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Attention, All Super Geniuses


Straight from Harvard:

My Harvard colleagues Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna have recently conducted a comprehensive analysis of the issue. In an October study, they looked at large changes in fiscal policy in 21 nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They identified 91 episodes since 1970 in which policy moved to stimulate the economy. They then compared the policy interventions that succeeded - that is, those that were actually followed by robust growth - with those that failed.

The results are striking. Successful stimulus relies almost entirely on cuts in business and income taxes. Failed stimulus relies mostly on increases in government spending...

But of course, Obama is brilliant and uber-intellectual, so he knew that already. He just hates business, so he's working very hard to kill it.

The best part:

A growing body of evidence suggests that traditional Keynesian nostrums might not be the best medicine.
Gee, ya think? As I recently said, Keynes wasn't too keen.


by Brett Rogers, 12/14/2009 8:30:33 AM


Que the Mean Spirited Liberal:

"Greenspan...blah market failure...blah blah blah...socialist talking point...blah blah...right wing morons!"

Every time another data analysis comes out to show the current economic policies being pursued by this administration are counterproductive it whips the left wing blogosphere into a frenzy. Soon they'll be in full on attack mode picking apart the methodology and credibility of these researchers without ever attempting to offer FACTS to refute the conclusion.

They just take on faith that their side is so superior as to be incapable of being wrong.



Posted by Casey Head (, 12/14/2009 10:17:30 AM

You're exactly right, Casey. 21 nations... 91 episodes... lots of relevant data, and a firm conclusion. Facts, not wishful thinking.

Tax cuts! Velocity of money!

Not that common sense wouldn't inform people of that if they actually stopped to think about it, but when there is solid evidence proving that socialism fails every time it's tried, those who continue to believe in it look a lot like children insisting on Santa Claus.




Posted by Brett Rogers (, 12/14/2009 11:02:14 AM

And the "Assclown in Chief" gives himself a B+ for his first year. You just can't fix stupid.



Posted by Pale Rider, 12/14/2009 12:23:29 PM

If you're wondering what an "A" would look like, it would have been the complete collapse of America's businesses. He was disappointed to have to settle for close enough, hence the B+. But he has great hopes for the new year!



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 12/14/2009 12:32:49 PM

Hey wasn't this genius a constitutional law professor?



Posted by Pale Rider, 12/14/2009 2:34:15 PM

He was a guest lecturer, sort of an adjunct professor.

Like most so called "constitutional scholars" he subscribes to a living document doctrine that means he'll bend, break, fuck, suck, and cajole his way into making our founding document say whatever the hell he needs it to.



Posted by Casey Head (, 12/14/2009 2:37:57 PM

Ah another exaggeration from the anointed one. I'm just shocked. LOL.

I can only imagine what drivel he lectured on back then. Too bad we didn't get to see any background on that during the campaign. Then again, most of his followers wouldn't care or understand, while those of us on the right knew who he was.



Posted by Pale Rider, 12/14/2009 3:44:43 PM

He lectured on judicial review, and the the judicial activism of the Warren court.

There's a 2007 or 08 interview he did with Chicago Public Radio where he essentially said they weren't radical enough because they never took civil rights to its logical (in his mind) conclusion:

Social Justice through redistribution of wealth.

It's worth googling the interview to listen to it, I mean, if you need anything else to be pissed at him about.



Posted by Casey Head (, 12/14/2009 4:04:14 PM

Now that you mention it, I do vaguely recall something related to this, but I never went back and listened to the interview until now.

I didn't think it was possible but I underestimated how much of an idiot Obama really is. I'm speechless. How does one go thru all that education and end up so utterly clueless. And to be teaching constitutional law? When it comes to the constitution he's dead wrong once again.

I've got your redistributive change right here Barry.



Posted by Pale Rider, 12/14/2009 11:05:30 PM

A spirited message to all people immersed in self-interest everywhere:

Do something.



Posted by Mean Spirited Liberal, 12/15/2009 11:51:43 AM

That's it? Seriously? The best you've got is a music video??


As for "doing something," I am doing something - I'm presenting facts. You know, research. Open data for all to see and come to their own conclusions.

The problem, Rubolph, is that you live in a land of make-believe, where no fact penetrates.

I would gain a ton of respect for your positions and take you far more seriously if you would do two things:

1. Acknowledge facts. Because to do otherwise looks loony.
2. Back down when the facts don't line up with your opinions.

A music video... that's awesome. Great counterpoint, Ruby.



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 12/15/2009 1:53:14 PM

Mean Spirited Liberal?

You've lost all touch with reality, I think it's time to give them a call...(563) 383-1900



Posted by Casey Head (, 12/15/2009 2:04:30 PM

Distorted--like you:



Posted by MSL, 12/16/2009 3:59:04 PM

Watching the left become unhinged is such a tired act it now bores me.

Ruby, make the call. Please.



Posted by Pale Rider, 12/16/2009 8:39:32 PM

Hail to "liberty" in the Great Red State:



Posted by MSL, 12/17/2009 12:16:10 PM

On regulation & liberty, here's a UK example:

To summarize: Pictures of 60s icon Twiggy were digitally enhanced and used by Olay to sell anti-aging cream. Deception aside, this was all in pursuit of profit, I might add. This example of the free market in play resulted in this:

U.K's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received hundreds of complaints from the public, claiming the Olay images were "socially irresponsible" and could have a "negative impact on people's perceptions of their own body image. " Yesterday, the ASA banned the complete set of Olay Twiggy ads, ruling that the post-production retouching could give consumers a "misleading impression of the effect the product could achieve."

Hmmmm... OMG!! Damn the reach of government! Damn regulation! How dare they tread on our liberty! How dare they tread upon our right to do as we please! Liberty is everywhere under siege! Let's riot to protect the liberty of any and all to cheat and deceive at will, for such actions are justifiable because they are motivated by self interest.

Very nice logic folks. Your brand of liberty treads on my freedom from predators who abuse people and the planet in the pursuit of self-interest and profit. "Do Not Tread on Me"



Posted by MSL, 12/17/2009 7:53:41 PM

You really must read what I write as opposed to sticking to your assumptions. Please pardon me while I quote myself...

Recently, I posted a parable. The parable touted appropriate regulations, and ridiculed over-regulation.

A couple of posts before that, I wrote:

The purpose of government regulation is to provide standardization and stability, and to protect the consumer and businesses alike from unfair business practices.
I then called that a "net positive." I even said "Regulation can be a mechanism for growth."

And here's the nutty thing, Ruby - you actually commented on that post.

So since you missed the point, I'll clarify: I don't know of any of us who think regulations are always unnecessary. To the contrary, as I wrote, regulations can actually help business and the consumer. But nothing in today's government seeks the good of business or consumer.

I do applaud the fact that you brought facts to the table. Good for you. Research! Love it.

But you're aiming at the wrong crowd. I'll agree with your premise - at least up until the point that it starts hurting business and the consumer. Unfortunately, you don't seem to make a distinction between regulation that helps and regulation that hurts.



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 12/17/2009 8:12:24 PM

What you write is irrelevant. No rules explicity state or imply that anything I post relate in any way whatsoever to what you write, so I will exercise my liberty to post anything or everything I wish, asd I please, and as it suits my own self interest.

Climate change. I note the paradox that teabaggers like yourself are quick to jump on taxation and spending for "the burden it imposes on our children." Fair enough. Then answer me this: why are most of you averse to the notion that we must set aside some degree of self-interest in the larger interest of preserving the planet for our children?

Could it be that you are among or deluded by those who reject science? Could it be that you embrace and and all convenient right wing, anti-government conspiracy theories to substantiate the pursuit of your own self-interest, and that you are categorically lind to all other data?

I'd like you to explain why NASA scientists are wrong here:

I anticipate you'll likely claim that NASA is part of the great conspiracy (and that the Apollo missions were a hoax on the public filmed on a tabletop with claymation). Typical. Have you no trust whatsoever? Are you truly so cynical, jaded, and self-authoritative that you reject NASA (and mountains of other similar data) purely on the delusion of anti-government ideology and paranoia? Of course, denial of this problem reinforces your clamoring for deregulation and the "do as you wish" approach to living. You worry about the debt of future generations, and that's all well and good. But what does debt matter if they can't step outside to photograph a bee on a flower, much less ever see a bee or flower?

Perhaps my scenario is extreme, but extremism seems to be in vogue these days. So, I have news for all you "super geniuses" out there. You need to wake up, get real, and get green. Stop treading on our planet with your incessant denial. The riots at Copenhagen are but a prelude to what lies ahead.

As for debt, we can live with red on paper, we can deal with that, and we can live with that. But when we screw our planet over, we impact living in a direct and physical way...and we might end up NOT living.



Posted by MSL, 12/17/2009 9:08:57 PM

You certainly can write anything you'd like. As long as it's something my kids can read, I won't whack it. Just keep in mind that if you insert words in my mouth, as you did with your previous comment, I'll show you that you're wrong, as I did in my previous comment.

Climate change: I'm not a scientist, but a programmer by trade, so I'll stick to the area of my expertise.

Climate models take a wealth of data - measurements from around the world - and aggregate the results to arrive at a conclusion to produce predictive trending. The conclusion of some (not all) climate scientists: the earth is warming.

Fair enough. Now these scientists should, as the scientific method would insist, expose their data and their methods so that the results can be duplicated and confirmed by other scientists.

Here's a look at the East Anglia programming by another programmer:

Now if you actually watched the video, you'll see how laughable the code is. And yet, you're staking your entire future on the correctness of this laughable bit of programming.

I don't know the area of your expertise, Ruby, but I'll guess that it's not programming, so I don't blame you for believing what was handed to you by what you considered to be reputable sources. I've seen some of this code myself, and when they're inserting tables of numbers into the code to alter the measurement data handed to them, big ol' red flags go up.

Before anyone comes along in an attempt to bankrupt my children, I want to know why they insist that's necessary. If the earth were truly at risk, I'd have no problem with getting on board. But, from my expert view of their methods, they're full of crap. They deserve to be fought until their methods hold up to professional scrutiny.

Green that.



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 12/17/2009 9:30:30 PM

On "hurting business and consumers"-- you are woefully wrong-headed!

Sometimes it's the case that with no pain there's no gain. History is replete with pain exchanged for gain. Why is this time any different? Why should business and consumers be immune from regulation that hurts? If such regulation improves the human condition, then a collective sacrifice is justified. What makes us so special that we are not bound by this historical dynamic?

Consider the recent imposition of regulations to curb the sulphurous "acid rains," which have subsequently declined by some 60-70% since the mid 70s. This certainly "cost" business and consumers. It was inconvenient. It required a change in the old modus operandi. Taking my cans back to the grocer is inconvenient too. But it's all good. It's better than it was. So even though it's not always easy, it's often in our collective best interest. And since many, many people acting in pure self-interest can't seem to regulate their own behaviors and often engage in behaviors that threaten the quality of life for others, it's necessary to govern them--and this entails regulation.

Again, your thinking is mired in self-interest at the expense of anything and everything else. The bullshit about drawing a line between regulation on one hand, and its "effect on business and consumers" on the other is artificial and unrealistic. If a business person or consumer can't operate in a manner that is socially and environmentally responsible, then you shouldn't be in business. Unfortunately, "the market" fails to self-select the rogues from those who operate with conscience. WalMart comes to mind...

