Savvy Health Care Prognostication
"In their heart of hearts, few in the Obama administration would have predicted late last year that they would be this well positioned by June to achieve a major victory on health care. As the economy faltered, and attention focused on Wall Street and Detroit, it seemed unthinkable that Congress would be ready to devote the summer of 2009 to the costly proposition of providing health coverage for all, a goal that has eluded presidents sinceTheodore Roosevelt." - Lead to health reporter Kevin Sack's June 19 story.
Times "Ethicist" Wants Henry Louis Gates to Sue the Police
"[Harvard professor Henry Louis] Gates should enjoy a cool one and then file suit, assuming he has legal grounds to do so. We Americans are often mocked for being overly litigious, but we are not nearly litigious enough. In the right circumstances, filing suit can be a way to pursue social justice, and that makes it thoroughly ethical." - Times ethics columnist Randy Cohen in a July 27 blog post at nytimes.com.
The Same Way the IRS Will "Ask" Me to Pay My Taxes April 15
"House Democrats will ask the wealthiest Americans to help pay for overhauling the health care system with a $550 billion income tax increase, the chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee said Friday." - Lead sentence to David Herszenhorn story on the health care battle, July 11.
Columnist Frank Rich on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, July 12
Will the World End in Fire, Or in Ice? Don't Ask Us."We are living in a rapidly warming world, Mr. Streever mournfully writes. This fact is his excuse to visit as many of the planet's remaining cold places as he can, if not exactly to say goodbye then to consider the intrinsic nature of cold weather and our responses to it, and to think about what life will be like in its increasing absence." - Times book critic Dwight Garner reviewing "Cold" by biologist Bill Streever, July 24.
"Global warming makes an inevitable appearance, but it's not in Streever's nature to mount the pulpit. His usual spark is missing here. His molecules have cooled. He is a man beguiled by nature's complexities, and he knows too much to make the simplified arguments of the Gores and the anti-Gores. 'The good news is this: the planet is not warming evenly. As ocean currents change, temperate Europe may become pleasantly frigid. And the Antarctic interior, surrounded by swirling winds thought to be driven in part by the hole in the ozone layer, has cooled.' he writes. And he impishly points out that the first two scientists to write about the greenhouse effect looked forward to a warmer planet." - Non-fiction author Mary Roach in the cover review for the July 26 Sunday New York Times Book Review.
Feminist Prof. Arrested for Leaving Kids at Mall? Blame Palin
"This simmering resentment is common and pervasive in our culture right now. The idea that women with a "major education' think they're better than everyone else, have a great sense of entitlement' feel they deserve special treatment, and are too out of touch with the lives of 'normal' women to have a legitimate point of view, is a 21st-century version of the long-held belief that education makes women uppity and leads them to forget their rightful place. It's precisely the kind of thinking that has fueled Sarah Palin's unlikely - and continued - ability to pass herself off as the consummately 'real' American woman. (And it is what has made it possible for her supporters to discredit other women's criticism of her as elitist cat fighting.)" - From Judith Warner's July 9 web-column defendingMontana State professor Bridget Kevane, arrested for child endangerment for leaving five pre-teen kids at a mall so she could get some rest.
It's a Disgrace that Maureen Dowd Still Has a Column
"It was a disgrace that W. appointed two white men to a court stocked with white men." - Maureen Dowd, in a July 15 column defending Obama Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.
Columnist Paul Krugman July 13, during an appearance on The Colbert Report on Comedy Central.
Rachel Swarns in a July 19 profile of first lady Michelle Obama moving into the health care debate.