They are fighting a culture war of attrition with economic tools
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
“I am not prepared to have my 29-year record in the United States Senate decided by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate -- not prepared to have that record decided by that jury, the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate,” Specter said.
Between 2004 and last year, scores for young minority students increased, but so did those of white students, leaving the achievement gap stubbornly wide (emphasis mine)
The results point to the long-term crisis in many of the nation’s high schools, and could lead to proposals for more federal attention to them in the rewrite of the No Child law
Friday, April 24, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Jeremy Tyler, a 6-foot-11 high school junior whom some consider the best American big man since Greg Oden, says he will be taking a new path to the N.B.A. He has left San Diego High School and said this week that he would skip his senior year to play professionally in Europe.You mean this Greg Oden?
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Suppose that, looking ahead, the Fed commits itself to producing significant inflation. In this case, while nominal interest rates could remain at zero, real interest rates — interest rates measured in purchasing power — could become negative. If people were confident that they could repay their zero-interest loans in devalued dollars, they would have significant incentive to borrow and spend.
If the game is simple, playing is not. The sport turns on the donkeys’ stubborn nature, a quality that is encouraged by the referees. Some are trained to buck or to duck their necks — sending the players sliding to the floor — and referees reward the mischief with carrots. Other donkeys plant themselves under the hoop, providing players with a reliable scoring opportunity.
Friday, April 17, 2009
(1) Cavs vs (8) Pistons
What was one of the marquee matchups the last few years in the Eastern Conference has been demoted to what should be a first round laugher. The Pistons were going to struggle some this year and it would've been a surprise for them to challenge for the EC, but I didn't expect them to be 8 seed material. Who knew that Chauncey was that valuable to the team, and who knew Iverson was going to struggle THIS much with the Pistons. Lebron gives everyone trouble, but he has been the bane of the Pistons' playoff existence the last few years.
Lebron is on a mission, this team has playoff experience. Cavs in 4.
(2) Boston vs (7) Chicago
I'm not even going to mention KG during this breakdown. KG was really overrated for this team and they won't miss KG at all. KG didn't bring anything to the table for the Celts and they won't miss KG at all. Ok, I failed. But Chicago is young; they were a promising team a few years ago, the up-and-coming team of the EC, but that went down in epic flames. Seriously, Deng, Wallace, Williams, Heinrich, Gordon. They were supposed to be good. That was a few years ago, and while D. Rose has been great this year, I think people have written the Celts off, but they won't let that happen. I actually see the Celts having an easy time with the Bulls.
KG's injury sucks, but I think the Celts have a surprise in them. Celts in 6.
(3) Orlando vs (6) Philly
Orlando is going to struggle. They've been playing terribly of late and I think they are assumed to be the only challengers left to the Cavs, and I don't like that combination. I can see them subconciously getting ahead of themselves and worrying too much about how they are going to handle the Cavs while overlooking their first two rounds. Well, after they lose Game 1, they'll be in for a struggle. That's right, I'm calling this series as the surprise battle that nobody saw coming. The point of this playoffs breakdown is not to be accurate but to make outlandish predictions. Responsible journalism gets thrown out the door when talking about sports (unlike my completely professional job while covering all other subjects). Philly is not a good team, but I want them to be good for a few games. Orlando seriously outmatches the 6'ers and I can barely even remember the name of the 6'ers coach, but I gots a feeling about this one.
Orlando in a 7 game battle.
(4) Atlanta vs (5) Dwyane Wade
Atlanta shot outta the gates this season, settled into the 4 slot and just kind consistently rode that wave to the seasons end. Miami's 2-12 players are nothing amazing (yet) but I like Spoelstra walking the sidelines and Wade doing insane '06 theatrics. I have a feeling this will be a popular upset pick (which bothers me), b/c I think the Hawks are really good. If I was being responsible, I'd pick them to win this series and then give the Cavs one hell of a battle. But I'm an idiot and I want to see Wade and Lebron battle in round 2. So, selfishly, I'm picking the Heat. I just want you to be warned, I'm probably wrong. The Hawks are a fun team to like when they are the 7 or 8 seed. There is something unlikable about them in Round 1 as the 4 seed. They become likable again if they play the Cavs in Round 2. Write that down.
Wade in 6
More worthless predictions: Cavs and Celts advancing to ECF. Shockingly, I have the Cavs going to the finals.
(1) Lakers vs (8) Utah
I think Carlos Boozer hates his life. As a Duke fan, I really liked him in college. As a person, I really found him despicable for screwing the Cavs like he did 3/4 years back. I can never really be a fan of his after that sleaze move he pulled. He had a verbal agreement with the Cavs, they left him not under contract for like an hour, and he jumped ship. Yeah, it's tough to pass up a few million and the opportunity to be the Alpha-Dog; and the Cavs GM was an idiot for even letting that situation be possible, but still, it left a bad taste in my mouth. I'm going to hold that against him until he saves the life of some kid or something. Also, as much as Chris Paul is admired and as awesome as his game is, I can't let go of the fact that he punched Julius Hodges in the balls during the ACC tournament a few years ago. That's just low; that's something a soccer player would do. You play the game, and you get every legal advantage you can get. You do not punch a guy in the balls. Let me repeat that: YOU DO NOT PUNCH A GUY IN THE BALLS. I hold those two events against those two players.
I digress. The Lakers are good. And if they can find a way to work around Bynum; they will be great. They can go big; they can go small; they can go deep; they can go Kobe. The have Phil doing crazy Asian stuff on the bench. They've got Mental Jack courtside hollering at officials. They can't be beat. This whole Kobe/Lebron factor reminds me of Obi-Won Kenobi and Darth Vader in Star Wars IV: A New Hope when Obi-Won and Darth are about to do battle:
Darth Vader: He is here.The 'I must face him alone' part is exactly what is going on between Kobe and Lebron right now; I'm just not sure who is Darth Vader and who is Obi-Won (ignore the fact that Kobe raped a girl. Ok cheap joke, Kobe if you're reading this blog, I was joking). I see them both just blitzing through their conferences. More on Obi-Won/Vader later...
Governor Tarkin: Obi-Wan Kenobi? What makes you think so?
Darth Vader: A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of my old master.
Governor Tarkin: Surely he must be dead by now.
Darth Vader: Don't underestimate the Force.
Governor Tarkin: The Jedi are extinct, their fire has gone out of the universe. You, my friend, are all that's left of their religion.
[answering a comm signal]
Governor Tarkin: Yes?
Voice over comm: We have an emergency alert in detention block AA-23.
Governor Tarkin: The Princess? Put all sections on alert.
Darth Vader: Obi-wan *is* here. The Force is with him.
Governor Tarkin: If you're right, he must not be allowed to escape.
Darth Vader: Escape is not his plan. I must face him, alone.
I hate picking the Cavs and Lakers to go to the finals, b/c that's what everybody is picking. But I'm not going to pick against the grain just to do it. That's stupid. The Lakers and Cavs are simply the cream of the crop in their respective conferences. Obi-Won and Vader. I think Lebron is going to do ridiculous things throughout the playoffs and leave his stamp on the game. In fact, he's been doing that all season. His team is quite mediocre relative to their record and 9ppg advantage over opponents (100ppg scored vs. 91ppg against). The Cavs are unstopable. So I'm picking the Lakers. I love Kobe, but he is the perfect Vader. And that's the thing, Vader beats Obi-Won in their Death Star battle. But Lebron is going to leave his stamp on the game, just like Old Ben Kenobi. Lebron is going to influence this story for years to come and go down in history as a better player than Kobe. But Kobe gets this one to cement his status.
Three broad steps must be taken to remake this failed, unstable model: one, regulating global finance; two, correcting global economic, social and environmental imbalances; and three, devising ways to make sure economic progress is aligned with social needs.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Kevin Garnett isn't ready to start the playoffs, and Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Thursday that there's a strong possibility that he will miss the entire postseason.Hmmmm, that changes things.
In my mind’s eye, I envision a street fair—one of those happy community gatherings at which sellers of handcrafted ceramics, funky clothing, herbal remedies, fresh vegetables, and edible delicacies congregate to display their wares for the strolling customers, who chat amiably with the stall-keepers and with one another. Suddenly, amid horrified shrieks and the roar of a giant engine, a truck plows through this placid setting, scattering twisted debris and broken bodies in its wake. Finally, after wreaking a hundred-yard swath of death and devastation, the truck stops, and the driver, Ben Bernanke, climbs down from the cab.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.
Both groups want to ban Sunday liquor sales. One out of concern for others. One out of self-interest. Politicians who support such a ban always invoke the altruistic motive. The altruists give cover to the self-interested advocates for a particular policy.
The altruists often inspire the general public to encourage politicians to "do something." But they lose interest in the details of the legislation. The bootleggers, the self-interested folk, spend a lot of time on those details making sure that the legislation is structured to line their pockets.
Those who favour “stimulating” the economy often employ a medical metaphor. The economy is a dying patient. Questions about the long-term effects of its treatment are irrelevant. All that matters now is keeping it alive.
They are foolish to employ this metaphor. Economies cannot die. Even during the Great Depression of the 1930s the economy lived on. The gross domestic product of most industrial countries dropped by about 30 per cent. I am not sure how to translate that into the medical metaphor. Moving 30 per cent less? Losing 30 per cent of your body weight? Whatever: it is not the same as dying.
So long as humans survive, we will have an economy. People will produce and consume food, shelter, clothes, entertainment and, with a little luck, much more besides.
This means that stimulators draw exactly the wrong conclusion from the sick patient metaphor. We should be relatively unconcerned about the economy’s immediate future. We know it will survive. What matters is its long-term quality of life. Crippling a patient who would otherwise die may be worth it. But crippling an immortal patient who would otherwise have to endure a brief period of intense pain is not.
"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yeild, and government to gain ground."
Obama said the change would help equalize the tax break for those donating to charity. "When I give $100, I'd get the same amount of deduction as when some -- a bus driver who's making $50,000 a year, or $40,000 a year -- give that same $100," he said, adding that the provision would affect about 1 percent of Americans.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
He [Rajan] says he had planned to write about how financial developments during Mr. Greenspan's 18-year tenure made the world safer. But the more he looked, the less he believed that. In the end, with Mr. Greenspan watching from the audience, he argued that disaster might loom.