Wednesday, September 05, 2018

The Daily, September 5, 2018

Writing Challenge -  Day # 7

Partisan politics in the USA has reached ridiculous levels. Please read my thoughts below under "POLITICS."

Today is "World Cheese Pizza Day." Does that mean that toppings are outlawed today?

Speaking of outlaws, Jesse James was born on this date in 1847. I bet he would kill for one of those cheese pizzas.

Tonight dinner will consist of cheese pizza to conform with today's celebration, and we will also have pizza with toppings, to push back against the expected, to be a rebel, to be different; mostly, just because pizza is great with or without toppings!


Here are seven things you can control that can make a huge difference in your life:


On my drive to work I realized that some of the knowledge that comes from budgeting and expense tracking can lead us to believe that being over-budget on one or more categories is a horrible thing. While it is not the best idea to over-spend, knowing that we are over-spending is the first step in making changes that will, eventually, bring us to the point where we can live within our means and stop over-spending. This is especially true in the first few months of us taking responsibility for our finances. It is during this time that we discover where money is going that we did not even realize was a factor. It is this process of discovery that brings control to our spending habits. With knowledge comes the power to make adjustments. If we over-spend one month, then we can strive to under-spend the next month to make things balance out. Knowledge is the key to self-control.


Partisan politics in the USA has reached ridiculous levels. Yesterday's Supreme Court confirmation hearings on Judge Kavanaugh's nomination were a pathetic display of useless partisan politics. As a liberal, I was dismayed by the ridiculous waste of time and effort in what we all suspect is public posturing for the cameras. Democrats do not have the votes to prevent the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh. I understand that there are many things not to like about how the process is going. It is not fair that thousands of pages of related documents were received just hours before the hearings were scheduled to start. It is unfair that twice as many pages were excluded from the disclosure. It is sad that there is no time to digest all this material to make an informed decision on Judge Kavanaugh. On the other hand, Judge Kavanaugh has an extensive public life and Democrats have had lots of time to investigate and they did not have to wait until the day of the hearing to begin the process. And, from what I heard in an NPR report a few months ago, Judge Kavanaugh is the least worrisome candidate amongst the list of candidates originally proposed by #45. Is Roe V. Wade in jeopardy if Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed? Perhaps it is. However, considering the erosion to the pro-choice movement at the state level over the last few years, it would not be surprising if Roe gets overturned. Many liberal leaders have allowed this to happen. Change is inevitable, even if we do not like the change that is happening. And change can go the other way if we liberals get our act together.

Here is my manifesto for true change in the United States of America:

1. Congress must pass an amendment limiting the number of terms a Senator and Representative can serve. Senators must be limited to two terms, Representatives to three terms.
2. The salary for members of Congress shall be set to the average wages received in their district. If the average wage in a congressional district is $26,000 per year, then that would be the salary for that member of Congress. There shall be no additional perks or bonuses allowed; the majority of Americans do not get perks nor bonuses.
3. The benefits given to a member of Congress shall match the lowest benefits available in their congressional district. If there are citizens that lack health or other benefits, then the Congress member shall have none.
4. Neither Members of Congress nor the President shall have lifetime benefits after finishing their term. They shall be eligible to receive a one-time payment equal to their previous year's salary to assist them in transitioning back to private life; their health benefits shall also be extended by one year after the end of their term.
5. Congress shall not pass any law that affects the citizenship but to which Congress is exempted.
6. It shall be illegal for Congress to pass any expenditure resolution which contains unrelated amendments that thus increase the expenditure. For example, a resolution to authorize the funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs shall not contain amendments of any kind unless they directly affect programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
7. Congress shall pass a balanced budget amendment and shall submit and approve an annual budget at least 120 days in advance of the end of the current fiscal year. Failure to do so would result in disciplinary action, potentially including loss of salary and termination for failure to perform.
8. Any Bill/Resolution brought for a vote must be presented to Congress with a minimum of 30 days prior to the scheduled vote. All such items for voting must be publicly available for at least 30 days so that citizens can voice concerns to their representatives.
9. All citizens shall receive basic health benefits at no cost.
10. All citizens shall receive education benefits, including access to college and universities, at no cost.
11. The criminal justice system shall be reformed to help rehabilitate, not punish, those that commit a crime. We shall implement a system based not on revenge but on compassion. Humankind's history shows us that the more pain we inflict, the more pain we suffer; the more love we give, the more love we receive.
12. We shall strive to end poverty, ignorance and disease; we must dedicate our resources to improve conditions on Earth for all planet inhabitants by focusing all our efforts to ensure we live in peace, and that everyone has enough food, water and shelter, and excellent free health care and education.


Should I Answer That Call? If you are bombarded by phone calls at home or on your cell from numbers you do not recognize, you may appreciate the website "Should I Answer?" Not only can you look up numbers, you can also report scammers and telemarketers.

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