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Smile first, then grit teeth

Today's New York Times online has a story about how the presidential candidates, Democrats in particular, are working hard to win an endorsement from The Des Moines Register.

The headline, "Campaigns Woo 3 Iowans for Endorsement," wasn't what got my attention. My attention was captured by the photograph above the headline, which showed the Register editorial board's top three figures: Laura Hollingsworth, the publisher; Carolyn Washburn, the paper’s editor; and Carol Hunter, the editorial page editor.

However, my delight at seeing three women in such powerful positions at a single newspaper was tempered by three two paragraphs high in the story:

In a campaign where a woman has a real shot at winning the Democratic nomination and the election, it has escaped no one’s notice that for the first time in the paper’s history, the top three figures on the six-member board are all women [. . .] All three dismiss any notion that gender will influence their decision.

“Because there are three women at the top of the endorsement process,” Ms. Washburn said, “we’re really aware people will read things into that, so we’ve been really conscious about that and really deliberate in checking and balancing with each other."


Plus ce change ...

(In a somewhat related item, check out Gail Collins' column in today's Times. Collins is consistently smart and consistently funny in a wry sort of way, and, unlike Maureen Dowd, doesn't come across as being impressed with herself.)

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Wish I'd Said It

Nota bene: “Fear has governed my life, if I think about it. ... I always feel like I’m not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn’t the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.” – Trent Reznor

“I hate to say this, but not many people care what you do. They care about what you do as much as you care about what they do. Think about it. Just exactly that much. You are not the center of the universe.” — Laurie Anderson

"The path's not yours till you've gone it alone a time." – William Carlos Williams

“Filling this empty space constitutes my identity.” – Twyla Tharp

"My definition of peace is having no noise in my head." – Eric Clapton

"The wreckage of the sky serves to confirm us in delicious error." – John Ashbery

"We are all here by the grace of the big bang. We are all literally the stuff of the stars." – Dwight Owsley

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." – Vincent van Gogh

"It is only with the heart that one can see right; what is essential is invisible to the eye." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Forget about being a perfectionist, because entropy always wins out in the end." – Darren Kaufman.

"Impermanence. Impermanence. Impermanence." – Garry Shandling

"Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion." – Mark Twain

"There is no realm wherein we have the truth." – Gordon Lish

"Actual life is full of false clues and sign-posts that lead nowhere." – E.M. Forster

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." – Frank Zappa

“I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” – Elmore Leonard

“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” – Voltaire

• Journal title and subtitle: Ian Hunter, “Man Overboard”

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