August 22, 2011
WORD OF THE DAY
1. (used without an object) to hasten; to speed; to go in haste
2. (used with an object) to hasten oneself
Rick Perry, the very Texan and very new entrant into the presidential race, said the other day that Ben Bernanke wasn’t putting country first. “Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous–or treasonous–in my opinion.”
…Perry’s comment has stirred up a whole kerfuffle, with editorials castigating his incivility and muckety-mucks hieing to their fainting couches. Widely quoted economist Nouriel Roubini called Perry “criminal” for his comments. “This may be the least responsible statement in the modern history of president politics,” exclaimed Larry Summers, Obama’s former economic adviser.
(The National Review)
1. unfamiliar with mathematical concepts and methods
2. unable to use mathematics
The canard about Texas school failure came up back in February when the innumerate and statistically incompetent New York Times columnist Paul Krugman tried to argue that low levels of public spending in Texas resulted in poor educational outcomes.
…The whole Krugman/Economist thesis was decisively exploded by blogger Iowahawk in a March 2nd post. Iowahawk pointed out what everyone acquainted with psychometric or educational statistics knows: that the only meaningful population comparisons are those that have been disaggregated by race and ethnicity.
August 18, 2011
WORD OF THE DAY
1. one who makes or employs aphorisms (maxims)
2. a person who uses short pithy sayings expressing a general truth
I am far from an iconoclast, but I am getting a little weary of Warren Buffett’s posturing as a social democrat. He is a brilliant investor and a pretty good aphorist, and his shtick as friendly, folksy Uncle Warren, the Sage of Omaha, though a tired routine, has been an effective one. But he is an extremely wealthy man because he is a relentlessly hardball operator. His masquerade as a public-policy expert is starting to resemble nothing so much as the antics of entertainers who try to translate their renown as vocalists or actors into political influence. But most of them are airheads, oblivious to the fact that it is incongruous to opine on the exigencies of a reformed welfare state while paying below the minimum wage to the undocumented immigrants who roll their tennis courts.
(National Review Online)
August 17, 2011
WORD OF THE DAY
1. Russian: a carriage, wagon, or sleigh drawn by a team of three horses abreast
2. any group of three persons, nations, etc., acting equally in unison to exert influence, control, or the like
3. a team of three horses driven abreast
The composition of the supercommittee looks at first glance to be a recipe for gridlock and sequestration, or the functional equivalent thereof. The House Republican nominees are green eyeshade types: Jeb Hensarling is a disciple of Sen. Phil Gramm, Fred Upton is a veteran of the Reagan Office of Management and Budget, and Dave Camp heads the Ways and Means Committee. Nancy Pelosi has named a resolutely diverse troika of liberals–previous campaign committee chairman Chris van Hollen, leadership number-two James Clyburn, and ex-chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Xavier Becera, three who can be expected to carry out her guidance to “address our entire budget”–that’s code for raiding military budgets–”while strengthening”–that is, defending to the last–”Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”
1. to abolish by official or formal means
2. annul by an athoritative act; repeal
3. to put an end to
Forty years ago today, the entire world was launched into a brand new financial experiment: a peacetime global monetary system with no link at all to redemption of money in precious metals. In other words, for the first time without being in a big war, governments offered people purely fiat money on a worldwide basis. This could be viewed as the logical end point of the modern trend of increasing the power of central banks.
…The global fiat money regime arrived with President Nixon’s announcement that the United States was abrogating its commitment to foreign governments under the Bretton Woods agreement to redeem their dollars for gold at the fixed value of one ounce per $35.
1. a platitude or trite saying
2. a person who is platitudinous or boring
3. Pharmacology: potassium bromide, known to produce central nervous system depression, formerly used as a sedative
Today the Republicans have announced their startling lineup [for the Joint Committee]. In the Senate, Jon Kyl, Pat Toomey, and Rob Portman. This is a solid trio, especially Toomey. Kyl can be expected to set a pick for defense spending. All three are solid and calm figures who can withstand Kerry’s bluster and bromides. If McConnell had picked McCain, Lindsay Graham, or either of the sob-sisters from Maine, I’d know we were doomed to a sellout.
1. a member of a criminal organization or syndicate who serves as an adviser to the leader
2. a trusted adviser, especially in a criminal organization
“Is this a wake-up call to Washington?” NBC’s David Gregory asked Sen. John Kerry on “Meet the Press,” referring to the S&P downgrade.
“Well, it’s a partial wake-up call. I believe this is, without question, the ‘tea party’ downgrade.”
…Over on the other channel, at least President Obama’s political consigliere, David Axelrod, waited for a while before getting to the same talking point: “The fact of the matter is that this is essentially a tea party downgrade. The tea party brought us to the brink of a default,” he explained on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
(Los Angeles Times, Wake Up And Smell the Tea)
1. Latin: take notice; note well
2. mark well; observe particularly
The Federal Reserve hastened to announce that the S&P downgrade would have no effect on the zero risk-based capital requirement for U.S. government debt. There is no reason it would need to, but nota bene: the financial regulators have a deep conflict of interest. They are employees of the government which issues the debt in question and needs to keep on issuing great amounts of it. The regulators are not likely to be very strict in their assessment of debt of their employer—indeed we can count on the opposite.
(The Enterprise Blog)
1. a discordant and meaningless mixture of sounds
2. Music: frequent use of discords of a harshness and relationship difficult to understand
3. harsh discordance of sound; dissonance
Indeed, the most striking response to the “successful” conclusion of the United States debt ceiling cacophony on Sunday was the sharp fall in global stock markets the next day. Then, on Thursday, the Dow plunged over 500 points, the biggest single-day loss since December 1, 2008, at the height of the financial crisis.
(CBS News Opinion, The Stock Market Panic: Why Now?)
August 2, 2011
WORD OF THE DAY
1. the disgrace or reproach incurred by shameful conduct
3. a cause of object of such disgrace or reproach
Media reports reveal a good deal of fury among liberals over the debt-ceiling deal, with President Obama receiving a sizeable share of the opprobrium for failing to hold fast against “cuts” in federal spending and failing to secure tax increases.
At the risk of being a wet blanket, conservatives shouldn’t get too pleased about the distress on the Left. Yes, despite a number of tactical misfires, Republicans performed satisfactorily during the debt-ceiling negotiations, effectively changing the language of our fiscal debates, perhaps for some time into the future. But Republican performance was decent only compared with previous Republican Congresses. Let’s face it, the bar was exceedingly low.
(The Corner, Press On)
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