A member, and hoping to stay that way, of the reality-based community

29 July 2012

We have a lot of this lately, it seems.

If money really is speech, it's also just another way to voice one's beliefs.  Yet we have a tough time applying that standard universally.  We're arguing over the meaning of "social good".  The Right and the Left both suffer a version of the persecution complex.  Somehow we need to accept the disagreement and work to find the middle.

From this wall (not for the easily offended).

P.S. Doing this in Paint made me feel like I was drawing with Monty's micro-tip.

22 July 2012

The silliness of the season.

Maybe it's the heat.  Something's gotten to the Rs in their pursuit of the White House.  How else to explain the recent hoo-hah about Obama and the Job Creators.  As Paul Krugman points out, there's nothing but lies in Romney's (and Romney's surrogates) attacks on the recent comments that have been given the shorthand, "you didn't build that."

"This onion structure is why you should never believe reasonable-sounding conservatives who say that you’re attacking a straw man, that “nobody believes” that wealth creators owe nothing to society. Oh yes they do — it’s usually hidden inside a couple of more socially acceptable excuses, but at their core Ryan and people like him believe that they’re characters in Atlas Shrugged."

The distinction Krugman ignores, for rhetorical simplicity, is that the wealthy are not, in fact, arguing that they owe "nothing."  They are arguing that they owe no more than anyone else owes.  Which isn't any less stupid than having them claim to owe "nothing" in my book.

Mitt Romney needs to explain to the American people how many American jobs his money that's parked in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda is creating annually.  Until he does that, I see no reason to listen to anything he or any of the people who support him have to say.  Even after, he needs to explain why simple fairness doesn't require him to pay a rate at least as high as everyone making less than he does.

10 July 2012

LIBOR rates were *self-reported*?

I only just read the bit where LIBOR rates were self-reported.  I consider my mind blown that a government was convinced that a rate that could be written into contracts was based not on the report of that rate (approximately) in the most recent past, but on an estimation of the future.  That's just mind-bogglingly certain to result in the kind of scandal we see now.

This is a perfect and frightful example of regulatory capture gone painfully (for the taxpayers, and the debtors) according to expectations.  I just am aghast.  Maybe something will change soon?

A Republican who (mostly) speaks sense

I have vague memories of his tenure in the House as a Congresscritter (R-SC), but Bob Ingliss speaks some remarkably sensible things in this interview.  I think his analysis of the way out of our economic troubles is wrong, but then I'm well known as a card-carrying DFH, and think Paul Krugman has the right prescription there.

But I thought it was amazing to hear such communitarian thinking from someone on that side of the aisle.  They're usually making noises that have more in common with eating the poor than thinking we're all in it together.