Entertainment

Unemployment Has Crept Over Ten Percent, and I Think That’s a Good Thing. What? by Noam Scheiber Did Rembrandt Reveal a Murder in One of His Paintings? An Intriguing Whodunnit Film. PLUS: 'The Maid.' by Stanley Kauffman The UN Report on Gaza Is Biased, Shoddy, and Unrealistic. But Israel Must Deal Honestly With Its Own Failures. by Moshe Halbertal Don’t Blame Obama for the Bad Economic News. Blame Congress. by Jonathan Chait From the TNR Archives: The Strange Genius of Oprah Winfrey, by Lee Siegel Is David Brooks Punking Me? He’s Got to Be Punking Me.

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Rembrandt’s J’Accuse Film Forum The Maid Elephant Eye Films  Peter Greenaway, the British director who was educated as a painter, first came to wide attention in 1982 with The Draughtsman’s Contract, a silky comedy about seventeenth-century aristocrats. Greenaway then promptly set out not to build on this success, undertaking one eccentric film project after another. It was almost as if he were determined not to grow cumulatively, as most of the best directors have done. Of the Greenaway works that I have seen, only two of them--quite unlike each other--stand out in memory.

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Earlier this week, the entertainment industry blog Deadline Hollywood reported that Oprah Winfrey will be moving her talk-show to her own cable network when her contract with CBS expires in 2011. Her production company responded that she has not yet made a final decision.

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Paul Krugman's column today is about how the stimulus was too small. I agree entirely. What I find puzzling is his apparent belief that the Obama administration is the primary culprit for this shortcoming. Here's Krugman: But while health care won’t be Mr. Obama’s Waterloo, economic policy is starting to look like his Anzio. ... President Obama came into office with a strong mandate and proclaimed the need to take bold action on the economy. His actual actions, however, were cautious rather than bold.

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Matthew Continetti's editorial in last week's issue of the Weekly Standard--"The Inevitability Myth: Health care reform is not a fait accompli"--makes the case that, despite all evidence, health care reform may not be enacted after all. (Continetti does concede that "the chances of some sort of health bill passing, at some point, are by no means negligible." So he's telling us there's a chance.) This sort of argument is actually the signature style of the Standard. A magazine like National Review specializes in making the case for conservative ideas.

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Long-lost reader EC writes: In the past 40 years, the Yankees are undefeated in the World Series under Democratic presidents (1977, 1978, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009). But they've lost every World Series with a Republican in the White House (1976, 1981, 2001, 2003). More broadly, in their 40 World Series appearances, the Yankees are 20-3 during Democratic administrations, but only 7-10 with Republicans in charge, and haven't won the World Series under GOP rule in over half a century.

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The day before President Obama spoke in Madison, Wisconsin, about the pressing need to improve America's teachers, a report was released on the same topic at a conference in Washington's swanky Capitol Hilton. The task force that wrote the report was chaired by Minnesota Governor (and rumored 2012 presidential candidate) Tim Pawlenty and included such education policy heavyweights as New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee.

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Jacob S. Hacker is the Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science at Yale University, author of The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream, and an occasional contributor to The Treatment. Diane Archer is the director of the Health Care Project at the Institute for America's Future and the founder and past president of the Medicare Rights Center. How short memories are in Washington.

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'Toyetic'

For anyone who fears he or she may hold Hollywood studio executives in insufficiently low esteem, the Wall Street Journal offers this trend story: Soon to be starring in his own feature-length film with Universal Pictures: Stretch Armstrong, the pliant, muscle-bound doll whose roots go back to the 1970s. Big Wheel, the plastic tricycle, has its own TV show in the works. Even the board game Risk has a deal for a film, to be co-produced by star Will Smith.... John Fogelman represents the likes of Courteney Cox, Whoopi Goldberg and director J.J.

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The Insider

In the wake of defeats in New Jersey and Virginia, Democrats and the Obama administration are being advised to move to the center. I think the Republicans are well advised to take that advice, but I am not sure about the Democrats, and I am not sure what the "center" means in this case.

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