Well it only took 50 games, but the Thunder now have a mascot. I guess that's good news.
The bad news is that it appears to be a Wookie, and not a very macho one at that.
Feast your eyes on some Okie folly, people:
Credibly promising to be irresponsible...since 2004!
Well it only took 50 games, but the Thunder now have a mascot. I guess that's good news.
The Thunder have traded Chris Wilcox and Joe Smith to the Hornets for Tyson F. Chandler.
When I lived in Northern Virginia, the DC folks were always complaining about their lack of Federal representation. They had no Senators and only a single non-voting delegate to the House (maybe the delegate gets to vote now though?).
This is truly remarkable.
Suns management/ownership is tired of Mike D'Antoni's 7 seconds or less and lets him go. Brings in Terry Porter as coach. Porter wants them to walk the ball up and D up. Lots of Suns complain. Management then gets rid of multiple players that Porter doesn't like. And now, at the all-star break, the metaphorical, if not actual, midpoint of the season, Suns management FIRES Terry Porter.
Labels: Doin' It Wrong
My son Kevin, on the tuition hike at UNC-Chapel Hill:
Interesting....more analysis of the Gov race. PPP concludes, again, that I took many more votes from Perdue than from McCrory.
Obama seems to patterning himself after FDR. Between the election and inauguration FDR went on a Caribbean cruise while the depression raged. Obama went Hawaii. FDR had a very active 100 days, Obama has his mega-bill.
Buffalo-area man accused of beheading his wife
Associated Press - February 13, 2009 7:15 PM ET
"ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - A Buffalo-area man who runs an American-Islamic television station is accused of beheading his wife.
Orchard Park police say 44-year-old Muzzammil Hassan told police Thursday evening that his wife was dead at his office. That's where police found the body of 37-year-old Aasiya Hassan.
Hassan is now charged with second-degree murder and police believe the killing occurred sometime late Thursday afternoon. Authorities say his wife had recently filed for divorce and had an order of protection that had him out of the home as of February 6th.
Hassan is the founder and chief executive of Bridges TV, which he launched in 2004 in hopes of portraying Muslims in a better light.
Police didn't know Friday if Hassan had an attorney."
Wow, this is a serious and horrible story but I have two comments and they are the same as Janet's at SCSU scholars. (1) How can cutting off someone's head be only second degree murder? (2) Did Mr. Hassan think this would help the stated mission of Bridges TV?
Kevin Durant has come up about as big as you can on all-star weekend without actually being on the all star team. First in the Sophomore - Rookie game on Friday, he cut loose for 46 points and 7 rebounds. Then in the H-O-R-S-E contest on Saturday, He got behind early but then came back for the win basically by bombing in 30 footers.
Labels: an appreciation
I am not generally a big fan of poetry but I read this today and really liked it:
I am a Hittite in love with a horse I don't know what blood's in me
I feel like an African prince I am a girl walking downstairs
in a red pleated dress with heels I am a champion taking a fall
I am a jockey with a sprained ass-hole I am the light mist
in which a face appears
and it is another face of blonde I am a baboon eating a banana
I am a dictator looking at his wife I am a doctor eating a child
and the child's mother smiling I am a Chinaman climbing a mountain
I am a child smelling his father's underwear I am an Indian
sleeping on a scalp
and my pony is stamping in
and I've just caught sight of the
Niña, the Pinta and the Santa
What land is this, so free?
Labels: The Arts
Here are two short poems I composed.
As evidenced by previous KPC posts (here, here, and here), India is a comedy gold mine. Now LeBron points us to another classic case: Cow Urine Soda.
"The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), or National Volunteer Corps, said the bovine beverage is undergoing laboratory tests for the next 2 to 3 months but did not give a specific date for its commercial release.
The flavor is not yet known, but the RSS said the liquid produced by Hinduism's revered holy cows is being mixed with products such as aloe vera and gooseberry to fight diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
Many medicinal properties and it is often drunk in .consider cow urine to have
The organization, which aims to transform India's secular society and establish the supremacy of a Hindu majority, said it had not decided on a name or a price for the drink.
"Cow urine offers a cure for around 70 to 80 incurable diseases like diabetes. All are curable by cow urine," Om Prakash, the head of the RSS Cow Protection Department, told Reuters by phone."
Snarky observations follow:
1. "The flavor is not yet known". Really?? They don't know what cow urine soda is going to taste like?
2. Om Prakash seems to be suffering from an extremely serious misunderstanding of what the word "incurable" means.
3. Extra bonus, stolen from commenter Lars on Marginal Revolution: "Doesn't Budweiser already produce this beverage?"
Over on Freakonomics, people have discovered the dark side of the Nudge. More companies are putting extra charges as a must decline option instead of a must accept option for online transactions. The poster, Ian Ayers, while decrying these moves writes:
"In their best-selling book Nudge, Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler show that default setting can be a powerful force for the social good.”
