There has been a lot of overhyped talk about how the new Star Wars movie, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, is an allegory for President Bush and the Iraq War. I've just seen the film, and can declare with some certainty that the idea that Episode III is a Bush/Iraq allegory is silly. Isn't it obvious the movie is really an allegory for the filibuster fight? The Sith are judicial activists who would use the Force to satisfy their passions. The Jedi are the believers in judicial restraint (hence their concern with rules and democracy, their quasi-Buddhist self-denial, etc.). The story initially promises a climactic showdown between these two factions, but the violent battle turns out to merely set up the later, definitive conflict in Episodes IV, V and VI. It kicks the can down the road! ... 12:06 A.M. link
Friday, May 27, 2005
An editor leaves early for Memorial Day weekend and everything goes all to hell! Pro-charter and pro-No-Child-Left-Behind education stories in the New York Times on the same day. Eduwonk is stunned. ... Alternative explantion: Friday before a holiday is the classic time to bury good news! ... 5:10 P.M. link
Polipundit thinks that, shockingly, Sen. Kerry may not actually have signed Form 180. But isn't Kerry communications director David Wade's credibility squarely on the line on that question? (Wade told the Globe's Joan Venocchi that Kerry signed the form on Friday, May 20.) ... P.S.: Just one more thing, Senator. ... I should have mentioned that we don't just want the military records. We want the war diaries too. Don't forget them! ... 4:22 P.M. link
Frist, Do No Harm! LAT ed-page editor Andres Martinez should resign immediately for his bungling failure to use the obvious pun in an editorial calling on Senate Majority Leader Frist to quit the Senate. ... P.S.: Why does the Times say should Frist leave? Well, he failed to block a stem cell bill that the LAT ed board didn't want him to block! (They would prefer that he succeed like, say, Tom DeLay?) ... Or maybe the problem is that Frist tried to "ram through the 'nuclear option'" against filibusters. ... But wait, the Times says Frist was "right to try to get rid of the filibuster." ... Or maybe the hard-to-find LAT ed page, in a desperate quest for attention, is stunting in a way that ironically parodies the worst sort of hyperactive, overblown Beltway CW! ("The Bolton nomination was postponed! Frist is a loser!") ... If Johnny Apple and Andrew Sullivan had a love child, he might find this editorial highly persuasive. ... P.P.S.: See Patterico's highlighting of a mighty-convenient new explanation of the Flibuster Deal that portrays Frist and Bush as in control all along. ... 3:30 P.M. link
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Banking on Balkanization: While everyone's been blasting bloggers for contributing to the "cocooning" phenomenon--i.e., readers gravitating toward those sites that tell them what they want to hear--the New York Times seems to have developed a Web strategy that counts on cocooning, according to Jon Friedman. Who else but reinforcement-craving Democrats would pay $49.95 a year to read Paul Krugman? ... The Times, of course, is supposed to be the un-Balkanized, common-ground information outlet, so its shift toward a caterpillar strategy should be the cause of much more respectable hand-wringing than, say, the emergence of ideologically targeted sites like Lucianne.com and RealClearPolitics ... Also, Lucianne and RCP actually do a much better job of forcing their readers to confront what they don't want to see than the Times does. .. P.S.: I claim the NYT shift's toward unashamed base-pleasing West Side liberalism began with Pinch Sulzberger's ascension in the 90s. It's one of the big ways he's run the paper aground. ... As usual, those lower down in the hierarchy pay the price for the CEO's screw-ups! ... (I can say that because I'm holding my moose!) ... 6:27 P.M. link
Steve Sailer has boiled down the explanation for why some states become red and others become blue to three simple words. ("God" is not one of them.) ... His equation sure works for San Francisco. ... 6:01 P.M. link
Klein Brings the Thunder! In its continuing effort to "stop hurting America," honor the desire of comedian Jon Stewart for substantive civic dialogue, and generally restore the news-reporting values of Edward R. Murrow, CNN visionary Jonathan Klein's ace Storytellin' Team spent several minutes yesterday afternoon covering the rescue of a treed cat. [It was a pregnant treed cat--ed. Never mind then. Carry on. Its name was "Thunder." It almost fell.--ed. Stop! I was so, so wrong to mock this story! It's got everything! Maybe I caught it on TIVO.] ... Thanks to reader A.M. ... 3:11 A.M. link
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Old Faithful: ... A.: If Bush's Social Security plan dies this year, what domestic issue can he possibly talk about next year, in the runup to the mid-term elections, that might prove highly popular and wash the sour, poll-deflating taste of the Schiavo and Social Security fights out of the voters' mouths? ... Q.: Gee, when are the Republicans going to push for that welfare reform reauthorization bill? ... 8:41 P.M. link
TODAY IN SLATE
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How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully
On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.