Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday morning snow-all-over-the-place tab dump 

There are six customers in the "It's a Grind" coffee shop in Plainsboro this morning, and five of them are cops. It is a safe environment whence to dump tabs.

The rules of "naked parties" explained to a mom.

Given the world economy's recent experience with financial "computer models," this seems like an atrociously bad idea:

Vice President Joe Biden plans to unveil proposed new regulations Friday aimed at helping protect workers' retirement savings, an initiative spearheaded by the White House's Middle Class Task Force.

A White House official said the proposed new rules will shield workers from potential conflicts of interest related to financial advisers. Under the plan, retirement investment advisers and money managers may give investment advice only if they don't get a commission for steering workers into funds with which they are affiliated, or if their advice is based on an objective computer model certified to be unbiased by independent experts, the official said.

It speaks volumes that the VPOTUS thinks there is such a thing as "an objective computer model" that can be certified as "unbiased." Of course, that is a common affliction among liberals, who apparently ascribe the same objectivity to climate models, but that does not mean it isn't asinine.

On the small chance you came here first, Glenn Reynolds has a nice round-up of righty(ish) reactions to the health care "summit" yesterday. Add this dose of cold water from Ezra Klein, and you've pretty much covered the landing zone.

Fourth quarter GDP growth was revised up, to 5.9%. Don't get too excited. Not only does employment continue to suck, but even with that putatively strong fourth quarter GDP shrank more in 2009 than in any year since 1946. For those of you good at math, that was 64 years ago. And remember, we have to average 5% growth for the next four years in order to get unemployment back down to pre-bust levels.

The ratio of per capital income in Detroit vs. San Francisco graphed over 45 years. It is as if they exist in two different countries.

Amusing factoids and aphorisms about sleep.

Ten Wall Street blogs. I read several of them.

When Barack Obama pledged to "restore" America's relationship with its "traditional allies," he apparently did not mean the United Kingdom. Could somebody please explain why we care more about Argentina -- a nice country with excellent steaks and red wines, to be sure, but geopolitically inconsequential -- than England?

How Google's algorithm rules the web.

Maggie's Friday morning links, which may be better than mine.

Is oil the world's new "reserve currency"?

Turns out that new "Islamic" logo for the missile defense agency was developed (for another purpose) under George W. Bush. Well, then, never mind.

The ultimate proof that there is, in fact, a politico-celebrity conspiracy.

And so it goes.


By Anonymous QuakerCat, at Fri Feb 26, 09:55:00 AM:

Three Quick comments about the tap dump:
1) If David Gergen, (who may be the only adult ever to switch from being somewhat conservative to actively supporting the left cause all in the name of being a Centrist), is saying that the Republican's held their own than you know the Right had a pretty good day yesterday.
2) In the WAPO today Dana Milbank has literary copulation about what a Master, I mean, Professor Obama was to those poor little retarded republicans. Somehow, I am willing to bet that Gergen's take may be more accurate..?
3) It would be interesting to one day take the same graph of San Francisco's Per Capita Income from 2000 to 2030 against say a Dallas or Houston. My bet is the best days are well behind the city by the bay..?  

By Blogger Charlottesvillain, at Fri Feb 26, 10:18:00 AM:

"if their advice is based on an objective computer model certified to be unbiased by independent experts, the official said."

What the hell does this even mean? Trained, professional managers cannot offer investment advice unless it's based on a computer model? And who are these "unbiased indpedendent experts?"

The looting continues apace.  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Fri Feb 26, 10:28:00 AM:

There are six customers in the "It's a Grind" coffee shop in Plainsboro this morning, and five of them are cops.
I once had a conversation with an off-duty cop who basically said, "What the hell -we DO like our coffee and donuts." Embrace the stereotype.  

By Blogger Don Cox, at Fri Feb 26, 11:15:00 AM:

I presume that Obama thinks the Falklands are a British colony, like the US before the War of Independence, and therefore a Bad Thing.

The Falklanders, like the Cayman Islanders, could have independence from Britain any time they want it, but apparently they do not want it. This would be hard for a Democrat to understand.

Maybe Purto Rico is a good comparison to the Falklands. How about offering it to Venezuela?  

By Blogger AmPowerBlog, at Fri Feb 26, 12:31:00 PM:

American Power tracked-back with, 'Blair House Reject: No Deal at Health Summit'.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Feb 26, 12:54:00 PM:

We stiff armed the Brits during the Suez unpleasantness too when they could have used our support.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Feb 26, 02:21:00 PM:

Obama's administration and some in Congress have been expressing growing interest in America's retirement savings.

That is not suprising, there is somewhere over $10 trillion in 401Ks and IRAs. (The total seems elusive and I'm not going to spend time running it down.)

But you can bet O and Biden know how much is there to the penny and wonder how to get it.


By Blogger Stack Trace, at Fri Feb 26, 02:32:00 PM:

The San Francisco vs. Detroit income graph has some useful data, but it is presented in a misleading form. Cutting the graph off at 0.60 is misleading. The graph has 7 horizontal bands (divided by 6 lines), and the data line moves from the top band to the bottom band. Visually, this suggests that Detroit workers have reached 1/7th (around 14%) of the income of San Francisco workers. That's *not* the truth, though. If you look at the numbers on the side, the truth is closer to 64%.

Media really need to do a better job of presenting quantitative information. Even the smallest change to a graph can change it from being truthful to misleading, or from misleading to fraudulent/deceptive.

Also, to be useful, this graph should also display some reasonable summary of the earning power of US workers, or world-wide workers. Instead, this graph compares two extremes. It also doesn't show anything about the distribution of incomes *within* those two cities. SF probably has a huge spread of incomes, from astronomical to impoverished. Detroit probably tends more toward the low end of the scale, even at *its* high end -- but that's just a guess.

It's not a useless graph, but its real information content is quite low. It is intentionally presented to provoke an "OMG!" sensation in the viewer. But the truth, of a ratio closer to 64% (and really more often trending closer to 80%) is hardly unsettling or surprising. SF is a thriving business environment (with an over-heated housing market), and Detroit, meh, not so much. That's hardly surprising to most people. I'm actually surprised that the ratio was as *high* as 80% for most of the 80s and 90s.  

By Anonymous JOHN cOSTERLLO, at Fri Feb 26, 03:04:00 PM:


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