The group blog of The New Republic
October 4, 2013
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.
George Will, the columnist and longtime staple of ABC's 'This Week' is leaving the network for Fox News, where he debuts today. Here's what The New Republic's legendary Henry Fairlie wrote about him in 1986.
Almost any discussion of the barriers women still face at work ends with feminists pleading for better child care options in the United States. At MIT, women will have this, thanks to … David Koch.
In case you thought you could just pleasantly focus on a New York Yankees-free baseball playoffs, Yankees star Alex Rodriguez has sued Major League Baseball and outgoing commissioner Bud Selig, alleging tortious interference—essentially, that the league’s 211-game suspension without pay, currently delayed on appeal, due to Rodriguez’s alleged violation of the league’s banned
As the shutdown drags on—and almost one million furloughed federal workers sit at home without pay—public outrage has burned hot at the congressional lawmakers who will continue receiving their $174,000 annual salary no matter how long this lasts. As of Thursday afternoon, 176,000 people had signed a petition at MoveOn.org calling for Congress to go without pay until they get the government up and running again.
October 3, 2013
You don't have to look far to find people diagnosing gerrymandering as the source of all of our nation’s woes, including (but surely not limited to) the shutdown. From this perspective, Republicans are gerrymandered into districts so conservative that the GOP is held hostage by ultraconservative primary electorates. Even President Obama has blamed the GOP "fever" on gerrymandering.
“Lockdown during the shutdown—what’s the next ‘down’ to happen?” an Orrin Hatch staffer joked after the Hill lockdown was lifted. “Break-it-down?”
“We're not going to be disrespected," Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) told The Washington Examiner. "We have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is."
Out of the kindness of our hearts, some suggested things to get out of this: