$#*! We Missed

The previous entries in this occasional post were called Bits and Pieces. Frankly, that title didn’t fully suit the content. Truth is, even the most prolific contributors to TheLiberalOC.com have full-time jobs and we miss $#*! every day. Whether trivial or critical, some of the $#*! we missed is worth sharing with you. Oh, but there is one item we got early. Whew!

“Obamacare” explained — The Kaiser Family Foundation created this animation clip to list the highlights of what is and is not included in the Health Care Reform passed by Congress last March. It’s actually a balanced presentation. And fairly comprehensive, too.


Labor is not to blame — Steven Rattner was the Obama Administration’s point person for the auto industry task force. He has a book due out any day now. It’s called Overhaul. I don’t know if it’s worth reading, so there’s no recommendation here. Rattner did an interview with Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic. One excerpt addresses the effect of labor costs and corporate management:

Ford was playing with exactly the same deck of cards. They had effectively the same UAW contract. They had effectively the same manufacturing footprint, up in the upper Midwest area. They had the same kind of dealer network issues that GM and Chrysler had. And yet while Ford certainly struggled for a while, they got through this and have been making good money for some time now. … So, what’s the difference between Ford and GM? I would argue the difference between Ford and GM is management.

…and another,  speaking to the president’s management style:

I found this White House very disciplined, very collegial in the sense that there were many disagreements, but there was no sort of backstabbing or trying to go behind people’s backs and this and that. The debates were all very out in front and everyone could express their opinion. And I found the president, who had no particular credentials on this, to be a really, really great CEO. He knew how to run a staff. He knew how to run a meeting. He knew how to run the government. So again, from my own vantage point on the auto thing, we presented him with a series of tough decisions—he didn’t walk away from them, he didn’t make snap judgments, but he also didn’t become frozen in terror. He just went about his business in a very calm and clear-headed way, and I was genuinely impressed.

Republican Contract Leaked — Newtie’s Contract on America retread due out tomorrow has been leaked. Accidentally or not. CBS got ahold of it. See…

GOP Pledge to America

Now THIS Is Carpetbagging — There’s a “Tea Party” (in quotes because it’s not a party like Democrats, Republicans or Libertarians)candidate in Virginia running for Congress in the 7th District. His name is Herb Lux. The 7th district is currently represented by Eric Cantor. Problem is that Lux lives in the 1st District. Virginia law allows people to run for Congress and not live in the district they wish to represent. So this guy Lux collects more than the requisite number of signatures on his nominating petition himself. Therein lies the rub. State law requires witnesses to signatures on the petitions be residents of the district. So Lux is appealing to the US Supreme Court to have the signatures deemed valid. 

Darwin Award Nominee — A teen in Helena, Montana texted his dealer looking for weed. He fat-fingered the number and instead the text message went to the local sheriff. Genius.

 The Egg Recall Reconsidered — Columnist Jim Hightower suggests two factors that led to the need for recalling 500 million eggs recently…

First is the laissez-fairyland ideology that’s been turned into official policy during the past three decades, especially in the last 10 years. These theorists decry all regulation of industry and demonize the very idea of government. Wall Street’s collapse and BP’s Gulf oil catastrophe are god-awful products of the ideologues – and now we find their mess in our breakfast.

Who in government is responsible for inspecting the factories to see that the billions of eggs they roll out don’t poison us? No one. In 1999, Bill Clinton proposed such safety inspections to eliminate salmonella in eggs by 2010. So, what happened? Industry lobbyists flocked to Washington and stalled the rules, then came the anti-regulatory Bush regime preaching the gospel of “voluntary” regulation.

The second disastrous policy is unrestrained corporate giantism. Wall Street has its “too-big-to-fail” model, and agribusiness has its “too-big-to-control” model. These outfits cram millions of chickens into egg-production cages. The conditions are nasty, and diseases are a constant reality. When a salmonella outbreak occurs, it’s not confined to a few chickens, it sweeps throughout the factory.

…and a solution…

What’s a consumer to do? Buy organic, locally-produced eggs from small farms that treat chickens right – you’ll not only get eggs that are safe, but also extra-nutritious and incomparably delicious.

Makes sense to me.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words — Interesting graphic in the New York Times. It’s called Geography of A Recession. Couldn’t figure out how to embed it so you have to click to view. Sincere apologies. It’s interactive. You can see that the unemployment rate nationally is 9.6% while Orange County’s rate is 9.5% and rose all of 0.1% from a year ago. Our neighbors to the north, Los Angeles, is at 12.3% and up 0.6%. Numbers are current as of June of this year.

What Happens With Bush’s Tax Cuts — One last chart. the Wall Street Journal created the following chart to demonstrate what happens if the Bush tax cuts expire as compared to what happens if Obama’s plan goes into effect. Is it so horrible as some would have us believe?

Wall Street Journal