The Kool-Aid is Not for You

So! That election. Funny how it wasn’t even close. And please don’t start yammering at me about the popular vote, because if we decided elections that way both sides would have run totally different campaigns (e.g., no one would have gone to Ohio, ever), and there are compelling reasons to think that Obama’s team would have been just as effective under those circumstances, and that Mitt Romney would still have been Mitt Romney, which carries its own consequences. [Read more...]

Wet Dog Democrats

Americans now gauge crisis levels by the number of memes generated.

“Today we are all Democrats.” As far as I know, nobody said this as they surveyed Hurricane Sandy’s destruction, but somebody really should have. Nothing like a catastrophic weather event to remind people that, oh yeah, maybe a strong central government isn’t the bane of humanity after all! Watching Republicans like Chris Christie fawning over Obama when his Jersey ass is in the fire and “government intervention” is suddenly more than a catchphrase used to rile up excitable right-wingers, is seriously galling.

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Happy Anniversary, Joe Biden (A Political Love Story)

I’ve been looking forward to the Vice Presidential debate ever since Paul Ryan’s candidacy was announced, because I fully expect that Joe Biden is going to eat that smirking plutocrat for lunch. The media narrative of Biden as America’s Daffy Uncle belies the accomplished legislator and ass-kicking partisan he really is. But so much the better; low expectations, plus Ryan’s entirely undeserved reputation as a policy wonk can only work to Old Uncle Joe’s benefit. He will smile genially, wave to the crowd, then rip Paul Ryan a new one. I cannot wait. I heart Joe.

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Rape is a Favorite Pastime in War and Other Uprisings

The moment there is any breakdown in the normal social order, women start to get raped. The first time I noticed this was in the Hurricane Katrina aftermath. First we heard the reports of looting, then of the chaos afflicting the law enforcement system, then gradually the first rape reports began to trickle out. Then the trickle became a flood, and with that flood came the grim suspicion that the stories we were hearing only hinted at the full scope of the violence that was taking place. And at the time I remember feeling confused. I remember thinking that the looting made sense—supplies were scarce, people were stranded—but rape? How did mass sexual assault follow from a hurricane?

Now we’ve heard about Lara Logan, the CBS correspondent who was raped and beaten by a group of men after she was separated from her crew in Tahrir Square on Friday. [Read more...]