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!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Deep Stupid #24 - Georgia on my Mind

The Georgia take-a-gun-anywhere law, signed by Governor Nathan Deal last Wednesday, takes affect in July.

The Atlanta Braves have a home stand against the Phillies, Marlins and Padres from the 18th through the 28th of July.

Suppose during one of those games the Braves have a man on third, and a crazed gun man in the stands shoots the opposing pitcher while he is on the rubber and makes a motion associated with his pitch, but is not able to complete the delivery because he's been shot.

Here is my question: is the pitcher charged with a balk that allows the run to score?


Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Song of Jaime and Cersei

There's been a great deal of commentary on this week's GoT episode, Breaker of Chains, and a disproportionate amount of it, along with associated reader commments,  has been focused on a certain 51 second long incident involving everyone's favorite set of incestuous twins.

Here is a particularly forceful condemnation.

There was no ambiguity to the scene. Cersei repeatedly said no. She said, “Stop.” She said, “Not here.” She said, “This is not right.” She resisted Jaime’s efforts, to no avail. The scene was unequivocally a rape scene and it was not merely shocking. It was thoroughly senseless.

But Roxane Ray is wrong.  Cersei never says, "No."  She says the other things that are actual quotes, but she never says, "No."  Further the scene is not glamorized as her article's  title claims.  Nor is it sensationalized, as she claims in the text.  Neither of these assertions makes any sense, as far as I can see.

Ms. Ray's final paragraph is revealing.
Rape is used to create drama and ratchet up ratings. And it’s rare to see the brutality and complexity of a rape accurately conveyed on-screen. Instead, we are treated to an endless parade of women being forced into submission as the delicate and wilting flowers television writers and producers seem to want them to be.

She has a beef that reaches far beyond the world of Westeros and Essos.  This distorts her view of what is happening in GoT.  And if she thinks the women in GoT are delicate and wilting, someone should introduce her to Olenna, Margaery, Catelyn Stark, Arya, Osha, Ygritte,  Danaerys, or - wait for it - Cesei.  In fact, the only prominent female in GoT who comes close to resembling this false description is Sansa, who is traveling her own trope-defying character arc.  But, alas, Ms. Ray isn't alone in her beliefs.  Here is a particularly stupid example.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Heritage Heritage

Here is a compendium of my posts on the lying liars at the Heritage Foundation.  [Titles are hot links]

Republicans: All Wrong, All the Time, Pt. 12 - Taxes and Revenues    2/25/10 [Reposted 4/21/14]

Riddikulus! Pt 2 -- Ludicrous                                                                  4/11/2011 

Another Lie From The Lying Liars at The Heritage Foundation         6/12/2011

More on the Lying Liars at the Heritage Foundation                              6/5/2013              

They never fooled me even once.  Don't let them fool you.

As I said, responding to a comment here, "When I disagree with someone who deserves my respect, I do it respectfully. But tools, fools, and liars get the contempt they so richly deserve."

Republicans: All Wrong, All the Time, Pt. 12 - Taxes and Revenues

While mucking around in the archives, I somehow made this old post from 2/25/10 inaccessible.

So, I'm reposting it now, because it has important information.


 The liars at the Heritage Foundation will tell you that lowering taxes increases federal Revenues.

A New York Times article, Deficit Spending Can Help Republicans, by Daniel Altman, shows that old, wrong assumptions die hard. The article reports that:
"From the beginning of 2001 through the third quarter of 2002, the federal government leapt from a surplus (including Social Security) amounting to 2.3 percent of gross domestic product to a deficit of the same size. By itself, the current deficit is not terribly threatening. Indeed, running a modest deficit during an economic downturn can be useful, as long as the policies behind the deficit — lower taxes and higher spending — benefit consumers and businesses."
The article then claims that the 1980s Reagan tax cuts failed to increase tax revenues;
"The White House says lower tax rates will lead consumers to work more and businesses to expand, resulting in higher tax revenues and eventually closing the budget gap. That notion, chided as "voodoo economics" by critics, turned out to be false when it was last in vogue, during the 1980's."
However, the numbers, crunched by Heritage's Brian Riedl, show otherwise (see chart below). In 1980, the last year before the tax cuts, tax revenues were $956 billion (in constant 1996 dollars).
Revenues exceeded that 1980 level in eight of the next 10 years. Annual revenues over the next decade averaged $102 billion above their 1980 level (in constant 1996 dollars).

