Douchebag Tag Team

You’ll never guess what couple is one of the first out of the gate distorting the Oregon Medicaid study:


I’m sure you are all shocked they are doing what they are paid to do.

Open Thread: The Next Pink Himalayan Salt?

I saw this in the natural foods section of the grocery store (click to embiggen) and it made me wonder if Telicherry Black Pepper is the new hotness, or if Pink Himalayan Salt has officially jumped the shark now that it’s available to the masses spread on some kind of chip. Open thread.

She danced on my head like Arthur Murray

Maybe it’s because the topic is concussions here, but reading this piece of stupidity from the Pink Himalayan one made my head hurt (h/t reader D):

So Junior Seau’s family is suing the NFL over head injuries, which lead to chronic brain damage, and possibly his suicide.


But this lawsuit strikes me as pretty out there. Junior Seau can’t possibly have been unaware that football caused head injuries. Nor even that multiple concussions are probably bad for you.

Snap back to reality (a New Yorker piece from January 2011):

“There’s a potential lawsuit out there that’s devastating,” the Steelers Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw said on Fox’s pregame show, the weekend after James Harrison threatened retirement. I know of two groups of lawyers preparing class-action suits, on behalf of recent players, against the N.F.L., with an eye toward filing in the first six months of this year. At issue is what the league knew and when, and, ultimately, what responsibility it has to its players, with a likely focus on the difference between two documents that were distributed in locker rooms as safety guidelines. The first, a pamphlet written in 2007, left open the question of whether “there are any long-term effects of concussion in N.F.L. athletes,”

Pink Himalayan Calculator Problems, Part (n)

Further to DougJ’s catch of this morning:  last night I actually found myself reading (why, oh why, dear FSM?) the McArdle post in question, a bit of fappery in which she paraded her above-the-fray disdain for the idea that the Obama administration might take action to clean up a mess the Republican rump plans to deposit on his lawn.  (No linky ’cause I’m not in the business of giving any hint of value to McArdle’s employers/enablers.)

It’s really a sad effort, in which McArdle attempts to compose a ~1,600 word piece on the failure of governance implied by a discussion of a platinum coin on the US balance sheet without seriously implicating anyone other than President Obama.  She does make a couple of nods in the direction of “both sides do it” faux-balance, chiding the Republicans for their role in the last debt-ceiling debacle and noting that the GOP side of the aisle seems even less prepared for the consequences of actually blocking the measure this time around.

But those are head fakes.  She reserves the full blast of McArdle scorn (as always, queue cue Denis Healey’s “savaged by a dead sheep” line here) for Obama in particular and the Democrats in general (whodathunkit!). A sample complaint: Obama’s election campaign went pitiably small (an argument that relies on ignoring most of what Obama discussed on the trail), and that he and his party simply ignore the “fact” of federal over-spending.

I’m not going to do my usual obsessive 4,000 word fisk on all the failings of fact and logic that permeate this, as so many of McArdle’s effusions.  Life is too short; I’m on (self-imposed) deadline; and frankly, the slow erosion of McArdle’s career makes the task less pressing, at least to me.  The Daily Beast ain’t The Atlantic, and you can see the impact the difference in audience makes.  I actually waded into the comment thread on the post in question (the shallow end — didn’t have the stomach or the time for the deep dive) and there were plenty there heading for Red State territory.


I’ve no doubt that McArdle is unlikely to want for a reasonably well-paying gig for the indefinite future; she’s pretty well situated on the Wingnut Welfare railroad.  But there is a big difference between those who intone their harmonies inside the Wurlitzer and those who play out a bit, and it seems to me that she’s heading the wrong way on that particular arc.  Could be wrong, of course, and constant vigilance and all that.  But really, there are bigger fish to fry (looking at you, BoBo, et al.).

So, in the interest of everyone’s time, let me here just take note of the fact that McArdle’s calculator is performing as well as ever.  Her post’s coffee-spray-on-the-screen moment came on reading this gem:

For a while, Democrats could pride themselves on being the reasonable ones. Now they, too, are choosing words over math.  “We don’t have a spending problem,” President Obama apparently blithely told the Speaker of the House.  Which is technically true . . . if we’re willing to raise the government’s tax take to north of 50% of Gross Domestic Product. [ellipsis in the original]

Err. Read more

Droit du seigniorage

I’m in Japan at a hotel with a 480 yen (five bucks fifty or so) all-you-can-drink buffet so I should be otherwise occupied, but…I can’t enough of platinum coin mania.

A colleague of mine sent me the Kevin Drum anti-coin screed and I tried to explain to him about “even the liberal Kevin Drum” but it went over his head. Anywho, it won’t surprise you to learn that Megan McArdle is against it too, for principled Haykekian reasons of some sort.

Got no reason, what the heck

Just because (h/t reader AJ):

Last year my in-laws got us a motion-activated soap dispenser which turned out to be the absolute perfect thing for our powder room.

Watch out where the huskies go

There was a great piece about the Iraq War some of you showed me a while ago. It had a title like “Everything I Needed To Know I Learned In Business School” but I can’t find it on teh google right now. Anyway, one of the key points was that it was stupid to say, as many did, “yes, the Bush arguments for war are weak, but I know there are other good reasons do it”. If there were good reasons, the Bush administration would have given them.

Likewise, it really is a sign of the weakness of the anti-gun control arguments that they hinge on having unarmed janitors and husky 12 year-olds gun-rush would-be shooters. Yes, Charlotte Allen and Megan McArdle are stupid. But they could easily be fed smart anti-gun control arguments by right-wing think tanks if such arguments existed.

I get the argument that we need guns to be safe from potential gubmint oppression and freedom isn’t free (I don’t agree with it, but I understand it). Likewise, I understand the neocon argument that it was good to invade Iraq because CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS (again, I don’t agree with it of course). Most people don’t agree with either of those arguments, and that’s why we hear shit about yellow cake and shooter rushing.