June 30, 2012

End Zone Dance

Category: Movies/TV,Opinion — jerry @ 11:20 am

June 28, 2012

The Truth About the Fast and Furious Scandal

Category: Opinion — jerry @ 9:16 pm

The story appears to be much different from what you and I have been told. From FORTUNE:

FORTUNE — In the annals of impossible assignments, Dave Voth’s ranked high. In 2009 the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives promoted Voth to lead Phoenix Group VII, one of seven new ATF groups along the Southwest border tasked with stopping guns from being trafficked into Mexico’s vicious drug war.
Some call it the “parade of ants”; others the “river of iron.” The Mexican government has estimated that 2,000 weapons are smuggled daily from the U.S. into Mexico. The ATF is hobbled in its effort to stop this flow. No federal statute outlaws firearms trafficking, so agents must build cases using a patchwork of often toothless laws. For six years, due to Beltway politics, the bureau has gone without permanent leadership, neutered in its fight for funding and authority. The National Rifle Association has so successfully opposed a comprehensive electronic database of gun sales that the ATF’s congressional appropriation explicitly prohibits establishing one.
Voth, 39, was a good choice for a Sisyphean task. Strapping and sandy-haired, the former Marine is cool-headed and punctilious to a fault. In 2009 the ATF named him outstanding law-enforcement employee of the year for dismantling two violent street gangs in Minneapolis. He was the “hardest working federal agent I’ve come across,” says John Biederman, a sergeant with the Minneapolis Police Department. But as Voth left to become the group supervisor of Phoenix Group VII, a friend warned him: “You’re destined to fail.” [Rest of article]

Health Care As a Privilege: What the GOP Won’t Admit

Category: Opinion — jerry @ 12:34 pm

Now that the smoke has cleared a little from this morning Supreme Court ruling, perhaps this will help us understand why the Republicans think they way they do about the issue. From NEW YORK Magazine:

As we wait for a Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act this week, there is one urgent, overriding moral question at the heart of the health-care fight. Paradoxically, and maddeningly, there has not been any open moral debate over it. That question is whether access to basic medical care ought to be considered a right or something that is earned.
Several reporters have recently filed dispatches showing in human terms what sort of conditions we would be perpetuating in the event that five Republican Supreme Court Justices, or a potential Republican-run government next year, partially or completely nullify the Affordable Care Act. A man will watch the tumor in his leg grow to the size of a melon, and his wife will sew special pants to fit the growing bulge, because he has no insurance. A woman will hobble around for four years on an untreated broken ankle she can’t have repaired. People will line up in their cars and spend the night in a parking lot queuing for a rare free health clinic.
Maybe these stories sound like cheap emotional manipulation. They are actually a clarifying tool to cut through the rhetorical fog surrounding the health-care debate and define the question in the most precise terms…. [Rest of article]

June 26, 2012

Why Women Still Can’t Have It All

Category: Uncategorized — jerry @ 4:26 pm

A very interesting article from THE ATLANTIC that is getting a lot of buzz:

EIGHTEEN MONTHS INTO my job as the first woman director of policy planning at the State Department, a foreign-policy dream job that traces its origins back to George Kennan, I found myself in New York, at the United Nations’ annual assemblage of every foreign minister and head of state in the world. On a Wednesday evening, President and Mrs. Obama hosted a glamorous reception at the American Museum of Natural History. I sipped champagne, greeted foreign dignitaries, and mingled. But I could not stop thinking about my 14-year-old son, who had started eighth grade three weeks earlier and was already resuming what had become his pattern of skipping homework, disrupting classes, failing math, and tuning out any adult who tried to reach him. Over the summer, we had barely spoken to each other—or, more accurately, he had barely spoken to me. And the previous spring I had received several urgent phone calls—invariably on the day of an important meeting—that required me to take the first train from Washington, D.C., where I worked, back to Princeton, New Jersey, where he lived. My husband, who has always done everything possible to support my career, took care of him and his 12-year-old brother during the week; outside of those midweek emergencies, I came home only on weekends.

As the evening wore on, I ran into a colleague who held a senior position in the White House. She has two sons exactly my sons’ ages, but she had chosen to move them from California to D.C. when she got her job, which meant her husband commuted back to California regularly. I told her how difficult I was finding it to be away from my son when he clearly needed me. Then I said, “When this is over, I’m going to write an op-ed titled ‘Women Can’t Have It All.’”

She was horrified. “You can’t write that,” she said….[Rest of article]

June 21, 2012

President Obama: Why Do You Have People Like This Working In The DEA?

Category: Opinion — jerry @ 12:58 pm

June 19, 2012

Crazy vs. Crazy–Religious Tolerance In America

Category: Movies/TV — jerry @ 11:07 am

June 18, 2012

The Least Interesting Horse Race You Will See Today

Category: Sports — jerry @ 10:03 am

June 16, 2012

The Troy Library Campaign

Category: Books — jerry @ 1:24 pm

June 13, 2012

Stock Picks–June 13, 2012

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 11:24 am

Two energy companies this time around: Legacy Reserves Lp (LGCY), into which I shall put 2/3 of my investment and TGC Industries Inc. (TGE), which shall receive the other 1/3.

I just received an email from Marketocracy–of which I’ve written here frequently, just not recently–confirming that they are depositing a check to my PayPal account for having two funds in their m100 (Top 100 “fantasy funds” followed on their site). I’m not sure how my old “flagship” fund is still on their list–it’s been underperforming the market for years now, after a terrific initial run–but my energy fund has been doing well (and was even in their Top Ten most of last year)…so maybe these two new stocks will do well, energy allegedly being my forte and all.

June 12, 2012

Interesting New Technology

Category: Movies/TV,Technology — jerry @ 10:36 am