Patterico's Pontifications


Plane Crash

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:00 pm

Bad plane crash in upstate New York.

Forty-nine people died when a Continental Express airplane crashed into a house in Clarence Center shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday, setting off a huge fire that could be seen miles away.

The dead included 44 passengers, four crew members and a person on the ground.

Not good.

L.A. Times: A Cut in Projected Wish List Spending = A Budget Cut

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Economics — Patterico @ 10:52 pm

The L.A. Times‘s George Skelton:

The taxes should have been raised a year ago. Make that years. The bite would have been a lot smaller. Maybe just a nibble.

Ditto some of the spending cuts, although there were $11 billion in program whacks last year.

Chris Reed:

No, there were not. This is gross dishonesty. This is journalistic malpractice. . . . Repeat after me: A cut in projected wish list spending is not a cut in real-word, hard dollars. A cut in projected wish list spending is not a cut in real-word, hard dollars. . . . Skelton would fail first grade math, but he’s tasked by the state’s largest newspaper with explaining the state budget to us.

Spending went up $67 million last year. It was not “whacked” $11 billion. Check this out with the LAO if you don’t believe me.

Even by Skelton’s and the LAT’s standards, this is innumeracy on an excruciating scale.

But they do it every year. Without fail.

A Compelling Trainwreck

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:36 pm

I don’t watch much TV and never watch reality shows, but Hot Air has posted a series of excerpts from a reality series, and I got completely drawn in. It’s a “wife swap” between a family of small-town, obese, intellectually incurious middle Americans, and a family of unbelievably snooty, fit urbanites. By the end, you end up feeling like three of the four main players are basically decent individuals. The fourth is a stunningly supercilious and rude Brit who is completely in character as he calls the middle-American wife a “stupid redneck” in front of his children. Allahpundit calls him “the most hated man on the Internet” — and wonders why the middle-American husband doesn’t kick his ass. Click here to watch and you’ll agree.

Is This Where We’re Headed?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:12 pm

From the “rewarding the less responsible” file:

Bank of America, as owner of Countrywide Financial, agreed to pay $7.46 million to an estimated 3,200 Texans who lost their homes to foreclosure because of subprime mortgages, Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office said Wednesday. It works out to about $2,330 per affected household.

To be eligible, a borrower must have made six or fewer payments over the life of the loan, occupy the property and have either experienced a foreclosure sale or were 120 days or more delinquent as of Oct. 6, 2008.

And if you made seven payments? Or, God help you, all your payments?

You’ll get nothing and like it!

I suspect this will be a model for future bailouts. Start defaulting now!

Other Than That, Great Column!

Filed under: Media Bias,Morons — Patterico @ 8:06 pm

Today’s San Francisco Chronicle has a remarkable correction (h/t Charlie D.):

Jon Carroll’s column Wednesday on Wells Fargo & Co. contained several inaccuracies: — The column reported that Wells lost $255 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008. In fact, the company reported a loss of $2.83 billion. — The column suggested that Wells Fargo received $25 billion from the federal government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, because it was in financial distress. In fact, in every quarter of the year before receiving the TARP money, Wells reported a profit. Its fourth-quarter loss was related primarily to bad assets it took on as part of the purchase of Wachovia Corp., a distressed bank. Several media reports have noted that Wells did not ask for TARP money and accepted it only at the insistence of the federal government, which wanted major banks to receive an infusion of capital designed to stimulate lending. — Further, the column suggested that Wells had used TARP money to buy Wachovia. In fact, Wells announced its plan to purchase Wachovia on Oct. 3, 2008 – and the decisions on TARP funds were not made until Oct. 13, 2008. Wells has said that no TARP funds were used for the purchase, which closed Dec. 31, 2008.

Carroll was selling Wells Fargo short — figuratively. The way this correction reads, you’d think he was doing so literally as well.

Ah, the filters. Where would Big Media be without them?

Gregg Withdraws

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:58 pm

His statement says why:

However, it has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me.

I suspect it had more to do with the latter than the former; the Census land grab was a Rahm Emanuel-inspired “f[vowel deleted]ck you” to Gregg and left him little choice.

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