8/18/10 Links

Here are today links:

Great set of charts showing damage caused by the financial meltdown (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) (My post on this earlier today)

Refusing to submit to the U.S. News and World Report rankings results in improved performance (The Atlantic)

The two mosques that already exist near ground zero - 4 and 12 blocks away (NYT) (My post on this earlier today)

That's right, we pretty much disapprove of everybody (PPP)

How not to write news analysis (Jonathan Bernstein)

The problem with the deficit hawk - funny (Economist's View)

How UBS made out with Walmart using satellite technology - cool (CNBC)

You have to be kidding me...

OK, I find the NYC Mosque controversy offensive.  My position was very well stated by Obama on Friday night (I didn't appreciate his walk-back on Saturday morning).  Jon Stewart did a great job of presenting how ridiculous this issue is in one of last week's daily shows (the clip I liked is here).

OK, now the compromise position, which I disagree with, is for the builders of the mosque to back down and move the mosque to some other part of the city.  Somewhere... "less sensitive".  Let;'s pretend that isn't a violation of their basic constitutional rights.  Let's look at how far away we're talking about.  A compromise can't be that bad, right?  As has been well reported, the build site for the planned mosque is two blocks away from ground zero.  So, how far away are other mosques in the city (NYT link)?

Masjid Manhattan, on Warren Street, four blocks from ground zero, was founded in 1970. Masjid al-Farah, formerly on Mercer Street, moved to its present location on West Broadway, about 12 blocks from ground zero, in 1985. Both mosques — essentially one-room operations — routinely turn people away for lack of space. 

So there is an existing mosque that is FOUR blocks away from ground zero.

This controversy is pure political demagoguery appealing to the worst (racist) instincts of people.  Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrinch and all the others involved in this should bow their heads in shame and apologize for being so offensive.  And so unbelievably wrong.

OK, venting over.  Back to financial models.

Fun With Charts

Brad DeLong's twitter feed just brought me to an excellent set of charts showing the last two years of our economic disaster.  Basically, this is chart porn.  If you love economic charts, you need to check this out.

Below are a few samples.  Clink on the link for more.