Fugue in Autumn Minor

Just a few pics from our recent Lake Itasca trip:



A Dilbert Take

Scott Adams, the cartoonist for Dilbert, a McCain contributor who concedes that he leans "Libertarian, minus the crazy stuff," commissioned a detailed study on whether an Obama administration or a McCain administration would be better for the U.S. Economy. The results of the survey of 500 economists is pretty startling. He writes up the study's findings in a blog entry, which contains some pretty interesting tidbits. I was a little surprised to learn that:
there are far more Democratic economists than Republicans, and both sides strongly support their candidate. Does that tell us anything useful at all?

Economists crossed party lines on the questions of International Trade, Environmental Policy, Immigration, Reducing Waste in Government, and Reducing the Deficit. I didn't include a question about a gas tax holiday, because the idea has already expired, but economists crossed party lines on that issue too. That suggests a degree of objectivity on an issue level. The crossover issues, plus the rankings, are important no matter who gets elected. That will tell you if your president has the right priorities.

Even with that caveat, Adams is careful to note the political affiliation of who holds what opinions. The majority believe an Obama administration would be better for the economy. His final point in his CNN writeup of the study seems the most telling:
Among independents, things are less clear, with 54 percent thinking that in the long run there would either be no difference between the candidates or McCain would do better.

While "independents" can mean almost anything, this test of intellectual honesty could be re-worded as "46% of nonaffiliated economists think Obama would be better." While that puts majority of nonaffiliated economists for the other two categories, it seems likely that McCain drew even less enthusiasm. Since the orthodox economic theory SHOULD favor a deregulating, free-marketer McCain, it seems curious that these middle-ground economists are warming to at least the idea of some regulation of markets. They aren't there with international trade, but it seems like they are concluding that domestic issues may be better handled with at least some of the intervention that an Obama administration proposes.


Political Hay Season

I hate to have so many political posts, BUT...

I wonder how much hay will be made of this Gore-esque claim...


Connecting the Dots

I'm not a fan of Joe Klein, but if the press starts to connect these two things, McCain is likely toast. We'll see.