Coen Brothers Promote “Clean Coal”

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson The Coen brothers, who wrote and directed zany classics like “The Big Lebowski,” “Fargo,” and “The Hudsucker Proxy”, have joined the Reality Campaign in their TV ad campaign debunking the myth of clean coal. The video runs only 30 seconds.  Watch. Another Reality Campaign clean coal ad is here.

How Many Zeros in a Gazillion?

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson For your weekend edification I offer a math lesson.  In this class everyone passes (self-esteem is more important than learning, after all) and there will be no quiz.  I can furnish this tutorial because my favorite news digest, The Week, in its February 27 issue provides an excerpt from a book [...]

Poor Bobby Jindal

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson When the Republican Party asked Bobby Jindal to deliver the response to Barack Obama’s this-is-not-a-State-of-the Union address before both houses of Congress Tuesday night, the Louisiana governor’s best play would have been to mimic one of his potential 2012 presidential primary rivals, Sarah Whatshername: “Thenks, but no thenks.” Like Palin before [...]

Saturn R.I.P.

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson The day the odometer on my 1998 Saturn SL2 rolled past 196,000 miles, General Motors announced it was shooting the brand in the head.  That doesn’t affect my loyalty to the family ride, but it says something sad about the conflict between commerce and excellence.  And about how the Not Invented [...]

Ag Reform “Foodie” is Number 2 at USDA

Posted by Miryam Ehrlich Williamson From The Daily Yonder The woman who developed the country’s organic food labeling rules has been picked for the No. 2 job in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kathleen Merrigan, a professor at Tufts University in Boston, was picked to be second in command at USDA behind former Iowa Gov. [...]

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson If the title of this article looks familiar to you, you’ve probably been to a peace march or demonstration.  My most potent recollection of having chanted it was on the march on Washington in January 2005. Tens of thousands of us (some estimates reached 100,000) marched that day, pleading for an [...]

Help for Homeowners

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson President Obama announced on Wednesday a $75 billion program to help homeowners who have mortgage problems. Help will be available for people who are current with their mortgage payments but pay a high rate of interest and cannot refinance because their house has lost value. It will also be available for [...]

Wireless Funding Accompanies Broadband

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson On Tuesday afternoon I watched on stuttering video (streaming video’s country cousin) as President Obama signed the economic stimulus bill into law.  The broadband part is a little quirky, but it’s way better than nothing and it includes a little lagniappe for those of us who live where the cell phone [...]

The Joy of Digital TV

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson If you watch television on an analog TV set, you’ll recognize a hint of sarcasm in the title of this article. Perhaps you are one of the lucky (or foresightful — you decide) people who sent for the government-issue card that entitled you to $40 off the price of an analog-digital [...]

Followup to “Children of the Mountains”

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Betty Dotson-Lewis, who lives in a coal-mining town in Appalachia, has a fairly blistering critique of Diane Sawyer’s “Children of the Mountains” expose on 20/20 last week. More than a eleven hundred people have commented on the ABC site, and most of those who live in Appalachia are far from gruntled [...]