Herewith a potpourri of unrelated items I’ve found on my never-ending voyage through the internet. Grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair.

Seen This Movie Before

First up, an excerpt from a speech given by Teddy Roosevelt in December 1906. I was taken by the opening line and the third paragraph. Indeed, his opening line could probably have been used countless times since he spoke it, most recently six or seven years ago:

As a nation we still continue to enjoy a literally unprecedented prosperity; and it is probable that only reckless speculation and disregard of legitimate business methods on the part of the business world can materially mar this prosperity.

But the third paragraph was really the jaw-dropper for me:

I again recommend a law prohibiting all corporations from contributing to the campaign expenses of any party. Such a bill has already past one House of Congress. Let individuals contribute as they desire; but let us prohibit in effective fashion all corporations from making contributions for any political purpose, directly or indirectly.

I’m always fascinated by how little we seem to learn and how likely we are to simply ignore history’s lessons. I wish I had more time to study our country’s history via the infinite documents and archives that have made their way on to the internet. So much to learn, so little time.

Maybe We’re Not So Lazy After All

I took Senator Jon Kyl to task here (March 2010) for an offensive comments about lazy Americans who would prefer to remain on unemployment benefits than be gainfully employed (“In fact, if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work.”). It’s worth re-running the chart I used at the time:

We now see, in a newly issued report, via the Wall St. Journal that:

“Any negative effects of the recent unemployment insurance extensions on job search are clearly quite small, too small to outweigh the benefits of transfers to people who have been out of work for over a year in conditions where job-finding prospects are bleak,” according to the report. [...]

There’s a chance extended benefits actually increase the number of Americans who find new jobs, according to the study. By one calculation, unemployment insurance extensions increased the share of workers who became reemployed by about 1.3 percentage points in January 2011 by reducing the fraction who excited [sic] the labor force.

Industrial Production and Private Sector Jobs

The change in year-over-year Industrial Production (INDPRO) and Private Sector Jobs (USPRIV) have a correlation of 0.83 over the past 50 years. Industrial Production seems to have put in a peak and, if my eyes don’t deceive me, I see payrolls just starting to rollover:

Buy-Side: Not Much Better Than Sell-Side

I posted here back in early August about Street-wide year-end S&P500 forecasts. I will say that I’ve breathed a sigh of relief as it’s become clear over the last six weeks that those forecasts were too optimistic and have been chopped across the board. I then posted here about one month ago when the first batch of 2012 S&P earnings estimates were published (Median: $104). I suspect it’s only a matter of time before those start getting pared, if they haven’t already.

I decided to take a look through the Barron’s archives to see what the seers were saying year-end 2010, and found the following graphic. What really jumped out at was the extent to which the consensus was looking for the 10-year in the range (generally) of 3.50 – 4.00% at YE 2011. Of course, it is only September, but I’d say that call’s as shaky as S&P1400. I also noted that the buy-side doesn’t look much better than the oft-maligned sell-side.

Fed Flow of Funds

The Fed released its Z.1 Flow of Funds report which, although always a bit stale, is a treasure trove of data. I never tire of finding ways to look at the data presented in the report.

Here, from Table B.100, are Household Real Estate (Line 4) and Corporate Equities (Line 24) as a percent of Total Household Assets (Line 1)

Here are Treasury Securities as a still-insignificant part of the American household’s financial assets (not total assets, just financial assets):

In terms of dollar holdings, Treasuries are now $835 billion on the household balance sheet versus financial assets of $49 trillion and total assets of $72.3 trillion. Liabilities stand at $13.9 trillion. Household real estate stands at $16.2 trillion, down some $6.6 trillion from the 2006Q4 high of $22.8 trillion.

Here’s Owners’ Equity as a Percentage of Household Real Estate:

On the chart above, we have made no progress since since the fourth quarter of 2008, when we sat at 40.1 (we’re now at 38.6 for two quarters running).  This decline in homeowners’ equity speaks to the credit expansions that allowed Americans to live beyond their means while incomes — as we saw when the Census released its report last week — have been stagnating.

