Sunday, September 30, 2012

Things to Know - 1 October

       Rob Rogers
1.  From the Rochester, MN news bureau, I stand corrected on, not my misspelling, but using the wrong homophonous word in yesterday's #1.:
Juan .... not "reigning in costs"....   "reining in costs".  A misspelled word jumps off the page for me...The school teacher in me "reigns" ... 

2.   It's getting difficult finding stuff of real interest to put into this project, as far as the election goes.   Obama seems to be recognizing that he made many mistakes in his first year, and assumed stuff that he should not have taken for granted.  However, the Romney campaign is so bad that his Mittness is the reason for the widening decline in his poll numbers.  Most of the discussion is now about poll numbers and what Willard needs to do to get on track.  Seriously, he's been running for this job for 6 years, and he's still trying to get his campaign on track?  The real story is about how his poor performance is dragging down the rest of the GeeOpee candidates on the ballot, and who is cutting out on him, and where Rove will throw the next batch of Super Pac money, now that it appears that throwing more money after bad is really a poor investment.  The close advisers to his Mittenship say that he has to really step out there and let the voters get to know him as a kind hearted caring person.....like isn't that what he was supposed to have done 6 years ago, not 38 days before the election.  Hamilton Beach and Cuisinart kitchen products have undertaken a new model of toaster - called the Romney - you stick it in, and 47% of the slice of bread is ignored, while the rest of the slice basks in bagel-like radiance.   Willard is all toast now:

3.  I mean, every pundit is finding difficulty in making any eloquence in beating a dead horse.  Ross Douthat of the NY Times is not usually on the same side of the with Krugman, but his column is not exactly basking with any hope for Mitt:

4.  Circling the wagons around a wounded warrior is an admirable and honorable way of protecting a fellow member of the tribe.  However, when the wagons are under the direction of the religious affiliation of the wounded warrior, who is the guy running for president, a whole new apprehension of the meaning of "cult" creeps into the conversation:

5.  Sheldon Adelson - of course we remember him.   Flush with money from his various casinos, has ponied up $70 Mil. for his favorite pet project (help Romney defeat Obama).   He's no different than the Koch Brothers who are investing in continuing Big Energy legislative cronyism.   Sheldon sees himself as the Presumptive Poo Bah Ambassador to Macau for his investment:

6.  Remember when Mitt was trying to explain away his white lies on his false facts in his campaign ads, by stating that "what is good for the goose is also sauce for the gander?".   Our intrepid staff has found the source of that statement, and it goes back to a time in Mitt's personal development course at Bain when he was so taken by this video.  Polls have shown the goose has a favorability rating over Willard by the same margin he has with African Americans - zero to 100%:

7.  Meanwhile, the Jack-in-the Box VP candidate that Mitt picked was having his own difficulties.   Given the soft-ball under had lob by Fox's Chris Wallace, Ryan cannot find the integrity and seriousness to answer a serious question.   Mitt and Paul are either not ready for prime time, or are so over their heads that they fail to pass the bar exam on suitability to run, let alone hold, public office:

8.  This NY Times editorial is good and sad news for Romney.   The medical plan that he put into operation in Massachusetts, and what Obama care was modeled on, is working to reduce health care costs, while setting standards to improve and maintain a higher level of health care.  It is working, and it is good news.  The sad news for Romney is that he disavows it all in his gleeful pandering he took to chum with the TeaPublicans.  The other good news is that the PRIVATE sector (the insurance companies) are taking it upon themselves to make it work.  Blue Shield and the rest of them can see the handwriting on the wall, and are astute enough to get with the program that they should have bought into many decades ago.  The program in Massachusetts should set the tone on how "Obama Care" should work out.  What was something that Romney could have used very well to his advantage in his quest, has been squashed by the draconian tea-bag two step the the GeeOpee mistakenly adopted:

