Monday, October 1, 2007

Odds and Ends - 1 October 2007

Is the GOP suicide intentional? Whoever wins in '08 is going to have a hell of a mess to clean up. One of the things that scared me about Sicko is how we're still cleaning up Nixon's mess. How long is it going to take to undo all of W's fuckups? UPDATE- More GOP defectors- businessmen

Amtrak quietly chugs along for 5 straight years of record ridership. Amtrak is almost completely forgotten about by most people. It's not fast, but it's large and luxurious. The food is FANTASTIC. Great steaks for a pretty good price. The biscuits and gravy are the best in the country (trust me). If they could just work out the business end of their capital-intensive business, they might reach profitability soon.

The 5 Companies that control everything you read, watch, and hear. If I won the presidency, the first thing I'd do is start 5 anti-trust cases. If any presidential candidates are reading this and it sounds appealing, DO NOT SAY A WORD ABOUT IT UNTIL YOU WIN! Coming out in favor of breaking up Big Media would be worse than publicly admitting you're in favor of drug legalization, higher gas taxes, and were caught with a live boy and a dead girl in your bed all at the same time. It will kill your campaign. Just sit there and quietly bide your time. Once you win, spring it on them!

BP Atlantis about to come online? Atlantis will be the one of the biggest platform in the Gulf, if BP can ever get it finished. It's years behind schedule and I've heard that some analysts put the cost overruns at a BILLION dollars. (NOTE- I just realized I was confusing Atlantis and Thuderhorse, two similar platforms in the same area. Both are big and over budget. Thunderhorse is the bigger of the two.)

CEO of Dow Chemical talks about the Sci/Tech shortage. In the National Review Online. I think the Sci/Tech education crisis could unite the left and right.

Head I win, tails I get bailed out. Bernake is bailing out the bad guys and hurting the good guys.

Very long article about the economics and oil. The Petrodollar thesis was one of the most buried news stories of the past few years. I don't know whether or not I completely buy it, but it's earth-shakingly powerful. The long article ties together Iraq, Iran, economics, the unfolding dollar collapse, China, the Fed, the Saudis, the Russians, and just about everyone together in a huge, high-stakes geopolitical chess game. I'm in awe of the journalism it took to put this together. A complex thesis like the Petrodollar takes a lot of things interlocking to work, but if it holds true (and a cursory search of the subject checks out), it's frightening.


adross9 said...

Ask me about Amtrak sometime. I don't give it quite the favorable review you do. It took me 7 hours to ride from KC to St Louis. That's twice the driving time.

Cargo trains have track priority to passenger trains. That means that we stopped three times, waited to get passed, then had to regain speed, only to have to slow and stop again.

Clay said...

Sharing rails with freight is one of their biggest handicaps. The Feds give them just enough to let them hang around, but not enough to become independent. Acela is an Amtrak-owned rail and it runs like clockwork (or a European railroad!).

GentillyGirl said...

I LOVE Amtrak!

If a University wants me to do a lecture, the first question I ask is if they are served by the train.

This girl refuses to fly anymore. Recirced air with a bunch of diseased humans and their children isn't my idea of quality travel.

I like the train. Ya's get to walk around without some bimbette telling you to get back to your seat, you can smoke in a certain car, and ya's can get drinks and sammies in the club car.

Beats the damn plane any day. (and if the train doesn't go to a place, I don't wish to visit there.)