Monday, September 30, 2013

Why I Am Cancelling My Documentary on Hillary Clinton | Charles Ferguson

This, of course, was the real consequence, and probably the real intent, of the announcements by the RNC, Philippe Reines, and David Brock. Neither political party wanted the film made. After painful reflection, I decided that I couldn't make a film of which I would be proud. And so I'm cancelling. (Not because of any pressure from CNN -- quite the contrary.) It's a victory for the Clintons, and for the money machines that both political parties have now become. But I don't think that it's a victory for the media, or for the American people. I still believe that Mrs. Clinton has many virtues including great intelligence, fortitude, and a deep commitment to bettering the lives of women and children worldwide. But this is not her finest hour.


Read the whole thing. What a corrupt mess. GOP and Dems both.

September 30, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Yale gets biggest gift in its history

This note was in my in box this morning:

To the Yale Community,

I am truly delighted to be able to announce that Charles B. Johnson ’54 has pledged $250 million—the largest gift in Yale’s history—to support the expansion of Yale College through the construction of two new residential colleges.

Since his undergraduate days, Charlie has demonstrated his devotion and generosity to the university in countless ways. These include the growth of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, the establishment of the Johnson Center for the Study of American Diplomacy, the renovation of the Yale Bowl, and the creation Yale’s first all-season outdoor athletics field.

With this singularly generous commitment, we are approaching our fundraising goal for the construction and ongoing maintenance costs of the new colleges. I am committed to raising the remaining funds that will allow us to move forward with this project, which will be fully gift-funded.  I believe Charlie’s leadership will inspire others to come forward with the additional $80 million we must still raise to provide access to the world’s best undergraduate education to more of the world’s best students.

I thought it might be useful to review a bit of the history of the new colleges and to provide some information on how we plan to prepare for the impact of the new colleges on our community. In June 2008, the Yale Corporation voted to proceed with the expansion of Yale College. The Corporation’s vote followed thoughtful advice from two committees comprised of faculty, undergraduates, and administrators. Obviously, the work of the review committees was undertaken before the economic downturn, but most of their insights remain relevant.

Now that Charlie Johnson’s gift has made groundbreaking for the new colleges more likely within the next few years, I have asked Provost Ben Polak and Yale College Dean Mary Miller to co-chair a new committee to review the planning for the new colleges. I have also asked the provost to update the community on the capital projects we are planning in addition to the colleges. Over the next five years, I fully expect to start construction on other important projects that were delayed by the financial downturn, for example, the long-awaited Yale Biology Building. Provost Polak will be communicating soon about these plans.

This is a most exciting time for our institution. Yale College has not expanded since 1969 when women were first admitted. And since that time, the number of applicants has more than quadrupled. Every year, there are far more deserving applicants than we can admit. By growing the size of Yale College by a modest amount (approximately 15 percent more in each class), we will provide more outstanding young women and men with access to our outstanding faculty.

In closing, I hope you will all join me in celebrating Charlie Johnson for this unprecedented commitment to Yale. Charlie’s vision of enabling access to a Yale College education to a greater number of astonishingly talented students tracks perfectly with my hopes for a more accessible and excellent Yale. We all owe Charlie our deepest appreciation and thanks.



September 30, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

New Orleans and Denali

This morning I am in New Orleans waiting for my 17 year old to emerge from his restaurant and illness induced chrysalis.  William is here looking at Tulane, Jeanne is here studying endocrinology (which specializes, you'll be happy to know, in the endocrine system) and I'm still moping over my BMI which places me comfortably in the obese range. How can I be obese when I swim 7/10 of a mile three or four times a week?  Quite comforably actually. I have lost nearly 12 pounds in the last year or so.  Or maybe it's two, years that is.  I don't know.  Losing weight is hard and eating and drinking in NOLA is easy.  

I'm not going to comment on Tulane because I don't want to prejudice William's judgment one way or the other, but one thing I can say is that it was hot.  Not by NOLA standards, just maybe 88 degrees and about 104 percent humidity.  Everybody was sweating and nobody seemed to mind, except me.  They really need to divide these tours into two parts, one for the kids and one for the parents.  The parents can sit in the A/C and discuss colleges or watch some produced video while the kids go out and look at dorm rooms or whatever.  Tulane we're interested in because they give out a lot of merit money, at least that's why I'm interested.  In the Northeast they give out money only to those who are poor, no matter how smart.  But in the great Southeast, they take a different view.  So by God, we are looking a the great Southeast.

* * *

Well, Denali finally had to be put to sleep. It was sad, more sad than I can say.  He was such a great, smelly, lame, censorious, playful, grand old dog.  On his last day, he had given up trying to stand up.  In addition to his other problems, he had a great tumor on his lower back; perhaps cancer. He couldn't be lured out of his crate, even with donuts.  The day before, he at least tried to get to his maybe 1 3/4 good leg total, if you see what I mean.  His mind was still intact, as much as it ever was. He might have been in pain, but didn't show it.  But dogs are stoic.

Most of the evidence of his presence has been removed.  The house smells better already.  But there was a great, liquidy mound in the side 'yard', his last evidence of great labor.  I meant to tell Jeanne to leave it there as a kind of memorial.  But she cleaned it up before I could speak.  I would have planted something on it.  A rose perhaps.

We buried Denali in the Octopus Hole.  This was one of those excavations our kids made when they were little.  Suddenly no one wants to play in the Octopus Hole anymore.  So I cleared out the pine needles, then dug down another foot. Poor dead Denali was more than asleep now.  He was limp, almost impossible to pick up.  The vet was great; everybody was sad to see him go. I nestled him in his hole inside a favorite blanket.  I told him I'd see him later, but he was already gone, perhaps in a kind of sleep.  I covered him with what I wasn't sure was enough dirt and rocks to block any odor from escaping, but as of two days later there's no smell except the sweet, nutty, dusty odor of pine trees in the morning sun.  It's a nice spot.  If you miss me, I'm probably there.

I reckon my heart is half broken.  Completely broken would be if I lost Jeanne or a child.  With a beloved dog, you can go on, philosophically, as long as you don't think too much about it. Denali was old, 13 and a half, so I keep telling myself.  His adopted sister, Biscuit, is still around, as is Jeanne's new Bichon. A ratdog, but lovable. As I write this, Biscuit is recovering from a snake bite.  I just have to hope she will endure -- she has before. So anyway, it's not that there aren't dogs in the house.  But there will never be another Denali.  He and I saw eye to eye on so many things. We loved to swim together and I forget he won't be getting in the pool anymore.  I miss lifting him out of the pool, a big, heavy, furry, smelly, wet burden in my arms that made my heart full.

September 28, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (5)

Friday, September 27, 2013

PAUL: Why must the American people suffer when even so many Democrats don't want Obamacare? - Washington Times

What should infuriate you the most is the fact that the same elected officials who implemented this mandate have recently declared themselves exempt from it. That is to say, these officials are forcing you to partake in something that they themselves are refusing. If Obamacare is so great, why then are federal employees and elected officials getting special treatment and opting out?


Paul is obviously correct. It is a fundamental idea of the rule of law that the legislators should have to eat their own soup. It goes back beyond the founders but they were highly aware of it. They never, ever imagined the sort of excuses and waivers that are routine now. Just think if those who wrote the legislation had to consider what it would actually be like to live under the thing they were creating. We are very far from a rule of law regime, very far indeed.

September 27, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ted Cruz pushes Senate to listen to the people |

Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, and the Senate Conservatives Fund, like Napster, use technology to smash that bottleneck. Now lawmakers can’t control what their constituents hear anymore.

Cruz's speeches and parliamentary moves may not make a dent in Obamacare, but Cruz may force senators to listen harder to their constituents.


September 25, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Holman Jenkins: The ObamaCare Wars Are Just Starting -

Our health-care wars still have a long way to run.


Jenkins is very good.

September 25, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Excuses for Failure Are About to Begin « Commentary Magazine

Now that House Republicans have done what Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio (and others) asked, which is to vote to defund the Affordable Care Act, we’ll be able to test whether it will achieve its purpose.

It won’t.


Yeah, I suspect that's correct. I wish it weren't, but it's a fundamental mistake to confuse what you wish would happen with what is likely to happen.

September 22, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Merkel for President

Professor Krugman, call your office.  I thought Germany was locked in some sort of downward, austerity introduced yada yada.

September 22, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Opinion: Don't be shocked by Pope Francis -

Not in my lifetime have I witnessed a pope who has so quickly succeeded in making more Catholics, and non-Catholics, hyperventilate than Pope Francis. Indeed, some are ready to jump off the bleachers. They all need to calm down.


Really. He'll say something that doesn't fit the narrative and then he'll be just another old man in a frock.

September 22, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Washington Sees Incomes Soar as Most of U.S. Declines - Real Time Economics - WSJ

The income of the typical D.C. household rose 23.3% between 2000 and 2012 to an inflation-adjusted $66,583, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, its most comprehensive snapshot of America’s demographic, social and economic trends. During this period, median household incomes for the nation as a whole dropped 6.6% — from $55,030 to $51,371. The state of Mississippi, which had one of the biggest declines, dropped 15% to $37,095: Nearly one in three people there have an income that is near the poverty line.


September 20, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (1)