It looks like it will take another weekend's box office to determine whether Paramount's World Trade Center is a hit or a flop. Here's why I hope it's the latter. ... 12:22 A.M.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Coulter and Custer: Elspeth Reeve defends Ann Coulter:
[T]ake Coulter's most infamous line: Writing about her friend's death on September 11, she finished her essay with, "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity." Wow, that's pretty indefensible. The United States could never--would never--do such a thing. Instead, we've invaded their countries, killed their leaders, and are desperately trying to convert them to secularism. (It's not like mullahs appreciate the difference.)
I thought Reeve's piece is effective (she makes the key "grain of truth" point) even a bit moving, but that's just me. ...P.S.: Am I the only one who thought Coulter's "But Al Gore? Total fag!" joke was an obvious reference to the old Mel Brooks routine about General Custer? ... If you listen to the Brooks routine, remember: Don't laugh, or Sullivan will huff again. ... 9:51 A.M.
Bob Wright adds an important wrinkle to Noam Scheiber's piece about the way netrootsy Democratic "counter-Bushies" have overwhelmed the "old interest group system" that neolibs like me have been whining about for decades. The caveat is that this usually doesn't hold at the local level, where Democratic politics is still often dominated by interest groups (like, say, government employee unions). What this means is that, increasingly, state Democratic races may yield interest-group champions who have trouble making the transition to national politics. ... Imagine the Phil Angelides for President campaign if you want to see the problem. ... 12:17 A.M. link
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Conned by the Incumbent Rule? The Incumbent Rule, which holds that the incumbent never gets the last-minute undecided voters, was severely damaged in the 2004 election (when Bush got a substantial chunk of those voters) . Michael Barone notes that the Lieberman/Lamont primary may have killed off the Rule for good:
Lieberman was clocked at 41 and 45 percent in recent Quinnipiac polls; he got 48 percent in the primary election
Barone's post offers two theories that might explain the Rule's collapse. ... P.S.: Maybe Lieberman was thinking of the Incumbent Rule when he foolishly decided to pull the plug on that Get Out the Vote effort. ... Update: Mystery Pollster offers yet another theory, involving negative advertising. ...11:21 P.M.
TODAY IN SLATE
Meet the New Bosses
How the Republicans would run the Senate.
The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy
The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers
Even if You Don’t Like Batman, You Might Like Gotham
Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom
This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059
Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?
A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.