I wonder what a real revolution looks like?

It's all been written already, and I'm definitely not a Egypt expert. But it really seems to me that this has to end badly for the current regime. This isn't playing the way the it did in Iran.  Here's from the daily dish:

From Hope To Fury: "

by Chris Bodenner

The Guardian's Matt Wells is in Tahrir Square:

At one point Mubarak made a reference to being a young man and understanding the young men of Egypt – basically the people who are here – and at that moment the whole square erupted in anger. At that point, the whole square exploded in anger. The way that Mubarak is comparing himself to the people on the ground infuriated them.

And when it became clear that the that Mubarak intended to stay on until September, the square shook with fury. "We are not going until he goes," they chanted.

There is real anger and real fury and people are not quite sure in which direction to channel it. As I speak to you now, one man is holding a banner next to me which says: "Freedom or I die here." Tears are running down some people's faces. They really thought he was going to go.

There is a feeling that people want to get on the move now. I can hear this chant: "We'll go to the palace and tear him out."

Suleiman just addressed the protesters in a live broadcast. Money quote:

Go home now.


2155 GMT: There are now reports that thousands of protesters are now moving towards state TV building in Cairo.

(Photo: Tens of thousands of Egyptian anti-government protesters chant slogans and wave their national flag as they crowd Cairo's Tahrir square on February 10, 2011 amid rumors that President Hosni Mubarak appeared to be on the brink of stepping down. By Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images)

Cut, Cut, Cut

and damn the consequences! Nice blog post from: Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Cutting Medicaid, CHIP rolls is no way for governors to help their states: "

A number of Republican governors have asked Congress to repeal a provision of health reform so they can save money by dropping people from Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Repealing this “maintenance-of-effort” provision, however, would almost certainly cause millions of people to lose insurance coverage and also hurt the economy, as our new report explains.

The provision requires states to maintain their current Medicaid and CHIP eligibility standards until 2014, when new nation-wide standards take effect and state-based health insurance exchanges begin operating. If it’s repealed, states likely will scale back eligibility for low-income children, parents, seniors, and people with serious disabilities — the principal groups that Medicaid covers — adding millions to the ranks of the uninsured.

Ironically, at the same time that these governors claim they can’t afford to maintain their Medicaid and CHIP programs in the face of large budget shortfalls, many of them are proposing big tax cuts. Such tax cuts have a far lower “bang for the buck” in promoting economic growth and creating jobs in a weak economy than the Medicaid spending that would be cut. Thus, if governors move in this direction, their states would suffer from weaker economic growth and the loss of thousands of jobs due to the lost Medicaid spending.

In addition, when a state cuts its Medicaid spending, it also loses money from the federal government because Washington pays an average of 57percent of each state’s Medicaid costs. So, every dollar in state Medicaid cuts would mean an average total reduction of $2.33. If a state used the dollar it saved in state Medicaid funds elsewhere in its budget — rather than to cut taxes — there still would be a net loss of $1.33 from the economy. That’s just the opposite of what the weak economy needs.

As we’ve noted repeatedly on this blog, states do face major budget challenges due to the long, deep recession. But, taking health insurance away from millions of people is the wrong solution — not only because it would hurt children, seniors and people with disabilities, but because it would hurt the economy as well.


So, should I just ignore the WSJ?

Yesterday I walked into the office and saw the headline of the WSJ, something like "Inflation Fears Spook Markets" or other such drivel. So fun times when I see this nice chart flash across my google reader (from Kevin Drum)...

Lowest. Inflation. Ever.: "
Inspired by David Leonhardt, here's the graph to show any of your friends who think that inflation might be a problem thanks to Fed monetary policy or deficit spending. It shows core inflation (inflation minus food and energy) over the past 50 years, which is a good way of visualizing basic inflationary trends in the economy without getting distracted by normal swings in volatile commodity prices. Right now, core inflation has been trending down steadily for four years and is as low as it's been since the end of World War II. There's no evidence that food and energy prices are feeding through to core inflation, and no evidence that there's even a trace of broad inflationary pressure in the economy. It's just not there. Employment and growth are our problems, not inflation.

Back to blogging?

I think I figured our a way to make faster posts.  Now admit-ably, I'm just linking to other blogs.  But, who knows?  Maybe by using the blog again, I'll actually find I have some voice again.

(Don't hold your breath.  Budget season ended and the pace at work sped up - that's a first for me.  I don't foresee a return to the spring/summer 2010 blog pace)

We won! We won!

Yea, we know how to pay lip service to the base!

Nice post from Stan Collender at Capital Gains and Games:

GOP Declares Victory on Budget: "
There are two reasons this story by Gail Chaddock from the Christian Science Monitor caught my eye.

First, Gail quotes me in it. Second, it shows that the new Republican communications strategy is to declare that they've already won this year's budget debate because the discussion, they say, is all about cutting spending. Here's the money quote (and it's not mine) from Gail's story:

This debate has completely changed,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, in a floor speech on Tuesday. “Two years ago, the president and Democrats running Congress weren’t debating whether to cut spending. They were debating how much to spend…. Today, the only debate is how much to cut.”

Never mind that two years ago the economy was in a recession and spending cuts were the wrong fiscal policy. Never mind that, as Gail quotes me saying, overall federal spending will go up this year in spite of McConnell's victory declaration because the GOP only wants to look for reductions in a very small part of the budget. And never mind that there actually is some talk about spending increases (did McConnell not hear the president say in the State of the Union that he would propose some investments in his budget?).

The key here is that the McConnell is saying that what actually happens doesn't matter. That sound to me like the start of a plan to satisfy the tea party wing of the Republican Party on the budget without actually cutting much spending.


Joy and the music industry...

Fun piece from Techdirt:

Did The Record Labels Kill The Golden Goose In Music Video Games?: "For the last decade or so, every year the major record labels seem to bet on some single 'magic bullet' to fix all that ails them. They go through phases. There was their own crappy DRM'd and locked-down music stores. There were ringtones. And... there were music video games like Guitar Hero and Rockband. And, of course, as soon as those games actually started helping the recording industry, the industry decided to suck them dry. Edgar Bronfman kicked it off by declaring angrily that those games had to pay much more to license the music -- even though the music in those games tended to lead to much greater sales of albums for those artists.

And now it looks like the labels may have succeeded in bleeding those types of games dry. With Activision announcing that it was dumping Guitar Hero, one of the major reasons given is the high cost of licensing music. Yup, the labels priced things so high that they made it impractical to actually offer any more. Yet another case of the labels overvaluing their own content. Now, it's also true that these games haven't evolved that much, and people haven't seen the point of buying new versions, but part of that lack of evolving is because so much of the budget had to go towards overpaying for music, rather than innovating.
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