Two-time Oscar winner, for Crash and Million Dollar Baby, Paul Haggis uses a powerful and heavy-handed image in the opening scenes of his new film: an American flag flying upside down. “Do you know what that means?” the main character Hank, played by Oscar-winner Tommy Lee Jones, asks the Salvadoran groundskeeper he encounters on his drive out of town to look for his missing veteran son. When the response is negative, he tells the man it’s an international distress signal -- and instructs him on how to fly the flag correctly.
THE GI VOTE. Despite the fact that historically troops' absentee ballots have overwhelmingly gone to Republican candidates, when it comes to campaign donations, members of the military are showing a shift to the left (via Steve Benen). The amount of money soldiers contribute to Democrats has nearly doubled since the last presidential campaign cycle.
NEW RANKINGS.U.S. News and World Report is planning two new rankings for colleges after a controversy over colleges using questionable tactics to increase their rankings. According to WSJ's The Numbers Guy, U.S. News will release a list of top historically black colleges and another list of good schools that are easier to get into. They also hinted at other lists in the works. Because U.S.
THE POWER OF O. Kate Sheppardpoints out that Obama could see a bump from the endorsement of Oprah, who is arguably one of the country's most powerful opinion leaders. Chris Rose explained this unique power in his humorous essay (via Ezra) on how he couldn't talk about his book on Oprah's show:
UNCOMFORTABLE COLEMAN. Yesterday the Minneapolis Star Tribunereported that Minnesota's Republican senator, Norm Coleman, has decided to support now-retiring Republican Sen. John Warner's plan for troops to begin coming home by the end of the year.