Sam Boyd

Sam Boyd is a former assistant web editor at the Prospect

Recent Articles

TODAY IN BAD...

TODAY IN BAD IDEAS. The New York Times reports today on a bill that's gathering steam in congress to extend intellectual property protection to the design of clothing and handbags. In other words, once someone has laid claim to a certain design of dress, no one else can make the same one without permission of the original designer. The bill has been languishing in the House for over a year, and has now been introduced in the Senate by Chuck Schumer . For the record, this is a really terrible idea. Judges are going to be called upon to decide how similar two handbags are (already a big problem in music where the issues are far clearer), prices for designer goods will go up since they will now be protected from competition, and the clothing available at retailers that ordinary people actually shop at will be deprived of major sources of ideas. Furthermore, the bill would stifle creativity by preventing designers from borrowing ideas from one-another. The logic behind the bill is flawed...

TURNOUT AMONG THE OUT.

TURNOUT AMONG THE OUT. The LA Times reports today (via Political Wire ) that gay men and lesbians have extraordinarily high election turnout: 92.5% of gay men reported that they voted in the 2004 presidential race, and almost 84% said they cast ballots in the 2006 midterm election. Among lesbians, the results were almost as impressive; nearly 91% said they voted in 2004; for the midterm, the figure was 78%. Previous studies have shown that self-reported turnout is exaggerated by 12-14%, but that nonetheless means about 80% of gay men and lesbians voted in the 2004 election, which is still remarkably high. --Sam Boyd

THE NATIONAL REVIEW CALLS OUT MITT ROMNEY... FOR BEING TOO CONSERVATIVE!

THE NATIONAL REVIEW CALLS OUT MITT ROMNEY... FOR BEING TOO CONSERVATIVE! I have to say, I'm shocked that the National Review ran this piece by Mark Hemingway calling out Mitt Romney for embracing the political philosophy of W. Cleon Skousen . Romney recently mentioned his admiration of Skousen during his much remarked-upon discussion of Mormonism with an Iowa talk-radio host. Skousen was once Romney's professor and Romney affirms his admiration for the man. What does it take to be too conservative for the National Review anyway? Take it away Mark: Skousen had written a book entitled The Naked Communist? , which even for 1958 is so irrational in its paranoia that it would have made Whittaker Chambers blush. According to Skousen, The Manchurian Candidate was a documentary -- he earnestly believed Communists sought to create "a regimented breed of Pavlovian men whose minds could be triggered into immediate action by signals from their masters." Skousen was active with the John Birch...

BUSH APPOINTEE: TERRORISM...

BUSH APPOINTEE: TERRORISM WILL LEAD TO INTERNMENT CAMPS. Rick Perlstein , who apparently receives secret memos from the great media watchdog in the sky detailing egregiously overlooked stories, today tells the tale of Peter N. Kirsanow , an evilly mustachioed Bush appointee to the U.S. Civil Rights commission who said some rather remarkable things: "[If there's another terrorist attack and the terrorists] come from the same ethnic group that attacked the World Trade Center, you can forget about civil rights... The public would be less concerned about any perceived erosion of civil liberties than they are about protecting their own lives." "Not too many people will be crying in their beer if there are more detentions, more stops, more profiling," Kirsanow said. "There will be a groundswell of public opinion to banish civil rights. So the best thing we can do to preserve them is by keeping the country safe." Kirsanow clarified later that he did not endorse internment, but the statement...

TODAYS MUST NOT READ.

TODAYS MUST NOT READ. South Carolina's The State today published what has to be he single worst piece of political coverage I've ever read. Really. It's that bad. It's the most ineffective hit piece I've ever seen. Basically, the author, editorial page editor Brad Warthen , doesn't like John Edwards -- for no particular reason. So he lists three utterly trivial incidents as "evidence" that Edwards is "phony." See if you can grasp this logic, because I sure can't: It's not so much that he's lying when he says he wants to help One America -- the Deserving Poor, whom he wants to vote for him -- get what it has coming to it from the Other America (that of the Really Rich, to which he disarmingly admits he belongs). I think he believes it. But I don't. Whaaa? What does that even mean? Edwards believes he wants to help poor people, but somehow doesn't? Does Warthen think he'll intend to promote legislation for the poor and then actually cut taxes on the rich while sleepwalking? Warthen's...

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