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12201  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: An Iranian's perspective on the Iran elections on: June 19, 2009, 04:17:21 pm
Quote
My theory, for what it's worth, is that Mousavi's victory was originally acceptable to Khamenei, not really being THAT drastic a change considering the Supreme Leader is still the one in charge; however, it WAS a drastic change to have the kind of pro-democratic fervor in the streets leading up the the election, and (if numbers leaked from the Interior Ministry are correct)

Isn't this exactly what I said in the day before the election? I said the opposition's huge rallies were an overreach that would cause defenders of the regime to react. You have a few days of feeling good but pay the price later. The best solution would have been to lie low and have huge rallies after you've won.

By the way, what do you guys think of Obama's measured response so far? For some reason, the handling of this crisis  is the one unconventional thing Obama has done in over 14 months which actually makes me feel good about him as a leader. It is absolutely critical that the opposition's genuine domestic roots not be allowed to be unfairly tarred as American-originated.

I do think the opposition needs to accept that Mousavi was, to large extent a "latter liberal" candidate, and they need to get out of Tehran and realize that "the real Iran" (in "real America" parlance) is not Tehran. They need to go and make themselves relevant on bread and butter issues in the towns and small cities and rural areas, much as Democrats did the hard work to win enough rural support after 2004. Solely blaming election fraud prevents that process from happening.
12202  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: arent you glad john kerry isnt president? on: June 16, 2009, 09:29:47 pm
No.  I imagine 75% or more of the country wishes Kerry had won in '04.  Democrats because it would have saved us from Bush's second term, and Republicans because it would have prevented Bush from destroying the party.

^^^^

this.
12203  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Are we underestimating Palin? on: June 12, 2009, 07:34:19 pm
No, I am not underestimating her, at least as much as others... I think she is the favorite for the Republican nomination, and that Republican chances are higher that they are currently being estimated, given the economic situation, and Obama's relative inexperience. The main thing she has working for her is her competitive relationship with the liberal aspects of the media. As long as she can play victim to liberal men who as we learned in 2008 (and continue to learn in 2009) can never handle a woman they oppose without straying into sexism, she can drum up her victimhood ideology and win support from the conservative base. Basically she is also their culture war wet dream. It could still all fall apart for her, you never know, but she has some key advantages, particularly for a state like Iowa.
12204  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Excited about Iran's election? on: June 12, 2009, 04:12:47 pm
He is losing by 40 points. You don't stuff that many ballot boxes.

I was right. Everyone else here was wrong (no, I don't expect a cookie).
12205  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Excited about Iran's election? on: June 11, 2009, 04:17:46 pm
I remember in 2005 the West was going crazy over a reformist winning, Ahmadinejad came completely out from nowhere to win on the back of his rural support- completely blindsided the West.

Bottom line, I think you guys are really making too much out of this eleciton. No matter what Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rules Iran in the end. We saw that in 1997-2005. If anything, Moussavi (or whatever his name is) supporter's are overreaching and there will be a backlash from the regime and the majority of Iranians who support it.
12206  Election Archive / 2010 Elections / Re: State budgets, taxes and 2010 state legislative elections on: June 10, 2009, 08:53:45 pm
Shortsighted reject of both tax hikes and spending cuts are what's driving this country's government towards bankruptcy. Don't forget that Newt Gingrich predicted the 1993 tax hike would result in a deep recession. Sometimes taxes are necessary. And I am not saying that spending cuts aren't necessary, either.

It's all part of the get something for nothing mentality which is why this is a decadent country in decline. Americans have been spoiled by FDR's successes in creating middle class stability and prosperity. We have developed a culture where everyone, from the poor single mother who lives on revolving credit card debt, to the doctor who drives up health care costs by treating his profession as a "revenue stream", all the way up to the CEO of a bank who thinks he deserves millions in bonuses for running a gambling casino, wants something for nothing. Voters' myopic wish for more entitlements and less taxes is just another part of this. In the first half of the 20th century they hated debt. In the 19th century, people hated debt as well. Where is the responsibility? Where is the reality?
12207  General Politics / International General Discussion / Decline in child, teen HIV in South Africa on: June 10, 2009, 08:06:36 pm
The study showed that HIV prevalence in children aged between two and 14 had declined from 5.6% in 2002 to 2.5% in 2008, said Human Sciences Research Council chief executive officer Dr Olive Shisana.

