Chart of the day

Via Ezra (via CBPP):

Yowza!  Ummm, maybe it’s not such a good thing state and local governments have to balance their budgets.   These “government bureaucrats” are people like teachers, firefighters, and health inspectors.  Our national job situation right now would not look nearly so bad without all this state/local job loss.  As Yglesias has repeatedly argued, we’ve essentially engaged in a state-level counter-stimulus.

The 1940’s movie voice

I had never really explicitly thought about this, but once Kevin Drum mentioned it, I was really intrigued:

James Fallows was watching some old movies recently and has a question:

The language that the narrator, one Gayne Whitman, uses is florid enough. But his accent! It’s instantly familiar to anyone who’s seen old movies and newsreels from the 1930s and 1940s. But you cannot imagine a present-day American using it with a straight face. It’s not faux-British, but it’s a particular kind of lah-dee-dah American diction that at one time was very familiar and now has vanished.

Even without watching the clip, you probably know exactly what he’s talking about. I always assumed that this was an artificial construction, and one of Fallows’s readers confirms this:

The accent you are wondering about is the Transatlantic accent, also called the Midatlantic accent. This was not a regional accent. Rather, it’s an accent that was taught to actors and announcers. I learned about this accent from Amy Walker’s “21 Accents” video on YouTube. She starts using the Transatlantic accent at the 2:12 mark.

The comments on the matter are quite interesting, too.

Pawlenty, Perry, and the state of the GOP race

Poor Tim Pawlenty.  In one sense, everything was teed up for him.  He can appeal to social conservatives and be relatively non-offensive to Tea Party types while still getting respect from the corporate overlords of the Republican party.  Yet, by most accounts it just seems that the man’s political skills are not ready for prime time.  This article in today’s Post sure doesn’t make things sound so good for him.  This particular bit caught my attention:

His decline in Iowa has less to do with any policy stance than merely a hardening perception among detractors — and a worry among supporters — that he is not as charismatic or rhetorically tough as some of his rivals, particularly Bachmann.

Yikes.  When you are losing out to someone widely seen as unelectable in a general, you’ve got problems.  I was inspired to see how he’s faring on the intrade markets and found this:

Poor Pawlenty, he’s fallen below the absurdly over-inflated Hunstman.  If my wife was not so obdurate in me partaking in any form of gambling except for NCAA pools, I would so sell Hunstman short to make some easy money.  There’s no way he’s going to be the Republican nominee.  His 8% is almost enough to make me question the “wisdom of crowds” crowd in this particular market.  As for Perry, what can you say but “Run, Rick, Run.”  Of course, we really don’t know how he’ll fare as a national candidate.  I also think his late start (assuming he’s running) may be more of an advantage than many realize.  In political science we refer to the “preseason primary” as the period of jockeying, fundraising, organizing, etc., before the actual voting.  And, it’s fair to say there’s already been a fair amount of preseason action going on without Perry.

The bond downgrade is not responsible for the Stock Market tanking

I’m so not an expert on Wall Street, but I’m pretty sure it takes only a intelligent layperson’s familiarity with finance to get this.  I guess it’s asking too much to expert financial journalists (or at least their headline writers) to be an intelligent layperson.  I’m also smart enough to know that you’re probably best to just listen to Krugman on a purely financial issue like this.  And:

Carnage in stock markets as I write — and all of the headlines I see attribute it to S&P’s downgrade.

They really are trying to make my head explode, aren’t they?

Once again: S&P declared that US debt is no longer a safe investment; yet investors are piling into US debt, not out of it, driving the 10-year interest rate below 2.4%. This amounts to a massive market rejection of S&P’s concerns.

The “signature” of debt concerns should be stock and bond prices both falling; what we actually see is those prices moving in opposite directions. And that’s normally the signature of concerns about a weak economy and deflation risk (see Japan, decline of).

That’s really not that complicated.  Sure, I expect this from Fox News, but I expected better from the Post and Times (and least they’ve stopped blaming S&P on their homepage at last check– though they were earlier).


%d bloggers like this: