It’s been my experience that as soon as I’m perfectly happy with my life, some man comes along and ruins it. Fortunately, I have plenty of problems! Kim Richey:
I made an appointment with a new massage therapist who’s right in the neighborhood – or so I thought.
“Oh no, I don’t work out of my home anymore,” she told me. “I see clients in a different location.” She started to give me directions which sounded very, very familiar.
Not only is her studio in the Hellmouth (where I used to live — long story if you don’t already know it), it’s on the street where I used to live (in a 150-year-old tavern/whorehouse). In fact, the building used to belong to my then-landlord, who owned the entire waterfront block. His house was built in 1697, and I was always dying to see the inside.
Today I finally got my chance. It has an indoor koi pond, a hot tub, a creekside pool house and a bunch of other cool stuff. Now it’s a bed & breakfast that people can also rent out for weddings and parties.
Something unexpected crossed off the bucket list!
Just got off the phone with Dr. S., who played 24 hours of baseball this weekend for a charity fundraiser. “It was really a lot of fun,” he told me.
“You’re crazy,” I said. “Yeah, sitting on a bench in the cold and damp at night, feeling my knees lock up — what’s not to like?”
But he’s an old softy. Whattaya gonna do?
Why the mortgage note is so important — and why the bankers and their enablers are trying to convince us it isn’t.
I thought this was fascinating:
When Upton Sinclair, famous author and lifetime Socialist, won the Democratic primary for governor of California in 1934 in a landslide– leading the greatest mass movement in the state’s history — all hell broke loose there and across the country.
To defeat Sinclair, his opponents invented the modern political campaign, led by advertising geniuses and spin doctors — and the first wide use of the screen to destroy a candidate (created by MGM’s Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg).
The race, in fact, featured Hollywood’s first major jump into politics. FDR became embroiled in the heart of it, and dozens of other famous figures played key roles, from Hearst and H.L. Mencken to Katharine Hepburn and Will Rogers.
“The Campaign of the Century,” published by Random House in 1992, won the Goldsmith Book Prize, drew wide coverage, and inspired a PBS documentary. Long out of print, it now appears in new editions, including, for the first time, digital, this autumn. Order here (e-editions coming in a few days). See the other two videos at my page. Contact the author at: email@example.com (less info)
He continues to assume things like “facts” should shape public policy and debate, when really, it’s always a matter of WBS (What Beck Said) – or for that matter, just about any prominent Republican!
The answer to the second question — why there’s a widespread perception that government spending has surged, when it hasn’t — is that there has been a disinformation campaign from the right, based on the usual combination of fact-free assertions and cooked numbers. And this campaign has been effective in part because the Obama administration hasn’t offered an effective reply.
Actually, the administration has had a messaging problem on economic policy ever since its first months in office, when it went for a stimulus plan that many of us warned from the beginning was inadequate given the size of the economy’s troubles. You can argue that Mr. Obama got all he could — that a larger plan wouldn’t have made it through Congress (which is questionable), and that an inadequate stimulus was much better than none at all (which it was). But that’s not an argument the administration ever made. Instead, it has insisted throughout that its original plan was just right, a position that has become increasingly awkward as the recovery stalls.
And a side consequence of this awkward positioning is that officials can’t easily offer the obvious rebuttal to claims that big spending failed to fix the economy — namely, that thanks to the inadequate scale of the Recovery Act, big spending never happened in the first place.
But if they won’t say it, I will: if job-creating government spending has failed to bring down unemployment in the Obama era, it’s not because it doesn’t work; it’s because it wasn’t tried.
My former colleague Peter Diamond, along with Dale Mortenson and Chris Pissarides, has won the Nobel. Richly deserved. The prize is for work on frictions in markets, which is very important stuff; but Peter, an incredibly profound thinker, has done much much more.
And yes, this is the same Peter Diamond whose nomination to the Fed board has been held up because of Republican doubts about his qualifications.
That’s because Republicans are much more concerned about placing incompetent ideologues in positions of influence.
So I guess it wasn’t a good idea to build that nuclear power plant there, huh:
The “Big One” on the San Andreas fault just got a little bigger.
New research showing a section of the fault is long overdue for a major earthquake has some scientists saying that the fault is capable of a magnitude 8.1 earthquake that could run 340 miles from Monterey County to the Salton Sea.
Whether such a quake would happen in our lifetime had been a subject of hot debate among scientists. That’s because experts had believed that a major section of the southern San Andreas, which runs through the Carrizo Plain 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles, would remain dormant for at least another century.
But that rosy hypothesis seemed to be shattered by a recent report in the journal Geology, which said that even that section of the San Andreas is far overdue for the “Big One.” [Updated, Oct. 9: The report, published in August, was written by Sinan Akciz and Lisa Grant Ludwig of UC Irvine, and J. Ramon Arrowsmith and Olaf Zielke of Arizona State University.]
Now, according to U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones, it is entirely possible that all 340 miles of the southern San Andreas could be ready to erupt at any time. Such a scenario would trigger a magnitude 8.1 earthquake, said Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, a calculation with which Jones agreed.
“All of it has plenty enough stress for it to be ready to go,” Jones said. “The biggest implication of [the report] is that it increases the likelihood that when we do have a big earthquake, it will grow into the ‘wall-to-wall’ rupture.”
[Updated, Oct. 9: Such a temblor could cause much more damage because with a longer stretch of the fault rupturing, a larger area is exposed to the quake, and the shaking would last longer.]