BTW, I should say formally that I'm sorry for leaving you all in the lurch much of the last week without so much as a by-your-leave from me. I'll let you know next time when I plan to be away.
After looking at the comments from yesterday, I just had to promote this one from hellacia -- it stirred both my love of a fine turn of phrase and of slighty crude sarcasm:
The credit card teat is stuck firmly in the American consumer's mouth still. The passage of the bankruptcy bill should warn the sheep that they are about to be brutally weaned, but we're kind of slow and damn it, we deserve granite countertops and 60" plasma TVs and we don't care how much debt we have to go into to get it.2005 may indeed be the year John and Jane Public find out in full what exactly they are expected to do for that inflated standard of consumption.