Greece

Europe Is Careening Toward Grexit. How Was Your Long Weekend?

Things could get ugly if Greece and the rest of the Eurozone can't make a deal.

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Tsipras
Wikipedia

As Americans were blithely celebrating President's Day, members of the Eurogroup were meeting in Brussels as part of a last-ditch attempt to keep Greece's economy from collapsing.

Reports The Wall Street Journal:

Negotiations over how to keep Greece afloat broke down abruptly Monday, demonstrating a wide gulf between Athens and its European creditors and triggering a new, heightened state of uncertainty about the country's future inside the currency bloc.

This week has long been circled on the calendar as the deadline by which Greek representatives need to agree to abide by the conditions of the Eurozone's previous bailout packages, or else lose the financing on which the country's banks have come to rely. No agreement will likely mean a sovereign default by Greece. If the country can't pay its debts, it will be forced to "Grexit," or leave the Euro and revert to a currency of its own.

You might be wondering: Why, if the Greeks need financing from European creditors, did the talks fall apart? Greece's newly elected Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, and his far-left Syriza Party just came to power in January. They say that the "strict austerity" the bailouts imposed has driven the Mediterranean nation into a recession–turned–humanitarian crisis and are doggedly refusing to implement them going forward.

Per a recap from India's NDTV.com:

The EU and the International Monetary Fund bailed Greece out in 2010, and then again in 2012 to the tune of some 240 billion euros, plus a debt write-down worth more than 100 billion euros ($113 billion).

In return for the bailouts, the then centre-right Greek government agreed to a series of stinging austerity measures, and the much-resented oversight by the EU, IMF and European Central Bank 'troika'. 

Tsipras won elections last month on promises to ditch the programme, which he said had wrecked the economy and sent the jobless rate soaring.

European leaders, led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, are insisting that Greece implement the austerity measures (laying off a large number of public sector employees and dramatically reducing government spending, for example) as promised. But Tsipras is claiming he has an electoral mandate to re-negotiate those conditions. He campaigned (and won handily) on promises to roll back his predecessors' policy pledges, which are wildly unpopular among the Greek people.

Tsipras seems to be betting that Germany and the others will capitulate out of fear of the damage a Greek exit would probably cause to the Euro—a sort of international Too Big to Fail situation threatening to plunge the global economy back into crisis.

Eurozone leaders insist a deal needs to be reached this week to avert disaster. At this point, it's anyone's guess whether that will happen, and if so, which side is more likely to give in.

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  1. So it’s the inevitable result of democracy versus the hard rules of of the market. I better pop some popcorn for this one.

      1. Looks legit.

  2. Welcome to your future, California.

    1. And the U.S. as a whole is not far behind….

      1. You misspelled asshole.

    2. I’d hate to have to move so soon after my last relocation, but if the State of Jefferson makes it…

      1. Maybe we should pick a state and let it be a free market, minimal government experiment. Florida, Texas, somewhere sizable and with resources and industry. You know, just to see what happens.

        1. So the rest of the country can know what the prices of things are.

          1. Wait, why is college tuition in Florifreedomia 1/10th it is here? Declare war!

            1. Because the only thing the University of Florifreedomia teaches is useful trade skills like meth cooking and gator wrastlin’?

              1. And how to strip copper wire, for scrap.

        2. Wouldn’t matter to the rest of the country. The leftist argument here is that Germany (read: the managerial class) is exploiting Greek cheap labor (the proletariat), so really, the Greeks are victims and Germany’s prosperity was built entirely on the backs of the Greeks they’re exploiting, and therefore owes Greece free money.

          And they’ll use the exact same “reasoning” on Florida or Texas.

  3. “European leaders, led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, are insisting that Greece implement the austerity measures (laying off a large number of public sector employees and dramatically reducing government spending, for example) as promised.”

    No market-based reforms, no liberating their economy, though.

    1. I suppose “massive, 1970s-style deregulation” will be happening anytime soon.

      https://reason.com/archives/201…..uropean-un

      1. Yep, any day now….libertarian moment!

      2. If the Greeks are cut lose and prevented from borrowing against the creditors of other Europeans then maybe there will be massive deregulation, necessity is the mother of less obtrusive economic policy.

        1. ^This.

          They aren’t fixing their economy because they don’t have to. If they keep getting handouts they will keep buying spinner rims, trendy clothes and cases of beer.

          Cut that shit off and let ’em get hungry.

          I had to laugh at the notion of the Greeks crashing the world economy. Call their bluff.

          1. And gold chains. Don’t forget the gold chains.

          2. That is indeed some funny shit. Hopefully the EU has enough balls to cut them loose.

            1. Greek grasshoppers will enslave German ants… Germ-ants?!?! Can I enslave some Germ-ants to come over here and do all my yard-work and laundry and shit?!?! Otherwise they are ABUSING me!!!!

  4. last-ditch attempt to keep Greece’s economy from collapsing.

    You’re speaking as if there is an alternative.

    Also it would be nice to see a libertarian analysis of the situation. What should Greece do? What do Europhile Reasonoids have to say?

    1. What should Greece do?

      Stop electing communists, for one.

      1. The good thing about communists? You only have to elect them once.

      2. Sell an island to the Germans.

        1. How much for Lesbos? Asking for a friend.

    2. Varoufakis (Greek FinMin) has been called a “libertarian communist” which explains why everything he does makes 0 sense to me.

    3. GREECE SHOULD GO ON THE GOLD STANDARD. ALL THEIR SINS WOULD BE WARSHED AWAY!

      1. GREECE SHOULD CURRENCY-PRINT THEIR WAY OUT OF THEIR TROUBLE. ALL THE SINS WOULD BE WORSHED AWAY…

        1. Of course both the gold standard and debt monetizing are both simpleton idiotic solutions.

          Gee, could the wingnuts and moonbats both be wrong?

          Of course they are.

          1. Golly, you ?are? smart!

            1. It’s all that Georgia pubelick skoolin’.

          2. Who gives a shit what Greece should do? They fucked themselves over, now let them inherit the wind. The real question is what the rest of Europe should do (or has the cajones to do) to avoid getting caught in the storm.

    4. What should Greece do?

      Reap what they’ve sown?

    5. Massive labor deregulation.
      The percentage of Greece economy that is officially “grey market” due to labor market regulation is somewhere between 30 and 50 percent.

      If all of that suddenly became legal employment, Greece GDP would immediately be that much higher. And then the people doing it wouldn’t have the dead weight costs of evading law enforcement to pay for.

      1. I’m expecting Syriza and/or the Eurocrats calling for that at any moment…lol.

    6. What should Greece do?

      The optimal policy would be to exit the euro and implement fiscal reforms and deregulation while letting the “new drachma” slide to its appropriate, lower, exchange rate.

      Pretty much the opposite of what either side wants to happen.

      1. I agree that is probably the best solution but you are also correct that neither Syriza or the Eurocrats want that to happen.

    7. The Greek economy collapsed decades ago.

      All they’re trying to save now is the banks that suck corrupt government cock. The EU is scared shitless that Greece will actually have a well-functioning economy in less than 3 years once bankruptcy wipes out all the corruption.

      Syriza is scared of that outcome, too. But Syriza doesn’t have nearly as much invested in the existing corruption as the ruling parties in other EU hellholes do.

  5. I’m confused as to what Greece provides to the Euro, besides drag? How could cutting them loose be bad in the long term? Or does anyone even think long term anymore?

    1. Spain and Italy could follow quickly in Greece’s footsteps, and that would further destabilize international markets. (Or so I’m told. Not a good enough reason for me, but they’re so worried about stability.)

      1. Why would Spain or Italy do that?
        They are both much larger economies and are not in nearly as bad shape.

        1. I don’t know about Italy but the anti-austerity Podemos is expected to win in the next Spanish Election.

        2. Yet?

          Because there’s Podemos. IDK about Italy, actually, my impression about their economic situation is probably about 4 years old.

          1. Spain and Italy are much less likely to fail at the moment.

            1. Incidentally, if the EU caves and gives Greece more money, then Italy and Spain will surely cut back on ‘austerity’ since ‘if the Greeks don’t have to, why should we?’

              Ultimately, I don’t really see what is so bad about the idea of different European countries having different currencies. I know the collapse of the euro would ‘shock the market’ but rationally speaking, it makes sense that a country with a distinct fiscal policy and economy should have its own currency to coordinate with them. Not all European countries have the same fiscal policy patterns, and some economies are more dependent on exports than others, etc. So why not have different currencies and make exchange as easy as possible between them? Why is the euro so sacred?

    2. How could cutting them loose be bad in the long term?

      There’s something like a quarter-trillion bucks out there floating around in Greek debt. If the Greeks walk away from the Euro, they walk away from that debt – no devaluation, nothing.

      Look through who owns that Greek debt, and you’ll see the usual banking suspects; who will start folding on so many bad loans, which makes panic, which makes bank-run, cats and dogs…living together, etc. etc.

      That is basically the Greek ‘weapon’ in these negotiations. The ECB has Greek credit as a hostage, but the Greeks have a lot of ECB member banks as hostages – and by extension their governments to some degree.

      It’s an inevitable Mexican stand-off, but Keynesian Eurocrat-style.

      1. Well they might want to pay some of that debt back, regardless, so they will maintain *some* credit worthiness.

        If they leave the Euro though they are able to print their own money which allows then to spend cash they don’t have again.

        1. As a libertarian, I consider the credit-worthiness of governments to always be ZERO.

      2. Old joke:

        If you owe the bank a thousand dollars, they own you. If you owe the bank a million dollars, you own them.

        1. I prefer this version of it: if you owe the bank $1000 they’ve got you by the balls. If you owe the bank $100,000 you’ve got them by the balls.

        2. straffinrun|2.17.15 @ 8:18PM|#

          It’s the old joke: If you owe the bank a 1000$, you have a problem. If you owe the bank a million dollars, the bank has a problem

          Emm……..

          1. But who gets the toaster?

              1. That actually was the first-ever post by you that was linear and logical. You are obviously slower in getting toasted tonight compared to your usual?

      3. Admittedly, there’s always the issue Greeks owing so much, they own their creditors. But fuck ’em.

        1. But eventually the creditors may come to the conclusion that they’ll never get paid back no matter what, in which case Greece is just dead weight.

          And currently, I wouldn’t even loan money to the Greek government at the 300% payday loans type rate.

    3. Well, Greece isn’t the only polity wonderimg what was so goddamned attractive about it in the first place. I suspect the Progressive Euroweenies who cobbled the mess together are scared Greece might start a stampede.

      1. Greece isn’t the only polity wonderimg what was so goddamned attractive about it in the first place.

        I just assumed that Greece found Germany’s wealth attractive. And it looked like it worked – for awhile, at least.

      2. The whole point of the Euro was to stop governments from printing money and thus enforce fiscal discipline.

        Lol.

    4. Cutting them loose means Germany, France and Italy will need to bailout their own banks because most Greek debt is owned by their largest banks who will collapse or be in serious jeopardy without a cash infusion. So, it Greece exits then Italian, and possibly French, banks will fail. Not an option.

      For all the hardball the Germans are playing, the Greeks still have the upper hand. I predict a deal favorable to the Greeks.

      But, hey, emotions might win over common sense and the worse could happen. It would bring on a larger crisis in Euroland, though.

      1. Not at all. Greece owes the ESFS the most of the $315 billion outstanding.

        The ESFS is by far the biggest creditor. Euro banks are a smallish minority of the debt bagholders.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/…..-the-hook-

        (pie chart linked)

        1. And who is responsible for funding the ESFS?

          You’re an idiot.

          1. Just so we’re clear:

            The ESFS is funded by the government of the Euro-zone, primarily Germany, France, Italy and Spain who pledge their own government bonds as collateral to fund or “lend” countries in economic trouble funds from their own banks.

          2. Not the big Euro banks like you wrongly thought. When have you ever been right?

            1. Yeah, okaaaaay.

              The banks accept the euro bonds as collateral and write the loans to Greece. They’re the intermediaries.

              Just go away, you fucktard.

              1. So the banks are fine. They are holding central bank collateral on Greek loans while earning a sure 1.5%.

                You are no match for me. Just admit it and I will send you a monogrammed buttplug for your pleasure.

                1. No, the banks are not fine.

                  The banks by the debt because these securities count as 100% towards there capitalization levels.

                  Its why they keep buying it – to keep it current and counting towards capitalization.

                  If Greece defaults, those debt securities go away and now the banks not only took a haircut but have to rush around trying to find new capital to replenish their, legally required, capitalization level.

                  1. Until Brussells does it’s own version of QE to buy out the bad Greek debt.

                2. See, to redistributionists and collectivists (but I repeat myself), all money is owned by the State.

            2. Turd lies. That’s all turd does. Turd lies.

      2. For all the hardball the Germans are playing, the Greeks still have the upper hand. I predict a deal favorable to the Greeks.

        If you don’t let us continue to be a drain on your economy, we won’t repay the debt that we weren’t going to repay anyway.

        That about it?

        This cannot end well for either side, and it shouldn’t. Time to pay for their transgressions. And the same will happen here. Are you paying attention CA?

        1. Yeah. There’s no good answer in the immediate or medium term – only long term pain, and that’s why they’ll delay it as long as possible hoping for some good luck or holy intervention.

          The markets are most worried about the black swan event – and this kind of instability makes mr. market nervous. As long as QE is happening somewhere, the markets really seem to prefer ‘the fix’ because it’s at least stable.

          We’re like junkies on methadone – a second rate high but better than withdrawal.

      3. It would seem wiser to bail out their own banks than to bail out the Greeks. Doing the latter only ensures that they are back in the same spot next year.

      4. . So, it Greece exits then Italian, and possibly French, banks will fail. Not an option.

        Why not?

    5. It not what Greece provides the *Euro*, its what Greece provides the *EU politicians in Brussels*.

      If Greece exits, that opens up the door to other states exiting, both for economic reasons (Spain, Italy) and political ones (UK).

      That ends the ‘unification project’ and that means all the parasites in Brussels suddenly no longer have a job (best case), or at least their jobs aren’t as ‘important’ anymore.

      What the EU does is in the same vein as any other government – provide opportunities for graft and power-grabbing – but even more so as the EU doesn’t even have the responsibilities of keeping the lights on and the trains running like actual state governments.

      1. Which ultimately is a good thing. The EU overreached, it went too far. If Greece exits then in order to exist the EU will have to make concessions to the unholy principles of national sovereignty and self-determination.

        Right now it seems the big thing holding the EU together is the ludicrous shaming tactic of accusing anyone who wants to decentralize Europe of being a Nazi.

    6. It’s the old joke: If you owe the bank a 1000$, you have a problem. If you owe the bank a million dollars, the bank has a problem.

    7. I’m confused as to what Greece provides to the Euro, besides drag?

      You underestimate how much the Germans see that as a short-term benefit. Their export-oriented economy would take a hit if the euro were to gain in value.

      Whether this is good, long-term policy…

    8. I’m confused as to what Greece provides to the Euro, besides drag?

      Fuel for two-minutes hate and an example to the plebes as to why they should look at their government-imposed slavery as benevolence.

  6. Inspired by Greece’s example, I decided to stop paying my mortgage, and when the bank asked about it, I said I had elected a new household government that had a mandate to not pay for things. I’m sure it will work out well.

    1. Then my wife went out and bought a Louis Vuitton bag and lobster tails.

      1. Just say “no” to austerity!

  7. “Things could get ugly”

    lol because up until now Greece was cute and cuddly

    “Disaster” is this word people keep using… when what they’re talking about is “fiscal reality”.

    Greece wants more free money. Germans and other EU economies don’t want to keep underwriting their profligacy. For the love of God, *let Greece Go*. Massive write offs of a quarter-trillion across europe would ensue. But unlike 2011-2012, the EU financial system can now better handle a widespread downgrade without resulting in chain-reaction default of Spain, Italy, Portugal as well. Yes, it will still result in Germany having to pay more to sustain the whole European-fiscal-family-facade, but at least you’ve kicked the junky bum out of the house. No one is ever going to “fix” greece by nannying them along. Let them deal with their own problems.

    If anything, I think the global investment community would dive into the subsequent ‘cheap’ EU bonds in the aftermath, as the “nowhere to go but up”-scenario would be more likely. Investors don’t mind a ‘fixer upper’ as long as they know that its not rotting from the inside, throwing good money after bad.

    1. Nailed it, G.

    2. Yes, and Lena Dunham putting on Yoga pants could get ugly.

      1. Ew. Now I’m picturing Greek debt with cellulite thighs.

        1. I’m aroused too.

  8. My weekend was pretty good, thanks for asking. For Valentine’s Day, my wife wanted to get pizza. She’s a keeper.

    heightened state of uncertainty about the country’s future inside the currency bloc

    How is there still any uncertainty about this?

    1. There isn’t. From what I understand the markets are already braced for Greek default, so the only victims will be the Greek government and anyone clamped onto its teat.

      1. You mean clamped onto Germany’s teat.

    2. Real pizza or that stuff they eat in Chicago?

      1. It’s the best pizza on the planet. That is not boasting, it is an objective fact. I seriously start to get quasi-religious about the pizza with the waitresses every time we go there. It’s like the Platonic Form for pizza, miraculously manifested in the world as a sign of God’s love for us.

        And it’s hand-tossed. But that’s incidental. If it were deep dish, then deep dish would become the new Platonic form for pizza.

        1. We get it, you like Papa John’s.

    3. My wife is in Brazil for a few weeks. I tried to send her Valentines day gifts, but they still haven’t arrived. Because of Carnival going on right now, no one will fucking work, damn hedonists.

      1. I’m sure she found a nice Brazilian guy that shows up on time.

        1. Apparently, you’ve never been to Brazil. Showing up on time, for anything, is something that has never happened, in the entire history of the country.

          1. He was trying to be nice by using ‘show up’. It is a euphemism.

            1. Oh, I thought he was trying to be a smartass, which is exactly what I have come to expect around here. I have a disappoint.

    4. I also had pizza for Valentine’s Day, at the Mrs’ request.

      1. What a coincidence, my hooker also got pizza before she came over.

  9. https://reason.com/archives/201…..uropean-un

    The continent clearly needs a massive, 1970s-style deregulation, as well as stronger institutional safeguards against the unchecked growth of economically destructive rules in the future. Such safeguards may include the strengthening of the role of the European Council and returning to unanimity voting on significant matters of economic policy.

    Uh-huh. The EU’s handling of Greece gives me so much optimism.

  10. “long weekend,” my ass. I work for a living. Who the fuck gets President’s Day off anymore other than government workers and government hangers-on?

    1. I got it off when I worked for a large entertainment company. MLK too.

      1. I got a 4 day week-end because of “Apocalypse Snow”; the extra two days were spent shoveling my driveway.

        I’ll be buying an ATV with plow this year.

      2. I work in a cubicle farm – we get both days off too.

      3. I got it off ’cause I’m unemployed. Get tomorrow off too, and the next day. Looking like the rest of the month as well.

    2. I drove up to Hollywood yesterday for some business. Traffic was half of what it usually is. I was thinking, “Do half of LA car commuters work for a government?”

      Sadly, I concluded yes, they probably do.

      1. A lot of people take the day off when their kids are out of school rather than pay a sitter.

      2. Hey EDG, good call on the Alka Seltzer.

    3. I get President’s day, but not MLK.

    4. Who the fuck gets President’s Day off anymore other than government workers and government hangers-on?

      Reason?

      1. No, there are some employees in my biggest clients organization that get it off. I still haven’t figured out the reasons for that because it doesn’t effect me in any way and I don’t give a fuck.

    5. My husband works for an investment bank and gets all bank holidays – including President’s Day – off.

      1. That explains why my wire didn’t come through yesterday.

    6. I think this is the first time I’ve had it off from my job. But not MLK day.

    7. We get ten holidays a year. Some are fixed, like Thanksgiving or Memorial Day, but many float around, like 4th of July, Christmas, and New Year’s, so sometimes there are leftover days to sprinkle around.

  11. BTW = there should be a competition for the stupidest sentences ever written about European Fiscal issues… with my current nominee being from the WaPo =

    Syriza’s platform is as simple as it is sensible = They want more spending and less debt

    these people that call themselves ‘wonks’…? I always thought that word was supposed to mean

    “people who understand the underlying details that make up policy debates”

    When you say, “Greece wants more stuff, but doesn’t want to pay”…and call it ‘sensible’? You’re a fucking idiot.

    BTW = the author of that sentence provided a linked source for his claim of ‘sensibility’ – which was the Greek Correspondent for The Guardian. Which, last I checked, were the same people who thought Venezuela’s policies were grand ideas as well.

    1. Syriza’s platform is as simple as it is sensible = They want more spending and less debt

      I…just…what? How does someone write that and not either 1) have their head explode, or 2) laugh out loud?

      1. They want more spending and less debt

        THIS IS WHAT LEFTISTS ACTUALLY BELIEVE!

        1. Debt is something that results solely from exploitation by Wall Street 1%ers and should be eliminated!

          Government spending is good because it leads to positive multiplier-effects on the economy!

          We can solve all these problems if the rich just pay their fair share!

          /The Occupy people’s reasoning on Greece

        2. What is that you say, Leftists believe in more taxation?

          1. Except on their private swimming pools. I think Athens has about four or five property-taxed swimming pools.

        3. Collectivists treat prices as control levers instead of indicators. They probably think speedometers are controls but inaccessible because the filthy capitalists locked them behind the glass.

      2. You just don’t understand modern monetary policy, it’s too complicated. It’s like you tat rucking fleataggers who think that climate is weather, duh!

        1. Honestly – this is part of why the self-styled “intellectuals” of the modern left are so incredibly confident despite their own spectacular economic ignorance = someone filled their gaping ignorance-hole with Silly-Putty Monetary Theory, where debt ‘isn’t real’ and there is no such thing as a tax-rate that is ‘too-high’

          The ‘water diagram‘ of MMT is how most of them come to be convinced.

          they do get a little fuzzy about how the people who hold treasuries are supposed to react when told that they are actually just “Future Tax Credits” and not actually “money”

          1. I don’t personally know many intellectuals, or who I would consider as intellectuals, but I know a few. These are the people who I can talk to for hours and hours about any subject. All 3 of them self identify as libertarian.

            Don’t get me wrong, I work with people who identify as conservative or liberal who are intelligent, but if you stray very far outside their niche of learned knowledge, they don’t have much to say. Almost all of them are incredibly ignorant when it comes to politics.

            Maybe that’s just my experience.

    2. which was the Greek Correspondent for The Guardian. Which, last I checked, were the same people who thought Venezuela’s policies were grand ideas as well.

      http://www.theguardian.com/com…..rst-option

      Neither Athens nor Brussels has an interest in Greece leaving the eurozone. Compromise will not solve everything but it would win valuable time

      No shit it won’t solve everything. What will it solve besides kicking the can down the road yet again?

    3. “When you say, “Greece wants more stuff, but doesn’t want to pay”…and call it ‘sensible’? You’re a fucking idiot.”

      I posted a link yesterday where he called ‘more free money’ the “logical approach”.

      1. The Greeks think that policy is sensible. Like the kid that wants a pony.

    4. Holy shit Batman….if this idiot O’Brien actually had a brain he’d be dangerous.

    5. “BTW = there should be a competition for the stupidest sentences ever written about European Fiscal issues… with my current nominee being from the WaPo =

      Syriza’s platform is as simple as it is sensible = They want more spending and less debt”

      Gilmore, you made that up. I refuse to believe otherwise. It is just more comforting to think you are pulling our leg.

  12. My grandfather told me in, oh 1995-ish, that Germany after already being fooled into choking down the massive entitlement debts of France and Italy and rescuing them from insolvency by buying the Euro would end doing one of two things:

    1. Becoming through currency ownership the continental hegemonic empire that Hitler had dreamed of, a 4th Reich if you will; or,

    2. Withdrawing from the Euro entirely to save its people from effective slavery, which would piss off the always volatile French enough into launching another war.

    I thought he was nuts at the time, but having spent quite a bit time in Europe since, seeing how fractious and culturally bigoted Europeans still are toward their neighbors, and seeing how Germany has been responding to the Greece situation I’m starting to believe #2 is entirely possible, maybe even likely

    Without American hegemony Europeans are still the violent, pissy little children they’ve always been. Our supervision is the only thing that keeps them civil. When (not if) American hegemony ends and the Euro crumbles (as was inevitable from the beginning) they’ll be murdering each other by the millions within a couple decades.

    On the plus side, it could result in the same massive expansion of wealth in America that European wars gave us in the 19th Century.

    1. Germany is 12 months tops from being able to field nuclear weapons.

      1. France will sabotage their centrifuges with the fuxnet virus…

  13. Wait! It gets even better. Greece certainly doesn’t have the money to pay back Germany, nor are they anywhere near austerity in terms of budgets, so what’s left to do?

    Greece tallies up the WWII reparations bill

    (puts popcorn in microwave)

    1. This is my FAVORITE part about the whole situation, except for the weird articles about high school-aged Greek girls who think Varoufakis is sexy.

      1. Varoufakis is sexy in a bald-headed hostile wonky way.

        1. With his penchant for riding around on his motorbike security-less.

          1. He’s awfully cute for a communist!!

  14. Apparently the Greeks want an extension of the loan agreement that is separate from the bailout.

    1. yes, the junky went from asking for the “one last shot” that would keep away the life-threatening detox…

      … to insisting that the methadone clinic up the dosage

      The short of it from the ECB POV = ‘do we want to lose $250bn euros now? or lose a trillion over the next decade?’

  15. WHERE ARE YOUR GODS NOW, GREECE?!!

    1. “Release the Kraken!”

    2. Mars. Its Olympus Mons is way cooler than the one in the old country. Plus, less whining.

      1. No coincidence it’s the red planet.

      2. So, that unexplained mist above the planet that astronomers have recently been observing is really just the Martians toking it up?

  16. Merkel is prolly hearing from a lot of people about now, and I’d bet it’s 66-33 telling her the krauts are tired of underwriting the Ouzo for lazy afternoons on the agora.

  17. One word: NATO

    Will the US, UK and Germany be willing to see Greece also leave NATO at a time they are likely to embrace the Soviets..er Russians economically?

    1. makes no difference. Why would the russians want anything to do with Greece?

      1. Marinated lamb chops grilled and served with olives and lemon?

        1. and mint – served with mint.

        2. damn you! you’re right.

          I was going to try and counter with “but but but WOMEN WITH MUSTACHES!”… but you can’t fuck with Lamb Tzatziki, or stuffed grape leaves… olives…spinach pie & feta…

          one of the many great food experiences in NYC is to go to Astoria, Queens and try out one of the dozens of *#&@*# incredibly superb greek joints…blow your mind, it will. The variety is really great too. One of my faves is a place where you pick a fish that’s fresh from the boat, still on ice, and they prepare it however you like….and bottomless *free wine!*. all price-fixed.

          1. I used to live there – the Greek diners are amazing too.

      2. THIS X 100

      3. Why would the russians want anything to do with Greece?

        A warm water port.
        Sandy beaches.
        And a lax banking regime.

        1. And embarrassing as hell to the West, while ramping up Putin’s ego and image to new heights. Outsiders think he’s insufferable now — they ain’t seen nothing yet.

      4. It gives them access to warm water ports and applies more pressure to the Turks. Turkey is looking at what is happening with Ukraine and NATO and going “I tied myself to this?”.

        Russia being able to operate on both sdes of Istanbul puts Turkey into an untenable situation.

    2. Politically: No.

      But, oh yes, please let them do this. Please let Greece go into Russian orbit and please, let the Russians spend more millions propping up a puppet government like they did during the SU era.

      Nothing is better for your nation-state than when an almost broke rival is sapped by supporting its deadbeat allies.

    3. …”at a time they are likely to embrace the Soviets..er Russians economically?”

      During the cold war, the Soviets could pretend to have money by using funny exchange rates. Now, most everybody knows if oil drops below $100/bbl, Russia is checking the cheap end of the menu.
      If Russia could support a basket-case economy, it’d prolly be Cuba.

      1. If Russia could support a basket-case economy, it’d prolly be Cuba.

        I’d guess Venezuela, because when the bill finally comes due Venezuela still has a shit-ton of easily extracted (if low-quality) crude and the largest oil market in the world just 1500 miles North.

    4. Maybe we can trade Greece for the Ukraine.

      Take the bailout money the Greeks want and give it the Ukrainians, help them restructure and integrate into Europe.

      1. Pretty sure Ukraine isn’t far from insolvency, also.
        The government there was running a ‘free shit’ operation as well.

        1. Free guns and grenade launchers?

    5. The Ruskies are going to need their own bailout soon. It seems unlikely they would take these slackers on.

  18. Good God, why do they keep using the word austerity? Spending a little bit more rather than a whole lot more is not austerity.

    1. Because Dr. Krugabe told them to

  19. Who thought they could benefit by letting Greece lie its way into the Euro, anyway?

    1. Goldman Sachs?

    2. The EU parliament and its associated hangers-on.

      You’ve got to understand that these guys are trying to engineer a *continental-wide* government (with the associated unified economy) to rival the US.

      But their version gives *total* control to government at the federal level – the level that these guys are employed at – there are no checks and balances written into the EU framework.

  20. https://reason.com/archives/201…..union-a-re

    Libertarian Eurosceptics are correct to argue that, ceteris paribus, bad policy at the level of the EU is more damaging than at the level of a handful of nation-states. However, in Europe’s political reality, the ‘ceteris’ are hardly ‘paribus.’ Victory for the Eurosceptic forces, which could plausibly bring about an exit from the EU or its complete demise, would likely be a victory for protectionism, economic nationalism, immigration barriers, and for Mr. Putin. We should think twice before becoming cheerleaders for such outcomes.

    And giving Greece (and Iatly and Spain) MOAR FREE SHIT looks so sustainable.

    1. Yeah, the “Protection Racket” argument for more free shit.
      Sorry, if the Euros have to support Greece and the other dead-beats, I’m not overly concerned about immigration barriers as an alternative.
      Regarding Mr. Putin, there’s a very good argument to quit supporting the bums and find a way to provide for your self defense.
      I’m tired of paying for it.

  21. They want more spending and less debt

    “The more you spend, the more you save! BUY! BUY! BUY!”

  22. Would a Greek exit really be so damaging to the Euro?
    Why does everyone assume this?

    Is it just because of the psychological impact, and the fear that other countries will follow?

    Objectively speaking, I don’t think Greece’s economy *itself* is large enough to really damage the Euro if it left. I think it’s the feat that Portugal, and then Spain and italy would follow. But there’s no reason that necessarily has to happen if Greece leaves.

    1. Thing is Europe caves to Greece won’t Spain, Portugal and Italy demand similar treatment?

      1. They already have been. They’ve just not quite gotten to where Greece is yet.

        1. Podemos is likely to win power in Spain and will demand “renegotiation” of debt.

          1. For a little perspective Podemos is currently leading the polls, but with a percentage of the vote that is less than tba PSOE garnered in their blowout loss in 2011. Podemos is likely to be faced with winning a plurality of deputies but being locked out of power by a grand coalition.

        2. So which is worse, bailing out Spain, Italy and Portugal AGAIN, or letting the Greeks leave?

          1. That’s the dilemma facing the Euros right now. And either Syriza caving or the effects of a Grexit could lead to Golden Dawn coming to power.

            1. So?
              It will be a parade of idiots for a while until someone finally elects someone that liberalizes the economy.

              1. elects someone that liberalizes the economy.

                Not holding my breath…

    2. Again – the ‘economic damage’ is just an excuse covering for the real reason.

      The power-mongers in Brussels are shitting themselves that a nation might exit because that could reasonably signal the end of them.

      1. Yes this is true, Grexit will mean admitting the EU has failed, at least in Greece, and will encourage euroskeptics. And I have some rumors that the EU is hoping to exploit this crisis to give the Eurocrats more control.

    3. “HazelMeade|2.17.15 @ 8:09PM|#

      Would a Greek exit really be so damaging to the Euro?
      Why does everyone assume this?”

      Because the ECB and the various member nations between them hold probably half a trillion of Greek assets.

      The write off of these would downgrade the credit rating of both the ECB and the member states.

      This would raise borrowing costs for European institutions, which in turn would slow the rate at which the EU can ‘stimulate’ its own economies back into self-sustaining GDP growth.

      The net effect would be a near-term whammy that would hurt like hell, and probably result in a handful of credit-defaults on the fringe. But the sustainability of the Euro and its economic-union would be stronger after it dealt with the pain.

      You’re right that the real fear is the impact it might have on the other debtor nations… but as you note = i think the risk of that is largely past. I also think that will be a far greater long term incentive for these debtor nations to get their shit together if the ECB cuts off the tap to the Greeks.

    4. “Objectively speaking, I don’t think Greece’s economy *itself* is large enough to really damage the Euro if it left”

      Good question. I had a coworker about 2 or 3 years ago ask me how the troubles of a small country like Greece could impact the world economy (that was what the headlines were 2 or 3 years ago). I had no answer.

      I just looked it up, and in 2012, Greece’s GDP was about the size of Connecticut’s. I assume it’s worse now.

      1. It not so much the size of the GDP or debt but, rather, the rehypothecation of the debt that’s a danger.

        1. I learned a new word today. I read the definition, and I couldn’t explain it even now, but I learned the word.

          1. Me, too, but look here:
            http://4closurefraud.org/2012/…..vel-video/
            It’s betting that everything is going to work, and so long as the bettor is using his money, great.

  23. When you say, “Greece wants more stuff, but doesn’t want to pay”…and call it ‘sensible’? You’re a fucking idiot.

    If you look at welfare payments as protection money, it makes perfect sense.

  24. But Tsipras is claiming he has an electoral mandate

    You know who else claimed to have had an electoral mandate?

      1. No, he had a sensational man-date.

    1. Al Gore?

    2. Ferdinand III, King of the Romans?

  25. ACA signups for private health insurance through healthcare.gov top 11 million.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..01956.html

    Like I told the peanuts that were hoopin’ and hollerin’ with glee during the shitty rollout in Oct 2013 – don’t shoot your nut just yet.

    I am sorry to say I was right again.

    1. You’re right, you’re sorry again.

    2. Turd lies. That’s what turd does; turd lies.

        1. How many people lost prior insurance due to the ACA restrictions?

          Everyone debates the numbers because the system is designed to make that measurement near-impossible, but there’s every indication that just as many people were hurt and lost original coverage as have been ‘added’ to any new program.

          The meaningless of the number game is compounded by the fact that they also do everything possible to prevent a real-accounting of actual costs, which under the ACA prove to have far higher out-of-pocket costs in an effort to engineer bullshit reductions in premiums…

          IOW, a law created to hurt consumers, simply so politicians could point to their self-generated numbers and declare a victory.

          Never mind that any claims you make are only even “not as bad” as they should be due to the fact that Obama put off the Employer Mandate for 2 years… which would have clearly and overwhelmingly shown what a horrendous POS the ACA is… hence, the endless ‘exception-making’

          1. I can’t disprove any of your post. I suspect your mostly right about the deliberate massaging of the numbers.

            About the consumers being “hurt” the GAO said less than 50,000 would lose their policy and not get a similar replacement.

            But time will tell on the rest.

            1. What you are completely missing with these new numbers is people who formerly had plans they liked, with small deductibles, are now being stuck with plans with $5000 or $10000 deductibles that they really can’t afford. And no one is bringing up data about that.

              All along the simple solution was to have everyone get catastrophic coverage insurance so anyone getting hit by a car, having a heart attack or getting cancer wouldn’t lose their life savings. You could have made that happen without touching other people’s existing insurance. But no, the Bringer of Light had to screw everybody up by guaranteeing goodies for all, free birth control, adult ‘wellness visits”, etc, and all that crap (which most people could easily have paid for themselves) ends up costing so much in aggregate, the only way insurers can provide it is to ramp way up the deductibles on real, necessary medical care for sick people.

              Thanks Mr. Obama!

              1. All along the simple solution was to have everyone get catastrophic coverage insurance so anyone getting hit by a car, having a heart attack or getting cancer wouldn’t lose their life savings.

                I agree.

              2. Myself and family were kicked off of our perfectly fine insurance with Kaiser. We were given a replacement plan that was cheaper with Obamacare! Thanks Obama. Oh, but it came with a new deductible that was thousands higher per year and tripled the cost of visits and prescriptions. Yea Obamacare!

                1. Something I idly wonder at times is if, through the grace of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the ACA is repealed what would the final pricetag for its failure be? Between outright government spending and its regressive effects, the damage to businesses and their operations, the cost to John Q. Public it already has to be enormous. Which is why I fear that repeal will never happen, as I can’t imagine that our political class will ever be able to overcome the sunk-cost fallacy that it has already created.

                  1. “Something I idly wonder at times is if, through the grace of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the ACA is repealed what would the final pricetag for its failure be? Between outright government spending and its regressive effects, the damage to businesses and their operations, the cost to John Q. Public it already has to be enormous”

                    And that cost is there already, regardless of whether O-care goes away or not. And it’s really growing; did you see the link I posted earlier that the web site has now cost more than $2Bn to still not work?
                    Fucking liars like turd claim ‘it really isn’t much’, but if (praise be to FSM) it does get repealed, fucking liars like turd will be all over it claiming the repeal is what cost the money.

              3. ” people who formerly had plans they liked, with small deductibles, are now being stuck with plans with $5000 or $10000 deductibles that they really can’t afford.

                And foregoing medical care as a consequence.

                Its a world where everyone will have ‘insurance!’ but no one can actually see a doctor (or afford to)

                Just as millions of people are gaining insurance through Medicaid, the program is poised to make deep cuts in payments to many doctors, prompting some physicians and consumer advocates to warn that the reductions could make it more difficult for Medicaid patients to obtain care.”

                (*or the new ‘doctors’ will be paid in government script – to ‘control costs’, you see – and they will see you in 32 weeks if you were lucky enough to get your medicaid accepted before they cut off new patients – market forces at work!)

      1. Don’t engage it, it’s not sentient. It’s dumber than Tony, and since the laws of physics require that nothing is dumber than Tony, it can’t possibly exist.

        1. Oh, don’t worry.
          I’d never engage it. I laugh at it, call it names, insult it, point out that it is nothing other than a lying POS, but I’d never engage it.
          BTW, did I tell you that turd lies? That’s what turd does.

          1. It’s not only a troll, but particularly vile and hateful one.

            1. Hyperion|2.17.15 @ 8:35PM|#
              “It’s not only a troll, but particularly vile and hateful one.”

              And it lies. Always. Turd lies.

        2. I told you dumb fucks back then this thing would work as a market system even with the ugly warts it had.

          Yes, it is fucking ugly. But in the end even only slightly free markets work.

          But you fuckers shot your nut anyway. DEATH SPIRAL!! IMPLODE! DISASTER!! DERP DIRP CHIRP!

          You were wrong again.

          1. What’s “market” about putting taxpayers on the hook for 50k per signup?

            1. Don’t respond to the squealing harpy.

            2. Markets are like gravity; they always exist.

              Doesn’t mean governments can’t make them twist by throwing dams and canals and levees all over. Water still flows downhill, just less efficiently.

          2. Honest question: Ever looked at those policies?

            They cost almost as much as “traditional” insurance (if you don’t qualify for a subsidy), yet they have deductibles that are equivalent to cheap catastrophic insurance (if you qualify for the subsidy, you can’t afford the deductible).
            Basically, they’re shit.

            That’s why so many practices won’t take those policies. They know that many people will not pay their deductible, so they won’t accept the insurance from anyone.

            I was railroaded into the equivalent of a “Silver” policy at work, because it was slightly cheaper than the PPO or POS. Well, it wasn’t. Not after an operation and a several thousand dollar deductible. Now I’m back on the PPO. A “Gold” plan (because it actually pays for stuff) and I’m sure I’ll be penalized in short order.

            1. I’ve never had less than a $1000 deductible. Mine is $2000 now. I have BCBS through a group work plan.

              And PWC supports your numbers – the premiums are slightly lower and deductibles are up 40%.

              Insurance should NOT pay your first $1000 as a cost control mechanism.

              Good post though – I am trying not to be an asshole and you were not. Good shit.

              1. “Silver” plans have a deductible in the three to five thousand dollar range, while for “Bronze” it is closer to eight grand.

                What’s the point of expensive insurance that covers everything beyond a deductible that you can’t afford?

                It would have made so much sense to push for cheap high-deductible catastrophic insurance combined with a health savings account. That’s why I accepted that shit “Silver” plan. The company shelled out a couple grand for a savings account to help with the deductible. Then the deductible when up and grand while the savings account when down a grand. No fucking way. Bit the bullet and now I’m spending $150 more a month for a POS.

                1. The cost curve really doesn’t vary much. The lower deductibles are completely made up for in premiums.

                  You’re better off taking the bronze plan, the silvers only save money if you have medical expenses in the 10k to 14k range. Above and below that the bronzes are barely cheaper and the guaranteed cost of premiums is lower.

                  1. Or I’ll go back to the traditional insurance for $150 more a month, knowing that the next time the kid has to stay in the hospital overnight and I get slapped with a four thousand dollar bill, that the insurance will cover most of it instead of none of it.

              2. And I’m lucky to only be spending $150 more a month. My employer pays like 75% of the bill. It must really suck for people who don’t have the generous benefits that I have.

              3. Which of the Big 4 do you work for? I know you’re a non-partner at one of them.

                There’s a good chance you’ve gotten me a coffee (4 sugar, no cream) when I was in the Atlanta office.

    3. Who cares? They are only signing up cause they are forced to, and the stories about how shitty the coverage is are spreading even into Democratic bastions.

      If even the D’s think the coverage is less than ideal, imagine how Republican leaning voters must feel.

      1. Democrats are now screaming about the penaltax, their own creation. The law will collapse without the penaltax and yet they are asking for exemptions in a desperate attempt to save their own political careers.

        Is it really surprising to anyone that most of the sycophants that cheered on the passage of this law, don’t even know that the penalty exists?

        This was all easy to predict for anyone who followed this charade.

        1. It will not collapse without the penaltax. The insurers love it and don’t need that tax. And the feds can suffer through the revenue loss as it is still better funded than the Medicare Part D bullshit bill of 2002.

          Look at Gilmore. At least he can debate at a high school level. You cannot.

    4. And how much are taxpayers on the hook for there? According to the OMB, $50,000 per insured. Wow, what a rousing success.

    5. It’s amazing what the “market” can accomplish when government rigs it by constraining choices and making participation mandatory.

    6. Yeah I love my 70% increase in premiums and 80% increase in deductible.

      Fuck you and fuck off.

      1. Only an 80% increase in deductible? You’re fortunate, mine went from $1500 to $7000. that’s an almost 400% increase.

    7. ACA signups for private health insurance through healthcare.gov top 11 million.

      So, we’re back to where we were *before* the PPACA? The 11 million or so people who lost their insurance do to the mandated changes have finally gotten *something* back?

      Not exactly awe inspiring.

      1. 11 million lost? No way. More like 50,000 that lost without a similar replacement (GAO figures).

        1. Nice sleight of hand there, you mendacious cunt. Now how many lost their coverage?

    8. Just like you were right about no one cutting hours because of Obumblecare?

      In that case, I concede.

  26. Maybe there is some way for Greece to exit the Euro and start printing it’s own money without totally defaulting on its debt.
    Maybe the European banks will get paid back in Greek drachmas with an agreement in which Greece is restricted from printing more than X number of drachmas per year. So the banks end up taking a major haircut, and Greece gets to go ahead and print money to pretend it is paying all those public sector salaries that Syriza wants.

    1. it’s own money

      I think the problem is that they don’t want their own money. They just elected a far leftist, which would strongly indicate that what they want is other peoples money.

      1. It’s owed to them, don’t you understand anything?

      2. Yes, but if other people’s money is not forthcoming, printing it yourself is the ever handy substitute.

    2. The long term trend of paper money with goofy faces on them is to get to zero. Starting with a value of less than zero may be genius. A debt backed currency? Imagine the velocity that could be created if no one wants to touch it.

  27. Guardian comments on Greece:
    It’s hard to see what the Eurogroup is trying to achieve. Pretty much every commentator who isn’t directly involved in the negotiations says that the current debt plan is unworkable and Greece will require another restructuring, so I fail to see what playing hardball is meant to garner. Or is there a genuine belief that if the Eurogroup remains resolute then Greece will play ball and magic up the money?

    And:

    This is all going according to plan … Juncker’s plan that is. Greece will get some sort of extension for a few months, but why? Because in a matter of perhaps only days (early March) Juncker and the European Commission are going to eviscerate what Germany really wants, the Stability Pact, by refusing to sanction in any way France, Italy, or Belgium for budget overruns and by refusing to require any externally imposed reforms. Any pretense of austerity applying to the more influential members of the Eurozone will be gone, and then it will become a free-for-all for countries trying to cash in on quantitative easing.

    Juncker is playing for huge stakes here, but it’s worth it for him. He’s merely bidding to be known as the savior of Europe and for his office as European Commission President to be known as the rightful head of Europe, not Angela Merkel or other claimants.

    1. Sorry these are commenters, not the Guardian writers themselves, not that that makes a difference.

      There are a lot of comments about how awful “austerity” and neoliberalism and the “devastating toll of a 5-6 year recession, with unprecedented rates of unemployment”.

    2. You would think the German people would be tiring of this exercise by now. Oh who am I kidding – I’m sure they have no say in it.

      1. They may be tiring, but they can’t quit. Germany’s economy is based on exports. A common currency is what keeps those exports cheap enough for a lot of other countries to afford them. So the Germans are stuck with either keeping the Euro afloat, or seeing their economy tank. And if holding their nose and tolerating the shenanigans in Greece is what it takes to keep the EU and the Euro afloat, then they’ll hold their nose and tolerate it. For now, anyway.

        1. I’ve never thought that logic made any sense. What is the point of Germany giving other people money to buy their products? isn’t that just a roundabout way of giving them away for free?

          Why should Germans be working their asses of so that Greek loafers can buy the shit they make for cheap?

          1. Chinese do it constantly, USA being one of their biggest clients..

            1. We’re not asking them to forgive those debts. So far.

    3. Which currency will be the best looking turd in the punch bowl?

  28. How many people lost prior insurance due to the ACA restrictions?

    *raises hand*

    1. raises finger, and constitution.

    2. Let’s not even consider the point of the ultra high deductibles that have been forced onto middle class tax payers.

      It’s almost looking for sure that this is nothing more than a massive give away to the insurance companies.

      1. But, but, but the law dictates what their profit margin will be! That’s rooting out waste, since as we all know profits are waste (that’s what makes government so efficient, no profit motive)! Mandating that everyone buy their product, thus increasing the total sales which is how you make money on the margin, couldn’t have been a give away! The government limited their profits!

        1. The near guarantee that people will rarely use your service because nothing is covered until you reach $7000 out of pocket for an average middle class couple, coupled with the fact that you have to pay, or else face ever increasing fines?

          I don’t know how any criminal gang could come up with a better scheme.

