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January 06, 2011

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Thomas Collins

WAY TOO EARLY IN THREAD OFF TOPIC ALERT

Or perhaps not so off topic, as this seems to be the what silliness are the progs now up to thread. In any event, even the NY Times has come out against the bowdlerizing of Huck Finn. See LUN.

clarice

Another OT: I was in Hanover Md getting flour and left just before 2 explosions in a MDOT bldg occurred.
And tea partiers win again--NPR exec ousted;CEO loses bonus:
NPR’s Ellen Weiss resigns
after review of Williams firing
Politico, by Keach Hagey
Ellen Weiss, the NPR executive who informed Juan Williams of his firing by phone, has resigned, following the conclusion of an outside law firm’s investigation into the affair.The NPR board also decided to withhold NPR CEO Vivian Schiller’s bonus for 2010 as a result of the affair as well.Schiller had been the lightning rod for conservative criticism of NPR in the wake of Williams firing, and many both within and outside NPR and its member station community wondered if she would be able to lead the organization through the tough political environment of a Republican-led House.

 centralcal

Flatlining . . . hhhmmmm - this might be on topic, then:

Per Fox News

The NPR executive who made headlines in October by firing journalist Juan Williams is resigning from her job, the organization announced Thursday.

Ellen Weiss resigned as senior vice president for news on the same day that the NPR board of directors completed its independent review of the dismissal of Williams.


Tully

I've gone round and round many time with progs about that "no income increase" thing. Yes, your health and other benefits really are part of your compensation, and no, they don't show up in the "median wage" figures.

 centralcal

Clarice beat me - and her info was better!!!!

Law firm investigation - is Juan suing?

Interesting development now that there is a new Congress in town. I still hope they move to defund NPR.

Thomas Collins

See LUN for a short article on the explosions mentioned by clarice.

clarice

Turns out there was only one explosion in Hanover. The other was in Annapolis.

jag

I don't know how anyone can realistically quantify one part of the modern income "inequality"; that is the impact of globalization on an individual's ability to generate massive wealth, quickly.

The examples abound; from an Oprah, Tiger, J.K. Rowlings to any number of athletes, entertainers and even "celebrities", the amount of money an individual can generate in income in a short period of time is completely without precedent. It used to take years to build a lucrative business, writing or entertainment career. How many fortunes are amassed today virtually overnight?

Sure, tons of income are showered on the top 1% but its because there is a global, virtually instantaneous, payoff system in existence now that exists like nothing before in history. How many linger in that 1% group? How many came from virtually nothing? How many have developed well regarded products, services, innovations or extraordinary talent and might be actually DESERVING of their wealth (Michael Dell, the Google founders, authors like Dean Koontz)?

The left loves to pound this theme because, viewed in a narrow perspective (a few making a ton of money), it looks horrific. However, when one breaks down the numbers you see very few oligarchs of the historic "Robber Baron" kind and an awful lot of dynamic success.....a success so out-sized, so dynamic, so rapidly realized that it has almost nothing to do with picture of "fat cats" the left wants the world to imagine as the "natural" result of thieving capitalism.

Dave (in MA)

Probably some D-bagger upset about the transition of power in the House. (I don't really think so, but it's the sort of thing the other side always says about the TP.)

Porchlight

To add to TM's points 1-3:

4. Food prices have dropped substantially over the years, as have the prices of many other household goods. So buying power has to be taken into account as well. What money are people spending on luxury items that they didn't spend years ago? (Second or third cars, huge TVs, computers, cell phones, cable & internet access might head the list.) And how much house are they getting for the money? (think about the decrease in mortgage interest rates, for example.)

5. Family size has gotten steadily smaller. Fewer people are being fed, clothed and sheltered with that "household" income.

[But, getting back to point 1, guess what? Health insurance costs the same per family (more or less) whether you have one child or six. At least it does on my employer-based plan.]

Porchlight

Another observation - any time "household income" is used as evidence of anything, beware.

Households can be 1 person or they can be 10, and they can have any number of wage earners living in them. Also, household size changes over time, both in the aggregate (national average family size) and over the lifetime of any given wage earner (single -> married without kids -> kids added one by one -> kids go to college one by one -> kids move out one by one -> empty-nesters -> widow or widower).

Usually someone is trying to advance some kind of agenda when they use median household income as a measure.

Session opening next week.

In the Maryland Legislative Office building an explosion went off in someone's hand in the mailroom. I know someone in the building.
===============

Danube of Thought

I just saw Juan Williams unleash a blistering attack on Ellen Weiss and the entire close-minded culture at NPR. Gave me the exultant shivers.

Danube of Thought

Will Ezra mention that the top earners in the US pay a larger share of the income tax than any other industrialized nation, by far?

lyle

Who's Ezra Klein and why should I care? Plus isn't he 182 in dog years and thus hard to understand?

Rob Crawford

Who's Ezra Klein and why should I care?

He's a twenty-something who needs to be ignored so he can find a real job.

Charlie (Colorado)

As the suspense mounts, let's wait to see whether Ezra identifies and addresses any of the social and statistical issues that have made the inequality discussion nearly brain-dead:

You're joking, right?

But this Barone piece might be of interest.

pagar

"and they can have any number of wage earners living in them."

Some may have no wage earners, for example,
do you believe these people are wages Earners?

"SEIU Local 444 (The Sanitation Officers Association, see related snow slowdown stories) has six full-time union officials who are paid full-time city benefits and salary, yet work 0.00% of the time for New York City."

$503,272 wages plus city benefits paid to some of the highest paid Sanitation Officers in NYC and they do nothing to benefit the citizens of New York. This is insane.

 centralcal

Obama is being interviewed before the Super Bowl on Fox broadcast network by Bill O'Reilly. [yawn]

I guess Obama thinks people love to watch him on TV since this is the 3rd Super Bowl Sunday he will have done this.

Since taking office in 2009, Obama has granted Super Bowl Sunday interviews to news anchors at the network with the TV rights to the big game. In 2009, Obama spoke to NBC News “Today” anchor Matt Lauer and in 2010, he sat down with “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric.
anduril

Humph. It seems like weeks ago that TM did his no value added post on Turkey and Iraq--I don't even see it in the Recent Posts. Be that as it may, Judah Grunstein has a short comment on the NYT article that TM quoted at some length. Grunstein: Did Turkey Win the Iraq War?

Here's an excerpt:

The consensus has it that the big winner of the Iraq War was Iran, in that the toppling of the Saddam Hussein regime removed the major barrier containing Iran's regional ambitions. Certainly the Shiite-dominated and Iran-friendly government in Baghdad has freed up Tehran's hand across the region -- even if, as I've argued before, the inherently volatile nature of Iraqi politics means that Iran has inherited some time- and energy-consuming responsibilities in Iraq along with its increased influence. But I'd argue that the fears among Middle Eastern Arab states of Iran's growing regional reach have more to do with their own domestic politics, often with regard to Shiite minorities, than with the strength of Iran's influence, the gravitational pull of its industry, or the attractiveness of its governance model.

The same can't be said for Turkey, which has also benefitted from the dramatic changes in the region's geostrategic landscape wrought by the Iraq War. This N.Y. Times article detailing Turkey's enormous and growing trade ties in the Kurdish north, as well as its political influence in Baghdad, is only part of the story. Ankara's opposition to the war, and the Bush administration's obstinacy in pursuing it, in some ways prepared the way for Turkey's rebalancing of its foreign policy approach from a Western-focused alignment to a Turkey-centric strategic hub. And the power vacuum created by the fall of Saddam Hussein, though initially as destabilizing as Ankara had feared and warned, subsequently helped create the space for Turkey to assume the regional role it aspired to.

But in contrast to Iran, it has done so on the basis of an economic boom unfettered by mistrust, isolation and, most importantly, international sanctions. And it has done so while embodying a model of democratic governance that is infinitely more palatable to its international partners, both existing and potential, beyond the region -- and ultimately more threatening to the authoritarian autocracies within the region than that of Iran.

Interesting. So which of Bushie's war goals were met? An Islamifying Turkey with huge regional clout? The Islamic Republic of Iran having obstacles to its own regional resurgence smoothed away by force of US arms? Our Arab "allies" living in fear of this brave new Middle East?

lyle

OT:

Before he was president, Obama called the New York Times writer "one of my favorite conservatives."

- Politico from Taranto

Guess who he talking about. No peeking!

narciso

Hedrick Smith, is the name you're looking for.

narciso

Friedman was always as trite, as ever, and I'll take David Brooks, for the bloc.

lyle

BZZZZ. I'm sorry, narciso, you didn't answer in the form of a question.

The correct response is, "Who is Walter Duranty?"

Just kidding, it was Brooks, he of the perfectly creased pant asthetic and general Obama arse-licker.

narciso

Now that 'speaking truth to power' isn't that importance, it looks like they found the one who leaked to Risen, in the LUN

narciso

Turns out he already had a legal dustup in the past, and he used the pretext of same, to leak to Risen.

Danube of Thought

If it were in fact true that income inequality is increasing, does that mean that something is wrong? If so, does that mean the government should do something? If so, what?

narciso

This is the case, that was dismissed, in the LUN

Janet

Here's a great picture for Ann.
From Coalition of the Swilling (love the blog name!)

Button challenged.

Neo

You've got to remember that these are just simple urbanites. These are people of the land. The common clay of the Blue America. You know... morons.

matt

you forget that the rest of the ME doesn't hate the Turks.....This also short circuits much of the brewing issue of an independent Kurdistan as it seems the parties are playing somewhat nice.

 centralcal

Janet - you forgot your link?

Extraneus

If it were in fact true that income inequality is increasing, does that mean that something is wrong? If so, does that mean the government should do something? If so, what?

It's like a junior high school civics lesson, which a humongous number of voters fail every time.

Rick Ballard

"If so, does that mean the government should do something? If so, what?"

Of course the government should do something. I propose that the government immediately set an example for all Americans by reducing the pay of every public employee to no more than the per capita average established by Census. This simple gesture would demonstrate, once and for all, the depth of America's commitment to ideals.

Teddy Kennedy

erz-a, erz-a, erz-a

Neo
WASHINGTON – A former CIA officer has been indicted on charges of disclosing national security secrets after being accused of leaking classified information about Iran to a New York Times reporter.

Federal prosecutors charged Jeffrey Sterling with 10 counts related to improperly keeping and disclosing national security information.

Threadkiller

Reading the Constitution was a waste of time? This is how the Dems started in Jan. of 2007.

Good stuff at the 17:00 min mark. Then a tear jerker from the Gentleclown from Oregon and others. Then it gets good at the 33:00.

">http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/HouseSession3254"> C-SPAN

Rabbi Shlomo

You know that "erza" is Yiddish for "clueless putz".

Ignatz

Now that's funny Janet. At least it looks like his fly is up.

clarice

If you have an open border with Mexico and continue to measure the household income of millions of unskilled people working here illegally (.e., off the books) you sure as hell will have income disparities.

clarice

"clueless putz" with a degree from a small Jesuit college, no less.

 centralcal

ha ha ha ha - Ignatz!

Sorry, Janet your picture wasn't showing up at first for me.

Very strange folks, our POTUS and FLOTUS.

clarice

Rick, I think your idea is great. I think we should also close our border with Mexico and open one with Switzerland.

 Ann

Janet:

Makes you wonder where all those high priced white house staffers were to let them both go out in public looking like that. Oh, that's right they were looking after their surf boards! Almost forgot. :)

Hey, watch this: Pelosi gets a knockout Now that's funny. :)

Threadkiller

Clarice, That CSPAN link is as funny as it is hypocritical. It is fun to relive the promises of the most ethical congress ever. It might make for good pieces.

Matsui(D)California promises are comical at best.

Welch(D) Vermont(not Oregon) promises members “time to read what they are voting on” and more, including giving the minority a voice.

clarice

I'm sure lots of people will be linking to it, TK. And then there's O's record of taking both sides on everything he didn't just vote "present" on.

Threadkiller

I think we are the first with the link. I hope it helps the site. It is funny.

pagar

Clarice @ 07:06PM. Amen!

Extraneus

Heh, I like that one Ann. That's just how he'd have done it, too - not some big wide swing.

anduril

you forget that the rest of the ME doesn't hate the Turks

I don't forget Jack Sh*t. The first graf of the NYT article that TM quoted:

ZAKHO, Iraq — A Turkey as resurgent as at any time since its Ottoman glory is projecting influence through a turbulent Iraq, from the boomtowns of the north to the oil fields near southernmost Basra, in a show of power that illustrates its growing heft across an Arab world long suspicious of it.

And, yes, that suspicion and even hatred has a lot to do with the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire wasn't fun for Balkan Christians, but it was no picnic for Arabs, and especially not for Egyptians.

So, then, who else do Arabs suspect and hate? Persians? The situation is rather more complex than most Americans would wish to acknowledge. A shift in Arab views of Iran: Anger over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and U.S. policy is tilting public opinion in favor of Tehran and against Washington.

Arabs tend to view Iran largely through the prism of American and Israeli policies.

Most Arabs have no love for Iran, and many see the country as a significant threat. But the Arab public does not see Iran as the biggest danger in the region.

Reread that last quote while thinking about Iran and Hamas.

Wikileaks and Arab Opinion

One of the highlights of the most recent Wikileaks release has been the focus on Arab attitudes toward Iran. The headlines suggest Arab unanimity in support of a U.S. or Israeli military attack on the Islamic Republic, ... But analysis by the media that followed, and the sweeping conclusion that "Arabs support attacking Iran," is misplaced and ignores significant differences among Arab governments about how to deal with Iran—and especially missed the boat on true attitudes of the Arab public.

...

But the biggest gap in the recent coverage of the story has been understanding Arab public opinion toward Iran and how this affects government calculations. In fact, Iran has the ability to play the Arab-public-opinion card and reach out to groups that threaten the control of Arab governments. And there is evidence that they have succeeded in doing just that, even beyond the rising power of their allies, particularly Hezbollah in Lebanon. In large part, Tehran benefits from Arab public anger toward Israel and the United States, and from the perceived paralysis of their own leaders...

Read it all. The author has specific examples on offer. And, yes, Bushie's foreign policy complicated rather than simplified US relations with the Arab world.

As Grunstein stated:

the fears among Middle Eastern Arab states of Iran's growing regional reach have more to do with their own domestic politics, often with regard to Shiite minorities

Wherever there are Shia Arabs they look to Iran. This is true in the Gulf States, in Syria and Lebanon, and in Iraq and Kuwait. Where did Sadr just come back from? Iran. Is he viewed as a traitor in Iraq for taking refuge in Iran? Not by the majority Shia. Why are the Saudis so concerned about Iran? Because their biggest oil fields are in majority Shia provinces. Do Arabs, Shia or Sunni, prefer to run their own affairs? Of course, but the Shia Arabs have significant cultural ties to Iran, and Iran is where their religious leaders go to be trained.

Re the Iraq and ME situation in general, this article--Turkey is the Only Middle Eastern Country Pointing Toward the Future--that originally appeared in Today's Zaman makes an important point:

Iraq was really the Arab border and buffer toward Iran and Turkey. When that border broke, Iran and Turkey became part of the Arab Middle East. There is no real ability now to reconstruct the old Arab order as an exclusive order. Arabs, Turks and Iranians now have to deal with each other.

Who broke the border? Yup. We did, for better or worse--we'll just have to see. But that wasn't our intention.

Turkey is the Only Middle Eastern Country Pointing Toward the Future

Carol.Herman

Dubya's decade was really a bust. But with the inflation of the housing bubble, people were making money hand over fist. And, they were also using their homes as ATM machines. Taking out what they thought was "excess" ... and spending it on trips. The extra income disappeared.

Health costs have been going up. So, too, the types of drugs now available, that weren't even available a decade ago.

Still, if you search back in time, you'd find that people had co-pays ... for things like glasses. And, because it wasn't "free" through insurance, they opted not to use it.

Now that the bubble's burst; and, we've discovered the chicanery in the titles ... it's not really new! Mark Twain's dad, back in the 1840's, bought enormous acreage in Tennesee. Something like 75,000 acres. Alas, it was sold more than once.

What it meant to Twain was that his dad died broke. Where he had been dreaming of leaving something of value not just to his kids. But his grandkids.

Listening to Mark Twain's autobiography brought to light that cities have been notorious for scamming citizens with deeds that turned out to have been sold over and over again, multiple times.

This is one reason people aren't coming forward to invest.

Yes,even TULIPS were once an investment vehicle (in Holland), that went bust. There's nothing new under the sun.

Carol.Herman

Actually, STUXNUT has managed to interfere with iran's nuclear aims. Without a nuke, iran didn't have the next card to play in the deck.

As to irak, we were there for the saud's. And, the saud's gamble so easily with American lives and treasure. What have they to fear?

Pagar

"Just about flatlining"

Drudge reports "Jobless claims rise more than expected"

Note: For the 1st time this year, it did not say UNEXPECTEDLY.

Melinda Romanoff

DoT-

I know how Personal Income increased.

It was found in thin air.

I bet you got the same size check I got, too.

narciso

So, the powers that be, at Langley, didn't figure out that this leak, was coming from
a source with a grudge against them like Sterling, curious did he work for Valerie's
CPD?

Melinda Romanoff

Pagar-

You have no idea how bad the numbers for that are being fudged.

It's going to be embarrassing when the release the "adjustment" of another 1.5 Million people out of work. Same as last year, due to "miscounting".

Note the "NSA" (Non-seasonally Adjusted) numbers on this press release. You can see the cumulative effects at this handy handy ZH post, which has the handy addition at the bottom of the post.

Janet

Here is a link to The Coalition of the Swilling blog article.

Carol.Herman

Between the lines, and behind the scenes. When Dubya was president, the US air force gave the turks permission to travel over the iraqi border to bomb the kurds.

So, the kurds behaved. While recently, besides STUXNET, there were underground explosions at Bashere. Or Natanz. Deep underground. Where the Irakis had built their military complex, including missile propulsion sites.

It was said the Iranians had this under tip top military controls, and survelience. Yet, it is suspected that local kurds "got in." And, "somehow" strategically placed these explosives. So, without firing a shot. Without needing bunker busters, and flights overhead from Israel ... there was total disruption.

Between the lines it seems there are some Israelis, perhaps MOSSAD? With great links on the ground in iran. And, among the various nations. As well as the kurds.

The saud's, it seems, however, remain in the same boat. And, yeah. Dubai had a "mission" with phony British passports, that created quite a hullabaloo. All the news we get to see, actually passes. Like snowstorms. Ya just have to wait out da' news.

narciso

I doubt the Kurds have that much to do with it, however, the classic ways are usually the best, in the LUN

Pagar

Mel, It would not surprise me to learn that every number the Obama Administration has ever published or will publish in the future, on any subject is fudged.
I just don't believe they can bring themselves to tell the truth about anything.

Boatbuilder

If I'm really rich, and I make twice as much as I used to make, and I pay everyone who works for me three times as much, income inequality is still going to increase. Is that a problem? I don't think the people making three times as much will think so.
If I make half as much, and I cut what I pay everyone who works for me by 10%, income inequality is going to substantially decrease. Is everybody happy now?

squaredance

Ah...that "Robber Barons" stuff is just Prog propaganda, and of no recent vintage.

What would that be, Andrew Carnegie?

It was this little twerp who gave it the wider coinage. He was, of course, a typical leftist, New York intellectual of his time.

These men created the foundation of the Post Civil War prosperity, prosperity unlike anything that ever went before it. They also build the foundation of American power.
A great any of them were self made.

They were not "robbers" and they were ot "barons".

Those who make this claim need to explain in the time and it contingencies, and over that whole period what they realistically think should have happened. Odds are that they have a absolutely loony grasp of how the world actually works (then and now) and an even loopier notion of how it should work.

The real robber barons were the Progressives and the New Dealers who looted the fortunes of these great men (and that of the nation in general.

We just cannot seem to escape the rhetoric and the con games of the 19th and early 20th century socialist movements. They are still repeating it and still getting away with it. It is all hogwash and should be rejected.

Remember: Socialism is not "new" nor purely a 20th century phenomena, and it is organized.

Danube of Thought

Further Narcisolator adjustment achieved.

Porchlight

Oh my goodness, that photo. Is he wasted? And are those see-through panels on Michelle's leggings?

Good Lord.

matt

Oh My Goodness, Johnny Weir is gay...I am shocked....

matt

and just in from the Antipodes, England have won The Ashes, which were described thus during the 1882 tour of Australia by an England team that had been roundly defeated in a match in England earlier that year.Wikipedia tells us:

"During that tour a small terracotta urn was presented to England captain Ivo Bligh by a group of Melbourne women. The contents of the urn are reputed to be the ashes of an item of cricket equipment, a bail."

The Telegraph informs us with this niblet about today's grand finale...

"Yesterday’s foul-up came from a total breakdown of trust and communication between Watson and Phillip Hughes after Hughes clipped Graeme Swann to deep midwicket. Watson had been striking the ball well until that point so the guilt Hughes will have felt will surely have affected his game. Sure enough, six runs later Hughes was gone too, nibbling at a ball from which Tim Bresnan extracted extra bounce after holding it across the seam."

All Hail England...

Janet

Ezra Klein's article needed this journolist warning label -

Janet

Sorry. It says "Journalist does not understand the subject they are writing about."
If you right click you can view the whole image.

narciso

There's a lot of that going around, Janet, even Ignatius is unbearable lately

Melinda Romanoff

square-

Socialism is a construct of an alcoholic Frenchman of the late 18th Century. A fascinating bit of history that Mr. Ballard pointed me to and upped my shelf load in my still crated library.

Still read the book, though. Written by a master teacher.

Hayek at his best.

Melinda Romanoff

Janet-

Aren't those stickers the best?

Sue

Johnny Weir is gay? Wow. Shouldn't this be on the ESP thread? Since everyone in the world already guessed it?

Janet

Yeah Mel...here is the link to the Journalism Warning Labels.

Melinda Romanoff

Janet-

That site was one of my early html ventures, shamelessly swiped from Prof. Reynolds.

And I just happened to buy some Avery 5160 labels. (drives the spouse nuts, and they are very hard to get off of TVs).

Everybody see the latest Gallup results before tomorrow's news?

Melinda Romanoff

I'm particularly fond of The Robin Hood Sandwich and Two Drums And A Cymbal Fall Off A Cliff. (B'doom shh was acheived, no badgers were hurt in this experiment)

Melinda Romanoff

and enough from me.

G'night all.

Stephanie

Mark Steyn on the Anglo decline LUN

A taste:

For its worshippers, Big Government becomes a kind of religion: the state as church. After the London Tube bombings, Gordon Brown began mulling over the creation of what he called a “British equivalent of the U.S. Fourth of July,” a new national holiday to bolster British identity. The Labour Party think-tank, the Fabian Society, proposed that the new “British Day” should be July 5th, the day the National Health Service was created. Because the essence of contemporary British identity is waiting two years for a hip operation. A national holiday every July 5th: They can call it Dependence Day.

It's a must read.

matt

my latest post on the constitutionarianism of the Left and their mockery of American exceptionalism. LUN

 Ann

Porchlight:

According to the New York Style section in an article titled Michelle Obama Wore Some Interesting Pants Today (hahahaha):

Michelle Obama returned from her Hawaiian vacation today wearing beige pants with tan fleur-de-lis patterns snaking up the legs. She stuck to the neutral color palette by adding a nubby gray coat and tan boots.

Photobucket
I don't think they are see-through panels but they are snaking up her legs in a failed containment policy. :)

In other MO news:
MO will have a private lunch with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, on Monday and I just can't wait to see what those highly paid staffers come up with next.

Gorgo

Every time I read one of Ezra Klein's articles, I think: "That kid can really type!"

MIke G

"The median has probably risen less, because, as with income, the [health care] gains are concentrated at the top of the distribution."

I question this. It seems to me that where I can pay you a hell of a lot more, I can't nearly as easily insure you a hell of a lot more. Yes, some people certainly have better health plans than others, but I very much doubt that someone at Goldman Sachs making $40 million a year has 1000 times more health coverage than someone making $40,000 a year. Seems to me that, in fact, this is one area that has probably diminished inequality somewhat.

 Ann

Matt:

I loved your article, espeicially this line:
The Constitution was meant as a last bastion of our rights and law. It was not meant, as the recent Congress and several recent Presidents have treated it, as an inconvenience to their agendas.
Bravo.

Have you seen this tonight?

Daughters Best Gift Father Soldier Returning Home

My daughter turns sweet sixteen tomorrow and I am going to show her this video as a reminder of how lucky she is that some girl's dreams are really simple...they just want to see their soldier dad. (Carp, I always cry watching these homecomings)

Danube of Thought

I'd rather the stickers cleaned up the grammar a bit.

Porchlight

Thanks, Ann, for that father-daughter video! A keeper.

And your last photo shows the leggings much more clearly. It's not a terrible look on its own, just (as usual) not flattering to Michelle. Especially in that shot with Barry's jacket buttoned wrong.

I think her people show her fashion drawings of herself in these outfits, and in the drawings she's a size 8. That's why she thinks she'll look good in them. I can't wait to see what she wears to lunch with Carla.

jorgxmckie

First, @Janet, that sticker should really be put on just about every MSM article that is printed.

Second, I wish I had a whiteboard and could show this properly, but . . .

The problem with "inequality of income" [and the resultant median income stuff] starts with a misunderstanding of stats and bell curves.

Income doesn't get measured below zero. [In fact, non-employment income, like food stamps and Section 8 vouchers and stuff don't get measured at all.] Thus, the bell curve has an absolute Left number.

Thus, as the highest income [as the curve moves Right] grows, the result is an increase in *apparent* inequality, since one end moves and the other doesn't.

The real questions should include stuff like, what is the average *compensation* doing [i.e. including benefits and govt programs] compared to 10 or 20 or 50 years ago], and what will the average compensation buy, and how bad off, comparatively, are the 10% or so at the 'bottom' of income? In every single daggoned case, the answer is that the bottom, as well as the top [and even the middle], is incredibly better off than 10, or 20, or 50 or more years ago.

Of course it's [income inequality] is a partisan farce, but without visuals, it's kind of hard to show why. I have successfully stunned a few very Left colleagues by drawing the curves and letting them pick which one they prefer.

daddy

Lol Gorgo.

Ann, Great photo. Don't know how you keep doing it but keep it up. And can you imagine how much publicity that pic would have received if it had been of President Bush instead of Obama.

Stephanie, Excellent Steyn read. Thanks for that.

And Matt, and Hit & Run...you guys are all on a fine roll lately. Great fun at this place. Where the heck is JMH!

daddy

Some neat recent shots of the eclipse at Nasa's ">http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/archivepix.html"> Astronomy Picture of the Day archives. Just click and enjoy.

bgates

Speaking of outer space and Ezra Klein, check this out.

daddy

Great find bgates!

To Boldly go where no Ezra Klein has gone before.

In other exciting news, a Tax Revolt is "brewing" in Romania.

The Government has decided to start taxing Romanian Witches. (I'm not kidding).

Angry about it, the Romanian Witches have decided to protest by having a sort of Tea Party, but instead of tossing Tea into Boston Harbor, they have decided to instead toss a concoction of mandrake, Cat feces, and dead Dog parts into the Danube. The purpose is to curse the Government and the President of Romania.

">http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/romania/8245109/Romanian-witches-cast-spells-on-government-over-income-tax.html"> Go Witches!,

BTW Clarice,

What size crock pot you got and how far do you live from the Potomac?

Janet,

That new puppy still causing you trouble?

Mr. Bingley

Thanks for the link, Janet!

rse

That Steyn essay was worth reading but quite sad. Thanks for the link Stephanie.

Has anyone else noticed that those most likely to accept America's decline as inevitable are also big believers in the State policies that hasten that decline?

We have been taken to the cleaners by public employees and their cronies who expect us to fund their generous salaries, benefits, and pensions out of the private sector they have worked so hard to strangle.

While holding us in contempt as possessing "mere mundane Knowledge".

Ann-As a fellow mother of a 16 year old, let's none of us go quietly.

rse

Quiet morning.

In the nothing ever changes much to the people who want to believe in a collectivist future, LUN is a 1972 NRO called "wallaceland Revisited" comparing the journalists of that era wanting to believe in China and ignore reality with similar impulses in the late 40s.

Same mentality we see today on global warming.

narciso

Fontova, in the LUN reminds us that Castroland was a similar problem, in the top floor of Langley and Foggy Bottom in '59, with the former it took the torture and murder of one of the top aides to the BRAC chief, Mariano Faget, for them to be concerned. Ironically, who's son would turn out to be a DGI agent, two generations later

Janet

That new puppy still causing you trouble?

She's good...hasn't eaten any more recharger cords!
The mighty Jess.

We live across the street from the neighborhood mini-park so lil' Jess likes to go across the street to run with the kids. There is a "No Dogs Allowed" sign there, but I ask the kids if they mind & they say no...I don't ask the parents! She'd be a great "front yard" dog if that was allowed anymore. Hang in the front yard & just greet whoever is passing by. She's escaped from the back a few times, but she doesn't go anywhere. No doubt I'll be hearing from animal control at some point in the future....

Janet

Brian Williams to Boehner: Do you feel responsible somehow for the Birthers?

You know who is responsible for the "birthers"? ....the d#*n lazy press and sketchy, secretive Obama!

centralcal

Let the hearings begin . . . Per Jennifer Rubin:

Rep. Lamar Smith issues first DOJ oversight letter

Right Turn has obtained the first oversight letter from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) issued to the Justice Department. While he was in the minority, Smith labored, largely unsuccessfully, on the committee to convince the Democratic chairman to investigate a range of issues, including detainee policy and New Black Panther Party case. He now has the authority to schedule hearings, call witnesses and subpoena documents
anduril

Jonah Goldberg explains why Muslims shouldn't be allowed to immigrate to the US:

Who Are the Real Hijackers of Islam?
Maybe the hijackers are the peaceful ones.

For years, we’ve heard how the peaceful religion of Islam has been hijacked by extremists.

What if it’s the other way around? Worse, what if the peaceful hijackers are losing their bid to take over the religion?

That certainly seems to be the case in Pakistan.

Salman Taseer, a popular Pakistani governor, was assassinated this week because he was critical of Pakistan’s blasphemy law.

Specifically, Taseer was supportive of a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, who has been sentenced to death for “insulting Muhammad.”

Bibi had offered some fellow farm laborers some water. They refused to drink it because Christian hands purportedly make water unclean. An argument followed. She defended her faith, which they took as synonymous with attacking theirs. Later, she says, a mob of her accusers raped her.

Naturally, a Pakistani judge sentenced her to hang for blasphemy.

...

Rob Crawford

OT and apropos of nothing:

I wonder whether the folks at NRO understand that their "captcha" is easily the lamest ever constructed? Writing the code to solve a simple addition problem is trivial, especially considering the existence of methods like eval in JavaScript.

anduril

People have been reacting to the Pakistan story in various ways as well as to the Coptic killings in Egypt and attacks on Christians in Iraq and Nigeria. I personally consider that Goldberg is correct in his assessment overall, even allowing for differences among Muslim countries. Goldberg's view is certainly no different than the concerns expressed by Benedict XVI at his famous Castelgandolfo conference (remember?).

However, even Goldberg barely hints at a significant issue: how many billions of dollars has the US poured down these ratholes, funding "allies" and building or rebuilding "democracies" (Islamic republics)?

While we reexamine the defense budget, how about we also look critically at all aspects of our money flow to foreign countries?

bunkerbuster

I find myself in rare agreement with conservatives on liberal mispresentations of the income equality issue. It is neither a question of morality nor fairness.
The debate we should be having is over what is the maximum level of economic inequality a democratic society can withstand and then the best means by which to ensure that level isn't breached.
Democracy cannot function below a certain level of economic equality because money can buy power, even in a democracy. And when money is concentrated highly enough, it can acquire sufficient power to render those who wield it above the law -- as happens in very many places in the world and at many times throughout history.
The direction of income imbalance matters more than the discrete level of it. Even if the gap is wider than, say, 20 years ago, as long as it is narrowing, it needn't be a huge concern. If it is widening, though, it makes sense to consider ways to turn it around so that it doesn't reach the tipping point.

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Wilson/Plame