- A bunch of people on TV news are all aflutter about President Bush's upcoming speech on his "new" plan for Iraq. I think I can save everyone the drama. If you want to know the "plan" you can get a preview in three easy steps:
(1) Go to the White House website,
(2) In the Iraq section, dig up "Strategy for Victory" 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, [how many ever versions we've gone through], and
(3) Reword the headings, change the font, and throw in a few new graphs and bullet points.
That will pretty much be it.
- Washingtonian asks if Washington would be better with more writers like Malcolm Gladwell. I haven't read any of Gladwell's books, but I've seen him on C-SPAN several times, and he's interesting. You have to admire a writer who comes up with a contest like this:
The mischief peaked with what Gladwell refers to as "the contest." He and another young science reporter, William Booth, chose a phrase and competed to see who could insert it in the newspaper faster. The contest culminated with the phrase "perverse and often baffling."It's not everyone who can go off the beaten path into academic research and crank out an interesting article or book.
Booth wrote a story on mollusks. "The copy desk took out 'often,' " he says in the recording, "arguing, I think correctly, that mollusks were either baffling or they weren't."
Finally, with the clock ticking, Gladwell struck gold. He discovered that Washington is home to both the country's highest number of gastroenterologists per capita as well as the highest fees for gastroenterology, flying in the face of supply-and-demand rules.
Baffling indeed, and possibly perverse--at least by the standard of Post editors. Gladwell won the contest.
- What is up with the price of oil? $54 a barrel? I have yet to get a handle on what causes these price movements, but it's not supply and demand.
- I'm not necessarily the biggest Kathy Griffin fan, but I appreciate how she sometimes tells it like it is:
"Larry King is either deaf or just doesn't listen, according to our favorite comic, Kathy Griffin.
During her two-hour set for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center on Thursday, Griffin quipped, '[King] doesn't listen to a word you say. It's unbelievable. After a while, I just wanted to [bleep] with him and try to say something shocking. Did you hear me say that Oprah would be the first gay president? And he's like, 'She has a show, am I right?''"
- James Howard Kunstler looks at a future with declining oil production:
If you really want to understand the U.S. public's penchant for wishful thinking, consider this: We invested most of our late twentieth-century wealth in a living arrangement with no future. American suburbia represents the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world. The far-flung housing subdivisions, commercial highway strips, big-box stores, and all the other furnishings and accessories of extreme car dependence will function poorly, if at all, in an oil-scarce future. Period.
- This is encouraging:
Hamilton wouldn't comment Monday on whether Fulmer would receive a raise, a telltale sign that he probably won't.It's a testament to the ridiculousness of coaching salaries that we're even discussing giving a raise to a $2 million/year coach who hasn't won a conference championship in eight years.
With a salary of $2.05 million per year, Fulmer also didn't receive one following last season's 5-6 finish.
"I'm on record as saying that I'm giving him a contract extension," Hamilton said. "The media and fans have more of a sense of urgency than we do about it. Phillip knows he's the coach at the University of Tennessee. He's going to get a contract extension. We're working toward doing the right things to make sure we all achieve the goals we've got out there, and we'll announce what we're going to do at some point."
Hamilton said he and Fulmer have talked at length about what realistic expectations should be at Tennessee.
"I know people are going to start charting the course of how many we've had since when, and I realize this league is very cyclical, but I think it's reasonable to expect a couple of SEC championships over a 10-year period of time and be in the SEC Championship Game four times," Hamilton said.