Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Jennifer Jason Jeigh, 51.

And a bit of good stuff:

1. Jonathan Chait follows up on his first-rate essay about GOP anti-democratic efforts. If I was a totally annoying nitpicker, I'd mention that the distinction he makes between activists and "party" doesn't really work well, but then again as far as I know the Colorado effort he talks about was not, in fact, an effort to steal away electoral votes in a state Democrats believed was otherwise lost to them; it was, rather, a misguided (okay, in my view) effort to achieve fairness. The key question I'd ask isn't activists vs. formal party organization; it's state vs. national. I don't know, or don't remember, the facts about the Colorado ballot measure, but if it was national activists trying to grab a few electoral votes they otherwise thought Democrats had no chance to get, then it's very similar to the current scheme. If, however, it was locals who were basically following (poorly) the same logic that the National Popular Vote people are pushing now, then...well, it would have been foolish for Colorado, but it's hardly the same.

2. "[W]e get our Athena sprung right from the head of Zeus." Neil Sinhababu on immigration.

3. Via Farley (and I don't agree with him about what what happened to Tigh in the final half of the series), an interview with Ronald Moore about the military and his work, especially BSG. You probably should not click over if you haven't seen it -- but you really should see it.

4. And I'm not sure what to make of it, but interesting: Naomi Zeveloff on a study of Israeli and Palestinian textbooks. Short summary: lots of jingoism on both sides, but hardly any over-the-top dehumanizing slurs.


  1. It may have been local activists but they were well aware that their proposal--unlike the National Popular Vote compact--would not be contingent on other states following through, and would therefore benefit Kerry if, as was generally thought, Bush was favored in Colorado (which, one should remember, had easily gone for Bush in 2000, had supported Dole in 1996, and had only very narrowly given Clinton a plurality in 1992, with Perot probably hurting Bush more than Clinton). As polls started to show Colorado was rather close and Kerry just might win it, local Democratic officials came out against the proposal, which lost badly at the polls (Kerry lost Colorado, but came closer than Gore had in 2000, partly because Nader got fewer votes).

    In 2008 and 2012 of course, Colorado was more Democratic than the country as a whole--for the first time in decades. So it's a good thing for the Democrats the plan didn't go through...

    By the way, there was also an attempt before 2008 by some California Republicans to divide the state's electoral vote (as in Colorado, it would be by popular vote, not congresional districts). It also failed badly (it didn't even get the necessary petititons to get on the ballot). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_Election_Reform_Act

  2. I think THIS (http://thomasfriedmanopedgenerator.com/Hard+Lines%2C+Red+Lines+and+Green+Lines+380b6e) will qualify for a CotD.

    (It may be TOO good for someone to catch it at first....it's a Thomas Friedman column generator. It's awesome)

    1. "The first rule of holes is that when you're in one, stop digging. When you're in three, bring a lot of shovels."

  3. I disagreed with Farley about Tigh as well. As I noted in his thread, I like how Tigh was basically the same person throughout the show (avoiding being specific for people like me who didn't see it during its run and might want to start watching, which you absolutely should).

    1. Ah, but if you're a fan of Portlandia, you might think people SHOULDN'T watch BSG.......

    2. Ha, indeed. I was still making my way through the series when that episode of Portlandia came on. So I had to wait a while to watch it. It was really funny.


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