Friday Morning News Roundup
There are many lessons to be learned and studied from the disaster that is characterized generally as Hurricane Sandy. One of these lessons that I've been studying has to do with the two hospitals which were evacuated. One of the best articles that I've read so far was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This is clearly worth a read.
For weeks, I've said that there really is no fiscal cliff. The heightened rhetoric that we've seen in the media by pundits and politicians can only be categorized as nauseating. First of all, Congress is already cutting $1.5 trillion in fiscal spending over the next 10 years. Secondly, non-defense discretionary spending is projected to fall to historically low levels if Congress does what it does best, which is nothing. All of the thoughtless yammering over the "devastating" impact of allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire is typical Washington hype. The percentage of small businesses which will be affected is minuscule. Yet, we are led to believe that hundreds of thousands of mom-and-pop businesses will instantly go belly up if the Bush tax cuts were allowed to expire. Horse hockey. I'm afraid that the Democrats on Capitol Hill seemed to have little or no capacity to articulate reasonable and thoughtful positions on the budget. Our argument has to consist of more than the fact that the wealthy can afford to pony up a little bit more money.
A complete Internet and cell phone blackout in Syria shows the extent that some governments will go to in order to suppress the free flow of information.
Once again, the "Stand Your Ground" law is in the news. It appears that a 45-year-old Florida man shot and killed Jordan Russell Davis over some loud music. From reports that I've read, it appears that Michael David Dunn approached Davis and his friends at a convenience store, asking them to turn their music down. An argument ensued and eight to ten shots were fired. Davis ended up dead. Michael David Dunn is claiming that he felt threatened and was therefore justified in using lethal force under the Stand Your Ground law. If you think aspects of this sound familiar, I think you're exactly right.
I love the absolute cowardice of the national media. Over the last four years, we've had a heated and prolonged debate over taxes. Hell, the Tea Party is completely based on the assumption that taxes are "too" high. Yet, the national media went out of their way to avoid pointing out the obvious, that taxes for the average American are at historical lows. Now, the New York Times is printing this obvious fact. The problem is income. We are getting paid lower wages and our expenses are going up!
John Boehner, Republican House Speaker, has been leading the charge for entitlement reform. (Whenever a Republican says "entitlement reform," what they are really talking about is cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid spending.) Boehner wants Democrats to lay out specifics about what cuts they're willing to make. This, of course, is in spite of the fact that he is not willing to lay out any specifics concerning which cuts he would like to see. This is similar to the game that many kids played when they were young. "You show me yours and I'll show you mine." We all know how that worked out. It is his childish today as it was when we were pre-teenagers.
I'm not sure how you get on the list of the worst toys, but I suspect that's a list you don't want to be on.
More and more I'm tending to agree with Rachel Maddow that the dustup over UN ambassador Susan Rice has less to do with her personal performance and more to do with politics. I'm beginning to believe that Republicans would like to see Senator John Kerry appointed to Secretary of State so that failed senatorial candidate Scott Brown can run for his open seat.
I'm sure that there has to be an award for the moron of the year. Do you remember Mitt Romney's logo? It was that stylized "R" in blue and red. Well, some guy decided that he would rent out his face and someone (a Republican with more dollars than sense) paid him $15,000 to have Mitt Romney's logo tattooed on his face. Now, Eric Hartburg has decided that Mitt Romney has "no dignity" and is "shameful." It seems to me (now, this is just me), that one would figure out whether Mitt Romney had dignity before putting a tattoo on his face. But what do I know? Now, Eric Hartsburg has decided to get the tattoo removed. I wish him good luck.