How can Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Bob McDonnell erase the impression, recently given a boost by the release of his 1989 master's thesis, that he's a religio-traditional extremist? By indulging in some gratuitous profanity, of course! CNN: Appearing on Washington-area radio station WTOP, McDonnell was sparring with host Mark Plotkin on the topic of transportation funding.... "So no tax will be raised during your four-year term?," Plotkin asked. McDonnell answered: "I'm going to find other ways to be able to fund transportation.
Nate Silver sifts through the before-and-after polling: If we simply take the three polls at face value and average them together ([an improvement of] 6.7 points), they in fact point toward a statistically strong likelihood of a bounce. Concluding that there is no bounce on the basis of the ABC poll, as some smart commentators appear to have done, while ignoring the other polling, is not objective, plainly put. There should, however, be plenty more data out before the end of the week to help settle any arguments.
This Daily Mail story beggars belief: Here, on a sleepy stretch of shoreline at the far end of Asia, is surely the biggest and most secretive gathering of ships in maritime history. Their numbers are equivalent to the entire British and American navies combined; their tonnage is far greater.
The Weekly Standard's Michael Goldfarb leaps to Joe Wilson's defense: Joe Wilson offered the most succinct and effective Republican response to Obamacare since Sarah Palin attacked Obama's "death panels" -- and, like Sarah, he did it in just two words: "You lie." It's worth noting that Goldfarb's outrage is entirely situational, given that last month he was arguing that lies are a good thing and the GOP should be telling more of them: [F]or the next four years, Republicans will be able to say whatever they want about the health care reforms that were passed but won't come into effect for years
New York magazine's Sam Anderson reviews the sequel to last spring's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters... transposes the story of the dyadic Dashwood sisters—levelheaded Elinor (sense), impulsive Marianne (sensibility)—from a country cottage in Devonshire to a “tiny, wind-rattled shack” on desolate Pestilent Isle. Once again, Austen’s tidy story is embroidered with B-movie staples: giant man-eating jellyfish, sharks, lobsters, and sea serpents. Much of the fun, of course, comes from comparing it with the original.
The countdown has begun: In just six days, residents will awaken to find themselves in a changed city. One invaded by Founding Fathers scandal, by fictitious Harvard symbologists, by very short chapters ending in cliffhangers and exclamation points! One to which the tourists will flock, brandishing conspiracy theories. We want the real story, they'll say to helpless docents at the Smithsonian, perhaps, or the Scottish Rite Masonic temple. This is the real story, docents will reply. No, the reeeeal story.
After health care, I propose President Obama roll up his sleeves and get to work on universal Auto-Tune. (via Jim Fallows)
How far can the Weekly Standard sink? Time will tell, but the cover of its current issue gives a pretty good sense of its depth at the moment. Accompanied by the cover line "Here the People Rule," the illustration--it's a bit small here, but I'll gladly link to a larger version if I find one--is of, well, an angry white mob.
Beleagured South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford explains himself to The Daily Beast: You know, everybody is assigned their own secret-agent mission in life. And at times the tricky part, the hard part, is finding out what that secret-agent mission is. Some of us do it early, some of us do it later in life. Sanford, Mark Sanford.
There are a billion different iterations of the joke, usually inflicted upon children by adults: Child: Daddy, why are you flapping your arms and quacking in the middle of the street? Father: To keep the alligators away. Child: Daddy. There are no alligators around here. Father: See?