Random, sublime

January 21st, 2011 § Comments off § permalink

Music for Shuffle.

Resolved: Quit making resolutions

January 7th, 2011 § Comments off § permalink

A nice post from Merlin Mann on the problems with New Year’s resolutions, and a more sensible path to self-improvement. (Kindly ignore the Seinfeld references.)

The party of Lincoln

January 4th, 2011 § Comments off § permalink

Contrary to yesterday’s report, House Republicans are now claiming that they never really promised to cut $100 billion from the budget. Oh, wait, except they totally did:

“A Pledge to America,” the manifesto House Republicans published last September, included the promise, “We will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone.”

Republican leaders have repeatedly invoked the number. On Tuesday the Web site for Representative John A. Boehner, the incoming House speaker, included a link to his national radio address on the Saturday before the midterm elections, in which he said, “We’re ready to cut spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving roughly $100 billion almost immediately.”

Representative Paul D. Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who will become chairman of the House Budget Committee, said in December that the goal was to cut “a good $100 billion.”

It’s nice to see the New York Times taking a cue fromĀ The Daily Show and calling people out when they make stuff up.

Maybe I shouldn’t be complaining about the Republicans, though, since Jerry Brown is about to propose a budget that attempts to close a $25 billion deficit in California alone. I don’t doubt that California needs to get its finances under control, but man, a $25 billion cut is going to be painful. And I’m extremely frustrated that Brown isn’t willing to talk about amending Proposition 13. Is it so crazy to suggest that part of the solution to inadequate revenue should be more revenue?

In which I rue the ascent of the Tea Party

January 3rd, 2011 § Comments off § permalink

Oh, goody, the incoming House Republicans are getting ready for some good old-fashioned budget hackin’ and slashin’:

The incoming Republican majority in the House is moving to make good on its promise to cut $100 billion from domestic spending this year, a goal eagerly backed by conservatives but one carrying substantial political and economic risks.

House Republican leaders are so far not specifying which programs would bear the brunt of budget cutting, only what would escape it: spending for the military, domestic security and veterans.

That makes sense, because God knows the military and the Department of Homeland Security would never waste enormous amounts of money.

How fortunate that our nation has the new, improved, fiscally responsible Republican Party to bail us out, after all those years of misrule by the stupid old Democrats! Oh, wait:

Looming over the budget fight is the battle over the debt limit. An increase in the debt limit is essential for the government to borrow to meet its obligations, but it is adamantly opposed by the Tea Party movement and other small-government conservatives.

While they complain that lifting the limit enables new spending, mostly it allows the government to cover existing commitments, including trillions of dollars run up when Republicans controlled Congress and the White House from 2001 to 2007.

Ringin’ it in

January 1st, 2011 § Comments off § permalink

Six bottles of champagne, two bowls of punch, five dips, one tub of peppermint bark, four other munchables, fifteen happy guests, and one rowdy midnight gathering in Duboce Park. What a lovely way to start the new year.1

Here’s to a happy, healthy, prosperous 2011 for all of us.

  1. Apologies to those of you who weren’t invited! My girlfriend and I started by inviting her friends, and that alone was more RSVPs than we bargained for. []

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