Mark Haines

This morning, I learned that CNBC anchor Mark Haines had passed away suddenly last night.


Some people may want to debate this, but Mark was always a voice of reason on CNBC. He wouldn’t take any nonsense from anybody, guest or co-worker. And the professionalism with which he handled the completely unexpected 9/11/2001 broadcast was remembered by many.

By the way, “died unexpectedly” happens altogether too much. I know doctors cost money, but they can save your life.

In closing: not working all the Angles; Senate Odd Couple wants to fix the PATRIOT Act; Save the 4th Amendment (get a load of the source!); if you can’t drive, you can’t vote; this would be a Good Thing for all of us; Tequila Party starts by putting a thumb in Arizona’s eye; what savings?; and look for my next book review next week.

My First Book Review

Maybe you knew — and maybe you didn’t — but I like to read. The nice people over at BlogHer asked me to take part in their BlogHer Book Club review-cluster (somebody needs to think of a word to describe dozens of reviews of one book) on Jean Kwok’s semi-autobiographical novel, Girl in Translation. Just want to jump to my review? It’s called “Nobody in America Lives Like This,” Except They Do. I’ve already spawned a spoilers discussion!

There’s a new “Book Reviews” category. Don’t know if you’ll see more in it yet, but I’m leaving myself the option.

Update: per comment from P.D., they are now “Book Events.”

In Closing: yes, there are jobs making clean tech, in China!; on higher education; Judge realizes that you are not your IP address (just one fatal flaw in pretty much every online ID scheme proposed); I think there will be some mighty surprised people in a couple of weeks; UPS’s safest driver; disenfranchisement; you are not a storm-chaser, get your butt to cover!; screw austerity; Senator Dean Heller; looking forward to this book!; I [heart] Amazon; what do soap and school vouchers have in common? (heck, I talked about vouchers within my first 10 posts); on McJobs; must be nice to be that lucky every day (what? you don’t suppose they are manipulating the system, do you?); and the Black Hole.

Ignore Them

I am completely disgusted with pretty much all politicians, and even more so with politicians that try to position themselves as “I’m a [insert noun] first, not just another politician.” Those ones are dangerous because half the time they don’t understand what the heck they are dealing with. I’m talking to you, Dr. Joe Heck!

I’m tired of politicians who think we can balance the budget without increasing taxes.

I’m tired of politicians who think we can balance the budget without addressing our 2 1/2 wars.

I’m tired of politicians who think that just because I’m not 55 yet, I just need to kiss Social Security goodbye.

I’m tired of politicians who are so ignorant of history that they think there can be a “private sector” solution to Medicare.

I’m tired of politicians who use the phrase “death tax,” when only a few thousand people will ever pay it.

I’m tired of politicians who use coded words to whip the ignorant into a frenzy. (“Domestic enemy”? Why not just call him Satan or the Anti-Christ? What a shame that you really mean he’s an “uppity ******”!)

And most of all, I’m tired of the other politicians who won’t call them out on this nonsense. Don’t even get me started on the media that lets them lie on the air and call it the truth.

Go ahead. Close down the government. Do it! Do it right at “tax day” and completely screw yourselves.

In Closing: defense; a man and his boat; two takes on dessert sushi; WHY??; if you won’t stop for humane reasons, or justice reasons, how about fiscal reasons?; about time; I like Kathy; it’s all about cheap labor; gaming inflation through housing prices; if you haven’t heard about the real Tea Party yet, watch it today; resist BAMTOR; I knew this would happen! Throw the book at them!; and a picture of a random cat. If anybody knows the source, put it in comments so I can attribute it:

Shark Jumping

Yes, that’s right. I’ve got another bad case of outrage fatigue. Hopefully I’ll be recovered in time for Blog Against Theocracy Weekend in April!

CSI — the original, the one in Vegas — has officially jumped the shark. It jumped the shark mere minutes after killing Justin Bieber! But no, one serial killer is dead, and another escapes prison immediately. Because everybody knows we need a good serial killer. To boost ratings, or make Vegas seem more dangerous than it is, or because some idiot in Los Angeles is too unimaginative to read the Review-Journal and the Sun now and again. Heck, they’re too lazy to watch the actual newscast that follows CSI in Vegas.

If they actually paid attention to Vegas news, you have stories and potential episode plots like these:

  • A cabbie was murdered last week.
  • Yesterday, a man lost control of his car, hit his head on a pole — which killed him instantly. His car continued moving and hit somebody on a bike. If that’s not a good CSI story, then I must have been watching a different show.
  • Gotta have a freaking serial killer? How about the person or people who are shooting people in their garages?
  • Like bombs? Still like garages? How about the guy who was killed by a bomb in a casino parking garage?
  • Earlier this month, we started hearing about results in an FBI investigation of local homeowner associations. It turns out this case has multiple attempted murders associated with it (according to an expert I talked to yesterday).
  • They could even make an interesting episode out of something “normal,” like a the death of a high profile doctor who practices cutting edge medicine.
  • There’s plenty of history to plumb as well. Perhaps a modern day Hole In the Wall Gang.
  • As many foreclosures as we have, and as many cases of “oops foreclosed on the wrong house” as there have been, what about a John Doe who turns out to have gone to change the locks on the wrong address?

So in less than an hour, I’ve got source material for a good solid half dozen episode ideas. I haven’t even needed that darned imagination of mine. What’s their excuse for bringing us little more than a stream of warmed-over sociopaths?

In closing: must be nice to be a bank executive; Germany makes money the old fashioned way, by making stuff; mind = boggled; more than just a few words about Japan; Chernobyl; it’s gonna be a long road to 2012; no job is better than a crappy job; duh; heh; truth; painted into a corner; sad; and, um, yeah Ezra.

Canibal Shorties

Pesky Government Regulations: Saved lives.

A question of scale: Nope, not toys. It does make you wonder how big a quake caused this.

Tell me why we do this every Spring and Fall again: Not even cows like Daylight Savings Time.

They say they want to save money, then they prevent us from doing it: comparative effectiveness review and Medicare.

Doin It Live!: Public database for safety complaints.

Seriously?: Apparently I live in a dangerous Spring Break destination. Sorry, I’m not feeling it. Oh, I should probably say something about the Sahara closing down in a couple of months, but I’ll let Steve do it.

I love seeing a genuine economist say this: “Ayn Rand Is Full of Crap.” He has to point out that she wrote fiction.

That’s a real diet buster: It’s easier than you might think to eat a 2000 calorie meal at In-N-Out.

We’re off to a great start: 31 Most Ridiculous Quotes of 2011 So Far.

A New Political Party?: The People‘s Party.

Granny’s gonna live longer anyway: on the demographics of the employed and unemployed.

So Be It?: We may have added 222,000 private sector jobs last month, but massive government budget cutting may delete 710,000 old jobs. Can we afford that kind of budget cutting?

Wasn’t Universal Failure the Goal?: 82% of public schools may eventually be “failing,” even ones that by every other measure perform well. That’s what happens when “better” is your only goal.

A Nobel Winning Economist Isn’t Good Enough: for the Federal Reserve.

Flashbang: Potentially deadly against cops, deadly against suspects, deadly against the innocent.

She’s baaaaaack!: Sharron Angle.

Confused: If terraists can allegedly turn the oxygen masks in a plane into a weapon, why can’t terraists do it from their seats?

Only in Vegas: Ladies and gentlemen, the Chip Monk.

Inland Shorties

To Paraphrase My Source: why do we demonize doctors for over-prescribing (and parents for over-demanding) antibiotics when 80% of them are used on the farm?

Don’t Panic: Yellowstone has risen by as much as 10″ in spots.

Useless: New food labels tell you everything they think you need to know at a glance on the front of the package! Except, of course, how big a serving is.

Follow Up: Great Jack LaLanne quotes.

Been a while since we had a Japanfilter: Old pictures, traditional recipes. Less traditional. Free Japanese lessons.

Holocaust Remembrance Day: Enough said.

About Jobs: It’s not about competition; this might take some time; if he’s right, his wife may be unemployed in 2 years.

ACLU: Oh Snap.

Unaffiliated: Monitor lizard.

When can I buy one?: VW‘s latest mileage monster.

Harry? Is that you??: Reid says we must “reintroduce truth into the public debate.” Among other things!

Sharron: Won’t rule out running for President in 2012. Shudder.

Google: strange sense of censorship.

Deficit: Why austerity is a sucker’s game.

Duh: Financial crisis was avoidable.

The War On Drugs Gets Silly: Drug catapult.

That Nixon Was Too Liberal: Newt Gingrich says the EPA must go.

JP Morgan Takes the Fifth: Won’t detail a half million loans.

No, really?: Housing bust means workers can’t move to new jobs, a key feature of the “job market.”

Rare Fossil: Pterosaur and egg.

The Shorties Exorcism

Where Have You Been?: Playing Black Ops. CODBO or BLOPS if you prefer. No zombies.

Daddy Says So, and That’s That!: Jeb is not running for President in 2012. Even though Daddy admits that “he’s a good man, he performed as governor, he’s well-spoken, he’s not an extremist, he’s not a wild guy that attributes bad motives to those that disagree with him, and he’s good. And people that know him and hear him say the same thing.” In other words, all the stuff Dubya isn’t.

Totally Silly Acronym: It turns out that TSA screeners don’t like to touch your junk either. Mostly. But even though nobody finds the current system acceptable, the Boss says it’s not changing. Now, one thing that surprised me being trapped at an unexpected layover in Tucson is that the color-coded alerts are still in effect (“orange,” if you were wondering). Well, maybe not for long. Oh, and Ms. Napolitano thinks that nudie scanners should be installed for other mass transit as well! Way to kill any hope of relieving traffic congestion! The idea is that “terrorists are looking for vulnerabilities.” Then I got news for you, the mall is the next target. It’s soft, it’s easy to get in and out, and it’s full of people who aren’t thinking of security beyond “where’s my wallet”.

“What About My Options?”: Sharron Angle thinks she has political options. My neighbors think otherwise:

Lying With Statistics: Oh No! The Regulations!! They’re choking small businesses! Ok maybe not.

Ded body, snding pix: 911 may get upgrades allowing them to receive text messages and even video of emergencies in progress.

Meditation for Healthy Cells: Could be!

The Truth: Just Do It.

Think beyond the Infomercial: Tony Horton is.

Live From Sesame Street, It’s Saturday Night!:

That’s all folks. Happy Thanksgiving.

In the Shorties of Madness

What’s Your Angle: In what I fervently hope will be the last thing I have to say about Sharron Angle ever, Angle announces that she won’t be answering any questions asked by the pesky [local] media until she is a Senator, darn it. And Channel 8? You are so not invited to her Election Night Party, so there! Listen sweetie, if you don’t want people asking you questions in public, don’t be a public figure.

Let common sense prevail: Did you know that something in your body is very likely subject to a United States Patent? Good thing that big corporations haven’t figured out a way to charge you for that. Anyway, it looks like the United States may revisit the idea that my genes and your genes can be somebody else’s intellectual property.

I keep saying this: sugary drinks are not good for you.

Fail: When trying to steal copper from a vacant home, make sure the power is in fact off first. Oh, and leave the kids at home rather than sitting in the car waiting for you.

They’re mad as hell: and worse yet, they think they have some right to hurt or even kill you if you dare to disagree with them and their vision of a Utopian past-future. I’m beginning to wonder if my “liberal” respect for life — endorsed by the 10 Commandments and Jesus himself! — might need some retooling in the face of reality.

It’s the fraud, stupid: That’s the short version. It’s starting to look like the various state Attorneys General don’t like the BAMTOR Principle and may even hold banks accountable for their criminal actions, even if the SEC merely thinks the law is some sort of a suggestion.

I realize you may never need to know this: Table Etiquette for Formal Dinners in Japan.

This could turn out badly: So most people aren’t willing to relocate for a job anymore. More to the point, they can’t relocate for a job because they can’t sell their house for anything close to what they paid for it (advantage to renters?). At what point will job seekers decide to take the job and walk away from the house they can’t afford without work?

Looking forward to it: a long overdue re-work of Power90, a follow-on to Insanity, and more details on P90X MC2.

Ezra is correct again: Since most people retire because they have to rather than because they want to, raising the retirement age is a really dumb idea.

Urine Drug Tests Must Stop: a woman had her newborn taken away because she foolishly ate a bagel with poppy seeds on it. Why do we tolerate businesses, schools, and government entities making decisions about our lives based on such an inaccurate test?

Bloody Romans: “I don’t get nothin from the government!” Except of course for my mortgage interest deduction, student loans, unemployment insurance, Social Security, VA benefits, Medicare, G.I. Bill benefits….

Clearly deregulation is the answer: after all airlines would surely keep planes in good repair all by themselves if there were no pesky regulations requiring it.

Nothing left for me to say: Comrade E.B. Misfit said it all.

A reason to encourage absentee voting: nobody to harass you at the polls for being too brown.

Hope you are having fun: at the ColbertStewart rally.

Blast from the past: old computer equipment ads.

And last but not least: at least they are honest about it!

So remember to vote this Tuesday if you haven’t already. And remember my handy tip for voter initiatives, just say no.

Grape Leaves Changing Color

Fall has officially arrived in Vegas.

In Closing: 22.5%; a brave man confronts ignorant women; it’s the continuing adventures of Harry and Sharron!; glad I’m not in Chicago this week; accidental gay marriage; is anyone really, honestly surprised they’ve found oil at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico? Really?; no wonder things are tough all over; Vote For Jobs (and in my opinion, against ballot initiatives); the Problem with Charity; I bet that there may be jobs at the worlds largest solar-thermal plant; what is the Treasury hiding?; BlueGal‘s got your Contract With America; Hup, two, three, four, keep it up, two, three, four; trial balloon (notice that the things under consideration mostly effect working class people?); gee I can’t imagine why; the “step 2” problem with austerity; President Obama created more jobs this year than President Bush created in 8 years; on poverty and student performance; ZAP!; and Janitors with PhDs.

Looks Like Rain

Most people don’t carry around an umbrella unless they think there’s a good chance of rain.

That being said:

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. board approved interim guidelines to help clarify its procedures for liquidating complex financial firms [edit: that is, “too big to fail” firms] when they collapse, including permitting better treatment for some creditors when it benefits the estate or broader economy.


However, in the event of an impending implosion, the statute authorizes the FDIC to use U.S. taxpayer dollars to make partial payments to “healthy” counter-parties of the failing firm so that they wouldn’t go down with it. Once economic disaster is averted, the law requires the government to recoup the costs of the bailout by selling the bank’s assets and by collecting fees from big financial institutions with $50 billion or more in assets.

So then, the question as I see it is simple: which big bank does the FDIC expect to collapse? My money is on the one that declared last week that they were halting all foreclosures in all 50 states.

In closing: Mankiw is an idiot; what made them think that was a good idea??; I would rather take my chances with the slot machines; in denial; she can raise money but can she stop being crazy?; epilogue to cholesterol story; “I don’t know if he’s qualified to be on the Federal Reserve Board. He’s only got a Nobel Prize in Economics“; This Angry Season; and recovery.