April 9, 2011 archive

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This is an Open Thread

Glitter and Unicorns

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Ludicrous and Cruel

By PAUL KRUGMAN, The New York Times

Published: April 7, 2011

(T)he Ryan proposal trumpets the results of an economic projection from the Heritage Foundation, which claims that the plan’s tax cuts would set off a gigantic boom. Indeed, the foundation initially predicted that the G.O.P. plan would bring the unemployment rate down to 2.8 percent – a number we haven’t achieved since the Korean War. After widespread jeering, the unemployment projection vanished from the Heritage Foundation’s Web site, but voodoo still permeates the rest of the analysis.

A more sober assessment from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office tells a different story. It finds that a large part of the supposed savings from spending cuts would go, not to reduce the deficit, but to pay for tax cuts. In fact, the budget office finds that over the next decade the plan would lead to bigger deficits and more debt than current law.

According to the budget office, which analyzed the plan using assumptions dictated by House Republicans, the proposal calls for spending on items other than Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – but including defense – to fall from 12 percent of G.D.P. last year to 6 percent of G.D.P. in 2022, and just 3.5 percent of G.D.P. in the long run.

That last number is less than we currently spend on defense alone; it’s not much bigger than federal spending when Calvin Coolidge was president, and the United States, among other things, had only a tiny military establishment. How could such a drastic shrinking of government take place without crippling essential public functions? The plan doesn’t say.

(P)rivatizing Medicare does nothing, in itself, to limit health-care costs. In fact, it almost surely raises them by adding a layer of middlemen. Yet the House plan assumes that we can cut health-care spending as a percentage of G.D.P. despite an aging population and rising health care costs.

The only way that can happen is if those vouchers are worth much less than the cost of health insurance. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that by 2030 the value of a voucher would cover only a third of the cost of a private insurance policy equivalent to Medicare as we know it.

In the past, Mr. Ryan has talked a good game about taking care of those in need. But as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out, of the $4 trillion in spending cuts he proposes over the next decade, two-thirds involve cutting programs that mainly serve low-income Americans.

The G.O.P. budget plan isn’t a good-faith effort to put America’s fiscal house in order; it’s voodoo economics, with an extra dose of fantasy, and a large helping of mean-spiritedness.

A little bit more-

Ryan and Taxes

By PAUL KRUGMAN, The New York Times

April 8, 2011, 9:48 am

The Ryan plan calls for cutting the top marginal rate to 25 percent – lower than it has been at any time in the past 80 years. That in itself should tell you that this is a deeply unserious proposal: anyone who tells you that we have to face hard truths, that everyone must sacrifice, and by the way, rich people will pay lower taxes than they have at any time since the 1930s, is just engaged in a power grab.

Low Budget Land

Cheap is small and not too steep

But best of all cheap is cheap

Circumstance has forced my hand

To be a cut price person in a low budget land

Times are hard but we’ll all survive

I just got to learn to economize

I’m on a low budget

I’m on a low budget

I’m not cheap, you understand

I’m just a cut price person in a low budget land

Excuse my shoes they don’t quite fit

They’re a special offer and they hurt me a bit

Even my trousers are giving me pain

They were reduced in a sale so I shouldn’t complain

They squeeze me so tight so I can’t take no more

They’re size 28 but I take 34

I’m on a low budget

What did you say

I’m on a low budget

I thought you said that

I’m on a low budget

I’m a cut price person in a low budget land

I’m shopping at Woolworth and low discount stores

I’m dropping my standards so that I can buy more

Quality costs, but quality wastes,

So I’m giving up all of my expensive tastes.

