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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 24, 2011 2:32 AM. The previous post in this blog was End of the line for Wu?. The next post in this blog is Missing the point. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Sunday, July 24, 2011

We're still here, just goofing off

Between the relative slowness of the news this weekend and the long-awaited arrival of beautiful summer weather, our blogging fingers are hitting the keys only sparingly. No doubt it's the calm before a storm. The next couple of weeks could be quite historic on the national level, and the outlook isn't too good.

Comments (29)

I for one hope that the politicians find a way out of this corner they have painted themselves into.
The GOP-TeaParty seem to feel that now is the time to hold our country hostage to get what they want. They are probably not the first to do something like this and probably won't be the last.
What will a debt default do to us? I have no idea and don't want to find out.
Some contend that Obama won't deal will the GOP, but he has given them much of what they want, it is the GOP-TeaParty that will not deal.
Personally, I think it would be better for Obama to cave-in rather than debt default. It isn't that I agree with GOP-TeaParty (I think they are crazy), I just don't want to see what is off that cliff (debt default.)
Also, I think that whatever Obama agrees to could be reversed when a hopefully better Congress is elected after the people get to taste the bitter fruit of the GOP-TeaParty.
I am afraid, however, that once we went over the "debt default cliff" we might not be able to put the pieces together again.

"....and the outlook isn't too good"

The budget debate is a reflection of the deep political divide in this country. More than ever before it seems.

The historic outcome may be that they have finally created a large enough wedge to split the rock.

There is a time to withdraw from the cares of the world and celebrate a little. I went out with my wife last night and we had milkshakes. I had chocolate, she had one with berries in it. I thought, "How bad is it when something this simple seems like so much fun?"

As far as the debt ceiling talks, I can't help thinking this is some sort of charade - a dangerous display of 2 parties battling it out for the privilege of doing what the oligarchs want again after the next election.

I listened to some "progressive" radio the other day, and it was all so familiar: Those terrible GOP monsters are preventing President Obama from doing all these good things.

Frankly, if he hadn't spend 4 years kowtowing to the same interests the Republicans obey, he could be a hero to the American People by now and not a cataclysmic disappointment. If he had been a great leader and survived, this would be a star turn, and John Boehner wouldn't be sitting there with him.

Seeing Nancy Pelosi also makes me sick as this process puts the lie to the Democrats when they used to say, "We have to go along with President Bush on Iraq, etc...because he's the President." No, Nancy, you controlled Congress's power of the purse but you rolled over more times than a gator on the "Swamp People" show. That's how you ended up not sitting by the President - you let the people who gave you control of Congress down.

I'm sick of this, and for all the talk about how mad everybody is, the shots at the beginning of the meetings are quite congenial as if they're saying, "We just have to pretend these 2 parties are in charge for a little while more. Then we can get reelected and get back to working for our real employers."

I admit my mood was gloomy yesterday. The thing in Norway...I just don't know how to process that.

And I admit I got hurt by Amy Winehouse's departure. She reached me with one song, "Love Is a Losing Game." I think it's brilliant in a way no other singer of this generation can touch. I'm talking echoes of Billie Holliday here.

I cringe when I think of all the jokes I've written over the years featuring Amy Winehouse. I always thought she would pull out of it, but there she was yesterday being carried out in a bag at 27. It's heartbreaking.

They showed clips of her disastrous last concert where she's so wasted she looks like someone else and barely knew who she was. I thought of my last Amy Winehouse joke: "She was so high she started singing Whitney Houston songs."

Fortunately nobody bought that one and I include it only as part of my confession.

"Also, I think that whatever Obama agrees to could be reversed when a hopefully better Congress is elected after the people get to taste the bitter fruit of the GOP-TeaParty.
I am afraid, however, that once we went over the "debt default cliff" we might not be able to put the pieces together again."

Ah, yes. Just get rid of the bitter clingers, all will be well. Just keep spending money we don't have, all will be fine.

Just like the Portland Pols who want to ignore the retirement obligations by keeping them 'off the books', then nobody will notice and our AAA credit rating will be fine with lots more money to borrow. And all will be fine.

Most sheople have not yet noticed that the US has already had their credit rating dropped (albeit by the little credit rating dogs, not the S&P big dogs). Yes, what we need is to again give Obama 60 plus D votes in the Senate and give back the House to the Dems. Then we will get away from the bitter GOP fruit, and be back to 2008-2009 and all will be fine.

Obama and Boehner

Clinton and Gingrich


For years, the southern states have been the net recipients of federal transfer payments, and the the northern states their sugar daddies. Perhaps we can just shut off that valve? That would seem to be a win-win for the GOP and their Dixie flavored tea partiers--the self-sufficiency and austerity they claim to value so highly. Oh wait--that would mean they'd finally have to figure out how to make their economies work after losing the Civil War.

At Morgan Stanley in New York it is all hands on deck at a time when many traders might otherwise be expected to be off to the beaches and the lavish mansions of The Hamptons, a very short helicopter ride from the city.

"I can tell you that we don't have any empty seats on the floor," said Jim Caron, global head of interest rate strategy at Morgan Stanley in New York.

"That will absolutely be the case the week of August 2nd," he added. "Even with summer, no one is out of here at 4:30."

Many are dogged by flashbacks to the financial chaos in September 2008 after the Lehman Brothers collapse, and the failure of lawmakers to pass legislation to authorize a $700 billion government bailout of the banks, which sent markets into a tailspin.

General Electric Co, which was hit badly by those events, has boosted its cash holdings and cut its long-term debt in the past three years to put it in a better position to withstand such events.

The largest U.S. conglomerate now holds $91 billion in cash on its books and has $40 billion in short-term debt, compared with the $16 billion in cash and $90 billion in short-term debt it had three years ago.

From Insight: Wall Street, companies brace for U.S. default

Flashbacks to the financial chaos of 2008? Why not? Nothing's changed except the too-big-to-fail crowd is bigger.
The question is whether Lehman Brothers was a calculated decision, and whether the "crash" after the TARP money didn't go through wasn't another deliberate decision - also known as a shakedown.

I also assume any article these days is coming direct from the New World Order. That's why that title "Insight" is so cynical. We don't have media anymore - we have mind control.

Here's the money question: Do the global bankers who really own the Federal Reserve and rule from the shadows with our own currency, want America liquidated so they can swoop in and buy up the pieces? If that's the plan, it's as good as a lock.

Are we watching our "leaders" valiantly fight for something, or pretend to fight while they follow their orders? Notice how certain huge expenses like the military are untouchable? Reminds me of how Big Pharma was untouchable during the healthcare debate. Why is that?

President Obama said we are not Greece. I took that to mean we could be the next Greece.

Btw what have any of the worthless Democrats someone about debt reduction or gettingpeople back to work?before you bag on the goploik at what the Democrats have actually done and you will see is all the Democrats want to do is continue to spend us into the ground.

The terrible thing about all of this is that most of us just don't really grasp the workings of the the banks/moneygods/credit-and-construction-bondage/jungled-havoc wreakers. But we do know one thing. The Rep and Dem system is a pitiful, worm-rotten, sclerotic corpse which needs to be slid off the shipboard plank. (And a picture flashed to the world of the gentle splash made by its entry into the hazy, beautiful water of an early morning sea; an OBL image we badly wanted to see, but were deprived of by our higher-minded masters.)

I wonder what important things are left out of the most entertaining article on the debt crisis I have found:

"just goofing off" is another way of "Going Galt." Hopefully, we'll all pick up the pieces after the election in 2012, and instead of doing "I told you so," try to remember the history of default. Maybe the next job growths will be for "recovery analysts."

Democrat, Republican...really, I fail to see any substantive difference (well, there's Wu-hu!,, I'm gonna miss him! That "Klingons in the White House speech was truly immortal).

