Friday, January 15, 2010
Saturday, January 02, 2010
Friday, December 11, 2009
One thing for higher education people to watch: an amendment that requires students to get financial aid counseling before receiving student loans from private lenders.
I'll have more on the bill and its provisions on the King Banaian Show tomorrow.
Friday, December 04, 2009
There is an online stream available from the station link; you can reach us during the show via Twitter using the search term #kbrs or the show's Twitter stream.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
We don't have everything in place just yet to make this work, but part of my philosophy is to get out there quickly, find the problems with any new venture and work them out. So join in an audio beta-testing on Saturday, 9am, on Business 1570, Twin Cities Business Radio.
Friday, October 09, 2009
Thursday, October 08, 2009
- Due to a technical glitch, I am covering for Don again on the KNSI Morning Show, 6-8am tomorrow.
- If you are in St. Cloud, you have a great opportunity to hear an alumnus of my department who has made quite a name for himself. Jim Bullard, president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, will be speaking at Atwood Little Theater tomorrow at 1pm on the economy. There will be a brief Q&A at the end of the hour. Admission is free. Here are directions to Atwood.
- As to the status of Final Word, please check back tomorrow for news. I'm 98% sure of what happens next and need time to get the details. But it's going to be a different and I think an exciting opportunity.
Friday, October 02, 2009
I apologize for how sketchy this note is, but there are many details that are TBD at this point and probably will be for another five days or so.
If you're really desperate to hear me, besides needing to get your head examined you could hear me on KNSI next Thursday 6-8am on its Morning Show, filling in for Don Lyons.
UPDATE: Forgot it was first Saturday, so I'll take my usual turn on the David Strom Show at 10am.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
out: Sparklehorse, Sad And Beautiful World
in: U2, Elevation
out:Better Than Ezra, Pull
in: Chevelle, Sleep Apnea
out: Gomez, How we Operate
in: Coldplay, Voilet Hill
out: Radiohead, Paranoid Android
out: Foo Fighters, Long Road To Ruin
in: Muse, Super Massive Blackhole
out: Arctic Monkeys, Brainstorm
in: Audioslave, Cochise
out: Killers, Mr Brightside
in: Soundgarden, Spoonman
Friday, September 11, 2009
Janet Adds: Today was doubly memorable for us. In addition to our remembrances of 9/11/2001, we saw our youngest son off at the airport this morning. He is an army 1st Lieutenant, deploying to Iraq at the end of this month, so it will probably be a year before we see him next. [End Janet.]
While I'm at it, for those who are wondering about the St. Cloud T.E.A. (Taxed Enough Already) Party, here's how you get to Lake George -- and pay particular attention to the construction in the area.
Lake George is across the street from Technical High School (233 12th Ave S, St. Cloud MN 56301), so using your GPS for the high school will take you there. That area is also your best bet for street parking. There is a parking lot on the south side of the lake as well. The organizers plan to set up in the northeast corner of the lake, which is where there is still construction for a new bridge and the 9th Ave underpass.
If you are coming from the east, remember that the bridge on Highway 23 over the Mississippi is still closed, so you will want to follow the detour signs. From any other direction, my advice is to come off Interstate 94 or U.S. 10 to State Highway 15, and turn east onto Division Street (which is labeled as Highway 23, Crossroads Mall will be to your west.)
I will be speaking around 10:15, just before Rep. Bachmann, and then hopping in the car to head to the Patriot. Live call-ins from St. Cloud will be on NARN Volume I, which is going to be hosted by Ed this week (Mitch will probably be there after noon.) So if you can't be there, you can at least listen to all the fun you're missing!
P.S. Yes, I'll stop by the MOB gathering too tomorrow night at Keegans. But I leave very early due to Sunday church singing, so if you snooze, you lose.
P.P.S. I'm glad Andy Levy preserved that Twitter stream. I was stretching before bed -- it's the only way my back can stay moderately healthy any more -- and as is my wont, I usually go to bed around 12:30am. My iPod Touch gave me the usual last hundred posts, which I read while listening to either Dennis (Miller, Prager) or music, and last night I chose Red House Painters. Stretching is about twenty minutes. I start reading and half my tweetstream is AllahPundit's stream. I got up, sat down, and refreshed until Twitterrific wouldn't let me any more. Music ran out at the same time, and I went to bed. I slept poorly.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
out/in: Pink Floyd, Brick in the Wall
out: Motley Crue, Smokin in the boys room
in: Lupe Fiasco, Superstar
out: Chicago, Saturday in the Park
in: Green Jelly, Three Little Pigs
out: Better Than Ezra, Our Last Night
out: AC/DC, Big Gun
In: Yul Brenner, A Puzzlement (because the night before while with Mitch I said something about playing The King and I.)
out: Prodigy, Breathe
in: Meatloaf, I would do anything for love
out: Ted Nugent, Great White Buffalo
in: Bob Marley, Buffalo Soldier
out: Counting Crows, Mrs Potters Lullaby
in: Kid Rock, All Summer Long
out: The Black Crows
In: AC/DC, Runaway Train
out: Foo Fighters, Learning to Fly
in: Coldplay, Politik
out: Gomez, How We Operate
out: Van Halen, You Really Got Me
in: Free, Alright Now
out: The Refreshments, Banditos
in: Radiohead, Just
out: Marvelous 3 (Butch Walker), Freak of the Week
in: Gorillaz, Feel Good Inc
out: ZZ Top, Tush (at which point I wondered where was my normal outro!)
