Friday, March 20, 2009

And in those days, the politicians and the powerful celebrated in secret

"Washington Post Co. on Wednesday reported a 77% decline in fourth-quarter net income on write-downs and buyout costs as its struggling newspaper and magazine operations continued to weigh down strong performances in the education and cable divisions..." (Wall Street Journal).

It's OK to hate rich people, part 1.

The Wall Street Journal's flogger-in-chief writes:

"The House passed legislation Thursday that would significantly curb Wall Street bonuses this year, as lawmakers from both parties echoed popular outrage over big payouts to employees of American International Group Inc. after the ailing insurance giant took billions of dollars in taxpayer money," The Wall Street Journal reports."

Next sentence: "'Significantly curb' is an understatement..." And off he goes about the terrability of taxin' the richer-than-ever. Did he miss the other important two words, 'popular outrage'? He goes on:

"Bonuses are also subject to the Medicare FICA tax of 1.45% (not counting the employer's portion), bringing the total federal take to 91.45%."

Do I understand this correctly: is he saying that it's even more ghastly that the bonuses are subject to the Mediocre FICA tax? Because how many of these individuals will ever need help paying a doctor's bill?

Natasha Richardson, 1963-2009

I was grieved to hear that Natasha Richardson, wife of my fellow countryman Liam Neeson, died tragically on Monday after a skiing accident. No more high heels on the beach!

From my spam folder

Thursday, March 19, 2009

How Long Is 15 Minutes of Fame in Dog Years?

Wall Street Journal:

"Oprah Adopts a Puppy"--headline, Chicago Tribune, March 3

"Oprah Adopts a Cocker Spaniel From Chicago Shelter"--headline, Chicago Tribune, March 4

"Oprah Winfrey Shows Off Her Cocker Spaniel Puppy, Sadie"--headline, Chicago Tribune, March 7

"Oprah's Puppy 'Holding Steady' "--headline, Chicago Tribune, March 18

"One of Oprah Winfrey's Puppies Succumbs to Virus"--headline, Chicago Tribune, March 18

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Where I spent part of St Patrick's Day

The Hell Gate Crossing, my latest obsession. The red astirisk marks roughly where I sat, on the sunniest St Patrick's Day in my life, if memory serves.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

That Day Again

Last year, I went to the parade, and accidentally came away with a job. I walked past Bear Stearns that day -- it was just at the point of finally unraveling, yet still seemed like an aberrant event, not a foretaste of the Year the Economy Vaporized.

I wanted to do something irrevokably Irish this year, so a friend suggested I open a restaurant in Ireland, serve horse meat only, and have the waiters all be snakes.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Boo-hoo books

The Troubles return?

From the Wall Street Journal, 03/15/2009.