Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Why is Malcolm like a pen-tailed tree-shrew?

Could the answer lie in his recent prodigious intake of
  • Brooklyn Lager ("wonderfully flavorful ... smooth, refreshing and very versatile")?
Either brew, fortunately, is substantially stronger than the noctural diet of Ptilocercus lowii (pictured, right) or the norm of US beers, both of which seems suspiciously like making love in a canoe (oh! the old ones are the best ones!):
Nectar from the flower buds of the bertam palm is fermented to a maximum alcohol content of up to 3.8%.

Each bud is a miniature brewery, containing a yeast community that turns the nectar into a frothy beer-like beverage.
And why the Brooklyn Brewery matters:

All true believers should be rooting for Steve Hindy, the Brooklyn Brewery's president. Hindy, a former AP reporter in Beirut correspondent for AP in the early 1980s, and his partner, Tom Potter, a senior executive with Chemical Bank, wrote a book, Beer School, on their success in developing the Brooklyn brand from scratch. It's a good read.

As the New York Times article of 20th July identified, all Hindy's attempts to relocate and expand have been frustrated. The firm has outgrown (and been gentrified out of) its present location at North 11th Street in Williamsburg. There are implications which go beyond the world of brewing, and apply far beyond of New York:
The number of manufacturing jobs in the city, which once exceeded 850,000, fell below 100,000 in recent months, according to statistics compiled by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Manufacturing now accounts for about one of every 40 jobs in the city, down from almost a quarter of all jobs in the mid-1960s.

“These manufacturing jobs are worth preserving because they’re excellent, high-wage jobs that don’t require English as a first language or a high level of education,” Ms. Archibald ["executive director of the East Williamsburg Valley Industrial Development Corporation, a Brooklyn business coalition"] said. “They pay way better than retail.”
This same story has now been picked up by other New York publications, as well as the alternative press and, inevitably, the blogosphere.

Hindy knows his beer. His brewery has created an iconic product line. He also has hot links to Mayor Bloomberg (who wrote a foreword to Beer School).

Hindy, a knowing old journo, cooked the perfect punchline for that Times piece.The credited writer, Patrick McGeehan, could not have asked for a better:
“Once you name your company Brooklyn Brewery, you kind of take away the threat of moving to New Jersey,” Mr. Hindy said.
Sphere: Related Content
Economics? Not needed on voyage!

Malcolm suggests, swallow hard and read this:
White House Predicts $482 Billion Deficit
The White House predicted that President Bush would leave a
record $482 billion deficit to his successor, a turnabout
in the nation's fiscal condition from 2001.

Candidates Return Focus to Economy and Jobs
As the candidates emphasized bread-and-butter issues, John
McCain's surrogates attacked Barack Obama's meeting with
prominent economists.
Straight, two successive tasters, from the morning's email of New York Times headlines.

It will need a very large intake of coffee before Malcolm feels strong enough to read the small print. Doubtless the detail is not so contradictory as the headline.

Even for an economy the size of the US, a deficit of that size suggests counselling by trauma-therapists as well as mere economists.

It begins to look like déjà-vu all over again:
send for the liberal tax-and-spenders to clean up the mess left by the conservative balanced-budgeters
(as with the FDR, Carter and Clinton Presidencies; and the incoming Blair-Brown government in Britain).

Still, it raises the question:
Can conservatives be trusted with the economy?

Sphere: Related Content

Monday, July 28, 2008

A niggling itch now scratched

The answer's in the images above;
but here's Malcolm's
mid-Atlantic reasoning:
  • 2000: Governor of Texas;
  • 1992: Governor of Arkansas;
  • 1988: incumbent Vice-President;
  • 1980: former Governor of California;
  • 1976: Governor of Georgia;
  • 1974: incumbent (unelected) Vice-President; formerly House Minority Leader;
  • 1968: former Vice-President;
  • 1963: incumbent Vice-President;
  • 1960 (at last!): Senator.
Malcolm was exercised trying to remember how often a sitting Senator had ascended directly to the Presidency. This, of course, was provoked by the presumption that the 44th President will do so. This year, with Obama, McCain and Hillary in the hunt, it seemed a natural progression.

In the above recital, he remembered Kennedy's progress in 1960. When else? Without reference sources at 38,000 feet, he was reduced to memory.

Before Kennedy, he could discount Eisenhower (Army), Truman (incumbent Veep), Hoover (Cabinet member), and Coolidge (another incumbent Veep). He suspected that Harding had been in the Senate: was that one of Kennedy's predecessors?

Back home, a few seconds produced the surprise: in the whole of the Presidential sucession only two Senators had gone directly to the White House: Harding in 1920 and JFK in 1960.

Had he realised it, part of the answer was in his carry-on bag, a piece by Patrick Healy in the still-unread "Week in Review" section of Sunday's New York Times (which identifies JFK but not Harding):
John McCain or Barack Obama would be only the third president in history to go directly from the Senate to the White House. And, perhaps not coincidentally, both men face an electorate that seems more open to Senate-style compromise and negotiation, defying conventional wisdom in modern politics.
The second sentence there is more interesting than Malcolm's geeky interest in Presidential trivia.

Healy argues that the Senatorial experience is significant in two ways.

First, it was what made LBJ so successful (far more so than JFK):
Lyndon Baines Johnson understood power on the atomic level. He knew what bills would fly in Congress, how to build coalitions, which lawmakers were undecided. He had an insider’s knowledge of their egos and frailties. He appreciated that he couldn’t succeed with just Martin Luther King Jr. on his team; he needed Everett M. Dirksen, the Senate’s Republican leader, too. His touch could be light or very firm, as the moment required.

Hence: Medicare and Medicaid, the Civil Rights Acts, the war on poverty and the war in Vietnam — one of the most activist and controversial agendas ever enacted by a president (and in just five years, at that).

Johnson’s gifts for leadership had nothing to do with being John F. Kennedy’s vice president; he honed his skills, and built a useful list of chits, as majority leader of the Senate from 1955 to 1960. He proved the upsides of senatorial savvy in the Oval Office — an uncommon display, given the tendency of voters to favor governors, vice presidents and generals as presidential candidates with executive experience.
Second, that Obama or McCain represents a appropriate gut-reaction to the visceral politics Bush years:
The alienation of allies; the go-it-alone strategy in Iraq; and the lack of immigration reform and a new energy policy; the rise in gas prices and health care costs have left many Americans in a dyspeptic mood. And with all the problems in the world, polls show there is a desire for a candidate with more foreign policy experience than a typical governor has.

Given the costs of a with-us-or-against-us presidency that achieved relatively little on Capitol Hill, maybe voters think a split-the-difference senator isn’t such a bad idea. In a New York Times/CBS poll in February, 72 percent of Republican primary voters said they wanted a Republican president to compromise with Democrats to “get more things done,” while 14 percent wanted a president to stick to the party’s positions. Democratic primary voters lined up in a similar way behind a Democratic president.
So: "foreign policy experience" and compromise politics. Hmmm ...

Back in February (Malcolm now sees), Brian Wingfield, Washington Bureau chief for Forbes Magazine, was ahead of the curve, anticipating a historical first:
It's the first time two sitting senators will run against each other as their party's nominee for president.
Being Forbes, of course, the tone has to be wry-going-on-downright-sceptical:
Senators are high-profile politicians with Washington smarts. So why is it so tough for them to get elected president? For those very reasons.

With six-year terms, senators have long histories of roll-call votes. They often appear to flip-flop on issues, or will vote against a slightly different version of a bill -- remember John Kerry's claim about voting for war funding before he voted against it? Other times, a senator will vote for a bill simply because there is an amendment attached that would be favorable to his or her constituents.

This amounts to a field day for opposition research teams: Few things are easier to twist in a 30-second campaign spot than a Senate voting record.

There's also the problem of being a Washington insider. If voters are disillusioned with the government, a senator is easily seen as part of the problem. Witness the 1976 campaign of Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter, who ran on the premise of being a Beltway outsider.

Senators can be considered stuffy, and they're often too far removed from the political lay of the land. And they're legislators (read: compromisers) -- not executives, a role required of the president. The skills that make them successful in the Senate chamber do not necessarily serve them well on the campaign trail.
At which point, it begins to look as if the Times's Healy owes Wingfield a drink or two, or great minds are thinking alike in curious sequence.

Absit omen

There is a foot-note to the Wingfield article: both Harding and JFK died prematurely in office. Furthermore, Garfield was elected President in 1880 (the only President elected directly from the House). He was simultaneously elected as Senator for Ohio, so never formally sat in the Senate. Garfield was shot just four months into his Presidency: incompetent doctors induced blood-poisoning, from which he died eighty days later. Sphere: Related Content

Malcolm recalls, sometime after the last mid-century, serially and endlessly proving the congruence of triangles. In distant retrospect, he wonders how it was done, why it was important, and in what ways that acquired skill has subsequently helped with the vicissitudes of life.

Sunday week, the New York Times gave half-a-page (below the fold: after all, it is summer) to a think-piece by Patricia Cohen: Conservative Thinkers Think Again.

The first apex of Cohen's tripodial argument is:
almost everyone seems to agree that no matter who captures the White House in November, the movement that has ruled the Republican Party since the 1960s and mostly dominated American politics since 1980 has lost its way.
Reading that, Malcolm's political antennae twitched. This sounds remarkably congruent with the thesis that, back home in Britain, Cameron's Tories have become electable by discarding principle and becoming Blairites. Philip Gould was saying just more than two years since:
Ideologically, strategically, politically New Labour has won and they [the Tories] have lost. The assumptions, the arguments, the values, the policy prescriptions with which the Conservatives threatened and cajoled us with for so many years have been found to be bogus and collapsed under the pressure of eight years of modernised progressive government.
What has happened to the Conservative party ... is the political equivalent of the collapse of the Berlin wall. New Labour has pushed and they have capitulated; turned, in a decade, from conquering army to hapless would-be clones, proving that in the long march of British politics, we were right and they were wrong.
Partisan stuff, but just that was expounded in greater depth and detail by the Economist's Bagehot column on 8th May:
The big electoral tent that New Labour built may have collapsed, but many of its intellectual pillars are still standing. Indeed, the revival of the Conservatives under David Cameron arguably represents the project's final triumph.
There was enough truth there to worry the true believers, for example Tim Montgomerie's small but merry band of back-biters.

It's worth keeping an eye on the Tory blogsites for their sheer lunacy and the boundless distrust of the Cameroonies.

Curiously, and in another piece of congruence, that ConservativeHome thread itself referred back to a New York Times piece by David Brooks, arguing that US conservatives had to go the same Damascus road as Cameron had trod. Stripped of its trappings, Brooks's article is selling Danny Kruger's antinomial:
[Cameroonies] want voters to think of the Tories as the party of society while Labor is the party of the state. They want the country to see the Tories as the party of decentralized organic networks and the Laborites as the party of top-down mechanistic control.
Those longer in the tooth might see that aperçu as a direct lift from campaign plan Rab Butler's Conservative Research Department originated in the the Attlee years.

Back with Patricia Cohen, the second axis of her argument is David Frum's: Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again. She reminds us of Frum's Grand Old Duke of York march from anatomising the failings of Reagan's Presidency (mainly the failure to check the burgeoning of Big Government) to writing speeches for Shrub, and now resiling to his starting-place:
Mr. Frum is one of those who has undergone a conversion (or two). His book “Dead Right,” published in 1994, was a brisk catalog of Reagan’s failures (especially his failure to reduce the size of government). Then, after writing speeches for President Bush, Mr. Frum wrote “The Right Man,” in which he characterized President Bush’s leadership as “nothing short of superb.” But in his newest book, “Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again,” Mr. Frum confesses that his former boss has “led his party to the brink of disaster.”
Out of that, (as Cohen represents him) Frum concocts something that smells of Cameroonies:
Not only does he now promote an idea that has long been conservative heresy — that tax rates have gone as low as they can — he also calls for new taxes on consumption and energy. Taxing “those forms of energy that present political and environmental risks,” he writes, “would look exactly like the carbon tax advocated by global-warming crusaders.”

Mr. Frum also departs from the smaller-government-is-always-better-government dogma and concedes that there are some areas where government has to step in — for instance, prison reform. His list here includes “opportunities for education and self-improvement; conjugal visits; mentoring and support for prisoners’ children.”
Take that alongside the gospel of Arthur C. Brooks, the incoming president of the American Enterprise Institute -- the intellectual home of the likes of Wolfowitz, John Bolton and aforementioned Frum. Brooks's current line is Gross National Happiness: we are happier when a few of us earn indecently more, and social inequality grows:
If we can solve problems of absolute deprivation, such as hunger and homelessness, then rewarding hard work will continue to serve as a positive stimulant to achievement. Redistribution and taxation, beyond what’s necessary to pay for key services, weaken America’s willingness and ability to thrive.

This vision promotes policies focused not on wiping out economic inequality, but rather on enhancing economic mobility. They include improving educational opportunities, aggressively addressing cultural impediments to success, enhancing the fluidity of labor markets, searching for ways to include all citizens in America’s investing revolution, and protecting the climate of American entrepreneurship.
What greases the gears of the unequal society is good, old-fashioned charity. Fair enough: however, to Malcolm, it read as the recipe as before, the converse of Kinnock's speech of 15 May 1987 (anyone who has not read Geoff Barton's overview of that should do so.)
In other words:
if you lose your job, you need to be young, fit, flexible and mobile; else your best tactic is to retreat to your Connecticut estate, grow your trust fund, and assuage your conscience by frequent gifts to the likes of Professor Brooks's AEI.

We're on the homeward stretch, with the third leg of Ms Cohen's tripod. This is another book from the neo-neo-Con school of social studies: Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam's The Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream. To save us all time, the title is a full and effective précis.

Now, Anglo-politicos might readily recognise the tone of the next bit:
Mr. Douthat says that social conservatives have gotten stuck and need to move beyond their focus on gay marriage and abortion — a focus, he said, that does nothing to help a single African-American mother trying to raise a family. Instead, conservatives need to “figure out a way to talk about the problem of family breakdown and the extent to which that’s linked to social mobility, economic troubles.”
Does that not sound remarkably akin to Cameroon "broken society"?

What all this exposes is the fragility of the Rightist "ideology" across two continents.

Cohen concluded her piece by Douhat recognising just that about the US Right:
“There was this tremendous generation of intellectuals who came of age in the ’70s and ’80s, but I think there’s been some difficulty in establishing a new generation,” Mr. Douthat said. “On the right, a lot of them did their best work 20 years ago.”

That could, just as easily, be a UK Tory yearning for the only true faithful proto-Thatcherism of Keith Joseph:
Keith Joseph did as much as any other single person around the world to reshape the debate about government and marketplace, to take a variety of ideas and bind them together into a powerful critique of the mixed economy and, in the course of things, help shape them into a political program.
Just as Montgomerie and his cadre lust for orthodox doctrinaire certainties, so Cohen finds her US doubters:
Megan McArdle, a libertarian writer, thinks conservative organizations will actually have a tougher time influencing policy if Senator McCain is elected. “He doesn’t have an ideological framework,” she said. “He has a superhero view of politics. There are good guys and bad guys and you’ve got to elect the good guys to kick the butts of the bad guys.”

With Mr. Bush, she said, conservative intellectuals knew what to expect. He was reliable, even if that meant “in some ways reliably bad.” By contrast, “McCain is not exactly beloved by the think tank world because he’s a loose cannon.”
It is difficult to propose any occasion when a political grouping has renewed itself while in power. Such searching for the fount of political youth can only be done in Opposition. The corollary of that politico-geometric theorem is that the British Tories have not applied themselves to the text-book.

There is no evidence of original thinking on the British Right. It is merely objects, orts and imitations derived from the Blair-Brown project which they repeatedly deride. Meanwhile, a substantial proportion of Tory MPs prepared to voice an opinion prefer Obama to McCain. That in itself speaks volumes.

[Completed over-night in mid-Altantic, as the Boeing 777-200 of Continental flight CO28 returned Malcolm to the fray.]

Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Memo to the next President -
here's your real legacy:

As that linked Washington Post article reminds us:
A Supreme Court nomination is perhaps the least predictable event in political life. A president never knows when a justice might decide to give up his or her lifetime appointment.
The parallel article is more explicit:

If John McCain were elected, the appointment of a conservative justice could immediately reshape the court. The senator from Arizona might be forced to temper his choice to accommodate confirmation by a solidly Democratic Senate, but his nominee would undoubtedly be far to the right of either Stevens or Ginsburg, potentially solidifying a five-member conservative majority. President Bush's appointments to court, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., are both relatively young and are expected to be fixtures for decades.

If Obama had the opportunity to make an appointment, it would be only the fourth nomination from a Democratic president in more than 40 years. And for activists on the left, it could signal the opportunity to create a new dynamic for the court.

"It is a court with no true liberal on it, the most conservative court in 75 years," said Geoffrey Stone, a law professor at the University of Chicago, where Obama once taught constitutional law. "What we call liberals on this court are moderates, or moderate liberals, if you want to get refined about it."

Stone notes, as he said Stevens has, that every justice on the current court with the exception of Ginsburg is more conservative than the justice he replaced -- a natural evolution given that seven of the nine were appointed by Republican presidents.

Alexis de Tocqueville propounded what has become a cliché (and a truism):

There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one.
So, when we recall the 2000 Florida vote-farce; Gitmo, gender politics, freedom of information ..., yes, it does matter to us non-Americans.

Sphere: Related Content
Woke up, it was a Jersey morning,
and the first thing that I saw...

Was the sun through yellow curtains, and a rainbow on the wall:
Blue, red, green and gold to welcome you, crimson crystal beads to beckon.

Oh, wont you stay?
We'll put on the day,
There's a sun show every second.

[Joni Mitchell's Chelsea Morning, for the illiterati. And coffee.] Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The view from the Jersey shore

As the sun slowly sinks in the west, the shadows lengthen, and talk turns from the phenomenon that is the Great White Shark to evening eats-and-drinks, Malcolm lays down his glass of refreshing, reviving Sam Adams.

He pauses to reflect on his reading of the local "heavies".

One persistent thread, a harbinger of the coming autumn campaign, is the success of the Democrats in filling their coffers.

Here, for example is the WSJ headline:
Obama Raised $52 Million in June, Outpacing McCain
The same story is dealt with by the New York Times (and available in full, without registration).

That's almost £1M a day; and explains why Obama went off-message to side-line the public financing provisions introduced after Watergate. In case anyone has missed the significance of that:
Mr. Obama spent more time raising money in June than he had in virtually any other month since the campaign began, with fund-raising events in most every city he passed through. He is the first candidate of a major party to forgo public financing for the general election since the presidential financing system was created three decades ago in the wake of the Watergate scandal.
Because he can afford to.
Because he has the confidence to do so.

My god! How the money rolls in, rolls in!

The sums involved are breath-taking. Here's from later in that WSJ article:
The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee ended June with a combined $92 million cash on hand, compared with $95 million for the combined McCain-RNC operation.

By itself, the Obama campaign had $72 million cash on hand at the end of June and the DNC , $20.3 million. In June, the DNC raised $22.4 million, up from $4.7 million in May before Sen. Obama secured the nomination.

On the Republican side, the national party reported $69 million in the bank at the end of June, while the McCain campaign had about $26 million in cash...

Sen. Obama has so far raised $347 million for the general and primary elections combined.
And there's still a full quarter of collect-and-spend to come.

And there's more!

The next article, on the same WSJ page is:
Fund-Raising Efforts Bolster Democrats' Congressional Hopes.
This narrates two key threads:
... five Democratic challengers for Senate seats now held by Republicans raised more money than their GOP opponents
The House Democrats' campaign arm hass a big fund-raising advantage over Republicans.
That means that the Senate seats in Colorado, New Mexico and Virginia, where Republicans retirements are creating vacancies, are now definitely in play. In addition incumbents Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina and Ted Stevens in (Heaven help us!) Alaska are feeling a cool breeze. The graphic accompnying the article shows that, in pretty well every case, the Democrats have more moolah to spend than the Republicans, both candidates or sitting tenants. In the case of Elizabeth Dole, she:
spent heavily on television advertising, [and] saw her coffers shrink by almost half a million dollars over the three-month period.
In that respect, Chris Cillizza notes:
Elizabeth Dole (R) is in the race of her political life against state Sen. Kay Hagan (D) but the fundraising ability over the last three months -- $1.5 million raised! -- and significantly narrowed Dole's cash-on-hand edge. National Democrats believe strongly in their chances here as evidenced by the nearly $6 million in ad time they have reserved.
The matching and telling quotation, in the WSJ, is from the Cook Political Report:
"I think the question now for candidates is not how much you have raised, but how much do you have on hand."
Go to the Cook Report (which is still calling the November Presidential Election a "toss-up", with 79 Electoral College votes beyond assessment), and we see that most of the recent predictions shift in favour of the Democrats. We also find this:
Put yourself in the House GOP's shoes for a minute. Just about every time you've thought things couldn't get any worse this year, they have.
Now Malcolm devotes himself to more important matters, fluids by mouth. Sphere: Related Content
Of Apples, Lemons and Eagles

Malcolm has long been a cheer-leader for most things Apple.

