The Difference Between a Freak Show and a Museum Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:32:59 +0000 Rob Meltzer With two stupid new “museums” opening, one at the World Trade Center and the other commemorating the murder at the Boston Marathon last year, we have, anew, the question of how we remember events. Increasingly, we find confusion between “museums” which, by definition, contain items which reflect cultural artifacts of a specific time, and the freak show, in which curiosities are preserved and displayed for the sake of gawking and staring. Today, we often call [...]]]> Money for nothing? Thu, 10 Apr 2014 14:36:28 +0000 Rick Holmes Having nearly run out of pixels on Tom’s campaign finance post the other day, let us rejoin the issue with a fresh example. As the Times reports today, recently released data on which doctors received the most from Medicare (released thanks to a WSJ suit, fiercely resisted for years by the AMA and others) revealed that top honors go to a Miami [...]]]> Those were the days Wed, 09 Apr 2014 00:38:52 +0000 Rick Holmes I’ve just finished reading Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism,” which I enjoyed on a number of levels: Great characters, acting in interesting times, who went from the closest of allies to political [...]]]> Roberts’ Court denies reality Mon, 07 Apr 2014 17:18:58 +0000 Rick Holmes We know what the biggest of political donors want. They have their favorite parties, politicians and policies. Sheldon Adelson, leader of a global casino empire, wants to keep Internet gambling illegal. He wants to avoid federal prosecution for bribing Chinese officials, and he's against the two-state solution in the Mideast. Adelson gave around $100 million to political candidates in the last election, all of it to Republicans.

Tom Steyer, to cite a second example, made his [...]]]> R.I.P. Peter Matthiessen Sun, 06 Apr 2014 14:25:41 +0000 Rob Meltzer It seems really weird to think that before Peter Matthiessen, it wasn’t typical to think of human beings as being part of the web of life. Ecologists and environmentalists either were perplexed as to where humanity fit in the general scheme of things, or ignored the issue, or just plain blamed human beings for all of the ills of the planet. In the 1970s, Matthiessen was instrumental in pioneering the odd idea that people and animals were co-equals, not some master race given custody of [...]]]> Marathon response: Another unofficial account Sun, 06 Apr 2014 13:53:19 +0000 Rick Holmes As I point out in an editorial today, a report released this week by researchers connected to Harvard’s Kennedy School underlines the need for an independent, comprehensive investigation of the response to the Marathon bombings.


Okay, so maybe this isn’t the most reasoned and deliberate argument I’ve ever put forward. I’ll fully confess I haven’t done my homework and read the several standard sources explaining why this latest Supreme Court decision is so horrible (or the counter arguments that say isn’t). I’ve scanned the headlines mostly and seen the social media memes. Cash [...]]]> Obamacare Train Wreck Part CCCII-the New Uninsured Fri, 04 Apr 2014 13:34:44 +0000 Rob Meltzer One of the new consequences of Obamcare is that health insurance can only be bought during an open enrollment period which ends in March, and rates are generally being set in early March. So, the federal government has dumped a major new and undetermined financial obligation of tax payers just as they are scrounging to pay taxes of all sorts. This is done to prevent someone who is uninsured and who is diagnosed with cancer from running out and getting health insurance. But the up shot is [...]]]> Enough Already Thu, 03 Apr 2014 12:31:55 +0000 Rob Meltzer Here’s the AP quote from this morning:

“Frustrated by Israeli and Palestinian actions that complicated his furious effort to salvage foundering peace talks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday exhorted leaders on both sides to ‘lead’ and to do so now to prevent the negotiations from collapsing…”

What is truly amazing about this statement is that Kerry misses the point that the “negotiations” are [...]]]> Valuing work as well as entrepreneurship Wed, 02 Apr 2014 17:19:27 +0000 Rick Holmes Like most efforts by thoughtful Republicans to learn the lesson of recent elections, and like most efforts to find common philosophical ground between Democrats and Republicans, this effort will come for naught, I expect.  But I wanted to point out E.J. Dionne’s column, which quotes prominent conservatives who are trying to get their party to modulate their [...]]]> Stadium Cheers for America’s Crack Dealer Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:16:15 +0000 Rob Meltzer Barry Obama has proclaimed that now that he has hooked seven million Americans on crack, the debate is over on the Republican plan to have an America that is clean and sober. And the crowd went wild. But several overseas news sources used a word about the Rose Garden speech which did not make it into the American news reports. That word was “hand-picked,” as in, Obama addressed a “hand-picked” audience in the safety of the Crack House Rose Garden to make his [...]]]> More Notes from Obama’s Gulag Tue, 01 Apr 2014 22:55:38 +0000 Rob Meltzer In the event that you are one of those who are scratching your head and trying to figure out what Abu Ghaith was convicted of, Eric Holder made it clear today. According to Holder, Abu Ghaith “publicly  gloated” about the distress caused in New York City. I guess that means that every Red Sox fan is now in serious peril of prosecution for their joy last October.