don't learn from your failures, just blame who/whatever and seek revenge.

As the old adage says - when you seek revenge, dig two holes - Hoskins did.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Pediatricians Want Redesign of Hot Dogs, Candy to Curb Kids' Choking.

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The leading group of pediatricians in the United States is pushing for a redesign of common foods such as hot dogs and candies, along with new warning labels placed on food packaging, to help curb sometimes fatal incidents of child choking. Hot dogs are a prime offender, accounting for 17 percent of food-related asphyxiation in children under the age of 10, according to one study.

--- Wonder how many millions this "study" and bright idea of redesigning a hotdog cost taxpayers...This asinine proposal is because of those mothers who stick a wiener in the kid's hand, right out of the package/no bun, because it's the easiest meal for mom to make. I could walk down the street now and would see at least 1 toddler standing on a porch step with a runny nose and a cold hotdog dinner.

God, how did I manage to raise 5 kids without "leading group" studies and bureaucratic intervention. And how the hell do you redesign a hotdog?

Oogabooga Tweedles

Those folks who are or lean libertarian seem to believe Ron Paul has a shot for the 2012 presidential candidacy. Whut? The man, if he won, would be 78 when sworn into office. Sure, there are many vibrant active near-octogenarian elderly out there, but they're not applying for the most powerful and stressful job on the planet.

Paul introduced term limits which I believe in but that has went nowhere of course.

He served in congress from 1976 to 1984 and again from 1996 to present, and has run for president a couple or three times. He claims that "By abolishing extravagant perks like the lucrative congressional pension plan, we will remove the incentives for people to make a career out of elected office." That hasn't stopped Paul from making a career out of elected office ... although admirably he does refuse the pension plan and other perks. On the other hand, has Paul changed anything in the D.C. machine? I don't think so.

Ultra rightwingers support Paul, as do many on the "left," because of Paul's noninterventionist policies, return to the gold standard, abolish the income tax, etc., and in his heydays Paul stood for abolishing the FBI and CIA. He once called Reagan a failure but sorta back paddled on that because of all the Reagan love-festers. Paul also is one of those who encourages "fear the government" propaganda. Odd sometimes where the right and left meet up and agree.

Off topic a bit, but Peter Schwartz, a "scenario planner" has 4 possible scenarios for the future of the US:
1. Collapse. Occurs after a long series of catastrophes, i.e. natural disasters, pandemic nuclear war, any catastrophe that breeds internal division and bungled government response (i.e. Katrina). Or Zimbabwe sized corruption, "a succession of executives who pilfer the national treasury and refuse to hold free elections."
2. Friendly breakup. The country dissolves peacefully because the overhead of running a large nation becomes unmanageable. Schwartz likens this to the breakup of the Soviet Union, a case where the cost of holding the country together proved too great and the advantages too small.
3. Global governance. The national government declines in importance relative to the world community. US importance will be maintained as long as the welfare state continues to extend well beyond our borders - we will cut welfare at home before cutting foreign nations off the dole.
4. Global conquest. "The final scenario and the grimmest of all: A figure described variously as a "global Napoleon," "a much more empowered Hitler," and "a super-Mao" conquers America and the rest of the world via brute force. This idea, which Schwartz classifies as the least likely of the four, leads us to debate whether it's harder to subjugate the world than it used to be—Schwartz believes it is, as there are "more people with military competence spread across the world." That's followed by a discussion of the best method to exercise dominion over the globe. "I think the way you conquer the world these days is from space," he says. "You can put weapons up there and shut down the world."

Personally, I think we may be at the Zimbabwe level. Our execs just hide it better and convinced us elections are "free," that somehow electing tweedledee or tweedledum makes a huge difference.

As for global governance, just looking at the current global leaders tells us how much fun that will be.

I can't see the "friendly breakup" - the Confederacy tried that, although that might be the least painful future for the US. We could all live in the state that caters to our particularly dogma. I find that most interesting, just to see which states attract which ideology, as they do to some extent already. I have seen folks relocate based on a State's acceptance of homoseuxality, based on welfare benefits, based on climate, cost of living, a sparse population, or the right to openly or conceal/carry. My silly hope is, in the event of a friendly breakup, that at least one state would attract the smart people.

Schwartz classifies global conquest by some unknown force as the least likely scenario but personally I think it may be the most likely future. And the new space age Napoleon won't be us, at least not with Obama's space funding which is nothing more than billions to "entice" private companies to build craft to ferry astronauts to the space station and a "flexible path" for other space exploration ... i.e. more treasury theft and graft for nothing to little in return (the 9.1 billion spent on the Bush return-to-the-moon project is gone/wasted folks).

Paul hits a few things right on the mark: "The use of the welfare state to cement popular support for the incumbent government remains intact. As a United States congressman, I regularly see how prevalent the welfare state mentality is among elected officials who use the tool of redistribution as a means to "buying votes" with the taxpayers' own money." Or "... if you think the financial crisis is bad and the financial system isn't working, wait until you find out when the dollar doesn't work." He advocates complete withdrawal from the United Nations, free market enterprise without government regulation, opposes tax funded NASA, etc. etc.

Honestly, if I thought Dr. Paul could accomplish even half of his proposals, I would support him as the next tweedle-in-chief, but I would also stock the cellar with beans and ammo. When you cut off the milk flowing from the world's biggest teat you have to expect a lot of chaos.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hodgepodge #10

Healthcare reform: Will not be "reformed" until politicians and the public admit the problem is the fraud and waste perpetrated by patients and physicians simply because they can, especially on a public tab. Healthcare became all about big business in the 1980s, just ask Wall Street. Government intervention in healthcare has not helped the sick and needy; it has created them.

Palin criticized the "Family Guy" for mocking her son Trig's Down syndrome and called for the firing of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel over Emanuel's use of the phrase "fu----- retards": This is Palin expressing shallow-mindedness by demanding political correctness from a TV cartoon and foul-mouthed folk. Although if you believe Levi Johnston, the trailer park daddy of Palin's grandson, Palin herself has referred to her child as retarded. Affectionately I'm sure. In Sarah's next speech she will condemn liberals/democrats for demanding political correctness.

Tiger Woods apologizes to his family, his wife, his children, his friends, his fans, and his charitable foundation: He seemed sincere - until he emphasized that there was no domestic violence in his home, to put to rest the rumors that Elin chased him from the house with a golf club. I suppose she could have just had that golf club in her hand at 3 a.m. ... while I agree with Tiger that Elin has shown enormous grace in her handling of this situation, such grace does not always stop a woman from picking up the nearest cudgel to knock a man's brains out. Hell hath no fury ...

Left/liberal/democrats are linking Joe Stack, the Austin kamikaze pilot, to Tea Partyers and rightwingers, while the rightwingers want to connect Stack to the "left": But his manifesto, if it is his, reads more left than right. "The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed." --- As a small business person, I can identify with much of Joe's rant. Regardless of what the government is doing or not doing, the majority of Stack's problems were his to own - in the end he chose to blame everyone else, which is what sociopaths and democrats typically do. It has always been survival of the fittest, and if you cannot outsmart and out think a parasitic government and its incompetent bureaucrats and employees ...

The DOJ decided "... lawyers showed "poor judgment" but did not commit professional misconduct when they authorized CIA interrogators to use waterboarding and other harsh tactics at the height of the U.S. war on terrorism, an internal review released Friday found." --- Did you expect a different conclusion?

Buenos Aires, Feb 18 (Prensa Latina). "Argentinean association Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo demanded the Nobel Committee to take away the Prize granted in 2009 to North American President Barack Obama, who keeps sending troops to fight other countries." ---This complaint coming from a country where the politicians and police are some of the most corrupt in the world, laundering drug money in plain sight, illegal arms sales to their neighbors, using death squads to fight crime, where abandoned children roam the streets sniffing glue and prostituting. Pot/kettle, glass/house. But yes, Nobel can take back Obama's prize, and we can give Mark Sanford to Argentina.

New York, Feb 19 (Reuters) - "U.S. front-month crude oil futures shot up to more than $80 a barrel in post-settlement trading on Friday, a five-week high, as geopolitical worries about Iran's nuclear program and strikes at French refineries." --- Hugo smiles, anything less is an oligarchical plot by his capitalist opponents.

Huntsville: The Alabama university professor charged with fatally shooting three colleagues is remorseful but does not recall the shooting, her defense attorney said yesterday. Roy W. Miller said Amy Bishop, 44, is likely insane and does not remember pulling out a handgun and shooting six colleagues, three fatally, at a biology department faculty meeting a week ago at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. "She just doesn’t remember shooting these folks," he said. --- The beginning of more antisocial female mass murderers. Amy Bishop, self-proclaimed intellectual, had her insanity defense planned before she locked and loaded. You've come a long way baby. Not only has the women's movement achieved its goal of teaching men to be more in touch with their emotions (effete), women have become stronger (mannish), able to wield swords and pump a shotgun with one hand. No Bette Davis or Kate Hepburns. No sirree, you got Sara Conners, Lara Croft, Kill Bill, an endless supply of leathered-up weapon toting babes.

A new study shows those who are bullied more are likely to have problems in other parts of their lives, lacking nonverbal communication skills: Inability to read nonverbal cues, understanding their social meaning, and coming up with options to resolve social conflict. In other words, both bully and bullied are social retards.

'Miss me yet?' asks billboard, George W. Bush. Not really Dubya since Barry O is more or less continuing your reign.

Last but not least, the Misery Index for January 2010 is at 12.33. The index was in double digits (10, 11, 12) during much of the 1980s and '90s. The all time high in my lifetime was 21.98 in June of 1980, so our misery still has a way to go. Even during the 1930s Great Depression the index can be calculated at 21-23. So when yapping heads say today is as bad or nearly as bad as the depression, that everything is spinning out of control, or worse that the guvmint has rescued the economy - just remember it is not even as bad as 1980. Yet.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bayh's Burning Love

Evan Bayh : "To put it in words most people can understand: I love working for the people of Indiana, I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives, but I do not love Congress. I will not, therefore, be a candidate for election to the Senate this November."

Ya gotta wonder - is there a massive corporate payday in Bayh's future, or a scandal? Have republicans pulled out the polaroids to convince a few Dems to retire? (Does his "put it in words most people can understand" sound condescending?)

Evan is the son of Senator Birch Bayh, who was a pol from 1954 to 1980, when he lost his reelection bid to Dan Quayle after having lost his bid for the democratic presidential nomination to Jimmy Carter. You really must be a loser to lose to Dan Quayle.

I remember Evan's daddy, Birch Bayh. He made news in the 1978-79 bribery scandal of rice dealer and lobbyist Tongsun Park. The "Koreagate" scandal likely cost Dad his senate seat; but the senate ethics committee dropped an investigation into daddy Bayh. Tongsun still in the news decades later in the "Oil for Food" scandal.

I think Evan Bayh may be prepping for higher office. No longer in love with congress, he's a man of the people, a populist come to represent the common folk. Wife Susan, as described in the Indiana Journal, is a "professional board member," having been a board member and/or attorney of a dozen plus different corporations over the years (Eli Lilly & Company, Wellpoint, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Curis, Dyax).

But Bayh assured the common folk "... his wife's ties have had no bearing on his Congressional actions." And Mrs. Bayh points out that her rapid rise in the corporate world had nothing to do with hubby's senator career. Both are not influenced at all by corporate money peddlers, but by a burning desire to serve the people.

Just thinking about how pols are serving the people, and particularly generational peddlers and pols, makes me want a long hot shower with a rough sponge and a lot of soap.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Joe the (Assistant) Plumber

He's back. Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, or Joe the Plumber, political activist, author, commentator, possible future pol, etc.

Joe now says about John McCain : "I don't owe him s—. He really screwed my life up, is how I look at it."

Since the 2008 election:
Wurzelbacher has signed with a publicity management agent regarding media relationships, including "a possible record deal with a major label, personal appearances and corporate sponsorships."

