Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy Dominican Republic Independence Day!

Apparently not so happy for the tourism bureau, or anyone hoping to see a military parade.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stop Digging

As Sullivan points out, Bishop Williamson's pathetic "apology" makes A-Rod's egocentric pseudo-contrition seem downright genuine by comparison.

Bibi's Own "Team of Rivals"


"Open That Bottle" Night 2009

A truly inspired idea: don't wait around forever for the elusive (nay, imaginary) "perfect" moment to open that special bottle of wine in your cellar... it will turn into vinegar and so will you. Just pick an arbitrary day and go for it -- and if you don't have the balls for that, let some writers for the Wall Street Journal pick the day for you.

Israel's Arab Citizens Experiencing "15 Minutes of Fame"

Sayed Kashua:

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to inform you that Israel's Arab citizens' 15 minutes of fame were officially inaugurated this week. I'm telling you, during the past few days, Arabs have been going like hotcakes. We're talking the hottest merchandise in today's international entertainment market. Last week, I was contacted by dozens of foreign reporters, all begging me to consent to an interview. Requests from radio stations, television, newspapers, Web sites - you name it. The Western world has discovered the natural phenomenon known as Israeli Arab citizens, and to the best of my knowledge, the patent is registered under the name of a Russian scientist called Lieberman.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bloggingheads Smack-down

Gershon Gorenberg wipes the floor with David Frum, particularly on the question of settlements, which Frum (perhaps confusing settlements with illegal outposts) apparently believes are cardboard boxes on a hillside that can simply be carted off in a dump truck at a moment's notice. The best part is when Gorenberg jokes that when Hamas won, the Bush Administration acted rather as if they were expecting the Palestinian Supreme Court to step in and award the election to Fatah. Ouch.

Stash, Stump, Plank, Spine, Vine

Ben Smith thinks TNR's blogs are starting to sound like an Emily Dickinson poem...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Academic Freedom and Political Correctness

Haim Watzman wonders if Nature magazine might have sought out a better advocate for the position that scientists should NOT study questions of race and IQ than Steven Rose, who "as a prominent advocate of an academic boycott against Israel, demonstrated his preference for sacrificing open academic discourse and debate on the altar of his political causes... his record leads me to suspect that he favors political limitations on scientific research that go beyond the specific issue of race and intelligence." Perhaps, though Rose's position is at least in some sense congruent in the two (admittedly very different) cases.

Primate Pet Ban?

You knew it was coming. But why single out primates over other "dangerous" species -- alligators, tigers, etc.? Doesn't doing so prove the old allegation that law-makers are congenitally myopic and only operate reactively, never pro-actively?

Snow Golf

Snow Golf
Originally uploaded by BPPhotography
A fine bit of understatement:

“You’ve got to change your club selection, think a little differently,” Collen said. “If the ball hits an ice patch, it goes 100 yards past the hole. If it hits soft snow, it stops dead. It’s mostly luck. The golf gods need to be with you.”

You definitely need golf gods. Using pink balls doesn't hurt, either.


Mirabile Dictu

I just found out this weekend at the winter Young Democrats conference in New York that there is actually a Young Democrats chapter at Jerry Falwell's ultra-religulous Liberty University. To borrow a phrase, know hope.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Legalizing Marijuana More Popular Than Republicans


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Why Orthodox Jews Should Support Civil Marriage in Israel

Rabbi Seth Farber: "The real issue is the emigration of 350,000 individuals from the former Soviet Union who do not meet the rabbinate's criterion for marriage eligibility because they are not Jewish according to the Orthodox halacha [Jewish law]. Their inability to marry has created a moral and legal problem in Israel. Avigdor Leiberman [sic] is capitalizing on their suffering and has made the adoption of civil marriage statue a precondition to his joining a coalition in the new Israeli government." As Hitchens would say, religion poisons everything.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Closest George W. Bush Will Come To Being Prosecuted

Apache heirs sue Skull and Bones secret society over allegedly pilfered Geronimo remains.

University Vice President Who Helped Steal a Student's Bicycle Resigns After Video Hits YouTube


Latin America Comes Out of the Closet


Parking-Related Holocaust Hubbub

From The Forward:

In the second parking-related hubbub that has infuriated some Jews in about as many months, a YouTube clip that shows the likeness of Adolf Hitler enraged over a 250-shekel parking fine in Tel Aviv, has some Holocaust survivors up in arms. The parody, which borrows footage from “Downfall” — the 2004 movie about Hitler’s final days — shows the Nazi leader calling Tel Aviv’s municipal government “worse than the S.S.”

The Hitler of the parody goes on to complain to his deputies that “all of the money goes to this corrupted city council which for seven years is renovating the same meter-on-meter in Ibn Gavirol” — referring to a street in Tel Aviv.

And, don’t even get “The Fuhrer” started on the city’s public transportation system.

In December, Facebook took down the page of a group called “The Jew Parking Appreciation Club," which mocked the way Jews park in a Sydney, Australia neighborhood.

Clearly, parking brings out the best in everyone.

Speaking of Barbie, Katty Kay Is Annoying

Katty Kay is extremely annoying - she has an annoying name, she is annoyingly soporific in her frequent television appearances (does anyone believe Chris Matthews books her for any reason that is, um, above her neck?), and she writes annoying whiny things like this. Can you imagine the great Alastair Cooke serving up tripe like this? To paraphrase Click and Clack, when Katty Kay says she's from the BBC George Orwell does a rotisserie in his grave.

Angela Merkel Barbie...

... is surprisingly hot! (Via Sullivan.)

Film and Philosophy: Taking Movies Seriously


'Billionaires for Bush' Disbands

Clyde Haberman: "You’ve already heard more than enough about collapsed stock portfolios, vanished fortunes, disappearing jobs and consumer confidence that is fading faster than the Knicks’ playoff hopes. Let’s focus instead on a different crisis. What do you do when your raison d’être starts looking more like a raisin d’être — kind of shriveled? If you’ve asked yourself that very question, then you know what life is like these days for a band of political satirists who have gone by the name of Billionaires for Bush."

No reason for them to hang their heads. They had a good run.

Desert Storm

More embarrassment for Dubai. (Perhaps Salman Rushdie can take Atwood's place?)

Monday, February 16, 2009

POTUS, Turn Off Thy Cookies


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Peak Menhaden


IDF Siege of Hampshire College?

Richard Silverstein one-ups Alan Dershowitz's call for a retaliatory boycott of Hampshire College with a call for an IDF siege: "You’ve got to be specially vigilant because they say a Qassam launched from Hampshire could reach Dersh’s home in Cambridge. And I think that in good conscience the IDF should draft him into the army with the rank of at least colonel, if not general. Won’t he look smashing in his IDF uniform with those officer epaulets and that cute beret they give to all the Golanis? Who better to command the forces in the war against Hampshire than someone who knows the lay of the academic land?"

Chris Dodd Writes a Work of Fiction

Call it a novelization of the financial crisis.

The Revolving Door of Israeli Politics

Amir Peretz says he's making a comeback.

Joe Lieberman Takes First Step on Road Back to Respectability

Joe Klein gives credit where credit is due.

1,000 Languages Living, Endangered, and Lost

"There are more than six thousand languages used around the world today, although linguists now estimate that by the year 2050 as many as half of those will be extinct. This beautifully designed, engagingly written reference takes us on a panoramic tour of the globe to explore this unique and endangered human gift. Generously illustrated throughout with color photographs, informative sidebars, and clear maps and graphics, One Thousand Languages illuminates the sources, characteristics, and interrelationships of the world's spoken tongues. It looks in detail at the eleven global languages, then delves into the major languages of each world region in turn. Each entry gives a history of the growth and development of the language, details the number of speakers, and traces its geographical spread. The volume also provides information on many extinct languages. A detailed map section tracks the migrations of the major languages, and the book also tells how to count to ten in more than 250 ways." Book rec of the day.

A Progressive Drug Czar? (No, It's Not Michael Phelps)

David Sirota is cautiously optimistic. (Recall that Obama AG Eric Holder has a rather dismal record on reforming the Drug War... assuming it can be reformed.) Forget "progressive" - all we need in a drug czar is some common sense and pragmatism.

Redeemed From Sin

Using potholes to generate electricity.

Is Eric Cantor the New Newt?

NYT: "Mr. Cantor said he had studied Mr. Gingrich’s years in power and had been in regular touch with him as he sought to help his party find the right tone and message." Mentor from hell!

I'm looking into my crystal ball and seeing a profile of Cantor in the New Yorker. And it won't be pretty.

Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

City tries to track down secret admirer. (Only a few thousand more secret admirers and New Haven's budget might actually be solvent.)

Top 10 Disastrous Letterman Interviews


Mellow Yellow

Another colorful local delicacy to stay away from.

FAIR Fact-Checks the NYT Travel Section on Grenada


Irony of the Day

Bernanke's boyhood home goes into foreclosure.

Is He Or Isn't He?

Is Avigdor Lieberman a racist? Since last week's election there has been a bit of a rush among pro-Israel voices to defend him. (Often these defenses are couched in "no, but" terms... as in "there's nothing inherently wrong with loyalty tests, but it's a bad idea because the Europeans and Americans won't like it.") It is true that Lieberman's statements are seldom if ever explicitly racist. If the premise is that Israel's security is paramount while democracy is secondary, his platform and rhetoric have their own internal (and more or less non-racist) logic.

But it is worth remembering that when George Wallace ran as a national candidate, he rarely talked about integration and barely mentioned blacks. Wallace was media-savvy and never said things on the campaign trail that were explicitly racist. He railed against liberals, elitists and out-of-touch politicians imposing their goody-two-shoes agenda onto good, hard-working Americans. His campaign, like Lieberman's, was an exercise in bigotry by other means.

Is there anyone who would say in hindsight that George Wallace did not stir the pot of racial hatred?

Weird Stuff on Freecycle NYC


Friday, February 13, 2009

Forbidden Word

Obama makes a bit of a faux pas at Ford's Theater.

On The Run, Blackwater Assumes An Alias

What the hell kind of name is Xe?

Auspicious Obesity

Goldblog wonders if fat GIs means good news for Iraq.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

7 Species That Get More High Than Humans


Israeli Elections Recap: Assessing the Damage

M.J. Rosenberg sez the best man won: "it is better to have a pure right wing government than a right wing government covered by a centrist fig leaf."

Bread, Circuses, and Viagra


For Classical Music Junkies - The Gramophone Archive

"The Gramophone Archive is a searchable database containing every issue of Gramophone from April 1923 to the latest issue. Despite the complexities of producing a magazine during wartime, Gramophone has never missed an issue and in 1995 added an extra, 13th, issue each year to coincide with the annual Gramophone Awards (this falls in the autumn, usually between the October and November issues).

Every editorial page of Gramophone, and most advert pages, has been scanned and digitized, the contents tagged as articles, reviews and advertisements and the text extracted, so that the entire Archive is searchable – by keyword as well as by date." Check it out.

Hampshire College Divestment "Clarification"

It was to be expected they would strenuously differentiate between Israel itself (hunky dory) and the occupation (not so much), but to not even mention Israel or Palestinians or occupation at all in their statement seems a bit rich...


-----Original Message-----
To: xxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Thu, 12 Feb 2009 7:12 pm
Subject: Hampshire College Board of Trustees investment decisions of
February 7, 2009

Dear alums, parents, and friends,

There has been some inaccurate publicity surrounding an investment decision made by the board of trustees on February 7, 2009. In anticipation of questions you may have, I send the following statement to explain what actually took place:

Statement of Clarification from Sigmund Roos 73F, chair of the board of trustees, Ralph Hexter, president, and Aaron Berman, vice president and dean of faculty, regarding trustees actions on college investments.

We write to correct numerous reports circulating about actions taken by the Hampshire College board of trustees on February 7, 2009. The facts are as follows:

On February 7, 2009, the Hampshire College board of trustees accepted the report of its investment committee, which earlier had voted, without reference to any country or political movement, to transfer assets held in a State Street fund to another fund.

Based on a comprehensive review of the fund by the trustee investment committee, administrators and an outside consultant, the college found that this fund held stocks in well over 100 companies engaged in business practices that violate the college's policy on socially responsible investments. These violations include: unfair labor practices, environmental abuse, military weapons manufacturing, and unsafe workplace settings. The review also led the board of trustees to vote to revise its 1994 socially responsible investment policy to bring it up-to-date with
current standards and practices, and, pending revision, to suspend that policy.

The review of the State Street fund was undertaken at the request of a sub-committee of the investment committee, to address a petition from a student group, Students for Justice in Palestine. The investment committee's decision, however, was based on the consultant's finding that the State Street fund included 100-plus companies engaged in multiple violations of the college's investment policy; the decision expressly did not pertain to a political movement or single out businesses active in a specific region or country.

No other report or interpretation of the actions of February 7, 2009 by the Hampshire College board of trustees is accurate.

Please get in touch with me if you have questions. Thank

Killara Burn
Director of Alumni and Family Relations
893 West Street
Amherst Mass 01002
T: 413.559.5316

F: 413.559.6764

Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life

"Best known for his groundbreaking musical works Nixon in China and The Death of Klinghoffer, Adams helped shape the landscape of contemporary classical music. Combining the narrative power of opera, the atonal themes of 20th-century classical music, the spooky modulations of jazz and the complex rhythms of the Beatles and the Band, Adams created a new music that could express the fractiousness of the political scene of the 1960s and 1970s. In this entertaining memoir, Adams deftly chronicles his life and times, providing along the way an incisive exploration of the creative process." Book rec of the day.

Throwing Burris Under the Bus


Connecticut Opera Pulls a Madoff


Pictures of Charlie Crist Looking Gay


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rod Blagojevich Superstar

Blago really is turning into Jerry Springer.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Conservatives, Liberals, Empiricism

Much of political rhetoric these days is gross caricature, but the belief of many conservatives that "liberals" can be reduced definitionally to being blind supporters of a "cradle-to-grave welfare state" has always struck me as particularly outlandish and particularly false. As Jon Chait talks about here, in regard to the stimulus debate, liberals may and often do support bigger government as a means to an end, but never as end in itself. Asked to define themselves, liberals will never start by professing their strong ideological commitment to big government and more welfare. To put it another way, you would never see a Democratic party platform talk about needing to expand government the way Republican platforms since 1980 have talked about shrinking government.

People are self-serving, and political ideologues are especially self-serving. So should liberals be allowed to define what they themselves stand for, knowing these definitions are (necessarily) subjective? I'm not sure I know the answer. But I do know that if conservatives want to be permitted to define their own values (a self-definition of "favoring smaller government" might be alternatively defined by some liberals as "contempt for poor people who benefit from government programs") they should allow liberals to do the same.

Marathon Man

Newsweek profiles uber-biographer Robert Caro.

From Catwalk to Knesset


Translation: Go Cover Springfield, Not Me!

WSJ interviews Chicago Mayor Richard Daley:

Mr. Daley notes that Mr. Blagojevich's wounds were partly politically self-inflicted, because of his lack of political allies and his inability to get along with the state General Assembly. He also points out a structural problem, one Illinois has in common with other states. Springfield, like most capitals, is out of the state's major media market so the media never cover it. "You're in Springfield, you're in Albany. They never cover things like that... so there really aren't watchdogs anymore."

Just When You Thought...

Just when you thought Marty Peretz had somehow managed to write something relatively apolitical and free from anti-Arab animus (a thoughtful meditation on obscure German composer Karl Amadeus Hartmann being performed in Jerusalem), he has to throw in a depressing statement about Arab-Jewish enmity right at the end.

Beyond the Hoax: Science, Philosophy, and Culture

Famous hoaxer Alan Sokal "attacks postmodernists, fundamentalists and the muddle-headed of all political and apolitical stripes." Book rec of the day.

Buffett Losing His Touch?


Go Green!

