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The cartoon below reminded me of something.

About 15 months ago, I penned a post called "Its Still the Economy, Stupid."

Now, we see this:

Gee, who could have ever seen this coming?

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  1. Ross commented on Feb 5

    I had a study done in the early 1970′ comparing market and political cycles. It was called ‘Political Economics, Phase One’.

    The data went back to the creation of the Fed through 1971. It showed what we all now take for granted that in the first 2 years of any administration, the market makes a low. Obviously then the market tends to peak during the second 2 years.

    It does not appear to be working this cycle probably because the Fed and Federable Gummit are out of control. However, I would not rule out the possibility that the low in the markets come in 2009. The next Pres might even be hailed as the new FDR, mores the pity.

    The bursting financial bubble will have some serious sociological consequences that we have not thought about yet.

    Any bets on the level of margin calls in the morning?

  2. Eclectic commented on Feb 5


    You are such a sweet motor trucker.

  3. cinefoz commented on Feb 5

    1) I managed to scrape up a little more cash .. about 2.7% of my total portfolio and put it to work today. Gifts like today need to be taken advantage of. It went to mid cap international.

    2) Re the cartoon … Nothing could be worse than the past 7 years with GWB. A chimp with a drooling problem or a barbie doll could do a superior job.

  4. Marcus Aurelius commented on Feb 5

    The politicians are always the last to know.

  5. michael schumacher commented on Feb 5

    I am writing in Jimmy Carter as my choice for the next president…….


    No matter what is done the next president will end up just like him…inheriting a mess that is almost unfixable. At least his mess was fixable from the standpoint of PRUDENT Fiscal and Monetary policy.

    What we have today is a FAR cry from that.

    I look at the current crop of candidates and wonder “why would you even want it”

    entitlement baby……


  6. cathompson commented on Feb 5

    I like to think of the current administration as Pinky and the Brain. They tried to take over the world too…

  7. Adam commented on Feb 5

    Posted by: bonghiteric | Feb 5, 2008 3:11:47 PM

    “You (cinefoz) are on fire today, bro. Please continue posting more comments like the balloon analogy.”

    My sentiments, exactly. cinefoz writes more and better unintentional comedy than anyone I’ve ever known.

  8. Bob commented on Feb 5

    The ISM number certainly was weaker than expected, but could the market’s weakness today be Wall Street’s angst over an Obama victory…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  9. Troy commented on Feb 5

    one surprising calculation I made recently was $3.1T / $100K = 30 MILLION.

    30 MILLION nominal jobs will be supported by Federal spending next year.

    That’s not even counting state and local, but there is some overlap given the block grants and stuff.

  10. cathompson commented on Feb 5

    I guess cinefoz is now the longest guy in the room. Dont forget to write.

  11. red95king commented on Feb 5

    Jimmy Carter with his sweaters and set your thermostat to 68F. You might be on to something there.

  12. Shane commented on Feb 5

    I propose a new contrarian indicator know as the ‘foz indicator. When the ‘foz goes negative, buy the house! As long as the ‘foz points positive, look for chances to unload.

  13. Whammer commented on Feb 5


    I’m afraid you are correct re the next president. One thing that people tend to forget about Jimmy Carter is that, instead of pumping up the economy towards the end of his term, he appointed Paul Volcker to chair the Fed. In 1979 Volcker changed the Fed’s policy to control the money supply and kicked off the economic reform that was needed. Didn’t help Jimmy much, but it was good for the country…….

    One little bit of good news, at least to me as an Obama supporter, is that Volcker just endorsed him last week.

    Nevertheless, whoever is the new president is going to have a heck of a mess on his/her hands.

  14. Mr. Obvious commented on Feb 5

    Y’know, cinefoz was a bear in the 2Q last year. You would never know it, though….

  15. Doug Watts commented on Feb 5

    Most people in Maine are setting their thermostats at 60-65 now due to the cost of heating oil. We keep ours at 62, first floor, and 68, second floor (where we usually are). $900 to fill a 250 gallon oil tank.

  16. Jdamon commented on Feb 5

    When the Dems win, the economy will magically get better (almost overnight). Anyone who debates the main street media isn’t completely in the bag for Obama or Clinton are out of touch.

    That is why as a lifelong R I am not even bothering to vote this year. If that is what will make the “perception” of the economy rosie, I’ll swallow my medicine and go along with my kids getting taught about princes marrying other princes in 2nd grade.

  17. Marcus Aurelius commented on Feb 5

    Posted by: Jdamon | Feb 5, 2008 5:11:46 PM

    Why don’t you simply vote for the most qualified person? Sitting on the sidelines and pouting is worthless.

  18. Marcus Aurelius commented on Feb 5

    On second thought, if being a lifelong R means you voted for Bush/Cheney – twice – perhaps you should sit this one out.

  19. LFC commented on Feb 5

    Anyone who debates the main street media isn’t completely in the bag for Obama or Clinton are out of touch.

    Uh, oh. Looks like somebody is bringing out the tin foil hat. The big bad MSM is secretly against the GOP. After all, how dare they report that Romney has changed his positions constantly, Huckabee wants to change the Constitution to match the Bible, Rudy has more skeletons in his closet than Arlington National Cemetery, Fred couldn’t stay awake, and McCain pronounced Baghdad safe while wandering around in a flak jacket with 100 heavily armed troops and 5 helicopters overhead. I guess we should all just tune into Rush and Bill O’ for “fair and balanced” election coverage.

  20. Troy commented on Feb 5

    now now let’s be nice to our Republican friends. Must be tough being a lifelong Republican these days, with their party turning to utter crap since Reagan’s departure ca. 1985.

  21. Ross commented on Feb 5

    I’m backing “Mad” Vlad Putin. This country needs a good Czar.

    Damn lazy tovarisch!

  22. Jdamon commented on Feb 5

    this coming from folks who support Nancy Pelosi and Dingy Ried? Give me a break…. What have you guys accomplished in the year you have held congress? Natta!

  23. LFC commented on Feb 5

    Troy, it must be tough for a lifelong Republican to remember what it is they’re supposed to be supporting. They (“we” actually, back when I was registered Republican) were supposed to be fiscal conservatives. Now this poll by Pew Research shows that barely half are interested in reducing the budget deficit. Dems lead them in this by 12 percentage points!

    And remember the “Contract with America”? I guess that’s down the toidy. Looking back out their complete and total lack of oversight (more like burial of oversight), can you imagine them actually favoring this little beauty?

    SECOND, select a major, independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste, fraud or abuse;

  24. LFC commented on Feb 5

    What have you guys accomplished in the year you have held congress? Natta!

    Uh, you do understand that Senate Republicans have used the filibuster (or threat of one) roughly 3 times more often than any previous minority party. The House has been similarly tied up with stalling through the use of specific House rules.

    One thing you have to say for the GOP. When they set out to make sure nothing gets done, they’re very good at it.

  25. Marcus Aurelius commented on Feb 5

    The Republican Obstructionist Congress. Everybody knows it. You own it.

  26. Bubble burst commented on Feb 5

    Hillary will inherit the RE bubble crash just as GWB inherited the Internet/Telecom bubble crash…. neither of them is/was capable of fixing those issues

  27. Shane commented on Feb 5

    I agree the Repubs, in my opinion have screwed themselves over the past 8-12 years. I still adhere to the principles of the party, but all I see from any of the “leaders” is lip-service, unfortunately the Dems aren’t any better. Billary is about as dirty as they come, Whitewater anyone? If McCain wins the nominee, the repubs have lost my support for a long time-they are not conservative in my book anymore. They are both the same, two sides of the same coin. How many here think if Gore had won we would be in Iraq (me raises hand) and the Rs would be against it. Dems, Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti . . . . Repub, Iraq . . .
    It’s all SSDD.

  28. Justin commented on Feb 5

    Crammer is saying that the FED Funds Rate has to get down to 1.75 percent, before things will get better. He must not realize that the longer term bonds are not behaviing normally – The 10yr. and 30yr, are at basically the same level where they were when Greenspan went down to 1%…where the hell will the end up if Bernanke goes to 1.75 now? Historical (hysterical :-), depression levels. Who’s going to buy them at those levels – not the Saudis, nor the Chinese, not the Russians. Make sure you know where the exit signs are boys/girls because once the market realizes its greatest fear – that the FED’s monetary tools do not/can not work, that exit is going to get awfully crowded.

  29. bluestatedon commented on Feb 5

    I’m a Democrat and I think that Harry Reid is the most comically flaccid, impotent, and inept Majority Leader either party has fielded since 1950. My opinion of Pelosi isn’t much better. All Republicans should rejoice that they’ve been in place, as they’ve been amazingly easy to push around. If the Dems solidify their majority in November I can only hope that both will step aside in favor of others who actually have the ability and more importantly the will to exercise power in Congress.

  30. Marcus Aurelius commented on Feb 5

    Hey, Shane –

    Yeah, I’ll take some Whitewater – what’cha got?

    Same as last time.


    If you have something to post regarding this pitiful straw man, please post it.

    And another thing: The Republicans have screwed US – not themselves. You and me, buddy. But good. We’ll be paying for your wealthy friend’s malfeasance for at least a decade.

    And they didn’t even invite you to the party.

  31. Just Me commented on Feb 5

    I voted republican in the past.

    I, too, am ashamed at how things turned out. So much for personal responsibility. I had great faith in certain people, faith that will never be restored in my lifetime.

