Thursday, January 31, 2013

Something to Know - 1 February

Matt Wuerker
1.   Most of the news today was the nasty Republican Senators badgering Chuck Hagel in his confirmation process for Obama's Secretary of Defense.   Meanwhile, the normal idiot GOP behavior reflects itself in the Tennessee legislature.  There is a proposal to scale back or deny government assistance to families if any of their children fail to receive decent grades in school.  Really?......yes really.:

2.  The current "hearings" on the regulation of firearms readily points out that Wayne LaPerriere and the NRA is really nothing more than a shill for the firearms industry, and nothing more.  Charles Blow points out how this is playing out in DC:

3.  NY Times editorial.   The Republican Senators who did nothing but pounce and badger Hagel....did nothing but go on record as supporting the Military-Industrial complex...plain and simple.   They probably know that Hagel is going to get confirmed, but they were grandstanding to their paymasters and military contrators:

4.  It is amazing how the obvious fact that the GOP lost the election in large part because of its sneering and contentious stand on immigration issues with the Hispanics.  So, now the political reality is that it really is a good deal for the USA to embrace reform and roll out the nice welcome mat.   David Brooks calls it a no-brainer.   This will drive the extreme right zealots somewhere that the Republicans are now really fractured, and the Hispanics really could not care less about the change of GOP attitude:

5.  When McCain, Graham, Inhofe, and Cruz wake up this morning, they will have to wonder if they are vital members of the opposition party, or just another vein of putrefaction in the body GOP.   The right wing is going nowhere fast:

6.  California, the dynamic face of the future.   Latinos, Hispanics, Mexicans, and whatever other name may be relevant...will soon be the majority demographic in the state.   This is just a statement of fact, and there are various ways to address the challenges and the needs for the future, especially when it will be coming to another state, which may will be your own if you live elsewhere:,0,6412247,print.story


"If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater, suggest that he wear a tail."
       -- Fran Lebowitz

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Something to Know - 30 January

Tony Auth
1.  The Gun Culture nuts are sick.  Here they are heckling the father of one of the young boys who was take away from him at Newton:

2.  David Brooks writes about the obvious presentation of the Republicans.  We hear much about needing to change and what not to say, and other low-hanging fruit problems, but that is all that is being heard.  Immigration Reform is hitting the committees in Congress, and will soon before the floor.  Same for gun control after that.   The GOP managed to kick the can down the road on the budget, but it will be coming up shortly in a couple of months.   No one is leading the fractured group right now:

3.  Paul Krugman takes Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to task.  The Gov. takes the populist stand that he is going to try and eliminate the state income tax.  At the same time, he covers for this lack of revenue by raising the state sales tax.  Who do you think takes this in the shorts?   Who do you think makes out like a bandit?   The Republicans are trying to looks like populists, while they really assist the wealthy at the expense of those who are already hurting:

4.  Medical Doctor compensation is the subject here.   Bill Keller looks at the future of Medicare and The Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) as it seeks out a compensation system for the way MDs practice their work:

5.  This piece from the WashPost (Dana Millbank) squarely points out the diminishing effectiveness that the Tea Baggers are having on what is left of the fractured leadership of the GOP.  What remains to be seen is if the pissed off extreme right will pick up their marbles and go elsewhere come next election time:

6.  Gun Control is the next issue coming up.  It is imperative that public pressure be maintained on the legislators to ensure that something will come about this time:

"My husband gave me a necklace. It's fake. I requested fake. Maybe I'm paranoid, but in this day and age, I don't want something around my neck that's worth more than my head."
       -- Rita Rudner

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Something to Know - 27 January

Jeff Danziger
1.   This is a presentation for improving our design, production, and manufacturing system for many of our consumer products that are currently made in China.  Move it all to Mexico (or back to Mexico).   The points of argument presented here make very good sense.  From an environmentalist perspective, it also reduces the carbon footprint in so many ways:

2.  The city of Los Angeles is a very diverse and always changing dynamics of demographics.  Take for instance the constant movement of minorities who move and expand into the turf of another ethnic domain.  It is always happening.  Asians are moving in greater numbers into high income Anglo neighborhoods, very subtly and without overt discomforts.  However, African-Americans and Hispanics are having a hell of a rotten go of it.  Compton, California once was taken for granted as a totally Black city.  However, the increasing numbers of Hispanics are finding housing and prices available in the same areas, and are moving into Black neighborhoods, and the impact of the two groups is not going well - and it plays out in the gangs of the two groups.  Turf wars are getting ugly and dangerous.  Brown-Black violence is more overt and getting to be more frequent:

3.  The next time that the anti-Obama cranks out about him being the big spender and deficit maker, let them in on this fact.  Obama is the stingiest president since Dwight Eisenhower.   Forbes magazine present the facts (Yes, Forbes and is Steve Forbes):

4.  Here is a reading assignment, and I hope you do not pass it up, since it is an education on the current state of government of South Africa.  After Apartheid, Nelson Mandela's ascension to power was not in itself a guarantee that the ANC (African National Congress) had everything to make things run smoothly and justly.  No, great problems were present, and are still there, to this day.  This Bill Keller article on the emergence of someone, who appears to be the answer to the need for the first power broker to get the country online to real stability is something you should read.  It is long, so take your time, and absorb it:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Something to Know - 26 January

Jeff Danziger
1.  Timothy Egan points out that the Republicans are all in a snit and atwitter about Obama's Inaugural address, and call it "unabashed Liberalism, pure and simple".   However, if you take each one of the bold positions in his address that would be transformed into public policy - the GOP cannot and will not go on record as saying that they cannot support what was said.  Here is why:

2.  As usual the Republicans seek to fill the air with their noise that getting a grip on the deficit is to cut back on the social safety net of Medicare and Social Security.  The reality is it does not.  It cripples the the least able and makes the situation even worse.  Robert Reich writes:

3.  Albany bureau sends this one, to alert us to an article that is a heads up on the slick language that Obama may be using to inure us to the "perpetual war against terrorism: while he is officially on record as saying that the long era of war is over.  Read on:

4.  Just a quick check at the gauge of public opinion may be necessary as the Republicans insist on doing stupid (even as Bobby Jindal advises otherwise).   The Republican's worst enemy is not Obama or the Democrats.   It is their fractured structure, as of now:



"Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught."
       -- Sir Winston Churchill

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Something to Know - 23 January

1.  From the Albany bureau, here's poem written by Carl Sandburg, which is as relevant today as it was written about the assassination of President Lincoln:

2.  This editorial traces out the differences between the vision that Obama has for his next term and the contradictions facing him from the Roberts Supreme Court:

3.  In Los Angeles, the Catholic Church reeks of shame, and the stench is coming from the top of the bureaucracy.   If you have not been following the stories of alleged pedophile clergy, Steve Lopez has it here for you:,0,2031660,print.column


"Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught."
       -- Sir Winston Churchill

Something to KNow More About

The pageantry of the Inaugural address had a great deal of dynamic and stirring supporting singing, and words.   Particularly captivating and emotional was the presentation by Richard Blanco.  Here is the LA Times link to his story and the reading of his poem:,0,5004421.story


Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together.

 by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Monday, January 21, 2013

Something to Know -

Stuart Carlson
1.  It is very easy (easy for me) to be swept up by the moment of today and the emotions of the 2nd Inaugural of Barack Obama.  Yes, I was there at the mall - about 80 yards from the podium - for the 1st in 2009.  It was a highlight for me.   I would have to say that the significance of the 1st Inaugural was of the symbolism of having the first person of color elected as President.   That was a big deal for this history of this country.  I would have to say that this time, for the 2nd, it is about political power.  As has been said....Barack Obama is the deal with it.   This Thom Hartmann article speaks to the behavior the the losing opposition who, in its conspiratorial manner, chooses to deny that this political power exists:

2.  David Brooks starts off okay, and then he forgets that he is not the one who was inaugurated.  He tends to forget that Wall Street brought us some semblance of disaster, several times, and almost dumped us over completely.  However, he ends up accepting the fact that Obama is the President, and that he will have to deal with it:

3.  Where Mr. Brooks fell short, his employer has written this editorial that puts into perspective the impact of the 44th President's inaugural speech:


Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together.

 by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Something to Know - 21 January

Jeff Danziger
1.  If you have seen the move Zero Dark Thirty, you have a taste of intelligence and operational units within the CIA on tracking terrorist groups.  Before that move, and during the run up to the event of 9/11, there is this piece which details the incidence of stupidity, turf wars, and incompetence between the CIA and other Defense Intelligence Agencies that could have prevented the catastrophe had everyone involved had their heads screwed on right:

2.  As President Obama begins his second term. EJ Dionne lays out all that he has brought to the office, his hardships, his final term expectations, and where the country was, is, and will be:

3.  Rather than read the entire "Price of Inequality" by Joseph Stiglitz (which, like a textbook at times, is difficult to navigate, you may find this illuminating and easy to read - and just as poignant:

4.   Bill Keller wages in on his opinion on the selection by the president of Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary.   It is negative, but it is not positive.  Something to think about, with all the other talk, and reading in the spirit of an open mind:


"If men were angels, no government would be necessary."
       -- James Madison
"A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done."
       -- Dwight D. Eisenhower
"I have such poor vision I can date anybody."
       -- Garry Shandling
"The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory."
       -- Paul Fix