August 30, 2009

Keep It Quiet...The CIA IG Report Explicitly Says Enhanced Interrogation Techniques Work
— DrewM

Funny how after almost a week of parsing this, the important parts only came out in the Washington Post yesterday.

Let's see...a Saturday in August when everyone was either away or paying attention to the Kennedy funeral? Yeah, that might be a good time to fess up that EITs turned Khalid Sheik Mohammed into a fount of information about the ideology, structure and plans of al Qaeda.

After enduring the CIA's harshest interrogation methods and spending more than a year in the agency's secret prisons, Khalid Sheik Mohammed stood before U.S. intelligence officers in a makeshift lecture hall, leading what they called "terrorist tutorials."

..."KSM, an accomplished resistor, provided only a few intelligence reports prior to the use of the waterboard, and analysis of that information revealed that much of it was outdated, inaccurate or incomplete," according to newly unclassified portions of a 2004 report by the CIA's then-inspector general released Monday by the Justice Department.

The debate over the effectiveness of subjecting detainees to psychological and physical pressure is in some ways irresolvable, because it is impossible to know whether less coercive methods would have achieved the same result. But for defenders of waterboarding, the evidence is clear: Mohammed cooperated, and to an extraordinary extent, only when his spirit was broken in the month after his capture March 1, 2003, as the inspector general's report and other documents released this week indicate.

Over a few weeks, he was subjected to an escalating series of coercive methods, culminating in 7 1/2 days of sleep deprivation, while diapered and shackled, and 183 instances of waterboarding. After the month-long torment, he was never waterboarded again.

"What do you think changed KSM's mind?" one former senior intelligence official said this week after being asked about the effect of waterboarding. "Of course it began with that."

...John L. Helgerson, the former CIA inspector general who investigated the agency's detention and interrogation program, said his work did not put him in "a position to reach definitive conclusions about the effectiveness of particular interrogation methods."

"Certain of the techniques seemed to have little effect, whereas waterboarding and sleep deprivation were the two most powerful techniques and elicited a lot of information," he said in an interview. "But we didn't have the time or resources to do a careful, systematic analysis of the use of particular techniques with particular individuals and independently confirm the quality of the information that came out."

Read the whole thing and then read the Weekly Standard's wrap up of analysis of the reports.

Some will always argue that we should never do any of these things. I suppose that's a moral argument that can never be settled. What clearly can not be argued with any legitimacy is that the EITs did not work in generating desperately needed information.*

The second argument many will make, and that is made repeatedly in the article despite the evidence to the contrary, is that we might gotten the same information using kinder and gentler means. We'll never know but that's besides the point. We know what did work. This is a bottom line endeavor, you either get the information or not. There are no style points.

You know, instead of investigating CIA interrogators perhaps we should be handing out medals.

*I jumbled that in the original post and cleaned it up to be clear about what I meant.

Posted by: DrewM at 07:51 AM | Comments (1)
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Cowbell: Obama at 47% at Rasmussen, with Highest Strong Disapproval Yet (42%)
— Ace

47% approve, 52% disapprove. And 42% strongly disapprove -- nearing Obama's number for total approval.

Support for ChappaquiddiCare remains at 43%, with 53% disapproving. No movement there.

more...

Posted by: Ace at 07:22 AM | Add Comment
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Video: Campus Cops Hassling Anti-Obama Protestor
— LauraW

From Veeshir over at Doubleplusundead.

I love how they just start lying and making stuff up when challenged about the law.

Posted by: LauraW at 07:13 AM | Comments (1)
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August 29, 2009

NYT: Deficits schmeficits, forget about all that poppycock and embrace the coming inflation
— Purple Avenger

Long live inflation. Inflation is our friend. Inflation is good. All hail our savior inflation.

...Before the United States gets serious about raising taxes, I suspect that inflation will start to seem much more attractive, even if few are willing to say so publicly. In the past, inflation has enabled the United States to reduce the burden of repaying existing debt, and China, for one, has voiced fears we will do it again. Widespread inflation could also make depreciated assets — like homes — worth more dollars than the owner now owes...
Well, if you're going to be lazy and allow the great redeemer inflation to do all the dirty work, there's one more thing the NYT dismisses that I suspect our benevolent most ethical congress ever won't.
...that bill did nothing about the alternative minimum tax, which was supposed to catch wealthy citizens with big deductions and force them to pay something. By not lowering the A.M.T. rates when ordinary tax rates were cut, the law negated the cuts for millions of middle-class people. Now Congress passes a temporary fix every year to keep that from happening. President Obama wants to make that fix permanent, something Mr. Bush was hesitant to do because it would have made deficit forecasts look worse...
Well, now that the Obama "forecasts" are an order of magnitude worse than anything the Bush administration ever burped out, maybe NOT FIXING this AMT thing, and just kinda "ignoring" it because you were so busy working on other oh so critical things like destroying the country and it just kinda "slipped through the cracks", along with our good friend, best buddy, comrade in arms, and all around great guy inflation, will suck a whole bunch more people into paying a lot higher taxes because inexplicably, the AMT was never indexed for inflation.

See how this works? Congress and Obama can claim they didn't pass "new taxes", sit back and allow our friend inflation and the already-on-the-books AMT do all the dirty work and they can claim they're blameless as the middle class all start to swirl around the AMT black hole's event horizon.


Inflation, is like bacon.
All powerful and oh so tasty.
There is nothing it can't do.

more...

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 05:16 PM | Comments (3)
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Overnight Open Thread (Mætenloch)
— Open Blog

Good evening morons and moronettes. Genghis is taking the night off. And after last night's excitement with the firefight with the Seattle PD and the subsequent manhunt, well I can't say I blame him. So tonight let's talk about things blowing up both literally and figuratively.

Now sometimes you're in a tight spot with enemy forces breathing down your neck and you just don't have time to wait for a bombing run. So what do you do? Well that's when you bring out the MK-9 nuclear artillery shell. And pray that it doesn't fall short. This video is from the Upshot-Knothole Grable nuclear test that took place on May 25, 1953. A 280mm MK-9 nuclear shell was fired from an artillery piece and landed 6.25 miles away. The MK-9 was based on the same design as the Hiroshima bomb and had about the same yield, 15 kilotons.

Later the military tweaked the design making it smaller and upping the yield to 72 kilotons. The last nuclear artillery shell was made in 1969 and they were stationed in Europe until 1991 when they were finally withdrawn.

more...

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Britain Cut A Deal With Libya To Release The Lockerbie Bomber (Mætenloch)
— Open Blog

Since the release of al-Megrahi by the Scottish government rumors have been swirling around that it was actually part of a larger deal that the British government made with Libya over oil exploration rights. Well the Times UK seems to have found direct evidence that this was the case in the form of letters between Jack Straw and Kenny MacAskill.

In 2007 the British were negotiating with Libya to allow British Petroleum to explore the waters off the Libyan coast but the Libyans were balking unless there was an agreement to release Libyan prisoners held in the UK.

The prisoner transfer agreement — and specifically the fate of Megrahi — were inextricably linked with the BP deal. Six months after Blair’s trip, and with Gordon Brown in No 10, the Libyans were frustrated that the prisoner transfer agreement had not even been drafted. The BP contract was also waiting to be ratified.

The key reason for the delay in the prisoner transfer agreement was Megrahi. Lord Falconer, who was Blair’s justice secretary, had told the Scottish government in a letter on June 22, 2007 that “any prisoner transfer agreement with Libya could not cover al-Megrahi”.

The Brown government initially tried to exclude Megrahi by stipulating that any prisoner agreement would only cover prisoners convicted after a certain date. The Libyans rejected this and demanded Megrahi be part of the deal. With the oil deal in jeopardy the British caved.

The British government decided it was “in the overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom” to make Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, eligible for return to Libya, leaked ministerial letters reveal.

Gordon Brown’s government made the decision after discussions between Libya and BP over a multi-million-pound oil exploration deal had hit difficulties. These were resolved soon afterwards.

The letters were sent two years ago by Jack Straw, the justice secretary, to Kenny MacAskill, his counterpart in Scotland, who has been widely criticised for taking the formal decision to permit Megrahi’s release.

So it's clear now that the fix was in since at least 2007 which explains why a single non-oncologist doctor was allowed to pronounce Megrahi's prostate cancer as 'terminal'. Further given that the whole oil deal could be worth up to £15 billion we now know Britain's price - it's about £51 million per death.

