Friday, November 28, 2008

Gel Spice Co's Spice Time Spaghetti Sauce Mix Is The New Spatini

Gel Spice is the ultimate source for well branded, quality Consumer Spices, Food Service, Bakery Ingredients and Spices & Seasonings for Food Manufacturers. With an emphasis on service and customer satisfaction, Gel Spice is the clear leader in the world of Spices.

You can get your own Gel Spice spaghetti sauce mix at

If you want the unfortunately discontinued Spatini spaghetti sauce mix you can still get it in bigger quantities at or sign a petition here to get it back on the market.

Or you can try to make it yourself if you prefer from this recipe:

Spatini Spaghetti Sauce Mix

by Todd Wilbur

...Now you can save your hard-earned lira and still get real Spatini flavor, because after analyzing a packet of the mix I've discovered a great way to clone this "dead food" at even less cost than the product's retail price before it became extinct. The secret ingredient is a crushed up beef bouillon cube which contains the precise quantity of salt and natural flavors, plus autolyzed yeast extract (a flavor enhancer), to mirror the original blend. Add a few ground spices, onion, garlic, powdered sugar, and cornstarch to substitute for the potato starch used in the real thing, and you'll have the exact amount of mix you need to recreate the spaghetti sauce you grew up with.


1 beef bouillon cube, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch ground black pepper


Pulverize the beef bouillon cube to powder using a kitchen mallet or mortar and pestle. Mix with remaining ingredients in a small bowl. To make spaghetti sauce, follow the same instructions that appear on the original box of Spatini:

1. In a medium saucepan, combine seasoning mix, 1 tablespoon oil (optional), desired tomatoes and amount of water listed on chart.

2. Bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring frequently, as directed below.

3. Makes about 1 pint sauce

4 (1/2 cup) servings.

1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
Simmer for 5 minutes

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

With approval at 9%, Democrats decide to touch off bank run by Doug Ross Journal


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Believing Congress' approval rate might hit double digits, Senator Chuck "The Camera Hunter" Schumer decided to bill taxpayers tens of billions of dollars by starting a bank run.

The run on the bank came after a critical letter about the bank from Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York. Federal regulators said on Friday that Mr. Schumer’s letter had prompted the collapse by causing the run and scaring away potential acquirers.

“The senator made comments in his letter questioning the viability of the institution,” John M. Reich, director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, said in a phone call with reporters. “When a member of the United States Senate makes such a statement, it frightens depositors.”

In the days after Mr. Schumer’s letter was released on June 26, IndyMac customers withdrew an average of $100 million a day from the bank, or a total of $1.3 billion, the government said. Before Mr. Schumer’s letter, the bank had been receiving net inflows of money from depositors, Mr. Reich said.

Always willing to accept responsibility, the Democratic Senator denied he had anything -- anything at all -- to do with the bank run.

Mr. Schumer quickly fired back [stating,] "If OTS had done its job as regulator and not let IndyMac's poor and loose lending practices continue, we wouldn't be where we are today," Sen. Schumer said. "Instead of pointing false fingers of blame, OTS should start doing its job to prevent future IndyMacs."

Shw-w-w-w-w-w-weeeeeeeeen! Err, that was supposed to be a "tape rewind" noise (you know how hard it is to do sound effects in the blogosphere).

Anyhow, let's just use super-secret advanced technology to find out what really happened.

6/27/08 Los Angeles Times: Sen. Schumer calls for scrutiny of IndyMac's financial health:

"I am concerned that IndyMac's financial deterioration poses significant risks to both taxpayers and borrowers," Schumer wrote. The bank "could face a failure if prescriptive measures are not taken quickly."

6/27/08 Insurance News Net: Senator Asks Regulators To Probe The Financial Health of IndyMac :

[Schumer, the] chairman of the congressional Joint Economic Committee asked U.S. regulators Thursday to scrutinize the financial health of Pasadena-based IndyMac Bancorp Inc. and suggested that the mortgage lender might be on the brink of failure.

