Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Small Hollywood

Update:Whoops, turns out I should pay closer attention. I, being unable to fault unassisted, blame poor camera work and/or nefarious influence of the government. Whichever sounds better.

Hugh Jackman has never failed to indicate for a turn, not asked you about your day, or forgotten to turn his cellphone off during a performance. That is why he is lionized.

I know this post seems out of nowhere, but it occurs to me that applause for this illustrates just how much we idolize the famous. Sure, leaving your cell phone on is rude. You know what's ruder? Berating someone in front of a live studio fucking audience.

Hugh Jackman was being an asshole! <applause>

Monday, September 28, 2009


fuck Christopher Hitchens. Yes, he's literate, but he's also a self-involved bandwagon jumping lush who wants to identify the "right" positions in any given media environment so he can act self-righteous about having adopted them 5 minutes ago. And he takes advantage of his students.
Anyway, Megan.

Why Goldman Always Wins:

Megan's employment history and the original theatrical release of Star Wars show that even if rich people don't deserve all the money they get there's really no reason to try to stop them or change the system, they'll just game the new system, too. And let's not forget that the people who matter made money off the housing bubble, these foreclosures aren't all bad.

Healthcare: Parsing the Polls:

The only valid numbers in polls are the ones Megan decides to see in them, regardless of whether they're there. She's an expert in the field of expertise and very good at math, so there.

The New Profit Picture:

When I was talking about pharma's role in innovation, a lot of people confused this with being pro-pharma. The implication was that I should be in favor of anything that's good for Big CDrugs. This is sort of like thinking that because I like watching Derek Jeter play baseball, I would also enjoy watching him stab a puppy to death.
*sigh* Who are you trying to fool, Megan? Ezra? He's not being paid to pretend you're intelligent anymore, remember?

The Twitter Revolution:
Mickey Kaus has goat cum on his chin asks a good question:
... people still watch SNL?

No Money Down!:

A book by the owner of a small bank busted for rampant mortgage fraud makes the uncontroversial claim that the author/owner had nothing to do with the crimes committed under his watch but that the gubbermint forced his poor employees to take advantage of barely middle class folk with limited economic literacy via mortgages they'd never be able to pay. There's no reason to question his word, so bankers are blameless, even the ones the author/owner is throwing under the bus for a distraction. It was the system, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. We can only hope their ill gotten gains soothe the pain he and his former employees must be feeling over having been manipulated into enriching themselves at the cost of their customers.

Ok, time for me to go play in the rain.

More Safe Target Concern Trolling

The Slow Wheels of Justice:

Crimes that make Megan go "ick" are truly heinous, apparently, so Polanski should be castrated. (For the record, I think he should do his time, but that's because I don't like the two-tiered justice system where the rich and famous don't go to jail.) But the money shot of this post is the gratuitous French-bashing;

The French, too, have forgiven him of course:
"Seeing him alone, imprisoned while he was heading to an event that was due to offer him praise and recognition is awful. He was trapped," French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said at a news conference Sunday. "In the same way there is a generous America that we like, there is also a scary America, that has just shown its face."
You would think we'd busted him for unpaid parking tickets. The guy drugged a thirteen year old girl in order to rape her. Perhaps the French have some sophisticated, European point of view on these things that I, with my puritan ancestry, simply cannot rise to.
Where to begin? Does this mean the head of the NEA speaks for you as an American, Megan? "The French" all agree with this man that it's somehow scary that an old warrant was finally honored? All 60+ million of them?
The French, btw, were almost universally opposed to intervention in Iraq, Megan, so yes, they understand things you are too simple to rise to. You supported the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans and Iraqis AND suggested "preemptive" violence against those who disagreed with you. Perhaps I, and "the French", with our concern for human lives, cannot rise to your sophisticated, libertarian point of view, Megan.
Also, if you want a safe target to be concerned with, may I suggest the pedophilia obsessed Dan Riehl? You've linked to him approvingly in the past, he is your problem. C'mon, at least admit he's not civil.
Oh, wait, your readers like him, so it'd be unfair to use his own words to criticize him. Better just to wait for some Belgian official to say something about teabaggers and pounce.

Ready To Go Again, Already?

Someone get Ross Douthat a tissue, he's talking war, again.

Seriously, if anyone can find any information, insight, or even a fucking opinion in that piece, please email the NYT right away. They're very concerned that they've been gypped.

What the fuck were they thinking?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Tale of Two Conspiracies

In the left corner we have:

I have no idea what to think about the accusation that an NBC producer responded to a blast email from Americans for Limited Government by writing "Bite me, jew boy!"

It's so bizarre that I simply can't believe that an NBC producer did this. But it's also so bizarre that it's not actually all that much more plausible that Americans for Limited Government made the thing up. It's not like they're playing to the common stereotype that the television world is hostile to Jews.
This is a pressing question! I hope Mrs. Super-Sleuth is on it:
The most likely explanation is that someone punk'd them. But who? And how?
Ashton Kutcher, you devious fucker! How did you know how to intercept an NBC producers email at exactly the right time to create such madness?

In the right corner:
Also in the "too bizarre to accurately categorize" is the murder of a part-time census worker in Kentucky, who was found hanged in a remote area. He had the word "fed" scrawled on his chest, which suggests anti-government loons.
Browbeaten into submission by commentorsIn the interest of bipartisanship; Our fair heroine turns her discerning eyes to the case of the "something actually happened and figuring out motive is actually worthwhile." A mere several days after his murder, McDetective cracks the file and puts on her thinking cap.
But the census is not a traditional bugbear of said loons, who don't generally regard apportionment as an unpardonable blow against liberty.
Initial investigations reveal fowl play, but the magnificent magnifying glass in the mind of McArdle sees more! Michele Bachmann is just a red herring, and not part of traditional bugbears! She's on about atraditional bugbears and hence has no bearing on the case!
It sort of defies the imagination that a resurgent militia would decide to start its reign of terror by kidnapping a schoolteacher in his fifties who happens to do census work on the side.
You see, this murder defies rational thought, making it suspicious. Most men who take lives are well reasoned, meticulous and cunning. McArdle knows this because she knows the mind of the criminal like the back of her head.

Was this man murdered and humiliated while canvassing for the census by a paranoid right-wing fanatic spurred on by hateful calls to resist a completely benign government operation, or did a drug dealer find him, kill him, strip him naked, bind his hands and feet, gag him, drag him to a cemetery and hang him from a tree in order to throw the police of his tail?

Tune in next week for the dramatic conclusion of "Willful Ignorance: The Partisan Detective!"

Friday, September 25, 2009

Concern Troll Found in Internet Pile-On

dog bites man, there will be weather.

I get the feeling Megan is using ACORN as a proxy for all the PIRGs and other organizations she genuinely hates but doesn't actually know enough about to legitimately criticize. I certainly can't recall her foaming at the mouth about ACORN prior to this manufactured bullshit, but a safe target is a safe target. She needs red meat like this to balance out the Limbaugh/Beck non-total fealty moments that inevitably get walked back or "balanced" with weak equivocation. And let's face it, she doesn't have problems with the basic ideologies of Rush and Beck, she just thinks they could put a fake smile on and pretend to listen to liberals before enabling their corporate masters. She doesn't like that they say much the same thing as her but are more honest about the assholery underlying viewing capitalism as a religion, making it harder for her to pretend her views are rational.
I'd look at her latest droolings on ACORN, but masturbatory grade outrage is just gross, and I don't want to wade in too deep. Let's just jump to the conclusion;

Liberals have legitimate reason to be mournful--they think ACORN does good work. But no organization is irreplaceable. Voters can be registered, tax advice proffered, and federal monies disbursed without ACORN's dubious help.
And here's the necessary intentional ignorance. ACORN just happens to be corrupt, the actual issue is noooooo way the work they do, or more specifically the skin color(s) of the people the organization helps. Movement conservatives just had a sixth sense that ACORN is actually a prostitution ring involving international sex slaves, so they did what the FBI and Interpol couldn't and busted them. Or maybe Rush and Beck and the rest knew ACORN was doing this because they kept hearing it from the prostitutes they frequent, just before strangling them to death.
The hypocrisy involved in defending the current banking system while demonizing ACORN has been pointed out by a number of people in Megan's comments so I won't belabor the point here. A handful of now former low level employees were guilty of the astonishing "crime" of listening to two crazy people talk about their plan to import human sex slaves and playing along to keep them going, one even notifying the police about the encounter. Social workers are just gullible, as anyone who's ever known any can tell you.

Good Morning

BTW, if you're not reading Dr. Boli, you're not reading life!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hate is Such a Strong Word

From the Glenn Beck piece comments:Megan takes offense when the rubes thinks she hates Limbaugh and Beck now. That's odd, coming from a person who claims not to be able to like Limbaugh less. (That is, she did, until she realized that rhetorical flourishes weren't literally true. A shock to us all, that discovery.)

What's the matter, Megs? Tired of hate mail from your hateful fans when you hate on the haters? Must get icky when the despicable people start to despise you, too, eh dear? Well, if you can't beat 'em... at least don't say anything bad about them so their idiots followers don't give you flak.

PS I went into the thread to see if someone explained what the fuck she meant by the title of that piece, "When Glenn Beck Says Frog, You . . . Die?" Any ideas, or is she free-associating again?

Quick Shorters

I think I'll get to her latest print piece, but no promises.

GM: Alternate History:

Decades of bad decision making, particularly in fighting innovation and fuel efficiency, just goes to show that GM was forced into bankruptcy by an irrational union that continued to insist people be paid the agreed upon wages for their work. Didn't those blue collar slobs understand there were executive bonuses to worry about?

Cuts at Conde:

See folks? Trying to put out a quality product is for suckers. Taking a once proud magazine and turning it into a corporate whore is the way to stay afloat.* Where do you think medical industry ad dollars will go when the rest of the media is being forced to gingerly acknowledge the reality of where those ad dollars come from? Megan is proud that someone's coverage was denied to pay for her replacement Kindle2. The pleasure she takes from it is, by virtue of her superior nature, a far greater good than some pleb's family would take from that person continuing to live in good health.

Quote of the Day:

So wait, the NEA fired a guy who was a jackass? How dare they run from this mistake like that and make it harder to criticize them by acting responsibly? Don't they realize Megan and Mickey Kaus have propaganda to produce? Goats can't blow themselves, dammit.

And we're caught up, except for the print piece. Yay.

*- Oops. As Susan reminds us, David Bradley has pretty much always lost money on The Atlantic, even before the economy went 'splodey. Also, the whole profitability claim is actually a bit tenuous, which isn't exactly surprising.

Why Jail Murderers?

There Are No Villains in Financial Crises:

Actual title. I did not make it, or any of the following quotes, up, I promise.

Who led us into the financial crisis, and why? Zubin Jelveh writes up some intriguing findings calling into question the notion that securitization was at the heart of the financial crisis:
Meanwhile, Tyler Cowen points to some evidence that banker pay wasn't at fault, either:
The evidence I presented in my latest article, which deals in part with banker pay, also suggests that banker pay doesn't cause risk; rather, as the financial system gets more complicated (and therefore riskier, because it's harder to properly understand), there are more profits to be earned, because the returns to knowledge/skill are higher.
But, even pretending her premises are sound, this conclusion in no way argues for greater regulatory oversight of such massive and risky markets. In fact, I'm getting distracted, the point is don't blame the rich folk who fucked up the entire world's economy for fucking up the entire world's economy while making themselves rich(er);
All of these papers suggest that the search for a villain behind the crisis will ultimately be fruitless.
I find it vastly more plausible, if not so comforting, to believe that systems can occasionally produce bad results even if the incentives basically point in the right direction. The FICO score revolution was valuable, but we took it too far. The money sloshing around US markets disguised the problems, because people who got into trouble tapped their home equity, or in a pinch, sold the house at a tidy profit. Everyone from borrowers to regulators was getting the same bad signal, that their behavior was much less risky than it actually was.
Is it just me, or does it sound like Megan is trying to blame the market itself? I'd call her a heretic, except she's so deep in market veneration it sounds more like she thinks this meltdown was more of a feature than a bug. After all, the "right" people are the ones now recovering their net worth and getting back to living lavish lifestyles, so maybe the market was just teaching them a little lesson. It's not like the people still unemployed or who lost their homes matter, so long as the important people are back on track.
That doesn't mean that nothing can be done. Maybe we decide we want a less complex financial system. But it won't be because there's some villain manipulating everything into ruin; rather, we may decide that there are certain kinds of risks we can trust ourselves to handle.
I'm not sure that this would work, and I'm skeptical that it's a good idea. But the more time we waste trying to figure out who did us wrong, the less quickly we will arrive at an actual solution.
In other words, no mistakes were actually made, the market functioned as it should, and anything we try to do will be the real mistake. Trying to take the masters of the universe to task for their mistakes is like yelling at God for Katrina. Sacrifices were made for the good of the greater people, and shall be again. Such are the mysteries of the holy market, and we mortals would be fools to try to interfere.

Her Ignorance Is Everyone's Limit

Arrividerci [sic], Acorn:

I have to say, I'm finding the defenses of ACORN pretty ridiculous. ACORN is not going down because there's a conservative media conspiracy, or other explanation du jour. There is clearly something deeply wrong with the organization. One or two bad apples could be explained away, but six, across the country, indicates that at the very least, their HR policy is very troubled. There's no way to defend this.
Mhm. Concern troll is EXTREMELY concerned. And quite consciously unaware of the fact that a number of those "bad apples" were in fact quite aware of what was going on and reverse fucking with the obvious wannabe conservative Borats in front of them, or that those mostly false positives were the only hits in a much larger, well funded, extensive "raid" that was mostly fail upon fail. And still, people have lost their jobs, a few deservedly, yes, and funding has been denied, albeit often symbolically, which is to say not really, you'd think conservative concern trolls could just declare "mission accomplished" and move on. But no, ACORN still exists and tries to help dusky folk, they must be stopped, the organization must die.
Then she provides an empty link that should be to an admittedly weak Tomasky piece that lets her remain concerned and ignorant.
It's not as if most people first heard of ACORN when Breitbart started to go after them; they're on the news radar because they are a massive nationwide organization that takes millions of tax dollars every year. Complaining that the left is somehow being unfairly targeted because a regional company that tricked "dozens" of people into registering with the wrong party--not falsely registering, not preventing them from voting, but registering as Republicans--didn't grip the national consciousness in the same way as seeing ACORN activists offer advice on camera to help someone smuggle their illegal underage El Salvadoran hookers into the country--well, the mind boggles.
Your mind boggles easily, Megan, even when it's not being paid to. Most people first heard of ACORN when McCain's surrogates and Palin started screeching about them last summer, probably.
And here's the rest of the post, without comment. Such blatant concern trolling needs nothing added.
Nor is it some act of extraordinary courage that led ACORN to appoint an independent panel. At this point, ACORN's shelf life is probably about 90 days. This was not a bold, gutsy move; it's a desperate hail mary pass. Appointing an independent panel is what all organizations do when something truly indefensible has happened. I'm sure Arthur Anderson appointed an independent panel to find out why they'd been peddling their integrity to the nice folks at Enron.
There are times when, no matter how much you like them, you need to throw one of your own off the bus. Democrats need to recognize that this is one of those times. There is no upside to defending the indefensible. All it does is throw your credibility after theirs.
This, by the way, is why Megan talked mild crap about Rush Limbaugh. She took a stand, now us Dems need to follow her.

... What?

When Glenn Beck Says Frog, You . . . Die?:

I was pretty sure that Glenn Beck did not kill an actual frog. Not because I like Glenn Beck, but because a television show is not a one man stunt--it involves a lot of people, all of whom would have had to be okay with throwing frogs into boiling water, and thus triggering the wrath of PETA, as well as violating the various showbusiness [sic] codes on animal treatment. Not impossible that he somehow managed to do it without anyone quite realizing what he was up to--but very unlikely.
Are there any advertisers left for Beck to lose?
Megan doesn't "like" Glenn Beck, but apparently she watches him, and like the noble gun nuts watching his show Glenn Beck shouldn't be tarred as crazy merely for saying and doing batshit bugfuck insane things. He's a showman, not a mentally ill publicity hound with messianic delusions enabling the worst ideas held by the extreme right.
Also, most of those shows are taped, and if the frog died, why would he have aired the segment? If it wasn't taped, why didn't we get a close up of the dying frog? Presumably, he would have cued a cameraman to do a close up of the frog as it jumped out of the water.
Further, his reaction was too pat--he looked like a B-list actor doing a double-take in a sitcom. Most people who are taken that much by surprise do a lot more standing around and stammering when they don't have to fit the bit into a 24-minute air time.
And finally, I didn't see any frog actually come out of his hands. This led to quite a spirited discussion last night over the possibility of actual frog death.
It appears I was right: it was indeed a fake frog. Now the only question is . . . what the hell? I don't think I understand the point.
Sure you do, Megan, otherwise you would have mentioned how Beck is clinically insane (if you watch the show he can't even stand still for more than half a second. I get motion sickness from the camera constantly moving to keep him in center frame) instead of writing a long post defending him. He didn't kill a frog, so he's ok, just like not having used the LOADED FIREARMS they brought to peaceful public meetings meant the gun nuts were ok. She doesn't get their point, but they're still better than hippies.
Megan? When a crazy man smears what appears to be his own poo on his face on public and yells about how the Masons are coming to get him it does not become ok if it turns out the poo is fake. Glenn Beck is either mentally ill or a trained performer aping mental illness so as to connect with the unquestionably disturbed people who watch him. And you, Megan, seem to be watching, so there's your point. You're talking about him, and defending him. Attention and victimization, the wingnut's favorite cocktail.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Paging Michelle Bachmann

Michelle Bachmann, will you please pick up the white courtesy phone? Thank you.

Very bad.

The FBI is investigating whether anti-government sentiment led to the hanging death of a U.S. Census worker near a Kentucky cemetery. A law enforcement official told The Associated Press the word 'fed" was scrawled on the dead man's chest.
This, Megan, is why lying is bad. You might get what you want, but it can cost lives. Bachmann is merely a more extreme version of Megan, and lying about health care reform has even more human cost than this sad story.

Also, I know, I've been slacking, but I just haven't had it in me to deal with her the last few days. The only way to survive this gig is frequent vacations. If I don't get back to it tonight I will tomorrow, promise.

Because Being Wrong Feels so Right

Surprise! Megan thinks ACORN's actions are horrible and indefensible and, thus, this happens:

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (AP) -- Police say a worker with the activist group ACORN who was caught on video giving advice about human smuggling to a couple posing as a pimp and a prostitute had reported the incident to authorities.
Now, this may be true, but something like 80% of the ACORN employees are prostitute abetting crack monkeys, so helping the poor is still wrong.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Funny

From Salon:

 As for the libertarian intellectual movement, isn't that a contradiction in terms? How intellectual can a movement be, if it reflexively answers "the market!" to every question of domestic and foreign policy, before the question is even asked?


More Toast, Please!

In case you love me so much you really want to see me playing with a youtube commenter, click on over here. Start from the bottom.

I'm fairly certain the I am the only human actually posting on youtube. The rest of the comments are left by bots. They do not pass the Turing Test.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Prepare To Be Shocked

Don't anyone ever tell him about the Helots, the little tyke would be crushed.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Good News & Bad News

Megan sez:

I now put the chances of a substantial health care bill passing at 75%, and the chances of the Democrats losing the house in 2010 at about 66%.
So we'll keep the House, but not get reform. Bleh.
At least her reasoning is consistently stupid:
the real game changer is that the CBO is willing to score health care savings on the grounds that the bill contains automatic spending cuts.
because the American people know what the CBO even is.
I think that ramming through the bill on a party line vote makes it very likely that the Democrats will lose the house in 2010; the American public doesn't like uniparty votes, especially on something this controversial. A lot of liberals have gotten angry at me for saying this, but it's not a normative statement; it's an observation. IF the Republicans had been willing to push forward on a controversial bill with no Democratic cover, we'd have private social security [sic] accounts right now. But they weren't, for a reason.
Social Security is supposed to be capitalized, Megan. Also, the Repubs didn't have a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, which is the actual reason Social Security wasn't crippled by being tied to a stock market that was still being inflated by the housing bubble at the time. (Plus pretty much the entire country said it was a stupid, horrible, idea.) Also, the Repubs still lost both Houses of Congress, so, ummm, what?
And yeah, the American people sure will hate Dems if they manage to pass a bill that contains actual reforms without making sure Olympia Snowe votes with them. There's going to be around a year between passage of a bill, if it happens, and the elections, which means this will totally be the least bit relevant then, especially after the (potential) reforms have started having positive effect making it likely the Repubs will do everything they can to either ignore or claim the real credit for them.

Also, she still hasn't fixed either glaring editorial mistake. I don't think she cares. Remember when The Atlantic was concerned with the quality of its output?

If Megan Really is a Feminist

this will matter to her and perhaps make her think a little. I'm not holding my breath, tho.

With the White House zeroing in on the insurance-industry practice of discriminating against clients based on pre-existing conditions, administration allies are calling attention to how broadly insurers interpret the term to maximize profits.
It turns out that in eight states, plus the District of Columbia, getting beaten up by your spouse is a pre-existing condition.

Next Year



Ok, now who wants to hook me up with tix for the first and second shows? Just once will not be enuff.

More Professionalism

The word "editor" is in her job title.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Forenscics Are Back

Hey, remember when Megan was all skeptical that conservatives are racist assholes. Well, obviously she wasn't privy to all the new shit, man:

Yeah for shouting down minorities!

Now, in fairness, it might've been the liberals in attendance who were shouting the poor Mexican (or whatever) down, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it was the tea baggers.


As of 6:30 the oooooopsie still stands, and she has posted since making the mistake. Yes, it's not a big thing, but still, it's revealing.

Biting the Hand that Pats You

Short Megan McArdle:

Holy shit, my commentors are such knee jerk conservative sycophants that even I can't take it anymore. Fucking morons with the temerity to disagree with me.

I'm not sure which is more hilarious; that Megan took this long to realize that The Big Fat Idiot is openly racist, or that her following thinks that Limbaugh would actually go after a conservative trope, let alone be sophisticated enough to do so with satire.

Update: New words, all hers:
And yes, I think that the people who are claiming that Rush is inciting a race war or a revolution are also humorless twits.
Huh-Ha! The imaginary liberal response is just as bad as the actual Limbaugh thing that happened! It's a tie!

Update II: I don't know how I missed the genius that is Megan saying "I could not possibly like Rush Limbaugh less" one second and then claiming that accusing him of "inciting a race war" is beyond the pale the next, but there you have it. Once again she is stupid on so many levels that no mere mortal can keep track of them all.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More Slander of Peaceful Gun Nuts

Megan must be steaming mad at TPM, yet again.

When 32-year-old Josh Hendrickson left his house for a protest outside President Obama's health care rally in Minneapolis Saturday, he considered whether to go armed.
When he typically goes out, he told the Star-Tribune, "I grab my wallet, my keys and my gun."
Hendrickson then revealed to the Strib reporter that he recently got out of jail:
"I'm a pretty laid-back guy that loves his kids and his country," Hendrickson said.
He added, however, that he had just been released from jail a month earlier on an assault charge for pepper-spraying a customer at a Cub Foods in Brooklyn Center, where he worked as a security guard.
See, now the courts are preemptively jailing these poor, peaceful gun nuts merely for assaulting people. Will the attacks ever stop?

A Quick Note

no, all philosophers were and are not "crazy", any more than all turn of the previous century feminists were. Those who say they are tend to be lazy thinkers themselves who want an easy excuse to dismiss a complex thinker's output without having to actually address it.

Further, calling Ayn Rand a philosopher is like saying Glenn Beck is one. Her work was about enabling selfishness and shallowness, which is the opposite of "know thyself". Rand was a demagogue and enabler, not a thinker.

Lots of Shorters

I had a nice little mini vacation from Megan, now back to the stupid.

ObamaCare v. Prescription Drugs, Part II:

Blahblahblahblahblah the debt Bush built up ignoring the nation's needs in favor of tax cuts and wars has nothing to do with the debt Obama's plans to give a shit about people will create blahblahblahblahblah.

Bankruptcy: Comparing Ourselves With Our Neighbor to the North:

Megan doesn't think rising medical costs significantly contribute to bankruptcies, and has a meaningless jumble of numbers to prove it. Why would rising costs at a time when coverage is increasingly likely to be denied for such pre-existing conditions as "being a victim of domestic abuse" lead to people being unable to maintain financial solvency?
They should just ask their parents for help, like Megan would. Sheesh.

The Cost of Health Care Reform:

Sure, the insurance industry intends to continue raising premiums on policies they have no intention of honoring, hell, Megan wrote a post saying we should stop whining and just start preparing to pay half our income for health care, but doing something about that would also cost money, OOGABOOGABOOGA. And in the end, money is what matters, not human lives.

ObamaCare v. Prescription Drugs, Part III:

Remember, if Megan doesn't understand or know something, no one does. Her motivated ignorance and mistakes set limits on human awareness, because she's important.

Your Morning Health Care Roundup: Exeunt Snowe, Republicans:

In no way could it benefit the Democratic Party in the future if health care reform is passed solely with Democrat votes.