Posted by: Open Blog at 02:00 PM | Comments (2)
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Not Doing It For Teddy...Another GOP Senator Sours On Health Care
— DrewM

Mike Enzi of Wyoming is one of the 3 Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee who has been working on a bi-partisan deal on health care. Now he says the plans as laid out stink.

A leading GOP negotiator on health care struck a further blow to fading chances of a bipartisan compromise by saying Democratic proposals would restrict medical choices and make the country's "finances sicker without saving you money."

The criticism from Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., echoed that of many opponents of the Democratic plans under consideration in Congress. But Enzi's judgment was especially noteworthy because he is one of only three Republicans who have been willing to consider a bipartisan bill in the Senate.

In the Republicans' weekly radio and Internet address on Saturday, Enzi said any health care legislation must lower medical costs for Americans without increasing deficits and the national debt.

"The bills introduced by congressional Democrats fail to meet these standards," he said.

Expect to hear more talk about Democrats going it alone. Don't expect much actual action on that front however.

Posted by: DrewM at 01:29 PM | Add Comment
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In Memoriam - Mary Jo Kopechne – Dead at the Age of 28 – (genghis)
— Open Blog

It’s a slow news day, so if there’s nothing else on the intermesh or tv, let’s pause for a moment and think about a young woman named Mary Jo, who's life was cut short during the summer of 1969.

By all accounts she was an earnest and idealistic young woman, involved in a variety of political causes and campaigns. Some background:

"Kopechne, born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was the only child of insurance salesman Joseph Kopechne and his wife, Gwen. She was of Polish American heritage. The family moved to New Jersey when she was an infant. She attended parochial schools growing up."

"After graduating with a degree in business administration from Caldwell College for Women in New Jersey in 1962, Kopechne moved to Montgomery, Alabama, to teach for a year at the Mission of St. Jude as part of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1963, she moved to Washington, D.C., to work as secretary to Florida Senator George Smathers."

She later went on to work for Senator Robert Kennedy (D - N.Y.) on his secretarial staff and continued working for him until his assassination in 1968. Following that she went on to work in political consulting and appeared to be well on her way to having a very successful career. In addition:

"She lived in the Georgetown neighborhood with three other women. She was a fan of the Boston Red Sox and fellow Polish American Carl Yastrzemski. She was a devout Roman Catholic with a demure, serious, "convent school" demeanor, rarely drank much, and had no reputation for extramarital activities with men."

Accounts vary as to how she died, but for what it's worth:

"On July 18, 1969, Kopechne attended a party on Chappaquiddick Island, off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, held in honor of the Boiler Room Girls. It was the fourth such reunion of the Robert Kennedy campaign workers."

"Kopechne reportedly left the party at 11:15 p.m. with Robert's brother Ted Kennedy, after he — according to his own account — offered to drive her to catch the last ferry back to Edgartown, where she was staying. She did not tell her close friends at the party that she was leaving and she left her purse and keys behind."

Kennedy stated he made a wrong turn on the way and came upon a narrow, unlit bridge without guardrails. Kennedy drove the 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88 off the bridge and it overturned in the water. Kennedy extricated himself from the submerged car but Kopechne died, after what Kennedy said were several diving attempts to free her."

The rest of course is history. Regarding Ms. Kopechne's funeral:

A funeral for Kopechne was held on July 22, 1969, at St. Vincent's Roman Catholic Church in Plymouth, Pennsylvania, attended by Kennedy. She is buried in the parish cemetery on the side of Larksville Mountain.

It should be noted that Ms. Kopechne is not being laid to rest today at Arlington National Cemetary. But I would like to wish that she continue to rest in peace.

Note: Most of the photos available of Ms. Kopechne are from her high school yearbook. Here's one of her in what appears to be a policy meeting (it's cropped from a larger photo) looking a bit serious. Despite that, she was clearly a very attractive woman.

Posted by: Open Blog at 07:51 AM | Comments (3)
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Midday Open Thread
— DrewM

It's rainy and I got nothing.

Continue to talk amongst yourselves but with less reload time!

Ah, here you go...Worst first date ever (at least with someone whose last name isn't Kennedy).

Terrance Dejuan McCoy, 23, may have inadvertently chosen a life of celibacy. If allegations against him prove true, future dates would be wise to cancel.

Ferndale police say during an April dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings on Nine Mile road McCoy, of Detroit, asked to borrow his date's keys to get his wallet from her car. As she sat waiting for him to return, she watched through a window as he sped off.

via Allah.

Posted by: DrewM at 06:17 AM | Comments (1)
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August 28, 2009

Overnight Open Thread – (genghis)
— Open Blog

Welcome to Friday. Please don’t leave mystery stains on the carpet again…very hard to get out.

If bacon hasn't jumped the shark yet, it's just about to. Maet sends along this article from Time about the mainstreaming of bacon.

We knew this day would come. Time to clear out any baconish bookmarks or links such as this one about Tactical Bacon. Canned bacon that's got a 10-year shelf life. I think canned bacon has been brought up before but the reviewer calls this "The Cadillac of preserved pork." Plus it has a weapon on the label. What's not to like?

While not entirely about bacon, but with some bacon content, be sure to also check out 10 Meat Structures That Require Engineering Degrees to Make and a Death Wish to Eat. There's a mouthful. A mouthful of tasty meat that is.

Seattle Police scanner is here. more...

Posted by: Open Blog at 05:30 PM | Add Comment
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CNN: Obama lied - your taxes ARE going to go up - a lot
— Purple Avenger

When CNN won't carry water for the one anymore, the charade is pretty much over.

...Shy of finding a fairy willing to leave trillions under Uncle Sam's pillow, lawmakers will have to raise taxes and cut spending...

...President Obama is pledging to keep taxes low for most people...

...Experts say that's not going to cut it.

"Taxes are going up and they're going up for a lot more people than those making more than $250,000. Why? Math. The numbers don't come close to working,"...

I've been told math is hard, particularly when lots of zeros and numbers Steven Hawking would be more familiar with are involved. Messiahs Presidents aren't expected to understand such things. A bucket full of zeros are beyond their pay grade.

Get ready for Swedish tax levels and Haiti level services. more...

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 02:26 PM | Comments (6)
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General Russell "Stuck On Stupid" Honore (USA Ret) To Launch Primary Challenge Against David Vitter?
— DrewM

Hmmmmm.

In a breaking story, The Louisiana Weekly and Bayoubuzz.com have learned that the hero of Hurricane recovery, General Russell Honore is seriously considering entering the Republican Primary for the U.S. Senate seat against incumbent David Vitter. Honore, a Republican since the Reagan Administration and a registered Louisiana voter from his Zachary home, has spoken to friends and supporters in the last two weeks signaling that he is, according to one, "more than 50% sure that he will run."

Vitter obviously has, um, issues but according to the article he's likely to win reelection. On one hand, I'd hate to throw away a guaranteed seat, especially since I don't really know much about Honore.

That said, what I do know about him is pure awesome. more...

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Ted Kennedy Memorial Service Thread
— DrewM

All the cable networks are covering.

I hope we hear some of those Chappaquiddick jokes he loved so much. Cause that would be awesome.

Oh and let's keep the comments civil, like Kennedy himself would have. I mean look at how he showed such respect during the immigration debate two years ago.

What are they going to do with the twelve and a half million who are undocumented here? Send them back? Send them back to countries around the world? More than $250 billion dollars, buses that would go from Los Angeles to New York and back again. Try and find them, develop a type of Gestapo here to seek out these people that are in the shadows. That's their alternative?

Besides, who among us hasn't killed a woman and gotten a lifetime of humor out of it?

I say, let he without sin cast the first stone into the muddy lake.

Here's to you Teddy...cheater, philanderer, skilled driver and Senator! more...

Posted by: DrewM at 02:05 PM | Comments (2)
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WTF is Glenn Beck up to?
— Uncle Jimbo

OK I ask for the collective wit and wisdom of the moronosphere. I have been doing my best to pay attention to Glenn Beck and not just take my knee jerk reaction (that he is bat-shit crazy). Now don't jump my ass just yet. I agree with almost everything he is saying. Hell I was calling Barry a Cake Boy back in January of 2007. But I am having trouble with Beck. He seems to be heading deep into the Cult of Personality lane. Now I love Living Colour as much as the next guy, but I am not sure that Glenn can make it to the next election cycle at this pace. He has been on 40 minutes straight now, no guests just a direct appeal to the populace.

