Musings on Newspaper Credibility
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Worth Reading: 20060717

Worth reading, July 17, 2006

normblog: The crisis in the Middle East (updated): If you're looking for any wisdom from me on this, I have none to offer. Here are some reading links to pieces I've found interesting and/or informative...

Thus Blogged Anderson.: Dark Star: Google suggests that I've not mentioned Furst before. Dark Star is apparently considered by many to be his best: pre-WW2 espionage with emphasis on the Soviet side. Best for its rendering of the political atmosphere of the times--but a good espionage read, too...

Nieman Watchdog > Commentary > Twelve things journalists need to remember to be good economic reporters

Discourse.net: Enron's Special Purpose Entities: My pet gripe in the whole accounting simplification debate is how business and the accounting industry citie Enron as evidence that we need less detailed rules. They argue that detailed rules provide a roadmap for technical compliance that violates the spirit of the rules. In contrast, simple rules could not be gamed. In fact, Enron demonstrates the need for detailed rules...

Ron Suskind: Articles: Why Are These Men Laughing? "Why Are These Men Laughing" contained a series of critiques of the Bush administration from an ex-White House official, John DiIlulio. DiIluio, whose thoughts were sent to the author in a polished, elegantly constructed seven-page memo, was the first ranking administration official to publicly criticize his boss. According to DiIulio, the political team at the White House was making every policy decision, ignoring the advice of experts. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, commening on this article, said it was now clear that the Bush White House had "no interest in the substance of policy, caring only about political payoffs." Shortly after the article appeared in Esquire, the White House went on the offensive, forcing DiIulio to apologize for his assessments that drew a comparison to Stalinist Russia in the Washington Post..

The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill

Ron Suskind: Articles: Without a Doubt Author Note: Published two weeks before the 2004 election, "Without a Doubt" profiled a president driven by religious certitude. Instead of grappling with the nuance of complicated policy issues, this president often relies on a black-and-white view of the world in which disputes can be cast as good vs. evil. This article was also the first to report that Bush would attempt to make changes to Social Security, a fact his campaign strenuously denied but was soon proved true. The article also coined the term "reality based community," which has since entered the political lexicon...

The One Percent Doctrine

Brendan Nyhan: Bush to Putin: "Just wait" on Iraq democracy: Doesn't Bush's statement deserve some attention? Under Michael Kinsley's classic definition, a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth. In this case, Bush has said what he thinks is the truth -- Iraq is progressing toward full-blown democracy -- at a time when the reality-based community sees the country as rapidly sliding toward civil war. Given this comment and others like it, I think it's increasingly clear that Ron Suskind is the most important journalist in America. He's consistently done the best work on the Bush administration's faith-based approach to public policy...

HOTSOUP.com: HOTSOUP will create a new community of influence among those in government, politics, business and entertainment who make the decisions and those who want to impact them. It will bring the inside world out and the outside world in, and create a richer dialogue and stronger connections among all of these Opinion Drivers...

Fafblog! the whole worlds only source for Fafblog.: George W. Bush has to take this case to the highester court in the land: the court of George W. Bush. It's a tough bench alright, but Bush can win this one as long as he exercises his constitutional right to ignore the Constitution. The legal technicalities are pretty complicated but Giblets believes it involves filing a writ of neener neener according to the precedent of I Can't Hear You v. I'm Not Listening. Only then can the forces of freedom protect America from the hordes of Democrofascists that would menace her with their savage civil liberties!...

Balkinization: Sunday, July 16, 2006 The Letter Scott Horton: Was Leo Strauss democracy's best friend? In a letter written at the time of his emigration, Strauss describes his political principles - Fascist, Authoritarian, Imperialist...

Robert's Stochastic thoughts: Not Seeing the Forest for the Trees. Brad DeLong asks where is my post on the arrest of two high ranking officers of SISMI (Italian military intelligence think CIA with no restiction on domestic spying) I can explain. I know nothing nothing. For one thing we are moving to a new house. For another said new house does not have a telephone or electricity yet hampering my internet access. Thus I am now in Sardinia which involves going on a car ferry with a TV tuned by the crew. If you think that Italians are going to watch the news when they can watch a world cup semi final in which Italy beat Germany, then your grasp of Italian politics is hopelessly weak.... Believe me, "Milanese magistrates investigate SISMI" is a shocker like "Brad DeLong does not plan to vote for Richard Cheney in 2008." It never crossed my mind that the news would be worth a blog post.... In a totally unscientific poll 5 Italian adults stared at me as if I was crazy when I asked them if they were suprised that SISMI officers were breaking Italian law in cooperation with CIA agents. It's like asking someone if they have ever heard of the theory that the earth is round...

Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog: Tom: Angell or not?: Curzon of Coming Anarchy discusses Norman Angell. It caught my eye because Tom is sometimes accused of being Angell in the sense of 'optimistically predicts an end to great power war because of globalization, but tragically wrong'. Tom says the difference is that now we have nukes, which have ended great power war. So Tom says he's Angell, with NUKES! Tom says globalism plus nukes ends great power war. I think this is one of the places where he and the Coming Anarchists (and their patron saint, Robert Kaplan) are in fundamental disagreement...

Paul Kedrosky's Infectious Greed: Option Backdating: Tech is the Worst Offender: A new paper by Eric Lie and Randall Herron on stock option backdating is going to get lots of attention. Among other things, it says that almost 30% of companies have used backdated options. I was particularly fond of the following table showing the worst backdating offenders stratified along various dimensions -- and tech is well out in front...

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