March 26th, 2010

#1998: Obama treats ally like crap

He really mistreated Binyamin Netanyahu. Obama appears to have thrown a temper tantrum of sorts: "After failing to extract a written promise of concessions on settlements, Mr Obama walked out of his meeting with Mr Netanyahu...."

Israel isn't doing what he wants, so he walks out. Yeah, that's the way to accomplish things: piss people off. Our foreign allies really respect that.

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Expect ObamaCare to cause unemployment. Why? Taxes, fines, fees. Why else?

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Interesting point in this bit about federal deficit spending:
The biggest tax increase in American history was in 1993. If such a tax increase were passed today, and assuming it didn’t cripple the economy, it would produce $71 billion annually in additional revenue — enough to fund the government’s current borrowing for just ten days.
An additional $71 billion at a time when the federal budget is around $3,500 billion? Right now the feds are spending $6.7 million dollars a minute; $71 billion is enough to finance the operations of the federal government for one week.

Take a look at the clock right now. Note where the second hand is. Now watch the second hand make one revolution of the clock face. In that time, the US federal government has just spent more money than you (most likely) will ever earn in your life.

That's $111,000 per second. One heartbeat and the government has spent enough money to support a family of four in comfort.

It's three brand new Mustang GTs every second. At list price.

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Social Security is at breakeven this year. The Congressional Budget Office said this would happen in 2016, but it's six years early, and the trend is not going to reverse itself.

Over the past decades, since the feds started dumping SSI into the general fund, the program has accumulated an ever-growing stack of IOUs from the feds. According to accounting theory, when someone owes you money, that's an asset; the theory does not check to see whether he can pay you what he owes you.

The government is already spending $1,500 billion more than it takes in; and now it must begin servicing the debt to SSI which it has been accumulating for the past X many decades.

At some point in every Ponzi scheme, there is a collapse. This one will collapse sooner rather than later.

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Woman charged with trespass after helping a kid out of a tree. The legal system in the UK is becoming unbelievably idiotic.

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Don't those catch on fire? Tata Nanos apparently have a slight problem of bursting into flames. Wow.

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Don't those catch on fire? (Got deja vu yet?) The history of the Pontiac Fiero.

I take exception to this: "The pattern is familiar: the company [GM] rolls out a new, exciting product to great fanfare, only to have it turn out to be seriously flawed...." The early Fiero was not "seriously flawed". I've said it time and time again: the 1988s are better than the earlier models, but the earlier models are not crap.

Another (factual) error: "...[T]he engineers...realized that if they rotated the MacPherson strut front suspension and transaxle from the X-cars 180 degrees,..." The rear end of the Fiero is the front end of an X-car, yes. However, it's not rotated 180 degrees, especially not the transaxle. If the transaxle had been rotated 180 degrees, the car would have X many (3, 4, 5 depending on transmission) reverse speeds and 1 forward speed. There was no provision for using GM's FWD transmission in an RWD platform, so the transmission must be mounted as if it were in a FWD car.

In some older Volkswagen Type II (Bus, Transporter) model, Volkswagen had put gear reduction boxes. These helped the anemic 1300cc Type I engine (38-odd horsepower) move the weight of the Transporter at something greater than a glacial pace.

The drive axles plugged into the reduction boxes and the tires went on the reduction boxes' output shafts. Problem: it reversed the rotation; so the differential in the transaxle had to be "flopped". To "flop" the transaxle, one removed the differential carrier and reinserted it with the ring gear on the other side of the pinion. This would make the differential turn the other way, and the rotation of the output shafts from the reduction boxes would be correct. This kept Type IIs with reduction boxes from having 4 reverse speeds and one forward speed.

You can't do that with most FWD transaxles. Rather than a ring and pinion type differential, FWD transmissions use a planetary differential. It's physically impossible to "flop" the diff; and so if you want to use a FWD transmission in an RWD car (such as a Fiero) you must mount it in the car such that the front of the transmission faces forward.

Still, it's a nice article.

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Just in time department:

Today (Friday) Mom's got an eye appointment. I just got an e-mail from Border's saying I can take 40% off any one item, Friday-Saturday only. And the latest Dresden Files book to hit paperback, Turn Coat, hit the shelves at the beginning of the month.

Guess where I'm going after I drop her off at the doc's?