Neal Gabler has written Blowing the Biggest Political Story of the Last Fifty Years for BillMoyers.com. Mr. Gabler “The shocking story isn’t the rise of Donald Trump but how the GOP slowly morphed into a party of hate and obstruction” is the tagline. Certainly, millions of Republicans are not hate-filled and find the obstruction offensive and wrong. But with respect to the institutional entity—which acts through elected and appointed Republicans—I find Mr. Gabler’s conclusion hard to argue with.
How Much Wealth and Income Does America’s 1 Percent Really Have? by Bourree Lam for The Atlantic takes a more nuanced look at wealth and income statistics. The piece relies on a Brookings Institution study which looks at more data than others—including Emmanual Saez, a UC Berkeley economics professor who focuses heavily on inequality issues—use. The conclusion? The trend toward greater inequality exists in a significant way, but the concentration in the 1% is not as great as has been widely reported.
The Duke lacrosse scandal—three Duke athletes were charged with a sexual assault which never occurred—is the subject of a new ESPN documentary, Fantastic Lies. David Greene from NPR spoke with director Marina Zenovich on March 10. The interview is here, and it’s compelling. Three things: (1) No one should ignore Ms. Zenovich’s last observation; (2) The real villain in this story, sadly and shamefully, is an attorney who wanted to “ride the horse” as far as it might take him; and (3) Maybe, just maybe, hiring strippers was not the smartest thing these privileged Dukies ever did! (The last observation came from my girlfriend!)
The Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower. Twice. by Jeff Maysh for Smithsonian tells the story of Count Victor Lustig, con man extraordinaire. If you love con men—who doesn’t, for if a con man is not loveable he won’t succeed—read this piece!
In last Sunday’s New York Times Maureen Dowd wrote The Sultan and the Salad. I stopped reading Ms. Dowd forever ago, but the headline caught my eye. Ms. Dowd writes about a boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel, owned by the homophobic—and worse—Sultan of Brunei. The boycott is farblondjet—that’s Yiddish for it’s not effing happening—and the McCarthy Salad just might be the cause. I’ve attached a picture and, honestly, it looks like a Cobb Salad to me, and a small one at that. For this these people have abandoned their principles?