Friday, May 27, 2011

The Economy: It's not all bad

Nieman's, Sax, Coach, and Tiffany all have posted strong earnings.

Clearly, SOMEONE out there is doing just fine:

"Neiman, which operates both its namesake and Bergdorf Goodman stores, has benefited as high-end shoppers have opened their wallets in an improving economy and a rebound in stock-market valuations."

And the GOP has finally produced a jobs plan that sounds a little bit familiar (tax cuts, tax breaks, oil, etc.). I guess that it's good that they called it what it really is: House Republican Plan for America's Job Creators. Because, really, it's a plan for corporations and rich people who are supposed to create jobs if we give them more money.

Well, they have more money, and they are spending it at Tiffany's.

Or, sitting on it, which is, I guess, what the rest of America can do, in the immortal words of Arthur Fonzarelli: Sit on it.

(As usual, Ezra Klein gets to the meat of it:

“Here’s how it works,” [David] Autor wrote in an e-mail. “1. You have a set of policies that you favor at all times and under all circumstances, e.g., cut taxes, remove regulations, drill-baby-drill, etc. 2. You see a problem that needs fixing (e.g., the economy stinks). 3. You say, ‘We need to enact my favored policies now more than ever.’ I believe that every item in the GOP list that you sent derives from this three step procedure.

“That’s not to say that there are no reasonable ideas on this list. But there is certainly no original thinking here directed at addressing the employment problem. Or, to put it differently, is there any set of economic circumstances under which the GOP would not actually want to enact every item on this agenda? If the answer is no, then this is clearly now-more-than-everism.”)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

North Minneapolis Tornado Relief

This past Sunday, a tornado swept through a residential area of North Minneapolis, leaving behind devastation for many residents.

You can go here to donate.

More on the effort (from the site):

"The Minnesota Helps - North Minneapolis Recovery Fund will support the immediate humanitarian needs of the individuals and families in North Minneapolis impacted by the May 22, 2011 tornado. The Minneapolis Foundation, in partnership with United Way will provide a dollar-for-dollar match up to $200,000 (updated daily as more partners contribute) to rebuild this community

How it works: Contributions to the Fund will be pooled and then allocated jointly by the sponsoring organizations to nonprofits that are providing support to those most affected by this tragedy – both immediately and in the coming months. One hundred percent of all donations will be redistributed to provide financial support where they are urgently needed.

Donations will be used for immediate and long-term needs (housing, food, and other services) of the people affected by the tornado."

Monday, May 2, 2011


This is a serious and sobering moment in history, and one that should not, I believe, be met with rejoicing and celebrating in the streets. Though it can be said to be a sort of victory for the United States, the death of Osama bin Laden will not make anyone safer. We should reflect on the events of September 11, 2001 and measure the cost of the wars that followed, considering that we inflicted a far greater human toll on ourselves and in foreign lands reacting to that day than we sustained on that day, as we look to a better future for all.

I am still considering my feelings and thoughts in response to his death, and I don't have any grand advice on how I should respond. Perhaps with a statement remembering those who died on September 11 and in other terrorist attacks perpetrated by Al Qaeda, which happened in other countries and killed people other than Americans. Remembering the soldiers and civilians who have died in Afghanistan and Pakistan, both American and those from other nations. Understanding that the death of one man will not stop Al Qaeda and other extremist organizations of all kinds, but could, instead be fuel to their fire.


"Most of what changed in this country after 9/11 was our choice, not his. And his death is a reminder that changing it back -- or revising it to better fit our future -- is, similarly, our choice, not his. We've killed him, but we haven't erased the mark he left on us. Maybe it's time we did"--Ezra Klein