Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What Kind Of First Lady Will Michelle Obama Be?

Much of the attention so far in campaign 2008 has been focused on the close contest being fought between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. However, not much has been said or written about Michelle Obama who will become First Lady of the United States if her husband is elected President in November. From everything I have read about Michelle Obama, she is a smart, well educated women who has a strong spirit and a deep love for her husband. In fact, Michelle Obama gave up a great job in order to help her husband Barack Obama run for the democratic nomination for President. Right now I think there is a better than 50/50 chance of Michelle Obama becoming the next First Lady of the United States.

From the television interviews that I have seen, Michelle Obama appears to be the opinionated one in the family just because of what she has said and how she has said it. While some people do not like strong willed women like Michelle Obama, I do and I think she will make a good contrast to Senator Obama's quite and sometimes tranquil speaking style. Don't get me wrong, when Senator Obama is running at full speed, there are few speakers that can beat him at public speaking. Also, from my limited knowledge of Michelle Obama - she appears to be much more liberal in her thinking than her husband. From my point of view there is no doubt that Barack Obama is a liberal democrat, but I am beginning to think that Michelle Obama is a really far left liberal when it comes to her ideas that revolve around domestic policy.

In many ways, it is nice to see the spouses of President's having a mind of their own the past few decades. Not that long ago, U.S. First Lady's were not looked upon as having much intelligence and sometimes they were treated more like furniture at the White House rather than a thinking human being that had deep passions about the important issues of the day. No one is ever going to think that Michelle Obama is just another piece of furniture at the White House if her husband Barack Obama is ultimately successful at becoming our next President. Even more so than Hillary Clinton when she was First Lady, I look for Michelle Obama to be a strong influence in an Obama administration and if she does not overshadow her husband too much, I believe she will be allowed to lead in some kind of meaningful way.

I believe that Laura Bush has done a wonderful job as First Lady and as one commentator correctly said the other day, the remaining 30% of Americans that still think President Bush is doing a good job would be much lower if he was not married to Laura Bush. That said, the difference in style and attitude toward public service is going to be much different with Michelle Obama as First Lady compared to Laura Bush. Hopefully, Michelle Obama will be a 'grounding force' for the future President Obama because just like with President Bush - the people that serve as President of the United States do seem to lose touch with the average American and unfortunately some start believing their own hyped up PR that is released to the news media in sound bites.

Title: What Kind Of First Lady Will Michelle Obama Be?
Written: April 30 2008
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2005-2008 © Hutch Report

The Time To Buy A Home Is Now

The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to once again cut interest rates this afternoon at their monthly meeting. Once the rate cutting is over today, fed funds interest rates will probably be at 2%. At that low level there is really only way for interest rates to go in the future and that is higher. Most fed watchers believe that once the U.S. Federal Reserve lowers interest rates to 2%, they will stop lowing ratings in the foreseeable future and just leave rates alone for up to a year. Very few things have as big of a long range effect on the U.S. economy than interest rates. For most Americans their largest investment is the home that they live in. The movement of interest by just a few points can make the difference between whether homeowners can afford their monthly mortgage payments or not.

For people that have a long range time horizon when it comes to buying a home, there is no better time than today to purchase the property. Right now, fix rate mortgages can be found at some of the lowest rates in my memory. However, a big return on buying a new home could take 10 years or more to be fulfilled because of the current slump in housing prices and because many banks are suffering profit losses because they made bad loans in the sub-prime lending market. In today's marketplace there is no room anymore for people that want to flip properties for a quick buck. Instead, even greater long term wealth can be found by buying a new home and living in that home for 10 years or more. If a home investor has enough discipline to look at their homes value over a long period of time, right now is the best time for them to buy that home.

I still remember a time, over 30 years ago, when inflation was running wild in the United States. At that time period the most popular investment in the United States was the six month $10,000 CD. With interest rates running in the high double digits, the $10,000 six month CD could earn the people that bought it a bunch of money, with no risk and a short time horizon before they could cash it in and take their interest profit. Of course, all but the extremely nervous investors today do not purchase six month $10,000 CD's because of their current low interest rates. During that same period of time, when interest rates were sky high another popular investment for people that had cash on hand was a 'zero coupon bond'. When interest rates were high, zero coupon bonds could be purchases cheap and the final payout amount after 30 years was tremendous.

In my opinion there has never been a better time for someone to buy a new home, if they can stay in that home for at least 10 years. While Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM) were all the rage the past few years, they will soon be going the way of other bad ideas. What home buyers should be looking to find today is a low fixed rate mortgage loan for 30 years. Yes, the U.S. economy is not doing well right now - but it will improve over time and when it does one of the first things that will start to increase in value once again will be home prices. The days of finding get rich quick investments in the stock or real estate market are long gone. Right now, the smart money is looking to buy properties which they can hold onto for years and eventually sell for a huge profit once the market turns around again. If you have cash and good credit - the best buying opportunity for real estate in a lifetime is right now.

Title: The Time To Buy A Home Is Now
Written: April 30 2008
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

John McCain's No New Ideas Health Care Plan

It is amazing what happens to a lifelong Republican when they give up on their party and start thinking for themselves. In that statement I am referring to myself because until a few years ago I could be counted on the back the good old GOP at election time because of my conservative beliefs. However, President Bush and other members of the Republican Party have helped me see the error of my ways over the past three or four years and now I consider myself a proud independent American that is thinking for himself for the first time in years. While listening to some sound bites on television today where John McCain was talking about health care in America, I once again discovered why I left the GOP and also why that was a smart decision. There are no new ideas when it comes to improving health care in America from the Republican Party, because the powers that be in the Republican party, including presidential candidate John McCain are living in the past and have no desire to edge toward the future.

While John McCain does have problems within the rank and file of conservative Republicans, his effort now to secure their votes in November is causing him to look like a flip flopper on some very key issues and top among those issues is the out of control price increases in U.S. medical costs and insurance. When you strip away the BS that John McCain is peddling, what he really is saying is that nothing should change in the current U.S. health care system. Of course, it is no secret that hospitals and doctors are major contributors to the GOP just like trial lawyers shower the Democrats with their money. However, rather than just focusing to the same old fights of the past between trial lawyers and doctors, maybe someone should try to look for a health care solution that does not benefit just rich doctors and rich lawyers?

All across America there are hard working people that earn low wages and who also do not have access to group health insurance at work. At present, I feel ashamed that I use to belong to a political party that thought that as long as the middle class and rich Americans had access to quality health care that bare basic emergency room service should be fine for the poor. The time has come for change when it comes to health care in America and rather than continuing to reward high priced doctors and trial lawyers with even more riches, elected Members of Congress and the next President of the United States should work to fix the many problems that face health care in America. I have no problem with doctors and lawyers earning a bunch of money, but right now these two group of rich Americans are gaming the system to the point that the only people that are really hurt are non rich Americans that just want a decent and affordable U.S. health care system.

Yesterdays, ideas of how to improve the U.S. health care system from John McCain were just that, yesterday ideas. John McCain and most GOP conservatives like the U.S. health care system just the way it is and they have no intention of trying to improve it because right now it serves their own selfish interest just fine. Most regular GOP voters are not poor and already have access to the best health care money can buy. Until recently, neither major political party put forward ideas of how to really improve the U.S. health care system, but in the 2008 campaign for President both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton do have new ideas that should be discussed. However, when it comes to John McCain and his winning the GOP campaign for President without first securing the conservative base, no new health care ideas will be coming soon from him because he accidentally found a way to win the GOP nomination for President without first securing the base of his own political party.

Title: John McCain's No New Ideas Health Care Plan
Written: April 29 2008
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Majority Of American Women Have Eating Disorders

I was shocked today when I learned that 65% of American woman have some kind of eating disorder. For the most part, I thought terrible eating disorders like Anorexia Nervosa and Bullaemia Nervosa were mainly a product of narcissistic actors and actresses in Hollywood where thin is not only cool, but necessary to maintain a career. That said, I am either completely out of touch with what is going on with American women or the people making that 65% of American women have an eating disorder claim are just trying to get attention for their research by scaring people. I do know that eating disorders, especially in women, are usually very private issues that no one in their lives are privy too. The fact that some women can become so weight obsessed that they actually starve themselves to death is something that has concerned health care providers for years.

From my generation, no one person put a face on the terrible damage that Anorexia Nervosa could do to a young woman more than Karen Carpenter. As the lead singer of the brother and sister singing group 'The Carpenters', Karen Carpenter starved herself to death in her early 30's. To this day, I still do not understand exactly why she starved herself to death - but she did and apparently thousands of other, mainly young women, are still doing so today. I believe the reason that some women are so much more prone to self destructive behaviors like Anorexia Nervosa and Bullaemia Nervosa is because their brains are programmed to be too sensitive to what other people around them might think. While watching a movie about Karen Carpenters life, it became clear from her brother Richard's point of view that his sister began starving herself after a small comment was published in a magazine saying she was a little plump.

If 65% of young American woman are prone to suffer from eating disorders, then all Americans need to be concerned about this issue. Most of us have daughters and the last thing any of us would want to see is our own daughter get caught up in the self destructive and deadly behavior of Anorexia or Bullaemia. Over the past year I have occasional seen stories on tabloid entertainment shows like 'The Insider' and 'Entertainment Tonight' about both famous and not so famous people battling eating disorders. Also, for some reason these eating disorder issues seem to effect young women much more than young men. That is why I believe there is something that might not be wired right in the minds of some young women when it comes to listening to and dealing with insensitive comments made by people around them.

Additional research will be conducted to verify if 65% of America women really have an eating disorder or not, but to be on the safe side it might be a good idea if you have young girls still living at home to be extra careful to watch for warning signs of Anorexia or Bullaemia. From my limited knowledge of these diseases, unless they are caught early and dealt with by a good mental health professional, all the treatment in the world does little good later on in life. I have a grown daughter that did not and has not suffered from an eating disorder for which I am thankful. However, I know there will be parents of teenage girls reading this posting and in my opinion it would be better to be safe than sorry when it comes to learning more about teenage girl eating disorders and how to spot them and what treatment options are available if your daughter has one.

Title: Majority Of American Women Have Eating Disorders
Written: April 29 2008
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Will IRS Rebate Cash Go To OPEC?

This week, millions of American will start receiving their federal tax rebates from the IRS. In a strange and concerning way, the refunds most of us will be receiving will be funded by billions of dollars worth of debt that the U.S. government has sold to member nations of OPEC and when many Americans receive their 2008 tax rebate they will use it to put gas in their car which will in turn help OPEC even more. While the U.S. economy is in the tank because of government overspending, some foreign nations have become our banker and by doing so the Unite States government has put our future economy in the hands of leaders in some countries that wish to see our destruction.

While most Americans do not want to hear that their 2008 tax rebate from the U.S federal government was funded by borrowing money from middle eastern countries, none the less that is a reality. The fact that some Americans will use their tax rebate cash to fill their cars with gas and send even more money to the Middle East should scare them more. For decades now, the U.S. federal government has spent more money than it has taken in through taxation. So, just like any regular person, the federal government has been forced to balance it's books by selling government bonds in worldwide markets to whomever wanted to purchase them. It is no surprise that rich OPEC nations have more dollars than they know what to do with because of sky high oil prices, so they step up and purchase many U.S. government bonds and in a small but real way buy a little piece of America for themselves.

While OPEC nations are taking advantage of U.S. consumers right now, we really don't have anyone to blame for this problem except ourselves. By continuing to elect Members of Congress that care more about how oil exploration will effect animals than making sure that U.S. consumers have good supplies of crude oil - our elected leaders have left U.S. consumers in a bad situation right now. Some Members of Congress have continually tried to convince the American people that we can 'have our cake and eat it too' when it comes to oil supplies. The problem is that there is no such thing as a free lunch and the short sighted days of Americans wanting more oil production as long as it does not take place in their own backyard have come and gone. Extremist are running the show in Washington D.C. and our elected leaders are following them like brainwashed members of some obscure cult to our own financial destruction.

In 2008, the American people must start taking their country back from extremist on the far right and left that care more about their ideology than they do about this country. At the top of that list of extremist are radical left wing environmentalist that for too long have been trying to take the current American way of life and change it back to the way Americans lived several hundred years ago. Only a very few Americans believe that returning to the old days where people walked or road bicycles for transportation is a good thing. Most Americans love modern day life and want to progress into the future and not resign ourselves to permanently live in the past. The fact that our 2008 tax rebates are partially being funded by OPEC, so we can buy gas and send most of that money back to them should concern all Americans about our current financial state of affairs in the United States of America.

Title: Will IRS Rebate Cash Go To OPEC?
Written: April 29 2008
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Barack Obama Between A Rock And A Hard Place

Yesterday, I actually felt sorry for Senator Barack Obama when his former pastor decided to take to the airwaves to act like a crazy fool. Obama's former pastor the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, has taken his craziness to an extreme once again and he is milking his 15 minutes of fame dry at the expense of Barack Obama. Reverend Wright is not that much different from other left wing radicals and yes right wingers as well with his own unique brand of hate based on race. While Barack Obama is working hard to try and bring both black and white Americans together through his election campaign, Reverend Wright is doing everything he can to bring down Barack Obama with his hateful speech which is great fodder for the mainstream American news media that cares more about sensational journalism than reporting the facts.

Even when Reverend Wright has been critical of Barack Obama, the Illinois Senator has taken the high road when it comes to respecting his former pastor. To me, Barack Obama is acting like the preacher rather than his former pastor Wright and that is a positive sign of good things to come if Barack Obama is eventually elected the next President of the United States. The media tour of Reverend Wright over the past few days has been all about Jeremiah Wright and not Barack Obama or thousands of African-American churches around the United States. In reality, most ministers in American black churches do not preach the same brand of hate sermons as Reverend Wright and while I'm sure that Senator Obama would like to take his former pastor to the woodshed for ruining his campaign, like the class act he is Senator Obama is letting Pastor Wright have his way and also his 15 minutes of fame.

Extremist always put their ideology ahead of friends, family and the public interest. That is why Reverend Wright is no different that other nuts on the left like Michael Moore and craze's on the right like Rush Limbaugh. I do actually feel sorry for Senator Barack Obama because of his choice of where to go to church when he was a regular American citizen. I'm sure that most of Reverend Wright's sermons were not as negative as the few examples that have been shown on television recently. However, once the reports of these few negative sermons started leaking out to the mainstream media via the Clinton campaign, it was not long before lazy national news media reporters found a hot story to run with without having to do the hard work of checking out what the real facts of the story might be.

If Barack Obama is elected President of the United States, I expect him to continue to honor Reverend Wright with respect. Why? Because Barack Obama is more of a man than Jeremiah Wright will ever be. That is why I believe Barack Obama is the right man at the right time to lead this nation into the future. We certainly don't need a former First Lady that will say anything and fire long term friends just to get election and for sure we don't need a hot headed GOP candidate that says one thing while the election campaign is going on and then does something else once he is elected. While the major news media continues to try and bait Barack Obama into condemning his former pastor, I believe that Barack Obama is doing the right thing by respecting his former pastors right of free speech, while at the same time distancing himself from his extremist point of view.

