Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Apple crumble

By popular (well, someone asked) demand:

1/2 peck apples, see below
1 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats

The coming political scene

A friend asked whether I thought the Laffer Curve, beloved of many Republicans, had any use in the real world.

It's somewhat possible that Laffer applies to corporate income taxes, but only because multinationals can choose when to repatriate income and hence wait for tax rates to change. I agree there's no evidence it ever applied domestically, even back in the 50's when the top rate was 91%.

At this point, we have the Republicans who are quite skilled at campaigning but utterly incompetent at governing, and the Democrats who are surprisingly good at governing but can't campaign their way out of a shoebox. You may not like what the recent Congress did, but the Dems delivered on their major campaign promises, including the biggest healthcare and banking laws in a generation. If they had run on their record rather than running away from it, they might well have won.

Why I'm not buying a Chevy Volt

(Other than the fact that it's not for sale here yet, that is.)
It's an incredibly overcomplicated mash-up of electric and hybrid technology.  It's got a low-speed motor, a separate high speed motor, a gas engine that can drive the high speed motor as a generator, and a mechanical connection so the high speed motor/generator drives the wheels directly, i.e., an ordinary car.  There's a management system of the complexity you'd expect to run all the gears and clutches to control all this stuff.