"The good news is that the change in HIV prevalence is most likely attributable to the successful implementation of several HIV interventions," she said.

The findings of the third, national HIV prevalence, incidence and communication survey, conducted in 2008, were a sign of light at the end of the tunnel, said Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.

The survey was conducted by the HSRC, the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Centre for Aids Development, Research and Evaluation, and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

Its results, released on Tuesday, showed that HIV intervention programmes were beginning to pay handsome dividends, said Shisana.

...

Shisana said the study showed an increase in condom use among young males aged between 15 and 24, from 57% in 2002 to 87% in 2008. In females of the same age, there was also an increase, from 46% to 73%.

"The finding shows that although they are running around, they do use condoms to protect themselves from contracting HIV," she said.

Condom use also grew among people aged between 25 and 49.

..

He said it was unfortunate that too much time had been spent fighting each other instead of fighting the HIV pandemic in South Africa.

http://www.mg.co.za/article/2009-06-09-report-shows-decline-in-child-teenage-hiv
12208  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / There goes wind power... on: June 10, 2009, 08:01:11 pm
WASHINGTON - The wind, a favorite power source of the green energy movement, might be dying down across the United States. And global warming — the very problem wind power seeks to address — could be behind that.

The idea that winds may be slowing is still a speculative one, and scientists disagree whether that is happening. But a first-of-its-kind study suggests that average and peak wind speeds have been noticeably slowing since 1973, especially in the Midwest and the East.

"It's a very large effect," said study co-author Eugene Takle, a professor of atmospheric science at Iowa State University. In some places in the Midwest, the trend shows a 10 percent drop or more over a decade. That adds up when the average wind speed in the region is about 10 to 12 miles per hour.

...

The ambiguity of the results is due to changes in wind-measuring instruments over the years, according to Pryor. And while actual measurements found diminished winds, some climate computer models — which are not direct observations — did not, she said.

Yet, a couple of earlier studies also found wind reductions in Australia and Europe, offering more comfort that the U.S. findings are real, Pryor and Takle said.

It also makes sense based on how weather and climate work, Takle said. In global warming, the poles warm more and faster than the rest of the globe, and temperature records, especially in the Arctic, show this. That means the temperature difference between the poles and the equator shrinks and with it the difference in air pressure in the two regions. Differences in barometric pressure are a main driver in strong winds. Lower pressure difference means less wind.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31205508
12209  General Politics / Economics / Re: Annals of Medicine: The Cost Conundrum on: June 10, 2009, 01:55:43 pm
Rationing? No. Rationing is a radical wartime strategy and it wouldn't be practical to estimate anyone's rations for health care needs. My personal takeaways from this article were (1) doctors' incentives need to be changed so that there is no benefit for them to overutilize, and (2) the root cause of the health care crisis is the same as the root cause of the housing crisis, the consumer spending crisis, the dervivatives crisis, and the emerging government spending crisis: greed, selfishness, shortsightedness, irresponsibility, and at a deeper level the idea that you can get something for nothing.
12210  General Politics / Economics / Re: The bond market is revolting. on: June 10, 2009, 01:46:38 pm
Bad news guys, bad bad news today. If this goes on Obama will have to start changing course. Can we really afford a massive new health care entitlement right now?
12211  General Politics / Economics / Annals of Medicine: The Cost Conundrum on: June 09, 2009, 05:14:02 pm
It is spring in McAllen, Texas. The morning sun is warm. The streets are lined with palm trees and pickup trucks. McAllen is in Hidalgo County, which has the lowest household income in the country, but it’s a border town, and a thriving foreign-trade zone has kept the unemployment rate below ten per cent. McAllen calls itself the Square Dance Capital of the World. “Lonesome Dove” was set around here.

McAllen has another distinction, too: it is one of the most expensive health-care markets in the country. Only Miami—which has much higher labor and living costs—spends more per person on health care. In 2006, Medicare spent fifteen thousand dollars per enrollee here, almost twice the national average. The income per capita is twelve thousand dollars. In other words, Medicare spends three thousand dollars more per person here than the average person earns

...

“Come on,” the general surgeon finally said. “We all know these arguments are bullsh**t. There is overutilization here, pure and simple.” Doctors, he said, were racking up charges with extra tests, services, and procedures.

The surgeon came to McAllen in the mid-nineties, and since then, he said, “the way to practice medicine has changed completely. Before, it was about how to do a good job. Now it is about ‘How much will you benefit?’ ”

Everyone agreed that something fundamental had changed since the days when health-care costs in McAllen were the same as those in El Paso and elsewhere. Yes, they had more technology. “But young doctors don’t think anymore,” the family physician said.

The surgeon gave me an example. General surgeons are often asked to see patients with pain from gallstones. If there aren’t any complications—and there usually aren’t—the pain goes away on its own or with pain medication. With instruction on eating a lower-fat diet, most patients experience no further difficulties. But some have recurrent episodes, and need surgery to remove their gallbladder.

Seeing a patient who has had uncomplicated, first-time gallstone pain requires some judgment. A surgeon has to provide reassurance (people are often scared and want to go straight to surgery), some education about gallstone disease and diet, perhaps a prescription for pain; in a few weeks, the surgeon might follow up. But increasingly, I was told, McAllen surgeons simply operate. The patient wasn’t going to moderate her diet, they tell themselves. The pain was just going to come back. And by operating they happen to make an extra seven hundred dollars.

I gave the doctors around the table a scenario. A forty-year-old woman comes in with chest pain after a fight with her husband. An EKG is normal. The chest pain goes away. She has no family history of heart disease. What did McAllen doctors do fifteen years ago?

Send her home, they said. Maybe get a stress test to confirm that there’s no issue, but even that might be overkill.

And today? Today, the cardiologist said, she would get a stress test, an echocardiogram, a mobile Holter monitor, and maybe even a cardiac catheterization."


http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/06/01/090601fa_fact_gawande?currentPage=all
12212  General Politics / Economics / Re: Jobs Report Is an Upside Surprise on: June 08, 2009, 06:35:59 pm
I don't understand this either. 'Watch the bond market', okay... but if you're talking about the 2 years with the spread flattening, that's because of speculation of an interest rate hike on the short end which is controlled by the Fed-- ditto for the dollar. The Fed could kill that by saying "no hike this year." Also, according to Bloomberg, risk premiums on US junk bonds have fallen to their lowest since Sept. 26. The euro junk bond market has also rallied, and there are signs of life in private equity. Isn't that evidence that money is simply moving into higher yields? Other than the search for yield, why would would money move out of government long bonds and possibly never move back in (if/when renewed bad news comes out)? If it was fear of default, our sovereign CDS spreads would be widening, but they remain well below their February/March peaks. So what's your argument Sam?

Expectation of inflation.

That's not quite it. Actually, a visit to Karl Denninger's website explained a lot.

If Denninger is right, we should see the bond market fall enough to choke off the recovery, and we continue with debt deflation, one way or the other. As far as I understand, Denninger's view is that there isn't really enough capital in the world to do what BB wants to do via Treasuries (kick the can down the road vis-a-vis recognition of housing losses and re-stimulate growth). Therefore, BB's moves are simply moving asset depreciation from the private sector into Treasuries.

Upon reflection, this may very well be true and is not a view to be dismissed. The traditional response to  banking crises, after all, is early recognition of losses. Last fall, the Fed and government decided that this would be unacceptable, because it would have precipitated a systemic crisis. I still believe this. However, that still leaves the problem. The market's rally in the past three months has obscured the facts that trillions of dollars of write-downs have not taken place, and the bond market's decline may therefore be the market's attempt to force these write-downs through indirect means. If faced with this scenario, there is a high chance the Fed would try more QE, though.
12213  General Politics / Economics / Re: Jobs Report Is an Upside Surprise on: June 08, 2009, 06:07:12 pm
I don't understand this either. 'Watch the bond market', okay... but if you're talking about the 2 years with the spread flattening, that's because of speculation of an interest rate hike on the short end which is controlled by the Fed-- ditto for the dollar. The Fed could kill that by saying "no hike this year." Also, according to Bloomberg, risk premiums on US junk bonds have fallen to their lowest since Sept. 26. The euro junk bond market has also rallied, and there are signs of life in private equity. Isn't that evidence that money is simply moving into higher yields? Other than the search for yield, why would would money move out of government long bonds and possibly never move back in (if/when renewed bad news comes out)? If it was fear of default, our sovereign CDS spreads would be widening, but they remain well below their February/March peaks. So what's your argument Sam?
12214  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Across Europe, the Left is Waning on: June 07, 2009, 02:44:58 pm
Even in America, the Left was originally associated with the small government viewpoint from the 1780s until sometime between 1880 and 1930. It was not until the industrial revolution that the left began to, in the words of one liberal, "use Hamiltonian means to achieve Jeffersonian ends." It is, in part, a perception that the government, the Federal Reserve in particular, is now using Hamiltonian means to Hamiltonian ends (e.g., in the pockets of Wall Street over Main Street) that is feeding a lot of the backlash against it, as well. Despite the Republican party's tentative attempts to capitalize, I was completely wrong to characterize this sentiment as being right-wing, I now realize.
12215  General Politics / Political Essays & Deliberation / Re: Myths and Facts of the Great Depression on: June 07, 2009, 12:12:51 am
The right wing has spent the past 50 years trying to revise the history of the Great Depression, beginning with Milton Friedman and his now discredited monetarist theories in the 1960s. Regardless of how stark the facts are, they will never accept them. This particular article is a mixture of some facts, some speculation (like what would have happened if we cut spending), some things that depend on definitions (like whether World War II 'exited' us from the Depression), and some revisionism.

