Friday, June 26, 2009

shut it down! or, what a difference a month makes

mitch daniels on may 21 (courtesy shella's blog):

Mitch Daniels has obviously heard Democrats accuse him of a desire to shut down state government if a new budget isn't passed by June 30th.

The governor today called a shutdown "unacceptable" and "completely irresponsible."

"We will not shut down government, we will not shut down the flow of money to schools," he said. He did suggest that a continuing resolution that would keep the current budget in place is a possibility.

mitch daniels, today (again courtesy shella's blog):

Governor Mitch Daniels called reporters into his office on short notice to declare that steps are being taken to shut down state government at midnight Tuesday.

Daniels says that the prisons will operate and state police will stay on the road but most other functions of government will stop.

Unemployment and welfare checks will be issued.

of course, if mitch truly believed that a government shutdown was unacceptable, like he said it was last month, he would be doing everything in his power to prevent it from happening. instead, he's been touring the state to complain about the budget proposal that was passed by the house.

i guess we know where his priorities are. apparently he'd rather pass no budget and shut down state government than pass a budget that looks like the house's version.

friday cat bending

it's been a few weeks, so we're well overdue for some friday cat bending.

pasting together interleaved and non-interleaved raw files:



pasting together a glitched jpg with the original raw:


running different audio effects (distortion, reverse, inverse) on different channels:




latest design: i love to read

my latest design is up for voting at threadless:

I love to read - Threadless T-shirts, Nude No More

judging from the number of comments so far, i don't have high hopes for this one... i'm guessing that a fair proportion of threadless voters don't particularly love to read. but i'd love to be proven wrong!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

a novel argument about climate change

shorter paul k ogden: yes, okay, the climate is warming and humans are to blame. but why do people assume this is a bad thing? i mean, warming might make florida an unlivable hellhole, but on the other hand, it will make minnesota much more pleasant, so in the end it's a net positive, right?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

i'm not saying that all old teachers suck, but...

shorter matt tully: what indiana really needs are some innovative ideas to shake up public education. for example, superintendent white wants to eliminate union collective bargaining rules! hooray for innovation!

Friday, June 19, 2009

it's the smoke

steve buyer reprazent!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

mayor ballard gets played

the increasingly embarrassing ballard administration reached new heights of humiliation yesterday when it was forced to admit that it can't get the numbers to work on its latest plan to bail out the CIB.

the mayor has proposed or signed on to a few different bailout plans that have fallen through for various reasons. this latest plan was proposed by governor daniels, and was viewed by observers as a power grab because it would replace the CIB with a new board, with fewer mayoral appointees and a couple seats appointed by the governor. still, ballard rapidly and eagerly signed on to the plan.

but there was one problem: the numbers behind the governor's plan were bogus—complete junk. this should've been obvious to all when the governor announced that his plan included an additional $13 million in cost savings, but refused to give any examples. but the ballard administration apparently didn't figure out that these numbers were garbage until now. and instead of announcing that the governor's numbers are bunk, the mayor has taken the puzzling approach of pretending to support the plan while simultaneously admitting that the numbers don't add up.

the result is that ballard once again looks like a fool, while the governor gets to act like he came up with some great plan that the mayor's just too dumb to pull off. because the mayor isn't criticizing the governor for coming up with these fantasy figures, the mayor is taking all the heat for them.

the situation is reminiscent of what happened a couple years back when the city was trying to put together a plan to pay for the new stadium. then-mayor peterson had put together a plan, the centerpiece of which was a proposed downtown casino that would bring in money to keep the CIB afloat. governor daniels didn't like that plan, so he made his own. it was this plan—the governor's plan—that was eventually passed, despite not including enough money for operating expenses. yet today, only liberal bloggers seem to remember governor daniels's primary role in creating the whole CIB mess.

all in all, it's a pretty neat trick. the governor proposes a plan he knows can never work, and then when it fails, someone else gets the blame! it wouldn't work if the mayor would just stand up and say that the governor's plan is crap. but for whatever reason, the mayor can't or won't do that, so in the end it amounts to yet another failure of the ballard administration.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

indy star peddling falsehoods about the budget

if you're looking for information about the indiana budget debate, then do not start with this indy star article, because you'll only end up confused and misinformed.

for example, try this passage:

The Democrats' version isn't likely to survive given that Republicans dominate the state Senate. But were it to somehow make it through the legislature, the only options left to the state, Ruhl said, would be drastic cuts in services or a tax increase.

In part, that's because much of the federal stimulus money Democrats are relying on for spending, such as an increase in funding for universities, will have dried up, he said. Daniels, on the other hand, has proposed spending stimulus money only on one-time expenses such as construction projects.

well isn't that mighty responsible of governor daniels? why, i... hold on, what's this i read two paragraphs later?

Democrats have criticized Daniels for providing K-12 schools with only a 0.25 percent increase in funding, which, coupled with federal stimulus money for special education and low-income students, would amount to a total 2 percent increase.

but i thought the gov's budget spent stimulus money "only on one-time expenses such as construction projects"? now you're saying he wants to use stimulus money to beef up the education budget? which is true? (the latter.) and how is this not exactly the same as what democrats were criticized for doing two paragraphs earlier?

then, in the very next paragraph, you find this:

Under Daniels' plan, each district in the state would see more money on a per-student basis, but urban districts with shrinking enrollment would see large decreases in funding.

whoa, so under the governor's budget, each district "would see more money on a per-student basis"? and yet, urban districts would see large decreases? how does that make sense? (it doesn't—it's false.)

in truth, the governor's education budget has a "per-student" increase, which means that the amount of funding per student technically goes up when averaged across the entire state. but the actual amounts going to the various school districts will only go up in districts where enrollment is rising. districts where enrollment is decreasing (translation: urban districts like IPS) will face major cuts under the governor's budget. state support for IPS would be slashed by $43 million!

now, i expect republicans to say things about democrats that are misleading or sometimes downright false, like the disingenuous things budget director chris ruhl is quoted as saying in the article. but for a supposed news article like this one to include two plainly false claims, asserted as fact, is just sloppy journalism.

Friday, June 05, 2009

friday cat bending

some new twists on old techniques this week. for this first one, i copied the green channel of one photo and pasted it on top of another. of course, you could do this much more easily in photoshop, but then it wouldn't be "cat bending", so i did it in adobe audition:


the original image i was working with this week was fairly dark—dark enough that when i ran it through wordpad, it warped so much that it became just a bunch of diagonal lines. since brighter images warp less in wordpad, i decided to invert the image and then wordpad it. and again, i could've inverted it in photoshop, but did it in adobe audition instead just for the hell of it:


then i flipped that image horizontally and ran it through wordpad again:


then i saved it as a new file, flipped it horizontally again, and ran it through wordpad yet again:


then i repeated the process a few more times:




i did keep going even after this, but by that point it wasn't doing anything all that interesting anymore.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

misplaced modifiers

actual indy star headline:

Police kill dogs after attacking woman on the Far Southside

if you parse this headline, it says that first the police attacked a woman on the far southside, and then they killed some dogs. if this seems like unusual behavior for cops, you may think about it for a moment and come to a different conclusion about what actually happened.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

the swooning of the easily impressed

shorter matt tully: did you see governor daniels on tv the other day? omg he was awesome!!!!!!!~11 i can't wait until 2012 so i can vote for him for president!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

governor's compromise budget is "a hundred percent wrong", says governor

mitch daniel, in march:

Gov. Mitch Daniels said the state has a very serious problem, but he continues to insist that the surplus must be preserved at all costs in case the recession drags on and that money is needed even more down the line.

"Well, they're a hundred percent wrong," he said of the Democrats' proposal. "Until someone can show us persuasively how long this is going to last and how deep this recession is going to get, we're simply not going to do that."

mitch daniels, yesterday:

As always, I am ready to compromise and cooperate with the legislature, up to a point. I'm willing to see us use about a quarter of our surplus, leaving a billion dollars in reserve, but not a penny less.

as much as i appreciate that governor daniels has seen the light about tapping into the state's surplus, i'd be remiss if i didn't point out that his compromising now proves what BS his previous rhetoric was. despite what deodorant commercials would have you believe, you can't be more than 100% wrong.

abdul protests that the governor isn't moving the goalposts here: "it was the economy moving the goalpost." but of course, if mitch's argument—that dipping into the surplus now will screw us in the future if the economy gets even worse—has been correct back then, it would still be correct now. if anything, the economy being worse now would make it even more important to preserve the surplus, because it could make a hypothetical future economy that much worse.

then again, the logical conclusion of that line of thinking is that the surplus must never be spent, because there's always some theoretical future economy that's even worse than the current crisis—even an escape from new york scenario wouldn't be as bad as mad max, which wouldn't be as bad as the terminator, and so on. so perhaps it was inevitable that the governor would eventually relent on this point; it's just a shame that he didn't do so a month ago, when it could have prevented the legislature from having to go into a special session.