Links 1/25/10

Indiana State Prison, Michigan City, Indiana: A Better Place for Everyone Cat Odyssey (hat tip reader bryanw). Even though dated, this is still a great story. Puppies Behind Bars has achieved similar results.

Experts stunned by swan ‘divorce’ at Slimbridge wetland BBC (hat tip reader Tim C)

Voices of the ancients Bad Science (hat tip reader Crocodile Chuck)

Untidy beds may keep us healthy BBC

In Standoff, Insurer Seeks More Control Over Costs New York Times

A Rant About Women Clay Shirky (hat tip reader Alexis). Frankly, I think this is sample bias. I know women more than a few women who are shameless self-promoters, just not in the chest-thumping style he describes. And to the extent there are gender differences, he does not consider that this behavior amounts to risk-aversion, and given women’s less certain hold on corporate positions, it might maximize expected outcomes. For instance, an MIT study found that female academics in the sciences had to have on average 2.5 times as many articles published as men to get tenure. How far is bullshitting going to get you in settings like that?

Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act Library of Congress (hat tip reader Doru). This bill by Alan Grayson would impose an excise tax of 500% on corporate campaign contributions. Will never pass, but you have to give Grayson credit for nerve.

CA-Sen: Fiorina continues to lie about fundraising Daily Kos (hat tip reader John D). Somehow, everyone airbrushes out of her record that she destroyed Lucent, which was once a fine company. She was ultimately responsible for selling equipment to dot-coms who clearly would never generate a dime of free cash flow, so she took stock or equity linked paper, which proved to be totally worthless. But she got paid a ton and her central role in wrecking a company didn’t prevent her from becoming president of HP.

Krugman fed up with Fed chair suggestion The Daily Caller (hat tip reader Skippy)

Lord Myners calls time on ‘greed is good’ bank culture Guardian

Details of Iraq whistleblower’s alleged suicide to be sealed 70 years Raw Story (hat tip reader John D)

Spartan solutions from Brussels will be fought by Athens Wolfgang Munchau Financial Times

The China Fix James McGregor, Time (hat tip reader Michael). After the Person of the Year idiocy, I’m a little loath to take anything in Time at face value, but this is what amounts to an op-ed, and it’s an informative piece.

US eyes bond issues to offload bank assets Financial Times. “One option being considered by the FDIC is selling bonds with a US government guarantee in order to ensure they have triple A credit ratings.” That is a revealing statement on a lot of levels.

It’s Not Rahm’s Fault. It’s Obama’s Fault Mickey Kaus, Slate (hat tip reader DoctoRx). Today’s must read. Includes a fantastic punch line.

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader Joe). This is from a post “Cat Who Has A Special Friend That Visits Every Morning.” The photo link warned it would not be operational for long, so if you come back later and find no pix, try clicking on the link.

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  1. Jojo

    Robert Reich
    What the “I’m Mad-As-Hell” Party Could Do
    Sunday, January 24, 2010

    A third political party is emerging in America. Call it the I’m-Mad-As-Hell party.

    It’s a mistake to see the Mad-As-Hell party as just a right-wing phenomenon – the so-called Tea Partiers now storming the gates of the Republican Party. There are plenty of mad-as-hellers on the left as well – furious at Wall Street, health insurers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and establishment Democrats.

    Mad-as-hellers don’t trust big government. But they don’t trust big business and Wall Street, either. They especially hate it when big government gets together with big business and Wall Street – while at the same time Main Street is in shambles and millions of people are losing their jobs and homes.


    1. DownSouth

      Robert Reich wrote:

      If the Mad-as-hell Party helps get money out of politics it will do a world of good. I might even join up. But if it just fulminates against the establishment, forget it. Wrecking balls are easy to wield. Rescuing our democracy is hard work.

      While I agree with Reich, and count myself amongst his confederates in his desire to “rescue democracy,” I nevertheless believe it quite naïve to believe that change can be effected without the threat of the wrecking crew.

      In reading Kevin Phillips’ history of the progressive movement of the late 19th century in Wealth and Democracy and Frederick Lewis Allen’s recounting of the political battles of the 1930s in Since Yesterday, I find it highly unlikely that any substantive reform would have ever gotten off the ground without the agitation of populists like William Jennings Bryan and Huey Long.

      I still think the 19th century British parliamentarian put it best:

      If I say, Give this people what they ask because it is just, do you think I should get ten people to listen to me? The only way to make the mass of mankind see the beauty of justice is by showing them in pretty plain terms the consequence of injustice.

      So while I, like Reich, will always stand ideologically opposed to the wrecking crew, I nevertheless acknowledge their necessity in bringing about any substantive change.

  2. IF

    I am very excited to see the new (original) version of Metropolis. I know the keep getting “almoster and almoster close to the original state”, but maybe this is the real deal. And the movie topic is not so far off from this blog…

    “Film buffs got their first glimpse on Thursday of parts of the groundbreaking German classic “Metropolis” thought to have been lost forever with a new exhibition ahead of a triumphant homecoming next month.

    A full version of Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent expressionist epic was found in Argentina in 2008, and after months of painstaking work, what is possibly Germany’s best-known movie has now been restored to almost its original state.”

  3. attempter

    The funniest thing at Slate was clicking on some of the stuff hackboy Kaus wrote about the filthy peasants refusing to obey their betters when ordered to comply with the health racketeers’ agenda.

    It’s pretty funny, how truly angry these hack apparatchiks are becoming, that the real people are refusing to listen to their criminal lies anymore. That real progressives will no longer accept being treated as the personal property of the vote-buyers, to vote as the purchase decrees. That we see through their corrupt, corporatist agenda. That whatever happens in the future, one vile, disgusting thing which has no future whatsoever is the Democratic hack sellout, as represented by Obama, Emanuel, Krugman, and the criminal sellouts and liars all the way down.

    Have fun in 2010, hacks. Have fun in 2012.

    After that history will never see the likes of you again, and good riddance.

    1. Robin

      I’ll just go ahead a reply to my own stuff.

      And now we have “Obama Freeze On Spending” announcement?

      That’s sound fairly “Gergenesque” to me.

  4. Robin

    Re: “It’s not Rahm’s Fault….”

    Is this the punchline?

    What do presidents do when they should fire themselves? They fire their advisers and bring in a new crew. That’s what may happen here. I’d guess we’re about 36 hours away from a Beltway call for “wise men.” … If it wasn’t for his role in the Massachusetts Senate debate, I’d say we’re a week away from David Gergen’s touchdown at Reagan National. … 10:22 P.M.

    Confession—-I don’t get it. Anybody care to explain? thanks.

  5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The cat is in trouble.

    Caught on camera…this is evidence his mistress is indeed Bambi. He’s a lucky guy…getting his ‘special treat’ every monrning from a beautiful creature like Bambi.

    My prediction: divorce next after he loses all his kitty cat food endorsements.

  6. p.8.n

    Thank you Yves, for providing some insight into the Clay Shirky ‘observation’. Laissez’s-faire has some gems now and again.
    I found his entire post to be little about women and all about how this brilliant mind got swindled into writing a letter he’d not have initially written for this student. He then spends the remainder of the post justifying this by supporting lying (gift-wrapped as bullshit) and opining on how women fail to grasp this important concept. I loved how he inadvertently admitted to having no artistic acumen through his admission of lying to land a better position as a student. Notice, his career now does not involve art at all. In the end his bullshit landed him a teaching gig and whining about perceiving female apprehension to bullshit.
    Incidentally, this comment is written as a man, sick of the art of bullshit.

  7. Greg

    On that “Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act” by Alan Grayson, that’s one of six bills Grayson just introduced. The others are amusing as well. Here is the list:

    1) The Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act (H.R. 4431): Implements a 500% excise tax on corporate contributions to political committees, and on corporate expenditures on political advocacy campaigns.
    2) The Public Company Responsibility Act (H.R. 4435): Prevents companies making political contributions and expenditures from trading their stock on national exchanges.
    3) The End Political Kickbacks Act (H.R. 4434): Prevents for-profit corporations that receive money from the government from making political contributions, and limits the amount that employees of those companies can contribute.
    4) The Corporate Propaganda Sunshine Act (H.R. 4432): Requires publicly-traded companies to disclose in SEC filings money used for the purpose of influencing public opinion, rather than to promoting their products and services.
    5) The Ending Corporate Collusion Act (H.R. 4433): Applies antitrust law to industry political action committees.
    6) End the Hijacking of Shareholder Funds Act (H.R. 4487): This bill requires the approval of a majority of a public company’s shareholders for any expenditure by that company to influence public opinion on matters not related to the company’s products or services.

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