Heating Up

Weather still hasn’t gotten back into triple digits.  But yesterday’s 98° still felt too hot.

Photo of a large lizard that lives by my compost pile.  Sometimes he climbs up the wall to look into my kitchen window.  Here he is on my bedroom patio.

The Race

… Romney took a break from the hubbub of the convention to do a little campaigning elsewhere. NPR’s Ari Shapiro reports on his getaway. ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: The morning after his wife’s speech to the Republican convention, Mitt Romney hopped a plane for a day trip to Indianapolis. That’s where thousands of veterans are meeting for the American Legion convention.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: …the massive influx into the country of illegal immigrants.

SHAPIRO: When Romney’s entourage arrived, an American Legion official was reading a resolution condemning illegal immigration. Democrats are trying to make inroads with veterans, particularly young vets. But this largely gray-haired audience is not an Obama-friendly crowd. Bobbie Lucier is a retiree from Manassas, Virginia. She’s there with her husband, who’s a vet. And she has strong feelings about President Obama.

BOBBIE LUCIER: I just – I don’t like him. Can’t stand to look at him. I don’t like his wife. She’s far from the first lady. It’s about time we get a first lady in there that acts like a first lady and looks like a first lady.

Why do I listen to commentary on the Republican Convention?  It’s news, even if it’s as grim as Flooding from Isaac forces evacuation of 60,000.

Torrential rain dropped by Hurricane Isaac threatened to burst a dam on Thursday, forcing evacuation of up to 60,000 people in Louisiana and Mississippi and leaving large areas of the region flooded and without power.

I actually did like Jeb Bush’s address (despite him saying that his brother had kept us safe – when 2,819 died on 9/11 under his watch, another 6,348 Americans dead in Iraq and Afghanistan and 49,310 wounded in his wars, men and women without limbs, with traumatic brain injuries) because he spoke about the need for education (except for him dissing teachers’ unions, and except for him pushing for taxpayer-financed vouchers that allowed some students to switch from low-performing public schools to private or religious schools, [which] was struck down as unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court in 2006, and except for him emphasizing a statewide standardized test, the FCAT, as a basic testing tool in the classroom, [which is] hobbled by grading glitches and growing unpopularity.)  Well, ok, I did like that fact that education was mentioned as important, but I didn’t like Jeb’s talk.

Clint’s “interview” of an empty chair was not funny, but Jon Stewart was hilarious talking about that “interview”!   http://now.msn.com/jon-stewart-makes-fun-of-clint-eastwoods-empty-chair-conversation-at-rnc

I did not like Romney’s talk, where he said that he would create 12 million jobs (!), but didn’t say how (except to approve the Keystone XL pipeline which would travel directly over the Ogallala Aquifer, and if you think that the BP spill was bad…)  The only specifics I heard him mentioning were eliminating health care, disallowing abortions, and giving back religious freedom (so that Catholic institutions can exclude birth control from their health care).  Anyway, the Huffinton Post really reamed him.  (Tidbits here, click to read the whole thing.)

Romney’s Speech: Pleasantly Delivered, A Bit of a Crock, Preceded by a Doddering Film Star

Romney talked about the price of gas doubling since Obama took office, forgetting that it was even higher under George W. Bush in the summer of 2008.

Romney talked about his success in business and dared anyone to suggest that his methodology might have been insensitive or impractical, leading to his continued support for the lowering of taxes for richer Americans. He continued the lie his running mate Paul Ryan stated last night that Obama would cut Medicare when, in fact, the cuts go to the providers while the benefits remained the same, presumably paid for by higher taxation of the wealthy.

Ryan also lied about a GM factory closing because of Obama, whom he said promised that it would stay open during his campaign in 2008. The fact that the factory closed in the summer under George W. Bush, however, wasn’t mentioned…

 Air Conditioning

Friends and I have been comparing our electric bills through this hot summer.  (My daughter’s up in Phoenix where they’ve had a rash of over 110° temperatures, and her bill is astronomical.)  If you think that yours is high, The amount the U.S. military spends annually on air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan: $20.2 billion, according to a former Pentagon official.  That was reported in 2011, so I’ll use 2011 numbers.  Now tell me if my math is wrong, but from what I could find online, we had 99,000 troops in Afghanistan and about 13,000 in Iraq.  I multiplied that total by 12 months and divided into 20,200,000,000 and came up with $15,029 a month per soldier!

Of course, Cost of deploying one U.S. soldier for one year in Iraq – $390,000.  So A/C is minimal.  This site was so interesting! http://usliberals.about.com/od/homelandsecurit1/a/IraqNumbers.htm  Here are just a few tidbits:

Lost & Unaccounted for in Iraq – $9 billion of US taxpayers’ money and $549.7 milion in spare parts shipped in 2004 to US contractors. Also, per ABC News, 190,000 guns, including 110,000 AK-47 rifles.

Lost and Reported Stolen – $6.6 billion of U.S. taxpayers’ money earmarked for Iraq reconstruction, reported on June 14, 2011 by Special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction Stuart Bowen who called it “the largest theft of funds in national history.” (Source – CBS News) Last known holder of the $6.6 billion lost: the U.S. government.

Missing – $1 billion in tractor trailers, tank recovery vehicles, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and other equipment and services provided to the Iraqi security forces. (Per CBS News on Dec 6, 2007.)

I figured while I was checking out the cost of the wars, I’d compare them with the deficit that the politicians have been making such a fuss about (when the rest of us would just like a job). Federal deficit $1.1 trillion.  Cost of Bush’s wars since 2001: $1.4 trillion.  (This is a great site: http://costofwar.com/; it shows the amount spent, increasing by the second.)  Conclusion: if he hadn’t gotten us into those thankless wars, there would not only be no deficit, we’d be in the black!

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3 Responses to “Heating Up”

  1. Jim Says:

    Evidently, America has degenerated from a democratic republic with constitutional rule of law to a plutocracy. Few candidates can now be trusted to be truthful; no reporters can be trusted to be bipartisan. Much of what is stated is slanderous. I closely observe how candidates practice their religion, how they treat their spouses and children. What they have done provides a basis for trust what they say..

    • notesfromthewest Says:

      How they practice their religion… It bothers me when Romney pays less tax because of the charitable giving deduction, most of it going only to Mormons. Romney pulled in more than $40 million in 2010 and 2011, his campaign reported, and paid about $4.1 million to the LDS Church. That’s in addition to about $4.8 million his Tyler Charitable Foundation donated to the faith. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/54744938-90/romney-says-church-tithing.html.csp Mormons tend to care not about the rest of the world, except to proselytize. I don’t like that any more than I like Ryan trying to impose his Catholic views on birth control on the nation.

  2. Jim Says:

    Excellent photo, eye to eye, of that beautiful blue belly lizard.

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