Emily , I agree that even though Sonia Sotomayor declared early on her first day of questioning that "humans aren't robots," she's kind of acting like one. She speaks thoughtfully, but it looks like that's because she decided a long time ago what she was going to say. Her measured responses to her critics' questions remind me of the "witnesses" in high school mock trials. The teenage attorneys (and I know, because I was one) aren't bound by rules about not feeding answers to their witnesses, so feed they do. They type detailed lists of questions and their required answers, coach their witnesses on tone of voice and demeanor, and explain how the opposing attorneys will try to trap them during cross-examination. Sotomayor, who has been rehearsing extensively with White House staffers during the past few weeks, looks and sounds like those mock witnesses this morning. She knew what she would be asked, and she had a scripted, unrevealing response at the ready. The prize goes to the senator who somehow jogs her out of this.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.