Sunday, August 31, 2014

There's a reason they don't grow that here

Economist/serial letter writer Don Boudreaux has penned a column on the idea of using heated greenhouses to produce local food in area unsuited for growing that type of food.

Some lands and local environments are better suited than are other lands and local environments to growing particular kinds of crops. Obviously, South Florida is better suited to growing citrus than is Western Pennsylvania. This fact, however, doesn't mean that Pennsylvanians couldn't grow all of their own citrus. They could indeed do so if they were to build many huge hothouses. 
Yet not only would such hothouses divert land in Pennsylvania from other valuable uses, these hothouses would have to be heated — a very energy-intensive procedure. We can be reasonably certain that the fuel costs of heating such hothouses are greater than the fuel costs of shipping oranges from Florida to Pennsylvania. The reason for our certainty is that if the transportation costs were greater than the costs of heating the hothouses, Pennsylvania farmers could earn profits by growing citrus in hothouses. These farmers would be able to sell their crops to Pennsylvania supermarkets at prices lower than the prices that those supermarkets now pay to stock their shelves with citrus fruits from Florida. 
But in reality, no farmers in Pennsylvania grow citrus in hothouses — a pretty good sign that the amount of resources required to operate citrus hothouses there is greater than the amount of resources used to ship citrus to Pennsylvania from Florida. 
What's true for citrus is true for wheat, peas, beef, pork, you name it. The lowest-cost place for producing any particular type of food is seldom close to home.

Citrus is an extreme example and most locavores make that argument that while tropical fruit is out of the question, vegetables like green beans are not. What I like about this column is that is answers that in an easy-to-understand way. Simply put, we can tell it's not a good idea because mainstream farmers aren't already doing it.

Maine farmer's are willing to make large operations for potatoes and blueberries, but for some reason cabbage doesn't come up. That's a clue that there are better places to grow cabbage.


Friday, August 29, 2014

The college orientation rape message I would deliver

This week NPR's Jennifer Ludden reported about feminist activists who are pushing universities into punishing students accused of rape and sexual assault.. The reporting is horribly one-sided and leaves out the crucial detail that many of these accusations uses an overly-broad definition of rape that many people reject.

Her report started with a new student orientation at Georgetown that broke students into small groups to discuss this new low standard for rape. Well, I think students should be warned, but not with the message the activists will give. This is what I would tell them:

Welcome new freshmen. I want you to take everything you know about rape and forget about it. Forget about the idea that this is something vile people knowingly do. The classic definition, of sex forced upon an unwilling partner, has been dismantled. Instead, the term has been redefined from an evil, violent act into a mild technicality.

From now on, you must think of all sex as rape until it can be proven otherwise. It is the default now. Think of rape as a new concept and forget about everything you knew going in. Forget about men violently forcing themselves on women or taking advantage of unconscious people. That's the old definition. The new one must be taught, as no one would ever figure it out for themselves without guided lessons.

Under the new definition, all sex is rape until the woman gives verbal permission to a man, known as affirmative consent. Nothing else will do, such as letting one thing lead to another and letting reciprocated acts or a lack resistance speak for itself.

And if the woman has been drinking or is high, that permission doesn't count. After all, you can't sign a legal contract while intoxicated, because all human interactions should follow the same rules as formal documents that are checked by lawyers and that require the signatures of witnesses.

It doesn't matter if she is the aggressor, is older, is in a committed relationship with you or is willing to have sex again afterwards. It doesn't matter if both partners acted completely the same or are both intoxicated. It isn't really about what either sex partner wants, but about satisfying the wishes of activists. This is about attacking men and treating women as helpless children.

In fact, it may not even matter if she gives you permission and you have documented proof that she was both and went far out of her way to have sex with you. Schools like this one care more about appeasing activists than preserving justice. This is not about justice or morality; it's about shielding young women from the consequences of their actions at the expense of young men.

Don't expect women to have to lift a finger to notify you that the rewarding sexual activity you're engaging in is secretly a life-ruining rape. She can always change her mind later and retroactively remove permission later. From the activist perspective, it's better to let women be raped than to ask women to exercise prudence for their own well-being.

As we've all experienced, most women want to be pursued and want men to play the aggressor in sexual situations. That's why the activists are putting all responsibility on the male partner - they still believe sex deep down inside that sex is something men pursue and women act as the gatekeepers to sex.

And above all else, if you want to make sure you never commit a happy, consensual act that has been redefined as rape, don't ever pursue a women's studies major.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Forward indeed

A few articles from Left-wing news blog have come up in my news feed lately that fact check and disprove some current left-wing talking points and outrage blogs.

For example, writer Manny Schewitz demolished the quip that Ronald Reagan went golfing the day after the Beirut bombing in 1983, which is being used to counter criticism that President Obama was laughing on the golf course 10 minutes after saying he was deeply saddened by a reporters execution by ISIL.

A different ForwardProgressives writer, Allen Clifton, also took the time to disprove articles claiming right-wing musician Ted Nugents insults directed at his critics were really criticisms of American Indians. He added:

It’s one thing to be partisan based on the subjective manner in which you view particular issues. We’re all guilty of that. But it’s another thing to blatantly lie, or support those who do, just because those lies happen to tell you what you want to hear.

Clifton even penned a piece calling out people who are turning their anger at the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson into a sweeping hatred of police and celebration of murdered cops.

I admire what the writers at ForwardProgressives are doing. They are calling out lies and misinformation from their "side" while still being true to themselves and writing critical pieces of my world view. That should be the standard, but it's not. I try my best to do the same thing, but with a busy schedule that limits how much time I have to write and an abundance of rival topics, I don't do it enough.

Bravo to the writers and editors of ForwardProgressives for putting the truth before anything else.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Buzzfeed is still not trustworthy

The viral content sausage factory Buzzfeed has been deleting thousands of its older articles, some of which were plagiarized from other online articles and others that failed to meet the standards of journalism the website is now trying to establish.

But the one article that stood out to me in particular is still there, the 8 Foods We Eat In The U.S. That Are Banned In Other Countries piece by Ashley Perez that got a lot of attention after an actual chemist tore it apart as scaremongering nonsense. Once the article was revealed to be a fraud, and a plagiarized fraud at that, the editors at Buzzfeed chose to edit the links without posting that it was updated, and maintained the false claims.

That was bad writing, and even worse editing, and since that article is still there I have to reject any claims the company is making that it is transitioning itself into a legitimate news website. Buzzfeed is a fast food restaurant inside a stadium, not a gourmet cafe.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A kinship with John Adams

I just started watching HBO's John Adams miniseries, I'm only past the first episode and there's something that resonates deeply with me, and it's extremely relevant to today.

Adams was tasked with defending the British soldiers charged with the Boston Massacre, who behaved as police in a colony fueled with hatred of the British government. When an angry mob began pelting the soldiers with clubs and sticks they eventually fired and killed five people. Adams proved in court that they acted in self defense, despite being the only ones with guns.

It's a Hell of a thing to watch that while people around you respond to the Michael Brown shooting by making the strange claim that police shouldn't be allowed to shoot unarmed or knife-wielding assailants even when they are being attacked and are in mortal danger.

After that, we see Adams grow more and more frustrated with the heavy hand of the British government, but also feel revolted by the brutal violence carried out by ghoulish mobs and advocated by rabble-rousers. He wanted to live in a nation of laws, not one of thuggery and street violence.

Cue the militarization of police, Occupy Wall Street lawlessness and Cliven Bundy's needless armed standoff.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who both opposes a tyrannical government but rejects savagery as the response. I just hope most of the other people who feel this way didn't die 200 years ago.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

How to be a weasel: Kevin Sorbo edition

Actor Kevin Sorbo wrote a post on Facebook criticizing the rioters in Ferguson, calling them animals.

Nearly everyone is against the riots, including supporters of the protests who make great paints to separate the protesters from the rioters. As it happens, blacks are seen to be the majority of both protesters and rioters.

But of course, Sorbo is a conservative in Hollywood so the weasels have to find a way to be outraged. In this case, they decided to erase that stark line between protesters and rioters and falsely present his criticism against the rioters as criticism against black protestors.

For example, here are some weasel headlines:

Actor Kevin Sorbo: Ferguson unrest let black protesters be the ‘animals’ they ‘truly are’

'Hercules' Actor Kevin Sorbo Calls Ferguson Protestors 'Animals,' 'Losers'

Actor Kevin Sorbo’s Shocking Racist Rant: Ferguson an ‘Excuse’ For Black People to Act as ‘Animals They Truly Are’

As is customary when a famous person says something that caused offense, Sorbo issued an apology and clarification, explaining that he was indeed talking about the rioters and no one else. As is also customary, no one who was criticizing him cared about the apology.

Are all segments of the black population supposed to be immune to any and all criticism even when they are committing crimes against innocent members of the public? In a world where weasels get away with their skulduggery, that seems to be the case.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rick Perry used, not misused, power

I was just in the car and heard a 30 second NPR national story about Rick Perry's indictment for abuse of power, and it left out a crucial detail that seems to be left out a lot in coverage of this story.

Here is a good summary from the Associated Press:

After Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg was arrested for drunken driving in April 2013, Perry threatened to veto $7.5 million in funding for the state's ethics watchdog unit in her office unless she resigned. Lehmberg is an elected Democrat and Republicans have long accused her public corruption prosecutors of targeting conservatives.

The shallow coverage has simply said that Perry vetoed funding to force a public official from office, and then moves on to other details of the case. Leaving the drunk driving out of it changes the whole ball game. It makes Perry's actions sound reasonable, although with Lehmberg's reputation for targeting conservatives it's likely his motivations are less pure.

I'm not saying this crucial detail is being left out on purpose to tilt the coverage or singling out NPR. NPR is far from the only news source to leave out that detail, and other NPR stories have included it. With our old friend Hanlon's Razor it's fair to chalk this up to incompetence and not malice, but it does mean members of the public are getting the wrong idea about the subject.

Even serial conservative-basher Jonathan Chait thinks this is a political witch hunt. He makes reference to the old joke that grand juries are so loose with indictments that they would indict a ham sandwich:

The theory behind the indictment is flexible enough that almost any kind of political conflict could be defined as a “misuse” of power or “coercion” of one’s opponents. To describe the indictment as “frivolous” gives it far more credence than it deserves. Perry may not be much smarter than a ham sandwich, but he is exactly as guilty as one.

When you've lost Jonathan Chait, you've lost the case.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Michael Brown's supporters made the robbery relevant to discussions

Last week I had a Facebook discussion about the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, during which I responded to a friend who was saying Michael Brown was an upstanding citizen with no police record who was killed by police for an incident that started because he was "walking while black"

I compared that to the early Trayvon Martin accounts from that later turned out to be false, and I wrote in part:

You're taking a gamble by saying that Brown was an upstanding citizen outside of the shooting, which is both irrelevant and is not proven. 
Even if Brown was a career criminal, it would not justify an unprovoked shooting by police... 
[The early Trayvon activist articles online] falsely portrayed Trayvon as a honor student who never got in trouble. When that turned out to be false and people wrote about his suspensions, theft and pot dealing they were accused of victim blaming when they we really setting the record straight. 
If we hold Brown up as an angelic figure the same thing could happen.

Well, that gamble blew up in their face, which is a complete shame for intelligent discussion.

We now we have security footage that Brown's family has agreed appears to show him assaulting a store clerk to steal $50 worth of cheap cigars just before the shooting.

Ken White at Popehat wrote a great piece explaining why this revelation should not be used to justify the shooting. If indeed police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed a suspect who had clearly surrendered then he is guilty of a great crime.

I agree with White that the biggest impact this revelation should have on the case is as something to consider when trying to figure out Brown's mindset when he interacted with Wilson, as police have said Wilson did not know Brown was a violent robbery suspect.

But unlike White I think the robbery does deserve a place in the public discussion because Brown's character was something his supporters frequently brought up, including his family who knew better. They are now saying discussion about the robbery and his gangsta rap attempts are character assassination, but they are really just setting the record straight. The issue is only on the table because one side put it there, but they lost control of the facts and now they want it off the table. Too late.

When they brought up Brown's alleged non-violent disposition, some supporters said what they thought was true, but those who knew him lied to the public or exaggerated. Which is normal, as people usually only say nice things about the recently departed, but the rest of us should have known better than to repeat it as gospel.

Talking about Brown's character in the media is not the same as factoring it in to a legal decision, so let's not conflate the two. Bad people are able to be victim's of abuse of authority figures just like anyone else, so let's not conflate the realm of public opinion with that of the judicial system.


Friday, August 15, 2014

The ice bucket challenge is working, stop complaining

I've seen several articles criticizing the "ice bucket challenge" as a wasteful, inefficient fundraising tactic. Here's a typical argument from Ben Kosinksi at the Huffington Post:

And although the ALS Assocation has seen as much as four times as many donations during this time period than last year, just imagine with me for one second: What if the thousands of people who spent money on buying one or two bags of ice actually gave that money to ALS? It would be out of control.

Spoiler alert: They wouldn't.

I'm reminded of a charity alternative I thought up when I was in my 20's. Instead of taking pledges for a 10k or biking, participants could take pledges for a work-a-thon and do some kind of repetitive task, like stuff envelopes, for a company that in turn would then pay the charity for the labor. Instead of doing meaningless physical activities, you would have a second stream of income for the charity.

But here's the problem: No one wants to do that sort of thing because it isn't fun. Whenever I see these articles about how much money is wasted on bags of ice for this spontaneous "campaign" which wasn't formally organized by any group, I wonder if the writer really thinks people would be making those donations without the gimmick.

We have thousands of worthy causes in America that could use some donor money, but we need a way to get the attention of potential donors, and a campaign or event is an effective approach, even if it has overhead costs. On Aug. 11, TIME reported:

The ALS Association national office reported collecting $5.5 million in donations since July 29, compared with $32,000 in the same time period last year. Nearly 150,000 new donors have contributed.

It's like people who think advertising costs companies more money than it brings in. If that was the case, why would companies continue to advertise? Why do restaurants have tables and chairs if it would be so much cheaper to just each on the floor? Why does Relay for Life hold those big walk-a-thons if it's so much more profitable to do nothing and expect people to donate? If there's one thing we know about casual donors, it's that they seldom give without having an icebreaker first.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A chance to fight for free speech

When people talk about fighting for a cause, I usually picture something glorious, risky and public. There is always a lot of shouting and fists raised in the air.

Today is different. Today I am picturing myself stooped over folders of documents, brief conversations with indifferent clerks and reading a lot of obscure written words.

Free speech guardian and snarky law blogger Ken White is recruiting a team to prepare a motion to determine legal thug Brett Kimberlin a vexatious litigant, which is someone who abuses the legal system with frivolous lawsuits and motions. Kimberlin is a terrorist, by which I mean he used bombs in 1978 to attack random strangers, and a pedophile, by which I mean he had sex with a 15 year old girl when he was in his 40's. When bloggers criticized his role in the political activism community following his release from prison in 2001, he filed lawsuits against them, as well as the bloggers who wrote about the lawsuits.

Kimberlin is a bad man, but there is one issue that needs to be addressed: He's been active in left-wing circles and I'm a right-winger. I don't want to be mistaken for fighting for this cause because he's attacking speech I may agree with. My real motivation is in defending free speech and putting a boot in to kick a censor, and I hope that's what will motivate the others on our side. If left wing bloggers find themselves being targeted in a similar way I will be happy to come to their aid.

I'm not a lawyer, and my legal judgement is not refined enough to contribute usefully for the vexatious litigant motion, but I am familiar with retrieving legal documents. Many of these legal documents can not be found online and people are needed to find and make copies of them for the rest of the team. One thing I have going for me is that I live within a reasonable drive of both the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

I love blogging about free speech, what it is and what is isn't, and I believe strongly in talking to people as an approach to social change, but it'll be good to put in some hard work that can make an impact in the legal system.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Is the local food movement doomed?

The New York Times just ran an op-ed piece by sea-farmer Bren Smith lamenting that the small farm craze is terrible for the farmers.

The dirty secret of the food movement is that the much-celebrated small-scale farmer isn’t making a living. After the tools are put away, we head out to second and third jobs to keep our farms afloat. Ninety-one percent of all farm households rely on multiple sources of income. Health care, paying for our kids’ college, preparing for retirement? Not happening. With the overwhelming majority of American farmers operating at a loss — the median farm income was negative $1,453 in 2012 — farmers can barely keep the chickens fed and the lights on. 
Others of us rely almost entirely on Department of Agriculture or foundation grants, not retail sales, to generate farm income. And young farmers, unable to afford land, are increasingly forced into neo-feudal relationships, working the fields of wealthy landowners. Little wonder the median age for farmers and ranchers is now 56. 
My experience proves the trend. To make ends meet as a farmer over the last decade, I’ve hustled wooden crafts to tourists on the streets of New York, driven lumber trucks, and worked part time for any nonprofit that could stomach the stink of mud on my boots. Laden with college debt and only intermittently able to afford health care, my partner and I have acquired a favorite pastime in our house: dreaming about having kids. It’s cheaper than the real thing.

Combine this with Dan Barber's recent assessment that the local food system is failing because no one wants to eat the cover crops, and the ongoing problem of local producers dishonestly repackaging mass-produced goods to make ends meet, one wonders if this snobby food fad is going to burn out in the next few years. The "food miles" environmental argument has already been destroyed, and now with visible tears in the economic arguments the only thing left is aesthetics.

But, of course, right on cue Smith reaches for the big red button and demands a bailout to prop up luxury foods:

But now it’s time for farmers to shape our own agenda. We need to fight for loan forgiveness for college grads who pursue agriculture; programs to turn farmers from tenants into landowners; guaranteed affordable health care; and shifting subsidies from factory farms to family farms. We need to take the lead in shaping a new food economy by building our own production hubs and distribution systems. And we need to support workers up and down the supply chain who are fighting for better wages so that their families can afford to buy the food we grow.

Look, the problem with agricultural subsidies isn't that they are going to the wrong types of farms; the problem is that they exist in the first place. This is my big problems with the local food movement: They want their private indulgences paid with public money. Small farm artisan foods are luxury items and if patrons won't agree to higher prices the answer is to let the industry die, and not to shake down taxpayers for more subsidies, grants and tax breaks.

Interestingly enough, these tax breaks that Smith loves so much have introduced rent-seekers into the market, and they are driving down prices by increasing the supply of local foods. He writes:

Especially in urban areas, supporting your local farmer may actually mean buying produce from former hedge fund managers or tax lawyers who have quit the rat race to get some dirt under their fingernails. We call it hobby farming, where recreational “farms” are allowed to sell their products at the same farmers’ markets as commercial farms. It’s all about property taxes, not food production. As Forbes magazine suggested to its readers in its 2012 Investment Guide, now is the time to “farm like a billionaire,” because even a small amount of retail sales — as low as $500 a year in New Jersey — allows landowners to harvest more tax breaks than tomatoes.

It sounds like bailout farmers are being gored by their own ox.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Great journalism on the men's rights movement

VICE reporter Alex Brook Lynn has just done a multimedia piece on both the women of the men's rights movement, and the entire movement itself.

It is phenomenal. I endorse it with every clinging scrap out clout I have.

The full video and article are here. The following embedded video is a one-minute trailer:

What really stands out to me here is that we get to see both the valid points the men's rights movement cares about as well as the scumbag tactics the activists use. Issues like domestic violence against men and the new definition of rape need to be discussed and addressed, and I'm glad people are out there fighting for this cause, but as I wrote last April I absolutely loathe the tactics they are using.

In the video, you see one of the activists proudly states that they are using the Malcom X approach, which is contrasted with the always reasonable and soft-spoken Warren Farrell who uses a peaceful, MLK approach. The movement is dominated with hyperbole and bomb throwers and they acknowledge this openly. Like CancelColbert social justice warrior Suey Park stated in March, they admit they are purposely saying outrageous things to get attention.

Bad journalism serves to advance an agenda or glosses over nuances in search of a good story. Good journalism informs and enlightens. It would have been very easy for Lynn to create yet another hit piece focusing on the bad tactics and dismissing men's issues, but instead Lynn has done the modern world a service by framing this subject in a way that is both fair and moving.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

"That is not the feminism I signed up for."

After nearly a month wait, the TAM 2014 talk from Carol Tavris on skepticism and rape accusations is finally available to view. It's everything I hoped it would be.

And now we wait. Tavris's talk was a grenade thrown at the progressives who are trying to turn secular and skeptical circles into social warrior encampments. So far, they've been virtually silent about this direct assault. Let's see how they respond now that the entire talk is available.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What's with gays and smoking?

NPR just reported that one-third of American gays smoke tobacco, as compared to one-fifth of straight Americans.

Does that mean that tobacco taxes were really motivated by homophobia? After all, we're told that any policy that has more negative effects on black people is motivated by racism, such as drug laws.

But seriously now, the big question here is why do so many gays smoke. Gay writer Mark Joseph Stern contributes it to the increased stress many gays face, which manifests as many other forms of risky behavior. I think he's right, but there's another factor.

Putting on my Gary Becker hat, I think one additional reason gays smoke more is that there's less risk involved. Gays appear to have shorter lifespans today. It's not as drastic as it was during the AIDS crisis, but gays still face more health risks than straight people.

With less time left to live, the odds that smoking will harm you fall. While I don't think it's rational for anyone to smoke, it's less irrational for someone who knows they are in danger. While every gay person does not know their individual health risks, they are subject to influence from their peers.

I'm completely speculating here, but I wonder if a gay smoking culture developed during the AIDS crisis. That crisis went away with increased condom use, but smoking is notoriously hard to quit and I imagine many of the survivors stayed in the gay community and unintentionally kept the smoking culture going.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Can Amazon accounts get married?

Imagine this: You're a 40 year who has been married for the past decade to another 40 year old. Over time you built up a cassette collection, then phases it out for a CD collection. You also built up a VHS library, then a DVD library. Now that it's 2014 you and your spouse stopped buying CD's and DVD's and are instead buying digital music and movies. You even stopped buying physical books and switched to e-books. You and your spouse share a single profile on Amazon, or maybe iTunes or Google Play.

Now imagine you are a 30 year old today, getting married to another 30 year old, and you both have digital collections on, say, Amazon. Two libraries, two different accounts. Streaming players tend to make room for one account, such as Roku, an Xbox or a PlayStation, but what if you want to switch to something only available on the other account? E-readers currently only allow one account. Logging in and out is a pain, and you can't make a music play list with songs from separate accounts. This is a real problem that needs a solution.

It sounds like allowing people to combine them would solve that problems, but what happens when a couple splits up? With physical copies you and your spouse can split the library up, but digital goods are not transferable. However, allowing the digital library to be split up means it could be split up in a way that one party doesn't like. That would put the company at risk of being dragged into divorce litigation. It sounds like something they'd want to avoid to be on the safe side.

But what happens if that 40-year-old couple divorce? It seems like the entire digital collection would go to whomever's name the account is in, but that seems destined to be challenged in court at some date. Someone will argue that digital goods are property that have value, and their custody needs to be split. What if the account holder didn't want eight seasons of Charmed and they'd rather sign over the full account than keep it? What if there isn't enough property between them to compensate the partner who does not get the digital goods?

The easiest solution to all these problems is to pressure companies to grant customers the ability to transfer digital goods. This is clearly something Amazon, Apple and Google don't want to do, as they haven't made it possible yet, but it's something consumers can press them into doing. The technology is there, but the will is not.

Maybe when more modern marriages and divorces take place the consumer demand will arise.

Friday, August 1, 2014

I like what Obama complained about

Am I the only one who caught president Barack Obama's crazy statement about the minimum wage today?

Jump to 6:30 mark for the full context. Basically, Obama was justifying his use of executive order to mimic the legislation he is not able to get through congress and its checks and balances, a hallmark of his administration I find worrisome and disturbing. He made a list of things he identifies as problems and when he wanted to lament the lack of a federal minimum wage increase he said something that made me squint in confusion:

States and businesses are raising the minimum wage for their workers because this congress is failing to do so.

Uh, what?

IKEA, for example, just announced that it's raising its starting pay in America, which is something companies do when they want to attract better workers. That's a good thing.

I understand why Obama's argument about state minimum wage increases is logical, but complaining about businesses raising wages when congress did not? That's a ridiculous statement and he should fire whoever put that line in his speech.

The president just said, as a complaint, that the market and capitalism are raising peoples wages instead of waiting for the federal government to do so. That's what he said.

Obama has had economic rock stars in his administration, Larry Summers, Christina Romer, Cass Sunstein,
Timothy Geithner, Alan Krueger, etc., yet I rarely get the impression that he listens to them. Instead, he speaks as if the economy is something that can be subdued and leashed with legislation, when it's really a rebellious, uncooperative organism.