SERVICE: Emailing gift cards and “wish lists” are a new techie trend



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Not that I’m panhandling for either. But this strikes me as the difference between “having a gift” and “giving a gift”.

Lot’s of very well-meaning loving relatives give me gifts. But do they really understand that it’s not necessary.

Holidays are a bad time. For a lot of people.

For me it begins in childhood when ANY holiday (didn’t matter; Saint Patrick’s Day, Fourth of July, Columbus Day) was for another occurrence of parents fighting. Usually with alcohol involved. So for as “happy a time” as it’s supposed to be, it’ll never be for me.

So call me Ebenezer, but I ain’t gonna be your typical “holiday person”.

It’s interesting thought that the techie trend for email gift cards and wish lists can make gifts STRANGELY more personal.

I always thought it was funny when her relatives gave Frau Reinke Barnes & Noble or Borders gift cards. ROFL! Actually I made out cause she give them to me. For safe keeping. (She lost everything.) Eventually, when I’d drag her kicking and screaming into a bookstore, usually for a “books on tape” (She never called them “on disc”?), I get something for me.

So here we have the technology solution to how to know what your recipient really really wants.

And, there’s a good search function for by name and town.

If your at loss, you can always email me a gift card. I’m an ITSJ (Yeah, I know it’s ISTJ, but as an IT guy, I like ITSJ. And no it’s not too profane.) And, I don’t like people much anyway. I’ll email you a TY. (TY = a quick Thank You; I can’t be bothered to type it all out.)

So is this “service” good or bad?

Time will tell.

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POLITICAL: Menedez’s excuses for getting nothing done

Dear Mr. Reinke:

Thank you for contacting me to express your views on whether Congress should enact a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution. I appreciate hearing from you on this critical issue and having the opportunity to respond.

I share your frustration and recognize that deficit spending and our accumulated debt must be addressed in a way that will substantially reduce the gap between our commitments and our resources. This will require a balanced approach to spending cuts; reforming tax policies, such as closing corporate tax breaks that allow oil companies to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes; and controlling health care costs.

I am committed to a balanced approach to reduce our nation’s deficits. In 2010, I voted to establish the Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action, similar to the Bowles-Simpson commission to review all aspects of the financial conditions of our government including tax policy and entitlement spending; I have supported budget enforcement measures like statutory PAYGO to control both spending and revenues; led the effort to cut $21 billion in unwarranted oil subsidies and supported saving almost $6 billion a year by cutting ethanol subsidies.

Recent proposals for balanced budget amendments would mandate that total federal expenditures may not exceed 18 percent of Gross Domestic Product, require a two-thirds vote to increase any revenues, and some proposals require a three-fifths roll call vote to increase the debt ceiling. These statutory requirements do not provide a balanced approach to reducing our deficits. These proposals would also include Social Security as part of the Federal budget for constitutional purposes and subject the program to caps on spending. This could lead to severe cuts in benefits and allows Social Security surpluses to be used to balance the budget.

I am extremely concerned about the impact that a balanced budget amendment would have on a weak economy or one in a recession. In an economic slowdown, federal revenues fall and spending for unemployment and other support programs increases. These benefits, known as automatic stabilizers, can soften a weak economy or prevent a recession turning into a depression. A strict balanced budget requirement could force either spending cuts or tax increases, which could make the slowdown worse and could, in turn, make the federal budget situation worse and force even more tax increases and/or spending cuts.

As your federal representative, I take very seriously my responsibility to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to enact sound fiscal policy that invests in our future and protects the economic security of our nation’s children.

Again, thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts on this important matter. Rest assured that I will keep your views in mind. I invite you to visit my website ( to learn more about how I am standing up for New Jersey families in the United States Senate.


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Of course, voting for “Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action”, when “Bowles-Simpson commission” delivered a workable solution, is a great way to claim credit for doing NOTHING but kicking the can down the road! That’s not representing me, or “standing up for New Jersey families”. imho!

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