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

Pics click to enlarge.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Geography of Hate (NYT)

the noose menace

The graphic, above, shows some of the reported sightings of nooses in the past two years.

The High Cost of Health Care (NYT)

It would be easy, if you'd realize that it's caused by so-called insurance.

No doctor can stay in business charging more than people are willing to pay.

The relentlessly rising cost of health care is the worst long-term fiscal crisis facing the nation, and it demands a solution, but finding one will not be easy or palatable.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Banks Gone Wild (NYT)

replace novel ways of losing money by sure way of losing money

by Paul Krugman

The subprime crisis and the credit crunch are the result of our failure to effectively reform corporate governance after the last set of scandals.

New Numbers on AIDS (NYT)

important to gay readership

Even with revised estimates, the AIDS epidemic remains one of the world’s greatest scourges, requiring a strong campaign to bring it under control.

Digging In Deeper in Pakistan (NYT)

sometimes politics follows cleaning out thugs

Before plunging American forces deep into Pakistan’s borderlands, Washington needs to deal with the political crisis threatening that country’s very core.

The Immigration Wilderness (NYT)

press 1 for spanish

America is waiting for a leader to show a little backbone and courage, and risk saying that the best answer on immigration is not the simplest one.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Note, rope trigger probes (Baltimore Sun)

Nationwide noose epidemic!

It's only a question of time until an airliner returns to the airport because a noose was found in the lavatory.

This year's shark attack.

A note with racial overtones and a knotted rope found in an East Baltimore firehouse early yesterday triggered a probe by the city's fire and police departments, and the FBI has begun its own preliminary investigation into possible civil rights violations.

Newspaper Question

Were newspapers better when they put the women's pages in the second section?

Turkey Tune-Out Time (NYT)

abusive email received

by Roger Cohen

It’s time to reintroduce Americans to each other. E-mailitis is soul-ravaging — and perilous.

Ms. Paulose Departs (NYT)

conservative sacked is always a good sign

The removal of Rachel Paulose is a hopeful sign that the new attorney general, Michael Mukasey, may be serious about fixing the Justice Department.

Trying to Save Lebanon, Again (NYT)

war on islamofascism has been disappeared by the left

Lebanon is President Bush’s last viable project for expanding democracy in the Middle East. We fear if something isn’t done quickly, that too will unravel.

Congestion Relief (NYT)

Sounds good. But what is the leftist angle?

The most important promise President Bush could make to travelers is to accelerate the replacement of the antiquated radar-based traffic control system.

Aha. Command and control.

Accommodating everyone who wishes to fly is not necessarily the right idea. If Washington stopped short-changing the rail system and followed the European model, traveling a few hundred miles could take about the same time as flying when you account for waiting time.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Modest Victory for Transit Riders (NYT)

command and control first

The formula for financing mass transportation in New York City should be changed before any fares are raised by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The Court and the Second Amendment (NYT)

fog created

We hope that the Supreme Court will render a decision respectful of the Constitution and the consequences of denying government broad room to regulate guns.

Limiting Power’s ‘Natural Tendency’ (NYT)

encroaching encroached

Lawmakers in Congress will have to stand firm to enact more needed fixes to President Bush’s deeply flawed measure that encroaches on civil liberties.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pay Me for My Content (NYT)

whine for money


How long must creative people wait for the Web’s new wealth to find a path to their doors?

A Swarm of Swindlers (NYT)

don't lend money to swindlers!

by Bob Herbert
Like vultures, the mortgage lenders began circling the single-family house with the tiny front lawn on Merrill Avenue.

Raising Children Behind Bars (NYT)

rush to infantalize children

The rush to criminalize children has set the country on a dangerous path.

Another Very Scary Germ (NYT)

new ``needs-to'' discovered

The development of bacterial strains that are resistant to many antibiotics is a problem that needs to be tackled broadly.

The Scientists Speak (NYT)

I'm a scientist and I say it's bullshit.

The world’s scientists have done their job on global warming. Now it’s time for world leaders, starting with President Bush, to do theirs.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What ‘That Regan Woman’ Knows (NYT)

theater review

by Frank Rich

With the filing of a lawsuit by a vengeful eyewitness who was fired from her job, the Rudy Giuliani story may just have gained its own reincarnation of Linda Tripp.

Affordable Family Planning (NYT)

money ejaculation recommended

Lawmakers should pass a bill that would make college health centers and safety-net clinics eligible for a discount on prescription contraceptives.

A Loud Legal Voice on Warming (NYT)

scientific court

A California decision on fuel-economy standards for vehicles should help persuade Congress that the time for denial on global warming is long past.

