Nota Bene #49

Links of the Week (as opposed to the Weakest Link)

Alexander Zaitchik, AlterNet, Obama to the Economic Rescue:

Why not hire people who were right all along, and not historic failures who are now in the process of recalibrating everything they ever believed? Why not reward people like Kuttner, Bernstein, James Galbraith, and others, who have been right all along?

William Greider, the Nation, Past and Future:

In bailout negotiations with Wall Street titans, Geithner and the Federal Reserve were spun around like a top more than once. No wonder the stock markets rallied explosively when they heard [he] would be their new boss in Washington.

Paul Krugman, the New York Times, Lest We Forget:

Consider, in particular, what happened after the crisis of 1997-98. This crisis showed that the modern financial system, with its deregulated markets, highly leveraged players and global capital flows, was becoming dangerously fragile. But when the crisis abated, the order of the day was triumphalism, not soul-searching. … everyone declared a victory party over our pullback from the brink, while forgetting to ask how we got so close to the brink in the first place.

Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Has there been too much bipartisanship or too little?:

To the contrary, the last eight years have been defined, more than anything else, by overarching bipartisan cooperation and consensus.

Mark Perry, Asia Times Online, US military ripe for a fight with Obama:

“For some of us, Obama is viewed as Clinton two,” a retired three-star officer says. “We’re afraid he looks at the military the way that Clinton did, as a kind of social laboratory.”

Karen DeYoung, the Washington Post, Joint Chiefs Chairman ‘Very Positive’ After Meeting With Obama:

“Open and serious debate versus ideological certitude will be a great relief to the military leaders,” said retired Maj. Gen. William L. Nash of the Council on Foreign Relations. “The joke was that when you leave a meeting, everybody is supposed to drink the Kool-Aid,” Nash said. “In the Bush administration, you had to drink the Kool-Aid before you got to go to the meeting.”

Peter Boyer, the New Yorker, Paul Wolfowitz quoting General Eric Shinseki in 2002:

“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”

That quote turns out to be a double-edged sword.

Colin Freeman, the Telegraph, Parties, women and new cars in lawless land where everyone wants to be a Somalian pirate:

Its tumbledown huts currently serve as the main holding area for sailors kidnapped from pirated boats, some of whom have spent so long there that their captors have set up special restaurants catering for non-Somali foods. “They do lasagne, spaghetti, squid and lobster there,” said one Puntland official.

Jesse Wendel and Minstrel Boy, as quoted by Spencer Ackerman, the Washington Independent, Recasting the War on Terrorism:

“Treating terrorists as military targets gives terrorists enormously too much credibility,” they contended in a co-signed email. “Terrorists are not nation-states; they are criminals and should be treated like the murderers they are, without giving them a political platform or publicity.”

Christopher Ford, Arms Control Today, A New Paradigm: Shattering Obsolete Thinking on Arms Control and Nonproliferation:

“. . . the pain and controversy of Iraq seem to have created a situation in which some would-be diplomatic or military partners have acquired a neuralgia about armed compliance enforcement even when there is a great and indisputable proliferation threat. Such feelings obviously do not bode well for the international community’s ability to deter future would-be proliferators.”

A neuralgia?

John Leland, the New York Times, More Men Take the Lead Role in Caring for Elderly Parents:

The Alzheimer’s Association and the National Alliance for Caregiving estimate that men make up nearly 40 percent of family care providers now. … “It used to be that when men said, ‘I’ll always take care of my mother,’ it meant, ‘My wife will always take care of my mother,'” said Carol Levine, director of the families and health care project at the United Hospital Fund. “But now, more and more men are doing it.”

Gretel Kovach, the New York Times, Pastor’s Advice for Better Marriage: More Sex:

“If you’ve said, ‘I do,’ do it,” he said. As for single people, “I don’t know, try eating chocolate cake,” he said.

Richard Chang, Wheels, the New York Times car blog, Are Ferraris Losing Their Good Looks?:

Gavin Green of Car magazine in Britain raised an issue I’ve thought about quite a bit lately: that Ferraris “aren’t gorgeous anymore. … The 612 is fussy and ill-proportioned,” he said. “The Enzo is more bug than bird.” … Mr. Green recounts a recent conversation with Luca di Montezemolo, president of Ferrari. “He said the styling was dictated by aerodynamics and the need to keep a Ferrari glued to the road at 180-plus. … That big fat rump of the California — more bustle bum than bikini bottom — helps aero performance, or so Luca says.”


Judy Battista, the New York Times, on rules protecting the quarterback:

“It seems like they take another part of him out every year,” Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck said. “Obviously, you don’t want to hit the guy in the head, but we can’t hit below the knees and we can’t fall on him. You’re not necessarily making us back off him. You’re making us hate the quarterback more.”

Benjamin Hoffman, the New York Times sports blog the Fifth Down, on a strange sports statistic (as of last week):

The last three quarterbacks to lead the Giants in passing are currently 10-0 (Kerry Collins), 9-1 (Eli Manning) and leading the league in quarterback rating (Kurt Warner).

Rich Cimini, the New York Daily News, Brett Favre, Jets hand Titans first loss of season, 34-13:

Favre’s. . . 2-yard touchdown [pass] to Coles [was] a risky throw into traffic. But the ball made it past three defenders, like a Mariano Rivera fastball going through a thicket of trees. … Favre, ever the gunslinger, admitted it was a gamble. “That was the Mike Holmgren syndrome: ‘Oh, no, no, no, no … good!'” said Favre, recalling the agita he often gave his former Packers coach.

Fred Mitchell, the Chicago Tribune, interviewing Chicago Bears great Gale Sayers on Devin Hester:

“It looks like he’s afraid to run back kickoffs,” Sayers said. … “He’s running everything up the middle. [ The Bears return team] might have a middle return on, but if every [defender] is going to the middle, he has enough speed to go outside. He’s not doing it. … He’s running straight up the field and everybody is tackling him. He looks like he’s afraid to go out on his own.”