Thursday, March 23, 2006

Pure, Unadulterated Awesomeness


[posted with ecto]

Daily Spam (3/22/05)

From: kelemen

Cc: =
Date: Thur Mar 23, 2006 11:22:32 AM EST
Subject: Heya been a long time

Good evening Sebastiano,

You still trying to impress ur wife.

U still hearing nagging about it in the room then come see No need to be shameful anymore about ur unit, I'm not.
see the real war while the public sees only the nationalism and the
patriotism. They ar.

the life of one of the greatest heroes of that war, Robert E. Lee. It is a.
hin his mind. "Oh,” he thought to himself, "I have a history paper due
tomorrow."The anxiety of the .

Thank you

iPods at the Park

It really seems like they had a great time!

No Strained Puns Here

There is a study out that links smoking to impotence. I'm glad I don't smoke and have never really done so.

Lost in All the March Madness

R10 Kwalif Rx-Resized
Audi entered a diesel-powered race car at the 12 Hours of Sebring road race (that's real racing to NASCAR fans, with right hand turns and everything). One of the oil-burners set a track record during qualifying. Its No. 2 R10 racer took the checkered flag, too. This is a huge deal -- diesels are known for being the pack-mules of the automotive world -- efficient, reliable and torque-y. But they are not known for being fast. Trust me. My mother had a grey-market 1984 Mercedes 300D. It was a lot of things, but sporty wasn't one of them.

Now, Audi is promising to bring its diesel to the US. The upcoming Q7 will feature both hybrid and diesel drivetrains. Indeed, Autoblog believes that Audi will even bring the diesel to California, home of the nation's most stringent mobile-source emissions limitations. Hopefully this will make the SUV a bit more efficient and a bit cleaner, too.

[posted with ecto]

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Trying to Post with ecto....

....a desktop blogging tool. It gets lots of stars, mice, etc. from the press, so I figured I'd try to be cool and stuff and try it. I've got a 21 day trial. Theoretically it should make it easier for me to blog. I look forward to using it.

[posted with ecto]

Wow -- Don't these People Know...

...that they're Democrats? I mean, they're like Jews for Jesus. guys are Christians.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Out of Hand Theater Shameless Plug

I sit on the board of Atlanta's Out of Hand Theater, which has drawn critical praise for productions such as Big Love ("a sturdy, malleable and multitalented cast" -- AJC) and 30 Below ("30 Below may not be the most disciplined show, but it's frequently fun enough to suggest that maybe maturity is overrated." -- Creative Loafing) and critical confusion with Live Nude Bouffons ("the strangest show to play in Atlanta" -- AJC).

On April 1st, Out of Hand will debut an original play by respected Atlanta playwright Steve Yockey, Cartoon. Cartoon examines the "tumultuous exploits of a madcap band of mismatched cartoon stereotypes in their media-saturated world. Cartoon is packed with fist fights, revolutions, explosions, performance numbers and even
a little bit of love." Aaaaahhhhhh..... Hope to see you on April 1.


The New York Times has an interesting graphic up about a Delta Airlines family and their use of the free or reduced-cost travel benefit.

Kevin Drum pwns Andrew Sullivan

The two have been going back and forth about the prospect of balancing the budget through budget cuts alone (i.e., without tax hikes). Kevin Drum challenged Sullivan to pare down the $400 billion budget deficit without touching non-discretionary spending (surplus-running Medicare and Social Security) and without touching defense spending (a sacred cow of conservatives, anyway) and without raising taxes (ditto). Sullivan gamely accepted the challenge and promptly had himself pwn3d by Drum.

To wit:

If Sullivan wants to increase revenue by closing loopholes and increasing the gas tax, that's fine with me. But in terms of actual budget cuts, he came up with only $120 billion, about one-fourth of the actual federal deficit — and even that was mostly by the lazy expedient of "I'd just wipe out this program completely," which isn't really even a serious response.

TJ's Coming to Atlanta

My friends and relatives in the Bay Area and Chicago love it. I have been jealous for years. But now, I won't have to be jealous much longer. Trader Joe's is coming to Atlanta!!! The AJC reports that TJ's will be coming in the next year. The great thing about Trader Joe's, as compared to Whole Foods and Eatzis, is that the former is a bastion of bourgeois products at proletarian prices, to steal from Slate.

For those of you who haven't heard of Trader Joe's, it is a privately held company that operates small grocery stores in California -- it was born in LA about 30 years ago -- California, DC and Maryland. Nineteen states in all. Trader Joe's buys all of its products directly from the source, rather than relying on middlemen like other chains. They pass that savings on. And their store brands are reputed to be as good or better than national premium brands. And, perhaps most famously, TJ's introduced the world to quality wine at $1.99 a bottle -- "Two Buck Chuck."

I'm thrilled that Atlanta has a Cost Plus, Whole Foods and Eatzis. And getting a TJ's will be the best. Here's hoping one pops up in Midtown or Decatur -- both close to my abode.

Update: Thoughts on locations here.

Monday, March 20, 2006

For Small-Government Types -- Something to Chew On

I'm going to assume that the numbers in Kevin Drum's post are correct. So how does somebody who supports reducing the deficit but not raising taxes to do it answer this:
Bush's tax cuts haven't touched Social Security or Medicare taxes (and both programs run surpluses anyway). They've been solely cuts in personal and corporate income taxes, dividend taxes, and capital gains taxes. These are the taxes that fund discretionary spending.

Discretionary spending in 2005 was roughly $1 trillion. About half of that was for defense and national security, which Sullivan doesn't want to cut. That leaves $500 billion, which funds the entire rest of the federal government.

The federal deficit for 2005 was over $400 billion.

So: if you support the tax cuts, and you don't want to cut defense spending, and you want a balanced budget, you need to slice about $400 billion out of the $500 billion that's left.

What 80% of the government did you want to cut?