"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, April 02, 2011

Alessandra Stanley reviews The Killing
Sergio Leone gave cinema the spaghetti western, but there isn’t yet an equivalent term for Scandinavian riffs on the classic hard-boiled detective yarn. "The Killing," a fantastic new AMC adaptation of a popular Danish television series, certainly qualifies as a smorgasbord thriller. It’s unnerving how well the Nordic sensibility fits a genre that for a long time seemed indisputably and inimitably violent and American, particularly given that Sweden, Norway and Denmark have homicide rates that suggest that they have more mystery writers per capita than murders.
There are so many Scandinavian crime solvers besides Henning Mankell’s gloomy detective, Kurt Wallander, or Steig Larsson’s hacker heroine, Lisbeth Salander. Yet even among all those popular imports, "The Killing" stands out -- it is as scary and suspenseful, but in a subdued, meditative way that is somehow all the more chilling. 
 AMC and FX have really progressed.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Whit Stillman's Barcelona. He has a new movie with Greta Gerwig titled "Violet Wister's Damsels and Distress" coming out later this year. I like that scene in the movie Greenberg where Gerwig sings along to "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" while drunk on champagne.
Article on Samantha Power
Calculated Risk: ADP: Private Employment increased by 201,000 in March
Private-sector employment increased by 201,000 from February to March on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report® released today. The estimated change of employment from January 2011 to February 2011 was revised down to 208,000 from the previously reported increase of 217,000.
The average monthly increase in employment over the last four months --December through March -- has been 211,000, consistent with a gradual if uneven decline in the unemployment rate...
(via DeLong)

Still the Fed has failed, as writes David Leonhardt.
One group of Fed officials and watchers worries constantly about the prospect of rising inflation, no matter what the economy is doing. Some of them are haunted by the inflation of the 1970s and worry it may return at any time. Others spend much of their time with bank executives or big investors, who generally have more to lose from high inflation than from high unemployment.
There is no equivalent group -- at least not one as influential -- that obsesses over unemployment. Instead, the other side of the debate tends to be dominated by moderates, like Ben Bernanke, the Fed chairman, and Mr. Meyer, who sometimes worry about inflation and sometimes about unemployment.
The result is a bias that can distort the Fed’s decision-making. Just look at the last 18 months. Again and again, the inflation worriers, who are known as hawks, warned of an overheated economy. In one speech, a regional Fed president even raised the specter of Weimar Germany.

The Iraq Effect: If Saddam Hussein were still in power, this year's Arab uprisings could never have happened. by Hitchens

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

American Thought Police by Krugman