October 31, 2011
— Ace A "street poet."
And so it goes.
My annoyance here is due to the fact the media went out of its way to portray the Tea Party as physically and psychologically unattractive -- ha ha, look at these old nasty bastards -- but does the opposite with this crew.
And yet... not super attractive, in reality.
Corrected: Oklahoma City, not Kansas City as I wrote. When I read "OKC" I took it as "Occupy Kansas City." And in my head I noted, "Oh, neat, that's the same abbreviation they use for Oklahoma City."
Thanks to Ben.
— Open Blogger Fun fact: Chiefs placekicker Ryan Succop (say it out loud) was the last man chosen in the 2009 draft. more...
— Ace A lot of people tried to get the comedy ball rolling on this general topic but the thread is so contentious (consisting chiefly of people demanding that other people believe things they have no firsthand knowledge about) that the humor never had a chance.
So, here. Feel free to ask your Sexual Harassment etiquette questions, or answer other people's.
— Ace Well, Huntsman might show up at least.
A spokesman for "The View" confirmed that requests have been sent to Republican campaigns but declined to speak further about any interest so far. The debate would take place during the show's 11 a.m. EST time slot.
— Ace Some people are citing this as proof this is a Nothing To See Here, Folks, Move On situation.
After all, it was just some completely-innocent gesture:
Van Susteren asked what Cain did that led to the accusation. There were reportedly more than one accusations in the complaint, but Cain said he recalled just one incident. "She was in my office one day, and I made a gesture saying -- and I was standing close to her -- and I made a gesture saying you are the same height as my wife. And I brought my hand up to my chin saying, 'My wife comes up to my chin.'" At that point, Cain gestured with his flattened palm near his chin. "And that was put in there [the complaint] as something that made her uncomfortable," Cain said, "something that was in the sexual harassment charge."
Bear in mind, though, that's Cain's narration of what happened, of the nature of the complaint, and further, only his narration of one of several incidents.
Although I do generally think "where there's smoke there's fire," that's only a rule of thumb, and not something I'd bet money on. It's perfectly possible he's innocent of almost everything except a misunderstanding.
On the other hand, let's not just go Reverse Clinton here and start acting as any of this is impossible, either, or that we know about things we weren't witness to.
By the Way: Cain was asked by the moderator to close the National Press Club event with a song. Cain apparently had closed some previous event with that song, and obliged the host.
As I noted in an update to the last post (see below), given that context, with Cain not deciding himself, sua sponte, it was time for a Christian hymn, it's not nearly as kooky seeming as I first thought.
Wait A Minute, He Was Asked To Sing
— Ace He Was Asked To Sing: I didn't know that. Here's the context.
Okay, that's kind of different, because even though a Christian hymn is still out-of-place at a press conference, if he was asked to do it by the moderator, then he has only two imperfect options (sing, in an inappropriate venue, or refuse someone's request).
I honestly thought the guy just decided to sing for the hell of it. Not so much.
Thanks to Jumbo Jogging Shrimp.
I know I'm supposed to say it's awesome that Cain sung a Christian spiritual hymn at a press conference, but I really don't think so.
(Why not? I know among some strains of Christianity the Public Expression of Religion is strongly favored. Among others, though, and among those who aren't really religious at all, or are of a different religion, it's a turn-off, and odd. There's something that really rankles people (including me) about the "Elect me, I love Jesus" gambit. What does that have to do with anything?)
— Ace Oh my stars and garters, look how many "apolitical grandmothers" are on this list!
— Ace At the Cornerstone speech in New Hampshire. I'm including two videos: The "highlights," as cut together by opponents, and the full speech. I think the full speech, while being boring (as it doesn't just focus on the alleged drunken moments), disproves the drunk claims.
He doesn't seem drunk to me. He never slurs, and he speaks coherently. What is odd is that he's a lot sillier than usual, indulging in a teasing sort of comedic delivery. A goofy delivery in patches. Very goofy.
For what it's worthy, I don't think he should do this, because people aren't taking him very seriously at the moment, and so he doesn't need to goof it up. Maybe Romney could benefit from that sort of thing. (It's useful to play against type, but not so useful to play into type.) But Perry can't.
But drunk? Nah, just being goofy, with a teasing sort of humor that is... alas, Bush squared.
One example of that is when he discusses his Cut, Balance, and Grow plan and begins making lurching, Frankenstein/Dumb Guy hand gestures. But what he's doing, obviously, is spoofing the idea that he must have a quick bumper-sticker brand name for his plan, and is "Cut, Balance, and Grow." He's kind of leveling with the audience in noting that such branding efforts are inherently dumb, and mocking himself for going along with the required dumbness.
Drunk? Doesn't seem like it to me.
One question, though, is why is he so goofy/frisky? Talking with Ben Domenech, who's seen him this way in Austin once, he's guessing he's just tired and overdoing the "show energy" thing. more...
— Ace It's a mere $43 million this time, so, you know, don't sweat it. Obama wastes that much cash in about eight minutes.
Massachusetts company that received a $43 million Energy Department loan guarantee last year filed for bankruptcy Sunday, a step certain to fuel criticism of federal green energy financing in the wake of the solar company Solyndras collapse.
Beacon Power Corp., which develops energy storage systems, filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
As you know, Obama has ordered a 60 day review of the loan processes at DoE, to find out if the correct procedures were followed, without favoritism to connected companies, and with due diligence for the taxpayers' dollars.
Like me, I'm sure you are eagerly awaiting the conclusions of this report, and completely at a loss as to what it will say.
Whoops: Another bankruptcy, this one of a company which would supposedly deliver high-speed broadband to remote rural areas.
The Bush Administration actually approved the loan for this company, Open Range. But this might be a Tale of Two Cronies, with a new crony favored as a new administration comes to town -- the FCC turned down Open Range's request for an extension (to give it time to correct its previous problems) but they were turned down.
The FCCs handling of the matter has come under scrutiny by lawmakers partly because the agency promoted a similar venture called LightSquared about the same time it was turning its back on Open Range. Critics of the FCC have accused the agency of favoring LightSquared because it is backed by Democratically connected hedge fund financier Philip Falcone.
There is clearly the perception of favoritism, said Tim Farrar, an independent analyst at TMF Associates. Farrar said his consultancy has no financial interests in LightSquared or Open Ranges venture. A similar charge was levied by Globalstar in a recent letter to the FCC.
— CAC A unique Open Thread for Halloween.
My fiancee and I moved into our current residence in April. Spacious, private, it's right up our alley at least until we can get an apartment. Soon after moving in I began to notice some strange things. In the living room, I would turn off the light and TV when going to bed. An hour later, they would be back on. Footsteps around 3am. Cold spots during the heat of summer. Odd things, but I tried not to give them much thought.
About a month in, my far better half started complaining she was being "woken up" by something in the night that would poke her arm. I joked it was probably me, until one night I couldn't sleep and found myself watching TV in the living room. Erinn started tossing and turning, then came into the room telling me she didn't appreciate me trying to wake her up. I told her I would turn the TV down, but she insisted "you know what I mean, poking me like that. Don't act like you've been in here the whole time."
I have spent some free time in the past year serving as a skeptic for a local paranormal group. I came to their investigations with the approach that everything has a rational explanation, and barring a few odds and ends, most of the "activity" being reported did. So now, I had the awkward situation of having this happen in my own house.
— rdbrewer Over the weekend, George Will came out in his column critical of Mitt Romney's constant flip-flopping. Will's opinion itself is a flip-flop, leading Ramesh Ponnuru to wonder why. I think the answer might be that Will never realized just how much of an empty suit Romney is until now. And he hit his tolerance limit:
Obama, a floundering naif who thinks ATMs aggravate unemployment, is bewildered by a national tragedy of shattered dreams, decaying workforce skills and forgone wealth creation. Romney cannot enunciate a defensible, or even decipherable, ethanol policy.
