Friday, August 12, 2011

The Almighty Private Sector and Job Creation

It's the economy stupid. The 2012 election will hinge on the economy. Values and ideals are great, but most people could care less about idealism when they can't put food on the plate.

The current, according to conservatives, results from President Obama's lack of private sector experience. Barack just doesn't get what it means to work with a budget, they say. Hannity, Rush, Mitt, they get it. They've worked in the private sector. Mitt took over several businesses. He knows what works and what doesn't, but without this experience he could never know. That's why Mitt is clearly the right choice for 2012 to correct our errant economy.

Let's look at Mitt's track record. It turns out private sector experience isn't sufficient for a great economy. In Mitt's years as governor of Massachusetts, the Bay State ranked 47th nationally in jobs creation. So what gives? Maybe, had Mitt not been in the private sector, it would have ranked dead last...

Which makes sense, if you think about it. Mitt infamously bragged in the 2007 debates that he would trim the fat, leading Mike to Huckabee to quip that Mitt reminds people of the guy who fired them. For a business, trimming the fat may be the right thing. Try telling that to the 9.1% unemployed.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Another exciting adventure in data manipulation

The Wall Street Journal's opinion page is placing the potential demise of America's credit rating squarely on President Obama. To do so, they use equal parts of spin and data teasing. Witness the following graph used as "evidence" of Obama's guilt.

Eegats! That's a humongous change in spending! Why Obama goes from almost the bottom of the graph to the top in just TWO YEARS! This is unprecedented! That socialist! That cad! Think about our children's futures...they'll be serfs to the government's debt for the rest of their lives!

Wait, what's that you say--the bottom of the graph is set to 17% and the top is 26%? So Obama didn't take is from the top to the bottom in two years? And Obama didn't take over office until 2009 when it was already at 22%? You mean George Bush is responsible for that horrendous increase from the bottom at 17% to 22%? But the way you tell the story, Mr. Editor, and the way the graph looks, it's as if Obama took us from a balanced budget to total meltdown in just over two years. Leave it up to that liberal media to distort stats to make a democrat look bad.

Too much sarcasm? Sorry, sometimes I find it humorous the way graphs are manipulated to go along with preconceived notions. The amount of politicking from non-politicians, flip-flopping on the debt, blaming Obama for Bush's debt etc., tends to crack me up. Enjoy.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Alien lovin'

Katy Perry is blowing up the airwaves again. This time it's with her summer jam, E.T., which explores romantic encounters during alien abductions. Sound bad? it is.

The abduction analogy is carried on too long, and the extensions vary from comical to downright sick. After describing the joys of foreign, alien touch, Ms. Perry waxes poetic about her muse. "You're so supersonic" she announces, with no justification of how a fast lover can be a good lover. But spending time with the lover is not enough, she wants him to take her. "Take me," she commands, "wanna be a victim--ready for abduction." Anyone else creeped out by that abduction fantasy?

The song mightavoid outright laughter if not for the cameo by Kanye West. Kanye warms up with some space lifted from the Jetsons. "I know a bar out in Mars where they driving space ships instead of cars. Cop a Prada spacesuit about the stars." West really hits his stride when he announces that he has abducted Katy and "tell me what's next, alien sex." He rhymes "disrobe" and "probe" his victim, with a delivery that leaves no guess what instrument will be probing his abductee. Kanye is in on the rape fantasy. When his lover tries to leave "I abducted you! I tell you what to do, I tell you what to do!", he barks. Asserting his domination over the masochistic victim.

Not your type of loving? me neither. When I get around to it, I will post some of my favorite alien love songs.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My doctrine is not mine...

My doctrine is not mine...but him that sent me.

Last Monday the first major GOP presidential debate occurred in New Hampshire. The Debate marked the first time that major candidates, such as Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Michelle Bachmann graced the stage for an evening marked by brotherly love amongst the candidates and a refusal to criticize front-runner Mitt Romney and blame for everything wrong deflected towards President Obama. Some of my favorite moments included:
  • Mitt Romney's demagoguery about the "Obama Depression." Despite bad employment numbers, Obama's economic programs pulled us out of a depression a year ago in a jobless recover.
  • Michelle Bachmann's to abolish the republican-established Environmental Protection Agency
  • Tim Pawlenty's refusal to criticize Romneycare (or "Obamneycare" as he has called it at recent rallies).
But perhaps my favorite moment came when Ron Paul was asked how he would remedy the decrease in US manufacturing. In case we were confused on whether Congressman Paul was an ideologue stuck on two policy issues, his answer should clarify that: abolish the Fed. Yep, the Fed.

According to Paul the Fed's policies have weakened the dollar[1] and no one wants to invest in the weakened dollar. Ergo, manufacturing sucks. But he's dead wrong. If monetary policies were to create a weakened dollar it would stimulate manufacturing in the States. Say the dollar were to be decreased 10%. Then there would be a 10% discount for all foreign purchasers. Europe would have a 10% discount on everything that it bought from us. China would too, but domestic labor prices are so low in China that they wouldn't buy much from us regardless. In the other side, a weakened dollar would make foreign imports more expensive; so we would by less from abroad. Both of these effects should increase manufacturing within the States. Which brings me to my title.

Congressman Paul, and many in the GOP field, are strict doctrinaires. They espouse an unflinching belief that their doctrines--whether it be abolishing the Fed, cutting taxes while reducing the deficit, or privatizing anything and everything done by the federal government--provide some general theory of relativity for governing on which all the world can be governed. That fact of the matter is that the Fed is not responsible for jobless rate, trickle down economics was debunked twenty years ago, and even Adam Smith would argue that the free market doesn't solve everything. But that doesn't refute republican doctrines, they're just trials of faith for the true believers who are going to take back our country.

[1] Given that we have yet to see real inflation, I think this assumption is questionable but I will assume it for sake of argument.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

In the News

The other day I saw a headline which read, "Tax Breaks Dwarf Deficit." I was quite puzzled--what is this "dwarf deficit" and how will a tax break it?

Monday, March 28, 2011

An exciting article from wikipedia

Today, I was on the Chinese wikipedia index for "consumer." (Don't ask me why). And I discovered possibly one of the most exciting wikipedia articles and captions. The caption reads, "a pair of consumers just purchased products and are celebrating." I think that's an accurate description of the picture.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Can't get enough Lennon

I came across this the other night when geeking out about my favorite "love songs" with my gf. I just can't get enough of this recording. It's so beautiful, so intimate. Just you, the piano, and John Winston Lennon. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

And now for some topical humor

A public union employee, a tea party activist, and a CEO are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies in the middle of it. The CEO takes 11 of the cookies, turns to the tea partier and says, "Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Has wandering and playing replaced pondering and praying?

I read a good talk today about selfless service by Elder William Bradford. Elder Bradford distinguishes things that are fun and "interesting" from those that are important and necessary. Among these necessary things are self-less service.

I thought it was a great talk, and y'all should read it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Reid Family Tradition

My brother and I share an interest in arcane facts--particularly facts about camp pop culture. Needless to say, we spend a lot of time looking up plot summaries for Darkwing Duck or researching the Great Gazoo and his gay tryst with Snagglepuss.

Tonight, my wandering thoughts have lead me to the live action Batman show. After looking over the villains and all their henchmen on the Wikipedia page, I'm going to have to go through all three seasons. My brothers and I have always mused over Cesar Romero's perma-smile joker, and his clever plots. But never did I realize that he seduces a cheerleader. And I never realized the amount of 60s flower power kitsch. (Apparently, in the third season they start using more 60s slang and reference hippie counterculture!)

Needless to say, I've got my entertainment planned for the next month.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Discounted music

As graduation approaches, and with it job interviews (hopefully), I have been shopping for a new suit. I have one, but I think two would be good to have for work and such, and my mom gave me Christmas money to buy a suit.

Being the cheap...er...value-conscious shopper that I am, I have been spending a lot of time at Marshall's. For those of you who don't know, Marshall's makes its money reselling clothes that it buys from big name stores. When the Nordstrom's or Macy's order too many Van Heusen dress shirts they sell the surplus to Marshall's. Some of the stuff looks like the store just bought too much, and some of it--well, let's just say Marshall's ain't going to sell it either.

Anyways, given my addiction to music, I have paid keen attention to the songs played at Marshall's. (Not) surprisingly John Mayer comes on at least twice an hour there. I'm not sure what to think of this. Heavens knows how much I love John Mayer. I have two different reads: One, the rights to play John Mayer at stores was overpurchased by big stores and so Marshall's; or two, John Mayer's adult contemporary shlock is so middle of the road that it borders on muzak, and no middle-aged woman would feel uncomfortable shopping with the music on. Either way he sucks.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A moment of lyrical genius

I don't really pay attention to ads. I will usually see an ad 5-6 times before I know what product it's selling and it's sales pitch (if there is one). But, for some reason the Fergie Dr. Pepper commercial caught my attention. The jingle was actually kind of catchy. But it was the lyrics that had me enthralled. She starts of her rapping:

"Ain't nobody rockin' like this
Ain't nobody out there swift like this
Everywhere all I hear is this"
Yes, she rhymed the word this three times es in a row. Three times. Maybe she really liked the first line but could only come up with "this soda tastes like piss" so she decided to rhyme it with itself. And the last line? Everywhere all I hear is this?!?! Could you get more vague. Why on earth did you need to include that line in your rap!

Regardless of how she pawned the lyric off, I hope Dr. Pepper didn't pay much for those lyrics. Stay tuned, I have another music in adverts post on the way.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Another nerdy dream

I have lots of nerdy dreams. About a month ago, I dreamed about trying to speak Spanish but only Chinese would come out. Last night I dreamed about discussing whether or not to put two spaces or one after a period, with a Mormon blogger. Yup, that's how exciting my subconscious is.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bachmann considering running in 2012

As a liberal, I'm not sure how I feel about this. Unlike Sarah Palin, Bachmann won't win likely the GOP nomination. I don't think she has national support like Sarah Barracuda. But if she runs, and Sarah doesn't, then she will probably draw the loony votes in the primaries so the delegates can nominate a sane choice.

Is that good or bad? One one hand the nominee would probably be more appealing to moderates and thus more likely to beat Obama. On the other, if she/he did win hopefully this whole Tea Party thing will fade into irrelevance like Lou Bega.

http://www.startribune.com/politics/national