Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Clinton is clearly trending down. May be a dead-heat by 4/22!
Source Data: RealClearPolitics.com, multiple survey sources
Regression Analysis & Chart By: Riley Murray
Middle class grow fearful about their prospects
Poll says predictions for short-term progress grimmest in nearly 50 years
WASHINGTON - Growing numbers of middle-class Americans say they are not better off than they were five years ago, reflecting economic pressures amid growing debt, a study released Wednesday shows. Their short-term assessments of personal progress, according to the study, is the worst it has been in almost half a century.
The survey by the Pew Research Center, a Washington-based research organization, paints a mixed picture for the 53 percent of adults in the country who define themselves as "middle class," with household incomes ranging from below $40,000 to more than $100,000.
It found that a majority of Americans said they have not progressed in the past five years. One in four, or 25 percent, said their economic situation had not improved, while 31 percent said they had fallen backward. Those numbers together are the highest since the survey question was first asked in 1964. Among the middle class, 54 percent said they had made no progress (26 percent) or fallen back (28 percent).
Among the other findings:
- Nearly eight in 10 of all people, or 79 percent, said they believe it has become more difficult compared with five years ago for the middle class to maintain their standards of living, up from 65 percent in 1986.
- Among the middle class, no consensus existed on who was to blame for their economic problems. Twenty-six percent blamed the government, while 15 percent faulted the price of oil and 11 percent said the people themselves were responsible. Others faulted foreign competition and private corporations for economic woes.
- Some demographic groups have improved their income status between 1970 and 2006, while others saw declines. Among the winners were seniors ages 65 and older, blacks, native-born Hispanics and married adults. Losers included young adults (ages 18 to 29), the unmarried, foreign-born Hispanics and people with a high-school education or less.
Gen. George S. Patton
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Since BRD is a rookie in 6th D blogging... staff from the Rasoul campaign were kind enough to send me this old article link... addressing my initial challenge to them regarding their support of Chesapeake Bay watershed improvements at the Federal level... And with no wise guy comments about my learning curve.
From New Dominion June 8th 2007
By Sam Rasoul
"... Congressman Bob Goodlatte wrote in the Roanoke Times in an article titled “Trying to do more with less” that “Here in Virginia, the health of the Chesapeake Bay is of great concern to many of us.” He continues, “The Farm Bill affords us the opportunity to create policies that would positively impact the health of the bay without burdening farmers with superfluous regulations.”
Congressman Goodlatte continued to distract constituents with worthy praise for environmental considerations in his article: “The benefits of conservation programs are not solely realized by farmers. All of us benefit from improved air, water, and land quality.”
One week later, we read “Bay Bill Too Costly, Congressman Says” in the Daily-News Record. And “Unfortunately, (CHESSEA) is extra expensive …”, referring to the conservation plan known as Chesapeake’s Healthy and Environmentally Sound Stewardship of Energy and Agriculture Act of 2007. And Congressman Goodlatte executes this abrupt about-face as U.S. Sen. John Warner and Va. Del. Matt Lohr, both Republicans, continue to express support for CHESSEA. ...
... We do not know what went into this reappraisal and reversal. But we do know that Congressman Goodlatte owes us an explanation.,,,
Unless he turns over a new page, Congressman Goodlatte will be reluctant to offer that explanation because he seems to feel a lack of responsibility to his Virginia constituents. Why? Well, unexplained rhetorical position reversal maneuvers, from an eight-term incumbent congressman, who signed the Republican Contract with America, limiting congressmen to three terms, are not unprecedented."...
H.R. 1766: Chesapeake's Healthy and Environmentally Sound Stewardship of Energy and Agriculture Act of 2007
"Timely and bold, CHESSEA represents the largest single federal investment—estimated at more than 200 million new dollars annually—for restoring water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and tributary rivers. If passed, it will provide the funds needed to meet nitrogen-pollution reduction goals from agricultural sources, as required by the Chesapeake 2000 agreement. With projected matches from states and farmers, this should translate into a 65 million pound annual reduction of nitrogen pollution entering the watershed, potentially 59 percent of the reduction goal. Combined with previously passed measures, CHESSEA can bring us within striking distance of the 2010 goal."
Again... almost one year later... CHESSEA is still "dead in the water".
So let me understand... spending over $500 BILLION in Iraq is "affordable"? And, We Taxpayers in the 6th District paid $260 million for the war in Iraq in 2007. But, spending $200 Million per year to Save the Bay and improve Western Virginia water quality is "too expensive"?
Seems like it's time to re-order "Our 6th District" Priorities, Mr. Goodlatte. We're still looking for someone to get the job done.
As Gen. George S. Patton often said, "Lead, Follow or Get the Hell Out of the Way!"
Ed. note: We will press Mr. Rasoul for more details, in weeks ahead , on how he would re-energize this legislation.
