August 31, 2011

Top Headline Comments 8-31-11
— Gabriel Malor


Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:48 AM | Comments (176)
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August 30, 2011

Overnight Open Thread
— Maetenloch

Evenin' all.

Ken Layne of Wonkette: Dishonest Fucktard

I don't know if it was covered here or not but there's been Outrage! on the left over Michele Bachmann asking "Who likes white people?" at a recent appearance - except of course she didn't actually say that:

Bachmann made a campaign stop at the Midwest Spirit Christian Music Festival on Aug. 5 in West Des Moines to give a speech about her Christian faith. It was raining during her the appearance, so when Bachmann took the stage, she asked, “Who likes wet people?” referring to the still-damp masses who stuck around for her talk.

“Yeah, that’s right. Because we have the God of the winds and the rain don’t we?” she said immediately after — a key phrasing that was edited out of the shorter clip. “We serve a mighty God.”

But someone took RS McCain's video of the event and added a subtitle with the fake quote.

Even though it wasn't what she said and made no sense in context, Ken Layne of Wonkette ran with it proclaiming Bachmann to be a crazy racist. But when it was shown to be a blatant hoax (with the original poster apologizing) he refused to make any corrections and has doubled down on the snark.

This is the same Wonkette that attacked Trig Palin just a few months ago. Apparently they're in a race to the bottom of the sinesphere and are willing to knowingly spew falsehoods to get there. Even the most hacktastic lefty blogs tend to follow certain (very) minimal standards - if only to keep getting invites to the right parties. But not Wonkette. more...

Posted by: Maetenloch at 04:28 PM | Comments (853)
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Dick Cheney on Hannity/
Fun Sounding Show on ABC

— Ace

Dick Cheney's on Hannity.

He gave an interview to the WSJ earlier.


On ABC now (9pm) is "Take the Money & Run," which Jonah Goldberg (I think) recommended.

Two contestants hide a suitcase full of money. Cops have 48 hours to find it, and can interrogate them and hold them in a jail.

If the cops don't find the money, the contestants keep it.

Posted by: Ace at 04:00 PM | Comments (110)
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This Is How Science Gets Settled
— Ace

Good piece on CERN's CLOUD experiment, which proved that the sun is primarily responsible for cloud formation. Cosmic rays cause the upper atmosphere to be seeded with cloud-forming molecules.

And the strength of cosmic rays fluctuates. And clouds influence temperature (by reflecting away sunlight that would otherwise warm the earth).

This has been in the news lately, and it's been linked here. I'm linking this article to note... those who so love science tried to get the experiment killed, because they didn't want AGW theory to even have a challenge.

But Mr. Kirkby made the same tactical error that the Danes [who had earlier proposed the theory, and had been punished] had — not realizing how politicized the global warming issue was, he candidly shared his views with the scientific community.

“The theory will probably be able to account for somewhere between a half and the whole of the increase in the Earth’s temperature that we have seen in the last century,” Mr. Kirkby told the scientific press in 1998, explaining that global warming may be part of a natural cycle in the Earth’s temperature.

The global warming establishment sprang into action, pressured the Western governments that control CERN, and almost immediately succeeded in suspending CLOUD. It took Mr. Kirkby almost a decade of negotiation with his superiors, and who knows how many compromises and unspoken commitments, to convince the CERN bureaucracy to allow the project to proceed. And years more to create the cloud chamber and convincingly validate the Danes’ groundbreaking theory.

Yet this spectacular success will be largely unrecognized by the general public for years — this column will be the first that most readers have heard of it — because CERN remains too afraid of offending its government masters to admit its success. Weeks ago, CERN [formally] decided to muzzle Mr. Kirby and other members of his team to avoid “the highly political arena of the climate change debate,” telling them “to present the results clearly but not interpret them” and to downplay the results by “mak[ing] clear that cosmic radiation is only one of many parameters.” The CERN study and press release is written in bureaucratese and the version of Mr. Kirkby’s study that appears in the print edition of Nature censored the most eye-popping graph — only those who know where to look in an online supplement will see the striking potency of cosmic rays in creating the conditions for seeding clouds.

