I read a story about this the other day and am still marveling at what a deliciously clever idea this is. Seth Graeme-Smith, a writer of little repute, wrote a version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that now includes deadly zombie action:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies — Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the original text of Jane Austen’s beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Complete with 20 illustrations in the style of C. E. Brock (the original illustrator of Pride and Prejudice), this insanely funny expanded edition will introduce Jane Austen’s classic novel to new legions of fans.

I am sure the book will be wonderfully clever and ironic — I don’t think I’ll buy it but you have to give props to a guy that combines Jane Austen and the undead!

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Color me surprised (snark) but the members of the Grand Obstructionist Party in the House of Representatives unanimously voted against Obama’s stimulus plan yesterday.

Yep, exactly ZERO Republicans voted in favor of the plan, even though Obama and House Democrats made a number of concessions to their demands.

I suspect the politics on this for the Republicans are going to be brutal:

I’m glad [the bill] passed. I’m also glad that Obama tried as hard as he did to get bipartisan support, and I don’t think that the fact that he didn’t get it shows that the attempt was misguided. There are good reasons to try for bipartisan support regardless of how likely you think you are to succeed.

If you do succeed, then both parties have some ownership of the stimulus bill, neither will be as eager to politicize it, and it will be harder for either to use it to beat up the other. This is good. If you try hard, and publicly, to attract Republican support, but fail, then Republicans look like intransigent ideologues who would rather try to score political points than actually deal with the serious problems the country faces. You, by contrast, look reasonable: you tried to reach out, but your efforts were rejected.

Obviously, this only works if your efforts look serious. If Obama had gone to the Republicans and said: I propose a bill entirely made up of things Democrats really want and you really hate, but please, do join us in supporting it!, that wouldn’t work at all. But he didn’t do that. He went the extra mile. When Republicans protested about particular things, he dropped some of them (though not all: he was not, for instance, willing to compromise on refundable tax credits, and he was right not to compromise on that one.) There’s a fine line between being willing to compromise and being willing to surrender, and I think Obama generally stayed on the right side of it, while being open enough to compromise that he will get real credit for trying.

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Governor Hairdo is out on his ass, by a vote of 59-0:

The Illinois Senate voted 59-0 to convict Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) “on an article of impeachment Thursday that charged him with a pattern of abusing power, prompting the governor’s immediate ouster.” Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn assumed power after the vote.

Obama had this to say:

Today ends a painful episode for Illinois. For months, the state had been crippled by a crisis of leadership. Now that cloud has lifted. I wish Governor Quinn the best and pledge my full cooperation as he undertakes his new responsibilities.

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This is definitely my quote of the week:

I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party.You know you’re just on these talk shows and you’re living well and plus you stir up a bit of controversy and gin the base and that sort of thing. But when it comes to true leadership, not that these people couldn’t be or wouldn’t be good leaders, they’re not in that position of John Boehner or Mitch McConnell

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), head of the Republican Study Committee.

h/t Andrew Sullivan

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It looks as if the public is ready to have Obama force through some really serious changes in order to get us back on track:

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(h/t Yglesias)

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Here is the video of Obama’s interview on al-Arabiya:

A pretty smart move if you ask me.

Andrew Sullivan’s take:

It popped up on television last night and I had two reactions. The first was a sense of met expectation. Part of the rationale for Obama’s presidency from a foreign policy perspective was always his unique capacity to rebrand America in the eyes of the Muslim world. Since even the hardest core neocons agree that wooing the Muslim center is critical to winning the long war against Jihadism, Obama’s outreach is unremarkable and should be utterly uncontroversial. Bush tried for a while to do the same. But Karen Hughes is not exactly Barack Obama. And the simple gesture of choosing an Arab media outlet for his first televised interview as president is extremely powerful. It has the elegance of a minimalist move with maximalist aims. It is about the same thing as inviting Rick Warren or supping with George Will: it’s about R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Obama has a long way to go, not just in appealing to the better sentiments of Muslims around the globe, but also to the redneck Muslim-fearing racists in this country that FOX News is so good at scaring shitless (earlier: FOX Reporters Scaring People With Images of Muslims)

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I was just reading an article that discussed how X percentage of Americans identified themselves as "pro-choice" and Y percentage identified themselves as "pro-life". It made me think about how much I hate politically crafted euphemisms.

Think about what each term implies. To be "pro-life" must mean that the other side is somehow not in favor of life. The "pro-choice" label is more accurate, as the main issue for most supporters of Roe v. Wade is a woman's right to choose, not a cheering support of killing fetuses.

I think the most appropriate labels for the camps would be "pro-choice" vs. either "anti-abortion" or "anti-choice". But of course the anti-abortion camp wouldn't like that because it comes off as being too negative even though a negative position is the crux of their argument – opposition to abortion and opposition to a woman's right to choose.

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There are a lot of reasons to hate Faux FOX News, but chief among them is their incessant attempt to scare Americans into believing in Republican rule by painting Mexicans, Muslims and pretty much anyone else with a non-pink hue as terribly scary.

Well, they’re at it again:

Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) said last week that the U.S. could hold the detainees in federal prisons, just like we hold thousands of other dangerous inmates. This morning, Fox and Friends responded by sending a reporter to Murtha’s district to flash photos of suspected terrorists — their only identification being Muslim headgear — and ask residents, “Would you want a guy like this living in your backyard?”

FEAR! Dirty scary Muslims! In your backyard! Fondling your children and burning the American flag! F E A R!
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