Friday, July 29, 2011

Quotes of the day

... I had no idea I was landing in Heaven.--Chad Ochocinco

No, college athletics is not ABOUT the players. College athletics is FOR the players, but that's a different thing, and that's a distinction we don't often make. College football only works on this grand scale, I believe, because it's about the colleges. The alumni connect to it. The people in the town connect to it. The people in the state connect to it. People are proud of their connection to the University of South Carolina and Clemson, they are inspired by Alabama and Auburn, Penn State and Notre Dame and Stanford, they identify themselves through Missouri and Wisconsin and Florida and Texas A&M. The players matter because they chose those schools, they play for those schools, they win for those schools and they lose for those schools too. Everyone, of course, wants them to be the best players available, and some are willing to cheat the current system to get those players. But soon the players move on, and the love affair continues, just as strong, just as vital. The CONNECTION is what drives college football. Otherwise, without that connection, it's just football that isn't nearly as well-played as the NFL.--Joe Posnanski

This particular Red Sox roster was already risking a no-win situation with its Yankee-like payroll (north of $163 million), Yankee-like winter splurge (spending $296 million and sacrificing two blue-chip prospects and a first-round pick to acquire Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez) and general resemblance to the Yankees (never a good thing). What's less gratifying than following a woefully underachieving team with woefully overpaid players? (Cut to the Mets fans nodding wistfully.) As if that wasn't enough pressure, with the Bruins and Celtics poised for prolonged playoff runs and the always-competitive Patriots looming in September, the Red Sox were threatening to become the Fredo of the Boston sports family for the first time since 1985. ... This could be the most well-rounded Red Sox team since 1975 in terms of star power, breakout guys, star-crossed guys, whipping boys, washed-up guys, up-and-comers, aging vets, out-of-nowhere guys, offensive explosions and just about everything else you'd want from a 162-game season. There's been real entertainment value in every sense, good and bad. Can you put a price on that? (Thinking.) Oh, wait, you actually can. The price was $163 million.--Bill Simmons

As a general rule, it's bad when a player says he couldn't turn down the money. And then laughs.--Bill Barnwell

The only reason we need to lift the debt ceiling, after all, is to pay for spending that Congress has already authorized. If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, we’ll face an absurd scenario in which Congress will have ordered the President to execute two laws that are flatly at odds with each other. If he obeys the debt ceiling, he cannot spend the money that Congress has told him to spend, which is why most government functions will be shut down. Yet if he spends the money as Congress has authorized him to he’ll end up violating the debt ceiling. As it happens, the debt ceiling, which was adopted in 1917, did have a purpose once—it was a way for Congress to keep the President accountable. Congress used to exercise only loose control over the government budget, and the President was able to borrow money and spend money with little legislative oversight. But this hasn’t been the case since 1974 ...--James Surowiecki

Some economists advocate further large fiscal stimulus packages in order to compensate for what is considered insufficient aggregate demand for goods and services by consumers and investors. Yet we already had close to a trillion dollar badly designed stimulus package, tax credits for first time homebuyers, a senseless “cash for clunkers” program, and other federal programs that have not had any clear sustained effect on moving the economy forward.  It is obvious now that forecasts by some economists in President Obama’s administration that these programs would reduce unemployment to under 8% were far too optimistic. Although little consensus exists on what in fact was achieved by the major $800 billion stimulus package, I do not know of convincing evidence that it accomplished a lot in reducing unemployment and raising employment. So it is hard to be optimistic that an additional stimulus package would be designed better or work any better, and of course, it would add to an already large fiscal deficit.--Gary Becker

 In effect, today’s standard economic methods make the distant future count for almost nothing. And those who always thought this seemed hopelessly na├»ve turn out to be right.  The important point, Geanakoplos and Farmer emphasize, is that everything about discounting depends on what assumptions you make about how variables fluctuate with time. A fixed interest rate doesn’t work. And neither does the strong exponential discounting to which it leads -- even though most economists continue to use it.--Mark Buchanan

I’m deeply, deeply disappointed with CFL bulbs. I replaced pretty much every regular bulb in the house with CFLs, but they’ve been failing at about the same rate as ordinary long-life bulbs, despite the promises of multi-year service. And I can’t tell any difference in my electric bill. Plus, the Insta-Wife hates the light.--Glenn Reynolds

... in the long run, the India-China relationship will do more to shape our world than virtually anything that happens anywhere else.--Walter Russell Mead

I’m my own worst critic and if I don’t pull off what I think I wanted to do in my head, then I won’t be a happy girl.  I’ve got Tony [Bennett]’s voice right in my ear and that’s so much for me that I can’t look up and see Tony the person as well. I sound so stupid but it’s hard.--Amy Winehouse

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