hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Saturday, July 02, 2011
Arthur Silber - Assistance for Our Better Angels
And by "better angels," I mean, of course, the ladies. First, I encourage you to help a human lady if you can. Dr. Socks has some medical bills which are undoubtedly overwhelming. I have no means of even trying to pay any of my own medical bills. I haven't looked at the bills from my latest hospital stay, although I've kept the envelopes (just in case curiosity overcomes me in an odd moment). It's impossible for me to pay even a small fraction of them (no money, can't pay! simple how that works), so there's no point in contemplating the numbers. But based on the bills from my first hospital stay two years ago, I assume the total to date is well north of $60,000. Note that I didn't have surgery either time; the most complex procedures, which aren't complex at all, were blood transfusions and an endoscopy. Mind-boggling shit is what that is. Anyway, I hope you can help Violet. . .

Violet Socks - Emergency Medical Blegging
Note: Please ignore this post if you are poor, cash-strapped, or otherwise struggling. This is only for those who can afford to help.

Longtime readers have probably figured out by now that I have a couple of medical conditions that rule my life (and my pocketbook). I’ve known for awhile that one of those conditions was eventually going to require treatment, and I’ve been trying my hardest to save up for it. Unfortunately, saving-up time is over. Things have suddenly deteriorated in a major way, and I need surgery. And no, I don’t begin to have enough money to cover it. So if you are one of those people who likes the blog and appreciates whatever it is that I do here, this would be an excellent time to pitch in a few bucks. It would mean the world to me.

I am so grateful for your wonderful friendship and kindness. I love you all.

Arthur Silber - Assistance for Our Better Angels
. . .Next week, Sasha goes in for surgery. After consultation with the vet, I conclude that's the safest and surest way to make certain everything is taken care of properly. (Blood tests are often inconclusive, so aren't necessarily helpful at all.) Even if she was spayed, it's not uncommon for some ovarian tissue to be left behind. The surgery itself will cost $350.00; add in incidentals (and let's assume, please Goddess, there are no complications at all), and we're talking in the neighborhood of $400.00.

And then there is the incredibly sweet Wendy. . .It's possible that the cortisone will have a tremendously revivifying effect, which would certainly change the prognosis for the better. Let's keep our fingers crossed for that. Otherwise...

Wendy's trip to the vet tomorrow will cost around $100.00, perhaps more if the vet decides she needs to be hydrated (a distinct possibility) or requires additional procedures. I've just paid the July rent. With the other monthly bills requiring payment (the bare minimum, as has been the case for years now), I'm looking at rapidly dwindling financial resources. Dwindling toward the point of the big zero.

So once again, I must extend the begging cup. I do have a number of articles lined up for the near future. Once I'm able to focus a bit more on them (I hope this weekend), I'll start preparing them for publication. But I am deeply saddened by Wendy's situation. I've readied myself as much as I can for what may come, but that's not being ready at all. She's so, so sweet, and such a wonderful presence in our lives. Oh, damn. Now I'm crying. God damn it all to hell.

All right, I'll have to leave this for now. Bless you for listening, and bless you if you can help. I'm more grateful than I can say.

ECHIDNE of the snakes - My Annual Fund Drive
This will last the whole week. It's time to pay the piper, my sweet and erudite readers. Or rather, to help me with my computer and chocolate rations. . .

Don't give if you have no money to give or if you already gave. Read and click instead. My sincerest thanks to all of you.

Daniel Davies - Go Dean!
Vintage Dean Baker, on the general subject of annoying opinion writers who, at this late stage and at least two years and five books after there was any excuse, still don't understand what happened in the housing bubble . . .

John Emerson said...
"Baker also is willing to say the same thing 100 times if the same thing happens 100 time. That lacks entertainment value, but repeatedly pointing out that things are still fucked up the same way they always were really is necessary.

Bruschettaboy said...
this is the other thing I was meaning to say about Dean - it is this characteristic, more than any other (even the characteristic of being usually right, which is also valuable), which would have made him absurdly suitable to a well-paying job on Wall Street if he had wanted one.

walt said...
I think part of Baker's success is that his mental model of the economy is laughably simple. For example, his explanation of the recession is the wealth effect: people feel poorer because their total wealth has plunged (because of falling house prices), so there's a big recession. A sophisticated economist at this point would start sputtering about expectations or technology shocks or something. Unfortunately for the sophisticated economist, things happen in the economy for crude reasons, not because of the delicate dance of expectations and optimal planning.

Krugman's most recent blog post is an example, where he quotes Woodford approvingly saying that fiscal policy works through some round-about expectations mechanism, when in fact fiscal policy works through giving money so that they spend it.

Digby - GOP Jobs Program
. . .truthfully, it wouldn't be that hard to just say that this level of unemployment is way too high and that the government is going to put people to work if nobody else will so that they can feed their families. You don't have to give a seminar in macroeconomics.

Matthew Yglesias - Cory Maye To Be Freed

Radley Balko - The Case of Cory Maye (2006)
A cop is dead, an innocent man may be on death row, and drug warriors keep knocking down doors.

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