Chronicle of the Conspiracy
Saturday, April 15, 2006CUP HALF FULL The Alaska Department of Fish and Game isn't worried about avian influenza, and they don't want you to be, either. From a brochure for "subsistence hunters" (try hard not to think about that lifestyle), the agency says, comfortingly, that of the people who have been infected with bird flu, "half of them survived." I feel better already.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 6:34 PM | link
AMERICA IS SPITZER'S VICTIM AIG's Hank Greenberg, Eliot Spitzer's most prominent victim:
Mr. Greenberg hasn't dimmed, but he believes America has. "You couldn't build an AIG today," he explains. Overbearing regulators, new corporate governance rules, protectionism, a failing tort system, prosecutors unleashed -- these, as he sees them, are the obstacles to corporate greatness. And Mr. Greenberg is uniquely positioned to know.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 10:56 AM | link
ACADEMIC STANDARDS From a reader who asked for anonymity:
So I am attending an information session with my son for newly admitted students at a university that I shall not name (its initials are CU and it is in Ithaca, NY). Asked by a parent about the availabilty of summer jobs in industry, a senior biology major soon to attend grad school with a goal of returning to teach at this same school, replied, "I can't answer that question because of the ethical concerns about doing science for profit."Update [4/16/2006]... Reader Rick Gaber asks,
Uh, do you really want your offspring to attend Cornell? Click on this...Update 2 [4/16/2006]... An anonymous reader protests
,I went to Cornell, and don't let one moron undergrad at the famously leftist school put you off. The sciences there are at the highest level, even if the politics is pedestrian.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 10:49 AM | link
PORTRAIT OF A LEFTIST HERO -- UH, I MEAN, LUNATIC
What can I add by way of comment to this story in the Washington Post?
SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. -- In the angry life of Maryscott O'Connor, the rage begins as soon as she opens her eyes and realizes that her president is still George W. Bush. The sun has yet to rise and her family is asleep, but no matter; as soon as the realization kicks in, O'Connor, 37, is out of bed and heading toward her computer.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 12:10 AM | link
Thursday, April 13, 2006YOU KNOW IT WAS A BIG REPUBLICAN VICTORY WHEN... the New York Times has to call the results "muddled."
The race to succeed former Representative Randy Cunningham, a California Republican who pleaded guilty to corruption charges, took a complicated turn for both parties on Tuesday after a crowded primary in which a Democrat came in first, but did not win enough votes to escape a runoff.Funny how the mainstream media always seems to get fair and balanced when there's a story that ought to favor conservatives.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 8:15 AM | link
DUCK AND COVER New York Times editor Bill Keller covers his own ass, and that of his newspaper, in a single bulls**t answer to a tough question in an online Q-and-A:
Q. In your columns, before you were appointed executive editor, you proclaimed yourself to be a "hawk" with regard to the then impending Iraq war. In retrospect, do you still stand by that opinion?-- Heidi MillerThanks to Newsbusters for the link.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 8:00 AM | link
Wednesday, April 12, 2006OKAY, I'M GOING TO VEGAS AND CHECKING THIS OUT AS SOON AS I CAN Corny but cool, just like the TV show. But I'm not sure I'd want to get married here.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 11:25 PM | link
BOSS TWEED OF THE WEST I've actually been to Vernon, California, described accurately in this strange news story:
Founded in 1905, the five-square-mile city consists in large part of rutted roads, railroad tracks, and a densely packed maze of warehouses, meatpacking plants, fuel tanks and an occasional vacant lot. There is no high school, no movie theater, no parkland. The city's motto: "Exclusively Industrial."Seems that there have been some political problems in Vernon.
It took a judge's order to force the first local election in 25 years in this industrial city, and it was a contest filled with allegations of intimidation, harassment and undercover surveillance.The town has a website, where you can meet the mayor, Leonis C. Malburg, of whom it says:
Mayor Leonis Malburg was born to the City of Vernon as the grandson of founding father, John B. Leonis. Malburg joined the City Council in 1956 and has served continuously ever since. He became mayor in 1974.Want to bet he's a Democrat?
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 2:57 PM | link
LET'S HEAR IT FOR LITIGIOUS ECONOMISTS! Another one sues for defamation!
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 10:28 AM | link
SHOULD THE W.H.O. ADD THESE NINE TO THE OFFICIAL DEATH TALLY? Reuters:
India has culled hundreds of thousands of birds to contain several outbreaks of the H5N1 avian flu virus in poultry since February, but the disease has continued to resurface, mostly in western Maharashtra state.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 10:10 AM | link
THE IMPERFECT STORM The mainstream media won't cover it this way, but the reality is that yesterday's special election in California's 50th district, to replace disgraced Republican Randy Cunningham, wasn't a big victory for Democrats. Chuck Todd says it best:
Republicans have done it again; they've survived another day. Just when it seems a local disaster has the potential to turn into a national earthquake for the GOP, the party figures out how too delicately shift the landscape just enough to get by.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 9:58 AM | link
Tuesday, April 11, 2006BUT FRANCE MAKES BETTER NECKTIES According to IPI's Tax Bytes, guess which country in a GlobeScan poll most agrees with the statement, "The free enterprise system and free market economy is the best system on which to base the future of the world":
China, the largest of the Communist countries. Seventy-four percent of the people polled in that country agreed with that statement.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 1:42 PM | link
CALIFORNIA ACID TEST FOR THE GOP If somehow the Democratic candidate for replace disgraced Republican congressmen Duke Cunningham gets better than 50% in todays special election in California, it's Armeggedon for the GOP. Watch carefully:
There is a special House election in California's 50th District, a Republican-leaning area in and around San Diego where Republican Randy "Duke" Cunningham resigned in December after pleading guilty to charges of accepting bribes from defense contractors. Eighteen candidates -- 14 Republicans, two Democrats and two other candidates -- qualified for the single-ballot, all-party contest, which requires a majority vote to win outright. Otherwise, the top vote-getters from each party advance to a runoff election on June 6. No candidate is expected to win a majority in today's balloting, though Democrat Francine Busby, an educator who lost to Cunningham in 2004, almost certainly will finish first. The National Republican Congressional Committee, the House GOP campaign organization, is airing television advertisements attacking Busby. It is unclear which Republican will finish second overall to Busby and earn the GOP berth in the June 6 election. The huge GOP field includes current and former officeholders such as former Rep. Brian Bilbray (1995-2001), former state Rep. Howard Kaloogian, state Sen. Bill Morrow and former Del Mar mayor Richard Earnest. Wealthy businessman Eric Roach, Alan Uke and Bill Hauf have spent heavily from their own pockets.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 8:07 AM | link
THEY GET IT RIGHT DOWN UNDER Would that we could pass an extension of the 2003 tax cuts on dividends and capital gains. In New Zealand, they seem to understand these things better:
The government is to introduce a fairer regime for taxing New Zealanders who invest in New Zealand and overseas which will mean a tax cut of $110 million a year from next April, Finance Minister Michael Cullen and Revenue Minister Peter Dunne announced today...
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 12:59 AM | link
SO LET'S PUT THIS GUY IN CHARGE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY Guess who's state has the highest per capita taxes? Thanks to reader Jameson Campaigne for the link.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 12:53 AM | link
Monday, April 10, 2006UNDOCUMENT ME! Mark Steyn:
Here's my immigration "compromise": We need to regularize the situation of the 298 million non-undocumented residents of the United States. Right now, we get a lousy deal compared with the 15 million fine upstanding members of the Undocumented American community. I think the 298 million of us in the overdocumented segment of the population should get the chance to be undocumented. You know when President Bush talks about all those undocumented people "living in the shadows"? Doesn't that sound kinda nice? Living in the shadows, no government agencies harassing you for taxes and numbers and paperwork.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 12:54 PM | link
RIEDL DEFENDS HIMSELF http://guerillawomentn.blogspot.com/2006/03/bogus-bush-bashing.html
In his March 20 New York Times column, Paul Krugman attacked our friend Brian Riedl of the Heritage Foundation as a "bogus Bush basher":
Today the Times ran a letter from Riedl defending himself. Funny how the Times is willing to let conservatives defend themselves so long as they bash Bush in the process.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 11:36 AM | link
MAKING NIHILISM PAY A smart capitalist can make money on anything.
"We are very encouraged by the worldwide consumer demand for Oblivion," stated Paul Eibeler, Take-Two's President and Chief Executive Officer.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 9:06 AM | link
HELPLESS TO CHECK THEIR FALL Two consecutive items from an economics briefing email I get each morning:
* French President Chirac bowed to pressure and abandoned the youth-labor law that made it easier to fire young workers. Mr. Chirac's capitulation tells companies that labor laws are not going to be reformed in France anytime in the foreseeable future, meaning that more French companies may export jobs to other countries, thus worsening French unemployment over the longer-term. The recent widespread protests and disruptions are also expected to cut a tenth or two off French Q1 GDP.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 8:23 AM | link
GOOD JOKE OF THE DAY
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 7:56 AM | link
Sunday, April 09, 2006BAD JOKE OF THE DAY
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 12:46 PM | link
AN ECONOMICS PROFESSOR LEARNS FROM THE REAL WORLD Yes, even in France:
PARIS Danielle Scache tries to avoid using the term "capitalism" in her economics class because it has negative connotations in France.Thanks to reader Jill Olson for the link.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 12:44 PM | link
DO DIFFERENT INCOME TAX RATES MATTER? Greg Mankiw says on his blog,
Yes, they do, for the simple reason that people respond to incentives. Here is a summary of a study of international differences by Steven Davis and Magnus Henrekson:A tax hike of 12.8 percentage points (one standard deviation) leads to 122 fewer hours of market work per adult per year and a 4.9 percentage point drop in the employment-to-population ratio. It also increases the size of the shadow economy by 3.8 percent of official GDP, and it reduces by 10 to 30 percent the share of national output and employment in "Retail Trade and Repairs," in "Eating, Drinking, and Lodging," and in a broader category that includes "Wholesale Trade and Motor Trade and Repair." The evidence suggests that tax rate differences among rich countries are a major reason for large international differences in market work time and in the industry mix of market activity.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 11:38 AM | link
LIKE WE REALLY WANT THEIR OPINION Reuters:
Conservationists and artists gathered at the edge of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya on Sunday to put an end to bad publicity they say migratory birds receive as the main vectors for spreading avian flu.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 11:34 AM | link