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December 20, 2009

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Charlie (Colorado)

Every time I think Congress can't possibly get any dumber, they surprise me.

strokettery

strottery. we are on the edge of failure; complete and unrecoverable and that is not what Obama wants............. Yes, America will be broke and will not have any money for everyone else, but we still have lots of guns and stuff..........

Pofarmer

Guess I'll just double post.

This, isn't particularly comforting.

On employment, there were 130,532,000 payroll jobs in December 1999, and 130,996,000 payroll jobs in November 2009; an increase of 464 thousand jobs. However the preliminary estimate of the annual benchmark revision "indicates a downward adjustment to March 2009 total nonfarm employment of 824,000". So it appear there will be fewer payroll jobs at the end of the aughts than at the beginning

Buford Gooch

Dang! Everyone must be busy having a life. Hello-o-o-o?

clarice

Hello, Buford.

PD

BG, the action's on the previous thread.

JM Hanes

Hanes here.

Buford Gooch

Thanks

JM Hanes

I'm sooo ready for some holiday silliness and good cheer. I'm watching the Science channel and a supernova star of Bethlehem. I wouldn't want to be an astronomer, I'd just like to know all the stuff they know!

JM Hanes

Thanks Jules Crittenden!

The kids are trying to bribe me with their allowance to flag down a plow. I don’t think so. Plows just rip up the lawn and leave a two-inch thick layer of compacted ice. No, we’ll suit up, go out there, shovel. We’ll be gettin Rockwell with it, gettin our Currier & Ives on. Oh yeah

I needed that.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

One analysis:

Doing The Math: Pelosi Needs To Find 71 House Votes To Approve Senate Health Care bill

Per John McCormack at The Weekly Standard, a House vote in favor of the Senate version of the health care bill is far from a sure thing.

Rep. Stupak, the man who ensured that the House version of the health care bill included an amendment banning abortion funding, has called the Senate bill’s abortion language “unacceptable.” According to House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, Stupak and his anti-abortion amendment to the House bill got that bill 10 votes giving it a narrow 5 vote overall victory.

Unless the bill is changed in reconciliation, one would assume Stupak’s 10 votes would go the other way.

But wait, there’s more.

Joseph Cao of Louisiana was the only House Republican to vote for the health care bill. But if it doesn’t contain Stupak’s abortion language he’s likely to switch as well. So that’s 11 votes going the other way.

But wait, there’s more.

There are 60 House Democrats who have said that they won’t vote for a bill without a public option. So that’s 71 votes with the pro-life Democrats and Rep. Cao.

So if Senator Kent Conrad’s advice is followed and no major changes are made to the Senate version of the health care bill, Pelosi somehow has to find 71 votes to pass it (assuming none of these politicians break their promises).

There were 39 Democrat votes against the House version of the health care bill. Even if Pelosi arm-twisted all 39 of those votes to her side, that leaves 32 votes Pelosi would have to get from Republican ranks and/or the ranks of those who have vowed to vote against this bill because of either the abortion language or the public option.

Even leaving some fudge room for broken promises (we are talking about politicians here) that’s a pretty big hurdle to get over.

Mary Goldblum

"Even leaving some fudge room for broken promises..."

If someone thinks there isn't room for 71 broken promises in the House, you are fooling yourself. There will be payoffs and "promises" of future add-ons to the bill (i.e. public option).

It's a done deal. The only question now is how many seats can the GOP win back in 2010 and 2012...and unfortunately that is a long way off.

Dave (in MA)

The Federal gov't is closed on Monday due to snow, but apparently the whores worked late into the night.

daddy

Too bad TM doesn't change the name of this blog during the Holidays to Just One Christmas.

That way I'd be able to read him anywhere in China.

As it stands, JOM remains censored in large swaths of China so I've missed the last few days. But who I've not missed, and who is obviously the only guy on the planet more famous than Obama or Tiger, is Santa Claus.

The profusion of Santa and sleighs and Christmas Tree's and Reindeer statues, everywhere throughout the big coastal citys of China, is profound. No establishment I've come across in the past week lacks a tree with decorations, stenciled snowflakes, and a sound system playing all the standards. The Chinese are more familiar than my own kids with Jingle Bell's. It really is amazing.

If a visitor from Mars were to drop in tomorrow he would be convinced the Christmas capitol of the world was Commie China and that they could solve their Carbon problem just by turning off their Christmas lights.

At all the luxury hotels, the waitresses and hostess gals are all required to wear the red Santa stocking caps and red Mrs Santa coats with big white cuffs and big white waist belt. (Perhap's Michelle has simply been practicing and pining for the Holidays?)Thankfully it has been chilly so they're generally not sweating and seem happy to be dressed up like eskimo's, and I personally love it as the homeliest peasant in the middle kingdom looks cheerful and cute dressed up like an elf.

So, when they finally do successfully eradicate Christmas from the public squares of America, rest assured comrades you can always visit the enlightened autocracy of China if you need a good dose of Christmas Cheer. Plus you can say "Merry Christmas" and nobody takes offense. ">http://www.echineselearning.com/christmas-in-china.html?ecl=sienpaEEct02zgsdj9"> "Sheng Dan Kwai Lure!"

As for Menorah's, I must have missed them, but will keep my eyes open.

Janet

As the cities become lawless the citizens that can, retreat to gated communities.
As the public schools crumble the citizens that can, pay for private schools or they homeschool.
We have canceled our magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
We have turned off our TVs, and stopped going to the movies or theater.
...and now our health care. Perhaps a homemedical system will be started as we abandon the federal government medical system.

Jack is Back!

The Copenhagen Effect has reached both the UK and France (you can include Belgium also). It is simple.

If France wasn't experiencing its worst winter weather for a December in a long time, you would not have icy snow being sucked in to the power cars of Eurostar. Eurostar, the green way to go from London to Paris or Brussels. Versus those nasty carbon emitting jets between LHR and CDG and BRU. Of course these are the "public" jets not the private or government ones (which do not, I repeat do not emit CO2). Now if they can get this fixed by installing buffer plates near the intakes, we will soon be getting the neo-gilded era of private rail cars attached to Eurostar and TGV to whisk our favored class to and fro in unstated luxury but with a greener footprint.

pagar

Daddy, Is the Santa Claus theme in China government mandated?

rse

That was a great description Daddy. Felt like we were there as well.

Should JOM be honored to be on the censor list?

Now Chris Dodd says Connecticut is the mystery hospital. Is he trying to give Evan Bayh some cover?

I cannot believe Mr Countrywide would have been so sloppy as to put in a stealth provision that multiple states in fact qualified for. What a rude shock that must have been!

Jane

Fox just said the hospital went to PA - so who knows.

Maybe all blue states get one.

I really really really wish the republicans would at least acknowledge the MA senate race in January. SCott Brown doesn't have enough money or press to tap into the anger at this point.

lurker9876

All Pelosi has to do is bribe to get those 71 votes to pass the Senate bill.

clarice

Well, I bet lots of Dems will vote for it even without a public option--Pelosi said she would.
And first she said she wouldn't.

Too bad Europe is socked in like that and the peasants can't use the Eurostar. Maybe they can stay home and watch replays of Prince Charles flying his private jet in to tell them they are doomed unless they stop using carbon emitters.
Well, of course, Janet's scenario is what the elites have always wanted...to restore a wide gap between themselves and everyone else.

fdcol63

I'd like to thank all the Obama voters and disgruntled Republicans who stayed home from the polls in November "to send a message" for the coming health care "reform" debacle and other Dem efforts to destroy our capitalistic system, culture, and national security.

Elections have serious consequences, and this is what happens when you ensure that the Democratic Party, led by radical Leftists, controls the Executive and BOTH houses of Congress.

Even if control shifts or balances out in 2010 or 2012, the damage will be long-lasting .... if not permanent.

Sue

One of the democratic senators that I saw on tv yesterday said we aren't building a mansion but a starter home. Every last one of the democrats will vote for this, no matter what is in it. They fully expect to tweak it at a later date to get everything they want.

Rob Crawford

Perhaps a homemedical system will be started as we abandon the federal government medical system.

Sorry, no. Somewhere in the bill is language that requires all home healthcare workers to join the SEIU.

Janet

Yeah Rob...should have known they'd have that covered. Oh well.

Crack of Dawn

Krugman didn't name names, and neither will I. But , by their description,they should recognize themselves;

"They like posing as defenders of fiscal rectitude; they like declaring a pox on both houses; but when push comes to shove, their dislike of social insurance, their refusal to consider any government economy measures that don’t involve punishing people with lower incomes, trumps their supposed concern about acting responsibly."

I might add my own discriptor; "they don't like uppity Darkies"

Jane

I see Dawn is on crack. How's that race card working out for you?

Crack of Dawn

"How's that race card working out"

Full House

Porchlight

Perhaps a homemedical system will be started as we abandon the federal government medical system.

There will be a black market of some kind, I'm sure of it. Abortions will no longer be done in back alleys; instead it will be MRIs.

Danube of Thought

43% Strongly Disapprove this morning. Highest level yet recorded.

DebinNC

AP solves $100M hospital mystery...Dodd inserted it.

Sue

Just wait until they find out Obama released 2 Gitmo detainees to Somililand. Have to close Gitmo even if it means releasing the worst of the worst to a country no one recognizes.

Rob Crawford

Full House

Enough about your favorite TV shows.

(What kind of idiot brags about having a "full house" of race cards? The whole point of calling it the "race card" is that it's an illegitimate attack based on the presumption of bigotry. If there were evidence, it wouldn't be "playing the race card".)

Rob Crawford

Just wait until they find out Obama released 2 Gitmo detainees to Somililand. Have to close Gitmo even if it means releasing the worst of the worst to a country no one recognizes.

Obama recognizes Somaliland. It's just like his dreams for America.

(See also Detroit.)

DebinNC

Ayn Rand's prescience...brain surgeon in Atlas Shrugged

Crack of Dawn

"The whole point of calling it the "race card" is that it's an illegitimate attack based on the presumption of bigotry"

Is that Webster's unabridged, or your own def?

The more race cards there are in your hands, the more legitimate the hand.

anduril

Institutional Risk Analyst has its Predictions for 2010: The Best is Yet to Come, and they're worth studying.

The first two issues they address, briefly, have to do with the banking industry. Then they come to this:

The third trend we see emerging in 2010 is the unwinding of the welfare state. That's right, back to the future carried by the negative cash flow of a flat real estate market and shrinking credit.

You might wonder how we can sound retreat on middle class entitlement as the Democratic Congress is preparing to pass a national health care scheme funded with borrowed money. We invite you to consider the example of New York.

New York began to default on its financial obligations last week, but so far only to internal creditors like cities and counties in that state. Only a few members of the Big Media bothered to notice. We hear that IL is right behind New York when it comes to fiscal problems. True to its Central European roots, says one well-known Chicago native, IL is starting to resemble Latvia. We hear similar reports of fiscal constraint in CA and other states.

The authors then get into particulars re the NY situation, which make fascinating (there's that word again) reading.

Meanwhile in New York City, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the nation's largest mass transit system, just announced service cutbacks and the end of free fare's for NYC school children. By no coincidence, the MTA union just won itself an 11% wage increase from a compliant arbitrator. But rather than raise fares to pay for the wage hike, the MTA board and New York's cowardly political leadership decided to delay a fare increase until next year but stick it to the city's school children today.

Like many mass transit systems, the MTA is largely subsidized by general tax revenues to the tune of $3 for every $2 fare paid by riders. Yes, the actual cost is $5 per rider. The system looses more money the more riders it attracts. With the revenues of NYC falling and New York State likewise facing a sharp decline in revenue, the MTA union and the working parents of NYC school children are about to collide.

...

Unlike the federal government, which can call upon a compliant central bank to bridge the gap between tax revenue and spending, states like New York cannot print money. Whereas 2009 was about stabilizing the banks, 2010 may be dominated by sovereign defaults a la Dubai, Greece, Iceland and even New York - especially given the political dysfunction visible in all of these jurisdictions.

If the several states of this great union start to fail financially, the question will be begged with respect to the credit rating of the federal government. Recall the comment about the threat to the ad valorem tax base the TX banker made in this space last year?

Conventional wisdom has it that there is no default risk on Treasury debt, only the risk of inflation, since the Fed can always print more fiat dollars. But of course this assumes that foreign creditors are willing to hold dollar assets in the face of massive monetary expansion by the Fed.

This brings us to the fourth issue we see in 2010, namely the growing understanding of the fiscal, that is, political, nature of the Fed's intervention in the US financial markets.

Note the states they're talking about:bluest of the blue--New York, California, Illinois--and a huge concentration of population and business. Should be a rocky ride if the authors' apprehensions start coming true.

Rob Crawford

The more race cards there are in your hands, the more legitimate the hand.

Only a racist would say something like that.

narciso

Couldn't we pack off Dodd, Polanski style to his cottage in Ireland, god what a weasel.
Yet another troll, scarecrow like in his searching for a brain, sending Wahhabis to Somaliland, what fresh hell is this

Crack of Dawn

"Only a racist would say something like that."


Master Projectionist

Porchlight

43% Strongly Disapprove this morning. Highest level yet recorded.

Yep, and only going up from here. Index at -17. Let's see what happpens in the next few days as the Senate's cloture/vote sinks in.

clarice

In the House, there's no reason to rush to work out a compromise. As we learned in the Senate, the holdouts get the big bucks from the pockets of the citizens of the states whose reps jump aboard early.

Old Lurker

The only way we are going to manage the most obnoxious among us, like the fake PUK last night, is not for TM to go down the "banning" route, but for all here to practice good old fashioned biblical shunning. If jerks like that, or those who post yard long posts in spite of repeated pleas for links instead, were simply ignored completely, they would either show better manners or go away.

clarice

Bravo!

DebinNC

Exactly, OL. Success hinges on your advice to ignore completely.

PeterUK

Awwwww... it sounds like you guys are really missing me. That's so sweet!

clarice

Well, we're just going to ignore you completely, so you might as well just leave.

Ignatz

--The only way we are going to manage the most obnoxious among us, like the fake PUK last night, is not for TM to go down the "banning" route, but for all here to practice good old fashioned biblical shunning.--

As a lapsed shunner, OL, I agree with your message.
I promise to shun like a Mennonite, henceforth.

DebinNC

Yes, and our plan is working perfectly!!!

Ignatz

Unless she says something really clever, then of course we'll be forced to respond. It's just human nature, after all.

Old Lurker

We have all lapsed from time to time, Iggy, thinking we can change the inevitable. But it never works and just makes our blood pressure even higher just at the time the medical system will probably not treat those of us above some undisclosed age for such maladies.

narciso

So, Ot, how did this fellow get sent back to Yemen with his record.

DebinNC

Politico: Dems anticipate a health care bounce.

clarice

So, Ot, how did this fellow get sent back to Yemen with his record.

Could you provide a bit more detail, narciso?

sbw

Ig, in the words of the notorious Dr. Evil: Zip it!

sbw

Dems anticipate a health care bounce.

Ah, yes. The dead cat bounce.

Rick Ballard

Pofarmer,

There's way too much selection bias in that Calculated Risk blather. They're trying to set up a "lost decade" meme to counter the rather obvious fact that the '06 election results giving the Democrat Economy Killers control of the legislature marked the "Get Ready" point for job losses. We're not at the end point yet, either.

Ignatz,

While I agree that Mauldin may be a bit too pessimistic I would note that the deleveraging which began in August of '29 was not complete until June of '32, then there was a nice spike in GDP which carried forward in fits and starts until about March of '37 when the Dems throttled the productive once again. I don't consider the situation today to be completely analogous at all but I certainly don't think that we're done with the deleveraging.

narciso

He attended Al Farouq, admiteed he hates America, for their alliance with the US, in the LUN

narciso

Seems more like the rallroad and lan related panics of 1873 and 1893, more than other recent experience, the former Twain, satirized the bubble for, in the Golden Age

clarice

But Twain was also a well-known 'social justice' liberal and atheist. Not my cup of tea.

Old Lurker

To Rick's observation that deleveraging has a way to go yet, LUN is Bloomberg's take on commercial real estate.

narciso

Why did you change avatars, clarice

Jane

Rob Crawford,

Is that you over at Instapundit getting quoted in full?

