Monday, July 30, 2007


Time to get out of the summer blogging blues that seem to have afflicted too many of us.

The other weekend I went to NJ for a wedding. It was great. Here is a distorted summary:

1. Newark Bears! Minor league baseball at it's best. Every day has a theme, it seems, and this was plastic surgery night! Sweet. We got t-shirts that say Bears on front and have an ad for a local plastic surgeon on the back!

2. Wedding. With ice luge!

3. For all ages!

4. And look who's on the cake.

Monday, July 09, 2007

So far, so good

Clark Hoyt, the new public editor at the NYT, is pretty darn cool, at least so far. I have to give them credit for hiring him -- he oversaw Knight Ridder's pre Iraq war coverage in 2002-2003 that set out a very different story than what the NYT and the rest of the media were publishing. He was brave and got it right.

In his column Sunday, he took issue with the Times' recent use of "Al Qaeda" to describe just about anyone the Bush Administration doesn't like in Iraq. At some point in the last few months, the Bush Admin put that in place as a new communication strategy, and it worked, with the media going right along with what was clearly nonsense. Liberal bloggers have pointed this out, and how Hoyt is on the Times' case. And pretty quickly.

Also on Sunday: The NYT editorial page came out for an end to the Iraq war. This makes it the second major paper to do so, behind the LATimes.


Man disguised as tree robs bank (AP)
July 8, 2007

MANCHESTER, N.H. --A weekend bank robbery involved multiple branches -- of the leafy variety.

According to police, a man with tree branches duct-taped to his head and torso walked into a Citizens Bank just as it opened Saturday morning and demanded cash from a teller. Police said the disguise was the most bizarre they'd ever seen.

"He really went out on a limb," Sgt. Ernie Goodno said Sunday.

The robber, who showed no weapon, fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. Though the branches and leaves obscured much of the man's face, someone who saw images from the bank's security camera recognized the robber and called police.

James Coldwell, 49, of Manchester, was arrested at his home early Sunday morning. He was expected to be arraigned Monday.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

2008 2008 2008

With all this obsession about the presidential candidates, and "who are you supporting" -- and I don't exclude myself here -- I thought it fit to go back to something Katha Pollitt said in a column from January:

Stop looking for a savior. If we create a strong movement, leaders will arise. Probably too many! When a movement is weak, what you get is men--and I do mean men--on white horses, people with thin records of accomplishment upon whom wild hopes of rescue are projected. In 2004 it was Wesley Clark--supposedly electable because he was a general. This year, it's Barack Obama, with John Edwards coming up the inside. My point is not that both men are lightweight, inexperienced and less progressive than advertised. It's that, whatever their merits, if you want the next Democrat in the White House to feel beholden to you, don't act like a groupie two years in advance. Concentrate on building a movement he'll need to court--and satisfy.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Bush is over. Bush is thriving.

With the final collapse (again) of the immigration bill last week, the Bush Administration was dealt yet another setback. It "was probably his last chance of securing a legacy-making second-term domestic victory," according to the Washington Post. And a few weeks earlier, when the immigration bill first died, the NYT said of Bush: "With low approval ratings and the race to succeed him well under way, his ability to push his agenda has faded to the point where he can fairly be judged to have entered his lame duck period."

This analysis seems reasonable to me.

But while all this is happening, the Supreme Court also finished up its term, concluding a season that moved the court to the right, significantly. Just as the immigration bill finally collapsed again, the court tore its claws at Brown. Justice Breyer said from the bench on Thursday, "It is not often in the law that so few have so quickly changed so much."

So Bush may not be doing much right now, but let's not celebrate too much while his appointees tear down decades of precedent.