Matthew Hoy has the goods on Senator Jay Rockefeller’s amazing incoherence on the “imminent threat.” We may just have turned this lying meme around.
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Here’s a roster of the people whom Fidel Castro now has arrested for political opposition. You know. Fidel Castro. Socialite friend of Graydon Carter, Leslie Moonves, Oliver Stone, and on and on. (Thanks to Matthew Hoy’s superb blog.)
Now he really is a loser. I have to say I loved his term “Mayberry Machiavelli.” Captures Rove beautifully. But how out of it was DiIulio in the first place to expect a non-political White House?
CORPORATE SCAMS: Ignore some of the loopy rhetoric. Arianna is dead-on in this column. The idea that the feds should be shovelling money to corporations who locate off-shore is simply disgusting. If I were a Democrat, I’d make a huge deal out of this. But then if I were a Democrat, I’d probably be on the take from these corporations as well.
THE RACISM OF THE POMO LEFT: Ian Buruma provides an important follow-up to my piece on the Miss World riots in the Guardian. Money graf:
Besides snobbery, there is a worse reason for being more outraged by western vulgarity than non-western murderousness. It might be called moral obtuseness, or even moral racism. The assumption appears to be that Africans or Asians can’t be held to our own elevated standards. They are more like wild animals, whose savagery should not be provoked by our foolishness. When we do provoke them, the consequences are entirely our fault. It would be as misplaced to apply our moral standards to their behaviour, as it would be to expect tigers to talk. The murder of Nigerians or Indian Muslims, or Iraqi Kurds, is par for the course, unless we did it, or Americans, or Israelis.
I think this describes a lot of white, Western, lefty sentiment toward Islamism. Many of these people actually believe that Western standards of freedom, decency, and tolerance cannot be expected of Muslims or other dark-skinned people. The way in which much of the Western Left (and parts of the insouciant right) simply excused the mass murder of hundreds in Nigeria is a function of this condescension. So, I think, is the idea that Iraqis don’t really want to live in freedom – or at least out of the grip of a disgusting dictatorship. What parts of the left are about is maintaining their own so-called morality, while consigning the inhabitants of the developing world to the backwardness that is naturally theirs’. If this were the nineteenth century, these lefties would be Tories. And eagles would be Gladstonian liberals.
KRUGMAN WATCH: In a rip-off of E.J. Dionne’s recent column, Paul Krugman says quite baldly that in the Wall Street Journal, “key conservative ideologues have now declared their support for tax increases – but only for people with low incomes.” Read the piece he cites. See if you can find any argument for actually increasing taxes on the poor. In fact, the editorial states that “While we would opt for a perfect world in which everybody paid far less in taxes, our increasingly two-tiered tax system is undermining the political consensus for cutting taxes at all.” The bottom line is that any further reductions in net taxes should be avoided. That’s not the same as raising them. Matthew Hoy has the goods. One instructive comparison: compare Dionne’s tough but fair piece with Krugman’s. It tells you all you need to know about Krugman’s intellectual integrity.
Several stories prompted by my blog of last Friday about being canned by Howell Raines. Here’s Howie Kurtz and Nick Schulz. A little taken aback by your emails, though. I haven’t had so many congratulations since I graduated college. Two typical emails:
I don’t always agree with what you have to say, but if this latest is the response of the NYT to someone legitimately expressing their opinion, fuck them.
And this one:
Just heard you got fired from the NY Times Magazine roster. Thank God. Thank Paul Krugman.
Actually, I think Mr. Krugman would find that last comment a trifle superfluous.
SPEAKING OF KRUGMAN: Blogger Matthew Hoy is developing a rep as the quintessential debunker of Krugman rhetoric. Today’s post – put up mere minutes after Krugman’s column came online – strikes me as an exemplum of how blogging is keeping big-shot journalism on its toes.
Friday on the Dish, Andrew further pondered the brutality surrounding the Gitmo hunger strike, challenged Leon Wieseltier’s moralizing on Syria, and separated out the scandal from the politicking in the Benghazi fiasco. He, weighed in on the millennial-knocking Time cover story, raised an eyebrow at the latest Buzzfeed Brews event, and channeled Eugene Debs in the Quote of the Day. Later, Andrew tipped his hit to Boris Johnson, answered Farhad Manjoo’s complaint about the rise of the canines, and pointed to a speech by a minister for marriage equality.
In political coverage, Ezra Klein doubted the power of campaign finance reform, Marc Tracy struck back at Time’s new cover story on millennials, and we spotted what could be a genuine scandal for conservatives to rage about. Readers sounded off on the controversy of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s burial (which turned out to involve a thoughtful Christian), dug deeper into the latest stats on military rape, and kept up the debate over fracking. We waved goodbye to the psychiatrists’ handbook and Mark Oppenheimer lost his squeamishness on artificial insemination. Elsewhere, we surveyed the demise of AOL and the rise of Netflix in the Chart of the Day, Mark Kleiman asked for chemically transparent pot trade, and we eyed research on a vaccine for heavy drug treatment.
In assorted news and views, we witnessed a David Foster Wallace speech richly illustrated, readers chimed in on Andrew’s interpretation of Doctor Who, and we continued the debate over the greatness of Gatsby. We investigated the myth of hot hands, came across a Google descendent of the VFYW contest, and Allie Brosh articulated the reality about clinical depression. Later, we enjoyed a cringe-worthy poseur alert from an anonymous law clerk, observed the Earth twist and shift from above, and climbed inside the heads of New Yorkers. Ben Yagoda sang high praise for Obama’s comedic timing, we saw a colorful display in the Face of the Day, and commiserated with fluffy animals in the MHB.
The rest of the week after the jump:
Thursday on the Dish, Andrew engaged readers over Hawking’s Israel boycott, considered the implications of Sanford’s SC victory, glimpsed the GOP’s 2016 strategy in the Benghazi hearings, and railed against the obstructionism on the right. He marveled at the Tao of Drudge, found an English deity in the Doctor, and blasted those who prevented the burial of Tamerlan Tsarnaev while a reader compared him to Lee Harvey Oswald.
In political coverage, we rounded up responses to the Benghazi hearing, the Right continued to reform, and Frum defended Heritage. Reihan pondered the possibility of a 2015 surplus as Minnesota joined the marriage equality movement and the Feds tried to contain 3D-printable guns. Steve Brill’s healthcare exposé yielded results, Simon Shuster tied the Boston bombers to radical Islamists, and Kevin Spacey and Steny Hoyer debated the cynicism of Washington. Climate change got its day in court, Skeptical Science provided us with one-line responses for climate deniers, and Ohio voters approved local fracking.
In assorted news and views, Veronique Greenwood examined sensory curiosities, we drew parallels between the venus flytrap and our brains, Meher Ahmad explored married couples who stayed together by living apart, and Randy Frost found beauty in hoarding. Wiretaps moved into the 21st century, Jon Ronson profiled Kim Dotcom the non-pirate, and tech worked its way into our family trees.
Elsewhere, Doug Wignall lauded architects as political heroes, Gideon Lewis-Kraus griped about Yelp, and Fallows recognized the elegance in yesterday’s Google doodle. Politico erected a paywall, Tim Park sought out translators’ heavy touches, and Brandon Connely remembered a stop-motion legend. We browsed a London art fair in the FOTD, visited Venezuela in the VFYW and took to the skies for a VFYW bonus, and Between Two Ferns brought monogamy to spring break in the MHB.
Wednesday on the Dish, Andrew processed Stephen Hawking’s announced boycott of Israel, speculated about the reasons for its strike in Syria last week, and Butters called for a bigger footprint in the Mideast. He unpacked what we know about the Internet’s role in the Tsnarnaevs’ radicalization, shook his head at Cheney’s latest demagoguery over Benghazi, rationalized the latest Kinsley photobomb, and acknowledged the latest victory for marriage equality in Delaware.
