This Little Blog is 10 Years Old

Five days ago, this blog turned 10. I have several posts getting cold in draft status. So I will just mark 10 years similar to the way I started the blog - with a music video.

Aesop Rock dropped the best rap album of 2016 about a year ago. The second track, Rings, can be used to sum-up up my lack of productivity on this blog pretty well. Hobbies slip.

I could describe a couple of posts in-progress the way Aesop describes his unfinished paintings:

Then a week goes by and it goes untouched
Then two, then three, then a month
And the rest of your life, you beat yourself up

More posts soon. 2017 will have more than double the number of posts that 2016 had.

Megan's Hating Hillary Again

And the analogy she uses really sucks this time.

Did you ever go on a date with one of those guys who thinks that if one splash of cologne is sexy, eight will be positively irresistible? After you've crawled, gasping, onto the street and the blue tone has faded from your lips and fingernails, you kind of want to go back and explain to him, gently, that many things in this world are really best in moderation....I'm getting that feeling about Hillary. Cry once, you're human. Cry all the time, and it's a schtick. A schtick, moreover, that suggests you're a cynical, manipulative woman who uses tears to get what you want.

For an upper west sider who's an Ivy league-educated English major, critiquing a national female candidate, that's really low. But I expect comments like this from Megan all the time. Her daily output in her paid position as one of the resident bloggers for The Atlantic seems to consist of one serious attempt at economic analysis, one not-so-serious article on race or gender, and various filler posts about her life as a Libertarian, or her day at work, or her technology questions, or her lack of historical research skills, or her crushes on fellow Atlantic blogger, Matthew Yglesias, or [Better Than] Ezra Klein.

Brad, over at Fire Megan McArdle, has a nice rebuttal:

You know what? I don't like Hillary either. She's a centrist, and a political hack, and she'll do whatever her advisors tell her to do on anything important. That doesn't make her a weak female, it makes her a political hack, which is apparent regardless.
In the meantime, dissembling or being manipulative is something Megan would never, ever do. Especially not for trivial reasons.
Stop making me defend Hillary, Megan and Maureen Dowd and the rest of the Heathers. It doesn't matter to anyone in the goddamn world you don't like her as a person. That Hillary's positions and proposed policies have major flaws are more than enough cause to oppose her candidacy. Clinton derangement syndrome is never a pretty thing. Soon Megan will be talking about Vince Foster and lesbian cocaine smugglers.


It has been said that we lefty bloggers, big and small (me being very small) have picked on Megan way too much. But it is just too tempting to watch her work and produce at least one laughable post each day. I look at her and I wonder what my life could have been if I became a so-so journalist and picked-up a gig like the one she has at The Atlantic. Would I be making the same irrational comments and factual errors? Would I be giving another team of bloggers material to pick-on every day? Would it make a difference if I was a six foot tall woman, or would I still be picked-on for being a tall guy who went to a state University? I won't ponder too much, but the fact that I'm posting this means that I have thought about it.

All I know is that I joined the anti-Megan bandwagon after I learned about this nasty 2003 post, in which she basically said that her fellow young New Yorkers protesting the 2004 Republican National Convention ought to be pre-emtively beaten with two-by-fours, in a coy reference to this nation's so-called "pre-emptive" invasion of Iraq. I also cringe at her condescending response to her critics.

And yes, there are many others in this world as disgusting as she. We all meet them as we live our lives. Especially in this crazy town.

Friday News & Blog Roundup

Goodbye, bastard: Another former murderous dictator is passing away without being brought to justice. This particular dictator was responsible for a 7-figure death toll.

Merrill Lynch rocked: At first, Merrill reported a $7 Billion loss due to poor sourced mortgage investments. Analysts on the street estimated that it was more like $12 Billion. Now Merrill has become a little more honest and is expected to report a $15 Billion loss, as it scrambles to raise cash and slow hiring. The DOW slides as the skies darken over the entire financial sector. American Express and Tiffany have both been rocked today due to lower consumer spending, a trend that will continue all year. Even McDonalds is down a whopping $4 today.

Bank M&A action: Charlotte-based Bank of America has decided to purchase bleeding mortgage lender, Countrywide, for $4 Billion. That would make Bank of America the nation's largest mortgage lender. Details of the deal are sketchy, which makes this amateur analyst wonder about the risk and wisdom of such a deal. Countrywide shares have fallen 15% today in reaction to this news. Meanwhile, Chase is in preliminary talks to purchase Washington Mutual, which is also seriously bleeding in this lending crisis. That would almost make Chase the nation's second largest bank. But it would be a solid third place, right behind Bank of America and Citi. Watch more banks report losses next week. Eyes will be on PNC, SunTrust, and other 'super-regionals' similar to WaMu. Big banks could bail-out smaller banks.

Think the surge worked?: The mainstream media has reported that the surge in Iraq worked. But now, as the surge has to wind-down this spring, the pentagon is saying that the overall success of the surge has a 50/50 chance at best. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Mark Kimmitt acknowledged at a right-wing think tank that the surge will be judged a failure if the Iraqi government cannot unite the country, reconcile major political stalemates, and keep violence levels relatively low as they were in late 2007. The video of Mr. Kimmitt speaking is at the ThinkProgress link above.

And speaking of Iraq violence: A new World Heath Organization report has a very conservative estimate that 150,000 Iraqis died violently during the first 3 years of the US occupation. At first glace, it seems to be a rebuttal to last year's Lancet study, which estimated 600,000 excess deaths (by all unnatural causes, including disease, suffered by anyone who died in Iraq). But Juan Cole points out the study's methodology and assumptions, and it turns out that it could have easily concluded that 250,000 have died. But the WHO report opted to keep the number conservative. Add two more years that the report does not cover, and the Lancet study isn't so outrageous after all. In any case, the bottom line is we destroyed a country, and we made ordinary Iraqis refugees, widows, orphans, amputees, disabled, and dead. No number crunching can get around our nation's worst foreign policy decisions in 30 years, and what has become part of our generation's legacy. And for the most part, we have ignored it.

Rudy's sinking ship: Senior Giuliani staffers are forgoing paychecks this month. And while the mainstream media did not report that Rudy spent nearly $3 Million on New Hampshire, and finished behind Ron Paul, it is now becoming apparent that his strategy to focus on Florida is going to backfire. He might still finish third in Florida. But there's no way he can win the GOP nomination now.

Rudy's fiscal insanity: Oh, and Rudy knows his economics! He has repeated his plan to not only cut taxes further for the rich, but he'll balance out those cuts with addiditonal tax cuts! The economy needs stimulus and Rudy's proposed cuts are twice as big as Ronald Reagan's. Economists chuckle.

Despirately Searching for ANY Good News in Iraq

President Bush spoke to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association yesterday. He told the audience that he was pleased to see Iraqis "returning home" and expressing themselves by maintaining blogs. Will Bunch searched for Iraqi blogs last night, and found these heartbreaking entries from our fellow Blogspot users 6,000 miles away. If the president was implying that the bloogers in Iraq were reporting good news, I can't see it.

I was impressed by 3 of the blogs mentioned in Bunch's post, and I have added them to the list of Blog links on our site.