We should encourage each other to remove our heads from the sand and reconceptualize the utility of regulation relative to our collective quality of life and that of future generations. This is the central challenge of our time, and the hard decisions that lie ahead--soon--WILL have an impact on business and consumers like nothing we've seen to this point.

We can seize the moment to harness the opportunity to unite, transform, grow, and triumph; or we can resist truth, deny facts that are in our own faces, pursue self-interest and continue as we are, and spiral deeper into quarreling.

We're all a part of this. Sometimes regulations hurt. That's a fact. There are a lot of other facts that need to be heeded.



Posted by MSL, 12/17/2009 9:45:01 PM

"Sometimes it's the case that with no pain there's no gain. History is replete with pain exchanged for gain. Why is this time any different? Why should business and consumers be immune from regulation that hurts? If such regulation improves the human condition, then a collective sacrifice is justified."

I completely agree with you. Therefore, shouldn't it be amply demonstrated that there is a benefit that improves the human condition before proceeding? That's what I meant, Ruby, and that's why I agree.

Climate change: great - what's wrong with revealing all of the data and the programming used to arrive at the conclusions?

Health care: rather than hiding the bill in Harry Reid's office, what's wrong with putting this grand solution in front of the American people for them to see?

Increasing taxes on businesses: why can't anybody show one time in history that this method of raising revenue for the government worked in the long-run and produced a sustainable society?

What I don't understand is why an intelligent person like you isn't more skeptical of those pushing regulation and legislation on you. For crying out loud, you can't study the facts and come to your own conclusions? And if they can't or won't produce the facts, why are you willing to take it on faith that they're right?



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 12/17/2009 10:05:46 PM

My academic preparation (and employment) has trained to deal with both qualitative and quantitative data. I'm a historian/sociologist who became a psychometrician (the science of cognitive measurement, in case you're unfamilar with it); you're a programmer. I wrote code in the late 70s and 80s--quite unsuccessfully I might add. I found it to be a tedious, narrow, and mentally constraining exercise with rules and conventions that defied logic, and I quickly learned that I preferred the realm of "outer" space to that of cyberspace. I now better comprehend your passion and compulsion for art an nature as the balance you seek after an arduous immersion in the realm of
code. I digress...

As British statesman Benjamin Disreali said, "there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." That addresses the quantitative dimension Brett; trust me, I know where you are coming from. It's okay to harbor some skeptism of quantitative data--I always do--it's a healthy exercise in critical thinking to read into the data. But when skepticism relies solely on shreds of information at the expense of the great preponderance of rival evidence, then it is merely an excuse to obscure reason and reinforce one's dogmatic preconception, i.e., self-serving.

Thus, when the great preponderance of evidence from both government scientists and independent scientists coincides and hits you full force, you can certainly repose in denial and explain it off as a conspiracy--as many in your camp do. You do so at your own peril--and at mine, and my children's, and that's where I and millions of others draw the line.

While the quantitative data is always suspect, the qualitative date is much less so. Just to cite a few examples, polar bears floating on melting ice and cannibalizing each other, the opening of the Arctic seaway, the disintegration of Antarctic ice shelves, shrinking glaciers in our own mountains, and unrestrained human industrial activity don't lie.

We can quibble over statistics until hell freezes over. Apparently, some wish to do so. My suggestion to you is that you consider balancing your skepticism of the quantitative data by opening your eyes--or better yet, your mind--to the qualitative dimension in which we exist. Then, you might be surprised at how it changes your conception of the future of our children.

Good luck overcoming the ostrich syndrome.



Posted by MSL, 12/17/2009 10:27:07 PM

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data," Ruby. While you cite some interesting claims, what you lack in your last comment is this: data.

Only one thing can prove global warming: data. The global temps are either up, or the global temps are not. It's either trending warmer, or it's not.

When the scientists are fudging the data, there's a problem with their data. You don't "fix" what isn't broken.

Bring me indisputable facts, and you'll find an ally in the cause.

On the other hand, when I look at their programming model, they're manipulating the numbers. When they're not honest, no reasonable person should believe them.

And if I'm the one looking into their information and methods, and you're not, your claim of "ostrich syndrome" rings hollow. I would expect better analysis from someone of your pedigree.



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 12/17/2009 10:52:14 PM

Hey, at least Barry is at home in Copenhagen with the socialists and communists.

Ruby, I'll use your own comment on acid rain. There was an example they could show cause and effect and had data to back it. So, measures were taken to combat it.

When it comes to global temperature cycles, there is no "settled science" that it is caused by man. We don't yet have a full understanding of all the factors that drive the temperature cycles, so we end up with inaccurate models. And let me tell you, as a scientist/programmer/engineer, seeing the clips of the program Brett posted above, East Anglia has lost all credibility as experts in the discussion.



Posted by Pale Rider, 12/18/2009 10:48:09 AM

Well if it isn't super genius Paul Revere, 'er I mean PALE RIDER.

Meet the Grim Reaper. Here's more qualitatative data regarding "acid oceans":

"We're having a change in water chemistry, so 20 years from now the system we're looking at could be affected dramatically but we're not really sure how. So we see a train wreck coming," said Andrew DeVogelaere, the sanctuary's research director, while out kayaking this fall with a reporter in the cold waters.

If you'd get your head out of the sand and open your eyes, perhaps your mind would open too. I realize that's too much to hope for because you're too busy suckling at the breat of the Fount of Deception, e.g., Beck, Limbaugh,, to experience the intellectual liberation attendant with an open mind.

For folks like you, "DENIAL" is a river in Egypt. You piss and moan about debt relative to the future of our children, yet you dismiss and deny the impending force of climate change on their future. Instead, you categorically reject the notion that human activity is in any way to blame--or spin your wheels in skepticism as the oceans rise around you. Brilliant! Super geniuses like you will pursue your hedonistic self-interest and let the next generation worry about the mess you created. You and those like you are the poster boys for environmental terrorism.

Darwin is relevant here. As the ecological impacts of our misuse and abuse of the planet mount and the patterns upon which modern civilization has depended are no longer capable of sustaining culture or life, and as institutions collapse and fall like dominoes, the need for sudden adaptation will be thrust upon us. The struggle for our very survival will devolve into localized physical conflicts between those who trusted science and tried to do something, and those who did not and did nothing. And you won't be able to hide; each side knows who the other is.

I can hardly wait to meet you and your kind in the trenches.



Posted by MSL, 12/18/2009 1:30:34 PM

With that open, spacious mind of yours I know it is hard, so please try to focus. The science at the base of proponents of global warming is what we are challenging. If you thought logically and had a background in science you'd naturally understand why we take this position. Acid rain, pollution flowing into our rivers and oceans are another story.

This planet has had a violent history. Continents shift, volcanoes erupt, hurricanes form. You build on the coastline or build cities below sea level sooner or later "shit happens." If you think you can control climate at a planetary level show me the science of how you will do it and back it up. Screaming about whatever social injustice you see doesn't solve anything.

If you want to go back in time to a more eco friendly way of life just hop on over to Africa. Enjoy the disease and low life expectancy. Me, I'm gonna increase my carbon footprint. It's damn cold here today and I'm not gonna be happy until the planet warms enough for me to wear shorts here in January.



Posted by Pale Rider, 12/18/2009 2:27:15 PM

You know, PR, if exposure to the farcical programming being used to determine the fate of the civilized world won't make Ruby bat an eyelash, I suspect that unless Al Gore himself laid himself prostrate before Ruby and announced it the hoax that it is, he won't question the religion of his beliefs.

At least the god of Christians seems to allow for questions and some cynicism. Not so much for the Cult of Warmthers. Facts be damned - full tyranny ahead!



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 12/18/2009 3:59:53 PM

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