Saturday, April 02, 2011

The Free Market Case Against Capitalism

Theoretically, laissez-faire capitalism predicts that the actions of self-interested individuals, on the whole, will benefit society. The balancing act any society has to commit to is to ensure that the community standards are upheld while people pursue their greed (itself a moral value that is antithetical to any society).

There are very few political systems that allow for the existence of capitalism. Certainly, democracy's attempt to "form a more perfect union" is diametrically opposite of the goals of capitalism, which is to destabilize and unbalance society as much as possible.

Still, capitalism does work in the framework of a society if it is kept reined in. Democracy can exist with capitalism, even thrive if, as with religion, the two are kept separate.

That crucial distinction is starting to fray.

Now, we may find capitalism itself has come unglued. Comes Rana Foroohar of Time magazine:
A new study from the Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City, Mo.–based nonprofit that researches and funds entrepreneurship, has found that over the past several decades, the growth in size and importance of the financial sector has run in tandem with lower — not higher — rates of new-business formation. In the 1980s, when Wall Street really took off, the number of new firms created fell, and in the 1990s, it plateaued and has been stagnant ever since. Basically, the facts show the opposite of what Wall Street would have us believe. A number of factors explain that, but one of the most important, argue the study's authors, is that the financial sector is sucking talent and entrepreneurial energy from more socially beneficial sectors of the economy.

You can see it in the graduating classes of the country's top universities. Harvard graduates, for example, enter financial occupations at a far higher rate now than they did in the 1970s. It's a trend that accelerated markedly in the past decade, as the computerization of finance made the profession both more lucrative and more intellectually stimulating (one can now think about the 12th dimension rather than just golf). The proportion of graduates from MIT, for example, who went to Wall Street rose from 18% in 2003 to 25% in 2006.

The problem is that these are the types of people most likely to start the sort of dynamic, job-creating new companies that we need. No wonder economists like Nobel laureate Edmund Phelps speculate that the financialization of the U.S. and subsequent dampening of entrepreneurship may be at the heart of our long-term productivity slowdown (average productivity rates have been lower in the decades since the 1970s than in those before).

Whatever the corporate titans lobbying in Washington say, statistics show that it's new companies, not old, that grow the economy. Some 40% of U.S. GDP this year will come from firms that didn't exist in the 1980s. And nearly all the new jobs in the U.S. are created by firms less than five years old. "The political emphasis shouldn't be on making big firms work," says Kauffman Foundation head Carl Schramm, "but on helping new ones take root."
In other words, distilling these paragraphs to their essence, it's not the poor economy that's responsible for the slow creation of jobs.

It is, ironically, the excellent economy that's hampering job creation. The excellent economy in terms of Wall Street.

There's no getting around the fact that any rational person is going to engage in behavior that provides them with the best opportunity to create the most comfortable life for themselves. It's why Alex Rodriguez makes almost as much as a player for the Yankees than the entire Kansas City Royals baseball team.

It's why every kid on the farms of Indiana or the streets of the inner city plays basketball, for that one shot to make it to the NBA and earn bookoo bucks.

And it's why its ridiculous to whine about athletes when quants (those mathematicians who create these complex instruments that no one can explain without using higher mathematics), who do even less for Main Street America than any high-priced athlete, make fortunes while not creating a single job.

I mean, at least A-Rod puts fannies in the seats and that means you need a stadium and ushers and peanut vendors and security guards and ticket takers, all jobs for people like you and me.

Indeed one could make the case that the job of a quant is to destroy jobs by betting on inefficiencies in the markets that hurt individual companies as well as individual investors. They suck money out of the economy and hide it in complicated financial instrument that can lose value faster than a banana can rot.

You'll notice that the free market still works for the community as a whole but the community itself has changed. Wall Street has wholly divorced itself from America, just as the rise of multinational corporations have guaranteed that "American" companies are no long American.

Wall Street has about as much fealty to Main Street as you have to the colony of mosquitoes forming on a puddle in your backyard. You come to view them as at best a nuisance and at worst an enemy.

I worry about the future of this country. Can you blame a kid who's really good at math for going in and making as much money as he can without risking a dime out of his pocket?

Friday, April 01, 2011

No One Could Have Forseen....


A New Euphemism

That Word. I Don't Think It Means What You Think It Means


Spokespeople for Gov. Paul LePage have said all along that the timing of the administration's decision to remove a 36-foot mural in the Department of Labor was unfortunate.

I think the word you're looking for is "bastardly".

Some Good News

Soldiers in the field agree it's OK to repeal DADT

Note To Stephen Moore

Instead of lecturing Americans, why don't you lecture the fat rat bastards who sent those manufacturing jobs overseas in the name of short-term profits, you naked greedy attention-whore?


Many Americans work jobs that don't provide a living wage. Film at eleven!


See, I really thought this was Google's annual April Fool's joke...

Fuck Gold!


Joe Stiglitz Gets It Right (On)


Economists long ago tried to justify the vast inequalities that seemed so troubling in the mid-19th century—inequalities that are but a pale shadow of what we are seeing in America today. The justification they came up with was called “marginal-productivity theory.” In a nutshell, this theory associated higher incomes with higher productivity and a greater contribution to society. It is a theory that has always been cherished by the rich. Evidence for its validity, however, remains thin. The corporate executives who helped bring on the recession of the past three years—whose contribution to our society, and to their own companies, has been massively negative—went on to receive large bonuses. In some cases, companies were so embarrassed about calling such rewards “performance bonuses” that they felt compelled to change the name to “retention bonuses” (even if the only thing being retained was bad performance). Those who have contributed great positive innovations to our society, from the pioneers of genetic understanding to the pioneers of the Information Age, have received a pittance compared with those responsible for the financial innovations that brought our global economy to the brink of ruin.

Some people look at income inequality and shrug their shoulders. So what if this person gains and that person loses? What matters, they argue, is not how the pie is divided but the size of the pie. That argument is fundamentally wrong. An economy in which most citizens are doing worse year after year—an economy like America’s—is not likely to do well over the long haul. There are several reasons for this.

Dial Down The Meds, Donald


Your Corporatocracy At Work

Women may go blind: Awarded only $115,000


I mentioned yesterday that I thought Obama would have trouble in the 2012 election cycle if the jobs creation number didn't pick up.
And not one lily-livered Republican helped. Not one bit.

Please Run For President

Ladies & Gentlemen, Senator Jay Rockefeller.

Still Waiting For My Invitation, Mr Soros!


Nobody Asked Me, But...

1) OK, so if the MSM is sooooooooooooooooooo liberal, then why isn't this documentary, both fair and balanced and completely factual, airing on MSNBC or CNN or one of the networks (sans FOX)? This is the scariest program you will see on your TV. Ever. And I wish that was an April Fools' joke, but it's not.
2) How scary is it? The comments section over at LinkTV is overrun with RightWingWelfare sucking squirrels trying to distract from the program, which never happens unless there's truth involved.
3) By now, you undoubtedly know the Bronx Zoo's Egyptian King Cobra, which had escaped earlier this week, has been recaptured safely for all concerned. I discovered this week that my cat, @ThumbPerDaCat, had been trying to lure @BronxZoosCobra over to our apartment over Twitter, presumably to eat him. I don't think the little feller has any idea just how long twenty feet is.
4) Give a split second's pity to John Boener. OK, long enough! Interesting that the Teabaggers have to use homophobia like it's ketchup.
5) Yet another reason America is a savage nation. I'll bet there's at least one Death Row inmate who has been executed with exoneration locked away in a prosecutor's filing cabinet. "We just gave prosecutors permission to kill," indeed!
6) The big problem with standardized testing is that teachers will teach to the test, instead of teaching the class what it needs to know.
7) You know what I'm thinking? I'm thinking Scott Brown may be positioning himself for a run at the Presidency in 2016 here.
8) Disgusting. Nothing more to say.
9) This is not an April Fool's Day joke. Sadly.
10) Neither is this. Happily.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Poor Alaska

Wasn't the Palin family punishment enough for these folks?


Rand Paul agrees with me, sort of. The death of the Teabagging movement is at hand.


Apparently in some states, evolution never really took root.
I mourn for my country.

In Fairness To Sarah Palin....

....her supporters lack the opposable thumbs necessary to turn the page.

Not Safe For Sane People

Indiana State Repre-asshole says women fake rapes to get free abortions.
They're really trying to run themselves out of office, aren't they?

In Other News, World Two And A Half Years Older Under Obama


I Disagree, Mr. Bolton

I think the fact that a clear majority of Americans not only elected him but approve of his job performance two and a half years in, makes President Obama uniquely qualified to lead this nation.

Snger: The Best Medicine

Sometimes, I wish people like this would run for office.

TARP Worked, But Failed

...says the guy who oversaw the whole shebang.
Reminds me of "The operation was a success, but the patient died."

Note To Newsbusters


Say It Ain't So, Joe!

You mean the Teabaggers aren't a grassroots, totally up-from-the-muck political movement????

Your Call Has Been Disconnected

Well, this is good news, right?

Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign the labor market is firming heading into the second quarter.

Jobless claims fell by 6,000 to 388,000 in the week ended March 26, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The government also issued its annual revisions to the seasonal- adjustment factors, which caused a “mild upward shift” in the number of applications, an agency spokesman said as the figures were released to reporters.

A slowdown in firings and growing payrolls may bolster further gains in consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the world’s largest economy. Companies added 210,000 jobs in March, while the unemployment rate held at 8.9 percent, economists project a Labor Department report to show tomorrow.

A side note: there is some reason for concern for the Obama camp, in that high unemployment is usually a harbinger of defeat in an election. The latest number, 8.9%, is notably down from the near-10% of this time last year, but more has to be done. Fortunately, these things have a way of gaining momentum.

Employment is like Sisyphus' boulder: once it starts up the hill, it becomes easier and faster, but when it falls, it plummets.

Americans getting jobs. Sounds like a sign of a healthy economy.

You'd think.

As  I write this, the markets have just opened for the day. Mind you, nearly every index is up for the year at or near record paces not seen since the tech bubble of 1998, but today, when finally it looks good for an American middle class worker, the toilet lid flies up and the markets sink. The Dow is off 13 points, and S&P 500 and NASDAQ are both struggling to stay even.

What is it with corporate America that they can't sync up with Main Street Americans?

In a nutshell, there is no more Corporate America any more than there are American cars. So many companies have become multinational conglomerates that their fortunes no longer rise or fall along with those of you and I here in the USA.

It used to be "what was good for GM was good for America," but that's no longer the case. GM got bailed out. Americans got HAMPered, the plug having been pulled on the only sensible bailout program in the recession, the one that helped Americans keep their homes.

But I forgot. That program wasn't going to turn a profit for the US. Or a bigger one for the banks. My error.

Just like full employment means the banks can't hold your feet to the fire in interest and late payment charges.

If You Took Bill O'Reilly And The Points... to who the more reasonable conservative would be, you win!
Here's the thing about the Trump candidacy: altho he's posturing himself as a hard-line conservative, in point of fact prior to this cycle he never really evinced any serious interest in running for public office.
And some, like me, think that's still the case. He's not about political clout because he can wrangle his needs out of the existing power structure, left or right. This is why he's played his cards close to the vest in terms of political positions and why he's taken great pains to ensure his contributions benefit people across the spectrum.
So long as they can give something in return of course.
One thing is clear: he does not like President Obama. Which is fine. A candidate who decides to make it personal loses everytime.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gitcher Royal Pez! Royal Pez Here!

Where's The Jobs, Boener?

The List Of Job Creating, Small Government Proposals By The GOP To Save America

1. Ban/Restrict abortion
2. Redefine rape
3. End Net Neutrality
4. Ban Gay Marriage
5. Investigate Muslims
6. Voter ID
7. Secession
8. Make Obama show his birth certificate...again...everyday... forever
9. Repeal Union Rights
10. Restrict voting ability of college students
11. De-fund Obama's Teleprompter
12. De-fund NPR and PBS.
13. Declare Global warming a fraud.
14. Repeal Healthcare.
15. Read the Constitution...except for that amendment...and that one...that one too
16. Raise taxes on Girl Scouts.
17. Budget cuts to kill 1 million jobs.
18. Get rid of fluorescent light bulbs.
19. Ban Sharia law.
20. Force women to see sonograms of their soon-to-be aborted fetuses.
21. Renew Patriot act.
22. Restore F-35's second engine
(well, maybe this one, if you live in Boener's district...).
23. Eliminate Assenge.
24. Criminalize miscarriages
25. Defund Planned Parenthood
26. Declare English America's official language
27. Put "In God We Trust" on all Federal Buildings
28. Extend Bush tax cuts for top earners.
29. Deny foodstamps to families of workers who go on strike

You Know How The Teabaggers....

....were just this populist movement and not at all supposed to have been astroturfed which means they spoke the will of the people?

Not That I Would Ever Wish Evil On Anyone, But....

....Stephen Hayward, I wonder if you've ever considered the fact that clinical depression really is debilitating, you douchebag. Maybe you ought to admit that you are, and move on. The finger you point is pointed the wrong way.

I Should Struggle So Comfortably


That's Biggert Of You!


If Teabaggers Are Insisting On A Birth Certificate To Be President


A Walker In Flip Flops

He was for funding after he was against it!

Today's Edition Of....

...The Pot Calling The Kettle Black (literally)

Are You Any Good At Cryptograms?


Just A Guess, But...

....this will probably go over like an unleaded balloon. I'm not sure what the point is in scolding us now that we have to get off oil.

The Tiger Slips Tonight

I wrote the other day that Obama needs to start engaging the Chinese in multinational operations as policeman to the world.
Apparently, they are quite content to let us shoulder the burden.

What A Doosh!

Here's Robert Frank on soaking the rich:

New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois—states that are the most heavily reliant on the taxes of the wealthy—are now among those with the biggest budget holes. A large population of rich residents was a blessing during the boom, showering states with billions in tax revenue. But it became a curse as their incomes collapsed with financial markets.

Arriving at a time of greatly increased public spending, this reversal highlights the dependence of the states on the outsize incomes of the wealthy. The result for state finances and budgets has been extreme volatility.

Absent California, WHICH IS HAMPERED BY SHACKLES PLACED ON THEIR ABILITY TO RAISE TAXES *koffkoffProposition13koffkoff*, all of these states, while certainly struggling, are in the process of balancing their budgets, mostly by cutting spending and imposing some taxes.

But the states that are in REAL trouble are Texas, Florida and other states run by Republicans who are destined to maintain the "tax as little, spend as little" as possible mantra.

Once you appreciate that fact, you realize that Robert Frank is talking out of his ass.


What If He's Right?

Now, I'm not suggesting that this is anything but the ravings of a delusional tyrant trying to put on a brave face for his people and the rest of the Arab world, but, what if Assad's charges are true?
"There is a plot to break Syria apart," Assad claimed. "It began with incitement on the internet and on Facebook, and moved on to the media and the street. We were able to stop the American-Israeli plot."

"Whoever is part of the Syrian nation always stands tall," Assad added. "Our enemies act every day in an organized and public matter in order to harm Syria."

Assaid said the protesters are "smart in their timing, but stupid by choosing a country that will not be defeated by any step."
You see what I mean about a "brave front". Kind of like Bush in the days of Osama: Dead Or Alive. But I digress...
Is this that far-fetched a charge? I don't think it is. After all, Obama has struck me as the kind of man who plays his cards close to the vest, and wouldn't hesitate to proffer a back-door way of deconstructing tyranny that does not involve violence unless it's absolutely necessary.
It sure would explain his curious "hands off" approaches to Tanzania and Egypt, as well as his wisely delayed decision to attack Libya and only with UN support (however you may feel about the attacks, and I oppose violence flat out, the delay is what I'm focused on here.)
And it really can't be denied that there's a certain apparent orchestration to events as they've unfolded across the Middle East and North Africa: first Tanzania, then Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and soon perhaps, Iran.
Too, it's not the sort of strategy you'd want to telegraph, whether Israel is involved or not. And they may or may not be, that's not the point. The point is they benefit from these changes, assuming the regimes and governments that rise in these nations are democratic and populist.
I say "populist," because I think the Arab street is just tired of fighting Israel's existence and are willing, however grudgingly, to leave them be.
Meanwhile, Israel has been preparing what Ehud Barak calls a "diplomatic tsunami" behind the scenes. Break Syria, and you break the attacks from Lebanon and Hamas. Mostly. There's still Iran to deal with but without a strong Syria to partner with, they'd have to expose their hand in attacking Israel. That's something I think the Iranian people would be upset about. A lot of rhetoric against Israel comes from Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollahs, not a lot from the people, who have stirred the pot in the past against their regime.
It's possible Obama may have earned his Nobel after all.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

UPDATE: These Are Not The Trumps You Seek

Donald Trump released his birth certificate (this is the one I mentioned yesterday)
Tricksy hobbitses....


