Thursday, August 14, 2014

Will wonders never cease?

Maybe it's MoDo's promised exile to the Sunday magazine -- for which all sane people are deeply grateful -- that has prompted Gail Collins to drop her obsessive quipping and offer a reasonable take on the Hillary Atlantic broohaha. Maybe Elba, like the hangman's noose, concentrates the minds of non-exilees. Dowd, of course, continues her CDS drivel, as does Frank Rich. But, then, that's who they are.

As to the interview itself, it is, as anyone who reads it soon sees, nuanced and thoughtful in ways the headline writers -- and Goldberg himself, in his overhyped intro -- fail to capture. And what it really demonstrates is what Collins, amazingly, gets right -- that Hillary is saying what she really thinks, and feels free to do so. That's what we can expect from her candidacy, and her presidency. Which will be quite refreshing.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

On not giving a fuck

Good piece in The Guardian that gets Hillary's situation just about right. The turning point was when she teared up just before the New Hampshire primary in 2008. That was the moment of epiphany... and liberation. She, and we, learned that she could be herself in public and not only survive, but be embraced by the world. That's what put her in the situation she is in today -- unique in American history for a woman: She can be President of the United States if she wants to. Full stop. It's up to her. That's empowerment.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Things fall apart...

... The right cannot hold.

Okay, that is going too far. But Krugman's post on Eric Cantoring into the sunset does align with my long-held perception that the institutional structure of the "permanent governing majority" that Rove, Norquist, et al. built has largely dissolved. This doesn't say anything one way or the other about whether our politics will become saner -- they could spin out in all kinds of ways. But it does say that the K Street Project and its associated plans have gang agley.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Moonlight and hate songs...

... never out of date. Apparently, we must remember this.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Okay, not really. Just another I-told-you-so from Paul Kassandra. From his mouth/pen/keyboard to Gallup's/Silver's/Pew's ears.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Good polls

This is most encouraging. Of course, it may not only be because people "see through the lies," as Sirota chooses to emphasize. It may also simply be that these pension plans are familiar and trusted. But it's heartening, at the very least, that teachers aren't demonized by a large majority. Bodes well not only for public pensions but also for a pushback against education deform.

Also, it's nice to see Pew called out -- especially at the moment Andy Kohut is going on NPR pushing the meme that the problems with Obamacare's rollout are the political equivalent of Hurricane Katrina. Right.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


I haven't done any Shakespeare here, but the "Great Performances" broadcast of Henry IV Part One, in their "Hollow Crown" series (the second quartet of history plays, Richard II through Henry V) prompts a brief and rueful note.

This production does neither my nom de plume nor us any favors. Simon Russell Beale (as the corpulent knight) and director Robert Goold have drained most of the energy and joy from this most exuberant figure in world literature. No longer witty in himself, he is barely the cause that wit is in other men.

Perhaps they decided that there was no way to outdo Orson Welles for sympathetic theatricality, and sought to go small. Perhaps they were single-mindedly focused on the titular kings of these plays, and needed to reduce Falstaff to a bit player in order to let Hal own the action. Whatever their motivation, however, the result is neither the play nor the great improvisatory genius Shakespeare wrote. We get instead a nervous, petty, plangent hanger-on, more fearfully introspective than expansive and free. This is the story as it might have been dramatized by flacks for the shape-shifting political animal Henry V, not by sweet, kind, true, valiant and therefore more valiant, being, as he is, old Jack Falstaff. 

They have banished from Harry's and our company the Life Force of Eastcheap... and so have banished all the world.