January 24, 2015

Memo to People Who Called Us Paranoid About the Government Taxing Savings Plans

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:40 pm

We weren’t paranoid — just good predictors and assesors of the other side’s lack of character and integrity.

Oh, and you guys were either dissembling, or hopelessly naive.

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (012415)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: RIP, Ernie Banks

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Chicago — my first sports idol as a kid and a lifelong hero has passed away:

Ernie Banks dies at age 83


“Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks, the Hall of Fame slugger and two-time MVP who never lost his boundless enthusiasm for baseball despite years of playing on losing Chicago Cubs teams, died Friday night. He was 83.

The Cubs paid tribute to Banks on the Wrigley marquee Friday night:


The Cubs announced Banks’ death, but did not provide a cause.

“Words cannot express how important Ernie Banks will always be to the Chicago Cubs, the city of Chicago and Major League Baseball. He was one of the greatest players of all time,” Tom Ricketts, chairman of the Cubs, said in a statement released by the team. “He was a pioneer in the major leagues. And more importantly, he was the warmest and most sincere person I’ve ever known.

“Approachable, ever optimistic and kind hearted, Ernie Banks is and always will be Mr. Cub. My family and I grieve the loss of such a great and good-hearted man, but we look forward to celebrating Ernie’s life in the days ahead.”

Though he played in 14 All-Star Games from 1953 to ’71, Banks never reached the postseason, and the Cubs finished below .500 in all but six of his seasons. Still, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977, the first year he was eligible, and selected to baseball’s All-Century team in 1999.

Banks’ infectious smile and nonstop good humor despite his team’s dismal record endeared him to Chicago fans, who voted him the best player in franchise history.

One famous admirer, “Saturday Night Live” star Bill Murray, named his son Homer Banks Murray. Former major league outfielder Dale Murphy, in a tweet Friday night, said: “Did a card show w Ernie Banks. He drove the promoter crazy! Spent time/talked with every person. After an hour had signed maybe 15.”

Banks’ No. 14 was the first number retired by the Cubs, and hangs from the left-field foul pole at Wrigley Field.

“I’d like to get to the last game of the World Series at Wrigley Field and hit three homers,” he once said. “That was what I always wanted to do.”

News of Banks’ death quickly spread throughout the sports world Friday night, with major league teams, former greats and current players taking to social media to express their condolences. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

More stories about Banks’ career are here (video at link), here (tributes), here, and here (original scouting report indicating that his attitude was “very good”).

So many athletes ultimately disappoint those who idolize them, but not Ernie Banks, who always had a heart of gold and an iron will.

Quote of the day: “Heaven-sent and now heaven-bound. Thanks, Mr. Cub!”