Hunger Chancellors Archives

October 14, 2005

And... we have a Hunger Chancellor!

A few days ago I explained elsewhere why I think the Republicans will happy to hand over the store in 2008 to a Democratic "Hunger Chancellor." There's no shortage of Democratic applicants for the job, but now we have one who appears to have accepted the Republican nomination as Democratic candidate, namely Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico.

The New York times today reports that Richardson will traveling on an Air Force plane to North Korea in order to browbeat Strange Leader Kim Jong Il about his nuclear program. It's official, it's not official, he's an envoy, he's a private citizen -- nobody understands it, but whether he manages to achieve anything or not it will help the Republicans in '06: if he succeeds Bush will take the credit and if he fails Bush will blame the stupid Democrat.

Richardson's fellow Democrats are presumably gnashing their teeth over this stunt, which may possibly bolster Richardson's chances of being the nominee in '08 at the expense of the party's prospects in '06.

But nobody ever gets excommunicated from the Democratic Party, for anything. Will Rogers' comment that "I don't belong to an organized political party -- I'm a Democrat" is true in a much deeper sense than he intended. The Democratic Party isn't really a party at all, in the sense of being an organization with a political program and some modicum of party discipline. Rather, it is a loose collective of individual opportunists, an ad hoc camel train of unconnected entrepreneurs temporarily banded together against desert marauders, owing each other no loyalty and in fact perfectly willing to stab each other in the back first chance they get.

People who write software have an old joke: when you tell them about something strange their program is doing, they reply, That's not a bug, it's a feature! Even so with the Democrats: their lack of principle, their not being about anything, is not a flaw; rather, it's their essence, the very life blood and raison d'etre of the outfit.

November 10, 2005

The scavengers assemble...

Behold if it ain't the good old Stride Right party comin' to the rescue.

After Tuesday's offyear elections the voice of the electorate will be heard to say, "Time for all levels of gummint to put on their sensible shoes" -- or at least that's how they'll hear it up at DNC/DLC headquarters.

Just imagine the triumphant braying -- "Fellow citizens! The nightmare is ending... the 5 year elephant stampede is rounding its last bend and unstoppably headed for the cliff edge. The bums have just smashed a little too much of the nation's sacred crockery. The people through the ballot box will .... errr... in fact already are... calling 'Halt! Halt you brutes! We've had enough of your big brass banding. Bring back the lute and flute group!' "

Amazing, eh ???

Time for the pawl in the ratchet to fall into place. For every time there is a reason, to every cause a season -- or something like that. After all this nonstop big big flappy-eared fun and frolics, it's time to cool our jets from the Beltway to the green zone. Yup, here and abroad too, "it's cleanup time" -- a role that suits the self-confining subaltern jackass party to the last syllable of its recorded wonkery.

And just you poor folks watch -- all the big neoliberal Bullwinkles of the party will want in on the mission. From now till Christmas time they'll bob and bounce across your screens -- no screen wide enough to contain their gassed-up, ballooning self-importance. The bigger the rack, the bigger the stride, each one trying to look more sensible and stately then the last.

Let's pass over the obvious Senate hams (other than my pal Grack's pinup girl, our relentless holiday queen of tarts, lady Clintaxe). They're all burnt-out cases. What will prove really au courant, really so this year and holiday fashion, are not all these stale stentorian gas horns, but instead all those milktoast, sunbelt dembo governors we've got, stretching from Virginia to the Rio Grande.

Their cry will be some colorless variant on the legendary Camelot punch, one part 90 proof long-aged donkey nonsense to three parts citizen sacrifice -- and oh yeah, a sprinkle of GooGoo nutmeg.

So brace yourselves for endless choruses of their hook line: "steady ways and prudent hands can fix what ails this great great country of ours."

Ghoul's footnote:

Looming in the wings as next chief of fiscal surgery? -- who but Wall Street's own blended and bonded Bob Rubin, of course! And can old Doc Bob ever carve a mean budget.

Of course as usual, he'll leave the suturing to nobody special -- "I do the hacking, not the hackery."

September 15, 2006

Get out while the gettin's good

For some time time, I've been thinking that the Republicans will soon be quite happy to take a holiday in opposition and leave the Other War Party stuck with the mess (a role the Other War Party is glad to embrace, by the way). I kinda thought the Republicans would tiptoe furtively off stage in 2008, but maybe the schedule has been moved up; comes now the Washington Monthly, with seven, count 'em, seven, think-pieces from the likes of Richard Viguerie and Christopher Buckley. General topic: "Time For Us To Go: Conservatives on why the GOP should lose in 2006." There's enough overlap in the talking points to suggest that this must have been a topic of conversation among pitchfork-chuckers in the Republican malebolge for some time now.

Here's Buckley:

Time to hand over this sorry enchilada to Hillary and Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden and Charlie Rangel and Harry Reid, who has the gift of being able to induce sleep in 30 seconds.
Bruce Bartlett:
Democrats today are free to criticize our efforts in Iraq without having to offer constructive alternatives. But put them in the majority, and they’ll suddenly have to put up or shut up. Let them defund the war and implement an immediate pullout if that’s what they really think we should do.... Every Republican I know thinks Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are the best things they have going for them.
Best of all, Viguerie:
... a Republican loss of one or both houses of Congress would turn power over to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.... [But] sometimes a loss for the Republican Party is a gain for conservatives. Often, a little taste of liberal Democrats in power is enough to remind the voters what they don’t like about liberal Democrats and to focus the minds of Republicans on the principles that really matter. That’s why the conservative movement has grown fastest during those periods when things seemed darkest, such as during the Carter administration and the first two years of the Clinton White House.
You don't often see such a clear statement of the mechanics of party symbiosis.

Lots of other interesting things to ponder in these essays too (if you skip all the poseur snuffbox-juggling about Edmund Burke and Adam Smith -- even poor James II comes in for some hard words!). For one thing, some of these guys are really against the Iraq war, and have harsher things to say about it than you will hear from any Democrat. E.g. Buckley:

... the tidy theories of a group who call themselves “neo-conservative” (not one of whom, to my knowledge, has ever worn a military uniform), have thus far: de-stabilized the Middle East; alienated the world community from the United States; empowered North Korea, Iran, and Syria; unleashed sectarian carnage in Iraq ... cost the lives of 2,600 Americans, and the limbs, eyes, organs, spinal cords of another 15,000—with no end in sight. But not to worry: Democracy is on the march in the Middle East. Just ask Hamas. And the neocons—bright people, all—are now clamoring, “On to Tehran!”
Wake me up when Hillary starts talking like this.

The other thing that's really interesting, and that offers us all an object lesson, is that these ideologues are quite prepared to see their party lose if they think it would be better for their cause in the long run. When was the last time you encountered a "progressive" Democrat who could do as much? Imagine the Tartarean howls of execration that would greet, say, a Kosnik who advanced a similar argument.

July 6, 2007

Libby lib

I used to be part of an Internet standards working group on computer security. Our unofficial motto was, "Are we paranoid enough yet?" -- and the answer, of course, was always "No!" (Quite right, too.)

Paranoia can be a lot of fun, actually, if you take it in the right spirit. Here's the professional paranoid's take on the Scooter Libby sentence-commutation "scandal".

The PP thinks this is a little parting gift from Bushco to the incoming Hunger Chancellor -- whoops, I mean the imminent Democratic administration, whether headed by a light-brown -- a very light-brown -- chap from the Midwest or a certain semi-female person (also from the Midwest, oddly enough).

The point of the gift is to enable the incoming administration to be even more outrageously reactionary and imperial than it would otherwise have been -- because, of course, that suits the donor class no matter what kind of ears the administration might have.

Here's how it works, according to the PP:

The Republicans know it's Brand-X's turn next time around. They're probably not even too upset about it. Opposition has its own pleasures and opportunities, and while some third-level bureaucrats may be turned out to wander for four or eight years in the well-padded wilderness of the private sector, they won't starve -- and really, even if they did, who cares about them anyway?

So the Donks get first place at the trough next time around. Well, okay, that's the game. But we -- and that means us pachyderms, and them donks -- really need to lower public expectations. The supposed opposition gets in, and if we both don't watch out together, people might expect something to change. Can't have that! So... let's do something that will make the second string team look good no matter what they do, or don't do. -- I've got it! A pardon! Brilliant! So outrageous, it'll lower the bar for the Hunger-Chancellors well below sea level!

It worked for Carter, didn't it? At least for one term. And come to think of it, what's wrong with that scenario?

August 17, 2007

Debtors' Burgeoning Woes

Thanks to Flagrancy for the reminder.

House Roll Call

Senate Roll Call

I was surprised to see Joe Lieberman's name in the "Nay" column. Wasn't it evil enough?

I have an inclination towards conspiracism. So I often have to remind myself that people who are wildly irresponsible economic misanthropes, and deeply sympathetic to the needs of people just like themselves, will reflexively do things that look a lot like deliberately locking the family in the house before setting fire to it -- in this case, the cynically named "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005". Source Watch has a good overview of it. The credit card people have wanted this for a long time, well before the credit bubble/derivative singularity engineered to replace the Dotcom bubble. In defense of my conspiracism, a culture of enduring spite, greed and predatory practices, with privileged access to the political structure, can produce things that look a lot like timely, cunning malevolence. But this is a hedge they've desired for a while now.

U.S. bankruptcy filings were 38 percent higher last month than in July 2006 and are 50 percent higher for all 2007 than they were a year ago, according to data complied by the private research company Jupiter eSource LLC.

Almost 307,000 bankruptcies were filed in the first seven months of this year, the company said Friday, citing U.S. Bankruptcy Court records obtained online.

Business reorganizations accounted for 3,400 filings, a 20 percent rise from the same period in 2006 for corporate Chapter 11 cases. Individual bankruptcies accounted for most of the rest.

The 50 percent growth this year is partly a result of a low rate of filings in early 2006 under a new, more restrictive law. Bankruptcies first rose as individuals rushed to beat the October 2005 deadline, then dropped. They rose steadily in 2006.

If this year's pace continues, new bankruptcies in 2007 will total almost 790,000, 34 percent more than last year.


If anyone wants to fact check the story, the stats are available.

Using the scale I borrowed from Owen, I'd rate the legislation at 5 lantoses in conception and six in action, with the potential for eight and half if the economy gets really bad. The full ten lantoses are reserved for things like privatizing Social Security. It's bad legislation. Though the Democratic aisle crossers in the House and Senate probably couldn't have prevented its passage, the large number in each chamber nevertheless carries nasty weight well past that point.

Aisle crossers make revision or even repeal of bad laws very difficult. Outside the CEO class, there's no group of people more inclinded to persevering in folly than lifelong policitians. They're protected by their party infrastructure and crony networks. They face no consequences. The worst (pdf) of them are supremely confident and add petty ego to the mix. The Democrats always defend their aisle crossers, whose stubborness is proportionate to their inability to consider things thoughtfully and whose obligations to voters end the day after elections. Any other group of human beings could at least discuss where things went awry and take whatever small notice that they had. In the status quo, it will take something like a miracle to even get this modified. The bare minimum outside a miracle is putting a dent in their comfortable patterns, i.e. third party runs and/or spoiling.

October 17, 2007

The Democrats' Romneycare

You can have any kind of healthcare program you want from the Democrats, provided it's Romneycare, which itself owes a debt to the cynical and aptly named COBRA.

