When August approaches you can count on congress to take a short cut and hit the road. We see 2015 no different as the Senate will get to federal highway aid and veterans’ health care but then leave the rest of the unresolved issues for an already full congressional agenda in the fall. The quick fix to take up a House-passed bill to extend spending authority for transportation programs through October 29 and replenish the federal Highway Trust Fund with $8 billion. You can probably know where that number comes from as it is enough to keep highway and transit aid solvent until mid-December. The House approved the three-month extension on a vote of 385-34. This is the 34th extension since 2009. They needed an extension bill that fills a $3.4 billion hole in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ budget. The problem with the put off tactic is there are twelve annual spending bills due late September, the Confederate flag issue and media circus will take time. President Barack Obama brought the Iran nuclear deal to the table as well as another contentious defense policy bill and raising the nation’s borrowing authority. There is also a report the spending authority for the Federal Aviation Administration expires September 30, the House or the Senate will have to pass short-term extensions there as well.
We knew this was the case and those that wanted Obamacare proclaimed it would help to stop the rising cost. We always thought there would be a feeling out process, the insurance and hospitals would slow down until they figured the new landscape and they would go after theirs. The feeling out lasted around the last six years and everyone sees the cost hikes coming. Health care spending will outpace our overall economic growth over the next decade. This is a government forecast highlighting a challenge for the next president as the one who said he would fix it, will be long gone. We think this will be a bigger challenge for the taxpayers and businesses. We always knew the combination of expanded insurance coverage from Obamacare, the aging population, and rising demand will be squeezing every penny out of an unbalanced system already. We know have some dates as by 2019 health care spending will be increasing at roughly six percent a year, compared to an average annual rise of four percent which has been for the entire President Barack Obama administration. We hope that the future can look back and see that adding uninsured to the system instead of fixing the system was the wrong call and a huge wasted effort.
We wanted to let you know about personalized glassware from Glass With a Twist – bar shot glasses. This is a great gift or a just a cool thing to treat yourself. The folks over at Glass with a Twist will custom engrave bar shot glasses with any combination of text and art you can come up with. You can even customize one of their template designs, are bring out your own inner Picasso and start from scratch and design your own. Do not over think it as they have a custom graphics library for you to choose from as well. Think of that the next time your friends get together and you are having a shot before you head out on the town. There are so many uses for this that go way past the practical need for shot glasses. The more you buy the cheaper the cost. So who is GlassWithaTwist, it was founded in 2007, as a web store for custom engraved and screen printed glassware. They moved to Reno, Nevada in 2009 it is a small company is comprised of a talented and dedicated staff who produce all of these customized products in-house. You should really check this out and keep it in your mind for gift giving season as you can tell these people enjoy what they do, and provide you with distinctive and unique designs for your custom glassware needs.
This week we highlight a woman who had weeks and was in the top 51 and then dropped from the list last years. Rachel McAdams was born November 17, 1978 in London, Ontario Canada. The last time on the list was 2013 when she was #42 which a number she was used to as she stayed in the same place in 2012 and 2011. We picked her this week because if you are not watching True Detective on HBO she is crushing in it. Not only is sexy, she is funny, wounded and a bad ass with a knife. We all knew she was a great actress but this role has taken her into a whole new category she has come a long way since Mean Girls in 2004. The other reason to pick her is she is in a new movie at the box office Southpaw which opened this weekend. The movies cost $30M to make and grossed $16.7 the first weekend which is pretty good based on the competition. We know that the budget must have been hit with the cast alone so it is probably a good movie based on word of mouth. Rachel might make the list again but even if she does not her work on HBO and the character she has built in that show make her worthy. We did not want the season to end before we featured her and let out feeling be known.
We as member of first in the country Romneycare here in Massachusetts we understand the only way the plan worked was because the federal government paid the shortfall. We knew we would see this in the national model under Obamacare but always worries it would be times fifty. The State-run health insurance markets that offer coverage under Obamacare are struggling with high costs and disappointing enrollment. These challenges could lead more of them to turn over operations to the federal government or join forces with other states. Hawaii’s marketplace was awarded $205 million in federal startup grants. It has spent about $139 million, enrolled only 8,200 customers and is unable to sustain itself. They are turning over their sign-ups to the federal program in 2016. Twelve states and the District of Columbia fully control their markets. Federal taxpayers invested nearly $5 billion in startup grants to the states. This will be a domino effect and when the healthcare is being run by a national agency we expect the program to explode much like there is a federal Social Security office in every state there will be a need a for a Obamacare office in these states. This will triple the cost and create more red tape than the medical industry has ever seen before.
