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Don’t Forget How Much We Owe January 22, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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Amidst all the Trumposity in the news, it’s important to remember where we are in terms of debt. While we’re all distracted by the election year antics, the debt inexorably climbs, and is projected to continue accumulating for the foreseeable future:

CBOProjectionofFederalDebt1-19-2016

The scary part is that the CBO never predicts a recession, and it always underestimates federal spending growth. So this is the Pollyanna scenario.

Worse, this is based on continued reductions in discretionary spending (i.e., defense spending), which actually need to be reversed.

Nothing has changed since we were panicked about deficits and the debt a few years ago, other than the deficits becoming less negative. We just keep feeding that debt.

The Cathy Challenge: How Weird Can Eurovision Get? January 20, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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This one’s for Cathy, who said some unkind things about the appearance of Verka Serduchka yesterday. Not that her comments were undeserved, but she ain’t seen nothing.

Feast your eyes upon the 2014 winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, Conchita Wurst. She also competed in the 2015 contest, and that’s the clip I’ve included below the fold.

Why below the fold? Well, I watched several of her videos to see if I could overcome my visceral reaction at her appearance, but I could not. So to spare my delicate (and according to my daughter, prehistoric) sensibilities, I decided to put the video out of immediate sight.

Because, you see, Conchita is a transvestite who does a fair job of appearing as a woman, but chooses to include a beard. The effect is quite unsettling. Hopefully you’re made of sterner stuff than I, and you can overcome your antediluvian prejudice and enjoy her voice and music.

Or not. I think it’s a lot to ask of people of my generation.

(more…)

Eurovision Songs January 19, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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If you watch the movie Spy (which I found pretty funny), you encounter a weird band at one point doing a silly but catchy dancy sort of song. So I tracked them down and thought I’d share:

Since I tracked them down through the Eurovision contest channel on YouTube (they were the runner-ups in 2007), it was unpossible to not encounter this year’s winner, which I thought was pretty dang good:

Make you smile January 18, 2016

Posted by Retired Geezer in Humor, Music.
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Hat tip to my buddy Ruff Cobb.

Watch to the end.

 

 

Pounding on Petraeus January 18, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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At several times during President Obama’s reign, it has appeared that he has used his office to punish or threaten those who don’t fall in line (though I suspect it’s really Valerie Jarret who’s in charge of arm-twisting). Today it’s General David Petraeus’ turn:

The Pentagon is considering retroactively demoting retired Gen. David Petraeus after he admitted to giving classified information to his biographer and mistress while he was still in uniform, three people with knowledge of the matter told The Daily Beast.

The decision now rests with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, who is said to be willing to consider overruling an earlier recommendation by the Army that Petraeus not have his rank reduced.

But Petraeus retired in 2011, so why would the Army make a big deal out of going after him now?

I suspect it’s because of headlines like these:

  • Petraeus, Former Obama Advisers Reject Iran Deal (6/24/15)
  • David Petraeus Urges Stronger U.S. Military Effort in Syria (9/22/15)

But if they do indeed retroactively demote him for mishandling classified material, and they are actually doing it, as SecDef Ashton Carter says, to maintain consistency, then I hope they remember this when it’s Hillary’s turn.

Penthouse Drops Print Format January 18, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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You’ll never again read, “I can’t believe it happened to me…” in print:

The glory days of gentlemen’s magazines are fading fast.

Penthouse Magazine, the long-running and raunchier rival of Playboy, said Friday that it is ending its print edition after 50 years on the newsstand and will now only be offered in digital format.

Haven’t perused a Penthouse since I was in college, so I won’t miss it at all, but there’s something about the passing of an era that leaves one a little nostalgic. No more Penthouse, no nudes in Playboy – it’s a soulless digital world we’re falling into.

My Beautiful America January 17, 2016

Posted by Retired Geezer in Heroes, Music.
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Here’s Charlie Daniels.

 

Full Disclosure, I did the lighting for Charlie’s show a few times. He was the most gracious and humble performer that I’ve had the pleasure of working with. He would open up his dressing room every night to the crew for snacks and photo opportunities. I probably have a photo of him with Mrs. Geezer.

Best Diets of 2016 (Supposedly) January 16, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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I don’t really agree with US News & World Reports’ ranking of diets, but being as it’s the beginning of 2016 (more or less), I thought I’d share it with you anyway:

Best Diets Overall
1. DASH Diet
2. MIND Diet
2. TLC Diet (tie)
4. Weight Watchers
4. Mayo Clinic
4. Fertility
4. Mediterranean (tie)
8. Volumetrics (tie)
8. Flexitarian
10. Jenny Craig

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…and then there’s those exports January 15, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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You may recall President Obama’s promise to double US exports within 5 years. He officially failed to keep that promise at the beginning of last year, but what’s amazing is how poorly he’s done since then. In fact, it looks like exports are heading south:

ExportsRealityvsObamaJan2016

So when the president brags about our wonderful economy, you can ask him, “Just which of your policies led to this (tepid) recovery?”

Because it sure ain’t doubling exports, adding 1 million manufacturing jobs, or creating 5 million green jobs.

 

 

Manufacturing Jobs: 9 Months to Failure January 14, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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Our president made a promise at the Democratic National Convention in 2012. Yes, he promised to create 1 million manufacturing jobs in 4 years. It was a big promise and an important promise, a promise which would have required an aggressive multi-faceted approach, rather than a few scattered job training programs.

And it was, almost needless to say, a promise that our president had no intention and no capability to keep. Here’s how he’s doing:

ManufJobsJan2016

With 80% of his time gone, he’s made it 40% of the way to his goal. In nine months his time will be up and another big promise will be broken.

Belated Employment Report for Dec 2015 January 14, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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Been traveling lately, so haven’t been able to do much blogging. My latest trip coincided with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ release of December’s employment report, which the press, as usual, liked a lot. By my measure, however, it just another incremental improvement in an absurdly long trek back to normalcy.

FullTimeEmpvsCivPopJan2016

At this rate we’ll get to the 2004-2005 level in 8 years (assuming the average rate of improvement from 2010-2015 is constant). If you want to get to where we were in January 2007, it’ll take 12 years.

An honest and informed president would never brag about these numbers.

Please help January 11, 2016

Posted by digitalbrownshirt in News.
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please help