7/1/08 Forbes: IndyMac reassures customers after Schumer letter:

IndyMac Bancorp Inc. said it is working with regulators to "further improve" its safety and soundness after a senator's letter last week raised concerns that the bank could collapse... The Pasadena, Calif.-based mortgage lender said Monday that the letter, by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., gave "the wrong impression" on several issues.

Depositors withdrew about $100 million from the bank in the wake of Schumer's letter, company spokesman Grove Nichols said in a prepared statement. The withdrawals are equivalent to one-half of 1 percent of the bank's deposits, he said.

7/1/08 Housing Wire: IndyMac: Mini Bank Run, Thanks to Schumer:

“As a result of Sen. Schumer making his letters public and the resulting press coverage, we did experience elevated customer inquiries and withdrawals in our branch network last Friday and on Saturday of roughly $100 million, about ½ of 1% of total deposits,” the bank said.

7/2/08 Housing Wire: Consumer Group Targets IndyMac Over Alt-A Mortgages:

As if IndyMac Bancorp Inc. didn’t have enough problems of the real variety right now — trying to find sources of capital among them, as bank losses tied to Alt-A mortgages mount — the Center for Responsible Lending on Monday took aim at what many expect to be the next target for consumer groups’ ire, now that Countrywide Financial is no more.

The CRL’s latest report, “Indymac: What Went Wrong?”, claims that the thrift “put itself in a hole by engaging in unsound and abusive lending during the nation’s mortgage boom.” The report was released on the heels of a leaked letter from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) to bank regulators last week that questioned the bank’s financial footing amid growing losses.

7/2/08 Mainstreet: Is Your California Bank Financially Safe?

* * *

Just how much has the Democratic Congress cost taxpayers? No more than usual, I suppose.

Foreign Born Obama Constitutional Showdown

Passed by Congress March 2, 1932. Ratified January 23, 1933.

Note: Article I, section 4, of the Constitution was modified by section 2 of this amendment. In addition, a portion of the 12th amendment was superseded by section 3.

Section 1.
The terms of the President and the Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

Section 2.
The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

Section 3.
If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

Section 4.
The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.

Section 5.
Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.

Section 6.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.


1) Was Barack Obama born in Kenya? 2) Is he really a citizen of Indonesia? 3) Does the Constitution still matter?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sanford Testified In Opposition To Proposed Democrat $150 Million Stimulus


Statement of The Honorable Mark Sanford, Governor, State of South Carolina

Testimony Before the House Committee on Ways and Means

October 29, 2008

Chairman Rangel, Congressman McCrery and Members of the Committee, I thank you for this chance to testify before your Committee.

I’m here to beg of you not to approve or advance the contemplated $150 billion stimulus package for the effects that it would ultimately have in the state that I represent, and in turn, all states across the country and the nation as a whole. I applaud the sentiment behind it and your intentions in trying to help the American public given the enormity of the financial collapse before us, and I understand the supportive position staked out by many of my fellow governors by letter from the National Governors Association this Monday as well. Still, I feel it’s incumbent upon me to stand up and speak now, or perhaps forever hold my peace – and with the greatest respect I’d submit that I don’t think this is the course to be taken.

I’d ask that you, as leaders at this crucial juncture in our nation’s story, do three things: one, recognize that the current avalanche of bad news can be traced back several years to oftentimes poor financial decisions that snowballed out of control; two, consider that this $150 billion salve may in fact further infect our economy with unnecessary government influence and unintended fiscal consequences; and three, accept that there may be better routes to recovery than a blanket bailout, including offering states like mine more in the way of flexibility and freedom from federal mandates instead of a bag of money with strings attached. 

First, the situation we’re now in did not develop overnight, and in the same way it won’t be cured by morning. As the old saying goes, the first step to getting out of a hole is to quit digging.

