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Must-see chart explaining the budget deficit


 
Graphic via New York Times, text below from James Fallows at The Atlantic:

It’s based on data from the Congressional Budget Office and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Its significance is not partisan (who’s “to blame” for the deficit) but intellectual. It demonstrates the utter incoherence of being very concerned about a structural federal deficit but ruling out of consideration the policy that was largest single contributor to that deficit, namely the Bush-era tax cuts.

An additional significance of the chart: it identifies policy changes, the things over which Congress and Administration have some control, as opposed to largely external shocks—like the repercussions of the 9/11 attacks or the deep worldwide recession following the 2008 financial crisis. Those external events make a big difference in the deficit, and they are the major reason why deficits have increased faster in absolute terms during Obama’s first two years than during the last two under Bush. (In a recession, tax revenues plunge, and government spending goes up - partly because of automatic programs like unemployment insurance, and partly in a deliberate attempt to keep the recession from getting worse.) If you want, you could even put the spending for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in this category: those were policy choices, but right or wrong they came in response to an external shock. 

The point is that governments can respond to but not control external shocks. That’s why we call them “shocks.” Governments can control their policies. And the policy that did the most to magnify future deficits is the Bush-era tax cuts. You could argue that the stimulative effect of those cuts is worth it (“deficits don’t matter” etc). But you cannot logically argue that we absolutely must reduce deficits, but that we absolutely must also preserve every penny of those tax cuts. Which I believe precisely describes the House Republican position.

After the jump, from a previous “The Chart That Should…” positing, an illustration of the respective roles of external shock and deliberate policy change in creating the deficit.

Obama is a fucking idiot the way he’s played his hand on the debt ceiling. He appears to be an ineffectual fool trying to broker peace with a bunch of schoolyard bullies. The whole thing is so Planet of the Apes. When Mitch McConnell (sensibly, for all parties) tried to offer him the political cover to raise it on his own, he should have jumped at the chance. Now look at the mess he’s in. When is the guy going to act like a Democrat (at the very least!)? It’s becoming harder and harder to support him or even give a shit what happens to his presidency anymore (I’m sure I’ll change my tune closer to November 2012, but voting for Obama with the same “passion” I felt for John Kerry is not something I imagined happening a couple of years ago…)

How the Deficit Got This Big (New York Times)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Watch ‘Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods’ on Hulu for free
07.26.2011
07:52 pm

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Heroes
Pop Culture

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Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods, Patrick Meany’s feature-length documentary about the colorful Scottish comic book writer is now available to watch for free on Hulu. Talking with Gods features interviews with Morrison and collaborators, such as artists, editors and other industry professionals.

Among those interviewed are Dan Didio and Karen Berger of DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint, artists Phil Jimenez, Jill Thompson, Cameron Stewart, Frazer Irving, Steve Cook as well as Morrison co-conspirators Geoff Johns, Mark Waid, Douglas Rushkoff, Jason Louv and yours truly.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Sexy Fingers: Very NSFW
07.26.2011
06:09 pm

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Amusing
Animation
Art
Music
Sex

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A promotional music video for a new French AIDS awareness campaign that employs a mischievous Android app and online game. This is VERY NSFW.

Directed, drawn and animated by Jean Michel Tixier. Music by Flairs. Produced by the studio ANONYMOUS.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Bongwater: The Power of Pussy

Thank you Sky Nicholas!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
After Eden: Hypnotic new video from Lumerians
07.26.2011
05:35 pm

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Art
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Music

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“After Eden,” the latest video from Oakland, CA’s druidic spacerockers, Lumerians. This hypnotic, trance-inducing clip is an homage to Alain Robbe-Grillet and borrows footage from his 1970 film, L’Eden et Après.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
All The Beatles’ albums in sixty one minutes
07.26.2011
04:27 pm

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Art
Music
Pop Culture

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Steve McLaughlin’s “Run For Your Life” takes all of the Beatles’ officially released UK albums and compresses them into 61 minutes by speeding them up 800%. The result is trippy, maddening and at times quite beautiful. Of course, it would be impossible to do anything to the Beatles music without slivers of beauty jutting out here and there.

McLaughlin’s Beatles methy mix has been wedded to video excerpts from Bollywood and Lollywood films in addition to fragments of documentaries, experimental films, fractals and animation. Admittedly, an hour of this music/video mashup can be both nervewracking and trance-inducing. But, it’s worth taking the trip.

The Bollywood bits meld nicely with the music. There are awkward moments, but I imagine getting a tight edit with music at this speed would take many many hours, if not days.

I don’t know much about Indian musical time signatures, but the Beatles on super fast forward, with no fixed tempos and various speeds, reminds me of the battling of sitars and tablas in raga breakdowns and Hindi movie soundtracks with a nervous condition.

Albums featured:

Please Please Me
With the Beatles
A Hard Day’s Night
Beatles for Sale
Help!
Rubber Soul
Revolver
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles (White Album)
Yellow Submarine
Abbey Road
Let It Be

‘Magical Mystery Tour” is not included because it was not released as an album in the UK. It was released as two EPs.

While McLaughlin’s Beatles mix has been available for awhile as a free download on the Internet, this is first video mashup to the music I’ve seen.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Clown van
07.26.2011
03:50 pm

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Spotted by Redditor MikeyBakes in a Jo-Ann Fabrics parking lot. I think this speaks for itself.

Click on image to enlarge.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Uneek Doll Designs
07.26.2011
02:58 pm

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Amusing
Art
Fashion
History

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Oscar Wilde
 
Handmade miniature character dolls of famous artists, authors, historical figures and actors by Etsy seller Uneek Doll Designs. Each doll measures around 4 1/2 inches tall; all the clothes and costumes are handmade and they retail for $30.00 - $36.00. I never thought in my life I’d stumble across a Noel Coward doll or Harper Lee doll!


Pablo Picasso
 

Edith Head
 
More dolls after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
He’s back: An interview with Australian cult leader ‘Jesus Christ’
07.26.2011
01:49 pm

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Belief
Kooks

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Alan John Miller AKA “Jesus Christ” poses with Mary Suzanne Luck, who believes herself to be the reincarnated “Mary Magdalene.”


Remember Alan John Miller AKA “Jesus Christ,” the smiling Australian cult leader who claims to be the son o’ God? Australian TV’s Today Tonight recently did an investigation of Miller and his flock and it’s fascinatingly strange.

Until I watched this, I was unaware that he’s predicting an impending apocalypse next year, but apparently if you’re with him in Queensland’s bible belt, you’ll be safe. But of course!
 

 
Dig “Jesus”/Miller in action at one of his lectures:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Casey Anthony latex rubber mask
07.26.2011
01:12 pm

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Current Events
Unorthodox

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Behold the Casey Anthony latex mask for sale on eBay. I thought the Charlie Sheen mask was terrifying enough, but this one takes the cake. The mask is “pre-owned” (WTF? And who owned it?). The current bid is at $182.50.

This one is in excellent condition and it is numbered 6 of 9. I kept one for myself because I know these will be priceless. A significant piece of crime history. No matter what your opinion of the trial is, this is still one heck of a conversation piece. I bet Nancy Grace would love one of these. Fits most heads sizes comfortably.

Wearing this in public could be hazardous to your health…

(via BuzzFeed )

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Bjork teams up again with Michel Gondry for ‘Crystalline’ video
07.26.2011
12:31 pm

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New video from Bjork’s Biophilia project: “Crystalline” was directed by longtime Bjork collaborator Michel Gondry, using elements from her iPhone app.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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