Friday, May 31, 2013

Economic Principals

I have known Krugman for a long time; I admire him. I share many of his convictions. I would even say that we are friends. His career as a journalist, like his career as an economist, has been studded with brilliant coups.

But as in the Little Rock case, he lacks a governor; or, in this situation, even an editor. The earlier episode ensured that Krugman would never again serve in government. (He had done a turn the CEA as a junior staffer under Martin Feldstein in the early 1980s.) This one surely cinches the case that he should never win a Pulitzer Prize. The habitual thumb on the scale has become contempt for the balance itself.


May 31, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Paul Krugman on Debt, but Are Soaring Interest Rates Running Against Him? | The Business Desk with Paul Solman | PBS NewsHour | PBS

Paul Solman: The big brouhaha in economics recently, about which I posted some weeks ago, has pitted Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and others against the famous academic research of Harvard economists Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart, now famously challenged for a coding error and overstatement. The last few days have seen a flurry of thrust and parry, with Rogoff and Reinhart defending themselves eloquently and at length on Saturday against Paul Krugman's recent contumely in an "open letter". The estimable and evenhanded economics journalist David Warsh backed them and blasted Krugman in his weekly Economics Principals column on Sunday.


May 31, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Zumba instructer sentenced to 10 months jail for prostitution scandal | Fox News

A high-profile prostitution scandal featuring sex videos, adultery, exhibitionism and more than 100 clients drew to a close Friday when a Zumba fitness instructor who turned her studio into a brothel was sentenced to 10 months in jail.


Funny, she doesn't *look* like a zumba-instructor-prostitute.--ts

May 31, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

An Antidote to Cynicism Poisoning -

The Benghazi scandal was and is shocking, and the Justice Department assault on the free press, in which dogged reporters are tailed like enemy spies, is shocking. Benghazi is still under investigation and someday someone will write a great book about it. As for the press, Attorney General Eric Holder is on the run, and rightly so. They called it the First Amendment for a reason. But nothing can damage us more as a nation than what is happening at the Internal Revenue Service. Elite opinion in the press and in Washington doesn't fully understand this. Part of the reason is that it's not their ox being gored, it's those messy people out in America with their little patriotic groups.


Noonan is absolutely correct about this. I don't want to be too cynical, so I won't say the IRS scandal will just be swept under the rug. But whether it is or not will prove to be whether the whole country goes the way of Chicago. --ts

May 31, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Best of the Web Today: We're All Fox News Now -

Why the surprising show of solidarity--especially from the Times, which has labored mightily to rationalize away the other big Obama scandals, around Benghazi and the Internal Revenue service? Because they realize the Obama administration's days are numbered (the number is 1,333 as of today). Even if Holder's justice department wouldn't dream of going after the New York Times--and the AP story calls that assumption into question--a future administration might not be so afraid of being seen as Torquemada. So we're all Fox News now.


May 29, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Shop Vacs
Tom Smith

I think a wet dry shop vac is a good thing to have. My experience is perhaps typical. One day in my house I was feeling well in control as the fellow worked on installing a new furnace in the garage. True it was expensive, and I wasn't sure it would be necessary as we only need heat out here in the near maritime desert like chapparal once in a while.  But when it does get cold, it gets cold.  Oldest son was taking a shower downstairs, middle son was reading or something, when suddenly! Yes, suddenly, oldest son came out the bathroom yelling, Dad! the toilet is overflowing! Not to worry; the plunger was at the ready. Except this was no normal toilet overflowing. The tub was also overflowing. Everything was overflowing. It made no sense. How could this be? It turned out, to make a long story short, that there was, or must have been a clog inbetween the septic tank and the house, and that, uh, stuff from the drains were proceeding out toward the clog and then back out the toilet et al. downstairs. I felt a lot of things, but mostly I wanted to cry. I was seized by a deep feeling of immobility not unlike panic. "Grab towels!" I yelled, and we did. "Shut off the water!" I yelled, and we did. This was just the beginning of the long, stinky mess. The fellow working on the furnace dropped his tools and said "You have a wet dry out here. Do you want me to use it?" Yes, yes, I said. Such was a terrible mess rendered somewhat less terrible. The saga would continue through two more notable stages, but let me just confide, when they say you should evacuate your septic tank every three or four years, that's what they mean, or maybe five, but not in any event eleven and a half. You can't use a wet dry vac to evacute your septic tank but it will come in handy if you don't.  It's also good for wood shavings.

May 28, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (2)

House Judiciary investigating whether Holder lied under oath - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

“In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material — this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy,” Holder said during the hearing.

However, NBC News reported the following week that Holder personally approved a search warrant that labeled Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen a co-conspirator in a national security leaks case.


Oops. --ts

May 28, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Europe’s Lost Keynesians by Kenneth Rogoff - Project Syndicate

CAMBRIDGE – There is no magic Keynesian bullet for the eurozone’s woes. But the spectacularly muddle-headed argument nowadays that too much austerity is killing Europe is not surprising. Commentators are consumed by politics, flailing away at any available target, while the “anti-austerity” masses apparently believe that there are easy cyclical solutions to tough structural problems.


May 24, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Roger Ailes seizes moral high ground over Obama White House -

I have been holding my powder on this, because I didn't want to relive the misery I experienced in 2009 and 2011 when I dared to criticize the executive branch for not understanding and/or respecting the role the founders of this country tried to guarantee for the press in a democracy.

But I am going to rejoin the battle, because what the White House is doing is truly in a league with Nixon. The difference is that we now have a dumbed-down, wimped-out and suck-up press compared to the one Nixon faced. And what passes for media criticism is, in the main, even more spineless and pathetic.


Yup. --ts

May 24, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

California Fudges the Math on Obamacare - Bloomberg

The only way Covered California's experts arrive at their conclusion is to compare apples to oranges -- that is, comparing next year’s individual premiums to this year’s small employer premiums.


May 24, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)