Thursday, December 31, 2009

Where Every Day Is Opposite Day

Mickey's take on health care is pretty formulaic at this point, so there really isn't much to examine. The man has literally three concepts that he trots out to explain every new development:


Use: Any time a liberal attempts to make anything better.

Why: Liberals are evil, scheming bastards who don't actually want to ever accomplish anything. Also, they once called Mickey a "bald jerk" and he will never, ever forgive them.


Use: Any time a politician attempts to kill the useful bits of health care reform, no matter how obviously nonsensical or venal his/her motive.

Why: Mickey can't argue that various centrist democrats have been bought by the industries they purport to regulate -- this would violate his core thesis that liberal democrats (Dick Durbin! Boo! Hiss!) are to blame for all the evil in the world -- so he attributes the centrists' perfidy to the fear that the public simply hates subsidized universal health care. Because ... well, because it's made by liberals! (see "Kabuki")


Use: To explain why health care is still alive, despite its many setbacks (see "Id").

Why: Democrats are evil, scheming bastards who pretend to want to accomplish things only to extract money from interested parties.


So, in summation, Mickey Kaus has his head so far up his ass that he thinks politicians act in fear of the voting public and treat corporate donors like suckers.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It Was Six Years Ago Today ...

A Kausfiles Klassic, with Mickey showing off his foreign policy chops:

Two very useful reports on the Iraq timetable (in WaPo, and the Los Angeles Times ) suggest that while we may or may not be moving too quickly to hand over sovereignty, the "artificial timeline" derided by Hillary Clinton has some obvious virtues. The June 30 deadline focuses the minds of the Americans on what they can and can't expect to accomplish before they've outstayed their welcome--do we really need to "cash out" Iraq's food rationing program in accordance with Milton-Friedman's theories before we leave?--and it focuses the mind of Iraqis on what they need to do as well, including what compromises they may need to make.

Wow! If Iraqis minds were that focused in December 2003, imagine how focused they must be now! At this point, they can probably bend spoons with their minds!

With that combination of simplistic analysis, churlish liberal-bashing and outright idiocy, it's actually somewhat puzzling that Mickey hasn't been offered a spot at the Brookings Institute yet. They must be in thrall to the Money Liberals!

p.s. Coming soon to a terrible op-ed page near you: Mickey Kaus and Michael O'Hanlon think a turning point is just six months away!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Mickey on the left's awful, awful desire to see the health care bill get better:

What do we want? More Kabuki! Will the angry left's need for cathartic Kabuki kill the promising "Pong" gambit--and maybe kill health care reform entirely (by forcing a House-Senate conference and a conference bill that then never gets re-passed by the Senate)? ... Kausfiles awaits Ezra Klein's denunciation of Howard Dean, Keith Olbermann, Jane Hamsher and Markos Moulitsas for being "willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order" to satisfy an emotional need to 'fight' for a doomed plan.

Can you spot the flaw in Mickey's swipe at Ezra Klein? I'm busy writing letters to Senators Dean, Olbermann, Hamshet and Moulitsas, so just write your answer down and mail it to me at your earliest convenience.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Yes, Mickey, You've Got It Now

Mickey grapples with Holy Joe Lieberman's attempt to kill the Medicare buy-in (the one Mickey liked, remember?) and figures that the one senator Democrats shouldn't worry about is ... Joe Lieberman.

/deep breath

To recap: Mickey Kaus thinks we shouldn't worry about the ridiculous, nonsensical figure acting out his misguided vendetta against liberals by opposing decent legislation.

Awesome, Mickey.

p.s. I don't particularly want to defend Roland Burris -- the Democrat that Mickey, hilariously, thinks is the one most likely to scuttle health care reform due to some unspecified corrupt motive -- but you get the feeling that if Burris wasn't so ... urban ... Mickey would put on the official Slate contrarian hat and note that there's a difference between buying a vote in the Senate and selling a vote in the Senate. But he's not, so he didn't. So it goes.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Why Mickey Likes Things That Don't Happen

A paragraph-by-paragraph breakdown of Mickey's prediction that the (apparently dead!) Medicare compromise will result in means-testing:

1) If the buy-in is unsubsidized, younger people will payer higher premiums. Mickey gets an A ... this is basic logic, often a stretch for Mickey.

2) Eventually the 55+ crowd will complain to their congressmen. C ... True, as far as it goes. Of course, this group doesn't actually have any kind of interest group representing them (like the AARP), and those who would buy in are fairly likely to be poorer. So, to the extent that disorganized poor people have a voice in Washington, Mickey's totally right.

3) Congress, to achive parity between the groups, will respond by raising rates on the larger and more politically powerful demographic, just after they all collectively lose any instinct for self-preservation. F ... I'm starting to believe that Mickey attended exactly one Political Science class, and he fell asleep right after the professor introduced himself.

4) Congress will have to subsidize poor people. D+ Sorta like the way this Congress -- the one with 60 Democrats, remember? -- is bending over BACKWARDS to help poor people?

5) More fee hikes for rich old people. D- ... If Congress had the balls to do this, why wouldn't they have done it already? How does having more people participating in Medicare compel Congress to act in accordance with Mickey's fantasy? Aren't we missing Step 2.5: The Reanimation of Daniel Patrick Moynihan? SHOW YOUR WORK, MICKEY!

6) Rich 65+ recipients would finally pay the full cost. A ... Logical, if you accept all the insane bullshit that came before.

7) Therefore, the Medicare buy-in is a backdoor to means-testing! A+++! ... Great job! Now, run, Mickey, go tell all the means-testing advocates in the Senate! Senators like ...

... Joe Lieberman. Damn.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Guess the Kausfiles!

So, given that a sovereign state is facing impending insolvency and presuming Mickey deigns to address this mildly important bit of news, how do *you* think Mickey will explain the Dubai financial collapse? Let's check the contenders:

Slow-building backlash from the failed Dubai ports deal?

Odds: 5/1 -- Sure, it's hard to see a connection, but that's never been an issue for Mickey, and after Mickey's summer of death panel reporting, it's pretty clear that his love affair with faux-populist House Republicans is as strong as ever.

Illegal immigrants fleeing the US after the failure of amnesty in 2007 went to Dubai and created a housing bubble, and Obama's recent pro-immigration reform statements have caused them to come fleeing back to the US, causing the crash in Dubai?

Odds: 3/1 -- Dubai had a large immigrant population, right? I mean, sure they were legal -- "guest workers"! -- but who the hell else is Mickey gonna blame when there are no liberals or unions?

"Ron Burkle Ron Burkle Ron Burkle"?

Odds: 1/2 -- No way Mickey passes up the bank-shot of (a) yet another cheap shot at Ron Burkle, and (b) easy guilt-by-unexplained-association for Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and/or Barack Obama (e.g., "Did Obama know that Hillary's husband's pal was investing with the fraudulent investment arm of the Dubai government? And how has that influenced Obama's reaction to the crisis? Just askin'!")

A measured explanation of the causes behind the turmoil, and a reasonable evaluation of the options available to policymakers for addressing these problems?

Odds: Ha ha ha.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rubin vs. Reich, Part II: The Battle For Mickey Kaus

Did you know that Peter Orszag -- the OMB director/supervillain who has thus far made three attempts on Mickey's life and is currently planning to send a robot back in time to kill Mickey's mother before Mickey can be born made statements supportive of "bending the curve" -- is a protege of Robert Rubin?

The same Robert Rubin who famously clashed with Robert Reich over Clinton's economic policy?

The same Robert Rubin that Mickey has -- somewhat amazingly -- never gone after, even as he slams Robert Reich as a "policy hustler" and "a theatrical, left-cultivating, personal-branding semi-economist"? [A policy hustler? What does that mean? And what does that make Mickey? -- ed. A hustler of poorly-defined sets of ideas coupled with well-defined sets of enemies ...]

(Evidence here, where Mickey calls Rubin a "respected, nonthreatening Democrat" in an amazingly dumb November 2000 "what-if" piece, and here, where he defends Rubin while slamming Reich in the very next post in a February 2002 Kausfiles Klassic)

Mickey has obviously made his choice between the two, but now that Son-of-Rubin is going all death panels and rationing (in Mickey's mind, anyway) in an apparently earnest effort to reduce the deficit, do you wonder if Mickey regrets his choice?

[You do realize that going after Rubin would require Mickey to learn some basic concepts of finance, force Mickey to reevaluate his understanding of how policy is actually influenced (that maybe Wall Street and not, say, advocates for the homeless have a bigger impact on Washington), and demonize someone other than welfare recipients, unions and illegal immigrants, right? -- Ed.]


Monday, November 16, 2009

It's Only Hypocrisy When You Do It

Breaking: ample evidence that a New York Times writer suppressed his true assessment of a political figure out of fealty to a party/movement in the critical weeks before the election ... just as Mickey predicted!

We'll be right here, waiting for Mickey's gloating update about those spineless lefty journalists shamelessly pandering to the Money Liberal agenda ...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Contradictinggg Oneself

So, according to GreGG Easterbrook:

(1) Paternalism is a very bad, no good, horrible thing when applied to health care, and everyone, rich and poor, should pay out-of-pocket (!) for services that are legally required to be standardized (!!) so that they can negotiate for their health services the same way you'd bargain shop for, say, a television (!!!),

(2) Paternalism is a very good, not at all bad, terrific thing when applied to young adults who could easily be plying their trade in the NBA, because Grggggg doesn't like the quality of play in a sport he doesn't care about in the first place. [Isn't this the argument that the erudite and not at all crazy Buzz Bissinger absolutely demolished on the same day that this idiotic Easterbrook article was published? -- ed. True, that op-ed has data and logic ... but it forgot that JaVale McGee does not entertain Gregg the same way a player with a degree in communications does!]

It's pretty simple: the father of a family of four should be totally accountable to market forces in determining whether to get that growth looked at, but LeBron James must be protected from himself.

What's not to love?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mickey Kaus Turning Into Richard Cohen Watch

Mickey simply does not care for doctor's waiting rooms:

Shouldn't doctors give patients waiting to see them little hand-held beepers or vibrating devices like those some crowded restaurants give you when you're waiting for a table? That way you could wander around nearby instead of staying in the unventilated waiting room filled with coughing, sneezing people. ...

BONUS: Aren't doctor's waiting rooms one of those few places where everyone is treated equally and people of all classes mingle (like the post office, the DMV, and other "public spheres")? Wouldn't having everyone leave (perhaps to wait in their luxury cars, away from the poors!) destroy Mickey's precious social equality?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mickey Asks, FMK Answers


This chart seems to be going in the wrong direction for health care reform, even if you discount the lopsided FOX poll (for Nate Silverish reasons--they only get the big support/oppose question after asking a series of spoiling questions). ...

Huh? This chart? The chart where you can actually discount lopsided Fox polls? Hmm ... I wonder what that chart would look like ...




Right is the wrong direction? Straight sideways is the wrong direction? An uncomplicated rendering of the linear progression of time is the wrong direction?

Does this suggest that the much-derided insurance industry study (suggesting premiums would rise after reform) had an impact?

... Nope.

Glad I could help!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Far Center

Christopher Beam, stretching so far that I think he pulled his hamstring:

Swine flu may have an unexpected side effect: political unity. The far left and far right agree that they're sure as heck not getting vaccinated against swine flu.

Wow, the far left hates the swine flu virus? I'm a Radical IslamoMarxist Money Liberal Fascist and I had never really thought about it before ... I better read up before the next drum-in!

For examples of the "far right", Beam cites Alex Jones and Pat Buchanon. No, wait, he cites Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, easily the two most popular members of the conservative media. Swing and a miss.

For examples of the "far left", Beam cites Peter Singer and Amy Goodman. No, wait, he cites Dr. Frank Lipman and Jim Carrey. [*The* Dr. Frank Lipman??? -- ed. In fairness, he also cites Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who at least is a blood relative of somebody that someone might associate with the left.] Swing and a miss.

So, in crafting this pinnacle of a-pox-on-both-your-houses faux-centrist horseshit, he identifies mainstream conservative lunacy as the "far right" and considers the star of Lemony Snicket as emblematic of the "far left."

When the Garmin lady tells Chris Beam to "bear right" or "turn left" does he just run the car into a ditch?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Doubling Down

Looks like some lowly bloggers have the temerity to question Mickey's slapdash ACORN/Franken analysis. What say you, Mickey? Is it something that condescendingly dismisses their legitimate criticisms of your line of argumentation? It is? Terrific:

Dan Kennedy and Oliver Willis have never heard of absentee ballots (not to mention the fun you can have with same-day registration).

In the original post, Mickey used his ignorance of absentee ballot and same-day registration procedure as circumstantial evidence of a nefarious scheme. [Hey! Questions remain! Questions that Mickey will never bother to find an answer to! -- ed. Obvious questions, even!]

But now Mickey -- who once again seems to operating under the assumption that there was no hard-fought months-long review of the Minnesota election, much less a review that focused almost entirely on absentee ballots -- is actually using the mere existence of absentee ballots and same-day registration in a state where ACORN has an office as per se proof of perfidy.

This defensive leap from wink-wink speculation ("if there were funny business" ... ) to outright citizen-of-the-land-of-make-believe (what, exactly, is "the fun you can have with same-day registration"?) is subtle, but it's the little things that make reading Mickey worthwhile.

That, and the stupid.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The New York Times Is No Longer Trying

Oh, come on:

I am not unemployable. I have a master’s of fine arts and spent two years in the Peace Corps.

At least *try* to pretend you aren't the paper of record for clueless liberal caricatures ...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Aw, Cute

Hey, look! A disreputable paper's even more disreputable celebrity news auxiliary lifted a particularly noxious section of idiocy almost verbatim from one of Mickey's worthless posts!

Does Mickey respond with a blend of pride and annoyance?

He does?

Awesome. Here's what Mickey wrote:

Did ACORN chicanery elect Al Franken? That's the import of this tactfully phrased Minneapolis Star Tribune column.** Franken won by 312 votes. ACORN claimed to have registered 48,000 new Minnesota voters. If just 1% were ineligible but cast ballots, or had ballots cast for them illegally, and survived the recount process ... that's 480 votes, almost certainly overwhelmingly cast for Franken.

What do you suppose it was about this vibrant prose that attracted the obviously discerning editors of this prestigious journal?

- The October 2008-style conspiracy theorizing about ACORN and stolen elections?

- Mickey's obvious inability or unwillingness to distinguish between falsified voter registrations and actual voter fraud?

- How he completely ignores the thorough review of ballots and subsequent court fights that lasted for 10 months after this election?

- The way he ridiculously pulled a statistic out of thin air ("just 1%"!) to aid in his "analysis"?

- How one of his sources is an obviously insane marginal figure who has naturally become a folk hero to the please-God-let-there-be-a-military-coup crowd?

- The way Mickey walks right up to saying that Al Franken was illegitimately elected and ... doesn't ... *quite* ... say it ... ?

In any event (and the answer, for the record, is "all of the above, and did you hear that Democrats are Marxists who want to kill your grandmother?"), here's Mickey on the NYP's plagiarism:

kf Tuesday, Page Six today (Doris Kearns Goodwin style!)

You see, Mickey won't come out and angrily accuse the Post of lifting his entire story without even bothering to change Mickey's patently stupid math -- that might offend the death panel enthusiasts and hyperbolic outrage factories that have hilariously become Mickey's peers -- so he makes his accusation in the form of an out-of-the-blue cheap shot at a known liberal. Ha ... ha?

Once upon a time, Mickey had much stronger opinions on the subject:

Plagiarism's supposed to be theft, right? If it is theft, how can it be merely "careless" to cut and paste somebody else's graf into your story?

Oh, but that's when it was the New York Times ... my mistake ...

Friday, September 25, 2009

One Day in the Life of Mickey Kausovich

Mickey, in admittedly extreme form:

Maybe Landesman should order a viewing of The Lives of Others to underscore to them what (in admittedly extreme form) people who worry about politicizing funding for the arts are worried about.

The Lives of Others was about ... the problem of politicizing funding for the arts?

/deep breath


Holy shit! What fucking movie did Mickey fucking Kaus fucking watch? Does he think that the actress in the movie was repeatedly sexually assaulted by the high-ranking party official because she was worried about grants for her play? Here, I was thinking it was because she lived in a totalitarian state run by sociopaths with no tolerance for dissent or individual freedom ... when *all along* it was an allegory for the consequences of an unchecked National Endowment for the Arts!

[This is the same Mickey Kaus who mocked "privocrats" fears of data mining, right? ("Do you have an expectation of privacy when you check out a book from ... the government? I don't.") -- ed. Hey, you don't hear him complaining about tapping dissidents' phones and conducting warrantless searches of their homes, do you? "First they came bearing Jazz Masters Fellowships, and I said nothing because I am not a Jazz Master ..." -- ed.]


The Official Mickey Kaus Totalitarian State Reading List

Prisoner Without A Name, Cell Without A Number: The narrator's survival of brutal conditions as a political prisoner is a testament to the fundamental inefficiency of government-run programs.

Darkness at Noon: The protaganist's frustrating attempts at communication with the other prisoners is a convincing argument against subsidies for public radio.

The Gulag Archipelago: The camp massacres are vibrant metaphors for Peter Orszag's death panels.

1984: The poor quality of government-approved gin reveals fundamental problems with free market regulation.

Jesus Christ, Mickey. THE LIVES OF OTHERS?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Kausfiles Minus Kaus, Again

Wherein I remove whole sentences from context, etc. ...

Mickey (advancing a fairly standard "The hyperbolic and distinctly racist opposition to our black president is not because our black president is black!" argument):

It's that he's a relative newcomer, as Presidents go--an unknown quantity, an enigma, with a short track record and patches of that record left fuzzy. That means opponents can fill in the blanks with ominous possibilities. It makes paranoia more rational, if you will.

It's true! George W. Bush had only been an elected official for 6 years and had never held national office before he was essentially hand-picked by a group of plutocrats to be the nominee of the Republican party! Thus, when a major terrorist attack occurred eight months into his presidency, raising all sorts of ridiculous questions and advancing absurd hypotheses was a completely rational response because the president was a huge question mark.

Mickey Kaus, defender of Truthers. Who knew?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Which Is It?

Obama Administration Statements On The Public Option


A Nervous Boyfriend Trying To Talk His Girlfriend Into Anal Sex

"I’d be happy [if we didn't] do it ... and if there was a way of doing it that [was okay with you], I’m happy to do it that way, as well."

"I'm just kinda talkin' about how it might be okay to do. If you're into that sort of thing."

"No-one is being forced to [do] it."

"I see nothing wrong with having [it] as a choice."

"Whether we have it or we don’t have it, is not the [issue]."

"It's certainly not a deal-breaker."

"Only if you're cool with it."

"These are legitimate concerns, but ones, I believe, that can be overcome."

“I just want to figure out what works.”

"No, I'm just kidding! Unless you were serious ..."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Of Kanyes and Carters


Jimmy Carter cites racism as anti-Obama factor. Instant reaction: Kiss of Death. Gift to the GOPs. Remember the Carter era of smug moralizing? Anyone want to go back to that?

Did you know that, by now, nearly half the American population does not remember the Carter era of smug moralizing? (48% of the population was born after 1977). Ezra Klein sure as hell doesn't remember the Carter era of smug moralizing.

Mickey, again:

I've run into a surprising number of people who don't know that Obama called Kanye West a "jackass." Apparently the press' reluctance to publicize an off-the-record remark has worked to inhibit dissemination of what otherwise would be a juicy little bit of news. (Try to find a mention in the print Washington Post, for example.) But everybody's heard about Jimmy Carter saying that an "overwhelming portion" of animosity to Obama stems from "racism."

(To hell with your fancy polls and lines and numbers, Nate Silver! "A surprising number" of the population of "people who know and still talk to Mickey Kaus" randomly sampled by "running into Mickey recently" can tell us what we need to know!)

Huh. I wonder if the kind of people for whom Jimmy Carter has immediate relevance (not 48% of the population!) are just not the same kind of people who would obsessively follow the aftermath of the Kanye West VMA debacle? And I further wonder if the kind of people who know Mickey aren't more likely to follow the kind of news sources where Jimmy Carter is on heavy rotation (possibly alongside Osama bin Laden ...) as opposed to, say, Bossip? And the disconnect isn't due to some weird MSM plot gone awry, but instead to Mickey's limited worldview and advancing age?

Time for another Arcade Fire review, Mickey! Throw the young 'uns off the scent before they start rationing your end-of-life death panel! Or whatever!

P.S. Does "the press' reluctance to publicize an off-the-record remark" explain why the Downing Street Memo was basically ignored? Silly MSM! I knew there was a reason!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another Possibility

Is the only reason that Mickey gives in to the Joe Wilsons and Sarah Palins of the world on health care because deep down Mickey *knows* that he's a complete buffoon who should never ever be taken seriously, and he desperately wants to destroy the only administration official that has ever show signs of listening to him?

And is it telling that this is the kindest possible explanation for the dreary slog that Kausfiles has become?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hobbesian, Really

Uh, what?

“Good or bad, moral or immoral, people are going to make markets and trade via computers, and this is a natural area of financial engineers,” says Emanuel Derman, a professor at Columbia University and a former Wall Street quant.

Yup, out here in the jungle -- the perfect state of nature that exists south of Canal Street -- people are just inevitably going to execute complex trades relating to obscure financial products with insane amounts of leverage and without any oversight or regulation ...

