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Friday, June 29, 2012

Jubilant Obama dancing in the White House :-)

Barack Obama, in his statement after Thursday's Supreme Court ruling upholding the individual mandate in his healthcare legislation, did his best not to appear that he was spiking the football.
The folks at NBC's Tonight Show clearly weren't pleased with the President's reserve and created a video of their own showing a jubilant Obama dancing in the White House before he addressed the nation (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

 FOX News

Morale of the story: WATCH MSNBC!

Morale of the story:
  Obama should watch MSNBC!!!

Posted: Jon Stewart Mocks CNN, Fox News 
For Incorrect Supreme Court Reporting (VIDEO)

===================== ==========

John Roberts' Betrayal Crushes Stephen Colbert 

Saturday, June 9, 2012



How to connect your computer to your stereo

Turntable - Record Player

Cassette Tape Deck
cassette deck


Audacity is a free, easy-to-use and multilingual audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. You can use Audacity to:

  • Record live audio.
  • Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
  • Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files.
  • Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together.
  • Change the speed or pitch of a recording.
  • And more! See the complete list of features.



Recommended Downloads - Latest Version of Audacity

  • Audacity 2.0.3 installer (.exe file, 20.3 MB, for Windows 2000 /XP /Vista /Windows 7 / Windows 8

  • Audacity 2.0.3 zip file (8.1 MB) for Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8 - Use this if you want a smaller download (without help files), or cannot run the installer because of restricted permissions. 


Easy USB Computer to Stereo Solutions that sound great!

Simply get a USB Audio Interface and install it. It will take the place of the inferior internal Sound Card or built-in

Audio Interface. These can range from inexpensive Stereo or Multichannel interfaces to Studio Grade Cards or

USB/Firewire solutions. 

USB and Firewire interfaces are easy to understand. You connect them via USB or Firewire to your Computer and they have various Mic and Line inputs, maybe digital audio and/or MIDI. You can easily use them to replace your original sound card and they range from beginner 2-track or Guitar recording interfaces to Complex Digital Workstation Interfaces. Internal PCI Slot Sound cards replace your original sound card and require a PCI slot. They range from the All-in-onePCI Card with all Ins and Outs on the card to Project Studio style Interfaces with PCI Cards with External I/O Connection Boxes. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Healthier Picks To Power Up Your Workout

Sports Drink Alternatives? 

7 Healthier Picks To Power Up Your Workout

After a tough workout at the gym, many people reach for a sports drink. You know the ones; those technicolor fruit drinks, most often labeled with an "ade" suffix ("Powerade," "Gatorade," etc.) and an ingredient list long enough to make any nutrition-minded person give pause. At about 100 calories per 16 ounces, on average, a sports drink can certainly put a dent in the caloric maintenance of a workout session. 

And while doctors and sports nutritionists recommend the drinks for endurance and pro athletes, who need the extra calories, sugars and salts, the average gym class warrior isn't in need of anything labeled "G Series Pro 02 Perform." That's because research shows that athletes don't deplete their electrolyte and glycogen stores for more than an hour of intensive training. 

For those of us who maybe sweat it out over a three mile run or 45-minute spin class (certainly nothing to sniff at, but not exactly record breaking either), lower-sugar and all-natural alternatives to the standard variety of sports drinks can have the "same benefits, but also health benefits for the long term," explains Elizabeth Applegate, Director of Sports Nutrition and a senior lecturer in nutrition at University of California, Davis in an interview with HuffPost Healthy Living. "Most of us who exercise are doing it to improve our health and to look better, so we want to think about what makes sense with that in mind."

For a lighter workout, you could easily stick to plain water. But if what you're doing requires a bit of a pick-me-up, there are options beyond sports drinks. Recent studies have shown that some solid foods -- such as bananas and raisins -- may be just as effective for sustaining the performances and electrolyte balances of hard-working athletes. And with extra benefits like fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, they may fit into a complete nutrition and fitness plan better than a Gatorade. But some sports nutritionists maintain that liquid pick-me-ups are the way to go. "The thing that works best is a drink," Barbara Lewin, RD, LD, a sports nutritionist who works with professional and Olympic athletes, tells HuffPost. That's because blood flow to the stomach slows during a workout, making digestion more arduous, she says. 

