Links, 7/22/10

  • Megan McArdle, “GM to Purchase Auto Finance Company” – from the article: This is bizarre on many levels.  First of all, rather than remaking the old model that didn’t work, this move makes GM seem intent on recreating it.  The reason the automakers became ready victims of the financial crisis is that they had essentially become banks with a sideline in auto manufacturing.  As they got worse at the auto manufacturing part, they had to become more aggressive on the banking side.  When credit dried up, the whole house of cards collapsed.
  • Jay Cost, “Gallup’s Bouncing Ball” – from the article: Polls tend to have house effects, and most of us tend to notice these effects when they result in a pollster falling on one side of an average or the other. Rasmussen, for instance, tends to have Obama’s job approval on the low side while ABC News/Washington Post usually puts the President on the high side. But there are other types of house effects, and Gallup has an interesting one: it is kinda bouncy.
  • David Michael, “Animal Spirits” (h/t aldaily) – from the article: Smith amasses a rather impressive collection of crimes and malevolent quotations attributed to animal rights activists. In 2007, the ALF sent Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa a death threat in an attempt to coerce him to change the city’s animal shelter practices. In Britain, one researcher’s children were sent letter bombs wrapped with HIV-infected needles in the mail. Fifty-one out of fifty-eight of the incidents of domestic terrorism identified in the FBI’s report Terrorism 2002-2005 were suspected to have been perpetrated by animal rights activists.
  • Wired, “Report: Political Appointees Vetted DHS Public Records Requests” (h/t Josh) – from the article: Under the FOIA, the government is required to release requested records unless they would harm national security, violate privacy rights protected by statute or conflict with specific exemptions enacted by Congress. The e-mails obtained by the AP, however, reveal that political appointees were less interested in vetting record requests for these reasons than for determining — based on the kinds of requests coming in — what areas of the government might be under scrutiny. Knowing what records journalists were requesting might help the administration prepare a response in anticipation of a news story. For example, the e-mails show concern about making sure the department didn’t release information about Obama’s father without first coordinating with the White House.
  • LGF, “The Farmer Who Supported Sherrod: A Veteran of the Battle of Midway” – you know, I don’t really see that many conservatives parroting Big Government or Malkin or even Instapundit. I’m not saying everyone is innocent; I am saying that it could be the case these sites are losing credibility, and fast. Their traffic is probably higher, and the few who do parrot them are louder than ever, but I think more of us than ever are sick to our stomach of how bigoted the right-wing blogosphere has become. Those of us who are truly the opposition want to be principled, not conspiracy theorists. For myself, I’ve pretty much been avoiding Pajamas Media as a whole since they started hobnobbing with white supremacists.

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