We knew this would happen and as much as the White House wants to tell you it never will, not on the radar, or we have pulled troops from the region. The bottom line is once our troops were there to train for an offensive, we were going to see the only way to insure success is to get in the muck. This is why it is no surprise to hear for the first time, Iraqi troops trained by the US led coalition have been added to the assault force Iraq is using to retake the city of Ramadi. The US soldiers were added to the fight in recent days and was disclosed to US Defense Secretary Ash Carter. The report came for Carter as he is in Bagdad just before the counteroffensive on Ramadi. The actual assault on the city has not yet begun, but this is a clear sign we are within weeks if not days. The Ramadi campaign will be a the measuring stick for the Iraqi government and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, but even more for the much maligned Iraqi security forces. This operation will happen in coordination with US-led coalition airstrikes, as the plan to overwhelm the smaller Islamic State forces.
Not sure we can call it a sweet sixteen but the GOP field for President in 2016 has reached 16 hopefuls. The big ideas change the world guy has put his hat in the ring. Ohio Governor John Kasich declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination. The 63 year old Kasich was at Ohio State University to launch a campaign before a decent home town crowd of around 2,000. We have watched Kasich for years in congress and as a governor and even in this role you get what you expect. The 43-minute speech was full of references to both family and historical references. The pledge he made and hoping voters will buy into is a national renewal. Kasich told voters he is the only GOP candidate with experience in three broad areas of political leadership. He has worked and produced his own federal budget, he has been on committees and has dealt with national security and lastly being a governor he has no run a state government. We would also through in before he was in politics he actually had a real job as he worked for Lehman Brothers financial services firm. There is an aurora of smart that follow Kasich and it is something most of the sound bite hungry players in the field are lacking. This could be a case where being the smartest guy in the room makes you the winner and we are sure that is why he thinks he timing might be perfect.
We wanted to let you know if you are looking for Home and Patio Décor Center Furniture this summer we have the spot for you. There is no better place to make a purchase from a company that only deal in what you are after. The large box store does not understand the business as it is a small part of their seasonal offerings. The fact is Home and Patio Décor Center is a family owned and operated business they provide high quality products at below retail prices. When you shop there you have over 30 years of retail and design services. They are on top of all trends and understand how to bring you the not only top quality but special pricing on your Home and Outdoor Patio Furniture, Decor and Garden purchases. When you talk to customer service you will see just how far of the extra mile they provide. Keep your eye on the coupon page to see daily and monthly coupon savings. Home and Patio Decor Center also has a price match policy so if you have seen a product somewhere else for less you can let them know. Letting them know is easy you call at 800-732-6979 or use the LIVE SUPPORT on the site to chat. Do not fall for the big box store trap buy from a company that is concentrated on what you need and you will be so much happier when you do.
Summertime road trip and we have put an old favorite on the list. The Goodrich’s Maple Farm in Vermont. It is located on US Route 2 between the villages of Marshfield and West Danville, Vermont. The farm is family owned and operated since 1840. Seven generations of dedication have made award-winning maple products sought by customers from all over the world. In the beautiful post & beam building, visitors enjoy free tours by the Goodrich family, Visiting the sugarhouse in the springtime boiling season brings extra treats – syrup warm from the evaporator and the all-time favorite treat: Sugar on Snow. During boiling hours you can visit the sugarhouse during the day or anytime the steam is rising. See the sap boiling from 33,000 trees in one of the worlds largest and fastest sap evaporators. Sugaring season lasts approximately 4 weeks during the months of March & April. The normal business hours are 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday through Saturday. Here is why it is stop on our summer route you can enjoy samples of syrup at the taster’s table or delicious maple spreads and homemade jelly. The gift shop has a full line of maple products as well as other locally produced items. They assemble a gift basket or gift box for you in just a few moments for your special gift giving needs.
Another Friday and another whopper released by this incompetent administration. This time do you want to choose the agency, CIA, ICE, IRS, HHS nope step up to the plate Department of Veterans Affairs. The first bombshell and for a government with a leadership all about getting illegal and non-working health insurance they sure dropped the ball on the people who fought for that freedom. They did not fight in Washington with words, they fought on a battlefield where it is life or death. Turns out when they come home they might as well have stayed on the battlefield. The Department of Veterans Affairs does know how many veterans died while waiting to sign up for health care. They are playing the funding and cutbacks card saying that some VA hospitals may have to close if the agency does not get $2.5 billion. Congress approved a sweeping overhaul of the department but the VA continues to be be its own worst enemy. They released an internal report stating that nearly one-third of veterans with pending applications for VA health care likely have already died. VA officials said they were unable to determine how many veterans died, whether they truly were seeking VA health care or had merely indicated interest in signing up. The last part of that quote is appalling on so many levels. Nothing to see her move along it is the weekend and the summer.
