Actually this still went on in Catholic schools thirty years ago. (via reddit)


Along with most people, I generally hate David Broder. However, Broder’s tremendous bitch slap of the excreble Dana Milbank Dick Whisperer in his column today makes me think twice:

In the space of 10 days, thanks in no small part to my own newspaper, the president of the United States has been portrayed as a weakling and a chronic screw-up who is wrecking his administration despite everything that his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, can do to make things right.
This remarkable fiction began unfolding on Feb. 21 in the Sunday column of my friend Dana Milbank, who wrote that “Obama’s first year fell apart in large part because he didn’t follow his chief of staff’s advice on crucial matters. Arguably, Emanuel is the only person keeping Obama from becoming Jimmy Carter,” i.e., a one-term failure.

A week later, presumably the same anonymous sources persuaded Milbank to pronounce that Obama “too often plays the 98-pound weakling; he gets sand kicked in his face and responds with moot-court zingers.” [...]

None of this would rise above the level of petty Washington gossip except that some of Emanuel’s friends are so eager to exonerate him that they are threatening to undermine the president. Milbank, presumably reflecting what he hears, calls Obama “airy and idealistic” and says he readily succumbs to “bullying” from Republicans and Democrats alike. I hope the mullahs in Iran don’t believe this.

From too many years of covering politics, I have come to believe as Axiom One that the absolute worst advice politicians ever receive comes from journalists who fancy themselves great campaign strategists.

Milbank now is urging Obama to emulate Gordon Brown, who is probably just weeks away from being voted out as Britain’s prime minister, and start bullying people himself. That is — well, it’s in the great tradition.

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Blunt and right-on:

But somehow the Democrats need to capture for people that the true horror of Republican rule would be every couple weeks having some cranky, seventy-something guy from the South pulling a freak out, screaming at the country to get off his lawn and shutting down the government until the veins in his forehead de-bulge.
DougJ opines:
No, the true horror of Republican rule would be endless Congressional investigations into ACORN, into Obama’s birth certificate, into Van Jones, into Salahigate, into whether or not Obama still smokes, into the gender make-up of Obama’s basketball teams, into Joe Biden’s hair plugs, into the iPod Michelle Obama gave the Queen, and so on.

Truth be told, it would be very entertaining.

Finally, something to quote by Saint Meghan of McArdle:

[I]n recessions, the length of time for which people need “temporary” [unemployment benefit] assistance stretches out. That means that the government has to respond with temporary benefit extensions. These aren’t just good for the people who are unemployed; it’s also good for us. Unemployment assistance is one of the “automatic fiscal stabilizers” that all but the most hard-nosed conservative economists agree help smooth the business cycle in modern industrial countries. Indeed, it’s one of the most effective forms of stimulus we have.
Even if you think the government needs a plan to get its house in order, why on earth is Bunning making a stand on this issue? It’s political poison–even the Republican base knows people who are out of work. It’s terrible economic policy–suddenly cutting off the taps would have nasty knock-on effects on the economy. And while it’s a lot of money, it’s one of the few government programs that pretty much unequivocally improve the net welfare of the American people. If Bunning wants to hold up something, how about finding some useless defense appropriations to complain about?

I don’t know why, but I forgot how excellent CBS’ 60 Minutes can be.

Tonight’s stories on Chinese espionage and the Armenian genocide were excellent.
For all the hate I lard upon the mainstream media, 60 Minutes is truly a pearl among swine.
Well, except for Andy Rooney of course.
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I’ve always wondered why scientists and some in the media refer to earthquakes as “temblors“. It always sounded weird to me. Why not “tremblor” or “trembler” –where did the R go? — I wondered…

As it turns out, temblor is the Spanish word for earthquake.

Seriously, how did we live before Google?

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For years, people have been claiming to see Jesus in the unlikeliest of places — cheese, chicken, etc . But throughout the history of these sightings, toast as always been the most common culprit. Looks like the tables have turned, Jesus. (via Urlesque)

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