Friday, July 30, 2004

Sarcasm from the Voice

The Village Voice's Richard Goldstein writes,
In the wake of Petrelis's crusade, davidM at has discovered that an "astonishing 92 percent" of donations from Ivy League academics went to Kerry. Could've fooled me.

What next? Easter Parade Reporter Won't Accept Jesus?
Will someone please tell me what he means?

(In case you missed it, here is my post about political giving and the Ivy League.)


National Review's John Derbyshire has just been engaged in a bit of cribbage blogging:

Fifteen two, fifteen four, fifteen six, and two for his heels.
Where I come from, his heels is counted as soon as the deck is cut and the start card is shown (if that card happens to be a jack). His heels is not scored along with the hand, as in Mr. Derbyshire's example.

Perhaps Mr. Derbyshire is thinking of his nobs, which is indeed scored with the hand, but is worth only one point.

UPDATE: Just received the following from Mr. Derbyshire:
I thought "nob" might be misunderstood. Just amazed any Americans know what I'm tallking about.

Do Americans not know cribbage? In my experience they (that is, we) do.

I spent a considerable amount of time in my formative summers playing cribbage, primarily with other young Americans. Even knew several young Americans who made their own cribbage boards. Partook in an annual amateur cribbage tournament (and typically lost in the first round, to another American). The two perennial tournament winners were a schoolteacher from Wisconsin and a school administrator from St. Louis and Minneapolis (all of which are firmly ensconced in America).

And Derbyshire weighs in at The Corner:

...and they throw stuff at you. Blogger David M. was reading The Corner last night:

"National Review's John Derbyshire has just been engaged in a bit of cribbage blogging: 'Fifteen two, fifteen four, fifteen six, and two for his heels.' Where I come from, his heels is counted as soon as the deck is cut and the start card is shown (if that card happens to be a jack). His heels is not scored along with the hand, as in Mr. Derbyshire's example. Perhaps
Mr. Derbyshire is thinking of his nobs, which is indeed scored with the hand, but is worth only one point."

Where **I** come from, David, it's "one for his nob" in the hand score. I thought that would be mis-interpreted, though, so I substituted "two for his heels." Who knew that any Americans had even HEARD of cribbage?

(Although, now I come to think of it, there is a cribbage reference in that 1970s movie THE STING.)

He adds more:

This wonderful game most certainly *is* played in the USA -- I've had lots of e-mails from enthusiastic players.

My dad fell into Alzheimer's in the last few months of his life (age 84-5). It didn't affect his cribbage game a bit. In his worst spells he didn't know who I was. ("Social Services have sent this very nice young chap to play crib with me," he remarked to his sister one day. The young chap was me.) He still whipped me at cribbage, though.

In fact, if you enjoy cribbage but would like to taste true humiliation, go to a traditional-style English pub and seek out the old crib players. These guys will be at least 70, gnarled, toothless, and decrepit-looking, and will have sunk 8-10 pints of bitter beer before 9 o'clock. And they will whip your hide at cribbage, cackling with glee as they leave you in the lurch.

And more:
"Derb---Just a friendly FYI: Cribbage was--and still is--the game of choice among US nuclear submarine officers. I'm sure there's a book that could be written about the importance of cribbage to the morale and camaraderie of these men during the Cold War (& beyond). It's ideally suited for the officer's underway schedule: the officer of the deck (OOD) and engineering officer of the watch (EOOW) often relax after six hours of hunting Russian, Iranian, and North Korean subs by enjoying the fellowship of 'the board.' I'm quite sure that this is true in the Royal Navy as well.

"ps: I'm referring, of course (!), to the hunter-killer attack subs, not those 'floating hotels' (aka 'boomers' or ballistic missile subs)."
And yet more, this time on cribbage lit.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

I'm not watching Kerry's speech tonight.  Working instead.

Here's my guess:  Those in the Bush camp will by-and-large not like the speech; those in the Kerry camp by-and-large will like it.

And none of that matters.

Kerry has to appeal to two audiences, tonight and every day until the election: 
  • Likely voters who have not yet decided which candidate they prefer.
  • Democrats who have not yet decided whether it's worth the effort to vote.

To my mind, the only relevant question, politically, is to what degree he is convincing those two audiences.

Liberté, Egalité, Antisémitisme

Anti-Semitism will drive 3000 Jews out of France this year alone, up from a "trickle" some years ago. 

The narrator of  this CBS News clip blames the drastic increase in anti-Semitism on Moslem-Jewish tensions and neo-Nazi groups.  But ample evidence points to the acceptance of Jew-hating among the educated Christian elite as well.  As CBS reports, France has the dubious distinction of being the leader in a new Europe-wide increase in anti-Semitic incidents. 

One emigrating woman explains her reason for leaving: "Simply, we are afraid."  Another woman cites anti-Semitism and terrorism as her reasons for leaving France.  To where is she moving?  Israel.  Imagine what the mood in France must be if people are moving to Israel to avoid terrorism.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

"Hillary was pedestrian, as always"

Speaking of Andrew Sullivan, in commenting on the Democratic Convention's opening night, he wrote that, "Hillary was pedestrian, as always."

If by pedestrian, he means "undistinguished; ordinary," I don't see it. Her prose can certainly be undistinguished and ordinary, but as a personality she inspires a range of impassioned emotion by her detractors and supporters alike.

On the other hand, some define pedestrian as "lacking wit or imagination." This I can see

Note: I did not watch Hillary's speech last night, so I can only comment on the "as always" sense of her alleged pedestrianism.

Recognition by big-time bloggerdom

Andrew Sullivan gave this blog a welcome boost in traffic with a link to the Ivy League post.
ACADEMICS FOR KERRY: An astronishing yet unsurprising statistic unearthed by blogger David M. Of all Ivy League faculty donations to candidates, 92 percent went to Kerry. The highest rate of donations to Bush in any Ivy League University is 16 percent - at Princeton. Meanwhile, blogger Michael Petrelis has done some digging on mega-rich socialist, Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the Nation. She has donated around $145,000 over twenty years to various candidates and organizations.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Blatantly wrong headline about 9/11 flight 93

This A.P. article on the NY Times site is headlined, "Panel: Flight 93 Crashed Without Struggle." The article describes a significant struggle just outside the cockpit door, resulting in the hijackers deciding to crash the plane.

Hat tip: Ranting Profs.

9/11 Commission reveals more Saddam-al Qaeda ties

From the final report:
According to the reporting, Iraqi officials offered Bin Ladin a safe haven in Iraq. Bin Ladin declined, apparently judging that his circumstances in Afghanistan remained more favorable than the Iraqi alternative. The reports describe friendly contacts and indicate some common themes in both sides' hatred of the United States.
Bin Ladin apparently declined safe haven in Iraq because Afghanistan was preferable. Once the Taliban was incapacitated, Iraq would certainly seem a logical place for Bin Ladin seek shelter. 

In light of the recent headlines trumpeting a lack of ties between Iraq and al Qaeda, this is a remarkable finding.

Read this National Review article for more on the Commission's statements on Iraq and Bin Ladin.

Koch's endorsement of Bush

Ed Koch on Bloomberg Radio:
Why Bush Must Be Re-elected

I support the re-election of President George W. Bush. Why? Because I believe one issue overwhelms all others: the president’s strong commitment to fight the forces of international terrorism regardless of the cost or how long it takes to achieve victory.

I do not agree with President Bush on a single major domestic issue, but in my view those issues pale in comparison with the threat of international terrorism.

This is an astounding statement.  Koch does not agree with Bush on a single major domestic issue, but argues that he must be re-elected.

Like Koch, I will vote on one issue and one issue alone.  Today radical Islamist terrorism is the greatest threat to the United States and to the world, and Bush is by far the stronger candidate on combating this threat.

Unlike Koch, I agree with Bush on some of his major domestic policies.  But I think the country and economy would survive Kerry's domestic policies.  These issues pale in comparison with the threat of international terrorism. 

Bush believes in taking the fight to the enemy: “We shall go after the terrorists and the countries that harbor them.” 

Bush understands that this will be a long hard war, and that it is our obligation to win it.  Bush understands that, as the 9/11 Commission reports,

Bin Ladin and Islamist terrorists mean exactly what they say: to them America is the font of all evil, the “head of the snake,” and it must be converted or destroyed.

It is not a position with which Americans can bargain or negotiate. With it there is no common ground—not even respect for life—on which to begin a dialogue. It can only be destroyed or utterly isolated.

Lifelong Democrat Ed Koch understands this.  I pray that the nation does too.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Of hehs, indeeds and yeses

Anyone who's been around the blogosphere knows that Glenn Reynolds is famed for his timely use of "heh" and "indeed." 

But there seems to be a shift occurring.  Not a fast shift, mind you.  More like a large ship starting to turn.  Has anyone else spotted it?

I'm talking about several recent posts where Glenn used "yes" as a stand-alone sentence when "indeed" would have sufficed quite well.  Indeed, during this time, Glenn's stand-alone use of "yes" has significantly outpaced similar use of "indeed." Not that "yes" is new parlance for Glen.  Indeed, he has used it for virtually as long as he's been blogging, if not longer. 

The changes are twofold.  First it's quantity, the subtle increase in numbers of "yeses" compared to "indeeds."  And second, it's how the words are used.  The one-word sentence of choice to denote agreement historically was "indeed"; "yes" was typically relegated to part of multi-word sentences.  And that appears to be changing.

Is this shift good for the blogosphere?  Good for the country? I leave it to those smarter than I to answer.

What next, I ask?  Cats chasing dogs?  An admission by John Kerry that he served in Vietnam?

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

How the 9/11 families see the report v. how A.P. says they see it

"9/11 Families Fear Report Not Complete:  Families Say Sept. 11 Report May Not Answer Lingering Questions, Including How Attacks Financed," blares the A.P. Headline carried by newspapers nationwide

The article's headline and the first eight paragraphs trumpet how dissatisfied the 9/11 victims' families are with the commission.  Only one problem:  it's largely not the case.

Given that there were some 3000 victims of the 9/11 terrorism, there will undoubtedly be all sorts of opinions.  It is the job of the journalist to give something of a representative report of those opinions.  Here is where the A.P article fails. 

The article quotes two very dissatisfied family members and make reference to others upfront, but it is not until the ninth paragraph that the article acknowledges that the "grim assessment is not shared by everyone."

A more appropriate lead for the article might have been based on the statement of the Family Steering Committee (FSC) for the 9/11 Independent Commission.  This group is hardly a crowd of government lackeys.  It was the FSC's persistence which in no small part led to the creation of the Independent Commission at all.  The FSC Statement Regarding the Final Report, while acknowledging that some questions remain unanswered, notes the FSC's hope that the government uses the report as a guide to future reform:

We do not want the recommendations and findings of this report to sit idly on a shelf until after the next attack - to do so would be to dishonor and defile the memories of our loved ones. We look forward to working cooperatively with the Commission and government officials towards this end.

Finally, because of the political environment in which this report will be issued, we respectfully request that discussion of its findings and recommendations transcend partisan, election-year politics. We call upon President Bush and Congress to expedite implementation of the needed reforms in order to ensure the security of our great nation...
This is hardly the statement of a crew of family members utterly dissatisfied with the report.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Political giving at Ivy League schools

I was wondering which candidates the faculty and staff at Ivy League schools were financially supporting.  I found the money in politics databases at PoliticalMoneyLine's web site.  The data include the Federal Election Commission's records of individuals who contribute over $200 to political campaigns, including in most cases the individuals' employers.
In my queries, I found 792 donations to the 2004 campaigns of Bush and Kerry from individuals employed by Ivy League schools.  An astonishing 92% of those donations were to Kerry.  Dartmouth had the highest percent for Kerry (97%) and Princeton the highest for Bush (16%).  Harvard had more than double the total donations of any other school,  while Brown and Dartmouth had the fewest total donations.  Here are the results:

  • Brown:  Kerry 24, Bush 3 (Kerry 89%)
  • Columbia:  Kerry 118, Bush 18  (Kerry 87%)
  • Cornell:  Kerry 76, Bush 6 (Kerry 93%)
  • Dartmouth:  Kerry  30, Bush 1 (Kerry 97%)
  • Harvard:  Kerry 280, Bush 17 (Kerry 94%)
  • Penn:  Kerry 38, Bush 2 (Kerry 95%)
  • Princeton:  Kerry 74, Bush 14 (Kerry 84%)
  • Yale:  Kerry 85, Bush 6 (Kerry 93%)                
  • -------------------------------------------
  • Total: Kerry 725, Bush 67 (Kerry 92%)

The data are imperfect as noted in the methodology section below. However, none of the imperfections seem likely to bias the data significantly in terms of what percentage of gifts went to which campaign.


Methodology and caveats: 
I conducted the queries between noon and 2 pm EST, July 16, 2004 from the query page entitled, Find Individual Contributors By Employer/Occupation at the web site  All queries were for the 2004 election cycle only. (Note: the site appears to contain data from the 1980 election cycle onward.)
I defined contributions to the Kerry campaign as contributions to any organization with the word "Kerry" in the title (primarily John Kerry for President Inc and to a lesser extent Kerry Victory 2004).  I defined contributions to the Bush campaign as contributions to any organizations with the word "Bush" in the title (primarily Bush-Cheney '04 Inc).
The queries were based on the first characters of the field, "employer/occupation."  Some Ivy League employees were likely excluded from my results because they did not start the name of their "employer/occupation" with the name of the school.  For example, if someone listed themselves as "Professor, Yale University" instead of "Yale University, Professor," they would not be included in these data. 
Some campaign contributors may work for an organization with a name similar to an Ivy League school, in which case they may have been mistakenly included in these results (but in scanning the data, this was quite rare in the data I present). 
In the cases of Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton and Yale, I queried the common one-word name of the school.  In the cases of Brown and Columbia, I queried "Brown U" and "Columbia U" respectively in order to avoid the multitude of other employers with similar names. In the case of Penn, I queried "University of Penn." 
Some people may have given two or more contributions, in which case each contribution is counted separately in these results. 
Some people did not have a listing for employer/occupation in the FEC data, in which case they are missing from my results. 

Note: This entry was inspired by M Petrelis's analysis of political giving at print media outlets, which had unfortunately predictable results.

UPDATE: As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.

Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

Red or blue, which are you?

Take the Slate quiz.
I came out dead center.  Blue resume, red spirit.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Another endorsement for Fahrenheit 9/11

I doubt Michael Moore asked for anti-semitic whackos to endorse his film. But they seem to do it anyway:
The film "Fahrenheit 911" brilliantly exposed the lies by our own government that were utilized to justify the pro-Israel war on Iraq. Fear-mongering has now become a very effective US government tool. This is a trend we have called "The Israelization of the USA".

Social Security: a case of need?

Social Security's web site is adamant that Social Security is not need based:
Social Security Benefits are Paid as a Legal Right and not According to Need

The Social Security program is not and was never intended to be a program to provide benefits based on need... Since each worker pays Social Security taxes, each worker earns the right to receive Social Security benefits without regard to need. This is one of the basic principles of the Social Security program and is largely responsible for its widespread public acceptance and support.
I'm no expert on Social Security, but isn't that claim contradicted by this statement on the same page:
The method of figuring benefits is weighted in favor of workers with low average lifetime earnings and those with families. This is because the program attempts to achieve social adequacy as well as individual equity. The goal of social adequacy assures that individuals receive a level of benefits that reflects their lesser ability to prepare for the risk.
Let me get this straight. Social Security pays benefits without regard to need, but with regard to an individual's lesser ability to prepare for risk because of low earnings. Hmmm.

Then again, this is on the kids' section of the site. Perhaps kids understand it better than I do.

Speaking of government web sites for kids, the CDC's kids' page is promoting Infectious Disease Trading Cards. The snapshot on the diphtheria card is particularly enchanting.

Meanwhile, Bureau of ATF's kids' site asserts that the organization's "unique responsibilities include protecting the public and reducing violent crime." Unique, huh? So what exactly do the FBI and your local police department do?
Hat tip:  Jane Galt.

Kerry Didn't Read Iraq Report Before Vote -- Aides

Partisan fun:
Democratic candidate John Kerry, whose campaign demanded to know on Wednesday whether President Bush read a key Iraq intelligence assessment, did not read the document himself before voting to give Bush the authority to go to war, aides acknowledged.
Hat tip: Nathan.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

"Why did Bush knock down the towers?"

The NY Daily News:
Yonkers rapper Jadakiss is busting up the charts with a song charging President Bush was a Sept. 11 conspirator.

"Why did Bush knock down the towers?" asks the song "Why?"...

"His opinion is that of the 'hood," said Chuck Black, 24, who works at Ali CD's on W. 125th St. "As far as us 'black folks,' we're not offended by it."
I've disappointedly accepted that large parts of the Arab world think a Jewish conspiracy was behind 9/11. Something to do with anti-Semitic indoctrination through the schools and the state-controlled media.

But do major parts of the American black community really think Bush knocked down the towers? If so, why? If any member of the mainstream American press made such a statement, he would rightfully be ostracized by any reputable media outlet.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Sappy tribute to the U.S. military man

US Military Man

The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears. Not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country.

He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's but he has never collected unemployment either.

He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away.

He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and a chevy small block V8.

He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.

He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must. He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.

He can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march. He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry. He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle.

He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job. He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all.

He has seen more suffering and death then he should have in his short lifetime. He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed.

He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking.

In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful. Just as did his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom.

Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years. He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.

Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.
Does anyone know the origin or author of this piece?

An election duet

"This Land is Your Land" for our times, starring Bush and Kerry. I especially like the cameos by Clinton and Dean.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Fisking Scheer

In a recent column in the LA Times, Robert Scheer accuses the U.S. of violating the Nuremberg principle and suggests Saddam is being treated unfairly. The article starts,
Even a Tyrant Is Entitled to Due Process

Hussein's trial is shaping up as just U.S. theatrics.

Has anyone noticed that the charges leveled last week against Saddam Hussein bore no relation to the reasons offered by President Bush for his preemptive invasion of Iraq? Not a word about Hussein being linked to terrorist attacks on the United States or having weapons of mass destruction that posed an imminent threat to our nation's security.
As I recall, Bush never linked Saddam to terrorist attacks on the U.S. And Bush said specifically -- in the State of the Union no less -- that the U.S. cannot wait until Iraq is an imminent threat.

But just in case my memory is faulty, I just sent the following inquiry to Mr. Scheer:
Mr Scheer,

I read with interest your recent piece on Hussein's right to due process (,1,1507698.story).

I am particularly intrigued by the opening of the article, "Has anyone noticed that the charges leveled last week against Saddam Hussein bore no relation to the reasons offered by President Bush for his preemptive invasion of Iraq? Not a word about Hussein being linked to terrorist attacks on the United States..."

For my own research, I'm trying to find a source document where Bush said Hussein was linked to terrrorist attacks on the U.S. Could you please point me in the right direction?

Thank you,
I'll let you know if I hear anything.

Update (Feb 9, 2007): It's been 2-1/2 years; haven't heard anything from Mr. Scheer yet.

Kerry campaign contradicts Kerry

The Kerry campaign did their best to distance themselves from caustic and off-color comments by various celebrities at a recent fundraiser, according to the L.A. Times today:
Kerry Camp Cautious About Celebrities' Anti-Bush Remarks

Performers at a Kerry benefit concert were expressing personal views, Kerry's campaign manager says.

Strategists for John F. Kerry backed away today from some of the more incendiary and off-color denunciations of the Bush administration delivered by Hollywood celebrities at a New York City fund-raiser.

"Obviously, the views expressed by the performers last night are their own views," Mary Beth Cahill, the manager of Kerry's presidential campaign, told reporters in a morning conference call.

"Sen. Kerry and Sen. Edwards have made very clear how they want to run this race and what they're going to talk about. ... They do not approve of some of the remarks made," she said.
Kerry however disagreed:
Kerry thanked the performers, saying they conveyed "the heart and soul of our country." The closest Kerry came to criticizing anyone was when he chastised Goldberg for referring to Edwards as "Kid," noting that he was a man.
Disclaimer: The writer of this blog recognizes the triviality of this issue and concedes that if his guy did this, he would discount any criticism as partisan bickering.

Kerry chooses between terror briefing and partisan X-rated evening.

Apparently on the same day that the would-be president said on national television that he just hasn't had time for terrorism briefings, he spent the evening at a fund-raiser rife with venom-filled talk and X-rated ranting full of sexual innuendoes against President Bush.

Captain Ed suggests that Kerry is demonstrating why he is unfit to be a war-time president.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Economy Set for Best Growth in 20 Years

The A.P. reports:
In fact, many analysts are forecasting that the overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, will grow by 4.6 percent or better this year, the fastest in two decades.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

NY Times misleads in reporting Labor Department data

In a July 3 front-page above-the-fold article entitled "U.S. Job Growth for June Shows Steep Slowdown," the NY Times emphasized lots of bad news for the economy. This is extraordinarily misleading.

The first six paragraphs, reproduced here, pour on the bad news:
Job growth slowed sharply in June, the government reported yesterday, pulling back from a recent period of strong employment gains and casting doubt on the vigor of the nation's economic expansion.

The Labor Department reported that employers added only 112,000 jobs in June, less than half the average monthly increase of the first five months of the year.

The reported increase, which includes adjustments intended to account for normal seasonal variations, was under the 150,000 threshold of jobs needed for employment to keep pace with natural labor force growth. It was also well below the 250,000 forecast on average by Wall Street economists, who have been consistently wrong about jobs for the better part of the last year.

The unemployment rate, which essentially has not budged all year, remained unchanged from May at 5.6 percent.

"It's pretty clear the economy downshifted in June," said Sung Won Sohn, chief economist of Wells Fargo & Company in Minneapolis.

The renewed weakness in employment provided unwelcome news to President Bush's re-election campaign, which has been counting on drawing attention to an improving job market to make the case for its economic policies. And it offered fresh ammunition for Senator John Kerry, the Democratic challenger, whose criticism of Mr. Bush's economic track record has been undermined since hiring began setting a fast pace earlier this year.
Only the most persistent of readers will make it to some of the most important information about the data. This is located on the continuation of the article on an inside page of a different section in the nineteenth paragraph of the article. It is here however that we learn,
Other economists mentioned that the data might have been distorted because many workers got a day off for the funeral of former President Ronald Reagan, which occurred during the week of the jobs survey and could have artificially reduced the recorded number of hours worked.
The data is flawed! Much of the country took at least a few hours off for the funeral. Some employers closed for the whole day.

Later the articles mentions that the average work week fell from 33.8 hours in May to 33.6 hours in June.

No kidding! The hours were measured the weak of Reagan's funeral; there is no indication here of any downward trend in the economy.

Because of the suspect nature of the data, one wonders why the Times saw this item as being worthy of front-page, lead article billing.

In another July 3 article entitled, "Kerry, in Midwest Tour, Laments Lost Jobs," the Times unskeptically reports,
Senator John Kerry began his Fourth of July bus tour of the Midwest Friday with a patriotic paean to the heartland and a scathing indictment of the Bush administration for being too willing to settle for modest job growth.

At a rally festooned in red, white and blue that drew thousands to this small city near Duluth, Mr. Kerry said that the latest employment numbers were simply not good enough. The Labor Department reported Friday that employers added 112,000 jobs in June, fewer than half the number in recent months.
How is this responsible journalism?

Kerry rips apart his future running mate

Kerry's comments on Edwards a few months ago:
"In the Senate four years, and that is the full extent of public life - no international experience, no military experience - you can imagine what the advertising is going to be next year," Mr. Kerry said of Mr. Edwards just before the Iowa caucuses, adding: "When I came back from Vietnam in 1969, I don't know if John Edwards was out of diapers then. Well, I'm sure he was out of diapers."
(Hat tip: Drudge)

Friday, July 02, 2004

The most exciting regular season game I've ever seen

Weinreb in Newsday:
Jeter's play to remember
Captain is bloodied, bruised and one of a kind

There went Derek Jeter charging at full speed toward the third-base line, into foul territory to chase a pop fly that he had no business catching in the first place. It was the 12th inning of a Yankees-Red Sox game that seemed as if it might never end, two outs, runners on second and third, and Jeter kept chasing, chasing, chasing Trot Nixon's foul ball all the way to the edge of the stands. He lunged with his glove, did a half-gainer over an empty seat, and landed in a heap of flesh and leather.

Even from afar, it looked awful. It looked like a swan dive into an empty pool.

But this is Jeter, and this is his way-always hard, never stopping - and a moment later, in the midst of several fans, up he popped. He had blood trickling down his bruised right cheek and spotting his uniform, and he had lacerated his chin and bruised his shoulder, and yet there, in his glove, was the baseball. And on his face was a defiant look that most likely will not be forgotten any time soon. Not in Boston, and not in New York.
Lupica in the Daily News:
Jeter had gotten hurt making this amazing play at the corner of the left-field stands, where the stands meet the third-base line. It came in the top of the 12th. The Red Sox had runners on second and third and Trot Nixon looped one down there and here came Jeter like a wide receiver running over the middle in traffic, putting his glove up at the last second, catching the ball because he always does, and then disappearing into the Stadium.

He came up with a cut under his eye and a hurt shoulder. And the ball. And his team and the Red Sox played on at the Stadium, where everybody knew they were witnessing one of those games, the kind you talk about forever when you are in the house.

Krugman: "Farenheit 9/11" is flawed and deceptive but agrees with my politics, so I loved it!

In an op-ed in today's NY Times, the reliably liberal Paul Krugman hails Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11."

The column does vaguely acknowledge the factual inaccuracies of the movie:
It would be a better movie if it didn't promote a few unproven conspiracy theories...

Viewers may come away from Mr. Moore's movie believing some things that probably aren't true...

"Fahrenheit 9/11" is a tendentious, flawed movie...
But none of this dissuades Krugman from the proposition that the movie is a must-see, as expressed in the headline,
Moore's Public Service
and reinforced in the article:
"Fahrenheit 9/11" performs an essential service....

[I]t tells essential truths about leaders who exploited a national tragedy for political gain, and the ordinary Americans who paid the price.
Krugman's basic thesis is that despite the movie's flaws and deceptions, "Farenheit 9/11" reinforces Paul Krugman's politics, and is hence essential and worthy of hearty endorsement on some of the most precious journalistic real estate in the world.


Thursday, July 01, 2004

Nader: White House is Israel's puppet

Ralph Nader spews anti Israeli nonsense yesterday in Washington:
"What has been happening over the years is a predictable routine of foreign visitation from the head of the Israeli government," Nader said. "The Israeli puppeteer travels to Washington. The Israeli puppeteer meets with the puppet in the White House, and then moves down Pennsylvania Avenue, and meets with the puppets in Congress. And then takes back billions of taxpayer dollars. It is time for the Washington puppet show to be replaced by the Washington peace show."

Lest you thought Lieberman was the first major party Jewish candidate

Funny, he doesn't look Jewish.
And so is Bush, in his original roots, when, in the 17th century I think, his family immigrated to the US, they were Jews and became Christian only in the 18th century. He is aware of these roots, but is not aware that those who defended his forefathers were the Arabs.

Biased NBC