Michelle Cottle

Independents' Cock-Eyed Optimism
August 21, 2009

This bit from The Note about Obama's health care struggles caught my eye: Can partisan war make it work? "There's also a limit to how effective this strategy can be," ABC's George Stephanopoulos reported on "Good Morning America" Friday. "Independents liked Obama because they thought he was going to break this partisan gridlock -- not intensify it." Really?

The Art of Reinvention
August 21, 2009

Ever wonder what happened to NYT plagiarist/fabulist Jayson Blair? Turns out he moved back home to the Northern Virginia suburbs where he now works as a life coach. At first this seemed an oddly ironic choice for a guy who so thoroughly screwed up his own life. (You know, like Brownie becoming a disaster preparedness consultant.) But, upon further reflection, it makes perfect sense. Blair had to confront all his demons and get his life back on track starting from a hole much deeper than most people ever face.

With Abortion, Complacency Is a Dangerous Thing
August 19, 2009

Living in a blue state, it's easy to forget that the issue of reproductive rights is far from settled. Efforts to chip away at a woman's right to control her own body continue apapce--and with impressive creativity--in plenty of red states.  Happily, one such effort just met its demise in Oklahoma.  Here's hoping South Dakota's noxious "disclosure" law suffers a similar fate.  --Michelle Cottle

Guess What MoDowd Is Talking About
August 19, 2009

I admit it: I have no idea WTF MoDowd is trying to get at--or who she's taking a shot at--with today's column.   Horny men? Needy women? Scorned wives? Heartless gigolos? Mercenary madames? Anyone care to take a stab at interpretation? --Michelle Cottle

Xxx Vs. Zzz
August 18, 2009

In a recent survey by Westin hotels, a majority of respondents--51%--said they'd rather have a perfect night's sleep than great sex. Counterintuitive finding: More men than women went for sleep over sex.  Geographically peculiar finding: Of all those asked--some 12,500 recent travelers from a dozen countries--only Canadians went with sex more often than sleep.

Fear The Tilt-a-whirl!
August 17, 2009

Chris and I took the kids to the Montgomery County Ag Fair this weekend. Both days. All day. In scorching heat. Life lesson from the outing: No matter how much your children plead, do not follow up a heavy lunch of fair food with multiple trips on rides with names like Zero Gravity. Trust me.  That said, I'm a fool for fairs. As a wee one living in Dothan, Alabama, my parents used to take me to the town's annual Peanut Festival--always a good time, despite my having once gotten so lost inside one of those mirror mazes that management had to send someone in to retrieve me.

Is The Wapo Clinically Depressed?
August 17, 2009

In general, I don't like to pile on when people gloat about the tough times being endured by the news business broadly or, more specifically, about what some of my journalistic colleagues regard as the panicked death spiral in which the WaPo is currently stuck.

Kbh Gets Ready To Rumble
August 17, 2009

In officially tossing her cowgirl hat into the 2010 Texas governor's race this morning, Kay Bailey Hutchinson (as previewed by Mike Allen) is set to take this shot at sitting governor Rick Perry: "He's a dedicated public servant. I know he loves Texas. But now he's trying to stay too long--14 years, maybe longer."  Keep in mind that this isn't just a generic anti-incumbent or anti-status quo slam (which, when you think about it, would be a little odd, considering that the four-term senator ain't exactly a fresh face).

Fiddle-dee-dee, That Will Require A Tetanus Shot
August 13, 2009

My father is an ex-Navy man. So it was perhaps to be expected that, growing up, my sister and I Iearned pretty much everything we needed to know about profanity from watching Dad injure himself while performing household chores. (The day he inadvertently jabbed a pair of needle-nose pliars up his nostril was especially educational.)    Now it turns out that all that swearing may actually be good for him. Today's WaPo "Health" section includes a story from the Chicago Trib (Good news!

Bitches Unite!
August 13, 2009

In a NYT op-ed bemoaning the trivialization and sexism still plaguing our Secretary of State, Judith Warner references the ill-conceived joke from the WaPo's now-defunct "Mouthpiece Theater" that, basically, called Hillary a bitch. (Full disclosure: I'm close friends with the often inflammatory Mr. Milbank.) Obviously, the gag was offensive, and it should have come as no shock to anyone at the WaPo when a bunch of women went ballistic over it. But the entire episode got me wondering if, more generally, it's time for women to reclaim the "bitch" label--perhaps even start taking pride in it.