Sunday, November 23, 2008

new kid on the blog

avec the demise of TRL I'm pretty psyched that NKOTB seth hodgson is no on the blogger.

I have learnt something already and only been to the damned site once.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

how unemployed are we?

it's hard, as I am on the bus looking at a truly golden gate, with a gold orange wash on the bridge that shares its name, to focus on something considerably more ugly.

but my new favorite econ/market blogger barry ritholtz nailed this one.

namely that since the early 1990s we've been intentionally undercounting the unemployed.

in fact, the BLS has been undercounting it for longer than that, it goes back to the first bush administration's politically motivated discounting of people who cannot find work giving up looking no longer counting as unemployed. clinton continued it. the end result is that our unemployment rate is actually more like 11% and don't even get me started on underemployment.

in an economically prosperous area such as the bay area, or the whitehouse, it's sometimes hard to realize what it means to be unemployed or underemployed and TRAPPED by it. It's especially hard for asshole movie stars in the whitehouse and the evil bastards who exploit their stupidity. hopefully people will stop putting them on pedestals for really just being out of touch and manipulative and more than anything else, truly uncaring about their fellow humans.

We are really just getting close to understanding this as a nation for the first time in a generation and when it happens, it will reveal the scars from the plastic surgery past administrations have used to prop up their mismanagement of the American economy.

I posit: we are far beyond reputations; legacies will crumble.

Oooooooh SNAP!

Take THAT, yo!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

real politik insight from electoral-vote.com

always interesting and really pretty amazingly put together electioneering, electoral-vote.com has this interesting bit of how to count to 60 insight:

"[...] it is yet possible that Obama names Sen. Arlen Specter to the cabinet. Spector is up for reelection in 2010, will be 80 years old then, and has cancer. Furthermore, he is likely to face popular governor Ed Rendell (D) in that race. If Obama makes an offer he not only shows his bipartisanship by putting Republicans in the cabinet, but he flips a Senate seat as Gov. Rendell will probably appoint himself to the Senate. Another cabinet possibility is Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), whose appointment would also flip a Senate seat. Of course they could object and choose to remain in an almost powerless minority under the banner of "Party first." Who knows. Finally, while the totals are not in yet, the Democrats did not sweep the House the way the Republicans expected."

Both Snow and Specter would be great choices. I've had no interactions with Specter directly but have appreciated his balance on a number of judicial committee issues for some times. Snow I have a great deal of respect for on the issues I followed on Commerce. More interesting is the balance of power relative to cloture and both the perceptions and the implications thereof.

From this perspective I think Specter is the better choice if there will only be one, but the politics of does a thank you feel more like a stab relative to exactly who gets the PA nod is beyond my skill set as an armchair politiker. Maybe instead opt for appointments for both of them? Give Specter Ruth's gig out of deference even though he may not make it past a few years on the bench? Would be an interesting an impressive call and do much to shoot down the partisan court claim, to say nothing of being an easy bet for confirmation. juxtaposed with a young liberal dem and you'd have a lot of cover plus a chance to follow up with a more partisan move toward the end of the term or in term 2.

This is probably why they don't let me act as appointment secretary.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

studs terkel - RIP

Studs Terkel passed at 96.

Sometimes he irritated me, but for the most part, studs was a great interviewer. you felt like a conversation was happening but you were learning depth and color at the same time.

Regardless of what you think about him or his politics, he has done wonders for painting a picture of what America is as a country and as a people.

And damnit, that was radio at its best - a use of the airwaves that made the public better by making it know itself.

Learned from the obit: law degree from the U of C! (knew he had an undergrad degree from there, but had no clue he studied law there too)