Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Her own detachment from the present day realities seems a bit striking

Update I below

Today's MoDo op-ed piece in the NYT lowers the bar for her writing limbo-dance to floor level. In response to the sophmorically trite column reaking of Nobel Prize envy, Lisa M from Burlingame CA expresses herself far, far better than the Pulitzer Prize winning red head.

Maureen's brand of satire just seems unfunny these days in the context of what's going on in the real world. She rightfully makes fun of the self-delusion of her two conservative collegues, but her own detachment from the present day realities seems a bit striking. I think all three of these columnists should spend some time reading the truly relevant, honest and substantive comments from their own readers. This is the section of the NYTs I look forward to each day, after I get through the fluff commentaries of their regular Op-ed writers.

The question I keep returning to is, who the world did MoDo sleep with and how often did she have to sleep with them to win her Pulitzer?

Like commentor Lisa M, I find the responses TO the editorials to be far more enlightening than the "editorials" of the unholy triumvirate of Kristol, Dowd, and Brooks which so frequently soil the times opinion pages.

Update I

While scanning through the reader comments from today's MoDo fluff, I found another reader who shares my disdain for Mo's prose:

Why do you make everything about you? Your trite beginning to this supposed OP-Ed Piece is disrespectful to Paul Krugman's honor. Mo, you lost it months ago and it's time the New York Times faces it. You are no longer a clear voice, this coupled with the disaster Sunday are bringing your poll numbers down.

— Mary, New York NY

Follow the money

The ever insightful Jeff Huber asks a rhetorical question and then adds supporting documentation to his proposition that this incarnation of the perpetual wars in the Mideast are driven by petroleum related interests. He then casts his vote for how deep the U.S. military should impress its foot print there.

I challenge any American to look at the record petroleum company profits and record gas prices and tell me we're fighting these woebegone wars in camel land for anybody other than Dick and Dubya's Big Oil buddies. Remember how not too long after Gulf War II went south they started telling you the high price of gas was because we didn't have enough refineries, and the shortage of refineries was your fault because you wouldn't let them build a refinery near your house? Big Oil quit telling you that when it came to light that back in the mid-90s—after you'd already bought them Gulf War I—they purposely limited their refining capability to maximize their profits. The reason you haven't read about their recent efforts to increase refining capability is because they haven't made any. Why bother? Now these characters are telling you gas prices will come down if they can drill offshore and break open the ANWR reserve, and both of your presidential candidates appear to be buying their story.

Both candidates are also making coo noise about breaking our addiction to oil by developing alternate energy sources. That sounds like Carter era déjà vu all over again. We're still addicted to oil for the same reason people are still addicted to tobacco; there's still money to be made from the stuff. Big Oil is bound and determined to make sure we don't wean ourselves off of fossil fuel until they've squeezed the last possible dime in the global economy out of the last drop of petroleum in the planet.

If the next president really wants to take on the biggest threat to U.S. security, he should roll up his sleeves and duke it out with Big Oil. If the dune herders want us to go home, fine; let them eat sand. Like the Rand analysis said, our best approach to the Middle East involves "a light U.S. military footprint or none at all."

I vote for "none at all."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

NYT readers do really have to ask themselves

Blogging at Media Matters for America, Eric Boehlert notes the discrepencies between what NYT conservative columnist David Brooks says about Sarah Palin (represents a fatal cancer to the Republican party) versus what he writes in his columns (She is a dazzling political performer. And she has experienced more of typical American life than either McCain or his opponent.)

Boehlert also notes that while the NYT has a stated policy forbidding journalists from even informally advising political campaigns, the McCain campaign has told McClatchkey reporters that Kristol was an advisor to the campaign.

Update I below

Boehlert's article concludes:

[W]hen reading a Brooks campaign column, Times subscribers really do need to ask themselves whether the dispatch reflects the writer's true opinion, or whether he's pulling his punches in order to help the RNC.

And when reading a Kristol campaign column, readers need to ask if he's acting as an opinion columnist or working more in a role as a quasi-campaign consultant.

Because right now, it's hard to tell with the both of them.

Update I
While reading throught the comments to Maureen Dowd's October 15 tripe, I came across this from a reader:

Surely Ms Dowd is aware that Mr Kristol is hardly a disinterested observer in all this; he's the one who pushed for Governer Palin's selection in the first place.

I just find it incredible that NYT is paying Mr Kristol essentially to further his career as a Republican political operative. Mr Kristol should be paying NYT for giving him free space to advertise himself.

I heard at the start of Mr Kristol's tenure that this would be a one-year experiment. Well, the year is almost up. I look forward to no longer seeing Mr Kristol's name on the pages of NYT.

— June15, Philly

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Budgets are tight

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports on that ongoing other war that doesn't make headlines anymore. Unlike the War on Poverty (WOP), which the US also lost (per Ronald Reagan - Poverty son), the War on Drugs (WOD) continues on, helping to explain the 830,000 marijuana arrests in 2006 (89% for possession). As you can see from the article, WOD is necessary to help fund police departments. And besides, "it's a profitable venture" (not just a job, it's a venture).

There’s no denying, however, that drug interdiction is a profitable venture. Police make no apologies for it.

Jefferson police have used drug forfeiture money to help buy two sport utility vehicles. Federal rules mandate that money seized from drug investigations can be used only for training, equipment and public relations. Jefferson police plan to designate some money toward officer training and community outreach programs about drug abuse, Chief Joseph Wirthman said.

The Braselton Police Department has used drug forfeiture money to build a shooting range and a $350,000 live shoot house where officers can practice on targets. The money also bought a fleet of Dodge Chargers, Solis said.

Budgets are tight, so this is where police departments are getting money,” Solis said. “The drug dealer is paying for a lot of stuff.”