Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's funny, and yet it's not

LINKY

GOP Bill Would Eliminate Middle Class Income Tax by Eliminating Middle Class Income

JANUARY 28, 2009

Washington - In response to the current economic crisis, Senate Republicans introduced a bill today that would simultaneously eliminate the income tax and the income for the so-called ‘middle class,’ which the senators identified as those American households earning less than $100,000 a year. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the bill “accomplished a difficult objective, difficultly.” The bill may face tough opposition in the Democratic-controlled Senate, although that is unlikely due to the fact that many Democrats are known to have no fortitude of any kind.

For McConnell and his Republican colleagues, these desperate times present the perfect opportunity to bring about a change they have been seeking for years, namely removing the need for companies to pay salaries to their workers. “We actually had the idea of doing away with the wages first,” McConnell said. “But we’re aware that this idea of paying the workers has a long history in this country and that eliminating pay would potentially cause problems for us and for the bill. So we said, ‘What can we do to kind of stem that tide of anger that might result from people having their wages, their income taken away?’ But we couldn’t come up with anything, because all the ideas required the business owners and the corporations to give something, and we couldn’t have that. So finally we came to the realization that, ‘Hey, since they don’t have income, they don’t have income taxes. That’s how we’ll frame it. As them winning something. Everyone loves to win something.’ And we all knew we had the right idea.”

Asked about expected resistance from Senate Democrats, McConnell said, “Well, we don’t really worry about them too much, the Democrats. All we have to do is frame it in a certain way that makes them look weak. Like, let’s say, ‘The Democrats obviously hate American workers and would like them to have to pay this incredibly crippling income tax.’ Something like that. And it’s amazing, because none of them usually even say the obvious thing, which would be to accuse us of hating them because we took their pay away. They don’t even think of it. It’s weird. But in the event that they do, we could use something like, ‘You know who else loves the fact that American companies have to pay wages to the workers? Osama bin Laden.’ You say something like that, and runs and hides behind the lectern and whimpers softly. At least, that’s what usually happens.”

In terms of the American people themselves, many of whom will lose their main source of income should the bill pass, McConnell said they required a slightly different, but no more difficult approach. “Well, first of all, you focus on the fact that they’ll no longer have to pay their income tax. That we’re giving them that. You just keep pounding that home, and you leave out the part about them no longer having income, as much as you can. And then, what you do is, you tie it to a hot-button social issue like gay marriage or abortion or something, and you’ll get a lot of them to go along. So you may hear us talking about how, if we allow people to have income, they’ll try to buy things for themselves, like televisions. And on those televisions they’ll see programs about homosexuals and so-called ‘alternative lifestyles’ and things of that nature. So if they don’t want to see those things, and have the minds of their children polluted, possibly beyond repair, they should be glad they’ll no longer be receiving this tainted, dangerous ‘income.’ And that’ll work like a charm. They’ll be eating out of a can of dog food on the corner, but they’ll think we did the right thing.”

Friday, January 23, 2009

Quote of the day

"I won."

-- President Obama, quoted by the Wall Street Journal, in response to Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) on why he's not including more Republican ideas in his economic stimulus plan.

For all the Price Is Right fans....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Huh.

"If I'm a girl, I already have approximately 6 million eggs in my ovaries. By the time I'm born, they'll dwindle to around 1 million."

From Allison's "Countdown to My Birth" day calendar at 19 weeks and one day. I have to admit, I didn't see that coming.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ok, so I may have shed *one* tear

My favorite parts of President Obama's inaugural speech:

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

"So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

'Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

"America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations."

Monday, January 12, 2009

One week to go...

As a President who is capable of stringing together two coherent sentences in a row is getting set to be inaugurated next Tuesday, Slate complies a list of the top 25 Bushisms of all time....

