Archive for November, 2012

Tax Talks Raise Bar For Richest

November 21, 2012

The New York Times, Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tax Talks Raise Bar For Richest: Smaller Bite on Income of $500,000 or Less

By David Kocieniewski

“…President Obama has focused efforts on raising revenue from the wealthiest 2 percent of taxpayers–individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and families with adjusted gross incomes above $250,000–calling them ‘millionaires and billionaires who can afford to pay a little more …But for all the broad brush rhetoric of political debate, the rate increases and limits on deductions now being discussed by the president and Congressional Republicans are calibrated to take the biggest bite out of the highest earners.”

In track and field meets raising the bar makes the run or jump more difficult for the contestants.  Please see for more explanation and examples.

Free Exchange: Game, Set, and Match

November 18, 2012

The Economist, October 20, 2012

Free Exchange:  Game, Set and Match

Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley have won this year’s Nobel (prize) for economics for their “co-operative game theory” algorithms, whose practical applications include matching students and colleges, physician residents and hospitals, and patients and organ donations.  

Tennis anyone? 

When Playing Defense Can Hurt Your Offense

November 7, 2012

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: BUSINESS & FINANCE, Saturday/Sunday, November 3-4, 2012


“…After years of being mocked as “buy and hope,” the patient strategy of holding stocks and bonds is paying off again.  By contrast, many “tactical” funds, which seek to smooth out short-term market swings through more-frequent trading, are coming up short.”

Being “tactical” in the stock and bond market may hurt your financial goals.

In a Low-Rate World, Everything Is a Real-Estate Play

November 7, 2012


Saturday/Sunday, October 27-28, 2012   


“Real Estate is red-hot.  Funds specializing in real-estate investment trusts, or REITs, have taken in $10.9 billion in new money this year through Sept.30, according to Morningstar, the financial-research firm.  That is more than REIT funds took in for all of 2010 and 2011 combined.”

If the financial market is a game, then real estate might be a good play, especially with low borrowing rates.

New York Marathon Runners Pitching In

November 6, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pitching In: Runners Embrace a Chance to Help Residents Recover, by Juliet Macur and Steve Eder

“Would-be marathon participants volunteered Sunday in the storm-ravaged Cedar Grove section of Staten Island.”  (Picture of runners cleaning up a mess from “Sandy.”)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg canceled the New York City Marathon Friday afternoon (November 2, 2012).  One of thousands of marathoners, Michelle Leichtling, quoted here, helped survivors of Hurricane Sandy on Sunday:  “It does not get more personal than this (as she worked cleaning a bridal album).  I’m glad there was no marathon  This is exactly where we were supposed to be today.”  She was “pitching in.”

The pitching in the headline refers to helping.   We can pitch hay, pitch a story for a movie, pitch any idea, and “pitch in” to help. Baseball season is over until next spring when pitchers again get to pitch a ball to a batter and a catcher.

Making A Last Pitch In The Home Stretch

November 5, 2012


Saturday/Sunday 3-4, 2012

Making a Last Pitch in the Home Stretch

“Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama both hit Ohio, a key battleground state, Friday.  Mr. Romney spoke in Etna;  Mr. Obama in Hillard.” (Pictures of Governor Romney and President Barack Obama)

Home stretch is used particularly in the sport of horse racing and, certainly, in long distance running, but is used idiomatically in lots of instances, for example, “This election is in the home stretch; there are only a few days left in the race.”   

“A last pitch” in the above headline refers to the contestants last efforts in the 2012 presidential contest.  Although, this is an idiom related to games in which a pitcher pitches a ball to a batter, it is used so often in a metaphorical sense that one almost loses sight of the original sense.  

For more sentences using these metaphors go to