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September 2014

mrtoad balance

27 Sep 14: Wouldn't it be neat if politicians had some sense of honesty and personal conviction? This time I'm thinking of Bruce Braley, the 4-term Democratic Iowa congressman now running for the senate. He sounds like he attended the John Kerry school of flip-flopping when it comes to the Keystone XL pipeline - he was for it before he was opposed to it. In 2012 he voted for construction of the pipeline and to remove the requirement that the president approve construction. But now Braley is against the pipeline. Isn't it interesting that he now also has the support of billionaire Tom Streyer and his NextGen Climate super PAC, which has thus far spent $2.6 million in ads attacking Brayer's opponent, Joni Ernst. Oh, and at the same time Braley joins his fellow Democrats in assailing those evil Koch brothers for their support of conservative candidates.


19 Sep 14: Another big raspberry for big, intrusive government! This time it's the Obama administration's war on obesity. Thanks to new federal guidelines about calories, a very successfull program at Marietta High School in eoorgia has been shut down. Culinary students learned baking and special education students got some valuable skills in marketing and dealing with people by manning a cart that sold the baked goods and coffee to students and teachers. But the muffins exceeded Obama's 200-calorie limit set by the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. This law is obviously a case of "Do as I say, not as I do", for at the White House is a vending machine that dispenses a 570-calorie honey bun.


6 Sep 14: Three CIA contract security personnel who were on the scene in Benghazi two years ago have spoken out about their role. They were one mile from the consulate annex compound when the deadly atttack that killed a US ambassador and three others began. These three personnel say that they were ready to head for the compound within 5 minutes, but were told by "Bob", the top CIA-official on-site not to go. That order was repeated two more times in the first half-hour; the three finally disobeyed orders and left for the compound, but it was too late. All three say they are confident that if they had gone when first ready Ambassador Stevens and the others would be alive today.

For the past two years we have heard repeatedly from administration officials that no "Stand-down" order was ever given. At a State Department briefing yesterday, spokeswoman Marie Harf again denied the stand-down order, but did allow as to how they might have been told not to go. Ok, I give up - what's the difference? Good ole Washington double-speak.


2 Sep 14: The latest example of our increasing societal rage involves airline seat-back fights. I used to fly a lot for my job and I can fullly sympathize with those who get upset when the person in front of them pushes their seatback all the way back: there goes your attempt to use your lapptop to get caught up on work or to lay your head on your arms on the tray to grab a few zzzz's. If those new devices that can block the seat from being reclined had been available, I might well have been tempted to get and use one. But often the result of using the device is now an angry passenger who wants to lean back. This is one of the situations in which both parties are right, but the disruption caused by re-routed flights to off-load the unruly passengers is certainly an inconvenience to all the other passengers. Easy solution: the airliines should disable the mechaniism that allows the seats to recline.


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