Regulation

Stimulant or Hallucinogen?

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Not wanting to leave any doubt to his Worst President of the 20th Century title, George W. Bush is all giddy over sticking the American people with an "economic stimulus" package.

News coverage of the package has been universally awful by failing to note the package is: A) Much too small to impact a multi-trillion dollar economy B) Not responsible for cheering Wall St. with the Keynesian fiscal pump-priming, but with the irresponsible lifting of the cap on "conforming" mortgages backed by Uncle Sam C) Fucking nuts.

Topic A is self-explanatory; B requires only the understanding banks had basically stopped writing jumbo loans in some markets because they have no idea what the actual value of real estate might be at the moment. This is a rational response to market uncertainty and can only speed along the necessary real estate correction along with encouraging banks to take losses on their books and move forward.

Sticking government-backed enterprises in the middle of this process removes market discipline from the mix. This brings us to topic C. Even the federal regulator charged with oversight of Fannie and Freddie says bumping the conforming loan limit to $700K (!) is a bad idea. But one look at Nancy Pelosi's rictus grin and it is clear Uncle Sam will permanently support California's real estate bubble.

To recap, in a matter of months we've gotten the Federal Housing Administration to guarantee up to 100 percent of loans up to $367,000, a federal fiat that adjustable rate mortgages will no longer adjust, and now federal GSE guarantees for mortgages of almost three-quarters of a million dollars. No wonder the mighty brain of Bill Kristol looks at the process and calls it a "win-win." We've nationalized the mortgage industry, surely a great thing of National Greatness.

Meanwhile one industry insider relates, "They are doing backflips at Lending Tree. Literally jumping up and down. Their business is going to go through the roof." So too all the bankers who have been saved by a President who quite likely has not a clue what he has done.

Addendum: I was evidently too cute by half by placing Bush in the 20th century by virtue of his November 2000 election, which to my mind makes him eligible for that time frame. Some commenters seem to disagree. Worst president of the last two centuries then?

NEXT: More and Better Bickering

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  1. But I’ms gonna gets my six hunnert!

  2. What’s worse than W with a republican house and senate, W with a democratic house and senate.

  3. Jamie Kelly,
    Screw the $600, I’m looking forward to the next wave:

    Pelosi said, “I can’t say I’m totally pleased with the package, but I do know that it will help stimulate the economy. But if it does not, then there will be more to come.”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-fri_stimulusjan25,1,2937883.story

  4. “Which century?”

    Well, saying 21st century would be pretty meaningless.

  5. Yeah, 20th Century? I think not.

    WHERE’S MY MONEY?!?!?

  6. If $600 is good, then $6,000 is ten times better. Bush must want it to fail!

  7. the best thing about this is that spending like crazy is what got us in this mess and the government wants us to spend that rebate!

    Ironically most people that are getting the rebate are not income tax payers…

  8. I continue to be torn between my responsible side that says finish paying off my smaller house (with its lesser ultimate value) and jumping on board this ponzi scheme for what “they” say I can afford.

    Every time I think “No way this house of cards doesn’t collapse”, then it doesn’t and/or Uncle Sam bails everyone out.

    Am I just a chump for not gettin’ some too?

  9. I agree. I’m sure all the welfare recipients’ purchases of big-screen TVs and sacks of weed will stimulate us out of the recession.

  10. Pelosi said, “I can’t say I’m totally pleased with the package, but I do know that it will help stimulate the economy. But if it does not, then there will be more to come.”

    I cant wait!

    So if we “do” go in a recession, the government will continue doing the same things that got it there, excellent!

  11. I’m taking my $600 and buying all the members of Congress a colorful Chinese toy.

  12. Not wanting to leave any doubt to his Worst President of the 20th Century title, George W. Bush is all giddy over sticking the American people with an “economic stimulus” package.

    Uh, Jeff, GWB didn’t become Prez until the 21st century. (However, I’m willing to give him the honors of “Worst since April 12, 1945”.

  13. Malt liquor or rimz? Malt liquor or rimz?

  14. Malt liquor or rimz?

    Malt liquor poured into your rimz.

  15. I’ll take my $600 and… save it πŸ™‚

  16. ce,
    that was fucking hilarious.

  17. Ho ho ho, I get it, poor people are stupid!

    Very good, sir!

  18. i worked for two months this past summer break. do i still get six hundred?? if so that is ridiculous.

  19. That’s right, fat man. Look directly into your rims, and let the waves of hypnosis wash over your tiny brain. For you are now our slave.

  20. “Worst since April 12, 1945”.

    Not to defend Roosevelt, but he at least won a war.

  21. Ho ho ho, I get it, poor people are stupid!

    Well, I don’t like to generalize, but …

    Get a sense of humor at some point.

  22. i worked for two months this past summer break. do i still get six hundred?? if so that is ridiculous.

    If you earned 3K but did not pay income tax, then you get $300.

  23. Not to defend Roosevelt, but he at least won a war

    Truman finished it

  24. Well, now I know where the money for my new rifle will come from.

  25. Truman finished it

    Dropped couple big damn bombs on da slopes.

  26. Ho ho ho, I get it, poor people are stupid!

    I wish this board allowed us to embed images, so I could put a jerk-off smiley here.

    As for me, I’m spending my free money on a grill. Are those still cool?

  27. What? Where’s the love for hookers and blow?

  28. The true engine of the American economy is the indiscriminate spending of the middle class using credit they shouldn’t have. So how is giving money to the poor going to help that.

  29. Not to defend Roosevelt, but he at least won a war.

    Not as of April 1945, he hadnt.

  30. “Not wanting to leave any doubt to his Worst President of the 20th Century title, George W. Bush”

    Nonsense.

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt is far and away the worst President of the 20th Century.

    He was the one that began the massive nanny-state government with his unconstitutional, socialist “New Deal” that has resulted in the massive wealth redistribution and loss of economic freedom that we have had to endure ever since.

  31. All right. I’ll say it. ‘Cause Truman was too much of a pussywimp to let MacArthur go in there and blow out those Commie bastards!

  32. …and BLACK!

    Yup, I’M the one with the humor problem.

  33. kinnath –
    I don’t know, but I’m going to buy me some banking and loan stocks πŸ™‚

  34. I pre-stimulated the economy during the holidays, via CitiCards. ‘Bout time the government caught up!

  35. Warty, I welcome the competition. (This only makes sense if you are aware of the libertarian island known as Rainbow Puppy Land). We need a website.

  36. Say it! Say it!

  37. joe,
    How you got “black” out of those comments is your own problem.
    You don’t hang ’round the po white trash much, does ya?

  38. Good answer. Good answer. I like the way you think. I’m gonna be watching you.

  39. Unless, warty, you meant grill for your ride, in which case, I’m an idiot.

  40. wouldn’t the best thing the gov’t could do right now is not spend and and not encourage us to spend. Shouldn’t the gov’t be trying to run a surplus so that we can actually have real capital savings to just low interest rates and not rely on credit manipulation and intervention to reach unjustified low interest rates which will just start the process all over again.

  41. Anyone planning on buying $600 of sangria in Virginia?

  42. If you give money to poor people, they’re just going to buy cheap shit made in China.

    If you give it to rich people, they’ll buy expensive shit made in Japan or Germany . . . which has got be better for the economy.

  43. I meant grill for my teefs.

  44. Jamie,

    How you got “black” out of those comments is your own problem.
    You don’t hang ’round the po white trash much, does ya?

    Jamie Kelly | January 25, 2008, 2:44pm | #

    Malt liquor or rimz?

    Malt liquor poured into your rimz.

    Don’t insult everybody’s intelligence.

  45. javier, that’s funny

  46. Rodney and Sam: you guys are the best.

    Sam also sums up my thoughts on this rebate plan: OHHHHHH OHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

  47. janier,

    That’s a good long-term plan, but a stimulus package is by definition short-term.

  48. joe,
    are you saying that black people buy malt liquor and rimz?
    Fucking racist.

  49. joe, I’m also gonna buy a bunch of flannel shirts with the sleeves already cut off. Oh, and Nascar tickets!

  50. Don’t play dumb, Jamie. It’s unbecoming.

  51. I can tell you, joe, that the po white trash in Missoula, Montana, love their malt liquor and rimz.
    But you don’t know much about the po peoples, does ya? You just like to tell them where they can live.

  52. Of course, the way this rebate works, the more income tax you paid, the less of a rebate you get.

    God, but some days I hate every single person in the federal government for lying sacks of shit that they are.

  53. I’m not the one saying they can’t be trusted to spend money, asshat.

  54. Jamie,

    It’s called the White Boy Weasel:

    No no I didn’t mean it like that!

  55. That’s a good long-term plan, but a stimulus package is by definition short-term.

    there is no viable short term solution just nonsense that will have no real impact like this package or credit manipulation that MIGHT temporarily save us now if they go far enough but make it worse in the future.

    good piece

  56. Addendum: That’s too cute by half.

    I was evidently too cute by half by placing Bush in the 20th century by virtue of his November 2000 election, which to my mind makes him eligible for that time frame.

    Oath of office, Jan 2001 means 21st century.

  57. Don’t insult everybody’s intelligence.

    I second this. Rimz and Malt Liquor?? Not that’s not a crack against black people — riiiiight.

    Raising the limits for Fannie/Freddie is a HORRIBLE idea.

    I believe I CNBC was reporting that the conforming loan limit would be raised to 125% of median home prices in local markets in the version being drafted by Barney Frank

  58. Wow, I cut and paste Jeff’s typo directly, then fuck up my own comment. . .

    Isn’t this one of joe’s rules.

  59. Just what we needed, a nationalized mortage market to prop up the housing insanity and a “stimulus” package specifically designed to lead to demand-pull inflation! GO TEAM!

  60. Rimz and Malt Liquor?? Not that’s not a crack against black people — riiiiight.

    Come on down to Missoula, Montana, population 90,000, 96 percent of them white.
    I can tell you that all the liquor stores and convenience stores are STOCKED TO THE HILT with malt liquor, and that the kids and the po folk just love it because it’s a cheap drunk!
    And we do quite the robust business in shocks and rims!

  61. I can usually trace a path of logic, or at least illogic, from any given policy proposal back to its alleged effect, but I can’t come up with even a fig leaf to explain how raising the limits is supposed to be stimulatory.

    kinnath, you misspelled joez law. Dmmy.

  62. I think its sad that this post is probably the most important one of the past 3 months and it seems to generate nothing more than bickering over a Political Correctness.

    No one understands economics at all, not even apparently Economists. This is a classic example of what happens when the gov’t has its hand in a marketplace and things start to go bad. The only solution becomes to send more and more money at the problem, because “we made promises”. What a freaking joke.

    Anybody who cares about free market economics who supports this president or this congress is clueless. This is clearly just designed to stall the housing market correction until maybe …the tuesday after the first monday of november perhaps?

  63. I’m gonna cash my check into singles – no make that quarters – and roll around naked in it. Right there in the lobby of the bank.

    Stimulate this!

  64. edit: get rid of the “a” before Political Correctness

  65. White Boy Weasel, ooh yeah1

    White Boy Weasel, ooh yeah!

    Um um, gimme a minute.

    Um um, gimme a minute.

    (Bass solo)

    OK, here you go, how about this:

    It’s not about black people, who I cherish…

  66. George Bush: Greatest President of the United States of America of the 21st century

  67. So if the Feds guarantee loans up to $300,000 for gambling, will that stimulate the economy too?

  68. Joe, I know plenty of white boys who drink malt liquor and spend too much on rimz, but since they are emulating their black rapper heroes, is it still racist? I guess it probably is since they’re rich white kids from the burbs who probably aren’t getting refunds because they don’t work and pay taxes.

    You’re still a buzz kill, though. We all knew what it meant. Some of us aren’t so sensitive to issues of color and can still find some humor in such things. We have black friends rather than just pity the race in general.

    Spitzer just issued a budget package that included a new tax specifically on malt liquor and little cigars, but because he’s a Democrat it’s not racist, right? He’s just trying to save them from themselves by jacking up the price on things black people buy hoping they will no longer buy them. Statist nanny assholes just don’t get it.

  69. I’m not the one saying they can’t be trusted to spend money, asshat.

    You say they can’t be trusted in choosing where to spend there housing dolors every day of the week.

    By the way why are poor people more trustworthy in their spending habits then not poor people?

  70. Nick,

    What are “rimz?”

    Typo maybe?

    Who exactly are you trying to kid?

    of us aren’t so sensitive to issues of color

    Gee you don’t say.

    Love the “I’ve got black friends” bit, though.

  71. Sure I am, joshua.

    Personally, I don’t find income to be useful at all in judging how responsible any individual is going to be in spending their money.

  72. White Boy Weasel, ooh yeah!

    Wow, joe, it’s like you are really happy that you can call some people racists. Like you somehow then feel morally superior or something, whether it is true or not. But that can’t possibly be the motivation of people who instantly cry “racist!” Right?

  73. joe | January 25, 2008, 3:00pm | #
    I pre-stimulated the economy during the holidays, via CitiCards.

    Not interested in your foreplay techniques, joe. πŸ™‚

    How about: worst. president. ever.

  74. Funny, what I get pissed off people think I’m happy, and when I’m having fun, people think I’m angry.

    Text-only is a tough medium for judging people’s emotions, I guess.

    Good thing calling people “politically correct” or making fun of their assumed spending habits isn’t even motivated by a desire to feel superior.

    It’s funny how a certain class of people don’t ever get upset about racist comments, but get all bent of shape about complaints about racist comments.

  75. I’m not the one saying they can’t be trusted to spend money, asshat.

    Food stamps?

  76. Irish/Italian/Catholic boys in Boston learn early to be careful what dey say bout dem black boys.

  77. Oh, and yes, I do feel superior to people who make jokes about black people and poor people.

    Fucking sue me.

  78. Just what we needed, a nationalized mortage market to prop up the housing insanity and a “stimulus” package specifically designed to lead to demand-pull inflation!

    That would be zoning and subprime insanity.

    People wanting to own their own homes really does not seem crazy to me.

    Government intentionally limiting the supply of housing then saying that it won’t effect prices and then buying overpriced homes and getting mortgages above what you pay in the hopes that the government will continue to be successful at limiting supply…ya that is a little fucking nuts.

    Plus investing into these loans simply cuz someone wrapped them into a neat little package and put a AAA sticker on it….that is pretty fucking nuts as well.

  79. Food stamps?

    No thanks, I’m stuffed.

    Irish/Italian/Catholic boys in Boston learn early to be careful what dey say bout dem black boys.

    Uh, yeah, that’s why someone would object to racist jokes in a community of libertarians; fear of black people overhearing them.

  80. “Of course, the way this rebate works, the more income tax you paid, the less of a rebate you get.”

    Well that’s only fair. After all, all those upper income folks who pay about 97% of all the income taxes are clearly getting away with not paying their “fair share” – whereas all those low income folk have been “working hard and playing by the rules” so naturally they are much more deserving.

  81. Worst President since James Buchannan. At least the Union hasn’t dissolved under Bush’s watch. Well, not yet anyway.

  82. The year 2000 is 20th century. The year 2001 is 21st century. He was elected / “elected” (pick whichever version you prefer) in 2000 and assumed office in 2001. Bush v. Gore was decided in December 2000. Arguably, he could be called a 20th century President.

  83. Oh, and Nick, if that law actually is as you describe, it sounds terribly paternalistic and racist.

  84. Arguably, he could be called a 20th century President-Elect

    Fixed that for you.

  85. Oh, and yes, I do feel superior to people who make jokes about black people and poor people.

    You feel superior to Chris Rock?

  86. Well, joe, if you really need it spelled out, you’re a hypocrite. You criticize people for making a comment that wouldn’t really offend most black people, yet you support policies that manipulate them “for their own good.” That’s way worse than anything anyone said here. That’s real oppression but fuck them for liking it, right?

