Weekend Update 10-27-2012

Posted: October 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Weekend Update | Comments Off on Weekend Update 10-27-2012

Spent the week at ARIN XXX. Didn’t do much bloggy sort of reading. A few tidbits.

I loved the Foundation Trilogy. (And the Robot novels. And End of Eternity. And so on and so on.) So it’s no surprise I enjoyed Krugman’s foreword to a new printing of it.

Think of the 45 million Americans who either will or won’t receive health care based on who wins on November 6. And since it’s my kids who you will be throwing under the bus, I’ll be happy to kick you in the nuts if you make the wrong choice.

Romney. 100% wrong on the 47% Enjoy Jay Smooth’s take.

 


Weekend Update 10-20-2012

Posted: October 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Weekend Update | Comments Off on Weekend Update 10-20-2012

I was struck by one thing about Krugman’s post on reasons his perspective on an issue might change over time — that he had to write it at all. Just in the normal course of life, our views, perspectives, and understandings evolve and change over time in response to experience. In fact, if it didn’t, we would tend to consider that a form of mental illness. At least, that’s how it seems to me.

Death by Ideology. Yes. Romney’s and Ryan’s plan for health care in America involves killing tens of thousands of people a year in order to give tax cuts to a handful of the wealthiest Americans. And these are the people and the agenda for whom “pro-life” Americans are supposed to vote? Seriously?

IBM ignores the law on H1-B visas. No real surprise in the US today. Of course, this is the vision for America of Romney specifically and the GOP in general. Strangely, a lot of people they fully intend to screw will vote for them. Is it a manifestation of Stockholm Syndrome?

Mitt’s “small business start-up” line referencing Bain Capital is so utterly absurd it amazes me that anyone can listen to him spout it with a straight face.

Ah, reminiscent of the days when bosses would take employees from the company town to the polls to vote under direct threat about how to vote. Is there any doubt what sort of America Romney seeks to recreate?

Arthur Brooks created a stir with his claim in 2006 that conservatives were more generous in their giving than liberals. Finally, his assertions and data have been examined to see if they hold up. The results? Not so much. I ran into this post first. But I strongly recommend people read the actual paper. There were a number of other interesting results in it, not least the impact partisanship has on giving. A study like this can’t really examine motives, nor can it determine how much of the “charitable giving” actually benefits those in need. But conservative giving is more likely to go toward religious causes, especially to their own congregation. That sort of giving is more subject to social pressure. (I do find it interesting that Utah was the conservative outlier, which might suggest that the LDS church remains better able to exert that sort of pressure.) More of that giving also falls into the category of “intangible religious benefit” rather than direct aid to those in need. Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if liberals in the US were more likely to give charitably to the “arts” which also offer “intangible” benefits. Of course, I was also struck by the uniformly low levels of charitable giving as a percentage of income in the US. Jesus was right. Wealth tends to have a negative effect on us.

The Romney jobs plan? When you sort through the lies, Krugman seems to nail it. “To summarize, then, the true Romney plan is to create an economic boom through the sheer power of Mr. Romney’s personal awesomeness.

 


Weekend Update 10-13-2012

Posted: October 13th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Weekend Update | Comments Off on Weekend Update 10-13-2012

My older son was born on Saturday, October 13th, 1984 during the end of the Texas-OU game. (It was a tie that year.) I remember this clearly because the anesthesiologists were playing tag team bringing in updates on the score. Such is the way of things in Texas. This year the 13th again falls on a Saturday and once again the Red River rivalry is on full display. (Hook’em!) Happy birthday son. I love you.

Pflugerville ISD is extending insurance benefits to domestic partners. Somewhat surprisingly it appears we’re the first school district in Texas to do so. My youngest is currently a sophomore at PHS and she’s the fourth child we’ve raised in this district. It’s an excellent school district and I’m proud of them for taking the lead on this. Employees currently pay the premiums for their family members, and that continues in this expanded policy. It just provides a mechanism for domestic partners to purchase health insurance. Of course, this is Texas and we all know Jesus is against extending health insurance coverage to the wrong sorts of people. It will be framed (actually I’ve already heard it so framed) as an “attack on traditional marriage.” It’s hard to tell what definition people have in mind, but last I checked we already provide such benefits to divorced and remarried couples, so I think that ship has long since sailed. And the same people who rail against this also tend to rant against a government provided single payer health insurance system (basically Medicare for everyone) which would obviate the need for policies like this. Heck, they are even against the much more limited “Obamacare” reform, which essentially implements the Republican proposals from the last thirty years. In our reality, this is a perfectly reasonable action and it extends the number of people who have meaningful access to our healthcare system. Hopefully more school districts across the state will follow PISD’s lead.

What’s the source of the projected budget deficits? A number of factors are involved, but moving forward the primary contributor is the Bush era tax cuts.

Voucher denial indeed. Apparently this Orwellian newspeak approach actually works among the GOP true believers. Go figure. But the principle of “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” applies, though in this case it’s more “sh*t stinks, whatever you call it.”


Weekend Update 10-06-2012

Posted: October 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Weekend Update | Comments Off on Weekend Update 10-06-2012

Brad Delong on the Ryan tape (which hasn’t received nearly as much attention). No real surprises. We all knew that about the man and it falls perfectly in line with the Romney video. Basically the GOP wants to continue to rip apart pretty much everything that built us into a strong and prosperous country in the 20th century.

Gotta love the bald-faced dishonesty of a man like Ryan. This column dissects one of his latest statements. It would “take him too long to go through all the math” about his plan because, quite simply, what he proposes is arithmetically impossible. But details like that are unimportant to a flimflam man.

Given that there’s not a chance in hell I will ever vote for RomneyRyan, I’m pretty uninterested in the debates and have no plans to watch any of them. But Robert Reich’s comments are interesting. Am I surprised Romney lied convincingly? Perhaps by the ‘convincingly’ part, but lying is official GOP policy these days. The more outlandish, the better. So no, I’m not surprised. Just business as usual. As Romney’s sick joke illustrates. Also read the full column version.

I am a Rock. In some ways my childhood and my life.