Nice job!

Porchlight

But Twain was also a well-known 'social justice' liberal and atheist. Not my cup of tea.

Yes, sorry to say, I've soured on him in recent years. All that good horse sense and wit, yet he still held wrongheaded views on issues of importance.

Rick Ballard

Narciso,

I'd go with '07 without the intervention of Morgan. Wall Street hasn't provided a single believable "voice" in the aftermath of their complete abdication of all fiduciary responsibility for this fiasco. They're not all lying whores, of course, they just appear to all be lying whores. The current manipulation of the market via dark pools and program trading does not lend itself to a restoration of confidence. When the "trend" stops being your "friend" and prices reflect the reality of lack of earnings the reaction will not be pleasant.

Rob Crawford

Is that you over at Instapundit getting quoted in full?

Yep, that's me.

PD

Mark Steyn is sitting in for Rush on Wednesday.

jimmyk

But Twain was also a well-known 'social justice' liberal

I'm willing to give a "social justice liberal" from the 19th century the benefit of the doubt that he wouldn't go so far as to support the monster welfare state we have created more than a century later.

Milton Friedman was fond of pointing out that much of what Karl Marx advocated in terms of specific policies has become standard practice today (progressive income tax, etc.). Times have changed.

sbw

But Twain was also a well-known 'social justice' liberal and atheist. Not my cup of tea.

You have the advantage on Twain of more than a hundred years of additional experience. In my current writing I call those who compress time to make holier-than-thou judgments "time bigots."

But, of course, I do not include you in that class. I simply warn of the danger.

Ignatz

--Ig, in the words of the notorious Dr. Evil: Zip it!--

sbw, the 11:21 post was not me, if that was what you were referring to.

matt

Daddy;

I had the same frustration last week with the censorship. As a pilot you'll love this.

I was in Hangzhou airport and noticed the loudspeaker running nonstop with gate holds. Remember, this is a very busy airport.

We got on our plane and thought we had made it out, and then proceeded to sit for an hour. My colleague finally asked the flight attendant why we were sitting, and apparently the PLAF was running exercises in the airspace around Hangzhou/Ningbo/Shanghai. So they just shut a couple of the airports down.

It sort of put things in perspective.Santas yes. Christianity no.The State giveth and taketh away.

jimmyk

sbw, great minds think alike...

Another slightly different example of this is when liberals project their views on to great thinkers of the past. I was reading Isaacson's bio of Ben Franklin, and he tries to "credit" Franklin with the idea of a progressive income tax. In fact, if you read even Isaacson's quotation of Franklin, all he proposes is a proportional (i.e. "flat") tax.

Jim Ryan

advantage on Twain of more than a hundred years

That's a good point. We could redo an old saying, thusly:

If you weren't a bit bleeding-heart before welfare statism was tried, you had no heart. If you aren't totally against it now that it has been tried, you have no brain.

Oh, and if you had the foresight of a James Madison to be against it before welfare statism was tried, you were a genius.

jimmyk

the 11:21 post was not me

I was wondering why anyone with intelligence would even consider the possibility that the creature in question could say something "really clever."

narciso

Sheldon Whitehouse, is another one of those spoiled Wasps, (St. Paul, Yale) who tarnishes
the family name of a much better man, with his
late night temper tantrum

peter

sbw. matt, jim ryan,

great posts.

Porchlight

So Twain should get credit for all of his views with which we agree, but no points off for the ones we don't? That isn't really a balanced view, either.

I'm no fan of historical revisionism on the whole. However, there is a difference between privileging one's own ability to see in hindsight - that's the revisionism or "time bigotry" to use sbw's term - and simply taking issue with certain aspects of his writing. I increasingly find Twain to be temperamentally closer to the left than to the right, and I don't enjoy that.


sbw

I'm also writing about how one who would astroturf (axelturf [axelturd]) undermines society--a violation of hermeneutics, the search for meaning.

The 'turfer becomes not a liar, but a fraud who cannot recognize such actions as self-defeating.

narciso

Twain was always kind of a skeptic, but as time went on he became very cynical as life went on, and that colored his view of many institutions. He was writing also in the different world of the late 1800s. Where Lockner was the preeminent legal opinion

sbw

Twain was... human. And not a very good one at that. But it does not serve to discard the sound phrasing of good ideas because he smoked cigars.

