Saturday, September 8, 2012

Things to Know - 9 September

    Tony Auth

1.  Perhaps we should (I should), take an interest in what is going on in Europe, as it pertains to the roller coaster economic news that affects our stock market performance.  The Euro Zone is the common sharing of one currency between member nations.  That's what it looks like on the face of the concept.  However, like any economic or banking system, it has its problems.  Yes, we have very grave and corrupt problems with our own system here in the USA, but the Euro presents a whole host of factors that are complicated and almost unlimited.  The Euro Zone is very well explained in this overview ( ).  As you can imagine running an economy by a committee has its problems, and most of them get highly political.  Nationalism is the greatest enemy of the Euro Zone concept.  You see, the Euro was formed simply on the fact that a united Europe is stronger than any one individual European country.  Here, in the USA, the United States is stronger in political and economic presence than any one individual state.  The United States has shared a history that has a common DNA through its formation and development since Columbus found us.  Europe on the other hand, is a collection of national entities who have fought wars against each other, have stark differences in their values, ethnic, and language infrastructure, and these differences make for a very large obstacle when problems develop.  Problems where the banks in one country have kind of skipped good banking practices (like our Wall Street collapses), create situations where the other member nations impose conditions on others that are harsh and seemingly discriminatory.  The Greeks are really pissed at the Germans for bossing them around, but they need the help.   Same goes for other countries caught short, sometimes for no fault of their own - seemingly.   So, in addition to the simple concept of a consortium of national states coming together to unite in economic strength, non-economic factors (ethnic differences, political ideologies, and historical grudges, to name a few) all come into play on just about every issue.   This is a great spectator sport for the rest of the world to watch, but in a "global economy" where trade and investments go every which way, a contentious problem in the Euro Zone results in a negative global reaction: 

2.  The state of Georgia, in compliance with TeaPublicans ideology, makes a case that it is still mired in belligerent nonsense.  In an embarrassing gesture, it trots out the Ten Commandments, and puts then on display in the capitol building. I personally do not know what the proponents want to gain, other than a continued observation by outsiders that Georgia is not quite ready to grow up.   I guess the next act on the program is to get old Governor Sonny Perdue to come back and have a prayer for rain on the capitol lawn:

3.  The suspense thriller of the moment is the plot that Romney's tax records have been hacked and copied.   There is an extortion in progress, and if a ransom demand is not met, that on the 28th of September, the records will be released to the public.  All the drama of a spy thriller, and cheap novel are in play here.   If nothing else, it keeps Romney's tax evasion story front and center.   It will be hard for him to escape any questions.  The Second link is a story about Larry Flynt offering $1 Million for Romney's tax returns.   Yes sireee folks, this is going viral, and Ann Romney is going to wish they had never gotten into this mess in the first place:

4.  Romney has doubled-down, and tripled that, on his latest move that has endorsed Congressman Peter King from Iowa.   Mitt is either getting bad advice from his etch-a-sketch handlers, does not know, is politically dysfunctional, or really does not care:

5.  Pat, sends this.  Do you know Pat?  Kathie does.  Anyway, for all of you who were as struck by the difference between the Tampa audience and the Charlotte audience, this story brings it all home.  The diversity and face of America has changed, and the political power change, as a result, may determine the results of the presidential election:

6.  The Boehner game plan in 2011 was to fiddle with bringing the Federal Government to the edge again by not approving raising the debt limit.  Boehner was playing the game of Chicken with the President, and Obama was not going to go along with the demand of cutting expenditures to the tune of $2.7 Trillion, exchange for the house raising the debt limit.  As this Bob Woodward piece shows, the game, which is what it was, threatened the Obama presidency in a power struggle with Boehner.  Boehner at the last minute backed off, and agreed to raise the debt limit, and postponed the $2.7 Trillion reduction through the 2012 election, to the beginning of 2013.  That is where we are now:

7.  Gail Collins explains what it means when We are in charge, because it is "up to us":

8.  Two professors of language come together to explain how Barack Obama has a definite advantage of relating to audiences by the way they speak.   While Romney is flat in tone, and stuck in a monotonous delivery, Obama has the innate ethnic diversity in his back ground to relate in a convincing fashion.   The demographics of audiences has been changing for many decades now, and is readily apparent today in 2012.   As we take this country forward, the political success of any candidate will depend greatly in the ability to relate.   However, in Mitt Romney's case, his weakness is not so much as a lack of ethnic hubris as it is a dysfunctional disconnect:

9.  Steve Lopez is pissing and moaning about the aftermath from his knee replacement and his unexpected need of a pacemaker.   He's stuck in his Ground Hog Day existence  - being attached to an electronic knee/leg stretcher, figuring out his heart beat, which is now faster than what the original pacemaker was called for.  In addition he's got another artificial knee joint on order, and he's having to wear those ridiculous white leg socks to prevent blood clots.  He's bound and determined to get back to his columnist job.  I understand and can feel his pain.  My next hip surgery is for 8 October, and I get to wear those funny socks again, and then lay around in bed waiting to get around to sending you more of these:


"I'm convinced my cockroaches have military training, I set off a roach bomb - they diffused it."
       -- Jay London
"No foreign policy-no matter how ingenious-has any chance of success if it is born in the minds of few and carried in the hearts of many." 
       -- Theodore Roosevelt
"A conservative is a man who believes that nothing should be done for the first time." 
       -- Alfred E. Wiggam
"Oh, I don't blame Congress. If I had $600 billion at my disposal, I'd be irresponsible, too." 
       -- Lichty and Wagner
"A bore is a man who, when you ask him how he is, tells you." 
       -- Bert Leston Taylor

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