Wednesday, March 21, 2007

NOSSA: Size Matters

Wonders never cease, especially in the People's Republic. I want to see this film. I anticipate that many people would say that "heightism" is a preposterous concept. Rather than a symptom of hypersensitivity and political correctness, it seems that this phenomenon, literally encoded in Chinese law, is neither unique to any one culture or inconsequential.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Newsweek: Too Little, Too Tarde

Friday, March 09, 2007

USAT: The Dark Side of the Service

I had never even heard of the "forever stamp". Did anybody else?

While I agree that this stamp will make it easier for price increases on postage to go unnoticed. However, this also seems like a fundamental shift. If I were running the USPS, I would favor a flexible "forever stamp" and I expect in the long run postal patrons will too. Knowing that sooner or later packages will be the only significant business as written mail becomes more fully obsolete, the postal service needs a way to compete with retail mail, and it seems intuitive that efficiency for the consumer should trump keeping costs down as a consideration because the physical act of mailing something will only be sensible for parcels such as hard copies of documents or personal packages, namely things for which the attention of the sender matters more than the item itself and the inflated cost of which comes from the fact that is cannot be sent more efficiently via electronic media.

Perhaps I do not care because the only things I mail anymore already came with an envelope that did not require postage in the US, but I for one will not fear the impact of "forever".

Thursday, March 08, 2007 The Hidden Lives of Pigs

This is in no way advocacy for vegetarianism. Just a little change of pace and an interesting take on some mammals with a distinctly soiled reputation who appear to have a bit of intelligence.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Washington Post: This Is How The Game Is Played

On the latest posting from The Fix, Chris Cillizza references NY Times of almost no consequence in reference to the ethics credentials of Senator Obama. This story, while trivial, is good news. Firstly, it means that Obama is getting the political seasoning that many have predicted and seems to be handling it fine, with forthright acknowledgment of his dealings that reveals that he holds himself to the same high standard he has set for public servants. Furthermore, it also reveals that this seasoning, from whatever interests are rightly digging into the record of a man who has signaled a desire to lead America, is going to be legitimate and when the Senator comes out clean, people will know that it was not because he was given a pass because he is a nice, articulate, clean guy.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

CCR: Reported Threats from DOJ

US News: How Many Pols Does It Take to Fire a US Attorney?

As I have said before, this is quite a busy news day. More to come.


This is a very busy news day. I will have something to say later about the verdict handed down today.

Washington Post: Libby Found Guilty via RCP

The Economist: Truth in Obstruction of Justice Trial

Monday, March 05, 2007

TPM: Time for a New Counter Coulter

We have all heard or read about the latest from Ann Coulter. No need for a recap. In the rush to characterize this incident as proof that the conservative movement has become a mockery of its professed principles, some have missed the real significance a gaffe that actually does deserve attention.

There are legitimate concerns about the lunacy that makes Coulter classify her slur of choice only as a schoolyard taunt for weaklings, but the real problem this indicates is the reason why Coulter has a career. As somebody who makes her living by making some people snicker and everybody else wretch, she is an emblem of the intellectual void that has grown in the political sphere.

Coulter, with her Ivy league credentials and her authoritative diction, would have all viewers believe that she knows a lot about a lot of things. Clearly she does know enough to know what sells, but as this incident at CPAC has shown, sometimes, in fact many times (because this is no anomaly) she has nothing of critical value or any insight to provide. She herself acknowledged that without her childish indictment she had nothing to say about Senator Edwards. The lack of substance, awkwardly masked by bigoted humor, is the real story.

I cannot say whether some conservatives, or Bush allies in particular, are more likely than their political opponents to substitute invective for meaningful commentary, but I think it is clear that it is a prominent tactic. It is not a new phenomenon, as any scholar of history can tell you, but its prominence in out political discourse is disturbing nonetheless.

Coulter has no secret whatsoever of the fact that she uses hyperbole as a matter of course to get attention for her always (not sure if that is hyperbolic or not) biased vituperations. Its part of a well crafted formula.

"You want to be careful not to become just a blowhard."---Washington Post 10/16/98

Perhaps Coulter has a bad memory, like her ideological brother Scooter Libby. Obviously she has had too much on her plate to remember that sage nugget. Or perhaps she was misquoted.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Washington Monthly: The Nuclearization of North Korea