Saturday, December 25, 2010

Hopeful and sensible rhetoric from the Republicans

When Washington talks about paying for something, it usually means raising taxes, but it isn't necessarily so. You can 'pay for' new spending by cutting current spending.
To prevent deficit reduction from being used as an excuse for tax hikes, Republicans are getting rid of the “Pay-As-You-Go” rule and replacing it with a “Cut-As-You-Go” rule.

The rule will require that any legislation that seeks to increase mandatory spending (which is spending that once added to the federal budget recurs year after year and is thus permanent) cuts spending by a similar amount.

“If it is your intention to create a new government program, you must also terminate or reduce spending on an existing government program of equal or greater size–in the very same bill,” said Rep. John Boehner, the Ohio Republican who will become Speaker of the House on Jan. 5.
But holding the line won't bring down the debt, unless the economy starts to grow and revenues increase. That will be the big test. Can Congress resist the impulse to spend new revenue rather than retiring debt. The message of the 2010 elections was to reduce spending and back away from big entitlements and big regulations. Even if the Republicans hold the line, they only have the power now to block efforts from the left to advance the progressive agenda, not necessarily to force rollbacks. That is the goal, and largely the hardest problem we still face.

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's Christmas Eve.

I'm almost an invalid, with back trouble and such a weak immune system I don't dare have surgery. I haven't really been able to shop. Our kids are grown and it's just me and my wife. I haven't felt much like Christmas this year.

But we're celebrating the birth of the Son of God, the one who made our lives meaningful. I imagine Adam and Eve having been cast out of the Garden of Eden, knowing that the easy living there was over, not knowing for sure whether God would ever speak to them again.

But he did, and they obeyed him.

And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.

And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth.

Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.

And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will.

And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.

And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.

And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters.
And I bless the name of God for his granting me the opportunity of entering this mortal life, and providing me a means to overcome my sins and to be resurrected and return to him.

And this is the time to remember the beginning of the fulfillment of the promise with the birth of God's only begotten son in the flesh. The Angels sang as he entered mortality like the rest of us in obscurity, lived his life and took the punishment that we deserved and made atonement for us. In his name, Jesus the Christ, I testify that God lives and that Christ lives and because of the plan and the atonement, our lives have purpose and meaning. Glory to God in the highest and to all men peace and good will!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

How to raise a herd of sheep.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I live at about a mile above sea level. Imagine my surprise at looking out the kitchen window to see it raining at 4:00 p.m. on December 22. It'll turn to ice and snow later, but it's been raining here off and on for several days.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Arlen Specter's "You won't have Arlen to kick around anymore." Thus to all political hacks!