Sunday, February 28, 2010

The lonely path not taken

For those asking about how Mason went.. it's next week.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

On Like Megatron: can Het Volk rescue me?

My three favorite races are Het Volk, Rhonde & Paris-Roubaix. One down two to go.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Racin's in the Hood

Plannin' on doing a little Mason Lakery. You?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cranky old vampires

With vampires being the hot topic these days, I've wondered why they are all depicted as having the emotional temperment of brooding teens. It seems to me they'd all be cranky old people yelling at everyone to get off their lawn. I also wonder why they seem to have perfect recall of their lives.. I know our understanding of memory os limited but wouldn't they only vaguely remember anything more than 100 years or so in the past?

Sneak Peak: Michelob Ultra Gand Prix

The formerly Glenwood RR has some details. Just waiting for WSBA approval to post the full flier.

Brilliance Blogging

I had a brilliant game changing blog post at 2am this morning. Sadly,it went away about 2:15am when I fell back asleep.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Glenwood Road Race

So the team put me in charge of Glenwood Road Race this year. Why? I don't know. Putting the fully employed fat guy with kids in charge of a bike race in Port Orchard is always a good plan.

Nevertheless I will venture to do a marginally adequate job. If you treat me nice.

I can tell you we recognize that you guys don't need a 90 mile road race the day before Masters States so we are going with a 6 mile loop this year. Shorter races should make for a better lead in to Sundays monstousities.

Update soon. Maybe.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Obama and the GOP

During the primaries I supported John Edwards and then Hillary Clinton. While I respected Obama's organizational skills and methodical approach to the campaign it was clear to me from the start that he is a small bore progressive.

Yet a lot of people are disallusioned with the stripped down stimulus barely passed and stalled out HCR.

Listen, during the primaries and the general Obama went on and on about bipartisanship and coming together to work on America's problems. In other words, he called for a return to the tradition where the majority party drives the agenda and the minority party largely seeks to influence rather than obstruct legislation they don't support. This was viewed largely as campaign rhetoric.

It's popular to take the statements of politicians and try to deconstruct them for the real meaning. In general, I think people politicians are pretty clear about what they want. And usually, politicians are extremely attached to the main themes of their campaigns. Do the break promises? Sure. But they do self identify with their primary issue. The disconnect isn't that politicians lie, it's that we don't listen.

So while Obama said he wanted HCR and other things, he was consistent that his number one goal was "change the tone" in Washington. I believed him. And he's acted consistently, making republican buy in the prerequisite for his major initiatives.

I think the approach as a goal is foolhardy: It seems to me to be predicated on the technocratic delusion that if we can identify the correct process then somehow our policy agreements disagreements go away. People disagree about stuff and should oppose things they don't believe in. I wish the democrats had done this on FISA and the Patriot Act.

And strategically, if you want to get an obstructionist minority to play ball you have to put pressure on the individual congressmen and women by challenging their seats.

All that said, I think it's important for disallusioned progressives to note the Democrats have actually passed a lot of legislation and been effective overall. It may be small bore and unsexy but it improves lives.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

You're not wrong Walter, your just an asshole

Listening to the Health Care Reform debate makes my head explode. Mostly this is because many of the anti-Health Care Reform arguments are so flawed that my explodes trying to figure out were to start.

In the interest of my own personal health, specifically keeping my head from exploding, let me get something off my chest: conservative economists* are not opposed to health care reform, specifically the House or Senate Bill, because it won't accomplish the progressive goals of "bending the cost curve", expanding coverage to millions of un- or under-insured, reduce the number of preventable deaths or make it easier for businesses to plan for costs.

They oppose it because they oppose those policy goals.

I think this gets lost in debates with Fresh Water types over technical analysis and flawed logic.

Conservative Economists generally believe that a properly functioning market is one in which there is a profit opportunity. The Great Recession isn't a problem because the financial system collapsed and people lost their jobs. It's a problem because government intervention prevents opportunistic individuals for capitalizing on arbitage opportunites. Likewise with Health Care: the problem isn't that our health care system discriminates against people and is expensive. Companies are making money so the market works.

So when you hear that Mankiw or Samuelson oppose HCR because it won't work they mean they oppose it because it fails to provide arbitage opportunities for ventrue capitilists.

I think that's a good thing.

A notable exception is Tyler Cowan who actually opposes HCR because he's a true conservative, i.e. he has a acknowledged Status Quo bias.