Subject: Mo-ni-ca, Lo-li-ta
From: Andrew Solovay
Date: Wed Dec 15
"In fact, Masters said, she could think of only one other word that featured such an exquisitely pleasing articulatory progression in the mouth: 'Monica.' " Let's not forget Nabokov's exquisite progression in the other direction: "Tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth: Lo. Li. Ta."
From: Ed Anger
Date: Tue Dec 14
Charles Schulz need not fear death. He already has immortality. My favorite strip was when Lucy fell ill and sent Rerun to hold the football for Charlie Brown. Lucy stayed home. Rerun arrived home a short time later. Lucy screamed, "I've got to know. Did you pull away the football or did you let him kick it"? Rerun smiled and said, "You'll never know!"
Subject: What Papers Was Chancellor Reading?
From: Clark Parsons
Date: Thu Dec 16
I just wanted to briefly contradict your characterization regarding how the German press supposedly ignored or downplayed the story of the recent monetary settlement agreement for victims of Nazi slave-labor and forced-labor programs. It was the lead story in every paper I saw yesterday. It was the lead story in every national newscast I saw yesterday.
The story touches on everything from the nation's most shameful chapter to the business community's potential bottom lines. Believe me, it has been one of the top stories here for the last six months. And for the average citizen, it has become a subject as inescapable as the Nazi past itself.
Witness the present controversy surrounding an artist's idea to stage what looks like a really cool light show on New Year's Eve in Berlin. Everyone, from new Nobel Prize winner Günter Grass to politicians to local artists, say the show must not go on. Why? Because Hitler's architect Albert Speer staged lightshows. Say what you want about the Germans and their past; they are the third-most obsessed nation on earth when it comes to the Nazi era as a story. (England and the U.S. are, of course, numbers one and two.)
Subject: Re: What Papers Was Chancellor Reading?
From: Alexander Chancellor
Date: Fri Dec 17
My sincere apologies. I must assume the subject dominated the German papers a day earlier when I didn't see them.
Subject: Gore Was Present at the Creation
From: James W. Brosnan
Date: Wed Dec 15
I'd like to help set the record for Slate. The Gore quote from Time magazine was:
[Bradley proposes] the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. I was the author of that proposal. I wrote that, so I say, welcome aboard. That is something for which I have been the principal proponent for a long time.
Clearly Gore was referring to a proposal to expand EITC. On Feb. 7, 1989, Gore and Reps. Tom Downey, George Miller and John Lewis introduced a bill to expand the EITC by $34 billion by raising taxes on people earning more than $200,000 a year. Much of that proposal was incorporated into the 1993 Clinton-Gore tax increase. I wrote a story about the tax proposal for the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Subject: Re: Gore Was Present at the Creation
From: Jodie Allen
Date: Fri Dec 17
Mr. Brosnan has added another small footnote to the long history of the EITC. He notes that then-Sen. Gore co-sponsored one of many EITC expansion plans, though not one that made it directly into law. As the House Ways and Means Committee's authoritative "Green Book" notes, there were several expansions to the EITC:
The earned income credit (EIC Code sec. 32), enacted in 1975, generally equals a specified percentage of wages up to a maximum dollar amount. … The income ranges and percentages have been revised several times since original enactment, expanding the credit (see table 13-12). In 1987, the credit was indexed for inflation. In 1990 and again in 1993, Congress enacted substantial expansions of the credit. …
So what Vice President Gore might have accurately said was, "I was the co-author of one of numerous proposals to expand the EITC, though the one I co-sponsored wasn't the one that was enacted into law in that period." That's not what he said.
Subject: Not Campaign Finance Reform--Cynical Politics
From: Pat Johnson
Date: Mon Dec 20
You are too quick to brush off the dubious motive behind Al Gore's offer to forgo radio and TV ads in the Democratic primary. Gore had everything to gain and nothing to lose by the offer. Gore went on the air with both TV and radio commercials almost two months before Bradley did. Bradley saved his money and went on the air just before Thanksgiving. Bradley has already bought up airtime to use during the last several weeks of the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. To pull TV ads now only helps Gore--he's already been on the air a lot longer than Bradley. Gore has outspent Bradley by a wide margin and is close to hitting the spending caps.
In terms of Gore's offer for debates twice weekly, where was the offer back in April, May, June, and July? There was no offer because Gore ignored him. Now that Bradley has made it a race, Gore wants to dictate the pace of the campaign. Bradley and Gore have now met three times and will meet four more times in January.
Bradley is not a hypocrite on campaign finance reform for refusing Gore's grandstanding offer. TV and radio are a reality in modern campaigns. Bradley has to build up his name recognition to beat a sitting vice-president. Bradley's ads, which are paid for by "hard" dollars, help get his name and message across to people who are not familiar with him. If you noticed, Gore didn't offer not to spend the money that would be saved by not purchasing TV or radio ads. His campaign is in danger of running out of money early in the primary season. By not paying for ads in the Democratic primary, that would allow Gore to pay for ads in the period between the primaries and the convention. Again, the offer benefits Gore because his earlier spending spree has backfired on him.
Gore has grandstanded in the past and he will in the future. If he was serious about the offer he wouldn't have sprung it on Meet the Press--he would have talked to Bradley about it behind the scenes first. To offer deals that only benefit you isn't campaign finance reform--it's cynical politics.
Subject: B2B Need Not Equal B2C
From: Eugene Huang
Date: Tue Dec 14
Mr. Surowiecki says that the success of business-to-business (B2B) Internet sales depends on consumers ultimately buying the stuff (B2C)--certainly a valid point. But Mr. Surowiecki misses one crucial point: B2B can exist without B2C, since consumers can purchase goods in the offline world.
If you take most large industries (and automobiles, to use Surowiecki's example, are no exception), businesses purchase a lot of goods--on parity with consumers in some industries (like automobiles), but also in far greater quantities in others (energy, telecommunications, office supply goods, construction goods, etc.). Furthermore, the economies of scale you get by focusing on B2B are enormous: To take the example of the automobile, while a consumer may make a single purchase, amounting to $20K in net revenue, when the City of New York (or Philadelphia, or LA, etc.) makes a purchase for a fleet of cars, it's a one-time sale amounting to $20K * large number of cars = very large number. As you can see, making the business sale is probably more cost-effective than making the consumer sale. Take, for instance, the oil industry: Marketplaces for petrochemicals can be established online between businesses, but it would be illogical for a Web company to try and sell gasoline to a single consumer pumping gas.