Tag Archives: good

News Round Up – Lochte, Hot, Earthquake, EpiPen

lochte

I am not sure how to explain a man working all his life to be successful and then, on a whim, flushing it all down the toilet. That is exactly what Ryan Lochte did. Lochte lied to authorities in Rio. He has been formally charged with filing a false robbery report. This is a man who performed brilliantly in the Olympic pool. He was a set up to collect at least tens of thousands of dollars in sponsorships. He has lost almost all of that. Sometimes, it is extremely hard to explain human behavior.

Man, it is hot and I hope that you like hot, because the long-term outlook is for more heat!!

italian earthquake

This is just terrible. From WaPo – In this 12th-century town, as many as 70 percent of the homes were vacant in the off-season. There were fewer people on the streets. Numerous teenagers had left for good. And that was before the earthquake. As the search through the ­debris continued and hopes dimmed that rescuers would find more survivors, cities and towns hit hard by Wednesday’s devastating temblor in central Italy began to process the full extent of the disaster. Churches fell. Piazzas were ruined. Neighborhoods were leveled. The body count was at least 250 and set to grow. But in many of those towns, already fighting a long battle against depopulation, a deeper anxiety began to spread.

Yuck!!  EpiPen monopoly – A two-pack of the injectors, which release epinephrine to stop an allergic reaction, has risen from less than $100 in 2007 to $608 today. Mylan said the company never intended for patients to pay the full price, expecting insurers would carry the load. “We recognize the significant burden on patients from continued, rising insurance premiums and being forced increasingly to pay the full list price for medicines at the pharmacy counter,” chief executive Heather Bresch said in a statement. (Oh, and here’s the good part.) The debate is the latest to embroil Congress in the battle over increasing drug costs and their role in escalating health insurance premiums. EpiPen’s rising price is particularly notable because state and federal legislation have been key to the drug’s rapid growth. Annual prescriptions for EpiPen products have more than doubled in the past decade to $3.6 million, according to IMS Health data. Mylan benefited from factors including failed competitors, patent protections and laws requiring allergy medications in schools. Having a virtual monopoly has facilitated the rapid price hike. Mylan reached $1 billion in sales for the second time last year.

 

The Sad State of American Politics

There is a famous Bugs Bunny cartoon that opens with Elmer Fudd walking with his shotgun. He turns to the camera to inform us that he is hunting rabbits. Soon he finds Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, who get into an argument about whether Elmer should shoot rabbits or ducks because there is some confusion over whether it is Duck Season or Wabbit Season. There is a famous exchange where Daffy and Bugs are yelling at each other – “Duck Season!” “Rabbit Season!” “Duck Season!” “Rabbit Season!”

Sadly, this is the state of our political debate. There is no middle ground. There is only Black and White. There is Night and Day. Either you are a patriot or a commie pinko, terrorist-loving traitor. There is no compromise.

Not in a cartoon, but in real life, we saw everyone take similar positions after 14 Americans were slaughtered in San Bernardino, CA. On one side, we have Americans screaming that Obama and the Democrats have been soft on terrorism, and if Obama were truly serious about keeping American’s safe, he would have prevented this tragedy. On the other side, we have Americans shouting at the top of their lungs that this event was 100% predictable in a country where it is easier to purchase an assault rifle than it is to buy liquor in most counties.

The arguments on both sides are so routine and predictable they should be written down on the American Tombstone. “Here lies a Once-Great Nation, but everyone stopped listening to each other.”

Within the last decade we have hardened our positions. The Speaker of the House recently resigned his post – and his seat, which he’d held for 28 years – because one flank of his own party forced him out. The so-called “Freedom Caucus” took the stance that compromise on anything was wrong. There was no give. There was only “our way or the highway.”

While Boehner was less than ideal as a congressman or as Speaker, he has been replaced by Paul Ryan, who is even more extreme. We are going from worse to worser. (Yep, I said worser. And I hope and pray we don’t get to worstest.)

This whole political thing is un-American. America was built on compromise.

I don’t hate Paul Ryan. I think that his ideas would move America in the wrong direction and make it even harder for middle-class Americans to get ahead. Turning Medicare into a voucher program will leave thousands of elderly Americans out in the cold.

On the other side, I like Hillary Clinton, but I don’t think she is a saint. I recognize that not everything she says is brilliant, nor worthy of writing on stone tablets. But she’s smart, experienced and capable. We have to stop making some politicians into saints and others into devils. We really don’t need to elect a saint (think how many of them were fanatics); we need to elect a smart, decent human being who’s a good leader, a good listener, and a good judge of what’s right and wrong, what’s possible and impossible, and what is the best way “to promote the general welfare” of the United States and all its citizens.

Let me focus on the idea of compromise. This is the foundation of democracy. James Madison didn’t think that we needed a Bill of Rights. George Mason left the Constitutional convention because a Bill of Rights wasn’t included. Madison noted that without a Bill of Rights that the Constitution might not pass the states. So, instead of finger-pointing and calling his political opponents anti-American, King George-loving, mulletheads, he sat down and wrote the Bill of Rights based on what George Mason had laid out. By writing the Bill of Rights, James Madison made what may be the biggest political compromise in the history of our nation.
Continue reading The Sad State of American Politics

Da’ Cowboys

  

It is kind of funny. The talk was that the Dallas Cowboys could run the table. Seven wins in a row. Come on. When was the last time that the Cowboys won seven games in a row? A decade ago? Look, today showed us a couple of things. The Dallas Cowboys are not a playoff team. Sure, they could have made the playoffs at 8-8 or 7-9 (because the division is awful) and be booted in the first round. 

Offense – The Cowboys just aren’t that good on offense. We fell behind early. We haven’t scored more than 25 points in a game in weeks. None of the Cowboy receivers can get off of press coverage besides Dez and he isn’t fully healthy yet. Williams was exposed during the Patroit game. He was completely shut down. We really haven’t had a running game. McFadden has been okay. Not great, but okay. Randle was a joke. It was unfortunate that Dunbar got hurt. Our offensive line hasn’t been as good as they were last year. So, when you can’t run the ball and your receivers can’t get open, you can’t score points. 

Defense – Last year’s defense was magical. They were put together with duct tape. Basically, a bunch of nobodies were thrown together and somehow they played very well together. They forced turnovers. They  tackled. They were flying around. This group is different. They aren’t protected by a Dallas ground game which eats the clock. They are average at best. There is no pass rush. Dallas is okay at stopping the run. We really can cover …sort of. That’s the defense in a nutshell. 

So, this is the team that was supposed to make the playoffs? The Super Bowl? Come on. We need some players. We need a running back that can run over a few folks. We need a back-up quarterback who can push the ball down the field. We need a pass rush. We need a cover corner or two. I love Sean Lee, but he gets hurt a lot. We need a healthy Dez Bryant who can dominate. Finally, we need Jerry Jones to make good personnnel decisions (stop laughing)!!!