Snow cat

I don't think I need to break out the shovel for this one.

I don’t think I need to break out the shovel for this one.

It probably doesn’t qualify as the first snow of the year, but we finally got a dusting at El Rancho Pendejo.

The temp remains below freezing as of 9 a.m., and I’m having a very hard time getting excited about going grocery shopping. But we’re inching our way downward through the pantry toward the basics — beans, rice, chile, etc. — and something, as they say, must be done.

I could slap together a pretty interesting vegetarian combo platter with what I have on hand — bean burritos smothered in green and sprinkled with cheddar, sides of Mexican rice and posole — but that would just kick the ol’ can down the road.

Speaking of roads and cans that need kicking along same, some of us have been having an invigorating discussion in comments about the big bad feddle gummint and what to do about it. I don’t want the blog to devolve entirely into a civics course, but just for shits and giggles, let’s take it on faith that the government is too big and intrusive and our tax burden too onerous.

So how do we shrink the federal government to a manageable size? What would you cut? Whose ox gets gored?

And keep in mind that we are not just cutting functions here. We’re shitcanning people. Our fellow Americans. They enjoy their combo platters, too, as do the folks that sell and serve them, so spare them a thought in your calculations.

As of 2014 the U.S. government employed some 2.7 million people. Walmart only has 1.5 million or so on payroll in the United States; Amazon’s headcount is about 240,000 folks, or about twice as many as Apple.

So I don’t see all these sidelined federales landing cushy gigs moving boxes around an Amazon warehouse, greeting the penny-pinchers at Sam’s Club, or failing to fix my 2009 iMac at the Albuquerque Apple Store.


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24 Responses to “Snow cat”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    First, any cuts to federal employees can be handled by attrition and trasnsfers to other Departments and Agencie’s jobs. The orange fellow said he would freeze all federal hiring when he takes office. Typical meat cleaver approach to a scalpel problem. First thing to cut is the Department of Defense, in particular procurement and management positions. The Department of Education needs trimming as well, but not elimination. I think education decisions need to be made as local as possible. I think the Department of The Interior, especially the National Park Service and BLM, needs more employees and infrastructure spending. I think the Department of Agriculture, especially the Food Safety and Inspection Service and National Forest Service needs more employees and infrastructure spending.

    We had a little sleet this morning and a low temp of 42. Tonight the low is supposed to be 26. Whoever turned on the winter switch down here needs to go to North Dakota and stay there.

  2. psobrien Says:

    And the stupid tweets continue.

  3. DownhillBill Says:

    I remember how the hiring freeze/transfer deal worked eons ago when I was a city bureaucrat. People would be shifted into jobs they didn’t know how to do, and left there until they started to achieve some competency, at which point they’d be sent back to their original jobs. Think we’ve learned anything from those days? Further… my observation long has been that people who think private business is inherently more efficient than government just don’t have enough experience in private business.

    We would do better to replace most of the curriculum in our mba schools with a few hundred re-readings of “The Peter Principle” by Lawrence Peter. Remember when that was up on the best-seller lists? See also WLWS (What Larry’s Wife Says).

    Agree totally about the Pentagon’s massively inefficient spending. My state (VA) is more addicted to the federal tit than any other except maybe California. The boondoggle stories are legion, and yet ICP says they need more $$$? He’s gonna reduce taxes while engaging in even more of the same?

    As a libertarian liberal, I believe that the most basic functions of govt. are to protect us from outside threats and from each other. On the first point, you might find it interesting to look up how many aircraft carriers we have compared to the entire rest of the world. That Russian carrier in the Mediterranean, for example, is their _only_ one. On the “each other” front AFAIK every single regulated industry is regulated because of previous gross abuses directly attributable to greed. And yet, we hear every day how the solution to all our economic woes is to eliminate regulations willy-nilly. Somebody’s woes, sure. Yours & mine? I think not. WLWS.

    I’m glad I already drink so that all the recent orgies of cognitive dissonance, magical thinking, and greed worship can’t drive me to it.

    . There, I feel better now.

    • larryatcycleitalia Says:

      +1 I used to have the old Ben & Jerry’s pie chart with gummint spending on it. My answer to any budget shortfall or new need for tax revenue was “Take it out of the Pentagon budget” and still is. While I might think we need a military only equal to whoever is the next biggest, I’d settle for one that’s only TWICE as big and expensive. If that’s not enough, we’re doing something very, very wrong.
      As to the “Taxed Enough Already” movement which was really just KKK-lite (who are they gonna rant against now?) I point to FACTS showing US citizens tax burdens are really not so high combined with the counter-intuitive correlation between the countries with the highest taxes and the general happiness of their citizens.
      I’d happily pay more in taxes if I knew they were going to improving public education (you know what my wife says) healthcare, housing, etc. Spend freely on those things and make the military hold bake sales for the next fleet of tanks or crate of bombs!!!

