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Christina Romer: Guiltless, Honorless, Clueless September 14, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.

“As a Depression expert, I’ve assured myself job security for years to come!”

Now it all becomes clear. I just ran across this little background piece on Christina Romer, written in anticipation of her talk tonight at MIT.

In 2008, Christina Romer PhD ’85 had accumulated exactly zero policymaking experience when she received a phone call from President-Elect Barack Obama’s staff, requesting her input on the burgeoning financial crisis.

Zero policy-making experience? You don’t say. Sure couldn’t tell from where we were sitting. Except for the completely ineffectual and horribly expensive part, that is.

The article then links to a little anecdote she told to a gathering at UC Berkeley:

Months later, in passing, Romer asked then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel why the Obama team had called on her, instead of an economist with a policy background.

“You’re an expert on the Great Depression, and we really thought we might need one,” said Emanuel.

Kind of a funny statement if you read it sideways.

Now that Bernanke has promised to burn half a trillion a year to shore up the economy, on top of the well over trillion dollars per year of deficit spending, one wonders what Christina Romer thinks she has to say about practical economic matters. If her recent columns in the New York Times are any indication, she doesn’t mind bending the facts into curlicues to try to justify her terrible policies and embarrassing performance.

It’s a fundamental truth that you always get more of whatever you spend money on. Spend money on technology, you get lots of technology. Spend money on poverty, you get lots of poverty.

And spend money on a Depression expert, well, here we are.

The Tolerance of Islam September 14, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.

[A few days old, but I hadn’t seen it.] It always starts with the little things, until all of a sudden you’re faced with big things. Take Spain, for example:

Muslim immigrants in Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the Balearic Islands in Spain, have succeeded in forcing the expulsion of all female parking meter enforcement officers from a city neighborhood that is home to a growing Muslim population.

The move reflects the increasing assertiveness of Spain’s Muslim community, which in recent years, has sought to impose its will over Spanish society on a variety of issues deemed offensive to Islam.

Apparently the tolerant Muslim population has been spitting on, and verbally abusing, the meter maids. The company that employs these women recently withdrew them from the area, replacing them with men.

It’s nice to see that the Spanish aren’t reacting well to this, and it’s nice to see liberals and conservatives finding common ground for once (though the liberals created the mess in the first place):

The move has outraged Spaniards across the political spectrum. Many conservatives, who view the issue within the larger question of Muslim integration, resent what they see as the gradual encroachment of Islamic norms in towns and cities across Spain.

On the Spanish left, which has long promoted Muslim immigration and the multicultural ideal, the conflict in Palma is being viewed as an infringement of women’s rights, which are supposed to be guaranteed by the Spanish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.


Some Thoughts on Power, Revolution, and the Arab Spring September 13, 2012

Posted by Sobek in Politics.

Long, disorganized, unedited mindthoughts warning.

You’ve been warned.


Presidential Projection September 12, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.

It’s hard not to marvel at the unmitigated gall of this man:

“Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later,” Obama said. “And as president, one of the things I’ve learned is you can’t do that — that it’s important for you to make sure that the statements you make are backed up by the facts, and that you’ve thought through the ramifications before you make them.”

I guess he’s forgotten his rush to judgment in the Henry Louis Gates, Jr. case. Or how he pre-convicted George Zimmerman. Not that he doesn’t have a swath of other untruths that he can’t back up with facts.

I swear, every time this fellow makes a definitive statement, you can assume that the opposite is true.

Side Note: I really wish people who were publishing photos of the desecration of the Libyan Ambassadors’s corpse would put them beneath the fold and include a warning.

Watching the Live Blogging of the Apple iPhone Announcement September 12, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.


Since I Don’t Have Anything, I Turn to Those Who Do September 12, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
1 comment so far

Some interesting posts from blogs spawned from AoSHQ:

DoublePlusUndead: AliceH brings up a good point with regards to the Chicago school closures.

The Hostages: Phat sez: “…all I can say is to check Drudge in the AM. More to follow. Shit may be getting Real.”

NiceDeb: Judicial Committee Holding a Hearing Wednesday on Obama’s Serial Abuses of Power

Bring the Heat: We didn’t have a 9/11 memorial post here, but surveying the web, I thought this photograph posted by Roamy was more poignant than any of the written tributes.

S. Weasel has a mammogram, NHS style.

…and one non-Ace blog:

The always interesting Ironman at Political Calculations explains the August unemployment report. [Doubly recommended ‘cuz he’s got graphs!]

Mini-Rants for a Saturday Morning September 8, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.

Well, it would have been morning if I’d finished a little earlier…

The Democratic National Convention: The convention exemplified everything that’s wrong with the Democratic party. In a time when the nation is apparently “losing a decade”; when her people are suffering, her strength is declining, and her financial position is virtually irreparable…

…in this ugly time the Democrats chose to run a convention to make them feel good about themselves. Wallowing in their orgy of self-righteous paens to every social cause, they’ve once again forsaken serious solutions to feed their hollow sense of virtue. Meanwhile, the pain for Everyman continues.

As usual, they’re on a completely unrealistic rung of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and in fact, they’re allowing people on lower rungs to suffer so they can sit at higher rungs. It’s exploitive and cruel.

Fiscal Conservatism: There’s really no such thing. There are those people who understand that on average, income should be greater than spending, and those who don’t. It’s not “fiscal conservatism,” it’s having half a brain in your head.

I hear people all the time say, “I’m socially liberal, but fiscally conservative.” No, you’re socially liberal and you can do a little math, so you reach the obvious conclusion. You never hear anybody say, “I’m fiscally liberal.” People either think about budgets seriously and become fiscal conservatives, or they don’t, and they regard the government as the gatekeeper for manna from some unspecified source. If those darn fiscal conservatives would just lighten up and let more manna through, all our problems would be solved!! But they keep stealing the manna for themselves!!

The Unpayable Debt: I made the point a couple of years ago, that even with the “extreme” cuts of the Ryan budget plan, it would take over a decade to pay back 1 year of debt accrued under President Obama. That’s terribly discouraging, but it gets worse.

You see, Ryan was a hopeless optimist.

Let’s just look at what he thought might happen back in January 2010, vs. what really happened (and is projected to happen):

It’s not even “back to Square 1” – we’re now at Square -1.

Your Friday Morning Moment of Zen September 7, 2012

Posted by Sobek in News.


I think Obama’s about to have his butt handed to him, because he sucks worse than Mondale.

Stephanie Cutter Lies Again September 5, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.

Ms. Cutter manages to undermine herself in her own statement yesterday:

And we try very hard to get it right. As opposed to the Romney campaign, who’ve said they’re not going to run their campaign based on fact checks, which means facts don’t matter to them. We do care about fact checks.

Is it necessarily true that not running a campaign based on fact checks means “facts don’t matter to them?” Not at all. That’s an illogical and unjustified leap, which shows just how poorly acquainted with “facts” Ms. Cutter really is.

…where by “poorly acquainted with facts,” I mean she’s an effing liar.

Contra His Incessant Whining, Obama Was Handed an Economy in Recovery September 3, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.

From the outset, the Obama administration has pushed one primary message to the public. They have never wavered, never faltered, never stumbled in delivering that message, which we hear on a weekly basis. And for good reason – that message has been their sole defense against the reality of our miserable economy. That message is this:

President Obama inherited a disastrous economic situation from President Bush, and only his quick, decisive actions have kept the economy afloat.

To now, the counter argument has been that certainly 4 years should have been adequate for our current President’s policies to have erased his predecessor’s mistakes. But I’d like to make a different argument – one that has a mathematical basis, and which leads inexorably to this simple conclusion:

President Obama and his administration are full of hooey.

An explanation is probably in order. As you may recall, the GDP was plummeting like a stone in the run-up to the 2008 election. It didn’t actually bottom out until the 2nd Quarter of 2009, which is the basis for the Obamian claims that they saved the economy.

But all plummeting is not equal. Your rate of plummeting can be increasing, it can stay the same, or it can decrease. If you look at the real GDP data (thoughtfully provided below), you can see that from its peak in Q208, it started falling slowly, then more quickly, then very quickly, then more slowly, and then it hit bottom and started rising again.

When the GDP transitions from increasing its rate of falling to decreasing its rate of falling, we have what’s called an inflection point [in mathematical parlance, it’s where the second derivative of the GDP = 0]. And that inflection point is where the economy is actually starting to turn around, i.e., where its rate of descent starts slowing.

You can see by eye kind of where that inflection point would be – about halfway down the plummeting part of the curve. But just to back it up with some math, I smoothed the data, applied a curve fit, took the 2nd derivative and found out where it equals 0.

And the answer is . . . . the last quarter of 2008.

Yes, folks, the economy had already started to turn around in the quarter before President Obama took office. The healing had begun before the Stimulus package, and before he started propping the economy up with huge deficit spending.

And by the time his policies did kick in? The economy braked like the President passing a golf course.*

The President has been hiding behind the “It’s all Bush’s fault” defense for four years. That excuse was always pathetic, but now we know that it’s untrue as well.

*A non-racist type of golf course not at all reminiscent of Tiger Woods

Sally Kohn Embraces Her Inner Prevaricator September 3, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
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Sally Kohn, a liberal contributor to Fox News, took issue with Ryan’s convention speech:

to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech.

Oh dear – what are we to do? Well, let’s start by checking out these “blatant lies and misrepresentations.”

Welcome to SUX September 2, 2012

Posted by Sobek in News.

SUX is the airport code for Sioux City, Iowa.  So when someone made a banner that said “Obama Welcome to SUX,” that was just a nice thing to say to the visiting President.  And, of course, that’s a pretty long message, so you’re going to have to make some of the words a little smaller, naturally.  See, this all makes a lot of sense.  And it’s just a coincidence, you’ll agree, that the smaller words are “welcome to,” because those seem like the least important words in the message.  The most important words are “Obama,” so everyone knows who the intended recipient of the message is), and “SUX,” to let him know who sent the message, namely, the good and patriotic people of Sioux City, Iowa.  So again, I’m sure everyone will agree, everything about the following picture is totally understandable and reasonable.



Also, someone at ABC News is probably going to get fired, but that’s probably unrelated to anything.