Next week's Israeli elections will not be a happy occasion for the Zionist left. But Haim Watzman sees in the Green Movement (which I've discussed before) the one glimmer of hope.

The Coming of Age of the Israeli Strategic Voter


Forget ACORN

Apparently the real perpetrators of voter fraud are batshit-crazy right-wing columnists.

Friday, February 06, 2009

From The Inbox

Ben & Jerry created "Yes Pecan!" ice cream flavor for Obama.

They then asked people to fill in the blank to the following:

For George W. they created "_________".

Here are some of their favorite responses:

- Grape Depression
- Abu Grape
- Cluster Fudge
- Nut'n Accomplished
- Iraqi Road
- Chock 'n Awe
- WireTapioca
- Impeach Cobbler
- Guantanmallow
- imPeachmint
- Good Riddance You Lousy Motherfucker... Swirl
- Heck of a Job, Brownie!
- Neocon Politan
- RockyRoad to Fascism
- The Reese's-cession
- Cookie D'oh!
- The Housing Crunch
- Nougalar Proliferation
- Death by Chocolate... and Torture
- Credit Crunch
- Country Pumpkin
- Chunky Monkey in Chief
- George Bush Doesn't Care About Dark Chocolate
- WM Delicious
- Chocolate Chimp
- Bloody Sundae
- Caramel Preemptive Stripe

and the kicker!

- I broke the law and am responsible for the deaths of thousands...with nuts

Generation Crunch


Poignant Updike Remembrance

Published: February 4, 2009

To the Editor:

Re “John Updike, a Lyrical Writer of the Middle-Class Man, Dies at 76” (obituary, Jan. 28):

In the early autumn of 1975, when I was 30 years old and newly employed in Midtown Manhattan, I made my first visit to the venerable Gotham Book Mart on West 47th Street — slightly subterranean, somewhat disheveled, endlessly beguiling.
It was late afternoon, near closing time. As I was browsing, adjacent to the cashier’s desk, there was a telephone call, at the end of which the woman who had answered it said to her colleague, “Mr. Updike is coming in for his books.”
In response, the other, older, tweedier woman lifted and wrist-waggled a package, several volumes thick, wrapped up in brown paper.

I caught her eye, and she nodded and almost smiled, an acknowledgment, perhaps a welcome.

That store has disappeared; virtually all such stores have. And now, suddenly, Mr. Updike is gone, too — probably America’s last comprehensive man of letters.

Like so many others, I learned about his death almost as soon as it happened, wrapped up for all of us on Google News.

Martin Krasney
Sausalito, Calif.
Jan. 29, 2009

Showdown at Smuggler's Gulch

The border is shovel-ready!

Confirmation Hearing Trivia

While we're in confirmation hearing season, I thought I'd mention that I've been reading the memoirs of James Quello, longtime FCC Chairman and Commissioner, who in 1974 underwent the longest initial hearing in all regulatory agency history -- eight full days of questioning. Seventeen years later he had one of the shortest: twelve minutes. (Other trivia: Quello often defended himself by professing -- confessing? -- to have "delusions of adequacy and 75% of my marbles.")

Rosner's Domain of Wishful Thinking

I've met Shmuel Rosner and read his work for years -- he is clearly an intelligent man and a fine journalist. But he has an unfortunate tendency to be very generous, almost pollyannish, about disturbing political developments in Israel, without any corresponding generosity towards Palestinians. Recently when settler thugs perpetrated a pogrom against Palestinians in Hebron, he argued that this was actually "encouraging" and merely "proof that the settlement movement is crumbling and that the fear some people shared--that the state of Israel will not be able to deal with the possible need to evacuate settlements--has no basis in reality." Counter-intuitive like a fox! Needless to say, when Palestinian terrorists shoot rockets into Sderot, I do not see Rosner arguing that this is actually encouraging because it means the terrorists are getting desperate and are therefore not a serious threat or anything to get worked up about.

And now here he is saying it's fine if the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party gets more mandates next week than Labor. Don't worry, you silly American liberals, Israelis are only voting for Lieberman because they're dissatisfied with the other candidates, certainly not because there might be a cancerous ultra-nationalism welling up in Israeli society. Would that it were so!

