Sunday, November 29, 2009

Perino: "No terrorist attack during Bush's term."

Yes, the history books will show that 9-11 and the anthrax attacks happened under Bill Clinton.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Stafford: "I can throw the ball..."

"...if you need me to throw the ball." (at 4:30 on the video).

Remember this kid is 21 years old. I think Detroit has found their Hula Blue Jesus.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sarah Palin Whines to Oprah

Boo- fucking -hoo. Palin's kids are off limits!! Except when she purposely inserts them into controversial political and social discussions.

Bristol tells Greta Vansusteren all about abstinence and birth control.

Piper is a Superstar of the anti-abortion movement.

Whether you like Obama or not, his kids are not used as tools to promote his political aspirations or social agenda.

And can someone tell Ms. Palin that, ever since Nixon, whiners don't become president.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ayn Rand: The bitch is back

Barry Ritholtz discusses the GQ story.

Sarah Palin "Going Rogue"

She's such a bad-ass. (Isn't it a bit weird that she named her book after the line written and popularized by comedienne Tina Fey?)

The remarkable thing about the pre-publication buzz is the willingness of McCain operatives to go on record with their disdain. If these folks regarded her as politically viable, I don't think they'd be distancing themselves from her. These are not anonymous statements; they are on record.

Former McCain strategist John Weaver slammed Palin for using the book for “petty and pathetic” score-settling.

“Sarah Palin reminds me of Jimmy Stewart in the movie 'Harvey,' complete with imaginary conversations. All books like these are revisionist and self-serving, by definition,” Weaver wrote in an email to POLITICO. “But the score-settling by someone who wants to be considered a serious national player is petty and pathetic.”

“The problem wasn't who her interview was with, the problem was her interview,” he added. “Couric asked no trick questions."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Monday, November 09, 2009

Feldstein and the Loophole in Healthcare

Martin Feldstein has a long history of being full of shit, so I have little doubt his recent op-ed in the Washington Post is riddled with inaccuracies. Frankly, I've been a bit busy lately and have not read through the entire 1990 pages of the current House bill, but Feldstein claims that forgoing health insurance would be cost effective for most Americans because the House bill contains a provision whereby the uninsured can purchase a policy after-the-fact of becoming ill or injured. On it's face this sounds preposterous, but that's what he said and the Washington Post published.

The debate about health care has contained so much bullshit from its opponents that my reaction is to disbelieve everything that is said by them. Obviously, financial interests by the health insurers and pharmaceutical companies have spent lavishly to lobby against this bill, but I could certainly envision the possibility that a gaping loophole was left. If Feldstein, "an independent outside director for Eli Lilly", is lying on this-- as he was in July-- then he and the editorial board WaPo should all be castrated and the bill sent to their respective insurance companies.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Ritholtz lays into Buffett

Barry Ritholtz seems a little annoyed at the folksy Oracle of Omaha. I gagged after the third of fourth time I heard Buffett's narrative of his recent railroad purchase. "I had my assistant take me over to the office and the purchase took about 15 minutes." Aw shucks. (Some of the comments on Ritholtz' site are priceless.)

Stewart channels Beck

Perfect! Jon Stewart in a tour de force performance captures the essence of Glenn Beck's cognitive dissonance and narcissism. The nations's court jester has been knocking on the door of perfection for quite a while, and now he has made it through. Unless you watch the Beckmeister the value of this skit may be lost, but the only thing missing was the red phone. Whoever said that comedic material would be lacking after Bush left the White House never watched Fox News.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Is the US' infant mortality really that bad?

Short answer: No, actually we have probably the best perinatal health care in the world.

This story in the New York Times is just about the most misleading item I've read in a long time. The Skeptical OB has an excellent detailed review, but I'll list the salient points.

When comparing infant mortality in the US vs Europe:

1. The US has a higher population of women of African descent which is an independent risk factor for pre-term birth.

2. Other countries often do not count extremely premature infants in their mortality statisitics.

3. The numbers do not correct for multiple births (twins, triplets, etc.) due to assisted reproductive technologies, which are used more widely in the US.

These are fatal flaws when comparing the US infant mortality to other developed nations. One odd comment by the statistician conducting the survey, Dr. Marian MacDormand, who said that "the strong role prematurity played came as a surprise to her." Huh? Prematurity has been recognized as by far the number one cause of infant mortality for, oh I don't know, the last 10,000 years.

Another oddity is the willingness of the medical director of the March of Dimes, Dr. Alan Fleischman, to throw the "US health system" under the bus, calling these findings an "indictment" of the poor way in which we care for women and children. I'm the first to say that the US health care system needs an overhaul, but not because of any incompetence of our perinatal services.

In fact, the issues of limited access that have adverse effects on overall US health care are almost nonexistent in regards to prenatal care and perinatal services. State-run, federally-funded Medicaid sets the income requirement very leniently for pregnant women thus allowing all pregnant women access to timely care.

If one were to correct for the larger numbers of multiple gestations and premature births in the US and the higher percentage of women of African descent, in fact the highest in the developed world, the US may still have higher infant mortality, but I doubt it and it certainly isn't shown in this study.

One modifiable risk factor is the liberal use of artificial reproductive technologies in the United States, and perhaps governing bodies should emphasize the importance of reducing multiple gestations.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Cheney's Memory Deficiency

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Every time I see Dick Cheney I wonder why he isn't in jail, but then I understand the rule of law and the 5th Amendment, yada, yada, yada. Of course, the hundreds of detainees in Gitmo and other illegal centers have likely done far less damage to our republic than Mr. Cheney, yet were imprisoned with far less evidence against them.

The real question is why sociopaths like Cheney are accepted by the electorate composed of supposedly rational human beings... and I cannot help but think that this basic flaw in human nature, this allowance for truly criminal and destructive behavior in our leaders, will someday lead to the end of our species. I just hope it's more than forty years hence.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

SPY: Wolfe Wave?

This is what keeps bears up at night: the appearance of a suspicious Wolfe Wave bullish pattern. I still remain net short, but this warrants close observation.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Nobody did it better than the great Walter Payton.