“I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.”
Edna St. Vincent Millay
“I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.”
Edna St. Vincent Millay
“That's when you know you're living right, when you're an eighty-something percent free throw shooter and you get your own rebound. But I think he needs a haircut.” I.U. Men's Basketball Coach Tom Crean of Jordan Hulls, following the 01/12/13 game against Minnesota. Indianapolis Star.
“There are no conditions of life to which a man cannot get accustomed, especially if he sees them accepted by everyone around him.” Leo Tolstoy
“Some argue that [flat and falling wages, labor conditions, loss of well-paying "middle class" jobs, and inequality] was an unavoidable result of deeper shifts: global competition, cheap goods made in China, technological changes. Although those factors played a part, they have not been decisive. In Europe, where the same changes took place, inequality has remained much lower than in the United States. The decisive factor has been politics and public policy: tax rates, spending choices, labor laws, regulations, campaign finance rules…. Inequality hardens society into a class system, imprisoning people in the circumstances of their birth– a rebuke to the very idea of the American dream. Inequality divides us from one another in schools, in neighborhoods, at work, on airplanes, in hospitals, in what we eat, the condition of our bodies, in what we think, in our children's futures, in how we die…Inequality corrodes trust among fellow citizens, making it seem as if the game is rigged. Inequality provokes a generalized anger that finds targets where it can…Inequality saps the will to conceive of ambitious solutions to large collective problems, because those problems no longer seem very collective. Inequality undermines democracy.” George Packer, “The Broken Contract: Inequality and American Decline,” Foreign Affairs, November-December 2011. (Don't let the date on this one fool you. This is still an engrossing journal article with important things to say about what's happened in American life and what it means.)
“Government, politics, corporations, the media, organized religion, organized labor, banks, businesses, and other mainstays of a healthy society are failing…With few notable exceptions, the nation's onetime social pillars are ill-equipped for the 21st century. Most critically, they are failing to adapt quickly enough for a population buffeted by wrenching economic, technological, and demographic change.” Ron Fournier and Sophie Quinton, “In Nothing We Trust,” National Journal, April 19, 2012. (still a worthwhile and relevant read.)
“The care of human happiness, not the destruction of life, is the first and only object of good government.” Thomas Jefferson
“We, the people, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which asks only what's in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals and those who died in their defense. As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It's about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. That's what we believe.” President Barack Obama
“Going to war, being at war, should be painful for the entire country, from the start. Henceforth, when we ship the troops off to battle, let's pay for it… 'Freedom isn't free' shouldn't be a bumper sticker– it should be policy.” Rachel Maddow, Drift.
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Prolonged growth in income inequality undermines the basic American belief that hard work should pay off. Anyone who contributes to the nation's economic growth should reap the benefits of that growth. But for decades now, those benefits have been skewed in favor of the wealthiest members of society.” Elizabeth McNichol, of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; Indianapolis Star, “Report: Indiana's income gap is among the fastest-growing,” Maureen Groppe.
“A society is judged by how well it treats the least of its citizens, and using our resources to support families is not only a moral imperative, it is economically wise.” Shelli Yoder, who, at 43% of the vote, lost her bid for Indiana's 9th congressional district seat against the better-funded incumbent,Todd Young (R), but will hopefully run again in the next election.
President Obama “smiles when he misses [a basket]; when he makes one, he looks even more serious.” Michael Lewis, “Obama's Way,” Vanity Fair (another highly recommended read from earlier this year)
“Obama does not promise or threaten fundamental change. He personifies it. He is its product.” Dan Carpenter
“The president's campaign, if you will, focused on giving targeted groups a big gift.” Mitt Romney, considering the cause of his failed 2012 presidential bid. (Maybe it's just that the President's a better singer. No offense, Mr. Romney.)
“We've got to give our political organization a very serious proctology exam. We need to look everywhere.” Post-election Republican, erm, soul-searching by former Mississippi governor, Haley Barbour (R).
“Look, if you want voters to like you, the first thing you've got to do is to like them first. And it's certainly not helpful to tell voters that you think their votes were bought.” Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal (R) in reference to Mitt Romney's supposition that he lost because the President bought the votes of the young and minority populations.
