Friday, November 28, 2008

Reading List

NYT's 100 notable books of the year.

Remember Rubik's Cube?

A woman devised a famous solution method, Virginia Heffernan tells us.
These days Jessica Fridrich teaches electrical and computer engineering at the State University of New York at Binghamton, where she specializes in digital forensics. But she’s best known for having discovered the popular Fridrich method of cube-solving in the early ’80s. And the knack has stayed with her: she’s still among the fastest cubers in the world. See the Fridrich spread here:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Health Care Input

Obama wants yours.

Best Obama Album

Josh Marshall says it's Boston Globe's and I take his word for it.

Public Healthcare Superior

to private. I know you know that, but here's a source to buoy the argument mitt links.
...public health care systems are more efficient and result in healthier nations, while market based systems are inherently inefficient due to market failures and reduce a nation's health.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Righteous Mothers

have immediate need for old, fat, naked women.

(h/t Mardie)

Well. Well. Well.

I was afraid I'd have to clench my teeth and hold my nose just like when Obama voted for the FISA bill. But it turns out torture supporter Brennan has taken himself out of the running for CIA boss. He credts liberal critics, mostly bloggers, for his decision. Damn straight.

Question O' Teh Day

Why was Palin at the turkey farm, anyway? She was there to pardon one, then quickly moved on.

Monday, November 24, 2008

One Man's Family

gets The Memo.
In the Travel and Entertainment category, you will find that fewer requests to eat in restaurants will be approved, and requests for desserts in restaurants, particularly, will not be approved (unless they are included in the cost of a kid’s meal). In the case of Cabot’s or The Cheesecake Factory, where ice cream or cheesecake, respectively, is kind of the point, sharing is strongly encouraged. An additional benefit of this will be improved health. Netflix has been put on hold for 90 days, and we will reconsider that offering then; unopened red envelopes left on top of the TV indicate a lack of demand at present. Newspaper and magazine subscriptions are subject to elimination as well. Executives, including myself, are being asked to purchase regular coffee in place of more expensive coffee drinks while traveling, and to utilize meals from our on-site food service provider whenever possible.

Obama's Other Woman

Valerie Jarrett profiled today in the NYT.
“What Valerie developed is the art of telling people to go to hell and making them look forward to the trip,” said Mr. Jordan, who advised his wife’s cousin throughout the campaign.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Okay, So...

Omigod, So I Missed All This

and there's no time to catch up. Well, maybe you've got the time. I'm planning on tuning in to HBO's last vampire program segment. 'Nite.
Cut down the last redwood for chopsticks, harpoon the last blue whale for sushi, and the additional mouths fed will nourish additional human brains, which will soon invent ways to replace blubber with Olestra and pine with plastic. Humanity can survive just fine in a planet- covering crypt of concrete and computers.

Oh, Jeez

just let up a day or two and all hell breaks loose. Thanks, Tapelin, who never seems to take a day off.
The transition from wood to coal helped trigger industrialization. In this case, a transition—particularly an abrupt one—out of fossil fuels would have major repercussions for energy producers in the Middle East and Eurasia, potentially causing permanent decline of some states as global and regional powers.

Look, I post this kind of stuff because we all know it's important we have some context. Do I always find the right context? Highly unlikely. Don't ever trust me.

Edith Wharton, Anyone?

Okay, the Gilded Age is not everyone's cup of tea, but I loved it. Even more now that we're back in the GA again. Sounds like a song title. Back in the saddle again. Back when a friend was a friend. Tra-la.
The tributes to Sanford I. Weill line the walls of the carpeted hallway that leads to his skyscraper office, with its panoramic view of Central Park. A dozen framed magazine covers, their colors as vivid as an Andy Warhol painting, are the most arresting. Each heralds Mr. Weill’s genius in assembling Citigroup into the most powerful financial institution since the House of Morgan a century ago.

Uh, all of this because you're going to be paying the way, of course. Otherwise, just gossip.

For Econ Wonks

Comment O' Teh Day:'

The New York Times, November 13, 1999:

President Clinton signed into law today a sweeping overhaul of Depression-era banking laws. The measure lifts barriers in the industry and allows banks, securities firms and insurance companies to merge and to sell each other's products.

''This legislation is truly historic,'' President Clinton told a packed audience of lawmakers and top financial regulators. ''We have done right by the American people.''

The bill repeals parts of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act and the 1956 Bank Holding Company Act...

''The world changes, and Congress and the laws have to change with it,'' said Senator Phil Gramm...

''With this bill,'' Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers said, ''the American financial system takes a major step forward toward the 21st Century -- one that will benefit American consumers, business and the national economy.''

Meanwhile, recognizing the arson:

The Nation Magazine / Nov 15, 1999 edition:

For their money, the finance industry bought not only the end of the Glass-Steagall Act but also the partial repeal of the Bank Holding Company Act. These landmark pieces of legislation, recognizing the inherent dangers of too great a concentration of financial power, barred common ownership of banks, insurance companies, and securities firms... the misnamed Financial Services Modernization Act will usher in another round of record breaking mergers... PAVING THE WAY FOR FUTURE TAXPAYER BAILOUTS OF TOO-BIG-TO-FAIL FINANCIAL CORPORATIONS.

How do we score that?
The Nation 1, Establishment 0.

Where were you the day they sold us down the toilet? I was probably working.


Bring On Them Libruls, Wahoo!

Ellen Moran, executive director of EMILY’s List, was named White House communications director by President-elect Obama on Saturday.

Moran, a well-known grassroots organizer, has also managed statewide Democratic campaigns and managed the Wal-Mart corporate accountability campaign for the AFL-CIO.

EMILY's List, one of the most important Democratic constituency groups, says it is "dedicated to building a progressive America by electing Democratic pro-choice women to office."

As expected, the White House press secretary will be Robert Gibbs, a top strategist on Obama's campaign who helped chart his leap from the U.S. Senate to the presidency.

Dan Pfeiffer, the campaign communications director, will be deputy director of communications.

There are days when I think "wasn't this on West Wing?" Mary Louise Parker, where are you when we need you? Oh, yeah, Weeds, much more lucrative.

More here.

But He's Our Big Dawg

But He's Our Asshole!

Rahm didn't air. I thought it was fine.

Arianna on SNL

Contrarienne apologizes for blog unreliability of late. Post-election was just too dull to repeat for a few days, and over the weekend she was on a much-needed hiatus. But, "they're ba-a-ack!" with promises of Obama's announcement of his full economic team tomorrow. If I wake up in time.