Gongol.com Archives: January 2008
Brian Gongol

January 17, 2008

Humor and Good News Even better than the regular "White and Nerdy" video
(Video) The green-screen version -- apparently the first take -- in which Al Yankovic lip-synchs and Donny Osmond dances. How this has escaped notice before is completely without explanation or excuse.

Socialism Doesn't Work Iowa's 2008 "Condition of the State"
Somebody is either lying to the governor about the state's fiscal condition, or he's just willfully ignorant. He touts a $600 million cash reserve as a sign that the state is better-off than ever, while apparently taking no notice that the budget for Fiscal Year 2008 overspends expected tax income by $300 million. The state's cash reserves are purely the result of dishonest accounting, which the state auditor has taken great pains to try to warn us about. A $600 million cash reserve doesn't mean much when the state's reckless politicians have borrowed $1.6 billion from trust funds and special accounts. And beyond what we've already over-spent, the governor now wants to pass a whole slew of new regulatory mandates regarding health care. Iowa, unfortunately, is distinctly at the mercy of what the Federal government decides to spend here or not -- to wit, the USDA claims it was responsible for $371 million in spending here in 2007. That's one agency (albeit a high-spending one) that in a single year is involved in a volume of spending on a scale that's close to the amount the governor is so proud to have in our phantom "cash reserves."

Agriculture Monsanto and Pioneer try to turn persistent drought into a moneymaker
Severe droughts have hit places near (Nebraska) and far (Australia) quite hard in recent years, and both companies are trying to breed (or, rather, genetically engineer) plants that can handle dry periods that would kill their lesser cousins. The good news is that, if successful, they could prevent considerable human suffering by ensuring that people don't starve. The bad news is that there are a lot of neo-Luddites and anti-technologists who either think we can't take any risks at all to try to solve these problems -- or who think that science itself is bunk and ought to be abandoned in favor of more theology and pseudoscience.

Business and Finance Chief strategist at Charles Schwab says we're already in a recession

Water News Iowa DNR still eager to control hog odors

Humor and Good News What matters in Election 2008
(Video: A little bit coarse) The Onion identifies what many voters really care about in 2008. And it's not the candidates' platforms on economics or whether they're going to address the pending collapse of Medicare. No, no. If only we were so lucky. Related: Will the Chinese stock-market bubble last until the Olympics? Hard to tell.

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