  4. Carl Duellman Says:

    i think the government is there for a good reason, it’s just run poorly because of greed and power and laziness. i wouldn’t necessarily get rid of or cut any department, just try to get them to run better or at least do what they are supposed to do. however there’s always someone that has the influence to get certain departments to not do what they are supposed to do. you also have government employees that have a sense of entitlement or a poor work ethic. the young bright-eyed employees that want to make a difference think that they can make that difference working for the government. they can easily get shut out or beat down or burned out by a boss or bosses that is/are influenced by outside money or power or just plain laziness.

  5. Hurben Says:

    Democracy will have it’s say down here this weekend. Our incumbent member of Parliament has decided to retire & become Auckland’s mayor instead.

    Two main contenders for his vacated slot are an oily sleazebag, (hmmm rings a bell), or an Indian lady who has a PhD in science & has been very involved in the local community, guess who I’m voting for..

    But, more importantly, What about your issues with Voler I hear you cry…


    I redid my profile on the Voler site & suddenly all was sweetness & light.

    They happily took my money & a deuce of OGWGFIWRT tops will be on their way down under.

    Oh yeah, Taupo was the usual good times, even got a commemorative 40th Anniversary medal at the finish.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Excellent news, as opposed to the other sort, which we receive hourly, if not more often. Glad to hear the deal finally went down.

      And the Cycle Challenge looked like fun too. Damn, I haven’t been on the bike all week thanks to this bloody cold (which I have now passed on to Herself). Now I’m itching to ride, if only to escape the recriminations. Also, and too, the news.

  6. Herb Clevenger Says:

    First of most importance is helping POG’s snozzer issues. I know a thing or two about the viscous cycle of “colds” turning into sinus infections and the world of pain that ensues. When you are perfectly happy and healthy is the time to use nasal rinse of choice to flush out the crap that is in the sinus only its not reared its ugly head (yet).
    My weapon of choice, especially after flying, is the little old Sinugator by NeilMed.
    Now as to reduced government who isn’t all for it? However I’ve sadly learned that in today’s world there are many Americans who will dump toxic waste out their back door, violate the hell out of your civil and constitutional rights, invent racist things like Schools of Choice, dump oil into the seas and rivers and…and I have to stop.
    We don’t seem to be able to govern ourselves wrapped with common sense therefore we need laws and those pesky and costly government employees to enforce and employ them. Sure it sucks that said employees are often ridiculously ineffective. I would love to join the bandwagon of crushing the Feds and leaving more matters to State government but hell, I live in Michigan where our Republicans try to pork us every which way so we’ve had to rely on the Feds at times to bail our sorry asses out.
    Ah…there I go again laying blame on Republicans when it’s really on the uninformed cretins here that elect them.

    • larryatcycleitalia Says:

      The “job-killing regulations” trope really gets me going. How many times have we said, “There oughta be a law against….”? If enough of us want one, we get it. I think it’s pretty rare that folks in DeeCee just sit around thinking up laws to pass just for the hell of it, unless perhaps they’re idealogues obsessed with lady-parts or something. It’s like warning labels – one would think nobody would be stupid enough to try using a Honda rotary mower as a hedge-trimmer, but they (at least used to) have warning labels advising against the practice. Why? Well, you know what my wife says…

      • DownhillBill Says:

        We need to remember that natural selection is _good_ for our species. First they moved the striker to the back of the matchbook, and now we’re all extras in a “reality TV” show. We’d probably be better off if more people tried to trim their hedges with lawn mowers. Wish your wife wasn’t so consistently right.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        Yep, natural selection seems to be neutered. There’s nothing under the hood of a modern car a kid can play with and most kids seem to be medicated and kept in the house by helicopter parents to the point the only trouble they get into is sending naughty photos to each other’s cell phone or maybe running a cyclist over in their car while enjoying same.
        Oh, and more than most, my wife is ALWAYS right. There’s a saying about husbands – you can be right OR you can be married – take your choice.

  7. khal spencer Says:

    Another great guy just went west.

  8. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Hi Khal! I see you.

  9. khal spencer Says:

    Dog dead. Lousy day.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Well, shit. Now I wish I hadn’t found this, routed inexplicably to my spam folder. Condolences, K. It’s not right that they leave us behind, with nobody’s ears to scratch.

    • DownhillBill Says:

      So sorry, Khal. No words are sufficient.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Khal, we are sorry for that. Strangely, the grief of losing a pet is sometimes greater than that of losing a person. And that makes you feel worse than you already do. When we lost Beau unexpectedly, we went two years without a dog. The house wasn’t the same, Duffy got rescued, and he proceeded to train us in about 2 weeks.

  10. Bob Holllister Says:

    Khal, My condolences, I’m a cat person, but I’ve dug too many graves with tears in my eyes for them over the years. Bob H.

  11. Sharon Reed Says:

    One more wonderful friend to meet at the Rainbow Bridge…Sad about your loss Khal.

  12. ryansubike Says:

    My Grandmother Tessie would have called that a “skift” of snow.

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