Mourning In America

A New York Democrat on politics, journalism, and the Mets

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Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Defending the Brand The New York Times reports ...
Cracker Barrel restaurants agreed Monday to overhaul their training and management practices after the Justice Department accused the country-style chain of widespread discrimination against black diners in about 50 locations.

A civil rights investigation found that black diners at Cracker Barrels in seven Southern states were routinely given tables apart from whites, seated after white customers who arrived later, and given inferior service, the department said in announcing the settlement.

Well, duh. The place is called Cracker Barrel...

Monday, May 03, 2004
He Probably Backed Tapit I'm no longer interested in Paul Bremer's horse-racing picks. As Brad Delong points out, he's a wimp, and I'm pretty sure that a handicapper without the courage of his convictions is not particularly useful. From the Associated Press:
L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, said Sunday he regrets a statement he made more than six months before the Sept. 11 attacks that the Bush administration was "paying no attention" to terrorism.

Bremer said any implied criticism that President Bush (news - web sites) was not acting against terrorism was "unfair."


Bremer made the speech after he had chaired the National Commission on Terrorism, a bipartisan body formed by the Clinton administration to examine U.S. counterterrorism policies.

In a statement Sunday, Bremer said his remarks three years ago "reflected my frustration" that none of his commission's recommendations had been implemented by Clinton or the new Bush administration.

"Criticism of the new administration, however, was unfair. President Bush had just been sworn into office and could not reasonably be held responsible for the Federal Government's inaction over the preceding 7 months," Bremer's Sunday statement said.

And yet, that's not at all what Bremer's original speech alleged -- he spoke only of the "new" administration's failings.
"I regret any suggestion to the contrary. In fact, I have since learned that President Bush had shared some of these frustrations, and had initiated a more direct and comprehensive approach to confronting terrorism consistent with the threats outlined in the National Commission report.

And we all know how effective that "more direct and comprehensive approach." turned out to be.

A couple of parting shots:

  • Given all that's going on in Iraq these days, from Abu Ghraib to Fallujah to Najaf, doesn't Bremer have better things to do than to correct the record on a three-year-old speech?

  • Given Bremer's apparent openness to learning from his past errors, can we soon expect a statement of support for the Saddam's army and bureaucracy? "I have since learned that the Baathists were actually working hard to promote good hygeine throughout Iraq?"

    Cricket? The Pawtucket, RI, Red Sox, Boston's triple-A affiliate just sent out an e-mail promoting "Baseball Night at the Ballpark," May 8th. Makes you wonder what they play on other nights.

    The PawSox website resolves the mystery -- it's Ball Night -- free baseballs for the first 5,000 fans 14 & under. By the way, grammar fans: I'd be curious to hear if anyone has a good answer for how to demonstrate possesion when writing the Red Sox. Should it be Red Sox'? Red Sox's?

    Either way, this post seems kind of anticlimatic. Not as interesting as the Phillies' promotion for 14-year-old mothers...

    Get In Line The NY Times reported last week that:
    in recent days, influential black and Hispanic political leaders ... have been openly complaining that Mr. Kerry's organization ... is failing to appeal directly to minority voters.
    Look at the polls. Mr. Kerry's organization is failing to appeal directly to a lot of voters. Luckily, the election won't be held tomorrow...