As the single-sex education debate continues, Brad Plumer says the problem is that single-sex education is being pushed by crazed reactionaries, rather than the sort of folks one might expect from my Wellesley-centric view of the situation. Andrew Rotherham says it ain’t so, citing e.g., Girls’ Prep in New York. Sara Mead says they’re both right, positing a distinction between single-sex education and gender-based education, saying the latter is the problem.
Bill O’Reilly has taped an episode of CBS’s “Late Show With David Letterman” set to air tonight. During the show, Letterman “machine-guns him with insults,” prompting O’Reilly to say, “It isn’t so black and white, Dave – it isn’t, ‘We’re a bad country. Bush is an evil liar.’ That’s not true.” Letterman responds, “I didn’t say he was an evil liar. You’re putting words in my mouth, just the way you put artificial facts in your head!”
“The commissioner of internal revenue has ordered his agency to delay collecting back taxes from Hurricane Katrina victims until after the Nov. 7 elections and the holiday season, saying he did so in part to avoid negative publicity,” the New York Times reports.
NBC is refusing to air an ad for the new Dixie Chicks documentary, “Shut Up & Sing.” Variety reports, “NBC’s commercial clearance department said in writing that it ‘cannot accept these spots as they are disparaging to President Bush.’”
Harvey Weinstein, who is distributing the movie, issued the following statement:
It’s a sad commentary about the level of fear in our society that a movie about a group of courageous entertainers who were blacklisted for exercising their right of free speech is now itself being blacklisted by corporate America. The idea that anyone should be penalized for criticizing the president is profoundly un-American.
ThinkProgress has obtained the ad NBC doesn’t want you to see. Watch it:
More on Shut Up and Sing, including when it comes to your city, HERE.
Yesterday, the Ohio Republican party distributed a press release claiming comedian Al Franken compared conservative to Nazis “who should drink poison and die.” The quote, represented as fact in the press release, came from a fabricated “satire” piece by right-wing author Bernard Goldberg.
The news release was also accompanied by a doctored photo of Franken, showing him dressed up like a baby bunny, wearing adult diapers and clutching a white teddy bears.
ThinkProgress contacted Ohio Republican party spokesman John McClelland, who issued the release, for comment. Here’s what he told us:
When someone gets under his skin [Franken] can’t handle it. He gets on his radio program and tries to get people fired up. … What goes around comes around. … It is what it is, nothing more.
Told of McClelland’s comments, Franken responded, “That’s an apology?”
Radley Balko on the Allen-Webb race:
Let’s summarize: While George Allen was discovering his love for the Confederacy in Southern California and at the University of Virginia, Jim Webb was fighting the war in Vietnam, finding himself wholly immersed in a completely foreign culture. Webb was obviously rather profoundly affected by that experience. Because he chose to write about it, in a series of books that have won widespread praise from politicians, from fellow Vietnam vets, and from literary critics.
But war-loving, flag-waving George Allen has decided to hold all of that against Jim Webb. Tonight, Allen took what was clearly a scene-painting, cultural passage from one of those books, grotesquely took it out of context and sexualized it, then slapped it on a press release in an attempt to cheapen Webb’s well-received books as cheap porn with hints of pedophelia.
This isn’t just a political attack. It’s an attack on art. On writing. On expression. Hell, it’s an attack on knowledge and learning. It’s cheap and tawdry and cynical.
K-Lo, one should note, has an initially sound response to this nonsense before letting her readers browbeat her into know-nothing philistinism. A few hours later, she’s ready to endorse anything that works.
When the going gets tough, George W. Bush digs deeper into the cocoon of ignoramous conservative journalism, hunkering down for a lengthy chat with die-hard administration loyalists from inside the print media universe. As Mike Crowley notes, you can’t get this much raw transcript of Bush without a good dose of hilarity. You also can’t get this much Bush without noticing that, like Rick Santorum, the President of the United States is conducting national security policy under conditions of truly frightening ignorance and dangerous analytic errors.
Here’s Bush on the Israel-Lebanon War: “Iran empowered Hezbollah, Hezbollah takes the attack, and – which creates an interesting dynamic, and it gives us an opportunity to fashion kind of – an alliance of reasonable people headed toward a clash – all kinds of different ways, by the way – with extremists and radicals.” It’s easy to get distracted by the fact that Bush doesn’t seem familiar with the English language and miss the fact that beneath the garbled syntax Bush is making a clear — and utterly incorrect — factual claim here that the upshot of the war was to cement an alliance between the United States, Israel, and moderate forces in the Arab world.
He calls John Abizaid “one of the great thinkers” and attributes to him “this construct: If we leave, they will follow us here . . . As a matter of fact, they’ll be more emboldened to come after us. They will be able to find more recruits to come after us.” He seems unaware that his National Intelligence Council has concluded the reverse (IISS in London, too, along with, I think, just about everyone). In a hilarious reprise of his earlier Lebanon remarks he enjoins the government of Syria: “do not destabilize Siniora . . . helping the Siniora government is in this country’s interests and it’s a priority.” We, um, had our local proxy ally strangle the Lebanese economy and launch airstrikes against its basic infrastructure and military facilities, but stabilizing the government there is a priority?
It goes on and on like this. The President, it seems to me, entered office in January 2000 utterly ignorant of foreign affairs and has spent the past six years filling in the blanks with pleasant illusions and straight-up misinformation.
Rush Limbaugh has smeared Michael J. Fox, claiming that he exaggerated the symptoms of his Parkinson’s disease in an ad supporting embryonic stem cell research. (He also mocked Fox by impersonating tremors associated with the disease on air.) In an effort to deflect criticism, Limbaugh told Katie Couric the following: “I believe Democrats have a long history of using victims of various things as political spokespeople because they believe they are untouchable, infallible, they are immune from criticism.”
Last night on CBS, Fox fired back, telling Couric, “I could give a damn about Rush Limbaugh’s pity or anyone else’s pity. I’m not a victim.” Watch it:
Transcript: Read more
It’s outside his normal bailiwick, but I think Paul Krugman’s analysis of our twin failures in Iraq and Afghanistan is likely right. We don’t have nearly the requisite level of resources to succeed in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Afghanistan is not, however, yet as bad as Iraq and it’s possible that if we left Iraq then we’d have enough manpower to succeed in Afghanistan — especially when you consider that we’re not ally-less in Afghanistan, and one can imagine that if we agree to do more there we might also be able to secure additional assistance. Insisting on maintaining anything resembling our current commitment to Iraq, however, is just going to guarantee failure in Afghanistan without producing anything useful in Iraq.
96: the total number of troops who have died so far this month in Iraq, the bloodiest since October 2005. Five American troops were killed during fighting in Anbar Province yesterday.
Variety reports both NBC and The CW television networks have refused to air ads for the new Dixie Chicks documentary “Shut Up and Sing.” NBC reportedly claims the network “cannot accept these spots as they are disparaging to President Bush.”
Scott Howell, a close associate of Karl Rove, helped produce the racist ad targeting Harold Ford in Tennessee. A second producer of the ad, Terry Nelson, is a consultant to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Wal-Mart. Huff Post reports Nelson will be fired by Wal-Mart.
Responding to accusations made by Rush Limbaugh, Michael J. Fox said he was neither acting nor off his medication for Parkinson’s disease. “The irony of it is that I was too medicated,” Fox told CBS’s Katie Couric, adding that his jumpy condition as he spoke to her reflected “a dearth of medication — not by design. I just take it, and it kicks in when it kicks in.”
President Bush, “who has not been talking about gay marriage” in recent weeks, “took pains to insert a reference” to gay marriage during an appearance yesterday in an effort to use “to rally dispirited conservatives to the polls.” Read more