Obama: The Economy's So Swell, It's the Republicans' Fault

President ObamaWhite HouseEven putting his best gloss on the case and even outright contradicting hard numbers from his own administration, President Obama has a tough time selling the current economy as a comfy place in which to live and do business. According to the White House's own five-years-later report on the fiscal crisis and the administration's wrassling therewith, Americans remain trillions of dollars in household income behind where they were in 2008. That's when the report is being honest—it also claims a TARP profit that will come as a surprise to Christy Romero, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, who reported quite the opposite just two months ago. Maybe that's why the president spent much of today's speech devoted to the fiscal crisis anniversary blaming Republicans for whatever economic doldrums there may still be even as he and his advisors insist the future's so bright ya gotta wear shades.

In his speech today, President Obama claimed credit for an economic turnaround:

We helped responsible homeowners modify their mortgages so that more of them could keep their homes.  We helped jumpstart the flow of credit to help more small businesses keep their doors open.  We saved the American auto industry. 

And as we worked to stabilize the economy and get it growing and creating jobs again, we also started pushing back against the trends that have been battering the middle class for decades.  So we took on a broken health care system.  We invested in new American technologies to end our addiction to foreign oil.  We put in place tough new rules on big banks -- rules that we need to finalize before the end of the year, by the way, to make sure that the job is done -- and we put in new protections that cracked down on the worst practices of mortgage lenders and credit card companies.  We also changed a tax code that was too skewed in favor of the wealthiest Americans.  We locked in tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans.  We asked those at the top to pay a little bit more.

So if you add it all up, over the last three and a half years, our businesses have added 7.5 million new jobs.  The unemployment rate has come down.  Our housing market is healing. Our financial system is safer.  We sell more goods made in America to the rest of the world than ever before.  We generate more renewable energy than ever before.  We produce more natural gas than anybody. 

Health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years -- and just two weeks from now, millions of Americans who’ve been locked out of buying health insurance just because they had a preexisting condition, just because they had been sick or they couldn't afford it, they're finally going to have a chance to buy quality, affordable health care on the private marketplace.

And what all this means is we've cleared away the rubble from the financial crisis and we've begun to lay a new foundation for economic growth and prosperity.

Well...that's swell. But the White House's own spin-happy economic report (PDF) concedes in its last paragraph devoted to household wealth:

Adjusted for inflation and population growth, only 45 percent of wealth lost during the recession has been recovered, and many of the hardest hit households did not benefit as much from the rebound in financial assets prices.

That rubble still looks knee-deep. And that's in a report touting good news.

Obama also claims a lot of credit for "investments" that helped "turnaround," "stabilize" and "jumpstart" various sectors of the economy. In his report, these assertions even take the form of a bald-faced claim that the troubled TARP program is now making a profit.

Despite initial fears that TARP investments in banks would cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars, as of today, Treasury has recovered $28 billion more than the $245 billion disbursed, collecting $273 billion from TARP bank investments so far. Treasury is continuing to recover funds from the remaining $3.2 billion of bank investments, and every additional dollar collected represents an additional gain for taxpayers.

The White House report's executive summary explicitly insists of the total TARP program, "the government will receive an overall profit."

But contrast this with the TARP Inspector General's quarterly report (PDF), released July 24, 2013:

Taxpayers are owed $57.6 billion as of June 30, 2013. According to Treasury, as of June 30, 2013, it had realized or written off losses of $29.1 billion that taxpayers will never get back (although taxpayers may profit on other TARP investments), leaving $28.6 billion in TARP funds outstanding. These amounts do not include $8.6 billion in TARP funds spent on housing support programs, which are designed as a Government subsidy, with no repayments to taxpayers expected.

Even the underwear gnomes have a better grasp of profit than the prez and his chums.

The numbers are similar for Obama's claim to have "saved the American auto industry." His pet economic report may insist:

Chrysler repaid its loans to the government 6 years ahead of schedule, returning 90% of the total invested. The Treasury has also recovered a substantial portion of its investments in GM and plans to fully exit the company in the coming year.

But the IG's report puts that into context, pointing out that, "GM is still in TARP and taxpayers are owed $17.2 billion for the investment in GM." Of the money that GM has repaid, "GM repaid the $6.7 billion loan
provided through [Automotive Industry Finance Program] with interest, using a portion of the escrow account that had been funded with TARP funds." That's right. GM repaid taxpayer money using more taxpayer money.

