Blogroll Additions and Subtractions
Some changes to the "Must Read" blogroll to the left. I really do not stop by the site "Soot and Ashes" anymore. It has been removed. Two new every day stops have been added. The first is the truly wonderful site, "The Automatic Earth". The writers there are about as insightful on a macro level as you could possibly hope for. Highly recommended. Also added is the site that directed me to the Automatic Earth, Some Assembly Required which is also a must read every day, though tends to be a little political at times. I figure the readers here can handle it!
You have No Idea What You are Doing, Do You? So What!
Sometime you can get brutal honesty. It is rare, but it does happen. Came across this piece that was pure magic and a window into the very essence of what is wrong with the government. Read and enjoy this Briefing Room gem:
Obey on Stimulus Waste: "So What?"
How money is spent should be far from the biggest concern about the stimulus package, its chief author, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wisc.) said Friday.
"So what?" Obey asked in response to a question on NPR's "Morning Edition" about the perceived lack of direction from Congress as to how money in the stimulus should be spent. "This is an emergency. We've got to simply find a way to get this done as fast as possible and as well as possible, and that's what we're doing."
Obey said that Congress is not responsible if money is misspent, but rather, whoever spends the money poorly.
"We simply made a decision, which took about three seconds, not to have earmarks in the bill," Obey told NPR. "And with all due respect, that's the least important question facing us on putting together this package."
As Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Obey had chief oversight in crafting the $825 billion package as passed by the House. The provisions in the bill have been criticized by Republicans and some centrist Democrats for not being as directly related to stimulating the economy as it should be.
""We have more oversight built into this package than any package in the history of man. If money is spent badly, we want to know about it so we can hold accountable the people who made that choice," the chairman said. "And guess what? Regardless of what we do, there will be some stupid decisions made."
At least this guy lays it on the line. I love the name as well, David "you subjects will" Obey.
I do not think I need to add much commentary. If you thought these massive spending plans were being put together on the fly with little to no thinking involved, you were right. If you thought our elected officials were panicked fools, you were right.
What probably galls me the most is that Mr. Obey thinks that he has zero responsibility if things go wrong. The blame will be put on somebody else, but surely not on the very folks that voted for the bill. If the money is wasted (it will be) the Congress will just say "that FED and Treasury did it, not us!" Just like the Iraq war vote. Almost 80% of the Senate and House voted "yes" then sat back and said "I never thought things would go this way". Guess what, that's why you have to THINK before you vote. Once you authorize an action, be it military or economic, you should be held accountable for your actions. It is cowardly and weak to blame others for execution of the very action you authorized.
I could go on, but I do not want to get all riled up on a Friday night. By now you know the score. Come Monday you will know a vague price tag. In the next elections you will know what to do. Let us hope plenty of others wake up from "The Matrix" and give Mr. Obey and all his like their walking papers.
Friday Night Entertainment
A little fun is called for after another wild week. Thanks to all that have been coming by. In the last economic blog rating release Economic Disconnect was finally able to claim the number 100 spot! I am very happy about that. Maybe I could crack into the top 90's in the next update. Miracles do happen.
I am already getting the fishing urge. I even went into the basement and looked through my tackle getting an idea on what I will have to buy for the spring season, you know, to stimulate the economy and all. My favorite place to fish here in Massachusetts is "The Gray Lady" herself, Quabbin Reservoir. The reservoir is immense in size and is home to some rare animals. I have seen otters there, hummingbirds abound, and Moose are seen on the shores. There are even several breeding pairs of Bald Eagles. Here is a picture of one (very center of photo)
Here is a photo of yours truly fishing the Quabbin. Note the reflection of the clouds on the glass-like water:
Friday Night Rock Blogging
Some music for a Friday night. Music is good, cheap, and fun. What else can you say that about? (Get your minds out of the gutter!)
Loyal reader Kevin submitted a song request. It was a bit hard to track down, but I was struck by the great sound and underlying message of the tune. Consider "Gone, Gonna Rise Again" by Michael Johnathon:
I have always loved this song, even though I am not a big Rolling Stones fan. take a listen to "Paint it Black":
Who can forget the metal band Danzig? Well, probably a few people, but not me! I love this song called "Mother":
I know I have had this song on before, but I heard it on the radio today in the lab and now it is STUCK in my head! the raw emotion in the songs' vocals is really something. Here is Concrete Blonde and "Joey":
Last one for the evening, and we need a real ripper. An outstanding Ozzy song is "Over the Mountain". Cryptic lyrics ("I heard them tell me that this land of dreams was now; I told them I had ridden shooting stars and said I'd show them how"), amazing gutair work by the immortal Randy Rhoades, and a wicked tempo combine to make a real treat:
Have a good night.