The Great $100 Voter Purchase Plan

Thursday, 27 April 2006, 21:56 | Category : Environment, Politics
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Also, it’s the latest attempt by Republicans to drill in ANWR. but that’s not my point here. Today the Republicans proposed a “bold move”, giving most US taxpayers a $100 “gas-tax rebate”. Every taxpayer with an adjusted gross income of $125,000 or less, or $150,000 for couples filing jointly, would get the rebate. I haven’t seen a report saying how many people would be eligible for this, but I went to the IRS website and looked up the number of returns by AGI. In 2003 there were about 125,000,000 individual returns that would qualify. So if each of those representedf a person or couple who would get the rebate, then the Republicans have just added to the deficit approximately


$12,500,000,000

Heck, that would pay for a month and a half of the Iraq excursion. But it won’t do a thing to solve any of our energy-related problems. Here’s a better idea for US taxpayers: trade that gas-sucking SUV for something that burns less gas. If you drive 1,000 miles a month, and you get 15 mpg in your Ford Expedition, then switching to something like a Ford Escape getting 23 mpg will save around $70 each month. That beats the hell out of a one-time $100 vote-buying handout. And make no mistake, the rebate is all about buying votes come November. And unlike the Republican proposal, getting better mileage actually does something to reduce gasoline consumption.

Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil posted profits of

$8,400,000,000


for the first quarter of 2006, following profits of


$10,700,000,000

for the last quarter of 2005. Obviously, companies have to have profits, but I’m just sayin’. That’s a lot of cash they’ve raked in from us. But one thing we know, they can’t afford to pay more in taxes. They’re barely making it as is. I’m just sayin’. But you know, it wasn’t like the car dealers put little yellow stickies over the gas mileage figures on the window stickers, so we couldn’t see the numbers. I have no sympathy for people who complain about how much it costs to fill up their Suburban or Excursion or Hummer, or their Explorer or Tahoe or Dodge Ram. Nobody forced them to buy a 5,000 pound behemoth with a 6-liter V8 to haul around two kids and a few bags of groceries. I think we should issue bumber stickers that say “130,000 US soldiers are in the Middle East protecting my right to waste gas”. I’m just sayin’.

And Another Thing

Tuesday, 25 April 2006, 21:21 | Category : Politics
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I was impressed that Bush waited until the end of his list to mention easing environmental regulations on gasoline production. It reminded me of Terry Fields* asking for “A Three Musketeers, and a ball point pen, one of those combs there, a pint of Old Harper, a couple of flashlight batteries and some beef jerky.”

* – you did watch “American Graffiti” didn’t you?

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Troubleshooting

Friday, 21 April 2006, 9:59 | Category : Geek Stuff
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In Real Life, I’m a somewhat experienced Oracle DBA. I’ve also done a good bit of development back in the day, and I’ve managed development teams and IT departments. One of the things that has been a recurring problem all through my professional life is finding a consistent method of dealing with the inevitable problems. But I’ve finally found it:

If it’s kinda too small to read, clicking on the image will show you the original. It’s simple, concise, and best of all provides a structured way to shirk responsibility.

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Garden Photo Of The Day

Wednesday, 19 April 2006, 9:52 | Category : Gardening
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Rose “Zepherin Douhin” blooming along my front fence (click on the picture for the full size image)…

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The Hammer Becomes The Quitter

Tuesday, 4 April 2006, 10:30 | Category : Politics
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And as far as I’m concerned, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy. Tom Delay became the master of the politics of personal destruction, saying and doing anything, honest, dishonest, truthful, untruthful, to accomplish his goals. When Jesus said “all who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52), He wasn’t offering a forewarning of divine judgement, but rather offering a commentary on human nature. Delay will rant and rave, and blame liberals for his downfall. He will be joined by fellow Republicans and conservative journalists and bloggers in this, and like so much of what he did and said throughout his career, it will be false. Delay may have fancied himself a fighter, but in the end there was no one in his corner. He has brought his career down on himself by his greed for power, and made many enemies and few friends along the way. If he brings down other Republicans with him, so much the better. They have become the moneychangers in the temple, and deserve to be thrown from power. There will be many who will say the Democrats are no better. That too will be wrong. Not all Republicans are bad. Not all Democrats are bad. It’s our job as educated voters to learn how to distinguish between the bad and the good, and if it takes more of these high-profile disgraces to force us to cast our votes more thoughtfully, so be it.