Two Sides of Mr. Sarkozy (NYT)

conflict resolvers

Nicolas Sarkozy will have to resolve the conflict between his enlightened trans-Atlantic overtures and his narrow protectionist vision for Europe.

Sifting for Facts Amid the Promises (NYT)

didn't inhale

In health as in wealth, politicians must understand they waive much of their privacy when they decide to seek the highest public office.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

When Doctors Inject a Disease (NYT)

higher prices urged

New York State officials’ plan to push for the elimination of multidose vials would help provide protection for patients against contamination.

The Bluefin Slaughter (NYT)

fish hiroshima

A huge slab of raw guilt should be placed on Japan, whose voracious appetite for the bluefin has done the most to make it disappear.

Democrats Find Their Voice (NYT)

voters voting not considered

Democrats must continue to push President Bush and his Republican allies to concede their failed war policy and change course.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Transistor history (BBC)

knowledge imparted to women

Early computers, such as the ENIAC, used vacuum tubes - similar to light bulbs - to do calculations and took several people to operate.

Played for a Sucker (NYT)

continuous mistakes expected

by Paul Krugman

Barack Obama’s Social Security mistake was exactly what you’d expect from a candidate who promises to transcend partisanship in an age when that’s neither possible nor desirable.

Gorbachev’s Baggage (NYT)

Gorbasm cheapened

We see little wrong when famous people endorse products for pay. But a statesman peddling a product is seen to cheapen his historic achievement.

A Stem Cell Achievement (NYT)

Democrat cloned

The scientific success in Oregon ought to galvanize Congress to expand the array of embryonic stem cell research that can receive federal financing.

Prosecuting Blackwater (NYT)

shamefulness deplored

Contractors have been involved in some of the most shameful incidents in the Iraq war. But not one contractor has been prosecuted for crimes.

In Contempt (NYT)

checks and balances deplored

Joshua Bolten and Harriet Miers are dangerously challenging Congress’s power — and the system of checks and balances established by the founders.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Don’t Turn on Ethiopia (NYT)

strongly worded letters needed


Congress should use creative diplomacy to deal with the combined threat of insurgency and war in Ethiopia.

Obama in Orbit (NYT)

Bush not connected

by Roger Cohen
Barack Obama, in many ways, is where the world is going. He embodies interconnectedness where the Bush administration has projected separateness.

Don’t Shut Up and Play (NYT)

gossip banned

The United States Bridge Federation’s censorship on members of the American women’s bridge team is un-American.

100-to-1 Rule (NYT)

Nobody's recognizing anything but expediency.

The war on drugs is the single most destructive doctrine ever invented, except possibly price controls.

Nothing expedient about that, however. So the war on drugs continues.

Fortunately, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are finally recognizing that the crack laws are both grossly unfair and counterproductive.

Congress and the Mortgage Mess (NYT)

curb to lenders' natural urge to lose money needed.

the day of novel theory arrives.

If Congress wants to protect consumers, lawmakers must resist further efforts to cripple a bill that is designed to curtail abusive mortgage lending.

The Governor in His Labyrinth (NYT)

Clintonian roguishness suggested

The test of Gov. Eliot Spitzer is not how deep a hole he has dug for himself in his first year in office - it is whether he can figure out how to climb out of it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Why Americans Delay Action on Climate Change (NYT)

disbelief in hokum noted


Probably the most important reason is the profound lack of public knowledge on issues related to climate matters.

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda (NYT)

opportunity to do the wrong thing squandered

a liberal tragedy

by Thomas L. Friedman

President Bush squandered a historic opportunity to put America on a radically different energy course after 9/11.

The Prince and the Plane (NYT)

evil spotted

Somehow, what we’re left with is the image of a plane that is meant to take off — into its own ever-warming atmosphere of unreality.

Job Insecurities (NYT)

The standard of living depends not only on people stopping doing the wrong things, but also on their starting doing the right things.

Any incentive not to start doing right things right away screws up the incentives.

Any system that doesn't work in line with natural human incentives fails.

Any leftist never considers side effects, which are usually the chief ones, to their policy proposals.

Which is why no leftist idea ever works.

Which is why there are conservatives.

As the saying goes : if you're not a liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative at 30, you have no brain.

Preparing for layoffs, whether brought on by a downturn or by the continuing shift to a globalized economy, is the least that lawmakers can do.

Digging a Hole (NYT)

leftist candidate needed

Although he proved his tough-guy bona fides by staging a bloodless coup in 1999, Gen. Pervez Musharraf looks increasingly weak.

Where’s That Energy Bill? (NYT)

danger warned against

With Congress feeling the pressure to do something, there’s a danger that vital provisions could be dropped just for the sake of producing a bill.

The Insanity of Bush Hatred (WSJ)

If it isn't clear, it isn't French.

I had been invited to appear on a panel to debate the ideas in Princeton professor and American Prospect editor Paul Starr's excellent new book, "Freedom's Power: The True Force of Liberalism." To put in context Prof. Starr's grounding of contemporary progressivism in the larger liberal tradition, I recounted to the Princeton audience an exchange at a dinner I hosted in Washington in June 2004 for several distinguished progressive scholars, journalists, and policy analysts.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Character Factor (NYT)

Captain Queeg on the ship of state

by David Brooks
There is nobody in politics remotely like Senator John McCain.

Righting Reagan’s Wrongs? (NYT)

race baited

by Bob Herbert

Ronald Reagan may have been blessed with a Hollywood smile, but he was elbow deep in the same old race-baiting Southern strategy of Goldwater and Nixon.

Public Works: When ‘Big Government’ Plays Its Role (NYT)

Keynes Lives!


The story of the 1930s public works programs is timely again, because much of America is falling apart.

Some Help in a New Life (NYT)

Charity for Aquinas meant thinking the best of people rather than the worst.

That's why it was redemptive for the believer.

Some time after that it came to mean money.

Charities are organizations. Organizations love money above everything.

Every penny you donate to The Times’s Neediest Cases Fund goes to seven local charities.

Don’t Rush to a Fare Hike (NYT)

public-sector effect not detected

in the private sector, nobody bears burdens they don't want to bear.

voluntary transactions happen because both sides come out ahead.

involuntary transactions happen through bearing burdens.

The M.T.A. is wrong to try to solve its problems primarily on the backs of financially burdened riders.

Structural Failures (NYT)

no tough choices involving the welfare state, for the NYT

The recent crash of an Air Force F-15 fighter jet is the latest reminder of the tough military budget choices this country will face for the foreseeable future.

Monday, November 12, 2007

All They Are Saying Is Give Happiness a Chance (NYT)

subscriptions down


Despite all the wealth we have accumulated, true happiness has lagged our prosperity.

Again and Again in the Balkans (NYT)

strongly worded letter time

The Balkans have a dismal way of living up to their stereotype as a region of ancient, intertwined and irreconcilable feuds.

Dollar Policy: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (NYT)

clueless economic theory exports rise

The stated desire for a strong dollar is on a collision course with the stated belief in market-determined exchange rates.

The Plight of American Veterans (NYT)

bleakness proposed

As an unpopular, ill-planned war in Iraq grinds on inconclusively, it can be a bleak time to be a veteran.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Bite of the Bagel (NYT)

Bushies' fault

by Maureen Dowd
Knowing I was going to miss my Weekend Update from “Saturday Night Live,” I asked the show’s head writer to give me an update on the writers’ strike.

Democracy’s Root: Diversity (NYT)

8th century personages in the news

by Thomas Friedman
King Abdullah’s path-breaking meeting with Pope Benedict XVI surely gave many Saudi clerics heartburn. But as historic as it was, it left no trace.

The Coup at Home (NYT)

sunday theater review

by Frank Rich
Even if President Bush had the guts to condemn Gen. Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, there is no longer any moral high ground left for him to stand on.

Taint by Association (NYT)

because times readers like being lied to.

it's a shrinking market but it's all they've got.

The Public Editor

Why would The Times give a former analyst who lied to investors a platform to write about financial markets?

A Big Box of Eagles (NYT)

helmets with horns

The music industry is undergoing tectonic shifts, something that is beautifully illustrated by the marketing of “Long Road Out of Eden.”

Grading the Grades (NYT)

U is for union

In Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s new system for rating New York City’s public schools, the counterproductive A through F rating system should be ditched.

Abdicate and Capitulate (NYT)

insufficient politicization mocked

Democrats have done precious little to avoid giving the job of attorney general to a man who does not even have the integrity to take a stand against torture.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Recession? What Recession? (NYT)

nothing to lose but your chairs

by Bob Herbert

The elite honchos in Washington and their courtiers in the news media are all but completely out of touch with the daily struggle of working families.

Rudy and Bernie: B.F.F.’s (NYT)

resemblance terrification

by Gail Collins

The Rudy Giuliani version of loyalty, which bears a terrifying resemblance to the George W. Bush brand of loyalty, is entirely about self-protection.

New Jersey’s Verdict on Stem Cells (NYT)

new taxes proposed

The task of moving stem cell research to the next level cannot be left to the states — it needs to be underwritten by federal financing.

