At the Boston Globe (my local paper), Robert Gavin reports that Boston Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's president Eric Rosengren has stated that the Federal Reserve has more they could be doing to lower the unemployment rate and he also notes that things such as buying treasury bills could help.
And we need laughter in the Great Recession, if we're going to get through it. Marlo Thomas has written a new book, Growing Up Laughing: My Story And The Story Of Funny. She discussed it on Talk of the Nation (NPR) today:
CONAN: Again, you're talking to Chris Rock, and he said, you know, it's interesting that I thought at first all you needed was jokes. And I realized that in fact, the people who were succeeding, a lot faster than me as he put it, were great performers.
Ms. THOMAS: Exactly, and I said to him, well, what happened to the great writers, the ones that wrote such great jokes? He said they became writers for other comedians because it really is, it's a different craft.
To be able to deliver a joke, and even, I find, to be able to write out a joke - my friend, Elaine May(ph), who's a great comedienne in her own right, read my book, and she said to me: What I was really impressed with is that you know how to write a joke, she says because it's very hard - to tell a joke is one thing, and that's already hard, but to write it down and black and white so that someone will laugh at it, that's a whole other craft.
CONAN: And anybody who doesn't think she is a great comedienne ought to go back and listen to those Nichols and May records all those years ago.
Ms. THOMAS: Oh, wow, wow, absolutely.
CONAN: She's just fantastic.
Ms. THOMAS: Yes, she is.
CONAN: But it's not merely to write it down. It's to be able to go out and execute it precisely.
Ms. THOMAS: Absolutely, every night exactly the same way. No, I saw my dad for so many years doing that, and I used to say he was like a matador. You know, he would get out there, and you really are facing the crowd. I mean, that crowd is like an angry bull.
As Bill Cosby had said to Joan Rivers, and she mentions it in my book, that Cosby said: Don't assume that the audience loves you. If they don't know who you are, they'll give you three minutes. If they know who you are, they'll give you five. That's it, that's all you get, and if you're not good, you're out.
And Liz Smith (wowOwow) reports on the party for the book's debut.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday: