September 6, 2011

Political Cartoon of the Day III

by Vince

A user commented on this cartoon and wondered what made China and Russia side with Syria. I say that both super powers do not want any country (including themselves) to be stopped from doing what they have to do.  That is why neither China or Russia are quick to stand in the way of another country’s progress towards establishing nuclear arsenals. For they themselves would loath another world power standing in the way of what they believed was right for their own interests.

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September 6, 2011

Quote of the Day

by Vince

“God’s promises were not given to save us the problem of thinking.” — John Stott

(thanks M.D.!)

September 6, 2011

Down For Everyone Or Just Me?

by Vince

A neat website that checks to see if a website is down for everyone viewing it or just you. Check it here.

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September 6, 2011

USPS Is Going Belly Up

by Vince

Thanks in large to their union clause of “no lay-off’s”. With such a clause paired with hefty benefits and 80% of the budget spent on wages, how can you possibly run a sustainable business?

September 6, 2011

Political Cartoon of the Day II

by Vince

September 6, 2011

Robbie George on American Exceptionalism

by Vince


Robbie George, a political science professor at Princeton, says nothing groundbreaking in his 2 and a half minute snippet from the Republican debate in South Carolina. He does, however, speak on behalf of our inalienable rights with much ignorance to what we as a nation have intentionally done to institutionally make fellow Americans unequal. Are American’s of color today given the same rights to education or even the same slate as a white American when they are born? To me, pontificating about our equality in a hagiographic manner while we face a type of apartheid in our schools and neighborhoods is a sad side effect of privileged conditioning and possessing blinders to much of our America.

September 6, 2011

Weezer Covers ‘Pumped Up Kicks’

by Vince


More from XPN here.

September 6, 2011

Coffee Jerks

by Vince


TDW sums this mash-up well:

Coffee commercials from the 50s seem to share a running theme: They all should have ended with “then make it your damn self.”

September 6, 2011

Assimilation

by Vince


assimilation from Takuya Hosogane on Vimeo.

September 6, 2011

Labor

by Vince

Infographic found here. A history of Labor Day below:

In 1884, when President Grover Cleveland signed the bill making Labor Day a national holiday on the first Monday in September, he and its sponsors intended it not as a celebration of leisure but as a promotion of the great American work ethic. Work, they believed, was the highest calling in life, and Labor Day was a reminder to get back to it. It was placed at the end of summer to declare an end to the season of indolence, and also to distance it from May Day, the spring event that had become a symbol of the radical labor movement.

September 6, 2011

Stars and Storms

by Vince


Tempest Milky Way from Randy Halverson on Vimeo.

September 6, 2011

Complaining About Having a Maid

by Vince

H/T: White Whine

September 6, 2011

Political Cartoon of the Day

by Vince

September 2, 2011

Tax Cuts as a Form of a Spending Program

by Vince

 

 

 

The Republicans who loathe spending programs as a form of anti-Christian reliance in fact worship a program known as tax cuts, ironically a government program in itself:

The other way to look at these credits and deductions is that they’re essentially government spending programs in disguise. After all, if these deductions didn’t exist, then either the deficit would be smaller or everyone else could pay fewer taxes. A tax credit that subsidizes the construction of affordable housing is no different than an explicit grant to do the same thing.

In Washington, however, tax expenditures generally aren’t considered spending programs. They’re considered tax breaks. And, as a new NBER paper by Len Burman and Marvin Phaup details, this view has had enormously perverse consequences over the years. Politicians always prefer tax breaks to new spending programs. So Congress ends up enacting a disproportionate amount of social policy through tax credits and deductions, the paper said, and that, in the end, can actually lead to higher taxes and bigger government than would otherwise be the case.

Burman and Phaup found that total U.S. tax expenditures will amount to $1.2 trillion in fiscal year 2011. That’s much, much larger than non-defense ($671 billion) or defense ($744 billion) discretionary spending. In other words, there’s a huge pool of federal spending that Congress doesn’t even consider to be spending. As the authors noted, “excluding income tax expenditures causes spending to be understated by about one-third.”

(Pictured: the 10 biggest tax expenditure programs for fiscal year 2011)

September 2, 2011

Paying CEO’s and Not Paying Taxes

by Vince

Among other things:

 

From the perspective of the board room, the fact that 25 corporations last year paid more money to their CEOs than they did in income taxes to the U.S. government is an achievement deserving applause.
 
But few people outside Wall Street are clapping at this news, which was published by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) in its 18th annual Executive Excess report.
 
Among the 25 companies that rewarded their leadership while dodging the U.S. Treasury were Boeing, Coca Cola, Dow Chemical, eBay, Ford, General Electric, Honeywell, Motorola, Stanley Black & Decker and Verizon. Eighteen of the 25 firms operated subsidiaries in offshore tax haven jurisdictions.
 
The average paid to the 25 leaders was $16.7 million. John Lundgren, the CEO of Stanley Black & Decker, took home $32.6 million while his company claimed a net loss and did not pay corporate income taxes.
 
The IPS report noted that executive compensation has continued to soar. In 2009, the ratio between worker salaries and CEOs was 263-to-1. By last year it was 325-to-1.
 
Of the 25 companies that paid their CEO more than they paid to the government, 20 also spent more on lobbying lawmakers than they paid in corporate taxes. Eighteen gave more to the political campaigns of their favorite candidates than they paid to the IRS in taxes.
The divide between worker and CEO pay as well as CEO pay and tax payments (if any) is mind boggling, isn’t it?
September 2, 2011

Zero Net Jobs Created in August 2011 – First since 1945

by Vince

Very ugly headline in itself, but when you dig deeper, it’s worse:

About 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in August, up from 2.4 million a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

This paragraph stood out to me because of the lack of nuance in the unemployment discussion. It is made out by some or not clarified by many that everyone who is unemployed is magically the same as the next, all being lazy bums who sit around and intentionally collect government dole. Is it ironic that a claim of laziness made against a whole group is in fact intellectually laziness?

September 2, 2011

White Whine of the Day

by Vince

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September 2, 2011

Fox News Poll of the Day

by Vince

74% of the respondents said that Sarah Palin should not run in 2012. So much for any love from her base and employer, huh?

September 2, 2011

Political Cartoon of the Day III

by Vince

September 2, 2011

Typing In Tongues

by Vince

Interesting.