Monthly Archives: July 2003

Is the Economy on a rebound?

Apparently* the economy is looking up for a change! That’s very good news.

The GDP grew by 2.4% surpassing expectations of a 1.5% growth. Unemployment claims also went down (more good news!)
And the manufacturing index is up to 55.9, which is supposed to also be a good sign.

Go read the rest of this good news!

One of the major factors leading to this recovery was an increase in Defense Spending! (You know, the thing some Dems want to cut!)

This is great news! Not only do the Armed Forces benefit from the increase in funds, but the Economy and the nation benefit too. It’s a win-win situation! (Note: I’m deliberately ignoring any political/partisan benefits)

Now, I wonder what President Reagan would think of this news….Superior firepower….heh.

*Since I’m not an Economics student, and know little on the topic, I will need to consult with my friends who are Econ. majors, and see if things are really as good as they sound. It pays to befriend people who aren’t science majors sometimes.

A note

Sorry for not blogging yesterday, but when I got home, I was immediately put to work doing house chores (boo!) and didn’t get access to the computer. Sigh.

Israeli Driving

Over at The Puddle (from Jerusalem), Cookie Goddess mentions that she’s taking a “driving refresher” course.

Now to anyone whose been to Israel probably remembers, Israeli drivers are, um, quite bad on the roads. They’re so bad, that many times they make Massholes look like semi-decent drivers.

So I’m left to wonder, what exactly is taught in an Israeli “Driving refresher” course/

DARPA’s Futures Market

So the whole idea of a “Futures Market” based on terror threats and all, is the dumbest thing to come out of DARPA since…oh, the TIA Project.

But what’s bugging me even more, is if those who designed it, even understand how the Futures markets work….cause I sure as hell don’t have the slightest clue (which is why I’m good friends with Economics majors who will explain it to me)

More on the Democratic Primary

I guess I’m on a roll today with the topic of the Dem. Primary, so why not go with the flow?

From al-Reuters: “Moderate” Democrats Warn Party on 2004 Prospects

The DLC is sounding the alarms (within the Dem party) again, saying: “[the] Democratic Party will lose the 2004 presidential election unless it can win over suburban voters who feel the party has become too liberal” [-emphasis added].

How long have I been saying that for? The key portion of the electorate to win is the middle of the road voters–the “independents”. The Dem candidates, following Dean have been moving further and further left (do their own detriment)–and by doing so, the only peolpe they’re exiting are clueless college lefties and the like. At the same time, the GOP sees the void and has been courting the center. The dems are out of touch with America. ‘Nuff said.

Uh, Senators Kerry and Graham, You might need to talk to your staffs

Just when the Dem. primary couldn’t get any wierder, Sen. Bob Graham said to Tony Snow on Fox News Sunday

was elected and served two terms as president (sic) of Florida.

I’ve heard of the position of Governor, but not President of Florida…. wow, you’ve really gotta go back and refresh your constitutional knowledge (also see this earlier post)

And Sen. Kerry is quoted as saying on CNN:

“The obligation of the United States government is to rapidly internationalize the effort in Iraq, get the target off of American troops, bring other people, particularly Muslim-speaking and Arab-speaking Muslim troops, into the region.” – Kerry, Sunday, July 13, 2003, CNN “Late Edition”[Em. Added]

(Credit: SillyGlobe)

Now just imagine if a Republican were to have said that, wouldn’t the press be all over him/her?

Sens. Graham and Kerry, you may want to go back and huddle with your staffs, to review what you’re gonna say in public

Dennis Kucinich calls for “Universal Preschooling”

*Drink Alert*

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Nutcase-OH) yesterday “called for a $60 billion effort to provide universal preschool” for all kids ages 3 to 5.

Where would the money come from to fund such a program? A 15% cut in the PENTAGON’s Budget (Would you trust this man with National Security?!?)

His explanation as to how the Pentagon could function with less money: “Kucinich linked the soaring Pentagon spending with what he called President Bush’s aggressive and largely unilateral foreign policy and said defense spending could be trimmed if the U.S. adopted a more cooperative stance with other countries.”

I’ve got one thing to say about this: BULLSHIT

Not only is he going to harm national security, he wants to create this new entitlement (which will of course cost more than $60 billion), meaning an increase in taxes, and it’ll produce more problems with the Educational system then we have now.

(I’ll refrain from adding in more colorful terms)

F.E.T.E (as BC the Imperial Torturer would say)

Brandeis Alumni In the News

Usually, when something big and important happens with Brandeis Alumni, the University likes to play it up and make it into a big press release. However, they strangely omitted this story, which I stumbled across by accident in Lexis-Nexis:

USS Constitution greets new leader

(AP)–Commander Lewin C. Wright took over yesterday as the 68th commanding officer of the USS Constitution. Wright is a surface warfare officer who has served on five ships. A graduate of Brandeis University, he recently came to Boston from Washington, D.C., where he worked on the staff of the chief of naval operations.

Wright takes over from Commander Randall A. Neal, who had served since August 2001. Neal plans to work on future ship development for the Pentagon.

Under Neal’s leadership, the Constitution was the first major national monument to open after Sept. 11, 2001. Since then, a half million people have visited the ship at its berth in Charlestown.

