10/14/2012 archive

2012 AL Championship Series- Tigers at Yankees, Game 2

It could be worse.

No, I’m not kidding.  Focusing on Derek Jeter’s broken ankle is missing the other problems that need to be addressed if the Yankees are to advance to the World Series this year.

First, about Jeter.  He’s about as well as can be expected when you break your ankle like that, it’s not a career ending injury, the 3 month rehab time frame puts him back at Legends field at the start of spring training just as if nothing had happened except another one of those years as Emily puts it.

And everyone likes and admires the Captain, especially his clubhouse leadership which is undiminished.

But, it’s not as if he was making Tiger pitching quake in their boots either.

The reason the Yankees are not dominating is because they’re a very ordinary team with some notable flaws.  They are not hitting.  ARod isn’t the only one, just the most over rated and expensive.  They have no pitching outside of Sabbathia and Kuroda and their bull pen is suspect at best without Rivera.

It would be a mistake to think that last night’s game turned on the events of the Top of the 12th, it was decided in the Top of the 6th when Andy Pettitte put them in a 2 – 0 hole.

It’s easy to get discouraged at this point.  Listening to the New York media you’d think it was the end of the world, but there are hopeful signs.  They have only lost 1 game in a 7 game series and have identified several weaknesses which they might be able to correct.  Kuroda (16 – 11, 3.32 ERA) is a good pitcher, the second best they have and on paper much better than the Tigers’ Sanchez (9 – 13, 3.86 ERA).  The Tigers are not hitting well either and they are especially not setting the table for Cabrera.

Believe me, if in 3 days the Yankees have split at the Stadium and taken 1 at Comerica to lead the ALCS 2 – 1 you’ll be hearing all about the inspiring ‘comeback’ and the same ‘team of destiny’ crap you heard before.

And it won’t be any truer.

Junior League Games will be carried on TBS, Senior on Faux.

Rant of the Week: Stephen Colbert


Since America can’t afford all the teachers it would take to give children personal attention, doctors recommend psychostimulants to improve kids’ grades.

Living in a World of Idiots

You should never take psychological tests as a parlor game.  I was with some friends and when they got to the analysis of my answers the scoring guide said- “How does it feel to live in a world full of idiots?”

Smuggish Thoughts (Self-indulgent)

Paul Krugman, The New York Times

October 12, 2012, 1:40 pm

It is a truth not universally acknowledged that it’s possible to be a highly successful academic and still have a somewhat fragile sense of self-worth. You get your papers published, you get tenure, maybe you win some prizes; all this says that your colleagues believe that your stuff is right, that you really do know something about your subject. But do you really? Or are you just good at self-marketing?

Some, maybe many, academics don’t care; they’ve carved out a nice career and life, so it’s all good. But if you are truly serious about your work as opposed to your career, the question of whether your knowledge is real is always with you.

‘ve had a wonderful career, getting all the major gongs, yet as late as 2008 it was still possible for that small self-doubting voice in my head to whisper that being a facile modeler and a pretty good writer might not mean that I really knew how the world works.

Well, events provided an acid test. If you believed in the little models I and others were using, you made some very striking predictions about how the world would work post-crisis – predictions that were very much at odds with what other people were saying. You predicted that trillion-dollar deficits would not drive up interest rates; that tripling the monetary base would not be inflationary; that cuts in government spending, rather than helping the economy by increasing confidence, would hurt by depressing demand, with bigger effects than in normal, non-liquidity trap times.

And the people on the other side of these issues weren’t just academics, they were major-league policy makers and famous investors.

And guess what: the models seem to work. It appears that I wasn’t just a successful self-marketer, that I really did and do know something.

So that’s great – except that it turns out that one form of anxiety has just been replaced with another. It’s great to have confirmation that you weren’t just playing career games; it is, however, not just frustrating but terrifying to watch decision-makers ignore all the hard-won evidence and knowledge, and repeat the mistakes of the 1930s. The good news is that I’m not Sammy Glick; the bad news is that I’m Cassandra.

Triumph of the Wrong?

By PAUL KRUGMAN, The New York Times

Published: October 11, 2012

The latest devastating demonstration of that wrongness comes from the International Monetary Fund, which has just released its World Economic Outlook, a report combining short-term prediction with insightful economic analysis. This report is a grim and disturbing document, telling us that the world economy is doing significantly worse than expected, with rising risks of global recession. But the report isn’t just downbeat; it contains a careful analysis of the reasons things are going so badly. And what this analysis concludes is that a disproportionate share of the bad news is coming from countries pursuing the kind of austerity policies Republicans want to impose on America.

