Saturday, September 24, 2011


Digby: the NYT explains that increases in the top marginal rate doesn't really matter that much. Buffy can still go to summer camp.

Saturday Afternoon



Hey, more free money for rich banksters. This is a truly shocking development that nobody could have anticipated.
European officials are working on a grand plan to restore confidence in the single currency area that would involve a massive bank recapitalisation, giving the bail-out fund several trillion euros of firepower, and a possible Greek default.

If only anybody was interested in bailing out the labor sector.

Lunch Thread


No Prayer Necessary

Just give people - not banksters - free money already.
After an incredibly volatile day on world markets, the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, warned of a looming "collapse in global demand" which threatens to push economies around the world into a new recession.

Wanker of the Day

John Steele Gordon.


Thanks Politico, for checking Drudge and even pretending! Namely:
Still, members of the public would not be able to find her panel salary unless they cross-referenced it with her executive disclosures, which are available through the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.
Just like Hitler!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Cat Thread

Friday Night

Tomorrow is Saturday.

Happy Hour Thread

Early's Friday!


You can see how everybody starts to jump a bit when TEH MARKET starts to crash. The labor market crashed years ago and still hasn't recoverd.

I Should Keep Repeating Until Very Serious People Listen

The solution to all of this is to give people free money. Just give everyone a $10K platinum coin.

And no I don't know if the Treasury has authority to do that, really, but it's what should happen, instead of "more free money for failing banks."

Public Enemy #1

If nothing else, Elizabeth Warren might serve to distract the right and "center" from every other democrat.

Lending Crisis

The press calls it Europe's "debt crisis," to suggest the problem is with bad guvmints borrowing too much money. The truth is Greece would probably be better off defaulting, but the banking system and other European economies wouldn't be. It isn't a debt crisis, it's a lending crisis. Nobody put a gun to their heads and made them lend the money.


BBC News tells me that market participants are eagerly awaiting more government action.

Late capitalism is awesome.

Put The Straights Back In The Closet

Leaving the booing aside, we can marvel at the brilliance of the word salad from my favorite former senator.

Santorum: What we are doing is playing social experimentation with our military right now. That's tragic. I would just say that going forward we would reinstitute that policy if rick santorum was president. That policy would be reinstituted as far as people in I would not throw them out that would be unfair to them because of the policy of this administration. But we would move forward in conformity with what was happening in the past. Which was sex is not an issue. It should not be an issue. Leave it alone. Keep it to yourself whether you are heterosexual or homosexual.

If only the big gay gayeee gayee gays would stop talking about all the hot sexy sexytime all the damn sexytime everything would be ok. Oh, and have you met my wife and 4 children?

Too stupid to breathe.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Very Late Night Thread


Doubling Down

It's the austerity you assholes.
The Prime Minister said that the failure of leaders in the US and Europe to tackle government deficits now “threatens the stability of the world economy”.

Mr Cameron spoke as stock markets around the world fell sharply again, with the FTSE-100 suffering its biggest drop for more than two years.

Politicians, central bankers and investors are increasingly worried that the world’s biggest economies are sliding back into a recession, dragged down by government debts.

Please appoint some horses to senior political positions. They really couldn't do any worse.


More free money for incompetent rich assholes.
The EU internal markets commissioner, Michel Barnier, said the 16 banks that nearly failed the stress tests “are judged to be fragile and must also be strengthened further. We want the recapitalization for these banks to be by private means. The era of bailing out banks must end. But I cannot, of course, exclude the possibility that some of the above banks will require state aid

You could also give some state aid to mere people. Ah fuck'em.

Thursday Evening

The new facebook reminds me of Discs of Tron.

I'm not sure why.

Happy Hour/Dinner

Chilli here. With red wine.


It's all so predictable...

Afternoon Thread


Give People Free Money

It's all we have to do to fix the economy.

No It Would Be Very Simple

It might or might not be advisable, but unless you just think "rich people income" is more special than other income it would be easy to write a law that would require them to owe, at minimum, x% of Y, where Y is some measure of income (gross, adjusted gross, whatever).

Maybe We Can Tell People Who Was Right?

Maybe editors can invite those who were screaming about bond vigilantes to write heartfelt apologies to all of those they helped to condemn to long term economic suffering?

Just kidding, they'd just write how brave and bold it was to be a part of their very smart club, even though they're wrong about everything.

People From [InsertRandomLocation] Are Just Different, And Better!!

I'm unsurprisingly not one who thinks we are unaffected by our geography and surroundings, but general Cal Thomas bashing aside I really dislike that entire genre. Yes all places are a little bit different and have their unique subcultures, but the point is.. that's true of all places. We're all special, and therefore there's nothing special about being special.


Maybe a crashing stock market will encourage somebody to do something.

Of course "something" will probably be "give free money to 'job creators.'"

It's Inconceivable

Or not.
The new evidence, which is likely to be central to the investigations into the Murdoch empire, reveals that police informed the company two years earlier that they had uncovered strong "circumstantial evidence" implicating other journalists. A senior police officer held a meeting with Ms Brooks in the weeks after the arrest in August 2006 of Mr Goodman and the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.
Related articles

The officer who met Ms Brooks – a former editor of the NOTW who at the time was editing The Sun – told her that detectives sifting through a vast cache of documents seized from Mulcaire's south London home had uncovered evidence that Goodman was not the only individual on the paper involved in criminal activity. Information was disclosed about the nature of that evidence.

Thursday Is New Jobless Day

423K new lucky duckies.

So, uh, not good news.

Wanker of the Day

Mitt Romney.

Good Morning

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday Night

Rock on.

Lukewarm Mush

So it seems TEH MARKET didn't like the mush Bernanke served up today.

The people who rule us have the power to fix things. It isn't even that hard (though, yes, our institutions are stupid enough that saying it isn't hard isn't saying that one person can just make it happen).

Happy Hour Thread



Since my point might not have been clear here, I meant that that the growth of the water treatment business depended a lot on.... evil guvmint regulations.


It's something I suppose.

Though we could be thinking just a little bit bigger...

Nothing Wrong With That

I don't agree with the substance, but I don't think there's anything wrong with Republicans sending the Fed a sternly worded letter. If you believe that central bank independence is important, then you don't want the president being able to boss the Fed chairman around and similarly you wouldn't want Congress trying to goad the Fed into one action or another through legislation. But there's nothing wrong with policymakers expressing their opinions about what the Fed is doing.

Lunch Thread



The AP courageously goes into battle in the War on Straw.

Our Galtian Overlords

A big mistake many people make is to assume that people who are successful in one area are talented and knowledgeable in others. Our local galtian overlords have a plan to tank the economy.

Roger Colley, a former president of two local environmental companies - Betz Laboratories and Envirogen - would try to reduce uncertainty for business by doing the following:

First, put all new regulations on hold and freeze federal spending, both for five years. Next, cut the corporate net income tax rate to 15 percent from a top rate of 35 percent and make the current rates for individuals permanent.

Finally, Washington needs to "start all over again" with its changes to the nation's health-care system, Colley said in an e-mail.

The internet tells me Betz Laboratories is a water treatment company.

Austerity Bites

UK deficits are increasing as they're cutting spending, and the Treasury is very happy that their spending plans are being followed. Even though the economy is tanking and the deficit is increasing.

Heckuva job, Galtian overlords.

The Real Affirmative Action Program

And on and on.

About a quarter of college and university admissions officers experience pressure from senior-level administrators, trustees and donors to admit some applicants, according to a first-of-its-kind survey of admissions leaders.

Giving Away Their Power

Thinking more about the Netflix issue (not the most important thing in the world), it's puzzling that they'd basically announce their intentions to degrade and abandon the thing (dvd by mail) they a) have significant market advantage in and (more importantly) b) the thing that gives them power over the content providers due to the first sale doctrine of DVDs. Basically, before they'd go to content providers and essentially say 'give us streaming rights and we'll split all the savings we'll have from not having to deal with physical inventory and mailing.' Now they'll go to the content providers and beg for the privilege of outbidding amazon or whoever. There are large barriers to entry for a quality cost effective DVD-by-mail system. The only real barriers to entry in internet streaming involve cutting content deals, giving the providers all of the power.

Also, too, pissing off your customers and making a shittier product.


I'm pretty pessimistic than any likely to happen monetary policy is going to have any positive effect. I guess I'm still marginally in the "something is better than nothing" camp, but it seems the best we can hope for is that rich people make enough money to hire some of us to scrub their yachts.

Generation Old Problem

I imagine valet parking might help on the margin, but the generation old problem is the one that nobody wants to confront directly. If you have enough space for the cars, you don't have enough space for anything people want to drive to.

What She Said

Elizabeth Warren!

I hear all this, you know, “Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever.”—No!

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.

You built a factory out there—good for you! But I want to be clear.

You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for.

You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate.

You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.

You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.

Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea—God bless. Keep a big hunk of it.

But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

Transcript via.



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Reversing Stupid


Scotland Yard has "decided not to pursue" its legal bid to force the Guardian to reveal the sources it used for stories about phone hacking.

Will Blog For Food

Support our friends at First Draft.

Tuesday Evening

I got nothin' so talk amongst yourselves.

Happy Hour Thread


The Worst People In The World

A 1953 play about a Muslim street poet can't be performed because 911911911911911911911911911911911.

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A western Pennsylvania school district has decided not to stage a Tony Award-winning musical about a Muslim street poet after members of the community complained about the play on the heels of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

The Tribune Democrat of Johnstown reports Richland School District had planned to stage "Kismet" in February but Superintendent Thomas Fleming says it was scrapped to avoid controversy.



I thought Lamar Alexander would be a big senate grandstander, sorta like Lindsey Graham, but he's been remarkably invisible, at least nationally, for most of his time in the Senate.

Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander has informed his colleagues that he is dropping his Whip bid and will step down from leadership in January.

In a letter sent to Republican Senators this morning, the Tennessean and close confidant of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) explained that he could have more of an impact on the issues he cares about outside of leadership. Alexander, 71, said in the letter that he plans to run for re-election in 2014. Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Thune is likely to announce today that he will seek Alexander’s current position in the next Congress, a source close to the South Dakotan said.

Lunch Thread


Go Galt Already!

I think perhaps the greatest argument for obscenely high tax rates is that a bunch of assholes would finally take their balls and go home.

Those Meddling Bloggers

I still love that for certain people the 'blogger' represents everything that is wrong in our brave new world. It drives them insane that their imagined gatekeepers no longer have the power to keep out the riffraff, and that now everyone can potentially not just publish but be heard.

The Obama Show

One insight I gleaned many millions of blogyears ago is that much of the commentariat sees government, and the presidency especially, as a costume drama playing out for their entertainment. This is probably true to some extent of most people who pay a slight bit of attention to politics. It's sport or theater with varying levels of entertainment value. But the elite commentariat, the people whose job it is to pay attention to this crap, should be smart enough to understand that it doesn't matter one bit if people in Washington get along, and should get that whether tipandronniehavedrinksafterwork is, in fact, about the least important thing in the universe. More than that, "unity of purpose" is both an unachievable and undesirable goal. This is a democracy, people disagree about stuff. That's good, not bad.


I'm really not going to bother my beautiful mind trying to filter through the claims and counterclaims surrounding Suskind's book, but I've long said (perhaps not on the blog (?), but to friends) that there did seem to be a strong dude culture in the White House in a bad way.

Shot And A Chaser

Great news everybody!!!

Despite U.S. economic woes, another recession is unlikely, according to a quarterly forecast by UCLA researchers.


The state's jobless rate is expected to remain around 12% through next year.


As long as the humans programming the drones have nothing but good intentions it's all good. They only intend them to kill 'bad guys' after all...

Monday, September 19, 2011


Rock a bit before bed.

Late Night

Rock on.

Evening Thread


One Card

Information (where/when/whichroute) and payment (how/howmuch) have long been barriers for non-regular commute mass transit users. The internet has solved the first problem, with transit agency trip planners and for many cities google maps directions providing people what they need to know. And single payment systems, such as DC's Smartrip or London's Oystercard, which simplify payment and are accepted across multiple travel modes (bus,subway, train, tram), solve the second.

Easier than driving.

Afternoon Thread


Really A Bad Plan

As I said before regarding netflix, whatever works for them. They're a non-monopoly business with a nonessential product, and if they think the best way to chase the benjamins is to split their store into two separate ones and create a much shittier product for the consumer they're welcome to do so. I just have a hard time believing that they won't lose tons of customers, as to me their basic business model was always "this is too good a deal to pass up," both in terms of money and ease of use.

For Your Consideration

I'll offer up, without comment, Ezra's presumably informed take on the state of the world...

It's The Day After Friday

I don't think ending Saturday delivery is a major crime against humanity, but it really really would need to be offset by somewhat extended evening and Saturday hours at the actual post offices.

So, Uh, Where's The Peace Then?

Lindsey Graham, of course, is one of the most serious senators when it comes to foreign policy issues, along with his sidekicks Lieberman and McCain.

That they're all complete buffoons seems to matter not to Village bookers.

All We Really Need To Do Is Nothing

Other than the "do something about jobs right now" bit,anyway. I'm quite happy for all of the various dumb dealing with the deficit plans to just go away. Maybe I'm not quite so optimistic about the firmness of that veto threat, but if it's real...


It's hard not to agree with Dr. Doom. Greece should default and leave the Euro.

Logically, therefore, if those three options aren’t possible, the only path left is to leave. A return to a national currency and a sharp depreciation would quickly restore competitiveness and growth, as it did in Argentina and many other emerging markets which abandoned their currency pegs.

Though I don't think it's going to happen.

Burn The Brand Down

Whatever works, but I suspect the geniuses running Netflix Qwikster don't actually have any idea what they are doing. Streaming may be the future, but DVDs were where they had the competitive advantage and customer stickiness. You can get limited catalog streaming anywhere, you can't get an incredibly giant (but by accounts dwindling) DVD library which appears in your mailbox in a day anywhere.

It's A Miracle The Subject Was Broached At All

It's sadly notable that abortion was even suggested as an option, even if a quickly rejected one. That's actually progress.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Some super rocking action time.

Sunday Night

Rock on.

Sunday Evening



Seems that Chris Hayes convinced some security guard at MSNBC to let him in and then took over the broadcast.

Never Been Quite Sure

Did people turn on HMOs because they sucked or because of anti-Clinton health care reform rhetoric?

Obviously they weren't all created equal, but my vague memory is they went from the savior of health care to history's greatest monster in the public perception pretty quickly.

Wanker of the Day

Frank Bruni.

Along Those Lines

I don't know for sure, but I'm reasonably sure the risk of stranger abduction on a commuter train is far lower than the risk of severe injury or death for a kid riding in a car passenger seat.

Parse This

Other people are different from me.

The bank's statement comes as UBS boss Oswald Gruebel insisted he would not resign over the incident.

"I'm responsible for everything that happens at the bank," Mr Gruebel told Swiss Sunday newspaper, der Sonntag. "if you ask me whether I feel guilty, then I would say no."

Be Very Afraid

I understand the reasons to some degree, but the mismatch between reality and the perception of reality when it comes to crime trends is quite large. Times are indeed different these days, but not like most people think. Violent crime rates continue to fall.

Sunday Bobbleheads

This Week has Bill Clinton, The Poodle, and Google's Eric Schmidt.

Meet the Press has Clinton, McConnell, and Granholm.

Face the Nation has Clinton and Cheney.

Document the atrocities!