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Less Than Credible Witnesses

[ 6 ] September 19, 2008 |

Cole has the scoop on some of the soldiers who had engaged in self-righteous attacks on Scott Beauchamp. Apparently, the winger talking point that if a practice wasn’t consistent with SOP it therefore couldn’t have happened is even dumber than it was on its face, which I frankly didn’t think was possible…

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Wallace Links

[ 0 ] September 18, 2008 |

A useful collection of writings (fiction and non-fiction) from the late David Foster Wallace available online. I particularly recommend “Tense Present” and his take on Updike.

Belated Recognition of the Obvious

[ 7 ] September 16, 2008 |

She’s been on a roll lately, but IB’s take on the new Richard Cohen column is one of her better lines:

He’s kinda like a kid who, upon discovering that there is no Santa Claus, attempts to locate the precise moment in time that Jolly St. Nick ceased to exist.

I suppose some people might be inclined to be charitable since he’s seen the light. But I’m inclined to simply agree with Brad DeLong, who correctly notes that “Richard Cohen’s fantasy McCain never existed–save in the mind of Richard Cohen, the journalist-as-puppy.” Everything unsavory about McCain’s current campaign, including the lying and flip-flops, were perfectly evident during the 2000 primaries. As Somerby recently put it:

For most of us, an obvious thought will come to mind when a person walks away from his stated principles; we’ll think he was perhaps pretending when he claimed these as his principles. In fact, McCain misstated the truth all through Campaign 2000, about George W. Bush and Al Gore. He had a major race-man running his South Carolina campaign; he made robo-calls about Bush in Michigan, then lied to the press corps about them. But the press corps was on this greatest saint’s side, and so they chose not to notice.

And precisely because of the bogus narrative of Saint McCain the press so carefully cultivated, these too-little-too-late departures from the Straight Talk Express are unfortunately unlikely to have much effect.

Everything is Feminism

[ 46 ] September 15, 2008 |

Cathy Young has an attempted feminist defense of Sarah Palin (endorsed, natch, by Ann Althouse.) The fundamental problem with the argument is that there’s no inherent value to having lots of people call themselves feminists, per se. The point is to get people to endorse feminist principles, and on this count Palin’s record is utterly dismal, at least the way most people would define feminism. Young and Althouse are welcome to try to argue that feminism can encompass forcing (poor) women to carry pregnancies to term, imposing a effective tax on rape victims, and interpreting laws in ways that make it easier for businesses to pay women less for the same work (even if your interpretation is manifestly contrary to the purpose of the statute and not compelled by its language.) But somehow I’m guessing most feminists aren’t going to find the Palin vision of feminist policy very attractive.

It’s also unclear in what way the pork-begging, culturally reactionary Palin in any way represents “can-do” feminism free from government assistance, as Young claims. Is it perhaps the substantial per diem she gets from the government to help her feed her family at home? Does it only count as government support if you aren’t already affluent?

Liars Without Shame

[ 3 ] September 15, 2008 |

What’s amazing about this is that I figured that McEvenWorse and Palin would at some point permanently change the “Bridge to Nowhere” howler to some technically accurate but grossly misleading formulation, like “I stopped the Bridge to Nowhere [but won’t tell you about my erstwhile strong support or the fact that I never opposed to building it with federal money].” But no — they’re happy to just keep telling outright lies about it. They probably think that the media will just drop the subject — and, alas, they’re probably right.

Get Over It

[ 0 ] September 15, 2008 |

I’ll have more on the general subject of the 2000 election because of a new book this week, but since I happened to catch the replay of Leslie Stahl’s puffball interview with Antonin Scalia today, I thought I’d mention this argument:

Gee, I really don’t wanna get into – I mean this is – get over it. It’s so old by now. The principal issue in the case, whether the scheme that the Florida Supreme Court had put together violated the federal Constitution, that wasn’t even close. The vote was seven to two,” Scalia says.

Hmm. Roe v. Wade was a 7-2 opinion — and a real 7-2 opinion, not an opinion where two justices who were played for suckers articulated an actual equal protection argument and 5 justices (who got no other votes for any part of any of their opinions) invoked some sort of mysterious unspecified equal protection right that ended as soon as the justices’ candidate was safely ensconced in office — and indeed as Stevens pointed out its holding has now “been endorsed by all but 4 of the 17 Justices who have addressed the issue.” So I assume we can expect Scalia to just get over it and start joining opinions re-affirming Roe?

And while Stahl taking Scalia’s word that he is a consistent originalist at face value was inevitable, perhaps she could have asked Scalia for some of the sources he consulted to discover that the 14th Amendment was originally understood to require uniform recount standards?

The Ghost of Dusty Baker

[ 15 ] September 15, 2008 |

Idiotic. Hopefully it won’t hurt the career of the UW alum.

As (I think) Joe Sheehan argued earlier this year, I do think that managers have gotten a little too conservative about pitch counts, especially being to conscious of the arbitrary “100” number. I don’t think there’s any problem with having a mature pitcher who’s proven he can handle a major league workload throwing 120 pitches if you need him. And I even think that the fact that flags fly forever should enter into the equation; if you’re in a situation like the Mets, in a crucial close game in pennant race with a ghastly bullpen, then maybe you throw Lincecum 120 once even if you’d rather limit him to the low 100s. But to have him throw 140 in a meaningless game for a non-competitive team? It’s an indefensible risk, bad for the player and bad for an organization that needs Lincecum if it’s going to stay ahead of the Pirates.

Yikes

[ 0 ] September 15, 2008 |

Think good thoughts for Teresa.  

QOTD

[ 0 ] September 12, 2008 |

Hilzoy:

You’d think that $5,000 to $14,000 a year would be a small price to pay for putting violent sex offenders behind bars. Apparently, Sarah Palin disagrees.

I guess policies that prevent poor women from having legal recourse (or subjecting them to crushing debt) when they’re subject to sexual violence are the kind of thing QuasiMoDo is talking about when she celebrates Palin’s “new version” of feminism “that is purged of all the off-putting trappings of liberal attitudes and issues.” Yes, more moose-hunting, more (poor) women forced by state coercion to carry pregnancies to term or obtain abortions on the black market, more rapists free in the community because it would be “burdensome” to collect evidence when you could use the money to build a hockey rink, and more employment discrimination: feminism you can believe in, my friends!

Faux-Populist PUMA of the Day

[ 0 ] September 12, 2008 |

Lynn Forrester de Rothschild.

Look, if Obama is going to shed the “elitist” label he needs to stop talking so much about progressive economic policies and start distributing more free caviar at his rallies.

Don’t Look at Him, He Didn’t Do It!

[ 15 ] September 12, 2008 |

I would add that it would sure be nice if James Carville applied the same charity to fellow Democrats that he does to Saint McCain…

Sarah Palin: The Greatest Feminist Icon Since Phyllis Schlafly

[ 25 ] September 11, 2008 |

Shorter Verbatim Camille Paglia: Sarah Palin has “made the biggest step forward in feminism since Madonna channeled the dominatrix persona of high-glam Marlene Dietrich and rammed pro-sex, pro-beauty feminism down the throats of the prissy, victim-mongering, philistine feminist establishment.”

Yikes, when I said that their star columnist could write something about Palin even dumber than what Gary Kamiya wrote, I didn’t mean it as a dare.  (Frighteningly, I’m inclined to think that Paglia believes that before Madonna (and, implicitly, Paglia), feminists really were “anti-sex.”)  Bonus: “But what of Palin’s pro-life stand? Creationism taught in schools?…We’ll see how these big issues shake out. Right now, I don’t believe much of what I read or hear about Palin in the media.” Yes, let’s not choose to believe her openly stated policy views — Paglia just knows she’s a feminist deep down!

The only defense of Salon is if this was, as it reads, a parody written by The Editors. Steiger:

Dear Ms. Paglia,

We have received your application to be a leading feminist thinker. Unfortunately, we’re not able to accept you at this time. Best of luck in placing your thoughts elsewhere.

Sincerely,
Real Feminists Everywhere

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