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April 16, 2013 06:34 AM UTC

Tuesday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

"It never troubles the wolf how many the sheep may be."



13 thoughts on “Tuesday Open Thread

  1. Yesterday's political trivia question: No one got Benjamin "Spoons" Butler.

    the latter nickname [Spoons] derived for his alleged habit of pilfering the silverware of Southern homes in which he stayed.

    And the second part was:

    Most notorious was Butler's General Order No. 28 of May 15, 1862, that if any woman should insult or show contempt for any officer or soldier of the United States, she shall be regarded and shall be held liable to be treated as a "woman of the town plying her avocation", i.e., a prostitute. This was in response to women in the town who were pouring buckets of their own urine on Union soldiers, and who at the time could get away with anything as respectable women.

    On to todays question:

    Aircraft carriers are presently named after U.S. Presidents. Except for Jimmy Carter. In his case they named a nuclear submarine after him. Why?

      1. Here in Boulder, we had 14" on the deck last night, but only a couple inches in the street. Most of it melted as it fell on warm pavement yesterday. It was no problem driving this morning.

  2. Why isn't this the top economy store in the press?

    If this error turns out to be an actual mistake Reinhart-Rogoff made, well, all I can hope is that future historians note that one of the core empirical points providing the intellectual foundation for the global move to austerity in the early 2010s was based on someone accidentally not updating a row formula in Excel.

    1. I agree, David. This information needs to be widely disseminated to show people the misinformation upon which Paul Ryan and his ilk base their conclusions.

      Not exactly light reading…but very important to understand.

    2. David, I don't know why you are being obtuse.  For those of you who don't have time to read the article – and the many others out there – let me explain.

      Two neo-liberal economists from Ivy League universities wrote a paper – and eventually a book – that asserted the countries where government debt exceeded 90% of GDP show economic growth of -0.1%, i.e high debt cause negative economic growth. If true, this is important. It's not.

      Other economists tried to replicate their results and couldn't.  So, they asked for the data from these guys. They refused to turn over their data – until recently. Guess what? The data and the computation of the data are flawed.  Here is what was found:

      • There was a computational (math) error in their Exel spreadsheet which made the data look like it supported their theory.
      • They excluded data which did not support their theory.
      • They "weighted" data to support their theory.

      Remember that old cliche, "Figures lie and liars figure." Well, is applies with a vengence to these two.

      The importance of this discovery is that the original research has been used by Ryan and his right wing buddies and by Germany to foist all kinds of austerity programs upon us and the people of southern Europe at significant human suffering.

    3. What crap!

      Obviously weighting one year of New Zealand data the same as 19 years of Great Britian data is nonsense, but also, what about weighting for size of the economy?  Even with the same number of years, GB dwarves NZ.  Shouldn't the size of the economy be weighed as well?

    4. Read somewhere that some politician? economist? (got to start bookmarking my brain!)  felt that this was no biggy and had no adverse "real world" consequenses. Hope he didn't say it within hearing distance of a Greek.

      Frankly, in human terms, the disasterous assumptions based on this "error" have had nearly as devastating results as assumptions about Iraqi WMDs.

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