Slacker Friday

Slacker Friday

On African-American athletes boycotting the Commonwealth of Virginia, Sarah Palin’s nuclear weapons expertise and the mail.


My new "Think Again" column is called, "Global Warming: You Don’t Need a Weatherman" and it’s here .

My new Nation column is called "Don’t Cry for David Frum," and it’s here.

I interviewed Garry Wills, one of my heroes, for the Brennan Center’s new book site, "Just Books" about his new book, Bomb Power, here.

And I did a post Sunday night for Daily Beast about the future of the Supreme Court, here.

Here’s Charles


Hey Doc:

"Just then, Luke The Rat from down below/called to Gunboat Bill/He said, ‘Listen to them madmen wail."

Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: "Chocolate Cake" (Honey Island Swamp Band) — OK, in an act of charity, and because I did so love "The Wire", I’m willing to admit that, with "Treme," David Simon loves New Orleans as much as I do.

Short Takes:

Part The First:

This is what journalists are supposed to take seriously because it appeals to the assembled dumbasses in our land, and we don’t want to appear "elitist." Someone should write a book, I swear.

Part The Second:

What’s the over/under on how soon this cluck appears on the Fox News Channel. A week? Two? These are the kind of people who may be running the Congress next November.

Part The Third:

OK here’s the deal. It’s time for African American athletes to stop playing for public universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It’s time for the parents of African American high-school athletes to tell recruiters that their children will not be playing for public universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It’s time for African American students generally to pass on the public universities of the Commonwealth of Virginia. And that’s just the start. It’s a time for a general, no-bullshit, vintage anti-apartheid boycott of the Commonwealth of Virginia until such time as the state’s officials rescind this ahistorical celebration of treason, white supremacy, and anti-American bloodshed. This act was done solely, a) to appeal to the undying racist energy of the state’s conservative voters, and b) to piss off the people whom the black-hearted reactionary governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia believes it is politically advantageous to piss off. It’s also time for the incumbent president of the United States to decline to appear in the Commonwealth Of Virginia until further notice. It’s time to make the Virginia’s economy scream.

Part The Fourth:

No. Thank you for playing and we have some lovely parting gifts. It is the institution of the papacy–born of a misinterpretation of Scripture and some ancient political maneuvering and reinforced by that prince of idiots, Pius IX ramming the noxious doctrine of infallibility through Vatican I with half the world’s bishops collapsing of heat exhaustion–that has to change, radically and permanently, preferably with an elected council of bishops hung upon the Chair of Peter the way Madison hung the Congress on the presidency. Either that, or the papacy has to fall. It is an untenable office, theologically and every other way.

Part The Penultimate:

Not to overreact, but the person who wrote this should have been fired on the spot. The editor who approved it for publication should have been next out the door–or the window, whichever one was closest. I don’t know how often we have to hit these people over the head with this particular two-by-four, but it’s worth pointing out again to these smug little twerps that: politics do not exist for your personal entertainment. It is not the job of politicians to bring a little sunshine into your drab little existences, or the sparkles into your pants, Rich Lowry notwithstanding. Yeesh.

Part The Ultimate:

There seems to be something of a scooby-dooby-doo building because the president of the United States essentially called the former half-term governor a blockhead on the subject of nuclear weapons policy, which is one of several thousand subjects on which the former half-term governor of Alaska is a demonstrable blockhead. This is roughly the equivalent of the president’s pointing out that his dog is unqualified to fly the space shuttle. However, the various blockheads claiming this woman to be their queen are furious–and, yes, we’re hearing again about how close Alaska is to Russia, even though this is now the "A guy walks into a bar with a duck on his head of political humor–and various nervous Democrats are worried that, by pointing out that the woman’s an obvious blockhead, the president may be elevating her to his equal as a national leader.

Well, every poll I’ve ever seen shows that, almost universally, nobody wants this woman to be president. She has a very slim national constituency which does not become more significant simply because it’s loud. She is a perfect rodeo clown with which to saddle the opposition. Make Newt (I Are Inteleckshual) Gingrich carry her around, or Pawlenty, or Romney, or any of the more serious jackasses. Make her what the Republican party made out of poor George McGovern all those years. And, for god’s sake, don’t worry about "elevating her status." Do what you can to make her the most important Republican in the universe. Then pop some corn and have some fun.

The Mail:

Name: Tom Delate

Hometown: Headwall, Colorado

Dr. E:

Thanks for the objective commentary on the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse (ongoing) scandal. As a Catholic, my sense of the (ongoing) cover-up is that one of the primary drivers of its perpetration was the dwindling numbers of priests and their replacements. The Church had to retain as many priests as it could. Thus, it did everything in its power to keep them in the priesthood so as to not thin the ranks further. Simple maybe, but the laws of supply and demand work even in the religion business.

Name: Stephen Carver

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

"Crazy Jews, Continued" sounds like the name of a great punk band. Malcolm McLaren would be proud.

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