Fox News Warns of Invading Muslim Schoolgirls Bent on Swim Classes
December 03, 2013

If you have ever tuned in to Fox News and seen Heather Nauert on the air, you have probably also registered surprise that she is able to string an entire sentence together. But not only can she talk—she can also read.

Who You Calling Deranged?
October 16, 2009

Democracy Corps has a very interesting survey about the worldview of conservative Republicans. The focus group interviews show that the Republican right, which consists of about a fifth of the electorate, is held together by a set of beliefs that goes well beyond small government and traditional values. "Our groups showed that they explicitly believe [Obama] is purposely and ruthlessly executing a hidden agenda to weaken and ultimately destroy the foundations of our country," reports the survey.

Truther Consequences
October 07, 2009

Alex Jones is a husky man with short sandy hair, weary eyes, baby cheeks, and the kind of deep, gravelly voice made for horror-movie trailers. And it’s horror he has in mind. "Your New World Order will fall!" he screams through a megaphone at the shiny façade of a nondescript office building. "Humanity will defeat you!" A syndicated radio host, filmmaker, and all-around countercultural icon based in Austin, Texas, Jones has long been one of the country’s most significant purveyors of paranoia.

Good Speech; Who Cares?
September 09, 2009

The health care debate has revolved around the sacrosanct principle that nobody who has health insurance should have to worry about any change in the slightest. President Obama paid lip service to that idea again tonight. But, when he wasn't doing that, he was trying to make people understand that the health care system actually isn't that great. Indeed, it's awful, as almost any empirical examination of costs and outcomes will show. The second main message of the speech was to reposition Obama in the center.

The Wise Latina Racist? Please.
June 09, 2009

This idea that Sonia Sotomayor's line that a "wise Latina woman" has an advantage in judging over a white man is racist can be taken in two ways. One is that the people saying this are just playing politics.

The Party of Death
May 19, 2008

The generals are deaf. As everyone now knows, the regime was warned by weather forecasters in India two days before the cyclone arrived--five days before by forecasters in Thailand--and it refused to listen. The generals hate their own people. The regime does not merely disdain them, it hates them, and the hate is cold, total and murderous. How else to explain the unimaginable sight of convoys being held by customs at the Thai border? Of planes filled with provisions and forbidden to land?

Measuring Anxiety
September 07, 2006

by Eric RauchwayBill's very kind to suggest I would know anything useful about the question of whether we can measure a connection between paranoia and punitiveness. He suggests we look at the imprisonment rate divided by the crime rate--which certainly seems like a good working measure of punitiveness--and notes that in the U.S. it's risen considerably lately. Okay, now could we test that against some index of--if not paranoia, then maybe expressed anxiety about threats to the social order? Does such a thing exist?