Early Morning Thread 4/25/15 [krakatoa]
55 minutes ago
We are talking about a persistent and shared political-ideological alliance between President Obama and the complex of community, labor, and party organizations controlled by ACORN. (See especially "Life of the New Party" for more on New Party ideology.)
While America is fortunate to have many great private universities, we do not need to add to the list by privatizing Berkeley, Illinois, Rutgers, etc. On the contrary, we need to keep our public research and teaching universities excellent and accessible to the vast majority of Americans.I might be convinced as long as the educational products, namely classes, that these public universities are producing are recorded and made freely available on YouTube or a similar service. I'd recommend using open source textbooks too. Heck, if a textbook is written by a university professor on the taxpayer dime, shouldn't it be made available electronically for free?
...the federal government should create a hybrid model in which a limited number of our great public research and teaching universities receive basic operating support from the federal government and their respective state governments. Washington might initially choose a representative set of schools, perhaps based on their research achievements [ed: favor past performance and pedigree], their success in graduating students [ed: encourage grade inflation], commitment to public service [ed: genuflect to the almighty Godverment] and their record in having a student body that is broadly representative of society [ed: encourage implicit quota systems].Wait, it gets better....
Philanthropy must continue to be an important resource. To ensure stability, the federal government should agree to match, at a rate of 2-to-1, and the state government at 1-to-1, private endowment funds raised by these public universities for 10 years. If such a public-private partnership raised private philanthropy of $150 million per year, the university would have $6 billion contributed toward a new endowment at the end of 10 years.Ok. Give a dollar to a public university, DC will pitch in two more and your state will add another. Give a dollar to a private college, and that college wont get any matching support from the national and state governments. Someone that makes a large donation to a university often gets to direct those funds (see: Glassboro State College). So, the proposed system enables the most generous donors to marshal taxpayer dollars for the donor's pet project(s) at the public university while smaller donors will still have little say.
CQ POLITICS: A GOP Challenge for West Virginia Rep. Mollohan. “West Virginia Democratic Rep. Alan B. Mollohan, who was unopposed in his last re-election campaign, has drawn a 2010 challenge from a Republican state legislator.” Personally, I think that no incumbent should run unopposed.Personally, I think that no incumbent should run.
In a letter appearing in Sunday’s Washington Times, protectionist William Hawkins accuses Adam Smith of being “dreadfully wrong” to insist that the ultimate goal of economic activity is consumption rather than production.I wonder if the language lends itself to this sort of misunderstanding. An economy grows when productivity increases, but if the added capacity only goes to fill warehouses, then the gross national product (GNP) will eventually have to fall... until those warehoused goods are consumed. I would say that production must be informed by consumption. It is the consumption of goods and services at some rate and at a mutually agreed price that conveys to the producer whether more (or less) goods and services can profitably be produced.
Alas, the dreadfully wrong one is Hawkins. He confuses means with ends. Flour, sugar, apples, an oven, and labor are necessary ingredients for baking an apple pie, but these means are valuable in this use only if someone wants to consume the pie. If no one wants to eat apple pie, then using these ingredients to produce the pie would be wasteful.
Adam Smith correctly understood that the desire to consume is what justifies production, and not vice-versa.
It would be the first time the FDIC has required prepaid insurance fees. Under the plan, banks would have to pay in advance their insurance premiums for 2010-2012, bringing in about $12 billion for each of the three years,...Now we know why banks aren't lending. They've been hording money to pay for an FDIC shakedown because bailing out the agency that bails out failed banking institutions is less tolerable.
Off the table, at least for now, are the options of tapping the agency's $500 billion credit line with the Treasury Department...
Borrowing from the Treasury could create the undesirable impression of another taxpayer-financed bailout...
Micheletti said he was prepared to meet with Zelaya and a delegation from the Organization of American States, but only to discuss one topic: November elections.
On Wednesday, the U.N. cut off all technical aid that would have supported and given credibility to that presidential race. Conditions do not exist for credible elections, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.
September 22, 2009 – The Embassy of Honduras in Washington DC strongly condemns the use of violence and intimidation by military and police forces controlled by the illegitimate government of Micheletti against the people of Honduras and calls for the immediate restoration of peace in Tegucigalpa. According to reports from the ground, peaceful demonstrators supporting the return of the constitutional president of Honduras are being attacked and beaten and an overall atmosphere of insecurity is now being imposed around the Embassy of Brazil where President Manuel Zelaya is stationed.La Gringa's got some pictures of those peaceful, masked, pitchfork-wielding demonstrators and much more on the violence and who's behind it. I just want to know who's paying to keep the lights on in Zelaya's Tilden St propaganda office.
The fabric is shredded, the steel parts are broken down, and everything is sent off along with the glass to be recycled.Clearly, more regulation is called for: 1) a steel breaking tax, 2) a fabric shredding tax, and 3) a recycling tax might do the trick. Government meddling can always be mitigated with more government meddling—it demoralizes the whiners!
Why all the fuss and feathers? Blame the "chicken tax."
The seats and windows are but dressing to help Ford navigate the wreckage of a 46-year-old trade spat.
On what basis do the Economist.com reporter and Mr. Potts believe that a larger population is necessarily incompatible with the eradication of poverty? The standards of living of at least 4 billion of the approximately 6.8 billion people alive today are incomparably higher than were the standards of living for nearly everyone who lived prior to the industrial age – and the living standards of today’s other 2.8 billion are not obviously worse than were those of the great majority of our pre-industrial ancestors. Yet world population until the industrial age was no higher than one billion.Economist.com and Potts should add Julian Simon to their remedial reading list because people are The Ultimate Resource:
Empirically, it appears as if poverty eradication is quite compatible with population growth, and perhaps even a result of this growth as much as it is a cause of growth.
...Hondurans are fighting back against the misguided Obama administration foreign policy. The St. Louis Honduran community is planning a Freedom Protest on Tuesday September 22nd.We will meet in front of Papagayos at 6 PM CST on Tuesday. Papagayos is located at 6922 Manchester Av, St. Louis, Mo. 63143—see picture above.
PLEASE-- Come out and support the Honduran people.
However, [Obama's healthcare speech] failed to address the reason for their doldrums. Democrats need rallying because of internal divisions over actual policy disagreements. President Obama did not deal with those divisions. When you strip away the setting, the soaring rhetoric, the poetic cadences, and all the rest, you're left with the criticism that both Hillary Clinton and John McCain leveled at him through all of last year: he voted present.
"We're going to be careful not to withdraw too soon," Geithner said. "The classic mistake that countries make in crises is they put the brakes on too early, they reignite the recession ultimately at much greater fiscal costs and much greater damage to the economy. That's the balance we've got to get right."I wonder if it has occurred to him that they may just be deferring the damage without actually changing its magnitude.
PREFERENCES: Survey says… nearly half of Americans want to buy something like the Volt, but do they want to pay? Pre-bailout, I was interested. Now, not so much. And, in fact, the very first comment to this story is “GM can suck it. I’m buying a Nissan Leaf.” I wonder how many people feel that way?A lot. It's Ford or foreign from now on, because the American people will do what our betters in Washington were too cowardly to contemplate: send the
It is telling that so many people who claim to be speaking on the side of Truth, Justice, and the American Way of Journalism have consistently focused their outrage-o-meters at individual townhall attendees, political broadcast entertainers, and the lesser lights of a lame (if resurgent-by-default) opposition party, while letting walk nearly fact-check-free the non-irrelevant occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. If calling out lies and misrepresentations about a significant policy proposal is such pressing journalistic business—and it should be!—you'd think the watchdogs might start with the guy doing the proposing.I have to admit that I sometimes hope for a media bailout so more people will realize that they're government stooges and propagandists.
If you said "a homeland security database", then you're right!
- Credit card number and expiration (really)
- IP address used to make web travel reservations
- Hotel information and itinerary
- Full Name, birth date and passport number
- Full airline itinerary, including flight numbers and seat numbers
- Cruise ship itinerary
- Phone numbers, incl. business, home & cell
- Every frequent flyer and hotel number associated with the subject, even ones not used for the specific reservation
Even though thousands upon thousands turned up at town halls over the summer to voice opposition, even though the polls show that the overwhelming majority of Americans not only oppose Obamacare – but also disapprove of the the way the president is handling the government, some bull-headed Democrats are convinced that they know better and intend to push it through anyway.
It gets better, though: they’re exploring ways to fine you
Another historic, monumental speech from the 44th President of the United States. He's averaging about one of these every three weeks now, isn't he?
...I think this will be little more than a change in tone - perhaps from cool/slightly mocking Obama to angry/forceful Obama. From the looks of it, the President is still planning to make all the same points he's been hammering for months. He'll ask for bipartisan cooperation while remaining cagey on the public option (a deal breaker for 99% of the Republican caucus). He will again insist the time for debate is over and the time for action is now. He'll make a not-terribly-compelling case about how this somehow relates to the current economic morass, even though the benefits do not kick in for years. He'll fearlessly stand up to Republican straw men, who never offer anything except disingenuous attacks.
In a world where theory and political action are all too often combined with the deepest folly, it is a shame to have another anti-capitalist lawyer, let alone an aspiring philosopher, running around. But I don't want to be unfair. If Mr. Steinberg thinks the abstract misrepresents his book, or that I have misunderstood it, he is welcome to strike a blow against consumerism by sending me a free copy."
Democratic leaders in the White House and on Capitol Hill have only recently begun to take seriously the internal divisions within their own party.Jay Cost over at the HorseRaceBlog has a map to illustrate the point, so read the whole thing!
...listening to Friedman and Brokaw disparage the internet as a useless news medium, makes them sound like cranky old monks lamenting that flash-in-the-pan printing press.
This story also points to the fact that the Left-boycott of Glenn Beck was an incredibly mismanaged collective backfire. Even though I haven't even spoken of the boycott here at LCR and hadn't necessarily planned on it, the ousting of Van Jones points to a sweet poetic justice that we all can learn from. You cannot stifle free speech, hear the roar of the right.I'll also add that I did not give St Louis's very own Gateway Pundit enough credit yesterday. He was all over the Van Jones story. Bill Kristol praised him for out performing the MSM.
Thus a "right," plain and simple, always implies some duty in others: they must observe your right through some kind of appropriate behavior or recognition. Thus, if you have a "right" to have a job, it is going to mean that someone is going to have the duty of giving you a job. A "responsibility" is a duty. What we can call the responsibility to take care of one's own interests really means a duty not to be a burden to others, which means a duty not to use them by trying to fraudulently impose a non-contractual duty of commission on them.
The point, of course, is that Obama vetted Jones just fine. President Obama is not Mr. Magoo — haplessly gravitating to Truther Van and Ayers and Dohrn and Klonsky and Davis and Wright and the Chicago New Party and ACORN, etc. Jones is a kindred spirit. Obama knows exactly who he is. Jones was given a non-confirmation job precisely because that circumvented the vetting process. This isn't one of those things that just happen. This is Barack "Transparency" Obama gaming the system.
During the last decade, states increased their spending by an average of 6% per year, gusting to 8% during 2007-08. Much of the government institutions built up in those years will now have to be dismantled.That reminded me of Greg Mankiw's Unit Root Hypothesis. Here are a couple of key quotes from that:
...unlike the aftermath of past recessions, odds are that revenues will take a long time to catch back up to their previous trend lines—if they ever do. Tax payments have fallen so far that it would require a rousing economic rally to restore them. This at a time when the Obama administration's policies on taxes, spending and more seem designed to produce the opposite result. From 1930 to 2008, our national average annual real GDP growth rate was 3.49%. After crunching the numbers, my team has estimated that it would take GDP growth of at least twice the historical average to return state tax revenues to their previous long-term trend line by 2012.
...according to the [President's Council of Economic Advisors], because we are now experiencing below-average growth, we should raise our growth forecast in the future to put the economy back on trend in the long run. In the language of time-series econometrics, the CEA is premising its forecast on the economy being trend stationary.Mankiw's research [PDF] suggests that the trend stationary premise is incorrect:
The data suggest that an unexpected change in real GNP of 1 percent should change one's forecast by over 1 percent over a long horizon.In mid-August the professor added this:
What Olivier is saying is that the shocks to the level of GDP from banking crises are typically permanent...
By the way, the administration's midsession review, with its updated forecast, should be coming out soon. Will Team Obama continue to forecast a rebound to the previous trend path, as they did earlier in the year, or will they change their view and take to heart the kind of evidence Olivier describes above? Either way, it will be noteworthy.
ScentCone writes:It's not exactly news that there are nutters in The ELF. Thankfully, slashdotters provide some great comments. Here's my favorite:"The ELF (Earth Liberation Front) has claimed responsibility for destroying the primary AM towers used by radio station KRKO in Washington state. From their statement: 'AM radio waves cause adverse health effects including a higher rate of cancer, harm to wildlife, and that the signals have been interfering with home phone and intercom lines.' The poor intercom performance must have been the last straw."
The electromagnetic spectrum [wikipedia.org] is not a hard concept to grasp. Radio waves are about the most harmless radiation there is. They have a lower frequency than microwaves, infrared, or ... ordinary visible light. Are they going to blow up the sun next?
Yet another group of ignorant children playing dangerous games in the adult world. Sigh.
President Barack Obama's adviser Van Jones has resigned amid controversy over past inflammatory statements, the White House said early Sunday.
. . .
Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck repeatedly denounced Jones after a group the adviser co-founded, ColorofChange.org, led an advertising boycott against Beck's show to protest his claim that Obama is a racist.