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      A lot of mistakes come from assuming rationality means “thinks the same way I do” rather than “reasons from premises I might not share.” Left than 1/1000 economists predicted the financial collapse, because they reasoned from assumptions like “the market is self-correcting” or “housing prices never go down.” (Sometimes both at the same time, which is rarely […]
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Thursday: The Quiet Coup of 2008

And it’s still cloudy over the northeast.  The less said about it the better.  It’s just too depressing.

"Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam
and the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word
and the skies are not cloudy all day"

Yellowstone Lake, Montana

Yellowstone Lake, Montana

Does anyone care about Governor Sanford of South Carolina?  Me neither.  Just resign already for keeping your Lt. Governor in the dark.   This story isn’t worth two front page pieces at the NYTimes.  FOCUS people!  There’s still a problem in Iran.  You know, crazy Ayatollahs and the Revolutionary Guard threatening to further destabilize an unravelling region of the world?!  Aw, jeez, why do I bother?

StateofDosbelief asks a very good question:

How can the failbots defend what’s going on with so-called healthcare reform?  This latest update from the Senate Finance committee notes that their ideas include:

Dropping the employer mandate
Dropping the public option
Including a new “tax credit to purchase insurance”
and
Taxing employer-based health benefits

Uh…doesn’t this sound a whole bunch like someone else’s ideas?  yeah, Bush II and McCain.  WTF is going on?  My head will explode if this is what we end up with and the failbots try to paint it as a victory.

She also wonders what ever happened to Franken in Minnesota.  The unresolved senate case was presented before the Minnesota Supreme Court in the first week of June and we’ve been waiting ever since.  Franken is the Democrat’s 60th vote.  He is the filibuster proofer.  OoooooOOOOOooooo!  Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln might have to act like Democrats since there would be no reason for them to give away the store anymore.  Well, we’ll have none of that.  It appears that nothing is happening in Minnesota.  One *almost* suspects that there’s a deal to get most of the tricky legislation off of the table before the Senate recesses and THEN the Minnesota Supreme Court will say Franken won. The delay is somewhat inexplicable.  From what I read previously, there was virtually no way that Coleman could emerge victorious.  The ruling imeediately previous to this one pretty much told him to give it up already.  So, what gives?

Now, a lot of you dislike Franken and, hey, if you want to hold his former profession against him, who am I to tell you you’re wrong?  But there comes a point when past resentments should take a backseat to current events.  Franken is a true liberal senator, or he will be once he’s sworn in.  If you want healthcare, the end of the wars, equality for all, financial accountability and someone who will stand against the coup of 2008, your best bet is with Franken.  You can donate to his recount fund here.  Yes, the guy still needs money.  It’s expensive to keep this going for 7 months and lawyers need to eat too, damn them.

Americans aren’t the only ones wondering what they heck is going on with their government.  One of my French colleagues just got back from a trip from Paris.  She tells me the French are thoroughly disgusted with Nicolas Sarkozy, who recently booked a night at Versailles to hold an unprecedented meeting with the legilative branch.  Yep, Versailles, that beautiful white elephant and former diggs of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI.  I don’t get it either.  Versailles is about 30 minutes trip from Paris via the RER.  The setting is beautiful but why would you want to have a meeting there when presumably there are suitable meeting facilities in the city?  D’oh!  It’s a perfect photo drop:

Nicolas Sarkozy at Versailles to give a speech

Nicolas Sarkozy at Versailles to give a speech

Surprisingly, the French do not seem to approve of such excess and staging.  Who knew?  My colleague says he’s been a little imperious with his cabinet as well, reshuffling the deck chairs, getting rid of people and generally acting like an arrogant little prince.  She thinks it’s funny that he’s so short too.  Yep, “short people got no reason to live” ridicule is not a good sign for Sarkozy.  Not good at all.

Podcast of the day: Donald Kagan teaches the history of ancient Greece at Yale.  You can find his fascinating lectures online at youtube, so technically, this isn’t a podcast recommendation.  In lecture number 8 on Sparta, Kagan discusses the origins of the word “tyranny”.   It’s all just a little bit of history repeating.


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