I’m still down, but I need to apologize for inaccuracies in yesterday’s articles. The fact is, I was just feeling too crappy to apply my standard depth of research, so I misunderstood the SCOTUS Short Take that, thankfully, Nameless corrected. In the names of the Senate opponents of the fourth gun safety measure, I don’t know what happened. I copied and pasted that list of names directly from the Senate website. I have corrected the list here, and the list at the Senate’s site is now also corrected.
As I write I’m listening to MSNBC coverage in Boston. Since the suspect in a firefight with police, who is now in custody. employed bombs, I think it’s a safe bet that he’s one of the people responsible for the bombing. Update: The two people in the firefight were definitely the two bombing suspects. One is dead and the other is at large.
Finally, I have some good news. One of my guys, so far, was successful in his parole hearing and will be released in September. It’s Critter, who always sends greetings to Critter.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:15 (4;10 average). To do it click here. How did you do?
From The New Yorker: In the halls of the United States Senate, dozens of Senators congratulated themselves today for having what one of them called “the courage and grit to stand up to the overwhelming wishes of the American people.”
“We kept hearing, again and again, that ninety per cent of the American people wanted us to vote a certain way,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky). “Well, at the end of the day, we decided that we weren’t going to cave in to that kind of special-interest group.”
“It was a gut check, for sure, but we had to draw a line in the sand,” agreed Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S. Carolina). “If we had voted the way the American people wanted us to, it would have sent the message that we’re here in Washington to be nothing more than their elected representatives.”…
The accuracy of this satire makes me want to puke.
From Huffington Post: Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) skewered senators on Wednesday in a fundraising email sent out seconds after the Senate voted down an amendment to expand background checks for gun purchases.
"Moments ago, the U.S. Senate decided to do the unthinkable about gun violence — nothing at all," read the email from anti-gun violence PAC Americans for Responsible Solutions, according to the Arizona Republic. "Over two years ago, when I was shot point-blank in the head, the U.S. Senate chose to do nothing. Four months ago, 20 first-graders lost their lives in a brutal attack on their school, and the U.S. Senate chose to do nothing. It’s clear to me that if members of the U.S. Senate refuse to change the laws to reduce gun violence, then we need to change the members of the U.S. Senate."…
I could not agree more. Republicans should be opposed outright. The Democrats, who voted NO, should be primaried against firearms safety proponents.
From NY Times:
The story so far: At the beginning of 2010, two Harvard economists, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, circulated a paper, “Growth in a Time of Debt,” that purported to identify a critical “threshold,” a tipping point, for government indebtedness. Once debt exceeds 90 percent of gross domestic product, they claimed, economic growth drops off sharply.
Ms. Reinhart and Mr. Rogoff had credibility thanks to a widely admired earlier book on the history of financial crises, and their timing was impeccable. The paper came out just after Greece went into crisis and played right into the desire of many officials to “pivot” from stimulus to austerity. As a result, the paper instantly became famous; it was, and is, surely the most influential economic analysis of recent years…
…Finally, Ms. Reinhart and Mr. Rogoff allowed researchers at the University of Massachusetts to look at their original spreadsheet — and the mystery of the irreproducible results was solved. First, they omitted some data; second, they used unusual and highly questionable statistical procedures; and finally, yes, they made an Excel coding error. Correct these oddities and errors, and you get what other researchers have found: some correlation between high debt and slow growth, with no indication of which is causing which, but no sign at all of that 90 percent “threshold.”…
Click through for the rest of this fine Krugman editorial. In short, the entire basis of Republicans’ insistence on austerity is the result of omitting inconvenient data, cooking the data that is included, and calculation error.