Today's New York Times

The Idea Biz
July 10, 2012

Today’s New York Times op-ed page carries two separate citations from last week’s Aspen Ideas Festival, which probably means the thing has already paid for itself. The ideas cited are good ones, but the increasing dominance of corporate-sponsored idea-disseminators like the Aspen festival and the TED conferences (gently lampooned by my friend Nathan Heller in a recent New Yorker takeout) makes me wonder whether ideas upsetting to the moneyed classes will become harder to shoehorn into the national conversation.

Light Bulbs Defy Right-Wing Doom Predictions Again
August 12, 2010

Two years ago, President Bush signed an energy bill raising energy efficiency standards for light bulbs, to take effect in 2012. Libertarians like Andrew Ferguson bemoaned the consumer disaster that would be created by this big government overreach: The quality of the light given off by CFLs is quite different from what we're used to from incandescents. The old bulb concentrates its light through a small surface area. CFLs don't shine in beams; they glow all the way around, diffusing their illumination. They're terrible reading lights.

Jeb: Stop Blaming Bush, Start Blaming Obama
June 23, 2010

Today's New York Times has a feature about Jeb Bush, who, gosh darn it, wishes President Obama would take the blame for the country's problems rather than blame his brother: For months now, Jeb Bush has been listening as President Obama blasts his older brother’s administration for the battered economy, budget deficits and even the lax oversight of oil wells. “It’s kind of like a kid coming to school saying, ‘The dog ate my homework,’ ” Mr. Bush, this state’s former governor, said over lunch last week at the Biltmore Hotel. “It’s childish. This is what children do until they mature.

McConnell The Master
March 17, 2010

Today's New York Times lays out Mitch McConnell's overarching strategy: Before the health care fight, before the economic stimulus package, before President Obama even took office, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader, had a strategy for his party: use his extensive knowledge of Senate procedure to slow things down, take advantage of the difficulties Democrats would have in governing and deny Democrats any Republican support on big legislation.... For more than a year, he pleaded and cajoled to keep his caucus in line. He deployed poll data.

The Behind the Scenes Feud Between 'The Washington Post' and 'The New York Times'
October 17, 2009

Today's New York Times includes a "post-script" to the paper's Sept.12 piece that reported on the resignation of Charles Pelton, the former Washington Post executive at the center of the salon-gate controversy. In July, Politico broke news that the Post planned to host private dinners at the home of Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth, where corporate sponsors could mingle with Post journalists and senior Obama administration officials and policy-makers in an off-the-record setting. In the original Sept.

I’ll Tell You What’s Not Cute…
August 12, 2009

Francisco Toro blogs obsessively about Venezuela and the Chávez era at Caracas Chronicles. Today's New York Times story on Hugo Chávez's latest outburst of all out weird--a principled crusade against the corrupting bourgeois influence of golf--ticked all the boxes for a minor email-this-story sensation: bizarre juxtaposition of disparate news themes (check), outright Woody Allenesque lunacy on the part of a Latin autocrat (check), ease of transformation into water-cooler fodder (check).