Monday, March 03, 2008

Interesting things I've picked up along the way...

* According to the trustees, Medicare's unfunded liability is $74 trillion -- five times that of Social Security. According to the Congressional Budget Office, health care spending is on a course that could crowd out all other government programs. (NPCA)

* In 2009, when the next president takes office, the government is expected to spend $400 billion more than it takes in, adding to a national debt that tops $9 trillion. (USA Today)

* In 2005, America used 15 percent of its corn crop to replace just 2 percent of its gasoline. Two new studies say use of biofuels will leave the world a warmer and hungrier place. (Investor's Business Daily)

* According to University of California-Santa Barbara economics professor Matthew Kotchen and Ph.D. student Laura Grant, extending daylight-saving time across Indiana had negative results. extra hour of daylight in the evenings may mean less electricity is spent on lights, but it also means that houses are warmer in the summer and colder during daylight-saving's cooler months. Overall, the reduced cost of lighting in afternoons during daylight-saving time is more than offset by the higher air-conditioning costs on hot afternoons and increased heating costs on cool mornings. (Wall Street Journal)

* Virginia's Republican Attorney General, Robert McDonnell, is beginning the deportation process with a class of people not even the most vehemently pro-immigrant activist should defend. They are sex offenders and McDonnell, working in cooperation with the Virginia State Police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, has identified 171 people who have been convicted of sex crimes. Some are illegal aliens, others have legal status, but their convictions violate the conditional terms of their residency and make them subject to deportation.

Asked whether the targeting of illegal alien sex offenders is the first step toward going after other criminal aliens, McDonnell said, "We're planning to do all of them. My position is that criminal illegal aliens or criminal aliens have forfeited their right to be in the country. There is broad agreement, regardless of which side people are on in the illegal immigration debate, that the criminal alien should be detained and deported."

Immigrant rights leader Ricardo Juarez of Mexicans Without Borders (a name that tells you something about his goal) is quoted in The Washington Examiner newspaper as saying, "This policy will only make the situation worse and will drive people out." Precisely. That is the intent of the program; to drive criminal illegal aliens out, preferably back to where they came from and especially if they have twice violated our laws. (Cal Thomas column)

* A recent report on mortgage foreclosure by RealtyTrac, a firm that compiles data on home foreclosures, had some dismal news. But a close look at the data also provides some reassuring information. While the national rate of foreclosure had increased by a whopping 79 percent in the previous year, it was still only 1.033 percent. Since about 30 percent of homes are owned mortgage-free, this means that for all the noise about a crisis, only seven-tenths of 1 percent of all homes are in foreclosure.

The Bethesda, Md., area saw foreclosures rise 1,288 percent -- to a rate of 0.682 percent. In other words, foreclosures there were virtually nonexistent last year; today they are still well below the national average. The same can be said for the Albany, N.Y., area (up 638 percent to 0.25 percent), the Baltimore area (up 544 percent to 0.73 percent) and the Providence, R.I., area (up 354 percent to 0.41 percent). (Scott Burns in The Dallas Morning News)

* Blueberry Jelly Bellies were created especially for Ronald Reagan.

* I'm the only one in the United States with my name. (here is where you can find out if anyone shares your name)

* "90% of the people in this world are fools and the rest of us are in danger of contamination!" ~ Horace Vandergelder in the movie Hello Dolly


Tim Higgins said...


Thanks for picking up these interesting things along the way. Half of them give me hope, and the other half terrify and confuse me. Perhaps you could keep an eye out for the answers to a couple of questions that have me truly puzzled:

If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?

If olive oil is made from olives, what is baby oil made from?

Inquiring minds would like to know...

Hooda Thunkit said...


My (real) name is also unique.

Hmmm, Hooda Thunkit?


Tim Higgins said...


After reviewing your posting a second time, and the comment by hooda, I looked up my own name on the link provided. To my dismay, I have discovered that there are 292 of me. The dismay that I feel in discovering that I am not unique is almost inconsolable.

I can only hope, for the world's sake, that this is simply an unlucky naming accident and not a genetic experiment gone wrong.

Maggie Thurber said...

Tim, in case I haven't told you lately, I truly appreciate your wit. You always bring a smile to face with these kinds of comments.


And Hooda - As I know your last name (though I cannot spell it), it does not surprise me that your name is not shared by

Robin said...

There are 364,265 people with my first name, and 0 people with my last name (when I use my legal hyphanated last name). LOL!

Maggie Thurber said...

Do any of you reading this find it funny that we're all commenting upon the 'who has my name' rather than any of the more 'substantive' things?

LOL - I KNEW that link would be fun!

Tim Higgins said...


Let me see, do I find it funny that bloggers find something about themselves the most interesting? No, but maybe that's because I live in an ego-centric universe. :-)

If you don't believe me, ask Brian...

Brian Maxson said...

He does! (snort) just kidding!

HA! Only 16 of me!

And yes, it is interesting to learn something unique about you.

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