Thursday, June 03, 2004

A few months ago, I was somewhat skeptical about whether Al Franken could do good radio. Well, it seems somebody likes it:

But in New York, where Air America still broadcasts over WLIB-1190 AM, the network beat Limbaugh's station, Disney-owned WABC, among both 25-to-54-year-olds and 18-to-34-year-olds during the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. period. In the 25-to-54 demographic, WLIB garnered a 3.4 share to WABC's 3.1; among 18-to-34-year-olds, WLIB won sevenfold with a 2.9 share to WABC's 0.4.

That's from the Chicago Tribune, which still lead with Franken's network's managerial teething trouble. (Management chaos in the media? Perish the thought!) And the Trib did better than the New York Times, whose story put "office politics", not ratings, into the headline, and didn't even mention Franken's immediate and unexpected ratings success for a dozen paragraphs, and didn't mention the ratings blowout in the 18-to-34 demographic at all.

Why is the so-called liberal media sniping like this at their brethren? Easy. It's better dish...

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

While the muse is on vacation, a few quotes.

First, a few snippets from Enron energy traders caught in the act of gaming the energy market to drive up revenues:

For example, in one transcript a trader asks about "all the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers of California."

To which the Enron trader responds, "Yeah, Grandma Millie, man. But she's the one who couldn't figure out how to (expletive) vote on the butterfly ballot." ...

In another, an Enron trader identified as David discusses shutting down a steamer from a generating unit to increase prices.

"I was wondering, um, the demand out there is er ... there's not much, ah, demand for power at all and we're running kind of fat. Um, if you took down the steamer, how long would it take to get it back up?

"Oh, it's not something you want to just be turning on and off every hour. Let's put it that way," another trader says.

"If we shut it down, could you bring it back up in three-- three or four hours, something like that?" David asks.

"Oh, yeah," the other trader says.

"Well, why don't you just go ahead and shut her down, then, if that's OK," David says.

And now, courtesy of the Internet Wayback Machine, a flashback to the halcyon days of the Enron bankruptcy, in which a Republican blogger explains to stupid liberals why this couldn't possibly be happening:

EARTH TO STUPID: THE MARKET WORKS! This may seem like it was years ago, but who remembers this precious quote?

I would love to personally escort [Enron CEO Kenneth] Lay to an 8 by 10 cell that he could share with a tattooed dude who says, 'Hi, my name is Spike, honey.'

That was California's Democratic attorney general, Bill Lockyer, speaking out about his solution to the energy providers' "gouging" of California's electricity consumers. Well, Lockyer must be positively thrilled about what has happened to Lay this week. The final verdict on whether Enron "gouged" California consumers has just been delivered. It turns out that Enron was so good at extracting predatory profits from the market that it is now a complete laughingstock: near-bankrupt, its' issues trading for pennies on the dollar, downgraded to junk-bond status. The energy "crisis" that some festooned as the work of rapacious price gougers has, in a matter of months, transformed itself into an energy glut, with some libs now complaining that oil prices may go too low. When will these people ever learn about supply, demand, and markets?

When indeed?

Dug this out of because the blogger in question is remodeling his site, and his own archive is gone...

Hadn't meant to go on hiatus, but the muse has apparently fled. Her return is expected in a few days...

Sunday, May 30, 2004

A note from the lighter side: When Isabella first showed up on the net, a lot of people were suggesting that she was somehow a scam trying to sell something, even though no one could ever really figure out what she was trying to sell. Now, we have a possible answer: high quality mix tapes.

Though she still hasn't quite got to the "charging money" part...

Billmon is back from a week's hiatus, beginning with a superb and depressing overview of where we stand in Iraq, which was depressing enough even before a former CIA tool with no domestic constituency was named presumptive Prime Minister, and started naming his colleagues on the IGC to cabinet posts. (Josh Marshall wound up a few day's worth of frenzied parsing of newspaper accounts from mutually contradictory anonymous sources by thinking that the prime mover in that was the IGC itself -- which, as Marshall notes, would be a good thing if the IGC had any credibility with the Iraqi public at large, but it doesn't).

And Billmon's return is just as well, because I'm feeling talked out. This isn't the day or the occasion for posts on privatization and, of all things, the principle of comparative advantage that I've researched, but find I don't have a whole lot of energy to actually write. But reading through his comments, one finds even more depressing stuff.

It's a weekend set aside to show respect for the troops, who defend this nation and the principles on which it was founded. And perhaps, though I've never been terribly religious, an occasion for prayers for both...