    The current lineup leaves much to be desired. I would switch to Dem. if Obama were to win the nomination… which looks to be unlikely. Without a question, I would never vote for Hillary Clinton. It’s truly a shame that Ron Paul won’t be running. He’s the only one that I would not conscientiously object to.

  32. SFH commented on Feb 5

    Actually I would like to see a 300 basis point cut to the Federal Funds rate, that way I don’t have to listen to Cramer or any other Wall Streeter complain about the FED and how bad things are and that the end of the world is fast upon us.

    At the rate that helicopter, I must stop the depression, Ben is cutting rates we very well may see 0% on the FED funds rate. What’s funny is that even that won’t work because all of sudden lenders are concerned about the quality of loans that they take on.

  33. AGG commented on Feb 5

    Bob Chapman of the International Forcaster wrote about an executive of a sub-prime mortgage outfit that failed. He shot his wife dead and commited suicide by jumping off a bridge in New Jersey.
    When society teaches no responsibility at the bottom and no accountability at the top, this is what happens.

  34. Shane commented on Feb 5

    Hey I’m not defending the Rs . . . your darn right they’ve screwed the country, I just believe in the fundamental conservative principles (which are now almost completely gone in the party). Both parties are parties of big government, welfare (be it corporate or individual), deficits, inflation. Look at some YouTube campaign clips from the ’80s and 90s, Same !@# Different Day (SSDD).

    Anyone who thinks the Clintons are clean . . . wow, just wow. The only candidates that don’t have visible dirt (and who knows what comes to light) on them are Obama, Romney, and Paul. All they rest have taken kickbacks, brides, or something, Repubs and Dems.

    Corruption knows no political party bounds.

    However, there is so much dirt on Clinton its almost funny, I will admit they do a great job of the following.

    “Admit nothing, Deny Everything, Make Counter-Accusations”

  35. Marcus Aurelius commented on Feb 5


    I think it’s utterly uunbelievable that the American people spent $26 million investigating the Clintons and came up with a sexual “crime” (and the resulting theatre of the absurd). Again – please dish the dirt on the Clinton’s criminality if you have it. Innuendo is what got Bush elected (twice). Innuendo without basis is called a lie.

    On a related note, the Bush campaign wasted the reputations two decorated veterans (McCain and Kerry). Despite overwhelming evidence that the slanders against them were false, their reputations will always be soiled.

    Don’t get me wrong – I don’t particularly like Hillary, but she’s competent, and we need competence (I also think we need to break the Bush/Clinton cycle). Obama is charismatic and very smart, but he’s black, and that’s going to set the rednecks off. Edwards understands what’s going on, but couldn’t get traction.

    Bottom line: the Republican meme of the past 25 years is a failure. The electorate needs to send that message so that we can start rebuilding, socially and economically.

  36. Stuart commented on Feb 5

    Asia is circling the toidy bowl tonight…. tomorrow’s going to be most interesting…

  37. Eclectic commented on Feb 5


    …NO, don’t… don’t… don’t p-h-r-a-s-e me Bro! no… noooo… awwwwwwwwwwa! ohwhwwwwaaaaaa!

    BTW, I’m very impressed with your following.

  38. Shane commented on Feb 5

    (my apologies Barry to the rest of this post, I don’t want to hijack your excellent blog-so delete away if you feel the need to)

    Where did I mention the Clinton impeachment, where did I imply that?? While I find his actions, morally repugnant, and I believe that presidents should hopefully live their personal lives above that muck, and while I personally believe that if someone is cheating in their marriage that it casts a shadow and a question on their “professional” lives (b/c in my opinion, there is no real separation b/c profession and personal).

    However, I completely agree that it is not a crime, and no one should be removed from office-or investigated for it-(minor technical note-he was impeached for lying under oath-not the act).

    You want dirt on Clinton, fine . . .
    1978 Commodities trading, she was a novice invested with a firm who made her several 100k. COMEX reports indicate the investment company helped swap trades on her behalf (i.e. gave her the winning trades, other clients the losing trades).

    ” At the very end of his presidential term, Bill Clinton pardoned a number of people, including financier and convicted tax evader Marc Rich. It’s on Hillary’s scandal page because a few months earlier, Rich’s former wife Denise gave substantial donations to Hillary’s senatorial campaign and the Clinton library. While any wife or husband of a politician should be free to run for office, running while the spouse is still in power creates an immediate conflict of interest, and Bill had no trouble repaying the favor to his wife’s contributor.

    The interesting part of this story is who else was urging Clinton to pardon Marc Rich. The request was delivered to Hillary personally by none other than Scooter Libby, who was Rich’s lawyer and has since been convicted of perjury in the Bush administration’s leaking of the identity of arms control spy Valerie Plame. And Rich’s application was supported by Israel’s then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak. The final twist is that Rich was a suspected middleman in smuggling of Iraqi oil despite the trade embargo. His pardon required him to pay a $100 MILLION FINE before he could return to the U.S. That should give conspiracy folks something to chew on.”

    And let’s not forget the xx million dollar fundraiser put on but a hollywood elite a couple of years ago.

    Whitewater . . . plus as First Lady she got a front row seat to all of Bill Clinton.

    Hmm, let’s see that pretty much just about as much dirt-probably more than Bush. Look I’m not extolling Bush, I dislike him just as much as the next guy, but to think the Ds will radically reverse things and change it, is to put vulgarly “pissing in the wind”

    As far as indictments/criminal stuff, that’s why they call it DIRT, if they were charged, they would be criminals, not politicians :-).

    Bringing this back to economics, before you get all lovey dovey over Clinton the savior in the deficits, take a look at the following US gov. link-plug in dates from 1992-2000. It shows that for every single year the public/federal deficit went UP. But I thought we had surpluses??? Hey, I don’t know what happened to that, but the bottom line is that total debt grew during the Clinton regime, it didn’t shrink!

    You are completely ignoring my point. Yes, the Rs have screwed up the country, but so do the Dems.

    Not to get tin-foil hatish (b/c I don’t believe in that junk), but most of the major candidates run in the same circles, are members of the same groups, clubs, etc.
    They protest each other simply b/c one is a D and the other is an R . . . not b/c of any real idealogical split. Some are further on one side vs. the other, but there is no real change.

    The next president. R or D. will give us the following: 1) more government programs, to “help us”, 2) more government spending, 3) Promises and platitudes to cut spending, 4) will cut in some small areas, and then put it on a banner and hail the end of big government. 5) Pressure agencies to screw with government reports to make the #s seem better than they are 6) Continue or get us involved in a new war to “promote” freedom-maybe Darfur for the Dems?? 7) More freedoms will be taken away 8) America moves more towards a European, socialists style government and 9) Americans lose.

    We either get A) higher taxes to pay for bloated government spending or B) more inflation to pay for latter part of B, or C) combo of both. That’s like choosing between eating dog crap, bird crap, or cat poop, hmm which one do I like. Wow, yummy I like cat poop, I think I’ll eat that. No thanks, I’d rather starve or go hunt for my own food.

    This cycle has been happening for a long time, R or D . . . go back to Reagan, Carter, etc, etc. Sometimes it’s a little less and sometimes a little more, but the trend is there, and as they say “the trend is your friend”.

    The real fallacy is clinging to idealogical BS that the mass media promotes of . . Me R, you D, you bad!! and Me D, you R, you bad!!

    Like I’ve said before with politics it’s SSDD.

  39. Marcus Aurelius commented on Feb 5


    No problem, man. It’s a somewhat political thread (based on the cartoon).

  40. Doug Watts commented on Feb 5

    The “both parties are the same” meme has the same truth value as the “all stocks are the same” meme …

  41. Richard commented on Feb 5

    repubs and dems are the same. both are stealing your money at least the dems are up front about it (e.g. repealing the bush tax cuts, etc.)

  42. Max Thrax commented on Feb 5

    Yeah right Shane, the Republicans aren’t the party that has been undoing all the regulations put in place to protect us from another Great Depression. I used to be of the ‘Democrats are the slightly lesser of two evils’ POV, but that slight difference has now become a chasm. BTW, why is it wrong for ‘Hollywood elite’ to hold fundraisers for a candidate? Can you give me example of any quid pro quo on behalf of Hollywood? That is if you’ve properly recovered from seeing Janet Jackson’s nipple that is. BTW, those Hollywood liberals? 100% f@cking right about Iraq weren’t they?

  43. Max Thrax commented on Feb 5

    “both are stealing your money at least the dems are up front about it (e.g. repealing the bush tax cuts, etc.)”

    When one party claims you can have un-ending wars AND tax cuts while still claiming to be the fiscally responsible party, it’s hard not to look ‘up front’ as you say.

  44. Shane commented on Feb 5

    Oh no, I think they have disagreements, but fundamentally what they do there isn’t much difference, what they preach is 100% different but what they do . . . not so much.

    Foreign Policy:
    R-let’s invade Iraq b/c there are terrorists/oil/ etc.
    D-let’s get involved in Bosnia, Somalia, Haiti to promote democracy and to prevent tragedy.

    In Common-we have a right/duty as the big bad kid on the block to force our way into other countries business when we deem appropriate.

    Difference: R-our freedoms are threatened, D-we must save others from oppression. Difference is in only when it should be used vs. should we even try and enforce our will on other countries.

    Real discussion: What the !@#$ are we doing mucking around in other countries getting our men and women killed, when we haven’t been attacked.

    R-We need to cut taxes to boost the economy so we can get more revenue, yet we still maintaining deficits.
    D-We need to raise taxes to offset the increase in spending.

    Difference: raise/cut taxes to generate revenue for the budget

    In Common: We still run MASSIVE deficits, and we still pump the economy like pimps.

    Real Discussion: Hey, let’s actually not spend more than we have and let people decide where it’s best to put their money.

    Personal Liberty:

    R-We need to protect you from terrorists, so we are implementing more surveillance

    D-We need to protect you from yourself, so we are implementing more surveillance/government regulation.

    Common: You the american people can not take care of yourselves so we the government will help you.

    Diff: One defends from terrorists, the other defends from other americans who “discriminate”

    Real Discussion: Hey buddy, I can take care of myself well enough, and I don’t need a someone else to do it for me. If you want to discriminate against me, fine, I’ll go somewhere else, where they won’t.


    R-We need to ensure that businesses have the means to hire more people, thus generating more growth (corporate welfare)

    D-We need to ensure people have more means, so they can spend more, so that everyone is treated fairly (personal welfare)

    Common: We the government need to help you b/c if we help you, we can make it better

    Diff: One believes in helping companies-which they believe will help people, the other peoples in helping people directly.

    Real Discussion: Here’s a novel idea, let the free market decide. Businesses can take care of themselves. People are generally caring individuals and many, not all, but many rich individuals will give to charities. Without welfare, you’d see a lot more Hollywood stars adopt children from the backwoods of Georgia, Alabama, etc, instead of flying halfway across the world to do charity work.

    So yes, they are different, but what they do . . not really, it all leads to “the government will help us/save us” from xyz.

    I’m talking about fundamental changes, if you look at stocks vs. commodities, yeap all stocks look the same.

  45. Shane commented on Feb 5

    Please spare me the BS about regulations to prevent a great depression. Read up on on some monetary history “History of Money” by Murray Rothbard, “Causes of the Great Depression” by Mises. The country had been through multiple episodes of a great depression like environment before 1930, the biggest difference was that people actually believed somewhat in free markets, and it generally worked itself out in 2-3 years, unlike the great depression which was made WORSE by government intervention.

    And sure, a hollywood elite can throw a fundraiser for whoever he wants, but when there is underreporting of funds spent, backdoor business deals being made, etc, that’s not ethnical.
    for more info.
    Sure, she hasn’t been tried, and convicted but dang, it makes you wonder while all the “rumors” and shadiness, come on . . . she’s clean??? Yeah right.

    And hello!!, I don’t support the R’s (or the Ds) as parties, I can’t stand the Iraq war, I think it was a mess/mistake from the beginning.

    The hypcrisy in the parties astounds me, the hollywood elites can’t stand Iraq, but they keep asking presidential candidates, what are you going to do about Darfur, and they would support 100% a military action in Darfur. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

    Like I said, no fundamental difference about whether we should screw around in another country with our military when we haven’t been attacked, just a difference on if we go in to protect oil, or to protect against genocide.

    Max, I find the Jackson comment unnecessary, but since you went there, I’ll go full quid pro quo. Did I strike a nerve about cheating on your spouse? hard to live a double life lie huh? b/c they are in essence one life not two?

    Hey look, as long as your not infringing on my personal liberty, you can do whatever the heck you want, even if I find it morally repugnant and sickening.

    That’s what made this country great, you can go buy as much p0rn as you want, and have as many mistresses as you want. Just don’t expect me to condone your actions as I find it disgusting.

    And I prefer to raise my kids outside of that influence, so I just turn off the TV/internet.

    I don’t need some government agency to regulate it for me, I do it myself-it’s called being personally responsible, something I find those who don’t have morals seem to lack.

  46. Whammer commented on Feb 5

    Shane, huge difference in the budgets under the R and D administrations. Look at the dollar performance during Reagan/Bush 1 and Clinton and Bush 2.

    Dollar took a dump during the Reagan/Bush 1 time period, rallied considerably during Clinton, and took a titanic megacrap during Bush 2.

    I gotta find the link to this, but I’m telling the truth.

    Anyway, by the end of Clinton’s administration we were running a surplus. Since then, the total govt. debt has increased from roughly $5 trillion to about $9 trillion under Bush. So 45% of the total debt for the US Govt. for all time has been incurred under the Bush admin.

    BTW, what do we know about a weak dollar????

    One thing for sure, it is good for domestic oil producers. It is a complicated calculus (e.g., strong dollar tends to lead to offshoring jobs), but there is no controversy that a weak dollar benefits US oil industry interests.


    Also — Bush 1 — war in Iraq. Bush 2 — war in Iraq. Coincidence??????

