As you may already know the College of Cardinals elected a new Pope on Wednesday. Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio took the name Francis. He is the first Pope to ever hold the name. Pope Francis is from Argentina and becomes the first Latin American to hold the office of Pope. He is a Jesuit and at age 76 is not exactly the youngest Pope ever. 

He will have a lot on his plate as Pope in the modern world. 

Further Reading:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/15/opinion/brooks-how-movements-recover.html?ref=opinion
 
 
The GOP and the budget boilerplate gap By: Michael Gersonhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/michael-gerson-budgeting-beyond-boilerplate/2013/03/14/5755b25e-8cc7-11e2-9f54-f3fdd70acad2_story.html
Relationship of parties and policies By: Mark Mellmanhttp://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/mark-mellman/287789-relationship-of-parties-and-policies

Stop Stealing From Our Kids By: Steven Rattner
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/14/stop-stealing-from-our-kids/?ref=opinion

College is more than a 'return on investment' By: Gene Block
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/higher-education-is-more-than-a-return-on-investment/2013/03/14/2bae3660-8a94-11e2-8d72-dc76641cb8d4_story.html

Missing in action on climate change By: House Representative Henry Waxman (D-California)
http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/287475-missing-in-action-on-climate-change-

Building Keystone pipeline will cement US-Canada relations By: House Representative Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado)
http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/286669-building-keystone-pipeline-will-cement-us-canada-relations
 
 
We were on break when the "Sequester" took effect and to be honest I did not even notice it. Why haven't I noticed it? Well the reason is the cuts may not have all started yet or perhaps the various agency and departments have not set their budgets yet. In all actuality this cut hurts the government first and the us later, if ever. 

Those working for the government and are let off will be effected. Those that rely on research money from the government could be effected. The various agencies and departments that are funded will see their budget shrink and will have to adjust. But the average Joe The Plumber will probably not be effected. That is because this was a government budget cut that they didn't want. They want money to do things with and now they have less of it. 

This had to happen. Our budget is to big and there is to much waste in every direction. But the problem with the sequester is that it did not fix the biggest problems which are the rising costs associated with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The elephant in the room is that these need to be addressed  if not our budget will continue out of control. We keep cutting discretionary spending and now cut military spending (both done by the sequester) but the biggest threats to our countries financial security are Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security costs.

Further Reading:
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/08/the-sequester-and-fiscal-policy/

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2013/0307/Life-after-sequester-Does-federal-budget-have-1-trillion-in-fat-to-cut
 
 
A very impressive filibuster to hold off the appointment of CIA Director John Brennan ended after  almost 13 hours. The Senator now has the media talking about whether or not he will run for President in 2016. I'm sure all he wants to do is take off his shoes, eat then go to sleep. I would be very surprised if he ran but if he does it maybe to follow in the foot steps of his father and he (like his father) would not expect to win the nomination or the White House. Its all for show. 

Further Reading:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/rand-pauls-filibuster-an-old-tactic-packs-new-power-in-digital-age/2013/03/07/43e05bd2-8733-11e2-999e-5f8e0410cb9d_story.html

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/03/friends-and-milky-way-how-rand-paul-did-it-88600.html

http://www.npr.org/2013/03/07/173751137/rand-paul-wouldnt-crack-top-5-in-filibuster-talking-hall-of-fame
 
 
Here are your Friday Opinions from around country.

Deficits do matter By: Joe Scarborough & Jeff D. Sachs
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/joe-scarborough-and-jeffrey-d-sachs-deficits-do-matter/2013/03/07/82de539a-82bd-11e2-b99e-6baf4ebe42df_story.html

More Friday Opinions After The Break


 
 
Just like John Stewart, we here at the Founding Bloggers took a random break. In all reality our other jobs and school have taken up most of our blogging time. But here we are back and ready to give you the most interesting perspective on current events on the internet.


 
 
Remember when cell phones were only for the rich and most people said they would never take off? Fast forward 20 years and we have touch screen phones that we can check our email on and take pictures with. Technology is constantly changing and testing the envelop  There were numerous cell phone flops that pushed the cell phone to where it is today but were not hugely successful. I bring up cell phones because Google is trying to push a new technology that it calls Google Glass, take a look.

Courtesy of HotWeirdNews and Google

I am not sure if this concept with be hugely successful but it is a path for the future. JUst after our paretns finally got the hang of their iPhones they will
 
 
I think we can all come to the conclusion that any plan created by the President or the House Republicans will not be approved by the opposite side. The first Simpson Bowles plan would have cut taxes, raised tax, cut military spending  restructure the tax code a bit and do much more. It, like the new one, effects everyone in the country. We are in a financial crisis made worse by a government that refuses to work together on this issue. Some say the President is holding out for better economic times so he can cut less, some say the Republicans simply do not want to work with the President unless tax cuts are involved but in the end we will all have to pay our fair share. 

I am from the younger generation in this country, there are programs I never expect to benefit from but I still pay into for those that need them. I benefit from other programs that others pay into but never benefit from. This is life in this country. We all end up paying our fair share and right now we are being asked to pay more. There are countless times in this countries history when the citizenry has been asked to pay more for less and again this is one of those times. 

I like the old Simpson Bowles plan but this new one is expected to reduce the deficit by $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years, a sum in the middle of what the President (reduce by $1.5 trillion) and the Republicans (reduce by $4 trillion) want to reduce the deficit by. What I like most about the last plan was that both sides hated different parts of it, that tells me that it is fair. If this new plan is anything like the old one (which it probably will be) I say we pass it. It would be the best compromise, and really the only one seeing how neither the President nor the Republicans can come up with a plan that would ever be passed.

Further Reading:
http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/report-new-simpson-bowles-plan-87769.html?hp=t2_3

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/283695-report-simpson-bowles-to-offer-new-24-trillion-deficit-plan
 
 
Well the people we have elected to speak for us in DC seem to be taking these automatic spending cuts seriously  Congress is currently on a 10 day recess (vacation) and the President is playing golf in Florida  I am all for taking time off and I know these schedules are made well in advance of bills going into effect but really people? Is now the best time to be taking a long vacation? 

By all DC accounts the Sequester bill is bad for everyone but what are they doing about it? Nothing! I doubt it will harm many of them but for us average Americans it could have very really and serous effects. 

The New York Times has put together a list of the automatic cuts that go into effect March 1.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/17/opinion/sunday/the-real-cost-of-shrinking-government.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

We need to get our budget under control but some of these are very dire and would only hurt the country and economy. This plan was supposed to be an end game to force Congress to do their job, clearly they do not want to work because they aren't. My faith in this government is at an all time low right now. I am normally upbeat and optimistic but this Congress has become a nightmare. There is not much we can do aside from writing our Senators and Representatives and telling them how we feel and to get a deal done because in the end it is our lives that are on the line, they will still get paid at the end of the day and if they have been reelected they will get a thank you package if they don't win their next election. They just don't seem to care.