Kurtz at TPM on business as usual in DC: "How fitting that the most compromised Ethics Committee in recent memory
brings its term to an end with a late Friday evening press release and
a tap on the wrist."
Alert reader GG emails to say that China Express and the other businesses in the Food Lion shopping center on Lawndale near Pisgah Church will close as of tomorrow, because Koury Corp. is "tearing the place down." Anyone know the story here?
FoxTrotsaysgoodbye to the daily paper, to the consternation of the younger demographic at our breakfast table.
Xark: "Only the good burn out. The truly awful just keep chugging along..."
Sometimes good comics turn bad. A column this summer declaringFor Better or For Worse the best strip ever made me stop and realize how tepid FBoFW has become, and wonder when the kids all got so beautiful.
It is possible to make bad comics better, or at least explain them.
PEER: "Grand Canyon National Park is not permitted to give an official
estimate of the geologic age of its principal feature, due to pressure
from Bush administration appointees. Despite promising a prompt review
of its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by
Noah's flood rather than by geologic forces, more than three years
later no review has ever been done and the book remains on sale at the
park, according to documents released today by Public Employees for
But the NPS Grand Canyon website does say "Geologic formations...found at the bottom of the Canyon date back 1,800 million years," and the section on History & Culture says "The oldest human artifacts found are nearly 12,000 years old." This Park Service page also discusses the age and geology of the big ditch.
KC Johnson: Over the last nine months, Mike Nifong has coupled demagogic appeals
to prejudices based on class and race with a habit of making public
charges unsubstantiated by material in his own files. Meanwhile, he
overrode standard procedures...and mocked
due process...Yet despite that record, until last week only three Duke faculty members —
James Coleman (law),
Steven Baldwin (chemistry), and
Michael Gustafson (engineering) — had publicly criticized Nifong’s conduct. This trio comprises 0.2 percent of all Duke professors.
But faculty culture doesn't define the entire university culture, says this comment beneath Johnson's article: "Duke has always been, and always will be a party school. Frat boys and
jocks will always enjoy special status. Of course, people expect them
to behave worse. This is their culture, and for the most part it is
respected. Duke is far from a cesspool are political correctness."
NY Blade on Gerald Ford: "Although Ford did not take a public stand on gay issues during his presidency, gay activists have credited him with using his enormous stature as a past president and elder statesman to speak out for gay civil rights."
Sally Greene on the Edwards and the web: "A continuous stream of emails and YouTubes is not going to do it alone.
There's the matter of his message, what he stands for, do we believe
him. (Also the matter of reaching the millions not on the internet...)"
Woodward on the hidden relationship between Nixon and Ford:
But the tapes, documents and two lengthy recent interviews with Ford
before his death this week, conducted for a future book and embargoed
until after his death, show that the close political alliance between
the two men seriously influenced Ford's eventual decision to pardon
Nixon, the most momentous decision of his short presidency and almost
certainly the one that cost him any chance of winning the White House
in his own right two years later. Ford became president on Aug. 9,
1974; he pardoned Nixon just a month later. "I think that Nixon felt I
was about the only person he could really trust on the Hill," Ford said
during the 2005 interview.
Ford returned the feeling.
looked upon him as my personal friend. And I always treasured our
relationship. And I had no hesitancy about granting the pardon, because
I felt that we had this relationship and that I didn't want to see my
real friend have the stigma," Ford said in the interview.
acknowledgment represents a significant shift from Ford's previous
portrayals of the pardon that absolved Nixon of any Watergate-related
crimes. In earlier statements, Ford had emphasized the decision as an
effort to move the country beyond the partisan divisions of the
Watergate era, playing down the personal dimension.
Eric and I worked together at a business paper in midtown, and then that folded and we both washed up at Forbes, and that's where we really got to be friends. There were three of us, working on a year-long project. I turned 24 that summer, Pete and Eric were a couple of years older. We had our own space, in an annex off the library. We had our own schedule, our own jokes. As long as the bosses knew their best-selling issue was on track, they left us pretty much alone. It was a nice gig. We ate lunch together and enjoyed being young in New York. We put out the magazine and got promoted and went to each others' weddings and kept in touch as we drifted in and out of jobs and moved on with our lives. Eric was on a different path after a while. He fought cancer for 17 years. He was funny and caustic and all-knowing about pop culture, and, as it turns out, tough and brave. He was a husband and a father and a talented journalist. Eric Schmuckler died yesterday at the age of 47. Rest in peace.
N&O: The N.C. State Bar is seeking to discipline Durham County District
Attorney Michael Nifong for pre-trial statements he made to the media
about the criminal investigation involving Duke University’s lacrosse
team...The complaint concludes that Nifong should have known his conduct was
'prejudicial to the administration of justice' and that Nifong engaged
in conduct involving 'dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.'"
Scoble: The world of politics is changing, he told me, because now a candidate
must give dozens of interviews to tons of different people with small
audiences. The age of talking to one guy who had a massive audience is
probably over. Even if you leave blogs out of the story even the
mainstream press is seeing its audiences split up into smaller and
smaller niches with more and more pieces.
Same thing, different year. The Shenandoah is underrated in the pantheon of American scenic beauty, and the drive is pretty almost all along the way, past Gettysburg and across the Susquehanna and into Jersey farm country.
Gerald Ford: "Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction...I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do...I don't think I would have ordered the Iraq war. I would have maximized our effort through sanctions, through restrictions, whatever, to find another answer."
I've been thinking for the past day of encomia that Ford's stature as a president might be measured most accurately by his extreme irrelevance as an ex-president, but maybe he should have spoken up more often.
Scoble and the Edwards campaign: "I am covering this trip as a journalist for ScobleShow.com...Are there any restrictions as to what I can write or shoot? Not that I know of. None have been communicated yet...I have no idea what I’m going to be doing there. The first emails were basically 'would you like to come along while John Edwards announces he’s running for President?'"
Lots of talk about the troubles at Four Seasons Mall, er, Town Centre.
I do not like malls. I am a hunter, not a gatherer. I stalk my quarry online and make targeted strikes on stores.
Yesterday, though, I was forced to visit this Xanadu of excess, a palace of commerce that might make Castro a capitalist, or Trump a communist, or both.
It's a great place for suburban anthropology, too. I was able to identify several members of the mysterious WASP tribes of Summit and Short Hills, for example, the women with their blonde hair held back by the traditional headband, their tall husbands in tattersall shirts and blue blazers. They mingled peacefully with the other indigenous peoples from around the region. It was a veritbable Benetton ad of present-exchangers and gift-card wielders, and nobody shot each other, even in the hectic parking lot.
When John Edwardsannounces his candidacy today tomorrow, look for Scoble in the crowd...I don't know the details of that potential partnership yet, but it could be very beneficial to Edwards...The NYT describes Edwards as "arguably the most Web-savvy candidate in the ’08 race to date."
So I've briefly escaped dial-up limbo at my inlaw's for a wified Starbucks, but I'm too fat and happy from all the Christmas cheer, and too engaged with one of my presents, to do much blogging.
A couple of notes from around the web: Lindsey Graham says, "Religious diversity is a strength, not a weakness in this country...the statements by Virgil Goode do not represent the best of who we are as a nation." Thank you, Senator Graham.
NYT: If Iraq should descend into full-blown civil war, its neighbors could be drawn
into a “regional conflagration,” as the new defense secretary, Robert
M. Gates, put it to the Senate. Would that mean whole national armies squaring
off against one another? Not likely soon, experts say. But after several more
years of rising sectarian strife, centered in Iraq and spreading beyond its
frontiers, a much wider war could ignite.
Roanoke Times says Virgil Goode had a "macaca moment" and that "He shouldn't apologize for his beliefs because that would just pile the sin of hypocrisy onto the heap of bigotry...Goode's got another two years in Congress, but his constituents will
have little representation during that time. No one, other than of a
handful of his bigoted supporters, will ever take Goode seriously
Meanwhile, Robin Hayes' crusader moment has hit the national blogs, and made it as far into the mainstream media as the Charlotte O.
Hoggard: Every time some historic structure is slated for relocation or
demolition, we gnash our teeth, curse at the owners, and talk among
ourselves as to what dumbasses people are for not recognizing the value
of our historic architecture.
Well, we preservationists are the real dumbasses...That has to change or we need to
shut the hell up.
In the comments, Professor Wharton chides him for being too negative about GSO preservation efforts. Wharton has a point, but Hoggard does, too: more money and market savvy, applied earlier in the game, would help preserve more good old stuff around here.
Previously: Hoggard on the fight to save the Ice House; a photo of the building by Lisa Scheer. After the jump: a column about the then-impending/now-completed destruction of a GSO treasure, which includes a discussion with Preservation Greensboro's Benjamin Briggs.
I ran into Marcus Kindley at a Christmas party. As with the last time I saw the Guilford GOP chairman in person, our conversation could not have been more cordial. He's a nice guy. We disagree on some political issues, we trade hard shots online -- but it's important to remember that blogs and comments and media and politics are not the whole world.
This stuff matters, but it's not all that matters, or even what matters most.
An op-ed in the NYT about U.S. relations with Iran, by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann, as redacted by the CIA’s Publication Review Board; the CIA found no classified material in the article and saw no reason to edit it, but the White House insisted.
The Times ran the article with black marks over the text in question, but also published a companion piece by Leverett and Mann containing sources for the redacted sections; the online version has links to those sources, which inlude such super-top-secret locations as USA Today and administration press briefings.
From an N&O op-ed by UNC law prof Joseph Kennedy, a fellow at UNC's Parr Center for Ethics: "Whether the defendants in the Duke lacrosse case are guilty or innocent, Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong should disqualify himself, or be disqualified, from the case.
"On Friday, Nifong's own witness essentially accused him of breaking the law. An actual conflict of interest now exists between Nifong's need to defend himself against possible charges of misconduct and his obligation to prosecute the case fairly and effectively."
BlueNC reports that The Concord paper (unposted) covered a speech by congressman Robin Hayes, in which Hayes explained what it's going to take to win in Iraq: "Stability in Iraq ultimately depends on spreading the message of Jesus Christ, the message of peace on earth, good will towards men. Everything depends on everyone learning about the birth of the Savior."
Nice pic of a previous generation of Crusaders at the site, too.
Novak: "While Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama soak up media attention,
John Edwards has pushed for organized labor's support. No decisions
have been made, but the former senator from North Carolina and 2004
vice presidential nominee is the front-runner for winning over the big,
dynamic unions that left the AFL-CIO almost 18 months ago."
WSJ: [Gov. Arnold] Schwarzenegger has been huddling with advisers in the past few
weeks to come up with a plan to provide health coverage to the state's
6.5 million uninsured and underinsured. Details of the strategy haven't
been announced. He has signaled that in his annual State of the State
address Jan. 9 he will make health care the top priority for 2007 and
likely include a plan to cover the uninsured...
...Massachusetts this year passed legislation to provide nearly universal
health-care coverage to state residents, but policy observers say that
a measure in California -- where the number of uninsured roughly equals
the Massachusetts population -- would have a more sweeping effect.
Councilwoman Carmany on the Rhino Times: "It's so unprofessional that the reporter did not even bother to check with Mitch or anyone else on the city staff who could have provided the correct information and avoided this latest reporting fiasco."
Meanwhile, has there been an official response to the Rhino's article on payments to RMA?
UPDATE: In the comments, Carmany refers to the City Council discussion of the RMA overpayments: "RMA subcontracted a very specialized portion of their investigation with an expert in that field and passed along that expense to the city, not catching that the fee was higher than what our contract specified. RMA is rebating the total overcharge amount(($900+) to the city."