``I must give him his due. He has considerably cretinized me.'' Lautréamont

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Friday, August 31, 2007

Most Powerful Woman in the World

I can't believe that Laura Bush is only number 60.

In the Decade Since (NYT)

great news copy for soap opera audience, who control everything

The fact is that Diana, Princess of Wales, was an imperfect human being, like all of us, who married into a family of imperfect beings.

Disowning Senator Craig (NYT)

wide net

The rush to cast out Senator Larry Craig betrays the Republican Party’s intolerance, which is on display for the public in all of its ugliness.

The Tide Is Still Going Out (NYT)

unfair to democrats

Today’s homeowners took undue risks in dicey mortgages, as Wall Street did. But unlike Wall Street, they’ve yet to get a real helping hand from the government.

More Realism, Less Spin (NYT)

spin deplored

In Vietnam, as in Iraq, American presidents and military leaders went to great lengths to pretend that victory was at hand when nothing could be farther from the truth.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Jeepers! Peepers in New York (NYT)

the Craig men's room effect

For better or sometimes worse, New York is a city of exhibitionists. One of the many reasons people come to New York is to show off.

Locked, Loaded and Looney (NYT)

victim rhetoric emerges

Except for Senator Tom Coburn, practically everyone in Congress wants to deal with the emerging crisis of depressed veterans tempted to take their own lives.

No Time for Threats (NYT)

strongly worded letter needed

assumes change is wrought top-down even when the top is dysfunctional

The United States and its allies need to be stepping up their efforts to resolve the serious dangers posed by Iran through comprehensive negotiations.

Abu Ghraib Swept Under the Carpet (NYT)

galvanic response indistinguishable from life hoped for

The need to be honest about Abu Ghraib and correct the abuses at military and C.I.A. prisons is not only about upholding the law and American values.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

In Search of Good Teachers (NYT)

stop teaching crap then

America must adopt measures that increase the supply of high-quality teachers while cutting down on the large number of teachers who bail out of the profession early.

Hard Lessons for New York (NYT)

nobody suspects this is a sign of regulation.

The evidence of sloppiness and negligence offers guidance about how to continue deconstruction of the remaining floors of the former Deutsche Bank tower.

A Sobering Census Report: Bleak Findings on Health Insurance (NYT)

make health insurance taxable income, is and has been the only solution.

because that's the cause.

the left will do the opposite.

A large increase in the number of Americans who lack health insurance ought to send a strong message to Washington: action is needed to reverse this trend.

A Sobering Census Report: Americans’ Meager Income Gains (NYT)

``mathematics is incomprehensible, and economics is almost certainly wrong''

New data on incomes and poverty indicates that the spoils of the nation’s economic growth have flowed almost exclusively to the wealthy and the extremely wealthy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Digital ‘South Park’ (NYT)

contemporary analogy used

“South Park” is no longer merely the crudely animated, rudely scripted tales of Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny. It is now a creative powerhouse in its infancy.

What Looks and Sounds Like a Bailout? (NYT)

questions raised

Even if the Federal Reserve succeeds in managing the credit crisis, its actions stir questions about the sustainability of the debt-fueled state of the American economy.

The House Lawyer Departs (NYT)

that our opponents are scum, noted

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has finally done something important to advance the cause of justice. He has resigned.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Mexico’s Plutocracy Thrives on Robber-Baron Concessions (NYT)

not favored unless a dictator


Who is the richest man in the world? It’s not Bill Gates anymore.

Dread of Flying (NYT)

more regulation fixes overregulation

Something needs to be done now to alleviate the stress on oversubscribed air space.

The College Credit Scam (NYT)

future newspaper editors threatened

Colleges need to do more to protect their students from taking on credit card debt that can severely damage their economic prospects once they join the world of work.

Ravaging Appalachia (NYT)

drilling in alaska revisited

A proposal to legalize mountaintop mining cries out for Congressional intervention to define once and for all what mining companies can and cannot do.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Jack Kirby, a Comic Book Genius, Is Finally Remembered (NYT)

next frame please


Working as principal artist and in-house genius for Marvel, Jack Kirby created a voice and an aesthetic unmatched by any other company.

The Spy Chief Speaks (NYT)

investigation called for

Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, finally unburdened himself in an interview. It would have been nice if he had really enlightened the public.

Stiff-Arming Children’s Health (NYT)

perverse side effects do not exist for the left

The political debate over the State Children’s Health Insurance Program sometimes leaves the impression that it is a free handout to middle-income Americans.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Who Will Pay for the Next Hurricane? (NYT)

paid for by disaster story ads


Because of increasing development in hazard-prone areas and the effects of climate change, we are in a new era of catastrophic losses from natural disasters.

Squelching the Citizenry’s Back Talk (NYT)

media plans defeated

It turns out that President Bush’s encounters with ordinary Americans have been micromanaged and laboriously controlled.

Dollars for Sale (NYT)

money-as-wealth believed

In the absence of policies to boost domestic savings, a steady decline of the dollar implies a steady decline in American living standards.

New York’s Toxic Tower (NYT)

abstractions proposed

The old Deutsche Bank building at the World Trade Center site has stood as concrete evidence of all the ways rebuilding downtown could be delayed.

A Treaty Whose Time Has Come (NYT)

bait and switch

Unless the United States ratifies the Law of the Sea Convention, it will have a hard time laying claim to the immense resources under the Arctic ice.

Friday, August 24, 2007

White House Shell Game (NYT)

investigation called for

The Bush administration’s refusal to comply with open-government laws is ultimately more important than any single scandal.

Foreclosure and Taxes (NYT)

democrat social engineered tax code

For foreclosed borrowers hit with unexpected tax bills, figuring out if they have been wrongly charged can be an insurmountable burden.

The Problem Isn’t Mr. Maliki (NYT)

McGovern forgotten

If President Bush took the time to study the real lessons of Vietnam, he would not be so eager to lead America deeper into the quagmire he has created in Iraq.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Departed Asset Deployer (NYT)

straight talk express

Every White House administration uses incumbency for politicking, but the Karl Rove operation goes well beyond the normal exploitation of high office.

Unsafe Mining (NYT)

blackness of coal noticed

Congress should investigate whether safety standards in the nation’s mines are slipping as energy companies embark on a massive hunt for coal.

Curiouser and Curiouser (NYT)

investigation called for

Senator Joseph Bruno, New York State’s lead Republican politician, made a good move by severing his party’s relationship with Roger Stone.

The C.I.A. Report (NYT)

childhood regression

Americans still don’t have the full story of how President Bush hustled them into a war in which United States soldiers are trapped without hope of victory.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Space Shuttle Hobbles Onward (NYT)

banned freon needed

It has become clear that the shuttle’s design, which puts a large fuel tank insulated with foam above a fragile spacecraft, is fundamentally flawed.

Mr. Chávez’s Power Grab (NYT)

undermining detected

Behind the Orwellian rhetorical tactics, President Hugo Chávez’s efforts to amass and retain power are undermining Venezuela’s democracy.

Virginia’s Gun Market (NYT)

guns stop nutballs

In the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting mayhem, there is evidence that some of the most far-reaching shady gun marts continue to operate in Virginia.

Stacking the Electoral Deck (NYT)

parliament of presidents recommended

The Electoral College should be done away with, but in the meantime, any reforms should improve the system, not make it worse.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hey, I Wrote That! But the President Said It — Out Loud! (NYT)

some editors need speechwriters


There’s never been a speechwriter tell-all quite like the one in the current issue of The Atlantic.

Losing Patience (NYT)

patience lost

Some of the Bush administration’s allies on public lands policies have finally had enough.

Another Deadly Tower Downtown (NYT)

phallic danger

The deaths of two New York firefighters magnified the dangers of deconstructing a skyscraper in the middle of a city.

Not Paying for Medical Errors (NYT)

Anything with ``care'' in the name, isn't. It's like ``science.''

Medicare’s plan to stop paying hospitals for the extra costs of treating patients whose illnesses are compounded by preventable errors should promote better care.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Child’s Play (NYT)

eternal question posed

Could it be that something as abstract and elemental as fun has been so commodified and consumerized that cutthroat manufacturers in China could cast doubt on whether our children will have any?

One Politician’s $155 Billion (NYT)

clarity increased

It is becoming increasingly clear that New York needs a state pension board whose members are chosen very publicly and for their financial expertise, not their political connections.

Unchanged (for the Worse) Since 1872 (NYT)

cave-in on the left

Useful in its day, the General Mining Law of 1872 is a disaster now.

The Good War, Still to Be Won (NYT)

Or how much worse if managed less competently! That's how `if' works.

We will never know just how much better the fight in Afghanistan might be going if it had been managed more competently over the past six years.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The War as We Saw It (NYT)

left hunkers down


The claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefields in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework.

The Founders Had an Idea for Handling Alberto Gonzales (NYT)

effect at next election overlooked


Members of Congress should keep in mind that the founders gave them the impeachment power for a reason.

Deck the Halls With Politicos’ Folly (NYT)

NYT editorial positions not flying with voters

America’s primary process is melting into a free-for-all because state politicians want an earlier piece of the profitable traveling circus of candidates and media.

New Orleans Still at Risk (NYT)

deck chair concern

As the sense of urgency flags, New Orleans is frighteningly far from being prepared to withstand a storm with even a fraction of Katrina’s power.

Watershed (NYT)

wise control needed by pro-market liberals

America needs progressive, pro-market leaders who will advance a legal and regulatory framework to reduce excesses in lending and derivatives.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

On the Spot (NYT)

NYT not read


The city has come to seem to me a place of nearly perfect sincerity. The country, it turns out, is a place of pervasive irony.

A Better Way to Feed the Hungry (NYT)

feed the hungry obese

A cash-based food aid system could save as much as $33 million that is now lost to shipping and transaction costs. That money could be far better spent fighting hunger.

Herndon, Va.’s Labors (NYT)

democrat voters

Having hit upon a humane and effective solution to the unruliness of day labor, Herndon is moving to abandon it, so great is its desire to rid itself of illegal immigrants.

Keeping Cool, Clear Tap Water (NYT)

government spending preferred

If too many people convert to bottled water, there would be less political support for spending on our aging water distribution systems.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The City Life: A Most Bookish Borough (NYT)

drugs sold in hollowed-out VHS tapes


Queens, America’s most ethnically diverse county, has just been awarded the top prize as the nation’s busiest library system.

More Fears About China (NYT)

policy of whining suggested

Beijing urgently needs to grasp that when it comes to public safety, secrecy is never the right policy and there is no benefit in trying to go it alone.

Mr. Bernanke’s Moment (NYT)

fox makes henhouse management suggestion

What’s most important now is for markets and businesses to have confidence that the Federal Reserve chief will make the right calls at the right time.

The Padilla Conviction (NYT)

loss explained

It would be a mistake to see the guilty verdict against Jose Padilla as a vindication for the Bush administration’s serial abuse of the American legal system.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Wiring the Frog, or Personal Tales From the Electronic Present (NYT)

new resources for assholes


I was totally not prepared for instant messaging - the idea that two people on opposite sides of the planet can type messages back and forth in nearly real time.

The Less-Than-Generous State (NYT)

welfare state proposed

If the United States is to reap the rewards of globalization, the government must provide a more robust safety net to protect vulnerable workers.

Searching for the Miners (NYT)

lowering speed limit to 10mph also needed, to prevent highway deaths.

For too long, the Republican-controlled Congress allowed mine operators to put off making needed investments to ensure their workers’ safety.

Amateur Hour on Iran (NYT)

long faces and tut-tutting needed

America needs to respond to real and alleged facets of Iran’s many dangerous behaviors with serious policies, not more theatrics.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Reading Lincoln’s Face (NYT)

that's why all chinese look alike

Every face is asymmetrical to a certain degree, and humans — all primates — are extremely good at recognizing faces.

Mr. Bush’s Chance to Help Congress (NYT)

petitioning government deplored

The pending lobbying reform bill will gauge whether the White House rates the clout of the lobbying industry above Congress’s legitimate attempt to clean its own house.

A Bonus for Congestion Pricing (NYT)

lefty loves money

Federal money could help make New York the next big city to improve its traffic flow. Now it’s up to city and state politicians to work with the public to make it happen.

