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July 14, 2011
That Ineffable, Elusive Scent of DOOM
It chafes His Majesty when the plebs speak out of turn, and it it is simply an act of lèse majesté when mere Congressmen presume to question the motives and actions of the Royal Person.
I must say that I don't find President Obama's legendary peevishness and thin-skinnedness to be imperial so much as pedagogic -- he's got the manners, attitudes, and air of a hack college professor who is being forced to teach a classful of (to him) stupid undergrads. He hates the work, finds it unworthy of his intelligence, and it really irks him to be questioned or interrupted by his students while he's lecturing them. He takes every disagreement as a personal insult; indeed, considers criticism from his perceived underlings as presumption.
Why are the Republicans balking on the debt deal? Because the deal President Obama is offering is to the left of even the Simpson-Bowles plan that the President himself commissioned. If you look at the nuts and bolts of the deal rather than the media spin, you see that the President is offering almost nothing while demanding almost everything. Keith Hennessey writes: "[U]nlike the Bowles-Simpson package, the deal they’re being offered by the President is such a bad one that it’s not really a tough call."
Andy sends word that the fan who caught Derek Jeter's 3000th hit owes $150K in college loans. Add that to the bill the IRS is trying to serve him with, and it just seems like a pretty high price for an afternoon at the ballpark.
The Government's Four-Decade Financial Experiment. A little taste:
In 1970, Treasury debt held by the public (“Treasury debt”) was $290 billion. Agency debt was small by comparison: it totaled only $44 billion.
PIMCO chief Bill Gross warns US not to mess with the debt-ceiling. Given Gross's business, I'd be just a little skeptical of his motives here. Yes, bond markets may get spooked if the budget negotiations drag on; but any bondholder who hasn't already priced-in higher volatility on US Treasuries is being irresponsible. Raising the debt-celing without forcing spending cuts actually makes the US debt picture worse, not better, and therefore raises the specter of an even bigger default down the road.
Speaking of bond-ratings: The bond ratings agencies are getting louder about downgrading US debt. This probably should have been done a year or two ago, in my opinion. US debt is not triple-A debt -- our financial situation is so dire that it's absurd to put a gold-plated rating on our bonds. We benefit from being the default reserve currency for the world and for being a "safe haven", but simply being the least worst basket-case isn't a justification for carrying a triple-A debt-rating.
Italy's costs to borrow are skyrocketing. This provides a good example of how quickly bond markets can turn against you. A month ago, no one was talking about Italy's sovereign debt. Now....
One of the arguments made against pension reform is that pensioners contribute back to the local economy where they live. This is true, in the sense that they must do all the things any person must do to live: buy food, pay bills, etc. It's also beside the point. First, many pensioners do not retire in the same place that is paying their pension, so no money goes back to the taxpayer who laid it out in many cases; and the net cost to taxpayers for a retiree's pension is far higher than the contribution the pensioner makes back to the economy in retirement.
The Minnesota state shutdown has finally started to bite: MillerCoors products can no longer be sold in the state because the business's license expired. But actually, it didn't expire -- MillerCoors paid the bill in plenty of time, but paid too much, at which point some dimwit state bureaucrat sent the payment back to them without issuing a new license. So this is a story of state governmental incompetence, not of private-sector foot-dragging. Yet this is also supposed to prove how indispensible the state governmental apparatus is...somehow.
UPDATE 1: Most of us saw this coming - last week's jobless numbers revised upward from 418K to 427K.
UPDATE 2: America the broken. I would only answer, as VDH often says, that decline is a choice, not a destiny.
Redneck cats don't give a damn what outsiders think of their yard.
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AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - TrueCon: "[i]Well, I think it's hopeful from the predator me ..."
MikeH: "and instead they plunge the world into a land of i ..."
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Mike Hammer, etc., etc.: "I suppose they could put some transmitter jammers ..."
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Bigby's Jazz Hands: "Jeez, nobody remembers Plastic Man? The ..."
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Monday Morning News Dump
Morning Thread (1-26-2015)
Overnight Open Thread (1-25-2015)
Weekend Thread: War Reporting [Y-not]
Food Thread: Deflated Balls Edition [CBD]
Gaming Thread in AR
Polls! Polls! Polls!
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Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Primary Document: The Audio
Paul Anka Haiku Contest Announcement
Integrity SAT's: Entrance Exam for Paul Anka's Band
AllahPundit's Paul Anka 45's Collection
AnkaPundit: Paul Anka Takes Over the Site for a Weekend (Continues through to Monday's postings)
George Bush Slices Don Rumsfeld Like an F*ckin' Hammer
Top Top Tens
Democratic Forays into Erotica
New Shows On Gore's DNC/MTV Network
Nicknames for Potatoes, By People Who Really Hate Potatoes
Star Wars Euphemisms for Self-Abuse
Signs You're at an Iraqi "Wedding Party"
Signs Your Clown Has Gone Bad
Signs That You, Geroge Michael, Should Probably Just Give It Up
Signs of Hip-Hop Influence on John Kerry
NYT Headlines Spinning Bush's Jobs Boom
Things People Are More Likely to Say Than "Did You Hear What Al Franken Said Yesterday?"
Signs that Paul Krugman Has Lost His Frickin' Mind
All-Time Best NBA Players, According to Senator Robert Byrd
Other Bad Things About the Jews, According to the Koran
Signs That David Letterman Just Doesn't Care Anymore
Examples of Bob Kerrey's Insufferable Racial Jackassery
Signs Andy Rooney Is Going Senile
Other Judgments Dick Clarke Made About Condi Rice Based on Her Appearance
Collective Names for Groups of People
John Kerry's Other Vietnam Super-Pets
Cool Things About the XM8 Assault Rifle
Media-Approved Facts About the Democrat Spy
Changes to Make Christianity More "Inclusive"
Secret John Kerry Senatorial Accomplishments
John Edwards Campaign Excuses
John Kerry Pick-Up Lines
Changes Liberal Senator George Michell Will Make at Disney
Torments in Dog-Hell
The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
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Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
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Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Movable Type 2.64