December 22, 2012

To be, or not to be, a #GnuAtheist #Grinch

I have been thinking more and more about Tom Flynn of the Center for Inquiry and his Gnu Atheist Grinch post.

In a nutshell, Flynn says atheists should not celebrate Christmas, no way, no how, not even in its secularized form in modern America. 

Flynn could see this as a great way to write about science, as I did, from astronomy and celestial mechanics down to human evolutionary biology, as well as celebrating someone who was some sort of humanist.

But, nooo ... we get another Gnu Atheist proving himself to be a village idiot atheist.

The man sounds like a Gnu Atheist Scrooge! And, it got me wondering just what else he might want to forgo because it has a religious connotation.

So, Tom, will you refuse to eat kosher food, simply because it's been killed in a certain style for religious reasons? Will you stop eating Easter eggs, because of their Christian background which in turn came from pagan fertility thoughts? Likewise, will you stop eating the chocolate Easter bunny?

Do you refuse to say Gesundheit because it derives from superstition? 

Even worse? He's so pedantic to dislike the current calendar because of its pagan-god names for days and months. No, really:
As I’ve written elsewhere, I got kind of psyched for the French Republican calendar when Madalyn O’Hair tried to bring it back in American Atheist magazine some years ago. (Happy first of Ventose, by the way.) But it would be seriously deficient for adoption today. For one thing, it has the same problem as a calendar that the Winter Solstice has as a holiday: it’s not applicable to today’s global society. The month names are tied to the climate in the northern temperate zones. For example, the current month, Ventose, means “snowy.” One of the summer months is Fructidor, which means “fruitful.” Good luck getting the folks in Rio to embrace that!
Wow. (He got his Revolutionary French months screwed up, but later corrected that.) Anyway, even the godless Communists, in their Russky incarnation, still kept religious names for days of the week when they made a new calendar.

More seriously, and tying to ideas I often go into in more depth at my other blog, will you stop listening not only to "Silent Night," but also the "Messiah," or Mozart's "Requiem"? What about Alfred Schnittke's "Requiem," written by an apparent unbeliever in the Soviet Union?

The first time I heard "Messiah" live was when I was either a junior or senior in high school, and it was also my intro to a major symphonic group, as the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, under principal guest conductor Raymond Leppard, was playing it.

Well, I think the night before the performance I went to, he was interviewed on St. Louis' classical radio station. And the announcer asked him a question along the lines of, "How can/do you, a secularist, perform this piece?"

And Leppard said something about "the human spirit."

And, in hindsight (which I certainly didn't have at the time) that epitomizes the secular humanist vs. the stereotypical Gnu Atheist.

At the time, I didn't get it.

The son of a minister who had just gone back to seminary for his doctorate of theology, in the main conservative denomination within Lutheranism, I just didn't get it.

It took a bit after I made my journey to atheism more than a decade later, in fact, to get it. While I wasn't a GnuAtheist type, nonetheless, I couldn't see how one could appreciate the "human spirit" of a clearly religious work, from a secularist angle.

But, even before reading the likes of a Scott Atran or a Pascal Boyer on the evolutionary biology of religious belief, eventually my atheist thinking matured and I did "get it."

So, whether it's "Messiah," Bach's "Magnificat," or a requiem, either by Mozart, Schnittke or Brahms, I can appreciate the human spirit which dealt with serious matters of life and death through magnificent musical works, or also works of art.

And, to the degree I feel these creators had the wrong answers, I can nonetheless sympathize with their drive, even empathize, and also feel a bit ... pensive? poignant? about that all.

December 21, 2012

Perry loses AGAIN on women's health — as does state

In Waco, US District Judge Walter S. Smith has just ruled that the US Department of Health and Human Services can indeed stop sending money to Texas if Gov. Rick Perry and his GOP numbnuts keep trying to put Planned Parenthood out of business, essentially, by changing how it operates the Women's Health Program.

It's a sad turn of events. But, the legal ruling is certainly expected.

Perry and Greg Abbott will of course appeal.

I assume they'll lose at the appellate level, and then SCOTUS will refuse to grant cert.

So, soon enough, we'll be at eyeball-blink time. What will Tricky Ricky do?

Answer? If the Lege is still in session, he'll stay the course, and won't go back to previous funding. He doesn't want a tea party firestorm. If we're after the end of May, who knows.

Texas to lose its oil perch?

Fracking has expanded production in the Permian Basin, and gone on to open the Eagle Ford play for oil as well as gas. That, combined with the decline of the North Slope in Alaska, moved Texas back into the No. 1 slot among oil states a few years back.

But, the same modern techniques may make that perch short-lived. And, no, it's not North Dakota that's threatening.

Instead, the Golden State may be the new kingpin for black gold.

A shale play near Monterey, Calif., could have double the reserves of Eagle Ford plus North Dakota's Bakken combined.

Of course, as the story notes, Californai has strong environmental  laws. How much that will affect Monterey production, I don't know.

But, with California's population and refineries, you know oil companies are just itching to get at this.

At the same time, this has to be another concern for global warming issues. It certainly means that oil prices won't go so high as to discourage too much SUV use in the US, or the growth of car ownership in China and India.

Adjusting for inflation, if the Monterey play starts development any time soon, I'd say oil will stay below $110/bbl for the rest of the decade.

But, that's a big if. The Center for Biological Diversity has already annouced plans to sue. That area is also the home of wine grapes, strawberries, Gilroy-area garlic, and more. That alone will slow development.

And, it's also the home of earthquakes. Given that fracking already seems pretty well connected to some small earthquakes, fracking in close proximity to the San Andreas Fault sounds scary as hell. It also will be challenging, I'm sure.

Also, even if this bonanza leads us to meeting all our oil needs domestically, that still doesn't insulate the US from world oil issues.

December 20, 2012

The real Obama - he was always there


Obama's latest sellout reminded me of some of my photoshopping from a few years back. I did this on Shepard Fairey's own iconic photoshopping. It has a 2012 campaign companion photo here.

No, I'm not being too harsh on Obama. Wake up, folks. Vernon Jordan took him on a dog-and-pony show before a bunch of Wall Streeters way back in 2003 for their USDA Prime seal of approval. (He got it.)

You Obamiac types are still "projecting" your wish fulfillment on him. You "my Democrats right or wrong," as I've said before, are "enabling" Obama like a spouse or lover enables an alcoholic or addict.

So, stop posting your Daily Kos and Salon links on Facebook. If you want any chance of stopping Obama's Social Security sellout, the only way is by dealing with the Republican devil.

Yeah,  I know, he's actually a genius. Secret plan to end the war, too, and all that.

Of course, exactly two years ago, he was a genius in the same situation, right? Only it wasn't even the same situation, because the GOP didn't yet control the House. Yet, somehow, Dear Leader managed to turn the Bush tax cuts into the Obama tax cuts with almost nothing  of note in return.

December 19, 2012

Bummed over #OBummer and Social Security? A modest solution

I love that Democratic friends of mine on Facebook are saying "call your Congressman" over Dear Leader's proposed cuts to Social Security. (This doesn't mention a possible increase in the Medicare retirement age, or whatever else is in his magic box of rocks, either now, or in 2014 when Fiscal Cliff Part Deux hits the shitscreen.)

Now, why would I do that?

O'Bummer is surely already leaning on Hairy Reed, aka Harry Reid, to take back any hint of possible opposition he has expressed to this idea.

You want to try to stop this effing train wreck?

If you're a Democrat, whether "Democrats always, right or wrong," an independent-minded Democrat, an independent-minded left-liberal of sorts like me, or whatever, there is a Plan B.

Especially if, like me, you live in a red state.

DO call your Republican Congresscritter or Senator.

Tell him (it's very unlikely to be a her) that you oppose this deal because it's not good enough. For example, if you're here in Texas? Tell John Cornyn, Lamar Smith, even Gohmert Pyle if you have the stomach, to hold out for more. Tell them to buck John Boehner.

That's the only way this gets stopped.

Of course, there's a hell of a risk.

And, if you aren't still wearing rose-colored glasses, you know that risk.

It's that O'Bummer finds even more stores to give away.

And, it is a real risk.

Why?

Because he's a liar. He's telling a tacit lie that Social Security has something to do with the deficit.

That's not just me saying that.

Ronald Reagan (and remember how much Obama likes him?) says so too:






The GOP — Plan B vs. Plan B

So, here's your GOP cheat sheet, as Carrot Face, John Boehner, pushes a "Plan B" to avoid a fiscal non-cliff. Plan B is fine when it imposes deficit austerity and screws the poor and middle class. Plan B is horrible when it's a birth control pill to prevent tragically unwanted effects of screwing among the poor and middle class.

It's all about who's been screwed, when, where and why.

John Cornyn gets an "F" in US history

Hear's what US Senator John Cornyn (R-Wingnut), soon to become Texas' senior wingnut US senator, said about his retiring colleague, Kay Bailey Hutchison:
This is an historic moment for many reasons. We are paying tribute to an extraordinary woman who has made history by being the first female United States Senator, and someone who spent the last two decades fighting for commonsense values here in our nation's capital. 
Rather, per the Senate's own website, Rebecca Latimer Felton had that honor back in 1922. Indeed, Hutchison is only 22nd in seniority.

Whether this is more due to "everything's bigger in Texas" or what, I don't know. But, for a US Senator to be that ignorant of Senate history, women's history in the US and more is just unbelievable. Of course, this just opens him to further charges of not really caring about women, women's rights, etc.

And, yes, he does say that, himself, about 1 minute in. That's not a staff transcription error. (His staffer on press emails commented back, "first in TX." Not acknowledging her boss screwed up.)

Speaking of, boy he sure does look "heartfelt" in his farewell, doesn't he?


December 18, 2012

Obama's Social Security sellout is starting - let the lies follow

Yeah, yeah, Obamiacs. Tell me how "he's better than the alternative." Tell me about how his hands are tied, etc.

And, I'll respond with reality.

So will Ronald Reagan, who also, to put it politely, sets Obama straight, or to put it bluntly, calls him a liar:



Obama's already caving on how COLAs will be calculated for Social Security. And he's also caving on the Bush Obama tax cuts ending, changing the baseline from $250K to $400K.

And, we're nowhere near a "deal" or Jan. 1, 2013 yet.

What's next?

Raising the retirement age?

Raising the Medicare eligibility age?

And what of substance is the GOP giving back?

Have we heard anything about raising rates on capital gains? Closing top-end loopholes?

No and no.

Simpson and Bowles will probably get invited to a White House press conference about the Catfood Commission's stamp of approval before that happens. Stand by for Dear Leader to continue compromising away the compromise.

Krugman says he's not sure on the deal parameters so far, and, he's not mentioning what else could be in the mix before we're done. Ezra Klein says it is indeed possible it will include Medicare age hikes.

So, I will actually be in the reality-based community.

Where the Obama-based community will be, I don't know.

Beyond a backstabber, he's a liar, if Social Security is being put in the mix in order to cut the deficit. Because we all know that FICA taxes have nothing to do with the deficit. Period. End of story.

Therefore, Obama acting as though they do? He's a liar. Sorry ... no other word for it. He's not claiming it's to help Social Security's solvency. Rather, it's part of a deficit/debt deal in the general budget, therefore he's a liar.

Will Harry Reid stand by his pledge last month to reject any "deal" that includes Social Security, or will he become a liar, too? Stay tuned. His most recent verbiage have him at least halfway firm, but, White House pressure to do any deal before Christmas will probably get hot and heavy.

