Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Things to Know - 1 August

Stuart Carlson
1.   For the Romney campaign, he's going about the business of handling the press the wrong way.  He wont take questions, and he prefers to release no information.  He keeps reporters as far away as possible, and the process is pisses them all off.  This is going to be very bad for him in the long run:

2.  Back now to the legacy of gun massacres.   This short article points out what most people know - The secret that the NRA knows that nobody is trying to "take your guns away".  It is just a ginned up fear-mongering sound byte that the NRA cranks out whenever it suits their fancy.   The registration, over-sight on sales, prevention of ownership by people who are certifiably crazy or who may need closer inspection, and elimination of assault weapons, rocket launchers, etc - those measures are not "taking guns away":

3.  Apparently Mitt Romney, through his brand of back-door diplomacy, has managed to raise concerns with the Chinese about his grasp of history and foreign relations.   Mitt, you would do well to stay home, which ever casa you might want to call home.  Better yet, sleep in the barn at the horse ranch and start a Friends of Rafalca social media group:

4.  Well, it eventually had to leak out.  A Bain investor told Harry Reid that Romney did not pay ANY income taxes for 10 years.  There's a lot of time between now and the GOP convention in Tampa and then the election day in November.   When are the shoes going to start to drop?:

5.  About the only item that Romney can inspire about now is speculation on who is running mate will be.  He has not defined himself as yet, and he may never, so talk about his VP is the only thing he may have going for him.   Another label that MItt is working on his his status as the "Presumptive Republican......", and let's leave it right there.  Disregard the "nominee" part.....and just let him deal with being a Presumptive Republican:

6.  Thomas Friedman speculates on why the whole Romney foray into Israel could have just as well been done in Las Vegas, and saved a whole lot of gas and problems for Mitt:

7.  Maureen Dowd now has her turn in assessing Romney's visit to the world.  It is not pretty...well it's pretty funny if you look at it from one point of view, but it is a sad commentary about an individual who appears to have nothing going for him, and not offering any help in giving us any leads as to where to start looking:

8.  Prison guards who screw up on the job get fired.   Bankers and investors who screw up on the job......nothing happens to them.  Read this and see if you can understand why advocates for strict regulation of the financial industry argue it well, but the money and lobby campaigns would want you to believe otherwise:

"A man in love is incomplete until he has married. Then he's finished."
       -- Zsa Zsa Gabor
"Who is more busy than he who hath least to do?" 
       -- John Clarke
"There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it." 
       -- George Bernard Shaw
"The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization." 
       -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"I hate women because they always know where things are." 
       -- James Thurber

Back to our regularly scheduled programming


We apologize for the lapse in publishing The Juan Percent. After a thorough investigation, we identified and rectified the issue and retroactively published the missing entries. We were able to determine that the snarky comments regarding the expected Republican candidate for the Presidency were not the cause of the auto-publishing breakdown. Yay free speech.

Please feel free to notify the IT administrators for the blog, Juan and Sirinya, know if there are further issues.
Juan and Sirinya

Monday, July 30, 2012

Things to Know - 31 July


This is a big day for Elizabeth - no....not the Queen.   Yes, you should know...

Pat Oliphant

1.  Romney goes to Israel and he rattles sabres to draw attention.  Foolish and unwise is an apt description:

2.  This guy has an idea of how to avoid wasting precious ad budgets on combatting annoying GOP political nasties and use that money to register voters in a massive and visible way to get and maintain voters rights while at the same time shaming the GOP for trying to suppress the basic right of voters:

3.  Romney on his tour to demonstrate his grasp of the world and all stuff foreign makes a predictable pander at the conservative block of Netanyahu and Likud.  So, if that was his agenda, he did it with no demonstrable gaffe.   However, sabre rattling and bully talk directed at Iran serves nothing to open any avenues to solving issues through diplomacy.  Romney did  succeed in pissing off the Palestinians with indirect racism and bigotry.   Does Romney pretend to know anything about foreign relations, statesmanship, or diplomacy?:

