Tuesday, May 31, 2011

House Rejects Debt Ceiling Increase

The House Rejects Raising the Debt Ceiling with out spending cuts

Home Prices hit New Post Bubble Low

Home Prices Hit New Post Bubble Low

Nuclear Power, how it works, is it safe, what about coal?

After the Problems in Japan, many concerns have been raised about the safety of Nuclear Power.  A Short article here explains the basics of how Nuclear Power works. We need to look honestly at our policies to make sure that Nuclear energy is safe in the US. while at the same time, recognizing that most of our energy comes from coal and that coal pollutes the environment

Memorial Day

In honor of Memorial Day.
Sports Illustrated published this incredible piece about Bob Kalsu, player that was drafted by the NFL. But decided not to use that to avoid the Vietnam War. Tragically he did not return from Vietnam. But his valor and selflessness should not be forgotten.

Better Understanding the Debt Ceiling

A couple of FAQ (Frequently asked questions) about the debt ceiling.

AIPAC, America's Powerful Jewish Lobby

A Look at the strong political influence of AIPAC, and the Jewish vote

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Few Fixes to Defuse the Debt Bomb

Diffusing the Debt Bomb

Paul Ryan's Serious Proposal: Debate or Demagoguery

Charles Krauthammer asks will Paul Ryan's Serious entitlement proposal be met with serious debate, or serious demagoguery.

Cancer Drugs and Cost

Cancer Drugs, Their High Costs

Netanyahu: Israel cannot Prevent UN from recognizing Palestinian State

Netanyahu admits that Israel cannot prevent the UN from recognizing a Palestinian state, which it is expected to do in September.

British Boots on the Ground in Libya

A Few British were spotted with Rebels in Libya. Reports have been coming in that they are MI-6 acting as spotters for NATO war planes.

Austerity Works

The need for Fiscal Responsibility from Government, Look at the Swiss

Another Push for Electric Cars

A Renewed Push for Electric Cars

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gas Prices are Up, Way Up

If you've bought Gas Recently, you Know, Gas Prices are way up from Last Year.

Herman Cain, In his Own Words.

He doesn't care that people are skeptical he's out to prove that he is a legitimate candidate for President.

We Need Government, to Be Functional

We have lost sight of the common good. We have fallen into a trap of governing thinking that central planning can solve all of our problems, and that if we fill out enough forms, our government will run better.
In an enlightening interview with Jon Stewart, Philip K. Howard discusses what we need to do to make government better. By limiting paperwork, bureaucracy and replacing it with common sense and accountability.
This ten minute interview is an excellent look at politics and government.

Where is the Honor in American Society and Politics?

Special interests argue for themselves at the expense of the common good.

Is Obama Ignoring the War Powers Act

George Will asks why the War Powers act is being ignored, and why it doesn't seem to be bothering anyone.

Politicians in Public and in Private

It seems that politicians never live up to who we would hope they'd be, politics lately has been dominated by absurd over the top rhetoric instead of real debate. 
President Clinton was caught on camera having a candid moment with Congressman Paul Ryan, where he states that he hopes the democrats don't use the special election victory in New York as a signal to do nothing on Health Care. He then tells Ryan that if he needs to talk to give him a call. 
That candid conversation is exactly what should be expected of our politicians, to talk honestly about policy without demagoguing. 
Sadly, just moments later when Clinton was on stage he characterized Ryan's plan would encourage Seniors to "Use less care, and die quicker".
Why can't they just be decent human beings all the time.

Netanyahu addresses Congress

Netanyahu Adresses a joint session of Congress. Tells congress that Israel won't budge on any Israel with Palestinians, in fact goes so far as to say that they aren't occupying the West Bank, the most extreme rhetoric he could muster was met with widespread applause from Congress.
Is it time that America views the Middle East as honest brokers for peace, or at the very least base our foreign policy based on our own self interest. Or will we continue to be unconditional supporters of whatever Israel does?

Governor Walker on Cavuto

The two discuss Boeing and the NRLB, and Union Rules in Wisconsin. In a short five minute interview.

What is Israel's Strategy for the Palestinians

What is Israel's Plan for the Palestinians people, settlements and the West Bank

Musharraf: Obama statements Arrogant

Former Pakistani President calls Obama's statements arrogant in regards to Obama stating that the US may continue to run covert operations into Pakistan to kill terrorists.
Meanwhile Hillary Clinton is trying to mend fences in Pakistan. She is pushing the Pakistani's to go after the terrorists harder within their own borders, or else potentially lose the US aid.

Egypt Opens Gaza Border

The Border between Egypt and Gaza is now open.

Acceptable Business Practices According to the NRLB

Giant rat balloons in front of businesses is ok, according to the NRLB. But if you decide to open up a plant in South Carolina, while still keeping all of your Union employees in Washington, those are unfair practices.

How HMO's and Managed Care Can Drive Away Doctors

A Story about how struggling against managed care caused one pediatrician to give up practicing medicine entirely.

Reduce Health Care Costs by Decreasing Demand

Healthier people, mean less demand for health care, meaning lower costs.

Time to Get Serious about Cost Controls

The New England Journal of Medicine argues that it is time to get serious about Controlling the Cost of Medical Care.

Will there be enough Doctors For Medicare? Will Doctors Ditch Medicare

Will Doctors Ditch Medicare? Will Seniors find it harder and harder to find doctors? Will Seniors only be covered in theory?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

How President Obama got the Health Care law Pass

Frontline exposes how backroom deals, buying off lobbyists and special interests got the health care deal passed. In part, how the Cornhusker kick back allowed the President to Buy Ben Nelson's Seat

Southern Hypocrisy

Is it hypocritical for southern republicans who deride social spending, to accept significantly more money from the federal government than they contribute.

An end of Earmarks? Well... not really

An Earmark by any other name. is... an Earmark.

The Warning About the Financial Crisis, Ignored

In the Late 90s Brooksley Born tried to warn congress about the implications of unregulated derivatives. She was ignored, even though there was a small derivatives crisis months after her warning. Unfortunately that didn't prompt any changes, or protections.

US to encourage foreign travel to the US with $10 fee

The US is trying to generate more interest in having travelers come to the US, to raise the money to pay for the program they will charge travelers a $10 fee to come to the US.
The heritage foundation takes issue with the new policy for several reasons. One of course being that a $10 tax doesn't seem like a great way to encourage people to visit the US.

Don't Scorn Ryan's attempt at Serious Reform

Joe Nocera is not impressed with Paul Ryan's plan, but he is disappointed that Democrats seem more interested in using Ryan's plan to play politics and win elections, then they are in having a serious debate about the need to Medicare reform.

Is ObamaCare constitutional?

George Will raises some interesting questions about whether or not the new Health Care law is constitutional.

A Plan for the American Economy

A plan to move the American economy towards long term stability.

Paul Ryan is talking to Americans like Adults, Will Obama?

Fareed Zakaria points out in his piece that Paul Ryan's budget is far from perfect. But that it is one of the only honest attempts put forward to tackle our nation's long term debt issues. President Obama has repeatedly said, that it's time to have an adult conversation about the issues. Well, Mr. Ryan has started it, will President Obama join him.

A Remedy to Fix Medicine: True Legal Reform

If you want to save money on medical costs you have to fix the problem of defensive medicine. Which needs more than just caps on pain and suffering.

Friday, May 27, 2011

CNN is awful

The new segment on CNN "Just sayin"

Abortion, an Honest Discussion

Mike Huckabee and Jon Stewart have a nice, honest, non-heated discussion on abortion. It is a rarity to see this level of discourse for such a contentious issue, it is refreshing.
The interview lasts about fifteen minutes part two is here. and part three is located here.

Fox News, only News from 9am-4pm and 6pm-8pm

Fox News received criticism from the White House for not being fair and balanced, which is there slogan. Fox countered by stating that they only do News during 9am-4pm, and then again from 6pm-8pm. So the people like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Greta, Beck are not news (according to Fox, they are opinion people)
The hard hitting news people on Fox, are people like Megyn Kelly, so when she reviews the health care plan from president obama she is being fair an balanced... except she's terrible.
Fox News does some good things. Being Fair and Balanced, isn't one of them.

A Return to Clinton Tax Rates, or Carter Tax rates?

Democrats have repeatedly stated that all they want is for the Bush Tax cuts to expire and have the tax code revert to what it was in the Clinton Administration. But with a surtax here, and removing the cap on social security there, plus the dash of an extra .9% from the ObamaCare law. And they are looking at a 62% marginal tax rate

New Republican Primary Poll: Waste of Time

According to a new poll Giuliani leads in the Republican primary. Polls this early are a waste of time, money and well really just a waste of everything.
The voice of reason of the matter is the daily show pointing out how useless it is to prognosticate so far in advance. As they point out, the early 2008 front runners were Clinton vs. Giuliani. And in 2004 Joe Lieberman was all set to take on Pres. Bush 15 months before the election too.

Medicare, Scare tactics and Lies

When it comes to an honest debate on Medicare Reform, good luck. Instead we get fear mongering, distortion and out right lies. Which is useful for winning elections, but not helpful in tackling our long term debt issues.

Egypt, is still a military dictatorship

Yes, Hosni Mubarak is gone. But Egypt is still a military dictatorship. The work isn't finished. Time will tell what will come of the Arab Spring. But for now Egypt isn't free, they still live under tyranny.

Huntsman, an Excellent Republican Candidate

The Real Deal Running for the GOP nomination

Fed's Raid Home of 91 grandmother who sells kits that help people end their lives

An FBI raid raises questions about whether or not a terminally ill person has the right to end their life.
Do terminally ill people have the right to die? Or are we obligated to stay alive as long as possible, even if that means suffering through terrible pain.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Paul Ryan explains why Medicare should be Reformed

Paul Ryan explains problems with Medicare, and why and how we should fix it.

Political Discourse

Apparently this is what passes for political discourse these days. An anti-republican Ad shows someone literally pushing a grandma off of a cliff.

Ryan Speaks Candidly on the Budget

Ryan admits that the debt is both parties fault. Points out that only Republicans have offered a tangible budget.
Also points out that Medicare is going broke.
A Fantastic interview from a great conservative congressman.

Jon Edwards Federal Investigation moving forward

Edwards accused of using campaign funds to hide child conceived out of wedlock.

Contractors receiving federal stimulus have unpaid taxes

Might want to think about paying people who owe the IRS millions.

Medicaid Bankrupting the States

An Excellent analysis of Medicaid's effect on State Governments

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Manifesto for a New Politics

Philip K Howard argues for radical but simple reform that would change the way we go about our lives, by changing the laws that govern us.

Not Intended to be a Factual Statement

Jon Kyl blasts planned parenthood by saying that over 90% of their services are abortion, which his office then clarified as "not intended to be a factual statement".
Colbert lampoons Kyl over the idea that one should take such liberties with the truth.
It's ok to oppose planned parenthood, it's not ok to lie.

In a different segment related to the not intended to be a factual statement Colbert makes Fox and Friends look silly, which isn't hard to do, because Fox and Friends essentially stated that Walgreens and Planned Parenthood are the same.

College Campuses and the First Amendment

How the Department of education's office on Civil rights is encouraging universities to curtail the first amendment in the name of stopping sexual harassment.

Attack the Debt Problem

An approach to tackling the debt problem from a Tea Partier

Government to Buy electric cars, just over 100 of them

In a pilot program, the government has decided to buy just over 100 electric vehicles, a drop in the bucket compared to its 600,000 vehicle fleet, and install charging stations.

Lawsuit filed against Dodgers Owner

The family of the man who was brutally beaten at a Dodgers Game is suing the Owner of the Dodgers

1967 Israel Borders, Indefensible?

Are the Borders of 1967 indefensible, can anyone in the middle east challenge Israel militarily

Treasury loses $2.1 Billion on Chrysler Bailout

Amid all the talk about how great it is that Chrysler is repaying the US Tax Payer, the fact remains that we'll lose money on the deal. Several Billion dollars in fact.

Greek Austerity measures not well received

Greek Austerity Measures, fomenting discontent among its population.

Vote on Palestine Statehood

A Vote on Palestine State hood expected to come at the Next UN meeting in september

Supreme Court Orders California Prisoner release due to Overcrowding

Supreme court has ordered The State of California to release about 40,000 prisoners due to overcrowding.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Teacher Fired over Looking At Porn costs School $300,000 in legal fees

Teacher Fired for looking at pornography at school cost the district $300,000 in legal fees.

The most incredulous part is that the union claimed "Union leaders said they're not defending the teacher's behavior. They said the issue is that the discipline was unjust and based on unclear standards."
Unclear Standards? Don't look at pornography at work. Does that rule need to be written down?

"Common Controversy", Fake Controversies from Fox News

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart points out Fox News overwhelming ridiculousness when it comes to drumming up 'fake controversies'
Unfortunately, Fox News likes to report on ludicrous social problems like "a war on christmas".
Their latest problem was that they took a number of Common's lyrics out of context, and tried to make it into a big thing. Even though the violent lyrics that they all took issue with, as Stewart pointed out, was in fact about how youth need to give up violence to make their community a better place. But sometimes accuracy is not a key goal of Fox News.

Unquestioned support of Israel

The White House is questioning a US policy of unconditional support for Israel.

The onion article provides a bit of humor pertaining to the idea that any questioning  in regards to the US supporting Israel less than 100% is career suicide.

To the Moon and Back, Conceptualizing the US Debt

If the US debt were stacked on top of itself in one dollar bills it would reach to the moon and back.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Need for legal reform

It takes the government years to start any project and then years more to complete any, and it's because of our outdated legal system.
We need to change the way government can do business, so that government can do business.

Americans is in a crisis of Individual Freedom

An Excess in Law has handcuffed teachers from acting reasonably, and is the reason five year olds end up arrested. Teachers and principals do not have the authority (or do not feel that they do) to hold the arm of a five year old throwing a temper tantrum. So they call the police, and the child is arrested.

More importantly, Howard explains how to fix our overly litigious society.

US Tax Policy Pushes Business and Jobs overseas

60 minutes does a good job showing how US tax policy has pushed jobs and business overseas in this video, and they point out that companies are holding a collective 1.5 Trillion dollars abroad to avoid US taxation.
If US corporate taxes were lower, that would mean we could boost job growth.

Twenty Ways to Fix our Government

Newsweek asked some of the nations brightest minds for 20 ways to fix our government

Putin plans to be President Again

Putin decides to seek the office of the President of Russia next year.

How Democracy Can Work in the Middle East

How democracy can work in the middle East

Explaining Cobra (Health Insurance)

A Quick explanation of what Cobra is, related to insurance. The Video is only three and a half minutes long. But it provides a quick explanation to anyone that is curios to learn.

Internet Personalization

Eli Pariser warns about internet bubbles, how the internet is becoming personalized. But that may lead to filtering out content that can help us grow.

Disability Insurance, SSI, SSDI

There are couple of judges who have been granting 100% of the disability claims that have come before them, and yes that 100% is not a typo. This passing out of disability payments has led to Senators Hatch, and Coburn wanting to investigate the practice, and restore accountability.

Fix Health Care, address obesity

The director of the Cleveland clinic says in a video interview, if you want to get serious about health care then you have to address obesity

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Philip K Howard on Reforming Law

Philip K Howard Talks about four ways to fix our broken legal system.

Don't Bully Boeing

The Economist makes a clear point: don't bully Boeing over loony complaints

Where do your tax dollars go

Find out how your tax dollars are being spent.

Netanyahu Rejects Obama's Plan for '67 Borders

Netanyahu doesn't agree with President Obama's Plan for a return to '67 borders

Waiting Times for Health Care in England

Percentage of England citizens waiting longer than 18 weeks for health care increased last year.

War Powers Act, Obama

The White House issues this statement as to why the War Powers Act is not limiting the actions in Libya to 60 days, even though there has been no congressional approval.

Friday, May 20, 2011

College for Profit

An Hour long episode of Frontline, exposing some of the Issues facing students at for profit colleges.
An Alarming thing is the incredibly high percentage of defaults on student loans are from students attending for profit colleges. And they are enabled through federal government student loan programs.

Americans on Disability

The Giant Government Spending Program no one is talking about fixing. Disability.

Libya and the War Powers Act

Gary Johnson explains that the War Powers act limits any military action that is not authorized by Congress to 60 days. And those 60 days are up in Libya.

Battling Obesity in Mississippi

Battling Obesity in Mississippi

An Excerpt
"And half the battle, he says, is just getting people to own up to the fact that their weight is the problem....That's the way local fry-cook Gracie Williams sees it. She's a diabetic and considers that she is doing pretty well because she hasn't gained any weight in five years. She's stayed a steady 265 pounds on a 5-foot-5 frame.
"To me overweight is when you're going past 300-something and you're having a hard time walking and breathing, that's when you're overweight," she says.

Santorum, "McCain doesn't understand enhanced interrogation"

In a recent interview Santorum stated that McCain doesn't understand enhanced interrogation. McCain's office stated they would not dignify that remark with a comment.
Longtime McCain adviser Mark Salter (who advised McCain during the 2008 presidential election) did offer this "Ron Paul may be the wackiest candidate in the GOP field. But for pure, blind stupidity, nobody beats Santorum. In my 20 years in the Senate, I never met a dumber member, which he reminded me of today," 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Return to 1967 Borders

Obama calls for a return to 1967 borders for Israel.

For Teachers, Seniority Rules

In 14 States, only seniority matters when it comes to firing teachers.

Budgeting Money for Uniforms

Money is being spent by New Jersey for Uniforms, For Employees that don't wear uniforms, and In New Jersey they don't even need receipts

School Board Member Wants to Return Docked Pay

Madison teachers who failed to show up to work during the Budget Protests were docked pay. One School Board Member would like to return that money to them in the form of a $200 gift card.

Jon Stewart on The O'Reilly Factor

Stewart visits O'Reilly to talk about the ludicrous nature that is the "common controversy", about rapper Common visiting the white house. Fox News has made a fuss that common believes a cop killer is innocent and has "celebrated" them. Stewart points out, if by Fox's standards that would prohibit Common from going to the white house Then Bob Dylan can't go to the white house, neither can Bruce Springsteen nor Bono. Bono wrote a song about a man convicted of killing two federal agents, but Fox made no fuss when he visited the White House.

14,000 Properties

The US government has 14,000 properties that it doesn't need. It is difficult to sell them because their are 20 laws that regulate sale of government buildings. Because of the red tape, unused buildings stay on the government books.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Drowning in Red Tape

So much Red Tape involved with schools, they couldn't even Accept a donated prom dress from a mother. The purpose being that less fortunate girls wouldn't have to buy expensive dresses. But red tape got in the way of common sense, and put a stop to that.

Columbine in Retrospect

Debunking some of the misconceptions regarding columbine, several years later.

Whole Foods Approach to Health Care

Whole Foods is a unique company. That's obvious if you have ever shopped their. They also have a unique form of health care. Their employees health coverage includes high deductibles and Health Savings accounts or HSAs. The owner of Whole Foods makes an argument for why the way they do health care is so effective.

Understanding HSA's

This quick 3 minute video explains what an HSA is.If you don't have a degree in economics, or have worked in insurance. You might not understand exactly what an HSA is, that's ok.

Understanding Medicare In Four Minutes

Medicare Is confusing, but in this quick four minute video explains the basics of Medicare A through D. If we want to talk about reform. It's best to understand how it works.

Income Gap between Specialist and Primary Care

There is a shortage of primary care physicians in this country. It's no wonder, considering for the same amount of work. They could earn significantly more, being a specialist. Fee for service medicine has gotten us to a place, where more money is to be made treating sick people than preventing disease.

Zero Tolerance, Zero Common Sense

Two Lacrosse players were suspended for bringing deadly weapons to their high school campus. The two boys who are model students were suspended for Having a lighter and a pen knife, which are used to fix their lacrosse sticks. The school classifies the lighter as "an explosive device"
It's reasonable to have a policy against weapons on school grounds, in fact it makes perfect sense. What makes no sense is when school officials fail to use any judgment in the matter what so ever.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Reforming Military Spending

The Cato institute offers five ways to cut the military. It's just a start to a path towards fiscal responsibility

Why subsidize foreign companies?

Why are we subsidizing US job loss and foreign companies?

Net Neutrality

A Three minute video explains the importance of net neutrality

We must stick together on globalization

Gordon Brown Argues that the way forward is to stick with globalization.

Tying the Hands of Government Officials

Stephen Goldsmith, deputy of New York City Talks about how red tape ties the hands of officials

Monday, May 16, 2011

America's Future

America can have a bright future, but we need politicians to make long term plans. Other Countries are doing it. So can we.

Preventive Health Care Myths

It's a myth that preventive Health Care saves money its a fun one to repeat, because we then think that there are easy solutions to the health care crisis.

Tort Reform Saves Money, Says CBO

 Huh? Who would have figured.

Postal Service to become more efficient, it would like to

The postal service operates in the red every year. But it is not permitted to close its least profitable branches.

Power of Public Sector Unions

Public sector unions have thrived for the past 50 years Is there run coming to an end? An economist articles wonders just that.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Health Care, Caring about Costs

When it comes to one type of health care, everybody knows what everything costs. That is health care for animals. Costs are clear and transparent, and the consumers make decisions based on cost and likely outcomes.

Real Budget Cuts

Rand Paul is serious on budget cuts talking to Wolf Blitzer

At least one person is serious about budget cuts. He says something telling "Conservatives have to be willing to cut military spending, and liberals have to be willing to cut some welfare spending". Finally, A politician who is able to state the obvious truth.

Lawsuits and Swing Sets

Because of lawsuits, swing sets are being removed from playgrounds. Its sad that in the name of protecting kids, they lose the ability to play. Kids might get hurt, so lets take down the playgrounds.

How much do we spend on education?

How much money are we spending per pupil? Why are school districts under-reporting how much they spend per student? Regardless of political party can't we all agree transparency is a good thing. That we should be able to follow the money?

Three Tiers of Government for Education

Since education is funded from three different sources: local, state and federal, there are often central mandates put on local school districts that make no sense. It isn't hard to imagine why, the needs of school children in Juneau may be different from those in Brooklyn but in Mobile.
This State Mandate requires a school bus seat for every child and prevents the school from using the money more efficiently, and causes them to waste $2 million dollars a year.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wisconsin, Collective Bargaining

Just one reason Governor Walker was right in trying to change the rules that allow unions to keep open facilities that are no longer needed. Unions force nearly empty juvenile facility to stay open, even though there is only one juvenile there, the cost is over $300,000.
Is it unreasonable to think that our government should be better?

Time to draw down in afghanistan.

With the Death of Bin Laden. It is time to draw down in Afghanistan.
Time to Draw down in Afghanistan

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Quick Explanation of Health Care terms

For those of you who want to understand Insurance, and then be able to understand the health care reform bills. This is for you. It's a pretty basic explanation of insurance.
A 3 minute video explaining basic insurance terms

Auto Bailout

Dan Ikenson states why the auto bailout is not a success, even after GM has become profitable.
Even though, Obama states that the tax payer is going to be made whole from the deal. Even though this rhetoric is mostly fantasy.
 GM profits nothing to gloat about