They even offer this chart as proof!  (Click the link, expressed in constant 1996 dollars.)  But the real Voodoo is in achieving an actual reduction in revenues, as they did according to the Heritage Foundation figures in 1982 and (quire dramatically) 1983, in the context of an economy that has achieved 3.7% annual growth for 200 years!

And that is key.  Every year the population grows.  Almost every year the economy grows.  There is inflation in the background, most of the time.  In fact, the compounded annual growth rate of federal tax revenues from 1970 through 2008 was just slightly over 7%.   (Current dollars, not inflation adjusted.)

Here is reality, presented in non-inflation adjusted dollars   Data from the Congressional Budget Office.

Actual revenues are shown on the broken red and blue line, with segments color-coded to indicate the party of the White House occupant.  The purple curved line is the 7% growth line, starting in 1970.   The pink line is the best-fitting straight line.  Each President's term has also been overlayed with a best fitting straight line. In retrospect, these straight lines don't tell us much of anything. 

One interesting facet of this display is that most of it lies well above the 7% growth curve.  This is entirely due to increases during the Carter and Clinton administrations, as a visual inspection reveals, and we will also prove mathematically.

Here is the compounded  annual growth rate of tax revenues, by President, over the 1970 to 2008 period.

Well, Nixon and Ford managed to top the long period average by a slight margin, but they were not under the thrall of Voodoo Economists.  Neither was Clinton.  Bush I wasn't either, but he inherited Reagan's vultures.  Look at Reagan's revenue growth rate: 5.35%.  Consider that average inflation over Reagan's years was 4.56%, and GDP growth averaged 3.4%.  Under those circumstances, revenue growth should have been at least 7.96%, not a paltry 5.35%.  The average compounded growth in constant 1996 dollars, using the Heritage Foundation table is 2.38%.  This is more than a full percentage point below real GDP growth. 

Bush II's revenue growth rate was 3.01%.  But inflation averaged 2.84% and GDP growth averaged an anemic 2.16.  Together they total 5.0%.  So, Republican tax revenue growth cannot even match the inflation adjusted level of growth in the economy.

Many years ago, my dad told me that figures don't lie, but liars sure know how to figure.  The bullshit you get from the Heritage Foundation is exactly what he was talking about.  It's another example of the conservative ploy of willfully denying reality.

Which is just one more reason why WE ARE SO SCREWED.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Early Thoughts on the Tigers

The Tigers have now completed 12 games, and stand more or less on top of the A.L. Central at 7-5 (.583).  Other A.L. teams have played from 14 to 16 games; but the Tigers had 2 travel days to the west coast and back, and 2 weather delays at home - the 1st due to rain, and the 2nd due to snow and cold.

Over that span, they've scored 4.08 runs per game, while giving up 3.92.  This kind of performance is not a recipe for success, unless you're the 2012 Baltimore Orioles. [93 W, 39L, while scoring 712 runs and giving up 705.]  In my first post last year, I said the Tigers' play was erratic.  That is centrally true so far again this year.

Here is scoring per inning per game.  Last year I had it per inning per month, but with different numbers of games per month, normalizing per game is more sensible.  Inning 10 represents all extra innings.

Looks like the second time through the order is when the Tigers are most productive.  Tigers are still not particularly potent after inning 6, scoring only 13 of their 49 runs, or 26.5%.   Ninth inning only has produced 4 runs, or 8.2% of the total.

Here is opponent's scoring by inning.

Tiger starters are not having good first innings, and closers have been awful.  Middle relief had done mostly OK.  Of 47 runs given up, 20, or 42.6% have been after the 6th inning. Opponents have scored 12 runs, 25.5% of their total in the 9th inning alone.

