Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Quotes of the day

Deeply bizarre and deeply creepy.--David Arnott, on Gadhafi's Condoleeza Rice photo album
Next week, I will be laying out a series of steps that Congress can take immediately to put more money in the pockets of working families and middle-class families, to make it easier for small businesses to hire people, to put construction crews to work rebuilding our nation’s roads and railways and airports, and all the other measures that can help to grow this economy.--President Obama, August 2011

I’ve got things right now before Congress that we should move immediately, and I said so before I went on vacation, and I’ll keep on saying it now that I’m back. There are a whole host of measures we could take – no single element of which is a magic bullet – but cumulatively can start continuing to build momentum for the recovery.--President Obama, August 2010

Congress can repeal ObamaCare and its supposed beneficiaries won’t even care.--Michael Cannon

After under preparing for the big snowstorm in December 2010, Mayor Bloomberg over prepared for Hurricane Irene, which left New York City with pretty minor damage. This pattern is rather typical, because the cost/benefit ratio for over hyping a disaster clearly favors over-reacting after under reacting. Bad events are usually really damaging only when we totally do not see them coming.--Eric Falkenstein

You see slack in some sectors as a “general glut”
But some sectors are healthy, only some in a rut
So spending’s not free – that’s the heart of the matter
Too much is wasted as cronies get fatter.--Russ Roberts

[Bill Breit] from [Trinity] University picked up [Paul Samuelson] at his hotel. On the way out the door, [Samuelson] mentioned that he had a headache, so they stopped into the hotel store to buy some aspirin. "$4.95 a bottle!" the Nobel laureate complained, "I can get this for $2.50 in my town." "Let's go find a regular drug store," he demanded. Because they were already running late, [Breit] said, "It's your lucky day. I'll pay." This professor could see that the real cost of the elusive $2.50 bottle of aspirin was far higher than the cost of the $4.95 bottle in front of them because of the extra search time involved. The professor was happy to spend the extra money to ensure that he got what he valued more: a relaxed economist giving a good talk and some time to socialize beforehand. Does the irony in this story jump out at you? It is, of course, the Nobel prize-winning economist who should have offered such a solution. He should have seen that, given his situation, the $4.95 bottle, available then and there, was much more valuable than the $2.50 bottle across town.--David Henderson

Do I wish I had more Treasuries? Yeah, that’s pretty obvious. I get that it was my/our mistake in thinking that the US economy can chug along at 2 per cent real growth rates. It doesn’t look like it can.--Bill Gross

Music journalists like Elvis Costello because music journalists look like Elvis Costello.--David Lee Roth

I designed it with a bite for scale, so people get that it was an apple not a cherry.--Rob Janoff

[150 years ago] today John C. Frémont issued a proclamation declaring the slaves in his military district free. Frémont was a famous explorer, and earned the name “The Pathfinder” for mapping a trail across the Rocky Mountains. Although he was from Georgia, he was the first presidential candidate of the Republican party. The Republican party was founded on the idea of opposing slavery. He lost the election, but four years later Lincoln won the election. Frémont was appointed a Major General, and appointed commander of the Department of the West, with his attention focused on the fighting in Missouri. Today Frémont issued a proclamation declaring martial law in Missouri.--Joshua Horn

So the military says this: Go ahead and tar our servicemen with your broad brushes of ignorance and bile if you’d like. Just don’t expect us to underwrite your smear campaigns. Or: Work with us to ensure that 1) you get to make your money so long as the portrayal of our forces is fair, and so long as it fits within the normal training and operation of the force. We’ll bend over backwards, in other words. We just won’t bend over forwards. Which to me seems fair. Mr. Sirota’s angst apparently has something to do with Gerry Bruckheimer’s forgettable 1986 movie “Top Gun“, which he believes somehow altered the American viewpoint to the extent that we actually “love war”. Because of Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. And that. Despite the fact that there wasn’t any actual, you know: War. In the movie Top Gun. Just a little beach volleyball, and a couple of splashed MiGs to go with two crashed Tomcats. The problem for Mr. Sirota isn’t that there haven’t been any anti-war films in this generation. The problem would be that they haven’t been very commercially successful, and thus have failed to shift public opinion in the direction Mr. Sirota would like to see it moved. In fact, they pretty much sucked. Perhaps Mr. Sirota believes that if the military had allowed the directors of anti-Iraq war movies Redacted and In The Valley of Elah (just to name two) to use actual military equipment, those movies wouldn’t have failed so abysmally at the box office. Perhaps. But perhaps it’s true that the American people simply don’t like Hollywood elites and their media allies trying to tell them that the actions of a despicable few – as depicted by those with no personal understanding of heroism or sacrifice – reflect the valor, endurance and patriotism of the forces sent to fight, no matter who it was that sent them.--Neptunus Lex
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