Saturday, June 30, 2012

Things to Know - 1 July

Antonin Scalia, Rush Limbaugh


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1.  Well it was bound to happen.  There are fissures in the fa├žade of the Republicans (starting with the Ron Paul faction), that maybe Willard Mitt Romney was not the wisest choice to run against Obama.  Look for more of this to distract Romney, and further disorient the internal gyroscope of his etch-a-sketch tablet.  If the subject gets any traction, there might even be a bit of drama in Tampa at the GOP convention:

2.  The Patient Protection Affordable Care Act is not just something that popped in with President Obama.  This article goes back to the beginnings, in Europe, and the early concepts at the Federal level with FDR, and Truman.  When you look at the totality of what came to fruition as a result of the SCOTUS ruling, you can appreciate the dynamics of the "momentous decision":
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/127/3/399.full

3.  Mitt Romney has an interesting invitation from an expert tax accountant to lay bare his IRS tax returns from 1984 to 1999, the years he was at Bain Capital.  A series of 5-questions could reveal to what extent Romney complied or purposely avoided taxes.  Sure, tax avoidance happens all the time, we all know that.  However, it is behavior that is acceptable by one who is running for the highest office in the land.  Let's get Mitt to show us his returns...all of them.  His dad did, and so did Bush, and Cheney, and Obama:

4.  This is an interesting article which shows you just how much things can change in a matter of days.  Yes, the ACA was supported by a majority of the Supreme Court, and yes the Transportation Bill and the Flood Insurance Bill, and an extension of low-interest student loans   were all approved.  Yes...stuff changes.  I am dreaming, but maybe we've reached bottom and are starting back.   Heck the Eurozone looks like it might actually function, housing is up, and the GOP is squabbling as to whether Mitt is their guy or not.  Bottom is something that you don't know where it was until you look back from a higher elevation.  Maybe we can see where forward is now.  Ya think?:

5. You may wonder why I have included this piece on the Security Housing Unit of Pelican Bay Prison.  It's not necessarily to bring you up to speed on how California tries to house and correct prisoners.  I bring it to you, to show you that...yes, the USA does a greater job of any other country in getting more people incarcerated than any other country.  We do not have the best educational or health care system - pretty mediocre now, but we sure can cram people into prisons.  This article is presented to show you one aspect of the correctional system (it applies to all states), and what it is that we as a nation are doing, how much it costs, and the extent of the resources expended.  If we spent more resources keeping people out of the prison system, and less on the actual incarceration, we may be a better place to live.   Sweeping the problems we create under the rug is dumb.  We spend more money on making the rug bigger, than the stability of the floor upon which it lays:

6.  Thomas Friedman gives Obama credit for thinking big and making the political gamble to make health care for all the big signature achievement a reality.  He now urges him to keep the ball rolling on thinking big and pushing for the big leadership ideas on the other issues in need of big political capital investment.  The country is starved for real leadership in moving the country forward.  Mealy-mouthed gestures and safe moves on the part of whoever is in charge just is not cutting it:

7.  This NY times editorial is putting a reality check on all of the print and praise about how how Chief Justice has turned the corner and legitimized the reputation and legacy of "His" court.   Nothing has really changed, and the court is still the same collection of 5 conservative boobs that were there before.  Don't be looking for any forward-looking changes any time soon:

8.  It's been a long time in coming, but I think that San Pedro's Ports of Call is finally getting back on track.   With the recent Crafted at Port of Los Angeles art center, and the opening of the WW II Battleship Iowa near Ports of Call, a revitalized community and tourist destination is about to change for the better.  Check it out next time you visit Los Angeles:

--
Juan

"One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways." 
       -- Bertrand Russell
"In heaven all the interesting people are missing." 
       -- Friedrich Nietzsche
"With Epcot Center the Disney corporation has accomplished something I didn't think possible in today's world. They have created a land of make-believe that's worse than regular life." 
       -- P. J. O'Rourke
"The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too." 
       -- Oscar Levant
"If there's nobody in your way, it's because you're not going anywhere."
       -- Robert F. Kennedy


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