Thursday Fluff

This article cracked me up. It’s about going green and still feeling guilty. (especially about disposable diapers!)
The examples are pretty funny. Especially the guy that wants his wife to get one of those toilets that have a receptacle on top for washing your hands so the toilet uses the water you used to wash you hands. He has a pool. In the desert. Because it’s close to his mother-in-law.

The most sustainable people of all are those living in slums in big cities. With little heat, no car, and multiple families in single units.

Mr. Sliney: “You know what I think? If you wake up in the morning and your biggest concern is trash cans or what kind of window sprays you’re using, you are having it good. There are people who wake up and their biggest concern is getting fed.”

Amen to that.
……………….
Then there is this story out about mixed political marriages. The comments are fun. The examples in the story give quotes by leftie women dissing their rightie husbands.
Sadly, I think I’d have little respect for the thinking processes of a leftie husband were that to be the case. And were he so right as to want to shoot wolves on sight or privatize all public lands…….single forever, and another Amen!

Voter Fraud

Do not miss this news story out of Houston.

Most of the findings focused on a group called Houston Votes, a voter registration group headed by Sean Caddle, who also worked for the Service Employees International Union before coming to Houston. Among the findings were that only 1,793 of the 25,000 registrations the group submitted appeared to be valid.

The other registrations included one of a woman who registered six times in the same day; registrations of non-citizens; so many applications from one Houston Voters collector in one day that it was deemed to be beyond human capability; and 1,597 registrations that named the same person multiple times, often with different signatures.

Bizzarroworld

I swear my neck hurts after reading the papers every day just from the shaking and HUHs?

Let’s give some examples from just today’s news stories:
From Stephen Stromberg of the Washington Post.

Americans’ attitudes toward the law might brighten as they begin to feel some of its popular provisions, including when the government begins to send out subsidy checks. But beyond all the death panel-style misinformation about the law, the policy still has a long-term political problem: Much of the reform is difficult to explain in unqualified, appealing terms. Large portions of the law are meant to avoid future runaway health costs, to bend the curve — slowing the projected increase in health spending, not necessarily arresting it. You can’t fairly evaluate the reform on facts and figures outside of that hypothetical context — which means that success might be difficult to recognize in coming years, and extolling its future benefits in terms of that baseline sounds like so much Washington speak. So advocates more often talk about the expansion of coverage — the expensive part — even as concerns about the national debt rise, making reform sound tax-and-spendy.

1 – if you think the government spends too much of people’s money, how is getting subsidy checks in the mail going to fix that?
2 – If you read daily about health care costs rising – who are you going to believe? Those who say these daily rises will help future runaway health costs, or reality?

Later Stromberg mentions that it isn’t really fair to compare reality now with reality before. You have to compare reality now with reality as it would have been without X,Y and Z. Huh?? Seriously.

It can be hard to get disquieted voters to think relative to baselines. Ronald Reagan won in 1980 in part by asking Americans if they were better off then than they had been when Jimmy Carter took office. This is an irrational way to evaluate a president. The standard should be: Are you better off now than you would have been had Carter done different things or continued existing policy?

I suppose we’re supposed to just take the word of whoever is talking vs compare reality now with the reality they themselves predicted without X, Y or Z. Nothing to see here folks, just go on by this little chart.

Or how about in this story from Dana Milbank, again of the Washington Post. It concerns David Axelrod resigning and potentially “leaving in defeat”.

It’s not really an electoral defeat: Though Democrats will probably experience a shellacking on Nov. 2, Obama’s prospects for 2012 will surely rise with the economic cycle.

What rising economic cycle is this guy seeing? It’s like there is absolutely no connection between the universe and the economic cycle. Economies cycle, sure, but economies also respond to governments. Governments that try to take over economies cause economies to be wary of rising!!

I don’t understand the thought processes behind people. On the one hand they treat Obama and the government as if a George W Bush (the hated) will never ever be able to get his hands on power again and hence choose to give more and more power to the government without looking to how bad that could be for them if someone they despise were the one in power.
On the other hand they act as though things just cycle naturally and soon we’ll be on an upswing because it’s always happened that way before.

Bizzaroworld this is.

Oh wait, don’t forget to read this column about Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac and the FHA. They’re doing it again!!!!

To insure a loan, the FHA requires a downpayment of 3.5 percent — but also it allows “seller concessions” of 6 percent. In other words, if the seller’s willing to mark up the official price by 6 percent and then put that amount to the downpayment, the buyer doesn’t have to come up with any cash. There’s talk about reducing allowable seller concessions to 3 percent — but that would still permit FHA-insured loans of 99.4 percent.
Because the FHA is insuring so many more mortgages than it used to, its capital reserve — the cash it’s supposed to have on-hand in case of a wave of defaults — is at a quarter of the congressionally mandated minimum. But Democrats want the FHA to keep insuring subprime loans, so it’s not enforcing the minimum.
Testifying before the Senate on Thursday about when the FHA would meet the reserve minimum, FHA Commissioner David Stevens said, “a timeline would be the wrong way of approaching FHA reform” and could have “unintended consequences.”
Yeah, like the FHA being unable to underwrite bad mortgages.

Carnivores = Suffering, so oust them. ?

I read this last week and keep forgetting to link to the article. Since I found it again at A Thinking Reed, I’ll link there.
Essentially a philosopher suggests that to end all suffering perhaps when we get good at it, we could engineer animals/humans to be only vegan.

Go clean up the coffee you just spit all over the screen.

I was going to have a lot to say, but then just one word kept flashing in front of me.

Reavers

Overthinking

I used to think I wanted to be scientist of some sort.

This story cracked me up (and I’ll admit, maybe it’s just the reporting of the science that is so silly).
Here’s the study basics:

Participants were asked to look at an image and decide whether they would consider this person for a one-night stand or a marriage partner, but the image was covered by two boxes. In order to make their decisions, they were allowed to uncover only one box; either the face or the body.

And the results after men would choose to uncover the box when looking for a one-night stand? They’d uncover the body box – which must mean…………………

Perilloux said that some indication as to why a woman’s body is more appealing to men for physical relations has to do with her body’s indication of fertility.

“Studies show that a woman’s waist-to-hip ratio is a cue to her current fertility levels, so a higher waist-to-hip ratio would mean higher fertility rates,” Perilloux said. “Cues that are associated with high fertility are not a conscious mechanism. It is a subconscious method of attraction.”

Think about why you would uncover the body box men, and then read that again. (I know you didn’t the first time through.)

If I were a man – I’d choose the body box for the one night stand because body’s come in all shapes/sizes and one night stands are about sex and fun and exploring new things. But body’s all change and especially after marriage. You’re going to have to look at that face forever, but the body is going to be adjustable.

If it was about fertility, wouldn’t you want the woman you marry to be the fertile one?

ps – as a woman, I’d choose the face for both. Because either way – I’m not looking for that one night stand, so consciously or unconsciously, it’s going to be the face/personality over the body that makes the difference.

America.

I like to think that one of the most beautiful things about this country is it’s fairness.

In general our laws treat everyone the same.
We all have the same opportunity to whatever we aspire.

I realize that it doesn’t always work out quite right which is why there are lawyers. I realize that those with cash or celebrity have things more “fair” than others. But in general…..we can count on fairness here and our leaders try to at least make people think that everyone is treated the same.

That was preObama.

Now those who agree with Obama get publicly treated MORE fairly than with those who disagree. 3 Examples from the Friday news dump.
1 – The New Black Panthers trial with Christopher Coate’s testimony. The Dept of Justice apparently will only look at racial intimidation cases against whites.
2 – The war in Afghanistan being fought not for American safety, but for Democrat votes.

In explaining his July 2011 deadline to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, Obama told Graham:

“I have to say that. I can’t let this be a war without end, and I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party.”

Not even the general public, but specifically Democrats.
3 – Finally the truth is coming out about the unfairness of the UAW pensions/pay during the government takeover of GM.

The retirees [the salaried ones], who are suing the feds, have obtained court documents showing that White House officials hatched a plan to dump nonunion workers’ pensions on the federally-run Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which immediately proceeded to slash their promised benefits.
At the same time, the administration earmarked GM and TARP bailout money to fully cover the pensions of UAW hourly workers. Sworn depositions of White House auto task force and Treasury officials show that they considered the UAW pension liabilities more “politically sensitive” than those of nonunion workers.

$250,000

I was going to write something about the rich at $250,000 income, but I see there is more serious stuff on the net concerning it.
(Todd Henderson of Chicago broke down his families income and outgo and decided he didn’t want to see his taxes go up even though others say he is rich. His family has now been threatened and the blogosphere has lost a blogger. ht Instapundit)

What I was going to say is that I have a steady and good income. I have no children and not many expenses. However, I use my income.
I seem to gather pets. I buy recreational stuff [yay new kayak]. I go out to eat and to see shows. I drive places. I put money into improving my house and my yard. Did I mention the horses? [Yes, I know I am incredibly blessed and I do not take this for granted.]

