• Lyndsey Layton, WaPo: "Under Obama, Regulatory Agencies Step Up Enforcement".
"In a move designed as much for symbolism as effect, the new chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission dispatched all 100 agency inspectors across the country last month to enforce a law that requires special drains on swimming pools to prevent children from entrapment. The agency shut down more than 200 pools."
Designed as much for symbolism as effect! Much like Jimmy Carter's Cardigans of Malaise. Maybe they should have shut them down symbolically. Or drained them symbolically, with a soda straw and a teaspoon.
Not that you'd learn this from reading a news account designed to make actual enforcement of actual laws designed to protect actual people sound like one of the Great Philosophical Quandaries of Western Thought, but the law in question, The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, was signed into law by then-Acting President Bush in December, 2007, and went into effect last December. There was, apparently, a shortage of the new drain covers for a time, which the CPSC acknowledged.
So at the end of the outdoor swimming season following the first year of the law's effect, which followed enactment by a full year, the Fed shuts down 200 public pools where the operators were something less than urgently concerned about the potential for disemboweling children, and it's "symbolic". So's every holiday's crackdown on highway speeders.
And okay, it's also "symbolic" in that 100 agents are all the CPSC can muster, and they're not all going to be out inspecting pools every day. Nor should they. And it's "symbolic" in that it was designed--perhaps--to make a point about Federal enforcement of a recent law and encourage compliance among the psychoneurologically profit-oriented (see Prof. Brooks, below). Feel free, next time, to employ any of the various resources available to the English speaker to explain what you meant, Ms Layton. Meanwhile, both the Sweep and the PR campaign are long-acknowledged ordnance in the law enforcement arsenal. "As much for symbolism as effect"--we used to call that "editorializing", by the way--is intended to append the headline "Obama Administration Enforces Federal Regulations" with "Without Regard For Jobs", instead of "Unlike Bush Administration".
• Anthony McCartney, AP: "Anka Gets Credit for Co-Writing Jackson Single".
"The preparation of "This Is It" is eerily similar to how the surviving Beatles took outtakes from John Lennon following his murder and added their voices and instruments to craft the "Real Love" and "Free As a Bird" songs released as part of the "Anthology" project in 1996."
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Aside from the fact that the two post-mortem Beatles tunes turned up sixteen years after his murder, when the three survivors decided to cooperate with a career retrospective, while the Jackson number was stitched together while the funeral baked meats still served as cold hors d'oeuvres.
• Andrew Sullivan, last seen throwing a day-long fit because some guy on CNBC (Motto: "We're More than just Jim Cramer! And We're on your Dial Somewhere, Honest!") reported that some anonymous guy at the White House said Gay Bloggers Wear Pajamas, or Only Leftists Oppose Don't Ask Don't Tell, or something (described today as a "smear". God, th' fuck do you react when you have a real problem?), gives Imaginary Professor of Applied Psychocalifragilistics, Lt. Col. (Hon.) David Brooks two big thumbs up:
"The combination of a reporter's ear and an intellectual's mind is a rare thing, which is why I'm grateful for David Brooks, and particularly excited about his burgeoning interest in and study of neuroscience. It seems quite likely to me that this relatively new field will be the most fecund in the future for understanding just who we mortals be."
First: I know that when you two were in college, having episodes of Stendhal Syndrome at Milton Friedman lectures and going to campus dances in Dame Thatcher drag, no one in his right mind would consider taking courses that didn't lead directly to lucrative employment, but fer chrissakes, didn't "try to refrain from pecking at the feed corn of a discipline you know absolutely nothing about, or, failing that, do not select a nugget you find particularly attractive and announce you've found a diamond" get through to either of you somehow? Bobo:
"Since I’m not an academic, I’m free to speculate that this work will someday give us new categories, which will replace misleading categories like ‘emotion’ and ‘reason.’ I suspect that the work will take us beyond the obsession with I.Q. and other conscious capacities and give us a firmer understanding of motivation, equilibrium, sensitivity and other unconscious capacities."
Not an academic? You couldn't report accurately on the menu at Red Lobster. Not an academic. You don't give a fuck about this stuff, except that, as a sort of wistful nostalgia for Omni magazine (the kind of thing that convinces someone like Andrew Sullivan that you're an intellectual), it allows you to ally Imaginary Scientificalistics of the Future to your personal conviction that amoral capitalist rapine is a biological imperative. Reason, Emotion, and IQ! Dave, you've got the same Enemies List as Coca-Cola™. Not that that should surprise anyone.
And who throws a fucking day-long fit because somebody insults bloggers?