Thursday, October 21, 2010

Quotes of the day

Hefty dividend payments of 10% a year on Berkshire's "perpetual" preferred shares have cost Goldman about $1 billion so far. The payout is equivalent to more than $1.3 million a day—or $15 a second.--Liz Rappaport and Serena Ng

The robo-signer kerfluffle is a pretext to pander to the mob, just like razing kulaks back in the good old days. People like Paul Krugman, who's id leads his superego rather directly, suggest that those signatures affirming that some person owns the mortgage on some property and hasn't paid, may not have had first-hand information to that effect. They may have been using hearsay information. This is the kind of legal breach is hardly a grand problem that must be addressed prior to further foreclosures. How many of you have clicked 'I have read the EULA agreement' when downloading software without actually doing so? Is that a problem? ... For many people, an indefensible unstated principle is their end game, but because it is self-serving and petty, one can't say it directly. Thus, various pretexts are paraded as principle, and quickly forgotten once their damage has been done.--Eric Falkenstein

The enlightened trust science. That's why the president appointed a science czar, people. A science czar who co-authored a textbook arguing for mass sterilizing of Americans to prevent an imagined population bomb. You know, "science." God has no place in this faith. That's not to say that Yahweh has anything on our president, who once claimed future generations would see his election — Goliath government — as the point in history where we finally started "healing the sick" and "the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal . . . ." Now, that's the kind of faith-inflected lingo we slack-jawed yokels can comprehend. Otherwise, the left's plans are just too darn complex for us to appreciate. "Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now," Obama recently explained, "and facts and science and argument [do] not seem to be winning the day all the time is because we're hard-wired not to always think clearly when we're scared. And the country is scared." (Wait. If we're hard-wired to be confused, and we're confused, isn't science winning the day? It's all so perplexing.) Science can explain all, including how bitter, frightened, clingy voters aren't grateful enough. Or — and I realize this is probably crazy talk — voters aren't scared, they've just been paying attention and are turning to candidates who, though far less than perfect and not always sophisticated, better reflect their sensibilities.--David Harsanyi

Women don't want more kids than men, but they do want kids more.--Bryan Caplan

The lunches, the money each month, the bail, the concert tickets, those were all NCAA violations, of course, but in my mind I wasn't doing anything wrong. Doc would say to me, "We ain't members of the NCAA. We didn't agree to follow these rules." I also justified it by remembering that the schools and the NCAA were making money while the players, many of whom came from poor families, weren't getting anything but an education, which many of them didn't take seriously. Plus, Doc and I knew that if they didn't take our money, they would take it from one of the dozens of other agents opening their wallets. Agents have been giving kids money for decades. It was more open in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, before states passed sports-agent laws making it illegal. Now, agents still do it, but they are more secretive and use middlemen. Anyone who thinks it doesn't go on needs to look at all the schools currently being investigated by the NCAA for contact between players and agents, places like Alabama, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. It goes on everywhere. ... Then the day after the Rose Bowl, Jan. 2, I watched on television as Ryan [Leaf] announced that he was going pro. Leigh Steinberg was standing next to him. Losing Ryan, who would end up being the No. 2 overall pick in 1998, hurt, and that will never completely go away. But Ryan also did something I found somewhat redeeming. During training camp of his rookie year with the Chargers, I went down to San Diego. I met him in the lobby of the team's facility, and after coming back with me to my car he ultimately gave me $10,000 in cash -- close to the total amount I had paid him. He never explained why he didn't sign with me nor did he apologize for breaking the promise he made to my dying father, but at least he paid me back. ... Why am I doing this? Why am I telling everything? There are a few small reasons and one big one.--Josh Luchs

This year, the [Harvard Club], in Midtown, turned down Mr. Spitzer’s application for membership — a rare snub by the club — because officials there did not want to be associated with him and the prostitution scandal that forced him from the governorship of New York in 2008, according to a person told of the decision by Harvard officials.--Sewell Chan and Nicholas Confessore

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