The group blog of The New Republic
October 6, 2013
Antonin Scalia believes in the Devil, suspects some of his friends are homosexual, and thinks that ladies who use the "F-word" are sadly symptomatic of a coarsened culture. Those are just a couple of the more entertaining details from a brilliantly conducted interview with Scalia by Jennifer Senior of New York magazine.
The New York Times Book Review published its sex issue on Sunday, featuring reviews of new works of sex-themed fiction and nonfiction, along with essays and Q&As on subjects such as “What makes a good sex scene?", "Why is writing about sex so difficult?" and “What’s the most erotic book you’ve ever read?”. The word “erotic” showed up 15 times in the issue overall. (“Arouse”: 5, “heavy-petting”: 1.) So just how sexy is a Book Review about sex? You be the judge:
CIA directors don’t have time to roll up their sleeves and walk around the building says our Homeland expert, former CIA Agent Robert Baer.
Last year, following up on an intriguing 2011 piece in the Toledo Blade, I stumbled upon an FBI investigation into more than $200,000 in questionable contributions made by employees of a North Canton, Ohio direct marketing firm called Suarez Corporation to the campaigns of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, who was challenging Sen.
Addressing the name of the Washington, D.C. football franchise, President Barack Obama, likely motivated by the right sentiments, was led by his instinctual wishy-washiness to take the weakest possible version of his own position, only to be bailed out by the total, tone-deaf intransigence of his adversary. It’s his whole presidency in a nutshell.
Is anyone else bummed out by the shutdown? I'm not referring to the 800,000 government employees watching "The Price is Right" from their couches, or even to the 30 kids shut out of NIH clinical trials so that Republicans can prove that Harry Reid's not the boss of them. It's the anti-climax that's getting me down.
House Speaker John Boehner went on ABC News “This Week” to make clear his position: Republicans won’t give the government new borrowing authority until Democrats agree to negotiate about Obamacare and fiscal priorities. When host George Stephanopoulos asked Boehner directly whether Republicans would let the government default if Obama won’t talk, Boehner said: “That's the path we're on. … I don't want the United States to default on its debt.
October 4, 2013
How much of a difference does living in a Democratic-run state make? Here's the difference between what a family of three—a working parent with two dependants—would have to make in Minnesota and Alabama in order to qualify for subsidized insurance. Meaning: In Alabama, a family that brings in as little as $3,500 a year is out of luck. In Minnesota, the country's most generous state, that family can get help if their income is up to $40,000.
The Tonight Show host's jokes about the shutdown are laughably bad
The government shutdown is obviously a ripe target for comedians, but who knew that Jay Leno would use the opportunity to make a bunch of jokes that were both unfunny and imbued with right-wing populism? (The former was perhaps predictable.) The gist of his monologues this week was essentially as follows: both parties are to blame for the shutdown, Washington is a horrible swamp, politicians are terrible, and oh, by the way, the government doesn't do anything anyway, and thus this whole shtudown thing is not so bad.
It all came and went so quickly—panicked reports of a shooting outside the Capitol, a lockdown (Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts even seized a commemorative knife!) and then the word that it was all over, with a lone perp “in custody,” which turned out to mean in the custody of the Lord.