This is interesting, using simulation software to determine history (specifically the marching of armies). Having once checked a book out of the Akron library on Hanibal's adventures and finding in the margins the mathematical explanation of the carrying loads of certain pack animals and a rough calculation of the ability to forage and being psyched by that (it also helps that I personally know who wrote those notes, which he confessed when I asked), I thinned this somewhat fascinating. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
A quick thought about the pending shutdown of the federal government (well, the running out of the spending authority). There's been a lot of comparison to the 94-95 shutdown, which it won't be like because at that time the government fully shut down. There was no plan on who was essential and which jobs could wait. This time there are plans for who is and who isn't going to work. Also, federal checks like Social Security and Medicare are now automated so they'll still go out (however, new claims will not be processed, which will create a backlog, which will lead to overtime, which means we'll spend 1.5 times the money we would have to do the same job). Considering claims that won't be processed, if you're waiting for a tax return, guess whose 1040 won't be processed in a timely manner. Also, the politics aren't as clear cut because the conservative side has been throwing sand for the past three months so there's a little obfuscation that might muddy the waters. However, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. To my TP friends, you're going to get hung out to dry on this one. Just so you know in advance. The arguments and spin are already in place (ie. Boehner really had it right with the $30b in cuts, but was driven to go for more by his TP elected freshmen, that's the story line I'm hearing).
There's also news in Ohio about how much SB 5 will save. SB 5 is our own homegrown (yeah, not buying that anymore) union busting legislation. In case you believe this, let me remind you that now our public employees will be contributing 15% to their healthcare and however much to their retirement out of their current pay (ignoring the argument of total compensation, and how this bill welshes on promises and compromised made a long time ago) that those monies, which are currently taxed, will now go "pre-tax." So you know all those savings that local governments are going to get (which are being deputed, because the $1.3b is a load of crap). Multiply by 7% and that's how much lower State Income Tax is going to be, and multiply by your local income tax rate to see what it will do to the local government income (our village is 1%, and we're about the lowest of any incorporated area). Guess who is going to be asked to put in more (local governments are already struggling under this economy)?
Dear Representative Duffy, I think you misunderstand just what is happening here (I'm sure purposefully to play the "I'm beset by these unscrupulous liberals). By all means, sir, please continue to meet with your constituents and talk all you want. In fact, I'm encouraging you to do this. I don't want you to not keep your pledge or to keep quite for that matter. I want you to keep talking, especially in front of cameras. My reasons are two fold. One, I believe everybody should have a voice (understand, that doesn't mean I don't get to respond), and two, it's great comedy in your case.
Newt has officially lost connection with reality. This would be funny if it weren't for people listening to this man and believing he's telling them the truth. Extort? Really? So, Newt is saying the Obama re-election campaign is going to, say, hold my tax return (actually, I don't expect one this year, but for arguments sake) until I give to his reelection campaign? Is this really what he's saying? Newt, you're a tool.