Sunday, October 31, 2010

what's the president done for me lately?

I know it's fashionable to complain about the president but sometimes it feels like we are a nation of adolescents whining about how our Dad just doesn't get us. Maybe when we grow up we'll realize he was actually doing his best and a pretty good job at that. So next time you hear someone complain ( or maybe it's you) that the obama admin hasn't doesn't anything here's a list. It's long so I divided it into the economy, health care, Israel, science, the environment, education, military & vets rights, so you can go to your interest.
This is a shorter version of a list of 244 accomplishments. Feel free to check out the full list at,compiled by a university professor in Florida.


• Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants…) * Note: Bush was the first president since Herbert Hoover to not make infrastructure a priority

• Authorized the US auto industry rescue plan ,two GMAC rescue packages, the housing rescue plan and new FHA residential housing guarantees

• Authorized a $789 billion economic stimulus plan * Note: 1/3 in tax cuts for working-class families; 1/3 to states for infrastructure projects; 1/3 to states to prevent the layoff of police officers, teachers, etc. at risk of losing their jobs because of state budget shortfalls

• Authorized the federal government to make more loans available to small businesses and ordered lower rates for federal loans to small businesses

extended unemployment benefits for one million workers

Credit card companies are prohibited from raising rates without advance notification or arbitrarily if customers are paying bills on time

• Signed historic Wall Street reform bill * Note: Designed to end abusive practices and promote consumer protections

• Signed the HIRE Act to stimulate the economic recovery * Note: The bill includes: tax cuts for small businesses who hire someone unemployed for at least two months; small businesses can write off their investments in equipment this year; etc.

Health Care

· Signing laws to expand children's health insurance (financed by a 61-cent per pack increase in the federal cigarette tax).

- Prevents insurance companies from denying coverage to individuals/family members with pre-existing health conditions

- Prevents insurance companies from placing lifetime limits on benefits

- Bans “rescission” so insurance companies can’t cancel coverage if individuals keep their policies current or if they become ill

- An individual’s out-of-pocket healthcare expenses are capped

Closes the “donut hole” (Part D) for Medicare prescription drug coverage

all large (over 50 employees) employers must offer health insurance to employees or pay a fine

- Small businesses can get a tax credit if they offer health care

- There are hardship exemptions if individuals can’t afford health insurance

- Families can keep their children in college on their plans through age 26


• Renewed loan guarantees for Israel

• Signed the USIFTA trade agreement with/for Israel

• Authorized a $550m advance for Israel (six months prior to the scheduled date) in order to accommodate Israeli’s economic and financial needs

• Continued agreements with Israel for cultural exchanges, immigration, etc.


· Put a hold on Artic oil exploratory digging until environmental impacts are clear.

• Reengaged in the treaties/agreements to protect the Antarctic * Note: These were suspended under Bush

• Reengaged in the agreements/talks on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions * Note: These were suspended under Bush

• Overturned Bush-era rule that weakened the Endangered Species Act

• Announced plans to purchase fuel efficient American-made fleet for the federal government

• Ended the Bush-era policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide emissions

Saturday, October 23, 2010

empty nest/nesting

So my last one went off to college in August and I thought I would soon thereafter be writing my 'empty nest' blog. Ha. This is the least empty empty nest I have ever seen. Shortly after leaving both kids were home for Rosh Hashona, then again for Yom Kipper, then again for Fall break,yes both of them, which was immediately followed by Parents weekend. Yes, for both of them. This weekend all the Penn State kids are home so my son decided to come home also. Now I know I'm very lucky to have them so close and also that they obviously love us and like coming home. But really, how am I suppose to experience the despair and anguish of empty nest-hood if it's always full?

On a pat on the back note, I cleaned out several of my basement closets. Just so you understand what a feat this was among the treasures were the dress I wore to the rainbow room for my 30th birthday, a Laura Ashley dress purchased in London during my jr year abroad, numerous suits, skirts and blazers last worn before I was pregnant with my oldest and several million stuffed animals. I also threw out all the cans I had put away just before the millennium in anticipation of the end of the world. Felt great. It will feel even better when I throw out the 25 white trash bags and get the 15 black ones to Impact!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

the worst trip ever

Just back from a one day Dental solutions for sleep apnea course in Atlanta. Well really in a hotel next to the Atlanta airport. The course was great but getting to and fro was a nightmare.
Flew Air Tram out Thursday night. We boarded (four of us) an hour late and then proceeded to sit on the runway for over two hours in the pouring rain. To make it lovelier water was dripping on everyone's head the entire two hours. It's hard to read a water soaked magazine. Well not the entire time. There was the dry, and very hot, 15 minutes when they turned off the engine. Did I mention the poor baby who screamed most of the two hours and the stink bug that kept flying around? The crew kept us 'informed' but announcing every 20 minutes that they had no idea when we would take off or even if we would take off at all. We did finally,and managed to get into bed by midnight to catch a terrific six hours of sleep.
The course ended a little early Friday and we were at the airport by 4pm for a 7:30pm flight. Great, we figured, maybe US Air can put us on the 5:30 flight home instead. Ha, ha.
It took 20 minutes to even find a US air person to talk to as the only one at the counter, Clarissa, was 'on a break'. Her replacement informed us that the Air Tran guy in Phila, Larry,must have ripped off both our out going and return tickets and therefore we 'didn't have any tickets' to Philadelphia. (For some bizarre reason Travelocity had issued us paper tickets- they're on my sh-t list too) We pointed out that our receipt showed our reservation, we had confirmed our reservation online, and selected our seats, and we had ID to prove we were who we said we. Her response; too bad. We asked to talk to a supervisor. Supervisor Gail responded, 'that's a problem' before walking away.
We headed down to Air Tran to see if they could help. They were very nice but needed to talk to Philadelphia to see if they could find our torn tickets. After an hour they realized the Air Tran people in Phila are nasty and unhelpful. It looked like our only option was a 10:00pm flight out of Atalanta on Air Tran. As you can imagine, this did not go over well with 4 people running on minimum sleep and all facing big days ahead. (Baseball tournament, church festival and a dinner party to throw, respectively).
Finally, the Air Tran supervisor, Alma, figured out a way to process us onto the US airways flight with a trip interruption form and at 6:00pm walked us down to US Air. Guess who's back? The 'I'm on a break ' girl. First she tried to ignore us and then tried to insist that she didn't know how to process it but Alma, our hero from Air Tran, made her. When she printed up our boarding passes I noticed they said Row 25. Our reservation was in Row 10. When I pointed this out to her she said, And I swear this is true!, "Well you weren't here on time to check in so we gave your seats away". I have no idea what stopped me from leaping across the counter and strangling her to death. I'm sure no jury would have convicted me. Alma was so appalled at the way US air treated us that she said she was going to process four business upgrades for us on AirTran. She was so nice I didn't have the heart to point out that AirTran was being bought by Southwest who doesn't have business class. We hugged good bye and went off to security.
When we got on the plane we discovered that it was 3/4 empty and not only was row 10 open so was row 11-20. In fact the only rows not open were 22-25!
Glad to report we are all home safe and sound. No names have been changed in the telling of this story as there are no innocents to protect. Could someone please, please, buy US Airways and fire everyone who works there?