Saturday, March 26, 2011

Here in Wisconsin: Constitutional Crisis Edition

When Bismarck came into office in Prussia it was to resolve a constitutional crisis, fomented by the Prussian king, in the king's favor.  The exact nature of the crisis is material here. For my purposes, as I hope will be clear, it's enough to mention that the crisis lasted from 1862 until 1866 when after Bismarck had launched a series of successful wars did he Liberals and Conservatives pass a bill that argued Bismarck's actions were legal, even though everybody knew they weren't.  My point?

It seems to me that Walker and Co. by violating the spirit and the letter of the stay order have created a constitution crisis and it raises the question of what to do?  Neither the Assembly or the Senate, if we take the recent undemocratic actions in both houses as indications, is going to stand up for democracy should it prove a hindrance to their aggressive agenda of returning us to the thrilling days of 1870. So what do we do?  There was some of this in Barca's attempt to stop the shady maneuverings but this strikes me as much more important.

Told that they could not by a judge they went and head and did. Now what?

Correlation not Causation, But Still

Off to wander aimlessly around the Capitol. Before I go, Vernon (Vern)Buchanan is, according to CREW, one of the most corrupt members of Congress. According to Open Secrets, the bulk of his "campaign" financing comes from wealthy individuals and corporations and, oddly enough while most congressmen and women who received money from the Chamber of Congress earned between 1k and 2.5k, Buchanan earned 10k.

Here in Wisconsin: Chris Rickert is an Idiot Edition

Rickert is a columnist for the Wisconsin State Journal as near as I can make out he is a Neoliberal. Today he rails against the "elitism" of the UW-Madison, because it is a great school it must be elitist, and he thinks that it becoming a part-private and more expensive school is great because, like all Neoliberals, he hates him some edumacated elites. This is all bad enough, and his recent columns have been increasing pointless and badly written, but in the course of his misdirected hatred of the elites, he writes:
I don’t know if she would be able to afford to do the same today, but I do know she would have been just as successful in life had she been forced to attend a cheaper, less prestigious school.
How, on earth, could he know something like that? The evidence right now suggests that students who attend "elite" institutions are over represented in the halls of government and business. The last thing in the world we need to do is take a great institution of higher learning and give and privatize; rather we need to work to  better distribute society's wealth and stop thinking like profit mongers, who are next but one to war mongers in their responsibility for the mess in which we are currently mired.

Here in Wisconsin: Now With Even Less Democracy

A law is not a law in this state until published in the paper of record. A judge enjoined the Secretary of State from publishing Walker's "Budget Repair Bill," aka Neoliberalism's war on people part eleventybillion; Walker and his minions think they found loophole and had the bill published by someone else and have now declared the bill a law despite the fact that a co-equal branch of government in the form of a judge and the official charged with publishing the bill to make it a law say otherwise.

What's the end game here? Do these louts think that by the next election everyone will have forgotten or be so dispirited that they won't vote?  Or like Ohio, do they plan on launching state sponsored voter suppression?

It's worth remembering that Walker compared his war on unions and people to Reagan's war on the old USSR. What does that me his desired outcome is, exactly? The 19th century, it would seem.


One hundred years ago the Triangle Fire. Whatever it is, I am against it continues the series of reading the NYT from one hundred years ago and offers a round up of the original reporting and a link to the original reporting on the strike.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Games, Leadership, and Libya

Jonah Goldberg is all upset because he is being criticized for writing
Lastly, what’s most infuriating is that if this ends “well” — say Qaddafi is killed by one of his own men in the next couple days or the rebels manage to assassinate him, or he flees to Venezuela, whatever — you know that Obama will take credit for leading this successful mission and he will be praised for his “leadership” by many of the same people who are now pretending they believe this fiction that NATO has taken over.
I have, I confess, no idea if this is, in fact, the basis for the criticism. I am not going read the whole dealio. Rather, let's consider Goldberg's claims as stand alones.

In terms of the "infuriating," Goldberg creates knowledge, "you know that," and then uses it to criticize a policy he agrees with. Odd, isn't, that the only form of authentic leadership Goldberg accepts is Bushlike ordering about. It's just barely possible, which is to say absolutely true, that tell your allies that you support what they are doing but aren't going to "lead" is leading.

Goldberg then argues
Drum and Sargent say I’m playing a “game” and that I’m simply laying down the groundwork against Obama. It’s fairly typical of the way Drum writes about conservatives from what I can tell. But all I can do is give my word that I’m not playing a game. Or laying any groundwork.  I actually care about the policy at hand, which Drum grudgingly concedes with his tendentious musing about conservatives’ “peculiar worldview.”
If you claim that in the future someone you don't like will engage in exactly the behavior you find most dislikeable, then yes you are playing a game.

He goes on:
Anyway Drum’s post is actually quite non-responsive. Does he deny that, should things go well in Libya, Obama will take credit for his leadership? And if that is the case, doesn’t that suggest that Obama is either lying now about not leading or will be lying in the future when/if he claims credit for his leadership? Also, Will Drum (and Sargent) not give Obama credit for his leadership should Nato, under Canada’s “command,” claim victory? I doubt that! And what about the White House saying today that responsibility for how this ends is “not on our shoulders”? Well if everything comes up roses, will those weasel words go down the memory hole or will they be still be valid? You see my point? Either America’s lack of leadership is true or it is a lie. It can’t be both, can it? I don’t think I’m the one playing a game.
Yes, again, if everything goes exactly the way a man who has been wrong about everything thinks it will, then sure he'll have been right. But of course, if it doesn't then he'll have been wrong. And he'll have been playing a game. The game, much like Gingrich's unreflexive constantly shifting statements against what ever it is Obama does even if it is what Gingrich supports, is to be against Obama.

Me? I continue to oppose the Libyan adventure because it is, I think, more likely than not to not work. Indeed, I suspect it will turn out like 99% of interventions/invasions/war with all manner of bad things that no one, meant none sarcastically, could have foreseen.

I have no idea why Obama chose to bomb Libya, but am increasingly enamored of the hypnotism thesis

Here in Wisconsin: Ignorance is Bliss

I read the Wisconsin State Journal nearly everyday, yet I have heard not a word about this story. In a nutshell a respected UW-Madison professor of history writes an op-ed piece critical of Walker and the Wisconsin Republican Party more generally and posts a essay and reading list on his research into the origins and orginators of the radicalization of the WRP. The WRP launches a FOIA against Cronon to get his emails searched for Walker, Fitgerald, recall, Republican, and the names of the senators facing recall. Why? Cronon is right about the sources of radicalization and, as he argues,
the Wisconsin Republican Party would seek to employ the state’s Open Records Law for the nakedly political purpose of trying to embarrass, harass, or silence a university professor (and a citizen) who has asked legitimate questions and identified potentially legitimate criticisms concerning the influence of a national organization on state legislative activity. I’m offended by this not just because it’s yet another abuse of law and procedure that has seemingly become standard operating procedure for the state’s Republican Party under Governor Walker, but because it’s such an obvious assault on academic freedom at a great research university that helped invent the concept of academic freedom way back in 1894.  I’ll return to that 1894 story at the end of this blog entry.
"Collateral damage" of Neoliberalism's war on people includes honest debate and, by extension, Democracy.

Neoliberalism's Continued War on People Here in Wisconsin

One of the positive emails Scot Walker received in the course of his undermining democracy and waging war on people suggested that he
employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions’ cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the unions,” the email said.
[c]urrently, the media is painting the union protest as a democratic uprising and failing to mention the role of the DNC and umbrella union organizations in the protest. Employing a false flag operation would assist in undercutting any support that the media may be creating in favor of the unions. God bless, Carlos F. Lam
Lam was a prosecutor in Indian, after initially lying about sending the email he has since admitted it and resigned.  Indian, as by the way, is also home to former prosecutor Jeffery Cox, who suggested that the police fire on the protesters.  One thing that emerges here is that Wisconsin isn't nearly as bat-shit insane as Indian.  The other thing that becomes increasing clear is that Walker is a man with no moral convictions what so ever. He should have denounced this idea, instead he confided to the faux-Koch brother that he considered and abandoned it. If these bufflaheads actually thought they were "right" they wouldn't need to lie, prevaricate, and generally act like B-movie versions of corrupt politicians. 

Why I decide

In today's Wisconsin State Journal on page A4 there is a report of pedestrian injured when she allowed a motorist to decide that it was safe for her to cross the street. The motorists, alas, could only control his or her behavior and not that of the motorist behind him or her who raced round and struck the pedestrian.

That's why I decided when it's safe to cross the street.

Invasive Ignorance

For the past little while reading here and there, I've learned that the Libyan supremacy will be different than Iraq et alia because it is different. I find the logic of this position unassailable depressing. It's like the whole of the American political class, or nearly so, has been hypnotized by Dr. Evil and ordered to follow two paths, bombing things and being "fiscally responsible" -- by the way bets on the percentage of the hypnotized who know what that phrase means?, leading to the same end point: America's terminal decline.

Lot's of people point to Marius' rise or Sulla's assassinations, the general corruption of Romes political/military leadership, or the continued violence between the Optimates and the Populares as the proximate cause of the Roman Republic's decline[1], for me it's always been the failure of the Senatorial class to recognized that the Gracchi Brothers' reforms were both necessary and just.

Right now it looks like our "leaders" glanced glancingly at the world's problems and decided that the best solution is more poverty with a side of increased piles of rubble.

[1] One thing to keep in mind is that the Republic stumbled along for some time after all this and another thing to keep in mind is that the Empire did fine and dandy for a long time, so decline and fall isn't really the issue; rather it's transformation into something new and, in many regards, something considerable less salubrious.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Now it Can be Told!

Longtime maniac Bryan Fisher warns that
Al Qaeda is behind the rebellion in Libya. So this no-fly zone is in fact helping the Muslims who killed 3000 Americans on 9/11. But helping our sworn enemies, especially if they are Muslims, does not seem to be a bother to Obama.
He is a popular figure on the Right, including both the sane and the less so.
To be fair to Fischer, his stance probably has more to do with his hatred of Islam — not just extremists, but the entire religion — than his feelings about Qaddafi. Outrageous positions like this have earned AFA a “hate group” designation from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Nonetheless, leading conservatives, such as potential presidential candidates Tim Pawlenty and Mike Huckabee, regularly appear on AFA’s radio show, which is hosted by Fischer. Three sitting Republican congressman have appeared on the show in the past week alone. And potential presidential candidate Newt Gingrich secretly funneled $350,000 to AFA Action. Will Fischer’s defense of Qaddafi finally be too much for these conservative leaders?
Now it can be told, the answer is no. If they start the process of repudiating their house crazy people, the lose the crazy vote and that is about 27% of their voters.

Neoliberalism: Wrong About Everything

Some economist from the Netherlands has the nerve to point out that Neoliberals were wrong about deregulation and employment. She isn't right because she is an economist, she's right because she is looking at the evidence and making a coherent argument instead of mouthing empty slogans about markets being good and regulations being bad and unnecessary until there is a market failure

She begins by jumping on the Alan Greenspan was actually a dummy train.
Asked during an interview in September 2007 whether European governments should liberalize their countries’ labor codes, former United States Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan responded that Europe’s labor-protection laws significantly inhibited economic performance and resulted in chronically high unemployment across the continent. In the United States, people are fired more easily than in any other country, and the unemployment rate at the time was among the lowest in the world.
Untill, of course, Greenspan's incompetence led to the current 9+ unemployment proved that he was all wet.

Oh yeah, that whole Neoliberal experiement in creating jobs through outsourcing, she asks that we
 consider Evergreen Solar, the third-largest maker of solar panels in the US, which announced in January that it would close its main American factory, lay off its 800 workers there within two months, and shift production to China. Evergreen’s management cited the much higher government support available in China as its reason for the move.Evergreen is only one of many cases suggesting that the US might find itself in the midst of what Princeton-economist Alan Blinder in 2005 dubbed the Third Industrial Revolution. 
Don't worry, though Blinder knows that
about one-third of all public- and private-sector jobs in the country  are vulnerable for offshoring. Blinder also predicted that the flexible, fluid US labor market would adapt better and faster to globalization than European labor markets would.
Which is of course to say that Blinder was half right and the important half, all will be well, wasn't just wrong it was radically evil.

Our Dutch friend suggest that although
we are only in the early stages of that revolution, and the outcome remains uncertain . . . a preliminary comparison between Europe’s largest economy, Germany, and the US suggests that the former is better equipped to hold its own in the age of globalization.
But how could that be? And anyhow, prove it:

German multinationals like Siemens and Daimler are ratcheting up investment to meet both emerging-market and domestic demand. The companies plan to add hundreds of thousands of jobs worldwide this year alone. While many of these jobs will be in Asia, both companies say that they will add high-skill jobs in Germany as well.

Why? you ask.  A heavily regulated labor market:
 Siemens, apparently conscious of the benefits of labor-market rigidity, has taken the unusual step of promising its employees a job for life. Last year, the company sealed an agreement with the trade union IG Metall that includes a no-layoff pledge for its 128,000-strong German workforce.
Making matters worse, Germany's politicians don't hate people:
A more important explanation for Germany’s current economic success may be the substantial government support that German industries receive on a structural basis, especially the car industry. The US economy, on the other hand, is bogging down in its policymakers’ persistent emphasis on consumption and tax cuts (most notably for the super-rich) over investment.
What's the solution? End Neoliberalism.
We now know that labor-market deregulation does not ensure economic resilience and rapid job creation. On the contrary, the best solution is probably a diversity of labor contracts. A certain amount of labor-market rigidity may make economic sense for jobs that require firm-specific skills and training, alongside greater flexibility for jobs that require fewer skills.

Invasion Inchorence More Yet

John Judis supports the intervention/invasion of Libya. His
would have preferred Obama to have taken leadership several weeks ago in assembling a coalition, and building support, for intervention.
At the same time he asks
[s]hould Obama, as some critics have charged, have gone to Congress for a war powers resolution?
And answers:
I am not sure there was time for a full-scale debate. He should certainly have consulted with the legislature, but the fact that he didn’t is not a reason to call the planes back to their carriers.
In all that dithering of several weeks there wasn't time for a debate and even though Obama should have consulted bombs away.[1]

And then there's this:
Critics of the intervention have warned that if it succeeds in getting rid of Qaddafi, the new Libyan government may not embrace democracy. That’s very possible. Oil economies are susceptible to authoritarian rule, and Libya does not even have Egypt’s prior experience with a parliament. But there is reason to be hopeful about a post-Qaddafi Libya. It will have become part of an experiment in democratization that is now taking place across North Africa. Its resources will remain under its control, and in contrast to a triumphant Qaddafi, they are not likely to be used geopolitically. And there is no evidence that global terrorist movements will find a welcome there.
 My argument is that we have no real idea[2] of who the rebels are and, consequently, no clue as to what happens next. The list of assertions about the hope-filled outcomes are from cloud coo coo land. His argument boils down to claiming that if everything goes exactly right everything will end up exactly as "we" want it.

[1]This last one gets my goat, as the kids say. I know Congressional cowardice over challenging the extent of President's bomb dropping powers  made it a complicated issue and, it is no doubt the case, that over literal reliance on a document of such great antiquity might makes us all as mad as Scalia, but having to at least consult with his co-equal branches on the dropping of bombs seems like a very low hurdle to hop.

[2] On a guess, I would estimate that are  most likely a number of academics, graduate students and professors, who have been studying Libya for sometime now.  They probably know a great deal of its history, who Gaddafy is, was, or might become. I would imagine that they could shed some light on the issue of who the rebels are. I bet my bottom dollar that not one of them is consulted, shows up on the HDTV, or finds the pages of the nation's papers and magazines open to them, while Max Boot, Bolton, Freidman, and related hacks babble away.
Ben Greenman, over to The New Yorker, in an essay on the pointlessness of bracket bets in the NCAA argues that
[i]f you ask people about politics, or history, or the weather, most people will possess at least a modicum of expertise, at least along a narrow band.
I'm going to leave the idea of expertise in the weather alone, but most people, although they think they have a modicum of knowledge, are dead wrong about history and many if not all ignore the facts of political life.

Economics Still Not a Science

In response to someone or another, noted economist and all round great guy, Karl Smith
believe[s that] each one of these represents a prediction of the economics community that was at odds with the conventional wisdom at the time.
  1. The price and quantity of objects sold are determined jointly by the desires of buyers and costs of sellers.
And has 13 more predictive claims that are "true" in the same sense. What's missing? The buyers' income is missing.  My desire for an Surly LHT isn't going to get me one.

Second, the sellers' desired profit, which isn't a "cost" in any meaningful sense of the word. As I understand profit, it's what's leftover after all the bills are paid. You could run a business that made exactly as much as it cost to run it and still stay in business or you tack on 10 percent or 2 or even 5. In a profiting seeking system, the prices of goods and services represent the maximum a seller can charge a buyer and, not surprisingly, the quantity represents the amount the producer thinks he or she can sell at a desired level of profit.

Or maybe not, maybe through the markets' magic people who never see one another send out brain waves in a complicated negotiation over prices paid relative to costs incurred. The obvious silliness of this version of market exchange is one of the residuals of letting 18th century thinking dominated 21st century exchanges.

Consider this one:
The wages of workers in a free market are determined by the amount the marginal worker produces not the average.
Workers' wages are determined by what the owner can be made to pay, unless, of course, he thinks that 19th century America wasn't a free market.

Neither of these claims are close to being lawlike scientific claims, which is what his interlocutor is calling for, and certainly neither holds up as a description of reality. And yet Karl Smith, whose name most likely determined that he would become an economist, want to insist that economic is so a science.

On the other hand, 1 of these sentences is true:
In short, Manzi’s true point shouldn’t be that economists falsely assert scientific knowledge were there is none. It should be that we are arrogant pricks. I think many economists would agree.
Guess which one.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Experimental Googling

It has recently come to light that one can, in fact, tell Google that you want to block a site's response to whatever query you might be making. All you need to do is click through to the site and then click back and click the block this site. So far I have banned Wikipedia, Ehow, and Yahoo's Question deally, plus Amazon. I find, your experience will -- no doubt be radically different -- found the searching experience ever so richer.

Hearts and Minds: Who Could've Know Edition

I blame the great strategic thinkers who sent the two kids off to kill people for no especially good reason and the equally serious folks who have kept them there for this whole heartbreaking mess:
The Post, which reviewed the photographs, says one depicts Spec. Jeremy N. Morlock of Wasilla, Alaska, smiling and crouching next to the corpse of Gul Mudin, who was killed Jan. 15, 2010. The other photograph shows Pfc. Andrew H. Holmes of Boise, Idaho next to Mudin's body. Morlock and Holmes have both been charged with murder in Mudin's case, and Morlock, who has pleaded guilty to a total of three charges of murder, is scheduled to be sentenced at a court-martial on Wednesday.
One of Morlock's attorneys said the photographs do not have a time or date stamp, and called the setting and identity of the corpse "mere speculation." But one of Holmes' attorneys confirmed the authenticity of the photo showing his client, while adding that Holmes had been ordered to be in the picture by his superiors.
A third photograph published by Der Spiegel today allegedly depicts two dead, handcuffed Afghan civilians.
In response to the release of the photographs, the U.S. Army issued a statement, calling the photographs "repugnant to us as human beings and contrary to the standards and values of the United States Army."
"We apologize for the distress these photos cause," the Army statement said, according to the Post. "The actions portrayed in these photographs remain under investigation and are now the subject of ongoing U.S. court-martial proceedings, in which the accused are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty."
The UK paper The Guardian reports that military commanders in Afghanistan "are bracing themselves for possible riots and public fury triggered" by the release of the photographs. On Sunday night, The Guardian says, organizations employing foreign staff in Afghanistan, including the U.N., ordered their staff into "lockdown."
If war is, in fact hell, those who lead us into it must be devils, no?

Nuclear Power is too Safe

Notes from Japan:
And four prefectures have been told not to sell spinach, while one has been told not to sell milk. According to ABC, “Spinach from one farm in Hitachi, a town 45 miles away from the plant, contained 27 times the amount of iodine and four times the amount of cesium that is considered safe.” And milk from a farm eighteen miles away had levels of iodine seventeen times too high.
All those worrywarts with their worrying about the safety of nuclear power. Clearly, like bombing things, the fact that nuclear power released all manner of horrors on Japan isn't evidence that nuclear power isn't our best option.

Invasion: Morning in America Edition

Remember that long period of not blowing stuff up that lasted from 1975 until 1983 when Reagan ended our long national nightmare of not blowing stuff up by beating up on some tiny country? Thank goodness he ended for that Vietnam syndrome induced episode of not blowing stuff up.

Invasion: Incoherent Edition

From all manner of sites and places, I landed on Jonathan Chait's attempt to specially plead for bombing stuff without any post-bombing scheme or pre-bombing argument:
Why intervene in Libya and not elsewhere is a question that needs to be asked. But it's not a question that needs to be asked to determine the wisdom of intervening in Libya. Should we also spend more money to prevent malaria? Yes, we should. But I see zero reason to believe that not intervening in Libya would lead to an increase in in American assistance to prevent malaria.
Libya will suck up billions of dollars and further dispirit the kind of people who would like to spend money on malaria prevention. Furthermore, Libya confirms that America's foreign policy elites, whatever their motivations -- Power and Susan Rice aren't Bolton and Rice but they act like, are more interested in bombing things than, you know malaria prevention.

He goes on to "argue' that
But suppose there's no answer whatsoever. Does it matter? If it were the 1990s, and the Clinton administration were contemplating an expansion of children's health insurance, would it be important to determine exactly why we're covering uninsured children but not uninsured adults? No. The question is whether this particular policy intervention is likely to succeed or fail.
This is remarkably incoherent. First, the obvious answer is yes, we would want to ask why kids and not adults and, second, killing people and blowing things up is nothing like providing access to medical care. They are, in a very real way, the opposite of each other.

Staying on point he concludes that
[t]he question of whether or not we ought to intervene in some other country, or in some other way, is an important foreign policy issue, but not an argument against intervention in Libya.
So if someone argues that this invasion is unlikely to work, and proves by pointing slightly eastward of Libya, and proves that there is a better method, that's not an argument against blowing stuff up? If even in his imagination Chait cannot imagine that there is an argument against blowing stuff up, why doesn't he just argue for blowing up those uninsured kiddies and the malarial mosquitoes?

Here in Wisconsin: Lying About Everything

So, the other day the Wisconsin Department of Administration claimed that the ragged hordes of workers who descended on Madison caused umpteen bazillion eleventy dollars of damage to the Capitol.  Via Crooked Timber we learn:
Jacob Arndt has a pretty good idea how much damage to the marble was actually caused: None at all. Arndt owns Northwestern Masonry and Stone, a Lake Mills-based company that he says “does consultation work and has contracts with the state of Wisconsin.” He toured the Capitol early this month with a DOA staffer, inspecting the various types of stone: Kasota-Mankato, Wausau red granite, Dakota red granite, verde jade. “I looked at each of these types of stones,” says Arndt. His conclusion: The painter’s tape used to affix signs left “little or no residue” anywhere. The worst problem he saw was some residue where media had taped cords to the floor, but even this was easily removed with simple cleaning agents. “There’s no damage to the stone,” says Arndt, who has been back in the building several times since, verifying this finding. He says the DOA official who showed him around agrees even the lower cost estimate is “completely ridiculous and politically inspired.”
While it isn't really surprising that they lied about this, as they lie about everything. 

Economics Still Not a Discipline

The other day I mentioned that there was a spirited round of debate about anxious to rescue a way to stop thinking Matthew Yglesias and others insisted that it was so because economists agree on so much that the disagreements are really just some form of noise or so. Not, as it turns out, so.

Paul Krugman writes of the Real Business Cycle, don't ask, that he
know[s] that RBC exists; I know how it works; I just think it’s wrong.
So he understands that other economists explain the economy in way that is wrong. They don't, in other words, agree about a fundamentally important aspect of their discipline's purpose, which -- I assume -- is explaining the way the economy works.  He goes on to argue that
is that it’s OK to consider other economists, even a whole school of thought, wrong; what’s not OK is to be so closed-minded that you aren’t even aware that there are not obviously stupid people who disagree with you.
In the post he mentions that Bradford DeLong, a really odious example of Neoliberalism, takes the same bunch to task and offers them remediation.  DeLong suggests that
[t]here were a lot of things that economists like Frederic Bastiat, Jean-Baptiste Say, and John Stuart Mill knew in 1830 about the origins of aggregate demand shortfalls and the usefulness of expansionary fiscal policy in a downturn that modern Chicago never bothered to read, never bothered to learn, or have long forgotten.
I don't know maybe the insights of folks who had no clue of what capitalism was going to become have useful insights into how to "manage" the economy; but it strikes me odd that in a debate about who is right in matters dogmatic the solution is to turn our attention to people dead lo these many years. It similar to arguing in a debate about, say, the Earth's age we need to go back and read Charles Lyell because he got it just right.

DeLong's quotes also make the point that none of the "freshwater" economists read Krugman because they think he is wrong about everything.

Contemporary Conservatives Explained

I think that they think that the theme song to All in the Family is a political handbook and not a satire on contemporary Conservativism.

Invasion: Mission Creep

I suppose if the mission is to do whatever is necessary to do whatever it is you want then there is no such thing as mission creep.  If, on the other hand, the mission is to create a no fly zone and on the second day you're bombing tanks and strafing columns then the mission has creeped. Given how well things like this tend to go, there is almost surely no reason to expect anything to go wronger and, given all the care Obama and Co have given to explaining the whos, whats, whys, and related etc. of the matter(s) involved there is not a reason in the world to think that this won't all end in tears. Nope.