Morning Report – Strong Auto Sales 7/1/14

Vital Statistics:

 

Last Change Percent
S&P Futures 1957.2 4.8 0.25%
Eurostoxx Index 3245.5 17.2 0.53%
Oil (WTI) 105.8 0.4 0.39%
LIBOR 0.232 0.001 0.48%
US Dollar Index (DXY) 79.81 0.030 0.04%
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.55% 0.02%
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 106.6 -0.2
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 105.8 -0.2
BankRate 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 4.15

Stocks are modestly higher this morning on good Chinese manufacturing data. Bonds and MBS are down small.

The ISM Manufacturing Index came in at 55.3, a small drop from last month and slightly below consensus. Construction spending rose .1% in May, disappointing, but the April number was revised upward in a big way, from .2% to .8%.

Auto sales are coming in this morning and at first glance, they look pretty good. Chrysler sales are up 9% and even troubled GM’s sales were up 1%. I think the average age of a car in the US is pushing 12 years, which is a record. This implies we are going to see a wave of auto buying as these cars become too expensive to keep fixing.

Financial repression has consequences. The Fed is rightfully worried about creating another credit bubble. One place to watch is commercial mortgages, where firms are refinancing old bubble-era debt at current rates. Spreads have narrowed 10 basis points this year to 77 basis points for the higher quality stuff, and LTVs have climbed to within 10% of their third quarter 2007 peak. Vacancy rates are still elevated, and are above the peak of the early 00’s recession.

The Supreme Court split the baby on a couple big decisions yesterday, ruling that companies don’t have to cover abortifacients if they object to them for religious reasons, and ruled that non-union members don’t have to pay dues for unions that negotiate on their behalf. Both decisions were narrowly written, but that won’t stop the avalanche of “slippery slope” columns that are being written this morning.

 

71 Responses

  1. Good piece by Ezra Klein on the internal Republican politics of the Ex-Im Bank fight.

    http://www.vox.com/2014/7/1/5856034/the-ex-im-fight-and-reform-conservatism

    Like

  2. Good editorial distinguishing between liberals and progressives. http://online.wsj.com/articles/charles-murray-the-trouble-isnt-liberals-its-progressives-1404170419

    Like

  3. I’m going to spend the day at Walgreens slapping condones outta the hand of chicks.

    Like

  4. Tell them to go to CVS. Or Kroger Pharmacy. Or Target Pharmacy. Walgreens has worthless coupons and their customer loyalty card is crap. CVS is like 10 times better. I used to go to Walgreens constantly. Then we got a lot of CVS stores, and I started getting 5% discount cards for filling 4 scrips at Target, which I would then transfer to Kroger’s and get a $25 food credit. And spend almost nothing on the scrip.

    Walgreens offers almost nothing. They suck, and I hate them. And this is from a guy who normally hates on Krogers because they have the stand-alone grocery store monopoly in our area. I missed having Schnucks/Seesels/Piggly-Wiggly/Mega-Market/Jitney Premiere/et al. Kroger’s owns this town and they rule it with an iron fist!

    Like

  5. @Brent: “Good editorial distinguishing between liberals and progressives.”

    If only I could read it. If only someone already behind the paywall could cut and paste it in the comments here.

    Like

  6. I thought sure sure one of the liberals would vote for religious freedom. Really disappointed about that.

    Like

  7. I miss Wegman’s in upstate New York. That place was amazing. Would love to see them go national…

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    • Brent:

      I miss Wegman’s in upstate New York. That place was amazing. Would love to see them go national…

      Wegman’s provided me with my first ever employment. Worked for them throughout high school. Great store.

      Like

  8. Social conservatives. Libertarians. Country-club conservatives. Tea party conservatives. Everybody in politics knows that those sets of people who usually vote Republican cannot be arrayed in a continuum from moderately conservative to extremely conservative. They are on different political planes. They usually have just enough in common to vote for the same candidate.

    Why then do we still talk about the left in terms of a continuum from moderately liberal to extremely liberal? Divisions have been occurring on the left that mirror the divisions on the right. Different segments of the left are now on different planes.

    A few weeks ago, I was thrown into a situation where I shared drinks and dinner with two men who have held high positions in Democratic administrations. Both men are lifelong liberals. There’s nothing “moderate” about their liberalism. But as the pleasant evening wore on (we knew that there was no point in trying to change anyone’s opinion on anything), I was struck by how little their politics have to do with other elements of the left.

    Their liberalism has nothing in common with the political mind-set that wants right-of-center speakers kept off college campuses, rationalizes the forced resignation of a CEO who opposes gay marriage, or thinks George F. Will should be fired for writing a column disagreeable to that mind-set. It has nothing to do with executive orders unilaterally disregarding large chunks of legislation signed into law or with using the IRS as a political weapon. My companions are on a different political plane from those on the left with that outlook—the progressive mind-set.

    Wait, doesn’t “progressive” today reflect the spirit of the Progressive Era a century ago, when the country benefited from the righteous efforts of muckrakers and others who fought big-city political bosses, attacked business monopolies and promoted Good Government?

    The era was partly about that. But philosophically, the progressive movement at the turn of the 20th century had roots in German philosophy ( Hegel and Nietzsche were big favorites) and German public administration ( Woodrow Wilson’s open reverence for Bismarck was typical among progressives). To simplify, progressive intellectuals were passionate advocates of rule by disinterested experts led by a strong unifying leader. They were in favor of using the state to mold social institutions in the interests of the collective. They thought that individualism and the Constitution were both outmoded.

    That’s not a description that Woodrow Wilson or the other leading progressive intellectuals would have argued with. They openly said it themselves.

    It is that core philosophy extolling the urge to mold society that still animates progressives today—a mind-set that produces the shutdown of debate and growing intolerance that we are witnessing in today’s America. Such thinking on the left also is behind the rationales for indulging President Obama in his anti-Constitutional use of executive power. If you want substantiation for what I’m saying, read Jonah Goldberg’s 2008 book “Liberal Fascism,” an erudite and closely argued exposition of American progressivism and its subsequent effects on liberalism. The title is all too accurate.

    Here, I want to make a simple point about millions of people—like my liberal-minded dinner companions—who regularly vote Democratic and who are caught between a rock and a hard place.

    Along with its intellectual legacy, the Progressive Era had a political legacy that corresponds to the liberalism of these millions of Democrats. They think that an activist federal government is a force for good, approve of the growing welfare state and hate the idea of publicly agreeing with a Republican about anything. But they also don’t like the idea of shouting down anyone who disagrees with them.

    They gave money to the ACLU in 1978 when the organization’s absolutism on free speech led it to defend the right of neo-Nazis to march in Skokie, Ill. They still believe that the individual should not be sacrificed to the collective and that people who achieve honest success should be celebrated for what they have built. I’m not happy that they like the idea of a “living Constitution”—one that can be subjected to interpretations according to changing times—but they still believe in the separation of powers, checks and balances, and the president’s duty to execute the laws faithfully.

    These Democrats should get exclusive possession of the word “liberal.”

    As a libertarian, I am reluctant to give up the word “liberal.” It used to refer to laissez-faire economics and limited government. But since libertarians aren’t ever going to be able to retrieve its original meaning, we should start using “liberal” to designate the good guys on the left, reserving “progressive” for those who are enthusiastic about an unrestrained regulatory state, who think it’s just fine to subordinate the interests of individuals to large social projects, who cheer the president’s abuse of executive power and who have no problem rationalizing the stifling of dissent.

    Making a clear distinction between liberals and progressives will help break down a Manichaean view of politics that afflicts the nation. Too many of us see those on the other side as not just misguided but evil. The solution is not a generalized “Can’t we all just get along” non-judgmentalism. Some political differences are too great for that.

    But liberalism as I want to use the term encompasses a set of views that can be held by people who care as much about America’s exceptional heritage as I do. Conservatives’ philosophical separation from that kind of liberalism is not much wider than the philosophical separation among the various elements of the right. If people from different political planes on the right can talk to each other, as they do all the time, so should they be able to talk to people on the liberal left, if we start making a distinction between liberalism and progressivism. To make that distinction is not semantic, but a way of realistically segmenting the alterations to the political landscape that the past half-century has brought us.

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  9. I think we should turn Brent’s comment into it’s own post

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    • nova:

      I think we should turn Brent’s comment into it’s own post

      That was the text of the WSJ article he linked to. Written by Charles Murray.

      Like

  10. You know what Brent, I just had to come back and thank you for that “longish” distinction you made between liberals and progressives. It’s something I’ve know for awhile, as a liberal, but I’ve never been able to put it into words like that. Thanks and carry on.

    Like

  11. whoops.

    but Wegmans is awesome. they are in the NoVa area now. but i learned about them in upstate NY

    Like

  12. Yes, that longish post is not mine… I just copied it for everyone to see…

    Like

  13. That was the text of the WSJ article he linked to. Written by Charles Murray.

    Dammit, I thought maybe a change was blowing through ATiM. I’ll keep my eyes open just in case.

    Like

    • lms:

      Dammit, I thought maybe a change was blowing through ATiM.

      At least you can have a new found respect for Charles Murray.

      Like

      • ​http://www.nationaljournal.com/congress/congress-quietly-deletes-a-key-disclosure-of-free-trips-lawmakers-take-20140630

        NEST FEATHERING JERKS “REPRESENTING” YOU AND ME.

        The information is still available if you hunt for it, but making it harder to find was apparently a “bipartisan” effort by the ETHICS Committee.

        Like

  14. FWIW, I pretty much agree with it – although I didn’t write it…

    Like

    • Brent:

      FWIW, I pretty much agree with it…

      I think it is a sensible and fair way to look at the left. But I also think that I would place a lot of people into the “progressive” camp who probably conceive of themselves as “just” liberal. For example, I think people who think it is a perfectly legitimate function of government to force a baker to bake cakes for a gay “wedding” are not just a liberals, but are in fact progressives animated by the urge to mold society, as Murray puts it. In fact I think people who think the issue of SSM is one that the federal courts have a legitimate role in deciding are “progressives” in Murray’s meaning of the term. So too people who think forcing employers to pay for things that they are morally opposed to is something the federal government should be doing.

      Like

  15. i think we’ve been thinking it for years. and i recommend the bool — liberal fascism.

    Like

  16. So, if I understand Murray, Progressivism equals Every Knee Shall Bend.

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  17. @Scott, well those cases are where Libertarians are making a legal, Constitutional argument and Progressives are making a moral one.

    The two sides completely talk past each other…

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    • As we think about it in the legal strategy sense, we see that HL never complained about this coverage in its insurance policies before ACA. They really couldn’t: they had to shop in the market.

      I have read that their previous policy had this coverage. Probably they didn’t have a choice and didn’t have enough bargaining power to carve an exception. Given ACA and the mandated coverage or heavy fine, they had a venue other than the market place to raise their issue.

      Or maybe the assertions that the previous policy had contraceptive coverage are false. IDK.

      If true, this unintended consequence of federal intervention in the market is ironic.

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      • Mark:

        Or maybe the assertions that the previous policy had contraceptive coverage are false. IDK.

        I don’t know anything about HL’s previous coverage, but to be clear their objection was not to contraceptive coverage per se. They objected to, in the words of the CEO, ” emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill.” It is possible that their previous coverage contained traditional forms of contraception, but not these specific ones.

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        • Scott – it appears that HL did not know what was in the policy before ACA made them painfully [for them] aware of it. I get this from their Complaint, which was just cited to me elsewere.

          Click to access Hobby-Lobby-Complaint-stamped.pdf

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        • Mark:

          According to the complaint their insurance policies “have long excluded…contraceptive devices that might cause abortions and pregnancy termination drugs like RU-46.” However, they were unaware that their current policy covered 2 other drugs that could cause an abortion, and that is what they discovered after the offending regulations were issued. So it seems this was an issue that has always been on their radar screen, and they just happened to miss something.

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        • Agreed, Scott.

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    • Brent, I think the effective limit on the average fleet age is 15 years. This is because parts availability generally gets scarce after that passage of time.

      Of course, cars last longer in TX than in CT. We have better roads than everyone else and no ice/salt. YMMV.

      Like

  18. Caps sign Penguins free agent Brooks Orpik to 5 year 27 million deal. at age 33. after a knee injury.

    Nobody in DC knows how to spend properly.

    Like

  19. “The era was partly about that. But philosophically, the progressive movement at the turn of the 20th century had roots in German philosophy ( Hegel and Nietzsche were big favorites) and German public administration ( Woodrow Wilson’s open reverence for Bismarck was typical among progressives). To simplify, progressive intellectuals were passionate advocates of rule by disinterested experts led by a strong unifying leader. They were in favor of using the state to mold social institutions in the interests of the collective. They thought that individualism and the Constitution were both outmoded.

    That’s not a description that Woodrow Wilson or the other leading progressive intellectuals would have argued with. They openly said it themselves.”

    This is interesting to contrast with the Salon piece I linked yesterday on anti-trust which made the case that Teddy Roosevelt was more of a “progressive” in 1912 vs Woodrow Wilson who was more of a free market liberal, at least as far as that specific issue.

    Like

    • While there are some nuances that can usefully be discussed, I do not accept the whole liberal/progressive dichotomy that is trendy now on the right. There was a period in the mid-20th century when the left largely comprised a mainstream current that had not become fully radicalized in practice because its intellectual seeds were still taking root and shape. Liberals like LBJ could fight for vast new expansions of government but were not fully conscious of and had not traced out the full implications of their ideas. Derangement and detachment from American ideals was in progress but not yet fully realized. But the ideas, the seeds were always there, a mix of 19th century German radical thought (Hegel, Freud, Neitzsche, Marx) as well as Anglo-American pragmatism and skepticism (Dewey). In the postwar era, these ideas were regerminated in universities in the forms of neomarxism and sundry strains of radical continental thought. It has been a blossoming of ideas over time, not a break of progressivism from liberalism. They are two faces if the same thing, and rarely distinguishable. The hippie children of new dealers were progressives from birth.

      Like

  20. “In effect, your business is not “your” business at all, but instead all aspects of its operations exist at the whim of the state”

    Yep, that argument is a staple at PL.

    Like

    • That view is explicit in the very disturbing and ideologically driven dissent, which actually suggests that a corporation’s views are those of its employees.

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  21. ““In effect, your business is not “your” business at all, but instead all aspects of its operations exist at the whim of the state” Yep, that argument is a staple at PL.”

    Is it? The arguments I see are more of the nature that there is a bogeyman, called The Right or Conservatives or Christians or some combo, that wants to deprive women of all birth control and force them to have babies. And that Republicans are obstructionists. And murdering fascists. And that everything happening bad in DC or with the NSA or whatever is engineered by evil Right Wingers, with perhaps some small compliance by inadequately pure Democrats and liberals-in-name-only, or whatever.

    I don’t get a sense that who owns the business or how much of it or with how much leeway is all that important. What’s important is religious conservatives are trying to take away all women’s birth control, because women are second class citizens and also conservatives hate gay people.

    Basically, it’s an orgy of “look how bad these people are and how good we are by implication”.

    With some exceptions. But “the state should control some aspects of all businesses for the great collective good” is a coherent and arguably positive thought (the wisdom and moral basis for it not withstanding). Not a lot of that at PL.

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  22. I’m referring to the first order arguments that R30 & sometimes shrink used to make and most went along with that there is no such thing as the economy outside of how the government constructs it and therefore all economic decisions are correctly viewed as political ones.

    It’s tied to the view that private property is properly understood as a construction of the state and is meaningless absent the government giving one an enforceable right.

    I’ve also seen people like Ultralance take it further and state that all rights are granted by the government, i.e. free speech, etc. It’s the exact opposite of the Lockeian view of rights.

    Like

  23. From Ginsburg dissent:

    “Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. Workers who sustain the operations of those corporations commonly are not drawn from one religious community….The distinction between a community made up of believers in the same religion and one embracing persons of diverse beliefs, clear as it is, constantly escapes the Court’s attention.17 One can only wonder why the Court shuts this key difference from sight.”

    Notice all the weasel words and language used to tell lies about reality. This indeed is the worldview of progressivism. There is no baseline or default position here. The money you earn is in no sense yours; the government allows you to receive and keep it. The corporation you form with your hard-earned savings is not your business or property but its employees’ “community,” to be done with for their pleasure what the ruler decides is best for them, not you. You actually do not count. You didn’t build that.

    I was just having this same kind of debate with a college friend who is a political theory prof. He argues all these usual canards. It relates to the discussion of liberal versus progressive. I contend that these arguments reveal all the liberals to be progressives. There is no real difference in kind.

    Like

    • IDK how to parse these definitions of “liberal” and “progressive”.

      I do know that RBG’s dissent seems completely blind to the obvious distinction between stockholders and employees.

      In trying to understand her here I am getting a headache. I do understand that there is always line drawing on the balancing of First Amendment rights with compelling governmental interests regarding laws of general application. But I do not understand what the employees’ religious beliefs have to do with what insurance the employer buys. I might have dissented on grounds that I would not draw the balance line here in favor of the religious choice, but I would have known that we are dealing with the compelled purchase of insurance by the employer, not the employee. That’s hard to miss.

      Like

  24. More Ginsburg:

    “Importantly, the decisions whether to claim benefitsunder the plans are made not by Hobby Lobby or Cones- toga, but by the covered employees and dependents, inconsultation with their health care providers. Should an employee of Hobby Lobby or Conestoga share the religiousbeliefs of the Greens and Hahns, she is of course under no compulsion to use the contraceptives in question. But “[n]o individual decision by an employee and her physician—be it to use contraception, treat an infection, or havea hip replaced—is in any meaningful sense [her employer’s] decision or action.” Grote v. Sebelius, 708 F. 3d 850, 865 (CA7 2013) (Rovner, J., dissenting). It is doubtful that Congress, when it specified that burdens must be “substantia[l],” had in mind a linkage thus interrupted byindependent decisionmakers (the woman and her healthcounselor) standing between the challenged government action and the religious exercise claimed to be infringed. Any decision to use contraceptives made by a womancovered under Hobby Lobby’s or Conestoga’s plan will not be propelled by the Government, it will be the wo- man’s autonomous choice, informed by the physician sheconsults.”

    I won’t mince words (When do I ever?): she is simply dishonest at every turn, twisting the facts, twisting the law, setting up straw men, willfully evading and obscuring the real issue. How else can such a passage be read? No decision of an employee to use an abortion drug would be Hobby Lobby’s? Yes, exactly. That is the point. HL has no say in the matter; it is only compelled to pay for the employee’s decision. This argument is so inane that she might as well just say that government compulsion to pay for abortions can’t violate free exercise, because it is compulsory. Brilliant argument!

    Like

  25. “markinaustin, on July 1, 2014 at 5:22 pm said:

    I do know that RBG’s dissent seems completely blind to the obvious distinction between stockholders and employees. ”

    Perhaps because she rejects it in principle. Many progressives will substitute the term “stakeholder” to elevate the employees to the same level as the shareholders.

    Like

    • JNC, and QB, reading her dissent in its entirety reflects that she is relying on cases that have weighed third party claims. It is at P. 7. I have to go read her citations to see if I think they are to the point or not.

      Like

  26. QB, you may appreciate Kevin Drum’s honesty here:

    “There is, in a way, a broader unfairness here too. We tend to mock conservatives for endlessly keeping the culture war alive, but the truth is that it was we liberals who started it.”

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/03/liberals-started-culture-war-we-should-proud-continuing-it

    &

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/04/who-started-culture-wars-anyway

    From a post by Ross Douthat.

    http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/01/the-culture-wars-sore-winners/

    Interesting: Paul Waldman concedes George Will’s central point from his recent controversial column:

    “The flourishing of identity politics in the 1990s included something derisively referred to as the “Oppression Olympics,” where different minority groups competed with each other to claim the highest of moral high ground by saying their suffering was worse than anyone else’s. That may be less common than it once was, but it left a residue in our public debate in which victim status is considered highly desirable, in part because it allows you to make claims for redress.”

    http://prospect.org/article/thrown-lions

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  27. Mark, yes, Ginsburg cited cases having to do with burdens on others, but there was no plausible argument in this case that the mandate could meet the test under RFRA. The burden argument was quite absurd.

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  28. Her opinion drips from beginning to end with contempt for Christians. There just isn’t any escaping that. She obviously loathes the bitter clingers out there, like the Greens, and wants them subjugated to their progressive masters.

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  29. Looks like shrink has been banned from PL. He says he’s “too proud to troll” so will just go quietly into that good night.

    Like

  30. I honestly didn’t get the outrage over the Will column. I read it to be: colleges are ignoring due process b/c of a misguided effort to be fair. The idea that he was excusing or defending sexual assault was just bizarre.

    Like

    • nova:

      The idea that he was excusing or defending sexual assault was just bizarre.

      No more bizarre than the disingenuous claims the left makes all the time.

      If you are opposed to legal abortion, you are against “women’s health”.

      If you think employers should be able to decide for themselves what kind of insurance coverage they will offer, you are trying to “deny access to health care”.

      If you oppose government funding of fetal stem cell research, you are “anti-science”.

      If you think there is no principled difference between arguments advocating for SSM and arguments advocating for incestuous marriage, you want to “fuck your sister”.

