Who Said It? Birthday Abe or Barack?

Lincoln

Happy birthday, Abe. (Image: http://www.biography.com)

The always interesting gents over at PowerLine have reminded us, in a typically nice post, that today is the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth (born 2/12/1809). To mark the occasion we thought it would be interesting to have a quick quiz reminiscent of our Brian Williams vs. Ron Burgundy test. We’ll pit the eloquent and honest Abe against Barack Obama, who is probably the Pablo Picasso of hot-air artistry. So without further ado, who said it?

  1. No, no. I have been practicing…I bowled a 129. It’s like — it was like Special Olympics, or something. 
  2. I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.
  3. I’ve now been in 57 states — I think one left to go.
  4. It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.
  5. It’s very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth- or sixth-most interesting person.
  6. I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions
  7. Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though.
  8. He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas better than any man I ever met.
  9. Why can’t I just eat my waffle?
  10. No matter how much cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens.
  11. If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?
  12. …answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade.

Continue reading

Oops…He Did It Again

Rex Ryan_1

Always a gentleman, Rex Ryan brings his classy act back to MetLife Stadium tonight to face his former team. (Photo: http://www.nydailynews.com)

There’s nothing quite like respect for tradition in the National Football League. Come November faithful fans begin to salivate over the prospect of Thanksgiving Day games with old foes squaring off against each other, mashed potatoes, and a John Madden poultry hybrid called the Turducken. But home cooked meals with cranberry sauce and stuffing and renewed rivalries pale in comparison to Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan’s personal “naming the captain” tradition. Not content merely to recognize a job well done from the previous Sunday, Rex likes to name players who played for the team he is facing that day. In anticipation of the game Thursday night in his old stomping ground, MetLife Stadium, Rex has generously named a bit player named IK Enemkpali as one of his captains. His stats this year amount to two tackles in three starts out of eight games, not exactly the stuff of legends. As always, however, Rex has more on his mind than just upholding tradition. Continue reading

Warm Up the Time Machine, the Socialist Mural Returns

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A mural on a Russian apartment building somewhere between Kostroma and Yaroslavi…  (photo: http://io9.com/the-melancholy-crumbling-remains-of-great-socialist-mu-1570875662)

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…a Bernie Sanders mural on a barn in Kirby, Vermont.  (Photo: http://www.necn.com)

Those old socialist murals that were seen all over the Eastern Bloc sure looked eerie and cool, in the process suggesting that a juggernaut of governmental benevolence was going to make things better for everyone: You’d be protected and taken care of, you’d be part of something great, you’d get to do vodka shots and toss the glass into the fireplace, and your side would clean up at every Olympics and chess tournament. Well, those murals are still there, but the buildings they embellish are run down, the cars parked in the lots are old and unreliable, and the people living there have a lousy standard of living (although the Russian Olympic team still does well).

Well, the socialist mural is back, in Kirby, Vermont, of all places, where an image of presidential candidate and self-avowed socialist Bernie Sanders, painted on a barn, looks enough like Big Brother that George Orwell would be proud. Despite a track record that makes the New York Jets franchise look like a roaring success, socialism has supporters in the US, and Sanders, the junior Senator from Vermont, is currently outpolling the wobbly Hillary Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Of the mural, the barn’s owner said,

You can see the concern in his eyes.

That’s not actually what I see; I see worry, maybe because deep down Bernie knows that the seductive promises of socialism make running for office easy but governing a catastrophe, as Stanford University’s Thomas Sowell explains below: Continue reading

Gallows Humor: Textbook Example

From the video above: Asked yesterday whether she wiped her server, Hillary Clinton responded, “What? With a cloth or something?”

This is a nice example of gallows humor, a noun phrase that means “humor that relates to very serious or frightening things (such as death or illness or the misappropriation of an avalanche of classified information).” Continue reading

From the Loony Bin: 1Q GDP up 0.2% on Annualized Basis, Etc…

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Bud’s Round-up of Daily Drivel:

  • 0.2% “growth” vs an expected 1%: The Federal Reserve speaks after lackluster 1Q GDP number.  (Reuters)
  • Ben Bernanke cashes in: First hedge fund Citadel hires him, now PIMCO.  (WSJ)
  • Fusion and MKZ owners, beware: Ford recalls almost 600,000 North American vehicles.  (Detroit Free Press)
  • An education in corruption: A university hired Bill Clinton while Hillary steered State Dept grants to its non-profit affiliate.  (NY Post)
  • I confess: Javaris Crittenton, ex-NBA player, pleads guilty to manslaughter in shooting death and faces 23-year sentence.  (ESPN)

From the Loony Bin: Hillary Clinton aka $ecretary of $tate, Etc…

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For Sale: Secretary of State. (Image: Freedomworks.org)

Bud’s Round-up of Daily Drivel:

  • $ecretary of $tate: Hillary Clinton made favorable policy decisions for big donors to the Clinton Foundation and those who paid Bill Clinton exorbitant speaking fees.  (NY Times)
  • Obama’s “red line” vanishes: 60 Minutes revisits Syria’s gas attack but fails to mention the President’s ultimatum.  (PowerLine)
  • Underwear underwater: Frederick’s of Hollywood goes bankrupt.  (Breitbart)
  • State of higher education: “Honors” program at Northern Illinois University offers course on Game of Thrones…taught by two “professors.”  (ABC)
  • Demon seed: Couple sues sperm bank over schizophrenic dropout donor.  (Star Tribune)
  • Chip Kelly gets God: Eagles sign Tim Tebow.  (ESPN)
  • 77 F-bombs: Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price cuts loose.  (Cincinnati.com)

From the Loony Bin: NCAA Bond Issue, Etc…

Baylor U

At six feet seven inches and 410 pounds, Baylor University’s LaQuan McGowan will always be open at tight end. (photo: twitter.com)

Bud’s Round-up of Daily Drivel:

  • No-coupon-at-all, aka “NCAA”: American Eagle Energy fails to make first interest payment on new bond issue.  (Bloomberg)
  • From the Shark Tank: Mark Cuban on the current tech bubble.  (blogmaverick)
  • Limbo up, Lumber down: The 25-year-old behind Lumber Liquidators’ 50% stock drop.  (Yahoo)
  • That took long enough: Nobel Prize Chairman who awarded Obama is demoted.  (ABC)
  • Tax dollars go right down the toilet: King County, WA will pay a “Comfort Station Coordinator” $90K to map out restrooms for bus drivers.  (US News & World Report)
  • Big target: Baylor University to move 6-foot-7, 410-pound lineman to tight end.  (ESPN)

From the Loony Bin: Nobel Prize for Sale, Etc…

Nobel prize

Minimum bid $150K:  The 1971 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences is for sale.  (Photo: Nate D. Sanders)

Bud’s Round-up of Daily Drivel:

  • Always a good read: This year’s Economic Report of the President is out. Table B-21 on page 409 tells the real story.  (whitehouse.gov)
  • Nobel Prize for sale: Simon Kuznet’s 1971 award for Economic Sciences is on the auction block.  (Nate D. Sanders)
  • Car Wars: Apple hopes to begin production of an electric car in 2020.  (Bloomberg)
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:  Institutional Investor’s Alpha ranks the hedge funds.  (CNN)
  • Three NFL teams in Los Angeles?  Not so fast.  (Washington Post)
  • Oscar odds:  How to pick ’em if you’re in an Academy Awards pool.  (New York Times)

From the Loony Bin: Federal Reserve GDP Forecasts Stink, Etc…

SF Fed_1

These charts plot the evolution of the Federal Reserve’s GDP forecasts for 2008-2010 (above) and 2011-2013 (below) vs actual results.  Left vertical axis indicates GDP growth, right axis is trailing 12-month percentage change in the S&P 500.  (Source: http://www.frbsf.org)

SF Fed

As you can see, your guess is as good as theirs. (Source: http://www.frbsf.org)

Bud’s Round-up of Daily Drivel:

  • Interesting:  Researchers at San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank say the Fed can’t forecast too well.  (FRB of San Fran)
  • Pinboard billionaire: Pinterest new $500mm financing round targets $11B valuation.  (Wired)
  • A-lister: Angie’s List (ticker ANGI) touch lower today after yesterday’s 60% increase on strong 4Q results.  (thestreet.com)
  • Hedgie Shack attack: Unsecured creditors accuse hedge fund of foul play in Radio Shack bankruptcy.  (WSJ)
  • US jobless claims fall more than expected. (Reuters)
  • Nein:  Germany rejects Greek request for loan extension.  (The Guardian)
  • Dropping the F-bomb on net neutrality:  Mark Cuban attacks plan to regulate the internet.  (re/code)
  • All contributions welcome: The Clinton Foundation lifts restrictions on foreign government money.  (Washington Post)
  • The fox guards the henhouse: NFL official fired for trying to steal Deflategate football.  (NBC Sports)
  • Cheated:  UNC whistle-blower’s new book exposes academic fraud in college sports.  (Bloomberg)