Monday, December 31, 2012

Yeah, Obama Was a Little Off On this One

This President, just like virtually all of his predecessors (Reagan and FDR included), has engaged in a fair amount of demagoguery. Perhaps the most egregious example of it had to do with his 2008 campaign assertion that HIS administration would crack down on tax havens and that that act alone would raise $100 billion extra every year for the treasury.............................................................................A little bit off? Yeah, the dude was a little bit off. Less than a year later, (by then) President Obama's own international tax proposal claimed to collect only $21 billion a year (a 79% reduction) AND the vast majority of that was in the form of tax increases on companies trying to compete in a world market. The amount of money that the report ultimately claimed to raise from this supposed tax evasion in low tax jurisdictions? Try $870 million dollars a year, a whopping 99.1% reduction from his original 2008 claim. Youza, huh? Millionaires and billionaires indeed.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hillary Clinton Update/Shame on Fox

It appears that Mrs. Clinton has been admitted into the hospital with a blood clot relative to her concussion. Hm, I wonder if any of those idiots over at Fox News (O'Reilly, Gutfeld, Bolton, etc. - and kudos to Greta Van Susteren for defending Mrs. Clinton) who implied/joked around that the woman was faking to get out of testifying are going to apologize for it. A little something tells me here, probably not.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Miscellaneous 160

1) The cost of cosmetic surgery has been rising at a rate that is lower than the rate of inflation (this, from the National Center for Policy Analysis). This tells me that competition in healthcare CAN work when in fact it's allowed to.............2) In 1975, there were 25 million people on Medicare and the average cost was $2,000 per enrollee. By 2040, those numbers are expected to be 88 million and $17,000, respectively. To say that this trajectory is thoroughly unsustainable should be obvious - TO EVERYBODY.............3) Medicaid was started in 1965 and its original budget was approximately $1 billion. The program's current budget is $250 billion AND, according to the CBO, the budget for that program is expected to hit $600 billion by 2023 and eclipse a trillion ten years later. Again, UNSUSTAINABLE.............4) According to the National Tax Journal, less than 50% (39-42, depending on the survey) of the people in the top 1% in 1996 were still in that group by 2005. This whole notion that the affluent have somehow carved out a permanent high status is ludicrous (not to mention a figment of the President's imagination).............5) The President seems to be operating on a notion that tax policy doesn't in any way influence economic behavior, that increasing taxes will never cause people to work less, invest differently, and/or shelter their money. The fellow is being exceedingly naive on this one, I think.............6) According the Social Security Trust, there were 5.4 workers per retiree in 1960. By 2040, that ratio will dip all the way to 2.3 workers per retiree. Time to think outside the box, I'm thinking.............7) Have you ever wondered why the terrorists switched from machine guns (their previous mode of terror) to suicide bombers in Israel? I'll tell you why. It's because Israel has a right to carry law and little old ladies were pulling guns out of their underwear and killing the terrorists before they could get off too many shots. Interesting, huh?

On this Notion that Israel Somehow Practices Apartheid

It's absurd. Israel is the only nation in that shit-hole part of the world in which Jews, Arabs, and Christians are able to dine together, work together, shop together, and even serve in the government together (there are a lot of Arabs serving in the Knesset NOW). It's also a country in which Arabs (many of them residents of the West Bank) probably receive the best healthcare of any Arab population in the whole region (some hospitals having close to 40% Arab patients). Yes, they did build a wall along the West Bank but the only reason that they did that was to stop the suicide bombers who were coming in like a sieve and wreaking havoc (it's been successful, btw, terrorists acts are down 90%). Look, I'm not opposed to criticizing Israel and I've done it myself on occasion. But to have people like Jimmy Carter throwing around such loaded terms as apartheid is well beyond the pale, imo.

Cuts Shmutts/Podesta Lies

Washington is strange place. Only there would a person even attempt to call adjustments to the rate of growth of spending "budget cuts" - and savage ones, no less. It's a dirty little secret that they have and they call it baseline budgeting.........................................................................................So, yes, even with the supposedly "draconian cuts" of the Ryan budget, the vast, VAST, percentage of those (yes, there are some actual cuts in the first year of it but after that the budget grows approximately 40% over the next 11 years) are basically slowdowns in the rate of projected growth.........................................................................................And why do the nummies do it this way, you ask? I don't know, probably for several reasons. a) Bureaucrats and politicians love power (and wealth) and what better way to consolidate it than to remove it from the private sector and b) it also provides multiple opportunities to demagogue. Take, for instance, this quote from the Center for American Progress's John Podesta - "Closing the budget gap entirely on the spending side would require draconian cuts - cuts that would affect Americans' everyday lives, threaten the fundamentals of our health and safety, and reduce investment in science and technology, which undergird innovation in our economy." It's utter nonsense (and, yes, I could come up with a conservative counterpart regarding defense spending), in that as I plainly pointed out in a previous post, we don't even have to cut (real cuts, I'm saying) spending in order to balance the budget in the short term (10-12 years). We just have to keep the growth of it to 2.5% and it'll balance itself!! Enough already with the BS, you slugs.

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Fair and Balanced Addendum to Miscellaneous 154

As you folks may recall, I castigated President Obama for the fact that even the Democratic-friendly witness at those recent Congressional debt hearings (one Mark Zandi) had had some issues with the man. Yeah, well, guess what, the Republican-friendly witness at those very same hearings didn't exactly rubber-stamp his side, either. According to Kevin Hassett, the optimal debt consolidation package is one in which is the budget cuts outweigh the spending increases by approximately 5.7:1. Considering the fact that every single Republican at that (now infamous) Presidential debate said that they would have no problem walking away from a 10:1 cuts to revenue package, it doesn't necessarily sound as if they're being all that serious, either, I'm thinking.

The World Bank on High Corporate Tax-Rates (Yeah, You Heard Me Right)

"High tax-rates do not always lead to high tax revenues. Between 1982 and 1999, the average corporate income tax-rate fell from 46% to 33% while corporate income tax collections rose from 2.1% of national income to 2.4% of national income."......Wow, it seems as if they're saying that competitive tax-rates can sometimes improve a country's economy/ its economic standing in the world. Who'd have ever thunk it?

John Maynard Keynes on Punitive Tax-Rates (Yeah, You Heard Me Right)

"Taxation may be so high as to defeat its object, and that, given sufficient time to gather the fruits, a reduction of taxation will run a better chance than an increase of balancing the budget."......Wow, it kinda sounds like he's articulating something similar to the Laffer Curve here, the Law of Diminishing Returns, etc..

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Craziest Member of Congress?

Wow, that's a tough one. a) There are a lot of them (Bachmann, Pelosi, Waters, Steve King, etc.) and b) I don't know every single individual. But if I HAD to pick just one I would probably go with Texas Congressman, Louie Gohmert. Between his paranoiac construct of "terror baby lots", his bizarre comment relative to caribou having sex at the trans-Alaska pipeline, and his shameless tarring of a well-respected State Department official (Huma Abedin), I really can't  think of anybody who's more off the deep-end, at least at the moment.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thomas Sowell on President Obama

"Implicit in this narrative is a notion that the economy has no recuperative power of its own. It is only through these wonderful actions of President Obama that the economy has been able to recover. The reality, though, is that for the first 150 years of this country the government did absolutely nothing during economic downturns and the economy recovered every time. The hubris of those in Washington thinking that it's only them who can fix the economy is astonishing." 

French Economic Thought; Jean-Baptiste Say and Frederic Bastiat to....THIS?

And, yes, I'm 75% sure that it doesn't represent progress.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Rexford Tugwell on Herbert Hoover

 "We didn’t admit it at the time, but practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from programs Hoover started."......And Krugman didn't know this. Unbelievable. I guess that you don't necessarily have to read books any more to win a Nobel Prize.

On the Assertion by Paul Krugman and Chris Hayes that FED Chairman, Ben Bernanke, Hasn't Been Doing ENOUGH

It's insane. Mr. Bernanke has essentially tripled the monetary base over the past four years, issuing more paper-money than all of the previous FED chairmen COMBINED!!! And he's also kept the interest rates at zero or pretty damn close to it. What, pray tell, WOULD be enough for these two discredited individuals (Krugman thinks that the world should be building up its military in preparation for an alien invasion and that that massive misallocation of resources would in fact get the world out of its recession - he's never once read Frederic Bastiat's "Broken Window Fallacy" OBVIOUSLY) ? I mean, do they completely want to destroy the value of the dollar here?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Miscellaneous 159

1) Note to Obama and Boehner - According to the Cato Institute's, Dan Mitchell, and the Mercatus Center's, Veronique de Rugy,  if you folks in Washington simply restrained the growth of government spending to 2-2.5% a year, the deficit itself would all but disappear in 10-12 years. Yes, more would have to be done after that (2022-2024) due to those demographic issues pertaining to the baby-boomers retiring and all, but at least it shows that the problem isn't totally insurmountable. Please, fellows, get your act together.............2 The federal government currently spends more than $17,000 per year per capita (and, NO, this doesn't include our defense spending). That is more than England, Germany, Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Belgium, Australia, Japan, Spain, Finland, Portugal, Israel, and New Zealand. This whole mentality of those on progressive side that America's problems are somehow the result of insufficient government activity is a total head-scratcher to me.............3) Mr. Obama's proposal to change the cost of living increases for Social Security is a measure that supposedly reduces the deficit by $30 billion dollars a year. I would like to adopt it and add it to the list of my proposals and happily say that my new subtotal is $138 billion ($1.38 trillion over 10 years).

Sunday, December 23, 2012

On Veronique de Rugy

Her brain turns me on and she's just replaced Amity Shlaes as my favorite female economist.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Miscellaneous 158

1) In 1967, the federal government projected Medicare spending to be approximately $12 billion in 1990. The actual cost was $98 billion (that's a 717% miscalculation for those of you who are brave enough to keep a tally) and the current expense is now well over $500 billion. To say that I am looking at the current projections of Obamacare with a grain of salt these days is an understatement.............2) And, yes, to be fair and balanced about it, one could absolutely make a similar criticism pertaining to the Iraq War. Mr. Bush's initial projections on that conflict were somewhere in the $50-60 billion dollar range and we have obviously exceeded that in spades and multiples. The way that I see it here, neither party has been a very good steward of the taxpayer's money - NEITHER SIDE.............3) According to the IRS, only 23% of the top 1% of America's wage-earners are millionaires. Correct me if I'm wrong here but it seems as if Mr. Obama has a tendency to conflate these two groupings and tries his best to make hay over it. If I were advising the fellow......

"I Want to Be a Great Actor, Like Jack Lemon....or Sal Mineo"

What would be my answer to the question, "So, what's your all-time favorite Herman Munster line?"

Economist, Veronique de Rugy - To the Democrats

a) We can't tax our way out of the deficit (government, no matter what the tax-rates, has never been able to consistently tax its way to over 21% of GDP) and b) Medicare and Medicaid are the major drivers of future debt and to ignore them is plainly suicidal.

Economist, Veronique de Rugy - To the Republicans

a) We can't grow our way out of the deficit and b) defense spending can no longer be considered a sacred-cow (we spend more that the next 14 countries combined and that is purely unsustainable).

Warren Buffett - Genius, Humanitarian, Hypocrite, Or All of the Above?

Mr. Buffett is always yapping about wanting to pay more in taxes. But that clearly hasn't stopped the dude form using one of the oilier (albeit legal) tax avoidance schemes. It seems that Mr. Buffett, instead of simply giving money to charities, has been giving away a lot of his appreciated stock shares. Yes, it's a very magnanimous gesture but it also represents a major-league loophole for Buffett. a) He doesn't have to pay the long-term capital gains tax and b) he nevertheless still gets to deduct the APPRECIATED AMOUNT of the donated stock shares on his tax form. Not an terrible gig if you can get it.

Probably this Biotch

What would be my answer to the question, "So, of all of the Keith Olbermann 'Worst Persons in the World', which of those individuals on the list would you probably agree with most?"......Torture apologist, queen, and monger, Liz Cheney.

On Barbara Stanwyck's Ass in "Meet John Doe"

More scrumpdillyisious/cute it could not have conceivably been.

Friday, December 21, 2012

President Obama's Top Five Favorite Words

I, me, wealthy, fair, and share.

On Eastwood's Shtick at the Republican National Convention

I didn't like it - not because he made fun of the President (politicians exist to be ridiculed in my little world). I didn't like it because it was just such a shock to have to witness it; that one-time virile and dynamic icon from Sergio Leone's epic masterpiece, "The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly", being reduced to such a stumbling, bumbling, and stammering douche-bag/tool for some mediocre political party. Believe me, it was a hard-core image that this fellow could have well done without.

On Limiting the Number of Rounds Per Magazine

a) It takes approximately 1.2 seconds to change a magazine and b) 10 round magazines might actually be more dangerous in that they jam far less frequently.

On CNN's Deborah Feyerick

She's got a little Patricia Clarkson thing going on and I dig it.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

On Soledad O'Brien

The woman possesses zero capacity for counter-intuitiveness and rarely, if ever, has a grasp of the subject-matter.

On Me and Guns 2 (And, Yes, It's a Complicated Topic)

Like I said, I don't own any guns. But neither am I going to go around advertising that sucker. Like I'm not going to be putting a monstrous sign in front of my house that specifies, "gun-free house", and I doubt that any of my colleagues would be willing to do that, either.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"We Can't Kill Our Way Out of this Mess"

What would be my answer the the question, "So, what, in your opinion, was the smartest thing that Romney said during the entire campaign?"

On Me and Guns

I don't have a gun, I don't have a desire to purchase one, and I'm not philosophically opposed to common sense gun control. But can we at least take a reasoned approach as to what we're talking 'bout here (this, I'm saying, to the partisan leftists)? a) Justice department data shows that nearly 80% of criminals purchase their weapons ILLEGALLY (a large chunk of which aren't even manufactured in this country) and that less than 1% (.7% to be precise) of them purchase their firearms at these (admittedly scary) gun shows. And 2) this Connecticut mother purchased the guns legally and also passed a background check. How, pray tell, would the things that people like Rachel Maddow are spitting and drooling over have prevented this crime when they were already in place (yes, Connecticut even has a assault weapons ban, for Christ - the weapon in question apparently didn't qualify)?.................................................................................................P.S. Yes, I realize that there are some other things that we could possibly look at. But none of these steps are necessarily clear-cut, either. For instance, yeah, we could limit the number of guns that a person could possess but a) that would penalize the 99.9% of gun collectors who are responsible and b) criminals aren't even going to go through the legal channels anyway....And then of course there are those who are advocating that the the gun-buyers' entire family should be screened prior to purchase. Again, it doesn't sound that unreasonable until you realize here that a) there would also be some huge confidentiality issues and b) people with mental illness aren't necessarily more likely to be violent PERIOD (Aspergers people are actually LESS likely to be violent to others). This whole construct that politicians (replete with their hubris) can significantly make a dent in this at least somewhat wishful thinking, I'm thinking.

On Obama and Stimulus

HE is to IT what my feline is to gravy; always desirous for additional.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Insanity Indeed

Sean Hannity (on last night's show) asked what was quite possibly the dumbest and most loathsome question that's ever been posed in the entire history of cable broadcasts. The numb-nuts actually asked that Osteen preacher fellow if there was "any difference between evil and insanity". Now, granted, the dude might have been thinking more specifically about personality disorders such as sociopathy and psychopathy and of how "evil" can in fact be summoned by that, but the fact that this Hannity made no correction, clarification, or apology tonight pretty much says it all, now doesn't it?

Monday, December 17, 2012

On Credentials

Paul Krugman has a Nobel Prize (I still have a hard time typing that) and Rachel Maddow was a Rhodes Scholar....and so what exactly? A mitigation of the fact that they constantly deceive and have achieved a true-believer status that even Eric Hoffer himself could have never envisioned? I'm sorry but, no. And if you think that I am in any way coming at this from a partisan slant, I can assure you, I feel THE EXACT SAME WAY about well-educated buffoons on the right such as Ann Coulter (Cornell and the University of Michigan Law) and Laura Ingraham (Dartmouth and the University of Virginia Law). A jerk is a jerk is a jerk is a jerk.

Bill O'Reilly's Top Five Favorite Subjects

5) Secular progressives (as opposed to religious conservatives, secular conservatives, and religious progressives) and the "culture war".............4) Media bias (other than his own, of course).............3) Ratings.............2) His ratings.............1) Bill O'Reilly/"The Factor".............And, YES, I'm still trying to get him to come on "The Contra".

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Miscellaneous 157

1) If the federal government cut foreign aid by 20%, that would save the treasury $10 billion. If they cut agricultural supports by 20%, that would net them another $4 billion. And if they closed unnecessary foreign military bases, that would save them $12 billion (Rumsfeld's numbers, not mine). All together that would be another $26 billion that you could add to the $60 billion from previous posts (capping the mortgage interest deduction and having Medicare negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies) for a total of $86 billion. This isn't rocket-science, people.............2) I also think that we really need to look at that payroll tax holiday. That one item alone is costing the treasury $110 billion a year and, even if we scaled that back 20% (and, yes, we could graduate this in favor of the working and middle classes), that would be an additional $22 billion in savings and a subtotal now of $108 billion.............3) I've been pretty critical of FDR and Obama lately and so let me do a little turnabout here. Herbert Hoover, a Republican, increased federal spending by an unprecedented (for peacetime) 47% (11.8% average per year) during his four years. George W. Bush, another Republican, increased federal spending 61% (7.6% average per year) during his eight years. And Gerald Ford, yet another Republican - he, unfortunately, was the original pioneer of this idiotic tax-rebate concept (tax-cuts generally lead to economic growth only when the marginal rates on productive behavior are permanently lowered). This whole notion that only Democratic Presidents have engaged in wasteful spending and government interference is a purely false one and if I've ever even implied that in the past then I apologize.

On the "Prevent Defense" (Football)

I wish that I could have prevented it from ever being invented.

Say What?

"I refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced."......President Obama, December 13th, 2012.

Friday, December 14, 2012

On Miriam Hopkins



For those of you who only remember her as the dowdy aunt in the 1949 Olivia de Havilland/Montgomery Clift classic, "The Heiress", you'd probably be surprised to learn that she was also one of the screen's most charming and alluring vixens all throughout the 1930s. Add to that the fact that a lot of her meatier roles (she played a prostitute in 1933's, "The Story of Temple Drake") came in the years prior to the Hays Code in which Hollywood was basically forced to clean up its act and that makes her seem even more of a hottie....And, who's to say, if you also threw into the mix that well-publicized feud with Bette Davis and the fact that she actually turned down the female lead in "It Happened One Night", there might even be enough material for a movie about her some day. I sure as hell would watch the sucker.

Bizarro World on Steroids

If somebody had told me two months ago that, on December 14th 2012, the New York Knickerbockers would be 17-5 and the L.A. Lakers would be 9-14, I would have probably considered that person a lunatic and tried to contact authorities. BUT THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAS HAPPENED! Can you even begin to believe this shit, people?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The One Good Thing About Living in a Red or Blue State

It allows you the opportunity to vote your conscience (and, yes, I thoroughly took advantage of it).

On Why Gary Johnson ISN'T Perot

a) Experience. b) Integrity. c) Sanity.

Round 2?

Hannity has made it abundantly clear that, if President Obama nominates John Kerry to be the next Secretary of Defense/State, he will in fact "swift-boat" the fellow AGAIN. Batten down the hatches, me-bucks..........................................................................................And, no, I'm not necessarily saying that I approve of everything that Mr. Kerry did and said when he returned from the war but at least the fellow went over there, and that's a hell of a lot more than you can say for Bush, Quayle, Cheney, Romney, Biden, etc..

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Finally, A Keynesian Who I Could Work With

Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics. Yes, the man believes in "stimulus" and is also a fairly strong supporter of Obama, but he's also a) reasonable and b) isn't afraid to criticize the President as he did during his recent Congressional testimony (saying that the President's proposal needed at least 600 billion in additional cuts). If it were purely up to me on this, I would have the President listening more to him and less to douche-bag Geithner.

Miscellaneous 156

1) According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, if Medicare were able to negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies over drug prices, that one act alone could potentially save the tax-payers some $30 billion dollars. If you combined that with the $30 billion that I had brought up in a previous post pertaining to tweaking the cap on mortgage interest, that's a total of $60 billion, some $600 billion over ten years. This isn't rocket-science, people, and even the idiots in Washington (Boehner, Pelosi, McConnell, Reid, etc.) should have been able to pick off this low-hanging fruit, I think.............2) If Krugman really wanted to make a point about Boehner AND if he was being intellectually honest about it, he would have compared the fellow not to Herbert Hoover (who, as we all know now, wasn't a laissez faire capitalist by any stretch; the beneficent hand, etc.) but to Harding and Coolidge. But since Krugman is NOT an honest man and he used the name of Hoover a) because it has certain negative cache to it and b) because the economies under both Harding and Coolidge were exceedingly strong, you got what you usually get from this Krugman fellow, a majorly sneaky Pete.............3) Note to MSNBC and "The Nation's", Chris Hayes. This notion of yours that FED chairman, Ben Bernanke, was intentionally tanking the economy by not engaging it ENOUGH, and that his doing this was to somehow get Governor Romney elected, IS ABSURD! a) Mr. Bernanke has essentially TRIPLED the money supply over the past four years (creating out of thin air more paper currency than all of the previous FED chairmen COMBINED!!) and b) Mr. Romney had made it patently clear that he would in no way reappoint Mr. Bernanke. Why, pray tell, would this Bernanke try and lift a finger (or, as you would say, NOT lift a finger) to help a candidate who was clearly going to throw him under the bus? You are totally insane, dude.

On These Two


If selective outrage was an art-form, these two fellows would be Chopin and Mussorgsky.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On Union Violence and Mayhem in Michigan Today

Wow, who could have ever predicted that?

Israel's Most Costly Error?

It's preemptive strike against the Arab states in 1967? No. Egypt's decision to close the Straits of Tiran, its mobilization of troops along the border with Israel, and the bellicose language coming from Egypt and Syria were all a more than adequately sufficient justification for Israel's action.......The fact that Israel annexed the West Bank from Jordan during this same conflict? No. Israel repeatedly made peaceful overtures to Jordan and pleaded with them not to engage in hostilities. It was only after Jordan started shelling Israeli civilian populations and later sent in its air force to bomb key residential areas that Israel eventually responded; bombing Jordanian air-fields and, yes, seizing the West Bank.......In my opinion, the biggest miscalculation that Israel made was its failure, post the '67 War, to adopt the Alon Plan. This plan, which was put forth by Labor Minister/General, Yigal Alon, had Israel withdrawing from all Arab population centers and from most of the other territory as well. Yes, it did call for some of the land to be annexed but only enough for defense and to maintain "territorial integrity". The way that I see it here, had the Israeli's chosen this route, they could have a) solidified their defenses and b) avoided the embarrassment of having to occupy another group of people for multiple decades (world sentiment might have actually swung to their advantage)....But, hey, hindsight is 20/20, right?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dorothy Malone


What would be my answer to the question, "So, who would get your vote as the most underrated blonde bombshell of the 1950?"

On Hoover, FDR, Bush 2, and Obama

I like to refer to them as the Four Horsemen of the Keynesian Apocalypse myself.

On "The Hill"'s A.B. Stoddard

The best in the business as far as I'm concerned.

Note to Manny Pacquiao

Next time, a) don't lunge and b) bring a pillow just in case you forget about a.

Miscellaneous 155

1) The unemployment rate in Spain right now is 25%. In Singapore it's less than 2% (1.9). Spain has a heavy regulatory burden and a high taxation rate. Singapore has neither of these (they don't even have a minimum wage). Now, can I say with absolute certitude that there's a causal connection here? No, I can't. But at the very least it's interesting.............2) According the Cato Institute's Dan Mitchell, the 1913 tax code had 400 pages in it, the tax code of 2012, 73,000. I challenge anybody to try and convince me that this is a change for the better (I mean, yes, I could see it being somewhat bigger but 182 fold!?).............3) The federal budget has grown 31% over the last four years and 41% over the last five years. Couple this with the fact that a) douche Bernanke has essentially tripled the monetary base and b) the deficit has now quadrupled (from 2008) and it really doesn't look all that good for the Keynesians, now does it? Time for another 30-year hiatus, I'm thinking.............4) Looking for a flying under the radar high school football player? My suggestion is that you take a gander down toward Raleigh and a duel-threat quarterback by the name of LeMar Harris (class of 2014 - Millbrook High). This kid is a rangy 6'2" with speed and who can really sling the rock. He doesn't have any offers yet but, I'm telling you, 5-6 months from now, he'll probably have a whole slew of 'em and, yeah, you can bank on it

On Pink

Hate Pink.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Note to Van Jones

Really Van, present era Republicans are the "worst people ever born"? Worse than Hitler? Worse than Stalin? Worse than Mussolini? Worse than Saddam Hussein? Worse than Pol Pot? Worse than the Hamids of Turkey? Worse than Augusto Pinochet? Worse than Idi Amin? Worse than Roberto Daubuisson? Worse than Kim Jong Il? Worse than Attila the Hun? Worse than the Assads of Syria? Worse than Genghis Kahn? Worse than Milosevic? Worse than Leopold 2? Worse than Snooki (just wanted to see if you were paying attention)? Worse than Franco? Worse than Mao? MAN, I really gotta steer clear of these folks.

On Anti-Israel Activist and Writer, Norman Finkelstein

The fellow makes Noam Chomsky sound like Golda Meir.

On Monica Crowley and Bile

She has more of it in her possession than the Hunt brothers had silver in the '70s.......Only she ain't selling.

My Favorite Youtube Comment Ever, Courtesy of r29

"you don't really care about life. stop pretending to care. A poor man today lives better than a king did for the vast majority of history. A poor man in central africa today has a higher standard of living, better healthcare than the emperors of rome. All of the kings of the past would trade their empires for a car, or dental care. You only care about relative wealth not absolute wealth, In an other words you are envious of other. You should really think about your life."......Yeah, there are some grammatical errors and/or typos but, overall, I love it.

Friday, December 7, 2012

On Deleting Comments from Crazy Loners/Losers

I click, and I do it with about the same level of assertive indifference as when I press that button on a big can of RAID. That, and I never read a sentence.

On Ezra Klein

He's a 28 year-old kid with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from UCLA and MSNBC is parading him around as some sort of economic guru. Talk about grading on the curve, huh?

On Krugman

There actually is one area in which Mr. Krugman does excel; the dude is clever. I mean, just take a look at this whole position of his on the stimulus. While, yes (and as Robert Murphy conceded in his Mises blog), it is true that he DID say (in real time) that the stimulus wasn't significant enough, it's also true to say that Mr. Krugman was in fact basing this sentiment on Christina Romer's, HELLO!, ACTUAL PROJECTIONS! So, in other words, Krugman never said that the stimulus was insufficient to the point that it wouldn't keep the unemployment rate under the 10% that ultimately happened, but that the stimulus should have been bigger in order to prevent the 7.5% figure that came DIRECTLY FROM ROMER'S PROJECTIONS. See the difference here? The dude is sneaky, I'm telling you.

On the Fine Art of Grown-Up Republicans and Democrats Acting Like Recalcitrant Children/Total Idiots

The Democrats want the top tax rates to go up from 33% (on people making over $200,000 a year) and 35% (on a figure yet unspecified - it's currently $388,000 a year) to 36% and 39.6% respectively. The Republicans - they, on the other hand, don't want these rates to go up at all. My question IS, can we please, pretty please, cut some sort of a deal here?...Like, I don't know, instead of the rates going up to 36% and 39.6%, we have them go up to 34.5% and 37.3% (yeah, I simply cut the differences here), and instead of the thresh-hold being $200,000, we negotiate it up to $500,000....I mean, no, we wouldn't get as much in terms of the revenue raised (instead of the $70 billion it would probably be closer to $35-40 billion) but it still would be a fairly amount and each side will have given up something in order to get it. So, what do you think, a deal here?

Miscellaneous 154

1) Not to pick on Mr. Obama, but I was watching some of the debt testimony yesterday and even the Democrat's own hand-picked witness, Mark Zandi (an economist from Moody's), said that the President hasn't gone anywhere near far enough in terms of budget cutting (he advocates at least an additional $600 billion)....I mean, the dude was basically saying that President needs to get serious.............2) And then, of course, we have the hard left (which up to this point I hadn't considered Obama a part of - and still don't in terms of military matters). For these folks to continue to characterize Mr. Obama's proposal as serious at this point (as many at MSNBC are pantingly attempting to) is absurd - even more so than their ratings.............3) According to M.I.T. economist, William Wheaton, if the federal government a) capped the mortgage interest deduction at $500,000 AND b) did away with the deduction for second houses completely, those two changes alone would increase revenues to the federal government by $30 billion. THIRTY BILLION DOLLARS. I mean, I know that that's only about 3% of the current deficit and all but when you snap up 3% here and 3% there and you combine that with a burgeoning economy, we could probably get out of this thing. But you gotta start somewhere.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Miscellaneous 153

1) What Obama and the Democrats did (beginning in 2010 and moving forward - and this really is kind of shady) was use the 2009 budget as a baseline and essentially moved forward with it via a series of continuing resolutions....It’s kind of like if you wrecked your car and then decided afterwards that you really liked spending that extra $25,000 a year and so you continued to do so in perpetuity. Of course the downside is that you'll eventually end up, hello, busted!............2) According to the Gallup Daily Tracking Poll, consumer spending is up 28%, from $60 a day (per individual) in 2009 to $77 a day in 2012. That, and we ALL know that government spending has grown significantly, too (it's essentially doubled since the final year of Clinton). This whole notion that a lack of demand has been the reason for our crappy recovery is borderline laughable.............3) The actual reason for the poor recovery, in my opinion, is the fact that we aren't saving and investing. I mean, just take a gander at the breakdown of GDP; consumption - 71%, government spending - 20%, imports/exports - -3%, and investment - 12. 12%!! That number has to get better and it has to get better quickly....Argentina anybody (the fact that those idiots tried to improve their economy via tax increases and printing money, too - and, guess what, it didn't work!)?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

On My Voting for Ross Perot in 1996

Might I plead temporary insanity, por favor?

Miscellaneous 152

1) I am willing to concede that, from 2010 to 2012, the Republicans in Congress were probably more recalcitrant and arrogant than Obama was (Trent Lott in the Senate and the tea party caucus in the House, especially). But ever since the election (granted, it's only been a month or so), I'm not entirely certain anymore. This combination of Obama's nonproposal proposal and an almost Captain Ahab caliber preoccupation with raising the top two rates is starting to look a little bit more like spiking the football (than leadership) to me. That, and maybe the dude is starting to show his truer colors, too.............2) Pol Pot's solution to income inequality was basically to kill off anybody who had a profession or a degree and divvy it up later (with him taking the largest slice obviously). Hopefully the situation in this country will never get that damned desperate.............3) It appears that Obama's plan DOES include a continuation of the payroll tax holiday and, so, no, that 115 billion cannot be a part of the 160 billion in increased revenue. Damn! I so wanted to give the fellow some props.

To Those Who Think That the Right is Disproportionately Nastier Than the Left

Two words - Mike Malloy.

On the Southeastern Conference's Superiority Complex

Getting a little sick of it myself.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

On this Effing Stooge

I'll take "Individuals Seemingly Hell-Bent on Destroying the American Economy" for a thousand, Alex.

On O'Reilly's "War on Christmas"

Haven't the time nor the interest. And, besides, I'm far too busy fighting my own epic battle; "The War Against Inane Topics Currently Being Foisted Upon the American Electorate by Egotistical and Paranoiac Cable Hosts Whose Sole Existence Seems to be the March for Higher Ratings/Advertising Dollars".

Monday, December 3, 2012

On the "Gang of Six"

Those dudes (Mark Warner, Tom Coburn, Dick Durbin, Kent Conrad, Saxby Chambliss, and Mike Crapo) came up with ten year plan that reduced the deficit by $3.7 trillion (at a roughly 2:1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts). Is it perfect? No, of course not. Nothing is. But at least it's a start (not to mention infinitely better than anything that the President has offered of late) and isn't it about time that we did just that? Seriously?

Note to Those Presently Considering "Murder-Suicide"

Please, just skip the murder part.

Miscellaneous 151

1) According to Rachel Maddow, "WE KNOW" that government spending is more stimulative to the American economy than tax-cuts. Yeah, well, guess what, WRONG! At the bare minimum it's debatable. I mean, yes, there are some studies and economists (that dude from Moody's and the celebrity economist, Krugman - two of them) who still subscribe to this multiplier effect thing but it is far, FAR, from a consensus. Harvard's Robert Barro and the University of California's Valerie Ramey, for instance - those folks place the multiplier effect of government spending at .7 and between .6 and 1.1, respectively. Hell, even the administration's own Christine Romer in a study that she did at Cal had the multiplier effect of tax cuts at 3.0 (a far greater amount than even the hardest of the hard-core Keynesians have asserted for any form of government spending)....Look, I'm not saying here that I have the final word on any of this shit. But for activists like Rachel Maddow to continuously say that they DO, sorry, not going to let it pass.............2) Hugh Samuel Johnson, FDR's administrator of the National Recovery Administration - wow, what a piece of work that guy was. Not only was the fellow an admirer of Mussolini, he actually went as far as to disseminate fascistic propaganda within the government by one of Mussolini's favorite economists AND he was an alcoholic who administered the NRA so incompetently that it was even too much for Roosevelt who ended up firing him in 1934. Of course, the most hilarious aspect of the story is that Time Magazine actually named him, "Man of the Year" OVER FDR! Is this a great country or is it not?............3) Just for the record, he was in fact a true-believer while he was there. He once referred to the NRA as "the greatest social advance since the days of Jesus Christ." 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Miscellaneous 150

1) Just to be fair and balanced here, Democrats such as FDR and Obama aren't the only Presidents who have utilized constituency politics and patronage. Richard Nixon in 1972 (less than 6 months before Election Day) markedly increased Social Security payments and George W. Bush spent money like a drunken sailor in the months leading up to the 2004 election. Bribing the electorate is as American as apple pie and both parties are exceedingly proficient at it.............2) According to historian and economist, Thomas Woods, Andrew Carnegie was able to single-handedly bring down the cost of steel by 90%, John D. Rockefeller was able to single-handed bring the cost of kerosene by 90%, and Cornelius Vanderbilt was able to single-handedly bring down the cost of steam transport by 95%. Now, yes, all three of these individuals went on to make millions and millions of dollars and none of them were flawless. But I think that they probably contributed more to society than politicians like Herbert Hoover, FDR, and Woodrow Wilson did with all of their initiatives....Certainly one could argue that, I think.............3) Wow, I can't believe what I just saw. New York Times leftist columnist, Charles Blow, actually went on CNN and gave some straight and reasonable analysis (on the upcoming "fiscal cliff"). A job well done, Mr. Blow (and, please, do not rearrange the words in that sentence).