We are starting to think it might be time to capture a few polls Donald Trump has brought some fire to the campaign and we will stand by he rides hot and fades fast. That fade is not going to happen for a while and polls are showing some traction. The latest Fox News national poll finds Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker getting a post-announcement bump but the star of the week is businessman Donald Trump. We can still see the huge lead for Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Bernie has a ways to go. The GOP is where the noise and the fight is going to be and we did not think we would have this kind of action in July. We knew they would take shots but this kind or coverage is a new cycle dream. If this keeps up through August this might be the longest political season in history. The poll is of likely Republican primary voters, businessman Donald Trump captures 18 percent and has forged to the lead right behind him with the announcement bump is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at 15 percent and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 14 percent. When look further down the list there is no one else that cracked double digits. This will be interesting to watch as long as it is, which could turn on a blink of an eye. We though Trump would last through the summer but we did not think he would catch fire the question is there any staying power there.
When the big money rolls in follow it and you will see who will run things come the fall. The fund raising numbers produce a clear picture as Jeb Bush is a fund raising powerhouse. The problem is most of his money is coming in huge chunks. We know this is a bad thing because it means he does not have the support of the little people. When you look at the $11.4 million his campaign raised during its first two weeks, only three percent came from donors who gave less than $200. Small contributors gave Bush only $368,023. Donors who gave the legal maximum of $2,700 accounted for more than 80 percent of his total. You can dig deeper and realize the biggest donors are coming from Goldman Sachs as more than fifty executives and employees gave the Republican more than $144,000 in the second quarter, with most of them sending $2,700, the maximum allowed. Bush had 12,334 donors between June 15 and June 30 and his average contribution was $926. When you compare to Bernie Sanders contribution average is only $35. This will mean more as he starts to pick off competition and with all that money it is easy to. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz raised $1.8 million from small donors during the first week of his campaign half of his total. This means he has more supports but he can get steam rolled by ads and events from the big roller money and never get to a primary Cruz could win.
The more read about this Iran Nuclear deal you have to wonder if John Kerry even thought about the US interest or was it all about getting a signature on a deal. The biggest question is why President Barack Obama even wants an agreement, even he thinks they will not honor. They have come to us from all side saying they did not want to bog the deal down with thing we wanted. They wanted to make sure we can inspect as we do not trust them. We know that in ten years they can wait us out and will be ready to go We understand the US and other powers had to make some deal with Iran so we have the Iranian nuclear deal reached in Vienna. The real need was to curb its ability to produce a nuclear weapon. It is the exchange that Iran earned way too many concessions, including the rollback of economic sanctions. This is a far cry from the quote stopping nuclear proliferation in the region. We also will note no reference to the Parchin military facility it is though nuclear arms-related work was being carried out and no stated limits on the Iran Russian-made Bushehr nuclear power facility that analysts say could produce plutonium for dozens of bombs. Do not let the facts get in the way of your victory lap.
We keep reporting this story and it never goes in the right direction. We are pretty sure you will not see this on the lame stream media, probably due to the hopeless nature of it. How is your 2015 going well if you are the federal government things have never been better as they have hauled in a record of approximately $2,446,920,000,000 in tax revenues through the first nine months of fiscal 2015. Hopefully you are not eating lunch while reading this because that means the taxes being paid by every full or part time WORKING person is equal to approximately $16,451. We are giving so much better this year than last we are up about $178,156,270,000 compared to the first nine months of last year that number looked like this $2,268,763,730,000. When we run this story you think we must be making a dent in the debt but every time those hacks find a way to make sure there is no silver lining. The government has spent $2,760,301,000,000 during those nine months, so simple math shows we are running negative balance of $313,381,000,000 and are still increasing the deficit even though we are paying more. We are not sure which number hurts more 2.4T in taxes, last year it was 2.2T the face we spent 2.7T or we are all paying $16,451. It seems to us like the last one hurts the majority the most.
This week we highlight a two time member of the top 51, Kacey Lee Musgraves. She was born August 21, 1988 in Alba, Texas and was first seen on the fifth season of Nashville Star in 2007, where she placed seventh. Kacey was signed to Mercury Nashville in 2012 and released the album Same Trailer Different Park. Kacey is back this week on the countdown as she has dropped her second release, Pageant Material. If you have not heard her music it is old school country but there is a huge twist in she sings about things most country artist stay away from. This includes drugs and gender conflicts. We love watching her sing as she is not only a talented song writers she plays many stringed instruments, but she is on this list because she is super sexy doing it all. Kacey has the perfect hourglass body, long dark hair, eyes that melt and a smile that is either inviting or up to something. We have been a fan for a while and pretty sure she is on the list for the future. We are not sure about her music success as she has won awards but her sales do not seem that of a strong base, which is important in the music industry.