The Wednesday Curator – 11/4/2015

November 3, 2015

It’s hard not to ignore the train wreck that was last Wednesday’s Republican candidate debate. (Trying to find the World Series game before dinner in DC, I happened on the intermezzo, between the kiddy-debate and the main event.) Ryan Lizza’s piece, The G.O.P.’s Outlandish Debate Proposal for the New Yorker on November 2, provides some context for the situation as it stands now. Then there is Tierney Sneed for Talking Points Memo on November 3, with How The Debate Debacle Could Backfire On Republicans. The election is only 371 days away, and the A game ain’t playing, anywhere!

You know, I really wasn’t placed on this planet to annoy my Far Right friends. Really! That said, I must

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The Wednesday Curator – 10/28/2015

October 27, 2015

[Alt 1]: Here’s some discouraging news: The Debt Ceiling Is Coming! Jim Newell wrote this piece for Slate on October 23, and subtitled it Can John Boehner, Paul Ryan, or someone do anything about it? I’m writing on Sunday, October 25, at 7:35 p.m. Tucson time, and have seen nothing to suggest that there won’t be a default on Tuesday, November 3.

[Alt 2]: Here’s David Herszenhorn’s October 27 piece for the New York Times, Congress and White House Reach Tentative Budget Deal. The deal covers the budget and the debt ceiling. Julie Hirschfeld Davis has offered analysis for the Times, titled Obama Wins on Budget Deal as John Boehner Cleans Out the Barn. [Read No

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The Wednesday Curator – 10/21/2015

October 20, 2015

From the Republican campaign desk—aka, according to many, the Clown Car—here are two fine pieces from The Atlantic. First up? What Happened to Carly Fiorina? by David Graham. Then there’s 1,001 Times the Media Acted Shocked That Trump Was Running a Real Campaign by Molly Ball. Big takeaways? Media matters greatly in the Republican race, and Ms. Fiorina has not mastered the game. And, and this one surprised me greatly, we’d best not sell Mr. Trump short. Apparently, while he’s playing the media game, he’s building a strong, sophisticated organization. I’m more impressed than I expected to be!

And from the other side, John Cassidy has written a fine assessment of the 2016 version of Hamlet, The Task Facing Joe

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The Wednesday Curator – 10/14/15

October 13, 2015

Here at Mark Rubin Writes I don’t think we challenge conventional thinking often enough. For a moment, though, that changes. Read The Case for Getting Rid of Borders—Completely by Alex Tabarrok for The Atlantic’s October 10 issue. It’s short, and if you’re like me you’ll have lots of “but … but what about …” moments. But you just might find yourself thinking about the notion for longer than you expected to.

Elizabeth Drew is, once again, offering up great reporting about matters of the day. How They Failed to Block the Iran Deal, for the October 22 issue of the New York Review of Books, is a great piece of journalism. It retells a very recent and very familiar

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The Wednesday Curator – 10/7/2015

October 6, 2015

Peter Wehner is a Republican. He worked in the Reagan Administration, and for Nos. 41 and 43 (Bush père et fils). Seeking President, No Experience Necessary is his offering to his party, not that its majority will pay him any due. (From Breitbart News you can read Peter Wehner: The Bush Machine’s Progressive Hitman if you doubt me.) Mr. Wehner makes smart points about how to engage with those who might be receptive to Republican Party core values. Alas—and from the other side, I’m pleased—the party as it’s presently constituted will not pay him any mind.

Rehearsing for Death: A Pre-K Teacher on the Trouble with Lockdown Drills by Launa Hall, an Arlington, VA teacher, brings to all of

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The Wednesday Curator – 9/30/2015

September 29, 2015

Yogi Berra passed away on September 22, 2015. The world is certainly better for his having been here, in so, so many way. In addition to the extensive New York Times coverage here, take a look at Yogi: What did Berra say, when did he say it and what does it all mean?, a terrific 1984 essay for Sports Illustrated by Roy Blount, Jr. And, for those who don’t click, send me an email at and I’ll share what I wrote about Mr. Berra in A Life At 50-Ish, my memoir.

Here’s a refreshingly direct perspective on soon-to-be former House Speaker John Boehner, from Jeffrey Toobin for the New Yorker on September 29. The Pointless Cowardice of

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The Wednesday Curator – 9/23/2015

September 22, 2015

We lead off this week where we left off last week … not! Friend and faithful reader Laura Penny wrote a lovely piece for Huffington Post, Flying Blind: The Mistakes I Made With Disabled Colleagues are Built Into our Language. Thankfully, They Were Accommodating, about her work with DIRECT Center for Independence, an organization which champions disabled individuals.* Laura is the group’s interim CEO. (There’s a whole piece to be written about the use of interim Chief Executive Officers, to replace retirees while a board looks at needs and finding the right person.) Laura’s piece focuses on working with disabled people when you aren’t disabled. Laura, as expected, handles the subject with grace, dignity, and plenty of self-deprecating humor.

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The Wednesday Curator – 9/16/2015

September 16, 2015

If you’re curating, it’s hard to pass up There Is No Theory of Everything. Simon Critchley—yes, he’s a Brit, and I was damn certain before I checked—has written a marvelous column about … well, I’m not sure about exactly what, but I’ll be thinking about it for a long time. Best quote? Sidney Morgenbesser, Columbia University philosophy professor, on his deathbed: “Why is God making me suffer so much? Just because I don’t believe in him?” Read this piece, please!

The Atlantic offers up a matched set, with Meet the New Hillary by Molly Ball and Donald Trump is Reagan’s Heir by Matthew Pressman. I fear for all of us, greatly! Really!!!

Confession: I haven’t read The Elmore Leonard

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The Wednesday Curator – 9/9/2015

September 8, 2015

Shy Trucker Emerges as Democrats’ Pick for Mississippi Governor, written by Campbell Robertson and appearing in the September 7 New York Times, reports on Robert Gray, an African American truck driver who spent no money on a primary campaign, and was so “under the radar” that his own mother did not know he was running. Now, Mississippi has elected only three Republicans to serve as governor since the turn of the last century, but it’s also highly unlikely that any Democrat had a chance against incumbent Governor Phil Bryant. Still—and with lots of skepticism about the inherent value of electing career politicians—there’s something akin to nihilistic behavior when people just vote for anyone, with or without credentials, knowledge, or

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The Wednesday Curator – 9/2/2015

September 2, 2015

Rowan County Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis won’t issue marriage licenses. Issuing licenses is one of her several functions, but it’s one she refuses to fulfill. Why? Same sex marriage offends her … and in these United States she has First Amendment rights. U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court have all disagreed with Ms. Davis, but she’s pressing on. Details are in Why the Kentucky Clerk’s Last Stand Won’t Make Her a Right-Wing Hero by Amanda Marcotte for

How can anyone ignore a story with the title, The Plot against Planned Parenthood and John Boehner? Written by Russell Berman for Atlantic Monthly, it’s an excellent backgrounder for what

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