This is an open thread. Post as much as like, with whomever you like, for as long as you like. Self-linking is encouraged.
* Shakesville points out a feminist concern with Troopergate: When Governor Palin fired Walt Monegan, she also tanked a multi-million dollar initiative to improve Alaska’s response to rape and intimate violence.
* From “How To Win A Debate,” in The American Prospect:
This is the common thread running through all the decisive moments of past debates, whether it was Michael Dukakis failing to cry out in anguish when Bernard Shaw asked him, “Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for her killer?” or Gerald Ford supposedly not knowing that Poland was under Soviet domination, or George H.W. Bush glancing furtively at his watch in 1992, or Al Gore sighing condescendingly in 2000. None of these moments revealed something new; instead, they allowed reporters to say, “See, what we’ve been telling you all along about this guy is true.” Quayle was a lightweight, Ford was a bumbler, Bush had no patience for voters and had all but given up, Gore was a supercilious dork — voters may or may not have believed these things, but journalists certainly did.
* I’m oddly fond of this new version of the capitalist pyramid. The illustration style looks like something from Mad Magazine. If you know who the cartoonist is, please tell me.
* The Feminist Friend Comic Book Store Map! This is awesome. Check it out, and add to it if you know of a good store.
* At The Art Of The Possible, Jennifer Abel writes:
Advice for aspiring criminals looking to reduce the opportunity costs of time spent in prison: if you’re given a choice between selling drugs or murdering a young woman, choose murder so you’ll get a shorter prison sentence. Consider the example of Robert Chambers, the so-called “Preppie Killer” who in 1986 strangled Jennifer Levin to death in Central Park. He got 15 years for the deed, served it, got out and just returned to serve a 19-year sentence for selling cocaine. And that was a plea bargain; he could’ve gone to prison for life.
Oh, and check out this chart, seen on Hit and Run:
And the moral of the story is: Some things got worse under Clinton.
* Daniel Larison on Obama and Palin running against the establishment:
Something that seems to elude these discussions is the recognition that ambitious, new pols are not anti-establishment–they want to be the establishment, or a part of it, or else they are bound for long, disappointing, stagnant careers in the backbenches or the backwoods. The basic truth about anyone competing at this level for high office is that they may not yet be of the establishment, but they are very much in favor of the establishment provided that they are an important player in it. The real anti-establishment candidates are known by their marginalization.
* Obama ad on the pay gap:
Nice to see an ad addressing this. At the same time, I really wish that so much of the “debate” wasn’t carried out through 30 second spots, which cannot look at any issue in any depth. Obama’s new two minute ad is a slight improvement, but I still long for a campaign carried out entirely through 40-minute speeches and long print essays. (The speech is good, by the way. If someone can point me to a similar speech delivered by McCain about his economic plan, I’d be interested.)
* The blog Chartjunk is receiving many links right now because of a recent chart (showing what percentage of American households receive tax cuts under Obama vs
Clinton McCain) that’s useful to us partisans. But the blog itself is kind of neat. It’s done only three posts in three years, but all three are really good posts about how information can be visualized either badly or well.
* Stephen at Attempts explains why I’ve given up on the usefulness of debating most conservatives.
* At Democracy Arsenal, there’s a good post discussing how Bush’s foreign policy has quietly moved from the insane wackadoo right-wing to being realist right-wing — with the odd result that Bush’s recent foreign policy has a lot more in common with Obama’s proposals than with McCain’s.
* McCain’s “lying, lying and more lying” strategy is a rational response to the incentives set up by our media.
* Alabama is proposing charging state employees for being fat.
* And some good news: Florida’s ban on gay couples adopting has been ruled unconstitutional.