It's just natural.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Nerve!


Obama Overexposure Tour continues. ... Next: Bloggingheads? Mediaite Office Hours?

I mean, what is it with this guy? Like he's President or something!!!

He Was Expecting Twenty Points, Easily

Here's Mickey mocking Obama because his primetime address failed to create a functional media in this country that would accurately explain the parameters of the measure instead of engaging in absolute worst kind of he-said-public-option-she-said-death-panels journalism didn't move the overall health care numbers that much.

Naturally, he brings on noted polling and stats expert Nate Silver Mark Blumenthal Jennifer Rubin to assure him that the cherries he picked were totally significant.

And, just as naturally, Nate Silver shows up to point out that Mickey is an idiot.

The circle of life ... goes on.


Also, looking at Mickey's preferred poll you notice things like this:

22. Would you support or oppose having the government create a new health insurance plan to compete with private health insurance plans? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?

-------- Support -------- --------- Oppose -------- No
NET Strongly Somewhat NET Somewhat Strongly opinion
9/12/09 55 33 22 42 11 31 3
8/17/09 52 33 19 46 11 35 2

So even though Obama's speech was an epic failure, he moved the needle on the public option from 52-46 to 55-42? We'll just have to wait for Mickey to update his post to include this interesting bit of information ...

Monday, September 14, 2009

You Lie!

You're going to be shocked -- shocked! -- that Mickey approved of Joe Wilson's heckling, and you're going to be dazzled -- dazzled! -- at the reason why.

While an ordinary person might have heard the shout as a perfect example of the kind of vaguely defined outrage available at your local teabagger/town hall protest ("[Obama] [something bad]!") except in second-person instead of third-, Mickey understands that Joe Wilson's nuanced "dissent" was intended to address "whether there is any verification mechanism that will actually stop illegals from getting coverage, whatever the law says."

(Apparently, the original quote was supposed to be "You lie about whether we have appropriate verification mechanisms to stop some migrant worker from getting his fracture set!" Must have been shortened for impact.)

This is of a piece, of course, as Mickey also thought that the random yahoos screaming at town halls were attempting to engage in thoughtful dialogue with the Peter Singers of the world over the relative value of life and our health care system's priorities, and will share with you why this is all Peter Orszag's fault.

I wonder, is there a word for the belief that the great and good American people (except for those nasty Democrats!) deep down share -- or would share -- your precise beliefs but are simply incapable of articulating it as well as you can, and therefore you should be allowed to speak in their stead?


Or just "Mickey Kaus"?

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Week That Was

Death Death Death Death Death Death Death Death Death Death Death Joining Ultra-Conservative Republicans To Kill A Meaningful Shot At Real Health Care Reform Because The Bill Contains No Guarantees Of Mickey's Immortality Death Death Death Death Death Death Death Death Death Death Death Death Death Death Death Death Death Death Death

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mickey's First Orszagism

From the Karchive, here's Peter Orszag arguing that we need to cut the benefits of the elderly to pay for important things for the rest of us:

The only problem with this system is we can't afford it ... We should be sticking it to today's recipients ... The alternative to raising taxes is cutting benefits more. As long as we're going to be accused of making large cuts, we might as well actually make large cuts and radically reduce the amount of national income eaten up ...

Oh wait, that was Mickey, arguing for drastic cuts in Social Security, while noted grandmother-killing heartless bastard Peter Orszag was trying to save Social Security.

Huh. It's enough to make you think that Peter Orszag is actually acting in good faith when he's trying to bring the cost of health care down, while Mickey is hyperactively bounding from ill-conceived position to ill-conceived position using any weapon he can ("Social Security is preventing us from having universal health care! Obama's universal health care plan has death panels!") to justify his latest patently tendentious analysis ...

Nah ...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hear Me Out, People

Mickey Kaus, political genius, discussing whether we should cut Social Security in 2005:

Maybe we can add those ballooning health care costs on top of the 12.4 percent we're currently taking for Social Security pensions. But will we be able to afford national health care if we let Social Security gobble up even more?

Mickey Kaus, political genius, discussing whether we should cut Social Security in 2006:

Better to let the [current Social Security] system bubble along and make truly radical, means-testing cuts later, when Democrats will be in a position to achieve something big, like national health insurance, in return (and when the addition of a big program like national health insurance will make it clear to everyone that radical cuts are necessary).

Mickey Kaus, political genius, back in June, at the start of this neverending health care saga:

Wouldn't it be more prudent to pay for health care expansion the old fashioned way--through tax increases and sure-thing program cuts, like ... means-testing of Social Security?

a) I'm starting to get the feeling that Mickey wants to means-test Social Security ...

b) I love that Mickey values his little ideas so highly that even when they're patently stupid, he'll keep repeating and repeating and repeating them ...

I mean, has the potential addition of a national health program made it clear to *you*, dear reader, that cuts in Social Security are necessary? Has it made it clear to anyone? Is there any kind of logical connection there?

Does anything at all seem less necessary right now than enacting The New Republic's pet policy prescription of means-testing Social Security -- step aside, FDR! Marty Peretz will take it from here! -- the classic blinkered centrist solution in search of a problem? (Social Security going broke? Means-test! Need money to pay for health care? Means-test! Life got you down? Means-test!)

So, the guy who has literally spent the last three months [Three months? -- ed. Jesus ...] accusing the Democrats of being tone-deaf to public perceptions of their health care bill and deliberately trying to scare the elderly would, in reality, like nothing more than to pay for health care by slashing Social Security benefits?

What say you, cave trolls at a town hall meeting?

My thoughts exactly.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Konstitutional Law

Did Mickey take a button of peyote and start thumbing through back issues of the Yale Law Journal? Because that might explain this:

Jon Alter's latest column--calling for health care to be treated as a "civil right"--brings up an underdiscussed question: In a single payer plan, would health care be treated as a constitutional entitlement that couldn't be taken away without "due process" under the Warren Court's so-called "New Property" doctrine? My Con Law knowledge is a few decades out of date--but the doctrine covered welfare benefits, guaranteeing a hearing to individuals before they could be denied. Why not health benefits? ...

Good lord! I'm a drunken mess, and even I know that:

1) "The New Property" was a moderately influential article by Charles Reich, not a Supreme Court doctrine.

2) The hearing-before-denial-of-benefits case was Goldberg v. Kelly (1970), which would have been ... the Burger Court. [Are you sure it wasn't the Warren Court? That's the evil one, right? -- ed. Warren Burger, Earl Warren, Earl Weaver, Dream Weaver, Earl of Sandwich ... it's all the same ...]

3) What are the odds that a mid-60s left-liberal academic theory would be treated as settled law today by the Roberts Court? [Hey, he said his con law knowledge was "out of date" -- ed. Is it so out of date that he thinks that William Brennan is still on the court?]

4) Hasn't Mickey been arguing over and over again that anything that even remotely comes close to a kinda-sorta-not-really denial of benefits is a horrifying crime against man and God? So why does he argue later in the post that:

[A] "public option" might help avoid having every "we won't pay for this treatment" decision become a constitutional issue in a way a universal, single-payer entitlement couldn't ...

Shouldn't he want constitutional protections for his health care? When you're trying to stop the Ezra Kleins of the world from pulling the plug on you, shouldn't you want any weapon to hand?

Wait, I think I've figured out that last one. Ladies and gentlemen, the one thing Mickey fears more than death itself:

Any kind of victory for public interest lawyers.

Perish the thought!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Oh, Gre(g)(g) Easterbrook, is it already football-and-embarrassing-error season again?

The greenhouse gas bill before Congress became so ridiculously long, reaching 1,400 pages, that Democrats hired a speed reader to keep track of what the legislation said.

That link goes to an article, which says that:

"A request to have the entire bill read aloud is a prerogative Republicans have a right to invoke which could be used to frustrate Committee Chairman Henry Waxman's deadline of Memorial Day to get the committee's work on the bill done."


So the Democrats hired a speed reader to deal with an antiquated procedural roadblock that they anticipated Republicans using, and not to, say, "keep track of what the legislation said"?

So Gregg's preferred understanding of Congressional activity ("Those clowns in Congress have done it again! What a bunch of clowns.") is completely inaccurate?

So the correct reading (Democrats employ speed reader to frustrate Republicans' desperate attempts to stop any measure whatsoever aimed at the climate change problem that greGGGGG has only recently and grudgingly admitted is real) is not present at all in this column?

Looks like the answer to all of those is "yes" ...

One last question: do the fact-checkers at show up to work with a cape and a montera, or have they just given up on Gregg entirely?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

One Day, Mickey Kaus Is Going To Die

Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich -- national punchlines to 71% of the country and heroes to 29% -- are standing united against Obama's health care plan and have apparently started using Mickey's favorite hobbyhorse: the clear and simple fact that Obama is plotting to kill you.

But you can just tell that those two don't really feel it ... and not only because each of them has previously addressed the same end-of-life issues either in the exact same manner or by going even further than Obama. No, it's because they're clearly using "death panels" as a means of scaring old people and using "government takeovers" as a means of riling up the black helicopter crowd ... pretty much the standard right-wing "The Paranoid Style In American Politics"-as-a-playbook maneuvers.

Not Mickey, though. Sure, Mickey is doing the same kind of arguing in bad faith, making the same completely loony logical leaps, and is still presuming that the great and good American public is right behind him ... but there's something more to Mickey's lamentations. The volume of posting, the passionate intensity of his raging lies, the way he's constantly taking on his younger, more accomplished, full-head-of-hair-having blogging rival ... it's as though Mickey is channeling all of his issues with his impending mortality into his blog, with Peter Orszag playing the role of the Grim Reaper. It'd be sad, if it didn't have so many links to Tom Maguire.

So, please allow me to scare the pants off of Mickey [Not the pants! -- ed.]:

“[Health care reforms] don’t address the underlying problem, which is the cost of the last few months of life. We’re often not prolonging the quality of life, we’re just prolonging life. You’re accused of demagogy if you even approach the subject; but if it’s unlikely that you’ll enjoy a decent quality of life, doctors should send patients home and allow them to die what used to be called the ‘old man’s death,’ usually from pneumonia, the way most people used to die in this country.”

Is that Peter Orszag? Ezra Klein? Barack Obama?!? Nope, it's a prominent Republican, high-level McCain advisor, and the man who legally stole billions from the Chinese ... ladies and gentleman, Pete Peterson!

You know what this means? The quest to kill Mickey is totally bipartisan. Sleep with one eye open, Mickey!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Deep Thought (Apologies to Atrios)

What if we could attribute the rise in health care spending to unions?

Would that make Mickey want to bend the curve?

Friday, August 7, 2009

404: File Not Found

Now, I've been making fun of Mickey for assuming that the good and great American people must naturally hate the very same things that Mickey hates about the Democrat's health care reform PR without actually providing any evidence to support this sad delusion. But, hey, check out this new post! It might just set me straight!

What did [Mickey's latest bete noire Peter Orszag] do wrong? His insistence on--and insistence on talking about--long-term cost-bending successfully scared off a large segment of the American electorate by raising the issue of rationing. Hearts and minds.

That link actually goes to a FiveThirtyEight post by Nate Silver! Nate Silver, boy genius, actually found data supporting Mickey's thesis that long-term cost-bending rhetoric has scared the American public with fears of rationing?!?

/reads 538 post

Oh ... no. No, that post doesn't say that at all. Not even close. True, it's concerned with how Democrats have failed to effectively market health care reform, but in no way does it address rationing, a frightened public, Peter Orszag, bureaucrats pulling the plug on an unresponsive Mickey Kaus grandma, or any of Mickey's other health care boogeymen. [Hey, it mentions how a focus on cost-cutting hasn't worked! -- ed. Yeah, because the administration's rhetoric on cost-cutting has been *unconvincing*, while Mickey's entire argument depends on the rhetoric being too convincing. You're no fun ... -- ed.]

Here's what baffles me: Mickey has been cruising along here, ignoring evidence of health care waste (we all know Mickey is totally soft on wasteful government spending in literally any other area), making wild assertions about Obamacrats denying your cancer treatment because young Ezra Klein says it's time to die, and attributing both the political deadlock AND flagging popular support to the terrible, no-good cost-bending rhetoric -- all without linking to any kind of proof whatsoever for weeks now.

So why did *this* post need a link so badly that he was willing to cite to something completely unrelated and hope that nobody noticed? Why the hell would he think that he needs (the appearance of) reputable support for his arguments?

I mean, if ceaseless speculation, bad faith arguments, and an aversion to any kind of logic or reason were all good enough to keep Kausfiles in business for ten excruciating years, why even pretend to change?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Is It Possible That I'm *Too* Handsome?

So here I was, wondering how Mickey would react to the astroturfers/tea baggers spontaneously reciting Fox News talking points at Dem town halls across the land. Specifically, would he be pro-protesting (just like the sixties!) or anti-protesting (too much like the sixties!)? Let's go to the tale of the tape ...

Pro: They hate the health care plan, just like Mickey said the great and good American people would!

Anti: The protesters don't hate it because Obama has stressed cost-cutting over security or because they are uncomfortable with the Medicare panel; far from it, they seem to be opposing any sort of government action in any field ever, and are specifically denouncing the kind of universal health coverage that Mickey has held to be a central tenet of social equality.

Pro: Tea baggers are so sneer-worthy, it's only a matter of time before somebody sneers at them, and then Mickey can sneeringly disapprove of their sneering!

Anti: But what if the tea baggers unionize?

Pro: These people's heartfelt campaign of intimidation and screaming might make the Democrats look bad!

Anti: These people are lunatics. [And that would stop Mickey from backing them ... why? -- ed. Hey, Mickey's more careful than that -- the kind of guy who writes that "a black president who insists that the state continue bestowing preferential treatment on people because they look like him" can get a link, but he's not about to touch the guy who writes, say, "bumbling jungle monkey." See the difference? Oh, so he's an elitist ... -- ed.]

So what does Mickey ultimately do?

Is it possible that Dem politicians are in for an August of furious town hall feedback so brutal that it all becomes absurd and breeds a grim, amused fatalism that actually steels them to proceed on health care? Just asking. ... If you're going to die, might as well die having enacted universal health care. ...

