Jay Cost waxes romantic about the American voter. From the article: “I know an undecided voter or two. They aren’t shallow. They understand they have a responsibility to make a good decision – not based on the “gotcha” moments or other trivialities that capture the imagination of media types.” I don’t agree with people who say “so-and-so won the debate,” but I think this is vastly overestimating the intelligence of America as a whole. I think Mr. Cost is playing with a definition of “substance” that, if true, would have resulted in these voters paying attention to the candidates and issues long ago, if they really cared. Also: what does it mean “issues” are prepackaged?
Sarah Lyall: “Britons love to drink and love to boast about drinking. Like hungover students who wake up sick on sticky, beer-soaked floors with someone else’s underpants on their heads but then brag about their awesome night of partying, they have an amused tolerance for drunken high jinks.”
Murray Feshbach: “According to U.N. figures, the average life expectancy for a Russian man is 59 years — putting the country at about 166th place in the world longevity sweepstakes, one notch above Gambia. For women, the picture is somewhat rosier: They can expect to live, on average, 73 years, barely beating out the Moldovans. But there are still some 126 countries where they could expect to live longer. And the gap between expected longevity for men and for women — 14 years — is the largest in the developed world.”