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Archive for April 17th, 2012

For posterity: Free Republic responds to Ted Nugent call for assassination

Posted by Charles II on April 17, 2012

So Ted Nugent, speaking to NRA, says that he will be “dead or in jail” this time next year if Barack Obama is re-elected, and the Secret Service is interviewing him over what certainly sounds like a threat of assassination. This much you know.

So, here’s the Free Republic response (click to view):

About the most critical they got was saying Nugent’s hyperbole might be off the rails.

Your Republican Party: skipped over crazy and went straight to evil.


Posted in evil | 7 Comments »

Assange on RT

Posted by Charles II on April 17, 2012

His first show is up here. For some reason, RT isn’t listing him on the schedule yet. He’s a better interviewer than a lot of the cable news heads, and he doesn’t let the guy off the hook. He could give better context and considering that Hezbollah is a paramilitary/political group deeply enmeshed in the cycle of violence in the Middle East, the questions could be sharper. But it’s a voice you are unlikely to hear anywhere else. Not even al Jazeerah, and probably not Mosaic. (al Jazeera’s tone toward Nasrallah is represented by this opinion piece)

As I keep saying, if we had a competitive media, someone, somewhere would have been broadcasting this guy all along. The whole point of the First Amendment is to ensure that people are making up their minds based on full access to information, not on one-sided presentations. It’s pretty easy to see why Nasrallah is popular. He’s a far more genuine person than, say, Mitt Romney. When Americans greenlight wars hither and yon, do they understand that the people in those countries may like their leaders more than we like ours, and are therefore willing to sacrifice more to resist us than we are to coerce them?

Posted in Conflict in the Middle East, media, Wikileaks | Comments Off on Assange on RT

Pumping iron: how the financial system affects stock prices/updated

Posted by Charles II on April 17, 2012

Update from Larry Elliott,The Guardian:

The International Monetary Fund warned today that the European debt crisis could flare up again at any time and send the global economy back into deep recession.

Olivier Blanchard, the Fund’s chief economist, said there was currently “an uneasy calm” following the tensions in financial markets at the end of 2011, with hopes of a gradual recovery dependent on keeping the single currency in one piece.

Barry Ritholtz has an interesting graph from Michael R. Rosenberg of Bloomberg that shows how financial conditions affect stock prices.

In brief:

The Bloomberg U.S. Financial Conditions Index combines yield spreads and indices from U.S. Money Markets, Equity Markets, and Bond Markets into a normalized index.

What this says is that the Index looks at how expensive money is, relative to the risk-free rate in various venues. The risk free rate has been lowered about as much as is possible, unless people start paying the government to borrow money. So far, every time that money has started to get more expensive to borrow, the Fed has dumped liquidity into the system, lowered the long-term risk free rate, and thereby forced down shorter-term rates to the point that they’re all up against the zero bound.

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Posted in financial crisis, government malfeasance, stock market | Comments Off on Pumping iron: how the financial system affects stock prices/updated

The minimum wage is lower than in 1968

Posted by Charles II on April 17, 2012

Atrios is right. When the editors at Bloomberg call for a higher minimum wage, the apocalypse is at hand. Or, as Atrios puts it, it’s “notable”.

Some excerpts from the Bloomberg editorial:

…Senator Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, is proposing to increase the federal rate in three increments to $9.80 an hour in 2014. Many of the initiatives under consideration would smartly tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, meaning that those workers’ wages would finally keep up with inflation. [I wish I knew why Democrats have repeatedly failed to index the minimum wage to inflation].

In 2010, nearly 44 percent of minimum-wage workers had either attended or graduated from college, up from 25.2 percent in 1979, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a liberal think tank.

This is one of many reasons that critics, including business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association and many Republicans, oppose minimum-wage increases. The argument is that it will hurt the very people it was meant to help by forcing employers to cut jobs, raise prices or both.

But a wave of new economic research is disproving those arguments about job losses and youth employment. [Actually, Card and Krueger exposed the BS over a decade ago, and for many decades before that it was common wisdom that Henry Ford had discovered that paying a decent wage meant that his workers could afford to buy his cars].

Posted in economy, workers | Comments Off on The minimum wage is lower than in 1968

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