Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
This morning a friend of mine posted a question on Facebook. "What is the first movie you can ever remember wanting to go see?"
Friday, May 6, 2011
I agree with Steven Ertelt that Cain won the debate, but Pawlenty rose to the first tier of candidates.
Cain was, as always, a great communicator and he did what he needed to do to transcend the Tea Party speech he is excellent at and give a presidential performance.
Pawlenty hit all the right notes and showed himself clear and solid on the issues.
Santorum did well when he was on the attack (esp against Obama), but whenever his record came up he came across as shrill and defensive.
Paul has lost his edge. He is still the same on issues, but his ability to communicate them has taken a hit.
Johnson ended up being almost completely irrelevant. The only thing people will remember of him is his comment on Palin crawling around on her “hands and knees.” He is not a serious candidate.
This is my live blogging from last night’s Republican primary debate. I pulled it off of my twitter so all times are only approximate.
- 8:50 RT @MattMackowiak Worth noting: Every Republican nominee since 1980 has won the
primary. South Carolina
- 9:05 great opening @timpawlenty first answer in the debate takes on the UN. #tcot #GOP #gop12
- 9:11 RT @MattMackowiak Very strong T-Paw answer on "waterboarding" and EITs -- has clearly been working on his public speaking. #SCdebate
- 9:13 RT @ianessling Pawlenty HAMMERS Obama decision to block Boeing into SC, says it's "preposterous" decision and "outrageous" line that admin has crossed.
- 9:14 Rick Santorum is sounding a little desperate. Calm down and smile a little. #scdebate #tcot #gop12 #GOP
- 9:15 Another attack on the U.N. from @timpawlenty - Never bow to the U.N. American's leaders should be making American policy.#scdebate
- 9:16 RT @benpolitico Nobody ever lost a Republican primary by being too mean to the UN. Pawlenty calls it a "pathetic organization."
- 9:17 Don't make laugh like that. RT “@jpodhoretz: Ron Paul is a doctor. Can you imagine his bedside manner?”
- 9:18 Here are the social issues. #scdebate
- 9:19 Johnson is the first one booed, and it is for his pro-abortion views.#scdebate
- 9:19 T-paw has a great (almost @FRCdc) answer on Stem Cell research. #SCDebate
- 9:20 Wrong party. RT @MattMackowiak Gary Johnson supports legalization of marijuana and right to choose. Obama primary?#SCdebate #GOP #tcot
- 9:24 Santorum has a great challenge against Daniels' truce: ignoring what is important. #SCDebate #Tcot
- 9:Cain is thoughtful and clear. Just needs a little more experience “@mattklewis: Solid DOMA answer by Herman Cain.” #scdebate
- 9:30 RT @StevenErtelt Santorum: "Anybody that would suggest we call a truce on moral issues doesn't understand what
is all about." America
- 9:44 RT @mattklewis Observation: T-Paw & Romney both have "clunkers" in their background. T-Paw apologized for his problem. Romney won't.
- 9:45 RT @DavidLimbaugh Oh yes, good for Pawlenty -- great answer -- I can't believe his performance so far.
- 9:50 Santorum had a great answer on women in his book. That will play well in SC and he deflected what could have been a hard attack.#SCDebate
- 9:55 RT MattMackowiak Gary Johnson must have smoked marijuana when deciding to run for President. #SCdebate
- 10:20 Out of the ball park RT @mattklewis Herman Cain nails the experience question: "How's that workin' out for you?" (Even Chris Wallace laughs.)
- 10:19 RT @MattMackowiak Rating the performances: 1) Santorum 2) Pawlenty 3) Cain 4) Paul 5) Johnson #SCdebate
- 10:23 RT @MattMackowiak Pawlenty was strong. No mistakes. Knowledgeable. Delivery better than it has been. Cements tier 1 status. #SCdebate
- 10:24 RT “@MattMackowiak: Checkmate RT @LDoren: Racist Teapartiers unanimously supporting Herman Cain on Fox News right now.”
- 10:25 Pawlenty good comebacks-strong candidate. Cain great speaker. Santorum fighter. Ron Paul trouble maker. Johnson not serious.
- 10:30 RT @StevenErtelt People tweeting me saying Cain won the debate, but Pawlenty won a trip to the first tier of candidates...
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
On 9/11, when people heard about the attack on the World Trade Center, they turned to the TV. Not so on 5/1. Rather, social media spread the news even before the news outlets or President Obama had the chance to formally make the announcement. Twitter, for example, had the “highest sustained rate of Tweets ever.”
My wife and I, who are usually fairly well connected, didn’t know that Osama bin Laden had been killed until the morning of May 2. Rather than being online, we spent Sunday evening watching TV.
HT: Michelle Malkin
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
It only took me four months to read the book (and no, it’s not that incredibly long, I just kept getting distracted). The book itself is well written and well researched, and gives some very helpful background history of the Fed allowing the reader to place certain actions in context. But while I had originally intended to do a deeper review, the billions and trillions got so jumbled up that I lost track sometimes of who was spending what. What I can write about, however, is the financial system in the broader scheme.
Reading Wessel the analogy of digging a hole came to mind. It has been said that, when you’re in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. This makes sense. However, if you’re in a leaking boat, you should not stop bailing water. Both the digging and the bailing involve the same motion, just with an opposite outcome. The problem with the financial panic is that it was sometimes hard to tell if we were in a boat or a hole. The inability to know that information led to a rather bumbling approach at times.
Fundamentally, though, Wessel—likely unintentionally—revealed a deeper truth: we have forgotten that the economy is made up of people. In A Humane Economy: The Social Framework of the Free Market, Wilhelm Ropke wrote:
“[A] whole generation of economists was so exclusively brought up as to operate with economic aggregates that it forgot the things which until then were the real content of economic theory and which should never be forgotten: namely, that the economic order is a system of moving, and moved, separate prices, wages, interests, and other magnitudes. . . . In the past, to be a good economist meant being able to assess the relationship between currently operative forces, and sound judgment, experience, and common sense counted for more than formal skill in handling methods illegitimately transferred from the natural to the social sciences; but the limelight became increasingly to be occupied by a type of economist who knew how to express hypothetical statements about functional relationships in mathematical formulas or curves.” (p. 193)In short, what was lost from the equation was people; individual people making individual decisions to spend, save, or invest, which in the aggregate kept the economy running. For that is what keeps our capital based (or debt based) economy alive. As long as the banks and financial institutions have the trust of the public, they could continue to bet on their liabilities. But when that trust was lost, we saw the national equivalent of a run on the bank. Suddenly lenders wanted their money back, and when debtor institutions could not immediately come up with the necessary capital, they verged on bankruptcy.
To prevent these bankruptcies, the Fed took a number of steps, now collectively called the “bailout.” And, according to Wessel, they did work in preventing a bigger crisis from occurring. But lost in the process was the trust of the public. For although it is economically justifiable with charts and graphs to argue that the financial institutions were too big to fail, it does strike against common sense, especially since those institution’s executives were getting millions in bonuses during the very same time period.
For people, unlike numbers or chemicals, don’t always react the same way to the same conditions. Rather, doing everything “right” by the theory may not lead to the projected outcome. And the economists directing our economy should keep that at the forefront.
Monday, May 2, 2011
around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."