Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Salmonella, Sprouts, Senators, Students, and Spiderman

-        Indiana Republican Governor Mitch Daniels is getting some notice as a potential presidential candidate in 2012.  Although the odds are against him, he could carve out a patch of support from the moderates in the GOP.  As Governor he has shown innovation in the form of a statewide wellness program while balancing the state finances through a mixture of tax credits and tax increases, often pissing off both the Democrats and Conservatives in the state legislature.  He will probably get skewered by the social conservatives and the Grover Norquist clique for even talking about tax increases.  He is worth keeping an eye on.
-        The CDC is now reporting 94 cases of salmonella poisoning across 16 states due to contaminated alfalfa sprouts.  I guess we could use a new Food Safety Modernization Act, the last one was in 1938.  Well we have a new law as made it through the Senate and awaits the President’s signature.  There were 25 Republican Senators who voted against the bill, obviously because regulating food safety is a Socialist plot.  These ‘freedom fighters’ are listed below:
Barrasso (R-WY), Bennett (R-UT), Bunning (R-KY), Chambliss (R-GA), Coburn (R-OK), Cochran (R-MS), Corker (R-TN), Cornyn (R-TX), Crapo (R-ID), DeMint (R-SC), Ensign (R-NV), Graham (R-SC), Hatch (R-UT), Hutchison (R-TX), Inhofe (R-OK), Isakson (R-GA), Kyl (R-AZ), McCain (R-AZ), McConnell (R-KY), Risch (R-ID), Roberts (R-KS), Sessions (R-AL), Shelby (R-AL), Thune (R-SD), Wicker (R-MS)

-        The above law, along with the Affordable Healthcare Act and Financial Regulation Act will be in the Republican-controlled House crosshairs as they look to defeat these recent legislative accomplishments by cutting the necessary funding.  I am sure they will also look at budget cuts in the EPA and FDA because we have as a nation such a tremendous track record of allowing industry to police itself.
-        With so many states facing budget shortfalls, look to significant cuts in education funding and teachers.  If these municipalities were like most private enterprises, those being cut would be the lowest ranking employees as measured by some performance standard.  Unfortunately, the rankings will be based on years of service.  Of all of the performance criteria to select the best, I find years of service to be the least important.  And that is why Michelle Rhee’s new venture, studentsfirst.org is so important.
-        Shout outs to Tom Brady, Logan Mankins, Brandon Meriweather, Devin McCourty, and Vince Wilfork, and Jerod Mayo for their Pro Bowl selections.  Sorry guys, you won’t be playing in the game as you will be preparing for Super Bowl XLV taking place one week later.
-        The latest from the real life Springtime for Hitler also known as Spiderman, one of the lead actresses, Natalie Mendoza, who suffered a concussion during its first preview performance is quitting the show.   It’s never a good thing when people are paying to see your Broadway production for the same reason people watch NASCAR and ABC’s Wipe Out.

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