Green Shoots Bustin' Out All Over: How Much More Awesome News Can One Economy Take?

Was Vice President Joe Biden just off by a year when he predicted summer of 2010 would be the Summer of Recovery

Get all the stimulicious economic news you can handle:

Green lightbulb company saves or creates or funds 3 jobs at $1.7 million in stimulus money per job. 

More than 2.7 million mortgage deadbeats are still living in homes they have not made a payment on in more than a year. Average time from first missed payment to foreclosure is now 565 days. 

Number of Americans renouncing citizenship is growing. 

Actual good news: More homeowners are moving into 15-year fixed mortgages to build up equity. Bill McBride digs up great mortgage-burning ad for Miller High Life. 

Lost half-decade: Start date of economic slump earlier than previously thought

First indication that UK made right call in eschewing further stimulus: Unemployment across the pond is dropping at fastest rate in 10 years

IMF lowers forecast for U.S.A

College degrees don't just cost more than ever; they're also worth less than ever

More actual good news: European Parliament tells Geithner to go fuck himself

Obama shooting even more Blanks with his economic brain trust. 

Larry Summers rises from piano-case coffin, calls for more stimulus

Repatriate overseas profits from Benedict Arnold corporations, spend it all on green infrastructure: What could possibly go wrong? 

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  • SIV||

    Stupid Miller drinkers. Don't they know how to do a cash-out refi?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Not to be a beer snob, but Miller High Life is some serious swill.

  • Pabst Blue Ribbon||

    You fucking bastard how come you never call?

  • cowboy||

    why do I sense such strong facetiousness?

  • sevo||

    Boy, Tim, you sort of boxed the compass on a Friday night!
    But nothing on Greece?

  • Middle Age Crazy||

    Tim, you're on fire -- west coast represents!

  • Sudden||

    Amazing drunken rant tim. You do cali proud.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I didn't care for the swears.

  • T Douglas||

    Nobody should have to depend either for his leg or his life upon the ability of his parents to raise enough money to bring a first-class surgeon to his bedside. Health services ought not to have a price tag on them, and that people should be able to get whatever health services they require irrespective of their individual capacity to pay.

  • johnl||

    And not just health services. Food, education, housing, little league membership, soccer camp, junior lifeguard training at the Y, housing, clothes, pets, telescopes, cameras, computers are all human rights that should be plucked off the hillside lin the morning like mana.

  • Life of Ease||

    Just send me the cash!

  • Manal al-Sherif ||

    Driving is a human right.

  • MNG||

    That's right, because it is impossible to sensibly differentiate between health services and telescopes and soccer training.

  • ||

    NSTAAFL.
    So, who are you asking to pony up?

  • MNG||

    Who ponies up for police services?

  • cynical||

    Suckers.

  • ||

    Right. Everybody should pay for everybody's healthcare. That would work out wonderfully.

  • MNG||

    Right. Everybody should pay for everybody's police protection. That would work out wonderfully.

  • ||

    MNG thanks for agreeing with the an-caps.

  • Sudden||

    And Balko has shown how wonderfully it works out on so many occassions.

  • Michelle Obama||

    Well said. A strong mind in a strong body! Let’s Move!

  • ||

    Given all the waste and fraud in the Medicare system, it sure does seem impossible for the government to make that distinction at least.

  • In Time of War||

    Absolutely. There is no such thing as feature creep, mission creep, scope creep or any of a thousand other little creeps living in dc.

    The government has proved itself prescient in its wisdom and so financially disciplined as to justify our complete confidence in its ability to restrain any sweeping, new powers it should happen to secure.

    Yeah.

  • sevo||

    Poor, poor MNG:
    MNG|6.18.11 @ 8:34AM|#
    "That's right, because it is impossible to sensibly differentiate between health services and telescopes and soccer training."

    Now, repeat after me:
    An economic good = an economic good, regardless of retarded attempts at claiming otherwise.

  • Richard Nous||

    What about national lawn-care?

    Nobody talks about how unfair it is that suburbanites have nicer landscaping than the inner cities.

    Why does social justice leave lawn-care behind?

  • ||

    You stay the hell away from my st. Augustine.

  • ||

    I agree, people should be able to get anything they need irrespective of their ability to pay. Too bad they can't without someone else paying for it.

  • ||

    Think outside the box, man. We can always require doctors to work for free.

    Just because slavery has been done wrong in the past doesn't mean we can't make it work this time.

  • Rich||

    We can always require doctors to work for free.

    I realize this is an exaggeration -- they'd actually be paid the federal minimum wage.

  • Ray||

    Boy and then we'd really attract the best and brightest into that profession.

  • Doctor||

    Right, kick ass. Well, don't want to sound like a dick or nothin', but, ah... it says on your chart that you're fucked up. Ah, you talk like a fag, and your shit's all retarded.

  • MNG||

    Of course what we are talking about here is something closer to how we have police for everyone regardless of their ability to pay, we tax people and pay other people to be the police.

  • squishua||

    Google "911 response time".

  • MNG||

    Yes, because currently private health care and insurance are models of quick and efficient services.

  • ||

    So, what's your beef? That health care isn't free enough or isn't fast enough or isn't both enough for everybody?

  • MNG||

    I can sympathize with people who think health services should be administered like police services.

  • ||

    I can sympathize with people who think health services should be administered like police services.

    Yep, with sovereign immunity from malpractice lawsuits and a license to perform no-knock surgery at the slightest whiff of suspicion of disease.

  • johnl||

    You want doctors to shoot their patients dogs?

  • sevo||

    MNG|6.18.11 @ 9:24AM|#
    "I can sympathize with people who think health services should be administered like police services."

    Your peace officers; when seconds count, only minutes away!

  • Sudden||

    Your peace officers; when seconds count, only minutes away!

    IIRC, the officers that allowed Jose Guerena to bleed out over an hour and 14 minutes responded substantially quicker to his needs than an NHS patient in queue for a similar wound profile. UHC FTW!

  • ||

    Yes, because currently private health care and insurance are models of quick and efficient services.

    Compared to single payer systems they sure as hell are.

  • MNG||

    I don't disagree with that, there's likely going to be a trade off between efficiency and access. However, I've seen studies that suggest that administrative costs are cheaper for government programs (they don't have to have so much bureaucracy to see who and what is covered is the idea). But I ultimately doubt any government program can be performed as efficiently as the private sector can do it, for reasons Mises pointed out in his book Bureaucracy. However iirc even Mises in that work thought that if you want universal access and coverage of service you'll likely have to turn to a government program.

  • MJ||

    "...there's likely going to be a trade off between efficiency and access."

    "...even Mises in that work thought that if you want universal access and coverage of service you'll likely have to turn to a government program."

    Did Mises think that a goal of universal coverage was worth the decrease in efficiency? That's one of the progressives unjustified assumptions, that universal coverage is a goal to be achieved at the expense of all other considerations.

  • MNG||

    "Did Mises think that a goal of universal coverage was worth the decrease in efficiency?"