The Rep and Dem system is a pitiful, worm-rotten, sclerotic corpse which needs to be slid off the shipboard plank.

Sorry, I can't agree - there's no value to be had by polluting the seas with that kind of stuff. The oceans are generally pretty efficient at removing pollution, but your plan has the potential for overloading them. Rather, I think Congress - and all of government - should just goof off.

Really, government does the least harm when it just shuts down. I've been through government shutdowns, and while the media types proclaim impending doom and gloom, and horror on the order of accidentally spotting Barney Frank in the nude, all I see is improvement.

Mr. Bogdanski's onto something, here, and it's something that I believe should be emulated immediately at all levels of government: just goof off.

Goofing off helps the psyche. I'm thinking that a large part of helping us begin to get out of this Depression is a psyche problem coupled with spending restraints.

If no increase in the debt limit there won't be spiralling asset sell-offs by overleveraged financial firms like in 2008 -- the parallel is nonexistent fear mongers and economic illiterates like Obama and Geithner notwithstanding.

Instead, there will be temporary disruptions that will be tempered by the Fed intervening to supply liquidity (which involves buying treasury securities that buddy Barack won't have to redeem or pay interest on; Bernanke hasn't hinted at the strategy because he doesn't want politicians to take the easy way out).

Sooner or later you got to stop increasing the limit on the credit card before markets do it for you -- so I actually think this debate, and a temporary credit shutdown, will be ultimately be for the good. Having said that I don't expect there will be a credit shutdown, unless Obama vetoes short term extension passed by the House.

Just saying.

And I admit I got hurt by Amy Winehouse's departure

Personally, I'm glad not to have to read any more b.s. about the "troubled singer".

No, she wasn't "troubled". She was an idiot, was an idiot for most of her life.

Her "music" sucked, especially in recent years, and probably because she was so into drugs.

Her decision to assume room temperature was perfectly fine with me - I got tired of her b.s. long ago. This is one poor "troubled singer" that nobody's going to miss.

off color Max. and rather idiotic to say "nobody's going to miss" her when obviously that is incorrect since Bill and I , at the very least , are on record for both missing her and loving her awesome voice.

You've got to separate the work from the junkie and just hope they recover. Ask Rush Limbaugh.

I'm interested to hear the duet with Tony Bennett. He had this to say:

"Amy Winehouse was an artist of immense proportions and I am deeply saddened to learn of her tragic passing. She was an extraordinary musician with a rare intuition as a vocalist and I am truly devastated that her exceptional talent has come to such an early end.
"She was a lovely and intelligent person and when we recorded together she gave a soulful and extraordinary performance. I was honored to have the opportunity to sing with her. It had been my sincere hope that she would be able to overcome the issues she was battling and I send my deepest sympathy to her father Mitchell, her entire family and all of those who loved her."

Of course, what does Tony Bennett really know?

"If no increase in the debt limit........ there will be temporary disruptions that will be tempered by the Fed intervening to supply liquidity (which involves buying treasury securities......"

How would the Treasury be able to issue securities to sell to the Fed if the debt ceiling is not increased?

Well, maybe the "economic illiterates like Obama and Geithner" will figure out a way to get 'her done.

Just saying.

Personally, I'm glad not to have to read any more b.s. about the "troubled singer".

Hard to argue with that. I mean, you've got Max who, geez, it must have been every few months, had to AVERT HIS EYES and QUICKLY TURN THE PAGE in order to avoid reading an article about Amy Winehouse. No small task, friends. And sometimes those sneaky editors, just itching to get Max to read "b.s. about the troubled singer," would slip a Winehouse item into a roundup of pop news. Before you knew it, there was Max, beginning to read the b.s.! Why, that must have ruined his entire day. Yep, clearly a good thing that a young, stunningly talented artist is dead. Yes, a daughter, a sister, a friend -- dead. Good thing! Because now Max will not be inconvenienced.