Catastrophic Medicare Reform:

Overpayments by Medicare are crucial to maintaining profit margins, and not giving away free money to health care companies will force those companies to lie to people, creating panic. And this would be Obama's fault.

Limbaugh Hits a New Low:

The problem with Rush Limbaugh is he's too blatant. You have to be careful when expressing your racial bias, so that your readers will pick up on it but you can pretend to be above it. Jail the Jena 6, black people are lazy, and etc.

And that's enough for now, yay.

So Hip She's Fucking Titanium

Megan gets all smiley happy cause she made a funny:

Nate Silver wins the (healthcare) internet: Baucus Compromise Bill Draws Enthusiastic Support of Senator Max Baucus (D-MT)
I'm not sure why Megan is using months stale internet slang. It's pretty out of character. Then she butchers it by adding a "(healthcare)," because nothing's funnier than adding awkward modifiers in paranthesis for no fucking discernible purpose. Finally, she's quoting Nate Silver, a man whose competence and intellectual honesty are on exact opposite ends of the universe from Megan's.

But, haha, werd up, homey, that's some fly shit.

In fairness, it makes more sense than her saying "colour." She has, after all, actually been to the internet.

More of Why Twitter Exists

*points at Muse fans & laughs*

Holy Fuck

The surviving members of Monty Python are reuniting onstage together for the premiere of a new documentary on the group.

Holy fucking fuck. Anyone with industry connections wanna get me a ticket? Plllllllllllllllllllllease?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I just want to know what he thinks about Kanya. Or Kenye.

Read It

This requires no intro:


I Can Haz Genius Idea

let's fake declare war on, I dunno, Austria, and spend that money on health care instead.
The Admin can use footage from Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers to keep up the pretense. Austria is small, it wouldn't cost much to get them to play along.
Think about it, Obama Admin.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cheap Pop Psychology Shot Of The Week

The New Republic is, like Megan's Atlantic, a media enterprise/institution that's seen better days. (Not unlike me, in the interest of full disclosure. And I'm not naming names or pointing fingers here. Honest.)

But it's not intolerable. I was about to type that reading this TNR review of two new Ayn Rand biographies would not actually kill you; then I scrolled through the whole damn thing (It's loooong!) & if reading it all doesn't kill you, it will certainly make you stronger. Saving time for busy producers is what I'm all about, so I've extracted the best nugget I've found, as a possible explanation of glibertarianism. And it's not necessarily aimed at the name in our title, who can't really be called an "extreme libertarian." She's more of a LINO, or, as they say, "a squish."

Anne C. Heller, in her skillful life of Rand, traces the roots of Rand's philosophy to an even earlier age. (Heller paints a more detailed and engaging portrait of Rand's interior life, while Burns more thoroughly analyzes her ideas.) Around the age of five, Alissa Rosenbaum's mother instructed her to put away some of her toys for a year. She offered up her favorite possessions, thinking of the joy that she would feel when she got them back after a long wait. When the year had passed, she asked her mother for the toys, only to be told she had given them away to an orphanage. Heller remarks that "this may have been Rand's first encounter with injustice masquerading as what she would later acidly call ‘altruism.’" (The anti-government activist Grover Norquist has told a similar story from childhood, in which his father would steal bites of his ice cream cone, labelling each bite "sales tax" or "income tax." The psychological link between a certain form of childhood deprivation and extreme libertarianism awaits serious study.)
Heh. Indeed.

Today in Meganpoop

it was way too nice out today to deal with her crap till now. Marathon shorters, mostly.

The End of An Era:

Apparently ACORN has to be held to a higher standard than the Republican Party and conservative movement. If Joe Wilson had been caught starting a brothel Megan would be writing about how she thinks prostitution should be legal so long as wealthy white men are the ones profiting from it.

The Party's Over:

Conor Friedersdorf and I share an aversion to protests, on the grounds that they rarely work. But he adds: "If you're going to have a big protest -- or even a mid-sized family reunion -- you can't help it that some loonies are gonna show up. This is part of why I am averse to big protests, but it's also why no one should judge the average protester by the looniest signs that surrounded them."
Yep, this post is as obnoxious as you expect. Unfortunately, it demands a closer look.
To me, this is why protests are a bad idea. You will always be judged by your looniest adherents, in part because badly hand-lettered signs with ho-hum slogans at a PTA level of anger are just not very photogenic. Unless you can police your movement as effectively as, say, the Civil Rights marchers did, you will likely end up giving your political enemies ammunition. And of course, the Civil Rights movement was more easily able to present a united front because people who acted anything but saintly in their Sunday best were very likely to be beaten by the actual police.
But did those protesters ever thank the police for that help? Ungrateful wretches.
And the point is that just because the entire crowd behaved in a certain manner doesn't mean that represents the entire crowd. When will the left stop slandering the right with the things the right says to tv cameras?
That said, I confess I am surprised--though I probably shouldn't be--to see a respected anti-war libertarian site, whose proprietor got quite testy when people lumped him in with the ANSWER goons and the puppeteers, embracing the notion that the worst signs you can photograph from an event represent the collective point-of-view of everyone who attended the protest. One knows this will happen, which is why, as I say, protests are generally a bad idea. But one doesn't expect this sort of gross generalization from every quarter.
How dare someone she sometimes agrees with be intellectually honest? Just because these signs accurately represent the views of the people in those crowds (and Megan, unlike you I've been to a tea party, they really do believe those things) doesn't justify reporting the content of those signs and beliefs. It makes Megan sad to know these are the people who agree with her.
On a side note, I find the question of how many people attended quite interesting. I don't see how you can make these photos jibe with the low-tens-of-thousands estimates left-wing blogs are pushing. I also don't know how anyone ever thought millions were possible, when the inauguration involved months of planning and millions of dollars to pack people onto the mall like sardines. But what I really don't understand is how a New York Times headline writer got to "thousands", which is the size of the crowd at a decent high school football game.
Again, Megan, you'd be helped if you had actually gone to this newsworthy event happeneing in the city you fucking live in. She skipped the inauguration, and the 9/12 protests, because she's contractually obligated to never behave like a genuine journalist. But hell, if she'd been at one or both she'd be unable to make vague lies implying there had to have been soooooooo many people there. Intentional ignorance enables all kinds of lies.

Stepping Up the Heat:

How dare the DNC very mildly distort the actions and views of Republicans? Have they no decency? Republicans are allowed to lie because they're doing so in the service of maintaining the privileges of wealth, the means only justify MY ends, dammit.

Why Not Extend Health Benefits to Illegal Immigrants?:

No, I don't find it distasteful to discuss millions of lives as so many numbers on a ledger, why do you ask?

The Future of Finance:
Your best shot is at trying to structure firms that can withstand a crisis, and quickly shutter those that can't. The problem with that is that this was the mandate we gave our regulators before September 2008.
In other words, the standard conservative argument against regulation; we made it meaningless and ineffective, therefore all regulation is meaningless and ineffective. Just let the rich be rich, then maybe they'll give us more crumbs.

Right to Death:

I'm in favor of me having a choice about what occurs in my womb, but other people... ehhh, I dunno. Besides, I can always go to Canada in the worst case scenario.

Parsing the Polls, Part II:
Pretty much every poll that's come out since the speech has shown a quite sizeable bounce, proving me utterly wrong about the speech's appeal. (Which is not surprising, since what would really appeal to me is if Obama had brought a laptop, a copy of STATS and a few Oracle databases worth of data . . . )
Wow... I'd say let's give credit when it's due, but I'm also reminded of Lou Gehrig's quote about how he knew it was time to sit when his teammates were congratulating him for making routine plays.

Patrick Swayze Dead At 57:

He's not Heath Ledger, so it's tragic, not comic. The worth of a man is measured by how Megan felt about him at age 13, after all.

I might take tomorrow off, my snark-fu is weakened by nice days spent lounging in a park.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bernie Worrell is a National Treasure

Find a way to see him while you still can.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Stupid or Lying?


I can't get this math to work. The actual number of the uninsured, according to the census, is 46.3 million. Of those, 36.8 million were natives of the US or naturalized citizens. There is no "alternate figure" for the number of American citizens that includes legal residents. Legally resident immigrants are fine people. But they are, definitionally, not American citizens.
Now when I click through to the Kaiser link that Orszag provides, I find that it says that "A quarter of the uninsured (11 million) are eligible for public programs but not enrolled." 36.8mm - 11mm is 25.8 million, not more than 30 million.
The Kaiser link (pdf):

Those who can read will notice "44.6 million uninsured" right down on the bottom, there, which is to say the 25% portion above it is 25% of 44.6 million. In fact, I think I can answer my titular question and say she's simply lying, as there's no way to get 11 million without applying that 1/4 to 44.6 million. But, to give her the benefit of the doubt, maybe she's just so bad at math she thinks 11 is 1/4th of 36.8.
Does it matter? 15 or 20 or 25 million people is still a lot of people. But it matters for the same reason that the difference between 66% and 80% matters. You can't have a debate where everyone gets to bring their own statistics.
Lying asshole.
My point is that she's only using the numbers that help her whittle the estimate of the uninsured down, then claiming it's academic anyway, just to be clear.

Counting is Even Harder

"What Does Olympia Snow Want?" asks our curious analyst. And, really, who hasn't tried to glean the inner workings of the moderate Republican Senator's brain?

I think what Olympia Snowe wants is not to vote for an unpopular health care bill that pisses off her constituents. She's already the Republican who enabled the stimulus. If she does this, she's going to have to leave the party. The electoral history of Lieberman, Jeffords, and Specter does not indicate that leaving your party for the other side is the gateway to an exciting and rewarding electoral career.
Of those three people who "left" their party, only Lieberman has run for reelection. He won. Additionally, he didn't "leave" his party so much as he was forced out by a loss in the primaries, but whatever.

It's true that going zero-for-zero isn't really "exciting" but it also seems to me to not be very "relevant."
If she leaves the party and Republicans regain the Senate, they will take their revenge.
Huh-doy. And if she doesn't leave the party and Dems gain further ground, she will also be marginalized. Captain Obvious called. He wants his fucking job back. He also wants to punch Megan in the fucking face, but we don't endorse violence here so we're not passing that message along.
The problem is that what she wants--a cheap bill that doesn't either force a bunch of people to buy coverage they can't afford, or leave a bunch of people uninsured--is not possible. I assume that she actually knows this. So her public dithering means one of two things: she has decided to break with her party, and she wants to signal how difficult this decision is; or she has decided to torpedo the hope of busting a filibuster, and wants to signal to her Democratic constituents that she was forced to it by a bad plan. Which is it? Only God and Olympia Snowe know.
The idea that a Republican is being naive or willfully obstructionist is, of course, out of the question. Only Democratic Presidents can do that.
The longer this drags out, the more opportunity there is for something to go wrong. Every time the Republicans force them to take some bad-sounding provision out of the bill, public trust erodes. So the longer she dithers, the less helpful she is to the Democrats. She may be hoping that if she holds out long enough, the Democrats will break ranks and she won't have to make a painful choice.
Love the neutral voice here. "She may be forgoing actually governing for her own political expedience, and I see nothing wrong with that!"


Math Iz Hard

(Oops. I was slightly wrong and she's even wronger. The 40% bump quote was only referring to those who didn't support Obama's plans previously. I'll admit there can be confusion with what that means, but given that in the poll Megan cited opposition was 39% our numbers won't change much, except to grow a tiny bit higher. But her attempt to apply that 40% bump to supporters is not just bad math, it's a basic category mistake.)

Healthcare: Parsing the Polls and Focus Groups:

Let's break that apart. In the latest independent poll I'm aware of, the pre-speech support for the health care plan was at 29% among independents, 10% among Republicans, and 37% overall. A "nearly 40% increase in those numbers" means something under 40% support among independents, 14% among Republicans, and still solidly less-than-50% overall. Getting more support among Democrats doesn't help him--they'll mostly vote for Democrats anyway.
Ok, let's look at those numbers. .29 + (.29 *.4) = .406. That means about 40%. .37 + (.37 * .4) = .518. Just shy of 52%. If it was a 35% increase it'd be .3915 and .4995, which would still not qualify as "solidly less-than-50%". (Assuming, of course, that it was precisely 29% and 37%.)

I expect her to apologize to women everywhere immediately, as apparently any time a female makes a math mistake in public it reinforces an archaic stereotype that offends Megan's sense of decency.

More stupid;
Democrats may not need majority support to strengthen their legislators' spines; they may just need to tip the balance from 37% in favor and 39% against to 39% in favor and 37% against, figuring the undecideds won't vote on it. On the other hand, my sense is that independents tend to break against both incumbents and policies, rather than for. Witness the storied history of Social Security Reform polling. People actually got more anxious about the state of Social Security as things went on--but also became less willing to change it.
Note that, as always, there's no first hand in Megan's construction. I think I've seen her use that phrase properly once, maybe.
Then note that she's trying to compare the effort to privatize Social Security with health care reform, because.... ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.... yeah. Because.

And It Gets Worse

Anti-abortion Protester Shot and Killed:

An anti-abortion activist has been shot and killed in Michigan. It seems to be linked to another homicide in the area, so this seems more like a lone lunatic than a political killing, at least for the nonce. I certainly hope so. The abortion wars are quite damaging enough without further escalating the reprehensible violence.
"nonce". Megan, have you ever even been to fucking Britain?
I also hope that if it does turn out to be someone with a political agenda, the right can manage to refrain from claiming that this is really a symptom of some dark rot at the center of liberalism. You hate it when liberals give into the temptation of this sort of bigoted partisan nonsense, and if you really want to piss them off, set an example they'll be forced to live up to.
So, there's no reason, at this moment, to think this man was killed for being anti-abortion, and actual reason to think this was personal and/or a spree killing. But concern troll totally doesn't want the right to get all freaky on the left and make this just like when that guy Tiller was murdered as an act of protest. What was it she said, then? Oh, right;
My argument is that abortion, like slavery, is becoming in this country an issue upon which people have no reasonable political recourse. I'll go further, and say that the process by which 7 judges enforced their consciences on the American public was itself borderline illegitimate; it was first, not in their proper job description, and second, a bad way to run a government.
Yes, in theory pro-lifers could pass an amendment. And in theory, the Palestinians have access to the political process too...
Questions of fundamental human rights that have been closed off from the normal political process are very likely to produce violence. I can simultaneously, as I do, want Tiller's murderer given a long jail substance [sic], and worry that we've left his fellow lone gunmen no other outlets for their legitimate moral beliefs.
Yeah, set that kind of example, anti-abortion folk.
And is "fellow lone gunmen" a [sic], or just unintentional honesty about the non-lone nature of these men?

Fuck You, Megan

Where's Osama?:

I was closer to 9/11 than most people
No, really.
Fuck you, Megan.

Megan Has Invented Exactly 739593572403 Facts

Our lovely commentor, bulbul, finds a nice little pearl:

I suspect a lot of them were watching the season premier of “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Don't you like the wording she chose? What a weasel - no disrespect to actual weasels.
But let's look at the ratings:
"NBC News Special" (7.31 million viewers, #T2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T6)
"ABC News Special" (6.86 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T6)
"CBS News Special" (5.12 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.1, #13)

That's 19.29 million people watching the speech, versus
"So You Think You Can Dance" (6.46 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.6, #2).
It must be nice to be able to rely on your gut so much. Too bad Megan hasn't learned that, like George Costanza (sp?), her gut is reliably wrong.

Such fun. We gotta do something about the fact that you guys are stuck in the cheap seats.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's True

the NYTimes is further degrading their imprint with Megan's words. Hard as it is to say this, I almost don't blame them. Douthat is so bad Megan would arguably be an upgrade, in the sense that I'd probably rather be forced to drink urine than eat shit.
Her name sticks out like a sore thumb in the list of "analysts of health care politics", a phrase chosen instead of "experts in..." not at all because of the inclusion of Megan.

* Robert Reich, former secretary of labor
* Mark McClellan, Brookings Institution
* Lisa Dubay, professor of public health
* Arnold S. Relman, professor emeritus, Harvard Medical School
* Stuart M. Butler, Heritage Foundation
* Megan McArdle, Asymmetrical Information
* Richard Huber, former chairman of Aetna
* Donald H. Taylor, Jr., Duke University
Well, the guy from the Heritage Foundation seems out of his depths, too, but we get to ignore his boilerplate bullshit in favor of Megan's.
The first thing you notice is that someone actually proofread this before publishing it. It's not impossible to think it was Megan, if you look at this as akin to a graduate school application essay. The first half is chock full of entirely unnecessary restatement in quietly contentious terms of facts everyone who will read it already knew, the part that's weird is it's basically coherent, too.
It's in the second half where she essentially lies out of her ass, and counts on the only people who kept reading being dumb enough to fall for it. Right at the beginning of the section revealed by clicking "Read more" she switches from the President's promise to cut spending if necessary to pay for this program to Medicare, because cutting unnecessary cost (profit taking) from the system is, from her perspective, just like cutting Medicare benefits.
The real get in her splork is the close, where she insults the proles for not being her;
But these sorts of wonky considerations are not the issues on which the success of the speech will ultimately be judged. The real question is whether it persuaded voters. On that score, I have my doubts — it seemed over-wonky and complicated, with Mr. Obama’s signature rhetoric left for the end, when a lot of viewers had probably already tuned out. His supporters were no doubt thrilled, and his detractors annoyed. But the mushy middle he very much needs to win? I suspect a lot of them were watching the season premier of “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Hey NYTimes, she can be an elitist, see, you, like, totally should hire her and junk.
The piece is so insight free it reminds me of her pathetic, Bushlike, repetition of "the US is the world's only remaining superpower" when she and Ezra did some pre-election pieces together for the LA Times. When Megan can't resort to passive aggressive liberal baiting via the intentionally poor reasoning of a concern troll she really gets boring.