      The various “wars” on this or that…women, science, gays, etc…are all variations on the same intellectually slimy strategy. It is all just an attempt to bully the opposition into silence without engaging the real arguments, as well as to appeal to the more feeble minded among the electorate. And it unfortunately works to a large degree.

      Like

  31. @qb: “Swearing. Couldn’t happen to a more pompous blowhard. I’m sure Greg will unban him.”

    Seriously? Everybody swears on PL. I would have understand if he had been banned for being overly cryptic. We invited Shrink here early on but I think he was offended by the idea of cordial discussion, so left. Now we’re way too short on liberals, even if we were softer about cordiality (which seems reasonable; like the constitution, I suppose, our founding principles must be part of a living, breathing document).

    @Nova: “I honestly didn’t get the outrage over the Will column.”

    Double-standards. Most folks have ’em. I think lefty pundits maybe a little more, but that may be my own biases speaking. But it essentially boils down to a choice of phrasing that would be entirely excused if George Will had his mind right and was a lefty becomes a tacit endorsement of rape, and also Nazis, because you aren’t allowed to say certain things in certain ways when you’re a conservative. Indeed, you aren’t even allowed to use certain words to close together, because they reveal the true nature of your black heart.

    If a liberal uses those same sorts of words the same way, it doesn’t mean the same thing because you know his or her heart is good and full of rainbows.

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    • Sort of true that lots of people swear at PL, but shrink was prolific and zealous, and used some kind of font-based hack to post what looked straight-up like f___ and s___.

      He bolted ATiM as soon as Scott asked him to be clear about an argument and he realized we were here for reasoned discussion and not his standard dismissive insults. I have always said he is the smartest PLer but also a really bad person.

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      • qb:

        He bolted ATiM as soon as Scott asked him to be clear about an argument…

        Actually it was the fact that I characterized one of his comments as cynical that caused him to bail. I said:

        Your unbridled cynicism (I am willing to call it that) does not serve you well, shrink. Especially regarding things with which you have no experience.

        For some reason he was highly sensitive to the charge of cynicism. Perhaps because he thought republicans were cynical and therefore considered it a huge insult.

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  32. @quarterback: ” she is simply dishonest at every turn, twisting the facts, twisting the law, setting up straw men, willfully evading and obscuring the real issue. How else can such a passage be read?”

    I read it like she sincerely believes wrong things. I do not doubt she believes what she wrote, personally.

    “But “[n]o individual decision by an employee and her physician—be it to use contraception, treat an infection, or havea hip replaced—is in any meaningful sense [her employer’s] decision or action.”

    I don’t doubt she thinks that’s the crux of the matter. And I doubt any clear explanation as to why it’s not would penetrate. Conclusions required by ideology are often unshakable, and there are numerous studies that document how our brain edits both input and memory to conform to our biases about the world.

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  33. @markinaustin: “We have better roads than everyone else and no ice/salt.”

    Unless you live right on the coast. Then you’ll get salt spray up from the ocean.

    Like

  34. One of the best defenses I’ve seen put forth by a politician in a sex scandal in a while:

    “The OMG Defense

    Delegate Joe Morrissey says he was framed by a lesbian hacker and has the text messages to prove it.

    July 01, 2014

    Yes, Delegate Joe Morrissey says, investigators might have found a text message that reads, “OMG, I just fucked my boss.” But he says there’s no way it was sent by the underage girl with whom he’s charged of having sex.

    “We have examined 10,000 texts,” he told a group of reporters today. The girl “has never used the acronym OMG in her life.”

    Morrissey offers an alternative explanation: The texts were sent as part of a hacking plot perpetrated by a 24-year-old woman who’s obsessed with the girl and intent on marrying her.

    Indicted Monday by a special grand jury, Morrissey stood outside the Henrico County Courthouse to outline the defense Tuesday. (At least one local television station carried his statement live, but dropped it after he used the F-bomb while describing the content of the aforementioned text message.) ”

    http://www.styleweekly.com/richmond/the-omg-defense/Content?oid=2090445

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  35. I always had funning watching shrink try and explain why the Nazi’s were right wing.

    Like

  36. That and he switches between cynicism and idealism regularly in his arguments. He never really had an answer for my question about if you are so cynical about the government about X, why would you want it to do more.

    He simply retorted that libertarianism was ultimately indistinguishable from nihilism.

    Like

    • jnc:

      He never really had an answer for my question about if you are so cynical about the government about X, why would you want it to do more.

      That’s actually a disconnect that I think is shared quite widely on the left.

      Like

    • That was a bullseye question for shrink, jnc. I suspect it is very troubling to him deep down. But he has nowhere else to put his trust.

      Scott, I had confused the details. Shrink just won’t tolerate being questioned in any way.

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  37. Maybe he, like Bernie, is just a douchebag?

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  38. @jnc4p: “He simply retorted that libertarianism was ultimately indistinguishable from nihilism.”

    Look out for yourself, take care of your own = the sweet embrace of death.

    Makes sense.

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  39. @McWing: “Maybe he, like Bernie, is just a douchebag?”

    Impolitic way to put it, but I think both Shrink and Bernie are pot-stirrers, not interested in (remotely) engaging in conversation or exchange of ideas, but interested in opining. This is not an unusual state, on the Interwebz.

    They also enjoy being clever and pithy and have many insights they cannot resist sharing with the world, to demonstrate their brilliance. In this way, I resemble them quite a lot.

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  40. @ScottC: “That’s actually a disconnect that I think is shared quite widely on the left.”

    I don’t think that’s an uncommon disconnect. Many on the right seem largely unconcerned about the huge part of the pie that is taken up by defense spending (though certainly not all), but are worried about the funding of public radio, which is a 1/3rd of a scintilla of a mite of a speck of the DoD’s budget.

    People generally tend to make exceptions to all their ideological rules, when the conditions are correct. But I think that’s because when impassioned, we paint in broad strokes, and say things like “We have to cut government!” when it fact we mean we need to cut most of government, or reign in the expansion of government, or cut the parts we don’t like out of government.

    The left doesn’t want big government. If the largest parts of government disappeared tomorrow (the DoD and associated security apparatus) they’d be elated, so long as all those government employees were given new positions in a greatly expanded Department of Perpetual Entitlements. The left is Big Entitlements. They want the government redistributing wealth, the more the better. I suspect they would be quite content to radically shrink the size of the military and reduce the CIA to three guys using Google to prepare national security briefings for the president, and shrink the NSA radically. Generally. I know, specifically there are liberals who want everything associate with government to grow.

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    • Kevin:

      Many on the right seem largely unconcerned about the huge part of the pie that is taken up by defense spending (though certainly not all), but are worried about the funding of public radio, which is a 1/3rd of a scintilla of a mite of a speck of the DoD’s budget.

      I don’t think that is a comparable “disconnect”, or that it is even one at all. I think defense is the primary function of the federal government, and so it should take up a huge part of the pie, while I think not only that funding a public radio station is not a proper function of the federal government, it is a potentially dangerous thing to do in an ostensibly free society, so I am also very much opposed to funding public radio even a single dollar.

      What is the disconnect?

      People generally tend to make exceptions to all their ideological rules, when the conditions are correct.

      We are not talking about making exceptions to ideological rules, which is simple hypocrisy. We are talking about an intellectual disconnect, a blindness to the implications of your own thinking. “I don’t trust politicians because they are only acting on their own self-interest, but at the same time I want to give politicians more power to make decisions that effect everyone.” Try as you might (and you do like to try!), you can’t sensibly generalize such a critique to all political ideologies, especially ones that explicitly do not want government to be making all kinds of decisions for everyone.

      But I think that’s because when impassioned, we paint in broad strokes, and say things like “We have to cut government!” when it fact we mean we need to cut most of government, or reign in the expansion of government, or cut the parts we don’t like out of government.

      This does not describe the people I had in mind when I made my comment. They quite literally say things like “There are almost no politicians that I trust, especially at the federal level. I rarely vote for either R’s or D’s because they are all just in it for themselves.” And yet they then go on to advocate for policies that gives these very same federal politicians huge political power to make decisions that effect everyone.

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  41. @markinaustin: “It’s the Gulf, man, but yep, you’re right.”

    I knew you were going to correct me. But I still didn’t edit it. I figure, it’s all the same water, dammit.

    Like

  42. @ScottC: “I think defense is the primary function of the federal government”

    That is an ideological position, one not universally held even at the founding of the nation. I agree, as it happens, but Thomas Jefferson didn’t. He also didn’t think we should have a federal bank.

    Like

    • Kevin:

      That is an ideological position, one not universally held even at the founding of the nation.

      Agreed that it is an ideological position.

      What does that have to do with the disconnect we were talking about?

      Like

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