Banning Earmarks Effective or Mostly for Show?

  Earmarks, pork barrel projects and logrolling | Khan Academy   Yes, it’s theoretically possible that congressional leaders will use earmarks to help pass legislation shrinking the burden of government. It’s also possible that I’ll play centerfield next year for the Yankees. But I’m not holding my breath for either of these things to happen. … Read more

We Don’t Want Your Clunkers

  SNL Parody of Obama & Jintao Press Conference in Beijing     “You are not allowed to pay us back in clunkers.“     Economists are full of bad ideas. Terrible ideas seem to emerge when the gurus get together to talk about coordinating their bad ideas. Last week’s public letter from Treasury Secretary … Read more

Correlation and Causation

Unfortunately, our intuition can lead us astray when it comes to distinguishing between causality and correlation. For example, eating breakfast has long been correlated with success in school for elementary school children. It would be easy to conclude that eating breakfast causes students to be better learners. It turns out, however, that those who don’t … Read more

All hail God-King Roosevelt!

Roosevelt seemed to be setting up the equivalent of the most ancient forms of tyranny, the god-king–combining magic and religion, as anthropologist Gordon Childe put it, with magic being “a way of making people believe they are going to get what they want” and religion “a system for persuading them that they ought to want … Read more

Answering constituent mail, in the old days

“One of the countless drawbacks of being in Congress is that I am compelled to receive impertinent letters from a jackass like you in which you say I promised to have the Sierra Madre mountains reforested and I have been in Congress two months and haven’t done it. Will you please take two running jumps … Read more

Whoops! Official Argentine inflation just a tad off

We have posted in the past about how Argentina has been fudging their macro data (see here and here) by systematically under-reporting inflation, which is a very convenient thing to do when you have issued inflation-indexed bonds! However, it seemed like the Kirchner governments were more or less getting away with it. Now, after a … Read more

“Washington Post cancels lobbyist event amid uproar”

Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth said today she was canceling plans for an exclusive “salon” at her home where for as much as $250,000, the Post offered lobbyists and association executives off-the-record access to “those powerful few” — Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and even the paper’s own reporters and editors. The astonishing offer … Read more

T.C. Williams High School Titans Debate Team Dominates VHSL Patriot District, Continues Success

ALEXANDRIA, Va.–March 4, 2009–On February 28, 2009, the T.C. Williams High School Titans Debate Team competed in the Virginia High School League (VHSL) Patriot District Tournament. The debate tournament, hosted by Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Virginia is the first of three VHSL tournaments this season. The Patriot District is comprised of schools in … Read more