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Quote of the Day

Our quote of the day comes from William Jennings Bryan:

“They call that man a statesman whose ear is tuned to catch the slightest pulsations of a pocketbook, and denounce as a demagogue any one who dares to listen to the heartbeat of humanity.”

Quoted in Jason Goodwin, Greenback, page 275 of the hardcover […]

Good news for the World Bank, and the world

This is good news: Obama just nominated Jim Yong Kim for head of the world bank.

Who is Jim Yong Kim? Apparently he’s a physician and an expert on health, which might be good to have at the head of an institution whose mission is to actually do good instead of just make a […]

Quote of the Day

Our quote of the day comes from Martin Peretz, editor-in-chief of the New Republic, in 1989.

“The cheer with which Western commentators greeted Mikhail Gorbachev’s tease that the Berlin Wall might come down when the conditions that generate the need for it disappear is another sign of how credulous we have become in receiving […]

Speaking of our broken patent system

I mentioned our screwy patent system last post; today comes the news that the Supreme Court has decided that, essentially, natural laws can’t be patented.

From the article:

In general, Justice Breyer wrote, an inventor must do more than “recite a law of nature and then add the instruction ‘apply the law.’ ”

“Einstein, […]

Avoiding ads

Consumerist.com reports that Microsoft has patented a system that would let people pay to skip commercials.

That could be the start of a rant about our broken patent system (is this really something that needs a patent? Isn’t it sort of obvious?), but I’m on a different rant today.


People will pay to […]

The New Mercantilism, 2: Gagging physicians

Well, this is bad. An article on Truthout details how a new Pennsylvania law makes it difficult for us to even know what chemicals frackers are using, much less what they’re doing to us, because they’re trade secrets. Check out how difficult it is to get, and especially to share, information that may be […]

Financiers are dangerous idiots who need to be watched every minute

This resignation letter by one Greg Smith, formerly of Goldman Sachs, has created a bigger splash than most. Maybe because he published it in the New York Times.

From the letter:

I have always taken a lot of pride in advising my clients to do what I believe is right for them, even if […]

And speaking of clueless rich people:

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s post, here’s Ann Romney, saying “I don’t even consider myself wealthy.”

Right, her money doesn’t matter. It’s not important to her. It’s not a part of who she is.

Will she say the same when the taxman comes around?

Cracked.com on Clueless Rich People

Yep, I’m linking to Cracked again.

Here David Wong skewers the clueless excuses rich people make when people say, hey, maybe you have too much money.

My favorite quote, regarding the very common “I got rich, you could too” excuse:

So “anyone can get rich” isn’t just untrue, it’s insultingly untrue. You can’t have […]

Tim Geithner’s Amnesia

Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner has an opinion piece called Financial Crisis Amnesia in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal (I was pointed there by DrRichardCranium on Reddit; excuse his name). Geithner rightly reminds Wall Streeters that it’s a bit disingenuous to complain about reform when not too long ago they were on their knees […]