People believe what they want to believe, and what their prejudices tell them is true.
I talk sometimes to a guy who tells me that he opposes the estate tax because he wants to leave his modest holdings to his kids. No matter how many times we go over the fact that no plan under consideration would tax his estate or even estates many times larger than his, the conversation begins the same way the next time.
One thing we discussed on the local politics panel at PDF is the importance of having national organizations pay attention to what's happening on the ground, so they can have dynamic battle plans instead of static ones.
Nelson Johnson emails: "The Almighty Latino Kings and Queens Nation (also known as the Latin Kings Gang), the Beloved Community Center of Greensboro, area pastors and several African American and Latino community leaders are holding a media briefing on Monday, June 30, 2008, at 10:30 AM, at Faith Community Church, 417 Arlington Street, Greensboro, NC."
The pottery war: "The Museum of North Carolina Traditional Pottery in Seagrove recently
has been the center of disrespectful, negative, inflammatory rhetoric
aimed at dividing our community of peaceful potters," writes Michael Mahan in a letter to the N&R signed by 46 other area artisans.
From an N&O article: "In a community known worldwide for throwing clay, there's a lot of mud-slinging going on." More from the Asheboropaper.
The bear arrives: "The Dow is down 20.2% from its intraday high set in October. A decline
of 20% from a high is traditionally considered the threshold for a bear
Like the official definition of a recession, the terminology doesn't really make much difference to most people. Things are not good, and at least some of the fundamentals behind the not-goodness won't get better for a while.
Holland Cotter says the Louise Bourgeois retrospective at the Guggenheim has "surprises, beginning with what the exhibition reveals about the shape
of her long career, and specifically, its departure from the linear
shape that 'career' implies." At left (click to largify), a Bourgeois drawing from 1953 that you can see right here in Greensboro at the Weatherspoon Museum.
Kirk Ross writes in the Carrboro Citizen: "While to the vehemently anti-immigrant crowd that may sound wonderfully
efficient, it is pure and simple racial profiling, and on the
taxpayers' dime at that."
444 houses/townhouses/condos over $500K on the market now in Guilford County.
A local realtor tells the story on this one: "This house is a relocation property, meaning that the owners were transferred
last year and they took the buyout that was offered by the relocation company.
The price of the buyout was $830,000. The relo company now owns the house
and it is, as you can see, priced at $685,000, and has been on the market for
"An eight-month McClatchy investigation of the detention system created
after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has found that the U.S. imprisoned
innocent men, subjected them to abuse, stripped them of their legal
rights and allowed Islamic militants to turn the prison camp at
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into a school for jihad."
The landing page for the series includes a link to supporting documents.
Lawrence Kudlow, one year ago today: "[T]here are always worries. Now it's
subprime coming back. Is there going to be a contagion meltdown? I
don't believe that for a minute."
Three weeks later, he wrote: "Simply put, this is the greatest global stock market boom in history...Despite the persistent doom and gloom refrain from various sourpuss prognosticators, it remains the greatest story never told. And it's not over yet."
And a month after that he was begging the Fed to intervene.
When EPA officials persisted, Cheney stuck his fingers in his ears and shouted "I can't hear you" over and over again until they went away: "The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened."
"Home prices in 20 U.S. metropolitan
areas fell in April by the most on record, signaling the housing
recession is far from over."
More: "There's such an excess of inventories that we certainly expect to see more price declines,'' said James O'Sullivan, a senior economist at UBS Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut. "The economy is still weakening and housing still looks pretty weak."
Press conference underway at PDF to announce Internet for Everyone. Non-partisan organization hopes to make broadband access available to all Americans. Too important to leave to Congress and carriers. Necessary to remain competitive. Digital divide not shrinking, not just economic -- includes 10 million rural residents without broadband access.
Robin Chase says broadband maybe not as essential as water, but as essential as hot water.
Presscon panel includes Larry Lessig, FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, Vint Cerf, Jonathan Zittrain.
My flight was the only NY-bound plane from Greensboro not to be canceled yesterday afternoon. (Safety note: It was good to see that almost seven years after 9/11, the TSA is still pulling grandmas out of line and wanding them; my inclination in fighting the scourge of grandma terrorism would be to test cookies for arsenic, but these are trained security professionals and their methods should not be questioned.)
We were late but I still got to the PDF opening party in time for a couple of gin and tonics on the terrace at the Bowery Hotel. Elizabeth Edwards couldn't get out of NC at all and her session this AM had to be rescheduled.
Allen Johnson has an interesting column about Billy Yow's sales-tax crusade.
Yow has a point, but he fell behind early in the battle over framing the issue.
The trick was to make this about how we pay for things the people of Guilford County keep voting for.
Instead, it was framed as an up-or-down decision on raising our own taxes.
Framing matters. A million years ago I wrote that the key to the major league baseball question was how it was pitched: if it was framed as a vote on baseball, it had a chance; as a vote on taxes, no chance. We know how that went.
At first glance it may seem ironic to have Yow pressing for a tax increase, but it's really a practical response to the fact that the people of Guilford County keep voting to spend money. Property taxes can't go up forever, and the cost of bond referendums seems to be somewhat disconnected from votes to support them. A targeted, broad-based tax to raise some portion of that money is worth considering.
television with my laptop open, check e-mail and surf the Web during
phone calls. I like to think of this behavior as "multitasking" or
Continuous Partial Attention, because that makes it sound like I'm
doing it on purpose, but I know that's not really the case.
My newspaper column starts with Nick Carr's essay, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?," and kind of meanders from there.
Louisville sued Dook for dropping out of some scheduled games. "Duke's lawyers argued that the Blue Devils football team, 13-90 since
1999, was so bad any Division I team could have replaced them on the
"Ford is adjusting the public introduction timing of the new 2009 Ford F-150 by approximately two months due to the industry-wide slowdown in the U.S. truck market and the need to sell down dealer inventory of the current model. The new F-150 now will go on sale in late fall."
America's best-selling vehicle since 1991 recently lost that distinction, falling all the way to number five in the latest report.
...[the joke is] somehow less amusing than it should be.
Which might sum up "The Love Guru" in its entirety but only
at the risk of grievously understating the movie's awfulness. A whole
new vocabulary seems to be required. To say that the movie is not funny
is merely to affirm the obvious. The word 'unfunny' surely applies [...] but does not quite capture the strenuous unpleasantness of
his performance. No, 'The Love Guru' is downright antifunny, an
experience that makes you wonder if you will ever laugh again.
More from Slate's Dana Stevens: "[Myers' character] swings between vainglory and ravenous insecurity in a way that
seems uncomfortably autobiographical...the movie audience sat in painful silence. It's difficult to get across just how unfunny the jokes in The Love Guru are."
"[T]he rate at which seas warmed and rose between 1961 and 2003 was about 50 percent greater than previous estimates."
More: "Those rejecting the enormous body of evidence pointing to a growing human influence on climate had embraced some transitory findings implying that the oceans were cooling. This new work may help resolve that particular line of debate. The formula holds: more CO2 = warming world = less ice + higher seas + lots of changing climate patterns."
"The Army general who led the investigation into prisoner abuse at
Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison accused the Bush administration Wednesday of
committing 'war crimes' and called for those responsible to be held to
More from Taguba: "The commander in chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture."