Five years ago I started a weblog. At the time, I only knew a couple of bloggers, mostly the original crew over at Midwest Mindset. While they started in July of 03, I didn't join the conversation until early 04, after I'd been blogging on my own for about a month or so. In those "early" days, Blogger didn't come with the comment option, so one had to be a member of the blog to post response, and those responses had to be entire posts. It made for some really interesting discussions -- discussions that I think were soon lost after a comment section was added. And it was a blast just arguing with far away pals, truth be told.
When I started this blog, it was part of a personal website I created (that no longer exists). The blog was really just a side note. But I liked it. Much more than the website part. It was a way to communicate with friends even though I was far, far away in rural Montana.
Then came the 2004 election. And suddenly I was writing a political blog. I didn't really mean to, it was just natural after my experience blogging with Midwest Mindset to start focusing on what was going on in the news, too. That first year, whilst living in Montana and Wisconsin, away from friends, was the heyday of TBCBYL. Bush won, but I kept on going, because dammit, people were linking to me. At the time, I thought I'd blog through his entire second term. That didn't happen. Chicago did.
So this blog withered. It sort of become a pop culture blog for a bit after that, focusing on music, movies and lots'o'television (especially after I discovered TV Squad). But moving to Vermont killed that. I tried to revive it every couple of months, but to no avail. I kept up with Xanga and Myspace intermittently, but eventually gave up on those as well. I gave it one last go this fall again with another election, but my heart just wasn't in it. I said as much back in October. So now, it's time to officially retire the thing.
When I started, I remember having three of four links: Midwest Mindset, Erica and Andy Sikora. Andy's been through two or three blogs since. Erica's still around, but in different digs. And MM is dead dead dead. I'm still going to keep updating the (new) xanga (which could really use a name change), I'm currently having some fun on Saniel Bonders's list page, and I'm working on a blog for my workplace (check the new xanga in a few weeks for more info on that).
But this blog is ready to retire. Thanks to everyone who stopped by at some point or another to check it out, in whatever incarnation it might have been in at the time. I leave it up as a document, just like every other dead blog I've been apart of (except for Catfish Haven, Jake be damned), because even though there's so very, very much to be embarrassed about on this blog, I wouldn't have it any other way.
So long, this blog could be your life! It was fun. We should do this again some other time.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on
job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the
little soft cities;
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse.
and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of
Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog
Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with
Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
"Given that Times columnists are not allowed to “formally” endorse candidates and given that the context of this election has changed so much from the policy positions the candidates started with, all I can suggest is that you vote for the candidate with these character traits....Vote for the candidate you think has the smarts, temperament and inspirational capacity to unify the country and steer our ship through what could be the rockiest shoals our generation has ever known."And we do love British neo-liberals, too.
"For all the shortcomings of the campaign, both John McCain and Barack Obama offer hope of national redemption. Now America has to choose between them. The Economist does not have a vote, but if it did, it would cast it for Mr Obama. We do so wholeheartedly: the Democratic candidate has clearly shown that he offers the better chance of restoring America’s self-confidence. But we acknowledge it is a gamble. Given Mr Obama’s inexperience, the lack of clarity about some of his beliefs and the prospect of a stridently Democratic Congress, voting for him is a risk. Yet it is one America should take, given the steep road ahead."And finally, we cannot help but love Ralph Nader with all our hearts.
"I believe in I.F. Stone's dictum that in all social justice movements, you've got to be ready to lose. And lose and lose and lose. It's not very pleasant, but you have to accept this if you believe in what you're doing."Happy voting.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
"The more I follow politicians, the more I think experience matters, the ability to have a template of things in your mind that you can refer to on the spot, because believe me, once in office there's no time to think or make decisions."
Monday, October 13, 2008
Oh, man, political blogging is dead. Ever since the markets imploded, I've basically stopped listening to Tweedle-Dum and Cranky-Pants-Dee. This blog will oficially retire come November whatsit.
But first, I'm working on a good old blog post about why Sarah Palin scares me to death and simultaneously ought to raise if not bear my children.
* Awesome pic courtesy of oh-who-cares-because-the-internets-are-done-anyways.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Obama spokesman Bill Button sent an e-mail to reporters quoting news stories indicating McCain was the stronger debater, particularly on foreign policy.Next up, insane amounts of spin! I can't wait!!!
"If he slips up, makes a mistake or fails to deliver a game-changing performance, it will be a serious blow to his campaign," Button said of McCain.
McCain, for his part, praised Obama's debate skills this week, suggesting his rival's performances against Hillary Rodham Clinton during the primaries had helped him win the Democratic nomination.
"The first thing to understand is that a bailout plan doesn’t have to cost anywhere close to $700 billion, so long as it’s designed well. The $700 billion number that you see everywhere is an estimate of how much the government would spend to buy deteriorating assets now held by banks. Eventually, the government will turn around and sell these assets, for a price almost certain to be greater than zero. So this $700 billion is very different from $700 billion spent on a war or on Medicare."
"Figuring out how much to pay for the assets is the first problem. The drop in house prices and rise in foreclosures have made it clear that these securities are worth considerably less than banks expected. But there is enormous uncertainty about how much less.
Based on the underlying fundamentals (like the current foreclosure rate and the one forecast for the future), many of the securities appear to be worth something on the order of 75 percent of their original value. But thanks to the fear now gripping the market — not necessarily an irrational fear, given that most forecasts have proven far too sunny over the last year — very, very few of those securities are trading hands. Among those that have, the sales price has been roughly 25 percent of the value."
This is a much better way of saying what I tried to explain in my last post. The Treasury (and more accurately, we, the taxpayers) doesn't want to overpay too much more than these assets are actually worth. If we do, we could very well end up losing a large chunk of that $700 billion when we sell these assets back to the market.
"It [The Government] clearly shouldn’t pay 75 cents on the dollar, or anything close to it. That would mean the Treasury Department — which, in the end, is really you and me — was assuming nearly all the risk. But it probably can’t pay 25 cents. That might fail to fix the credit markets, because it would do relatively little to improve financial firms’ balance sheets. Firms might then remain unwilling to lend money to businesses and households, which is the whole problem the bailout is meant to solve."
"The most obvious solution is to pay more than 25 cents on the dollar and then demand something in return for the premium — namely, a stake in any firm that participates in the bailout. Congressional Democrats have been pushing for such a provision this week, and it’s one of the most important things they have done.
The government would then be accomplishing three things at once. First, it would take possession of the bad assets now causing a panic on Wall Street. Second, it would inject cash into the financial system and help shore up firms’ balance sheets (which some economists think is actually a bigger problem than the bad assets). And, third, it would go a long way toward minimizing the ultimate cost to taxpayers.
Why? The more that the government overpays for the assets, the larger the subsidy it’s providing to Wall Street — and the more it is pushing up the share prices of Wall Street firms. As Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, notes, the equity stakes allow the government to recapture some of the subsidy down the road. It’s a self-correcting mechanism."
Or just cancel a debate. I know you don't want to embarrass yourself by speaking about economics, Johnny McCain. But this isn't the right way to go.