• RoveRoveRoveRoveRoveRoveRoveRove

    From the Washington Post:

    President Bush, accelerating his search for a new Supreme Court justice, appears to have narrowed his list of candidates to no more than a few finalists and could announce his decision in the next few days, Republican strategists informed about White House plans said yesterday.

    Advisers to Bush had anticipated an announcement closer to the end of the month, but the White House signaled allies over the weekend to be prepared for a nomination this week, according to the strategists, who asked not to be named because the process remains officially confidential.

  • Condemning Costco

  • The (Lack of) Power of Prayer

    For the last few years, there's been a fair amount of talk about the medical power of prayer. A few interesting studies came out saying there might be some positive benefit and the excitement swelled from there, hitting every pulpit and spiritual book in the nation. But this week, a study of cardiology patients pretty well disproved it:

    The study of more than 700 heart patients, one of the most ambitious attempts to test the medicinal power of prayer, showed that those who had people praying for them from a distance, and without their knowledge, were no less likely to suffer a major complication, end up back in the hospital or die.

  • Sunday Nonfiction

    I told you I was going to stick with this. Yesterday was fiction, today is fact, tomorrow is music. The rules are I put down what I'm reading with my comments and you put down what you're reading with your comments. Or, if you're illiterate, you can just talk about what other people are reading. Off we go:

    Nick Hornby's The Polysyllabic Spree: Couldn't pass this one up. It's a collection of essays Hornby wrote for The Believer on "one man's struggle with the monthly tide of books he's bought and book he's been meaning to read." Welcome to my life.

  • The Mommy Diaries

    Helaine Olen penned a fairly peculiar NY Times article on how she fired her nanny after reading her blog. The piece is all over the place, one part rumination on the difficulty of putting single life behind you, one part cautionary tale of how your personal life can be seen my your employer when sprayed across the screen, one part self-serving justification for firing a nanny, and one part freelance journalist trying to tap into a trend (blogs=hip/interesting). But the piece, while internally scattered, is a fairly straightforward bit of writing. So I'm somewhat confused at the reaction its created in the blogosphere.

  • Forget the Uninsured

    Kate's argument with her boss over universal health care touches on something important about universal health care and how liberals should approach it. The Boss's WSJ-inspired argument was that the uninsured can mostly afford insurance, they just choose not to buy it. They're lazy, shiftless, irresponsible -- they're getting what's coming to them. This is a land with Medicaid, with HSA's, with cheap ways to gain basic health coverage, and those not taking advantage of them don't deserve our pity.

  • Medicare Cometh

  • Unions Get God

    The AFL-CIO, as one of their efforts to rebuild the union movement's vibrancy and moral image, has begun hiring seminary students of all faiths to go out into the field and advocate for economic justice on theological grounds. The program, as of yet, is small, and I don't know how it'll work, but if this is any indication, it's got a lot of promise:

    On a recent sticky afternoon, Klein found herself in a marbled-and-mirrored lobby in Washington listening to security guard Fernando McKinnon complain about his job. He did not get paid holidays, sick days or vacations, he said. He worked 11-hour shifts without overtime pay.

  • Saturday Fiction

    New feature round here. Every Saturday I'm going to post up the fiction I'm reading, including any thoughts I may have on it, and ask you to do the same. On Sundays, I'll do nonfiction. On Mondays, I'm thinking of doing music. Nonfiction I have no problem collecting, but my reach on new music and new fiction tends to be a bit short, so I'm going to tap into all of you to help me. Here we go:

    • Michael Shaara's Killer Angels: About 40 pages left to go, my thoughts on this one are here.

  • With Friends Like These...

    Amy Sullivan's article on why Hillary shouldn't be our nominee in 08 is, well, confusing. It's not just that she was compelled to write a "con" argument years before the primaries, but that the one she came up with is so conditional and, at times, self-contradictory. It's got four parts, and I want to quickly look at them in order: