A dispatch from Illinois about the Olmsted Locks and Dam on the Ohio River reports that it was "first authorized by Congress in 1988 at a cost of $775 million" and is "now scheduled to be completed in 2020 at a cost approaching $3 billion."
The U.S. government's consumer price index inflation calculator indicates that $775 million in 1988 dollars are about $1.56 billion in 2014 dollars. The calculator doesn't run to 2020, but by then even more of the story won't be typically scandalous government cost overruns, but the erosion of the value of the dollar.
A front-page news article in today's New York Times appears under the headline "Cities Rocked by Past Unrest Offer Lessons." It offers lessons for Ferguson, Mo. from "other cities that endured similar violence." It names "Cincinnati, Oakland, Los Angeles" and Miami and talks about responding to riots and restoring calm. Strangely — bizarrely, actually, the Times omits any mention of New York.
There was a race riot — a pogrom, actually — in Crown Heights, Brooklyn in 1991, which you'd think a newspaper based in New York City might, you know, think about maybe mentioning in a news article about how to respond to an urban riot. The efforts since then to improve relations between the black and Jewish communities in Crown Heights might actually have some lessons for Ferguson.
The "New York Times Store" is featuring "rarely seen" and "truly historic" photographs of a naked Marilyn Monroe for $3,000 and $1,500 (more if you want it framed). It's not clear how this fits with the Times Company's stated core mission of "creating, collecting, and distributing high-quality news and information." A front-of-the business section Times news article — "Risque Promotion Prompts Outcry From Land's End Customers" — this week went after Land's End for a marketing deal with GQ, which was featuring photographs of scantily clad women, but Land's End wasn't trying to sell the pictures for $3,000 or billing them as "truly historic."
Maureen Dowd's column today refers to Hillary Clinton's interview with "Jeffrey Goldberg, a hawk, of The Atlantic."
I guess by Ms. Dowd's standards a "hawk" is someone like Jeff, who wants to dismantle many of Israel's West Bank settlements and to ease U.S. sanctions on Castro's Cuba.
Reader-participant-watchdog-community member-content co-creator Colin G. writes:
In the midst of the front-page New York Times news article about the death of actor and comedian Robin Williams comes this:
From the you-can't-make-it-up department: A post in the Fashion and Style section reports:
I guess the Times figures that if it's losing Jewish readers over its Middle East coverage it might as well pick up some Muslims to make up for them. We're waiting for the equivalent feature on yarmulkes.
Dave Barry has a deft takedown of a New York Times essay about Miami.
From today's New York Times editorial, the latest in a series calling for the legalization of marijuana:
No wonder the Times favors marijuana legalization. It creates the opportunity to raise taxes, an opportunity that for the Times editorial writers trumps any other policy objective. To the sixteen other tax increases previously supported by the Times editorial column (one of the services we provide here is keeping track of them), now add a seventeenth: an inflation-indexed tax on marijuana potency.
In the business section of Saturday's Times was a "wealth matters" column on the topic of parents talking (or not talking) to children about an inheritance. It included this passage:
It's the second time in less than a month that a Times business section columnist, reporter, or editor has injected a global warming reference into a story that has nothing to do with the topic.
Obama for America 2012 campaign speechwriter turned New York Times Washington bureau reporting intern Theodore Schleifer has an article in the Times that runs under the headline "Religious Conservatives Embrace Pollution Fight." It includes this sentence:
A Times dispatch from Kansas City, Mo., about an appearance there by President Obama reports:
A full-column length Times editorial by Philip Boffey presses the case the Times has been making in favor of legalizing marijuana. It includes this passage:
Click through the link to the CDC data provided by the Times, and you will see the following disclaimer, which the Times doesn't pass along to its print readers: "Due to survey design modifications, comparison of results from before 1999 to 1999–2001 and 2002–2011 need to be made with caution."
A front-page dispatch from "Near the Israel-Gaza Border" reports:
My Webster's Second unabridged has as a definition of propaganda, "any systematic, widespread, deliberate indoctrination or plan for such indoctrination: now often used in a derogatory sense, connoting deception or distortion."
The Times runs a 1,079 word news article in the business section about hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin filing for a divorce. The length of the article strikes me as excessive. Businessmen and other news-making individuals get divorced all the time. When Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. got separated from his wife, the Times ran a 161-word squib.
The Times headline over the Griffin article is "A Divorce That Thrusts Ken Griffin and Anne Dias Griffin Into the Spotlight," but that is disingenuous. The Times is the spotlight operator. It's not the divorce thrusting the Griffins into the spotlight, but the Times editor who decided to cover the issue at a length of 1,079 words.
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