Category Archives: Politics

The “big picture” about the election…

For the “big picture” about the election (at least the House aspect), I think the vast sea of red on the map of the US below (sourced from cnn.com) says it all.  CNN is projecting a final total of 243 Republican house members, and 192 Democrat house members.  The preliminary total on election night was 239-186; the 10 remaining contested House seats were all held by Democrats, so CNN apparently projects that 4 of these seats will go to the Republicans, whereas 6 of them will stay with the Democrats.  I think this means that the total net gain for Republicans is 64 seats; apparently this large of a reversal of fortunes is historically unprecedented, as is the brevity (4 years) of Nancy Pelosi’s term as Speaker of the House.  In just one election, we have gone from the House having the second largest Democrat majority ever to having the largest Republican House majority of all time.  (Apparently the largest Democratic House majority occurred during the FDR midterm election blowout in 1938.)

 

Quoting from an article entitled “Post Mid-Term Election Recap: Tea Party Reflects Americans’ Changing Attitudes”, “The office of the President and the majority in the Senate are controlled by Democrats.  The number of Governors and state legislatures has now flipped to Republican majorities.  The country, split between two major parties and a growing number of registered independents, chose a broader sharing of political power.”  In other words, gridlock is back with a vengeance!

  

Capture

 

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Assorted Links (10/13/2010)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading lately:

Christien Meindertsma: How pig parts make the world turn | Video on TED.com

ted.com

“TED Talks Christien Meindertsma, author of “Pig 05049” looks at the astonishing afterlife of the ordinary pig, parts of which make their way into at least 185 non-pork products, from bullets to artificial hearts.”

Google to map inflation using web data

ft.com

“Data could provide an alternative to official statistics.”

Higher Taxes Mean I’ll Work Less

nytimes.com 

“A personal case study looks at some of the ways higher taxes may affect the earnings of high-income taxpayers.”

Review & Outlook: The 2010 Spending Record

online.wsj.com

“The Wall Street Journal on the 21.4% federal spending increase in two years.”

Boehner’s ‘Plan B’ for ObamaCare

online.wsj.com

“In the Wall Street Journal, Main Street columnist William McGurn writes that congressional hearings can be used to sell market-friendly fixes.”

Europe the Intolerant

online.wsj.com

“In the Wall Street Journal, James Kirchick writes that the continent’s progressive image is a fabrication of the American liberal mind.”

NFL vs. ‘TV Everywhere’

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Business World columnist Holman Jenkins, Jr. says that TV’s fight to preserve its power in the face of digital ubiquity may be a lost cause.”

Book Review: Roosevelt’s Purge

online.wsj.com

“Jonathan Karl reviews Susan Dunn’s Roosevelt’s Purge: How FDR Fought to Change the Democratic Party.”

Irwin on France’s role in the Great Depression

cafehayek.com

“In the latest EconTalk, Doug Irwin argues that France played a much larger role than previously thought in causing the Great Depression. We talk about how the gold standard worked and how French monetary policy forced deflation on the rest of the world.”

The Decline of Cursing

online.wsj.com

“Bad words, once glorious, have been emptied of meaning by common use, argues Jan Morris in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.”

The Weekend Interview with Scott Rasmussen: America’s Insurgent Pollster

online.wsj.com

“In the Wall Street Journal, OpinionJournal columnist John Fund interviews Scott Rasmussen, who says that understanding the tea party is essential to predicting what the country’s political scene will look like.”

Paul Johnson – The Quest For God – The ReAL Book Review

torenewamerica.com

I really like Gerard Reed’s book reviews; here’s one about British historian Paul Johnson’s new book entitled “The Quest for God”. I first became aware of Paul Johnson more than 20 years ago, when I became deeply influenced by Paul Johnson’s essay entitled “The Heartless Lovers of Humankind” (see http://www.fortfreedom.org/h11.htm).

The Fed Compounds Its Mistakes

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Carnegie-Mellon University economist Allan H. Meltzer says the Federal Reserve shouldn’t deliberately use inflation to reduce unemployment.”

Diamond, Mortensen, Pissarides Share 2010 Nobel Economic Prize

bloomberg.com

“Peter Diamond, Dale Mortensen and Christopher Pissarides shared the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for their work on the efficiency of recruitment and wage formation as well as labor-market regulation.”

Four Lions: The Absurdity of Terror

www.thepublicdiscourse.com

“In the British film Four Lions, five Muslim men from Sheffield, England—four from immigrant families along with an English convert—seek to break out of their ho-hum average-ness by doing something which they think will launch them into hero status in their community.They plot a terrorist attack in the name of “jihad” in the U.K. In this farcical film, black satire meets terror-jihad and it is a match made almost in heaven. The would-be jihadists, however, end their lives only in tragedy, not in paradise.”

The MBA Oath

www.tutor2u.net

“At a time when capitalism, free markets, corporate greed, (WallStreet 2), bankers’ bonuses, is making headlines, here is the MBA Oath. The oath is a voluntary pledge for graduating MBAs and current MBAs to “create value responsibly and ethically’.”



Joe Queenan on Jimmy Carter’s Addiction to Writing Books

online.wsj.com

“The American people wanted Jimmy Carter out of office in the worst way, and to this day they are paying the price. If we had to do it all over again, I think a lot of people would vote to amend the Constitution and allow presidents to run for five, six—as many terms as they wanted. That wouldn’t leave them much spare time to write books.”

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Peter Gordon's Blog: Interesting analogy

Peter Gordon, via Greg Mankiw, an “interesting analogy” from p. 25 of Paul Seabright’s book entitled “The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life”: “Politicians are in charge of the modern economy in much the same way as a sailor is in charge of a small boat in a storm. The consequences of their losing control completely may be catastrophic,… but even while they keep afloat, their influence over the course of events is tiny in comparison with that of the storm around them. We who are their passengers may focus our hopes and fears upon them, and express profound gratitude toward them if we reach harbor safely, but that is chiefly because it seems pointless to thank the storm.”]]>

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Peter Gordon’s Blog: Interesting analogy

From Peter Gordon, via Greg Mankiw, an “interesting analogy” from p. 25 of Paul Seabright’s book entitled “The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life”: “Politicians are in charge of the modern economy in much the same way as a sailor is in charge of a small boat in a storm. The consequences of their losing control completely may be catastrophic,… but even while they keep afloat, their influence over the course of events is tiny in comparison with that of the storm around them. We who are their passengers may focus our hopes and fears upon them, and express profound gratitude toward them if we reach harbor safely, but that is chiefly because it seems pointless to thank the storm.”

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“What Wall Street Reform Means for You”

Hat tip to my former MBA student, Jason Gould, for pointing out a 3 minute video which was recently posted at http://www.whitehouse.gov/wallstreetreform entitled “What Wall Street Reform Means for You”.  Jason characterizes it as “Wall St. Reform for 1st Graders”, noting that “It is simply amazing that this is how they choose to speak to the American public. A 2300 page law explained in a 3 minute video by the White House. Obama and his staffers must be joking…it is embarrassing.” 

I completely agree with Jason; this video is simultaneously embarrassing, condescending, and grossly misleading. That’s because this is a political narrative designed to attribute blame to the private sector; as if the public sector was an “innocent” bystander, powerless to do anything other than bail out TBTF institutions. Thank God that we now have a 2,300 page reform bill that will empower the federal government to protect us from ourselves!

Anyway, here’s the video:

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