In political coverage, we collected more shocking footage and photography of the plight of workers in Banglaldesh, Mike Crowley shot straight about the threat of al-Qaeda getting chemical weapons in Syria, and Max Fisher tracked South Korea’s 180 on relations with the US. We found that Independents are faulting the GOP for gridlock, Krugman beard-shamed his fellow economists, and Sean Trende emailed in after reader pushback on his take on the Republican South.
We crossed our fingers over some encouraging news about the slowdown in health care spending, Yglesias rolled his eyes at the Heritage’s new report on the costs of immigration reform and we corrected a faulty study on our trusty bus companies. Later we reviewed disturbing evidence of the military’s problem with sexual assault, and later heard from readers with experience. Readers asked Josh Fox about the property rights involved in the fracking game and ruminated on the news of Chris Christie’s operation while Washington’s flower thief pissed off one committed gardener.
In assorted coverage , Brett McKay leafed through the first guy’s mag, Theodore Dalrymple took a life lesson from Pooh’s friend Owl and said a word for our meme-ified heroes. S Abbas Raza pondered how consuming food is time consuming, Darwin Hamblin dug up Cold War-era concerns about man-made global warming, Gary Kelly presented Mary Wollstonecraft as a trailblazer for women in modernity. We provided a meme-based map of the US, readers kept up the debate over teaching cursive and reacted to unorthodox addiction treatment. Li Bingbing starred in the Face of the Day, we watched a sketchy kind of Street Fighter in the MHB and spent the afternoon in Juneau, Alaska for the VFYW.
Tuesday on the Dish, Andrew posted a notice for a new Dishtern, reiterated his opposition to meddling in Syria’s civil war, and put Obama on notice regarding the release of the torture report. He explained his embrace of Keynesian economics in an era that calls for it, declared the Burekean origin of Anglo-American conservatism, and eyed the fraying edges of the Eurozone and the EU. Elswhere, Andrew spotlighted a worthwhile documentary on drag culture, agreed with Albert Camus on the true payoffs of independent journalism and kept tabs on the push for marriage equality in Minnesota.
In political news and views, we registered new evidence that Earth has never been hotter as Josh Fox listed some red state reasons to oppose fracking. We noted Obama’s principle that Dwight makes right, separated the Syrian rebels’ hippies and jihadis, and Hamza Mohamed filed from Somalia, the world’s dodgiest country for correspondents. Victor Davis Hanson earned a Malkin Award nod for his Benghazi hyperbole, Tim Verstynene poked and prodded at Obama’s BRAIN program, and Salman Rushdie took a shapshot of global censorship in 2013. Later we followed the grim story of Amanda Berry, who fled her kidnapper of ten years and met the federal employees protesting sequestration in the Face of the Day.
In assorted coverage, we questioned the literary value and legacy of The Great Gatsby, took a tutorial in the languages of Game of Thrones, and Berlatsky sensed the overlap between male and female fiction. We connected the dots between mental health and HIV, let readers ask Sue Halpern anything, and Matthew Battles traced the moment that gave us the term “computer bug.” Readers reflected on the imperfect glory of country singer George Jones and observed the perils of unintentional pop plagiarism.
Edward McClelland investigated the shipwrecks of the Great Lakes, the first plastic handgun emerged from its 3-D printer, and we learned that happy tweets come on vacation. We revealed this week’s VFYW contest, Jon Rauch took apart the myth of gay “choice,” and we sampled smogged and non-smogged Beijing in the VFYW before enjoying a bite-sized share of Malick for the MHB.
Monday on the Dish, Andrew put his foot down on Israeli airstrikes in Syria and the calls for US intervention. He went another round on the Boston bombers and Internet jihad, bringing in Anwar al-Awlaki’s shadowy role, and unpacked the dicey semantics of critiquing the AIPAC. Later on, Andrew picked apart the latest evidence implicating Rumsfeld’s deep involvement in the torture regime, weighed in on the debate of the Oregon State Report on Medicaid, answered readers who refused to accept Niall Ferguson’s apology on Keynes, and nodded at CNN’s interrogation of Howard Kurtz.
In political coverage , Moynihan trolled the jihadi web as we checked the status on potential drone courts and witnessed five defectors’ flight from North Korea. Readers dissented on Josh Fox’s work on fracking, we sized up the lighter carbon footprint of vegans and admired how younglings in India put their slum on the map. Bill Richardson earned a Moore Award Nomination for his remarks on Ted Cruz, we read an aggressively ominous Quote of the Day from a funeral in Kentucky, and a reader fact-checked Sean Trende on the Republican South. Elsewhere, we kept looking for a way to measure intoxication of the reefer and met the ghost of journalism’s future.
In assorted coverage, Steven Soderbergh justified art in a world of poverty and war, we surveyed the history of the undie advert and spied an ad that literally spoke straight to kids in the Cool Ad Watch. Ian Stansel found humanity in suburbia, Joyce Carol Oates reviewed Julian Barnes and we explored the glamorous façade of Sylvia Plath. We also searched for more apples fallen from the tree and choked on the dearth of restaurant reviews online. Meanwhile, Romain Jacquet-Lagreze gazed the sky between Hong Kong skyscrapers, zombie PSAs made for good health and safety tips, and we polled readers on the value of teaching kids cursive. Lastly, we shined a light on Imran Khan for the Face of the Day, witnessed a pitbull in suspended animation and watched the sun rise in Hof, Iceland in the VFYW.
We also provided our usual eclectic mix religious, books, and cultural coverage. In matters of faith, doubt, and philosophy, Simon Willis argued particularism was the best philosophy, Molly Crockett debated the ethics of a “morality pill,” and Tim Kreider embraced doubt. Damon Linker found Christ in Malick’s To the Wonder, David Sessions grappled with losing his religion, and Jonathan Fitzgerald excoriated a Christianity Today piece on hip-hop. Roger Tagholm pondered the effects of holy books going digital, Russell D. Moore eulogized country singer George Jones, and Frans de Waal challenged Christian assumptions about animals. Patrick Kurp outgrew his resistance to talking about his heroes, Claire Messud pondered our contradictory natures, and John Berryman reflected on the connection between suffering and creativity.
In literary and arts coverage, Olive Senior thought literature couldn’t help but be political, Mason Currey chronicled the chemical lives of great writers, and Tony Woodlief defended the democratization of art. D.G. Myers observed a paradox in understanding literature, Nathaniel Rich considered the despair he found in the novel Miss Lonelyhearts, and Andrew O’Hagan contemplated writers whose work was informed by another medium. Thom Yorke divulged his ideal of beauty, the pacifist author of Winnie the Pooh struggled with his wartime conscription, and Maria Bustillos penned a love letter to her favorite highway. Read Saturday’s poem here and Sunday’s here.
In assorted news and views, Brian Eno expounded on his vintage pornography collection, Helen Lewis visited a collection of harvested tattoos, and Jonathan Harris described the moments of unexpected intimacy caught on film between pornstars. Maria Popova pointed to a great list from Susan Sontag, Miles Raymer assessed the unlikely success of the band Neutral Milk Hotel, and a member of Alcoholic Anonymous developed a strange alternative therapy for the disease. Robert W. Gehl wondered if there is any hope for haters, the Internet proved to be for marriage, and a profile of an electronic cigarette revealed how advertisers try to brand what’s bad for you. Malkin Award nominee here, MHBs here and here, FOTDs here and here, VFYWs here and here, and the latest window contest here.
-B.J., D.A. & M.S.