Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Noda-san

"Mr Noda inherits a nuclear crisis, a north-eastern coastal area devastated by the tsunami, tens of thousands of people yet to be permanently rehoused, an economy in recession staggering under the weight of its public debt, soaring health and social security costs, a divided parliament, a party in crisis and a country that lost faith in its leaders to govern.

It could be that the man of whom so little is expected succeeds where others have failed. Mr Noda yesterday stressed his humble origins to a political class which hold seats as a matter of family tradition. But the enigma of Japan's inability to find a leader the country can rally around remains. For some analysts, the lack of an entity that can hold true authority over the bureaucrats and industrialists who run the country is a function of modern Japan's continued dependence on Pax Americana, which anyway is a commodity in short supply. But that does not wholly explain the emergence of popular leaders like Junichiro Koizumi who managed to struggle above the fray. For others, there are structural reasons why the office of prime minister is undervalued – its relatively low salary and short term. That Americans had no clear understanding of the dynamics of Japanese power that led to the Pacific war, and that a post-war country characterised by weak politicians and strong bureaucrats suited Washington's military interests, are not now sufficient explanations for the crisis of Japanese leadership.

The prospects for Mr Noda's political longevity are not bright, but the first and most basic task he faces is to seize control of his party and his government."

Japan: sifting through the muck - Guardian

Monday, August 29, 2011

Be prepared

"WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – As Hurricane Irene prepared to batter the East Coast of the United States, federal disaster officials warned that Internet outages caused by the storm could force people to interact with other people for the first time in years.  
News of the possible interpersonal interactions created panic up and down the coast as residents braced themselves for the horror of awkward silences and unwanted eye contact.
And as officials warned people in the hurricane zone to stay indoors, residents feared the worst: conversations with members of their immediate family.  
At the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA chief Craig Fugate offered these words of advice for those who may be forced into direct contact with other human beings: “Be prepared. Write down possible topics to talk about in advance. Sports is a good one, and of course the weather. Remember, a conversation is basically a series of Facebook updates strung together.”  
He also offered these words of hope for those trapped interacting with other people due to an Internet outage: “At some point, the wifi will go back on, and hopefully you won’t have to go through anything like this again for a long, long time.”  
In a related story, the Rev. Pat Robertson said the best way to prepare for Hurricane Irene is not being gay."
LOL.

Think of the Kitty Cats

I didn't miss a workout today, just looking for some motivation for tomorrow...

The Personality Diet

"In a controversial new book, clinical neuroscientist Daniel Amen sayd that the key to weight loss is first to identify which type of over-eater you are. He defines five categories: compulsive overeaters, impulsive overeaters, compulsive-impulsive overeaters, sad or emotional overeaters and anxious overeaters. Amen says slimmers will otherwise waste time and energy on diet plans that will never work, simply because they are not genetically capable of sticking to them.

Compulsive eaters should eat more complex carbohydrates, which help the body produce more serotonin, improving mood. Impulsive sorts should eat foods such as chicken and oats, which raise levels of dopamine in the brain and boost concentration. Compulsive-impulsive eaters should focus on exercise, emotional types should increase their consumption of omega-3 fatty acids (to help calm the body by reducing inflammation), and anxious overeaters should avoid alcohol and caffeine and follow a diet rich in glutamine (found in lentils, broccoli and nuts)." via BigThink

Friday, August 26, 2011

Responses to "Celebs" on Twitter

Some of these are simply brilliant. via


Trainspotter, Cry-baby and War criminal walk into a bar

"FOR those who despair of Japan’s politics, the prospect of a leadership contest between a trainspotter, a cabinet minister who burst into tears in parliament and somebody who exonerates war criminals might sound depressing.

 None of the main hopefuls is without blemish. Mr Maehara blundered during a brief stint as opposition leader five years ago, and he quit as foreign minister in March over a fuss about an illegal donation from a Korean woman. Mr Noda lacks charisma, and recently issued a bizarre exoneration of war criminals. Banri Kaieda, the trade minister, did nothing for his chances when he broke down in tears under opposition attack.

 The new prime minister will be the sixth since Junichiro Koizumi—the last with either charisma or authority—stepped down in 2006. Mr Maehara is the best chance the DPJ has of somebody even approaching Mr Koizumi’s stature.

 What is more, in the pre-election campaigning, real policy issues are coming to the fore. In debt-strapped Japan, Mr Maehara thinks promoting growth should come before tax increases. Mr Noda says raising taxes is the priority. No candidate has yet explained how to rebuild Tohoku, devastated by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in March."

Sixth time lucky?

Kick the can

"Gillian Tett, managing editor of the Financial Times, confirms that European politicians don't have the guts to make the tough choices necessary to resolve the problems and are instead just kicking the can down the road." Europe’s Headed For A Crisis - Yahoo Finance

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hawkeye's Hero

"Petty Officer Jon T. Tumilson was laid to rest Friday in Rockford, Iowa, where an estimated 1,500 mourners came to pay respects for the fallen Navy SEAL, including his dog Hawkeye.

In fact, Hawkeye’s loyalty to his owner at the funeral was visible, creating a heart-wrenching image as he laid down by the casket of his owner during the entire service.

The 35-year-old Tumilson died Aug. 6, when a rocket-propelled grenade disabled the helicopter he was in. It crashed, killing 30 Americans and eight Afghans.

He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Defense Meritorious Service Medal.

“‘Hawkeye is/was his loyal ‘son’,” wrote Tumilson’s cousin Lisa Pembleton in an email to The Blaze. ”To say that he was an amazing man doesn’t do him justice. The loss of Jon to his family, military family and friends is immeasurable.”

via

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New View

Living up to parody

Conservatives Can't Decide If Obama Was Too Busy Golfing Or Biking To Stop The Earthquake
"Following the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that shook the D.C. region this afternoon, conservative media figures have responded the only way they know how: by twisting it into an attack on Obama's vacation in Martha's Vineyard." via Oliver Willis

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

This is my stick

So go get your own...

I buy, therefore I am

"The recent riots in London and other big cities were the product of an "out-of-control consumerist ethos" which will have profound impacts for the UK economy, global head of research at Tullett Prebon, Tim Morgan has said.

"We conclude that the rioting reflects a deeply flawed economic and social ethos… recklessly borrowed consumption, the breakdown both of top-end accountability and of trust in institutions, and severe failings by governments over more than two decades."

 The note pinpoints the philosophy behind the riots as consumerism. The underlying message many receive is: "Here's the ideal. You can't have it."

"The economy has been subjected to repeated 'boom and bust' cycles, above all in property. The overall pattern has been that an over-consuming west has borrowed and spent the surpluses of the increasingly productive and under-consuming East.

"The dominant ethos of 'I buy, therefore I am' needs to be challenged by a shift of emphasis from material to non-material values."

UK riots were product of consumerism and will hit economy - Guardian

A shift in values.. good luck with that.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Slackjawed

Why are these high wire mentalists always French?

How was this discovered?

Via HappyPlace
Much more wonderful sarcasm here..

Language is powerful

'Condemned as a racist for his comments on 'Newsnight' following the riots, the historian David Starkey speaks out against those who tried to silence him for confronting the gangster culture that has ruptured our society.'

UK riots: It’s not about criminality and cuts, it’s about culture... and this is only the beginning - David Starkey
"How, then, to explain the black educationalists Tony Sewell and Katharine Birbalsingh defending the substance of my comments on “gangsta” culture, as well as Tony Parsons, who wrote in the Labour-supporting Daily Mirror that, “without the gang culture of black London, none of the riots would have happened – including the riots in other cities like Manchester and Birmingham where most of rioters were white”. 
Even stranger is Miliband’s apparent notion that, far from militating against educational achievement as I suggested, “the gang culture of black London” must therefore be a seedbed for scholarship and sound learning. Odd, isn’t it, that Waterstone’s bookshop was the only business unlooted in the Ealing riots? And odder still that Lindsay Johns, the Oxford-educated mixed-race writer who mentors young people in Peckham, argues passionately against “this insulting and demeaning acceptance” of a fake Jamaican – or “Jafaican” – patois. “Language is power”, Johns writes, and to use “ghetto grammar” renders the young powerless. 
One of the most striking things about the England riots is where they did not happen: Yorkshire, the North East, Wales and Scotland. These areas contain some of the worst pockets of unemployment in the country. But they are also characterised by a powerful sense of regional or national identity and difference that cuts across all classes and binds them together. And it is this, I am sure, which has inoculated them against the disease of “gangsta” culture and its attendant, indiscriminate violence. 
We must focus on the righting of the wrong rather than the original wrong itself. The former heals; the latter divides. And we have had enough of division. There is a final point. If all the people of this country, black and white alike, are to enter fully into our national story. 
We will not continue, I think, to tolerate being lied to and cheated in the matter of race. Instead of “not in front of the children”, we want honesty. But this is only the beginning. The riots are the symptom of a profound rupture in our body politic and sense of national identity. If the rupture is not healed and a sense of common purpose recovered, they will recur – bigger, nastier and more frequently. Can we stop bickering and address this task of recovery and reconstruction – all together?" 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Look at that

