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.]