Oil Map

Excellent interaction chart at the NYT (link) on the Oil spilled into the gulf.

(Hat Tip: The Big Picture)

Like I'm not pysched about this...

My commute's reading list just got longer with Bloomberg's top fifty business books (link).  Sweet!

(Hat Tip: The Big Picture)

"Wall Street CEOs Are Nuts"

James Kwak has a great take the relationship between the administration and Wall Street (link).  But I like this passage on the CEOs the best:

Wall Street CEOs like to think they are the adults, the big men in the room, the ones who know how the world works. Well, you know what? They screwed up their own banks, the financial system, and the economy like a bunch of two-year-olds. Every single major bank would have failed in late 2008 without massive government intervention — because of wounds that were entirely self-inflicted. (Citigroup: holding onto hundreds of billions of dollars of its own toxic waste. Bank of America: paying $50 billion for an investment bank that would have failed within three days. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs: levering up without a stable source of funding. Etc.) The financial crisis should have put to rest for a generation the idea that the big boys on Wall Street know what they’re doing and the politicians in Washington are a bunch of amateurs. Yet somehow the bankers came out of it with the same unshakable belief in their own perfection that they had in 2005. The only plausible explanation is some kind of powerful personality disorder.

Enjoyable stuff.  The link is worthy of a quick read -- plus the comments below are fun too.

Nate is fixated on Rasmussen. Good for him.

A few posts ago (link), I mentioned the 'house effect' on Rasmussen polls and even linked to Daily Kos' take (link) that its all part of a right-wing conspiracy (For the record, I don't buy it).  Since then there have been several blog posts by Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com on Rasmussen and why their results are so odd.  Here's part of his latest (link) on the Wisconsin Senate Race:

But if we indeed take this result literally, it is pretty ridiculous. Johnson is good on the stump and has started to generate a lot of buzz among the conservative and tea-party intelligentsia. He has some upside potential -- and may well defeat Feingold in the end. But common sense would dictate the number of Wisconsinites (even "likely voters") who know who Ron Johnson is right now is closer to 6.8 percent than 68.

I've had a lot of criticisms for Rasmussen Reports over the past couple of weeks. Many of the problems their polls exhibit are common to other pollsters throughout the industry, if they seem to be a bit exacerbated in Rasmussen's case.

But the fact is that Rasmussen is the 500-pound gorilla in the room. They drive a lot of traffic and narrative. They account for something like 30 percent of all horse-race polls that have been released thus far this election cycle.

I love that Nate is drilling in on the pollsters and making them accountable for not only their accuracy, but also their methodology.  Polls very often make headlines and can be used to nudge people towards stronger views than they might have had without the headline.  Pollsters may even want to influence our opinions.  So, taking 'em down a notch is very worthwhile.  Their results should be called into question, especially when they don't make sense.  

Go Nate!