I think this certainly applies to the mountain of debt now facing our country, with overall debt growing roughly four times the rate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the last 15 years. Our national debt is now over $10 trillion – more than $4 trillion higher than when I left Congress at the end of 2000. We’re spending more paying interest on this debt (roughly $20 billion monthly) than we are on the War in Iraq (around $12 billion). Add to all this last month’s timely illustration of Times Square’s National Debt Clock actually running out of spaces as the debt passed $10 trillion. No need to worry: a new clock is being made with room for a quadrillion dollars of debt – that’s a million billion dollars, or a “1” with 15 zeros. I have a feeling we’ll be using those extra digits sooner rather than later, given that
government spending has grown 57 percent ($1.2 trillion) this decade alone.

In fact, if this $150 billion stimulus package is passed, this year’s budget deficit could top $1 trillion – adding to the over $10 trillion national debt and making it 70 percent of a roughly $14 trillion economy. That would be the highest level since the early 1950s when the nation was still paying down the accumulated costs of World War II. But back then there weren’t trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities linked to Social Security and Medicare hiding off the balance sheet. 

Common sense voices from both sides of the aisle are raising red flags about our national deficit, the debt and these unfunded liabilities. Warren Buffet, Pete Peterson and Former United States Comptroller General David Walker were featured in a recent documentary called “I.O.U.S.A.” Their point is that we have over $52 trillion in contingent liability, amounting to a roughly $450,000 invisible mortgage hanging over the head of each and every American family. Walker comments that we’re simply “charging the national credit card…[it’s] more of the same, just in larger numbers.”

We’ve never before in the history of our republic faced the kind of unfunded liabilities that we do now. I believe that some time in the not so distant future we’re going to reach a breaking point when that $52 trillion will come due, and that our potential inability to pay will have frightening ramifications by either completely trashing the value of the dollar or creating hyperinflation which robs from every middle class worker across America.

Global equities have lost more than $10 trillion in value just in October – and global GDP growth projections for 2008 are being ratcheted down from essentially 2 percent to 1 percent by the World Bank.

But this economic storm was in part predictable, even if it wasn’t completely preventable, for the simple reason that gravity always works. In other words, what goes up must come down. One could go as far back as Biblical times and look at the passage of the seven fat and seven skinny cows coming out of the Nile in Pharaoh’s dream to remember that this notion of business cycles, credit cycles, the up and down of the economy, is one of the constants in history. The housing bubble is a case in point. According to the Case-Schiller home index, we’ve seen a decade long 235 percent run up in housing prices, from 79.6 in 1996 to a peak of 188.6 in 2006. Prices have since come down more than 20 percent to around 150. Experts warn that there’s more downside on the horizon, with the median new home price this September dropping over 9 percent from September 2007 to $218,400, the lowest in four years.

Second, I’d ask you as political decision-makers in an overwhelmingly economic crisis to take the Hippocratic Oath and pledge to “do no [more] harm.” I believe the macroeconomic forces at work will hardly be slowed by an additional $150 billion, and I’d strongly urge against further tampering with what in principle should be a free-market economy.

Economist Arthur Laffer put it well in Monday’s Wall Street Journal when he said, “Whenever the government bails someone out of trouble, they always put someone into trouble… Every $100 billion in bailout requires at least $130 billion in taxes, where the $30 billion extra is the cost of getting government involved.”

Simply throwing money into the marketplace in the hope that something positive will happen ignores the fact that the government has already put over $2 trillion into the system this year using various bailouts and stimulus packages: including $168 million in direct taxpayer rebates this past Spring; an $850 billion bailout last month that cost more than we spend on defense or Social Security or Medicaid and Medicare annually; and myriad loans and partial nationalizations of institutions like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, JPMorgan Chase, Bear Sterns and AIG. This doesn’t even include the arguably most effective form of stimulus the country has seen over the past year, a market-based infusion of over $125 billion into the economy and taxpayers’ wallets caused by falling oil prices and subsequently lower prices at the pump.  

