In my nonblogging antsiness, I can’t seem to resist the inclination to correct the faux indignation of a right-wing blogger. (I posted two or maybe three comments there). The thread is illustrative. The blogger initially had a (weak, IMHO) point to make about tolerance, and the comment thread devolved into irrational name-calling. Why bother trying to jump into the fray? Sometimes you have to take the bait.
For the record, I haven’t been blogging as often, though I still write as many comments on forums and websites as I used to.
Here’s a use for google docs. Copy all your Net comments with URLs in a single Google Docs. In fact, I’ve been using Google Docs for a lot of things recently:
- for storage of notes/correspondence/evidence for a lawsuit
- for change notes to a blog
- for travel/contact information which I shared with certain information
- for database info/upgrade documentation for Teleread
- storing blog comments
- keeping track of customer service contacts (for the sake of getting warranty help, etc).
- copies of software licenses
- keeping monthly track of my credit card balances and bank account.
- Keeping drafts of my resumes
Oddly almost the last thing I use Google Docs for nowadays has been group editing of docs. What I like about Google Docs is the ability to share docs and the ability to view/revert to previous versions of a document. (Also having a datestamp on changes is useful for legal documentation). Privacy issues concern me somewhat, as the fact that Google Docs is free and unsupported. So far, I haven’t stored anything of critical importance–although the fact that old versions can be restored is comforting.
With regard to politics, how happy I was to discover rediscover Hilzoy’s posts about straw man arguments about regulation (isn’t that like communism?). In addition to blogging for Washington Monthly, he also crossposts on Obsidian Wings. I still stay happy with Matt Yglesias who provides enough punditry to keep me happy. (see his post about the expected surge in defense spending).
Pentagon officials have prepared a new estimate for defense spending that is $450 billion more over the next five years than previously announced figures.” To be clear, that’s not $450 billion over five years that they’re asking for. Nor is it an additional $450 billion over the next five years on top of what they’re currently getting. Rather, it’s $450 billion over five years on top of currently scheduled increases. Currently, U.S. defense spending is scheduled to increase from $515 billion (not counting “emergency” spending on Iraq and Afghanistan) in 2009 to $527 billion in 2010. The new proposal would up that increase to $584 billion.
What’s going on?
Rogan quotes one former senior budget official explaining the estimate as “a political document.” Its purpose is to set up “the new administration immediately to have to make a decision of how to deal with the perception that they are either cutting defense or adding to it.” In other words, anything less than a $69 billion nominal increase will be portrayed as a cut. And it would be understandable if a new president — viewed skeptically by most of the officer corps and lacking a strong mandate on national security issues — chose to shy away from opening his administration with such a fight.
BLITZER: Another question. What are your new ideas on how to take the Republican Party out of this rut that it’s in right now? Give me one or two new ideas that you’re going to propose to these governors who have gathered here in this hotel.
PALIN: Well, a lot of Republican governors have really good ideas for our nation because we’re the ones there on the front lines being held accountable every single day in service to the people whom have hired us in our own states and the planks in our platform are strong and they are good for America. It’s all about free enterprise and respecting the …
BLITZER: Does that mean you want to come up with a new Sarah Palin initiative that you want to release right now.
PALIN: Gah! Nothing specific right now. Sitting here in these chairs that I’m going to be proposing but in working with these governors who again on the front lines are forced to and it’s our privileged obligation to find solutions to the challenges facing our own states every day being held accountable, not being just one of many just casting votes or voting present every once in a while, we don’t get away with that. We have to balance budgets and we’re dealing with multibillion dollar budgets and tens of thousands of employees in our organizations.
(These two paragraphs strike me as incomprehensible. Runon sentences is the kind of thing celebrities and politicians quickly learn to avoid; it’s surprising (and yes, endearing) that Ms. Palin hasn’t shaken that habit yet.