It's a bit early to be looking at individual stats, but I want to establish a base line, and see how things develop over the season.  I wish I would have done this last year, to track how Victor Martinez brought his b.a. up as the season progressed.  This year, we might want to watch Miggy.  He receives about $45,000 per plate appearance.  [by this reckoning, his play in the field is free.]   Last season, he fell off at the end due to injuries.  This season, he's off to a slow start.  I'm hoping he can pull a Victor and improve right though September and into the post season.

Batting Stats. [Alphabetical]

Pitching Stats.  [By innings pitched]

The Tigers took advantage of the holes in their schedule to use only the top four pitchers in their rotation, and use Smyly in long relief.  He's been strong in his 2 appearances totaling 6 innings.  The Halos are in town to start a three game series tonight, and Smyly is on the mound.  Hope he does well, and gets some run support.

Individual Data Source

Quote of the Day

The quickest way to build a wrong story is to adopt the wrong ideas of others. And that, I think, is how economics got into trouble: by building on Milton Friedman's ideas instead of doubting them.

----  The Arthurian

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tigers' Opener

I'll be blogging about the Tigers again this year.  There will be end-of-month wrap-ups and other posts whenever something interesting happens or I just get the urge.  Yesterday's game qualifies on both counts.

Starters: Verlander, Shields
W: Nathan, L: Davis

The Tigers did not play a great game, but there was great drama.  Victor Martinez opened the scoring with a solo HR in the second.   Torii Hunter made an inexplicable error in the top of the 2nd, dropping a routine fly ball, but no harm came of it.  New SS Alex Gonzales was the goat for a while in the 4th inning when Lorenzo Cain's ground ball slipped by him, then two batters later with two outs, he fumbled Nori Aoki's grounder to load the bases.  Verlander then walked in a run to make it 3-1 K.C.   This was a big scary moment with the bases still loaded and Eric Hosmer, who hit a first inning double, coming to the plate.  Fortunately, JV got him to pop up a 98 MPH fast ball and end the inning.

But the real drama came later.  It was still 3-1 after 6.  Evan Reed replaced Verlander on the mound and had a 1-2-3 inning.  In the Tigers' 7th Austin Jackson hit a 1 out triple.  After Avila walked, starter James Shields was lifted for Aaron Crow.  AJ scored on a wild pitch, while Avila took 2nd.  Gonzales then began to redeem himself by smacking an RBI double and aggressively extending it into a triple.  Rajai Davis grounded out to end the inning.  Tie ball game.

The eighth inning was uneventful, with new pitchers Albuquerque and Davis each getting through on four batters.

Joe Nathan came on for the Tigers in the 9th, and had a 1-2-3 inning.  In the bottom of the 9th, with Davis still on the mound, Jackson grounded out, then Avila walked.  Tyler Collins came on to pinch run.  Nick Castellanos, who had been thrown out at 2nd trying to extend a single in the 5th, singled, with Collins taking third.  K.C. then brought in their all star closer Greg Holland.  Last year, RH batters were only 18 for 107 (.168 ba) against him with 48 K's.  Gonzales finished the day with a single to left, scoring Collins for the win.

This game was marred by two errors, a bad route by AJ on a hit that could have been caught, Castellanos failing to get to a foul fly near the stands, and also getting thrown out trying to extend a single.  With a walked in run, that makes 6 pretty glaring mistakes.  JV got a quality start in a solid, but less than stellar outing.  It was nice to see major contributions from the new comers.  Collins must have been thrilled crossing the plate to seal the victory.

This game was remarkable for being so unlike Tigers games last year.

- The bull pen closed down the other team.
- The Tigers came from behind to win AFTER the 6th inning.
- The Tigers showed some aggressive and productive base running.
- The Tigers overcame some pretty bad play to get the win.

I'm not going to be offering detailed game description like this very often, but this game was worth it.

One down, 161 to go.

Update:  According to this analysis, teams have averaged about 7 walk off wins per year between 1995 and 2012.  That's 8.6% of the time.  So you have about a 1 in 12 chance of seeing a walk off when you go to a random game.  By my count [I can't find anyone else's] the Tigers had 7 in 2013, 5 in regulation and 2 in extra innings.

Box Score


Play by Play