Wednesday Morning Notes

Germany by a touchdown?  I suppose that’s what happens when you have all those old Panzer divisions hiding out in the jungle in Brazil for all these decades.  Maybe the Germans really are the mas–. . . never mind, better not go there.  I’m reading Paul’s posts with keen interest right now, since he obviously has real mastery of this subject.  Heck, I might even tune in to a game.

Busy day yesterday.  Had great fun doing the Bennett show in Washington, except for the bulk of the first hour when the phone system totally crashed.  We couldn’t call out, and no one could call in, so I lost one of the booked guests (Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies), and we had to improvise.  Not sure I want to listen to the tape of that hour.

But you can listen to the two segments I did in the third hour with Charles Murray and Jonah Goldberg on the topic of “what’s the difference between ‘liberals’ and ‘Progressives’?”  The segments have been posted up on Bill’s website, and you can listen to Charles Murray here, and Jonah Goldberg here.  Meanwhile, I’m back in Ashland, Ohio, for the balance of the week teaching summer school at the Ashbrook Center’s graduate program in history and government.  As I’m in the classroom six hours a day, posts here will continue to be on the light side.  (But don’t worry: the in-box of items for the Week in Pictures is filling up just fine.)

Don’t miss Holman Jenkins’s column in today’s Wall Street Journal about Tom Steyer, where he picks up on the story John first reported here about Steyer’s epic hypocrisy.  Jenkins notes that Steyer is getting some blowback: “Many stories are festooned with environmentalist comments lamenting the damage Mr. Steyer did to the planet before he decided to save it. . .  It couldn’t be happening to a more deserving guy.”

This is one of those days where if you don’t subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, you should buy a copy at your local (digital) newsstand.  Because there’s also another notable article today entitled “Confessions of a Computer Modeler,” and it’s about exactly what you think it’s about:

When I presented the results to the EPA official in charge, he said that I should go back and “sharpen my pencil.” I did. I reviewed assumptions, tweaked coefficients and recalibrated data. But when I reran everything the numbers didn’t change much. At our next meeting he told me to run the numbers again.

After three iterations I finally blurted out, “What number are you looking for?” He didn’t miss a beat: He told me that he needed to show $2 billion of benefits to get the program renewed. I finally turned enough knobs to get the answer he wanted, and everyone was happy. . .

I realized that my work for the EPA wasn’t that of a scientist, at least in the popular imagination of what a scientist does. It was more like that of a lawyer.

The whole thing is worth a read.


Books to read from Power Line