#smackdown Feed

Should-Read: Wikipedia says: "Cumulative global sales of highway legal plug-in electric passenger cars and light utility vehicles achieved the 2 million unit milestone in December 2016.... The United States ranks second with more than 570,000... through December 2016..."

Attitude without expertise--or any desire to acquire expertise--has long seemed to me to be the dominant current within Fred Hiatt's part of the Washington Post:

Charles Lane (2013): Obama’s Electric Car Mistake: "The Obama administration’s electric-car fantasy finally may have died on the road between Newark, Del., and Milford, Conn...

Continue reading "" »


Weekend Reading: Belle Waring: If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride--A Pony!: Best Weblog Post EVAR (Smackdown/Hoisted)

Clowns (ICP)

A lot of intellectual energy in the early 2000s was a reaction to the installation by a five-to-four vote of a manifestly unqualified president--and the huge wave of justificatory bullshit that the Noise Machine generated around that in the form of clouds of misinformation to hide reality. People with platforms began calling it out, hoping to find other people to talk to to check whether they were being gaslighted or not.

The finest example of this I have ever seen was Belle Waring's Best Weblog Post EVAR from 2004. It's a thing to remember. If aspect of the Reagan presidency were real tragedy, and the entire Bush 43 presidency was tragic farce, what is this about to be?

Belle Waring (2004): If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride--A Pony!: "I think Matthew Yglesias' response to Josh Chafetz' exercise in wishful thinking was about right...

...even if Brad DeLong's is more nuanced.

I'd like to note, though, that Chafetz is selling himself short. You see, wishes are totally free. It's like when you can't decide whether to daydream about being a famous Hollywood star or having amazing magical powers. Why not--be a famous Hollywood star with amazing magical powers! Along these lines, John has developed an infallible way to improve any public policy wishes. You just wish for the thing, plus, wish that everyone would have their own pony!

Continue reading "Weekend Reading: Belle Waring: If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride--A Pony!: Best Weblog Post EVAR (Smackdown/Hoisted)" »


Monday DeLong Smackdown: Artists' Choices and Repeal, Replace, Delay

Jonathan Bernstein: Artists' Choices and Repeal, Replace, Delay: "Brad DeLong on what kind of president Trump will be...

...A lot here I agree with, but I think DeLong undervalues Ronald Reagan's appreciation of his audience -- his real audience, not just the one in his mind. Reagan (and not just the mythical Reagan, but, as DeLong says, the real one) was willing to back off on plans going wrong. For all of his considerable ability to believe stories that were not true, he was willing to accept that things he did could go wrong. I'm not confident Trump has that ability, and (unlike Reagan) unfortunately everything in Trump's brief political career has given him excuses for rejecting cautions from anyone. 


(Early) Monday Smackdown: The Washington Post and Chris Cillizza

Duncan Black: Eschaton: America's Worst Humans: "Chris Cillizza. I'm sure Cillizza got his career opportunities through nothing other than the pure meritocracy...

...that exists in our free market Nirvana. Certainly he got none of the breaks that blah people do. Still if he wasn't doing this, I don't see how he wouldn't be under a bridge somewhere.

Scott Lemieux: Love Is Always Scarpering, Or Cowering, Or Fawning: "This month’s Cillizza Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field Of Hackdom goes to… Chris Cillizza:

@TheFix: You should watch this Paul Ryan town hall on CNN. The guy is extremely impressive.

@OnceUponA: It is very difficult to have a working understanding of health policy and simultaneously be impressed by his answers on ACA. https://t.co/NTdpL9gTIw

Continue reading "(Early) Monday Smackdown: The Washington Post and Chris Cillizza" »


(Late) Monday Smackdown: The Intellectual Bar for Eminence on the Right Is Very Low Indeed...

Comment of the Day: James: Nancy Letourneau: Republican Confusion Over Obamacare Repeal: "Hoisted from 2012 http://www.bradford-delong.com/2012/10/john-podhoretz-badly-needs-some-better-friends-than-fred-barnes.html...

...But there is something serious to be written here about Orwell, "1984", and the ability of the Inner Party to keep its understanding of the world separate from the propaganda they feed to the Outer Party and to the proles.

I always assumed they knew this and were just trying to figure out who to blame when they didn't pass a plan.

Continue reading "(Late) Monday Smackdown: The Intellectual Bar for Eminence on the Right Is Very Low Indeed..." »


The Fallible Reason of Andrew Ferguson of the Weekly Standard--Do Not Succumb to the Soft Bigotry of Low Intellectual Expectations Edition (Hoisted/Smackdown)

Clowns (ICP)

A correspondent reminds me of [a moment][] almost four years ago that powerfully drove home to me how low the intellectual standards are on the American right. This will be very important to remember over the next four years--especially since the Trumpists are not the brightest of the lights on the American right as it stands today, never mind how it stood before the ascendancy of George W. Bush fifteen years ago, and never never mind how it stood before the ascendancy of Newt Gingrich twenty-five years ago.

It takes some wind-up, however. Let's start with the (usually) very sharp Thomas Nagel:

Thomas Nagel (2012): Mind and Cosmos: "If I decide, when the sun rises on my right, that I must be driving north instead of south...

[a moment: http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/03/why-oh-why-cant-we-have-a-better-press-corps-andrew-ferguson-of-the-weekly-standard-edition.html

Continue reading "The Fallible Reason of Andrew Ferguson of the Weekly Standard--Do Not Succumb to the Soft Bigotry of Low Intellectual Expectations Edition (Hoisted/Smackdown)" »


Monday Smackdown: No, Larry Kudlow Is Not an Economist III

Stupidest Man Alive Nomination: Larry Kudlow: Hoisted from the Archives from 2008: One would think that National Review would want to maintain a smidgeon of a reputation, and hence at least edit Larry Kudlow for his biggest howlers. But no. Eschaton reader js informs Atrios of the stupidity:

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: No, Larry Kudlow Is Not an Economist III" »


Monday Smackdown: No, Larry Kudlow Is Not an Economist

Clowns (ICP)

I have only been on the same stage as Larry Kudlow twice in my life. In neither case did he provide any intellectual substance at all. This was the second time:

Hoisted from the Archives from 2007: I was sitting on the right end of an nine-person panel at the New School Friday morning http://www.cepa.newschool.edu/events/events_schwartz-lecture.htm#webcast. Bob Solow was sitting on the left end--Solow, Shapiro, Schwartz, Rohatyn, Kudlow, Kerrey, Kosterlitz, Hormats, DeLong. Bob Solow expressed concern and worry over the declines in the U.S. savings rate over the past generation. Larry Kudlow, in the middle of the panel, aggressively launched into an unbalanced and nearly fact-free rant...

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(Early) Monday DeLong Smackdown Watch: Has Macroeconomics Gone Right?

U.S. Real GDP since 2009

Has macroeconomics gone right? After three years, how is this working out?...

Paul Krugman (2013): The Neopaleo-Keynesian Counter-counter-Counterrevolution: "OK, I can’t resist this one — and I think it’s actually important...

...Brad DeLong reacts to Binyamin Appelbaum’s piece on Young Frankenstein Stan Fischer by quoting from his own 2000 piece on New Keynesian ideas in macroeconomics, a piece in which he argued that New Keynesian thought was, in important respects, a descendant of old-fashioned monetarism. There’s a lot to that view.

Continue reading "(Early) Monday DeLong Smackdown Watch: Has Macroeconomics Gone Right?" »


Monday Smackdown: There Is Something Very Wrong with the People Who Write for the Washington Post...

Weblogging was supposed to bring informed expert voices into the public sphere. Yet in the hands of the Washington Post it has all gone horribly wrong:

Chris Cillizza: The FBI controversy is the latest example of how we don’t believe in anything anymore: "

The FBI has long been an iconic institution in American life. From Eliot Ness to Clarice Starling, the image of the FBI -- unflappable, smart, and relentlessly fair--has been sterling. After...

Now it just reads:

The FBI has long been an iconic institution in American life. After...


DeLong Smackdown Watch: Simon Wren-Lewis and Ann Pettifor Take Their Whacks

Simon Wren-Lewis: Ann Pettifor on mainstream economics: "Ann has a article that talks about the underlying factor behind the Brexit vote...

...Her thesis, that it represents the discontent of those left behind by globalisation, has been put forward by others. Unlike Brad DeLong, I have few problems with seeing this as a contributing factor to Brexit, because it is backed up by evidence, but like Brad DeLong I doubt it generalises to other countries...

Continue reading "DeLong Smackdown Watch: Simon Wren-Lewis and Ann Pettifor Take Their Whacks" »


Live from the Hell that Bad Journamalists Live in Every Day: Yes, it's Slate, saying that an organization that does real good assembling, coordinating, and distributing resources to the world's poor should be shut. Because of "optics":

Josh Voorhees: Clinton foundation won’t accept foreign donations if Hillary wins. That's not good enough:

The Clinton Foundation has done admirable work promoting global health and human rights around the globe, and it and its donors should be lauded for that. But as long as Hillary Clinton is either running for the White House or running the country from inside it, she and her husband should temporarily shutter their foundation...


Monday Smackdown: There's Something in the Water at the New York TImes

If they stay around there too long, they fall victim to the culture and start purveying misinformation. Here from last February we have Neil Irwin claiming that part-time workers who would prefer full-time jobs are "unemployed". They are not. They are working.

Why do this, Neil? It misinforms your readers. It destroys your own credibility:

Neil Irwin: The Real Jobless Rate Is 42 Percent? Donald Trump Has a Point, Sort Of:

Donald Trump seems quite certain that the real unemployment rate is higher than the 4.9 percent that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported it to be. A lot higher. “Don’t believe these phony numbers when you hear 4.9 and 5 percent unemployment,” Mr. Trump said in his victory speech after the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night. “The number’s probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent.” Mr. Trump might be bombastic, but he’s not entirely wrong....

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: There's Something in the Water at the New York TImes" »


Monday Smackdown: Economists for Trump Not Even Phoning It in Department...

Live from Trumpland: Various twits are telling me that the Economists for Trump--Eugene Fama in the lead, with June O'Neill, Richard Vedder, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Larry Kudlow, Arthur Laffer, David Malpass, James Miller III, Steve Moore, and a half-dozen or so others--are not for Trump, but rather "Concerned by Hillary Clinton's Economic Agenda".

Here's how they say you can reach them:

FW Economists Concerned by Hillary Clinton s Economic Agenda brad delong gmail com Gmail

Here's 725 Fifth Avenue:

Trump Google Maps

In no bullshit level too much for these people?


(Early) Monday Smackdown: David Glasner on the Ignorance of Macroeconomists Who Say "All Models Are False" in Self-Justification

David Glasner: Paul Romer on Modern Macroeconomics, Or, the “All Models Are False” Dodge:

I was just curious about where the little phrase “all models are false” came from.... I found... the British statistician, G. E. P. Box who wrote in his paper “Science and Statistics” based on his R. A. Fisher Memorial Lecture to the American Statistical Association: “All models are wrong.” Here’s the exact quote:

Continue reading "(Early) Monday Smackdown: David Glasner on the Ignorance of Macroeconomists Who Say "All Models Are False" in Self-Justification" »


Ed Kilgore Smackdown of Michael Barone: The Biggest Obama-Hating Hack in the World: Hoisted from a Year Ago/Late Monday Smackdown:

I must say the Michael Barone is the biggest Obama-hating hack in the world:

Ed Kilgore: The Ultimate “Blame Obama” Column by Ed Kilgore):

Michael Barone is a colossal hack... but not a big conservative ideologue...

Continue reading "Ed Kilgore Smackdown of Michael Barone: The Biggest Obama-Hating Hack in the World: Hoisted from a Year Ago/Late Monday Smackdown: " »


Monday Smackdown: Why Don't the Editors of the New York Times Make David Brooks at Least Phone It in?

Preview of Test

Yastreblyansky: David Brooks on Civic Religion: The Radio Yerevan Joke:

Question to Radio Yerevan: Is it correct that Dr. King sang the national anthem before his "I Have a Dream" speech and then quoted the Declaration of Independence within it?

Answer: In principle, yes. But:

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Why Don't the Editors of the New York Times Make David Brooks at Least Phone It in?" »


Monday Smackdown: Yet Another Washington Post Edition--This Time It's Katie Zezima

Preview of Test

Live from the Journamalists' Self-Made Gehenna: Yet another reason friends don't let friends waste time--or pay for--the Washington Post: Katie Zezima of the Washington Post: We see what you did there!