In November 2008, Wurzelbacher was hired for a series of commercials reminding people to convert analog television to digital

In November 2008, Wurzelbacher began promoting his book Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream. Co-written with novelist Thomas ... the book addresses Wurzelbacher’s ideas concerning American values. In particular, Wurzelbacher criticizes John McCain and states that he did not want him as the Republican presidential nominee.

In January 2009, Wurzelbacher began work as a motivational speaker and commentator. His first assignment was to comment from Israel on the fighting between the Israeli Defence Forces and Hamas, focusing on the Israeli experience of the conflict. On February 26, Wurzelbacher spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he led a panel titled "conservatism 2.0". On February 27, he spoke at the Washington, D.C. American Tea Party protest in Lafayette Park. In March, Wurzelbacher attended two conferences in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, first speaking to the "Conservative Young Professionals of Milwaukee," and then at the “Defending the American Dream Summit." On April 15, he spoke at the Michigan Tax Day Tea Party in Lansing. On May 6, 2009, Wurzelbacher appeared at a campaign event on behalf of New Jersey Gubernatorial Candidate Steve Lonegan. In May 2009, Time magazine reported that Wurzelbacher was quitting the Republican Party. On September 19 he spoke at a Tea Party protest at Veteran's Park in Milwaukee.

---- Joe also considered running for public office but after talking to God about it he felt God said no. God wants him in the "grassroots" activist area.

I wonder sometimes if "grassroots organizer/activist " may be code for the old Socialist "central planner." Grassrooter being the entry level. (If Hayek is correct, that central planning robs people of their basic freedoms and ruins their economy, then we must be on schedule.)

But, I think Joe has all the qualities of an American flip-flop politician - self-absorbed, self-serving, self-important, wanting big income for little effort, and really full of b.s.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Innate Simpletons

Tea Partyers Are White Nationalists, Pure and Simple.

Proof please, or just BAR's opinion?

There was a local Tea Party a few months ago but the turnout was small. However, the Partyers "core values" are: Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government, and Free Markets. I can agree with that.

White Nationalists, KKK, Stormfront, skinheads, etc. are small groups of antisocial misfits and losers seeking attention. They can make money preaching their b.s. Their "leaders" are similar, like it or not, to guys like Jeremiah Wright - blaming another race for the benefit of their personal coffers. Painting a target on the back of someone else. Shepherds, herds, dues, collection plates - and they all claim God is on their side.

The "left" would be lost if not for the bums and excons of White Nationalists to scare folks. White Nationalists have as much power as did the multiracial S.L.A., or the Black Liberation Army - self-styled militants who consider themselves a revolutionary vanguard army. The only thing such groups accomplish is making criminals of themselves. They all use the same rhetoric, same shooting range, same tactics, making everything a class or race struggle, appealing to the most incompetent and weak-minded among us.

I guess BAR would think Les Phillip is an Uncle Tom for defending the Tea Partyers? Or Angela McGlowan from Mississippi?

Someone on the "right" suggested a literacy test and to the "left" that equals racism. I know a lot of folks, black, white, and brown, who agree that voters should be literate. Every wonder if we are where we are because too many stupid have been voting for too long?

The "left" had an orgasm when Meghan McCain said Tea Parties represent "innate racism." But shucks, what can you expect from a political youngin' like Meg who gets more attention with her boobs than her brains.

Friday, February 12, 2010


In Every Beat

Best Thing

Thursday, February 11, 2010


After falling short of the supermajority needed last week under streamlined rules for noncontroversial bills, Delegate Donna Christensen's bill to make St. Croix's Estate Castle Nugent a National Historic Site passed the House of Representatives Wednesday, and will be heading on to the Senate.

Zero Republicans supported the bill both times. Five Democrats voted no initially and four voted no on the second vote. The final vote was 240-yes to 175-no.

Based on Park Service estimates, CBO figures the entire 2,900 acres of non-submerged land addressed by the bill has a value of about $45 million and would take 10 years to acquire. The submerged land belongs to the V.I. Government and would be donated or traded, perhaps for land within the V.I. National Park on St. John.