    I doubt it from what I've read from him.

    "That's one of the progressives unjustified assumptions, that universal coverage is a goal to be achieved at the expense of all other considerations."

    I doubt many think it is to be achieved at all costs, but unlike libertarians they do think it is worth some cost.

  • MNG||

    BTW-I don't think I'm sold on it either, in fact I lean being against single payer. My private health care is quite good, I'm convinced it would be considerably worse under government care. But I don't pretend that people who want that are crazy or bad, I sympathize with their goal of everyone having health coverage like they have police coverage, regardless of ability to pay. But I'm not sold that the trade off would be good (especially for me).

    Of course this thinking makes me detest Obamacare even more. Following the analogy it's as if Obama mandated everyone to contract with a private security firm while requiring the firms to not turn anyone away. WTF is that?

  • MJ||

    "I doubt it from what I've read from him."

    Then hime saying it could only be acheived by government was more of a warning than a prescription.

    "I doubt many think it is to be achieved at all costs,..."

    Those who advocate for single payer are seeking that goal at all costs. Forcing all people into one pool is an at all costs solution.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Is that any more ridiculous than the assumption that economic efficiency is a goal to be achieved at the expense of all other considerations?

    Not a fan of progressives, but libertarians likewise forget that people also find value in things that don't have a tangible cash value. Not everyone subscribes to the proposition that the country that dies with the highest GDP wins....

  • ||

    Not everyone subscribes to the proposition that the country that dies with the highest GDP wins....

    And neither do libertarians...

  • tarran||

    but libertarians likewise forget that people also find value in things that don't have a tangible cash value

    Oh slappy, what would we do without your drooling idiocy?

    The property that defines a philosophy as libertarian that it is wrong to initiate aggression (violence theft etc) against innocent people has nothing whatsoever to do with GDP.

    Oh sure, libertarians like to point out that free societies are prosperous ones where even people like you can afford to start a business. But prosperity is defined as people's sense that their material wants are being satisfied, not some macro-economic parameter being coldly calculated.

    In fact, libertarianism is the philosophy most accommodating your concern about people having other goals than simple GDP maximization. Let's take the goal of some racist to never hear Spanish spoken in his presence.

    In a libertarian society nobody can force him to do business in SPanish if he does not want to. Nor can he force other people to communicate with him in a language other than Spanish. The loss of potential trading partners may incur costs that a less picky person does not have to worry about, and if his skills are in sufficient demand, potential trading partners may find it to their advantage to accommodate his peculiarities.

    In a libertarian society, nothing prevents an organization or person from doing business only with English speakers. In a libertarian society, nothing prevents an organization of person from doing business only with Spanish speakers.

    Neither the English speakers nor the Spanish speakers can interfere with each others desires to do business only with one language, or even only one ethnic group

    Note that all these people are free to pursue their intangible ends to their hearts' content! Nobody is deciding who does what with whom.

    That's why I am bemused by your hostility for libertarianism. You and your felow white nationalists have no chance of ever seizing the eins of power again. Your best bet to carve out an island of dealing only with other white people is to throw your lot in with us. Sure, you can't push people around, but at least you'll be left alone.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Oh sure, libertarians like to point out that free societies are prosperous ones where even people like you can afford to start a business.

    Even people like me? Really now!

    I suppose it wouldn't help much to point out I'm not in a position where I need to worry about starting a business, but there you go.

    In fact, libertarianism is the philosophy most accommodating your concern about people having other goals than simple GDP maximization. Let's take the goal of some racist to never hear Spanish spoken in his presence.

    On the contrary! In fact, a nationalist society is the best hope of libertarians for achieving their goals!

    Don't believe it? Look at the research done by Free State Project when evaluating states for selection. Care to guess what the demographics of every state that was libertarian friendly enough to be considered looked like?

    Got any idea what New Hampshire's demographics look like? Alaska's? Wyoming's? Montana's or North Dakota's?

    You and your felow white nationalists have no chance of ever seizing the eins of power again.

    Oh, I don't know. The A3P managed to collect enough signatures to qualify for ballot access in West Virginia. I don't see the Libertarian Party on that list. We won't even discuss Europe.

    People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

  • tarran||

    On the contrary! In fact, a nationalist society is the best hope of libertarians for achieving their goals!

    Don't believe it? Look at the research done by Free State Project when evaluating states for selection. Care to guess what the demographics of every state that was libertarian friendly enough to be considered looked like?

    And let me guess, if NH became more nationalistic, forbade people from selling houses to MAssholes etc, it would become even freer?

    That's your winning argument?

    Sigh, I guess we're now at the point where you try to distract people from the way you shit yourself by posting you tube links to that chittering squirrel.

  • JoshInHB||

    However, I've seen studies that suggest that administrative costs are cheaper for government programs (they don't have to have so much bureaucracy to see who and what is covered is the idea).

    Really?

    Then explain why state education systems spend on over half their budgets on administration.

  • ||

    ---"However, I've seen studies that suggest that administrative costs are cheaper for government programs (they don't have to have so much bureaucracy to see who and what is covered is the idea)."---

    HA HA HA HA HA HA

  • MNG||

    I don't know what to tell you, it's hotly debated but there are certainly credible claims to that effect being made. Here's a decent overview of the debate.

    http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~.....are_a.html

  • ||

    However iirc even Mises in that work thought that if you want universal access and coverage of service you'll likely have to turn to a government program.

    Considering that food is not distributed via a government program and we still have essentially universal access to food, that's implausible. The few people who starve are those who cut themselves off from populated places (eg desert dwellers) or fail to seek food due to mental illness.

  • MNG||

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....ce_Program

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_lunch_program

    Yeah Tulpa, the government plays no hand in making sure everyone gets fed regardless of ability to pay, none whatsoever...

  • Daniel||

    And why did the schools become a feeding program?

  • Anoynmous Coward||

    Yes, because currently private health care and insurance are models of quick and efficient services.

    Blame the AMA and its cartelish behavior when it comes to the training and licensing of new doctors.

  • ATLien||

    faster than canada and the uk.

  • NukemHill||

    Yeah. Because there's no government intervention and regulation to fuck that system up, right? It truly is a completely free market that you're passing judgement on....

  • Chuck D.||

    911 is a joke.

  • ||

    I've called 911 a total of 5 times in my 26 years. Three times when a real threat was present and I was in need of someone that just happened to have a loaded gun. Out of those 5 times, I've had zero cops every show up.

  • ||

    *I've had zero cops every show up*

  • Hobie Hanson||

    Maybe they just ignored you because of the other two times when you called without any emergency.

  • ||

    non-life threatening emergency What a dipshit.

  • ||

    So I can get my doctor to shoot my dog now? Double-plus good!

  • MNG||

    Saying doctors services will be paid for like police services doesn't necessarily mean they will get the police's 'monopoly on force' or soveriegn immunity protections.

