Wednesday, March 10, 2010
It's Wednesday, and there has been no dump of tabs since the weekend. Allah forbid that my computer should crash before I off-load my accumulated reading for your pleasure or consternation, as the case may be. Herewith, therefore, a dancing plethora of tabs!
In the category of ugly charts, look at what has happened to federal income tax withholding over the past year. Ouch.
Brookings releases its latest wad of statistics that purport to show "how we're doing in the world." Interesting, although the tone of the accompanying analysis, or at least its lede, does not precisely square with the data, framed as it is with reference to Barack Obama's performance.
The largest gold coin. Ever. And you'll never guess who struck it, and when.
Three things liberals can't admit. Candidly, I can think of more than three things, but Lowry's focusing on the health care fight.
Yet another price that apparently must be paid in order to get health care "reform" through. Oh, and another.
According to this analysis, California -- a center for "green jobs" because of its vibrant tech and venture capital community -- will nevertheless lose jobs because of its aggressive greenhouse gas regulation. Of course, pro-regulation activists will say that this presents a false choice. Or a moral one. Either way.
Barack Obama, a putatively great communicator who has manifestly failed to make the case for his most important policy initiatives, has recruited an important new ally in his propaganda war. At least we're going to get some good graphs.
Speaking of graphs and such, look at how much cleaner the air of America has gotten in the last 30 years. There's something for everybody in that post. On the one hand, there are some hilariously wrong predictions from Paul Ehrlich, perhaps the wrongest person who ever lived, and various others. On the other hand, the Clean Air Act seems to have worked rather decisively, at least insofar as the objective was reducing air pollution (no comment on whether it might have been done more efficiently).
A page of links from Maggie's. Hey, it was an open tab, and this is a tab dump.
Virginia Postrel on innovation and health care reform (video).
Nouriel Rabini, whose fame has compounded on account of his prediction of the world financial crisis, is not optimistic:
Even if the euro zone does not suffer a double dip, growth in demand will be even more limited and this will hurt the United States' potential for export growth, according to Roubini's paper.
The Roubini Global Economics benchmark scenario puts the risk of a double dip at 20 percent, while a slow, protracted, U-shaped recovery is given the highest probability of 60 percent. [Choking off free trade to buy union support for health care "reform" is not going to help the situation. - ed.]
But since the end of February new macroeconomic data from the US have come out and "they have been almost uniformly poor, if not outright awful," Roubini wrote.
I do not necessarily disagree -- my view is that the most that can be said for the economy this year compared to 2008 and 2009 is that it will suck less. No, that is not particularly inspiring.
A graphical look at how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has changed the slope of historical temperature over time. In each revision, "warming" becomes more apparent and dramatic. The question, of course, is whether these revisions reflect good science or are designed to achieve a policy result. If you are like me and instinctively distrust pretty much anything associated with the United Nations, you already know how you are going to come down. (I suspect, by the way, that just as the involvement of the United Nations in climate science boosts that discipline's credibility with most of the world, it hurts its credibility with Americans, a difference in attitude that transnational progressives miss every time.)
Re The Brookings article. Their choice of items to measure and their framing imply that everything from 2009 is Obama's and everything before Bush's. That Bush's actions might be the real driver of something that happened in 2009 seems left out. In some cases the omission hurts Obama, in more cases it makes him look better. But either way it's not a very complete picture.