Friday, September 06, 2002

Paul Krugman passes along the notion (picked up from ABC's weblog The Note) that
The Bush team has always had a credibility problem with some reporters because of their insistence on saying 'up is down' and 'black is white.'

and he adds

Once an administration believes that it can get away with insisting that black is white and up is down — and everything in this administration's history suggests that it believes just that — it's hard to see where the process stops.
Which reminds us of a great Ruben Bolling cartoon on the same theme (but a different topic). Check it out!



Thursday, September 05, 2002






A report from the University of Minnesota is issued on September 4. It surveyed teen sexual activity and parental attitudes and knowledge of same. Nothing special. It's put on the wire by AP and Reuters, and then picked up by:
  • The San Francisco Chronicle
  • The Christian Science Monitor
  • The Washington Post
  • The New York Times
  • The Los Angeles Times
  • The Chicago Tribune
  • Just to name a few.

    The story may be banal. Perhaps even jejune. So what does the Mickster do? He decides to take a jab at the The New York Times (for the Nth time) by implying that its story is hard to distinguish from a typically arch entry in The Onion. Kaus headlines with:
    New York Times ... or The Onion? You, the Reader, Make the Call!
    Kaus has truly reached the bottom of the barrel.

    Normally, this sort of stunt by Kaus might generate a smile, but in light of his recent, continuous, Times-bashing, it's simply not funny. Rather sad, in fact.

    NOTE TO KAUS: It's The New York Times.

    UPDATE: We couldn't believe it, but Kaus did it again: yet another poke at the New York Times (Friday morning, Sep 6). In order to accurately calibrate the Kaus-NYT obsession, we decided to examine what's currently on (or its Slate doppelganger). Here, as a part of our new Kaus-Skipper Service, we present an outline of his most recent entries.

    Sept 6
    • The New York Times' Adam Nagourney: Make up your mind!
    Sept 5
    • The New York Times or The Onion?
    • Massachusetts gubernatorial primary
    • Sullivan, Gulity Southern White Boys, The New York Times' Howell Raines, et al.
    Sept 4
    • New York gubernatorial primary
    • Talent leaving The American Prospect
    • The New York Times admits error on Kissinger
    Sept 3
    • New York gubernatorial primary
    • The New York Times "reforming" in the eyes of Kaus and Sullivan (Kissinger related)
    Sept 2
    • Massachusetts gubernatorial primary
    • The term "homeland", plus small swipe at The New York Times
    • Social Security Disability report in The New York Times that he likes - and Kaus' claim that it was run (on page 1) because the regular editors are on vacation.
    Sept 1
    • Dick Armey gets "strange new respect" in The New York Times Magazine (actually he didn't)
    August 31
    • The term "homeland", with some carping about The New York Times
    • Welfare caseloads and homless rates and the differences between stories published on January 17 and August 31 by The New York Times
    • Musical group, The Capricorns
    August 28
    • Complaint about Krugman's recent column in The New York Times
    • A Media Whores trifle

    In the set above, 11 out of 18 entries are critical of The New York Times or contain a smart-alecky remark about an NYT editor or writer. That's 61%, and notable because it's the only newspaper he comments upon (although there are links to stories in The Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today). What a boor.


    Secret plan leaked to Uggabugga Central:

    Richard Perle was in a Starbucks yesterday and left in haste, accidentally leaving behind a computer disk. It contained PowerPoint slides used in a presentation for George Bush and other senior advisors. Most of the material is not new, but readers will be interested in seeing the long-term objective of the Bush administration, known by insiders as the Perle Plan. Here it is:

    TOP SECRET: Do not let Sec. Powell see this!


    Travels with George:

    In a report in the New York Times on Bush's plans to strike first, we read:
    Mr. Bush's aides are clearly aware of the risks ahead on the road he headed down today.

    The first challenge is to resolve the differences in the administration, ...

    The second is to persuade Congress to vote for a resolution that gives the president as free a hand as possible — and not necessarily just with Iraq. ...

    The third challenge is to win over traditional allies who have expressed grave reservations.
    Everybody ready?


    Tuesday, September 03, 2002

    Sullivan on the New York Times, in the Sunday Times of London:

    What a waste! 2095 words. 1 goal: Destroy the Times!