Friday, September 04, 2009
Polling closes at 3pm Saturday -- keep those votes coming! We will purchase the selected item at 4pm and be ready for me to consume at 4:30.
NARN on a Stick continues from the State Fair today 5-7pm, with Mitch Berg and myself, on AM 1280 the Patriot. We're on Dan Patch Blvd just inside the Snelling gate across from the Farmers Union building.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
What do you want from lifeI'll bet I played that nightly for my first semester in grad school. I have no idea why.
Someone to love
and somebody that you can trust
What do you want from life
To try and be happy
while you do the nasty things you must
Well, you can't have that, but if you're an American citizen you are entitled to:
- a heated kidney shaped pool,
- a microwave oven--don't watch the food cook,
- a Dyna-Gym--I'll personally demonstrate it in the privacy of your own home,
- a king-size Titanic unsinkable Molly Brown waterbed with polybendum,
- a foolproof plan and an airtight alibi,
- real simulated Indian jewelry,
- a Gucci shoetree,
- a year's supply of antibiotics,
- a personally autographed picture of Randy Mantooth
- and Bob Dylan's new unlisted phone number,
- a beautifully restored 3rd Reich swizzle stick,
- Rosemary's baby,
- a dream date in kneepads with Paul Williams,
- a new Matador, a new mastodon,
- a Maverick, a Mustang, a Montego,
- a Merc Montclair, a Mark IV, a meteor,
- a Mercedes, an MG, or a Malibu,
- a Mort Moriarty, a Maserati, a Mac truck,
- a Mazda, a new Monza, or a moped,
- a Winnebago--Hell, a herd of Winnebago's we're giving 'em away, or how about
- a McCulloch chainsaw,
- a Las Vegas wedding,
- a Mexican divorce,
- a solid gold Kama Sutra coffee pot,
- or a baby's arm holding an apple?
You're right, Chad, She's A Beauty is horrible. It's a good reason not to see the band, which still tours. But at least one Tuber redeemed himself when Fee Waybill brought Rocky Horror to stage.
Let's see if producer Tommy plays this on Saturday.
A number of you have asked why I would do this. Most people know that vegetarians always work towards keeping a balance of proteins, carbs and fat in the diet. I'm kind of naturally inclined towards a high-carb diet, which accounts for my carrying a spare tire around my midsection. Since my gallbladder came out last year, some of the things I used to consume for proteins, in particular eggs, no longer work for me. (You do not want me to explain this.) The diet has, in my mind, gotten worse rather than better. At one time I was vegetarian for ethical reasons, but mostly now it's health and laziness and fear. Like many, I don't want to put weird stuff in my mouth and stomach. Particularly after that surgery.
And that leads me to why I would do it this way. When faced with doing something difficult, making a commitment that's difficult to break can get you over the hump. What could be more embarrassing than me NOT going through with this on my own radio show? It would be rather humiliating. But committing to do something five days later is easier than committing to doing something five minutes later. So I built this up not just to have something humorous for Saturday's show, but to make the cost of backing out higher. It's a bit more than a nudge, but has the same effect.
UPDATE: To be clear about this: This isn't a stunt; I am intending to put small amounts of meat back in my diet for the foreseeable future, and have intended to do so for a few months. It's intention is to make me commit to doing it on a date certain, and to do so in a way that's fun and might get a few more people to listen to the show and stop by the booth. And by small amounts, I mean just leanest meats, just a few times a month, mostly prepared by me at home. For now, Mrs. S and I agree not to cook meat in the home, but on my grill is OK. (I should note, she eats fish, but does not cook it at home because the smell of fish -- and meat -- cooking mostly makes me ill. Neither of my children are vegetarian.)
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Then I'll hop in the SUV and head to the State Fair, as NARN begins in a few minutes with its NARN on a Stick broadcast schedule. Normal Final Word tomorrow, 3-5 pm. guests to include state Rep. Laura Brod. I have a potential surprise guest too that you won't want to miss. Be sure to turn your radio to AM 1280 all day as we start with the David Strom Show at 9am and then six hours of NARN.
I'll be pulling extra NARN on a Stick duties on Monday and Friday next week, 5-7, so if you plan to come to the Fair, please look for us on Dan Patch, about fifty yards inside the Snelling gate. Alternatively, if you're already in the Fairgrounds, come up Dan Patch, walk past the DFL booth and turn right. We'll be there.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Our podcast always appears with the rest of NARN at Townhall. For the most recent Saturday, they normally don't go up before Monday night (and please don't ask why -- there's always some damn reason or another for slow posting even though we're the only live Salem/Townhall show going on a weekend and could kick some Monday morning butt.)
UPDATE: Well what do you know? Hour 1, Hour 2.
We'll use Final Word and Tommy's Playlists in the labels for those wanting to follow along, and I'll link to a YouTube each week of one song I like.
out: Seether, Remedy
in: AC/DC, Runaway Train
out: Prodigy, Breathe
In: Counting Crows, Los Angeles
out: Len, Steal My Sunshine
in: Weezer, Hashpipe
out: Tom Petty, Mary Jane's Last Dance
out: Gomez, How We Operate (I showed him a Gomez CD in my car months ago, and he went to my favorite Gomez song without bidding.)
in: Coldplay, Yellow
out: Radiohead, Iron Lung
in: Better Than Ezra, Pull
out: Muse, Starlight
in: Greenday, Holiday
Out first break: Rock You Like a Hurricane, Scorpions
In: Black Hole Sun, Soundgarden http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Out: Rain in the Summertime, The Alarm http://www.youtube.com/watch?
In: Iron Lung, Radiohead
Out: Diesel Power, Prodigy
In: Viva La Vida, Coldplay
Out: I Wish it Would Rain, Phil Collins
Out: Dust in the Wind, Kansas
In: Cold as Ice, Foreigner
Out: Earth Song, Micheal Jackson
In: Super massive Black Hole, Muse
Out: Turn, Turn, Turn, the Byrds
In: Holiday, Green Day
Be sure to hear Hour 1 with John Coleman and Hour 2 with Prof. Al Pekarek, both on climate change, which appears to be the most popular topic on this blog. Your choice, folks, not mine.
Friday, July 24, 2009
A Funny Thing Happend on the Way to the Forum
Outdoors at Lake George
23, 24 and 25 at 7:30
THIS EVENT IS FREE!!!
Bring your own chair or blanket
Featuring a community theatre cast of fantastic actors with a live orchestra, you won't want to miss this hilarious Broadway Musical "Under The Stars." Featuring bawdy slapstick comedy this production is recommended for ages eight and up.
NARN is in studio tomorrow, so please be sure to listen in.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Ed points out two differences between our system and the models of single-payer that proponents use. First, in the systems of Britain and Canada, if one wanted to opt out of the national health system, where would one go? True, you'd have to have a lot of money to do it, but that option is simply not available. Yet the various stories from Canada of people making choices when ill to opt out and use private solutions either in Canada or the USA are something American consumers take for granted. Tell them they won't have that option -- as President Obama got dangerously close to doing last night -- and you will lose a lot of support for changing the system. It's true that when we're not sick we, like most people, don't pay a very high share of our health costs -- as is true everywhere else, Arnold Kling points out. But we seem to have very inelastic demand for treatment when ill. (There must be a dozen good dissertations in health economics in that last paragraph.)
Secondly, Ed worries for the diversity of health care choices under the proposed system:
I saw a great headline in our campus newspaper that illustrates one of the problems we have in economics: "Economy leaves many unemployed". To borrow the line from Soylent Green, "the economy is people!!!" It is the actions of millions of individuals who buy and sell, truck, barter and exchange with one another. Or think of the scene from Repo Man
The rationing decisions come from a voluntary association between the consumer and supplier, not from a coerced �choice� imposed by politicians. If you don�t like the rationing decisions made under single-payer, you will be left with no other options, and the lack of competition will mean that little pressure can be brought to bear to improve those decisions through normal market forces.
In a free market system, even with insurers, the goods or services available to consumers allow for diverse choices and get rationed on the individual's ability to pay. That's true for anything, even the essentials of living � food, drink, clothing, shelter, as a moment's thought will corroborate. Few Americans, at least so far, have argued that any of these basic commodities should be governed by a single-payer entity that assigns those choices by any other means than the fruits of one's labors.
Duke: The lights are growing dim Otto. I know a life of crime has led me to this sorry fate, and yet, I blame society. Society made me what I am.The economy doesn't "leave many unemployed"; at this particular moment workers are not as persuasive in convincing employers that their own situations would be made better if they hired more labor. We get our income by convincing others to give it to us in exchange for something of value. Our ability to convince people depends on choices we make.
Otto: That's bullsh*t. You're a white suburban punk just like me.
Duke: Yeah, but it still hurts.
That is as true of health care as any other good. We get it by convincing someone else to help us become healthier and to stay healthier. The use of government payments -- "single payer" obfuscates who it is we're enlisting to pay -- brings into that relationship an entity with the legal monopoly on the use of force. I cannot persuade my golf partner the optometrist to give me an eye exam for $20; he's really good at what he does, and the time I spend in the chair could be used on someone else willing to pay $100. But if I tell him "you'll get paid by the government" and the government sets his compensation for an eye exam at $20, he has less freedom to refuse my demand for an eye exam. I might be able to persuade him out of friendship, but why should I bother if I can use government force instead?
When I persuade someone else to exchange with me, we agree on values. When government pays for health care, it imposes its values.
This is why I wanted my question asked of President Obama last night: "Who will provide medical services to the 46 million Americans you say will now receive coverage under your plan that do not now?" Will the government try to persuade them? If so, with money they earn or money they acquired through confiscation (taxes)? Or will the force be more direct? If the government is going to be in the business of promising health care, how will it deliver? It will impose its values on someone; it would be nice of the Democrats to tell us who. Maybe someone will persuade them to tell us, because unlike them, we can't force an answer.
My thanks to Ed for introducing me to the AIP audience; I hope you liked what you read here, and invite you to look around.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
There are only two systems of economic order: Planned systems (which we call "socialism") and spontaneous systems ("capitalism"). He says, in this classic reprinted by the Joint Economic Committee back in 1994,
Production can either be directed by the prices fixed on the market by the buying and by the abstention from buying on the part of the public. Or it can be directed by the government's central board of production management. There is no third solution available. There is no third social system feasible which would be neither market economy nor socialism. Government control of only a part of prices must result in a state of affairs which -- without any exception -- everybody considers as absurd and contrary to purpose. Its inevitable result is chaos and social unrest.Mises argued that socialism takes two forms. Many of you who wrote to me after the show pointed out that socialism did not require direct bureaucratic control of the economy. That, as Mises argued, is one form. The other he characterizes by the German word Zwangswirtschaft, or "economic compulsion". While there are still private owners hiring workers, buying goods and making profits, they are directed by the state:
The government tells these seeming entrepreneurs what and how to produce, at what prices and from whom to buy, at what prices and to whom to sell. The government decrees at what wages laborers should work and to whom and under what terms the capitalists should entrust their funds. Market exchange is but a sham. As all prices, wages, and interest rates are fixed by the authority, they are prices, wages, and interest rates in appearance only; in fact they are merely quantitative terms in the authoritarian orders determining each citizen's income, consumption, and standard of living. The authority, not the consumers, directs production. The central board of production management is supreme; all citizens are nothing else but civil servants.There is a fair amount of this beginning in the economy today, I agree. GM and Chrysler are but two examples. The directed lending from the Federal Reserve is another. What may happen in health care may be a third. (We don't know yet; they won't show their cards.)
But it is important to be taken seriously: We cannot argue for turning back this policy unless we properly identify it. And what we identify as socialism, in either the bureaucratic or compulsory forms, will demand proof that we don't yet have. And I don't think it helps to create a new term like "liberal fascism" or "fascism with a happy face" to do battle with those who we want to persuade. It's like comedy, as Johnny Carson used to say: Buy the premise, buy the bit. The word is value-laden and perjorative, putting people off before I can even start an argument. I need something different. So...
The interventionists emphasize that they plan to retain private ownership of the means of production, entrepreneurship and market exchange. But, they go on to say, it is peremptory to prevent these capitalist institutions from spreading havoc and unfairly exploiting the majority of people. It is the duty of government to restrain, by orders and prohibitions, the greed of the propertied classes lest their acquisitiveness harm the poorer classes. Unhampered or laissez-faire capitalism is an evil. But in order to eliminate its evils, there is no need to abolish capitalism entirely. It is possible to improve the capitalist system by government interference with the actions of the capitalists and entrepreneurs. Such government regulation and regimentation of business is the only method to keep off totalitarian socialism and to salvage those features of capitalism which are worth preserving.There is an area in-between which is an unstable equilibrium. Its character is the black line between the two poles:
Many countries find themselves on the black line, including ours. But what do you call it? It's that area that Mises called "interventionism." It's worth noting that Mises did not think we would move inexorably towards Socialism; it's the lie that socialists use to defeat those who advocate market order to call their preference "progressive." Mises was not optimistic that the battle would be won, but he thought it could be.
Even in this country which owes to a century of "rugged individualism" the highest standard of living ever attained by any nation, public opinion condemns laissez-faire. In the last fifty years thousands of books have been published to indict capitalism and to advocate radical interventionism, the welfare state and socialism. The few books which tried to explain adequately the working of the free market economy were hardly noticed by the public. Their authors remained obscure, ... It is a well-known fact that the legitimate stage as well as the Hollywood industry are no less radically critical of free enterprise than are many novels. There are in this country many periodicals which in every issue furiously attack economic freedom. There is hardly any magazine of opinion that would plead for the system that [has made America better off].I've used several times this almost offhand comment from Milton Friedman in 1975 as well:
...What we need is neither anti-socialism nor anti-communism but an open positive endorsement of that system to which we owe all the wealth that distinguishes our age from the comparatively straitened conditions of ages gone by.
"There's a strong argument to be made that a free society is a fundamentally unstable equilibrium, in the language of the natural sciences....There's a great deal of basis for believing that a free society is fundamentally unstable--we may regret this but we've got to face up to the facts....How often and for how long have we had free societies? For short periods of time. There was an essentially free society in 5th-century Greece. Was it able to survive? It disappeared. Every other time when there's been a free society, it has tended to disappear."That period in the U.S. was 1789-1929, he later said. Nobody said an unstable equilibrium couldn't last for a long time. But its death began in earnest with FDR, and continues to this day. Once Republicans accepted that you could intervene even on a limited basis, the gravitational pull on my graphic above is all to the left.
It will not do, I argue, to just toss the label "socialist" towards Obama, Pelosi, et al. Et al. includes a LOT of people, not all of whom wear the scarlet D, if you confuse interventionism with socialism. It will do better to argue the positive position that ending intervention will result in a more prosperous and more free society. To do so will win you no friends, now and forever. Daniel Hannan, recalling Margaret Thatcher and the Left's hatred of her:
Anti-Thatcherites tell you that it's because she closed down the old industries. (She didn't, of course: she simply stopped obliging everyone else to support them.) Yet it must surely be obvious by now that nothing would have kept the dockyards and coalmines and steel mills open. A similar process of deindustrialisation has unfolded in every other Western European country [and the U.S. --kb], ...Will it do for supporters of free markets to battle rage with rage, epithet with epithet, or shall we instead build a better argument for why our world will be better than theirs? A free society may be unstable, but it isn't accidental.
