Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.


Stumble of the Week

Update. A reader asked whether Harold Simmons (May 24) really was the biggest PAC donor? Bigger than the Koch brothers? Because of the current ability to give both personally and through corporations, it is becoming as hard to trace the money as to pierce the veil of Simmons’ empire. I think Simmons is still the largest individual donor, but Huffington Post reports that the Kochs solicited $100 million to defeat Obama at their recent retreat for rich right-wing donors – and they pledged $60 million themselves. So, in this unsavory contest, Simmons’ lead is clearly in jeopardy – but not nearly as much as the democratic process. Horse Racing. Barely two weeks before he saddles “I’ll Have Another” for the final leg of the Triple Crown, trainer Doug O’Neill received a 45-day suspension for doctoring a horse, a charge he denies. The suspension kicks in after the Belmont Stakes. With its heavy gambling, sorry ethics and abuse of horses, the “sport of kings” has become the “sport of thugs.”

Harvard is apologizing profusely for printing the updated profile submitted by Ted Kaczynski for his 50th-reunion report. The Unabomber (Harvard 1962) listed his profession as “prisoner” and counted “eight life sentences” among his awards.

Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark and Obama insider, is also apologizing for his public criticism of the campaign’s attacks on Bain Capital. Booker’s real mistake was trying to make a complicated argument in an arena that reduces everything to its lowest common denominator. See Steven Rattner’s piece for a good analysis of the issue.

Memorial Day

American Dream