The federal government still holds a big chunk of GM stock, which it will have to sell to "fully exit the company." Unfortunately, the difference between the price of the stock and the price it needs to be to break even is huge. Lest there be any doubt, "There’s no question that Treasury, the taxpayers, are going to lose money on the GM investment,” Inspector General Christy Romero said in an interview.

As for Chrysler, the IG's report says bluntly, "Chrysler is no longer in TARP and taxpayers suffered a $2.9 billion loss on the TARP investment in Chrysler."

And what about those jobs the president touts? Well...jobs have been created. But there's a long way to go. The unemployment rate has ticked down only courtesy of a labor participation rate that plummeted from 66.2 percent in January 2008 to 63.2 percent in August 2013 as job-seekers became discouraged and gave up. That's the lowest labor participation rate in 35 years. And no, it doesn't appear to be explainable by an aging population.

This doesn't mean that the economy is still as sick as it was at its worst. But it's definitely still ailing in President Obama's second term. He had Democratic majorities across the board for two years, and his party still holds the Senate along with the White House. Which means...it's the Republicans' fault. Says Obama:

The problem is at the moment, Republicans in Congress don’t seem to be focused on how to grow the economy and build the middle class.  I say “at the moment” because I’m still hoping that a light bulb goes off here.  (Laughter.)

So far, their budget ideas revolve primarily around even deeper cuts to education, even deeper cuts that would gut America's scientific research and development, even deeper cuts to America’s infrastructure investment -- our roads, our bridges, our schools, our energy grid.  These aren’t the policies that would grow the economy faster.  They're not the policies that would help grow the middle class.  In fact, they’d do the opposite.

I'm as willing as anybody to believe that Republicans are capable of torpedoing a thriving economy, especially if they get a chance to restrict something that might give people pleasure or spend lots of money on shiny new weapons. But the president and his Democrats have tried the spend-happy approach for many years, and what we have are discouraged workers cracking open generic beer on the sofa, families poorer than they were half a decade ago and high-priced business bailouts that are a net loss for American taxpayers. No wonder American have had it with wasteful government spending and ever-soaring debt ceilings.

Laying the blame for this on Republicans (nevermind that many of them might have done the same themselves if they were in charge) sounds increasingly lame. American media might still be willing to give him a pass, but Germany's MNI called him out for his "slashing comments" that make actually working with the opposition difficult.

At this point, maybe that's all he has. The tax, subsidy and debt policies on which he staked his presidency look so lame that he's making up "facts" to shine up reality. If nobody is willing to believe that it's raining lollipops, well, then, it's somebody else's fault.

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  • Entropy Void||

    first!


    Liar, liar, pants on fire!

  • playa manhattan||

    When virtually every sentence in Obama's speech is a lie, how do you keep reading? I got almost halfway through...

  • Finrod||

    Simple: you don't bother to start in the first place.

  • Ted S.||

    Well, he's got a complaisant media willing to blame it all on those evil Republicans. Or libertarians.

  • Almanian!||

    evil Republicans. Or libertarians.

    Same thing.

    /progrard

  • AlmightyJB||

    Unfortunately he will have compliant History writers as well and 50 years from now kids will read those same words without italics.

  • Brandybuck||

    During their first two years in office, Presidents get a pass to blame their predecessors. But this is nine months into Obama's SECOND term! By continuing to blame Bush he is merely underscoring the failure of his own policies.

  • ||

    I look forward to the president boldly initiating another national conversation about guns.

  • playa manhattan||

    I hope he does. A nice pointy hill to die on. Feinstein is already scaling up the side of it right now.

  • Ted S.||

    Unfortunately, Feinstein isn't in danger of losing a reelection bid over this.

  • ||

    California passed a 'nonpartisan' blanket primary law, so in the future the two choices for statewide offices and Senate will likely be between two Democrats.

  • Sevo||

    There was also a 'non-partisan' redistricting a couple of years ago. Pretty sure you don't need the punch-line.

  • ||

    Isn't it great how in the future we'll be asked to choose between Jerry Brown and someone who doesn't think Jerry Brown is liberal enough?

    Ditto for Boxer and Feinstein.

  • playa manhattan||

    Feinstein is 80 and senile. She will be dying on some hill soon. But on this particular hill, she might not be voted out, but she will cause casualties outside of CA.

  • playa manhattan||

    Anyone who aligns with her outside of the 5 bluest states has a death wish after what happened in CO.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I wouldn't read too much into that election. Turnout was very low.

    It would be nice if it was a harbinger of things to come, but I'm skeptical.

  • playa manhattan||

    The free shit crowd already has their free shit. The only way to make them show up again is to convince them that it will absolutely be taken away.

