From The Humbling of Eliot Spitzer, Nick Paumgarten's long and interesting article on the NY gov's first year in office: "Somehow, he’s become an unpopular governor careering from mess to mess...By last week, Spitzer seemed to have settled into a lumps-taking,
amends-making phase—one as unfamiliar as it is likely to be short-lived."
Alert reader FG sends along news of Scotland's clever new marketing slogan: "Welcome to Scotland."
What do you expect for $250K and six months of work, "Scotland Connects?"
Connects ... what? Summerfield and Pleasant Garden? The bygone
manufacturing era and the uncertain future? Several flights a day to
destinations as diverse as Charlotte and Atlanta?"
AP: "Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, rallied Friday
in a central square and demanded the execution of a British teacher
convicted of insulting Islam for allowing her students to name a teddy
I think I helped come up with the "Converge" part of ConvergeSouth, and my nickname for the Blogging, Journalism and Credibility conference gained surprising traction, so maybe I'll take a stab at Myrtle Beach monikerization.
I was thinking about Everything is Miscellaneous -- which Howard Rheingold just declared one of the best business books of the year -- and I remembered a quote I liked in high school: "In times of widespread chaos and confusion, it has been the duty of more advanced human beings -- artists, scientists,
clowns and philosophers -- to create order."
Dr. Weinberger is a philosopher, and his work as a gag writer qualifies him as a clown.
What's great is that his book creating order also lives up to the second part of the quote: "In times
such as ours, however, when there is too much order, too much
management, too much programming and control,
it becomes the duty of superior men and women to fling their favorite
monkey wrenches into the machinery. To relieve the repression of the
human spirit, they
must sow doubt and disruption."
McClatchy: "The American campaign to turn Sunni Muslims against Islamic extremists
is growing so quickly that Iraq's Shiite Muslim leaders fear that it's
out of control and threatens to create a potent armed force that will
turn against the government one day."
Some people advocate a three-way division of Iraq. Maybe we'll get one whether we want it or not.
Jon Swift: "I do know a little something about journalism since I once saw All the President's Men and I worked on my high school newspaper, so I think it would be helpful if bloggers knew the 20 basic "Rules of Journalism" so that they won't pester Joe Klein and other professional journalists too much about journalistic ethics in the future."
Economists react to the latest housing numbers with dueling cliches: "That light at the end of the housing meltdown tunnel appears to be an oncoming train" vs. "There seems to be no silver lining in the darkening cloud overhanging the housing market."
Deadspin: "Duke (sic) should construct campus statues of Vitale and Berman, at which all
students should gather and pay homage at least once per day. A more
symbiotic relationship you will never find in nature, unless it's that
tiny bird that lives on hippos and cleans their ears."
Big Lead: "It’s enough to make one wonder if the author is familiar with the name
Dick Vitale, who wears knee pads in the presence of the program."
Previously: We don't want Dookie V back on our side.
I don't see Blue NC as a Democratic site, but as a progressive site. That means it will tend to support Democratic candidates, but the overlap with the party is not complete, and I would expect to see writers at Blue NC hammer on the Democrats to push them left.
And criticizing Anglico for daring to say nice things about a GOP candidate is idiotic.
Somehow I'm reminded of this thread, where an Edwards supporter urged me to get with the branding strategies of the Edwards site.
NYT: "If you love whiskey but haven’t thought of bourbon as being in the same
league as a good Scotch, Irish and even, these days, rye, you owe it to
yourself to give it another try."
More: "Some of the biggest names in bourbon did not make our list. Wild Turkey
just missed. It was good bourbon, but the panel did not find it
distinctive enough in this company. We also liked the Van Winkle’s
10-Year-Old, which we thought would be great for cocktails. Maker’s
Mark did not come close."
WSJ: "In the span of one growing season, ethanol has gone from panacea to
pariah in the eyes of some. The critics, which include industries hurt
when the price of corn rises, blame ethanol for pushing up food prices,
question its environmental bona fides and dispute how much it really
helps reduce the need for oil."
Ethanol seems like a subsidy for agribusiness and a sop to corn-state pols, not the answer to our dependence on oil.
AP: "Service members seriously wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan after they
received a $10,000 bonus for enlisting are being asked by the Pentagon
to repay portions of the incentive money...the policy remained in effect despite a report last July by a
presidential commission that wounded veterans were being unfairly
penalized by a requirement that enlistees must fulfill their entire
term of service or lose a pro-rated portion of their bonus."
But the very next sentence in the group's description of itself doesn't sound so impartial: "It was
established as a response to the many biased and alarmist claims about
human-induced climate change, which are being used to justify calls for
intervention and regulation."
UPDATE: Another related thought from Steve Outing: "My company's sites didn't work, which is why in
hindsight I realize that a much higher level of professional content
needed to be added into the mix. Quality matters...user content when it stands on its own is weak. But
it's powerful when appropriately combined with professional content,
and properly targeted."
The housing-market meltdown will reduce the Gross Metropolitan Product of the Greensboro-High Point region by about $450 million in 2008, lowering GMP growth by almost a full percentage point, according to a study to be released today by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
McClatchy: "Your state and local governments probably will be forced to choose
between raising taxes to maintain services or cutting services to
balance their budgets."
Here's an Excel spreadsheet of costs to metro regions. The nation's biggest loser in % terms: Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, at -1.7%.
Winston-Salem and Burlington are expected to take relatively light hits of .3% and .5%, respectively; the Charlotte and Raleigh areas are in roughly the same boat as GSO.
The report includes a clear summary of the bubble's growth and poppage. It assesses the damage, which may be extensive (see summary after the jump), but does not see a Roubiniesque disaster: "[T]he mortgage crisis is not going to bring the economy grinding to a halt. Indeed, we expect job growth in 2008 to be 0.85% and GDP growth to be 1.9%. In 2009, those figures will be 1.2% and 2.9%, respectively. In the end, the economy will not come off the rails."
Dan Gillmor: "One of the most amazing episodes in modern American journalism has
emerged from a flagrantly inaccurate and misguided Time magazine column
by Joe Klein."
Update: Much more here. "[H]e has now claimed, in sequence, that his false assertions were: (a)
true, (b) disputable, (c) too complex and time-consuming to figure out,
and (d) just a minor, irrelevant detail. Is this conduct not completely
humiliating to Time?"
Josh Marshall says, "Thompson's campaign has been a joke, probably the highest ratio of
train wreck to expectations in recent political memory. But with Fox's
open alignment with the Giuliani campaign, he actually has a point."
NYT: "Confronting an enormous fund-raising gap with Democrats, Republican Party officials are aggressively recruiting wealthy candidates who can spend
large sums of their own money to finance their Congressional races."
The purposeful opacity of Wall Street operators -- brazenly portrayed as a new level of transparency by agenda-driven shills -- seems to be part of the proposed solution to the credit crunch as well.
Summers: "The current main policy thrust – the so-called 'super conduit', in
which banks co-operate to take on the assets of troubled investment
vehicles – has never been publicly explained in any detail by the US
Treasury. On the information available, the 'super conduit' has
worrying similarities with Japanese banking practices of the 1990s that
aroused criticism from American authorities for their lack of
transparency, suppression of genuine market pricing of bad credits, and
inhibiting effect on new lending. Perhaps there is a strong case for
it, but that case has yet to be made."
Gretchen Morgenson on the realities of the subprime market: "[M]any lenders peddled the most abusive and costly loans to
unsophisticated, first-time home buyers. Known as 'affordability
products,' the mortgages generated big commissions up front and were
designed to require refinancing later on — which included yet another
round of luscious fees for lenders. With refinancing no longer
an option, it is becoming obvious that these loans were designed to
fail. True to their design, they are."