"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

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Explaining the Crisis with Dogma by Joe Nocera

I hope this is an eye opener for young people with functioning brain cells who are trying to figure out what's going on instead of just focusing on getting by.

I like Nocera and agree with his openly stated views but it wasn't very smart of him to bash Hewlett Packard's board in his column while his wife was working as a lawyer against those same people.

And yet he was very smart to team up with Bethany McLean and I am looking forward to reading their book.

I always cut people who I admire a lot of slack. (Although I never cut Clinton much slack, I do cut Obama some). They're human.

Krugman once consulted for Enron, but he learned from his mistake - although I'm not clear on the details - and will write: 
Or consider the California electricity crisis of 2001-2002. Years after we actually had tapes in which Enron traders could be heard telling power plants to shut down, news reports continued to repeat the conservative line that it was all about excessive regulation that wouldn’t let the power companies build capacity -- with no mention at all of the market manipulation.
In the same blog post, a good reference:
Put it this way: I’ve been rereading George Orwell’s Looking Back at the Spanish War, and it feels familiar.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Leonhardt on legal opposition to health care law
"We are against forcing all citizens, regardless of need, into a compulsory government program," said one prominent critic of the new health care law. It is socialized medicine, he argued. If it stands, he said, "one of these days, you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free."
The health care law in question was Medicare, and the critic was Ronald Reagan. He made the leap from actor to political activist, almost 50 years ago, in part by opposing government-run health insurance for the elderly.
Today, the supposed threat to free enterprise is a law that’s broader, if less radical, than Medicare: the bill Congress passed this year to create a system of privately run health insurance for everyone. On Monday, a federal judge ruled part of the law to be unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court will probably need to settle the matter in the end.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What Progressives Don’t Understand About Obama by Ishmael Reed

Deeper Looks at the Crisis of ’08 and the Oval Office by Michiko Kakutani
Echoing what Jonathan Alter wrote about the president in his recent book, "The Promise," Mr. Wolffe writes that "there were few around him who thought health care was the right way for Obama to define his first year," especially given the state of the economy. But the president pushed ahead anyway: in part, Mr. Wolffe suggests, because of memories of his mother’s worries about medical insurance in the months before her death from cancer; in part because it was a priority for the first lady; in part because he aspired to be a great, history-making president and liked to "take on the toughest political challenges he could find"
Reading David Plouffe's book, I learned that heath care reform was the number one priority for Democratic party primary voters.

Monday, December 13, 2010

True to 'True Grit' by Carlo Rotella

The Coen Brothers, Shooting Straight by David Carr