There are things that are a certain, death, taxes and cockroaches can survive nuclear war. Then there is Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid who we have wanted to beat in an election since we started this blog. Just like a cockroach he will not die or lose. Today is a joy of great proportions as it was announced after five terms thirty years and whole bunch of nonsense logic, he is finally finished. He must take some remorse in the fact that we could not take him as he gets to announce that his is not running for a sixth term. We could not beat him and he will never give a concession speech. In the grand scheme of things a win is a win and even if a democrat takes the seat it will be nice to know that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid will not be that person. We are pretty sure the only people other than the GOP that are happy is the new leadership wannbes as Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois seem to be the next in line ready to battle for it. Still not thinking they are going to be any worse than Reid but still would not like either in charge. They cannot take this day away and it has been a long time coming as you can get Reid out of congress you just have to wait him out.
When the votes comes os fast in the senate it is easy to slide things by the US tax payers. Starting on Thursday with an open ending time somewhere Friday morning the senate is ready to push through more than 700 amendments, not all will get to the floor but what will and what will pass is hard to track. There are multiple amendment votes, many requiring a simple majority to prevail, some are nonbinding and will never become law. This is way for your senator to say they sponsored a bill to stop this or help that come lection time. It makes them part of the public record and documents they actually were a senator. The big players with the most to lose are the GOP presidential candidates, Marco Rubio and Rand Pau, they were quick to jump in with amendments boosting defense spending by $76 billion in the budget. These both have no chance but you can see how the game is played as they will both use as they tried to be hawks in Washington. We will try to keep an eye on what goes on but as we stated before most of this needs a hashing through after the damage is done and since the genie cannot go back in the bottle, the milk is split, and the cow left the barn we are left with whatever happens.
When a corporation goes bankrupt, there is still a CEO. Most of the time it is a person who steps in after the CEO at the helm when the corporation faltered is sent packing. They know the position is short term and they are there to get the stockholders out with as little damage as possible. Enter Andrew Lack stepping into the role as chairman of NBC News and dysfunctional MSNBC. We believe the start date officially is sometime in April reports are he is a regular presence at 30 Rock head¬quarters. There have been long into the night and all day meetings with the news senior leaders, on air talent and producers. The reports say job one is to stop the ratings slide at MSNBC which will consume and be the downfall. There is a chance he coulds start selling off parts go to more infomercials to gain revenue as well as sell space for lobbyists messages and propaganda. The real issue we all be watching is what to do with Brian Williams, the Nightly News anchor who is serving a six month suspension for straight up lying about his time in Iraq. This means by September we will know what kind of leader Andrew Lack is this time around.
There are couple of ways to measure early support in a presidential race. The first is who jumps in to get early money and create a buzz. This is much like a horse race if you run out ahead and expend energy you give the pace to the followers to measure and pounce before the finish line. The other is see who the top players and what team they are getting on. When you see Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker adding a senior member of the last time out Mitt Romney team as his political operation, there is something to see there. Matt Hall will serve as director of operations the same position he had for Romney in the 2012 Republican presidential nominee. He has spent the last decade in politics and worked for the George W. Bush White House as well. It is clear that Walker is now a 2016 candidate as he assembles a national political team. When you see the response he got on his tour of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. We think that more of this Romney team will be in high demand as the year goes by and watching the players will tell an awful lot about whom they believe is going to win.
This week we highlight Shailene Diann Woodley this is the second year in a row she gets a week. She was born November 15, 1991 in Simi Valley, California. We picked her this week as she stars in the new sequel to the movie Divergent Insurgent. Last year the box office for the first movie did an opening weekend of $56M with a cost of $85M to make. This year Insurgent did a $55M opening but cost $110M to film. Shailene has been on TV since 1999 on The Secret Life of the American Teenager. The first time we saw her was in the 2011 movie The Descendants. Shailene is drop dead sexy we are a big fan and enjoyed her big screen in roles in the movie White Bird in a Blizzard and The Fault is Out Stars. She is like nothing we have seen before as she has a smoking hot intensity that comes right off the screen. She has crossed over a threshold and jumped into a whole new spotlight and she wears it well. You can also look for her in the Snowden movie filming currently and should be released by the end of the year.
