Catching up on my reading, I was surprised to see that The New Republic wasn't running anything to mark the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war. On the other hand, there is this appreciation of Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke : "This is another way of saying that Haneke's great interest is in dramatizing repression: the plot of people, especially the high-minded bourgeois, looking away." They do that sometimes, don't they? --Phoebe Connelly
To follow up on Dana 's post , Silja J.A. Talvi , who has done some of the best reporting on women in prison, recently published a book on the subject, Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the U.S. Prison System . Here's an excerpt, via In These Times . --Phoebe Connelly
If you held an election , and one faction threatened the other with death for daring to vote at all, and this had the effect of suppressing the turnout of the threatened group to the point where, in at least one major province, only 8 percent of its voters got to the polls, would the election be valid? Most would say not. But that's pretty much what appears to have happened in Pakistan yesterday, except instead of a faction, it was gender that was targeted. Women were warned away from the polls by extremist religious parties, and most women, understandably , complied. This was especially true in Peshawar, near the Afghan border, where women poll workers risked their lives in valiant acts of feminism, in order to permit their sisters to vote at women-only polling stations. Now, for reasons of practicality and stability, I'm not asking the world to throw out Pakistan's election results. But I do ask the media to consider how they report an election where women were bullied away from the...
Late this afternoon, the Senate passed a stimulus bill that adds tax rebates for 20 million elderly people excluded from the House version, as well as 250,000 handicapped veterans. Senate Democrats failed by one vote to get a stronger bill, with extended unemployment benefits, more money for food stamps, and emergency energy assistance for the poor. Basically, the Democrats played a potentially strong hand badly. They began with a package too small and too feeble, so when it came time to split the differences with the Republicans they were vulnerable to the usual salami tactics. See my full analysis here . --Bob Kuttner
Speaking in a high school gym in Virginia, Hillary Clinton asks an audience of students, folks who work nearby, and yes, a whole lot of women, if they're ready for change. (They are.) She follows up with a good seven or nine sentences about the kind of America that's possible. "I offer a very different vision about what we can be in America," she concludes. "I think we can be whatever we set our minds to be." If imitation is the best form of flattery, somewhere Barack Obama is blushing.