So I went all Don Boudreaux on him and wrote him a letter/comment, reproduced below:
Ian: what is the “social good”? Is there a representative agent? Or do you believe somehow that Sunstein and Thaler have been gifted by the gods so that they can make valid interpersonal welfare judgements? Nudge is about getting people to do what you want. Calling it “Social good” is like putting lipstick on the proverbial pig.
If you like it, it’s social good. If you don’t like it, it’s a disturbing evil trend. Give me a break.
hat tip to PR.
Labels: the end of my career
Hot diggety pops! Locopops has opened in Raleigh.
(This should be up at REASON later today. I'll post the link. But, for now, an exclusive to KPC readers!) (UPDATE: Link here! Warning: Don't click on the link, in comments, that Naga Sadow put up. It's an obnoxious RickRoll. On the other hand, if you have never been RickRolled, go for it. You'll have to kill your browser process to get out, though)...
The Mayor writes, after going to a meeting of state and county officials on how to suck down money from the Obama "shovel ready" gravy train.
You are all familiar with Andy Warhol's famous prediction.
Recently I wrote about the arrogance of how the Nudge movement assumes that humans need help but that they, despite themselves being humans, not only don't need help but instead are somehow qualified to engineer choices for other humans.
The Maximization Paradox: The costs of seeking alternatives
Obama sez yes:
Maybe it's just because I predicted, back in December, that Geithner would be the pick for Treas Sec (I'm huge in Brazil, HUGE I tell you!)....
Lots, and I mean LOTS, of IRS employees have been fired or reprimanded for doing 1/100 the wrong things that Tim Geithner freely admits to having done (or failed to do!)
Krugs is right (see here and here ) that many of the things being cut in the Senate's version of Porkulus are those more likely to give a short term stimulus (or avoid a further short term de-stimulus). He is also right that tax rebates and transfers disguised as tax cuts will not do much stimulating.
A test of the representativeness bias effect on stock prices: A study of
Labels: social science
Behavioral economics has never been my favorite type of economics (for now neuronomics remains my absolute least favorite) but I couldn't describe succinctly exactly what bothered me so much.
"Nudging people for their own benefit in unobtrusive ways is part of what the co-authors call “libertarian paternalism,” a seeming oxymoron that links the notions of freedom from constraint and firm, well-intentioned guidance.""Mr. Sunstein and Mr. Thaler say that this apparent contradiction is reconciled through what they call “choice architecture.” This is the deliberate imposition of structure in an environment — etching flies in a urinal — to induce people to make better choices. Consider a cafeteria where healthy foods like fruit and yogurt are placed in a prominent location, while junk foods are relegated to an out-of-the way spot. People are free to choose, but they are being nudged toward healthier decisions. "
A-rod, to the surprise of exactly no one, apparently took performance-enhancing drugs.
Joe the Plumber (hereafter, always, JtP) is going to advise the Republican Senate brain trust. I feel SO much better.
"I shall argue that in ideal circumstances, randomized evaluations of projects are useful for obtaining a convincing estimate of the average effect of a program or project. The price for this success is a focus that is too narrow to tell us “what works” in development, to design policy, or to advance scientific knowledge about development processes. Project evaluation using randomized controlled trials is unlikely to discover the elusive keys to development, nor to be the basis for a cumulative research program that might progressively lead to a better understanding of development."
The Thunder got its 12th win last night, beating Greg Oden and the Blazers. KD had 31. Here are his month by month shooting percentages and scoring averages:
Or, maybe not wisdom. But my views, in any case.
....but rather they are haunted by the fact that you might think they are dumb. No, really! It says pretty much that in a new NBER working paper (ungated version here) by Thomas Dee.
I am a regular Thursday guest on the Bill LuMaye show, on WPTF. Every Thursday, 5-6 pm.
A fine little video on the nice snuggly porkulus.
Wow, just wow.
Senate moderates gathered behind closed doors in an effort to find at least $50 billion in spending reductions that might make the $900 billion-plus package more palatable to centrists. Democratic leaders hoped to pass the legislation by Friday at the latest.
Obama painted a bleak picture if lawmakers do nothing.
In an op-ed piece in The Washington Post, the president argued that each day without his stimulus package, Americans lose more jobs, savings and homes. His message came as congressional leaders struggle to control the huge stimulus bill that's been growing larger by the day in the Senate. The addition of a new tax break for homebuyers Wednesday evening sent the price tag well past $900 billion.
"This recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse," Obama wrote in the newspaper piece."
People, an irreversible recession means that GDP will shrink to zero and the USA will cease to exist. Can it really be that Porkulus is the only thing standing between us and extinction?
If we keep the financial system afloat and the Fed keeps up "quantitative easing" then I think the recession will be reversed absent any fiscal stimulus. Now it might be a long time and a good timely stimulus might well help reduce that time which would be excellent if it's long run effects were not worse than the short run benefit. But, this bill is an ugly mixed up mess of stimulus, Obama initiatives, and political pandering. It's not the only thing between us and the abyss.
Oh, and the pandering is not only on the Democratic side. The Republican idea of tax breaks for new home buyers and interest rate subsidies for homeowners as a way of trying to raise housing prices is borderline insane as Ed Glaeser eloquently argues in today's WSJ.
This recession is going to hurt no matter what because of the collapse in housing wealth and the necessary reallocation of people and capital to other sectors.
Locke Foundation 19th Anniv dinner
Labels: Live blogging
When I was a young assistant prof. at George Mason, we were considering making an offer to someone and the faculty voted not to extend it. Apparently some people were not happy with this result as a couple days later we had another faculty meeting to vote on exactly the same issue. I asked Bob Tollison (the second ball hogging-est social scientist ever) what was up and he told me "we are going to keep voting until we get it right!"
Ladies and Gentlemen, for a limited time only, appearing below the KPC baby is Morris P. Fiorina, the ball hogging-est social scientist ever!
Labels: academic politics
Wow. Porkulus as we know it may be in trouble.
"Then, on a 52 to 45 vote, the chamber stripped $246 million in tax breaks for Hollywood production companies, a measure offered by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), the Senate's self-appointed watchdog on federal spending. Coburn, who almost always loses his quixotic efforts to cut funding, appeared jubilant -- if somewhat surprised -- by his unexpected victory."
"This is a gift," he said of the Hollywood provision. "It's not going to stimulate the economy at all."Last week the WSJ railed against this provision in an editorial.
So, my sister Kathy is evil.
Article from a Duke alum, a kid I had in class.
What does it take to be "shovel ready?"
From his blog, Last Plane to Jakarta:
"You knew when you were eight years old and you saw say for example that there was a villain named Skeletor: you said to yourself, "I bet that is a badass villain because how is he not going to be with a name like Skeletor," and even though he could not quite serve up the whoop-ass to some chump named He-Man like you might have expected given the severe disparity on the Coolness of Names scale, you had a definite hunch that really the game was rigged: and that if the writers of the show had actually described reality instead of some good-guys-rule universe, there would only have been one battle between the two, one which ended quickly and bloodily, after which a barely-winded Skeletor might be seen chewing the gristle from one of He-Man's detached legs while a still-breathing He-Man looked up in horror from the burnt ground on which he lay. You can't judge a book by its cover but judging it by its name is a little different."
"So it is that when I heard there's a band called Vulture Whale I said to myself "self-fulfilling prophecies be damned, a band called Vulture Whale has gotta kick ass." And indeed my brethren the shit is live. They sound like Silkworm. Then after a while they sound kind of like the 3Ds a little. Mainly though there is a heavy Silkworm injection here. That is 100% OK by me. There should be more bands who sound like Silkworm and less who sound like they think they have something original to contribute to the field of Rocking Dionysiac Abandon. That shit is straight played out, man. Vulture Whale is not played out. They groove like Silkworm and I, for one, will take it.
Why for Willem Buiter, of course. This is a fantastic read. Here is the lovely conclusion:
Man, Bruce really stunk it up. In his defense I guess consider how bad must it suck to have to play "Born to Run" 34 years after recording it.
I have received a warm greeting, so long as I stay inside, here in Orono, Maine. Here is a picture taken from my hotel room balcony (Penobscot river, looking toward Veazie, ME)
The Obama administration is chock full of good economists. Larry Summers, Christina Romer, Peter Orzag, and many more. But yet the stimulus bill seems to be largely written by the House Democrats and, as I have noted, is perhaps more porkulus than stimulus. Money is going to favored groups/causes, money is not being disbursed rapidly, and protectionist clauses seem to be multiplying.
My boy Rafa, beat Mrs. Angus' favorite Roger Federer in a tense 5 set battle to win the Australian Open. This clearly cements Rafa as the best player in the world and it kept Federer from tying Pete Sampras' record of 14 slams.
Serena Williams won the Australian Open this morning, crushing Little Marat in less than an hour, love and three. This is her 10th major singles title. The day before, she and Venus won the doubles, their 8th major doubles title together.
I got an email today, suggesting that I should be embarrassed to be one of the "CATO 200." (Link to ad)
Random Friday thoughts, based on the perils of Blago.
I have to admit....I've switched sides. All of my sympathies are with ex-gov Blago now.
It's by Jesús Fernández-Villaverde and it's titled "The Econometrics of DSGE Models" ( ungated version here).
Labels: modern macro
We woke up this morning and the Nadal - Verdasco semifinal was still going, so we took breakfast upstairs and I chomped on my Gorilla Munch while Rafa finished off the 5th set. The match was 5 hours and 14 minutes, the longest in the history of the Australian Open, and it set up the dream final of Federer - Nadal, though Federer will be much fresher with an extra day off and an easy straight set victory over Roddick in his semifinal.
Just ask this good Samaritan:
Labels: Dog bites man