Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hitting the links

With so much in front of me over the next 24 hours - last-minute shopping, some housecleaning and the extremely enticing San Diego County Credit Poinsettia Bowl, I probably won't be posting much in the interim.

So let's just hit a few quick items before I say bye-bye for a bit:

There's been a lot of chatter on the blogosphere this afternoon about the reasons for the slow death of the newspaper industry. Here's Ezra, Matt and Atrios giving their respective takes. I agree with all of them, to varying degrees. But I think the real death blow was allowing free, unfettered access to newspapers' online content in the pioneer days of the Net. At that point, news organizations surrendered without a better business model in mind. The Web and especially blogs, feed (live) off the stories generated on newspapers' Internet sites, posting and re-posting ad infinitum. Think of how different the Web would look if everyone had to pay for newspaper content.

The NY Times' examination of the Bush Administration's role in the collapse of the housing market is a must-read. Basically, they are who we thought they were.

Rick Warren is embarrassing. And if you're interested, no, I don't think he should be doing the invocation at the inauguration.

You know, it's a damn shame that we - as a country - can't figure out a way to provide universal child care. It's possible: plenty of western European countries make it happen. And if we did, we almost certainly wouldn't see stories like this.

NY Times' Paul Krugman, as usual, smartly questions the wisdom of assuming the financial services industry is deserving of so many riches. From the column: "But surely those financial superstars must have been earning their millions, right? No, not necessarily. The pay system on Wall Street lavishly rewards the appearance of profit, even if that appearance later turns out to have been an illusion."

Really, isn't it about time for that lil' Palin? And what about the wedding? Surely the Palins didn't lie about getting their unmarried, pregnant teenage daughter getting hitched to her high school boyfriend to spare themselves a campaign nightmare? Nah. Of course not.

Toure's turn in the cipher against hip-hop hating Stanley Crouch. Toure makes a good case but it's lacking ... passion? I don't know. Feels a little weak to me. That said, Crouch is not to be taken seriously on hip hop (or really, much of anything these days). He's a bitter old man still fighting battles that exist entirely in his own mind.

Thinking about the future of Detroit really, really depresses me. And I'm not talking about the Lions. Also, this piece about Detroit from Harper's in July 2007, IMO, is fascinating. (Sorry it has to be like that, Cami).

I'm all for a soda tax. Guess that makes me a typical librul. But on a personal note, soda has probably been the easiest sugary item to cut out of my diet. Over the years, I wasted so much money and carbs on sodas. Now, I hardly ever think about the stuff.

WSJ has a list of 10 companies that probably won't make it through 2009. Though I've been expecting it for some time now, I still can't believe Sirius seems doomed. Satellite radio has made my hour-long commute a tad more bearable. A tad. And the NY Times? Yikes!

The 10 worst media moments in 2008, according to Gawker. They left out anything involving Bill O'Reilly, "Reasonable Sources" throughout the presidential campaign, any media outlet taking Joe the Plumber seriously and the general tenor of the coverage of Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

A meaningful faith-based initiative, courtesy of an unusually thoughtful Texas high school football coach.

And, finally, the case against plastic surgery: Mickey Rourke's increasingly grotesque face.

All that said, Go Horned Frogs!

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