Fiscal Cliff Put Into Perspective of a Household Income

Lesson #1:
U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000
Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget using the
Same numbers:
* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts so far: $385.00
Easier to understand ??…….OK now,
Lesson #2:
Here’s another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:
Let’s say, You come home from work and find
There has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood….
And your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.
What do you think you should do ……
Raise the ceilings, or remove the sewage?

Benghazi Issues and Facts That Are Being Put Together Like a Jigsaw Puzzle

Back in the 70’s, we had Watergate.   Some people broke into an office of the opposing party and it was scandalous.  People went to jail, a president resigned and we had morals.

Benghazi has happened and 4 people died despite prior attacks and cries for more protection before and during the attacks.  It will probably be swept under the rug except for the sex scandal.  Although people may go to jail it is unlikely.  The president will be protected by the biased media and this will slide off of him like Teflon.

The attorney general who appears to be complicit in this and other scandals will also likely be untouched.  The Secretary of State to whom the embassy reported to will also escape justice as she has in the other times she has broken the law (Whitewater, travelgate……)

For now, here is a collection of where we stand.  Hopefully history will document the injustice that was done.

The scandal timeline

Anecdotal: This has happened before.  JFK had mistresses who were spies and may have leaked intelligence.

Don’t ever use Gmail if you want privacy

Patraeus could be prosecuted for Adultery, he might sing like a bird if offered a deal.
Hillary was informed about the Benghazi debacle on 8/16

To no one’s surprise, Eric Holder knew about Benghazi reports for months

Classified documents found on Broadwell’s computer

FBI suppressed Beghazi scandal to protect Obama 10/10/12

The veteran agent related to me that FBI agents assigned to the case were outraged by what were they were told by senior officials: The FBI was going to hold in limbo their findings until after the election.
“The decision was made to delay the resignation apparently to avoid potential embarrassment to the president before the election,” an FBI source told me. “To leave him in such a sensitive position where he was vulnerable to potential blackmail for months compromised our security and is inexcusable.”

Petraeus might have leaked secret prison information to Paula Broadwell

On Saturday, The New York Times reported that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor spoke to an FBI whistle-blower two weeks ago who accused Petraeus of not only having an extramarital affair but potentially jeopardizing the security of classified information.

During the same university speech, Braodwell may have also divulged information that Petraeus knew “within 24 hours” of CIA annex’s request for reinforcements, reported Israel National News.

“The challenging thing for Gen. Petraeus,”she stated, “is that in his new position, he’s not allowed to communicate with the press. So he’s known all of this – they had correspondence with the CIA station chief in Libya, within 24 hours they kind of knew what was happening.”

Earlier she had said the military could have sent reinforcements.

“They were requesting the – it’s called the C-in-C’s In Extremis Force – a group of Delta Force operators, our very, most talented guys we have in the military. They could have come and reinforced the consulate and the CIA annex.”

Patraeus successor Allen caught up in scandal

Guys, keep your zipper shut!

Senator Feinstein wants to get to the bottom of this.

“It’s been like peeling an onion,” she said.

Petraeus’ resignation follows an FBI investigation that, as Mitchell said, “morphed into an investigation about the possibility of national security secrets” as Petraeus’ alleged extramarital affair with biographer Paula Broadwell was revealed.

According to NBC News:

Officials tell NBC News that the affair was revealed because Broadwell sent anonymous, threatening emails to Jill Kelley, 37, described as a close friend of the Petraeus family. Kelley, who lives in the Tampa, Fla. area, was a volunteer social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

Investigating who sent the emails to Kelley, the FBI discovered the connection between Petraeus and Broadwell, officials say.

As Mitchell summarized NBC News’ reporting on the relationship between Broadwell, Kelley, and Petraeus, Feinstein interrupted: ”Well, this is all news to me. We were not told this. This is the first time I’ve learned of this. This makes me think, ‘Well, how many other things are there, too?’”

NBC News also reports:

According to reporting by NBC’s chief justice correspondent Pete Williams, a senior law enforcement official said a call to a congressional staffer came from an agent who was initially involved in the investigation but who was later removed from the case because he knew an associate of one of the people being investigated.  The agent knew someone on the Hill and called that person, a Republican staffer, according to the official. But that phone call had no effect on either the course of the investigation, the involvement of Mueller — who was following it closely long before Cantor called him — or the decision to notify Clapper, the official says.

Self Help Healthcare

I checked in with KevinMD for this piece of helpful information.  The free market will produce a better product than the government will ever be able to handle.  Capitalism always provides competition which drives DOWN prices and drives UP services.

f you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.
-Lord Kelvin

Asking science to explain life and vital matters is equivalent to asking a grammarian to explain poetry.
-Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Of course the quantified self movement with its self-tracking, body hacking, and data-driven life started in San Francisco when Gary Wolf started the Quantified Self blog in 2007. By 2012, there were regular meetings in 50 cities and a European and American conference. Most of us do not keep track of our moods, our blood pressure, how many drinks we have, or our sleep patterns every day. Most of us probably prefer the Taleb to the Lord Kelvin quotation when it comes to living our daily lives. And yet there are an increasing number of early adopters who are dedicated members of the quantified self movement.

 

They are an eclectic mix of early adopters, fitness freaks, technology evangelists, personal-development junkies, hackers, and patients suffering from a wide variety of health problems. What they share is a belief that gathering and analysing data about their everyday activities can help them improve their lives.

According to Wolf four technologic advances made the quantified self movement possible:

First, electronic sensors got smaller and better. Second, people started carrying powerful computing devices, typically disguised as mobile phones. Third, social media made it seem normal to share everything. And fourth, we began to get an inkling of the rise of a global superintelligence known as the cloud.

An investment banker who had trouble falling asleep worried that his concentration level at work was suffering. Using a headband manufactured by Zeo, he monitored his sleep quantity and quality, and he also recorded data about his diet, supplements, exercise, and alcohol consumption. By adjusting his alcohol intake and taking magnesium supplements, he has increased his sleeping by an hour and a half from the start of the experiment.

A California teacher used CureTogether, an online health website, to study her insomnia and found that tryptophan improved both her sleep and concentration. As an experiment, she stopped the tryptophan and continued to sleep well, but her ability to concentrate suffered. The teacher discovered a way to increase her concentration while curing her insomnia. Her experience illustrates a phenomenon that Wolf has noticed: “For many self-trackers, the goal is unknown … they believe their numbers hold secrets that they can’t afford to ignore, including answers to questions they have not yet thought to ask.”

Employers are becoming interested in this approach in connection with their company sponsored wellness programs. Suggested experiments include using the Jawbone UP wristband to see if different amounts of sleep affect work performance such as sales or using the HeartMath emWave2 to monitor pulse rates for determining what parts of the workday are most stressful.

Stephen Wolfram recently wrote a blog illustrating just how extensive these personal analytics experiments in self-awareness could become when coupled with sophisticated technologies. Wolfram shares graphs of his “third of a million emails I’ve sent since 1989” and his more than 100 million keystrokes he has typed.

Anyone interested in understanding just how far reaching this approach may become in the future should examine the 23 pages of projects being conducted by the MIT Media Center. My favorites from this fascinating list include automatic stress recognition in real-life settings where call center employees were monitored for one week of their regular work; an emotional-social intelligence toolkit to help autism patients learn about nonverbal communication in a natural, social context by wearing affective technologies; and mobile health interventions for drug addiction and PTSD where wearable, wireless biosensors detect specific physiological states and then perform automatic interventions in the form of text/images plus sound files and social networking elements.

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of all this new technology and to start crafting sentences about how the quantified self movement will “transform” and “revolutionize” health care and spawn wildly successful new technology companies.

Jackie Fenn’s “hype cycle” concept has identified the common pattern of enthusiasm for a new technology that leads to the Peak of Inflated Expectations, disappointment that results in the Trough of Disillusionment and gradual success over time that concludes in the Slope of Enlightenment and the Plateau of Productivity. Fenn’s book, Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to Choose the Right Innovation at the Right Time can help all of us realize that not all new technologies becomes killer applications.

Jay Parkinson, MD has also written a blog that made me pause before rushing out to invest in quantified self companies or predict the widespread adoption of this approach by all patients. Parkinson divides patients into three groups. The first group is the young, active person who defines health as “not having to think about it until they get sick or hurt themselves.” The second group is the newly diagnosed patient with a chronic illness that will affect the rest of their lives. After a six month period of time coming to terms with their illness, Parkinson believes this group moves closer and closer to group one who do not have to think about their disease. The third group are the chronically ill who have to think about their disability every day. Parkinson concludes that “it’s almost impossible to build a viable social media business that focuses on health. It’s the wrong tool for the problem at hand.”

The quantified self movement should be closely monitored by all interested in the future of the American health care delivery system. The potential to improve the life of patients with chronic diseases is clearly apparent; whether most people will use the increasingly sophisticated tools being developed is open to debate.