“Teachers aren't against reform. They just don't like to be slapped around.” Jon Easter, on his Indy Democrat blog, speaking about Glenda Ritz' (D) election as the next State Superintendent of Public Instruction in Indiana.
“Educators now know in their hearts because of this election that they are respected members of their communities. When they talk, people respect their opinion.” Glenda Ritz
“Is it any worse…to leave a wounded man in battle than to have him return home and struggle alone?” Cpl. Aaron Mankin
“Our military and weapons prowess is a fantastic and perfectly weighted hammer, but that doesn't make every international problem a nail.” Rachel Maddow, Drift (Highly-recommended reading. I even added it to the Bookshelf.)
“Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.” Message printed on a sign a 32-year old Cleveland woman was sentenced to hold at an intersection for one hour on Tuesday, November 13 after she had, in fact, driven on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.
Quotes from the News
“If you're sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me, so am I.” Barack Obama
“There are some things about being president that I still have difficulty doing. For example, faking emotion. Because I feel it is an insult to the people I'm dealing with. For me to feign outrage, for example, feels to me like I'm not taking the American people seriously. I'm absolutely positive that I'm serving the American people better if I'm maintaining my authenticity. And that's an overused word. And these days people practice being authentic. But I'm at my best when I believe what I'm saying.” Barack Obama
“…and [Romney's] trying to get [Obama] to stand up and to be a man and to be an American.” Caller to On Point with Tom Ashbrook (WBHR-Boston). I consume a fair bit of media, but how'd I miss the part where Romney's goal was urging the president to become two things he's been since birth? Is this another stunning achievement for Romney or the reason the media often dismisses The Average American?
“One problem for the Obama administration, in my view, is that the stimulus [Recovery and Reinvestment Act] included 5 or 6, or arguably even 10 or 12, bills that, if passed on their own, would be major achievements that the administration would be bragging about today. A stand-alone $29 billion bill to digitize the country's medical records is a big deal. A $90 billion investment in jump-starting renewables is a big deal.” Ezra Klein
“What do we believe…We believe that government has a role to play, not in solving every problem in everybody's life but in helping people help themselves to the American dream…If we want to earn the privilege to lead, it's time for Democrats to stiffen our backbone and stand up for what we believe.” Deval Patrick
“I am the 6th most conservative Democrat in the House of Representatives.” Indiana candidate for U.S. Senate and current Congressman Joe Donnelly
“Facts matter.” Joe Biden
“The American dream is not a sprint, or a marathon, but a relay.” Julian Castro
“Like so many American families, our families weren't asking for much…They simply believed in that fundamental American promise that, even if you don't start with much, if you work hard and do what you're supposed to do, that you should still be able to build a decent life for yourself and and even better life for your kids and grandkids.” Michelle Obama
“Because when you give a speech, you don't give a laundry list. You talk about the things that you, uh, you think are important.” Mitt Romney, explaining to Bret Baier of Fox News why he didn't mention Afghanistan or the troops in his RNC convention speech. Yes, old, but it still rankles. What's that old saw about a gaffe being when a politician accidentally speaks his mind?
“Reporting as 'fact-checking' might have started as a check on outright falsehoods, but it has morphed into a technique for supposedly non-partisan journalists to present opinions as 'facts'. The credibility of reporting has enough problems without claiming objectivity while practicing subjectivity.” L. Gordon Crovitz
“All that exists for any president are the odds.” Michael Lewis
And, your moment of What the Hell are You Saying?!?
A caller from Iowa City to WBHR-Boston's On Point with Tom Ashbrook: “I would like [Obama] to explain why gay marriage is good for the United States and why we should…look forward into the future where gay men can use the women's bathroom and showers.”
Tom Ashbrook: “So you're being facetious?”
Mr. Iowa City: “No, I'm not. I'm saying gay rights is gay rights. Gay men deserve to use the women's bathroom. Well, when will he come out and say that?”
Now, what you need to know about this interchange is: it begins hopping-mad and finishes bewilderingly insistent. I honestly don't know if this guy is in favor of unisex bathrooms by executive order.
Man, oh man, people are weird. Or, as Mr. Iowa City might say, “nuttery is nuttery.” And you can't argue with that.