Last but not least, here’s Liabilities as a Pct of Disposable Income:

Though we’re below the upward sloping trendline on this file, the average over the period shown is 102%, which is a further shedding of about $2.25 trillion in liabilities (or similar gain in income, which we plainly know is simply not happening).

Are We Beyond Civil Discourse?

As has been noted in several places, it appears we have moved as a country toward something that I find unrecognizable:

  1. Rick Perry’s inappropriate claim that Ben Bernanke’s actions as Fed chair could be “treasonous” and that he’d be treated “pretty ugly” in Texas drew approvals.
  2. The mention that Perry has presided over more state-run executions than any other governor in modern times drew rousing (and to me, shocking) applause.
  3. Wolf Blitzer’s question to Ron Paul as to whether a hypothetical comatose citizen without insurance should be left to die were met with audience hoots of “Yeah!”
  4. Noise was made about offsetting the cost of emergency relief in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Via Mediaite:

Jon Seidl at The Blaze tries to get the Tea Party audience some room to wiggle out of this ghoulish display, theorizing, alternately, that it was a delayed reaction to something Paul said earlier (not unless those folks were watching on their portable DVRs), or that the hoots were from liberals, cheering on Blitzer’s “Gotcha!” (which would make them the quietest bunch of liberals in the world for the rest of the debate)

The reactions of three or four audience members at a debate isn’t all that meaningful on its own, but this outburst follows last week’s Death Penalty Ovation at the Reagan Library debate, and another ugly moment at the Tea Party debate in which the crowd cheered for fed chairman Ben Bernanke to be tried for treason, a capital crime.

I’m still trying to figure out exactly what’s going on here. While Perry’s presiding over 234 state-run executions during his terms as governor may speak to our adherence to the rule of law (much as I may wish we had no such law), should we really be applauding the fact that our government puts people to death? Similarly, should the uninsured — specifically those who can afford but choose not to buy insurance — be left to die should something happen to them? And how far have we drifted from our moral moorings that we have a president (Obama, not Bush) who unilaterally orders the extra-judicial execution of American citizens? These developments are all deeply troubling, and speak to a society that has lost its way.  It’s almost as though we can no longer distinguish between “reality TV” and reality.

~~~

I found myself in complete agreement with Phil Angelides in this interview with Bloomberg’s Lisa Murphy.

~~~

Catch up with me on Twitter: @TBPInvictus

Category: Current Affairs, Data Analysis, Economy, Politics, Research, Taxes and Policy

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

36 Responses to “Weekend Smorgasbord from Invictus”

  1. franklin411 says:

    Loved the articles. Thanks for posting them!

    Invictus,
    Maybe you already know this and don’t want to say it for fear of provoking the trolls, but I have no such fear. It’s Race, Race, Race that explains why the Tea Partiers have turned into an angry mob. The Tea Party demographic cohort is entirely old and white. Everyone knows that America is nearly at the point where no single ethnic or racial group will be the dominant majority.

    Who are the poor? Who are the unemployed? Who are the young? Non-whites. Tea Baggers cheer cuts to education, welfare, unemployment, Medicaid, and anti-poverty programs because they don’t see brown people as “real Americans.” Remember their mantra…”I want ‘My America’” back.

    Who are the old? Who are the cancer patients? Whites. Tea Baggers rabidly defend Social Security and Medicare for those who are at or near retirement, because these people are “real Americans.”

  2. MayorQuimby says:

    Nice try Invictus. I want everyone to consider the above blog post in the context of one simple fact….our current system is broken and cannot continue forward. It is just a matter of time before we experience major, ‘seismic” events such as banks collapsing and nations and larger municipalities defaulting.