It is now LEGAL to own a Florida legislator. You know, for transparency!

Now THESE Guys....

    ....are true friends

Hey, Breitbart? Imagine If You Had A Union At HuffPo

You might still have your fucking job, you slackjawed asshole, instead of begging for your orc minions to assist your fat corporate-welfare-sucking ass!


Eagle rays do not attack humans. And they certainly would never premeditatedly leap out of the water, risking suffocation, all because some moron was wearing the wrong hairspray. Please. Grow up.

Cross Your Fingers

When you read articles like this, it's only a matter of time before the economy crashes.
Remember, the FBI warned in 2004 about the subprime mortgage crisis and fraudulent predatory lending practices.

If You Are Aware Of All Internet Traditions...

...then by now you know there's an Egyptian cobra on the loose in NYC.

The Presidential Race Just Got Nuttier


Hi, Um, Pot? Yes, This Is The Kettle...

Um, this probably isn't helping any there, NPR...

And Now, Syria

Wow. This whole Middle East uprising seems to be getting out of control!
Not that it's a bad thing. Maybe.

For All The Teabagging Posturing

My money is on this getting done. Or rather, not getting done.

Should A Trump Candidacy Be Taken Seriously?


On The Other Hand....

....who needs oil when you have synthephotosynthesis?

OK, Then! We've All Been Warned!

I mean, it's not like we didn't *koffkoffPEAKOILkoffkoff* see this one coming, right?

Poor Teabaggers

What to do, what to the GOP or the AARP? Walkers all over America creak with alarm.

American Acceptionalism

(Pun intended)
So here's President Obama, talking about America's role in the world last night:
"For generations, the United States of America has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and advocate for human freedom," Obama said. To allow a slaughter in Benghazi would have been to "brush aside America's responsibility as a leader and... would have been a betrayal of who we are." 
For ten years, we've been endlessly reminded of America's "special" place in world affairs. America is the world's biggest economy, has the world's biggest armed forces, is the policeman to the world...yet can't hunt down one skinny sick Saudi in a small region that straddles the border of two of the most desolate regions in the world. 
Even the strongest have limitations. 
Now, none of this is to say that America shouldn't throw its weight around when necessary, and Obama alluded to this last night in the negative:
"We must always measure our interests against the need for action."
Again, fair enough. When our interests are at stake, we ought to be prepared to take measures to protect ourselves. 
But what threat does Gaddafy pose to us? After all, he voluntarily shut down his nuclear program (altho given the level of interest the Bush administration had in him, and their effectiveness in addressing terrorism, one has to wonder if indeed this ever happened) and cozied up to the previous administration. No one has claimed that he has had aspirations against us, and if anything, he's presented a face of reconciliation for Africa, offering his aid to the situations in Somalia, Darfur and Zimbabwe.
Again, there's no judging his sincerity on these, either.
The slaughter in Benghazi is certainly a legitimate concern of Obama's, and the world's, and it was nice that Obama put the veneer of legitimacy by asking for the UN's blessings on this mission, and did so without sending his Secretary of State in to do a snake-oil presentation complete with vials of white powder. Too, Gaddafy suffers from his own world image, one that seemingly did not endear him to any of the Security Council who could have vetoed the action (China abstained).
Of particular interest to me, however, was the curious lack of invitation to powers-to-be to assist in patrolling the world now. Nations like China, Brazil and India, with their steaming-hot economies and massive expansion of trade and influence, are living off our military dime. It's about time they started ponying up. China has a strongly vested interest in the region of North and Central Africa. Brazil certainly by dint of its location will look to Africa as a trade partner, and India with its billions of people must have some eye on Africa and its enormous resources and access to Europe and the Americas.
So the question I want to ask Mr. Obama is, why not China? Why not India? Why not Brazil? I accept that it had to be us in the past, but why now? Have we gotten so locked into the old Cold War thinking that, if America doesn't do it, this will not hold? That it will turn socialist/Islamist/terrorist without American intervention?
It's a new century. You're a new age man. Surely it's time to think out of the box.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Uhhhhhhhhhh, no. It's Not A Birth Certificate

Newsmax is touting the exclusive release to them by Donald Trump of his "birth certificate".
Except, the form they've published at the site is not his birth certificate.
See, I happen to still have my original birth certificate filed with the City of New York. It's a long form, which carefully details all my vital statistics: birth weight, length, names of my mother and my father, as well as my full name.
All typed in for filing at City Hall.
Trump was born in NYC. He was born eleven years before I was. He would have this form too. It is the official birth certificate, microfiched and filed at City Hall. What Trump has presented is a silly little diploma from Jamaica Hospital announcing the birth. No more official than, say, a notice in a Hawaiian newspaper would be.
So, Mr. Trump, where's the long form birth certificate? 


Shorter Wall Street Journal book review:

Hey! Texas!

You'd better start pulling your weight! What the hell good are you, anyway?

Sorry, Teabaggers...


Suddenly, Russia Doesn't Seem So Cold


Screwing In A Bracket


White Man Opens Mouth



FROM: Actor212
Please put down the Cheetos and step away from the keyboard. It's safer that way, for all concerned.

Your Moment Of...


You Might Be A Liberal, If....

So glad I'm a liberal!

Bill O'Reilly: Terrorist Sympathhizer

Imagine if Keith Olbermann had done this under Bush:

O'REILLY:  [...]So we hear special forces are already on the ground in Libya. True, Colonel Hunt?



What They Say....

I tend to believe the honest reporter over the media muddlemonger.

I Would Be Remiss

...If I didn't take a moment to mark Ms. Ferraro's passing
She was a broad, a dame, a tough-as-nails fighter in a region that demanded women be fast and smart. There are three elections I was more than proud to cast my vote: my first, for Carter; in 2008, for Obama (and Hillary in the primaries); and 1984, for Ferraro and Mondale.
Which was really my order of preference anyway.

Wanna Draw Attention Away From Raping The Working Class?

Sure. Go after a critic, utilizing the vast resources of the legislature, plus all that time, money and energy, as your people are thrown out of good paying jobs and funding it harder and harder to pay their bills.

She's Done, She Whines

Yup. She's through whining...right?

Sarah Palin says she's done.

Done with whining about the media, that is.

In an appearance on Fox News, where she serves as a contributor, Palin shrugged off a recent sexual slur directed her way from comedian Bill Maher, saying, "I'm through whining about a liberal press that holds particularly conservative women to a different standard, because it doesn't do any good to whine about it."

"Nobody ever promised life was going to be fair," Palin continued in what appeared to be a departure from her usual pattern of forcefully responding to critics, especially those in the media. "And politics really isn't fair, the scrutiny, the double standards, and all that. I'm dealing with it I guess in a different way than others who want to bring more light to it and demand that Bill Maher apologize."

Now, I don't know about you, but that damned well sounds like whining to me. If you're going to stop doing something, you just stop.

Like, say, being governor. You just up and quit. This isn't like smoking. It's not an addiction. It's not something that requires a Twelve Step Program and a Higher Power. You. Just. Stop. It.

But this speaks to Palin's noticeable inability to self-control. She takes glee in tweaking people's noses, to be sure, and in bullying people (many of whom can at least fight back, to her credit), but in truth, if she wants to be taken seriously as a politician, even as a kingmaker, she will simply have to grow a thicker skin.

One that matches the sheathing around her heart, as an example.

Now, Maher was out of line calling Palin a "twat". I can do that. You can do that. Maher has a slightly higher bar set for himself. His internal censor is set on "barroom" when it needs to be set on "nightclub". And that's OK. He's living his life as he sees fit and if he wants to squander a gift from, errrr, God (his sense of humour and observation), he doesn't need me to lecture him.

But there's also something to be said about being a pee-pantied politician. As we've seen from her own minions, Palin's in for a helluva a difficult ride when or if she decides to run and (GOD HELP US) somehow manages to win. The slurs and invective her supporters have smeared and slandered Obama with will still be worse than what she hears, but damn, she will get distracted way too easily with the petty insults to focus on her job.

If indeed she ever could even that little.