Posts Tagged ‘The Corner’

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.

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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.

Republican Chicken Little Watch

October 10, 2008

Cliff May loses his cool:

With a veto-proof Senate majority, what would stop an Obama administration from granting statehood to Washington, DC (that was among Bill Clinton’s campaign promises long ago) which would guarantee two more Democratic US Senators pretty much forever?

What would prevent immigration policy from favoring immigrants who will vote Democratic?

And isn’t the governor of Virginia among those already pushing to allow felons to vote — and which party do you think most will vote for?

Out of all this and more, you can’t see a permanent Democratic majority shaping up in the House and Senate?

No, no I can’t.

Fullblown batshit crazy

October 6, 2008

The incomparable KJL:

Does the selloff on Wall Street have anything to do with the increasing likelihood that Obama will be our next president? Note that the two trends — the financial meltdown, despite passage of the bailout, and the solidification of Obama’s lead — are coinciding.  At a minimum, the market’s behavior is not a vote of confidence in an Obama presidency.

Admittedly she is posting a letter from a reader, but still.

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 »

Palin’s Reading Habits

October 1, 2008

Frederick, I think it’s safe to say that Sarah Palin is the one lowering the tone here. But, as with so many of life’s mysteries, you need only have turned to K-Lo and you would have found your answers:

Obviously the governor of Alaska reads. And what it looked liked to me is the governor of Alaska decided she wasn’t going to play along with Couric. Whatever she answered would be scrutinized for the next 24 hours for what she included and left off. So instead she let Katie badger her a little. (I half expected Palin to say, Katie, I even have a Blackberry in Alaska!)

And now the ticket is in yet a better position to run against the media.

See? If she’d mentioned any of the newspapers and magazines that she reads, the media would have picked her apart. For 24 hours! Instead, she claimed to read all of them, about which the media won’t have anything to say, certainly not for 24 whole hours.

Pace K-Lo, however, I must point out that whatever this does to the media’s unfavorables, the media isn’t running for president, so McCain and Palin are more or less locked in to running against Obama and Biden. In that context, turning the press against you is actually a bad thing.

Credit where it’s Due

September 29, 2008

Frederick is right, of course, that sanity is a rare commodity at the Corner, but to be fair, Ponnuru doesn’t exactly quote that email ‘approvingly’. In fact, he points out the same inconsistency that Frederick does:

It seems to me, though, that your two points are in some tension with each other. You can say the bill was terrible and applaud conservatives for killing it, or say that it should have passed and that it’s the Democrats’ fault it didn’t—but putting these two positions in a blender is odd.

I’d say Ponnuru is pretty close to the top of the class over there, in intellect, sanity, and sincerity. Not that he has all that much of the latter two going for him, but then, it’s not a very competitive field.

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)

National Review Defends Al Qaeda

September 22, 2008

Lisa Schiffren thinks we are all too quick to buy the official line on the hotel bombing in Pakistan:

The truck bombing at the Islamabad Marriot which has killed at least 60 people, and is said to have been targeted against senior CIA officials visiting the Pakistani capital, has been universally attributed to Al Qaeda. That is entirely possible, and even likely. But this is a good time to maintain skepticism. We — the U.S. — are neck deep in a conflict with a significant, powerful rogue element of the Pakistani state: their military intelligence unit — ISI (InterServices Intelligence). ISI has spent much of the past seven years playing the U.S. off against the Taliban/Al Qaeda factions in Afghanistan, with which it has an incestuous relationship.

The underlying premise – that the ISI plays the U.S. and militant groups within Pakistan off each other – is uncontroversial. And a healthy dose of skepticism is always good. The problem with her conspiracy theory isn’t that it’s too paranoid, but rather that it doesn’t make any sense. Not only is there no good reason for us to suspect the ISI of the bombing, there is actually pretty good reason for the ISI to suspect us.

Pakistanis, in my limited experience, do not enjoy having bombs go off in their cities. When bombs do go off in their cities, this hurts the approval ratings of the ostensive perpetrators. In the war for the hearts and minds of the Pakistani people, this has been a pretty bad week for Al Qaeda, and thus a pretty good one for the United States. And while Al Qaeda is very much in the business of doing things that hurt their popularity, the ISI is more or less a rational agent – if they’re bombing hotels in Islamabad, it’s to help us, not Al Qaeda.