Friday, July 1, 2011

Last Call

This article presented without comment.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would like to leave the Obama administration this fall if economic conditions are stronger and the debt ceiling debate is resolved in a timely manner, according to a person familiar with his thinking.

Possible replacements to be President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser, according to a senior administration official, include Erskine Bowles, White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, and Roger Altman, a prominent investment banker and former deputy Treasury secretary.

Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, is considered a strong dark-horse candidate.  Dimon has said he is not interested in public office but many on Wall Street believe he would accept the job if asked by Obama. But the White House will have to decide whether Dimon, who leads the most successful bank in the U.S., is too closely aligned with Wall Street.

OK, I lied.  Some commentary:  if Jaime Dimon, CEO of the richest investment bank on Wall Street, is not "too closely aligned with Wall Street" then there isn't anyone who possibly could be so.

Exciting New Horizons In Obama Derangement Syndrome

Hey, Robert Tracinski of Real Clear Politics?  Any article that attempts to discuss Obama's "economic ignorance" and includes the following paragraph...

Consider Obama's background. He grew up among leftists, his childhood mentors were outright communists, and he then went off to academia, where he spent his formative years in an environment where business and profit-making are looked down upon as ugly, dirty, rapacious, immoral. Is it any mystery why he doesn't know about business or economics? Asking him to study the economics of the free market is like asking one of the old New England Puritans to thumb through a manual on sex education. Why immerse oneself in a subject that is so unseemly? Why make a study of how to be immoral?

...and then goes on to make the argument that the root of our financial problems in America is "President Soshulist just hates capitalism too much" kinda loses in the "credible objectivity" department.  Anyone who's still on the same garbage arguments from early 2008 and who believes the current economic fracas justifies and confirms those garbage arguments from 2008 never had an argument in the first place worth listening to.

Getting Screwed Over In The Bar Gun

Yes, you've heard correctly:  Across the river in Ohio, Gov. Kasich signed a law that allows people to carry guns in bars.

Businesses can ban concealed weapons on their premises for safety reasons if the want to and some, like the Cincinnati Bengals football team, have indicated they will continue to bar gun owners from bringing firearms into the stadium.

The law also prohibits gun owners from consuming alcohol or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs when they carry their weapons into bars.

The new laws allow residents to carry concealed handguns into licensed establishments in the state, including shopping malls and sporting venues.

The new law also allows a person with a concealed carry license to transport a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle without securing it in a holster, case, bag or box -- and allows them to remove a handgun from a secure location.

Yeah, as long as you don't go nip down to the pub to have a pint, you can bring your sidearm.  Designated shooter, I guess.  I'm sure this law won't cause any problems down the road.  All I know is I'm doing my drinking in the NKY from now on, even Kentucky doesn't permit concealed carry in bars, folks.

Best way to solve a shootout at a bar?  More guns.  Brilliant.

Judge Prosser Needs A Check-Up From The Neck Up, Part 2

Guy has anger issues, too.

Wisconsin state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, who has been publicly accused of putting Justice Ann Walsh Bradley in a chokehold, had another flare-up on Thursday -- this time with a reporter.

The local Fox affiliate in Milwaukee sent reporter Mike Lowe to the state Capitol in Madison, seeking to track down the members of the Supreme Court, including Prosser, and repeatedly ask them for comment.

In all, Lowe caught up with four out of the seven Justices. Of course, the Justices predictably declined to comment on a matter that is under a pending investigation -- especially a story that is embarrassing the court.

But when Prosser met up with Lowe, he quickly grabbed the microphone out of Lowe's hand before just as quickly handed it right back to the surprised reporter -- apparently realizing that was a really bad idea in front of a video camera.

To recap, judge being accused of losing his temper and grabbing a female judge's neck, when asked about it, loses his temper and grabs reporter's microphone.  Yeah, this guy doesn't have rage issues or anything.

Not in the least.

Riot Gear? Really?

Police showed up in riot gear to control a huge crowd trying to register for summer school in Hawthorne Monday.
Amateur video shows a number of police officers gathered at the Opportunities For Learning Public Charter School (OFLPCS) campus Monday.
School officials were overwhelmed by the number of people who lined up early to register.
As many as 1,500 people were lined up trying to secure one of the less than 400 openings for free summer school.
Thank God it wasn't art camp.  That might have required the National Guard. 

Setting Boundaries, Google Style

New York (CNN) -- Internet search giant Google is bracing for a fine that could top $500 million, after a federal probe of illegal online pharmacy ads placed on the website over the past three years, CNN has confirmed.
Law enforcement sources tell CNN that federal prosecutors in Rhode Island, along with undercover agents from the Food and Drug Administration, are heading up a massive investigation aimed at showing Google knowingly took advertising money from websites selling highly addictive drugs without a legitimate prescription.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Providence told CNN he could "neither confirm nor deny" reports of the probe, and Google declined comment "since this is a legal matter."
This will set a line for search engines and responsibility for their results.  Is it legal for a site to show preference?  Who says all search engines should be created equal?  Should every customer of Google be scrutinized for possible illegal connections?  Where is the line between returning results and endorsing?  Unlike television and paper copy, the Internet is interactive and part of the responsibility surely falls to the searcher.  In protection of free speech, when does it become illegal to read up on the illegal?

It's time to answer these questions and define some boundaries and what rights one can expect.

Thaddeus McWho?

Michigan GOP Rep. Thad McCotter is running for President.  It's okay if you haven't heard of him, nobody has.

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter will announce he will run for president Saturday, three people briefed on the matter said today.

A campaign official said McCotter will file his presidential election papers withthe Federal Election Campaignon Friday, and he is suspending his House fund and rolling it into a presidential campaign fund.

His website — — will go live around noon tomorrow, and he has secured office space in western Wayne County for his campaign. McCotter has hired a former speaker of the Iowa House, Chris Rants, as a campaign adviser and is workingtohire advisers inNew Hampshire.

The Livonia Republican, who is in his fifth term in Congress, has been considering the move for weeks and spent four days in Iowa meeting with potential voters. Iowa holds a Feb. 6 caucus — the first votes cast in the nation in the presidential race.

McCotter, who recently traveled to New Hampshire, which holds the first presidential primary, plans another trip July 9-10 to the Granite State and plans to unveil Social Security reform legislation next month as well as he mounts a long-shot campaign.

McCotter began telling advisers Tuesday night he had decided to run. He plans to travel to Iowa and is planning fundraising efforts in New York and California in August.

"He's in it to win it," a campaign adviser said.

The 2012 Clown Car is a TARDIS, I swear.  Also, there's this:

McCotter said the revolution in communication and media has made it easier for aspiring politicians who don’t have the sort of name identification or personal wealth that traditionally determined who could mount a national campaign.

“It’s easier to get your message out today, and people will take a look at it — and if they like it, maybe they vote for you,” he said.

Pressed further, the Michigander quipped: “I’m from Detroit — we live to prove the doubters wrong.”

First question he gets on the auto bailout where his answer is anything but "Socialist Obama took over the auto industry and now it's failed!" his campaign ends.

New tag:  Thad "Guitar Hero" McCotter.

Post Beck And Call

Glenn Beck signed off for the last time on his FOX News show yesterday, and he was all broken up about it...broken up enough to direct everyone to his new web site and pay-per-view services.

Glenn Beck's final show on Fox News had everything you've come to know and love about his program. The chalkboard. The demagoguing. The Goldline commercials.

But before things got underway, it was time for a reel of man-on-the-street interviews of Beck fans singing the television host's praises.

"I will always remember the things you taught me," said one Beck fan. "You taught me to look around, open my eyes and question things I felt were wrong," added another.

"You have enlightened me," chimed in another. "Thank you for everything you do. Thank you for speaking the truth every day," another said.

Then Beck offered a backstage tour of his set. "These are cartons of chalk. Yes, we buy chalk by the case."

"We've done amazing things together, and I thank you for watching," Beck said. "We've made an awful lot of enemies in the program. We've taken on every single person we've been told not to take on."

"And lost."  He forgot that part.  I sure as hell didn't.   The guy that took him out?  A young lawyer who went after Beck advertisers.  Hit em where they hurt the most.  That's the media circus story of the year as far as I'm concerned.

No Dealing On The Debt Ceiling, Part 25

Ezra Klein notes the Republicans have now scrapped their own budget position in March as untenable in July.

By the end of the debt-ceiling negotiations, the Obama administration had agreed to a deal that would reduce the deficit by $2.4 trillion, with $2 trillion of the total coming from spending cuts and $400 billion coming from tax increases. Taxes, in other words, would be about 17 percent of the final deal. Republicans rejected it. But as little as four months ago, it was the Republican ideal.
Mike Konczal points us to “Spend Less, Owe Less, Grow the Economy,” the March 2011 report released by the Republicans on the Joint Economic Committee. The report, which tried to argue that fiscal austerity would lead to short-term growth, was as methodologically unsound, and quickly forgotten. But for our purposes, that’s irrelevant. What is relevant is the report’s golden ratio: “successful fiscal consolidations averaged 85% spending cuts and 15% revenue increases, while unsuccessful fiscal consolidations averaged 47% spending cuts and 53% revenue increases,” it concluded. There was even a graph:

And the Republicans stormed out and are now saying any revenue increases are unaccpetable, and they will get 100% of what they want (zero revenue increases and 100% spending cuts) or the economy will be destroyed.

But they're "serious centrists", they are.  And Obama is a "dick" for daring to point this out.

[UPDATE] Josh Marshall explores why despite poll after poll showing the public takes the Democrats' side on both ending the Bush tax cuts and overwhelmingly back the Dems on leaving Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security alone, inside Washington the Dems are fighting a losing battle behind closed doors.


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