Actually, that would be amusing

The Baseline Scenario recommends PAUL KRUGMAN for the Fed. And with a straight face, no less:

The danger here is uncertainty – the markets fear a prolonged policy vacuum. Fortunately, there is a way to address this. Ben Bernanke should withdraw and the president should nominate Paul Krugman to take his place.

The ironic thing is that although Krugman is a willfully ignorant Neo-Keynesian who couldn’t correctly predict the sun rising tomorrow, he would still be a better choice than permitting Ben Bernanke to destroy the tattered remnants of the American economy in order to delay the liquidation of the zombie banks.

I don’t care if Bernanke is reconfirmed or not. Should he be? Of course not. He’s been an unmitigated disaster; only Greenspan was worse. But as Calculated Risk correctly points out, it’s not really a question of the right man for the job, but the right man for the job in the eyes of the bankers and politicians who created the current mess. You can count on one thing regardless of whether Bernanke is kicked out or not; anyone capable of being confirmed is not the right man for the job.

Eve Online players

MB created the first mode for Eve Online, one of around 40 game and application modes that have been produced to date. Have a look at it and if you’ve got any suggestions for improvements, let us know. Also feel free to tell us which mode you’d like to see posted for review next week. And if you’re interested in putting together a layout yourself for a game or application you use regularly, send an email and we’ll send you the spreadsheet.

Purple and Gold

I don’t have any problem admitting that the Prince song is horrifically bad. It’s no Skol Vikings, let alone Men of Football Fame, which happens to be one of the all-time great fight songs. But I quite like the fact that he wrote it anyhow. It’s the sort of irrational thing that an enthusiastic football fan should do.

I’m not afraid of the Saints. If the Vikes were playing at the Hump, I’d be even more confident than I was last week against Dallas. This lack of fear is no disrespect to Drew Brees; I was furious when Culpepper was injured and the Vikings didn’t pursue Brees after the Chargers decided to jettison him in favor of Rivers. Brees is an excellent quarterback and he is protected by a very good line that only allowed 20 sacks all year. But besides home field advantage, the QB and OL combination are probably the only significant advantages for New Orleans. Consider the breakdown:

QB – slight advantage New Orleans -1 (Favre has been incredible all year, but there is no other shoe with Brees.)
RB – solid advantage Minnesota +2 (This would be the right time to show up in a big way, AD.)
WR – push. I like Rice better than Colston this year.
TE – slight advantage Minnesota +1 (+2 if Shockey can’t go. Shiancoe has been reliably great and Favre has loved throwing to the TE since the days of Chmura and Franks.)
OL – slight advantage New Orleans -1

DL – solid advantage Minnesota +2 (+1 if Edwards can’t go.)
LB – slight advantage New Orleans -1 (Vikes miss Henderson.)
DB – push despite INT difference (Yes, Sharper is a ballhawk but we know him; he’s not as good as this year’s stats indicate.)

Special teams – Kluwe and Morstead are practically identical, Longwell is better than Carney or Hartley, Harvin and Roby both average 27.5 yards on 42 returns, and Reynaud’s average is more than 2x Bush’s. Much to my surprise, the slight advantage is to the Vikes. +1

Home field in a dome: Slight advantage New Orleans -1. This is why I was so upset about those stupid losses to Chicago and Carolina.

Coaches: Slight advantage New Orleans -1. But Chilly is improving. Last year, this would have been minus two. Maybe a minus three. I suspect having Favre pushing him to be more aggressive has helped, then again, having a quarterback who can actually see an open receiver and throw the ball to him would tend to open up the playbook a little. I LOVED the dagger at the end of the Dallas game for two reasons. One, 1975. Two, the Vikes have tended to slack late all season.

On paper, it adds up to a slight advantage for Minnesota, so my conclusion is that the Vikes will hold on for a six-point win that isn’t quite as close as it looks on the final scoreboard. The Saints are a very good team led by an excellent quarterback, but if there is one thing we know from past playoffs, it’s that a strong pass rush can throw off even the very best quarterbacks. The focus is all on the quarterback duel, and no doubt the fourth quarter will be full of aerial pyrotechnics, but don’t be surprised if All Day shows up and takes over.

As for the other game, I’d like to see the Jets knock out the Colts. You have to respect Peyton Manning, perhaps even fear him, but you don’t have to like him. And you certainly don’t have to respect the decision of the Colts’ brain trust to throw away the quest for perfection. The football gods can’t possibly permit Indianapolis to win the Super Bowl this year and a loss to the Jets would be the most fitting retribution.