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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Yay

I am two hours away from a three-day weekend.

Not that I'm bragging about it. I'm just looking forward to it.

Working for a Living...or Not

Remember that nonsense about capital gains taxes Rush was talking about the other day? Check this out:
Capital gains made up 63 percent of the richest 400 Americans’ adjusted gross income in 2006, or a combined $66.1 billion, according to the data. In all, the 400 wealthiest Americans reported a combined $105.3 billion of adjusted gross income in 2006, the most recent year for which the IRS has data.
Ah, it's good to be rich, ain't it, Rush?

Gone Native

Reading about the Spanish Conquest (again) I came across the fascinating story of Gonzalo Guerrero, an early Spanish conquistador who eventually integrated into Mayan society.

David Drew, in his book The Lost Chronicles of the Maya Kings, tells the story like this:
In 1511 a Spanish ship was taking Juan de Valdivia, a crown official, from Darien in Panama to Hispaniola when it sank off Jamaica. Valdivia and eighteen others got away in a small boat and drifted helplessly westwards for two weeks until they hit the east coast of Yucatan. By this time seven men had already died and the rest were quickly captured by Maya. Valdivia and four others were almost immediately sacrificed and eaten, so the Spanish story goes, in a cannibalistic ritual. The remainder were kept in a cage to be fattened up for another festival. Only two Spaniards, Geronimo de Aguilar and Gonzalo de Guerrero, managed to survive. Aguilar became the slave of the lord of a neighboring territory. Guerrero, however, went completely native, marrying the daughter of the Maya ruler of Chetumal to the south and becoming so committed to his new people that he led Maya resistance to the Spanish. Much later, in 1535, the body of a white man was discovered after a Maya raid on the Spanish in Honduras. It was Guerrero, his hair long and matted, lips, nose and ear pierced for jade ornaments, and his body tattooed.
Now that is a story.

I might have to steal it.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Eight is Not Enough

I'm not sure this is what God had in mind when he said be fruitful and multiply.
The woman who gave birth to octuplets this week has six other children and never expected to have eight more when she took fertility treatment, her mother said.
Fourteen kids, eight of them at once? Holy hell, lady. You've only got one uterus!

I feel for her husband though. Think about his life now. Having sex with his wife would be like fucking the Grand Canyon.

He doesn't go down on her anymore. He goes spelunking.

When he talks dirty, it echoes back to him. "Ooh, yeah, baby.....ooh yeah baby." And that just wakes up the kids.

That's a life I don't wish on anyone.

Updated: So apparently there is no husband, there was no sex. This lady had these embryos implanted, possibly from a sperm donor. When they took, she refused to have them culled to a more uterus-friendly number.

I'm not even going to comment on the bankruptcy and the living with her parents thing...

None of that matters though, I guess. Just smell the life...

His Crystal Ball Ain't So Crystal Clear

I assume that Glenn Reynolds actually believes this:
Wall Street didn’t have Obama’s chutzpah. And it didn’t do nearly the damage to the nation that this bill will do.
Perhaps that will become true someday, but I wonder how Glenn came to that conclusion.

Let's say the "damage to the nation" from Wall Street is X, and the "damage to the nation" from the stimulus bill is Y. We can crunch the numbers and get a pretty good estimate of X, you know, add the bankruptcies and the quarterly losses and the closures...

But Y is a completely unknown quality. At this point, the stimulus bill is just a hypothetical. It hasn't even passed in the Senate and it certainly hasn't been signed into law. So far, the "damage to the nation" is zilch, nada, zero, nothing.

And yet, Professor Reynolds confidently proclaims that Y is greater than X!

Like I said before, there's a chance that this may turn out to be true. But then again, there's a chance that your horoscope might turn out to be true, or that we'll be hit by a meteor the size of Texas and life on earth will cease to exist. Anything is possible when you rely on chance.

For instance, I might say "I'm taller than you," and most of the time, I'll probably be right. So what? Broad assertions don't make a predictive genius.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

White is Black, Up is Down

John Boehner is a hoot. Really.

Remember when he came out of the first stimulus bill complaining about Nancy Pelosi's hurtful speech? That was hilarious.

This...is even funnier.

On the latest stimulus bill, Boehner said:
This was a bipartisan rejection of a partisan bill.
Um, sorry, Boehner, but the vote cleaved pretty cleanly down party lines.

Oh, and the bill passed. It was neither "bipartisan" nor a "rejection." But hey, keep repeating the bullshit. There's a lot of dummies out there who's gonna buy it anyway.

Updated: Like I said...there's a lot of dummies out there who's gonna buy it anyway.

So it Goes

Shocking, I know, but Iraq has told Blackwater Securtity to go fuck itself. You mean unprofessional behavior and civilian massacres aren't a path to long term success?

Who'd a thunk?

More Rush

Not to pile on...

But if Rush Limbaugh is an "entertainer," then why is he not all that entertaining?

And why is he writing op-ed pieces for the Wall Street Journal?

And such a hilarious, entertaining op-ed it is! Jon Stewart in his wildest liberal dreams could never come up with this stuff.

After cracking joke after winning joke for several paragraphs, Rush concludes with this graph:
The economic crisis is an opportunity to unify people, if we set aside the politics. The leader of the Democrats and the leader of the Republicans (me, according to Mr. Obama) can get it done. This will have the overwhelming support of the American people. Let's stop the acrimony. Let's start solving our problems, together. Why wait one more day?
Roll that one around in your mouth and taste it.

Rush Limbaugh...Rush fucking Limbaugh...says that we should "set aside the politics" and "stop the acrimony." Does that strike anyone else as, well, a little absurd?

It's like Richard Simmons telling fat people they shouldn't exercise or Suze Orman telling you that you should get another credit card.

Rush, I seem to recall hearing big brouhahas about "dreaming of riots in Denver," which I thought was stupid, but also, as a Denver resident, a little offensive. Then there's this Barack the Magic Negro thing, which is hilarious...if you're a fucking racist.

This guy...this fool...wants to "set politics aside" and "stop the acrimony?" What the fuck?

Also, as far as op-eds go, Rush needs some serious coaching. I mean, you have this nonsense:
"I believe the wrong kind is precisely what President Barack Obama has proposed. I don't believe his is a "stimulus plan" at all -- I don't think it stimulates anything but the Democratic Party. This "porkulus" bill is designed to repair the Democratic Party's power losses from the 1990s forward, and to cement the party's majority power for decades."
See, Rush, it's not enough to declare your beliefs...you must back them up, too.

We get that you believe all kinds of unsupportable things. I mean, I was under the impression that the stimulus bill was "designed" to stimulate the economy...but nope, it's part of this Democrats for Decades project. I guess Rush has the secret memo which outlines the plan. (Or is this one of those "I believe, therefore it's true" type things?)

But I love this paragraph:
I say, cut the U.S. corporate tax rate -- at 35%, among the highest of all industrialized nations -- in half. Suspend the capital gains tax for a year to incentivize new investment, after which it would be reimposed at 10%. Then get out of the way! Once Wall Street starts ticking up 500 points a day, the rest of the private sector will follow. There's no reason to tell the American people their future is bleak. There's no reason, as the administration is doing, to depress their hopes. There's no reason to insist that recovery can't happen quickly, because it can.
What a fucking fool!

Rush...Rush...Rush! The economy is not in the shitter because corporations are taxed too high. Quite the contrary. According to the Government Accountability Office, Corporate America pays very little corporate taxes thanks to off-shore tax shelters.

Do the math. Rush wants to halve the corporate tax rate. What's half of nothing? Even more nothing?

Also, "suspend capital gains taxes" to "incentivize new investment?" Rush, I hate to break it to you, but in an era of historic losses, capital gains are going to be very rare.

But hey, when you're wedded to ideology, why let a little reality intrude?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Paranoia Will Destroy Ya


Saw this on Instapundit in response to the Rush Limbaugh debate. I guess it's supposed to be funny?

The Pelosi-Reid axis of evil, who so far have shown a diabolical steelyness reminiscent of Joe McCarthy, going after wee little Rush Limbaugh listeners. You know, like a witch hunt.

Led by Harry Reid? I'm sorry, but being scared of Harry Reid is kind of like being scared of the Easter Bunny. That weak little old man? C'mon...really?

Pickles are scarier.

Of course, this comes after Rush Limbaugh openly hoped for Obama to fail, because you know, that's what a true patriot does. Root for America...until a Democrat gets elected. Then it's opposition, opposition, opposition.

Obama, for his part, told Republicans, "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and expect to get things done."

House Republicans, taking heart, listened to Rush Limbaugh and attempted to scuttle the stimulus bill. It passed anyway, despite having zero Republican support.

In other words, Obama didn't fail. And Republicans, listening to Rush Limbaugh, didn't get things done either.

Score: Rush, 0, Obama 1.

The Driving Situation

Today was the first day this year that I was able to drive home without worrying about being pulled over in some sobriety check bullshit by the State Patrol.

Not too many sobriety checks during the morning rush hour.

What about your drivers license, James? I know, I know. It's easier said than done.

I must first be reinstated, which requires me to pay the State $95 and wait 20 business days for them to process the paper work. A model of efficiency, that.

Obviously it doesn't cost the State $95 to reinstate me. That fee is purely punitive. That's the State saying in their best mobster voice, "Fuck you, pay me."

But as steep as that is, that's not what bugs me about the situation. That's just money, and there's always more money to be made tomorrow.

What bugs me is that it's going to take them 20 business days to process the paperwork.

20 business days? What is this, the 1920s? Does this stuff travel via pneumatic tubes or something? Smoke signals maybe? Why so slow? That makes no sense.

It's almost as if the State doesn't want to give me permission to drive my own truck, which is fine with me, because I'm not really looking for it.

But like a good Russian, I'm going to get my papers in order so the police can't send me to the gulag.

Californication

So it's 4 in the morning, and I'm still awake. Thanks, pre-ground coffee.

Yesterday was quite weird, though. I forced myself to get up at 2 in the morning, managed to stay awake for a while until crashing again for a few hours. Later in the afternoon, I forced myself back into bed.

And now I'm here.

Watching Californication and pondering the massive power outages rolling across the country.

About that show...

I like it, but David Duchovny's character Hank Moody is pure wish fulfillment. Either all of the hot women in Los Angeles are complete sluts or Hank Moody has special powers. How else can you explain the ease with which he picks up women?

Actually, most of the time, they're picking him up. Where are these sexually aggressive women who wait naked for me at home or who wants to screw my brains out after a few jokes at the supermarket checkout counter?

Take this for instance: An unshaven Hank Moody is sitting in his beat-up Porsche, talking to himself at a stop light. A blonde pulls up. Does she: A) roll her window up and lock her car door because she's creeped out by the weirdo in the Porsche or B) become so charmed by this strange, funny, and possibly insane man that she invites him over to her place for a roll in the hay.

In the real world, you'd pick A. In the world of Californication, it's the other one.

Now I know it's just a show, and they have to show how much of a womanizer the character is, but this kind of thing just strains credibility. Especially when something similar happens in every episode.

Good thing, the show is funny...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Intentional Racking

Words I thought I'd never hear: "Hopefully my nuts break the fall."

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