He declares that the "furious town hall feedback" (conveniently ignoring the fact that these protestors come with more corporate sponsorships than a Nascar team) will be so effective that it actually will become counter-effective when it wounds Democrats so mortally that they stoically pass Obamacare before presumably dying in their saddles ... but only possibly.

Man, it's like we're all playing Horribly Wrong Checkers and Mickey's playing Horribly Wrong Chess, isn't it?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Breaking! Mickey Kaus Figures Out Politics! Must Credit!

Mickey Kaus, political genius, has just now figured out that the cost-control approach has the collateral benefit of pre-empting the kind of ridiculous budget critics that you would totally expect to oppose health care reform of the exact kind that Mickey Kaus keeps proposing. But!

If all you had to do is appease the Blue Dogs and AARP, the strategy might be sound. The problem is that the IMAC "game changer" scares the daylights out of lots of people, and adds to the ballast of the whole package with the general public.

If you're scoring at home, or even if you're alone: who do you think counts as "lots of people" in that link there? Any guesses?

How about ... David Broder! You know ... David Broder? The "voice of the people"? Or was that a joke? I mean, it's not like Mickey has been using David Broder as a punchline for years now [Wait a minute, that last post is from 2004 and Mickey is making an Austin Powers joke ... shouldn't he be prohibited from making fun of anyone for any reason? -- ed. Groovy, baby! High five! Ka-ching!]. And it's certainly not as though Mickey has been portraying him for years now as a fusty, condescending walking embodiment of the MSM dinosaurs. Heavens, no!

I'd make a snide "any weapon to hand" joke here, but, seriously, if Mickey Kaus is approvingly quoting David Broder in order to defeat a sensible health care reform policy, we've pretty much arrived at the end of days, and it's all shotguns and duct tape from here on in.

Good luck, and watch out for the zombies!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mickey's Persistent State

Um, what?

Peggy Noonan is on to something potentially big--the possible alliance between Christian pro-life forces and liberal universal health insurance advocates in favor of broadly available life-saving care ... and the potential fight between that alliance and the cost-saving Orszag end-of-life-rationalizing would-you-please-die-now crowd. ...

Wow, Lady Peggy Noonington actually broke a story about this emerging political alliance? Let's see what Her Majesty wrote:

A good portion of the support for national health care comes from a sort of European Christian Democrat spirit of community, of “We are all in this together.” This spirit potentially unites Democrats, leftists, some Republicans and GOP populists, the politically unaffiliated and those of whatever view with low incomes.

So, Peggy Noonan thinks that a "good portion" -- which, according to the latest advanced statistics, is slightly less than a "heaping helping" and slightly more than a "fair share" -- of public support for health care is from a "spirit" that "potentially" unites Mother Jones Readers and John Hagee Megachurchers, or at least it would have if Democrats hadn't foolishly extended universal health care to cover lady parts.

From that solidly reasoned and totally verifiable set of data points, Mickey boldly predicts that leftists -- craven opportunists that they are -- will reevaluate their sneering-rific position on ... wait for it ... Terri Schiavo.

Prediction: The sneering Dem majority position in the Schiavo case will get a second, skeptical look from at least some liberals.

Really? Terri Schiavo? Hasn't this been settled already? Doesn't everyone agree that the Republicans dramatically miscalculated by taking the hugely unpopular position that the government should intervene to keep alive a seriously brain-damaged person who has been in a vegetative state for fifteen years in order to nakedly pander to an increasingly unhinged religious right desperate to open a new front in the culture war? Who on Earth could argue that the Democrats made a huge mistake there?

Hey, I think they're playing Mickey's theme music ...

[S]houldn't left-wingers be pro-tubists? .... Has their political and moral sense been so twisted by the hard dogma of "abortion rights" (and disdain for fundamentalist Christians) that they don't see this?

Ha, so the alliance of the sneering left and the religious right will lead to ... people admitting that Mickey Kaus was right all along?

Prediction: the "political and moral sense" of Mickey Kaus will be subjected to much, much more sneering.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Not Nearly As Convincing As A String Of Unverified Assertions, Anyway ...

1. Mickey has qualms about the marketing and potential cost-cutting measures of Obama's health care initiative.

2. Obama's health care initiative, though popular with the public, seems poised to go down to defeat because the Ben Nelsons of the world are vainglorious idiots who seize upon any increase in government spending as a reason to scuttle Democratic policies.

Now, Mickey doesn't have any evidence connecting #1 to #2 -- he must have left it in his other pants -- but that doesn't stop him. Mickey's patented brand of deductive reasoning tells him that health care reform is faltering precisely because ... of the things Mickey doesn't like about it. [Is that narcissistic or solipsistic? I can never remember the difference. -- ed. Narcissistic. A solipsist wouldn't invent a fictitious editor.] Mickey goes on to blame this crazy focus on cost-cutting on -- what else? -- the Democratic centrists described in paragraph 2 above who are using cost as a pretext for selling out to insurance companies a high-brow magazine for coastal elites!

All seemingly on the basis of a single article in the New Yorker that isn't nearly as convincing as it's made out to be.

Those of us who aren't veteran Kausfiles Konnoisseurs would expect a takedown, or even a link to a takedown, of the New Yorker article that basically destroys Mickey's position. But that would be too easy, so Mickey uses the article (on health care, remember) to take a nonsensical swipe at Democrat orthodoxy on education spending, and leaves it at that. What a pro!

I mean, it's not like he's just lazily repeating himself in every post and trying to wish that article (and the evidence against his poorly thought out position) away so that he can continue to attack a sensible liberal health care reform plan by repeating right-wing talking points verbatim and pretending that he's arguing in good faith, right?

Of course not. He'll roll out that great rebuttal any day now.

Any day now.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I Blame The Bling

Mickey, master of nuance, on the Gates incident:

And at that point Gates has already determined he's been treated unfairly. He's already refusing to answer questions and planning to file a complaint. Again, from his own words it looks like he rushes a bit to the conclusion that a white man in a similar situation would have been treated differently. Is that really true? I'm not saying that Gates wasn't stereotyped in a deeply annoying and disturbing way. Just saying the stereotypes can run boths ways.

See, Mickey's not just saying that the cop didn't stereotype Gates unfairly, he's just saying that Gates might have stereotyped himself as the kind of person that gets treated unfairly, which -- to reiterate -- Mickey's not just saying he wasn't. See?


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wronger Faster

I'm sure that this is all just a big part of the SEIU's evil plan to springboard off the health care debate into getting card check. Now it might look like a bunch of moderate Democrats have dropped the card check provision for the sake of getting a labor law bill passed, and "the possibility of trading some health care provisions for card check in some sort of gruesome grand bargain" was an incredibly stupid bit of punditry by somebody completely unconnected from reality, but you just don't understand Washington kabuki like Mickey.

You see, in addition to pressuring Senators on the public option, the SEIU has also endorsed Sonia Sotomayor, which means they want to use their support for her nomination with the White House to water down the public option on health care in exchange for support from the Money Liberals on the Bring Back Welfare Act of 2009, which, in turn ...


... powerful Latino lobby and potential use of mind control on Ben Nelson, who ...


... that would cause Evan Bayh and Blanche Lincoln to swap their votes on the cap-and-trade bill for a promise not to attack on the next two turns ...


... 4 ... 8 ... 15 ... 16 ...


... until the handle breaks off, and Barbara Mikulski has to go get a doctor to pull it back out again.

Voila! 60 votes for cloture on card check!

It's all so simple.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Remember when Democrats gunned down Miguel Estrada in front of his family?

That was awful.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Apologies for the long delay, as forces beyond my control [Laziness is beyond your control? -- ed. Man, I am so sick of that guy ... why can't I have Mickey's editor?] have conspired to keep me from blogging.

For your Kausfiles Komedy fix, however, just read and re-read this post from last week where Mickey -- already prone to fever dreams regarding just how the SEIU (pronounced "Iago") plans to trick the Senate into passing card check and wrecking the American economy (er ... more so) -- speculates that the SEIU plans to turn unnamed health care provisions (?) into support for card check (??) from moderate Senate democrats (???) through a process involving annoyance at left-wing grass-roots groups (????) and avoidance of the dreaded Senate kabuki (?????).

I was going originally going to call this pile of flailing idiocy "Mickey's patented brand of paranoid political alchemy", but I realized that comparing Mickey's political strategery to alchemy is kind of an insult to alchemy.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Andrew Young Also Has A Bridge He'd Like To Sell You

In reviewing a gossip column item about John Edwards' former aide's tell-all book -- you know, media criticism -- Mickey spots something that they seem to have missed:

Rush & Molloy bury the lede--Obama's alleged promise to make Edwards Attorney General. ...

Well, it should be noted that the sources for this alleged promise, aside from Mickey himself, are ... Robert Novak (!), John Edwards, and now John Edwards again, only this time via somebody scummy enough to pass off John Edwards' love child as his own.

I would mock Mickey for relying on chronic fabricators with blatantly obvious agendas, but considering the typical quality of Mickey's sources, this is comparatively rock solid.

[Look, if you can't trust pathetic hacks desperately trying to spin you, how are you supposed to get the all-important undernews? -- ed. Ask around at Cafe Milano?]

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kausfiles Paranoia: Ten Years

Mickey's got me in the nostalgic spirit, so how about this one from 2003:

Not one, not two, but three plugs in a NYT Arts-front-page "Critic's Notebook" for a semi-obscure band, Galactic, whose guitarist is Howell Raines' son! What I wouldn't have given for this item two weeks ago! ...

This particular post appeared not one, not two, but three years after numerous hippies with terrible taste in music recommended to me the music of Galactic, a kind of String Cheese Incident for a more southern palate.

Mickey, of course, assumed that this coverage was a result of Howell Raines just cold spiking every music and arts story that didn't involve his son. You see, Raines was the most obvious outlet for Mickey's sublimely stupid theory of a dominant liberal MSM (MSM here meaning any source that fails to recognize Mickey's genius and n.b. that by this definition the MSM is roughly 99.9% of the internet) and therefore, despite Raines' efforts to turn the New York Times into a mouthpiece for Bush's Iraq propaganda (a rather inconvenient subject that Mickey has largely avoided except when he can use it to make fun of Floyd Abrams), Mickey considered Raines to be an unreconstructed Charles-Foster-Kane-esque influence-peddling liberal desperate to mold public opinion to his favor ...

... by pimping his son's already-moderately-popular jam band.

Ten years, everyone!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

In-Depth Supreme Court Analysis

Shouldn't Sam Alito have consulted Tom Wolfe before reprinting whole sections on urban politics from "Bonfire of the Vanities" in their entirety and without attribution?

Monday, June 29, 2009

It's Only Been Ten Years?

Not to rain on Mickey's parade here, but what else am I supposed to do with this, in his "greatest" "hits" "post":

We could have used [an "independent, non-partisan body to temporarily cut payroll taxes"] this winter, no? Spending cuts may eventually deliver more punch, but tax cuts that don't even have to go through Congress would undoubtedly be much quicker.

Hey, I actually like this idea, what with the payroll tax being completely regressive and the stimulative effect of ... wait wait wait, "spending cuts"? In a recession? Against pretty much all available macroeconomic evidence? Maybe Mickey's just trying to avoid sleeping with the camels in his tent, ifyouknowwhatimean, but an endorsement of spending cuts in a recession is straight out of Grover Norquist's fantasyland ...

Unless of course Mickey meant "spending" instead of "spending cuts", but considering that Mickey thinks "The Case Against Editors" is one of his greatest hits, we have to assume it's intentional, right?


Friday, June 26, 2009

Failure Faster

So, uh, according to Mickey's self-flattering and obviously elitist theories of information dissemination (essentially, "right-wing nerds R teh awesome", "people who don't compulsively check blogs forever R teh lame", etc.), these sex scandals could be over very quickly (Feiler Faster!) or not over quickly at all (Skurnik's Second Electorate!) ...

Well, it's likely to be one or the other!

This ... this is why we have experts like Mickey around.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nice Favorability Rating You Have Here ... Wouldn't Want Someone To Misinterpret It, If You Know What I Mean

Larry Sabato on John Ensign's recent polling:

"That sure says something, that the guy involved in the adultery scandal is the most popular senior elected official in the state," Sabato said. "I don't know what it says, but it says something."

"And," Sabato continued, "if the Senator were to, you know, throw a few bucks my way, I might suddenly figure out what it says ..."

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Answer Certainly Is Instructive ...

Oh, Mickey. See what happens when you wander out of your bubble?

Why was Pennsylvania relatively unscathed by foreclosures in 2008 while neighboring Ohio was hammered? A friend at a conference I recently attended pointed out the contrast. I don't know the answer, but it might be instructive.

What do you think Mickey was expecting here? Unions? The MSM? A bling-bling culture of dependency that had yet to be killed by Obama?

... Update: Thanks to Tom Maguire, who forwards a newspaper article and a summary of three Fed studies on the topic. Regulatory differences are suspected. ...

"Regulatory differences are suspected." Hmm ... bloodless phrasing there. I wonder if those differences are instructive?

Clicking through Mickey's links, one sees that Pennsylvania's success is due to:

(1) Pennsylvania more effectively regulating its mortgage brokers, while Ohio basically allowed lenders to go wild.

(2) An effort by a Pittsburgh community development group working for "economic justice" (Money Liberals!) to work within the Community Reinvestment Act (Naive Liberal Do-Gooders!) to make bank loans to minorities more scrupulous (Red Alert! All Hands to Kausfiles Battle Stations!).

So, while Mickey runs around blaming immigrants and liberals for the housing mess, it turns out that -- naturally, perfectly -- the way to avoid the crisis was a strong regulatory state and the local equivalent of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

This person at this conference giving you ideas, Mickey? They are no friend to you.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Last Laff

If I told you that the very first time that Mickey mentioned the Laffer Curve -- the completely absurd economic theory advocated by tax-cuts-and-more-tax-cuts Republicans that basically dominated domestic political debate from 2001-2007 and is still talked about like it's something sane people believe in -- was just this past Tuesday, would you be surprised?

And if I told you that Mickey used the Laffer Curve -- which, mind you, gained popularity after it was embraced by Dick Cheney -- to attack Democrats, would you be even remotely shocked?

If the answer to either of these questions was "yes", then the fact that a tacit embrace of the stupidest of all possible economic theories and the bad faith analogy to end all bad faith analogies were used by Mickey to endorse Obama's healthcare plan would probably be confusing.

It's okay. We're here to help.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Reflexively Hating Me Because I'm Wrong All The Time About Everything Only Makes You Look Petty

Before Anne Applebaum throws together a column explaining how Mousavi's popularity stems from being a "center-right" "fiscal conservative", I thought I'd share my opinions on her latest blather. Looks like Hitch has a pithy response:

You drink soaked popinjay!
Good ol' Hitch. Way to shoot that one down.

Still, some parts of the idiocy are worth highlighting:

In part because they intuitively disdain anything that President George W. Bush admired, in part because they doubt its efficacy, the Obama administration has quite deliberately stayed away from the whole idea of promoting democracy in general and elections in particular.

(1) A driving force behind Obama's foreign policy is intuitive disdain for Bush? Really? Applebaum knows this ... how? I mean, I know the Obama Administration is basically a bunch of Daily Kos diarists suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome, and the only reason they're not bombing the hell out of North Korea right now is an instinctual hatred for Dick Cheney/Halliburton/AmeriKKKa ...

(2) Hold on, "intuitive"? Isn't disdain for Bush pretty rational at this point? Who's walking around saying, "Boy, there's something about that George W. Bush I don't like, but I just can't put my finger on it ..."?

(3) On that note, isn't the fact that a policy is associated with Bush a *reason* to doubt its efficacy? How many good things came out of that administration again?

It really is remarkable how Applebaum insists that liberals only oppose conservative policies out of anger or spite, while she only obliquely acknowledges the abysmal failures that stem from those policies. Gee, you think that anger might have something to do with those failures?

I mean, remember when she argued that the terrible legacy of the Iraq war is how it discredited all the neoconservative hawks, and now with all that darn liberal disdain for Bush and his preemptive wars nobody was willing to go in and start a war with the people who really truly needed to be bombed?

You know ... the Iranians?


Monday, June 15, 2009

More Fun With The Kausfiles Karchives

From 2004:

Rep. Billy Tauzin's decision to resign his congressional chairmanship to accept a highly lucrative position as lobbyist for the big drug companies--this just after he helped write the Medicare prescription drug bill--stinks so badly I think he just might be shamed into giving up the job.

So, um, how'd that work out?

Oh, he's still president and chief executive officer of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America?

Well, I'm sure that, any day now, the good and great American people will come, like a cavalry, to oust Billy Tauzin from his position.

And we can all rest assured that the author of this post isn't posing as a wise Washington hand, knowledgeable about the ins and outs of political influence.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Murther Most Foul!

No, the title is not a reference to Mickey's apparent belief that Ezra Klein is coming to kill him (and what in the hell does a post have to do to get the "paranoia" tag at kausfiles?) ... it's because the issue of health care reform has turned Mickey into Hamlet.

You see, Mickey desperately hates Democrats, but Mickey also supports universal health care -- it's one of the last sad little vestiges of Mickey's leftist past, a rapidly fraying stitch holding the "liberal" to the "neo". If Republicans were to offer a plan for universal health care -- really, any plan even remotely related to health care -- Mickey would gladly clamber aboard, as he did with Bush's Medicare prescription drug debacle. [Hey! Confusing senior citizens and shoveling money to private insurers and the pharmaceutical industry was a small price to pay for prescription drug coverage! -- ed. Billy Tauzin thinks so!]

Unfortunately for Mickey, the Republicans are still the party where Medicare is equated with Stalin ("we'll be telling our children about a time in America, when men and women were free ... to die in hospital waiting rooms"), and those evil Democrats are pushing universal health care. What to do, what to do?

Watch as Mickey flounders by:

- Consistently equating universal health care with government denial of popular and effective treatments -- essentially repeating GOP talking points and in some cases amplifying and elaborately defending them -- all for the purpose of showing Democrats how to *really* sell universal health care. [Democrats are supposed to pitch universal health care by claiming that it will be a massively huge and constantly expanding government program with no attempts at efficiency or even effectiveness? -- ed. Hey, Mickey's got evidence to support the popularity of that pitch ... right ... um ... over ... hmm.]

- Linking copiously to conservative opponents of universal health care, even as he assures everyone that he would totally be for a universal health care plan if only it didn't deny popular and effective treatments -- which, of course, it doesn't -- and if it didn't have Nancy Pelosi's cooties all over it.

- You know that New Yorker piece showing that higher priced medicine clearly did not lead to better health outcomes, and was generally the product of an information gap between patients and physicians -- as opposed to people themselves demanding "fancy new expensive treatments", which makes literally no sense when you consider that obtaining medical care isn't like shopping at Best Buy, but is kinda hilarious when you picture Mickey angrily demanding an echocardiogram while his puzzled internist explains that he has gout -- and that, hey, maybe the larger problem is a model of health care that focuses on profit-maximization rather than patient outcome, and maybe reforming the way doctors are compensated will change that, too?

Yeah, Mickey's ignoring that (and how it demolishes his oft-stated thesis that expensive is better) and focusing on the New Yorker profile of Peter Orszag instead, presumably because Mickey's casting the role of Heartless Bureaucrat for his play-within-a-play. [“You get paid more if the treatment has been shown to be effective and a little less if not”? Scandalous! -- ed. They don't make horrifying bean-counting treatment-denying ogres like they used to.]

You can expect basically the same game plan from Mickey until universal health care is enacted, or until Matthew Yglesias kills him with a poisoned-tipped keyboard.

Alas, poor Mickey ... I knew him ...

He was a tool.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Looks Like We'll Have To Go With "Nothing Else"

Oh, Anne Applebaum. Several months late to the "fiscal conservatism doesn't fail, it is only failed" party, she trots out Europe (?!?) as a glimmer of hope for laissez faire capitalists everywhere. What's not to love about this article?

- Sarkozy, last seen pushing for a stimulus package, being counted as the sort of fiscal conservative who hates stimulus packages ("a policy more colloquially known as 'massive government spending'")?

- The EP elections, which nobody in Europe cares about and tend to produce extreme results, being used as rock-solid evidence of Europe turning en masse to Joe the Plumber?

- Status quo types in European states with massive welfare-state governments and public expenditures larger than the US by basically any metric being hailed as "fiscal conservatives"?

- Or perhaps this:

But if nothing else, the success of the European center-right during the current crisis proves that there is something to their political formula. They are fiscally conservative. They are, if not socially liberal, then at least socially centrist. They haven't been swayed by the fashion for big spending. They are trying to keep some semblance of budget sanity. And, at least at the moment, they win elections.

Except, uh, you know, in the actual elections that actually occur places other than in Anne Applebaum's head:

Europe's Greens were the only major bloc whose parliamentary proportion increased — from 5.5 percent to 7.1 percent in this election. Far-right groups and anti-EU parties, including the UK Independence Party, also saw big increases in the independent group.

Oh, so the trend isn't so much towards the center-right, as out toward the fringes. Uh, well ... other than that, she nailed it!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Is Will Saletan Just Using Auto-Text Now?

I mean, really?

"I know you've had your differences, with you being the World's Fattest Man and you being a Boeing 757, but listen to me. Talk to each other. You'll figure out that my plan is right."

Hmm ... where have I seen crack negotiation skills like these before?

Will Saletan, trying to sell electronic cigarettes at a mall