Random thoughts, dubious rants, curiosities and worthy citations on the media, politics, marketing, music, inanity, and animals, among other things. Words and pictures and stuff, mostly from south central Wisconsin USA
I apologize in advance for going way, way past the "fair use" standards by completely re-posting this piece from Jed Lewison, an editor at Daily Kos. But it's worth getting out there to as many people as possible.
What was the average monthly private sector job growth in 2008, the final year of the Bush presidency, and what has it been so far in 2010?
What was the Federal deficit for the last fiscal year of the Bush presidency, and what was it for the first full fiscal year of the Obama presidency?
What was the stock market at on the last day of the Bush presidency? What is it at today?
Which party's candidate for speaker will campaign this weekend with a Nazi reenactor who dressed up in a SS uniform?
In 2008, we lost an average of 317,250 private sector jobs per month. In 2010, we have gained an average of 95,888 private sector jobs per month. (Source) That's a difference of nearly five million jobs between Bush's last year in office and President Obama's second year.
In FY2009, which began on September 1, 2008 and represents the Bush Administration's final budget, the budget deficit was $1.416 trillion. In FY2010, the first budget of the Obama Administration, the budget deficit was $1.291 trillion, a decline of $125 billion. (Source) Yes, that means President Obama has cut the deficit -- there's a long way to go, but we're in better shape now than we were under Bush and the GOP.
On Bush's final day in office, the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 closed at 7,949, 1,440, and 805, respectively. Today, as of 10:15AM Pacific, they are at 11,108, 2,512, and 1,183. That means since President Obama took office, the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 have increased 40%, 74%, and 47%, respectively.
The Republican Party, whose candidate for speaker, John Boehner, will campaign with Nazi re-enactor Rich Iott this weekend. If you need an explanation why this is offensive, you are a lost cause.
The moral of the story is this: if you vote Republican, I hope you enjoy Election Day -- because you're not going to like what comes next.
If you have some misguided friends who have bought the bullshit coming out of FOX News and similar venues, and might not follow a link to Daily Kos, then send them here instead.
[Major h/t to Jed, and apologies for the shameles lift as well. But I know you'll agree that it's OK in special circumstances.]
Republican tax plan adds more than
$36 billion to the federal deficit next year; transfers most of that to the rich.
The Washington Post reports that the analysts for the non-partisan Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation have been crunching some numbers on both the Democratic and Republican tax proposals. With that Bush tax cuts due to expire, we need a new plan.
A Republican plan to extend tax cuts for the rich would add more than
$36 billion to the federal deficit next year -- and transfer the bulk
of that cash into the pockets of the nation's millionaires, according
to a congressional analysis released Wednesday.
Hmmm. But I thought Republicans were against (right now) any kind of deficit spending... except for wars and associated profiteers, of course. Anyway...
New data from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation show that
households earning more than $1 million a year would reap nearly $31
billion in tax breaks under the GOP plan in 2011, for an average tax
cut per household of about $100,000.
And the distributions of the tax cuts look kind of like this:
Wow! That sure is a big gray dot there.
Meanwhile, there are some who think both plans are a bad idea...
Given the soaring national debt, many economists deem both proposals
unaffordable. Even some Republicans, including Reagan administration
budget chief David Stockman and former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan,
have urged lawmakers to let them expire and allow income tax rates to
pop back up to their levels during the Clinton administration.
Both parties are pushing on. The Democrats want to live up to Obama's campaign pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class. Meanwhile, Republicans are demanding support for their high-dollar plan, despite the deficit and the rather selfish and unseemly "let them eat cake" appearance, because they know that people who make over a million a year are really hurting. Can you imagine having to go from the 25 year old Macallen to the 12 year old stuff? Outrageous!
I'm inclined to roll with the President and the Democrats on this one, but I actually think Stockman and Greenspan are correct.
For all the infotainment and amusement to be found withing the high-profile races for US Senate and House seats, nothing beats some good old-fashioned asshattery from local political candidates. Like Greg Brown, a primary candidate for a house seat in Florida's District 1, who was caught along with his wife on a hidden infrared video camera as the two stole (or just "took down," depending on whose story you go with) a bunch of his opponent's yard signs.
The video shows District 1 candidate Greg Brown and his wife, Jennifer, removing Doug Broxson's campaign signs. The Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office is investigating whether a crime was committed.
campaign shenanigans happened Saturday night when Broxson's son, Jason
Broxson, hid an infrared video camera, often used by hunters to track
game, in some bushes at state roads 87 and 89, north of Milton. Minutes
after the camera was deployed, the Browns happened by and removed the
signs. Jason Broxson [the candidate's son] hid in some bushes and watched as the couple took
we just got lucky that he happened to show up right then," said Kevin
Brown, Broxson's campaign manager. "Lord only knows the odds of that." Kevin
Brown, who is not related to Greg Brown, said the camera was set up
because Broxson was having problems with his signs being stolen and
When contacted by phone Monday afternoon, Greg Brown said he and his
wife did nothing wrong by removing Broxson's signs from property owned
by a Brown campaign supporter. He
said he saw his opponent's signs on a vacant lot owned by Don Dewrell,
69, of Holt after leaving a political rally in Jay on Saturday night.
He said he and Dewrell previously agreed that he'd be the only District
1 candidate allowed to put signs on the property.
Brown told the reporter he didn't do anything wrong, and maybe that's true in a legal sense. But he sure looks like a schmuck in the video. And when he admonishes his wife for leaving fingerprints on a sign she left on the ground, that seems to suggest he did, at the time, think this may not be exactly legal.
Whether or not Brown and his wife broke any laws, you have to wonder, people of Florida's House District 1, if this is the guy you want to be your next state representative. Watch and decide. Meanwhile, the rest of us can watch and either laugh of just roll our eyes.
I have to wonder whether the person who talked Mike Weinstein into making this video is working for his campaign or against it...
In many ways, this thing is so bad that it's good. Not in the "getting Mike Weisnstein elected" kind of good, but in the "this is too funny not to share" kind of good. Of course, the abundant humor is likely unintentional.
I can just imagine the strategy meeting when some guy jumped up and exclaimed, "I've got it! We'll do a hip music video like those kids do on Glee, only we won't make it gay or anything, just really wholesome. Wholesome tests really well with our base. We'll show some minorities -- not too many though -- and people dancing and doing flips and stuff. And we can cram all our platform points into some catchy lyrics and repeat Mike's name and district over and over! It will be awesome. And my nephew can star in it! No, really, he's got a lot of talent and I know he'll work cheap and his friends will work cheaper."
Back in my ad agency days, we liked to say that behind every bad ad was a client who approved it. In this really bad ad, the candidate himself proudly gives his approval. That alone should tell the voters in Florida's District 19 to vote for the person running against Mike, Mike, Mike Weinstein, representing District 19.
Still, this may be the funniest thing to grace YouTube from a candidate so far this election cycle.
(Personal to Mike, Mike, Mike... You may want to consider firing whoever talked you into spending money on this. But thank him first on behalf of all of us who got our best laugh of their day from it.)