"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

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Obama was elected a year ago today. Here he is in Raleigh, North Carolina in April of last year. Check out the dog whistle at 2:20. He said he learned it from his aide Reggie Love. Despite the primary nastiness I am glad Obama asked Hillary to be Secretary of State and she is doing a good job (except when on her recent trip to the Middle East, she praised as "unprecedented" Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to slow the building of settlements. It upset our Arab allies.) Axelrod, Obama, and Plouffe ran a great campaign. Plouffe has a new book out on the campaign where he lists some of the few mistakes (which I thought were overblown at the time.) It truly was an amazing campaign.

Monday, November 02, 2009


As that great epistemologist Donald Rumsfeld once said there are known unknowns and unknown unknowns and as a lot of people say the truly smart people are those who are aware how much they don't know.

 Lorrie Moore mentioned in an interview that her Internet reading includes Wikipedia,* as does mine. It's always showing you how much you don't know. And on Wikipedia I learned that Norah Jones's father is Ravi Shankar. She has a new album out titled "The Fall." Check out this cool video with Wax Poetic featuring Jones, back before she hit it big.

Actress Rashida Jones (left photo) was in I Love You, Man and the Office and is now on the show Parks and Recreation.** On Wikipedia I learned that she's the daughter of Quincy Jones. She has a graphic novel/comic series titled Frenemy of the State, which is now going to be made into a movie. Jones is writing the script with Will McCormack. And she is dating Jon Favreau, the Director of Speechwriting for Obama, which makes her suspiciously too cool.

*Which I learned on Wikipedia. I learned elsewhere that like 80 percent of the editors at Wikipedia are male, so the site's info must be skewed.
** In an interview with the Onion this week, Chris Pratt, who plays Andy Dwyer, said Parks and Recreation will have another season which is good news. Also, they discussed the fact he's married to the lovely Anna Faris(!). Another great character on the show is the manager Ron Swanson, played by Nick Offerman. He has really developed over the season just as Flight of the Concords' Murray Hewitt, played by Rhys Darby, really blossomed over the Concords' seasons. Either could do a spin-off later on, after these shows have their run, like Fraiser did after Cheers. Speaking of Cheers, what about Woody Harrelson and Ted Danson???!!! Harrelson keeps on making great movies while maintaing a lifestyle as a dope-smoking, vegan eco-anarchist while Danson has been great recently on Curb Your Enthusiasm and the brand-new Bored To Death. And speaking of Bored To Death, it's great to see Zach Galifianakis have success with that show and The Hangover. I've had a man-crush on Galifianakis for years (like how on Seinfeld George Costanza developed a man-crush on a friend at the gym.) Okay I've probably said enough.

"The Defining Moment"

"Too Little of a Good Thing"
Deficit hawks like to complain that today’s young people will end up having to pay higher taxes to service the debt we’re running up right now. But anyone who really cared about the prospects of young Americans would be pushing for much more job creation, since the burden of high unemployment falls disproportionately on young workers - and those who enter the work force in years of high unemployment suffer permanent career damage, never catching up with those who graduated in better times.
The political question is whether you'd rather have the money going to the upper class young people or invest it in the rest of the younger generation.

Blog post about Barry Eichengreen and Doug Irwin's new paper challenging the conventional wisdom about protectionism in the 1930s.
It wasn’t about economic ignorance, or at least not about microeconomics; it was about the attempt to escape the "golden fetters" of the exchange rate. The most protectionist countries were those that tried to keep their peg to gold; and as they say,
This suggests that trade protection in the 1930s was less an instance of special interest politics run amok than second-best macroeconomic policy management when monetary and fiscal policies were constrained.

Pregnant Pause
"Highway 61 Revisited"*
Oh, God said to Abraham, "Kill me a son"
Abe says, "Man, you must be puttin' me on."
God say "No," Abe say "What?"
God say "You can do what you want Abe, but
the next time you see me you better run."

[Pregnant Pause]
Well Abe says, "Where do you want this killin' done?"
God says, "Out on Highway 61."

Reviews of  R. Crumb's "Book of Genesis Illustrated" in the LA Times and in the New York Times.  
*Highway 61 was a highway that stretched from Minnesota, where Dylan was from, down to New Orleans, before Eisenhower built the interstate system. The painting above is The Sacrifice of Isaac by Caravaggio. It appears towards the end of the Coen brothers move A Serious Man and is on the cover of Hitchens's book Prepared for the Worst.