Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nor In The Public Interest

SEC v Citigroup[The Court] is required, even after giving substantial deference to the views of the administrative agency, to be satisfied that it is not being used as a tool to enforce an agreement that is unfair, unreasonable, inadequate, or in contravention of the public interest. ... Applying these standards to the case in hand, the Court concludes, regretfully, that the proposed Consent Judgment is neither fair, nor reasonable, nor adequate, nor in the public interest. ...

As for common experience, a consent judgment that does not involve any admissions and that results in only very modest penalties is just as frequently viewed, particularly in the business community, as a cost of doing business imposed by having to maintain a working relationship with a regulatory agency .... If the allegations of the Complaint are true, this is a very good deal for Citigroup; and, even if they are untrue, it is a mild and modest cost of doing business.

-- US District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff, rejecting a settlement between the SEC and CitiGroup, in which CitiGroup is accused of both selling and shorting bad investments for a $160 million profit while investors lost $700 million, 28 November 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Driver's License

Drivers licenseOne of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you do find somebody, it's remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver's license.

-- P. J. O'Rourke (14 November 1947-), American political satirist, Rolling Stone, 30 November 1989

Monday, November 28, 2011


SlothSloths move at the speed of congressional debate but with greater deliberation and less noise.

-- P. J. O'Rourke (14 November 1947), American political satirist, All the Trouble in the World (1994)

Friday, November 25, 2011

No More

Flag of Oregon[The death penalty] has been carried out just twice in last 49 years in Oregon. Both were during my first administration as Governor, one in 1996 and the other in 1997. I allowed those sentences to be carried out despite my personal opposition to the death penalty. I was torn between my personal convictions about the morality of capital punishment and my oath to uphold the Oregon constitution.

They were the most agonizing and difficult decisions I have made as Governor and I have revisited and questioned them over and over again during the past 14 years. I do not believe that those executions made us safer; and certainly they did not make us nobler as a society.

... I refuse to be a part of this compromised and inequitable system any longer; and I will not allow further executions while I am Governor.

-- Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber announcing that no more executions will happen while he is in office, 22 November 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas Creep

Wait your turn, fat boyChristmas creep (n):

The inexorable tendency for the commercial aspects of Christmas to appear earlier every year

-- Wiktionary's word of the day, 20 November 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011


Normal Rockwell: Freedom from WantThanksgiving dinner successfully delivered to 14 people spanning 4 generations. Plenty to be thankful for, even if we didn't do it on Thanksgiving day.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Obama 2012I don't have as much enthusiasm this time as I did last time.

-- Sarah Farr, 20, a student in Las Vegas who worked for the Obama campaign in 2008, New York Times, 15 November 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Longing Eye

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.

-- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), third US president, architect and author, in a letter to T. Coxe, 1799

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


freekhandIt is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

-- Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Irish writer and satirist, as quoted in Treasury of Thought: Forming an Encyclopedia of Quotations from Ancient and Modern Authors (1872) by Maturin Murray Ballou, p. 433

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dead Newt?

Redspotted newtI've gone from being dead in June to being asked who will be in my cabinet. I think that's real progress.

-- Republican presidential hopeful and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, New York Times, 12 November 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011


'Eleven' graffiti, Oakland, CaliforniaI remember sitting at my desk in 7th grade on 11/11/71 and writing the date on a school paper. It struck me at the time that that was an awful lot of 1's, and, separated by slashes, a string of 8 very similar marks to represent the date. I thought about the only better date for that being 11/11/11, but that date seemed impossibly far away at the time.

And here it is.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


A bag of Trainwreck Hayze brand of Potpourri blendThe third agency of government I would do away with [pause], the Education, the, uh, Commerce, and, let's see [pause], I can't. The third one, I can't. Sorry. ... Oops.

-- Texas Governor Rick Perry, failing to name the three cabinet-level federal agencies he vows to eliminate if elected, at the CNBC Republican debate in Rochester, MI, 9 November 2011

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Sarkozy Vs Netanyahu

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in French about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, "I can't stand him anymore. He's a liar."

President Obama responded, "You may be sick of him, but me, I have to deal with him every day."

-- Part of a conversation overheard by a group of journalists through an open mic at the G20 summit in Cannes, 3 November 2011

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


You Are Here (eating)Reforms? Where? Here?

-- Anna Russo, a salaried worker in Rome, on politicians' promises amid the debt crisis, New York Times, 8 November 2011

Monday, November 07, 2011

Ruled Paper

Write the other wayIf they give you ruled paper, write the other way.

-- Juan Ramon Jimenez (1881-1958), poet, Nobel Prize winner in literature, as quoted in the epigraph in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

Friday, November 04, 2011


If fighting starts between Pakistan and the U.S., we are beside Pakistan. If Pakistan is attacked and the people of Pakistan need Afghanistan's help, Afghanistan will be there with you.

-- Afghan President Harmid Karzai, in an interview with private Pakistani television station GEO, 22 October 2011

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Might Not

Fork in the roadIf you don't know where you're going, you might not get there.

-- Yogi Berra (12 May 1925-), When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!, Simon and Schuster (2003)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Probably the government in Washington could be trusted at one time, but now it seems like it's all a game of who wins rather than what's best for the people.

-- Paulette DelGadillo, an interior decorator from Tempe, AZ, responding to a poll, New York Times, 26 October 2011