29 March 2011

They're different from you and me

Here is a report from TPM on one of our elected officials struggling to get by on his meager public salary:

At a town hall meeting in Polk County, Wisconsin earlier this year, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) was asked whether he'd vote to cut his $174,000 annual salary. Duffy sort of hedged, and went on to talk about how $174,000 really isn't that much for his family of seven to live on.

So he's busy cutting the salaries of teachers.

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26 March 2011

Taxes and the Illegals

One of my favorite complaints about illegal immigrants is that they don't pay taxes.

Here is a little snippet from other the latest and last New York Times column by Bob Herbert:
A stark example of the fundamental unfairness that is now so widespread was in The New York Times on Friday under the headline: “G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether.” Despite profits of $14.2 billion — $5.1 billion from its operations in the United States — General Electric did not have to pay any U.S. taxes last year.

And perfectly legal too, thanks to friends in high places.

and I believe 41% of American citizens pay no income tax either.


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25 March 2011

Without Comment

23 March 2011

Why students sometimes don't get it

Increasingly we encounter students who can read perfectly well, but they can't "read" in any real sense. Here is a sample on Amazon from a bored student reviewing Ostler's first rate Empires of the Word.

this book is really boring I bought it for a class and I totally hate reading it. I'm half way through and I'm only on ch.5! The chapters are soooooooooo!!!! long! its riddiculous! this is a pretty thick book and it has really small writting! The author just talks over and over again about the same thing! Don't recommend it to read just for fun but if it is for a class then goodluck!

That's it. In its entirety. Another review said it read like "a textbook." Many books on Amazon get that tag. As near as I can make out what they really mean by "reads like a textbook" is that it is not a simple narrative, a story. And the chapters "are soooooooooo!!!! long!" Probably has big words too.

reminds me of the history grad student who told me he didn't like reading "whole books."

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19 March 2011

Doggie altruism?

Watch this please.

I am not sure what it means. Could be profound.

Or just a fluke.

16 March 2011

Kids say the darndest things

"Imagine this—what if there had never been a President George W. Bush, and when Bill Clinton left office he was immediately replaced with Barack Obama. Now imagine Obama had governed from 2000 to 2008 exactly as Bush did–doubling the size of government, doubling the debt, expanding federal entitlements and education, starting the Iraq war–the whole works. To make matters worse, imagine that for a portion of that time, the Democrats actually controlled all three branches of government. Would Republicans have given Obama and his party a free pass in carrying out the exact same agenda as Bush? It's hard to imagine this being the case, given the grief Bill Clinton got from Republicans, even though his big government agenda was less ambitious than Bush's. Yet, the last Republican president got very little criticism from his own party for most of his tenure.

For conservatives, there was no excuse for this."

From Rand Paul's new book, The Tea Party Goes to Washington. For more wisdom from Paul, go here.

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14 March 2011

Without Comment, sadly


10 March 2011

It was a good movie

despite the obvious.


Why the Crusaders had so much trouble...

... taking Jerusalem.

collateral damage.

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Quote from the Right

Fascinating quote from Grover Norquist: "The goal is to reduce the size and scope of government spending, not to focus on the deficit." (from Washington Monthly).

Oh. That makes sense.

And in case you thought that the rise in gas prices had something to do with the unrest in the Middle East, this Senate Repub will set you right:

"A lot of people are saying that the gas prices that are going up are a result, partially, of what's happening over there. That isn't the real problem," said Republican Senator James Inhofe, his party's senior member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and a climate change skeptic.

Inhofe said that "the real problem" was President Barack Obama's efforts to enact a cap-and-trade plan to curb emissions of greenhouse gases blamed by scientists for global warming.

Yes, yes. I can see the point of that.

And as for why we should continue to give subsidies of your money to those wonderful folks who raised your gas prices:

So Karl pushed further, asking if there was any credible threat of major oil companies going out of business if they stopped receiving taxpayer subsidies. "Over time if you put so many disincentives against any U.S. manufacturing or production company, or oil and gas exploration company, they'll go out of business," Barton said.

Pressed further on whether he has trouble defending subsidies to an oil industry that's already enjoying enormous profits, Barton said the money we throw at them is acceptable "so long as you believe that you believe in the free market capitalist system."

Hope you remember this the next time you fill up your tank and recall that, as always in the past, the spike will mean that oil companies make record breaking profits. And don't worry. Your Repubs in the Congress have steadfastly refused to help balance the budget by cutting these subsidies.

Which, oddly, brings us back to Grover Norquist.

And this just in. David Brooks, who before he retreated into the theoretical world of brain science used to be a political commentator, has this to say about presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich:

"I wouldn't let that guy run a 7-Eleven, let alone a country."

I would say he was probably misquoted, but I actually watched Brooks say this on a video.

In case you are concerned that a white supremacist has been arrested for the latest terrorist act, don't worry. Rep. King is already busy investigating .. the Islamic community for terrorist acts.

Isn't he the guy who supports the IRA?

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07 March 2011

Without Comment

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