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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thought for the Day

Krugman bait:

Apparently the GOP's "Confidence Fairy" doesn't take notice of, you know, Congressional use of the debt ceiling.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thought for the day: Where are your jobs, Mr. Boehner?


Not to question your delusions of adequacy, Mr. Boehner, but, we haven't had any new taxes on "job creators" since as long as anyone can remember.

So the question abides: where are all your jobs, then, Mr. Boehner?

In fact, the GOP insisted as part of the stimulus that huge accelerated-depreciation breaks be given to "job creators". Then, Obama presided over a 1-year "repeal" or "holiday" in the "death tax", just before he extended the favorable tax rates to avoid hitting the economy (and his re-election hopes) and put into place even more ill-advised tax breaks (e.g. the social security tax holiday).

So, again: where are all your jobs, Mr. Boehner?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Showdown Speech

That was your showdown speech, Mr. President?

Who writes your stuff?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Emerging Bipartisan Consensus

BREAKING: Obama, Boehner Come to Agreement That Cantor is Douche - Andy Borowitz

Amidst Gloom and Doom, Gays Bring Moments of Pure Joy

So, the kissing couples tied the knot legally in the Empire State, today, even as clouds gathered in Washington and the world was reeling from Norway's savage attack.

"... you better hold on tight ..."

Are Plan Sponsors Who Offer No "Govt Free" Option Liable?

When Geithner was turned down for a "clean rise" in the debt ceiling in January, it should have been plain to Plan Sponsors that USG debt was no longer backed by the GOP, fast as they are under the thumb of irrational promises made to get elected.

As GOP-led default approaches, and people logically think about hedging or swapping out of their risk they have to the GOP, the question arises, are Plan Sponsors liable if they haven't prudently followed the rating agencies and created USG free debt options in their plans?

Friday, July 22, 2011

FLASH: Boehner quits talks - Have you sold your gov't bonds yet?

As predicted here, Bohner quit the talks, under do-nothing pressure from the radical Tea-caucus.

And the only question remains, have you sold your gov't bond holdings, yet? If not, why not?

The Voice of the 14th Amendment in America

Poor Obama, for all his copious skills, hasn't mastered both leading change and being a part of it. Still too much the man of the backroom D.C. shuffle, maybe?

Anyway, the Dems are dialing up Reagan as The Executive Voice of the 14th Amendment. It's not a bad strategy, actually.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

On the eve of GOP-Tea Default

Recalling, with deepest apologies to Matt:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On Tory Ruthlessness

Harold MacMillian had a fine mustache.

From afar, Cameron always seems perpetually inauthentic to me, as if rushing from one dress rehearsal to another, glass in hand.

His platitudes of placation seem tart to Andrew's sour-loving ears, but the big picture is still of a PM who is reactionary, situational.

If he hated what he did in having to deal with a media goon like Murdoch/Coulson, he might well have put reform on a principled standing straight off.

As it is, he seems, instead, to simply admit his failure of the psychopath test, a political ruggedness that seems to thrill some.

Right/Left Prepared to Ditch Home Ownership for Young Families

You have a kid on the way. You want to get into a good school district. You want to get started and work toward the American dream, right?

How is it a family-friendly policy, particularly, to make it harder for first-time homebuyers to get into the market?

Reports are already out that the mortgage interest deduction will be ditched in a way that doesn't protect families, but is geared to some bizarre notion of tax-code purities.

So far, rather than a cap on interest deduction or restriction to primary residence, it looks like the Senators are going for the plan that wipes it away.

Cantor, Boehner: We'll Bust a "Cap" in the US Economy


What more can one say about "Cut, Cap and Balance", the charade proposal from the GOP, that's supposed to make it look like Obama is the one who is refusing them, rather than the GOP acting irresponsibly?

Thought for the day

It cost us a fortune for the GOP to lose its brand on fiscal responsibility.

It's going to cost us a bigger one for them to insist they can regain it, at whatever cost.

Republicans insist on sucking $800B out of US Economy Facing Sticky Wicket

So, the US Economy faces a serious sticky wicket. Even shuffling Harvard economists are talking about a 'jobs deficit'.

Quick: What's the first thing you do when you are in a serious situation like this?

Well, of course, you do tax reform, right? (Especially so that corporate dividend income to the wealthiest, from companies flush with cash, increases and is taxed at lower rates).

Don't laugh. That's what is going on in "the gang of six", right now.

Even the punditocracy insist that good politics implies that we need to be acting now with regard to worries that are 20 years and 75 years down the road, when the next 24 months could turn really ugly. Early action is to be praised, but you don't try to fasten your seat belt just when the car is skidding off the road, do you?

"Really ugly" means potentially catastrophically ugly. Recall that it is not just U.S. banking system is exposed to Europe, who are on a race against time to right themselves of dreadful unemployment, before the waters come in.

Anyway, even the best of proposals seem to want to go from circa $300B, say, in stimulative, emergency war spending, to -$500B in spending cuts. That's a swing of $800B, potentially. Slap a multiplier on that and you're talking real turkey. More lost jobs, more troubles with housing.

The Disgusting CEO Culture, Enter the Blameless Zone

Someone should write a book called "Progressive Zones of Irresponsibility" about their climb to the top of the corporate ladder, in some companies.

After Murdoch's swearing that he was the man to put it right, not the man to blame, what could be more obvious? 'Twas the soldiers lost the war. We've heard it all before.

What could have been more disingenuous than Murdoch senior excusing his non-notice with the faux-business stat that Screws of the World was just 1% of all of NewsCorps holdings?

Friday, July 15, 2011

NY - Let the People Vote! No more mindless fracking

If the NY government isn't going to protect the public interest in a clean water supply, then maybe the public will, through a referendum.

We all know that we need energy sources, but mindless energy exploration is not "for free".

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mindless pursuit of brand identity

The fundamental problem with the GOP trying (or posturing) to rebrand itself 'fiscally conservative', after decades to the contrary (including eight years of "costless wars"), is that those principles have almost no practical gravitas, right now.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

In Defense of Rauch

Like most, I just read Rauch's post about the internet and rolled my eyes. (Seriously, JR, if your friends cannot ward you off bad jerky like "comment or vote", you may need a wider circle of friends...)

That said, just reading the first line of each paragraph of Massie's reply kinda makes Rauch's point.

Pension Raid

If he's right (as seems obvious), Johnathan Rauch might wonder aloud why Secretary Geithner, in yet another fit of "wha?", is raiding pensions to keep from hitting a debt-issue limit.

Monday, July 11, 2011

As Washington Plays Dice with 20 Year Forecasts of Doom...

I'll bet President Obama wishes that he'd have let the Bush tax cuts expire.

Boy, he'd be in the driver's seat, now, eh?

/strategic faux pas
/Lawrence O'Donnell

Friday, July 8, 2011

QOTD: Arrest Boehner for Sedition?


Should the nation be driven to a default, which will likely be a question mark followed, not by an apostrophe, but a catastrophe, should Obama declare a national emergency and begin arresting "debt aggravators" for sedition? treason?

Obama Should Make "Recess Appointments"

Asserting new "legal authority", the President should make some recess appointments and call the GOP-led Congress to prove that it is in a "jam session" rather than a "sham session" designed to thwart his constitutional powers.

Time to act like a meglomaniac, Mr. President. You know, 'Walk Like An Egyptian'?

I know, I know. You have that easy-going quasi-midwest sensibility, but your are in Rome, now.

Another Showdown With Stalinism In Our Times

Reactionary, Iranian-style Stalinism (paranoid totalitarianism) is on trail right now in Syria, where the regime has been tempted to use near-Kohmeni inspired force to crush the spirit of the peoples:

Should Obama Seize the Federal Reserve?

If Congress doesn't fulfill its constitutional role, it seems like an apt option to keep the economy and security of a nation-at-war on track ...

Just sayin'.

Beware overconfidence about what you think will happen, GOP playahs...

Obama's Realities - The Makings of a President

The GOP has two rebranding imperatives, at least: abortion and taxes. They've already done blatantly unconstitutional things to make headlines on abortion, to reinforce their brand image.

As yourself, what are they prepared to do (unconsitutional or otherwise) to get publicity on the issue of fiscal restraint? [Because of abortion, recall that the Defense Authorization Bill didn't make it last year, for something like the first time in the history of the modern America...]

Now, ask yourself whether Geithner and POTUS really understand what they are up against, or, even if they do, whether they have the guts for the constitutional brinkmanship that is coming.

I think the answer is 'no'.

Warren Buffet says this morning that no one knows what will happen in the event the US hits its "authorized" debt limit.

Is that partially a failing of the Treasury? Yes.

Geithner should probably be following the President in a pattern of escalating concern. He should have laid out a week-by-week plan to start shutting down the government, starting with stopping payment on the salaries and benefits of Congress, maybe.

The President should have a legal opinion in hand about his authority and the 'implicit authorization' to borrow, the National Security risk to shutting down the government, perhaps publicly asking, as Ronald Reagan used to do so effectively, for people to call their congressmen to insist on a deal (i.e. to tell them it is 'okay' to raise taxes).

An Executive wins this game. No, it's not a clean 'win'. Is the philosopher king up to the game? The GOP clearly want to test him and his.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Battle of Gettysburg

Today in history, the great flank attacks on the Union position...and such great lettings of blood as The Wheatfield.