Friday, March 2, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to the great Laraine Newman, 60. Overshadowed by the multiple comic geniuses around her, but still very funny.

And the good stuff:

1. Who are you going to consult to understand what happened with the delegates in Michigan? Obviously, you want Josh Putnam.

2. Spencer Ackerman, top Jew.

3. I like this one by the Economist's J.F. about what the culture war is these days.

4. Stephanie Mencimer on ACA and the Santorum family.

5. And Lael Leibovitz: "[W]hen it comes to the issue of birth control, we’re all Jews, and we pretty much have been for a very long time."


  1. Today is also the late Theodore Seuss Geisel's birthday; better known as Dr. Seuss, he'd be 108.

    Perhaps one of the greatest political satirists of all time. How I wish he were able to caricature today's culture warriors.

  2. Calling the issues agitating conservatives these days "culture war" is misdirection. They are straight-forward economic conflicts, or efforts to provide political advantage in serving economic interests. Undermining collective bargaining. Limiting ballot access. Undoing health care reform (piece by piece). Privatizing education. Etc.

    (For instance, the Blunt admendment wasn't aimed at providing insurers and employers an out on coverage for contraception -- it provided an out for ANY procedure or care an employer or insurer objected to paying for. It isn't a revision of feminist culture war of the past but an attack on the notion of health coverage rights for everyone -- men and women.)

    The demonization and disrespect being accorded women in these recent fights (as recipients of reproductive health care benefits, as public workers and members of teacher and nurses unions, as the young and elderly voters least likely to meet stringent voter ID restrictions, etc.) provides the gloss of old 40-50 year old culture fights, but, women and their interests aren't being attacked because they are women or because conservatives disapprove of women's increased participation in the workforce and public life.

    They are being attacked because women, most especially young working women, make relatively cost-free scapegoats -- they don't form the most important or significant part of the conservative base (which is an older, more male, more married, more affluent cohort in which a high number of women are in more traditional marriages, are less likely to work or to have worked outside the home out of necessity, etc.) or, perhaps most important, its wealthiest funders.

    This makes it easy to use women and their interests as signifiers of a "culture war" that isn't, and as a destraction from an economic war that is.

  3. I strongly disagree that Laraine Newman was overshadowed. She was a vital part of the team, and certainly held her own among them.

    1. I don't mean any slight to her; I agree she held her own, and I'm a big fan. But surely she was overshadowed. The hype went elsewhere. And, really, deservedly so for the most part -- not that she was in any way weak, but Belushi and Radner were inner-circle HOFers.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Who links to my website?