Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Pauline Collins, 73. We just finished the second season of Upstairs Downstairs with the youngest daughter...Collins is so, so, good in it.

Good stuff for a very short week:

1. Jack Goldsmith on what an authorization for use of force can look like.

2. Andrew Rudalevige on what this all means for war powers, and for the War Powers Act.

3. And Who Writes for the NYT?


  1. Hey, speaking of AUMF's, there's a really fascinating poll up at the Drudge Report right now: Give Obama authority to conduct military operation in Syria?

    Considering that -

    a) Republicans are generally more hawkish than Democrats, and

    b) Republicans in particular perceive Democrats to be a bunch of pantywaists wrt the unpleasant exigencies of the Arab Street, and

    c) Prominent Republicans such as McCain have been banging the war drum hard lately,

    its pretty startling - even for Drudge - that only 8% of ~400,000 respondents said "Yes".

    Worth keeping in mind the next time the Plain Blog revisits that favorite topic: Why are Republican politicians so heck-bent on thwarting Obama?

    Perhaps they've been on the phone to their Drudge-reading constituents?

    1. Drudge and the word 'fascinating' should never be in the same sentence unless the sentence refers to a psychiatric diagnosis.

    2. Honestly, this is what the modern GOP hath wrought: they've riled up their base well past the point of coherence.

  2. JB, I look forward to your reaction to Penny Lane's archival documentary "Our Nixon," once you get a chance to see it. The reviews from film critics have been favorable ( http://www.metacritic.com/movie/our-nixon ), e.g. J Hoberman writing colorfully about it entering the canon of Nixon media:

    "Perhaps there is no Richard Nixon but only the public spectacle we might call the Nixoniad. The so-called Checkers speech of 1952 gave him a larger audience than any politician in history had enjoyed up until that time. The 1970 photograph of him with Elvis remains the most requested item in the National Archive. Nixon’s trip to China occasioned an opera; his televised interviews with David Frost from 1977 were fodder for a Broadway play and a Hollywood movie. The media is his home. Our Nixon’s funniest bit catches the Leader of the Free World in private conversation with Haldeman and Ehrlichman, pondering the sitcom All in the Family and ranting about the glorification of homosexuality on the public airwaves. To watch Our Nixon is to see our thirty-seventh president as the ghost in the machine, a funny-looking gremlin who haunts the national TV set."

  3. There was a series of paperbacks in the early 60s of news photos with funny captions added. As a teen I devoured them. I still remember a couple--there's Fidel Castro swinging a baseball bat and saying "Quick! Nationalize the outfield!"

    And there's Nixon as vp in his famous "kitchen debate" with Khruschev. He's talking earnestly to a skeptical Premier saying, "But Cheer gives you a much whiter white." What was especially funny about it was that you could believe Nixon had actually said it.

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    2. It was from Mad Magazine. It was something like: S.O.S is good but Cheer gives a whiter white (notice that Mad didn't compare two laundry detergents, which probably would have gotten them sued).

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