GAME CHANGE

HBO just released Game Change. It’s hard to watch without feeling sympathy for both Sarah Palin and John McCain – but also hard to watch without feeling, well . . . oh, my, God. Imagine that the financial collapse – which all but clinched the election for Obama – had begun six months later, in the first months of the McCain/Palin administration. Yikes. Or that, even more eye-widening, something had happened to President McCain. If you think I’m over-reacting, I’d guess you haven’t watched the film.

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN

Which brings me to Then Everything Changed by Jeff Greenfield, which sits on my Kindle, patiently waiting for my eyeballs. It is comprised (apparently) of three “how different the world might have been IF” stories from decades past. I can’t wait to read it. But there are so many other IFs that are fascinating to contemplate. What if Charles Lindbergh had run against FDR in 1940 – and won? That’s the premise of Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America. What if I had bought 10 shares of Berkshire Hathaway at $300 when I first wrote about it? That’s the premise of my own forthcoming, Doh! Homer Simpson Is NOT the Dumbest Man in America.

Needless to say, if the 5-4 vote in Bush v. Gore had gone the other way . . . well, imagine how controversial that what-if novel would be. And now, watching Game Change, one can’t help wondering what kind of bullet we may collectively have dodged.

(Tomorrow: 50 Accomplishments and 13 Charts. But first . . . )

MAC TREASURY DIRECT USERS: BEWARE!

Margaret Pearson: “Treasury Direct has served US citizens admirably for years but could it be discriminating against Mac users now? Is there some way to warn Mac users BEFORE they upgrade to Lion, i-Cloud, and OS 5 that there is a danger of being locked out of their treasury direct accounts? And thus be unable to complete their income tax returns? Here’s the deal: If you access your Treasury Direct account with a Mac, the new Mac mail format will link all your Treasury Direct messages together, making it harder to distinguish the latest temporary password from earlier ones. If your computer automatically fills in the password, watch out! You probably have the last one, not the newest. If you get rejected once, pause, scroll through the email string from Treasury Direct to check the date, then try ONCE more. If you use the wrong temporary password three times, you will be locked out, and join a huge group of others in the same position. . . . When I finally reached a human being at Treasury Direct, he said they are understaffed and swamped by the volume of folks with the same problem, and they expect it will get worse as April 17 approaches. They know we are frustrated. He recommends calling them – 304-480-7711 – starting at 6 am eastern time, even before their 8 am official start time. They are pulling people from other areas (his is fraud) to help. Have your account number and driver’s license handy to speed things up.”

 

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