For anyone who doesn't get the greatness aspect, I would recommend the song "Love is a Losing Game".
Not just for the voice but for the music and lyrics that she wrote. Prince liked it enough to cover it live, and perform it with Amy in England. He has a nice memorial version out there now with him on guitar and a singer from his tour.
Here's the last verse:

Over futile odds
And laughed at by the gods
And now the final frame
Love is a losing game

Oh, so sorry to have offended the Whinehouse fans. By all means, miss the poor "troubled singer". Miss her to your heart's content. Whether or not she had a "good voice" or wrote a "nice song" is completely irrelevant to me. The poor "troubled singer" chose a path to destruction, and she chose to follow it.

If you want to make a martyr out of her, have at it. I've got better things to do.

Fish will likely be biting in the morning.

How would the Treasury be able to issue securities to sell to the Fed if the debt ceiling is not increased?

Treasury wouldn't have to issue securities that would put it beyond the debt limit. Fed intervention reduces the Treasury outflow and need to incur debt (by, for example, the Fed buying up securities that then don't need to be redeemed) which has a positive cashflow impact. There are always two sides to a liquidity crisis.

So funny, the coupling of the commentary on the crumbling edifice of the financial system, with comment on another dead musical genius. Not that I know anything about her, as I don't listen to much contemporary music. When Stephane Grapelli died, THAT, to me, was tragic.

We now need commentary on the nexus between the two things. Our senseless policies regarding drugs and alcohol, and the fuelling of international finance by the illegal drug trade.

I wonder what Amy Winehouse would have done if all her earnings had had a huge sin tax attached to them. A sin tax that would pay for ubiquitous billboards and television advertising warning of the dangers, and finance rehab centers, and vaccine R and D to come up with a way to immunize these people. I bet if her financial opportunities had been directly affected early on by her addiction issues, people might have put her in rehab long before they did, and she might have stood a chance.

Max, put down the quotation marks and step away from the keyboard.

Unsustainable spending is like the life of a junkie. You always need more until you either get in recovery or that one day comes along when total collapse occurs. One thing's for sure: Everyone knows if you follow your present path, something has got to give - it's inevitable - but it's still a shock when it happens. Then everyone says, "How tragic. Too bad we didn't do something earlier when we had a chance."

I seen the needle and the damage done

But every junkie's life is like a setting sun.

What's happening to the fed is exactly what has happened, and continues to happen, to millions of Americans who let their credit card spending and loans get out of control. Budget and budgeting are mutually exclusive terms on the government level.

And, as with the credit card companies, so it is with the World Bank, the IMF and global bankers. They loooovvve to enable dependence and addiction.

No, what the US and the Fed is experiencing is no where close to an individual bumping up against their credit limit. Sovereign governments are not like individuals, especially one whose currency constitutes the reserve currency of the world. Just what do you think would replace the US dollar in international trade? The Euro? which is having far more severe financial problems than the US? The Yuan? Which the Chinese are not interested in becoming a reserve currency and in any case is not even close to being able to replace the dollar. SDR? Too reliant on the US dollar. In other words, the US dollar is the stongest currency in the world and not even remotely likely to be replaced. How much debt can the US support - unknown at this point, but note that despite all of our economic and mo netary problems, we are still able to issue debt at a cost approaching zero. The reality is, as in the past, the strong US economy (yes strong, as in record corporate profits) will simply outgrow the debt ratio. President Obama and the Democrats know this; the Republicans know it also, but are using the debt ceiling for political purposes.

"Treasury wouldn't have to issue securities that would put it beyond the debt limit. Fed intervention reduces reduces the Treasury outflow and need to incur debt (by, for example, the Fed buying up securities that then don't need to be redeemed)."

This is not correct, T-bills have a hard maturity which show as a liability when due.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
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Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
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Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
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Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
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Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
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Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
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Richard Adams - Watership Down
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James Joyce - Dubliners
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William Golding - Lord of the Flies
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Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
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Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
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Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
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Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
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Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
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Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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