What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Furlough payday. Holy balls. Even when you’ve run the numbers and have a good solid sense of what’s coming, no amount of tinkering around on a spreadsheet really prepares you for Uncle Sam reaching deep into your wallet and financially raping you. Repeatedly. A week ago, I was philosophically opposed to Sequestration and the resultant furlough. With the arrival of my most recent direct deposit, I’ve transition more into a mode of going out to the shed to see if I have a pitchfork and a few torches to spare. It strikes me that if I were alive and in Boston on December 16, 1773, I would have probably been heaving boxes of tea overboard with a smile on my face. It seems that although I don’t particularly like the rabble, I do enjoy rousing them.

2. George. While I would like to thank the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for naming their offspring in honor of my Tortoise, I am utterly vexed when it comes to understanding why the good people of the United States spent half a dozen days buzzing about it. If we were the United Colonies or a member of the Commonwealth, I could understand being interested in the birth of our President_Barack_Obamafuture head of state, but since we’re citizens and not subjects, I’m at a loss. How many other 30-something couples in the UK had babies this week? How many people in your town had babies? Know how much we all care about them? Yeah. We don’t. I say Godspeed to Wills and Kate, but knowing that they had a baby and that he will sit the throne long after most people alive today have shuffled off the stage is a sufficient report. There’s no need to get our collective nickers in a twist.

3. POTUS. When I hear the president on television talking about growing middle class jobs, increasing spending on education, and generally touting his plan to improve the economy, I only have one thought these days. That thought: WTF? As the head of the executive branch, the president could take one giant step towards improving the plight of the middle class by directing his Secretary of Defense to cancel the administrative furloughs of 650,000 civilian employees. Before he has any credibility on any issue that even tangentially touches on pay, benefits, and employment, the man needs to keep the promises made to the folks already working for him. What I think I understand so far is when large corporations load up on part time employees to keep costs down, it’s evil and wrong, but when the largest agency of the federal government does it it’s a prudent cost savings measure. WTF, Mr. President? WTF?

What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Intersection Panhandlers. I’ve seen the five of you working the same intersection for 14 months… but only when the weather is agreeable. I’ve seen you getting bottles of water, soda, and bags of chips out of the truck that cost more than mine did on more than one occasion. I’ve even watched you swap signs, thinking that maybe you’d have better luck as a homeless vet than an unemployed single father. While I appreciate your ability to find a niche and milk it for all its worth, the next time you’re tempted to step off the curb in front of me just as the light’s turning green, try to keep in mind that while your family might appreciate the insurance settlement, you’ll be too flat and squishy to enjoy it.

2. Congressman Todd Akin. You, sir, are an asshat. Your lack of knowledge of basic health science and general lack of tact are inconsistent with your elected position in government. There are plenty of ways to espouse wackadoodle positions without sounding like a giant douche on national television. It’s probably best if you STFU and start making plans for your new career as a former Member of Congress, unless, of course, the fine people of the State of Missouri go ahead and elect you anyway… in which case they’ll get exactly the kind of senator they deserve.

3. The Prince’s New Clothes. Harry went to Vegas, got naked, and was dumb enough to let it get captured on “film.” I get that he’s a HRH and all, but can anyone that’s ever spent a weekend in Vegas say that they’d want some of the less noble moments of their trip preserved for posterity and flashed around the globe as an alleged bit of news. Like so many pop culture “scandles,” maybe I just miss the so what of it all. The guy’s in Vegas, he’s having a good time, no one got hurt, and I say God bless… but I don’t really need to see the pictures.