Tag Archives: politics

LBJ, by Caro

AKIE BERMISS: I feel like I should begin with a disclaimer: do not be daunted by the sheer weight and length of the book — it is very much worth reading.  I’ve been carrying around Robert A. Caro’s most recent…

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Modern Family: Little Bo Bleep

KIP MOONEY: For the second week in a row, Modern Family revolved around disastrous public speaking engagements. It also continued to be consistently hilarious.

Let’s start with my favorite scene: the mock debate at the Dunphy house. See, Claire has…

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The Hour Reviewed

ZOË RICE: BBC America’s The Hour packs a lot into its hour and fifteen minutes: The birth of a news program, developing relationships between characters, themes of news gatekeeping, democracy in the Cold War, the final throes of the British Empire, tensions between socioeconomic classes, and on top of all that a conspiracy involving spies, murder, a creepy villain in a fedora, and crossword puzzles. It’s all very tantalizing. Continue reading

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Review: Sports Show

AKIE BERMISS: For years now, I’ve been an unabashed fan of Norm Macdonald.  Back when he was anchoring weekend update for SNL, I came to know him as the guy who couldn’t stop squinting and never met a dead-pan joke…

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Keith Olbermann’s Suspension

ALLISON REILLY: With Olbermann returning to the Countdown on Tuesday, what was the point of his suspension? He was gone for two whole episodes, hardly anytime for any sort of “moral of the story.” Quite frankly, Olbermann’s suspension was just a slap on the wrist to exercise the facade of punishment, but not exercise any rule enforcement in particular.

JEREMY FUGLEBERG: MSNBC suspended Keith Olbermann last week, and frankly, he deserved it. To put it simply, he broke the rules. The host/anchor of his own show on the increasingly Left-ish cable channel donated some money to a number of Democrat candidates, some who appeared on his show in close proximity to his donations. Campaign donations are basically banned by NBC News, with which MSNBC is affiliated. Continue reading

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Rules of Dating

JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: Here’s the thing about rules – I don’t really buy into them. I think that everything is circumstantial, so while it’s good to have general guidelines, I don’t cling to anything as law, and I won’t allow someone else’s ideology to dictate my behavior. And this is why I think Millionaire Matchmaker’s Patti Stanger’s first date rules are kind of bullshit.

AKIE BERMISS: When it comes to dating, I’ve been told I’m an outlier and that conventional stories don’t apply to me. Fair enough — that is likely true. But I pretty much disagree with any attempt by anyone to say that there are “rules” for a first date. There are so many areas of our day-to-day lives that are governed by rules and regulations and guidelines. Must we include the search for love among those? Must we carefully edit ourselves in order to seem more desirable to prospective significant others? I don’t buy it. Especially when it is aimed at women — who have historically been the group most regulated in how they approach love and romance. Continue reading

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Psychological Source of 2010 GOP Support

ALLISON REILLY: A Gallup poll from Sept. 3rd said that 38 percent of Americans would vote for a Republican who has not served in Congress over a Republican or Democrat who has. Along party lines, 63 percent of Republicans would vote for a candidate with no congressional experience, while 59 percent of Democrats would vote for a candidate who does has previously represented in Congress. I think that this phenomenon results from anti-establishment and anti-status quo sentiment from the right.

AKIE BERMISS: From the very same poll I draw a somewhat more dire opinion of the direction of American politics. Not only is the impetus one of change, it is one of somewhat radical change. And that change is not meant to be progressive — rather, it is deliberately meant to be REgressive. Yes, in every era there will be people who want things to go back to the simpler ways they were a couple of decades ago (whatever that may mean to that particular group in that particular time), but this recent ground-swell of anti-establishment movements is somehow different than what we’ve seen in the past. There is something more desperate in its call to arms. The people it has brought to the fore are not firebrands or revolutionaries or malcontents. There are a parade of wide-eyed patsies — few of whom have any business in 21st century American politics.

Continue reading

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Super Sad True Love Story: Shteyngart’s Latest

JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: I love Gary Shteyngart. I’m just not quite yet sure what I thought about Super Sad True Love Story.

HOWARD MEGDAL: At the risk of disagreeing with Jillian, I found Super Sad True Love Story to be both his best book to date, and the most important work. While Absurdistan does a fantastic job lampooning what has just happened in the world, Super Sad gives the identical treatment to what is to come if we aren’t vigilant- and perhaps, even if we are. Continue reading

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PA-SEN Favorite: Toomey Or Sestak?

HOWARD MEGDAL: The Democrats chose the stronger general election candidate by nominating Congressman Joe Sestak, rather than Arlen Specter to face Republican Pat Toomey. But the combination of Toomey’s strength and the climate for Democrats makes keeping Pennsylvania in Democratic hands an uphill fight.

JESSICA BADER: The Senate race in Pennsylvania is definitely shaping up to be a close, hard-fought battle between Joe Sestak and Pat Toomey, but it’s a battle in which Sestak has the upper hand in a number of ways. Continue reading

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The Electoral College: Good Riddance?

DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: We are long past due to abandon the Electoral College for good. It unnecessarily favors small states by weighing their votes more heavily than others; it funnels far too much campaign money and effort into a handful of “swing” states; and it results in bizarre outcomes that do not reflect the will of the American voting public.

DAN SZYMBORSKI: While I agree with my colleague that there are certainly modifications to our voting scheme to would enhance value (though considering some of the problems people have with butterfly ballots and touch screens, a complex method will be a nightmare), the electoral college does a good job.

Next time someone tries to tell you that we live in a democracy, please punch them in the face. But don’t get my name involved. Continue reading

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