hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Arthur Silber - Once Upon a Time. . .

Violet Socks - Reclusive Leftist
. . .It’s being reported that this is the first time ever that a health secretary has overruled the FDA. It’s amazing, isn’t it?. . .

It really does look like the point of this Obama Plan B decision is simply to make liberals squeal, so moderate conservatives can conclude "if he's pissing off liberals, he must be doing something right". "I-Shot-A-Man-In-Reno" politics. Don't think it will be very successful, nor should it be.

Suburban Guerrilla (odd man out) - Banksters spooked by ‘Occupy Our Homes'

No reason to foreclose unless investors would get more money from a foreclosure than a principal modification/short sale. And given that investors have been bailed out so much, it's reasonable to have a rule that no foreclosures unless investors would get $20000 dollars more from a foreclosure than a principal modification / short sale.

Hannah Mae - The Shantoose of the Banjo Club

Krugman - British Debt History

(Via Wonkblog (Suzy Khimm)) - Haunting, candid photos of women on death row in China.

One of the condemned prisoners has a very simple, ingenuous face, and seems to be very happy and jolly in the first few slides. I think this was partly because she was genuinely happy, partly because she was trying to make the best of the time she had left, and partly, also, because in the back of her mind was  the feeling that if she was very jolly and friendly, and people liked her, perhaps they would give her a reprieve / extend her term. The last is an emotion very familiar to temp workers / contractors anxious to get renewed. In one of the slides she breaks down, and is comforted by a prison guard, and recovers her composure somewhat. I don't know what crime she was condemned and executed for, nor the other prisoners, including one who looked somewhat stoic and resigned.

My preferred BCS plan:

1.  Of the 4 BCS bowls, 2 act as semifinals for the BCS championship game,  #1 against #4 and #2 against #3.

2. If a Pac-12 or Big-10 team is in the top 4, the Rose Bowl gets the semifinal game with the highest ranking Pac-12 or Big-10 team. Otherwise, it gets the traditional Pac-12 versus Big-10 game. This would lead to very nice rule, "The best Pac-12 & Big-10 team always plays in the Rose Bowl"

3. Perhaps there could be similar special rights for the Sugar Bowl. In the case of a conflict between Rose & Sugar, the the higher ranked team wins. This would lead to a somewhat less nice rule, "The best Pac-12 & Big-10 & SEC team always plays in either the Rose or Sugar Bowl"

4. The other semifinal games are distributed among the other BCS bowls.

5. The BCS bowl games are played up to either Jan 1. or Jan 2.

6. The BCS championship game is played on the second Saturday after the last BCS bowl game.  i.e. For 2012 that would be Jan. 14, instead of the current date of Jan. 9. Though the championship game would be pushed back a few days,  fans would also see the best teams in the country play on and around New Year's Day, instead of having to wait until Jan. 9.

7. I believe the best college football game of the year should be played on a Saturday afternoon. Play is for players, and fans, not television. But if the conflict with pro-football is too big a problem, the game could be played on the second Friday, or  second Thursday, after the last BCS bowl game instead.

Under these rules, the current season would have a Sugar Bowl of LSU versus Stanford, an Orange or Fiesta Bowl of OSU versus Alabama, and a Rose Bowl of Oregon versus Wisconsin.

And if the seeds won out, you'd top it off  a with a rematch of LSU versus Alabama: 4 great games with genuinely unpredictable outcomes, compared to the current system of 3 great games and a lingering disappointment that the Alabama / OSU debate was not settled properly.

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