One of my recent YouTube videos has already gotten over 100 views. It's only the second one to reach that mark. What's even more impressive is that, as of the time I am writing this, 35 comments have been posted on it. Some of those were me replying to other comments, but most of them are from people I've never heard from before who somehow found my video. That's pretty cool, I think.
Is it too much to ask that we have one presidential candidate who's charismatic and can really energize a crowd without making a gaffe a day?
Warren Buffett says he should pay more in federal taxes. I wish that I was paying more in federal income taxes, because it would mean that I actually had an income.
I'll start my 7th Quarter of law school (6th as a full-time student) next week. Returning to law school is kind of like making love to your girlfriend for the first time after finding out that she never really had an orgasm all the other times you've been with her.
Because I'm going to be competing in a Moot Court competition this fall, I can't try out for Mock Trial. At least I have a real excuse this time.
As much as I'm looking forward to resuming my regular routine, I am going to miss having my own swimming pool. For me, a swimming pool is kind of like a bathtub (not that I use it as such): I don't like swimming in a pool with other people in it, unless the other people are supermodels or really good friends.
Gene Simmons has endorsed Rick Perry for president. Could this be the KISS of death ... or will Perry rise to it and "shock me" be winning the nomination and getting elected?
A lot of people have posted some really nasty comments on my YouTube videos, but I don't mind. What really hurts is when people I don't know read my blog posts but never comment on them. The whole point of a blog is that it's supposed to be a forum, people!
I don't begrudge President Obama for taking a vacation. Come next November, I hope the voters will send him on a permanent vacation. (By the way, I realize I'm probably not the first person to make that wisecrack, but I deliberately ignored nearly all media today so that I could delude myself into thinking it was an original witticism.)
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
It's an excellent point. The U.S. may not have the most favorable business climate, but we have a better quality of life than any other country. That has been our trump card against the growing number of business-friendly states on the global stage. Years ago, John Stossel did a 20/20 episode in which he visited India and Singapore and compared the ease/difficulty of opening a business in each country. In the latter, it took a few hours, much less than it would in the U.S. (and a lot less than in India). He was even able to set up a booth or something in a mall before the end of the day. Singapore also has no capital-gains tax, but on the other hand, you won't get caned for chewing gum in the United States (not by the government, anyway; I can't speak for all parents and boarding schools).STEWART: Couldn't you make the same argument, though, in terms of globalization, for companies going to India and China? If you are the pressure-valve release for companies in California, [then] who's t'say, would you criticize Texas companies --[CROSSTALK]PERRY: Seriously, you wanna live in India, or you wanna live in Texas?STEWART: Are you -- For real?[LAUGHTER/APPLAUSE]
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Three Senate Democrats -- Max Baucus, John Kerry and Patty Murray -- were named by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday to serve on a 12-member "super committee" being set up to address deficit issues.I'll stop right there to point out two things: (1) that is the longest by-line I’ve ever seen on a Reuters piece, and (2) when a reporter (or a group of them) purports to offer you "facts" about something, do you really expect that what you're about to read is purely a list of facts? I guess that second thing was actually a question. Anyway, the article describes Max Baucus this way:
Here are facts about the three Democrats, as well as a list of other lawmakers seen by analysts and congressional aides as front-runners for the nine committee slots still to be filled.
A centrist leader known for his ability to work across party lines, Baucus is chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee and has urged tax reform. He was a member of the 2010 Bowles-Simpson deficit commission formed by President Barack Obama. Baucus voted against the final Bowles-Simpson proposals because they would have cut benefits for the elderly and veterans and hurt his largely rural home state of Montana by raising gasoline prices. He fought President George W. Bush's push to privatize Social Security and is a critic of a House Republican plan to privatize Medicare for future retirees.
Why no Paul Ryan? It’s hard to believe he wouldn’t have been one of Boehner’s first choices, so could it be Ryan wasn’t interested in the position?
Monday, August 8, 2011
In January 2001, CBO's baseline projections showed a cumulative surplus of $5.6 trillion for the 2002-2011 period. The actual results have differed from those projections because of subsequent policy changes, economic developments that differed from CBO's forecast, and other factors. As a result, the federal government actually ran deficits from 2002 through 2010 and will incur a deficit in 2011 as well. The cumulative deficit over the 10-year period will amount to $6.2 trillion, CBO estimates—a swing of $11.8 trillion from the January 2001 projections.
The Department of Health and Human Services will see more than $900 billion in outlays in FY2011. About $83 billion of that is discretionary spending on things like the Centers for Disease Control. Almost all of the rest is Medicare and Medicaid — the two programs that President Obama has vowed to shield from substantial reform of the sort envisioned by Rep. Paul Ryan. The other big driver of spending, as the president himself acknowledged yesterday, is Social Security, meaningful reform of which he also promises to resist.
The rising hostility seems a delayed reaction to a slow economic recovery and high unemployment. To many, China has replaced Wall Street as the villain du jour. Opposition to trade is fueled by reports that many U.S. multinational companies, sitting on huge stockpiles of cash, are reluctant to invest in the U.S. and are looking overseas, and by the fact that China has pulled out of the global slump much faster than the U.S.John Wallis, 50 years old, blames imports for the 2001 death of his 12-employee business that made small electronic prototypes for the telecommunications industry and the subsequent loss of his Chicago-area home. "Trade is fine and dandy in a scenario where everybody wins," Mr. Wallis said. But the U.S. isn't winning, he said. Mr. Wallis now works in programming and design for an international manufacturer in Rhode Island, but doubts he'll ever be able to repay debts from his old business. "Financially we've never recovered," he said.
In propping up major financial institutions, TARP provided relief from the immediate problem of frozen credit markets, according to James Gattuso, a senior fellow in regulatory policy at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank: "It served a critical function in terms of providing liquidity at a time that it was needed to counter a panic in financial markets," he says. Doug Elliott, a fellow at the liberal Brookings Institution, believes that without government support of financial institutions, the financial crisis would have taken on far greater proportions. "The recession we had would have been substantially worse; millions of people would have been out of work," he says.(In fairness, Kurtzleben's article also explained why critics of TARP say it was a flop. Follow this link to read the entire article.) Obama may have voted for TARP, but it was not his brainchild. He also played no integral role in crafting the legislation that created the program, so if you think that TARP rescued the economy, then don't give Obama any credit for averting a worse recession.