Archive

  • BATHHOUSE HISTORY.

    BATHHOUSE HISTORY. I do thank Ezra for linking to an earlier Kaus post about the Beinart - Coulter slapfest on Larry Kudlow 's show, if only because it pointed out another area in which la Coulter knows next to nothing. Here she is, fuming in response to something Beinart said about her anti-gay bigotry: MS. COULTER: "Wait. Where are all those heterosexual bathhouses? I must have missed that period of the '70's. Honestly, now. Is there no respect for cultural milestones any more? If Ann needs some more background, perhaps she could go ask, you know, the U.S. Representative to the United Nations. Allegedly , of course. --Charles P. Pierce
  • THE INGRATES!

    THE INGRATES! I find it troubling that the president seems to be grossly ignorant of how the world works: "the president expressed frustration that Iraqis had not come to appreciate the sacrifices the United States had made in Iraq, and was puzzled as to how a recent anti-American rally in support of Hezbollah in Baghdad could draw such a large crowd." Well, I'm frustrated too. Maybe Bush should consider the possibility that his policies are really, really dumb and are based on a totally unrealistic assessment of the situation in Iraq and the Arab world more generally, and that a wholesale reconsideration of them is well overdue. The great irony of this all is that if there's one thing the Republican Party does understand really well it's the psychology and politics of nationalism. They understand it, that is, in terms of U.S. domestic politics. It doesn't seem to occur to them, however, that these insights might want to be extended to how foreigners -- who are, after all, human...
  • IN DEFENSE OF COULTER BASHING.

    IN DEFENSE OF COULTER BASHING. I want one of our own youngsters to explain to me (again) how The New Republic should be taken seriously any more by anyone with the intellect of a hamster. (Hey, Ezra tried ! Cool.) At the top, we have Crazy Marty and, down below, an assortment of earnest young enablers who have difficulty finding their way to both common sense and the recruiting office. The latest eruption comes from someone named Elspeth Reeve , who has decided that my gal, Annie Coulter , is the rebellious, gun-totin' queen of the Counter-Establishment. The piece already has been picked apart by both Lance Mannion and the redoubtable Bob Somerby . To the surprise of exactly nobody, of course, Mickey Kaus reads the piece, sighs deeply, lights a cigarette, and reaches for a moist towel. As Mannion, Somerby, and anyone who can read will testify, this passage is the crescendo of the stupidity: "It is a little absurd to hold up a person as an expert judge of the 9/11 Commission Report,...
  • WARS ARE BAD.

    WARS ARE BAD. David Ignatius gets smart and eloquent : There's fear within the administration that this sort of American peacemaking will further traumatize the Israelis in the painful aftermath of the Lebanon conflict. But the best way to keep faith with Olmert is to build on the premise that led him to resist the generals' demands for a wider war: The way out of the Middle East mess is through political agreements, not unilateral moves or quixotic military campaigns. Iran and its proxies have been marking one bloody path to the future; America and its allies must work urgently to construct an alternative. This is all true. It is, however, worth pointing out that it's hardly only "Iran and its proxies" who've been marking bloody paths to the future. The United States of America and, specifically, the Bush administration also marked out a bloody path with the invasion of Iraq. It's high time that we get off that path and onto a better one. --Matthew Yglesias
  • IN DEFENSE OF...

    IN DEFENSE OF IN DEFENSE OF ANN COULTER . Not to get too deep into the weeds on this, but I'm going to break with Duncan here and defend TNR 's defense of Ann Coulter (which is, surely, the TNR iest article of all time). Coulter is less a political force nowadays than some sort of bizarre rorschach atop which we dump our worst impulses and greatest rages. I don't know a single person who believes she's anything less than a talk show vaudeville act, yet she remains prominent in the conversation. How her trolling retains its effectiveness is worth mining a bit, and it's to TNR 's credit that, after publishing some killer takedowns of her last week, they're willing to let Elspeth Reeve explore the other end. Reeve argues is that a certain fraction of what emerges when liberals face down Ann Coulter has a sexist tinge to it and that, as a woman who enjoys bare knuckle political debate, she thrills to Coulter's decidedly un-lady like willingness to tear apart her assailants. That the...
  • BACK TO SCHOOL.