O.K., it doesn’t say that in so many words. What the report actually says is: “Activity over the past few years has disappointed more in economies with more aggressive fiscal consolidation plans.” But that amounts to the same thing.

For leading Republicans have very much tied themselves to the view that slashing spending in a depressed economy – “fiscal consolidation,” in I.M.F.-speak – is good, not bad, for job creation. Soon after the midterm elections, the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives issued a manifesto on economic policy – titled, “Spend less, owe less, grow the economy” – that called for deep spending cuts right away and pooh-poohed the whole notion that fiscal consolidation (yes, it used the same term) might deepen the economy’s slump. “Non-Keynesian effects,” the manifesto declared, would make everything all right.

Well, that turns out not to be remotely true. What the monetary fund shows is that the countries pursing the biggest spending cuts are also the countries that have experienced the deepest economic slumps. Indeed, the evidence suggests that in brushing aside the standard view that spending cuts hurt the economy in the short run, the G.O.P. got it exactly wrong. Recent spending cuts appear to have done even more harm than most analysts – including those at the I.M.F. itself – expected.

Which brings us to the question of what form economic policies will take after the election.

Republicans, however, are committed to an economic doctrine that has proved false, indeed disastrous, in other countries. Nor are they likely to change their views in the light of experience. After all, facts haven’t gotten in the way of Republican orthodoxy on any other aspect of economic policy. The party remains opposed to effective financial regulation despite the catastrophe of 2008; it remains obsessed with the dangers of inflation despite years of false alarms. So it’s not likely to give up its politically convenient views about job creation.

And here is where Herr Doktor Professor makes what lambert strether calls a “category error”.  Everything he says about Republicans is equally true of Barack Obama and the Democrats.

On This Day In History October 14

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

October 14 is the 287th day of the year (288th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 78 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1947, U.S. Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound.

Charles Elwood “Chuck” Yeager (born February 13, 1923) is a retired major general in the United States Air Force and noted test pilot. He was the first pilot to travel faster than sound (1947). Originally retiring as a brigadier general, Yeager was promoted to major general on the Air Force’s retired list 20 years later for his military achievements.

His career began in World War II as a private in the United States Army Air Forces. After serving as an aircraft mechanic, in September 1942 he entered enlisted pilot training and upon graduation was promoted to the rank of flight officer (the World War II USAAF equivalent to warrant officer) and became a P-51 Mustang fighter pilot. After the war he became a test pilot of many kinds of aircraft and rocket planes. Yeager was the first man to break the sound barrier on October 14, 1947, flying the experimental Bell X-1 at Mach 1 at an altitude of 13,700 m (45,000 ft). . . .

Yeager remained in the Air Force after the war, becoming a test pilot at Muroc Army Air Field (now Edwards Air Force Base) and eventually being selected to fly the rocket-powered Bell X-1 in a NACA program to research high-speed flight, after Bell Aircraft test pilot “Slick” Goodlin demanded $150,000 to break the sound “barrier.”  Such was the difficulty in this task that the answer to many of the inherent challenges were along the lines of “Yeager better have paid-up insurance.” Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947, flying the experimental X-1 at Mach  1 at an altitude of 45,000 feet (13,700 m). Two nights before the scheduled date for the flight, he broke two ribs while riding a horse. He was so afraid of being removed from the mission that he went to a veterinarian in a nearby town for treatment and told only his wife, as well as friend and fellow project pilot Jack Ridley about it.

On the day of the flight, Yeager was in such pain that he could not seal the airplane’s hatch by himself. Ridley rigged up a device, using the end of a broom handle as an extra lever, to allow Yeager to seal the hatch of the airplane. Yeager’s flight recorded Mach 1.07, however, he was quick to point out that the public paid attention to whole numbers and that the next milestone would be exceeding Mach 2. Yeager’s X-1 is on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

Up with Chris Hayes: Joining Chris st 8 AM EDT are Nate Silver (@fivethirtyeight), founder of FiveThirtyEight: Nate Silver’s Political Calculus; Thomas Stemberg, founder of Staples, managing general partner of the Highland Consumer Fund; Sarita Gupta (@saritasgupta), executive director of Jobs with Justice and executive director of American Rights at Work; Josh Barro (@jbarro), lead writer for Bloomberg View‘s “The Ticker;” David W. Moore, senior fellow at the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire, policy critic at iMediaEthics.org and former managing editor and senior editor of the Gallup Poll; Maya Wiley, founder and president of the Center for Social Inclusion; Zephyr Teachout, professor at the Fordham University School of Law; Monica Youn, Brennan Center constitutional fellow at the New York University school of law; and Alec MacGillis, senior editor for “The New Republic.”

This Week with George Stephanopolis: “this Week’s‘s guests are Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden.

Jake Tapper moderates this special discussion, held before a live studio audience at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; former Senator Chris Dodd; Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz, moderator of this week’s vice presidential debate; presidential historian Richard Norton Smith; ABC News’ George Will; and Democratic strategist and ABC News Contributor Donna Brazile.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Guests are Sen. Lindsey Graham, Rep. Darrell Issa, and Rep. Elijah Cummings. Panel guests are Romney campaign advisor Bay Buchanan, Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation, Republican pollster Frank Luntz, David Corn of Mother Jones, and CBS News Political Director John Dickerson.

The Chris Matthews Show: This week’s guests are Liz Marlantes, The Christian Science Monitor; John Heilemann, New York Magazine National Political Correspondent; Nia-Malika Henderson, The Washington Post National Political Reporter; and Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Beast Editor, The Dish.

Meet the Press with David Gregory:  David Gregory will go one-on-one with Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert about politics, comedy and his new book: America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t.

This week’s roundtable will have a special discussion looking ahead to the final three weeks of the campaign: Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA); Mayor Kasim Reed (D-Atlanta); Fmr. Gov Jennifer Granholm (D-MI); GOP strategist Alex Castellanos; and NBC’s Tom Brokaw, who has moderated his share of presidential debates.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms. Crowley’s guests are Obama senior campaign adviser Robert Gibbs; Romney senior campaign adviser Ed Gillespie; former Florida congressman Robert Wexler and the former Chairman of the Florida Republican Party Al Cardenas.

Joining her for a panel discussion with  insights from the campaign trail and making sense of those tax reform promises with CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta, USA Today‘s Susan Page, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, and Bill Burton of Priorities USA.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Western defense budget cuts may be unstoppable

Companies, governments already preparing for reduced military spending

By Peter Apps Reuters

Whether or not America’s politicians can find a way to sidestep the brutal automatic military cuts of sequestration, the era of rising Western spending on weapons and wars is over.

That reality increasingly is challenging major arms manufacturers, spurring them to look for new markets, cost cuts and mergers. It is also confronting policymakers with difficult political and strategic choices as new rivals, particularly China, spend more on their armed forces.

U.S. military spending still dwarfs that of other countries – the equivalent of the next 13 nations’ spending by some estimates – but the global military balance is clearly shifting. With European states already cutting, the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies this year reported that Asian military spending outstripped Europe’s for the first time in several centuries.

U.S. lawmakers may well avoid or delay automatic across-the-board budget cuts that would hit the military hard and are set to begin on January 2 if there is no deal on deficit reduction. But few see the United States avoiding military budget cuts in the next few years given that the government’s debt burden has now surged above $16 trillion and continues to rise.

Sunday’s Headlines:

IoS Investigation: The shocking truth about landmines

Nuclear world order triggers uncertainty in 2012

IMF warns millions face humanitarian emergency in W Africa

Two years after Mubarak, his prison torture apparatus still wounds Egypt

Spain’s next threat: Losing 20% of its economy

F1 2012: Yeongam

It seems the story of this and the last 4 races are going to be the Drivers and (possibly) Constructors Championships and if I say that with a sigh I’d much rather see some exciting racing.  Yeongam is fast enough, but like so many of the newer tracks with the current cars lead changes will only happen at the start, through accidents and mechanical failures, and through tire strategies.

Softs and Super Softs are on offer, most teams blew away 2 sets of the Super Softs during Qualifying (Ferrari saved a set) and all of the first five rows are on the Supers BUT…  depending on how used up they are it’s just barely possible that some drivers will try and stretch them out long enough before the first pit to run a one stop.  They will be aided by the fact that the track is so new and smooth.  Will this make much of a difference?  There is about 0.2 to 0.6 seconds lap time difference between the two compounds.

On the start everyone, particularly the even gridders will be looking for a fast one to keep Vettel from running away in the distance.  Look for any Team Order strategies at Red Bull to be designed around getting him in front of Webber in the first lap.

As far as mechanical failure goes, Pic had to accept a 10 Grid penalty for exceeding his engine allotment for the season and almost every team is on their last new one.

Schumacher can’t stay away from trouble.  After being reprimanded for impeding HRT (HRT!) in practice Mercedes will have to pay a 10,000 euro fine for unsafe release in front of Hamilton during Qualifying.

Interactive Track


Official Sites

Pretty tables below.

What We Now Know

Saturday morning on Up with Chris Hayes, Up host, Chris Hayes discussed what we have learned this week with panel guests Amy Davidson, senior editor at the New Yorker; Goldie Taylor, contributor to Grio.com and MSNBC; Michael Hastings, contributing editor to Rollingstone; and Michael Moynihan, cultural news editor for Newsweek and the DailyBeast.

Romney: Uninsured? Head to the Emergency Room

Is BofA’s Foreclosure Review Really Independent? You Be the Judge

by Paul Kiel at Pro Publica

Late last year, the country’s bank regulators launched a massive program to evaluate millions of foreclosure cases and compensate homeowners who fell victim to the banks’ flawed or illegal practices. Regulators dubbed it the “Independent Foreclosure Review” to emphasize that the banks would not be making key decisions about loans they had made or serviced.

But a raft of evidence – internal Bank of America memos and emails obtained by ProPublica, interviews with two bank staff members who have worked on the review, and little-noticed documents released late last year by a federal banking regulator – throw the independence of the review into serious doubt. Together, they indicate that Bank of America – the financial giant with the largest number of homeowners eligible for the program – is performing much of the work itself.

Mitt Romney, On 60 Minutes, Cites Emergency Room As Health Care Option For Uninsured

by Amanda Terkel and Sam Stein at Huffington Post

Downplaying the need for the government to ensure that every person has health insurance, Mitt Romney on Sunday suggested that emergency room care suffices as a substitute for the uninsured. [..]

This constitutes a dramatic reversal in position for Romney, who passed a universal health care law in Massachusetts, in part, to eliminate the costs incurred when the uninsured show up in emergency rooms for care. Indeed, in both his book and in high-profile interviews during the campaign, Romney has touted his achievement in stamping out these inefficiencies while arguing that the same thing should be done at the national level.

Report Describes How Armstrong and His Team Eluded Doping Tests

by Ian Austen at The New York Times

An explanation emerged Wednesday, when the United States Anti-Doping Agency released its dossier on Armstrong, citing witness testimony, financial records and laboratory results. Armstrong was centrally involved in a sprawling, sophisticated doping program, the agency said, yet he employed both cunning and farcical methods to beat the sport’s drug-testing system.

The report also introduced new scientific evidence that the agency said suggested Armstrong was doping the last two times he competed in the Tour de France.

Mitt Romney’s Bain Made Millions On Big Tobacco In U.S., Russia

by Jason Cherkis and Zach Carter at Huffington Post

As the Soviet Union splintered in the early-1990s, Sushovan Ghosh packed his colleagues into a van and chugged across the collapsing nation, hitting depressed towns and famished cities, busted up factories and lonely kiosks. In each ragged destination, they stopped long enough to interview cigarette smokers.

Ghosh plied the citizenry with free cigarettes and, sometimes, McDonald’s hamburgers. [..]

Ghosh’s work for cigarette companies was chaotic, unbridled and, ultimately, deadly. To Mitt Romney and his colleagues at Bain & Co., it was a chance to rake in money. Ghosh said he reported directly to Romney, who was excited about the Russian market. “He was my boss,” Ghosh said.

2012 AL Championship Series- Tigers at Yankees, Game 1

My stellar predictions have led some of my associates to suggest a career in sports futures, but for now I’m content to have my vast fortune safely invested in shows so off Broadway that even New Jersey is closer.

With the Yankees, Tigers, Cardinals, and Giants the contenders for the League Championships I could just take a nap until the 24th and wake up with a team worth rooting for in the World Series, but as you know I have this thing about completeness.

The Championships are the first four of seven and follow the traditional 2-3-2 format which means the Tigers will be starting off in the Stadium tonight.  Personally I think crowd participation is over rated but home field advantage does manifest itself in other ways, particularly batting second in each inning.

Tonight the Yankees will be sending Andy Pettitte (5 – 4 2.87 ERA) against Doug Fister (10 – 10, 3.45 ERA).  The New York media rate Pettitte’s performance in Game 2 as brilliant, I call it barely adequate in a game that everyone forgets the Yankees lost 3 – 2.  Fister on the other hand pitched better than expected in the Tigers 5 – 4 victory.  The Tigers are better rested, finishing their Division Series on Thursday, not barely 18 hours ago.  The Tigers have Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera who isn’t as dominant as his stats would suggest (though in fairness they haven’t been setting the table for him the way they should).  The Yankees have…

ARod, who bats 6th tonight.

As I said, it wouldn’t disappoint me to see any of the remaining teams victorious, I’m not a Yankee hater and I think any Mets fan who indulges in that pointless rivalry is wasting the energy that could be much better directed to contemplating the misery of our own situation.

But realistically I expect the Tigers to advance.  Their bats are not nearly as somnolent and Verlander is an unstoppable winning machine, better than Sabathia.

Richard will be happy, Emily not so much.

Junior League Games will be carried on TBS, Senior on Faux.