I’ve got a new "Think Again" column called "This Fish Rots from the Head Down" and it’s about what a crappy, dishonest columnist George Will is, and it’s here.

(Funnily, I am staying at the Doubletree in Ontario, CA, where I am debating young Ross Douthat at Pomona College tonight, and its computers will not allow me to access that piece or any piece on the CAP website. The warning reads: "The access to the address above is restricted. Accordingly to our harmful content database SiteCoach does not allow you to visit this page!" Sheesh.

My Nation column this week is an examination of the issues raised by a young right-wing journalist’s awful book about the elite media’s alleged persecution of Sarah Palin and it’s called "Sarah, Smile!" (I know, I know, keep my day job…)

While Pedro was letting all the honest, hardworking people of the world down last night, I was typing away at this meshugena hotel computer so that the world might enjoy my election wrap-up from the Daily Beast, and that’s here.

Did I mention that my ThinkPad died in between Dallas and Ontario? It’s the fourth time that thing has had to be repaired, and of course I am stuck out here with a long flight home no laptop. It’s enough to make one consider switching to a Mac, finally. Anway, fortunately Pierce is early, so we have an excuse to post this. Oh, ok, one more thing. Did you happen to notice how Bruce ended his night of the RRHOF (at 1:30am) with an amazing "Higher and Higher" featuring everybody who wanted to perform: Sam More, John Fogerty, Billy Joel, Jackson Browne, Tom Morello, etc, while Bono/U2 felt a need to kick everybody off the stage (Mick, Bruce, Patti, etc) so they could close the show alone? Just saying… See you this weekend. Wild and Innocent, Saturday. The River, Sundy. First time ever for both. Here’s Pierce. 



Hey Doc —

"Well, I hitched a ride from the borderland/when the home guard went insane/No use trying to work with people/who can’t tell fire from rain."

Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: "Nevada" (Gil Evans) — It’s never too close to call how much I love New Orleans.

Short Takes:

Part The First: Parson Meacham, that pious fraud, can continue to BITE ME. And, of course, in conjunction with Sister Sally Punchboard, he also presented a reading from the Book Of THUGS.

Part The Second: The redoubtable Howler remains invaluable. THIS is why. How you settle on a know-nothing pink balloon like Marsha Blackburn as a credible spokesperson for "the other side" on this issue–other that the very real possibility that she might’ve been the only one the reporter could get on the phone–is too deep for my small mind to ponder.

Part The Third: Very weird COLUMN. Note to Jon–the reason that ETL New Republic hasn’t won a National Magazine Award recently is assuredly not because it once won one for Betsy McCaughey’s bullshit. The reason Marisa Tomei has not won an Oscar recently is not  because she won one once for My Cousin Vinny. (And Betsy’s was the worst  article in the history of a magazine that once employed Stephen Glass, and that continues to publish the fudge-brained ramblings of The Singer MIDGET?  Look a bit deeper, my lad. And the NMA’s aren’t until next spring, for pity’s sake. Someone needs a hug.

Part The Fourth: I care less about David Brooks’s dating advice than I do about a goat’s taste in opera.

Part The Fifth: My favorite POST yet from my favorite new honky-tonk here along the docks of Blogistan.

Part The Penultimate: Thanks to Marcy for blogging up this TRANSCRIPT. I was particularly struck by this analysis from Rep. Lamar Smith, one of the true brainiacs in the Texas delegation: "All Al Qaeda needs to do now is open a bookstore." I guess they’re right. We are going to have to tighten up our Borders. Hey-yo! No, thank you. Really. I’ll be here all week.

Part The Ultimate: Of all the shoddy reactions to last Tuesday’s orgy of marginal significance, this may be the most  IMPORTANT. If you’re keeping score at home, the national Republican party just sent a message to the nutters that, any time they can muster up a candidate from the Island Of Misfit TOYS, the party will take a pass on the race. Now, if you think Cornyn’s a little smarter than I think he is –and I think he’s pretty much a blockhead–you could argue that he’s giving The Base just enough rope to hang itself.  (The establishment candidates who get crisped as collateral damage–Hi there, Charlie Crist!–are just SOL, I guess.) However, if you are burdened with common sense, it’s plain that the national GOP is scared right down to the tassels on its loafers by what’s going on in the hinterlands, its trembling exacerbated this week when Congresswoman Batshit J. Crazee called for direct ACTION. They may learn to channel all this by 2012; the redoubtable Digby OPINES that the whole business is just the same old plutocratic weasels sub-contracting the job of rebuilding their movement. That may be, but, for now, and for whatever reason, one of the country’s two major political parties has surrendered itself utterly to the monkeyhouse. While undoubtedly entertaining, this is in no way a good thing.

Name: Stan Druben

Hometown: Ashland, OR

You ask: "The Dow’s up, but why are Main Street Americans still reeling from last year’s economic collapse"

One answer is that, today, rising (even rapidly rising) GDP is a poor indicator of recovery, even if it encourages a rise in the DOW.

"What gets measured, gets attention." And the fact is, GDP ignores or distorts too much of what needs attention-like who gets the increase (all equitably or mostly a few) and what impact the rise has on natural capital (e.g, the atmospheric commons).

"If the GDP is Up, Why is America Down?"

is the title of a 1995 Atlantic Monthly article. The current "jobless recovery" and the recent study requested by President Sarkozy, "Report by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, are but two of the many reasons to (re-)read that Atlantic article now.

Name: Tom Joyce

Hometown: Buffalo, NY

Dear Eric

I see the Yankees won the World Series. That has to be bad for Obama, but don’t expect our liberal media to say so.

And with a six game sweep, the Public Option is dead.

All events bode badly for Obama. I expect Richard Cohen, who IS a liberal (really) (no! really really!) to eventually make this connection.

Tom Joyce

Name: Joe Raskin

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Dr. Alterman–

While I share Charles Pierce’s love of "Rocky and His Friends", the greatest cartoon show ever started with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck singing "On With The Show". Nothing else can ever top anything that Chuck Jones was involved with.

Name: Steve Pasek

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Mr. Alterman,

Already sent an email to Charles Pierce, but also wanted to thank you for the plug for Chainsaw Dupont’s "C’mon Cat", which I produced (I’m also his lyrical collaborator on other songs). It was actually the result of an "exquisite corpse" exercise which we used to provide an instrumental track for that CD, it’s a weird tune but apparently hits some people in the right spot.

If you might be interested in hearing some of our music, let me know the address to send it to and I’ll mail some CDs out to you. This song was from the "Street Trilogy" project, a trio of CDs dedicated to the 3 great cities of the blues- Chicago, New Orleans, and Memphis.