Excellent. via Boing Boing

Things you must do to make me happy pad


via Neatoshop

Number One Plus

HP’s Eric Candor, three months ago:
“In the tablet world, we’re going to become better than number one. We call it number one plus.”
HP press release today:
In addition, HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.
 via Daring Fireball

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mini Freak

Kanoa Igarashi Mini Freak from Toby Cregan on Vimeo.

Kanoa is 13 years old. He can speak three different languages and he can surf real good.

The Art of Flight

http://artofflightmovie.com/

Stunning. Even if they are boarders.. :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Austerity vs. Instability

"CHAOS is the sum of demonstrations, riots, strikes, assassinations, and attempted revolutions in a single year in each country. The first set of five bars show the frequencies conditional on the size of budget cuts. When expenditure is increasing, the average country-year unit of observation in our data registers less than 1.5 events. When expenditure cuts reach 1% or more of GDP, this grows to nearly 2 events, a relative increase by almost a third compared to the periods of budget expansion. As cuts intensify, the frequency of disturbances rises. Once austerity measures involve expenditure reductions by 5% or more, there are more than 3 events per year and country -- twice as many as in times of expenditure increases."
"This is a rather disturbing chart. Certainly the recent events in England play into the subject of the following paper:

Jacopo Ponticelli, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Hans-Joachim Voth, UPF-ICREA, CREI and CEPR
Discussion Paper No. 8513
August 2011
Centre for Economic Policy Research"

via Angry Bear



via comments:
""In their conclusion they flatly state: Contrary to what might be expected, we also find no evidence that the spread of mass media facilitates the rise of mass protests."  Not sure why you'd expect otherwise. Some of the most significant riots on record occured before the invention of the telephone, let alone the tweet." J.Goodwin

Give me back what wasn't mine

"NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A federal judge shot down an appeal from investors in Bernard Madoff's scheme, dismissing their opinion that they're entitled to the amount of money that the Ponzi schemer said they were worth.
The ruling applies to investors who believe they should be compensated not just for the money they invested with Madoff, but for the amount of money he said they were worth.
Madoff's statements typically said that the balance had grown significantly since the original deposit, even though the money wasn't actually invested and, in many cases, simply disappeared.
With his ruling, Judge Jacobs sided with Irving Picard, an attorney appointed by U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan to track down the money and assets lost to Madoff in the largest pyramid scheme in history.
Picard is only recognizing net equity claims, meaning claims from investors who deposited more than they withdrew and are seeking to get their deposits back."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Iowans Vote for the Caped Crusader

AMES, IOWA (The Borowitz Report) – Exit polls taken after the Iowa straw poll may hold the key to explaining the contest’s surprising results, as a majority of Iowans said they thought they were voting for “Batman.”

“By a wide margin, Iowans were under the impression that they were casting votes for the caped crusader,” said pollster Davis Logsdon of the Opinion Research Institute. “But at the end of the day, they wound up voting for a different comic-book character altogether.”

Bachmann wins GOP 2012 test vote - Yahoo "News"

"The real story of Michelle Bachmann's "win" in the Iowa straw poll (not to be confused with the Iowa primary) isn't that she got just over 4,800 votes—it's that she paid for 6,000, proving at least 1,200 Iowa straw pollers are smarter than most of the reporters covering her "win."


Bachmann-Perry Overdrive, the Snag, and Other Notes - Angry Bear

After Fukushima

"The Japanese cabinet decided this week to transfer the country's nuclear safety agency from the trade ministry, where it nestled in a department also dedicated to the expansion of nuclear power, to the environment ministry, where, at least in theory, there is some chance that its operations will not be subverted or manipulated by Japanese energy firms. After nearly half a century of producing nuclear power, Japan has finally separated regulation from promotion, but the move may well have come too late to restore public trust."

After Fukushima: nuclear dirty tricks - Guardian
After nearly half a century of producing nuclear power, Japan has finally separated regulation from promotion...

Chopping an onion

I was taught that not chopping the root off helps with the eye irritation. via Kottke

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stampede

via The Reformed Broker and Time
Quiet so far this morning. I wonder if it will last?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Alchemy

Dilbert.com

Today's Leviatation


"Natsumi Hayashi, a Tokyo teenager who takes hundreds of pictures of herself jumping until she captures just the right one where, instead of jumping, it looks like she's levitating. That, or she just takes one and Photoshops the hoverboard out."

"The only way to get a right timing for a shot is jumping a lot," Hayashi said in an interview with the U.K.'s Daily Mail, dispelling our hopeful illusions that she's the first human being who can actually fly. "Sometimes I need to jump over 100 times to get a right shot" She does this in front of her camera, mounted on a tripod, and continues to do so until she achieves that perfect, natural-looking "levitation."

"I got the idea from an English idiom that says 'to have one's feet firmly planted on the ground," she continued. "In Japan, we have the exact same idiom. But I am not a practical person at all. Therefore, I try 'not to have my feet firmly on the ground' in my self-portrait photos to show my true self."

via Geekologie with more daily levitation shots at her blog here.

How perfectly delightful, although looting is probably a lot more fulfilling.

e-petition

Convicted London rioters should loose all benefits.

"Any persons convicted of criminal acts during the current London riots should have all financial benefits removed. No tax payer should have to contribute to those who have destroyed property, stolen from their community and shown a disregard for the country that provides for them."

Sign this petition or Discuss.

Moral reformation

"Certainly, the so-called feral youth seem oblivious to decency and morality. But so are the venal rich and powerful – too many of our bankers, footballers, wealthy businessmen and politicians. Of course, most of them are smart and wealthy enough to make sure that they obey the law. That cannot be said of the sad young men and women, without hope or aspiration, who have caused such mayhem and chaos over the past few days. But the rioters have this defence: they are just following the example set by senior and respected figures in society. Let’s bear in mind that many of the youths in our inner cities have never been trained in decent values. All they have ever known is barbarism. Our politicians and bankers, in sharp contrast, tend to have been to good schools and universities and to have been given every opportunity in life. Something has gone horribly wrong in Britain. If we are ever to confront the problems which have been exposed in the past week, it is essential to bear in mind that they do not only exist in inner-city housing estates. The culture of greed and impunity we are witnessing on our TV screens stretches right up into corporate boardrooms and the Cabinet. It embraces the police and large parts of our media. It is not just its damaged youth, but Britain itself that needs a moral reformation."
The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the bottom - Peter Oborne

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just nick it

Sponsored by Nike

Keep Aaron Cutting


The Anti-prudent Fed

"I am wary of Bernanke’s sudden change of heart on headline inflation. It confirms my suspicion that the Fed is deliberately bringing about inflation and currency debasement to cushion the effects of debt-deleveraging. This amounts to a soft default on America’s debts.

QE1 was an entirely appropriate response to the threat of spiralling collapse and an implosion of the money supply. I backed it whole-heartedly, and make no apologies for doing so.

QE2 was a different animal. The threat of imminent deflation was bogus. The effect was to juice stock prices and increase the asset wealth of the rich, hoping for a trickle down. In reality it punished poor people through rising food and fuel costs long before any trickle came through.

Needless to say, it also punishes prudent savers in order to rescue improvident and promiscuous borrowers. This has immense social and moral consequences over time, and risks undermining the virtues that made America the world’s paramount power.

The Fed has done its job. What is needed now is for business to be incentivized to commit that liquidity to creating American jobs. This is the task of the fiscal authorities, not the Federal Reserve.”
The Fed is engaged in dangerous forms of social engineering. Central banks should never enter this territory."

The Fed is a Rogue Elephant (wonkish rant) - Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

When the underbelly roars

"The police — who, from what I saw, behaved with incredible control — can only do what their numbers allow. They rely on those who want to commit crime fearing being caught, and for the rest of us to feel empowered and stand up to would-be criminals when they get too brave."

When the underbelly roars - Spectator

A well written piece via Dave Panache and RSS feed. I am feeling somewhat better having read some of the 'community standing up to protect themselves' stories (here, here and here) too. Seems residents and the like are getting over the shell shock and saying enough is enough. I sincerely hope so. Just mind blowing to me that the desire to loot and to destroy is so strong. I have obviously lived abroad for too long in a society that has respect for itself. Oh dear England, oh dear.

Dear BoJ

How did that Y4.5 trillion (or $58 billion) of intervention work out for you?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Do more than turn up

Dilbert.com

AAA

"The thing all thirteen have in common? All provide National Health Care."

How to Maintain a AAA Rating - Angry Bear

Planet of the Apes

London riots: Police clash for a third night with rioters.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes takes box office by storm "The film debuted at number one at the North American box office." Were US audiences watching a movie or TV News?

Monday, August 08, 2011

Downgrade blame

"Analysts worded all these reports as if the S&P downgrade was to blame or partially to blame. The facts of the matter are these.

1. The global economy is slowing
2. European debt crisis has escalated
3. A global currency war is underway
4. The US is headed for recession if not in recession now
5. Europe is already in a recession in my estimation


The downgrade itself is not the problem. Rather the S&P downgrade (long overdue) is one of many symptom of a much larger global financial crisis. Nonetheless, expect many demagogues to make S&P the scapegoat if the decline escalates this week."

S&P Downgrade Did Not Cause This - Mish

Seven

Move out of the spotlight USA

"Continental Europe is in the grip of delusions. If the average eurozone leader, central banker or bank chairman were a private citizen, he would long since have been diagnosed as hopelessly deranged and confined to a lunatic asylum. Were he a private citizen, he would be much less dangerous. Those who insist they are the Pope or Napoleon may cause distress to their friends and family; those who insist that the euro is a viable currency and that the Greek rescue package has solved the problem could cause distress to the entire world economy."

EU debt crisis: We must give these continental emperors underwear, at least - Telegraph

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Carbo loading

Wine dinner tonight. Salt. Pizzini, Curly Flat & Hochkirch. Excellent.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Shake

"Carli Davidson, a photographer in Portland, Oregon, has a set of deliciously amusing photos of wet dogs shaking themselves dry. The heavy-jowled dogs work especially well under centrifugal force." via Neatorama

Rate this

"The ratings agencies would like you to believe that the source of their power is the accuracy of their opinions. But in fact, its true source is the extent to which their ratings have been embedded in various rules and regulations across the financial world.

Loathe them though everyone does, reliance on the credit rating agencies turns out to be a terrible habit that almost no one is willing to break."

Moody's Junkies - Slate

Some USD/JPY intervention as I post this.. just watched the rate move from 77 to 78.. exciting stuff... zzzz.


Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Creak

Dilbert.com

Catastrophic failure

"The European Union, and its single-currency extension, were forged in the decades following the war in an effort to make sure that war never again divided and savaged the continent. But strangely enough, in the effort to tie itself together, Europe imposed some of the same fiscal and monetary constraints that precipitated the collapse of the 1930s. And here we are, watching history repeat itself. Within a Europe riven by imbalances, the fiscal and monetary screws are once again being applied to countries with no hope of escaping their financial burdens. Markets are attacking, and efforts to salvage the situation through massive aid packages are emerging too small and late to matter. The pressure within the squeezed economies is building, and that pressure will find a release, one way or another. A Europe hoping never to repeat its historical tragedies has gone and blundered into institutions that make those same tragedies more likely. The European project, as it looks now, has failed.

One has to feel sorry for Europe, in a way. It did its best to learn from history, hoping never to repeat it. But history is a long, complex course, and there's always a chance that the lessons you miss are the most important ones."

Second time farce: That 30s feeling - Free Exchange

Asian lunchtime market recap

via ZH

"I wanted to die It was so grim."

Mirth is not to be expected in a man who almost killed himself and his family by eating poisonous mushrooms, but Nicholas Evans, newly restored after being given his daughter’s kidney in a life-saving transplant, contemplates the effect on his private parts with some amusement, "like an exhibit in a village vegetable show, like prize-winning beetroot with this strange purple cucumber lying on top."

Accidents do not happen in a ghastlier shape than this. Evans is a knowledgeable countryman who’d enjoyed mushroom expeditions since he was a boy. He’d been told just the place to find ceps and chanterelles and came back with a basketful of what he thought were Boletus edulis, or ceps. He was greeted like a returning hero. “Fantastic!” they said. No one noticed they were the deadly webcap, Cortinarius speciosissimus, a mushroom that damages the liver, kidneys and spinal cord. No one consulted the fungi guidebook in the kitchen.

The horror of their situation when they realised they were poisoned caused no panic. “It felt as though you might wake up from it, actually. You couldn’t believe what was taking place inside you.”

Within two days they were all critically ill and remained ill for months.

Three years on, Alastair and Charlotte are still on dialysis, waiting for kidney transplants. Louisa was not so badly affected. In probably the most highly charged transaction of his life, Evans received a kidney from his only daughter, Lauren, last month because his heart was under strain from five hours of dialysis three times a week.