For the handover ceremony, the Constitution was towed around Boston Harbor, while the commanders read naval orders.

Now while the USS Constitution is no longer an in-service ship, it’s an extremely important piece of US Naval history, and Brandeis should be proud to have an alumnus serving as Commander of any ship, especially “Old Ironsides”.

I think I know why they probably didn’t hype it, because talk of a “warship” would offend the people in this department.

Either way, I think Cmdr. Wright deserves a hearty congrats on this honor.

This Day In (Brandeis) History

07/27/93–Boston Celtics star Reggie Lewis died after collapsing on a Brandeis University basketball court during practice; he was 27

What’s with Sen Bob Graham

What’s with Sen. Graham (D-FL)? Has he been smoking somehting? I saw the following article at Newsmax: Graham: 2004 Could Bring Bush’s ‘Impeachment’?

He said this on Fox News Sunday, and the whole quote was:

Presidential candidate Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., said Sunday that President Bush won’t be impeached as long as Republicans control Congress, but added, “The good news is that in November of 2004 the American people will have a chance to both impeach and remove George W. Bush in one step.”

Now anyone whose read the Constitution has gotta know that Impeachment can only be performed by the House, and conviction (and thus removal) by the Senate–and the bar for impeachment is “high crimes and misdemeanors”. Not getting re-elected is not impeachment and conviction.

Some more:

Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Graham reiterated his believe that the president had committed an impeachable offense by leading the U.S. into war under what he suggested were false pretenses, going so far as to accuse Bush of “dereliction of duty.”

Hey, isn’t “Dereliction of Duty” the title of the book about Clinton? Interesting choice of words (perhaps?)

Now before the GOP retook the Senate in 2002 Graham was the Head of the Intellegence Comittee, so he should know what intel there was available on Iraq.

And for the real kicker:

We’ve known that they’ve had biological and chemical for a long time,” Graham continued unconvincingly. “But the fact that they might be on the verge of having nuclear capabilities is what made it so imminent and therefore justified the pre-emptive war.” [emphasis added]

Saddam’s possesion of WMD was what made the war imparative (among other reasons). Biological and Chemical weapons are such arms. Plus, were sanctions lifted, we know that he’d resume a nuclear program too. So what exactly are you saying Graham? You’ve admitted that he had Bio and Chem weapons….Huh?

Tom DeLay is a Genius

So Majority Leader DeLay (R-TX) gave a speech to the YAF Conference, and wow, what a speech it was: “Fear and Loathing in the Mothership

One of many great lines:

“I don’t know about you, I certainly don’t want to see Teddy Kennedy in a Navy flight suit anytime soon.”

“And Dennis Kucinich – a long-time member of Congress – now calls for legislation – I love this – to ban “mind control” weapons in outer space.”

“It makes you wonder if at their next presidential debate, the Democrats are all going to show up wearing aluminum-foil helmets to protect their brain waves from the mother ship!”

Go read the whole thing

A Question

From everything I’ve been reading the past few days, I’ve gotta ask….

Are there more people in the Democratic Primary than there are individuals considering running against Gray Davis?

Tax Credit for Quitting Smoking?

That’s the idea being put forth by a few Representatives in the House, among them, LaTourette (R-OH). The idea being flotated is that getting up to $300 back is an incentive to quit smoking–and the money will cover purchases of patches, gum or other smoking cessation items. Another $100 would be given for those who seek counseling. Fair enough.

There are positives to the program, which the article mentions:

–Less smokers
–Lower annual [federal] medical costs (b/c of less smokers–less cancer, lung problems etc.)

However, even though I hate smoking, I’m gonna play devil’s advocate with this proposal.

First off, why don’t all of us who don’t smoke to begin with get a credit? That way, we’ll have an incentive not to (start to) smoke.

Second, how is this going to be enforced? What proof will be needed to qualify for a credit?

Third, cities seem to love taxing cigarettes, and they thus receive a significant amount of revenue from them. If less people smoke, that’s decreased revenue–so what are states/cities going to do in light of this lost revenue?

Just something to think about…

Seattle to Tax Coffee-drinks?

So apparently, some wackos in Seattle want to put a tax on espresso based drinks. Now, like the article says, taxing espresso in Seattle would be like taxing Lobster (or anti-Yankees merchandise) in Boston or tofu (and plastic surgery) in LA.

Now being a coffee aficionado (I”m fine with straight coffee–but occasionally I’ll go for a latte or cappucino), I think this idea is absurd. It’s as dumb as junkfood taxes. If anything, tax bad coffee or Decaf.

You can go read the article for yourself…

But to respond to one idiotarian quote

“I’m all for luxury taxes,” counters Nombalais. “We certainly have enough poor taxes – the sales tax, the lottery.”

The lottery isn’t a tax. It’s an optional game you play at your own risk. It isn’t mandatory. As for sales tax, everyone pays it. Rich, poor, middle class—everyone. It isn’t a “poor tax” you idiotarian.

[potentially] Coming Soon

I’ve gotta go cook Shabbos dinner now, so sadly, I can’t blog :(

But here’s what I’m thinking of blogging very soon:

–The “stop smoking” tax credit idea
–Taxing coffee?
–A good fisking of Dean

And we’ll see what else is in the news. heh.