A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

Top 10 reasons Peter Schiff is a clown

by pdxblake

Ten (plus or minus a few) gems that will entertain you if you like to make fun of gold bugs like Peter Schiff (via Bloomberg):

[Peter Schiff] shows off $50 gold chips, to be used when paper money becomes worthless, a prediction repeated on his daily two-hour radio show broadcast from his basement studio to 68 stations in 30 states and 50,000 listeners online.

…of course he broadcasts it from his basement…

“Before President Barack Obama leaves office in 2017 the U.S. will default, the dollar will collapse, hyperinflation will strike and gold will skyrocket, he says.”


“With inflation at or below the Fed’s 2 percent target for the past 11 months, the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index reaching record levels and the dollar strengthening against major currencies in the past year, Schiff knows his forecasts make some people laugh. He’s used to it. “

…yeah, he’s used to being laughed at…that’s because he’s a CLOWN!

““They should take him seriously — he was right with a lot of other ones,” Ron Paul […] Schiff was an economic adviser to [Ron] Paul’s presidential campaign in 2007.”

…that explains so much…so, let’s bring in Austin Goolsbee for some explaining…

“They [gold bugs] have been saying that for literally four-plus years, and they have been egregiously wrong,” Goolsbee said by phone Oct. 30. “As a matter of mathematics, they’re just adding up the numbers incorrectly to say that they think there’s going to be 200 percent inflation.”

…I fear for the people who listen to him for advice…

“Thank God we got so many stupid people that don’t understand the value of gold because that means that people who do understand are able to buy it at a low price,” Schiff said into the microphone. “Don’t necessarily get mad, get in on it.”

…and these are the types of people who do…

“Schiff’s listeners call in wanting to know how to prepare. Mike from St. Lucia asked about a $1 trillion treasure allegedly hidden in a New Mexico mountain, that if found would make a dent in the national debt. “We don’t have that much time” to discuss such theories, Schiff said.”

…and yes, he does like to promote himself…

“In November 2011, Schiff visited Occupy Wall Street protesters in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park to “represent the 1 percent [and] see if I can have a dialog with the other 99 percent.”

…but wait, there’s more (this sentence is a real gem):

“Schiff credited his father ‘‘whose influence and guidance concerning basic economic principles enabled me to see clearly what others could not.’’ Irwin Schiff has long advised people that they didn’t have to pay income tax, and is serving a 13-year sentence in the Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Worth, Texas, for tax evasion.”

And that pretty much made my day.  He also ran for Senate and lost to Linda McMahon.  Read the whole thing here.

Losing is the New Winning, Ken Cuccinelli Edition

by evanmcmurry

The GOP’s conservative wing is defining victory down in Virginia:

If Cooch loses narrowly (the best bet right now; the final Quinnipiac poll has McAuliffe up six, and PPP has T-Mac up seven) you will hear voices from the Right saying that if he had stuck to a consistent “I’m psychotically obsessed with Obamacare” message he’d had “energized the base” more and stolen enough crucial votes from Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis to have won.

Combine that with isolating Chris Christie as a fluke victory for a non-conservative candidate, and you have the best possible takeaway of tomorrow’s elections* for a right wing that wants desperately out of the GOP’s rebranding effort (that isn’t happening anyway). Cuccinelli’s campaign learned zero lessons from 2012, and the above spin makes sure conservatives will learn none from Cuccinelli’s loss.*

* Cooch hasn’t lost actually yet.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Game Change

by evanmcmurry

TNR’s Isaac Chotiner takes a welcome break from the (largely contextless) advance revelations from Double Down to mock the it-was-a-dark-and-stormy-night prose:

As the authors write, “The wind and weather of the campaign shifted in something like a heartbeat. The challenger was surging. The polls were tightening.” Nevertheless, they report, Obama had a good day of prep for the second debate. And then:

In Sunday night’s run-through, the president seemed to be relapsing: The disengaged and pedantic Obama of Denver was back. In the staff room, his two closest advisers, David Axelrod and David Plouffe, watched on video monitors with a mounting sense of unease—when, all of a sudden, a practice round that had started out looking merely desultory turned into the Mock From Hell.

There is not just the debate “from Hell.” There is the “metastazing panic” of supporters,  the “absurdity and horror of the circumstances,” the “mortified” advisors, the “creepy” performance at one rehearsal. Some of these descriptions come from Obama’s people but it’s also clear that Heilemann and Halperin believe that the overheated language and sheer panic were justified.

Don’t give me none of this “but it’s just a political page-turner” nonsense. Form and content are related. As Chotiner perfectly points out, the hyperbolic language is one and the same with the hyperbolic analysis.

Nor is this inconsequential. The obsession with “moments,” “narratives,” “pivots,” etc. that floats a good deal of election coverage is inflated by just such hot air. Those who skipped the slavish, personality-based approach to the 2012 race and paid attention to electoral fundamentals—this blog absolutely counts itself among them—produced consistently more accurate analysis. We didn’t chew the scenery, but neither did we have to be talked down from a ledge after the Denver debate. Elections have consequences; so does prose.

Super Scholar to Primary the Thomas Jefferson Out of John Cornyn, for America

by evanmcmurry

Wait for it………………..wait for it………………………Here we go:

Texas tea party activists eager to send another firebrand in the mold of Ted Cruz to the Senate have launched a movement to draft evangelical historian David Barton to run against Sen. John Cornyn.

Barton, who hosts a daily radio broadcast, has wide name recognition and respect on the religious right as a Constitutional scholar dedicated to restoring the America the Founding Fathers envisioned, though his scholarship on that point has been widely discredited in the world of academia.

Political analysts doubt he could take down a candidate as well-funded, well-known and widely endorsed as Cornyn. But they’re not willing to count out an insurgent from the right — not after watching Cruz come from nowhere two years ago.

Oh, and this launched today:

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 8.20.46 AM


Update, via Texas Tribune:

A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll in Texas finds Greg Abbott (R) leading Wendy Davis (D) in the race for governor, 40% to 34%. 

In a three-way race against Davis and Libertarian Kathie Glass, Abbott’s lead shrinks to 5 points, 40% to 35%.