Downgrade This! Standard and Poor’s Sued By US Government

    A very powerful group of people has advised Standard and Poor’s to reconsider some of their recent bond rating decisions. In a vacuum, this could be seen as condign. S&P’s has a track record for being too cozy with Wall Street brokerage houses that issued mortgage-backed securities based upon sub-prime mortgages. S&P, like Moody’s, like Fitch, overrated the quality of many of these MBS bonds which helped contribute to the economic unpleasantness of the last five years.

    However, unlike Moody’s, unlike Fitch, S&P deviated from the hypocritical script and began putting bond issues under a more focused microscope. They found fecal matter strewn throughout and began to rate securities issues accordingly. Regrettably, some of those issues S&P took the hatchet to were USG debt securities. In August of 2011, S&P downgraded US debt from AAA to AA+. Thus S&P will be tortured with the legal equivalent of amateur proctology by the pathetically obvious Obama Administration.

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    Q4 GDP and Consumer Confidence Both Sucked Like a Turbomolecular Pump

    Fox News is at the apex of its corporate power. It bestrides the fetid media swamp like a mighty, dollar-and-talent-sucking Colossus of Rhodes. It’s beyond being a network. It is a unique plain of existence, separate from the mere domain of mortal man. That spending problem in DC – it only exists on Fox News.

    Now never you mind the actual economic statistics. The fact that Q4 GDP went down by 0.1% versus a non-Fox News consensus estimate of 1.1% – that only happened on Fox News as well. Likewise the Consumer Confidence number that is worse than any value recorded since November 2011.

    Well, actually the Consumer Confidence story just winked into existence over at Bloomberg as well. Here’s how a Philadelphia-based bond analyst feels the Consumer Confidence Cliff will effect things out in Flyover Land.

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    The Demon Behind the Benevolent Mask of the Welfare State

    We all get bent out of shape over politicians that lie to us. It offends the sensitivities that we get babied by these people telling us only what we want to hear. That is until a serious political leader drops all sense of pretense and diplomacy and tells us exactly where he’d like us to disembark the trolley. The quote below just means more, given that it comes from a person steeped in the cultural history of Bushido.

    “Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. I would wake up feeling increasingly bad knowing that [treatment] was all being paid for by the government,” he said during a meeting of the national council on social security reforms. “The problem won’t be solved unless you let them hurry up and die.”

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    The President Stands Athwart History Yelling Stop

    If you were hoping that the president would set the stage for a grand bargain to restructure America’s entitlement programs and fiscal health for the 21st century, you wouldn’t have found much encouragement.

    – David Ignatius (WaPo)

    David Ignatius stated the obvious in a very polite and understated manner. The President has hit his high water mark. He won re-election, and has no idea what to do with his power beyond the satiation of the power base that drove his reelection. He can hand out fish-sticks, but he but he won’t teach you how to catch your own. (HT: Moe Lane) * This only reinforces my earlier opinion that Barack Obama is nowhere near as in charge of events as he likes to ask. The man is a prisoner of historical trends and of his choice of supporters.

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    Spending at Gun Point

    Spending at Gun Point

    In the days leading up to President Obama announcing his gun control plans, and now that he has, the focus of Republicans and Conservatives has been squarely on his ever-encroaching attack on the Second Amendment.  As Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus stated on the President’s move, “He paid lip service to our fundamental constitutional rights, but took actions that disregard the Second Amendment and | Read More »

    Liberals Don’t Need Revenue to Grow Government Anymore

    Once upon a time, liberals were somewhat principled in their pursuit of a utopian dirigisme.  Sure, they always liked to play a bit of class warfare, but they fundamentally believed in taxing everyone.  After all, if you want a cradle-to-grave government-run society, it’s got to be purveyed by the broad populace. There simply aren’t enough rich people to raise the requisite funds for a rapacious | Read More »

    I do not say that Jack Lew’s signature disqualifies him for Treasury Secretary.

    I am saying that it’s… well, look. (via AOL) Seriously? When New York Magazine says that something is a problem for a Democrat, then something is a problem for a Democrat. That’s maybe going to go on our dollar bills if we’re not careful… or if Jack Lew doesn’t learn how to write his name out legibly. I suggest some emergency Palmer penmanship therapy. (H/T: | Read More »

    Breaking: Hilda Solis has resigned as Secretary of Labor.

    Pretty much out of nowhere: as of an hour ago CNN was reporting that the White House was touting Hilda Solis as a mark of its diversity. Mind you, they were doing so as part of a post about how Barack Obama’s Cabinet is becoming, and I quote CNN here, ‘a boys club.’ At any rate, this was and is very much a surprise, so | Read More »

    I propose calling the Trillion Dollar Coin a ‘Gresham.’

    Mostly because calling it a ‘friedman’ is just a bit too obscure to be proper black humor; calling it a ‘keynes’ actually maligns a guy who would be freaking out over what Obama’s done to his economic policy*; and calling it a ‘fiat’ will cause people to confuse it with the car**. Anyway, basic details here (H/T Jim Geraghty): if you’re not familiar with what’s | Read More »

    Honey Boo-Boo, All My Babies’ Mamas and the Debt Ceiling

    Have you ever just watched an episode of “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo” and realized that every character therein would be infinitely more valuable fulfilling a different role in the carbon cycle? Wanna’ know what really makes this show kinda’ sorta’ sick? The fact that we all pay to subsidize this behavior each time we shop at the grocery store or pay our taxes. The fact that the longer we subsidize these people, the more these sort of people will become the future of America.

    Then it hits you like this season’s vaccine-resistant influenza bug. This sort of pervasion of nature takes effort and ingenuity. Honey Boo-Boo’s continued parasitic existence is your tax dollars hard at work. This program gives us a nice, naturalistic, smell-the-runny-bastard-poop view of what we win if we raise our debt ceiling high enough and allow our federal government to do whatever the heck it pleases with money that currently doesn’t even exist. Let Dom Pardo show the Redstate viewers what they win if the debt ceiling raises.

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    The absolutely EXPECTED small business fallout from Obamacare.

    It would appear that many small business owners have noticed that the new rules for providing mandatory health insurance coverage have some significant loopholes: to wit, that they only apply to companies that employ fifty or more full time employers (which is to say, people who work for thirty or more hours a week). The answer to handling the situation then becomes fairly obvious. And | Read More »

    The Coming of the Perpetual Milk Cliff

    Only in Washington could they concoct a scheme in which we are forced to increase spending on market-distorting subsidy programs lest we suffer the pain of further market distortions through government price controls.  Yet, that is the case with the so-called dairy cliff that would have been crossed had Congress not passed an extension of the current farm bill. Last year, conservatives successfully blocked the | Read More »

    Obama Has His Revenue. Time for Republicans to Step Up or Get Out.

    Obama Has His Revenue.  Time for Republicans to Step Up or Get Out.

    Most of my morning has been spent listening to the two camps on twitter and in the news. Half say we got a bad deal in the Fiscal Cliff debate. The other half say we got the best we could and should be happy with the concessions we extracted from the Democrats. From the beginning, this negotiation has been a mess. Every day we were | Read More »

    The Fork In The Road Which Lead Us To The Fiscal Cliff

    The Fiscal Cliff is a problem. We typically blame people not named us when problems occur. It’s easier and less painful than solving the problem. Here the problem is that the current US President and Congress (The US Senate in particular)* have both spectacularly failed in their management of the national fisc.

    If we decided to solve America’s fiscal issues, it wouldn’t hurt to mine some historical data. Since 1950, the United States Government has averaged expenditures proportional to 19.61% of the same year GDP with a standard deviation of 2.25%. Our government has booked revenues equivalent to 17.65% of same year GDP with a standard deviation of 1.26%. If both events occurred at random, we’d have a 6.07% chance of a Federal Budget actually balancing if the spending and the revenues were determined at random.** This would suggest that we’ve set up a systemic and nasty spending problem despite pious insistence otherwise.

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    Steven Chu to leave Department of Energy?

    Interesting. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu may be leaving the post during the next term of the Obama administration. Among those on the list to replace Chu are Ritter; Tom Steyer, a Democrat from California; former North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan; Susan Tierney, a former assistant energy secretary; and Steve Westley, a California businessman, according to The Washington Post. More at Hot Air, which notes | Read More »