By Felix Salmon
April 22, 2011

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Texas Governor Declares Weekend of Prayer for Rain. For real — Texas Tribune

My bet with John Gapper on the NYT paywall — Tumblr

Peter Hessler has the definitive take on Mortenson. Kristof, by contrast, looks silly — TNY, NYT

The Crash and Burn of an Autism Guru. NYT Mag profile of vaccine scare-doc Andrew Wakefied — NYT

Chris Hondros, at Work in Libya — NYT

Tim Hetherington’s amazing photo-essay/slideshow on Liberia — NYT

“Any vehicle that purports to be for the family needs to have, at a minimum, four cupholders per person” — BNet

Airlines Now Required to Refund Baggage Fee If They Lose the Baggage — Atlantic Wire

“Calling the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency a “regulator” is almost laughable. The Environmental Protection Agency is a regulator. The O.C.C. is a coddler, a protector, an outright enabler of the institutions it oversees” — NYT


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If you pray for rain, but get dry thunderstorms, does that serve as a strong rebuke? I just want to know what the holy scoring system is, with Rick Perry and Texans.

Posted by GRRR | Report as abusive

So, can we assume that President Lincoln’s call for a day of prayer and fasting, or for a day of national thanksgiving, would be similarly ridiculed. That all right thinking people think that President Obama’s attendance at church, or repeated calls for God’s blessing upon America, are just for show?

It’s cute and clever to ridicule a Texas governor for appealing to prayer. Would you similarly criticize a Democratic lawmaker who ascribes to Catholic doctrine regarding communion?

Has Reuter’s become officially secularist in outlook? Or was this just a cheap shot? On Good Friday, no less.

Happy Easter, Felix.

Posted by Publius | Report as abusive

Praying for rain doesn’t harm anyone, and there’s always the chance it might work. And it does represent just about the level of authority that a politician has over the weather.

Posted by Curmudgeon | Report as abusive

Happy Easter, Felix.

More likely, ‘Comrade Felix’ probably came up with the idea for the post while peddling his bicycle (in the NYC “bike lanes” no less!) home from an ‘Earth Day’ celebration in Central Park.

‘Comrade Felix’, the loyal Gaian, thought to himself: “Hey, why not take a cheap shot at those Christians! After all, it’s Good Friday, Earth Day, and Comrade Lenin’s birthday!”

So, ‘Comrade Felix’ peddled straight to the offices of Reuters and composed the post!

Posted by Nichols7 | Report as abusive

Who needs rain? Torch it and you won’t have to worry about fires again for a while.

Posted by MyLord | Report as abusive

I hope you aren’t praying you win your bet Felix! Now THAT would be a frivolous request…

Wakefield didn’t cause the stir; the lack of something for Autistic parents to latch onto… to blame… being Doctors had blamed mothers for being cold and not bonding prior to this. It is not his fault his work was misinterpreted.

I know of many mildly autistic children who are functioning in society because they followed his diet protocol.

Although he is being blamed for his research, it was parents who went overboard and rather then ask for the shots not to be used all at once, they chose to use none.

I will remind everyone that the person who discovered a simple bacteria (H pylori)caused ulcers and stomach cancer… was ostracized and ridiculed by the same Medical Associations and Journals as this man.

Posted by hsvkitty | Report as abusive

Loved the “Letting the Banks Off the Hook” column. That and luggage one… airlines never lost your luggage… it just arrived late and probably had a better trip then you.

Posted by hsvkitty | Report as abusive

Please note that they don’t need to refund your money if the bag arrives late.

I am waiting for the announcement that they will have an increased fee for late luggage to cover the the extra fuel needed to fly it around and the extra storage and handling costs.

Posted by ErnieD | Report as abusive