Book of the Month

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The Fed's ultimate hubris...

So the powers that be on the Federal Reserve Board have decided to engage in round two of their little quantitative easing experiment, basically agreeing to purchase $600 billion in government debt over the next 8 months in order to keep interest rates artificially low and hopefully juice the economy in the process. 

That $75 billion a month isn't that much in the grand scheme of things, and the markets are certainly acting as if all is copacetic, but I still find the hubris of the Fed incredibly alarming - though not incredibly surprising.  [Read more]

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The dagbuzz for 10/20/10: (Wolraich Blows Smoke)

The one and only Genghis - all freshly scrubbed and shorn - stopped by the dagbuzz studio to discuss his book, Blowing Smoke: Why the Right Keeps Serving Up Whack-Job Fantasies about the Plot to Euthanize Grandma, Outlaw Christmas, and Turn Junior into a Raging Homosexual.

Next stop: Oprah's couch.

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Deadman: A quick reintroduction and quicker lament

Wow. This is dagblog, huh? I don't even recognize the place. Readership is flourishing, the pace of posts is snowballing. Frightening dagger logo be damned, it even looks like an official bloggy thingy now.

It's like I left the neighborhood right before they legalized prostitution or discovered massive amounts of shale oil under dagblog's hallowed grounds. If I was a more insecure man, I might even say there was a causal effect involved here, and that everyone had been lurking on the outskirts of town, waiting for my departure, but I'm quite confident my body odor has been under control since my junior year of high school. [Read more]

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Lucky: A lesson on living, loving and loss.

My brother put his 18-year-old dog to sleep yesterday.

My sadness today is profound, almost overwhelming, and I am trying to figure out why.

Obviously, the dog himself, a terribly sweet, ridiculously cute cocker-beagle mix, is the primary reason. He was my brother's dog -  there's no denying that - but he was really my first pet as well, my roommate and companion for the nine-plus years I lived with my brother after college.

When I came home from my first real job, he would greet me with that wagging stub of a tail and the butt jerking uncontrollably from side to side. I would lie on the floor, and he would pin me down, licking my face til I could stand it no longer. [Read more]

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Amazon caves to Macmillan

Just read that Amazon has decided to give in to publisher Macmillan's demand that the online bookseller sell its books under an agency model for the price the publisher sets (which for the new books that make up most of the market will be 30-50 percent higher than the $10 Amazon currently charges). [Read more]

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2009 MOFT of the Year: Mrs. Deadman (of course!)

It's been a long time since I've done one of these, but it's that time of year when I must bestow the coveted My One Favorite Thing award of 2009. Last year, you may recall, Cottonelle Wet Wipes Toilet Paper won the 2008 MOFT, just edging out Barack Obama.

This year, there are so many worthy candidates. Certainly Obama was in the running again, as his January inauguration provided one of the more stirring moments of the year. But while infinitely better than what we had at this time last year, the Prez has been just a bit disappointing to me, so he'll have to settle with his consolation Nobel. [Read more]

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Tiger Chasing Tail Just Par for the Course

I'm shocked by this whole Tiger Woods scandal. Not by Tiger's behavior, of course, but by the silence that seems to be accompanying it, at least in my circle of friends on Facebook.

I really expected to be bombarded today with status updates addressing the emerging Tiger Woods scandal. I expected them to be mainly from women expressing some degree of disappointment or outrage. Instead, I only saw one status update that fit the bill.

Maybe my Facebook friends just aren't indicative of society at large, but to me, this lack of response is a much bigger shock than anything that's happened in TigerWorld over the past week. [Read more]

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Ennui's a bitch ... and then you blog

With a couple of exceptions, I've been gone from dagblog for several months. I've rarely posted. I've barely commented. Heck, I've even stopped visiting the site on a regular basis.

I have a number of legitimate excuses - and some not-so legitimate excuses - for my time away. I did a lot of wedding planning. I picked up online poker again. I broke a wrist. I got married and had a minimoon. I fell behind work at my paying day job. Fantasy football started.

But mainly, my prolonged absence boils down to something much simpler, and in many ways, much more disturbing: I stopped caring. [Read more]

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I'm back ... and the Bear will be joining me shortly

OK, I know I've been a bad, bad, bad dagblogger for quite some time, but seeing as I'm getting married in less than four weeks, I'm giving myself a pass. (Today's key word: ELOPE!!!)

I'll be back more regularly by the end of the year, but for now, I just wanted to give you a ballsy prediction:

The market is nearing a significant short-term top. Nailing the exact timing is always difficult, but I expect we'll be significantly lower by the end of the year, and certainly by the end of the first quarter of next year, I expect we will see market averages at least 15-20% lower than we have now. [Read more]

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Questions: The Wedding Edition

Oh man. I used to love weddings. I really did. I thought they were fun affairs where you got to see family and friends, drink and dance, and just have a good ole time. Plus, when I was single, I almost always got lucky at weddings - something in the air lends itself to sex and romance I guess.

So i always thought I wanted a big wedding because then it's all the good things about weddings but you're the center of attention and getting all the gifts!! What's not to love? [Read more]

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MOFT: Episode 18 (Monk)

I have to apologize for my prolonged posting absence, but things have been getting hectic. And with several trips upcoming, including two jaunts to Vegas (one my bachelor party!!), a pre-wedding party in my hometown St. Louis, a wedding (with still a millions things that need to be done), a minimoon, and various other things happening all in the next couple of months, I have a feeling it's going to get worse before it gets better. [Read more]

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Obama Disappoints Again ... Health Care Reform Likely to Lose its Public Option

Boy, what a disappointment.

According to published reports, the Obama administration is willing to give up a plan to create a government-run health insurance company - the so-called 'public option' - in order to get some sort of reform passed. Instead, they are now touting the creation of cooperative health insurance agencies, which would be non-profit and owned by their members. [Read more]

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Twist and Shout: Why the Politics of Rage Makes Me Want to Cry

"...it is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing"

I was livid when I first saw video from the health care town hall meeting that took place last week in my hometown St. Louis.  I had already seen enough similar footage from other cities, but the fact that these were in some ways 'my folk' infuriated me.

Ignorant rednecks, I thought, the whole lot of them. [Read more]

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Obama Health Care Town Hall: When Change Meets Shout

Obama is about to hold his first town hall meeting to help sell his health care reform plan. Will it be a more controlled affair than the disasters that have taken place in other similar meetings throughout this great nation of ours?

When I saw what happened in my own hometown city of St. Louis last week, where protesters shouted down a town hall meeting being held by Russ Carnahan, it made me sick. You can't even hear the politicians talk, and the shouters from the audience are just as incomprehensible. It ended in arrests and scuffles.

i will have a more detailed posting on the Decibelization of Politics later today (hopeully) but for now I want to watch the Obama town hall. Here's hoping he's allowed to speak and answer tough questions without being drowned out. [Read more]

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Is the US Postal Service obsolete? And what does it mean for health care?

So apparently, the U.S. Postal Service is in a peck of trouble. Despite raising postage fees numerous times during the past couple of years, the USPS announced earlier this week that it had lost $2.4 billion between April and June and would be $7 billion in debt by the end of September.

Are you kidding me? $2.4 billion in losses in 3 months?? Are you sure the USPS isn't making cars or selling subprime mortgages?

I know the economy is tough, and more and more people are communicating digitally nowadays, but there's no excuse for this kind of performance. FedEx and UPS are still making money, after all. [Read more]

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RIP: John Hughes

I just want to take this moment to thank John Hughes for some of the most indelible movie moments of my childhood. The director died of a heart attack while taking a walk in NYC, where he was visiting family. He was 59.  [Read more]

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Questions: The Regrets Edition (Part II)

Great answers to Part I of the regrets column. Here are my other 5 top regrets.

6) I regret being afraid of dying. In some ways, I feel my whole life's purpose is to finally accept (at least on a Zen-like level) the inevitability of my death. Instead, the concept so terrifies me that it has clearly kept me from being as adventurous and/or productive as I could have been. A little caution can be a good thing, perhaps, but to live without fear of death sounds so freeing. (To be completely accurate, it's more the pain of dying than the actual being dead part that scares me). [Read more]

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Questions: The Regrets Edition (Part I)

In a post long ago, I talked about regrets and how I view them as a natural part of the examined life, something to be embraced, not feared. A person who claims he has no regrets is either a magnificent liar or an unreflective fool.

You can learn a lot from your regrets, and the only goal should be to minimize their occurrence as you grow older.

I didn't go into much detail discussing the specifics of my actual regrets, but I've now decided to list the top 10 regrets of my life to date, thinking that it could actually be a useful exercise for me and an enjoyable, potentially educational, but very long read for others (so long in fact that I've decided to divide the column into two). [Read more]

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MOFT: Episode 17 (Crocs)

As devoted deadman blog readers with photographic memories know (a surprisingly slim sample size), I've never been a fan of being barefoot.  [Read more]

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Health care cost crisis - how about some comparison shopping?

Our own Orlando yesterday posted an unbelievably tragic story regarding her mother and how our health care system completely failed her and her family. It's a powerful tale, one whose basic premise unfortunately could probably be told by way too many people in this country, and everyone needs to read it.

But trying to put aside the raw emotions for a moment - albeit, a nearly impossible task when discussing people's health and/or finances - this is a crisis where the answers will not come easy. [Read more]

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