Those who make $250,000 a year do the same. They often have kids. Who want to go to college. Or are in private schools. Or need xtra insurance. They’ll drive decent cars and buy organic groceries. They go out to eat. They have pets with vet bills. They have big houses with mortgages and heating bills and bigger home improvement costs. They dress better and pay nannies and maybe household help.

Let’s say the Bush tax cuts go away. What’s going to happen?
I can’t speak for others, but I’ll keep the house, but quit improving on it. I’ll keep the horses, but wait a bit longer before calling the vet. I’ll forgo the restaurants and the live music and the recreational stuff. I’ll drive less.

And what’s the government going to do? Find yet a new way to “stimulate me” to spend more money on things that I’ve just quit spending money on because they’ve taken it away.

I suspect the same goes for those who make $250,000 and greater.
Tell me this makes sense?

UPDATE: Apparently a new law just passed to help small businesses with taxes and loans. ?

Also Ann Althouse writes on the rich guy and his post. I hope I don’t sound like I’m whining, like she seems to think he is, [I never read his post] because I’m not. I’m just saying that when taxes go up, I’ll stop the recreational spending. That’s not going to help the economy.

AND if a true leader stepped up and said, “lets pay off this debt before our kids are grown”, I’d be happy too. He/She hasn’t stepped up.

“Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?”

I was going to ignore the Thomas L. Friedman column in the NYTimes today extolling, once again the fact that China, can “get things done”. Because, come on…..

There is absolutely no reason our democracy should not be able to generate the kind of focus, legitimacy, unity and stick-to-it-iveness to do big things — democratically — that China does autocratically. We’ve done it before. But we’re not doing it now because too many of our poll-driven, toxically partisan, cable-TV-addicted, money-corrupted political class are more interested in what keeps them in power than what would again make America powerful, more interested in defeating each other than saving the country.

Or maybe, just maybe it’s because we disagree. Fundamentally, on the paradigms that make things tick.

ie. Regarding health insurance companies deciding to drop new child only policies. Some would say, yeah – no duh, of course that’s the next logical step else they get stuck paying for sick children without healthy children to offset the costs.
Others would say –

“It’s obviously very unfortunate that insurance companies continue to make decisions on the backs of children and families that need their help,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said at a news briefing.

or they say:

“Insurers need to decide if they are in the business of providing care or denying coverage,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a consumer group.

Insurers provide risk pools. They do no provide care!! And it’s not up to insurance companies to make sure that everyone who wants their help gets it. They exist to make a dime.

How can people who understand business get along and get things done with the cooperation of people who think it’s other people’s job to contribute no matter what the costs?

Let’s look at another recent example. Under the veil of consumer protection, the government has decided we pay toooooo much in overdraft fees. “Let’s make a law” they said, as if that would then solve the problem. It may have solved one particular thing for a certain segment of banker, (consumer), but:

When new laws and regulations limit the circumstances when banks can charge fees, they have to make their money in other ways. My bank used to offer me free no-minimum-balance checking — but now wants to charge me $15 a month for the privilege.

How can people who think logically actually “get things done” with those who can’t think past some paradigm that includes “if we make a law, everyone get in line to follow it, no matter what it costs them”?

Riddle me that Mr. Friedman.

The Pesky Truth about Money

The truth is, you need money to keep a business going.
AND in this country the business gets to decide how much money. (for salaries, or profit, or supplies etc)

So when you start to require business to do something that costs money, the business gets to decide what to do about it to mitigate the situation.
Maybe they just go out of business.
Maybe they raise prices.
(as is going to happen when Obama starts requiring health insurance to cover gym membership for the obese)
Maybe they quit offering even the minimum.
(as is happening now when Obama has started requiring insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions in children)
[ht Ed Morrissey]

As Ed says:

This should be Econ 101, or at the least Insurance 101. However, it’s the problem that ObamaCare advocates not only refused to fix, they refuse to acknowledge.

Monday Entertainment

The Left is going to try out a new monologue. They are going to call what happened with the 2nd stimulus
“The Obama Tax Cuts”.

Pelosi, at least, finally started talking late last week about the need to extend the Obama tax cuts.

Eugene Robinson must think we are complete tools.

The “Obama Tax Cuts” is ACTUALLY the “Obama Withholding Amount Reduction”.

Taxes didn’t go down. Withholding was reduced and there were stimulus checks sent out to certain people. (not necessarily those who pay the taxes)
Line 1 from the IRS site:

Most wage earners will benefit from larger paychecks in 2009 and 2010 as a result of the changes made to the federal income tax withholding tables to implement the Making Work Pay tax credit.