State of the Union Open Thread

What do you want the president to say (and presumably follow up on) in the SOTU speech?


What would you like to talk about in an open thread? 


Either question can be answered in the friendly space Hank's provided below.

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PIOMAS confirmed as being largely accurate.

mmghosh's picture

The PIOMAS models have been criticised in the past because they were just "models".  Now, confirmation comes from CRYOSAT satellite observations that the model is largely accurate


Why is this significant? PIOMAS models Arctic sea ice volume (hard to measure directly - most sea ice measurements focus on sea ice area or sea ice extent).  


A tribute to Prof Seymour Laxon who died in a accident recently - his work made CRYOSAT possible. RIP.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

I admire you Manish

HankP's picture

you never give up despite the forces arrayed against the truth.

I blame it all on the Internet

Who is betting on a West African Pope?

mmghosh's picture

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Black Peter? nt

HankP's picture


I blame it all on the Internet

"African witch doctor"

mmghosh's picture

is the phrase du jour.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Wow, I was just kidding

HankP's picture

that's a rich vein of racist derp you hit there.


So much for the universal church, I guess.


I blame it all on the Internet

There's a bunch of this stuff that floats around in different


corners of the far-right internet. And the differences between the various far-right groups become almost fractal. You've got some extreme right Christians who believe that Slavery in the Confederacy was right, good, and just, but that the racism behind it was a sin. You've got folks who believe that chattel slavery as a-OK and so is the racism. You've also got people who believe that the white race is the lost tribes of Israel and that the Jews themselves are actually Khazars and so altogether corrupt. (Others believe that Jews might be descended from Satan himself.) Then there are schismatic Catholics of the racist bent who believe that protestantism is actually a sinister Jewish plot that allowed communism. And then of course there are those who believe that the white race needs to turn to Odin and Thor and away from the Jewish-derived Christian religion.


Most of these I'm not going to link to since I'd rather not have the FBI's counter-terrorism bots take in interest in those of us at the Forvm. But if you'd like to read their literature, you can pick it up at places that start with G and rhyme with "fun shows..."

Danica Patrick Wins Pole Position For The Daytona 500

M Scott Eiland's picture

In related news:

--Vijay Singh has announced that he will not compete in the Daytona 500 because he doesn't want to compete against a woman;

--seven thousand male sportswriters have checked into local emergency rooms to deal with badly bitten tongues resulting from the realization that writing a headline involving Go Daddy, Danica Patrick, and some phrase starting in "Pole" would have them in the unemployment line with Rob Parker.

Good luck, Ms. Patrick. Just win.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Oh, as if The Dayton 500


Oh, as if The Dayton 500 counts as auto racing.  Sorry, I'm a motorsports snob and stock cars are not race cars.  Or at least stock car races are not auto races.


I'm sure she is good at what she does and could beat me on the track but this isn't as that big of a deal.  Much of stock car racing is car set up, strategy, subtle rule bending, and luck.  Not that this isn't true in any auto race but the amount of skill involved isn't the same, though it does take some practice to drive the ovals the right way.  Stock car racers uniformly get slapped around when forced to race against real racers on road circuits.

I Saw Her Intervied on CNN Today...Very Modest, Self Effacing

(#300200)'s the car and crew, she's secondary.


Kind of made me like her.


Best Wishes, Traveller

It Happens Every Spring

M Scott Eiland's picture

The old and the new:

 photo KoufaxKershawspringtraining2013_zps2c26b65d.jpg

The two greatest left-handed pitchers in Dodger history (love you, Fernando, but you're third) meet up in spring training. Hope I look as good as Sandy does at 77.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Geeze, He Does Look Good! On the Aged Front Also...


Short, even 30 seconds, is good


Steve Martin, Comedian, etc, has his first child at age 67


Best Wishes, Traveller

Some Real Life Happing`s Crash Landing in Utah


BTW, there's noting spectacular here. I just know Utah, I know a small plane pilot in Utah....and I found this to be...real people behaving well under pressure.


UTAH (KTLA) –A passenger shot cell phone video while his single-engine airplane made a crash landing in Utah.

Jonathan Fielding was aboard the plane with his wife, their 7-month-old child, and his mother-in-law when the engine froze over and the pilot had to make an emergency landing.

The pilot found a field to set the aircraft down, but heavy snow on the ground caused the plane’s landing gear to buckle and the plane flipped over.

No one was seriously injured in the wreck.

Fielding credited the pilot with saving everyone on board.

His wife Kara said she would fly again despite the fact that this was her first venture in a plane.

Power lines and heavy traffic made landing on nearby roads extremely dangerous, according to the pilot.






Hah, Cuddly corollary 117


no matter how small the plane or passenger list, when it crashes there is a 97.8% chance that it was the first flight for someone.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Well, yeah

Bird Dog's picture

If the NYT and mainstream outlets don't do their jobs, then partisans will do it for them (link). Not only that, partisans will ridicule the mainstream press for its distorted perspective.

More here and here.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Is Menendez vacationing with Rush Limbaugh now?

HankP's picture

oops, my mistake. Menedez sleeps with women.


I blame it all on the Internet


Bird Dog's picture

You know, I really have no idea what you're talking about. Far as I know, Rush is neither an elected official nor gay.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Stupid mainstream media

HankP's picture

they don't report the rumors I want to hear!


I blame it all on the Internet

Pretty Sure It Doesn't Count As "Women". . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .when they show up to work in their Girl Scout uniforms.* Which is why the Democrats have been trying so hard to keep this little problem quiet.

