2011-07-20

The Glean #1

The Road Not Taken | Brooks does a great job of attacking one of the central tenets to this whole debt ceiling/cut-cap-balance mess: none of this is focused on governing. All of it is focused on getting reelected. If the American people suddenly disappeared, the pols would keep on playing their game, like a bunch of Warcraft gamers ignorant of the sun.

Think back to cap and trade. It never happened, but Bachmann and others constantly reference it as if it was passed into law. And that’s all this stuff is: fodder for their political ads. They can say I voted to balance the budget,” and while that would technically be true, the standard American idiot (completely oblivious to the context of the vote) would just think that sounded good and cast a vote. Also read How the Game is Played. (via NYT and Mother Jones)

What the Keynesians learned from the crisis | It’s amazing how people develop wildly different explanations for the same thing. Klein does a good job showing what the main thrust behind Keynesian” means. (via Ezra Klein)

Creative Financing | The Secretary may mint and issue platinum bullion coins and proof platinum coins in accordance with such specifications, designs, varieties, quantities, denominations, and inscriptions as the Secretary, in the Secretary’s discretion, may prescribe from time to time. Boom. All Geithner has to do is mint a large platinum coin valued at $14 trillion. Debt problem over. (via Matt Yglesias)

Billsezwhat? | I would too…what would they do? Constitution > statue. (via Politico)

Eurobondage | Been thinking this would happen sooner or later. The problem is that everyone in the Eurozone is conjoined, but only partially. So something could affect say, Greece, and put them in danger of default, but because they have forfeited their financial sovereignty to the EU, they have no room to execute the maneuvers that countries like the US and Sweden have been able to do. Because the hit is asymmetrical, it’s dragging nations into a crisis that would otherwise be in fine shape (Italy, Germany, France) because while their currency is tied together, everything else is independent. So, the EU has two choices: get close or fall apart. I’m voting the latter. (via Matt Yglesias)

Who’s Rupert Murdoch? | The alternative reality of Fox News. (via politprof)

Bob Lutz, MBA’s & Leadership | This is precisely why I didn’t go back to school to get my MBA, even though I had some pressure to do so. It’s the same with public policy, law, and education degrees, in terms of who should be in charge. In city government, who do you want leading? The guy who can write technically perfect policy, or the guy who understands what policies need to be put in place? In the classroom, would you rather your kid be taught biology by a classroom manager” or an actual biologist? In an organization, shouldn’t lawyers be in positions of counsel rather than positions of vision?There are (not enough) examples of cities that turned things around and became great places once landscape architects, architects, and engineers became the leaders, instead of policy writers and bureaucrats. (via Time)

Carma-non-event | So Carmageddon wasn’t a big deal. Surprised? Apparently the same thing happened in St. Louis a few years ago. Point becoming, we don’t need no more roads. In fact, it’s becoming apparent that we could operate better with less, at least when we talk about freeways. (via streetsblog)

Circumstantial Evidence | Remember Climategate? Though the scandal” was a big made-up to-do in the media, the scientists’ exoneration was much less publicized. In another interesting twist, no one ever found out who did the hacking. Now, with information on News Corp’s hacking scandal flooding out of England, people are starting to wonder if it was Murdoch’s group behind the expose.”

Fracked Forests | Salt kills plants. This we know. In that regard, this study is unremarkable. In every other regard, this study should scare the hell out of anyone living near fracking sites. Also, if I went out and dumped heavy salts in my neighbors’ water system, I would be arrested. How does that not apply here? Maybe Talisman Terry the Frackosaurus knows. (via NYT and The Colbert Report)

Heavy Metal Mite | I’m thankful this thing is so small we can’t see it. Also thankful we have tools that can, in order to reveal the impressive details and downright scariness built into something so small. (via Treehugger)

Natural Networks | You know all that hippie-dippie, Pandora nature-is-all-connected talk? Turns out it seems more and more likely to be true. The implications of this are, understandably, enormous. (via Andrew Sullivan)


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The Glean #2 I’m currently working on a internship in historic preservation for the second consecutive summer, and my masters’ thesis is all about the topic, so