“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, August 23, 2012

If health-care spending hits the government-dictated ceiling, then even if you’re willing to pay a doctor out of pocket for a consultation, the government won’t let you.


 The government takeover of health care continues apace. Starting in 2014, the Affordable Care Act—i.e., Obamacare—will make you buy health insurance. Soon, Obamacare II could limit how much you spend on health care, too. As critics warned, the Affordable Care Act will not “bend the cost curve downward” as promised. To the contrary, a June report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid predicts that national health spending through 2021 will continue to grow at a considerably faster clip than Gross Domestic Product. That growth will not be even. Private health insurance spending will rise about 8 percent. Medicaid spending will grow about 20 percent.

In a few years, government will account for 50 cents of every health care dollar spent in America.

What’s more, federal health care costs will consume a larger and larger share of the federal budget—and crowd out all other government functions in the process. If current trends continue, then by 2025 just four budget categories—Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and interest on the debt—will gobble up every last federal dollar.

 This, naturally, has alarmed many progressives. But don’t worry—as always, they have a plan. According to The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus, “23 responsible Democrats—some of the left’s leading thinkers in the health-care field—have just come up with a set of answers.” And like a boozer who tries to drink himself sober, their answer is…wait for it…more government.

The group, Marcus writes, believes that “no matter how hard federal officials work to slow the rising trajectory of federal spending, their efforts will fail if overall health-care costs continue to rise. ‘Health costs throughout the system drive federal health spending,’ they write...’The only sustainable solution is to control overall growth in health costs.’” Translation: Set a nationwide cap on all health spending, including private spending. This is the brilliant fix being offered by "responsible...leading thinkers” such as the Center for American Progress’ John Podesta and former Obama health-care adviser Ezekiel Emanuel. (Just imagine what the irresponsible, second-rate thinkers would come up with.)

  Pause for a second to review how we got here. Although numerous factors have contributed to the explosion of health-care costs—an aging population and expensive technology, for example—a chief driver is government itself. WWII-era wage controls, followed by the tax preference for employer-provided health insurance, combined to create the third-party-payer conundrum vexing us today. Medicare and Medicaid made the cost problem worse. It’s the same dynamic driving up college tuitions: Massive government subsidies encourage massive price hikes, which then ostensibly justify yet more government intervention to bring prices down.

 If you’re wondering whether anyone could have seen this coming, the answer is: yes. Precisely the same story has played out in Massachusetts, thanks to Mitt Romney and Romneycare. According to The Wall Street Journal: "Health costs...will consume some 54 percent of the [Massachusetts] state budget in 2012, up from about 24 percent in 2001. Over the same period state health spending in real terms has jumped by 59 percent, while education has fallen 15 percent, police and firemen by 11 percent and roads and bridges by 23 percent.” So Massachusetts is imposing a cap on health spending, public and private.

Here’s the Journal again: “All Massachusetts doctors, hospitals and other providers must register with a new state bureaucracy as a condition of licensure...They'll be required to track and report their financial performance, price and cost trends, state-sanctioned quality measures, market share and other metrics....An 11-member board known as the Health Policy Commission will use the data to set and enforce rules to ensure that total Massachusetts health spending, public and private, grows no more than projected gross state product through 2017.”

 “Sweeping” is a woefully inadequate word to describe such policies, whose terminus is all too clear: If health-care spending hits the government-dictated ceiling, then even if you’re willing to pay a doctor out of pocket for a consultation, the government won’t let you. The essence of Obamacare was the individual mandate—the decree that everyone must buy health insurance, whether they want it or not. Now, many of the same liberals who wanted government to make people spend money on health care also want to dictate the point at which they should stop. (And when that doesn’t work, what then?) Without knowing it, progressives are proving William Voegeli correct. “Liberals,” he writes in Never Enough, “don’t want the government to grow indefinitely. They just want it to be bigger than it is right now.”

 This column originally appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.


  1. Obama and these people are a threat to your very life.

  2. Rufus doesn't seem like a dangerous man --

    “All Massachusetts doctors, hospitals and other providers must register with a new state bureaucracy as a condition of licensure...They'll be required to track and report their financial performance, price and cost trends, state-sanctioned quality measures, market share and other metrics....An 11-member board known as the Health Policy Commission will use the data to set and enforce rules to ensure that total Massachusetts health spending, public and private, grows no more than projected gross state product through 2017.”

    -- but he is.


  3. .

    ...They'll be required to track and report their financial performance, price and cost trends, state-sanctioned quality measures, market share and other metrics....

    This has been going on at the federal level for years. Healthcare quality and cost varies by state. Since the federal government subsidizes a lot of it, some years back they started setting objectives (cost, outcomes, return hospital visits, preventive care, etc.) and tracking performance against those objectives by state. The key objectives were to standardize the level of care in the US and to control costs, objectives no one can argue with.

    However, because of the disparity in economic performance between states and their individual priorities when it comes to the allocation of resources, there will always be difference between the states. There was a post a couple streams back that commented on how great Massachusetts' healthcare system was. I didn't comment on it because it wasn't that long ago we had argued over the same issues. However, one of the comments was that "Massachusetts has, arguably, the best healthcare in the world..." Well, no, it doesn't, at least, if you go by the FEDs data. When I last looked at the data, one to two years ago, I believe the FED's had Minnesota rated at the top. Other states in that region, South Dakota for instance, were also rated near the top. Massachusetts was rated above average, but then so was Michigan.

    Anyone who reads anything about Obamacare other than partisan headlines will understand that the same things that are going on in Massachusetts are or will be soon going on at the federal level. The $716 billion in Medicare cuts oft mentioned these days was bought into by hospitals and the healthcare industry because of the promise of universal coverage. The trouble with this, like much of Obamacare, is that it promises more than it can deliver. We are already seeing the promise of universal coverage scaled back due to such things as the court ruling on Medicaid. Likewise, there will likely never be universal coverage in Massechusetts due to other factors.

    The $716 billion in cuts takes us to a certain point. After that, they will need to come up other means to cut costs, things like competive bidding using government clout to negotiate with hospitals and drug and insurance companies, you know, the capitalistic system. However, given today's political chasms, reaching agreement on how to do that is politically impossible. So instead of negotiating with private suppliers, Obmacare includes a panel of unelected bureaucrats who will mandate the prices that are to be paid (all without affecting the quality of outcomes if one can believe it). The procedures for overturning this panel are, by intent, immense. One more instance of Congress gratefully passing off their responsibility to third parties in order to avoid blame.

    Based on what we have seen of Obama, his philosophy and character, I truly believe that those who do not see Obamacare as one major step towards single-payer are naive. But I'll save that argument for another post.


    1. "I truly believe that those who do not see Obamacare as one major step towards single-payer are naive."

      That's the logical way to go - single payer!

    2. Obama/Romneycare is based on the Swiss Healthcare Sytem. It's provided Excellent healthcare to ALL Swiss citizens since 1995, and there has been Zero movement toward "single-payer."

    3. .

      The Swiss system is irrelevant to US politics.

      As I said, Obama is a statist. You can see it in his actions and in his words. But unlike a Bill Ayers whose first thoughts are of revolution, Obama like Alinsky believes in a process of steady change to get to the goal. IMO, of course.


    4. .

      And by the way, how can you say that Obamacare is based on the Swiss system?

      It may be similar (I don't know the details) but why would you say it is based on it?

      It's a small matter, but I'm just interested.


    5. Rufus can say it for no particular reason at all. Does it all the time. When was having no reason ever a bar to Rufus? There are so many systems out there better than ours, according to Ruf, that one gets dizzy trying to remember them all.

    6. Q, just google Swiss Health Care System.

      It was passed in 1995, and Romney/Obamacare is almost identical.

    7. If one believes that everyone should have equal access to health care (i.e. a rich child should not receive better care than a poor child) then a single payer system follows as the logical way to acheive that goal.

  4. 99% of ALL People in Massachusetts Have Health Insurance.

    Massachusetts, the last I looked, was in the top 3 states in Economic Growth.

    And, the rate of healthcare inflation in Mass is below the national average.

    U.S.-quality healthcare enjoyed by EVERYONE in the State - Minnesota, S. Dakota, et al can't touch THAT.

  5. Rupert Murdoch's stats are misleading (imagine that, the old crook using misleading stats.) He lumps Romneycare stats in with Medicaid, Pension costs, etc. and hopes you won't notice.

    Romneycare has had an approx 1% impact on the state budget.

    1. .

      The last I've seen 98% of the state had coverage. Impressive until fyou understand the base. Massachusetts led the nation in healthcare coverage, before Romneycare. Only 6% of the population was uninsured so with the institution of Romneycare they addressed 2/3 of the issue.

      As for economic growth, point in time checks don't mean to much. According the BEA, in 2011, Mass. was in the first quintile of states when it came to GPD growth, but states like Michigan and California did as well, and it was left behind by states like Texas, Oregon, N.D. and West Virginia. Besides, what is the point of pointing out Massachusetts' economic growth. Surely, you are not once again confusing correlation with causation and saying that Romneycare is responsible for their economic growth.

      It is easier to believe that their high economic growth is the reason they could afford and accept Romneycare.

      As for the rate of healthcare inflation being below the national average, again, you need some context rather than throwing out raw numbers. Your comment on the inflation rate is true. What you leave out is the fact that they have the highest healthcare costs per capita of any state in the nation. A nominal increase of $300 per capita in Massachusetts may sound relatively insignificant on a percentage basis but take that same $300 hundred increase in Mississippi and the percentages skyrocket. You can say anything you want using the right statistic.

      Care for EVERYONE. That is your real answer 42 on healthcare. Why do you bother with all this other extraneous stuff?


  6. Well, Yes, Q, that Is the main thing. It doesn't matter how good the medical care is if you can't get it.

    You can talk till you're blue in the face about the marvelous automotive engineering in the Ferraris, and Mazeratis, but if I'm trudging my ass down the road on foot excuse me if I don't applaud.

  7. " I believe the FED's had Minnesota rated at the top. Other states in that region, South Dakota for instance"

    Quirk you are to be complemented on your deeper reading on some of these issues than most of us, most especially including me.

    I can't help saying, Minnesota is full of Swedes, and the Dakotas too have a few.

    Which brings up a Senator from Minnesota -

    The Blog
    Senator Famous for Joking About Rape Campaigns for Obama, Biden
    12:29 PM, Aug 23, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
    Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

    Earlier this week, Senator Al Franken of Minnesota joined Vice President Joe Biden for a campaign event in Minnesota.

    "Biden got plenty of support from Minnesota Democrats," reports. "Sen. Al Franken praised Obama for pushing the health care law, saying it will help more seniors get help paying for prescriptions and will ensure Medicare's solvency for an additional eight years."

    But before Franken was a senator he was a writer on the TV show Saturday Night Live. Then, he famously joked about raping CBS reporter Lesley Stahl.

    As New York magazine reported in 1995, from a writing session that the reporter sat in on:

    Franken: “And, ‘I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley’s passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her.’ Or, ‘That’s why you never see Lesley until February.’ Or, ‘When she passes out, I put her in various positions and take pictures of her.’”

    With the national conversation now turning to women's issues as a result of the bizarre and offensive comments by Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin over the weekend, it seems a bit odd that Vice President Biden would take the stage with Franken, considering his own lack of sensitivity to the horrors of rape.

    Frankenstein sits in the Senate due to inadequate voter security and the felon vote, along with morons voting for some foolish third party candidate.

    The democrats are grade AAA+ hypocrite, that's for sure.

  8. Kind of a strange "contango-type situation" is developing in the Oil Markets.

    Spot Crude (Louisiana light sweet) is up $2.40 while Futures (WTI) are Down $1.20.


    I wonder if the market is sniffing out an SPR Release?

  9. are subscribed to USDA Office of Communications.

    USDA Undersecretary Saddles up for Clean Energy, Business and Economic Development in Nevada

    Posted by Kelly Clark, USDA Nevada Public Information Officer, on August 22, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    With Nevada USDA Rural Development State Director Sarah Adler as his side-kick, Agriculture Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager hit the trail earlier this month in Nevada, kicking off a major job-creating clean energy announcement, meeting with business owners and talking to ranchers severely challenged by the drought.

    Tonsager kicked off his trip with a news conference to announce a loan guarantee to Fulcrum Sierra BioFuels to build an advanced biofuels refinery in northern Nevada. The refinery will convert 147,000 tons of municipal solid waste into more than 10 million gallons of advanced biofuels each year, creating 430 jobs during construction and over 50 permanent jobs.

    He met with state agency representatives interested in capitalizing Nevada small business projects, and met with a USDA Business and Industry loan guarantee recipient – a manufacturer who recently attended a White House conference on manufacturing.

    The second day, Tonsager met with representatives from a major grocery store chain and USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service to try and resolve a problem in central Nevada where residents of five communities and two reservations are without a grocery store.

    On Wednesday, the undersecretary announced the Sierra Fulcrum BioFuels project to northern Nevada. Later that afternoon he met with members of Stronger Economies Together, a collaborative team that is working under the guidance of USDA, the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, and several partner agencies to create a regional economic development plan. He reminded them how vitally important they are: “You are the leadership capital; your commitment makes a difference –you are the reason your small communities will succeed.”

    At an impromptu meeting with about 30 ranchers and farmers in Winnemucca, Tonsager heard about problems of the drought. Tonsager promised to carry the word back to Washington, D.C.

    This makes me laugh. Talking about a drought in Norther Nevada.

    So, I'll laugh.


    And why should USDA help open grocery stores in small communities that can't support them?

    1. Breaking news from AP --

      Drought strikes Sahara Desert region, developing....

  10. US healthcare costs are running at 20% of GDP.
    The Federals pay 45% of that pre ObamaCare.

    That means that the Federals are paying 9% of GDP in Healthcare costs.

    There is no way that the Federals can collect 15% of GDP in revenue and continue to fund Social Security and Defense, while paying its' current share of healthcare costs.

    Romney promises to not cut Medicare, to not gain cost savings by eliminating "Waste & Fraud", while reintroducing Seniors in the system today to the "donut hole" by revoking ObamaCare on "Day One".

    He plans on increasing military spending and cutting taxes.
    On "Day Two".

    The deficits will expand, exponentially.

  11. Drought in Northern Nevada.


    Ge it?

    USDA discovers drought in Northern Nevada.


    They are just buying some votes.

    1. Read another way, the ranchers are offering to sell their votes.

  12. This doesn't look, to me, like the Sahara Desert.

    Northern Nevada

    1. :)

      Looks like Moses has passed through, bring water out of the rocks.

      This only happens once in a long while though.

    2. It might be a visual representation of an Obama promise.

      Didn't he compare himself to Moses?

      He certainly did!

  13. If you want to see some awesome photos:

  14. Those are really good, Ash.

    I'm going to send them on to a couple people.

  15. From the lead article:

    " Soon, Obamacare II could limit how much you spend on health care, too."

    Soooo, is this legislation bubbling through congress or is this just more speculative bullshit fear mongering?

  16. The pro-business Free Democrats, junior partner in Ms. Merkel's ruling center-right coalition, have insisted that Greece should be given no more aid and suggested it would be better for Athens to leave the euro.


    German opposition parties oppose the government's apparent hard line on Greece.

    "It's not very smart to abandon all conditions [for aid] over an extension of 12 months," said Frank-Walter Steinmeier in an interview with the left-leaning Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper.

  17. The Bank of England's money-printing programme, intended to revive economic growth, has delivered a massive boost to the wealth of the most prosperous 10 per cent of households in Britain while delivering relatively scant returns for the poorest, a new analysis from the Bank indicated yesterday.


    The Bank also examined the impact of its decision to slash interest rates to historic lows of 0.5 per cent in 2009 when the economy was deep in recession. It found this had cost savers around £70bn in interest that they would have collected if rates had been kept unchanged from their levels before the financial crisis.

    It also found that borrowers had benefited by around £100bn from lower rates.

  18. Nor can the government get out of its mess by raising taxes. Not only are higher taxes a bad idea in a floundering economy (and any other time), revenues as a percentage of GDP have been steady since World War II (not counting recessions), regardless of tax rates.


    Now we can see what Ryan stands for. At its most optimistic, his budget plan would merely stabilize the government’s fiscal condition at higher levels of spending without making any significant change in the welfare/warfare state.

    Our freedom and prosperity, however, require that government be radically shrunk—which demands liquidation of the empire, respect for civil liberties, and conversion of entitlements to mutual-aid and other private organizations.

  19. Green-on-blue violence -- attacks on U.S. and allied forces by their Afghan partners -- is the most serious tactical challenge to the NATO coalition since the war in Afghanistan began almost 11 years ago.


    First off, U.S. and allied soldiers will begin -- either consciously or unconsciously -- to profile their Afghan counterparts. They will trust ethnic Hazara or Tajik Afghans more than they do Pashtuns, who provide the bulk of the Taliban’s fighters, and will thus exacerbate the tensions between allied and Afghan forces and among the Afghan troops themselves.


    Second, even though this may seem counterintuitive, I urge U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan to remember that the only people who can truly protect them from green-on-blue violence are the Afghans themselves. If I were a U.S. officer training Afghan troops, I would now work doubly hard to build close and real relationships with my Afghan counterparts.

    Strategy Into Question

    1. That will work. Take them golfing but check their club count

    2. The only one that can protect our troops in Afghanistan is the President of the United States. He can pull them the hell out of that mess.

  20. L.A. Lakers star guard Kobe Bryant turns 34 years old today.

  21. The private equity firm founded by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made use of arcane techniques in several of its Cayman Islands-based funds to avoid U.S. taxes, according to a trove of Bain Capital's private audit and finance records made public on the website Gawker today.

    The audited financial statements of one of the Cayman Islands funds make note of the use of "blocker" entities, which are used to help retirement accounts and nonprofit entities avoid some taxes. Financial statements for another fund note that it "intends to conduct its operations so it will … not be subject to United States federal income or withholding tax ...

    "details emerge on the statements of two funds in which Romney still holds a sizeable investment, according to the financial disclosure statements he filed when he announced his bid for president.

    The publication of the Bain Documents on the Gawker website could rekindle debate about Romney's role at the company, and specifically about Bain's decision to domicile many of its funds in offshore locations known as tax havens.

  22. Meanwhile,

    Real median annual household income fell to $53,508 from $54,916 during the 18-month recession from December 2007 to June 2009, according to the firm’s study of income data for the 36- month period ended in June 2012. Incomes kept falling during the 36-month period since then, dropping to $50,964 in June 2012.


    $4,000.00 Buckaroos less money coming in. That sucks.

    They can take their "GDP/Growth" numbers and stick'em up their Washington - New Yawk Asses; This is the number that counts.

  23. Now, the Repulsicans, they got a plan. Mitt Romney R - Cayman Islands, and Bermuda, and Paul Ryan - R - Sis's Womb says they will kick grannie out of the nursing home; that'll solve all our problems.

    Make them poor girls have them babies, and then cut off their food stamps. That'll get'er done.

    1. And cut Mitt Romney's taxes, of course. Though that hardly seems necessary - he don't hardly pay none, anyway.

      But, they do promise to raise the Ratster's taxes, and Rufus's, and Deuce's too, I suppose (although, I'm suspecting he might have him one o' them Caymen deals his damned self.

    2. Rufie, yousie is woosie agin.

      Rufie think of your liver.

    3. ya cll thisa dam guvmint an' political parit4es jus take look atr it is's disgutstin; is wha it is

      i got me nuf fer 2 drunks an' 1 tremens

    4. I need to reread ol' huck. It's been over fifty years, and I seem to have forgotten some of it.

    5. like, basically, everthin' but the title.

    6. :)

      You ought to read it again. It's a great book, and one of those that a lot of people get more out of the second or third time around.

      One of my five favorite books.

      (I hope that doesn't scare you away)

  24. Va. judge orders release of detained veteran
    LARRY O'DELL, Associated Press
    Updated 3:09 p.m., Thursday, August 23, 2012

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A judge on Thursday ordered the release of a former Marine who was detained for psychiatric evaluation after posting strident anti-government messages on Facebook.

    Prince George County Circuit Judge W. Allan Sharrett said at the end of a one-hour hearing that the involuntary commitment order issued by a magistrate against Brandon J. Raub was invalid because it contained no allegation or basis to hold him, according to the head of a civil liberties organization that represented the 26-year-old veteran.

    "This is a great victory," Rutherford Institute executive director John Whitehead said. "He's a good human being. He just got caught in some weird bureaucratic meanderings and the judge recognized that there's really no true facts to hold this man in a psychiatric ward."

    Raub was released from the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center late Thursday and was on his way back to his home in the Richmond area, a Rutherford Institute spokeswoman said. Both Raub and his mother, Cathleen Thomas, were unavailable for comment.

    Read more:

    One judge puts him in, another lets him out.

    Always: 1) have a lawyer you can call

    1. If they could lock you up for writing silly shit on the internet, there's not enough money, and lawyers in the country to save us.

      Thank God for some outfit called the Rutherford Institute. I hope they successfully sue the holy fucking hell out of every one of the scumbags involved in that bullshit.

    2. I bet the VA was glad to send Him on his way. :)


  25. U.S. Incomes Fell More in Recovery, Sentier Says
    By Jeff Kearns - Aug 23, 2012 1:21 PM PT

    American incomes declined more in the three-year expansion that started in June 2009 than during the longest recession since the Great Depression, according an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by Sentier Research LLC.

    Median household income fell 4.8 percent on an inflation- adjusted basis since the recession ended in June 2009, more than the 2.6 percent drop during the 18-month contraction, the research firm’s Gordon Green and John Coder wrote in a report today. Household income is 7.2 percent below the December 2007 level, the former Census Bureau economic statisticians wrote.

    “Almost every group is worse off than it was three years ago, and some groups had very large declines in income,” Green, who previously directed work on the Census Bureau’s income and poverty statistics program, said in a phone interview today. “We’re in an unprecedented period of economic stagnation.”

    While gains in hourly earnings and average hours worked per week may have had “a minor mitigating effect” on income declines, they couldn’t offset a jobless rate that hasn’t fallen below 8 percent since February 2009 and a record duration of unemployment, according to the Annapolis, Maryland-based firm.

    The average duration of unemployment increased to a record 41 weeks in November and remains at 39 weeks, Labor Department data show. Almost 5.2 million Americans have been out of work for at least six months.
    Earnings Drop

    Real median annual household income fell to $53,508 from $54,916 during the 18-month recession from December 2007 to June 2009, according to the firm’s study of income data for the 36- month period ended in June 2012. Incomes kept falling during the 36-month period since then, dropping to $50,964 in June 2012.

    Men living alone experienced the worst drop in income, losing 9.4 percent, while married couples fared best with a 3.6 percent decline, the report shows. Incomes are before tax and adjusted for changes in consumer prices and expressed in constant June 2012 dollars.

    “Median annual household income declined significantly for both family and non-family households,” Green and Coder wrote. “Real median annual household income declined more significantly for younger households.”

    Incomes for all age groups below 65 years fell, while older Americans saw increases. Incomes for those 55 to 64 fell the most, losing 9.7 percent, followed by the 8.9 percent decline for 25- to 34-year-olds. The two gains were among those 65 to 75, whose incomes rose 6.5 percent, and those 75 and up who experienced an increase of 2.8 percent.

    By education, Americans with some college lost the most, with incomes falling 9.3 percent, followed by an 8.6 percent slump for those with associate degrees, the report said. Those without high school degrees lost the least, falling 5.3 percent.

    Green is a former chief of the governments division at the Census Bureau, the report said. Coder was chief of the Income Statistics Branch at the bureau, where he oversaw collection and processing of income data and developed new survey methods.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Kearns in Washington at

    To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at

    kin ya read this ruf/?

    1. First time in history we've had three years of declning incomes when Not in a "recession."

    2. I'd like to hear what ol' Samuel Clemens would say about 3 yrs. of Declining Income in a "Recovery."

    3. I imagine he'd leave it up to Huck's Pap. He'd probably do the best job with it.

    4. He'd be right on top of it alright.

      dam lyin' guvment pssums is mor honest

  26. The power of unchained women -

    Putin vs. Pop Culture
    Why Pussy Riot is the greatest threat Vladimir Putin has faced.

    Hats off to Quirk for pointing us to Pussy Riot.

    The muslims have know the power of women for ages. That's why they keep such a boot on their faces, and a whip and stones always nearby.

    1. I didn't read the article, but when the girls are making fun of you, your days are numbered.

    2. Definitely finished at that point.

  27. Take a look at these bright kids -

    from The Crony Chronicles

    great video

    "Why be a tax payer, when you be a tax spender?"

    They got it figured......

  28. I'm calling it quits early, tonight. plumb numb. later.

  29. Republicans eye return to gold standard...drudge

    The Cross of Gold speech was delivered by William Jennings Bryan, a former United States congressman from Nebraska, at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on July 9, 1896. In the address, Bryan supported bimetallism or "free silver", which he believed would bring the nation prosperity. He decried the gold standard, concluding the speech, "you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold".[1] Bryan's address helped catapult him to the Democratic Party's presidential nomination; it is considered one of the greatest political speeches in American history. wiki

    What goes around, comes around, if you live long enough.

  30. Comments by ECB Chairman Mario Draghi that he would do "whatever it takes" to preserve the euro have also helped.

    For now, analysts say market swings could become more volatile as investors wrestle with negative signals from the global economy, whether central banks will step in, and whether their efforts will be effective.

    "We've had this magical summer," said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist of BTIG LLC, but now investors are "waking to the idea that all is not well."

  31. Rich people have lots of assets and poor people don't. That's, of course, one of the things that makes the rich rich and the poor poor.

    So in that sense it's hardly a surprise that the Bank of England's money printing programme, which was specifically intended to boost asset prices across the economy, has ended up disproportionately benefiting the rich.


    It seems the Bank and its governor are content for its monetary policy to benefit wealthy individuals, but not to help struggling companies. With British firms in the grip of a savage credit squeeze that is an attitude that many will struggle to fathom.

  32. Hello,
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