    Stop using Sharpton as your political correctness meter.

  87. He ain’t president until he takes the oath of office.

    If he had been run over by a bus prior to taking office, he would not be listed as a president.

  88. Hey joe, did you hear about the Democrat who wanted to ban malt liquor and Kool cigarette billboards in black neighborhoods?

  89. Episiarch, touche.

  90. Worst president since Andrew Jackson, whose combination of genocidal ideology and contempt for the rule of law really do put him on a plane of his own.

    The No-Knowithing paranoia about a national bank and the delay that put on our economic growth is just gravy.

  91. If he had been run over by a bus prior to taking office …

    *dazes off in a daydream, smiling*

  92. You criticize people for making a comment that wouldn’t really offend most black people, yet you support policies that manipulate them “for their own good.

    Joe is one good white man.

  93. Second verse:

    Yeah, well, you…

    Yeah, well, you…

    Some stations have that song on heavy rotation, and some stations don’t play it at all.

  94. Nick: Spitzer just issued a budget package that included a new tax specifically on malt liquor and little cigars

    joe: Oh, and Nick, if that law actually is as you describe, it sounds terribly paternalistic and racist.

    Why exactly is that racist, joe? I can see the “paternalistic” part, but you lost me at “racist.” Explain please.

  95. I’m going to take my $600 straight my wonderful and professional coke dealer and procure from him 3.7 eight balls. That is the kind of economic, uh, stimulus we call all be proud of.

  96. Joe is one good white man.

    I would say well-trained, myself.

  97. Ib>If he had been run over by a bus prior to taking office …

    *dazes off in a daydream, smiling*

    Can you say “President Dick Chenny”.

  98. Joe is just one good white man.

    That should do it.

  99. sage,

    Are you not from the United States?

    I’m really not interested in indulging people who wish to play dumb.

  100. And joe, tons of rednecks buy malt liquor and rims. Sorry.

  101. Are they not borrowing the money they plan to give us?

  102. sage,

    Why don’t you ask Nick and Jamie Kelly?

    They don’t seem to be confused about the connection, and they brought it up first.

  103. “joe | January 25, 2008, 2:47pm | #
    Ho ho ho, I get it, poor people are stupid!

    Very good, sir!”

    I used to be “poor people” and worked with them at minimum wage jobs where they insisted on only working part-time so their benefits wouldn’t get cut off. When January came around, most of my co-workers would race down to H&R Block for their Rapid Refund and spend their tax return money on home entertainment, drugs, and designer clothes. I paid ahead on rent, made car repairs, and saved, and even invested in birth control.

    I eventually went to school and started earning a respectable salary while most of those people are still at those same jobs and collecting food stamps on the side.

    So yeah, most of them are.

  104. OK fine, joe. I didn’t detect any irony in your comment. At all.

  105. Cesar,

    Ah, “rims.” See, Jamie and his little bund were talking about something called “rimz.”

    They still won’t tell me what they are, though.

  106. I want to see joe generate the same faux-outrage if someone suggested that people are going to buy shotguns, gun racks, and NASCAR tickets.

  107. You know whats racist? Thinking people are inferior or superior because of the color of their skin. That’s what it means to be racist.

  108. Ah, “rims.” See, Jamie and his little bund were talking about something called “rimz.”

    Ever seen how teenagers (and people at their emotional level) spell things on the internet before?

    See, dropping the “s” and replacing it with a “z” is supposed to be cool and hip (sarcasm).

    I don’t see the racial connection.

  109. joe, there is most definitely a well-established cliche regarding blacks and malt-liquour. But in reality malt-liquor is the choice of people looking for a cheap drunk. And while there aren’t alot of blacks here in Iowa, the local gas station still keeps lots of malt liquor stocked in the cooler. We also have lots of crappy cars with expensive rims driven by lots of dumb white boys.

  110. This oughta cover my dope budget for the year.

  111. This oughta cover my dope budget for the year.

    Two groups will make a lot of money off of this. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo on one hand.

    Drug dealers on the other.

  112. Cesar, I already said I’ll be getting a new rifle. Not a shotgun though. A target grade 22.

  113. Wow, I was pleased to see that Reason was finally bringing up this issue and looking forward to the comments. What a waste of time reading them has been. Does no one find the actual topic at hand interesting?

  114. Sage-

    Well, gotta buy em before Hilldog bans em.

  115. a well-established cliche regarding blacks and malt-liquour.

    Eastablished, spread virally, and inflated, and pounded home, by black comedians.

  116. Does no one find the actual topic at hand interesting?

    Nope, merely depressing, therefore lot’s of gallows humor interspliced with bickering about class/race warfare.

  117. Bob Mologna,
    Get out of here. We’re talking about niggers and drugs and poor people.

  118. Cesar, I already said I’ll be getting a new rifle. Not a shotgun though.

    $600 isn’t nearly enough to get a Browning Citori. Which is what I need. Need, I say.

  119. There were a dozen or so times before I said rimz that it was spelled that way on this thread. I was continuing the trend but joe asked me what they were. If he knows, and he does, then he’s just being a jerk. If he doesn’t know, then he is the worst kind of liberal, the kind that has never met the people he goes out of his way to defend.

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/bigrimz/

  120. I don’t know if it was intended or not but the banks/brokerages set things up pretty well for themselves: socialize our losses or your whole economy gets it!

    It’s been fun watching Larry Krudlow lately.

    12/07: “The Bush BOOM is the Greatest Story Never Told!”

    1/08: “Holy crap! Oh God. The Fed needs to cut to -11%!”

  121. Malt liquor or rimz? Malt liquor or rimz?

    In Iowa, this is snark about class not race because we don’t have enough people of color to justify snark about race.

  122. In Iowa, this is snark about class not race because we don’t have enough people of color to justify snark about race.

    Just you wait until the Reconquista!

    *maniacal laughter*

  123. Just you wait until the Reconquista!

    Hispanics are rapidly climbing up to the number two spot in Iowa. Which actually doesn’t take very much.

  124. I have been known to pound a 40 of malt after popping a Valium 10. It’s fun. Race is not involved.

  125. Race is not involved.

    Even when all the people you see turn purple with snakes coming out of their head?

  126. $600 isn’t nearly enough to get a Browning Citori. Which is what I need. Need, I say.

    I hear you, my good man.

  127. Does no one find the actual topic at hand interesting?

    Honestly, my snarky comment had a serious intent, as I don’t believe a slew of frivolous retail purchases will stimulate the economy much or help the poor. The inclusion of non-taxpayers in the rebate and the higher amount are the main differences between this “stimulus” and the one near the beginning of Bush’s term.

  128. Even when all the people you see turn purple with snakes coming out of their head?

    That is when I pound malt after taking angel dust. Slightly different experience.

  129. You might want to learn some history. I don’t know how anyone with even an inkling of libertarian tendencies could say GWB is the worst president of the century (or 2). For the love of God, Woodrow Wilson put thousands of people in prison for opposing WWI! And I don’t mean actively sabotaging the war, but simply protesting or even saying negative things in the privacy of their own homes.

  130. me-

    Good point about Wilson. I think hes the worst of the 20th Century–and definitely the most over-rated.

  131. Come on down to Missoula, Montana, population 90,000, 96 percent of them white.

    Cool town. Was there in ’97. Drank myself silly. Rode the carousel. Nearly had a heart attack climbing the hill with the big “M” on it. Didn’t see a single darky the whole time.

  132. I can well imagine the folks on Wall Street are doing cartwheels.

    I have concluded that if there were any actual justice in this world, a lot of those guys would have had nothing to look forward to after this but several years upstate for defrauding their investors.

    The lucky ones would be the non-citizens–after serving their time, they would be deported to their home countries where they might still have families who missed them. The US citizens would have nowhere to go but the gutters of Manhattan, because their assets would have been confiscated and they would have nothing left but their clothes, twenty dollars and a one-way bus ticket back to New York, and nobody would hire them for anything but the most menial work, if even that.

    This is what happens to poor brown people when they steal. Why not rich white people?

  133. I just realized that, completely unwittingly, I am talking about PCP on a thread entitled “Stimulant or Hallucinogen?”

  134. Wilson pretty much combined the worst elements of the modern right and left. His (prewar) domestic economic policy consisted of trustbusting (“New Freedom”), before turning into the command-and-control policy of WWI. His foreign policy was, well, WWI and an attempt to draw us into a massive corrupt international organization that wasn’t even effective in what it was supposed to do (Gee, sounds like some other Democratic president). He was also a racist and considered “Birth of a Nation” a masterpiece. =All-around douche.

  135. Does no one find the actual topic at hand interesting?

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  136. Cesar,

    There are two dickhead right wing sports radio hosts in Boston, and they sure do love to make fun of black people. And they also sure do love to make fun of inbred, gun-toting, rednecks down in Mississippi. Did I mention I think they’re dickheads?

    Ever seen how teenagers (and people at their emotional level) spell things on the internet before?

    See, dropping the “s” and replacing it with a “z” is supposed to be cool and hip (sarcasm).

    Ah, I get it. It was a joke about how TEENAGERS were going to spend their tax refund checks on dumb things. Do you actually believe that Jamie et al were making a teenager joke? BTW, they’ve already admitted they weren’t. So, uh, what are you trying to accomplish?

  137. Ah, I get it. It was a joke about how TEENAGERS were going to spend their tax refund checks on dumb things. Do you actually believe that Jamie et al were making a teenager joke? BTW, they’ve already admitted they weren’t. So, uh, what are you trying to accomplish?

    Teenagers and people at that emotional/intellectual level, yes.

  138. kinnath,

    joe, there is most definitely a well-established cliche regarding blacks and malt-liquour. But in reality malt-liquor is the choice of people looking for a cheap drunk. And while there aren’t alot of blacks here in Iowa, the local gas station still keeps lots of malt liquor stocked in the cooler. We also have lots of crappy cars with expensive rims driven by lots of dumb white boys.

    That’s nice. Now, how about instead of straining yourself to come up with a semi-plausible defense, you make a fair-minded effort to figure out who was supposed to be the butt of this joke:

    Jamie Kelly | January 25, 2008, 2:44pm | #

    Malt liquor or rimz?

    Malt liquor poured into your rimz.

    You know what the fucking joke was about. Jamie Kelly already admitted what the joke was about. What are you DOING?

  139. Looks like when the productive class is finally about to collapse from the parasitic bloodletting of the political class, our rulers know what to do: lighten up a bit by giving some of our tax money back to us.

    Imagine how the economy would grow if the government’s share was, say, cut in half, or even more.

  140. Cesar, for the love of Pete! Look at this:

    amie Kelly | January 25, 2008, 3:53pm | #

    a well-established cliche regarding blacks and malt-liquour.

    Eastablished, spread virally, and inflated, and pounded home, by black comedians.

    THE GUY WHO TOLD THE FUCKING JOKE ADMITS HE WAS REFERRING TO BLACK PEOPLE!!!!

    What are you doing, Cesar? Why is it important to you to act like you don’t know this?

  141. Perhaps one of our esteemed posters can answer this for me.

    Let’s say I bought a house with a mortgage and 20% down. Since I put down 20%, no need for mortgage insurance.

    Then the market crashes and my house value drops 30%, wiping out my equity. Does mortgage insurance typically get tacked onto the mortgage payment years after the closing in cases like this?

  142. Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ, joe, drop it. You were way too eager to point and say “racist!” Just because somebody makes a joke about black stereotypes doesn’t mean they hate black people. Take…Chris Rock, for instance.

    Take a deep breath, admit you overreacted, and move on.

  143. Episiarch | January 25, 2008, 4:05pm | #

    I have been known to pound a 40 of malt after popping a Valium 10. It’s fun. Race is not involved

    I used to drink malt liquor in college. I also have rims on my car – factory rims, but they are technically rims.

    Now, can you see anything different between what I just wrote and:

    Jamie Kelly | January 25, 2008, 2:44pm | #

    Malt liquor or rimz?

    Malt liquor poured into your rimz.

    Yes, you can. You don’t not understand this. You understand exactly what Jamie’s joke was about. You read the multiple comments he posted, acknowledging that he was making a joke about black people.

    What are you doing?

    I don’t get this “I’m going to try really hard to convince people I don’t know something that it’s blatantly obvious I know” thing.

    Somebody, please, explain this to me. It’s outside of my experience why people would do that.

  144. joe, they’ve identified a new variation of Alzheimer’s disease . . . it’s called Irish Alzheimer’s . . . you forget everything but the grudges.

  145. Russ2000,

    PMI is a condition the bank puts on your mortgage contract. If that condition was not put on your mortgage contract when it was signed, then you shouldn’t have to pay PMI unless you refinance.

  146. Even when all the people you see turn purple with snakes coming out of their head?

    That is when I pound malt after taking angel dust. Slightly different experience.

    Luckily, the superhuman strength which accompanies the PCP high allows you to tear off their heads and kick them over the horizon. Yes?

  147. Kinnath, that is fucking great. I have to remember that one.

    And guess what joe–I don’t hate Irish people! But I do find their stereotypes good for some laughs.

  148. I’d make ambiguously worded statements about how others will spend their stimulus, but I’m bitter because I won’t get one.

    I will get the privilege of helping to pay for everyone’s, though. Spend up, guys! It’s on me and people like me!

    Shit, get a mortgage you can’t afford while you’re at it! Pay a ridiculously inflated price, too! We’ll pick up the slack, don’t sweat it.

  149. For centuries, Hindu women have worn a dot on their foreheads. Most of us have naively thought this was connected with marriage or religion, but the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C. has recently revealed the true story.

    When a Hindu woman gets married, she brings a dowry into the union. On her wedding night, the husband scratches off the dot to see whether he has won a convenience store, a gas station, a donut shop or a motel in the United States.

    If nothing is there, he must take a job in India answering telephones giving technical advice

  150. Luckily, the superhuman strength which accompanies the PCP high allows you to tear off their heads and kick them over the horizon. Yes?

    Don’t get confused. PCP doesn’t give you superhuman strength, it merely has a significant analgesic effect (pain-killing) that allows you to try superhuman acts without pain feedback informing you that you are not, in fact, Batman.

  151. joe,

    Thanks, but I know that. What I wanted to know is what has been typical recently.

  152. OK, Episiarch, now you ARE admitting that you understand that it was a black joke.

    Fine, you like black jokes. You like ethnic humor. Put you in a whites-only night club in 1928, you’d be rolling the aisles. But you don’t hate anyone. Congratulations.

    Now, would you please tell me what the point of all of that bobbing and weaving and pretending you didn’t see any racial element to the joke was all about?

    Seriously, why did you do that? I come here to understand the thinking of people who aren’t like me, and this is a golden opportunity.

  153. In other words, have mortgage companies typically been putting in ass-covering language even on contracts where the loan at the time of closing isn’t subject to PMI.

  154. PCP doesn’t give you superhuman strength

    Wait- you mean the DARE guy was lying? Raskolinikov!

  155. joe, I was not one of the people saying I saw no racial element to the joke, so don’t ask me for explanations.

    I merely chimed in to point out that you were getting way too righteous over a simple joke. One that, if directed at the Irish, wouldn’t bother you at all.

  156. Good article. Incidentally, George Bush did not become president until the 21st century, making him the best, worst and only president of this century. As far as rating presidents, he is a great deal better than his immediate predecessor Bill Clinton. Perhaps this is not immediately apparent because of the number of problems that Clinton pushed under the carpet for Bush to deal with.

    I agree completely that this sort of “stimulus package” is nothing more than more discredited Keynesian nonsense. Expanding and making permanent tax cuts might be a better way to help the economy.

    Great title, btw.

  157. When the suicide bomber reached the Pearly Gates, the angel said “I have good news and I have bad news.”

    “The good news is that yes, you will get 72 virgins. The bad news is that they all snore at the same time.”

  158. Wait- you mean the DARE guy was lying?

    The whole time. And so was Mr. Noblet when he was teaching you about STDs:

    “Historically, syphilis is right up there with Germans. It wiped out the Romanovs, it decimated our fleet at Pearl Harbor, and of course, Fidel Castro impersonated Marilyn Monroe and gave President Kennedy a case of syphilis so severe that eventually it blew the back of his head off.”

  159. Now, would you please tell me what the point of all of that bobbing and weaving and pretending you didn’t see any racial element to the joke was all about?

    I saw a joke about class.

  160. Good-bye joe, have a nice weekend

  161. Maybe what we need is a government agency to guide the recipients in their spending of their new-found riches. Each eligible person should be required to write an essay, explaining in detail what they propose to do with the money, and how it will benefit the Many. This should allow the government to meaningfully expand their payroll, and further insinuate themselves into the daily minutiae of our lives.

  162. I’m gonna use my $600 to buy some foreign stocks.

  163. “Worst president of the last two centuries then?”

    Either way Wilson gets this in my book. Of course the 21st Centruy is far from over.

  164. From the title I thought this was going to be another post on Chavez’ chew.

    Here’s an amusing yet somewhat depressing little exercise:

    Worse than Clinton: Yes
    Worse than Bush I: Yes
    Worse than Reagan: Yes
    Worse than Carter: Have to think about it, but I suppose, Yes.
    Worse than Ford: Yes
    Worse than Nixon: I don’t know, tie
    Worse than Johnson: Ditto Nixon
    Worse than Kennedy: Yes
    Worse than Eisenhower: Yes
    Worse than Truman: Ditto Carter
    Worse than Roosevelt II: No
    Worse than Hoover: Yes
    Worse than Coolidge: Yes
    Worse than Harding: Can’t remember anything about Harding, so, Yes
    Worse than Wilson: No
    Worse than Taft: No
    Worse than Roosevelt I: Ditto Carter
    Worse than McKinley: Ditto Harding

    Maybe one of the reasons we have such an awful president is that people can blithely say that he’s the worst president ever because they don’t know any history. Or economics. I’m not billing myself as an expert on either, but I know appreciably more than nothing about these topics, which seems to be more than most people.

    Anyone else want to take a shot?

  165. Ah, I forgot my friend preview…

    Worse than Taft: Yes

  166. I was evidently too cute by half by placing Bush in the 20th century by virtue of his November 2000 election, which to my mind makes him eligible for that time frame. Some commenters seem to disagree. Worst president of the last two centuries then?

    How about the second worst in United States history? Below Nixon, Wilson, and Grant. If it weren’t for Buchanan …

  167. “Worst president of the last century” would have worked, too.

  168. GWB was lying naked on the Lincoln bed with a huge stiffie. On top of the stiffie was a carefully balanced cashew.

    The Secret Service guy looked in the door and said, “Dubya! Whaddya doing in here?”

    To which GWB replied

    I’m fucking nuts.

  169. Worse than Clinton: no but close
    Worse than Bush I: yes
    Worse than Reagan: yes
    Worse than Carter: no
    Worse than Ford: Yes
    Worse than Nixon: yes
    Worse than Johnson: no
    Worse than Kennedy: no
    Worse than Eisenhower: no
    Worse than Truman: no
    Worse than Roosevelt II: No
    Worse than Hoover: don’t care
    Worse than Coolidge: don’t care
    Worse than Harding: don’t care
    Worse than Wilson: no
    Worse than Taft: Don’t care
    Worse than Roosevelt I: Don’t care
    Worse than McKinley: Don’t care

    Fixed

  170. Am I the only person who suspects that “Joe” is actually a group of Reason interns whose only jobs are to keep the threads a-churning?

  171. GWB was lying naked on the Lincoln bed with a huge stiffie. On top of the stiffie was a carefully balanced cashew.

    speaking of which does anyone have an mp3 of W saying “switch grass”…the way he says it is such a hoot.

  172. Hey guys, sorry I’m late to the thread. What did I miss?

    TWC–That’s just awful. Really, really awful. Do you have more?

  173. Not to put too big a spike in your “worse than” lists, but how are you going to going to feel about your list if GW-360-days-and-counting-B trips over one of his malapopisms and Cheney becomes Prez?

  174. Not wanting to leave any doubt to his Worst President of the 20th Century title

    Haven’t read all 200 or so posts here, but technically Bush didn’t take the oath of office until January of 2001, which is in the 21st century, and IMO didn’t start acting like a douche until after 9/11.

    If anyone can come up with some examples of earlier douchebaggery, I’ll be happy to revisit this opinion.

  175. Haven’t read all 200 or so posts here, but technically Bush didn’t take the oath of office until January of 2001,

    Since about 50% of the posts dealt with that point, your opening phrase is obviously true.

    ;P

  176. Joe is a special psychic breed of anti-racist. Not only did he already know your sickening racist intent with associating wheels with malt liquor, but the clear tip-off was in your spelling the plural of a word with a “z” rather than an “s”. Everybody knows that the blacks are famous for misspelling words with a “z” where it is inappropriate, along with other words (see: muh dikk). Joe is a souldja and I commend him on his valiant moralistic quest for social justice.

  177. To be fair, I don’t think joe is being overly PC-sensitive here. Somebody started out making jokes about stereotypical welfare recipients … and then black stereotypes. Maybe they didn’t mean to. And maybe some people got sucked into fighting joe in mid-thread without really knowing what was going on. But joe didn’t start it. (And the comment about Truman dumping bombs on the “slopes” was almost certainly malice aforethought.)

  178. Joe is very earnest, he takes himself and the world around him very seriously, he’s easily outraged, and he’s a hell of a lot of fun to poke with a stick. Which is why so many people keep poking him with sticks. If he would not squeal like Tweak every time someone pokes him with a stick, people might stop doing it.

    I totally missed the post about slopes. These here threads don’t generally attract the kind of people who seem to really get off on the opportunity to be anonymously vile, but they are bound to get some.

  179. Not to put too big a spike in your “worse than” lists, but how are you going to going to feel about your list if GW-360-days-and-counting-B trips over one of his malapopisms and Cheney becomes Prez?

    As messed up as Cheney is, I don’t believe he can do as much damage in the time remaining to surpass GWB’s 7+ years of screwing up.

  180. Not to put too big a spike in your “worse than” lists, but how are you going to going to feel about your list if GW-360-days-and-counting-B trips over one of his malapopisms and Cheney becomes Prez?

    I wonder how the Iranians would feel about that.

  181. and he’s a hell of a lot of fun to poke with a stick

    Stubby, you owe me a monitor. πŸ™‚

  182. JW, thanks. No, just that one. πŸ™‚ And the ants, but it wasn’t as good. There is the bird in the freezer joke but you have to tell that one live and be half in the bag to make it work.

  183. He’s the worst President in my life time, that’s all that really matters to me. I don’t really remember Johnson so that takes it back to Nixon.

  184. Mistah joe:

    Fried chickenz, pigz feets n rice, wit watermelon fo’ dessert! I mights get a bottle o’ Crown Royal
    but all de hoes be wantin’ to try this heah absinthe ’cause it mo’ sophisticated.

    Lawdy I plum fogot. I’m goins to da Hoodoo lady and get mah dream numbuh to play on the Cash 3.

  185. Now comes the beginning of my reign of terror. Bow before me ye cowering mortals!

  186. iwerogih[oirjh[oijjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj

  187. jorihgaoigj

  188. If Ron Paul were president, I wonder what he would do in this situation, other than blaming everything on the blacks and jews?

  189. joe says: The No-Knowithing paranoia about a national bank and the delay that put on our economic growth is just gravy.

    I would like to try out those alternate reality goggles, you know, to peek mine eyes into this centralised bank prosperity you speek of.

    At any rate, I agree that Jackson’s zealous nature left much to be desired in a President. For me specifically are his cult of the Union and willful disregard of secessionism prerogative, the genocidal coast-to-coast manifest destiny for all cultures unwilling to assimilate, and perpetuating the doctrine of black slavery in the context of property rights. I offer to you a gesture similar to those that you offer to so many others, a condescending one, that you might benefit from a more detailed study of the Bank Wars and the associated historical context.

  190. I’ll play:

    Worse than Clinton: Too close to the Clinton Years to have an opinion; besides, they may not be over
    Worse than Bush I: Yes
    Worse than Reagan: Yes
    Worse than Carter: No.
    Worse than Ford: Yes
    Worse than Nixon: Tie, leaning no
    Worse than Johnson: Ditto Nixon
    Worse than Kennedy: Yes
    Worse than Eisenhower: Yes
    Worse than Truman: Yes
    Worse than Roosevelt II: No
    Worse than Hoover: Who knows/cares
    Worse than Coolidge: Yes
    Worse than Harding: Who knows/cares
    Worse than Wilson: No
    Worse than Taft: Who knows/cares
    Worse than Roosevelt I: Yes
    Worse than McKinley: Who knows/cares

    I count 8 Presidents he is definitely worse than, 5 he is tied with or not as bad as, and a bunch I don’t know/care about. So he’s in the bottom echelon, but the competition for Worst in the Last Century, which saw the death of our Constitutional Republic of limited enumerated powers and the first long strides toward the Total State long before Bush II, is pretty stiff.

  191. RC Dean,

    I agree with your yes and no picks.
    I’d put your ties, particularly Johnson but Nixon as well,as clear nos and the “who/knows cares” as tending yes. That would make GWB 6th worst on my list, pending a Clinton assessment.

  192. If measured by sheer presidential ineptitude, Bush the lesser is top 3 for sure. His model of reality is so poorly calibrated that nothing works. If the Bush league wants to engage in action A to achieve goal B, the almost seamless track record holds that goal B will not be achieved, and action A will be costly, and will make things worse.

    This economic stimuli by way of “tax rebates” plan has me nigh on hysterical.

    Unless we stop spending wealth that we don’t have, the Republic is doomed!

    I will now set myself on fire…

  193. Unless we stop spending wealth that we don’t have, the Republic is doomed!

    The more you spend, the more you save!
    Silly wabbit.

  194. That would make GWB 6th worst on my list, pending a Clinton assessment.

    meaning 6th up from the bottom not down from the top.

  195. stubby,

    I haven’t seen anyone but me having fun in this debate, and I seem to have done all the poking.

  196. Roger,

    Since we adopted a national bank, we went from a backwater to the most powerful economy in the world. Economic growth in the four decades after its adoption vastly exceeded growth prior to its adoption.

  197. It’s a lot easier to pull off the condescending thing if you know what you’re talking about.

  198. joe, comment at 3:30pm:

    post hoc ergo propter hoc?

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