Prompted by the advent of cooler weather and a desire not to have to suit up for a Michigan winter night every time the dog needs her bedtime pee, Alan and I have embarked upon a long-discussed back yard renovation project. It’s modest, really, but as usual, it’s not cheap.
So we’ve applied for a home equity line of credit. I remember when banks were giving these away like logo keychains, but evidently things have changed. This is good — anything to keep banks a little more sober — but honestly, once I got the letters informing us of our credit rating I thought we’d get the money within a couple of days. We’re both above 800! Platinum level, they call that.
Instead, it’s been phone calls and send this document, no, send that document and today was the worst — an email telling us our loan status had been updated, without explaining was it was and what it is now, concluding with this appalling sentence:
If needed, we will be contacting you shortly to collect any additional information that may be required to fully decision your loan request.
Fully decision our loan request, yes. I can’t stand it. Or rather, I am lacking tolerate for this.
Really good piece by Ezra Klein today, arranged BuzzFeed style: The 13 reasons Washington is failing. It’s stuff you think you know (Polarized media makes it easier for politicians and voters to fool themselves) and stuff you probably haven’t thought of (Earmarks are gone) and, well, 11 others. Best single line:
The problem with living in an age when you can choose your own media isn’t just that it’s easier to surround yourself with people who agree with you. It’s that it’s easier to surround yourself with people who, purposefully or not, mislead you.
I know I don’t get much response when I post items about the news media, but this one struck me today, a complaint by a TV producer about aggregating websites — some of which, like the Daily Mail, don’t really own up to being one — outright stealing original stories and repackaging them as their own, sometimes with errors inserted:
Saturday, a “reporter” from thinkprogress.org cribbed from several stories about of an Alaska Supreme Court case with no explicit attribution for any of his news sources. He also introduced several factual errors, and appears to have done virtually no firsthand reporting. The most egregious copying was of a bulleted list of three questions on which the case hinges without quotes.
I see, via social media, how often people post stories from sites like these. That’s not to say they’re all crap, but please, if you do: Consider the source.
I’m watching a great “Frontline” as I write this, about the head-trauma scandal in pro football. Watch it if you can, and certainly if you have a child who plays football. (Suggest he try golf instead.)
How can it possibly be only Wednesday? It feels like next Tuesday.