  • playa manhattan||

    Upon re-reading my comment, I realized that I inadvertently summarized the DNC 2016 strategy.

  • Ted S.||

    Or offer them EVEN MORE FREE SHIT

  • SweatingGin||

    Wonder if they forgot that Colorado recall already...

    They should at least be able to pass an assault weapons ban in DC, to keep something like this from happening. Large capacity magazines, too. Maybe get a newsman to use some as props to reall put the pressure on.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Is it wrong for me to hope that this guy used one of the mags that Gregory was waving around on MTP?

  • playa manhattan||

    It's not wrong, just unlikely. There are probably over 100 million STANAG magazines in circulation right now.

  • ||

    If Barack Obama had a soon would he look a lot like Aaron Alexis?

  • Specail Sauce||

    I think you spelled coon wrong.

    Racist!

  • Paul.||

    I would say that if Obama had a creepy uncle, he'd look like Alexis.

  • Generic Stranger||

    They're reporting that the only weapon the guy actually brought with him was a double barrel shotgun (Joe Biden Approved!). He got the assault rifle and handgun from the base itself (which means it was actually someone probable that it was a real assault rifle, since, you know, it's the fucking military). So...this would be a really, REALLY stupid hill for them to try and die on.

  • Generic Stranger||

    *somewhat.

  • playa manhattan||

    I don't know how he could have physically transported the shotgun from VA to DC. I thought the DC laws stopped those sorts of things...

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Simple. Gun control for the base; or at least make it more difficult for personnel to get access to.

    Fixed.

    /crosses arms smugly.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Despite initial fears that TARP investments in banks would cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars, as of today, Treasury has recovered $28 billion more than the $245 billion disbursed, collecting $273 billion from TARP bank investments so far.

    "In banks" is a subset of TARP.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    And it only took $245 billion in money willed in to existence!

  • Sevo||

    ..."and even outright contradicting hard numbers from his own administration,"...

    Lying? So? He's worshiped; lying doesn't matter.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    When the Bushpigs left the economy in a shithole (-8.9% GDP q4 08, 750,000 lost jobs a month, a bank failure a day, spiraling deficits, etc) any sane person would have taken the numbers we have since.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Any sane person would've allowed the economy to enter a stellar recovery. Too bad we have a retard in office supported by retards like you.

  • Acosmist||

    You know when people say "bushpigs" they're making fun of you? It's not a suggestion to keep saying such creepy, hilariously stupid things.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    One of the several terms I use here that I coined, dumbass.

    It refers to the nearly trillion dollars of largesse military contractors fed on appropriated by Bush for Iraq.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug| 9.16.13 @ 9:56PM |#
    "One of the several terms I use here that I coined,..."

    Yes, shit-pile, most everyone knows the extent of your stupidity.
    You also left out the trillions the lying asshole in the WH has spent on wars. But that's not surprising, given your stupidity.

  • Acosmist||

    Right, it's a goofy thing that you've rightly been mocked for saying. So, you know, stop saying it, Andrew.

  • ||

    ...that I coined

    Was that before or after you and Al Gore invented the internet? Do you think none of us have ever visited the sites where you get your copypasta from?

  • Hopfiend||

    what major policy shift has Mr. Obama made that differs greatly from Mr. Bush?

    What policies of the previous admin were "conservative" which policies of this admin are "liberal?"

    What has really changed in approach?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    As bad as GWB was, he would never have supported cap™ by executive order or Obamacare, and wouldn't have nominated a Kagan to the Supreme Court. Just to start with.

    And this is from a person who screamed bloody murder about the Bush admin from 2002 on.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    ...supported cap and trade ....

    (I guess reason inserted a semicolon there?)

  • Drake||

    So who was in charge of Congress during those last few years of Bush?

    How was that economy before Pelosi / Reid took over?

  • Alex the wolf||

    Still talking about Bush?
    Aren't you ashamed?

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug| 9.16.13 @ 9:30PM |#
    "When the Bushpigs left the economy in a shithole (-8.9% GDP q4 08, 750,000 lost jobs a month, a bank failure a day, spiraling deficits, etc"

    Those cherries don't pick themselves, do they shit-pile?

  • Almanian!||

    Any retard fucking Obama fellator "would have taken the numbers we have".

    Smart people know it could have been a lot better with less of a numb nuts in office.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The fact that economy was terrible when BO took office doesn't really help his case. It's like Jim Schwartz taking over the Lions after they went 0-16.. all he has to do is make them suck a little less and he's a god.

  • Irish||

    I'm still astounded he blames the economic collapse on Bush. Bush is certainly at fault for the deficits due to his spend-happy ways, but the financial market would have blown up regardless of whether or not Bush was president.

    The housing bubble was clearly not George Bush's fault. It was the fault of bad policies that existed before he was even president.

  • Ted S.||

    Wait until the education bubble bursts.

  • Irish||

    It won't be nearly as bad as the housing bubble.

  • ||

    But there's already a campaign for debt forgiveness because we were misled by lenders!

  • Irish||

    That will never happen. Obama's already shown with Obamacare that the Democrats can completely fuck the young people in every conceivable way and they'll still vote Democrat. As a result there's no real incentive to buy votes from young people. All you have to do is make vague statements about how much you like gay people and talk about birth control once in a while, and young people will vote for you no matter what.

  • ||

    All you have to do is make vague statements about how much you like gay people and talk about birth control once in a while, and young people will vote for you no matter what.

    This is 100% false, I have a proven track record of liking gay people and would be happy to conveniently put birth control in most people's water supply for free. I currently have zero votes for God Emperor of California.

  • Irish||

    Sorry. I forgot that you also have to have a D next to your name and mumble about inequality.

    I have a proven track record of liking gay people

    Yes, but you actually like gay people. It's not relevant whether or not a Democrat actually likes gay people, they just have to say they do. A Democrat could have dragged a gay man behind his truck when he was in his 20's, and so long as he says he's totally okay with them now all of his sins will be forgiven.

  • ||

    Damn it, Irish, stop changing the rules on me. We've been emperor-less since 1880 and I'm ready to ascend to my rightful place on the throne.

    I promise to use my droit du seigneur sparingly be gentle.

  • Ted S.||

    You'll wind up being about as gentle as Warty.

  • ||

    You'll wind up being about as gentle as Warty.

    I'm trying to decide if I'm hurt or flattered that you think I'm capable of mind-warping interdimensional tentacle rape.

  • Alex the wolf||

    Don't forget magic words like: "fair share" "we are in this together" "roads and bridges" you know...

  • Ted S.||

    It'll be fun to see what happens with that campaign with the government holding the student loan debt and wanting it non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.

  • Ted S.||

    Oh, and technically they were misled by lenders -- those lenders being the government.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    I think I figured out the perfect nickname for Palin.

    Timmy!

    Tim-meh!

  • ||

    That's offensive to those perfectly nice mentally retarded folks who've done absolutely nothing wrong.

  • XM||

    I had no idea wall street was dominated by Bushpigs. Was Anderson Cooper lying when he showed WS folks donating 2,3 times more to Dems than Republicans?

  • Guy LaGuy||

    Oh no, a Republican thinks poorly of Obama! He must've really screwed up!

  • Sevo||

    Guy LaGuy| 9.16.13 @ 10:07PM |#
    "Oh no, a Republican thinks poorly of Obama! He must've really screwed up!"

    Who might that be?

  • Finrod||

    Look, it's someone dumber than Shreek.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    His obsession about needing to prop up Obama by focusing on Bush is counter-productive.

    It's designed to engage in counter-factuals.

  • Guy LaGuy||

    Tips for doing well in today's economy.

    1. Don't be poor.
    2. Be wealthy.
    3. Don't be not wealthy.

  • Irish||

    Yeah, a hyper regulated economy privileges the rich over the less wealthy individuals that can't afford a team of lawyers.

    Shocking.

  • Sevo||

    You left out
    4. Work for the government

  • playa manhattan||

    4. You forgot the air quotes around "work"

  • ||

    You left out
    4. Work for the government

    Would've been redundant. How else are you gonna get wealthy?

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Americans don't need to go far to see what the 'work for the government' and 'living wage' and 'free shit' does to a society: It's called Quebec. Or Massachusetts. Or Vermont.

    If Obama had his way, Quebec would be his model I'm sure. EVERYTHING here is political and EVERYTHING runs through the government.

  • wakeup||

  • ||

    OT: I had someone suggest that I should have gotten my little brother "one of them government issue phones" instead of paying to have the screen replaced after he broke it (I got reimbursed and then some by my parents for having run the errand). While I agree that my lazy 18yo brother doesn't need a smart phone, I had to prevent myself from screaming OBAAAAAMAAAA PHOOOOONNNNEEEEE! which probably would not have gone over well in this instance.

  • playa manhattan||

    OT: No. On Topic: Yes

  • General Butt Naked||

    Fuck it, why not? If they're gonna listen to yer calls, they might as well provide the phone.

  • playa manhattan||

    P.S. Who would have objected to the Obamaphone comment? I thought that was a common usage term for the program these days.

  • Irish||

    I've heard people claim that it's racist.

    Apparently pointing out that someone said something ridiculous is racist if that person happens to be black.

  • playa manhattan||

    Have you heard the same claim for Obamacare? Just curious.

  • ||

    I have, albeit not in person.

  • ||

    What's the logic there? Trying to tag it to Obama's legacy is racist because you don't like the ACA and therefore hate the color of Obama's skin because Romneycare?

    That's about as coherent as I could make it and that was painful.

  • ||

    Basically, the logic is that prefixing an entitlement program with "Obama" is a dog-whistle for "used by black people".

  • ||

    So they wouldn't be upset if we said Obamalective War in Syria? because it'd just be moderately brown people?

  • Snark Plissken||

    Bombing Syria would create a hell of a lot of jobs for the Syrian people. Krugman is crunching the numbers at this very moment.

  • Killazontherun||

    'Hey, look at me! I can do basic algebra! Science.'

  • Killazontherun||

    HM linked to an article from, I believe The Atlantic, on underground homosexuality in Saudi Arabia. A Syrian father warned his son who was moving there to be careful because all of the Saudis men lusted for the white tail of Syrian men. Interesting inter-ethnic racial dynamic.

  • Swiss Servator, Spare a Franc?||

    You have blue eyes.

    I say you have blue eyes.

    - Yes, effendi.

    Are you Circassian?

    - Yes, effendi.

  • Sevo||

    "That's about as coherent as I could make it and that was painful"

    Give shreek a chance; he'll make it less coherent but rave about it all the same.

  • Finrod||

    As I've heard it said, the 21st century definition of a racist is anyone who's winning an argument with a liberal.

  • ||

    It was a patient at work. Even if she hadn't objected to the term, I think screaming it out like Kirk screaming KHAAAAAN! would've made it clear that I disapproved of the program (if gently pointing out that the last dumb phone I had was 15$+ tax and 30$ a month, didn't tip her off), and I don't know her politics, but can make some pretty strong inferences about them.

  • Rich||

    Religious freedom vs legal proceedings in London

    The only part of a niqab-wearer's face that is visible is a narrow section across the eyes. The judge said he would offer the woman a screen to shield her from public view while giving evidence but that she had to be seen by him, the jury and lawyers.

    We'll see how this one turns out. I predict that the judge, jury, and lawyers will all be replaced by females.

  • Irish||

    Socialism works! Argentina at risk of default, people start trading pesos for dollars on the black market.



    The thriving currency black market on postcard Florida Street in the commercial centre of Argentina’s capital is a result of strict foreign exchange controls introduced in 2011 to stem capital flight. In the “caves”, dollars can be sold for close to double the official rate of 5.7 pesos.

    Shockingly, when you outlaw something that doesn't mean people will stop doing it.

  • Calidissident||

    I went there last year, and you could pay for anything in dollars, and in many places it was preferred. Also, the official exchange rate was total bullshit and way overvalued the peso

  • hotsy totsy||

    So have your Argentinean friend buy your ticket in Argentine pesos and you repay him in dollars. At a discount. Win/win.

  • ||

    I haz a sad. Such an awesome place...such a shitty government. Wait...it's California.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    While I'd love to take this to prove socialism is a failure, its adherents will simply shift to Chile and Scandinavia to show it does work.

    Clearly the ideals of socialism in some form or another has infiltrated our common lexicon in dealing with social issues through policy. In other words, despite the charge of the rise of neo-liberalism, the default position people take is socialist in my view.

    Put it to you another way. Who has more sway over a population? A guy who offers free stuff or the one who doesn't?

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    "he and his advisors insist the future's so bright ya gotta wear shades"

    You'll never need sunglasses with this administration.

  • Damned Fool||

    The Messiah shines so brightly that all who look at him are blinded.

  • Finrod||

    Peril-sensitive sunglasses might come in handy.

  • ||

    Russian foreign minister Tweets that Navy Yard shooting was caused by 'American exceptionalism'

    Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the lower house of Russia's Parliament, sent the gloating tweet a little after 10 a.m. ET Monday morning, even as the alleged D.C. shooter was still at large and details of the shooting were unconfirmed.
    "A new shootout at Navy headquarters in Washington – a lone gunman and 7 corpses. Nobody’s even surprised anymore,” Pushkov tweeted.
    The tweet was first translated by BuzzFeed’s Max Seddon, but Pushkov later tweeted in English after receiving a wave of angry replies from Americans.

    America needs to check its privilege.

  • Sevo||

    The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc| 9.16.13 @ 10:44PM |#
    "Russian foreign minister Tweets that Navy Yard shooting was caused by 'American exceptionalism'"

    Having a hard time getting upset.
    Obozo practically pasted a "kick me" sign on his ass and Putin said 'well, why not?'
    So until that sign comes down, why, anybody east of Poland is welcome to take a shot.

  • Irish||

    This is hilarious because Russia's murder rate is like 4.5 times what ours is. Given that, the Russians probably shouldn't gloat about violence.

  • Sevo||

    Yep, but until Putin is dumb enough to hang that sign on his ass, well...

  • ||

    Russian foreign minister Tweets that Navy Yard shooting was caused by 'American exceptionalism'

    Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the lower house of Russia's Parliament, sent the gloating tweet a little after 10 a.m. ET Monday morning, even as the alleged D.C. shooter was still at large and details of the shooting were unconfirmed.
    "A new shootout at Navy headquarters in Washington – a lone gunman and 7 corpses. Nobody’s even surprised anymore,” Pushkov tweeted.
    The tweet was first translated by BuzzFeed’s Max Seddon, but Pushkov later tweeted in English after receiving a wave of angry replies from Americans.

    America needs to check its privilege.

  • Ted S.||

    So do the server squirrels.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    zing.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    And everything fucked up with Russia is caused by...

  • Ted S.||

    BOOOOOOOOOSH!!!111!!!

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

  • playa manhattan||

    My new favorite search term is "Meanwhile in Russia"

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Fuck Russia.

    How that gray, dreary, cold country inhabited by souls with an inferiority complex is in the G8 is beyond me.

    Russia is vastly inferior to the United States of America.

    And...1980!

  • Heedless||

    When you have enough nukes to turn a good portion of Europe and the US into radioactive glass, you too can be in the G8. The rest of your assets may consist of 6 Soviet-era tractors and 100,000 Lenin statues, but we'll pretend not to notice.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    What's this? Healthy and active people are more productive and miss less work? You don't say.
    They needed to conduct a study??

  • Ted S.||

    There's nothing left to cut!

  • Snark Plissken||

    Except that they didn't link to the actual study, and they show a picture of a double hamburger with lettuce, tomato and pickle, which is actually quite healthy.

  • Sevo||

    I'll bet you didn't know that people who don't have jobs don't make a lot of money, either! See, you're not so smart!
    "Employment gap between rich, poor widest on record"

    Poster girl is a fake:
    "Annette Guerra posses for a photo at her home in San Antonio. Guerra, 33, has been looking for a full-time job for more than a year after finishing nursing school."
    Doesn't pass sniff test; nurses are hired if the fog a mirror.
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/tex.....817313.php

  • Virginian||

    Yeah, I thought nurses were in huge demand.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    I love the picture.

    Shit, she could come up here. We have a doctor AND nurses shortage because of....government control of the industry!

    The idiots in the PQ party gave packages to doctors and nurses back in the 90s and we've been dealing with the consequences ever since. Not only that, people trained abroad as doctors are not always recognized so they're stuck driving taxis around this shit hole.

    Genius public policy. Bravo!

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    Ohio University Marching 110 returns to continue their reign as the most viral band in the land with this halftime cover of Ylvis' "The Fox."

  • BigT||

    Nice music. But band directors who resort to 'dance in place' numbers are lazy and incompetent. Why have hundreds of marchers if you don't use them for things? Even worse is free-form dance in place where the band members do whatever they feel like doing. Marching band has really degenerated the past decade. What happened to the good ol days when the band would give a little sex ed show with the band members displaying how to install a condom?

  • ||

    This Korean sculptor's works are dark and disturbing. Watch at your own peril.

  • General Butt Naked||

    First comment:

    Still not as harsh as a Sarah Palin speech.

    Good thing to know that Andrew Sullivan stays sharp by commenting on HuffPo.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    None of the Obamabots is the least bit capable of proving that
    ANYTHING this administration has done has ever improved the economy one iota.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    None of the Obamabots is the least bit capable of proving that
    ANYTHING this administration has done has ever improved the economy one iota.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    None of the Obamabots is the least bit capable of proving that
    ANYTHING this administration has done has ever improved the economy one iota.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    None of the Obamabots is the least bit capable of proving that
    ANYTHING this administration has done has ever improved the economy one iota.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    None of the Obamabots is the least bit capable of proving that
    ANYTHING this administration has done has ever improved the economy one iota.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    None of the Obamabots is the least bit capable of proving that
    ANYTHING this administration has done has ever improved the economy one iota.

  • General Butt Naked||

    WHAT!!??

  • ||

    Did you say something?

  • ||

    Damn ASM, I knew you were a bit daft, but how many times does Gilbert have to say it before you'll understand that Obamabots are the green technology of the future economy?

    Wait, no Gilbert, what were you trying to get at again?

  • Snark Plissken||

    The server squirrels hath given us a bountiful harvest.

  • General Butt Naked||

    There's gotta be a way to turn these extra posts into some quick cash.

  • Snark Plissken||

    I'm thinking at least $86/hr using a computer.

  • playa manhattan||

    Only if it is your sister's manicurist's cousin-in-law.

  • Snark Plissken||

    She always spends the money on new Alfa Romeos.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    well, being Alfas, they do keep breaking down.

  • RannedPall||

    Fuck, half the time I just come here to lurk and laugh at the comments, you guys never disappoint. Carry on chaps.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    The tree of Reason must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of squirrels

  • ||

    Say 'None of the Obamabots is the least bit capable of proving that
    ANYTHING this administration has done has ever improved the economy one iota.' again. Say 'None of the Obamabots is the least bit capable of proving that
    ANYTHING this administration has done has ever improved the economy one iota.' again.

    I dare you! I double dare you muthafucker say 'None of the Obamabots is the least bit capable of proving that
    ANYTHING this administration has done has ever improved the economy one iota.' one more goddamn time!

  • ||

    None of the Obamabots is the least bit capable of proving that
    ANYTHING this administration has done has ever improved the economy one iota.

    ...bitch!

  • ||

    *pops cap in Francisco's leg*

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Could you repeat that? I don't read Spanish.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Obama waives ban on arming terrorists to allow aid to Syrian opposition

    President Obama waived a provision of federal law designed to prevent the supply of arms to terrorist groups to clear the way for the U.S. to provide military assistance to "vetted" opposition groups fighting Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.

    Some elements of the Syrian opposition are associated with radical Islamic terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, which was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., in 2001. Assad's regime is backed by Iran and Hezbollah.

    The president, citing his authority under the Arms Export Control Act, announced today that he would "waive the prohibitions in sections 40 and 40A of the AECA related to such a transaction."

    Those two sections prohibit sending weaponry to countries described in section 40(d): "The prohibitions contained in this section apply with respect to a country if the Secretary of State determines that the government of that country has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism," Congress stated in the Arms Control Export Act.

    These Free Syrian Army guys are just sounding more credible by the day, what with the seeking chemical weapons and eating fresh hearts and summarily executing people for Youtube's viewing pleasure and now needing a special waiver against arming terrorists to receive weapons from the US.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Wow.

    How is this not treasonous?

  • ||

  • playa manhattan||

    I saw the whole thing. She was trying to rape him, and he complied.

  • playa manhattan||

    P.S. Moo Bucket part II in the oven right now. I need to step out to replace my laptop in the meanwhile. I hope the Apple store can accommodate my disability: assholishness.

  • ||

    Well shit, now I'm hungry and I have no BBQ in my house. Thanks a lot.

  • playa manhattan||

    NBD, I'm sure that there is some store bought lasagna somewhere in your freezer.

  • ||

    I hope the Apple store can accommodate my disability: assholishness.

    They'd be out of business if they couldn't.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    If you hate hipsters, you might just be a hipster.

  • Snark Plissken||

    It's like an intellectual Mobius Strip made out of vinyl.

  • ||

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    SIR!
    you SFed the link

  • ||

    www.thisdaylive.com/articles/s.....ge/158265/

    My sincerest apologies to the commentariat and specifically to the Archduke for this grievous posting failure.

    *commits seppuku*

    That is all.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    it seems to be a newspaper that considers itself legitimate. I would recommend writing a letter to the editor.

  • ||

    A coworker of mine is flying to Lagos in a couple of months to meet a Nigerian. This is after she fell for a Nigerian love scam.

  • Tejicano||

    Ah, she's going to meet some dude in Nigeria who she met on-line AND KNOWS IT IS A SCAM??!? Am I reading this wrong?

  • ||

    No, she met a "Danish" guy online who turned out to be a Nigerian scammer, but now she's met a guy who is from Nigeria and is honest about it (no fucking clue how they found each other) and she's going to meet him. I think it's crazy, but she has a passport she's never used so she might as well do something crazy with it.

  • playa manhattan||

    Crazy? Mission accomplished.

  • Tejicano||

    Let me try that : "I've got a Galil and a box of magazines which I've never used so I might as well do something crazy with it."

    Nope. Doesn't work. Might I suggest a week in Bangkok? Maybe a trans-Siberian railway trip?

  • ||

    Meh, she didn't listen when we told her she was being scammed. She won't listen now. I'll make sure I have her complete travel itinerary before she leaves and have an excuse to go on a random rescue mission to Nigeria should she get kidnapped.

  • Tejicano||

    Maybe you should contact the US consulate in Lagos and let them know what's going down. Maybe they will care enough to intervene in advance rather than answer phone calls from her parents and try to pick up the pieces later.

    I've done some crazy things myself - did a road trip across eastern Europe in the bad old days when every other person we met in Prague - upon hearing our itinerary - asked if we had a gun for the trip. I wouldn't do a trip to most places in Africa without something belt-fed and portable.

  • ||

    She's well into her adulthood, her young adult daughter is throwing a fit about it. Apparently the Nigerian consulate begged her not to leave Lagos while she was there.

    I'm really not sure how appropriate it is for me to interfere. I had folks try to stop me from going to Korea because the norks were testing nuclear weapons a few weeks before I left.

  • ||

    Might I suggest a week in Bangkok?

    It only takes one night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Dude, that is whacked what she's doing.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    Eww! There's blood and guts everywhere!

    ... Hobbit

  • playa manhattan||

    He's holding a flask. It HAS to be science.

  • General Butt Naked||

    SIR!
    you SFed the link

    At least he didn't "pants" the link. That's the worst!

  • ||

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    enjoy some more Meanwhile in Russia

  • Generic Stranger||

    I liked the horse dutifully following the crosswalk.

    IS GOOD POST-SOVIET HORSE.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I always liked this one.

  • General Butt Naked||

    He also has this video showing the 600 round assault clip.

    The ak47 military style assault clip preferred by mass murderers everywhere.

  • ||

    Is it just that Russian drivers are terrible or that they have a ton of dash cams and therefore catch everything? I assume they have a ton of dashcams because they're terrible drivers, but this is worse than when I lived in Asia.

  • playa manhattan||

    The justice system there is corrupt, so they have to videotape everything. That, plus there were some obvious mechanical failures in some of those soviet era cars. And lots of really drunk driving.

  • Rich||

    *** catches breath, wipes tears ***

    Thank you very much, Archduke!

  • ||

    Has anyone noticed yet that today's shooter was Bizarro Heroic Mullato?

  • playa manhattan||

    Not yet. Go on...

  • ||

    Part-black New England professor with Thai wife who is either Buddhist or dabbles becomes black Texan military washout with Thai/Buddhist fetish.

  • ||

    I was going to make a post to that effect but decided it would be in bad taste.

  • ||

    Has HM posted today?

  • playa manhattan||

    The only thing that would be in bad taste is that he is not here to see it. If he were in on this thread, different story...

  • ||

    Villainous Biracist?

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    US doughnuts battle for British consumers

    Top comment of course:

    Forget Dunkin' and KK, the real deal are Tim Horton's donuts from Canada - loads of variety - lots of different fillings, flavours etc. When are they coming to the UK?
  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    I remember when Tim horton's was pure crap and DD superior.

    I still don't get the fascination with TH though. Have had better and that coffee....yeesh.

    Then again, I drink espresso so coffee is not my groovy thang.

  • XM||

    Where exactly are these millions of jobs that are created? Are they counting temp jobs that come up during holidays?

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    What. A. Surprise. Losing money with TARP.

    "Adjusted for inflation and population growth, only 45 percent of wealth lost during the recession has been recovered, and many of the hardest hit households did not benefit as much from the rebound in financial assets prices."

    Now Obama has a figure to attach to his Republican demonizing. The GOP is at fault 55%!

    "Despite initial fears that TARP investments in banks would cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars, as of today, Treasury has recovered $28 billion more than the $245 billion disbursed..."

    How is this even possible? If you lend 'x' don't you get 'x' back and not 'x+'? The overflow is not explained as interest so how did the government make a 'profit?'

    Government and profit, in any event, is an oxymoron. It never, ever, never ceases to astound me how people continuously neglect to factor in the cost of INTEREST on their borrowings. No one seems to grasp that while the figure of the debt - trillions - is large enough the SERVICING OF THAT DEBT through interest payments is what wreaks havoc and leads to bankruptcy.

  • johnson29||

    I hope you continue writing about this kind of entry.

    Reverse Loan Rates
    Loans Reverse Mortgage

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