A professor at my 40th reunion was arguing that Confucius should be ignored because he believed in patriarchal societies. The professor on the other side argued Jefferson should be ignored for double standards.

You should have seen the babies tossed out with the bath water.

Porchlight

Please don't lump me in with those academic types, sbw. I have no problem with smoking cigars. ;)

It's more of an aesthetic argument, I guess. Anyway, I think it's a strawman to say that any criticism of Twain is equivalent to throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

clarice

narciso, I didn't write that 11:32 question to you.

Ann

Marvelous interview at Human Events with an adult:

EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Dick Cheney

sbw

Just trying to keep it light, porch. Better than pointing out his family life. I could also get a drum rim-shot by suggesting that atheism ought to be considered a point of view, not a disqualifying sin.

shiva

It's a shame we don't have anyone of that caliber, anywhere near the corridors of power, sadly. I suspected that was the impetus
for his defense of the CIA, in part to prevent
such a rehash of what happened to Fiers and Co.

Porchlight

I'm with you on all of that, sbw. I'm pretty forgiving, really. Nothing is disqualifying in and of itself; certain views (and attitudes) merely temper one's regard. I like to believe that this is a balanced perspective. ;)

In general I try to disregard family life, unless it's egregious, when it comes to art and literature. Otherwise there ain't much left.

PD

Huh. From that Cheney link above: Liz Cheney was born in Madison, while Dick was working on his doctorate at the UW.

sbw

Yes, a disqualifying problem would be hypocrisy. I have read enough Twain to like what I like, admire his novels and essays, but I don't think he had double standards.

Old Lurker

Great, now our troll is posting under the names of others (Ignatz and Clarice between 11:21 and 11:32).

narciso

I didn't mean to set off that Twain tangent, I was going for the economic analogy, between parallels which those calculated risk, completely messed up, and I'm being diplomatic

Patrick R. Sullivan

Richard Epstein says that the Reid Bill violates settled law on rate regulation regarding the takings clause. That regulated industries have to be allowed earn a return on investment, and this bill seems to virtually guarantee that won't happen (not to mention that insurance doesn't have natural barriers to entry needed to qualify as natural monopoly).

Also, he catches some language that even Kafka couldn't have dreampt up:

The initial process that goes into effect in 2010 requires the Secretary and the states to develop a plan to look for "unreasonable increases" in charges for insurance coverage. At this point, all health-insurance issuers must submit to the state insurance commission authority "a justification for an unreasonable premium increase prior to the implementation of the increase." (It is not stated as to how one justifies increases that are, by definition, unreasonable.)
clarice

Patrick, check out Axelrod's statement posted at the tail end of another thread here about controlling the amount of money insurance co shareholders can earn.

clarice

Yes, OL. Isn't that a stupid annoyance?

clarice

Just to be clear--the 11:49 post on Twain's is not mine either..Nothing not bearing my ususal avatar is.

Extraneus

The avatars finally come in handy. If that doesn't prove the silver lining aphorism, I don't know what does.

Yes, Patrick. From Axlerod's comments on This Week yesterday:

The fact is that this bill, for the first time, prohibits insurance companies from spending excessive amounts of money on CEO salaries, on administrative cost, on shareholder profits, so that more money is devoted to patient care. That's written into the bill.
Almost unbelievable, but it's not the first statement they've made to the effect that profits are waste. If only we could eliminate profits, there'd be that much more goods and services available for the public.

Old Lurker

My comment on this on the oter thread was "We mentioned last week that by requiring insurance companies to pay out 80-85% of their premium income in benefits, they force all those other things into the remaining 15% - Admin, Management, and Profits. That is untenable and ensures the demise of the insurance companies, getting the dems right where they want us to be: Single Payer."

How this is legal or American is beyond me.

Old Lurker

Ext is also right that those stupid avatars might end up being our friends. Soon we'll have to figure out how to post a custom one.

hit and run

Sure,avatars could be useful. But...

hit and run

Like I was saying...

hit and run

Anyway.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame