Thrifty Democrats & Wastrel Republicans

Exploration Through Example provides a graph of the national debt under Democrats and Republicans.

I understand that under certain right-wing economic ideologies, a crippling debt is desirable, because it provides a pretext to slash social services spending, and since government is bad, wasteful, and evil, (at least when it’s trying to provide a social safety net) having an economically crippled and feeble government is ideal.  So sorry, couldn’t fund schools or health care or benefits for children in poor families — we’re all out of money — no idea where it all went.  By sheer coincidence, damn, my Halliburton stock is sure looking good!  (The name Grover Norquist pops into mind in this context.)
I guess Republicans are into red ink as well as red states.

“Hardass About Everything” Syndrome

Griper Blade: The Best Way to Fight Terrorism Might be to Impeach Bush

I’ve come up with a term to describe the Bush/Cheney brand of conservatism — Hardass About Everything. I actually came up with that a few years ago to describe talk radio programmed robots on online forums. For them, there is no problem that can’t be solved by being a bigger jerk than you are now. If Iraqis are unhappy that we’re killing them, for example, the HAE solution is to kill more of them. Punishment solves every problem and the military is the only arm of government worth a damn.Bush is often accused of being power mad. That’s not actually true — he just doesn’t know any better. Bush and company just have about the worst case of HAE in american history. It’s an extremely limiting mindset. Punishment is the only tool in their toolbox. That’s why they came up with torture as an american policy — they are unable to see any alternative. They fail to see that the way to end their ‘war on terror’ is to stop making terrorists. And the reason they fail to see this is because that would mean they’d have to stop being dicks. In the mind of an HAE sufferer, this is unacceptable.

Man, that sums up well the biggest problem with conservatives.

Something Non-Political and Scary: Lungs Destroyed by Popcorn Fumes

The Non-Toxic Times Newsletter – Seventh Generation

We love popcorn. When done right, it’s reasonably healthy, always delicious, and reliably filling without being fattening. But do it wrong and you may be filling your house with more than the appetizing aroma of one of America’s favorite snacks. You might be loading your home’s air with hazardous chemical fumes. That’s the opinion of a variety of health experts who would like the FDA to look into the synthetic butter flavoring used in many microwave brands. […]The chemical in question is called diacetyl. It’s naturally present in butter, and food manufacturers use a synthetic version of this compound whenever they want to endow a product with a buttery taste. Other products that contain this chemical include margarine, butter substitutes, cooking oil, lard, and countless frozen food products.

Diacetyl was widely accepted as safe and effective until dozens of workers at a microwave popcorn manufacturing plant in Jasper, Missouri, inexplicably developed a rare disease called bronchiolitis obliterans, which, as its Latin name suggests, is a condition that completely destroys the lungs.

If this is as bad as it sounds I don’t know how I made it through a couple years of life in college dorms.