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bascule

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Everything posted by bascule

  1. Please don't collude TARP with the Obama administration. The bungling (and perhaps malicious aspects) of TARP rests squarely on the Bush Administration/Paulson's shoulders.
  2. Okay, I missed this: A grid of 8000 grid boxes of equal area is used. Time series are changed to series of anomalies. For each grid box, the stations within that grid box and also any station within 1200km of the center of that box are combined using the reference station method. So if I understand correctly, their "grid boxes" are immensely more fine grained than your "grids"? I'd also be curious about the relative uncertainties between your method and theirs.
  3. In Bush's case, it wasn't an "emergency" request, but was specifically omitted from the annual national budget as far as the figure reported to the press goes... it specifically omitted spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on an annual basis. I don't know exactly how the Bush Administration justified that, but Obama changed it so they included spending on Iraq and Afghanistan in their "total" annual budget figure. I guess you really were ignorant of this. Obama essentially undid some Bush Administration spin as far as the true national budget figures go. This particular instance of emergency spending is entirely different from the Bush Administration's preallocated annual spending on the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan which they deliberately subtracted from their annual total budget and somehow convinced the press was a separate item entirely.
  4. bascule

    Reganomics

    What I'd expect to see is the same thing we saw under Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush: a period of irrational exuberance/unsustainable growth followed by a recession/depression when things start getting out of hand How many times do we have to keep trying the same failed experiment before we can declare it a failure and move on? The type of deregulation pursued under the past four presidents put us on the road to economic ruin. A substantial portion of our present national debt was used to prop up our economy and keep it from collapsing entirely, money that Wall Street fraudsters and bandits used to line their pockets. Our economy is desperately in need of more regulation. Large financial organizations like CitiGroup and Goldman Sachs should not be allowed to trade in derivatives like CDOs.
  5. bascule

    Reganomics

    Okay, can you please tell me what claims you are making about Reagan then? Because as far as I can tell this is nothing but a post hoc ergo propter hoc argument about how Reaganomics lead to a productive economy. You are? I got a distinctly different impression from the OP: The very part of the guy's article you decided to quote talks specifically about the "next 28 years". So excuse me if I didn't get "just the '80s" from your OP. That said, uhh, S&L scandal, and subsequent recession? The growth we saw under Reagan was not sustainable, and came at the cost of substantial national debt. Yes, and we also saw GDP growth under FDR and Truman. Hooray for the New Deal! We also saw GDP growth under Bush, then... financial crisis. Growth according to broad metrics like GDP do not accurately reflect the risks that bring growth about. Someone can be "hot" on a craps table, with their total money increasing over time. That's not an indication that playing craps is generally a great way to make money.
  6. I'm not sure if you're legitimately ignorant here or what, so I'll spell it out for you. When the Bush Administration reported their figures for the national budget, they specifically omitted spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This figure was reported separately. Obama decided to forego that approach and include spending on Iraq and Afghanistan in their budget figures. None of that has anything to do with PAYGO. I'm just going to assume for the moment that you were legitimately ignorant and you are not attempting to maliciously spin this story or slander Obama. Unless you're accusing Obama of deliberately underbudgeting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so as to deliberately lower the national budget, then calling for emergency spending to make up the difference... So, are you willing to admit you were wrong/ignorant/whatever and recant your claim that Obama broke a promise here?
  7. Looking for it, not seeing it. He did? When? That's discussing omission of spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the total national budget figures, not anything to do with PAYGO. They're giving voice to Congressional Republicans who are in turn grumbling about the deficit. So they are covering it, just not spinning it the way Fox is, which you appear to find desirable. I prefer the less biased approach personally, and hey, I'm neither a fan of emergency spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or spending money we don't have. That doesn't excuse Fox, and the rampant hypocrisy deserves one of these: Remember half a decade ago when Democrats were complaining about emergency spending bills for the war and Fox was chastising them for preventing our troops from getting the money they desperately need? I do. This is the same amount of spin, just in the opposite direction now that they party they favor is out of power. I could turn around and ask why the Fox and the Republicans hate the troops so much and it'd be no different.
  8. Having separate areas for smokers which are either outdoors or have an isolated ventilation system was a great compromise. Unfortunately that approach went by the wayside in this state, and now smoking is banned outright from all restaurants.
  9. Which campaign promise is that? Can you find it in the Obameter? http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/ You know, there's a reason for that... But for the record, here's a non-Newscorp source asking how this bill would be funded. The Oklahoman, from which this article comes, is apparently owned by "The Gaylord Family" and not by any other major syndicate. All that said, does anyone else find the Johnny-come-lately Republican and News Corp/Fox concern over how an emergency war spending bill will be funded sadly pathetic? Hey guys, why weren't you doing that 7 years ago? Oh right, because the Republicans were in power, and when a Republican spends money they don't have on a war it's OK.
  10. bascule

    Reganomics

    Because Reagan was singlehandedly responsible for all growth that occurred after he took office, and the S&L scandal which plunged the US into a recession we would only get out of after Clinton took office didn't happen? What? Perhaps we should talk about what great things George W. Bush did for our economy as well. Look at all that growth prior to the financial crisis. Awesome. And what about the national debt? It exploded under Reagan. Cutting taxes on the super-rich and running our government in the red is a way to stimulate the economy, but after the (unsustainable) growth began, we've remained in that position. I don't know how else to react to this. Myopic? Ignorant? Completely ridiculous?
  11. I've recently been reading about these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polywell They're a fusion reactor which is a hybrid of a few different ideas including inertial electrostatic confinement and magnetic confinement (if I got that right). They sound substantially less complicated than the much more heavily researched Tokamak design and also carry with them the potential for commercial power production. A quote from someone involved in some recent Navy research into this concept: Dr Richard Nebel commented that "There's nothing in there [the research] that suggests this will not work," but "that's a very different statement from saying that it will work." Spoken like a true scientist, Dr. Nebel
  12. Whoops, hey sorry, that's actually a pretty cool link, sorry about my dimwitted reply. Here's more information on those devices. They're called fusors, and were invented by Philo T. Farnsworth, the "father of television": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusor
  13. Snow Crash and Neuromancer, but maybe I'm just biased
  14. Anyone have any idea what this (or the previously proposed Republican legislation) is called? A cursory googling isn't turning it up, and I'm having a difficult time figuring out exactly what this (or the previous Republican proposal) actually does.
  15. At the Cannes 2010 film festival, a new movie called "Inside Job" about the financial crisis and how it was caused by reckless and often deceptive risk-taking and extortion which took place in the lead up to the financial crisis: http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2010/05/i_am_but_a_naive.html Here is the argument of the film, in four sentences. From Roosevelt until Reagan, the American economy enjoyed 40 years of stability, prosperity and growth. Beginning with Reagan's moves against financial regulation, that sound base has been progressively eroded. The crucial federal error (in administrations of both parties) was to allow financial institutions to trade on their own behalf. Today many large trading banks are betting against their own customers. This has been one of the central points of those who argue that organizations which are "too big to fail" are "too big to exist". Entities as complex as CitiGroup could never have existed before deregulation, and now that they do, nobody, including themselves, can fully understand them. Divisions trading in things like CDOs can place the entire company at risk, even if the overwhelming majority of the company is not operating in a risky manner. And the way these divisions make money is by working against their customers, trying to get them to eat the proverbial "sh*t sandwich", convincing them it tastes good and not informing them of the risks.
  16. I really have to hand it to the Cato Institute, again and again. They're conservative libertarianism done right. None of this wishy washy Ron/Rand Paul crap. It'd be pretty awesome if Cato institute members Penn & Teller covered Ron/Rand Paul on their show Bullsh*t. I think they may have touched on Ron Paul before. But now Rand Paul seems like an out and out libertarian wannabe who's still a fundie at heart. I wonder if Penn would call him out on it.
  17. Should public restaurants be able to tell you whether or not you're allowed to bring guns inside?
  18. That's rather odd, considering he announced his candidacy on the Rachel Maddow show, and recently appeared on her show again: -3O2rBz9gwo VqAAfSfap5w (and note: if you're looking for a good example of why Rachel Maddow is not "the liberal Rush Limbaugh" or some other silly, ignorant comparison, watch this interview. She does an excellent job with her questions, which is perhaps why Rand Paul has chosen to appear on her show repeatedly) I'm certain he's not a racist either. He supports what I do think is a truly libertarian idea that businesses should get to choose their customers based on any criteria they desire, and if they don't want blacks as patrons, they don't have to serve them. He said he'd support every part of the Civil Rights Act except this, and would certainly support the end of segregation and discrimination by the government itself, but private business owners get a bye. He claims business owners will naturally serve all races without a law to enforce it because that's the better business decision. Riiiight... I think if Rand Paul had actually marched with Martin Luther King as he claims he would have instead of that simply being a hollow political statement, he might have a different opinion on that matter. Listening to the NPR interview (in the above Maddow video) and Maddow's follow up questions on the "right" of business owners to discriminate based on race, it's clear he's more than a little uneasy about following his position through to its logical conclusion, and simply prefers to divert the conversation rather than address it. The interview gets especially confusing when Rachel Maddow asks Rand Paul about a ban on interracial dating at Bob Jones University (which is private). Rand Paul counters with a rather confusing metaphor about gun rights, and whether or not people are allowed to bring guns into public restaurants, and how others are blurring the distinction between "public and private". This is especially odd because until he did this, Rand Paul had been using the word "public" to mean "government owned", then threw "public" in in the gun analogy scenario to mean "a restuarant that serves the general public rather than select private clientèle". The implication was that liberals would support allowing a "private" restaurant to ban its members from openly carrying firearms, but wouldn't allow them to, say, ban black people. So suddenly the entire tone of what he's saying has shifted. Now it's no longer "private" as in "part of the private sector". It's private as in "exclusive". I personally have no problems with a private, exclusive club using whatever criteria they want to select members. Do they want to ban blacks? Do they only want to allow other Irishmen? I don't care. At the same time I wonder if Rand Paul would support these establishments banning people from carrying firearms. After being repeatedly confronted with questions like "Do you think Woolworth's lunch counters should have been allowed to remain segregated, yes or no?" Rand Paul can only dodge. He's fine speaking hypothetically about the rights of private business owners but can't commit when given a specific example. All in all, Rand Paul's views on this issue are still clear as mud. Which is very odd, because as a fellow libertarian (albeit a liberal one) you could construct similar yes or no questions around my other civil libertarian beliefs and I could answer them outright. For example, if you asked me, do I support the rights of racists to say "If I had my way, I'd kill every n...(black person) in America", I would say, "Absolutely. I strongly condemn what they're saying, but I support their Constitutional right to say it" Rand Paul, given the Woolworth's lunch counter scenario, can't answer with similar resolution "Absolutely. I strongly condemn Woolworth's keeping lunch counters segregated but I support their right to do so." Instead, it's dodge, parry, dance dance dance.
  19. And in a state that would pass legislation like this to begin with, I'm sure there's no racial profiling going on in deciding who gets arrested in the first place. But the larger issue remains: even if they don't suspect you're an illegal immigrant or have any probable cause to believe you are one, after you're arrested and cleared or otherwise exonerated, they can still detain you until they can confirm your immigration status. How is that constitutional?
  20. Well, I read the bill... A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE MAY NOT CONSIDER RACE, COLOR OR NATIONAL ORIGIN IN IMPLEMENTING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SUBSECTION EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY THE UNITED STATES OR ARIZONA CONSTITUTION. A PERSON IS PRESUMED TO NOT BE AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IF THE PERSON PROVIDES TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR AGENCY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING: How do you enforce a section like this, specifically in regard to racial profiling? And if someone is "presumed" not to be an alien only if they can produce an ID, does that mean they are presumed to be an alien if they can't produce such identification? Apparently it does. Immediately before that section: ANY PERSON WHO IS ARRESTED SHALL HAVE THE PERSON'S IMMIGRATION STATUS DETERMINED BEFORE THE PERSON IS RELEASED. THE PERSON'S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373©. So if you're arrested, and the charges are otherwise dropped and you would normally free to go, they can continue to detain you until they verify your immigration status. What? How is that constitutional?
  21. bascule

    Lady Gaga

    Caitlin Moran of The Times wrote this excellent article on interviewing and partying with Lady Gaga: http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article7129672.ece
  22. I don't agree with TARP as implemented, but I do agree with the overall concept
  23. According to the Daily Show, some of the TARP receipients (who received funds at 0% interest) are lending the money back to the government, to finance TARP, at interest. Whaaaaaa?
  24. bascule

    Lady Gaga

    I'm not sure if you gathered it from my listing of recent music, but I'm a huge fan of synthpop (and more specifically electroclash) Auto-Tune can also be used artistically, although I hope you realize all these complaints about Gaga abusing Auto-Tune are pretty moot. I mean, check this out: NM51qOpwcIM
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