Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Teri Garr, 65. Here's one for you: how much better are Terri Garr, Cloris Leachman, and Madeline Kahn than Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, and Marty Feldman? I'm talking overall talent, not just that one movie. And I like Boyle a lot, and I like Feldman for what he was...but that's a pretty severe imbalance, no? Hey -- I knew she was in Elvis movies, but I didn't realize that she was a dancer in The T.A.M.I. Show, too.

Lots of good stuff today:

1. Spencer Ackerman on Zero Dark Thirty and torture: he argues that the movie does not make a (false) case for the efficacy of torture.

2. AWGOC, from Stan Collender.

3. While Suzy Khimm reads different tea leaves and sees a fiscal cliff deal coming

4. Apparently you're going to be hearing soon that 73% of new jobs are government jobs, so you might want to read from Alex Seitz-Wald that it's (suprise!) a myth. Also in that vein; the CRA myth (the CRA caused the crash in 2008) is apparently back; Noah Smith explains why it's wrong.

5. I was hitting on the GOP for not having policy ideas...David Frum argues that Republicans do have solid ideas on how to raise revenues. Eh. Putting aside the general question he raises of which is the best policy, I see absolutely no sign that actual Republicans in Congress would vote for the things he recommends here.

6. And Dave Cameron on uncertainty, prospects, and established major league veterans.


  1. That's Teri, with one R. And yes, she's fantastic.

    1. Fixed. I think that's twice I've done that in the last couple months...just awful. My apologies to readers. And of course, my apologies to Ms. Garr.

  2. Funny how the focus is on the use of torture to find OBL but there's no qualms about executing an unarmed prisoner.

  3. Personally, I don't think the Royals got all that screwed. I think, for me, that part of that comes because people are undervaluing Wade Davis, who might be able to put things back together to be a solid #3. Now, KC won't have anything like Detroit's or the A's rotation, but they're going to have a MUCH deeper rotation than they've had since, well, I can't remember the last time I wanted to draft the 3rd starter for KC in our AL-only league! (Doesn't mean the computer hasn't bought me some of them in the many years I've had to autodraft recently!)

    Now, I wouldn't have made the deal if I were Moore. KC's offense is middling at best; last in the AL in HRs, 10th in SLG. Their offense is mostly carried by a higher average (despite a middling OBP, so there really could be some luck in there). Yes, the pitching is bad (4.30 ERA, 1.41 WHIP), but the truth is that the Royals aren't just a few pieces away from making it; they need improvement in ALL aspects of the game. They should now have league average (maybe even #6 or #5?) pitching.....to go along with, what, the 10th best offense in the AL? Their highest hope is Baltimore....getting to the postseason by dumb luck, not by earning it.

    Basically, Moore made a "we have to win this year trade" when his team can't win this year. The pieces just aren't there. I don't hate the deal itself, I just don't think KC should have made it.

  4. Teri Garr is so beautiful in Young Frankenstein. I'd agree with the overall talent thing, though I'm less familiar with all of their work aside from that one movie.

    To Matt, Cameron pointed out how bad Jeff Francouer, who Myers probably would be replacing in RF, is on Clubhouse Confidential last night. He also made the good point that they could have used the money they are now spending on Shields and Moore to get free agent pitches like Anibal Sanchez who aren't too much worse than what they got in the trade.

    1. Dave:
      good points regarding Shields/Davis vs "replacement value." I still think Shields & Davis (and their contracts) are better than replacement value on the market, but it's not a huge difference, and I'm higher on both Shields and Davis than most are, I think. But, don't forget that Frenchie can also be replaced (or traded, or outrighted, or whatever they would have done come June if Myers was still there), for some improvement, too.

      I've just seen too many can't miss prospects miss, so I value the bird in the hand more. Where Moore really sinned on this deal, though, isn't in making a somewhat bad deal, it's in making it now. Yes, Moore didn't make a great deal...but he also made the deal at the wrong point for his club. Shields & Davis give KC a middle-of-the-pack rotation to go along with a low-middle offense. That doesn't do much for the team. Were I Moore, I'd rather have taken my licks at #4 in the AL Central (maybe #3 if they catch some breaks, dead last also being a distinct possibility) in 2013, but enter 2014 with an offense that's serviceable and pay for some arms then.

  5. Even if CRA was not the major factor in the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009, it is bad public policy to compel banks to lend to borrowers with low incomes and poor credit ratings. Those who have frequent bouts of unemployment and are loosely tied to the labor market should not have been encouraged to become homeowners; such peopld are better off renting. If you are a blue collar worker who is renting and your plant closes, you are free to move to an area of the country with better job prospects. If you are a homeowner and your plant closes, you need to sell your home in a depressed housing market caused by the plant closing, and you may well be stuck in your economically depressed area by the inability to sell your house. Pushing homeownership for the lower orders of society was a bad idea to begin with, and the housing market crash of 2007 to 2010 clearly demonstrated that.

  6. Teri Garr was a fantastic talent, but her illness has been a huge setback to her and all of her fans. I am always mindful of her whenever I talk to my friends who also live with Multiple Sclerosis. Keep her in your thoughts.


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