(Blogger’s note: On occasion, I run into something on the Internets Superfreeway that is so genius that I wish I’d written it. So I’ve decided to live vicariously and post links to them here. “Periodic Pingback” will feature other voices on the Web that I a) agree with and b) are better-written than I ever could manage, on no real schedule; that’s why I call it “periodic”. Anyway, enjoy!)
One of my favorite writers for ESPN.com is Gregg Easterbrook, who pens their Tuesday Morning Quarterback column during the football season. Kind of ironic, since I’m at best a mild football fan. (Too many people being crippled over the years for my taste.) But I don’t like it so much for the football insight (though he’s very good at that) as for the observations on just about everything else. TMQ is sort of Easterbrook’s hobby — he used to be a fellow for the Brookings Institution (the Washington think tank), he’s a contributing editor for the New Republic and the Atlantic Monthly, he’s a big fan of astronomy and science fiction, and he’s published books on theology and sociology. Dude has a wide range of interests, and they all end up in his columns.
This week, Easterbrook’s pre-NFL draft column also features an extensive rundown of the AIG executive bonus scandal that supposedly caught the Obama administration by surprise … but shouldn’t have, since he, a football columnist, was writing about it back in November! As part of a February follow-up, Easterbrook warned that “if the new president stakes some of his prestige on what seems like a dramatic decision and it turns out a year later that CEOs easily evaded the seeming ‘limits’ and stuffed their pockets with tax money anyway, Obama will seem an ineffectual leader.” And what happened was … yeah. If you like football (and the Battlestar Galactica finale), enjoy the whole column; if you just want to check out the AIG stuff, it starts about 2/3 of the way down. Either way, when anyone this intelligent is willing to write about anything and everything, it’s well worth your time.