Praise the Lord

And pass the ammunition (via JC):

Already facing a spate of private lawsuits, the legal troubles of the country’s largest credit rating agencies deepened on Friday when the attorney general of Ohio sued Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, claiming that they had cost state retirement and pension funds some $457 million by approving high-risk Wall Street securities that went bust in the financial collapse.

The second paragraph could almost be parody:

The case could test whether the agencies’ ratings are constitutionally protected as a form of free speech.

I really hope that's their line of defense, and not a "prove negligence" angle, which might actually give them a chance of wriggling off the hook.

Here's my question though. After the last couple of years, why do these bloodclots still have 85% of the market share in their industry? Isn't the free market supposed to punish companies that fuck up so colossally? The mere fact that they don't have 100% market share proves they have some competition.

The TTC's Bad PR Clinic

So having moved out onto the Danforth, and no longer being within walking distance of work, I thought about starting to get a monthly TTC pass again. The price of a Metropass has gotten ridiculous over the last few years (it works out to a little over 48 rides a month if you buy tokens instead, which means if you work five days a week and ride to and from work every day, you still have to ride the TTC at least nine more times in the month just to break even) but I figured it would probably be worth it, with all the late-night shlepping home from karaoke that I do.

Pretty much as soon as the thought formed in my head, the TTC announced a price hike.

Then, on the heels of the price hike, a road crew did some damage to the roof of the subway tunnel on Yonge Street north of Eglinton Thursday, forcing a service shutdown/delay for most of the day. (This, granted, wasn't the TTC's fault and they did well just to get service going again that night instead of the next day, but everyone blames them for it anyway.)

Then, today, as I switched trains at Bloor/Yonge Station, I was greeted by TTC workers in their spiffy burgundy jackets handing out leaflets. Apologies for the delay the day before, perhaps?

Nope. They were leaflets scolding people to walk down to the end of the platform to avoid crowding.

Now, I have no problem with that sort of scolding on a bus or streetcar, where it doesn't matter much where you stand. But on the subway, where you might need to get on at one end of the train or the other because that's where your exit is? Idiocy. Pure idiocy.

And they paid union employees to dispense this idiocy rather than hiring a bunch of cheap college kids the way the marketing bloodclots who infect Union Station do when they want to distribute free samples of something. I do not wish to speculate on whether these union employees made time-and-a-half for their efforts.

And they do this on the heels of crying poor and announcing a price hike. Right before Christmas. In this economy.

Things I Learned Today

Sarah Palin apparently doesn't believe the Soviet Union was actually evil:

The term I used to describe the panel making these decisions should not be taken literally,” says Palin. The phrase is “a lot like when President Reagan used to refer tothe Soviet Union as the ‘evil empire.’ He got his point across. He got people thinking and researching what he was talking about. It was quite effective. Same thing with the ‘death panels.’ I would characterize them like that again, in a heartbeat.

So Reagan wasn't really saying the USSR was an 'evil empire', he was just being overly dramatic so people would think about and research the Soviet Union, which no one knew much about or paid much attention to in the '80s, and discover for themselves how, err, not-evil it was.

Is that about the jist of it, Sarah?

All Members of the Media Are Dumb

All of them. They must lobotomize you when they hand you your journalism degree. It's the only explanation.

All the shrieking about Bill Belichick's decision last night to spit in the face of Conventional Wisdom and go for it on 4th and 2 inside the Pats' 30 yard line, with a little over two minutes left in the game, is just funny. If you give Peyton the ball back and force him to go 75 yards in two minutes instead of 25, he probably scores anyway. On the other hand, if New England gets the first down there, they can run down the clock and win the game without giving Peyton a chance to beat them. Plus, the high-percentage short pass to Kevin Faulk only came up short because of a) a great tackle by the Colts' defender, and b) a questionable spot by the ref that Belichick couldn't challenge.

The moral of the story is that it doesn't matter in what field you flount Conventional Wisdom. The media, in their ordained role as defenders of orthodoxy, will attack you for it.