"Science" -- blocking experiments which could undermine a politically-popular, money-making theory.

Thanks to DanF.

Posted by: Ace at 03:51 PM | Comments (97)
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The Dumbest Thing I've Ever Read
— Ace

It's not Allah's fault -- the prognostication he's forced to link are just stupid.

I have to link it too. It's really dumb.

A guy called Lichtman is calling the race, and he says Obama wins.

There are 13 keys to victory, he says, and whoever grabs six wins.

Now this guy claims Obama has nine in his pocket:

1. No contested primary

2. Incumbency

3. No third-party candidate

4. Major domestic-policy changes in his first term

5. No social unrest

6. No major scandals

7. No major foreign-policy failures

8. Major foreign-policy achievements in his first term (killing Bin Laden)

9. Little charisma by his likely opponent

Um, "no social unrest"? Does he mean rioting? Well, the public's in a riotous mood.

"Major domestic policy changes?" Let me explain something, that's because such changes are usually popular. ObamaCare has been unpopular since it was snuck through the Senate in the dead of night and has only become more so.

Shouldn't this indicator actually flip the other way when the domestic policy changes in question are extremely unpopular?

"No major scandals" -- We'll see. He's probably right because the one thing the media can definitely do is refuse to report a scandal.

"No major foreign-policy failures" -- This one's debatable.

"Little charisma by his likely opponent" -- Going to take that one to the bank? I assume he means Mitt Romney, but the problem there is 1, Mitt Romney is sorta growing on me, personality wise, 2, Romney appears to be a stronger-than-usual challenger, and 3, it's not even super-likely to be Romney, given Perry is leading him and not by a little bit.

Lichtman claims he doesn't know what the short-term economic situation will look like in 2012, so he can't assign that one either way. Oddly, he is a precognitive psychic on seeing the future and knowing that Obama will not see Gunwalker blossom into a major scandal, and that Obama's opponent will have low charisma.

He also knows that, say, Libya won't blow up in Obama's face. Or Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or... Iran.

But on the economy? Gee, who could guess on that one, huh?

Allah writes:

All of which assumes, of course, that this will be an ordinary election like the past seven were. Maybe it will; maybe there’s no such thing as an extraordinary election. But the state of the economy is surely extraordinary, poised as it is for a double-dip, and unemployment is extraordinary compared to any other era over the past 75 years. That is to say, we’re assuming that these “Keys” are equally weighted in election after election, no matter the circumstances, when basic awareness of the current political climate suggests the two economic Keys will be weighted way more heavily than any of the others.

There are keys Licthman could have never anticipated -- like a $16 trillion dollar debt, which we're adding to at the rate of $1.5 trillion per year.

How about the US credit downgrade? Unprecedented, so you can't even include it as a predictive variable.

Just forget about those, huh?

Posted by: Ace at 12:32 PM | Comments (711)
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How Much Political Trouble Is Obama In? If You Look At The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, He's In Even More Trouble Than You Thought
— Ace

Bill McInturff of the Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies is publicly releasing a report on the current mood of the country.

Lots of interesting stuff in it. But the most interesting stuff is about the Michigan Index on Consumer Sentiment.

No president has been reelected when the Index stood at 75 or below (date of snapshot unspecified; I assume they mean "on the day of the election").

The average read of the Index for successful reelection bids is 95.9.

The average read for unsuccessful reelection bids is 74.8.

The current read on the index? 76.2, just above the average for unsuccessful bids.

Nah, I'm totally lying, just to get your attention focused on the real read: The Index currently stands at 55.7, much, much lower than even the average for reelection losers.

Liberals are fond of saying "Well Reagan slipped below 40% before he got reelected."

Well, yes, but as is often noted, in this quarter of his term, GDP was growing by something like 9%. And the Index reflected that -- consumer sentiment was at 90+, and would improve even further by election day.

The proper comparison isn't to Reagan, but to Carter, and... well I'll wait for that stuff.

The Index... has been running at least since 1961. lu asked how long it's been running.

I haven't got a firm answer, but I know the basic metrics of it were devised in the 40s, but the national telephone polling to get the index as we know it today started sometime later. Maybe in 1961, maybe before then.

