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Some People You Need To Know

In the spirit of  Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People:

Today, I am going to share.  These are the 10 people that I learn from, are entertained by, and make me think.  I hope you click on some of these names and get something useful out of this internet fad before it plays out. This list is in no order what so ever-except the order in which I thought of them.

Matt’s 10 Most Influential People (OF THE WORLD)

Ben Hoffman– As Infomania’s curmudgeon, who metaphorically steps up on a soap box, Ben starts every diatribe with “Hey, I got something to say.”  He then outlines some aspect of our society that we over look – but shouldn’t.  Thursday nights on Current TV or look him up on You Tube.

Elizabeth Warren– In the wake of the 2008-9 financial crisis, she became the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel created to investigate the U.S. banking bailout (formally known as the Troubled Assets Relief Program). In that role, she has provided a critical check on the U.S. Department of the Treasury and has been a leading advocate for accountability and transparency.  Since 2007, she has advocated for the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which President Barack Obama has supported and Congress is now considering.

Chuck Klosterman–   Chuck Klosterman is the author of four books on topics ranging from pop culture to sports to death. He’s ironic, funny, and quite insightful, although firmly cemented in his opinions, so if you aren’t open to other’s ideas then don’t read this, because you’ll probably just get angry. He openly talks about doing drugs on various occasions, as well as tying in his life experiences (they’re pretty interesting) with music and pop culture and what that means in the larger scheme of things.  He also writes for The New York Times Magazine, The Believer, The Washington Post, Esquire, and SPIN.

Pres. Barack Obama–  Well, he is the President of MY United States AND he said this “I am asking you to believe.  Not Just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington…I am asking you to believe in yours.”   I really think he means it.

Jay-Z–  I could not care less if you like or dislike his music.  Jay-Z’s success is best American success story that I can think of.  Click the link and read about what determination, talent, and ambition can yield someone.  If you are only going to read ONE biography- read his.

Phil Keoghan–  Host of Amazing Race, this guy has done some amazing things and completely believes your life should not be wasted.  According to his book, No Opportunity Wasted, Keoghan set out to live his life to the fullest by accomplishing exotic goals and taking risks after a near-death experience at the age of 19. Since then, he’s broken a world bungee jumping record, gone diving in the world’s longest underwater caves, eaten a meal on top of an erupting volcano, and renewed his vows underwater. He was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where he shared with Oprah his list of things he wants to do before he dies. The focus of many of his shows is helping others live their lives to the fullest.

Nico Pitney–  Nico Pitney is National Editor at the Huffington Post. He was previously Deputy Research Director at the Center for American Progress and Managing Editor of ThinkProgress. He lives in Washington, DC, and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and NPR.

Paul Krugman–   Where to start, hmmmm…Let’s see, he is Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics, and an op-ed columnist for The New York Times. In 2008, Krugman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his contributions to New Trade Theory and New Economic Geography. He was voted sixth in a 2005 global poll of the world’s top 100 intellectuals by Prospect.  The Nobel Prize Committee stated that Krugman’s main contribution had been to explain patterns of international trade and the geographic concentration of wealth by examining the impact of economies of scale and of consumer preferences for diverse goods and services.  Krugman’s work on international economics, including trade theory, economic geography, and international finance has established him as one of the most influential economists in the world according to IDEAS/RePEc. Krugman is also known in academia for his work on liquidity traps and on currency crises. As of 2006, Krugman had written or edited more than 25 books, 40 scholarly articles and 750 columns at The New York Times dealing with current economic and political issues. Krugman’s International Economics: Theory and Policy, co-authored with Maurice Obstfeld, is a standard college textbook on international economics. He also writes on political and economic topics for the general public, as well as on topics ranging from income distribution to international economics. Krugman considers himself a liberal, calling one of his books and his New York Times blog “The Conscience of a Liberal”.  My hands down pick for celebrity Jeopardy Champion….WATCH OUT KEN JENNINGS!

Jim Parsons– Best known for playing Sheldon Cooper on the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory, with his performance often cited as a significant reason for the program’s success. On July 16, 2009, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his work on The Big Bang Theory. In August 2009, he won the Television Critics Association award for the highest individual achievements in comedy. In April 2010, he received the National Association of Broadcasters Television Chairman’s Award for a significant break-through in one or more specific art discipline.  HANDS DOWN THE FUNNIEST PERSON ON TELEVISION.

Sabrina Howell esq.-   My wife, confidant, and bestest pal.  This lady makes me laugh, calms me down, and keeps my head on straight.  She is the kindest, least judgmental, and funniest person I know – not to mention the fact she is my baby’s momma!

I hope this list gives you some insight into what I think is important and “influential” in the world.  I don’t think any of these people made Time Magazine’s list-but all of them should have. Read, learn, and get smarter.

UPDATE: Texas Rewriting School Books

This was written by Paul Krugman in the New York Times.

Original Here

Texas Textbooks

Oh, boy. Paul Samuelson famously declared, “I don’t care who writes a nation’s laws — or crafts its advanced treatises — if I can write its economics textbooks.” But guess who’s going to be writing our textbooks?

The conservative bloc on the Texas State Board of Education won a string of victories Friday, obtaining approval for an amendment requiring high school U.S. history students to know about Phyllis Schlafly and the Contract with America as well as inserting a clause that aims to justify McCarthyism.

Outspoken conservative board member Don McLeroy, who reportedly spent over three hours personally proposing changes to the textbook standards, even wanted to cut “hip-hop” in favor of “country” in a section about the impact of cultural movements. That amendment failed.

Actually, Samuelson’s remark had more resonance than most readers imagined. After World War II, there was actually a concerted attempt to prevent the teaching of Keynesian economics at American universities, as described by Collender and Landreth (pdf). This campaign killed the first US Keynesian text, by Lorie Tarshis, but Samuelson’s book — which he said he “wrote carefully and lawyer-like” — managed to make it through the hazing.

I do have some personal interest here, of course: I’m the co-author of two college textbooks, and royalties from the intro book are a large part of our family income. But the high-school level is really where you want to worry about politicization.


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