    So….now that we understand the context we can now turn our attention towards the issues raised here:

    1. Treason. Well no, because Bernanke and neo keynsians are simply useful idiots for a political class hell bent on perpetrating the most obvious form of theft (theft via inflation to fund endless deficits) there is in politics. I would argue that it is the political class along with the Fed who have committed an act of treachery. It is not treason however because the public votes for this. An ignornt and dumbed down populace will vote for more of it too, count on it.

    2. Unemployment. ONCE AGAIN, those who support social safety nets CONVENIENTLY LEAVE OUT THE VERY SIMPLE FACT THAT MOST OF THESE FUND THAT SUPPOSEDLY “WORKED” ARE NOW DEBT OWNED BY THE PUBLIC. So….what may have SEEMED to have “worked” might not have if we cannot collectively come up with the means to pay down debts in the future.

    3. The left is JUST AS GUILTY of rhetoric and extremism a point which I find DISTURBINGLY LACKING here.

    Let’s face it Invictus…you are a probing gvmt, deficit spending solution via monetization, and printing and what not. You clearly support a large majority of the very economic policies that are so obviously failing. You clearly agree with failed economic models and systems and embrace a left-leaning ideology founded upon the con that you occupy the moral high ground and those who disagree are animals.

    Well, thanks to your safety nets we now have promised of millions of people retirements we cannot afford, pensions we cannot afford, a quality of life we cannot afford and other “goodies”. I ask you at this late hour….WHERE IS THE GOOD IN THAT?

  3. Lookout Ranch says:

    Beyond Civil Discourse

    Demagogues are stirring up the mob for political advantage. These are dangerous times when frightened people are easily incited. God help us if one of these demagogues is elected.

  4. Molesworth says:

    Nice job Invictus. Definitely a potpourri but especially enjoy your FRED charts.
    Ignore naysayers. If I recall correctly, the last time a lefty exited office, USA had a surplus budget and unemployment at 5.8%.
    Now, eight years after Bush tax cuts, unemployment is above 9%: If cutting taxes create jobs, where are the jobs? Can’t buy that argument anymore. Bec of Norquist? Do they really believe it?

    Now wondering what would happen if we cut corp tax rate to 18-20% and eliminated all tax loopholes and subsidies, but I digress.
    Keep up the good work.

  5. wunsacon says:

    >> The left is JUST AS GUILTY of rhetoric and extremism a point which I find DISTURBINGLY LACKING here.

    MayorQuimby, really?

    As for Invictus’ policy preferences, you ascribe to him many poorly performing policies our government is pursuing. But, I don’t know why.

    >> left-leaning ideology

    We’ve been shifting to the right for 30 years, with tax cuts, deregulation, and de facto decriminalization of fraud. What “left-leaning” ideology are you talking about?

  6. MayorQuimby says:

    Wunsacon- Really!

  7. wunsacon says:

    >> I again recommend a law prohibiting all corporations from contributing to the campaign expenses of any party.

    Forget trying to reign in corporate contributions. Think bigger: Revive the concept of personal responsibility by eliminating corporations entirely and forcing companies to reorganize as limited liability partnerships, where at least the managing partners remain personally responsible — because their entire capital remains at risk.

    Corporations were meant to encourage risk. But, I’ve seen too much fraud (in finance, in nuclear power, in the environment) masquerading as risk. Eliminate the corporate form entirely and we’ll spend a little less time figuring out how to reverse Citizens United, how to impose clawbacks on crooked financiers, how to collect damages from firms that pollute the environment before going bankrupt, etc.

  8. MayorQuimby says:

    We haven’t shifted towards the right at all. The economy is distorted and filled with cancer. It isn’t about right and left. It is about special interest groups bribing politicians with stolen taxpayer $$$$ that get funneled back to the politicians that support stealing them in the first place. Right left is an illusion. The truth is that you are either inside our outside.

    But my issue with lecture isn’t about that, it’s about intent and the truth is they pretend to occupy a moral high ground but are in fact just megalomaniacs hiding behind the pretense of charity. But I promise you they will turn towards the right in a flash when TSHTF and someone comes after THEIR monetary gains.

