No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Archive for June, 2011

June 30, 2011

No Shit Sherlock!

In remarks today to CNBC, Federal Reserve Governor, Alan Greenspan said that the quantitative easing (stimulus) undertaken by the current Fed Chairman hasn’t done squat!

“There is no evidence that huge inflow of money into the system basically worked,” Greenspan said in a live interview.

This current criticism is not to be confused with Greenspan’s admission last September, that the Porkulus bill had no where near (if at all) the effect that was promised (remember that unemployment was never going over 8% if we did porkulus and now can’t seem to get under 9%!)  No, today’s revelation is focused on Brenanke’s attempt to revive the economy by printing billions and billions (hello Rod Serling) of additional greenbacks and shoving them into the economy.

Since late 2008, the Fed has pushed nearly $2B of additional paper money into the economy.This during a time when the economy was somewhere between marking time and shrinking.  the Fed’s basic theory was that by putting those dollars into the economy, various asset prices would increase and this would cause businesses and consumers to feel more “wealthy” which would let them feel like they could spend more, thus moving economic growth along.

Brenanke was right about increasing asset prices.  Since QE1 and 2, the stock markets have all increased and commodity prices have all increased, some of them dramatically.  However, none of this has seemed to convince businesses or consumers that it’s now OK to spend like the federal government.  Why?  What did Brenanke miss?

I told you here that Obama’s election chances would hinge on the 3Gs; Gas, Groceries and GDP.  Equally, Brenanke’s ability to get people to believe they had more wealth and therefore to spend it, also was driven by the 3Gs.  Through the entire time of QE1 and QE2, gas and groceries (made up from commodities that Brenanke wanted to increase the price of) increased in price.  At the same time, net home values (the place where much of the “wealth” from about 2004 to 2008 came from) continued to decline.  Add to all of this the fact that unemployment has increased or stayed relatively flat during the money influx and what do you know…..consumers have acted rationally and decided to save and pay down debt rather than buy new stuff with the bucks that Uncle Ben has been air dropping into the economy.

The real question is what will happen to the economy now that the stimulus has ceased?  One theory would suggest that if the economy doesn’t pick up, commodities have been artificially run up and have the potential to be the next asset bubble to pop.  If the economy does pick up, the additional dollars available could take an inflation rate that has been recently increasing to an accelerated level and bring us back to the days of Jimmy Carter.

Obama and his administration acolytes continue to operate with the belief that if they say it is so, it is.  While “repeatedly says” that he focused on jobs and the economy and that things are improving, anyone outside of the Washington belt way can easily see that none of that is true.  When Alan Greenspan says that the stimulus had no effect, as if it is some kind of an oracle insight, the rest of America says “No shit Sherlock!”

Open Thread Thursday – Let’s speed it up

by @ 9:25. Filed under Open Thread Thursday.

Just because somebody did this and it’s cool as the other side of the pillow, I’ll give you “Four Horsemen” at “The Mechanix” speed as my way of welcoming back Open Thread Thursday…


I’ve got a couple of long-form posts that require some further gestation, so pipe up.

Housekeeping note – In case you missed it, I got a key to The Right Scoop, mostly because he wanted a piece on the latest initial unemployment claims.

Initial jobless claims stuck above 425K, new “U” word introduced by CNBC

by @ 9:02. Filed under Economy Held Hostage.

Initial jobless claims on a seasonally-adjusted basis declined by 1,000 last week from 429,000 to 428,000. While Reuters rewrote their story to avoid the use of its favorite “u” word (or specifically, its cousin “less than expected”) and thus caused me to blow up the original post, CNBC retained their dip into the dictionary to create its own dire headline with a new “u” word after switching from an Associated Press report to the Reuters report currently linked.

The use of “unexpectedly” and its cousins by the media, and mostly Reuters, has become so prevalent that Ed Morrissey has made it a more-or-less regular feature at Hot Air. CNBC’s use of “ugly”, however, is new.

Since that was originally attached to the AP’s report that looked at the longer-term trend, I’ll give the lowlights from that report:

– After a brief trip to 375,000 in February, which was in the middle of a 7-of-9 week trend of claims below 400,000, initial jobless claims spiked to 478,000 in April and in the AP’s words, “…have shown only modest improvement since that time,” as they have been above 400,000 the last 12 weeks.

– The four-week rolling average has been in the neighborhood of 426,000 initial claims per week for the last month.

– While the total number of people on the 26-week unemployment insurance “fell” to 3.7 million in the middle of June, the total number of people on unemployment, including those on extended benefits, remains at nearly 7.5 million.

There is a reason why I put “fell” in the last bullet point in scare quotes – that measure has been significantly gamed in the last week. Tom Blumer at BizzyBlog first noticed the constant upward revision of the prior week’s initial jobless claims. While this marks the first week in 15 that upward revision has not happened (indeed, it was not revised at all), there was a significant upward revision in the total number of people on 26-week unemployment insurance. Last week, the “advance” numbers of people on unemployment insurance for the week ending 6/11 was 3,697,000. This week, the final number settled at 3,714,000. That makes the claim that the 6/19 advance number of 3,702,000 represents a decrease rather suspect.

A copy of this is at The Right Scoop

June 29, 2011

Australian military to hold yard sale

by @ 11:58. Filed under Military.

(H/T – Darren Buckley, an old ‘Pooner friend from Down Under)

I almost termed this a “fire sale” as over the next 10 years the Australian Defence Force will be shedding 10% of Australia’s non-financial assets, but the Australian Associated Press notes that the Australian Defence Force is in the middle of a major overhaul of its military. Indeed, Defence Materiel Minister Jason Clare said that, over the next 15 years, 85% of the armed forces’ armaments will be replaced or upgraded.

Known to be on the block are the four Adelaide-class guided-missile frigates, which are “slightly”-modified Perry-class frigates, as well as a bunch of combat aircraft, armored vehicles, other vehicles, and assorted armaments. I know the FFGs will fit in the St. Lawrence Seaway as Perry-class FFGs (really, FFs now that they don’t have the Mk-13 launcher), so I can keep it on Lake Michigan. If only I had a tip jar, I couldd have the most kick-ass fishing boat in Wisconsin.

Seriously, Claire pointed out that, since 1997, Great Britain and Australia disposed of roughly the same amount and type of military equipment. While Great Britain netted about AUS$1 billion by being aggressive on selling rather than scrapping, Australia spent about AUS$20 million.

Perhaps I should wait until the coming Great American Military Fire Sale to pay not for the modernization of our military but for the Communization of the country. Of course, given much of the debt is held by Red China, they’ll probably demand and receive first dibs on all the good stuff.

June 28, 2011

Filling in the blanks on Taiwan Politics – WI Supreme Court Style

by @ 13:36. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

It may be short on actual names attached to the attributed version, but Christian Schneider put up the most-complete timeline yet of a version of the events surrounding the incident between Justices David Prosser and Ann Walsh Bradley, extending from before the incident itself to the leak of the news to Soros-funded “media”, over at National Review. Let’s see if I can do the Cliff Notes’ version:

– The week prior to the incident, three of the justices were prepared to issue an order on the case of Act 10. Prosser wanted to delay some to avoid the appearance of rushing as oral arguments occured on 6/6, and apparently reached a deal with Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson that the order would be issued on 6/14.

– On 6/13, no notice that an order would be forthcoming had been made, so at 5:30 pm, Prosser and the other conservative Justices went looking for Abrahamson to get an explanation. They found her in Bradley’s office.

– Prosser remained outside the office and got into a heated discussion with Abrahamson over the issue of timing of the release of the order.

– Bradley rushed out to confront Prosser, with one source saying she was shaking a fist in his face and another saying they were “nose to nose”.

– Prosser pushed Bradley about the shoulders to get her out of his face, and in the course of that, contacted her neck. At the same time, another Justice was attempting to pull Bradley back from Prosser.

– On 6/15, 2 days after he had been notified of the incident by Bradley, Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs talked to all 7 Justices, including the not-present Justice Patrick Crooks, about violence in the workplace. No further action appears to have been made by the Capitol Police, which has jurisdiction in the Capitol building and thus the Supreme Court offices, and to date, nobody has pressed criminal charges.

I do recommend, as always, reading the entire piece. There are a bunch of details I left out of the above summary.

Revisions/extensions (10:10 pm 6/28/2011) – Two people who have been following the ins and outs of the Supreme Court longer than I have weighed in on just how long the Court has been dysfunctional, and who the constant in the dysfunctionality is.

John Mercure of WTMJ-AM interviewed former Supreme Court Justice William Callow (he served between 1977 and 1992 and still is an active reserve judge) on his show this afternoon, and Callow fingered Abrahamson as the chief troublemaker.

Meanwhile, Rick Esenberg, in a comment on his Sunday morning take, remembered that the majority of the court had endorsed Abrahamson’s opponent…in 1999.

I note two things – the second-longest serving Justice (Bradley) joined the Court in 1995, and three current Justices were not on the Court in 1999.

Also, welcome Memeorandum readers.

Tuesday Hot Read – Kevin Binversie’s “‘Supreme’ idiocy all around”

by @ 6:36. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Over at his new gig at the Wisconsin Reporter, Kevin Binversie put up the most-exhaustive take yet on the Supreme Rumble. I’ll give you the last three paragraphs to whet your whistle:

There are a lot of factors here, all of which are along the lines of stupid and petty. So stupid and petty, you’d think we were dealing with toddlers and not some of the most respected legal minds in the state of Wisconsin.

Yes, Prosser has a temper and a short fuse. This is a well-known and documented fact since his Assembly days. However, what’s lost in a lot of the coverage is the apparent sycophantic defense Walsh Bradley has for Chief Justice Abrahamson if the “she charged him version” of the events is true.

The battle of factions within the Wisconsin Supreme Court is well-known in both the state’s legal and political circles; but now it’s to a point that public back-stabbing and reports of physical altercations only help feed growing concern the court is teetering into professional dysfunction. Somewhere, someone has to be the adult in the room; but from the look of things, we’re a long way from that with the justices of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The battle of the factions really started to boil over when Justice Michael Gabelman defeated appointed Justice Louis Butler in 2008. Since then, Abrahamson, Bradley and Patrick Crooks have done everything they could to remove Gabelman from the Court, going so far as to ignore the recommendation of the Wisconsin Judicial Commission that an allegation of false political advertising against Gabelman in that campaign did not warrant action by the Court, which prompted the “intemperate” remark from Prosser behind closed doors and leaked from a Bradley e-mail.

June 27, 2011

Taiwan politics – WI Supreme Court style

by @ 13:37. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

In case you’ve been in a cave all weekend, there was a physical altercation between Justices David Prosser and Ann Walsh Bradley a week and a half ago as all but one of the Supreme Court justices were in Bradley’s chambers discussing the timing of the release of the order affecting Act 10, the budget repair/collective bargaining law. What is known is Prosser made some remarks directed at Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson after she suggested that the release would be delayed until after the end of June (this despite a majority ready to issue an order), Bradley demanded Prosser leave her chambers, and contact about Bradley’s neck ensued. The under-reported version of the events from anonymous sources (as far as I can tell, the only media reports that include that version come from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and that version is “mysteriously” missing from the AP coverage widely reported nationwide) claim Bradley charged Prosser with fists raised and that the contact was defensive on Prosser’s part, while Bradley is belatedly publicly claiming Prosser put her in a “chokehold”, matching the first “anonymous” claims.

I’ll send you over to Althouse for a steady stream of updates, including the less-than-fully-acknowledged wholesale ReWrite™ of the original Soros-funded Wisconsin Watch piece after the MJS turned up the version that included a charging Bradley. I do have a heap of questions on this:

– Why was this discussion happening in Bradley’s chambers? Bradley is neither the Chief Justice (Abrahamson, who was present, is) nor an author of any part of the set of orders/concurrences/dissents. I don’t claim to know standard operating procedure at the Wisconsin Supreme Court, but it would be logical that, especially when the Chief Justice is involved in discussions, the discussions would happen in the Chief Justice’s chambers.

– Why did Bradley choose to intervene in a verbal dispute between Prosser and Abrahamson? The last time I checked, Abrahamson was able to handle herself in the verbal arena. If Bradley felt the need to intervene, both Prosser and Abrahamson should have been asked to depart the room.

– If it was a “chokehold”, why has the only action by the Capitol Police been, as of this morning, been to have the chief, Charles Tubbs, meet with all 7 justices (including the not-present Patrick Crooks)? I know we’re talking about the Capitol Police and Chief Wiggu…er, Tubbs here, but how long does it take to interview 6 Justices and perhaps an equal number of staff (note; I have not seen anything that states that anybody other than the Justices were present)?

WITI-TV has reported that the Capitol Police anticipates releasing a statement today, though that has not come as of yet. The Journal Sentinel is quoting anonymous sources that the Capitol Police will be handing over the investigation to the Dane County Sheriff’s office.

The $64 million question from Darleen Glick – (D)o you think that a woman like Bradley, who seriously considered calling the cops because Prosser used a profanity about another justice would not call the cops if she was the victim of an unprovoked, physical assault in front of witnesses? More properly, that question would be one of pressing charges as at some point the Capitol Police was notified of the incident.

On the other hand, Milwaukee County Board Chairman Lee Holloway has physically assaulted fellow board members on multiple occassions, and no police report was filed.

Revisions/extensions (1:48 pm 6/27/2011) – Almost immediately after I posted, Tubbs turned over the investigation to the Dane County Sheriff’s office (same link).

June 23, 2011

Thursday Hot Read – Patrick Ishmael’s “Fatal Attraction: Politicians and ‘Eco-Devo’”

by @ 19:18. Filed under Economy, Politics.

Over at The Weekly Standard, Patrick Ishmael highlights a boondoggle of a pork-barrel “green” project that purports to turn St. Louis’ Lambert International Airport into an “Aerotropolis”. The plan is to provide subsidies for $300 million worth of warehouses and another $60 million to international freight companies. There’s one bit of a problem, however:

Never mind that there are already more than 18 million square feet of unused warehouse space around the airport. And never mind that it was only a dozen years ago that the city of Saint Louis splurged in building a third runway — at a cost of more than a billion dollars — that is virtually unused today. That was another eco-devo project that failed to deliver promised jobs and economic activity. It also led to the condemnation and destruction of more than 2,000 homes under eminent domain.

Michael Webber, a consultant with long experience in the international shipping industry, debunks almost all of the claims made for the Aerotropolis, saying that Saint Louis “has adequate on-airport capacity (existing facilities or unimproved land) to host adequate air cargo facilities to support the unlikely maximum of 8 projected weekly freighters,” the number expected to be facilitated by the legislation.

The big problem is air freight is prohibitively expensive, which is why typically only very-time-sensitive items are shipped by air. The idea floated by one of the Missouri advocates that cattle could be flown to China is patently absurd.

Apparently Milwaukee is another place where the Aerotroplis concept is forming. There isn’t quite as much empty warehouse space around Mitchell Field as there is around Lambert, but there’s also two different rail lines bounding the airport, which makes for a more-balanced shipping component.

June 21, 2011

Recall Mania dates (all-but-)locked

by @ 19:09. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

With the passage of the 5 pm deadline today to file to run in the recalls of Democrat Senators Dave Hansen, Jim Holperin and Bob Wirch, the timeline for elections has been set, assuming none of the 9 challenges by the incumbents are successful in voiding the recall election. Barring that, here’s the timeline for Recall Mania, with the note that the three “placeholder” candidates advanced by the Democrat Party of Wisconsin in districts currently held by Republicans to ensure primaries did not file economic interest statements and thus won’t be on the ballot):

July 12 – Recall Democrat “primaries” (DPW-endorsed candidate listed first, RPW protest caniddate second) in the 2nd Senate District (Nancy Nusbaum vs. Otto Junkerman), 8th Senate District (Sandy Pasch vs Gladys Huber), 10th Senate District of Shelia Harsdorf (Shelly Moore vs Issax Weix), 14th Senate District (Fred Clark vs Rol Church), 18th Senate District (Jessica King vs John Buckstaff) and 32nd Senate District (Jennifer Shilling vs James Smith).

July 19 – Recall Republican primaries (pending filing of economic interest statements by all involved) in the 12th Senate District (Kim Simac vs Robert Lussow), 22nd Senate District (Fred Ekornaas vs Jonathan Steitz) and 30th Senate District (John Nygren vs David VanderLeest). The potential Democrat primary in the 30th between incumbent Dave Hansen and Josh O’Harrow evaporated when O’Harrow failed to file signatures by today Also, if one or more of these candidates fail to file statements of economic interest by Friday, the July 19th date will become a general election against the incumbent(s) in the affected districts, Democrats Jim Holperin in the 12th, Robert Wirch in the 22nd and Dave Hansen in the 30th, all with no third-party/independent candidates on the ballot.

August 9 – Recall general elections in the Senate districts currently held by Republicans – Robert Cowles in the 2nd, Alberta Darling in the 8th, Shelia Harsdorf in the 10th, Luther Olsen in the 14th, Randy Hopper in the 18th and Dan Kapanke in the 32nd. There are no third-party/independent candidates on the ballot.

August 16 – Recall general elections in the Senate districts currently held by the Democrats (assuming there were primaries held on July 19th).

WisPolitics also reports that the Government Accountabillty Board will file a motion with Dane County Judge Richard Niess, already set to hear challenges from Hopper and Kapanke, and also the judge that allowed the attempted consolidation of all the elections, to consolidate all the challenges to the recall election orders into a single case. While the RPW attorney welcomed the move, the DPW attorney was skeptical of including the challenge of the three Democrats in the consolidation. I wonder how much of that skepticism was because it would likely take that case out of Maryann Sumi’s courtroom.

Revisions/extensions (7:51 pm 6/21/2011) – To answer PaulM’s question in another post, unless an incumbent is certified as having been defeated, he or she continues to serve as a state senator until the expiration of the term at the beginning of January, 2013. Of course, the Senate, once it ends its current session at the end of this month, isn’t in session again until September.

“We need to limit public union collective bargaining privileges,” says…IL Gov. Pat Quinn?

by @ 13:48. Filed under Politics.

(H/T – WI State Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills))

The Chicago Tribune reports Democrat Illinois governor Pat Quinn is urging the Illinois state Senate to follow the House in stripping collective bargaining privileges for certain “management” positions in state government, including attorneys, legislative liasons and deputy chiefs of staff for state agencies to save money and create a (false) sense of management separate from the unionista process.

Predictably, the unionistas are squealing, even though if the bill passed, 92 percent of state employees would still remain unionized. Apparently, they like the idea of potentially having only 760 of Illinois’ 45,000 public employees be non-union.

