Sunday, January 31, 2010

MMcA Appears On NPR: "My god, in real life* she sounds even more juvenile and moronic than in print."

It certainly wasn't brad's intent that this site be an aggregator of McArdle commentary, but that's the role I've been filling lately, as an apparent psychological aversion to visiting Asymmetrical Information worsens.** Maybe the enterprise-crushing new mental health insurance regulations can provide a cure for this syndrome. Or I'll be able to sit in a comfy chair & prattle about my problems to a trained professional three or four times a wk., for free! If Megatron didn't have a blog she'd doubtless be doing the same. (One's friends can only take so much.)

Alternately, Megan might be blathering on the radio, as aimai (Please, drive carefully!) of No More Mister Nice Blog has so kindly summarized (& linked) for all.

Commenter Wendy states the obviously obvious that I've missed in this "walking away" thing:

I don't get why it's so bad to walk away. The bank isn't left holding nothing. It holds the house. That's the whole point of a mortgage--if you can't make the payments, you hand the bank back the house.

*Tiniest of silly little quibbles: Radio (even/especially NPR) & "real life" have no more to do w/ each other than absolutely necessary.

**- brad adds:

Yep. Right now I keep meaning to start working the beat again, go over there, see her name, and decide dusting my bookshelves is a far more useful way to spend my time. I can't bring myself to start reading. I'm a culture warrior at heart, but right now I just don't care. I'm not surprised she's still rising, the ability to kiss ass and network and toe the company line with vigor will always win out over actual talent in corporate culture, it's just the nature of that particular corner of hell. Fake nice doesn't require any effort to respond to but its underlying passive aggressive nature takes a lot out of real humans.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Megan and Tom Cruise

Shorter Megan McArdle:

Mental Health Parity for Insurance:
All these "depressed" people need to just stop whining. They are making the deficit worse. Losers.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm Not High and Somehow This Still Seems Like a Worthwhile Post

It's sealing wax? Crap, that makes sense. I always thought it was ceiling wax!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


can someone explain to me the allure of the iPad? Megan hasn't gotten around to saying why she wants one yet, so I'm in the dark. I see a giant iPod touch that costs more and does less than an iPhone, but then I'm not comparing it to a Kindle.
But ffs, it can't handle flash, and it doesn't have any way to access media not on its own HD (or imported via iTunes, to be clear), no disc drive, no usb port in. That's fine for a phone but not for a potential media player. iTunes is not the limit of the media universe. Apple has finally made something I have no interest in owning.

Beaten Silly To The Punch

Also made to look bad, what w/ Edroso being a talented writer & all.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

ACORN for Brains

UPDATE: Looks like I didn't have to wait that long. Ah well, she can be intellectually honest..... or can she?

James O'Keefe, the guy who did the ACORN sting, doesn't seem to understand the difference between a completely legal recording of an interview between you and someone else, and a completely illegal and reprehensible wiretapping of someone's phones.
Too lazy to look it up, but I think I heard someone mention that it could be considered illegal to video tape someone surreptitiously in the manner O'Keefe did. No need to check the facts, though, as Megan goes even further:
Like many 24-year olds, he may not have fully appreciated why what he was doing was wrong, but if the allegations are true, I hope that the judge explains it to him while handing down a stiff penalty.
Or 25 year olds, whatever, But yeah, I'm sure he didn't know you couldn't tap someone's phone. Also, he might have just been coincidentally in the lobby recording with his cell phone when three other libertarians came in and posed as phone company repairmen, asking to see the phone closet. Could be.

UPDATE II: Oh, oops, turns out an FBI agent has sign an affidavit claiming O'Keefe confessed to him he was there illegally. WHOOPS-A-DAISY!

Hey, remember that guy who dressed like a caricature of a pimp and managed to a few ACORN employees to say some things they shouldn't have? Then lied about it to make it seem like they were even worse than they were?

Anyway, yeah, he got caught red-handed committing a felony. He was trying to tap a New Orleans Democrat's phone lines with 3 other people. I eagerly await Megan McArdle's missive about how awful this is and how it shows just how bad Mr. O'Keefe is and how corrupt libertarianism is. Just like she did with ACORN.

Fuck the links. My back hurts and that's what the search function is for.

Read the article, though. It's hilarious. Someone's been watching too much Burn Notice.

In Which Something Is Admitted

Ms. McArdle is worried. But not that worried.