By the Numbers
180. Number of bills introduced in the U.S. to restrict voting rights since the beginning of 2011. 14 states have passed legislation to restrict voting. (Brennan Center for Justice; MSNBC)
329. Number of consecutive months, as of July, with global temperatures above the 20th century average. (NOAA; The Hill)
700. Number of water mains in the U.S, on average, which break every single day. A third of the country's water pipes are 40-80 years old. This undoubtedly figures in to the D- grade the American water infrastructure received from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Repairing the infrastructure will cost approximately $335 billion over 20 years. (MSNBC)
30,000. Number of education jobs lost since the official end of the recession in 2009. Student-teacher ratios increased by 4.6% from 2008-2010, from 15.3 in 2008 to 16:1 in 2010, bringing student-teacher ratios back to levels last seen in 2000, according to a White House study. These ratios include special education and special needs classroom ratios. These classroom ratios are on track to increase even further. (AP; Washington Post)
396,906. Number of undocumented immigrants deported in 2011, the largest number in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements history. (CNN)
7.5 Million. The fine, in U.S. dollars, The Artists Formerly Known as Xe-Formerly Known as Blackwater-Now Known as Academi LLC agreed to pay to settle federal charges for possessing automatic weapons in the U.S. without registration, lying to federal regulators about weapons provided by them to the king of Jordan, passing secret plans for armored personnel carriers to Sweden and Denmark without U.S. approval, and illegally shipping body armor overseas. And this is just the stuff they've admitted to. (AP; Indianapolis Star)
So You Say
“First rule of journalism: Whenever you see elephants flying, shut up and take notes.” Tom Friedman
Paul Ryan's “not the kind of guy you pick to win Florida. This is the kind of guy you pick to win Fox and Friends.” Rachel Maddow
“And if you add in addition [to taxes paid] the amount [of our wealth] that goes to charity, why the number gets well above 20%.” Mitt Romney. To which Amy Davidson of The New Yorker shrewdly wrote “…what is the name for the category he refers to as 'the number?'– the sum of taxes and charity? Those are, after all– and one hopes that Romney recognizes this– two different things.”
“The political conventions are among the few 'shared' national political events left.” Jim Lehrer
“I mean, the conventions don't really do any work anymore. They're just three-day long infomercial parties for the party and the candidate.” Rachel Maddow
Climate change “is the biggest market failure the world has ever seen.” Former World Bank economist Nicholas Stern
Children of undocumented immigrants “study in our schools, play in our neighborhoods, befriend our kids, pledge allegiance to our flag. It makes no sense to expel talented young people who are, for all intents and purposes, Americans.” Barack Obama
“The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central Liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan
“There are 250 million guns in this country. If a person wants to get his hands on a gun, they're going to be able to do it…But we also have this situation where we have a lot of 20 year olds who are living in this under-institutionalized world, lonely, not a lot of people dealing with them; at the same time, a tremendous hunger for fame and you see the rise of these spectacle killings. And I'd like to see a debate about that. There's not an obvious political solution but…there's a civil society solution where we all look out for people who are just drifting between the cracks.” David Brooks
Excerpt: Matthew Tully regarding Indiana candidate for U.S. Senate Richard Mourdock
“If I had to pinpoint the moment at which I went from thinking Richard Mourdock would be an ineffective senator to a downright disaster, it was probably when he answered a question this spring about his top goals for the Senate. [He] told several reporters and editors that day that if he were a member of the Senate next year but in the minority, his top goal would be to travel the nation campaigning for fellow conservative candidates. The answer was as petty as it was depressingly political and partisan. And it underscored Mourdock's deep misunderstanding of the responsibilities and power every senator has–even those in the minority.” Matthew Tully, “Coats has things to teach Mourdock,” Indianapolis Star, 08/08/2012.
U.S. Representative André Carson (D-IN-7) is a bit prone to controversy of late; most recently for his comments regarding education, innovation, and madrassas. While I admit Rep. Carson has an especial proclivity for placing one or both feet in the general vicinity of his oral region and I further admit that many in the Indianapolis suburban area are, anecdotally, less than keen on Mr. Carson, I wanted to take the opportunity to point out something small but meaningful that André Carson has done for his community.