In this scenario, homemade, all-natural versions of commercial sport drinks can be a good option. But no matter what you end up grabbing on your way to the gym, it's important to keep in mind that, when it comes to intensive or prolonged exercise, calories and carbohydrates actually support weight loss and fitness. "It's a contradiction, but you really do need the calories to perform well," says Lewin. "The calories are what’s enabling you to work out at your best. if you’re not well-fueled, you’re not going to work out as hard." 


Bananas have always been a popular food with athletes, thanks to their calorie-dense, portable nature and abundance of potassium -- an electrolyte lost during intensive sweating sessions.

But researchers from the Appalachian State University's Human Performance Lab recently found that endurance cyclists performed just as well when they consumed bananas as they did when they drank a sports drink.

What's more, the banana offered other, long-term benefits not available from a sugary sports drink: antioxidants, fiber and vitamin B.

The study was funded by Dole, a fruit company that sells bananas, but it was also published in the peer-reviewed journal, PLoS ONE.

Chocolate Milk

Sports drinks are meant to give you a mid-workout boost, and they're also intended to help with recovery. But recent research found that low fat chocolate milk -- yes, the plain old, dessert-like dairy drink -- works better than the neon stuff.

According to a Mayo Clinic review of several high-quality studies, that's because low fat milk has all three components required for proper sports recovery: carbohydrates, in the form of lactose; the electrolytes potassium and sodium; and protein, from casein and whey. 


In addition to sports drinks, many companies now offer sports gels or "chews" -- a solid, no less colorful gelatin confection that delivers sugars, electrolytes and calories.

But in a study of trained cyclists, raisins -- an all-natural and far cheaper option -- performed just as well to help athletes sustain their energy and performance when eaten as a pre-training snack.

Elizabeth Applegate recommends trying out other kinds of dried fruit too -- figs and pears are particularly great because of their high carbohydrate content, she said. 

Homemade Drink

"Liquid really makes the most sense during the workout. Blood flow goes to the muscles, so digestion is slower. The easiest thing to digest is a liquid," says Barbara Lewin, RD, LD, a sports nutritionist who works with professional and Olympic athletes, as well as "regular" gym-goers.

Lewin shared her go-to mix for a healthful, natural alternative sports drink.

Natural Sports Drink Recipe:
3.5 cups water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
An eight-ounce serving provides 50 calories and 110 mg sodium, according to Lewin.


It might seem surprising -- and certainly messy! -- but UC Davis' Elizabeth Applegate explains that cooked rice, especially squirted with a bit of honey, makes a good energy-delivering, restorative snack for endurance athletes.

"Of course, this isn't appropriate for runners," she told The Huffington Post, recommending the mix for cyclers. 

Coconut Water

Coconut water is sometimes touted as "nature's sports drink" -- and while it's true that the drink is full of the electrolyte potassium and is lower in calories than most sports drinks, that moniker is a bit of hyperbole.

Athletes need potassium, but they also need sodium, which isn't in sufficient enough quantities in commercial coconut water. Explains Anahad O'Connor at the New York Times' Well Blog:

An 8.5 ounce serving of Vita Coco 100% Pure Coconut Water, for example, contains 30 milligrams of sodium and 15 grams of carbohydrates. An eight-ounce serving of Gatorade Pro 02 Perform is equal in carbs (14 grams) but has more sodium (200 milligrams).

But for moderate activity or gym sessions under an hour, where replacing water is the primary concern over replacing electrolytes and sugars, the low-cal, all natural beverage is a better bet.


While endurance athletes need the electrolytes and carbohydrates that come from a sports drink, most often, regular gym goers do not. That's because under an hour of moderate-to-intense exercise doesn't warrant concerted replacement efforts.

Most often, when your average gym warrior goes for a sports drink, they really just need a pick-me-up. And for that, suggests Elizabeth Applegate, a low-cal drink with 100 milligrams of caffeine -- like a black iced coffee or strong tea, will work just fine.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this slide stated that caffeine should contain 100 grams, rather than milligrams. That would be a dangerous amount of caffeine. We regret the error.

It’s Even Worse Than It Looks

‘It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: 

How the American Constitutional System Collided With The New Politics of Extremism’ 

by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein

By Robert G. Kaiser, Published: April 30

Reading this book is a little like quaffing a double espresso on an empty stomach — it’s a jolt. For this reader it was a welcome jolt. Others will find it less palatable.

Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein have been Washington fixtures for three decades. They are two of the brightest, best informed and most scholarly students of our politics. They started out together as graduate students of political science at the University of Michigan, and decades ago took up residence at the Brookings Institution (Mann) and the American Enterprise Institute (Ornstein). Both have cultivated Democratic and Republican senators and House members to help them figure out the workings of the legislative branch. They acknowledge holding liberal views themselves, but throughout their careers they have tried to uphold a scholarly, non-partisan standard. Republicans once took them as seriously as Democrats did.

Six years ago they published a fine book on the problems of Congress, “The Broken Branch.” Among its many admirers was Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, who gave it an enthusiastic “blurb” for the book’s back cover: “The Broken Branch is a serious step toward strengthening the Congress.”
That book was sharply critical of then-Speaker Dennis Hastert and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay for running the House with minimal regard for “regular order”— the traditional, bi-partisan way of doing business by the rule book that Mann and Ornstein revere — and instead putting political advantage ahead of careful legislating. Gingrich praised their book despite its critical assessment of his fellow Republicans. 

Now Mann and Ornstein have decided that the time has come to abandon the evenhandedness still fashionable among political journalists (as opposed to the partisan talking heads and bloggers now so popular). The blunt result will be invigorating for some readers, and infuriating for others.

Their principal conclusion is unequivocal: Today’s Republicans in Congress behave like a parliamentary party in a British-style parliament, a winner-take-all system. But a parliamentary party — “ideologically polarized, internally unified, vehemently oppositional” — doesn’t work in a “separation-of-powers system that makes it extremely difficult for majorities to work their will.”
These Republicans “have become more loyal to party than to country,” the authors write, so “the political system has become grievously hobbled at a time when the country faces unusually serious problems and grave threats. . . . The country is squandering its economic future and putting itself at risk because of an inability to govern effectively.” 

Today’s Republican Party has little in common even with Ronald Reagan’s GOP, or with earlier versions that believed in government. Instead it has become “an insurgent outlier — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition . . . all but declaring war on the government.” 

Mann and Ornstein consider “the debt ceiling fiasco” of last summer proof of these accusations. The idea of deliberately jeopardizing the credit rating of the United States by toying with a purposeful default on the country’s debt was a carefully planned strategy, they note — the brainchild of Eric Cantor of Virginia, today’s majority leader of the House.

After Republicans elected 87 new members in 2010 and took control of the House, their nominal leader, John Boehner, clearly recognized that the debt ceiling would have to be raised to keep the government operating. Unlike Cantor and those new members, Boehner remembered the political damage done in 1995 when Gingrich forced a shutdown of the federal government in a spending dispute with Bill Clinton, probably assuring Clinton’s 1996 reelection.

Mann and Ornstein quote Boehner from late 2010: “We’re going to have to deal with [the debt ceiling] as adults. Whether we like it or not, the federal government has obligations, and we have obligations on our part.” Cantor disagreed. When the new Republican House majority convened at a Baltimore retreat in January, 2011, “Cantor implored them to use the coming debt limit vote as their golden opportunity.” They quote Cantor in a story in The Post that revealed this episode: “I’m urging you [Republican House members] to look at a potential increase in the debt limit as a leverage moment when . . . President Obama will have to deal with us” and accept deep spending cuts. 

The showdown soon arrived. After weeks of anxious uncertainty, Senate Republicans blinked. Their leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, acknowledged that deliberately putting the GOP in the position of being blamed for a national default was a bad idea — not because of the economic consequences, but the political ones. Allowing Obama to blame the Republicans for forcing the country into default, McConnell acknowledged, “is very bad positioning going into elections.” 

Precariously, a deal was struck. President Obama agreed to make $38 billion in cuts to the current federal budget. In return Republicans agreed to raise the debt ceiling enough to put off another fight on the issue until after the 2012 elections. Well, some Republicans agreed. Sixty-six Republicans in the House voted no; only Democratic support saved the deal and prevented default.
Those of us who follow the Washington circus may have forgotten (I had) that McConnell has already promised to repeat this drama early next year, when the debt ceiling will have to be raised again. Mann and Ornstein remind us that McConnell told Fox News, “We’ll be doing it all over” in 2013.

It is this willingness to put perceived political advantage ahead of good government that persuades the authors that we are living in a novel time that is “even worse than it looks.” They acknowledge that many of its features are not new, but all of them — from partisan warfare to the impact of money on our politics — seem worse than at any time in a century or more. Well-established, negative trends in our politics have “passed a critical point, leading to something far more troubling than we have ever seen.”
In recounting the history of how we got here, Mann and Ornstein reserve a special place of dishonor for their one-time admirer, Gingrich. His eagerness “to paint . . . his own institution [when Democrats controlled it] as elitist, corrupt and arrogant . . . undermined basic public trust in Congress and government. . . . His attacks on partisan adversaries in the White House and Congress created a norm in which colleagues with different views became mortal enemies. . . . He helped invent the modern permanent campaign, allowing electoral goals to dominate policy ones. . . . One has to look back to Gingrich as the singular political figure who set the tone that followed.” So no Gingrich blurb this time.
Mann and Ornstein rightly blame the news media for doing a mediocre job covering the most important political story of the last three decades: the transformation of the Republican Party. They are critical of the conventions of mainstream journalism that lead to the evenhandedness they have now abandoned themselves. They see a “reflexive tendency of many in the mainstream press to use false equivalence to explain outcomes,”when Republican obstructionism and Republican rejection of science and basic facts have no Democratic equivalents. It’s much easier to write stories “that convey an impression that the two sides are equally implicated.”
The authors emphasize the deterioration of the American political culture, corrupted by money and embittered by partisanship, affecting not just Congress but also, they argue persuasively, the Supreme Court. This spoiled culture has encouraged the cynicism of voters, now a serious impediment to political reforms. Mann and Ornstein write at length about both bad and good ideas for improving the situation in four long chapters that are less passionate and a lot wonkier than their more than 100-page indictment of the Republicans, which they know is going to create a marketing problem for this book. 

“Some readers may be struck by a lack of balance in our treatment of the two major political parties,” they admit, but insist that they hope not for Democratic hegemony, but for “two vibrant and constructive political parties.” They mean, of course, two parties that actually believe in the efficacy of government to help society, a notion the tea party Republicans appear to reject.

Mann and Ornstein chose not to explore the history of today’s voters’ cynicism, a powerful ingredient in the poisonous brew they describe. Doing so would have given them a chance to add some even-handedness to their story. In 1964, on the eve of the disastrous Vietnam War, 77 percent of Americans expected their government do “do the right thing” always or most of the time, according to opinion polls. Ten years later, after Vietnam and Watergate, 77 percent had become 36. Today it is less than 20 percent who have that confidence in the government. The Vietnam War, largely the work of Democrats, and Richard Nixon together destroyed Americans’ confidence in their governing institutions. It has never been restored. Several generations have grown up since reflexively distrusting their government.

And now, as Mann and Ornstein document so vividly, at a time when only good government could help us rediscover our footing as a nation, our Grand Old Party defines itself as the party of anti-government. This is why the title of this book is so good: Our situation really is even worse than it looks. 

Robert G. Kaiser is an associate editor of The Washington Post, and the author of “So Damn Much Money: The Triumph of Lobbying and the Corrosion of American Government.” His new book on Congress will be published next year.
© The Washington Post Company

"If you question the breadth of the conclusions you should draw from this, click on this:"
If it upsets you consider this:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Who Is The Smallest Government Spender

Who Is The Smallest Government Spender Since Eisenhower? 

Would You Believe It's Barack Obama?

Rick Ungar Rick Ungar, Contributor Writing from the left on politics and policy.  5/24/2012 - |1,619,090 views
It’s enough to make even the most ardent Obama cynic scratch his head in confusion.

Amidst all the cries of Barack Obama being the most prolific big government spender the nation has ever suffered, Marketwatch is reporting that our president has actually been tighter with a buck than any United States president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Who knew?

Check out the chart –

So, how have the Republicans managed to persuade Americans to buy into the whole “Obama as big spender” narrative?

It might have something to do with the first year of the Obama presidency where the federal budget increased a whopping 17.9% —going from $2.98 trillion to $3.52 trillion. I’ll bet you think that this is the result of the Obama sponsored stimulus plan that is so frequently vilified by the conservatives…but you would be wrong.

The first year of any incoming president term is saddled—for better or for worse—with the budget set by the president whom immediately precedes the new occupant of the White House. Indeed, not only was the 2009 budget the property of George W. Bush—and passed by the 2008 Congress—it was in effect four months before Barack Obama took the oath of office.

Accordingly, the first budget that can be blamed on our current president began in 2010 with the budgets running through and including including fiscal year 2013 standing as charges on the Obama account, even if a President Willard M. Romney takes over the office on January 20, 2013.

So, how do the actual Obama annual budgets look?

