Thursday, January 02, 2014

NFL Fails to Sell-Out Playoff Games – Economy the Possible Problem? – Sticker Shock over Obama Care Premiums and No Retirement for Baby Boomers

Yahoo Sports is reportingthat NFL playoff games are presently not sold out for this season – the ticket prices at $300 plus are now selling at just over $100 – what a deal! If one were to take the average middle class football fan, who has 2 children, plus food and concessions, parking and the gas to get to the stadium – even reduced pricing makes that “treat” impossible in today’s economy.

An article from The, on the hidden costs of Obama Care highlights the higher premiums that are hitting the middle class – hard –

In Alabama, premiums have doubled for some middle-class families, like that of Courtney Long, a stay-at-home mother of four. She told WHNT News, "It's devastating. I started crying."

"I mean, we have worked so hard to get out of credit card debt, get ahead on the car loan, transfer our mortgage to a 15- from a 30-year mortgage… and for what?”

That’s one of many examples nationwide.
(The Week). Simply put there simply is no money available in most households for “entertainment”, especially when that entertainment is priced at the same rate as the new health insurance premiums. – unaffordable.

To further the misery – The AP article on Blue Collar American’s suggests that they will never, repeat never, retire. Rather work until they drop dead. This is given the cost of living, the higher insurance premiums, which just were added as an extra burden to a weak economy, and one makes the decision whether to eat or retire, or in the case of many of today’s struggling families, to take in a ball game.

To suggest that the economy is on the mend is fine, but it is not on the mend for the majority of working American’s who are seriously feeling the pinch. When one wishes to go to the ball-park, even a minor league game, with a two person family – the price appears reasonable enough - $50 for the evening (tickets, concessions, parking), however, that’s a chunk of change for anyone who’s on fix income, which includes just about everyone today.

Given the fact that there are few companies hiring, and that the only boom going is in Wall Street (which does help some retirees who have healthy portfolios or 401K’s, it does not help those millions of middle class American’s who are living paycheck to paycheck – buying groceries, and paying the bills, rather than having anything “extra” to sock away.

Therefore, for those who are in the sports business, it is for those “elites” or the haves, rather than those middle American’s who used to fill the stadiums – Now even those “elites” are finding themselves “pinched” – and making decisions as to whether to pay the mortgage or go to the ball game.

Fortunately, most American’s have cable – so far.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Excuse me but! Finding Pet Friendly Campgrounds is a Most difficult task!

image and article form

After searching high and low for multiple weeks, I finally found a camping area that would accept me and my three pups for short-term campout. Normally most campsites, even in Pet friendly areas, suggest that one has their pet at their side, on a short leash at all times, with no access to any of the campgrounds amenities, specifically, the trails, the ponds (if any) the beaches (if any) and so on. This is especially true of Connecticut & Massachusetts. To be fair, some do offer dog parks and such for the dog,’s not the same as sharing the experience with ones four legged friends.

Those that rely heavily on the companionship of their canine companions, be it for service needs and/or just the presence of unconditional love, should have some outlets that will allow them to experience nature without penalties (of course, picking up after one’s pups and insuring they have all vaccinations are common sense under any circumstances).

As we spend a fortune on medical, food (which is taxed) and shelter for our animals (I’m thinking tax deductions here), it is right and proper that those with pets, especially in states and municipalities that charge fees (i.e. taxes) in the form of dog tags, should have outlets where they can comfortably take their pets for a day or for that matter a week (if camping).

I did find one campground in Maine, which will share experience once returned. The experience will be based on how much enjoyment we have in this experience. It will be a somewhat longer drive, but the hope is that it will be the perfect experience for both human and pet.

There are “dog camps” in Massachusetts; however, those are weekly retreats, offering activities that would suit most anyone. The downside is that they are only offer 2 to 3 times a year and are priced for cabins, rather than tents.

If anyone who cares to drop a note in comments as to options for campers it would be appreciated. Criteria: off leash camping – sensible rules are fine (must have vaccinations, and pick up the wastes), but should offer beach access (even if times are restricted to early morning), and trails that are also off-leash. - Canada options obviously welcome.)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Ted Cruz – 2013 – First Year Most Influential Senator – No apologies – No remorse – As it Should be.

Ted Cruz, the junior Senator from the State of Texas, made some promises on the campaign trail and once elected, put himself to work – on the promise he made. These included stopping the Affordable Health Care Act – otherwise known as Obama Care – and he did his utmost to do so. He talked to his constituents in town hall style meetings, and went about the other states doing the same – the conclusion was that he needed to do something – so he did.

In a 21 hour non-filibuster (due to Senate rules) – he attempted to educate the general public on what might happen should the government fund Obama Care – things such as millions might lose their policies, and doctors might not be available. He was maligned not only on the left, which would be expected – but on the right as the old guards in the Republican Party are more interested in getting along and keeping their jobs based on polling from DC rather than doing what their constituents want. Which makes Ted Cruz, one of the only guys in DC that is actually doing with he was sent to do – constitutionally, work for the people who sent him there.

Accordingly to Real Clear Politics, Senator Cruz, also has his head on straight – he places the blame squarely where it belongs for the “alleged” government shutdown: at the feet of Harry Reid and the President.

Both men wanted to insure that the legislation went though – on time – which, in retrospect, had they listened to Ted Cruz, and came to some compromise, the President’s approval ratings would be through the roof – but that would take two – and Harry Reid, who is the fact totem leader of the country, was having none of it.

Therefore, yes, it was their fault, and they went the extra mile by shutting down national monuments spending more on the shutdown than would have been necessary. The entire “debate” over Obama Care has cost the county a boatload of cash, and it is a disaster – putting it off a year or two and working across the aisle might have made the transition perfect –yet – with a lack of bi-partisanship and party about the people, that is displayed on both sides of the aisle, that was not going to happen.

Ted Cruz, who many suggest may run for the office of the Presidency with experience equal to the current office holder, may or may not be in for a surprise as he has yet to even remotely hint at a run. The perfect place for Ted Cruz in this bloggers book would be to replace on Harry Reid at the helm, of course, there has to be a real change in power in the senate in 2014 for that to take place. That chance in power is evidence by the growing distaste for all incumbents who are more party less people. In that scenario - the prediction from here –Obama’s last terms in office may be the best he has had – should the Senate and the House both become more Libertarian-Tea Party and less standard “Republican” party or “Democrat Party”. It is looking as if this could possibly occur.

Of course, there would be the usual attention hounds, McCain, King, the like – but they are no longer relevant in this date and age, and as they are cheerleaders for the Democrats, they might as well change parties (it happens frequently)

Therefore, Cruz remains one of my favorite political figures, along with Mike Lee, and, without a doubt, Rand Paul, there are others, but for brevity sake, saving that for another day.

These leaders give us hope, something that has been lost amongst the partisan “hacks” that have been ruling for the past 30 odd years.

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