So Honey Don't You Fret

… cause you ain't seen nothing yet:

  • We noticed last week that desperate Democrats were planning on reviving one of their perennial campaign themes, vowing to raise taxes on corporations that "ship jobs overseas".

    (Just how kicking businesses in the teeth—again—is supposed to improve the economy is not explained. Also unexplained: if it's such a hot idea, why haven't they done it already?)

    Don Boudreaux noticed the same article I did, and debunks:

    Instead focus on the plan to tax business actions that "ship jobs overseas" - that is, the plan to tax actions that economize on labor costs. Will Democrats seek also to tax, say, shipping containers?  Over the past half-century, these humble boxes have put millions of high-paid longshoremen out of work. Perhaps the Democrats will tax also high-grade rubber tires: by enabling cars and trucks to travel farther on single sets of tires, the number of jobs in tire-manufacturing plants is reduced. Or maybe TeamObama will slap a punitive tax on electrical generators, for ready access to inexpensive electricity continues to encourage businesses to lower their costs by replacing human labor with machines.
    All I can say is: Don, aren't you worried that Democrats will read this and say "Hey, great idea!"

  • In related news, Puffington Host contributor Sam Stein describes a meeting between White House and Congressional lawmakers discussing the Democrats' "August Strategy", and how they plan to coordinate with the usual lefty noisemakers: MoveOn, unions, etc. But most amusing was the pocket card (PDF) that was passed out at the meeting, which Stein got hold of and posted. It's small, has big print, and uses the "ship American jobs overseas" phrase five times. They really think it's going to work for them.

    And maybe it will. Who knows? But for me it just says: "We're out of ideas, but maybe we can use this BS to fool the rubes one more time."

  • The latest Rasmussen poll for the open US Senate seat from New Hampshire is pretty good news for (Republican) Kelly Ayotte. It shows her easily beating the likely Democrat nominee, Paul Hodes.

    Readers might remember that a couple weeks ago the Huppington Fost screamed that Sarah Palin's endorsement of Ayotte "BACKFIRES", pointing to a subsequent decrease in Ayotte's lead, according to a Democratic-affiliated polling organization. But, according to Rasumussen, the effect was to change Ayotte's lead over Hodes from 12% to… 13%. [Rasmussen notes that Palin's "very unfavorable" ratings are pretty high in NH, though.]

    Bill Binnie might be a little depressed by the poll. Although he also leads Hodes, his July lead was 11%, and now it's dropped to 6%. This is after spending (roughly) a boatload of his own money on TV ads and slick mailers.

    Sorry, Ovide fans. Rasmussen didn't ask about him.

  • Co-worker Marcus asks:
    The commercials on Pandora seem to be getting more frequent... is it me?
    I don't know. But while I was idly searching for an answer, I came across an intriguing suggestion:
    After switching my gender to Female, Pandora showed me nothing but birth control ads, which, while not exactly applicable to me, were a whole lot less annoying than the over-animated, window-usurping Bud Light ads I was getting before.
    I might be doing something wrong, but Pandora doesn't allow me to either set or change my profile's gender. But (generally speaking) lying about yourself to improve the mix of ads you see strikes me as fun, and (if widely adopted) likely to cause any number of Internet marketers to commit seppuku. Win-win!

  • Today's Red Hat Linux update is to the tzdata package, which contains rules for time zones around the world. It's described as an "enhancement", and here's the description:
    * during Ramadan, that is, during the period between 2010-08-11 and 2010-09-08, Egypt will suspend DST. The DST period will be officially restored on 2010-09-09.
    The tzdata package expands primarily into /usr/share/zoneinfo/ on Linux systems, amassing (typically) a bit under 6 Megabytes. Not very big by today's storage standards, but (on the other hand), it's bigger than the King James Bible. This is just the timezone data; it doesn't count the labyrinthine code that goes into Linux (and other OS's) to handle time zones, DST and other tweaks.

    Here's Pun Salad's Totally Impractical Proposal: abolish time zones. Everybody who really cares what time it is should use UTC. (Or, as we used to say, Greenwich Mean Time.) No more fall back, spring forward. No more dinking with your watch when you cross imaginary lines. No more 9-to-5; your boss might expect you to be onsite (say) between 1400 and 2200.

    Downside: this great song wouldn't work so well any more.

    I'm not alone. This smart guy has the arguments.

    Or this Wikipedia article on "Time in Indiana" might convince you all by itself.


Last Modified 2012-10-02 3:44 PM EST

He Walked By Night

[3.0
stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

From 1948, a police procedural set in Los Angeles, with film noir touches.

An unlucky policeman on his way home stops to question a guy who we've seen just try to break into a TV store. The guy unexpectedly pulls a gun and fills the poor cop full of lead. As you might expect, the full force of LA's finest is put behind the case. But it's frustrating, because the killer is pretty sharp; he's got a police radio, knows a lot about police procedures, and is careful not to leave any tracks. Fortunately, the cops are relentless.

This movie will remind you (if you're of a certain age) of good old Dragnet. (The IMDB explains why.) There's a know-it-all narrator, the names have been changed to protect the innocent, and Jack Webb has a part. (As a nerdy crime lab technician, though, not Sergeant Joe Friday.) And I'm not sure if Dragnet's claim that the "story you are about to see is true" was actually true, but this movie was based on an actual case.

Richard Basehart, Admiral Nelson himself, plays the bad guy. As noted above the movie tries to do the noir thing, but (at least to me) this was entirely a matter of lighting, or lack thereof; there's no moral ambiguity or cynicism, and no femme fatales. Hey, you might as well put the lights on, guys.


Last Modified 2012-10-02 3:43 PM EST