Morning Report 9/4/12

Vital Statistics:

  Last Change Percent
S&P Futures  1405.6 0.5 0.04%
Eurostoxx Index 2458.5 -4.7 -0.19%
Oil (WTI) 97.09 0.6 0.64%
LIBOR 0.412 -0.003 -0.60%
US Dollar Index (DXY) 81.2 -0.011 -0.01%
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 1.56% 0.02%  
RPX Composite Real Estate Index 192.1 -1.0  

Markets are flat after the long weekend with no major news pre-open.  We will get ISM and Construction spending at 10:00 am. Moody’s cut the outlook of the EU to negative. Bonds and MBS are down a few ticks. 

As we head into fall, remember that most of Europe takes August off and therefore no real decisions get made. Part of the complacency in the US markets has been driven by a lack of bad news out of Europe.  Nothing has changed since mid-summer, so I would expect Europe to take the forefront again (along with the election).  WaPo has a depressing piece on the state of the young in Spain, Italy, and Greece. And there is a small matter of a slow motion bank run in Spain, in spite of another rescue. Welcome back.

paper presented at Jackson Hole last week is generating some discussion, in that it gives ammo to advocates of further quantitative easing.  It also recommends the Fed issue guidance for rates based on nominal GDP, not a timeframe (late 2014). FWIW, PIMCO CEO Mohammed El-Arian believes the Fed is signalling more activism. The sidestory is that a President Romney will replace Ben Bernake with someone more hawkish. A Romney win could be bond bearish.  How that would affect equities is anyone’s guess.

In spite of the gloom, Roger Altman makes the case that the economy will surprise on the upside. Housing and energy will lead the rebound. From 1980 to 2005, housing accounted for 4.5% of GDP.  This year, it is projected to be 2.4%.  As I have been pointing out, we have underbuilt by about 200k units for the past 10 years (even ignoring population growth).  There is pent-up demand and eventually it will be released in spite of the current economic gloom – even in hard times, people still get married, have kids, and move out of their parent’s homes. This will affect demand at the starter home level, which has been the part of the market that has been lagging. This  will enable the move-up trade that will start impacting mid-price homes. The high end (especially in the NYC metro area) probably has further to fall.

A new book details the bipartisan trainwreck that was Fannie Mae and looks at the options going forward.

118 Responses

  1. Multiple stories this weekend about the outflow of capital from Spanish banks. Nomura was particularly gloomy:

    “Spain’s Capital Flight Now Worse Than Asian Financial Crisis”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/48891162

    Draghi speaks in two days and he better bring his A game.

    Like

  2. Joe Biden tries to even the playing field when it comes to mendacity in the campaign:

    “Biden’s incorrect claim that a Bain ‘bailout’ cost American taxpayers
    Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:02 AM ET, 09/04/2012”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/bidens-incorrect-claim-that-a-bain-bailout-cost-american-taxpayers/2012/09/03/b349eab8-f5db-11e1-8b93-c4f4ab1c8d13_blog.html

    See also:

    “Did Mitt Romney get a ‘bailout’ for Bain & Company?
    Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:02 AM ET, 07/25/2012”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/did-mitt-romney-get-a-bailout-for-bain-and-company/2012/07/24/gJQAvzSh7W_blog.html

    Original Rolling Stone article cited (that is not in fact written by He Who Must Not Be Named).

    “The Federal Bailout That Saved Mitt Romney
    Government documents prove the candidate’s mythology is just that

    By Tim Dickinson
    August 29, 2012 7:00 AM ET”

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-federal-bailout-that-saved-mitt-romney-20120829#ixzz254A9JLia

    One observation I wish to make about passing on costs:

    The Rolling Stone article, and Biden by extension assume that the FDIC insurance fund costs are passed along by the banks to their customers, i.e. the American People. Under this logic, it’s also reasonable to assume that the $700 billion plus in Medicare cuts to “providers” in Obamacare will also ultimately be passed along to customers as well. I’ve seen a fair amount of dissembling by Obama surrogates and others (i.e. Bill Maher) that none of these cuts will hit beneficiaries or impact benefits. I don’t buy that argument.

    Like

  3. “The article argues that because such fees typically are passed on by banks to consumers, then the American people “ultimately” paid for the loan reduction. ”

    I’m not sure how this happens because unless you’re an idiot, your bank pays you, not the other way around.

    Like

  4. “that none of these cuts will hit beneficiaries or impact benefits.”

    That’s like saying we’re going to let the air out of your tires. but you won’t notice a difference in the ride.

    Like

  5. “bannedagain5446, on September 4, 2012 at 8:05 am said:

    “The article argues that because such fees typically are passed on by banks to consumers, then the American people “ultimately” paid for the loan reduction. ”

    I’m not sure how this happens because unless you’re an idiot, your bank pays you, not the other way around.”

    The vast majority of the people I know who make under $100k a year end up paying the bank on net annually. Interest on savings is insignificant and certainly wiped out by a single overdraft charge or out of network ATM service fee.

    Like

  6. Which is why in a nation with about 8,000 FDIC insured banks alone, you shouldn’t do business with an institution that acts that way to you.

    Like

  7. Jnc:

    With the obvious caveat, that most people spend more time comparison shopping for one purchase of shoes than they ever do for financial services in their entire lifetime.

    Like

  8. ISM drops below 50 for the fist time since mid 2009.

    Like

  9. brent:

    There’s a reason they make puts as well as calls.

    I’ve been getting out over the last week or so except for Fed related equities, because sometimes just out of sight over the crest of that hill is a huge army just waiting to kick your ass.

    Like

  10. Brent:

    Looks like manufacturing slumped worldwide for August — China and Europe are down too.

    QEIII anyone?

    Like

  11. John:

    Obama win:
    Bond bullish or bearish?
    Equities bullish or bearish?

    Romney win:
    Bond bullish or bearish
    Equities bullish or bearish?

    Or is it your view that Europe is the only thing that matters right now?

    Like

  12. mike

    Unless that is a very large passenger ship capable of carrying us all, it may be every man for himself (like on an Italian ocean liner)

    Like

  13. brent

    I keep waiting for the bond bubble to burst, but every time I bet on that happening I lose money.

    A Romney win would definitely be big for equities even if that is based on nothing more than the air of optimism.

    If I had to choose, Obama win is better for bonds and Romney for stocks.

    However a Chins downturn is bad either way. Europe in my opinion is no longer an economic/GDP crisis but has become a banking one. Where is all the mony going that is leaving and how soon will it return on speeches alone?

    Like

  14. John:

    Obama win:
    Bond bullish. Equity bullish / neutral

    Romney win
    Bond bearish. Equity – could go either way – Equities fight an uphill battle against rising rates, but money stuck on the sidelines (or in bonds) flows into the equity market.

    I do think Romney will be better for business and the economy than Obama.

    Like

    • Brent, did you see this story?

      Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, a major backer of the Democratic National Convention about to open here, said Monday that the country is better off now than it was four years ago when it comes to energy.

      Rogers’s claim comes amid a GOP political offensive to place the “Are you better off today?” question squarely before voters this fall.

      “Well, from an energy-sector [standpoint], we’re better off today than we were four years ago. Think about it. President Obama pursued an all-of-the-above strategy. Are we better off in terms of efficiency? We see per-home usage of electricity declining. That’s a good thing,” Rogers said on CNN, according to a transcript.

      “The second thing is we [have had] two license[s] for nuclear plants issued. We have abundant supply of natural gas at low prices. And so as you look at the various ways to generate electricity in this country, we’re better off today than we were four years ago,” added Rogers, the co-chairman of the Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee. http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/247181-duke-energy-ceo-country-better-off-with-obama-on-energy?

      Like

  15. Mark,

    Well nat gas has gotten crushed. Whether Obama had anything to do with that is debatable.

    So as a utility CEO, I am not surprised that he is happy, with nat gas at low prices.

    Like

  16. The S&P is 40% higher, mortgage rates are 70% lower, inflation is less than 2%, although unemployment is about a half percent higher, pre-existing conditions are barred in health insurance, we’ve ended one war, killed one dictators and one terrorist superstar , either directly or by proxy, national average gas prices are almost exactly where they were in September 2008 although they dropped precipitously after that due to the recession, 3-5 states are no longer in danger of defaulting on payments due to the Build America Bonds program

    hell yes we’re better off than we were four years ago O’Malley you idiot.

    Like

  17. Something completely different, but still noteworthy:

    “Spacecraft to starship? 35 years after launch, Voyager 1 is barreling toward the stars
    By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 5:58 AM”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/spacecraft-to-starship-35-years-after-launch-voyager-1-barrels-toward-the-stars/2012/09/04/d6d30850-f66e-11e1-a93b-7185e3f88849_story.html

    Like

  18. brent

    here at least I think we would all agree that Obama didn’t create the energy situation from which he benefits. However if people are going to blame him for the economy, then it seems fair to credit him with lower energy costs.

    Like

  19. “Spacecraft to starship? 35 years after launch, Voyager 1 is barreling toward the stars”

    Where it will meet it’s ultimate fate, reviving the failing franchise of a short-lived tv series and ultimate union between an obscure balding Indian actress and an actor with one helluva good chin!

    Like

  20. Rather than let Biden give a speech at the convention (which is a crazy idea full of danger), I would have him walk out and put a bunch of empty chairs on the stage, one by one.

    Then I would say the following:

    – this chair is for the Paul Ryan who said it was ok for the US to default on it’s debt

    – this chair is for the Paul Ryan who requested stinulus funds

    – this chair is for the Paul Ryan who voted for defense cut sequestration

    – this chair is for the Paul Ryan who co-sponsored an amednment outlawing all abortions without exception

    – this chair is for the Paurl Ryan who voted for the auto bailout

    – this chair is for the Pau Ryan who voted for TARP

    – this chair is for the Paul Ryan whose budget cuts 700 billion from Medicare.

    Now we’ve called every Paul Ryan in the Wisconsin phone book, but we can’t find these guys. So if you know any of them tell them to catch a plane to Charlotte and we’ll pick up the tab.

    Like

  21. Don Juan:

    If I could “like” that comment I would–easy visual, easy audio, and memorable. You should get a hold of Plouffe!

    Like

  22. What would be the point of Biden talking about a politically dead person? Ryan has committed “career suicide” by joining the Republican ticket. He no longer has any political power or influence. Biden talking about him is the equivalent of talking about, say, Warren G. Harding.

    How can Ryan be worthy of discussion by anyone at the DNC if he has committed “career suicide”?

    Like

  23. You must be bored, McWing.

    Like

  24. Michi,

    I’m just trying to understand an obsession with someone who has absolutely no political power or influence because they committed “career suicide.”

    Of course, maybe I just don’t understand what committing “career suicide” means.

    Like

    • Of course, maybe I just don’t understand what committing “career suicide” means.

      Or maybe you know what it means, but disagree. Of course, rather than explaining why you disagree, you make an unfunny, sarcastic comment repeatedly. The next step is to take the lack of a response as an indication that you are right. Can we just go ahead and skip to that last part so I don’t have to read you post the same thing yet again?

      Like

  25. The career suicide argument comes into play if Romney/Ryan loses in November. For purposes of the convention, Ryan is still in play.

    One observation, implicit in the meme is the idea that the things that Ryan did were bad. This may be counterproductive for the Democrats on a few of the points, specifically:

    “- this chair is for the Paul Ryan who requested stimulus funds

    – this chair is for the Paul Ryan who voted for the auto bailout

    – this chair is for the Paul Ryan who voted for TARP

    – this chair is for the Paul Ryan whose budget cuts 700 billion from Medicare.”

    All of which are policies that Democrats support.

    Having said that, this is the only speech that I will probably bother to watch from either convention:

    “Obama finds key asset in Bill Clinton’s support
    By David Maraniss, Published: September 3”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/obama-finds-key-asset-in-bill-clintons-support/2012/09/03/bf12ff32-f5ff-11e1-91cb-58c92a8a140e_story.html?hpid=z1

    Like

  26. Ash, no. I wrote my definition of “career suicide” yesterday but have received no response at all. I’m still trying to understand just what the consequences are for Ryan now that he had committed “career suicide.”

    Why is it wrong to want to understand this? Obviously I thought (and said at the time) that banned made a baffling pronouncement and have tried in every way I know how to get him to define what it means. I’m sorry this upsets you, would you care for a warning before my posts?

    Like

    • I wrote my definition of “career suicide” yesterday but have received no response at all

      I apologize for my criticisms to the extent I said you didn’t want to just say you disagreed. You obviously have done so.

      I’m sorry this upsets you, would you care for a warning before my posts?
      Upset is the wrong word. Annoy is more accurate and based on Michi’s comment, I’m not alone. Not that it should stop you from getting an answer you want. There already is a warning….it’s called your avataar. 😉

      Like

  27. jnc:

    I watched some of the first night of the RNC because I was a little curious about what Ann Romney would have to say, and I usually like Christie. I’ll probably watch Castro’s keynote speech just to see if he’s all that, and Clinton’s and Obama’s because I usually like their speeches. . . but other than that, meh.

    I see your point about the chairs, but I think the issue with the ones that you pointed out is that now Paul Ryan is trying to pretend that he didn’t vote for those things when he did.

    Like

    • I see your point about the chairs, but I think the issue with the ones that you pointed out is that now Paul Ryan is trying to pretend that he didn’t vote for those things when he did.

      Exactly. And the point is particularly pertinent since Republicans are once again claiming to be fiscal conservatives. That is hard to stomach given what happened during the Bush Admin and even harder to stomach given Ryan’s flip-flopping. It just makes it seem like the Republican dedication to a platform of prudent spending is related more to the polling of such a platform than an actual dedication to such a platform.

      Like

  28. jnc:

    Did you see this?

    “But true to form, Clinton, who was nearly booed off the stage during a rambling keynote at the 1988 convention, is working on the draft himself, in his chaotic longhand scrawl. The Obama team has been gently suggesting talking points — namely the bonds of competence that span the two Democrats over the Bush administration’s chasm of ineptitude.

    Clinton is not even expected to submit a draft to his designated contact on the Obama campaign, senior campaign strategist David Axelrod, until shortly before showtime, several Democrats tell POLITICO. This is not an easy dynamic for an Obama campaign that insists on tight message control, but it’s par for the Clinton course — and as in golf, the former president bends the rules.”

    Another speech not vetted in advance? That’s reality TV, baby! Maybe I’ll watch …

    Like

  29. I don’t have time to go back and look through all the comments and I’ve been in and out lately but I think you’re asking for a definition McWing that generally most of us already understand. By accepting the VP nomination this year, and hitching his star to Romney’s, generally most people believe if they lose that Ryan’s political aspirations may be dead in the water for the foreseeable future. If I’m not mistaken Banned even gave you other examples of VP picks that have suffered the same fate. Why is this so difficult for you to accept McWing? You’ve said yourself that you expect Romney to lose and even if you like Ryan you have to realize that being on the losing end of a big election dampens their chances of winning future elections where they could advance their careers.

    As long as he’s still running though I don’t see why it is contradictory to point out his inconsistencies or negatives. It’s still a close race as far as most people believe.

    Like

  30. Yep. All things considered, I’d pretty sanguine about letting Clinton go on unvetted if I was the Obama campaign. This is what Clinton does best.

    See also:

    “Let’s Be Friends
    Two Presidents find a mutual advantage.
    by Ryan Lizza September 10, 2012”

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/09/10/120910fa_fact_lizza

    Like

  31. Mark:

    That is interesting; and thanks for posting it over here. I rarely follow links from the PL since it requires going through so many extra hoops to make sure that you get back to the right place in the thread after going to a link. . .

    Hi, lms! Those beach photos were great yesterday, especially seeing the difference from one day to the next.

    Like

  32. Sigh. Joseph Stiglitz conflates entitlement spending with public goods again.

    “Mitt Romney’s Fair Share
    Joseph E. Stiglitz
    Sep. 3, 2012”

    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/mitt-romney-s-fair-share-by-joseph-e–stiglitz

    Romney’s effective tax rate is more than enough to cover domestic discretionary spending.

    Regardless, the root issue is that not everyone shares Stiglitz’s view of what constitutes “fair”. Krugman put the issue well:

    A Tale of Two Moralities
    By PAUL KRUGMAN
    Published: January 13, 2011

    “But the truth is that we are a deeply divided nation and are likely to remain one for a long time. By all means, let’s listen to each other more carefully; but what we’ll discover, I fear, is how far apart we are. For the great divide in our politics isn’t really about pragmatic issues, about which policies work best; it’s about differences in those very moral imaginations Mr. Obama urges us to expand, about divergent beliefs over what constitutes justice.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/14/opinion/14krugman.html

    I don’t agree with the choices as Krugman has framed them, but I do agree that this is what the real fight is over.

    Like

  33. Why I’m fatalistic about the United States:

    “In current political discourse, it is common to think of the Democrats as the party of entitlements, but long-term trends seem to tell a somewhat different tale. From a purely statistical standpoint, the growth of entitlement spending over the past half-century has been distinctly greater under Republican administrations than Democratic ones. Between 1960 and 2010, the growth of entitlement spending was exponential, but in any given year, it was on the whole roughly 8% higher if the president happened to be a Republican rather than a Democrat.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/04/two-interesting-facts-on-the-growth-of-federal-spending/

    Electing Republicans doesn’t seem to make any difference on the growth of entitlement spending.

    Also, Ezra’s piece should be titled one fact and one opinion about the growth of federal spending. The second point isn’t a “fact”.

    Like

    • jnc:

      Electing Republicans doesn’t seem to make any difference on the growth of entitlement spending.

      Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

      Knowing what I know about Democrats and their spending preferences, this claim just didn’t seem right to me, so I decided to check it out myself. Using annual federal outlays from the White House website, I ran the numbers for growth in each year from 1961 to 2012 using 2005 inflation adjusted dollars. Sure enough, the claim seems to hold up. The annual growth rate for Dem presidents averaged 3.139%, while the Rep presidents averaged 3.362%, which is approximately 7% higher, close enough to the claimed 8% for government work. (ha ha)

      But of course the president is not solely responsible for spending money. Congress plays a role too. What would happen if we included party control of congress as a factor? I looked at the data by splitting each year not only into presidential party, but into three sub-categories: congress controlled by the same party, congress controlled by the opposing party, and a split congress. Then I looked at the percentages for each of these 6 categories. The results were stark.

      D president/D congress (23 yrs): 3.78%
      R president/D congress (23 yrs): 3.653%
      R president/split congress (9 yrs): 3.06%
      D president/split congress (1 yr): 2.757%
      R president/R congress (4 yrs): 2.732%
      D president/R congress (8 yrs): 1.492%

      Based on this it seems that the best predictor of increased growth in federal spending is whether or not Dems control congress. When R’s control congress, spending growth is somewhat restrained, particularly when a D is president.

      BTW, another thing to note is how important the year 2009 is to the original presidential party-only numbers. It is assumed that 2009 spending, the single biggest increase in spending in the entire period analyzed, belongs to GWB’s term and not to Obama’s. That is not really a correct allocation. As even the WaPo has pointed out:

      In theory, one could claim that the budget was already locked in when Obama took office, but that’s not really the case. Most of the appropriations bills had not been passed, and certainly the stimulus bill was only signed into law after Obama took office.
      Bush had rescued Fannie and Freddie Mac and launched the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which depending on how you do the math, was a one-time expense of $250 billion to $400 billion in the final months of his presidency. (The federal government ultimately recouped most of the TARP money.) So if you really want to be fair, perhaps $250 billion of that money should be taken out of the equation — on the theory that it would have been spent no matter who was president.

      If we remove that $250 billion (the stimulus itself, signed by Obama and not Bush, was much bigger, but we’ll leave that in), then the average growth for R presidents drops to 3.043% and the average for the Dems increases to 3.50%. And in my congress-included analysis, the Dem president/Dem congress number jumps from 3.78% to 4.299%.

      Don’t get me wrong. I share your doom and gloom about our future, and I think the R’s are only marginally less likely than the D’s to spend us into oblivion. But they are at least somewhat less likely to do so.

      edit: Just realized that I have analyzed total spending, not just “entitlement spending”. Not sure I am up for checking that out tonight, but if I can, I will.

      Like

  34. Hi Michi

    Yeah the difference between the two days was really something. I’m only going to be in and out for the next few weeks as we’re still working on a big overseas order we need to get out asap. It’s difficult to follow the conversation without going back and reading old threads which I don’t really have time for right now. I found a couple of good links this morning that I read and wanted to link here but figured jnc or someone else already had. I don’t have time right now for long drawn out conversations but I’m sure the rest of you will carry on……..hahahahahaha

    I think I’ll probably watch Obama and that’s it as far as the speeches go and just catch the highlights of others. I’m not a big fan of Clinton or Conventions…….lol

    Like

  35. I wrote my definition of “career suicide” yesterday but have received no response at all.

    If a troll falls in the woods but nobody responds, did it ever happen? What strawman are we defending here? That Ryan is not relevant from this day forward? Or after November 6 provided he loses?

    Modern era failed vice-presidential nominees who eventually reach higher office are nonexistent. The record isn’t much better for incumbent vice presidents, Nixon and Bush I being the only one who comes to mind not being elevated by death of the previous office holder.

    Accepting a vice presidential nomination pretty much bears the admonition not to miss because you only get one shot.

    Like

  36. jnc:

    And unless I’m misremembering, most of the growth in the size of federal government has come under Republican administrations, also.

    Like

  37. Depends on where you set the starting date, but I believe that’s accurate from 1980 forward. As I said, we are all doomed.

    Like

  38. yello:

    What strawman are we defending here? That Ryan is not relevant from this day forward? Or after November 6 provided he loses?

    AFAIC, the last. As you pointed out, failed VP runs rarely-to-never launch successful attempts on higher office. And I don’t think it would happen, but if he gets defeated in his Congressional run for some reason he’ll never see the inside of the Capital, other than as a lobbyist, again.

    Like

  39. The other factor that plays into Ryan’s relevancy is the term limits on House Committee chairmanships.

    Like

  40. As I said, we are all doomed.

    Does that mean that I have to give up all hope for my unicorn??

    I’m not sure if it’s original with him or if he got the phrase from somewhere else, but Robert Heinlein had a phrase for what Americans have been voting for for themselves: “bread and circuses.” I’m more of an optimist than you, though, it looks like.

    Like

  41. Electing Republicans doesn’t seem to make any difference on the growth of entitlement spending

    Not only that but I think the case could be made that the only ones who can effectively cut entitlement spending are Democrats. I know that goes against the grain of conservative thinking but think welfare reform. I believe Obama has shown he’s completely amenable to cutting entitlements and if that’s what everyone wants or thinks we need to some degree he’s probably got the best shot at getting it done. Too counter-intuitive?

    Like

  42. “Of course, maybe I just don’t understand what committing “career suicide” means.’

    Agreed, no matter many times you have asked and I have explained that comment to you.

    Like

  43. It’s Heinlein

    “The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens… which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses.’

    ‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader—the barbarians enter Rome

    Like

  44. jnc:

    “All of which are policies that Democrats support.”

    Ryan too , or perhaps there should be one more evern larger chair reserved for the Paul Ryan who apparently doesn’t know he’s voting for on any given occasion

    Like

  45. mark:

    that’s not a bad report card pretty accurate I would say.

    Like

  46. “lmsinca, on September 4, 2012 at 11:40 am said:

    Electing Republicans doesn’t seem to make any difference on the growth of entitlement spending

    Not only that but I think the case could be made that the only ones who can effectively cut entitlement spending are Democrats. I know that goes against the grain of conservative thinking but think welfare reform. I believe Obama has shown he’s completely amenable to cutting entitlements and if that’s what everyone wants or thinks we need to some degree he’s probably the best shot at getting it done. Too counter-intuitive?”

    Perhaps, but the only evidence so far is that President Obama added another entitlement (subsidies in the PPACA) to the existing batch.

    Given that Romney is running as the candidate who is going to preserve Medicare as it exists now, I’ve pretty much given up. Juxtaposed with Stiglitz’s admonishments to “pay my fair share” leaves me in an alternating depressed or surly mood.

    Like

  47. jnc:

    I was very disappointed in Stiglitz, since I seriously dbout he pays the headline 25% or so that he no doubt “should” in his income bracket.

    Like

  48. What Stiglitz was really making an unconscious argument for the flat tax:

    “Democracies rely on a spirit of trust and cooperation in paying taxes. If every individual devoted as much energy and resources as the rich do to avoiding their fair share of taxes, the tax system either would collapse, or would have to be replaced by a far more intrusive and coercive scheme. Both alternatives are unacceptable.”

    If you are stuck with paying a higher percentage than someone else, you will definitely devote resources and energy to minimizing those taxes. To expect someone to voluntarily pay more than they have to out of a misplaced notion of “fairness” is foolish, especially for an economist who presumably would expect an individual to act rationally and minimize their taxes.

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  49. Fraud? What fraud?

    “How Plan to Help City Pay Pensions Backfired”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/48896189

    Of course city councils themselves are rife with thieves in general, but when little con men try to play with big con men, bad things happen to the little guys. After all, it’s only our tax dollars.

    Like

  50. that’s not a bad report card pretty accurate I would say.

    You got to consider the grader. I’d give labor market a C-. 9% unemployment is pretty grim still.

    On the other hand, industrial policy and regulation are probably being judged too harshly. The only new regulations I know of are the consumer protection rules which are a boon to actual consumers.

    Like

  51. Michigoose: Regarding any “mandate” from President Obama being reelected while still having a Republican majority in at least one House of Congress.

    “Mitch McConnell: Obama Would Require ‘Epiphany’ To Make Progress In A Second Term

    Posted: 08/30/2012 5:11 pm Updated: 08/31/2012 12:50 am”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/30/mitch-mcconnell-obama_n_1844385.html

    Like

  52. yello

    I would guess they are referring to Dodd Frank and the ACA.

    Like

    • yello I would guess they are referring to Dodd Frank and the ACA.

      And in either case, whether that is a success or a failure depends on your goals. Not nearly as quantifiable measure as the economy. The DJIA is above when he took office so that should be a big extra-credit score.

      Like

  53. jnc:

    Sounds like McConnell thinks it’s all over for Romney.

    I disagree. I still think we have the potential for a significant economic fall in the next two months.

    Like

  54. “yellojkt, on September 4, 2012 at 12:27 pm said:

    yello I would guess they are referring to Dodd Frank and the ACA.

    And in either case, whether that is a success or a failure depends on your goals. Not nearly as quantifiable measure as the economy. The DJIA is above when he took office so that should be a big extra-credit score.”

    No for industrial policy the Economist article makes clear they are referring to green energy and high speed rail.

    Edit: For regulations they also note that the process of having the agencies issue new regulations that are then overruled by the White House (certain power plant emissions for example) is legitimately causing “uncertainty”.

    Like

  55. the Economist article makes clear they are referring to green energy and high speed rail.

    Were they wanting to see more of it or less of it?

    Like

  56. HSR is about as bad as it gets throwing money away, but green energy is one of those things where it’s about viewpoint.

    Like

  57. It was either less, or to have what was invested in actually produce results. It’s all in the article link.

    Like

  58. “bannedagain5446, on September 4, 2012 at 12:39 pm said:

    HSR is about as bad as it gets throwing money away, but green energy is one of those things where it’s about viewpoint.”

    The specific example cited was in domestic battery manufacturing where the amount of battery manufacturing being subsidized significantly exceed the actual demand for batteries for electric cars. I.e. classic central planning failure.

    Like

  59. Related:

    “Democratic platform celebrates the low number of regulations Obama has approved
    Posted by Suzy Khimm on September 4, 2012 at 1:27 pm”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/04/democratic-platform-celebrates-the-low-number-of-regulations-obama-has-approved/

    If your argument is that regulations are bad, then you don’t vote for Democrats.

    Like

  60. Worth noting on the surveillance state:

    “The hacker group AntiSec claims the FBI has compiled a database of 12 million Apple UDIDs—the unique numbers that identify every Apple device, including iPhones and iPads—many of them complete with the device owner’s personal information. To prove it, the Anonymous-affiliated group on Monday published one million of the IDs, along with the type (e.g. iPhone) and name (e.g. Jane Doe’s iPhone) of each device. In a post accompanying the data dump, the group says it withheld other personally identifying information, including names, mobile phone numbers, and addresses. There’s no indication that bank account numbers or passwords were included.

    How did the group obtain the information? In its own words (and its own lackadaisical grammar):

    During the second week of March 2012, a Dell Vostro notebook, used by Supervisor Special Agent Christopher K. Stangl from FBI Regional Cyber Action Team and New York FBI Office Evidence Response Team was breached using the AtomicReferenceArray vulnerability on Java, during the shell session some files were downloaded from his Desktop folder one of them with the name of “NCFTA_iOS_devices_intel.csv” turned to be a list of 12,367,232 Apple iOS devices including Unique Device Identifiers (UDID), user names, name of device, type of device, Apple Push Notification Service tokens, zipcodes, cellphone numbers, addresses, etc. the personal details fields referring to people appears many times empty leaving the whole list incompleted on many parts. no other file on the same folder makes mention about this list or its purpose.

    The group suspects the FBI was using, or planned to use, the information to track Apple users. The FBI has yet to comment on the apparent breach, and it’s unclear how it obtained the Apple IDs.”

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/09/04/apple_udid_hack_antisec_steals_iphone_ipad_user_info_from_fbi_laptop.html

    Like

    • As long as we’re talking about security issues:

      Here’s Glenn Greenwald going off about Holder’s announcement that he was closing the two remaining Bush-era torture cases.

      The Obama administration’s aggressive, full-scale whitewashing of the “war on terror” crimes committed by Bush officials is now complete. Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the closing without charges of the only two cases under investigation relating to the US torture program: one that resulted in the 2002 death of an Afghan detainee at a secret CIA prison near Kabul, and the other the 2003 death of an Iraqi citizen while in CIA custody at Abu Ghraib. This decision, says the New York Times Friday, “eliminat[es] the last possibility that any criminal charges will be brought as a result of the brutal interrogations carried out by the CIA”.

      Like

  61. jnc:

    From the HuffPo article you linked for me:

    “So the question for him is, ‘Do I go to the middle and meet these guys half way, like Reagan and Clinton did, or do I just double down on the left and we throw things at each other for four years?'” Mcconnell said.

    Ah, the party of Country First!

    Like

  62. What’s McConnell going to do? Vow to make Obama only a two-term president? He also has a very odd definition of ‘the middle’.

    Like

  63. “yellojkt, on September 4, 2012 at 1:11 pm said:

    What’s McConnell going to do? Vow to make Obama only a two-term president? He also has a very odd definition of ‘the middle’.”

    He’s going to get him to agree to extend the Bush tax cuts again during the lame duck in exchange for extending the Obama tax cuts.

    Regardless, the idea that the Republicans will come around to helping Democrats enact social legislation such as the PPACA is fantasy. As McConnell notes, Obama isn’t going to be able to get through the same sorts of legislation (Recovery Act, PPACA, Dodd-Frank) that he did during 2009-2010.

    Like

  64. On the VP nomination as “career suicide”

    “The Hex on Paul Ryan
    By FRANK BRUNI
    Published: September 3, 2012

    The best morsel of political advice I can offer? If you catch even the faintest whisper that you might be nominated for the vice presidency, make for the hills. Run as fast as Paul Ryan pretends to. Your reputation depends on it. Maybe your sanity, too.

    The veep nod befouls everything. It’s a cruel pivot. One minute, you’re a largely respected, minimally dissected public servant sitting on some harmless commission or tending to some humdrum state. The next, you’re attaching gratuitous vowels to unsuspecting carbohydrates (Dan Quayle), spraying your septuagenarian hunting buddy with birdshot (Dick Cheney), espying Vladimir Putin’s reared head in the Alaskan airspace (Sarah Palin) or suffering delusions of marathon grandeur (Ryan).

    While the veep nod is only occasionally a springboard to the presidency, it’s almost always a trapdoor to mortification.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/04/opinion/the-hex-on-paul-ryan.html?ref=opinion

    Like

  65. It sounds to me like Roger Altman is setting up a big short for his clients:

    “So what does Altman see as the source of the surge he predicts? He lists five signs of renewal:

    Rising home prices. Home prices are rising in half of the major housing markets in the U.S.

    Booming energy production. Gas and oil production in the U.S. has increased at “breathtaking” rates.

    Financial sector health. The banking sector, nearly nationalized while on its deathbed just a few years ago, has recovered faster than anyone thought possible.

    Competitiveness. A few years ago, we were becoming a post-industrial nation. Now we’re back in the game of making big, hard things.

    Budget balancing. Here Altman gets a bit partisan, predicting that an Obama re-election could result in a budget deal that brings down our mounting debt levels.

    So, is Altman reflecting what he heard from the central bankers? It’s not clear. The end of his piece actually make it sound like he’s doing something more interesting: attempting to balance out the pessimism that came out of the symposium.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/48896237

    Like

  66. The banking sector, nearly nationalized while on its deathbed just a few years ago, has recovered faster than anyone thought possible.

    But is it, you know, doing anything? Or is it just robustly healthy, capable of easily running a sub-three marathon?

    Like

  67. “While the veep nod is only occasionally a springboard to the presidency”

    only if you win.

    Like

  68. Mike:

    Greenwald is finally getting made at Holder? Just now?

    Like

  69. “bannedagain5446, on September 4, 2012 at 1:36 pm said:

    Mike:

    Greenwald is finally getting made at Holder? Just now?”

    Nope, he’s been mad over this issue since the start of the administration.

    Like

  70. It worked in 2010, wonder if it might work in 2012? Text of a Romney/Ryan robocall.

    Some think Obamacare is the same as free health care, but nothing is free. Obama is raiding $716 billion from Medicare, changing the program forever — taxing wheel chairs and pace makers, raising taxes on families making less than $120,000. Free health care comes at a very high price. The Romney-Ryan plan will restore Medicare funding, and protect and strengthen the program for the next generation.

    Like

    • I’m no tax lawyer. Mine is not much better than a lay opinion, here, although I could ask my wife, tonight. I think there is no way this waived fee mechanism legally avoids being taxed as ordinary income.

      http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/09/04/whats-at-issue-in-the-private-equity-tax-inquiry/

      Like

      • I shouldn’t go to PL. Liam has been calling Bain’s negotiated reduced payoff with FDIC a taxpayer bailout. I sent him the Fact Checker link. He responded with a relatively mild personal attack. So I wrote this:

        off topic for Liam: It is true that I had not been following Bain – FDIC here or anywhere else.

        During the S&L crisis in 1988-91 I negotiated discount deals with RTC and FDIC for a few clients. Typically, then, client had a renewable interim note of six or seven figures with a bank or S&L that went under. RTC took over the note and called it due. Client could not pay off the note in cash, on demand, but asking for terms like reducing the note 10% every six months – a normal practice on a bank interim – got us no sympathy from RTC [or FDIC].

        The receiver would offer terms for a cash payoff, rather than force the debtor into bankruptcy. My debtor clients would negotiate based on what they could scrape together out of pocket and by borrowing elsewhere. This would often end up in a 30% to 50% reduction in principle, but unless the receiver was willing to extend terms this was a better deal than a kick in the head, for the receiver, for the RTC or FDIC fund, and for the consumer.

        So I come to Bain’s apparent 1/3 reduction in its note payoff from a different perspective than you.

        Like

  71. No one there wants to hear actual facts Mark, especially those that undermine their argument or require nuance. It’s a battle of talking points. You shouldn’t expect any different, especially from someone whose posts frequently refer to “Koch suckers” etc.

    I well remember the RTC years. Did they give you a specific reason for immediately calling in the note?

    Like

  72. Also Mark, this was quoted in the other fact checking article that predated the Biden one:

    “The FDIC deals with this problem constantly when it seizes banks, figuring out how it can get the most money out of distressed loans. Changing the terms or reducing the loan is fairly typical, as the FDIC indicates in its Guide to Bank Failure.

    The FDIC’s Resolution Handbook also says (page 80):

    ‘Restructuring a loan for a financially distressed borrower is normally more productive for the receiver than foreclosing on the collateral or initiating lawsuits to collect the debt. Maximizing recovery on failed institution assets is the receiver’s responsibility, and litigation expenses can very rapidly consume any funds recovered.’

    The FDIC tries to collect as much as possible, but ultimately has to make good on deposits at least up to $250,000. (In the Bank of New England case, the limit was $100,000 at the time, but the agency decided to guarantee all deposits.) But any shortfall is made up through assessments made on FDIC-member banks.

    That’s right — no taxpayer money is involved. The FDIC prides itself on not taking taxpayer funds.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/did-mitt-romney-get-a-bailout-for-bain-and-company/2012/07/24/gJQAvzSh7W_blog.html

    It’s all about discrediting anything Romney was involved in, regardless of the facts. I’m sure they are looking into whether or not he bribed the school play that his kids were in to get the starring roles.

    Like

    • JNC – FDIC would honor an amortized note by selling it to another lender. But on interim construction loans, they don’t have the leeway to be a bank – they can’t loan you more, they can’t extend beyond the due date of the current interim note. Banks sometimes renew their interim loans – with minor periodic paydowns – over several years, until permanent financing is secured, and sometimes that takes a while on building out a subdivision or even a big office complex. So you get no time leeway but you do get bargaining room, like the handbook says.

      As to the school play, I am agnostic.

      Like

  73. He responded with a relatively mild personal attack

    Liam’s one of the main reasons I won’t go back, except for on a rare occasion, to the PL. There are others but IMO he’s one of the biggest reasons Greg lost so many regulars from both sides. He’s a jerk and absolutely will never back down even if he’s obviously wrong about something.

    I haven’t followed the Bain/FDIC controversy. Is that the one giving Biden grief?

    Like

  74. “lmsinca, on September 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm said:

    I haven’t followed the Bain/FDIC controversy. Is that the one giving Biden grief?”

    Yep.

    Mark, regarding your latest:

    “The entity that Bain took over was going to be faced with the immediate payback issue because FDIC does not do informal agreements like the banks do, and doesn’t renew and extend terms on a handshake.”

    I believe the entity was Bain & Company itself, not a takeover target. The other item to note is that a chunk of the initial recapitalization came from paid out bonuses to the principles that Romney in effect clawed back when he came in to save the company.

    From the Rolling Stone article:

    “Romney moved decisively, and his early efforts appeared promising. He persuaded the founders to return $25 million of the cash they had raided from Bain & Company and forgive $75 million in debt, in return for protection from most future liabilities. Romney then consolidated Bain’s massive debts into a single, binding loan agreement with four banks, which received liens on Bain’s assets and agreed to delay repayments on the firm’s debts for two years. The federal government also signed off on the deal, since the FDIC had recently taken control of a bank that was owed $30.6 million by Bain. Romney assured creditors that the restructuring would enable Bain to “operate normally, compensate its professionals competitively” and, ultimately, pay off its debts.

    Almost as soon as the FDIC agreed to the loan restructuring, however, Romney’s rescue plan began to fall apart. “The company realized early on that it would be unable to hit its revenue targets or manage the debt structure,” the documents reveal. By the spring of 1992, Bain’s decline was perilous: “If Bain goes into default,” one analyst warned the FDIC, “the bank group will need to decide whether to force Bain into bankruptcy.”

    With his rescue plan a bust, Romney was forced to slink back to the banks to negotiate a new round of debt relief. There was only one catch: Even though Bain & Company was deep in debt and sinking fast, the firm was actually flush with cash – most of it from the looted money that Bill Bain and other partners had given back. “Liquidity is strong based on the significant cash balance which Bain is carrying,” one federal document reads.”

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-federal-bailout-that-saved-mitt-romney-20120829

    Given that the money in question started life as bonuses that had already been previously paid out, it wasn’t unreasonable that Romney would have to provide some prioritization guarantees to get the money put back in. No one was going to put their personal money back in just to pay off creditors.

    Like

  75. If you haven’t already, I’d recommend reading the entire Rolling Stone piece. It’s slanted (no surprise), but there are sufficient details along with the actual FDIC documents to figure out what’s going on.

    Like

  76. This one’s for you John/Banned:

    “Should Warren Buffett’s $3.46M Lunch Be Tax Deductible?
    6/18/2012 @ 11:56PM |5,019 views”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2012/06/18/should-warren-buffetts-3-46m-lunch-be-tax-deductible/

    “Lunch With Warren Buffett: One Giant Tax Deduction
    By LAURA SAUNDERS
    Updated June 15, 2012, 5:29 p.m. ET”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303410404577466822481796172.html

    Like

  77. Cory Booker just did a stem winder at the DNC.

    He’s running fcr something, but it’s not Mayor of Newark.

    Like

  78. Fisher v. UT (affirmative action in college admissions) will be argued in front of SCOTUS this term. In preparation, SCOTUSblog is having an online Fisher symposium of posts written by various law professors. The first three posts were put up today. So far, it seems that people think the 5th C will be reversed and the Justices will use Fisher to modify their ruling in Grutter (UM law school affirmative action ruling from a decade!?! ago).

    Like

  79. Worth a read:

    “Answers to All Your Questions About Iran, Israel, Bibi and Obama!
    By Jeffrey Goldberg

    Sep 4 2012, 11:26 AM ET”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/09/answers-to-all-your-questions-about-iran-israel-bibi-and-obama/261906/

    Like

  80. Fedex warns, that’s not good.

    Like

  81. A very quick summary of why the next two weeks is gonna be a wild ride, no matter who does what:

    “It’s Coming: One Pro Sees Big Stock Selloff in 10 Days”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/48896105

    Like

  82. Okay I read the Bain/Rolling Stone piece and the only thing I’ll say is that it doesn’t paint a very pretty picture of Mitt Romney. The taxpayer may not have been screwed by the bailout but it sure looks like consumers may have been, as we all know the banks pass their losses on to the rest of us. He didn’t do anything illegal though, so there’s that.

    Like

  83. “Bill Clinton Could Go Rogue at Convention: Klein”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/48903323

    Doubtful, though not impossible. Bill needs love, BIG love. If he turns on Obama, he won’t get loved anymore.

    Also the idea about Hillary in 2016 is a non-starter. She’ll be 68 then and the party will be very, very, very. tired of old Clintons, and attempts to get the band back together, just like it got tired of the Kennedys

    Like

  84. I disagree. The best way to attempt to control spending is with divided government.

    Also the original source for the claim that Ezra reposted was the WSJ:

    “American Character Is at Stake
    By NICHOLAS EBERSTADT
    August 31, 2012, 7:57 p.m. ET”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444914904577619671931313542.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories

    Like

    • jnc:

      I disagree. The best way to attempt to control spending is with divided government.

      What exactly do you disagree with?

      Clearly the analysis I did shows that, as you suspect, divided government does indeed control spending best, but only if it is divided between a D prez and an R congress. An R president with a D congress is almost as bad as D’s all the way around. I could theorize about why that is (strength in numbers, even an R prez has to please more people, to name a couple), but it does seem to be the case.

      Like

  85. “as we all know the banks pass their losses on to the rest of us”

    How? If you’re paying your bank anything at all, find another bank, online even.

    Like

  86. Interesting that if Romney & Bain are on the other side of a deal, that fact can apparently make people sympathetic to banks who are normally disinclined to do so.

    I tend to side with Mark. Romney renegotiated the terms of a loan and effectively used the leverage he had to do so. Absent the fact that the FDIC had already taken over one of the banks, it would have been one private, for profit company vs another.

    Like

  87. “It’s Coming: One Pro Sees Big Stock Selloff in 10 Days”

    I have been saying that the market has been taking a lack of bad news out of Europe as an all-clear signal. It isn’t – it is just Europeans have the common decency not to blow up in August when everyone is out on vacation.

    Like

  88. jnc:

    It’s just the name Romney. it carries the same connotation as “Newman!” on Seinfeld.

    Like

    • banned:

      It’s just the name Romney. it carries the same connotation as “Newman!” on Seinfeld.

      Or, it seems, “Ryan” here at ATiM.

      Like

  89. Re the Rolling Stone piece – most people don’t differentiate between Bain Consulting (Bain & Co) and Bain Capital. Romney was Bain Capital. He was asked to help rescue Bain Consulting.

    And it is true that the assets of a consulting company take the elevator home every night. Romney understood that and so did the bank and so did the FDIC. It gave him leverage to negotiate a better deal. If you lend money to a service firm, you should understand that dynamic as well and price your loan accordingly.

    Like

  90. “ScottC, on September 4, 2012 at 6:52 pm said:
    jnc:

    I disagree. The best way to attempt to control spending is with divided government.

    What exactly do you disagree with? “

    This:

    ” I think the R’s are only marginally less likely than the D’s to spend us into oblivion.”

    Tom DeLay and George W. Bush disabused me of that notion. I have no expectation that having a Republican Congress and a Republican President at the same time will actually cut spending.

    Like

    • jnc:

      Tom DeLay and George W. Bush disabused me of that notion.

      My analysis, even including W and TD, seems to support my contention, ie that spending is marginally less likely to grow under an all R government than under an all D government, or even a split government with Dems controlling congress.

      Like

  91. “Next time, Obama may go over Congress’s head”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/next-time-obama-may-go-over-congresss-head/2012/09/04/9073eb30-f6ba-11e1-8398-0327ab83ab91_blog.html?hpid=z4

    Jarrett is completely delusional. It’s the White House in a bubble all over again.

    If Obama wants to accomplish anything in the second term, he has to rid himself of the idea that there’s a big body of people out there who REALLY agree with him but are just not letting their representatives know about it.

    Like

  92. And for some reason keep electing people who run on a platform of stopping him and/or rolling back what he’s already enacted.

    Like

  93. jnc:

    And for some reason keep electing people who run on a platform of stopping him and/or rolling back what he’s already enacted.

    We were talking earlier about McConnell; given that he was re-elected in 2008 so his electorate didn’t know that he would specifically set out to stop Obama’s program on all fronts, do you think that will play into his thinking for 2014? Especially if Congress’ approval rating continues to be in the tank?

    Or is he so entrenched that it just won’t matter? And wouldn’t it be funny if he got primaried from the right!?!

    Like

  94. Michi, it will depend on if the Congressional results from 2012 are closer to 2008 or 2010.

    Like

  95. Okay, so I lied. I watched both Castro and the First Lady……………………both excellent. I thought Ann Romney was good and gave her husband a little more humanity than he seems able to impart on his own but Michelle Obama hit it out of the park IMO.

    Like

  96. Chuck Norris has been reading too many Chuck Norris posters:

    (that’s not his daughter that’s his wife though his illegitimate daughter is the same age, cue the Chriistians aren’t perfect just forgiven music)

    Like

  97. Lulu–

    I also ended up watching more than I intended, and thought that Castro did an excellent job as well. I thought Michelle’s reminded me a little too much of the same speech that she gave four years ago, but it was well done (and i want that dress–I don’t usually have that reaction, but that was a great dress).

    cef posted this link over on PL, and I thought it was pretty darn funny: http://www.onetermmore.com/video_subtitles.html

    Like

  98. Chuck and his preternaturally blond wife:

    “like-minded brothers and sisters”
    “socialism or something worse”
    “pass it on to our children in the bloodstream”
    “1000 years of darkness”

    Sounds like he’s running for Kleagle.

    Like

    • socialism or something worse”

      There’s something worse than socialism? What is it? I need to know so I can be on the lookout.

      Like

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