Saturday, February 14, 2009

With almost a trillion, the younger generation will notice

Veronique de Rugy at REASON:
The final version of the stimulus bill is ready to be voted on by the House and the Senate.

Here's the good news: The $246 million tax credit to Hollywood that made its way to the initial House bill and was removed in the Senate version didn't make it to the final bill.

That's pretty much it for the good news.

Total spending amounts to $792 billion, with $570 billion in direct spending and $212 billion in tax provisions. These numbers don't include the massive amount of interest that will accrue on the increased debt. If we include that, the total amount comes to $1.14 trillion.

Supporters of the package describe the legislation as transportation and infrastructure investment, the idea being to use new spending to put America back to work while at the same time fixing decrepit infrastructure. However, only 17 percent of the discretionary spending in this package is for infrastructure items. More worrisome still, the final version lacks any mechanism to ensure that spending will be targeted toward infrastructure projects with high economic returns.

The checks have arrived!

Friday, February 13, 2009

"I think it's fair to say he's failed at his job"

Beheading in NY
Orchard Park police are investigating a particularly gruesome killing, the beheading of a woman, after her husband — an influential member of the local Muslim community — reported her death to police Thursday.

Police identified the victim as Aasiya Z. Hassan, 37. Detectives have charged her husband, Muzzammil Hassan, 44, with second-degree murder.

"He came to the police station at 6:20 p.m. [Thursday] and told us that she was dead," Orchard Park Police Chief Andrew Benz said late this morning.

Muzzammil Hassan told police that his wife was at his business, Bridges TV, on Thorn Avenue in the village. Officers went to that location and discovered her body.

Muzzammil Hassan is the founder and chief executive officer of Bridges TV, which he launched in 2004, amid hopes that it would help portray Muslims in a more positive light.

The killing apparently occurred some time late Thursday afternoon. Detectives still are looking for the murder weapon.

"Obviously, this is the worst form of domestic violence possible," Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said today.
Over at The Corner Kathryn Jean Lopez sums it up: "I think it's fair to say he's failed at his job"

Japan's 'lost decade" a lesson for U.S.?

Will Keynesians ever learn?
TOKYO — The Obama administration is committing huge sums of money to rescuing banks, but the veterans of Japan’s banking crisis have three words for the Americans: more money, faster.

The Japanese have been here before. They endured a “lost decade” of economic stagnation in the 1990s as their banks labored under crippling debt, and successive governments wasted trillions of yen on half-measures.

Only in 2003 did the government finally take the actions that helped lead to a recovery: forcing major banks to submit to merciless audits and declare bad debts; spending two trillion yen to effectively nationalize a major bank, wiping out its shareholders; and allowing weaker banks to fail.

By then, Tokyo’s main Nikkei stock index had lost almost three-quarters of its value. The country’s public debt had grown to exceed its gross domestic product, and deflation stalked the land. In the end, real estate prices fell for 15 consecutive years.

More alarming? Some students of the Japanese debacle say they see a similar train wreck heading for the United States.

“I thought America had studied Japan’s failures,” said Hirofumi Gomi, a top official at Japan’s Financial Services Agency during the crisis. “Why is it making the same mistakes?”

Dig it man, socialized medicine sucks!

Steve Crowder: He's funny!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Quote for the day

Issues of the Day: "In light of the present financial crisis, it's interesting to read what Jefferson said in 1802: Banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

Hat tip Moe Lauzier's Issues of the Day.

There is no God!

AP: "Huge study boosts disappointment on multivitamins"

Do any studies have anything good to say about vitamin regimens?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The rise of Menino's nanny city

Blunt lawsuit pits rolling paper makers v. city - The Boston Globe.

Also you can no longer buy tobacco in pharmacies in the city of Boston. What a joke!

Friday, February 06, 2009

True to himself.

Meet John McCain leader of the loyal opposition.

Sen. John McCain took his most direct shot at President Barack Obama since the presidential campaign on Friday morning, using a Senate floor speech to criticize the president for mocking the Republican concerns over the massive economic stimulus package.

In a fiery speech Thursday night before House Democrats, Obama rejected the GOP’s characterization that the stimulus package was merely another spending bill.

“What do you think a stimulus is? That’s the whole point. No, seriously, that’s the point,” Obama said at the retreat in Williamsburg, Va.

On Friday morning, McCain fought back.

“The whole point, Mr. President, is to enact tax cuts and spending measures that truly stimulate the economy,” McCain said. “There are billions and tens of billions of dollars in this bill which will have no effect within three, four, five or more years, or ever. Or ever.”

The back and forth is more reminiscent of the sharp attacks the two men exchanged on the campaign trail rather than Obama’s hope of moving past partisanship in Washington. And it comes as McCain has positioned himself to becoming a leading opponent of the Senate Democratic plan, which may cost more than $920 billion if major cuts are not made.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Downscaling is good for you, we think.

Tyler Cowan:
"In today’s context, we are also suffering fear and anxiety for the rather dubious consolation of having some interesting memories for the distant future."
A little deprivation may be in order. It builds character and, apparently, memories.

Thought for the day

It is not evil for things to undergo change, nor good for things to arise in consequence of change.
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, IV, 41.

Considered when listening to Bartok's Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2: