Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A stimulus check, is it free money or are their strings attached

With regard to the Stimulus package trying to be rushed through the house, here are the numbers broke down that your will not hear on the news:

( I mainly wanted to get this down, so in a year or 2 when we are in worse situations, I want to see how close it came to the proposed amounts)

Try not to blink too much at the number of zero's that are not shown in these estimates!

Glen Beck explains:
What is the money being spent on-general breakdown between infrastructure, tax cuts, etc…?

Some highlights of the package, by the numbers:

• $825 billion total (as of 1/15/09)
• $550 billion in new spending, described as thoughtful and carefully targeted priority investments with unprecedented accountability measures built in.
• $275 billion in tax relief ($1,000 tax cut for families, $500 tax cut for individuals through SS payroll deductions)
• $ 90 billion for infrastructure
• $ 87 billion Medicaid aid to states
• $ 79 billion school districts/public colleges to prevent cutbacks
• $ 54 billion to encourage energy production from renewable sources
• $ 41 billion for additional school funding ($14 billion for school modernizations and repairs, $13 billion for Title I, $13 billion for IDEA special education funding, $1 billion for education technology)
• $ 24 billion for "health information technology to prevent medical mistakes, provide better care to patients and introduce cost-saving efficiencies" and "to provide for preventative care and to evaluate the most effective healthcare treatments."
• $ 16 billion for science/technology ($10 billion for science facilities, research, and instrumentation; $6 billion to expand broadband to rural areas)
• $ 15 billion to increase Pell grants by $500
• $ 6 billion for the ambiguous "higher education modernization."

[Source: Committee on Appropriations: January 15, 2009]

Here is a further breakdown of the package:

NOTE: The following are highlights of the package; for the full 13-page summary from the Appropriations Committee, click here:

(as of 1/15/09)

$32 billion: Funding for "smart electricity grid" to reduce waste
$16 billion: Renewable energy tax cuts and a tax credit for research and development on energy-related work, and a multiyear extension of renewable energy production tax credit
$6 billion: Funding to weatherize modest-income homes

Science and Technology
$10 billion: Science facilities
$6 billion: High-speed Internet access for rural and underserved areas

$30 billion: Transportation projects
$31 billion: Construction and repair of federal buildings and other public infrastructure
$19 billion: Water projects
$10 billion: Rail and mass transit projects

$41 billion: Grants to local school districts
$79 billion: State fiscal relief to prevent cuts in state aid
$21 billion: School modernization ($15.6 billion to increase the Pell grant by $500; $6 billion for higher education modernization)

Health Care
$39 billion: Subsidies to health insurance for unemployed; providing coverage through Medicaid
$87 billion: Help to states with Medicaid
$20 billion: Modernization of health-information technology systems
$4.1 billion: Preventative care

Jobless Benefits
$43 billion for increased unemployment benefits and job training.
$39 billion to support those who lose their jobs by helping them to pay the cost of keeping their employer provided healthcare under COBRA and providing short-term options to be covered by Medicaid.
$20 billion to increase the food stamp benefit by over 13% in order to help defray rising food costs.



*$500 per worker, $1,000 per couple tax cut for two years, costing about $140 billion.
*Greater access to the $1,000-per-child tax credit for the working poor.
*Expansion of the earned-income tax credit to include families with three children
*A $2,500 college tuition tax credit.
*Repeal of a requirement that a $7,500 first-time homebuyer tax credit be paid back over time.


*An infusion of cash into money-losing companies by allowing them to claim tax credits on past profits dating back five years instead of two.
*Bonus depreciation for businesses investing in new plants and equipment
*Doubling of the amount small businesses can write off for capital investments and new equipment purchases.
*Allowing businesses to claim a tax credit for hiring disconnected youth and veterans

[Sources: Associated Press: Highlights of Senate economic stimulus plan; January 23, 2009; WSJ: Stimulus Package Unveiled; January 16, 2009; Committee on Appropriations: January 15, 2009]

Friday, January 23, 2009

Here comes Socialism

(Please forgive my political rant, I will post a nicer, blog soon, but I had to get this out)
Well, as the historic inaugural day approached, I was mainly unimpressed by the media's obsession with the event. But I found myself brought to tears a few times during the actual "swearing in". Not because of Obama, but because of what it signified the dignified way our country transfers over power. I love our country and I love this land of freedom. I am deathly afraid of what will happen when radical people become leader and are given close to " unlimited power".
I turn to the scriptures to justify my opinion, and try to find a way to cope with the present situation
From the New testament

22) For in those days there shall also arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch, that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant. Matt 24:24 (JSH-M 1:22)

Matt. 7: 15
15) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

And from the Book of Mormon

2 Ne. 25: 18
18) Wherefore, he shall bring forth his words unto them, which words shall judge them at the last day, for they shall be given them for the purpose of convincing them of the true Messiah, who was rejected by them; and unto the convincing of them that they need not look forward any more for a Messiah to come, for there should not any come, save it should be a false Messiah which should deceive the people; for there is save one Messiah spoken of by the prophets, and that Messiah is he who should be rejected of the Jews.

4 Ne. 1: 34
34) Nevertheless, the people did harden their hearts, for they were led by many priests and false prophets to build up many churches, and to do all manner of iniquity. And they did bsmite upon the people of Jesus; but the people of Jesus did not smite again. And thus they did dwindle in unbelief and wickedness, from year to year, even until two hundred and thirty years had passed away.

Now a lot of those scriptures scare me, because they seem very similar to our day. Listening to Rush Limbaugh lately for words of advice and understanding, I was moved by a unplanned monologue he gave in response to a caller comparing his listeners to the followers of Obama. Here is the exert:

Here's the problem...I don't run the country. I'm not trying to tell people, I'm not trying to come up with policies that are going to require people to live the way I damn well want 'em to. I'm not the one coming up with plans telling them what they can do and when they can't do it, how much they have to give me, Obama, to make sure everybody else is happy. I'm taking nothing from anybody. I'm giving nobody anything. I cannot raise their taxes. I cannot redistribute their wealth. I cannot deny people their earnings. I cannot rearrange society. I cannot proclaim this group of people unfair and those people need to be gotten even with. I can't pick winners and losers in this country. I can't tell you that you deserve to lose some so somebody else can win some. Obama has that power, and, my brother, he wants that power, he wants to be able to pick winners and losers.
I deal in ideas. I inspire people to think. I inspire people to be positive and optimistic because I believe that's the way life is enjoyed, and that's the way people get things done. Obama is inspiring people to sit down and wait for help from Washington. I already see what has happened to a whole population of people who have been for 50 years, sitting around and waiting for help from Washington. Their families are destroyed. They are single mothers, they are drug-infested neighborhoods in which they live in, and they have no hope. Because for 50 years they have been sitting around and waiting for help from Washington. And every four years they complain about the lack of help from Washington arriving. And the people promising the help from Washington, blame it on people like me because we are racist, sexist, bigot, homophobes who are holding those people who need help from Washington back. I seek no power over people. I seek people to have and own their own power and their own confidence and their own optimism. I seek to have people realize that they live in the greatest country on earth and it's the greatest country on earth because of them, not a single figure, not a personality, not a celebrity, not a single hero.This country is an idea that is bigger than any mortal individual. I can punish nobody. I cannot reward anybody. I cannot close a prison
where terrorists are housed and let them go and call it national security. I cannot meet with Hugo Chavez or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and claim, in doing so, that I'm making them my friend. I can't do anything Obama can do. I don't want that kind of power. That kind of power invested in one person who believes he has it scares the hell out of me. And you compound that fright with the fact that so many people do not have the guts, the strength, the education to resist the tug of popular sentiment, and we have a nation of lemmings believing lie after lie after lie, myth after myth after myth, liberal idea, failed liberal idea, failed liberal idea after failed liberal idea. I don't compel anything. I don't try to confuse people.
I simply turn on the Golden EIB Microphone and share my honest passions and beliefs with people. And they're free to go elsewhere. They're free to ignore; they're free to believe; they're free to be entertained, I don't care. They're free to do whatever they want. But a lot of people aren't free to smoke cigarettes where they want; they're not free to drink where they want; they're not free to eat the kind
of food they want to eat; they're not free to eat trans fats; they're not free to drive certain places. Pretty soon we're going to be told what kind of cars we have to drive. I can't cause that. I can't restrict anybody's freedom. We've elected a guy who can, does, and wants to, all under the guise of saving us. So I appreciate the effort, and I appreciate somewhat losing my temper here. But don't compare me ever to an authoritarian who thinks so little of people that without him they can barely breathe on their own. Don't ever do that.

A similar article on Originally Published on Wednesday January 21, 2009 by disk morris, goes into more detail about the socialism aspect

Well I can not stop my thoughts, from thinking about WW2 and Nazi Germany. Those who know me well, know I really love WWII genre and especially Nazi stuff, Not that I like it, I am just intrigued by just act being allowed to take place, So I study it as much and often as I can. Anyways, I have been seeing a very similar situation take place on our country and over the last few years take place that reminds me of Germany just before Hitler came to power. I see the similarities in this, the German people were left destitute from WWI, they were in a type of depression all on their own. Left embarrassed by the Treaty of Versailles, and left with little to no hope for their future. So Here come Hitler, and he speaks, well, has radical ideas, creates a scapegoat to Germany's problems, and slowly infests his way to total dictatorship. And with that power, became one of the scariest people on the planet ever to live. and then proceeded to kill between 9-11 million people. The German people were desperate for a leader and just wanted a better life for their families and their country and Hitler gave that to them in many ways.
Now Obama has killed anyone or even said he would, but I see the same similar early beginnings of the same things. Our economic situation is scaring being into submission and are making judgments based on emotion and not their minds. Hitler killed intellectuals and thinkers, cause they were considered a threat. I wonder if Obama would do anything similar by forcing people to lose or cloud their intellect. He is promising the world and many are buying into it. He wants to take our liberties away, he wants to make our country vulnerable to attack, just to impress other Countries leaders. He wants to put everything we hold morally right in the trash. And wants to put anyone that opposes him in the dark, in order to boost his popular ego.
I feel we should not just sit back and Put all Our trust in the Lord, as u can see from my previous scriptures, The Lord says beware of those that seek to deceive you, and he will not just step in and fix things, he gave us free agency and we have to live with our choices, I myself am not completely sure what to do, but I do know I will not let myself get complacent and just sit back and watch the country fall into another Nazi Germany. If anyone knows of ways we can help fight the wave of liberalism.
I guess My hope would be that If we can solidify that Christ centered foundation in our lives and those of our families, that The Lord will bless our families despite the world around us. Keep the faith, but don't let down your guard.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Scrubbing Bubbles

Automatic Shower Cleaner - Cleans your shower with the touch of a button

SO I have been wanting to try this product out, since seeing the commercial on TV, and when we were shopping last weekend, we went to try and find it. Luckily it wasn't that much $12.96. and the refill bottle was 3.50, ( for future reference). So we bought one, and I LOVE IT. I can not say enough good things about it. So far anyways, it leaves the bathroom smelling so nice and clean. and it gives me a sense of relief, knowing that the shower junk that collects during normal use, is being prevented, by having a daily cleaning. I know it is a little bit more pricey then a bottle of cleaner which would last months, but for the worry and hassle freedom, it gives me, is WAY worth it. I think everyone needs one in their home, so it one less thing to clean. And since I'm not the best cleaner, this is one way for one thing to stay extra clean.

2 Thumbs Up

Scrubbing Bubbles® Automatic Shower Cleaner with Dual Sprayer is a revolution in cleaning. It's the easiest way to clean your shower. Simply touch the button and walk away. The dual sprayer spins 360 degrees to spray a penetrating cleaner on all four walls and the tub, automatically. Eliminate soap scum and mold & mildew stains and keep your shower cleaner, longer. It's so easy, just like a having a maid. Times two!

- Works automatically
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- Cleans dirty shower in days
- Shower remains clean every day

Effectively Cleans
Shower Curtains,
Shower Doors,
Tub & Shower Faucets and Fixtures .

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Years!

Gratitude and Blessings, that in those 2 short words could sum up our year. With our Big move from Marysville, CA to Queen Creek, AZ in the first part of January. We were so blessed to have good friends that were wanting and willing to rent their home to us for the majority of this year. The move created a snow ball effect of positive changes and habits into our life.

Mark- Enjoys his new office colleagues and the new environment. He feels more valued and appreciated, thus a Happier Husband after work. His company was bought out, which ended up benefiting us, but didn’t help in his long drudging 100 mile a day commute. Mark’s parent’s got their mission call to Guatemala City, and left in mid Aug. Emotional, but thanks to Skype, its bare able.

Maren- Started out the year finishing her last class online, and finally earned her Associates. Waiting to get residency to finish AZ requirements to continue the RN courses and get her certificate. Worked on being a Mom, Cooking more, started working out for over 2 months, eating better, budgeting, things that we should have been doing our whole marriage.

Aimee- Had a few months off the first half of the year from school. Started Kindergarten in July, and loves it. Lost her first 2 teeth. She loves being a big Sister to her ever growing little sisters, or like we tend to nickname the younger girls “young padawans”.

Emily- Has finally become Potty trained, after a year of trying and several attempts. It finally happened. (Oddly enough, same age as her older sister) Loved having her alone time with Mom and her baby sister “Cady”. Loves to play with the dog, outside and talk to anyone.

Cadyn- “Cady” Turned 1 in June and loves being mobile. She is such a ham, loves making everyone smile. She Loves mega blocks. She can already build with Lego’s and she was barely a year. Sleeps and eats great. We are very blessed so far to have the last child be such an angel, let’s see how long that lasts (daddy already is seeing it slip away).

Rico- Loved having a friend for 6 months. And became a house dog, due to the long lasting AZ heat, ( 8 months).
We wish all of you a great New years. We really didn’t get a chance to really get into the holiday spirit this year, due to the move, but we know the Lord loves us and is always ready to assist and bless our lives, when we are ready to ask. We wish you all the best. We can be contacted by email, blog, facebook, or phone.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Years
Mark, Maren, Aimee, Emily, and Cady Graff

P.S. I am very aware of My eyes and How scary they look, but its the only pic where I was in it, smiling and looking decent. Sorry for the nightmares, in advance.

P.S. S. This is our Yearly Newsletter, just incase anyone was interested.

Maren and Mark Songs

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