Morning Reads for Monday, March 12th

March 12, 2012 6:07 am

by Jason · 29 comments

Here in Georgia…
– Paul Broun will debate his GOP primary challengers, according to Blake Aued.
– HOT lanes are making $200,000 a month, despite 20% of users paying no toll.
– Money the state is receiving as part of the fraud settlement with banks may not be used for its intended purpose.

National stories of interest…
– Support for our continued involvement in Afghanistan keeps falling.
– Rising gas prices will be a factor in the fall.
– Occupy Wall Street is running out of money.
– Tim Carney explains why there was such a discrepancy between BLS job data and Gallup’s estimate of the unemployment picture for February.
– Job growth is expected for 2012 to largely come from the IT sector.
– In case you missed it, the House overwhelmingly passed the JOBS Act at the end of last week.
– Free speech is under fire thanks to laws criminalizing “hate speech.”
– Adam Smith, much like Ayn Rand, was suspicious of crony capitalists.
– Jim DeMint says that he may not support Paul Ryan’s budget for FY 2013.
– Government-backed green light bulbs are incredibly pricy.
– South Carolina Lt. Gov. Ken Ard resigned on Friday.
– When you look at the delegate math in the GOP race, it’s not looking good for Rick Santorum.
Read this before you jump on the “Kony 2012″ bandwagon.

A few that I like…
– Not only is Daylight Savings Time an annoyance, it’s also bad for your health.
– Here is the recap of last night’s amazing episode of The Walking Dead. And while you’re at it, check out this alternate opening sequence for the show.
– Siri is a great tool, but it’s sending your data to Apple. Find out how to opt-out here.

Engineer March 12, 2012 at 8:42 am

Just wanted to say that I loved last night’s episode of The Walking Dead. I can’t wait for the season finale.

Just out of curiosity, how are rising gas prices being a factor this fall unexpected? Any time fuel prices rise, the politician in office comes under fire for it and when they fall, they take credit for it. Nothing new here.

Max Power March 12, 2012 at 8:59 am

I just want to add that DST is one of the stupidest ideas ever conceived by man. Georgia should opt out like Arizona.

I Miss the 90s March 12, 2012 at 9:16 am

Wow, just goes to show what counts for stupid these days.

DST may upset your sleep schedule and those less abreast of public matters may forget to reset their clocks in walk into late one morning a year, but the economic and public safety effects are not only positive, they indicate that DST is a “no-brainer” public policy.

Max Power March 12, 2012 at 9:44 am

economic and public safety effects are not only positive, they indicate that DST is a “no-brainer” public policy.

I’ve yet to see any controlled studies that provided data that indicated that there was any sizable increase in either economic activity or public safety because of DST. Let’s see if we can find data showing a noticeable drop in economic activity in Arizona compared to the rest of the country.

I Miss the 90s March 12, 2012 at 12:04 pm

If you had ever actually looked, and knew what you were looking for, you would have found plenty.

First, at the macro-level you can not control anything…you can only control for moderating relationships (this is the difference between experimental research and non-experimental research). There has been some experimental research indicating that the change in sleeping patterns brought about be DST do negatively effect workplace performance to some level (more sophisticated individuals have less of a problem adapting that the lesser sophisticated ). This is straight out of Kamstra, Kramer and Levi (2000).

There are some competing studies on traffic accidents. Sleep pattern change, like above, has been shown to increase the likelihood of causing a traffic accident, but so does driving at night. I would expect that a meta-analysis of this literature would show the reduction in the number of accidents caused by darkness (driving after sunset) is significantly lower than the increase of accident brought about by the change of sleep patterns. I am not about to do a meta-analysis, it is time consuming and I really do not care about this topic.

There is no denying the fact that DST reduces the amount of night-time spent awake. Energy savings have been estimated in the 100s of millions of dollars worldwide (a total reduction of about .5% of energy use) (Aries 2008).

There are plenty of studies that show consumers spend less and less frequently shop after sun-down. I have not found a DST article specifically, but it is mentioned in several discussions as an implication of DST. Without DST companies would be open for an extra-hour of night-time for half of the year and if the finding holds (and there is no reason they shouldn’t) then DST prevents private companies from losing money by staying open during hours in which consumers are psychologically less likely to leave home or spend money.

Lastly, crime rates are higher in hours of darkness than in hours of day light. Same logic as above, an hour less of darkness is an hour less of increased crime rates (Gorr and Olligschlaeger 2003).

Just so you know, Max, it is okay to change your mind when you encounter evidence. It is obvious you emotionally reacted to DST rather than engaging in a fact finding mission to form a cogent argument for the position expressed earlier.

drjay March 12, 2012 at 12:11 pm

you do realize there is not actually an hour less of darkness, right? i mean gee whiz based on that statement, we should set clocks ahead like 10 hours and then it would never get dark…

if you cut a foot off of the top of a blanket and sew it on to the bottom of the blanket–it is not a longer blanket…

I Miss the 90s March 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Everyone knows that. What is at issue is that there is an additional hour of waking darkness.

I Miss the 90s March 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm

…that is, time society, and individuals, spend awake during time in which the sun is down.

Max Power March 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm

You don’t know me so I’m going to let that last comment slide. Needless to say I can be persuaded when there’s actual evidence. But most of the evidence in favor of DST is not based on scientific testing of two similar areas one with DST and the other without DST. Instead it’s based on generally accepted principles.

For example:
There is no denying the fact that DST reduces the amount of night-time spent awake. Energy savings have been estimated in the 100s of millions of dollars worldwide (a total reduction of about .5% of energy use)

100s millions worldwide. How much of that savings comes in nations where the main use of energy is lighting? One could argue that here in the US where more energy is used for climate control that having more night in the summer would save more energy that lighting.

Or the shopping issue. Has there been a study that shows that there’s less economic activity in Phoenix than in Albuquerque during the summer? I doubt it. In fact I think you’ll find consumer spending is relatively level throughout the year no matter how much darkness there is.
http://www.data360.org/dsg.aspx?Data_Set_Group_Id=2039

Finally, on the crime issue criminals work early mornings just as easily as evening. It’s silly to assume that criminals would somehow be dissuaded because the darkness is in the morning as opposed to at night. That’s why I have a gun.

John Vestal March 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I’m old enough to recall ’77 or ’78 when it was decided (as an “energy-saving” move) to allow DST to go thru the winter months. The idea was that most people would spend fewer evening waking hours “in the dark”, thus not having to light their homes as long between dusk and bedtime.

I just remember parents complaining about kids having to wait for the bus in the dark.

SallyForth March 12, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Yep, John, this stupid time change thing twice every year was in reality something to give 70’s Washington fat-cats an extra hour each afternoon for playing golf. Turned out that this change to our bodies causes lots of people to crap out from heart attacks, definite bad for our health.

It’s actually not a binding law, but rather it was put in the form of “IF a government entity chooses to do daylight savings time, they have to do in uniformity with others” (or words to that effect). So I choose to stay with good old EST for my life year-round sleep pattern, except for specific appointment or meeting times. (I’m such a rebel! :-) )

CobbGOPer March 12, 2012 at 9:14 am

So the fraud settlement that Georgia will receive is over $800 million, but only $82 million of that will go to homeowners who got screwed in the foreclosure process? And then they’re going to put almost $150 million in the general fund?

Am I the only person that thinks the math is fuzzy here? Where’s the rest of the money going? Why does it seem like homeowners are getting screwed twice with this deal?

saltycracker March 12, 2012 at 10:51 am

Article says $815 mil. settlement with $104 mil. going to state treasury as discretionary money.

Legislators will give little thought to some debt reduction with the money.
They will hold a very loud “responsibility” scrum to fight over “fair” redistribution.

Can the money a defaulted mortgage holder was defrauded out of go to their debtors as partial settlement ? The big winners might be the attorneys and banks.

http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-government/funds-for-defrauded-homeowners-1381114.html

CobbGOPer March 12, 2012 at 11:35 am

Yes, somehow I think most of this money is going to find its way into the hands of places like King & Spalding, unfortunately.

Engineer March 12, 2012 at 9:47 am

Oh in other news, Ron Paul won his first caucus of the season. He won the popular vote among the candidates in the US Virgin Islands Caucus. Ironically, Paul only got 1 delegate from it, Mitt Romney got 7 (due to how the caucus system there is set up).

From the Virgin Islands Republican Party website
http://vigop.com/2012/03/vi-gop-2012-caucus-results-coming-soon/

(384 total votes cast)

Votes – Candidate – Delegates

130 – Uncommitted (34%) – 2
112 – Ron Paul (29%) – 1
101 – Mitt Romney (26%) – 6 (one uncommitted went to Romney making it 7)
23 – Rick Santorum (6%) – 0
18 – Newt Gingrich (5%) – 0

Rambler1414 March 12, 2012 at 9:53 am

PSA:

HOT Lanes coming to GA 400. But now they’re being called “Express Lanes”
http://www.dot.state.ga.us/travelingingeorgia/expresslanes/ga400/Pages/default.aspx

ricstewart March 12, 2012 at 11:11 am

Interesting commentary from the Cato Institute about the similarities between Santorum and Hillary Clinton. Some of it’s a bit of a stretch, but some of it’s spot on.
http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/hillary-sweater-vest

Harry March 12, 2012 at 11:44 am
Calypso March 12, 2012 at 11:59 am

Harry, do you know where that recall effort against Walker stands?

Harry March 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm

I don’t, but I bet the above-linked job killing action on the part of the government workers unions can only work to his benefit.

saltycracker March 12, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Non-public union leaders do not always reflect the wishes of the rank and file.

KD_fiscal conservative March 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm

“- Jim DeMint says that he may not support Paul Ryan’s budget for FY 2013.”
At first glance, the Rand Paul plan that DeMint is considering supporting seems great. It lays out big cuts, reforms Medicare/caid and Social Security and implements something similar to a flat tax. The question is would the big spending Romney(assuming he wins the general) and the many Big Gov’t Repubs. get on board with a plan that does so much so quickly(and doesn’t increase military spending more than it is already schduled to increase). My expectations aren’t high.

You can check out the plan here(http://www.scribd.com/doc/84514049/SENATOR-RAND-PAUL-S-PLATFORM-TO-REVITALIZE-AMERICA)

Obi's Sister March 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm

TWD – Not to be a spoiler or anything, but WHEN WHEN WHEN did you-know-who get bitten? After THAT THING THAT HAPPENED, can we now assume that you can be infected WITHOUT a bite? By open wound infection? Or spewed zombie dispersion?

No more sharing drinking glasses amongst friends, enemies or walkers in the night…

Engineer March 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Before I say anything about TWD, let me check if I can use spoiler tags…

Just testing if I can get this spoiler tag to work.

Engineer March 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Nope, looks like the html didn’t work.
Well, there’s always old fashioned….

ALL CAPS SPOILER WARNING

(or an end of season 1 whisper in the ear)
It is airborne and everybody is already infected.

kyleinatl March 12, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Thusly the meaning of the title of the show…hint, it ain’t the zombies.

Obi's Sister March 13, 2012 at 8:57 am

I went back and watched Ep6 Season 1 on Netflix last night. I couldn’t hear what the dear doctor whispered in Rick’s ear. Are you speculating or could you actually hear what he said?

Not that I’m obsessed, or anything.

Obi's Sister March 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm

By the way, props to TWD – in last night’s episode, Rick pronounced Senoia correctly. +10

kyleinatl March 12, 2012 at 9:15 pm

He does an especially good job for a British guy on the accent, I wish most of the rest of the cast was as good…

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