The group blog of The New Republic
September 14, 2007
"A nice phenomenon of the past few years is the diminishing influence of I.Q."
-David Brooks, today.
--Michael Currie Schaffer
If whackjob Warren Jeffs, head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, does not spend the rest of his unnatural life in prison, there is no justice in this world.
The leader of this polygamy-practicing offshoot of the Mormon Church is currently on trial in Utah for, among other things, coercing one of his 14-year-old followers to marry her 19-year-old cousin.
Following up on Ryan's New Yorker piece about the Democratic candidates' efforts to deal with Bill Clinton's legacy, Ed Kilgore has an insightful post noting the similarities and differences between the critiques of Clintonism offered by Dick Gephardt and Ted Kennedy in 1997 and those offered by Edwards and Obama today.
In case anyone missed them, my take on Paul Haggis's In the Valley of Elah is here, and my thoughts on Julie Taymor's Across the Universe are here. But if you're trying to decide what movie to go to this weekend my strong recommendation would be David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises. My full review should be up tomorrow, but here's a short tease:
On Sunday night, it seemed pretty clear that Britney Spears' performance at the MTV awards ceremony was the biggest prime-time fiasco of the week. Then came Thursday night and President Bush's Oval Office address on Iraq. At first blush, coverage of the white trash kid turned tabloid fodder and the rich kid turned good ol' boy would seem to have little in common (besides, of course, the four years of high-profile futility that followed the respective 2003 triumphs of Spears' In the Zone album and Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech).
Obama's swing through Iowa was all about Iraq. After delivering his initial address in Clinton, he held four town hall-style forums in the eastern part of the state. Before taking questions he opened each event with a 15-minute condensation of his Wednesday Iraq speech. His campaign also distributed Iraq-specific campaign brochures to supporters.
September 13, 2007
Remember when the Club for Growth ran ads making ridiculous assertions about the number of times John Kerry had voted for higher taxes? It turns out two can play at that game, and now the Club for Growth is none too happy about it. On its anti-Mike Huckabee website, taxhikemike.org, it takes issue with Huckabee's claim to have cut taxes 94 times: