2014 Olympics At Sochi, Russia

In honor of the games….I thought I would do a post on the sports and the medals…..okay not really I am just gonna pass on a piece read the other day……

Though the opening ceremonies aren’t until tomorrow, the 2014 Olympics officially kick off today in Sochi—and the Wall Street Journal is ready with its extremely complex medal prediction system, which proved to be accurate to within just a few medals at the last two Olympics. So who’s likely to be the big winner this time around? The Journal predicts Norway will walk away with the most overall medals at 33, followed by the US at 32, Canada at 30, and Germany and Russia at 27 each. As for gold medals, Norway and the US are predicted to tie for the top spot with 13 each. Germany and Canada are also in the top four there, predicted to walk away with 10 and nine gold medals, respectively.

What are the factors at play? Well, consider that Norway has already racked up the most Winter Olympics medals of all time and the most gold medals from the Winter Games. Their athletes are focused on Nordic sports like cross-country and ski jumping: “We concentrate where we can do well,” explains an International Olympic Committee member who organized the 1994 Lillehammer Games. Meanwhile, the US gets a boost from three newly-added competitions in sports at which it excels: snowboarding, freestyle skiing, and women’s ski jumping. But one big problem for the US? Many important athletes are struggling with injuries.

  • A very different model—one that focuses on statistics like a country’s GDP and exports rather than the athletes themselves—predicts the US will win out with 29 medals total, while Norway will only grab 16, Smithsonian reports.
  • And if you’d rather look at betting odds for your prediction, the most recent story on SB Nation says the odds basically agree with the Journal: Norway is favored to be the top gold medal-winner, followed closely by the US, while the US is favored to bring home the most overall medals, followed by Norway.

Regardless who wins or loses……enjoy the sports and the much needed relief from the tacky spectacle that has become modern politics….

The first congressman to battle the NSA is dead. No-one noticed, no-one cares. | PandoDaily

All the hoopla over Snowden and the revelations that he has unleashed onto the world…..but did you know that there were people fighting the intrusion by the intel community years, even decades before Snowden did the deed…

The first congressman to battle the NSA is dead. No-one noticed, no-one cares. | PandoDaily.

Military Spending Shouldn’t Surpass Budget Caps – US News

Ever wonder about that “black budget”….we know that secret money used to fund all sorts of ‘secret’ programs around the world….how do they manage that when there is a budget that they must adhere to…..well somewhat….you ask….I answer….well in this case….in this case I will let US News & World Report do the answering…..

Military Spending Shouldn’t Surpass Budget Caps – US News.

Beliefs Of The Tea Party

Recently a friend and loyal reader and I had a conversation about the Tea Party….I said that I was not opposed to the Tea Party per se, as it was in the original movement just that, IMO, the movement had been hijack by people with an alternate agenda and that my problem is with the people that describe themselves as members of the Tea Party and their thoughtless comments which is picked up and given a lot of undue notoriety…..I try to ignore stupid but sometimes it is just too blatant to ignore….

But I was told that the Tea Party principles were as follows……..(a neo-liberal in any other clothing is still a neo-liberal)…….

  1. THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating “free” enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers’ rights that had been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services. To convince us this is good for us, they say “an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone.”
  2. CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES like education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply — again in the name of reducing government’s role.
  3. DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminsh profits, including protecting the environment and safety on the job.
  4. PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.
  5. ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF “THE PUBLIC GOOD” or “COMMUNITY” and replacing it with “individual responsibility.” Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves — then blaming them, if they fail, as “lazy.”

I understand their thinking in #1-4….it is 5 that I have a huge problem with…….”individual responsibility”…….don’t get me wrong….people should be responsible for their actions….all their actions and decisions…….but where I have my confusion is the laws and wanted laws that take responsibility from the people like what we eat or smoke or religion or abortion (now here is the one that most small minded people will fixate on…it is an EXAMPLE Only!)…..each one of those is a personal choice that some want to take away from the people…..it should be a total commitment to “individual responsibility” or let it go!

CBO: Friend Or Foe?

That is my latest poem…the title that is…….

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is both, friend and foe, if your particular ideology does not agree with the CBO’s findings then it cannot be trusted because it is a government entity that as we know cannot be trusted to give the people the real facts….and then when it does agree with your particular set of priorities then it is a friend and its findings should be heeded at all costs……

There you have it….it is both friend and foe……

I bring this up because the latest report from the CBO seems to favor the GOP’s set of priorities……..read on McDuff……

CBO’s Key Findings:

  • Revenue in 2014 is on track to exceed its historical average of 17.4 percent of GDP.
  • The deficit will again top $1 trillion by 2022.
  • Interest on the national debt will quadruple over the next decade.
  • By 2021, Obamacare will cause a “reduction in full-time-equivalent employment of about 2.3 million.”
  • Obamacare “will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024.” The largest decline will occur among “lower-wage workers.”
  • Obamacare “will cause a reduction of roughly 1 percent in aggregate labor compensation over the 2017–2024 period.”

To read the full report: http://cbo.gov/publication/45010.

So in this case at this point in the year….the CBO has given lots of ammo for the GOP in the coming 2014 elections….I can hear the “Repeal Obamacare” chants as I write……but the question is….will the CBO still be the friend the GOP needs to win their ‘rightful’ place as the power in DC?  Or will it go back to being the propaganda wing of the President?

You choose.