The Graphic Novelization of "Waltz With Bashir"

Excellent stuff, as usual, from Words Without Borders.

Does Israel Need Think Tanks?

Hannah Meyers writes:

In Israel, think tanks have failed to influence policy significantly despite Israel's democratic culture, the gravity of its policy debates, and the fact that, per capita, Israel actually has a higher percentage of think tanks than the United States.

And Avraham Burg:

I have very low expectations of new thinking and insight emerging from the mainstream Israeli and Jewish establishment. Their role is to maintain the status quo. Israel is bereft of forward thinking. We are experts at managing the crisis rather than finding alternatives to the crisis. In Israel you have many tanks, but not many think tanks. One of the reasons I left the Israeli politics was my growing feeling that Israel became a very efficient kingdom, but with no prophecy. Where is it going?

In this case, it seems that right and left agree: Israel's think tanks aren't doing a very good job at impacting public debate, let alone public policy. (It hardly needs to be said that the Arab world could use some think tanks - I say it anyway in the interests of fairness.)

At Arm's Length With the Truth

Sullivan catches Sarah Palin in yet another lie. ("At arm's length with the truth" was how Charles Krauthammer famously described the Clintons.)

Vladimir Putin, Super Trouper?

What is it with dictators and pop culture?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Bulk Discount on Book Reviews?

In publishing as in life, before death there is decadence.

A Philosopher Any Military Could Love

Ha'aretz takes a look at Asa Kasher, who helped the IDF develop its rules of engagement for Gaza:

When senior Israel Defense Forces officers are asked about the killing of hundreds of Palestinian civilians during the fighting in the Gaza Strip, they almost all give the same answer: The use of massive force was designed to protect the lives of the soldiers, and when faced with a choice between protecting the lives of Israeli soldiers and those of enemy civilians under whose protection the Hamas terrorists are operating, the soldiers take precedence. The IDF's response to criticism does not sound improvised or argumentative. The army entered Gaza with the capacity to gauge with relatively high certainty the impact of fighting against terror in such a densely populated area. And it operated there not only with the backing of the legal opinion of the office of the Military Advocate General, but also on the basis of ethical theory, developed several years ago, that justifes its actions. Prof. Asa Kasher of Tel Aviv University, an Israel Prize laureate in philosophy, is the philosopher who told the IDF that it was possible.

If you are a philosopher, I think this has to make you a bit uneasy. Academics have long played a role as accessories in military planning, and in 2006 George Packer wrote perhaps the definitive piece about the co-opting (if that is the right word) of social scientists into the GWOT... but the apparent centrality of Dr. Kasher's views in IDF decision-making seems to be on a whole different level of complicity (if that is the right word).

And whatever happened to second opinions? What if Dr. Kasher had given the "wrong" answers? Would they have shopped around and found someone else to say what they wanted to hear?

Second Acts in American Lives

I thought often of Warren Kimbro, who died on Tuesday, during last year's presidential campaign. Kimbro had a dark past (he tortured and killed a man in cold blood) and whenever the specter of Bill Ayers was raised as a kind of slur requiring no evidence or explanation -- especially when it was raised by someone like Sarah Palin who could not possibly understand what Ayers stood for and by extension how deeply he betrayed his own cause -- I thought of Kimbro. I knew Warren a little, as did everyone else active in civic life in New Haven, and it occurred to me that perhaps he alone could understand the kind of vilification Ayers went through for a year, having himself been (in a small way) a totem of the culture wars.

Many would argue that Kimbro, unlike Ayers, felt genuine remorse for what he'd done, as if remorse were the same as rehabilitation, as if we should all operate under Christian assumptions of forgiveness and redemption. I always felt a bit queasy around Kimbro, disinclined to forgive, abhorrent of forgetting. But I admired how he underwent a transformation without becoming a turncoat, that is, how he continued to pursue justice, continued to enter the public square even though that was where he'd been tarred and feathered.

There are second acts in American lives, and the second acts do not have to be negations or disavowals of the first. There is redemption beyond turncoatism, something the culture warriors will never understand.

Rabbis, Intellectuals, and the Creation of an American Public Identity


Shakespeare Hall of Fame

Will anyone be kept out because of performance-enhancing drug use?

Linda McMahon Gets Ready to Rumble

Governor Jodi Rell wants to appoint the World Wrestling Entertainment CEO (and wrestling impresario Vince McMahon's wife) to the Connecticut state education board, but there are dissenters:

Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, D-West Hartford, participated in the hearing as a co-chairman of the Education Committee. He said he found a "disconnect" between McMahon's nomination to the school board and "the wildly unreasonable things that happen on television through your organization every day."

He said WWE promotes inappropriate behavior among children. McMahon herself has participated in the ring, kicking a wrestler in the groin and fighting with her daughter. McMahon said it is up to parents to determine whether their children should watch a WWE television program or attend a live wrestling event.

Who's next? Michael Phelps?

Dick Cheney Redux

Josh Marshall accuses Larry Summers of being Larry Summers (and plays the Darth Vader card).

Bill Gates Channels Saul Alinsky


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Strange Bedfellows

Kaus defends his arch-nemesis, Labor Secretary nominee Hilda Solis.

When Snowballs Attack!


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Museum of Bad Art Masterworks


Not a Magic Number

Gregg nomination reminds of the distorted meaning of 60.

The Philistines Go Marching On

Sholem Aleichem's house in Kiev illegally destroyed by hotel developer.

Calling the Bluff

Sullivan advises Obama to accede to all the GOP's supposed demands regarding the stimulus package.

A Cliche Ready to be Retired


Vetting Issues... in Israel

Was Avigdor Lieberman a member of the banned far-right Kach party?

Are We Hours From Another Bloodbath in Darfur?


Going Rogue

Channel 4 in Detroit takes potshots at NBC football commentator Matt Millen.

Samantha "Soft" Power

A new epithet, worthy of Chris Berman.

RIP, Diggins

The late John Patrick Diggins:

Contemporary neoconservatives complain that the sixties generation has "corrupted" higher education by, among other treacheries, denying the possibility of teaching truth. The great American historian Henry Adams, who called himself a "Conservative, Christian, Anarchist," concluded that truth could not thrive in American politics, where corruption was a sign of good manners. If academics cannot seem to find truth in the pursuit of knowledge, politicians cannot seem to remember it in the pursuit of power. But the burden today's academic radical faces is greater since the Left has historically looked to knowledge as emancipatory. How can one deny the possibility of knowing truth and at the same time deal with the deception of power? [From The Rise and Fall of the American Left.]

Why We Think White Stripes on the Highway are Shorter Than They Really Are


First-Time Skydiver Takes Charge When Instructor Dies Mid-Jump


Dialing the Dead

New trend: get buried with your cell phone.

Go Howard!


20 Novels That Paved the Way for Obama


Monday, February 02, 2009

The Health Impact Fund: Making New Medicines Accessible For All

"The Health Impact Fund, our flagship proposal, is a new way of stimulating research and development of life-saving pharmaceuticals. To provide wide access, medicines need to be affordable-but low prices don't create strong incentives for innovators to invest in research and development. The Health Impact Fund is an optional mechanism that offers pharmaceutical innovators a supplementary reward based on the health impact of their products, if they agree to sell those products at cost. The proposed Fund is to be financed mainly by governments." [Find out more.]

Hootie & the Blowfish

Someone please remind me not to sample this dish on my next visit to Japan...

Terrorism and Google Earth


The Model of a Modern Major General

Kaus on Daschle: "Mickey's Assignment Desk: Wherein lies the greatness of Tom Daschle? Just asking! ... P.S. He's always seemed to me the model of the modern Senate Majority Leader--i.e., the 50+ prima donnas that make up a majority don't want a strong leader who might crowd their games, so they wind up with a Daschle, an amiable man who will not challenge them."

Heard Today on NPR...

Economist Richard Thaler on his Nudge co-author Cass Sunstein's appointment as Obama regulatory czar: "I see his job as nudger-in-chief."