More Elections, Please!
Four years is a long time in Iraq.
Rigid but lightweight sculpted carbon-fiber body weighs 4,300 pounds, more than four times the weight of a Dodge Viper. [Emph. added]
Alert reader D notes that this is not only wrong but obviously, nonsensically wrong! Why design a high-tech lightweight car and make it four times as heavy as the competition? In a footnote, the Times sources its chart to How Stuff Works, where D found the following sentence:
Even though the body is sculpted in carbon fiber to minimize its mass, the car weighs in at about 4,300 pounds (1,950 kg). For comparison, a Dodge Viper weighs about 1,000 pounds (454 kg) less. [Emph. added]
That's more like it. ... Not hard to tell what happened here. The LAT can't even steal straight! ... Desperate attempt to find Larger Significance in this incident: Here's a question for MoveOn and everyone whining about the Times staff reductions: Is it more likely that this minor howler resulted from
a) corporate layoffs and staff cuts that have left the Times with too few editors to do a good job; or
b) a history of bloat and lassitude that have left the Times with too many non-good** editors who should be laid off?
**--Four layers of "experiencedTimes editors," according to the late David Shaw's famous anti-blogging article--which might as well have been subtitled "Invitation to a Layoff." 9:54 P.M.
One Way McCain Isn't Reagan: Peggy Noonan's Thursday piece on immigration seems like a fairly decisive break with Bush's (and McCain's, and the Wall Street Journal's) immigration policy. She notes, with particular disapproval, the condescending tone with which bien pensants of both parties discuss groups like the Minutemen:
There are people who want to return to the old ways and rescue some of the old attitudes. There are groups that seek to restore border integrity. But they are denigrated by many, even the president, who has called them vigilantes. The New Yorker this week carries a mildly snotty piece by a writer named Daniel Kurtz-Phelan in which he interviews members of a group of would-be Minutemen who seek to watch the borders with Mexico and Canada. They are "running freelance patrols"; they are xenophobic; they dismiss critics as "communists" and "child molesters."
How nice to be patronized by young men whose place is so secure they have two last names. How nice to be looked down on for caring.
As a Reaganite, Noonan must have recognized that elite condescension instantly, allergically. It's similar to the condescension 50s and 60s elites felt for fervent anti-Communists, and almost precisely the condescension those who bought into the Nixon-Moynihan-liberal welfare reform consensus of the 70s felt for those rustic, unsophisticated voters who actually wanted welfare recipients to work--as if you could do that!--rather than receive cleverly-designed guaranteed income payments. One of the great things about America is that this sort of condescension is almost always pure political poison in the long run (and usually in the short run). In the 70s, then-governor Reagan labelled Nixon's sophisticated guaranteed income plan a "megadole." The rest is history! We're still waiting for the politician to credibly take on the equivalent Bush-McCain-liberal pro-amnesty consensus--and its disdain for those rustic, unsophisticated voters who actually want resident illegals to return to their home countries and get in line before they're legalized. As if you could do that! ...
P.S.: Free-market elements of the right (i.e. Milton Friedman) were part of the elite guaranteed income consensus of the 1970s, just as Paul Gigot's WSJ editorial page is part of the elite pro-amnesty consensus of the 2000s. Friedman gave liberal journalists their "even" lede--as in "Even conservative economist Milton Friedman ..."--but that didn't save the consensus from devastating conservative assault. I suspect Gigot will be similarly effective. ... 7:57 P.M. link
Photograph of Judith Miller on the Slate home page by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.