From Wikipedia:

COBRA does not, unlike other federal statutes such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), require the employer to pay for the cost of providing continuation coverage; instead it allows employees and their dependents to maintain coverage at their own expense by paying the full cost of the premium the employer previously paid, plus up to a 2% administrative charge (150% for the disability extension). Employees and dependents can also opt for a lesser form of coverage, e.g., to choose continuation coverage under a plan that only covers the employee, but not his or her dependents, or that only provides medical and hospitalization coverage and does not pay for dental work, if those options are available to covered employees. Employees and dependents lose coverage if they fail to make timely payments of these premiums. Employers are required to inform employees and dependents upon loss of coverage, in writing, by at least fifteen days before the coverage ceases.

I picked that for the smug wording, not for accuracy. It doesn't take any close reading to spot the problems with "allowing" people to take on the full weight of their misfortunes, plus the necessary incentivizing penalty surchages, or with easing the responsibilities of the people who play a major role in causing the misfortunes in the first place. It's welfare queen heaven. The premise is that good people are never reckless enough to lose their jobs. They take personal responsibility! People who get sick in order to weasel out of examining the character flaws that cost them jobs are bad people, and they should pay for it.

The ideology of Romneycare is that health insurance is available, but people are often too stupid and feckless to acquire it and insurers need more help in providing it. They all need a push. Cost containment will come from the miracle of consumer choice and magically removing the structural impediments that inflict insurers. Presumably people will plan their cancers and heart attacks accordingly.

The latest version of Hillarycare will pay for health care by

"removing hidden taxes, stressing prevention and a focus on efficiency and modernization, the plan will improve quality and lower costs."
Those feckless and stupid slackers who cost us all money, and who get sick in spite of all the focus,
"will be required to get and keep insurance in a system where insurance is affordable and accessible."
It's magic! They'll be allowed, at long last, to pursue a chance to get on the path to earn the opportunity to have a health care plan that looks something like the one she has, which we pay for. Obamacare will allow people to
"receive an income-related federal subsidy to buy into the new public plan or purchase a private health care plan."
The subsidy will go their insurers, in order to cut out the middleman. There will be lots of computers to ensure efficiency and transparency. Individuals and families will have a chance to to understand that
"the way Americans live, eat, work, and play have real implications for their health and wellness. The Obama health plan will require coverage of essential clinical preventive services such as cancer screenings and smoking cessation programs in all federally supported health plans."
They'll also have a mandatory chance to pay for those things. Good Haircare believes that
"all parts of our society must share responsibility. Edwards will make a historic effort to make insurance affordable and easy to obtain through new regional Health Care Markets, tax credits, and expanded Medicaid and children's health insurance programs. In return, employers must contribute their fair share and individuals must take responsibility for themselves and their families by signing up for an affordable plan."
The feckless and stupid have never had it so good. All this opportunity. . . What I find most remarkable is that they're less enlightened than Henry Ford and less generous than Otto von Bismarck. If people are going to pay for all these baroque, magical fixes for health care, they ought to be able to afford it. But even if they could pay, it does nothing to contain costs at the 'point of sale'; without that any plan is going founder. If their jobs half kill them, they still need means to keep existing.

It's not as though there's no support for a real plan. It's got a 2/3 majority. Employer-based plans are foundering. The big automakers are begging for federal relief and forcing their employees into taking on all the costs themselves. Pooled risk is easy to understand. The loss of "competitiveness" caused by skyrocketing health costs has even been noticed by the CFR. The dimmest lights in the technocratic cosmos understand. So why don't the Democrats?

October 4, 2008

Choose your Hunger Chancellor

We'll be paying for the big bailout in more ways than one.

The whole corporate limited liability elite has a nice long high-unemployment program awaiting us. No matter how we turn at the polls -- we mere job smurfing rubes are in for a shit slide.

Both the Orthrian mastheads take Wall Street's dacoit state $700 bill whale of a bail to be a fiscal contraint of titanic(*) proportions -- one that will stymie spending well into whatever next administration we the weebles choose.

Policy translation: no full employment deficit for Uncle Sam next year -- no plunging dollar, no trade rebalancing, no forced march toward green production, no come-home-kids world peace crusade. Instead: misery on Main Street, stagnation in the trade gap, and old glory spilling (and dripping) blood somewhere or else -- "over there".

This earth-rounding financial blight will bite us all and bite deep. Our choice come November? The next Herbert Hoover or the next Grover Cleveland.


*Double meaning intended.

October 30, 2008

There is figures in all things

The stuffed shirt shown above, Ramsay Macdonald, played the false progressive job-class face of Anglo-Saxon reaction in the inter-war years -- and played the bigger fool right up to his deathbed.

Leader of a Labor Party that thrived at the polls on Tory bankers' intrigues, he never was his own man, even as prime minister, and come the crash -- why, he was as tight-assed and at-sea as any City banker: a prisoner of misapplied Calvinist virtues and the received banalities of Victorian political economy.

Ponder this: Oby One as another such face of prudential folly.

P.S. :

This goo-goo prig, Philip Snowden, played Bobby Rubin to Mac-Ram's working man's Hoover.

February 9, 2009

Corporate Sociopath

NEW YORK (CNN) -- IBM employees being laid off in North America now have an alternative to joining the growing ranks of the unemployed - work for the company abroad.


Only "satisfactory performers" who are "willing to work on local terms and conditions" should pursue the jobs, the document says. IBM would not immediately confirm if it means that the workers would be paid local wages and would be subject to local labor laws.


One need only look at the compensation and stock options available to IBM's CEO and Chairman Sam Palmisano to grow angry: his salary alone is $1.8 million. On Feb. 1st he sold 55,253 shares worth $5,103,167. Let's see him go to India and work for local pay.


Workers at IBM say the technology company launched a round of layoffs Wednesday, a day after announcing a boost in profits. A union official estimated the cuts at 2,900, but said an exact count isn't available.

On Tuesday, IBM reported a 12 percent increase in earnings in the fourth quarter of 2008 over the same period in 2007.

The next day, Alliance@IBM, an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America, posted news that job cuts had begun. Laid-off workers began leaving comments about their own statuses on the Alliance@IBM Web site. "I was whacked yesterday," wrote one, who signed the comment as Lexington. "29 years 10 months."

Doug Shelton, an IBM spokesman, declined to say how many people were being let go. "We are not communicating that information," he said.


International Business Machines Corp.'s chief executive, Samuel Palmisano, advised the Obama transition team last month that $30 billion in government investments in expanding broadband access, computerizing health-care records and improving the electrical grid could create more than 900,000 U.S. jobs.

The IBM presentation came in response to a November request from the Obama advisers for an analysis of the job-creation impact of information-technology investments. IBM said that Mr. Palmisano made the presentation in a conference call with transition team members including Carol Browner, who has been named the White House coordinator of energy and climate policy, and Julius Genachowski, a top technology adviser for the president-elect.


There's a certain inevitability to that last. In the quest for really horrible advice from cretinous IT CEOs, Obama was handicapped. Carly Fiorina, Hewlett Packard's quondam destroyer, had already been snapped up by McCain. Poor old Democrats. Always having to settle for second best.

March 20, 2009

The Ideal Congressman

What you need: a Lamartine-quoting party-line-Communist ex-convict yellow journalist who habitually punched people out for no apparent reason.

You’re asking yourself: “Does Emerson really believe that a Communist or a thuggish populist demagogue would better serve the American people than the Congressman I actually do have?”

Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. I’m willing to bet 10-to-1 that your Congressman is effectively worthless.

Neither Bernard nor Shoemaker would put up with any of the Obama / Blue Dog / Republican bullshit. Either of them would have the good sense to scream bloody murder about what they saw happening. But your own Congressman will almost certainly do nothing much at all about all this.


March 22, 2009

Get Under The Bus, Tim

Obama said in an interview with CBS television network's "60 Minutes" program that if Geithner tried to quit, he would tell him, "Sorry buddy, you've still got the job."


Fantasy meets bromide, falls in love... The passive aggressive misdirection of that little morality play is very cute. But it's utter bullshit. Any bets on when he goes under the bus? Someone has to take the fall for putting the Great Looting into overdrive. Geithner is perfect. He's a socially retarded little yuppie, deeply unlikable, with a dork's delight hairdo and a face made for graceless victimhood. In hindsight, he was a perfect pick for Treasury. He's got a bus quotient of 9 on a scale of 10. The psychodrama of his departure appeases the Brand Democrat team leaders, takes the focus off Summers and gives Obama breathing room.

July 13, 2009

Poached Amphibians

Krugeleh wonders what the hang-up is with the Obamanoids. They've botched the recovery and they're botching climate remediation, amongst other things. I have a pretty good speculation. The Democratic Party as an institution, and the Obama regime in particular, is obsessed with preventing a crisis of rising expectations. A jobless recovery is okay with them. In fact it's close to ideal. With health care tied to employment, negative equity hitting one in ten homeowners and jobs left to the noblesse oblige of the welfare queens, the status quo is protected against movements with some resource cushions. Not that there are any posing a threat, but the Democrats take their assignments seriously, like good little merit scholars should. An ounce of plutonium strength prevention is worth a pound of depleted uranium cure. They speak in complete sentences, they don't shoot people in the face (they outsource that, of course), display no obvious sexual panics and immiserate with a perfect merit yuppie command of detail.

What could possibly be improved?

It's tempting to treat puzzlement over the Democratic agenda as disingenuous. They have a blatantly obvious track record. Every so often they make it very clear how much they dislike any hint that they're beholden to their nominal constituencies. They equivocate everything down to a muddled, misanthropic stew of policy and plead helplessness when even that evokes howls of psychotic rage from the Republicans. They look like solipsistic pseudo-intellectual corporate royalists, and act that way, because they are solipsistic pseudo-intellectual corporate royalists. They're happy with that too, and so are their supporters, right up the point where the implications of support start to become clear.

August 11, 2009

Prudential Immiseration

no secret i hate the billionaire shylocks


and their "do we not bleed ?"pathos
but right now its all about their "do we not lend ?" lying .... i'm urked by the sanctimony..uncle piles on the instant liquifaction and the tower shylocks ...horde ...yes horde and call it .."our savings" .. and yet big lie that it is
who dares call this saving merely rejected borrowing ...
but it is ...this suddenly emergent 6 % gap between total household income and expenditures is nothin but
a fancy three cushion credit shuffle butt ball

my man mike whitney :

"Fed chairman Ben Bernanke has increased excess reserves in the banking system by $800 billion..."

and yet

"The standards for conventional loans have gotten tougher while the pool of qualified credit-worthy borrowers has shrunk. That means less credit flowing into the system..."
how much less ??

well imagine its the whole 6 % swing we've seen into the golden savings zone .. i bet it is ..
.what if the scotch disease of householder saving isn't really saving after all but a simple reduction of net outstanding consumer credit a reduction of say 50 billion per month ???

the source of shylocks remorse ??? caution ??? !!!

"The banks are hoarding capital in order to deal with the losses from toxic assets, non performing loans, and a $3.5 trillion commercial real estate bubble that's following housing into the toilet"

i think (and mike seems to too after his garbled gusto fashion)this forced savings bender we're on
is the consequence of an ultimately contrived cataractic drop in effective demand ...contrived...
-- note the change in standards line mentioned by mike w ---
i cry "foul ball"... is it not about a new middle class thrift but rather about an optimally enemic macro ...optimal by trans nat inc's gage of course
conjecture :
this great recession in regular amerikan jobs and household credit is the inevitable fall out from "prudently managing "
our hyper horror of a trade imbalance ...errr without diving the dollar...get it ???

first they de industrialize us by engineering a high dollar / low rmb massive trade gap profit slurry ..and now
that pile up of uncle iou's so essential to this caper has maybe reached nimrod topwer proportions...
" they " ...are delighted to let us spittoon ready plebs and proles hoik up "the necessary demand correction"

yup we're to take this global wrecks mojo ..right on our collective glass chin

August 17, 2009

Willful Stupidity

Carl Levin is the go-to guy for destroying any investigation into oil market exploitation. The accusation made against the speculators was NOT that the futures themselves were being manipulated, directly in a lightly regulated environment, but that the futures were being manipulated through derivatives trading, which isn't going to to show in the data available to the CFTC. Because, you know, the derivatives trades are done out of sight of any regulator. So what does Levin do? He goes hounding after the wrong thing, for which data is available, and inevitably finds that the available data debunks his fatuous interpretation of the problem.

It probably goes without saying that Levin voted in favor of Gramm-Leach-Bliley, the enabling legislation for games played by the "masters of the universe". Here's the Senate Roll Call Vote for it.

August 23, 2009

More vicious than Bush

Here's a feeler for an assault on Social Security. The probe comes in the form of mooting the elimination of the next two years of cost of living adjustments. The Obama regime remains on track to be more destructive and mindlessly vicious than the Bush regime.

September 2, 2009

Chupacabra Bodies Found in Texas, Oklahoma

Not true! The chupacabra is, in fact, very much alive and living in his natural habitat.


September 7, 2009



In July, the Riksbank fixed interest rates at minus 0.25 percent on certain deposits kept by the commercial banks at the central bank.

With the negative rate, banks are effectively fined if they hoard unused funds in the central bank's coffers -- a way of punishing them for a conservative lending policy at a time when the authorities want to ensure the economy gets easy credit.

Banks are usually paid interest on these deposits.

"It's better for a bank to be active... (rather) than just sit on the money," Riksbank governor Stefan Ingves told AFP.

In honor of Labor Day, I recommend a penalty rate of at least negative 10%. Market forces, my friends, would take care of the rest.

Demurrage has a noble function. Not least in the creation of incentives for long term, labor intensive, fixed capital investments. And when the idiot rich start hoarding and imposing punitive scarcity, a negative interest rate gives them a much needed fillip.

Owen raises an important issue:

stefy has henry fonda eyes now don't he

that prim startled look
of ferocious anality

For comparison, Mr. Henry Fonda.


The side by side, to assist clarity.


What do you think?

December 20, 2009

Some Pig

The boar was spotted roaming a residential neighborhood about 8 a.m. and was finally corralled and sedated by animal control officers, who summoned state Department of Fish and Game officials.

"People don't understand how strong animals are. This one was amazing" said Mike McBride, an assistant chief in the department.

McBride said his agency was told by local authorities that the boar had chased people. The animal, described as dark with a long snout, also charged into a wrought-iron fence and damaged it, he said.

"This thing was a handful," he said. "You would not want to be in the direction of this charging pig."


January 10, 2010

A thing of beauty, in its way

Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co., formally entered the race for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Barbara Boxer.

Those with an interest and memory for such things, will recall Fiorina's tenure at Hewlett-Packard. It was unmitigated disaster throughout. She almost destroyed the company, a flagship of corporate liberalism. There was the greed, of course, but there was also an element of spite; she taught the rentier heirs of the founders a lesson in schoolyard punking. She was, on a small scale, what Larry Summers was to Russia, the United States, Harvard, the United States again, etc. There's something about these people, I'll tell you. Nominally liberal or nominally conservative, their salient characteristic is a highly destructive looting rampage that is incomplete without an effort to shock the more staid bourgeoisie.

I doubt Fiorina will be able to unseat Boxer, who is pretty solidly entrenched in spite of Obama's best efforts to regain a legislative minority, but passage through the media shitstorm of Fiorina's horrible lumpen preppy rage, constantly irate ambition and sense of entitlement may make her sweat a little.

Aside from the appropriately mean-spirited glee at the prospect, this offers a fine example of the inter-party "worse the better" strategy. The Republicans will reliably come up with someone so vicious and nasty that even a time-serving, glad-handing corporate hack of a Democrat looks good by comparison; at least in the take-it-or-leave-it binary game. If she wins, after some judicious half-assed beautiful losing, the corporate hack will immediately return to engorging her sponsors, and everyone who matters to either of them is happy. Me, I get to use lots of emdashes, which yields its own happiness.

My prescription for those concerned is, as always: stay home. It's bad for you to engage this kind of this freak show. If you believe in anything at all, you've already lost.

April 29, 2010

In another universe


From our photoshopping friends at Area 51, that splendid satire. Perhaps there's an alternate reality where convicted arsonists are given weighty responsibilities. Here on planet sanity, they're currently in a humane work-release program. Mr. Summers—the most difficult to reform—is tending ducks in upstate New York, right outside Syracuse. Mr. Rubin and Mr. Greenspan run a popular laundromat in Albany. Their debt to society is almost paid and I, for one, find this cause to celebrate.

August 8, 2010

Like Rats To The Lifeboats

Orszag and now Romer. Anyone care to bet they wanted some distance from the bankster-hugging debacle of Obourbon's great cat food restoration? Reputations are commodities too, and even the most shameless technocrats get edgy when the scape goat trickle-up starts looking good in the throne room.

October 23, 2010

A Moment Of Unusual Clarity

The AP writes:

Health insurers flirted with Democrats, supported them with money and got what they wanted: a federal mandate that most Americans carry health care coverage. Now they're backing Republicans, hoping a GOP Congress will mean friendlier regulations.

I don't know how that one got past the editors. It's accurate, succinct and intelligent. It describes what happened, what's happening and gives a good guide to what will happen next. Heads should roll for this. But at SMBIVA, we take a kinder and gentler approach. Credit where it's due: the AP has reported the news.

March 5, 2011

Hostage Situation

Here's the Fed's pension breakdown by asset class. I seed red, all puns intended, whenever I look at anything related to pensions. The "credit market instruments" category is an exercise in euphemism which should be read as "paper that's not exactly toxic, but as pension fund managers we don't actually know and we do think it's pretty cool." Aren't they the dickens...

August 25, 2011

Saved in the nick of time

The Economist came within a fraction of an employee of recanting its own, proprietary, Lump of Labor Fallacy. It was saved from empirical data by noting that some countries don't play by the rules they'd like them to play by.

Another aspect of elite ethnography is the absolute detestation for anything that hints at agency, unless it's the blameworthy agency of people who are reluctant to be harvested.

July 31, 2012


Veneration of the Lump entails complete commitment to a form of intellectual tail-chasing that closely resembles paranoia. The Lump-huggers read minds. The minds they're reading don't exist, which makes them much easier to read, which is impossible to do in the first place. They're worse off than people who start with a conclusion and shoehorn everything into support of it. The everything they're trying to shoehorn has no more basis than the minds that don't exist.

August 18, 2012

Fellating the Lump

For a special dose of irony, there is one person who, for real, bases economic decisions and policies on the Lump of Labor Fallacy: President Obama, who believes there is a fixed and finite amount of work, so any gains in productivity will necessarily reduce the number of employable workers.

August 20, 2012

Lump Of Humps

Once more into the Lump! Today's humps are to be found in the filthy precincts of the NY Times. They humped the Lump with a claim that productivity increases occur in a fantasy continuum. Read the Sandwichman and follow his link to Baker, one of the few credentialed economists who doesn't hate labor.

About Hunger Chancellors

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Stop Me Before I Vote Again in the Hunger Chancellors category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Humanitarians is the previous category.

Hurrah for isolationism is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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