I think this is a worry that we should take seriously.  But here are some reasons you might not worry so much:
Update:  Apparently, I heard wrong, and it starts in 2011.  That's infinitely more worrying, though caveats one and two still apply.
Here, alas, we must start wondering what words mean. Did Mlle. hear it, or read it? She provides a link, so she must have read something, maybe. Yet she "heard wrong." It is a mystery.

Monday, January 25, 2010

In Case You Were Wondering

Megan's race has not been much discussed here, which she apparently feels is a problem. I must admit it's the first problem she's solved quickly, easily, and irrefutably, as this post proves she is definitely Caucasian.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your viewing pleasure, Megan McArdles new favorite music video:

Haha! They're using hip-hop music to discuss a dry subject! That's cleverosity.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

More Megan On Mortgages: "Jerks"

They mis-spell her name.

Heh heh. As Yahoo! won't let me embed the video (Yes, it's important to see these people as they blather.) you'll want (Sure you will!) to go right over there to see & hear.
Hey, waitaminnit!. "Nobody" doesn't conform to The Narrative of Barney Frank, the homosexual Jew, sending his ACORN & SEIU "thugs" to force banks to lend to colored people!! I demand a recount or something!


Cause we're obviously not in the entertaining you business anymore, might as well direct you to someone who is.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

We've Done This Before

I've made a post before on the difference between Megan McArdle and Nate Silver. I'm too lazy to put much effort into round 2, but the shorter is that Megan makes shit up and Nate uses facts. He illustrates that just fine without our help.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Force for Right in This World

I don't have much in particular to add to this because I'm largely beginning not to care. However, I have noticed a pattern thanks to this post.

Whenever McArdle discusses the pros of not passing health care, she has all kinds of "facts" and "reasons" (like, when she claimed universal health care would CAUSE premature deaths). When she discusses the reasons to pass universal health care, she just talks about political will and shit like that. How intellectually honest. It's almost as if her world-view relies on assuming her opponents are emotionally driven idiots and couldn't have an "facts" to back up their claims.

And here's me cleverly saying that this is idiotic:

Catering to the base is a losing strategy.
Right. Yeah. Moral majority schmajority.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Adopt a Highway During Rush Hour

Seriously guys? Risking your fucking lives to pick up litter in a place where nothing lives and only a handful of people visit every year? That's the best use of your time?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

This Place Left Blank With Ambivalence

We don't give Megan enough credit, sometimes. It takes a lot skill to provide your own illustration of cognitive dissonance in a post only three paragraphs long. Behold:

The holds on the presidents nominees have gotten entirely out of hand, and are beginning to seem more like spite than anything else.
Maybe out of spite, eh? Well, that gives her some breathing room to say this:
Republicans are obstructive because until now, the administration hasn't had any interest in them. Olympia Snowe, yes, because she has the magic power to make bills "bipartisan".
So the people blocking TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADVISORS out of spite are also the sames ones blocking everything Obama says because he hasn't "engaged" them. Olympia Snow does not seem to count as her not having completely gone insane makes her not really a Republican.
But progressive myth-making aside, with 60 votes in the Senate, no one has tried very hard to do anything that would make bills a win for both Democrats and Republicans.
Assumes facts not in evidence (ie, Republicans would be happy with ANY bill.)
As a result, however, what's left for the Republicans is voting no on everything, because there's rarely much advantage to voting yes--they get no credit if it passes, but they get to share the blame if it fails.
Conspicuously absent from the reasoning here is any sense of whether or not the bill would help anyone.
Now, on the other hand, Republican votes become more attractive--the president is going to want to pass more things that get a lot of Republican votes, i.e. are quite popular. So I expect the number of holds will go down--perhaps more will be initiated strategically, but the president is now going to have bargaining chips to buy them off. Or so I mote.
1) That is, as frequently occurs, not English.

2) No they won't

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Readers Just Don't Understand Me

Goodness! Ms. McArdle seems to have gotten a clearer picture of her commentariat.

Perhaps there is another side to this story, as my commenters will no doubt hasten to assure me. But I'm having trouble seeing what it might be:


I expect tomorrow, if Brown wins, we'll hear a lot of talk about a Republican resurgence.  But unless the Republicans can come up with a more convincing program to keep stuff like this from happening--and a more convincing economic program than cutting taxes in the face of record deficits--I don't think they're ready to lead. 

My conservative readers are no doubt winding up to tell me I'm a liberal sellout.  But I don't think it's particularly bleeding heart to think that we shouldn't have to fake suicides to cover up for abusing prisoners.  In fact, I think that's the stance of a hard core believer in law and order.
Hard core!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rot Never Repairs

I really don't know what everyone's so up in arms about. We already knew that Pat Robertson was an insane asshole.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Random Note

in case there's anyone here I exchange emails with who I haven't told, I've switched to a gmail account for main use. Drop me a line at the firemeganmcardle gmail addy if you need the new one and I haven't already sent it to you.
No snark, sorry.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In Which Ms. McArdle Continues To Stick Up For Banks

And I continue to mock her, merely by copying selected parts of her items. Not taken out of context at all. (It's the Interthing, you may click directly for full context.) No, selecting just a paragraph or three isolates the more offending parts from the general noise & froth & allows focus on the inanities that glazed eyes may miss.

Banks need to be taught a lesson for their stupid lending It all sounds very emergent and spontaneous and Hayekian: a nation of freelance bank regulators. Every man his own bankruptcy judge!

All well and good, except that if you are walking away from a mortgage simply because the house is underwater, you have no authority to punish them. After all, the reason it was stupid to lend money to you is not that they were lending money to someone who probably couldn't pay it back; you can. The reason that it was stupid to lend money to you is that you're a deadbeat--a foolish deadbeat, who thought that house prices are a magic route to free money. That's not something they could reasonably have been expected to know. Also, "banks need to be punished for being almost as stupid and greedy as I am" doesn't have much of a ring to it.
No, the bank would have had no reason to know that "you're a deadbeat--a foolish deadbeat," because all that the banks had to say on the subject was to be sober, save & not take out any second mortgages because the bubble was about to burst. Remember?

Suggestions on reconciling the bold title part w/ the rest of the typing here are solicited:
Companies act like faceless automatons, so we should too.  This is not actually true.  Imagine a bank that actually did only what is specified in their contract with you, and not an inch more.  That would be a bank you'd like a lot less than any existing bank, and with good reason.  They are restrained by various norms, and competitive pressure.  This is not to say that they always behave well.  But they do not, in fact, simply live by the letter of the contract, and if you think they do, I invite you to read me the part in your contract where they have to provide a customer service person who speaks adequate English and doesn't burst into violent profanity when you ask for a mortgage modification.

Moreover, the way to punish them for behaving badly is either to regulate the bad behavior, or refuse to patronize banks that behave badly, not to simply walk away from your house loan.
You just sit there & hold this bag until we get those regulations passed & enforced, or until a too-big-to-fail institution goes under because it behaved so badly there was a run on it. We'll be right back.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Compare & Contrast For Consistency, Or: Trying To Stir Up Some Shit Here

Conor Friedersdorf on his constructive InstaPundit criticism:

I am a writer. When I critique people or sites, it isn’t because I’ve got a personal grudge against them, or because I want them to fail, or because I want to divide and conquer them, whatever that means — it is because I think they are wrong on some matter of substance.
The very same Mr. Friedersdorf on something closer to my heart:
Perhaps that was just Mr. Friedersdorf on his own time, not something that he typed as "a writer." In which case he should use a different name, or add a clever disclaimer to his profile like: "Not the 'serious' me, expect no consistency w/ my claims of substance."

Random Music

<a href="">Punjabi Wedding Song (Balle Balle) by Red Baraat</a>

Me likey, maybe you will too.

I have some old Meganpoop I'm going to explore before I wade back into the live flow, I think Susan has done one or two of them but that doesn't have to stop me. Besides, she n Nutella need a break beyond M.'s help, it seems Megan's ability to just keep on crapping surpasses the efforts of many to point out that fact.

Flogging My Own Hobby Horse

So NJ has medical marijuana now. It appears it won't be the free-for-all fun like there is here in CA, but it's a good start.

However, I have to hate on this NYT article for this sentence:

Under California law, residents can obtain legal marijuana for a list of maladies as common, and as vaguely defined, as anxiety or chronic pain.
Hey, assholes, chronic pain isn't poorly defined. I have a simple questionnaire that can diagnose it quickly and easily.
1) Do you suffer from recurring pain that inhibits your daily life and does not respond to to typical treatments and remedies
If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, congratulations! Pain specialists agree that it's all in your head and you need to stop all the goddamn whining for fuck's sake. Any certified physician will gladly write you a prescription for nutting the fuck up.


