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Landing with a Tubthump


It's never too cold for Herbies!


Pretty tough week for national pride, at least for those of us who paid any attention to the Greenspan testimony.

No real surprise, that. Any market pro who watched the self-serving, Maginot-Line-of-false-security investigations in the stock market and "scandals" back in aught-one and two had already been disabused of the notion that anything "good" or for that matter "impressive in any sense" would emerge from these bodies chattin' markets. Still... the endless sound-bite fishing on social security was simply atrocious.

After years of shifting between genuflection and lynch-mobbing in the treatment of Greenspan (depending on the party in office and the level of the Dow at the time of the testimony) our leadership has more or less given up on either; opting instead to spend allotted time trying to provoke a sound-bite that could serve the interrogators' political purposes. As in:

Dem. Representative: "Oh Yee Powerful Wizened Financial Yoda, would you say that 'something bad' could happen if we dove haphazzardly into the privatization of social security?"

GOP Rep: "Exalted Lord Greenspan, does our current system of Social Security guarantee 40-years of posh retired life for younger Americans?"

I haven't had quite that same horribly tangy taste of empathizing with the French disdain for us since I watched the same body nod cluelessly while voting to bail-out MCI (MCIP) because, Capellas assured them, the internet would go dark forever if the company wasn't saved (by taxpayers).

* Speaking of the MCI/ Qwest (Q)/ Verizon (VZ) M&A a' Trois, now that the bidding is heating up we already know our two winners, in a general way. Capellas (who, actually, is a literal winner and has been nearly assured of such since his nose didn't poke anyone's eye out while he spun the above-mentioned "internet darkness" story) and whichever company finishes second in the bidding.

* "I'd give it up for a miracle drug" -U2

My favorite unintentionally hilarious moment of Greenspan's testimony was when one of the trough-feeders, talking SS of course (nothin' else to talk about), made an impassioned speech/ question to the point that privatization of Social Security was a "Matter of personal responsibility!"

Coverage then broke to an ad "Directed towards those who may have taken Vioxx and need legal help..."

* MOGI (Man of Great Importance) Kevin hung out at casa de MACKE last night, on his way through while doing his West Coast Tour. He brought along Minyanville Cookies and left them as a gift. Which was super as it had been ages since I had a bag of cookies for both breakfast and lunch.

* Name and Puck Dropping

I got some fantastic, heartfelt emails on the topic of Herb Brooks. One in particular from a Minyan who happened to play college hockey with Herb's son, Dan. Through his friendship with Dan this Minyan emailer had the good fortune to meet and get to know Herb. He shared that knowing Herb had made an enormous positive impact on him... as a kid then and now as a man.

I can think of worse Macro-Life-Goals than having your legacy be "He helped the people around him become better people".

Other Brooks/ Miracle/ Hockey-Wonk notes:

* The somewhat exalted Old School Minnesotan Hockey Monks (Ikola, Badalich, et al) have nothing but great things to say about Kurt Russell, both as a performance and as a guy (Russell practiced his "Herbie" with friends, family and, of course, Herb). Nice to hear.

The same crew of Monks also liked the kids as the players. And the unquestioned favorite "inside... really inside... goofy MN hockey" joke of the movie is the casting a 4'11" scrawny NY actor type as Lou Nanne. It's akin to casting Dustin Hoffman as Paul Bunyon. Or a smallish drunken Irish Guy as Alexander the Great. Just a howler.

Lou not only blames his late friend for the joke, he claims that he can sometimes actually hear Herb laughing about it.

* Minyan A "Awe" W writes:

As far as the Comcast (CMCSK) /Motorola (MOT) "Tivo-(TIVO) like" unit... I mean, how could they get this so wrong? These things are not rocket science/brain surgery. I'm pretty confident me and one other software pal could have an awesome unit in 6 months.

It's just not that hard a problem!

That statement is going to be on the career headstones of few guys at both Comcast and Motorola pretty soon, I'm guessing.

The bigger question is why an MSO doesn't just swallow Tivo and stop screwing around with this knock-off stuff?

1. A stupid poison pill and no reason to think they won't be cheaper

2. I dunno.

Wow... and here I thought only customers would be angry!

Blockbuster (BBI) actually getting sued for inviting customer hatred with the "No late fees!" canard!

That's simply remarkably bad advertising/ managing/ thinking on display at Blockbuster. No other way to say it, really.

To finish more peppily and because it bears frequent repeating:

"...ours is a useful trade, a worthy calling; that with all its lightness and frivolity it has one serious purpose, one aim, one specialty, and it is constant to it--the deriding of shams, the exposure of pretentious falsities, the laughing of stupid superstitions out of existence; and that whoso is by instinct engaged in this sort of warfare is the natural enemy of royalties, nobilities, privileges and all kindred swindles, and the natural friend of human rights and human liberties. "

- "Mark Twain Accepts Honorary Degree," Hartford Courant, 6/26/1888

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