Saturday, October 25, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
I loved Batman when I was a kid.
My brothers and I would sit in my grandpa's pipe room, watching marathon reruns on Nickelodeon while the adults talked about adult things. It was the only time we ever got to watch television, so it was a little like crack.
My grandpa had a huge collection of pipes, and the air in the room was always saturated with the smell of his custom blend of burley and latakia tobaccos. He was one of my best friends later in life, and I inherited his prized Meerschaum pipe when he passed on recently.
Anyway, that's all to say, whenever I catch a bit of the old Batman show, I think of my grandpa and that room. I ran across the following clip today, and promptly laughed my ass off. It's nice to see that even a cheesy, fluffy television show from the late 1960s had the wherewithal to make fun of some of the enduring absurdities in politics; the personal attacks, the angry rhetoric of a losing candidate, the saber rattling, the dirty tricks.
This clip of the Penguin, who sounds so similar to the John McCain of this election cycle that you can't help but wonder if he cribbed his whole campaign strategy from a 1:30 of bad (so bad it's good) television, and Batman, who sounds an awful lot like Barack Obama, is hilarious:
I looked up Judy Holliday and sliced out this clip, then tacked on a little something at the end. It was solid gold:
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
The mission was to find an individual in your community with a unique and underreported story, then tell it in a compelling way in 3-minutes or less. I ended up filming three hours of material for a three minute video.
Round two opens it up to four minutes with a focus on local events that have a global impact. It's going to be a real test of my story telling ability to pull that off. Winning Round 1 earns me a Sony VAIO laptop and a trip to the Pulitzer Center Journalism Summit in Washington DC for two days. Not sure which one I'm more excited about. :)
I embedded the winning video on my blog earlier, right after I'd uploaded it to YouTube. Here it is again incase you missed it.
I really appreciate all you readers, watchers, and commenters. You make this work infinitely more fulfilling.
Yolanda Dimas, profile in community service:
Friday, October 10, 2008
Various world leaders are calling for a complete shut down of the global markets. The DOW is clicking steadily down.
The most venerable US investment banks are probably going to be nationalized.
Here's my armchair prediction: All this talk of high volume capitulation (i.e. the bottom) is nothing more than desperate men confusing the eye of the hurricane for the end of the storm.
Hope I'm wrong, but I don't think so.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
For fuck's sake, even the writers of Grand Theft Auto IV had the foresight to include fake radio show hosts who talk about economic failure due to irresponsible ARM loans. You hear that, Washington? Even game makers saw this coming.
So cut the shit.
I just did a little bit of research. As of a year ago today, the DOW has lost approximately 4,526 points. First person to post a comment here or on the Reddit thread that puts that number in 1929-1930 DOW points wins the Internets for a day.
So: 4526 points adjusted to the 1929-1930 DOW.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Good for you.
Meanwhile, if you got laid off because the asshole I just got done talking about mismanaged your company's money and you're out on your ass: Tough shit.
As covered by a NYT editorial today:
Meanwhile, in the Economy
After the Senate approved the $700 billion bank bailout, the majority leader, Harry Reid, tried to persuade his colleagues to address another economic calamity before they left town for the long election recess. He urged them to extend unemployment benefits for 800,000 jobless Americans.
In the face of Republican opposition, the measure failed. Benefits start expiring this week. So much for Main Street.
If it works as promised, the bailout will thaw the credit freeze and keep more banks from going under. But it is unlikely to save even more Americans from losing their jobs and homes.
The Labor Department reported on Friday that 159,000 jobs were lost in September. That is the biggest monthly drop in five years and the ninth straight month of job contraction. It brings total job losses for this year to 760,000.
Of the 9.5 million Americans now out of work, two million have been jobless for more than six months. Nearly 6.1 million people are working part time because they cannot find full-time work or because slack business conditions have led to fewer hours — and less pay.
Cutbacks in hours and pay are especially pernicious because for most of the Bush years, wage growth has lagged behind worker productivity and prices. As Americans have worked harder they have fallen further behind. The only good news — if you can call it that — was that credit was easy.
As a result, many Americans today have no savings and are deep in debt. That means they are even less prepared to take care of themselves and their families when they lose their jobs.
Conditions are only getting worse. Personal spending stagnated in August, the latest month with government data. Auto sales plunged in September. Factory orders are off. New home sales fell to a 17-year low in August, according to the Census Bureau. And home prices continued to fall sharply in July, for a decline of 16.3 percent over 12 months, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index of prices in 20 major cities. There is no sign that prices have hit their bottom.
Exports, the one bright spot, are also set to fall, because many other nations took part in America’s financial follies and are now faltering as well.
All that weakness means that more Americans will lose their jobs in the months to come. Extending unemployment benefits is the least that Congress can do to help. The House overwhelmingly passed a bill to do that before it left Washington last week. The Senate must take the bill up as soon as it returns for its lame duck session.
There is a lot more work to do to fill in the gaps of the bailout bill. It does virtually nothing to prevent foreclosures and keep Americans in their homes. Congress must finally change the code to allow a bankruptcy court to reduce the size of bankrupt borrowers’ mortgages.
A new stimulus bill must also be crafted. It must include bolstered food stamps and aid to states and cities, so that they can continue to provide health care and keep paying for construction and other projects that provide desperately needed jobs.
The meltdown on Wall Street is only part of a larger meltdown, and the bailout bill is only one attempt at a fix.