"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister

"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."

- Daenerys Targaryen

"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"

- Tyrion Lannister

"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

- Jorah Mormont

"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."

- Tyrion Lannister

"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."

- Michael Barone

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Strange to be cheering on White House economists, but I really do hope these people are successful. Most people admit they don't know what will happen, which on one hand is unnerving, but on another it means they will be willing to try different approaches. It's also good to hear they understand speed is of the essence. Reagan and Clinton didn't fully enact their big economic packages until August. Obama and his propellerheads got it done in a month. From the New York Times:
Sometimes, during the 30-minute briefings that Mr. Summers delivers in the Oval Office nearly every day, Mr. Obama addresses him as Professor, as in, "What do you think, Professor Summers?" Sometimes, as he did in the Roosevelt Room one recent afternoon, Mr. Obama tweaks him and his fellow policy wonks, dubbing them "the propeller-heads."

This, senior White House officials say, is the president’s way of ribbing Mr. Summers, who is back in Washington - he served as Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton - in the role of what his new boss calls a "thought leader."

"The irony is that Summers and Geithner wrote the textbook on how to manage these crises, and they lectured countries all over the world on what to do," said Adam S. Posen, deputy director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, lamenting that they did not "follow through with their own prescriptions."

Mr. Summers dismissed the criticism, maintaining that the bailout plan, for which he said Mr. Geithner would announce details in due time, was "tough and ambitious."

In the meantime, Mr. Obama’s chief propeller-head is on to other matters, like housing and huddling in the Roosevelt Room to plan the budget with the president, as he did on Friday, when Peter R. Orszag, the White House budget director, passed out propeller-head hats.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009