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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Natural Law Jokes

Discovering New Natural Law is like finding your first tautology embedded in the proof of a self-evident proposition.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Headline of the Day

"Gaddafi Bans Journalists, Arguing, "It's worked for FOX." - Alan Borowitz

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Update and New Natural Law Jokes

I'm still working on the development of a "New Traditionalist" position. I've been encouraged by background reading and research, that this is on the right track. The first part is written, but then there are always byproducts:

So, how do you tell a New Natural Lawyer? He's the one who goes to a dialectical drinking party (a.k.a. a symposium) and only invites a liberal consequentialist.


There is nothing to be said that isn't obvious, so I won't add to the words in the world.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

SEC, Fed Waived Capital Requirements in Lead Up to Massive Crisis

Oh, I mean the Nuclear Regulatory Agency ...uh, er ... didn't follow-up or something.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission failed to resolve known safety problems, leading to 14 'near-misses' in US nuclear power plants in 2009 and 2010, according to a new report from a nuclear watchdog group. - Christian Science Monitor

Too much "big government spending", no doubt.

Also in recent memory. Oil platform inspections. And, who can forget the air maintenance shenanigans that took place under Bush?

Space shuttle explosion

I mean, operating a treacherous, high-risk program with business objectives, instead of safety objectives.

Wall Street Journal explains.

The Collective Action Problem Solved, Contd.

There will be no illicit twittering in China.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Headline of the Day

"Japanese Disaster Causes Iran to Back Off Breakneck Enrichment Regime"


Another Arab Country, Another Attack

We're so used to going to war now that President Obama can go off to Brazil and phone in the airstrikes, if any, I guess...

I predict 18 months until we hear the first, "When they stand up, we'll stand down."

Otherwise, if it is to be Egyptian ground forces in support, then thank god that there will be no civilian massacres or torture. (gulp)

If there are no ground troops, then WTF!?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Of Gods and Men, on St. Patrick's Days

Why does the natural disaster in Japan seem worse than the man-made financial disaster in Ireland?

Loss of life, obviously, but otherwise, ...

"Gasland" scares me more than nuclear meltdown

Okay. Nukes are risky. Fossil fuels are risky too, just not as dramatically, in the short term.

I wonder why, when "Gasland" the movie came out that there was no 24/7 coverage of the fact that we are mindlessly polluting America, with the process already well along.

Oh, and Senate 1215, the minimalist attempt to do something, the "Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act"?

Totally failed.

So far as I know, it's still completely legal, since Bush-Cheney '05, to pollute at will, with known carcinogens and with impunity, in violation of the spirit of the Clean Water Act.



Question of the day: is promise of electrical line to slain nuke power plant disinformation?

Without knowing anything, one could guess that, if you are at the point where you are cooling the containment vessel externally by air water-drop, it would seem like any chance at using the regular-way cooling system would have melted away.

FOX "News" Commitment - Where's the beef?

So, does FOX have any staff journalists in Libya?

Their main story on Libya today is a rewrite of the AP.

The Pink Elephant: Our Revenue Problem


most Republicans in Congress have signed says that they will “oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates. -Ezra Klein

The Democrats have no similar pledge, do they?

Hillary Clinton once opined that Dems need the equivalent of a Grover Norquist. One understands the importance of a studious counterweight, but there are few things more dangerous than a man who has only one idea (and we're living the proof of that, right now).


Afghanistan is the longest part of The Long War.

The Taliban had "momentum" since 2005.

When the full, unclassified history is written, I suspect that Afghanistan will look like a bigger indictment of the Bush era than Iraq.

Money-culture Watch

The lingering knock-on effects of our politicians wishing that they could live the 'CEO lifestyle'?

Qien sabe?

Didn't know Ezra had it in him to write like this, though, the bye to Bayh.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Life is better than fiction

Laugh, cry - life has it all over fiction and I really don't know why people watch "reality shows".

Wisconsin Senator's wife joins recall petition and gives protesters coffee and donuts. Read why.

Sheer punditry: Chernobyl happened fast

My take is that it is astounding that the control room folks at Fukishima have contained whatever has been going on this long (backup fuel tanks that went out to sea on the heels of a 9.0 quake+tsunami).

My 2-bits is that Chernobyl happened fast.

If anything at Fukishima was going to "blow" catastrophically, I'd say the odds are that it would have happened already. The longer we wait, the less likely 'massive radiation' seems, to me, unless someone makes the case that the control rods have not stopped the reaction...

Of course, there have been 400 aftershocks, with the latest above 6.0, so...


Felix Salmon has been on a tear lately, cracking me up with "Fed capture watch", but "Sleazy for-profit educator of the day" is nonpareil.

Chris Christie, of course, following the party line, thinks that for-profit charter schools are a solution. They might be. How long until they start to 'game the system', too, though, and have to be re-re-regulated? There must be something better ...

Bob Cesca asks, "can you imagine if the free market deregulatory zealots allowed Ayn Rand to regulate Fukushima?" as a follow-on to "Strict Government Regulations Save Millions of Lives"

Waiting for the Tea Party Bust

The smart money on Wall Street is ready to run scared.

Surprise! No one has confidence that Tea Party budget austerity is going to restore confidence or boost the U.S. economy.

Political Sales: Factchecking Chris Christie

I've looked through his budget proposal. The theme is Reagan-style soak the middle class: NJ is asked to cut corporate taxes and estate taxes and take it out of various other programs.

It appears that his rhetoric needs fact checking.

Monday, March 14, 2011

FOX's small investment in "news"

Yesterday, they got a correspondent to report from as far away as - wait for it - little Tokyo in Los Angeles.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Who is Investigating the Radicalization of Christians, cont.

Andrew Sullivan asks, via Adam Serwer, whether there was a better focus for the hearings, held by GOP Congressman Peter King.

There is another.

What about those who were radicalized and, later, quit it?

Something like Franklin Schaeffer - "Crazy for God: How I Grew Up As One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back"

Friday, March 11, 2011

Appropriation is form of flattery

The half-life of a meme is not nearly as long as it used to be, in today's electronic wonderland:

Now happy "to be free" and no longer "living under the bridge," Cryer assured younger tolls, "It gets better. Not gay better, but sorta better."

-Jon Cryer, having fun

The history of union busting, Wisconsin version

"But there's another explosive provision in the bill that's received little attention: The bill authorizes state officials to fire any state employee who joins a strike, walk-out, sit-in, or coordinated effort to call in sick." -Mother Jones

Of course, if the courts determine that this bill was "illegally enacted", then, just as before when he fired people, Walker will have cost the Wisconsin double, as all those people will be entitled to back-pay, etc...

The Radicalization of Christians

So, Representative King, who is "investigating" the radicalization of Christians in America?

Just sayin'.

Even the well-heeled, intellectual ones are issuing defy-the-law proclamations, right?

'I've been waiting 20 years"

Poor "Senator" Paul is certainly not the man we've been waiting for ...

Perhaps he should have read something, like a textbook, before becoming a U.S. Senator?

He could have just gone online. Heck, I found this one (Baumol, Blinder):

Thursday, March 10, 2011

During hard times, Boehner to Spend Tens of Millions in Legal Fees


In a move that won't help a single family during hard times, Speaker Boehner will direct the House's General Counsel to spend whatever it takes, including hiring costly outside law firms, to litigate the Defense of Marriage Act.

The Congress will not vote on this, so there is no indication that the law has current or broad-based support, even.

Whether Boehner has the authority under the rules to direct the hiring of outside counsel is unclear. Typically, Committees of the House must vote before hiring outside counsel.

There are no special controls on how this money will be spent or how much. No scoring from the CBO of the cost to the taxpayer.


