Tuesday, December 07, 2010

eh...

Hey, Obama's awesome "compromise" on wage freezes gets him another awesome compromise...tax cuts for everybody! Whew! I was worried that Wall Street was going to have to pay their bonuses early this year. The rest of you get a subscription to the Jelly of the Month Club. That's the gift that keeps on giving throughout the entire year, Clark.

Even conservative Democrat Mary Landrieu called the plan "almost morally corrupt" and this:
"It's what I'm calling the Obama-McConnell plan. We're going to borrow $46 billion from the poor, from the middle class, from businesses of all sizes basically to give a tax cut to families in America today, that despite the recession, are making over a million dollars. I mean, this is unprecedented. Unprecedented. I want to repeat that," she said. Landrieu added, however, that she had yet to make a decision on the final package and was speaking strictly about the extension of tax cuts for the wealthy.

I'm really at a loss for what exactly Obama thinks he's doing here. Yeah, it makes sense for some tax cuts for those that are struggling but that's not the rich and you know that people are going to be whining about the deficit and the spending and all that crap which will inevitably mean cutting programs that help the poor, etc. It's frustrating that to read stuff like this:
“Take a tally, look at what I promised during the campaign,” Mr. Obama said, displaying a rare flash of emotion as he wound up the question-and-answer session. “There’s not a single thing that I have said that I would do that I have not done or tried to do. And if I haven’t gotten it done yet, I’m still trying.”
The only time he shows any emotion seems to be whenever he's talking about how those on the left don't appreciate him enough.

Anyway, I get that I'm probably further to the left than any president that will be elected in my lifetime but it's frustrating when we abandon certain principles without a fight and especially when we do so on issues that are actually very popular among the general public. Moving on.

The news out of NASA about the bacteria allegedly surviving on arsenate and not phosphate sounded cool but the claims (mostly by the media but also by the scientists) are pretty wildly overstated. The always excellent Carl Zimmer lays out the major problems.

I read a story about more people going back to rabbit ears for their TV with some interest. This is what we've been doing and once in a while we'll have problems with our reception (our setup consists of a digital converter box and coat hangers bolted down to a piece of wood...seriously) but overall it works pretty well. With ESPN3, Hulu, Netflix (DVDs and streaming) there isn't much that we miss out on watching that we're interested in. Sometimes it's a pain in the ass missing something or having to catch up on a series several months later but when compared to sending $60 a month to a shitty cable company monopoly it seems to be worth it.

Finally, whether you agree with WikiLeaks or not (and I can understand arguments against them) I think it's important to know and consider what they are trying to accomplish. In a democracy our governments should be open to the people and if our current (or future) wars are based on lies these secrets should be exposed. I would prefer if we consider those issues rather than screaming that these people should be executed. Here's an Australian op-ed written by Julian Assange that's worth reading.

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