Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for November, 2008

In memory of Tanta

Posted by Charles II on November 30, 2008

Doris Dungey, whose columns at Calculated Risk were one of the few real sources of insight into the complex world of mortgages, died at the age of 47 of ovarian cancer in Columbus Ohio on November 30th, 2008. While she was undergoing treatment, she shared her wit and wisdom selflessly. Her Compleat ÜberNerd remains one of the few accessible sources of information on mortgages. I certainly relied on it.

A wish upon a fallen starDoris Dungey, known online as Tanta, one of the few people who clearly explained the mortgage crisis to us duffers. Image from Calculated Risk
(Image from Calculated Risk)

Spirit light,
Spirit bright,
Spirit guiding us through night,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Thank you for your keen insight.

Go with God, Tanta.
And keep a candle burning for us, your fans, who will follow all too soon.

And, yeah, it’s sappy, but I kinda think that she of The Mortgage Pig would have liked it.

Posted in Sad things | 2 Comments »

Sunday Morning Whatever Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 30, 2008


— Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy“. And the theremin cover thereof.

Linux on the iPhone: It’s just about there.

— A company called BioSolar makes solar cells from castor beans and cotton. Castor beans show promise in bioremediation applications, such as wastewater treatment and heavy-metals removal. Cotton also has some potential as a bioremediator. We could solve a bunch of problems at once.

— Note to slander-pushers: Try providing evidence next time. Oh, and by the way, I can see your IP addresses. Enjoy my spam folder, if you refuse to provide proof.

Posted in energy, environment, solar, sustainability, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

I Love Margaret And Helen

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 29, 2008

Here’s some of what Helen Philpot has to say about the Chambliss-Martin race and Sarah Palin’s involvement therein:

You see Chambliss is the guy who won the Georgia Senate seat from Max Cleland a few years back. Now pay attention folks because this is important. Chambliss suggested that Cleland was soft on homeland security. Cleland, of course, is a war hero – one who came home from war with three less limbs than when he began. Yep. Cleland lost an arm and both legs in defense of his country, but Chambliss defeated him with ads suggesting he didn’t have the courage to protect us from terrorists.

So Chambliss is an ass. That’s a given. His opponent in this run-off election is Mr. Martin. Now Martin has all of his limbs so Chambliss is not sure how to attack him. So he called in the Republican attack dog… a certain pitt bull in lipstick who apparently has more political lives than a pitt cat. Heads up folks. Sarah Palin is back and my heart goes out to all our dear friends over there in Georgia. She’s sort of like headlice. You can’t just shampoo your hair. You have to boil everything afterwards.

Just beautiful.

Posted in 2008, Democrats, Election Day, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, WTF? | 5 Comments »

Words whose meanings were switched in the cradle

Posted by Charles II on November 28, 2008

“Runaway consumption must now give way to a renewal of saving and investment. That’s the best hope for economic recovery and for America’s longer-term economic prosperity.”Steven Roach, Morgan Stanley

The defining characteristic of America in the 20th century was optimism. That did not arise by chance and it is about to change forever.

The optimism of the past century was based in steadily rising living standards experienced in most areas of the economy. People ate better. They could see a doctor. They were able to buy time-saving conveniences. They were able to afford advanced education. This made people both more productive and confident that the future would be better than the past, if only they did their part by working hard. Such people are ideal entrepreneurs.

But things did not go so well everywhere. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in big money, economy, health care, stock market | Comments Off on Words whose meanings were switched in the cradle

FTD doesn’t always mean flowers…or delivery

Posted by Charles II on November 28, 2008

Paul Kedrosky over at Infectious Greed has a sign of the times from Helen Avery at Euromoney that should give us pause:

The problem: the settlement system for the US government bond market has broken down.

THE US TREASURY market, the foundation of government and corporate bond markets worldwise is suffereing a crisis of confidence… fails to deliver among the 17 primary dealers in the US treasury market have rocketed to more than $2 trillion over a period of weeks and still lie above $1.2 trillion….

Failures in US treasuries were 8.6% of all treasuries outstanding in the first five months of this year, compared with 1.2% in the first five months of 2007. This has ballooned further over the last three months…more than 20% of daily treasuries trading volume

Be afraid. Effectively these companies are kiting securities to keep their balance sheets looking better than they are. This is truly dangerous territory.

Posted in mortgage crisis, wrong way to go about it | Comments Off on FTD doesn’t always mean flowers…or delivery

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on November 28, 2008

“It’s the tryptophan.”

Sleeping Lady Lightfoot

Posted in Friday Cat Blogging, Lady Lightfoot | 4 Comments »

Thanksgiving Edition News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 27, 2008


The GOP/Media Complex is dutifully passing around GOP lies about “$70 an hour auto workers” again. Try $23 an hour. If they’re lucky.

— In further examples of GOP lies, we find Republicans are lying their asses off about the New Deal.

— How do you make turducken even more, um, turduckenly? By wrapping all the constituent parts in bacon, that’s how. Bon appetit!

Posted in Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples | 2 Comments »

With stern admonishments, a joyous Thanksgiving

Posted by Charles II on November 27, 2008

Here’s wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to all Mercury Rising readers. May you all be filled, both gastronomically and spiritually. And now, in complete non-sequitur, a story about better times in Mumbai; may that city rise from its present sorrow.

Raja Murthy, ATimes:

As India and Iran struggle over recent oil and nuclear power squabbles, a quaintly delicious cultural link between the two ancient civilizations is also fighting for survival, with the famously cranky Iranian cafes sliding into extinction in Mumbai.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Just for fun | 1 Comment »

Single-Payer Is on the Table

Posted by MEC on November 26, 2008

The Honorable John Conyers (D-MI) has a web site for H.R. 676, the bill he’s introduced for for universal, single-payer health care.

Posted in health care, John Conyers | 6 Comments »

Life’s Little Ironies

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 26, 2008

One of the themes I’ve noticed in the lefty part of the blogosphere lately is a tendency to rag on Obama’s economic team, especially Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner. This is being done most especially by those people who never liked Obama – or anyone to the right of Noam Chomsky – very much anyway.

Well, what will happen now that Nouriel Roubini, the favorite economist of the apocalyptic branch of the lefties, has spoken highly of Obama’s team? (So have Paul Krugman, Brad DeLong and Robert Reich, but those guys don’t count as highly with the apocalyptics as does Roubini.)

Posted in Barack Obama, economy, Good Things | 13 Comments »

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