Wednesday Highlights

Ok then. Links? I guess the NorthEast is up for another helping of snow now that they’ve got a slap in the face the cold weather we just had. We’re predicted to have the first “above freezing day” in quite some time … but I don’t believe it will quite happen. The last four days the temperature predictions have all been about 4-5 degrees (F) on the high side.

  1. So there’s a study (probably needing verification) that mammograms don’t help statistically. So some jump to policy. Others ignore this side of the equation, the Queen of Hearts had it apparently (“Off with their heads”) … she missed by a foot or so.
  2. The knee jerk liberal economist apparently forgot that interest rates remain toxic low level, why? Oh, the debt is why. With that much national debt worldwide if we had healthy 5-7% interest rates loans, nations never ever make their interest payments.
  3. More on the knee jerk effect.
  4. Shania Twain and medical science  .. It only breaks when it’s beating.
  5. What teachers don’t do. Why? This makes no sense when you think about it. But when you do, it’s obvious.
  6. I don’t get the “courage” allusions. Look a year ago (?) a basketball player came out and became nationally famous. Turns out he was a 12th man and would never have a spot of mention anywhere without “bravely” coming out (to unexpected national fame). Now an “expected 4th round pick” comes out and gets the same national fame and every team is talking about it. Brave to face fame and fortune? Please.
  7. Breaking news! NOW spokesmen fail literacy tests! Please. I read the column too. Here’s an out of context (for maximum misunderstanding) of what they misconstrue: In theory that means, as FIRE notes, that “if both parties are intoxicated during sex, they are both technically guilty of sexually assaulting each other.” In practice it means that women, but not men, are absolved of responsibility by virtue of having consumed alcohol. So how does NOW read that, … that Taranto is “enhancing a rape culture.
  8. Speaking about intentionally misunderstanding. Seems Twain missed one. Twain said that there are “lies, damned lies, and statistics”, to which we can add “and progressives practicing journalism”. Or should I say “mal-practicing”.
  9. Well, yesterday we had “scary bad aunt” and today we have a good uncle.
  10. Liberals misbehavior on display. People who have manners, all know not to speak ill of the dead. And on this matter, WTF anyhow?
  11. So, the Obamacare scorecard … 1 million more covered at a cost of 120 billion a year and 2.5 million jobs. A little more aid for the needy like that and we’ll all be underwater. And … now we have a recipe to dismantle it.
  12. Affirmative action noted. The film (and the historical) Tuskegee Airmen disproved the (flawed) assumption behind affirmative action. If you make things hard on a group that group will become elite. The reverse is true as well. If you want to make them substandard, make things easier for them. Works every time. The only choice then is that supporters of aff action are either stupid or evil (they don’t realize how to make an group better or … they do and want to harm the group they pretend to help).
  13. What not to play soccer while wearing.

14 Responses to Wednesday Highlights

  1. Gee, not too long ago scepticism on mammograms was seen as part of Obamacare’s evil plot to start rationing everyone’s care. Now Obamacare is evil because it’s giving everyone mammograms that end up doing more harm than good. File this under the “Obama is too black/Obama is also too white” type of Republican.

    The mammogram study illustrates the need to examine these things deeper. The study followed women for 25 years, some got mammograms on a regular basis and some got physical exams. No difference was seen. Why?

    Aggressive cancers – If your cancer is very aggressive, it will kill you no matter what. Say you die in 2012. If you were diagnosed with a physical exam in 2010 you lived 2 years after diagnosis. If you were diagnosed by mammogram in 2005 you lived 7 years. In this case increased survivial is a bit of an illusion.

    False positives – lots of women get these which means addititional mammograms, biopsies and sometimes surgeries. These alone can cause cancer and other problems.

    False positives may end up causing more cancers than are cured by mammograms thereby neutralizing their benefits. The aggressive cancer issue to me still seems like a benefit of mammograms. Aggressive or not I think most doctors think it’s always better to start treating cancer earlier rather than later. Since breast cancer is now getting a lot of focus by genetics, it’s quite possible having a 7 year warning will allow a woman to get on a treatment that becomes available sooner.

    What I would consider doing is making mammograms better. The harm from ‘false positives’ seems to mostly come from the reaction to the test, not the test itself. It seems to me if you improve the reaction by figuring out sometimes it’s best to just do nothing but watch and wait you can switch a negative or break-even policy to a positive one.

  2. The knee jerk liberal economist apparently forgot that interest rates remain toxic low level, why? Oh, the debt is why. With that much national debt worldwide if we had healthy 5-7% interest rates loans, nations never ever make their interest payments.

    Deficit in 2009, Bush’s last year $1413B

    Deficit in 2013, $680B

    Projected 2015 deficit, $577B

    30 year interest rate in 2009, about 3.5%

    30 year rate right now? about 3.5%

    Clearly exactly nothing of the falling deficit can be explained by your theory that interest rates are at ‘toxic’ levels.

    Knee jerk is a good phrase here. I think evidence of ‘knee-jerkism’ is people who claim X is very important yet demonstrate that they don’t even have a basic knowledge of X.

  3. So, the Obamacare scorecard … 1 million more covered at a cost of 120 billion a year and 2.5 million jobs.

    Yet the mathematically innumerate and dishonest have seen an explosion in employment by those making Obamacare scorecards!

  4. Boonton,
    That was the CBO estimate …

  5. Boonton,
    T-Bill rate right now is not 3.5% it is .04%. In 2000 it was 6%.

    You need to demonstrate why you think that is unrelated to debt.

  6. Boonton,
    On mammograms. Let’s see, I make a skeptical remark about a right wing comment and it’s urge to politicize too early. This yields you saying “study things deeper” (so you concur, it appears).

    I also point out a study which is suggest the cheaper (double mastectomy probably makes any required chemo less extensive and cheaper) …

    I’m not sure where you think we disagree.

  7. Boonton,
    This “30 year interest rate thing” that was because you think the US government finances it’s debt with 30 year loans? Really?

  8. This “30 year interest rate thing” that was because you think the US government finances it’s debt with 30 year loans? Really?

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=%5ETYX&t=5y&l=on&z=l&q=l&c=

  9. Your premise is that low interest rates have allowed Obama to claim a reduction in the deficit. The interest rate in 2000 then would be irrelevant. For your theory to hold water we’d expect to see very high interest rates when the deficit was higher, and low rates as the deficit decreases. Well we’ve seen the deficit drop nearly 2/3 yet we do not see any serious change in interest rates over that time period.

    The t-bill rate you cite brings up the maturity of US debt. The US borrows money by selling bonds and bills. Bills mature in less than a year, bonds range from 1 to 30 years. On top of that, you have different bond issues maturing at different times. So you may have a set of 30 year bonds that were issued in 1994, those are coming due in ten years just like a set of ten year bonds issued in 2014.

    So the way to look at that is to look at the average time to maturity of outstanding debt. Less time means the debt is more heavily weighted towards short term borrowing (bills) or bonds that are expiring sooner, more time means the opposite.

    Longer time to maturity means the US debt is less sensitive to interest rate increases. Not seeing a good source showing average time to maturity over time but http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-14/treasury-bill-supply-at-eisenhower-era-low-seen-bolstering-bonds.html indicates it’s been increasing since 2009 so not only has the deficit dramatically declined the underlying debt has become less sensitive to future increases in the interet rate.

  10. If you’re interested you can check out slide 15 of http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/quarterly-refunding/Documents/TBAC%20Discussion%20Charts%20Feb%202012.pdf The US Debt is at record heights of maturity hence very unsensitive to interest rate increases.

  11. Also if you want to knock a President for playing with interest to make the deficit lower, you have to knock Bush II. Notice the huge decline in average maturity that began in 2001? Since short term rates are almost always lower than long term rates, one ‘trick’ to lower deficits is to replace maturing long term bonds with short term bills. The lower interest rate cuts into your interest spending. The downside to this trick, of course, is that you run the risk when those short term bills mature interest rates will be higher.

    So you’re almost on the right track, but you’re ten years behind the cure and got the wrong President.

  12. Boonton,

    Your premise is that low interest rates have allowed Obama to claim a reduction in the deficit.

    ???? Not at all. I never said that. I said that the debt (which is not unrelated to the deficit) remains a problem.

  13. Boonton,

    Also if you want to knock a President for playing with interest to make the deficit lower, you have to knock Bush II

    Nyet. I “have to” knock both GW and Obama.

  14. ???? Not at all. I never said that. I said that the debt (which is not unrelated to the deficit) remains a problem.

    Why?

    Nyet. I “have to” knock both GW and Obama.

    Why? One had high deficits and made the debt more sensitive to interest rate swings, the other lowered deficits and made the debt less sensitive. Night and day.

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