In addition, CBO estimates a cost of $1 million to develop a general management plan and $1 million a year to manage the new park.

---- Owners of the property, the Gasperi family of cattle ranchers, wanted to prevent the land from being raped and pillaged, or "developed." They must be delighted with $45,000,000+ million in their coffers with the US government "managing" this historic site (former sugar cane and cotton plantations).

Now you can really appreciate the US department of parks, the department of interior, and department of park barrel politics -- every time you book the luxury guesthouse at Estate Castle, go nature hiking, dine on a free range drug free T-bone, or drink Jump Up and Kiss Me's made from Cruzan rum ... argggh argggh me matey.

Monday, February 08, 2010


Jack Murtha dead at 77. Nature's term limits at work.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Tragic Comedy

The AFL-CIO is calling on Congress and the Obama administration to take five steps now to care for the jobless and put America back to work.

Extend unemployment benefit, food assistance, cobra for another 12 months. "Extending benefits also will boost personal spending and create jobs throughout the economy."

Rebuild America’s schools, roads and energy systems. America still has at least $2.2 trillion in unmet infrastructure needs.

Increase aid to state and local governments to maintain vital services. State and local governments and school districts have a $178 billion budget shortfall this year alone—while the recession creates greater need for their services.

Put people to work doing work that needs to be done. If the private sector can't or won't provide the needed jobs, the government should step up to the plate, putting people who need jobs together with work that needs to be done. These should never be replacements for existing public jobs. They must pay competitive wages and should target distressed communities.

----- While the above "calling on" sounds well and good - it's the same liberal/left hype I have heard for decades. Decades I tell you.

The AFLCIO outlived its purpose long ago; now just another international fatcat political organization claiming "Our political system is awash with dirty money, corporate money and foreign money," while they spend millions on their preferred candidates. Laughably, many union members are government employees. Whatever happened to the ULLICO scandal where labor leaders were profiting on insider trading? There was some sort of money laundry scandal involving AFLCIO/Teamsters and a guy named Carey. Doesn't anyone watch the Sopranos to understand how labor groups function?

"... putting people who need jobs together with work that needs to be done." Sounds simple and easy doesn't it. These same old talking points are temporary band-aids - benefits and busy work - and have been in play for decades.

To "create programs" or extend current programs, minimally keeps folk afloat for a short while, but these "programs" are nonproductive, solve nothing, create debt. Over the last few decades trillions have been poured into hundreds of "departments" of education, health, housing, social programs, transportation ... and wasted (stolen) at every level of bureaucratic disbursement.

Question is - who is the tax base that will generate the revenue or "step up to the plate" to pay for extended benefits, job creation, for the eternal building of schools that require metal detectors, to pay Bubba for filling potholes when he's not in rehab?

Do we just print more money as we have done for the last few decades? Or, as some say, use the war chest for the extending, building, creating. Really? I know, I know, it sounds so feasible and reasonable and good. Make roads, not war. Make Bubba spread tar, not war.

And how many do we put out of work when cutting defense spending? A war chest covers not just guns and bullets - but textiles, agriculture, hi-tech, R&D, aviation, shipping, automotive, science, education, finance, manpower. Defense spending, like it or not, supports and employs millions. Are there enough potholes and middle schools to employ everyone?

Does the liberal/left know how the economy works? In simple terms: You make a product/service which creates a market. The product/market will pay for salaries and goods that in turn generate other salaries and goods. These dollars create wealth which brings a higher living standard for everyone who produces.

Folks who do not produce are burdens to someone else. When you have more burdens than producers - you collapse. Which slice of the production/burden/collapse pie chart are we eating?

People and nations who do not produce go bankrupt. You cannot allocate funds if you are not producing funds. Tax the "rich"? The rich only tolerate a certain level of taxation before they take their money and run. A good many have done so. If you think the economy is bad now, just wait until more of the wealth has moved to tax friendlier places. Will you pay enough taxes to cover your government created temp job?

The U.S. has the highest combined statutory corporate income tax rate among OECD countries. Current theme is a nation will not attract new and expanded business and its attendant job creation if its corporate income tax is significantly higher than it is in comparable nations.

While you've been busy begging to fill potholes at a competitive wage and eating on foodstamps, the liberal/left has been creating government ownership through the welfare state and the corrupt bureaucracy that comes with it.

Think the liberal/left worked to your benefit? Then why did the markets that produce disappear from the US. The "left" has campaigned for years that protectionism is bad, we're all the same yet diverse, we are the world, workers unite, it's a global village - what they didn't tell you is you're one of many village idiots and you live like one.

Much of the US population is on the receiving end of the current tax-revenue stream. Estimates are 56% of Americans, but I have read figures as high as 80% when including other segments of society dependent on government support (disability, prisons, government funded institutions, rebates, refunds, free lunch and breakfast, etc.).

Feel-good incompetent "empty-eyed" politicians have endorsed a new breed of American rich who build estates anywhere in the world and feel at home, and a new breed of lower classes who prefer to gripe, an organized gripe of course, and wait for the government promised rescue.

Fact is, if you're getting a handout from government in any way, shape, or form - then you can't bitch when government bails out Wall Street. You have signed on to the unspoken deal between pothole fillers and pinstripe killers.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Guvmint Jobs

If executive bonuses rub you the wrong way so should congressional staffer bonuses. Lawmakers Have Long Rewarded Their Aides With Bonuses. In 2008 "more than 200 House lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, awarded bonuses totaling $9.1 million to more than 2,000 staff members, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of office-disbursement forms. The money comes out of taxpayer-funded office budgets, and is surplus cash that would otherwise be forfeited if not spent."

In 2009, "The House program pays up to $10,000 a year, with a maximum lifetime benefit of $60,000. Staffers making any salary are now eligible, though their total compensation - including the loan repayment - cannot exceed the 2009 cap of $168,411. From 2008 through May of this year, the cap was $145,159."

The justification for bonuses is - similar to private corporate bonus excuses - to attract the best and brightest, talented staffers - who are underpaid for their long grueling hours of hard work, they could make more money in the private sector, etc. etc. etc.

What do these talented underpaid "staffers" do? Their tasks include : Developing legislation, managing the office, press relations, answering mail, casework, scheduling appearances and appointments, and other duties. Congressional committee staff assist members with committee hearings, markups, reports, and assist Members when necessary on the floor and in conference committees."

"Developing legislation?" Sounds like writing policy to me ... Scheduling ... like those Vegas or tropical get-togethers. Press relations, appearances - damage control and constant campaigning for the next election; photo-ops. Answering mail/casework ... assisting just enough voters back home with petty nonpolitical problems to boost reelection odds.

Thank goodness these staffers worked so hard to give us things like the Patriot Act, TARP, Obamacare, Pork R'Us proposals...

Typical House and Senate staffer incomes are shown here. Not shown are the perks - paid travel expenses, health insurance, paid holidays/vacations, etc., and best of all the contacts made in the halls of power and K Street. Many of the staff positions, such as mail opener and phone answerer are not high pay, but the top staffers usually go on to lucrative careers in business or public/private "institutes". Some staffers go on to become congress critters themselves.

Staffing can also serve to supplement income of the congress critter's friends and family. And there's always the prospect of working decades as the top office dog, such as Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's Chief of Staff, Arthur Estopinan.

Chief of staffers typically earn 6-figures. They also can work for more than one congress critter, can hold paid positions on other "committees." Example: Chief staffer for Glen Nye (D-VA) Angela Kouters. Or as with David McKean , chief of staff for John Kerry and staff director for Senate Foreign Relations Committee, for a lowly underpaid 2009 salary of about $168,000, and all that elbow rubbing of the rich.

Amazing huh that pols used to write pamphlets and declarations in short order that most men and women could understand - now we require thousands of overworked underpaid staffers to assemble a foot-high paper pile that no one can make any sense of, other than the industries the pile will benefit.

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