Ten Second News (Beta)

Spinning my wheels.

Does anybody else ever have weeks or months where the world seems to push back really hard against your conception of it? Where it seems to shake off all your attempts to impose order on its flux? Blogging has gotten harder for me now that Obama is President. You see, I knew where I stood…

They’re coming to get you Barbara…

Why is it that when I think of people who still continue to argue that the Community Revinvestment Act (“CRA”) played some role in the financial crisis, I think of zombie movies?  This, however, has a bit of a twist.  Any aficionado of zombie movies knows that when you shoot a zombie in the head, you kill it. …

Why I Hate the US Press Corps

After starting the daily briefing with a question about the president’s response to Michael Jackson’s death, the questions for Gibbs quickly shifted to what is becoming one of the most hotly contested sub-debates in the health care reform process. Full story here.  (my italics) Good God.  What’s next—“Mr. President:  What advice would you give to…

Talking Carbon Tariffs

Here’s Paul Krugman, defending the proposed Waxman-Markey carbon tariffs: What’s happening here, I think, is that people are relying on what Paul Samuelson called an economic “shibboleth” — they’re relying on some slogan rather than thinking through the underlying economics. In this case the shibboleth is “free trade good, protection bad”, when what the economics…

Gladwell on Free

Malcolm Gladwell can be very frustrating to read when he isn’t on his game, but I think people sometimes lose track of how fantastic he can be when he’s on. (Particularly when he agrees with me, haha!) In a New Yorker review of his book Free, Gladwell really runs roughshod over Chris Andersen’s basic arguments.…

quote for the afternoon

“There needs to be some form of one of the corollaries to Godwin’s Law that applies to the word treason, in that anyone who accuses someone of treason for non-treasonous behavior automatically loses the argument. Yes, the climate change deniers are, in my opinion, wrong, and yes, they are making all sorts of ridiculous arguments,…

Ricci: An Anti-Business Decision

I disagree with Ilya Somin on the merits of the Court’s decision this morning in Ricci, but he’s absolutely right that the decision pretty well disproves notions that Justice Roberts and conservative jurisprudence more generally are inherently “pro-business” and/or “pro-government.”  The effects of this decision are going to be to increase, rather than decrease, litigation…

Getting Hungry

Yesterday’s heartbreaker and, for Clint Dempsey, tearjerker of a loss may wind up being the best thing that could have happened for the US’ hopes in the World Cup next summer.  Of course, it would have been wonderful and vastly preferable if they had held on for the upset and not collapsed in the second…

It’s not enough…

…but a 150-year prison sentence is guaranteed to put Bernie Madoff away for the rest of his life.  Personally, I think he should spend it in the general population wing at Riker’s Island given the number of lives he destroyed, both directly and indirectly.

Iraq June 30th

Tomorrow is the deadline for the exit of US Forces from the cities in Iraq, as per the details of the Status of Forces Agreement between the (then) Bush and Maliki governments. Peter Feaver, writing in the Shadow Cabinet at Foreign Policy (h/t Andrew Sullivan), opines: Starting this week, the parade of critical junctures in…

what about effects?

In light of the decision by the Supreme Court in the now-famous New Haven firefighters case– or, rather, the decision by our country’s ruling philosopher king, Anthony Kennedy– I think we need to pause and consider effects in addition to principle when it comes to affirmative action and what it has meant for the preservation…

adventures in monday morning driving

I almost hit a deer on the freeway this morning.  Just another reason to bike rather than drive, I suppose.  Even if I could hit a deer with my bike, how much damage could either of us suffer?  But as a co-worker reminded me, a car has the ability to lift the deer from the…

Sunday Poem Series

Kentucky River Junction by Wendell Berry to Ken Kesey & Ken Babbs Clumsy at first, fitting together the years we have been apart, and the ways. But as the night passed and the day came, the first fine morning of April, it came clear: the world that has tried us and showed us its joy…

Loving and hating libertarians.

Wirkman Netizan, a libertarian blog, has posted two lists: reasons to love libertarians and reasons to hate them. Here’s one (two?) from the “hate” list: “The prevalence of natural law and natural rights theory that cannot gain purchase on modern minds; the tendency to argue as if it were still 1776.” It probably wasn’t the…

Ricci: The Whole Story

Nicole Allan and Emily Bazelon saw how important the Ricci case was shaping up to be.  So they decided to find out more of the backstory than the rote facts that appear in every report on the case.  The results? An eye-opening piece of journalism.  It’s tough to read the article and come to the…

Google’s Responsibility

Andrew Sullivan flags a noble-sounding quote from Google CEO Eric Schmidt: “The internet is the strongest force for individual self-expression ever invented. Governments around the world, even democratically elected, have difficulty with [the flow of] information online. Dictatorships and closed communities one after the other will try and shut down communication from inside. Strategies governments…

“Public Choice 101”

Arnold Kling takes a look at the four most significant pieces of economic legislation and regulation in the Obama Administration and sees a pattern.  Ezra Klein seems to agree, and asks: I think that analytically honest political commentators right now should be struggling with a pretty hard choice: Do you try to maximize the possibility…

Daft Draft Analysis

The fact that teams frequently overvalue a player’s potential while devaluing actual production has been amply documented elsewhere, but I’m consistently baffled by sportswriters who exhibit the same tendency. Here, for example, is SI’s Chris Mannix: PACERS — Tyler Hansbrough will probably have a long NBA career. He will collect NBA paychecks well into his…

arrogance

“The religious right isn’t what’s wrong with the GOP. It’s the pervasive, unthinking, unreflective nationalism. It’s the arrogance of thrice-divorced adulterers reaching for the banner of traditional families, and it’s the arrogance of men who prosecuted a poorly planned war, on weak intelligence, presuming to lecture us on national security.” ~ Ta-Nehisi Coates