This year’s $2 trillion plus in bailouts and handouts seems that much more momentous when you consider that federal tax revenues last year were only $2.57 trillion. Simple math demands we ask ourselves if $2 trillion did not ward off the crisis in confidence we’re currently experiencing, then how much can $150 billion more help? Especially since we’re dealing with a $14 trillion economy and a larger $67 trillion world economy, meaning that this shot in the arm represents merely one-fifth of one percent of the world economy.

I believe no matter what amount of money is thrown at the consumer, individuals and businesses will likely choose to wait to make their purchases or investments. People simply don’t buy as much and as frequently when their savings are shrinking and their household equity is sinking. In fact, Americans’ disposable income fell over 1 percent to just over $10,700 in July of this year, which consequently hurts demand and thus slows growth. That’s no small problem in a consumer-driven economy, with Washington Post columnist George Will observing that Americans decided it was “more fun to budget like government does, matching spending to appetites.” Will also elaborates on Americans’ trend away from personal savings – pointing out that we saved a dime of every dollar of disposable income in the 1980s, a nickel in the 1990s, and in 2005, the savings rate went negative.

Aside from the reality that $150 billion pales in comparison to the size and scope of what’s before us – and therefore would have little impact – I think that there is a much more pressing, and personal to my current position, reason that this is not the best direction.

Essentially, you’d be transferring taxpayer dollars out of the frying pan – the federal government – and into the fire – the states themselves. I think this stimulus would exacerbate the clearly unsustainable spending trends of states, which has gone up 124 percent over the past 10 years versus federal government spending growth of 83 percent. It would also dangerously encourage even more growth in governmental programs like Medicaid, which in state budgets across the nation already grew 9.5 percent per year over the last decade – certainly unsustainable in our state. Moreover, the United States Department of Health and Human Services just last week projected that spending on Medicaid will grow at an average annual rate of 7.9 percent over the next 10 years – and possibly faster if this stimulus package passes. State debt across the country has also increased by 95 percent over the past decade. In fact, on average every American citizen is on the hook for $1,200 more in state debt than we were 10 years ago. 

There seems to be no consequence, and indeed a reward, for unsustainable spending growth by states. In effect, sending $150 billion more to states would produce another layer of moral hazard – already laid bare at the corporate, individual and federal levels in recent years. Corporations like CountryWide overleveraged their resources on risky loans as American banks increased their stake in subprime mortgages from only 5 percent in 1994 to roughly 20 percent in 2005. At the individual level, some people bit off more mortgage than they could chew, with Americans’ house price-to-income ratio jumping from 4-to-1 (where it had hovered for 30 years) to 8-to-1 in 2006, and over 40 percent of first-time homebuyers in 2005 not making any down payment at all. Nationally, the federal government stepped in and offered a solution that presented more risks than the problem it addressed: namely, not allowing certain companies, and even certain citizens, to fail. Yet capitalism was and is predicated on this idea of risk, and the chance for success and failure.

Bloomberg News columnist and author of The Forgotten Man Amity Schlaes points out that the taxpayer is the forgotten man in this equation – and you and I and all our constituents are put on the hook for more and more liabilities, many of which will certainly be passed onto our kids and their kids after them. On both a rhetorical and practical level, I’d ask you what happens when the federal government, indeed our nation, needs a bailout? Who bails out those who’ve bailed out everyone else?

Third and finally, I believe there are far better paths, albeit some less traveled by, to take than going and borrowing more money from the Chinese – whom we owe over an estimated $1.3 trillion plus already – to spend even more taxpayer dollars in a desperate attempt to catalyze a souring economy.

First among these preferable paths would be giving states relief from unfunded mandates – which have cost the fifty states $131 billion over the last four years, and my home state specifically around $500 million. These mandates include Real ID with its long-term $10 billion price tag for states, increasing the minimum wage costing states $200 million this year, No Child Left Behind’s $12.3 billion burden this year, regulations related to prescription drug plans that will cost states $95 million in 2010, bio-terrorism upgrades costing $167 million this year, and reductions in Federal Food Stamp funding costing states $200-300 million annually.  

