Chasing That Elusive Nuclear Arms Deal January 30, 2010Posted by geoff in News.
“US and Russia Close to Nuclear Arms Deal?” . . . . . I’m starting to feel like I’ve heard it all before:
- “…Moscow suggested that an initial deal could be ready by next month.” (6/2/09)
- “We hope that this will be the last round and that by December 5 we will have agreed a new accord.” (11/9/09)
- “Russia and the United States are close to a deal to cut vast arsenals of nuclear weapons, Russia said on Friday” (12/4/09)
- “…President Barack Obama’s White House said on December 17 that it still aimed to “conclude a good and verifiable (START) agreement by the end of the year.” (12/17/09)
- “Russia and the United States will sign a new nuclear arms deal shortly, the Russian foreign ministry said Wednesday.” (12/9/09)
- “”We’ve been making excellent progress,” Obama said of the arms reduction talks. “We are quite close to an agreement.” (12/18/09)
- “Both sides expect to reach an agreement. They expect to do it fairly soon in the New Year….” (1/6/10)
- “The two largest nuclear powers say they are close to agreement on a successor to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty” (1/22/10)
- “Russia and the United States are close to agreeing a new pact to reduce their Cold War arsenals of nuclear weapons, the Russian president has said.” (1/24/10)
- “Russian and U.S. negotiators could hammer out a new nuclear arms reduction deal within weeks, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.” (1/27/10)
I’m not sure that I’m going to like the deal when they finally tell us what it is, but I’d sure like them to stop yammering about it.
4Q09 GDP No Cause for Optimism January 29, 2010Posted by geoff in News.
In a research note released last night, Goldman Sachs raised their estimate of Q4 GDP from 4.0% to 5.8%. They cautioned that the “headline will be an eye-popper”, but that this growth is mostly due to inventory changes: “More than two-thirds of our estimated increase comes from a sudden stabilization in inventories”. They also noted “anything between 4½% and 7% is possible given the volatility of the inventory data”.
And the actual (1st estimate) number is: . . . . . . . 5.7%!!
So Goldman Sachs just about nailed it. Since they were so dang accurate, what else did they have to say?
The rest of the note cautions on 2010, and Goldman still sees sluggish growth of just under 2.0% with the unemployment rate peaking in early 2011.
Remember that when the administration trumpets the fourth-quarter numbers.
State of the Blog January 28, 2010Posted by Sobek in News.
Esteemed blog administrators. Fellow co-bloggers. Loyal readers, mouth-breathing fools, women of loose morals and little common sense. I am honored to address you today to fulfill the noble tradition of delivering this annual State of the Blog post.
Destiny is Not Refuted by Adversity January 28, 2010Posted by geoff in News.
Apparently the President gave some sort of speech last night, so I decided to go check out the transcript to see what he said. I didn’t make it very far, though. Paragraph 1 was essentially, “Hi Folks,” and Paragraph 2 was “It’s my job to give you this speech.” Then there was Paragraph 3:
Interesting Scientific Breakthrough, and New IB Swag January 28, 2010Posted by Sobek in News.
Hey fellahs, have you noticed that a pretty large percentage of what women say is completely useless? With men, we communicate pretty efficiently. When a guy needs to take a leak, he says “I gotta take a leak,” which communicates all the information necessary with just enough words to be crass. When a woman has to pee, she’ll yammer on for a good fifteen minutes, and if you actually have the patience and stamina to listen to all of it, you’ll figure out that what she’s really saying is that she has to pee. She could have just said “I need to pee,” but no, she’s a woman, so she’ll go on and on and on.
Now that women have some rights and stuff, there isn’t really anything men can do about the situation, short of moving to Saudi Arabia, which — let’s face it — would take a lot more effort than any of you men are about to put forth. But the other day on the radio I learned about an amazing device that will actually filter out the useless things women say. It’s like having the “Cliff Notes for Whatever Your Woman Is Sputtering About Instead of Making You a Sammich.” Or you know those special headsets that cancel out jet engine noise while letting you hear other stuff? Imagine if you had a device that would only let you hear the important things a woman has to say.
Well I’m happy to announce that not only does such a device exist, but you can get it exclusively through Innocent Bystanders. I personally guarantee it will eliminate 100% of the useless crap you would otherwise hear from your woman.
More Dancing by Phillippine Inmates January 27, 2010Posted by Michael in Art.
These people are becoming a YouTube franchise.
Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem January 27, 2010Posted by Michael in Economics.
This is kinda cute, and actually captures the academic debate that has consumed economics.
New Jersey Shows the Path to Reducing Medical Costs January 27, 2010Posted by geoff in News.
Among the unintended consequences of the hopefully-moribund health care bills, we have the threat of driving doctors away from practicing medicine as their professions become less and less attractive. We can look to New Jersey as our canary in that particular mine.
New Jersey will be short 2,800 family doctors and specialists by 2020 unless the state becomes a more appealing place to open a practice, according to a report a hospital trade group issued today.
The shortage stems from a “morale problem’’ among many of the state’s 23,800 licensed physicians, said J. Richard Goldstein, a physician and president and CEO for the New Jersey Council on Teaching Hospitals, which produced the report. He said the doctors are frustrated by the crushing costs of running a business, paltry reimbursements for treating elderly and poor patients and the threat of malpractice lawsuits.
“Physicians … do not recommend their children practice medicine. To the residents they train, they recommend they go someplace else.”
It’s one thing not to be able to afford care – it’s quite another when it’s not available at any price. I suppose, though, that reducing availability will satisfy the Dems’ desire to level out access to health care. When no one can get it, we’ll finally have absolute equality. And medical costs will be zeroed out!
Oh happy day.
Out: Freedom Ship; In: Utopia January 26, 2010Posted by geoff in News.
Back in the late 90’s, libertarians salivated over the Freedom Ship – a sort of floating Hong Kong that would travel the seas with a minimum of personal and business restrictions. The ship was huge, 4X longer than the Queen Mary, and would carry up to 40,000 residents.
Alas, the Freedom Ship project was run by people who were in way over their heads (engineers who didn’t understand large project financing or management), and so it faded away a few years ago. But don’t dismay!! There’s a new opportunity to live on a ship and travel the world, albeit far less ambitious (a little shorter than the Queen Mary) and far more expensive:
A Beverly Hills company has announced plans to launch a $1.1 billion ocean liner, called the Utopia, in 2013, featuring private luxury residences for people who want to cruise the seas year-round.
I did mention “expensive,” right?
But the glitzy lifestyle comes with a glitzy price tag. There are 200 residences up for sale, starting at $3.9 million for 1,400 square feet of space. The most luxurious residence offered is a 40,000-square-foot cabin ordered by a European family for more than $160 million, the company says.
I’d say that these people have a much more realistic business plan than did the Freedom Ship team – cater to the rich rather than the libertarians. And here’s a look at your new ride:
So all we need to do is to pool our money, and maybe steal the remaining $3.899 million, and then we can just pile into our new home with our sleeping bags and 12-packs of brewskis. Conservative hillbillies at sea!!
Bottlenose Dolphins Demonstrate Democrat Political Strategy January 25, 2010Posted by Michael in Nature Shit, Politics.
I look at this as a political parable.
The solution for the fish is to not panic, and swim through the mud to clear water. Then, organize against the dolphins. Maybe recruit some sharks.
This is my attempt to comment on the Tea Party movement.