Posts Tagged ‘NYT’

The 5-State Solution?

January 29, 2009

Friedman has a pretty decent idea.  In today’s column he remembers an interview with Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (now King) from back in 2002 and goes on to speculate what King Abdullah’s suggested plan for Obama would be today. 

I like this part:

Saudi Arabia would pay all the costs of the Egyptian and Jordanian trustees, plus a $1 billion a year service fee to each country — as well as all the budgetary needs of the Palestinian Authority. The entire plan would be based on U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338 and blessed by the U.N. Security Council.


Into the Rabbit Hole…

Monday Morning Magic

January 26, 2009

The Villl-aaaaa-gesss, Florida’s Friendliest Hometown!  Apparently, the slogan to the retirement mega-complex is a factual statement of sorts:

The huge complex began growing rapidly in the mid-1990s, and reported cases of gonorrhea rocketed from 152 to 245, of syphilis rose from 17 to 33, and of chlamydia from 52 to 115 among those 55 and older in Florida from 1995 to 2005.

•Silly names of British cities (HatTip: Creedo)

•When did “Liberal” become the new L-word?

•Knowledge-drop: Confessions of a TED Addict  (HatTip: Sara)

•Friedman offers a bubblegummy wake-up call for the dwindling two-state solution

•The veil continues to slip as 60 Minutes does a heavyweight report on the Israeli Settler Movement, and its efforts to systematically make a two-state solution impossible.

•Are the rumors true?  Will ‘Syndicate be at FloydFest? (HatTip: Jebediah)

•Here’s a juicy little doozy from NYT magazine about a scientist exploring female arousal.  The results of the study using bonobos were interesting, suggesting women are far less in touch with their state of arousal than men:

And for the male participants, the subjective ratings on the keypad matched the readings of the plethysmograph. The men’s minds and genitals were in agreement…All was different with the women.

It’s cooler when you read it, I promise.  The article is a big boy, and I only read the first page of it, but you’re welcome to bite off what you want from it.

•Blago begins his media blitz.

•The American Conservative examines Israel’s defeat in Gaza.

•Gimme a fuckin’ break (HatTip: yourmother)

(shoutout to jHo: C.R.E.A.M.)

Stanley Fish on the prosaic power of the Inaugural Address

January 24, 2009

Stanely Fish of NYT takes a second look at Obama’s Inaugural Address and makes a case for it being far more powerful when read than when heard.  In a generally positive review, he argues that the speech was packed with contemplative nuggets that beg closer examination:

Of course, as something heard rather than viewed, the speech provides no spaces for contemplation. We have barely taken in a small rhetorical flourish like “All this we can do. All this we will do” before it disappears in the rear-view mirror. But if we regard the text as an object rather than as a performance in time, it becomes possible (and rewarding) to do what the pundits are doing: linger over each alliteration, parse each emphasis, tease out each implication.

Inaugural Address: transcript and commentary

January 21, 2009

Here is the transcript.

And here is NYT’s analysis of the speech: Speech Spanned History, but Confronted Bush

I, too, found it notable that he painted his presidency as a function of Bush’s—that he defined himself or his upcoming term as an end to the previous leadership.  I really think there would not have been an Obama now were it not for Bush.  I doubt Obama’s higher-minded politics would have taken hold to the extent that they did were it not for the very fertile ground in the minds of voters  for such a politics (Rove used division with such effectiveness and such nastiness, to such national detriment, that running as Obama did was received as far less naive and idealistic than it probably would’ve been otherwise).  Similarly, had it not been for the severity of the damage caused by Bush (and the vulgar demographic homogeneity of the GOP), I doubt the country would have been this willing to support a such newcomer with bold promises of nebulous change (not to mention, the little thing about his race).

Overall, I was quite pleased with it.  He had some wonderful lines, artistically speaking (“know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist”), and some very important lines, politically speaking (speaking directly to Muslims without bluster, including “nonbelievers” like me in his America).  It also made sure to lock into history that he inherited much of this mess, and to steer his supporters’ enthusiasm into a recognition of the challenges we all  must embrace.

For the curious, astute, or media-weary Citizens…follow me


January 20, 2009

WSJ offers a stinging welcome to our new president with its editorial: The Opacity of Hope

On a much more optimistic note, Brooks puts together an excellent essay on the Politics of Cohesion.  He explores what Francis Fukuyama called The Great Disruption, the period that began in the 60s and consisted of much upheaval and a reexamination of the old institutions and norms.  He explains it far too well for me to continue-on in his stead, but his description of Obama, as someone who can finally usher in the end of Disruption, is worth getting in before the jump:

Obama aims to realize the end-of-ideology politics that Daniel Bell and others glimpsed in the early 1960s. He sees himself as a pragmatist, an empiricist. Politics is not personal with him. He does not turn political disagreements into a status contest between one kind of person and another. He is convinced that most Americans practice their politics between the 40-yard lines.

I ❤ Obama