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

Pics click to enlarge.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Win, Win, Win, Win, Win ... (NYT)

love of taxes

By Thomas L. Friedman
We have got to stop “taking off the table” the gasoline tax, the tool that would add leverage to everything we want to do at home and abroad.

You’re Likable Enough, Gay People (NYT)

drama club speaks

by Frank Rich
Barack Obama’s disingenuous defense of his tone-deaf invitation to the Rev. Rick Warren is an asterisk to the joyous inaugural of our first black president.

Governor Blagojevich’s Bombast (NYT)

it's the party of narcissism

If the governor were less narcissistic, he would leave public service so constituents might get beyond the embarrassment of his administration.

Recruiting the Best (NYT)

it's opposite day

President-elect Barack Obama should consider these steps to ensure the high-quality Army that America needs.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Curbing Credit Card Predators (NYT)

mindless compulsion 3: must

Congress must do more for Americans to get fair, clear credit card rules that allow them to make informed spending decisions.

Mr. Obama and Mr. Putin (NYT)

mindless compulsion 2: should

If Barack Obama wants better relations with Russia, he should start by cutting back on the belligerent talk and invite the Russians to high-level discussions.

The Gas Tax (NYT)

mindless compulsion 1: needs to

If the Obama administration is to meet its twin objectives of reducing the consumption of foreign oil and cutting emissions, it needs to curb the nation’s demand for energy.

Stop Being Stupid (NYT)

The American way is to move money from where it is needed at the moment to where it can be used at the moment. This debt is matched by an asset, and the economy keeps busy with an even load.

Inflate the need for housing by making owing appear cheap and you get bad debts, which have to unwind before the system works again.

by Bob Herbert
Over the past few decades, the American way has been to pay for things with money that wasn’t there. Americans must resolve to be smarter going forward.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

So Is Fish Safe to Eat or Not? (NYT)

energy saving lightbulbs too

The disagreement between the government and some scientists over the amount of fish pregnant and breast-feeding women should eat raises serious questions for consumers.

Price of Lax Gun Laws (NYT)

safer homes

A strong correlation exists between weak state gun laws and higher rates of in-state murders, police slayings and sales of guns used in crimes in other states.

The World According to Cheney (NYT)

record set straight

It must be exhausting to rewrite history as much as Vice President Dick Cheney has done in a series of exit interviews.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Popularity Isn’t Everything (NYT)

new york times conservative

by William Kristol
In admiration of straight talkers, let’s give credit to the nation’s most unpopular Republican, Dick Cheney, and the nation’s most unpopular Democrat, Rod Blagojevich.

The Disciples of Hatred, in Their Own Words and Images (NYT)

nostalgia felt

A lynching exhibition puts the civil rights movement in the context of the reign of terror that gripped black Southerners.

Inaugural Wishes for the F.E.C. (NYT)

leftist enemies list

The Federal Election Commission should be confronted about the newly issued regulations that poke a fund-raising law full of loopholes.

A New Respect for Science (NYT)

religion embraced

Sub-cabinet appointments affirm Barack Obama’s commitment to aggressively address the challenges of energy independence and global warming.

The Printing Press Cure (NYT)

good quoted

Economic history suggests that the Federal Reserve’s move to lower interest rates and print money is the right thing to do, but does not make such intervention “good.”

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hope Amid the Gloom (NYT)

vast socialist future

by Bob Herbert
Even as Americans by the thousands sign up for jobless benefits, or line up to declare bankruptcy, or stand aside as their homes are foreclosed upon, there are some slender reasons to hope.

Separate and Not Equal (NYT)

marriage incuriosity supported

Creating a separate, new legal structure to confer some benefits on same-sex couples neither honors American ideals of fairness, nor does it grant true equality.

Wayward Eye on the Homeland (NYT)

agenda missing

Crucial reform of homeland security has been undermined by the culture of fiefdoms in Congress, while the real-life threats from terrorism have grown more complex.

Where Does It All Go? (NYT)

green lobby unmentioned

The federal government has struggled, unsuccessfully, to find a long-term solution to the piling up of nuclear waste at temporary storage sites around the country.

Survivor: Detroit (NYT)

lefty slogan business plan

For Detroit to become viable again, the next administration must help Michigan’s auto industry shrink and become more energy efficient.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gov. Paterson’s Tough Budget (NYT)

newstand tax not considered

Gov. David Paterson’s proposals to close a large hole in New York State’s budget already has inspired howls of protest. It can surely be improved upon, but the budget is tough and fair.

The Torture Report (NYT)

subscription decline derangement syndrome

A prosecutor should be appointed to consider criminal charges against top officials at the Pentagon for decisions that led to the abuse, torture and death in prisons run by the American military and intelligence.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fixing Interior (NYT)

ignorant masses deplored

As secretary of the interior, Ken Salazar’s most urgent task will be to remove the influence of politics and ideology from decisions that are best left to science.

A Lynching in Brooklyn (NYT)

strongly worded stand taken

The murder of José Sucuzhañay, an Ecuadorean immigrant, in New York City is enough to remind us that bigotry cannot be tolerated.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Cheap Shot at Workers (NYT)

Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chairs.

The Bush administration’s last-minute overhaul of the visa program for temporary farm workers threatens to make a flawed program worse.

Questions for Mr. Geithner (NYT)

``needs to'' plonking strategy used.

As president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Timothy Geithner let Lehman Brothers fail and then bailed out American International Group. He needs to explain why before he becomes Treasury secretary.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Deeper in Debt (NYT)

no lefty idea is ever abandoned

In New Jersey, politically difficult policies — such as reducing payments to pension funds and increasing turnpike tolls — are necessary or the state will never dig out of its debt.

What Louisiana Can Teach (NYT)

money thrown into pit

As states and the federal government consider ways to improve teacher-preparation programs, they should look to Louisiana’s accountability-based reform efforts.

What’s Plan B? (NYT)

how about bankruptcy judge voids union contracts

Despite the flaws of the $14 billion plan to bail out Detroit’s automakers, there is not a chance at a long-term solution without it.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Save the Bluefin (NYT)

substitute polar bear

Preserving the bluefin tuna species requires sharply reduced quotas or, better, a moratorium on tuna fishing.

Even Worse for Teens (NYT)

extend the dead hand of central planning to everybody

Any plan that President-elect Barack Obama is devising to put millions of unemployed Americans back to work must include a provision for youthful workers.

Tortured Justice (NYT)

arm the courts

The extent of the damage done by the Bush administration to American civil liberties will be told in part by the outcome of two cases in federal court.

State of Fear (NYT)


A federal appointment could mean that Arizona will loose its most powerful voice of reason in a state that continues to hatch some of cruelest ideas for getting tough on immigrants.

The Real Generation X (NYT)

the cliche scold

by Thomas L. Friedman
To reverse the damage caused by this generation of greedy adults, we will not only need to bail out industries of the past but to build up industries of the future.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Deluder in Chief (NYT)

the left could undelude itself here.

President Bush is still acting as though he decided to invade Iraq after suddenly being handed life and death information on Saddam Hussein’s arsenal.

The Employment Crash (NYT)

encourage idleness, crowd out private investment, and why not raise the minimum wage too

alternative plan: zero capital gains tax, zero corporate tax

Congress should be working now on another economic stimulus plan — one that will bolster unemployment compensation and create jobs.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Keep the City Moving (NYT)

shortfall burden spread

The burden for shortfalls in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority budget in New York City should be spread beyond those who take public transit.

Reality Check for Detroit (NYT)

reality mentioned

Before bailing out automakers, Congress should require much tighter commitments on fuel economy and demand that top management be replaced.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Life of an Antarctic Archipelago (NYT)

polar-bear-eating penguin

A discovery of new species found on the polar islands concludes that this area is one of last on the globe where biodiversity has barely changed over the past century.

Rescue the Census (NYT)

democrat redistricting favored

The census requires years of planning, but preparations — for reasons of incompetence or political gain — have been systematically sidetracked during the Bush years.

Gloom, but Not Doom (NYT)

glass half full

President-elect Obama is inheriting a world more complicated and frightening than the one eight years ago. But while the trends may be apparent, the results are not inevitable.

Odetta (NYT)


The music and lyrics of Odetta, the transcendent folk singer who died on Tuesday, opened a boy's eyes to the crimes and tragedies embedded in American history.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Hawaii’s Moon Shot (NYT)

snowmobiles banned

If Hawaii takes the lead in a clean-energy movement, it could spread those values to the rest of the nation.

Mr. Obama’s Team (NYT)

strong mentioned

President-elect Barack Obama will need a strong team to help him with the challenges he will face. The choices announced on Monday are a strong start.

The Gun Lobby’s Loss (NYT)

mandate discovered

After this year’s election, politicians should be far less afraid and far more willing to vote for sensible gun-control laws.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

All Fall Down (NYT)

generalized scolding invented

by Thomas L. Friedman
After a near total breakdown of responsibility at every link in our financial chain, now we either bail out the people who brought us here or risk a systemic crash. These are the wages of our sins.

‘The Savior of Broadway,’ Written and Directed by Gerald Schoenfeld (NYT)

you have to be so careful with plaids

Gerald Schoenfeld and his professional partner, Bernard B. Jacobs, saved New York’s commercial theater industry when everyone else had left it for dead.

A Promise to Help Nebraska’s Families (NYT)

every man a king

The state needs to move toward early-intervention programs that help families where they live and expand access to federally subsidized aid for the working poor.

So Who Picked Up the Tab? (NYT)

venality deplored

Speaker Nancy Pelosi should insist that the ethics investigation into Representative Charles Rangel’s affairs move forward.

A Catastrophic Silence (NYT)

the bathos strategy

After the killing of an Ecuadorean immigrant on Long Island, the silence that echoes most painfully is that of the Latino victims of these and other hidden crimes.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Price of Our Good Name (NYT)

self-image considered

Barack Obama must repair this nation’s image and restore its self-respect by closing George Bush’s outlaw prison at Guantánamo Bay.

Eight Years Is More Than Enough (NYT)

joblessness proposed

Barack Obama will need energized federal workers to make effective change, which may mean dumping Republican civil servants intent on sabotaging that effort.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Help Is on the Way (NYT)

veterans as helpless fluff

by Bob Herbert
A new advertising campaign may help troubled veterans come in from the cold and piercingly lonely environment of post-wartime stress.

Ms. Lewis Refuses to Listen (NYT)

Palin for Park Superindendent

Suzanne Lewis, Yellowstone National Park’s superintendent, should be dismissed if she ignores scientists’ warnings that 720 snowmobiles a day would have “major adverse impacts” on the park.

Harmful Lending Practices (NYT)

fault discovered

Federal regulators could have done a great deal more to avert the mortgage crisis by reining in predatory lenders.

If Bankruptcy Hits Detroit (NYT)

free money to be used

Failing to bail out Detroit’s automakers would be a truly irresponsible act and could cause other bankruptcies and mass unemployment.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gambling With Lives (NYT)

unauthorized antecedent

The City Council’s decision to suspend a ban on smoking in Atlantic City casinos threatens the health of the people who work in them.

The Wrong Place to Be Chronically Ill (NYT)

shame urged

The care the chronically ill receive in this country — or more often did not receive — ought to be a cause for shame.

Honesty About Ethanol (NYT)

hoaxes in conflict

For the sake of the planet, not a particular industry, the E.P.A. must give an unbiased, accurate accounting of ethanol emissions.

Pass the Colombian Trade Pact (NYT)

sound economics should be embraced only when it aligns with feelings.

Walking away from the Colombian free-trade agreement now would alienate many people in Colombia and undermine Washington’s credibility.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Moose Stops Here (NYT)

mind lost

by Frank Rich
The post-election Republican soul searching has featured a convenient amnesia about the party’s race-based “Southern strategy.”

Gonna Need a Bigger Boat (NYT)

many cliches needed

by Thomas L. Friedman
To fight a global financial panic like this, you have to go at it with overwhelming force — an overwhelming stimulus that gets people shopping again.

A Military for a Dangerous New World (NYT)

Al Quaeda Military

To protect the nation, the Obama administration will have the incredible task of rebuilding a military that is overtaxed and ill-equipped.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Election Prediction - McCain Wins

Based on my ongoing bicycle commute route lawn sign survey, in Central Ohio, it's McCain 25, Obama 7, in the final count.

Flickr slide show, click to view.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Real Scandal (NYT)

acorn supported

by Bob Herbert
The real threat to democracy is the nonstop campaign by the G.O.P. and its supporters to disenfranchise American citizens who have every right to cast a ballot.

More Sadness for Appalachia (NYT)

another vein of sadness discovered

The Bush administration is writing one more sad chapter in the long, tortured history of Appalachia’s coal-rich hills.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Lion, the Bull and the Bears (NYT)

economics feelings

Investors seem to be relying on the same primitive emotion that made our forebears on the savanna bolt when approached by a hungry lion: fear.

$1,000 for 50 Points (NYT)

no child left behind

Some colleges, more concerned with their own rankings than with fairly ranking applicants, paid admitted freshmen to retake entrance exams.

The Acorn Story (NYT)

democracy improved by vote fraud

John McCain’s accusation that a group called Acorn intentionally submitted invalid voter registration forms appears overblown and misses the real problem.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Why How Matters (NYT)

man was not meant to travel on wheels

by Thomas L. Friedman
In the financial-services boom, bubble and bust, we got away from the basics — from the fundamentals of prudent lending and borrowing.

Monday, October 13, 2008

New and Unnecessary (NYT)

argument by adverbial clause

Nearly two decades after the United States stopped building nuclear weapons, it should not get back into the business.

Help for Haiti (NYT)

international basket case trade

The undocumented Haitians in the United States should be given temporary protection status as their storm-ravaged country rebuilds.

Abortion Rights on the Ballot, Again (NYT)

voters disparaged

The measures that South Dakota, Colorado and California have taken to end or limit abortion rights have much larger implications.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Post-Binge World (NYT)

financial analyst hat

by Thomas Friedman
The market is re-evaluating and re-pricing every asset in the world, without mercy. It is going to do whatever it’s going to do — whichever way greed and fear tug it.

Are We Rome? Tu Betchus! (NYT)


by Maureen Dowd
The decline and fall of the American Empire echoes the experience of the Romans, who also tumbled into the trap of becoming overleveraged empire hussies.

The Terrorist Barack Hussein Obama (NYT)

panties soiled

by Frank Rich
The McCain campaign has crossed the line between tough negative campaigning and inciting vigilantism, and each day the mob howls louder.

The Rule of Law in Guantánamo (NYT)

leftist theoretical structure proposed

The government is fighting a ruling to free detainees from Guantánamo Bay to avoid having the case become a window into the outlaw world of the camps.

Up and Down the Learning Curve (NYT)

adam smith dismissed

America’s energy problems are complex, and solving them will require leaders with restless curiosity and an open mind.

Out of Panic, Self-Reliance (NYT)

I don't see Emerson fainting at Obama rallies.

How financial panic influenced the philosophies of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Little Less to Worry About (NYT)

legislative kudzu proposed

Congress needs to build on the success of the compact that bans the diversion of water from the Great Lakes and take on the long-awaited assault on invasive species.

The States Need Help (NYT)

drunken sailor aid

The federal government must help states like California and Massachusetts get past their short-term liquidity squeezes.

Politics of Attack (NYT)

dismal ugliness not erased

Ninety minutes of forced cordiality during the debate did not erase the dismal ugliness of Senator John McCain’s campaign in recent weeks.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A Fool’s Paradise (NYT)

attention not paid

by Bob Herbert
What we haven’t paid close enough attention to is the fact that there haven’t been enough good paying jobs to sustain an adequate standard of living.

The Testing Time (NYT)

rooted test discovered

by David Brooks
Today, world leaders have to figure out how to stabilize economies amid volatile global capital flows. This test is rooted in a shift in economic power.

A Little Less Light (NYT)

lux et veritas

Nobody wants to go back to dark alleyways, but we also know that man-made light can pollute as well as illuminate.

Playing Into Mr. Morales’s Hands (NYT)

the tin tariff

The White House’s proposal to suspend Bolivia’s trade benefits altogether is self-defeating.

Cut the Sprawl, Cut the Warming (NYT)

solar wind influenced

California’s latest initiative on climate change will help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Even more progress would be made if others follow.

The Crisis Agenda (NYT)

it is vital that they try to attract votes

It is vital that Barack Obama and John McCain, one of whom will inherit a real mess, address the financial crisis in real detail at their debate Tuesday night.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Scraping the Bottom (NYT)

rational debate desired

For free speech not to be tainted by hate-filled propaganda, the presidential campaigns should identify the ads for what they are — a product that has little regard for rational debate.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Pitbull Palin Mauls McCain (NYT)

the hope and change tradition

by Frank Rich
The 2008 election is now an Obama-Palin race about “the future,” and the only person who doesn’t seem to know it is Mr. Past, poor old John McCain.

Sarah’s Pompom Palaver (NYT)

flyover country addressed

by Maureen Dowd
Watching Gov. Sarah Palin’s strenuously folksy debate performance, we could wonder when elite became a bad thing in America.

Racism Without Racists (NYT)

flaming liberal is another problem

by Nicolas D. Kristof
One of this season’s fallacies is that if Barack Obama is paying an electoral price for his skin tone, it must be because of racists. Not so — the evidence is that he is facing what scholars have dubbed “racism without racists.”

Swedish Spoken Here (NYT)

foreigners prefer to invest here, being one

by Thomas L. Friedman
When the next president takes office, Americans should not be surprised when he spells out the ramifications of being a debtor nation.

A Tale of Taint (NYT)

impressive new uniforms too

The way to fix the Food and Drug Administration’s image problems is with increased staffing, upgraded technology and more authority to protect American consumers.

No Pay for Harm (NYT)

subscriptions down

Hospitals will no longer profit from their mistakes under a new payment policy just inaugurated by Medicare. Too bad the same will not be true of doctors, at least not yet.

Foreclosures and the Right to Vote (NYT)

democrat base addressed

With the recent foreclosure crisis, not much work has been done to ensure that people who lose their homes do not also lose their chance to vote.

Meanwhile, in the Economy (NYT)

unemployment benefits only extend recessions, is this news?

After the bank bailout passed, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, was unable to persuade Republicans to extend unemployment benefits. So much for Main Street.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Talking in Points (NYT)

snow white reenacted

by Gail Collins
McCain sprung his vice-presidential selection on us at the last minute, possibly under the impression that the country felt things had gotten too boring lately, and would appreciate the excitement of having a minimally experienced political unknown serving as backup to a 72-year-old cancer survivor.

Palin’s Alternate Universe (NYT)

limited skills deprecated

by Bob Herbert
In such a serious moment in American history, it’s hard to believe that someone with Sarah Palin’s limited skills could possibly be playing a leadership role.

Dick Cheney, Role Model (NYT)

still smarting from ``major league asshole'' remark

It was hard to tell from Gov. Sarah Palin’s remarks in the vice-presidential debate if she understands how Dick Cheney has reshaped and damaged the office.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

In New York, a Willing Suspension of Term Limits (NYT)

Obama for mayor of NYC, an amusing experiment

Why do I believe term limits should be lifted temporarily to allow Michael Bloomberg to run for a third term? The answer is simple. I don’t want this city to repeat the early 1970s.

Show Us the Hope (NYT)

direct action urged against perverse side effects of previous direct action

The bailout bill, even the “sweetened” version, does little to avert the defaults and foreclosures that are pushing house values ever downward.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My Plan

Putting it in one place.

Change ``mark to market.'' It produces an instability in the system, whether taken as linear or nonlinear. A simple change is backward time averaging to the market, which gives you an unbiased eventual valuation but kills off the instability.

(The variance of the current market under mark to market is higher than the mistake produced by the lagging of an averaged estimator; and lagging spreads out any selling over a long enough time to look at things dispassionately.)

Change FDIC insurance limits way upward, and then declining under a leisurely schedule to avoid moral hazard being taken up as a business model. Similarly money market coverage. But it momentarily lets banks pay for and get huge deposits.

Rescue the Rescue (NYT)

law requiring both mark to market, and driving down market, not noticed

by Thomas L. Friedman
This is a credit crisis. It’s all about confidence.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

When Madmen Reign (NYT)

kool aid disparaged

by Bob Herbert
The question voters should be asking John McCain is whether he has stopped serving his party’s economic Kool-Aid and is ready to change his ways.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Washington Panic (WSJ)

having the qualities of uproar

...The uproarious debate over the Paulson plan comes down to one main proposition: Are we going to give the government a new tool and resources to protect the financial system, or not?

Friday, September 26, 2008

It All Comes Down to Experience (NYT)

message praised

As Barack Obama continues to stay on message, it’s no wonder John McCain has proposed postponing the first debate.

The Cross-Cultural Classroom (NYT)

media politics analogized

In what is one of the most diverse communities in the country, a teacher learns to be aware of the many cultures that make up her kindergarten class.

Wasilla Watch: Sarah Palin and the Rape Kits (NYT)

women's issues addressed

Voters should know if sexual-assault victims in Wasilla, Alaska, were being billed for the cost of rape kits and forensic exams while Sarah Palin was mayor.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ten States With a Plan (NYT)

warming fairy combatted

Until Washington takes more responsibility for addressing global warming, the states should take the lead.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Park Avenue Diplomacy (NYT)

dowd's own foreign policy experience projected

by Maureen Dowd
Summoning his old Harvard teaching days, Kissinger surely looked for a common didactic starting point: She has seen Russia. “Goot. I haff seen it, too.”

Official Solution to the Financial Crisis

Convert mortgage securities into flower bonds, opening a market for them.

An Inadequate Case for the Bailout (NYT)

money flow skimming needed

Congress has more work to do on the proposal to bail out the financial system before lawmakers and voters can support it.

Long Live the Gray Wolf (NYT)

anopheles mosquito to africa is another

There have been few biological reintroductions as successful as the restoration of the gray wolf to the Rockies.

The Paulson Sale (WSJ)

hendiadys crisis

That's especially true if Treasury were to try and use these purchases to "recapitalize" the banks by overpaying for the assets.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Second Opinion? (NYT)

mortgage derivatives explained

by Bob Herbert
Henry Paulson has been handed the reins of government, and he’s galloping through the taxpayers’ money like a hard-charging driver in a runaway chariot race.

Railroaded (NYT)

sweeping powers praised

Gov. David Paterson of New York was right to give the state’s attorney general sweeping powers to investigate the disability fraud debacle at Long Island Rail Road.

Remember Iran? (NYT)

foreign policy explained

What is needed is a game-changing diplomatic initiative in dealing with Iran’s constant evasions on its nuclear program.

Trust Me (NYT)

economics explained

To protect the American taxpayer, Congress must ensure that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s bailout plan comes with clear ground rules and vigilant oversight.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Fine Mess (NYT)

``I hesitate to say I don't disagree with you''

by William Kristol
A friend serving in the Bush administration tried to talk me out of my doubts about the $700 billion financial bailout. I’m not convinced.

Barack Obama, John McCain and the Language of Race (NYT)

assholeness is cultural

The discomfort with certain forms of black assertiveness is too deeply rooted in the national psyche to just disappear.

Up for Sale? (NYT)

the proof of why

The accusation that Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio put his office “up for sale” is further proof of why public officials need to disclose private income.

No More Excuses (NYT)

waiting room reading material survey

If you’ve shied away from getting a colonoscopy, two new scientific studies may make you less reluctant.

‘Running Out of Time’ (NYT)

the completely unravel menace

President Bush needs a policy that bolsters Pakistan’s fragile civilian government before the country completely unravels.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Two Silences (NYT)


In the surreal silence of a forest in northern Finland, I discovered that in nothing there is something to hear after all.

Right to Smear (NYT)

swift boat was true, however

Although the wholesale descent into Swift Boat campaigning has been blocked, voters should not rest easy.

‘Never Again,’ Again (NYT)

water and gravity intelligence test

Hurricane Gustav gave the state of Louisiana a test for which it had three years to prepare. The state flunked.

The Push to ‘Otherize’ Obama (NYT)

moronize is also noticed

by Nicholas D Kristof
The political campaign to transform Barack Obama into a Muslim is succeeding. The real loser as that happens is our entire political process.

No Laughing Matter (NYT)

listening to scolds recommended

by Thomas L. Friedman
George W. Bush never challenged Americans to do anything hard, let alone great. The next president is not going to have that luxury.

Truthiness Stages a Comeback (NYT)

truculence and propaganda twinned

by Frank Rich
The twin-pronged Rovian strategy of truculence and propaganda that sold Bush and his war could yet work for John McCain.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Blocking the Sky to Save the Earth (NYT)

not everybody gets the same mail


The melting of the polar ice cap in recent years is decades ahead of model predictions, raising concern that climate change is proving worse than expected.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Social Security

The Social Security crisis is easily fixed. Raise the retirement age so that the number of (then increased) workers is big enough to voluntarily support the (then reduced) number of retirees. Done!

You get to spend the last (say, average) 8 years of your life on benefits, not a 30 year vacation after age 65. Raise the age so this is true, no matter how high the life expectancy goes.

Why not reduce benefits? Because SS fills a gap. It's an annuity adjusted for inflation that won't fail. The private market can't match that, because companies that might offer annuities don't last 30 years.

See for example AIG.

So the guarantee of SS is that you won't have the misfortune to outlive your savings, regardless of inflation and the misjudgments of the management of the annuity company you had the misfortune to choose.

People can easily save for an average retirement, but they can't save for a hundred year lifespan, should they happen to live that long. That's the risk that's being insured against.

If you want to retire earlier than the raised retirement age, great! Just do it on your own dime, to bridge the gap.

Problem solved, debt overhang removed.

(Argument brought up again on the occasion of the shaky condition of AIG, the huge annuity issuer.)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Financial Meltdown

This has all happened before.

I am thinking of 1987, when portfolio insurance was very popular.

Portfolio insurance was a programmed scheme simultaneously trading in stocks in NY and their options in Chicago, that guaranteed that you couldn't lose money on your portfolio.

If nobody can theoretically lose money, then reality will enforce itself by violating an assumption.

In this case, in 1987, it was that it was suddenly no longer possible to execute simultaneous trades in NY and Chicago. There were no buyers. They didn't think of that.

Yet it was precisely a consequence of portfolio insurance that it happened.

So now everything is hedged and insured, and every hedge falls in value simultaneously.

If nobody can lose money, your assumptions are wrong, might be the rule to use.

You do yes have to look at what you're buying.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years Later, Ground Zero (NYT)

parking lot incompleted

The land where the World Trade Center stood still has the painful feel of a construction site. It is time for the political leaders to clear the roadblocks.

Nice Work if You Can Get It (NYT)

rich people discovered

The ousted chiefs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are at the center of an epic failure. They should not be rewarded any more for their failures.

Mississippi’s Ballot Trick (NYT)

musical trailers

Mississippi’s governor and its secretary of state have come up with a dirty election trick that is not only illegal, but shows a contempt for the state’s voters.

In Search of Gov. Palin (NYT)

well wisher advice

The best way for Sarah Palin to let America know about her record is to hold an honest news conference, which is what the campaign of John McCain is avoiding.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Bailout’s Big Lessons (NYT)

confusion supported

The government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac raises disturbing issues that may get lost in the tumult of the moment.

Hold Your Heads Up (NYT)

contrary impression acknowledged

by Bob Herbert
Without the contribution of liberals, the United States would be a much, much worse place than it is today.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

John McCain’s Energy Follies (NYT)

uranium is carbon-free

The John McCain who understood that the country should expand carbon-free energy sources has receded in time for the campaign.

Palin and McCain’s Shotgun Marriage (NYT)

obama praised

by Frank Rich
John McCain’s speed-dating of Sarah Palin reaffirmed that his decision-making process is impetuous and, in its Bush-like preference for gut instinct over facts, potentially reckless.

Georgia on My Mind (NYT)

innovation capacity displayed

by Thomas L. Friedman
Barack Obama and John McCain need to focus, not on war, but on strengthening our capacity for innovation — our most important competitive advantage.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

And Then There Was One (NYT)

takeover by big hand lotion

by Thomas L. Friedman
With his choice of Sarah Palin, John McCain has completed his makeover from the greenest Republican to run for president to just another representative of big oil.

Candidate McCain’s Big Decision (NYT)

serious question spectre summoned

Choosing Sarah Palin raises serious questions about John McCain’s qualifications.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sunspot Minimum

what does it take to surprise an astronomer?

The astonishing rapid drop of the past year has defied predictions, and caught nearly all astronomers by surprise.

Monday, September 01, 2008

A Breathless Labor Day (NYT)

symbolism urged

This Labor Day feels a little different than most, deafened, as it is, between the cymbals of the two political conventions.

The High Cost of Low Temperatures

global warming

Congress must do the right thing and help those who, faced with the high price of home heating oil, may have to make some painful choices this winter.

Mr. McCain and Iraq (NYT)

mccain made to define terms

John McCain owes the country an explanation of how he plans to salvage the war in Afghanistan and what he means by victory in Iraq.

John McCain’s Challenge (NYT)

incompetence deplored at the NYT

John McCain’s task is to persuade the American people that electing him will not merely mean more of President Bush’s ideology and incompetence.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Exclusive: Chief Fired by Palin Speaks Out (Wash Post)

the grudge report

McCain’s Baked Alaska (NYT)

tight butt and nice eyes

by Gail Collins
The idea that women are going to race off to vote for any candidate with the same internal plumbing is both offensive and historically wrong.

Champagne and Tears (NYT)

mayor of the united states

by Bob Herbert
For black residents in and around Detroit, Barack Obama’s nomination helped to redeem some of the grief of many years of racial humiliation and oppression.

Senator McCain’s Choice (NYT)

questions raised

Although John McCain’s choice of Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate is heartening, her lack of experience raises questions about how prepared she is to potentially succeed to the presidency.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Take That!, Merchants of Fear and Division

John Kerry fears and divides:

This election is a chance for America to tell the merchants of fear and division: You don't decide who loves this country; you don't decide who is a patriot; you don't decide whose service counts and whose doesn't.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Too Much of a Bad Thing (NYT)

card card flashed

John McCain’s campaign is cheapening his greatest strength by flashing the P.O.W. card to rebut any criticism, no matter how unrelated.

Melting Pot Meets Great Wall (NYT)

lower the working age

by Thomas L. Friedman
China and America can look at their Olympic successes as reaffirmations of their distinctly different political systems. But they could also learn from each other.

Last Call for Change We Can Believe In (NYT)

more helium

As the presidential race finally gains the country’s full attention, Barack Obama’s strategy that vanquished Hillary Clinton must be rebooted to take out John McCain.

Going for the Gold (NYT)

no gold for you, reader

The Olympics have retained their spirit: it’s still the autocratic and rich who win gold.

That Troubled Terrorism List (NYT)

first priority determined

The administration’s first priority should be to to fix the terrorist watch list so that warning signs of an attack are not lost in the chaos again.

Measles Returns (NYT)

misguided fears deplored

Parents must overcome their misguided fears of vaccinations or the number of cases of measles and other diseases in the United States will continue to grow.

What the Voters Know (NYT)

imaginary dire persists

The economy’s dire circumstances will not abate soon. And voters believe that neither candidate is paying enough attention to their distress.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Beijing’s Bad Faith Olympics (NYT)

world leaders called on

With these repression-scarred Olympics now drawing to a close, world leaders must tell Beijing that its failure to live up to its commitments will not be forgotten.

Taking On the Traffickers (NYT)

puppy mills

Congress must strengthen the Federal Trafficking and Victims Protection Act of 2000 and extend protections and services to victims born in the United States.

Mr. Johnson Steps Up (NYT)

environmental correctness

The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency should challenge the Army Corps of Engineers on the environmentally disastrous project in the Mississippi Delta.

For Judgeships in New York City (NYT)

luck strikes the left

New York City’s courts need the most dedicated and capable jurists. Luckily, there are a few good candidates.

McCain’s Drill Appeal (NYT)

empty suit hypothesis overlooked

by Charles M. Blow

Earth to Barack: to Main Street America, nuance equals confusion. You don’t have to dumb it down, but you do have to sum it up.

Voters Want More From Obama (NYT)

the moron vote

by Bob Herbert

Senator Barack Obama needs a first-rate, crackling-with-excitement populist message, which means a laser-like focus on the economy and jobs.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Risking the Galápagos (NYT)

blue booby lobby

When it comes to ecosystems, finding the balance between access and protection is always difficult.

No End in Sight (NYT)

steps urged

Before the economic crisis gets any worse, Congress must take several steps. The country cannot afford any more delay and posturing.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Less Than Golden Years (NYT)

demographic overhang not noticed.

it's not possible to save for retirement when there are no young people to buy services from.

Americans are saving too little for retirement. The sooner lawmakers and employers respond to this crisis — with legislation and education — the better the chances for limiting the damage.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Russia’s War of Ambition (NYT)

russian feelings hurt

There is no imaginable excuse for Russia’s invasion of Georgia.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Flush With Energy (NYT)

learn the discovered oil trick

by Thomas L. Friedman

America needs to learn from Denmark, which responded to the 1973 Arab oil embargo in such a way that today it is energy independent....

...(And it didn’t happen by Danish politicians making their people stupid by telling them the solution was simply more offshore drilling.)

What was the trick? To be sure, Denmark is much smaller than us and was lucky to discover some oil in the North Sea.

Energy Fictions (NYT)

rhythm of a maxim tried

A nation that uses one-quarter of the world’s oil while possessing less than 3 percent of its reserves cannot drill its way to happiness at the pump.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Behind the Aurora Borealis (NYT)

science opinion

Perhaps now is a good time to think about Earth’s magnetic field or the solar wind.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A lttle more serious in the case of the NYT, but

Hence, the tendency of all lists of “journalistic ethics” to trail off into farce and nonsense. Ethics are for people who have no morals -- no humility in the face of the good, the true, and the beautiful. To tell the truth, to capture the “ring of truth,” requires instead a form of hard-earned simplicity. Seeking the true means seeking the obvious.

David Warren.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

On His 47th Birthday, Obama Is All Business (CBS)

for an audience that's eight and a half

(CHICAGO) - It's Barack Obama's 47th birthday, but from his campaign schedule you wouldn't know it.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Long Overdue Crane Safety (NYT)

yet another blot discovered

The Bush administration’s negligence in addressing accidents involving construction cranes is shameful.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Past Time for Speaking Out (NYT)

new blot discovered

President Bush’s refusal to speak out publicly and clearly about China’s repressive behavior is an abdication of leadership and a blot on his record.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

As Rebates Run Their Course (NYT)

voodoo economic desk

A second round of economic stimulus is needed, but lawmakers will be doing a disservice if they serve up more of the same.

How Obama Became Acting President (NYT)

the manchurian snowman

by Frank Rich
Barack Obama-branded change is snowballing, whether it’s change you happen to believe in or not.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Higher Fares, Worse Service, No Help (NYT)

free money sought

With a possible fare increase looming, New York City’s subway riders deserve better service, and more help from both their city and their state.

Debating From the Domestic Front (NYT)

embrace the intertubes

Attending a Google-sponsored debate in New Orleans, fed by text-messaging questioners and YouTube aficionados, would be a good move for both presidential candidates.

Finally, Nowhere to Hide (NYT)

moral lesson

Radovan Karadzic’s capture should serve as a warning to other leaders who incite and abet genocide and believe they can escape justice.

A Time for Urgency (NYT)

too leftist to fail

The nation’s leaders must act quickly and take the necessary, if politically unpopular, steps to rescue Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from insolvency.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It’s the Economic Stupidity, Stupid (NYT)

theater critic economics

by Frank Rich
Were voters forced to actually focus on John McCain’s response to our economic crisis, the prospect of his ascension to the Oval Office could set off panic.

9/11 and 4/11 (NYT)

weekly apocalyptic wonderment

by Thomas Friedman
We are addicted to dirty fossil fuels, and this addiction is driving a whole set of toxic trends that are harming our nation and world in many different ways.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Losing Private Dwyer (NYT)

the basket-case model of the military


Pfc. Joseph Dwyer was a model of the strength and selflessness of the American soldier fighting in Iraq. But it was post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction that eventually killed him.

Drilling’s Lure (NYT)

editorial apparently fit to print

Congress should not sacrifice long-term environmental protections for short-term political gain by giving into the pressures to lift the moratorium on offshore oil drilling.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Help Closer to Home (NYT)

habitual liars

One proven way to prevent borderline young offenders from becoming serious criminals is to treat them — and their families — in community-based counseling programs instead of shipping them off to juvenile facilities that are often hundreds of miles away from home.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Katrina’s Most Vulnerable (NYT)

a city of homeless

Political leaders in New Orleans should understand that getting homeless people into permanent housing is the right thing to do for the homeless and for the city.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Oil and Inflation (NYT)

burn wood

A systematic plan for reducing the nation’s dependence on oil should be a priority for policy makers.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

All Too Human (NYT)

slippery slope for essayists

by Bob Herbert
Once the green light is given to torture, the guaranteed result is an ever-widening landscape of broken bodies, ruined lives and profound shame to all involved.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Anger and Restraint (NYT)

politics eliminated

By striking down the death penalty for the rape of a child, the Supreme Court’s ruling should deter efforts to extend the use of capital punishment.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More Phony Myths (NYT)

Dowd attacks Rove's elite charge but not the snide comments one.

by Maureen Dowd
“Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.”

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wounds You Can’t See (NYT)

Liberals prefer soldiers as helpless fluff because anything else is too complicated for propaganda.

by Bob Herbert
In the absence of any general call for sacrifice, we have an ironclad obligation to look out for the short- and long-term needs of the troops we send off to combat.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Census Damage Control (NYT)

liberal district expansion wanted

Preparations for the 2010 census are a shambles.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mr. Bush, Lead or Leave (NYT)

words not found

by Thomas Friedman
It is hard to find the words to express what a fraudulent, pathetic excuse for an energy policy President Bush’s new plan is.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Vice Is Nice (NYT)

to strafe at, (by women) = to strafe

by Gail Collins
On the other end, there’s the Cheney version in which the pet takes over the checkbook, diversifies the family investment portfolio and starts strafing at the neighbor’s cat.

The Court and Workers (NYT)

court as policy making arm of liberal government

The Supreme Court’s pro-worker decision on Thursday is notable because the court has appeared in recent years to go out of its way to side with corporations.

A Dubious Milestone (NYT)

lower classes explained

by Bob Herbert
A lot of clowns have fathered babies when they shouldn’t have, but it’s also difficult for many people to find the kind of job that makes raising a family feasible.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Public Funding on the Ropes (NYT)

criminals are basically good people

Unfortunately, Barack Obama has come up short of his vows to depart from self-interested politics in his decision to reject public spending limitations.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Big Pander to Big Oil (NYT)

don't be cruel

President Bush’s decision to ask Congress to end the federal ban on offshore drilling along much of America’s continental shelf is cruelly misleading.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Letter From Cairo (NYT)

price of Friedman opinion pieces falling

by Thomas Friedman
If prices keep soaring, food and fuel could reshape politics around the developing world as much as nationalism or Communism did in their days.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Obama on the Nile (NYT)

Cleft sentence packed with cliches

by Thomas Friedman
It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Democrats’ nomination of Barack Obama as their candidate for president has improved America’s image abroad.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Primary Reforms (NYT)

new principle discovered in constitution

Tested against the principle of American democracy, which says that all voters should have equal opportunity, both parties’ systems fall short.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Hate Speech Exception to the First Amendment

Savor the Moment (NYT)

the most unqualified candidates ever

by Bob Herbert
This election year has been a testament to the many decades of work by men and women to build a more just America.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A Gift to the G.O.P. (NYT)

clue bat tripped over

by Bob Herbert
The Democratic Party’s war with itself can only make you wonder about its vaunted claims of moral superiority when it comes to tolerance.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Gradient Farming

Gradient Farming
Originally uploaded by rhhardin
Gradient Farming in Ohio.

Orthogonal to coutour farming.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Another Horse-Racing Horror (NYT)

Helpless fluff is the condition the left prefers their animals in. Anything else is too complicated for propaganda.

The first rule of racing must be the welfare of the horses. Nothing else is acceptable.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Helping the Unemployed (NYT)

Recession extension and paid vacation act proposed

What is needed — now — is for Congress to extend jobless benefits for people who exhaust their initial 26 weeks of payments.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Spinning Iraq (NYT)

The new NYT theory is that they don't believe it. They just lie, like Soviet commissars.

The only mission that needs to be accomplished is an orderly exit from Iraq, and President Bush is no closer to acknowledging that reality.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Woman believed to be 'D.C. madam' kills herself (AP)

Two shots to the head

Found in Ft. Marcy Park

Police say a woman they believe to be convicted Washington escort service operator Deborah Jeane Palfrey has committed suicide.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Much Ado (NYT)

In this case, his or her facts are wrong.

by Stanley Fish
More than a half century later, “McCarthyism” was joined in the lexicon by “Swiftboating,” the art of the smear campaign mounted with the intention not of documenting a wrong, but of covering the victim with slime enough to cast doubt on his or her integrity.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Is Trade the Problem? (NYT)

I am astounded to find the NYT on the right side of trade.

But ``solutions'' to what isn't a problem shows that everything goes down the same hole sooner or later on the left.

That means expanding the social safety net to help workers displaced by trade. But a lot more must be done, since the problem far transcends shuttered factories. The government has to invest more in education to help produce better-prepared, better-paid graduates. To help American companies compete, it must invest in better roads and ports and address the country’s health care crisis. And it must move toward more progressive taxation to help redistribute the spoils of growth.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Low Road to Victory (NYT)

negative editorial

It is past time for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to acknowledge that the campaign’s negativity, for which she is mostly responsible, does nothing but harm to her, her opponent, her party and the 2008 election.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Shoddy! Tawdry! A Televised Train Wreck! (NYT)

not intuiting the problem

by Frank Rich

Ludicrous as the whole spectacle was, ABC would not have been so widely pilloried had it not tapped into a larger national discontent with news media fatuousness.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Road Map to Defeat (NYT)

kindergarten candidate threatened

by Bob Herbert
The Clintons are running around with flamethrowers, gleefully trying to incinerate the prospects of the party’s leading candidate, Barack Obama.

The Unfinished Reforms of 9/11 (NYT)

who better than NYT staff

If there is to be better oversight of the intelligence agencies, the people who control the purse strings must have knowledge, expertise and clear responsibility.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Rider Off the Rails (NYT)

whose ax is gored

The Long Island Rail Road’s etiquette bully has walked — again. John Clifford, notorious for loudly and aggressively harassing fellow riders to make them behave better, was acquitted on Tuesday of assault, disorderly conduct and other charges stemming from an ugly encounter on the Long Beach line last year. Judge Larry Stephen of Manhattan Criminal Court said most of the witnesses had “an ax to grind,” and threw the case out.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

More Time for More of the Same? (NYT)


It is clear that Gen. David Petraeus and President Bush don’t have a strategy for ending America’s disastrous involvement in Iraq.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

A Thousand Words for Snow

Does Arabic have a thousand words for shithead?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

More Flimflam on Warming (NYT)

flimflam detected

Despite the blather about George Bush’s newfound awareness of the dangers of climate change, his administration refuses to do anything about the problem.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pain at the Pump and Beyond (NYT)

no stone unturned

The Bush administration’s shortsighted energy policies mean the country is too dependent on oil that is both ruinously expensive and ruinous for the environment.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

So Much Sex, but What’s Fit to Print? (NYT)

with democrats it's how to keep it interesting


The recent reports of sexual misdeeds have presented interesting challenges for a newspaper that normally steers well clear of the salacious.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Free GRB 080319B!

terrorist activity

Scientists have detected an interstellar explosion so bright that it was briefly visible to the naked eye—from 7.5 billion light-years away.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Attidue (Dr. Helen)

Dr. Helen :

Do not be sloppy in the way that you use your tools. A professional differs from the incompetent mostly in attidue, in the willingness to proceed carefully and with full attention.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mr. Obama’s Profile in Courage (NYT)


What is evident is that Barack Obama not only cleared the air over a particular controversy — he raised the discussion of race and religion to a higher plane.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Ashley Dupre

How come some cable news outfit hasn't snapped her up as an anchorbabe?

Fox would be best.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

When Ben Bernanke Speaks ... (NYT)

NYT essence distilled

Ben Bernanke’s proposals are unlikely to work, because they are based on the notion that lenders and everyone else in the mortgage chain will act voluntarily.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

A One-Party New York State (NYT)

The NYT subscription base consists entirely of bemused conservatives wondering what they'll say next.

Giving one party so much power would require a leap of faith by voters. Now is the time for Democrats to show that this faith would be well placed.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Declarations : Over The Top (WSJ)

yahoo contract suspected

by Peggy Noonan
Everyone knows that if you Yahoo "Clintons" and "scandals" you get 4,430,000 hits.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Slipping Away (NYT)

more rules needed

The mounting violence is making it even harder for the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Olmert, to negotiate the core issues.

Priced Out of the Market (NYT)

print dollars on corn starch

The human costs of the diversion of food into energy are all too evident. Relief agencies must get the support they need to feed the most vulnerable people.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

McCain Channels His Inner Hillary INYT

speak quietly to the boat

by Frank Rich
He further channels Mrs. Clinton by belittling Mr. Obama’s oratory as an “eloquent but empty call for change” — a tact that calls attention to how flat and uninspiring his own speeches can be.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Clinton Adopts Harsher Tactics (WSJ)

nurse channeled

Clinton ratcheted up her attacks on Obama, comparing his campaign tactics to those of President Bush.

Somber Clinton Soldiers On as the Horizon Darkens (NYT)

bar lowered

“That said, she knows that there will be an end,” Ms. Hope said. “She is a very smart woman.”

Friday, February 22, 2008

Subtle Weather Distinction Made

Freezing rain until early afternoon...then freezing rain likely.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Look, Up in the Sky! (NYT)

Every piece of debris has an orbit that passes through the original point of intercept. Thus it all falls to earth pretty immediately, for a low intercept point.

It stays up a long time, for a high intercept point.

Elementary physics is too hard for the NYT.

by Gail Collins
The only known instance of somebody shooting down a satellite occurred last year when the Chinese brought down one of their old weather satellites, also citing vague threats to humanity. At the time, the United States was extremely peeved and complained the Chinese were creating space debris.

McCain camp hits back hard (politico)

homosexual charge

John McCain has a 24-year record of serving our country with honor and integrity. He has never violated the public trust, never done favors for special interests or lobbyists, and he will not allow a smear campaign to distract from the issues at stake in this election.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Global Tobacco Threat (NYT)

credulity limit reached at the NYT

It is impossible to believe claims by many tobacco companies that they are not trying to addict new smokers but only to convert adults who are using inferior local brands.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Virus from China the gift that keeps on giving (SF Chronicle)

Insidious is the Sino- in Sino-Soviet.

An insidious computer virus recently discovered on digital photo frames has been identified as a powerful new Trojan Horse from China that collects passwords for online games - and its designers might have larger targets in mind.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Flawed Feminist Test (NYT)

big ears

by Marueen Dowd

And since women — and some men — tend to be more protective when she is down, it is impossible to rule out a rally, especially if voters start to see Obama, after his eight-contest rout, as that maddening archetypal figure: the glib golden boy who slides through on charm and a smile.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

So Much for Paglia

tinpot orator day

The galvanizing energy aroused by Barack Obama's thrilling coast-to-coast victories gives Democrats a clear shot at regaining the White House.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Next Up for the Democrats: Civil War (NYT)

keep your cotton-pickin' hands off my gin - Eli Whitney

By Frank Rich
The question now is how much more racial friction the Clinton campaign will gin up

Suggested Column Tag for Maureen Dowd

Maureen Dowd is off today.

Because They Said So (NYT)

19th amendment responsible

Even by the dismal standards of what passes for a national debate on intelligence and civil liberties, last week was a really bad week.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Clouded Crystal Ball, Private Enterprise Edition

Polaroid failed to embrace the digital technology that has transformed photography, instead sticking to its belief that many photographers who didn't want to wait to get pictures developed would hold onto their old Polaroid cameras.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mysterious Distinctions in Weather

the thesaurus prediction

Numerous showers this morning...then widespread showers this afternoon.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My Media Prediction

If Hillary wins the nomination, she'll be titular head of the Democratic Party.

Prediction : the media will avoid the word.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Fed Chief’s Reassurance Fails to Halt Stock Plunge (NYT)

Stagflation offered.

Recession is how you stop people from doing the wrong things.

It doesn't work on government. Just the opposite.

WASHINGTON — The stock market plunged again on Thursday on bad economic news, taking little comfort from reassuring words by the chairman of the Federal Reserve or an emerging consensus about a stimulus plan that many worry could be too late.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Revealed: New NASA images show Mercury as you have never seen it before

displacement of female genitals

Among many new sights, the picture shows the full Caloris Basin, a huge impact basin more than 620 miles across that sits on the border between the known and previously unknown regions of the planet.

They also show the complete basin interior and reveal that it is brighter than the surrounding regions, which could suggest it has a different composition.

There are darker smooth areas completely surrounding Caloris and unusual dark-rimmed craters in the basin.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Emotion Without Thought in New Hampshire (NYT)

Hey it's only 40% of women.

Soap women also are the sole support of the news biz, all soap all the time; for they are the only group that will tune in day in and day out, news or no news, so long as there is soap opera, and thus whose eyes can be sold to advertisers.

Which politicians trade on, and which edits every public debate on everything.

There is, in the primaries, nothing to think about, as a result, even if you're a guy. Everything is for the grand soap opera story line.

Above all, soap must be treated as serious news. Breaking the curtain is forbidden. The gimmick is saying ``You are serious people'' to soap opera fans.

See the ancient NYT article Diana's Death Resonates With Women in Therapy to explain the dynamics.

The truth is that women follow their interests, just as men do, but their interests differ. They are not men.

In a neighborhood setting, this is positive : women empathize with and help the neighbors. In a mass communication market, their neighbors are whoever are the story of the day, and their empathizing helps nobody but themselves as a sort of pornography ; and helps the advertisers of course.

Women's virtue is traded on and makes them dysfunctional instead.

The fix is to ridicule these women and make that advertising market disappear.

by Judith Warner

I don’t for a moment begrudge Hillary her victory on Tuesday. But if victory came for the reasons we’ve been led to believe – because women voters ultimately saw in her, exhausted and near defeat, a countenance that mirrored their own – then I hate what that victory says about the state of their lives and the nature of the emotions they carry forward into this race. I hate the thought that women feel beaten down, backed into a corner, overwhelmed and near to breaking point, as Hillary appeared to be in the debate Saturday night. And I hate even more that they’ve got to see a strong, smart and savvy woman cut down to size before they can embrace her as one of their own.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Controversy Raised

Grimm's fairy tales

Blitzer: But tell me why, as an African-American, Donna, you feel that the president's comments weren't appropriate.


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