Thursday, October 23, 2014

Here in Massachusetts

Shocker from the Boston Globe: "Baker opens up lead over Coakley in new poll."
Republican Charlie Baker has opened up a 9-point lead over Democrat Martha Coakley, 45 percent to 36 percent, according to a new Globe poll that depicts a far more comfortable advantage than either candidate for governor has enjoyed in months.
The poll reflects an October surge in independent voters toward Baker’s column. It was independents who provided Governor Deval Patrick with his margins of victory in 2006 and 2010.
Nine. Points.  I have to comment on the quality of television commercials I've seen: Baker's commercials are "jobs jobs jobs" backed with American flags while Coakley...talks about her brother who had mental illness.  Huh?  The negative ads have been handled mostly by outside groups and virtually every one by the Baker supporters shows Coakley awkwardly guessing that the gas tax in Massachusetts is ten cents (it's actually 24 cents).  This election is coming down to an unlikable Democrat against an appealing alternative.

And since I'm already on that theme, this is why I think Scott Brown is going to win in New Hampshire.  The polls there are extremely tight and, just like Coakley, I don't think there's a wellspring of support for Jeanne Shaheen.  If it comes down to turnout, Brown's going to overcome a 1-2% deficit.  IIRC independents broke heavily for Brown in his special election for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat so maybe lightning will strike twice.

IQ Tunes

Consequence of Sound: "Smart people listen to Radiohead and dumb people listen to Beyoncé, according to study."

Ebola in NYC

Well that's just peachy: an infectious disease in the nation's most populous city.  Ron Klain will be here any moment to tell us there's nothing to worry about.  This man is a doctor and: "Apparently it didn’t worry Spencer enough to self-isolate during the potential incubation period, which raises a whole lot of questions about the CDC’s latest approach to dealing with travelers from western Africa."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No money down

Hit & Run: "Insanity Defined: Feds Unveil Plan to Help High-Risk Homebuyers Take On Massive Debt. Again."

Won't you come home, Bruce Bailey?

Democrats are starting to get wise: ""The ineptitude of the White House political operation has sunk from annoying to embarrassing," said one Democratic Senate strategist."

Extra - Commentary: "Obama's gift to Republicans."  Keep talkin' chief.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Checking that box

Ron Fournier in National Journal: "Naked Politics: The Ebola Czar Has No Clothes."
1. We shouldn't need an Ebola czar.
2. We already put somebody in charge of corralling federal bureaucracies and coordinating local responses to national emergencies. His name is Barack Obama.
Look, man, he's very busy today.

Extra - Minuteman: "My advice to Team Obama - encourage the Big Guy to take a look around. If he sees a playing field and thousands of screaming fans then he is probably in a luxury skybox somewhere and yes, he is free to cheer and boo like any other spectator. But if he sees a famous desk and slightly curved walls, then he is probably in the Oval Office and might want to remember that he is Chief Executive of the United States and is notionally responsible for the many bureaucracies he purportedly leads."

More - Powerline: "NY Times says: Obama is angry at Administration's incompetence!"  Yes it's the "I'm so mad!" stage of crisis management.

The headline says it all

Obamacare in the New York Times (!!!): "Unable to meet the deductible or the doctor."  Otherwise, what a great program.  That's why nearly twice as many Americans say they've been harmed by Obamacare than helped.

It's OK: we can just print more money

Reason Online: "How much will Obamacare cost?  Bet on 'more than expected'."  With graphic graphics included.

Two Jeremys from Gotham City



Why does everybody want to talk about the Batman?  Geez.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Eleven days later

Ace: "Obamacare Website Won't Reveal New, Higher Premiums -- Until After the Election, Of Course."

I think Republicans should take a page from the playbook of alleged pederast Harry Reid: just say loudly and repeatedly that Obamacare premiums are going to go up 30%.  It's not true?  Who cares: it's truthy enough and there's an election to win.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Thanks for the weekend, Henry Ford

Interesting post at The Truth About Cars: "Henry Ford Paid His Workers $5 a Day So They Wouldn’t Quit, Not So They Could Afford Model Ts."
While Henry Ford may be unfairly credited with inventing the assembly line, he usually doesn't get any credit for an innovation of his that has made the lives of working men and women much more pleasant, the weekend. Having the weekend off from work is conventionally attributed to organized labor. The labor movement has given workers a lot of things, but not the weekend. That, too, was Henry Ford’s innovation.
So he could run his assembly line 24/7/365.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Present and future value

Marginal Revolution: "How to discount pensions" reviews how the Dutch calculate their pension obligations.  "But all economists now agree. The expected-return approach is a huge economic offense, hurting younger generations.”

Simply put, when future pension payouts are projected to fall short, the pension operator (such as CALPers) is supposed to increase the required contribution percentage.  But they hate to do this because it always causes a huge political backlash.  So instead they just say: "Hey, we project the fund will grow by 20% a year forever" and problem solved...until the future generations come looking for their "guaranteed" pension.