Saturday, April 30, 2011

Even a Stopped Clock


I often cringe at the average Economist what's-wrong-with-the-United States article. Sometimes, though, they get it right:

The first failing, of which Mr Obama in particular is guilty, is misstating the problem. He likes to frame America’s challenges in terms of “competitiveness”, particularly versus China. America’s prosperity, he argues, depends on “out-innovating, out-educating and out-building” China. This is mostly nonsense. America’s prosperity depends not on other countries’ productivity growth, but on its own (actually pretty fast) pace. Ideas spill over from one economy to another: when China innovates Americans benefit.

Of course, plenty more could be done to spur innovation. The system of corporate taxation is a mess and deters domestic investment. Mr Obama is right that America’s infrastructure is creaking (see article). But the solution there has as much to do with reforming Neanderthal funding systems as it does with the greater public spending he advocates. Too much of the “competitiveness” talk is a canard—one that justifies misguided policies, such as subsidies for green technology, and diverts attention from the country’s real to-do list.

High on that list is sorting out America’s public finances. The budget deficit is huge and public debt, at over 90% of GDP when measured in an internationally comparable manner (see article), is high and rising fast. Apart from Japan, America is the only big rich economy that does not have a plan for getting its public finances under control. The good news is that politicians are at last paying attention: deficit reduction is just about all anybody talks about in Washington, DC, these days. The bad news—and the second reason for gloom about what the politicians are up to—is that neither party is prepared to make the basic compromises that are essential to a deal. Republicans refuse to accept that taxes will have to rise, Democrats that spending on “entitlements” such as health care and pensions must fall. No real progress is likely until after the 2012 presidential election. And the antagonism of today’s deficit debate may even harm the economy, as Republicans push for excessive cuts in next year’s budget.

I disagree that Republicans won't accept tax hikes. I think that the Ryan plan to lose many deductions, and lower rates is a tax hike of sorts. Yes, rates would go down, but eliminating the complex deductions that allow people like Stephen King to avoid the top tax bracket will make up for it. I'm assuming here that the rates would go down enough to make up for the loss of home mortgage deduction in the average middle class household. I don't think the top bracket needs to rise in order to get more money out of top wage earners. Making people like Tim Geithner and Stephen King actually pay all their taxes, that would be enough.

Simplify the code or give us all top tier accountants and Section 179 Alpaca Ranch deductions.

The worst case scenario: Obama, and his media helpers, will be able to fool the "I won't have to worry about buying gas or paying my mortgage again" crowd. They should have realized by now that there is no magic. But if they're blind enough to vote for the next, new, reinvented Obama, well then we're in for real pain.



Cat Divided



It was Abe Lincoln, I think, who said "Ouch, stop shooting me." No, just kidding, he said that a cat divided cannot stand. Lumberbrudi sent this link to a cat whose hind legs are fed-up, and not gonna take it anymore.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hipster Clock




This Ball Clock gives you a fun and unique way to see what time it is. The balls on the top two ramps represent the minutes and the balls on the bottom ramp represent the hours. Get yours here.

via

Gifts for Teacher



On the first day of school, the children brought gifts for their teacher.

The florist's son brought the teacher a bouquet of flowers.

The candy-store owner's daughter gave the teacher a pretty box of candy.

Then the liquor-store owner's son brought up a big, heavy box. The teacher lifted it up and noticed that it was leaking a little bit. She touched a drop of the liquid with her finger and tasted it. "Is it wine?", she guessed.

"No," the boy replied.

She tasted another drop and asked, "Champagne?

"No," said the little boy..."It's a puppy!"


via

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mark Guzheng Davis



Here's a public service announcement because a google search doesn't turn up much at the moment; and I feel I should use my entirely mid-range page rank to get this information out there.

