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      We have raised $9,353. That means we’ve reached the first two milestones, and I’ll write sixteen reviews of books with useful information. The final milestone is at $11,000, and is to be a booklet, “How To Think: Understanding the World.” The fundraiser will end at midnight this coming Friday, June 28th. DONATE OR SUBSCRIBE I […]
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Late Night Open Thread: CNBC’s Mark Haines vs. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA)

Pro-Wall Street CNBC host Mark Haines accuses Congress of “witch-huntery.” Sherman gives as good as he gets. The arrogance of the CNBC interviewers is stunning. Sherman is a member of the House Banking Committee.

“You know, this is witch huntery, I’ll be perfectly honest with you,” Haines said. “You and people who share your opinions seem to feel that you know, let’s hold salaries on Wall Street to $100,000. Do you have any idea what Wall Street would look like if they did that?”

“All the business would go overseas,” Haines said. “That’s the bottom line.”

Sherman voted against the orginal TARP last October, and famously said in Congresss that in private meetings “a few members were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted no.” This is his full speech. He’s talking about things that the administrations is supposedly just finding out about. The martial law comment is at the end, around 9:15.

This one is from Fox News today.

This is an open thread. Economics talk is not required. Feel free to post your favorite music video links and sip a glass of something if you are so inclined.

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Saturday: Things that make you go “hmmm”, episode 2

I used to be an NPR junkie, that is, until TalkingPointsMemo became my gateway drug to blogging about 5 years ago.  I used to wake up to Bob Edwards and drive home to Robert Segal.  Then they started to all sound like my neighbors, moderately Republican and pro-business.  Gone were the days of Maria Hinajosa telling us about “Nine year old Ruiz sits outside the flimsy clapboard house on the outskirts of this west Texas border town.  He draws his name in the dust with rock.  It’s the only word he knows how to spell because he can’t walk to school and there is no bus provided to this bare enclave of maquilladoros and their families who live without running water or electricity.  Ruiz says he wants to be a surgeon and his greatest wish is to go to school…”  Well, you get the idea.  There I am with Ruiz, sobbing into my Cheerios over his lost childhood dreams.  During the Bush Administration, the bleeding heart liberals took a frickin’ hike and we got stuck with Juan, Cokie and Steve.  Um, no thank you.

What to do to fill up the empty space between commutes?  I listened to music for awhile, then audiobooks, but they tended to lack the immediacy of the moment that news provides.  Then I discovered podcasts and started to load up on the suckers.  My new iPhone gives me the luxury of accessing the iTunes podcast store directly and since most podcasts are free, I indulge greedily.  Yesterday, my faves didn’t have any new material to listen to and I needed to pick something in a hurry.  So, I picked the PopSci (Popular Science) podcast “Who protects the internet?”

So, there I am, driving along, listening to fascinating facts about cables and warehouses and termination points in Miami and NY from across the ocean.  There’s stuff I never new before like, did you know that there is a fleet of ships on the world’s oceans, just floating aimlessly until they get a call about a broken cable?  Then they rush to the site of the break, pull up the cable and repair it.   Those of you who are looking for new careers and don’t get seasick might want to look into this.

Then the PopSci guys start talking about how many lines crisscross the world’s oceans and how much redundancy is built into the system.  The answer is, there is redundancy but not enough to make all transmissions worry free.  Occasionally, the breaks can take whole countries offline for a couple of days.  There are several commercial lines and a government line for secure defense transactions and stuff and the finance industry put in its own internet cable just for their own business…

???

The finance industry has its own internet?

Am I the last person in America to know about this?  The finance industry has its own separate internet cable system.  It’s a parallel internet system.  What kind of access does the US government have to the finance industry’s internet?  Can the NSA tap into this cable system and record all of the transactions like it can on the regular commercial lines?  And what do they use it for, besides high speed transmissions of trades? Anyone got any info on this?  Speculation?  Tin foily hat theories about how it can be used?

In other news:

  • Ruh-Roh, Krugman has read Geithner’s detailed plan to bailout the banks and it doesn’t look good.  He writes about it in Despair over financial policy.  Let this be a lesson to you, Paul.  Never take your shrillness on vacation to Yurp and leave the Obots to their own devices.  It sounds like the finance industry is going to get everything it wants, sort of like economic terrorists who threaten to bring the world to its knees if we don’t fork over the cash.  Now, what kind of ace would they have to have up their sleeves to pull such a thing off?
  • It’s spring!  Break out the cleaning buckets.  Today is the day I purge the garage and pick up the clutter.  Let us know in the comments about your cleaning plans and what your favorite new cleaning gadget is.  I just ordered a steamer cleaner.  It should arrive on Monday, which is too late for today’s marathon but should be perfect for next week.  Also, if you have kids, what’s your trick for getting them to help out?
  • One of my pet peeves is too much sugar in just about everything from spaghetti sauce to crackers to coffee.  I love Starbucks coffee (Oh, yes I do.  So sue me.).  And I love a good vanilla latte but if you get the regular recipe vanilla latte, the damn thing makes your teeth hurt, it’s so sweet.  But if you ask for half the sugar, you also get half of the vanilla strength.  I like the vanilla taste, just not all the sweet.  I actually had an argument with the last barista.  She said, “Well, you could get the sugar free sweetener instead.”  No, I just want the vanilla not the sugar. “The sugar-free has all of the sweet taste, just none of the sugar.”.  I *know* it does.  BUT I DON’T WANT THE *SWEET* TASTE!!!.  “Well, you sound sure.” {{sniff}}”  Grumble.  If Starbucks cared as much about sugar as it does about how fat your milk is, it would cut the sugar in the syrups in half and leave the damn sugar packets out for people who just can’t start their day without a sugar buzz.  But noooooo, it looks like the sugar problem is only going to get worse.  The NYTimes reports that manufacturers are replacing high fructose corn syrup with real sugar now.  Isn’t that special?
  • Gawd, he is such an amateur.  Can someone please tell Obama that he has a well-respected, well-liked, intelligent Secretary of State to handle relations between the US and Iran.  This video was so badly handled Obama is starting to make bags of hammers look brilliant. (H/T fif)

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