Again I agree with almost all the substance of what he is saying. Obama has too many czars and yes they are trying to socialize the country. It is patently fucking obvious, BUTT is this sustainable? Is it helpful? Will it work? Where does it lead? Third party?

Don't bother hating on me, you know that just makes me happy. Let's talk about WTF he is up to and can he pull it off, or is it just a stunt? or does he believe it? I think he is completely sincere but I am talking pragmatically. Is he preaching to the choir or can he gain converts?

I keep seeing Network and wondering when he snaps. Good Lord it's only month eight. Will this lead to a revival of government hating?

He seems to be having a great time, that's for sure. I hope this can lead to a helpful way to fight the progressive assholes trying to Euro our country, but let's hear morons. Will this work? The Tea Parties sure are.

Posted by: Uncle Jimbo at 12:43 PM | Comments (1)
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Federal Prosecutor Doesn't Sound So Happy About Dropping Richardson Investigation
— DrewM

The phrase "Killed in Washington" is still ringing in my mind for some reason.

U.S. Attorney Greg Fouratt made the comments in a letter sent to defense lawyers, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press.

Fouratt said a federal investigation "revealed pressure from the governor's office resulted in the corruption of the procurement process" in awarding state bond deal work to a Richardson political contributor.

Hans von Spakovsky, a Bush era official from the DoJ says if the AP story is correct and the case was "Killed in Washington", then all sorts of rules have been broken.

For anyone familiar with internal Justice Department procedures, this is particularly suspicious. The DOJ has a manual called “Federal Prosecution of Election Offenses” (I helped edit the latest edition when I was at Justice) that sets out the rules and procedures for U.S. attorneys when they are investigating these types of public-corruption cases. It is the U.S. attorney in New Mexico who would normally make the final call on a local public-corruption case, not “top Justice Department officials” in Washington. The DOJ manual sets out the consultation rules for U.S. attorneys, who are required to “consult” with the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division in Washington. But only consultation is required; the Public Integrity Section does not make the final decision on whether an investigation should go forward. (Attorney General Eric Holder should not have forgotten this, since Public Integrity was the first place he worked at Justice.) So if the AP is correct in reporting that “top” officials in Washington killed the investigation, then political appointees within the department did not follow normal DOJ procedures.

Now prosecutors often think they've got a person who is guilty of a crime but they might not have the evidence to prove it. Still, given the record of this DoJ so far, I'm not exactly filled with confidence.

Thanks to Mætenloch for the story from the headlines.

Posted by: DrewM at 12:39 PM | Add Comment
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I'm Voting For Her Just Based on Her Name
— Ace

Picked this up from SeanW.

You can vote the Ten Most Beautiful Women in Dallas, from 20 finalists.

She wins in a walk.

It's not just beauty; it's the delectable suggestion of attaniability.

She's said to be dating Dick Vagrant.

Posted by: Ace at 11:50 AM | Comments (4)
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Black ChappaquiddiCare-Supporting Congresswoman: Opponents Trying to Destroy First President "Who Looks Like Me"
— Ace

Yes, indeed! It's all about race. How I remember we screamed and screeched when that black-as-the-ace-of-spades Bill Clinton sent his kinky-haired wife Hillary to Capitol Hill to sell the plan that Kool-cigarettes-enthusiast Howard Ickes had come up with.

We just opposed that plan because all those swarthy African-Americans (we all come from Africa, you know) had come up with it -- Bill "B. Diddy" Clinton, Hillary "LadyHuimpz" Clinton, and Howard "Kid Grind" Ickes. That whole posse of electric boogaloo DC MCs and all of their DJs, dancers, and special guest robot-voice vocalists.


Same thing now:

Correction: Captain Hate says it's Harold, not Howard, Ickes.

Wrong man. Harold Ickes was his slave name.

He changed it.

Posted by: Ace at 10:22 AM | Comments (2)
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Obama's $9.05 Trillion Deficit Actually Depends on Stunning Growth to Stay at that "Low" Level
— Ace

Peak growth in the last expansion? 3.6%.

Obama's glide path to fiscal responsibility -- where we merely run nearly a trillion dollars in deficits every single year -- relies upon the assumption we'll rocket to 3.8% growth by 2011 and then in excess of 4% growth for three years running, 2012-2014.

And based on those rosy projections, we'll merely run a $905 billion deficit every year. If it's lower than that -- which, of course, it will be -- then the deficits will be... who knows. It's not real money anymore anyway. It's just ZimbabweBucks.

What is the likelihood of such a rare rocket-like recovery? Not terribly good.

Claims of imminent recovery are based primarily on France and Germany barely ending contraction (i.e., they squeaked like 0.1 -0.2% growth, if you can call it that).

They are likely to contract again -- the dreaded double-dip. (And two dips might not be the end of it.)

The European Central Bank said private sector loans fell by €38bn (£33bn) from a month earlier. Lending to non-financial corporations has shrunk by €116bn (to €4,759bn) since February, although it is still up 1.6pc from a year ago due to lag effects.

"The credit squeeze continues," said Carsten Brzeski from ING. "Today's monetary numbers illustrate how fragile the ongoing recovery still is."

M3 money supply growth has slowed to a record low of 3pc. Monetarists watch the M3 figures closely as a early warning gauge for the economy a year or so later.

The ominous figures help explain why several ECB governors have stepped forward in recent days to cool euphoria....

"The rebound in Germany and France is not sustainable. The state has stepped in to compensate for the private sector. As long as economic growth relies on the state, you cannot talk about durable recovery," he said.

How long until we experience a vigorous recovery? A long time.

An end to technical recession in France, Germany, and Japan because Q2 ( and undoubtedly Q3 to come) ekes out a rise from a collapsed base does not mean anything – except that zero interest rates worldwide, and a massive fiscal stimulus that is pushing public debts towards 100pc across the OECD states (and cannot easily be repeated once the first sugar rush subsides), has mercifully prevented the Great Contraction from turning into an immediate catastrophe.

As the Bank of England’s Governor Mervyn King puts it: “It’s the level, stupid”. The level of economic activity is years away from full recovery.

The Bundesbank’s Axel Weber says it will take until 2013 for Germany to get back to where it was. He also warns, by the way, that there will be a second wave of the credit crisis as Germany’s home-grown troubles come to the fore. Round one was imported havoc from the US: round two will be rising defaults at home and a credit squeeze as ratings downgrades force banks to set aside fresh capital.

And that second wave of wipe-outs will happen here, as well.

Maybe a thousand banks will go under next year.

Thanks to consolidation and one bruised bank buying other bruised banks, the banks which were previously too big to fail are now even bigger.

And the FDIC is taking a hit -- 20% so far. And that's just with 81 bank closings this year. Sure, we can keep writing the FDIC fresh new checks... but that's all we seem to be able to do. At some point our checks become devalued.

Current real unemployed rate? The head of the Atlanta Federal Reserve floated the number 16%. US News & World Report guesses it's higher than that.

So if you care not just about people who meet the official definition of "unemployed" but also about people who are dropping out of the labor force, 2009 seems to be trailing 1982 in terms of the health of the labor market. Williams says that when he takes into consideration people who haven't looked for work in more than a year because they can't find jobs, the real unemployment rate today goes all the way up to 20.6 percent by his calculations. "It won't take much to get it to the worst since the Great Depression," he says.

Now, given all that, and with the polar opposite of pro-growth policies in place, and with future growth already hobbled by crushing future obligations which will only get larger -- how can Obama's hack Orzag "project" growth rates better than Clinton's historically-rare super-expansion?


Posted by: Ace at 10:12 AM | Comments (2)
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Kennedy Wasn't All About Killing Women. In His Non-Homicidal Hours, He Also Proposed Illegal Quid Pro Quos with Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov.
— Ace

I'll help subvert the country's elected chief foreign policy officer if you help the Democratic Party in 1984.

"On 9-10 May of this year," the May 14 memorandum explained, "Sen. Edward Kennedy's close friend and trusted confidant [John] Tunney was in Moscow." (Tunney was Kennedy's law school roommate and a former Democratic senator from California.) "The senator charged Tunney to convey the following message, through confidential contacts, to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Y. Andropov."

Kennedy's message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. "The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations," the memorandum stated. "These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign."

Kennedy made Andropov a couple of specific offers.

First he offered to visit Moscow. "The main purpose of the meeting, according to the senator, would be to arm Soviet officials with explanations regarding problems of nuclear disarmament so they may be better prepared and more convincing during appearances in the USA." Kennedy would help the Soviets deal with Reagan by telling them how to brush up their propaganda.

Then he offered to make it possible for Andropov to sit down for a few interviews on American television. "A direct appeal ... to the American people will, without a doubt, attract a great deal of attention and interest in the country. ... If the proposal is recognized as worthy, then Kennedy and his friends will bring about suitable steps to have representatives of the largest television companies in the USA contact Y.V. Andropov for an invitation to Moscow for the interviews. ... The senator underlined the importance that this initiative should be seen as coming from the American side."

Kennedy would make certain the networks gave Andropov air time--and that they rigged the arrangement to look like honest journalism.

...

"Tunney remarked that the senator wants to run for president in 1988," the memorandum continued. "Kennedy does not discount that during the 1984 campaign, the Democratic Party may officially turn to him to lead the fight against the Republicans and elect their candidate president."

Liberal Lion, Soviet Stooge.

Tomato, tahmahtoh.

Thanks to DrewM.

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Non-Partisan Congressional Research Service: Yes, ChappaquiddiCare Would Cover Illegal Aliens. In Fact, Illegal Aliens are Required to Buy Health Insurance through the "Exchange"
— Ace

Similar to the abortion coverage non-debate. They claim that silence = non-coverage, when in fact they know, and rely upon, silence = coverage.

David Fredosso:

In its subsection on health insurance subsidies (known as "affordability credits"), HR 3200 does state, "Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States." That would seem to solve the problem, but it's more rhetoric than reality. The bill contains no verification requirement or enforcement process for citizenship or legal residency, as exists for other federal benefit programs. The only verification required for the subsidies pertains to family income. Beyond that, as the CRS report notes, everything is left in the hands of the Health Choices Commissioner.

Link to the actual document at the above link.

But it gets better. (Doesn't it always?)

CRS also notes that “undocumented aliens” who have a “substantial presence” in the US would be required to buy health insurance (page 4) through the exchanges in HR3200. They would also become eligible for “emergency Medicaid,” although not normal Medicaid (page 6) for up to five years.

The media loves wedge issues.. when it comes to Republicans. They love pushing these, as they create problems in the Republican Party, as social cons and libertarians, and populists and free-marketers, go at each other.

It's always better for a party -- not for policy, mind you, nor for any particular bloc, but for the party itself -- to fudge these issues. Someone has to win... but as they say, it's always easier to beg forgiveness than to secure permission. It's always easiest to tell the deceived losing party he's lost after deceiving him to think he would likely win.

But the media won't let the Republican Party get away with that. So we have long, bruising, angry debates. Which is probably a good thing... except it does do damage to party cohesion in the meantime.

On the other hand, the media is more than willing to prop up the Democrats' efforts at fudging issues and lying to the already-known losers in a debate, telling them that maybe they're actually coming out ahead. There is a division in the Democratic Party, between its liberal and moderate wings (and definitely between its liberals and true independents) on whether ChappaquiddiCare should cover illegals.

So, does the media dig and force the Democrats to take a stand on this, one way or the other, giving the public its right of informed consent, but at the expense of alienating one of the two wings prior to the all-important vote?

No. In such cases the media is happy to pretend this is all unknowable and/or unimportant, so that all Democrats and independents can vote for the bill thinking their particular preference is in fact encoded into law. Only afterwards will the moderates and independents find out they've been screwed over, but no problem -- the law is now law, and.... it's easier to beg forgiveness than to secure permission.

Time and time we see the media assisting Democrats in their deliberately deceptive vagueness -- on abortion coverage, on Medicare cuts, on taxes, on rationing. It's in the party's interest to convince its various conflicting blocs that they will all prevail... but of course they all will not; they all cannot. But if that strategic ambiguity can just be preserved long enough, just until the vote...

The media knows this full well and therefore never expresses any curiosity at all about the truth of these debates. It's in their liberal partisan political interests that the truth be deemed "unknowable," and hence it is therefore unknowable.

And it's easy for the media to declare something unknowable -- they merely need to be lazy and publish the DNC's talking points near-verbatim. Which is their habit and proclivity anyhow.

Posted by: Ace at 09:12 AM | Comments (1)
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