  9. MayorQuimby says:

    Edit lecture = lefties

  10. wunsacon says:

    Well, Mayor, I don’t know what you read. Maybe you think so from your vantage point in Springfield. Personally, we here in Shelbyville see things very differently. ;-)

  11. MayorQuimby says:

    Hahahaha. Love the Shelbyville vs. Springfield episodes.

  12. wunsacon says:

    >> We haven’t shifted towards the right at all. The economy is distorted and filled with cancer.

    Much lower taxes — so low that they long ago stopped covering the pension payments that miraculously go missing without tax windfalls from Ponzi booms — welfare reform, taking solar panels off the white house, encouraging more fossil fuel dependence (“drill, baby, drill”), less regulation / “self regulation”, nearly non-existent antitrust enforcement (predictably leading to competition-squelching consolidation in major industries). This wasn’t a shift to the “right”?

    No, this isn’t your personal utopia at all. I understand that. But, the foregoing changes are not “left-wing ideas”. These were decisions / ideas promoted primarily by right-wing politicians and right-wing think tanks and favored enough by voters that many Democrats endorsed them, too, in order to stay in power.

    >> But my issue with lefties isn’t about that, it’s about intent and the truth is they pretend to occupy a moral high ground but are in fact just megalomaniacs hiding behind the pretense of charity.

    What you say may well be true of some of the *leaders* “lefties” elected. But, Clinton and now Obama turned out to be far more aligned with the FIC and MIC contributors than the base that elected them.

  13. wunsacon says:

    MayorQuimby, I recognize that the present kleptocracy is very much at odds with what the right-wing base wants. It seems right-wing think tanks and political leaders use words like “freedom” to masquerade their self-promoting policies the way Edward Bernays used it to sell cigarettes to women.

  14. KevinM says:

    Maybe We’re Not So Lazy After All

    Major error. Initial claims is not relevant to whether UE insurance is an effective disincentive to find work. If you want to make that case, you need to demonstrate when the each initial claim gets OFF of UE insurance.

    i.e. If a distribution plot of when initial claimers leave the roll has its mean at about one week before benefits terminate, then only an illiterate would argue that UE insurance is not a disincentive. If the same plot were distributed in some other way, like an exponential decay in participation from the time of peak claims, then the opposite would be true.

    Since you made the argument without presenting the best evidence, one might assume…

    Invictus: Well, here’s what I would assume: That someone who wants to refute an argument do the requisite homework, including mining and presenting data, to do so. And whatever evidence I presented — “best” or otherwise — certainly trumps what “evidence” you’ve presented (read: none). I grow really weary of the fact- and data-free rhetoric that poses as rebuttal, and I have no intention of doing your homework — or anyone else’s — for you.

    And by the way, as I re-read the your first paragraph, I’d have to suggest that you correct Senator Kyl and not me, as he’s the one who made the claim.

  15. We are talking about people who can’t distinguish between magic and science, and have lived their entire lives under the Reagan illusion. It won’t be until they are literally starving (a long time, considering that most of them are carrying an extra year’s worth of sustenance on their hides) and dying due to lack of medical care that anything challenges their beliefs.

  16. Roger Bigod says:

    Hard times bring out hard feelings. Consider the 1930′s and all the political insanity that the Depression brought out. In the US we had serious Communists and Huey Long. In Europe fascists and (to skirt Godwin’s law) brown shirts. The tea partiers have some of the same themes — scapegoating immigrants, religious racial and sexual minorities, the hint of violence, the appeal to emotion over confusing facts.

    In the 1930′s it was the Weimar hyperinflation and the Crash. This time it’s unemployment and retired middle-class people having to dip into capital because their savings return 0.002 %. And a feeling that somewhere, someone is getting away with something. Certainly true of bankers, but I think the TP started with Santelli’s rant about mortgage mods or some such.