Jacob Bacharach: WaPo-Style Data Journalism:

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Yet Another Washington Post Edition--This Time It's Katie Zezima" »


Monday Smackdown: Sam Tanenhaus Department

Sam Tanenhaus--who has a substantial history of whitewashing wingnuts--calls for reporters to... not do their jobs. They should not cover what Donald Trump says and does. They should not cover what Trump said and did. Why not? Out of fear of some political payback or electoral backlash:

Glenn Fleishman says: WTF?!?!

I chime on, saying Tanenhaus has confirmed one of my judgments:

And Tanenhaus zings back:

Well, that showed me! :-)

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Sam Tanenhaus Department" »


Hoisted from the Archives from Nine Years Ago: Monday Smackdown: New York Times and Tobin Harshaw Global Warming Denialism

Hey! New York Times! Why don't you take some of those journamalistic resources desperately writing misleading articles about Donald Trump's pivot and do a deep dive explaining to us how this happened?

RealClimate Gives the "New York Times's" Tobin Harshaw the Coveted "Worst Journalist" Award: Gavin at RealClimate writes:

1934 and all that: However, there is clearly a latent and deeply felt wish in some sectors for the whole problem of global warming to be reduced to a statistical quirk or a mistake...

Continue reading "Hoisted from the Archives from Nine Years Ago: Monday Smackdown: New York Times and Tobin Harshaw Global Warming Denialism" »


A Gift That Keeps on Giving: Invictus on Niall Ferguson from Four Years Ago

Invictus (2012): Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Going Viral?:

I had barely finished reading Niall Ferguson’s takedown of President Obama when a flood of  takedowns of Mr. Ferguson started hitting the web. This post, then, will not be about his Newsweek piece, but instead about his recent Bloomberg TV interview with Erik Schatzker and Sara Eisen. And, in particular, one very specific part of that interview where Ferguson makes what is well beyond what I could even charitably refer to as a rookie mistake.

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An Excellent Monday Republican Party Smackdown by the Highly Sharp Zack Beauchamp

News about realdonaldtrump on Twitter

Zack Beauchamp: You can’t explain Trump’s conservative media appeal without talking about race:

Oliver Darcy... argues that Republican elites encouraged conservative voters to embrace alternative, hard-line right-wing media outlets--which made them powerless when those outlets turned on them by backing Trump. Darcy’s piece is thoughtful and well sourced, and you should read it in full. But it misses a basic part of the story.... Look at this list of words that don’t appear in Darcy’s story: “race, racism, Mexican, Latino, black, African Americans, minorities.” Race and racism are a huge part of the Trump story, inseparable from any meaningful account of how he succeeded. That’s because race remains a hugely important motivating force, independent of class or partisanship, in American voters’ political behavior. Ignore that almost entirely, as Darcy does, and you end up with a distorted analysis of Trump’s success.

Continue reading "An Excellent Monday Republican Party Smackdown by the Highly Sharp Zack Beauchamp" »


Monday Smackdown: Mike Sax Regrets the Inability of Chris Cillizza and His Fellow Journamalists at the Washington Post to Use Google...

Mike Sax: Colin Powell Protests too Much:

It's amazing what he doesn't remember now that he did remember two months ago. He was very happy to kick Hillary in the teeth over the weekend. Of course, [Chris Cillizza was very happy to write about it][]. It's about the only thing Cillizza ever writes about himself anymore at The Fix:

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Mike Sax Regrets the Inability of Chris Cillizza and His Fellow Journamalists at the Washington Post to Use Google..." »


Monday Smackdown: Why Do People Pay David Brooks (and Niall Ferguson) for This?

Preview of Test

In remembrance of a truly excellent lunch at the Firefly Grill in Effingham, Illinois--the kind of place that David Brooks claims simply does not exist--and in mockery of Niall Ferguson's claims that the election is 50-50 and is "Fishtown vs. Belmont, Chick-Fil-A vs. quinoa", we once again the hoist from the bowels of the Internet the extremely sharp Sasha Issenberg's immortal mockery-takedown of David Brooks.

People who have never read this should read the whole thing.

And can anybody tell me why, after this, the New York Times didn't take Brooks's opinion-hole away from him and give it to Sasha? Or at least leave it blank, out of shame? I mean, no statistics plus faked anecdotes--what is the value in David Brooks here?

Sasha Issenberg (2004): Boo-Boos in Paradise:

As I made my journey [through Franklin County, PA], it became increasingly hard to believe that Brooks ever left his home [in Montgomery County, MD]:

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Why Do People Pay David Brooks (and Niall Ferguson) for This?" »


(Early) Monday DeLong Smackdown: Pseudoerasmus of Chokurdakh on DeLong and Eichengreen on the Marshall Plan

Pseudoerasmus: Greece from Postwar Orthodoxy to “Democratic Peronism”:

In a paper which passes for a reasonable parody of the Washington Consensus fad of the 1990s...

Continue reading "(Early) Monday DeLong Smackdown: Pseudoerasmus of Chokurdakh on DeLong and Eichengreen on the Marshall Plan" »


(Early) Monday Smackdown: A North Carolina Miracle?--No, of Course Steven Moore Has No Principles. Why Would You Ask?

Live from the Wingnutosphere: I do confess that I was surprised when, on Trish Regan's show, Steve Moore abandoned his previous support of the TPP. He claimed that it had "lots of pages" and that "the other parties won't follow its provisions". Well, it had "lots of pages" back when you supported it, Steve--if you are going to cut tariffs on lots of items and draw detailed rules for what people owe foreigners for the intellectual property they use, "lots of pages" comes with the deal. It had "lots of pages" when you were urging Marco Rubio to vote for it, Steve. It has "lots of pages" now. And on enforcement, the entire point of the TPP is that it gives us tools to penalize countries that do not follow its rules, and thus provide them with incentive to obey its provisions. We don't have those too now. TPP gives them to us.

Even as a (mild, nearly on the fence) TPP skeptic, I was gobsmacked both by the rapidity of Moore's rapid reversal of field and by the vacuity of his arguments against it--and by Trish Regan's failure to call him on it.

Why did Moore reverse field? Why were Moore's only arguments so vacuous? Why did Regan not call him on it? Well, because Donald Trump says that he is against the TPP as negotiated by Obama, of course. (Though dollars gets you donuts that should he become president, there will be a few cosmetic changes, it will suddenly become a good, well-negotiated trade agreement, and Trump will be for it, and Moore will revert to his position of three months ago.)

But there's more (or, rather, Moore). Let me outsource the rest of this to PGL:

Pro Growth Liberal (2015): Stephen Moore Declares a North Carolina Miracle:

Stephen Moore has another silly parade of disinformation...

Continue reading "(Early) Monday Smackdown: A North Carolina Miracle?--No, of Course Steven Moore Has No Principles. Why Would You Ask?" »


It's Fidel Castro's 90th Birthday!

Che Guevara w Fidel Castro Political Guerilla Leaders Cuba Cuban Revolution eBay

Under Fidel Castro's rule Cuba bucked the historical trend--moving not toward but far away from political democracy.

Under Fidel Castro it looks as though Cuba lost two generations of economic growth--generations that other neighboring economies like Mexico, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico made very good use of. The only good thing you can say about Castro is that Cuba continued to have the social indicators of a middle-income country even as it became a poor one.

It was always incomprehensible that an anti-Democratic dictator who managed to turn a middle-income country into a poor one would have fans. Yet there are still people in the class not of of stooges looking for their Stalin, but fools who have found their Fidel:

Here, on the occasion Castro's retirement in 2008, is Chris Bertram: Castro Retires:

I haven’t looked yet, but I’ve no doubt that there’ll be lots of posts in the blogosphere saying “good riddance” to Fidel Castro (especially from “left” US bloggers like Brad DeLong who never miss the chance to distance themselves).

Continue reading "It's Fidel Castro's 90th Birthday!" »


Monday Smackdown: Spending Your Credibility via Trolling Is Not Wise Department...

Monday Smackdown: Karl Whelan: "This seems like definitional trolling. You would have to work really hard to actually be confused by this.

@tylercowen: Am confused that for the Left "guns" are a big issue, but apparently "crime" is not, https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/756863811051663361, #help


Monday Smackdown: Marco Rubio Lashes Out Against Call For Religious Toleration

Preview of Test

Live from the Sixteenth Century: Let us dispel with the fiction that Marco Rubio is much more qualified to be President of the United States of America or would be much less of a disaster as such than Donald Trump. Someone who thinks that Obama's strongly calling for religious toleration is "yet another example of Obama's 'constant pitting people against each other. I can't stand that'" has no business holding any magistracy in the government of a free people:

Keven Drum: Marco Rubio Lashes Out Against Call For Religious Toleration: "President Obama...

