Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

Copyright Notice

Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Friday, August 31, 2012

What the Hell?!? Friday - Another Movie Review


If you think the title tells it all, you're pretty darn close.  Obviously, the intent is to blend the genres.  I'll give it an A for effort, cinematography and acting.   Story line?  Uhhhhhh  .  .  .

My view of this movie is undoubtedly informed [or perhaps deformed] by seeing it so close to HANNA, which I reviewed last week.  Indeed, there are some similarities: genre bending, wanton slaughter, a strong heroine, and cosmic-sized plot holes.

Director Jon Favreau crossed HIGH NOON with WAR OF THE WORLDS [you might identify better choices] and got a Chimera.  The tropes are there in multitudes: the strong, quite stranger [Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig)] as protagonist, meek townsfolk, the arrogant quasi rich guy [Col. Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford)] who thinks he runs the town, and the kinda, sorta love interest [Ella Swenson (Olivia Wilde)] who turns out to be something quite different, and, of course, murderous invaders from outer space.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mitt's Big Success

The Salt Lake City Olympics, of course.

The $1.3 Billion paid for by you and me is just a detail not worth mentioning.

But I guess I'll mention it anyway.  Maybe it makes a nice counterpoint to his acceptance speech.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Impending Romney Disaster

If you've been reading here regularly, you know what a disaster a Rethug win in Nov. would be, and why.

It's also no secret that changing demographics disfavor the Rethugs - hence their strong attempts at voter suppression.

In an interesting twist, Johnathon Chait points out that the specific 2012 vintage strategy of divide and conquer along lines of age and race will never work again [in the sense of bringing a Rethug victory,] because those demographic changes will have shifted the balance by 2016.  Hence this year's desperate attempt to cede the wealth of our nation to that rapacious top 1%, and undermine the future of social welfare and safety net programs.  This amounts to a last ditch effort to completely destroy the last tattered shreds of the New Deal while they still can get it done.

There’s no moral or policy rationale for Romney’s proposal to increase social safety net spending on current retirees while cutting Pell Grants, Medicaid, children’s health insurance, and food stamps to shreds. The nonwhite share of the electorate is increasing fast enough that the political math of this sort of gambit will grow completely impossible — there will simply be, from the right-wing perspective, too many of them and not enough us. But there may be just enough us to pull out one more win, and thus the Republican determination to make such a win as consequential as possible.

H/T to Scott Lemieux

Yiddish Curses for Republicans

Find them here.

H/T to PK.

My fav:

May you have a rare disease and need an operation that only one surgeon in the world, the winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine, is able to perform. And may he be unable to perform it because he doesn’t take your insurance. And may that Nobel Laureate be your son.

Now, that is nasty.

Friday, August 24, 2012

What the Hell?!? Friday - Movie Review Edition

What the hell - why not?


This movie is apparently intended to be a genre-bender, with elements of sci-fi, action-adventure, quest, coming of age, revenge, and whatever the Bourne series (which I have never seen) represents.  It also includes some fairy tail tropes - the wicked witch/step mother, orphanhood, being lost in the wilderness - all twisted into a new, and perhaps refreshing shape.

HANNA is a deeply flawed experiment with a lot of good to go with the bad.  You can read about the movie's defects - which are legion - in the many reviews at IMDB.   It's deeply polarizing: people seem to either love or hate it.  I did neither, and find myself largely agreeing with critics in both camps. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Akin For a Fight

There is little for me to add to the flap about what Missouri senate candidate Todd Akin said about rape and pregnancy.  Here's Eric Loomis.  

The deeper issue - and I've heard this mentioned by a few people - is the nature of Akin's mistake.   What he got wrong politically was not in what he said, but in where and when he said it.

The sad truth is that Akin's thinking - not just about rape, but about all of the medieval misogyny that lies at its core - is close to main-stream thinking in a large portion of the Rethug constituency.

It's not just the rich elite economic preferences of the Rethugs that are taking us back to the 12th century.  It's a whole complex of elitist politico-social concepts that go hand-in-hand with the religious dominance so fiercely desired by the American Taliban.

My fear is that Missouri will elect this dinosaur - knowing full well how he thinks and what he represents.   I may well live to see the concept of the Divine Right of Corporations become a social norm.

Debt, Recession, and That Ol' Devil Denominator

Krugman recently presented this graph, showing household debt as a percentage of GDP.

and made this comment.

Second, a dramatic rise in household debt, which many of us now believe lies at the heart of our continuing depression.

There are those who seem to believe that if Krugman says it, it must be wrong.   Here is Scott Sumner's reaction.

What do you see?  I suppose it’s in the eye of the beholder, but I see three big debt surges:  1952-64, 1984-91, and 2000-08.  The first debt surge was followed by a golden age in American history; the boom of 1965-73.  The second debt surge was followed by another golden age, the boom of 1991-2007.  And the third was followed by a severe recession.  What was different with the third case?  The Fed adopted a tight money policy that caused NGDP growth to crash, which in turn sharply raised the W/NGDP ratio.  Krugman has another recent post that shows further evidence of the importance of sticky wages.  Forget about debt and focus on NGDP.  It’s NGDP instability that creates problems, not debt surges.

Bold emphasis is provided by Marcus Nunes, who goes on to say:

Why does the share of debt rise? I believe it reflects peoples “optimism” about future prospects. In the chart below I break down Krugman´s chart and separate mortgage and non-mortgage household debt as a share of NGDP. I also add the behavior of the stock market (here represented by the Dow-Jones Index).

[See the linked Nunes post for his chart.]