The group blog of The New Republic
August 24, 2007
The war-weary trend in country music seems only to be picking up since Michelle's June piece on the subject. Recent weeks have seen the release of two more mournful dirges dedicated to fallen soldiers.
First, there's the song "19" by the country duo Waycross, the chorus of which goes
Well he's the boy next door, he used to carry your bags at the grocery store
He's somebody's son, in a hole with a gun, in a foreign land
Emily Yoffe over at Slate chronicles a recent back-to-school shopping trip with her young daughter:
I held up a pair of beige polyester pants that looked reasonable to me.
"Mom, I'm 11!" she said. "I'm not Harriet Miers!"
August 23, 2007
Christine Stansell's excellent review of The Diana Chronicles put me in mind of another piece, written shortly after Diana's death. I was an editor at U.S. News at the time, and the late Marjorie Williams--in my estimation, easily the best Washington writer of her generation--wrote a short essay for us that captured, better than anything I've read before or since, Diana's symbolic importance and the mysterious resonance she held for so many American women.
As if Shinzo Abe didn't already have enough problems to deal with, now he's got this. In all seriousness, this is a good reminder that there's a reason why Japan's leaders are reluctant to come to grips with the country's role in World War II. They're subject to the same democratic pressures any other country's leaders are.
Barack Obama's appearance on "The Daily Show" last night wasn't bad, exactly, but it was hardly the home run it might have been. Though the crowd was obviously rooting for him, he didn't give them a lot to work with. His biggest applause lines were probably a rather tame joke about Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld and an unintentionally backhanded compliment he tried to pay the GOP presidential contenders.