Friday, September 17, 2010

400-408 – James Bryan "Jim" Smith, is the guy behind The Apprenticeship Series, a series of three books that teach apprenticeship to Jesus – a curriculum he put together thats gleans from his 20 years of experience in teaching and writing on spiritual formation from his two primary mentors Dallas Willard and Richard Foster (  Jim has come up with effective spiritual practices he calls "soul-training exercises" that are designed to help replace the false narratives about God we absorb too easily with the kingdom narratives Jesus actually taught.   The three books in the series are: 1) The Good and Beautiful God, 2) The Good and Beautiful Life, and 3) The Good and Beautiful Community.

413-423 – Jim Smith

428-437 – Jim Smith

443-452 – Jim Smith

458-508 – Jim Smith

512-523 – Jim Smith

528-539 –  How your tax dollars are being spent here in LA!

• William Lajeunesse, Fox News (9/17/2010) L.A.: $111M in Stimulus Saved Just 55 Jobs.

More than a year after Congress approved $800 billion in stimulus funds, the Los Angeles city controller has released a 40-page report on how the city spent its share, and the results are not living up to expectations.

"I'm disappointed that we've only created or retained 55 jobs after receiving $111 million," said Wendy Greuel, the city's controller. "With our local unemployment rate over 12 percent we need to do a better job cutting red tape and putting Angelenos back to work."

According to the audit, the Los Angeles Department of Public Works spent $70 million in stimulus funds -- in return, it created seven private sector jobs and saved seven workers from layoffs. Taxpayer cost per job: $1.5 million.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation created even fewer jobs per dollar, spending $40 million but netting just nine jobs. Taxpayer cost per job: $4.4 million.

Greuel blamed the dismal numbers on several factors:

1. Bureaucratic red tape: Four highway projects did not even go out to bid until seven months after they were authorized.

2. Projects that were supposed to be competitively bid in the private sector went instead went to city workers.

3. Stimulus money was not properly tracked within departments

4. Both departments could not report the jobs created and retained in a timely fashion..

"I would say maybe in a grade, a B- in creating the jobs," Greuel told Fox News. "They have started to spend those dollars but it took seven months to get some of those contracts out. We think in the city that we should move quickly and not in the same usual bureaucratic ways."

• Fox News (9/17/2010) Expiring Tax Cuts Hit Taxpayers at Every Level.

Here's some pressure for lawmakers: If they don't reach agreement on extending soon-to-expire Bush-era tax cuts, nearly all their constituents back home will get big tax increases.

A typical family of four with a household income of $50,000 a year would have to pay $2,900 more in taxes in 2011, according to a new analysis by Deloitte Tax LLP, a tax consulting firm. The same family making $100,000 a year would see its taxes rise by $4,500.

• Fox News (9/17/2010) Octomom Ready To Go on Welfare, Report Says.

Choices have consequences.

That's what Nadya "Octomom" Suleman is finding out -- the hard way.

After gaining notoriety for going full-term with eight children, to add to the six children she already had, the unmarried Suleman is now almost completely broke, and ready to go on welfare, reports.

"She's going on welfare and it's going to be very soon," an insider told the web site. "There's just no choice. She's running out of money and those kids need to eat."

The money Octomom made selling access to her life is almost all gone, and reality TV and book deals have not panned out, the web site says.

Behind on house payments and without any real source of income, sources tell that Suleman's only choice is to go on the dole.

"She needs the money. She has no choice at this point," the source said. "And she's been on public assistance before."

Suleman, 35, lives in a house that her father bought her, but she has fallen behind on payments, the site reports.

Suleman gained international fame after giving birth to her octuplets on January 29, 2009.

544-554 – Should we be discouraging out-of-wedlock births that come with such an expensive price tag?  If the state promises to care for poor children – meaning it's your taxes that will be paying to raise these kids – then is there any deterrent to having more?  Doesn't this put the incentive in the wrong place?  How can we break the cycle of poverty with these kinds of incentives?  Government programs can't treat the disease, only the symptoms at the margins.  Think of how the War on Poverty has destroyed the inner-city black family.  At root, isn't this a moral problem not a political one? 

558-608 – Calls

612-623 – Calls

628-639 – Calls

644-656 – Calls

• Kevin D. Williamson, NRO (9/16/2010) The Entitlement Bubble: The Bust Is Going to Be a Nightmare.

• Peggy Noonan, NRO (9/17/2010) Why It's Time for the Tea Party.  The populist movement is more a critique of the GOP than a wing of it.