January 21, 2004

Kevin Drum has a nice rundown of the Bush administration's incredible shrinking claims about Iraq's alleged weapons and the lack thereof: March 2003: Weapons of mass destruction. June 2003: Weapons of mass destruction programs. October 2003: Weapons of mass destruction-related programs. January 2004: Weapons of mass destruction-related program activities. I've mentioned this before, but this reminds me of the Cheetoh-factor, in which every additional adjective makes the noun in question less true: "Cheese" = cheese "processed cheese" = cheese, sort… Read more

January 21, 2004

"For diplomacy to be effective, words must be credible, and no one can now doubt the word of America." — George W. Bush, Jan. 20, 2004, State of the Union address Read more

January 21, 2004

Here's presidential adviser Karen Hughes on CNN's Larry King Live: It's been a remarkable three years in our history. And we've emerged from the terror attacks and the recession that President Bush inherited and the war in Iraq. … The strategy regarding this blatant lie — "the recession that President Bush inherited" — seems to be to just repeat this over and over and over and over until enough people think it's true that it won't even seem like a… Read more

January 20, 2004

The last few weeks I've been posting excerpts from the cover story of my paper's Sunday real estate section, which "spotlights" an extravagant home from the area. As I wrote here: "This is the cover of the real estate section — a place where normal people might turn to buy and sell a home. It doesn't seem either wise or kind to these people to dedicate the cover of this section each week to showcasing homes deliberately chosen to make… Read more

January 20, 2004

Here's Margaret Webb Pressler of The Washington Post tut-tutting about young people's cavalier attitudes about debt: … a generation of consumers … have embraced and used debt in a way that no generation has before. The polar opposite of the postwar generation, which feared debt, today's young adults view credit cards as a welcome and easy path to the lifestyle they see around them. "What's extraordinary is how quickly it's changed," said Robert Manning, a professor at the Rochester Institute… Read more

January 19, 2004

Joe Lieberman seems to think that the road to the White House leads through Delaware. He has been the most visible campaigner and the most frequent visitor to the First State so far in the primary campaign. There's a certain logistical logic to this for Lieberman. Delaware is about half way between Connecticut and Washington. Traveling between the two by car or train takes you through the state's most populous — and most heavily Democratic — county, New Castle, which… Read more

January 18, 2004

From the Sunday real estate section of The (Del.) News Journal: The prestigious neighborhood Merestone graces the rolling countryside of Landenberg, [Pa.], and the grand stone and stucco home at 22 Evans [Drive] is a true testament to sheer luxury. Superior workmanship and unmatched quality is found throughout the private two-story colonial, bringing to life this classic English-style home. This 6,000-square-foot custom-built Wilkinson corner lot home is truly one of a kind, with meticulous landscaping on the acre it occupies…. Read more

January 16, 2004

Left Behind, pp. 30-32 Ace reporter Buck Williams is desperate to get in touch with his editors from aboard an airliner. He decides to take apart the “in-flight phone embedded in the back of the seat in front of him” and splice it to his laptop’s modem: … Buck guessed that inside the phone the connection was standard and that if he could somehow get in there without damaging the phone, he could connect his computer’s modem directly to the… Read more

January 16, 2004

Learned several things visiting my family this week in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom: 1. My Civic starts easily even when it's -17 outside. 2. My Civic doesn't start easily when it's -32 outside. I don't either. 3. Soap bubbles freeze at temperatures below -10. This is pretty cool. The bubbles change color, looking like they're being enveloped in a kind of gray mist. Then you can catch them on your gloves, where you can stretch them around like gummy little balloons… Read more

January 11, 2004

I'm taking off to visit the family for a belated Christmas gathering, which means I won't be near a computer again until late Thursday. My dad and my sister live in Vermont, about half-an-hour north of St. Johnsbury. Yes, the same St. J. that posted a record low temperature Saturday of 27 below. My brother-in-law is a very nice guy, but if my sister had married someone from, say, Florida instead, I might be looking forward to this trip a… Read more

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