Patterico's Pontifications


Uncertainty and the Market

Filed under: Economics,Government — DRJ @ 9:12 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I’m a big fan of Amity Shlaes (“The Forgotten Man”) and she’s apparently a fan of Robert Higgs and his theory of “regime uncertainty.” Here’s Shlaes talking about Higgs and today’s market:

“The scholar Robert Higgs has a concept called “regime uncertainty.” He is one of those talents that just doesn’t show up at the big universities or on big television. I.e., he’s not a star in the establishment chat salon. But if any mind in America has predicted what is happening it is Higgs.

Regime uncertainty basically says that when government is a) doing wild things and b) evidencing no consistency on that behavior the world freezes up and waits for a more predictable master. The blame here will be laid on Congress but it also goes to the Treasury and White House for presenting a highly discretionary plan light on rules and clarity. Hail Higgs!

Until Washington makes clear what it will NOT do the market will continue to punish the rest.”

We’re waiting, Washington.


Quote of the Day Week

Filed under: 2008 Election,Media Bias — DRJ @ 7:19 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Instapundit’s “major newsroom” source: “The fix is in, and it’s working.”


Need a Laugh?

Filed under: Humor — DRJ @ 4:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Here’s an open thread for jokes, and I’ll get it started with a silly one:

“Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn’t find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, “Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey”.

Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

Paddy looked up again and said, “Never mind, I found one.”

Your turn!


With all the major breaking financial and political news breaking today…

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Justin Levine @ 2:49 pm

…How much do you want to bet that Glenn Reynolds gets more e-mail responses to this post than any other on his site this week?

– Justin Levine

President Bush and the House GOP

Filed under: Government,Politics — DRJ @ 2:04 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Bush fired Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld one day after the 2006 midterm elections, and GOP members felt Bush’s refusal to cut Rumsfeld loose before then seriously hurt their ability to retain a majority in the House.

Now, two years later, President Bush floated his bailout plan so quickly that both Democratic and Republican Congressional leaders were stunned. President Bush was apparently willing to trust the Democratic leadership to pass his bailout bill and he seemingly made little or no effort to get prior support from GOP members in Congress.

This gives a new meaning to the phrase “October surprise.”

But I won’t be too surprised if the bailout ultimately passes with only Democratic votes and a full package of Democratic pork and programs.


House Defeats Bailout

Filed under: Economics,Government — DRJ @ 11:22 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The vote was 205-228.

UPDATE 1— Here’s the breakdown from the link:

Democrats — 140 FOR; 95 AGAINST
Republicans – 65 FOR; 133 AGAINST

UPDATE 2: Here’s a link to the House record of individual votes.

Fair or unfair, I think voters will blame Republicans for bad economic news in the near term because of this vote. So unless McCain convinces voters he can handle the economy (e.g., that he stands for something more than earmark reform), he can kiss this election good-bye.


Community Organizers and the Money Lenders

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 11:14 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Stanley Kurtz explains how ACORN and Chicago community organizers like Madeline Talbott, an activist with “extensive ties to Barack Obama,” intimidated financial institutions to make shaky mortgage loans to minorities with bad credit. As Kurtz summarized it:

“In other words, community organizers help to undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans. And Obama has spent years training and funding the organizers who do it.
IN short, to understand the roots of the subprime-mortgage crisis, look to ACORN’s Madeline Talbott. And to see how Talbott was able to work her mischief, look to Barack Obama.

Then you’ll truly know what community organizers do.”

Liberals often compare Obama to Jesus, claiming they were both community organizers. In my Bible, Jesus kicked the money lenders out of the temple. I guess liberals think He invited them in and did business.

H/T daleyrocks.


The Clinton Factor (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 10:32 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Bill Clinton is comparing McCain and Obama in ways that make McCain come out ahead:

“Former president Clinton continued his complicated embrace of Sen. Barack Obama today when asked if he would call the Democratic nominee a “great man” — a phrase he recently used to describe Sen. John McCain.

“Well, I don’t — look, I had my first conversation with him in my entire life in Harlem,” Clinton told “Meet the Press” host Tom Brokaw this morning, referring to a meeting earlier this month with Obama.

Clinton elaborated on why he would use the word “great” for McCain: “What I mean by saying that about McCain is, you know, most people would’ve been broken by what he went through. Oh, we would’ve been happy just to give him an atta boy and a medal and let him wander through life.

“I think his greatness is that he keeps trying to come back to service without ever asking people to cut him any slack or feel sorry for him or any of that stuff because he was a POW.

“But I, I genuinely, you know, I am developing a really good relationship with Senator Obama and I certainly admire him.”

Politicians rarely say what they mean in today’s world and, depending on your perspective, that makes for a more civil society or a more passive-aggressive society. However, Bill Clinton still manages to get his point across and, in this case, he supports Obama with faint praise.

I’ve no doubt that if the Obama campaign could speak bluntly, it would tell Bill Clinton to shut up.

UPDATE: SNL has the virtual Bill Clinton.



Bailout Vote Predictions

Filed under: Economics,Government — DRJ @ 6:43 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Nancy Pelosi says the bailout bill is “frozen” in its current form so that’s what Congress will be voting on. A summary, section-by-section analysis, and the text of the bill known as the “Economic Stabilization Act of 2008″ can be found here.

If my neighbors and family are any indication, I predict a bunch of Republicans will vote against it.

EDIT – The Crypt reports the Senate also voted to send $25B to Detroit for the automaker bailout.


Another Week, Another Attack on McCain by the NY Times

Filed under: 2008 Election,Media Bias — DRJ @ 5:54 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

This New York Times has published an article entitled “For McCain and Team, a Host of Ties to Gambling.”

Noah Pollak at Commentary Magazine’s blog looks forward to the day the Times does a similar article on Obama’s ties to Rezko, Ayers, Wright, ACORN, and his rise in Chicago and Illinois politics. Pollak even suggests title:

“For Obama’s Friends, a Host of Anti-American and Criminal Activity.”

That’s a title we’ll never see at the New York Times.


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