Saturday, November 3, 2012

Obama - A Record for which to be Proud

Every now and again, the other side likes to claim President Obama doesn't have a record to run on. They're wrong. Here's a taste of why:

  1. The first bill President Obama signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, to help women fight back when they don't get equal pay for equal work.
  2. His Recovery Act supported millions of jobs and helped to stave off a second Great Depression.
  3. He pushed for and won middle class tax cuts that benefited every American worker, and saved the typical family $3,600 in taxes over the last four years.
  4. President Obama rescued the auto industry, and now GM and Chrysler are healthier than they've ever been. The American auto industry has added nearly a quarter of a million jobs since June 2009—and they most likely wouldn't exist right now without President Obama's leadership.
  5. He doubled funding for Pell Grants, helping to make college more affordablefor nearly 10 million families.
  6. His student loan reform ended billions in subsidies to banks serving as middlemen and reinvested those savings directly in students.
  7. The President established the American Opportunity Tax Credit, worth up to $10,000 over four years of college.
  8. His Race to the Top Initiative helped spur nearly every state to raise academic standards.
  9. His tax cuts, social-welfare programs, and economic policies lifted nearly 7 million Americans above the federal poverty line in 2010.
  10. President Obama has signed 18 tax cuts for small businesses since taking office.
  11. We've seen 5.2 million new private sector jobs over the last 31 months.
  12. The unemployment rate is at the lowest level since President Obama took office.
  13. Health care reform—passed after decades of failed attempts by every previous president—provides affordable health coverage to every American and will lower premiums by an average of $2,000 per family by 2019.
  14. Obamacare expanded access to lifesaving preventive care such as cancer screenings and immunizations with no out-of-pocket costs for 54 million Americans.
  15. Obamacare ends insurance discrimination against the 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.
  16. Because of Obamacare, over 3 million more young adults have health insurance today than would if the new law hadn't passed.
  17. The parents of over 17 million children with pre-existing conditions no longer have to worry that their children will be denied coverage.
  18. President Obama has ordered the overhaul of federal government regulationsto make them smarter, practical, and more efficient. Just a fraction of these common-sense initiatives will help save businesses $10 billion in the next five years alone.
  19. His historic investments in clean energy have helped more than double the amount of electricity we obtain from wind and solar sources and helped increase biofuel production to its highest level in history.
  20. President Obama is doubling fuel efficiency standards, which will save drivers more than $8,000 at the gas pump, not to mention lessen the impact of automobiles on our environment.
  21. President Obama has taken unprecedented action to address climate change, reaching historic international agreements to curb carbon emissions, and taking action here at home to reduce carbon pollution from our vehicles and promote clean energy production.
  22. He has taken historic action to protect our environment—signing one of the largest expansions of protected wilderness in a generation and putting in place standards to reduce toxic air pollution that will save thousands of lives.
  23. President Obama fought for and won landmark Wall Street reform that reins in the abuses that led to the financial crisis and ends the era of taxpayer bailouts and "too big to fail."
  24. Wall Street reform created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the nation's first federal agency focused solely on consumer financial protection—and the Bureau is already protecting families from unfair and abusive financial practices from Wall Street banks and shadowy corners of the financial industry.
  25. As part of President Obama's commitment to transparency, the White House has posted its visitor records online for the first time ever.
  26. President Obama's all-of-the-above approach to energy has helped cut the United States' dependence on foreign oil to its lowest level in 20 years.
  27. President Obama responsibly ended the war in Iraq.
  28. He announced a plan to end the war in Afghanistan and transition security responsibility to the Afghan people.
  29. President Obama sent the largest security assistance package to Israel in history and funded the Iron Dome system, which is protecting Israeli homes and schools from rocket attacks.
  30. President Obama rallied the international community to implement the toughest sanctions on Iran in history.
  31. Through the President's historic increases in Veterans Affairs funding, he has expanded and improved healthcare and job training access for our returningveterans.
  32. President Obama negotiated the New START Treaty with Russia to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in both countries. At the same time, he also secured commitments from dozens of other countries to lock down nuclear materials.
  33. His administration naturalized 11,146 military servicemembers as U.S. citizensin 2010; more than in any year since 1955.
  34. President Obama set a bold new plan for the future of NASA space exploration, using the skill and ability of the private sector for short trips to the International Space Station, while building a new vehicle for exploration of distant space, and doing everything in his power to support the economy on Florida's Space Coast.
  35. President Obama recognizes that tourism is one of America's largesteconomic engines; he's worked to encourage international visitors to come here, maintaining our security while keeping millions of Americans in good, paying jobs.
  36. He has affirmed his personal support of marriage equality, directed the Justice Department to stop defending DOMA in federal courts, and took the practical and compassionate step of extending hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners.
  37. He fought for and won the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", allowing gay and lesbian members of the military to serve openly for the first time in history.
  38. When Congress failed to fix our broken immigration system, his administration did everything in its power to improve it, streamlining the legal immigration process and announcing a policy that lifts the shadow of deportation from hard working young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
  39. Oh, and he gave the order to send troops in after Osama Bin Laden—and has decimated al Qaeda's senior leadership.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Moving Forward

It's not like I love paying taxes, but my income is a result of the society in which I live. I do better when people have good roads to get to work and a good education to perform the intricate work required to keep us moving forward. If I make more money, then I want to pay my fair share in order to keep health care options reasonable and not discriminate against women; they are a big part of my success. I feel a responsibility to the society that has created the conditions that have allowed my success. I didn't get where I am solely on my own. I had good police and fire protection, I relied on an education system that produced enough other people that were articulate, well enough informed to think critically, and people who enjoyed the fruits of their civil rights not because they had the same perspective and made the same choices as me, but because they were free to live without fear of reprisal for who they are.

Yes my life is richer for all these things and I am voting for Obama in the hope that we won't head in the direction of tax breaks for those least needing them, cutting off support for the true 'fair and balanced' reporting ONLY found on public radio and television. Big Bird as a talking point? Please. I also can't imagine a world where women's health care would be under attack; I don't care much for abortion, but I believe that it is the result of ignorance on how not to get pregnant or the capability to prevent it. Doesn't it make sense to work on educating and supporting women on how to care for and manage their own bodies, the core mission of Planned Parenthood? I am dedicated to moving forward into a sustainable future, not back into an idealized, and largely fictional, past.

Please join me and vote for Obama so we can realize our potential.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hi, been real busy
Found life outside of blogging
Submerged in life now...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Lost art of the group ride

Lost art of the group ride

"...The group will surge, gap, and separate, only to regroup at every stop sign. I’ll hear fifteen repeated screams of “HOLE!” for every minor road imperfection. And then no mention of the actual hole. Some guy in front will set a PR for his 30 second pull. Wheels overlap, brakes are tapped, and some guy in the back will go across the yellow line and speed past the peloton for no apparent reason. A breakaway?!..."

This article should be required reading for every single person joining a bicycling club AND for each time that membership is renewed. It's about safety, respect and responsibility in ascending order. When we don't ride responsibly, we don't earn respect and everyone's safety is put at risk.

We're willing to go on and on when cars screw up; we should clean up our own habits too!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Beer for Bloggers time

The weather is nice, the beer is cold and the wheels just keep on turning.

June 14 @ Sea Salt?

You know who you are.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hill Repeats

I don't live in a very hilly part of town, but that doesn't mean I can't find over 1000 feet of hill climbing in the neighborhood. Short, sweet and to the point.

I think I had some blades like this on my table saw at one point.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

30 Days of Biking

Been doing it since it's pretty close to no effort on my part. Well there is effort, but little change to my routine since I bike most days anyway. Tweeting as prescribed though keeping it pretty low key. This guy, on the other hand, has been doing it up big time with videos most days. He posts as The MinusCar Project, but in this case should maybe post as The PlusHumor Project since it's had me laughing every single time I watch it.

And, yes, I have questions; Is that a tubeless rig?

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's Good

It's good to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while. I'm a midwestern boy and know how to ride midwestern single track. Sure there are some rocks but they are nice round ones and I know how they move under my tires. I've ridden in Alaska, but that's much like the midwest just on a grander scale. Steeper, a little grittier than the swoopy MORC designed trails that I have come to know and love, but close in kind.
I've also ridden in Arizona before where the rocks are sharp, the climbs are steep and everything would just as soon kill you. But it's always been day trips on a rental. This time I'm 5 days into long hard rides on my own bike. I'm starting to learn how these sharp rock channels filled with loose rock shards, and deep gravel beds carry the bike. I'm riding stuff I wouldn't want to walk and loving the hell out of it.

I have to give a lot of credit to my Pivot, a bike that is proving it can carry me through amazingly rocky, nasty trails just about the same when I very carefully pick my lines as when I just blindly bomb my way through. When the bike is engineered to take almost any terrain I point it at, confidence goes up. I'm riding faster, harder and cleaner than ever. Thanks goes out to John and Harlan at Bicycle Garage in Fountain Hills, AZ for putting me on this bike!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fantastic Spring Riding!

I don't have time to do this weekend's riding justice, but have to send a shout out. Here in the Twin Cities, MN, we don't get two warm, sunny days like this in March.

Like ever.

Except this weekend we did. Mid sixties both days, lots of sunshine with a bit of wind. It doesn't get much better than this. Fifty warm sunny miles in March riding from the house is almost like winning the lottery.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rites of Passage

Seven years have passed.
So how can you trust anew?
It's not love without.

Carry that baggage?
Love like you never got hurt,
else it isn't love.

Not baggage, learning.
Didn't kill me. No. Stronger.
Past won't stain future.

Ready for today.
Free of yesterday's baggage.
Together we go.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Can't get enough

I don't think it would be possible to get too much of this stuff: