Friday, August 16, 2002

Brendan Nyhan from Spinsanity wrote a dissembling diatribe against MWO, and MWO came back with a reasoned response. (A few others, namely Dominion,Demosthenes, and Monchie Monchum have detailed Nyhan's considerable spin.) MWO concedes the accuracy of the Spinsanity piece, the upshot of which was that MWO can be pretty mean and partisan. But every time Nyhan tried doing a takedown of MWO, he didn't bother with any checking of accuracy. Why? Because MWO is accurate. Plain and simple. He only takes exception to MWO's partisan 'jargon'. This is in keeping with Spinsanity's rather silly quest to put an end to all partisan spin in the political sphere. That and his need to appear neutral by finding a moral equivalence between Ann "Kill the Liberals" Coulter and Media "Panchito is nauseating" Whores Online.

Well, here's a message for Nyhan: Politicians are partisan. They spin. That's their job. That's the nature of politics. Get used to it. And human beings have a point of view that they want to get across. Sometimes people actually have to shout to be heard. To quote MWO: So a few citizens own a site and present their perspective! But they're liberals! The horror, the horror!

It seems that what Nyhan wants is for there to be only 'reason and logic' in politics. There's a problem with that, though. Human beings don't necessarily respond right away to reason, and to get power, one needs the votes of human beings. (e.g. The dueling speeches by Brutus and Marc Antony in Julius Caesar.) One would need:

a) a Vulcan
b) Deep Blue

for the purposes of political discussion without the vagaries of human emotion in the mix. That is, politics would be a great thing if we just got rid of all of them pesky human beings mucking things up.

Sorry, Brendan, but I'd rather have human beings representing my interests. We're a nation of laws such that we humans are held in check when we go too far. But those laws aren't meant to deny us our basic humanity.

On edit: Pouting works. (see his comment section under that post)

Mind the Gap, says Paul Krugman.

The 'gap' refers to an output gap, a term that this not-an-economist didn't know about, which is the difference between potential growth at full employment and actual growth. The output gap is part of what's been causing Japan's deflation for the last 15 years. Krugman then goes down a list of conditions explaining why that gap shouldn't hurt us here, and how those conditions that existed during the Clinton years don't exist now.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

It's an amazing thing when you have top line producers and reporters calling you and saying "We trust you,
we need your stuff."
- Mark Corallo, RNC scumbag, on a BBC show called
Digging the Dirt, on how they didn't even need to blastfax the press because the press was actively trying to throw Election 2000.

[via a British reader of MWO.]

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Larry Klayman strikes again!

Be more open and talk to people. - Ron Fulbright, head of electronics wholesaler Hargis Corp. in Waco, giving Shrub some advice that'll never be taken.

While Shrub fiddles at his gathering of the yes-men in Waco, Waco has a 25% poverty rate. The median wage for 65% of the jobs there is under $10/hour. The writer also seemed to refer to the forum as the charade it was, which will no doubt stir up hate radio in San Francisco to get their pisspants to complain.

What's to stop them from seizing, say, Tom Daschle as an "enemy combatant" and locking him up? According to their legal theories, there is no legal constraint that would prevent them from doing this, or that would enable Sen. Daschle to secure his release. - rea from Eschaton's comments about Ashcroft's (and ergo Bush's) desire for camps for those designated by the king (er, Bush) as 'enemy combatants'.

I need a drink. Double of Knob Creek.


More proof that Wall Street believes that people who play by the rules are suckers. You may know the story of Malden Mills. Makes Polartec Mill in Lawrence, MA burned down in 1995. The owner, Aaron Feuerstein, paid his employees out of the insurance money and rebuilt the mill in Lawrence with double the previous capacity. They essentially are the market for fabrics for outdoorsmen everywhere. Unfortunately, they had to borrow to get the mill where it needed to be, and had to file for Chapter 11 as a result of the recession.

Their main creditor is GE Capital, one of those who only care about the bottom line - the consequence of this attitude was today's business scandals and book-cooking. So not surprisingly, since Feuerstein focuses on making Polartec and not the bottom line, GE Capital wants him out when Malden Mills emerges from bankruptcy.

I fear for their future now. GE will want their own kind in there, and that kind will just ruin that market, not to mention Malden Mills and Lawrence. They'll do the same thing the GOP did when they shifted spending to their own districts - cut out the expensive stuff (in Congress' case pork projects, in Malden Mills case R&D) while keeping the relatively cheap stuff (in business' case that's obscene CEO pay). You know, focus on quarterly profits while missing the the purpose of the business, which in Malden Mills case is to make Polartec.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

A disquieting news flash: Morale in our armed forces, specifically those working at the Pentagon, stinks under Rumsfeld/Shrub. They say it hasn't been this bad in 15 years when St. Ron was Commander in Chief. This should tell you something: there was a peak in morale in between, and it was a lot higher during the Clinton years than now. Maybe, just maybe, they don't think Clinton was so bad after all.

Thanks to Antidolt of the Bartcop Forum.

The Media Horse has named NY Times columnist Bill Keller Whore of the Week for this groaner of a Gore-bashing column. And for good measure, the Daily Howler limns the same column with its usual flair. However, Bob Somerby didn't note the obvious about Keller's all-Dem-bashing-all-the-time column; it's the first write of the press script that the lazy-assed welfare queens of the Washington press corps will follow to a T.

Also, Somerby notes that the 'fancy hotel' where Al Gore lived while growing up is now a 'Washington penthouse'. So let's go down the list of what it really was:

Fairfax Apartments, a rather spartan setup
completely remodeled to the Ritz Carlton
completely remodeled again to the Westin.

Apparently, it's never occurred to the Washington press corps that a building can be remodeled into something completely different. Any knucklehead who's walked around downtown St. Louis knows that when they see old railroad warehouses converted into fancy hotels. I guess the people who squatted in those abandoned warehouses were really living well to the Washington press corps.

on edit: would be nice if I'd add that link. grumblegrumble

Here's a story
of a CEO
who was cashing out millions worth in stock...

Fortune presents The Greedy Bunch. Krugman referred to this in today's column. There's John Chambers of Cisco. There's AOL Time Warner (who incidentally publishes Fortune). There's Enron. Linda Lay must have been crying poverty because Kenny Boy only cashed out $107 million while one Lou Pai cashed in $280 million. Then there's the less well-known Peregrine Systems, whose CEO John Moores cashed out $646 million by himself. That would cover the losses on the San Diego Padres, which Moores also owns, for the next 85 years. (That's probably an inaccurate claim by Fortune. The truth would be that his cashout was 85 times higher than the yearly loss sustained by the Padres. Constant dollars and all that.)

Lots o' links in that there article. Get thee hither post haste!

Monday, August 12, 2002

If it's Tuesday, which it almost is, it must be Krugman. This time his darts are trained toward John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems (and its $400 billion in disappearing market capitalization) and long-time abuser of stock options as accounting trick, according to Barron's. But hey, he paid himself $157 million one year, which must mean he's a genius that should definitely speak at Shrub's economic dog-and-pony show at his ersatz ranch.

Blah3.com gave me a plug. It is a good day, indeed, as he's a bit more influential than my little treehouse.

OK, a lot more influential.

Josh Marshall's been raising as ruckus over at Talking Points Memo over the start of a new Washington Post column called... (drumroll please)... Talking Points. He's not happy about it and is trying, rather successfully by his account, to get his readers to email the WaPo to complain.

So what does the one-man staff at GeekPol have to say about this? Josh Marshall is being a freaking crybaby, and hypocritical to boot. Faux News has been using "Talking Points Memo" as the opening host bloviation segment for four years now on Bill O'Reilly's show. Say what you want about the gun-grabbing Royalist O'Reilly, he did have that phrase first. It would be wise for Marshall to keep quiet about getting ripped off when he has some 'splainin' to do with respect to O'Reilly.

In an even sillier move, Marshall brags about the Washington Times picking up the story. Seeing as the WashTimes doesn't have any real reporters, they make no mention of Fox, and they got Marshall's URL wrong to boot. It's just another chance for the Times to jab pointed sticks at the Post. Why do work when someone else does it for you, eh?

Why is it that GOP lawmakers tend to contradict themselves almost gleefully? How else to explain their support in Florida (where else?) for a new adoption law that's so convoluted that it discourages adoptions and will likely encourage abortions?

A bit of creative speaking from the Ashcroft Justice Department.Jailing is not punishment, according to Justice Dept. lawyer and professional Clinton hater Michael Chertoff.

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