For a realistic idea about what to do to try to stop this, go here.

If you're going to elect Dale Murphy to the Hall of Fame, you gotta ...

With just weeks left until this year's Baseball Hall of Fame announcement, beyond the special splash this year of speculation of how many votes recently retired alleged roiders will get, there's the annual push to get Dale Murphy and Jack Morris in the Hall of Fame.

This post is about the Murph, so ...

Let's look at the Murph's stats.
                                                                     
R         H  2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB  CS  BB   SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
17       40   9  1   4   14   1   1   2   27 .288 .308 .453 .761  111
27       62  10  3   4   29   3   3  10   53 .282 .322 .409 .731  108
75      172  35 10  25  101   8   6  38   89 .308 .357 .541 .898  149
82      168  28 10  13   90  19   7  30   80 .313 .349 .475 .824  133
107     215  44  8  21   88  17  19  58  107 .338 .397 .531 .927  145
102     194  32 12  30  117  20   7  57   92 .334 .394 .585 .979  166
109     193  45  7  25   94  20   4  67  101 .310 .380 .526 .906  140
71      153  31  1  17   79  10   7  25   69 .295 .327 .458 .785  115
29       62  14  3   9   48   6   2   9   25 .258 .287 .454 .742  105
41       66  19  3   6   29   7   5  22   45 .270 .330 .447 .776  113
68      154  29  4  12   69  12   9  28   89 .279 .311 .411 .722   97
73      173  28  0  16   94  11  10  41   89 .285 .328 .410 .738  104
88      198  42  4  34  125   5  13  52   80 .312 .365 .551 .916  149
89      174  31  3  31  116   1   6  56  126 .273 .330 .477 .807  117
77      149  28  0  26   97   7   3  44  104 .253 .311 .433 .744   92
43       97  18  1  12   55   0   1  32   70 .257 .314 .406 .720  103
56      146  27  0  22   97   0   0  38   91 .264 .308 .432 .741  110
71      176  30  3  21   92   4   7  41  102 .289 .330 .451 .781  118
47      120  26  2  11   59   3   3  33   98 .239 .288 .365 .653   81
45      108  22  2  11   56   3   2  29   91 .232 .279 .358 .638   76
2        12   4  0   0    3   0   1   4    7 .333 .400 .444 .844  130
1272   2712 526 75 339 1493 154 113 683 1537 .290 .339 .471 .810  121

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/18/2012.
Nice, solid numbers, eh?

Now, a few of you may be scratching your heads at this point. Those of you really familiar with his stats know they're not his.

No, they're not. They're Dave Parker's numbers.

Here's Murphy's.

                                                                    
R         H  2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB   SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
3        17   6  0   0    9   0  0   7    9 .262 .333 .354 .687   91
5        24   8  1   2   14   0  1   0    8 .316 .316 .526 .842  112
66      120  14  3  23   79  11  7  42  145 .226 .284 .394 .679   80
53      106   7  2  21   57   6  1  38   67 .276 .340 .469 .809  113
98      160  27  2  33   89   9  6  59  133 .281 .349 .510 .858  135
43       91  12  1  13   50  14  5  44   72 .247 .325 .390 .716  100
113     168  23  2  36  109  23 11  93  134 .281 .378 .507 .885  142
131     178  24  4  36  121  30  4  90  110 .302 .393 .540 .933  149
94      176  32  8  36  100  19  7  79  134 .290 .372 .547 .919  149
118     185  32  2  37  111  10  3  90  141 .300 .388 .539 .927  152
89      163  29  7  29   83   7  7  75  141 .265 .347 .477 .824  121
115     167  27  1  44  105  16  6 115  136 .295 .417 .580 .997  157
77      134  35  4  24   77   3  5  74  125 .226 .313 .421 .734  106
60      131  16  0  20   84   3  2  65  142 .228 .306 .361 .667   89
60      138  23  1  24   83   9  3  61  130 .245 .318 .417 .735   99
38       81  14  0  17   55   9  2  41   84 .232 .312 .418 .731   96
22       57   9  1   7   28   0  1  20   46 .266 .328 .416 .744  105
66      137  33  1  18   81   1  0  48   93 .252 .309 .415 .724  103
5        10   1  0   2    7   0  0   1   13 .161 .175 .274 .449   26
1         6   1  0   0    7   0  0   5   15 .143 .224 .167 .391    1
1197   2111 350 39 398 1266 161 68 986 1748 .265 .346 .469 .815  121


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/18/2012.
Just not quite as good as Parker's, are they? The biggie career stat, OPS+, is a virtual tie. Counting stats? Parker's well ahead in most.

But, surely, Murph was affected by injuries in part. And, surely, with 2 MVP awards — shades of Joe Morgan! — he was the more valuable player.

I won't argue there.

Here's the Murph's career number on a few sabermetric stats:
                                  
RAA    WAA RAR  WAR oWAR dWAR oRAR
140   16.3 412 42.6 44.9 -7.6  445

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/18/2012.

And here's Parker's:
                                  
RAA   WAA RAR  WAR oWAR  dWAR oRAR
44    6.7 354 36.3 37.9 -15.5  375

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/18/2012.

So, Murph WAS more valuable, yes. But, enough more valuable, not only in comparison to Parker but the HOF hurdle, to offset a relatively short career, and various injuries, and get in?

I say no.

If you use injuries/short career as an "out," then ... you have to elect Don Mattingly! Without me collapsing and formatting tables, just click his link along with Murph's. Mattingly had similar counting stats, and similar WAA and WAR, in an even shorter career.

(Sidebar: Murphy's dWAR shows that arguments for his admission based on part on his defensive prowess are overrated, too. And Parker was even more overrated.)

Anyway, that's the "you gotta" from the header. If you're going to elect Murph, you gotta elect the Cobra, or at least give him some serious consideration. (And, sidebar, you really gotta elect Mattingly, then). Because their careers almost exactly overlapped, comparing their Wins Above Replacement and Wins Above Average is very relevant. And, because they were both outfielders, the same goes for dWAR.

Now, related to that, why doesn't Parker get the HOF love Murphy does?

I'll be blunt.

I think it's a black and white issue, pun very much intended.

Related to that Parker was dirty — cocaine dirty — while Murphy was squeaky clean. Related to that, Parker was an irritating personality, while Murphy was ingratiating.

So, if you're the type of person who says we're worrying too much about actual, alleged, or possible roiders, or gamblers, and we shouldn't necessarily keep those types out, I'll do reverse intellectual judo and say, don't give an extra bump to somebody just because he's a nice guy.

Now, on point No. 3, on Murphy-Parker differences, some people make the same claims as to why Jim Rice took so long to get in the HOF. Well, first, he doesn't belong there. But, a Murphy-like campaign got him in. His personality has nothing to do with it.

And, I grew up in the 70s, too. And, to be honest, perhaps also reflecting personality differences, but perhaps also reflecting baseball ... I never feared Murphy at his peak the same way I did Parker.

Now, a sidebar, picking up from the top.

Morris, I've covered before. Shorter case here: He is not even close to Bert Blyleven, so those of you making this claim, stop it. Reality is that he's the worst 250-game winner in the history of baseball. He is at best no better than Early Wynn, who shouldn't be in the Hall himself, probably, and who definitely shows what happens when you rely too much on one single "counting" stat.

My two quick and easy reference stats for pitchers are ERA+ and WHIP/9. If your ERA+ for your career is above 110, good. If the career WHIP is at or below 1.25, good. If you only clear one of two hurdles, not good.

