Saturday, October 20, 2012

I Voted Today: For America, Against #Romnesia

I was happy to put my ballot in the mail today.

  • No waiting line!
  • The leisure to ponder the issues at the kitchen table, and look up a few things on the internet while deciding.

Most of the contests were pretty easy to decide.

  • President: I'm proud to support Obama and Biden, the team that took over while our economy was in a nose-dive, and got it leveled out, even heading up slightly. Knocking of bin Ladn and most of Al Qaeda, while helping the Arab Spring but mostly staying offshore, showed a smarter approach to foreign policy than the previous band of war pigs. I was amused to see the large number of alternative candidates (Justice! Constitution! and TWO kinds of Socialism!) but the main opponent is a man whose actual views on any subject no-one knows, because he changes them to fit his audience. This might have worked before YouTube, but Mitt is a comic figure now; he can't remember his own positions on most issues. It's funny to call his condition "Romnesia" because it really does seem like he's a sick man who just blurts out whatever his current audience wants to hear, but the presidency is too serious for that. As president, he'd be a disaster because no-one, absolutely no-one could trust him; diplomacy of any sort would be nonsense.
  • Senator: I'm also proud to support Cantwell, a very good senator both for our state and for our nation. Her opponent is a no-name who attacked her for being childless: classy (not!)
  • Representative: Jim McDermott's office has excellent constituent service that I've used to get help for several people. And I admire a guy who released a tape to the press proving Newt Gingrich was breaking the deal he'd made with Congress to avoid prosecution, even if that decision got Jim sued by John Boehner, who was in on the corrupt deal.
  • Governor: I went with Inslee over the guy who tried to knock out Obamacare. The national GOP is opposed to the plan they proposed in the 1980s, and I can't be impressed with any candidate  who won't stand up to them. McKenna's opposition to marriage equality ... or lets be honest, his stand in favor of sex discrimination ... is also a disqualification.
  • Lt. Governor: This was a difficult race. Both candidates accuse each other of corruptly taking money from lobbyists, and I believe both of them. Ordinarily I'd go with the Democrat, but he's anti-choice so forget it.
There were plenty of down-ticket races, and I have to admit I don't really know one judge from another, so I mostly went with the Progressive Voter's Guide.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Let's not forget that four years ago, our economy was in a power dive straight into the ground, losing 700,000 or more jobs every month.
Obama may be criticized for many things, but under his leadership we are now gaining 100,000 jobs a month and more. Why change pilots now?
Especially when the other guy thinks it's a good idea to keep exporting jobs; he not only is opposed to ending the tax breaks that help pay for job exports, he denies that there exist any such tax break, which is an obvious lie: any businessman knows that business expenses are deducted from income before calculating taxes.
For example, when Bain Capital cruelly forced workers at Sensata, in Freeport Illinois, to train their Chinese replacements, Bain could deduct as a business expense the cost of flying the Chinese workers to America, housing them while here, and sending them and the manufacturing equipment to China. In effect, American taxpayer subsidized the export of those jobs. Isn't that crazy?
I think we should stick with the guy who's turned us around from a negative 700,000 jobs a month to a positive 100,000 jobs a month.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Binders Full Of Women (open post) #binderFullOfWomen

The whole Binders Full Of Women thing is amazing.

  • Katherine's question was about gender-based pay inequity. How does hiring a few women address pay inequity?
  • Who the heck uses binders anymore? Hasn't Romney ever heard of computers?
  • It turns out, Romney's claim (irrelevant and stupid as it was) was a lie. Surprise!
  • I want to be as positive as possible, because it's good for my health. So here's my take on the issue, meant to elicit a chuckle:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Happy Thought: #Obamacare Means You Can't Be Dropped For Getting Sick

Be happy!

It used to be that if you got sick, your insurance company had the chance to drop you when you got too expensive. Yearly limits and lifetime limits were buried deep in the contract. And of course, if your insurance was through your employment, it's not as if you could negotiate the terms anyway.
That's changed, thanks to Obamacare. Even if an insurer starts losing money on you, they can't drop you.
Insurers who wanted to "do the right thing" were at a disadvantage; their competitors could be more profitable by dropping people when they got sick. Think about that for a minute: the system was set up so that people who wanted to do the right thing would be flushed out of the marketplace!
Let's think about what a good thing this is, for us as individuals, for our families, and for our nation!


Monday, October 15, 2012

4freeCLE: Your Free CLE Newsletter! October 14, 2012

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ultimate Screwdriver Showdown: Fall Cleaning Edition

This is Fall Cleaning Day, and my first job is vacuuming the air ducts in preparation to turning on the heat.
The  slowest part of the job is taking off and replacing the duct covers. They're just held on with screws, but over the years, screws must have gotten lost and replaced by whatever was on hand, because there are hardly two that match. This doesn't matter much, since no-one really notices, but it does slow me down to be switching constantly between flat-bladed screwdriver and Phillips wrench.
Which Tool Will Prevail?
Then Brilliance Struck - like a hot fist to a cold brain!
"Why not have the two screwdrivers battle royale, and let the victor rule!" thought I.
The Battle:
I set up the arena and decreed: "Two enter, one goes out!"
The Phillips wrench struck first. "Pick Me!" it said. "My self-centering design is clearly superior; as long as you maintain axial pressure, the tool will never slip off the screwhead!"
"Pick Me!" reposted the flat-bladed screwdriver. "I can double as a pry for the covers, when it's time to lift them!"
In the end, I gave thumbs-up to the flat-bladed, because I had an extra flat-bladed screw to work with.
The Economics:
I clean the vents and ducts every fall and plan to do that for 30 or 40 years.
If having a single screwdriver saves me 1 minute of time, I've just added more than half-an-hour of useful time to my life, once I subtract a few minutes for having made and implemented this decision. Unfortunately I have chosen to spend about a third of that time blogging about it; I won't start actually profiting from this move until about 2022. Perhaps I'm beginning to understand how the situation arose in the first place.
Next Year: 
Revenge of the Phillips Wrench!