Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Book Review: Nudge

 Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Revised and Expanded Edition)
- Thaler and Sunstein, 2008, 2009. -- 271 pages

Nudge is a favorite target for many conservatives.  It has gained popularity and notoriety as a widely read book in the Obama White House.  In some conservative circles, the book is portrayed as a "how-to" manual on furtherance of the statist/liberal/Euro-socialist agenda by subtly herding the population into sheep-like policy compliance.  While the conservative criticism is slightly overstated, the authors are dangerously naive about the Pandora's box they have opened.  And let's face it, the idea of being nudged by the government is at least a little creepy prima facie.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Quote of the Day: Wino

A Delaware County Times opinion piece:

Joe Sestak is about as fiscally conservative as a wino in a liquor store with a shoe box full of 50s.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fire Them

Ace's roundup of PA-12 is pretty darned good, and this bit by Nate Silver caught my eye:

But make no mistake: there are garbage cans being kicked, and consultants being sworn at, at NRCC headquarters right now. And the Republicans may need to engage in some self-reflection about whether nationalizing the race will be the optimal strategy in each of 50 distinct states and 435 distinct Congressional Districts.

A big problem Republicans have is that nobody ever gets fired.  Yeah, they're swearing and kicking trash cans, but the same jerks will be hired back to do the same stupid shit they always do.  Evidence: they've done it several times now just since Obama's been in office.  Obviously the words "lesbian bondage club" have to be in national headlines for anybody to get fired.

Fire their asses.  There's no shortage of neurons in DC, and your guys probably aren't nearly as smart as you or they think they are.

Democrats have this problem too, at least to some extent.  How many Presidential campaigns has Bob Shrum botched?  I mean, seriously -- who says, "Hey, this guy is really due, huh?"  Oh, John Kerry, that's who.  I guess Kerry really was that stupid.

UPDATE 11/19 ~1108pm:

Oh look, the WSJ agrees with me:
It's probably too late in the campaign season to replace party leaders, but someone needs to invite new thinking, and perhaps fire all the highly paid consultants. Tuesday's defeat shows that November is going to be a hard fight, and the stakes are too high for Republicans to follow three-time losers.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

PA Election stuff

Check out my predictions on PAWatercooler, chat with the 'Coolerites and the Commonwealth Foundation crew on the embedded live-blog thingie, and watch the returns come in this evening on the PA Dept of State election website.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Quote of the Day: Buggy Whip

Jim Treacher and the fall of Newsweek mag:

The news that the Washington Post Company is selling off Newsweek is the most shocking development in the media world since the cancellation of Buggy Whip Monthly. The magazine’s editor, Jon Meacham, has been making the media rounds, explaining why it’s not his fault. If you don’t recognize his name, don’t worry. Nobody remembers who the captain of the Titanic was either.
Also, if you speak URL-ese, there's a secondary QOTD to be found.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Quote of the Day: Shut Up

Continetti in The Weekly Standard:
The folks waving signs and holding peaceful rallies have been insulted as fakes, wackos, ignoramuses, racists, nihilists, and hicks suffering from status anxiety. But when a poll revealed the Tea Party movement is better educated and wealthier than the electorate at large, a prominent Washington Post columnist summarily dismissed the movement as the “populism of the privileged.” The lines of attack change, but the message is always the same: Go home. Shut up. Let us do what we want.