Posts Tagged ‘jerks’

Dow Jones up 500 Points on News that the Yankees have Acquired Nick Swisher

November 14, 2008

Well, perhaps that had nothing to do with it. I find it very difficult to say with any certainty why the market behaves as it does over a short period of time. This puts me in the minority. The WSJ, for instance, recently ran an editorial laying out a theory already popular with many of our friends at the Corner:

No President-elect in the postwar era has been greeted with a more audible hiss from Wall Street. The Dow has lost 1,342 points, or about 14%, since the election, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hitting similar skids. The Dow fell another 4.7% yesterday.

But there’s little doubt that uncertainty, and some fear, over Barack Obama’s economic agenda is also contributing to the downdraft.

Little doubt? Jonathan Chait seems to have quite a lot of doubt, gloating as the Dow soared today. No doubt Chait is largely joking, but there have certainly been plenty of lefties giving Obama credit for every silver lining they can find in the dark economic clouds, while sub-prime morgages are rapidly being reduced to a minor contributing factor in the conservative account of the financial crisis Obama has brought down on all of our heads.

These bits of market analysis are absurd, but no more so than what we hear about the markets every day of the year. People are up in arms over attributing market gains or losses to Obama beacuse a new president-elect is something about which people get up in arms, not because those attributions are any less grounded than usual. Headlines following the same formula as the one above this post are a regular feature of the daily news. But the idea that the day’s trading can usefully be explained as the effect of a simply stated cause immediately obvious to reporters is ludicrous. It’s probably true that, from time to time, some easily observed event occurs whose effect on the market is sufficiently dramatic to make all other factors relatively uninteresting in accounting for market movement over a very short period, but, for the most part, media outlets are simply looking at whether the markets did well or poorly, then running with the most recent news event that seems most conducive to that outcome, and voila. There may be some utility to this sort of analysis, but the ubiquitous practice of presenting it as fact (in headlines!) is unfortunate.


Ralph Nader, Race Baiter

November 10, 2008

There is a lot of outrage out there about Ralph Nader’s use of the phrase ‘Uncle Tom’. A few fringey lefties are upset that Ralph is being falsely accused of calling Obama an Uncle Tom, when what he really did was say that the big question facing us is whether Obama will prove to be an Uncle Tom. That’s a bizarre complaint, since even Fox News honestly reported the comments in context and gave Nader a chance to recant, which he roundly rejected:

Nader, clearly, is a nasty human being, and the Fox News hack, the faux-outraged conservatives, the habitually-outraged liberals, and the deranged Nader-defenders are all letting him off easy by focusing on the words ‘Uncle Tom’. Smith asks him if he wishes he’d “used a phrase other than ‘Uncle Tom'”, as if Nader’s problem was simply word choice. But word choice isn’t the problem here at all. If Nader had used words that people didn’t like to argue a legitimate point, I would be unhappily defending him. But Nader was using the phrase ‘Uncle Tom’ because it was the easiest way to express an ugly, racist sentiment, namely that Obama has more of a responsibility to sign on to Nader’s wackjob agenda than previous presidents because he is black. This is something he has said in the past:

Asked to clarify whether he thought Obama does try to “talk white,” Nader said: “Of course.

“I mean, first of all, the number one thing that a black American politician aspiring to the presidency should be is to candidly describe the plight of the poor, especially in the inner cities and the rural areas, and have a very detailed platform about how the poor is going to be defended by the law, is going to be protected by the law, and is going to be liberated by the law,” Nader said. “Haven’t heard a thing.”

Nader has some unpopular ideas, and he isn’t afraid to call black people who disagree with them race traitors. Even if his ideas weren’t batshit crazy, that would be disgusting. Focusing on the words he uses to express that bile is silly.

Re: Wikipedia

October 26, 2008

The most notable thing about that article is that the author thinks that ‘epistemology’ refers to theories of truth. This is false, on any workable theory of truth; Wikipedia’s understanding of what ‘epistemology’ means is correct. That is enough to convince me the article is not worth reading.

Call her Bluff

October 16, 2008

From K-Lo’s debate coverage, after the Corner crashed (again):

I am so sorry. (Again.) We were slammed with traffic again tonight. (I promise I resign – because I may not survive the day — if this happens Election Day.)

There is only one reasonable response to this. Hit the corner on E-Day, hit it often, hit it hard. Tell your friends.

The Gay Elephant in the Room

October 6, 2008

As we’ve noted before, the Corner has done an excellent job covering the story no one else dares to touch: Mexican culpability for our current economic troubles. Until now, however, they’d only hinted at the related, and perhaps even more important, questions we all have about this crisis: to what extent is gay sex to blame, and why hasn’t Mark Steyn weighed in on this? Well, better late than never:

Last week in this space, I made a jocular reference to a global economy ‘so vulnerable that only the stalwart action of Barney Frank stands between it and ten years of soup kitchens’. I tittered too soon. It turns out the entire planetary meltdown is due to Congressman Frank’s sex life: Unqualified home buyers were not the only ones who benefitted from Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank’s efforts to deregulate Fannie Mae throughout the 1990s. So did Frank’s partner, a Fannie Mae executive at the forefront of the agency’s push to relax lending restrictions… Moses worked at the government-sponsored enterprise from 1991 to 1998, while Frank was on the House Banking Committee, which had jurisdiction over Fannie… Frank met Moses in 1987, the same year he became the first openly gay member of Congress. ‘I am the only member of the congressional gay spouse caucus,’ Moses wrote in the Washington Post in 1991. ‘On Capitol Hill, Barney always introduces me as his lover.’ The two lived together in a Washington home until they broke up in 1998, a few months after Moses ended his seven-year tenure at Fannie Mae, where he was the assistant director of product initiatives. According to National Mortgage News, Moses ‘helped develop many of Fannie Mae’s affordable housing and home improvement lending programs.’ Critics say such programs led to the mortgage meltdown that prompted last month’s government takeover of Fannie Mae and its financial cousin, Freddie Mac. The giant firms are blamed for spreading bad mortgages throughout the private financial sector… Three years later, President Clinton’s Department of Housing and Urban Development tried to impose a new regulation on Fannie, but was thwarted by Frank. Clinton now blames such Democrats for planting the seeds of today’s economic crisis. Perhaps not the most felicitous way of putting it.

This charming piece of analysis was soon followed by this:

Read the rest of this entry »

Krikorian Clarifies

September 27, 2008

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who noticed Krikorian on Latinos and the financial meltdown. Kossacks are up in arms, and he has a retraction:

Media Matters and Kos have their knickers in a twist about my ‘Cause and Effect’ posting yesterday, and they actually have a point. It should have been titled something more like ‘Misplaced Priorities,’ because the point was not that gay or Hispanic employees caused WaMu to fail, but rather the irony that even as the bank was on the verge of death due to the diversity-driven mortgage meltdown, it was still touting its diversity.

That’s actually a perfectly fair position. But as much as I hate to align myself with the Kos crowd about anything, the problem isn’t that he slipped up in titling his post. The problem is that he – and many other anti-immigration advocates – consistently rely on Mexican baiting to sell their position.

If you want to oppose immigration, I disagree, but I can see your point. If you want to make off color remarks about Mexicans, I’m okay with that, insofar as I’m okay with off color remarks about everything. But if you’re disguising xenophobia with a thin veneer of humor to sell your social policies, that’s ugly. And that’s pretty clearly what’s going on here.

UPDATE 9/27 2:04PM: I notice I didn’t read Krikorian’s second post carefully enough. I’m not sure exactly what he’s driving at with the phrase ‘the diversity-driven mortgage meltdown’, but it’s likely xenophobic nonsense. Still, it’s a lot better than the initial post.

Message Discipline

September 26, 2008

In the midst of a crisis this size, it’s easy to lose sight of the things that really matter. That’s why it’s heartwarming to see that – even as he blogs about Wall Street – Mark Krikorian hasn’t forgotten who he is: a guy who, whatever the economic climate, in good times and in bad, really, really hates Mexicans:

Cause and Effect? [Mark Krikorian]

I really thought this was a joke, but it’s not. WaMu’s final press release, before it sank beneath the waves (h/t Sailer):

WaMu Recognized as Top Diverse Employer—Again

Company ranks in top ten of Hispanic Business’ Diversity Elite and earns perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index

SEATTLE, WA (September 24, 2008) – Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM), one of the nation’s leading banks for consumers and small businesses, has once again been recognized as a top employer by Hispanic Business magazine and the Human Rights Campaign.

Reality Used to be a Friend of Mine

September 25, 2008

One of the strangest effects of the economic crisis has been its injection of sporadic bouts of intellectual honesty into the folks at the discourse at the National Review. Almost no one over there wants anything to do with W’s version of the bailout. Some of them have been pretty skeptical of McCain, and K-Lo even went through a phase of thinking Obama looked better than McCain on the campaign-suspension issue. They all panned McCain’s posturing over firing Cox. Mark Krikorian has returned to his former position of refusing to vote for a man who, let’s face it, has never displayed a healthy hatred of Mexicans.

But not everyone has completely lost their cool:

Gimmick? No. Hell No. [Michael Ledeen]

I’m with Newt. I think we sometimes get so involved with inside baseball that it becomes impossible to see real leadership. McCain is right: if this crisis is as grave as most everyone says, it should be the only thing, not just the most important thing for those who would be president.

It’s hard to go wrong with a post that begins: “I’m with Newt.”

(h/t PM Dawn)

The Corner Demands Fairness, Balance

September 18, 2008

K-Lo, at 12:19 PM:

As noted in ‘The Corner’ and elsewhere, that Obama Spanish ad is really beyond the pale of fact and common sense. It’s a shame someone who supports Obama doesn’t come out and denounce the blatant, insulting dishonesty of the ad.

Fair enough. Oh, wait, no it isn’t. Andrew Sullivan, at 9:57 AM:

Jake Tapper nails Barack on this one. Equating McCain and Limbaugh on the issue of immigration is crude and stupid. McCain has always been far less hostile to the plight of illegal immigrants than Rush Limbaugh – even though he has moved toward the Kaus position in the past several months – and the Limbaugh quotes appear out of context. Playing racial politics this way is not what Obama promised to do. Cut it out.


September 5, 2008

Consider this goofy crew from The Corner, a rabble that call themselves ‘Red Meat’.   All of them are very fat and silly.  Ramesh Ponnuru is a fat little Indian dumpling and his voice is a ridiculous helium soprano.   To his right is Jim Geraghty, whose subtle lisp, exaggerated body language, and camp humor suggest a disconnect between his political beliefs and personal practice.  Stephen Spruiell probably wears that press badge to bed.  And the fattest of the lot is the nauseating Mark Hemingway, who mostly sits in froglike quiet but from time to time blurts out a disastrous one liner, stunning even the other jerks into an uncomfortable silence.  The four are without charisma.  If you watched the clip without sound you would probably guess they were playing Dungeons & Dragons, but without dice – because their game is more about the character development than killing trolls.