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September 03, 2010

Comments

peter

I had thought that I had seen every Seinfeld episode, but I don't remember Summer of George at all. One thing about Seinfeld-- IMHO -- they don't hold up. Totally a '90s thing. I'd much rather watch I Love Lucy or Mary Tyler Moore reruns.

And thank you, Tom, for pointing out that this is just a posturing gesture, as I had read the MSM headlines and really thought there might be real, sweeping tax reform before November.

Rick Ballard

Peter,

As we slide from the Summer of George into The Fall of Barack, there is some small merit in a reference to "it's about nothing".

Rick Ballard

Peter,

As we slide from the Summer of George into The Fall of Barack, there is some small merit in a reference to "it's about nothing".

NK

A partial walk back of Obamanomics is better than continuing to insult 60+ percent of the voters, especially center-right indies. Is it enough to materially affect the 2010 election results? not likely. However, I will use this Obama walk back to rub it in with all my liberal friends, as proof that the Obamaniac crew are a bunch of incompetent muppets, who are worse than useless.

Rob Crawford

"Even the Obama administration admits supply-side economics works!"

Thomas Collins

Amendment attaching time. I hope the GOP introduces amendments making permanent the current tax rates (well, permanent in the sense of no expiration dates; I realize future Congresses will fiddle with tax rates) and repealing all of ObamaCare's tax increase provisons. I think the second one will be especially helpful in Nov. A Dem in a marginal seat is going to be hurt by voting against tax cuts based on excising provisons of an unpopular law. I also think that introducing amendments that would repeal additional taxpayer information reporting requirements imposed by ObamaCare would be a fine idea.

Neo

Is it just me or does this smell of an Administrations with failed economic policies ? ... or is it just panic ?

Thomas Collins

Now that I think of it, since OLawyers are now arguing in court that the individual health insurance mandate fee is a tax, I think any amendment excising ObamaCare's tax increases should include eliminating that fee. Let's have a death panel for the OFee!

Charlie (Colorado)

I've never quite understood the appeal of Seinfeld. It was on when I lived in Manhattan, and all my New Yorker friends were thrilled with it, but it seemed to me just a TV show about the same annoying people I talked to every day.

NK

Dear BuBu-- cheer up, the Obamaniacs are flailing just as much as you. They are now being seduced by the supply-side of the force.

Rob Crawford

"Obama says Bush's policies failed, but now he's taking those same policies even further?"

Janet

From Tom's linked WaPo article - "We did the mosque, Katrina, Iraq, and now Middle East peace?" said a Democratic strategist who works closely with multiple candidates and spoke on the condition of anonymity. "And in between you redo the Oval Office? It has become a joke."

MikeS

"...and politically, there are no other options for wooing back a few independents to the Democratic side before November."

Not so. The real option would be for Dems to repeal ObamaCare themselves before Nov., seasoned with a humble apology.

alanstorm

Too bad the admin is looking at these ideas in order to keep control of Congress instead of doing it because it might actually help.

Sad commentary on the president's views.

Thomas Collins

In the WaPO article linked by TM, it is stated that:

"Many economists say Obama's policies have been reasonably effective at pulling the nation back from recession. Last year's stimulus package - now estimated to cost $814 billion - protected as many as 3.3 million jobs, according the independent Congressional Budget Office."

This paragraph is an example of dishonest reporting. The CBO takes the assumptions as given to it; it doesn't pass on the assumptions. The implication of the paragraph is that CBO performed an review that was non-partisan, and that the review supported the Administration's job protection claim. Nothing could be further from the truth. The CBO may be independent, but there was no independent analysis of the econometric models used to support the job protection claim. For a supposedly prestige news outlet not to point this out is, to me, the height of journalistic malpractice.

Janet

Remember this? I can't believe this guy was ever elected....saw it at Hot Air today.

Speaking in Berlin? Barack HUSSEIN Obama? I can't believe he was ever elected.

Danube of Thought

You mean we're going back to the failed policies that got us here in the first place?

Threadkiller

I agree with Rob Crawford.

Extraneus

Is this the death of Keynesianism? What a grand thing.

Porchlight

You mean we're going back to the failed policies that got us here in the first place?

Heh. Obama just got the car out of the ditch and now he's driving it back in again.

