About ME

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Mansfield, Texas, United States
Mr. E is a Christian, Husband, Father of 2, former Army Officer and Texas Rangers Baseball fan.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Trying to Sleep Late & Caleb's New Blog

During any weekday, my children are fairly easy to wake up! They will only complain a little when the 6:00 a.m. wake up call comes from Jamie or me. The biggest complaint about waking up is usually from me. I would like to sleep to at least 7:00 or until the sun comes up anyway.

So when Saturday rolls around, I usually try to sleep a little later, thus allowing the kids and Jamie, a little more sleep time; however, for some very strange reason my children cannot sleep late on a Saturday. This morning my daughter came into our room saying she woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. This was partly the cat's fault..."I tried to sleep late...but the CAT!" I thought it had to be at least 7:00, but when I rolled over the alarm clock said 5:45 a.m.! I told her to go watch television. A few minutes later, I hear my son get up. He never gets up before we make him get up at 6:00 or 6:15 for school. On the one day they can sleep late, they wake up earlier than any other day.

So hear I am, blogging at 6:15 and about to make pancakes for hungry family. Maybe they will let me take about an hour long nap this afternoon.

On a totally different note: My son has a new blog...it is called The Poll Place. He is doing his best to keep it up to date, unlike his last blog. In this blog he ask various questions for us to answer, then publishes the results and his thoughts about them. So encourage him to keep up his blog, and answer a few questions for him, and maybe leave an encouraging comment.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Response Letter from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) Texas

This letter was written in resonse to the letter I wrote to my elected officials in Washington.

Dear Mr. English:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. I welcome your thoughts and comments on this issue.

On September 19, 2008, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced a plan by the Bush Administration to stabilize the financial services sector of the economy. This plan included broad authority for the Treasury Secretary to purchase troubled financial instruments with very limited oversight and few protections for taxpayers.

In July, I voted against a similar proposed bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because it did not provide taxpayer protection and limits on executive compensation for a government owned entity. For the same reasons, I was not willing to support the Administration’s initial proposal, and I encouraged my colleagues to continue work on a plan that would protect taxpayers, provide strict oversight, and place limits on the benefits to executives who accept taxpayer assistance.

In the days following the Treasury Secretary’s announcement, concerns about the danger to the broader economy deepened. The high-profile failure of numerous financial institutions caused the commercial lending market to accumulate and hold cash. The credit markets effectively froze, making it difficult for consumers to obtain loans for purchases such as homes and automobiles. The lack of lending in these areas began to place further pressure on the troubled housing market and threatened to spread deeper into the economy. Similarly, many small and mid-sized businesses were finding it difficult to obtain financing to meet their payroll obligations and purchase inventory. Many cities were entering the bond market and getting no bids, even with AAA ratings. The current liquidity crisis still poses a real potential for significant job losses. After consulting with numerous financial experts, small businesses, and bankers in Texas, it became clear to me that normal commercial lending activity would not resume without action by Congress.

Despite this realization, I was still not inclined to support the Paulson plan. After weeks of negotiation, however, a bi-partisan compromise was reached. While there are provisions in the bill that I do not favor and would not have drafted, overall the need for action to stabilize the market and to protect the retirement savings of millions of Americans weighed heavily on my mind. Ultimately, I supported the Senate bill along with 73 of my colleagues. The bill we passed was a major improvement over the initial plan announced by Secretary Paulson.

We increased the deposit insurance cap from $100,000 to $250,000 so that families will have added protection for savings and retirement accounts. While the initial proposal authorized up to $700 billion to purchase distressed assets, the measure we passed takes a more cautious approach, initially authorizing $250 billion and requiring the approval from Congress and the President for additional funding. Importantly, the bill we passed includes restrictions on the benefits received by executives whose companies are selling some of their distressed assets to the government. In return for purchasing the assets, taxpayers will obtain an ownership stake in the companies. Many leading economists believe that the real estate market will turn around in the foreseeable future and government owned properties and assets will be sold at a profit. A provision in this bill that I supported requires any profits realized to be placed in the nation’s treasury to reduce the deficit. If, however, after five years the government is facing a loss in the program, the President must submit a plan to Congress recommending how the money will be recouped from financial services companies. I believe that these protections are a dramatic improvement over the Administration’s initial proposal.

The bill passed by the Senate included an important package of tax policy provisions. One of these provisions is an extension of the state and local sales tax deduction, which is a matter of fairness for states like Texas that do not have a state income tax. The average Texan will save $520 when they file their federal income tax forms next year. We also shielded low and middle-income taxpayers from higher taxes associated with the flawed alternative minimum tax (AMT) and included tax incentives to spur energy production and innovation including the wind energy production tax credit and the research and development tax credit.

As Texans, we have learned to take responsibility for our actions and being asked to pay for the mistakes of others is something many, including myself, find deeply troubling. However, after careful deliberation, I believe that the risks associated with doing nothing outweighed the risk of passing a less than perfect bill that nevertheless includes important protections for taxpayers. Economic evidence clearly suggested the problems were spreading into the broader economy. That is why I voted for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.

I appreciate hearing from you. Please do not hesitate to contact me on any issue of concern to you.

Sincerely,

Kay Bailey Hutchison, United States Senator
284 Russell Senate Office BuildingWashington, DC 20510
202-224-5922 (tel)
202-224-0776 (fax)
http://hutchison.senate.gov

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Obama v. McCain -- Presidential Debate

With the fate of the 2008 Presidential Election at stake; Barack Obama and John McCain will square off in the 2nd and final debate between the two leading Presidential nominees. According to most of the major news agencies, this will not be a "nice-nice" debate as the last debate was. Both candidates are becoming increasingly aggressive in their campaigns against each other.

According to CNN polls, Obama has a slight edge over McCain in several of the "swing states", which gives Obama a clear Electoral College lead. For a quick look at the current projected Electoral College votes; see CNN's Electoral College Calculator.

As I said before, I am not a Republican or a Democrat. I vote for the person I think is the best candidate for the job. After reading my past few blogs, I think you know my opinion of the "bail out" bill passed by Congress; both Obama and McCain voted for the bill. This disappointed me greatly about both candidates. McCain especially disappointed me. McCain has been campaigning with the message that he would veto any law that came across his desk that had "PORK" attached to it. This bail-out bill passed by Congress had so much pork attached to it, it smelled like a bacon factory, and McCain voted for it.

At least my U.S. Congressman, Louie Gohmert voted against the bill both times.

So watch the debate tonight, pay attention to what these guys are saying, and pray hard that we choose the best person for the job, not the best party for the job.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Recent Trip to Houston

My family and I went to Houston last weekend to meet my wife's sister's family. My nephew and neice both have birthdays this month and they were going to watch the Indianapolis Colts play the Houston Texans in football. We met them on Saturday and we went to the Downtown Aquarium and a local "hands on" science place. The kids and we had a good time. We did see many buildings and signs that had damage from Hurricane Ike. I'm glad we don't live in Houston.