Roses and Reality in Georgia (NYT)

the Carter legacy

The Bush administration has a clear responsibility for insisting on a restoration of Georgia’s freedoms and a fair presidential election in January.

Hope for the Everglades (NYT)

alligator waterways and navigation bill

It’s good news that Congress overrode a veto by President Bush and approved a water resources bill that has been around for seven years.

Indicting Mr. Kerik (NYT)

troubling question alluded to

Bernard Kerik’s case raises the troubling question of why Rudolph Giuliani, a leading candidate for president, has been close to him for so long.

Friday, November 09, 2007

This Blog's Reading Level : Application Error

Application Error! The type initializer for 'Subtext.Framework.HostInfo' threw an exception.

Weblog Awards

Once again Best Individual Blogger passes us by.

McCain Says Kerik Reflects on Giuliani (AP)

Keating-five McCain, they call him.

McCain cited Kerik's relationship with his Republican presidential foe as a reason to doubt Giuliani's judgment.

Health Care Excuses (NYT)

no kidding

by Paul Krugman

The reality is that the best foreign health care systems do as well or better than the U.S. system, while costing far less money.

Beware Reality (NYT)

TV in the editorial offices

Regardless of the outcome of the Hollywood writers’ strike, we implore the networks not to let reality TV intrude further upon our free time.

Toward Greater Import Safety (NYT)

stuck in Chinese finger trap

Congress will need to flesh out the Bush administration’s vague plans with sufficient resources to protect the public from unsafe foods and products.

Veterans Without Health Care (NYT)

another solution is universal execution for leftists

One solution would be some form of universal health coverage for all Americans. Then uninsured veterans could get the care they need.

An Overdue Step for Equal Justice (NYT)

drama club

The Senate should pass a bill to outlaw discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation, and President Bush should sign it into law.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Pat Loves Rudy (NYT)

faked sincerity deplored

by Gail Collins

Maybe Rudy Giuliani’s leadership is so powerful that people exposed to it find it impossible to doubt the sincerity of his every word.

Big Tobacco Defeats Sick Kids (NYT)

shameless voters drop the NYT

The defeat of an Oregon referendum in Tuesday’s election is a testament to the shamelessness of the nation’s big tobacco companies.

Ingenuity in Space (NYT)

next week, Tommy, we'll make battery acid

Under difficult conditions on an unusually busy and lengthy mission, NASA’s astronauts accomplished their tasks impressively.

Gathering Storm (NYT)

friendly dictator syndrome

Washington must make it clear to Pakistan’s dictator, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, that a blood bath against protesters would be intolerable.

Alternative Tax Showdown (NYT)

test suggested

The House and Senate are poised to vote on a vitally important tax bill that will test whether Democrats have courage and convictions.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Not-Google Phone (NYT)

Lucent Inferno resurrected

too late for Lucent

Google’s plan to develop a new open software standard for mobile phones could result in a more richly and fully integrated universe of mobile devices.

A Second Chance for Ex-Offenders (NYT)

must live within a half mile of chemical plants

Congress can help reduce recidivism by passing the Second Chance Act, which would aid former prisoners to find a place in society.

Pass the Peruvian F.T.A. (NYT)

fought by domestic anchovy producers

Congressional Democrats should vote for the Peruvian deal, which would give American businesses greater access to Peru’s markets.

Chemical Industry 1, Public Safety 0 (NYT)

higher prices urged

Congress needs to pass a strong new chemical plant law — one that puts more weight on the safety of the public and less on industry’s bottom line.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Pointless Slap at Transit Workers (NYT)

when a strongly worded letter would do

The city should try to help usher in more peaceful labor-management relations with the transit workers union.

Yazoo Pumps: They’re Back! (NYT)

probably a good idea, whatever it is

The Yazoo Pumps may well be the most daft in a long line of environmentally destructive schemes undertaken by the Army Corps of Engineers at Congress’s request.

Watered-Down Mortgage Reform (NYT)

more needs to be done. forget that it's contradictory!

A proposed amendment to the Mortgage Reform and Antipredatory Lending Act of 2007 will make the weakest part of the bill even weaker.

The Pakistan Mess (NYT)

everything being Bush failure noted

Gen. Pervez Musharraf has pushed nuclear-armed Pakistan further along a perilous course and underscored the failure of President Bush’s policy toward a key ally in the war on terrorism.

Monday, November 05, 2007

A Roosevelt for Roosevelt Island (NYT)

a better place would be Penn Station

There’s a magic to the project to build a memorial to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on Roosevelt Island.