Porchlight

Janet,

I hate that poster. I honestly thought when I saw it "Americans will never elect this creepy megalomaniac." Boy was I wrong.

jimmyk

protected as many as 3.3 million jobs

The usual content-free reporting from the MSM. They could have said "as many as 10 million," since "as many as" means "less than or equal to." So they're not wrong even if in fact it protected zero jobs. Or, as I believe to be the case, it had a negative effect.

Thomas Collins

Re DOT's "failed policies" post: next thing you know someone will be telling me that Guantanamo remains open, Predator drones are being used and General Petraeus has been entrusted with another save the day assignment!

Appalled

Totally a '90s thing. I'd much rather watch I Love Lucy or Mary Tyler Moore reruns.

Actually, I'd rate the "not that there's anything wrong with it" higher than the best of Lucy or MTM. (I don't think the Lucy shows age well, myself. The 50s sexism is a problem...)

matt

wow, it took me all the way to Madrid to get a new thread posted.....

maybe Obumbles could call it Operation Courageous Restraint.

H Carter

Nothing he does will turn the economy around in 60 days. Let Obama pass whatever he wants, it won't help him or the Dems. He has promised many wonderful programs in the past, that ended up making things worse. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me 10 times...

Thomas Collins

Nothing tops "Book 'em, Danno!" in my book.

Jane

It's starting to rain here. Here cometh Earl.

Jack is Back!

Close to 50% of Americans do not pay Federal income tax.

There is close to a 15% dropout rate nationwide in our schools.

More people (∼16 million) watch the number show on television - pre-season football.

And we wonder how Barack Hussein (ich ein Berliner) Obama was elected President?

Now that we have the clothes with no emperor the American public has catharsis and sees what they begot. But still I am very suspicious that the political class is more attractive to the dependency sector, its just not as appealing this off year election.

Porchlight

Take care Jane and all you folks on the East Coast in Earl's path...

peter

Earl's fury-- as overhyped as Obama's brainpower.

Porchlight

Earl's fury-- as overhyped as Obama's brainpower.

Perhaps so. But just in case...

Jane

Oh I'm inland Porch. Caro is the one to think about - altho I'm quite sure she will be okay.

daddy

Hey,

Drew Barrymore is coming up next month to start shooting some new Save The Whales Movie.

Paper says they are looking for Anchorage locals to be extras, and also to have speaking roles.

This may be my big chance!

They are looking for:

• Malik, a Barrow elder who agrees to help with the rescue to avoid alienating lawmakers and to protect whaling rights.

• Nathan, Malik's young grandson, who balances his whaling life with his love of "modern" amenities like his Sony Walkman and Guns N' Roses.

• Roy, an up-and-coming young whaling captain who "definitely has opinions" about the rescue effort but respects the wishes of the Barrow elder.

Don't think I exactly fit the bill for those coveted positions, but looky here at this one:

"Among the roles that the filmmakers are still undecided on is Ronald Reagan's chief of staff -- a buttoned-up, political operative type around 45 years old."

My ticket to fame!. My fifteen minutes! You'll be able to say "You knew me when..."

It'd take a bit of make-up since I'm a tad past 45 and hate wearing ties which I think is what buttoned up means, but I am confident I can do right wing heartlessness with the best of them. ("Screw the whales Mister President, let 'em die. Cetacea don't vote.")

"Ted Danson will play "a win-at-all-costs oilman who has no interest in saving the mammals."

So me, Ted and Drew, hanging out at the Moose's Tooth sharing a plate of wheat germ. Keep your fingers crossed JOMer's and I promise I won't forget you when I'm big.

PS Anybody know if Ted's still doing Whoopie? My Hollywood small talk needs a little brushing up on.

Jack is Back!

daddy,

You mean Whoopi doing Ted, don't ya? She wears the pants where ever she goes. Danson is metro-sexual squirrel of the first order.

Anyway, without giving the plot away, what the hell does Reagan have to do with a movie about saving whales? Isn't this Clinton/Gore territory?

bgates

As a gauge of how worthwhile it is to read Obama's base, I note that lil' Matt was so much in favor of a payroll tax holiday, in Feb 09 he was dishonestly insinuating that Republican obstructionism had kept the idea out of the original stimulus bill.

MayBee

daddy- Your big moment, baby!

(ps. Ted now married to Mary Steenbergen (sp?), Whoopi available if you want to make some moves on her)


Ignatz

--I agree with Rob Crawford.