Title: Barack Obama Between A Rock And A Hard Place
Written: April 29 2008
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Monday, April 28, 2008

Credit Cards Ruin Both Consumers And Economy

While it is next to impossible to do business and travel today without the use of credit cards, on the downside of their convenience are high interest rates and nickel and dime charges that have put some Americans in the poor house. Americans have little to fear from credit cards if they pay their balance in full at the end of each month, but most people do not pay off their credit card balances at the end of the month, but instead carry over debt from month to month and sometimes pay interest rate charges that are over 20%. Now, with U.S. banks losing billions of dollars in the mortgage market, they are looking for other areas where they can make additional money to recover from mortgage loan losses. Today, it was reported that many large banks are significantly raising the interest rates they charge to consumers to help improve their bottom line.

While it has been said many times before, it does bear repeating. There is no free lunch in American and there never has been. No company or government for that matter does anything out of the goodness of their heart for the American people. There are always strings and/or charges to anything that benefits a person in their daily life and the trick is to figure out whether the cost of a convenience or service is worth the price. When it comes to credit cards I learned the hard way a long time ago that while they are a wonderful convenience of life, they do have a huge downside when the bills and high interest rates start adding up over months and years. In fact, economist have said for years that if consumers choose the minimum payment each month when their bill comes due that it could take 30 years or more to pay off the balance even with no additional charges made to the account.

Right now, the federal reserve has set the fed funds rate around 2% - while major credit card companies continue to raise the amount of interest they charge on consumer credit card balances. Something is wrong with the system when U.S. interest rates are dropping like a rock, while at the same time credit card interest rates are going up. The major reason that credit card interest rates are rising is because the same companies that have been hurt the worst in the mortgage leading market are the same banks that are the biggest issuers of credit cards in the United States. If you are like most Americans, you do not have the savings necessary to pay off your credit card balances - so you are basically stuck with paying whatever your credit card issuer decides to charge you when it comes to an interest rate.

Everyday, more Americans find themselves in financial trouble because of the over use of credit cards and those numbers will grow once again because of this latest spike in credit card interest rates. There is no way that carrying a balance from month to month on a credit card is in anyones best interest except the bank that issued the card. For most Americans the best policy is to have one Mastercard or Visa credit card and pay the balance of that card off when the bill comes due. While it is necessary to have one credit card in order to rent a car or reserve a hotel room, it is not necessary to make additional charges to that card that cannot be paid off when the bill comes due. Just remember that all of these wonderful sounding credit card offers that you receive in the mail each month are not as pretty as they look. In the end, most of them will end up costing you big time and the best policy is to avoid the temptation to accept those offers when they arrive in your mailbox.

Title: Credit Cards Ruin Both Consumers And Economy
Written: April 28 2008
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John McCain Wins If Hillary Doesn't Quit

There are many skeleton's in the closet of Senator John McCain which could disqualify him to be the next President of the United States. However, if Senator Hillary Clinton does not see the writing on the wall soon and withdraw from the democratic nomination race - then John McCain will most likely win. In just the past few weeks it has been reported that John McCain took cheap campaign rides aboard his wife's private company jet and only reimbursed her company the money it would have cost for McCain to buy a first class ticket on a major airline. Mind you, John McCain's wife Cindy is also the person that is refusing to release her tax returns for public scrutiny, as well. While DNC Chairman Howard Dean continues to urge Superdelegates to bring the democratic nominations process to a quick end in June, there is no way to be sure if democratic Superdelegates will follow his advice.

For over 10 years I have listen to Senator John McCain say one thing when running for election and then doing something completely different once he is elected. Senator McCain is a brave American hero that has been and should always be respected for his bravery while serving this nation in Vietnam. However, there is a big difference between brave military services and having the wisdom and temperament to serve as President of the United States. It is now common knowledge that Senator John McCain has a bad temper which has shown it's ugly head many times while he has served in the U.S. Senate. Having a bad temper while serving as only one of 100 U.S. Senators is one thing, but having a President of the United States who has the tendency to lose his temper from time to time is something else entirely.

What bothers me the most about Senator McCain is not his hot temper or the fact that he takes almost free rides on his wife's corporate jet while running for President. What bothers me the most about Senator John McCain is his double standard when it comes to public policy. There is no place where John McCain's double standard is more easily seen than with the issue of campaign finance reform. On one hand, Senator McCain says that there is too much money in Washington politics and says he wants to stop it. However, on any given week I receive up to five different pieces of mail from the McCain campaign requesting that I send in some money to help him. From my point of view it appears that Senator McCain only wants to stop the big money flow to non incumbents which would exclude himself and his other Senator buddies from playing by the same rules as they require from others.

Comprehensive immigration reform is also an issue where I disagree whole heartedly with Senator John McCain. Less than one year ago, Senator McCain teamed up with Senator Edward Kennedy to push through, under the cover of darkness, an immigration reform law that was little more than amnesty for the 10 to 20 million illegal immigrants that are currently in the United States. Senator McCain even said that if the American people find out what is in this legislation they will fight to stop it. Just think about that statement for a minute. Here is a man that wants to be the next President of the United States and in his current job as U.S. Senator within the past year he has tried to sneak through a law that he readily admits the American people would be against. Does that sound like the kind of President of the United States we want after President George W. Bush? Hillary needs to get out of this race right now so Senator Obama can start showing the American people what Senator McCain is really all about.

Title: John McCain Wins If Hillary Doesn't Quit
Written: April 28 2008
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Weight Gain/Genetics In A Fast Changing World

Within the past one hundred years or so, Americans have started gaining weight at an alarming rate. Well over 50% of adult Americans are now considered over weight and I have a few ideas of why this might be happening. First, I am not a doctor or a scientist - but just a regular person that is trying to use common sense to figure out why Americans are becoming obese more today than in the past. Most scientist are blaming lack of exercise as a big part of the American obesity problem and I agree with that assessment. However, I differ from scientist that believe Americans are just more lazy than they have been in the past. The genetic footprint that makes each of us different also has evolved over time. That said, genetic changes inside of human beings take centuries and sometimes even thousands of years to evolve to changes in our everyday life.

The huge volume of changes that have taken place in the average Americans life within the past 50 years have been phenomenal and the genetics inside of each of us has not had time to catch up with those changes. The biggest of these changes involves to development of the computer which has changed the way millions of Americans do their daily work. Only 100 years ago, most Americans worked long hours either or a farm on in the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy. Today, most Americans work in an office typing away on a computer and burning fewer calories than our grandparents did 100 years ago. Since human genetics take sometimes thousands of years to change, I believe that the genetic footprint in most Americans is basically the same as it was 100 years ago.

So rather than the American obesity problem being an issue of laziness, I believe that the reason we continue to consume more calories than we need for daily life is based on an old genetic footprint that was created by our grandparents and great grandparents which has yet to evolve to the modern changes in our life. If I am correct, long after we are all dead - future generations will benefit from our own genetic contributions and eventually future generations will crave less food through calories because of our contribution. Most people have a very short time horizon when it comes to history, but in reality our entire life is not very important to the long term interest of history or our genetic background. In reality, the genetics that actually make each of us who we really are has evolved little over the past few hundred years.

While the genes of future generations will continue to evolve toward a more modern way of life where Americans burn ever fewer calories on a daily basis, millions of people will try and fight their genetic footprint unsuccessfully by trying new diets and continuing to fail because it is tough to put up a good fight against genes that were programmed to eat large sums of calories hundreds of years ago. While I am not a scientist, I do enjoy reading their work. It is a proven fact that human genetics do evolve over time in order to help our species survive. More than likely in the short term history of modern man there were many time periods of starvation, so most of us are carrying around a genetic footprint that causes us to want to eat as much as possible in order to survive from some future starvation event.

My theory of suggesting genes play a major role in why Americans are gaining weight at an alarming rate will most certainly be refuted by the worldwide diet industry which continues to put out new diet programs that always seem to fail over the long run. While genetic programming can be overcome for a short period of time - in the end our own genetic footprint that has lived inside of us and our parents and grandparents for generations will most likely win out over will power. The good news is that modern day Americans will be adding a few revised links into the genetic chains of future generations that will eventually cause mankind to start eating less because of the massive changes that have happened to all of us over the past 100 years.

Title: Weight Gain/Genetics In A Fast Changing World
Written: April 28 2008
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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hey Dad Can You Spot Me $100 For Gas?

I remember many times while growing up back in the 1970's approaching my father on Friday night and asked him for $10 to fill up my car for the weekend. So much has changed since the 1970's and at the top of that list is the amount of money kids are asking for when it comes to weekend gas money. I was thinking about this issue today when I started laughing to myself about the possibility of a teenager today approaching dear old dad and asking for a $100 bill for weekend gas money. While many things have changed over the years for the good, when it comes to the fuel that Americans use to propel our cars and trucks down the road - there is nothing good about gas selling for almost $4 per gallon. While most parents today earn more money than my father did back in the 1970's, the amount of increase in wages over the years has not kept up with rising gas prices, especially the past two years.

As gas prices continue to rise, the cars that we all rely on for work and pleasure are getting smaller and smaller to where at some point in time I believe we will all be driving motorcycles with a passenger compartment. The sad truth is that there is more than enough crude oil still residing underground to take care of the worlds needs for many more generations, but much of that supply has been placed off limits to oil exploration because of environmental concerns. We all care about the environment and over the years better ways to cleanly pump oil out of the ground have been developed and implemented. However, there are still some nutty folks on the far left that will not be happy until every American is trading in their fancy cars for a bicycle or even worse a heavy duty pair of tennis shoes.

The world runs on oil and when more is being used than is being pumped out of the ground, the price of oil and in turn gas continues to rise to high levels. While I have written recently about how OPEC and other major oil producing countries are holding the United States hostage to high prices, it is the fault of regular Americans and our elected leaders that more oil and gas products are not discovered and refined right here in the United States. Vast sums of buried oil are known to exist off the coasts of Florida and California, but state rules will not allow oil companies to look for and pump that oil out of the ground. Then there is Alaska where more oil potentially exists than in the entire nation of Saudi Arabia. While huge sums of oil are currently being produced in Alaska, most of the oil that remains there underground has been placed off limits by liberal Members of Congress and extreme environmentalist.

The time has come to responsibly search for and drill for additional sources of oil within the United States. The days where extremist on either the far right or left ruling the day should come to an end and what is in the best interest of the United States should be place at the top of the counties priority list. It is also time for extreme environmentalist to come to their senses and realize that oil exploration and drilling needs to take place off the coasts of Florida and California - and also in the State of Alaska. Modern drilling techniques can help prevent much of the damage that was done in the past to the environment and keep it from happening again. Without adequate supplies of gas and other oil products, the U.S. economy will not recover from it's current slump and if Americans all not careful we could see the United States slip from it's number one position as the worlds economic leader.

Title: Hey Dad Can You Spot Me $100 For Gas?
Written: April 27 2008
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Indiana/North Carolina Next For Barack Obama

After Hillary Clinton won in Pennsylvania, the race for the democratic nomination now moves to Indiana and North Carolina. In what seems to be the longest race for a presidential nomination in history, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are still slugging it out in the same way they were during the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries back January. As Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton continue their fight for the democratic nomination, John McCain is working hard to get his ground game perfected for the November general election. While most pundits believe that John McCain is the favorite to win the White House in November, I do not believe it is going to be that easy for the Arizona Senator. The real fact is that John McCain and most Republican leaders want to run against Hillary Clinton in November because they rightly believe she will be easier to beat than Barack Obama.

If you read between the lines, top Republican leaders are trying to help Hillary Clinton win the democratic nomination because they want to run against her in the fall. Unlike Rush Limbaugh who has come out in full support of Hillary Clinton, most other Republican leaders have been less than forthcoming with their desire to see Hillary Clinton win the nomination. Right now most Democrats are so obsessed with the Obama/Clinton race that they have taken their eye off the goal and that goal is defeating John McCain in November. To many Democrats that I talk to on a regular basis, they almost seem to believe that the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton race is the general election and not just a primary contest. That way of thinking will get Democrats defeated in November if too many of them believe that it will be easy to defeat Senator John McCain.

I am on record here several times as saying that I believe Senator Hillary Clinton will be responsible for a John McCain victory in November because she has stayed in the democratic race for too long. Just this morning, I heard on CNN that Hillary Clinton is now trying to win over Superdelegates with the argument that she has won more popular votes than Barack Obama. Of course, like so many other Hillary Clinton arguments - there are flaws in her logic. To get to that winning more popular votes margin she is including votes in Michigan and Florida which should not be counted. Hillary Clinton is turning from a 'spoiler' in election 2008 to a sore loser and that is not a good place for she or her campaign to be when the November election is in reality just around the corner.

Senator Barack Obama is on track to win big in North Carolina while he is in a dead heat in Indiana. There is no doubt in my mind that if Barack Obama is denied the democratic nomination for President in 2008, millions of African-Americans will stay home in November and not vote for Hillary Clinton. For most African-Americans they rightly believe that 2008 is their best chance to elect someone from their own race as the democratic nominee for President. If Hillary Clinton believes that somehow African-American voters are going to forgive and forget her spoiler campaign against Obama in November, then she has lost her mind. Whether or not Barack Obama can pull in enough Independents and Republicans to win in November is still an open question. However, if the democratic party wants to survive over the next few elections - they had better at least give Barack Obama that chance to win in November.

Title: Indiana/North Carolina Next For Barack Obama
Written: April 27 2008
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2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Saturday, April 26, 2008

China Grows Economy While United States Slows

As the U.S. economy has slowed to a crawl, China announced a few days ago that even with a slowing worldwide economy - they expect to see 10% real growth in their economy this year. Of course, the 2008 Summer Olympic Games will bring billions of extra dollars to the Chinese economy and that will help overcome some of the other problems that have faced the manufacturing sector there. High on the list of Chinese economic problems revolved around the ever growing list of products produced in China that have been recalled because the paint used in their production contained contaminates like lead paint. While U.S. companies have 'farmed out' American jobs to the cheap labor shops of China, the American people have received a mixed blessing from that process. Yes, the price of toys and almost everything else that is produced in China costs American consumers less at retail stores like Wal-Mart and Toys R Us, but the down side to those cheap prices could very well negatively effect the health of American children.

In a way it is hard for me to image how the Chinese economy could slow in any great amount because of the way the government is set up in China. On one hand, there is a private sector in China that allows business to grow, produce products and profit from their success. While on the other hand, the federal government of China is clamping down on human rights more strongly than at any time in recent memory. As the 2008 Summer Olympic Games approach in August, the worldwide tour of the Olympic flame has been met with protest in nations all over the world. Right now the number one negative political issue that the government of China is forced to face head on is the issue of Tibet. Large demonstrations and protests in Tibet have cause the worldwide news media to look negatively on China and how they treat some of the citizens of their large nation.

