Sunday, October 22, 2006

M’ville riffs on cozy relationships, appels & a taste for headache inducing stupid

I’m privileged to find comments that are worth republishing in a post. It is particularly helpful on days, nay weeks, when not so much is my working mantra.

The following are Manville’s comments to my last two posts. I have included my editorial translation in brackets. And, admittedly, I’m feeling a little lazy so my comments are short.

I'm amused at the angst over the apparent -- shock, shock -- left-leaning impulses of the DMR. A former Washington Post reporter, on the hustings for his new book, points out that in his view, reporters are somewhere between 15-1, and 25-1, Democratic Party-leaning. [M’ville mentions the author in another comment, but I’ll toss in the name here, it’s Thomas Edsall and he’s shilling: Building Red America: The New Conservative Coalition and the Drive For Permanent Power (link to interview with H.H.) i.e.]

Which walking, talking, human really thought the DMR would support Nussle?

This is a longer paragraph than random blog-adherents warrant, but of course, the reason for this is simple: reporters fancy themselves *intellectual* (capable of better thought than the average citizen), but somehow in a free economy, they don't make much money. How could it be that their apparent virtue lacks reward? Why are they so relatively unimportant? Why do people who do make money resent giving it to people who don't work? (sorry, people who belong to AFSCME?) Why aren't they, the people's defenders, rich, while investments bankers pay for medical bills with credit cards?

It's all about an anxiety of influence, and I don't mean in the Harold Bloom sense. As in, they see their influence diminishing ... [ I love this obscure reference to Bloom’s meditation on poetic angst coupled with a sublime pas jete (can I use that term?) at the apparent lack of such angst among the chattering class. i.e.]

Meanwhile, the case of Mrs. Appel's ambitions, and how far from the tree they appear to fall:

I recently had the misfortune of attending a power-party of Harvard MBAs and met a young thing who, once married, decided that (after six whole weeks of trying) (trying: that is as graphic as I'm going to get) it was taking too long to get pregnant. (That's affirmative: that's two cycles she tolerated.) She was behind plan. And husband, who had just had his vasectomy reversed, and described it as one of the single most painful thing he had experienced, was not getting any younger! (You guess who was in marriage #1 vs. #2.) So she had IVF! No time to waste wondering what would happen in cycle #3! (Husband #2 wondered what the agony of the reversed vasectomy was for, but went ahead and had vasectomy #2, which, in context, sounds pretty smart.) [I suppose with a #2, given tastes & habits, a #3 is quite possible, hence, it demonstrates fine Harvard MBA logic to limit potential investment to #2 to #1 & only. Of course, I’m of the #1 mind set in the essential part of the equation. i.e.]

Just thought I would pass this along in case Mrs. Appel runs out of time for producing further additions to the brood. No speculations here on the ardent Justice A.

Remember two things:

1. It's for the children, and if it's not, we'll get back to you.

2. Mencken: Those who seek to reform seek to rule. [You must enjoy reading a little R. Emmett at his most lucid. i.e.]


Meant to add, apropos reproduction, this epigram from one of the hand's wives (we shipped 1400 head yesterday):

"Is there any one thing you wish you hadn't learned over the years?"

"Yes. How to AI a cow."

I guess this is the issue with Mrs. Appel's ambitions: they're just sort of tacky, given all that's going on. [In defense of a large brood & thin hips, it is within the realm of possibility if there is time enough to parent and climb the machine, and, no, not the political machine. i.e.]


There's a profound difference between the two national parties, but you'd never know it given the incapacity of the president to a) synthesize facts and express them in a compelling fashion; b) rein in the simple corruption that is Washington "lobbying" (rent-seeking politicians and their colleagues on K Street); c) provide coherent justification for imposing imperial culture wars on the Federal apparatus; d) smile and cut a federal agency budget once in a decade. [Good points, although, it’s difficult, if not impossible, when a political culture is mired in intractable bureaucratic turf wars at the highest levels (Rumsfeld vs. Negroponte, anyone?). i.e.]

The difference is that -- as demonstrated by Reagan and re-iterated by Bush -- if the government lets primary producers keep more of their money, instead of seizing (taxing) it, the economy (and federal tax revenues) surges. How can this economy and the policies that sustain it not be Issue 1 for Republicans? Dunno. [As always, a good observation followed by a perfect question. I suggest that the political elite’s turf wars are death to building political rhetoric that shapes a good campaign season. I see it at all levels and find it the least effective way to expend a limited amount of time. i.e.]


1. More consecutive double digit quarterly increases in S&P 500 earnings than seen since 1951.

2. Taxation as a percentage of GDP: still higher than Clinton's (who is coddling "the rich"?)

3. GDP has grown more (marginal increase) since 2001 than the ENTIRE economy of China.

4. Unemployment of college grads at 2%. Unemployment broadly: so low that worker shortages drive massive illegal and legal immigration.

5. The federal deficit as a percentage of GDP, organized (average) by decade: lowest since ... since ... shoot, it's the lowest ever. [A gentle reminder: economists believe a ratio is a better tool to gauge the problematic nature of a deficit. i.e.]

There's no accounting for taste, and apparently, with Republicans, none for success, either. I think we inhabit the healthiest economy of the 20th century, perhaps in the country's history. Which period outperforms this one? When have middle class rates of taxation been lower, since 1950? What developed nation nails 4% annual increases in GDP, year-in, year-out?

In the Thos. Edsall (the ex-WashPost writer who says "sure, my colleagues are somewhere between 15-1 and 25-1 partisan democrats") world of MSM, however, we inhabit a "stagnant", "wealth-divided", "globally unfair" world that creates systemic "insecurity".

Well, life presents its insecurities. I think one of the largest is that felt by traditional elites who see their influence over our institutions on the wane. These elites struggle to pay for their children's private educations, can't fathom the second house on Nantucket, live in less fashionable parts of town -- while the grubby capitalists buy jet-shares. It was not so, in 1955. This insecurity penetrates our public discussions, and the Republicans are not smart enough to summarize reality, in rebuttal. But it truly is an emerging ownership, entrepreneurial society -- that is, if the data matter. [If only. Reality is often years ahead of the political. Moreover, data is difficult to consume, even a simple idea such as a ratio is easily lost on many voters. Sad, but true. i.e.]


M'ville, thank you for writing my post today.

But should a state employee really be using his time posting on other people's blogs all day?
Isn't that a mainstay of republican mantras, no waste from government employees? I'm glad his insight has proved useful to you, but I'd like to see if any sites are restricted from viewing for state employees.
I don't deserve the inches from Ennui, clearly.

But I must resist the slanderous charge: I am a State employee, or a Republican, like Culver understands entrepreneurial capitalism (i.e., not at all). Someone is bobbing for appels, I should say.


Thank you, although we both know that your compliment, graciously noted on this end, is factually inaccurate. But I am not willing to turn down a compliment when one sails my way.

And my apology for the erratum Bob eagerly dishes.
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