I’ve got a new "Think Again" column called "Money for Nothing" and it’s here.

 This month’s Moment column, on Jewish McCarthyism, is here

My idea of a good movie: "One more thought. If you’ve been looking for a film whose hero uses the subjunctive frequently and correctly, ‘Youth in Revolt’ is it." (from the WSJ) Just saying.

Here’s Charles

CHARLES PIERCENEWTON, MA.

Hey Doc:

"There’s a port on a western bay/and it serves a hundred ships a day."

Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click — "Woman Named Trouble" (Bernard Allison)— Just because Byron Dorgan’s leaving the Senate doesn’t mean I loveNew Orleans even less.

Short Takes:

Part The First: If there’s a less excusable Democratic politician alive than Harold Ford, Jr., I’m not sure who it is. Not to mention the fact that he’s one of the most singularly inept campaigners to climb the stump since John Ashcroft lost to that dead guy. As the GOP imploded, and Democrats got elected in places like Virginia and Montana, Ford ran in Tennessee on the What-A-Friend-I-Have-In-Jesus platform and got race-baited out of the job by an non-entity named Bob Corker. So much for being a Rising Star and all. James Carville sure can pick ’em, can’t he? (More than one person has told me that Ford looks at Barack Obama the way Salieri looked at Mozart.) Now, though, with some Wall Street grifters behind him, and his support running from one side of the MSNBC green room to the other, this clown is bringing his act to New York. All of that is shameless political opportunism. However, this is different. This vote hurt people, many of whom you can read about in a book I can recommend. This vote made a painful situation infinitely worse.This vote should have disqualified him forever, not merely from participation in our national legislature, but from participation indecent society. This vote makes him a grasping, conscience-free moron.

Part The Second: Courtesy of Mr. Bogg, this may be the worst writing in English I have ever read. Added fun — see if you can count how many really cool names for indy-rock bands are concealed by the dense undergrowth here. I’ll start — "Put your hands together, Milwaukee, for The Resonant Qualifiers!"

Part The Third: From Herself, talking to Bill O’Reilly — "Palin: I believe that I am because I have common sense. And I have, I believe, the values that are reflective of so many other American values. And I believe that what Americans are seeking is not the elitism, the kind of a spinelessness that perhaps is made up for that with some kind of elite Ivy League education and a fact resume that’s based on anything but hard work and private sector, free enterprise principles. Americans could be seeking something like that in positive change in their leadership. I’m not saying that has to be me." "Fact resume"? Priceless. Go to Memorial church at Harvard some time read the names on the wall there of all the Harvard students who’ve fallen in this country’s wars. Then, go back to Wasilla and tell the apparently fathomless reservoir of local tweakers to sign up. And then go play in traffic, you vapid, mindless freak.

Part The Fourth: One. Million.Dollars.

Part The Fifth: The new sports-bar along the docks of Blogistan. Stop on by. First one’s free.

Part The Pentultimate: My friend, Kevin Cullen, a great reporter who’s forgotten more about the Irish Troubles than most people ever knew, reminds me that, the next time Rep. Peter King (R-Sputum) starts bellyaching about inadequate responses to terrorism, someone should remind the congress critter that he spent most of the 1980’s and 1990’s as a starry-eyed, wet-lipped groupie for every Provo in Northern Ireland.

Part The Ultimate: Is it just me — "It’s just you, dummy!" — or are our fellow humans in foreign lands beginning to lose their minds a bit here? This is bad enough; exporting our toxic god-botherers seems to be the uniquely American equivalent of shipping off lead-painted toys and flammable jammies. However, now comes the land of my ancestors. My fellow Rings end cowboy makes a compelling case that the case of the Irish anti-blasphemy law is more nuanced than it might appear to be on the surface, and he gives both Richard Dawkins and the American public a good boot in the arse a piece for their smugness. (The Dawkins quote is proof enough that, if you give them the chance, even the most open-minded Brits can be counted upon to say something stupid about Ireland.) And Thers’s point about the crackpot Irish Constitution is well-taken. That said, however, I’m a little less sanguine on the notion that a country that so recently has seen the institutional church of an overwhelming percentage of its population paying out a whopping settlement to the victims of horrendous child abuse can be trusted to administer this kind of law sensibly — particularly given the fact that, absent aggressive reporting and blazing public outrage, the whole scandal likely would have been lost to history. Considering the serious damage that the institutional church in this country did to the health-care reform bill here, it seems that the bureaucrats in the red-beanies have picked themselves off the floor, dusted themselves off, and are back in the ring. This is not a good thing for any country’s politics.

Name: Howard M. Romaine

Postal: NASHVILLE, TN

Erich, Enjoy your column, but would like to suggest that your ‘funeral list’ failed to pick an appropriate place, and I would like to suggest the Ryman in Nashville, as counter intuitive home for such diverse artists as Cash and Dylan. B.B. King, Kristofferson and Aretha Franklin, (this spring!!) and which has great space for viewing ‘the body’ – from the Confederate Gallery!!! keep up the good work, postpone the passing, HR

Name: Rebekah Diller

Postal: Brooklyn

Not that I condone preparing for a birthday this way but … if you’re looking for more Springsteen material for the mix, I think "Don’t Look Back" from Tracks would be a good closer. "Long Walk Home" from Magic would work before the service.