But first . . .

POWER YOUR HOME WITH YOUR PRIUS

My apologies on the Prius link yesterday (now fixed). It is PriUPS.com.

SAVE A LOVED ONE WITH QUICK ACTION

Jeff Covey: ‘You were right yesterday: Time’s of the essence with a stroke. My partner had one two years ago. He went to put his arm around me one morning, and it flopped like a log and hit me in the head. When he got up to go to the bathroom, he was walking oddly. My first partner died of a heart attack, so that straight, uncontrollable left arm set off warning buzzers. I got him in the car and straight to the emergency room, where they found he’d had a small stroke from a blockage on the right side of his brain. They said if I’d waited an hour, there could have been irreversible damage.

☞ For more, Jeff says the American Stroke Association publishes a free bimonthly magazine full of useful information and stories written by stroke survivors.

THE GOLDSTEIN BROS

John Seiffer:This reminds me of the story of the village idiot. He was so dumb if you offered him the choice of a nickel or a dime, he’d take the nickel because it was bigger. One day a man pulled him aside and said don’t you realize that the dime is worth more? Sure, he said, but if I took the dime they’d stop offering.’

☞ And that reminds me of the fare on the Fire Island ferry, which is $6.50 one way or $12 roundtrip. The only way on or off the island (for all practical purposes) is the ferry. So why even sell one-way tickets? I think it’s so that everyone feels as if they got a bargain buying the round-trip.

YOU’RE FIRED

The Colorado legislature passed a bill to include sexual orientation in the list of bases (race, religion, etc.) on which an employee could not be fired. Friday, the Republican governor vetoed it. As reported in the Denver Post, he will, however, allow a hate crimes measure to become law (though he will not sign it) – prompting Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff to suggest that the governor was sending a conflicted message to gays. ‘He seems to be saying that it’s OK to fire them but not to kill them.’

Compassionate conservatism is a nuanced thing.

And now . . .

CRY FOR ME, ARGENTINA

As we go $700 billion deeper into debt each year, we are digging ourselves into an ever deeper hole. This comes from a Washington Post report of a meeting that featured Stuart Butler of the conservative Heritage Foundation; Isabel Sawhill of the liberal Brookings Institution, and Comptroller General David M. Walker. In part:

With startling unanimity, they agreed that without some combination of big tax increases and major cuts in Medicare, Social Security and most other spending, the country will fall victim to the huge debt and soaring interest rates that collapsed Argentina’s economy and caused riots in its streets a few years ago. . . .

The unity of the bespectacled presenters was impressive — and it made their conclusion all the more depressing. As Ron Haskins, a former Bush White House official and current Brookings scholar, said when introducing the thinkers: “If Heritage and Brookings agree on something, there must be something to it.” . . .

Not surprisingly, the Heritage and Brookings crowds don’t agree on an exact solution to the budget problem, but they seem to accept that, as Sawhill put it, “you can’t do it with either spending or taxes. Eventually, you’re going to need a mix of the two.” Butler wants taxes, now at 17 percent of GDP, not to exceed 20 percent. Sawhill prefers 24 or 25 percent.

But such haggling seems premature when both parties still deny the problem. “I don’t think we’re there yet,” Walker said. “The American people have to understand where we are and where we’re headed.”

And where is that? “No republic in the history of the world lasted more than 300 years,” Walker said. “Eventually, the crunch comes.”

 

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