GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS IN LITTLE ROCK
The bad news is that, 50 years after troops were called out to desegregate High Schools in Little Rock, the court case about desegregation is still going on.
The good news, for the original lawyers, is that nobody can blame them. They're mostly dead.
DARWIN HAD IT RIGHT
A convicted sex offender has been arrested for threatening to kill Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
Surely, In Illinois, threatening to kill Lisa Madigan has to be one of the top ten stupid things to do.
She's one of the few remaining elected officials people actually like.
$2B IN BAD BETS JUST BEGINS THE BANKING DISCUSSION
For those of you scoring at home, a single (supposedly supervised) trader in the UBS investment division manged to urinate away $2B of UBS operating funds.
It's bad if you're a UBS equity holder or depositor but, in a way, it couldn't have come at a better time. It has renewed the discussion about either separating or firewalling the retail part of a bank from the trading part of the bank. This is an old discussion. A couple of decades ago, there was a separation rule in the USA.
I think now, the discussion is not whether there are good arguments for dividing the investment corporation from the retail banking operation. The discussion is: are there any good arguments for NOT firewalling the trading function from the retail, loan, credit card and customer service aspects of the Bank? I really can't think of any.
CUSTOMER SERVICE OBJECT LESSON
This past week, I went to a national electronics chain. I won't reveal the name but it has "Shack" in it's trade name.
Low lights included woman clerk (in dingy tee shirt) calling to me across the store "Hey, You......" and store manager telling me "We could order it for you but they'd just send the wrong thing anyway."
The funny thing is, both of these folks had no idea they were being rude or unhelpful....genetic defects or really poor in home training I guess.
I thought one upside of the high unemployment was that there were more qualified people for retail. Hasn't showed up at the old Shack.
SARAH ON TV
Try this experiment: Watch the Governor give a speech on TV and try not to think about Glenn Rice.
A BARGAIN IN QUINCY
If you like golf, go play at what is correctly named "Scotty's Westview Golf Course" $20 in the middle of the week with cart. Those of you from out of town, come play. Eat lunch. Buy a car or a new bed or something. Westview's price should create a little golf tourism.
Yeah, and on your GPS, it just "Westview"--Sorry about that Scotty.
THE GOP EXTENDED UNEMPLOYMENT WHIFF
Okay, Kiddies. I get that every time Obama opens his mouth, the market drops. I get that there is very real fear we simply don't have the monetary horsepower for WPA now. Perhaps the recent BHO speech was a bit impractical. Still, on the Extended Unemployment Front, the GOP position harkens back to the "Know-Nothing" party.
The GOP seems to view unemployed folks as loafers. For the most part, they're not. They're displaced folks with obsolete skills, the victims of runaway shops or (now) they used to be valued employees of the giant ATM known as Bank of America.
But none of that is the key. The key is simply that unemployed people spend 100% of any benefit they receive--because they have no choice--in their communities, and immediately. Unemployment benefits are the ultimate shovel-ready project. They get the benefit and they shovel it into the barber shops, grocery stores, gas stations and auto repair shops in their communities. If you're looking for stimulation, this is the one.
Too bad the Repubs are caught in their own fictional construct on this one.
AT LEAST ONE CLEVER NAME IN TITLETOWN
Happened to be in Green Bay the week of the NFL season opener. You couldn't have gotten another person into town with WD-40 and a shoehorn.
As anybody who has ever been here knows, everything in Green Bay is named "Titletown" this or "Titletown" that. The list is endless and includes plumbers autobody shops and sundry other stuff. It becomes far more ubiquitous than "Gem City"
Thus, I was amused to find one interesting use of the name "Titletown Auto Loan" is a car title high interest loan office. I was left to wonder if the irony was intended.
JOBS SPEECH: THE ONLY PROBLEM
Nice speech last night. The whole public works thing, in my opinion, is all right as long as it isn't committed for a decade of public improvements. The "do well by doing good" is an OK theme. Setting up the Harry Truman "Do Nothing Congress" campaign is a time-honored political gambit.
The trouble with the damn speech is that it was given about a year too late. The people are pretty well convinced this administration doesn't understand the common businessman or wage earner and that it dithers over almost everything. Every day this speech wasn't given was another day the disheartened American confirmed this impression.
We probably have to add that the whole Martha's Vineyard vacation thing is necessarily going to be seen as part of the reason for the near term delay and that isn't going down too well with a lot of independent voters.
All told, pretty much a no-hitter.
BOSCOBEL, MY MISTAKE
In 1998 had a dreadful 24 hours here. For years, I always associated Boscobel Wisconsin with being a real pit.
Well, fate brought me back here and I apologize to fair Boscobel for all that hate. Nice town with friendly people. I guess I let one or two jerks color my opinion. Thanks for the mulligan, Boscobel