On the south side of Indianapolis, near what is questionably termed “The Magnificent Mile,” Mr. Carson has adopted a median. Granted, it’s a patch of grass in the middle of Madison Avenue that is as brown and parched as everything else in this drought-ridden Hoosier summer, but still, I think the congressman deserves credit for an investment in the community—and the thoughtfulness that necessarily lay behind it.
He’s so often in Washington D.C. with his duties as House member and now he is busy with campaigning, of course, as he faces Carlos May (R) in the 2012 general election. But there’s something to be said for his adoption of a median: it expresses a connection to his community and the desire to take ownership of its welfare that I find, frankly, refreshing and a little touching.
It would probably be a very easy thing as a U.S. Representative to just go to Washington and worry about connecting with the voters and leave it there. The small gesture of adopting a median in an area where any attention and care is sorely needed says something really good about the man.
Granted, perhaps some campaign advisor suggested the move to elicit a reaction such as mine.
Still, I think well of it. Thank you, Representative Carson. Perhaps in the fall, when the rain hopefully returns, some wildflower seeds and spring bulbs could find their way to your adopted median on Madison Avenue. Or some ornamental trees. But you decide; it is, after all, your median.
If you ever wanted to know How to Adopt a Median around Indianapolis, Here You Go.
Readings du Jour pour Jeudi (or, in Indiana-speak, “Hey, y’all, here’s some stuff to read for Thursday. Like ‘soup of the day,’ only with words. And who the heck is ‘Judy’ anyways?”)
Associated Press. “Gov. Perry tells feds Texas won’t expand Medicaid, set up online service to shop for insurance,” Washington Post, July 9, 2012.
Carpenter, Dan. “Taxes, Daniels, denial,” Indianapolis Star, July 11, 2012.
Montgomery, Lori. “In 2009, Americans paid lowest tax rates in 30 years to federal government,” Washington Post, Thursday, July 12, 2012.
Schneider, Mary Beth. “Gregg criticizes Daniels’ surplus,” Indianapolis Star, Tuesday, July 10, 2012.
Something to Talk About
“To me the highlight of politics, frankly, is to inflict my opinion on someone else.” Richard Mourdock, Republican candidate to represent Indiana in the U.S. Senate
“Sure, I believe in American exceptionalism in the same way that the British believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” Barack Obama
“The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” United States Treaty of Tripoli, signed into law by John Adams in 1797.
“I am going to eliminate every non-essential, expensive program that I can find, and that includes Obamacare.” Mitt Romney, who should probably be asked how he defines “essential” and then be asked for examples of programs, other than Obamacare, he’s thinking fit his definition of “non-essential.” The third question Mr. Romney should receive is “What if an essential program is also expensive?” The fourth question should be “What if the program is essential for some but not for all? Does the metric for ‘essential’ necessarily include ‘all-encompassing?’”
“Two Tums, two Advils, and a cup of coffee.” The perfect hangover cure, according to Liz Laughlin, as quoted in the Indianapolis Star.
“We have not inherited the earth from our ancestors. We have inherited it from our children.” Native American proverb
“We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” Carl Sagan
Poll Position: Indianapolis
For those living in central Indiana who are concerned about the future of Indianapolis, the Indy Rezone initiative is looking for citizen input on what the future of Indianapolis should be. They have a poll on their webpage. Currently the question is “The zoning and redevelopment issue that should receive the most attention is…” Unfortunately, there is no “all of the above” choice or even the ability to choose more than one answer. Still, if you have an opinion and/or if you frequently lament that “no one’s listening to me,” here’s your chance to weigh in on the future of the Circle City. Vote here.
Lastly, the Jackassery Award for Fine Living Goes To…
Mr. Aaron Stefanski of Fort Wayne, Indiana, who thought life would be a dream if only he’d get drunk, tie his two kids to the hood of his car, and take a pleasure cruise around the neighborhood.
The Indianapolis Star reports that Mr. Stefanski “told officers he thought the children, ages 4-7, would enjoy the ride.”
Kids 4-7 enjoy many things, some harmful. That’s why they have parents.
Congratulations on your Supreme Asshattery, Mr. Stefanski. Bone-headed moves like this involving beloveds tied to cars haven’t been seen since Mitt Romney tied ol’ Seamus to the roof of his car. I guess if you wanna be rich, ya gotta act like the rich… Well, if you can dream it, you can do it!
More Stuff Other People Said
“No one has yet won an election in the United States by lecturing America about limits, even if common sense suggests such homilies may be overdue.” Simon Schama
Obama “says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers—did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did! It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people!” Mitt Romney
“If Congress isn’t going to do anything to protect the U.S. economy and the Federal Reserve isn’t going to do any more to protect the U.S. economy then, yes, we are at the mercy of what happens in Europe and in China and in other parts of the world. But that is because we have chosen to be at their mercy. We are not helpless. We’re just acting like we are.” Ezra Klein
“Self-reliance and teamwork are not opposing virtues. We must have both.” Bill Clinton, 1996 Inaugural Address
“The truth is that, as technological societies become more advanced they have bigger government because they can afford it. And to the extent that government is public investment in public goods, including education of a skilled workforce, then it pays for itself through higher economic growth in time.” Michael Lind, who also points out that countries spending as much as 50% of GDP on government are frequently as or more economically competitive than the U.S. while Third and Fourth World countries typically spend far less on government as a percent of GDP than does the United States.
“Truth is great and will prevail if left to herself…she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.” Thomas Jefferson
By the Numbers
1—Liter of water required to grow one calorie of food. (U.S. State Department)
4—Percent reduction in the number of violent crimes reported in 2011 from the number reported during 2010. The number of property crimes declined by 0.8% in the same period. (FBI; USAToday)
80—Percent of economics experts, including the director of the CBO, who agree that unemployment rates in the U.S. were lower at the end of 2010 than they would have been without the 2009 stimulus. (Washington Post; University of Chicago Booth School of Business)
13,000—Number of public sector jobs lost in the U.S. during the month of May. Private sector jobs increased. (MSNBC)
6 Million—Amount spent annually by Virginia to protect the city of Norfolk alone from the rising sea levels of the Atlantic Ocean. (MSNBC)
76.8 Million – Dollars raised by the Republicans for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in May. $60 million dollars were raised in that month by the Democrats for President Obama. (CBS News)
3.1 Billion—Dollar amount of solar cells the U.S. purchased from China in 2011. This equals more than half the American market for these devices. (U.S. Department of Commerce; Washington Post)
Miss Otis Regrets
“Dear Emerald Orange, I can’t help but notice that your normally lame blog has become increasingly inane. You seem to have nothing to say except to repeat the media droppings that others have left behind. What gives? Are you even trying? Love, Blog Reader”
Dear Blog Reader: Yes, yes, I am very trying (chortle), ask anyone. What gives? Lots of what I suppose could be termed “life,” which has made it difficult to post anything approximating original (although I did create a nifty table for the Indiana 9th District Race; like, from scratch and everything). And in fairness, I never claimed Emerald Orange would be anything but lame. So there. But I regret the blog has become nothing but “media droppings” of late. So, if anyone would like to relieve Emerald Orange from the quote-and-numbers doldrums, feel free to ask a question or heck, guest post. Just send an e-mail to email@example.com, or throw a comment in, and presto-change-o, Better Blog. Much thanks. Love, Michelle. (Although, if your guest post is offensive or, heaven forfend, spam, you have no chance of appearing on my lame little blog. XOXO, BFF 4-Ever.)
“Well, about everybody’s more liberal than me.” John Gregg, Democratic candidate for Indiana governor
President Obama “cut taxes and spending…He didn’t go on a spending spree. He didn’t break up the too big to fail banks—they’ve only gotten bigger and fail-ier…Under Obama there’s more drilling than ever…Obama spent most of last year conceding the Republican premise that government needs cutting…[T]he Dow was at 7949 when he took office. Now it’s 12,000 and over. Corporate profits are at their highest ever. If he’s a Socialist, he’s a lousy one.” Bill Maher
“Yes, Obama duped young people by not doing every single thing they want. So now they’ll all vote Republican. It’s like when I want some bread, I won’t settle for half a loaf. Instead, I will have a muffin made of broken glass.” Stephen Colbert
“Forget what President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney say they want to do next year. The better question might be: How do they intend to get any of it done… The frequent elections in the House and staggered elections in the Senate, the expansion of the filibuster, the influence of the Supreme Court and the polarization of the political parties combine to constrain power. You can win an election and quickly find you lack the support to pass major priorities.” Ezra Klein
“The whole purpose of a constitution in this country, at its sacred core, is to expand rights, not restrict them.” Ben Jealous
“…the majority of Americans are conservative. They believe in things like the Constitution. I know that’s weird to some people.” Marco Rubio
“…you have Grover Norquist wandering the earth in his white robes saying that if you raise taxes one penny, he’ll defeat you. He can’t murder you, he can’t burn down your house, the only thing he can do to you, as an elected official, is defeat you for reelection. And if that means more to you than your country when we need patriots to come out in a situation where we’re in extremity, you shouldn’t even be in Congress…If you want to be a purist, go somewhere on a mountaintop and praise the east or something, but if you want to be in politics, you learn to compromise and you learn to compromise an issue without compromising yourself. Show me a guy who won’t compromise and I’ll show you a guy with rock for brains.” The always-entertaining Alan Simpson, who paired up with Erskine Bowles for an interview on Fareed Zakaria GPS, May 27. FZGPS is always great, but that first segment interview with Bowles and Simpson was especially so. Podcasts are available on iTunes (the audio version is free) or you can read the transcript here.
Rock the Quote
“Europe’s like a man who’s suffering chronic arteriosclerosis and who has also been hit by a truck.” David Frum, speaking about Europe’s economy (the diseased man) and the Euro crisis (truck).
“…financial markets are inherently unstable. They will neither self-correct nor self-regulate. Their instability poses a threat to markets and economies and people across the globe. Therefore, they need to be regulated…and JP’s [Morgan Chase] loss should be taken as a warning that our tendency is to set them too low.” Jared Bernstein
“We’ve had it backward for the last thirty years. Rich businesspeople like me don’t create jobs. Rather, they are a consequence of an ecosystemic feedback loop animated by middle-class consumers.” Nick Hanauer
“Well, growth is still the best antidote for poverty. But one of the things we’ve learned…is growth alone isn’t enough so we try to talk about inclusive growth…[W]hat inclusive growth means to me is that you also need an efficient social safety net, so that when the vicissitudes of economies or world events strike, that people at the bottom aren’t crushed or you don’t lose a generation through…improper nutrition or education…At the same time, there’s still a lot of people just above the poverty line. So there’s a need to sort of create opportunity.” Robert Zoellick, outgoing president of the World Bank
“Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us, that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and we support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage in spite of being a conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a conservative.” British Prime Minister David Cameron
“Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” Plato
By the Numbers
2.4—Percent of total employment in the U.S. accounted for by green jobs in 2010. That’s roughly 3.1 million green jobs, 860,000 of which were in the public sector. (U.S. Department of Labor, Washington Post, Indianapolis Star)
15.4—Percent of U.S. GDP made up of tax revenues in 2011. Under President Reagan, tax revenues equaled 18.2% of GDP. To find a pre-financial crisis year where taxes equaled 15.4% of GDP, one would have to go all the way back to 1950 (pre-Medicaid/Medicare. Heck, that’s pre-Hawaii statehood). (Ezra Klein, Washington Post, MSNBC)
50-100—Percent of the increase in death rates for older male workers in the years immediately following a job loss. (Daniel Sullivan, Till von Wachter; Columbia University)
75—Percent of medicines consumed in the U.S. which are generic/off-label. The cost of the 25% of medicines which are not generic equal 90% of the $310 billion spent annually in the U.S. on prescription drugs. (Gardiner Harris, New York Times, NPR, The Diane Rehm Show)
263—Approximate number of organizations the U.S. government has either created or re-configured to tackle aspects of the war on terror since September 11, 2001. 33 new building complexes have been built for the intelligence bureaucracies alone (17 million square feet, which equals 22 U.S. Capitols or 3 Pentagons). (Fareed Zakaria GPS; CNN)
1864—The first year the motto “In God We Trust” appeared on an American coin. It did not appear on paper currency until 1957. (Diarmaid McCullough)
230,000—Number of employees working for the Department of Homeland Security. (Fareed Zakaria GPS; CNN)