I just got a letter, postmarked Ohio, that was supposedly from a Mark Guzheng Davis at Deutsche Bank. In fact, there is a Mark Davis at Deutsche Bank but he doesn't conduct business through ymail.com. The fake Mark Davis also gives a Hong Kong phone number: 852-8193-2507. I don't know if that's a working number but it doesn't matter because it's 3:00 AM in Hong Kong right now. In fact it's always 3:00 AM in Hong Kong, but that's not important.

The letter claims that a fellow named Alfred with my last surname died intestate and that if I'm interested I can lay claim to $8,350,000. This is the start of the classic Nigerian e-mail scam, only done on paper this time. Some clues:

The letter closes with "awaiting your humble reply" (what English speaker closes with that? how does he know I'll be humble?)

The last paragraph starts with: "Please again note I am a family man; I have a wife and children. I send you this Letter [sic] not without a measure of deep thought as to the consequences but nothing ventured is nothing gained, knowing fully well within me that success and riches never comes... " and on and on and on [btw, success never comes, riches never come, and success and riches never come]

Should you get a letter from this guy, don't even respond. He'll get you excited about these vast riches but before you can get them he will need either money or your bank account number. If you give in you can kiss every penny in your account goodbye.

Just Using Up Some Spare Pixels



Photoshop creaked when I opened it.

Make the Sad Face for the President, Kids




h/t:NRO

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday Cute


One day late...















via (sometimes not safe for work)

Looks Legit to Me





(clickabiggen)



Thursday Diversion



Brought to you one day earlier than those other guys.

Time: Waste it.

Makes Sense



Minding other people's just gets you into trouble.

This Too Shall Pass




Um, hello? This too shall pass? No, that's a tattoo. That's one of the few things that won't just fade away. Maybe "This will be on my arm long after it's novelty has faded" would have been more accurate.

When your arm skin is more wrinkled than Robert Redford's face, that tattoo will still be there.

Dilbert Shenanigans




The title of this post is just the first thing that popped into my head. In fact, most of the titles are just the first thing that popped into my head. Which worked well for awhile, but now I'm finding the auto-complete suggesting exactly the title I wanted for each post. Which means I've used that title already. (I hadn't realized how many times I'd used: "Dear Lord, Obama is going to destroy everything.")

dilbert

In Germany




You can tell this isn't America because we would have employed belt-sander propulsion.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Donald Trump



Does anyone else suspect that this new, conservative, Donald Trump is just a fabrication devised to siphon votes away from the Republican candidate in the 2012 election? I have an easier time believing that a liberal Trump became a little more liberal, as opposed to a liberal Trump all the sudden waking up to find he was a pro-life conservative.

Close to Me

Don't Tell Me Drugs are a Victimless Crime



Just look what they've done to the internet.

The Cats Duet



The Cats Duet (Duetto Buffo di due Gatti) by Les Petits Chanteurs A La Croix De Bois (The Little Singers of the Wooden Cross) during a concert in Seoul, Korea, November 30, 1996.

While the piece is typically attributed to Gioachino Rossini, it was not actually written by him, but is instead a compilation written in 1825 that draws principally on his 1816 opera, Otello. The compiler was likely the English composer Robert Lucas de Pearsall, who for this purpose used the pseudonym 'G. Berthold'.

True story: if you hum this during job interviews you almost double your chances of landing the job of your dreams.

via

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Not Mammograms Per Se




"When it comes to providing the actual mammograms the individual clinic... OH LOOK, a butterfly!"

h/t ricochet

Oh Noes



Because cute is the word of the day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Principled Environmentalist



If Crazy Charlie is for it, how can it be wrong?:

Crazed cult leader Charles Manson has broken a 20-year silence in a prison interview coinciding with the 40th anniversary of his conviction for the gruesome Sharon Tate murders - to speak out about global warming.

The infamous killer, who started championing environmental causes from behind bars, bemoaned the 'bad things' being done to environment in a rambling phone interview from his Californian jail cell.

'Everyone’s God and if we don’t wake up to that there’s going to be no weather because our polar caps are melting because we’re doing bad things to the atmosphere....

...Manson, who described himself to his interviewer as a 'bad man who shoots people', brainwashed members of a commune known as The Family into butchering eight people including film director Roman Polanski’s pregnant wife Sharon Tate in July and August 1969.

Speaking to Vanity Fair Spain magazine of the killing spree he led his crazed disciples on, the 76-year-old said: 'I live in the underworld. I don’t tell people what to do. They know what to do.

OK, so my first reaction was to laugh too, but think about it: Manson doesn't cross the continent in private jets. He doesn't have a yacht. Or a compound in Tennessee that uses more energy than the space shuttle. I mean, the worst thing he does to the planet is ferment raisin wine in his toilet once in awhile. His lights are out at 10:00 every night. He's a much more committed environmentalist than Al Gore.

If you want to make a dent in this Gaia thing, lock Al Gore up with Crazy Charlie for awhile. Al can teach Charlie how to sell meaningless carbon credits, and Charlie can teach Al how to hide out from those Aryan Nation guys. Win-Win, if you ask me. And it'd give Gaia a rest to have Al off the streets.

***bonus:
Where are they now?

I Wonder Too


I wonder how many people clicked on the Drudge link

Michelle Obama: 'I want to embrace the country that I love'
just to find out what country that was?

Rage Boy Lite




OregonGuy thought I could do something with this union loose cannon. I dunno, it's hard to parody a guy whose neck disappears due to rage-swelling. Anyway, I gave it a shot:


"THIS IS SPARRRRTAAAA!"

and finally: closed eye mellow-boy readies himself
to counter the rage with a well placed Kumbaya

OK, one more: Searching for harmonics...


video h/t: Gateway Pundit

Monday, April 18, 2011

Stephen King, Tax Avoider


"As a rich person I pay 28% tax. What I want to ask you is why am I not paying fifty?"
-Stephen King


Well, I don't know why he isn't paying at least 35%. Anyone making between $137,300 and $209,250 should be paying 28%.

Could it be that Mr. King's accountant used every trick in the book to get him into a bracket where he didn't belong? Just so he could complain about what the people who properly belong in that bracket are paying?

When the Taxes Become too Much




take a Linkletter break.

Wished I'd Thought of That




from

On to Infinity


You can't see it, and I can't prove it, but underneath those
pug-slippers there's another set of pug-slippers, and another,
and another, and another...


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thinking Outside the Box


Here we see Michelle Obama hosting the New Hollywood Squares,
Lawn Tractor Edition. The campaign expects this will help Obama to win
over "middle Amerika, you know, those guys who mow their own lawns."


photo via

Official Nicolas Cage Mugshot




OK, I photoshopped it. But only because I love the Nick Nolte drunk-shirt. Here's the real mugshot:



Friday, April 15, 2011

Historic


Jeffrey Anderson in the Weekly Standard, on Obama's historic deficit spending:

Given President Obama’s inference in his recent speech that, if only every other president had been as responsible on deficit spending as he has been, things would be great, it is well worth revisiting Obama’s actual track record versus other recent presidents (detailed more fully here). It’s also worth noting, since Obama’s fallback defense is always that the economy made him do it, that annual deficit spending even during the Great Depression never reached so much as 6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). You can see how that compares with Obama’s tallies below:


I don't know how much of this history we can take.

No Respect



So Obama gets the background halos, and Jill Biden gets this. That will teach her husband to doze during mandatory enthrallment events.



Thursday, April 14, 2011

Happy Ending


It looked bad, but luckily for little Jimmy.....


... a well equipped medical center was right around the corner.


You Need More Cute




This is reason enough to get an ipad. Taken from Cute Roulette, which is a place you shouldn't go unless you've got an hour to spare.

h/t: superbrudi

How Was the President's Speech?


Charles Krauthammer (obviously a stage-name) gets it:



Say What You Mean, Paul


Rep Paul (I'm pretty sure that is his name) Ryan:



Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cutest Puppy



Google assures me, this is the cutest puppy in the world.

still busy, sorry for the light posting

fighting101s.jpg