1. "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."—Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

2. "I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."—Greater Nashua, N.H., Chamber of Commerce, Jan. 27, 2000

3. "Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"—Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000

4. "Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across
the country."—Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004

5. "Neither in French nor in English nor in Mexican."—declining to answer reporters' questions at the Summit of the Americas, Quebec City, Canada, April 21, 2001

6. "You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.''—Townsend, Tenn., Feb. 21, 2001

7. "I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense."—Washington, D.C., April 18, 2006

8. "See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."—Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005

9. "I've heard he's been called Bush's poodle. He's bigger than that."—discussing former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, as quoted by the Sun newspaper, June 27, 2007

10. "And so, General, I want to thank you for your service. And I appreciate the fact that you really snatched defeat out of the jaws of those who are trying to defeat us in Iraq."—meeting with Army Gen. Ray Odierno, Washington, D.C., March 3, 2008

11. "We ought to make the pie higher."—South Carolina Republican debate, Feb. 15, 2000

12. "There's an old saying in Tennessee—I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can't get fooled again."—Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

13. "And there is distrust in Washington. I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town. And I'm sorry it's the case, and I'll work hard to try to elevate it."—speaking on National Public Radio, Jan. 29, 2007

14. "We'll let our friends be the peacekeepers and the great country called America will be the pacemakers."—Houston, Sept. 6, 2000

15. "It's important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It's not only life of babies, but it's life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet."—Arlington Heights, Ill., Oct. 24, 2000

16. "One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures."—U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 3, 2000

17. "People say, 'How can I help on this war against terror? How can I fight evil?' You can do so by mentoring a child; by going into a shut-in's house and say I love you."—Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2002

18. "Well, I think if you say you're going to do something and don't do it, that's trustworthiness."—CNN online chat, Aug. 30, 2000

19. "I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep on the soil of a friend."—on the prospect of visiting Denmark, Washington, D.C., June 29, 2005

20. "I think it's really important for this great state of baseball to reach out to people of all walks of life to make sure that the sport is inclusive. The best way to do it is to convince little kids how to—the beauty of playing baseball."—Washington, D.C., Feb. 13, 2006

21. "Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream."—LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000

22. "You know, when I campaigned here in 2000, I said, I want to be a war president. No president wants to be a war president, but I am one."—Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 26, 2006

23. "There's a huge trust. I see it all the time when people come up to me and say, 'I don't want you to let me down again.' "—Boston, Oct. 3, 2000

24. "They misunderestimated me."—Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000

25. "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office."—Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

EDIT: 26. "I'm telling you there's an enemy that would like to attack America, Americans, again. There just is. That's the reality of the world. And I wish him all the very best."—Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 2009

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Sad

Yesterday it was learned that Electronic Gaming Monthly, a magazine that I've subscribed to since its inception in 1989 has ceased its print publication after being sold to some company called UGO Entertainment which is apparently owned by the Hearst Corporation. Unlike the PC Magazine situation, EGM's entire staff was let go, not just their production staff.

It always seemed to me that EGM struck the correct balance between print and online - you could go to the website for the daily news, yet have in-depth feature reporting and reviews available only in the print version. You know, actual journalism. Apparently though, the advertising just isn't there to support the magazine (or more to the point, to support their wonderful 30% profit margin) so that's it. Obviously magazines and newspapers are entirely different animals - our market is different than their market, they have to print and distribute all over the country whereas we stick to our little corner, etc. Still, seeing things like this are obviously scary for someone in the printing business. I know I'm working on my plan B, and hopefully everyone in our industry is as well.

So I say goodbye to EGM, something that I looked forward to getting in my mailbox every month for the last 20 years. I always especially looked forward to the April issue, to see if I could spot the April Fools joke. It's probably fitting that it's a Street Fighter game that is on the cover of the final issue - if I had all the quarters I put into the Street Fighter 2 arcade machine back I'd be a wealthy man, and it was the game that paved the way for the Soul Calibur's and Virtua Fighters that came after. Hadouken!