4.  You do recall the banks that sold homes to people who they knew could not pay for them?   You do....Well then you have no problem understanding the "for-profit colleges" who might be accepting (read - selling) ed. programs to students who have no business or way of completing the curricula.  In order to make lots of money, the schools sell as many courses to as many as they can, knowing that they are going to get paid by the federal government even if the kids drop out.  Once again, greed motivates unscrupulous business practices:

5.  While in Israel, Romney made much praise about their health program, appearing not to know a darn thing about their top-tier 48% tax bracket and the extent of how socialized their medical care is.   You'da thunk he would have researched this, or if he did, he must not have caught on:

6.  Eugene Robinson wraps up much of Mitt's problems on his world foreign affairs tour, although he did leave some stuff out.  This is a good one if you have missed the day-by-day folly, and want to catch up:

7.  David Brooks presents an good view point.  He suggests that this presidential campaign is the dullest and most boring in a long time.  Lacking in substance, subject matter, and intellectual gravitas.  Well, I agree.  And it is Mitt Romney's fault - all of it.  He is the challenger, and he is the one who has to bring stuff to the table to talk about, and so far he has done nothing.  He hides anything of interest, or he denies stuff he's said in the past.  He is an empty suit, and he brings nothing that invigorates a presidential discussion:

8.  Speculation on Romney's Financial Mystery only continues and looms larger every day.   Might as well keep up with the speculation, and provide these links to see just what he might have done, and how crucial it is to see what is in the returns:


"The glory of great men should always be measured by the means they have used to acquire it." 
       -- Francois de La Rochefoucauld
"I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world." 
       -- Oscar Wilde
"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning." 
       -- Rick Cook
"It is a good morning exercise for a research scientist to discard a pet hypothesis every day before breakfast. It keeps him young." 
       -- Konrad Lorenz

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Things to Know - 30 July

Clay Bennett
1.  The tone of the presidential campaign is going to be defined by money.  Super Pac money.   If you recall John Kerry in his quest did not respond to all the negative definitions that the Karl Rove threw at him, and never got back on track.  Money is dirty, particularly since Citizens United enabled corporations and wealthy individuals to secretly pour huge (millions and millions) into the election process.  Karl Rove bundles all of this money and floods the media with negative (read - untruthful) messaging.  The loyal opposition (Obama) cannot sit back and depend on the average voter to be able to vote intelligently.  Being out-budgeted and out-spent, Obama must make the bang for the buck.  Fortunately, Romney has provided enough gaffes and disingenuous behavior on tape and audio for an endless "attack ad".   This is where we are headed for the rest of the campaign:

2.   A look at Obama, Hillary, and Romney.  Romney has been prepping 6 years for his bid to be president.  If his thud in the UK is a result of poor preparation, no preparation, or just Mitt being Mitt, either way, he has not demonstrated any ability to be commander-in-chief:

3.  For what it is worth (probably worthless), Dick Cheney says that picking Palin was a mistake.  Nothing newsworthy about that, except that we can probably expect Mama Grizzly to respond in some manner:

4.  Are you ready to sit down with Justice Antonin Scalia to talk about hand-held rocket launchers, that can take down aircraft, and how they may or may not be covered under the 2nd Amendment?   Wayne LaPerrier is going to have to change the name of his group to the National Rocket Association if this keeps up:

5.  EJ Dionne plays out a good reason that Romney and the Republicans are in a go-for-broke strategy that includes any and all shenanigans, untruths (lies), and fear-mongering.   This is the last stand for the GOP, and all money is riding on the guy who dances with horse:

6.  We interrupt the nasty sound bytes, gotchas, and misspeaking of the presidential campaign to bring you this news - the Earth is slowly burning up.  Alternate routes and behavior is advised:

7.  Mitt Romney and his Repulsivcants are going all out on the War on Women:


"To pretend, I actually do the thing: I have therefore only pretended to pretend." 
       -- Jacques Derrida
"I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it." 
       -- Garrison Keillor
"There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said it." 
       -- Cicero
"A stitch in time would have confused Einstein." 
       -- Unknown

Fwd: Things to Know - 29 July

Jeff Danziger
1.  This article comes very close to truth about why Mitt Romney is so unlikable.  He has spent probably millions for his wife to have a horse compete at the Olympic level.  When questioned on national TV about the subject, he does a very poor job about not knowing anything about the sport, and how he really does not know when the competition happens.  Like he wants to completely distance himself from appearing to be close to something called "Dressage", and its proximity to the wealthy 1% who are the only ones who can afford it.   Mitt comes across, again, as a phony - and that is his problem.   Just like he does not want anyone to know about his tax returns:

2.  While MItt was kicking his wife under the horse ballet bus, he was out hob-knobbing with the LIBOR scandal-ridden bankers and collecting checks from them for his campaign.  Either he has no same, he is stupid, or totally lacking in common sense - or is a mixture of all above:

3.  Thom Hartmann fills us in on a few interesting stories on what would otherwise be a slow weekend for news:

4.  Drew Westen offers a plausibile cause if Obama should lose the election.  He did not capitalize on opportunities that were presented to him at key times.  It isn't that the Republicans or Romney have anything going for them:

5.  Maureen Dowd does a great job in analyzing Mitt's latest gaffes in London.  He can't help it; he's programmed himself to be like that:

6.  As a result of the Supreme Court decision on ACA, some states will view the option to join in and expand Medicaid will see it as an option to bail out on it, and thereby leave millions without any healthcare.   So who gets stuck? - charities, institutions, and the taxpayer:


"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators." 
       -- P. J. O'Rourke
"Another unsettling element in modern art is that common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done before." 
       -- Edith Wharton
"He who builds a better mousetrap these days runs into material shortages, patent-infringement suits, work stoppages, collusive bidding, discount discrimination--and taxes."" 
       -- H. E. Martz
"Traffic signals in New York are just rough guidelines." 
       -- David Letterman

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Things to Know - 26 July

1.  This is actually a carry-over from what should have gone out for 25 July. It has merit to be attempted again.  The Congressional Budget Office clearly points out that ACA does reduce the budget deficit - just part of the nagging that the Republicans find uncomfortable in their campaign to repeal "Obamacare":

2.  The Aurora massacre highlights an example of what the Affordable Care Act is created to assist, and it puts a face and an actual event to bring it all home:

3.  In Arizona - seemingly the site of the most extreme right-wing zealots, as of late - there is a Tea Bagger leader who is picking a fight with John McCain for his denouncement of Michelle Bachmann and her latest looney-tunes tirade.   The extreme-right is bashing the Republicans, which should present an interesting conundrum for Mitt Romney on how he responds, if questioned on his this.   What will Romney say?  Does he know what to say?:

4.  The incompetent and confused come together in the Romney campaign.   Off to Jolly old England, and doing their best to convince the Brits that they are foreign diplomats with no peer, the comment that Mitt Romney has " a better understanding of Anglo-Saxon heritage" than his opponent......   well stop right there.  It's just too painful to watch F-Troop try and be what they ain't:

5.  Paul Krugman withdraws to a higher view of the campaign and shows that Romney's insistence that he is the best man for the job because he knows how to run a business has nothing to do with the qualifications of being president.  The Nation is Not a Business.   Maybe Mitt should be running for president of the US Chamber of Commerce, but that is about all he should be allowed to do.  His demonstrated lack of people skills and his disregard for demands that he be more transparent about his tax returns, are just but two flaws in his character.:

6.  Regarding the Romney campaign's "Anglo-Saxon Heritage" comment, the resulting confusion of denials and Keystone Cop coordination of who said what, the embarrassment is just an indication that they have no idea what they are doing:

7.  Honestly, Romney has no idea what the sequestration arrangement that the Republicans put into place last year is about.  Either that, or he figures that he can just lie his way around an inconvenient truth - which is pretty much what he is always doing:

8. a Political figure in the presidential campaign has come forth and mentioned that a specific step should be undertaken to start curbing gun violence.  The mere mention like this is not, in itself going to start up a program overnight, but it does show that bringing up an action that goes contrary to the NRA wishes is possible, and may in fact draw overt support:


"Few people can see genius in someone who has offended them." 
       -- Robertson Davies
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." 
       -- Albert Einstein
"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision." 
       -- Eleanor Roosevelt
"Why is this thus? What is the reason for this thusness?" 
       -- Artemus Ward

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Things to Know - 25 July


Some time at about 2230, last night, I had a major unexplainable deletion, that wiped out my entry for today.  I had been drafting it since the morning, and reading and picking up pieces along the day.  I have no idea where it went.  It did not show up anywhere.  If this has ever happened to you before in Gmail, maybe you can explain it to me.  I draft this all day long, and then  put the mailing addresses in at the end.  There is always a DRAFT copy, but that disappeared, and nothing in the trash, or anywhere - zip into cyberspace.   I find it too late to reconstruct anything, and I am just going to kiss it off.  I might add a cartoon, but that is it for now.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Things to Know - 24 July

Matt Wuerker
1.  Mitt Romney is his own enemy.  He has his refusal to release any additional tax information, that is going to raise speculation on what he is hiding.  However, his part performances, pronouncements, and statements on what he supports and stands for are contrary to what he is saying now, which emphasizes his Etch-a-Sketch reputation.  Most damaging is the record video and audio history, that has captured him in the past, and which he cannot escape.  This is a 20-minute presentation of all of his flip-flops.   There is nothing negative about them - no slander - no edited re-arrangement, no chicanery - just Mitt being the congenital misspeaker (do we hear Liar):

2.  Russell Pearce (remember him - the crazy right-wing state Senator from Arizona?), well here he is again putting blame on the victims in the Aurora movie theater for not having guns to stop the killer.  Freedom of Speech is grand - Freedom to be stupid is included:

3.  Speculation on Romney's finances is all that we can process, and to that end, each day brings forth another plausible tid-bit for you dining and dancing pleasure:

4.  Thom Hartmann fills us in on a few other interesting stories:

5.  Richard Cohen points out that it is not what is in Romney's tax returns that is criminal or illegal.  It is the mere fact that he does not want to to - just plain refuses.  That in itself says enough about what kind of regular guy he is.  It would take months to deconstruct all of his returns, but one thing is sure is that he lives on another planet than we do.  I personally would prefer someone who puts up with the same issues regarding earning money, saving money, and paying taxes...kind of like I do:

6.  David Brooks presents his views on on the melee killing and drifts away from the sociological blames, and concentrates on the psychological reasons, which is probably describes most of the perpetrators that have created the most sensational incidents.  It does offer a point to begin talking about fixes to the problem.   Why is it that weapons, munitions, and explosives can be legally purchased by disturbed people?   Who can tell who is and who is not disturbed prior to a massacres?   Why does anyone need to have an arsenal, in the first place?  Okay....start talking about the common ground and the fixes:

7.  Just keep talking:

8.  Nobel Prize winning Economist, Joseph Stiglitz, has written a book, The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future, which I am working on right now.  You should make yourself familiar with the concepts that he promotes here in his article:


"Computer games don't affect kids, I mean if Pac Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music." 
       -- Marcus Brigstocke
"To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes may be the biggest mistake of all." 
       -- Peter McWilliams
"In great affairs men show themselves as they wish to be seen; in small things they show themselves as they are." 
       -- Nicholas Chamfort
"Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing." 
       -- Redd Foxx

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Things to Know - 23 July

Signe Wilkinson
1.   Privatization is a the catch phrase for taking a public provided service and turning it into a for-profit business.  States have been interested in this concept on many of the services in provides (schools, prisons, managing parks, etc), because it has the concept of taking employees off the rolls of benefits and pensions, thus saving the state money.   Many state prisons are already into this program, and offer data as to how this system is working.   This article addresses that topic.  As time goes on, and the squeeze for profits takes effect, we'll see how this runs:

2.  The Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department reacts to the Aurora killings.   He's concerned that it will all fade into the back ground, and nothing will happen - because nothing ever happens.   Please watch and listen to him as one who deals with the proliferation of guns in the streets on daily basis:

3.  The tragic situation of a spouse who was honest in dealing with his terminally-wife, and is punished by society for his actions.  He is eventually released, but this story by Steve Lopez is another example of how our community and laws does not handle this issue very well.  Some states have made an brave attempt to be compassionate and understanding, while others just shut it all off.   It does take political leadership to make things right.  Don't expect this from Obama, Romney, the Democrats, or the GOP.  At least there is not an NRA Tank blocking mercy killings - the NRA just likes to sell the stuff that kills, and scare the hell out of you if you are stupid enough to swallow their reasoning.   So, now we have a couple of subjects that need to be constantly discussed in pursuit of better fixes:

4.  Upon research and reading various sources to select for this stuff, I run into some real crap as well as some interesting off the wall stuff not normally found on mainstream sources.  Here is one that reveal that the Church of Jest Christ of Latter Day Saints has an active involvement in the online sale of unregulated weapons, and it is a big operation.   Why would any church, in this case the Mormons, want to be involved?:

5.  As the world turns, the albatross of no tax return information is not helping Romney at all, but the member of the Republican Party, in attendance at the Tampa convention are concerned that the liability is also theirs to bear, and if they should do something about it:

6.  "Trickle down Theory"....is true.  It all drips into off-shore tax havens.  You know, the more I read about Romney's financial affairs, and the system of hiding money - and this happens in all countries - you can better understand how the cheap bastards who have the world's wealth operate.   The system is nothing more than a selfish non-patriotic way of avoiding taxation by which the rest of of little people support the infrastructure at home.  Romney is nothing more than an example of that breed.  The whole lot of them just suck:

7.  Record high temperatures, violent changes in weather, floods, drought and subsequent crop failures....they all go hand in hand with the public reaction to gun massacres.   Nothing happens to try and fix things, because it takes too much work and political capital.  Paul Krugman looks at the blocks by climate change deniers to effectively start the fixes.   What does it take?:

8.  This LA Times article points to some admirable positions Romney took as Governor in Massachusetts when he outlawed assault weapons.  However, since running for higher office, the old etch-a-sketch has modified and altered his pronouncements to curry favor with the NRA tank.   Obama, has been shameless in his support of anything that would appear to resolve the problems - but that is no different than any other elected official's aversion to going against the Tank.  Maybe Romney can be asked to explain his inconsistencies now:


"For aught that I could ever read, could ever hear by tale or history, the course of true love never did run smooth." 
       -- William Shakespeare
"Nothing surely is as potent as a law that may not be disobeyed. It has the force of the water drop that hollows the stone. A small dainty task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules." 
       -- Anthony Trollope
"People who reach the top of the tree are only those who haven't got the qualifications to detain them at the bottom." 
       -- Peter Ustinov
"Spare no expense to save money on this one." 
       -- Samuel Goldwyn

NRA Takes Leadership on Violence



FAIRFAX, Va. (The Borowitz Report)—Saying it was "high time to take action against the number one cause of violence in America," the National Rifle Association issued a statement today urging a sweeping ban on movies.

Tracy Klugian, an official spokesperson for the gun-lobbying organization, said that the N.R.A. had taken this extraordinary step because it "could not stand idly by and watch movies tear apart the fabric of our civil society."

To that end, Mr. Klugian said, the N.R.A. would use money from its PAC, the N.R.A. Political Victory Fund, to support politicians who favored a ban on filmed entertainment.

In the hours after the N.R.A.'s announcement, politicians on both sides of the aisle were quick to applaud the group for identifying what it called "a long overdue need for movie control."