“It was just stupid, stupid,” he says of the poisoning. “Two people deciding that the other knew what he or she was doing, transferring all responsibility.

The scope for guilt, blame and mutual recrimination is enormous.

It has changed him, too. “I’ve always been somebody who worried about things I haven’t done right and about the future. Perhaps because of the looming mortality, I am much more able to live in the moment now. This spring was so beautiful in our part of the country. Waves of snowdrops, then primroses, bluebells, garlic. It was almost unbearably intense and I know that’s wrapped up with feelings about the preciousness of life.”

Nicholas Evans: 'I wanted to die. It was so grim’ - Telegraph

Horrifying.

Staying classy

via 'As the Toto Turns' - NYVelocity

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Exploiting Cash WinFall

"But the Selbees, who run a gambling company called GS Investment Strategies, know a secret about the Massachusetts State Lottery: For a few days about every three months, Cash WinFall may be the most reliably lucrative lottery game in the country. Because of a quirk in the rules, when the jackpot reaches roughly $2 million and no one wins, payoffs for smaller prizes swell dramatically, which statisticians say practically assures a profit to anyone who buys at least $100,000 worth of tickets.

During these brief periods - “rolldown weeks’’ in gambling parlance - a tiny group of savvy bettors, among them highly trained computer scientists from MIT and Northeastern University, virtually take over the game. Just three groups, including the Selbees, claimed 1,105 of the 1,605 winning Cash WinFall tickets statewide after the rolldown week in May, according to lottery records. They also appear to have purchased about half the tickets, based on reports from the stores that the top gamblers frequent most."

A game with a windfall for a knowing few - Boston.com

Worse than you think

via BW
"There is a comforting story about the debt ceiling that goes like this: Back in the 1990s, the U.S. was shrinking its national debt at a rapid pace. Serious people actually worried about dislocations from having too little government debt. If it hadn’t been for two wars, the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, the housing meltdown, and the subsequent financial crisis and recession, the nation’s finances would be in fine condition today. And the only obstacle to getting there again, this narrative goes, is political dysfunction in Washington. If the Republicans and Democrats would just split their differences on spending and taxes and raise the debt ceiling, we could all get back to our real lives. Problem solved.

Except it’s not that way at all. For all our obsessing about it, the national debt is a singularly bad way of measuring the nation’s financial condition. It includes only a small portion of the nation’s total liabilities. And it’s focused on the past. An honest assessment of the country’s projected revenue and expenses over the next generation would show a reality different from the apocalyptic visions conjured by both Democrats and Republicans during the debt-ceiling debate. It would be much worse.

That’s why the posturing about whether and how Congress should increase the debt ceiling by Aug. 2 has been a hollow exercise. Failure to increase the borrowing limit would harm American prestige and the global financial system. But that’s nothing compared with the real threats to the U.S.’s long-term economic health."

Why the Debt Crisis Is Even Worse Than You Think - Business Week

Monday, August 01, 2011

Bike Shop

Debt Ceiling is Raised Before Tea Party Understands What It Is

GOP Begins Hard Work of Creating Next Crisis
"WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – In an historic eleventh-hour bipartisan accord, the United States’ debt ceiling was raised Sunday night before the Tea Party understood what it was.

In an effort to gain as many Tea Party votes as possible, the debt ceiling bill was drafted entirely in one-syllable words, congressional aides said.

But even as the final agreement was being put to bed, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urged his Republican colleagues not to rest on their laurels: “Now, let us begin the hard work of creating the next crisis.”"

79 now

How Often the Debt Limit Has Been Raised
via NYT
"By the Treasury Department's count, Congress has acted 78 times since 1960 to raise, extend or alter the definition of the debt limit — 49 times under Republican presidents, and 29 times under Democratic presidents." NYT

Smogs

"“Of all the animals,” said Plato, “the boy is the most unmanageable.” And if they were bad in ancient Greece – where trident-throwing skills could at least be parlayed into useful adult activities, such as fighting Trojans – they are even more exhausting today. Parents have less time to spend with their children, and therefore less patience. After a long day at work, how would you prefer to spend the hours before bedtime: having your hair plaited and reading The Borrowers; or lying on the kitchen floor under a heap of writhing bodies while they practise their wrestling slams?

Women who only have daughters sometimes find it impossible to disguise their relief. On the internet, they are known as Smogs – Smug Mothers of Girls."

You can almost taste the pity - Telegraph for Charlotte.