Friday, July 30, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Unfunded Tax "Cuts": You will note that the I have the word “Cuts” in quotes. Why? To quote Milton Friedman, “When is a tax cut not a tax cut? When the so-called tax cut is accompanied by a larger rise in government spending than in prices.” In other words, all unfunded tax cuts — including these — are actually future tax increases on the next generation.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Neel Kashkari, former Assistant Sec'y of Treasury, who served under Paulson durng the bailouts, is now lecturing on the evils of entitlements... and making a bundle at PIMCO.
From the Shit You Can Not Make Up File
by John ColeThe fiscal crisis in Europe has awoken Americans to the enormous challenge we face from entitlements. The promises our country has made over the past few decades, combined with changing demographics and rising costs, have put us on a path to national insolvency. Unless we control our deficits we will face stifled economic growth and impaired standards of living, perhaps even as soon as a few years from now. Most economists agree that raising taxes cannot pay for these commitments; entitlements must be cut. Before we can embrace any reform proposals, however, we must understand the influence our culture has on our decision making.
A nation’s culture can have a profound impact on its competitiveness. Our shared beliefs in free markets, fair play and the rule of law inspire entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams and give global investors confidence to bring their money to America. These beliefs have passed from citizen to citizen, from generation to generation. They have strengthened over our history and brought an important competitive edge to the United States.
Our belief in free markets is founded on the idea that each individual acting in his or her self-interest will lead to a superior outcome for the whole. The financial crisis has reminded us that free markets are not perfect—but they do allocate capital better than any other system we know. A “me first” mentality usually makes markets more efficient.
But this “me first” mentality can also lead to shortsighted political decision making. Most Americans agree that we need more energy from clean sources, such as wind power—until someone proposes installing a transmission line near their homes. Most people are against earmarks—unless it is their representative scoring money for their district.
Got it? The genius of the free market is that it only really works when those at the top have a “me first” attitude and give themselves massive bonuses while railing against the inheritance tax and paying nothing in taxes because of our current tax system (capital gains). When you folks look forward to 300 bucks every couple of weeks from the social security you paid into your entire lives that was spent financing tax cuts for the rich and foriegn wars, then you’re just being selfish.
I seriously hope Neel Kashkari chokes to death on caviar.
I remember losing my lunch over this puff piece on Kashkari last year. The reporter follows him around to listen to his whining about how "hard" it was bailing out his buddies on Wall Street-- with our money-- and how he didn't like the bickering in Washington and oh how he's looking forward to chopping wood (what is with Republicans and wood?) and losing 20 lbs. Gag. (Read at your own risk.)
Don't worry for Neel, though, he signed a big f**king deal with PIMCO. Surprise!
When do we sharpen the guillotine?
Try to imagine a member of the Bush administration firing a lower level employee because they had learned of an impending embarrassing media story. It would never happen. As much as I disagreed with nearly every policy promoted by the previous administration, I have to admit that no matter how idiotic and counterproductive the policy, they could carry a message, stick to a script and get their programs enacted-- we have 40,000 needlessly maimed and killed soldiers as evidence, but that's another topic.
Tom Vilsack didn't first look at the whole videotape, didn't first ask if the event took place when Ms. Sherrod worked for USDA, and not 24 years ago."We could have waited all day, we could have had a media circus," said the Deputy Chief of Staff at the White House. "But we took decisive action and it's a good example of how to respond in this atmosphere."......"Can you give us some, specifically, some things that he said that would help us?," Mr. Gibbs was asked at this afternoon's press briefing. "Well again," Mr. Gibbs replied, "I think he, he talked about the fact that, that, that a disservice had been done here and an injustice had happened."......He was quoting you Mr. President. Fired up!? "A disservice has been done." Fired up!? "An injustice had happened." Mr. President, it is beyond admirable that in your position, and at this time of fearful division in this country, that you view yourself as President of everyone, not —as your predecessor did — only as President just of those who voted for you....But you must, at long last, Sir, come to terms with the fact that while you have spent these first 18 months and one day of your presidency bending over backwards for those others, they have spent this time insisting you are not actually president, or you are a communist, or you are bent on destroying whatever is starring this week in the paranoid fantasies churned out by Fox News and the farcical Breitbart.......As you stay silent and neutral and everybody's President, they are gradually convincing racists that they are civil rights leaders and you are Police Chief Bull Connor. And then some idiot at Fox news barks, and your people throw an honorable public servant under the nearest bus, just for the sake of 'decisive action' and the correct way to respond in this atmosphere.......Mr. President, please stop trying to act, every minute, like some noble, neutral figure, chairing a government of equal and dispassionate minds, and contemplative scholars. It is a freaking war out here, and the imagined consensus you seek is years in the future, if ever it is to be re-discovered.......Sir, get a copy of the Michael Douglas movie "The American President." When you get to the line where he says "I was so busy keeping my job, I forgot to do my job" — hit the rewind button. Twenty times. "Fired up?" "FIRED up?" Anybody? Anybody?
Saturday, July 24, 2010
"Breitbart is a con artist, but con artists succeed if consumers don’t know they are being conned – or don’t care."
- The Racism canard: Breitbart is unrepentant.
- The Hatch Act canard: The right-wing keeps puking on itself, regardless of the facts.
- The "Amen" canard: Breitbart is still unrepentant.
- The False Equivalency canard, i.e., "the lefties do it, too." Al Sharpton notwithstanding, in my opinion the left pales in comparison.
- The Fox News is Fair and Balanced canard; they were complicit in promulgating the defamation of Sherrod... and then lied that they didn't call her racist.
- The Mistakes Were Made canard: These are not errors, they are tactical and purposeful, as evidenced by Breitbart's past transgressions, and his buddy O'Keefe's lies.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Was he "... the avuncular man who told stories"? or an acerbic opinionator with a penchant for self-destruction?
He is similarly unsparing about the plutocrats and Wall Street luminaries of his day, who he argued had destroyed the innate generosity of Americans and replaced it with greed and selfishness. “The world believes that the elder Rockefeller is worth a billion dollars,” Twain observes. “He pays taxes on two million and a half.”On critics, Twain says: “I believe that the trade of critic, in literature, music, and the drama, is the most degraded of all trades, and that it has no real value,” Twain writes. “However, let it go,” he adds. “It is the will of God that we must have critics, and missionaries, and Congressmen, and humorists, and we must bear the burden.”The material in Volume 1 that was omitted from previous editions amounts to “maybe as little as 5 percent of the dictations,” said Harriet E. Smith, chief editor of the autobiography. “But there will be a much higher percentage in Volumes 2 and 3,” each expected to be about 600 pages.Editor, Robert Hirst says: “I’ve read this manuscript a million times, and it still makes me laugh. This is a guy who made literature out of talk, and the autobiography is the culmination, the pinnacle of that impulse.”
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Monday, July 05, 2010
Saturday, July 03, 2010
Overall Grade: A-