Tag Archives: CSpan

Things you miss when you don’t watch CSPAN: Oh my.

For Facebook/Star Trek fans: Who was the speaker at the National Press Club lunch this month just broadcast on CSPAN2? Why, George Takei was the speaker.

george takeiGeorge_Takei_Sulu_Star_TrekHe is surprised to find himself a celebrity again – at age 70 –  a Facebook phenom with millions of followers. As a follower myself, I was interested to learn that when he first turned to Facebook, it was with a mission in mind –  to educate younger generations about the WWII Japanese internment in the US. Takei grew up in a camp.

Hey, he thought, maybe use some humor to get a few people to his page. Maybe that would drive some traffic. And maybe he could toss in some advocacy for gay rights? That could help a little. Maybe.

4.9 million Facebook followers says he was right. Oh my.

CSpan has an exquisite ear

Just got home and checked in with CSPAN 2 to see in whose hands rest the fate of the nation this hour. Over visuals of tweets from the floor, CSpan is broadcasting the pianoforte (or whatever) sound of The Keystone Cops.

It’s Tuesday

I am today (was yesterday and will be for days to come) slaving in the soil of a yard-sale-to-be – set for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Four houses on my street are joined in this endeavor – I qualify with my garage full of goods that have fallen off my sister’s moving truck, as she and her husband prepare to re-retire in San Francisco.

As I work, headphones are firmly in place and I hear a CSpan conversation about ‘what government is for’.

The Constitution was written, or so it says:

“. . . in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty . . . “

Works for me. (I don’t see much about personal wealth in there . . . )

Meanwhile, blogging will remain light.

A new voice – to me at least

John Avlon. Apparently a well known columnist and author. Saw him on CSpan this a.m. What a refreshing guy. His beat seems to be wingnuttia – on both sides (acknowledging that this year it tilts mostly one way).

From his Amazon page for the book “Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America”:

The book compares current merchants of political paranoia with past fear-mongers and finds that divisive demagogues have sold this snake oil before. But the two parties’ increased polarization and the echo-chamber of the internet are helping the fringe blur with the base, making the Wingnuts more powerful than ever before. (There are three faces on the book jacket: Palin, Beck and Olbermann.)   

This morning he was mourning the loss of the middle, the dangers of moderation and what it means for all of us.

interestingly, Avlon was an intern for Bill Clinton (with Monica!) and a speech writer for Gulianni (as mayor). Interesting guy.

Our best and brightest

Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) is on CSpan and he’s deeply worried that we are going to chase all our derivates business off shore because our regulations are going to be sooooooo unfair. Why, these companies exposed themselves to HUGE risks, he says, and we need to keep that kind of spirit in the U.S.

Johanns is a new Senator; he’s a former Governor.

He thinks financial reform legislation was doing fine until Obama and the Democrats got involved in the process. The more he talks, the angrier he’s making me and that’s not the right way to start a day.

He is an idiot.

Good morning

On CSpan this morning is Simon Johnson, an economist who knows stuff. He referred to the regulatory apparatus in the U.S. as Byzantine. He said that when AIG was moving into reckless territory and inventing all those interesting new ways of  conducting business, they went ‘regulator shopping’.  And that was possible in the labyrinth of our system. Of course, many of the other big boys did the same thing.

courtesty Newsweek (I hope)

Interestingly, Johnson keeps his own money in a community bank in Massachusetts and a credit union in D.C. He endorsed the Move Your Money movement. (Go here to find a bank/credit union in your area.)

Last night, PBS re-aired their Frontline documentary about Brooksley Borne, the only regulator (somewhere in FDIC) who warned the Federal government (in the 1990’s) about the new ‘credit default swaps’. Unregulated, she warned, they would destroy us. But that was an inconvenient warning for the trio at the top of the US system – Bob Rubin, Larry Summers (and Alan Greenspan). They put a stop to her right quick! Rubin’s deputy was Timothy Geitner. Bet these fellas are thrilled to be back in charge. (You can watch it at the link.)

Obama may have to answer for that.

But I’ll bet the troops in Afghanistan – and Yemen according to Michael Isikoff this morning – are a little too busy to follow the career paths of the nation’s eminent economists. Because they’re busy fighting a war on this 131st day of the ninth year of that war.