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March 30, 2011

My God! It's full of DOOM!

The membership of the Loyal Order of the Terminally Boned (LOTB) has been growing by leaps and bounds! Today's inductee...Georgia!

Public employees adopt a new tactic to avoid taking cuts to their benefit plans: pre-emptive retirement. The generous spirit of public service lives on!

A government shutdown looms. They say that like it's a bad thing.

Public-sector employees vs taxpayers: it's class warfare, baby! Old Marxist wine in a new hip bottle!

Okay, now this is serious: Scotch whiskey exports decline as European demand weakens. A nation that cannot afford to get knee-walking drunk is on the brink of the abyss.

Dear GOP: Why are you trying to kill Grandma? What did she ever do to you? (You're going to see a lot of this stuff in the run-up to the 2012 election, so get ready to be called a geezer-killer many times in the coming months.)

Portugal's credit-rating gets downgraded again.

[UPDATE] Who's to blame for the federal budget impasse? The Tea Party, that's who! Reid reminds me of Ahab in Moby Dick:

All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event — in the living act, the undoubted deed — there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall, shoved near to me. Sometimes I think there's naught beyond. But 'tis enough. He tasks me; he heaps me; I see in him outrageous strength, with an inscrutable malice sinewing it. That inscrutable thing is chiefly what I hate; and be the white whale agent, or be the white whale principal, I will wreak that hate upon him. Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I'd strike the sun if it insulted me. For could the sun do that, then could I do the other; since there is ever a sort of fair play herein, jealousy presiding over all creations. But not my master, man, is even that fair play. Who's over me? Truth hath no confines.

[UPDATE 2 - Via Insty] 13% of US homes are vacant. Highest proportion of empty houses is in...Maine? That's surprising. I would have guessed Nevada.

[UPDATE 3] Alas, poor Ezra! Juiceboxer agonistes. This so-called "easy fix" for Social Security, like all such madcap schemes, rests upon some very weak assumptions.

What I wonder about is how Klein himself seems so oblivious to how someone to the right of center would view a plan like Sperling’s. As Klein states, “Sperling suggests a 3 percent surcharge on all income over $200,000, which would wipe out half of Social Security’s shortfall. He suggests the rest could be made up through bipartisan agreement on benefits cuts or tax changes.”

Wow, what a bargaining strategy: you give me half of what I want and then we can bargain over the rest. I’m shocked the administration doesn’t have a bipartisan plan in hand already.

[UPDATE 4] Like rust, the pension-crisis deniers never sleep. They're just trying to defer the collapse until after they retire (or, hopefully, stave it off for a few more decades until they can shuffle off this mortal coil and leave the wasteland for the young 'uns to deal with).

This humiliation will not go unanswered, sir. A price shall be paid...in blood!

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posted by Monty at 08:43 AM

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