I’ve got a new "Think Again" column called "Kill Me Before I Sing Again," and it’s here.
My new Nation column is called "Zinn-ophibia at NPR" and it’s here.
Oh and if you wanted to see Melissa and myself with Bill Moyers a couple of weeks ago, that’s here.
Now here’s Charles.
CHARLES PIERCE NEWTON. MA.
Hey Doc —
"Bonaparte is away from his wars and his fighting/He is off to a place he can take no delight in."
Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: "Here Come The Saints" (Big Chief Howard)– Canal, Ramparts, and Iberville Avenues, calling to me on Tuesday, and I’m calling back, telling them how much I love New Orleans.
Part The First:
I’m begging all you people at the Washington Post, take the car keys away from Grandpa before he runs into a busload of nuns. I think he was writing this column and mistook the accelerator for the brake.
Part The Second:
I really don’t know what to make of this, except to sympathize with Andrew, and to remain unsurprised when somebody at The New Republic departs this vale of sanity. After all, the presiding intellect behind the magazine is a bigot and a fool who got prominent by clipping his wife’s coupons. Nevertheless, it seems like we lost almost an entire generation of young political journalists to this place, and that’s not even to bring up Stephen Glass and Ruthie Shalit, the latter of whom Andrew’s current antagonist once vigorously defended while, it must be said, Andrew was editing the magazine. (Department Of Small Worlds: one of Shalit’s minor sins was lifting material from….wait for it…David Broder.) The generation that followed–young Ezra, the Attackerman, and Matthew Y., to name three–seems to be blessedly aware of what a smug little madhouse the Singer Midget ran. As a certified Old Guy, I’d like to say that this can only be a good thing.
Part The Third:
And then we have Newsweek which, under the unctuous command of Parson Meacham, has turned into a remarkable combination of conventional pablumand water-color contrarianism. In this week’s episode, the Parsoninforms us that we on the other side can "learn" something from the Tea Party goobers down in Nashville, without specifying what exactly that is. Poll taxes? Birther conspiracies? Vainglorious ignorance? Tell us, Parson. We’re dying to know. (To be entirely fair, there was also this piece describing exactly what a festival for fruitcakes that was. Interesting that the second piece was a "Web Exclusive.") And it also seems that Mr. Hitchens doesn’t like sports very much. Differentstrokes and all, I guess, although I’ll take a drunk in a bar yelling about the Yankees any day over a drunk in a bar yelling about how veddy, veddy marvelous was the invasion of Iraq. However, a while back, I recall Christopher’s explaining the American South to the rest of us, during the course of which he seemed quite charmed by the whole NASCAR culture. As I said, different strokes and all.
Part The Fourth:
OK, I realize that, in our post-partisan nation, we are supposed to respect all points of view, and listen courteously to those ideas with which we disagree, or else Parson Meacham will go off and weep in the little replica Gethsemane he’s built out beyond the outhouse. That said, the very fact that the state legislature of the state that gave us Thomas Jefferson and James Madison is seriously entertaining an exercise in paranoid lunacy should get more attention than it has. Plainly, the Republican party in Virginia has lost its mind. That should be a story. In any country that took self-government as seriously as it takes the quest for John Edwards’ poontang, any politician who proposed this garbage, debated on its behalf, voted in its favor, or did anything but mercilessly ridicule this legislation and the moron who sponsored it, should be reduced to shouting their opinions to the wind from atop a steam grate. I do not have to take this seriously. Someone should write a book, I swear, and it should come out next June in paperback.
Part The Penultimate:
They’re all petulant, spoiled brats, and now they’re wandering around wetting themselves because they’re afraid of the people who have come to idolizean ignorant dolt. If I were Gibbs, I’d cancel the daily briefings for a week and go fishing.
Part The Ultimate:
The redoubtable Digby flagged this little gem from one of our "reasonable" conservatives with impeccable credentials as a Village thinker. I, too, particularly enjoyed this sentence: "The elderly would receive $11,000 a year to purchase insurance." This happens to impinge a bit on an area with which I am sadly familiar. Therefore, as Samuel L. says in Pulp Fiction, "Allow me to retort."
There are almost five-and-a-half million people in this country with Alzheimer’s Disease and that number’s going north in a hurry. Those people cost the current system triple what the rest of the people in their general age-group cost. Almost 10 million people, most of them elderly spouses with their own health issues, do most of the care-taking for this disease, and do so at a rate that is estimated to be worth around $94 billion. Individuals with Alzheimer’s incur over $33,000 a year for health-care and long-term services, and almost $2500 annually out-of-pocket for services not covered by other sources, which would be Medicare and Medicaid, both of which would be eliminated by the budget that has so endeared itself to Mr. Brooks, who is never going to have to care what happens to him when he gets old, or to Rep. Ryan, who currently has available to him asingle-payer, government-run health-care system, courtesy of you and me.
It seems that Ryan is one of those pathetic souls who took Ayn Rand seriously, and that this horror he’s proposing is honestly derived from having done lost his intellectual virginity deep in Galt’s Gulch. There is no excuse for Brooks. Alzheimer’s Disease makes a mockery out of an $11,000 annual voucher, and the notion that someone with dementia, his exhausted elderly spouse, and/or his frazzled children should be made to navigate the cruel maze that is this country’s health-care "system" in order not to die, penniless, pulling out their own teeth one-by-one, as my father did, leaves us with only one conclusion about David Brooks, and I’m sorry, but the proprietor of this space doesn’t think it appropriate for family viewing….