Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Behind The Music: The Pretense

An underground version of "Behind the Music."

Way, way behind. Or, perhaps in front, or a little off to the side with a small table and an ottoman.


UPDATE! The Pretense video has gone feral! That's like going viral, but with a lot fewer views.

separated at birth?

Supposedly, Fubarak's nickname is "the laughing cow". I don't quite see it but hey, here you go:










Excellent Sarcasm

Here at KPC, we love some timely, cutting sarcasm.

And this is a tasty slice.

Worth reading the whole thing, though it is large.

I have myself thought about price-gouging a bit. Print. / Podcast.

Finally!

Fubarak is out! For realz this time. Awesome!


P-Kroog Hat Trick!

What a great op-ed, a P-Kroog trifecta.

First, and entirely gratuitously, he calls all conservatives racists. Later, he says Republicans want to return to slavery (the "ante-bellum period" is clearly code). This is a total non sequitur, even by P-Kroog standards.

Second, he poops all over KPC-friend "Guido" DiLorenzo!

Finally, it's worth pointing out that the title, presumably ironic, is "Lincoln, Inflationist." Um, Paulie baby, annual inflation from 1862-1866 was 20%+. Yes, in the North. South was a basket case. But North had huge inflation, too, because of (wait for it!) paper money.

Lincoln WAS an inflationist. Sure, there was a war, maybe there were good reasons. But making fun of the idea that inflation even existed under Lincoln is a little silly.

Most entertaining. People used to say that Doonesbury should be moved to the editorial page. Perhaps. But by that logic P-Kroog's columns should be moved to the comics.

Republican Soul

So, perhaps David Lightman was trying to protect me.

I had said that these first few votes in the House are a battle for the soul of the Republican Party. And that's what David quoted, for the McClatchy chain (likely in a paper near you!). Then I switched and said, "No! Say, 'a battle to see if the Republican Party HAS a soul!'" David laughed and said he'd go with the first version. But I'm not so sure. The vote on the Patriot Act was interesting.

This post at Monkey Cage, make a reasonable point, based on this graph:
(By all means ATSRTWT!)
That point is that Tea Party-endorsed candidates are no more likely than "regular" Repubs to have voted no on Patriot Act extension.

In fact, if you look at proportions of the Tea Party Caucus in the House, there are 52. Of those, 44 voted to reauthorize Patriot Act. That's the number those 'Cagers should have quoted, instead of just the proportion. 8 votes! So Tea Party didn't affect PROPORTIONS.

So what is the story? First, the Tea Party affected partisan proportions, back in November. The Republicans have a majority because of Tea Party mobilization. Sure, a lot of members don't caucus. But without the Tea Party, no Republican majority and we aren't having this conversation.

Second, the new House leadership can't count. Why put this to a vote? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad. This humiliation may well embolden those "libertarian- leaning" Republicans to join with the Dems on some other bills, and block the agenda of the bright orange Republican leadership. The story is that a few Republicans bucked the leadership and voted no.

There is a battle for the soul of the Republican Party. The Tea Party affected the election by helping the Repubs get a majority. So the story on Pat Act was, and is, that the majority is fractious. Sure, perhaps not Tea Party vs. Establishment, but Big Gov thugs against Small Gov protesters, with Partido de Te folks on both sides of that divide. And the Small Gov folks won one battle in what is going to be a long war.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

there is no stagnation

(Clic the pic for a more glorious image)

Taken from here, the blog of cartoonist extraordinaire Jason!

What does Egypt mean for China?

Two interesting essays, one by Barry Eichengreen, the other by Dani Rodrik. Both recommended.

The bottom line of both is that China's leaders should now be even less certain that economic progress will be sufficient to keep them in power.

Fubarak gets hosed?

Wow, people. According to the AP:

President Hosni Mubarak will meet the demands of protesters, military and ruling party officials said Thursday in the strongest indication yet that Egypt's longtime president may be about to give up power.

The military's supreme council was meeting Thursday, without the commander in chief Mubarak, and announced on state TV its "support of the legitimate demands of the people." A spokesman said the council was in permanent session "to explore "what measures and arrangements could be made to safeguard the nation, its achievements and the ambitions of its great people."

And then comes the money quote:

Gen. Hassan al-Roueini, military commander for the Cairo area, told thousands of protesters in central Tahrir Square, "All your demands will be met today."


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

UNC v. Duke--Two Ties Day

Annual picture in front of K-ville sign. Note neckwear: I have ties to both schools!

Here is the tent city of K-ville. Doesn't smell good at this point.


Background on K-ville
.

K-ville rules for this year. Just in case "You've never been to K-ville! But you've been to Oklahoma! For they tell me it has snowed there...but I really don't remember."

He Lied and Said He was a ... Lobbyist

Rep. Lee is married, and 46. And a Congressman.

But he lied and said he was single, 39, and a lobbyist.

The woman on Craigslist was not impressed.

Reminds me of the story about the economist. Mom was coming to visit, and economist made his friends promise NOT to tell mom he was an economist. "She would be so embarrassed, so don't tell her! She thinks I play piano in a whorehouse!" You can see why saying you were a congressman was even worse. In effect, Rep. Lee said that he was an economist.

@mattyglesias says: "Not sure I understand what wrongdoing Rep Lee has committed." Dude! Being a pathetic idiot is not illegal, but it is certainly embarrassing. Congressman gots to go.

Mission Impossible Squirrel

CBL Version:


Reggae MI version:


Nod to the LMM

Vile McBride of the abused Ukulele

Six new inches of snow and I am not yet in the mood to finish my paper with Aaron (sorry dude!), so here you go.

1. I love Kurt Vile's music. Here is a video:







2. I discovered Kurt by watching Eastbound & Down, so here's a Danny McBride video (in two parts)











3. This guy is obviously talented but this is exactly how NOT to play the ukulele



What's In a Name

They may want to honor the guy, but not by naming the new Gov Center after him. The name is....infelicitious.

More, and a picture.

(Nod to the Blonde)

Good Advice for the People of Egypt

From the ever-intrepid Rafael Yglesias:

"You don't want to suffer from premature democracy. You might create the Senate."

More here, here, and here.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Different Hues, Identical Views =/= "Diversity"

Interesting that the explanation of "bias" occurs to psych-os so readily, but not so much when it comes to the obvious bias against conservatives.

Or so says John Haidt, in this speech here, nicely power pointed. Terrific talk, < 30 mins. In fact, one of the best talks I have ever seen.

And John Tierney wrote about it, and the New York Times published it. I'm pinching myself. Must be dreaming.

Some little pieces on this debate in which I have had a voice.

One

Two

Three

Four

Five


Mr. Overwater? Thoughts?

(Nod to Neanderbill)

Snow advisory

With another storm supposedly heading our way, I want to remind everyone that shoveling snow is way more dangerous than you think.

Take this case from Tulsa where a guy helps someone dig their car out of the snow and ends up shot, buried in the snow, and dead for his troubles.

People, there's no place to go anyway, just stay inside and wait for the melt-off!

Hat tip to Mungo's nemesis.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Roma Ladrona!

People, Rome has stolen the grand canal from Venice!

If it wasn't true, could Reuters report it?

A mob of his own

As protests continue, Hosni Fubarak invests in his own shock troops by announcing a 15% pay raise for all government employees.

That should help keep them out on the streets punching Anderson Cooper!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

As the blogosphere turns

Jeez. This is a weird mess. First, on Saturday, the NYTimes runs an article called "The lucky break of rent stabilization", which details the ups and downs of negotiations between tenants and developers over buyouts. Then N.G. Mankiw links to it for textbook promotion under essentially the same title, "The lucky break of rent control"

Here's NG's entire text:

For those instructors teaching about the economics of rent control (Chapter 6 of my favorite textbook) or the Coase Theorem (Chapter 10), this article about buyouts of rent stabilized tenants should generate a good class discussion.

Just your typical NG book plug, right? Nothing to see here.

But then, some blogger named Buce just goes off on NG with a post called "Mankiw's luck"


Here are some excerpts:

"Honestly, I sometimes wonder why this guy (i.e. NGM) gets taken seriously, but I suppose I know: he plays into every instinct for smug self-satisfaction that you would expect among cosseted, comfortable Harvard students--and that you would want a proper education to beat out of them."

Always good to start out with some non-germane mudslinging, Buce, please go on:

"Now strictly speaking, I am no great fan of rent control: I think it often does more (social) harm than good. But "luck"? Why is rent control more a "lucky break" than being born blond, beautiful, Norwegian and blessed with great ski-jumping skills? "

Umm, neither NG nor the NY Times article that he links to say anything like "rent control is the only form of luck that the human race can get". I think we can probably agree that since rent stabilized apartments aren't means tested or anything, it actually is lucky to be able to get one. but surely there's more to your complaint than NG didn't provide an exhaustive list of lucky things that can happen to humans:

Maybe I've got other friends who, say, bought apartments in the East 60s back in the Dinkins administration when those puppies were going for $65k a pop, tops. I suppose Mankiw might want me to think that those buyers (as distinct from those renters) were operating out of pluck and foresight and deserve every penny of the appreciation that they've enjoyed. I doubt it. I suspect that most of them were hard-working strivers who wanted to live in a nice place (considering) and got, well, lucky. Does Mankiw spend a class hour trying to delegitimatize their hold on good fortune, to figuring out ways of clawing it back from them?

Wow, WTF is this about? Again neither NG or the Times article says anything pro or con about price appreciation for homeowners! This guy/gal is basically unhinged.

NG must have taken a full Austin Powers right in the middle of Buce's cornflakes at some point.

Ok you say, that's amazingly bad, but hey, it's just some creepy corner of the interwebs, only NG fanboys like me (LOL) would ever find it.

Well actually I found it because Mark Thoma the king of econ blog links decided for some inscrutable reason to link to it! Why, Mark, why? Don't hate the Playa!


All Hail Keith Gaddie

Keith is professor of political science at OU, a publishing machine, an expert in southern politics, a sought after consultant in cases involving re-districting and voting rights, and a novelist!.

People, you should fire up the Facebook and beg Keith to friend you. He has the consistently best FB posts of anyone in my vast network (of 116) friends. Here is a koan-like gem from this morning:

"Anderson Cooper is the little miniature dog in America's designer handbag."

I don't think I've written a sentence that good in my whole life!


HerHonor The Mayor

The coolest lady, the best argument for not retiring, and the special category "Best wearing of a bike helmet during an interview" awards go to...this woman:


Oh, and by the way, the city has zero debt. None. And she's 88. What did YOU do today?