How can the New York Times pay attention to corruption in Wisconsin when the Wisconsin State Journal does not? Seriously, stuff is happening here

NYT 2-21.2016How can a newspaper located 942 miles away publish a spot-on editorial about corruption in Wisconsin, while the local newspaper manages to say… nothing?

It happened again today when the New York Times editorial board wrote

An obvious problem even the Koch brothers can care about A softer side of the Koch bros...

David KochThere’s a front-page story in the New York Times about Koch Industries and the Center for American Progress working together on something. Surprising, but nice. They actually agree that the nation’s criminal justice system is broken.

And, yes, it is. Our criminal justice system produces a terrible waste of both human potential and cash-money.

Other groups on the left and right are also involved –- the liberal ACLU… the tea-partying FreedomWorks… and others. We assume some groups are more shocked by the ruined lives and other groups by the wasted money.

We had not known about this, so thank you, New York Times.

Is it an example of “bipartisanship”? The kind our local newspaper constantly yearns for on its editorial page? Not really. The local paper routinely urges our elected representatives (whom they puzzlingly call “leaders”) to come together, to cooperate, and compromise. And then when they don’t, the local paper doses off and moves on to another of a million topics.

But here we have a coming together of advocacy groups to attack a problem. Why in the world does the U.S. — compared to other Western democracies — have such high levels of imprisonment? (Even compared to other times in our own history.) Something’s wrong.

But so far, in our formal halls of power, politics, and governance, where partisanship is really played out — where laws are made — nothing serious is happening. That’s why advocacy groups are needed — to light a fire under our elected “leaders”.

Thomas Friedman out of context…

Thomas FriedmanTom Friedman is confident. Neither the military autocrats in Egypt nor the Sunni insurgents in Syria/Iraq can survive for long

…because they cannot deliver for young Arabs and Muslims what they need most: the education, freedom and jobs to realize their full potential and the ability to participate as equal citizens in their political life.

Does anyone doubt that the same words apply also to young Americans?


An ordinary day of the New York Times

Over at TheDailyTissue building we’ve still got the New York Times from last Friday lying on the breakfast table. We’re still reading the damn thing. This is what a newspaper is supposed to be like, filled with interesting things that we were already following, and then jam-packed with stuff we had no idea about.

Sure, the Times has faults. We’ll get to one in a minute, but it’s still amazing.

On the front page:

  • new science shows big summer storms pump H2O into the stratosphere, reacting with legacy CFCs, destroying ozone. Damn.
  • cocaine flows unchecked through Venezuela. U.S. spy map shows hundreds of flights Venezuela-to-Mexico. Drug war complete failure.
  • John McCain reinvents himself, again, this time as a party-line, non-maverick.
  • China’s official suspect in poisoning plot follows a familiar (not familiar to us) storyline — “conniving, bloodthirsty vixen whose hunger for money derailed her husband’s promising career”.  Wow. Seemingly without irony, the Times story says the husband “has so far remained in a parallel justice system reserved for the party elite.” There’s a parallel justice system reserved for America’s elite, too, but you’ll never find that in a Times story, much less tossed off as a known fact.

International, p.4:

  • Singapore locals resent immigrants. Wow, it’s just like here! And everywhere! Except in Singapore they’re all Chinese (both the locals and the immigrants). And who knew Singapore had a red light district? We thought they’d banned chewing gum (they did indeed) but they’re OK with a red light district?
  • geneticists and paleoanthropologists can’t agree, exactly, on what happened a hundred thousands years ago with humans in Africa. More to come.
  • Syrian army shelling Aleppo, Syria’s most densely populated city. “We are terrified,” says city resident reached by Skype.
  • according to guy whose agency budget is boosted by more reported cyberattacks, the U.S. is experiencing more cyberattacks.
  • sad village in Siberia, home to ennui, alcoholism, and the remains of 248 fetuses

National, p. 11:

  • Excellent! “Strip Clubs in Tampa Are Ready to Cash In On G.O.P. Convention”. Turns out Republican conventioneers spend 3 times as much as Democrats at their conventions.
  • Romney blunders in London
  • American financiers fly to London to attend Romney fundraiser
  • Head Start fears loss of $590 million in fiscal “cliff”


  • “Candidates Cower on Gun Control” (bi-partisan cowering!)
  • Sandy Weill changes his mind (20 years too late): Now says banks are too big. Suggests return to Glass-Steagall rules. Irony.
  • Krugman: Bond markets continue to demonstrate the hysteria about federal debt is, well, hysterical. What we need is jobs.
  • David Brooks: typically worthless, he phones in a random lollyganger


  • Floyd Norris: “Scandals May Cost Banks Their Clout”… (Well, they should, but they never do.)
  • Facebook shares plummet 
  • London. Barclays #2 bank official who resigned after rate-rigging scandal still in line to receive $13.6 million payout
  • New York Times Company posts $88 million loss
  • Lawsuit forces General Mills to defend accuracy of its ‘Natural’ labeling

Arts, C1:

  • Dragons! Incredible moving theatrical dragons. Jeebus!  23 of these monsters “that stomp around, blow smoke and fly, all quite convincingly.” Bring this DreamWorks show to the Overture Center. You know, for the kids, mostly.

Lisa Lake/Getty Images

There’s still more in the Friday NYT. But every dang day, they deliver another edition. Seriously, if you want to know stuff, and you can afford it, you want to subscribe to the NY Times.