Web Bits

My paternal grandfather has taken to the habit of giving members of his family, at every opportunity, denominations of the money he spent his life saving. He gave my wife and me money for our trip to Europe then, when we went up to the Upper Peninsula to visit and thank him, he gave us some more money. When we made him and my aunt dinner one night during our stay, he gave us yet more money. When my wife left a pair of shorts there, he sent them back with a dollar bill stuffed in each pocket. He seems determined not to take anything with him. I should note that my maternal grandmother, upon her passing, had a strongbox with $50,000 in cash stored under one of the steps of her stairs. The capacity for children of the Depression to save is amazing to me.

Since I had done nothing to earn the money, I thought at least a small part of it could go to some better endeavor than my coffee habit. I gave $20 to Dorothy at Cat and Girl and here you can see the result. This may be the best $20 I ever spent — it resulted not only in the artistic product linked to, but may facilitate even greater cultural production. Or something.

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I’ve put Greg Mankiw’s blog on the blogroll. While it’s unfortunately not very in-depth, it does give the occasional glance into the mind of economists, which I appreciate. One econ blog I can’t stand is the pointlessly contrarian, I-did-an-MBA-at-Chicago-and-am-smarter-than-you Assymetrical Information. Mankiw has also done some housing stuff I find interesting. Top econ blogs.

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I got on the John Edwards email list a couple months ago, and I’ve decided he is the candidate I am voting for in the Democratic primary. Chicago is nuts about Barack Obama, but I’m not as impressed. I’ve found him too centrist (despite his appropriate opposition to the Iraq War) from the start while Edwards has been closest to my positions on health care (hell yes we’ll have to raise taxes), opposition to the Bush administration, environment, and economic inequity. I’m generally left of the Democratic Party. My sense is that Clinton is the most likely to win the general (I don’t underestimate star power), but Edwards will provide the best opportunity for transformative change. With any luck, major news sources have gotten over the “$400 haircut” crap and might provide something better in the way of candidate coverage.

UPDATE: 4-min Edwards bit from N.H. on health care.