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Saxman: Cheap Money, March Madness, and Cognitive Liberty

Family funeral in Staunton is the priority this weekend. We will celebrate with gratitude, tears, and laughter a bittersweet farewell to one of our rocks – Margaret Johnson a.k.a “Granny” [1]

St. Paul said to the Corinthians  [2]:

“So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Granny did just that. Every day, all day.

Best lesson: Love OUT – it’s the greatest of things.

For those of you who are grieving or if you know someone who is, I heartily endorse these two books:

Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eben Alexander of Lynchburg. NYT Bestseller [3]

Finding Meaning – The Sixth Stage of Grief by David Kessler [4]

Two great gifts to have on hand.


Big news of the week? Money for Nothin’… but that ain’t new….


I want my MTV

Now look at them yo-yo’s
That’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain’t workin’, that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free

SNAFU – Situation Normal All Fedded Up

Speaking of Madness…

March Madness tips today at Noon, brackets will be busted by dinner EST. Just have fun!

Final Four:

  1. Houston over Texas
  2. Alabama over NC State
  3. UCLA over Kansas
  4. Marquette over Oral Roberts
  5. Houston over ‘Bama in a shoot out.

    (Too soon?)

Virginia loses to ‘Bama in Sweet 16, VCU loses to Kansas there, too.

VaTech men lost last night in the NIT, but the Hokie women are the #1 Seed in their NCAA region. They make the Final Four.

Duke loses tonight and all will be right with the world.

Speaking of weak offenses … (Duke is #41) [6]

Donald Trump’s Five Point Plan of Attack on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis [7] per Axios:

  1. Medicare and Social Security – DeSantis voted to raise eligibility for Medicare while in Congress.
  2. Disloyalty – Trump endorsed DeSantis in 2018 governor’s race.
  3. Paul Ryan – apparently DeSantis knows him. #SCARY #RINO #ROMNEY
  4. COVID – DeSantis went along with shutdowns early in pandemic
  5. Ukraine – DeSantis has not been clear on this one. Q – why is this massively armed border crossing okay with some on the Right? #BecauseBiden #VoteAgainst

Trump needs to define DeSantis early, but those five don’t seem up to the task. #SmallHands2023

WSJ op-ed today from Karl Rove [8] lays out the nomination schedule. Two basic goals for DJT and four realities for any candidate vs. Trump:

  1. Trump’s goal is to “win a majority of delegates with a plurality of votes in early contests.”
  2. “Too many candidates without a realistic chance of winning stay in the race too long.”

Top Four Realities?

  1. Map – which states vote
  2. Calendar – when they vote
  3. Rules – how they vote – every state is different
  4. Money – getting the vote

Trump clearly in lead early, but some national polls show softening. He’s still the favorite to win in Milwaukee next year.

RCP Average Trump +16 (44-28) [9] – DeSantis hasn’t even announced yet.


Speaking of the maddening tournaments…

My 2024 POTUS winners from the Silicon Valley Bank fallout?

  1. Joe Biden – so far contagion was contained. So far. WAPO story : The 72-hour scramble to save the United States from a banking crisis [11]. He gets the credit – for now. Probably gets the blame later once folks unpack this thing and repack it into a key phrase – if it gets worse.
  2. Mike Pence – if he ran a bank, would you put your money there? Yes, you would. #BoringIsBeautiful
  3. Glenn Youngkin – disciplined, competent, nice, finance/banking guy, and younger than Pence. His bank would compete with Pence’s and win.
  4. Jamie Dimon – never know … but Keith Fitz-Gerald makes the case sort of … and only buys one bank stock. JPM is the symbol.


Big Losers from SVB:

  1. The Fed. Honestly, can we just rename it Whiskey Tango Fed?
  2. Taxpayers – you.
  3. The Yutes :


    Yes, the Youths who will end up paying for all of this garbage. #immoral #ZeroFreeLunch #ReformTheFed #MethadoneNOW

Speaking of stupid…

Can ANYONE explain why Congressional Democrats decided to take on Matt Taibbi?

The Democrats’ Disastrous Miscalculation on Civil Liberties Americans have been told a dangerous and uncertain world requires stronger managers and less freedom, but the decline of civil liberties is what started this mess [14].

Note to aspiring candidates and current incumbents of ANY party:

The job description is to Represent the People not The Government. If you represent the government, expect to lose. Always side on the Bill of Rights. ALWAYS. #America

Speaking of inalienable rights…


‘The Battle for Your Brain’ Review: The New Mind Readers Earbuds measure the mood of office workers, and hard hats track fatigue in truckers. Neurotechnology aims to do more—much more. [15]

Well, maybe just this one quote:

Such questions touch on our deeply held views of freedom and liberty. As Ms. Farahany notes: “Nothing in the US Constitution, state and federal laws, or international treaties gives individuals even rudimentary sovereignty over their own brains.” Striking a tone of urgency rather than alarm, she makes a compelling case for codifying and defending a right to what she calls “cognitive liberty.” (emphasis added)

Meanwhile back at the Ranch….

Virginian Pilot Editorial on Amazon slowing HQ2 project [16]

Four top takeaways..

Gov. Glenn Youngkin was subjected to predictable criticism following the announcement… That was both unfair and counterproductive.

It was the pandemic, not the governor that prompted businesses to evaluate their growth strategies in light of changing economic forces.

Pinning this setback on the governor may score cheap political points, but Virginia needs to show a united front to the board rooms of the world.

Amazon has already hired about 8,000 workers and … still plans to add 25,000 total workers

Nailed it.

Speaking of Virginia….

Twenty five years ago, Michele and I went to a birthday party in NYC. We knew one person, the birthday girl – Judy Logan. She later became Nora’s godmother.

Met some nice folks but only remember one conversation from that night.

A few “Who are yous and where are you froms” led to “So, what do you do?”

Noting I was from Virginia, “I buy stocks in Virginia banks.”

“No seriously…”


“Anything else?”


“Why Virginia banks?”

“They’re well capitalized, conservative, and make money.”

Dr. McCoy and Captain Kirk approve - Reaction GIFs [17]



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