*--meh, screw the Surgeon General--sarcasm is good for the soul.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Pretty sure it doesn't count as "evidence"

HankP's picture

when there's a single anonymous accuser. So I wouldn't get your hopes up.


If he did it he should go to prison. But so far it looks more like typical GOP dirty tricks than a scandal. Somewhere Donald Segretti is smiling.


I blame it all on the Internet

It's news when the FBI raids Menendez's residence


But BD himself linked to several reports in major newspapers on the event, so I personally don't get his point. 


Bird Dog's picture

I guess a PhD really didn't get it. The point is that this Menendez story has been out there for months, months before the election, and no one in the mainstream press bothered to check it out. So much easier and lazier to chide a rival politician for having a case of dry mouth than to sink the hooks into a genuine scandal involving a member of their tribe. Satisfied? Self-satisfied?

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

The FBI didn't raid the Menendez donor until after the election


You're complaining that the MSM isn't unearthing details into a private investigation about a case that you don't know is actually a scandal involving Menendez.


Meanwhile the Rubio story was handed straight to them. Dry-mouth gate is more like the Howard Dean story from '04, where the press was happy to pile on a Democrat who looked stupid in front of a camera before an election. 


Wouldn't a better place to look for evidence of MSM bias be at the number of times President John McCain is on the Sunday talk shows and the number of Republican v. Democrat guests in general? 

and 2 other things

brutusettu's picture

the underage allegations are allegations right now, we pretty much know Rubio drank some water, "yeahaahaa"

if none of the working girls were under the legal age of consent in the US, then what he is alleged to have done looks like it has the chance to be technically legal in parts of the US even outside of rural Nevada areas.



For just those allegations, unless there are cross country diaper trips or hiking the Appalachian Trail or wide stances or snorkeling then I'm not seeing front page material for one of the lesser known Senators (afaik he isn't one of the leading politicians trying to ride a "Family Values" shtick on his way into office either).



Man has relations with women, gives women money, not exactly a big controversy by itself.

It's not Fox news is the point nt

HankP's picture


I blame it all on the Internet

Prostitutes Are Part of the Economy Too...



...though I am not sure whether or not they are counted part of the official GDP, they fact remains that they should be.


Also, what is this deal about Republicans and sex? Is this more anti-science and they don't get biology?


More importantly, all of the young women interviewed having been named by this anonymous informant, have denied any involvement with Mr. Mendenez...


Gentlemen, this is a dangerous, and silly, road we are embarking on.


Best Wishes, Traveller

Indeed they are

HankP's picture

That is a Very Interesting Link...(Thanks, Hank)...However...


Everone one should take a look at the PDF article Hank provided. You never know what you will learn here at the Forvm!


The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country. In the calculation of the GDP, income created in the underground economy is not counted because such activities are illegal. The underground economy refers to both “black markets” and “off-the-books activities.” Black markets denote illegal activities such as drug dealing and prostitution. Off-the-books activities include income from legal sources, often found in construction and services industries, where taxes are not withheld or paid.



Black Markets
In the United States, black markets generate $1.1 trillion dollars of income. The largest black markets are those for illicit drugs ($327 billion), licit drugs ($148 billion), technology ($253.5 billion), illegal gambling ($110 billion), and prostitution and pornography ($122 billion).3
Interestingly, expenditures on various facets of the criminal justice system (i.e., law enforcement, judicial and legal, incarceration, and correction) add to the GDP and make the economy grow larger. Nonetheless, these expenditures could have been made in their alternatives uses that help improve societal well-being such as public education, health-care, infrastructure, and science and technology.


I was just being difficult. I don't know if Hernandez is a good guy or a bad guy...but I learned something.


Best Wishes, Traveller


Edit: Also at the link...Corporate Tax Avoidance...Hummm...let's see if I can reproduce this graph.


Top Ten Corporations Avoid Paying U.S. Income Taxes
2010 Pre-tax
Taxation Strategy
Reports income in overseas tax heavens, but costs at home; licenses its products from its overseas subsidiaries, but write-off costs of licenses
News Corp
Has the largest number of subsidiaries in off-shore tax havens
Despite a double-digit tax rate, Boeing has managed to escape paying federal taxes for the last three years thanks to a plethora of foreign subsidiaries, which act as a tax haven.
Pfizer uses “transfer pricing” to record phantom profits in low-tax countries based on sales in other countries.
Transfer pricing again. Oracle suffered a bit last fall when its Japanese subsidiary had to negotiate an advance agreement with tax authorities in the U.S. and Japan so it wouldn’t get hit with transfer price taxes in Japan.
Over three years in the early 2000s, the company exploited “a litany of tax breaks” that allowed it to slash its taxes by 95 percent!
Time Warner
Between 2001 and 2003, Time Warner claimed tax breaks that cut its taxes by 121 percent—and allowed the company to pay nothing at all in taxes for two years
Morgan Stanley
It took full advantage of offshore tax havens; then, under a 2004 law, repatriated much of that money for a super-low tax rate of just over 5 percent.
Microsoft is a master of shifting income through various foreign countries— “to Bermuda via the Netherlands via Ireland” —in order to limit its domestic income subject to taxation.



What was your point?


You linked to several high-profile stories in the MSM on the Menendez investigation. 


I saw the WPost piece linked on the front page of the Huffington Post over the weekend. The story's been getting covered, and seems roughly proportional to how much evidence there is for the allegations and how famous this senator is.


Rubio's getting hammered coz he did something that looked dumb in the most high profile speech any Republican is going to give this year, and b/c he's running for president in 2016. I think the Rubio story is explained by just normal media laziness and focus on trivialities. If Hillary Clinton had dropped and broken a glass during her Congressional testimony we probably would've heard a lot about that as well.

My point was clear enough

Bird Dog's picture

Even a PhD should be able to figure it out.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

How can I possibly create disatisfaction


in someone so self-satisfied?



drinking during that speech was simply the crystallization of how bad it was overall. All eyes were on rubio, the latest savior of the gop, and he gave an amateurish performance listing stale gop talking points. He looked like a deer in the headlights, and the water gulp was the moment that people remember as it was the culmination of his WTF performance.


But yeah, you can pretend it was just the water. Or you can pretend it's all the media's fault. Or you can pretend he did as awesome a job as little bobby did a few years ago. By the way, have you seen bobby's collapsing approval rating back in LA lately?

Calling Bird Dog

HankP's picture

what the hell is the IOC doing eliminating wrestling as an Olympic sport? Wrestling is one of the oldest known sports, it was part of the original Olympics in ancient times. Is this final, or will enough people complain so that they have to reverse it?


I blame it all on the Internet

From Prior Discussions Here About Wrestling. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .I assumed that it was stealth anti-gay sentiment among the IOC members.*

*--"the Surgeon General has determined that exposure to excessive sarcasm can be hazardous to your health."

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

You know


I was thinking of that thread when the announcement was made.

The Guardian illustrated their article on the fall of Wrestling from the Olympics with a picture of a successful female wrestler and Olympic hopeful in action on the mat. 


I thought she looked nice.


Thanks for the link, I read it back over and really enjoyed it. 


On the substantive issue, Terrible to see one of the original olypic sports go out. I would guess it's due to popularity and sponsorship issues. Or perhaps an old fashioned olympic comittee bribe. Who knows?


If they need to axe something it should be the utterly rediculous walking races.


Then the vestal virgins and the leni riefenstahl aesthetic torch parade. Or at least make it into a competition. Have a torch per nation and have them race unaided from Athens to the games. Winner gets to GRW the partner of their choice.



You're slipping Scott

HankP's picture

you should have taken the anti-war angle, as wrestling started out as the original hand to hand combat. From the wiki -


The ancient Romans borrowed heavily from Greek wrestling, but eliminated much of its brutality.


That must have been a first.


Also, from Pankration -


The only things not acceptable were biting and gouging of the opponent's eyes ... In extreme cases a pankration competition could even result in the death of one of the opponents, which was considered a win ... While Coragus fought with weapons and full armour, Dioxippus showed up armed only with a club and defeated Coragus without killing him ... The straight kick with the bottom of the foot to the stomach (γαστρίζειν/λάκτισμα εἰς γαστέραν — gastrizein or laktisma eis gasteran, "kicking in the stomach") was apparently a common technique ... "Choking techniques" ...


those guys didn't f*ck around.


I blame it all on the Internet

And winner of the Scatless Department's 'No Sh*t' award


for 2012 "...could even result in the death of one of the opponents, which was considered a win ..." 


In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Two questions, Darth

HankP's picture

1. When you received training, how much hand to hand fighting training did you receive? Is there advanced training available for this?


2. What do you think of this?


I blame it all on the Internet

Not a whole lot of hand to hand


We were taught the crane stance with a front kick.  As you know, there is no defense against this according to Mr Miagi.

Very little training in technique, but I don't think that was the intent.  The intent was to show guys just how quickly they can get balled up if they let someone get close.  The Army did push hand to hand in the last few years calling it combatives.  It had serious backing and emphasis at first but is dying out.

The award for drone flying is simply retarded.  Having an award or pay bonus for a having a skill set that the military prizes is nothing new, it's rating it higer than those for valor that is asinine.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

That would make a funny subject for a comedy sketch


A fighting force in a combat zone that expects to easily defeat its enemies with the crane stance and front kick.

Don't you have to be on the plane to be a pilot? nt

mmghosh's picture


freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Baffling decision

Bird Dog's picture

Especially considering the number of nations participating (link). If anything, they should seriously consider adding MMA, octagon and all. The best fighters are typically former wrestlers, and there's an extensive amount of wrestling that goes into those matches.


"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Did you hear about this before the announcement?

HankP's picture

were there rumors or something? Because it surprised the hell out of me.


You're right about participation, in a lot of places in the ME and Asia it's a lot closer to a national sport.


I blame it all on the Internet

Not a word

Bird Dog's picture

My kid is only an hour's drive from the Olympic Training Center, and we have a fairly close ear to the scene. It was a complete surprise to me.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

I'm not going to pretend I'm the world's biggest fan

HankP's picture

but one of the great things about the Olympics (before they went to 90% heartwarming stories) was that you could watch all kinds of different sports that you normally don't get a chance to see.


I blame it all on the Internet

The Rumblings Beforehand. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .had modern pentathlon as the one most likely to get the axe. Modern Pentathlon was invented by modern Olympics founder Baron Pierre de Coubertin himself, so maybe that lent enough institutional protection for it to (apparently) survive. Or maybe it's another way to nuke a sport that the US wins medals in, like when they axed baseball and softball.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Not eliminated...just modified.

Zelig's picture

They'll still wear their singlets and the mat will be the same. The only change is that they'll be twirling ribbons and heaving their balls up in the air. No touching. 


Don Rumsfeld, (R-war criminal) wrote an excellent editorial in the WaPo about this. I agree with Rumsfeld. This is stupid and must be reversed.

Me: We! -- Ali

Maybe this is reaction to the existence of WWE? nt

mmghosh's picture


freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Tyler Cowen of marginal revolution praises Ronald Dworkin


Just thought I'd balance out some criticism of Cowen by highlighting his generous post on Ronald Dworkin's recent passing.


