Saturday, November 10, 2012

Iron Baby

The internet was created so you can watch videos of a baby fighting a stuffed toy.  You're welcome!

And thanks to Pelsmin.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Immigration reform?

Sean Hannity and John Boehner both say they now want to tackle immigration reform.

Cool beans. Welcome to the club lads.

What should this reform look like?

1. an easy path to citizenship for current "illegals"

2. all college diplomas earned by foreigners come with a green card stapled to them

3. a massive (triple? quadruple?) increase in the amount of visas for skilled workers

4. make the process for getting green cards and becoming citizens faster and cheaper

5. a gradually increasing flow of "unskilled" immigrants from around the world

What am I missing? Tell me in the comments.

It would be awesome if a side benefit of Mittens' drubbing was real reform.  But, I am not holding my breath.

I like EVERYTHING about this

I like everything about this web site / blog.  Mostly this particular post, which is a work of genius, but overall.... outstanding.  I don't agree with everything, but I like everything.  Something to make everyone uncomfortable.

Well, maybe not  everyone.  Tommy the Tenured Brit might enjoy the guy in the jeans.  That guy in the jeans, even *I* think he's pretty hot.

The point is that the author of that post is a real conservative, almost an extremist conservative.  He wonders if perhaps Rush Limbaugh is not sound on fundamentals.  If even that guy voted for Gary Johnson...well, then the Republicans have their heads so far up their voting boxes they can't even see a sliver of daylight.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

WTF? I mean, WTFingF?

Fatherhood and Managerial Style: How a Male CEO’s Children Affect the Wages of His Employees

Michael Dahl, Cristian Dezső & David Gaddis Ross
Administrative Science Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract: Motivated by a growing literature in the social sciences suggesting that the transition to fatherhood has a profound effect on men’s values, we study how the wages of employees change after a male chief executive officer (CEO) has children, using comprehensive panel data on the employees, CEOs, and families of CEOs in all but the smallest Danish firms between 1996 and 2006. We find that (a) a male CEO generally pays his employees less generously after fathering a child, (b) the birth of a daughter has a less negative influence on wages than does the birth of a son and has a positive influence if the daughter is the CEO’s first, and (c) the wages of female employees are less adversely affected than are those of male employees and positively affected by the CEO’s first child of either gender. We also find that male CEOs pay themselves more after fathering a child, especially after fathering a son. These results are consistent with a desire by the CEO to husband more resources for his family after fathering a child and the psychological priming of the CEO’s generosity after the birth of his first daughter and specifically toward women after the birth of his first child of either gender.

Nod to Kevin Lewis...

Letter from Hugo Chavez

I have been waiting for a long time, months and months, to publish this little letter that came into my possession.  I had to wait long enough, and indefinitely enough, so that it would be harder to determine just who was the recipient.

A person who is on the faculty at a universidad in Venezuela applied for funding to travel abroad to a conference.  The funding was granted, and the person asked his/her bosses to approve the trip.  This was the letter that came back (I typed it out from a paper original, so forgive the lack of proper accents, and the misspellings):

Republica Bolivariana De Venezuela            (DATE)
Estimada y estimado compatriota
Tenga un saludo cordial y Revolucionario!
    Cumplimos con informarle que su solicitud no puede ser ni sera procesada por diferencias de pensamientos.  Esto es debido a que su proposito de estudio no servira para el beneficio de la nacion.
    Personas de su familia presenta expediente contra la revolucion, por lo tanto, debemos cuidar a la nacion de sus intenciones.
    Le recomendamos que enmiende su vincula con el Estado soberano para poder confiar en las intenciones y proposito de su preparacion en el exterior del pais.
    Sin mas que agregar, se despide ante de Comision Administracion de Divisas (CADIVI)

(Two Truly Enormous Quarter Page Signatures, Obviously Proud and Important Dignitaries)

Now, in my not very good Spanish, here is the (a?) translation.  (After the jump)

BEFORE THE JUMP UPDATE:  Got an email saying that the letter is a hoax.  So, don't go saying "I read this on the internet, so it must be true!"  It may not be.  I'm going to leave it up, though for its truthiness value...

Whoops I did it again!

You know who really won Tuesday's Presidential election?


More people (myself included) voted for Nobody than for any other candidate.

These results show that Nobody has a clear mandate.

Wouldn't it be great if Nobody showed up for the inauguration?

Hat tip to Andrew for the great pie chart.

If Demand is Too High....Charge LESS!

Some innovative thinking from Florida, on higher education.

We'll subsidize the degrees that people already want by charging lower tuition, and tax the degrees that are not popular by charging higher tuition.

Or, is it that employers want people with these degrees, but students don't want those degrees?  They prefer useless degrees, and the state is trying to use Pigouvian taxes to get people to want what the state wants them to want?

Either way, I had not heard of price discrimination on tuition, based on the opposite of desirability of the degree.

With thanks to Chateau...

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

FEMA Closes, Due to Weather

After the Election: Five Things I Think Are True

1.  Barack Obama is a pretty bad president.  Not apocalyptically, George W. Bush bad, but bad.  And he will be remembered as a bad president.