Even with the massive worldwide protest of citizens in Tibet and like minded people around the world, more than likely this summers Olympic games will continue and most countries of the world will show up in China to participate. When that happens, many of the protest images that the world is witnessing today will fade from the minds of people as the Chinese government puts on an Olympic show that will 'knock the socks' off of most worldwide television viewers. So goes the mixed messages that are send out from China on a daily basis. Make no mistake, the Chinese government will put the highest priority on making the 2008 Olympic Games appear positive and also a happy experience for all athletes and members of the media that attend. In fact I look forward to the opening day of the 2008 Summer Olympics in China because while I disagree with many aspects of government control in that communist country, when it comes to putting on a good show, no country does it better than China.

While most worldwide economies are slowing during the year 2008, China will most likely hit it's 10% growth figure solely based on hosting the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. While most people will be watching the 2008 Olympic Games from the comfort of their own home on television, hundreds of thousands of other people will be traveling to China to either participate in the games or cover them via the worldwide news media. The athletes and members of the worldwide press that will travel to China this summer will spend billions of dollars over a two week period of time and those dollars will be pumped back into the Chinese economy while other nations see their bottom line continue to shrink. 2008 has turned out to be a win/win situation for China because as most nations are seeing their wealth decline this year, the Chinese government will be able to grow their economy under the worst of conditions.

Title: China Grows Economy While United States Slows
Written: April 26 2008
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More Double Standards From John McCain

In the never ending John McCain double standard campaign where he wants one set of laws and rules for others while reserving the right for his campaign to do something entirely different - it was discovered today that Senator McCain used his wife's private jet for campaign purposes for several months late last year and in early 2008. John McCain's candidacy for President does not set well with many Americans and high in that number of voters that do not feel comfortable with John McCain as the next President are hundreds of thousands of Republicans. More so than average Americans, Republican voters have paid close attention to the actions of John McCain for years. During that period of time these GOP voters have discover that on many occasions, John McCain says one thing at campaign appearances and then he does something different when he votes in the U.S. Senate.

John McCain's wife, Cindy, is a very rich woman. Most of her huge wealth was inherited from her late father who was a major beer distributor in Arizona. Earlier this month, John McCain found himself in hot water when his wife refused to release her tax returns to the media. It has been common practice for candidates for President and their spouse to release tax records so voters can see where they have earned their money. The release of tax returns is a good idea because most voters do not have a clue how candidates for President have earned their money. Many times, public figures have been sunk when it was discovered that they were making money from less that respectable business associates. Now it appears that Senator John McCain has been able to get the exclusive use of one of his wife's jet aircrafts at the bargain basement price of a regular 1st class airline ticket on a major airline.

I remember hearing Senator John McCain making passionate speeches on the Senate floor, many times in the past, against his fellow Senators who also accepted cheap rides aboard the private jets of rich Americans and corporations. The fact that Senator McCain accepted rides on the private jet of his wife's corporation, creates an even greater image of hypocrisy in what Senator McCain says and what he does in his own life. I have a terrible feeling in my gut about what might happen to the United States if John McCain is elected President of the United States. Some Democrats claim that if Senator McCain is elected it will be just like a third term of President George W. Bush. However, in my opinion John McCain would make even a worse President than George W. Bush.

While President Bush has angered many Americans, including Republicans - in reality President Bush is doing exactly what he said he would do when he was running for election both times. Senator John McCain on the other hand has a past of saying one thing when running for election and then doing something entirely different once he takes the oath of office. While there are many issues where I disagree with John McCain the fact that he has a bad temper and it does not seem to bother him to say one thing during a campaign and do something else once elected, is not a good combination when it comes to the job qualifications a person needs to serve as the President of the United States. Look for additional double standard issues to surface between now and November's general election when it comes to John McCain. Also, his wife is going to continue to cause the McCain campaign huge problems if she continues to refuse to make her tax returns public.

Title: More Double Standards From John McCain
Written: April 26 2008
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Pros/Cons Of Atkins Low Carbohydrate Diet

In recent history, no single diet program has been universally praised while at the same time roundly criticized more than the Atkins Diet. When Dr. Robert Atkins introduced his high protein/high fat diet to Americans many years ago he caused regular Americans and the U.S. health care industry to take opposing sides on whether Dr. Atkins diet was both safe and effective at weight loss. Just like any other diet on the market today, there are pros and cons to the effectiveness and safety of the Atkins Diet Program. Personally, I believe common sense should lead most consumers to shy away from the Atkins Diet because of it's extreme limits on carbohydrate consumption. My personal opinion is that when dieters take any type of food and severely limit it's consumption in their diet then there is a high possibility that future health problems could face that person if they stay on the diet for too long of a period of time.

I have known hundreds of people that have experimented with the Atkins Diet and just like with other diet programs, people that have used the Atkins Diet to lose weight over the long run have very different opinions about their experiences with the Atkins concept. While people that stay on the Atkins Diet over a long period of time do lose weight and keep that weight off if they don't backslide and start eating massive amounts of carbohydrates again, almost to the person I have heard stories about cravings for certain carbohydrates and other sugar foods that they never experienced when they were not on the Atkins Diet. In my opinion, these huge cravings for high carbohydrate foods and simple sugars is a cry of starvation that the body is sending out to the dieter.

While the pros side of the argument about the Atkins Diet revolves around it's success rate if the diet is rigidly followed, on the cons side at the top of the list are the types of foods that are not only encouraged on the Atkins Diet, but are available with no suggested limits to the dieter. The reason most doctors and nurses do not believe that the Atkins Diet is good for people is because there are no limits on the amount of red meat and saturated fat that can be consumed on the Atkins program. While there is strong evidence that heart disease and higher cholesterol levels are not tied to this high protein/fat diet, common sense would suggest to anyone that is really paying attention that not limited the amount of red meat and saturated fats in the diet is not a positive thing for anyone's health over the long run.

While I am overweight, I usually shy away from diet programs because while all of them work for a short period of time, over the long run I always end up heavier than I was before I started and then quit the diet. I did try the Atkins Diet for a one week period of time several years ago. While I did lose some weight over that short period of time, I noticed my body going through some negative changes that caused me to stop the Atkins Diet and never try it again. The first thing I noticed while on the Atkins Diet was a terrible taste in my mouth most of the time. While I understand that bad taste in my mouth was proof that the diet was working, I certainly did no like that side effect. However, there was a bigger reason why I stopped the Atkins Diet and that revolved around severe cravings for bread and baked potatoes when I was on the diet. Shortly before I stopped the Atkins Diet I could actually smell a bread truck coming down the road before I could even see what kind of truck it was.

All diets have pros and cons, but to me the cons far out weight the pros when it comes to Dr. Robert Atkins Low Carbohydrate Diet.

Title: Pros/Cons Of Atkins Low Carbohydrate Diet
Written: April 26 2008
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Malfunctioning Gas Pumps Cheat Consumers/Retailers

While there have been problems with gas pumps for years, until recently most people never gave much thought as to whether or not the price and gallons pumped shown on the gas pump was really accurate or not. However, with gas prices approaching $4 per gallon in some parts of the United States, more people are starting to question whether or not they are actually getting the amount of gas that is shown on the gas pump display. All states have some type of weights and measurements agency that is responsible for doing random spot checks of gas stations to make sure that consumers are not being ripped off by faulty gas pumps or even worse gas pumps that are deliberately rigged to cheat the customer.

From what I have been able to learn, there is a 'check valve' that is installed on all U.S. gas pumps which is designed to make sure the dollar value of the gas being pumped into a car does not start to accrue until gas is actually moving through the hose toward the cars gas tank. The problem is that thousands of these 'check valves' that are installed in gas pumps around the country are malfunctioning and with that malfunction both consumers and the retail gas sellers could be losing money at the gas pump. In recent studies, it has been discovered that these malfuntioning 'check valves' in the gas pump fail equally against consumers and the gas retailers - so both the retailer and the consumer run the risk of losing valuable money when these check valves do not operated properly.

In reality what are we consumers really suppose to do about this problem? We have already been complaining to anyone that would listen to our anger about high gas and oil prices and nothing has been done. However, it does add insult to injury when a consumer already facing record high gas prices is also forced to consider the possibility that they are also being potentially ripped off because the gas pump filling their car with fuel could be registering the wrong amount of gas and gallons that are being pumped. Right now the American people are mad as hell about the constant rise in gasoline prices and it would not surprise me if many long term politicians are punished on election day in November just because these huge increases in gas prices took place on their watch in Washington D.C..

There are retailers that know that their pumps could be malfunctioning when it comes to reading out the correct dollar amount and gallons of gas being pumped into a car. Some of those retailers will refund up to $5 of the purchase price back to consumers that complain. The sad truth is that while there are some retailers that will refund up to $5 on a large gas purchase because their gas pumps might be wrong, there are many others that will not. Also, most consumers are already so angry with high gas prices that many will not complain about a potentially malfunctioning gas pump because of the fear that they might lose their temper with the clerk at the gas station or convenience store. Experts say that it is very important for consumers to report gas pump problems to their state weights and measurements department. To that idea I say most definitely yes. However, with so many gas pumps malfunctioning - I find it hard to believe that any government agency will be able to address this issue in a timely manner for consumers or retail gas locations.

Title: Malfunctioning Gas Pumps Cheat Consumers/Retailers
Written: April 26 2008
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Barack Obama Campaign Brings Message Of Hope

Much as been written about Senator Barack Obama's message of change during his 2008 campaign for President, but there is another word that is more important to some voters. That word is hope. The very idea that an African-American man could be in contention to become the next President of the United States is creating a sense of hope for black Americans who never really thought that such a possibility existed during their lifetime. If you go out and talk to African-Americans, few will even discuss what the Barack Obama candidacy means to them based solely on his mixed black/white race. Instead, what I have heard is a constant and steady focus on the issues that Senator Obama talks about at his various campaign stops.

Down deep inside I know there is more to this entire Barack Obama candidacy than just a bunch of campaign promises that are made on the stump each day. In the wide scope of history, it was not that long ago when black Americans were put into bondage and taken by force from their homes in Africa to become slaves in America. That dark stain in American history is something that is still carried in the hearts and minds of most African-Americans to this date. Now there is a good chance that a black man could become the next President of the United States. Just image the positive feelings of change that such a possibility must bring to African-Americans? I can only image how older black Americans must be feeling when they look back over the course of their life to remember as a young person eating at separate restaurants and riding on the back of the bus when taking public transportation. Till today when they are witnessing an African-American man having a good chance to becomes the next President of the United States.

The only way to really explain such a major change in such a short period of time is to think about all that is right about the United States of America. Yes, the United States has found itself on the wrong side of right and wrong many times in our nations short history. However, unlike most nations of the world - the American people seems to be able to learn from and correct their mistakes, over time, and eventually do the right thing. The very idea of slavery in America is something I cannot even image. Just yesterday, I saw a news report about people that were being enslaved in some parts of Asia who were being forced to work in the shrimping industry. It amazed me that this horrible ancient practice of slavery is still going on in the world. When I think about the United States today and see how far we have come since the days of slavery, while at the same time some nations of the world still condone that cruel and degrading practice of bondage - I know that the United States is still the clear leader of the world.

While Hillary Clinton would still like people to believe that she has a chance to win the democratic nomination for President, that is not going to happen without Barack Obama making some kind of huge mistake. In the mean time, if you are not an African-American and find yourself at a loss in trying to understand why 90% plus of black Americans are supporting Obama, think back to the one thing that all African-Americans have in common with each other. That one thing is they are all descendants of slaves who were brought to this country against their will to help build this great country without pay. Just image how you would feel if your ancestors were enslaved by your nation several hundred years ago and then you wake up one morning to discover that there was a possibility that your country had changed so much that rather than a black man serving the white man as a slave - he was instead running for the office of President of the United States and he also had an excellent chance to win.

Title: Barack Obama Campaign Brings Message Of Hope
Written: April 26 2008
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Friday, April 25, 2008

IRS Starts Sending Out Tax Rebates On Monday

If you received a tax refund from your 2007 return and you choose direct deposit as your method to receive that money, then next week you might get this years IRS rebate check. The 2008 Federal Tax Rebate payments start going out on Monday and the people that received last years tax refund via direct deposit are first on the list to receive the rebate. Back in February, President Bush and Members of Congress passed a stimulus package to help bolster the ever slowing U.S. economy. While there Federal Tax Rebates will help average Americans over the short run, changes in the way the U.S. government does business will be required to get the economy back on track again.

U.S. taxpayers will receive anywhere from $300 to $600 per person as a Tax Rebate. There are many variable that go into that calculation. To make things simple, if you earned more than $3000 last year and paid some federal income tax then you should receive around $600. If you are a minor child or a retired person that earned no income and filed a 2007 tax return then your rebate will be around $300. Most people I talk to are looking forward to receiving their 2007 Federal Tax Rebate, because most them are struggling right now just to be able to put food on the table as food costs soar because the price of gas and diesel continue to rise almost daily. While Members of Congress and President Bush hope that consumers will take their tax rebate and spend it on retail products to help boost the U.S. economy, I think most consumers are so tapped out financially right now that they will spend much of their tax rebate money to either buy gasoline or pay down some of their credit card debt.

To me, this massively expensive tax rebate program is not going to help the U.S. economy for very long. Instead, it is similar to putting a small band aid on a stab wound. While that band aid will slow the bleeding for a few seconds, it won't be long until it is saturated and useless to the patient. The main reason that the U.S. economy is in such bad shape right now is because both government and private citizens do not live within their means. Following the lead of our elected leaders, most Americans have continued to spend more money than they earn for decades now. The U.S. federal government has been borrowing money it did not earn through taxes for years to where the U.S. national debt eventually reached astronomical levels. Unlike the U.S. federal government - regular Americans do not have an unlimited amount of credit to borrow upon and many people are already finding themselves without cash or available credit to fund their lifestyle.

The good news is that most Americans will be receiving some much needed money over the next few weeks from the federal government in the form of a federal tax rebate check. However, that money will not last long and will only give a short upward bump to the U.S. economy. While politicians continue to blame each other for the financial mess that the United States finds itself in today, there is more than enough blame to go around in Washington D.C. and yes right on main street as well. Both government and U.S. citizens must tighten their belts and start living within their means or eventually the America that we all love and have fought hard to keep could be in danger of imploding. For all of you that are receiving a federal tax rebate, soon, congratulations and try not to spend all of your rebate money just to put one full tank of gas in your car.

Title: IRS Starts Sending Out Tax Rebates On Monday
Written: April 25 2008
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Thursday, April 24, 2008

John McCain Not Guaranteed Jenna Bush's Vote

As a former GOP party loyalist, I can only image how true blue Republicans must feel about Jenna Bush's comments last night on CNN's 'Larry King Live' show. After asking Jenna's mother, First Lady Laura Bush, which democratic candidate she like the best - First Lady Bush said that she preferred John McCain. With decades of additional political experience and baggage, Laura Bush gave the right political answer to Larry King's question. However, when King turned to Jenna Bush, expecting the same kind of answer, he got a big surprise and the biggest political scoop of the day. Rather than giving a GOP approved political answer to Larry King's question, Jenna Bush instead said they she was still looking at all of the candidates which really means that Jenna Bush is not a blue blood GOP voter like so many other members of the Bush family.

While Jenna Bush's answer to Larry King's question most likely angered thousands of GOP party loyalist, in reality her answer to Larry King's question was one of the most honest I have heard in this election campaign. It was good to hear another life long Republican stand up and say that they believe that John McCain might not be in Republicans best long term interest come election day. I have written here on many occasions about my concerns about Senator John McCain as a potential President and his political track record when it comes to making important decisions is less than clear cut most of the time. I have a bad gut feeling when it comes to Senator John McCain because he has flip flopped on so many issues over the years that I am not certain what he would stand for if elected as our next President.

While no one else in the Bush family has had the guts to go against the GOP nominee for President, Jenna Bush earned respect from me by telling the truth on Larry King Live last night. Yes, political hacks in the GOP will find ways to degrade her honest comments by making fun of her youth and yes even her blonde hair, but in reality Jenna Bush had the guts to stand up and say what many other GOP voters are feeling deep down inside this year. Very few people except total moderates feel comfortable with Senator John McCain as the GOP nominee for President and that could be a good thing. However, while it would be nice to have a real moderate living in the White House once again, if John McCain is a moderate fraud - that could spell disaster for the next four years here in the United States and around the world if he is elected.

What Jenna Bush did last night on Larry King Live was show the kind of guts and honesty that most Americans want to see from their elected leaders. Most Americans only get the old party line that has been peddled out to voters for the past few generations from both Democrats and Republicans. While radio talks shows will down Jenna Bush for her honesty and question her party loyalty, I found her honest comments on the Larry King Show, last night, as very refreshing and a much needed change in this politically divided country. Over the course of this countries history, it has always been the young people that have lead the way to a better life. After hearing a young woman by the name of Jenna Bush look at this upcoming president elections as a real American and not a GOP party hack, I have great hope that the future of this country is in good hands.

Title: John McCain Not Guaranteed Jenna Bush's Vote
Written: April 24 2008
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Weight Gain Leads To Divorce For Some

I recently read a story about how some couples are breaking up because one of them has gained weight since they were married. While I believe that anything is possible when it comes to love and marriage these days, any person that would consider ending a marriage simply because their partner gain a few extra pounds of weight, did not marry that person for the right reasons and would eventually leave the marriage at some future date because of something else. From my point of view, when either a man or woman decides to end their marriage by using the excuse that their spouse has become overweight - they are only trying to make themselves look better when ending their supposed lifetime marriage commitment.

While it might not make anyone that has been rejected because of weight gain feel any better, the real reason that your spouse has left you is not because of the extra weight that you have gain since you got married, but instead it is a weakness in your spouses personal character that is showing it's ugly head sometimes years after you both said 'I do'. Millions of people live with personal demons that they keep locked away deep down inside of their personality. However, over the course of years, those deep dark demons do eventually come to the surface and bring out a side of your partners personality that no one ever noticed until it all of a sudden happens. Human beings go through many stages of life and while most people are able to release their personal demons without self destructing their marriage, others can not.

If you wake up one day and your spouse claims to want a divorce simply because you have gained a few pounds since you married them, you should rush to a divorce attorney and rid your life of that fool as quick as possible. For one thing, most marriage ceremonies involve each person taking a vow to honor and cherish the other until death do they part. Just image the world of hurt you would be in with this same loser if rather than gaining a fews pounds you were diagnosed with cancer? Do you think they would stay by your side and help you fight for your life against a deadly disease? Of course they would not and the fact they are willing to leave you for something as trivial as a few pounds of weight gain is a wake up call for you so you can dump that loser and look for something better in your life.

Most people gain weight over the course of their lifetime. While some people have their minds glued to a Hollywood view of how people should look and act, in reality that kind of narcissistic attitude is something that no warm and caring person should have to put up with. Rather than feeling depressed, if you spouse shows up to say they want to divorce you because you have gained weight, you should thank God almighty for giving you the wake up call of your life. Well meaning and warm hearted people end up marrying cold hearted fools all the time and sometimes it takes many years for those cold hearted tendencies to be noticed by a spouse. I know that if your spouse insults your weight gain there will be a temporary feeling of sadness and personal failure. However, remember that those negative feelings were caused by a person that does not deserve anymore of your love and caring and they should be shown the door at your earliest convenience.

Title: Weight Gain Leads To Divorce For Some
Written: April 24 2008
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Great Time To Own Property Mineral Rights

While most people have a feeling of dread as their cars gas gauge heads toward empty, the small group of people that still own the mineral rights to their land which has large supplies of crude oil and or natural gas under ground are smiling because they never imaged that holding onto those mineral rights could turn into the huge payday it has become. For generations, land owners have been selling away their mineral rights to huge oil and gas companies because many landowners never thought that crude oil and/or natural gas would ever been found under their land. However, now with crude oil selling for almost $120 per barrel and natural gas also reaching record high prices - people in the oil and gas business are looking for crude oil and natural gas in places they never thought they would just a few years ago.

While the average American is suffering from 'gas pains' because of the almost daily increasing price. The pain of higher gas prices in not effecting everyone the same way. It is no secret that huge oil companies like Exxon/Mobile and Conoco/Phillips are earning record high profits, but what is not as well known is that some average Americans have seen their net worth skyrocket too because they still own the mineral rights to their property. When I was young and growing up in the Texas panhandle, occasionally big oil companies would come around and try to get dad to sell the mineral rights to the land that he owned. To my knowledge, dad never sold those mineral rights and if he was still alive and still owned those properties today he would very likely be a rich man.

Of course, when big oil companies were trying their hardest to buy up the mineral rights of property owners was back when the price of crude oil and natural gas were very low. Right now, oil companies would be forced to pay huge sums of money to purchase the mineral rights to any property in the United States, so today is not the best time to buy those rights. Instead, with gas and oil prices at record levels - big oil companies that have a reasonable certainty that a large supply of oil is located under a certain property - will instead go ahead and drill there and share the profits with the land owner. In doing so, the landowner that held onto his or her mineral rights could see a payday that lasts for years which could be worth millions of dollars over time.

When most people think of property owners they think of people that own the property that their house resides on. However, the type of property owner I am talking about here - instead owns thousands of acres of farm and/or ranch land where the odds of finding a large amount of crude oil and/or natural gas is much greater. Back in the 1970's when crude oil was selling for around $10 per barrel and the price of gasoline was .32 cents per gallon - thousands of property owners were solicited to sell their mineral rights to large oil companies. Today, many of those property owners are kicking themselves for selling those mineral rights, 30 years ago, because today big oil companies are showing up on their land, drilling for oil and many times pumping out hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of oil product per day.

Just remember that along with OPEC and big oil companies there are a few ordinary Americans that are profiting from today's high gas prices because they had the forethought and judgment not to not sell their mineral rights back when gas was selling for well under $1 per gallon.

