Passport

Nathan Kottke for president

Genius:

To the Editor:

Dear Mr. Bernanke and Mr. Paulson:

My student loans are too big and it is hurting the economy. Can I have a bailout, please? I need $92,000.

Thanks.

Nathan Kottke
St. Paul, Sept. 17, 2008

(Hat tip: Matt Yglesias)

... I should note that, while the above is obviously a bitter joke, here's the thing. Financial industry lobbyists are hitting the halls of the Capitol Building hard this week "to ensure as many institutions as possible benefit" from the administration's $700 billion bailout plan. Bloomberg reports that already, a language tweak in guidance from the Treasury Department to Congress suggests that "instruments such as car and student loans, credit-card debt and any other troubled asset" could be included, raising the total cost of the plan significantly. Maybe Kottke's little joke isn't so far-fetched after all.

Passport

San Fran yuppies shunning 'Palin Syrah' wine

Chris Tavelli, who owns the Yield Wine Bar in San Francisco's revitalized Dogpatch neighborhood, noticed recently that demand for his best-seller, an organic wine from Chile's Lymari Valley, had plummeted.

The likely reason? The wine's name, Palin Syrah, sounds a lot like Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee. Serious Eats notes:

The wine's tasting note reads as it did when Tavelli wrote it months ago: white pepper, madrone, dry. Incidentally, a madrone is an evergreen found primarily in the Pacific Northwest that bears red berries in the fall. When the berries dry up, they are replaced by hooked barbs that latch onto large animals for migration.