Posted by: Ace at 11:37 AM | Comments (287)
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Perry on Hannity's Radio Show, Now
— Ace

Or scheduled to be, within minutes. Hit "Listen Live" to stream it.

Supported... HillaryCare in 1993? Perry says no, but that's the claim.

In a letter to Clinton, who is now U.S. Secretary of State, Perry wrote: “I think your efforts in trying to reform the nation’s health care system are most commendable.”

“I would like to request that the task force give particular consideration to the needs of the nation’s farmers, ranchers, and agriculture workers, and other members of rural communities,” Perry continued, noting his administration’s focus on economic development for rural Texans. “Rural populations have a high proportion of uninsured people, rising health care costs, and often experience lack of services.”

“Again, your efforts are worthy,” Perry concluded, ”and I hope you will remember this constituency as the task force progresses.”

Perry's response is that this was written early in the process, before the extent of Hillary's proposed "reforms" were made public. He claims that as Commissioner of Agriculture, it was his duty to remind Washington about his constituency (farmers).

Posted by: Ace at 11:00 AM | Comments (226)
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3M Claims Democratic Lobbyist, Talking Head, and Former Clinton Staffer Lanny Davis Tried to Extort $30 Million From It
— Ace

And I think this is standard operating practice. Do what we want, or we will make government trouble for you.

3M claims an investment company conspired with high-powered lobbyist Lanny Davis in a smear campaign to "coerce" it into paying "tens of millions of dollars ... to save them from the consequences of yet another unprofitable investment," a screening test for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus...

Davis, who worked as a special counsel for President Clinton from 1996 to 1998, has lobbied for a string of controversial clients since leaving the White House, including African dictators, military coup supporters in Honduras, and the government of Pakistan.

This report does not specify the interest of the parties here. It is my guess that 3M entered into some agreement with a company Davis lobbied for, to test and then distribute their drug; they decided it wasn't commercially viable, and terminated the agreement, and then Davis went to work to pressure them into reversing that decision.

I assume the termination of the contract wasn't a breach at all, because I don't see any mention of suing over a broken contract.

After attacking them in the press, it is alleged, they got more direct:

"Defendants' illicit campaign has included overt threats of reprisals by holders of large blocks of 3M stock; public demonstrations by paid individuals posing as victims of an altogether fabricated public health 'issue' allegedly created by 3M's decision to discontinue selling a product no one wanted...

And so forth. And then they kicked it up a notch.

3M adds: "When these tactics failed to yield the financial windfall defendants sought, they resorted to making extortionate demands upon 3M." It claims that Boulter and Davis then "acted together" to make a "crude extortion attempt" by "sending to 3M's counsel an unsolicited e-mail in which Boulter claimed that the British Minister of Defence had instructed Boulter to inform 3M that if it did not pay over $30 million, the Minister of Defence would interfere with 3M's ability to do business with the British government. He also threatened that the British government would reconsider the recently announced call to knighthood of Buckley. This crude extortion attempt threatened both to embarrass Buckley and to tarnish 3M's most valuable asset, its corporate brand."

Sounds a lot like a form of privateering. Well-connected individuals, acting with other pals in government, pirate money away from companies and people. And it's kinda-sorta legal, if you have enough friends in government.

Via Ben Smith.

Posted by: Ace at 09:02 AM | Comments (227)
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That Dummy Perry [ArthurK]
— Open Blogger

Lets look at the new meme - Rick Perry is a dummy.

C-130 cockpit.jpg

Gov. Perry's former work environment.

Scoamf Teleprompter.jpg

Pres. Obama's equivalent.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 08:18 AM | Comments (198)
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Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory, Without Explaining Why
— Ace

A million dollar's worth of property seized, and the feds won't say why.

The company guesses that the raid is over a claim of violation of the Lacey Act, which harasses US importers of foreign wood (to protect foreign forests (!)); but Gibson says its imported wood was all certified for export.

And yet that is just a guess. They still haven't been told anything.

It has come out that Juszkiewicz is a Republican donor, while the CEO of one of his principal competitors, C.F. Martin & Company, is a Democratic donor. Martin reportedly uses the same wood, but DOJ hasn’t raided them, leading to speculation that the Obama administration is sending a warning to Republican businessmen that they had better not oppose his re-election, lest they face criminal investigations. Normally such speculation would not be credible, but Eric Holder has politicized the Department of Justice to a point where such questions must be taken seriously.

Posted by: Ace at 08:03 AM | Comments (294)
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Another Shock: Obama's White House Reassigns Acting ATF Director Ken Melson
— Ace

You might think he was reassigned because of the Gunwalker scandal.


More likely, it's because he was testifying to Congress about the Gunwalker scandal.

Based on the vague title, it sounds like the new job is a demotion.

ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson is being moved out of the top job at the Bureau, ATF Special Agents in Charge announced during a conference call with reporters today. He will transfer to the Justice Department and assume the position of senior advisor, Office of Legal Programs.

Senior "advisor"? Office of Legal Programs?

From a description of the office in a job-vacancy advertisement, I find this:

The Office of Legal Programs and Policy supports the United States Attorneys' Offices by administering programs and providing policy guidance and support for long-term and ongoing issues. As part of the Office of Legal Programs and Policy, the Legal Programs Staff provides support in the areas of affirmative civil enforcement, appellate issues, health care fraud, asset forfeiture, bankruptcy, bankruptcy fraud, civil defensive issues, domestic violence, electronic case filing, and environment.

So it's a back-office support thing, and Melson will be an "advisor" to it.

Melson's move is another in a number of high-level personnel shifts, as the Inspector General continues investigating the so-called gunwalker scandal at the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

The "so-called gunwalker scandal." Neither word is a "so-called" thing. It was a gunwalking program, and it is a scandal.

CBSNews isn't sure about one of those so-called "words," though.

Posted by: Ace at 07:47 AM | Comments (76)
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Shock: Mental Illness Linked To Global Warming
— Ace

You had me at "Mental illness linked to global warming."

Okay, tell a lie, I changed the headline slightly: It's actually "Mental Illness rise linked to climate." I guess they caught the unfortunate implication of writing the headline in the way I'd prefer.

RATES of mental illnesses including depression and post-traumatic stress will increase as a result of climate change, a report to be released today says.

It's 0.1 degrees warmer this August then it was in August 15 years ago. Life makes no sense anymore.

The paper, prepared for the Climate Institute, says loss of social cohesion in the wake of severe weather events related to climate change could be linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and substance abuse.

As many as one in five people reported ''emotional injury, stress and despair'' in the wake of these events.

I'm going to diverge from this article for a moment.

In that Daily Beast article claiming that Hurricane Irene was "amped up" by global warming, the author made this claim:

Every kind of natural system is amped up, holding more power—about ¾ of a watt extra energy per square meter of the Earth’s surface, thanks to the carbon we’ve poured into the atmosphere.

ArthurK writes:

¾ of a watt? Is that a lot?

The Sun's rays are attenuated as they pass through the atmosphere, thus reducing the insolation at the Earth's surface to approximately 1,000 watts per square meter for a surface perpendicular to the Sun's rays at sea level on a clear day.

Do The Math. 0.75 watts / 1,000 watts. That's what the Global Warming Cultist thinks is a World Ending Catasrophe!

You say that, Arthur, but that 3/4 of a watt is joining the chorus of voices in my head urging me to kill... kill... kill...

Okay, back to "Global warming causes mental illness."

The report, A Climate of Suffering:

You know they all high-fived each other when they came up with that.

[title continues] The Real Cost of Living with Inaction on Climate Change, called the past 15 years a ''preview of life under unrestrained global warming''.

The past 15 years have featured some hot weather, some cold weather, some dry weather, and some wet weather, which of course you know is the perfect environment for the government-engineered brain-mites boring into my skull to report my thoughts to the Postmaster General.


The report also looks at mental health in the aftermath of major weather events possibly linked to climate change.

It shows that one in 10 primary school children reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in the wake of cyclone Larry in 2006. More than one in 10 reported symptoms more than three months after the cyclone.

As you know, cyclone Larry was the first reported cyclone in the history of Australia. They had to invent an entirely new word, "cyclone," to describe this unprecedented event, and then invented a new name, "Larry," from the Greek for "first of its kind."