. . .
In May, in corn-growing Iowa, Romney said, I support present tense the subsidy of ethanol. And: I believe ethanol is an important part of our energy solution for this country. But in October he told Iowans he is a business guy, so as president he would review this bipartisan the last Republican president was an ethanol enthusiast folly. Romney said that he once favored (past tense) subsidies to get the ethanol industry on its feet. (In the 19th century, Republican business guys justified high tariffs for protecting infant industries). But Romney added, Ive indicated I didnt think the subsidy had to go on forever. Ethanol subsidies expire in December, but I might have looked at more of a decline over time because of the importance of ethanol as a domestic fuel. Besides, ethanol is part of national security. However, I dont want to say I will propose new subsidies. Still, ethanol has become an important source of amplifying our energy capacity. Anyway, ethanol should continue to have prospects of growing its share of transportation fuels. Got it?
Will goes on to wonder whether conservatism has come this far, surmounting many obstacles along the way, "to settle, at a moment of economic crisis, for this?" After it first appeared, the all caps "THIS" was replaced with italics. He should have stuck with the original, since it better communicated the revulsion many conservatives feel. The thing is, I think Will would continue to give Romney the breaks like he did during the time Ponnuru cites--back in March of 2007--if there was anything at all identifiably, solidly conservative about him. There's just nothing there. He's a pure politician, a Republican of convenience.
Perhaps that is why Romney has been snapping up advisers from the George W. Bush administration. Politico writes that conservatives are up in arms about it:
The Republican right cringes at some of the high-profile people Romney is leaning on for donations and advice, including three former Bush-era officials whose recent records include lobbying for Solyndra and advocating on behalf of cap-and-trade legislation and carbon taxes.
. . .
Most environmentalists dont have pleasant memories of the Bush administration, but Republicans also recall how Bush signed into law a 2005 mandate requiring the nation to use billions of gallons of renewable fuels, or his buckling as a lame duck to the Democratic-controlled Congress by signing a 2007 law raising fuel economy standards.
Near the end of Bushs second term, hed even embraced a national goal for halting the growth of greenhouse gases.
The solution, of course, is to hire Frum. Go the whole enchilada. Kill the Tea Party forever.
— Ace Mainstream! Look at all these apolitical grandmothers!
John Sexton visited Occupy LA and has lots of pictures (scan down; two parts.)
He links this article, awesome in two ways. First the Occupiers, who the media will assure you are just concerned centrists, warmly greet and out and proud communist who threatens political violence:
Alex Callinicos, a professor of European Studies at Kings College in London, announced to his rapt audience, I am a Marxist.
Asked if the upcoming revolution can be non-violent, he parroted the party line of the demonstrators, who call themselves the 99 percent of Americans lined up against the 1 percent with power and money.
He said violence could be avoided only if the 1 percent accept the decisions of the 99 percent, which he predicted would never happen.
Submit or Die-- it's the American way!
Nick Hommen, 29, a volunteer from Salem, Ore., who was handling donations, said some demonstrators were taking advantage of peoples generosity.
We cant afford to keep buying new tents. Its ridiculous the sense of entitlement people feel, Hommen said.
There continue to be frictions between the Real Victims of the Bankers -- that is, the occupiers, students who took out too many college loans and and acquired too few marketable skills -- and the posers, who are not really victims of the economic calamity, i.e., the homeless.
Two different drunks I spoke with last week told me theyd been encouraged to take it to Zuccotti by officers whod found them drinking in other parks, and members of the community affairs working group related several similar stories theyd heard while talking with intoxicated or aggressive new arrivals.
Hes got a right to express himself, youve got a right to express yourself, I heard three cops repeat in recent days, using nearly identical language, when asked to intervene with troublemakers inside the park, including a clearly disturbed man screaming and singing wildly at 3 a.m. for the second straight night.
A lot of you people smell, a waggish cop shot back later after an occupier asked if he might be able to help find more appropriate accommodations for a particularly pungent and out-of-sorts homeless man.
If this is going on, it's not necessarily a political tactic. The homeless typically violate rules about sleeping on benches and in parks, of course. When they become a problem, they're asked to move on, but of course they'll be back the following night.
The occupiers are doing the same thing -- oh I know, they claim it's for some higher purpose (a higher purpose than survival?), but it's the same thing. And they won't move on.
So, if you have a collection of scofflaws and squatters in one location, who won't move on -- and hence you have a police problem localized in a place that can't be resolved -- why not get all the nuisances to that one place? It's a stinkpit anyway.
Oh, and rapes are being "handled internally" by the Occupiers.
Who basically just hiss at the perpetrators and try to shame them away.
— Ace Says he was accused, but falsely so; claims turned out to be "totally baseless."
Says he doesn't know about a settlement, but seems to allow the Restaurant Association might have settled (without his knowledge? apparently that's what he's saying).
Here's a big question: "Are we going to hear about other allegations in the future?"
He says, "Absolutely not." But immediately says: "If more allegations come, people will [sic] simply make them up."
I say this is a big question because I heard about this stuff a month ago, and I didn't hear about two incidences. I heard about many more.
I did not have detailed information, certainly nothing publishable. But I heard there was a long and numerous history here.
"When will see more of your wife?" He says it was a "conscious decision" to not have his family campaign for him. In particular, his wife "represents that calm and tranquility I like to see when I get home."
— DrewM Last week Gaia worshipers rejoiced when a report was released that seemed to confirm that everything they had been saying including the famed "hockey stick" graph was right.
Turns out there was some premature celebrating going on.
Professor Richard Muller, of Berkeley University in California, and his colleagues from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures project team (BEST) claimed to have shown that the planet has warmed by almost a degree centigrade since 1950 and is warming continually.
Published last week ahead of a major United Nations climate summit in Durban, South Africa, next month, their work was cited around the world as irrefutable evidence that only the most stringent measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions can save civilisation as we know it.
But today The Mail on Sunday can reveal that a leading member of Prof Mullers team has accused him of trying to mislead the public by hiding the fact that BESTs research shows global warming has stopped.
Prof Judith Curry, who chairs the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Americas prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology, said that Prof Mullers claim that he has proven global warming sceptics wrong was also a huge mistake, with no scientific basis.
Prof Curry is a distinguished climate researcher with more than 30 years experience and the second named co-author of the BEST projects four research papers.
So the number two researcher on the project is calling out her fellow researcher for overstating their results? There's only one response to that...POPCORN!
In fact, Prof Curry said, the projects research data show there has been no increase in world temperatures since the end of the Nineties a fact confirmed by a new analysis that The Mail on Sunday has obtained.
There is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasnt stopped, she said. To say that there is detracts from the credibility of the data, which is very unfortunate.
However, Prof Muller denied warming was at a standstill.
We see no evidence of it [global warming] having slowed down, he told BBC Radio 4s Today programme. There was, he added, no levelling off.
Below are two graphs of the data. One shows the "case closed" data that the media hailed and the other is the last 10 years of the data broken out on its own.
— DrewM The Cain campaign is getting a crash course in being the frontrunner today.
During Herman Cains tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO.
The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.
In a series of comments over the past 10 days, Cain and his campaign repeatedly declined to respond directly about whether he ever faced allegations of sexual harassment at the restaurant association. They have also declined to address questions about specific reporting confirming that there were financial settlements in two cases in which women leveled complaints.
POLITICO has confirmed the identities of the two female restaurant association employees who complained about Cain but, for privacy concerns, is not publishing their names.
Cain's camp has denied the allegations.
Fearing the message of Herman Cain who is shaking up the political landscape in Washington, Inside the Beltway media have begun to launch unsubstantiated personal attacks on Cain, J.D. Gordon said in an e-mail message Sunday night. Dredging up thinly sourced allegations stemming from Mr. Cains tenure as the Chief Executive Officer at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, political trade press are now casting aspersions on his character and spreading rumors that never stood up to the facts.
Mark Block, Cain's campaign manager, was just on MSNBC and he echoed the original denial.
Cain is in DC today doing events at AEI and the National Press Club. He'll no doubt be addressing the allegations at some point today.
Happy Halloween, Morons! It's quite an apropos day for DOOM.
Once again, the Feds express shock that Social Security went into the red so much sooner than they expected. They've been fudging the numbers for so long -- since the very start of the program, actually -- that no one really knew what the hell was going on. They still don't, really. What you're hearing are the best guesses of politicians and their economist pets who have every reason to lie. But as Walter Russell Meade observes, all the lies are falling apart.
The half-life of the newest EU bailout? Maybe two weeks. Investors can see this ploy for what it is: new paint and carpet instead of repairs to the foundation. It doesn't solve any fundamental problems -- in fact, it makes those fundamental problems even worse. (A while back I wondered if the Eurozone would do the right thing or just keep throwing good money after bad. Well, now I know the answer.)
Can the Eurozone marriage be saved? I doubt it. The old saying has never been more true: marry in haste, repent at leisure.
The week that European democracy died. It's been ailing for decades -- Europe never did seem to quite get the hang of the whole "democracy" thing. It just seems to go against the Continental grain somehow.
The EU assures the world that China will receive no concessions in return for aid. The Chinese probably won't get any return on their investment either, which leads a cynic to wonder why they'd bother investing money in this ridiculous enterprise at all.
If you're not sure how this Eurozone "rescue" works, Xtranormal lays it all out for you. ("What if there are no aliens?" "Then we are screwed.")
What does a world of seven billion people mean to investors? As always: profit and loss, risk and reward. You take your chances -- it still boils down to knowing your market and targeting your products or services accordingly.
It used to be pretty lonely in the "China bear" camp. Not any more. I'm seeing a lot more alarm now about China's economic slowdown, and as investors learn more about how shaky a foundation the "Chinese miracle" is built upon, the more alarmed they get. An authoritarian Communist government lying to the world about the status of their economy? Who could have seen this coming?
Spain's official unemployment rate increases to 21.52%. Unexpectedly, of course. And in Spain as here, the "official" rate dramatically understates the actual rate.
Cheaters must not prosper. And yet, they so often do. Sir John Harrington observed: "Treason doth never prosper; what's the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason." The same can be said for fraud, especially when it involves labor unions and government officials.
Nan-nan thinks it's perfectly okay for Uncle Sugar to tell companies where they can and cannot build their factories. I often console myself with the knowledge that when Dread Cthulhu rises from his slumber in R'lyeh, he will eat her first.
Speaking of Nan-nan: remember what she said of Obamacare, that we'd like it more when we found out what was in it? Well...not so much, as it turns out. Good luck running on that particular legislative achievement, Democrats.
Innovators aren't guaranteed to succeed. That's always been true -- sometimes they are simply ahead of their time, or are incompetent at executing a business strategy based on their insight. Sometimes they just have bad luck. Technology is an especially brutal industry -- it's a Red Queen's race where you must run like mad just to stay where you are. If you make one misstep, one slip, you will fall and get run over and left behind.
Christina Romer wants the fed to adopt a new "nominal GDP" benchmark. I suspect that what would really happen is that you'd just get one bulls**t number being replaced with another bulls**t number. Romer, let us not forget, was a member of Obama's economic brain-trust along with Orszag and Goolsbee before she
got fired quit left public-service for her old job at UC Berkeley.
After driving New Jersey into bankruptcy as governor, Jon Corzine is now poised to do the same to the company he runs. If only there were some comparable element in the two situations, some common variable that could be factored....
The problem at base is that economics is not a branch of mathematics or statistics, no matter how much economists wish it was. Never forget that the economics equations you see, the pretty graphs and charts, are just educated guesses that are wrong more often than not -- economists love the gloss of the hard sciences, but the truth is that the field is firmly placed among the philosophical and sociological disciplines. Economics is a study of human behavior more than anything else, with all the uncertainties and confusion that entails.
Was the behavior of bankers prior to the 2008 actually risk-averse? Looked at in a certain light, I think you can make that argument: they were working from profoundly flawed risk models, but most of them thought they were fully (and carefully) hedged against disaster. The pressures on the financial system had been placed there by government regulation years -- in some cases decades -- before and had created a perverse ecosystem where risk was accumulated and systematized so gradually that no one realized the gravity of the situation until it was too late.
OWS: Lawless, selfish, disrespectful, and mean. They are overgrown children, in other words -- not adults in any real sense of the word. It is an oddity about modern Americans that always strikes me: many seem so...unformed. I've seen pictures of my grandfather and grandmother when they were in their early 20's (married and with 2 kids already, and another on the way) and they seemed like fully-formed adults already. They looked like adults; they dressed like adults; they behaved as adults. Yet now I see people at 30, 40, 50 years old who seem little more than self-obsessed adolescents -- smug, directionless, angry but inchoate, lavishly educated but not particularly intelligent, entitled without being industrious or deserving. They even groom and dress like children: slovenly, unwashed, unbarbered, sneakers, t-shirts, sweatpants, looking like unmade beds. I look at the OWS protests and I see a crowd of ill-behaved, unsupervised toddlers, but no adults willing (or perhaps able) to call them to order. My grandparents had much more difficult lives in any way you can measure than these spoiled brats, and yet they were better people -- and happier people, on the whole.
UPDATE 1: It seems that Il Papa is not a fan of free-market capitalism. For what it's worth, I think that non-religious people (and perhaps even most ostensibly religious folk) often completely misunderstand religious teaching in this regard -- whether Christian, Islamic, Hindu, whatever. I am not a Catholic and am not well-versed in Catholic doctrine, so I'll let someone else explain the subtleties at play here. My only caution to reader is this: there are subtleties. Just remember that anything you read in the media about faith or philosophy is usually wrong (or so misshapen as to give a dishonest account).
UPDATE 2: Who killed Horatio Alger? 'Twas the welfare state that did him in.
UPDATE 3: A consumption tax is "perfection"? Er...no. There are advantages to a consumption tax if done right, but it's most common form (a VAT) is a horrible vortex of suck. A VAT is a death by a thousand cuts, particularly when coupled with an income tax (as it usually is).
— Gabriel Malor Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
October 30, 2011
— Maetenloch Halloween is coming.
For the last year or so there's been recurring talk that John Ratzenberger might run for the Senate from CT as a Republican in 2012. And after watching this speech I can see where the buzz is coming from - he's a natural speaker and an all-round interesting guy. He definitely passes the beers-over-pizza test, and I'm betting he could work fiscal reform into the conversation and still keep it interesting.
Here Ratzenberger is speaking before the Maine State Chamber of Commerce last week about the importance of manufacturing as part of American strength:
Ratzenberger, the actor famous for his Cheers role as Cliff Clavin, the know-it-all postman, and for his voice roles in every Pixar movie, has emerged in recent years as a leading advocate for manufacturing. He wrote the book Weve Got it Made in America, A Common Mans Salute to an Uncommon Country, addressed Congress and its Manufacturing Caucus, and sits on the Center for America board.
...His talk had a sense of when I was a kid and an overwhelming theme of an America that has lost its way. It played well to the crowd of roughly 500 in a state that still has a strong manufacturing tradition through its paper mills, defense contractors, shipyards and other businesses.
The video is below the fold. It's only 20 minutes long and he really gets rolling around the 5:00 mark. more...
Time for your weekly 50 minutes of hate.
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