I Want to Bite the Hand That Feeds Me

Elvis Costello has a new boxed set out and he doesn’t want you to buy it:

Unfortunately, we at www.elviscostello.com find ourselves unable to recommend this lovely item to you as the price appears to be either a misprint or a satire.

All our attempts to have this number revised have been fruitless but rather than detain you with tedious arguments about morality, panache and book-keeping – when there are really bigger fish to filet these days – we are taking the following unusual step.

If you should really want to buy something special for your loved one at this time of seasonal giving, we can whole-heartedly recommend, “Ambassador Of Jazz” – a cute little imitation suitcase, covered in travel stickers and embossed with the name “Satchmo” but more importantly containing TEN re-mastered albums by one of the most beautiful and loving revolutionaries who ever lived – Louis Armstrong.

The box should be available for under one hundred and fifty American dollars and includes a number of other tricks and treats. Frankly, the music is vastly superior.

Amazon has it priced at $202.66 so I assume it must be at least $225 retail for one CD, one DVD, a 10″ vinyl record and a 40 page hardcover book.

Shorter Rand Paul on the Cain Scandal: “Bitches, Man. Bitches.”

Rand Paul will say anything.

Rand Paul is all torn up about this Herman Cain business.

Not because sexual harassment in the workplace is a scourge that should be eradicated so that women and men at work can concentrate on putting those red covers on their TPS reports, rather than warding off unwanted games of grab-ass. Oh no! But because woman are just so goddamn sensitive:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has an interesting take on Herman Cain’s growing scandal: honestly, he says, these days it seems like women can’t take a joke.

“There are people now who hesitate to tell a joke to a woman in the workplace, any kind of joke, because it could be interpreted incorrectly,” he told the National Review. “I don’t. I’m very cautious.”

‘In my election, I had an anonymous girl from college — who I still don’t know — make accusations against me,” he told NR. “I don’t think you should print stuff like that. To libel someone’s character and not put your name on it, I think is inappropriate and shouldn’t be printed.”

Good to know that Paul is very cautious… now. Rumor has it that he used to end all his jokes with a “Ba da bing!” and a super-sweet set of finger guns.

[via Talking Points Memo]

Time Warner Ordered Employee to Stop Administering CPR to Dying Co-Worker and Get Back to Work


Looks like Time Warner has a bit of a PR debacle on its hands.

A Time Warner customer service representative, Julia Nelson, died at her desk at a Time Warner customer call center in Garfield Heights, Ohio last month. It turns out that a Time Warner employee (who refused to be interviewed on camera) began to administer CPR to the dying woman, but was ordered by a supervisor to stop, and to get back to work. The employee also said that another boss told her that she could be held liable in the event that something went wrong as a result of the potentially life-saving treatment that see was performing on Nelson.

Not only did Time Warner let one of its long-time employees die, Time Warner prevented any of its other employees from doing anything to help.

It’s unconscionable.

From Crooks and Liars:

Read more

Occupy Santa Cruz: Bank of America Threatens to Arrest Customers Trying to Close Their Accounts

“You can’t be a customer and a protestor.”

This is bananas.  From Stephen Foster at Addicting Info:

Two protesters involved with Occupy Santa Cruz in California walked into Bank of America earlier this week to close their own accounts as part of the national protest against the greed and irresponsibility of Wall Street, which has only seen it’s profits soar since it nearly collapsed the economy back in 2008… Rather than allow their customers to close their accounts, they told them that “you can not be a protester and a customer at the same time.” The bank manager threatened to lock the doors and call the police to have their own customers arrested for the simple act of requesting the closure of their own accounts. The two women left the bank and called the police. The officer went into the bank and after talking to the manager, relayed a message to them. According to the bank manager, “If they came in with the signs and they were part of the protest earlier, then they are protesters and cannot be customers at the same time.”

Just as Citibank’s statement regarding its arrest of protestors at a branch in New York was an epic PR failure, so was Bank of America’s response to the arrests in Santa Cruz:

Read more

Early Morning Open Thread: Silliness

A reminder from Keith Humphreys at the Washington Monthly on the inherent limitations of statistical prognostications:

… In psychiatry, there is a fun logical problem in which students are asked to generate an instrument that will accurately classify people with and without schizophrenia in a sample of the population. Students draw up elaborate series of questions and diagnostic procedures and sometimes do as well as being right 95% of the time. But those approaches are all inferior to a different diagnostic system, which classifies all people as non-schizophrenic without bothering to ask them anything. Because only 1% of people have schizophrenia, such a system is correct an impressive 99% of the time. When you are trying to predict something with a very low base rate, most of the time you make a positive prediction (e.g., this person has schizophrenia) you will be wrong, and most of the observations you make about the group for which you make a negative prediction (e.g., this person doesn’t have schizophrenia) will be true but have trivial predictive power because they are true of almost everyone…
Fast-forward to President Obama, whom you may have heard cannot win in 2012 because no President has been re-elected with high unemployment. After it was pointed out that FDR and Ronald Reagan were both re-elected with high unemployment, the shocking historico-statistical proof of Obama’s political demise was re-framed to “No President since World War II other than Ronald Reagan has been re-elected with high unemployment”. But so what? Only 5 people have been twice elected President since World War II, and an infinite number of things is true of all the people who haven’t.
No one who wasn’t from California, Texas or Arkansas has been re-elected President since World War II (Doom for Obama!). No one whose last name starts with an O has been re-elected President since World War II (Double doom!). No one who was African-American has been re-elected (Triple Doom! Hey wait a minute, how did he get elected the first time…he was African-American then wasn’t he?). At least President Obama can take comfort in the fact that every single left-handed President who ran for re-election since World War II has won, as long as you don’t count George H.W. Bush.