Tag Archives: ben bernanke

You say Michele Bachmann is smart? How, exactly?

National Review:

Bachmann Smart, Media Dumb
Stanley Kurtz | June 14, 2011

Seems like only yesterday when Michele Bachmann was supposed to be dumb. Come to think of it, it was yesterday, until about 8:30pm anyway. I found out how silly it was to think of Bachmann that way late last year, when I heard her speak at David Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend. I was sitting at a table full of professor types. We kept turning to each other and saying, “This woman is sharp, not at all the dunce she’s been portrayed as.”

I suppose this is what the National Review has to do. Somebody better do something to justify all that pay. Michele Bachmann is running for President, the bigwigs like her, it’s high time to prop her up.

Her being crazy stupid, or stupid crazy, makes her unelectable. But it’s not Stanley Kurtz’s job to point the fact out, it’s his job to whistle it past the graveyard.

Is this sort of makeover good for politics? Good for the country? They’ll tell you: A skull-hacked, maggot-infested side of goat– if it were a loyal Republican — would be great for the country.

So you get a ‘Michele Bachmann is razor sharp’ post, like this one. Where did all the free floating anti-genius animus come from, incidentally? Bigoted misogynists, AKA liberals:

Liberalism nowadays may be the last great holdout of old-fashioned prejudice. By telling themselves [BLAH BLAH BLAH] flip side of liberal guilt is this hidden license to hate.

You can call me bigoted. I do hate stuff like this:

“Where do we say that a cell became a blade of grass, which became a starfish, which became a cat, which became a donkey, which became a human being? There’s a real lack of evidence from change from actual species to a different type of species. That’s where it’s difficult to prove.”

I happen to be a biologist (no kidding). And the evidence for speciation and its many roles in evolution is substantial. Similarly, the evidence for Bachmann being eminently unqualified to judge Science and evolutionary scientists is overwhelming.

This leads me to an eternal mystery: Why are stupid people so arrogant? For example, who’d be so presumptuous to pronounce upon the spiritual fitness of a person, Melissa Etheridge, whom one has never met? Particularly while Melissa’s life hangs in the balance?

“Unfortunately she is now suffering from breast cancer, so keep her in your prayers. This may be an opportunity for her now to be open to some spiritual things, now that she is suffering with that physical disease. She is a lesbian.”

Bachmann’s gall is atomic-powered. And I believe that’s it. That’s the key to understanding the difference between how the two sides view ‘smarts.’

Our side would be more interested in accumulating facts, appreciating realities and nuance, and integrating all of this into a complicated but prioritized world view. Their side would be more interested in accumulating just enough tidbits of ‘truth’ to wield with spirit in defense of some Sacred American thing. One side sees the world as complex and ever-expanding, daunting but providing stimulation and opportunities. The other sees the world as America. Period. (but look at how it’s being destroyed! [note: it’s always being destroyed])

With this in mind, watch this, if it pleases you. Perhaps each of the two sides could see this clip and say the same thing: “Our side got the better of the exchange.”


Tundra bimbo Sarah Palin highlights her economic bona fides with boners

It’s been — what? — 7 days since the midterm election? So there are now barely 103 weeks to get your Presidential campaign message straight. And Sarah Palin is definitely, absolutely, without-an-atom-of-a-doubt running for President.

She covets the most powerful position on the planet. How do I know? How could anyone be sure? Because when she starts throwing around terms like ‘quantitative easing’, she’s either going for big laughs or going at national voters’ requirement for candidate gravitas. For me, she hit the former on the noggin:

I’m deeply concerned about the Federal Reserve’s plans to buy up anywhere from $600 billion to as much as $1 trillion of government securities. The technical term for it is “quantitative easing.” It means our government is pumping money into the banking system by buying up treasury bonds.

And you thought your dog couldn’t talk?

What’s the end game here? Where will all this money printing on an unprecedented scale take us? Do we have any guarantees that QE2 won’t be followed by QE3, 4, and 5, until eventually – inevitably – no one will want to buy our debt anymore?

“Hey, Dave, could you let me out now?”

When Germany, a country that knows a thing or two about the dangers of inflation, warns us to think again, maybe it’s time for Chairman Bernanke to cease and desist.

When Africa, a country that knows a thing or two about the dangers of ravenously ambitious white politicians . .

Okay, you get the idea. Well, the Wall Street Journal very politely swatted at her sudden economic ‘expertise’:

. . Palin tries to draw the concerns about quantitative easing to inflation today and falls short. She says, “everyone who ever goes out shopping for groceries knows that prices have risen significantly over the past year or so. Pump priming would push them even higher.”

Grocery prices haven’t risen all that significantly, in fact. The consumer price index’s measure of food and beverages for the first nine months of this year showed average annual inflation of less than 0.6%, the slowest pace on record (since the Labor Department started keeping this measure in 1968).

Oops. You can’t fake the numbers: food and beverage price inflation is at its lowest in decades. Palin’s reflexive need to provoke a random bit of populist anger has done her a disservice in the realm of fractions and graphs.

It’s at this point she should just absorb the critique and sharpen her game, but you know she won’t. Instead, we get this encore of comedy:

Do Wall Street Journal Reporters Read the Wall Street Journal?
Sarah Palin on Monday, November 8, 2010 at 4:58pm

Ever since 2008, people seem inordinately interested in my reading habits. Among various newspapers, magazines, and local Alaskan papers, I read the Wall Street Journal.

Now she wants to answer Katie Couric? Somewhat puzzling she’d suddenly pull this rabbit out of her own internet hat. But excelsior gravitas, I suppose. It recalls the great Otto West/Wanda Gershwitz debate where Otto claimed apes didn’t read philosophy. “Yes they do, Otto. They just don’t understand it.”

Apes also don’t write their own Facebook page screeds. But when you back anybody into a factual corner, what can they really do? And, to be clear, I’m not talking about the WSJ cornering Palin. I’m talking about an over-wrought Palin menacing her poor Facebook blog-monkey. What’s a monkey to do?

So, imagine my dismay when I read an article by Sudeep Reddy in today’s Wall Street Journal . .

He writes: “Grocery prices haven’t risen all that significantly, in fact.” Really? That’s odd, because just last Thursday, November 4, I read an article in Mr. Reddy’s own Wall Street Journal titled “Food Sellers Grit Teeth, Raise Prices: Packagers and Supermarkets Pressured to Pass Along Rising Costs, Even as Consumers Pinch Pennies.”

The article noted that “an inflationary tide is beginning to ripple through America’s supermarkets and restaurants…Prices of staples including milk, beef, coffee, cocoa and sugar have risen sharply in recent months.”

If you look at the sections I bolded, you can crunch all the economic ‘data’ yourself.

We may have lost the House, but we’ve gained a Sarah Palin on the campaign warpath. Watching a talentless neurotic like her try to construct a facade of both intellectual heft and frontier whimsy will be a joy.