21 September 2010

Closing Guantanamo Bay prison: rejected by the Senate.
Creating a public option health care plan: rejected by the Senate.
Doing anything whatsoever about climate change: rejected by the Senate.
Now, repealing the unconstitutional Don't Ask Don't Tell law: rejected by the Senate.

"With the omnipotent means of corruption in the power of our spoilers, all struggle is vain. We must wait for our redress and regeneration till corruption shall have exhausted the means of corruption..." Sir Francis Burdett, 1807.

"NO let them exist not one day longer, we are the Sovereignty...Drag the Constitution from its hidden place--and lay it open to publick inspection--Shake the Earth to its centre." A handbill distributed in Bingley, Yorkshire, 1801.

[Both quotations from E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class]

14 September 2010

Every Democratic candidate in a tight race should be airing this on TV.

09 September 2010

An Estimate for the House Elections on Nov. 2nd

The Republicans will not take back control. I project they will emerge with 190 seats. This is not based on any statistical analysis -- for that you can wait for Nate Silver to announce his numbers -- but on my hunches concerning the inaccuracy of most national polls (which do not attempt to survey households without landline phones).

As an example of where Republicans will find troubles of their own, take a look at Minnesota's 6th district, where Michelle Bachmann is facing Tarryl Clark. The Republican share of the vote has steadily declined over the last eight years (2002: 57%; 2004: 54%; 2006: 50%; 2008: 46%).

08 September 2010

Look, the Aeneid, isn't it such a sweet, happy story?

03 September 2010

I was wandering around a major chain bookstore today and I couldn't help but notice that a lot of new fiction is being sold with covers featuring naked female flesh. Usually it's either a naked arm, backside (above the waist), or a leg.

Considering that women probably read more novels than men, this seems peculiar. Are publishers just trying to keep up with movie and video game marketing (neither very shy about showing skin), or is it some kind of woman-affirming cultural statement that never quite reaches the level of pornography?

At any rate, I do think Susan B. Anthony would be appalled.