Thursday, February 25, 2010
First of the Day: "Epic" decline in bank lending
Besides registering their biggest full-year decline in total loans outstanding in 67 years, U.S. banks set a number of grim milestones. According to the FDIC, the number of U.S. banks at risk of failing hit a 16-year high at 702. More than 5% of all loans were at least three months past due, the highest level recorded in the 26 years the data have been collected.
Nothing to see here, folks. Economists have declared the U.S. out of recession. Just move along now.
The Depression Chronicles – 1: Bankruptcies
Health Care Summit at 10 am today
President Obama's health care summit to which he has invited the leading Democratic and Republican members of Congress convenes this morning at 10 am. It will be on C-Span, much to the discomfort of Republicans who have repeatedly chided the President for not fulfilling his promise to televise health care negotiations.
If you have the time and interest to watch, there is an alternative to C-Span that you may enjoy. The Sunlight Foundation, which keeps track of the funds flowing into the coffers of individual Congresspeople and how they subsequently vote, will be following the summit also. They promise that
Some of the things you can expect to see displayed on Sunlight Live as the politicians debate are campaign contributions that the person speaking has received, their connections to lobbyists and industry, personal finances, and key votes that the leaders have made on health care in the past.
You can watch at http://SunlightFoundation.com/live.
Monday, February 22, 2010
My apology to Tiger Woods
Tiger, I want to say to you, simply and directly, I am deeply sorry for the irresponsible and selfish behavior the media have engaged in. They feel that they have worked hard and deserve to enjoy all the temptations around them. They feel they are entitled. Their behavior is simply appalling.
I wasn't going to mention Tiger Woods nor his public apology for "letting down" his family and fans here, since I cannot think of anything he may have done that has the slightest repercussion on my life or yours, unless you happen to be Tiger Woods' wife or sponsor and are reading this blog. But now I feel sorry for the man, and for all of us who have to endure the merde that is the American media.
The liberal and somewhat priggish Keith Olbermann of MSNBC devoted over 6 minutes of his Friday show to a discussion with Gene Robinson of the Washington Post on just what Tiger Woods meant when he used the word "entitled." Rachel Maddow of the same network had been ignoring the Woods affair but finally relented, explaining that—
Much as I've tried I'm finding that being willfully ignorant about something this sociologically resonant that everyone [that is, the media] is talking about is an overrated place to be.... Mr. Woods' statement today .... was shown on every cable news channel, and all four broadcast networks broke into programming with it.
Fox News of course became the FoxWoods News, and set its roundtable of right-wing commentators to the analysis of Tiger Woods' life. Their efforts were crowned by this offering from Brit Hume—
The only media outfit with any integrity left in the matter is Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now." Goodman thinks Tiger Woods is a park in India where they're trying to save endangered species.
It has been widely reported that Tiger Woods intends to return to therapy for "sex addiction," a phrase he did not use in his apology. I know a little clinic in Reno that may be able to help.