************I went to our local mega-multi-cineplex last night to see Rise of the Guardians with my firend Dawn. (She of Submarine Tim's boss.) Imagine my surprise to see Submarine Tim there as well! While we have e-mailed and phoned while he's been away, it isn't the same as actually seeing him. He was home for a long weekend and he and Dawn decided to surprise me.
He'll be gone again for a couple of weeks and then home again between Christmas and New Year's. We've already made plans for our two families to get together while he's home.
************Our woodpile has shrunk, leaving us with only a few more days worth of firewood. The two cords of firewood we ordered won't be arriving until the 18th of the month, so for a few days we'll have to use the propane furnace to keep The Manse warm.
I will keep one or two days worth of firewood available 'just in case', but I doubt we'll need it.
************File this under “Like we didn't see this one coming.”
It turns out the economy wasn't doing better just before the election. In fact it was doing worse and the numbers since the election aren't looking any better.
Now that Barack Obama is safely ensconced in the White House for another four years, several items which should have been noticed or revealed before Election Day have come to the fore. Collectively, they tell us two things: that the pre-election economy was worse than voters were led to believe, and that the prospects for meaningful improvement under the current regime are bleak at best. Additionally, in at least one instance, economic activity itself was likely manipulated.Between inventory stuffing by GM, a decrease in single family home sales, poor jobs numbers being blamed on Sandy, and the possibility of trillion dollar deficits for years on end, how anyone can say the economic numbers look good is baffling.
As the old saying goes, “Don't piss on my back and tell me it's raining!” That's what the Obama administration seems to be doing with help from the MSM.
************I agree with Senator Coburn on this one: Government is wasteful, incompetent, and stupid.
On more than one occasion while debating some of my more statist progressive acquaintances, I have made the argument that government, and particularly our federal government, is neither wise enough or smart enough to run our lives. Government officials are no better at running their own lives, so what makes the statists think they'll be better at running our lives? Or is it that progressives don't want to be bothered making the tough decisions in their lives?
(H/T Maggie's Farm)
************I can get behind this.
Maybe it's time to stick it to the blue states.
Get rid of the income tax deductions for state taxes and mortgage interest and “let the stuck pig squeal.” If blue staters think raising taxes on the rich is such a great idea, then do away with those deductions and the federal taxes owed by the rich will go up. Unfortunately most of the so-called rich seem to live in the blue states (the same ones calling for increasing taxes on the rich). So rather then putting forward an income tax increase with some carefully crafted 'exemptions', do away with the tax and mortgage exemptions and watch the howling begin. In the bluest of blue states like California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts those exemptions are windfalls for the “rich”, in effect a subsidy of the rich by the 'poor'. (I put rich in quotations because the definition of rich keeps changing. Soon I expect it will come to be defined as “anyone with a job.”)
************Also from Powerline comes this little bit about how welfare spending dwarfs poverty.
I'll bet a lot of that spending is in the form of administrative costs, kind of like what we've been seeing in higher education where administrators now outnumber faculty by up to 2 to 1. The ratio used to be the reverse of that. And when applied to welfare, perhaps we should go back to welfare being handed back to the state and local level like it was prior to LBJ's disastrous Great Society.
************David Starr opines about the UK's displeasure with the EU.
For some time I've been of the opinion that the UK should leave the EU and join NAFTA. David is of the same opinion.
Leaving the EU would allow the UK to regain sovereignty over their own affairs and give them an alternative tariff-free market (Canada, Mexico, and the US) to replace the EU. Besides, unless the EU can reign in the profligate social spending by a number of its members (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain being the worst of the bunch, with France not too far behind) it's not likely the EU economy will be able to sustain itself. Germany can bolster these spendthrift nations for only so long before they're pulled under or stop the hemorrhage of cash by pulling their support.
************Theodore's World reminds us that regardless of what happens with the fiscal cliff issue, taxes are set to rise January 1st because of ObamaCare.
(H/T Pirate's Cove)
************Emperor Misha tells us about the crumbling finances of Brokeifornia and how the tax increases voted into existence November 6th have had the resulted in the 'unexpected' effect of a revenue shortfall of over $800 million last month.
Since cutting spending is clearly off the table, you could always ask the parasite electorate of California to vote to jack up taxes on the people still around to provide them with jobs even further. It worked so well the last time, didn’t it? And the last, and the last, and every single time in all of recorded human history.Yeah. Right.
But THIS time it will work out, right? And then, then we’ll have the Obamunist Obamutopia of Next TuesdayTM, at long last.