"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, September 09, 2011

First R-rated movie
Steve Bennen on Obama's speech about the American Jobs Act
David Brooks is afraid of a double-dip.

Dean Baker says it's unlikely. The Fed engineered the last one in the early 80s.

A few years ago, Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen M. Reinhart wrote the definitive guide to the current economic downturn, a book called “This Time Is Different.” Rogoff and Reinhart studied data from eight centuries of financial crises. They found that banking-crisis recessions are worse than normal recessions. They last longer.

In these recessions, it took an average of six years for housing prices to stop their decline. Unemployment rates were high or rising for an average of five years. Government debt increased by an average of more than 86 percent.

The general lesson I take from this history is that policy makers stuck in a financial recession should probably think about the long term. You’re going to be stuck with a lousy economy anyway.
When asked about Reinhardt and Rogoff's study at a press conference, Bernanke deadpanned that "policy makers stuck in a financial recession" haven't performed well in the past. They were too complacent or made mistakes in other words. In a recent speech, Chicago Fed President Charlie Evans said the same thing.

The title of the book is referring to the manner in which people explained away the housing bubble and past bubbles, people like Greenspan and Bernanke. Baker didn't and I'm willing to bet Brooks did, or else ignored the issue, so Baker's probably right here.

Just saw for the first time a 1990 movie titled "Windprints" with Sean Bean and John Hurt. Also saw for the first time a 2003 movie titled "All the Real Girls" with Zooey Deschanel and Parks and Recreation's Paul Schneider. Deschanel will have a new sitcom on Fox this month.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans's speech in London

(via Yglesias)
The TV on the Radio video I just linked reminded me that my favorite music videos are either live versions or contain little stories, usually with subtitles.

For example, The Offspring's "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" and Alice in Chain's "Your Decision."

What the Left Doesn’t Understand About Obama by Jonathan Chait
Hitchens on 9/11 ten years later
Treasuries, TIPS, and Gold (Wonkish) by Krugman

Currency Wars Could Save the World by Yglesias
When the moon is round and full, gonna teach you tricks that will blow your mind

Rosenberg on True Blood:
I did actually think that moment in the show was handled well, with some real emotional grounding and force. Alcide’s efforts to stay with Debbie have been one of the most consistently-rendered storylines this season, each time bringing Alcide closer and closer to his limits. First, he’s joining a new pack, even if he’s not particularly comfortable with the people in it, as a way to try to help Debbie stay clean. He’s resisting Sookie, even though she might be an easier partner. And he’s stood by Marcus up to the point when it became clear that his packmaster wasn’t man enough to do his own fighting, much less enough wolf. But Debbie’s infidelity, her role in stealing someone else’s child, are too much, and True Blood made us feel the force of Alcide’s ritual without explaining it into the ground.
Meredith Woerner:
Pro: In spite of Debbie's GIGANTIC flaws and mistakes, she insists that she loves Alcide. I know I'm a Debbie sympathizer, but out of all the incredibly unrealistic turns and twists a show about vampires having sex inflicts on its audience week after week, Debbie does appear to act like an actual human being. She's an addict, she makes horrible decisions, she plagued by her past, and hounded (GET IT?!?) by Alcide's obvious infatuation with Sookie. Yes, OF COURSE she was going to fuck this all up. I'm not making excuses for her, I'm just happy that out of all the jumbled plots on this show, Debbie's continues to be the most surprisingly realistic (again, for a show about vampires that have sex with each other). Of course she's not going to run away with Mr. He-who-pauses-awkwardly-in-speeches, Marcus. She's in love with Alcide. Debbie is going to do everything in her power to try and fix their relationship, which probably means burning whatever little bits of happiness they have left to the ground and then pissing on the embers. As messed up as she is, everything she does makes sense for her character.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Two Views of Fiscal Headwinds by Jared Bernstein
True Blood recap (last show before season finale) by Meredith Woerner