My home state of South Carolina has not been immune to these national and global economic struggles. Still, last year alone we had over $4 billion in capital investment and are on pace for better than that this year. We’ve seen 147,000 more people start work since I took office in 2003, and we rank 15th in the nation in employment growth in that same time frame – well ahead of many states with lower unemployment rates, including Maryland, Massachusetts and New York. So while there are certainly opportunities for improvement from infrastructure to education in the state I represent, I’ll make clear once again that federally-restricted money from Washington D.C. isn’t the panacea I think some portray it to be.

In short, I’d ask members of the Committee to simply give the states more freedom. Give us more flexibility. Give us more in the way of control over the dollars we already have and less in the way of costs. Give us more options, not more money with federal strings attached.

Aurthur Laffer said that “whenever people make decisions when they are panicked, the consequences are rarely pretty.” If in fact this Committee has already succumbed to the financial panic of those pursuing a sensationalist story or increased governmental intervention, then, in closing, I beg of you: do not distribute this $150 billion into the economy only via the states, large corporations or another federal bailout. Give it back to the taxpayers.

Thank you for this opportunity to offer my humble perspective as it relates to the financial storm we find ourselves in, and the proposed stimulus package you may soon consider. Again, I appreciate your time and wish you all the best as you face the difficult task before you. I will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Sanford's political star rising: Governor on national stage with new leadership role; talk of 2012 By Yvonne Wenger


Saturday, November 15, 2008

john watson-riley/ap

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is interviewed Wednesday after arriving at the 2008 Republican Governors Association meeting in Miami. GOP governors gathered for a three-day conference.

Gov. Mark Sanford won his first national election Friday.

By the looks of it, being voted chairman of the Republican Governors Association won't be the two-term South Carolina governor's last ride on the national stage.

Sanford was about the only one in political circles who missed the buzz about this future Friday, as the GOP tries to find new leadership to pick itself up from a devastating Election Day defeat. The Washington Post dropped his name in a story Friday on a short list of potential GOP candidates for president in 2012.

He hadn't read it. He'd have to find a copy.

So, is he interested in the job?

Sanford: pause.

And finally, "I've learned that you never say never in life. My time in politics has been a strange collision of doors opening. It's not where I'm aimed, not where I'm focused, but you never say never."

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a fellow Republican, said he's happy for his longtime friend. They served in Congress together in the 1990s.

"Mark's election as head of the Republican Governors Association is a big personal honor for him," Graham said. "It speaks well of Mark because his colleagues see in him leadership qualities that will help rebuild the Republican Party. From the South Carolina point of view, we're all very proud of what Mark's been able to accomplish. This is a feather in South Carolina's hat. I know Mark will do a great job trying to expand our party's base and help rebuild the party.

"I think he is truly one of the Republican Party's young rising stars," Graham said.

Sanford's been doing a lot recently that will raise his national profile, including testifying before Congress in October to oppose the bailout plan and a CNN commentary earlier this week that highlighted his conservative values. Someone even created a Facebook page dedicated to "Mark Sanford President 2012."

Legislators, though, say privately that Sanford has been gearing up for a higher political office for quite some time and his public posturing is the source of a lot of their infighting.

Neal Thigpen, a political science professor at Francis Marion University, said much of what Sanford's known for in South Carolina is a push for ideologically driven principles that creates constant friction with the Legislature, and for that reason many people will be happy to see him leave the state.

"There's a number of people, particularly among the legislators, who believe that he's been a one-man wrecking crew in the state," Thigpen said.

Still, Sanford's abilities should not be taken for granted, Thigpen said. He came out of nowhere to win a seat in the U.S. House and easily won a first and second term as governor.

"You're crazy to bet against this guy," Thigpen said.

Conservatives didn't lose election, GOP did By Mark Sanford


Tue November 11, 2008

Gov. Mark Sanford says Republicans campaigned as conservatives but didn't govern that way.

Gov. Mark Sanford says Republicans campaigned as conservatives but didn't govern that way.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) -- For all Americans, this election represents another glass ceiling broken, and in the words of my 16-year-old, "That's very cool." The election of the first black president is an inspiring and transformational moment for our country.

I am happy for President-elect Barack Obama, and for many who supported him. They and, in many cases, their ancestors fought for this day for centuries as they experienced first-hand the unthinkable wrong of segregation. As an American, I wish him every success.

Beyond the presidential race, it goes without saying the Republican Party took a shellacking nationally. Some on the left will say our electoral losses are a repudiation of our principles of lower taxes, smaller government and individual liberty. But Tuesday was not in fact a rejection of those principles -- it was a rejection of Republicans' failure to live up to those principles.

I believe in the Biblical notion of taking the log out of your own eye before worrying about the splinter in someone else's. Accordingly, let me focus on my own party and the way Ted Stevens personifies what went wrong in the election.

As a senior ranking Republican from Alaska, he was a proud champion of pork barrel spending and bridges to nowhere, and stayed so long that he developed a blind eye to ethical lapses that would be readily seen by scout leaders and soccer moms alike.

Republicans have campaigned on the conservative themes of lower taxes, less government and more freedom -- they just haven't governed that way. America didn't turn away from conservatism, they turned away from many who faked it.

So during our "time in the wilderness," it's my hope that we go back to the basics of conservatism -- what it stands for and its real-world implications for people's lives. The sooner we do, the sooner we will see good policy from Republicans, and the sooner I suspect we will return to electoral favor.

A political party works much like a brand. Companies like Caterpillar and John Deere earn loyal customers by consistently delivering what they advertise -- they walk the walk. The same is true of brands like Fed-Ex, the Boy Scouts of America, or the Marine Corps.

I'm always struck by the degree to which the rank and file indeed know what they're about. I'm equally struck by the degree to which those in office don't always act on the same.

Chick-fil-a does not say to its franchisees, "However you want to cook the sandwiches is cool with me." They are precise in what they expect, and it's my hope going forward more conservatives in all corners of America will be equally precise and exacting in making sure their views are reflected by the party that supposedly represents them.

The time for doing so is short. President-elect Obama proposed $1 trillion in new spending on the campaign trail with no clear plan for paying for it. As a nation, we're on the hook for $52 trillion -- that represents an invisible mortgage of nearly $450,000 held by every household in America.

We've thrown $2.3 trillion toward bailouts and stimulus this year with little to show for it in the way of results, and Congress is already contemplating yet another $150 billion to now bail out states that spent faster than even the federal government. I fear an Obama administration will welcome this.

Borrowing from Medicare, Social Security, our grandkids and the Chinese to remedy a problem created by too much borrowing strikes me as odd, and hardly the "change" Americans really want. Accordingly, on these and other issues that involve borrowing to spend, I will work with others to change this kind of change.

History will prove that we live in remarkable times. As we prepare for the future, it's my hope that we take time for introspection as Republicans on where we go next as a party, and take time as Americans for reflection in appreciating the significance of turning part of Dr. Martin Luther King's dream into reality.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Gov. Mark Sanford.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Democrat-Controlled Congress Is A Bad Example

Build Wealth, Not Debt! by vwollny


February 29, 2008

This is the first America Saves Week. One of the most important goals of America Saves Week is to persuade low- and moderate-income Americans to open savings accounts. Many organizations are encouraging people to save and build wealth, not debt. This year’s focus is encouraging people to save through automatic transfers into a savings account.

The young, poor and minorities are least likely to have separate emergency savings funds. To date, more than 67,000 Americans have enrolled as Savers (at ) by committing to implement a detailed plan to achieve a specific savings goal. The most popular goal of these savers is building emergency savings.

See resources below for more information and ideas: