Let's do the math!
$3,800,000,000,000 minus $775,000,000 equals...$3,799,225,000,000!
That means that the budget deficit for the 2012 budget will be only $1,499,225,000,000.
Wait! The Republicans want to cut a whopping $32,000,000,000 from the 2012 budget, too. Let's assume they get their way; that means the budget deficit for the 2012 budget will be...wait for it....
See how well bipartisanship works? We were on track to spend $3,800 billion in 2012, but by being tough and having the guts to make hard choices, we've reduced that to $3,767.225 billion!
Hooray! The budget crisis has been solved!
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* * *
Last week, on my way home from somewhere, I stopped at a stop sign I usually stop at. I was behind a Dodge Charger.
There is a company which modifies Dodge cars for higher performance. Naturally, I can't remember the name of it and Google is fucking useless (as usual) but it starts with a "B". It's kind of like Lingenfelter is for Corvettes; give them a brand new V8 Charger or Challenger and a stack of hundred dollar bills as high as your nutsack, and they'll make your car perform like something costing...well, as much as you paid, actually, which ends up being more than most people spend on a house.
This particular car had a line of letters on its decklid identifying it as one of these profesionally-modified cars. I was less than convinced, because:
1) The car had one exhaust pipe, indicating that it's got a V6 engine; and
2) Some of the letters were crooked.
Now: never having seen one of these professionally-modified cars in the flesh, as it were, I admit that I have no idea what level of quality control covers the guys who stick on the name when the job is done. And of course you can twin-turbocharge a V6 and make stupid-high power with it. (But with a single stock exhaust tip?) Still, I would think that--consdering what these companies charge--the use of some kind of straightedge would be a given. My knowledge of bodywork and painting and the application of decals might perhaps fill a teacup, but even I would think to lay down a strip of masking tape before I start making with the peel-n-stick, you know? So I'd have some kind of guide?
Oh, maybe the guy who puts the letters on was having a bad day. Maybe he'd had too many mocha-choca-latte-thingies from Sudobucks, or maybe his dealer had been put in jail and he needed his fix, or something. But that being the case, to accept delivery of a mod job costing tens of thousands of dollars that was not spot-on perfect in every way is just stupid. (Particularly since many of these modified cars end up being show cars.)
Occam's Razor, however, suggests that the fact is that this guy is a moron who wanted to make the ignorant think he's got a super-expensive Charger...and did it badly.
* * *
"Are health care waivers unconstitutional?"
...the case history would suggest "not". Thankfully my dealings with the feds have been highly limited, but when I was into flying--and then model rocketry--I learned that the FAA dispenses waivers like candy to anyone who asks for one.
Example: I have the approximate eyesight of a mole, but I was able to get a waiver for the eyesight requirement for a private pilot's learner's permit in the federal aviation regulations (FAR). (In fact, the FAR allows eyesight waivers for all pilots. A FAA-certified doctor has to make the request for an eyesight waiver, but there's no limit to who can have one. The guy flying the 727 you're taking to Phoenix could, legally, be piloted by a guy with my eyesight. In practical terms, however, almost no airline is going to expose itself to a potential legal liability like that, which is one of many reasons I'm not a professional pilot.)
If you want to launch some model rockets with engines above a certain limit, you need to get an FAA waiver; otherwise you're breaking the law. You can request a waiver from the FAA; as long as you're not launching them in the middle of an airport air traffic control zone, you'll probably get it. (If you decide to end your launch early, you can call a hotline and cancel the remainder of the waiver immediately. This was 1994 when I saw these things; it's probably possible to do via the Internet now.)
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the same way. Plenty of federal regulations governing the construction and operations of nuclear power plants have never been rescinded, even though new rules and requirements have been emplaced; if you want to build a nuclear power plant, about a third of your legal costs will come from getting waivers to rules which should have been superseded by newer ones. (Example: One rule says you must do "A", but there's another rule which says you must do "B". You cannot do both; it's a binary decision. You must get a waiver for one of the rules.)
So: waivers are done all the time, for both good and bad reasons. I think that means that waivers for ObamaCare are constitutional.
But--on the other hand--the fact that nearly eight hundred are required before the law even begins to take effect indicates that the law is a bad idea. Furthermore, the waivers are being granted primarily to large Democrat constituencies (such as SEIU and large corporations, many of which donate big money to Democrats). This smacks of "pay to play", which is something that's haunted the Obama administration since it began.
* * *
Going to the store for bread: it turns into a shopping trip.
"Oh," think I, "I'm low on bread. And lettuce. I'd better go shopping tomorrow."
Tomorrow comes, and while I'm making breakfast (at 5 PM. *sigh*) I realize, "Hey, I need ham and cheese, too. Oh--look, I've got one bottle of diet Dew left; better put that on the list. I'm going to make spaghetti sauce so I might as well buy a pound or two of hamburger--"
You see where this is going.
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"It's the little things that throw you off" department:
When you're living the kind of life I'm living right now (hopefully not for too much longer) it's pathetically easy to lose track of what day it is. It was Saturday evening and Sailor V said it was his birthday; I said, "It's not Saturday!" thinking it was still Friday, and he didn't disabuse me of my fantasy. When I went to bed later on, I realized, Idiot, it is Saturday! Or was, rather, since it's Sunday now.
Today, then, I was confident that it was Wednesday, until I got the mail and saw that the Crete Record was in the mailbox. That made me question myself: WTF, this comes on Thursday--is today Thursday? No, I'm pretty sure it's Wednesday. After all, there was a new Between Failures this morning... and did not regain my calm demeanor until I checked the date on the computer. Yes, it's Wednesday, still, and the paper just came a day early for some reason.
Well, as Mom used to say, as long as I don't get violent, they won't take me away.