Legal Loopholes in Iraq (NYT)

Unless american justice itself depends on basic order

But that's the point, isn't it.

Anything to cripple Iraq is highest priority.

The Bush administration should withdraw private armies from Iraq, and Congress must act swiftly to ensure that American justice applies to all those who remain.

In Defense of Voting Rights (NYT)

voter fraud supported

The Justice Department’s voting rights section has been taken over by ideologues most interested in denying the ballot to minorities, poor people and other groups likely to vote Democratic.

Putting an End to Abusive Lending (NYT)

lender protection act needed

When members of the House Financial Services committee meet to put the finishing touches on a bill to curb abusive mortgage lending, they need focus only on how to make a good bill better.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Childhood for Dummies (NYT)

book reviews for the inept

The books “The Daring Book for Girls” and “The Dangerous Book for Boys” are so clearly not about daredeviltry. They are about ineptitude.

Selling America (NYT)

God, flag, country and rugged individualism proposed

The best hope of defusing anti-Americanism and restoring our country’s international standing lies in a commitment to the values that make it great.

Republican Tricks on Children’s Health (NYT)

uninsured unborn overlooked

The Senate’s Republican leaders clearly would prefer to have no bill enacted than do anything meaningful to help millions of uninsured children.

Playing Games With Toy Safety (NYT)

no more .22's for boys

Given the Bush administration’s record in appointing consumer safety commissioners, another vacancy might mean that even less would get done.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

My Favorite Menace (NYT)

mockers denigrated

by Gail Collins

What do you think of when you hear “defining issues of our time?” Global warming? Did it ever occur to you there are Americans who’d say: “Law of the Sea Treaty?”

Worsening the Odds (NYT)

gap in M1 money supply noted

by Bob Herbert

Lonnie Lynam died at age 45. The cause of death was cancer, aided and abetted by an absurd, unnecessary and utterly unconscionable absence of health insurance.

Farm Belt Follies (NYT)

convenience store aid

With debate on the farm bill to begin next week, the Senate has one last chance to produce a farm program of which the country can be proud.

Children and Cold Medicines (NYT)

third world opportunity

It is emphatically clear that medicines used in children need to be tested in children, since a child’s response to a drug often differs from that of an adult.

End to a Shabby Prosecution (NYT)

lesson noted

We fear that there is little hope that President Bush will learn any lesson from a shockingly mishandled prosecution that finally terminated this week.

That Promised Peace Conference (NYT)

al qaeda defeated

The Bush administration cannot just stage a Mideast peace conference and hope that something will materialize in a region drowning in despair.

Federal Reserve says super SIV requiress less capital (Reuters)

japanese banking emulated

"The credit conversion factor that would apply to the notional amount of the M-LEC liquidity facility would be 10 percent," wrote Norah Barger, the associate director of the Fed's Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Marijuana and College Aid (NYT)

command and control attractions conflict

Federal college aid was never intended to be used as a weapon of enforcement. Any attempt to employ it that way can produce unintended results.

A Station Worthy of New York (NYT)

public spending to match delusion urged

A new Pennsylvania Station should be a grand public space, as magnificent, in its way, as the glorious old Grand Central Terminal.

Starting Over in Texas (NYT)

kill all the republicans

The only real way to remedy allegations of brutality and neglect is to raze the state’s deeply flawed juvenile justice system and build a new one.

Africa’s Chance (NYT)

not the NYT's century

Nobody knows whether Africa south of the Sahara might be on the cusp of starting up the ladder of development, but it has its best chance in decades.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Pilot of Plane That Dropped A-Bomb Dies (AP)

Good for him, alone in a modern world full of wimps.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Paul Tibbets, who etched his mother's name — Enola Gay — into history on the nose of the B-29 bomber he flew to drop the atomic bomb over Hiroshima, died Thursday after six decades of steadfastly defending the mission. He was 92.

A Little Hope for Amtrak (NYT)

increased sugar subsidy proposed

In the costly world of mass transportation, adequately funding Amtrak - the nation’s only passenger railroad - is an easy bargain.

America’s Lagging Health Care System (NYT)

insured parts are broken, as economics predicts

A new survey of patients in seven industrialized nations underscores just how badly sick Americans fare compared with patients in other nations.

Playing Sudan’s Game (NYT)

editors not fooled

Sudan merely wants more time to let the janjaweed militias it backs in Darfur finish off what remains of the region’s non-Arab population.

Torture and the Attorneys General (NYT)

leftism as litmus test

Senators with a conscience that can be shocked should insist that President Bush meets a higher standard than the current nomination.


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