THE DAILY SHOW REVISITED. I awoke this morning to a gleeful Lee Siegelpost trumpeting a new study that shows, just as Siegel predicted, that exposure to The Daily Show turns viewers off of politics. "Jon Stewart's show," Siegel wrote, "is destroying democracy as we know it."
THAT WAS THEN. So I woke up in the middle of the night and flicked on TCM. And there was The Shoes of the Fisherman, the 1968 Michael Anderson-lensed (as they say in Variety) adaptation of the famous Morris West novel about the ascension of the first Eastern European Pope.
I was transfixed. I remember both novel and film being much discussed in my house when I was a kid, although I don�t really remember anyone�s opinions. I think I recall my late, beloved Aunt Vicky, who was the devout Catholic among our extended clan, speaking of it approvingly. Which is interesting for the following reasons.
SCOTUS STANDS UP. I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised by the Supreme Court's ruling in the Hamdan case. Ordinarily, the Court is very deferential to executive assertions of national security authority and then turns around and changes its mind years after the fact. Note also that conservative "strict constructionists" continue to believe that the Bill of Rights secretly doesn't apply . . . when the President says it doesn't.
LONG HOURS, HIGH PAY?Greg Mankiwpoints out a new study showing that, in 2002, the top income quintile was twice as likely to work long hours as the bottom quintile. "That is," he writes, "wages and hours worked went from being negatively correlated to being positively correlated. This may be an important piece of the puzzle of rising income inequality." Possibly so. Of course, the bottom quintile are low-wage workers in jobs that rarely pay benefits and often keep employees in a sort of part-time twilight so they don't qualify for health care -- that may be a piece of the puzzle as well.
DICK MORRIS IS RIGHT!! He has this column in The Hill saying that Lieberman should forego the Democratic primary entirely and just run as an Independent, and that if he did so, he would win �overwhelmingly.�
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: THE FROG IS US. Ok, so apparently a frog won't actually stay in a bowl of water that's slowly brought to a boil. But it's still a damned good metaphor! Jim Sleepertakes a look at the mainstream media bowl and sees too many frogs drifting listlessly in the rising heat.
ACTUAL CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINES: ALSO BAD. This Jonah Goldbergpost on Linda Hirshman is really pretty revealing. And I'd like to say, for the record, that contra Jonah, I think her arguments should be taken seriously because they deserve to be taken seriously and not as part of some marketing ploy. At any rate, Jonah writes:
MAGAZINE BLOG FEUD: NOW WITH POLICY SUBSTANCE. I'm afraid the Lawrence Kaplan post on Kerry and Iraq that Ezramentioned below is actually way, way, way worse than Ezra's post would lead you to believe. The thing of it is that the article Kaplan links to is a clear-cut piece of evidence against his basic view of the Iraq War and a strong piece of evidence in favor of the Spencer Ackermanline that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq is a "prerequisite for success." Read the lede: