Really not worth archiving. Really.

Copyright © 2010 Frank Lynch.



Me: Frank Lynch

(Current commentary)

These are my mundane daily ramblings.
For something less spontaneous, I maintain The Samuel Johnson Sound Bite Page (over 1,800 Johnson quotes).


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Saturday, June 19, 2010

I wonder who we have to thank for this? Assaults and threats of violence against census workers has doubled vs. 2000.

Link | | | 6:17 PM | Home

Not a good month. Three more.

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Rand Paul's simple solution. Unemployed? Just go back to work for a smaller paycheck. In other words, you were being paid too much all that time and never knew it.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Bring it on. Gaslight Anthem.

Link | | | 9:26 PM | Home

Ezra Klein in a nutshell. Controlling obesity isn't just a "cost of healthcare" issue, it goes beyond that:

A policy that (1) increases lifespan, (2) increases healthy lifespan, and (3) adds revenue might well be worth doing even if it (4) increases total health costs. Economists, after all, do believe that people value extra years of life.

This is one of those "for the greater good" arguments, which Yves Smith wrote about so eloquently in ECONned. As soon as you start talking about "the greater good" you're implicitly saying how the greater good is measured; and there's a good chance that you're talking about a single number for your measure, as opposed to something more complex, like a distribution of outcomes. The "average family" was something W trotted out when he argued for his tax cuts, ignoring the huge difference between the mean and the median.

Link | | | 8:30 PM | Home

Not "Inside Baseball," we're talking "Inside Johnson." Annual bonuses were only recently disbursed at my company, in accordance with our fiscal calendar; and after taxes, school tuition, and some household necessities, there was just enough to allow me to buy the new Yale edition of Johnson's "Lives of the Poets." It had a hefty price tag, as all of them do, but since the "standard" edition, edited by George Birkbeck Hill, is about a hundred years old and overwhelmed with enough footnotes to be a book in themselves — it's really easy to lose Johnson's thread if you bother reading Hill's notes — I thought it was about as nice a treat as I could get with an annual bonus.

And it is Father's Day this weekend. Double treat.

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Is Cheney's silence over the spill implicit approval of the government response? Bob Ray Sanders of the Fort Worth Telegram thinks it's remarkable that Dick Cheney, typically so eager to castigate Obama on national security and terrorism, is silent on the oil spill. Sanders doesn't think Cheney's being hypocritical, but he seems to think Cheney should be embarrassed, given his past pro-oil stance.

Interpreting silence is difficult. (It's so much easier when they come right out and say something stupid and apologize to BP, isn't it?) I think it's just quite possible that Cheney doesn't have any better ideas than what's being done, and that commentary would get in the way. I also think this is a toxic issue for politicians, and that they all have to tread very carefully on this. (Of course you noticed the cold shoulders Representative Barton got yesterday, even from his own party.)

As for whether Cheney feels chastened by his past pro-oil policies, I don't think the man is capable of shame, and I'm reluctant to infer his silence is based on that. But yes, if he did have other ideas on government's role and actions, I'm sure he'd be front and center. Reticent, he's not.

Link | | | 7:48 AM | Home

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Twenty billion sounds like a big number to me. For a corporation whose livelihood is on the butcher block, they needed to pony up. For a corporation which filled the industry's diaper, they needed to pony up.

Those nice ads about alternative energy sources and everything are nice, but how much of that are they really doing? They might actually be doing a lot: but right now America (and I guess the world) is focusing on this Death Star which doesn't look like it's initimidated by a damn thing.

I'm fortunate enough to live in an area well-covered with mass transit; but we still understand the broader implications. It's not like the rest of you can all move, and it's not like the communities where the rest of you live can - - bing! - - create bus routes which work like magic carpets.

But this is where we are, and the most of you need oil. We want to wean you, we'd love to do the tough love intervention, but we're practical.

So, to me, twenty billion sounds like a serious start.

Link | | | 9:57 PM | Home

How ominous are Obama's approval ratings? Ominous, writes Matt Bai. Not overly so, counters Brendan Nyhan.

DISCLOSURE AND DISCLAIMER: I work for Abt SRBI; we conduct polling. My opinions should not be construed as representing those of my employer.

Link | | | 7:11 AM | Home

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Yeah, this is damned slow. And kind of over-wrought. But it is a love song, and it's a fine one at that. And I play it a lot.

Any better ones to recommend? I'm really curious... This one is a bit schmaltzy. (And what's the Gaelic for "schmaltzy," anyway?)

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Oh, yuck. Just, plain, yuck. A pox on those who voted for him, and a really bad pox, if this is a ruse, on those behind it.

Link | | | 9:10 PM | Home

And need I also point out, that in addition to the thing with the bust, the DVD's for the Queen, and so on, that he hasn't quoted Churchill in a while? Oh, the poor state of the Special Relationship. (That tie yesterday didn't help, either.)

I'm not sure if our sensitive British friends noticed that Obama basically replaced the head of an auto manufacturer. He's not trying to do that with BP.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Charlie Crist's appeal to the progressives. Enraging the right-to-lifers, he's vetoed a bill that would force women who want to abort to watch their fetus through a sonogram. The bill would also have ensured that state funds wouldn't pay for elective abortions.

Good for him, I say: I think this sonogram requirement amounts to harassment, and basically allows the protesters right into the clinic. But both sides are taking the opportunity to either complain about this veto or about his past, more conservative-friendly positions.

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Be a syndicated columnist: just make it up. How does Mark Steyn get away with writing columns that have no support? In his latest, he writes "Many Americans are beginning to pick up the strange vibe that for Barack Obama, governing America is 'an interesting sociological experiment'," but cites no polling data. He writes that "[Obama's] the first president to give off the pronounced whiff that he's condescending to the job," without citing an instance where Obama has had his mind on something more lofty than his responsibilities, such as sainthood.

Why do newspapers, a financially troubled industry, pay good money for this crap?

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