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“Most of Washington’s so-called think tanks don’t have to ponder the issues — they already know the answers.” Economist Paul Krugman once again hits on a crucial aspect of the Bush transition.

The well-funded conservative “think tanks” like the Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute and American Enterprise Institute have, as Krugman explains, “become waiting rooms for the conservative nomenklatura — a class of intellectuals among whom talent is much less important than political reliability”.

Krugman’s acid test for assessing Bush’s outlook? “If Mr. Bush becomes president, the thing to watch is whom he appoints — not so much to the glamorous cabinet positions as the less visible but crucial second and third tiers. If those slots are filled by people from Wall Street and Stanford, people who have made their reputations independent of their politics, good. If they are filled from Heritage and Cato and A.E.I., forget the rhetoric — he’s a divider, not a uniter.”
***Prudes of the world unite
A treat is in store for admirers of balancing acts in The New York Times‘s special e-commerce section. An article on Philip Kaplan’s FuckedCompany website twists itself into knots to avoid using the offending word.

I consider myself quite a prude on language use, but this is ridiculous.

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