April 8, 2008
Dear Mr. Murray:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the U.S. presence in Iraq. I believe that we must move forward to end our military involvement there.
The invasion and occupation of Iraq began in the absence of a clearly articulated strategy that should have defined our national objectives as well as the circumstances that would bring about an end point to our military presence in that country. Five years later, the American people are still waiting for the kind of political and diplomatic leadership that will end the occupation, stabilize the region, and allow our country to focus on other, vital strategic challenges around the world.
The U.S. occupation has tied down our military forces on the streets of Iraq's cities while the forces of international terrorism are still at large. Only when our political leadership matches the high quality of our military performance will we be able to resolve our current occupation of Iraq. And it is clear that we are not going to see that kind of leadership from the Bush administration. It is imperative that the next administration place great emphasis on robust diplomacy in the region to a degree that allows us to reduce our presence in Iraq and increase stability in the region.
In the coming months we must guard against allowing this Administration to position the next President into a situation where we have agreed to support a long-term military presence in Iraq. For more than six years, the administration has been less than open with the American public or Congress about its long-term intentions in Iraq. We must ensure that the future military presence in Iraq is decided not behind closed doors, but through the open air of free debate, including congressional consent.
As the debate on U.S. involvement in Iraq continues, Congress must protect the welfare of our troops and their families. For this reason, I introduced an amendment in 2007 to the defense authorization bill to require that active-duty service members and units have at least the same amount of time at home as the length of their previous deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. National Guard and Reserve units and members would have a minimum of three years at home for every year that they are deployed and would not be mobilized for longer than one year. These adjustments in today's rotational cycles would have eased the strain that our service members and families now experience. Repeated deployments with inadequate dwell time are taking their toll. The Army's active-component suicide rates, for example, have doubled from 9.8 per 100,000 in 2001 to 19.7 per 100,000 in 2007-an all-time high.
The Senate voted on my dwell-time amendment in July and September of 2007. Unfortunately, passage of this amendment also was prevented by a filibuster on both occasions, although the amendment was supported by a majority of the Senate.
As a combat veteran and as a member of both the Senate Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Relations, I appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns on this important matter. As the Senate continues to debate the United States' involvement in Iraq, be assured that I will continue to pursue responsible policies that are fair to our troops and will ultimately enable American forces to leave Iraq.
I would also invite you to visit my website at www.webb.senate.gov for regular updates about my activities and positions on matters that are important to Virginia and our nation.
Thank you once again for contacting my office.
United States Senator
Monday, April 7, 2008
The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80-20 rule, the law of the vital few and the principle of factor sparsity) states that for many phenomena 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
The principle was suggested by management consultant Joseph M. Juran. It was named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed that 80% of property in Italy was owned by 20% of the Italian population. Since J. M. Juran adopted the idea, it might better be called "Juran's assumption". That assumption is that most of the results in any situation are determined by a small number of causes. This is also known as "the vital few and the trivial many". In later years Juran has preferred "the vital few and the useful many" to signal that the remaining 80% of the causes should not be totally ignored.
Joseph Moses Juran (December 24, 1904 – February 28, 2008) was a 20th Century management consultant who is principally remembered as an evangelist for quality and quality management. Modern manufacturing & transactional quality systems have been heavily influenced by this humble professional.
Thought for pondering as Democrats focus on the Fall...
Are we focusing on the "Vital Few" issues in the 6th District, or are we wasting time and energy chasing the "Trival Many".
What are the "significant few" campaign issues that could attract a broad base of voters to replace Mr. Goodlatte as our representative in Washington?
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Data entry is not fun... still looking for a down-loadable file from Va Board of Elections.
We'll let you now if BRD finds any interesting correlations and trends.
More to come...
( I know... boorrrring!)
It's always a case of "Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later".
Concrete cracks, Asphalt crumbles, Bridges rust, Paint erodes... stuff breaks!
No Republican, Democrat or Independent can reverse the laws of physics and chemistry.
Failure to do timely Predictive, Preventive, and Planned Maintenance results in unplanned breakdowns (inconveniences) at best, OR catastrophic failures (life & property threats) at worst.
Minnesota Bridge Collapse
Failure to reach a political compromise.... increases the risks to life & property. More on real vs. perceived "Risk" to come here at BRD. Stay tuned...
Heads Up Folks! Expect more from your leaders. It ain't rocket science.
Full AP Article
Published: April 5, 2008
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - Gov. Timothy M. Kaine knows this movie by
heart: Virginia lawmakers fight over funding for new roads on and
off for months before calling it quits and heading home frustrated
and empty-handed. ....
This year, maintenance will cost $260 million more than the
... revenues reserved for it. That overrun, known as the
“maintenance deficit,” is more than counties received from the
state for new local roads this year. By law, maintenance deficits
are taken out of cash available for new road construction. Next
year, the deficit will top $388 million, and by 2014 it will
approach $600 million, according to a Department of Transportation