Monday, March 19, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Terry Hall of The Specials and The Fun Boy Three, 53. I'm not sure how I didn't know this (or maybe I just forgot), but looking this up I found out that he co-wrote "Our Lips Are Sealed" with Jane Wiedlin. Of course I know the great Fun Boy Three version of it, but didn't realize that it wasn't just a random and brilliant cover.  

The good stuff:

1. Want the story on the effects of changes in marginal tax rates? Christina Romer has it.

2. Opposition to Romney is based on issues, not his religion -- that's what Michael Tesler finds over at YouGov.

3. Jamelle Bouie makes the case that Republican opposition to Justice Sonia Sotomayor is an overlooked and important factor in Latino political orientation. Plausible!

4. Paul Waldman argues that Rick Santorum will go pumpkin as soon as the campaign is over. As I've said, I take the middle ground here -- I don't think he's anything like a strong favorite for the next open nomination, but I do think he's bought himself more of a future than Waldman sees.

5. And why al Qaeda has a "dog food problem," explained by Adam Serwer.


  1. I'm inclined to be skeptical about the Sotomayor theory. I'm sure it didn't help, but how many Latino voters are so engaged in politics that they'd pay attention to a judicial nomination fight? Maybe they'd have been paying more attention than usual simply because she was the first Latino nominee, but I have my doubts about how many this would affect. It's not the same as the race issue with Barack Obama. Presidential politics engages far more voters than judicial politics. Bouie is looking at the issue too much as a political junkie, where things that we notice may go entirely unnoticed by most of the rest of the population.

    1. I don't know. I think ethnic politics can have its own rules to some extent. I still (vaguely) recall seeing an Italian-language newspaper in New York City touting in a major front-page headline that Joseph Califano had been named secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. And some Hispanic lady on TV the other day was talking about how her mother cried the day that Sotomayor was confirmed for the Supreme Court, which she took as a sign that "We can do it."

  2. I've always been intrigued by the phenomenon of two people from different bands co-writing a song and then both bands recording it. The only other examples I know of are "Chinese Rocks" - The Ramones and The Heartbreakers, and "Pictures on My Wall" - The Teardrop Explodes and Echo & the Bunnymen.

    1. Not exactly the same, but Nick Lowe's original version of "What's so funny about Peace, Love, and Understanding" is much poppier than the Elvis Costello version which he produced.


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