    You have a point about Somalia/Kosovo, etc. Last I checked we didn’t drop a friggin pantload of money in those places, nor 4000 American lives, nor > 20,000 casualties, nor mass death among Iraqi civilians.

    “No difference between the 2 parties??? SSDD???” Not really. Although I sympathize with some of what you’re saying, there are real differences.

    If Al Gore was president, there is no way on this earth that things would be anywhere close to as screwed up as they are now.

    Liberty University graduates in the Justice Department???

    As Marcus Aurelius would encourage me to say: Sheesh.

  47. drey commented on Feb 6

    Plenty of blame to go around here. Bill Clinton is arguably a scumbag, and I’m not talking about a blow job in the oval office – I’m talking about the rash of 11th hour pardons mentioned by Shane and too many backroom deals to count over the years. He AND his charming wife would sell their mother for power and that by now should be apparent my friends.

    That said, GWB (I can’t even type the letters without a visceral reaction) is the worst president of my lifetime and this country may not survive the mess he will leave ($400 billion annual deficits to go with a geopolitical nightmare) in any recognizable form. Were Bill Clinton NOT a scumbag Al Gore would be president but alas, enough crying over spilled milk.

    What pisses me off most is the assholes who voted for Bush AGAIN in ’04 (you know who you are) and are now going boo-hoo-hoo, we are so betrayed and disappointed we may never vote again – as if it it weren’t obvious what Bush/Cheney/Rove were about from the get go.

    All can say to those folks is f@#k you and goodnight.

  48. Shane commented on Feb 6

    Whanmmer, did you even go to the link I put up that goes to the US gov. website? I’m taking that as a no. It clearly shows, US gov. stats, that the total debt ROSE during Clinton’s years. Another link, at least go to this one, come on man do some hw.

    It’s classic Inflation-Ex-Inflation but Budget-Ex-Budget . . . goodness if you’ve been reading Barry’s blog for long, you most likely distrust government numbers. Does that distrust simply turn-off b/c there is a D in the WH???

    You think Bush was the only one who wanted to go after Saddam? Clinton had a bombing campaign, in 1998 Congres with WH backing approved measures which called for Regime Change in Iraq. The seeds of invading Iraq were sown before Bush 2 came in.

    Yes before Clinton’s: Somalia, Bosnia, there was Reagons: Grenada, Lebanon, before that was Vietnam.

    And sorry to say but a President has less power over economies than everyone makes them out to be. Congress has more power than Presidents over economies.

    Come on, use your brain, we don’t have a dictatorship (not yet anyways), Presidents don’t act in a vacuum. You can’t blame Bush for everything that has gone wrong or right and you can’t blame clinton for everything that went right/wrong. It’s a combination of both President/Congress.

    For a while, Clinton had to deal with an opposing party, Bush except for the last two hasn’t.

    I’m of the opinion (I have no facts to back it up), that the best combo is a D-WH/R-Congress. The D actually forces the Rs in Congress to actually be somewhat conservative. Congress in reality holds a lot more power than the President, but that is slower eroding away.

    Anyways, I’ve enjoyed the political banter on the econo. blog-my apologies to Barry, I will not do so again, unless its on a specific political thread.

  49. Shane commented on Feb 6

    Not I, I voted Bednarick in 04, yes, yes if you haven’t guessed it by now, I’m your friendly L (not really, I don’t like several of their platforms, but right now, of national parties, I’d say I identify with them the most)

  50. Max Thrax commented on Feb 6

    “Max, I find the Jackson comment unnecessary, but since you went there, I’ll go full quid pro quo. Did I strike a nerve about cheating on your spouse? hard to live a double life lie huh? b/c they are in essence one life not two?”

    Lets see if we can find the logical thread between Janet Jackson exposing her nipple and someone cheating on their spouse? Well, I can’t…anyone?

    So, you’re not a Republican…but you obsess on Hillary Clinton’s supposed indiscretions(though you can offer no proof…only smoke as you say) riiiiiiggghht.

    “That’s what made this country great, you can go buy as much p0rn as you want, and have as many mistresses as you want. Just don’t expect me to condone your actions as I find it disgusting.”

    Well, based on psychological research into the conservative mind…you are obsessed w/ porn and probably are cheating on your wife. See Shane, I made no mention of porn or mistresses but you went right to it didn’t ya? Very, very telling indeed.

  51. jombi commented on Feb 6

    Making it quick and dirty….
    The big issue in this nation is (The economy) and the big reason why it is in shambles is because there is no ‘accountability’ what so ever…. No accountability, no empowerment, and a majority of the population is being treated like innocent 2 year olds…

    The majority of the country is dumb and poor made in part by the debt based economic system that is at the heart of this nation. The dumb and poor people were not provided with any hope so when a miracle came along they seized it w/o question (the subprime debacle).