Courtesy of Marketwatch
  • In fiscal 2010 (the first Obama budget) spending fell 1.8% to $3.46 trillion.
  •  In fiscal 2011, spending rose 4.3% to $3.60 trillion.
  • In fiscal 2012, spending is set to rise 0.7% to $3.63 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of the budget that was agreed to last August.
  • Finally in fiscal 2013 — the final budget of Obama’s term — spending is scheduled to fall 1.3% to $3.58 trillion. Read the CBO’s latest budget outlook.
No doubt, many will wish to give the credit to the efforts of the GOP controlled House of Representatives. That’s fine if that’s what works for you.

However, you don’t get to have it both ways. Credit whom you will, but if you are truly interested in a fair analysis of the Obama years to date—at least when it comes to spending—you’re going to have to acknowledge that under the Obama watch, even President Reagan would have to give our current president a thumbs up when it comes to his record for stretching a dollar.

Of course, the Heritage Foundation is having none of it, attempting to counter the actual numbers by pretending that the spending initiated by the Bush Administration is the fault of Obama. As I understand the argument Heritage is putting forth —and I have provided the link to the Heritage rebuttal so you can decide for yourself—Marketwatch, in using the baseline that Obama inherited, is making it too easy on the President.

But then, with the Heritage Foundation being the creator of the individual mandate concept in healthcare  only to rebut the same when it was no longer politically convenient, I’m not quite sure why anyone believes much of anything they have to say any longer. With their history of reversing course for convenience, I can’t help but wonder, should they find themselves reviewing the spending record of a President Romney four years from today, whether they might be tempted to use the Obama numbers as the baseline for such a new Administration.

contact Rick at
Twitter @rickungar

NOTE: Some of the comments to this piece have gotten well out of control, involving threats and obscenity to other commenters and myself. While I welcome and encourage comments from all points of view, obscene remarks are removed and not tolerated. I’ll be happy to jump back into the conversation and reply to some comments when those who are misusing the forum settle down.


Obama spending binge never happened

Commentary: Government outlays rising at slowest pace since 1950s

Rex Nutting  May 22, 2012 MarketWatch

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Of all the falsehoods told about President Barack Obama, the biggest whopper is the one about his reckless spending spree.

As would-be president Mitt Romney tells it: “I will lead us out of this debt and spending inferno.”
Almost everyone believes that Obama has presided over a massive increase in federal spending, an “inferno” of spending that threatens our jobs, our businesses and our children’s future. Even 

Democrats seem to think it’s true.

But it didn’t happen. Although there was a big stimulus bill under Obama, federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s.
Even hapless Herbert Hoover managed to increase spending more than Obama has.

Here are the facts, according to the official government statistics:

In the 2009 fiscal year — the last of George W. Bush’s presidency — federal spending rose by 17.9% from $2.98 trillion to $3.52 trillion. Check the official numbers at the Office of Management and Budget.
In fiscal 2010 — the first budget under Obama — spending fell 1.8% to $3.46 trillion.
In fiscal 2011, spending rose 4.3% to $3.60 trillion.
In fiscal 2012, spending is set to rise 0.7% to $3.63 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of the budget that was agreed to last August.
Finally in fiscal 2013 — the final budget of Obama’s term — spending is scheduled to fall 1.3% to $3.58 trillion. 

Read the CBO’s latest budget outlook.

Over Obama’s four budget years, federal spending is on track to rise from $3.52 trillion to $3.58 trillion, an annualized increase of just 0.4%.
There has been no huge increase in spending under the current president, despite what you hear.
Why do people think Obama has spent like a drunken sailor? It’s in part because of a fundamental misunderstanding of the federal budget.

What people forget (or never knew) is that the first year of every presidential term starts with a budget approved by the previous administration and Congress. The president only begins to shape the budget in his second year. It takes time to develop a budget and steer it through Congress — especially in these days of congressional gridlock.

The 2009 fiscal year, which Republicans count as part of Obama’s legacy, began four months before Obama moved into the White House. The major spending decisions in the 2009 fiscal year were made by George W. Bush and the previous Congress.

Like a relief pitcher who comes into the game with the bases loaded, Obama came in with a budget in place that called for spending to increase by hundreds of billions of dollars in response to the worst economic and financial calamity in generations.
Government spending under Obama, including his signature stimulus bill, is rising at a 1.4% annualized pace  slower than at any time in nearly 60 years.