THE KING’S SPEECH
Have you seen it? So good I’m plugging it twice.
I pre-ordered a copy of my own book (well, someone had to), and Amazon emailed hours ago to tell me it will ship earlier than expected – it should arrive at my door December 15, in loads of time for me to wrap it and give it to myself for Christmas. This is exciting news, because from everything I can tell, it’s worth many times its price – especially now that Amazon has set that price at $8.61.
(It’s also terrible news for local retailers – how are they supposed to compete and stay in business? One seemingly sensible change would be to charge the applicable state sales tax on Internet purchases. Why should your local Book Nook have to charge tax and its main competitor not?)
DON’T ASK / DON’T TELL
Repeal got just one Republican vote yesterday? Really? Just one?
I know some will blame the Democrats for that somehow – I blame the Republicans – but whoever was to blame for Republicans blocking it, I’m guessing it will still get done this month, before the session ends, or else the Department of Justice will stop appealing the court cases that have ruled the policy unconstitutional, and thus achieve “repeal” that way.
With the support of the military, the House, a wide majority in the Senate and among the American people, there will (finally) be sufficient ground for the Administration to take the rare but not unprecedented step of failing to defend the law of the land.
As frustration over this and the tax compromise mount, an ardent and admirable Democrat on a list-serve I follow wrote: “So far the President has been failing miserably to do the jobs a majority of voters hired him to do. I want a competent executive who gets things done.”
I responded that, well, he did manage to keep us from an outright economic collapse.
(It’s easy to dismiss this, but picture your life in that circumstance. It would have impoverished many of us.)
And he did manage to launch great things in education reform (the much lauded “race to the top”) and in the energy department (with major investments seeding potential breakthrough technology).
And there was healthcare – by imposing an added 3.8% tax on the investment income of those at the top, he got the universal coverage we’ve been trying to achieve for a century. (Know anyone with a preexisting condition?)
And he got financial reform and credit card reform and Lily Ledbetter and the new stem cell line that might save the life of someone you love. And two progressive Justices instead of two more Roberts/Alitos.
And he pretty much restored our standing in the world and got a treaty with Russia that will remove the threat of 700 Russian missiles and our expense maintaining 700 of our own.
And saved the auto industry that the Republicans would have let fail.
And got gays hospital visitation rights and “hate crimes” legislation extended to include gender identity and the military to essentially halt all LGBT discharges and call on Congress to repeal DADT.
And more. (Billions from BP for oil spill victims, anyone?)
“So” (I concluded my response) “I just want to say that I, too, am very disappointed we’ve not made more progress. And I’m sick over the tax cut compromise. But I blame most of that not on the President or Democrats but on their opposition. Under the circumstances, it really hasn’t been a slouch of a first 23 months.”
TURN YOUR COMPUTER INTO A VIRTUAL TELESCOPE
Eduardo Santiago Fernandez: “The way things have been going on Earth lately sometimes I need to get away and just be Way Out There!”
☞ Eduardo offers this link. Free and cool.
# MYM DOS GEEKS ONLY: #
LENOVO’S DAYS ARE NUMBERED
PCs have retained their dominance because of their ability run the DOS version of Managing Your Money. (Isn’t that the reason?) Well, that may be about to change. In response to my inquiry yesterday (are there any Mac users out there who’ve found a way to run it?):
James Troutman: “You ask whether anyone uses MYM on a Mac. I do. I’ve been using it on a Mac for about seven years, using a series of different software emulators. Currently it’s running under VMware Fusion. From time to time I’ve tried other personal finance programs, but none are as simple to use.”
Dan Critchett: “MYM runs just great on Mac using DOSBox, a free program designed to run old DOS games. You can even write a one-line script to get it to open as soon as you click the Mac icon you install. You can install a folder in your Applications with all the MYM files, backups, and everything. I’d have switched to something else if only something else did budgets as well as MYM. For the life of me, I can’t find a program that can handle one-time receipts like bonuses and vacation rental property income. Even the new Quicken for Mac (Mint) will handle only one-time expenses, but not income. Insane.”
☞ I inch ever closer to taking the plunge. (I’ll probably never get there, but inch ever closer.)
Quote of the Day
In 1992, more was spent on legal fees in California [$16.3 billion] than on auto repairs, funerals, tanning salons, one-hour photo finishing, videotape rentals, detectives and armored car guards, bug exterminators, laundry, haircuts, day care, shoe repairs and septic tank cleaning combined.~Census Bureau survey, as reported in the LA Times
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