Friday, February 20, 2009

Current bear: age 16.4 months

I think I'll try to remember to post these awesome charts from Doug Short at every week. (Mr. Short updates these daily.) They give some perspective on where the market is compared to historical bears and they provide a sense of where we're at in depth and duration of our current bear.

Four Bad Bears

And the Bear Bottoming Process:

Jindahl is brilliant

The result of Gov. Jindahl's decision to refuse some of the federal aid to unemployed workers might be that his state's unemployed will leave Louisiana and head elsewhere. (Look out, Texas.)

Bank Nationalization

Deroy Murdock of the Hoover Institution deploring Greenspan’s, Graham’s and McCain’s (allegedly, I haven’t heard McCain say it) call for the possibility of Bank Nationalization at NRO:

Regarding nationalization, America’s free market has devolved in half a year from unsullied maiden to street-corner whore. This sad truth is one more reason for the American Right to repudiate the Bush-Rove-Paulson borrow-spend-and-bailout model and its architects, as if severing and discarding an infected appendix.

I’m not sure she was completely unsullied last Labor Day but I loved the paragraph.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Caught this last weekend at an early showing. Early showing was important because this is a very, very long movie. The first couple of hours were slow. Very slow. Did I say that it was slow? Whether or not I liked it or thought it was good was overshadowed by how many times I looked at my watch. Another example - I normally never leave the theater during a movie. If I need a bathroom break, I just wait. I'm always afraid I'll miss something. I didn't have that problem here. I was extremely confident that no matter how long it took me to get there and back, I wasn't really going to miss anything. And I didn't.

OK - enough about the length. I, along with those sitting near us, found it humorous that this film was based upon a short story (sorry, I couldn't help myself). I'm not a big Brad Pitt fan, so I wasn't expecting much from him. So I guess he delivered. My impression is that he followed what has become a trend in Hollywood lately to get yourself either (1) overweight and/or (2) in not very attractive make-up and presto, Oscar nomination. Charlize Theron, Kate Winslet, Robert Downey Jr, etc. The story was semi-interesting, but only near the end for me as Pitt had to become younger. And the relationship he had with his love interest as their ages converged gave the movie whatever pop for me it could. Both C and I were underwhelmed and surprised that it was nominated, but then again, it fit the formula that Hollywood loves to promote. If this wins anything major, I will be surprised and disappointed.

Truth in budgeting

Yay. Obama has done away with Bush's underhanded approach of leaving select items out of the official federal budget, thereby obscuring exactly how much the deficit was. It's a gutsy move; a less honest man might instead have opted to leave, say, stimulus spending off the budget using Bush's rationale for leaving the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars off the books.

The Reader

This is a Best Picture nominee, which also includes my favorite actress - Kate Winslet. I read the book many years ago, so I knew the plot and I was curious to see how the film would work in Ralph Fiennes. My recall of his character in the book was that it was somewhat small, yet in the movie, he is much more prominent than Kate. In fact, Fiennes character as a young boy has more screen time than she does. I've read that many in the film industry feel as if this was more of a supporting role for Winslet and she should have been nominated for Best Actress for "Revolutionary Road" (which C and I will be seeing this weekend). The movie itself is a tad slow and while the performances were all good, I came away feeling that the movie itself wasn't. That being said, Winslet was very good in this. She really shows her skill because she doesn't have all that many lines of dialogue - she does most of her acting with looks, with expressions, with body language. You read all the time about how many women have negative feelings about their bodies - you can tell from her words and roles that she doesn't. It's obvious that she is very much in tune with her body, so she has the freedom to use it (use all of it) to express inner emotions and feelings through it. She really is at the top of her game right now, which for her is saying something.

An interesting side-note to this film is that the movie couldn't start production until the young man that is Winslet's love interest turned 18, due to the sex scenes and frontal nudity (for both of them). I think this is the year that Kate finally wins a Oscar - one that she should have won years ago. I just hope she doesn't blubber and studder during her speech pretending to be shocked and not have prepared anything. Please....she has been picking up awards for the last couple of months, so she has to have an idea that she MIGHT win.

LJ's Best Picture Film Festival

I've been, correctly I must say, called out for not blogging lately about my Oscar nominated film festival. In my defense, I've been spending most of my "free time" trying to get through the final season of The Soprano's, doing our 2008 tax return, and researching/planning a vacation C and I are taking in early April. However, I should be able to find time to follow through on this.....

Several weeks ago, C and I saw "Doubt". This isn't one of the Best Picture nominees, but we wanted to see this because of the 2 leads (Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep) and to see if someone who is in only 1 scene of a movie could be good enough to get an Oscar nomination (Viola Davis - Best Supporting Actress). This film is adapted from a play and it did have a play-ish feel to it. The story was really good and the acting was very good and while Viola Davis was in only 1 scene (actually, technically 2), the scene(s) was an important one and she WAS great in it. Amy Adams has also been nominated for Best Supporting Actress in this and while she has more scenes, she didn't stand out at all to me. I'm sure that anyone who went to a Catholic school in the 50's - 60's had some serious flashbacks, especially in relation to Streeps' character. In the end, the audience has just as many "doubts" as Streep does, from the main question of the plot, but also of faith, of justifications, of styles, of just about everything. This movie does what I think most good/great films should do - giving you ample ammunition for discussions and conversations hours after seeing it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

And because it is the subject of Today in History

in that thing over on the right. Gallipoli was one of my favorite movies of my misspent youth.

Worst Movie

There is a thread going on at The Corner on the worst movie ever. I can't say it's the worst ever but The Villain is the worst I ever paid money to see in a theater. I didn't walk out and demand my money back because I was young and stupid. I have done that since and have never had a theater not quickly return my money.

If you haven't seen it, it is a combination of any generic American western and a Roadrunner cartoon. Even the lovely Ms. Margaret couldn't save this disaster for a male teenager. I've forgotten her character's name but the Governator's name was "Handsome Stranger" and Kirk Douglas's name was "Cactus Jack."


I'm calling it. Winter is done, over, kaput for this year in Minneapolis. Sure we'll have lots of snow in March and maybe a temperature dip down to zero once or twice more. But no more blocks of days that don't get above 15.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer is essential reading for any serious Christian and probably for any serious student of 20th C. philosophy. I haven't read it in years and will do so again soon thanks to Stephanie's post below.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Obama, Niebuhr, and Speaking of Faith

I generally enjoy Krista Tippett's Speaking of Faith program that airs on Minnesota Public Radio. This past week, she did a show on Niebuhr's influence on Obama's philosophy in life and policy. Her show featured E.J. Dionne and David Brooks. I didn't get much of a liberal arts education in college, but I think it's a hoot to hear folks who have that kind of background show off their facility. Dionne does that in this discussion. You can hear it here.

The Fairness Doctrine

This just in: Obama STILL doesn't want to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine. As Fox put it: “The statement is the first definitive stance the administration has taken since an aide told an industry publication last summer that Obama opposes the doctrine -- a long-abolished policy that would require broadcasters to provide opposing viewpoints on controversial issues." In other words, this is the first time he's said it since the last time he said it.

Fox followed that story with this breaking news: " Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead."

Money going to Responsible Home Owners

In response to the Update on Scooter's post, that inquires as to how the plan will manage to only give money to those who didn't buy more house than they knew they could afford:

It looks to me like the only cash payments that will be made under this plan would go to lenders. (I'm still reviewing it, so maybe I've missed something.) So, in a literal sense, no cash will be going to any homeowner.

Also, it doesn't look to me like there's anything in the executive summary of this plan that precludes a mortgage rework for someone who "knew" they were taking out a mortgage they couldn't afford. Part of the plan is only available if the mortgage payments exceed a given percentage of income. There's no test of "knowing"; instead, there's a percentage of income test. (That might be intended to be limited to situations in which the payments have gone up as a result of exotic loan terms, but I can't tell for sure.) There is the big and broad and vague provision (in the Exec. Summary) that calls for Treasury to develop guidelines for loan modifications across the mortgage industry. Those could include some sort of test (of affordability or of knowledge of non-affordability), but that's not spelled out in the executive summary.

In short, I think the criticism that the plan calls for a ridiculous knowledge test might be a red herring. Too soon to tell. The administration may be marketing the plan by saying that it won't help those who knowingly took on more mortgage than they could afford, and that might accurately be the result of limitations within the plan, but that doesn't mean that's the test.

Here is a link to a Fact Sheet that has a couple more details than the Executive Summary. Still, I don't see anything resembling a knowledge test.

Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan

Here is the White House's Executive Summary of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan. Some of it strikes me as a good idea or at least reasonable. For example, where there are rules that currently prevent reworking a mortgage (e.g. Fannie/Freddie w/r/t mortgages that exceed 80% of the home value), I'm OK with changing the rules to allow a rework. And I may be OK with parts of the plan that provide incentives for lenders to rework mortgages (without requiring a rework).

I'm considering the rest of it, keeping in mind that doing nothing may actually cost more for all of us (in lower house values and in lost property tax revenue from boarded up housing) than doing something.

More Stanford

I knew they were big into sports sponsorships but this may cost those groups $100M. From Bloomberg:

Stanford accelerated his sports drive over the past two years by funding a $100 million cricket series, backing top golf and tennis events, and signing top athletes such as golf’s Vijay Singh and soccer’s Michael Owen to promote his financial companies. Already, cricket officials from the U.K. and Caribbean have suspended talks with Stanford over sponsorships.

Funny how small that $100M looks today. What was Enron's sponsorship of Minute Maid Park nee Enron Field?

Update from the AP via

On Feb. 27, the team paid $2.1 million to take back the naming rights to the stadium _ formerly known as Enron Field _ and temporarily dubbed it Astros Field until a new sponsor steps up. The Astros purged references to Enron from their Web site that same day.

Chump change.

President Obama on Underwater Mortgages

From the NYT:

The proposal, which is more ambitious than expected, would spend $75 billion to help keep as many as four million families in their homes, and would help as many as five million more refinance their mortgages to take advantage of lower interest rates.

Wow. I hated the Medicare expansion of Bush. I was unclear at the time of Bush's TARP because it happened so fast, but have grown to hate it. I was depressed yesterday when GM and Chrysler said they'd need more money just to, in my mind, kick the bankruptcy can down the road.

Now, more money for the underwater mortgages. Pretty soon we'll be "talking about real money."

Update: Just heard a radio broadcast that said none of this money will go to those who knew they were buying more house than they could afford. How, exactly, will that be determined?


I have an acquaintance who is a “Managing Director – Investments” for the Stanford Group. He also is an adviser to a couple of former clients of mine whose names you would recognize. They are really good people and I hope they haven’t been taken.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Frontline: Inside the Meltdown

Frontline has produced a show on the financial meltdown and TARP I. It is showing on Twin Cities Public Television tonight. It does a good job of telling the narrative of those days in November 2008. It's worth seeing if you get the chance. Eventually, it'll be available to watch on their website, but not just yet.

Obama's Justice defending Bush Gun Policy

From the WaPo:

The Obama administration is legally defending a last-minute rule enacted by President George W. Bush that allows concealed firearms in national parks, even as it is internally reviewing whether the measure meets environmental muster.

In a response Friday to a lawsuit by gun-control and environmental groups, the Justice Department sought to block a preliminary injunction of the controversial rule. The regulation, which took effect Jan. 9, allows visitors [emph. mine] to bring concealed, loaded guns into national parks and wildlife refuges; for more than two decades they were allowed in such areas only if they were unloaded or stored and dismantled.

That is a bit misleading. It should say “visitors with concealed carry permits legally issued by the state in which the park is located”.

Strange Ad from

Just heard a weird ad from blasting one my senators for supporting the TARP bill. It blasted him for the "Wall Street bailout." I'm no fan of the bill but that was months ago and I seem to recall the bill was pretty much suppported by both sides at the time. We had to DO SOMETHING. I know that call came from the White House but most went along.

The ad sounded like it was going to be political ad from a future Democrat opponent. At the end it had the "paid for by" blurb.

It urged listeners to call him and tell him to get back to work "for the people."

The really strange part was that the ad ran on KLBJ, the local blowtorch here in Austin...during the Limbaugh program.

If I were a contributor to, I might want to tell them the ad could be better placed. This is Austin but there must be a better audience to try to persuade.

Secretary Clinton's role as "image" manager

From Stratfor this week on President Obama's foreign policy:

Rodger Baker

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is making her first official overseas visit, with scheduled stops in Tokyo; Jakarta, Indonesia; Seoul, South Korea; and Beijing. The choice of Asia as her first destination is intended to signal a more global focus for U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration, as opposed to the heavy emphasis on the Middle East and South Asia seen in the last years of the Bush administration. It also represents the kickoff of an ambitious travel plan that will see Clinton visiting numerous countries across the globe in a bid to project the image of a more cooperative U.S. administration.

Clinton’s Asian expedition is not the first overseas visit by a key member of the new administration. Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Germany for the Munich Security Conference, where he faced the Russians. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell has finished his first trip to his area of responsibility, and is already planning a return visit to the Middle East. And Richard Holbrooke, special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, has visited both South Asian countries in addition to making a “listening” stop in India.

The Emergence of a New Foreign Policy

As with any new U.S. presidency, there will be a period of reshaping policy, of setting priorities, and of balancing internal differences within the Obama administration. The various individuals and visits cataloged above in part reflect the Obama administration’s emerging foreign policy.

A two-pronged Obama foreign policy approach is unfolding. The first prong, relating to the general tenor of foreign relations, involves a modern application of the “speak softly and carry a big stick” approach. The second prong, relating to the distribution of power within the administration, involves a centralization of foreign policy centering on a stronger and expanded National Security Council (NSC) and relies on special envoys for crisis areas, leaving the secretary of state to shape foreign perceptions rather than policy.

The Obama administration faced mixed expectations as it came into office. Perhaps the most far-reaching expectation on the international front was the idea that the Obama administration would somehow be the antithesis of the previous Bush administration. Whereas Bush often was portrayed as a unilateralist “cowboy,” constantly confronting others and never listening to allies (much less competitors), it was thought that Obama somehow would remake America into a nation that withheld its military power and instead confronted international relations via consultations and cooperation. In essence, the Bush administration was seen as aggressive and unwilling to listen, while an Obama administration was expected to be more easily shaped and manipulated.

Anticipation of a weaker administration created a challenge for Obama from the start. While many of his supporters saw him as the anti-Bush, the new president had no intention of shifting America to a second-tier position or making the United States isolationist. Obama’s focus on reducing U.S. forces in Iraq and the discussions during Clinton’s confirmation hearing of reducing the military’s role in reconstruction operations did not reflect an anti-military bias or even new ideas, but something Defense Secretary Robert Gates had advocated for under former U.S. President George W. Bush. A reshaping of the U.S. military will in fact take place over the course of Obama’s term in office. But the decision to reduce the U.S. military presence in Iraq is not unique to this administration; it is merely a recognition of the reality of the limitations of military resources.

Diplomacy and Military Power

The new administration has applied this decision as the basis of a strategy to refocus the military on its core competencies and rebuild the military’s strength and readiness, using that as the strong and stable framework from which to pursue an apparently more cooperative foreign policy. U.S. diplomatic power needs a strong military, and operations in Iraq have drained U.S. military power — something highlighted by the U.S. inability to act on its policies when the Russians moved in on Georgia.

It is not only U.S. political power that is reinforced by military power, but U.S. economic strength as well. Control of the world’s sea-lanes — and increasingly, control of outer space — is what ensures the security of U.S. economic links abroad. In theory, the United States can thus interdict competitors’ supply lines and economic ties while protecting its own. Despite globalization and greater economic ties, physical power still remains the strongest backer to diplomacy.

Ideology alone will not change the world, much less the actions of so-called rogue states or even pirates along the Somali coast. The first principal of Obama’s foreign policy, then, will be making sure it has big stick to carry, one freed from long-term reconstruction commitments or seemingly intractable situations such as Iraq. Only with an available and effective military can one afford to speak softly without being trod upon.

Rebuilding U.S. military readiness and strength is not going to be easy. Iraq and Afghanistan remain to be taken care of, and there are years of heavy activity and at times declining recruitment to recover from. While there are substantial benefits to a battle-hardened military accustomed to a high deployment tempo, this also has its costs — reset costs will be high. A very real domestic military shake-up looms on the one- to two-year horizon in order to bring the Pentagon back into line with fiscal and procurement realities, coupled with concerns about midlevel officer retention. But the Pentagon’s thinking and strategic guidance already have moved toward cooperative security and toward working more closely with allies and partners to stabilize and manage the global security environment, with an emphasis on requiring foreign participation and burden-sharing.

A Greater Security Role for Allies and a Centralized Foreign Policy

Obama will also work on managing the U.S. image abroad. Opposition to Bush and opposition to the war in Iraq often became synonymous internationally, evolving intentionally or otherwise into broader anti-war and anti-military sentiments. Rebuilding the military’s image internationally will not happen overnight. Part of the process will involve using the sense of change inherent in any new U.S. administration to push allies and others to take on a greater role in global security.

In Asia, for example, Clinton will call on Tokyo and Seoul to step up operations in Afghanistan, particularly in reconstruction and development efforts. But Tokyo and Seoul also will be called on to take a greater role in regional security — Seoul on the Korean Peninsula and Tokyo as a more active military ally overall. The same message will be sent to Europe and elsewhere: If you want a multilateral United States, you will have to take up the slack and participate in multilateral operations. The multilateral mantra will not be one in which the United States does what others say, but rather one in which the United States holds others to the task. In the end, this will reduce U.S. commitments abroad, allowing the military to refocus on its core competencies and rebuild its strength.

A strong military thus forms the foundation of any foreign policy. Obama’s foreign policy approach is largely centralized in a bid for a wider approach. Taking China as an example, for the last half-dozen years, U.S. policy on China was based almost entirely on economics. The U.S. Treasury Department took the lead in China relations, while other issues — everything from Chinese military developments to Beijing’s growing presence in Africa and Latin America to human rights — took a back seat. While the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (or something similar) will remain a major pillar of U.S.-China relations under Obama, equally important parallel tracks will focus on military and security issues, nontraditional threats, politics and human rights. This multifaceted approach will require close co operation among numerous departments and divisions to avoid the chaos seen in things like U.S. policy on North Korea.

This coordination will take place in an expanded NSC, one that brings in the economic elements on equal footing with security and political concerns. Combined with the appointment of special envoys for critical regions, this is intended to ensure a more unified and complete approach to foreign policy. This way, Obama retains oversight over policy, while his erstwhile rival Clinton is just one voice at the table. The State Department’s role thus becomes more about image management and development.

Accordingly, Clinton’s foreign travels are less about shaping foreign policy than shaping foreign images of the United States. She is demonstrating the new consultative nature of the administration by going everywhere and listening to everyone. Meanwhile, the hard-hitting foreign policy initiatives go to the special envoys, who can dedicate their time and energy to just one topic. Holbrooke got South Asia, Mitchell got the Middle East, and there are indications that managing overall China strategy will fall to Biden, at least in the near term.

Other special envoys and special representatives might emerge, some technically reporting through the State Department, others to other departments, but all effectively reporting back to the NSC and the president. In theory, this will mitigate the kind of bickering between the State Department and NSC that characterized Bush’s first term (a concern hardly limited to the most recent ex-president). And to keep it busy, the State Department has been tasked with rebuilding the U.S. Agency for International Development or an equivalent program for taking reconstruction and development programs, slowly freeing the military from the reconstruction business.

As Clinton heads to Asia, then, the expectations of Asian allies and China of a newfound American appreciation for the Far East might be a bit misplaced. Certainly, this is the first time in a long while that a secretary of state has visited Asia before Europe. But given the role of the vice president and the special envoys, the visit might not reflect policy priorities so much as a desire to ensure that all regions get visits. Clinton’s agenda in each country might not offer an entirely accurate reading of U.S. policy initiatives for the region, either, as much of the policy is still up for review, and her primary responsibility is to demonstrate a new and more interactive face of American foreign policy.

Clinton’s Asia visit is significant largely because it highlights a piece of the evolving Obama foreign policy — a policy that remains centralized under the president via the NSC, and that uses dedicated special envoys and representatives to focus on key trouble spots (and perhaps to avoid some of the interagency bickering that can limit the agencies’ freedom to maneuver). Most importantly, this policy at its core looks to rebuild the sense and reality of American military strength through disengaging from apparently intractable situations, focusing on core competencies rather than reconstruction or nation-building, and calling on allies to take up the slack in security responsibilities. This is what is shaping the first priority for the Obama administration: withdrawal from Iraq not just to demonstrate a different approach than the last president, but also to ensure that the military is ready for use elsewhere.

This report may be forwarded or republished on your website with attribution to

The Run Upon the Bankers

The Run Upon The Bankers, by Jonathan Swift (1720)


The bold encroachers on the deep
Gain by degrees huge tracts of land,
Till Neptune, with one general sweep,
Turns all again to barren strand.

The multitude's capricious pranks
Are said to represent the seas,
Breaking the bankers and the banks,
Resume their own whene'er they please.

Money, the life-blood of the nation,
Corrupts and stagnates in the veins,
Unless a proper circulation
Its motion and its heat maintains.

Because 'tis lordly not to pay,
Quakers and aldermen in state,
Like peers, have levees every day
Of duns attending at their gate.

We want our money on the nail;
The banker's ruin'd if he pays:
They seem to act an ancient tale;
The birds are met to strip the jays.

"Riches," the wisest monarch sings,
"Make pinions for themselves to fly;"[2]
They fly like bats on parchment wings,
And geese their silver plumes supply.

No money left for squandering heirs!
Bills turn the lenders into debtors:
The wish of Nero[3] now is theirs,
"That they had never known their letters."

Conceive the works of midnight hags,
Tormenting fools behind their backs:
Thus bankers, o'er their bills and bags,
Sit squeezing images of wax.

Conceive the whole enchantment broke;
The witches left in open air,
With power no more than other folk,
Exposed with all their magic ware.

So powerful are a banker's bills,
Where creditors demand their due;
They break up counters, doors, and tills,
And leave the empty chests in view.

Thus when an earthquake lets in light
Upon the god of gold and hell,
Unable to endure the sight,
He hides within his darkest cell.

As when a conjurer takes a lease
From Satan for a term of years,
The tenant's in a dismal case,
Whene'er the bloody bond appears.

A baited banker thus desponds,
From his own hand foresees his fall,
They have his soul, who have his bonds;
'Tis like the writing on the wall.[4]

How will the caitiff wretch be scared,
When first he finds himself awake
At the last trumpet, unprepared,
And all his grand account to make!

For in that universal call,
Few bankers will to heaven be mounters;
They'll cry, "Ye shops, upon us fall!
Conceal and cover us, ye counters!"

When other hands the scales shall hold,
And they, in men's and angels' sight
Produced with all their bills and gold,
"Weigh'd in the balance and found light!"

[Footnote 1: This poem was printed some years ago, and it should seem, by
the late failure of two bankers, to be somewhat prophetic. It was
therefore thought fit to be reprinted.--_Dublin Edition_, 1734.]

[Footnote 2: Solomon, Proverbs, ch. xxiii, v. 5.]

[Footnote 3: Who, in his early days of empire, having to sign the
sentence of a condemned criminal, exclaimed: "Quam vellem nescire
litteras!" Suetonius, 10; and Seneca, "De Clementia,", cited by
Montaigne, "De l'inconstance de nos actions."--_W. E. B._]

[Footnote 4: Daniel, ch. v, verses 25, 26, 27, 28.--_W. E. B._]

May have found my Kevin Bacon connection

One of the interesting experiences I'm having with Facebook is discovering who you're connected to with just a couple degrees of separation. One of my friends has daughters who are involved in serious ice skating; serious skating means working with the country's best coaches and that means rubbing shoulders with wildly wealthy parents of skaters. So my friend just got "friended" on Facebook by one of these wildly weathy people she's met at the rink. The WW person is Facebook friends with Leo di Caprio and Angelina Jolie and on and on. So it's likely that my closest route to Kevin Bacon is via my friend and then via the WW person. If the WW person isn't friends with Kevin Bacon herself, I'm sure one of her friends is.

Ezra and Mankiw

I've got to mention this post by Ezra Klein at Tapped/American Prospect since he's one of my favorites and because he quotes Greg Mankiw with regard to the bank bailout/nationalization. This bailout really has made the strangest bedfellows.

Monday, February 16, 2009


One of my favorite words.

From Wiktionary:

(often derogatory or humorous) The kind or class of people that resemble, behave in a manner similar to, or are of the same social status as a certain person.

1906 — Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 25

“Hinkydink” or “Bathhouse John,” or others of that ilk, were proprietors of the most notorious dives in Chicago...