Press Release (RP)

Sochi, Krasnodar Krai (RP) - The now-disbanded "Voting Integrity Commission" launched by the Trump administration uncovered no evidence to support claims of major voter fraud, according to an analysis of administration documents released Friday. Once translated into English, the documents revealed that the highly-touted team, led by Russian mathematician Gregor Yukuvlevich Perlman, discussed the possibilities for over an hour at each of the bimonthly meetings that ran from January through March in the picturesque resort town overlooking the Black Sea.

The conclusion that no major fraud occurred seems to have left a void of information about whether minor voter fraud occurred, what the difference between major and minor voter fraud might be and how well major and minor translate into Russian. When questioned about this discrepancy the translator had to excuse herself for personal reasons, and Perlman - whose ability to speak English tends to fluctuate - was unable to effectively communicate well enough to finish the press conference.

Washington, DC (RP) - A "Federal Commission on School Safety" has been launched by the Trump administration in response to the increasing number of tragedies involving guns, students and teachers. Department of Education Chief Betsy DeVos announced that the newly-formed commission will not look at the role of guns in school violence, disregarding the fact that so far in 2018, at the rate of one incident per week, school shootings have caused the death of at least thirty-seven students and adults, as well as at least thirty-one serious injuries.

The Education Honcho also is seeking to eliminate 29 discretionary programs and declares that "our commitment to spending taxpayer dollars wisely and efficiently by consolidating and eliminating duplicative and ineffective federal programs that are better handled at the state or local level." In other words, 'Instead of working to make education more effective by consolidating and standardizing and regulating our nation's education at the national level, I choose to continue to cop out, put my head in the sand, be a traitor to the very concept of education and admit that dutifully doing the job I am being paid to do is way beyond me or anyone on my team.'

Menlo Park, CA (RP) - Mark Zuckerberg was admitted into Stanford Hospital today suffering from stress-induced heart palpitations after an historic and impassioned plea from President Obama has reduced traffic on facebook by more than half! In his twenty-minute address on national TV, President Obama masterfully explained how the Russians were able to affect our last election and how they might be planning to again interfere in what may be the most important election in our nation's history.

Our forty-fourth president also detailed how Zuckerberg and others have amassed fortunes by duping America and the world into being his product, for which he pays nothing, while selling them and selling to them. Obama's pleas to not log into facebook at least until after the election have hit home with a large percentage of the electorate, leaving facebook personnel reeling, as this company built on little more than air and an idea possesses nothing tangible upon which to stand.

NYC, NY (RP) - Roger Goodell delivered his "State of the League" address yesterday, emphasizing the strength and health of the NFL. The bewildered Commissioner focused on player safety, claiming "We can remove the violence from an inherently violent game without adversely affecting the product", comparing the negligibly noticeable difference between drinking a non-alcoholic beer and imbibing in your favorite draught. This, about a game in which one of the primary goals is to hurl a participant to the ground against their will.

Goodell also defended his continued attempts to place a team in London in hope of securing his legacy as the Commissioner that made football a global sport, despite the clear indications that Europe loves soccer, few NFL players want to live in England, the 'N' in 'NFL' stands for 'National' or that the sport -while still popular - is clearly in decline, making further expansion a fool's game.

Washington, DC (RP) - Protests unlike any we have seen since the days of Nixon hiding in his office and peering at America's youth through parted curtains continue in DC as thousands of demonstrators chanted "Real News. Fake President." The group repeated the mantra for close to twelve non-stop hours today before finally breaking for the evening.

An eerie feeling of a creepy Halloween tinted the day, as trump masks, memes, altered photos and a wave of orange wigs dotted and decorated the landscape. It was reported that upon viewing the uprising the president's initial response was to claim a win for himself, seeing it as a sign that America unmistakably loves him and his hair! Accordingly, plans to construct a one-panel White House Walk of Fame with a new bigger star commemorating trump's achievements during and before his time in the White House were quickly drawn and funded; construction has begun.

All You Need is Love
and enough money

The only time money is an issue is when there isn't enough money. Nowhere in life is this more true than within the confines of a marriage. As Winter melts into Spring and your June wedding draws near, now is a good time to do some planning; before all the planning begins!

Love is many splendored thing, the old song tells us. What it doesn't give us a clue about, is that it is also a business. Once married, every purchase and every payment will affect you both, your finances now forever intertwined for good or for bad. For most of us, the biggest purchases of our life will be made together, and money decisions from whether or not to spend $6 for a darn latte to how much to spend on bedroom furniture are a daily part of married life. After a divorce, bankruptcy, remarrying, buying a few businesses and several houses, this practiced husband offers a few simple strategies to help prevent money - or the lack of it - from becoming one of the challenges you have to face in your marriage.

Talk about money now. Money issues have broken up more than one engagement, and if it is going to happen it would be better now than after you've spent thousands toward the wedding. Talk about your visions of marriage money management to learn about each other's initial expectations, giving you a basis upon which to build.

