Ta-Nehisi Coates: The Volokh Conspiracy Commits "One of the Most Immoral Paragraphs [He Has] Read in a Long Long TIme"
Liveblogging World War II: December 3, 1942

Noted for December 3, 2012

Worth Noting:

  • Brian Powell: Oklahoma, Where The Denial Comes Right Behind The Drought
  • "A spinning penny will land as tails about 80 percent of the time, Diaconis says, because the extra material on the head side shifts the center of mass slightly"
  • Daniel Kuehn: "Bob Murphy and Scott Sumner both have a fair chance of being wrong about Krugman on any given dayBut when they agree about Krugman, the probability that they are wrong goes up considerably. And if Bob Wenzel agrees, it's a near certainty…. To be blunt, if you thought the [Krugman 1998] Japan paper was principally about how fiscal policy is the way you fight liquidity traps, you don't understand the Japan paper…"
  • Paul Krugman: "Mitch McConnell finally mentioned a few sort-of specifics about what spending cuts the GOP wants: raising the Medicare age, charging higher premiums to affluent Medicare recipients, and changing the price indexing of Social Security…. [A] bit more than $300 billion [added up over the next ten years]. Getting this would, by the way, impose substantial hardship… [and raise] only about one-fifth of what Obama is proposing to raise by higher taxes. And that’s it; has anyone heard even a peep from the GOP about what else they’d like to cut? This is pathetic – and these people are definitely not serious…" And: "John Boehner has just declared that he’s going to hold the full faith and credit of the United States hostage every time we hit the debt limit. Nor will it be a case of holding the nation at gunpoint until it meets GOP demands; Republicans are signaling that they don’t intend to make any specific proposals, they’re just going to yell and stamp their feet until Obama soothes them somehow. So this is going to be nightmarish, unless Obama surrenders — which I don’t think he will (because he shouldn’t). And one thing to think about: if the next two years are, as they seem likely to be, one long Republican tantrum, the 2014 election is not going to be a normal midterm. It will instead be a referendum on GOP obstructionism, which may attract a lot more attention — and much higher turnout — than normal…"
  • djw: "[W]hile there’s generally a hefty amount of dishonesty in Douthat’s columns, one claim from today’s stands out: 'with fertility in decline across Mexico and Latin America, it isn’t clear that the United States can continue to rely heavily on immigrant birthrates to help drive population growth.' The US currently admits a tiny fraction of those who apply for legal resident status, and the number who apply is almost certainly depressed by the extraordinarily long odds of success, especially for those without a plausible asylum claim or family reunification angle…"
  • Steve M.:: "The Wall Street Journal has just published this interview with wingnut Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield…. 'We have now an American political party and a European one. Not all Americans who vote for the European party want to become Europeans. But it doesn't matter because that's what they're voting for. They're voting for dependency, for lack of ambition, and for insolvency…. [I]f we get serious about what it means to vote, we immediately go to the notion of an informed voter. And if you get serious about that, you go all the way to voting as a wise choice. That would be a true voter. The others are all lesser voters, or even not voting at all. They're just indicating a belief, or a whim, but not making a wise choice. That's probably because they're not wise.'… (Wonder how much Mansfield thinks their votes should count. Three-fifths of a person, perhaps?) Republicans: Do you want to save your party? Do you want it to be viable in future presidential elections? Then you need to cut Murdoch loose…"
  • Duncan Black: "I know we mostly can't count on the press to highlight the contradictions, but I wonder if any of the Republican voters who probably were genuinely worried about their Medicare will notice that the Republican demand is that Obama cut Medicare?"
  • David Randall: "The Average Investor Is His Own Worst Enemy: Terrance Odean, a finance professor at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business, has spent his career studying a very specific type of investor: the one who is overconfident, shortsighted and far more likely to snap up a stock at the worst possible moment than to make the kind of contrarian bet that pays off in the long run. Odean's specialty, in other words, is the average investor. 'Many of the mistakes investors make come from a lack of any understanding of the innate disadvantages they face', Odean says…"

Worth Looking at:

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