"It is time for us to stop the madness," said Speaker of the House John Boehner. "As a first step, I am proposing legislation that would impose a two-year waiting period and background check before one is allowed to see a Hollywood release."

Minutes later, the White House said that the Speaker's proposal was "a good first step, but does not go far enough," arguing that Congress had to "take a hard look at whether superhero costumes and masks should continue to be legal."

All in all, the N.R.A.'s Klugian said he was "cautiously optimistic" that the organization's call for new legislation would be heeded "because our message finally seems to be getting through: Guns don't kill people. Movies kill people."

Read more 


"When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him." 
       -- Thomas Szasz
"The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all." 
       -- H. L. Mencken
"They used to photograph Shirley Temple through gauze. They should photograph me through linoleum." 
       -- Tallulah Bankhead
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it." 
       -- Yogi Berra

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Things to Know - 22 July

Banking Bad
1.   EJ Dionne takes the first step in beginning an important dialogue - gun control:

2.  The banking and finance industry is so weird, varied, and confusing that we little people don't really pay much attention to what it is really doing and how it does it.  It does, however, effectively handle and control all the money that makes the world go around.  Much of it can be, and is, unsavory and illegally obtained.  HSBC is a British Banking institution, so you might wonder what it has to do with us.  Well, it has enough that the US Senate is looking into their lack of monitoring money laundering.   You probably thought that dirty money was only run through the little mom-and-pop business of questionable profitability to hide drug money.  Well that is one way....but the big boys can do the same game with nice big brick and mortal buildings with well dressed business people in effect doing the same thing.  Here is an example of what HSBC is guilty of.   Recall, that it is legislation and enforcement that Republicans -  pushed by the bankers that own them, and paid to stop.   Elizabeth Warren and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is strongly pushing to do the right thing, since the SEC is in essence the lackeys of the banking system:

3.  Someone else, besides me, get a bit frustrated at what passes for news programming these days.  Since my surgery, I have a lot of time available to catch NBC and CBS in the morning.   I have to say that I have given up on The Today Show in favor of the CBS Morning Show, with Charlie Rose, Gayle King, and Erica Hill.  The format is clean, fresh, and circular with a decent amount of time spent with very a-list guests.   NBC continues in its tired and linear format, trying to push as much content through 2-3 minute vignette, that nothing really sticks.  Especially amusing is following a chef make a marinated pork roast, complete with potatoes and anjou-stuffed eggplant, with a marinara sauce - all in about 2:35 seconds, followed quickly by a glitzy fashion show of lady's eye-liners and handbags, a local weather report and then a 2:13 second discussion and book review of whoever is the latest celebrity passing through on the book-sellers circuit.  Turn over to CBS and Charlie Rose, and you get great content and classy presentation.  Oh, well, that is my opinion.   Now, if things are still not done (drafting of this piece), there is the 10:00am slot, which gets a serious review here:

4.  Lining up the troops for the Tienanmen stand against the NRA Tank begins, and hopefully it continues:

5.  Here's a great what-if? column that does some serious speculation on just how far Romney can swindle the growing Republican resentment of his "presumptive" status:

6.  Often, the discussion of Capitalism and Nationalism gets all mixed up, and this article makes a good case in the need to understand the differences to explain on how we screw things up:

7.  Bill Keller says that if Obama plays his cards well, he's got the Republicans over a barrel - a barrel that the GOP created, and is now realizing that they are screwed.  If anything is done to help, it will be Obama who has all the marbles:

8.  If nothing else happens this week. Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona's trial will provide the necessary entertainment in the theater of the public interest:


"As I grow older , I regret to say that a detestable habit of thinking seems to be getting a hold of me." 
       -- H. Rider Haggard
"Even he, to whom most things that most people would think were pretty smart were pretty dumb, thought it was pretty smart." 
       -- Douglas Adams
"Politics is made up largely of irrelevancies." 
       -- Dalton Camp
"There are more pleasant things to do than beat up people." 
       -- Muhammad Ali