Thursday, February 17, 2011

Baby Trashes A Bar In Las Palmas

I've lately received links to numerous short films, but the following excerpt from a new 13 minute short from Swedish filmmaker and artist Johannes Nyholm was too funny and had to be shared. Watch the video first, and I'll include some details after.

Nyholm describes the project "
A middle-aged lady on a holiday in the sun tries to make new friends and have a good time."

More on the movie from Nyholm's website is here --

The filmmaker has been earning high praise and numerous awards for his work, which has been best described as:

With his music videos, the films about the Puppetboy and the paper doll animations in Dreams from the Woods, all characterized by versatility, unpredictability, humour and boldness, Johannes Nyholm has achieved world reputation and proved that the one who chooses to go his own way can reach further than the others.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

One Corporate Earmark For John Boehner Could Fund Public Broadcasting For A Year

I hope you'll take one moment to actually contact 1st District Congressman Phil Roe and tell him NOT to vote for eliminating all the funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Some facts -

This move is not geared for significant savings in Federal spending. The $445 million in funds for the CPB represents 0.0001% of the Federal budget.

The majority of those funds go to local radio stations which use them as they see fit - for creating jobs, creating local news stories and programs, and other local decisions. Some 9,000 local boards determine the activities of the stations in question. Loss of those funds will mean that rural areas will lose their one, and only, free outlet for literacy programs, child education programs, and arts programs.

Yes, there are many options available today which weren't available when the CPB was first formed, via cable, satellite and internet sources. But those must all be paid for by those who use them. All one needs to access CPB programs are a television or a radio.

The money spent for CPB is likely one of the most cost-effective programs in government - for every dollar a station receives, they are able to raise six more from donations at the local level for their operations.

The Republican plan to eliminate these funds is rooted in a weird notion that CPB is a heavily-biased program promoting ... well, the only argument I've found from the Republicans is that they think an NPR contributor named Juan Williams was inappropriately fired from NPR, so now they want to stomp on every CPB station in the nation with their Federal powers.

House Speaker John Boehner, meanwhile, has demanded every taxpayer in the country fund his one earmark for his home district in Ohio to benefit corporate military contractors at a cost of $456 million (more than the entire CPB budget). He thinks General Electric and the Rolls Royce company deserve tax subsidies while thousands of local jobs and local news outlets are gutted.

Taxing Tennessee has the details of Speaker Boehner's selfish desire to attract votes with corporate pork.

You can contact Rep. Phil Roe in several ways, but email is the quickest:
Email -

Morristown Office:
1609 College Park Drive, Suite 4
Morristown, TN 37813
fax: 423-254-1403

You can also contact Congress via 170 Million Americans For Public Radio.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Using Stupid to Cut Federal Budgets

On Feb. 9th, Kentucky Republican Hal Rogers, who chairs the Appropriations Committee for the House of Representatives claimed he was gonna cut $74 billion dollars in the 2011 budget ... event though the spending of that budget's allotment began in October of 2010. So he plans to cut $74 billion in spending from the last 4 or 5 months of the fiscal year?

That's not very smart financial advice:

With many of the 93 freshmen members of the House still asking rudimentary budget questions such as: ‘what is the difference between an authorization and an appropriation?’ or ‘how do outlays differ from budget authority?’ the time frame that Rep. Rogers and his leadership are committed to means that not only will those voting on the proposal have little opportunity to understand it but the authors themselves will not have fully vetted or completely understood what they are proposing. There have been no hearings, no requests for testimony, and no opportunity even for staff charged with proposing the cuts to do agency-by-agency analysis of the possible negative consequences. Members will vote next week on the package without fundamental knowledge of how major budget changes in literally thousands of federal programs will impact the country in general or their own constituents in particular.


The point is not that there are no government programs worthy of cutting, but rather that this is a really stupid way to do it. The vast bulk of government spending, which goes to mandatory programs such as Social Security and Medicare, is completely exempted. And Republicans have effectively exempted the departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs from cuts. This leaves only 16 percent of the budget from which they will extract their pound of flesh to satisfy voters who demand huge budget cuts but also oppose cutting just about any program except foreign aid."

The goal is a sort of sleazy campaigning trick - Rep. Rogers and other Republicans could say in 2012 as they run for office "I tried to cut spending in Washington and those evil Democrats and evil media types tried to stop me!!" More accurate to say "My stupid budget ideas were called out as stupid and that's not fair."

Or, as today's column by Paul Krugman says:

Republicans don’t have a mandate to cut spending; they have a mandate to repeal the laws of arithmetic."