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[Comments] (3) If I were running for President: this is what I'd say. Sure, our 401k's are down to pre-2001 levels, the Dow is below 10,000, Osama is still at large, people are losing jobs and are upside down in their houses, the value of the dollar is equal to Canadian coinage, fuel and food prices are up 10%, but I've got GREAT news....

I just saved a TON of money on my car insurance by switching to GEICO!

True story. Near 50% savings. AAA was royally ripping us off. Fifteen minutes really can save you 15% or more.

Yikes: I don't think I'll ever be able to retire. Just glad my company has a pension in which I have vested. I hope it can last the night.

My Voice: I spent some time today researching our presidential candidates while Maggie sat on my lap and watched the Wiggles on the other half of the computer screen. My findings:

1. Obama's website is so much easier to peruse than McCain's.

2. Obama's tax plan is superior to McCain's. McCain wants to tax the employer-paid portion of my medical benefits. That is beyond ridiculous. So even if I don't get a raise next year, my tax bill goes up? There has got to be a better way for self-employed people to fund their medical plans than taking from those who have decent insurance because they work for corporate America.

3. Further, McCain's tax plan is similar to Bush. Keep cap gains at 15%. Who among us had a cap gain on our 2007 1040? None! Only the rich do. Don't even get me started on trickle down economics. Obama would eliminate the benefit. I guess I'm torn. I believe that cap gains can be lower than 35%, but not 15%. 25%, I think, would still encourage investment without unfairly benefiting the already rich and famous.

4. Obama's plan is tax and spend. McCain's is just spend.

5. McCain/Palin are pro-life. Obama/Biden are pro-choice. Obama voted against the ban on partial birth abortions. He also did not vote on other important legislation in this area. But Palin is against abortion, even for rape and incest. Can't we find a happy medium? Though I am somewhat disgusted with Obama on this one, does it really matter? I mean, if a President can overturn Roe just like that, then why hasn't it been done in the past few decades, when we've had way more conservative presidents than not? I'm not sure this issue is as important as we think it is.

6. Same with same-sex marriage. Does it matter? If this is eventually a federal issue, and makes its way to the Supreme Court, well, then that has little to do with the President. After all, Prop 22 was overturned in CA by conservative judges. While I'm not a fan of Prop 8, I'm ok if it passes because it's up to the will of the people, not the CA Supreme Court, to legislate this issue. And you never know what a S.C. nominee will do once elected. A conservative put in O'Connor, yet she often took a very liberal view of the Constitution in deciding cases while she served on the bench.

7. I just read today that Palin was found guilty on the firing of her ex-brother-in-law's boss. I guess all the candidates have skeletons in their closets, so I won't say too much here. But her guilt was decided by a bench of 14 conservatives and 4 liberals. So it was a bi-partisan decision.

8. McCain wants to save bad mortgages with more bailouts. He will personally assist subprime mortgages by writing down the value at purchase date to today's value to keep people in their houses. That is a very liberal stance for a Republican presidential candidate.

9. Obama is definitely inexperienced. No doubt about it.

10. I don't like the scare tactics I see in McCain's ads. Today I read that he told his party to settle down; that an Obama presidency would not be the end of the world. His supporters booed him. I don't like that at all. The party I once supported has gone the way of using fear and scare tactics to win elections. They want to tell you what's wrong with America, and who is to blame for it.

11. Both voted for the bailout. I was (and am still) against the bailout. Clearly, based on the recent trend in my 401k, so was Wall St.

12. Both candidates seem committed to alternative fuel research, even with falling gas prices. Their policies are different to acheive this, but honestly understanding them is not my forte. But the point is, both understand and support the need for independence from foreign oil, something our current executive chief doesn't.

Result: Undecided. I am now an Independent Libertarian, because I feel like the Republican party (ie the people in office) are hypocrites. Most of their fiscal policies are liberal now anyway. And the members of the party seem to be very mean people. I'm sad to see the way hate has destroyed many of them. Just because someone has a different vision for America, doesn't make them wrong, or evil. It makes them different. Still deciding who to vote for, but wanted to put a few facts out there, esp on the fiscal side, since I am more qualified than the average American to understand the heart of what they say.

Bookworming: I finally procured a copy of the third book in the Eldest series, Brisingr, yesterday. My nephew Logan was kind enough to lend me his copy, so I can stop being number 600 on the library list. I look forward to starting it today, now that busy season has officially ended!

Today I finished the first book in the Twilight series. It was rather silly and extremely girly, but I'll probably read the other 3 anyway. Maggie will most likely pick them off the shelf one day and I like the idea of reading what my kids read, just to make sure I approve and that we can carry on conversations about such things. I think the author created a fascinating world, but limits herself with no plot and gushy garbage that limits half the world's population from her readership.

I'm also number 20 on the library list for book four in a series about Jerusalem circa 600 BC. OK, so it is elaborating on the origins of the beginning of the BoM, including Lehi's flight from Jerusalem, Laban's ultimate demise, and the ransacking of the city by the Babalonians. But they are very well written, and I'm excited to get my hands on it. Problem is, the two books above will have to go on hold while I get through it, since I'll only have 3 weeks to read it before it becomes the property of owner number 27.

Lastly, I am reading an historical fiction series about the Revolutionary War. I've read 4 of the 7 books now, but am putting them on haitus for the moment. They aren't as good as any of the above, but it's been interesting to ready about the Revolutionary War in light of the current election year.

For the last two series, I started reading them by picking them off my dad's bookshelf. My dad doesn't read much any more, due to poor eye sight, so none of the series are finished. I always end up getting the last few in the series from the library, or finding out the series was never completed for unknown reasons. It's frustrating to have so many series going on at once, but it's also comforting knowing that I will not want for reading material for some time to come.

[Comments] (1) Short stories: As goes Wall St, so goes Main St, or so the media would have us believe. I disagree. I think it's more apropos to say as goes Main St, so goes Wall St. The story: my cousin just moved here from Oregon and is trying to procure a house. She found a lovely one for sale by owner and made a bid. The owner called and said she had another bid, and would they be interested in increasing their bid. They did. She calls back. The other party upped their bid. They declined the bid war. Months later, they see the house is still for sale by owner. They go in and make another bid. Sure enough, owner calls back with another third party bid. My cousin sees through the sham and retracts her first bid. The next day, the house is listed on MLS. Greed run amok. And being in Provo, the owner is probably Christian. Like Mark Twain said: "If Jesus were here today, he would be anything but Christian." What a warped world we live in.

Susie and Rachel also perused Provo yesterday to visit their parent's gravesite, and visit the Creams. Susie picked up a copy of the Daily Universe. I couldn't resist the letters to the editor. Surprisingly enough, there were some great letters in there. One in particular noted that the demise of Prop 8 will not in fact end the world. For example, MA allows gay marriage and we have yet to shut down LDS Family Services or the temple there. But the real zinger was a letter about a man who is proud of his Medicaid. He had a baby that had complications. $300,000 later, the Medicaid picked up the whole bill, which means that I assisted in the birth of his child. I guess I'm ok with that, but he didn't even have a copay? It boggles my mind how the LDS population can be so eager to take handouts of Medicaid and pell grants with one hand and then disclaim the socialism they enjoy with the other.

Last story. I know somone whose neice was fired from Old Navy. The claim: she checked her mother out, which is against company policy. She promises that never happened, and has asked to see a copy of the receipt that would show her mother's credit card number and her cashier ID. The company will produce nothing I personally am boycotting Old Navy for a year. Disgraceful behavior to get out of paying unemployment.


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