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January 24, 2015


Miss Marple

Old Lurker,

I missed that. I need to pay closer attention, I guess.

Old Lurker

MM I don't think IBM was mentioned by name but that IBM type companies were headed for a fall did come up...probably by Rick and Henry.

But don't worry, the clouds of crisis have passed or whatever the jerk said.


Austerity is that unpopular, eh? Imagine how it will go over in the Ukraine, once they understand what it is.

"Voters handed power to Alexis Tsipras, the charismatic 40-year-old former communist who leads the umbrella coalition of assorted leftists known as Syriza. He cruised to an eight-point victory over the incumbent centre-right New Democracy party, according to exit polls and projections after 99% of votes had been counted.

The Guardian view on the Greek election: a new deal for a new era
Editorial: Syriza’s victory is a rejection of the toughest austerity regime in the eurozone and should be respected

The result surpassed pollster predictions and marginalised the two mainstream parties that have run the country since the military junta’s fall in 1974. It appeared, however, that Syriza would win 149 seats – just short of securing the 151 of 300 seats that would enable Tsipras to govern without coalition partners.

“The sovereign Greek people today have given a clear, strong, indisputable mandate,” Tsipras told a crowd of rapturous flag-waving party supporters. “Greece has turned a page. Greece is leaving behind the destructive austerity, fear and authoritarianism. It is leaving behind five years of humiliation and pain.”


Captain Hate on the iPad

GWB's successes in India were massively undersold by the GOPe flacks for whatever reason.

Miss Marple


It's a puzzlement why he all of a sudden got interested in India. I know I am cynical, but I can't help thinking there is a hidden motive.

That PM of India (the new one) is a strange guy. He's from some Hindu sect that does arranged marriages. I posted a story a day or so ago about his wife. They were married in an arranged marriage when she was 17 and he was 18. It was never consummated, he left her and went off to join some monkish sect, wandered around in the foothills of the Himalayas after that didn't work out, and then just went on with his life.

She has been waiting for him ever since, and is now a retired teacher. When he filed to run for office he finally admitted she existed. She now has security which follows her around everywhere and her family is having to feed them and they have complained.

Maybe Obama gets along with him because he is the only foreign leader who is almost as weird and creepy as he is.

James D.

CH, it was probably the same geniuses who advised Bush and hos administration not to push back against Dem lies and slanders and (in some cases, during the Iraq war) outright treason.

I guess it worked out well enough for those geniuses, because they're still getting paid for their wisdom and advice. The fact that it didn't work out so well for the country as a whole apparently doesn't enter into the conversation.


MissM, Forbes has a tech blog that reports rumors from the dissatisfied at various tech companies. They were on the IBM thing starting a week ago. (That blog has been critical of IBM management based on input from former IBMers for quite a while, a lot of sour grapes). As the tech world moves to more cloud, hardware becomes commodity. IBM will not be alone in making big adjustments. The global economy hitting OPM famine just makes the adjustments larger.

James D.

She now has security which follows her around everywhere and her family is having to feed them and they have complained.

Was it Obama or Clinton who made their Secret Service detail pay rent when they were somewhere out of DC? Clearly Obama sees a kindred spirit there.

Janet - healthy and jolly as a joker!


Obama Knocked for Chewing Gum in India: 'Ungainly Sight'

Obama must really be a big smoker. I don't care at all, but the MFM are pathetic in their hiding Obama's habit.
It is the only explanation for his crazy gum chewing while overseas. He really must smoke a lot.


Philipp Missfelder, foreign policy spokesman the ruling CDU/CSU parliamentary group says there is a worry in Germany about a shift to populist movements in Europe that are "very bad for Europe and for the euro".

"This kind of protest is not a surprise, people are unhappy about the austerity measures, not only in Greece but also in countries like Italy. But I think Syriza shouldn't expect Germany to renegotiate with the programmes. They have to stick with what the former government has promised," he said.

Yeah. They should stick with the Banks...lol

Old Lurker

James, I think that was Biden.

Miss Marple

Janet, What I don't understand is why they don't get him those Nicorette mints, which you can suck on. It's less annoying to people and isn't a faux pas when appearing in public.

Dave (in MA)

A country where openly pinching off a deuce along the side of the road is commonplace considers gum chewing to be unsightly?

Miss Marple


Cultural norms are odd. They never seem to make sense outside the culture.

Example in our own is how many offensive words are on web sites and Twitter and no one thinks a thing about it, but if you print the N word you are beyond the pale.


Krugman op-ed: Ending Greece's Nightmare (NY Times, January. 26, 2015)

To understand the political earthquake in Greece, it helps to look at Greece's May 2010 "standby arrangement" with the International Monetary Fund, under which the so-called troika -- the I.M.F., the European Central Bank and the European Commission -- extended loans to the country in return for a combination of austerity and reform. It's a remarkable document, in the worst way. The troika, while pretending to be hardheaded and realistic, was peddling an economic fantasy. And the Greek people have been paying the price for those elite delusions.

What went wrong? I fairly often encounter assertions to the effect that Greece didn't carry through on its promises, that it failed to deliver the promised spending cuts. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, Greece imposed savage cuts in public services, wages of government workers and social benefits. Thanks to repeated further waves of austerity, public spending was cut much more than the original program envisaged, and it's currently about 20 percent lower than it was in 2010.


Why were the original projections so wildly overoptimistic? As I said, because supposedly hardheaded officials were in reality engaged in fantasy economics. Both the European Commission and the European Central Bank decided to believe in the confidence fairy -- that is, to claim that the direct job-destroying effects of spending cuts would be more than made up for by a surge in private-sector optimism. The I.M.F. was more cautious, but it nonetheless grossly underestimated the damage austerity would do.


Imagine our own surprise at the damage a Ted Cruz POTUS austerity program promulgated by Republican Congress aided by pseudo-democrats.


Imagine how many 'no-go zones' there would be in the good ol' USA.


I cannot believe touting the world as a "system of systems" with Big Blue providing the consulting services for the transition is not a winning business model for generating revenue.

At least, like MS they still have their lucrative links to ed and their SMART Cities contracts.

Has anyone else ever watched those videos? Big Blue has made quite the bet on Agenda 21 prevailing.

Dave (in MA)

Janet@9:10, comment stolen from Hotair...

Yeah, well, at least he didn’t give an interview to a woman with green lips who sticks condoms up her nose and eats cereal out of a bathtub – while she’s in it.

Oh, wait.


--Imagine our own surprise at the damage a Ted Cruz POTUS austerity program promulgated by Republican Congress aided by pseudo-democrats.--

As I read down your comments I knew it was only a matter of time that you would eventually make this false leap.

IMF austerity is actual austerity; it imposes rapid public spending declines coupled with draconian tax increases to balance the books as though a national economy is the ledger and balance sheet of the local five and dime. It imposes macro "solutions" to large institutions while utterly ignoring marginal effects on the dynamic parts of any economy.

It has about the same relationship to free market/Ted Cruz style economics as Krugman's beard appears to have to good hygiene and soap.


MM:It's a puzzlement why he all of a sudden got interested in India.

Because India represents the camel’s nuclear nose under the tent wall. If India, why not Iran?

There are many reasons why not that O cares to overlook.


You can frame it any way you wish Iggy, but the fact is that cutting back on budgets with a hack saw always leads to 'trickle-down' austerity with the little guy getting the most piss down his back, and that's the fundamental problem.



Stimulus argument: Reducing public spending would contract the economy.
Rebuttal: It should not contract the economy because it would be met with an equal increase in private spending.

Public spending pushes the needle higher while not actually measuring transactions that individuals choose for themselves. Since it is debt based, it undermines future economic decisions individuals make.


Where was the piss hitting when the little guy voted for the big spending government?


The fact is that over Walker’s full term in office, which began Jan. 3, 2011, the state’s job gains have been well below the national average, and rank (in percentage terms) only ninth among all 12 Midwestern states.

Our calculations are based on seasonally adjusted figures for total nonfarm employment from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Survey, which is the most timely and most commonly used measure of employment at the state and national levels. It is also the source cited by Walker’s ad to support his “top four” claim.
And what those figures show is that as of September, the most recent figures available and the last that will be released before Election Day, the state has gained 4.3 percent in total employment since Walker took office. Meanwhile, the United States as a whole has gained 6.6 percent during the same period.

We’ll note once again that elected officials have only limited influence over the broad economic forces that drive the economy, and frequently claim more credit or receive more blame than they really deserve.

But Walker made a campaign promise in 2010 that if elected he would create 250,000 jobs during his four-year term, and he repeated that pledge when he was inaugurated. So far the state has added less than half that many — 118,700.


Now how can you give Walker credit if you don't also give Obummer credit for the uptick in the overall economy?

NKvirusedand back

"piss down his back, and that's the fundamental problem."

No Ben, the fantasy economics people like you and Krugman engage in is to pretend THAT 'little guy' was a worthy investment, when in fact he didn't have a pot to piss in to begin with and could never repay the debt. Prog fantasy economics bastardizes the concept of welfare charity into 'investment' in people who aren't creditworthy. From The CRA to ITCs, and on and on, it's welfare by redistributing wealth, nothing more, it does nothing to teach the little guy to fish, it just makes the State more powerful, and that's what the Uber Progs like Krugman and Soros want; you are just their useful idiot. The opportunity society we grew up in and advocate teaches the poor the opportunity to fish.. or cut bait and be a welfare case.
Their choice.