9.  Paul Krugman closes it out today in the spirit of realistic punditry, and getting to the next plateau on where the Obama administration goes from here.   If the Second Act of President Obama is going to do anything, it should listen to Mr. Krugman this time.  It ignored his advice that the "stimulus" (properly know as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009), was too small and not bold enough.  Professor Krugman points out some good advice for Act II:

--
Juan

"We always felt as if every show was the most important thing in the world, but knew if we bombed, we'd live." 
       -- Raymond Joseph Teller
"Technology adds nothing to art. Two thousand years ago, I could tell you a story, and at any point during the story I could stop, and ask, Now do you want the hero to be kidnapped, or not? But that would, of course, have ruined the story. Part of the experience of being entertained is sitting back and plugging into someone else's vision." 
       -- Penn Jillette
"The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank." 
       -- Dante Gabriel Rossetti
"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." 
       -- Napoleon Bonaparte

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Things to Know - 30 September

      
1.  This is a news article.  To that, I am adding my own opinion.  The problem of public sector services in this country have come under fire, usually by ALEC aficionados and related right wingers.  There is a problem where the cost to supply services are burdening the city or county budgets as a result of long-standing work agreements and benefits that over-burden an already beaten down community as a result of recessions and other problems not of their own making.  This provides a challenge to find a way of keeping the necessary services in place, while reigning in costs in a way that does not alienate the confidence and integrity the community has with the employees of those services.   The automatic response from one sector is to Privatize, which is the worst possible method and is an open invitation to create hidden corruption and a worse situation.  Finding a way to do all this well is as important as finding new sources of energy and water for the future:

2.  Here's a piece on Romney's sad situation from Charles Blow.  You can look around in any media publication and find any number of works that speak to the misadventures of the GeeOpee, and the unsuitability of His Mittness as a candidate, or his unqualified ability not to be a qualified communicator, but you can only put so much on to this page.  So, you pick around and stick one in now and then just for the pure fun of it:

3.  No opinion here.  It is a nice piece on the Southerness of finding out where the "South" begins in the state of Virginia.   Apparently Route 15 is an enclave of hard-core conservatives who have a very simple understanding of their politics.   This is more of a work of Americana than it is of current political theory, so try and enjoy it:

4.  This Op-Ed piece from the LA Times speaks to the current efforts in many states to install voter ID laws, and other moves to suppress voting.  It brings back the history of where similar actions took place in the past, and how each time that they were turned away, a feeling of permanently stifling voter suppression was over and done with.   But, voter suppression is back again.   This country is relatively young, but is old and experienced enough that the simple right of voting has been ingrained in our DNA of governance - but it has not.  At what point does this recidivist urge to deny or suppress voting stop?  How do we guarantee that the basic right to vote shall never be contested in the future?   Is that too much to ask of our supposed status as the "greatest nation"?:

5.  Just to let you know, Thom Hartmann is still around with a glimpse at other issues in a nice condensed format:

6.  Speculation on what is in store for the loser of the presidential campaign is more interesting than speculation on who is winning and who will win.   Most of this column is about those who have run before and lost.  This would make good Mitt night reading:

7.  Thomas Friedman (remember him?), well, he's still around.   On occasion, he does write something interesting, and this is not one of them.   I only include it because I am desperate to find something from the NY Times to put in, and also set up the debate that the two will have on foreign policy, so that you can see if they follow Tommy's line:

8.  The name Cesar Chavez is synonymous with the United Farm Workers Union and parity for the thousands of farm workers in California and this nation.   Many streets in the Southwest are named for him.  What is not very well known, is that he strayed from organizing workers later in his life and was distracted with an almost cult-like agenda:
--
Juan

"Few things are more satisfying than seeing your own children have teenagers of their own." 
       -- Doug Larson
"Is fuel efficiency really what we need most desperately? I say that what we really need is a car that can be shot when it breaks down." 
       -- Russell Baker
"When someone tells you something defies description, you can be pretty sure he's going to have a go at it anyway." 
       -- Clyde B. Aster
"It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis." 
       -- Margaret Bonnano


Things you Should See

Pandering for the Gay vote by two desperate candidates (swimming off the Cayman Islands)


--
Juan

"Babies are cool, until you've done everything to do with 'em and you get bored. That's why T.V. shows about babies don't last more than a year." 
       -- Gregory Thomas Garcia, Alan Kirschenbaum
"A good listener is usually thinking about something else." 
       -- Kin Hubbard
"Irrigation of the land with seawater desalinated by fusion power is ancient. It's called 'rain'." 
       -- Michael McClary
"'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds." 
       -- Malaclypse the Younger


Friday, September 28, 2012

Things to Know - 29 September

mike093012


1.   I have just returned from a beautiful 2-week car trip of California.  Kind of a nice break between two hip surgeries.  From Claremont, we went up to Manzanar, one of the  internment camps where U.S. citizens of Japanese descent were forced to live during 
a very dark chapter in our history.  From there, it was up to Mammoth, Lake Tahoe, and then joined with great friends for the continuation of the journey up through the maze of agricultural fields of the Sacramento Delta, and the Sierra Nevada Brewery.   From there we went to Shasta Dam, and then on to the Pacific Coast and Arcata/Eureka via a part of the state I have never seen before.   Later it was driving down through the Giant Redwood Forest, and every back road in getting to the wine region of the Napa Valley from the north.  We finished off the trip by heading on down to Santa Cruz, the Monterrey Peninsula, Paso Robles, Ojai, Santa Paula, and home.  Most of the trip was concentrated on back roads where the diversity of natural resources and the vast agricultural industry of California is vivid and healthy.  Upon reading my first article for this job's resumption, I knew it was the perfect one to get back on track.  California is a beautiful state, with so much diverse geography, flor and fauna, people and natural resources.  This land is your land:

2.  In the business of satire to depict the news of the day, one really has to wonder at what intellectual level the Iranians in Ahmadinejad's immediate power structure are operating.   When an Onion story is the basis of fact for their reasoning, only Romney's advisors approach that level of incompetence:

3.  It is getting very difficult to take Romney and his campaign very seriously.  He has so severely boxed himself into tight corners on every issue that he has no wiggle room.   Watching him squirm is laughable.  The only serious matter is to wonder if the Democrats have the will, power, and backbone to work hard enough to get the vote out.   In the meantime, let's enjoy the Looney Tunes entertainment:

4.  Todd Akin really does not know when to quit.   He's as insensitive to women and their reproductive system as he is to the fairness of the Lilly Ledbetter Act.  Freedom is what allows an employer to pay a woman less than a man, didn't y'all know that?:

5.  Jim Webb takes Romney to the shed for his lack of respect shown to the military.   If Mitt does not realize how much he erred in his casual neglect for those who served, and his casual classification of veterans as moochers on the public dole, he should see and read this.  Romney has made many mistakes, but his lack of service experience, and his poor choice of words will forever haunt him.  Jim Webb does a great job here in hammering it home to his Mittness:

6.  The FiveThirtyEight NY Times column by Nate Silver has become the go-to calculator a good reputation of predicting the future.  According to his latest, Romney is toast - done for.  Obama can just plan to maintain a solid and safe journey for the next several weeks.  Romney, on the other hand, can be expected make very desperate actions, most of which will probably not help, since he has tried all along to find something that works, and nothing has.   What will be interesting to see is where House and Senate races are close.  Romney seems to be dragging the rest of the GeeOpee candidates down, and some may cut and run against him, and disavow any connection.   Also, the GeeOpee Super Pacs will either back out of Romney completely or shift their resources to protect their legislative candidates:

7.  College and University rankings by U.S. News and other magazines play on the frenzy that both the schools and parents of soon-to-be high school graduates face every year.  The rankings make good reading, and may or may not help at all in the selection or rating process.  There are schools who are so driven that some of the data is fudged to make them look better.   Some parents and their kids make decisions for all the wrong reasons.   As a volunteer alumni interviewer for a long-standing "top-tier" college, I am always interested in what the buzz is all about this time around.   It is my opinion that some colleges and universities use the ratings to set their tuition costs, kind of like wineries use reviewers ratings to price their products.  If you have a 5-star wine, price it accordingly.   If not, find out where the rest of the field comes in and settle in.  Some parents get carried away and force their kids into interviews that the prospective student is not prepared for, or does not really want:

8.  One disappointment in voting for the Democrats, is that the younger set is not as fired up this time around for Obama as they were last time.  However, neither is his opponent doing well with the youth vote, and is even worse off.  New demographics in play this time around that will be respected from here on out will be the Hispanic and Women voters.   The GeeOpee has done a very good job of alienating them both:

--
Juan

"If it's a good idea, go ahead and do it. It is much easier to apologize than it is to get permission." 
       -- Grace Murray Hopper
"I bought a cactus. A week later it died. And I got depressed, because I thought, Damn. I am less nurturing than a desert." 
       -- Demetri Martin
"People ask for criticism, but they only want praise." 
       -- W. Somerset Maugham
"Very little is known of the Canadian country since it is rarely visited by anyone but the Queen and illiterate sport fishermen." 
       -- P. J. O'Rourke
"Someday we'll look back on this moment and plow into a parked car." 
       -- Evan Davis


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Things To Know - 25 September

http://e.latimes.com/a/hBQYaPLB8hLWGB8iztHAAAengNc/lat14-2

--
Juan

"The Detroit String Quartet played Brahms last night. Brahms lost."
       -- Bennett Cerf
"A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn't see the clouds at all - he's walking on them." 
       -- Leonard Louis Levinson
"Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions." 
       -- Albert Einstein
"There are many who dare not kill themselves for fear of what the neighbors will say." 
       -- Cyril Connolly
"The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it." 
       -- Dudley Moore


Friday, September 21, 2012

The Juan Percent? Or the Forty-Seven Percent?

The namesake of The Juan Percent is still on his break, so TJ% IT staff feel that it is our responsibility to make note of the game-changing release of the video featuring Mitt Romney revealing his true colors making incendiary remarks about the segment of the American population he is calling The Forty-Seven Percent.

According to Romney, The Forty-Seven Percent comprises of people who
  1. cannot be persuaded to vote for him no matter what (probably true. But his remarks go downhill from here.)
  2. think they are victims;
  3. are dependent on government;
  4. think we are entitled to health care, food, and housing;
  5. pay no income tax;
  6. don't want to take personal responsibility for their lives;
  7. aren't thoughtful (as in, we're dumb and can't think critically).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Things to Know - 13 September

mike091312

I will be taking a 2-week vacation after this issue.   I will have my iPad on the road, but putting this together requires an iMac work station.
I may find a zinger to send out now and then, but chances area slim, but not as slim as Mitt's.

1.  The attack in Libya that resulted in the loss of life of our Ambassador and staff were the result of extremist thugs, hiding behind and using a mob protest against the United States.  Speculation is that the mobs were reacting to an anti-Islam You Tube video, and the thugs were avenging the loss of an Al Qaeda operative.  The government of Libya condemns the action.   However, as has been said before, the action by Mitt Romney and his camp to take advantage by criticizing Obama for his response, is a demonstration that Romney is desperate in his quest for the presidency.  Not satisfied by showing his foreign policy inexperience, and his lack of diplomacy, Mitt fires from the hip in a very craven fashion.  For this, he is receiving well-deserved blowback from the media, and other knowledgable people.  Romney seems to be tone-deaf and disconnected from the real world:

2.  Romney has an energy plan.  Yes, he does.  Well, not exactly his.  You see, he does not know mitt about fossil fuels and renewable resources, but he does know that if he can get a bunch of campaign money from the oil barons that they can write an energy policy for him.  Easy money...."you write it and pay for it, and I buy it".  Just as Cheney had his secret energy meeting after he took office early in this century, Big Energy wrote out what they wanted, and then they paid big time for Bush to run with it.  Romney is doing the same thing, only he has no idea what it is all about:

3.  Thom Hartmann on other news.  Yes, there is other news:
http://truth-out.org/news/item/11499-on-the-news-with-thom-hartmann-the-fukushima-crisis-is-prompting-the-japanese-government-to-rid-the-nation-of-nuclear-power-and-more

4.   Here's a sampling of the TV media reacting to Romney's attempt to politicize on the deaths in the attack on the US Ambassador and his staff:
That's enough for now.  I think you get the drift.

5.  EJ Dionne has an interesting presentation of the good old days and where we are now, and a glimpse of the future.  If you are in my age demographic, you probably get consumed by our peers who have gained enough basic computer skills that they are forever sending digital vignettes of the music, culture, and mindset of the 50's and early 60's about how those were really the good times.  They never take into consideration that there really was a lot of crappy music, unsafe automobiles, dumb RV programming, and civil unrest and racial discrimination, for example.  In politics, it is the same situation - our two parties try and cherry pick what was great and how we need to return, and how much better and simpler things were back then.  EJ runs the same study on the political nostalgia for us:

6.  Gail Collins puts the op-ed commentary on Mitt Romney's latest foreign policy debacle.  I am sure that more columns like this will be popping up over the next few days.  The only sad thing about all of this is that he was able to convince enough people to nominate him as their standard bearer.  There seems to be a sense that Willard is really trying hard to fail.  Only an idiot with an unlikable factor as big as his, an embarrassing cargo hold of baggage of secret finances and tax returns, and a demonstrable display of dysfunctional awareness would do such a thing.   He's told us that he is a smart business man, which we are finding out means that he's really a slick card shark when it comes to gaming the IRS tax code.  I get the feeling that he is really not big enough, so it is possible to fail:

7.  The repeal of "Obama Care" would be a disaster.  Ideas to take drop those who are are now being covered, and those who will be covered would spell a financial and economic disaster for many who are just barely able to get by, but who now have access to health care:

8.  California has not been a leader in abolishing the death penalty.  Others have already taken that action, and its not an issue there any more.  The arguments to keep capitol punishment in place don't wash well for several reasons, and those were argued, and have been shown to be old and tired arguments.   In these cash-strapped times, people are now focusing on how much it actually costs.  Just to ask a jury and judge to find someone guilty and to be put to death costs so much more than to just lock 'em up with no chance of parole.  The constant litigation that goes on while on death row, adds more costs.   Getting over the "kill 'em" mind set can change to life in prison very fast when all the costs are laid out.  California's Proposition 34 would do away with it:
--
Juan

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, but raptors are pretty dang scary. " 
       -- Devin J. Monroe
"Ever heard Victoria's REAL secret? Too much support hurts." 
       -- R. Stevens
"Have the courage to be ignorant of a great number of things, in order to avoid the calamity of being ignorant of everything." 
       -- Sydney Smith
"I hate quotations. Tell me what you know." 
       -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age." 
       -- Lucille Ball


Thank you for your readership!

I am pleased to report that since its inception, The Juan Percent has established a broad readership that extends beyond the pond to the United Kingdom. Also, to China. Which surprises the IT staff of The Juan Percent because we didn't think China was terribly well-known for open internet.

While the overwhelming majority of page views originated from the U.S., the IT team thought it was noteworthy that the blog had been seen in China too.

Juan sends out his daily Things To Know email to a distribution list, so figuring out how visitors found their way directly to The Juan Percent online was of interest to us. Not surprisingly, Google directed quite a few referrals here. This is the keywords they used:




Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Introducing new pages!

Greetings, The Juan Percent readers!

To improve the quality of your visit to www.thejuanpercent.com, we have added two new pages:


Be well,
The Juan Percent IT Staff
Better known as the blogger's adult children.

Things to Know - 12 September

mike091212

1.  Pro Life.  It could mean something different to many people, and be mistakenly defined by others.  The debates on the definition will probably go on for as long as some have a variable scale of measurement that does not include, or ignores, all factors.  To that end, here is a brief presentation of the meaning of "Obama Care" as it pertains to the health and welfare of people whose quality or very existence and essence of life is dependent on public policy:

2.  The political conventions are over, and what you see is what you get.  There is spin that follows any conversation, speech, or event, but trends are starting to develop that spell the outcome.  RomRyan have been have some, but limited success on what they thought was their big asset going in - and that being the economy and unemployment.  There is evidence that things are getting better, but there is evidence that the fragile situation that Obama inherited was much worse than what was first reported.  What is developing and what may be the main dynamic that picks one over the other is the issue of Character.  Obama has it, and Romney does not.  On that, the election outcome may hinge:

3.  From the Santa Monica news bureau, we get this from the Atlantic.  If you are like I am, you've wondered how Mitt Romney could amass an IRA worth $102 Million when the absolute max is $30,000/year contribution (which he he supposedly did while at Bain for 15 years).  The answer is speculated in this article by someone who knows Romney from his association at Bain, and how rich guys share rich-guy talk about how they invest their money and use the tax code to push the envelope.  Well this guy knows Mitt, and we don't know Mitt about nuthin'.   There is this thing called "carried interest", and for the uber-wealthy like Willard, only they can provoke an edge-pushing scheme that you and I and all other normal people cannot do.  He seems to have done it because apparently he wanted to see if it could be done, when no one else could do it:

4.  The writer of this opinion warns of an approaching Fascist State.  As you read it, you do see the warning signs - they are all there as they have been played out - some starting with the Reagan administration, but more lately with Bush and Cheney, and the hi-hacking of the Republican Party by the TeaPublican Party.  That is why this election is so important.  There are many things on the line, from Health Care, Taxes,  Federal Judge Appointments, the Supreme Court,,,,etc.  As I have been saying, it is not so much the re-election of Obama, it is the destruction of the Tea Party.  The extreme Conservatives took over the Tea Party, and are using it to drive the Republican farther to the right, and leaving the good moderates in the dust.    If the moderate and progressive Republicans can come back after the right wing is defeated, perhaps a viable two party system will work once again:
http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0718-07.htm

5.  The Brits catch on fast.  The Guardian, from across the pond, recognizes the shrinking demographics that are the base of the GOP (angry old white guys). Times are changing, and what used to work before does not cut it any more:

6.  For those of you who may have missed CBS This Morning on Tuesday, here is Charlie Rose interviewing Kurt Eichenwald, who wrote the bombshell of an editorial for the NY TImes on how the Bush administration ignored the Presidential Daily Briefings long before the attack on 9-11:

7.  Congress is back in session, and the Teapublican leaders are ambivalent, miffed, and pissed.  The standard bearer of the Teapublican Party has carried his unlikable persona to the leaders of his party.   Romney is on record of criticizing the speaker of the house for the crappy deal on sequestration that was cut by Boehner that will force automatic cuts at the end of 2012.  It is obvious that the Romney campaign is out there doing its thing and he and his camp are not coordinating  strategy or agenda with the party leadership in Washington.   If this keeps up, I would not be surprised to see some unhappy and silent moderates cut and run on Romney and the rest, because the handwriting is on the wall:

8.  Steve Lopez, from his perch on providing human interest stories, takes his shot on the street view (or local economic guru) of the presidential election:


--
Juan

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
       -- Ansel Adams
""A thought is often original, though you have uttered it a hundred times." 
       -- Oliver Wendell Holmes
"It was such a lovely day I thought it a pity to get up." 
       -- W. Somerset Maugham
"You can't have a light without a dark to stick it in." 
       -- Arlo Guthrie
"I think the world is run by 'C' students." 
       -- Al McGuire