The Wednesday Curator – 12/10/14

December 9, 2014

Wednesday again! Here goes:

Conservative pundits might like Obama more if he really were a caudillo, by Matthew Yglesias for Vox on November 24, nails the hypocrisy attendant to calling President Obama a tyrant, a dictator, or a king. The Republican Party has, for a century or more, aligned itself with executive power, whether in the United States, Central America, or elsewhere. Alas, it seems evident that it’s only their executive power which they favor.

I read Eric Lipton’s major exposé, Energy Firms in Secretive Alliance with Attorneys General, in the December 7 Sunday New York Times. Attorneys general are elected officials, but they are elected to be the attorney for the state. They should not be policy makers, and they certainly should not be selling out to this or that industry. Disgraceful!

This piece, A Message from a Republican Meteorologist on Climate Change, is old, having first appeared in March 2012. Written by Paul Douglas, a meteorologist, it’s worth a look. (There has been for a long time a big divide on climate change between the climatologists who look at long-term trends, and meteorologists, who study and report on weather, day-by-day, week-by-week.)

I read with interest A Soaring Emblem of New York, and Its Upside-Down Priorities by Michael Kimmelman (New York Times, 11/29). The story reports on the Freedom Tower, which replaced the World Trade Center Twin Towers. It’s not a pretty story, and the critics don’t love the building, for sure. That said, I recall just how much no one liked the towers when they opened. Really a lot!

Sticking with the New York theme, Café Edison closes for good on December 31, … maybe. Café Edison is a famous Jewish soul food coffee shop/diner in Midtown Manhattan, and its closure comes because the Hotel Edison owner, its landlord, has other plans. Here’s a lovely remembrance from Betsy Morais for The New Yorker on November 20, and a great, great story from National Public Radio, Don’t Let The Kasha Vanish:  Diners Band Together To Save Café Edison by Jeff Lunden, from December 8. The radio story ends on a hopeful note—landlord and tenant are talking—and you can rest assured that Mark Rubin Writes will be watching and reporting on any developments. And finally, we offer The Ultimate Guide to Eating in NYC, All in One Place by Max Falkowitz for on December 9. Definitely a keeper!

P.S. For reasons I’m trying hard to understand—I’m working on “resentment over the hubris of youth,” but there’s clearly an attachment to journalism and telling stories, too—I can’t let go of The New Republic story. George Packer, one of my very favorite writers, offers up his thoughts for The New Yorker on December 9 in The Real Crisis of Journalism.

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