Where the Jobs Are and other short notes

Here’s a comparison between the Bush recovery of 2003-2005 and the Obama recovery of 2010-2012. The original author’s three circles emphasize these points:

  • The Bush recovery was aided by an increase in government jobs, while government has been the biggest job-losing sector during the Obama recovery. (Didn’t see that coming, did you?)
  • The sector where the Bush recovery had its second-biggest advantage was construction. These were largely housing-bubble jobs.
  • The Obama recovery shows a sizable gain in manufacturing jobs, which was a losing sector during the Bush recovery.

Balkinization’s Jonathan Hafetz comments on an appeals court ruling that John Yoo can’t be sued for his role in the conspiracy to torture American citizens, because his torture-justifying legal opinion wasn’t “beyond debate” at the time he wrote it.

The “debate” over torture, such as it was at the time, was largely manufactured by John Yoo and others precisely to engage in conduct that the law prohibited. The court thus takes what might be described as part of a conspiracy to commit torture as the reason to insulate those responsible from liability.

Click for a larger version:

Guilt-by-association is a variant of the ad hominem fallacy:

This Sarah Palin BBQ has a big mouth and smoke coming out of her head. Who says sculptors don’t do realism any more?

Media Matters does a great job of tracing the spread of a bogus story: the claim that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was about to legalize necrophilia for bereaved husbands.

When it comes to making serious issues both amusing and understandable, Cracked’s David Wong is getting right up there with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. His latest: 5 Ways to Spot a B. S. political story in under 10 seconds.

Henry Aaron was the intellectual godfather of Paul Ryan’s plan to replace Medicare with vouchers for private health insurance. Now he thinks it’s a bad idea.

When Ezra Klein questioned the wisdom of Mitt Romney reassembling Bush’s economic team and re-proposing his policies, he thought he didn’t need to remind everyone how bad the Bush years were for the economy. He was wrong.

Nicholas Kristof doesn’t usually go off over nothing. If he’s worried about endocrine disruptors, maybe we all should be.

Canada, always more sensible than the U.S., is doing away with the penny.

In 2009, three terrorist wannabees planned to put homemade bombs on the New York subway at rush hour. They were serious — collected stuff to make the bombs, picked targets, and so on.

They got arrested before they hurt anybody, were held in ordinary jails, and charged with breaking actual laws passed by Congress. The ringleader was convicted Tuesday in the same federal court in Brooklyn that any other federal offender might see. (His two friends pleaded guilty — without torture — and testified against him.) He faces the possibility of a life sentence in the same kind of penitentiary any other criminal would go to.

Somebody want to explain the Gitmo military tribunal thing again? We needed to circumvent the whole American system of justice because …

Funny or Die lets Republican women tell us where they want government: Not in their banks or their classrooms — in their vaginas.

I think it was Picasso who said, “Photoshop is a lie that makes us realize the truth.” Original Patrick Stewart knighthood photo here.

Two popular novelists joined opposite sides of the partisan divide this week. Stephen King minced no words in his Daily Beast op-ed pleading for higher taxes on the rich: “Tax Me, for F@%&’s Sake!

Meanwhile, Orson Scott Card wrote in favor of a North Carolina constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage (which is already illegal in North Carolina).

No, legalizing gay marriage is not about making it possible for gay people to become couples.

It’s about giving the left the power to force anti-religious values on our children. Once they legalize gay marriage, it will be the bludgeon they use to make sure that it becomes illegal to teach traditional values in the schools.

… The left is at war with the family, and they want control of our children’s education. That’s what those signs on the lawns are about.

I’m not making this up – it’s already happening wherever the left has complete control of education.

Regular Sift readers can easily guess that I found the King piece delicious and the Card piece horrifying. But I’m sure one reader comment is being echoed by partisans on both sides:

It’s too bad when an author I like just goes off the deep end.

Remember: Books don’t get to choose their authors. If you like the Dark Tower or Ender novels, they haven’t changed.

This is too true:

This week the moon was unusually big and bright, due to the full moon occurring at the closest point in the moon’s orbit. Here’s how it looked in Morega, CA.

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  • Kenneth Sutton  On May 7, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    The Ender books (and Card’s earlier works: give Songbird a look for irony) may be the same as they ever have been, but publishing is a business. And as with any other business, the political and social activities of those who profit affect my purchasing decisions. Further, it is the popularity of artists’ works which creates the platform for the artists’ viewpoints. I’m unwilling to contribute to creating a platform for Card’s views. (It also goes the other way: I bought the Dixie Chicks’ album after they ran afoul of conservatives for their antiwar comments.)

  • Lance Brown  On May 9, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    “Ender’s Game” is some of the best SF out there, but I’ll never buy another Card book new. He’s been on my “Purchase only used books” list for some time now.


  • By The Door to Recovery « The Weekly Sift on May 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    […] Where the Jobs Are and other short notes. A great chart compares the Bush and Obama recoveries. The biggest difference between them is in government jobs — up for Bush, down for Obama. […]

  • By Well-prepared Ground « The Weekly Sift on May 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    […] week’s most popular post. It was a slow week. Where the Jobs Are and other short notes was the most popular post with 140 […]

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