September 19, 2013 archive

Sep 19

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Sep 19

Be Careful What You Ask For

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The progressive Democrats of the Senate got Larry Summers to withdraw from consideration for chair of the Federal Reserve over the weekend. So now they’re yellin’ for Yellen. Well, folks Janet Yellen the current vice chair of the Federal Reserve is just the distaff version of Larry minus he misogyny.

Huffington Post‘s senior political economy reporter Zach Carter gives a rundown of Ms. Yellen’s policy history before and during her tenure as chair of Council of Economic Advisers in the Clinton administration. During that time she backed the repeal of the landmark Glass-Steagall bank reform, supported the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement and pressured the government to develop a new statistical metric intended to lower payments to senior citizens on Social Security. Yes, dears, that last one would be an earlier version of the Chained CPI.

But in the 1990s, Yellen and Summers both served in the Clinton administration, and pursued many of the same policies. Yellen began serving as Chair of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers in 1997, and publicly endorsed repealing Glass-Steagall’s separation between traditional bank lending and riskier securities trading during her Senate confirmation hearing. Yellen referred to deregulating banking as a way to “modernize” the financial system, and indicated that breaking down Glass-Steagall could be the beginning of a process allowing banks to merge with other commercial and industrial firms. [..]

At the same event, Yellen endorsed establishing a new statistical metric that would allow the federal government to reduce Social Security payments over time, by revising the consumer price index, or CPI, the government’s standard measurement for inflation. [..]

Before Yellen joined the Clinton administration, she was a respected economist at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1993, she joined dozens of other academics in signing a letter to Clinton advocating for the North American Free Trade Agreement. The letter was signed by prominent conservative economists including Milton Friedman, but also by many economists who are now considered progressive, including Paul Krugman and former Obama adviser Christina Romer. Krugman has since expressed disappointment with some of the trade pact’s effects.

(all emphasis mine)

The full transcript of Ms. Yellen’s Feb. 5, 1997 conformation hearing can be read here (pdf).

To be fair on the Glass-Steagall repeal, Ezra Klein weighed in at his Washington Post Wonkblog:

Another point here is that Glass-Steagall really wasn’t behind the crisis. Wonkblog’s Glass-Steagall explainer has much more detail on this, but perhaps the simplest way to make the point is to quote Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the lead sponsor behind the bill to restore Glass-Steagall. When Andrew Ross Sorkin asked her whether the law would’ve prevented the financial crisis or JP Morgan’s subsequent losses, she said, “the answer is probably ‘No’ to both.” There are good reasons to bring back Glass-Steagall, but they’re separate from the events of 2007 and 2008.

Which is only to say that supporting the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1997 doesn’t say that much about somebody’s opinions on regulating Wall Street today. And, in general, we don’t know very much about Janet Yellen’s views on the subject. As I’ve argued before, the support for her on this dimension (as opposed to on the monetary policy dimension) really comes from an anybody-but-Summers impulse.

Carter also noted in his article that Ms. Yellen is more consumer friendly. During her tenure as president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve from June 14, 2004 until 2010, she identified the housing bubble and urged stronger regulation to limit its damage.

This still leaves a lot of questions about whether she would support the chained CPI, that is very unpopular among seniors and the public in general, or support regulation to rein in the TBTF banks. As lambert at Corrente puts it:

“Be careful what you wish for; you might get it” was made for situations like this.

So let’s not confuse a solid base hit with a game-winning grand slam, OK?

Sep 19

A Plea From a Trauma Surgeon: Put My Trauma Center Out of Business

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

In the aftermath of another mass shooting that took the lives of 12 people and the gunman in the heart of the nation’s capital at the Washington Naval Yard, Washington Hospital Center Chief Medical Officer Janis Orlowsi, a trauma surgeon spoke to the press. After reporting on the status of the victims who were being treated at her hospital, Dr. Orlowsi made a powerful plea for gun control.

You know what, we see a lot of trauma. And you know, sometimes it’s just, you know – accidents that occur that we get to help people with, because they’re accidents. And then you see what I call senseless trauma. And there is – there’s something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate.

   I – I have to say, I may see this everyday, I may, you know, be the Chief Medical Officer of a very large trauma center. But there’s something wrong here when we have these multiple shootings, these multiple injuries. There is something wrong. and the only thing that I can say is we have to work together to get rid of it.

   I would like you to put my trauma center out of business. I really would. I would like to not be an expert on gunshots and not to be an expert on this. We are – we do it well. Very experienced surgeons. But, quite frankly, I would rather they were doing their surgery on other things. And you know, it’s a great city. It’s a great country. And we have to work together to get rid of this. Because we just cannot have, you know, one more shooting with, you know, so many people killed.

   We’ve got to figure this out. We’ve got to be able to help each other. We’re dealing right now with three innocent people. But my prayers and my thoughts go out to those people who have died as a result of today. And, you know, their families and what they’re going to have to go through. So I have to say, you know, it’s a challenge to all of us. Let’s get rid of this. This is not America. This is not Washington D.C. This is not good. So we have got to work to get rid of this.

Sep 19

Cartnoon

Sep 19

Urgent Soul Crushing Breaking News

The Crunchy Center

Sheer Accumulation of Breathless Wrongness

How large is this building?  What about that one?

The Best F#@king News Team Ever

Sep 19

On This Day In History September 19

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

September 19 is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 103 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1796, President George Washington’s Farewell Address to the Nation is published.

George Washington’s Farewell Address was written to “The People of the United States” near the end of his second term as President of the United States and before his retirement to Mount Vernon.

Originally published in David Claypoole’s American Daily Advertiser on September 19, 1796 under the title “The Address of General Washington To The People of The United States on his declining of the Presidency of the

United States,” the letter was almost immediately reprinted in newspapers across the country and later in a pamphlet form. The work was later named a “Farewell Address,” as it was Washington’s valedictory after 45 years of service to the new republic, first during the Revolution of the Continental Army and later as the nation’s first president.

The letter was originally prepared in 1792 with the help of James Madison, as Washington prepared to retire following a single term in office. However, he set aside the letter and ran for a second term after his Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, and his Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, convinced him that the growing divisions between the newly formed Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties, along with the current state of foreign affairs, would tear the country apart in the absence of his leadership.

Four years later, as his second term came to a close, Washington revisited the letter and with the help of Alexander Hamilton prepared a revision of the original draft to announce his intention to decline a third term in office; to reflect the emerging issues of the American political landscape in 1796; and to parting advice to his fellow Americans, express his support for the government eight years following the adoption of the Constitution; and to defend his administration’s record.

The letter was written by Washington after years of exhaustion due to his advanced age, years of service to his country, the duties of the presidency, and increased attacks by his political opponents. It was published almost two months before the Electoral College cast their votes in the 1796 presidential election.

Sep 19

It Be International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

The Pastafarian Service Council wants to remind you that today, September 19th, be International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

As Slushy the Polar Bear says-

“Only you can prevent Global Warming.  Arrgh.”

PhotobucketAhoy mateys.  It be Cap’n Hank Bloodbeard hijacking your blog ag’in.  Since the establishin’ of International Talk Like a Pirate Day in 1995, the number of Pirates has increased gratifyin’ly thereby proving the success of our Pastafarian Pirate Recruitin’ Program and confirmin’ the link between increased piracy and declinin’ Global Warmin’.

But wait ye say, Global Warmin’ has gotten worse and Pastafarianism is a made up religion contrived out of equal measures of ennui, ignorance and Rum!

WHY IS THERE NEVER ANY RUM!  Oh, that’s why.

Ye scurvy dog, them be fightin’ wards.  Ye’ll walk the plank. I’ll keelhaul ye.  I’ll see your black hearted soul in Davey Jones Locker (the one ‘e shares w’ Peter Toth).

We used to worry about that too until we took up w’ a crew o’ Freshwater Pirates from the Chicago School who explained that it doesn’t matter how consistently and thoroughly wrong ye are if ye suck up to rich people enough and parrot their prejudices, beat down the po’ folk until morale improves, and kiss their ass long and hard.  Take what ye can, give nothin’ back, yo ho.

Polly want a grant?

E’en on these shores Cap’n Bloodbeard (aside from really enjoyin’ referin’ to hisself in the thard person) be known for ‘is trail of terror and carnage and really bad puns.

I generally celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day by telling the 3 Pirate Jokes.  There are only 3, all the others are just variations.  As Cap’n Slappy says:

Thar be only three pirate jokes in the world. The biggest one is the one that ends with someone usin’ “Arrr” in the punchline. Oh, sure, thar be plenty o’ these, but they’re all the same damn joke.

“What’s the pirate movie rated? – Arrr!”

“What kind o’ socks does a pirate wear? – Arrrrgyle!”

“What’s the problem with the way a pirate speaks? – Arrrrticulation!”

…and so forth.

The second joke is the one wear the pirate walks into the bar with a ships wheel attached to the front o’ his trousers. The bartender asks, “What the hell is that ships wheel for?” The pirate says, “I don’t know, but it’s drivin’ me nuts!”

And finally. A little boy is trick or treatin’ on Halloween by himself. He is dressed as a pirate. At one house, a friendly man asks him, “Where are your buccaneers?” The little boy responds, “On either side o’ me ‘buccan’ head!”

And there ye have it. A symposium on pirate humor that’ll last ye a lifetime – so long as life is violent and short.

If ye steer a course to the official website of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, ye may wish to read the FAQ, to help ye splice the mainbrace proper like.  Then ye’ll be ready to talk like a pirate.

Talking like a pirate, however, doesn’t just mean running through the hallways yelling “yarr!” at everyone. To get more in touch with one’s inner pirate, here is a short list of useful terms that may help readers throughout their day of pillaging and searching for buried treasure.

I also spend this day in Worship at Church and emulate the manners, customs, and language o’ me Pirate forbearers (I have the good fortune to be 1/4 full blooded Pirate through my Viking ancestors, indeed Viking is a verb which means ‘Pirate’) and singing some Pirate Carols.

There will come a time when you have a chance to do the right thing.

I love those moments. I like to wave at them as they pass by.

Sep 19

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning


Flotsam

Sep 19

Horny Somethings

I am impressed sometimes with our current crop of youngsters.  Wild, beautiful, and damned, tho’ they may be, they seem to know it.  I met a western Mass.  “hippie chick” at GG Park this morning.  I guess the correct descriptive is “vivacious.”  Intensely intelligent and charming.  Casting herself to the wind.  Wanted to sell her paintings on Haight until her gig came thru in October.  Didn’t know who Arlo Guthrie wuz,  but you wouldn’t blame her if you met her dazzling thrill to be alive.  I was merely looking for my old squirrel buddies when I met her.  Her smile was contagious, and she almost followed me in my quest for books on North Beach, which the old geezer found touching.

At Original Joe’s yet another cucumber was ripening (oh, my) under the leaves, this time a beautiful secessionist from Burlington, VT.  Totally engaging.  Enthralling, when you get right down to it.  She knew Arlo, actually met the chip off the old block.

The good news is that a lot of the young people get it.

Today was a good day for geezers.  

Sep 19

Late Night Karaoke

Sep 19

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Our regular featured content-

These featured articles-

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Write more and often.  This is an Open Thread.

The Stars Hollow Gazette