    The candidates ..

    Quick and dirty
    The R’s want more of the same and would continue Bush’s legacy no matter what they go on record saying…

    The D’s.. They concern me because they are wayyy wayyy to caught up in capturing that majority vote (the poor, dumb, and helpless) vote and are promising them the world… The rich are wayy to comfortable w/ this group for my liking as I am sure they have been assured that they wont be bent over to far…

    My biggest concern from having watched and observed is that the D’s have a good chance of winning (Hilary and Obama)…. However, I can’t help but think that the rich will be bent not soo much over, the poor/dumb will be handed pacifiers and hugs, and a good number of people in the middle are gonna get fucked.

    Besides being in the middle and being concerned for myself.. Not too too concerned because if they try this I am out of here… I have a long life to live and am not going to remain in this country through such b.s. I am concerned mainly about the stability and health of such a model for it doesn’t provide a path from poor->middle->rich… It rather pushes what remains of a hope (middle class) down further and brings the poor up a notch into this quasi poor/middle class welfare social class and ensures the huge divide still exists….

    That being said, and from the obvious depiction in the cartoon… What the hell have these debates been about and why haven’t we stuck it to these candidates to discuss the most pressing issue of this nation (The economy) and answer some real got dam questions about how they intend to fund and fix this shit? Why don’t we pressure them to be honest w/ us… The American people and stop lying to us and trying to baby us?

    The rest of the world isn’t going to slow down as we nurse our population. So, it is time to tell these folks who are begging to stay in their undeserved McMansions and live a life of luxury from day jobs at McD to grow the fuck up and get on board or be left behind…

    And it is fine time we ask for real leaders for this country instead of the great bullshit spokespeople smeared all over CNN…

    Wanna live your dream, work hard for it and stop asking for handouts.

    Want to unite the nation? Unite us by telling us to let go of this dumb ass consumerist mentality and to focus on something of substance (An education)… Unite us by telling us to get to work and help one another make this an intelligent, productive, and creative nation. Save the hugs and hope speeches for when we make it and there is hope.

    Say it like it is and save the ‘dream’ speeches for the toddlers and infants. People are grown ass adults and it is time they started acting like it.

    – End of rant

  52. Troy commented on Feb 6

    It clearly shows, US gov. stats, that the total debt ROSE during Clinton’s years

    Thing is, the total debt is counting the SSTF, which was DESIGNED by Greenspan to go into surplus in the 90s and the feds are REQUIRED to buy treasuries with this surplus.

    The US Treasury’s webpage doesn’t have the breakout numbers for the net debt held by the public (and foreigners) for FY93-97, but FY98 started at:

    09/30/1997 3,789,667,546,849.60

    Clinton ended his budget authority with:

    09/28/2001 3,339,310,176,094.74

    So we can see the budget debt owed to the public declined $450B over his second term.

    Bush’s record of net public debt (not counting SSTF etc):

    09/28/2001 3,339,310,176,094.74
    02/04/2008 5,130,446,607,910.31

    Almost $2T. At 5% average interest, that’s going to be $100B/yr, every year, forever.

    Thanks, Ralph.

  53. wunsacon commented on Feb 6

    >> Foreign Policy:
    >> R-let’s invade Iraq b/c there are terrorists/oil/ etc.
    >> D-let’s get involved in Bosnia, Somalia, Haiti to promote democracy and to prevent tragedy.

    Let’s see:

    Iraq: no active conflict; a completely contained threat

    Bosnia/Croatia/Kosovo/Serbia: Serbian invasion and ethnic cleansing for *years*

    Shane, there’s *some* truth to your statements about a few of the items (when looking at parties as a whole). But, do you see a difference between these two?

  54. Troy commented on Feb 6

    a completely contained threat

    I wasn’t in favor of the invasion but I disagree with that. There’s no such thing as complete containment when state actors are concerned.

    Part of the reason I was against the invasion was that I thought we were over-personalizing the Iraq-US conflict and over-emphasizing Saddam (& Sons), while not being sufficiently cognizant of the difficulties involved with establishing a friendlier replacement regime/authority.

    IOW, Saddam was an effect, not a root cause.

  55. VJ commented on Feb 6

    Bubble burst,

    Hillary will inherit the RE bubble crash just as GWB inherited the Internet/Telecom bubble crash….

    One mo’ time:

    There was no “crash” prior to 2001:

    * The DJIA started 2000 at 11,357 and ended 2000 at 10,786. If a five percent drop is a crash, the market has been crashing and crashing throughout this administration.

    * The NASDAQ ended 2000 about where it was 16 months earlier in August of 1999, whereas that index plummeted from 2470 at the start of 2001 down to 1114 in October of 2002. Now THAT’S a crash.

  56. Shane commented on Feb 6

    Love the attacks, considering you went there first. You “Can you give me example of any quid pro quo on behalf of Hollywood? That is if you’ve properly recovered from seeing Janet Jackson’s nipple that is.”

    If you read through my previous posts, no where did I “obsess” about Clinton’s personal life, I said I find it repulsive.

    A common “liberal” tactic is to pull out the old you’re conservative so you want to “regulate” morality- i.e. prosecute Clinton for being immoral-.

    You are the one who connected Clinton, cheating, and Jackson, together-I just tied it in a neat little bow for you :-).

    Regardless of what I say, now that the pyscological banter has begun, I can’t convince you otherwise. I couldn’t care less, my heart, my hands, and my conscience are clean on those issues.

    All you Ds, slamming me about your poor, poor baby Clinton from attacks. I think Bush is corrupt, I think Huckabee is corrupt, Guiliani and McCain also! Just like I think Clinton is corrupt. There is plenty of dirt to go around.

    Like I said, meaningless crap, banter between R and D. You’re a D so your bad, while not realizing the faults in your own R candidates, and the D not wanting to admit the corruptness in their own candidates. The vast majority of them are all corrupt and the bottom line is americans lose.

    Max, one last thing. Right is right and wrong is wrong no matter who it is. If I tell lies everyday to my boss, fake work reports, lie to my wife every day, get drunk 5 times a week, watch porn, and smoke marijuana, it is all still wrong and morally repugnant and disgusting to me.

    No matter what I do (b/c we are all human all slip up from time to time and do something that is morally wrong and repugnant-whether its lying on small things or cheating our work or cheating spouses), right is right and wrong is wrong, and I will always, always defend the right and hammer the wrong.

    We are all hypocrites to some extent, it’s just a matter of whether we are defending right even at the cost of our own faults, and acknowledging our faults at the same time. I don’t do porn, or cheat on my wife, but sure I do plenty of other things that I find completely morally repugnant, and I work every day to correct those mistakes in my life while at the same time condemning my own faults. I recognize I am human, but I can work to become better.

    People that don’t defend the right (b/c in essence when we defend the right we condemn ourselves) IMO are either cowards or have no morals.

  57. cinefoz commented on Feb 6

    Mr. Obvious,

    I’m neither bear nor bull. I buy the major dips and sell when the market runs out of steam. I bought both big dips last year and sold out on 11/1/07. I saw the yen strengthening and copper falling like a stone. That, combined with the fact the market was cycling in a dead range at a top plus there was absolutely no reason for it to go higher, told me to sell.

    I knew there would be a pretty good fall because, psychologically, markets don’t rise if a top is in sight. Infinite possibilities need to be available to catch the imagination of traders. Muddling up the environment is that a good top is always obscured by clouds. The clouds need to be very high above the current level. The true top may be one inch or 100 miles above the clouds. This is where understanding economics comes in handy. This is also where a fool and his money are parted.

    Copper is firming up now. The yen looks stable and ready to weaken eventually. The next top is too far off to see and clouds obscure the high skies. Housing will turn upwards soon. People just need to feel they are on a firm foundation for the market to start rising. This foundation is forming now.

    Also, repeating patterns rule. This is not an endorsement of technical analysis. Only idiots turn their fortunes over to black boxes. If technical anylysis worked, it would be top secret. The laws of averages and large numbers tell you that gains would be removed if everybody took advantage of the same system.

    Only a moron would sell the secret, if it actually worked, because he would make zillions in the market if it were kept secret, and nothing if the secret became well known and everybody used it.

    Backtesting tells you how well you would do if you can travel through time. I wouldn’t bet a penny on it.

  58. Whammer commented on Feb 6

    Shane, Troy did the work. Thanks Troy. Total debt did rise during Clinton’s admin, but he started in a hole and ended up much improved.

    GWB? Not so much.

    Reagan/Bush 1? Not so much

  59. DMR commented on Feb 6

    Whammer, you’re right on regarding Volcker/Carter, but my end assessment is slightly different about the current situation.

    Carter the hyper spending liberal managed to do the right thing by appointing Volcker to take the punch bowl away. Reagan ended up basking in the effects while Carter took the political hit.

    In some ways, the supposedly conservative Bush spending did in fact put the ideologies aside enough to ramp up spending and vote in Bernanke-the anti-Volcker to fire up the helicopters. This is rational behavior in an environment of debt-default and threat of deflation.

    Why are so many people trying fight the last war? Volcker’s solution was for a low debt high inflation world. That is not what is out there today. Take the punch bowl away when the party gets started and bring out the anti-depressants when things get dreary. Isn’t that the basis of counter cyclical policy?

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