I loved this description from the NYT: [Ted Kennedy] was a Rabelaisian figure in the Senate and in life, instantly recognizable by his shock of white hair, his florid, oversize face, his booming Boston brogue, his powerful but pained stride. He was a celebrity, sometimes a self-parody, a hearty friend, an implacable foe, a man of large faith and large flaws, a melancholy character who persevered, drank deeply and sang loudly. He was a Kennedy.”
Read this about the Chappaquiddick incident – a scandal from which he never was able to recover.
I found this account of being sick and cared for by somebody who has lived in both those Western countries very interesting. I hope all Americans resisting the plan read it. And here is what Simon Hoggart had to say about the “loathsome American right”:
There are few tribes more loathsome than the American right, and their vicious use of the shortcomings in the NHS to attack Barack Obama’s attempts at health reform are a useful reminder. Read More…
Designer, Halston told the New York Times in the 70′s that “Naomi was the first [black supermodel]. She was the great ambassador for all black people. She broke down all the social barriers.” Sims was 61 when she died of cancer in Newark on Saturday. Read the New York Times’ obituary here.
One was Hossam el-Hamalawy, a blogger and journalist in Cairo whose Op-Ed essay in The Times this week suggested that President Obama’s visit to Egypt was “a clear endorsement of President Hosni Mubarak, the ailing 81-year-old dictator who has ruled with martial law, secret police and torture chambers.” Mr. Hamalawy posted a stream of lacerating, often obscene commentary about Mr. Obama’s speech on his Twitter feed in real time, calling the speech “patronizing” and “cheesy” and saying it “could have been delivered by Bush or Clinton.” When Mr. Obama spoke of education, Mr. Hamalawy tweeted:
More scholarships for Muslim Students in America. Great! I need to study Hypocrisology in DC. They r good at it.
When the American president said Israeli settlement-building had to stop, Mr. Hamalawy responded:
Empty rhetoric about Israeli settlements. He says they must stop, but not dismantling what has been built already.
When Mr. Obama spoke of Al Qaeda’s violent extremism, Mr. Hamalawy replied:
Obama, Your govt have killed more people than Al-Qaeda did! So shut up!
Mr. Hamalawy also amplified and echoed the comments of other Twitter users who heaped scorn upon the speech, like this comment from the similarly unimpressed Wael Khalil: “same old Holocaust justification for Israel. Dude, it wasn’t us, it was the Germans.”
Artist Chen Guang was a 17-year-old soldier when he was instructed “to clear the symbolic heart of the nation, even if it meant spilling blood.” He had been suppressing these memories for 20 years but last year made a series of paintings based on hundreds of photographs of the Tiananmen massacre. Powerful stuff.
Barack Obama had lined up interviews with various television channels to promote his economic package yesterday. But the PR blitz turned into an apology for screwing up. After Daschle withdrew his nomination for health secretary over tax irregularities yesterday the White House appeared shaken.
Obama admitted that “ultimately it’s important for this administration to send a message that there aren’t two sets of rules. You know, one for prominent people and one for ordinary folks who have to pay their taxes.”
Maureen Dowd went as far as saying that “It took Daschle’s resignation to shake the president out of his arrogant attitude that his charmed circle doesn’t have to abide by the lofty standards he lectured the rest of us about for two years.”
Here is a clip from the interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN:
Have a look at this beautiful series of drawings by Maira Kalman:
At a dinner last night in Washington Barack Obama said: “In just the first few weeks, I’ve had to engage in some of the toughest diplomacy of my life. And that was just to keep my Blackberry. I finally agreed to limit the number of people who could email me. It’s a very exclusive list. How exclusive?
Everyone look at the person sitting on your left. Now look at the person sitting on your right.
None of you have my email address.”
The New York Times today is saying that the ultimate status symbol in Washington now is Barck Obama’s new email address:
It is now the ultimate status symbol in a town obsessed by status. Mr. Obama was spotted last week trying out his new BlackBerry — or actually a more sophisticated, encrypted variation — and aides say that he uses a computer in the study next to the Oval Office but that he has agreed to limit the number of people he would exchange e-mail with. In the process, he created a new measure for Washington to judge who really has the ear, or the thumb, of the president.
Jet-lagged, exhausted and with no opportunity for afternoon naps, I’ve been drinking what feels like too much strong coffee. But apparently I could be drinking much more of the stuff:
Drinking coffee may do more than just keep you awake. A new study suggests an intriguing potential link to mental health later in life, as well.
A team of Swedish and Danish researchers tracked coffee consumption in a group of 1,409 middle-age men and women for an average of 21 years. During that time, 61 participants developed dementia, 48 with Alzheimer’s disease.
After controlling for numerous socioeconomic and health factors, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure, the scientists found that the subjects who had reported drinking three to five cups of coffee daily were 65 percent less likely to have developed dementia, compared with those who drank two cups or less. People who drank more than five cups a day also were at reduced risk of dementia, the researchers said, but there were not enough people in this group to draw statistically significant conclusions.
Chief Justice Roberts was, perhaps, avoiding the split infinitive in the oath to “solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States.” Roberts, instead, had President Barack Obama “solemnly swear that I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully.”
Or did Obama make a Freudian slip?
“Conspiracy theorists and connoisseurs of Freudian slips have surmised that it was unconscious retaliation for Senator Obama’s vote against the chief justice’s confirmation in 2005.”
Read Steven Pinker’s opinion piece here.