Reinhart & Rogoff vs. Krugman

Or, as you’d think the headline should read, Nobel prize winner versus two hacks who fucked up an Excel spreadsheet and were caught by a graduate student.

But since the former is shrill and the latter are for austerity, it’s an even match in the eyes of our liberal media.


Every article that contains “started in the Bush administration but continued and expanded by the Obama administration” is making an implicit “both sides do it” claim. The truth of the matter is this: the government is a continuous organization and changes that are made are, in fact, likely to continue.

To blame the successor equally for continuing is to suggest that every President should spend his honeymoon period undoing everything his predecessor did. Maybe it would be better to quit pretending we can bail ourselves out after making huge mistakes just because it’s theoretically possible.

The lesson here isn’t that Obama isn’t to blame for this—he is. But which Bush-era policy should he have reversed first? which last? That his priority list (and the priority list of his opponents) doesn’t match yours isn’t a reason to put the bad guys back in power to make even more change requiring repeal that might never come.

Fuck Todd

Where the fuck was Chuck Todd when the Repukes were sending fake journos into the White House, pushing fake stories that lead to war, outing Valerie Plame for her husband writing in a newspaper (or is he not in the “journalist” club?), when they fired Donahue for being against Iraq or any other number of principled stands he could have taken about this?

IOKIYAR is the fundamental rule of “journalism.”


Privacy protections limit searching or seizing a reporter’s work, but not when there is evidence that the journalist broke the law against unauthorized leaks. A federal judge signed off on the search warrant — agreeing that there was probable cause that Rosen was a co-conspirator.

Of course, if Obama wasn’t chasing these guys, they’d say this is what happens when a Kenyan Socialist Muslim Manchurian candidate is in office and lets our enemies win. In any event, this wasn’t some sekrit NSA spying thing. They got a warrant. If you don’t like the warrant laws, then advocate for them changing. Don’t Whitewater the President because you’re feeling shame that you had to dismiss Benghazi.


The IRS thing is nothing, as nobody could have predicted. They just played this game where we felt like spending our credibility to say Benghazi was nothing so this had to be something. Remember, they just want to impeach because he’s black.

Navarna Redstricting

In Salon:

Voters get one vote to elect three representatives, and the top three vote-getters win election. This way, many U.S. House district would be shared between Republicans and Democrats. There would suddenly be Northeastern Republican members of Congress, which would make the Republican Party more attuned to the needs of that region. There would also be more Southern Democrats, further limiting the regional segregation we see in Congress. What’s more, voters in strongly Democratic or Republican districts will no longer feel their vote doesn’t matter. If you’re in the minority party in your district, you can still get representation in Congress.

This sounds like a great idea. But until the actual effects are understood, maybe someone ought to try and take this up at the state level first. Proportional representation sounds great, but in a lot of countries that have it there aren’t stable governments, but they have elections whenever the government loses a vote of confidence. What would happen here? We’d wait two years?

Plus, you still have to draw district lines ,they’d just have to be three times as big. And in order for this to work at all, you have to multiply the size of the House by three, or else this whole thing is for nothing in states with only one or two reps.

I’d love to see this tried in California in the lower house, since we’re so fucking avant garde with this kind of thing here. But at least we’ve demonstrated a lot about government in the process. Term limits suck and actually make politicians *more* ambitious for a career and puts party aparatchiks in more control. Direct democracy is dangerous to people’s rights and leads to irresponsible budgeting. Supermajority requirements lead to obstructionism and extortion.

Why not show that quasi-proportional representation has its downside too?

Edit: Most people don’t realize that most revolutionary ideas are out of the question and most reforms are stupid, or, worse, actually counter-productive. Improving things is hard, or it wouldn’t need improving. Opportunities to improve things are rare and shouldn’t be wasted on poorly researched, untested things that sound really cool.


Does anyone really think these three fake scandals are going to matter in a few months?