Bits & Pieces (Wednesday Night Open Mic)

Michigoose passes this one on (alas, I can’t see it, yet):

Something to do with orthopedic surgeons. Hope it’s funny!

Ah, now I’ve seen it. I don’t get it.

But, perhaps this is more my speed:

All I can say is, they actually make pretty good stooges. I’m not sure this is going to translate in the modern era, however. Seems very old school, only with more knockers. 

Supreme Court: No Nativity Scene

It’s a joke, but it’s making the rounds at the office today:

Supreme Court rules no Nativity scene in DC

This isn’t for any religious reason. 

They simply have not been able to find Three Wise Men in the Nation’s Capitol.

A search for a Virgin continues.

There was no problem, however, finding enough asses to fill the stable.

And with that, I’m off to pass the Occupy DC barricades to find my son at daycare and get home.

If This is a Pander, to Whom, and Why?

I can’t figure this one out.

FDA says the morning after pill is AOK safe for fecund females under 18.  Sebelius overrules FDA and says that under 18 needs a scrip.

 to parents?
To pro-lifers?
To wanting to birth more unwanted children from single teenage mothers because 18 years later they might vote D?

The distinction between a customer for this product and non-customer is not age related, it depends on whether one thinks oneself pregnant.  That should not be age related, in a pragmatic world.  In a political world there are other considerations.

But what are they, and how do they redound to BHO’s imagined advantage with this decision?

One of you might hit on an answer that will seem obvious to me after the fact.  I have run through his voting blocs in my mind:  youth [no], affluent upper middle class females [no], Jews [no], African Americans [no], Latinos [?], indies who like his FP [no].  I do not think Chicano voters will be moved by this, but maybe other Latinos?

Who will be pissed off?  Women and yutes.

What am I missing?

Minimum Pricing and Regulatory Caputure

This story has it all — protectionism and regulatory capture at the expense of honest-to-goodness free market competition. Big limo companies didn’t like the fact that some upstarts were offering the same service for the price of a cab ride. Can’t compete on price? Pass a law requiring the competition to charge more.

Here’s the key point: “Prior to the new laws, Tennesseans could purchase transportation from downtown Nashville to the airport in a limo or sedan for the same price as an average taxi ride. Nashville residents and visitors will now pay almost double for the same service. Nashville folks in need of an affordable ride, and drivers looking to earn an independent living in a sagging economy, join a long line of people caught on the wrong end of a nationwide effort by big car services to squeeze extra profit by regulating competitors out of business.”

Peruse the comments at the link below if you dare. What really, if you’ll excuse the phrasing, chaps my ass, is that this is viewed as a free market failure.

Example: “This regulation kills free market competitio­n from Limo companies who might be willing to do the job for less now doesn’t it. That is Capitalism at work, if you can’t compete or just control or manage a market, maybe increase profits you buy yourself some legislatio­n to kill competitio­n.”


More from Huffington Post

Abortion for Sex Selection

National Review has an article on the subject, Sex-Selective Abortions Come Home.

I tend to belief that having more guys than girls is not a great idea. Not sure how to address it, as an issue, and there may not be enough people doing it to radically alter the overall ration of boys-to-girls, but I think sex-selection is not a great idea, generally. Even if it could be done without abortion, but just as a pre-pregnancy medical procedure, I’m not sure it’d be a great idea to have folks picking their preferred sex (or sexual preference), and thus skewing population trends.

Or, maybe I’m an old fuddy-duddy.

Morning Report

Vital Statistics:

Last Change Percent
S&P Futures 1256.7 1.8 0.14%
Eurostoxx Index 2354 -2.710 -0.11%
Oil (WTI) 101.04 -0.240 -0.24%
US Dollar Index (DXY) 78.665 0.170 0.22%
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.08% -0.01%

Markets are flat this morning on a slow news day. The Europeans continue to bicker over the structure of rescue funds. Euro sovereign yields are more or less stable. No major economic data is being released this morning. Tomorrow we will get initial jobless claims. The street is at 400k, more or less the typical number. Let’s see if last week’s unexpected drop in unemployment is reflected in the initial claims.

The Fed is disputing the Bloomberg story (widely repeated) that the Fed secretly lent $7.8 trillion to the banks during the financial crisis. They claim that on any one given day, Fed credit for the liquidity programs was never more than $1.5 trillion. “These articles … have contained a variety of egregious errors and mistakes,” Bernanke told the chairmen of the U.S. Senate Banking and House of Representatives Financial Services committees. The funny thing about this whole episode is that what is being called a “bailout” is really just the Fed lending against solid collateral to cash-short banks. It is what Central Banks do, and it is the reason why we have them in the first place – to provide liquidity in a crisis so that we don’t have bank runs.

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