CLEARING OUT INBOX: MLY comments on my "Apprentice" post:The first season of the apprentice was much better. In part, this is due to casting. The first bunch was just more clever, and thus more interesting. (Perhaps the show’s original producer has become distracted with other projects.) But The Apprentice has also declined precisely because it has become more about competition and less about leadership. Less time in each episode is devoted to the task –- e.g., creating an advertising campaign fo … [Read more...]

I NEVER: Lists of Ten Things You've Done That Your Readers Probably Haven't!Camassia: sold popcorn to Peter CoyoteTerry Teachout: stunt reviewing (eighth item)Keep 'em coming! … [Read more...]

R.R. RENO: "Now I am a member of the Catholic Church. I changed--I made a change. I do not think I changed my mind about theology or ecclesiology or the fate of Christianity in the modern world. I suppose that, in the end, I changed my mind about myself." (here) … [Read more...]

RISING EXPECTATIONS-WATCH: Jackson Diehl in Washington Post: "As thousands of Arabs demonstrated for freedom and democracy in Beirut and Cairo last week, and the desperate dictators of Syria and Egypt squirmed under domestic and international pressure, it was hard not to wonder whether the regional transformation that the Bush administration hoped would be touched off by its invasion of Iraq is, however tentatively, beginning to happen." (more) Via The Corner. … [Read more...]

"PRIVATE HEALTH CARE IN JAILS CAN BE A DEATH SENTENCE": NYTimes article. Suggests that the best care has come from outside non-profit groups--neither govt nor business--but that really isn't the focus of the article. Anyway, excerpts:...In these two harrowing deaths, state investigators concluded, the culprit was a for-profit corporation, Prison Health Services, that had moved aggressively into New York State in the last decade, winning jail contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars with … [Read more...]

FOUR-COLOR HEART: Second installment of things I love about comics. 26 through 50. Again, in no order.26- Edward Gorey. Just get an Amphigorey and dive right in.27- "With the inevitable forward march of progress come new ways of hiding things, and new things to hide." A killer line, the best thing in Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth.28- TITLE BOUT. Oh, TITLE BOUT, I miss you! Title Bout on cloning: "If you want to create another human being, they have this thing called F---ING that I … [Read more...]

11. HUNG ON TO MY EGO. So there's this thing, making the rounds of the rounds that I make, in which you list ten things you've done that your readers probably haven't. I'm loving these lists. I want you people to do these lists! So here is mine. Email me if you've done any of these things. In no order:1- learned to sing "Frere Jacques" in Swahili (I have forgotten it now)2- asked Newt Gingrich why he's a capitalist ("Because it works")3- gotten in trouble for polling my middle-school grade to … [Read more...]