You are viewing the archives for March 2012Ugh | 8 Comments
1. The current budget authorization ends on 9/30/2012.
2. It now appears we may hit the debt ceiling in December.
3. On 12/31/2012, the 2001/2003/2010 individual rate cuts expire.
4. On the same date, the payroll tax cut expires.
5. There are several business tax breaks that expired at the end of last year (including things like the R&D credit) that have yet to be extended.
6. Many other provisions expire at the end of this year, including the AMT patch [Update: the AMT patch actually expired last year] and the expansion of 100% depreciation.
7. Also at 12/31/12, the 1.2T sequestration kicks in as a result of the failure of the Super Committee.
Further, other than perhaps reaching an agreement on a continuing resolution for a few months near the end of December to avoid a government shutdown a little over a month before the Presidential election, no one seemed to expect any of these things to be resolved before the Presidential election. Thus, these will have to be addressed in a lame-duck session of Congress that will last around 5 weeks.
If they're not, then we'll see a massive tax increase combined with large cuts in federal government spending beginning 1/1/2013, along with the possibility of a default on the U.S. gov't's debt right around that time; all this with an economy that currently has an 8.3% unemployment rate (though improving). That scenario, it seems to me, would be economically devastating to the country.
But addressing all the above issues would likely be impossible in a lame-duck session due to lack of time. The only potential solution suggested was perhaps they could reach a deal to extend everything for X months to give the next Congress time to attempt to address these issues in a less rushed manner. One other suggestion was just to not have a lame duck session, let all the expiring tax provisions expire and sequestration kick in, and maybe then Congress could come to some sort of agreement on budgetary/entitlement/tax reform under the threat of destroying the economy.
If I had to guess, I'd say there would be some sort of short-term agreement to kick the can to the next Congress on most/all of these issues, but who knows. It's not going to be pretty.
I'm grateful to Ugh for raising issues about the mothership of late. While this post isn't directly about issues there, it's about a wider issue that links to the mothership. To start off, this quote by evilrooster:
Feminism is one of the cleaving issues; there's a subset of the right who are turning it into as dirty a word as liberal, for much the same reason. But anti-feminism doesn't just include people who think that women don't need to make such a fuss because things are pretty much OK. It also gives cover to some truly vicious types who will -- trust me on this -- go after visibly female people with every kind of nastiness they can think of.
I'm thinking that anti-feminism today is similar in many respects to racism in the late 50's. (It seems telling that the word that would correspond to racism (misogynism?) doesn't really work in terms of distribution or collocation) It is always fraught to compare historical eras, and some might complain about comparing, say, the National Review in the 50's with random blowhards on teh interwubs, but to me, the comparison seems apt, especially seeing how Buchanan got drop-kicked from MSNBC for various observations that were racist in nature, pointing to a evolution in our perception of the toxicity of racism in discourse. Of course, I don't want to suggest, especially in light of the Trayvon Martin case, that we have overcome racism, and perhaps I am being over optimistic to think that the anti-feminist remix of Pat Buchanan will get kicked off the air in 2062, but if you accept the parallel, it raises the question what do we do now.
It was suggested in a later comment that you want an appropriate mix of commentators, so if the previous parallel is correct, really holding people's feet to the fire about anti-feminist comments is going to really skew the audience. I mean, imagine calling out every 'racist' in the late 50's and say they couldn't participate in the discussion you were having. It seems you would have a rather confined list.
However, I wonder if part of that is not due to the way we define feminism. Annie Lennox said in an interview that
Her views expand to feminism and her opinion that men should be welcomed into the movement. "I don't think feminism is about the exclusion of men but their inclusion ... we must face and address those issues, especially to include younger men and boys," she says, before adding that she is particularly surprised that more gay men don't see themselves as feminists. "I would like to see the gay population get on board with feminism. It's a beautiful organisation and they've done so much. It seems to me a no-brainer."Being "non-inclusive" can sound "strident and aggressive" and has probably hurt the feminist movement, she adds.
On the other hand, another problem is that while racism didn't drive the capitalist bus, in many ways, sex does. Lennox also noted:
She is more reticent when commenting on the vogue for female singers to perform scantily clad – a far cry from her own black campaign T-shirt, trousers and hat worn at last year's concert. "The world has become more sexualised. I thought the world was already sexualised when I was younger but it sells and sells and now it's just a marketing device.
To tie this back to the mothership, I wonder what mixture of discussion and rule making we need to have. How much 'back getting' is needed? Or am I disagnosing the wrong problem?
As for me, I've never really been into Doc Sci's posts for the most part (no offense Doc!), and would like to see more from Eric/Gary/Seb/russell (LJ's been holding his own).
As for comments, well, perhaps there should be a little more banning-type activity for offensive comments, but that certain people have certain hobby horses, I''m not sure what to do. It does get tedious and repetitive at times, but at least they're willing to engage and are not complete and utter trolls (at least in my view).
Anyway, thoughts anyone?
Unfortunately the dictators that be at the NCAA have seen fit to fiddle with the otherwise pretty much perfect 64 team tournament in the past 12 years or so, first adding the 64-65 "play-in" game and then last year deciding that it would be good to have a "First Four" games, expanding the field to 68 teams, with 8 of them playing to earn a spot in the "first round." This, to my mind, is too much piddling. Thus, I set forth below my proposal for March Madness that I think has the virtue (if you can call it that) of both (i) inviting many more teams to the tournament on a periodic basis, and (ii) satisfying the NCAA's most basic need of "MONEY! MONEY! MONEY!" (Warning: I've posted this thought elsewhere before, including at the Mothership). As follows:
March Madness should return to the basic 64 team format that served it so well from 1985-2000, but only for 3 out of every 4 years. Every fourth year, however, like the Olympics and World Cup, they should hold what I call "The SuperTournament," consisting of 256 teams. That sounds a little insane, I know, but read on!
This is more feasible than it sounds.
First, it would only require a single extra Th-Sun weekend (256 => 128 => 64).
Second, while I haven't run the numbers, it would result in about the same number of games being played across NCAA Division I basketball because....
Third, you would cancel the Conference Tournaments. If 256 of the 345 teams in Division I conference basketball make the tournament, there's no need for your conference to hold one and there should be no whining from the teams left out in the cold.
Fourth, to facilitate everything, teams from 1 to 256 would be seeded solely by computer rankings at the end of the regular season (or, alternatively, 1-64 could be seeded and then 65-256 could be distributed randomly to the top 64 seeds). The tournament could continue from there or be re-seeded after the first weekend.
Fifth, to make up for the cancellation of the conference tournaments and ensure some minimal level of attendance, the top 64 seeds would get to play the first two rounds (assuming they won in the first round) on their home court. Thus, e.g., instead of playing in the ACC tournament Duke and North Carolina would each host 2 NCAA tournament games.
Sixth, this would end the stupid arguments about "last 4 in, last 4 out" that seem to populate my television these days.
Seventh, a four-year college player would almost certainly get a chance to play in at least one NCAA tournament.
Eighth, how awesome would 64 games be each of the first two days of the Tournament? Talk about buzzer-beater potential.
First, increased travel burden on teams not hosting the first two rounds as compared to traveling to their conference tournament (which are generally geographically based, though that is changing a great deal these days).
Second, no way would conferences agree to cancel their tournaments (but this would only be once every four years).
Third, renders the regular season meaningless.
Fourth, great, even more first (and second) round blowouts.
Fifth, too hard to fill out a 256 team bracket for your office pool.
Anyway, just thought I'd throw this up.
On the GOP side, it seems hard to believe that any of the current crop might run again. Romney or Santorum will have lost the 2012 POTUS election and thus be out as I don't think we've had anyone lose a presidential election and subsequently become President since Nixon. I don't see Romney running again even if he doesn't get the GOP nomination, I'm slightly less sure about Santorum. Gingrich will be done, and while Ron Paul might run again I can't see him winning either the GOP nomination or Presidency. So that leaves...who? Jeb Bush maybe? Paul Ryan (despite his desire to abolish Medicare)? There doesn't seem to be an obvious successor or elder statesman for which it's his turn (e.g., like Bob Dole or McCain).
I think there's a similar lack on the Democratic side. In fact I'm struggling to come up with a name at all. None of the current cabinet secretaries appear particularly compelling. Democratic Senators or Governors? Not really (though I'm probably missing someone).
Obviously things can change a lot in 4 years (who would have thought Obama would win the 2008 Democratic nomination back in 2004), but the 2016 race seems wide open in a way 2008 was not.