...during a speech today at a Baltimore mosque:

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Marco Rubio Lashes Out Against Call For Religious Toleration" »


(Early) Monday Smackdown: The New York Times Owes Me $100 Every Time It Prints Something by Thomas Friedman. I'm Keeping a Tab

Putting out a dumpster fire Google Search

Intellectual garbage collection by the highly estimable Yastreblyansky:

Yastreblyansky: Just So You Know:

It's the Universal Mustache, Thomas L. Friedman... asking Clinton to abandon the Democratic platform... in favor of what he calls "pro-growth" policies:

There are a lot of center-right, business Republicans today feeling orphaned by Trump. They can’t vote for him--but a lot of them still claim they can’t bring themselves to vote for Hillary, either. Clinton should be reaching out to them with a real pro-growth, start-up, deregulation, entrepreneurship agenda and give them a positive reason to vote for her...

Continue reading "(Early) Monday Smackdown: The New York Times Owes Me $100 Every Time It Prints Something by Thomas Friedman. I'm Keeping a Tab" »


(Late) Monday Smackdown: Josh Barro Makes Me Aware of Niall Ferguson...

Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Calling Noah Smith! Calling Noah Smith! Drive down to Stanford's Hoover Institution this afternoon and make Niall Ferguson put his money where is mouth is: make him bet you even odds on Trump vs. Clinton. Then lay off your risk by hedging with a normal person. The arbitrage profits will keep you in Lagunitas IPA for the rest of your life...


As a fly to a wanton boy is Niall Ferguson to Josh Barro...

Continue reading "(Late) Monday Smackdown: Josh Barro Makes Me Aware of Niall Ferguson..." »


Monday DeLong Self-Smackdown: DeLong (2000) Sees the Trees, But Overlooks the Forest as Far as the Macroeconomic Dangers of Low Inflation Are Concerned...

NewImage

What a maroon this guy DeLong (2000) was!:

"The increased risk of deflation and depression in a low-inflation environment can be oversold..."

"Low inflation raises the chance that at some point the turning of the wheel of the business cycle will generate deflation. How great is this danger? How is it to be guarded against? The answer is: not very great. Low trend inflation does raise the chance that a contractionary shock might push goods-and-services price indexes down. But what we fear about deflation can be generated by asset price 'deflations' and foreign-currency debt 'deflations' as easily as by goods-and-services price index "deflations." A period of price stability certainly does not increase the chances of either of these alternative sources of contractionary shocks..."

Continue reading "Monday DeLong Self-Smackdown: DeLong (2000) Sees the Trees, But Overlooks the Forest as Far as the Macroeconomic Dangers of Low Inflation Are Concerned..." »


(Late) Monday Smackdown/Tuesday Hoisted Idiocy: Embarrassingly Poor Legal Reasoning from Michael Cannon and Jonathan Adler

Hoisted from Four Years Ago: What passes for Republican think-tannery these days. Judge Paul Friedman's smackdown should have ended this then--rather than later, at the Supreme Court, 6-3, with John Roberts writing:

Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter...

The idiocy, from Michael Cannon and Jonathan Adler:

Continue reading "(Late) Monday Smackdown/Tuesday Hoisted Idiocy: Embarrassingly Poor Legal Reasoning from Michael Cannon and Jonathan Adler" »


Monday Smackdown: The New York Times Owes Every Subscriber $100 in Compensation for Its Stanley Fishwrap

Yes, I am trying to hold myself to one Monday smackdown a week. But:

Must-Read: Dan Drezner: A very fishy anti-anti-Trump argument: "Beginning with Ken Burns’s Stanford commencement address last month...

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: The New York Times Owes Every Subscriber $100 in Compensation for Its Stanley Fishwrap" »


Monday Smackdown: James Pethokoukis Needs to Step Up His Game

I am trying to hold myself to one Monday Smackdown a week.

But:

James Pethokoukis can and should do much better work than this.

Kevin Drum: Which Party Platform Is Better For Economic Growth?: "James Pethokoukis is unhappy with the Democratic Party platform:

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: James Pethokoukis Needs to Step Up His Game" »


Monday Smackdown: Memo To David Brooks: Applebee's Doesn't Have A Salad Bar

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps? A classic from eight years ago: one of many reasons that the New York Times owes its subscribers a lot of money:

John Amato: Memo To David Brooks: Applebee's Doesn't Have A Salad Bar: "In an earlier post...

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Memo To David Brooks: Applebee's Doesn't Have A Salad Bar" »


Live from the Dumpster Fire that Is the Innumerate Anti-Policy Press Corps

Teddy Goff: John Dickerson: "Per John Dickerson...

...it's GOOD when Mitt Romney talks about his dad but BAD when Hillary Clinton talks about her mom.

Yes. It's a real dumpster fire:

Continue reading "Live from the Dumpster Fire that Is the Innumerate Anti-Policy Press Corps" »


(Late) Monday Smackdown: No, Peter Thiel, American Politics Was Not on the Right Track Before the Granting of the Vote to Women and "Welfare Beneficiaries"

Preview of Test

Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Peter Thiel is speaking at the Republican National Convention. That's a very strange thing to do for somebody who once said:

In America, people are imprisoned for using even very mild drugs, tortured by our own government, and forced to bail out reckless financial companies. I believe that politics is way too intense... gets people angry, destroys relationships, and polarizes peoples’ vision.... I advocate focusing energy elsewhere, onto peaceful projects that some consider utopian...

Peter Thiel has many screws loose. He says that the last time you could be optimistic about American politics and regard it as healthy was 1920--before the granting of the vote to women and "welfare beneficiaries" put American politics permanently on the wrong track:

Peter Thiel (2009): The Education of a Libertarian: "Those who have argued for free markets have been screaming into a hurricane...

Continue reading "(Late) Monday Smackdown: No, Peter Thiel, American Politics Was Not on the Right Track Before the Granting of the Vote to Women and "Welfare Beneficiaries"" »


Monday Smackdown: Paul Krugman Tut-Tuts at David Frum for the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Back in 1980 the Republican and Democratic intellectuals I knew and knew of seemed roughly evenly matched as far as their policy chops and their attachment to reality.

Not since. A number of filters have been applied to those who have wanted to remain influential Republicans in good standing. They have been successively called upon to endorse or at the very least stay quiet about the propositions that:

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: Paul Krugman Tut-Tuts at David Frum for the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations" »


Comment of the Day/Monday Ken Rogoff Smackdown: Robert Waldmann: Trying to Understand: "As you know I have attempted to sketch a model to evaluate dynamic inefficiency when there are risk premia and the growth rate is less than the risky interest rate...

...Here is the post (to which you have kindly linked already) http://angrybearblog.com/2016/03/dynamic-inefficiency.html.

Continue reading "" »


Monday Smackdown: What Is Happening to Thomas Byrne Edsall?

For a long time I have listened to Thomas Byrne Edsall with great attention. But this seems to me to be very bad and very wrong indeed:

Thomas Byrne Edsall: The Anti-P.C. Vote: "The refusal of Democrats and the American left to hear...

...or to grant some legitimacy to--the grievances of white America as it loses power and stature to ascendant minorities and to waves of immigrants from across the globe undergirds the Trump movement. In the zero sum world of immigration politics, it has proved impossible so far to convincingly affirm the validity of the claims of both sides...

But "white America" is not losing "power and stature" to "waves of immigrants".

But "white America" is not losing "power and stature" to "ascendant minorities".

Continue reading "Monday Smackdown: What Is Happening to Thomas Byrne Edsall?" »


Monday Smackdown: Kansas's Conversion into Brownbackistan, and Its Failure

Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Let me, for one, say that I am surprised that the economic results of Laffer-Moore grifter tax cuts in Brownbackistan have been so bad. I expected them to be bad. But I expected big tax cuts to steal at least some of the tax base from neighboring Missouri: south of the Missouri River the Kansas-Missouri border is State Line Road, and the state border bisects the two million person Kansas City metroplex. But no: worse than I would have imagined likely, even for Brownback, even for Laffer and Moore.

Moving money from the state budget where it is spent in-state into the pockets of the rich whose marginal propensity to spend in-state is low has consequences. Add in the effects of not expanding Medicaid and the tax cuts, and $1 billion/year of government-funded spending that would be happening were Kansas part of Colorado is not happening. If the in-state multiplier is two, then the simple Keynesian model all by itself accounts for the post-2012 divergence between Brownbackistan and the U.S. average--you don't need any resort to "uncertainty" generated by the Brownback trainwreck:

All Employees Total Nonfarm in Kansas FRED St Louis Fed

David Atkins: Kansas’ Experiment in Right-Wing Economics Is Still Failing Miserably: "Every few weeks I feel it’s important to return to the ongoing disaster in Sam Brownback’s Kansas...

