Monday, May 26, 2003

The other week, I was at Wal-Mart, helping a friend buy a car battery. (By "help," I mean I gave him a lift; obviously, he couldn't drive himself, since he needed a new car battery.) While waiting for him to pay, my eyes were drawn to a combination corn-dog/Twinkie maker. Curious, I investigated further. Apparently, it isn't a thing with which you make your own twinkie cakes. (You know, the delicious golden sponge cake gently cradling a tasty cream filling.) No, it's a device for deep-frying corn dogs and twinkies on sticks. Because, it seems, this is a new snack craze sweeping parts of the nation that aren't Las Vegas: the deep-fried Twinkie.

And I have to wonder: who comes up with this stuff? I mean, it's not like the Twinkie was at the forefront of the health food charge to begin with, but who suddenly thinks, "Hey, you know this concoction of sugar and chemicals that's so bad for me but tastes so good? I wonder if there's any way I could possibly make it any less healthy for me... I know! I'll dip it in batter and fry it up in a vat of hot grease!" Brilliant! I mean, you could eat a hamburger and a Twinkie, but that's two steps where only one is needed. (I now have a vision of the meat-filled twinkie.)

And, incredibly, it doesn't stop with the Twinkie. No, according to a CNN article from last year, the deep-fried Twinkie is actually a further development from the deep-fried chocolate bar. Because, you know, it's almost like those fancy desserts you see in fancy restaurants, all prepared and cooked from ingredients and stuff, but way easier, you know?
This being the last day of my vacation, I don't plan on spending a whole lot of time writing. However, there's this comic book coming out called Faction Paradox that I'm really looking forward to, and you can expect to hear me pushing it in the very near future. In the meantime, you can read the first five pages of the first issue online here, as well as some general information about the series.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Irony, thy name is the web... I just checked this journal's web page, and I see that the ad at the top, the one that keeps me from having to pay for this service, is for a commemorative Iraqi Freedom Coin...
Rather than write up something on the President's tax cut plan, pointing out how cutting taxes in economic hard times is about as courageous as giving out cotton candy at a circus (thank you, Doonesbury, for writing my jokes for me) Im just going to steal the piece from somewhere else. Since that was all going on during my "too tired to write" phase, I never commented on the tax cut issue here in this journal, but I did phone my senators in Washington and let them know that I opposed the tax cuts. I haven't checked the record to see how they actually voted, but the end result can definitely be described as a qualified victory, I think. Here's an excerpt from an article in the Wall Street Journal from Thursday, May 22:

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows the
high-profile, postwar
debate on tax policy in recent weeks has moved public
opinion -- away
from the White House position. Not only have Americans
drifted away
from Mr. Bush's cherished repeal of taxes on stock
dividends, but
majorities also assign tax cuts a lower priority than
other measures
to spur the economy and spending on health-care

"The tax cuts are clearly not viewed as the answer" to a
weak economy,
says Republican pollster Robert Teeter, who conducts the
poll with his Democratic counterpart Peter Hart. The
president has
"banked everything on selling the tax cut, but he hasn't
sold it," Mr.
Hart adds.


Indeed, the survey demonstrates that Mr. Bush has made
little headway
in cross-country advocacy of his approach to spurring a
economy. Fully 57% of respondents name strengthening the
economy as a
priority for the White House and Congress, exceeding the
36% who cite
fighting terrorism. Yet an even more robust 64% say
there are better
ways to strengthen the economy than by cutting taxes;
just 29% say tax
cuts are the best solution.

On specific tax measures, a 48% plurality says
eliminating stock-
dividend taxes wouldn't be effective in stimulating
economic growth,
outpacing the 40% who say it would. That is a retreat
from the showing
Mr. Bush's centerpiece proposal received in January,
when Americans
split at 44% on the matter.


Some 53% of Americans say Mr. Bush's 2001 tax cut has
had no real
effect on U.S. economic performance, while an additional
15% say it has
hurt; only 25% say it has helped the economy. On Mr.
Bush's general
approach to economic policy, more than six in 10 say it
job creation in favor of tax cuts, benefits the wealthy
more than
average people and will increase the federal-budget
deficit. By a
narrower 54% to 43% margin, Americans say the president
has been too
preoccupied with the war on terrorism and hasn't spent
enough time on
economic matters.

[End of Wall Street Journal excerpt]