Comments: OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW MEGAN MCARDLE OW

David Bradley, not Bennett.

If you must dig into McArdle, have some fun with it-

http://agonyin8fits.blogspot.com/2010/07/brief-discussion-about-climate-change.html

Posted by Downpuppy at August 17, 2010 08:48 AM

Whoops -- thanks, now corrected. I was combining David Bradley (the owner) with James Bennett (the editor).

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at August 17, 2010 08:55 AM

I was combining David Bradley (the owner) with James Bennett (the editor). And there I was thinking it was more of that famous wit.

Posted by drip at August 17, 2010 09:23 AM

Well, I followed the link to Gin & Tacos. Looked like a pretty decent blog, not a blot at all, as you say in your first sentence. McArdle, of course, IS a blot on journalism as a whole and the internet as a bunch of tubes.

Posted by tom allen at August 17, 2010 10:04 AM

Does anybody even know what a quadrillion is? Trillions blow enough fuses in my brain. Somebody needs to update 'how to lie with statistics.'

I once had a economics professor who had calculated the value of the trinkets the Indians got for Manhattan, then assumed the money was invested at a modest rate of return so that it doubled in value every ten years. He ultimately reached the conclusion that the Indians got a good deal with their sale of Manhattan because their investment due to compound interest would have yielded some huge number in the trillions of dollars. That guy was a finance professor and economist, yet he argued with a straight face (though admittedly with a self-satisfied chuckle) that the time value of money could have turned $5 worth of beads into trillions of dollars if only the Indians had possessed any business sense back in their pre-casino days.

That P.S. on this post is very astute. The numbers are a ruse. It's not about them. That's also why the Bush deficits were okay but the Obama deficits are not.

Posted by N E at August 17, 2010 10:05 AM

Can I haz bonus for finding her post where she says that even though she was wrong about Iraq she's still more awesomer than the people who were right?

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2008/03/the-art-of-explanation/3080/

Posted by Downpuppy at August 17, 2010 11:01 AM

What a quadrillion is depends on whether you're speaking British or American:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/table/dict/number.htm

Posted by mistah charley, ph.d. at August 17, 2010 11:18 AM

Here's McArdle explaining that Bush would be a better choice in 2004, because "Kerry's health care plan would, in my opinon, kill far more people, and cost more, than the Iraq war ever will."

McArdle is an embarrassment of riches--emphasis on embarrassment.

Posted by Susan Of Texas at August 17, 2010 12:03 PM

I heard that lady on the radio the other day. Though surprised to discover the identity of the speaker, it was a comfort insofar as the foolishness of her arguments precede her.

Posted by JRB at August 17, 2010 02:55 PM

@NE, you're right. It's not about the numbers, it's about the politics of the numbers. Former Vice President Why Won't He Die in His Sleep Tonight, Jesus? made that very clear, as in What Reagan Proved. That wisdom (credit where it's due, though fuck him and his slime-trail family anyway) is no longer operative in right-wing circles, obviously.

Posted by ch.url at August 18, 2010 01:06 AM

This reminds me much like my first blog entry I ever did on full employment and inflation, and my later one on prosperity and leftism. Both were half-assed, one was almost entirely unsourced. In my defense, I was pretty upfront with my credentials, and any scale I created that was arbitrary was labeled as such.

There is a certain personal satisfaction from advocacy through writing, but propaganda is cheap and war is expensive, those are just the rules. If you think war is cheap and your writing is valuable, then you kind of have things backwards.

Posted by LT at August 20, 2010 03:08 PM