Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Two for the Road

By John Ballard

Mondays are typically not very interesting news days. Sunday's talking heads already had their time in the spotlight and the week's red meat is still being packaged. But today I came across two links worth checking out. Both are from the NY Times. Reader comments make them into very long reads, but both are substantive and not to be skipped. 

?Policy and the Personal is Krugman's column. Mark Thoma sez it's worth reading and he's correct. This week's focus on Romney's business backstory is more than old-fashioned political nit-picking. As Krugman points out it goes to the core issue of this presidential campaign, the rich versus everybody else. 

Thus the entirely true charge that Mr. Romney wants to slash historically low tax rates on the rich even further dovetails perfectly with his own record of extraordinary tax avoidance - so extraordinary that he's evidently afraid to let voters see his tax returns from before 2010. The equally true charge that he's pushing policies that would benefit the rich at the expense of ordinary working Americans meshes with Bain's record of earning big profits even when workers suffered - a record so stark that Mr. Romney is attempting to distance himself from part of it by insisting that he had nothing to do with Bain's operations after 1999, even though the company continued to list him as C.E.O. and sole owner until 2002. And so on.

The point is that talking about Mr. Romney's personal history isn't a diversion from substantive policy discussion. On the contrary, in a political and media environment strongly biased against substance, talking about Bain and offshore accounts is the only way to bring the real policy issues into focus. And we should applaud, not condemn, the Obama campaign for standing up to the tut-tutters.

?Vast F.D.A. Effort Tracked E-Mails of Its Scientists was picked up at The Agonist. (Good catch, Steve.) Again, the reader comments may be more stimulating reading than the article. 

This is how Big Brother regards whistle-blowers, whoever they are. And anybody who doesn't think whistle-blowers are important needs to do more reading about the back-story of the scandal at Penn State. 

[I'm in trouble for time this morning or I would post a tickler or two. I thought a part-time job in retirement would be good for me, but it's cutting in on my reading and blogging time. I may need to quit work altogether and spend the rest of my life hunched over a keyboard. But I know if I let myself do that it would ultimately shorten my life. So I keep going...]


  1. " reader comments may be more stimulating reading"
    I don't read comments at the Agonist. It is a "closed society" of commenters who talk amongst themselves, with outsiders not permitted to comment, and no new members permitted to join. I'm not interested in reading conversations which I cannot join.

  2. I was referring to the hundreds of comments (650 so far) at the Times. This one stuck in my memory...
    Since I lived in the US for a little while I can tell you how I see it from outside (Europe): This is not big news. The FDA must be completely corrupt. Otherwise, you wouldn't have replaced sugar by high fructose corn syrup in every single piece of food in your supermarkets (even tomato sauce and bread?!), you wouldn't have to add vitamins to all of your pasta and rice (try to find any brand that doesn't include them!), chocolate wouldn't have this endless list of ingredients (compare a tablet in Europe and the US), milk wouldn't almost always include vitamin A,D suplements (shouldn't you be able to buy them apart if you wanted them?), apple juice in New Orleans wouldn't be imported fresh! from China, etc, etc. I might be wrong with some of this points, but then I look at people's weight overseas and I'm convinced that there must be something wrong there. They will tell you that you eat too much and don't work out enough... Don't get me wrong but in Europe we also have cars, elevators and such things...