Tag Archives: economy

I have my issues with Obama like the stimulus was not bold enough, but really . . .

. . . for those who rail incessantly about ‘failed’ economic policies, get real (and stop pretending that stimulus was all spending . . .a big part was tax cuts).


Want to see some income inequality? This is ugly

With a hat tip to blogfriend Tit4tat, here is a nice clear depiction of what’s really been going on. Most economists place the beginning of the income stagnation somewhere in the late 1970’s. And then along came Reagan; from there it was full speed ahead.


Bet Rand Paul’s happy now that he voted for Obama in ’08!

Because he doesn’t want trillion dollar deficits, see.

Budget Deficit

He said that. Really [UPDATED**]

Paul Ryan is very concerned.

In a USA Today column, the Ayn Rand acolyte says that Obama is  “interested in tax reform for corporations, not for families or small business,” adding “the President claims his economic agenda is for the middle class, but it’s actually for the well-connected.”

He said that. Really.

I learned this from Dana Milbank who, in his column this morning, sees other Republicans picking up on that meme.

To further illustrate that they can say pretty much anything and be taken seriously, there’s this:

John Boehner, asked at a news conference this week about Obama’s series of speeches on the economy, replied: “If I had poll numbers as low as his, I’d probably be out doing the same thing if I were him.”

He said that. Really.

Milbank comes to the only possible conclusion:

Obama’s that rare socialist who is in bed with big business . . . Republicans haven’t decided whether Obama’s a socialist or a plutocrat, a tyrant or a weakling, arrogant or apologetic.

* I probably don’t have to add this, but it’s irresistible.  A year ago (and probably last week as well) Ryan accused Obama of supporting “a government-run economy” and of ‘denigrating people who are successful”. He charged the president with leading the nation toward a “cradle-to-grave, European style welfare state.”

He said that too. Really.

** UPDATE: My daily alert from The Patriot Post just popped into my mailbox and lookee here: Editor Mark Alexander isn’t aboard with Mr. Ryan. Alexander is offended by those economic policy speeches coming from one “Barack Hussein Obama”:

Obama has been regurgitating the same phony talking points since then, insisting the economy is improving but stirring the class-warfare pot claiming the middle class and poor are not keeping pace. Naturally, he suggests the solution is more taxes and government spending.

Hey, as it says above, whatever works.

Yet another bit of logic we must ignore if we want to stay F-R-E-E-E

This thing is kind of like health care. In spite of abundant evidence that Glass-Steagall worked (no bank failures for 50 years – approximately  ’33 to ’83), those enjoying the fruits of today’s perverse versions of capitalism and finance, who are dedicated to making money with money (making things is so yesterday), will not tolerate anything resembling a reinstatement of that law. And they will win.

Here’s a People’s Warrior on CNBC facing the conventional opposition, laced with a bit of hostile mockery. This video was viral a few days ago, until it briefly disappeared because CNBC filed a copyright claim against, I believe, the Senator. Ahem?

That is what brought this video to the attention of the fine folks at Upworthy. They note that “It gets amazing at 2:08. At 3:42, she uses their words against them. And at 4:39 [it really rocks].”

Listen to her ‘splain it all – clearly, simply and confidently.

Boggles the mind

I’m skimming Bob Woodward’s book on the Obama Administration – The Price of Politics. I’ve read his books for years. They’re dry recitations of his reporting, utterly passionless and very readable.

In the last few years though, he’s begun to sound a bit like the ‘get off my lawn’ guy (encroaching on traditional McCain territory!). Still,  he writes a good book. So I sat down and I began.

By page 20, Woodward is giving credence to a complaint uttered by Eric Cantor after the vote on HR1, the first bill of that congress, Obama’s stimulus package. Cantor had whipped the congressional Republicans so effectively that not a single one of them voted for the bill. Not one.


What. . . surprised Cantor was how badly the White House had played what should have been a winning hand. Though Obama won the vote, he had unified and energized the losers (really? he was the one that did it?). . . . he had actually pushed them away . . . there had been no sincere contact, no inclusiveness, no real listening.

The vote, and Cantor’s complaint, came on January 28, 2009, eight days after Obama was inaugurated. A period during which Obama had met three times with the House leadership – including Cantor.

How will Hannity handle this?

Republican Governor Rick Snyder of Illinois – adored by the new Right –  chooses Kevyn Orr as Emergency Manager of Detroit. Very good. Smart man. Chosen why? Chosen because he did it for GM and Snyder wanted the best.

Uh-oh . . . wasn’t there a certain media narrative in the way-back machine about how the auto bailout was a disaster?

What’s a FOX pundit to do? How can Limbaugh talk his way around this one? Eh. You know he will – child’s play for he who can, and brilliantly does,  justify absolutely any flip-flop as long as it’s his own or committed by any of his ideological allies (a cast which also changes over time adding yet another layer to the challenge of justification, but Rusty is up to it. No one does it better.)

Where is Dylan Ratigan?

Neither his website nor his Facebook page show any activity after June 2012.   Many of us remember his infamous “rant heard round the world” on his MSNBC show in  August of 2011, after which nervousness ensued in various quarters. It was full of ugly truths and made plutocracrats across the planet very very uncomfortable. And, I’m sure, angry. Shortly after, Ratigan abruptly announced he was ending the show and said he’d be launching some kind of collaborative activist entity. He put up a website, got on the Twitter and FB, sold his loft in NYC and went – where?

Here is a vid of the rant, and  his own follow-up post about it. The transcript itself is below the fold if you would rather read, but the passion in the video is powerful and I think it’s well worth the three plus minutes of your time.

I picked up most of this at a blog called The Golden Age of Gaia which is, unsurprisingly given the name, a very metaphysical place. (The post is here.)

Dylan Explains his rant:

I’m Mad As Hell. How About You?

August 10, 2011

Yesterday, on TV, I exploded. I spent two minutes giving a primal yell at our political system, demanding the extraction of our money and dignity end. It was my most heartfelt and emotional moment on television, ever.

And the emails poured in. I hit a chord, because it’s something we all feel. Take a look.

With the markets in turmoil and the global financial architecture groaning under the weight of fraud and corruption, it’s a good time to think about what leadership would look like. Believe it or not, we have had good leadership, purpose, integrity, and aligned interests in this country.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy faced a dilemma — how could he direct our intense competitive passion with the Soviet Union in a direction other than war? The answer was his call for America to beat the Soviets to the moon. Kennedy understood power; if he did not lead us towards peaceful productive competition, that same animus would have turned violent (see this key memo on the real rationale for the space race). So he took the passion and focus of our society, the technology of war and missiles, and turned it into a great mission to explore space. He gave us a shared goal.

But that’s not the full story. Kennedy also demanded we use the finest scientists and engineers to design the rockets, and made sure that the path to the moon was based on the best possible solution to get there. For large rocket boosters, he was open to chemical, nuclear, liquid fuels, or any combination. He did not put a commission of astrologers in charge, and he did not put political cronies with no scientific background in charge of designing the rockets.

Continue reading

Not Eric Holder again! By the way, I thought corporations were people . . .

 . . . and don’t people go to jail when they commit crimes? Well, they don’t when  the head of the Federal justice system is Eric Holder who is NOT stepping down for the second term and who was head of Justice in the spring of this year when this was going on.

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA)’s head of group compliance, David Bagley, told a Senate hearing he will step down amid claims the bank gave terrorists, drug cartels and criminals access to the U.S. financial system by failing to guard against money laundering.

Bagley was among at least six HSBC executives who testified before the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations today after the panel released a 335-page report describing a decade of compliance failures by Europe’s biggest bank. London-based HSBC enabled drug lords to launder money in Mexico, did business with firms linked to terrorism and concealed transactions that bypassed U.S. sanctions against Iran, Senate investigators said in the report.

So Mr. Bagley and his buddies said they were ever so sorry before heading back to the company ‘retreat’ at Cabo and after, of course, paying a fine in an amount that they can earn back in a week.