      2. What pisses me off is the total disregard for the psychological suffering that DC causes when they pass laws requiring more and more jumping through hoops just to exist. The money sucks, sure, but the stress that comes with forced compliance is what destroys lives. Extreme exposure to stress can severely limit intellectual capacity and that may be exactly what they are banking on.

        1. It’s one of the things that every totalitarian regime has relied on, fear, pain, pressure, break down the people until they willingly comply.

          Fortunately, every once in a while in history, the regime winds up at Bastille Day. And occasionally, very rarely, that creates a period of enlightenment and unprecedented freedom. Well, the latter has probably only occurred once in the history of civilization, but it’s not impossible that it may happen again.

  29. Don’t feed the trolls, folks.

    1. I’d like to feed it arsenic, is that OK?

      1. I didn’t see anything.

  30. …something something run out of other people’s money something someone…

  31. Headline I did not expect to see today. :Can the Satanic Temple Save America?

    Trigger Warning: Progressive Moral Preening

    1. Somehow I’m reminded of this article:

      http://www.theonion.com/articl…..-shoc,459/

      1. “…There, now will someone please be offended?”

        No, I refuse! I am BORED, not offended, by your request that I be offended!

      2. Updated headline I did not expect to see today: Georgia lawmaker wages battle against human-jellyfish hybrids

        1. These, Ladies and Gentlemen, are Top.Men.

  32. About the consumers being “hurt” the GAO said less than 50,000 would lose their policy and not get a similar replacement.

    Gosh, I feel special, now.

    1. “Not get a similar replacement”

      What defines “similar”?

      1. Similar:

        adjective
        1.having a likeness or resemblance, especially in a general way:
        two similar houses.
        2.Geometry. (of figures) having the same shape; having corresponding sides proportional and corresponding angles equal:
        similar triangles.
        3.Mathematics. (of two square matrices) related by means of a similarity transformation.
        4. Shut the fuck up plebe and pay us or you will be audited every year until you die.

      2. Costs the same with twice the deductible, but covers a lot more once the deductible is reached.

        1. Oh yeah, I forgot about the maternity benefits that I need since I got a vasectomy

    2. “Hurt”? In scare quotes? Now they’re just taunting us.

  33. What defines “similar”?

    It has an insurance company logo on the letter head.

    1. Yeah I see that now.

  34. “Long weekend”? Sorry, I am in the productive sector, this is a full work week.

  35. They say that the “strict austerity” the bailouts imposed has driven the Mediterranean nation into a recession?turned?humanitarian crisis and are doggedly refusing to implement them going forward.

    Don’t let anyone convince you that this situation is complex. It’s not. It’s painfully simple.

    If what the Greek PM were saying is true, then the pathway to success would in fact be to exit, abandon “austerity” and spend themselves back into success.

    1. Well, watching the Weimar Republic levels of hyperinflation from afar might be amusing, in a way. Until Golden Dawn comes to power and starts some shit.

      I advocate nuking Greece from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

      1. By ‘start some shit’, you mean Golden Dawn rattles its cheaply made stagecraft sabres at immigrants?

        1. Invade Turkey. ISIS will see Turkey as part of their caliphate, move north, and Turkey will cry for NATO help, which will arrive way too late.

          1. Why should they put out any effort? They have France, England, and Sweden ready to surrender without a fight and get in their burquas.

            Why not start there?

          2. You Know Who Else failed to protect Turkey?

            1. The Pilgrims?

              1. Excellent.

          3. The last time they tried that they ran into this dude named after a dragon. They are still butthurt about it.

  36. Jones’ order also noted that some witnesses heard nothing preceding the shooting, contradicting Rongen’s and Thompson’s assertions that they were often shouting at Theoharis.

    The Prosecutor’s Office declined in 2012 to bring criminal charges against Rongen and Thompson, citing in part the refusals of the officers and Theoharis to provide statements at the time. But prosecutors said they would review any new evidence that emerged in a civil action.

    So I had to read the above six or seven times to make sure I understood what it was saying.

    Two officers who shot an unarmed man 16 times while he lay in bed never faced charges– not because of any particular lack of evidence, but because they refused to cooperate with the prosecutors office.

    So, if I’m under any investigation, if I just tell the investigators, “Fuck off.” they just pack up all their files, portfolios, briefcases and go home?

    http://seattletimes.com/html/l…..esxml.html

    1. Laws are for the peasants.

    2. I’ve been looking all over for information on this guy- I can’t find a connection between him and any anti-gun things.

      So far I think this is an attempt by the police to smear him as a hypocrite- this guy is a leading civil rights attorney and represented the family of Tamir Rice.

      When the police say he is “anti gun” and against violence, they mean he is against police shooting children.

  37. Has anyone ever seen this Conan O’Brian guy? WTF? What the fuck is wrong with his hair? And, I’ve been sitting here watching this doofus for about 20 minutes now. Is be supposed to be funny?

    1. So five years ago Hyperion.

      1. I don’t watch TV. Documentaries and movies. Sometimes I turn the thing on and it seems to have take on a life of it’s own and there is something on and I don’t know why. Like now.

        So you are saying that this Conan dude, he’s been around for 5 years, and no one still thinks that he’s funny?

        1. He’s been around for longer than 5 years, I believe.

        2. Sometimes I turn the thing on and it seems to have take on a life of it’s own and there is something on and I don’t know why. Like now.

          Try watching some reality shows.

          1. You mean like Moonshiners or Storage Wars? Yeah, I do that sometimes.

        3. He’s been on TV since 1993. And before that he wrote Simpsons episodes.

          1. I’ve never seen this fucker before in my life until tonight. I feel I need to pin a badge of courage onto me now.

            1. He wrote the best Simpson’s episodes.

    2. Daytona starts Sunday about 10AM west coast. I’ll find the remote sometime that morning.

  38. OT: Tweet of the Day, SOMEBODY Just Got A Reality-Mugging edition.

    @ibeautydallas

    Thank u President#Obama for ruling that insurers must cover Birth Control! Woot Woot!

    8/1/11

    @ibeautydallas

    This #ObamaCare is Bullshit I will just pay out of pocket thank u! Spent my Sunday trying to figure it out ! No thanks ! Fine me

    2/15/15

    1. lol

    2. You mean I didn’t get to keep my cake and eat it too? But Obama promised!

    3. Progressives, getting smacked in the forehead by the 2×4 of reality since 1917.

    4. I would suggest that she go fuck herself, but it looks like she already did.

    1. “Many residents had criticized Harman since news broke that a prostitute had stolen Sgt. Keith Barrow’s gun, badge, ammunition and handcuffs from a Reno hotel room in May as Barrow slept.

      The stolen gun was later recovered by Reno police after the prostitute’s pimp shot himself in the leg with that gun.”

      No doubt recovered by Lt. Jim Dangle.

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  41. I’m still wondering how long it will be before Obama is telling us that U.S. taxpayers have to bail Greece out.

  42. OK I say we will have to rol with that.

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    1. No ice, no players with sticks, no watch.

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