URLs du Jour


[Guardians of the Fallacy]

  • To accompany our Eye Candy du Jour… Harvard Econ Prof Mankiw quotes the Congressional Budget Office on The Inflation Impact of the Inflation Reduction Act.

    In calendar year 2022, enacting the bill would have a negligible effect on inflation, in CBO’s assessment. In calendar year 2023, inflation would probably be between 0.1 percentage point lower and 0.1 percentage point higher under the bill than it would be under current law.

    Some of those words might be too long for our CongressCritters to understand; I hope they'll contact someone who can help with that.

  • I'm sure than Republicans have their sock-puppet economists too, but… David Harsanyi names and shames: These 'Economists Say' Whatever Democrats Want Them To Say.

    “Top economists say Democrats’ health care and climate package will put ‘downward pressure on inflation,’” CNN informs us. And really, who are you, a mere mortal, to question the decrees of top economists?

    This kind of appeal to authority was popularized during the Obama years, when the then-president would say nonsensical things like, “Every economist from the left and the right has said, because of the Recovery Act, what we’ve started to see is at least a couple of million jobs that have either been created or would have been lost.” (Irritated italics mine.)

    Hundreds of economists, three of them Nobel laureates — James Buchanan, Edward Prescott, and Vernon Smith — disagreed with Obama’s assessment of the stimulus. They were largely ignored by the media, just as economists who now maintain that the “Inflation Reduction Act” will do nothing for inflation or, more likely, worsen the problem will be today.

    I clicked through to the CNN report which provided a link to the letter sent by those "top economists". I looked for signers from the University Near Here, and… whew, there's nobody.

    Why not?

    1. Democrats couldn't find anyone at UNH to sign on to this ludicrous letter.
    2. Or maybe they didn't ask.
    3. Because UNH has nobody who could be called a "top economist" with a straight face.

    Feel free to come up with your own explanations.

    By the way, Harsanyi's "nonsensical" second link is to a transcript of Obama's 2010 Groundhog Day visit to Nashua, New Hampshire. Even at the time, people (including this blogger) were posting images of Democrat's promises for their "recovery act":


    And comparing them with reality:

    [vs. Actual]

    Hey, I could be wrong! Maybe this time, Democrats will be right about their policy predictions!

    Or maybe I'll just play the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" at high volume for the 12,527th time.

  • "Is that a good sign?" "It does the job!" Kevin D. Williamson is getting a tad irritated at Signs of the Times.

    Ilive in one of those neighborhoods where every third house has a political sign of some kind in the yard: Lots of “Beto for Texas” signs advertising the sacrificial victim feckless Democrats are going to offer up to the maw of the Texas GOP machine this time around, scads and oodles of those prim, imbecilic “In This House” signs, that kind of thing. One of my neighbors kept up a big banner reading “Stop Killing Black People” for more than a year, but has now taken it down, so I guess that killing black people doesn’t matter three blocks over anymore, or maybe they got bored and wanted a change of scenery. They have added some nice planters.

    I hate them all, of course — all the signs, I mean, not the neighbors.

    Partly I hate them because they are such effective advertisements for the ignorance of the general electorate. One neighbor has a very large sign in her yard that demands we “say ‘no’ to demagogues” and blames our political troubles on “donors and special-interest lobbyists” — i.e., the sign criticizes demagoguery and then engages in the classic, textbook technique of American demagoguery, insisting that covert moneyed interests rather than genuine good-faith disagreements about values and priorities are behind our differences. You see that with demagogues targeting the National Rifle Association all the time: claims that So-and-So voted in favor of the Second Amendment because he got money from the NRA. The NRA is, in fact, a trivial player in the world of political money (946th in donations, 268th in lobbying outlays, 275th in outside spending), and the power it has it has because it represents a position that millions of Americans strongly endorse — not the tiny-but-loudmouthed share of Americans on Twitter, but Americans who vote. I am sure my neighbor’s heart is in the right place, but she is the kind of mark who makes demagoguery so effective and profitable.

    KDW's bottom line: "the truth about those signs advertising diversity and toleration and open-mindedness is that all of them really say the same thing: 'No Trespassing.'"

    [Headline reference: An underappreciated gag from the underappreciated Airplane II: The Sequel. I miss John Vernon.]

  • Why don't they invade the Capitol Building like respectable people? Thomas Sowell turned 92 a few weeks back, his output isn't what it used to be. But he tees one up for Creators Syndicate, his first column since June 2021: The Point of No Return.

    This is an election year. But the issues this year are not about Democrats and Republicans. The big issue is whether this nation has degenerated to a point of no return — a point where we risk destroying ourselves, before our enemies can destroy us.

    If there is one moment that symbolized our degeneration, it was when an enraged mob gathered in front of the Supreme Court and a leader of the United States Senate shouted threats against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, saying "You won't know what hit you!"

    There have always been irresponsible demagogues. But there was once a time when anyone who shouted threats to a Supreme Court Justice would see the end of his own political career, and could not show his face in decent society again.

    You either believe in laws or you believe in mob rule. It doesn't matter whether you agree with the law or agree with the mob on some particular issue. If threats of violence against judges — and publishing where a judge's children go to school — is the way to settle issues, then there is not much point in having elections or laws.

    Best wishes and much respect to Mr. Sowell.

  • I'm sure someone will point out this National Review headline is racist. Because who do you circle the wagons against? Native Americans, that's who! But nevertheless it's an accurate metaphor for George Leef's observation: The Higher-Ed Establishment Circles the Wagons for 'Affirmative Action'.

    One of the biggest cases the Supreme Court will hear this fall is the challenge to the legality of racial preferences by colleges and universities brought by Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA). As expected, the higher-education establishment is fighting tooth and nail to preserve its ability to use racial quotas to get student bodies that have the right racial mixture. (They don’t care about other student characteristics like religion, philosophy, musical preferences, etc.)

    Commenting here on the spate of amicus briefs just submitted on the companion cases (one involving Harvard, the other UNC), Cornell law professor William Jacobson observes, “The statistics are shocking. As SFFA noted in its Harvard petition, ‘an Asian American in the fourth-lowest decile has virtually no chance of being admitted to Harvard (0.9%); but an African American in that decile has a higher chance of admission (12.8%) than an Asian American in the top decile (12.7%).’”

    Federal law forbids racial discrimination by institutions receiving federal funds (including student aid money), but the schools say they don’t discriminate against Asians. They accept them — just not too many. They have come up with justifications for their obviously unfair admission policies. They Court has heard them before and (foolishly) deferred to the supposed expertise of the educators.

    It's not just the higher-ed folks circling the wagons; it's also (as the WSJ recently reported):

    Dozens of major companies have asked the Supreme Court to affirm the use of racial preferences in college admissions, arguing that more diversity on campuses contributes both to commercial innovation and business success.

    “Empirical studies confirm that diverse groups make better decisions thanks to increased creativity, sharing of ideas, and accuracy. And diverse groups can better understand and serve the increasingly diverse population that uses their products and services,” more than 60 companies said in one friend-of-the court brief on Monday, citing a range of research. “These benefits are not simply intangible; they translate into businesses’ bottom lines.”

    I'm open to the argument that true diversity can lead to better decisions. I'm just disgusted when race and other pigeonholes are used as proxies for "diversity".

  • I have a mild interest in this race. The New Hampshire Journal sponsored a debate for the Republicans looking to replace my current CongressCritter, Chris Pappas. Michael Graham evaluates: Solid Field Shines in NH-01 Debate, But Left Race Unshaken.

    There is just one important takeaway from the New Hampshire Journal NH-01 debate on Thursday night: Matt Mowers won.

    By not losing.

    Can I vote for Matt Mowers? Given that it's been two years since he insulted my intelligence with this stupid mailer?:

    [Pap is ON FIRE]

    Well, the Libertarian Party nominee is likely to be even more nuts that usual. And Mowers, if he wins, might occasionally vote better than Pappas. So…

  • A nice tribute. And it's from the WSJ's Jason Gay, on Vin Scully’s Perfect Baseball Melody. And I especially liked this bit:

    When I met him in 2016, I asked him if he felt lucky to have arrived in baseball when he did. He shook the question off like a veteran fastballer.

    “Oh, no, not lucky,” he said. “Lucky is too cheap a word. I really feel blessed. I truly believe God has given me these gifts. He gave it to me at a young age, and he’s allowed me to keep it all these years? That’s a gift. I say this because I believe it: I should spend a lot more time on my knees than I do.”

    And that is a take-home lesson for us all.

Last Modified 2024-01-30 7:56 AM EDT