Sometimes Ezra Is A Chump

November 20th, 2011

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/ezra-klein-the-supercommittee-misses-its-big-chance/2011/11/20/gIQABtr9fN_story.html?hpid=z1

I think he really believed the super committee could do something good:

Right now, every economic forecaster will tell you the same thing: These are dangerous times for the American economy. If Europe doesn’t get its act together — and right now it looks as if it probably won’t — it’s going to be difficult for us to avoid another recession.

The supercommittee was expected to help with that. The expectation was that whatever deal it produced would extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits that were agreed upon in the 2010 tax agreement. Perhaps, if members reached a bigger deal, they would agree to infrastructure investment and further tax cuts. All of that would help the U.S. economy recover, or at least help us absorb any possible shocks from Europe.

How could anyone cut $1.2 trillion, extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits, and fund a meaningful infrastructure program? No fucking idea. Particularly since the whole super-committee was the product of neither party having the guts to raise taxes (or fail to extend tax cuts.) Chump.

Full PR Mode

November 20th, 2011

In her statement on Sunday, Ms. Katehi said: “I am deeply saddened that this happened on our campus, and as chancellor, I take full responsibility for the incident. However, I pledge to take the actions needed to ensure that this does not happen again.”

Something tells me "full responsibility" doesn't mean full responsibility.

They Want It All

November 20th, 2011

[youtube]ULdtsQCXqzM[/youtube]

these people that they stole from
who's lives they laid to waste
they should have to meet them all face to face
and explain just why their momma
didn't teach 'em not to steal
if you want us to believe in justice
justice better be real

Written before the housing crash and, like much of their music, even more relevant today.

After watching the videos of the police clubbing and pepper spraying peaceful people, I was reflecting on "the banality of evil." Torture has become routine, so routine that the Republican candidates for office can criticize the sole fellow who is against it as unpatriotic.

But the routine practice of evil is not confined to the police or the CIA or the government. At least in part, I trace the acceptability of evil to the substitution of "the market." The market works because of selfishness. As "the market" became and becomes the sole and usually undisputed touchstone for organizing our entire society -- not just the buying and selling of goods -- selfishness has displaced what most of us would think of as normal moral values.

Surely a big question is how can you act like these police officers? But there are many other questions about matters that are typically never questioned. How can you sell mortgages to those who you know can't afford them? Bet against your customers? Sell securities of dubious value? The excuse is, I think, it's the way the market works. Buyers make their own choices. If I profit from screwing them over, that's an expression of the market, in which I am playing a small but laudable part.

If Someone Wants To Be A Police Officer

November 19th, 2011

If someone wants to be a police officer, they probably shouldn't be. At least not until being a police officer stops being a legal way to be a thug.

Rush And Ezra Klein Find Common Ground

November 15th, 2011

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/wonkbook-what-to-watch-in-the-supercommittee/2011/11/15/gIQAMcYION_blog.html

Ezra Klein today:

Early on, liberals hoped that the supercommittee would become a vehicle for more jobs spending, either because that’s what was required for Democrats to sign off on a deal or, more optimistically, because representatives from both parties would come to see further stimulus spending as necessary.

The only way that sentence makes sense is if "liberal" means "naive imbecile."

Graham Nash And David Crosby And OWS

November 12th, 2011

[youtube]bTgbQ8isjZc[/youtube]

Sweet Bike Lane

November 2nd, 2011

Android Phone v. Ubuntu Computer: 2-0

November 2nd, 2011

Two apps on my phone that I wish I could have on my Ubuntu computers:

  • imo. A multi-protocol chat application that does Skype. Yes, I know Empathy works with Skype, but getting it to work is a mess involving brown chunks and Skype must be running (or something) to actually use it (or something like that.) imo on my phone works quite sweetly.
  • icssync. A bi-directional, syncing .ics calendar app. Sunbird once worked but development is over; it's now a pain to install; and Sunbird was always slow compared to the speedy icssync. Lightning will do it but Lightning is wrapped into Thunderbird which makes Lightning slow to start and clumsier to use.

I guess phones and tablets are the new frontier. Ubuntu and linux are no longer worth the time.