Evidence, Logic, and Robert Barro
On Robert Shillet's "Animal Spirits" Lecture at the New School

This Week in Journamalism...

Newsweek Crashed-and-Burned Watch: Tom Tomorrow makes a catch:

This Modern World: Media meltdown watch: Newsweek’s response to the Ongoing Cluster@#*& is a fabulous new makeover:

Newsweek also plans to lean even more heavily on the appeal of big-name writers like Christopher Hitchens, Fareed Zakaria and George Will...

Only one of these three is sufficiently intelligent and oriented to reality to be able to make his way to the sink to brush his teeth in the evening.

It goes on:

...Starting in May, articles will be reorganized under four broad, new sections — one each for short takes, columnists and commentary, long reporting pieces like the cover articles, and culture — each with less compulsion to touch on the week’s biggest events. A new graphic feature on the last page, “The Bluffer’s Guide,” will tell readers how to sound as if they are knowledgeable on a current topic, whether they are or not.

And Tom Tomorrow snarks:

You might as well buy some stock in the Washington Post Company right now, because I don’t see any way this plan could fail!

Red Charlie:

NPR Crashed-and-Burned Watch (Ellen Weiss Unclear on the Concept Department): Yeah, I gave up on NPR after Bob Mondelo and Richard Harris reviewed "An Inconvenient Truth" They laughed about the prospect of flooded Manhattan, and joked about FEMA building dikes around New York. I don't see how that could be funny, especially after Katrina. As far as I'm concerned, NPR has the Broder disease really bad. They ain't getting my money any more. http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/5/25/12740/8284/331/213249 http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/6/7/133619/8442/958/216698

In fiscal year 2007, the United States government spent $2,728.9 billion dollars. In fiscal year 2008, the United States government spent $2,978.5 billion dollars--an increase (not adjusted for inflation) of $249.6 billion. On February 13, 2009, in the pages of the New York Times, David Brooks writes:

The Worst-Case Scenario - NYTimes.com: Between 1990 and 2007, the total mortgage debt held by Americans rose from $2.5 trillion to $10.5 trillion. This rise was part of a societal credit bubble that burst in 2008. To cushion the pain of that collapse, federal authorities decided to replace private debt with public debt. In 2008, the Bush administration increased spending by about $1.7 trillion, and guaranteed loans, investments and deposits worth about $8 trillion...

I realize that the absence of basic quantitative literacy is regarded by the New York Times as an excellence rather than as a shame--as a reason that people should pay respectful attention to it rather than the reverse--but this is ridiculous.