Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 12:17 am

Odds and ends for 1/25


Enron may be dead, but its ghost continues to mess with us: “White House and Congressional Democratic leaders say they now believe that they have the 60 votes needed to block a filibuster of Mr. Bernanke’s reappointment.” … “… strategy on the Bernanke confirmation was being led by former Enron lobbyist Linda Robertson, who is viewed as an effective advocate for the banking chief on Capitol Hill.” But don’t worry — the president’s going on TV Wednesday night to assure us he feels our pain.

Heckuva job, Bernanke: The Fed is required by law  (12 U.S.C. § 225a) to manage monetary policy so as to create jobs for as many people as possible. True story. It also is required to report semiannually on what steps it has taken to comply with this and other requirements. What did its most recent report say about creating jobs? Not bloody much. So explain to me again why this guy should get another four years in the job.

You can pay me now or pay me (a lot more) later: Cutting early-childhood programs hurts jobs now, costs society more later, research shows. My experience covering politics leads me to believe that the kind of people who oppose this sort of spending are not, in general, the type who tend to be convinced by science/research, but, what the hell, I’ll post it anyway.

Yo, Pat, it wasn’t the devil who cursed Haiti. It was Thomas Jefferson. (h/t: Jill)

How could we help Haiti long-term? Cancel its debt, for one thing.

If anything more progressive than the Senate health-care bill is politically dangerous for Democrats, then why is the guy charged with getting Democrats elected to Congress telling Obama and the Senate to shove it?: Maybe because he has seen this polling. Retiring Rep. Marion Berry, D-Ark., on the other hand, clearly has not.

Memo to HuffPo: Your games are no fun when you let the irony-impaired play. (h/t: Beau)

Holy crap: December existing-home sales, expected to be down 10% (or, per Goldman, 15% at worst), were in fact down 16.7% from November, the biggest one-month decline in history.

Speaking of real estate, the biggest real-estate transaction in history has gone into default. Corollary: Apparently it’s OK for real-estate giant Tishman Speyer to walk away from its debts, but don’t try this with your underwater home, kids.

Prisoner’s dilemma, in that everyone who doesn’t work for Goldman Sachs is kind of a prisoner of everyone who does: Goldman Sachs’s chief bull, Jim O’Neill, has gotten somewhat ursine. So does that mean that they know the economy’s going to get worse because they’re running it, or does it mean they want us to think they think it’s getting worse so that they can bet on improvements, engineer those improvements, and win? Decisions, decisions.

Priorities in a post-peak-oil reality, from James Kunstler: “The money that went into propping up the automobile companies could have been used to rebuild the entire railroad system between Boston and the Great Lakes, and the capital squandered on AIG and its offshoot claimants could have rebuilt everything else the rest of the way to Seattle. Is it really so hard to imagine what history requires of you?”

Classifying information to cover up a crime is, itself, a crime. So it makes me very curious to know not only what about the New York Fed’s plans to bail out AIG was kept secret from the SEC on “national-security” grounds, but also why that was done.

Health-care reform: a pictorial timeline (w/generous dollops of snark).

Shorter Michael Barone: How DARE we let the people who actually know what they’re doing decide things? Bonus Stoopid: He talks about knowing how to “manipulate words” like it’s a BAD thing.

We are a polarized nation, and because that’s the case, anyone hoping to prevail in an off-year election probably needs to forget about trying to appeal to the “broad middle” because there ain’t one.

Question for Sen. Bill Nelson: What, exactly, does “the left” control? Because it sure ain’t the White House, Congress or the Supreme Court.

Memo to Andrew Breitbart: Insisting that your questions are serious is no substitute for asking serious questions.

Memo to Harold Ford: Hell, no, we’re not going to cut taxes for you and your rich friends. In fact, jackhole, you’re lucky this country does not tax Stoopid. Hey, do me a favor, dude: PLEASE run for Senate from New York with that platform. I could do with a laugh.

The stimulus saved 1.2 million jobs, but the government needs to do even more, according to a USA Today survey of 50 economists.

They say hope is not a plan, but apparently, for the Obama administration (shorter WaPo), hope was a plan. Oy.

Which is more of a plan than Congressional Democrats have on finance reform.

If you’re going to believe Hitler was a leftist, then you also have to believe … Oh, the places you’ll go!

How to steal a trillion (and a half): John Hussman explains how it’s done.

Pity the rich and their oh, so difficult lives.

Prince Charles is part switchblade. Almost literally.

3 Comments »

  1. I like Harold Ford. I really hope he is able to pull this off but I think he might have gotten in over his head. There are so many forces stacked against him (particularly Chuckles Schumer) that it would seem to be a herculean task before him. But if anyone can do it, he can. he’s a smart guy and a good guy.

    That being said, a lot of people who should know better are predicting that 2010 will be a Republican year. They aren’t paying attention. The extremists within that party will only continue to destroy it. Anyone who thinks that 2010 is going to be a Republican year had better think again. The Tea Party knuckleheads are already taking credit for the Massachusetts upset last week and are set (they believe) to take over the party. When they are denied the opportunity to do that, they’ll splinter the vote with third or even fourth party uprisings.

    How am I so sure of this? It’s quite simple, really. These people are not only crazy, they’re dumber than doggy dung. It’s only a matter of months before their mad house of cards comes crashing down.

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

    Comment by Tom Degan — Tuesday, January 26, 2010 8:50 am @ 8:50 am | Reply

  2. I think Harold Ford is an opportunistic little assweasel, but the kind of opportunistic little assweasel that many people who ought to know better always find attractive. That said, I’m having a hard time coming up with a scenario in which a guy running on a pro-life, tax-cuts-for-bankers platform wins against any halfway sentient Democrat, particularly after Massachusetts.

    As for whether 2010 will be a Republican year, well, it kind of depends on how you define “Republican year.” Republicans, of course, will proclaim any congressional gains whatever as a huge victory, although I think in real life “huge victory” would entail regaining nominal, not just practical, control of one or both houses of Congress. I think they’ll post significant gains in both houses, but whether they reach the “huge victory” threshold depends a lot on what Obama and the Dems do, or fail to do, in the next couple of months.

    My reasoning, based on 25 years of political coverage, goes something like this: If voters who are in pain think you’ve helped them, they’ll vote for you. If not, they’ll either stay home or vote for the other guy, and in those circumstances they generally don’t look too hard at who the other guy is.

    But, hey, I could be wrong.

    Comment by Lex — Tuesday, January 26, 2010 9:30 am @ 9:30 am | Reply

  3. [...] it’s stuff like this that makes Michael Barone so hostile to manipulating words. Leave a [...]

    Pingback by Hooper v. No Child Left Behind, cont. « Blog on the Run: Reloaded — Tuesday, January 26, 2010 11:04 pm @ 11:04 pm | Reply


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