Ian Crouch at The New Yorker on Kevin Ware's injury Sports fanatics faced a rare moment of reflection, writes Ian Crouch, when a University of Louisville sophomore named Kevin Ware broke several parts of his right leg during his team's widely-watched March Madness game against Duke University. "March Madness is as much a cultural event now as a sporting one, and so it is easy to lose the brute physical facts of the game—the exertion, the torque, the sweat—amid all the other noise: our brackets, our alma-mater nostalgia, our fatigue at the same four ads running in a loop," Crouch writes, pointing to Salon's discussion of the post-injury bills Ware could be stuck with. He continues: "Ware’s injury was as bleak of a reminder as there could be that the games going on inside our televisions are actually being played by real people somewhere else—fragile people; young people."
Paul Krugman in The New York Times on California's crises Why, Paul Krugman asks, has California been a punching bag for GOP policy-makers for so long? "California has been solidly Democratic since the late 1990s," Krugman observes, highlighting the state's increasingly nonwhite population. "Ever since ... conservatives have declared the state doomed. Their specifics keep changing, but the moral is always the same: liberal do-gooders are bringing California to its knees." After taking count of various crises that supposedly doomed the state — an energy crunch, high unemployment, an unbalanced budget — Krugman concludes that the problem is one of politics, not policy. "California isn’t a state in which liberals have run wild; it’s a state where a liberal majority has been effectively hamstrung by a fanatical conservative minority that ... has been able to block effective policy-making."