25 Feb 2009

Is Closing Guantanamo Just a Bait and Switch?

I often wonder if Putin laughs himself sick every evening watching the US do to itself in Afghanistan was the USSR did back in the 80s. I certainly would if I were him. Then I’d help the US, because when your enemy (and the US has repeatedly declared itself inimical to Russia, with its support of Georgia and its insistence on slapping missile defense down on Russia’s borders).

Afghanistan is going to be Obama’s bleeding ulcer.

24 Feb 2009

SOTU Speech Wrap Up

If we know nothing else, we know by now that Obama can give a good speech, and he did so again today. There’s a fair bit to like in the speech, in particular I agree with Ed O’Keefe that this was significant:

“We will double this nation’s supply of renewable energy in the next three years,” Obama said.

24 Feb 2009

Phil Breseden and Bobby Jindal: Do you like screwing the weakest of your citizens?

First there was Bobby Jindal saying he would accept money for expanding unemployment benefits. Now Tennessee governer Phil Breseden is considering turning it down? What is wrong with these people. Do they enjoy hurting people who need help the most? Oh, they’ll take some money, but not money that helps people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

I really can’t think of words

24 Feb 2009

Is “Social Security” Reform The Price For Health Care?

Jane talks to Shuster about Social Security, and the possibility that it may be offered up to Republicans as the price for Obama’s health care plan.

24 Feb 2009

Social Security “Reform”: Are They in It for the Money?

Let’s cut to the chase here: Social Security doesn’t need a fix. But if you were looking for a way to raise revenue. . .

23 Feb 2009

Was Dow 6,000 Optimistic?

October 7th I suggested that if the market broke 8,000 the likely bottom was 6,000. Today the DOW hit 7.114.78 but I’m beginning to wonder if 6,000 is really the bottom. When I made my estimate I was using price to earnings ratios. The historical norm for bear markets is 7x Price/Earnings.

22 Feb 2009

Citigroup: Take a 40% Stake, Please!

This does get more and more amusing:

Citigroup is pressing the US government to agree on a new capital injection that would increase the authorities’ stake in the troubled bank to about 40 per cent but stop short of an outright nationalization.

20 Feb 2009

Social Security: The Diamond-Orszag Plan is Not the Liberal Alternative

It’s an odd world in which a plan that reduces Social Security benefits is labeled liberal, yet that’s what Ezra Klein is saying, while Benen states that the plan “says all the right things.”

19 Feb 2009

Warning: This Economic Crisis is NOT a Black Swan

If you think that the crisis is just random, a once in a century (or at least once every few decades) disaster, then you won’t think making major changes is necessary. Get through the problem, go back to how you were doing things before, and everything will be fine.

But, of course, the economic and financial crisis unfolding right now was not random.

16 Feb 2009

Reuters: With no budget, California to cut 20000 state jobs

I hope everyone who voted for the recall, and for tax cuts, and for Republicans is happy: they’ve succeeded in turning CA into a third-world country.