Archive

  • 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-...
  • FROM THE PRINT ISSUE: JUST A GIGOLO.

    FROM THE PRINT ISSUE: JUST A GIGOLO. Everyone's talking about George Allen today. No doubt the man has some ethnic sensitivity issues. And as our own Garance Franke-Ruta details in the Prospect 's September issue, the Virginia senator has got some business issues too: In the 1990s, he served on the board of a Virginia tech firm called Xybernaut Corp. Xybernaut manufactured and marketed a product as sci-fi-like -- and dubious -- as the company�s name: a wearable hands-free computer headset, with a little screen that flips down in front of one eye. The product barely ever sold, and the company's rise in the go-go '90s was fueled by seedy financial backers and offshore front groups -- all while Allen served on the board. Xybernaut is currently embroiled in an array of class-action lawsuits and an SEC investigation. Even before leaving the governor�s mansion, Allen made his ambitions to run for the United States Senate in 2000 plain. By spring of 1998, he was waxing enthusiastic about the...
  • LET'S GO TO THE VIDEOTAPE.

    LET'S GO TO THE VIDEOTAPE. This cannot be a good thing. The single most important televised moment in human history and they can't find the tape? The people who made Tom Hanks out of duct tape and got him home from out by the Moon somewhere, and nobody there can file something properly? Hell, TV Land can find every damn episode of Three's Company that ever aired, and NASA can't lay its hands on Neil Armstrong 's big entrance? And I don't even want to think about what's going on right now in the various paranoid precincts of the Internets. I suggest NASA get on the stick and find this damn thing because I still know where my VHS copy of this film classic is. --Charles P. Pierce
  • THE MESSAGE IS THE MESSAGE.

    THE MESSAGE IS THE MESSAGE. I watched the DSCC ad Adele mentioned below, and what I'll say is that the great thing about the spot is that it doesn't really make any kind of argument or logical sense. Rather, it simply has a clear emotive message -- if you find yourself increasingly frightened by the world situation, blame the guys who've been running the country . That's crucial. Ever since 9-11, Bush has been locked in a �heads I win, tales you lose� dynamic where if people feel reassured they're supposed to credit him, but if people feel frightened they're supposed to . . . turn to him for comfort. Simply put, Democrats are going to have a very hard time winning elections fighting from within that framework. The ad is a great step toward changing it. --Matthew Yglesias
  • BATTLE OF THE CORNER STARS.

    BATTLE OF THE CORNER STARS. It's J-Pod versus Andy McCarthy in a five round battle to the death . As in the Iran-Iraq War, one only wishes both sides could lose. --Matthew Yglesias
  • SO THAT'S THEIR...

    SO THAT'S THEIR SECRET. Matt likes to argue that large swaths of today's right are "motivated more by a distrust of leftwingers" than by anything else. I happen to think he's right, and so I took particular pleasure in seeing Bill Kristol prove this thesis in his latest editorial . There, he notes that "Lamont is pro-carrot," which is to say Lamont believes you can achieve more abroad through incentives than punishments. This makes him, in Kristol's eyes, "an appropriate spokesman for what one might call the Bugs Bunny caucus that now dominates the Democratic party." Clever, no? The real fun comes a couple grafs later, though, when Kristol lays down a new North Star by which Bush can guide his foreign policy: Here's a suggestion for the president: When the State Department asks him to embrace the path of diplomacy-�ber-alles, he should ask himself this question: What would the Bugs Bunny Democrats think? If they would approve, then the president should kill the initiative. So there it...
  • GEORGE ALLEN'S MONKEY-GIRL....

    GEORGE ALLEN'S MONKEY-GIRL. The Washington Post this morning reports that Sen. George Allen 's campaign has apologized for calling an Indian-American Jim Webb campaign staffer "macaca": Virginia Sen. George Allen (R) apologized Monday for what his opponent's campaign said were demeaning and insensitive comments the senator made to a 20-year-old volunteer of Indian descent. At a campaign rally in southwest Virginia on Friday, Allen repeatedly called a volunteer for Democrat James Webb "macaca." During the speech in Breaks, near the Kentucky border, Allen began by saying that he was "going to run this campaign on positive, constructive ideas" and then pointed at S.R. Sidarth in the crowd. "This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt, macaca, or whatever his name is. He's with my opponent. He's following us around everywhere. And it's just great," Allen said, as his supporters began to laugh. After saying that Webb was raising money in California with a "bunch of Hollywood movie...
  • IT'S THE ECONOMY,...

    IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID. I think the bursting of the tech bubble that Matt identifies as kickstarting upscale populism is actually pretty good evidence for Noam Scheiber 's argument that the wealthy are fickle allies for the progressive movement, and that whatever support they currently provide will dissipate as soon as political/economic conditions become more favorable for moderates. That said, the heyday of the DLC Democrats was not during the tech bubble of the late '90s, but during the collapse of old-school liberalism in the late '80s. The shift away from interest group politics and towards market-oriented programs was a savvy electoral strategy for a moment when a Democrat's success relied on sparking a media narrative declaring them separate from those old, bad liberals. It well predated Silicon Valley's eminence, and if the two eventually entered into an alliance, it was one of convenience, brought on by Clinton 's occupation of the White House during the boom. That said,...
  • MACAQUE THIS. ...

    MACAQUE THIS. Ryan Lizza makes a great point on George Allen �s "Macaque" slur . As of now, it's a weird term that few of us know, and Allen is seeking to capitalize on it by claiming that "I don't know what it means." Why'd he use a word he doesn't know? Because it sounds vaguely like "mohawk," a word that doesn't describe the target's haircut , but sounds enough like "macaque" that the Allen campaign has decided to make it the alibi (left unexplained is why Allen didn't just use the word "mohawk"). Here's the thing, as Lizza notes: Allen is one of the few people who actually would know the term "macaque." It's a French slur for North Africans. Allen's mother is French Tunisian -- yes, a North African -- and Allen speaks French. You stay classy, George. --Ezra Klein

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