No, what Lefties (with honourable exceptions) find so hard to forgive is the lady's very success: the fact that she rescued a country that they had dishonoured and impoverished; that she inherited a Britain that was sclerotic, indebted and declining and left it proud, wealthy and free; that she never lost an election to them. Their rage, in truth, can never be assuaged; for it is the rage of Caliban.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Freedom of contract mean we get to buy and sell goods with anyone we choose, for whatever reasons we want to. That right to choose means the right to discriminate against certain folks we don't want to buy from, or in favor of those we do. So it's right for Hugh or anyone else to try to persuade us not to buy GM, and it's right for someone to try to persuade me not to buy Israeli products because they're sold by people who (the boycotter says) oppress others. And I'm free to agree or disagree. You're free to hire cute blondes (even Latvian blondes!) to try to persuade me to buy a Corvette, and my wife is free to persuade me to pay that blonde no nevermind or else it's the couch for me! Free markets work by persuasion.
What is the purpose of a boycott? Typically to change behavior of the people against whom you are boycotting. In his interview with Paul Rubin of White Bear Lake Superstore -- where both Hugh and NARN* have broadcast in the past -- Hugh argues that a successful boycott will get the government to divest of GM. He also argues that if the GM socialization is successful it will breed other socializations of private firms. But we cannot force them to do this: All we can do is to make the political calculation of the costs and benefits of socialization work in favor of divestment of GM and Chrysler. That does not require votes; adding $50 billion to a $1.8 trillion deficit isn't going to create any pain upon the White House. It will put pain on Paul Rubin; Hugh's calculation is that Paul's pain is a necessary cost to meet Hugh's goals.
So how is it that Hugh's boycott will work? It's worth noting that the "Freedom Fries" boycott was estimated to reduce French imports to the U.S. by 15% and U.S. exports to France by 8%. Not too big an effect there. And the apartheid boycott of South Africa didn't do much good either. The boycott will make great radio and vociferious editorials, but the impact of them is unlikely to do much good. Particularly when the UAW and other union leaders will funnel millions in campaign contributions to keep the government money coming.
And lastly, what has happened at GM and Chrysler (the latter temporarily, though it will maintain a minority interest for the foreseeable future) is that the government is accepting a bigger share of the gains and losses those two places make in the market. The impact of losing the entire $50 billion invested in GM will be about $362 per taxpayer (there were about 138 million in 2007.) If more of us crowd Ford and Toyota the price of those cars go up; the GM and Chrysler lots will be more inviting thanks to elbow room and lower prices. Selling at a loss is not an issue for government, which can always tax to make up those losses. (It does for Amtrak already.) Socializing profits and losses -- I used that term in the first sentence for a reason -- means that using an economic means to make a political point will be ineffective because the losses are spread throughout the populace, not focused on the Obama team.
The boycott will make some people feel good. But if you want to stop the socialization of American business, take it out at the ballot box, not on the dealer caught in the middle.
*--Full disclosure: I have been part of those broadcasts in the past, but have not been at the Superstore since creating the Final Word segment of NARN.
Friday, May 08, 2009
Then on the Headliners with Mitch and Ed and on the Final Word, we're auctioning off two spots in the DAV of Minnesota golf outing with the Final Word. I and a special NARN participant will join two winners of the auction for golf at the Wilds, a beautiful course in Prior Lake. All proceeds go to disabled veterans, a great cause, and while I am not a good golfer I can be quite entertaining. Dial in and make bids starting at 1pm to 651-289-4488 and then listen to AM 1280 the Patriot at 4:50 to see if you've won! (Actually, we hope you'll listen all afternoon.)
Friday, April 03, 2009
On the Final Word this week (beginning at 3pm) you will hear The Nihilist In Golf Pants, who has wanted for some time to get an hour to grill me on economics; he'll get to do the questioning and I will try to answer. Chime in via Twitter. Both shows are as always on AM 1280 the Patriot, and between those two times you'll get John and Brian, the First Team, and then Ed and Mitch, the Headliners. (NARN podcasts are always available here, usually posted 24-48 hours after the show. We also replay on Sunday nights on the Patriot beginning at 7pm.)
Friday, March 06, 2009
I'll be on the David Strom Show tomorrow at 10am CT on the Patriot (in addition to my usual NARN turn at 3pm); since they always have me the first Saturday of the month, it's almost always the case that the employment numbers are the first thing we discuss. So keep this graph handy; I'll discuss it then.
Friday, January 23, 2009
I know Mom will ask why not the King Banaian Show? Well, while for now it's a solo act, it may not be forever, and all the NARN shows have had some catchy subtitle, which an unspellable last name kind of inhibits. (If this was Mitch, I could see Ice Ice Bergie. Or not.)
Monday, January 12, 2009
He won't go away entirely -- he will be filling in for me when I'm away at conferences if he's available. NARN is about to turn five (in March). I've been happy to make that drive each week I can to feed my radio jones, but some days it's harder than others. The 28 months we've been doing NARN 3: FW has been great fun but it's a grind.
For the time being, the format will be NARN's first solo show. (It's never really solo as I always have a producer; I anticipate Matt being across the glass.) Readers of this blog know my preference for economics to politics by and large, and I'll talk more of it in the show in its new form. But state politics will still be part of FW's coverage. More on this in the next two weeks as I prepare to fly the plane myself.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
For those of you following the Final Word today, you can use Twitter to follow the conversation. �I'll monitor the hashtag #finalword to track what you're saying about the show. �Streaming starts for NARN 2 in a minute, and Final Word begins at 3, all at am1280thepatriot.com
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
My thanks to bleak and Captain Capitalism for appearing on the Final Word this weekend. �You will want to listen to the podcast if you missed it, as the discussion of the housing crisis was as interesting as I hope my morning talk with David Strom and Margaret Martin was. �Different, though, as Aaron (CC) is certainly more opposed to the bailout bill than I and, it turned out, bleak were. � (I disagree with that last link, but I'll save that for another time.)
If you liked Aaron's radio appearance, do pick up a copy of his new book, Behind the Housing Crash. �The book blends anecdotes of his work in the financial industry with a very libertarian view of economics and finance. �Why did financial firms continue to lend money when their valuation methods told them the riskiness was high? �Because, quite simply, they stopped believing the models and believed that prices always go up. �Once you decide that, it is only a matter of time before new financial firms or new financial instruments pop up to provide fuel for the mania. �Aaron provides several stories from within the financial sector of how the mania spread, and for this the book is highly useful.
While giving thanks, you would perhaps also enjoy The First Team's handiwork in creating attack ads. �Credit goes to the Fraters, who did this for both the other two shows. �These are obviously having a very negative effect on my re-election chances for MOB mayor. �Just desserts will be served.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Second, while I think there's a case for intervention, I don't think the Paulson plan in its original form was the right plan. Ed says the same thing:
That doesn�t necessarily mean that the legislation in front of Congress is the completely correct approach, either, although it keeps improving (except for the pork) on each successive iteration. But the government that created this mess with its coercion over a period of several years needs to act at least to remove that coercion and to stimulate a market for the products of its failure.There are two problems in the market. One, as the article discussed, is gearing. Some of that gearing is on housing assets. But not all. You could have had CDS securities in a market with no housing bubble and still have gotten yourself in trouble. The other problem is that, particularly with banks holding riskier assets than anyone had understood, they now have much less capital than they should. George Soros is trotting around Congress with a plan that has the government providing that capital. The warrants suggested in later versions of the plan that the House shot down Monday could potentially have brought in that capital, but either way you have government ownership of banks. A successful plan, as Buiter notes today, has to have both parts. We may not get them in the same bill, though, and if not you have to hope that Congress is smart enough to pass both despite their haste to get home and campaign.
Friday, September 19, 2008
I'll post over the weekend on the financial matters of the week. �If you want to hear it instead of read it, I will be on the David Strom Show at 9:20 to discuss matters with David and Margaret, and then I will be flying semi-solo (Matt will be my co-pilot) for Final Word as Michael basks in the glow of his prize. �Please do listen in.
Meanwhile I'm helping to celebrate the inauguration of President Earl Potter here at SCSU. �Congratulations, Earl. �It was a marvelous ceremony, and a word of praise for the SCSU Concert Choir, who sang some beautiful and challenging music.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
UPDATE: Senator Norm Coleman will be with us at 5:20. We will ask about his new support for the expanded "Gang of 16". We also expect Zack Stephenson from MnPublius at 6pm to talk with us as the countdown to the coronation of Obama reaches its climax in Denver.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Then the usual shenanigans of the NARN begin at 11 with the First Team of the Fraters and Ringo Hinderaker, followed by the Headliners, Mitch and Ed, and then us in the Final Word at 3pm. I'm pretty sure I saw something about Franken on Michael's blog; he might want to talk about it. Or maybe we'll just spend two hours playing with his new iPhone.
For the local St. Cloud listeners, I will be sitting in for the vacationing Don Lyons next week at KNSI's Morning Show, 6-8am Monday through Friday.
All of these shows stream (Patriot; KNSI); the Saturday shows can be found here (for Strom) and here (NARN.)
Monday, June 16, 2008
Friday, June 06, 2008
We'll see you tomorrow then, from 9-5 for Strom and the NARN, all on AM 1280 the Patriot.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Rove's speaking skills serve to show the difference between those ready for national stage and those that are not. The people here are pleased by the comments where Democrats are criticized. His comment on Rev. Wright: "I'd be more comfortable with Sen. Obama if there was moral indignation than personal indignation." And then support for the Iraq War, which drew even more favorable applause when comparing who spoke to their enemies when. Foreign policy issues were most favorably received by the convention, though he certainly causes the Paul supporters to seethe.
Longtime convention attendees that I spoke to this morning thought this was not as well handled a convention in re the rules and the nominating slates, and there was a fair number of people unhappy with the degree to which McCain floor managers were signaling votes on every item. It's worth remembering -- a majority of these delegates were not elected at the precinct level to be McCain delegates. They supported Romney, or maybe Huckabee, or came undecided after being Guiliani or Thompson folk. Their attachment to McCain is something not that deeply felt. Thus the curiosity about Paul and attendance at his rally, and why some of those who eventually voted for McCain may have nonetheless been less than enthusiastic with the tactics employed by both the McCain managers and the party's rules.
Again, show time for us at 3pm, Mitch and Ed are up now. I have had so many people thank us for the NARN here, and let me on behalf of them all say how humbling and gratifying your support has been. You have no idea how much we appreciate your support -- heck, I'll drive through a gallbladder attack to do this!
Unless something extraordinary happens here, that's all from here and I'll return to my usual weekend blog silence. See you Monday.
Friday, May 30, 2008
UPDATE: Show ended at 7, and the convention recessed fifteen minutes later. I will say the noise level and the hail outside was the most challenging environment for broadcast that I can remember. But great guests today, including Congressional candidates Ed Matthews and Brian Davis, and an excellent thirty minutes with Marianne Stebbins and Bill Paulson of the Ron Paul campaign, made it worth the effort.
The David Strom Show and the Northern Alliance are here 9-5 tomorrow. Hope you'll listen.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Friday, April 04, 2008
Two of the three of us are on the Northern Alliance Radio Network tomorrow. I have an extra appearance in my usual first-of-the-month visit to the David Strom Show at 10am. John and the Fraters at 11-1 (guys, more hockey!); Mitch and Ed 1-3; and then the Final Word with Michael and me at 3-5pm. I believe we'll talk about the honesty of Larry Pogemiller, the bonding bill, and this curious article about malt liquor and murder.
Monday, March 24, 2008
I had not planned on having dinner because of the schedule anyway, so I was surprised by light traffic and hit the Northland Inn around 6:15. They get me a seat in the dinner anyway, I get to talk a minute with Prager -- who is as nice as you would expect if you listen to his show; he says there's no radio-Dennis vs. real-life-Dennis, and from what I see that is right. I get my chicken (no use to this vegetarian, and at this stage not replaceable so I did without a main course), push it aside and talk with Fraters three and Nih(i)list. Over comes station management: We need someone to stall for Dennis, he's running late. (The dinner guests were to get personal pics with Prager, more on which in a minute.)
Now, walking into a room of 40-75 people and talking for 10 minutes is easy, and a studio with just a mic and a producer, well, that's fun. But this thing was sold out, and I had no idea how big the ballroom was. Something "sold out" placed in the "Grand Ballroom" isn't likely to be 75 people.
It wasn't. It was 600. And save for the picture-takers wandering down in twos and threes, it was full.
It was at this point I realized, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Or even a chicken you gave away.
I suppose I did OK. It did not help that one of my Celtic heroes, Wolves GM Kevin McHale, was in the audience in the front row, or that the room was darkened and a bright spotlight was on the podium. But in and out, maybe three minutes tops (they wanted ten, and I think my facial expression in response convinced them that was not a good idea.) Apparently I did well enough that they had me give a minute as a close to get Prager out of the hall without being stopped by 50 fans.
Me, I got five on the way out.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Beginning on March 1, I will begin working for Michelle Malkin, a friend, mentor, and writer I have long admired. She has offered me a position as writer at Hot Air, and my blogging will appear exclusively there.
That means that I will close out Captain�s Quarters sometime in March. This saddens me, as it has become my ever-ready home and because of the terrific community it has generated. I hope that the CapQ community comes with me to Hot Air, and Hot Air will have open registration today for 12 hours in order to allow CapQ commenters to join me at my new digs.
Nobody who meets Ed ever dislikes the guy; nobody who reads his blog can doubt he's one of the hardest workers in blogging. The friendship between Malkin and Ed goes back a good ways and the move will make Hot Air one of the leading sites for political commentary on the internet for a long time. I know we've had some top blogs retired because of writer fatigue in the past, but has any been subject to a buyout before? (I assume his new compensation plan from Malkin includes a lifetime supply of Notre Dame football jerseys.)
Worth noting: In his 12/03 post accepting NA entrance (NARN was still four months away) Ed said:
I don't listen to a lot of talk radio because I find that a great deal of it is shrill and annoying, and even when people don't make a habit of screaming into a microphone, they still tend to get childish and demeaning.And Al Franken wasn't even on the air yet! Ed's keeping his archives up indefinitely.
I had to go back and look at the formation of the Alliance while thinking a few minutes about this. Originally considered to be Lileks, PowerLine and Fraters Libertas (now known as Act One, or the Opening Act, or Top Billing, or whatever in our radio lives), we added Mitch and myself in May 2003 before Ed. One guy now runs the blog of a newspaper, another group is giving away $25k for a book prize, and Ed is off to Hot Air.
I guess my life as Pete Best continues. Mitch, Chad and Brian? Your comments invited.
Friday, February 15, 2008
At 4:15 we will be joined by Erick Kaardal, lawyer for , whose group Citizens for the Rule of Law (and also Neopopulism) are suing the legislature and various over the abuse of per diems. I'm shocked, shocked! to hear that we would have groups wishing to deny per diems to our state legislators. I mean, how are they supposed to live on less than $96 a day? Readers will recall that we provided several dining tips for state senators struggling to make ends meet. (Just take the March 2007 archive and search for "per diem".) I would like to find out from Kaardal how we could simply limit the number of days legislators get to take per diem, as done in New Hampshire. It might keep a certain farmer home more. Sarah Janacek suggested last fall that the per diem issue never seems to work for challenging incumbents in elections ... but a lawsuit might get their attention.
Don't forget that there are eight total hours of local programming Saturdays on AM 1280 the Patriot. The David Strom Show 9-11, then NARN's Opening Act of John Hinderaker, Chad the Elder and Brian Ward 11-1, and Mitch Berg and Captain Ed as the Headliners from 1-3.
Friday, February 08, 2008
Catch us 3-5pm tomorrow on AM 1280 the Patriot. Indeed, join the Patriot all day starting at 9am for the David Strom Show, then 11-1am will have me sitting in with Chad the Elder, followed by the Headliners Mitch and Ed at 1-3pm -- I want to hear Mitch give this idea the beating it deserves.
UPDATE: Derek from Freedom Dogs and True North has given us a meter to use to gauge your McCain support. I would have gone for McCainuum, but McCaintinuum it is:
Call us tomorrow, and tell us where you are on the scale.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Friday, February 01, 2008
Is it possible to change minds still? Four spokespeople will try, and so will the callers. Join us please at 651-289-4488. Listen on the stream if you wish; the podcast will be available later.
Also, we plan a Tuesday night broadcast beginning at 8pm on the Patriot, with updates from party headquarters, call-ins from caucuses, national results, and expert analysis from as many people as will take a phone call from us. More details to appear on Monday, but we hope you go to the caucuses, then flip on AM 1280 the Patriot on your way home.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Listen in on AM1280 the Patriot live, or pick up the podcast later next week (we seem to be back to a good pattern with coverage there.)
Friday, January 18, 2008
It is about time an economist was crowned for messing with our consumer confidence!
If you can take the pressure, I'll be messing with David Strom's confidence when I appear on the his show on AM 1280 the Patriot at 9am, to talk about recession, stimulus, Huckapessimism, etc. Should be a good hour.
Did you forget to read this until Monday? Get a podcast.
Friday, January 11, 2008
As always, the Final Word is heard 3-5pm on AM1280 the Patriot (click that link and then the Listen Now in the upper lefthand corner) or later via podcast when the podcasts gods choose to post our shows. Like monetary policy, shows are posted with long and variable lags.
Back to IRV. Let me help people think about it by a couple of simple thoughts. Why would IRV be bad? After all, we had three viable candidates in the 1998 gubernatorial race won by Jesse Ventura over Norm Coleman and Skip Humphrey. Humphrey came in third. Suppose we had IRV in the state. How would Humphrey's vote been distributed? Would Coleman have gained enough of those votes to overcome Ventura's three percent plurality. At least in one study, the answer is no. So plurality voting -- the system we use most everywhere in the US -- gave us the same result. (My apologies if you can't read that study -- it's good to work at a university.)
We would say that Ventura was a Condorcet winner -- he would have won in a pairwise vote against either Coleman or Humphrey. And perhaps one reason why Ventura would have won is that he turned out people that would not have voted otherwise; 7% more voters participated in 1998 than 1994, and the study cited above indicates that the Ventura presence could account for just about that size effect. An exit poll taken that day indicates that of those who did vote, Ventura voters preferred Coleman over Humphrey, 56-44.
So IRV would not have made a difference there. Where would it? It could if you ended up with cycling, where in a pairwise contest between each of the three candidates you wouldn't find one that beats the other two in heads-up. And it would be perilous if we found instead that Coleman would beat Ventura and Humphrey would beat Ventura in pairwise voting, but Ventura wins in a three-way, plurality-voting contest. That would seem to be something we would want to avoid and could be a case for IRV. And yet, as we joke a bit about voting for bacon, there is a very serious question whether we might end up with a Condorcet loser in the primaries with some states using winner-take-all allocation of delegates. On the Democratic ticket, let's suppose Sen. Clinton is the plurality leader. She would be a Condorcet loser if she would lose a two-person race against either Sens. Obama or Edwards. (I make no claim that this is so.) I'll let others think about how that applies on the GOP side, but I think it fair to say IRV would make the GOP primary different.
I find it interesting that the claim made by MVA is that IRV is too complex. Indeed, the best case one can make for plurality voting is its simplicity. (Try reading the rules for the DFL's walking caucus sometime. They aren't easy.) There are other good reasons to oppose IRV, though they are a bit harder to explain, having to do with lack of single-peaked preferences and the number of parties in play. I've not worked on electoral theory for awhile so I am not going to try to say I understand every bit of this; I don't. Suffice to say, for example, that it can be shown that you can get different electoral outcomes by changing IRV rules only slightly to drop the candidate with the most last-place votes rather than the fewest first-place votes. This is known as the Coombs rule. You could argue Coombs is a better rule, but it would be no less confusing.
A last thought, and a question I'll ask Andy tomorrow: Suppose we could show empirically that IRV increased voter turnout, since one could vote his preference first and then between the two major party candidates later. Would increased turnout be a good thing, and wouldn't you want to support IRV then if so? I know they argue that it hasn't, but would finding enough counter-examples to theirs be persuasive?