Well, Wynn and Morris both miss both hurdles. Pretty clear that one's a fake HOFer and the other shouldn't be let in. Blyleven, on the other hand, clears both hurdles with ease. Or, to put it another way, Blyleven's WAA is higher than Morris' WAR. Sabermetric types know that's a HUGE difference.

So, if you compare Black Jack to the Hotfooter on this blog, I'll kick you in the cybernads. Period.

Now, a little background to my Hall of Fame blogging —

I am a "small Hall" guy. In fact, I think there's plenty of people we should vote back OUT of Cooperstown. Here's some pitchers, and some batters, looking just at the modern baseball era, who need the boot.

And, click the  "MLB Hall of Fame" tag for more on other candidates on this year's ballot and my thoughts.


Oh, and while you're here, please vote in my poll.

Dallas Morning News comes out of the marriage closet

I had missed this, and a Dallas Facebook friend or two hadn't told me about it, but the Dallas Morning News, last Sunday, ran a house editorial explicitly supporting gay marriage.

Wow. Just wow.

That said, Snooze op-ed columnist Bil McKenzie wrote an in-house column also supporting gay marriage back in 2010. Of course, that's different than a house editorial. The Morning News is not a wingnut paper. But, I'd still call them officially "conservative" as far as op-ed tilt.

Here's the heart of the editorial:
We respect that some religious traditions see same-sex unions as an affront to their canons, scriptures and traditions. The First Amendment protects such places of worship from being compelled to conduct same-sex marriages. Additionally, the justices should take care to carve out strong and significant protections so that the institutions’ religious liberties, for instance their tax-exempt status, are not circumscribed.
In 2004, this newspaper opposed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. We have backed efforts to outlaw discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation. Now, we believe that the Supreme Court should conclude that equality under the law includes the right of gay couples to wed.
What’s at stake before the Supreme Court is how a secular society should respond to the growing demand for same-sex marriage. That is where Olson’s arguments seem so persuasive. How can a secular government grant marriage rights to some but not others?
Go read it all.

And pass it on to your red-state friends.

ESPN Bill James BOTH wrong on Steve Garvey

I don't care if Steve Wulf of ESPN says that Bill James says that Steve Garvey should have been in the MLB Hall of Fame 15 years ago, because they're both wrong.

Yes, the 70s and 80s were low-offense eras, and he played in Dodger Stadium. Still, a 1B with less than 300 HRs and barely 1,300 RBIs? Plus, he didn't deserve a single one of his Gold Gloves. I guess Mr. Sabermetric Guru Bill James missed that he had a negative dWAR every one of his Gold Glove seasons.

He was NOT "an excellent fielder."

Here's the reality. A career Wins Above Average of 7.0. Zero WAR years above 5. That's not even close to a HOFer. I mean, while Keith Hernandez also isn't a HOFer, he's a hell of a lot closer than Garvey.

Hernandez would at least, realistically, make my Hall of the Very Good. Garvey? He wouldn't even get to breathe that room's air.

I grew up in the 70s. In New Mexico. Got KTLA on our cable. Saw Steve Garvey (while hearing Vin Scully). Saw minor leaguers move up from AAA Albuquerque.

And. I. Never. Never thought Garvey was a HOFer. Never.

Anyway, here's the crux of Wulf's stupidity:
But he's also one of the great players from that period who have been hurt by the inflation of statistics fueled by the increasing use of PEDs, which happened to coincide with the HOF eligibility for the earlier era.
Well, maybe that's true for writers who aren't sabermetric-friendly.

But Wulf, and James, both know that WAR and WAA are measured only against a player's peers on the field from year to year. So, to the sabermetrically minded who are also sabermetrically honest, we know that Garvey isn't deserving.

And, per the comments thread, I think James was touting as well as predicting. And, he's been wrong on other touts.

Stuff like this is also why I turn to Yahoo Sports for real sports news and to ESPN, with exceptions here and there, for laughs.

ESPN is better on golf still, I'd say. But, on the major sports? Not even close.

Oh, and despite his guru-like status, this is far from the first "howler" out of Bill James' mouth, too. Indeed, in the same article, Wulf quotes him as touting Dave Parker and Dale Murphy. Both are better candidates than Garvey, but no better than Hernandez, if that.

As for Parker, I think that reflects my stance that James was touting, not predicting. Anybody who looks at Parker vs. Dale Murphy and was a fan back then knows that Parker carries more "personal baggage" than Tim Raines or Jim Rice, as I blogged about.

And, with Murphy, it's clearly an emotional choice.

Anyway, can't some people simply accept the contributions Bill James has made while at the same time not putting him on such a pedestal?

(Beyond this ESPN piece, Dick Allen is another player that James gets TOTALLY wrong on touting — yes, touting, not predicting — him as a HOFer.)

And, click the  "MLB Hall of Fame" tag for more on other candidates on this year's ballot and my thoughts. 

Also, per the commenter below, Bill James gets Jack Morris very wrong. And Bill Mazerowski, too, if James really claimed he was the greatest defensive player of all time.

Walmart: Aggressive and crereative corrupter

The New York Times has a big new series of articles apparently coming out, picking up on reporting from April, about Walmart's briberies in Mexico.

Here's the nut grafs from the intro piece:
The Times’s examination reveals that Wal-Mart de Mexico was not the reluctant victim of a corrupt culture that insisted on bribes as the cost of doing business. Nor did it pay bribes merely to speed up routine approvals. Rather, Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited. 
How much, how bad?

We're not talking a few thousand dollars. Nor a few tens of thousands.

Just a little ways into the story, if you're adding the bribe amounts mentioned, you already roll the money odometer past the million-dollar mark.

There's also a culture of corruption. Walmart allegedly never paid bribe money itself, directly, to elected or appointed government officials. Instead, it used a group of ... well, fixers! And ones apparently known to be good at their work. Which then leads one to wonder just how much Walmart knew about them, in terms of advance research.

Anyway, the article is long, but good.

December 17, 2012

I'll personally kick Obama in the nads if ...

If this rumor/speculation is true and Tim Geithner is his choice to replace Ben Bernanke to run the Fed.

Incompetence, Peter Principle, arrogance, ego, elitism, etc., etc ... dammit, I'm running out of adjectives to describe Geithner.

But, William D. Cohan lays out a strong inside-the-Beltway case for Little Timmy both wanting, and probably getting, the job:
The usual list of highly qualified candidates to replace Bernanke -- including Lawrence Summers, the former Treasury secretary and Harvard University president; Janet Yellen, a current vice chairman of the Fed; and Alan Krueger, the precocious chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers -- misses the person who probably wants it the most and continues to have Obama’s ear on a regular basis: Geithner.

Last spring, Geithner told Obama he wanted to leave Treasury as soon as possible and return to New York so that he could rejoin his family, while his youngest child was still in high school. But Obama prevailed on Geithner to stick around until after the election. And he remains in Washington to help Obama negotiate a deal on spending and taxes with Congress. 

Had Geithner been serious about wanting to leave town, he probably would have thrown his hat into the ring to become president of Dartmouth College, his alma mater. But that position went to Philip Hanlon, the provost of the University of Michigan, without Geithner’s name being mentioned. Expect Geithner to seek a short-term sinecure at a liberal think-tank, such as the Brookings Institution, or to return to the Council on Foreign Relations, or to cash in as an adviser to a hedge fund (as Summers did at D.E. Shaw & Co. after he left Treasury) while he awaits the possibility of getting nominated as Fed chairman. 
Doorknob help us all ... the Fed will be cutting all sorts of backdoor deals with the banksters. Even more so if Jaime Dimon is named Geithner's replacement at Treasury.

That said, be honest. Even if you're an off-the-boards Obamiac, would such a move really surprise you?

The only possible condolence is that he might be better at the job than Summers. But, you know? I'm not even sure about that.