Captain Hate on the iPad

According to Byron York the GOP needs to face it's Palin problem. Considering her track record on electing candidates, doesn't the party have more of a Rove problem?

jimmyk on iPhone

The Greek vote is more like a 25-year-old's tantrum against his parents' for cutting his allowance, like that hedge fund kid in NY who shot his father. Only Greece doesn't have a gun, just the hope that dD (Germany) gives in.

I agree with Iggy about the IMF, but Greece won't grow up until thre apron strings are cut.

jimmyk on iPhone



I think Mallard Fillmore might be a great replacement for Doonesbury on our editorial page. Look at this strip from 1/23/2015 and the succeeding one.

jimmyk on iPhone

Anyone else posting from an iPhone having trouble with the screen moving out of view? Annoying.

Old Lurker

Per the WSJ, the the Germans are digging in opposed to any slack for the Greek commies. They know correctly that letting up on the deal agreed to will promptly invite the other weak sisters in the Euro to do the same.



"I agree with Iggy about the IMF, but Greece won't grow up until thre apron strings are cut."

It's the same as corporate welfare. They don't do it out of the goodness of the IMF heart. They seek financial stability for the marketplace of finance.

I worked for a manufacturer who had to pay wholesalers a monthly tithe in order to persuade them to be more efficient within their system. They didn't do it for charity. They did it because it kept the system healthy and productive.


Ben, recycling SEIU talking points from a losing campaign. The correct comparison is Illinois where Quinn continued on the path of the left, while in WI Walker changed from the Doyle lockstep with Illinois. Most important, my taxes are down, how are yours?

NKvirusedand back

Jimmy-- it's not a matter of growing up.... it's a matter of the currency. Greece had no business in the EuroZone and the Euros had no business letting greece in and buying their 'sovereign'debt denominated in Euros. That was the decision of the EuropaState intergration Uber Alles of the EUCrats, and the assumption that the rich could always bail out economically inept greece. Then real estate in Spain tanked as did Italian industry;the rich states can't bail them all out. The Euro currency decision was a disater that is not easily unscrambled. Everyone is f&%ked.

Miss Marple

Obama wants the credit for jobs created in North Dakota and Texas (where the bulk of the job creation has occurred).

Those jobs were created by private sector in energy, DESPITE Obama's energy policies.


--You can frame it any way you wish Iggy...--

I'm framing it in the totality of reality. If you prefer to frame it in only that part of reality which confirms your bias you will probably find, unsurprisingly, that your bias is confirmed and, just as you thought, you were right all along(!) and you needn't do too much thinking about the issue or reconsider your position in the light of facts which undermine your bias.


Fact Check is tied to SEIU, henry? Taxes are massively down, but the piper hasn't been paid yet. The consequences down the road haven't been foreseen have they?


Where is the private money filling the gaps? Has that started yet?

NKvirusedand back

henry-- PS, the 6% 'national average' = Texas. Not the Blue State Hells (except for NYC and Silicon Valley/SF.) As you say the correct analogues for Wisc are Ill, Mich, and Indiana. Mich adopted right to work, and the 'sub prime' car loans are propping up the Big 3 automakers, Indiana has had solid conservative leadership for 10 years, Wisc will catch up to them. Illinois? DOA Blue Hell and it will get worse. That's the regional bottom line.


"undermine your bias." I guess you're trying to say it's comparing apples to oranges. I know it isn't a perfect comparison, but the underlying principle is that severe cut-backs produce blow-back like that in Greece. But your bias gets in the way. :)


Marlene @8:47
The daughter never told us why she had been leaving for school so early.

What an amazing daughter you have, to do that without even her parents suggesting it.


NK, while there was a chance Walker would not be around (3 elections in 4 years), private money stayed on the sidelines. This year should be interesting. For example I will increase staff here 10% starting next week (real money tech jobs).


NK, letting Greece be part of the Euro was like the hedge fund dad giving his kid an allowance.

NKvirusedand back

Hey OL, RickB et al, where do we go to get our OPM Famine royalty checks? Glenn Reynolds and McArdle spreading pixels about that these days: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/01/25/college-cost-tax-federal-community-obama-money-middle-class-incentives-column/22314063/

Jim Miller

On the agreements with India: Most likely, President Obama had nothing to do with them.

After the breakthroughs under President Bush, both nations would have had bureaucrats working on follow-ups.

Most likely some of the agreements have been finished for some time, and are being announced now, just in time for another Obama vacation.

NKvirusedand back

JimmyK-- yes.. but to make the analogy correct, the Hedge Fund Dad would be demanding that the useless kid to pay him back for college tuition, living expenses, plus interest.... that's what the EUCrats and big Euro Banks did.


-- I know it isn't a perfect comparison, but the underlying principle is that severe cut-backs produce blow-back like that in Greece.--

Then why did the US economy boom when Harding slashed government spending to the bone in the depression that followed WWI?
The variable in both cases is taxes. Harding cut them, Greece did not.

The logical extension of your argument should be that the US economy boomed with nearly a trillion in extra spending by Barry and co in 09, but we know it didn't and remains lackluster six years later.


The only question is when Fritz is going to boot Stavros off the wagon. Cuz if Stavros rides for free, then why can't Pedro? And if Pedro rides for free, why can't Giovanni? And if Stavros, Pedro and Giovanni ride for free, why should Pierre buy a ticket?

C'mon Fritz, you actually make money, spend it on everybody else. It's only fair.

We're about to hit the intersection of EUtopian SimWorld and RealWorld.

NKvirusedand back

@10:40, plus in absolute terms job growth that did occur was focused in absolute numbers in the no income tax states of Fla and Texas, plus shale energy producing states. All of that positive growth was DESPITE Obmanomics.


This is why he went to India. He wants US co's to build more. I'm sure the two leaders who get along well made that deal.


Miss Marple


The longer this goes on, the more people UKIP will gain in the elections.

Nigel has been posting about how they cannot spend any more on NHS because of the money they send to Brussels. (Whether they should or not is another story, but his number one goal is to get out of the EU.)

NKvirusedand back

Add in the religious/migration social issues. Stavros, Pedro and Giovanni will demand that Fritz throw out the Turks and North Africans so they can migrate to German jobs as fellow EUites. This will not end well.

NKvirusedand back

@10:44Ben-- we said take your script meds.. not the Meth. Jeez.


UKIP is Tories with a new suit as they proved in the Referendum.

Scots (40%) want independence and that includes kicking out NATO and maybe even their own currency as they also want out of the EU.

Cameron and crew can't let that happen.


"Then why did the US economy boom when Harding slashed government spending to the bone in the depression that followed WWI?

The variable in both cases is taxes. Harding cut them, Greece did not"

Now are those apples or oranges? Does Wisconsin know about Harding?.

Cecil Turner

Reading Krugman (or Ben), you'd think Greece's problems were caused by something other than runaway spending . . . and you'd be wrong.

Cecil Turner

Hey, I wonder if college professors have a vested interest in keeping government spending flowing? And whether that affects their arguments . . . . naaah, that'd be hypocrisy.

NKvirusedand back

CecilT-- not the worst hypocrisy though. At lease (like most Progs) Ben calls it 'spending' not the phony baloney 'investment' BS from the faux centrists.

Old Lurker

NK "Hey OL, RickB et al, where do we go to get our OPM Famine royalty checks?"

NK, as our resident Greek Jomer, I would think your cousins are sending checks to you, right? Have you encountered any trouble cash them in NYC yet? Do they beat the spread of converting EBT cards to cash?

Seriously...as you and Rick have foretold, it is something to see how incredulous the left is when OPM actually does run out.


I feel sorry for all living in the East. This blizzard may be worse than '78.



new lurker--rigt on target about Frederick. And if he starts taking lots of showers, watch out.

Miss Marple


You might be interested to see that Politico has a story up with an unnamed White House source saying Murkowski's reaction to the land grab is an overreaction.

I told Politico on Twitter that this was as much as saying she was an hysterical woman and that it was sexist, which it is.

NOTHING gets my dander up than for someone to tell me I'm overreacting. I hope Murkowski let's them have it with both barrels.

Old Lurker

New thread

Old Lurker

Calm down, MM you are over reacting.


Jack is Back!


Better get cracking: Empty shelves at the UWS Gristedes:)

NKvirusedand back

We'll be OK Ben thanks for thinking of us. Maybe not JimmyK, he lives in NYC where Mayor Bane will decide who's street is plowed. The worst of it according to the weather guessers will be central Ct, up through Central Mass and southwest NH. A lot of fancy pants Boarding Schools on that top 50 list last week will get hammered. TomM,and I and daddy's hanover NH daughter are in the 18" forecast, not the 24"+ like in Hartford and Springfield.


They're talking 3 feet in Boston, NK, but weather patterns like God, love it when humans make predictions.


I agree with those who say they didn't see the "Deer Hunter" as an anti-war movie. I did think it a spectacular film.

It is amazing when you learn your kids have been behaving with unusual kindness. My son had an old, strict teacher who had been particularly unkind to him. Sometime later I learned that she was dying of cancer, but that for a year before that and despite her meanness he noticed she'd been having a hard time moving about and had been going to the teacher's lounge to bring her her afternoon tea.
You learn the true nature of people in acts like these.


Marlene and Clarice, Both of the students are to be commended but IMO, taking the teacher her tea must have taken special insight. I can not imagine knowing that needed to be done as a high school student. Well Done!

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