Friday, July 17, 2009

Econ blogs

The WSJ Econ blog has produced a list of their top 25 economics blogs. (H/t Ezra.)

The latest Twittering from Apollo 11

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A much better use of Twitter

From Anderson Cooper's blog:
Editor’s Note: To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum has been tweeting the historic mission starting today as if it were happening in real time. To follow along with man’s first trip to the moon, check out there twitter feed at . . .

Twitter gaydar

I may have found the lowest form of Twitter entertainment. There's a website that reviews a Twitter user's feed and determines how hetero the user is. Mine is:

That makes me gayer than Adam Lambert:
73% Heteroadamlambert is 73% Hetero

and Barack Obama (or whomever writes his tweets):
61% HeteroBARACKOBAMA is 61% Hetero

and Ezra Klein (Is Ezra gay? Haven't heard):
78% Heteroezraklein is 78% Hetero

I suspect that it's being thrown off on my score because I follow "hotgaymess" who does a really good job of tweeting links to articles about gay political issues (but with an occasional link to free gay porn clips).

Still, I'm more hetero than MoDo:
18% Heteromaureendowd is 18% Hetero

and Ira Glass:

1% Heteroiraglass is 1% Hetero

Update: Sorry, formatting is all goofed up. Looked fine in preview.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sotomayor II

There's been concern expressed that a Justice Sotomayor would be inclined to side with discrimination claimants. (I think the concern stems from the wise-Latina statement, but I may be missing something more about it.) I've seen the statistical analysis by Tom Goldstein writing at SCOTUS blog about Judge Sotomayor's votes in discrimination cases. He finds the following:
Of the 96 cases, Judge Sotomayor and the panel rejected the claim of discrimination roughly 78 times and agreed with the claim of discrimination 10 times; the remaining 8 involved other kinds of claims or dispositions. Of the 10 cases favoring claims of discrimination, 9 were unanimous. (Many, by the way, were procedural victories rather than judgments that discrimination had occurred.) Of those 9, in 7, the unanimous panel included at least one Republican-appointed judge. In the one divided panel opinion, the dissent’s point dealt only with the technical question of whether the criminal defendant in that case had forfeited his challenge to the jury selection in his case. So Judge Sotomayor rejected discrimination-related claims by a margin of roughly 8 to 1.


In sum, in an eleven-year career on the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor has participated in roughly 100 panel decisions involving questions of race and has disagreed with her colleagues in those cases (a fair measure of whether she is an outlier) a total of 4 times.

Goldstein's analysis is open to criticism: "Now, this doesn't tell us much. Each case should be examined individually, on the merits, because what really matters is not whether she rejected discrimination claims but whether she was right to reject them." Michael Stickings at The Reaction (H/T Legal Insurrection)

But, as Stickings concludes: "Still, Goldstein's findings do effectively refute the (discriminatory) claims of Sotomayor's critics on the right -- and there are many of them -- that she is racist, and that she allows her own identity as an Hispanic woman to shape her legal opinions."

She's smart. She's qualified. She doesn't remind me at all of Harriet Myers.

She's a baseball fan. (What? That's not relevant? Keeps coming up in the hearings, so I was thrown off.)

She'll be fine.


I can't say I've followed closely the back-and-forth about Judge Sotomayor's qualifications and philosophy. I have of course heard the brou-ha-ha about her "wise Latina" woman line in some speeches and the implication that she'll decide cases from her heart, rather than intellect, because of her ethnic roots. I haven't heard much of the confirmation hearings, but all of the Republican questioning I've heard has focused on this topic. I understand a couple things about that "wise Latina" line: 1) it was a rhetorical riff on something Justice O'Connor had said; and 2) Rethugs didn't get their undies in a bunch during Justice Alito's confirmation hearings when he said:
When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account. When I have a case involving someone who's been subjected to discrimination because of disability, I have to think of people who I've known and admire very greatly who've had disabilities, and I've watched them struggle to overcome the barriers that society puts up often just because it doesn't think of what it's doing -- the barriers that it puts up to them.
Here (h/t Glenn Greenwald).

First drafts of movie lines: moves out of Twitter

Someone else got interested in the first-drafts-of-movie-lines meme and put some energy into blogging about the phenom with stats and graphs and a day-by-day accounting of it. This person also set up a web site to capture lines and allow voting (which seems like the next necessary step).

Minneapolis Somali men

The NYTimes blog Room-for-Debate has an ongoing series of posts about the missing Somali men from Minneapolis and related issues.

Sarah watch

Sarah Palin shows us what she's going to be doing until she runs in 2012. As Ezra puts it:
You could no more argue with this op-ed than you could drive a car made out of candy. Though it looks like one thing, it's actually another. And that other is a declaration of political intent: Palin is going to spend the next couple of years trying to act as leader of the opposition. She'll start with what she knows: Drill, baby, drill. And she'll start where she knows. In the media.
She's going to be everywhere, all the time, spewing stuff that is one cell deep, until she's got her patter down on the big national issues.

Monday, July 13, 2009

K's Grandma at Burr Oak

We have no information so far about whether K's grandmother's grave site was affected by the desecration. She was buried in 2004, so we hope her grave is too new to have been disturbed.

Here's a photo from her burial:
This photo was taken after she'd been lowered into the ground. (Her grave site is not where the family group is standing, but back and to the right where the astroturf is and where the two workers are standing. The group is dealing with flower transportion.) We had the impression that this was a "new" section of the cemetery. I notice in this picture that the turf is torn up in this big corner area of the cemetery, and now I'm wondering why. Shouldn't there either have been a) naturally-occurring weeds or b) lovely-tended sod? Here's hoping the turf was merely being prepared to receive sod.

Our adopted home in Wisconsin makes the news!

A friend of ours alerted us to this story - I can't believe a flag protest would happen in Crivitz. I hope this guy gets to open his supper club - I'll be a regular just because.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Best of first drafts

Folks are starting to generate lists of the best of the first drafts of movie lines. Here are a couple such lists:

Top 25 compiled by Ryan Fox, who, by the way, is Rebelscum who shows up as author of some of the ones I posted earlier.
Top 50 compiled by Movie Moron

Destination of the mystery trip was.......

Telluride, CO. My cousin, who lives in Boulder, has friends that live in Telluride (year-round residents) and has being trying to get us to come visit for a couple of years now. I've been to Telluride to visit with my cousin and her friends once before, but C has never been. Even if it had been a disaster, just getting away from the the over 100 degree weather in Dallas would have made it worth the trip. But we had a great time. Warmer than expected weather, rained just once, altitude didn't really effect us and really enjoyed the 4th (which is a HUGE deal in Telluride). The only negative was that I was promised a TomKat sighting, but from what I understand, they either weren't there or even if they were, they don't venture out from their 100 acre compound all that much. A few of the highlights:

  • 2 bighorn sheep standing just off a road, frozen like statues.
  • numerous deer sightings when C and I would walk in the mornings.
  • birthday dinner we cooked and ate overlooking the golf-course with the mountains in the background, windows open, sun setting, great wine and even better birthday cake.
  • driving a float in the 4th of July parade.
  • sitting as close as we could to the fireworks that night, soot falling on us and feeling the concussions of the fireworks that didn't quite make it high enough.
  • riding a motorcycle that had been modified to all electric - max speed supposed to be 18mph, but was (per the owner) " a bit more than that".
  • hiking up a trail above town (elevation change of 1,000 ft) to a waterfall and in the course of 10 minutes, having bright sunshine, rain and hail, then sunshine again.
  • the free gondola that goes from the Mountain Village above Telluride (where we stayed) into town that runs year round, from 6am to midnight. Even carries bikes. Awesome view and the easiest way to go back and forth.

We want to go back, C especially to ski. We just need to find a way to make getting there easier and quicker (much easier said than done). I want to go back for the 4th again, but this time I want to be on the float, not driving it!

Here are some pictures:

The view from the 2nd floor deck of the house we were staying in

The float I was driving, the Liki Tiki. It won funniest float. Last year they won Best in Parade.

"Men without Rhythm", doing a Blues Brother routine during the parade.

Me, driving the float, pointing to C and my cousin, telling the little kid to shoot them with his squirt gun.

Me, drinking from my fake Rum bottle. The real stuff was being enjoyed by the adults on the float during the parade.

"Irrational Exuberance", the group that won Best of Parade. Their theme was "Party like it's 2006" and they were sooooo funny. My favorite sign was "In Madoff we Trust". The ladies were wearing VERY skimpy, madri gras type outfits. It was difficult for me driving, as I was getting distracted and my co-pilot kept telling me stuff like..."don't look at that little blonde over there, wearing white and just coconuts".

Looking back from the 13th green. The house in the background was were I stayed on my first trip to Telluride back in the late 90's.

Many references in the parade to the failing economy. While Telluride is in some ways very conservative and traditional, it is also very liberal. Not many GWB fans that I ran across.

The town only has 2,500 residents, but George Clinton was going to appear at their Civics Center in a couple of weeks. The tax rate here is unreal.

Autotune news

I suspect I'm late to the auto-tune-the-news party, but just in case you haven't seen this: