Is Elizabeth Warren Running for President?

Posted on October 23rd, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

She’s opened the door just a bit

Myself, I think she should. Try as I might, I just don’t like Hillary. And I think an uncontested Democratic race would be a disaster for the Democrats.

Harvard at its Best

Posted on October 23rd, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

A nice story in the Times about a kid from a truly rough background—living on the streets of Rwanda, sleeping in a garbage dump—who winds up at Harvard. Really inspiring, and good on you, Harvard.

Has Naomi Wolf Gone Nuts?

Posted on October 6th, 2014 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Vox reports that the Yale educated feminist—her most recent book is a history of the vagina—is spinning conspiracy theories about ISIS videos and the US using ebola as a pretext for a military takeover of American society….

George Magazine in Retrospect

Posted on October 5th, 2014 in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

As one of the original editors of George, the political magazine founded by John F. Kennedy Jr., I’ve long maintained that, behind its celebrity factor, George was a smart and influential magazine. The idea of a mainstream magazine premised on the convergence of celebrity and politics felt, at the time, quite radical to me; these days, I don’t think anyone would blink an eye, which is probably proof that John had put his finger on something true about American culture.

So I was pleased to see Charles P. Pierce, writing in the current issue of Esquire, agreeing with that estimation:

Once upon a time and not that long ago, and don’t let it be forgot, there once was a glossy magazine named George. It was founded and edited by the late John Kennedy Jr., who was, by all accounts, a more than decent bloke. Its conceit was that there was no essential difference between politics and show business or between political celebrity and all other forms of celebrity. (I think we all can agree that JFK Jr. was something more than an authority on that last part.) Its first issue featured model Cindy Crawford dressed as George Washington, who once had only Parson Weems as his personal celebrity biographer. Sadly, in March of 2001, its last issue had Kennedy himself on the cover, the editor having died in a plane crash on July 16, 1999. Despite some contemporaneous ur-snarkery from Spy, it’s hard now to conclude that the basic premise behind George was wrong. (By 2005, Tom Brokaw, the man who invented World War II, was moderating a ten-year retrospective on the magazine at Harvard, although that might have been just a Kennedy thing.) The entire world of political journalism has come around to George’s fundamental philosophy.

Pierce doesn’t entirely mean that as a compliment; his essay is really about what a piece of rubbish Politico (“George’s bastard child”) is, which is basically true.

Of course, back when George—and John—were still around, Esquire was one of their most frequent critics….

And Republicans Swear They Don’t Have a Woman Problem

Posted on October 3rd, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

The Detroit Free Press reports on a Republican ad targeted at women which compares Michigan’s two gubernatorial candidates to wedding dresses.

Apparently the Republican one is a better fit, the Democratic one comes with added costs, etc.

Must be seen to be believed.

(A tangential but amusing note—the woman getting married “just” graduated from college. In other words, she’s doing exactly what the GOP thinks she should.)

My Idea of Hell

Posted on September 24th, 2014 in Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Listening to Lena Dunham give advice.

“I was like, so into counting almonds that I don’t think I got laid that entire time….”

But you feel free.

Tuesday Morning Video

Posted on September 23rd, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

From the fantastic second album, This is Your Girl, by Alt-J; the song is called “Every Other Freckle.”

I Hate the Homeland

Posted on September 23rd, 2014 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

And it’s because I’m a patriot.

I’ve never liked the term “homeland” as applied to the United States. It came into use after 9/11 and, to me, it always felt militaristic, jingoistic, insecure and nativist. I have always suspected it was Dick Cheney’s idea.

On Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall agrees with me. He actually traces its introduction into our lexicon back to the Reagan era push for a “Star Wars” missile defense system.

….our addiction to this new word – utterly alien to American English and foreign policy discussion – does tend to lock us down into a fortress America mindset with all the tendencies toward authoritarianism and militarism the posture brings with it. We already have a word – mainland. Or as [Chris] Matthews says, Why not just America?

Worth Reading

Posted on September 22nd, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

In the New York Times, Elizabeth Wurtzel says that the reason she didn’t get married till 47 was because she was too emotionally topsy-turvy and was also drawn to bad boys.

I wanted to love and be loved, but I behaved badly, and I had terrible taste. All the people who say they want to be married, but are not, are doing the same thing. All the statistics about how hard it is to find someone to love in this world — in this world of seven billion — do not account for the choices we make. We are the sum of our decisions: It’s not that luck has nothing to do with it, but rather, there is no such thing.

It is difficult to write a published book. It is difficult to get tenure in the astrophysics department at Berkeley. It is difficult to win the Heisman Trophy. But it is easy to get married: about 90 percent of Americans still do at some time in their lives. No self-help industry is required. People who want to get married stop behaving like fools for love and start acting intelligently. It is as simple as wanting to be happy.

Cue Internet outrage.

Also in the Times, the Rockefeller family—descendants of an oil magnate—have announced that the family foundation will divest from fossil fuels to invest in alternative energy. What do you say to that, Drew Faust?

And two of the Times’ columnists have some terrific writing. (You won’t hear me say that a lot.)

Charles Blow recounts the story of how he came to terms with being raped and being bisexual. It’s a pretty gutsy piece of writing.

And Paul Krugman writes about how the GOP continues to blame the unemployed for their lack of employment.

I didn’t set out to mention only articles from the New York Times, but I am reminded that this is why, frustrating though the paper can sometimes be, it is a remarkable institution.

Now We Know Why Sean Hannity Is So Mean and Bitter

Posted on September 18th, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Because his father whipped him with a belt and punched him in the face. And Hannity says “I deserved it.”