Did any readers see the Democratic "debate" this week from South Carolina? I saw some of it and made a point to watch some video highlights as well. And it's early, there were eight voices, and Mike Gravel is still in the race - so it doesn'tcount for much, I guess. But I must say I was shocked - by how well Hillary Clinton did, how well Joe Biden did, and how poorly Barack Obama and John Edwards performed: almost the inverse of my debating/style expectations going in. You know I lean mightly towards Hillary, but don't expect a clear win on the debate trail - she's a brilliant woman and a wonk's wonk, and she learned how to grind it out in New York State. But trouncing all those fellas? That was impressive.
In any case, here's a trove from my occasional remainders bin - links and notes:
First, my own stuff elsewhere. I covered the Milken Global Conference in LA last week, and my onPhilanthropy.com mainbar is here (look for the sidebar links, too); a slightly different take for HuffPo is here. While I was there, I had the pleasure of listening to Kirk Douglas and meeting him briefly - an event I described at newcritics. At 90, he's a beautiful old man.
Glenn Greenwald wonders why the Beltway media is so far behind what is an obvious story to him: "When is the last time Democrats were so unified in their defiance of Wise Beltway Wisdom, which endlessly warns them not to adhere to their beliefs too steadfastly or to defy Republican decrees, especially on foreign policy?"
When a certain ex-mayor said this, "America will be safer with a Republican president”...Keith Olbermann systematically took the argument apart, piece by piece. Devastating.
Jim Wolcott bemoans the loss of Rosie on The View and somehow finds some insight into the "post-Imus era" and what it means to the Republican presidential hopefuls. Now that's media criticism.
Like Greenwald and Wolcott, Lance Mannion also sees major woes for the national Republican Party - "If you are an honorable young conservative who believes the rules ought to apply to everybody, there simply is no place for you in the Republican Party."
Over at the increasingly-impressive new Shakesville, Melissa McEwen wonders if Fox News has finally hit rock bottom - "The fact that Fox News’ 'facts' generally aren’t true means that they are regularly sending, with no compunction whatsoever, their ready-made terrorist brigade to harass, intimidate, and threaten people for no reason whatsoever.
In a nice post on academic qualifications in mid-career, I discover that Gara LaMarche and I have something very specific in common: "I am happy to have gone to Columbia because the Ivy League degree allowed a small-town Catholic boy with no connections to be taken more seriously, particularly when I was starting out. But what I learned or didn't learn there (sorry, Lee Bollinger) has little to do with my subsequent career." Me too!
Neddie Jingo has another one of his wonderful Northern Virgina history/archaeology posts - I love when blogs like Neddie's go hunting in the past.
Lastly, M.A. Peel finds Shakespeare references in Sabah El Kair Iraq—an Iraqi morning show from Al Iraqiya. And we thought they hated us for our cultural freedom.