Caviar and champagne are definite no’s,

I’m acquiring a taste for brown ale and cod roes

Low budget sure keeps me on my toes

I count every penny and I watch where it goes

We’re all on our uppers we’re all going skint

I used to smoke cigars but now I suck polo mints

I’m on a low budget

What did you say

Yea I’m on a low budget

I thought you said that

I’m on a low budget

I’m a cut price person in a low budget land

I’m on a low budget

Low budget

Low budget

Art takes time, time is money

Money’s scarce and that ain’t funny

Millionaires are things of the past

We’re in a low budget film where nothing can last

Money’s rare there’s none to be found

So don’t think I’m tight if I don’t buy a round

I’m on a low budget

What did you say

Yes I’m on a low budget

I thought you said that

I’m on a low budget

I’m a cut price person in a low budget land

I’m on a low budget

Say it again

Low budget

One more time

Low budget

I look like a tramp, but don’t write me off,

I’ll have you all know, I was once a toff

At least my hair is all mine, my teeth are my own,

But everything else is on permanent loan.

Once all my clothes were made by hand,

Now I’m a cut price person in a low budget land.

I’m on a low budget

I’ll have you all know

We’re on a low budget

I’m on a low budget

The Budget Battle: From Here To Thursday

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The Government has avoided a shut down in the last minutes, however, this isn’t over, by a long shot. While the Obama supporters will be touting tonight’s passing of a “Bridge CR” and agreement for the 2011 budget a “victory’, is it? Yes, they managed to remove some of the most egregious riders that the “Full Mooner” Tea Party Republicans were trying to jam through but it cost Obama almost $39 billion more than the $40 million that he originally proposed for a grand total of $79 billion in cuts that will only carry through until September that is if they pass it next Thursday. It still isn’t very clear just what is in that extra $39 billion in cuts.

There are still give aways in the bill which includes the riders to ban DC from using its own funds to pay for abortions for poor DC women and approval of the unpopular DC school vouchers which was opposed by the DC city council. So much for Republican respect for state’s rights.

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post sums it up, this is “2011 not 1995”:

The substance of this deal is bad. The rhetoric of it is worse.

The final compromise was $38.5 billion below 2010’s funding levels. That’s $78.5 billion below President Obama’s original budget proposal, which would’ve added $40 billion to 2010’s funding levels, and $6.5 billion below John Boehner’s original counteroffer, which would’ve subtracted $32 billion from 2010’s budget totals. In the end, the real negotiation was not between the Republicans and the Democrats, or even the Republicans and the White House. It was between John Boehner and the conservative wing of his party. And once that became clear, it turned out that Boehner’s original offer wasn’t even in the middle. It turns out to be slightly center-left.

But you would’ve never known it from President Obama’s comments following the conclusion of the negotiations. Obama bragged about “making the largest annual spending cut in our history.” Harry Reid repeatedly called the cuts “historic.” It fell to Boehner to give a clipped, businesslike statement on the deal. If you were just tuning in, you might’ve thought Boehner had been arguing for moderation, while both Obama and Reid sought to cut deeper. You would never have known that Democrats had spent months resisting these “historic” cuts, warning that they’d cost jobs and slow the recovery.

Although there will now be a separate Senate vote to cut Title X funding for Planned Parenthood, which will most likely fail, this is a major capitulation by Obama and the Democratic leadership that gives 1/6th of the government 2/3rds of the budget cuts it wanted. All of these riders will appear again and again and many will pass the House and, perhaps, even the Senate. What matters more to Obama than anything else is his notion of “bipartisanship” which is shifting this country further and further to the right to the detriment of the majority if Americans and the future.

Nice spelunking by the Spelunker-in-Chief.

Anonymous Sexist Imbeciles Attack Anne Elizabeth Moore in Wikipedia


Subject not sufficiently notable: Does not meet [[WP:CREATIVE]], I have searched for additional sources but have not been able to improve upon them. Sources listed are mostly unreliable or self published. Subjects only real claim to notability is as the author of ”Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing and the Erosion of Integrity” which is a book I can find precious little mention of, in reliable sources. Ok, so I have now found some RS for the book, i’ll leave the nomination up for the moment as I still don’t believe [[WP:CREATIVE]] has been met.


And I mildly replied…

Apparently the ANONYMOUS SEXIST IMBECILE who started this bullshit didn’t notice links to reviews of “book I can find precious little mention of” in the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian (UK), and Forbes, and if this ANONYMOUS SEXIST IMBECILE can’t even “find” links in national and international “reliable sources” which are staring him, her, or IT in the face right out of the article which he, she or IT is “reviewing,” then maybe he, she, or IT should take a little break from VANDALIZING ARTICLES ABOUT WOMEN, learn how to READ, and stop posting LIES on Wikipedia! ” Sources listed are mostly unreliable or self published.” That’s a LIE! Is the Los Angeles Times “self-published or unreliable?” No it isn’t, LIAR! Is the Guardian “self-published or unreliable?” No, it isn’t, LIAR! And likewise with the claim that this book is Anne Elizabeth Moore’s “only real claim to notability.” This ANONYMOUS SEXIST IMBECILE and his PARTNER (Tbennert) first removed a whole string of references to PUNK PLANET, the zine which Anne Elizabeth Moore edited and published, and which is “notable” enough to merit its own Wikipedia entry, and then claimed that Unmarketable is her “only real claim to notability!” BULLSHIT!

Did You Fuck it Up?

Heh. I didn’t fuck it up.

Chernobyl Legacy


This Week In The Dream Antilles

Many years ago, there was a small railroad that ran on the docks in Brooklyn.  It was called the Brooklyn Dock Railway.   It wasn’t connected by track to other railroads.  Back then, they put railroad cars on barges and floated them to and from New Jersey across the New York City harbor.   When BDR went out of business about forty years ago, a friend of your bloguero picked up some artifacts from its offices.  And he gave your bloguero one, a small stamp that was used in making hourly entries in a lined log book.  The stamp says, “NOTHING TO REPORT.”

A perfect stamp to put on today’s digest.  At The Dream Antilles a week of bemusement. A week of distraction.  A week of dreams.  A week of memories.  A week of wondering.  A week of ennui.  A week of nothing to report.


The Newark Space Flight Center is fiction, but it has girders anchored in fact.  Your bloguero likes this piece.  A relative of your bloguero , on the other hand, wants your bloguero to know that he doesn’t recognize Pops as Luis, your bloguero’s actual grandfather.  “But, but, but,” your bloguero stammers, “It’s part fact and part fiction.  It’s faction.  It’s….”

At Last notes the arrival of the peepers on the pond.  The surest sign that Spring has begun.

April 4, the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is marked by In Memoriam,

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Your bloguero notes that this Digest is a weekly feature of the Port Writers Alliance and is now posted early Saturday morning.   Your bloguero will see you next week, planetary and his psycho-emotional condition permitting.  If you read this, please drop a note.  Your bloguero last week had a personal understanding of  Handel’s interpretation of Isaiah, “The voice of him that cryeth in the wilderness…”

Six In The Morning

US Congress agrees last-minute budget deal

Republicans and Democrats have reached a deal on the US budget, an hour before a deadline that would have forced the government to close many services.

The BBC  9 April 2011

They have passed a stop-gap spending bill which will allow the government to keep running while the wider budget plan is finalised.

The parties have agreed to slash about $38bn (£23bn) from spending for the year until 30 September.

President Barack Obama said the cuts would be difficult but necessary.

“Some of the cuts we agreed to will be painful,” he said.

“Programmes people rely on will be cut back. Needed infrastructure projects will be delayed. And I would not have made these cuts in better circumstances.”


Song of the Sea, a Cappella and Unanswered

Late Night Karaoke

Video of Trip to Fukishima With Geiger Counters (Dosimeters)

At thirty kilometers from the plant, entering the exclusion zone, the dosimeters are already clicking.  At 17 kilometers (about ten miles) the dosimeters begin sounding an alarm indicating dangerous levels of radiation.

If this radiation has a long half-life, this is going to mean large chunks of uninhabitable land.  No telling what it means for human health and the health of other life forms.

Question for Doc.  Can you give us input on this?


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