China, Unregulated (NYT)

wild west deplored

American businesses and the Bush administration must send a clear message to Beijing that it has to clean up its act or its export-led boom will falter.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Elizabeth Murray (NYT)

boilerplate sentence overcomposed


For those of us who celebrated the life and work of Elizabeth Murray, who died of cancer on Sunday, we mourn our separation from both.

Firing an AIDS Fighter (NYT)

journalists badly treated

What is it about South Africa’s devastating AIDS epidemic that President Thabo Mbeki just doesn’t want to understand?

Failure to Communicate (NYT)

gyration deprecated

As credit markets seized up and stocks gyrated last week, the White House appeared weirdly disconnected if not in outright denial.

Mr. Rove Gets Out of Town (NYT)

strings pulled

The American public needs to understand the full story of how this White House — with Karl Rove pulling many of the strings — has been improperly and dangerously politicizing the federal government.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The 17 Percent Problem and the Perils of Domestication (NYT)

apple card played


What does it mean to go from a humanly ancient world in which only 17 percent of nature had been “tainted” to a world in which only 17 percent remains untainted?

Irresponsible Threats (NYT)

free money offered

It is stupefying that some Chinese officials have been talking of using China’s enormous cache of American Treasury bonds as an economic weapon.

The No-Match Non-Solution (NYT)

deportation not tried

Without more visas to clear backlogs and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, illegality will remain chronic.

Wrong Way Out of Iraq (NYT)

surge working

If anyone outside the White House truly believes that the U.S. can stay in Iraq in reduced numbers, while ignoring the civil war and expecting Iraqi forces to impose order, the British experience demonstrates otherwise.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Great Arctic Oil Rush (NYT)

african tyrants favored

To the extent that ownership of potentially huge deposits of natural resources can be determined, it will not be decided by planting flags in the seabed.

World’s Best Medical Care? (NYT)

waiting line for editorials

The disturbing truth is that America lags well behind other advanced nations in delivering timely and effective health care for its people.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Deaths in Newark (NYT)

newark quagmire

One can only hope that the savagery of the latest crime will at last bring the city together in a new determination to end violence.

Harassing Germany’s Media (NYT)

journalists defended

Germany’s prosecutors should drop their attempts to intimidate their nation’s journalists.

The Farmer’s Nightmare? (NYT)

comfortable retirement disparaged

What we may be witnessing is the beginning of the tragic moment in which the ownership of America’s farmland passes from the farmer to the industrial giants.

Getting the Rescue Right (NYT)

deadbeat lobby

Lawmakers must complete legislation to help states and localities provide the ever-increasing numbers of at-risk borrowers with assistance in modifying their loans.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Return of Foot-and-Mouth (NYT)

castle early when playing white

The best strategy for dealing with a highly contagious disease is to enclose it within a moat of vaccinated animals — or dead ones.

Giving Bottles a Second Life (NYT)

good news noticed

Of the mountain of individual plastic water bottles created by Americans each year, less than one-fourth are sent to the recycling industry for a second round.

Secrets of the Police (NYT)

investigation called for

The city of New York is waging a losing and ill-conceived battle for overzealous secrecy surrounding nearly 2,000 arrests during the 2004 Republican National Convention.

A Weak Dollar and the Fed (NYT)

Bush blamed for economic boom

How did the Fed lose room to maneuver? The answer is rooted in the Bush administration’s misguided economic policies.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Those Missing Guns in Iraq (NYT)

background check and waiting period advised

Because of the Pentagon’s scandalous mismanagement, American taxpayers may have been paying to arm Iraqi insurgents who are shooting at American soldiers.

Pensions and the Mortgage Mess (NYT)

investments too complicated for newspaper editors

Even as the plunge continues in investments tied to dicey mortgages, government regulators remain skeptical of the need for new rules to cover these newfangled derivative products or the hedge funds that tend to buy them.

The Fear of Fear Itself (NYT)

if Bush gets it from Congress, it's not executive power. It's legislative power.

It was appalling to watch over the last few days as Congress — now led by Democrats — caved in to yet another unnecessary and dangerous expansion of President Bush’s powers.

Monday, August 06, 2007

We Never Really Talk Anymore (NYT)

theories at risk

Experts on language are having an intense debate about which species can talk.

A Half-Win for Cellphone Users (NYT)

AM band still available

In setting rules for the sale of the last slice of beachfront property available in the radio spectrum, the Federal Communications Commission went a little ways toward a free wireless market.

The Executioner’s Hood (NYT)

obese prisoner crisis

A recent spate of botched executions has led some courts and states in the encouraging direction of halting the procedures and reviewing lethal-injection protocols.

Selective Prosecution (NYT)

selective editorials

One part of the Justice Department mess that requires more scrutiny is the growing evidence that the department may have singled out people for criminal prosecution to help Republicans win elections.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Owl and the Forest (NYT)

Big Owl influence

The timber industry and the Bush administration are trying to use the spotted owl’s new troubles to reverse more than a decade of sound environmental policy.

A Bad Deal Gets Worse (NYT)

fairness urged

When it comes to nuclear proliferation, Washington’s only real policy is to reward its friends and punish its enemies.

A Bridge Collapses (NYT)

more money for teachers' unions recommended

At a time of ballooning deficits, and in the midst of a hugely expensive war, most politicians will be tempted by the quick and inexpensive fix of our aging infrastructure problem.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

In the Hayloft (NYT)

rural prose attempted


Some days I feel like a grave-rubbing — as if the terrain had been traced onto me. The tractor is the same, only dustier.

Waiting for the Truth on Corporal Tillman (NYT)

investigation called for

Congress needs to clarify whether the messy affair surrounding Cpl. Pat Tillman’s death reflects astonishing incompetence or a conspiracy to exploit a famous soldier.

So Many Investigations (NYT)

investigation of leftys deprecated

Several investigations facing New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and his staff can readily sidetrack everything else important going on in Albany.

A Surer Way to Feed the Hungry (NYT)

obesity program recommended

The present food aid system is a favorite of American farmers. But it is also cumbersome, slow, expensive and leaves people hungry who could easily be fed.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Comforting Words for a Nerve-Wracked Nation: ‘McGarrett. Five-0.’ (NYT)

mysterious cultural reference applied


A marathon of “Five-0” viewing may provoke an ache of nostalgia, or whatever that feeling is when the present looks bleaker than the troubled past.

A First Step to Save Darfur (NYT)

Dafur quagmire recommended

World pressure, begun by grass-roots campaigners, but joined early on by President Bush and more recently by China and the Arab League, is finally being felt in Sudan’s capital.

Stampeding Congress, Again (NYT)

executive branch unneeded

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Bush administration has repeatedly demonstrated that it does not feel bound by the law or the Constitution when it comes to the war on terror.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The China Connection: Globalization and the Narcotics Trade (NYT)

drug policy explained


Stopping large-scale traffickers who can source raw materials anywhere around the globe will make interdiction much more difficult for law enforcement.

America’s Most Coddled (NYT)

``no-nothing'' economics extended

if everybody stands on their toes, everybody can see better.

if you take wealth from those who create it and give it to the poor, the poor will get wealthy.

Tweaking the tax bills of the richest 1 percent of Americans, an idea Charles Schumer has spoken of approvingly, simply won’t be enough.

Notes About Competition (NYT)

NYT suspicious

All of us who care about journalism will be watching for any sign that news coverage at The Wall Street Journal is being slanted to curry political or economic favor.

An Incomplete Energy Bill (NYT)

``no-nothing'' energy science

If the House version of an energy bill truly hopes to tackle the problems of global warming and energy independence, a few vital issues need to be addressed.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

It Will Take More Than Charm (NYT)

the white police officer menace

The New York Police Department needs to pay more attention to the public’s worries over racial profiling and the fact that it often takes a long time to address serious complaints of officer misconduct.

Mr. Abe on the Ropes (NYT)

Bush supporter savaged

The political message in Japan is clear: If Shinzo Abe is determined to stay as prime minister, he must change course.

In Praise of Tap Water (NYT)

big bottle opposed

consumers advised for their own good

Almost all municipal water in America is so good that nobody needs to import a single bottle from Italy or France or the Fiji Islands.

Coming Clean in the Capitol (NYT)

NYT influence increased

We suspect it will take more than one new law to break the binding and corrupting ties of lobbyist cash and politics, but the ethics reform bill approved in the House is a good start.


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