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August 15, 2011

One Bourbon, One Scotch, One DOOM


Skynet has taken over Wall Street.

Spain can't pay their defense bills. European NATO nations have never really paid their own military freight -- they've relied on Uncle Sugar's largesse so they could spend their money on social welfare programs instead. Now that Uncle Sugar's tit has run dry, they're finding that funding both a capable military and a pervasive welfare state out of their own funds is not possible. (NOTE: Mish, like many libertarians, can't resist a "US WAR IS EVIL" and "TEH TORTURE!!" thing, but we're so simpatico on matters financial that I just ignore it. You gotta take the sour with the sweet.)

President Nixon's golden error.

James Galbraith admits that the government's fiscal policy is wrong? It's a blow to the head; it has to be. Somebody call an ambulance for this guy -- he's clearly not himself.

Should we shut down the US Postal Service? Yes. It doesn’t have a viable business model, and it’s been a money-sink for decades.

The founding financial crisis.

Harry Reid believes that the Tea Party will fade away. Harry Reid also believes in UFOs, astral projections, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trance mediums, the Loch Ness monster and the theory of Atlantis.

Peter (NOT Christopher) Hitchens drops the hammer on the UK government. A taste:

Take our Prime Minister, who is once again defrauding far too many people. He uses his expensive voice, his expensive clothes, his well-learned tone of public-school command, to give the impression of being an effective and decisive person. But it is all false. He has no real idea of what to do. He thinks the actual solutions to the problem are ‘fascist’. Deep down, he still wants to ‘understand’ the hoodies.

Say to him that naughty children should be smacked at home and caned in school, that the police (and responsible adults) should be free to wallop louts and vandals caught in the act, that the police should return to preventive foot patrols, that prisons should be austere places of hard work, plain food and discipline without TV sets or semi-licit drugs, and that wrongdoers should be sent to them when they first take to crime, not when they are already habitual crooks, and he will throw up his well-tailored arms in horror at your barbarity.

Say to him that divorce should be made very difficult and that the state should be energetically in favour of stable, married families with fathers (and cease forthwith to subsidise families without fathers) and he will smirk patronisingly and regard you as a pitiable lunatic.
Say to him that mass immigration should be stopped and reversed, and that those who refuse any of the huge number of jobs which are then available should be denied benefits of any kind, and he will gibber in shock.

Will Obama “fight” on the economy? On what grounds can he claim success at anything he’s done so far? His record is one of colossal failure in every regard -- a fight over the economy at this point is a fight on GOP ground, and he’ll lose. Badly.

Republicans contend that the Obama administration has mismanaged the nation’s recovery from the 2008 financial crisis. Mr. Obama’s political advisers are struggling to define a response, aware that their prospects may rest on persuading voters that the results of the first term matter less than the contrast between their vision for the next four years and the alternative economic ideas offered by Republicans.
I don't think that this message will be all that persuasive. But that's just me.

Gambling is wrong! Except, er, when it fills state coffers, like with the lottery or maybe some web gambling sites. Then it’s okay.

More evidence that "follow your dreams" is often really shitty career advice. Remember, kids: if it was fun they wouldn't call it "work".

Italy approves tough austerity measures. Of course, adopting those measures doesn’t mean that they’ll actually be followed. Why, oh why, won't those stingy German bastards fund our profligacy, the Italians (and Greeks, and Portuguese) wonder.

Federal money cut back: liberal states and cities hardest hit. The throbbing liberal outrage is so palpable you can feel it. Though Medicaid is mentioned, no reference is made to the fact that it is among the prime drivers of state debt. Nor is the pressure that public-sector retiree pension and healthcare costs are putting on states and municipalities. No, it’s all the fault of those nasty, evil Republicans, who control one half of one-third of the federal government apparatus. Keep the dream alive, NYT!

The 10 housing markets that will collapse this year. No surprises on this list.

Another “blue” pension crisis: San Francisco. In the coming years, SanFran is going to provide some of the most entertaining blue-on-blue fights you're ever going to see as public-sector retirees, unions and pet liberal programs compete with each other for public dollars.

UPDATE 1: The real crisis is not a debt crisis. Actually, it is a debt crisis because debt is a drag on growth. Thus to say that we are in a "growth crisis" is just a different way of saying that we're in a debt crisis. We can't grow our way out of the debt we're carrying. (Oh, and: the Tea Party folks are the essence of pure evil. Just in case you didn't get that message over the weekend. EVIL, I SAY!!!)

UPDATE 2: Short-selling bans are futile. Investors can find many ways to short an investment, including the classic way: by staying out of the market altogether.

UPDATE 3: Via Insty. Next up in the meltdown parade...Paris? Take heart, folks. However bad things are here, they are much worse over in Europe.

UPDATE 4: The liberal philosophy in a nutshell: for every problem there must a program! How about a "Department of Jobs"? How about no, you pack of cretinous douchebags! How about we simply get rid of six or eight federal bureaucracies altogether?

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posted by Monty at 08:51 AM

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