Well it look like it is time to make it real. Get ready as Senator Ted Cruz is making it official as he plans to announce that he will run for president of the United States. This has been a pretty amazing three-year run for the Texas tea party leader who has become a contentious political force inside the beltway. It is kind of refreshing as Cruz will launch a presidential bid outright rather than form the fake let us gather some money exploratory committee. This means they think they need to get out there first and grab as much cash as every contender will get just by being first. We have said all along Ted Cruz is great for Texas, great for the Tea Party and the senate. We are pretty sure as a presidential candidate it is too large of leap and a waste of debate and campaign trial time.
We think the Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign is reaching critical mass. What seemed like only a couple of months ago as a walk through the motions of a primary, has turned. It is not that there is any real competition yet, but the lam streamers are clearly looking for something. Set up the plate Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley made his first run through Iowa. O’Malley knows he is the alternative to Clinton went front and center as the speech was broadcast live on C-SPAN. We think that his niche is the finance area and if he will come of granny warren lite as they pine for Senator Elizabeth Warren to run for president. If you need to know the other talking points they were raising the minimum wage, expanding Social Security benefits, making pre-kindergarten universally available and ensuring equal pay for women. You have to give him credit in the give the people what they want department as the = speech drew multiple standing ovations, but the bottom line is early polls show Clinton with a commanding lead and O’Malley only getting a trickle of support. Look for O’Malley to make a decision about a presidential bid around May as he waits to see how many pegs Clinton gets knocked down before jumping into the fight.
We knew this would be the case and Obamacare will fail if they try to funding to young people buying into the program. The special enrollment period to obtain health insurance for millions of uninsured people who owe a tax penalty under the Affordable Care Act is not scaring anyone to jump on board. The Obama administration thought as people saw they were getting fined they would opt in and they extended the sing up for coverage through April, at the end of the tax season. Thanks but no thanks seems to be the response as tax-preparation firms say many customers are paying the penalty and not getting health insurance. It is still early, since the special enrollment period launched Sunday, but research also suggests that many people who lack health insurance will pay the penalty and not get covered this year. When you compare a $250 penalty for going without insurance versus paying $400 a month for a plan with a $6,000 deductible, that is really not even choice. When you add this into the tax season mistake with the 1095-A forms that were sent with incorrect information to about 820,000 people, you have to wonder if even on the inside they see this starting to implode. We may never be able to change or remove the law/tax but this is not the program Medicare or Social Security were in the beginning stages as this is still broken and maybe still unneeded.
We are still dumfounded when it comes to this White House and staying between the lines. The self-claiming most transparent presidency in history seems the have the most to hide. There are things we just do not know and one of the worst might be the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac story or lack of facts. We have seen the scrapping of the surface on some alarming news from inside the beltway. This not just inside politics but close to clandestine governing. Did you know in August 2012 Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner issued the 3rd Amendment to the GSE conservatorship that required all of the GSE profit to go to US Treasury Department forever? Do you know how they did it, the Obama administration used executive privilege and sealed documents regarding the decision? The subject is now part of 17 lawsuits and this information is being requested. We understand secrets in matters of international matters, we are not sure why this is wrapped in a vale of secrecy. We think they need to open the books on the management of the two government-sponsored entities that have such a huge stake in not only housing in the US but our overall economy as well.
Do you remember 2008, how long ago we heard a fresh faced President Barack Obama talking about being the most transparent administration in history. This was because everyone thought the big evil GOP was doing things in vail of secrecy Gitmo, WaterBoard, and Nuclear weapon reports. The problem for the second straight year, this administration has more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them. This administration turns a blind eye to the US Freedom of Information Act. We have watched over the last year as they stalled to turn over files if they did, how many times they have said they could not find the documents, and they have refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly waiting until the perfect time in the news cycle. There is currently a backlog of unanswered requests of more than 200K requests which has grown by 55%. In fairness we have gone over the top asking for things as citizens, journalists, businesses and others made a record 714,231 requests for information. There is a price tag as we have spent a record $434 million in tax payer money trying to catch up. The government responded to 647,142 requests which would be amazing except 39% of those were just straight up denied access at total of 250,581. Then you can add in the 215,584 the government said it could not find records, a person refused to pay for copies or the government determined the request to be unreasonable or improper.
We have something you really need Disk Drill for Windows. When you need to get this product it is usually too late and something has gone really wrong. This is a great little piece of software that can solve all your problems in relation to Partition loss, Hard drive reformatting, Failed bootups, Recycle bin cleanup, Memory card corruption and the big one Accidental deletion. Why is it the best, because Disk Drill has several different recovery algorithms, including Undelete Protected Data, Quick Scan and Deep Scan. When this baby is fired up there is nothing that can hide. Think about this use, when you are selling are getting rid of a computer you can use Disk Drill to find all those files you cannot see and thought they were long gone off the machine and give you that extra peace of mind. These days the littlest piece of information can unlock your whole world and turn it upside down.
This week we highlight another new comer to the tea512 woman of the week. Lily Chloe Ninette Thomson we know her as Lily James was born April 5, 1989 in Esher, Surrey , England. She is most well known for her role as Lady Rose MacClare in the period drama Downton Abbey. We picked her this week for her movies role in the remake of Cinderella. The movie crushed at the box office the first weekend as expected pulling in $70M of the $92M is cost to make. We are pretty sure this one will top $200M for Disney. There is something really sexy about Lily as Cinderella as the dress even a ball gown has a very 18th century eye popping cleavage look and her curly blonde hair, with a barefoot in a glass slipper have just enough for everyone to be awestruck for this movie. We had not seen Lily in a movie since Fast Girls and her role in Wrath of the Titans but whenever she is on screen she is hard to miss or forget. We are pretty amped for her next movie Pride and Prejudice and Zombies which we did not know about but will be looking into. Lily is also working on the next John Wells production. Lily will also be seen as the sixth season of Downton Abbey returns around the end of the year.
You have to wonder about news cycles and what is news these days. Governor Scott Walker from Wisconsin rolled through New Hampshire, he roamed through the area like a visiting rock star on a meet and greet when a band gets back together. He made sure to tell as that this would be his first of many visits to the NH this year. Walker preached his record which in NH must sound like days of yore. They have had their property taxes lower today than they were four years ago when he started , NH is a tax free state so it does have pretty high property tax. We thought we heard him taking the message international as speaking often and sternly about ISIS. He compared the radical Islamic terrorist group to a virus with a need take it out entirely.
He believes we can partner in the coalition with Jordan and Egypt to make a stronger force that can deal with the issue from inside the region. He did play the rock star role to a tee and his personality works well in NH. He is a straightforward guy and has sound ideas that should play well to the center.
Republican controlling congress means oversight and trimming. Next up to the plate NASA, which is a GOP staple as it gives Americans pride as well as keeps us on the cutting edge of military enhancements. Democrats have tried to turn focus of NASA mission away from exploring distant worlds and studying our own planet. The budget request for NASA in 2016 is a total of $18.5 billion, which is a 3% increase. There is more than $1.9 billion being used for earth science programs, which will pay for high-quality mapping and the development of a slew of satellites for monitoring the planet, among other issues. There is $4.5 billion for exploration, as well as $4 billion is slated for space operations, including support of the International Space Station. The $1.9 billion is a small number but represents a 41% increase in earth science funding since 2009, which is also juxtaposed to the 7% decrease in funding for exploration and operations. We think this makes no sense as there are probably federal grants and research funding creating a redundant structure of studying the earth. NASA is about space and getting to and understanding the outside our hemisphere. Texas A&M cannot study Mars or bring a sample of the ground there to analyze, but the can test anything Texas. We need the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to focus on their mission as it was set out to do in 1958.
We probably have focused too much early time on former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. We also think Chris Christie needs to get something going as his chances are on life support already. It was refreshing and a wakeup call from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who has just stepped foot on New Hampshire soil. He is calling out the long and tired tradition in the Republican party of the next up candidate in regards to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Remember this is a pattern and gave us Dole in 1996, McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012, which if this is a go to plan and you keep losing we need to flip the script. This is a self-helping projection but one with valor. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton will be hard enough to beat and sending another Bush might just be the spin the democrats need to keep a Bush from happening. The odd part is it would be sending another Clinton to the White House. Walker crushed this go around early as he said all the right things. He called Jeb a good man and said he would not speak ill of him, but his primary campaign message is clear running against Hillary Clinton, we need a name from the future – not a name from the past, powerful stuff.