    BACK TO SCHOOL. From the "cure worse than the disease" panel, the longstanding controversy over whether or not Pluto (not the dog ) should be downgraded from planet to planetoid looks set to be resolved by redefining the word "planet" so as to make Pluto fit the bill. The only problem -- the asteroid Ceres, the far earth orbit object 2003 UB313, and Pluto's moon Charon would all count as planets, too under the new rules. This is reminiscent of nothing so much as the Bush administration's radical 2005 plan to alter time and seems likewise ill-advised. --Matthew Yglesias
  • OF MOHAWKS AND...

    OF MOHAWKS AND MULLETS. Ed Kilgore makes an overlooked and amusing tonsorial point over at TPMCafe , something thus far missed in the whole George Allen macaca fracas: The funniest aspect of this incident is the argument by some of Allen's flacks that their man was trying to say "mohawk," which is what the campaign called Sidarth because of his hair style. Sidarth replied that his hairstyle was actually a mullet. Well, I suppose "macaca" and "mohawk" are similar words, sorta like "baboon" and "bouffant" are similar. But Lord 'amighty, how can anyone confuse a mohawk hairstyle with a mullet? And moreover, how can anyone look at a man with a mullet and think of him as anything other than uniquely American? Mullets are, as Kilgore notes, especially popular in rural Virginia. And, come to think of it, the mohawk is about as uniquely American a haircut as you can think of, though it fell from favor several centuries ago until repopularized by working-class Britons in the 1970s during the...
  • OUCH, BOSSMAN, OUCH!...

    OUCH, BOSSMAN, OUCH! Like Mike Tomasky , I'm no fan of knee-jerk political correctness. And while I'm in agreement with most of Tomasky's treatise on the racist name of D.C.'s beloved NFL team, the last sentence of his lead paragraph gave me a start: "And I can�t quite get behind the idea that people who choose to change their sex should be grouped, rights-securing wise, with people who were born gay." As TAPPED's resident queer girl, I feel compelled to respond. We could argue all day about the mix of nature and nurture that makes a person gay, as science has yet to figure this all out. And if we were to add transgendered people into that argument, I would find myself arguing that transgendered folks most likely no more "choose" their state of being than do gay people. But all of this is beside the point. I have long felt that gay leaders make a terrible mistake when, instead of just asserting their rights to live as they see fit, they add in the argument, "And besides, we can't help...
  • SOME MARQUETTE HISTORY.

    SOME MARQUETTE HISTORY. Yesterday, the boss, Mountaineer Mike Tomasky , the long-lost Pittsnogle child, had some sport with my alma mater on the subject of Native American nicknames. It is true that Marquette University rather has tied itself in knots over the old "Warrior" name. Some explanation is necessary. They dumped it -- allegedly for reasons of sensitivity, as the Warrior was always depicted as an Indian -- and replaced it with the extraordinarily banal "Golden Eagles." (For anyone who doesn't believe the switch was partly due to the desire to sell a whole line of gear with the new logo, I have a bridge over the Menomonee River I'd like to sell you.) This caused outrage among traditionalists and general boredom among everyone else. Then, a couple of years ago, the school determined that the teams would now be called the "Gold." Being an extraordinarily dumb idea, this inflamed the situation further. The school then determined to put together a poll on what the nickname finally...
  • TIME TO LET GAYS SERVE OPENLY?

    TIME TO LET GAYS SERVE OPENLY? Civil rights advances are often made during times of war -- when an oppressed group proves itself capable of fulfilling every obligation of citizenship. Women�s suffrage being buoyed by the increased presence of women in the workplace during World War I comes to mind, as does the 1948 desegregation of the military. So I wonder if gay rights advocates can make something out of this news, reported in The New York Times on Tuesday: The Defense Department discharged 726 service members last year for being gay, up about 10 percent from 2004, figures released by a gay rights group show. It�s interesting that gay marriage has replaced gays in the military as the hot button gay rights question, when the former one was never really resolved. And it might make sense to put open military service ahead of marriage on the gay rights agenda, considering, for example, that military desegregation preceded the repeal of anti-miscegenation laws. With the military over-...

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