Not One Republican Offered A Better Deal


Click, then re-click after the image opens.

Click, then re-click after the image opens.

Is concession the new surrender? 

For hiring a targeted number of workers, corporations get a tax cut that remains in place long after the workers have been added, the economy recovered, and the crisis passed–and the spokesperson for the Speaker dismisses it without even commenting on the specifics, suggesting, from his party’s view, the idea of tax cuts are a right step to a deal, or encouraging the President to rethink–what?, the jobs part–or maybe his intent to sell it House and Senate Democrats.

I disagree with the corporate tax cuts unless loopholes on foreign earnings and oversea jobs are dropped, but the out of hand rejection by the Speaker strips away any veneer that Republicans intend to put Americans back to work! And why should they? Under Obama, surprise, they got the highest level of corporate earnings and profits in America’s history, without job growth!

So politically, they are willing to stand pat. The object is to teach American voters a lesson: “Don’t ever again defeat the party that stands between you and the cheats, and now you will be punished for it, and suffer mightily.” Republicans hold the power of hurt. They scold the President and their actions show they have nothing but scorn and rejection for the middle class.

(This is straight writing, the hardest form to do. It’s authority depends on its voice. In this case, the last paragraph is weak. It devolves into a cliche. I’ll edit when the voice gives me new insight! It will! /wr)

BP’s Fuzzy Dice


(This post is a story within a story, one that has little to do with the moral and legal issues of the oil spill-induced Louisiana law suits by individuals and businesses against BP, in courts which appear to be making a path to a defendants (and lawyers!) payday. It’s a back story, but it picked up some looks and a reply./wr)

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Without suggesting it’s right on any level, the real story is BP failed to play the insider’s game. As the scales are weighed by the forces gathered on behalf of the defendants, BP had plenty of opportunity to tilt the scale. It could have easily hired key firms for research and case work and met the “vig.” It’s Louisiana! Did BP avoid the well established route of contributions–to everyone, from the dance studios and churches to the politicians and colleges, and everyone in between? Why? Did they think the Feds would protect them?

The pay day really represents an epic fail in one of the most corrupt cultures to be homegrown. Yet BP put none of the known names (or their cousins, brothers, sisters, aunts, or uncles!) on the rolls to help! In a state where those names are still winnable (and bankable!). Instead, BP was embroiled in transportation fiascoes, lies, PR mistakes, and photo-ops for temporary workers.

This is simply another illustration that they never had a clue. “Bump their heads.”

~~(Doug Terry) For as long as I can remember, Louisiana has been the poster for “state of corruption”. This is partly a product of the way the state grew apart from the rest of the nation with a local culture that featured corruption. It is also due to being a poor state with no much going for it before oil and, as is well known, nations around the world suffer from the “resource curse”, which frequently goes hand in hand with corruption. What is curious to me, however, is how little the national government ever does to examine and attack corruption at the state level. If it is left alone, it will always be there and always be part of the Louisiana story.

Janet Yellin Is The Right Pick For The Next Fed Chair


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Most impressive–and undeniable–would be her institutional memory of the myriad of details involved in Federal Reserve policy making, an observed knowledge of the inside and outside personalities and leaders involved, a continuous engagement with national and global economic issues during an unparalleled period, and addition to her peerless and proven academic skills, her careful honed instincts. She is not only the right choice, but may prove to be the best ever.

In addition to policy making, an arcane craft rooted in mathematical relations difficult even for economists to understand (see Europe’s massive policy failures by country, as a Union, and by its central bank!), she faces two other big challenges.

One, is the politics of the Federal Reserve’s non-politics. Her relations of trust and history should serve her well inside, her familiarity with sound bite tags by pols and pundits will make it less likely that she is pushed or pulled by Wall Street or Washington.

She also seems to approach issues and problems without ideology or prior agenda. That’s not always so for her rival, known as an activist with strong opinions good for public policy tied to business and jobs, but unmeasured in the frame of the central bank.

Lastly, she will be called to speak increasingly to the issues of the global economy, Her watchfulness of US and global decisions in recent years will trend a surer forward path than others without her experience.

The President should announce her appointment her soon.

(This post, ranked 6th by Times readers of the its editorial, is argumentative writing. It proceeds point by point, from inside, out. /wr)