Done With Finals; Time For The News

Though I was busy finishing up Winter A for the past week, it doesn’t mean I haven’t kept up with the world. (Sage RSS sidebar = a favorite of mine.) So here’s a burst of opinion:

  • My newest senator Roland Burris grows more as an embarrassment each day, but what’s even more embarrassing is the way the Senate was originally going to block his appointment, yet instead completely rolled over and let this dude sit with the nation’s foremost legislative body. Lame. And now proven so!

    And yes, this is the answer to the situation.

  • Next topic of choice is Rick Santelli, a reporter for CNBC who went on a tear about subsidizing foreclosable homes via the stimulus package:

    I was reading this NY Times Opinionator roundup of people’s take on the matter, and naturally there’s absolutist sentiment on either side: either the nation is only angry at people who took out bigger mortgages than they could afford and put the country in this predicament, or they are solely angry at the traders and capitalist machinery that went beyond common business sense and put the country in this predicament.

    First off, nobody outside the financial community watches CNBC in the first place, so this is hardly cause to nominate the reporter for president. (For real, I mean there’s hyperbole, and then there’s hyperbole.) Secondly, those traders in the video do seem to be completely ignoring their and their bosses’ own role in the mess, but I think if the country’s angry at anybody, it’s angry at both groups. Plus, the thing that both have in common is a desire to live beyond their means outside the bounds of rationality, so you’re really talking about two sides of the same coin.

  • There’s always the minor side point in any econ class about inferior goods, the things for which demand goes up when people’s income goes down. Here is a great AP story bringing this to life, complete with the rare Internet mention of spam in the meat sense and not the email sense. But I really had to include it just for this ridiculous quote:

    “I think they’ve always been a good value to consumers,” Ettinger said of brands like Spam, Dinty Moore stews and Hormel Chili, which all grew in the quarter ending in January. “Our company really prides itself on being a leader in value-added meals that feature meat.”

    Goofy b-school terms are often running through my head while I eat meals, so I’m proud to now put the rest of you in the same predicament.

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