Morning Report – The market continues to give weak data a pass 3/26/14

Vital Statistics:

 

  Last Change Percent
S&P Futures  1865.7 6.4 0.34%
Eurostoxx Index 3135.4 38.8 1.25%
Oil (WTI) 99.63 0.4 0.44%
LIBOR 0.233 -0.001 -0.43%
US Dollar Index (DXY) 80.1 0.157 0.20%
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.74% 0.00%  
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 104.8 -0.1  
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 103.9 0.1  
RPX Composite Real Estate Index 200.7 -0.2  
BankRate 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 4.35    

 

Markets are higher this morning in spite of a kind of weak durable goods number. The headline number was better than expectations, but once you strip out air and defense, they actually fell. The market seems to be handing out weather-related “get out of jail free” cards like candy these days. Bonds and MBS are flattish.
 
Mortgage Applications fell 3.5% last week. Purchases rose 2.8% while refis fell 7.7%. Rates rose 6 basis points which explains the drop. Refis dropped to 53.8% of all loans.
 
The buy and mod business remains robust, at least in NY, one of the most lender-unfriendly states out there. DQs loans in Northeast judicial states like NY and NJ trade for 60% of BPO, as opposed to California, where it is closer to 80%. Maybe this is what it takes to move the logjam of foreclosed properties in New York. 
 
Party like its 1999:  Candy Crush is worth $7 billion. Guess all of those annoying facebook push ads must be worth something.
 

 

Fed Head Lockhart tries to clarify the “considerable time = six months” comment by saying that six months is a minimum, and it will probably be longer than that. Apparently some market participants were taking Yellen’s comments to mean “as soon as April.”

 

Redwood just priced $180 million of top rated jumbo securities paying 4% at 101.30. The REIT had been simply selling loans outright to banks lately given their appetite. 

 

163 Responses

  1. I don’t do heroin or play golf for the same reasons I don’t download Candy Crush. I can’t afford the expense or lifestyle changes such a habit would entail.

    Like

  2. That movie is 15 years old. I and have no idea what candy crush is.

    Like

  3. okay, that makes sense.

    Like

  4. *making mental note to stay away from Candy Crush*

    And yello gets the Frist today! McWing is nowhere to be seen. . .

    Sorry to here about the stomach bug, NoVA–I hate those! Clear liquids. . . which involve both beer and bourbon.

    Like

  5. I have been fighting a stomach bug since sat night… this one has been rough..

    Like

  6. The key to fighting any illness is staying mildly drunk.

    Like

  7. and here’s a example for all of us on health care utilization.

    None of us sought medical attention. the only time I’d worry about that for something like this would be for the little guy, who can get dehydrated very quickly and might need IV fluids.

    instead, if was Gatorade, saltines, and broth.

    but if it were free? I know I’d have felt loads better much faster with an IV.

    Like

  8. NY Times is on top of things:

    “If the federal website faltered just before the deadline, it could create a political fiasco for Mr. Obama and other Democrats, just as they were recovering from the damage done when the site left millions of Americans frustrated in October.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/26/us/politics/obama-administration-extends-health-enrollment-for-some.html?ref=robertpear&_r=0

    Like

  9. They are on a roll today:

    “Mr. Obama’s Limits on Phone Records

    By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
    MARCH 25, 2014

    If President Obama really wants to end the bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records, he doesn’t need to ask the permission of Congress, as he said on Tuesday he would do. He can just end it himself, immediately.

    That’s what Senator Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, urged him to do. “The president could end bulk collection once and for all on Friday by not seeking reauthorization of this program,” Mr. Leahy said.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/26/opinion/mr-obamas-limits-on-phone-records.html?ref=opinion

    Like

  10. “not seeking reauthorization of this program”

    or, you know, Congress could not reauthorize it.

    Like

  11. Aint nothing more permanent than a temporary tax increase or temporary government program.

    Like

  12. but if it were free? I know I’d have felt loads better much faster with an IV.

    Now that is a fine, fine strawman there, NoVA! What makes you think free healthcare makes people flock to get IVs when they have a stomach bug?

    Like

    • Mich:

      Now that is a fine, fine strawman there, NoVA!

      The law of supply and demand is a pretty firmly established economic reality, progressive wish-lists notwithstanding.

      Like

  13. “What makes you think free healthcare makes people flock to get IVs when they have a stomach bug?”

    reams and reams of data. i’ll post some.

    Like

  14. http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/24/4/1106.full.pdf+html

    it’s likely not as cut and dry as I made it out to be. but if you decrease the cost, people will consume more. there are other factors in play of course.

    Like

  15. Why the fuck would this moron think this?

    First, we were notified that we would be kicked out of our existing $263-a-month Anthem Blue Cross plan because it didn’t meet the minimum standards of the new law. No problem, I thought. The plans in the new Covered California exchange would most likely be better and cheaper.

    For the life of me I cannot wrap my head around this. Did anyone here think this? If so, why?

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/03/26/opinion/why-im-jealous-of-my-dogs-insurance.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=1&referrer=

    I know that Obamacare is helping a great number of people. I understand that for the first time millions of people are getting health insurance. It’s the one thing that gives me solace.

    It’s gonna be interesting when the author realizes that this is bullshit too.

    Like

    • McWing:

      It’s gonna be interesting when the author realizes that this is bullshit too.

      It is unlikely that he will ever realize it. He will rationalize his way to thinking reality is something other than what it is, in order to conform to his ideological preferences. We see it all the time.

      Like

  16. As I’m always saying, we’re fucked then.

    Like

  17. “millions of people are getting health insurance”

    well, i’m sure we’ll get millions of people insured. how that solves their access to care problem remains to be seen.

    Like

  18. Nova, it was the moronic assertion that millions will get insurance for the first time.

    Like

  19. “in order to conform to his ideological preferences. We see it all the time.”

    I’ll cop to being guilty of that at times.

    the one thing that I didn’t expect to see was the backlash on the high deductibles. granted, they’re paired with higher premiums, so it’s not a direct comparison.

    Like

  20. Ok, I just read the article again. Is there anyone here that does not think the author is retarded?

    Like

  21. “But we don’t have children, and I’d trade coverage for things like substance abuse treatment and mental health in return for lower premiums.”

    and the mental health lobby just had a stroke.

    Like

  22. In the battle between Progressives favorite constituents, health insurance companies, and affordable health insurance, I pick Progressives favorite constituents.

    Like

  23. You fucked up. You trusted us.

    Like

  24. Oh lord, i’m out for day and got “volunteered” to give a speech.

    Like

  25. KING trading under $20 vs $22.50 offer price. Lots of busted IPOs these days. Maybe there is a cost to free stock trading.

    Like

  26. “novahockey, on March 26, 2014 at 11:33 am said:

    “But we don’t have children, and I’d trade coverage for things like substance abuse treatment and mental health in return for lower premiums.””

    His real issue is believing that he’s entitled to have a choice of trade offs in the first place. He should realize that in the new order, those decisions are left to government experts, not individuals.

    Like

  27. Is there a defense of that article? I hate to be repetitive but I cannot seriously believe anyone is that naive.

    Like

    • McWing:

      Is there a defense of that article? I hate to be repetitive but I cannot seriously believe anyone is that naive.

      Obama got elected on “hope and change”. Twice. I don’t think it is possible to overestimate the naivete of much of the American electorate.

      Like

  28. He should offer to do an ad for Americans For Prosperity to get some extra cash to help off set the premiums.

    “Why I’m Jealous of My Dog’s Insurance” would work perfectly for the TV spot, with no changes needed. They could even leave in the statement about how he still supports the policy overall, and simply tack on the message at the end about some taking a different view of the whole concept of paying more for less.

    Like

  29. Illuminating position:

    “But rather than accept the public’s rendering (which they imposed on same sex couples for years and years, and still do where they can) conservatives are seeking generalized waivers from their obligations under the social contract.”

    http://www.salon.com/2014/03/26/erick_erickson_inadvertently_proves_my_point_why_the_contraception_case_is_so_important/

    Time to split the country in half and go our separate ways.

    Like

    • jnc:

      Time to split the country in half and go our separate ways.

      Indeed. But the left would object because they want to force people who disagree to accept their values. They need to force people who disagree to accept their values. If they didn’t, there would be no need for a split.

      Like

  30. Democrats, your Senate Majority Leader.

    But Palin’s the dumb one.

    Like

  31. “generalized waivers from their obligations under the social contract.””

    first-dollar coverage of BC is now part of the social contract?

    Like

  32. “first-dollar coverage of BC is now part of the social contract?”

    why do you hate women, bagger? It’s a decision between a woman and her doctor, dammit.

    Like

  33. There’s also the conflation of “the public’s rendering” with successful judge shopping and gaming of standing issues.

    Actual referendum passed by the voters, not so much.

    Like

  34. Well, it’s really a shame we have to beat down the religious beliefs of a minority and make them submit to solve a problem that could be addressed in any number of other ways.

    Like

    • NOVA:

      Well, it’s really a shame we have to beat down the religious beliefs of a minority and make them submit to solve a problem that could be addressed in any number of other ways.

      I don’t even know what the problem is that it is meant to resolve.

      Like

  35. Can we please, please name it Jesusland? Seriously. Say it with me, J. E. S. U. S. L. A. N. D.

    Like

  36. as long as the tithing is low, i’m fine with that.

    Like

  37. Well, I guess that tears it… we gotta go single-payer / provider then

    Like

  38. ” problem is that it is meant to resolve.”

    voter turn out of selected groups.

    Like

  39. I vote for Free-Dumb Land

    Like

  40. New Somolia sounds like a great name for the Capital hovel of Jesusland.

    Like

    • You guys realize that the Blue States get to keep New York, Connecticut, and California. The likely capitol of Jesusland is Branson, Missouri.

      Like

      • yello:

        You guys realize that the Blue States get to keep New York, Connecticut, and California.

        Yours.

        Like

      • yello:

        The likely capitol of Jesusland is Branson, Missouri.

        I’m guessing more like Austin. Richmond would probably get a lot of votes, too. Raliegh, perhaps. Charleston, too, is a wonderful place and would make a great Jesusland capitol.

        Like

  41. ah, i was hoping for Bronson, MO

    Like

  42. Or perhaps Bentonville, Arkansas. I’ve been there. It’s really a nice place. Lots of public works donated by the city’s wealthy elite. And I met a very nice entrepreneur selling artisanal popsicles to supplement his income as a warehouse supervisor.

    Like

  43. Take it. Though we’ll have to move Graceland to Branson for our White House.

    Like

  44. They’ll fight us for Austin.

    Like

    • nova:

      They’ll fight us for Austin.

      They’ll fight us for everything. As I said, they need us to accede to their demands/wishes. Otherwise they would be happy to allow us to go our own way under a proper federalist system.

      Like

  45. Let em keep it. It’ll be like West Berlin and they’ll have to airlift hipster douchebags there every year for SXSW.

    Like

  46. “Richmond would probably get a lot of votes, too.”

    Virginia will probably be split again. North of Fredericksburg would become part of the new state of Columbia.

    Like

  47. Nova, looks like the Doc fix now has the new Medicaid fix where they punt the cuts to “old Medicaid” that were being done to help pay for Medicaid expansion.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/03/26/doc-fix-would-delay-obamacare-medicaid-cuts-thats-good-news-for-non-expansion-states/

    There goes another pay for.

    Like

  48. i’ve got a section-by-section. is there a way to post a PDF?

    Like

  49. Because, fuck you that’s why.

    Like

  50. but the DSH payments were to offset uncompenstated care. it’s just not the “non medicaid” expansion states. low exchange enrollment harms that too.

    the hospitals have been besides themselves on this. their big fear is that people think “obamacare” is “free when i show up.”

    Like

  51. Scott:

    Obama got elected on “hope and change”. Twice.

    No, he got elected on hope and change once. The second time was because Romney was the GOP nominee.

    Like

    • Mich:

      The second time was because Romney was the GOP nominee.

      Yeah, sure. Millions of would-be GOP voters reluctantly voted for Obama because the former governor of the People’s Republic of Massachusetts and architect of the progenitor of Obamacare was the GOP nominee. It’s a theory, I guess.

      Like

  52. Let em keep it. It’ll be like West Berlin and they’ll have to airlift hipster douchebags there every year for SXSW.

    Corked.

    Like

  53. Nova, I’m assuming it becomes a perpetual fix just like SGR.

    Like

  54. The DSH cuts have been problematic from day 1. but yes, we might have created teh hospital’s doc fix.

    the hospitals rightly wanted the DSH cuts to be linked to actual improvements in the insured rate. but that would have messed up the score before passage. and here we are.

    Like

  55. Obama got elected on “hope and change”. Twice.

    The official 2012 slogan was “Forward.”

    Forward

    Like

  56. It’s funny to think Bernie would have to be a refugee from Austin. Can you imagine that long line Scions heading west to Taos?

    Oh the humanity!

    Like

  57. from the reason boards on the “house rules” monoply story:

    How about this:

    should you find yourself owning two out of three properties on any given color section, slip the central bank $500 and they’ll reclaim the property from the other player for “the public good” and give it to you for “urban development”.

    Call it the Kelo rule.

    Like

  58. Yeah cause the inventor of RomneyCare sure as shit was gonna repeal it.

    Admit it, Romney would have made this shit-sandwich work. That was his biggest fault.

    Like

  59. “refugee from Austin”

    I though he was Canadian. whoops.

    Like

  60. Choke on it.

    Like

  61. “but that would have messed up the score before passage.”

    Wonder what the CBO update will show now after all the delays?

    Like

  62. Heresy:

    “Obama’s nominees have been confirmed at a similar rate to those under George W. Bush and Bill Clinton — 76.6 percent for Obama compared with 77.9 percent under those two presidents.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/chances-for-obama-nominees-to-be-confirmed-are-falling-even-with-over-two-years-to-go/2014/03/26/73a87b84-b107-11e3-9627-c65021d6d572_story.html?hpid=z1

    Edit: Perfect example of Democratic infighting:

    “But the administration’s biggest problem lately has been Democrats, some of whom say privately that the White House was arrogant to press for a vote on Adegbile when it was unclear whether the nomination would pass. The move put vulnerable Senate Democrats such as Mark Begich (Alaska), Kay Hagan (N.C.) and Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.) in the position of voting for his confirmation before it failed; when a 60-vote threshold was in effect, the focus was more on moderate Republicans who were unwilling to support Obama’s picks.

    White House spokesman Eric Schultz blamed Republicans for the current impasse.”

    Like

  63. can they score a non-statutory change?

    Like

  64. Isn’t that the whole premise of current law vs current policy comparisons for scoring taxes & spending?

    Like

  65. yeah, but it has to be a policy that’s, you know, written somewhere. bill text, budget proposal.

    ah .. here we go:

    http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45159

    “As in the past, the projections of the effects of the ACA’s insurance coverage provisions on the federal budget were prepared by CBO in conjunction with staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT). The new baseline estimates rely on analyses completed by the early part of December 2013 and account for administrative actions that were taken before then. But they do not reflect CBO’s updated economic projections, the most recent data on enrollment through insurance exchanges or the plans that have been offered through exchanges, and any actions that have been taken since then by federal agencies or state governments. Hence, these updates are both partial and preliminary. CBO typically revises its baseline budget projections after it obtains the data that accompany the Administration’s proposed budget for the coming year; CBO and JCT will incorporate into those revised baseline projections any new information and additional data about the effects of the ACA that have become available by that time.”

    Like

  66. I thought for the alternative fiscal scenario, they just assumed that what was currently in place would continue indefinitely.

    They can do that with a perpetual open enrollment period, mandate deferment, etc.

    Like

  67. I think you might be right. But i think you start getting into “assume a can opener” zone.

    Like

  68. Meh, what’s that compared to the sight of billions dying in the middle of the street before March 2010?

    Like

  69. I wanna know where Brent and Scott are going to move to.

    Like

    • Mich:

      I wanna know where Brent and Scott are going to move to.

      I’m guessing I wouldn’t survive the fighting necessary for a split to happen. But that aside, I’ve got zero allegiance to Connecticut. I’m there because it is convenient, and taxes are lower than New York. Lots of places I’d be happy to depart to.

      Like

  70. I still wonder what Progressive thought Romney would do that’s been different than Obama.

    Like

  71. Michi, back to London.

    Like

  72. Fair question for Juicebox.

    Like

  73. Scott:

    Millions of would-be GOP voters reluctantly voted for Obama because the former governor of the People’s Republic of Massachusetts and architect of the progenitor of Obamacare was the GOP nominee.

    No, I meant that Romney was such a pitifully bad nominee that a Democratic president won reelection.

    Like

  74. Progressives, what’s your opinion on Obama’s statement here?

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=038eG9HMJ1A

    Like

  75. Michi, back to London.

    I would’ve guessed Hong Kong, myself.

    BTW, I’m bitterly disappointed that you haven’t commented on my new avatar.

    Like

  76. McWing, your dose of immigration reform posting for the day!

    Like

  77. When was the last time Hack Sargent wrote something new?

    Michi, what’d ya think of the Obama clip I posted?

    Like

  78. “But rather than accept the public’s rendering (which they imposed on same sex couples for years and years, and still do where they can) conservatives are seeking generalized waivers from their obligations under the social contract.”

    If that is not the most f’d up, festering, malignant, mile-high stack of bullshirt I see this month, I can’t imagine what will be.

    I’m on board with splitting up. Since the progressivism is the ideology alien to our country, I say we choose first, and they get whatever we choose to leave them, if anything.

    Like

  79. new kitty? looks like a young version of ours

    Like

  80. new kitty?

    jnc was bemoaning the dearth of cute kitten avatars on PL, so I thought I’d make him feel better.

    Like

  81. I read the whole Brian Beutler piece at Salon and am now a good 10 IQ points dumber than I was. He and it are unfathomably dense. I can’t take the liberals any more. How do people get that stupid.

    Like

  82. Is any further proof needed that Obama and his party profoundly misunderstand and are radically remaking the United States of America? I imagine Beavis and Butthead at the Obama propaganda HQ coming up with this imagery.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/obama-tea-party-slogan-obamacare

    Like

    • QB:

      Is any further proof needed that Obama and his party profoundly misunderstand and are radically remaking the United States of America?

      I’m not so sure he misunderstands. Certainly a lot of his supporters are too dim to understand the grotesque irony of such propaganda, but I bet he understands the US perfectly well. His remaking of the nation is quite deliberate, not a function of a misunderstanding.

      Like

  83. The very rare and often fatal double Donkey Punch.

    Kid had a good run and did pretty good considering his profound disability.

    Like

  84. Michi, what’d ya think of the Obama clip I posted?

    What did you think he meant? And do you disagree or agree with it?

    Like

  85. We more or less did what he said and that is what I think the problem is. First, we moronically went to the UN and second, we did not effectively either occupy the place and suck it dry of resources and / or install a iron fisted dictator friendly to us who would keep the terrorists at bay while we sucked the country dry of resources.

    Now, what is your opinion of what he said?

    Like

  86. Word.

    But we won’t know how much is too much till we get there, right? Or if I’m wrong shot me a number.

    Like

  87. But we won’t know how much is too much till we get there, right? Or if I’m wrong shot me a number.

    Japan has more than double the debt to GDP ratio that we have and they are still battling deflation.

    Meh, the first thing that happens is that China’s real estate bubble bursts (note that they are experiencing bank runs now) and China tries to export its way out of it.. Not a recipe for “too much money chasing too few goods.”

    IMO you can’t have real inflation without wage inflation. If wages don’t increase, then high commodity prices just cause recessions, not inflation. We are so far from seeing any hint of wage inflation or capacity constraints that hyper-inflation is the least of my worries.

    The Fed is pulling out all the stops trying to create 2% inflation and they are failing to do it. Kind of says it all.

    Like

  88. Isn’t Japan unique in that the Bank of Japan owns about 20% of their debt and it’s citizen’s own the rest. Plus it is somewhat backstopped by owning hundreds of billions of US debt.

    My questions then are;

    1. Will we know how much is too much before we get there?
    2. Has any country with a mature economy and aging population w/ replacement only population growth EVER come back from this debt to GDP ratio?
    3. Aren’t we already experiencing stagflation if energy prices (we have a massive glut worldwide) and other commodities keep increasing and wages are stagnant and or falling?
    4. Has a country with a mature economy and current demographics with our current debt overhang ever had multiyear GDP growth above 3%?

    Like

  89. Now, what is your opinion of what he said?

    That, for what it’s worth, he’s right. There is a difference for the exact reason you stated: we did go to the UN first.

    Thanks for giving me a straight answer.

    Like

  90. For him to say it though he would have to either believe or pretend to believe that the WMD Intel wasn’t manipulated or created out of whole cloth, making him either incredibly naive or a liar.

    How do you feel about that?

    Like

  91. The Fed owns about 25% of our debt.

    1. Will we know how much is too much before we get there?

    I don’t think so. Reinhart and Rogoff attempted to peg it, but of course they had their spreadsheet error. I’m sure other academics will try and do it as well. That said, it won’t matter until it matters and once it does, it will be the only thing that matters. These sorts of things seem to go on longer and further than you ever think they will.

    2. Has any country with a mature economy and aging population w/ replacement only population growth EVER come back from this debt to GDP ratio?

    Not that I know of. That said, we came back from a higher ratio post WWII.

    3. Aren’t we already experiencing stagflation if energy prices (we have a massive glut worldwide) and other commodities keep increasing and wages are stagnant and or falling?

    Energy prices go up and the economy slows. Not a recipe for inflation. Food prices are going up, but as they say in the commodity markets – the cure for high prices is high prices.

    4. Has a country with a mature economy and current demographics with our current debt overhang ever had multiyear GDP growth above 3%?

    3% real GDP growth for any mature economy is tough.. Which is why I am pretty pro-immigration.

    Edit: re 70’s stagflation – we did have wage inflation in the 1970s, as much of the workforce was unionized and had cost of living adjustments built into their contracts. Nobody gets COLAs anymore.

    Like

  92. Didn’t it take until the early seventies to pay down WWII debt?

    Like

  93. I don’t recall… sounds about right though

    Like

  94. Thanks, sorry to go all zerohedge on you.

    I still don’t feel any better. I don’t see a way out.

    Like

  95. I don’t claim to have a crystal ball either. But inflation is the least of my worries right now.

    Like

  96. How do you feel about that?

    I’m not following your leap of logic there. Saying we went to the UN is a statement of fact. It’s not agreeing with the justification.

    Like

  97. I’m asking how do you feel about Obama’s lying or naïveté? Wouldn’t you agree that is doesn’t matter that a government goes through the formal procedure of seeking UN approval if the evidence its using is made up or highly manipulated? If I’m not mistaken your in that camp. So, for Obama to cite the American example re Iraq as the right way to do things he either believed that Bush’s intelligence evidence was true or that it’s ok to lie to the UN to get permission to invade another country.

    So, do you think Obama was lying or very naive? Which one’s worse?

    Like

  98. Put another way, Obama says it’s ok to lie in the UN to get what you want or he doesn’t think Bush/Powell/Rice lied.

    Like

  99. Scott, I should have said something like “misunderstands the history and founding principles of this country.”

    I agree that Obama understands the decadent and dependent condition of much of the country today and is exploiting it by appealing to the worst attitudes and appetites. His taking a historical symbol of independence and freedom and making it a symbol of dependency on big government is an appalling misappropriation. That bumper sticker is an offensive obscenity.

    Like

    • qb:

      His taking a historical symbol of independence and freedom and making it a symbol of dependency on big government is an appalling misappropriation. That bumper sticker is an offensive obscenity.

      Totally agree, but par for the course.

      Words, concepts, and history have no objective meaning in the minds of people of the left, and can therefore be used to mean anything they want, towards any ends they want. Coercing people means freeing them. Commerce means not buying/selling something. Not giving something to someone means taking it from them. Wanting the legal right to do something (or not do something) that has never been prohibited (or required) means demanding “new” rights. Forcing others to give me something means don’t tread on me.

      We live in increasingly Orwellian times as progressivism comes to depend more and more on the corruption of language and ideas.

      Like

  100. We live in increasingly Orwellian times.

    Not that long ago, “Orwellian” seemed like an overused and misused cliche. The Obama bastardization of the Gadsden Flag is perfectly Orwellian, just like Pelosi’s claim that Obamacare was the realization of the Founders’ vision.

    These people are sick in the head and heart.

    Like

  101. Scott, re the Geraghty piece, I think he is only about half right. All that he says about liberals as being driven by emotion, tribal, and shameless hypocrites is true. But their lack of principle is only just that: hypocrisy about themselves and their kind. They are animated by principles; they are just awful principles. Otherwise, we would not see the steady “progress” toward their envisioned utopia of all-encompassing government, “free” abortion, punitive taxation, etc.

    Liberals are single-mindedly devoted to those goals to the extent that they are unconcerned with the means and their own hypocrisy in getting there. They don’t care that Al Gore is a carbon hog; he is one of them, and he is helping achieve their goals of restricting carbon use by the rest of us. They don’t care that Alan Grayson, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid are rich, as long as they are working tirelessly to redistribute the wealth of everyone not in their club. I think Geraghty misses half the truth by implying that all they care about is who the good and bad people are. They also pursue a set of evil ideas.

    Like

    • qb:

      I think Geraghty misses half the truth by implying that all they care about is who the good and bad people are. They also pursue a set of evil ideas.

      That’s a good point. I guess they do have specific principles that they would like to impose on others. They just have no qualms about ignoring them themselves in pursuit of the power to impose them on others. And we see that hypocrisy reflected all the time in the way liberals argue for their desired policies. They attempt to hold their opponents to an intellectual standard of consistency and logic that they cavalierly, almost pridefully, ignore themselves.

      We see that very plainly in discussions about, say, SSM. Opposition to SSM is declared to be an exercise in arbitrary and prejudicial line-drawing, and therefore unjust, but when it is pointed out that by the same logic opposition to other types of relationships being recognized as marriage is equally arbitrary and prejudicial, then suddenly it is perfectly reasonable to draw lines.

      Like

  102. America just keeps failing Obama. Now Obamacare is a failure because we don’t know how to use the Internet.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/374276/reids-obamacare-excuse-people-are-not-educated-how-use-internet-andrew-johnson

    We’ll not ask the awkward question of why Obama isn’t responsible for enacting a program that depended on our competency, when he knew we are incompetent.

    Oh, that’s right, single-payer, socialized medicine is the real goal.

    The immediate solution, though, presents itself: a comprehensive new government program to provide universal free Internet and teach everyone how to “use” it.

    Like

    • qb:

      Oh, that’s right, single-payer, socialized medicine is the real goal.

      How long before we hear D proclamations that the only way to “fix” O-care is to go full-on single payer? The eventuality is so predictable. It is really quite fascinating the way that the failure of progressive ideas inexorably leads to more progressivism. It does not speak well of the competency of the average voter.

      Like

  103. How long before we hear D proclamations that the only way to “fix” O-care is to go full-on single payer?

    And the correct response is “demonstrate you are capable of handling your paper route, junior and then maybe we can discuss giving you a full time job.”

    Like

    • “demonstrate you are capable of handling your paper route, junior”
      That would be the first correct response to anyone who touts single payer.

      I do not believe that Obama has ever wanted “single payer”, and I know that the lead Senate Ds did not. They wanted a system that incorporated the employer paid model [which I think is the “abomination”]. They wanted a system that incorporated the experience of the carriers. Their model was Switzerland, not the UK, and not even Canada.

      The left – the people who flood PL, for example – always wanted single payer. The fact is that ACA goes in a different direction and the left hates it for that. If ACA achieves something akin to universal coverage, serious attention will then be paid to costs, judging from the history of other nations, not judging based on the competencies and incompetencies of either the market or the government. That will be done in part by the market, in part by subsidization of medical, nursing, and pharmacy students, in part by regulation of both hospital and insurance pricing, and in part by a freer flow of pharmaceuticals across national boundaries. We will either gradually move to a Swiss/German system, or fall back to the previous mixed American system in my lifetime, but we will not go to Bernie Sanders single payer socialized medicine or socialized national insurance. That is my prediction. We will stagnate in the current mode until we have one party in power again.

      The Swiss, German, and Japanese models all work better than ours AND better than socialized medicine or national insurance. While these are regulated systems which conservatives of various stripes will label “socialism” they are in fact not socialism and neither the insurers nor the health care providers in those countries feel screwed, from what I have read. As long as med care is in short supply there will be a sort of rationing, regardless of the delivery model. The poor in any system, including our former and current one and including any model you name, simply will not get the care that people with means can afford. The PL left doesn’t get that. Of course, getting the poor into a cheaper model than ER care is a positive. And the ABA and the AMA should work to get living wills to everyone – it doesn’t take government action to slash the cost of end of life care. I learned recently that unlike in TX and PA where you get an opportunity to fill out a living will on every hospital visit, NY apparently has done little to publicize the need. The NY Bar Association, to its credit, has free living will forms at its web site. A little advertising of this fact would be in order.

      As I recall classical economics, Brent, the medical delivery system in America should look different than it does. Competition should drive pricing down to an equilibrium where long term profits equal the long term income that one could derive from an alternate investment. This works for grocery stores and for a whole lot of other stuff. For reasons that must be complex but which in any event are beyond my ken, this does not work for med pricing, except for the pricing of [e.g.] over-the-counter generic aspirin.

      I don’t like ACA. I did like Wyden-Bennett. I don’t know which of the criticisms of its delayed implementation are indictments and which are just grousing. Typically, when an Admin cannot roll out a program on time it just gets delayed and that is typically not indictable. Happens at DoD with such regularity that it is expected. Sorting logistic delays from political expedience can be done, but no one is motivated to do it honestly.

      Like

      • Mark:

        I do not believe that Obama has ever wanted “single payer”

        Barack Obama, speaking in 2003:

        I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its gross national product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. That’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we’ve got to take back the White House, we’ve got to take back the Senate, and we’ve got to take back the House.

        To the extent that Obama as candidate/president has tempered his advocacy for single payer, it is almost certainly for politically strategic reasons.

        ed – you were corked by QB and I conceded the point as I never heard this from Obama.

        Like

        • Mark:

          you were corked by QB and I conceded the point as I never heard this from Obama.

          Do you think your unawareness on this, Obama’s signature campaign issue, indicates a failure of the media to do its job properly? After all, it’s not like you are a typical low info voter. You are pretty engaged politically. Can you imagine, for example, someone as politically aware as you going thru the entire 2012 campaign unaware that Romney had once been in favor of an ACA-like state-wide system?

          Like

        • Scott – definitely a media failure, IMO. During the debates I would have thought that Edwards would have pinned him on it, because BHO was setting himself apart from HRC and JE by arguing against the mandate. So if the Edwards (and the HRC campaign) did not have that speech to the NM AFL-CIO that had to be a BIG pothole in the road of free flowing information.

          Of course, he would have answered that he changed his mind because he couldn’t design a system from scratch and the cheapest thing to do would be to reform the current system by letting everyone get in on the Fed Employee Insurance group purchasing plan, which was his campaign theme, which I thought was OK.

          McC didn’t use that speech either in his campaign, so I don’t feel all alone as a “high info” voter in never having heard of this.

          Like

  104. So, do you think Obama was lying or very naive? Which one’s worse?

    I think you’re framing a false argument.

    Like

  105. Well, If I remember right you even went to Washibgton in the hopes of letting people know the intelligence Bush was touting was bad. I also remember your position was that he knew it was bad. Doesn’t it corrupt the UN if false evidence is knowingly used to manipulate the institution. For Obama to tout the US’s process is to tout the manipulation of evidence in the furtherance of a goal. Is a trial with a rigged jury fair? We all would say no. Bragging about rigging a jury to get the ends you want as a “right” way to do things is awful, wouldn’t you agree? Or do you believe it’s ok to do that? I’m confused here over what my false framing is as I can see no other way to frame it.

    Like

  106. McWing:

    He made a statement (“we went to the UN”) without commenting on whether he thought that the justification that we used before the UN was the right one or not. He also mentioned that he argued against going to war with Iraq.

    That is all he said. Your trying to put words into his mouth about whether he condoned a lie or was blazingly naive is your problem, not mine.

    Like

  107. Well,’would you agree manipulating the UN with false evidence is bad?

    Like

  108. Am I wrong here? I thought it was your position that Bush trumped up evidence of WMD’s?

    Like

  109. “Michigoose, on March 26, 2014 at 5:57 pm said:

    new kitty?

    jnc was bemoaning the dearth of cute kitten avatars on PL, so I thought I’d make him feel better.”

    To be precise, on PL the question of why I use blank space as my avatar and I replied with my stock answer of letting my comments stand or fall on their own merits without needing to introduce graphics.

    I also threw in a gratuitous comment about not needing to play to canine sympathies as some posters do (you can guess who they are).

    After some back and forth on the merits of that argument I conceded that at least they had enough self respect to not try and sway a reader by resorting to a cute cat avatar.

    And here we are.

    Like

    • jnc:

      Perhaps of interest to you…real live bankers going to real jail for real offenses. Apparently BoA actually self-reported the illegal activity, which touched off the investigation.

      An interesting side-note: My desk was next to Murphy’s, the guy going to jail, way back when I first started working. I remember he used to own a pet snake, a boa constrictor I think.

      Like

  110. “ScottC, on March 27, 2014 at 6:29 am said:

    qb:

    His taking a historical symbol of independence and freedom and making it a symbol of dependency on big government is an appalling misappropriation. That bumper sticker is an offensive obscenity.

    Totally agree, but par for the course.

    Words, concepts, and history have no objective meaning in the minds of people of the left, and can therefore be used to mean anything they want, towards any ends they want.”

    You may find this amusing and/or galling:

    That’s because the Bible is a living, breathing document.

    It should be a living, breathing document. That’s what it should be.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/03/the-terror-of-em-noah-em-how-darren-aronofsky-interprets-the-bible/359587/

    Scott, I think you are actually painting with too broad a brush. It wasn’t always that way.

    I went back and forth on PL over whether or not progressive taxation was one of the principles invoked by the founders (yes, Jefferson, Washington and Adams were apparently all redistributionists in this view) based on this Krugman piece.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/25/what-america-isnt-or-anyway-wasnt/?module=BlogPost-Title&version=Blog%20Main&contentCollection=Opinion&action=Click&pgtype=Blogs&region=Body

    During the course of this I cited Woodrow Wilson, who for whatever his other flaws, was entirely honest in arguing that his progressive movement was a watershed from the original Constitution which he straight up claimed was defective.

    I believe that the relatively recent attempts to redefine language, etc are simply a tactical change post Reagan which is where it seems to have started. The older leftists were more honest about what they wanted when they thought they had a clear majority behind them.

    Like

  111. Mark,

    I do not believe that Obama has ever wanted “single payer”, and I know that the lead Senate Ds did not.

    http://www.redstate.com/diary/jrichardson/2009/08/11/obamas-doublspeak-on-single-payer-health-care-systems/

    Perhaps you think he was lying before 2009? Why should we believe that rather than that he has been lying since 2009? We already know he has followed this pattern with gay marriage. He was for it, then lied about it to get elected, then “evolved” himself back to for it–so vehemently for it that he instructed DOJ to pull out all stops to enforce it on the country.

    I am continually amazed at the free passes Obama is given. There apparently is no volume or flagrancy of lies he tells that bothers those who support him.

    Like

    • Point taken, QB. I never heard him speak to this issue except against HRC and Edwards in that 2007-08 time frame. Thus I never heard anything from him about “single payer” or about “individual mandate”, either.

      My point stands, however. ACA is a rejection of single payer and as George says, a gift to the carriers.

      Like

      • Mark:

        ACA is a rejection of single payer

        I think O’s implementation of ACA can be considered a “rejection” of single payer in much the same way that settling for a double can be considered a “rejection” of a home run.

        and as George says, a gift to the carriers.

        A gift that will ultimately prove to be a poisoned chalice.

        Liked by 1 person

  112. I’m paraphrasing (but just barely) in that in a speech before ACORN prior to 2008 Obama said he had to “fuck-up” the current system before we can get to single payer. Now, since his speech yesterday it’s been established he’s either incredibly naive or a very comfortable liar. So, was he lying then or now?

    Like

  113. jnc,

    That transition in tactics or rhetoric dates at least to FDR. He also denounced the Constitution as an impediment to modern progress, but he changed the discussion with the Switch in Time. That is the moment when the Constitution came to mean whatever Progs want it to mean at a given time, and with it they eventually learned to say that history, the Founders, etc. stand for whatever they say. I think you can draw a direct line from the Switch in Time to the idiocies spouted by Pelosi and Obama about how they are carrying out the Founders’ vision by placing us all in bondage to centralized government to ensure our freedom.

    Like

  114. A Democraric/Progressive gift to the carriers.

    Like

  115. “ScottC, on March 27, 2014 at 9:53 am said:

    jnc:

    Perhaps of interest to you…real live bankers going to real jail for real offenses. Apparently BoA actually self-reported the illegal activity, which touched off the investigation.”

    Fair point. That’s what they should do. Maybe things have changed.

    Edit: That’s a case where you really can make the argument that it’s individual wrong doing, not the institution.

    Like

    • jnc:

      That’s a case where you really can make the argument that it’s individual wrong doing, not the institution.

      Agreed, but isn’t that the point you are generally trying to make regardless? That is, that even so-called institutional wrong doing must necessarily be accompanied by individual wrong doing, and therefore individuals ought to be prosecuted?

      Like

  116. No, my point is that when the opposite behavior occurs and the institutions manage to settle without any admission of wrong doing and/or the individuals involved stay and/or get promoted, then it’s not about the individuals, but rather the institution.

    Edit: I.e. when the institutions pay the fine, move on, and it’s business as usual then it’s endemic to the business model.

    Do the illegal behaviour, get caught, pay the fine and keep the rest of the profits, rinse and repeat is what I mean by a criminal business model. It’s the same one as in Goodfellas:

    “Everybody gets pinched but you did it right. You told them nothing and they got nothing. You learned the two greatest things in life: Never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut. ”

    Like

    • jnc:

      No, my point is that when the opposite behavior occurs and the institutions manage to settle without any admission of wrong doing and/or the individuals involved stay and/or get promoted, then it’s not about the individuals, but rather the institution.

      And I thought your solution to this perceived problem was that individuals need to get prosecuted. I thought we agreed that the best approach was to eliminate institutional financial settlements in which the government profits, thereby providing the incentive for the government to pursue individual criminal charges. And once individuals are threatened with jail time, they will be less likely to engage in the prohibited activity.

      If putting individuals in jail is not what you want, then I confess I have no idea what you do want.

      Like

  117. Yes, that’s the solution to it, which is why the BoA piece you link to is exactly right to use as an example. That’s what happened there, in contrast to previous cases.

    Like

  118. McCain did say that Obama’s real goal was single-payer, socialized medicine. As per SOP, the media rushed to protect its candidate, basically calling McCain a liar.

    http://www.factcheck.org/2008/10/factchecking-debate-no-3/

    That was how 2008 went from beginning to end. The media helped Obama completely reinvent himself as a nonpartisan moderate while all of us who were paying attention kept pointing to the copious proof that he was a radical leftist. The press just let him shrug off everything he’d ever said and done, as if, to say, “Look, I’m just trying to rise above politics and bring moderate change, and these people keep trying to smear me with all these videotapes of my past.”

    Democrats forced through as much government control as they could as a transition to socialized medicine. That is what ACA was and is. Even Harry Reid says it is just the start.

    http://news.yahoo.com/-harry-reid-says-obamacare-will-lead-to-single-payer-system–174601028.html

    ACA is hardly a rejection of single payer.

    Edit: Hilary pointed out Obama’s support for single payer, too. That time, he just lied about it.

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?hl=en&q=cache:qdLQNXAqNO0J:http://www.factcheck.org/2008/01/clinton-obama-slugfest/%2B2008+debate+mccain+obama+single+payer&gbv=2&ct=clnk

    His history of prodigious lying since then puts a new perspective on all those 2008 episodes.

    Like

    • ACA is hardly a rejection of single payer.

      We completely disagree about that, but we agree that Harry Reid is a jerk. I am 70, so I could die any time now according to the Bible; the days of our years and all that, but I will bet you an IPA of winner’s choice that we will not get single payer while I remain sentient, let us say through 2023. We will need to stay in touch for collection purposes.

      Like

  119. Mark, I don’t think we will have single payer by 2023, either. But that is purely a matter of politics and votes. Democrats won’t have the votes for it before then. If they had the votes, we would have some hard from of nationalized health care right now. The Democratic Party is a socialist party. Politics is all that keeps them in check.

    Like

    • Mark/qb:

      How long did it take for the politics of guaranteed student loans to transform from a way of making secondary education more accessible into a unjust taxpayer subsidy of bank profits? 40 years? The same exact process will take place with ACA insurance. Just as the guaranteed student loan program was transformed into direct government provided loans in order to stop the banks getting taxpayer-backed profits, so too the mandate to buy insurance (if it ever actually gets implemented) will eventually be transformed in the political narrative into subsidized profits for insurance companies, which can only be rectified by more cowbell…ie direct insurance provided by the government, just like direct loans provided by the government.

      It is pretty much inevitable. The only question is how long.

      Like

  120. Will it happen before or after the establishment of Jesusland with Branson, MO as the capital and (a moved) Graceland as the new White House?

    Like

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