• woodworking

    Surprisingly not injured

    So, I continue on my floating shelf project, which to date is 200% over budget (mostly due to my adding other features to the project). I’m doing the final triple bead on the second support with my wonderful new Porter-Cable router, and

    1. a clamp breaks
    2. which causes the router to climb (go in the wrong direction)
    3. which screws up the carefully engineered eight quarter oak I’d been working on for the past hour
    4. which causes said wood to go flying around, running into the router from the wrong direction
    5. which causes my newest, priciest, router bit (a triple bead, it was forty bucks, which is a lot for a single bit) to actually bend about 15 degrees at the shank
    6. which causes the router to lurch in my hand, pulling me forward a little bit

    Happily I maintain control of the router and remain unharmed. I wear safely goggles and ear protection, but jeez, I’m going to have to start wearing chain mail if this keeps up.

    Finger Count: still 10.

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  • debates,  McCain,  Obama,  Politics

    Thoughts on the debate

    On the whole, I think they both came out well. Obama is clearly not at his best in this forum, and does not think on his feet that well. His response to the economics questioning was stunted and halting, but largely came around during the foreign policy portion. McCain was consistent throughout. The real shocker (to me anyway) was Obama supporting Ukrainian and Georgian membership in NATO, which is truly a horrible idea. Of course, McCain seemed to support it too.

    There was little I actually agreed with in most of the debates; both of them seemed to like the status quo of America the GloboCop, and neither seemed to have any meaningful problem with the Wall Street bailout, but it could have been a lot worse (for America). On the whole, it seemed like McCain was the honest authentic guy, and Obama was an honest authentic guy’s attourney which is the usual pattern.

    More thought later most likely.

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  • Biz,  Funny,  Humor,  Iran,  Israel,  Judaism,  Tech

    Friday link clearing

    • Sarah Silverman, Obama, and the Jewish vote – not safe for work, but worth watching
    • Small Banks are doing fine it seems
    • Israel asked Bush for permission to bomb Iran, and it seems Bush refused! Good. No point in throwing away all the gains in Iraq
    • Making money twice – worth reading
    • Who serves in the military? Well worth reading.
    • Jetpacks!
    • The difference between Sunni and Shia in short form
    • And this little nugget – via Ezra Klein

      Dear American:

      I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

      I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

      I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

      This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

      Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

      Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

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  • bailouts,  Funny,  Immigration,  Obama,  Religion,  Russia

    Thursday link roundup

    • Church Sign Wars – very good
    • What Russia Wants – written by my old Boss at Cato
    • The path to citizenship – it makes illegal immigration much more understandable
    • Making money twice – a very good read
    • Julian Sanchez put it very well with

      we’re perpetually told the fundamental cause of the ongoing meltdown is Wall Street “greed,” as though that somehow counted as an explanation. How, pray, would we describe it if mortgage lenders had rejected many more applications from lower-income folks, on the grounds that they were poor risks? Well, greed, of course. Pretty much whatever they did, they’d be doing because they expected it to maximize their profit; the issue is their judgement, not their motives. Or put another way: The problem isn’t that people were greedy, it’s that they weren’t very good at being greedy.

    • Ron Paul fades into further irrelevance
    • More Bailout – Yglesias posits what is hopefully a liberal dilemma

      Simply put, if congressional Democrats manage to acquiesce in a plan that spends $700 billion on a bailout while doing nothing for average working people and giving the taxpayer virtually no upside in a way that guarantees that even electoral victory would give an Obama administration no resources with which to implement a progressive domestic agenda in 2009 then everyone’s going to have to give serious consideration to becoming a pretty hard-core libertarian.

    • A nice article on Obama’s community organizing days – notices the lack of anything measurable.
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  • McCain,  Obama,  Politics

    Profiles in lameness

    As Congress seems to be willing to give the Treasury secretary a check for 700 billion with no strings attached, where are our two main nominees? As far as I can tell they’re not in the Senate doing the job they were actually elected to do. And we’re expected to respect their “experience” and “judgment”?!?!

  • bailouts,  Humor,  Politics

    Marginal Revolution gets it right

    With this photo.

    One would think that it’s obvious that the government doesn’t get Big Looming Threats pegged too accurately, but apparently not. The fact that people still push for national health care in light of all recent evidence of government capabilities is amazing.

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  • debates,  Politics

    A bad sign for the Democrats

    From this AJC article

    The Democrats’ desire to put the vice presidential candidates behind podiums grew out of the 2000 and 2004 vice presidential debates, when the candidates sat close to each other behind the same table. Cheney had the upper hand in both debates, said several Democrats involved in the debate process, in part because the setting made it difficult if not impossible for Lieberman and Edwards to go after Cheney aggressively. Whether that was because of the setting or because the two Democrats wanted to avoid confrontation is a matter still disputed by participants.

    If they’re already grinding their excuses to that fine level of detail then they’re already expecting bad things.

    Random Thoughts:
    The real question is – will McCain have the nerve to run a commercial saying “isn’t it awesome when we have divided government? Do you really want Nancy Pelosi to have total control over everything?

    Will the 527 groups have the nerve to run an ad like that? Come to think of it, where are the 527 groups this year?