One clear, undeniable fact is that the economy began to recover dramatically in March 1933, on every possible measure from production to consumption to employment, when the U.S. exited the gold standard and FDR began to pass the New Deal. Up to that point it had experienced continual decline, except for the stock market which bottomed in July 1932. Growth accelerated during World War II and continued after World War II.

At which particular time you choose to mark 'the real end of the Depression' is totally subjective. One could argue that the economy did not really recover form the Depression until 1968, because it was not until 1968 that daily volume on the NYSE broke its 1929 record.

Hoover's voluntarism was a failure, and his attempted claim to having action taken is belied by the fact that the magnitude of his actions were insufficient. For example, he consistently opposed unemployment insurance, even to the end. This caused a great deal of hardship and suffering and was a huge reason why he was seen as lassiez-faire.

The Federal government in 1929 was simply not large enough to have had a rescusitating effect on the economy, even if Hoover had been more aggressive than he was. It look years to build up the federal government to be a significant percentage of the overall economy. The RFC, for example, was not implemented until the summer of 1932, (after the failure of the typically Hooverian private National Credit Corporation) when it did begin to have a positive effect (the stock market bottomed in July of that year), but the publication of the names of institutions that received support from it undermined it.
12216  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: The Official Obama Approval Ratings Thread on: June 06, 2009, 11:56:00 pm
My suspicion is that Rassmussen's numbers dipped down because people aren't in love with the GM takeover.

What do you suggest then, leave GM to fail and cause another economic crisis?  If he ratings went down because of this, the American people are too stupid to know how the economy works. 

How exactly would it cause an economic crisis? You liquidate it and sell it off piece by piece. Do you seriously think the government can run a car company? When is the last time the government has done anything right?

He appears not to understand how bankruptcy works.  If GM filed for bankruptcy in the traditional Chapter 11 (Instead of the version of Chapter 11 they entered into under the federal government's plan), a bankruptcy judge would simply rewrite the terms of the union contract and shrink the brand lines down based on a standard of reasonableness.  The company would restructure and become solvent again.  GM would not go away.

Instead, we've got the government taking over a car company without doing the things that need to be done to make it competitive.  The government will now subsidize make-work jobs at above market wages for the President's labor union backers so Obama can win Michigan in 2012.

In the process, we have prevented companies like Tesla and Magna (Small electrical car manufacturers) from having a fair chance to expand and take over GM's market share.  GM will have massive govenrment aid in retaining its market share and these smaller more agile companies that haven't run themselves into the ground will never have a chance to compete fairly.

Have you been even following this story at all? There is no DIP financing for GM (or indeed for many companies) out there right now, thanks to the global economic crisis. The kind of Chapter 11 bankruptcy you are talking about is a fantasy. The alternative to nationalization was total liquidation.
12217  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Is the Republican party better or worse off in 2009 than it was in 1977? on: June 06, 2009, 11:49:16 pm
It's hard to say about the Republican party, but conservatism as a whole is definitely far better off in 2009 than 1977.

The seminal achievement of conservatism in the past 30 years is the capture of one of America's two major parties, the Republican party, and of this achievement it is more secure than ever. It achieved this in 1980 at the Presidential level and in 1992 at the Congressional level. In 1977 there was still a conflict between moderates and conservatives over who would control the GOP; in 2009 the only question is whether there is any room for moderates left at all.

In 1977 there was no Federalist Society; there was no talk radio; there was no Fox News or Murdoch Empire; there was a National Review but there was no Weekly Standard. There was no organized religious right of any form; abortion was legal but there was no Operation Rescue or pro-life diaspora. There was no real conservative presence on the nation's campuses. The NRA was not yet a potent political force. Today all these things have come into being in a durable and long lasting way, regardless of how many seats any party possess in Congress.

Conservative ideas today are much more worn out than in 1977, and the Republican party seems equally spent. But the institutional presence of conservatism is stronger than ever, and this durable achievement puts conservatism, at least, on much stronger footing than it was three decades ago.
12218  General Politics / Economics / Re: Bernanke Calls for Fiscal Responsibility on: June 06, 2009, 11:23:58 am
I suspect the next game is going to be pulling liquidity from the market to force money into the 10-year (thusly driving mortgage rates down).  Obviously, we know what this will do to the stock market and commodities. 

So this is your end game?  Why, if the fed wishes to 'force money' into the 10-year, thus driving rates down, would it use the incredibly round-about and backwards method of 'pulling liquidity from the market'?

Why not simply buy the 10-year or even mortgages directly with printed money?

Sigh. Because then you would be monetizing the debt. And when you do that too much there is a risk of capital flight. The Federal flow of funds statement and some analysis by Brad Setser over at the Council on Foreign Relations have shown that the foreign central banks have changed their dollar investment behavior by moving out of the long bond (10- year, 30-year maturity) and into 3- month t-bills. They have also moved (understandably or not) out of agency debt (Fannie and Freddie debt). The Chinese are making noises. If you want to call them on it fine, but monetizing the debt is just another way of defaulting, it merely spreads the pain around from the financial sector or whomever the government is helping to all dollar holders, in the form of a lower exchange rate. The United States has more room to do this than a developing country, of course, as developing nations who have experienced crises and tried to print their way out have learned in the past. But the rules of the game still apply, only are more of a distance, to the United States and our policy makers are aware of this.

If investors were really confident in the credit markets, then you would see money move out of the 3- month t-bill and into places where they can get a higher return. For example the corporate bond market. But although almost every other credit indicators has improved this spring, that one has not; the yield curve remains stubbornly widening.

The demand for long term bonds depends on three factors as I stated a few months ago- the risk of default (which if you believe the Markit numbers which of course are based on voluntary self-reporting, it composes about 40 basis points), inflation expectations over the maturity of the security (which if you look at the 10 year, is the difference between the 10 year Treasury and the 10 year TIPS; ignoring tax differences for now; and is about 200 basis points and up significantly just this month; when Martin Wolf wrote the article I linked to above it was only 160), and finally, the opportunity cost of other investments, (which again if you look at the 380 close of the 10 year, 380-40-200 comes out to about 140 basis points).

But you cannot determine the price of a bond simply by looking at these three factors alone: these factors only determine, within a fixed level of depth of the capital markets, what your demand curve is. At every level of the demand curve, the price is determined by the intersection point with the supply curve. And the supply curve has been ballooning due to the cost of the government stimulus, bailouts, the rising cost of unemployment insurance, Federal facilities, and Obama's programs. This has put pressure on the long term yield curve which sets rates not only for the housing market but serves as the starting level for most private interest rates; hence the government is literally starting to crowd out private lending and Bernanke has been concerned enough about this to start making noises (or 'jawboning' if you like, which implies some sort of threat that I'm going to start being mean if you don't buy) to the effect.

As an amusing side-note, the same thing happened to Clinton in the 1990s when he tried health care reform.

But the more fundamental problem is that the government cannot create value in and of itself; it can only move things around, which is fine when the markets have stopped working or 'abdicated their temple' as FDR has put it, but it still cannot magically conjure up new things. And the problem in a debt deflation is that the previous bubble resulted in such a distortion of prices that it resulting in a massive misallocation of capital which is unrecognized and still is to a large extent unrecognized on private balance sheets...

I'm going to have to finish this post later, have more to say but need to go.
12219  General Politics / Economics / Re: Potential trouble in Eastern Europe on: June 04, 2009, 10:12:26 pm
It hardly takes a genius to figure it out. People here have been talking about the possibility of such an event since last year.
12220  General Politics / Economics / Re: Bernanke Calls for Fiscal Responsibility on: June 03, 2009, 04:46:21 pm
BB prefaced his comments with a firm statement about the need to take measures to reverse debt-deflation in the short term. In his more widely reported comments, he was talking about "planning" for a restoration of fiscal balance in the "long term"- hardly a controversial statement. He also laid out some undisputed facts about entitlement programs where it is clear he is looking at a 10- or 20- year horizon. Bernanke also attributed the rise in the long bond  yields to "concerns about large federal deficits but also other causes, including greater optimism about the economic outlook, a reversal of flight-to-quality flows, and technical factors related to the hedging of mortgage holdings."

Expected inflation has risen to only 1.6%, as Martin Wolf points out, while actual inflation is still the lowest since 1955... worse in the eurozone. So no, I'm not expecting inflation any time soon, and I don't think the Fed is either.

Taken in light of today's worse- than expected numbers, continued rapid decline in the job market, and Bernanke's comments, Hoenig's comments seem quite strange. I would be very surprised if the Fed chose debt- deflation over further easing if it came down to the wire and obviously, I think it would be the wrong move. The only thing that could give them pause in that regard would be the risk of capital flight.
12221  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Democratic Nomination poll for VA governor 2009 on: June 03, 2009, 12:49:02 pm
1. Terry McAuliffe
2. Creigh Deeds
12222  General Politics / Economics / Re: Bernanke Calls for Fiscal Responsibility on: June 03, 2009, 11:51:16 am
Of course he (and Obama) must signal that he is concerned about this. But it hardly improves their real position.
12223  General Politics / Economics / Re: The Anti-Stimulus on: June 03, 2009, 11:47:49 am
Japan never went into a perpetual recession. As I've posted before, their economy actually grew throughout the 1990s, with only two years (1998 and 1999) of contraction, which was caused more by the Asian financial crisis than its own bubble bursting in 1990. Also, it's unemployment rate during this time never exceeded 6%, while the economy grew by over 30% cumulatively. Japan only seemed bad because asset prices in Japan never recovered. But that depends on whether you judge an economy by its real output and income or its asset prices. I prefer the former myself.

We, on the other hand, may be entering a 'perpetual recession', or at least what it will seem like from today's perspective (which has very little to do with this analysis, by the way). Simply put, we are in a debt deflation. As the consumer cuts back on his over-leveraged balance sheet, demand falls and unemployment rises; this in turn increases the consumer's uncertainty level and causes him to further increase his savings rate. This in turn causes more demand contraction and more job loss. And so on and so on, in a vicious cycle.
What happened to the banks in the 1930s is now happening to consumers. Instead of people making runs on banks, banks are now making runs on people (as their confidence in a consumer's ability to repay their loans falls, each bank wants to be the first to withdraw their credit lines).

The result is a 25% to 35% contraction in GDP. The only way to fix this would have been a massive socialization of the economy, and traditionally a currency devaluation while the US exports its way to growth while simultaneously increasing savings. This would allow output growth without increases in the total debt level to GDP. Unfortunately, the only places in the world that could potentially absorb US demand, Europe and Japan, are in a similar predicament. Japan itself has been following the export method for the last 10 years. Only developing countries are still able to absorb demand at this point.

The 'other' hope would be that the $700 billion bank bailout and the other actions taken by the Federal Reserve put the genie back in the bottle and turn this into a regular business cycle downturn. Then jmfcst's leading indicators numbers and other instincts that he honed watching the markets in the last 30 years owuld mean something. The financial recovery would cause recovery in consumer spending, which traditionally leads the economy out of a downturn. So I have been watching the PCE and unemployment numbers very carefully over the past few months. Unfortunately, the savings rate is skyrocketing and the evidence is against PCE recovery. Therefore we are in for the long collapse. So long guys.
12224  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Right to Privacy on: May 29, 2009, 06:27:49 pm
As interpreted by American constitutional law, yes, just as many other aspects of American constitutional law contribute to the application of the constitution.

You can argue over whether the development of legal precedent and scholarship imprints upon the constitution itself or not; but the actual law that governs the country, and which has for most of its history, is far more complex than could be embodied only in the words of the original document itself. I'm sorry of this explanation does not fit on a bumper sticker.
12225  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Battle of the Movies: Braveheart vs Harold and Kumar: Go To White Castle on: May 29, 2009, 03:54:29 pm
FREEEEDDOOMMM!!!!
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