Travsite.com: February 2008
2/24/2008Here are some photos of us acting retarded in our Nation's Capitol. We went to Washington DC for a week after our trip to New York for Christmas.
While we were there, I got yelled at by the Secret Service at least 3 times and we went through about 30 metal detectors. Good times! View our photos of Washington D.C. Don't miss the photo of Jessica holding a live giant cockroach!.
2/13/2008It looks like Barack Obama will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2008, so I figured that it was time to look into all of the hype. Some say that Obama's "Hope for Change" is nothing but non-specific puffery, but today I learned otherwise. I went through Obama's Blueprint for Change and narrowed his hopechanging ideas down to the following categories: Create, Increase, Provide, Require and Allow.
If you thought the Federal Government was large, inefficient and overbearing before....
- create an energy-focused youth jobs program
- create a fund to help people refinance their mortgages
- create a law to ban the permanent replacement of striking workers
- create a credit card rating system
- create an exemption in bankruptcy law for individuals who can prove they filed for bankruptcy because of medical expenses
- create a program to inform businesses about the benefits of flexible work schedules
- create a generous savings match for low and middle-income Americans.
- create a new American Opportunity Tax Credit that will make tuition at the nation's community colleges completely free and will cover up to two-thirds the cost of tuition at the nation's public colleges and universities.
- create new Teacher Service Scholarships that will cover four years of undergraduate or two years of graduate teacher education
- create Teacher Residency Programs that will supply 30,000 exceptionally well-prepared recruits to high-need schools.
- create of a market-based cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions
- create a federal investment program to help manufacturing centers modernize
- create a Clean Technologies Venture Capital Fund to fill a critical gap in U.S. technology development.
- create a number of incentives for local communities to invest in their biofuels refineries
- create a competitive grant program to award those states and localities that take the first steps to implement new building codes
- create a Global Energy Forum
- create a new program to identify and train the next generation of farmers.
- create a 10 percent universal mortgage credit to provide tax relief to homeowners who do not itemize
- initiate a strategy to encourage all 50 states to adopt paid-leave systems , provide a $1.5 billion fund
- launch a Children's First Agenda that provides care, learning and support to families with children from birth up to five years old.
- increase the resources devoted to the commercialization and deployment of low-carbon coal technologies.
- increase incentives for farmers and private landowners to conduct sustainable agriculture
- increase funding for federal workforce training programs and direct these programs to incorporate green technologies training
- increase the minimum wage, index it to inflation
- increase the Earned Income Tax Credit
- double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs
- expand FMLA to cover businesses with 25 or more employees
- increase funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
- expand and improve programs like Senior Corps to connect seniors with quality volunteer opportunities
- double science and research funding for clean energy projects
- double fuel economy standards
- quadruple Early Head Start
- provide capital for farmers to create value-added enterprises
- provide $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure,
- provide assistance to the domestic auto industry
- provide retooling tax credits and loan guarantees for domestic auto plants and parts manufacturers
- provide incentives to give teachers paid common planning time so they can collaborate to share best practices
- provide affordable and high-quality child care to ease the burden on working families
- provide potential borrowers with a simplified, standardized borrower metric (similar to APR) for home mortgages
- require that 25 percent of electricity consumed in the U.S. is derived from clean, sustainable energy sources
- require 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be included in the fuel supply by 2022
- require 25 percent of American electricity be derived from renewable sources by 2025
- allowing workers to take leave for elder care needs
- allowing parents up to 24 hours of leave each year to participate in their children's academic activities
- allowing low-income families to receive up to a 50 percent credit for their child care expenses
Jessica's mom is in town, so we spontaneously drove up to Wrightwood to check out the snow. Here are some embarrassing photos of us goofing off.