Saturday, February 21, 2009

Linked Up

So many links, so little time:

1. Honestly, I'm really trying not to be too partisan today. But after reading about the latest bit of jibber-jabber to come from former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), I came to a sort of epiphany about the underlying cause of the GOP's struggles at the polls in the last couple of elections. They're simply outgunned when it comes to intelligence. Both sides of the aisles have their fair share of crooks and liars, but when it comes down to parsing policy and articulating a coherent vision, the modern Republican Party is the Washington Generals.

2. When I read this column from David Brooks about the problems of urban planning and the supposed American "dream" of more suburban sprawl, my bullshit detector started throbbing so badly that I needed a drink of water and a Flintstones vitamin. Glad to see that it wasn't just me.

3. The nationally renowned Posts, the one in Washington and the other in New York, should know – and do – better than that. Hilzoy absolutes devastates the editor's response to concerns about George Will's recent column about global, uh, cooling.

4. Via an old colleague and friend, John McWhorter claps back at Eric Holder over his assertion that we're a "nation of cowards" when it comes to discussing race. I'm trying to refrain from judging the substance of McWhorter's piece until I actually watch Holder's speech. But my initial thought is that McWhorter has based his thesis on quite a large bed of straw.

5. Please, quit with the histrionics and just take the money. Slate's Christopher Beam details what's at stake should GOP governors turn their backs on stimulus relief for their states. Why double down on the crazy?

6. Our nation's only black U.S. Senator, ladies and gentlemen: His press secretary quit Thursday, his chief of staff resigned yesterday and his "good friend" Gov. Pat Quinn has called on him to resign. The White House has asked him to, ahem, "think about his future." Now would probably be a good time for Roland Burris to freshen up that resume. And from here on out, we should go ahead and always describe him as "embattled."

7. You should take a look at this, ugh, Fox News interview with the mayor of Lansing, Mich., a rock-ribbed labor town if there ever was one. The mayor, Virg Bernero, is rightfully passionate about the implication from the anchor that auto workers must continue to surrender benefits even as the government continues to hand over billions of dollars to Wall Street bankers who were onboard when they steered the nation's economy into a ditch. Not only does the Fox anchor use that highly misleading figure of $70 an hour figure for automakers, but he also comes off as quite the condescending jerk. Greenwald nails it: "It's just not possible to overstate the stupidity both of our political discourse and of the TV actors who lead that discourse as they play the role of journalists."

8. Is it too early to start the calls for the impeachment of Obama? Thirty-one days is long enough for this charade of a presidency, right?

9. Because it's time I spoke out against the elite liberal media, I should note that the New York Times really should have 'fessed up and offered a sincere apology to Vicki Iseman. Remember, the blonde telecommunications lobbyist who some anonymous goons implied was having an affair with John McCain? By needlessly and shamelessly sexing up the story, they overlooked the bigger story about influence and possible conflicts of interests. John Cole echoes my general sentiments: "It was sleazy, and the Times did themselves and their readers a profound disservice, and continue to do themselves a disservice with their weaselly handling of their statement yesterday." James Rainey has some good thoughts about this issue, too.

10. Since when did college students think effort was merely enough to warrant an "A"? Not to get all old-school on you, but that's a bunch of bunk. Maybe this is what people are really referring to when they speak of the age of entitlement.

11. Apropos of nothing really, "Ring King" truly was a horrible video game. You almost have to be trying to ruin a game about boxing. Hard to believe that I ever owned that 8-bit piece of garbage.

12. Finally, a friend and former co-worker of mine wrote an online column, presumably as part of her graduate studies at USC. It's about blackface or something. Read it.

Twelve is my lucky number, so that seems a reasonable number of items for this week's edition.

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