• The Pink Revolution

    Has anyone else found it a bit odd that every single magazine cover lauding Lebanon's march towards freedom has personified the uprising in hot women? Newsweek did it (and here ), as did The Economist , and US News and World Report, and the Weekly Standard , and, if I had a copy of Time, I'm sure I'd find the same. It's not that I have any particular problem with the idea, but is there some archetype I'm unaware of that paints Democracy as a slim, 5'4"-5'8" women with curly hair and soft features? Are the schools segregated and only the female institutions are offering their charges the day off to protest? And, more to the point, isn't this emphasis a tad counterproductive? I'd be interested to see what imagery the Arab media is using (paging Abu Aardvark ), as nothing seems quicker to instigate a fundie backlash than painting the movement as a girls-only uprising. Speaking of which, it does seem that the fundie backlash is beginning, in the form of Hizballah-led peaceful rallies...
  • Gladwell review

    As I mentioned a few days ago, I spent Saturday night watching Malcolm Gladwell read from his new book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. The reading was at The Hammer, a terrific museum just blocks from my house. He packed it. Their 250 person auditorium became standing room only and, when that ran out, overflow seating was set up near speakers outside. Gladwell's an effective, entertaining speaker. He's a short, slight guy with a rapidly-receding hairline and an enormous afro . He's clearly comfortable on the stage, and he needed no notes nor, in fact, any books. Rather than read from Blink, he told stories from it. And that was the problem. See, Blink does not seem to be about rapid cognition at all. A better name foor the book would be Overload: How Too Much Information Clouds Our Conclusions, or Bias: How the Wrong Information Perverts our Conclusions. I guess those titles didn't focus group as well, but Gladwell didn't change the content along with the name. As it...
  • I Don't Walk Alone

    Has anybody else noticed that, in the video for Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (First stanza: I walk a lonely road/The only one that I have ever known/Don't know where it goes/But it's home to me and I walk alone; Chorus: I walk alone/I walk alone), the lead singer is not, in fact, ever walking alone? He moans it through the whole song, but every scene has him walking with two guys I assume to be his bandmates. Seems like the sort of thing someone in storyboard should have picked up on. Visual incongruities aside, the song is damn catchy, but that doesn't excuse the sloppiness of the video.
  • Reality? Meet The Corner.

    I don't know if this merits a blog post, but Rich Lowry is either a liar or a simpleton. Regarding a segment on yesterday's Meet the Press, he says: Both Mike Allen and Paul Krugman talked about the “opportunity cost” of the war in Iraq with regard to Iran and North Korea. This is such an opportunistic argument. Would Krugman, for instance, support invading Iran or North Korea but for the fact that the US military is tied down in Iraq? Of course not. The Democrats dissent from Bush's Iran and North Korea policies because they think we should be doing more negotiating (and offering of economic and diplomatic carrots), which you can do regardless of how your military forces are occupied. So on the Democrats' terms there has been no real “opportunity cost” to the Iraq war. But lets go to the tape : MR. ALLEN: Yeah. I think one place you may see the Democratic argument go is the opportunity cost of Iraq as you see problems in North Korea and Iran. $300 billion has been spent before on...
  • Weekend Blogging

    Thousand thanks go out to Shakespeare's Sister and Michael and Heather for their weekend blogging prowess. You should be visiting their places if you're not already.
  • Later

    Well, Kleiniacs, it's been fun. Thanks for listening to our ramblings. If you feel like seeing what we say during the week, feel free to drop by . You can read more about the continuing saga of Powerline, Ann Coulter, and other assorted right-wing liars. Always a barrel of laughs. -- Michael and Heather
  • Losing the propaganda war, one Southerner at a time

    In my last few hours as guest blogger here, I'd like to offer some anecdotal evidence in support of Ezra's post below. Ezra says: As David Neiwert wrote (in a post I can't seem to find), Rush and his ilk are some of the only folks on air in rural areas. So these farmers and laborers driving long distances for this or that really have nothing else to tune into on the AM. No wonder Democrats are getting stomped in rural areas! When I was visiting my mother in Tennessee over the summer, I got in her car with her. As she turned turned the key, the radio came on and, softly but distinctly, I heard the melodious strains of one of Sean Hannity's diatribes. I was surprised. My mom votes generally votes republican, but she's not a natural partisan. She doesn't particularly like Bush, and had her problems with the Iraq war. So of course, I say, "Mom, why would you listen to Sean Hannity? He's a hack." She responds: "Well, I don't really listen to him, but I have him on in the background." "But...
  • Up is down

    Here's Joe Klein on Meet the Press . There is something really wrong with a world in which such a sentence could be spoken with a straight face: MR. KLEIN: The answer to a radical right challenge isn't a reactionary left response. -- Michael
  • Campaigns

    You know that they really don't have anything to say when they start talking like this. MR. RUSSERT: Don't you have to cut benefits in order to deal with solvency? SEN. McCONNELL: Can I start first with the fact that you were playing a Democratic ad run by the Democratic National Committee. My recollection is we just had an election about five months ago. Can we ever quit campaigning? There is not going to be another election until November of '06. What we ought to do is quit running ads and sit down and start figuring out how to solve this problem. Yeah, really, can't we ever quit campaigning? Why, just the other day I was reading that someone else is campaigning these days too. I can't remember who , but I know it was someone important. Any help ? -- Michael
  • Careful what you presuppose

    Yesterday we brought you how apparently confused poor Rich Lowry's brain is, trying to read a judicial opinion. Today, our friends colleagues over at Powerline point us to another astonishing display of hackery on the ten commandments cases over at the Weekly Standard . Feel free to read the whole thing if you want; a lot of it is the same sort of "oh, save us from this confusion" alarmism that Rich was doing. But the Weekly Standard goes Rich one better: The Court could usefully set aside its many tests and instead consider what various majorities have affirmed on no fewer than five occasions since 1952, to wit: "We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being." Whoa whoa whoa! Hold on there guys. I didn't know that. All this time, I've been trusting the implication of that pesky old Constitution , the (pre-amendment) body of which doesn't mention religion at all except to say this: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the...