On Ed Schultz, Michelle Malkin, Mike Malloy, Michael Savage, Etc.

In the now legendary words of Mickey Rourke's character (one Henry Chinaski) from "Barfly", "Ah, IT'S HATRED!!!!!!!!!! It's the only thing that lasts."

R.I.P. The Big Fellow

Legendary coach/ticking time-bomb, Rick Majerus. He was one of the best to ever coach college basketball and a true American original (the driest sense of humor this side of Mojave). Man, am I ever going to miss the guy....................................................................................FYI, his overall record was 517-215 (56-35 at Marquette, 43-17 at Ball State, 323-95 at Utah, and 95-69 at Saint Louis - a program that he basically brought from the ashes). He had only one losing season in 25 years of coaching and led an undermanned and outgunned Utah team to the NCAA finals in 1998. Absolutely incredible.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

In the Interesting/Did You Know? Category 8

That, according to a variety of sources (whistleblowers.org, Democracy Now!, Jake Tapper of ABC News, economist Anthony Gregory), Mr. Obama has invoked the Espionage Act more frequently than all of his predecessors COMBINED?............Is it my imagination or is this President starting to sound more and more like a certain fellow from Texas?

I Just Love Me Some Weddings

Lesbian country singer/hottie, Chely Wright, and her equally hot girlfriend/wife, Lauren Blitzer.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Never Will We Ever, Ever, Ever Learn

According to CNN, a lot of those weapons that we ended up giving to the "rebels" in Libya, THEY'RE MISSING. And we aren't exactly talking bb guns and pea shooters here, either. Nope, we're talking to surface to air missiles and some of them may have even ended up with Hamas. Look, I understand that fellows like Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich are thoroughly considered cranks and all (even within their own parties at times) but on this one I basically have to agree with 'em. Discretion WOULD have been the better part of valor.

Georgia Tech to the Big Ten?

Alright, I'm done. I'm out.

Miscellaneous 149

1) One piece of evidence that's often given to bolster the claim that WW2 got us out of the Depression (and, yes, this is a topic that I've written on before - http://paranoiacstoogetalk.blogspot.com/2011/04/conventional-thinking-possibly-wrong.html) is the seemingly burgeoning rate of GDP that climbed throughout that conflict. Of course, what these Keynesians fail to point out is that approximately 40% of that increase was government spending and that a significant portion of THAT was military spending. A much more careful analysis of the data reveals that consumer spending actually went DOWN during the war years (guns clearly superseding butter) and that, if it wasn't for the war, GDP would have actually gone down with unemployment remaining high (conscription and the making of weaponry were solely responsible for the decreased unemployment rate). This whole notion that war and other calamities (Pelosi actually said that the earthquake in Haiti might ultimately be beneficial - she obviously never read Bastiat's "The Broken Window Fallacy") having a positive effect on the economy are every bit as ludicrous as they are sick.............2) Allowing the Bush tax-cuts to lapse on people making over $200,000 a year and on families making over $250,000 a year would ultimately net the treasury $70 billion a year (assuming that there isn't a negative effect on the economy for doing so). Mr. Obama's latest proposal claims to raise more than double that; approximately $160 billion a year. I guess what my question is is, where, pray tell, does the other 90 billion come from? Is he strictly going to hit the wealthy again by closing some loopholes, or is he going to get it by hitting the middle-class somehow? I also kind of want to know why he went from advocating a 4:1 ratio of spending cuts to revenues to what is essentially a 1:4 ratio. I mean, is it simply the fact that he won the damned election?............3) Reflecting later on her 1972 trip to communist China, actress Shirley MacLaine referred to the country as "serene"....Hm, must have gotten the guided tour.

Note to Sean Hannity 3

Stop lying, numb-nuts. The "mainstream media" IS covering Benghazi. Eli Lake of Newsweek/The Daily Beast broke the story, the Associated Press served up a story that literally crippled the administration, and CNN in the form of Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett is covering it NIGHTLY. Yes, there are some outlets that have taken it easy on Obama but you really gotta stop it with this group condemnation stuff. It just makes you look dumb(er).

Thursday, November 29, 2012

On Krugman's Idiotic Assertion that the Right Only Acknowledges Financial Crises SINCE the FED

Murray Rothbard actually wrote a book entitled, "THE PANIC OF 1819"!!!!!

On Greed

It's a social constant. The only thing that alters (usually for the worse) it are governmental policies.

On Bill O'Reilly's "War on Christmas" Segments

I would rather watch Gomer and Gilligan while getting kicked in the head by a rabid moose....with a huge hangover (me AND the moose).

Three Ann Coulter Whoppers (Circa Several Months Prior to the Election)

1) "Obama's never faced a real opponent." No, Mr.s Keyes and McCain (the idiot Keyes, especially) weren't exactly formidable but beating Hillary in the Democratic primary wasn't exactly chopped-liver.............2) "He's (Obama) the most left-wing President ever." This one is especially off the charts. Hoover, FDR, LBJ, and Nixon (yes, Nixon was a hard-core operational liberal who not only didn't dismantle the Great Society but in many ways extended it) were all more interventionist than Obama and even a lot of the things that Obama has done and/or proposed were originally Republican ideas (the individual mandate, cap and trade, etc.). Absolute BS on this one.............3) He's (Romney) only flip-flopped on one issue; abortion." The woman is insane. Governor Romney has flip-flopped on a grand number of issues; TARP, Don't-Ask/Don't Tell, carbon emissions, stem-cell research, campaign finance reform, capital-gains tax-cuts, the minimum-wage, the assault weapons ban, his feelings relative to the NRA, his hunting prowess, on the MA health-care plan being a model for the nation, his lack of Vietnam service explanations, etc.. In fact, folks, I would probably have to say that he flip-flopped more than Kerry and McCain combined.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

On the Assertion that "People Like Medicare"

Well, of course they do. I mean, why wouldn't somebody like a system in which you pay in an average of $114,000 in premiums and get back an average of $355,000 in benefits? That's a total no-brainer, people - http://www.cleveland.com/nation/index.ssf/2010/12/114000_that_2011_retirees_paid.html.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mr. Obama, HIRE THIS MAN! 3


Former Navy Vice Admiral, war veteran, and Congressman (respected on both sides of the divide), Joe Setak. His experience in the military, education in public administration, and service on the House Armed Services Committee make him the ideal candidate for Secretary of Defense (Panetta can either go back to the CIA or move on over to State).

Yet Another Article Underscoring the Idiocy of the "Buffett Rule"

http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/12/pf/taxes/buffett-rule/index.htm - Yeah, that's right, folks, according to money.cnn.com, the average effective income tax rate for people making between $30,000 and $50,000 a year is 6.4% (according to freeby50.com, the average effective rate for people making between $50,000 and $100,000 is approximately 8.4%) and the average effective income tax rate for people making over a million a year is 24.6%....They also cite that this rule would only apply to a miniscule number of people and would raise less than 5 billion a year (yes, better than getting rid of PBS/NPR, but not by a lot). Can you all say a lack of seriousness coming from the White House, me-bucks?

On 1935's "Captain Blood"

The film features a 19 year-old Olivia de Havilland. It that inducement enough? Ti's for me. Who- ahhh!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Miscellaneous 148

1) Another thing that Krugman does a lot is the construction of straw-men. Take, for instance, this assertion of his from a recent New York Times editorial; "There's a very widespread belief on the right that banking crises only happen because either the Fed or Barney Frank cause them; go back to a gold standard, and there would be no need for financial regulation or anything like that." It's an utterly absurd statement and as Robert Murphy has pointed out on his blog, conservative and Austrian economists such as Murray Rothbard, Burton Fulsom, and Walter Bagehot have all written extensively on numerous crises and panics that happened well before the FED. I mean, yes, they've also asserted that the panics have gotten a hell of a lot worse since the FED (and, yes, even the charts that Krugman himself has supplied verify this) but to say that they haven't ever acknowledged them is either a lie or utter stupidity by Krugman.............2) I consider myself a pretty strong admirer of former Pennsylvania governor, Ed Rendell (and, yes, I would absolutely consider voting for him). But when the fellow went on MSNBC the other day and claimed that the numbers "didn't add up" in terms of raising revenue strictly by closing loopholes, yeah, I was kind of disappointed in that. The fact of the matter is that there are hundreds of billions of dollars to be had just from closing loopholes (simply lowering the cap on mortgage interest from a million to 500,000 could potentially raise tens of billions and it wouldn't even touch the middle-class) and to have these Democrats be so stubborn and recalcitrant on rates hasn't been helpful (just like it hasn't been helpful that those on the hard right haven't been budging, either).............3) Screen legend and Oscar-winning sisters, Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland, are 95 and 96, respectively. You think that there might be a spate of decent genes there (age, and the fact that they were both smolderingly hot in their prime)? I certainly do.

On the Moronic and Long-Running Feud Between Bill O'Reilly and Paul Krugman

Let's just call it a cross between "Romper Room" and '70s wrestling and be done with it.

On the Stock-Market in Cairo Plummeting Today

Egypt has a stock-market?

Yes Virginia, There IS a Santa Claus/My Long, Excruciating Nightmare is Over

Don't the door his you on the way out, nummy.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lunatic Bachmann, CORRECT?

I'm reasonably certain that she wasn't aware of this (or she probably wouldn't have gone off on that John Quincy Adams stretch of hers instead) but, according the the Reader's Digest's Family Encyclopedia of American History, FOUNDING FATHER, George Mason (a Virginian, no less), was "an implacable foe of the slave trade and a fervent advocate for the rights of man." The volume also offers that, as a delegate to the national Constitutional Convention of 1787, "Mason demanded an immediate end to the slave trade (in addition to the inclusion of a Bill of Rights, later included in 1791) and that he "unsuccessfully opposed ratification of the Constitution in Virginia."...............................................................................Now, this is obviously only one of the Founding Fathers and the plain fact is that the majority of the southerners at least didn't even come close to this (a lot of 'em frigging owned slaves themselves) but Mr. Mason here, yeah, it kinda sounds like he did "work tirelessly."

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Another Skirmish on the War

According to conservative author, David Horowitz, the Bush administration offered Saddam Hussein an 11th hour ultimatum; step down and let one of the other Ba'athists take over, or face war and be forced out. Assuming that this is true (and I'm suspecting that it's at least partially true), yes, the plot most assuredly thickens..................................................................................a) On the one hand, it puts more of an onus on the critics of Bush to maybe put a little bit more of their bile onto Hussein and a little bit less of it onto the President (the fact that Hussein could have prevented the war simply by stepping down) but b) it also challenges the supporters of Mr. Bush in that it calls into question the manner in which the Texan ultimately handled the conflict; the fact that he disbanded the army, purged the Ba'athists, etc.....................................................................................The way that I decipher it here, Saddam Hussein was virulent a man who engaged in some of the worst atrocities of the 20th Century, and one whose ouster was fully justified (yes, I did in fact oppose the war at the time and still think that it was probably a mistake). But President Bush, in my viewpoint, went way, WAY, beyond what was wise and necessary. The fact of the matter is that Iraq was never tangible country and had only been held together by brute force. It's muti-ethnic makeup anyone should have been able to foretell was not amenable to nation-building. AND the existence of strong Sunni presence in that region was in and of itself a GOOD thing....Not that that's what this Horowitz had in mind, mind you.....

Thursday, November 22, 2012

TCU 20 Texas 13

It's a great night to be a frog, folks.......Hook 'em? Not tonight!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Dumbest/Most Wretched Man to Ever Win a Nobel?

Paul Krugman is one of the most dishonest men in America. The man continues to put forth this absolute lie that Herbert Hoover was a laissez faire capitalist who did seemingly nothing to fight off the Depression. And if he isn't lying, and he's ignorant of the fact that Hoover was the most interventionist President that the nation had ever seen and who rang up more in peace-time debt than his 29 predecessors combined, then he's a imbecile of the highest magnitude......................................................................................As for one his sneakier "assessments" (and, yes, I tend to lead much more toward the dishonesty argument), Krugman claims that it was Hoover's 1932 attempt to balance the budget that made the Depression worse. He claims that Hoover drastically cut spending and that it was this lessening of demand that prompted the downturn. What Krugman does not point out is that, while, yes, Hoover did cut back somewhat on the profligate spending of the previous two years (AGAIN, Hoover out-deficit-spent any other peace-time President in U.S. history), the vast, VAST, percentage of Mr. Hoover's deficit reduction package was taxes. Yep, that's right, Hoover raised the top income tax rate from 25% to 63%, a 152% INCREASE!! And it was more that likely THAT that caused the economy to tank, not the minuscule decreases in spending..............................................................................And if this isn't enough evidence for you, just try some of the statements of FDR and his cronies themselves. Rexford Tugwell essentially admitted that most of the Great Deal was actually nothing more than a continuation of what Hoover had already started. Add to that the fact that during the 1932 campaign, Roosevelt and his running mate, John Nance Garner, both accused Hoover of leading the country "down the path to socialism."...I simply cannot believe that Mr. Krugman is ignorant of all this....or maybe I can.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Great Jean Arthur, Folks


Mr. Deeds (Gary Cooper) and Mr. Smith (Jimmy Stewart) were two pretty lucky fellows, I'm thinking.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sidekick Shmidekick

Michael Jordan is still the greatest basketball who's ever lived. Few (if any) would dispute that. But I would also submit that anybody who tries to diminish the contributions of Scottie Pippen to those great Bulls championship teams would be highly misguided. I cite specifically the fact that Pippen was as highly rounded a small forward as any of his era and objectively one of the greatest ever. The dude could drive, shoot from long distance, rebound, pass better than any front-court player this side of Larry Bird/Rick Barry/Wilt Chamberlain, and was possibly the greatest perimeter defender (right up there with Walt "Clyde" Frazier) in the history of the NBA (his guarding of the opposition's best player allowed Jordan to roam and do his thing).............................................................................As for some harder evidence/data, this. Pippen missed the first 15 games of the 1997-98 season and without him the Bulls went 8-7. Compare that to the 54-13 record upon his return and, yeah, you kind of get the message. That, and I also refer you to the 1993-94 season. That was the year in which Jordan played baseball and the Bulls (in large measure due to Pippen's awesome play - the dude was also MVP in the All Star game) still finished 55-27 AND, if it wasn't for an atrocious call against the Knicks in the playoffs, that team might have also gone to the finals. Yes, Jordan indeed was great but, so, too, was Scottie Pippen.

The Contra O'Reilly "Tip of the Day"

Disregard the O'Reilly Factor "Tip of the Day".......I'm still trying to get him to come on "The Contra".

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Top 15 Most Overrated Black People (A Good-Natured Response to Professor Hill's List)

15) Maya Angelou (Coleridge she ain't).............14) Barack Obama (a nondescript state senator/mediocre student at Columbia who defeated Alan Keyes).............13) Chris Rock (please, say something funny).............12) Tyler Perry (the new master of mass mediocrity).............11) Mike Tyson (yeah, he was formidable, FOR A WHILE).............10) Whitney Houston (I will always hate her).............9) The Reverend, Jesse Jackson (went from being an inspirational teacher of self-esteem to shilling - bad).............8) Condoleeza Rice (the worst national Security Adviser since McGeorge Bundy).............7) Michael Jackson (in the words of the late, great Andy Rooney, "bad, very bad").............6) Wesley Snipes (how this dude ever got work is beyond me).............5) P Diddy (living proof that literally any idiot can get rich these days).............4) Cornell West (so, so full of shit).............3) Clarence Thomas (the dude just sits there, he literally just sits there).............2) Kanye West (Obama had this one right - he's an ass).............1) Allen Iverson (if selfishness was a virtue...).............................................................................................P.S. I was going to include the Reverend, Al Sharpton and Congresswoman, Maxine Waters, but I don't really know anyone who rates them in the first place, and, in order to BE overrated, you first have to be rated.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Another Peel Off the Roosevelt Onion

You think that the Obama folks have stretched the Commerce Clause? I'm telling you here, it is nothing compared to what FDR and company did during the National Recovery Act. These people actually fined a farmer for (get this) growing too much wheat on his own farm for his own family consumption. The official "reasoning" (as espoused in Wickard versus Filburn) was that, by growing so much of his own food on his own farmland, he was in essence buying less of it on the open market and thereby interfering with "commerce".........................................................................................Look, I can handle a certain amount of government intervention in the market but this was borderline fascism, and the fact that to this day there are still people out there who say that Roosevelt was a better President than Truman is astonishing, I think.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

On My Pessimism Regarding a Budget Deal

As long as we have morons on the right like Marsha Blackburn saying that we can balance the budget simply by cutting non-defense discretionary spending and morons on the left like Raul Grijalva saying that the only thing necessary is allowing the Bush tax-cuts to expire on families making over $250,000 a year (68 billion out of a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit), then, no, I am not very optimistic and will in fact remain that way.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kudos


I'm telling you, folks, if it wasn't for these two guys, Jake Tapper and Ed Henry, I doubt very seriously if Obama would ever get a serious question at these press conferences/fawning sessions. Thankfully, we have at least them.

Republican Congressional Bimbo Eruptions



Congresswomen Bachmann, Blackburn, and Foxx.

Democratic Congressional Bimbo Eruptions



Congresswomen Pelosi, Waters, and Wasserman-Schultz.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Note to Rachel Maddow 4

The Republicans didn't "hang Susan Rice out to dry", the administration did. I mean, I don't know where you've been or how you've isolated yourself these days but the evidence is overwhelming (you've never heard of the Daily Beast, the Associated Press, CNN, etc.?) that the intelligence community knew well within 24 hours (the frigging State Department was watching this in real time) that this was a coordinated terrorist attack (an al Qaeda affiliate was taking credit for it WHILE IT WAS HAPPENING!) and not some spontaneous reaction to some stupid-assed video. a) There weren't even any protesters outside the embassy (and, hence, there couldn't have been a spontaneous reaction coming from them) and b) the fact that these crazy bastards were armed to the frigging gills with mortars, grenades, and AK-47s (none of which you generally see in protests even in the Middle East) SHOULD HAVE BEEN SUFFICIENT. Not to be insulting or anything, but what do you say that you put that Rhodes Scholar education of yours to work for a change? My God.

So, How Extreme WAS FDR's New Deal?

FDR's New Deal was so extreme that a plethora of FDR's own supporters started turning on him. Get a load of these quotes - "Roosevelt's measures only retarded enterprise at a time when the relief of unemployment and of insolvency primarily depended upon the revival of enterprise.....a lack of intellectual effort, the work of tired brains, relying on their wishes and their prejudices, and throwing out casual suggestions which they are just too hot and bothered to think about." Walter Lippman............."The whole conception behind the tax bill (the President's 1935 tax increases) overlooks the fundamental fact that there is little point trying to redistribute wealth as long as there is nothing done to produce more than a fraction of the wealth we are equipped to create." The New Republic............."the wonder that one man could have been so flexible as to permit himself to believe so many things in so short a time. But to look upon these policies as the result of a unified plan was to believe that the accumulation of stuffed snakes, baseball pictures, school flags, old tennis shoes, carpenter's tools, geometry books, and chemistry sets in a boy's bedroom could have been put there by an interior decorator." Raymond Moley............."We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong...somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises. I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. … And an enormous debt to boot." Henry Morgenthau............."We are entering upon waters for which I have no charts and in which I therefore feel myself an utterly incompetent pilot." James Warburg............."an arraignment of class against class.....these young Brain Trusters have caught the socialists swimming and run away with their clothes." Al Smith..........................................................................................Look, I'm not exactly sure where the sweet-spot is in terms of economics (I suspect that it's probably somewhere between Reagan's supply-side and Obama's demand-push) but I'm pretty sure that it doesn't include massive regulatory measures, major tax increases, significantly higher labor costs, and endless rhetorical spit-balls aimed at American business. Roosevelt dying and Truman ascending - that's what truly got us out of the depression, people, the difference between 'em being night and day.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Switched at Birth?

I can't help but wonder sometimes what the country would have been like if this Bush had run in 2000 and not the other. You?

Miscellaneous 147

1) According to the A.P. (10/17, and later on on the McLaughlin Group - 10/19), the CIA station chief in Libya reported to Washington (and ultimately directly to the A.P.) within 24 hours that there WAS strong evidence that the embassy bombing was carried out by militants and not by a spontaneous mob that was seething due to some American made video which ridiculed the prophet, Mohamed. The fact that somebody in the White House apparently sent Ambassador Rice and Press Secretary Carney out to peddle this video nonsense is exceedingly troubling, I think.............2) I'm sorry, people, but we really need to reexamine this whole concept of foreign aid. As it stands now, all that we're essentially doing is a) transferring wealth that's already been created, b) not transferring the capacity to create that wealth, and c) rewarding nations for doing all the wrong things/subsidizing irresponsibility. The way that I see it, we're just going to have to start making our assistance contingent upon meaningful reforms, and ZERO ASSISTANCE to nasty/corrosive governments that hate us. We just can't afford it anymore.............3) Georgia Tech football coach, Paul Johnson, finally woke up and inserted Vad Lee at quarterback. The result? Try 68 points and a victory against North Carolina. As for Mr. Lee's personal stat-line, he completed 6 of 10 passes for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns and ran 23 times for 112 yards and 2 more more scores. The dude was phenomenal and, while I wouldn't go as far as to compare him to Cam Newton (for one, the size differential), he's certainly close enough. Hell, he might even save that douche-bag Johnson's job.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

WHAT....WAS HE THINKING??????

In 2004, President Bush fully urged the Federal Housing Administration to eliminate all down-payment requirements (something in the past that had successfully been used to lessen the chance of defaults) for an additional 150,000 new homeowners. "To build an ownership society, we'll help even more Americans to buy homes. Some families are more than able to pay a mortgage but just don't have the savings to put money down."............Look, I have defended Bush on a number of occasions and, yes, he eventually did come to his senses on this (no less a liberal publication than the New York Times has credited President Bush with attempting to reign in the excesses of Fannie and Freddie, etc.) but, man, the fellow was certainly far off the mark earlier on with statements like these. Big time.

On Obama and the Auto Bailout

I sincerely hope that it works. I'm an American before I am a critic of the President and when he does well, we all do well. That being said, I would in fact caution the fellow that maybe he needs to cease and desist with these victory dances. I just got done reading an article by Louis Woodhill from "Forbes" and he seems to think that there's a better than 50-50 chance that G.M. and maybe Chrysler will be coming to the federal government for additional money in President Obama's second term (or Mr. Romney's first term - he wrote the article prior to the election).....and the President will have to come to the American public yet again.......

Me at the Ballot Box Tuesday

I voted for Johnson and I blackened in the oval as darkly as I could. And I'm telling you here, if the best that the Republicans and Democrats can come up with is Rove, Romney, Axelrod/Cutter (what a piece of doo-doo she is, huh?), Obama, Priebus, and Wasserman Schultz, I just might never vote for a major party candidate ever again.

Friday, November 9, 2012

From Warren Harding's 1920 Republican Nomination Speech

"There hasn't been a recovery from the waste and abnormalities of war since the story of mankind was written, except through work and savings, through industry and denial while needless spending and heedless extravagance have marked every decay in the history of nations."............Many historians have tended to marginalize this man (the anti-Hoover, FDR, Bush, and Obama). Perhaps they and we need to give him a second look.

Hold the Sugar

I'm telling you, folks, nobody can make lemonade out of lemons any better than the Keynesians can. Take WW2, for example. Virtually every Keynesian during WW2 said that the U.S. was going to go into yet another deep depression after the war. They were wrong. But instead of just admitting that they were wrong, they went into this idiotic explanation that it was the deficit spending during the war (in addition to some pent up demand) that got us OUT of the depression. You just cannot make this stuff up....................................................................................And this whole concept that war in general (and other such calamitous events events) can somehow bring about economic prosperity isn't only ridiculous, it's sick. And where is the evidence? There was no boom after WW1, no boom after Vietnam, no boom as a result of the current wars (which I thoroughly opposed, btw), no boom after 9/11. War does nothing but kill people (though, yes, it is sometimes necessary) and bleed the treasury dry. To try and say that it somehow makes us wealthy is purely bonkers.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

How 'Bout this for a Compromise (for Starters)?

a) Raise the top rate to 38% (negotiated down from 39.6%) for everything over a million bucks a year.............b) Raise 50-75 billion a year in revenue from closing loopholes (75% of that coming from people making over $250,000 a year).............c) Cut 150 billion from the budget and do it across the board (no, not the most preferable way to cut but, being that these imbeciles are seemingly incapable of making difficult decisions, it just might be the only way to go).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why OIbama Won, IMO

a) Constituency politics. President Obama has perfected it to a level that hasn't been witnessed since the days of FDR (free contraception to younger woman, low-interest student loans to college kids, health-care waivers to better connected unions, etc.).............b) The fact that the President and Vice President were somehow able to convince the American people that our budget shortfalls can essentially be rectified solely by raising taxes on the wealthy (Mr. Biden literally said as much during the debate).............c) Hurricane Sandy gave the President another opportunity to look Presidential and the man took advantage of it.............d) Governor Romney was an extraordinarily flawed Republican candidate (that rope-a-dope strategy at the end was just plain dumb). The man just couldn't decide who he was and the American public evidently didn't want to fill in the blanks.............e) Changing demographics. Hispanics are the fasting growing population in America and Romney's decision (in what had to be a cold, calculated political move) to place himself to the right of even Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry on immigration was just flat-out moronic.............f) Media coverage. While I'm certainly not as paranoiac about it as Hannity and O'Reilly are, I do in fact think that a lot of the major outlets (NBC News, the Associated Press, The New York Times, CBS News, Newsweek, etc.) significantly preferred the President and it showed (CBS, for instance, sitting on the President's comments pertaining to Libya).

