Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Pearl Of Great Price: The Wit And Wisdom Of Megan McArdle

A quick recap of a week of McArdle wisdom, proving that there is nothing you cannot say or publish when you are backed by billionaires:

Clinton Support Has Nowhere To Go But Down: As people get to know the Republican candidates better Clinton is bound to become less popular, which will make Democrats panic when they realize she is all they have.

McArdle does not discuss the actual candidates, probably because they show up in the media quite often as they scuttle state governments,  do the can-can while auditioning for billionaires' largess, or voice heartfelt support for child molesters and conceal evidence against attempted statutory rape.

U.S. Can't Import The Scandinavian Model: The US cannot have a strong safety net because its productivity depends on innovation and innovation depends on inequality as an incentive. Countries with a strong social net are free riders on American innovation.

This was the same argument she gave us to explain why we could not have Obamacare. No doubt it is equally reality-based.

"Primates Of Park Avenue," Stranger Than Fiction: It's incredible that journalists embellish and lie.

Money quote:

Martin says she telescoped certain events to protect the privacy of friends and family. Does this matter? Yes, for a few reasons. The first is a stubborn journalist's ethic that the minor details have to be right too, not just "the big picture." Writing my own nonfiction book, I agonizingly went back and fact checked over and over again to try to make it as accurate as possible. Where I was telling a story that even I couldn't possibly verify -- because, say, it involved a casual conversation at a bar that happened 10 years ago -- I made that clear, and didn't embroider with detail that would have made it more vivid. We try to get the little details right because otherwise, how will anyone trust the big picture?

Yes, she of the hypothetical statistics and African-American on a bus who sounded suspiciously like an Ayn Rand character wants us to know how meticulous and correct she is, how honest and thorough. We know she's lying but there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.  McArdle will always have the last laugh and the money to enjoy it.

 Would The Poor Prefer Cash Over Medicaid?: Do you think it might be a good idea to get rid of Medicaid and give out cash instead? What if someone wanted to buy a prom dress instead of medicine for a strep throat? Wouldn't it be paternalism to deny them that choice? Do people even know what is best for them? We could argue either way.

Nobody knows anything ever, so get rid of Medicaid.

 Paying Off Student Loans Is Hard. Do It Anyway: I paid off my student loans (because I am terrified of a bad credit rating which I see as a sign of personal worth) and by god you will too.

That one is self-explanatory.

If Apple Blocks Ads, Who Would Notice?: Sigh. Journalism is doomed.

This is easy for her to admit because she knows she is not a journalist and will always have a job.

Friday Food Post: Sous Vide With Some Bite To It:
The sous vide makes perfect meat. Here is how you compensate for the unpleasant texture and flavor.
Most of the food I eat comes from the freezer.
Here is a list of my favorite cookbooks.

It seems that the sous vide and Thermomix were more trouble than they were worth, and they were worth thousands.


Clever Pseudonym said...

I love the "readers write in..." feature of her food posts. Who the hell consults McArdle for food advice? "Dear Megan, I'm attempting my first box of Kraft macaroni with a side of grilled cheese. How does my sous vide do this?"

Susan of Texas said...

Also, rice can be frozen, so they are getting a grab-bag of mid-century conventional wisdom, error and personal taste.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Susan for taking apart the ridiculous nonsense that comes out of MM's mouth or wrist.

MM was on a panel yesterday with Alex Wagner. I usually like Alex but this was a bridge too far. MM didn't get much airtime, the only saving grace of this entire fiasco.

You do good work. I wish you were on a panel with Alex Wagner.


Doug Decker

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

The US cannot have a strong safety net because its productivity depends on innovation and innovation depends on inequality as an incentive.

1%ers and their sycophants will repeat this lie forever, no matter how often actual history disproves it.

Susan of Texas said...

Thanks, Doug Decker.

After the Vulcans made contact, the United Federation on Earth entered into a nightmare dystopia in which all incentives for innovation were removed when inequality ended. The only way to inspire innovation was the threat of poverty, since only the poor are in the position to create advanced technology.

bulbul said...

However, here are some books that I am cooking out of regularly right now.
One, two, three ... ten. Ten books she refers to as "the basic reference library I consult most often." Now your mileage may vary, but I do not regularly consult anything close to 10 books on any of the subjects I do academic work in. There comes a point where you acquire enough knowledge and experience that you only need reference works for the most arcane aspects of whatever you do. Now either Our Lady of the Disgusting Sous Vide Meat is too dumb to acquire any skill or she's one of those people who believe that by gathering tools and paraphernalia, they will somehow magically acquire the skills and knowledge without doing any actual work (like people who buy exercise equipment). Wait, don't answer that one.
A case in point: "Betty Crocker's 1950 Cookbook. This is still my go-to comfort food book, and it is very fine for basic baking." Basic baking is very simple, hence the word "basic". What do you need to consult a basic baking cookbook for, let alone regularly?

I have a lot of other books. Like, a lot, many for specialty techniques (like deep frying
1. Deep frying? I thought she was a gourmet. Or is it what she does to the meat she pulls out of the sous vide machine?
2. A book on deep frying? What is there beyond "pick a suitable vessel, pick the right kind of oil, check temperature, don't crowd the vessel"? I mean the biggest moron in the world can deep.... Oh, right.

If you want to cook French, American style, this is the book.
I can't even.

bulbul said...

As luck would have it, I got my hands on a copy of "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking". According to our Lady of the Frozen Mash Potatoes (seriously, who would even think of that?), "Her pesto recipe is the best ever", so let's check it out:

"- Put the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, chopped garlic, and an ample pinch of salt in the processor bowl, and process to a uniform, creamy consistency.
- Transfer to a bowl, and mix in the two grated cheeses by hand. It is worth the slight effort to do it by hand to obtain the notably superior texture it produces. When the cheese has been evenly amalgamated with the other ingredients, mix in the softened butter, distributing it uniformly into the sauce."

I'm sorry, but that is LITERALLY EVERY PESTO RECIPE EVER. Some people use butter, some don't, but there is really nothing special about it. And same goes for her "sublime" lasagne: same Bechamel and same Bolognese sauce as in all the recipes. Hazan's recipe calls for fresh pasta. Now how many of you think Megan makes her own fresh pasta?

Kathy said...

One of my favorite cook books (I think I have 5, but mostly "consult" two, is a 20-year old microwave cookbook from England. People laugh at English cooking, but oh MY! Chicken breasts in marmalade sauce with currants.... yumm! Takes 7 minutes to cook in microwave, tho there is a bit of prep work (which Arglebarlge seems to hate). Tastes even better when baked more slowly in regular oven. You never know.

Clever Psuedonym said...

Deep frying: heat oil to 375, drop food, let it fry until it floats. Chicken, slightly longer. It is in no way a "specialty technique." The reason why fast food chains flourish is precisely because it is so quick and easy. There's no reason to own a book about something millions of teenagers have learned how to do in two minutes.

fish said...

I agonizingly went back and fact checked over and over again to try to make it as accurate as possible.

The only response to this.

Ufotofu9 said...

Atlas Srugged: The Mocking Part 9????

Susan of Texas said...

It's been bothering my conscience. And McArdle is boring. Yeah, I need to get back to the book from hell.