Says Cowen: His works are worthy of close study.

For those following the NYT story on the Tesla


HEre's a live twitter of: 7 Tesla Model S Owners set out Saturday 2/16 to recreate the NY Times Reporter's uncommitted test drive from Maryland to Connecticut and prove it can be done.

East Coast Supercharger Trip

Wagster predicted immigration reform's failure


Now today Rubio came out against the Obama admin's leaked plan, which was very similar to his own. 


In other words, none of the leaders of the Republican party are willing to get behind actual immigration reform and this isn't going to get done in Obama's second term unless 2014 is a wave election for Ds.

Well of course not...


You can't have a strategy of screaming "Mexicans! Mexicans! Mexicans!" at the top of your lungs and also do something that is perceived as helping Mexicans. You'll just get primaried. So the best the GOP can do is put forward a guy who's got a Spanish last name and hope that that shows that they don't hate Mexicans since Cubans are basically Mexicans, right?

So better to just leak a plan


and have Rubio on-record as soon as possible as opposing immigration reform. 


Otherwise he gets to pretend and talk positively for a long while, which helps the GOP's brand, and increases the plausibility of the blame the GOP will place on Obama when immigration reform officially falls apart.


So what is Obama going to be able to accomplish in his second term? Spending cuts and some background checks? 

Whatever happens will probably be on the regulatory


side of things--and even that will be difficult with the Senate GOP trying to stop even liberal Republicans from getting nominated.

New example needed


When someone was unreasonably afraid of some very unlikely event,  I used to ridicule them by saying it's about as likely as getting hit by a meteor. Now I need a new example.

"Energy Released By The Impact Was. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .in the hundreds of kilotons."

Yep. My back of the envelope calculations using the familiar (1/2)(m)(v squared) formula for kinetic energy using 7000 metric tons and 18,000 meters per second velocity comes to about 1.1 petajoules, which is about 300 KT yield (assuming 100% efficiency in release). About twenty times the energy released by Little Boy over Hiroshima--fortunately at a much higher altitude and without the pesky radioactivity. As with Tunguska in 1908, Russia dodged a mega-catastrophe today.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Dumpster diving is accepted counterculture in Germany.

mmghosh's picture

A Reuters article!


It is not poverty that inspires a growing number of young Germans like 21-year-old student Benjamin Schmitt to forage for food in the garbage, but anger at loss and waste which the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates at one-third of all food produced worldwide, every year, valued at about $1 trillion.


In environmentally aware, cost-conscious Germany, "foodsharing" is the latest fad, using the Internet to share food recovered from supermarket dumpsters while it is still in good condition.


But the "foodsharing" movement that has sprung up in cities like Cologne and Berlin brings efficiency and technical skills to the table in ways that make it uniquely German.


More than 8,200 people across Germany have registered to share food on the website in just seven weeks of existence, said Berlin organizer Raphael Fellmer.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Excellent Youtube Video of Meteor Coming in Over Russia


And the BBC always has a good link.

Best Wishes, Traveller

When I saw the headline this


When I saw the headline this morning, I knew the meteorites would be captured by several car video cameras in Russia.  If the internet has taught me anything it is -- if it happened outdoors in Russia, it was captured on a car mounted video camera.

+ Asteroid of 50 meters in diameter to pass near Earth 2/15/13

brutusettu's picture

astronomer Phil Plait:

[NOTE: A huge meteor blazed over the skies of Russia last night, creating a massive shock wave that shattered windows across a big region and caused many injuries due to flying glass. I have a post up with what I knew as of about midnight Mountain time. I am fairly certain this has nothing to do with asteroid 2012 DA14, which I explain in that article. I'll post more when I find out more, so stay tuned here at Bad Astronomy.]

Paul Ryan on austerity


I mostly like the idea but I don't like the name so I'll call it something else and be both for and against it:


Rep Ryan: We’re not preaching austerity. We’re preaching growth and opportunity. What we are saying is if you get our fiscal shift fixed, you preempt austerity. That’s the-- here’s what a debt crisis is. A debt crisis is what they have in Europe, which is austerity. You cut the safety net immediately. You cut retirement benefits for people who’ve already retired. You raised tax and slow down the economy, young people don’t have jobs. That’s the austerity that comes when you have a debt crisis. And when you keep stacking up trillion dollar deficits like this government is doing, it’s bringing us to that moment. Our job, our goal is to prevent and preempt austerity so we can get back to growth.


Austerity: All politicians must make word salad offerings at its altar.

Are You Sure You're Not Auditioning for a Paid Gig & Byline...



....on the Editorial Board of the New York Times?


(Keep writing like this and you just might get there)



For Scott - Vin Scully/Piazza Interview that Piazza Objected to


It's out local channel 5 news, and there is a little advertisement, but the original interview is here:


Damn, sorry Scott, they have taken it down and put this up instread....a copyright problem?


Best Wishes, Traveller

Seems To Be Working Now

M Scott Eiland's picture

And Bill Plaschke proves the broken clock theory by coming to the same conclusion that I did: Vin was trying to let Piazza mend fences with the Dodger fans over his hardball negotiating position with leading questions, and Piazza didn't have the sense to take him up on it. Bad move.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

I'm sorry, but if you start killing the families of cops


and promising to kill more, you've kind of blown your chance of hoping that they're going to just politely ask you to surrender.

Not To Mention. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .that if he wanted a trial without the risk of trying to surrender to the cops, he could have driven to the nearest TV station and surrendered to the nearest reporter--even the LAPD isn't quite brazen enough to blow the guy away under those circumstances.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

The same media that reportedly covered for law enforcement


burning up a suspect? 


The media cover-up was the central part of the story.

More Witnesses At The TV Station

M Scott Eiland's picture

Cover-ups get a lot harder with more witnesses, particularly in the Age of the Camera Phone. Given the number of fanboys that this particular cowardly murderer has online, the risk of having one of them squeal like a stuck pig would be rather extreme.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

interesting theory


i didn't know suspects could surrender to media and be held by them through trial.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Little Harder For Him To Turn Up Dead. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .after he's surrendered to the police in the presence of the media in one piece and in handcuffs. Certainly not impossible, but a lot more heat would result. Pun not intended. Honest.

But hey--I'm being rude. A moment of silence for the sinestrosphere's latest dead hero, to be followed by a dirge:

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Wishful thinking

HankP's picture

or maybe not, but it's not exactly uncommon.


I blame it all on the Internet

he's no hero


he's a murderer. or was.


i understand that for some folks seeing a revenge fantasy played out in real time is irresistable. i find it a despicable excess that gives credence to dorner's rants.


they could have tried to bring him in. they could have let the alleged bad cops im plicated in dorner's rants clear their names, or not. it seems clear from the myriad overreactions of teh LAPD taht they were just gunning for him. us against them.  so from where i'm sitting at this point theres no line between the "good" and "bad" cops.


and that, as andrewsshi points out, is just the way it is.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Wasn't LAPD Who Shot Him

M Scott Eiland's picture

And suggesting that a group of sheriff's deputies who had already seen one of their number killed and one badly injured by this particular individual might have shown more restraint as darkness (with the accompanying increased opportunity for Dorner to escape or for the deputies to be forced to come closer to prevent escape and increase the risk of more deaths) is up there with the usual geniuses who wonder why those mean animal control people had to shoot that cuddly grizzly bear* who had already mauled half a dozen people and was raring to go for more.

*--insert bad faith "RACISM!" accusation from the usual suspects at this point.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

oh really?


i suppose that is the story, isn't it? might even be true but what does that have to do with anything? do you think if he hadn't shot himself they would still be there? he woudl be alive?


the guy was a cop killer. and a killer of innocent bystsanders as well. its not a surprise he died and its not a surprise the cops shot up a bunch of other folks looking for him and its not a surprise that they made sure there was no way he walked away. and that  there's no way he'll be interrogated and tried and there's no way his allegations will go any further and there's no way we'll really know the whole story.


it's just street justice. call it what it is, and applaud it if you like. it's nice to let your principles show.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

cop as gang


i guess thats about right.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Cop as human


is righter.  I'm saying this is a guy who probably thinks cops need to be hammered on more than you do (more than you think, not more than you need hammered on).  But when sh*t gets real* I get a little tolerant of cops  people's actions so long as there's some sense of what I guess would be called proportionality.

* I mean really real, not two asian women in a truck real.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

But that's not their job

HankP's picture

their job is to be professionals and not act like an average human. If we wanted average humans we'd just hand out guns to people without any screening or training and pay them the minimum wage.


The fact that they shot up some trucks without even IDing who was inside is inexcusable. Or at least I think it is. Cops who are that trigger happy should lose their badges.


I blame it all on the Internet

Well professionals are average humans


They want to go home and see their kids at night just like the rest of us. 

'They' shot up some trucks?  A few shot up some trucks not 'they' and those few should do some time, not just lose their badges.  As for Dorner, he already demonstrated how dangerous he was.  I'm perfectly fine with the police minimizing danger to themselves and maximizing it for Dorner with the caveat that their actions don't increase risk to the public.  I'm not fine in the case of Joe Sixpack who hasn't demonstrated that he's a danger.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

No they're not

HankP's picture

you're not an average human when it comes to being a soldier. I'm not an average human when it comes to designing and fixing computer systems. Catchy isn't an average human when it comes to teaching philosophy to undergrads. It's supposed to mean something when you're screened and trained for a job, even more so when the job includes using deadly force. The police are unaccountable except in the most extreme cases. Of the last four times I was in court, I saw police officers definitely lie twice and appear to lie once (as in his testimony didn't match any of the other witnesses, including other police officers).


I blame it all on the Internet

Coupla things here, Hank


Let's get the whole 'defining Catchy as a regular human' thing out of the way.  I'd never do such a thing.

Police accountability isn't where we disagree, except to the extent of the harshness of corrective measures and I'd fall somewhere along the scale of 'pretty friggin harsh'.  But in extreme situations, the Dorner situation qualifying as one, I tend to be willing to allow a lot of leeway.  My critique of the conduct of the police at that point is one of whether or not they did anything to push the situation to the extreme (and yes, they do this entirely too much).  I don't think they did in this case.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

They shot up a similar looking truck they thought Dorner was in


but of course the PD would never have deliberately set fire to a cabin they believed he was in. That's a wacky moonbat conspiracy theory. 


I don't know that I expected the police to put their lives at significant risk to arrest Dorner and give him due process. But what's disturbing about the events I've read is that the goal seemed to be just to take Dorner out whether or not it was necessary.


As you say, that's not professional, that's average Joe street justice.



I'm not in the SWAT team so I


I'm not in the SWAT team so I don't know the what options are available but it doesn't seem unreasonable to set fire to the building to get him to exit on his own accord.  Night was coming, giving him more opportunity to escape especially considering his training.  He had already shot and killed several police officers and had unknown weapons at his disposal.  So, waiting him out was risky since he might escape and had already shown to be deadly while on the run.  And, going to get him was risky since he was trained, had killed cops already, and had unknown resources in the cabin.  Burning the building down, either accidentally with a teargas cannister or on purpose, gets him out of the building on the PD's schedule and in the open.  Sounds like a good tactic to me if the goal is to prevent deaths.  

Slightly off topic

brutusettu's picture

In 2012, police in Billings, Montana used a flashbang to serve a warrant at a suspected meth lab.



In unrelated news, some cops in Billings, Montana were lucky that one of them tossed a flashbang into a house that wasn't a meth lab.

I have no problem with killing in self defense

HankP's picture

but it actually has to be self defense. When it gets to this point



it's pretty clear the cops are out of control. Although to be fair I doubt the cops would even read his shirt before shooting him.


I blame it all on the Internet

Pretty much

HankP's picture

yet you find people who defend the blue wall of silence. I guess the desire for revenge outweighs the desire for law.


I blame it all on the Internet

Would Have Been About What He Had Coming*

M Scott Eiland's picture

The report from the scene suggests that he shot himself before things got hot, sadly. We'll see what the autopsy says. Also, I suspect you're passing on an unfounded rumor.

*--little cowards who murder family members of people they don't like rather than face them personally are getting off pretty lightly if they just get burned to death.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Unfounded rumor?


It's a first-hand report by a reporter for alternet, a decade+ old and well-known site with a large readership. Alternet is something of an offshoot of Mother Jones IIRC, at least published by a former publisher of Mother Jones. 


The account might be turn out to be false of course, but it's not an unfounded rumor at this point. 

You're Right, I Misspoke

M Scott Eiland's picture

"A missive from a moonbat propaganda site" was what I should have said. Thanks for keeping me honest.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Keeping you honest


Your previous comments haven't been particularly adept at identifying credible sources of info., so perhaps it's no surprise that multiple sources are independently confirming the report you're currently trashing.



a lil internet tough talk is gettin this place het up on st valentine's, yessirree.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

US recession watch


European growth continues below expectations, with -.6% GDP contraction compared to a forecasted -.4% for QIV.


Germany = -.6%

Spain = .7%

France = .3%

Italy = .9%

Portugal = -1.8%

Greece = -6%


If the sequestration goes into effect in the US in a couple of weeks, the country will likely perform worse in 2013 than the CBO growth forecast of +1.4%.


Given high amounts of US austerity in 2013, underestimating the multipliers would mean significantly overestimating growth. The i.e. the CBOs #s are likely pretty rosy.


I'll go ahead and predict the US will have closer to 0% growth than 1% in 2013, and give even odds on a double-dip recession if our politicians decide to remove 85 billion in federal spending and furlough hundreds of thousands of federal workers in a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, first-time unemployment claims


benefits are at four-year lows, housing prices are up by double-digit percentages year-over-year, and the PRC's economy is bouncing back after a slowdown.


Which is to say, there are plenty of tailwinds vs. any upcoming austerity (which I suspect will be rather light--nobody's going to accept the sort of DoD cuts that will automatically kick in if there's no deal).

Re: housing prices


It's a minority viewpoint, but there's reasonable skepticism about the significance of the housing recovery by people who have good predictive records. 


For example, David Dayen in The New Republic


It begs the question of whether the incipient housing recovery itself is artificial, driven up by the investor gold rush. A recent research note from RadarLogic makes the point that there’s no reason to believe that the run-up in institutional investor demand will somehow connect to future household demand, especially given stagnant wages and tighter mortgage standards. As the Financial Times’ Stephen Foley wrote, “the risk is that the flippers represent an overhang of inventory that will keep a lid on prices, as they trickle their properties out into the market.” After all, the eventual investor strategy is to sell the homes. If prices continue to escalate in these markets, investors will not be able to meet their returns and will look to sell more quickly. If they dump large segments of their properties onto the market at once, they’ll create a glut in supply. “That has the potential to unleash a new wave of declining home prices,” says Michael Olenick, the housing data analyst.


The more general claim, argued by Stiglitz, is that inequality is severely hampering the recovery because most of the economy's wealth is highly concentrated vs. finding its way into the hands of average consumers.


If the above analysis has merit, the specific dynamic here is that wealthy investors driving up home prices while average incomes are stagnant/falling isn't going to significantly increase demand, but just re-inflate a bubble.


I have no idea whether this is right, I'm just an observer.

Buying rental properties is


qualitatively different from buying to "flip." Buying to rent is what an investor does in a sane market.

That appears to be the received view


Partly offsetting the PRC bounce-back and low unemployment claims, however, are a deepening EU recession and spike in gas prices. 


If you're right that the sequestration is going to be rather light, I agree tailwinds will overwhelm austerity and the US will continue growing, albeit at a sluggish and below-trend pace.


But if you're wrong about the sequestration, I do not think an economy currently producing circa 200k jobs a month can easily absorb furloughing .5 million+ federal workers in 2013.


If the CBO says the economy would still grow at 1.4% under those circumstances, then I expect significantly lower growth. The trend has been toward underestimating the multupliers associated with austerity.

Another datapoint


Empire state survey is not just positive, but the highest it's been in almost a year. And everything is up--orders, shipments, and employment. The manufacturing index has hovered between expansion and contraction, but it seems likely to be solidly expansionary over the next couple of months.


And let's not forget that the Fed's got the money spigot going!


Which again leaves the sequestration problem. But--although I could be wrong!--I strongly doubt that the GOP will allow very much in the way of defense cuts.



The Economic Policy Institute also doesn't agree with me


about flirting with zero growth: real growth rates in 2013 are projected to slow below 2.0 percent, to the point of renewed labor market deterioration. 