2.  Barack Obama is a pretty effective candidate.  Certainly better than Mitt Romney.  But then George W. Bush was a pretty good candidate, too.  Bush was a failure as a President, and Obama's failures have much (though not everything) to do with his being coopted by the defense-industrial complex and the prison-industrial complex.  There are ways in which Obama is no better than Bush, because he is no DIFFERENT than Bush.  Obama lied about Gitmo, no wars, and drug policy.  Just flat lied.  As a candidate, you can do that.  As a leader...well, he got away with it.  Because....

3.  Romney is the Republican Kerry.  They are both even from Massachusetts.  Kerry was richer, of course, because he slept his way to great wealth.  But in both cases there was a weak, largely ineffective incumbent who had some campaign skills and was not afraid to lie in order to win. And in both cases, the Kerry / Romney character in this little play lost a race he should have won.  And lost a race that a competent campaigner would have won easily.  If you think I am saying that this makes Obama the Democratic George Bush... I'm not ready to be THAT insulting.  Obama is only incompetent and woefully uninformed about policy, and the way economies work outside of Chicago.

4.  Gary Johnson did NOT cost Romney the election.  There is no story you can tell, even assuming 100% of Johnson voters would have voted for Romney (which is asinine!), where Romney could win the Presidency.  Maybe Florida.  But not Ohio.  Romney lost this by being a goofball, not because of Gary Johnson.

5.  Now, it is quite true that I wish that Johnson had gotten 5%, and that the race had been close enough that Johnson did plausibly cost Romney the election.  Because I still don't think the Republicans get it.  They think that people actually agree with their bigotry, their religious prudery, and their barbaric foreign policy.  And they got enough votes this time to allow them to continue to believe that.  Darn it.

The Best is Yet to Come

For those playing at home, that's around a 2.5% drop so far this morning.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Election Day Ritual

It's Election Day!

And since I do go out and vote, unlike some trolls, it's important to have a ritual.  First, watch a beautiful man sing a truly terrible '80s song:  Europe gives us "The Final Countdown."

And, then, since I already had a colonoscopy this year, I go to the dentist to get in the mood.  With any luck, I'll need some drilling work done!

Check the results tonight!  I'm hoping Barbara Howe beats 3.5% in NC, and that Gary Johnson passes 1% nationally.

Monday, November 05, 2012

The election blues

We are besieged by messages about voting. It's our duty, don't you know. It's important, right?

After all, people will proudly parade around tomorrow wearing inane "I voted" stickers and buttons like they've accomplished something.

The closest we get to a negative message is some folks saying you shouldn't vote unless you are informed.

I'm here to say it's ok. If you don't want to vote, don't worry about it. It's not your duty and it's not important.

And I'd say that the more informed you are, the harder it should be to get out and vote.


Drone strikes, the TSA, the Patriot Act, Messiah complexes, the War on drugs, idiotic trade policies, idiotic immigration policies, a huge bloated military, arrogant intervention into areas where it doesn't belong, bills that run thousands of pages long, big policy changes slipped into law via reconciliation, an almost complete unwillingness to face some aspects of reality.

These are not bugs. These are not the flaws of one particular party. These are bi-partisan FEATURES of the Federal government in the 21st century, and few if any will change based on the outcome of this election.

About the only thing this election will settle is where our government will most keep sticking it's illegitimate nose.

The authoritarian streak in Washington grew under Obama and will continue to grow whether it's Obama II or Mittens at the helm.

So tomorrow, I'll be getting quizzical looks and hostile remarks from folks who see my home-made "I Didn't Vote sticker".

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Our "leaders" missed the Econ 101 Prereq

Lots of basic classes have prerequisites.  Why not public office?  As in, you can't be governor of a state unless you have taken (and PASSED) basic economics.

Anonyman sends this delightful tidbit:

Drivers in New Jersey faced 1970s-style gasoline rationing imposed by Gov. Chris Christie, while in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the Defense Department would distribute free fuel from five mobile stations. But that effort backfired when too many people showed up.

Rationing makes sense, given that Gov. Christie has decided to prevent the price system from allocating resources.  Like all Republicans, his authoritarian and life-arranging instincts come out in times of crisis, and like all Republicans he'll make up crises if he has to, justify state control of pretty much everything.  But at least that's possible.

Governor Cuomo just has no conception of how things work, though.  Knowing that people really, really need this stuff, we'll...give it away for free!  What could possibly go wrong?  We don't NEED no stinkin' rationing.  Except that if the price is zero, the costs of non-price rationing are very high.  There is no saving, and there is no reason to believe that the people who need gas actually get it.

And Mayor Bloomberg?  Completely hopeless, a statist to the core. 

Officials said they were trying to get help where it was needed. “One of the problems is that when you have lots of different agencies, it takes a while for them to get coordinated,” Mr. Bloomberg said at his briefing, adding that he understood how high the tensions were in the Rockaways. “Somebody this morning screamed at me that they could not get coffee.”

Because they were waiting for "lots of different agencies" to "get coordinated" to provide coffee.  If only there were a system that would allow people to get the things they need without those things being provided by government.  We use that system every day during normal times, and we get lots of stuff from groceries, gas stations, and drug stores.  But when there is an emergency, we use a whole dog's breakfast of different laws to prevent the market system from helping us when we need it most.

Lincoln Logs

I don't watch SNL, I just rely on Twitter to tell me what's good, and this is GOOD!