And now, they're coming for your Social Security money - they want your fucking retirement money - they want it back - so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It's a Big Club: and you're not in it.
There’s no mystery as to why the National Republican Campaign Committee hates Nancy Pelosi, but their dislike for San Francisco is a bit puzzling.
Almost directly, and seemingly without realizing it, Matt Yglesias also provides the answer:
[San Francisco is] an enormous economic success story. The San Francisco metropolitan area has the fourth-highest median household income in the country, with its Bay Area partner San Jose coming in at number three. Metro San Francisco is in a tie for having the third-highest-pay for low-wage workers, its fourth in median wages, and third in 90th percentile wages.
GOP orthodoxy requires “government” of any kind to be an abject and self-evident failure. Few citizens of the US would dispute the sense that San Francisco is the liberal bastion of the United States. Therefore it must be an urban hellhole and not be visited by any kind of success. Where success exists, it must be ignored. Similarly, old Taxachusetts must be forever suffering under the yoke of ludicrously high taxes (and one must never acknowledge the reality: that MA’s effective tax rates and collective tax burden generally trend lower than those of old Live Free or Die itself, that glibertarian heaven called New Hampshire).
Much like the Post Office and many other examples, any functioning example of government, large or small, must be (at a minimum) denigrated. If possible, it must also be actively undermined such that it may then be pointed to as an example of the impossibility of government intervention, large or small. All evidence to the contrary must be marginalized. And that is why the GOP “hates” San Francisco and largely assumes it to be barely survivable smoking ruin.
"Romney won’t have 60 votes in the Senate. But if he has 51, he can use the budget reconciliation process, which is filibuster-proof, to get rid of the law’s spending."
— Ezra Kleinreflects on President Romney’s potential chances and methods should he try repealing the ACA.
I’m not sure when, if ever, the DC Commentariat will get this through their heads: the next time the GOP holds the Presidency and a non-supermajority in the Senate, the filibuster will be eliminated approximately 30 seconds into the new Congress. Period, the end, carve it in stone.
Reconciliation won’t even be an issue with ACA repeal. It will be a simple majority vote, no filibusters allowed because there aren’t any allowed for any reason. Same with the functional elimination of Medicare, Social Security, and all the other Glibertarian wonders that await us under the Ryan budget plan when and if Romney wins. There’s simply no other way to get their preferred policies through, and the next time they have control of these levers of power they will get their policies through, no matter what it takes. Eliminating the filibuster will be among the more minor procedural changes and will be lost in the shuffle that heralds the end of the New Deal and basically all of the legislative 20th century.
Those are the stakes. Just when, exactly, will anyone in DC realize it? Sometime six to eight years after it all transpires, apparently. I’m assuming David Brooks already has an editorial in the can praising the end of filibusters. For Democrats, anyway.
"The first solution [for the Great Depression] that occurred to statesmen was to propose tightening of belts, acceptance of hardship, resort to patience. Few can believe that suffering, especially by others, is in vain. Anything that is disagreeable must surely have beneficial economic effects. […] People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing compared with that of the rich."
— John Kenneth Galbraith, The Age of Uncertainty. Yep.
Supposedly this is a compelling cartoon that shows how ‘crazy’ those public sector unions are.
Indeed, but the failure here is in getting the message into the head of Joe Private Sector that he’s the one getting the raw deal and the answer to that is most definitely not making sure that everyone has all benefits stripped from their job too.
The GOP and their media enablers have spent over two decades convincing him that, in fact, he shouldn’t be getting any benefits and neither should anybody else, regardless of whatever contracts those parties have entered into. Unless and until Unions and The Democrat figure out that it will require a similarly sustained, unyielding, and focused message to undo any of that, nothing will change. And, assuming the staus quo prevails or worsens, sooner or later, everyone will end up losing pensions, health care, weekends, limited hours, paid vacations, and anything else they can pry from a working populace all too eager to hand over anything and everything for a simulacrum of a chance at actual advancement. You know, lotteries and such.
But, man, think of the efficiencies our Galtian overlords will have achieved. That will be something to see.
[Embattled WI governor Scott] Walker has hired Texan Dr. James Kroll to serve as Wisconsin’s “deer czar,” a position that gives Kroll considerable power over Wisconsin’s deer management policy. Kroll is an outspoken proponent of game farms, and an opponent of public lands and public game management, which he is on record as describing as “the last bastion of communism.”
I think it’s pretty obvious that Walker’s master plan here is to first take away the hunting, then take away the guns. And he’s hired some kind of unelected Russian political figure to do the dirty work for him. It’s the only rational plan that explains this set of facts. After all, it will be easy to take your deer rifle once he’s taken your God given right to kill deer, and he’s specifically stated that he wants to take your right to kill deer. So the other is not and can not be far behind. And, once he’s got the deer rifle, he’ll be after the rest of your guns as well. Best get the word out on that point.
Reaching across the aisle, it’s clear that we can all agree that any land not in currently the rightful hands of the local Lords and/or people of High Birth is indeed one of the many examples of communism and/or creeping sharia law at work in this country. Best to turn over any land still foolishly held in the public trust to monied interests as soon as possible.
Now, obviously, if Ayn Rand has taught us anything it’s that we can’t expect them to take these lands for nothing. So, in exchange for their bonhomie and patriotism (as expressed by so generously taking the land off the state’s hands), I feel any ceded land should, at a minimum, be handed over free of charge or (better still), gifted along with an ongoing, state funded honorarium; payable in perpetuity. It’s the only reasonable and, by God: let’s face it, American solution to this issue.
"A mature society is one that can distinguish between 1) times when lawbreaking requires new, more robust laws, 2) when the appropriate conclusion is that there will just always be some level of crime, and 3) when the prohibition itself is incompatible with a free society."
— Conor Friedersdorf, weighing in on SOPA and other draconian “law and order” approaches to the innerwebs. Which, of course, must be destroyed such that it may better serve our Galtian Overlords.
Sadly, we’re not even close to assessing the three points he lays out, because doing so would require us to throw our lot in with a bunch of pointy headed analysts and require looking into some “data” and “numbers” and making conclusions based on empirical reality. None of this is currently allowed in public discourse or decision making at any level. In fact, recourse to analysis and empiricism is frequently pointed to as a disqualification for office. And so the Republic crumbles.
"If you were an evil genius determined to promote the idea that libertarianism is a morally dubious ideology of privilege poorly disguised as a doctrine of liberation, you’d be hard pressed to improve on Ron Paul."
Discharged from the Air Force in 1977 aged 27, he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives seven years later, in 1984. At that time, the Perry family reported income of $45,000, largely from Mrs. Perry’s work as a nurse.
in 1993, there was a piece of ground that computer billionaire Michael Dell needed to connect his new house near Austin to city water mains. Dell neglected to appreciate the land’s importance. But Perry did discern it. He bought the land for less than $120,000 – then sold it to Dell two years later for a $343,000 profit. Uncanny.
[in the 2000s] A Texas real estate developer sells land to a Texas state senator – the senator who happened to represent the development’s district. The state senator sold the land to Gov. Perry. Gov. Perry then sold then land – back to the real estate developer’s business partner. Perry scored a profit of $823,000.
These are his real GOP bona fides: living the concept that political power is only to be used for enrichment of self and then, where possible, your richest and therefore most generous supporters, be they actual biological persons or the frequently GOP-personified corporate interests. The policy outcomes of this stance, whatever they may be, are entirely beside the point beyond their utility in enriching self or key supporters.
After all, the GOP goes out of its way to prepare the populace for the repeated failure of government, it delights every time a corruption scandal comes to light, and it uses said failures and scandals to further weaken the operation of government, sand the legislative gears, and generally hamstring government oversight, all to better enable their preferred uses of political power: enrichment of self and key supporters. There is no third thing. Anybody not already in on the deal can kindly go die in the streets.
A world without functioning traffic signals is preparing me for Ron Paul’s America. So far, lots of accidents, not much in the way of the emergent order that I’ve been promised.
I feel like this is almost certainly a confidence issue. The emergent order knows, deep down, that an alphabet soup of government regulatory agencies will soon descend upon said nascent and entirely beneficent order and smother it with numerous laws, storm taxes, and a litany of entirely new regulations, each of which are longer than War and Peace and several other books people have likely heard of. Thus, unwilling to pay taxes on purchases of new windows and fresh carpet and power lines and so forth, people will simply sit there and pine for Our Galtian Overlords to get on with it already. Ergo: It’s just the rationality of markets you are witnessing.
"Finally, it is not clear why it views the fact that the [proposed EU financial transaction] tax will make it more difficult to construct trading algorithms as an unintended consequence. These algorithms may provide large profits to the people who develop them, but the benefits to the economy and society are likely to be near zero. If a transactions tax discourages skilled mathematicians and computer programmers from developing complex formulas for financial arbitrage and instead has them work in a productive area of the economy, then the tax will have been a great success."
— Dean Bakernails it. The very existence of this sort of trading apparatus, which benefits only the company deploying it, relies entirely on what should be privileged knowledge (e.g. foreknowledge of trade patterns about to happen that can only be extracted and acted upon through either initiating the trade itself or privileged placement of what amounts to a compute cluster on a particular routing switch (or both)), and is the sort of thing used by Goldman et al. to, you know, screw their own customers by trading against their interests and/or simply profiting off what amounts to insider information, is as anti-market, anti-competitive, and the very essence of what all our anti-collusion, anti-insider trading, anti-trust, and anti-monopoly laws are intended to control. And these types of transactions do nothing for the broader economy beyond radically enriching a handful of folks who can only spend so much. And we’re a country with a giant aggregate demand problem. So there’s that.
But may the Flying Spaghetti Monster help anyone who tries to regulate this practice in any way, much less apply a nominal cost to such actions. This, along with rampant and abusive naked shorting, is the true scandal of Wall Street. (By the by: naked shorting is already illegal, but is basically never even investigated, much less litigated. In light of recent events, this should be the basis of a scandal…but that would require a functioning media. Look over there! A missing white woman!)
And, so far as I can tell, exactly zero is being done about any of it. And nothing will be done until after the next financial collapse. And it will only happen then if the collapse is sufficiently devastating that the entire structure of Wall Street finance is utterly laid waste (thus ending their political influence in the aftermath). Sounds like a time.