Monthly Archives: December 2009

A year reporters are happy to see the end of

If 2009 was an ugly year for people reading the news, it was even uglier for many writing it. The best thing that can be said is that after paring staffs and cutting pay, far fewer newspapers and magazines folded … Continue reading

Posted in Media | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

As dismal decade ends, maybe zero is too high a grade

In his New York Times column earlier this week, Paul Krugman suggested that the decade ending at midnight tomorrow should be dubbed “The Big Zero.” Perhaps he’s being too kind. The nameless 2000-znds, he points out, served up 10 years … Continue reading

Posted in economics, lifestyle, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hope and a resolution for the decade ahead

The purple tricycle from Target arrived in a box so battered that it looked as though an elephant had sat on it. Inside, the rim and spokes on one of the back wheels were bent beyond the point where we … Continue reading

Posted in lifestyle, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Decade of the big con careens toward an end

On some Sundays, I buy The New York Times almost exclusively to read Frank Rich. At its best, his commentary captures not only the state of American politics, but also of American culture.  So as sick as I am of … Continue reading

Posted in lifestyle, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sometimes it takes more than once to get things right

When I walk through the kitchen door at night, Murphy wiggles and sometimes turns in circles four or five times.  When Devon walks through the kitchen door weekend mornings, she heads straight to the bottom of the stairs and yells … Continue reading

Posted in lifestyle | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

For some, war can certainly be lucrative

A friend who works for a high-end technology firm pointed out the other day that waging war and creating jobs in these United States are not mutually exclusive.  He noted that Raytheon, a company based in my hometown that specializes … Continue reading

Posted in Afghanistan, American wars, economics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Can't understand a word? It's probably Golden Bull

The Plain English Campaign reached a milestone of sorts today, celebrating its 20th annual Golden Bull awards, given out for English incoherence at its best — or, perhaps, worst. As I wrote in October, the organization was started by Chrissie … Continue reading

Posted in Strange | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And here we thought she was a nice Alaskan mom

I don’t think Christopher Hitchens cares too much for Sarah Palin.  Here’s what he has to say in today’s Slate. Some condescending right-wing intellectuals are calling her style “populist” and comparing it with Andrew Jackson and William Jennings Bryan. The … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Tagged | Leave a comment

How the president might disburse his Nobel purse

He could build a roof-top solarium and hot tub on the West Wing, invest in an ocean-ready cabin cruiser or buy a modest stake in his favorite basketball team.  But when President Obama is awarded roughly $1.5 million along with … Continue reading

Posted in Afghanistan, Nobel Peace Prize, Obama | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Psst: Tiger has a pre-nup … Who cares about jobs and war?

It was a busy day in Washington today. Defense Secretary Robert Gates testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the administration wasn’t really that serious about the July 2011 drawdown date for U.S. troops in Afghanistan. If you’ll recall, … Continue reading

Posted in Afghanistan, economics, Media, media coverage | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments