Saturday, December 18, 2010


Yah team. So, how, one wonders, is the repeal of DADT a slap in the face by Obama to various liberal/left groups?

Relatedly, John McCain waxes incoherent:

And Rachel Maddow exposes his flippidy floppitdy:

Just imagine if that warmongering nutbar was our president.

Friday, December 17, 2010


This bike is beautiful; if it had fenders it would be godlike.

Like this one:


Falls Don't Always Fall

Niagara dried up.

Pictures here.


Working at The Wrong Shop

Matt Yglesias is.  The proper response to Republican obstructionism:
In this lame duck session, Senate Republicans are grasping at every possible reason to “run out the clock” on any Democratic priority. Their brazen obstruction, however, took some victims last week when they used another filibuster to block the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. Named after a New York City policeman who died from health complications, this legislation that provides health care to 9/11 first responders and emergency workers who suffered illnesses from working at Ground Zero.
From Think Progress, where the Liberal Lion Yglesias touts obstructionism as a sign of being a serious legislator. 

This is why Taibbi wouldn't be happy with a debate dominated by Yglesias and other faux center-left commentators.

Missing The Point Yet Even More

Matt Yglesias writes for an progressive think tank. All progressives and most Americans believe that an accused fellow citizen is innocent until proven guilty.  Lots of his and my fellow citizens think that Wikileaks is no big deal and to the extent that it is a big deal it's a good thing.  What Yglesias thinks about the second point, I don't know; what he thinks about the first point is illuminated here (via here):
So as best I can tell Manning is, in fact, guilty of serious crimes.
What does this mean?  As best he can tell from? Press releases? The Government's accusations?  The various stuff floating hither and yon on the web?

Another thing all progressives and many Americans believe is that the state ought to improve prison condition particularly for individuals awaiting trial because they have yet to be convicted and, consequently, are presumed innocent.  Yglesias thinks
Somewhat punitive post-arrest pre-trial measures are kind of a necessary evil, but the prolonged confinement of Manning under cruel conditions go well beyond the necessary into the straightforward evil.
So Manning's treatment is "evil" but some lesser form of the "evil" is "kind of necessary" because? It's irresponsible to reform prisons and jails unless that reform involves the destruction of unions and decreasing prison workers salaries?

Is it the case that Yglesias has been making bad arguments for so long that he has now ascended to the Broderosphere where he is free at last, thank God almighty free at last, to simply assert position central to the progressive worldview, in this case reform of necessary evils, i.e., prisons and jails, will lead inexorably to a humane system of incarceration for the presumed innocent as well as the proven guilty  fellow citizens hapless enough to fall afoul of the state's policing function.

And while were at it Megan McCardle, in a similar wrong-headed analysis of something else, she comes up with two tiers of crime: white collared and blue collared:
This is basically a variant of complaints that white-collar crime is treated less harshly than blue collar crime.  And there's some justice in the complaints--white collar crimes usually involve larger sums, and the people who commit them can rarely claim that they are victims of society.
White-collared crime is clear to all: Madoffesque stuff.  Blue-collared crime is? Calling in sick when you're well? Does she mean "ordinary" crimes like murder, rape, and etc?  Does she mean to suggest that only the lower orders commit such crimes?  She seems to because she, humorously?, suggests that the lower orders who can blame society for their crimes, as in Kniock Any Door starring Humphrey Bogart, commit blue collared crimes.

And those of us who want to tax the rich to pay for the things we need tomorrow today are accused of class warfare; McArdle classifies violent crimes as the work of only the lower orders.

Would it surprise you to know that they are pals?

Yglesias on private mass transportation
And, yes, I’m well-aware that none of this is going to happen any time soon. But I think people are oftentimes insufficiently utopian in their thinking about public policy. Think about how different policy was in 1960 compared to today.
Got that? When in comes to incarceration of the presumably innocent some degree of abuse is a "necessary evil" when it comes to making a buck off of getting from here to there, people just aren't clapping loud enough.


Yesterday, I watched this guy quiz Timothy Geitner on lot of things but one of them was why Geitner wasn't trying harder to get banks to absorb more of the losses associated with underwater homeowners.  It actually took Silvers three tries before Geitner would even address the issue of lowering banks' profits.  One weird exchange, it was.  It seemed as though Geitner had no idea that lowering profits, as opposed to funding homeowner bailouts, was possible.  Indeed, Geitner claimed that the government couldn't do a thing when it came to banks' profits; hands tied, not possible, he said.  Why on earth would that be, one wonders?  If what Geitner said was true, and Silver thought that it wasn't, it is almost as if the governments only power over banks is to give them money when they get drunk and blow it on hookers and bad drugs or mortgage backed securities, whichever comes first.

In any event, the whole thing is worth watching, if only for Geitner's cluelessness when it comes to effective regulation and the government's power to persuade. 

Missing the Point

Matt Yglesias some time ago:
Mitch McConnell is a bad man, but he's very good at his job:
2 hours ago from TweetDeck
He refers to this article which details McConnell's decision to stop the Senate from governing by threatening Republican senators who wanted to work with the Democratic majority to, you know, govern.  This kind of procedural obstruction to bipartisan action on the various problems confronting the US right now is  a being "very good"  minority leader because Yglesias is under the misapprehension that being an obstructionist is the hallmark of a good legislator in a democratic system.  In other words, he is a dolt.  Unless, of course, like him you make your decision on good and bad based on some set of ideological abstractions that protect you from any concrete realities.