Monthly Archives: August 2010

Mad Men: Episode 6 in Review

SONIA BRAND-F When a glistening Don Draper decided to follow Roger Sterling in taking a goofy victory lap around the conference table lined with Life clientele, I couldn’t help but chuckle. Is Draper’s maddeningly depressing lifestyle and outlook finally going to be flipped around by his newly won Cleo award? Well, no, not really, but it was nice seeing Draper smiling again for the first half of the episode. Episode 6 of “Mad Men”‘s Season 4 seemed to be, like Episode 2 in a way, dominated by smaller subplots that acted as vignettes to the ever-changing tone of the episode. Starting Draper high and dropping him low, only to be shot back up again in the elevator in his final flashback depicted the rise and fall of this highly complex character who finally emerged during this episode in a showcase of all sides of the Don Draper that we have come to know.

HOWARD MEGDAL: To me, the essence of this episode was gratitude. More specifically, how often it is misplaced, and in reality, success is a combination of fortuitous circumstances and one’s own cunning. Continue reading

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Dems Going For It In Alaska?

JESSICA BADER: Should Joe Miller prevail over Lisa Murkowski once all of the absentee ballots are counted, this is absolutely a race that national Democratic groups should prioritize. Alaska is a much less expensive media market than most of the other states with contested Senate races this November (the roughly half a million dollars that the Tea Party Express spent on Miller during the primary race is a big deal by Alaska standards), and only New York and Hawaii have higher rates of union membership.

HOWARD MEGDAL: I certainly agree with what Jessica said above, but there is a larger point to be made as well, I think. No election is in the bag- these parties owe it to themselves to have the best possible candidates, given the uncertainties of politics. Continue reading

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Glenn Beck’s Rally

AKIE BERMISS: I scoff at nearly everything Glenn Beck does. I don’t like the man, the personality, or the message. I basically detest all that is Glenn Beck. I do think while, yes, being what most Americans would call a liberal. I believe that Beck’s overt message of Christianity and belief in God being requisite to being a true American is a perversion of both Christianity AND America. He is a fool’s fool. And that’s why, while I scoff at him, I worry about the undue influence he has. His ability to motivated hundreds of thousands of people to come out to Washington DC on the strength of HIS being there? That is my greatest worry. And perhaps our greatest failure as Americans.

ALLISON REILLY: Forty years after Martin Luther King Jr’s speech, we continue to quote and to teach his message in schools, in academic papers and in politics. Forty years from the Restoring Honor Rally, we still won’t know how many people attended, what Alveda King said or what Albert Pujols was doing there in the first place. Continue reading

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In Briefs: 20 Percent Think Obama Is Muslim

HOWARD MEGDAL: Honestly: does this matter? Aren’t these the same 20 percent who weren’t going to vote for him anyway?

JESSICA BADER: It matters in the sense that most of the people who think that also think very bad things about Muslims.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Right. But if that 20% who conflate the two are harsh critics anyway… Continue reading

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The Politics of John Boehner’s Tan

HOWARD MEGDAL: This is not to suggest that John Boehner’s tan should have anything to do with his ability to sell his policies to the American people. But it seems like a strange image for the GOP to put forward as it looks for a visual point man in these 2010 elections.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Boehner’s got some nerve. Everyone thinks maybe he doesn’t realize how bizarre he comes across on camera, like the product of an unholy union between a Muppet and a butternut squash. But I’ve come to the conclusion, after some soul-searching/googling, that the man is no fool. In fact, he’s got us right where he wants us. Continue reading

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College Football Top Five

BRAD GOLDBACH: College football is just around the corner. A lot of big name quarterbacks like Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy are gone, and although there will be some new faces taking the field this season, one name stands above the rest: Alabama. Here’s how I see the top five shaking out right now:

ALEX PREWITT: Trot out the goofy mascots and let’s charge through the tunnel, because it’s time for college football season. There’s a jumbled mess atop the preseason rankings, a convoluted pile that doesn’t figure to sort itself anytime soon. Here’s my take on the top five entering 2010-11: Continue reading

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First to National Ticket: Franken or Pawlenty?

HOWARD MEGDAL: I think Christian is right: Pawlenty seems much likelier to hit the national ticket first. But indulge me, if you will, in a little time-travel.

CHRISTIAN HEINZE: You make a pretty good argument for Al Franken, but I’m going to be a Kardashian (the Dad one) and eviscerate your case. Continue reading

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In Briefs: Car Warning Lights

MATTHEW DAVID BROZIK: So, I read Yahoo! news. That is, I flip through the ever-changing roster of front-page stories once or twice a day. I am continually amazed at what passes for news there, though sometime a piece interests…

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In Briefs: Cary Grant

HOWARD MEGDAL: What is the finest Cary Grant film, anyway? My vote is either Philadelphia Story or North By Northwest.

LAURA ROBERTS: Hmm. Well, I do know that it was NOT Arsenic and Old Lace. I like my Cary Grant to be suave, not slapstick. I think probably NXNW, although I feel like I need to watch more of his films to have a broader comparison.

THOMAS DELAPA: Speaking of Archibald Leach, has any Hollywood star ever looked so good in a suit and tie? Continue reading

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In Briefs: UEFA Champions League Draw

HOWARD MEGDAL: HERE WE GO! Oh, how do I get the Champions League anthem played whenever I enter, say, the kitchen?

MIKE CUMMINGS: I think you can download that on iTunes, Howard. Just put it on repeat. What I want to know is, if UEFA is going to insist on having this thing in English, why does it seem like the hosts/hostesses are struggling a bit with the language? Continue reading

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