Sometimes couples try to keep things separate, each paying half of the rent and portioning out the bills. If you make about the same amount of money and it is more money than you need, this can work, but usually at some point it just becomes easier to break down and open that joint checking account … which is the first thing you should do ASAP. Even if one or more of you is planning to alter their last name after the wedding you can still open a joint checking account now and print whatever names you want on the checks, as the bank mostly uses your social security number. (You'll have to come back to the bank with the official change of name form later.) Either each put a hundred dollars in the account and leave it dormant until after the nuptials, or go for it and put the money for the wedding in that account and spend madly. Either way, having this done ahead of time will make things easier after the honeymoon.

If you are already cohabitating this will be a bit easier than if you aren't yet: Make a household budget. Don't put it off any longer! If you will be moving into a new place you will have to estimate utilities, and you should estimate high. Add estimates for groceries, going out, car and student loan payments, car insurance, repairs and gas. Now add another two hundred dollars for groceries because that has to include toilet paper and soap too. OK - add it up. Now without worrying about who is going to contribute how much, in simple arithmetic, do you together make more than the total of your budget? If the answer is no, or we might be able to squeak by, do not get married. Or rent a much cheaper apartment or sell a car or make more money. But do not enter into a marriage with built-in money problems - you won't make it. Remember: All You Need is Love - and enough money.

Once your projected income is a bigger number than your projected expenses, talk about how each of you will participate in money management. Who will pay the bills and how will that be done so that you never miss a payment and you both have access? What kind of records will you keep; paper, digital, or both? Who will keep them and how will they be archived? Your roles can change as often as needed over the course of a marriage - just make sure someone is doing things in a way that makes you both comfortable.

Be very careful with credit cards. It isn't a competition and more isn't always better. You may want to have a joint card attached to your joint account and you may want to each have a couple other cards. Pay attention to the interest rate on each and only use them for emergencies unless you can pay them off as each statement arrives. If you don't have a credit card yet and not enough of a credit record to get one, obtain a 'secured credit card'. The idea is that you send the credit card company a couple hundred dollars and they send you a credit card that you can use as long as the balance owed on the card is less than the amount you sent them. Just charge what you can afford to pay off each month, even if it is just a soda, and your credit rating will rise.

As much as you can, whenever you can, pay a little extra. This goes for mortgages, car payments and credit card payments. During the first few years of a mortgage almost everything you send is applied to the interest you owe the bank, and very little is applied to the principal amount. For example, on an initial mortgage payment of $1073, $833 goes to the bank, and only $240 is deducted from the amount you borrowed. An extra $20/month subtracts another $240/year from the principal and the bank gets none of that. Credit cards are a bigger trap because the interest rate is three or four times as much as it is on your home loan. That $300 tablet will cost you $400 or more if you don't pay extra on that bill.

Open a separate vacation savings account and put at least $5 into it each paycheck, no matter what.

Pay someone to do your taxes that really knows how to do taxes. If they can't figure out how to save you enough to pay for their services, find someone else.

Beware of things that only cost $12/month or three EZ payments of $19.99. One day you can be doing fine, living within your budget, life is good. A month later you don't have enough to pay the light bill, your partner is giving you that look, and all you did was add HBO to the cable service, buy some awesome team tailgate gear you saw on TV, and donate $25 to PBS. What went wrong? If you want to have HBO, add it to the budget, make sure the numbers are still OK, and discuss it with your spouse. A decision made together cannot come back to haunt only one partner. That's Marriage 101.

If you are lucky enough to work for an organization that offers any sort of IRA or other retirement plan, join immediately and contribute until it hurts. You have your whole life and marriage ahead of you now and retirement is something for old people. In two clicks of a mouse your kids will be grown and gone, and that account might be the difference between retiring comfortably and merely existing.

Marriage can be a truly fulfilling way of life and you love each other too much to mess it up over money. Accept the fact that the love of your life is also a business partner. Talk about the business fairly often; have meetings and go over the numbers. By working to stay on the same page about your business/money with your partner, you may very well be saving your marriage.

A graduate of Portland State University, Steve (Reeno) Kloser is the author of Beginning Band - A Guide to Success and Let's Make Music - Classroom Recorder Course. He is also an accomplished teacher, conductor and composer, having penned numerous pieces including La Vida and Fly With Me.

Teacher, cook, Packers fan and proud American, Reeno's usually slanted outlook often presents an unlikely perspective on issues old and new.

Reeno currently lives in Portland, OR.

Follow Reeno on Twitter

Some Will Go To College - All Will Go Through Life complete as a .pdf
School is for Winning
as a .pdf

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The Malicious Commish
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All Hail the Chancellor
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Trump and the Big Leagues
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To Insure Promptness in the Age of Entitlement
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Being Mean to Kids!
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School is for Winning
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The League You Need
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Seven Words
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Some Go To College - All Go Through Life pt1
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Some Go To College - All Go Through Life pt2
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Some Go To College - All Go Through Life pt3
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Leaders in School
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The Grass is NOT Always Greener
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