Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Musings

Week-ends are way too short and I'm too exhausted to recharge in only two days. Oh, well. No light at the end of this tunnel, so I might as well get to the news:

How do we feel about the budget talks? Pessimism crosses the country as positions diverge. But the Washington consensus is that there will be a deal in time. Talks continued all week-end. Of course, we might not like what's in the deal. And so far, nobody's said they were willing to compromise -- thus, pessimism among the people. Indeed, economists are divided on what to do. (Although Paul Krugman seems pretty clear on what not to do). And the states, seeing the writing on the wall, cut their budgets -- and their Medicaid rolls. The Senate appears willing to let President Obama raise the debt limit, with certain conditions, of course. Although the GOP remains split over this plan. But some insiders say this will be the deal. First, there will be a vote on a balanced budget amendment -- the Tea Party favorite -- which will pass the House, but probably not the Senate. The hard right shift of the GOP has brought them to a vote on something that they know cannot win. Some are criticizing them for really being about low taxes, not about the deficit or the debt. Of course, a balanced budget would take year to put in place due to the need for the states to ratify it. So it's really a symbolic gesture. Debt limit votes have hurt political careers, which at least partly explains why a bunch of Republicans are going to vote against raising the debt ceiling no matter what the consequences to the nation. This is irresponsible, especially when you consider some of the things that will happen if we default on our debt. Surely, it would be awful for the markets and the dollar. Voters watch with concern -- and a lack of faith in their representatives.

States that spend the most and the least on health care for the poor. Just guess before you look. I'd have guessed Mississippi for the least, but I would not have guessed Alaska for the most. Interesting.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, only dogs can be service animals. But pets do a lot more than guide the blind. They improve our health.

A brave breast cancer activist confronts her own obstacles in the form of ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

The internet is changing how we remember -- since we can look up pretty much anything we want, we may be storing less in our memories.

And that's your Monday news. Have a great day. Jennifer

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