There is no advance, public legal opinion from the House's General Counsel Kerry Kirchner, even, that his view of the current state of the law is that DOMA section 3 is constitutional. What findings of fact is he using to support such a view, in advance of costly litigation? Unlike DADT, there are none written into the statute. His findings and legal advice are meant to be nonpartisan and independent - he's not Speaker Boehner's personal lawyer.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Swimming to Cambodia, Rumsfeld Edition

I have to say the Piers Morgan interview with Rumsfeld was fascinating. At points, he sounded like General Jay Gardner, who was, of course, summarily dismissed. Most importantly, there were hints of fairly wide space between Rummy and the White House.

It's also fascinating that no one - not even journalists - remember or look up the stated objectives of Operation Iraqi Freedom, even as Rumsfeld.com was brought up. Never once did Piers bring up "drain the swamp", either, although other odd misconceptualizations, like "War on Terror", did come up. Odd moral and tactical formulations like 'better we fight them over there, than here' didn't get discussed.

I guess I have to read the book...

Charlie Sheen Thing? Laugh is pretty much over

You have to compare this (yesterday) to the Hannity's coverage today, which was so smug that you have to wonder how FOX stays in business at all.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Over to you, Professor Mankiw

Your favorite book is soon to be replaced by "the language of food and cupcakes".

A new Gold Standard, so to speak, a pun at so many levels of comment/commentary. "Hello, cupcakes!" :

h/t to Dish for keeping eyes on

Teapublicans Determined to Lose the "War on Terror"

The gavel tossing GOP-Tea are intent on radicalizing peaceful people by accusing them all of being radical sympathizers.

It's true. Steve King (R-NY) will hold hearings to help America lose the "War on Terror" (their phrase, not mine).

The "Clash of Civilizations" is just too alluring for some too resist, isn't it?

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

George Will Fails to Embrace the Suck

This week George Will became irrelevant to Conservative politics in America.

He failed to embrace the suck of Tea Party politics.

Apparently, former GOP elites thought they could unleash folks like Rove, DeLay (to some extent), the unvetted Palin, the profane Coulter, and the insidious Beck and the Tea Party side show, and then rein it all in, once they had done their "dirty work", sung their line in the musical narrative, or whatever.


Friday, March 4, 2011

It's Not "Secular Humanism"

... that would or could tear apart the country.


These tea-people all have the same vote as you.

This is what happens when you dip into the forbidden pool, justifying it to yourself as "this is what we had to do to win elections".

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Last of the Conservative Romantics

Are there any left, after being whip-lashed by "neo-conservatism", those who believe that there truly is a 'conservative philosophy' and not just situational ethics, theocratic wedge-issues, and money-politics?

Nothing but "narrative":

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

How to get your groove back on fiscal sanity - fire the tax collectors!

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The Great Litter of Muammar Gaddafi

"Colonel" Gaddafi tours the country in Libyan airforce one, aka "Bumblebee":

via reuters, pic-link

(trenchant historical analysis: this ranks up there, but doesn't surpass, "Arafat stole my gas")

Tea Party Backs the "Bridges to Nowhere"

They just can't stop porking themselves and their cronies. via NationalJournal

I'm sensing a Michael Moore short in all this...

Tea Party Patriots of Pessimism

We all know that the long-term challenges are in health cost inflation, at least as much as the aging of the population.

What is the GOP-Tea response? Is there a great, inspirational "National Challenge", like taking us to the moon? Anyone leading the charge to innovation? A well heeled effort to "Whip (Health) Inflation Now, Building a Better Future" (apologies to the Ford era)?


Their answer, in summary, is to first define who pays (for failure). Wages will be indexed to health inflation, so that wages go down and there is no growing "claim" to redistribute wealth or income to cover health care costs that just won't sit.

Of course, that's the pessimists view of health care cost inflation, right? (It also removes the incentive for those who are best suited to pay for and demand innovation and new methods).

This is why I don't believe Governor Chris Christie, when he pretends he's being oh-so reasonable, by asking for just a small "contribution". Today it's 1%. Tomorrow it is another 1%, until potentially the entire cost is shifted.

If he were really nearly as honest as he thinks of himself, he would explain his position thus: "we are going to cut wages, again and again, because we have no ideas on how to rein in costs and we refuse to raise taxes in sensible ways to cover it, either in the short term or the long term".

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

FOX Revolving Door


They kicked out some commentators, today (Gingrich, Santorum).

As we know, Rupert Murdoch dipped into News Corp funds to pay candidates, "yesterday".

So, off one payroll, onto the next.

Round it goes. Howard Roark laughed.

First stages of escalation - it's going to get ugly, as expected


The Govenor is now threatening fines and taking away parking spaces.

The measure could also force the absentee lawmakers to forfeit their parking spaces and discretionary spending accounts. -CNN

Boy, you threaten a D.C. lawmaker's parking space, right?...

The fact that the GOP-Tea have clearly far exceeded their mandate from the election, judged by current polls, Walker and Fitzgerald appear to be from the rad Tom Delay school of "don't give an inch, politically, or they will make a meal of you".

Meanwhile, I have yet to see a single interviewer ask Fitzgerald, who insists that there will be no negotiations on the bill, why the carve-out for police and fire. There is no principled stand, here, right?

A conflict easier to lose than to win

Are the hurdles to successful execution too high, even if the policy is "correct"?

dunno. evidence.

Tea Party Crystallizes the Ressentiment it stirred up


Who are going to be the objects of the wandering ressentiment stirred up against Obama, the socialist?

With their ill-advised tax cuts for the wealthiest in hand, already preserved, it appears GOP-Tea will turn on public sector employees, but not all of them, not police and fire or the military or anyone elected.

And the ground is ripe. They've been stirring up factless resentment against teachers for a long time, too. (They can join the "lawless, murdering immigrants", I suppose).

How do you know? Well, any solution that exclusively blames the lowest on the totem poll can almost be uniformly understood as biased, right? Fire the teachers, save the students. How alluring. Except, getting rid of teachers at will does not raise test scores, all things considered.

Andrew Sullivan, writing this, should be reading this. Who is going to "fire" the Texas Board of Education? Who is going to "fire" parents? The list goes on ...

And what about the bad cops and the bad firemen? No pressure on them from Tea Party cronies? I'll bet the average taxpayer is paying more when they screw up than for any one teacher ... Why haven't "the military" won Afghanistan, yet? When are we going to "fire" them? We could have rebuilt the entire U.S. school system for the price of that adventure...

How much are we paying for all the people writing bogus mortgage debts and those on Wall Street who knowingly hid the risks? The average taxpayer will be paying for that for decades.

So, yeah, if it makes you Ronald-Reagan Happy to utter simplicities and find truth in them, sure, go "fire all the teachers". It will be morning again in America.


Readers will long remember this blog's affection for the word "cupcake".

Apparently, Glen Beck explained something financial today, using cupcakes. Even licked his fingers.

"Balanced the budget without raising taxes"


The new GOP-Tea Governors' ad for the domineering Wisconsin Depublicans claims that they've "balanced the budget without raising taxes".

Without getting into theory, ask yourself what's the difference between these:
1. Someone taxes your salary 10% for blah blah blah
2. Someone asks you to take a wage cut of 10% for blah blah blah

They did indeed "raise taxes", didn't they?

Raising taxes during a downturn? Hooverville...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tea Party Economics: As long as there is someone paid less than you, you have to take a wage cut

The private market is doing less than ever to provide pension security. In Tea Party logic, this means we should cut wages to teachers, others, and, eventually, cut social security, too. All while passing out breaks on estate taxes and income taxes to the most wealthy among us.

src: EBRI

A View From The Window the Media Has Blacked Out

Panorama of this weekend in Wisconsin. pic-link