Also, I'm pretty sure anxiety can be diagnosed, but I'm not such an expert on that.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Those We Dislike

We've been waiting for it:

Clinton's remarks clearly have an alternative, non-racial interpretation, and while Harry Reid may have been flashing back to his political salad days when Democrats regularly congratulated themselves on their openness to Negros[sic], it's more unfortunate than problematic. I only wish that all the liberals rushing to defend them would apply the same good faith presumption when Republicans are involved.  Even if the president is black, there will be many people who disagree with him vigorously and angrily; this is not, per se, evidence of racism.  Nor is it possible to police every offhand remark which could have racist connotations. If there is any good thing about the Reid kerfuffle, it's that with the charge of hypocrisy waiting in the wings, we can perhaps now spend a little less energy scrutinizing those we dislike for signs of racial bias.
Nope, Megan can't let anyone off the hook w/o digging the hook in a bit on the way out. And not a word on any of the scrutinizers trying to make Sen. Reid's awkward wording the equivalent of Sen. Lott's "We'd all be better off if Jim Crow were still around" masterpiece.

Elements of Style©: Not to scrutinize anyone we dislike for anything, but "Negros?" Check w/ Dan Quayle on this one.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Message for Conor Friedersdorf

I would just like to thank Conor Friedersdorf for the following:

Wow, I didn't realize that this site still exists. What a curious and cowardly species of person who labors on in obscurity for years on end ranting against a blogger who, FYI, no one is forcing you to read! The unwillingness to do so under your own name speaks volumes.
Sage advice, friend. Taken to heart. Perhaps we might reciprocate, Conor Friedersdorf?

For, let me advise you that no one forces you to google "Conor Friedersdorf" EVERY FRACKING DAY and then come to any blogs saying negative things and post your Conor Friedersdorf wisdom. We know, Conor Friedersdorf, that is hard to have unrequited love, but compensating by being overly defensive of the amores who'd not have you back (Conor Friedersdorf and Megan McArdle) on obscure blogs for years on end doesn't seem like the best way to go about life, Conor Friedersdorf.

So thanks for your visit, Conor Friedersdorf. We hope to see Conor Friedersdorf again sometime soon.

Conor Friedersdorf

brad adds:

I'd like to apologize to the blogger/writer/renaissance man we have repeatedly misidentified here as Conor Friedersdorf. His name, of course, is actually Conor Freihofer. Not Conor Friedersdorf, Conor Freihofer. Ask him about his cookies.

And neither Conor Friedersdorf, Conor Freihofer, nor myself are Ann Althouse, at least to my knowledge.

War Among The Passive-Aggressive

Young Conor Friedersdorf, Washington Media Village utility player, substitute typist & seasonal fill-in, analyzes Robot From The Future Glenn Reynolds, wherein we are expected to swallow this:

People like reading Instapundit! He brightens the days of so many office workers. I am not being flip. That is truly significant. So are the digital camera recommendations, the links to great Radley Balko and Megan McArdle stories ...
Well, one must stop there, mustn't one?

Especially when Friedersdorf's main complaint w/ Reynolds is summed up by this:
So many posts either pander to or coddle the movement conservative’s ideological preconceptions — so you have controversial plank X in the Tea Party platform, and Professor Reynolds signals his agreement with it, almost always without any argument about why it is correct. Other times he actually disagrees with plank X, something he’ll occasionally make known, but very seldom does he actually argue against plank X, or try to change anyone’s mind about it. Instead he’ll note that while he happens to be against plank X, other people who are against it are silly or annoying or hypocritical or ham-handed in their advocacy or approaching things in the wrong way or are the subject of a really funny Mark Steyn one-liner.
which could as easily be directed at Ms. McArdle as at Prof. Reynolds. (Except for the "funny Mark Steyn one-liner," because that's an oxymoron; & I don't remember McArdle ever linking to M.S.)

First spotted at Balloon Juice, as if that should make any fucking difference to anyone at all, ever.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Something I've NEVER Said Before


so. fucking. gay.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Unintentional Honesty Via Rank Stupidity

I've been sitting on this lil gem a while now. Consider this a practice post before I start back in on Megan's poopstream. And now, brought to you by Big Hollywood,

A LOVE LETTER (To Glenn Beck) by Victoria Jackson

I think of you often.
None of the following is made up or in any way altered for added comedic effect.
I’m getting my fake fingernails put on and I’m thinking of you. I have a pitch meeting at Pie Town tomorrow and I chewed all my real fingernails off last night watching Anita Dunn express her admiration for Mao Tse Tung. Thank you for exposing yet another enemy of our freedom. You are so passionate and curious and smart and real. Sigh. I look at my Vietnamese manicurist and pedicurist and smile. I ask them their names. Katie. Kathy. Hmm. I glance around the nail salon. The decor is...
Hmm, indeed.
The woman next to me is speaking Armenian into her cell phone. I can’t really discuss politics with Katie and Kathy, language barrier, so I glance at the TIME magazine next to my arm. Some liberal, Joe Klein is trying to tell the truth about ObamaCare, but not quite pulling it off. Then, he attacks my Rush and my Beck and my heart speeds up. My cheeks turn red. He writes, “…it is also possible that the Limbaugh and Glenn Beck – inspired poison will spread from right-wing nutters to moderates and independents…” Poison? Poison?

Truth… is Poison to the guilty. It stings.
Her Rush and her Beck are poisoning us.... with truth. The truth will set you free kill you.
Glenn Beck, I must confess I love the other Truth Tellers too; Breitbart, Giles, O’Keefe, Hannity, Ziegler, Rush, Rove, Crowley, Ingraham, Hewitt, Huckabee, Jindal, Miller, Palin, Prager, Pawlenty, Weaver, Gingrich, Keyes, and of course, Jesus, the Ultimate Truth. (John 14:6)
If Sarah can't beat em, Pawlenty can! Yaaaaay team Jebus!
But I must especially thank you Glenn Beck for your blackboard. I love your blackboard! And your thorough research. Your facts. Your diagrams. Your teaching. Finally, someone is clearly explaining to us, the taxpayers, exactly what is happening inside that mysterious, gigantic, corrupt political system we have. We, the working middle class, have always been afraid of the machine, and I think the politicians/criminals wanted it that way.
It takes a mind capable of the logical consistency behind saying "We, the working middle class" and "I’m getting my fake fingernails put on and I’m thinking of you. I have a pitch meeting at Pie Town tomorrow" to find Glenn Beck's blackboard and diagrams to be clear.
However, let's not gloss over the clear eliminationist tones of her next few lines. I'm not worried about Victoria Jackson coming to get me in the night, but then that's not the point.
With their pompous, pious faces and sneaky hands, they have been stealing and lying. We were too busy raising children, working and going to church to have time to research them. Now, finally, one man has done it. Cracked the Code. Exposed the Fraud. Shone the Light on the Basement Rats! Now, the rats are all scurrying around, all nervous. They are calling The Man With The Flashlight names. Mean names. Squeak! Squeak!
Glenn Beck uses truth to poison the rats. He's a virtual exterminator of vermin.
Glenn Beck, thank you for answering my questions. One day I was wondering who those “czars” were who had slipped into the White House, under the radar…I flipped your show on, and you told me! It’s like you read my mind! One day I was wondering what real doctors think of ObamaCare, not the fake doctors Obama rigged for his photo shoot, but real ones. I popped on your show, and there you all were…debating, having a real discussion, like grown ups. Obama’s speeches are all fake and they say nothing. Cotton candy for stupid people. But, you Glenn Beck, you are a thinker. Like me. You are unbiased. Like me. You are simply seeking Truth, just like me.
Victoria Jackson just called you stupid, and herself a thinker. Merry late Jebusmas.
I'm going to keep quoting long chunks of her post, because it's worth it.
If one day, Glenn Beck, you become embroiled in a scandal, and you turn out to be imperfect as all heroes put up on pedestals turn out to be, I will forgive you and forever be grateful for one thing…the elegant way you introduced the Green Jobs Czar, Mr. Van Jones to the public and then ushered him silently out the door. That was awesome! ( It also helps me prove the fact that Obama is a Communist. A Capitalist would not appoint a Communist as an advisor! ) It was as exciting as watching Giles/O’Keefe/Breitbart bring down the corrupt Acorn. This is great stuff! To you heroes, we thank you. We really, really, really love you. You’re cool. You’re brave. You’re smart. And, you tell the truth!
And your dick is so big! And now the money shot;
The truth has a beautiful ring to it. It pours smoothly through the ears and forms a golden, peaceful puddle in the heart. It reassures one that there is still a drop of good in the world. Truth is Beautiful.
The truth... forms a puddle. In the heart. I'd point out the inherent flaw in her assumption that the truth is pleasant to hear but if you've made it this far you can't hear me over your laughter.
She has more to say, but I think we'll end this long post with the picture she included, about which no comment is necessary.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Compare and Contrast

I wish that Nate Silver were African American so that we could compare him literally versus Megan's pasty white ass as well as figurative against the pristine landscape that represents her knowledge base on what she discusses.

Her article on the latest Rasmussen poll showed up on my google reader.

Right below it was Silver's take on the exact same.

She spells Massachusetts wrong in her title.

Yeah, seriously, why do we bother.