Happy Labor Day. Do you like weekends? 40 hour [theoretical] workweeks? The ability to say you won’t stand for employer abuses? Safe working conditions? Limited class sizes for your school kids? Thank a union member.
In Closing: That would be bad; Googlegator; Japan Crush; Rolling Jubilee gets more press; the last cooler than average month was during the Reagan Administration (maybe hell froze over when he compromised with Democrats or raised taxes?); Lost Decade, American Style; Forbes and USA Today disagree on the buyer, but agree that somebody will make your freaking Twinkies (and screw workers in the process); of course, you could just make your own freaking Twinkies; maybe if the so-called adults made it clear that we must treat others with respect, this wouldn’t be a problem; vintage pictures of Japan; Susie’s right; so is Robert.
It turns out that there is one thing — one pretty big thing! — that both business leaders and union leaders agree upon: “America has an urgent need for more spending on critical infrastructure like roads and bridges.”
They’ve got a good point. Roads and bridges have many benefits. They help people get to work. They help companies get products to consumers. A new road can mean new business opportunities along the path it runs. And finally, building and maintaining roads and bridges means jobs: many thousands of jobs for workers, who will in turn do crazy things like pay taxes and buy things.
So why exactly is this the least bit controversial?
Because the Republicans are choosing to channel their dear departed member Herbert Hoover (rather than Ronald Reagan, who at least wanted to put people to work building missile-destroying systems! Pew! Pew!). Republicans are demanding huge cuts in the next Transportation Bill, including cutting highway maintenance spending by a third. This bill must be passed by the end of September.
Right, because there’s no urgently needed road repairs out there. No bridges in danger of collapse. And no business leaders agreeing with union leaders that we need more money — not less — spent on our roads.
The hilarious part is that I fully expect these same people to turn around and run on a platform of “Government has failed you! Just look at these roads!”
In Closing: It’s good to be CEO; follow-up on Steven Seagal and the tank; dumbing down; Neanderthal; did you know that “Red States” actually bleed tax money away from “Blue States”? (so much for “the hard working red states can’t support the blue welfare states any more!”; protein is good for dieters; and 3 charts.
If you watch a Japanese news broadcast about the tsunami, every time you hear a word that ends in “ken,” they are talking about a prefecture. That’s kind of like a state or province.
Fukushima — where they are having the nuclear issue — is the Capitol of Fukushima Prefecture, number 7 on that map. For reference, Tokyo Prefecture is number 13. Thanks to Jill, we now know that if the reactor does blow the fallout will reach all the way to Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, and New Mexico: Update: there seems to be a lot of debate over this map. It’s true that I should have said fallout may reach, rather than will reach. As someone who lives in the yellow zone, it is still my duty to prepare myself and my family for the worst but hope for the best.
If you were to lay Japan down next to the East Coast of the United States, it would look something like this:
Speaking of the United States, thanks to TYWKIWDI for pointing out this graphic:
For the record, that’s 12 events in the 80s, and 38 events in the 90s, 47 from 2000 to 2009, and an additional 3 events in 2010. I think I’ve said before that actuaries believe in global warming.
First hand accounts of the quake are starting to be heard. For those of you trying to contact someone in Japan to make sure they are safe, the State Department says “We understand also that some telephone landlines there are disrupted. We are recommending that people try contacting loved ones in Japan by email, text, SMS message, or social media.”
I posted this picture 4 years ago. It’s a sign warning people of tsunami risk. Of course, the current crop of Republicans thinks that tsunami warnings — and other weather warnings — are a waste of time. I’ve got news for you, that’s not going to play well in Iowa.
Susie Madrak had this up, and I think it’s a good sentiment:
In Closing: leave your laptop home; old fashioned boycott causes old fashioned bank run; Bill Maher; on oil; No Depositor Left Behind; long but interesting; and after all that I sure do need a good laugh.
It seems that March’s second day
is a special birthing day,
for Dr. Seuss of children’s lore
joined our world in Nineteen Four!
Should I, could I make a cake?
That’s fattening, for goodness sake!
Maybe I should write a poem
Though, truth is, I didn’t know him.
In closing: Canadians prefer their news be made of truth; on taxes; uh, bad idea; so be it; which version do you like better?; ok, that sounds like a spending cut I can support; Timmy stamps his foot; right to work; too much sugar still isn’t good for you; unclear on how the government gets revenue; I saw the news today, oh boy; we’re doin it wrong; and time warp.