Things I Learned Recently

I think the Republicans won the budget showdown.  Here’s what I base that on:  Saturday morning, April 9, I turned on the TV to see what happened, and FOX News was all over the story.  I went to the other cable news channels and none of them were talking about it except for the one that was totally a viewer call-in show.  So the conservative channel covered it, and the liberal channels ignored it–yep, looks like a Republican victory.  To put a finer point on the matter, one of the news channels was running a very important segment on some five-year-old kid who was the honorary governor of New Jersey for a day.  Yeah, that was more important than whether or not the government was operating.

Another thing I learned over the weekend was, as I mentioned in my last blog, our military personnel were deemed as “non-essential,” and thus would not have been paid during a shutdown.  They would’ve gotten back pay when the government re-opened, but in the short term they would have suffered.  What I did not know was that it was President Obama who determines who is essential and who isn’t.  I assume he designated the military thusly to compel Republicans to make a deal, but, well, that was troubling.

In other news, I read an article in The Washington Post that said a researcher has determined that the gay and bisexual population in the United States adds up to about three and half percent of the count.  I had heard that before, and that the 10% figure commonly cited was the result of biased research and a skewed sample.  I guess both sides in the gay marriage debate could try to use this new data.  One side could argue it is such a small amount of people, why not let them do what they want regarding things like gay marriage, what’s the harm?  The other side might argue that such a small number should not be able to force changes that larger numbers of the population see as fundamentally wrong.  Either way, it’s interesting data.