Who You Gonna Believe? – Paul Krugman

I’m a bit late in blogging about this, but it’s important enough to post anyway:

The New York Times – Paul Krugman

I went through my mail today, and got the usual batch of letters declaring that I’m wrong about everything, and that we should do the opposite of anything I say. Hey, it’s a free country.

But I found myself wondering, as I often do, about the determination with which people believe pundits who please them ideologically, no matter how wrong they have repeatedly been — wrong in ways that, if you believed them, cost you money.

Suppose you had spent the last five years actually believing what you read from the usual suspects — the WSJ opinion pages, National Review, right-wing economists, etc.. Here’s what would have happened:

In 2006 you would have believed that there was no housing bubble.

In 2007 you would have believed that the troubles of subprime couldn’t possibly spread to the financial system as a whole.

In 2008 you would have believed that we weren’t in a recession — and that the failure of Lehman was unlikely to have bad consequences for the real economy.

In 2009 you would have believed that high inflation was just around the corner.

At the beginning of 2010 you would have believed that sky-high interest rates were just around the corner.

Now, we all make mistakes and get things wrong — although it’s striking how often the trolls on this blog feel the need to accuse yours truly of saying things I didn’t. But after this string of errors, wouldn’t you at least begin to suspect that the people you find congenial have a fundamentally wrong-headed view of how the world works?

Guess not.

New Birth Baptist Missionary Church

Eddie Long’s crimes against the Gospel

Atlanta Journal Constitution – Cynthia Tucker

I’ve never been a fan of “Bishop” Eddie Long, who, among other self-aggrandizing moves, has flouted Baptist practice by naming himself a bishop. I have detested his gay-bashing and loathed his narcissistic lifestyle. I’ve doubted the theology of his “prosperity” ministry.

Nothing more aptly describes the way that New Birth Missionary Baptist Church has become a cult of personality — not Jesus Christ’s personality, but Eddie Long’s — than the responses by Long and a few of his congregants to allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation.

In a sermon carried live by TV cameras yesterday, Long very dramatically told his congregation he is “under attack.” From the WaPo:

“Please hear this: I have been accused. I’m under attack. I want you to know that I am not a perfect man, but this thing I’m gon’ fight,” said Long, who also preached a short sermon on surviving painful times.

“I feel like David against Goliath, but I’ve got five rocks, and I haven’t thrown one yet,” the bishop said to roaring applause as he dropped his microphone on the pulpit with a thud, took his wife Vanessa’s hand and left the stage.

If Long were going to compare himself to a Biblical character, he should have chosen Goliath.

Then there was this quote from one of Long’s parishoners:

“The devil always tries to attack the kingdom, but we know that victory is ahead,” said Ian Waite, who has been a member of the church for six years. “We will fight it on our knees with prayer and fasting.

“He’s not a perfect man, but God will fight on his behalf. . . . If it ends up being true, we have to be there on his behalf. He’s just human. In life, we have failure and downfalls, but God will see you through.”

I’m sorry, but New Birth is not “the kingdom.”

We don’t yet know whether Long is guilty of sexual abuse, but it’s clear that he’s guilty of perverting the Gospel.


Ann Coulter To Gay Conservatives: Marriage ‘Is Not A Civil Right — You’re Not Black’

She’s baaaack…

Huffington Post

Nobody ever said Ann Coulter was going to play nice during her time at Homocon, a summit held by the gay conservative group GOProud over the weekend, not even the organizers who insisted that she be there. Perhaps it came as little surprise to them, then, when the conservative pundit stood before the group of 150 attendees and aggressively railed against gay marriage.

Marriage “is not a civil right — you’re not black,” Coulter told the crowd, building upon an argument that claimed the equal protections provided by the Fourteenth Amendment — and potentially used to build a case for marriage equality — were only applicable to black people.

Coulter, who was dropped from a recent event by conservative publication WorldNetDaily for her supposed traitorous behavior in headlining the gay event, wasn’t done taking social issues to the heart of perhaps the most socially liberal faction within the GOP.

Talking Points Memo‘s Megan Carpentier on Coulter’s speech:

In fact, despite opening her speech with a joke about the difficulty of “coming out” as a fiscal conservative to one’s parents — something she congratulated the attendees on — Coulter’s speech to GOProud mystifyingly focused on social issues and not the fiscal and foreign policy issues that brought most of the attendees there. For instance, she told GOProud that the conservative gay rights movement ought to make common cause with the anti-abortion movement because, she said, “as soon as they find the gay gene, you know who’s getting aborted.” Coulter also made a forceful case against sex education in schools, accusing liberals of attempting to teach kindergartners about “fisting” (which garnered her a heckler, who shouted out “What’s wrong with fisting?”) and told the crowd that most parents didn’t want their children learning about the “homosexual lifestyle” instead of reading and writing.