This goes back, more than two decades, to a close and loving acquaintance with a Mac Plus, which had supplanted his "first" computer, a BBC Micro. The Mac Plus (with an early Epson MX-80 dot-matrix printer) smoked the only realistic alternative: the Amstrad PCW8512 (though Malcolm also operated a couple of those, quite effectively).

Like all relationships, there have been occasional moments of friction. The Performa 5200 0f 1995-6 was a particularly fraught period.

And now we have the whole MobileMe shambles.

It begins to seem -- touch vinyl -- as though the worst of the transition is over. Having been away from home, reliant on "borrowed" time and passing wi-fi links, Malcolm's problems may have been thus magnified. But, he has not been impressed. The acquisition of routine "@mac.com" mail has been quite erratic. His iPod touch no longer happily syncs (And there's no chance he'll attempt any software upgrade his current side of the Ocean).

So, in his chagrined state, to parody the famous Skibbereen Eagle editorial, on the Emperor of Russia (over the 1905 "Bloody Sunday" St Petersburg riots), Malcolm wants Steve Jobs and all at One, Infinite Loop, to know he has his eye upon them. (Note that Bruce Anderson, in his Indy piece last 12th May, typically cocked up the West Corkonian reference).

After thought:

The Skibbereen Eagle reference is well-known: Anderson (see above) regarded it as an:
old joke ... [that] has long since grown green mould.
What is less well-rehearsed is the follow-up:
... in 1917 after the success of the storming of the Winter Palace the Editor of the Southern Star which was the successor of the Skibbereen Eagle received a telegram from Lenin simply saying,spassiba kamerad”, “thank you, comrade”.
Malcolm may yet be saying the same to Jobs, when he has grown accustomed to the new surname@me.com dispensation. Sphere: Related Content
Rabid Rocky Raccoon

Sitting around US airports (better part of an hour's delay at LaGuardia on Monday, then another hour at Logan today) allows plenty of time to absorb the minutiae of the local Press. And, because of its size and distances, those regional papers (especially Malcolm's staple fare of the last fortnight: the Times, the Post, the WSJ) are exceptionally good. To that, he would now add the Boston Globe: slim, limited but worthy.

Then there is the one, curious attempt at a "national": USA Today. This is the best normally available in the average motel across the 48 States (quite whether it appears in AK or HI Malcolm has yet to ascertain). It is the the decaff equivalent of a real newspaper, news-lite and completely unopinionated. Like the worst Chinese meal, eat heartily, and you'll want something more substantial in twenty minutes. But it has one feature Malcolm finds irresistible: half-a-page of fifty-two items, one for each of the States, plus DC and Puerto Rico, and none (even the most horrific) longer than three short sentences. Individually, they are classic column fillers. Collectively they are a phantasmagorical kaleidoscope. There's always a laugh in there somewhere.

So Malcolm defies anyone, after several pints of Sam Adams Summer Ale, to read the following out aloud, without corpsing:
Colorado: Cheyenne Wells -- State health officials said a rabid cat and raccoon were found in Cheyenne County last week, and 11 rabid skunks have been found elsewhere this year. The rabid raccoon was the first in the state since 1963; the rabid cat the first since 1985. Officials said the cat and raccoon were infected by a skunk.
And that's the national news, folks.

Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, July 13, 2008

iPhone daze

Malcolm, a confirmed Macoholic, was astounded by the success of selling the 3G iPhone, complete with incomplete US coverage and a (reputed) 4-hour battery life. Take your charger to work.

He hears, by email, that there were dawn queues in London's Regent Street (despite the fact that the same product was available, queuelessly, at any O2 store). Even on Saturday, as his local informant witnessed, the Brent Cross store had a line outside (there was, again, no such line at the O2 store nearby).

Malcolm's own eyes saw the masses outside the AT&T stores in midtown Manhattan. Today, Sunday, the line outside the Fifth Avenue Apple cube zig-zagged three times the length of the block, then round the corner towards FAO Schwartz.

Appropriate that: toys for the boys.

Meanwhile, for the girls ...

Malcolm concludes that half-an-hour in said FAO Schwartz or half-that in the American Girl store a few blocks further down Fifth will neatly cancel out two generations of gender-equality education. Sphere: Related Content
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