I know we are in the last week of August, and I am sorry that this is so late. As noted before, “real life” took away all my free time that I set aside for blogging, and as such my sites (not just this one) became all but silent. Looking forward to next week, it looks like things will be better, so hopefully the next issue will be coming out shortly. Also, due to the delay, I won’t be updating the drop-list for July.
And now… on to the Newsletter.
City of Waterfalls wrote ‘Fired’ reporter sues radio station:
Loyola charged Rajah Broadcasting Network, its owner and president Ramon Jacinto and station manager Rolito Saquilabon, with constructive illegal dismissal. The NLRC set the hearing on August 7 in Iligan City.
According to Loyola, the station booted him out primarily due to his refusal to publicly apologize to Councilor Chonilo Ruiz. The councilor allegedly attacked Loyola while the latter was working in the announcer’s booth over some issues concerning public funds on Jan. 13, 2010. The alleged attack was caught on live radio.
Regardless of which country you are in (this story takes place in the Philippines), broadcasters walk a narrow line when it comes to reporting on the activities of politicians. This is especially true when it comes to investigative reporting. We all recall what happened to the credibility of Dan Rather when he ran with the National Guard story on the President George W. Bush, when it was discovered that the materials which the story was based on turned out to be faked. It is a risk
that reporters take when trying to discover the truth, and it highlights how important the freedom of the press really is.
Sunrise in Havana wrote BBC News – Top Cuba dissident Oswaldo Paya ‘killed in car crash’:
I find it odd that Cuba’s dissidents are dying from natural causes and accidents! Looks more like they are being systematically killed, one by one! They are all in danger!
Mr Paya, 60, was travelling near the city of Bayamo, in the eastern province of Granma, when the accident happened, they said.
I want to thank Sunrise in Havana for covering this. Cuba is only 100 miles to the South of the United States, but I didn’t hear anything about this on the international news.
Now that we are within 100 days (almost 70 days) until the November general election, I expect to see this section grow with articles as election grows closer. I’ll do my best to bring you a wide selection of articles for you to become better familiar with the candidates so you can make a sound and informed decision at the polling station.
The Common Progressive wrote A Comparison of Where Obama and Romney Have Lived in the Past:
This is a neat timeline comparing the housing and education of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It’s a great piece of history, and I highly recommend you checking it out.
WeOp-Ed wrote Why Obama wins:
I think most people instinctively know the economy will either improve, stay the same or become worse no matter who is president. Regardless of this, many people will still vote. People will vote for window dressing- Obama appears to make better window dressing than Romney. Obama should win this election- because he is known and liked better than Romney.
In many ways, the old saying of “It’s the economy, stupid” holds true in 2012 as much as it did in 2008. How the voters perceive the status of the economy heading into November and how the different candidates will handle it starting in 2013 will probably trump any other issue facing the nation this election cycle.
We the People wrote Politics, Presidents, and Patriotism this 4th of July:
Too often tolerance, cooperation, and comprise have been labeled as flaws, as traits of the weak. In fact these simple traits are some of the keystone ideas to this country, how it was formed and how it has survived to this point. Without these good and decent traits, the founding fathers would never have been able to agree on the Bill of Rights. The Constitution of the United States of America is written with tolerance and acceptance as its guiding principles: That we are all equal
and we all have an equal right to our thoughts and opinions. These two documents make up the very foundation of America. America cannot thrive or prosper if we are all focused on our own agenda, wants and needs. We must think of what is good for us, but we must also work hard to see what is best for our country as a whole. Only through selflessness can we hope to see our country truly grow, prosper and flourish.
I could not have stated that better myself! I just wish our politicians (and the media to a certain extent) would read this and understand.
All That is Necessary wrote Romney Should Use Tax Return Release to Make the Moral Case for Capitalism:
I suspect it also will turn out that Romney has aggressively made use of tax-minimization strategies that are not practical for people of lesser means. Assuming everything he did was legal, I say good for him. If Obama supporters want to claim that it is somehow immoral to take advantage of loopholes in the law for financial benefit, they should take a one-question quiz: Who is the first major presidential candidate ever to opt out of the system of public funding of campaigns,
while supporting that system on “principle”? Hint: he’s running again this year, and his name is not Romney.
(Tangent and not a response to Mr. Petersen) I’ve argued the point before that I really don’t see what the point is about publicly disclosing an candidates tax returns. If you want to know if they are fiscally sound, then publicly disclosing the candidates’ credit score would be a better record than a tax return. If it’s to discover if they’ve been paying their taxes, the IRS can quickly release a “yes” or “no” report. If it’s to discover what the candidates income is, a simple
summary can be released (though I really don’t see where that is anyone’s business). The person with the bigger paycheck or charity contributions does not equate to the better person to lead our nation.
Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog wrote Does Democrat Voter Enthusiasm Spell Trouble for Obama?:
In 2004 and 2006, the LEFT was determined and driven to beat Bush and the GOP. This year it is ho hum. This indifference is reflected in the polls.
Republicans vote with greater frequency than Democrats anyway. Should Democrats fail to show up to the polls to support Obama in the key battleground states, the President will be toast.
An interesting polling stat, though I do have to caution on what the enthusiasm chart states. Democrats were very enthusiastic in 2004 (17% more so than Republicans), and yet President Bush won reelection by a wider margin than he did in 2000. Plus, like in 2004, the Republicans are polling only at 51% (in this case, 12% higher than the Democrats) in 2012. While there is a clear trend that Democrats enthusiasm has been falling over the last eight years, it doesn’t equate to decreased
Self Deprecate Political Humor wrote 2012 Voter Enthusiasm and Analysis:
Another important new element in this election, however, are the infamous Super PACs. Made possible by our friends on the Supreme Court: Justice Kennedy, Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas, and Justice Alito. In their defense (no pun intended), they were merely interpreting the law as it is currently written and it is now up to Congress to rectify the situation. Given the speed that Congress moves, and who is in charge of the House, this change is not likely to
before this election. Like it, or not, Super PACs will play a major role in this election and many on the right are hoping it will help close the fund raising gap that Mitt Romney currently faces.
A great article that covers a lot of topics (from voter-issue knowledge, fund raising, Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and more. Worth the two minutes to read it.
U.S. Common Sense wrote The 80/20 rule pays… for now:
The 80/20 rule (officially known as the Medical Loss Ratio) basically states that insurance companies have to spend at least 80% of the premium costs on the patients, with no more than 20% being paid on overhead. While most of the insurance providers already meet this standard, a few do not, which is resulting in the refunds to their policy holders. And while $1.1 Billion sound like a large number, it boils down to roughly $85 per policy holder. Still a decent amount, but it’s
to assume that insurance plan prices will stay where they are now.
I didn’t know too much about the 80/20 rule until I researched it for the article. Just goes to show how little we really know about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
PolitixCartoons wrote The War on Women:
However, what a woman does to the life inside her, I do care about. Every human should be guaranteed the rights provided to us by the Declaration of Indepedence, and this includes life. The ONLY argument that we need to be discussing in the abortion issue is whether or not the unborn fetus is a human life, and at what point it becomes human life. During the sixties, the answer to this question was a lot more vague, but with new technologies, we can clearly see that even at a early
stage, the developing child is unique and individual. Conservatives see no difference between a baby in the womb and a baby out of the womb. Both deserve protection from harm. Despite all of the liberal accusations and distortions, this is the only argument worth talking about.
The whole article (and cartoon) are worth reading, but I chose this segment since it mirrors an article I’ve been working on. As the Declaration of Independence state, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Are unborn children endowed to the right to life? Are there times where the good of the mom trumps the good of the child? (Tune in later to hear my thoughts on this.)
PolitEkon wrote IUD, Implants More Feective?:
Unplanned pregnancies remain a major health problem in the United States. About three million pregnancies per year — half of all pregnancies — are unplanned, very high for a developed nation.
The article itself is about different types of birth control, but I found this one section interesting. “Unplanned pregnancies” has an interesting stigma about it. “Unwanted pregnancies” are pregnancies where someone gets pregnant without wanting to be pregnant (and more likely to lead to abortions). The other half of the equation are those who were not necessarily looking to become pregnant, but are blessed to be so and choose to see the pregnancy through birth. So instead of
phrasing it as the author has, let’s say 25% (or whatever the actual percentage may be) are “unwanted”, not “unplanned”.
PREGUNTAVER wrote Oh Canada…:
My aunt in Canada was lucky enough to buy a silver maple leaf coin from a friend who needed money. The friend had been keeping the silver maple leaf coin for years but because of the poor world economy, she was forced to sell it to pay for her mortgage. She actually has quite a bit of those coins and had to dispose most of them.
I was actually going to place this under a “Miscellaneous” category, but thought it felt well under “Economy” as well. Just this morning I was talking with the cashier at my local deli about coins. She notices that every time I receive change for my purchases, I shift through the coins before dropping them into the tip jar. I note that every once in a while I come across an old coin worth keeping, including a 1929 Penny she gave me as change on Friday without knowing it. It’s only
worth about 30 cents today, and not something I would consider selling, but I do know of people who make a living out of trading coins. Besides, you never know when you might come across a 1943 Bronze penny worth approximately $18,000.00 in circulated condition (more if it was uncirculated).
Politically Incorrect wrote Fuel mathematics:
However, these utterances of our legend fit our fuel pricing. The government has made the calculation of petrol price very complicated. On one hand it gives subsidy on the fuel, on the other hand it levies various taxes and other charges making the fuel unaffordable, even for the well to do. Every time the price of petrol increases, there is hue and cry from the government that the administration is losing quite a chunk in subsidies. Some experts opine that the actual cost of petrol
is very low, between forty and forty two rupees. The rest are taxes – central and local, vats, road improvement tax, education cess and what not, making it complicated.
This article is from India, but it’s true in the United States as well. There are many different types of subsidies provided by the Federal government to the oil companies for exploration and for infrastructure development, which is meant to bring affordable oil onto the market. On the flip side, you are charged Federal taxes (about 20 cents per gallon) on gas when you fill up, with that money going towards transportation expenditures. Would it be better off if the money paid in
subsidies be redirected directly to the transportation expenditures and cut out the middle men? Probably not, since the difference in gas prices would probably be higher than the 20 cent gas tax because the cost for exploration would be higher, and –quite possibly – be too high for exploration even to be begun.
First Door on the Left wrote All you need to know about Republicans:
The Republicans are doing everything they can to ensure that the economy of the United States remains in the toilet. They believe that by doing so they can get rid of the man they seem to hate most in the world, President Barack Obama. They think that Americans will look beyond the real cause of our economic woes and blame it all on our president. They think we’re stupid. Let’s hope they are wrong, at least about the majority of us.
If you can still vote for a Republican, any Republican, after reading the article quoted above, you probably are truly stupid. Sorry, don’t mean to step on any feelings. Just stating fact.
I think this is where we should go back up to the article from “We the People”. Republicans have blocked job creation bills in the Senate over ideological issues, while the Democrats (under the leadership of Senator Harry Reid) have failed to even bring job creation bills from the Republican-led House to the floor for a vote. Wouldn’t it be nice if the two sides get together, bring all the bills together and find what parts they agree one and put those into its own bill and bring
it up for a vote? You don’t have to hit a homerun with each bill. You can win with bunts and single-base runs too.