Either I'm uniquely insightful about macroecon or I'm uniquely misjudging the situation. I'm guessing the latter may well seem more likely than the former to many of the twelve fine readers taking in this sentence.

But Walmart Does?


This rather curious story from Bloomberg is a bit of an eyebrow raiser:

“In case you haven’t seen a sales report these days, February MTD sales are a total disaster,” Jerry Murray, Wal- Mart’s vice president of finance and logistics, said in a Feb. 12 e-mail to other executives, referring to month-to-date sales. “The worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company.”

It is rare to see a story based on a few recent emails on Bloomberg. Usually, emails appear from evidence releases in stories involving legal trouble, and are months or years old. Point being, this could just be some well-placed scare mongering by short-sellers who are in a world of hurt right now. Just a few out of context emails from the thousands sent every day within Sam Walton's creation.


Or it could be representative. If so, Catchy may have been prescient. I have seen nobody else predict 2013 to be so weak.


It should all become clear when Q1 reporting time comes.


This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

A weaker than expected sales report b/c of austerity


Should anyone be shocked to see such a thing in the US after years of this kind of thing in Europe, including yesterday? 


Surprise UK retail sales drop fuels triple-dip recession fears

ONS data shows volume of retail sales fell by 0.6% in January – against economists' expectations of a 0.5% rise.


Why we should applaud Real Climate.

mmghosh's picture

Considering the nature of the harassment that Real Climate has suffered and the unwarranted abuse they have faced over the past 5 years (quite apart from the ClimateGate hacking) - especially from hacks and hucksters including such worthies as Lord Monckton - they should be awarded a major prize for sticking to their guns (and the science).


The "UHI is responsible for global warming" myth utterly, finally and irrefutably debunked, for good.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

A gun for self defence is more trouble than it is worth.

mmghosh's picture

The argument continues.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

The Oscar Pistorius revelations continue.

mmghosh's picture


About violence in South African society.  Until pretty recently, this was true for us as well.  It is hard to imagine how bad things were in medieval societies. 

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

"Drop Ship Has Landed"

M Scott Eiland's picture

Music to stomp bug-eyed invaders from outer space by:

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

A $16.54 minimum wage


would of course plunge any country's economy into a tailspin as businesses fired workers right and left. Every student who takes economics 101 knows that.


That's why Australia with a $15.96 an hour minimum wage has 5.4% unemployment. It's a law of economics that an economy cannot successfully function with a minimum wage more than double the US's. 

5.4%? why that's "full" employment

brutusettu's picture

But what about; healthcare, vacation time, lunch/break pay laws, how many people are underemployed weekly, purchasing power for basic necessities?

Still don't get


why the minimum wage should be tied to productivity.  If productivity went down, would you be arguing for reducing the minimum wage? 





The minimum wage should be indexed to inflation of course


But it makes sense for wages to rise in general with increased productivity.


That's fair compensation to a workforce that is producing more and good for a society that believes in shared prosperity.

More productivity per worker


doesn't necessarily mean proportionately more stuff produced,  or proportionately more money made.   It could be the same amount of stuff made by fewer workers,  or the more stuff made but sold at a lower price. 


That's leaving aside the fact that the majority of workers in the US aren't even manufacturing anything.  I'm not up on econ statistics,  but how exactly do we define the "productivity" of people working in government, education, military, finanace, retail, etc,  and does that productivity definition translate into more revenue available to pay people?

"productivity" is GDP divided by hours worked


So you're asking how the "product" in Gross Domestic Product is measured. Just as a starting point, productivity isn't measured in terms of the number of output units, but their value. 


You can read about the ins and outs of how economists measure a nation's productivity here.


I'm not sure if you're suggesting that these numbers might be fake. Notice that would entail that recessions and growth measurements are phony as well.


My sense is that there might be some discrepancies between some countries in how they measure growth, but I don't think you'd find the concept unfairly operationalized in the US over time.


"does that productivity definition translate into more revenue available to pay people?" Increased productivity means increased value produced and certainly could lead to higher compensation. Instead this new wealth has been almost entirely concentrated in the hands of a very few.  


The central progressive position is that it has been unwise for the US and unfair to its workers for the very wealthy and corporations to take the vast majority of these gains in productivity over the past 3.5 decades for themselves.

If that's the measure


the increases in GDP have been on the order of 1.5% recently.  121% sounds like a big number,  but 121% of 1.5% is 1.7%. 


So you're asking me to get all flustered that rich guys gained 1.7%.



eeyn, don't play dumb


a 1.5% pay increase per year over 30 yrs. would compound to a 56% pay increase. 


That's more than 5x greater than what workers have seen over the last 3 decades. 


No one believes you or anyone else is fine with a slowly falling salary every year going forward, yet that is what is happening at a time when workers would normally be making up some of the ground they lost during a deep recession. 


Rich guys aren't increasing their own take by 1.7%, they're taking all of the 1.7% growth over the entire economy. The top 1% of incomes rose 11% over '09 - '11 while everyone else's was on average either stagnant or falling. 


This is now a 3 yr. trend during the recovery. If you can't recognize it as a problem, you're playing dumb.

IIRC. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .that group also suffered a disproportionate amount of the lost income for the period preceding that. Was that objectionable?

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

The top 1% suffered about 50% of the lost income


Given that they own 40+% of the wealth and are more subject to crashing financial asset prices, since they have financial assets, that doesn't sound too out of whack to me.


The amazing point is that even though the 1% only bore about half of the losses during the crash, they're now realizing 121% of the gains. 


Does it sound at all objectionable to you that the bottom 99% should be losing income during the recovery -- while not recovering any of the 50% of losses they bore during the downturn -- so that the top 1% can hog 100% of the new wealth and 21% on top of that?


'Institutionalized theft' is a reasonable term for these dynamics.

Now THIS is odd and unpleasant sports news

Jay C's picture

Perennial All-Star and no-doubt-soon-to-be-Hall-Of-Famer Mike Piazza recently came out with a new book - in which he blames longtime LA Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully for aggravating his problems with the Dodgers over his contract negotiations in 1998.


Something doesn't smell right here: for all the decades Vin Scully has broadcast the Dodgers ( he started doing their games when they were still in Brooklyn, fergawdsake) I've never heard the least negative comments about Vin - the notion that he would use his position as the Voice Of The Dodgers to try to sway public/the fans' opinion against a popular player in a contract dispute just doesn't pass the malodor barrier.


And Mike Piazza, AFAICR  has generally stayed clear of making himself look like too much of an assh*le in public. A weird deal all around. 

Could Have Been A Misunderstanding

M Scott Eiland's picture

The ideas "Scully clearly didn't approve of Piazza's stated contract demands" and "Scully didn't say anything explicitly that indicated displeasure with Piazza's stated contract demands" aren't mutually exclusive by any means, and--in a situation where the Dodgers were playing hardball with the negotiations (and did end up shipping him off to Florida for the on the whole far more problematic Gary Sheffield and others)--Piazza might have been inclined to read a less than inviting expression on Scully's part as open hostility. Scully's never struck me as one to play politics with Dodger personnel decisions, but he had been there for well over forty years by the time those negotiations took place--a raised eyebrow from him could have had enormous effects on what happened. I'd be the first to say that the Dodgers didn't handle those negotiations well, but I suspect that whatever grudge he has against Scully is but a part of his general bitterness toward the Dodgers (which is goading him to rather petty behavior which almost certainly isn't in his best interests in the long run).

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Oh, and on Rubio

HankP's picture

I sure didn't see the confident, fluent speaker of the RNC. The setting didn't do him any favors (seriously, Republicans, how hard is it to set up a spot that doesn't look like an unused storage room?), but his performance was weak. His speech consisted of Republican bromides, many of which are factually false, but of course that never stops Republicans. Not sure why he did so poorly. He was quite impressive at the RNC.


I blame it all on the Internet

Terrific State of The Union, a Home Run, Moving, Out of the Park


...but it was important in themes and a real attempt to reach out to the American people.


I understand Hank's skepticism, but words matter even if the deeds saying it, you are trying to create a future to pull yourself into...and there is a commitment, automatically, in just saying.


I loved it.


(of course I was cooking a French Ragu` where you can't have enough lima beans, peas, celery, pearl onions, whole onions and three different color peppers, potatoes and 3 pounds of roast, some garlic, pepper and Mediterranean sea salt....yummmm!. I've been eating off of it but it is better when I let it stew for a couple of hours...5 and 1/2 liters of pure masculine happiness!)


So maybe of course I loved the State of the Union.


Best Wishes, Traveller

Speeches don't do much for me

HankP's picture

so things like the SOTU don't really impress. The problem with politicians is that whether you agree with what they say or not, it's a whole separate issue whether they'll actually implement (or even try to implement) the stuff they promised.


So sure, Obama said a bunch of stuff I agreed with. Whether or not any of it will ever materialize (especially with a clinically insane opposition) is an entirely different matter.


I am glad that the Republicans invited Ted Nugent as a guest to the speech. I strongly encourage them to present im front and center whenever there's a public event. I even more strongly encourage them to give him a microphone so everyone can see what the Republican id really is.


I blame it all on the Internet

I strongly disagree, Hank.

mmghosh's picture

This was a pretty amazing speech.  You really cannot say this and say this is just words.  I congratulate America and Americans for having the good sense to elect Mr Obama.  How much more clear and unequivocal can one get?


Now, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods, all are now more frequent and more intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science and act before it’s too late.


Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year. Let’s drive down costs even further. As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we.


Now, in the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. We need to encourage that. That’s why my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Sorry Manish

HankP's picture

I've heard too many promises from too many politicians over the years to take a mere speech seriously. If Obama seriously pushes and twists arms, calls in all his favors, and really tries to get some sort of carbon tax/CO2 regulation passed, I'll be the first to applaud. But words are cheap.


I blame it all on the Internet

Words are better than nothing


Unfortunately the political landscape seems to be that Obama is going to spend political capital and twist arms on things like getting a Republican Sec Def nomination approved.


My minimum expectations for the admin is that they don't help push us into a recession with a deficit reduction deal, my lofty hopes are that they put more than a million immigrants on the road to citizenship. Anything else is a CHristmas present.

But actions are not.

mmghosh's picture

The US has managed to bring down emissions further and faster since Kyoto than any other large emitter.


This might not have been through progressive carbon taxation but rather by switching to gas, but does it really matter, except to purists, how emissions have been controlled? I might mention that the whole pivot away from oil and towards natural gas was an initiative launched by Mr Carter (correct in so many things, as we note today) including the R&D program that launched the fracking boom 25 years later.  Politicians, and they policies they speak of, do matter.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

I'd hold off a bit before cheering on fracking

HankP's picture

since methane is such a potent greenhouse gas and fracking seems to release quite a bit of it into the atmosphere.


Yes, it's good that CO2 emissions have dropped. But I'm not sure how a politician can be lauded for it when it's not a result of an intentional policy. Also, did you read that link? The guy wants a full, balls out effort to obtain and use as much oil and gas as possible. That's really not going to help.


I blame it all on the Internet