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Monday DeLong Smackdown: Olivier Blanchard on How the Eurozone Can Be Strengthened After Brexit

GBP to USD Exchange Rate Bloomberg Markets

A high-quality DeLong smackdown! Keep 'em coming, please...

Olivier Blanchard: How the Eurozone Can Be Strengthened After Brexit: "Brexit raises fundamental questions.... Meanwhile, Europe must continue to function...

...In this context that a large number of prominent economists from different European countries, ranging from those who desire more political integration to those who are more skeptical, have written what they see as the essential next steps to reinforce the architecture of the eurozone.... The purpose of the project, which started long before Brexit, was twofold. First, assess the nature of the challenges and the progress to date.... Second, assess the degree of agreement among ‘experts’ about the remaining challenges and solutions. If you look at the diversity of people on the list, the answer to the second question is that, in contrast to the often strident disagreements in the press, there is, indeed, surprisingly large agreement among experts....

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Monday Smackdown: Doug!: She Caught the Katie

Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Karma as a real, tangible force rather than just a wish and a hope!

The Republicans have in Trump what they deserve--and now they are going to try their damnedest to force him on the rest of us, who in no way deserve him.

It's going to be bad: "Hell among the yearlings and the Charge of the Light Brigade and Saturday night in the backroom of Casey's Saloon rolled into one, and when the smoke cleared away not a picture still hung on the walls. And there wasn't any American political establishment. There was just (we hope) Hillary, with her hair in her eyes, and her shirt sticking to his stomach with sweat. And she had a meat ax in her hand and was screaming for blood...”

But let's not let those who paved the way by pretending that Sarah Palin had any business as a Republican nominee--and before her W, and before him Quayle, and even the Ronnie who became the plaything of factions within the administration whose arguments he could not follow, or the Barry who was our very own Boris Johnson back in the day...--pretend that this is not something that they did their damnedest to will into being. Megan McArdle, Chuck Lane, Clive Crook: the extremely sharp and no-bullshit Doug! is looking at you...

Doug!: She caught the Katie: "The Trumpocalypse appeared first as farce, with Sarah Palin in 2008...

...There shouldn’t be any debate about that. Palin was everywhere for about five years, but now that her logical conclusion has come to pass, establishment media is acting like there was no precedent for Trump, that he came out of nowhere. Every now and then, I like to go back and revisit the mash notes establishment journalists were writing to Palin before the disastrous interview with Katie Couric.

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(Late) Monday Smackdown: Jonathan Chait Takes Care of Jonathan Rauch

Over the past two decades, my opinion of the intelligence, sophistication, and desire to be a trustworthy information intermediary of Jonathan Chait has gone up. Jonathan Rauch--not so much. The vibe I get is one of a profound unwillingness to tell too much truth to the right-wing half of his desired audience, and thus the constant provision of false-equivalence cover to bad actors. This pattern continues today:

Jonathan Chait: Why American Politics Really Went Insane -- NYMag: "Jonathan Rauch.... Rather than the presidential system, or the Republicans, Rauch instead blames the demise of what he calls the ‘informal constitution’...

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Monday Smackdown: Todd van der Werff Gets Game of Thrones Wrong...

Battle of the bastards Google Search

This is wrong!:

Todd van der Werff: Game of Thrones season 6, episode 9: 5 winners and 6 losers in the “Battle of the Bastards”: "Winner 1: Jon Snow...

...Well, obviously. Jon doesn’t just win the titular battle. He also effectively wins a battle against the entire dramatic apparatus of the TV show he lives in.... Jon also earned his win. Yeah, he was saved at the last minute by his half-sister and Littlefinger (more on that in a second), but he kept his troops rallied, even when they were surrounded on all sides by men with shields who were slowly killing all of them.... Yeah, someone else saves the day, but Jon gets everybody to the point where the day can be saved...

John Snow was so completely out-generalled by Ramsey Bolton that it isn't even funny. Yes, Wun-Wun and Petyr Baelish's acceding to Sansa's request and showing up with the knights of the Vale saves the day. But all John Snow did was to not die while his strategic, operational, and tactical decisions got his army of Stark loyalists and Wildlings slaughtered.

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