  • In Time of War||

    Not immediately, no. But the one thing the government is good at is changing and expanding the rules later.

    They will.

  • MJ||

    Those who insist on "single payer" are certainly indicating a desire for monopoly/monopsony control of the medical services.

  • ||

    Saying doctors services will be paid for like police services doesn't necessarily mean they will get the police's 'monopoly on force' or soveriegn immunity protections.

    Some of them already do. Google "Federally Qualified Health Clinic Federal Tort Claims Act" sometime.

  • ||

    Saying doctors services will be paid for like police services doesn't necessarily mean they will get the police's 'monopoly on force' or soveriegn immunity protections.

    Funny how the "choice" in pro-choice dissolves like jello in hot water, when actual choice is involved.

  • MNG||

    The way I've heard it argued there would still be privately available plans, just like how the government supplies base level school and police to all regardless of ability to pay but allow those who can afford private security or private schooling to partake in it.

  • ||

    I'm down with the 'concept' of universal healthcare. It sounds like a good idea and would help out a lot of people.. Then I realize, that's how they sold us public schools, cops, and DMV's.

  • MNG||

    Public schools and police have their problems, but for many people they are better than the alternative which would be no schooling or protection.

  • ||

    Public schools and police have their problems, but for many people they are better than the alternative which would be no schooling or protection.

    Of course. If not for the Dept of Grocery Stores, everyone would starve.

  • MNG||

    Food stamps, school lunch, TANF, WIC, etc., etc., etc.

    Well, lookee there, we do have government programs that aim to make sure everyone eats regardless of ability to pay.

  • ||

    Are you seriously arguing that Food Stamps and other welfare programs aren't means tested?

    And of course, without gummint programs, no private institution, anywhere, would ever assist the poor with anything. Nope. Nobody at all.

    Thank the gods for the Dept. of Philanthropy.

  • ATLien||

    yeah, 'cause there were no schools before government "miracled" them into existence.

  • ||

    but allow those who can afford private security or private schooling to partake in it.

    Considering how the gummint meddling in health care has already priced individual health insurance beyond the means of most people, I can't wait to see how much those policies will cost then.

  • MNG||

    What a poor argument, access is higher in nations where the government involvement is higher.

  • Anoynmous Coward||

    Saying doctors services will be paid for like police services doesn't necessarily mean they will get the police's 'monopoly on force' or soveriegn immunity protections.

    Your innocence is so precious.

  • ||

    doesn't necessarily mean they will get the police's 'monopoly on force' or soveriegn immunity protections.

    Do you know the justification for sovereign immunity, MNG? It's to avoid having govt agents being sued for doing their duty, as they have no choice but to do it. If doctors by law lose their choice of whether they want to treat a patient, they're going to need similar protections from litigation. Unless you're just trying to screw doctors completely.

  • MNG||

    Federal employees and contractors get sued all the time, doctors doing government work don't necessarily have to have the kind of protections police have from being sued.

  • ||

    Contractors, yes. Federal employees? No. And even if you could, it's borderline impossible to get a federal employee fired. I've worked with dozens of grossly negligent federal employees who know that. The worse that can happen to them is a transfer to some less-cushy assignment.

  • ||

    We don't have a "nationalized" police force, at least not at the level you are describing. Police departments are local, and funded by the communities in which they serve.

    If a community wants to establish a local, community based health care provider, funded by the local tax payers, they should have the option do so. But using a local solution, to local problems doesn't justify implementing the same system at the national level.

  • MNG||

    "We don't have a "nationalized" police force"

    FBI, ATF, etc?

  • Joe R.||

    95% or more of the policing you will ever use is local. Unless you're a counterfeiter or serial killer or something.

  • ||

    Don't be dumb MNG. It was in response to your earlier post: "Of course what we are talking about here is something closer to how we have police for everyone regardless of their ability to pay"

    Are you suggesting that you weren't referring to local law enforcement? Last I checked, they are the only ones commonly referred to as "police".

  • Apogee||

    Yes, go ahead and call the FBI the next time someone's breaking into your house.

    What's the response going to be?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Health services ought not to have a price tag on them, and that people should be able to get whatever health services they require irrespective of their individual capacity to pay.

    Is this a flame? I honestly can't tell since so many idiot college students, media pundits, and university professors actually believe this.

  • rather||

    Wealthier Americans lived outside the US and kept their spouses here but slid under the residency requirements for tax-purposes. That jig is up with the tax filing issue, and the Cayman's is no longer a safe bet.

    Unfortunately, the trillions that are outside the US in businesses are an economic sleeping giant. We need to make a deal with the hoarders, even if it means a reverse tax-haven.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    A "deal" implies both sides are getting something out of the arrangement. What is on offer for the "hoarders"?

    Realize that many "American" companies are now earning the majority of their revenue outside of the US. (Example, IBM now earns 65% of their revenues in outside of the US.). If pressed, many of them may just find it more profitable to forgo doing business in the US altogether.

  • rather||

    Yes the deal is important to both sides:

    The US gets trillions influxed into the economy that will create more wealth/employment/and the psychological turn around we need.

    The hoarder solves inheritance issues,and wealth transfer a very big part of their hoarding issue. Further, a no-tax/no- penalty is a lifetime deal, and solves the coming issue: international taxation cooperation.

    Yes Slap the Enlightened!, some businesses will stay outside the US but I can tell you the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and Dorothy would rather be in Kansas.

  • Warty||

    If we put the offshore profits and infrastructure bank problems together, we might find a solution that works for both sides of the aisle, even in these sharply polarized times.

    A++ trolling.

  • JoshInHB||

    As former Treasury secretary Larry Summers has noted, the nation’s commercial and residential housing stock probably does not need to be increased, but it could be improved in quality by replacing windows, insulation and monitoring systems,

    I'm not sure what's worse.

    The totally unironic 21st century version of the Broken Windows Fallacy or

    Big Brother as stimulus.

  • Max Stirner||

    The U.S. is almost the only country in the world that requires its citizens that live permanently in another country to continue to file tax returns in the country of citizenship.

    Wow, you learn something new every day. If I were in their situation I'd probably renounce my citizenship too.

  • ||

    It makes sense. If you haven't renounced your US citizenship your residence in a foreign country may not be permanent.

  • ||

    OTOH, if you are living in a foreign country, what are you getting in return for your tax dollars?

    Under this logic, any state that I have ever lived in should be able to continue taxing me, even after I have moved out.

  • jasno||

    Embassy services? How about if you haven't paid taxes, yet the junta you're living under falls apart, the embassy staff can tell you to fuck off when you try to flee the country?

  • cheggue||

    Actually, the State Department charges US citizens for the cost of evacuating them from war zones (like Indonesia in 1998, Libya in 2011, etc.), so no, your taxes are not actually paying for the US government to get you out of a country that's fallen apart.

  • cheggue||

    Actually, the State Department charges US citizens for the cost of evacuating them from war zones (like Indonesia in 1998, Libya in 2011, etc.), so no, your taxes are not actually paying for the US government to get you out of a country that's fallen apart.

  • Rich||

    The other country is Libya.

    The irony, it burns.

  • np||

    Unfortunately US won't let you easily renounce it either, despite not making any income in the US. See:
    http://www.sovereignman.com/ex.....foreigners

    After a few uncomfortable phone calls, they find out that they’re obliged to file 10+ years’ worth of 1040′s, 5471′s, and FBARs, as well as pay steep tax bills with penalties and interest.
    ...
    What’s more, they can’t get out of it. They can’t even renounce this obligation without first paying off the debts that they never signed up for.

  • ||

    In the end though it's only high profile taxpayers that have this problem.

    When I lived in other countries I never filed a tax return and neither did any other American I knew.

    None of us had any tax obligations under the IRS rules either, since our incomes were not high enough, so the IRS didn't care.

  • ||

    They will have to find me first.

  • Anoynmous Coward||

    Why should Uncle Sam permit his serfs to go free?

  • Joe M.||

    Repatriate overseas profits from Benedict Arnold corporations, spend it all on green infrastructure: What could possibly go wrong?

    The amount of stupid in this post is impressive, but this item in particular is ridiculous. People are not interested in starting new ventures in this economic climate, and they won't be as long as there is such an incredible amount of uncertainty. The Fed has done everything imaginable to get people to borrow money, but it ain't happening. It's not like the banks don't already have money to loan.

  • Spoonman.||

    Maybe you should read Cavanaugh's other posts, then you'll realize that was a joke.

  • ||

    Yeah, isn't adding the question "What could possibly go wrong?" a pretty good sign that the writer is kidding?

  • Au H20||

    Hey, guys. So, I know we don't take too kindly to blog whores round these parts, but I have just started my own blog about politics. It was originally going to be called "Too long, Didn't read" but I guess Blogger remembered that years ago, in my younger and more reckless days, I had registed the name, "The Book of Redvelation". The site's name is www.redvelation.blogspot.com, and the first post is an analysis of why Obama should be impeached over Libya. Anyway, I won't do this again, except in Monday's morning links, but I'd love if you guys would check it out.

  • Au H20||

    And if Reason had an edit feature, I'm point out to you guys to remove the comma from the URL.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Should we simply modify the classic 60s protest song, “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” to somehow rhyme Obama and Libyans, despite the obvious lyrical difficulties that that presents?

    No bringing back the counterculture hippies. Goddamn hippies. Anyway, we've seen the anti-war crowd has gone into hibernation for the past two and probably next two years.

  • The New Paradigm||

    War is HEALTHY for children et al.....

  • Primping Warrior Obama||

    "It's MY military now."

  • Ima cheap slut of a blog whore||

    I don't read the articles, only the comments....

  • Libertarian2||

    I'm just amazed that the ad copy reads "Bottle Beer" vs. "Bottled Beer."

  • Res Publica Americana||

    I'm hoping DC is struck by a huge intergalactic rock, or some shit.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You can go over a year without paying your mortgage? I feel like such a chump.

  • ||

    me three... think of the money I could be saving.

  • BigT||

    I haven't made a mortgage payment in 11 years. We drank Heineken.

  • ||

    Fair's fair; why should renters get all the benefits?

    (Full disclosure: I did once live in an apartment for 8 months without paying rent. Of course we'd paid cash, early, every month until the cunt who owned the building insisted on violating the lease and creating unsafe living conditions which she chose not to remedy even after we offered to put up the cash for half the repairs and do the rest of the work ourselves. Talk about dumb. Rather than simply forego about 2.5 months rent and have a legally compliant space to show for it, she dragged our asses into court where she was ordered to give us 4 more months free rent while we found another place to live, and was also forbidden to rent it to anyone else til considerably mote work was done than what we had requested. I feel no guilt over this because a contract is a contract. She blew it.)

  • SIV||

    graduates are being whipsawed by Republican efforts to cut student aid and the cultural imperative to go to college.

    It's doubly worse for women who are whipsawed by abundant, cheap high quality food and the cultural imperative to be thin.

  • MNG||

    The other day we were talking about the military as the one institution that isn't broke.

    Navy has spike in commanding-officer firings

    The Navy has fired a dozen commanding officers this year, a near-record rate, with the bulk getting the ax for offenses related to sex, alcohol or other forms of personal misconduct.

    The terminations, which follow a similar spike in firings last year, have shaken the upper ranks of the Navy, which has long invested enormous responsibility in its commanding officers and prides itself on a tradition of carefully cultivating captains and admirals.

    Over the past 18 months, the Navy has sacked nine commanding officers for sexual harassment or inappropriate personal relationships. Three others were fired for alcohol-related offenses, and two on unspecified charges of personal misconduct. Combined, they account for roughly half of the 29 commanding officers relieved during that period.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ml?hpid=z1

  • Kolohe||

    Two alternate/contributing hypotheses-

    1) The guys (and gals) taking command now are the first generation of naval officers to be entirely post-cold war in their service. What that means is they joined in the early 90's when the Navy wasn't paying as much attention to 'talent' as they were in trying to shed people in the drawdown. More importantly, the first hitch was up for their peer group in the late 90's, when the economy was booming, and opportunities in the 'real world' were virtually endless. So, of course, many of the 'good' people left, and who remained was well who remained. The fact of the matter is, if you were a line officer that started in the early to mid nineties, and merely stuck around, your cumulative selection probability for command is about 40-50% (and higher in some groups)

    2) People are being held to account for things that were buried a generation ago (alcohol incidents) or didn't exist a generation ago (afloat) because of the composition of the fleet (sexual harassment & fraternization*)

    *of the kind these people are accused.

  • tarran||

    My take is it's definitely a combo of one and two, and the result of the culture of lying & cheating I observed among the average Naval Academy grads.

    During my time in the Navy, I had the opportunity to interact with ROTC and NA grads in spades. The best officers, the water walkers, were inevitably the cream of the crop from the NA, no question.

    However, once you got past that top 25%, I noticed that the grads tended to become incredibly untrustworthy and sleazy. To the point where if a guy was a lying, cheating dirtbag, he almost always had a ring on his finger.

    The ROTC guys tended to not promote as well as the Academy grads, so I think the system selects against people who have integrity.

    Now, I should disclose that this is all anecdotal from one ship (a Nmitz class has hundreds of officers, but it is one ship).

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The military's just as broke as any other government institution. Hell, it's been living beyond its means for over 50 years now.

  • MNG||

    On Thursday, the first day of the Open, a cameraman from WUSA (Channel 9) captured a county inspector attempting to shut down a roadside stand manned by a half-dozen adorable children. They didn’t have a vendor’s permit, the inspector informed the moms. The result? A $500 ticket.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....story.html

  • Inspector||

    Oh, it's all fun until someone dies of E. Coli poisoning.

  • ||

    Leave it to Monkey County to make me sympathetic to the Marriots and the former CEO of Lockheed Martin.

    Stay classy Monkey! God knows, we don't want some daring entrepreneur to sell $1 bottled water on street corners on very hot days. The Four Horsemen are right around that corner, if we allow that kind of anarchy.

  • MJ||

    That's the sort of thing that happens when you governemnt an unlimited power to regulate commerce.

  • Res Publica Americana||

    Don't worry, MJ. We're all just redneck rube Asian-hating fascists -- Tony assured me it was true. Unlimited government is simply ESSENTIAL to a healthy society! :)

  • MNG||

    Dude, that was a local government, they are certainly not restricted by the Commerce Clause. They have a general police power that allows them to regulate commerce among other things and includes, wait for it, the power to mandate!

  • MJ||

    I did not say it was governed by the commerce clause. Just that when you give give government virtually unlimited powers to regulate, these types of nasty little tyrannies are normal. You insisting that feds have unlimited power to regulate commerce, you are insisting of the existance of such tyranny.

  • MNG||

    David Brooks tells us that the economic crisis was the result of Fannie Mae pushing bad mortgages and buying off everyone who tried to stand in their way.

    There's a small problem in this story. The worst junk mortgages that inflated the housing bubble to extraordinary levels were not bought and securitized by Fannie and Freddie, they were securitized by Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Lehman and the other private investment banks. These investment banks gobbled up the worst subprime and Alt-A garbage that sleaze operations like Ameriquest and Countrywide pushed on homebuyers.

    The trillions of dollars that the geniuses at the private investment banks funneled into the housing market were the force that inflated the bubble to its 2006 peaks. Fannie and Freddie were followers in this story, jumping into the subprime and Alt-A market in 2005 to try to maintain market share.

    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/.....the_press+(Beat+the+Press)

  • ||

    Except that Brooks doesn't say that. He doesn't link FANNIE MAE to the overall crisis. He points out he enormity of the FANNIE MAE fraud. No need to link it to anything else. He says

    The Fannie Mae scandal has gotten relatively little media attention because many of the participants are still powerful, admired and well connected. But Gretchen Morgenson, a Times colleague, and the financial analyst Joshua Rosner have rectified that, writing “Reckless Endangerment,” a brave book that exposes the affair in clear and gripping form.

    The story centers around James Johnson, a Democratic sage with a raft of prestigious connections. Appointed as chief executive of Fannie Mae in 1991, Johnson started an aggressive effort to expand homeownership.

    Back then, Fannie Mae could raise money at low interest rates because the federal government implicitly guaranteed its debt. In 1995, according to the Congressional Budget Office, this implied guarantee netted the agency $7 billion. Instead of using that money to help buyers, Johnson and other executives kept $2.1 billion for themselves and their shareholders. They used it to further the cause — expanding their clout, their salaries and their bonuses. They did the things that every special-interest group does to advance its interests.

    Fannie Mae co-opted relevant activist groups, handing out money to Acorn, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other groups that it might need on its side.

    Fannie ginned up Astroturf lobbying campaigns. In 2000, for example, a bill was introduced that threatened Fannie’s special status. The Coalition for Homeownership was formed and letters poured into Congressional offices opposing the bill. Many signatories of the letter had no idea their names had been used.

    Fannie lavished campaign contributions on members of Congress. Time and again experts would go before some Congressional committee to warn that Fannie was lowering borrowing standards and posing an enormous risk to taxpayers. Phalanxes of congressmen would be mobilized to bludgeon the experts and kill unfriendly legislation.

    Fannie executives ginned up academic studies. They created a foundation that spent tens of millions in advertising. They spent enormous amounts of time and money capturing the regulators who were supposed to police them.

    Morgenson and Rosner write with barely suppressed rage, as if great crimes are being committed. But there are no crimes. This is how Washington works. Only two of the characters in this tale come off as egregiously immoral. Johnson made $100 million while supposedly helping the poor. Representative Barney Frank, whose partner at the time worked for Fannie, was arrogantly dismissive when anybody raised doubts about the stability of the whole arrangement.

    Most of the people were simply doing what reputable figures do in service to a supposedly good cause. Johnson roped in some of the most respected establishment names: Bill Daley, Tom Donilon, Joseph Stiglitz, Dianne Feinstein, Kit Bond, Franklin Raines, Larry Summers, Robert Zoellick, Ken Starr and so on.

    Of course, it all came undone. Underneath, Fannie was a cancer that helped spread risky behavior and low standards across the housing industry. We all know what happened next.

    The scandal has sent the message that the leadership class is fundamentally self-dealing. Leaders on the center-right and center-left are always trying to create public-private partnerships to spark socially productive activity. But the biggest public-private partnership to date led to shameless self-enrichment and disastrous results.

    It has sent the message that we have hit the moment of demosclerosis. Washington is home to a vertiginous tangle of industry associations, activist groups, think tanks and communications shops. These forces have overwhelmed the government that was originally conceived by the founders.

    The final message is that members of the leadership class have done nothing to police themselves. The Wall Street-Industry-Regulator-Lobbyist tangle is even more deeply enmeshed.

    Brooks said it "helped spread the risky behavior", which true. But Brooks in no way says it was solely responsible for the collapse.

    Look, MNG Barney Frank is a crook and should be in prison, so should Johnson and so should a lot of other people involve with FANNIE MAE. No amount of "look over there" smoke blowing changes that.

  • ||

    And that book was written by two New York Times reporters. So you don't even get to yell "Breitbart Sherod".

  • MNG||

    So you consider the NYT to be a good source when it serves you but part of the Lamestream Media otherwise?

    No defense of Fannie and Freddie on my part, as the post I cited and linked too says quite clearly:

    "Just to be clear, Fannie and Freddie were serious bad actors."

  • ||

    When something is so bad and embarrassing to liberals that even NYT reporters have to admit it is true, it is probably true.

  • MNG||

    But I have a bumper sticker that says "I don't believe the MSM," don't you? The NYT=the MSM so we shouldn't believe them.

  • MNG||

  • ||

    And sure enough, MNG responds to a criticism of his argument by accusing the critic of hypocrisy.

  • MNG||

    Hey, if you keep selling we can't believe anything the MSM says then don't be all upset if people don't buy it when you are selling it.

  • ||

    Same tired routine.

    When a source that consistently ignores/supresses/distorts news with a particular pattern, actually breaks that pattern, that actually adds credibility.

    If the NRA were to publish a study critical of concealed carry and calling for more restrictions, would you think that study was more or less credible because the NRA publicized it?

  • ||

    Nicely put RC. You lawyer types sure do purdy way with words.

  • J[o]h[nn]y L[o][n]gt[o]rs[o]||

    A source MNG likes claims something MNG dislikes, and so the fact that John dislikes that source invalidates that claim and that claim only.

  • MNG||

    If I ran around saying you can't believe a word the NRA says I would expect you to throw it back at me if I cited it.

  • A Cynical Pimple||

    If the NRA were to publish a study critical of concealed carry and calling for more restrictions, would you think that study was more or less credible because the NRA publicized it?

    Nah, I'd probably just assume they were betraying their mission in return for large cash payments.

  • Sir Roderick Glossop||

    A strange combination of proto-reverse-"Ad Hominem" and "Appeal to Authority." I suggest 8 years of bed rest.

  • Anoynmous Coward||

    So you consider the NYT to be a good source when it serves you but part of the Lamestream Media otherwise?

    Broken clock...twice a day...everybody fucks up and tells the truth once in awhile.

  • ||

    "These investment banks gobbled up the worst subprime and Alt-A garbage that sleaze operations like Ameriquest and Countrywide pushed on homebuyers."

    So you are blaming this whole thing on poor people? Is that you admitting (finally) that loaning money to people who don't have the money to pay it back is a bad idea?

    Why do you hate the American dream MNG? Why do you hate poor people and minorities?

    And of course ACORN and jackwagons like Frank and Dodd had nothing to do with bullying the banks into lowering lending standards in the name of fairness. Nope nothing at all.

  • MNG||

    That's right John, the poor wealthy, connected banks were forced into leading the way on these terrible decisions by grass roots groups and frequently out-of-power politicians. When will someone stand up for them?

  • J[o]h[nn]y L[o][n]gt[o]rs[o]||

    The Price for Fannie and Freddie Keeps Going Up
    ...a FICO score of less than 660 is the dividing line between prime and subprime, but Fannie and Freddie were reporting these mortgages as prime, according to Mr. Pinto. Fannie has admitted this in a third-quarter 10-Q report in 2008....An Alt-A mortgage is one in which the quality of the mortgage or the underwriting was deficient; it might lack adequate documentation, have a low or no down payment, or in some other way be more likely than a prime mortgage to default. Fannie and Freddie were also reporting these mortgages as prime, according to Mr. Pinto...

  • Cytotoxic||

    Actually, yeah, the poor banks were forced to make shitty investments by the government, which mandates it with the Community Reinvestment Act (or something like it) as well as very low fed interest rates. Didn't do that here in Canada.

  • MNG||

    The poor banks were leaping over each other to make these loans and buy them in securitized packages, not much push was necessary.

  • Apogee||

    The poor banks were leaping over each other...

    Because even if it all went south, they knew that there would be a bailout. The Government connections you speak of supported this behavior.

    Your solution? Moar Gubmint! Just this time with the right people in charge who wouldn't vote for such bailouts. - Unless they were really big Dem contributors. Then it's to avoid the apokalipps!

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Because even if it all went south, they knew that there would be a bailout. The Government connections you speak of supported this behavior.

    Your solution? Moar Gubmint!

    This is what drives me crazy about people who make arguments similar to MNG's on this topic. Does he or anyone else screaming for "MORE GOVERNMENT REGULATION" even consider the possibility that the ONLY reason these banks took the risks they did was because they knew the government have their back when it all came down? That the government would turn a guy like Madoff into a scapegoat, while letting all the other execs that committed fraud and lied about the value of their bank sheets get off scot-free?

    I tell this to "progressives" complaining about the lack of regulation all the time--that even without Glass-Steagall in place, committing fraud is still illegal. Yet, look how many bank execs and the politicians who enabled them are still walking the streets.

    Yet, they seem to believe in this magical idea that the same corrupt assholes who aren't enforcing current law are going to get tough about greater regulations. When it comes to belief in Big Government, not even your most ardent Christian or Muslim can match a Progressive for unshakeable faith.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    There's a small problem in this story. The worst junk mortgages that inflated the housing bubble to extraordinary levels were not bought and securitized by Fannie and Freddie, they were securitized by Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Lehman and the other private investment banks.

    Yeah, that's kind of how bubbles work, you know? Create a bubble in steak prices, and at some point, shit burgers start selling like top sirloin. Same thing happened with home prices. Same thing happened in the dot-com bubble, where the worst ideas and companies still got huge amounts of funding. In all cases, though, it's the fundamental drivers of the bubble that matter much more than the effects at the top.

  • MNG||

    We don't need any incredible, complex conspiracy theories of grass roots groups and out-of-power pols forcing these private actors to lead the way in buying and selling this garbage, they bought them because people were, at the time, making money on them. Lots of people ran to get in on that and disregarded the long term risks in the thrall of big short term profits.

    The crime was that we bailed them out for being so myopic, socialized costs, private profits.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    All apply. Government policy and mismanagement in large part created the bubble; Everybody jumped in; The government then bailed out many of the worst offenders.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Oh yes, I forgot: The idiots who created and pushed the policies that created the problem are now in charge of "fixing" it. Fucking genius, that is.

  • J[o]h[nn]y L[o][n]gt[o]rs[o]||

    You mean the Countrywide of Sen Dodd fame?

    The joys of multiple overlapping govt initiatives and outright lies is that it gives the likes of MNG lots of places to hide:

    Chairman Ben S. Bernanke
    Before the Independent Community Bankers of America's Annual Convention and Techworld, Honolulu, Hawaii

    The GSEs’ second line of business is the main focus of my remarks today. It involves the purchase of mortgage-backed securities and other types of assets for their own investment portfolios. This line of business has raised public concern because its fundamental source of profitability is the widespread perception by investors that the U.S. government would not allow a GSE to fail, notwithstanding the fact that--as numerous government officials have asserted--the government has given no such guarantees. The perception of government backing allows Fannie and Freddie to borrow in open capital markets at an interest rate only slightly above that paid by the U.S. Treasury and below that paid by other private participants in mortgage markets. By borrowing at this preferential rate and purchasing assets (including MBS) that pay returns considerably greater than the Treasury rate, the GSEs can enjoy profits of an effectively unlimited scale. Consequently, the GSEs’ ability to borrow at a preferential rate provides them with strong incentives both to expand the range of assets that they acquire and to increase the size of their portfolios to the greatest extent possible....

    Barney Frank, Predatory Lender
    ......Mortgage brokers had to be able to sell their mortgages to someone. They could only produce what those above them in the distribution chain wanted to buy. In other words, they could only respond to demand, not create it themselves. Who wanted these dicey loans? The data shows that the principal buyers [of almost 25 million subprime and other nonprime mortgages—almost half of all U.S. mortgages] were insured banks, government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the FHA—all government agencies or private companies forced to comply with government mandates about mortgage lending. When Fannie and Freddie were finally taken over by the government in 2008, more than 10 million subprime and other weak loans were either on their books or were in mortgage-backed securities they had guaranteed. An additional 4.5 million were guaranteed by the FHA and sold through Ginnie Mae before 2008, and a further 2.5 million loans were made under the rubric of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which required insured banks to provide mortgage credit to home buyers who were at or below 80% of median income. Thus, almost two-thirds of all the bad mortgages in our financial system, many of which are now defaulting at unprecedented rates, were bought by government agencies or required by government regulations....