  17. scottinnj says:

    What I find inconsistent about the executions is that the basic tenant of Perry/Republican/Tea Party is that the government is fundamentally incompetent (and there is evidence to support this) EXCEPT when it comes to the criminal justice system, when it is perfect. Look at Perry’s involvement with the Texas Forensic Commission that was investigating this (replaced Chairman at last minute who then cancelled the hearing) the Cameron Todd Willingham investigation. That an error may have been made in a death penalty case is at least (and arguably more) intolerable than anything in Solyndra.

    Separately I dont agree that the Tea Party is motivated by racism (though there may be racists). Rather, I see a group of > 65 yr olds that want to ‘keep government out of my Medicare’, and not investing any additional sums (eg education, climate change, energy indepedence etc.). In short, they want to keep all their benefits and not pay more. And there is nothing wrong with advocating for your own book! But’s lets not give it some greater moral purpose than that.

  18. wally says:

    “Well, thanks to your safety nets we now have promised of millions of people retirements we cannot afford, pensions we cannot afford, a quality of life we cannot afford and other “goodies””

    You need to work harder, Quimby, so you can afford this stuff. Slacker.

  19. wunsacon says:

    >> the basic tenant of Perry/Republican/Tea Party is that the government is fundamentally incompetent (and there is evidence to support this) EXCEPT when it comes to the criminal justice system, when it is perfect.

    scottinnj, that’s a great example of cognitive dissonance. That reminds me that one of my propertarian friends recently referred to the USPS’s recent announcements as “another example” the government can’t run squat. While I prefer market solutions generally anyway, I’m amazed at how some people see further confirmation of their beliefs in every set of ink blots.

    Book publishers and book stores are going out of business left and right, because of technology. Let’s see…has any technology come along to reduce the need for services the USPS provides? Hmm… Well, it seems painfully obvious to me. But, apparently, my friend — a really sharp guy — did not see it enough for him to avoid reducing the USPS issue to “government failure”. When intelligent people unconsciously overlook the stronger narrative, it tells me that they’re “religious” about their economic ideas — so much so that it affects their perception.

    To add to that, this gentleman worked for a number of companies (large and small) that no longer exist or exited certain markets because they blew their opportunities one way or another. Does he interpret his own work history as proof the private sector can’t “run a business”? Of course, not. But, if a government-run enterprise has a problem? Phsaw…

  20. Lesly says:

    But the third paragraph was really the jaw-dropper for me:

    Nothing new here. The Tillman Act would encourage such ideas. Our FF were real commies.

  21. Robert M says:

    I am latte to the party here but this was really unacceptable on your part<
    "As has been noted in several places, it appears we have moved as a country toward something that I find unrecognizable:

    Rick Perry’s inappropriate claim that Ben Bernanke’s actions as Fed chair could be “treasonous” and that he’d be treated “pretty ugly” in Texas drew approvals.
    The mention that Perry has presided over more state-run executions than any other governor in modern times drew rousing (and to me, shocking) applause.
    Wolf Blitzer’s question to Ron Paul as to whether a hypothetical comatose citizen without insurance should be left to die were met with audience hoots of “Yeah!”
    Noise was made about offsetting the cost of emergency relief in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

    Not once a mention of the racism shown to the President. The idea that he is a foreigner. That Trump can argue the President's accomplishments in college and law school were due to affirmative action(your whole class votes you in to head the law review. That a leader of the Senate can say his only job is to make the President a one term President. That the media never once called anyone on it.
    It begs the question what country do you live in?

    Invictus: Touché. While I was trying to focus on the most recent (and arguably egregious) events, it was wrong of me to overlook the issues you raise.

  22. Finster says:

    As a European I like to see things over long cycles and in complex parallels. The US currently reminds me very much of the late Roman republic. The optimates (creditors) have amassed the greatest part of the wealth and disenfranchised a large part of the electorate who own no stake in the republic safe their capacity for work which is underbid at the fringes of the empire. The optimates are not prepared to back off and overplaying their hand to the full. Radicalization is in process.

    Regarding the moral compass, it has been said that the true nature of evil in the crimes of the Third Reich was the nationwide abolishment of empathy. The revelling in the cult of the strong. Tendencies have to be watched carefully. In American political discourse all too often terms like fascism, communisms or freedom are chosen without regard and labels afixed easily.

    My feeling is that the USA are breaking apart in the very core of society. There is no feeling left of common ground in political discourse. Like the late Roman republic the very institutions of government and the republic are disfunctional, like Californias election and budgeting system, which clearly makes the state ungovernable. The lack of understanding that the very political system is not the best of the world, but has overlived its capacity to rule and unite the country is extremely dangerous in a country with citizens who like to be governed and taxed so little and be armed so much.

  23. GeorgeBurnsWasRight says:

    Another bit of inconsistency from many on the right is that they seem to believe that the Federal Government is usually incompetent and should be greatly reduced, and more authority given to state governments.

    OK, what makes state governments so inherently competent? The idea of, say, Texas seceding is premised on the belief that their government can do nearly everything better than the Feds can. Governments are all just human beings, and they’re elected by human beings, and at times human beings make mistakes and believe erroneous things.

  24. crjdriver says:

    While I do not agree with the heartless tea crowd, I understand the anger at our Fed Chief. QE1+2 has highly leveraged the fed balance sheet which only benefits the TBTF elites at the expense of everyone else in higher input costs. Increasing the amount that labor is spending on necesities (during which wage income is stagnent) and lowering margins at a large portion of small buisness (why hire in this environment). Essentially QE 1+2 has become wealth redistribution from the people (who can least afford it) to the financial institutions. This is a balance sheet recession for everyone else and the FED has backstopped the insolvent banks. The question is why is everyone not angry with the FED?

  25. wsm3 says:

    “…should we really be applauding the fact that our government puts people to death? ”

    If those people take the lives of others, of course we should.

    Stick to the finance commentary – it suits you much better.

    Invictus: See what kind of company we’re in and let me know if you feel a sense of pride.

  26. wsm3 says:

    “See what kind of company we’re in…”

    The link provided is a red herring. None of those countries embrace the rule of law to the degree that it exists in the USA.

    Invictus: So we alone understand the rule of law and how to apply it? Who knew? This is your argument? #Fail

  27. wsm3 says:

    LOLz. Nice try. Not even close to what I said.

    Again – stick to the finance commentary.

  28. Thor says:

    What? No toxic does of cheer from everyone’s favorite bitter old man? Goodness :-)

    Invictus -Tthank you! Well worth the wait.

  29. Thor says:

    That would be dose :-0

  30. Thor says:

    What does this say about our priorities?

    Drug deaths top traffic fatalities in U.S.

    Fueling the surge are prescription pain and anxiety drugs that are dangerous when combined with other drugs or alcohol.

    Is it just me, or does it seem like we’re fighting the wrong side in the war on drugs?

  31. spacecynic says:

    “The Tea Party demographic cohort is entirely old and white.”

    Frank, that’s demonstrably proven to be false. Case in point – i am an American of Indo-Pakistani descent, educated with a Master’s degree, have a full time job and a family I support. While I recognize that there are fringe elements in the Tea Party (who tend to get the limelight a great deal, in no small part to perpetuate the stereotypes the media likes to portray of Tea Party members), they are NOT all of us.

    Some of us really do believe in limited government, spending within one’s means (federal government, state government, local government, and individuals all), and staying the he** out of peoples’ private lives. In other words, we are libertarians.

    But if gross generalizations make you feel better about your self-assumed moral superiority, please don’t let a few facts get in the way.

    ~~~

    BR: Tea Party supporters are decidedly Republican and conservative, but demographically, they are generally representative of the public at large (They skew slightly older and slightly whiter as a whole)
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/127181/tea-partiers-fairly-mainstream-demographics.aspx

  32. DeDude says:

    MayorQuimby@1:15pm: “..and embrace a left-leaning ideology… ”
    MayorQuimby@1:15pm: “Right left is an illusion”

    I knew it, the Mayor is an illusionist. Now all his senseless nonsense is making sense in its own magic way.

  33. DeDude says:

    Sorry 1:16 and 2:22

  34. raven2422 says:

    First, I would like to thank Invictus for a great deal of effort well spent on a thought provoking article.

    Secondly, I would like to offer my Cliff’s Notes version of the current malaise. Reagan ran up huge deficits by sending the USSR bankrupt first and raised taxes 48 times (if one includes changes to CFR) then added insult to injury by disallowing deductions for consumer interest. This resulted in the refi and heloc boom as banks, then mtg. brokers, pitched borrowing as deductible if tied to a personal residence. Suddenly, Joe Sixpack was financing a 5 year asset (think Silverado) on a 30 year amort. To keep it ecumenical, Clinton, a Dem, repealed Glass-Steagall on his watch and it was Katie bar the door in banking. Add to this W’s 2 wars on a credit card and an increase in Medicare benefits. Ultimately, the house of cards collapsed and the U.S. taxpayer was told to pony up after watching any savings or retirement they had shaved in half and after seeing their nest egg (home equity) obliterated. This sacrifice was in the name of preserving capitalism albeit it appears gains were privatized and losses socialized. Tomorrow O will speak again and ask all to share in sacrifice where I would humbly argue that the sacrifice has been made while the Targeted Assets Rewarding Plutocrats (TARP) have resulted in a resumption of their previous bonus levels. (Nothing personal as to any plutocrats reading this diatribe.)

    Third, the current rhetoric is designed to reward those high on Koch (see Koch Industries, Koch brothers and their ilk) and I still threaten to read What’s the Matter With Kansas as it mystifies me why a majority of the American populace would vote against their own self interest.
    The article further down in this blog explaining why supply side economics is anathema to the current situation explains the concept much better than I.

    Fourth, I suffered through some of the Republicant debates and Invictus’ comments on the moral state of our “leaders” resonated. I would also add that the outright misrepresentations are troubling, i.e.;
    a. Repeal Obamacare and let the free market work. Wouldn’t one have to repeal McCarran-Ferguson for that to occur as health insurers are not currently subject to Federal anti-trust law?
    b. Drill, baby drill. Yes, we need 5 to 10 years to ramp up domestic oil production, but the only reason we are able to do so is because we have bought oil cheaply from afar and still have our reserves. We should add 20 spr’s as long as oil is cheap while we prepare to increase production in an environmentally responsible manner. I prefer clean air and water and I have no desire to be able to set my tap water on fire. Thankfully, I do not live near a fracking operation.
    c. America should have a strong dollar. (Tea Party audience-”yeah, America strong”) And what does a strong dollar do to exports, balance of trade?
    d. End what little support for health care we currently have. Since close to 50% of medicaid funds are spent on nursing home residents, are you willing to step around granny on a gurney in the gutter to get to your car?

    End rant.

  35. davver1 says:

    # Rick Perry’s inappropriate claim that Ben Bernanke’s actions as Fed chair could be “treasonous” and that he’d be treated “pretty ugly” in Texas drew approvals.

    So you approve of Ben Bernanke’s actions? His actions seem reprehensible to me, and in some cases illegal and yes, “treasonous”. He has stolen billions (maybe trillions) from working people to give to bank executives, that’s a pretty horrible thing to do.

    # The mention that Perry has presided over more state-run executions than any other governor in modern times drew rousing (and to me, shocking) applause.

    I don’t much care about the death penalty, but I can certainly respect a supporter of it actually making the tough decision to follow through on it rather then shirk responsibility.

    # Wolf Blitzer’s question to Ron Paul as to whether a hypothetical comatose citizen without insurance should be left to die were met with audience hoots of “Yeah!”

    If people won’t be responsible there has to be a consequence. Your not making a logical argument you are just being a bleeding heart.