Patterico's Pontifications


I’m No Economics Expert . . .

Filed under: Economics,General — Patterico @ 11:36 pm

. . . but I’m a little surprised to see the joy in the comments here over the defeat of the bailout.

This one is splitting conservatives. Michelle Malkin is 100% against the bailout. But there are some dissenters, including Allahpundit:

Explain to me why the risk of letting this thing go off and start a global economic meltdown is better than at least trying to defuse it.


We are in trouble. There is a chance that a crisis will not lead to a vicious-circle deleveraging and halt to a lot of economic activity, but the odds that it will seem much greater.

I’m a free market guy. And I’m a believer that government involvement generally has unintended consequences.

At the same time, without government action, this could be really, really ugly.

Again, I feel essentially unqualified to have a firm opinion. But I’m surprised at how many people in the comments here seem to be utterly confident in their opinion that the bailout is definitely the wrong thing. You might be right. But you also might be horribly, horribly wrong.

Say It Ain’t So: L.A. Times Runs Story Slanted Against Palin

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:50 pm

The word of a liberal blogger is good enough for a lead in the Los Angeles Times. From an article yesterday:

ANCHORAGE — Soon after Sarah Palin was elected mayor of the foothill town of Wasilla, Alaska, she startled a local music teacher by insisting in casual conversation that men and dinosaurs coexisted on an Earth created 6,000 years ago — about 65 million years after scientists say most dinosaurs became extinct — the teacher said.

After conducting a college band and watching Palin deliver a commencement address to a small group of home-schooled students in June 1997, Wasilla resident Philip Munger said, he asked the young mayor about her religious beliefs.

Palin told him that “dinosaurs and humans walked the Earth at the same time,” Munger said. When he asked her about prehistoric fossils and tracks dating back millions of years, Palin said “she had seen pictures of human footprints inside the tracks,” recalled Munger, who teaches music at the University of Alaska in Anchorage and has regularly criticized Palin in recent years on his liberal political blog, called Progressive Alaska.

It’s on the Internet, so I guess it must be true!

Hey, didja know there’s a guy who says he gave Obama a blow job after a cocaine party in Gurnee, Illinois?

It’s on the Internet, so I guess it must be true!

(For the humor and irony impaired: no, I am not saying that what this clearly insane person says about Barack Obama is true. It’s an “analogy.”)

If this nutjob were making this allegation about Sarah Palin, Andrew Sullivan would be furiously writing e-mails to Michael Goldfarb demanding that he deny it, because of how popular Sullivan is and all. Would it be enough to put at the head of an L.A. Times article? Who’s to say?

The article also says:

During an October 2006 debate in the Alaska governor’s race, Palin urged that evolution and creationist ideas be taught together in state schools. “Don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides,” she said.

But the L.A. Times doesn’t mention that, after the debate, Palin clarified that — contrary to what the L.A. Times says — she did not intend for creationism to be taught in the schools:

In an interview Thursday, Palin said she meant only to say that discussion of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms:

“I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum.”

She added that, if elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add such creation-based alternatives to the state’s required curriculum.

In summary: liberal blogger’s assertions: gold. Claiming Palin supported something that she explicitly disclaimed: responsible journalism.

The fix is in, and it’s working.

Uncertainty and the Market

Filed under: Economics,Government — DRJ @ 9:12 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I’m a big fan of Amity Shlaes (“The Forgotten Man”) and she’s apparently a fan of Robert Higgs and his theory of “regime uncertainty.” Here’s Shlaes talking about Higgs and today’s market:

“The scholar Robert Higgs has a concept called “regime uncertainty.” He is one of those talents that just doesn’t show up at the big universities or on big television. I.e., he’s not a star in the establishment chat salon. But if any mind in America has predicted what is happening it is Higgs.

Regime uncertainty basically says that when government is a) doing wild things and b) evidencing no consistency on that behavior the world freezes up and waits for a more predictable master. The blame here will be laid on Congress but it also goes to the Treasury and White House for presenting a highly discretionary plan light on rules and clarity. Hail Higgs!

Until Washington makes clear what it will NOT do the market will continue to punish the rest.”

We’re waiting, Washington.


Quote of the Day Week

Filed under: 2008 Election,Media Bias — DRJ @ 7:19 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Instapundit’s “major newsroom” source: “The fix is in, and it’s working.”


Need a Laugh?

Filed under: Humor — DRJ @ 4:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Here’s an open thread for jokes, and I’ll get it started with a silly one:

“Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn’t find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, “Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey”.

Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

Paddy looked up again and said, “Never mind, I found one.”

Your turn!


With all the major breaking financial and political news breaking today…

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Justin Levine @ 2:49 pm

…How much do you want to bet that Glenn Reynolds gets more e-mail responses to this post than any other on his site this week?

– Justin Levine

President Bush and the House GOP

Filed under: Government,Politics — DRJ @ 2:04 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Bush fired Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld one day after the 2006 midterm elections, and GOP members felt Bush’s refusal to cut Rumsfeld loose before then seriously hurt their ability to retain a majority in the House.

Now, two years later, President Bush floated his bailout plan so quickly that both Democratic and Republican Congressional leaders were stunned. President Bush was apparently willing to trust the Democratic leadership to pass his bailout bill and he seemingly made little or no effort to get prior support from GOP members in Congress.

This gives a new meaning to the phrase “October surprise.”

But I won’t be too surprised if the bailout ultimately passes with only Democratic votes and a full package of Democratic pork and programs.


House Defeats Bailout

Filed under: Economics,Government — DRJ @ 11:22 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The vote was 205-228.

UPDATE 1— Here’s the breakdown from the link:

Democrats — 140 FOR; 95 AGAINST
Republicans – 65 FOR; 133 AGAINST

UPDATE 2: Here’s a link to the House record of individual votes.

Fair or unfair, I think voters will blame Republicans for bad economic news in the near term because of this vote. So unless McCain convinces voters he can handle the economy (e.g., that he stands for something more than earmark reform), he can kiss this election good-bye.


Community Organizers and the Money Lenders

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 11:14 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Stanley Kurtz explains how ACORN and Chicago community organizers like Madeline Talbott, an activist with “extensive ties to Barack Obama,” intimidated financial institutions to make shaky mortgage loans to minorities with bad credit. As Kurtz summarized it:

“In other words, community organizers help to undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans. And Obama has spent years training and funding the organizers who do it.
IN short, to understand the roots of the subprime-mortgage crisis, look to ACORN’s Madeline Talbott. And to see how Talbott was able to work her mischief, look to Barack Obama.

Then you’ll truly know what community organizers do.”

Liberals often compare Obama to Jesus, claiming they were both community organizers. In my Bible, Jesus kicked the money lenders out of the temple. I guess liberals think He invited them in and did business.

H/T daleyrocks.


The Clinton Factor (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 10:32 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Bill Clinton is comparing McCain and Obama in ways that make McCain come out ahead:

“Former president Clinton continued his complicated embrace of Sen. Barack Obama today when asked if he would call the Democratic nominee a “great man” — a phrase he recently used to describe Sen. John McCain.

“Well, I don’t — look, I had my first conversation with him in my entire life in Harlem,” Clinton told “Meet the Press” host Tom Brokaw this morning, referring to a meeting earlier this month with Obama.

Clinton elaborated on why he would use the word “great” for McCain: “What I mean by saying that about McCain is, you know, most people would’ve been broken by what he went through. Oh, we would’ve been happy just to give him an atta boy and a medal and let him wander through life.

“I think his greatness is that he keeps trying to come back to service without ever asking people to cut him any slack or feel sorry for him or any of that stuff because he was a POW.

“But I, I genuinely, you know, I am developing a really good relationship with Senator Obama and I certainly admire him.”

Politicians rarely say what they mean in today’s world and, depending on your perspective, that makes for a more civil society or a more passive-aggressive society. However, Bill Clinton still manages to get his point across and, in this case, he supports Obama with faint praise.

I’ve no doubt that if the Obama campaign could speak bluntly, it would tell Bill Clinton to shut up.

UPDATE: SNL has the virtual Bill Clinton.


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