  • J[o]h[nn]y L[o][n]gt[o]rs[o]||

    Who Burst Our Beautiful Bubble?
    ...Why did the GSEs count so many high loan-to-value mortgages as prime on their books? Because they were relying on shady measures of loan quality. "Fannie and Freddie consider subprime a certain classification: If it's a lender that traditionally does subprime, or has a division that does subprime, they'd count it as that." So as loan originators passed along low-down-payment loans as prime, Fannie and Freddie (which were required by the 1992 act to provide more support for low-income and underserved purchasers) played along with the fiction. The GSEs finally revealed their exposure to alt-A, subprime, negative amortization loans and other junk in Fannie Mae's 10Q from the third quarter of 2008. (If this link [pdf] doesn't work, the relevant disclosure from page 182-183 is at right....

  • johnl||

    Loans originated in 2005 were a much bigger mess than the ones originated in 2004.

  • sevo||

    "There's a small problem in this story. The worst junk mortgages that inflated the housing bubble to extraordinary levels were not bought and securitized by Fannie and Freddie, they were securitized by Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Lehman and the other private investment banks."

    Shorter MNG:
    See how much distortion it takes to
    REALLY screw up a market?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    MNG sees the guys piling on last after the fumble and assumes they caused it.

  • ||

    The USA is finished and doomed to Third World status within a generation. Meanwhile, China continues its march to Superpowerdom with a red-hot economy and breakneck growth. How would have predicted this 30 years ago? We know who the future belongs to now.

  • Kolohe||

    "a red-hot economy and breakneck growth."

    and riots. Don't forget the riots.

  • ||

    So what? Vancouver has riots too. Typical biased western media, it was no doubt instigated by the State Dept. or the CIA (read WikiLeaks). Of course the whistleblower who released the WikiLeaks cables is currently being tortured. Human rights!

  • ||

    And massive social unrest. Don't forget that. In 20 years China will be fragmented and run by warlords like it has been periodically throughout most of its history.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/43419991

  • ||

    If any country is fractured in 20 years its the US. Go read Dmitry Orlov.

  • Kolohe||

    Obscure, so I'll give you credit, well played. And a lot shorter than Herc, who says the same thing.

    Still, Dmitry's vision always had the fundamental problem of scenario where the USA falls apart but Tennessee and NYC stay in the same polity. (among other problems)
    http://www.examiner.com/images.....es_opt.jpg

  • JoshInHB||

    It's more likely that Mexico will fragment with pieces absorbed into Mexifornia and Texico.

  • Xenocles||

    Mexico has influence?

  • Amakudari||

    "Tennessee - May join the European Union"

  • sevo||

    "Go read Dmitry Orlov."
    And what about area 51, huh? What about that?

  • Apogee||

    There's even evidence of Rule 34 in Area 51.

  • CoyoteBlue||

    I blame the WASPs.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....story.html

    Why is that every opinion piece in the WashPost reads like a satire of a newspaper opinion article?

  • MNG||

    "In 20 years China will be fragmented and run by warlords"

    Like the Mandarin? That sounds bad!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandarin_(comics)

    Just in time for Iron Man 3!

  • ||

    Ummm, that would be Vancouver, BC, Canada, so I'm not sure what it has to do with your trenchant criticism of the USA.

    Or does your wish to return the USA to great power status like China, extend to annexing our neighbor's territory.

    Always said, scratch an economic nationalist and you'll find an imperialist.

  • ||

    "Or does your wish to return the USA to great power status like China, extend to annexing our neighbor's territory."

    Fallout 2, anyone?

  • cynical||

    Reckon we should just stop paying them back, then.

  • ||

    But China is already a third world shithole. It has a long, long way to go before it becomes a "superpower".

    Some real liberty might be a starting point.

  • sevo||

    "Some real liberty might be a starting point."

    Da troof LAUGHS at your liberty!

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    Yes, who could have predicted that China would be a growing world power? It's not like anybody was talking about that possibility 200 years ago or anything.

  • Apogee||

    And they would have been, if it hadn't been for those meddling kids.

    And the Collectivism.

  • ||

    Health services ought not to have a price tag on them, and that people should be able to get whatever health services they require irrespective of their individual capacity to pay.

    What, no pony?

    I am disappoint.

  • ||

    No Pony - but a limitation to pain-killers. Don't worry, it's in your (and we mean everyone's) best interest.

  • ||

    Don't forget, boys and girls: States' Rights is the express lane to slavery!

  • Res Publica Americana||

    Only the KKK supports states' rights. Federal despotism is where it's AT! YEAH!

  • MNG||

    I wonder what's more odd, those who claim that any invocation of state's rights is code for racism or those who pretend that there is no dearth of historical precedents of that going on?

    Methinks thou dost protest too much.

  • Shorter MNG||

    CIVIL WAR

    THERFOR

    UR ARGUMINT IS INVALID8

    LOLOLOLOL BAK 2 THE SYMBIAN

  • MNG||

    Let me help you with that formula:

    Hundreds of years of slavery+Civil War+decades of Black Codes+decades of Jim Crow+Decades of Massive Resistance

    All done under the banner of State's Rights. Seems a little less illustrious of a banner now, eh?

  • Xenocles||

    Let me try one:

    A century of Marx's influence + Cold War + tens of millions killed + economic squalor

    All done under the banner of Workers' Rights. Seems a little less illustrious and so forth.

  • MNG||

    I didn't know we had millions killed and economic squalor in this country under the banner of worker's rights.

  • Xenocles||

    I didn't know we were limited to this country, which hadn't existed for "hundreds of years" when slavery ended.

  • MNG||

    Slaves first brought to the US in 1600's, slavery ended in 1860's.

    Math, how does it work?

  • Xenocles||

    US began no earlier than 1776.

  • ||

    Millions of jobs killed maybe. Isn't that kind of an 'own goal'?

  • Apogee||

    All done under the banner of State's Rights The Democratic Party.

    Fixed

  • Anoynmous Coward||

    States don't have rights. Governments don't have rights. They have powers or privleges. Only individuals have rights.

  • Apogee||

    To MNG, there can be no individuals.

  • ||


    Why doesn’t Congress let firms bring back their overseas profits without taxation — if, and only if, they put the money into an infrastructure bank for a certain period? This bank would then issue low-interest, long-term loans for projects that in flusher times would be funded by municipalities or utilities.

    "What could possibly go wrong?" indeed.

    What this country needs, to get back on its feet, is a giant Congressionally controlled slush fund.

  • Res Publica Americana||

    Nationalized everything is the solution, clearly. Don't be such a homophobic racist libert-aryan child-hater.

  • ||

    Sore loser is sore.

    In a statement, the president of U.F.C.W. Local 1500, Bruce W. Both, said that the workers at the Valley Stream store had endured a “campaign of threats, intimidation and illegal acts by Target management.” As a result, he called on the National Labor Relations Board to direct a new election and order Target to cease its “illegal activity.”

    Democracy is awesome, unless it isn't; how long 'til we see photos of anguished "victims" of Target's kkkorporate oppression and ceaseless bullying with their heads locked to the railings at the front entrance?

  • Res Publica Americana||

    Democracy fucking blows. Unless you're a part of the despotic majority, or a government-sponsored parasite.

  • MNG||

    "Democracy fucking blows."

    Yeah, the alternatives have been so much better.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Republicanism certainly was when America practiced it.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    From "Shit My Dad Says":

    "Yeah, democracy ain't so much fun when it fucks you, is it?"

  • ||

    Didn't you hear Feingold in Wisconsin? It is not over until we win!

  • ||

    In a just world this would put the kibosh on the cosmotarian love affair with good ol' Russ. Unfortunately it's likely they'll still be slobbering on his Congressman Anthony.

  • tarran||

    Somehow I got on Russ Feingold's supporters email list. So every few weeks I get an email trying to motivate me to donate to some campaign or to write my congressman or some such.

    Of all the emails, I think at most 3 of them promoted liberty or getting government off people's backs.

    The rest of his causes are pure progressive tripe. He wants the financial markets, particularly related to commodities futures, to be heavily regulated (because volatile prices are sooo good for the economy). He wants the same guys who run the BATF to be in charge of treating grandma's cancer. Oh, and grandma's retirement better be invested in a company run by John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi.

    Russ Feingold may be good on the PAtriot Act, in the short term, but in the end, a surveillance state with assertive police powers is required to make his vision of a Kingdom of Progressive Heaven on Earth a reality.

    So he'll sell any libertarian allies down the river at the first opportunity.

  • MNG||

    Those silly workers, bosses can't compel them to do anything, they can always quit and live off the fat of the land (as long as that land is not private, in that case No Trespassing You Hobo!).

  • Apogee||

    Those silly Companies and a huge percentage of their employees, objecting to Unions fucking over their workers in an effort to extort money "for the greater good".

  • MNG||

    "and a huge percentage of their employees, objecting"

    Well, that is if the election was fair.

    If ifs and buts were candy and nuts we'd all have a Libertopian Xmas.

  • Boeing||

    Talk about getting fucked...

  • NLRB||

    You take it like the bitch you are, Boeing.

  • ||

    “Target did everything they could to deny these workers a chance at the American dream,” said Mr. Both, of the union local. “However, the workers’ pursuit of a better life and the ability to house and feed their families is proving more powerful. These workers are not backing down from this fight. They are demanding another election. They are demanding a fair election.”

    "Try to hang on, sir; the waaaaaaahmbulance* is on the way!"

    *Yes, Rover, I am perfectly aware the Target management would be crying a river if they had lost, so don't bother.

  • ||

    Arlen Spectre, in the NYT:

    IT will be bad for America if there is no N.F.L. football in the fall.

    Blow me, Arlen.

  • ||

    Are you saying IT won't, or just that you don't want coercive remedies?

  • MNG||

    Pat Buchanan once said a liberal is someone who thinks discrimination is the worst thing in the world. Sure, discrimination is bad, but the worst? Worse than murder or starvation?

    If you replace liberal with libertarian and discrimination with coercion I think you have an apt description of non-utilitarian libertarians.

  • Xenocles||

    Yes, but what underlies all coercion? The threat of death. So yes, threatening people with death is bad and should be minimized.

  • MNG||

    Not all coercion involves the threat of death.

  • Xenocles||

    All coercive action by the state does. If you don't think so just imagine the consequences of resistance.

  • ||

    You can be rendered unable to effectively resist coercion without having your life threatened. Think mental patients strapped to their beds.

  • Barack Obama||

    Hold on now... MyCare doesn't cover strapping people into beds.

  • Apogee||

    If you replace liberal with libertarian and discrimination with coercion then you also have to admit that murder and forced starvation are forms of coercion, so they would automatically be covered as well.

    They are not, however, forms of 'discrimination'.

  • MNG||

    Allowing someone to starve when you could easily prevent it, A+Ok though eh? In fact, the slightest coercion to prevent that is of course far worse, right?

  • Cytotoxic||

    The ends do not justify the means.

  • MNG||

    It's more like "we don't care about any ends if there was no coercion"

  • ||

    Am I obligated to save someone from starvation who is so lazy that he can't even be bothered to lift a forkful of food to his lips?

  • MNG||

    That's right, most starving people were just too lazy to lift the food from the plate to their mouth...

  • ||

    Most starving people in the world are probably in that condition because of policies enacted by the governments they were unfortunate enough to live under.

    I realize that their are people who are just plain unfortunate and deserve sympathy.

    On the other hand you absolutely refuse to concede that some people are in straitened circumstances because of outright improvidence on their own parts.

    I'm just curious to know how this dividing line between people who "have" and hence must provide and the people who "need" and hence get to take is drawn.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    If you're only talking about those who absolutely cannot provide for themselves, MNG... you have a point.

    But people who bloody damned well CAN work... fuck that. Work or starve.

  • np||

    Allowing someone to starve does not imply making him starve.

    "preventing" starvation is ridiculous. You might as well prevent suffering. On the other hand, libertarianism says: "let people eat if they want to; let people ask for food; let people feed others; let people obtain the means to do all that"
    notice it's "let" not "make"

  • Cytotoxic||

    The UK is still fracked. Their government is massive and their debt is collosal. Inflation is picking up. The government is, contrary to what is reported, spending more than ever. The drop in UE is not enough.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    Kinda figured it was too good to be true. I was hoping a while back, when Cameron supposedly did some serious "cutting," that we might actually get a useful comparison between the U.K. and the U.S.A.

    I've met Cameron and I have zero confidence in him. You just can't trust a Tory with a posh accent. Where have you gone, John Major?

  • Cytotoxic||

    I'm very tempted to make some snarky comment centered on cosmotarianism, but I'll leave that to others. But I can't leave your John Major comment alone-that guy was as squishy as any other Cameron or Harper conservative.

  • ||

    From the "Lost half-decade: Start date of economic slump earlier than previously thought" link:

    you’ll see that the recession began in the final quarter of 2006

    Right around the time the Democrats took the House. What a coincidence!

  • Almanian||

    TIMMEH!

    Watching the AMA Superbike race on Speed. Why do they show it at midnight? Oh, cause people like me usually DVR it, and they have, like, a 0.3 share. Poor AMA :(

    Happy Vaterland Day, everyone!

    Back to the race...

  • Almanian||

    Actually, the "Daytona Supersport", or whatever it's called (the 600's) was REALLY good. Eslick ran away with it, which is unusual in that class, but the dicing for the rest of the podium spots was EPIC! Great racing.

    Tomorrow (er, today now) - World Superbike. Woo Woo!

  • Almanian||

    And when the FUCK do we get to see the '11 Isle of Man TT on TEEVEE?? Some weird British or Euro channel carried it, but Time Warner never heard of it. Of course.

    Hope they show it soon - best racing in the world.

  • han||

    College degrees don't just cost more than ever;

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