Monday, September 29, 2008


U is growing like a . . . toddler. He needs his THIRD Cubs cap, since the one he has now is starting to pinch his little brain and make his eyes bulge out. I employed strategery in buying both a bigger cap, and a Cubs winter hat for him at the same time. Lower shipping, and the cap was on sale.

Unfortunately, I misunderestimated the time it would take to get the merchandise. Apparently it is at a "Sortation Center" in New Berlin, Wisconsin. A sortation center? Really? I mean, I understand that "strategery" and "misunderestimate" were either made up or simple errors in the stream of speech. Fedex, and heavan help us, the United States Post Office, had to decide to call something a . . . sortation center.

The news is reporting that Americans do not support the Wall Street bailout agreed to in Washington yesterday. This is fine, but frankly probably misguided and pointless. I suspect that almost all of us are disgusted by a culture that was giving $100,000 bonuses eighteen months ago, and is now in need of tax payer money to remain viable at all. Sort of a poor little rich girl thing.

If the only thing happening here were ensuring that the tremendously wealthy remained so, it would be a terrible use of resources. But it isn't. The point of the bailout is to try to ensure that the day-to-day economy continues to function. Make no mistake, the CEOs at the big financial companies are better positioned to make it through a serious disruption in the economy than the people in the polls who don't support the bailout. Ultimately 90% of Americans are probably the intended beneficiaries of the bailout. It's just that this time, the money goes to the financial institutions.

Oh, and part of the problem is also your neighbors who aren't paying their mortgages anymore. Don't forget that the real estate market helped create this issue, and that people took mortgages that they had to KNOW they could not pay. The banks never should have offered them, and the buyer never should have accepted them.

So, tell pollsters that you are furious that the financial industry is where it is, but make sure your elected officials votes for this.

UPDATE: Well, the House rejected the bailout. The Dow is down about 500 points (give or take), and we will see what happens with regard to the larger picture. Hard to see how this will help "Main Street" as they like to call what I call "America." Let's hope that the markets built possible rejection into their planning.

As an aside, CNN had its own Dewey Defeats Truman moment on this story. See the second blue line from the top, which says "Bailout moves towards Congressional approval" while the headline below is "Bailout Plan Rejected." Ooops.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I find lately that people really prefer a once-a-month blog, rather than any more often. Actually, that may or may not be true, but I either go with that, or with the "I've suspended this blog to rush to Washington" angle. Of course, if I foresaw all of this in August, when I last posted, I probably should have said something.

Anyway, what's happened since I last wrote? Well, the Bears beat a team that is much better than they, then lost two consecutive games to teams that they should have beaten. We were on our way back from Boogie for the second half of the Tampa game. I almost drove off of I-55 when Peanut got flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. U was sleeping, so I had to keep myself from venting the full extent of my disgust. Maybe this is what separates good football teams from bad. Stupid plays, and execution. Maybe the difference between 3-0 and 1-2 really is a handful of bad decisions over the course of five total minutes. Now I'm getting angry again. Time to move on.

In other news, the Cubs clinched their division. I have to say that I view this more with relief than pride. They are a very good team, and they should have won that division. Milwaukee is also a pretty good team, but everyone else in the Central was playing over their heads (I'm looking at you Houston and St. Louis). I think that a bad playoff run might kill me, since this is probably the best Cubs team I have ever seen. 1984 was a nice team, but I think that Zambrano, Lilly, Harden, Dempster is better than Sutcliffe, Trout, Eckersley, and Sanderson/Ruthven. Plus, Moreland in right was a nightmare, and I always hated Larry Bowa from his Phillie days. However, a good playoff run might kill me too, since I am still not fully recovered from 2003. My God, in Dusty I DID Trusty.

It also turns out that there are not three reasonably solvent banks in the United States. They all blame all of their woes on subprime mortgages, but seriously, can that be right? I mean, in February Bloomberg was reporting that 10% of subprime loans were in default. That's 10% of subprime mortgages, not all mortgages. How close were financial institutions cutting their margins on this stuff? I don't know, other than to say that it is ironic (or creating "moral hazard") that the banks that made these loans are definitely going to get a better deal with the tex payers' money than the tax payers are. I don't absolve people who took home loans they never had a prayer of paying off, but banks are in the business of risk assessment, and they should be held more responsible because they ignored their own responsibilities to profit from these mortgages and distribute the risk around the world. Ah well. I guess for the time being we need to keep paying the old mortgage.

You may or may not have seen this, but all of Hef's women are leaving him. The Superficial, which is the sole gossip page to which I have weaned myself, has been all over this developing story. Anyway, first Holly Madison (SFW) was leaving to be with Criss Angel (sheesh, that's gotta be dishearterning, even if you are 80). Then Kendra Wilkinson (SFW) announced she is moving out of the mansion. Finally, Bridget Marquardt (SFW) is apparently in a relationship with someone else. Has Hef lost his mojo? Or was his relationship with these three a fiction perpetuated solely for their reality show, and is this "split" a reason to tune in for season five. Enquiring minds are pretty sure that this is all about TV and ratings. They think this because (a) Hef really is very old and its hard to believe that he craves to spend a lot of time with women 50 years younger than him (Barbi Benton (SFW)? That's a different deal), and (b) all three of these women are absolute dolts. I mean, seriously, Kendra Wilkinson is as stupid as you can imagine. Well, I think we all just hope it works out for Hef. You know, palimony suits and all.

Lest you think that all I do is watch TV, drive, and read gossip pages . . . oh wait. On that note, time to wrap.