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Four More Years?

Allllllllllllrightee then.

Frederick Hayek on Stimulus

"A government which uses inflation as an instrument of policy, but wants it only to produced the desired results, is eventually driven to control ever increasing parts of the economy."............And, yes, feel free to insert the monikers of Hoover, FDR, Nixon, Bush, and Obama.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Road Trip

I had an interesting conversation with Governor Romney the other day. I told him that I was planning a cross-country road trip to California and asked him if he wanted to accompany me. Surprisingly, Romney said, yes. But then he started asking me a bunch of questions as to how I was planning to get there and I was all of a sudden, "Whoa, whoa, I can't tell you that, man. It's a negotiation. We've got the toll people. We've got the gas stations. We've got the hotels. We've got the restaurants. You simply dang gotta trust me here." Needless to say, the Governor responded by saying, "never mind." Ironic, isn't it (the fact that I had used the very same utterance pertaining to his vote)?............And, yes, this blog post has been brought to you by the independent superpac, Moderates for Johnson 2012.

Paul Krugman's Perennial Explanation as to Why His Keynesian Policies Invariably Tend Not to Work

"It wasn't enough."

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The New York Times on Alan Greenspan

"The infallible maestro of the financial markets."......Yeah, I think that that may have been off a little.

A Talking-Point Reduced to Whopper

If you only listened to people like President Obama, you'd think that there are scores of folks out there who are currently paying a lower effective tax-rate than Mr. Romney. Fortunately, in a free society, the citizens have a myriad of options as to where they get there information. For instance, William McBride from the Tax Foundation recently crunched the numbers on this and found that 90-95% of the American people paid a lower effective tax rate than the 13.9% that Romney paid in 2011 and that 95-97% of them paid a lower effective rate than the 15.1% that he paid in 2010. Yep, that's right, folks, when you figure in all of the exemptions, deductions, and the Earned Income Tax Credit, most Americans already pay a lower rate than Romney and this whole Buffett Rule thing that the President has been peddling amounts to little more than a couple of days worth of cruise missiles.

Paul Krugman 1998

"The growth of the Internet will slow drastically, as the flaw in "Metcalfe's law"–which states that the number of potential connections in a network is proportional to the square of the number of participants–becomes apparent: most people have nothing to say to each other! By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet's impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine's."............Please, explain to me again why we listen to this character.

On the Two Floyd Patterson - Sonny Liston Fights 2

The funniest part is that Patterson actually wanted to fight him a third time. Thank the good Lord that it never happened.

Miscellaneous 146

1) Federal spending as a percentage of GDP essentially tripled from 1929 to 1941. This whole notion that we didn't get out of the Depression earlier than we did being due to frugality (on the part of Hoover and later FDR) is absolutely uproarious.............2) Ditto, Japan in the '90s.............3) My colleague, Rusty, has touted the old ball-coach, Steve Spurrier, as a coach who really gets the most out of his players. And I agree. But let me play a little one-upsmanship here. Yes, Spurrier gets the most out of his talent. But Kansas State head-coach, Bill Snyder, is maybe the greatest ever in this regard. Snyder, in his second stint as the Wildcats' leader, has had these recruiting results according to Rivals.com;10th (out of 10) in the Big 12 in 2009, 10th in 2010, 10th in 2011, and 8th in 2012 (he's currently rated in 10th place for 2013). The fact that any coach could have gotten the results that Coach Snyder has gotten over the past several years is utterly phenomenal (the Wildcats are 19-3 over the past 2 years). The man is a major-league miracle worker.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fox News's Jenna Lee and Alisyn Camerota


Say what you want about Murdock, there ain't a damn thing wrong with his eyesight. Reeooow!

Miscellaneous 145

1) Eleanor Clift has completely lost it. The woman is now saying that President Obama is the rightful heir to George McGovern as a politician of peace. PEACE - Mr. drone attacks in four counties, Mr. kill list, Mr. surge in Afghanistan. I'm telling you here, folks. If President Obama is the rightful heir to George McGovern, can you even begin to imagine what the rightful heir to President Bush is going to look like? Ka-boom!............2) I've got good news and bad news for Romney. The good news is that there's a plethora of legitimate criticism that one could direct toward President Obama's foreign policy. The bad news is that a substantial chunk of it comes from the left.............3) I really wish that politicians like Obama and Gingrich would cease and desist with all of this "I/we created X millions of jobs" bullshit. I mean, yeah, I suppose that the government can create a business-friendly climate and all but jobs are ultimately created by entrepreneurs who bring to market goods and services that the public wishes to procure. For politicians to so flagrantly try and take credit for it rather unseemly in my book.

Best Political Coinage of the Year, Per Timothy Carney

"Military Industrial Keynesianism."......I mean, it's perfect. It hammers the left for their adherence to spending (as a cure-all) and it hammers the right for their blind obedience to the Pentagon.......Timothy Carney is a treasure, people.

Dana Carvey's Sidesplittingly Uproarious Impersonation of John McLaughlin

What would be my answer to the question, "So, what's your all-time favorite political spoof?"

Thursday, November 1, 2012

In the Words of Cosmo Kramer, "Ca...Ca...Cat-Fight!"


According to Diana McLellan's book, "The Girls", Laurence Olivier and his then wife, Vivien Leigh, showed up at a party in which Greta Garbo was prowling around cantankerously. Miss Garbo, seemingly enamored with the handsome Brit, sunk her teeth into him in what was clearly an opportune moment (i.e., when Mrs. Olivier wasn't at his side) and dominated him for the better part of the evening. Needless to say, Vivien was infuriated by this and even came close to going up the Swede and decking her. Wow, huh? Can you even begin to imagine a cat-fight between those two; Scarlet O'Hara versus Queen Christina? I'm frigging shivering just writing about it.

Typical Democrat or Outlier?

My experience says outlier, and I certainly hope that that's the case (a 30 year-old woman wanting birth-control absent even a co-payment).

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Economist, Thomas E. Woods, On Bailouts and Regulations

"Try letting a few major firms - yes, even in the financial sector, where we superstitiously believe no failures can be allowed - actually go bankrupt for a change. Make perfectly clear once and for all that there will be no bailouts, no looting of the public, on behalf of any firm, period. That would do more to jolt the financial sector into being sensible and cautious instead of reckless and irresponsible than all the regulatory tinkering in the world."............Hm, sounds good to me.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Road to Hell is Also Paved with Stupidity 4

Word about town is that the N.T.S.B. is YET AGAIN threatening to make it illegal for parents to carry their infants on their laps during air travel - for safety's sake. But it's stupid. I mean, yeah, it may in fact save the lives of one or two infants per decade but can we at least look at the ramifications? People choose their mode of transportation based upon a number of factors, not the least of which is money. How many of these individuals, in an effort to avoid having to fork over the additional $200-400 per seat, are simply going to forgo air travel altogether and instead take their vacation via automobile, A MODE OF TRANSPORTATION THAT IS  INFINITELY MORE DANGEROUS THAN AIR TRAVEL? I mean, I know that these bureaucrats aren't necessarily bred to think beyond the immediate and all but, geez, you gotta have a little bit of common sense, no?

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Quick Thought on Governor Romney

All politicians engage in what sociologist, Erving Goffman, referred to as impression management (the presentation of oneself in a manner, the goal of which is to influence the perceptions of others). But Mr. Romney has take it to a level the likes of which I've personally never seen before. The man has gone from a person who was once to the left of Teddy Kennedy on abortion and gay-rights to a person who is currently to the right of Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich on illegal immigration. It's absolutely stunning, this transformation...................................................................................And it's also exceedingly sad, this act of having to see somebody who so desperately wants to be President that he will literally say or be ANYTHING....I personally know a fair number of people (yes, myself included) who would probably vote for the Romney of 1994/2002 but who are just too turned off by this Kabuki dance and who are also confused as to to who the real Mitt Romney is to even consider pulling the trigger for him now. All I can say is that I hope that these new "friends" of his appreciate him. He's going to need 'em.

Once Again, The Genius of Mr. Mark Shaw




So, which one, Marcus? For me, it's between 2, 4, and 5.

Jane Fonda 1957 - Again, Courtesy of Mark Shaw

Brigitte Bardotesque (a point evidently not lost on Roger Vadim).

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Incomparable Audrey Hepburn, Courtesy of the Incomparable Mark Shaw


Yeah, she could have used a little meat on her bones but, still, a very pretty lady.