Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Kristy Swanson, 43. Sure, she's not the real Slayer, and not even the real Mannequin. But so what?

The good stuff:

1. It's good to read what smart outsiders say about you -- here's Alex Massie on Newtown.

2. Stan Collender is not optimistic about a deal before January 1. Jonathan Cohn has more.

3. Michael Linden notes that John Boehner is extremely selective as to whether interest on debt counts as government "spending" or not.

4. Which president:
under our institutions there was no middle ground for the negro race between slavery and equal citizenship. There can be no permanent disfranchised peasantry in the United States. Freedom can never yield its fullness of blessings so long as the law or its administration places the smallest obstacle in the pathway of any virtuous citizen.
Answer? That's Garfield, in his inaugural address in 1881. I know very little about Garfield other than "disappointed office seeker," so I found it interesting. From Kenneth Lowande; part of a series from the Miller Center.

5. And Mary Elizabeth Williams interviews the great Julie Brown.


  1. One of the issues with the response to Newtown (and the aspirational dreams of Great Society liberals) is that people tend to be fabulously fatuous when coming to terms with important matters. What's wrong with America, Alex Massie? Who the hell knows? What was wrong in the house Adam Lanza shared with his mother, that's the question.

    Nothing, right? Her divorce was "basically painless", as definitively evidenced by the boilerplate language in her divorce decree, which language we know (!) to be designed to accurately reflect feelings as opposed to something trivial like protecting a huge pile of assets. And she was very pleasant at tea, said her neighbors, which I guess is in contrast to the other psycho neighbors who come over once a week and routinely freak out over crumpets.

    So when a young man shoots his mother in the face five times, we know there's nothing weird about that household cause a) legalese says otherwise and b) she was pleasant in superficial interactions. Instead...oooh Aspergers! (How many other Asperberger's sufferers have ever shot a parent at point blank range multiple times?)

    Here's the thing: I think we are collectively far too stupid a species to be trusted with something like a Great Society without massive internal controls. Even though the boilerplate legal documents and casual observations of neighbors say the Lanza woman was a sweet lady not suffering trauma, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say the five bullets in the face (and later shooting up her beloved school) says there was some serious unreported trouble in that home.

    Trouble that would be pretty easy to envision, if one had the inclination to envision such things. Trouble that would be obviously inconsistent with the safe maintenance of multiple automatic weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

    But also: oooh aspergers.

  2. Read Candice Millard's "Destiny of a Nation," an account of the assassination of the death of pres Garfield and the part that medical malpractice played in his death. Along the way, a portrait of a remarkable, humane, reluctant president whose death deprived the country of a leader of great potential.

    1. Xeno, let's keep things in their proper perspective.....

      Plus a Williams College alumnus!



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