Saturday, January 31, 2009

Before I forget...

My pick for tomorrow-Pittsburgh 21, Arizona 6

Been a long time...

This happened near my nominal supervisor's house. It seems that this kind of thing-taking hostages, people just going stark raving bananas-is going to just get worse and worse until we come up with a world economic system that is, you know, systemic. And economic.

I wish I had heard about this before Friday, so I could have watched. Any unreleased, non public Bill Hicks is worth watching.

Just in case you had any doubt that you were being screwed, the IRS reports that the richest 400 Americans had their tax rates fall by one third and their average income double from 2000-2006.

I really can't say enough good things about Dan Carlin. Always insightful, well reasoned, though challenging to listen to. Dan always makes you think and often makes you rethink things you thought you had decided.

Oh, by the way-the Red Sox reached an agreement to bring back Jason Varitek for the 2009 season. Hopefully, the agreement included agreeing that Jason would no longer hit like Marc Sullivan.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Panic Urgently

Posts like this depress me. I wish I worked for smart people like this.

To borrow a phrase....

...first against the wall when the revolution comes...

Seriously? 18 billion dollars of our money for Wall Street bonuses in 2008? Are you nucking futs?

Their argument is usually that they need bonuses to retain "top talent". Really? If these are the top people, I think we need to go back to letting the monkeys pick the stocks. (I am referring to the example of random stock selection at times being equal to or superior to experts.)

This is kind of neat. The St. Petersburg paper has an online meter tracking President Obama's campaign promises.

An amusing little site consisting of imagined Twitter messages from throughout history.

I don't know how Republicans are opposing the bailout. I really don't. These are your fellow Americans suffering here. You don't think it's a good idea? Well, we tried your ideas-they didn't work. We tried shoveling money into Wall Street and banks-it didn't work. At a certain point, you have to act like statesmen.

Someone has too much time on their hands

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bringing Out The Dead

Daniel Gross on the battle over the stimulus.

Daniel Gross on the walking dead of Wall Street

Something that continually amazes me is the resistance to the stimulus package- as if we have any other options at this point. How someone can argue that we need to increase consumption to get the economy moving, and yet argue that employing people will not do this? Every argument I have seen against this stimulus seems breathtakingly self serving.

On tonight's installment of PBS' Make Me Laugh, a documentary about comedy, Chris Rock made an excellent point. Since ignorance is bliss, the opposite of ignorance-the knowledge and ability to understand and appreciate what's going on-everything that's happening-that's hell.

I know what he means.

The age of hope, the age of despair

More Updike reminisences.

One of the most heartening accounts of health care reform I've ever read. He almost makes you think it is possible.

Another "stockpile food and guns" article.

The more I read, the more I sometimes wish I never learned how.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let Them Eat...Something Worse Than Cake

With the news that Merrill Lynch paid out billions in bonuses shortly before reporting billions in losses and being bought by the bailout seeking Bank of America, I am compelled to quote "Left, Right, and Center" panelist Tony Blankley.

Clearly these bank executives studied at the Marie Antoinette School of Public Relations.

Updike At Rest

A true giant has passed. John Updike, a truly titanic author who has written dozens of novels along with essays, reviews, and short stories, is dead at the age of 76.

I have read several of his novels, and wrote essays in college about his work. I found him brilliant, very readable and absolutely compelling. He will be missed.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm happy! I'm miserable!

The bottom is here! Recovery is right around the corner!

Obama will save us! Everything's going to be okay!

We're all going to die! Hoard canned goods and ammunition!

I don't know what to think. I guess nobody does. Sometimes I think it's all no big deal, and sometimes I don't think we're going to last the month.

And yes, I know that means through Saturday.

I want to believe Obama will make a difference, I really do. And goodness knows, he's better than the band of war criminals and tycoon apologists that he replaced. But these problems we're facing seem so impossible, so weighty and complex and multifactorial, that it doesn't seem like anyone or anything can solve them.

I don't like that President Obama has already bombed Pakistan through the CIA Predators. I don't like that he has so many advisers that are so close to the mistakes of the past.

It seems like an awfully thin reed to tie my hopes to the imagined decency of one lonely man.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Potbellies and Dreamgirls

Intending to attend a Open House at a local private school, my wife and I wound up at a new Potbelly sandwich shop and a Barnes and Noble. Shockingly, I emerged from the Barnes and Noble empty handed, and after lunch, my wife did her Jennifer Hudson impersonation, ("and I am telling you I am not going"), so we agreed to just go home, turning a potentially useful day into another wasted day in the world of commerce.

Ah well.