I disagree with the premise. Global warming doesn't cause lunacy. The lunacy is pre-existing, and seizes upon global warming as a focus for paranoid delusions, neuroses, and apophenia.

Thanks to RobertG.

Posted by: Ace at 07:05 AM | Comments (153)
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Grading Obama's Post-Graduate Writing Ability
— Ace

Given that Obama's actual grades are hidden in some cavernous government warehouse containing the Ark of the Covenant, Jack Cashill grades a letter Obama wrote while serving as President of the Harvard Law Review.

As background, everyone on a law review has one title in common: Editor. Usually the person elected to head the review is called "Editor in Chief." (At Harvard, apparently it's "President.") That's not just a made-up title; everyone on law review is an editor. That's what the job is: Those serving on law review edit the articles submitted to the journal to ready them for publication.

I stress this isn't just some made-up title that has survived from antiquity but has no real meaning in the current day. Everyone on law review really, actually, truly is an editor, tasked with putting together and editing their publication -- the law review itself, a book of articles on law, reviews of legal-oriented books, notes on breaking cases -- and then shepherding it to the printer.

It's not the case that this is just a formality; it's not the case that the students on law review just have an honorary title, while actual professors, or some hired staffers, do the work. Nope. If you're on law review, you are actually an editor, just the same as an editor at any other publication. You have a part-time unpaid job at law review.

Clean up grammar, patrol for ambiguity, rewrite for clarity, check for accuracy, and, where possible, shorten and condense: that's the job. Now the preceding over-write should indicate that I wasn't actually a very good at that shorten and condense part, but still. (Boston Irish had a saying: Three words -- editors edit.)

So how did Barack Obama, President of the editors at the top-ranked law review in the country (or, if not top-ranked, top two or three) when writing his own brief letters for publication?

Given his performance in the Oval Office, he did pretty much as you'd expect.

Read the whole thing; not only does he repeatedly make grammatical errors in a letter intended for publication, but he writes this senseless sentence, senseless because he ends it with a baffling clause that seems to be missing a verb.

"No editors on the Review will ever know whether any given editor was selected on the basis of grades, writing competition, or affirmative action, and no editors who were selected with affirmative action in mind."

Emphasis added -- Obama wasn't italicizing his own mistakes.

He also can't seem to get the plural/singular noun-verb agreement right in multiple whiffs at the ball. At law review during my years you got a Little Blue Book Bluebook. I forget who published it -- maybe MLA? Not sure. (Turns out, ironically -- it's published by the Harvard Law Review Association.)

But that little book contained the proper rules to correct all of the little errors people make while writing.

Did he not have such a Little Blue Book? Because I guarantee him that he would have discovered the rule for verb-subject agreement for words like "half" had he just flipped through the first twenty pages of it.

Or was he just lazy?

Before serving as President -- a managerial position, chiefly -- in his third year, he would have served as just a gruntwork editor his second year. Did he not learn the rules of verb-subject agreement that second year as an editor, at least?

Or did he just forget them a year later?

One thing that's sort of admirable from Obama is a quote in which he acknowledges the possibility that he "undoubtedly" benefited from Affirmative Action policies. Well, as Cashill notes, at this time the Harvard Law Review had just instituted AA policies a couple of years before, which is, if I can borrow Obama's word, "undoubtedly" how he made the cut, given the hash he makes of standard English grammar.

If even Obama states that he "undoubtedly" benefited from Affirmative Action, is no one else permitted to do likewise? Is it racist to state what Obama has stated himself? Is Obama racist?

This is the weird double-standard liberals impose for discussing Affirmative Action. They proudly proclaim how effective it is in promoting minorities who otherwise might have not gotten a job or gotten into a school (or got a very high honor at a school, like law review). They praise each other for their success in Affirmative Action admissions and placements.

But the moment a conservative tries to say pretty much the damn same thing, they shout "racism!"

But this isn't really about affirmative action per se. With the media asking "Is Rick Perry dumb?" (and "Is every other Republican candidate except Jon Huntsman dumb?"), it's a very legitimate question to ask "Is Obama dumb, or, if not quite dumb, at least far less the scholarly renaissance man the media has claimed he was?"

The media has told the tale of Obama's brilliance based on two main data points: That he was on the Law Review at Harvard (and was elected President, but that is usually strongly influenced by popularity), and that he wrote the "brilliant" Dreams from My Father.

But he seems to have gotten on Law Review thanks to Harvard's then-recently implemented AA policy -- some students would get on the typical way, a combination of grades and writing assignment scores, and other students would then be selected from a pool in which race or physical handicap could be considered -- and suffice to say that there are questions about who actually wrote Dreams from My Father.

So: Is Obama dumb?

Not-so-ironically, the very letter Obama so artlessly wrote explains why this question is forbidden. Obama was responding to someone who suggested the AA policies might "stigmatize" minority students; Obama's response (to the extent we can divine meaning from his gibberished version of English) is that we should simply hector and shut up anyone who might think in such a manner, thus stopping the stigma through moral scolding.

Seems to have worked.

Thanks to Ben, and others.

Correction (?): Commenters are telling me the Little Blue Book -- which isn't what it's called; it's the "Bluebook" -- deals with citations format, not questions of grammar.

I don't think they're right, but I could be wrong. I thought the first chapter or two was on the topic of frequently made errors -- things like "Is the word 'none' singular or plural?"

Like "Ham and eggs." Is Ham and Eggs a unit, considered singular, or read as a collection of plural things, and hence plural? (I think that one depends on particular usage but in most cases it's singular, as people use it.)

I thought the Bluebook covered that stuff.

At any rate, there would be some book issued (or required for purchase, rather) that would cover basics of grammar.

Posted by: Ace at 05:55 AM | Comments (359)
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Horrible Childhood Open Thread [krakatoa]
— Open Blogger

I know. We all had to walk 3 miles, in the snow, uphill every day we wanted to go watch pR0n in the library.

We all had to deal with being grounded (if we were lucky!), or suffered corporal punishments that didn't come close to meeting the piddling crime such as tying your sibling(s) to a large dog of questionable social skills.

But you don't have anything on poor Stephen the second, & Kathryn, who, after years of just inhuman acts of parenting were forced to sue their Ogre of a mother.

The alleged offenses include failing to take her daughter to a car show, telling her then 7-year-old son to buckle his seat belt or she would contact police, "haggling" over the amount to spend on party dresses and calling her daughter at midnight to ask that she return home from celebrating homecoming.

One of the most dastardly exhibits filed in the case was a birthday card mother Garrity sent to her son, who now claims:

the card was "inappropriate" and failed to include cash or a check...

...On the front of the American Greetings card is a picture of tomatoes spread across a table that are indistinguishable except for one in the middle with craft-store googly eyes attached.

"Son I got you this Birthday card because it’s just like you ... different from all the rest!" the card reads. On the inside Garrity wrote "Have a great day! Love & Hugs, Mom xoxoxo."

x. o.

Your honor, I rest my case.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 05:51 AM | Comments (117)
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DOOM: Will the last one out please turn off the lights?
— Monty


Pensions - a gradual catastrophe.

Drowning in the regulatory flood.

The US Postal Service: paying fewer workers to do nothing. I guess that's progress, in a way.

Recession: right here, right now. Tracking the beginning and ending of most recessions is generally difficult until after the fact, but given our anemic 1% GDP "growth" in the last quarter, and the lackluster performance in the current quarter, it wouldn't surprise me at all to find that we're already in recession, and have been since the beginning of summer. (Or I guess we could use a more pleasant euphemism like "economic contraction".)

More “green” fail on the way. I always figured the "green mafia" would use the Administration's jobs rhetoric to advance their pet causes, and so it has proven. The inevitable result has been failure, waste, and a complete lack of accountability. We'd have done better to just burn the money up in a fire -- at least that way it would be generate some light and heat.

Give Marx a chance to save the world economy, you wingnuts! A lot of people who ought to know better are heralding the end of the capitalist system. My response is: capitalism is doing just fine, thank you; the problem is with cronyism, bloated government, and a citizenry who have become far too dependent on the welfare state.

Gretchen Morgenson: The rescue that missed Main Street.

Can we do “government stimulus” without adding debt? Money quote (literally):

In reality, stimulus can easily take a balanced budget form: The government can simply raise taxes and raise expenditures by the same amount.
TAX! TAX LIKE THE WIND, BABY! And the government has such a great record of limiting their spending to their income... Also:
Every dollar of increased taxes could go toward giving someone extra income. (Though it's true that the people who would see their taxes increased the most are not likely to be the same people who would see their income increased.)
This is what is known as a “transfer payment”, kids. Or as I call it, “welfare”.

From the WSJ, a primer on the national debt. (Yes, Virginia, interagency debt is still debt.)

Natural disasters and payday lending.

Remember when I said that Germany was likely to choose “sound money” over “fiscal union”? Yeah.

The housing market is still in the dumper. And it will stay there until everyone accepts the fact that the housing stock is going to have to find an accurate market value. The more we try to prop up prices or figure out wild-eyed ideas on how to bail out mortgagees, the longer it will take.

Irene storm-damage costs: $7B to $20B. So a probable cost is probably around $12B.

Kling: The era of expert failure. We have been spectacularly badly-served by the so-called "economic experts" in this country, going back for almost our entire history. The real mystery is why we keep listening to them.

The great political migration. Having made their own states into high-tax, sclerotic, deeply indebted hellholes, citizens are now fleeing to the red states. (As an aside, this is another way in which over-generous public-sector pensions burn taxpayers -- often, the pensioner doesn’t even live in the municipality or state whose taxpayers are funding his retirement, thus negating the “pensioners contribute to the economy too!” argument.)

Why Obama can’t support a real jobs program.

Nashville or Nuremberg? Hyperbolic, but as a guitar player, this whole thing just makes me sick. Michael Barone calls this sort of thing “gangster government” -- Holder seems to have learned his craft from Russia’s Vladimir Putin. (If only they’d investigated “gunwalker” like this!)

Barone: The price of entitlements.

Have all the Keynesian Klowns used up their tricks? Is the audience getting restless? Let’s bring in another graduate of the Keynes Klown Kollege and see how he does!

Have no fear, San Franciscans: your city government knows how to spend your money better than you do.

A pension battle a-brewin’ in the Lone Star state. Where is Ranger Walker and his mighty roundhouse kick when you need him?

CalPERS: "Yeah, our rate-of-return calculations are pretty much total bullshit. Complete fantasy. An exercise in fever-dream imagination. So -- our bad. But we're stuck with it, so the taxpayers will just have to bend over and get ready for the hosing of a lifetime. Sorry about that." (Paraphrase)

UPDATE 1: Slublog sends this one -- "On Jobs, Time to Be Bold". If Obama keeps "pivoting to jobs" like this, we can just hook him up to a turbine and generate electricity that way. All that pivoting could light up the eastern seaboard for a month. Here's the winning message Robinson wishes Obama to send:

Obama can quite likely win by convincing voters that even if they're unhappy with his economic policies, the nation is better off sticking with him -- because any of the Republican candidates is likely to make things much worse.'s basically, "Yeah, I suck, but they suck worse!"? Well...good luck with that.

UPDATE 2: The IBD isn't impressed with Obama's Krueger pick: "Krueger's Keynesian Leftovers". The ultimate failure is Obama's, of course; his only response to failure is to do even more of what has already failed. It's what happens when you let ideology trump reality.

Posted by: Monty at 03:57 AM | Comments (200)
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Ann Walsh Bradley is a Decidedly Unjust Justice
— Gabriel Malor

The investigative file on the Wisconsin Supreme Court Prosser/Bradley altercation was released last week. It makes clear that this should have been called just the "Bradley altercation." Justice Bradley's claim against Justice Prosser was entirely fictional. She made it up.

Justice Bradley charged at Prosser. Justice Bradley raised her fist to him. Justice Bradley had to be restrained by a third Justice to keep her off of Prosser. All interviewees, including Bradley, told investigators that Prosser's part was simply to raise his hands in self-defense. The so-called "chokehold" that Bradley told the press about (but not the police, notably) never happened.

William Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection has a definitive review of the investigative file. Read it. Bradley apparently had no problem lying to journalists to try and destroy Prosser's career. No doubt she wanted sympathy from credulous partisans after her embarrassing and unprofessional attack on Prosser.

And she's not letting a little thing like the truth stop her now. Jacobson notes:

Bradley has continued to use the theme of workplace safety even after the charges were dropped against Prosser, in this statement she released:

This is and remains an issue of workplace safety.

My focus from the outset has not been one of criminal prosecution, but rather addressing workplace safety….

I well understand the difficulty of gaining any criminal conviction. The prosecution’s burden of proof is very heavy, as it should be….

With the potential for prosecution now eliminated, I will renew my efforts to seek the cooperation of my colleagues on the court to resolve this progressive workplace safety issue.

Why, yes, it is a progressive workplace safety issue. It's quite clear that Justice Bradley and her anger management issues are the source of the Wisconsin Supreme Court's progressive risk of physical altercation. Bradley has no self-control and is a danger to her colleagues, her clerks, and her staff. Certainly if I were clerking for her, I'd never let myself be alone in a room with her with the door closed. There's no telling what physical abuses she would resort to. Worse, she has no compunctions about lying about it afterwards.

Prosser's only saving grace was that Bradley lost control in a room crowded with witnesses.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 02:27 AM | Comments (78)
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Top Headline Comments 8-30-11
— Gabriel Malor

Tell me that you'll open your eyes.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:51 AM | Comments (58)
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August 29, 2011

Random Thought/Question
— Ace

Is there a word -- maybe a German word, because they have a word for everything -- meaning "the pleasure experienced from hearing again something you already knew?"

If not, there should be.

I used to watch the same three documentaries on Boston's Big Dig, a few times each. It didn't bother me that I'd already heard it all before. That actually became the good thing -- it was nice that I'd heard it all before.

Take Shark Week. I'm thinking most guys who watch Shark Week know most of the shark trivia they're going to hear. But they love it just the same. Or maybe because it's the same.

This might be more common with men, who are known to watch the same movies or TV episodes repeatedly. Why is awesome the hundredth time John McClane shoots Hans Gruber? I don't know, it just is. It's comforting, maybe.

Posted by: Ace at 07:13 PM | Comments (177)
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Wikileaks Releases Thousands Of Cables Containing Unredacted Names of Agents and Sources
— Ace

Supposedly, this was an accident; supposedly, they never intended to out agents and sources.

But they did.

The release of the file could potentially endanger the informants mentioned in the documents, many of whom live in countries whose governments are hostile to the US. The confidential diplomatic cables were redacted before publication to protect sources, but the file on the Internet contains the original, unedited documents.

Supposedly it happened like this: Supporters of Wikileaks posted what they thought was just an archive of already-published leaks, but the original, unredacted material was posted with it in a hidden file.

Then another Wikileaks person posted the password to read that file, not realizing the hidden file was publicly available.

Whatever their stories are, they should be arrested. Finally.

They have leaked information which result in deaths. Whether they did this deliberately, and contrived some cover story of a "slip-up," or they are just a bunch of arrogant prats who are playing a game of wannabe secret agents and screwed up anything as could have been easily predicted, it doesn't matter.

They took all the steps that led to this deliberately, and with malice.

Posted by: Ace at 05:08 PM | Comments (154)
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The Rod Serling Economy [ArthurK]
— Open Blogger

Here's President Obama talking the Economy with Brian Williams.

Obama: Well, look, we anticipated that the recovery was slowing. The economy is still growing, but it’s not growing as fast as it needs to. I’ve got things right now in - before Congress that we should move immediately, and I’ve said so before I went on vacation and I’ll keep on saying it when I - now that I’m back. We should be passing legislation that helps small businesses get credit, that eliminates capital gains taxes so that they have more incentive to invest right now. There are a whole host of measures that we could take, no single element of which is a magic bullet, but cumulatively could start continuing to build momentum for the recovery.

(click the link to view the one minute video)

After the break, the Twilight Zone like twist!


Posted by: Open Blogger at 04:55 PM | Comments (48)
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