But the attendees of Homocon can’t say she didn’t warn them — literally.

“I should warn you: I’ve never failed to talk gays out of gay marriage,” Coulter said at the beginning of the speech.

And the organizers of the event didn’t seem surprised.      Continue reading…

U.S. Politics

New Polls Give Dems Something To Smile About

Huffington Post

It may just be the bouncing ball of randomness at work but new polls in California, Nevada, Ohio and Kentucky released over the weekend gave Democrats something to smile about, or perhaps just a little less to wince at. Specifically, a new California poll confirms a slight rebound by Senator Barbara Boxer, while a new Nevada survey conducted by a Republican firm is more positive than other recent surveys, giving Senator Harry Reid his biggest edge since August.

In California, a new survey sponsored by the Los Angeles Times and USC and conducted by a bipartisan team of campaign pollsters finds Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer leading Republican challenger Carly Fiorina by eight percentage points (51% to 43%). While the result is a bit better for Boxer than some other recent surveys, the difference is slight — polls by Field and SurveyUSA conducted last week both showed Boxer leading by six point margins. The new survey nudges our trend estimate, which also considers slightly older polls, up to a 3.7 point margin for Boxer (47.9% to 44.2%), just enough to push California into the “lean Democrat” column.

The new LA Times/USC results also show Democrat Jerry Brown with a five-point edge (49% to 44%) over Republican Meg Whitman in the California governor’s race, a slightly better margin than on the SurveyUSA and Field polls last week. The new poll narrows Whitman’s lead on our trend estimate to a single percentage point (45.7% to 44.8%), confirming this race as one of the closest in the nation.

A new poll sponsored by the Retail Association of Nevada produced a bit of a man bites dog story: The survey, conducted by the respected Republican campaign polling firm Public Opinion Strategies shows Democratic Senator Harry Reid with a five-point advantage (45% to 40%) over Republican Sharon Angle. Four previous polls conducted over the last two weeks have shown a slightly narrower race, all ranging between a tie and a one-point Angle advantage. Our trend estimate splits the difference and shows Reid with a “toss-up” worthy one-point edge (45.4% to 44.3%). Although individual polls have shown variation, our trend lines in the Nevada race been remarkably flat since July.      Continue reading…

GOP Hubris · GOP Hypocrisy · GOP Leadership Quagmire · GOP Lies · GOP Pledge to America

Boehner: The ‘Pledge’ Is Just To ‘Lay Out The Size Of The Problem,’ Americans Aren’t Ready For Solutions

“…Americans aren’t ready for solutions…”???  WTF is Boehner on?  America is anxiously waiting for solutions for the economic crisis, especially jobs, housing, and taxes for the middle class.  

Mr. Boehner, may I ask, “What color is the sky on YOUR planet?

Think Progress

Since its release last week, House Republicans have been touting their “Pledge To America” as a bold policy vision to solve the nation’s problems, which they would enact if they gain a majority after the November elections. However, revealing the pledge to be nothing more than regurgitated rhetoric that ignores critical issues, even conservative critics have slammed it as “meaningless stuff” that fails on “advocacy of long term sound public policy.”

Today on Fox News Sunday, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) seemed to concede this point. When host Chris Wallace noted that the Pledge does not even address entitlement spending such as Social Security and Medicare, Boehner countered by saying that its purpose is only to “lay out the size of the problem,” rather than “to get to potential solutions.” This, of course, flies in the face of GOP branding of the proposal, but Boehner explained that he doesn’t think the American people can handle his ideas right now, saying, “Once Americans understand how big the problem is, then we can begin to talk about potential solutions”:

WALLACE: Congressman Boehner, as Willie Sutton said about banks, entitlements are where the money is. More than 40% of the budget. Yet, I’ve looked through this pledge and there is not one single proposal to cut social security, medicare, medicaid.

BOEHNER: Chris, we make it clear in there that we’re going to lay out a plan to work toward a balanced budget and deal with the entitlement crisis. Chris, it’s time for us as americans to have an adult conversation with each other about the serious challenges our country faces. And we can’t have that serious conversation until we lay out the size of the problem. Once Americans understand how big the problem is, then we can begin to talk about potential solutions. […]

WALLACE: Forgive me, sir, isn’t the right time to have the adult conversation now before the election when you have this document? Why not make a single proposal to cut social security, medicare and medicaid?

BOEHNER: Chris, this is what happens here in washington. When you start down that path, you just invite all kind of problems. I know. I’ve been there. I think we need to do this in a more systemic way and have this conversation first. Let’s not get to the potential solutions. Let’s make sure americans understand how big the problem is. Then we can talk about possible solutions and then work ourselves into those solutions that are doable.

Continue reading…

Watch it:


U.S. Politics

Monday Morning Blog Roundup

Tony Perkins claims to be a heterosexual
Tony Perkins, the rather fey head of the religious right’s Family Research Council mo..

Marsha Blackburn Apparently Hopes We Forgot Her Rant on Social Securit..
Click here to view this media Marsha Blackburn appeared on CNN’s State of the Union ..

Raese Wants To Go Back To ‘Capitalism The Way It Should Be’ R..
Millionaire businessman John Raese is running on a hard-right “pro-business, a..

Shocker: Kristol Preparing Ground For War With Iran
Discussing President Obama’s Iran policy on Fox News this morning, Bill Kristol gave..

Hume falsely claims that the stimulus failed
Fox News’ Brit Hume claimed that the stimulus “manifestly failed” to “get the unempl..

Right-wing media say DOJ won’t enforce voting laws against minor..
The right-wing media is relying on completely unsubstantiated allegations about what..

Don Lemon: I Was Victim Of Pedophile As A Child (VIDEO)
CNN anchor Don Lemon admitted over the weekend that he was a victim of a pedophile a..

‘Saturday Night Live’ Premiere Ratings UP
The 36th season premiere of Saturday Night Live last night averaged a 5.6 household ..

U.S. Politics

Sports: Falcons – WE DAT!

I’m keeping an eye on the Atlanta Falcons since Jason Snelling made his three touchdowns last week.  (Forgive me NY Giants, this is temporary, I assure you.)

Atlanta Journal Constitution

NEW ORLEANS –  The calendar screams that it’s too early for grand proclamations. Week three games in the NFL don’t decide division titles or playoff berths. They merely give us some sense of direction.

But we just learned something about the Falcons.

They won a game against the defending Super Bowl champions. They won a game on the road and in the Superdome, where they hadn’t won since 2002. They had a 19-play touchdown drive that tested their resilience. They had a field goal drive in overtime when the offensive line assumed control of the game.

More? They had a kicker, Matt Bryant, who had to try three times for a winning field goal because his first two attempts were negated by penalties. They had a defensive end, John Abraham, who came back into the game late despite being relatively blinded in one eye.

Is that a strong enough indication of direction?

The Falcons defeated the New Orleans Saints in overtime Sunday, 27-24. Had they lost, they still would have been publicly embraced for their performance. Instead, they won, and their stature grew.

“No moral victories. No more of those for us. We’re done with that,” Roddy White said.

“We could have easily flinched or been talking about what-ifs,” linebacker Mike Peterson said.

There were enough of those last season. The Falcons fell short too many times in a season that had high expectations. They lost two close games to the Saints, and in overtime to New York, and were body slammed in Dallas.

On Sunday, we saw the team we expected last year. It felt more like 2008. So it wasn’t surprising when owner Arthur Blank was asked if he remembered the last Falcons’ victory of such significance and he responded: “When we beat the Vikings two years ago to go to the playoffs.”   Continue reading…

Politico Top 10 Quotes of the Week · Politics

Politico’s: The week’s top 10 quotes in politics


“The last few days felt a little like November 2009 all over again.” — Alleged White House crasher Michaele Salahi, making comparisons between press stories after the 2009 State Dinner and recent ones regarding her participation in the next season of “Real Housewives of D.C.”

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is shedding friends like a psoriasis sufferer backpacking through Death Valley sheds skin.” — The Daily Caller, summarizing the news in its morning news digest e-mail.

“I notice everybody in Hollywood wears sunglasses, even when sun not shining and even inside. Anybody know why?” — A Tweet from Sen. Chuck Grassley, challenging John Handy’s monopoly over “Deep Thoughts.”

 “I’m late for the squash court.” — Sen. Arlen Specter, deflecting questions about how Joe Sestak’s campaign is going.

“We in the Senate refer to Sen. Gillibrand as the hottest member.” — Sen. Harry Reid, telling us how he really feels about New York’s junior senator.

“We’re the girl you’ll take under bleachers but won’t be seen with in the light of day.” — Crooks and Liars blogger Susan Madrak, dressing down White House adviser David Axelrod on a call for liberal bloggers.

 “I’m tired of being a human pinata.” — Former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe, encouraging Democrats to fight for their beliefs.

“Come on down and have a $17 cocktail with me.” — A query posed by a reporter to State Department Assistant Secretary Philip Crowley during a conference call.

“I feel grateful that Michelle so far, at least, has not run for any offices I’ve been running for.” — President Barack Obama, explaining his view that his wife is far superior to him.

“And what is the deal between the President and Slurpees?” — CBS News’ Mark Knoller, confronting White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about Obama’s penchant for knocking the sugar-loaded drink in speeches.