Friday, November 24, 2006

Sunday, November 19, 2006

This is not going to work...

Fox News, it seems is going to try and copy the Daily Show. But they had fake news all along you say.


It wasn't funny then, either. It was stupid and annoying. I'm sure that whatever they create will be in the same vein. Stupid, and annoying.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Our fabulous reporting of financial stuff...

As probably nobody who regularly reads this blog knows, I recently realized that I had enough cash lying around to buy some Berkshire Hathaway Class B stock, and lo and behold, a few days after buying it, it turned out that they had made a whole bunch of money because they made a killing on 2006 not being like 2005, storm-wise.

A couple of days ago I noted that the Berkshire Hathaway annual report transcends the annual report genre; it is to annual reports as Raymond Chandler is to pulp fiction. In fact, Berkshire Hathaway annual reports should be required reading somewhere...

But that lead me to consider, "How come other companies aren't reported like they are?"

And then I realized.

Not many analysts outside of the folks at the Motley Fool mention the stock. (Check out Marketwatch on this.) Sure, it's been covered in Business Week and Forbes. My Schwab account says it's a large cap stock, but it's not in the S&P 500. They don't follow it either. Neither does Morningstar.

Odd, wouldn't you say, for a stock that's had a humongous return for 30 years?

I don't think so; I think rather they'd rather not have small investors dabble in this stuff.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Have you ever read the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report?

If you haven't you ought to (behold their flashy site here) ; they are like the no other annual report you've ever seen. Here's the 2005 version.

It's like reading Stephen Roach of Morgan Stanley except you know that these folks, having lion's share of their wealth on the line, aren't bullshitting you.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

My election post-mortem: with op eds

I figure before my mind gets polluted with Week in Review crap, I might as well lay out my observations of why we won and they didn't...

So here it is in no particular order:

1. It's the corruption stupid. I actually can't believe and have seen no evidence for why Iraq alone painted the map blue; I mean is it truly the difference between folks that they'd go 2 years for a failing war but 4 would be out of bounds? Well, granted Iraq was a mess, and Bush saw no reason whatsoever for cleaning up the mess (I can't imagine how much dried puke was in his frat-boy quarters when he was "in college.") But no, it's the corruption. And that includes Mark Foley. I noted this on another diary that the righties are completely silent about this. (Maybe recently they've changed their tune here and there.) But "hey, we've got a corrupt bunch of bastards pilfering from the public kitty!" was definitely not their first thought. The religious right's silence on this especially is deafening, and telling. Forget gays, forget Terri Schiavo: their inability to articulate a scintilla of moral indignation at this has dug their own graves and outed them as nothing more than cheap cardboard astroturf propagandists for the Republican party, and there's nothing "godly" or "holy" about that.

2. Ted Haggard played a role. Don't kid yourself. Look how freakin' blue Colorado is these days.

3. Here in the Pacific NW, this election went way, way down the food chain. Yeah, state houses. Local elected officials who were long term incumbent repubs were beaten by folks who were long term losers (D). Un - freakin - believable. State measures passed here largely on liberal lines. (A personal favorite of mine, in WA, was a measure to repeal the estate tax - it went down in flames.)

4. It was the 50 state strategy. Thanks to all who lost, because since we nationalized this election, you helped elect those who did get elected.

5. He who lives by the gerrymander, dies by the gerrymander: by spreading out Repubs to maximize turnout, you happen to spread them thinly. This little bit of common sense was not widely reported in the paper for months before the election, and I think still is not: if you maximize the number of Repub seats by putting 51% or 50.5% majorities, guess what happens when 2% of the voters get pissed off?

6. Regarding the Senate: I think the close margins here is the failure of "microtargetting" combined with a real get out the vote operation. Yes, folks the failure. Rove is an asshole to do this, because it basically shows that he can't put together a brand with mass appeal. Screw microtargetting. Consider the NW microbrews (or Sam Adams) instead of O'Doul's, to make a beer metaphor: they are flavorful, authentic, and effective, whereas O'Doul's is for tee-totalers who want to pretend they're drinking beer. How many ways can you make O'Douls? And which of the two will beat Budweiser any day of the week?

7. I bet the phone jamming crap and vote suppression and vote buying was real. And Allen and others should be called to account.

Now, watch the spin begin...

  • OK, for once Maureen Dowd's snark is apt:
    Poppy Bush and James Baker gave Sonny the presidency to play with and he broke it. So now they're taking it back.
  • Bernie Sanders is still dead to James Brooks...and he still doesn't get or denies the 50 state strategy. Dummy, it wasn't about only Ned Lamont. It was about Jim Webb. It was about putting pressure on folks like Maria Cantwell. It was about Darcy Burner. And Whitehouse. And Sherrod Brown. Dummy.
  • David Broder is simply not on the same planet as I am on, but even he gets that corruption was playing a part...
    When Congress quit work without addressing immigration, energy prices or health-care inflation in any serious way, the majority Republicans were clearly asking for trouble. And the scandals that kept erupting just added to the public disgust... The only people who seemed oblivious to the warning signs were President Bush and his political adviser, Karl Rove. Against all evidence, including the warnings of other Republicans, they kept insisting that Republicans would hold the House and Senate. Bush said at his news conference yesterday, "I knew we were going to lose seats," but he acknowledged he was shocked that the twin themes he kept pushing -- taxes and security -- didn't save the GOP from "a thumping."
Say it with me, folks: Nobody could have predicted the Democrats would take the Congress! This concludes our pundit screen for today...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

6 days to go...

Vote out the Republicans.

They're the folks who brought us the worst of the past 30 years...

Get rid of 'em.

They'd make the US like El Salvador in the 80s if given a chance.

They made El Salvador like El Salvador in the 80s.