    Some excerpts:
  • In the last month, critic after critic has piled on. The newspaper has become, in George Will's words, "the incredibly shrinking Times, reinventing itself along the lines of a factional broadsheet of the 1790s." Another conservative, Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard, told the Washington Post, "The question of the New York Times is now in play. The degree to which they seem in their news columns to be leading the charge against the war has struck everyone, including people like me, who are not big complainers about the news media."
  • It was slowly becoming clear that Raines was intoxicated with the power of his position ...
  • Sometimes, this even meant straightforward lies.
  • ... there is also a creepy, paranoid hatred of the current president that is difficult to miss among the chief columnists at the paper.
  • The real opponents of the war in America are therefore outside the elected political branch, and are really three-fold: the New York Times, the men who left Saddam Hussein in power in 1990 and who are thus partly responsible for the current crisis (Scowcroft, Powell), and gun-shy military brass, who also opposed the first Gulf War.


    Monday, September 02, 2002

    Kaus on healthcare:

    The Mickster writes:
    [The New York Times] piece is also a warning to Tipper Gore types about the potential costs of mental health "parity," since many of the new disability claims involve vague hard-to-disprove claims of stress and depression. (emphasis ours)
    Why isn't it hard-to-prove claims?

    Anybody who has dealt with mental health disability - or knows someone who has - is aware that the burden of proof is on the claimant. Yet Kaus writes it up as if benefits are automatically granted, and the agency providing them has to ferret out the scoundrels. But then, that's Kaus' outlook: If a person needs help, suspect the worst.

    Bravo, Kaus!

    NOTE: There has been considerable debate about Kaus. Is he or isn't he (quirky liberal, conservative, Mugwump, biped)?

    After witnessing his continuous nipping at the New York Times, his silence about Coulter, and his celebration of lower welfare rolls (while homelessness rises - Hooray!), there can be no doubt. The man is a conservative. End of story.


    New cathedral for Los Angeles opens today.

    How much does it cost for a long-term stay?

    Cardinal Roger Mahony has the figures. Listen to it here. (150k wav file) (NOTE: .wav file currently unavailable due to hosting limitations, should be back by late September.)

    At uggabugga, we don't particularly care one way or another about the cathedral. Some have protested the cost - about $200 million - but that was money donated specifically for the cathedral and was unlikely to be raised for community support programs. However, the Cardinal irritated us with something he did several years ago.

    BACKGROUND: There used to be two Gutenberg bibles in Southern California: One at the Huntington Library; the other in the Doheny Collection.

    The Doheny Gutenberg was owned by Estelle Doheny. Upon her death in 1958 it passed into the hands of the Catholic church, and was kept at the Lawrence Doheny Memorial Library at St. Joseph's Seminary in Camarillo, California. There it stayed for nearly 30 years. But in 1987, under the direction of Mahony, the church decided to sell some of the Doheny Collection - including the Gutenberg Bible. It sold for $5.5 million dollars, and now resides at the Keio University Library, Tokyo.

    But get this, the ostensible reason for selling the book, according to the Cardinal, was to purchase a helicopter in order to help recruit men for the priesthood!    (Alas, we cannot provide a link for this item. But it's what we distinctly remember from reading the papers back then.)

    Good grief.   For a helicopter? (We know money is fungible, but that's what the Cardinal said at the time: to get a helicopter.)

    Well, there's still one Gutenberg left in Southern California, but consider this scenario: The British in 1900 sell the Magna Carta to purchase a Stanley Steamer in order to help the Navy's recruitment effort. How would future generations feel about that?

    Note to readers: This selling of the Gutenberg has been a burr in our saddle for years. Finally, with weblogging, plus the cathedral and Mahony in the news, we can get it off our chest.


    Sunday, September 01, 2002

    Commenting about the Saudi ambassador to the United States:
    The Saudi envoy is "a very seasoned diplomat," Ari Fleischer gushed, "a very affable fellow, very good humor, speaks English better than most Americans."
    Which Americans are you talking about Ari? Do a good proportion of them live in the red states?


    No wonder Bin Laden hates the United States:

    We got (or rather had) teams like this:

    The Crusaders were a World Hockey Association team that existed from 1972-6