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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 16, 2003 11:50 PM. The previous post in this blog was Finance charges apply. The next post in this blog is Bible yuks with Mom. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, September 16, 2003


Tonight I did something that I hadn't done in a long while: I dropped 50 cents in the slot and bought a USA Today. I remember when this newspaper first hit the stands, and we all laughed: "TV on paper," we scoffed at the time. The sports section was fantastic, but the rest of it seemed like a joke, with its super-short news stories, garish color graphics, and predominance of words of one syllable.

Times have changed, of course, and now many hometown papers look just like USA Today, or are trying to. It's no New York Times, but the USA's no longer on a level below papers like The Oregonian. In fact, in some respects, it may be ahead of The O. (For the record, however, The O's cheaper.)

Meanwhile, TV network affiliate news has gone even further downhill, to the point where on most nights it's not recognizble as anything serious. So in the grand scheme of information sources, the USA has ascended a fair amount.

Catching my eye in today's edition was a nice story about a college cross-country runner who accidentally inhaled a rock thrown up by one of her competitors toward the end of a road race. She fell choking to the ground, whereupon she was lifted up and successfully Heimliched by her coach. Way to go, coach!

The editorial page also was interesting. The lead editorial joins the growing chorus, including this blog, to the effect that the Bush tax cuts are, on the whole, irresponsible, and that some of them need to be cancelled before they take effect. As is its custom, the paper then runs an opposing view, this time from someone named Stephen Moore, president of an anti-tax, anti-government group called Club for Growth. Moore offers up these choice morsels:

But the binge in debt spending is not a result of President Bush's tax cuts. At most, only about 25% of the deficits are a result of the tax cuts.... The most vital step in restraining the tidal wave of red ink that has engulfed Washington is to just say "no" to the unconscionable $450 billion prescription drug bill for senior citizens...

That's right. It's more important to get a couple of million a year back in the pockets of the Dick Cheney billionaire types than to give ordinary senior citizens the right to get their prescription drugs without fear of having to eat cat food. That's Stephen Moore's, and George Bush's, America.

The paper also took a strong shot at Abercrombie & Fitch, the giant clothing retailer that's racking up the profits from bringing sex even further into the grammar schools. This fine upstanding company features nude teen models, and sells thongs as small as size girls medium with the words "eye candy" printed on them. I'm no prude, but shame on them (and on all the pervs who come here from Google when they hit on the immediately preceding sentence). Good for USA Today for calling Abercrombie out on it, and pointing readers to groups like Dads and Daughters, who are fighting back.

D&D is playing an interesting angle. It's calling attention to the people who sit on the Abercrombie board of directors while the company's up to its salacious shenanigans.

For example, here are two of the directors of Abercrombie & Fitch -- Lauren Brisky, vice chancellor of Vanderbilt University and a Girl Scouts Council board chairwoman, and John Golden, a retired financier and head of Colgate University's board of trustees -- along with a photo from the company's latest ad campaign. An interesting juxtaposition:

Hey, Lauren! John! Do you really need to do this to sell the sweatshirts?

In all, the paper was a surprisingly thought-provoking read. Four bits well spent.

Comments (7)

All right -- I'm going to put my head out on the chopping block for everyone here: why should senior citizens have a prescription drug benefit?

First of all, shouldn't their kids (or their extended family) be the ones eating the cost of medical care? (Isn't the first debt owed to these people from their families and not from their society?) Second, why should I pay for drugs that are used to solve health problems that these senior citizens brought upon themselves by years of unhealthy living? (Should I have to pay for Lipitor for the guy that's been eating beef everyday for the last thirty years? If I did pay for his health, does that mean I get a say in his lifestyle?) Finally, hasn't the writing been on the wall for senior citizens for years (that someday they're going to retire and need money) and shouldn't they have been saving all these years for their retirements?

I know I'm a real jerk for asking these questions (i.e., you don't need to tell me what a bastard I am; I already know.). I'm just curious as to what people out there think about these questions. I'm all for leaving taxes on the uber-rich the level that they are right now; I'm just not sure that more pork for seniors is where I'd be sending it.

You're right, klug. Let them die.

I don't ever buy USAToday, but when I get a free copy at a hotel, I'm always surprised that I read it cover to cover. There's nothing wrong with graphs and colors, right? I especially like the two sentences about each state -- that's how I heard about Katz/Kroeker. Then I had to get more info of course!!!

Why a prescription drug benefit?

Because yes, in theory, people should save enough money over their lifetimes to support themselves. And yes, in theory, people's families should support them in their old age, just like on The Waltons.

Unfortunately, almost every single public policy decision that anyone has to make, ever, is a decision about what the appropriate response is when things don't go the way you hope they would. People don't act the way you hope they will (they steal from, take advantage of, or beat the crap out of each other), they don't have the luck you hope they'll have (they are born with disabilities that will require lifelong care that their families have absolutely no capacity to fund), or they just plain freaking screw up (they fall asleep at the wheel, they get unexpectedly pregnant, they marry unwisely).

Yeah, we should all wear our seatbelts all the time, and we should all run five miles a day and eat All-Bran for breakfast, and no one should ever watch World's Wildest Police Videos. But I don't think people are like that. Ultimately, I believe in public willingness to share some of the burdens that result when people don't do what they ideally might do, or aren't born equally lucky, or can't fully fund all of their own needs at any given moment in time, because the alternative is pretty horrifying.

Denying people access to affordable prescription drugs on the theory that they should have saved their own money to pay for them amounts to the death penalty as a punishment for bad planning, which . . . no. I don't see it. Shared burdens are part of life, it seems to me, and while the question of "why offer a prescription drug benefit?" is a fair one, I think the answer is "because of the unacceptability of the alternatives."

And I don't think prescription drugs are what's meant by "pork," either, incidentally.

Perhaps the best thing about USA Today is that, last time I looked, Maureen Dowd was not stinking up its pages.

hey jack, do you actually read these comments or are they only for your audience's entertainment? just curious. i guess if i dont hear from you i can just asume the latter. thanks. hope all is well. -z

I read 'em all, for better or worse.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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