I’m torn betwee the politicians on the far side of the toll booths having a moment of clarity and them continuing to be wholly-owned subsidiaries of Duh Union. The Tribune noted the Senate wasn’t likely to follow the House’s lead, so the exodus out of the Land of Hype and Change will continue.

June 20, 2011

Texan II vs Tucano – the rematch

by @ 17:39. Filed under Military.

The United States Air Force is expected to announce soon the winning entry in its Light Atttack/Armed Reconnaissance program, with the winner getting to build 100 aircraft. The two contenders are the Hawker Beechcraft/Lockheed Martin AT-6 (based on the T-6 Texan II trainer) and the Embraer/Sierra Nevada A-29/EMB-314 Super Tucano.

This is not the first time the Texan II and the Super Tucano have faced off in a USAF competition. Back in the 1990s, the T-6 beat out the EMB-312H Super Tucano, a variant of the standard EMB-312 Tucano, to become the primary trainer for both the USAF and the United States Navy.

Embraer went on to develop the EMB-314 Super Tucano based on the -312H design, and successfully marketed it to several other South American countries. Indeed, the Super Tucano was put to use successfully by Columbia in raids on FARC bases.

Also, the Navy tried out a leased copy of the Super Tucano for the SEALs in 2009, and by all accounts, liked it so much that they wanted additional planes. That, however, fell through due to lack of funding.

Beechcraft, for its part, wasn’t standing still. The T-6 was designed from the outset, at the insistence of the Hellenic Air Force, to fulfill the light attack role. The current AT-6 prototypes expand on this potential, featuring uprated engines, additional hard points to mount weapons, and armor protection mandated by the LAAR program.

The first question to answer is whether what is essentially a manned version of the MQ-9 Reaper is necessary. Both the AT-6 and the Super Tucano have similar weapons performance to the Reaper, though the manned planes are a bit faster and have far less endurance. While each flight of either plane would involve aircrew going into, potentially, harm’s way, there won’t be a datalink between the platform and those controlling said platform that can be broken into and compromised. In the era of hyper-sensitivity over collateral damage, having an unjammable link between the human activating the weapons release and the weapon being fired is worth the risk.

I’m not privy to any flight testing that has been done, so I can’t answer whether the modifications made to the T-6 have radically changed the flight characteristics of the AT-6, or how hard the integration of USAF-specific avionics has been for either type. Assuming neither was a significant issue, the fact that just about every pilot that came up in the last 10 years flew the Texan II means familiarity with the basic flight envelope would tend to tip the scales in its favor, especially when the mission turns into a two-way shooting match.

Another item that would seem to tip the scales in the favor of the AT-6 is the ejection system. The AT-6 seats are designed to safely handle a far wider range of crew, especially women, than the A-29’s seats. Of course, that may well be able to be rectified by Embraer with a minimum of fuss.

That leads me to the sourcing. Yes, neither leading company is a government-controlled entity, but Embraer is a foreign entity. There is a reason why the Pentagon has typically required foreign entities that win procurement contracts to use American sources for both assembly and major parts; we don’t feel like being held hostage to the whims of another country.

That is not just an idle threat, either historically or specifically to the use of this plane in a manner that Brazil does not appove. After Columbia used its Super Tucanos in a cross-border raid on FARC facilities in Ecuador, Brazil cut diplomatic relations with Columbia for a while. On the historic end, France blocked Israel from access to Dassault Mirage 5 jets it had already paid for back in 1967.

The Air Force needs to choose a plane that will get the job done. It does also, however, need to make sure that it can use the plane more than once.

June 17, 2011

Friday Hot Read – IBD’s “The Economy Dems Now Own”

The gang over at Investor’s Business Daily really teed off on DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s admission that the economy was now the Democrats’. I’ll give you the first four (no pun intended) paragraphs to whet your appetite; as always, I highly encourage you to read the rest:

The head of the Democratic National Committee says the administration has turned the economy around. So let us give discredit where discredit is due.

Joe Biden should sue DNC chief and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz for copyright infringement based on her statement at a Politico breakfast. We thought the vice president had a monopoly on statements completely detached from reality.

“We own the economy,” Schultz said. “We own the beginning of the turnaround, and we want to make sure that we continue that pace of recovery, not go back to the policies of the past under the Bush administration that put us in the ditch in the first place.”

That’s right, Debbie, you guys own the economy, though you might explain President Obama’s chuckle about those shovel-ready jobs not being as shovel-ready as he thought. Does your “pace of recovery” include an official rate of unemployment of 9.1% after a failed trillion-dollar stimulus was supposed to cap it at 8% and force it downward?

June 15, 2011

The obligatory “If the majority opinion were a movie clip” clip

by @ 7:13. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

If you’re looking for learned, legal-scholarly opinion on the majority opinion that restored Act 10 to law, I’ll send you over to William Jacobson at the soon-to-be-off-Blogger Legal Insurrection. Of course, there is some football-spiking involved.

I’ll provide the obligatory clip from “Billy Madison”, which sums up what the majority told Maryann Sumi yesterday quite well…


Is Act 10 effective right now?

by @ 2:20. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Disclosure – I am not a lawyer. Further, I do not have access to the records of the Goodland case from 1943, so I cannot answer how the Supreme Court, and if memory serves, the appeals court before it, dealt with the timing issues related to the striking down of the circuit court’s attempt to block publication of an act. Therefore, there is a possibility this analysis could be in error.

In case you missed the news, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as part of taking the case of Wisconsin Act 10 on original jurisdiction, vacated and voided ab initio all orders and judgements issued by Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi in the original case that had blocked implementation of the act as Sumi exceeded her authority set by both the state constitution and the Supreme Court by enjoining publication of the act.

Predictably, Democrat Secretary of State Doug La Follette thinks he can delay for at least a bit longer its enforcement because, based solely on the first of Sumi’s orders, he changed the designated publication date from March 25 to a date uncertain. Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon), speaking on Mark Belling’s show on WISN-AM shortly after the ruling, and Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) believe Act 10 is now law. For his part Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch says his office will begin implementing the act “when appropriate”. Let’s see if I can sort some of this out.

While the order from the Supreme Court does not directly address the date of publication, from which, in normal circumstances, the effectiveness of an act stems, it can be inferred from both the order and the statutes that the act is considered by the Court to have been published on March 25, and by Wis. Stat. §991.11, which states, “Every act and every portion of an act enacted by the legislature over the governor’s partial veto which does not expressly prescribe the time when it takes effect shall take effect on the day after its date of publication as designated under s. 35.095 (3) (b),” and by the order yesterday voiding all of Sumi’s blocking orders, it is currently in effect.

I’ll leave the distinction between the three possible effective dates (March 26, June 14 or June 15) to the professionals as that can and probably will have legal consequences for those local units of government who cut deals with public unions on and after March 26. I will, however, push on with the publication date.

Paragraph 10 of the order comes closest to addressing whether the act is already published, and indeed is the only paragraph of the order itself that mentions either the office of the Secretary of State or the person who holds it:

10 Article IV, Section 17 of the Wisconsin Constitution vests the legislature with the constitutional power to “provide by law” for publication. The legislature has set the requirements for publication. However, the Secretary of State has not yet fulfilled his statutory duty to publish a notice of publication of the Act in the official state newspaper, pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 14.38(10)(c). Due to the vacation of the circuit court’s orders, there remain no impediments to the Secretary of State fulfilling his obligations under § 14.38(10)(c).

Let’s review what that section, which covers the duties of the Secretary of State says:

Publish in the official state newspaper within 10 days after the date of publication of an act a notice certifying the number of each act, the number of the bill from which it originated, the date of publication and the relating clause. Each certificate shall also contain a notice of where the full text of each act can be obtained. Costs under this paragraph shall be charged to the appropriation under s. 20.765 (1) (d).

Do note the “after the date of publication” part of the time limit to publish the notice, and the requirement to include the “date of publication” in the notice, in § 14.38(10)(c). Also, do notice the specific language in the order saying that La Follette had “…not yet fulfilled his statutory duty to publish a notice of publication of the Act…”. The inclusion of that specific language, and not any language that refers to the publication of the act itself, strongly suggests that the majority believes that the act was already published by state law.

The Supreme Court, as stated above, voided ab initio all of Sumi’s orders, including her first temporary restraining order on March 18 enjoining La Follette (and only La Follette) from any further action in the process of publication and implementation of Act 10. To put it in English, that means that in the eyes of the Court, none of Sumi’s orders ever were valid.

La Follette, who on March 14 had designated March 25 as the publication date, subsequently sent notice to the Legislative Reference Bureau informing them that, pursuant to that TRO he rescinded the publication date and would not issue a new one until a later date.

Since the TRO no longer has, and indeed never did have, any legal standing, the question is whether La Follette had any statutory authority to change the publication date days after designating one. A quick review of the timeline is in order:

  • On March 11, Governor Scott Walker signed Act 10, thus enacting it, and deposited it in the Secretary of State’s office for publication.
  • On March 14, La Follette, pursuant to § 35.095(3)(b), designated to the Legislative Reference Bureau March 25, the last date allowed by statute, as the date of publication of the act.
  • On March 18, Sumi issued her first TRO enjoining La Follette from publishing the act. Also on that date, La Follette used that TRO as the justification in an attempt to change the March 25 date of publication to a date uncertain.
  • On March 25, the Legislative Reference Bureau, pursuant to § 35.095(3)(a), published the act on the last date allowed by statute with a note that, due to the TRO, La Follette was enjoined from publshing the act.

There is a further limitation to the Secretary of State’s ability to designate a date of publication beyond the 10 working day requirement in § 35.095(3)(b). § 14.38(10)(a) reads, “No later than the next working day following the deposit of an act in his or her office, provide written notice to the legislative reference bureau of the act number and date of enactment, and the designated date of publication of the act under s. 35.095.”

There is, as far as I can tell, no statutory language that gives the Secretary of State any authority to, after the working day following the deposit of an act in his office, change the designated date of publication, much less to a date beyond 10 working days after the date of enactment.

In this case, since La Follette designated March 25 as the date of publication on March 14, the working day after the act was deposited in his office, and the Supreme Court voided the judicial justification for a date-of-publication change after March 14, La Follette’s attempt to change the date of publication on March 18 is without any legal basis.

June 14, 2011

The obligatory post-debate analysis

by @ 8:49. Filed under 2012 Presidential Contest.

In general, the Gang of 7 survived the CNN sandbagging in good order. Do note that the use of “sandbag” is more of a reflection of a wet, limp bag of sand than a flying bag of sand, but not for the lack of trying on moderator John King’s part.

Of course, some did so better than others, so let’s do a hung-over review in alphabetical order:

  • Michele Bachmann – The consensus winner, not in small part by being the only newsmaker of the bunch and announcing her candidacy at the beginning of the debate. She delivered, and not the Biden gaffetastic crazy some of my friends in the center-right coalition believe she is limited to.
  • Herman Cain – If I were grading, it would be an Incomplete, though not for a lack of substance. King seemed to treat him as a “token” after he was introduced first. He was markedly improved from the first debate, but he still has a way to go to be a top-tier debater. Bonus points for not whining about the silent treatment from King early.
  • Debate format – This was a mixed bag. I liked that the jumping-off questions from the public were, for the most part, appropriate for a GOP debate, even ones from those who from the intro would seem to be prejudiced against the GOP. Then, the “pros” took over, and the debate at times took on a feel of a DNC inquisition.
  • Newt Gingrich – The good – he seemed prepared despite losing his entire campaign staff last week. The bad – he seems to think that if the thundering herd wants to stampede right off the cliff, the herd shouldn’t be discouraged from doing so.
  • John King – He proved that CNN should never get another GOP debate again.
  • Ron Paul – It took a bit longer for the batshit crazy to kick in than usual on any given question, and indeed on a couple answers, it didn’t kick in at all. Unfortunately, it’s never far from the surface and too often erupting like Mt. Vesuvius.
  • Tim Pawlenty – I believe 4 letters describe his demurring from the Sunday charge of ObamneyCare – W-I-M-P. Memo to the Anybody-But-Romney crowd; if you’re going to get the first GOP candidate since Dwight Eisenhower that wasn’t Next-In-Line™, you’re going to have to start tearing Romney down when he’s present.
  • Mitt Romney – If you doubted that he was Next-In-Line™, doubt no more. He’s running as though he already secured the nomination (and so far, there’s nothing that would disabuse him of that assumption), and didn’t make any major missteps.
  • Rick Santorum – The only wave of the night he created was when he unabashedly backed Paul Ryan’s budget. Other than that, I don’t know how he got promoted to the A-list.

June Drinking Right – 12-hour warning

This is the Emergency Blogging System. It has been activated because you need a reason to drink.

The June edition of Drinking Right will be held tonight. As always, the fun is at Papa’s Social Club, 7718 W Burleigh in Milwaukee, and it begins at 7 pm. Come on down, have a few of your favorite beverage and some free pizza with the cream of the right side of the Milwaukee-area branch of the Cheddarsphere.

You have 12 hours to clear out your calendars, dump the tickets to Wrigley Field, and make sure you’re there for the warm-up to RightOnline. Don’t forget, we’ve got some deals for you, including packages that include transportation and hotel.

This concludes this activation of the Emergency Blogging System.

June 13, 2011

CNN New Hampshire GOP Presidential debate drunkblog

by @ 17:06. Filed under 2012 Presidential Contest.

In a bit under 2 hours, CNN will have the second GOP Presidential debate. Partly because the 2008 cycle’s debates is how I managed to snag Shoebox as a co-blogger, and partly because I need the practice for tomorrow’s Drinking Right (as always, at Papa’s Social Club, 7718 W Burleigh in Milwaukee, starting at 7 pm) and RightOnline later in the week, I’ll fire up a drunkblog. As always, I’ll be using CoverItLive to handle the liveblogging duties, which means you won’t need to refresh this page to keep up. The standard drunkblog rules apply, which means I paraphrase a lot and salty language may will be used.

Legislative Fiscal Bureau – Budget projected to have a structural surplus

by @ 16:26. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

(H/T – JSOnline’s All Politics blog)

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has run the numbers on the current version of the FY2012-2013 budget, as put together by the Joint Finance Committee, and they are projecting something that has not been achieved in at least the last 16 years – a projected structural surplus in the succeeding budget. Of course, this assumes that, outside of already-mandated changes in both state and federal law, the situation that exists in FY2013 carries over to FY2014 and FY2015.

As a convenience, I’ve reproduced and somewhat expanded the bottom-line table, comparing the structural deficit (termed “General Fund Amounts Necessary for a Balanced Budget” in Table 6:

Structural deficit (surplus) in the succeeding biennium (millions)
1st year 2nd year Total
FY2014-FY2015 (JFC FY2012-FY2013 budget) ($145) ($161) ($306)
FY2014-FY2015 (Governor FY2012-FY2013 budget) $4 $27 $31
FY2012-FY2013 (adopted FY2010-FY2011 budget) $1,232 $1,279 $2,511
FY2010-FY2011 (adopted FY2008-FY2009 budget) $800 $882 $1,682
FY2008-FY2009 (adopted FY2006-FY2007 budget) $653 $846 $1,499
FY2006-FY2007 (adopted FY2004-FY2005 budget) $701 $845 $1,546
FY2004-FY2005 (adopted FY2002-FY2003 budget) $1,340 $1,527 $2,867
FY2002-FY2003 (adopted FY2000-FY2001 budget) $693 $1,026 $1,719
FY2000-FY2001 (adopted FY1998-FY1999 budget) $589 $914 $1,503
FY1998-FY1999 (adopted FY1996-FY1997 budget) $624 $908 $1,532

New FBI surveillance rules half-good, half-troubling

by @ 12:48. Filed under Law and order.

Fox News reports the FBI plans on issuing new rules designed to allow it to expand its surveillance and catch “lone wolfs”.

The good part is that it will allow its agents to administer lie-detector tests to and search the trash of potential informants. Assuming the potential informant knows beforehand and accepts it, it is the functional equivalent of the FBI hiring the person.

The troubling part is that agents won’t need to so much as open up a low-level assessment to look up people on various databases. J. Edgar Hoover never had it so oppressive.

Revisions/extensions (1:32 pm 6/13/2011) – Over at Ace of Spades HQ, rdbrewer has a far better explanation of why the troubling part is troubling (hint; the Founding Fathers launched the American Revolution in part because of shit just like this), along with a wife-of-a-friend story of what a less-than-honest bureaucrat does with this kind of power.

June 9, 2011

Initial unemployment claims continue to disappoint

by @ 8:08. Filed under Economy Held Hostage.

Reviewing the initial unemployment claims, this time at 427,000 for last week, is becoming something of a checklist:

  • Higher than expectedCheck (Bloomberg’s economists predicted 419,000, Reuters’ economists predicted 415,000)
  • Unexpectedly higher than expectedCheck (both Reuters and Bloomberg put it in the headline and the lede)
  • Prior week’s number revised upwardCheck (Tom Blumer notes the prior week’s increase from 422,000 to 426,000 is the 14th week in a row this has happened)

Can you say, “Double-Dip DEMpression”?

June 8, 2011

Recalls against all 3 targeted Dem Senators certified

by @ 18:52. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

After a marathon session that lasted, including numerous breaks, nearly 9 hours, the Government Accountability Board certified a sufficient number of signatures against all three Democrat Senators against whom recall petitions were submitted for filing, setting up recall elections for all three, or at least primaries if more than one Democrat, one Republican, or one Constitution Party candidate files to run, on July 19, one week later than the same for the 6 targeted Republican state Senators. By and large, the Board rejected Democrat attempts to toss signatures gathered by several out-of-state circulators based on what they termed “fraud”, as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that, in addition to the individual challenges recommended by GAB staff, a grand total of about 230 signatures collected by one of the circulators in question would not count.

The final number of certified signatures against the three Democrat Senators, per WisPolitics, are 15,540 signatures for the recall of Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), 19,255 for the recall of Jim Holperin (D-Conover) and 17,138 for the recall of Bob Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie). Each is more than the number required, which was 13,852 for Hansen, 15,960 for Holperin, and 13,537 for Wirch.

It is unknown whether the Democrats will follow the six targeted Republicans into court in an attempt to stop the recall, but they do have until next week Thursday to do so. The Wisconsin State Journal reported that Republican Senators Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), Shelia Harsdorf (R-River Falls) and Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) filed suits yesterday to do just that, joining Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse), Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) and Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), who filed last week. As of yesterday, no date had been set in any of hte 6 Republican cases.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party of Wisconsin is lining up “protest ‘Democrat'” candidates to run in all 6 districts where Republicans are targeted in order to stretch the recall election itself to August 9, 4 weeks after the July 12 election date set for the 6 Republicans. This has the Democrats, who in Wisconsin had one of their operatives run as a “Republican” in a failed attempt to squeeze newly-independent Assemblyman Bob Ziegelbauer out of office last year, and nationally have with varying degrees of success encouraged third-party runs in attempts to seize Republican-held seats, crying “foul”. A minor point of order for those of you not in Wisconsin – the parties do not control any aspect of the primary process. They can neither get a candidate placed on the ballot automatically (outside of a recall situation where the incumbent is automatically on the ballot) nor prohibit a candidate from running for or holding office as a “member” of their party.

Revisions/extensions (7:14 pm 6/8/2011) – Speaking of Hopper, one of the main reasons he’s in particular trouble in a district that should be a safe Republican one is that he left his wife for a live-in girlfriend, but forgot to finalize the divorce before the recall circulators showed up at his soon-to-be-ex’s door. I agree with James Wigderson that the RPW needs to cut its ties with him, but they should do it in a primary just in case he forgets to declare himself a non-candidate. If memory serves, that 10-day deadline, along with the 4-week filing deadline for ballot access in the election, is fast approaching.

R&E part 2 (7:18 am 6/9/2011) – The MacIver News Service has a lengthier report of the hearing, including a tidbit on the telemarketing firm hired by the Dems to establish their “fraud” case that I had not known. Several Brown County residents had filed suit after the firm had called them multiple times, with the suit dismissed only after the calls had stopped.

That also leads me to another flashback – the same firm usurped the good name of a Green Bay medical facility in its first several hundred calls.

June 6, 2011

Righteous Indignation

by @ 19:59. Filed under Politics - National.

After ten days of denying, claiming “hacker”, not knowing anything with “certitude,” and suspecting everyone but himself, Anthony Weiner admitted to sending inappropriate and suggestive photos of himself to women via Twitter.

As is usually the case with issues of moral turpitude, the story is less about the acts and more about the denials and the cover up of the acts.  Had Weiner done a mea culpa when first caught, the Democrat friendly media would have scuttled the story with one of the responses popularized by Clinton i.e. “it’s a personal matter,” “It’s between he and his wife” or most probably, “it’s just about sex, why are you so uptight about sex?”  Instead, Weiner denied in every way possible.

Worse than the personal embarassment that Weiner has caused for his family, his week long denial has cost him all of his personal integrity. 

Compare the defense and indignation that Weiner mustered in this video:

With the alleged remorse in this video:

Anthony Weiner emphatically stated that he was not resigning today. It’s hard to take his apology as genuine as a result. Weiner may yet have a second thought about that now that Nancy Pelosi has called for an ethics review into his actions.

It’s sad and ironic that Weiner chose the anniversary of D Day as the day he came clean.  We are fortunate as a country, to have had men and women who could rise above their personal, self absorbed egos to do something for their country at personal costs to themselves.  It’s sad that we seem to have very few with that character trait in today’s legislative leadership.

If Weiner doesn’t ultimately “want to spend more time with his family,” there will be no doubt that the top video above will get a lot of airtime by Weiner’s next election opponent. It’s possible that even with this ad Weiner could be reelected in his NY district. After all, in the words of P.T. Barnum: “There’s a sucker born every minute,” and there’s no doubt that NY Democrats have been birthing them for an awful long time.

Oh, and because this issue is now likely put to bed and I won’t get a chance to do it again…Weiner, weiner, weiner, weiner!

RightOnline – June 17-18 – Be there!

by @ 19:12. Tags:
Filed under Conservatism, Politics - National.

Revisions/extensions (7:12 pm 6/6/2011) – Bumped to the top with some more registration options specific to Wisconsin. This was originally posted 5/18 at 3:57 pm.

For the fourth year in a row, Americans for Prosperity will be holding its RightOnline Conference at the same time and city as NetRoots Nation, the big lefty online gathering. This time, we’ll be at the Hilton Minneapolis in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 17 and June 18.

Since the national media will be there to cover both events, we can’t let them give a false impression that all the energy is on the left side of the ‘net. It’s a short drive from just about anywhere in Wisconsin. Come on out and join people like Michelle Malkin, Rep. Michele Bachmann, S.E. Cupp, Erick Erickson, John Fund, Guy Benson, Mary Katharine Ham, Ed Morrissey, and a host of others.

There will also be workshops and panels hosted by experts in their respective fields. The areas of focus will include Online Activism 101, Advanced Online Activism, Tools and Resources, Investigative Reporting/Citizen Journalism, Public Policy Issues, and Grassroots Activism.

Since I’ll be there live-blogging for the third consecutive year, AFP decided to give you the readers of this blog a 25% discount. Just use the promo code fightback when you register, and you will get a 25% discount on the ticket. The promo is good up until June 17, though I can’t guarantee how long the 2-for-1 registration deal (which also is eligible for the discount) will last.

Revisions/extensions (cont.) – While the 2-for-1 deal and the blog-reader discount are still good as of today, the early-registration price of $99 (discounted to $74.25) is gone. That’s been jacked up to a regular price of $119, or a discounted price of $89.25 (or $89.24 for 2 due to rounding). If you can bring a second person up, that makes the registration cost $44.62 per person. Where else do you get 2 days of activism along with two confirmed (Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain) and one likely (Michele Bachmann) Presidential candidates?

However, AFP-WI has a nice deal for you – big discounts on the double-occupancy and quad-occupancy bus trips, departing early Friday from Kenosha (4 am), Racine (4:30 am), Milwaukee (5:30 am), Waukesha (6:15 am), Green Bay (5:30 am) and Wausau (7:30 am), complete with a Friday-night stay in Minneapolis in either a double-occupancy or a quad-occupancy room. For the double-occupancy rate of $79 per person, enter DoubleBus as the promo code on the bus package registration page, and for the quad-occupancy rate of $49 per person, enter QuadBus as the promo code on the bus package registration page.

Moody’s latest to reassess Treasury security risk

Less than 2 months after Standard and Poor’s cut its federal government credit outlook to negative, Moody’s announced on Thursday that it expects to place its federal government credit rating under review as there still is no agreement on whether to live within the government’s revenue limits or to raise the debt ceiling. To wit, this is the set of implications from Moody’s:

1) The likelihood that Moody’s will place the US government’s rating on review for downgrade due to the risk of a short-lived default has increased. Since the risk of continuing stalemate has grown, if progress in negotiations is not evident by the middle of July, such a rating action is likely. The Secretary of the Treasury has indicated that the government will have to drastically reduce expenditure sometime around August 2 if the debt limit is not raised; the initiation of a rating review would precede this date.

2) If a debt-ceiling-related default were to occur, Moody’s would likely downgrade the rating shortly thereafter. The extent of and length of time before a downgrade would depend on how factors surrounding the default affect the government’s fundamental creditworthiness, including (a) the speed at which the default were cured, (b) an assessment of the effect of the default on long-term Treasury borrowing costs, and (c) measures put in place to prevent a recurrence. However, a rating in the Aa range would be the most likely outcome. Any loss to bondholders would likely be minimal or non-existent, as Moody’s anticipates that a default would be cured quickly.

3) If default is avoided, the Aaa rating would likely be affirmed after any review. Whether the outlook on the rating would be stable or negative would depend upon whether the outcome of the negotiations included meaningful progress toward substantial and credible long-term deficit reduction. Such reduction would imply stabilization within a few years and ultimately a decline in the government’s debt ratios, including the ratio of debt to GDP.

Allow me to translate the last item. If the only thing that is done is a short-term solution, either a “clean” debt-ceiling increase or a massive spending cut that doesn’t affect interest (or a combination thereof), Moody’s is going to join S&P in having a negative outlook on debt.

I’ll borrow a couple of the slides my Congressman, Paul Ryan, included in his series of April listening sessions to illustrate why a short-term solution, regardless of what it is, won’t work. The first shows the trajectory of publicly-held debt from 1940 to 2080 (click for the full-size graphic):

Do note how soon the publicly-held debt crosses the 100% of GDP threshhold (sometime between 2020 and 2030). I could also point out where it ends up, but one thing Ryan pointed out in the listening sessions is that the CBO cannot project what the economy does after 2037 because the computers crash when trying to model that.

The second one focuses on the projected yearly spending on just the “Big Three” of the entitlement programs, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, versus projected federal revenues, again as a percentage of GDP (click for the full-sized graphic):

I really wish Ryan had included interest on the debt in the chart because it would better illustrate just how much entitlements and debt crush the life out of the rest of the federal budget. Indeed, in a floor speech on Thursday, Ryan pointed out that by the end of this decade, 20% of the total tax revenue would be dedicated to interest. That brings the entitlement plus interest share of the tax revenue to somewhere around 85%.

The unsustainable trend is undeniable. Once revenues stabilize at the historic 18% (give or take a couple tenths of a point) of GDP, just the entitlements will rapidly approach 100% of the revenues, hitting somewhere around 90% by the aforementioned 2037 GDP model crash date, and crossing 100% around 2050.

The bond ratings agencies are making it crystal clear that simply saying the government can borrow more isn’t going to cut it. Similarly, as much as many people don’t want to hear it, thinking we can avoid default just by cutting spending isn’t going to cut it. Indeed, given the current tax collection rate (due to the collapsed economy, not to the Bush tax cuts; though that’s an argument for another post), Congress could zero out all discretionary spending, and we’d still run a deficit and thus increase the debt.

Revisions/extensions (6:15 pm 6/6/2011) – James Pethokoukis, who just returned from China, says the Chinese want a long-term fix.

Another item in James’ piece is that some of the “smart money” seems to think the Treasury will prioritize debt service and Social Security checks. Without specific instructions from Congress, I wouldn’t put my money on that.

“I heard you missed us. We’re back!” backhand smashes

by @ 13:21. Filed under Miscellaneous.

If I had to describe the fishing on Ontario’s Eagle Lake last week in one word, it would be “workman-like”. The weather wasn’t exactly cooperative, and neither were the larger fish. Still, the crew limited out on walleye as always, northern for the first time (not that we usually spend any time going after them), and we got a few “bonus” fish (perch and whitefish).

Let’s see; what did I miss the last week?

  • JoAnne Kloppenburg actually admitted reality and conceeded on the last day of decision. All but 28 of you were wrong in my little poll on the left side of the page (don’t worry; I was wrong as well – I thought she would go for Grand Theft Courts.
  • The ‘Rats were successful in upsetting the one-day Mega Recall, with all 6 elections targeting Senate Republicans happening on 7/12 (or at least primaries on that day), and the 3 potential ones targeting Democrats potentially happening on 7/19, but the Republicans are taking a page out of the DPW playbook and recruiting faux Rats in at least 2 districts where Pubbies are up for recall to extend the clock.

    A fair bit of explanation is required. The faux party candidate gambit was opened by the DPW last year when they tried to squeeze Rep., Bob Ziegelbauer (I-Manitowoc) out of the Legislature after bumrushing him out of their party. The reason why it would extend the clock is, if more than 1 person runs for the Democrat, Republican or Constitution Party nomination (the 3 parties who are eligible to have a state-run primary through 2014), the 7/12 election would be a primary election instead a general election, with the general happening on 8/9.

  • The Supreme Court is holding oral arguments on whether to take jurisdiction of the budget-repair/bargaining-limiting bill today. As WTMJ’s Jeff Wagner (a former assistant US attorney) noted, one could go broke very quickly by predicting what will happen, but since I don’t have a lot of money anyway, I’ll go with them taking the case and staying Dane County circuit judge Lawgiver-In-Black Maryann Sumi’s various rulings.
  • The ChiComs were serious about dumping their Treasury securities, or at least their short-term securities. After bankrolling TARP and Porkulus via short-term T-bill purchases, they pulled that part of their holdings to 2004 levels as of March.

    I will note that, also as of March 2011, their total Treasury security holdings was still over $1.14 trillion, a significant increase over $895 billion in March 2010. However, that is down from the October high of $1.18 trillion.

  • When CBS notes that people are staying unemployed longer than they did during the Great Depression, the economy can’t exactly be termed in recovery. I will, however, look the other way if you say it’s in wreckcovery, though Shoebox would say that it’s still being held hostage.
  • If only the Brewers could beat the Reds, they probably woudl be in first. Still, comfortably above .500, leading the wild-card portion of the race, and nipping on the heels of the Cards for the division is pretty cool.
  • Speaking of bailouts, according to the CBO, Fannie and Freddie’s bailout is costing twice as much as the White House says, or $317 billion.
  • Neptunus Lex takes a look at one v one maneuvering versus multi-ship proficiency. Do follow the further link to look at the restrictions being put on the F-16 Block 52 aircraft the Pakistan Air Force is getting.

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