Friday, December 5, 2008


Calculated Risk has the analysis on today's horrific employment data. I keep hearing the words "No one could have predicted" with respect to the economic crisis. This is false. Many people, including myself saw the coming collapse in the housing and stock markets.

Via Anonymous Liberal, here is a telling series of clips from Fox News (that bastion of journalistic integrity) featuring a series of howling baboons and Peter Schiff as the lone voice of reason. Watch how he is scoffed at, laughed, and ridiculed . . . for telling the truth. And then wonder, why the hell do these other talking heads still have jobs? How can you possibly justify paying a salary to Larry Kudlow, or Neil Cavuto, or Ben Stein, when they have been consistently 100% wrong about everything? Why is it that many bloggers got it right, and yet millionaire talking heads got it consistently wrong? Some of these people are just bone stupid but many of them are paid to lie. Be skeptical, it's good for your brain and your wallet.

LATE NOTE - To clarify, I disagree with Peter Schiff on plenty of things. But in these particular vignettes what he's saying is dead on.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ravitch Commission Plan Released

Second Avenue Sagas is hosting the document in an easily readable format.

This plan is balanced and very necessary to ensure the continued viability of the MTA. The City and State underfunded transit and relied on debt for far too long, which led to the current crisis situation.

We will also need a significant amount of federal infrastructure spending to build out the capital plan. But the Ravitch Commission Plan is a fair and workable plan to put the MTA on solid footing. It must be passed.

Already, you can hear the voices of false populism decrying the impact on the lower and middle classes. To them I say, what about the far greater number of New Yorkers who can't even afford to own cars? Mia and I happen to own a car. We have family in Massachusetts and New Jersey, and sometimes Mia uses the car for work. We both use the subways virtually every day. Every time I ride an F train into Manhattan, I pay for it. It's not too much to ask people who want to drive their own personal transportation device pay for the privilege.

An impressive roster of transit supporters and other organizations has already assembled to support the plan. Lots of great quotes in the press release from the Empire State Transportation Alliance . . . which I can't seem to find online, damn it. I'll use Ben's fancy tool:

2008-12-03 ESTA Press Release - Free Legal Forms

Monday, December 1, 2008

R.I.P. Tanta

One of my favorite bloggers, Doris "Tanta" Dungey succumbed to a long battle with ovarian cancer this weekend. She was 47. We never met outside of the comments on Calculated Risk, and I didn't even know her real name, but the feeling of loss is overwhelming. I was always able to convince myself that she would get better. She had to.

An incredible wit and intellect has been lost. We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from you, Tanta. I will miss the truth in your voice.

For anyone who wants to learn more about how we got to the place we are in today with respect to the housing finance bubble, Tanta's Ubernerd pieces are incomparable. Tributes to Tanta - The New York Times, Paul Krugman.

We lost another friend within the past two weeks to cancer, a beautiful, wonderful woman of 24, now gone. Life seems terribly unfair sometimes; remember to let the people you care about, respect, love, appreciate and cherish know how you feel about them. You can never tell your family and your partner, "I love you" too much.