Saturday, January 11, 2003

Only At The Globe

From the cover story on Ted Kennedy in last Sunday's Boston Globe Magazine:

If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.

Thanks to reader Tom S. for this particular gem.

Sir Howard

Howard Stringer conducted a "global search" for a top music industry executive to replace the loathsome Tommy Mottola at Sony Records.......and found his friend Andy Lack, who didn't like his job at NBC because his boss, Bob Wright, hated him. Mr. Lack has no music industry experience and seems ill-suited to the task.

You would think that the business press would be howling at this brazen act of corporate cronyism, but not really. Howard Stringer, after all, is a ranking member of the major media mafia. The New York Times actually refers to Howard Stringer as SIR Howard Stringer. Not once, but repeatedly, in an odd bit of lackey journalism. Lack is dressed up as a "turnaround" specialist. And Jeff Zucker, the NBC executive who gains the most with Lack's departure, is given a big wet kiss for good measure.

Everybody's happy. Call it (crony) journalism.

Day Ten: 229 pounds

Friday, January 10, 2003

Day Nine: 229 pounds

Thursday, January 09, 2003

On The First Tee

The 2003 golf season begins today with the first round of play at The Mercedes Championship. Because the tournament is being played in Hawaii, coverage on ESPN will be in prime time (basically from 8pm to 10pm eastern). On all four nights. Tiger Woods is not playing this week, unfortunately. He's still recovering from knee surgery.

Day Eight: 230 pounds

Wednesday, January 08, 2003


If Glenn Reynolds finds out about Foneblog, we're talking ceaseless Instapundit.

Dumb and Dumber

From the lead of a Washington Post report on House "ethics" rules:

House Republicans weakened their own ethics rules yesterday, pushing through language that would allow lobbyists to cater meals to members' offices and let charities pay for lawmakers to travel and stay at golf resorts and other locales.

You can read the rest of the dreary details here.

Department of Redundancy

Michael Kelly's column on North Korea is excellent, as ever.

Love Labor Lost

First Al Gore and now Tom Daschle. The second largest vote getter in the nation's history and the nation's most powerful Democrat (legislatively) have both dropped out of the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination campaign. We will never know all the reasons why they chose not to run. And at some level, decisions like this are based on instinct not on check-lists.

But one thing is clear. Labor is for Gephardt. Labor is totally for Gephardt. Gore made a play for AFSCME with his single-payer health plan and the response from that union was: Gephardt. Daschle and his former Clinton Administration advisors cast about for support from Labor and the response was: Gephardt. The fact is Labor didn't want Daschle to run for president. They wanted him to run for re-election. And that's what he's doing.


It stands for Every Day Low Prices, which has been the WalMart mantra for as long as anyone can remember. Today, The Financial Times has a long interview with Lee Scott, WalMart's CEO, which is terrific. The only problem is you may need a subscription to to read it.

Elsewhere in WalMart news, the company announced yesterday that it would begin offering financial services (in the form of money transfers) to its enormous customer base. Adios Western Union. And good riddance.

Day Seven: 232 pounds.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Whining Zone

The blown call at the end of the Giants-49ers game cannot obscure the fact that the Giants held a 34-10 lead with roughly 20 minutes to play and proceeded to give the game away. Coach Fossel's lame attempts to shift the blame to (a) the officials and (b) the holder, do not obscure the fact that his team was poorly coached. He should resign.

Maybe He Just Doesn't Want To See You

Just as articles about the homeless reappear when Republicans recapture the White House, so too do articles bemoaning the dreary social life of Washington. Today's New York Times adds to the collection.

P.S. A friend of mine who worked for President Carter writes:

I'm not sure your portrayal of the Times' "social life" column as a partisan thing is accurate. As I remember, the Carters were criticized endlessly as boring and/or boorish and the Reagans were greeted as bringing elegance and style back to the White House. Actually, I think the Alman Brother's B-B-Q on the South Lawn was less boring than the average Washington social event, but it certainly lacked the elegance normally associated with the White House. I think the Washington social scene does "jaded" in pretty bi-partisan fashion.

RBOC Victory

The Bush Administration has handed the Regional Bell Operating Companies a huge victory with its decision to reverse Clinton-era telecom policy regarding local/long distance land-line telephony. Today, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page puts the best face on this decision, basically arguing that the RBOCs need pricing power.

The spectacular collapse of telecom (roughly one trillion dollars in global market cap has evaporated) required some kind of action to stabilize the sector. All things considered, shoring up the RBOCs is probably the safest policy path to a reconfigured and rationalized telecom market. The decision is bad news for WorldCom and ATT and various local resellers. It's good news for text messaging services and Internet telephony companies.

In fact, I would bet that this decision leads to a revival of interest and investment in Internet telephony. Not that anyone at AOL is paying attention.

Inside Al Qaeda

I'm about halfway through Rohan Gunaratna's book, which is -- for now -- the definitive study. Russ Howard, who along with Reid Sawyer edited the definitive textbook on terrorism and counter-terrorism, says that Gunaratna's book is essential reading for anyone interested in the subject. He's right.

Day Six

233 lbs. Weight training today.

Monday, January 06, 2003

Day Five.

233 lbs.

Sunday, January 05, 2003

Day Four

235 lbs. Off to the "Athletic Center."