Michael Steele is the new RNC chairman. Given how poorly the Republican leadership has fared over the past few years and how dis-spirited the base has been (leading to poor fundraising and GOTV efforts), there’s a lot of work for Steele to do. Andy McCarthy points out a troubling aspect of Steele that he hopes was just a mistake that Steele made which hemmed him in early on.
This is not good. I’m thinking it’s about time for me to get into some Euro-denominated securities, as at least the Bundesbankers aren’t getting sucked in to Inflationmania 2009…yet…
Traveling up to Akron last weekend, I apparently procured a hole or tear or something in my exhaust system, leaving my car to sound like a Sherman tank (though given the roads in Columbus the last few days, a Sherman tank might have hit the spot…). I should have this fixed tomorrow, for those of you who’re unable to sleep because I’m out warming my car up at 6 AM…
Just go to this link. You won’t regret. (Hat tip Let’s Go Tribe.)
Randy Orton, as my brilliant post suggested, was indeed your 2009 Royal Rumble winner. How did my other guesses do? Jericho, Punk, and Kane all gave good accounts of themselves. Show came out at #30, got eliminated by Taker (or possibly the other way around… I forget), continuing that feud. I’m not saying I want more Big Show-Undertaker, but hell, at least we’re done with Matt Hardy-Mark Henry for a while. MVP looked solid, but wasn’t even in the final ten. Orton was part of the Final Four, with HHH, Rhodes, and DiBiase as the other three. HHH eliminated Rhodes and DiBiase, while Orton deposited HHH on the outside of the ring with little or no fuss.
Booking wise, I think it was the right finish. Some may complain of HHH burying the Legacy, but the Legacy must absolutely be based in unity for the time being. No member can fight another member; when the group eventually breaks apart, it must be a significant break, not just a widening of the existing fractures between group members.
The Rumble was disappointing for two reasons: no Christian and minimal surprise entrants. RVD was an awesome surprise, but even he cannot make the rest of the Rumble unpredictable.
What does this mean for Wrestlemania? No Way Out has the elimination chambers, which means that there’s a considerable chance one or both titles will change hands. Without knowing more about who is in which chamber, I’m uncomfortable with exact guesses. Orton vs. Cena (c) is almost a lock; Jericho-Rourke (w/ Ric Flair?) is another certainty. Money in the Bank will be as awesome as ever. Hardy vs. Hardy is guaranteed; if Edge drops the belt, Edge and Christian could also be involved, but for now, I’ll stick with a singles match.
Here’s a whole bunch of bailout, “stimulus,” and other notes on the madness of modern economists.
- TARP funds are being used to bail out politically influential banks. I never would have imagined!
- Jim Manzi has an excellent post on the Trojan Horse behind the “stimulus” package. Not only is it not a stimulus, and not only would the spending come primarily years from now (by which point we, hopefully, would be out of a recession), but it’s a means of injecting a European-style social welfare state into the US. The Europeans are being forced to drop parts of their welfare state and ours is quickly becoming too expensive to maintain, yet these fools want to go down that road to ruin.
- Robert Barro is critical of the “multiplier” for government spending. He casts doubts on whether debt-financed gorging at the public trough will be beneficial in the long run for the US.
- Robert Murphy summarizes Barro’s above point and Krugman’s critique, adding in his own commentary. As he notes, Krugman’s now logically on the side that World War II did not end the Great Depression, as it didn’t work as a fiscal stimulus.
- John Rutledge points out that eastern Asia is also going through troubles, and theirs are larger than ours. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chinese had negative growth last year; you can’t trust their official statistics.
- Gerald O’Driscoll notes that the entire bailout was predicated on regulatory failure. In that case, what’s the best thing to do? That’s right: more regulations! Because nobody’s ever heard of “regulatory capture” or “self-interested regulators” or “incomplete information” before.
- Nick Gillespie puts in video form what a fair number of people were putting in textual form.
- Here are a couple of differing ideas on the net effects of $100 of government spending. Put me closer to the Murphy camp.
- What is the spending multiplier on a pack of condoms? Time to dust off the ol’ macro models for this one.
- Jim DeMint remains my favorite Senator. Though the whole “this is business as usual” thing is kind of trite (of course it is—it’s politics as politics always has been!), he has nailed down one of the keys to long-term growth: stability in policy. Even if a series of governmental policies is inferior to another set, the ability for entrepreneurs to plan a decade or more into the future will allow them to sieze opportunities that individuals under a capricious regime could never attempt. If you know the rules in place won’t change, you can plan around them and reduce the level of risk in a long-term decision.
- Public choice remains the truth. Only 12% of the “stimulus” package could be described (charitably) as stimulating. And as Andy McCarthy points out, that number should drop because of the fact that the interest payments necessary for this debt financing will run well over $300 billion.
- If you want to know the ridiculous things in the “stimulus” bill, Peter Klein has a small bit of it. You can take a look at the bill itself, all 647 pages of it, to see just how horrible this thing is.
- Wisconsin is ahead of the game: they have their own pork czar.
I haven’t had the chance to play with this very much, but Google’s Ajax API looks reasonably promising.