• pineywoodsfats commented on the diary post Exxon’s Russia Partnerships Challenge US Energy Weapon Narrative by Steve Horn.

    2014-03-18 20:00:09View | Delete

    Given the circumstances, weaning EU countries off Russian gas seems a no-brainer at face value.

    Why do you say that?

  • No doubt Chicago’s economics department and the law school suck, but 40 yrs. ago, my wife got a MA in literature from its graduate school and she thought it was a wonderful education.

  • pineywoodsfats commented on the blog post Obama the Divider

    2014-01-23 10:00:52View | Delete

    I don’t blame Obama for this polarization. It is the product of a natural sorting taking place across the country with the parties becoming more ideologically coherent, much like political parties in most other democracies.

    I’m not sure what you mean by the parties “becoming more ideologically coherent”.

    Imho, they have certainly become more similar in policy and practice which should result in less polarization.

    I think it’s far more likely that the polarization is a result of both parties attempting to gin up their small differences over relatively minor policy disputes in a media-driven marketing effort to distinguish themselves one from the other, and effectively obscure the similarities.

    Obama’s 2008 campaign did win some national ad award for the best marketing program of the year.

  • pineywoodsfats commented on the blog post This agitprop sounds familiar

    2014-01-20 06:29:30View | Delete

    Your concept that higher fossil fuel costs–Russian natural gas–lead to an increase in global warming is only true in this case because Europe has chosen to purchase cheaper and dirtier alternatives, specifically US coal.

    http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/images/P1-BL332_RUSGAS_NS_20130430182111.jpg

    Russia made us do it!

    Although Russia is discounting its European sale prices of natural gas, I also don’t see any particular reason for Russia to subsidize western Europe’s economy at the expense of its own national resources.

  • Or maybe the church realizes that its evangelizing gains are to be made in the third world by offering publicly some alternative to the neoliberal agenda.

    I doubt it, but it’s possible.

  • I’m not sure that I would characterize Reid’s conversation with Netanyahu so bleakly. It sounds to me more on the order of diplomatic nice talk.

    Not to say that the senate dems–obviously–won’t try to sabotage the deal, just that mho Reid’s statements don’t indicate that he’s committed to doing that.

  • Great analysis. Thanks!

    I would just like to add, perhaps in an abundance of optimism, lol, that it might be very difficult in the future for the US to corral the international sanctions which presently exist even if these interim measures break down.

  • The deal was completed after JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon summoned Attorney General Holder to a private meeting to avoid a press conference,

    That just about says it all.

  • I fear Obamacare is a means to discredit the Public Option forever.

    In a better political environment, Obamacare would be the means to discredit Obamacare, i.e., the mistake of having the for profit insurance companies front and center of healthcare reform.

    Of course that would involve principled dems who push for medicare for all and do it loudly and daily in the media, much as the repubs push for repeal of Obamacare.

    Unfortunately they are too wedded politically to this rube goldberg health care disaster.

  • I agree with you about the absurdities of age 18 being the age of majority, yet there being age limits of 21 on certain things. The NYC law on tobacco purchases is silly as well–20 yr. olds will just take the train in to New Jersey, and buy a carton.

    Having said that, I think the likelihood of getting legal weed passed in most states with an age of 18 isn’t nearly as likely as at age 21.

    So, if it comes down to one or the other, I say go for legalization at age 21.

  • “Projected median total farm household income is expected to increase by 1.2 percent in 2012, to $57,723, and by an additional 1.9 percent in 2013, to $58,845.”

    As stated, that median total farm household income figure of $58,845 would also include the income from either or both spouses who very frequently have a wage-earner job in town.

    Usually it’s the wife who may have a full time job. Here in small town Iowa, it’s frequently in education or healthcare, and frequently in order to get health insurance.

  • I guess that’s where the open enrollment period catches that, at least if you are getting insurance through the exchanges.

    I have a question–does the pre-existing conditions exemption only apply to policies purchased on the exchanges, or would it apply to a policy purchased privately?

    If it applies privately, I guess you would be ok, just not entitled to subsidies since you would be outside the exchanges.

  • Thanks.

    No reason at all that the federal exchanges shouldn’t have some sort of estimator for particular states.

    I understand that the subsidies are the same nationally, but policy coverage differs from state to state, particularly with networks of providers.

    There was a post on here a few days ago which illustrated how many major Seattle hospitals were not in the network for one particularly major insurer.

  • Is that the Kaiser estimator?

    I can’t imagine why on earth the federal exchanges don’t have something similar. With Kaiser, you can get info fairly quickly about costs and subsidies, at least for a bronze or silver plan.

    But with the federal deal, no info at all until you actually sign the application, which I didn’t do since I was just window shopping at the “marketplace”.

    Some shopping experience–no posted prices.

  • Once you deal with the exchanges and actually get a policy, I suspect the government’s position will be hands-off: “it’s private insurance that you’re lucky to have so take it up with their complaint department ingrate.”

  • pineywoodsfats commented on the blog post And How Many Divisions Does the Federal Reserve Have?

    2013-10-04 13:40:16View | Delete

    And no, the Fourteenth Amendment does not empower the President to print money or mint coin rather than bow to Congress’s power of the purse.

    No, the constitution doesn’t, but Section 31 U.S.C. § 5112 of the United States Code allows the Treasury Department to “mint and issue platinum bullion coins” in any denominations the Secretary of the Treasury may choose.

    Minting coins has always been an executive branch function via the treasury department. The platinum coin doesn’t create any debt at all so it would not be subject to Congress’s power of the purse at least to the extent that Congress must approve debt.

    Of course, Congress would still be in charge of appropriations of those funds, and those bills would constitutionally originate in the House.

  • pineywoodsfats commented on the blog post Government Shutdown Might Be the Least Bad Option

    2013-09-30 13:32:27View | Delete

    Even getting close to the deadline last time cause a credit downgrading, an increase in borrowing costs, and a noticeable hit to the market.

    I thought that the interest rate on treasury securities actually went down after the credit downgrade during the last budget deadline standoff?

  • pineywoodsfats commented on the diary post Pull Up a Chair: Is there an app for that? by Elliott.

    2013-09-28 06:42:03View | Delete

    Why exactly do all these new gadgets need apps to begin with?

    My laptop doesn’t have what would normally be called apps–or if it does, they are all pre-loaded allowing me to access virtually unlimited information from most sources.

    So why do phones and ipads need them?

    Yes, I have a 2007 motorola flip phone.

  • pineywoodsfats commented on the blog post The Roundup For September 23rd, 2013

    2013-09-24 12:43:25View | Delete

    Wasn’t it reported that Obama was sending Kerry to speak to Rouhani?

    If so, Rouhani should return the diplomatic slight and have Kerry meet with his foreign minister.

  • pineywoodsfats commented on the blog post The Roundup For September 23rd, 2013

    2013-09-24 12:41:36View | Delete

    We all knew this was coming didn’t we?

    Obama’s connection to Kenyan terrorist attack–

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BCSLW8Q-RbU

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