Saturday, December 18, 2010


The democratic Senator who skipped the DADT and DREAM votes for a Christmas party.

Another interchange fees debate.

An interesting WikiLeaks revelation: apparently the U.N. was willing to bribe Robert Mugabe to go away. Assuming you could bribe Mugabe as a one-shot deal, with no precedent involved, how much would that be worth? Nine figures? Ten? (Also, the world of corruption as revealed by WikiLeaks.)

From a column about the tilted economy, a striking paragraph:
When it comes to wages, the basic story of recent decades is redolent of Scrooge. Real average hourly earnings (excluding fringe benefits) now stand roughly at 1974 levels. Yes, that's right, no real increase in over 35 years. That is an astounding, dismaying and profoundly ahistorical development. The American story for two centuries was one of real wages advancing more or less in line with productivity. But not lately. Since 1978, productivity in the nonfarm business sector is up 86%, but real compensation per hour (which includes fringe benefits) is up just 37%. Does that seem fair?
The column goes on to talk about many other fields, but in wages—and by extension the other ones—the big story is health care, whose costs ate our paychecks.

An interesting project: a blog devoted to blogging the Civil War contemporaneously (e.g. today they’re recreating December 18, 1860).

Can airports be fun? A design experiment.

Chile’s innovation experiment.

A brazen prison breakout in Mexico—140 inmates escaped.

An analogy: Google like Bell Labs?

The ghost towns of Spain.

The doddering Europeans (financial crisis).

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