Ok, Wow

I hate to navelgaze, but Tbogg has blogrolled us. Damn.
Thank you, Tbogg. I've been a reader since right around when you became "a somewhat popular blogger", and you're an inspiration for all of us here. I wish I were half as funny as you.
It really is gratifying to know that the kind of people I want to be writing for appreciate the effort. To know the likes of Tbogg, DDay, Html Mencken, and Roger Ailes come by and smile is just... wonderful. Our readers are why we do this, and your comments and encouragement truly keep us going.
I started this on a whim, and was honestly shocked to discover a few weeks later that people were reading. Megan makes it easy, in some respects, but still, thank you all.
< / sincerity mode >

Fake Reporter Joins Fake News

John Stossel sez I'm moving to Fox.

Because Lou Dobbs hasn't, yet.

Ahhhh, memories....

And this probably means he'll be giving Megan airtime, eventually. At least no one is watching the Fox Business Channel. I think we've had more viewers on a few occasions.


she has diarrhea of the keyboard again. These have to be shorter, for the sake of the children.


Sure, we all already paid to keep the banks solvent with our tax dollars, but

The banks need to repay TARP and get out from under the eye of their legislators, and the banking business is only getting more competitive as customers can shop tiny differences in interest rates. Bounced check fees are drying up, because people no longer write many checks.
If we don't cover those costs someone who matters might have to not buy something hideously expensive and unnecessary, she's fine with sacrificing so they don't have to. Especially since she won't really be the one sacrificing.

For another, more than 50% of [teachers unions'] membership are, definitionally, average or below-average. Merit pay is probably not a good deal for them. Especially if they've spent valuable years of their lives acquiring useless M. Ed. degrees.
There's almost a hint of self-awareness here. She has the useless MBA, the IT program certificate that she learned was useless only after completing, and she's definitely a below average blogger and thinker. Alas, she projects this onto teachers, instead of asking whether she deserves her salary.

Preview: Obama's Health Care Speech:
Looking ahead to the speech, I think there are four key pillars of any health care plan: guaranteed issue, community rating, an individual mandate, and a subsidy.
Gee, a reform opponent doesn't think the public option is key, that sure was relevant to what Obama was going to say.
Then she says all the Republican lies aren't lies because they make her feel warm inside to believe, and that the Repub failure to privatize Social Security shows something or other that blahdefuckingblah. But remember, polls that agree with her preconceived ideas are the ones that are scientifically valid, and Obama's ability to communicate won't affect those polls because
vague things tend to poll better than specific things. Vague things are a blank slate upon which you can project your wishes. Specific things have actual drawbacks.

Running Thoughts on the Obama Speech:

Jebus fuck. Random selections from these "thoughts";
Obama is dropping a lot of statistics about the uninsured, including a note that one in three Americans will be uninsured at some point over the course of two years. I wonder if this isn't counterproductive. When you get to numbers that size, people start gut checking them against their experience, and that of their neighbors. Have one in three of the people you know gone without treatment because they were uninsured? Not so much, particularly if you're not an immigrant, or under the age of thirty.
Because who knows any immigrants or young people?
Reforms will not insure illegal immigrants. Democrats boo: bad move. What about legal immigrants, though? Paying for their health insurance is not going to be much more popular than paying for the illegals.
Dirty brownies dirty brownies!!!!!!!!!
"Consumers do better when there is choice and competition". As a friend tweets, why not school vouchers, then?
..... why are you hitting yourself, nerd, huh, huh?
The complaints about Republicans at the end also didn't sound, to me, like they'll play well. Right now, more voters are on their side than yours. Don't tell them they're gullible dupes, and/or mean-spirited obstructionists.
The Silent Majority has risen again and will send this uppity blackamoor to defeat immediately after he's reelected. Mhm.
To sum up, she saw what she wanted to see.

Health Care Speech: Wrapup:

No, we opponents of reform don't actually have any legitimate arguments, so we're left to try to delay and obstruct as much as possible. The new talking point is "start over", which is not at all a stalling tactic, and Megan is on board with it. She's even decided it polls well, since she knows what polls really mean. N yeaaaaaaaah, Obama probably 'won' the night, but just wait till we get some new lies going.

Waste, Fraud and Abuse:

In retrospect, Megan remains unconvinced, and isn't that what matters?
Plus, now if Obama doesn't pass reform any problems in Medicaid and Medicare will totally be all on him. Heh, indeed.

Why Has Obama Downgraded the Number of Uninsured?:

Concern troll remains concerned.

Forcing a Filibuster:

Not allowing insane people to sit on the Federal bench is just like trying to prevent poor people from getting health care. Also, don't look at the actual number of filibusters used by the Republicans since 2006 versus historical norms, as you might learn something. Also also, the filibuster is only of questionable Constitutionality when Dems use it.

The Joe Wilson Backlash:
One wild-card in all of this is how Congressman Joe Wilson's shout of "Liar!" when Obama said that his plan wouldn't cover illegal immigrants.
English major.
Overall, I can't see how this could help triggering sympathy for Obama. But I don't know if the effect will be big enough to make much difference. I do know that the Republicans had better play very, very nice for the rest of this debate.
..... what?
Also, apparently the Repubs haven't been demonizing brown people enough, an idea which intrigues Megan.

Confessions of a Swing Voter:

Megan is important, so her mom is, too. Sure, Mom voted for Bush in 2000 when he lost the election, but her Swing Voter powwwwwar forced the Supreme Court to intervene and make things right. She can even make a candidate win without voting at all, and Obama didn't even thank her.
And Mom thought it was rude to shout at the President while he was making a speech to a Joint Session of Congress.
Until we get more reliable polls, I would assume that this was the general sentiment among independents.
And Nate Silver wept, or would if he bothered to read her.

Please take a three day weekend, Megan. Please.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm Not Crazy

further adventures in false equivalency.

Department of Lunatic Fringes:

Anything I don't agree with is a conspiracy theory, no matter how well documented, which means the left is so just as bad as the right wing extremists who in no way make up the base of my readership or the right in general. Sure, I excuse my own bad behavior with "9/11 9/11!", but only I get to use a trauma to our national psyche to explain mistakes. Also, I'm still implicitly agreeing with the idea that the election of a black man as President was a comparable mental trauma.
The point is Michael Moore is fat.
And yes, the comments to this are as bad as you'd expect. Suspicion of Diebold is kooky, but death panels are real and questioning Obama's birth is just a natural question. He's black, haven't you noticed that? Geez.

Playing With Fire:

Why are Jon Henke and I firing into our own ranks on the birther nonsense? Wouldn't it be better to take on Democrats?
Well, two answers to this. First, the WND folks are not, in any sense of the word, my people. I supported Obama, remember?
And she still does, in no way, shape, or form, should her entirely principled opposition to poor people being permitted medicine be misconstrued as her joining in the efforts to make health care reform Obama's Waterloo.
And Megan? Who do you think Dan Riehl and Red State are? You link to them, they are your people. And they are WND, there's no actual difference. And sure, wow, birthers are bad, but you dance around deathers with enough words for them to find support in your work, quite intentionally, as you know your most dedicated commenters believe it, and you keep saying the armed gun nuts, who happen to frequently be birthers, by their own fucking words, are just silly but good, normal people who are worried about them SEIU thugs. Unions bad!
And once again, the impact of the psychic trauma of 9/11 on truthers is apparently equivalent to the impact of a black President on birthers, same shit different day. Only Megan was allowed to be at all affected by 9/11, not, say, those of us who lived across the street from her on the UWS at the time. (Weird but true fact. On 9/11, she and I were neighbors.*)

There Oughta Be A Law:

Megan's iPhone or Kindle got stolen, and she is maaaaaaaaad. When things affect her, they're important. When it's a lack of basic health care for all that she totally experienced too for a few years after college when all she had was her parents' wealth to rely on in an emergency, well, that's not worth hurting the profit margin to deal with. She managed, that's all that matters. And now she has a health plan that gives her free psychoactive drugs to drown the bad thoughts with, so everybody (who matters, to her) wins!

When Good Polls Go Bad:

My gut understanding of people is more statistically valid than professional polls, especially when the two clash. Do you really think people care about stuff? People who aren't supers like me and everyone I associate with here in Eliteland are too dumb to think about more than one or two things at a time.
The American public feels very strongly about every single issue you ask them about. Forgive me if I think that most Americans are not wearing themselves to a frazzle over all of the following: healthcare, immigration, the economy, unemployment, the budget deficit, taxes, terrorism, the environment, energy, gas prices, our relations with other countries, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I get exhausted just typing it.
I don't even care about most of these things, why should anyone else?

Bonus stupid hypocrisy:
The relative numbers matter--people clearly do care about health care and the budget deficit more than Afghanistan. But the absolute numbers are nearly worthless.
Things that confirm my beliefs are accurate, things that don't are not. I am smart. So very smart. I am a self proclaimed expert in the field of expertise, and I have a few former D students and engineers who agree, I win (again)!

Mental Illness Break:
Maybe it's because I'm not a sports fan, but I want to hop up and down on his editors desk, waving a game of Clue and shouting "What on earth were you thinking?"
.... Jail the Jena 6? Waiting for an iPhone was like being a refugee? How many examples do you want, Megan? You've provided roughly one a week, at minimum.

No, I'm not doing any nutpicking of that truthers=birthers post. I know there's a goldmine there, but I'm not feeling strong enough for it today.

*- or maybe not, I don't know when she moved across the street from my old place on West 95th. It might even have been after I moved downtown the following year, I'm not going to try to find out. I think that's all the unnecessary detail I can add here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Concern Troll is Concerned

I know, someone at S,N! has used that title, but let's face it, they probably didn't come up with it either.

All Health Care Politics is Local:

The latest press packet I'm working off of finally told me how much health insurance costs in NY State, I iz an expert! (Which, as Downpuppy mentions to Megan, here, and at Susan's, means she's confusing union group plans with individual private coverage and is off in her numbers by roughly a factor of 4, making her conclusions completely mistaken.)
Anyway, just because Baucus's plan is arguably unworkable by design, as it sure doesn't seem like he wants reform, doesn't mean I can't use those design flaws as an argument against reform in general.
Also, hahah, unions, you suck, haha, nyah nyah nyah.

Political Theory:

Oh, fuck.

Obama's poll numbers have been improving steadily over the last week. Theory: people like Democrats much better when they are not talking about health care. Corollary: the liberal commentators saying that no, really, health care is in a good position to pass are indulging in wishful thinking. (To be sure, it is possible to level exactly the same accusation at me).
So a rise in Obama's numbers now means Megan is winning. Ok. And Megan, I know you're a terrible writer, but you do realize you just said you agree with those liberal commentators, right?
And folks, this train wreck of a post just gets worse. This won't be shorter.
The Townhall ruckuses were not the end of the Republican opposition on health care. They were the beginning. There is an observed regularity in politics so consistent that I am tempted to dub it Megan's First Law of Politics: intentions are more popular than concrete proposals. As long as there was no one Obama Plan on the table, people could project their fondest dreams onto the president. Once there are plans on the table, Republicans will be able to attack specific propositions that are specifically attached to the president [sic].
So sending armed bullies to shout down anyone who dares not agree with them was only the beginning? Does this mean we are going to see a full scale fascist uprising from the conservative movement? Is she drunk? Once Obama's team gets specific then conservatives can start attacking them, because the deathers claiming he has specific plans to kill your grandma/retarded children/Republicans/vets/your pets/white people/all the pretty girls are just voicing generalized opposition. What the fuck is she talking about?
And Megan? "Megan's law" is already claimed as a name for something, you're from the tristate region, you know that.
For example, polling last year found that a majority of Democratic primary voters were opposed to a mandate to buy health care. Mandates were popular among two groups: people with post-graduate education, and people who made more than $100K. Polls this year are a little more positive--but people aren't paying attention to the details of the debate right now. I'm betting that support for mandates drops once people aren't hearing about them for the first time from a pollster.
She is drunk. Mandates are not universal coverage, which is why Dem primary voters didn't like them so much. Now that the same group is faced with the seeming impossibility of universal coverage, and maybe even the public option, they're coming around to at least moving the ball forward a little with mandates, alas. But Megan knows Dems better than us Dems do, and knows we'll change our minds once we understand an idea that Clinton was pushing a decade and a half ago.
When someone asks you, "Should people have to buy health insurance?", if you haven't really thought about the question, your answer is likely to be different--and more positive--than it will be after you've been musing on the oppo ads for a while.
Once they've been told mandates means they have to be raped by a black person once a month they'll change their minds, so there. Blatantly lying works, so Megan is in favor of it. After all, if they're left to understand this is about money for the already rich versus health care for the poor and middle class then they might support doing something.
Moreover, this mandate will come with a specific price tag on the subsidies, not a fuzzy "should people have to buy health insurance" question. Republicans will be able to find plenty of people who are going to be forced to buy insurance that they can't really afford under the new plan, or taxed heavily for their failure to comply. Even worse, these people will be easier to identify with than the uninsured: at or above the nation's median household income, possibly living in a high-cost area. The lower Democrats cut the subsidies to make the price tag politically powerful, the more dramatic the sob stories will be.
They'll hire (white telegenic female) actors who will read scripts about how they make $2 an hour and Obama wants to charge them $50k a day to be verbally berated by unemployed crack addict welfare queens as a mental health initiative. Megan and her allies will lie, lie, lie and be fucking proud of it, so long as they're defending their masters' profit margins.
This is not the only problem area. The budget deficit is big enough--and projected to stay big enough--that people are starting to care about it again. All of the plans on the table at this point stay deficit neutral only because the program doesn't kick in for four years; after that window, the costs explode. Most of the plans are similar enough to what prevails in Massachussetts [sic] that Republicans can reasonably point to the runaway costs there.
She can't even spell the state's name right, she has to be an expert. And there's the standard conservative argument against the government doing anything; we fucked up, so you can't do anything. Bush's deficits were noble and necessary to enable the killing of brown people, Obama's might save a brown person's life. NO.
Once there is a specific plan to make any cuts at all to Medicare, seniors will go ballistic.
. . . and so on, ad infinitum. Health care reform has not survived the worst Republicans can throw at it. It's survived--barely--the opening volley.
What an asshole. She's proud to be a lying bully who wants to fuck over the public welfare in favor of helping the already wealthy, and is ready to enable an even worse assault on reason in service to her masters. She and Peter's pals at Freedom Works know they'd lose an honest debate, so they're going to do everything they can not to have one. She doesn't care about the human lives involved, she just wants to WIN. She won't even see material gain in the form of a raise, she'll just feel a cheap self-righteous thrill, and isn't that what's really important?

The Fool or the Fool Who Follows Her?

Megan pulls off a joke (I'll generously call it intentional) that actually makes me smile by titling her most recent post "Department of Education." A rare feat indeed, though not as rare as the commentors. (If only)

The post itself is short and stupid, but the real fun is in seeing Megan's fans go wild. When "aMouseforallseasons" is the voice of sanity in your comment thread, you know you're preaching to the choir. The Arkham Choir.

This is awesome. Alsadius informs us of the various faults of some of our most recent presidents:

Yes, Obama has been a pretty awful President so far. But let's compare him to some of the others elected in the last 50 years:

- Kennedy: Drug-addled fool
- Johnson: Unmitigated asshole
- Nixon: Flagrant criminal
- Carter: Bigger socialist than Obama, with none of the backbone
- GW Bush: Abysmal public speaker
Funnily enough, cross out the "drug" and Reagan had the same faults as Kennedy!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


hai guyz, did you know we're only doing what Alinsky told us to?

Earnest Iconoclast (Replying to: ethan salto) September 4, 2009 9:59 AM

I am amazed at how much some people hate you, Megan. It's bizarre. It's like some people on the Left look for people to hate and then seek to destroy them. This whole page is full of vicious attacks that pose as logical argument. They may have a point buried in there, but it's so mixed in with vitriol and condescension that it's hard to find.

movertyperguy (Replying to: Earnest Iconoclast) September 4, 2009 11:34 AM

"It's like some people on the Left look for people to hate and then seek to destroy them."
It's not "like" that. It is in fact their stated strategy.
Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals #12: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)"
They want to hurt Megan. They're cutting off her support network of other liberals. They're isolating her. Excommunicating her. They want to get her fired from the Atlantic to hurt her financially.
It's the Barack Obama playbook ... written down in easy rule form. Nothing surprising about what they're doing. They've announced ahead of time how they'll govern.
If you disagree with them, they'll hurt you.
Preemptive victimization, fun. I don't think David Bradley is listening to our criticisms. I'd expect he couldn't care less.
Also, apparently we have influence over the likes of Ezra and Matty Y, because we all listen carefully to people who idly mock us without really knowing us and our work.
Not that these two are talking specifically, or only, about us here, of course. And movertyperguy is so over the top at times I'm wondering if he's a subtle parody.
Anyway, remember rule #17; have a beer. It's Labor Day, thanks unions.

Shortened Concern Troll

oh noes, if she sees this she might offended by me calling her a concern troll. I'm not nice, I've already lost the debate.

What's the Price of an Acceptable Health Care Bill?:

Ezra, Peter and Megan, Mickey Kaus. Now there's an all star lineup.
Anyway, Megan wants us crazy libs who think people should have access to health care as a basic right to know that, unlike the system we have now, it would cost money to do this. Who knew?

Asymmetrical information:

Only highly informed people like Megan, who doesn't even know how much health insurance costs, have valid opinions about the health care debate.

Is Pfizer Too Big to Fail?:

Attempting to regulate Pfizer and limit their profit motive will only make them more powerful, because. And yes, this is all Megan has to say about a clear demonstration of how full of shit she is whenever she speaks of big pharma. Corruption, false advertising, unnecessary research, it just shows we should leave them alone lest we force them to do something really bad.

Labor's Love Lost:

Yay, the lies we've been spreading about unions have worked! We, or rather the actual rich people I'm paid a pittance to shill for win! I'm proud of the lies I have rebroadcast, and while I'm offended by the idea of calling extremists who bring LOADED FIREARMS to peaceful public meetings crazy extremists, it's all good to lie about "union thugs" who dare to show up and disagree with those noble gun nuts. The ends justify my means, not yours.


Blue dog reform obstructionist Max Baucus has proposed a plan which is in no way designed to fail. What are you gonna do now, reform advocates? Nyah nyah nyah!

But I'm sure that to reform proponents, I just sound like one of the nattering nabobs of negativism.
Nixon? What? You sound willfully incoherent, Megan. The more confusion you can spread, the more you think you matter to the people paying you to be this horrible.

Phew, I'm done. I should have just taken the weekend off, probably.


I'm violating my Brooklyn resident status by not being at a bbq right now, but *whispers* I think PBR tastes like piss. Don't hurt me.

Embracing Rationing:

Chris Bertram takes the hard stand that I think advocates of any sort of comprehensive single-payer plan, which Chris Bertram definitely is, are going to have to take: that some lives aren't worth saving.
Quote which says absolutely nothing of the sort, instead saying a reappraisal of treatment and research goals would be beneficial although easily misrepresented as rationing. Bertram's concluding lines:
So it turns out that the McMegans of this world are right about one thing: in a just society (not that they'd call it that) there would be less spent on expensive medical/drug research and development than a country like the US spends now. But that's a good thing : against a background of fairness and equality, rational and fully informed people would look at the opportunity cost of such activity and say "no thanks!"
I don't think this really follows. First of all, with the exception of cancer drugs, there aren't many drugs that are developed for people in the last few months of life. In other contexts, people complain about this: instead of developing a cure for cancer, we've got another goddamn antidepressant.
Note, she "doesn't think it follows", meaning she has no actual argument, in no small part because she didn't even read what she quoted, hence ignoring the examples Bertam provided.
Instead she talks about medical equipment which, as she points out, is used by all sorts of people recovering from extreme injuries, which is totally relevant, no, really.
And then there's this crap;
Then there's the time inconsistency problem. How much are we really willing to argue that it's wrong to stop a would-be suicide, wrong to dissuade people from smoking, wrong to refuse to pay for your 19 year old daughter to pursue her dreams of a rock career rather than a degree in accounting? But unless we are, we have to ask how thoroughly we should attend to the desire of the young self to ignore the needs of the old self. Dworkin thinks we should ask people what they would buy for themselves from behind a sort of personal veil of ignorance. But why is the perspective of someone at the beginning of their life the right one? Why not ask people what they would want at the end of their life? There's a problem of specificity, but surely you could develop some kind of average set of services, which would probably be very different from what you would pick in youth.
... what? My grandmother had Alzheimer's, Megan. There's no quality of life to to maintain at the end of that progression, and, notably, Bertram was not discussing withholding treatment but rather not spending millions on developing expensive but for all intents and purposes ineffectual treatments. R&D outlay is already being fucking rationed in favor of profit taking via dividends, but that doesn't count because Megan won't acknowledge it. But not seeing the value in researching new drugs with identical effects to older drugs on which the patent has expired in order to maintain profits means we want to kill Grandma. Especially when the drugs in question have minimal effect to begin with.
And then there's this;
Of course, for me, the core problems are more basic: I don't think that there is "a" regime of social justice to which all right-thinking people subscribe, which me [sic] reluctant to empower technocrats to enforce this mythical consensus.
Because having insurance adjusters decide what is a medically necessary treatment based on their desire to maintain profit margins is working fucking fantastically, at least in Megan's mind where it's still the 70s and they still act like humans.
There's another intuition that at least libertarians have, which is that it is not as bad to have undesirable things result from an impersonal process than from an active decision. It is bad if someone's house burns down and they couldn't afford insurance. It's worse if someone's house burns down, and they were in the class of people deemed unworthy by a bureaucrat of having their house rebuilt.
....... ummmmmmmmm, Megan? How fucking stupid are you?
I think almost all progressives have the opposite intuition. They think it's better to try to produce an optimal result, even if that results in individual injustices (which it will--government rules are very broad brush, and will always involve error at the margins). I'm not sure how to bridge that intuitive gap.
Apparently only governments have bureaucracies, just like only they can ration. If it were otherwise Megan would be horribly, horribly wrong, horribly misinformed, and not a very good person. And she thinks she's nice, so it just can't be.
I know I didn't snark this post very well, but sometimes her stupidity is too offensive to be creative with.

Another Burning Question

What I want to know is, who the fuck goes to Florida in fucking early September? That's like going to Alaska in March.

The Most Painful Thing Megan Has Ever Done

She admitted she was wrong!

OK, well, not really. She is almost unequivocal... but... then she equivocates.

So it looks like I got taken, at least in the sense that there's probably no way to come up with an estimate that I would find acceptable
Megan was lied to and swallowed it like a dog eating a pill wrapped in baloney but it doesn't matter because it's impossible to know the actual, right answer. Therefor, Megan could, in theory, be correct.
I'm now adding this to my long list of "dark numbers", with the best available proxy being the global sales of New Chemical Entities. Two thirds of those, not more than three quarters, occur in the United States, versus about a quarter in Europe. You can argue about what the fixed costs are in various places, but as my correspondent implies, given how much cross border activity there is, the problem seems to be indeterminate, so I'll stick with a number we know. This doesn't really change my assessment of the problem, since 2/3 is still pretty overwhelming, but statistics matter.
Statistics matter; That is why Megan bases her argument on statistics that she just fucking makes up on the spot. Statistics are so important that -- if real ones aren't around -- one must substitute fake ones and count on the idiocy of one's readers.
On a side note, the reason I said 80% was a hypothetical in the Washington Post chat is that . . . well, I didn't. I forgot that conversation, and thought the commenter was referring to this post.
Um, huh? I think I know what she's trying to say here but I'll be fucked if that has anything to do with her writing. She seems to be saying that she didn't say that pharma makes 80% of its revenue in the US. She claims, instead, that she said pharma makes 80% of its profits. Frankly that doesn't change a damn thing, but it's interesting to note how nonsensical her defense is, regardless. She claims to have stated that something was a hypothetical because she didn't remember saying it, but if she couldn't remember saying it how did she know that she was talking about profit and not revenue? When someone asks me about something I don't remember saying I don't just wing it and say "Well, really I was referring to the letter "u" and not the pronoun "you." Instead, I say "I don't remember saying that."
These are the perils of typing thousands of words a week, and also, of getting old.
Dang, she's getting old. I know, right? All the 37 (or whatever) year olds I know are all leaving their fucking dentures in their fucking car ashtrays by accident, and shit, so, like, how can we blame her?

Hey Megan, maybe it's time to fucking retire.