Celebrate the News

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The Pulitzer winners were announced today. Despite my longstanding cynicism toward the prizes—and toward alternative weeklies, for that matter, most of which are about as "alternative" as the Washington Post Style section—I'll admit I felt a touch of pleasure on learning that an alt-weekly managed to take the investigative reporting award.

Onward to more important trophies. The NCAA finals start in less than half an hour. Go Heels.

NEXT: The Torture Beat

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  1. “…Thomas Friedman, whose great talent is to summarize succinctly whatever happens to be conventional wisdom at the moment”

    You rule, Jesse.

  2. The Goldschmidt story has set off a cascade of falling dominoes here in Oregon.

    Quick summary: while mayor of Portland back in the mid-70s, Goldschmidt was screwing a neighbor girl. She was 14 when it started. Goldschmidt went on to be Secretary of Transportation under Carter and Governor of Oregon. When not in office, Goldschmidt has been a major lobbyist/adviser/power broker. He has been THE player in Oregon politics for over 30 years. You can’t swing a cat in City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce, or the Capitol without hitting someone who doesn’t have connections to Goldschmidt.

    Those connections are now proving to be dangerous for many. People who formerly were formerly viewed as golden are now disappearing. They resign. They get fired. Their contracts are not being renewed. One begins to think that these people were hired simply because they could provide access to Goldschmidt. Sounds a lot like a political machine, no?

    Projects that were brokered by Goldschmidt, or had his support are stalling and falling apart. Either a lot of people are dumping good projects just to spite the Goldschmidt crowd (and don’t underestimate the lure of spite when a powerful guy like Goldschmidt tumbles to the ground) or the projects were dubious in the first place. Probably a bit of both.

    A lot of this is happening slowly, quietly, gradually. It isn’t front page news most of the time, and a lot of the Goldschmidt links are secondary and tertiary. Nonetheless, a modern political machine is being undone.

    Yet there is still one figure who has managed to avoid being tarred with the scandal: current Governor Ted Kulongoski. Ted was Attorney General when Goldschmidt was elected, and Goldschmidt appointed him to the Supreme Court. Kulongoski, as Governor, appointed Goldschmidt to a number of commissions, boards, committees, and other “oversight” bodies. Kulongoski claims he knew nothing of Goldschmidt’s “affair”, but there are a lot of other people claiming otherwise.

    Kulongoski is up for re-election next year. It will be interesting to see if any opponents try to make something of Kulongoski’s ties to Goldschmidt.

    BTW, Willamette Week isn’t much of an alternative, true to Jesse’s lament. But considering that the local MSM, The Oregonian, is the Official Newsletter of the Neil Goldschmidt Fan Club, the barely-alternative paper is best positioned to kick the politically powerful in the shins. Some local bloggers (in particular, Portland Communique are now making some waves, but they don’t yet have the resources to track down a story like Goldschmidt.

  3. Go Heels, yeah, you and Rick Henderson…..

  4. Why would any libertarian care whether the Giant Government University of North Carolina defeated the Giant Government University of Illinois, or vice versa?

    Kevin
    (still pissed that Travis Diener broke his hand just before the C-USA tourney)

  5. Gambling kevrob, gambling.

  6. thanks roy, now people will be setting their watches by My march collapses.

  7. Well, UNC won, so you must be happy.

  8. chthus,

    You know the theists frown upon gambling. 🙂

  9. As a Chapel Hill resident, I got the local news bonus of watching thousands drunken tarheels jumping over bonfires on Franklin St. — all for the low, low price of 275 cops collecting overtime on the late-night beat!

    On the plus side, some jumpers did collide in mid-air and fall into the fire.

  10. mccleary,

    Darwinism at work. 🙂

    At Auburn they paste “Toomer’s Corner” with thousands and thousands of rolls of T.P. when the Auburn football team does well.

  11. When I was a boy in Chapel Hill, my parents wouldn’t let me go to those post-tournament riots.

    My first year at Michigan, the Wolverines won the NCAA, so I finally got to riot. Whee.

    A few years after that, UNC beat Michigan in the finals, and I wisely avoided the riot, on the grounds that as I was the only guy in Ann Arbor cheering for Carolina — wary storekeepers and policement excepted — the angry mob might decide to take out its aggressions on me.

  12. When my Marquette Warriors defeated Dean Smith’s Civil Servants for the 1977 title, we all streamed out of the bars and dorms and marched down Wisconsin Avenue to Lake Michigan. Hell, we ran. It ‘s a tradition reserved for really big games, like beating Notre Dame, or clinching our Final Four spot in `03. Nothing was burned and no cars were overturned. The Milwaukee police even decided not to bother issuing jaywalking tickets. A few people may have been told to get rid of open beers they were carrying, but I’d never heard that there were many arrests.

    Since the drinking age was 18 then, most of us had a little practice at celebrating.

    Kevin

  13. When my Marquette Warriors defeated Dean Smith’s Civil Servants for the 1977 title

    That’s the first basketball game I have a memory of watching. I was in the first grade at the time. My teacher was a sports nut, and she had the class make a big sign that said “You’re Number One,” which we then held on the side of the highway for several hours, waiting for the team bus to drive by us on the way home.

  14. Gambling kevrob, gambling. – chthus

    One of the reasons I don’t gamble on sports is that I’d hate to have my heart rooting for one team while my wallet pulled for the other side.

    In the UNC-UI matchup, the principled libertarian wager would have been the over/under.

    Kevin

  15. Thank you for the info, Portland. Of the 14 posts before me, yours at least had something to do with the main topic. 😉

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