Wednesday, February 12, 2014

SAR #14043

Playing follow the leader assumes a leader.

Busybodies: To Republicans the worst thing about the ACA is that it frees employees from servitude simply to have health insurance, raising the specter of having to entice workers with more adequate pay, which their check-writing backers most certainly do not want. 
No Argument: “Our military is irrationally large.”

Usual Suspects: Phil Roe (No relation to Wade -TN) says that insurance obtained under the ACA should not include coverage for pregnancies and pediatric care because both he and his wife have been fixed – which, unless those under 35 can be excused from coverage for prostate cancer and heart attacks, demonstrates his level of understanding of the idea of pooled risk. A Republican in the AZ statehouse wants to make it illegal for undocumented immigrants to use any public facility, from toilets to roads. If they are caught using a public highway, their car will be confiscated. If using a public restroom... they will have to send their kids to school in Alabama and have them suffer through 15 minutes of prayer every day to help them learn about civics and US history.

At Long Last: The Republicans have suddenly discovered that the country needs jobs. Of course it has needed a boost in jobs for at least the last 5 years because there is little demand for goods and services because so many do not have jobs and those that do, do not make enough to have any appreciable discretionary funds. Why didn't we invest in infrastructure back when we could have done so cheaply? Because deficits. Because debt. Because purity and godliness. Oh, and because Republicans. 
Asked And Data: the question was “Is America working?” Consider: One in six American men between the ages of 24 and 54 is out of work and the majority of these are not looking for work; About a fifth of them are receiving disability benefits. Yet over 70% of women aged 24-54 are working. It's not a choice, it's a necessity. In the 1960s and before, a working man could support a family. Today, even if the man can get a job, it is unlikely he'll earn enough to support a family. Yeah, the system is broken.

If... Then... But: Barclays had a terrible quarter, making only about 200 million pounds after paying fines for earlier frauds, forcing them to fire 12,000 employees and raise the bonuses for upper management. Right, raise. Ah, higher finance. 
Know When To Fold 'Em: Boehner has thrown in the Republican hand and conned 193 Democrats into helping him make the Republicans look good with only 28 of them actually voting to keep the government funded. This let most of the creeps vote against the bill, knowing there was nothing being risked. The Democrats should have deferred their votes until all of the Republicans had voted, then voted in the same proportions the GOPers did, for and against.

Confessionial: Danniel Thornton of the St. Louis Fed notes that QE has had little or no effect in reducing long-term bond yields, nor did it increase GDP, nor wages, nor employment. Especially not employment. But no one in Washington seems to care about unemployment anymore, now that voting is done with dollars.

The Parting Shot:
Spotted Trunkfish, Lactophrys bilcaudalis.

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