Wingnuts’ Failed Attempt to Blame Obama Administration for the Waldo Canyon Fires in Colorado

The wingnuts are trying their damnedest to blame President Obama for the fires in Colorado when, in the reality-based world, their own small government free market Ayn Randian policies are to blame.

In other words, shut up, Michelle Malkin.

 








It’s Still Aggregate Demand

I was very happy to see Krugman post today about the structural unemployment-education issue that I’ve been repeatedly flogging here. As usual, he’s got the goods:

via Mark Thoma, the very cautious Dave Altig looks at recent studies and concludes that

“we’ve been pretty sympathetic to structural explanations for the slow pace of the recovery. Nonetheless, we have yet to find much evidence that problems with skill-mismatch are more important postrecession than they were prerecession. We’ll keep looking, but—as our colleagues at the Chicago Fed conclude in their most recent Chicago Fed Letter—so far the facts just don’t support skill gaps as the major source of our current labor market woes.”

Am I totally certain that the problem isn’t structural? Hey, I’m not totally certain of anything! But there really is no evidence, none at all, for a story that nonetheless gets asserted as absolute fact in op-ed after op-ed.

Maybe the word will get out. It had better. To pick just one example, from the Atlantic yesterday:

In a structural crisis, employers rid themselves of employees who had the skills appropriate to earlier stages of economic development, but who are no longer increasing their productivity, and replace them with workers that have new skills that lead to faster rises in productivity. During such junctures, economic growth does NOT simply lead directly to more jobs and higher wages.

Gladstone, I should be quick to point out, identifies other causes for the recession, and his piece is overall worthwhile. It just seems to be another case of the temptation of the structural narrative to overwhelm the need to show evidence.

I grow discouraged!








Saturday Morning Open Thread: Silly, Silly Season


(Ballard Street via GoComics.com)
__
Traditionally, the Silly Season doesn’t start till mid-summer, but it’s not just the hot weather that’s running well ahead of schedule.

A purported vial of Ronald Reagan’s blood was offered for auction, but public outcry led to its eventual donation to the Reagan Library. Rude political columnists are already making cloning jokes, and no doubt the competition to design a proper reliquary will be fierce (alas, Thomas Kinkaide is no longer with us). And I never even got to use the joke about the eventual auction winner sending the vial — anonymously, of course — to the Oxford-Lausanne cryptozoology project!

In another sign that the premature heat has fried some peoples’ few functional brain cells, the One Million Moms agitators (or, as Paul Constant refers to them, “Six Moms with Too Much Time on Their Hands and a Shitty Website“) have started a letter-writing campaign to protest DC and Marvel Comics’ upcoming gay character / gay wedding storylines… because the behavior of a mutant superhero in a comic book is liable to “mislead” impressionable young children as to how the world works. And because they are so innocent in the wicked ways of the internetz, the geniuses behind OMM decided to let commentors edit their form letter, too.

Apart from people making fools of themselves, what’s on the agenda for the big (American) holiday weekend?








Side by side on my piano keyboard

I saw this:

And all I could think of was this:

Question: are YouTube videos like this one fair game or will these attacks backfire, just as the attacks on private equity have? Probably above my pay grade, but I look forward to seeing it discussed on the Sunday shows.








Despite all my rage

I hate to say this, but neither of the images John spoke of enrages me all that much. Some completely inconsequential idiot photoshops a picture of Obama, who cares? They are who we thought they were. Some slightly less inconsequential idiot photoshops a picture of S.E. Cupp, that’s a a little bit worse because it was in a magazine with some circulation. I guess that does make me kind of mad, but enraged? Larry Flynt is who we we thought he was.

What made Rush Limbaugh’s remarks about Sandra Fluke so disturbing is that Limbaugh is taken seriously in Washington — BriWi calls in to his show to kiss his ass, Mark Halperin hangs on his every word, Republican Congressmen speak his name in whispers (what higher praise can there be). If Don Surber had made some dumb ass remark about sex tapes on his blog, I would not be mad, I’d just laugh at him, wouldn’t you? It’s not so funny when one of the most powerful men in the Republican party says it, though.

Look, if you ask me to sign something that says Larry Flynt should apologize, I’ll sign it, put it to a vote, I’ll vote for it, but what I won’t do is play ball (ditto for whoever made that Obama witch doctor photoshop). People say dumb offensive stuff all the time, and it’s tiring and time-consuming to spend all your time denouncing people you’ve barely heard of, whom you’ve never voted for, whose magazine you’ve never read. I don’t see how we’re all responsible for it. I don’t see how it’s constructive for us to pretend that we are responsible for it. Unless the person has 10 million radio listeners and half the Village on his tip 24/7, or something like that, I just don’t give that much of a fuck.