Title: Great Time To Own Property Mineral Rights
Written: April 24 2008
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Barack Obama Not Running As A Minority Victim

One of the main reasons that Senator Barack Obama has been successful in the 2008 democratic race for the White House is because he is not running for President by portraying himself as a minority victim in the campaign. The old and sometimes tiring democratic line of being the party that stands up for victims against the rich and powerful has been a loser political idea, for Democrats, for decades. Instead of running a democratic campaign of portraying rich people as evil and somehow in need of being punished because of their success - Barack Obama is running for President as a successful man that wants to help poor Americans pull themselves up from poverty instead of pandering for their votes with 'us versus them' campaign talk.

As I watched Barack Obama on the television news yesterday, he appeared very tired and I'm sure that the other candidate in the race, Hillary Clinton, has grown tired as well. I really doubt if either one of the democratic candidates for President get more than three or four hours sleep per night and a schedule that requires that level of sleep depredation to continue week after week will eventually catch up with anyone. While the democratic party has and will always try and stand up for the rights of the so called working man, Barack Obama has been reaching out to the middle class in his 2008 campaign, where he is finding an audience of mainly GOP voters that have become discouraged as only the very rich in the country seem to be profiting financially under Republican leadership.

The fact that Senator Obama is not running his campaign as the victim express, like many other Democrats have done before him, gives Obama a real chance to reach out for GOP and Independent voters in November. While millions of GOP voters feel extremely let down by the actions of the Bush administration, old liberal ideas are not what it is going to take to get them to switch party's and vote for a Democrat in November. Actually, I believe Senator Barack Obama has exactly the right amount of liberal compassion and conservative work ethic to weave his way to victory in November. The neat thing about the Barack Obama campaign is that during the democratic primaries he already sounds like a mainstream moderate candidate instead of a liberal hack that will be forced to change his opinions before the general election.

The American people have been telling pollsters and through their votes, politicians that they want real change this election year. Anything that even resembles business as usual will probably end up losing on election day. Rather than appearing as business as usual, Senator Barack Obama represents real change in 2008 and for the most part voters in the democratic party have warmed up to his new ideas of change which ARE NOT the old minority victim against the big bad rich man campaign we have seen from democrats forever. In many ways, Barack Obama sounds like a Republican when it comes to finding and earning the American dream. While some supporters of Senator Obama, like his former pastor Wright, might still be preaching a brand of the old minority victim pity party this election cycle - I have not heard and do not expect to hear those types of words coming out of Senator Obama's own mouth.

Title: Barack Obama Not Running As A Minority Victim
Written: April 24 2008
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2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

U.S. Consumers Are Just About Spent Out

Over the past five or six years, the U.S. consumer has kept the economy out of recession by spending money, that often times they did not really have via credit cards. However, in recent months - U.S. consumers seem to be giving up the ghost and looking for cover as the U.S. economy sinks further toward recession as their credit card credit limits start to shrink because of losses by major banks in the sub-prime mortgage lending market. While some business leaders and Washington politicians are able to fend off a recession for a short period of time, in reality U.S. markets and the economy are eventually going to get their way and drop because of the way the system is set up.

For most of President Bush's administration, major businesses, supported by the federal government, have manipulated the U.S. economy to stave off a recession. This activity started in the days after September 11th 2001 and continue till today. At first it was the automobile business that was encouraged to steal customers from tomorrow to save today after terrorist attacked the U.S. on 911. While that move by business and government leaders might have made sense over the short term, the government never stopped the practice of luring away future retail customers from major purchases from tomorrow in order to make their monthly government growth figure, today. Now, here we are years later with few new customers that have not been tapped out at the retail spending level.

First, the federal government under the leadership of President Bush stole future car buyers away from U.S. auto companies in order to save the day in the short term - then, unfortunately they took that same practice to the housing market and sent it into a recession as well. When we all sit down to watch the evening news it is easy to sometimes forget that there is a finite about of money in the world and most consumers are very predictable in their spending habits. Let's say that an average person buys a new car every three years, but because of government encouragement, automobile companies offers their customers a way to get a new car without a monthly payment increase because the auto company is offering 0% APR. Under that plan, most consumers would say heck yes and take the new deal - but in the long run that customer that bought a new car today is taken out of the market when they should buy a new car two years from now.

This stealing from tomorrow to save today is turning the United States into a debtor nation and U.S. consumers are just following the lead of their own federal government. Washington politicians have been stealing money away from future generations for decades now by borrowing money to improve the lifestyles of current voting Americans without considering the damage they are doing to future generations. Strong leadership is needed badly in Washington D.C. today to save this country from itself financially. The American people are not stupid. If the federal government offers them something for nothing, most people are going to take it. However, if real leaders stand up and talk about what kind of world we are leaving to our children and grandchildren if we don't stop this steal from tomorrow to save today - I believe that most American will have compassion for future generations and make sacrifices for their future. However, without someone at the highest level of government encouraging doing the right thing, then these selfish trends toward personal satisfaction will continue until we are finally a great but broke nation.

Title: U.S. Consumers Are Just About Spent Out
Written: April 23 2008
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2005-2008 © Hutch Report

John McCain Faces Many Problems If Obama Wins

The first hints of what a general election race between Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama might look like has started to show it's ugly head in the state of North Carolina. A GOP group in that state has started to run negative attack ads against Senator Obama and in my opinion these misguided souls in North Carolina are just the first of many extremist that will try to turn a presidential race between McCain and Obama into a racial circus. While the good side of me wants to believe that race relations in the United States have improved to the point where an African-American man can run for President and not be judged by the color of his skin - the reality part of my brain tells me that there are still people that are so racist that they cannot image having a President of the United States that does not look just like them.

I do not for a minute believe that John McCain is a racist, but there are many racist that call the Republican Party home and some of the more extreme elements of the GOP will try and bring Barack Obama down by making his race an issue in this campaign. Most of my life I have voted for Republican candidates at election time, but in 2006 my party ties to the GOP suffered greatly because of out-of-control spending and public corruption charges against many high ranking GOP Members of Congress. In recent months, rather than migrating back to my own party - I have found myself very interested in the words and the direction that Senator Obama wants to take this country in. While my opinions and attitudes have changed, I'm sure that most other regular GOP voters have not.

While I enjoyed being a proud member of the Republican Party because of it's stands on fiscal responsibility and a strong nation defense, even when I was a loyal GOP voter I knew that there were other members of the Republican Party that were more interested in dividing up groups of people rather than bring the country together as one nation. Within the Republican Party that Senator John McCain now leads, there are a small number of very racist individuals that will not be able to sleep at night if Senator Obama is elected the next President of the United States. This small group of racist are afraid that if African-Americans become powerful in the U.S. government that black Americans will treat white folks in the same disrespectful manner that white Americans have treated African-Americans for centuries. The truth is that most African-Americans are much more forgiving than their white neighbors.

Senator John McCain has a big uphill battle between now and November's general election. In recent history, few Americans have been blessed with the God given talent of Barack Obama when it comes to public speaking. Not only is Senator Barack Obama a great speaker on the same level as former President Reagan and Martin Luther King Jr., but this man has compassion flowing through his blood at the very time this country needs as much compassion as it can find to get through some very important issues and problems. Even though I consider myself more of a conservative than a liberal - I believe Senator Obama is an honest man that will look at all sides of an issue before he makes a presidential decision. There are few Republicans or Democrats that I feel that same way about and if Senator Obama is eventually successful and becomes the next President of the United States, I expect great things from his administration.

Title: John McCain Faces Many Problems If Obama Wins
Written: April 23 2008
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2005-2008 © Hutch Report
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