Good For the Goose

Rep. Jim Clyburn, the Democratic Whip from South Carolina said the other day that one of the conditions for a bailout of the US auto industry ought to be that the people who guided it into a wall ought to be held responsible for doing so, and lose their jobs not just cut their salaries.

“We need to have new leadership. That’s what we would do if we had this kind of failure on a football field. We would be getting a new coach [and] sometimes a new athletic director,” he said. “We need to clean house with these guys and bring in new people.”

I can’t say that I disagree with that. Why would you want to leave the same miserable failures in place to continue screwing up? I suspect that any number of Clyburn’s colleagues in the House and Senate might share his views, although I don’t remember hearing much about the need to oust the CEOs of financial institutions when they came looking for government money.

I wonder why hardly anyone ever took to that idea when someone incompetent was running the country, though?

[If someone from South Carolina happens to read this, they should drop Clyburn’s office a note to let him know that the link to the Congressional Black Caucus on his Memberships page is bad. I can’t use his web form because I’m not from SC, and I’m not going to lie about my ZIP on a government web site.]


I was just retiring a set of sneakers that I’ve had for long enough that the soles had cracked across the ball of the foot. I’d just finished lacing up a pair of dress shoes that I’d polished for an event this weekend, and I decided to pull the sneaker laces since they were in fine shape.

As I was stripping them out, though, I tried to remember the last time I actually needed to replace a pair of laces and I couldn’t. When I was a kid I always had to replace laces, tie together laces that had broken, etc. Has shoelace technology progressed to the point at which the laces now outlast the shoes?

My Kind of Humble

Steven Weinberg, co-winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics, from his September essay in The New York Review of Books, “Without God”:

It is not my purpose here to argue that the decline of religious belief is a good thing (although I think it is), or to try to talk anyone out of their religion, as eloquent recent books by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens have. So far in my life, in arguing for spending more money on scientific research and higher education, or against spending on ballistic missile defense or sending people to Mars, I think I have achieved a perfect record of never having changed anyone’s mind.