Posted by: Threadkiller --

If I'm reading the context of that right, that's pretty funny.

matt

don't forget Nanook, the courageous whale census taker. He paddles his authentic Orvis Inuit brand kayak into the Bering Sea with a small harpoon to tag the whales.

daDUM..daDUM...Ceptin' they get pissed off and eat his head, leaving the rest to float back to the mainland as a dire warning....

suddenly, the US Navy SOSUS line detects the war cry of the mighty beluga...the hunting cry of the Orca....Revenge of the Whales....

suddenly the streets of Barrow are awash with squashed Inuit as the whales run wild crushing all in their way....

The President, played by Danny Glover, calls John Cusack, who is known as the whale whisperer, onto the case. But there is an ultimatum.....and it may already be too late.....

coming soon to a theater near you....

Captain Hate

I've never quite understood the appeal of Seinfeld.

I've watched the syndicated reruns so many times I can pretty much recite the funny lines by rote. Some of the shows, like the one where Kramer goes dumpster diving and recreates Merv Griffin's set in his apartment, are genuinely funny imo; but the appeal of most of the other episodes for me are that they make me feel good that I don't know anybody as annoyingly shallow as George Costanza. The show's last two episodes were complete wastes of time that even I can't bear to rewatch.

Danube of Thought

Check out the featured pic at Drudge. Wonderful.

Rob Crawford

I've never quite understood the appeal of Seinfeld.

I think I've caught four, maybe five episodes.

Meh. Annoying people doing stupid things and yelling at each other in whiny voices.

Give me early-to-middle "Drew Carey Show". Or even any episode of any of the Stargate franchise.

Or some classics. While some bits of "Have Gun, Will Travel" can set your teeth on edge (a Chinese character named "Heyboy"?), most of the plots are surprisingly mature and sophisticated.

(Even the ones written by Gene Roddenberry.)

Old Lurker

Porch, Earl is turning into a nuthin-burger even here on Nantucket. All the preparations we good husbands did so our wives would feel prepared have been wasted...first yesterday as it seemed the world was going to end...and now today when we move all the furniture back outside.

Only bright spot was the pre-storm dinner party last night!

Old Lurker

Ext "Is this the death of Keynesianism? What a grand thing."

Now that is an interesting question.

When it came out I read it quickly but this week have re-read Amity Shlaes' "Forgotten Man" - history of the 30's.

My conclusion, sadly, is that that whole school of thought, and the "progressive" rot that comes with it, is like some underground fungus that gets beaten down from time to time but then reemerges stronger each time. Just picking up the cycle in 1900, the Wilson (not to mention TR) strain was certainly bad, but was beaten down by the roaring economy of the 20's. Only to come back as if never gone in the 30's. It was certainly healthy during Johnson & Carter, was declared dead under Reagan only to be proven alive since.

One footnote I saw on this read was that when Hoover and FDR were arguing how much the Feds should do for the economy, all government spending was but 4% of the GDP, half of that being Federal.

This time as we try to decalre Keynsian rot dead, our governments plot (with healthcare) to take government spending over the 50% line.

So if that's "dead", I'd hate to see what he would wrought were he alive!


jimmyk

I have to put in a positive word for Seinfeld. I don't think it is so much a 90s thing as it is a New York (and perhaps Jewish) thing. But it really captured (and subtly skewered) the depravity and narcissism of the 30-something single urban lifestyle. (Many critics incorrectly thought the show was condoning that lifestyle.) For example, a common plot would be that someone would tell a small lie, and then rather than admit it, would have to tell bigger and bigger lies to avoid coming clean about the first one, until the whole thing comes crashing down. (Like the show where George claimed to have a home in the Hamptons.) Really funny, but more than that.

What I liked about the much-criticized final episode is that their selfishness finally gets punished.

Extraneus

Isn't this the most striking proof that Keynesianism doesn't work? That it's just an excuse for socialists to do what they do?

The federal government borrows and wastes almost a trillion dollars, while all the European governments go a different route. Our unemployment rate rises as theirs decline, and our GDP stalls while theirs returns to growth? Then the Commiecrats themselves propose lowering taxes in order to stimulate the economy?

Their faces ought the be rubbed in it big time, especially if they don't let the tax cuts expire.

Clarice

daddy, I can just see your name in lights. We'll have an opening night party..and...well, now what'll I wear on the red carpet? Dang!

I hate Seinfeld..hate that show..

Extraneus

Sometime after it first came out, a woman at work asked me if I'd ever seen Seinfeld. When I answered no, she said "Oh, you'd like it," and she was right.

Jane

OT; I am utterly convinced that anyone who uses the phrase: "the reality is" is lying.

Melinda Romanoff

Ex-

You think Europe has returned to growth?

Just wait 'til little ole Greece comes creeping back into the picture. And Ireland. Germany? An inventory build and export shove through.

I could go on and on...

rse

OL-

Told my storm stories on another thread but the night before it hit my then 10 year old looks at me as we're going to friends' house to ask it we're going to a "REAL Hurrican Party"?

It was raining by then.

Love The Forgotten Man.

Porchlight

I thoroughly enjoyed the first few seasons of Seinfeld. Got to hate the characters toward the end (and they did get so much more awful). Have never felt much desire to revisit it, though. Then again I pretty much stopped watching TV, except documentaries, since it ended.

Now as for shows that people recommend to me that I don't want to watch and have never watched, don't get me started on Mad Men.

Danube of Thought

About three years ago my wife and I, never having watched Seinfeld, programmed the TiVo to record the rerun episodes as they came on, which they did five nights a week. We would play them back at our leisure. I would say we watched about ten episodes, during which we shared a laugh or two, and at the end of which we decided we had seen all we wanted to.

I found Curb Your Enthusiasm much funnier, but even with that we got our fill long before seeing them all.

Extraneus

Well, ok, but I thought I saw the whole "Euro Zone" increased 1% in Q2. Wasn't that more than double ours?

Clarice

As to Curb your enthusiasm..I did find the character "Jeff" appealing. Larry, was too annoying to amuse me for very long.

sylvia

You know I just heard the same old arguments about Clinton tax hikes on Fox. So lets examine these oft repeated claims, tha are repeated so often people believe them without even thinking about it.

Clinton raised taxes, the eoconomy boomed, the deficit went down. The hikes were the hikes, so that was a fact. But the Republicans say it was because of the GOP congress.

So what did the GOP congress do back then to usher in this prosperity? Did they reallyu enact big budget cuts? What were these budget cuts, how big were they, and how does it compare to the budget rate today?

I don't remember off the top of my head any severe budget cuts in the days of Newt, but I could be wrong.

So if that were the case, then I suppose we should take away this lesson from the Clinton and Bush years.

Tax hikes with budget cuts - good.
Tax cuts with budget hikes - bad.

Old Lurker

DFTT folks.

Don't do it.

MarkO

Seinfeld sucked. Not funny. Painful. The audience bonded over shared humiliation. Obama is Seinfeld writ large. He's about nothing.

Melinda Romanoff

Ex-

We're at 1.6%, so far, revised down from 2.4%. Germany's the only stand out, last at 2.2%, on an export shove out/inventory accounting gimmick.

Watch the swap lines from the Fed to the ECB, that's where the fun will show up first.

macphisto

I never found Seinfeld appealing in the least, and i have a certain affection for New York Jewish humor. i've always said that for a film to appeal to me, there has to be at least one sympathetic character, and that's my problem with Seinfeld...there really wasn't a single likeable major character on the show.

sylvia

Seinfeld episodes varied widely. It all depended on who wrote the episide. Carol Liefer I thought wrote some of the best ones.

Old Lurker

Hey Mel...our 13 yo German Shepard, Maddie, was named after your beach.

Mrs. Mel doing better?

sylvia

Wow, I just looked up another lie the establishment keeps feeding you. They keep telling you the average small business owner makes over $250,000 a year. Yeah, but their definition of a small business owner is over 100 employees, over 500 for manufacturing. Hardly a small business. That's about maybe 5% of all businesses.

I just looked it up in the census, and in LUN you will see that about 80% of businesses have LESS than 20 employees.

THAT is the real small business! So how much do THOSE small business owners make? I doubt not 250K. I haven't seen the stats broken down like that yet, but I would bet a dollar to a donut it is much less. Maybe 75K at best.

Wow. You all really have to pay attention. The people in power will lie to you and twist the facts, probably to protect their money. I'm not trying to be paranoid, it's just human nature.

sylvia

LUN

Old Lurker

To repeat from the other thread.

DFTT.

Melinda Romanoff

OL-

Spouse had luncheon OUT, today!

Improvement comes in inches.

FeFe

But "bipartisan credentials" will be what gets you voted out.

Jane

Are you still storm free OL?

Barbara

Anyone heard from Caro? Is she okay?

DrJ

Just one comment on small businesses, OL, since their definition is indeed really screwy.

The SBA defines for government purposes what a small business is, and it is one-size-fits-all definition. They limit a small business to less than 500 employees, and 51% or more held by individuals (so subsidiaries of GE wouldn't count). Venture capital firms do not count as individuals, let alone broad ownership that would come with a publicly-traded company.

Certainly a 500 employee car manufacturer would be considered small in comparison with GM.

On the other hand, in a couple of years I will probably take in venture capital, and individuals will likely no longer hold 51% or more of the company if I use the institutional VC sources. I'll probably have 10 employees then, give or take. In spite of that I will no longer be considered a small business.

This causes all sorts of mischief for the SBIR program (that's the Small Business Innovation Research). The SBIR program awards grants to small businesses to demonstrate and commercialize "the next great idea." It is funded by levying a tax on those agencies that do academic grant funding (like NIH, NSF, and the rest) and targeting that money exclusively to small business.

I have reviewed proposals from companies that have $100 million in revenues, but appeared to satisfy the headcount and ownership rule. I also have reviewed proposals from one- to a few-people companies. Traditional biotech start-ups, of course, are precluded by the stock ownership rules.

This simply is nuts.

There little hope of this changing any time soon. The SBIR program is in the committee of -- wait for it -- John Kerry.

Clarice

A delightful article on the hypocrisy of rich Dems and taxes (as if we didn't know):

http://www.futureofcapitalism.com/2010/09/more-on-robertson-rubin-and-the-estate-tax>One thing for us, another for you bitter clingers

hit and run

I'm not trying to be paranoid

Try not. Do . . . or do not. There is no try.

Annoying Old Guy

DrJ;

That's why I don't think any loan program from the feds is going to help small businesses (speaking as the owner of one). We looked at SBIRs but we made the mistake of developing our tech before really launching the company, so none of that for us, and it seemed very political (i.e., we were told by the SBIR outreach training folk that if you didn't have a sponsor on the inside, you might as well not bother applying).

Jane

Barbara,

She keeps checking in - so far so good.

DrJ

[I]t [the SBIR program] seemed very political (i.e., we were told by the SBIR outreach training folk that if you didn't have a sponsor on the inside, you might as well not bother applying).

That really depends. NIH and NSF aren't really that political (at least in the areas I know), but the DoD ones are (particularly for the contracts, as opposed to the grants). And I'd bet there would have been aspects of what you were doing that could have been funded.

SBIR grants are a huge amount of work for the money they offer. However, if you are interested (and still qualify) let me know. info at sonatabio dot com .

Old Lurker

Rainy and blustery Jane. So far just a storm.

Annoying Old Guy

I don't mean to be snarky but we're a network security company and that field (with regard to SBIRs) seems very very different from biotech (based on my attending NIH / NSF sponsored SBIR workshops oriented to biotech).

Also, by "political" I didn't mean the narrow partisan version, but the more general "it's who you know" type of politics. I.e. I wouldn't expect to get bonged because I am a conservative, but because I am not in the technical / social circle of the reviewers. That's not just experience, but what I was told by people paid by NIH / NSF to promote SBIR applications.

I don't complain too much because really, how else could it be? It's human nature.

DrJ

by "political" I didn't mean the narrow partisan version, but the more general "it's who you know" type of politics.

I understood your meaning.

Those companies with the worst reputation are the so-called "SBIR mills," who live off of the grants and never seek to commercialize anything. Those get pretty uniformly negative reviews these days.

Beyond that, the review panels have certain personalities and expectations. If you understand those and can deliver, then you will indeed get funded. The best way, of course, is to review on those panels a few times -- then you understand.

There are also differences between technical areas and agencies. I don't know anything about the computers/software/networking side of the business at any agency. They may well be very different than what I've described.

From what I've seen, though, the reviews are very impartial, given certain expectations, and the agencies do generally follow the advice of their panels. The good stuff does get funded.

MikeS

I consider Seinfeld (and 2 1/2 Men) a variation of "The Odd Couple" theme. George Costanza was Seinfeld's Felix Unger .

The show probably owes most of its' success to that formula and a lack of competition.

Barbara

Thanks, Jane.

Andrew_M_Garland

About tax policy and Democrats:

If actually doing what you believe in (Tax 'em all and spend it more wisely on social justice) doesn't make things better, then by all means talk about the better policy of lowering taxes and having a smaller government.

Until the election is over.

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