Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley is an incredulous old coot who likes to tweet unreadable shorthand nonsense, constantly, and then lash out at those who would make fun of him. Whenever the federal government gets around to killing off the dumb Internet once and for all, they should leave Grassley's Twitter page up as a memorial to fun times lost. Here's a useful perspective for considering how unorthodox Grassley's feed is: When hackers broke into it today, their tweets were instantly more professional than the graffiti that one of our most senior Senators usually vomits out from his phone.
Did pornography cause the recession? According to the AP, the answer is: Probably! Over the last five years, the SEC has conducted 33 separate probes into "employees looking at explicit images"—explicit porno images. Let the "SEC/SEX" jokes begin!
Director Baz Luhrmann turns 47 today. Gossip Girl's Matthew Settle is turning 40. Joe Bastianich, the restaurateur and partner of Mario Batali, is 41. Russian supermodel Eugenia Volodina is 25. Supreme Court Justice David Souter turns 70. American Idol contestant-turned-Broadway star Constantine Maroulis is turning 34. One of the Miller sisters, Princess Marie-Chantal, is 41. Rapper Doug E. Fresh is turning 43. Lakers head coach Phil Jackson is 64. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley turns 76. And Paula Jones is 43, although she probably shouldn't expect a birthday card from Bill Clinton.
• The epic fallout from AIG's decision to pay out bonuses enters a second day: Andrew Cuomo says he plans to subpoena company execs, the Obama administration is scrambling to cool emotions, but clearly his influence is limited. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa has suggested that AIG execs follow a "Japanese model" and choose between "apology or suicide." [NYT, ABC, WSJ]
• Given the new restrictions on Wall Street bonuses, banks are now looking for loopholes and planning to boost base salaries to offset lower bonuses. [WSJ]
• Goldman Sachs is bailing out its own employees: It's offering to lend money to more than 1,000 employees who've been squeezed by the crisis. [NYT]
• Mortgage fraud is at an all-time high, but you probably figured that. [CNN]
• Unsurprisingly, banks are raising interest rates and cutting credit lines. [BN]
• Housing starts surged in February from a record low the month before. [BN]