``I must give him his due. He has considerably cretinized me.'' Lautréamont

Pics click to enlarge.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Real Scandal (NYT)

acorn supported

by Bob Herbert
The real threat to democracy is the nonstop campaign by the G.O.P. and its supporters to disenfranchise American citizens who have every right to cast a ballot.

More Sadness for Appalachia (NYT)

another vein of sadness discovered

The Bush administration is writing one more sad chapter in the long, tortured history of Appalachia’s coal-rich hills.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Lion, the Bull and the Bears (NYT)

economics feelings

Investors seem to be relying on the same primitive emotion that made our forebears on the savanna bolt when approached by a hungry lion: fear.

$1,000 for 50 Points (NYT)

no child left behind

Some colleges, more concerned with their own rankings than with fairly ranking applicants, paid admitted freshmen to retake entrance exams.

The Acorn Story (NYT)

democracy improved by vote fraud

John McCain’s accusation that a group called Acorn intentionally submitted invalid voter registration forms appears overblown and misses the real problem.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Why How Matters (NYT)

man was not meant to travel on wheels

by Thomas L. Friedman
In the financial-services boom, bubble and bust, we got away from the basics — from the fundamentals of prudent lending and borrowing.

Monday, October 13, 2008

New and Unnecessary (NYT)

argument by adverbial clause

Nearly two decades after the United States stopped building nuclear weapons, it should not get back into the business.

Help for Haiti (NYT)

international basket case trade

The undocumented Haitians in the United States should be given temporary protection status as their storm-ravaged country rebuilds.

Abortion Rights on the Ballot, Again (NYT)

voters disparaged

The measures that South Dakota, Colorado and California have taken to end or limit abortion rights have much larger implications.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Post-Binge World (NYT)

financial analyst hat

by Thomas Friedman
The market is re-evaluating and re-pricing every asset in the world, without mercy. It is going to do whatever it’s going to do — whichever way greed and fear tug it.

Are We Rome? Tu Betchus! (NYT)


by Maureen Dowd
The decline and fall of the American Empire echoes the experience of the Romans, who also tumbled into the trap of becoming overleveraged empire hussies.

The Terrorist Barack Hussein Obama (NYT)

panties soiled

by Frank Rich
The McCain campaign has crossed the line between tough negative campaigning and inciting vigilantism, and each day the mob howls louder.

The Rule of Law in Guantánamo (NYT)

leftist theoretical structure proposed

The government is fighting a ruling to free detainees from Guantánamo Bay to avoid having the case become a window into the outlaw world of the camps.

Up and Down the Learning Curve (NYT)

adam smith dismissed

America’s energy problems are complex, and solving them will require leaders with restless curiosity and an open mind.

Out of Panic, Self-Reliance (NYT)

I don't see Emerson fainting at Obama rallies.

How financial panic influenced the philosophies of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Little Less to Worry About (NYT)

legislative kudzu proposed

Congress needs to build on the success of the compact that bans the diversion of water from the Great Lakes and take on the long-awaited assault on invasive species.

The States Need Help (NYT)

drunken sailor aid

The federal government must help states like California and Massachusetts get past their short-term liquidity squeezes.

Politics of Attack (NYT)

dismal ugliness not erased

Ninety minutes of forced cordiality during the debate did not erase the dismal ugliness of Senator John McCain’s campaign in recent weeks.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A Fool’s Paradise (NYT)

attention not paid

by Bob Herbert
What we haven’t paid close enough attention to is the fact that there haven’t been enough good paying jobs to sustain an adequate standard of living.

The Testing Time (NYT)

rooted test discovered

by David Brooks
Today, world leaders have to figure out how to stabilize economies amid volatile global capital flows. This test is rooted in a shift in economic power.

A Little Less Light (NYT)

lux et veritas

Nobody wants to go back to dark alleyways, but we also know that man-made light can pollute as well as illuminate.

Playing Into Mr. Morales’s Hands (NYT)

the tin tariff

The White House’s proposal to suspend Bolivia’s trade benefits altogether is self-defeating.

Cut the Sprawl, Cut the Warming (NYT)

solar wind influenced

California’s latest initiative on climate change will help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Even more progress would be made if others follow.

The Crisis Agenda (NYT)

it is vital that they try to attract votes

It is vital that Barack Obama and John McCain, one of whom will inherit a real mess, address the financial crisis in real detail at their debate Tuesday night.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Scraping the Bottom (NYT)

rational debate desired

For free speech not to be tainted by hate-filled propaganda, the presidential campaigns should identify the ads for what they are — a product that has little regard for rational debate.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Pitbull Palin Mauls McCain (NYT)

the hope and change tradition

by Frank Rich
The 2008 election is now an Obama-Palin race about “the future,” and the only person who doesn’t seem to know it is Mr. Past, poor old John McCain.

Sarah’s Pompom Palaver (NYT)

flyover country addressed

by Maureen Dowd
Watching Gov. Sarah Palin’s strenuously folksy debate performance, we could wonder when elite became a bad thing in America.

Racism Without Racists (NYT)

flaming liberal is another problem

by Nicolas D. Kristof
One of this season’s fallacies is that if Barack Obama is paying an electoral price for his skin tone, it must be because of racists. Not so — the evidence is that he is facing what scholars have dubbed “racism without racists.”

Swedish Spoken Here (NYT)

foreigners prefer to invest here, being one

by Thomas L. Friedman
When the next president takes office, Americans should not be surprised when he spells out the ramifications of being a debtor nation.

A Tale of Taint (NYT)

impressive new uniforms too

The way to fix the Food and Drug Administration’s image problems is with increased staffing, upgraded technology and more authority to protect American consumers.

No Pay for Harm (NYT)

subscriptions down

Hospitals will no longer profit from their mistakes under a new payment policy just inaugurated by Medicare. Too bad the same will not be true of doctors, at least not yet.

Foreclosures and the Right to Vote (NYT)

democrat base addressed

With the recent foreclosure crisis, not much work has been done to ensure that people who lose their homes do not also lose their chance to vote.

Meanwhile, in the Economy (NYT)

unemployment benefits only extend recessions, is this news?

After the bank bailout passed, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, was unable to persuade Republicans to extend unemployment benefits. So much for Main Street.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Talking in Points (NYT)

snow white reenacted

by Gail Collins
McCain sprung his vice-presidential selection on us at the last minute, possibly under the impression that the country felt things had gotten too boring lately, and would appreciate the excitement of having a minimally experienced political unknown serving as backup to a 72-year-old cancer survivor.

Palin’s Alternate Universe (NYT)

limited skills deprecated

by Bob Herbert
In such a serious moment in American history, it’s hard to believe that someone with Sarah Palin’s limited skills could possibly be playing a leadership role.

Dick Cheney, Role Model (NYT)

still smarting from ``major league asshole'' remark

It was hard to tell from Gov. Sarah Palin’s remarks in the vice-presidential debate if she understands how Dick Cheney has reshaped and damaged the office.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

In New York, a Willing Suspension of Term Limits (NYT)

Obama for mayor of NYC, an amusing experiment

Why do I believe term limits should be lifted temporarily to allow Michael Bloomberg to run for a third term? The answer is simple. I don’t want this city to repeat the early 1970s.

Show Us the Hope (NYT)

direct action urged against perverse side effects of previous direct action

The bailout bill, even the “sweetened” version, does little to avert the defaults and foreclosures that are pushing house values ever downward.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My Plan

Putting it in one place.

Change ``mark to market.'' It produces an instability in the system, whether taken as linear or nonlinear. A simple change is backward time averaging to the market, which gives you an unbiased eventual valuation but kills off the instability.

(The variance of the current market under mark to market is higher than the mistake produced by the lagging of an averaged estimator; and lagging spreads out any selling over a long enough time to look at things dispassionately.)

Change FDIC insurance limits way upward, and then declining under a leisurely schedule to avoid moral hazard being taken up as a business model. Similarly money market coverage. But it momentarily lets banks pay for and get huge deposits.

Rescue the Rescue (NYT)

law requiring both mark to market, and driving down market, not noticed

by Thomas L. Friedman
This is a credit crisis. It’s all about confidence.


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