That’ll show ’em alright.

Obama’s Cabinet has included some really terrific, skilled and well-suited people. I don’t count Holder among them. I’ll admit to being ignorant regarding many of his policies and initiatives. Maybe they’re good. Maybe they’re great. But when it comes to punishing corporate ‘persons’, those whose crimes almost brought down the world economy? FAIL..

No investment bankers are in jail. No one from AIG is in jail. Not even anyone from Countrywide. Or Arthur Anderson. Or the other rating agencies. And how about LIBOR? Any US companies complicit in that?

By any  measurement, letting them off with fines is sufficient reason to judge him a failure. I suppose that only when they do it two more times will they, like the 20-year-old marijuana smoker down the street, head to the big house.

The five Senators who made up the Keating Five plus Mr. Keating (bottom right)

The five Senators who made up the Keating Five plus Mr. Keating (bottom right)

Anyone remember the Savings & Loan scandal in the Reagan years? It wasn’t as far-reaching as 2008, but it was pretty damn big. There were plenty of perp walks (but not for everyone, not for everyone – see below). A lot of people paid for their corporate crimes. But that’s s-o-o-o yesterday.

For you younger ones:

Savings and loan crisis in which 747 institutions failed and had to be rescued with $160 billion in taxpayer dollars.[33] Reagan’s “elimination of loopholes” in the tax code included the elimination of the “passive loss” provisions that subsidized rental housing. Because this was removed retroactively, it bankrupted many real estate developments which used this tax break as a premise, which in turn bankrupted 747 Savings and Loans, many of whom were operating, more or less, as banks, thus requiring the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to cover their debts and losses with tax payer money. This with some other “deregulation” policies, ultimately led to the largest political and financial scandal in U.S. history to that date. The savings and Loan crisis. The ultimate cost of the crisis is estimated to have totaled around USD $150 billion, about $125 billion of which was directly subsidized by the U.S. government, which further increased the large budget deficits of the early 1990s. See Keating Five.

Who were the Keating Five you may ask? And why are they relevant?

The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The five senators – Alan Cranston (Democrat of California), Dennis DeConcini (Democrat of Arizona), John Glenn (Democrat of Ohio), John McCain (Republican of Arizona), and Donald W. Riegle, Jr. (Democrat of Michigan) – were accused of improperly intervening in 1987 on behalf of Charles H. Keating, Jr., Chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, which was the target of a regulatory investigation by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB). The FHLBB subsequently backed off taking action against Lincoln.

Lincoln Savings and Loan collapsed in 1989, at a cost of over $3 billion to the federal government. Some 23,000 Lincoln bondholders were defrauded and many investors lost their life savings. The substantial political contributions Keating had made to each of the senators, totaling $1.3 million, attracted considerable public and media attention. After a lengthy investigation, the Senate Ethics Committee determined in 1991 that Cranston, DeConcini, and Riegle had substantially and improperly interfered with the FHLBB’s investigation of Lincoln Savings, with Cranston receiving a formal reprimand. Senators Glenn and McCain were cleared of having acted improperly but were criticized for having exercised “poor judgment”.

All five senators served out their terms. Only Glenn and McCain ran for re-election, and they both retained their seats. McCain would go on to run for President of the United States twice, including being the Republican Party nominee in 2008.

Like I said, it wasn’t all perp walks. A number of hands were slapped. And for them, that was that. (Another of the big players was GHW Bush’s son Neil Bush. Big play-ah.)

But no one smoked any weed, so . . .

Congress does its job. Sorta. For now anyway. And the Prez gets all presidential.

Well whoop-dee-do . . . your congress critters managed to pass something or other tonight.

Then a few minutes ago the Prez made some remarks in the Press Room. And he was good. Really good. The comments were organized, to the point and there were no  wasted words. More of that please!

“Let’s give up on the Constitution”

That provocative headline got me – and no doubt millions of others – to read this op-ed in The New York Times (caution: possible paywall). Its author first notes how unproductive the offers and counter-offers on avoiding the fiscal cliff have been. He says the arcane limitations under which Congress must proceed – as dictated by the Constitution – are one barrier to producing any sensible legislation to send to the President. He blames in part our blind adherence to Constitutional prerogatives.

Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago.

He reminds us of one of my own favorite facts of American history, one that is routinely ignored:

Constitutional disobedience may seem radical, but it is as old as the Republic. In fact, the Constitution itself was born of constitutional disobedience. When George Washington and the other framers went to Philadelphia in 1787, they were instructed to suggest amendments to the Articles of Confederation, which would have had to be ratified by the legislatures of all 13 states. Instead, in violation of their mandate, they abandoned the Articles, wrote a new Constitution and provided that it would take effect after ratification by only nine states, and by conventions in those states rather than the state legislatures.

It was because of these subversive proceeding that the gathering in Philadelphia famously kept all windows closed during their deliberations. They worked in a steam bath rather than chance being overheard by those who lurked outside Independence Hall. They knew their behavior would be widely seen as subversive.

Stock Photo of the Consitution of the United States and Feather Quill. . . before abandoning our heritage of self-government, we ought to try extricating ourselves from constitutional bondage so that we can give real freedom a chance.

Moving from one year onto the next – as we will do at midnight – should remind us all that the arc of history always favors leaving the past behind and stepping into the future.

Originalism be damned.

How a nation commits suicide at the checkout

If these guys are sharing the occasional cocktail with Monsanto we’re cooked . . . from The Grist, here:

A few reality checks

1. An observation from David Frum on Krugman here – from a few months back:

Imagine, if you will, someone who read only the Wall Street Journal editorial page between 2000 and 2011, and someone in the same period who read only the collected columns of Paul Krugman. Which reader would have been better informed about the realities of the current economic crisis? The answer, I think, should give us pause. Can it be that our enemies were right?

Frum’s full post here.

2. Here’s a story about another blogger who got it right –  Calculated Risk  (CAUTION: lefty favorite!) – from Business Insider (here).

The Genius Who Invented Economics Blogging Reveals How He Got Everything Right And What’s Coming Next

3.  And finally, from Investors Business Daily (here):

US Deficit shrinking faster than at any time since WWII

My Romney peeps will pull the Romney lever anyway, but . . .

I’m not listening, I’m not listening . . .

. . . do note that Romney’s constant campaign rhetoric has been “Obama promised to cut the debt/deficit in half but instead he’s doubled it (debt/deficit)!”

He uses the terms carelessly and interchangeably. The debt is not the deficit. The deficit is not the debt.

Obama promised to cut the deficit in half. He did. Actually, he said his ‘proposed budget’ would cut the deficit. I can’t even remember if that budget ever passed the House.

But this is just political trivia – there’s not a conscious Romney voter to whom that fact will make a difference.


At last, at long last

You may recall that the world-wide financial collapse four years ago was entirely the fault of irresponsible mortgage seekers who demanded houses they couldn’t afford. In other words, the little people did it. Remember that?

Since then – and while a whole passel of criminals who posed as investment bankers, ripped off their investors and made themselves obscenely rich, continued to enjoy their summers in The Hamptons – our Justice Department has been distressingly silent.

But lo, at last.

Federal prosecutors hit Bank of America with a $1 billion-plus civil mortgage fraud lawsuit Wednesday, accusing the banking giant of engineering a scheme that defrauded federally-backed agencies during the national financial crisis.

The complaint . . .  accuses the bank of using a loan-origination program called the “Hustle” to process mortgage applications at high speed with little financial checking  . . .

The result was defective mortgage loans that defaulted after Bank of America sold them to federal mortgage loan guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, causing more than $1 billion in losses and thousands of foreclosures . . .

“Countrywide and Bank of America made disastrously bad loans and stuck taxpayers with the bill,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara . . . [they]  systematically removed every check in favor of its own balance – they cast aside underwriters, eliminated quality controls, incentivized unqualified personnel to cut corners and concealed the resulting defects,” said Bharara.


Tired old question that the dems on my teevee have no idea how to answer

Are you better off today than you were four years ago? asked Ronald Reagan, 1980 in his debate with Jimmy Carter. And it’s been asked over and over and over and over since then.

It’s now the question of this week among the pundit class and is being asked of official Democrats with some frequency. And every answer I’ve witnessed has been a complete fumble. There is an answer. It’s yes, we are better off.

The month after Obama took office, the unemployment rate was 8.3 percent; it’s 8.3 percent now. Sticking him with the January number when he was president for only ten days [see below] of it seems silly to me (as, by the way, does the unemployment in his first year). But the difference is that in February 2009, we were losing 800,000 jobs a month; in July 2012, we’re adding around 150,000 jobs a month over the past year, despite a huge drop in government employment. The stock market has made big gains – from around 6500 in the spring of 2009 to almost 13000 today, inflation is under control, and interest rates are at deep lows. We’re out of the quagmire of Iraq and al Qaeda has been decimated. 30 million more people have potential access to health insurance. Yes, median household income is very meaningful – but it’s not the only metric. Of course, we’re better off.

That’s a response to an article in The New Republic, which claims otherwise, using an historical construct worthy of Paul Ryan’s speechwriter. The author, Timothy Noah writes:

There can be little doubt that Americans are worse off, economically, than they were in 2008. Median household income has fallen since 2008, and (according to one study) it’s fallen even more steeply during the recovery than it did during the 2007-2009 recession.  . . . At the moment the misery index is 9.7 (8.3 percent unemployment plus 1.4 percent inflation), compared to 7.8 (7.8 percent unemployment plus 0 percent inflation) the month Obama took office. So by that venerable metric we’re worse off than we were four years ago. We just are.

Well, sure, just like the Janesville auto plant ‘closed’ after Obama took office. Same thing.

I wonder if it’s true?

If so, this could be the biggest thing this campaign season since Newt Gingrich’s head.  Per Mashable, a techy sorta social network sorta site:

Mitt Romney’s tax returns are reportedly in the hands of a team of hackers who plan on releasing them publicly at the end of the month unless a ransom is paid.

The group allegedly obtained the files from PricewaterhouseCooper’s Tennessee office on Aug. 25, in what was described on PasteBin as a Mission Impossible-like caper:

Romney’s 1040 tax returns were taken from the PWC office 8/25/2012 by gaining access to the third floor via a gentleman working on the 3rd floor of the building. Once on the 3rd floor, the team moved down the stairs to the 2nd floor and setup shop in an empty office room. During the night, suite 260 was entered, and all available 1040 tax forms for Romney were copied. A package was sent to the PWC on suite 260 with a flash drive containing a copy of the 1040 files, plus copies were sent to the Democratic office in the county and copies were sent to the GOP office in the county at the beginning of the week also containing flash drives with copies of Romney’s tax returns before 2010. A scanned signature image for Mitt Romney from the 1040 forms were scanned and included with the packages, taken from earlier 1040 tax forms gathered and stored on the flash drives.

The files are to be released to the public on Sept. 28, according to the PasteBin document.

Capitalism has three legs: resources, capital and labor. It needs all three.

A thought. A scam. A crime.

VOTER ID: I have absolutely no problem with voter ID. My problem is with 1) making it difficult, and 2) rushing it. Voter ID? Not a bad idea. The way they’re doing it? That’s suppression.

NEW STUPID GOP MEME: “In 1962, six percent of Americans got federal entitlements. Now, it’s 35 percent.” Clever. Of course 1962 was before there was Medicare.

CYNICAL MUCH?: Our Congress Critters have made clear once again that they are incapable of acting, even to save  the nation from the bullet they themselves aimed directly at 320 million Americans – the one that requires automatic spending cuts of $900 billion in January 2013.  So, diversion is called for. Time for a shiny new thing. What to do? Why, pass a new bill, The Sequestration Transparency Act. A Nebraska newspaper describes it thusly: “having proven incapable . . . they now indignantly demand to know how the President plans to cut spending.” Not them, the President. Neat.

“America’s comeback team”

I was wrong. I thought Romney would bypass Ryan. He’s from Congress – a body with an 11% approval rate. He voted with Bush on Medicare D. His budget is unpopular.  He’s aligned with the Tea Party. He’s a Randian.

HIs appeal is narrow, but he will energize a segment of the Republican electorate with a pretty good record of getting the vote out.

Ryan closed his speech with ‘We will be America’s comeback team’. Good line, very good line. If they’re tuned in, that phrase should become central to the campaign from now on.



My people might do the right thing for the wrong reason

FOX News reports (yeah, I know) that Pelosi has said she might let all the Bush tax cuts expire if the House Republicans don’t agree to the Obama plan. They say that in the Senate, Democrat Patty Murphy has suggested the same thing.

Obama’s Democratic allies in Congress only want to pass that partial, one-year extension. Republicans only want to pass an extension that continues those rates for everyone. Each side is accusing the other of threatening to trigger tax hikes in 2013.

Right now, both parties want to do the wrong thing. So let’s allow the tick-tocking clock to make the decision for us. Let the damn things expire.

I dearly hope this happens. Letting those cuts expire for everyone – even us little guys – is the best way to bring the deficit under control. We can deal with the tax code and the social security cap later, but for now, letting the taxes revert to 2001 levels might be the least painful way to address our debt.

Now, just to be annoying, Let me add that I actually also believe we should be investing right now in infrastructure – borrowing for that is as cheap as it will ever be.

Let the economists explain if that’s contradictory or not. Borrowing cheaper money today and paying off yesterday’s more expensive debt, which continues compounding at a higher rate, seems to be a good idea.

Meanwhile, let the tax cuts expire. Please.

Make the insanity stop – or give me his job, and then I won’t care

(I’m pasting-in this clip from the WSJ to show that this  is a bona fide story and not something out of a Muslim commie Kenyan anti-colonialist way gay anti-American dream factory.)

Despite his short-lived tenure, Mr. Johnson will receive exit payments worth as much as $44.4 million, according to Duke.That includes $7.4 million in severance, a nearly $1.4 million cash bonus, a special lump-sum payment worth up to $1.5 million and accelerated vesting of his stock awards, according to a Duke regulatory filing Tuesday night. Mr. Johnson gets the lump-sum payment as long as he cooperates with Duke and doesn’t disparage his former employer, the filing said.

The Duke board voted for Johnson’s resignation, and since Johnson was eligible for severance if he quit for “good reason,” he is able to collect his $44 million. Grist calculates that Johnson’s pay package comes out to $5.5 million per hour, if he actually put in a full 8-hour day.

He knows how to manage your money too . . .

Look, I know lots of people took a terrible beating in the recent financial inconvenience. But lots of people aren’t President Pro Tem of my State Senate. Nor do they sit on the Florida Select Committee on Florida’s Economy, or the Banking Committee, or the Finance Committee..

Senator Mike Bennett, along with a business partner, was a player in commercial real estate. From my paper yesterday:

All told, Bennett and Kaplan spent nearly $18 million on these acquisitions. Court records and ethics filings show all but the Ellenton rink are in foreclosure or deeply underwater. . .

Unable to meet interest payments from the rents generated from these businesses, Bennett and Kaplan’s company defaulted on their $3.14 million in loans from Cadence Bank in late April.

Like I said, just like people who borrow $100K to buy a family home, people who borrowed $18 million to speculate a bit, got into trouble.

But . . . I don’t recall those homeowners passing moral judgement on others who lost their shirts. You know, like Bennett’s party does.

Clear enough? Any questions?

This is Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, testifying in front of Congress today. See the cufflinks? Like them? They carry the seal of The President of the United States. Doesn’t matter which president – could be any one of them. (Good looking guy though . . . )

Dorgan, Sanders, Durbin, Krugman – guess who was right. They were.

Terrific post yesterday about the banks and our Congress at The Erstwhile Conservative. Duane over there does – as I told him – the ‘heavy lifting’ while I occupy myself with Maru and oldies.

He points us to a warning from Sen. Byron Dorgan [ALERT: NY Times link] in 1999 about the dangers of repealing the Glass-Steagal Act, but they did it. They:

[Duane] . . . passed the Financial Services Modernization Act, which finally allowed commercial and investment banks and securities and insurance companies to stop slyly shacking up with each other and unite in unholy but legal matrimony.

[Dorgan in 1999] I think we will look back in 10 years’ time and say we should not have done this but we did because we forgot the lessons of the past, and that that which is true in the 1930′s is true in 2010…We have now decided in the name of modernization to forget the lessons of the past, of safety and of soundness.

Duane quotes two more Democratic Senators:

[Sen. Bernie Sanders today] Let me just say again what many people will not be happy to hear. Wall Street is extraordinarily powerful. Congress doesn’t regulate them, the big banks regulate what Congress does.

[Sen. Dick Durbin three years ago]…hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place

Let me, Moe, add another quote, a more recent one, from Bush 43’s speechwriter, David Frum:

Imagine, if you will, someone who read only the Wall Street Journal editorial page between 2000 and 2011, and someone in the same period who read only the collected columns of Paul Krugman. Which reader would have been better informed about the realities of the current economic crisis? The answer, I think, should give us pause. [Note from Moe: Krugman warned constantly about repealing Glass-Steagel; the WSJ supported it.]

I knew (well, I remember) Vice-President Gore. And you, Gov. Romney, are no Al Gore.

Romney was at an auto company yesterday, speechifying:

“I pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy, and . . .  the companies got back on their feet . . .  So, I’ll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry has come back.”

As liberals gear up the outrage over that one, the push back will be ‘but Gore said he invented the internet’!!! Which, of course, he never said. And what he did say  was true.

To wit: as we now know, Gore was one of the first inductees into the Internet Hall of Fame cuz:

[he] was “Instrumental in helping  to create the ‘Information Superhighway,’ Gore was one of the first government  officials to recognize that the Internet’s impact could reach beyond academia to  fuel educational and economic growth as well.”

While we contemplate stimulus vs austerity . . .

. . . herwith a tweet from Robert Reich, well known Clinton-era Commie (h/t UTMB, here); I will now add him to my Twitter feed.

Sarkozy loses his election in France

Not a surprise, but it’s a whole new ballgame in Europe now.

Francois Hollande held a strong lead of 52.5 to 47.5 per cent over Sarkozy, all but assuring the return of Socialists to power in France for the first time in 17 years, according to exit polls released by Swiss and Belgian news media three hours before the close of the polls.

Hollande is said to be antagonistic toward Angela Merkel, Germany’s PM. Especially her economic policies toward other Eurozone countries. The candidate on the right this time was His opponent will be Marine LePen, daughter of one of France’s most radical-right politicians since WWII.

UPDATE: Naked Capitalism fleshes it out a bit:

And here it the critical point, that the Hollande victory is yet more proof that the public is sick of failed policies:

Mr. Sarkozy’s defeat makes him the 11th euro-zone leader swept away in the sovereign-debt crisis.

But technocrats are still driving this train, although France is a significant enough player, and more important, a key ally of the bloc of surplus countries, that we might finally see a shift in policies. Stay tuned.

Because they’re all out to get us






In the comments, David links to this (the defense part). I’m looking to tie dollars to that and to health care. It’s out there. Spending on defense, by country (the top ten by US$billions):

Checkbooks to bootstraps . . . the natural order of things

Oh my dear Elvis, are the man’s advisors sleeping something off? He claims to  believe (something I very much doubt) that Liberals pray to fail – a claim that, with the assist of Dr. Neil Cavuto and Professor Limbaugh, resonates with the ‘regular’ folks the poor man is so desperately trying to relate to. But this part – this is genuine, this is the real Romney:

This kind of devisiveness, this attack of success, is very different than what we’ve seen in our country’s history. We’ve always encouraged young people: Take a shot, go for it, take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business.

Someone’s got to stop him.