Month: April 2006

Article: The Crony Fairy

From the April 28th NYT:

The Crony Fairy
By PAUL KRUGMAN

The U.S. government is being stalked by an invisible bandit, the Crony Fairy, who visits key agencies by dead of night, snatches away qualified people and replaces them with unqualified political appointees. There’s no way to catch or stop the Crony Fairy, so our only hope is to change the agencies’ names. That way she might get confused, and leave our government able to function.

That, at least, is how I interpret the report on responses to Hurricane Katrina that was just released by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

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Article: How Marley Caught Fire

An interesting WSJ article from a number of different standpoints, especially if you’re interested in music, marketing, and/or Bob Marley. Cheers!

How Marley Caught Fire
Repackaging the Reggae King As a Rock Star Helped Sell His Music to the World
By CHRISTOPHER JOHN FARLEY
April 27, 2006

The reggae star Bob Marley never sold out, but he understood the importance of selling well. He came to terms with the necessity of marketing at an early age.

He began his music career in 1962 in Trench Town, a ghetto area of Kingston, performing the jittery Jamaican dance music known as ska, before settling on reggae — a warm, rhythmically mesmerizing music that was also born and bred in Jamaica. Initially, he made so little money that he relocated to America for a short time to work in an automobile-assembly plant to support his family.

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Article: War Clouds

From the April 28th LA Times:

War Clouds
Russia’s dangerous double game with Israel and Iran could easily spark a Middle East conflict, with dire consequences for the U.S.

By Rosa Brooks

LET ME TELL YOU about the next war.

It will start sooner than you think — sometime between now and September. And it will be precipitated by the $700-million Russian deal this week to sell Tor air defense missile systems to Iran.

When the war begins, it will be between Iran and Israel. Before it ends, though, it may set the whole of the Middle East on fire, pulling in the United States, leaving a legacy of instability that will last for generations and permanently ending a century of American supremacy.

Despite the high stakes, the Bush administration seems barely to have noticed the danger posed by the Russian missile sale. But the signs are there, for those inclined to read them.

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Article: A Prius in Every Pot

From the April 26th NYT… Dowd is singing our song:

A Prius in Every Pot
By MAUREEN DOWD
It’s taken over five years, but George W. Bush finally made a concession speech to Al Gore.

He conceded that America needs to conserve, by buying hybrid vehicles and developing new energy sources.

Trying to calm the yips in his party and the country over exploding gasoline prices, the president sounded a bit like a wild-eyed Ozone Man himself yesterday, extolling the virtues of alternative fuel derived from cooking grease, sugar, grass, wood chips, soybean oil and corn.

But then he got ahold of himself. “You just got to recognize there are limits to how much corn can be used for ethanol,” he said, standing in front of a bucolic mural. “After all, we got to eat some.”

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Quick Market Update

Just a quick post to point out yesterday’s market action (see charts in continuation of this post). Most notable was the volume, which, according to the WSJ, came in at 2.6 billion on the NASDAQ (composite volume) and 2.9 billion for the NYSE (composite volume). That’s the highest daily volume print of the year for the NASDAQ and the NYSE and the 10th highest ever for the NYSE. It was the highest volume day ever for the iShares Russell 2000 Index (AMEX: IWM), the 4th highest day for the Spiders (AMEX: SPY) and the 5th highest for the Cubes (NASDAQ: QQQQ). This big volume comes on a day of market rotation, as the DJIA, S&P 500, and NASDAQ Composite (and Cubes) closed up while mid- and small-cap indexes closed down. All the major indexes opened down, rallied, then closed off their highs, leaving taller upper shadows than lower shadows. Also of note was the sector rotation…

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Flash- Now You Can Get My Blog via Email or RSS / XML Feed

Here’s how:

FOR EMAIL UPDATES
Just enter your email address at the top right of my blog and click “Subscribe.” The service is managed by Squeet.com and is private and SPAM-free. I chose Squeet.com because they were the only ones I found who let YOU chose your own email delivery frequency. This is a great way to stay updated on your own terms!

FOR THE RSS / XML FEED
If you prefer to receive my blog via RSS/XML, just click the little orange and white square icon at the top right of my blog, right below the email signup form. From there you can chose to receive my feed via MyYahoo, NewsGator, Pluck, Rojo, Bloglines, NetVibes, FeedDemon, NetNewsWire, NewsFire, NewsGator Outlook Edition, Shrook, and others.

Flash – Now You Can Get My Blog via Email or RSS / XML Feed

Here’s how:

FOR EMAIL UPDATES
Just enter your email address at the top right of my blog and click “Subscribe.” The service is managed by Squeet.com and is private and SPAM-free. I chose Squeet.com because they were the only ones I found who let YOU chose your own email delivery frequency. This is a great way to stay updated on your own terms!

FOR THE RSS / XML FEED
If you prefer to receive my blog via RSS/XML, just click the little orange and white square icon at the top right of my blog, right below the email signup form. From there you can chose to receive my feed via MyYahoo, NewsGator, Pluck, Rojo, Bloglines, NetVibes, FeedDemon, NetNewsWire, NewsFire, NewsGator Outlook Edition, Shrook, and others.

Cheers,
Chris

PS: Please leave comments / feedback / suggestions / other email or RSS services I should consider and why. Thanks!