The Wednesday Curator – 5/27/15

May 26, 2015

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has had a reputation for seriousness and for expertise on military and foreign relations issues. He’s been a Senator for more than 12 years, and served in the House of Representatives for eight more. And he thinks he should be our next President of the United States. OK, then, why would he say

Everything I learned about Iranians I learned working in the pool room. I met a lot of liars, and I know Iranians are liars.

Peter Beinart offers an answer in The GOP’s Embrace of Anti-Islamic Bigotry, written for The Atlantic on May 26.

Also from the 2016 race desk, here’s Jamelle Bouie’s piece, Left Field, written for Slate on May

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The Wednesday Curator – 5/20/15

May 20, 2015

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World out there! David Letterman offered his own take on that space for more than 33 years, and will wrap up his run tonight. David Letterman, Prickly Late-Night Innovator, Counts Down to His Exit by John Koblin for the New York Times on May 19 recounts the final days. Bye, bye, Dave!

From the politics desk, here’s Jeb Bush’s Many Problems by David Frum—he who created the term “axis of evil”—for The Atlantic on May 20. Also from The Atlantic, and missed when it came out, there’s The Paranoid Style of Ted Cruz by David Ludwig. And from Slate, here’s Zack Kopplin’s May 19 piece, A Creationist Campaign, subtitled Louisiana students are suffering

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The Wednesday Curator – 5/13/15

May 12, 2015

Kudos to Michael Barbaro and Steve Eder for writing Billionaire Lifts Marco Rubio, Politically and Personally for the New York Times on Sunday. The story they report is too familiar, but the shocking part is the casualness with which Senator Rubio defends conduct which, not so very long ago, ended careers.

Truth be told, politicians have always had benefactors. (For a brief history of the man who really benefitted from Kellogg, Brown & Root, which became Halliburton—no, the man is not Richard Bruce Cheney—read Brown & Root: A Company with a History. For the real deal, immerse yourself in Robert Caro’s Lyndon Johnson series, volumes two and three.) Then, though, they were less open about the situation.

Here’s How

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The Wednesday Curator – 5/6/15

May 5, 2015

A Father in Texas Takes on Sexual Assault in Sports by Juliet Macur for Sports of The Times on May 1 tells Bill Miller’s story. Mr. Miller works in Austin as a political consultant. He read about Jameis Winston, focusing on Mr. Winston’s claim that a woman’s moaning during intercourse constitutes consent. (For more about Mr. Winston and sexual assaults on college campuses, read Extra: The Hunting Ground and go see the movie.) Offended, Mr. Miller acted. Read the piece for details about the movie every student-athlete in Texas must watch, and about a man who’s making a difference.

All, unfortunately, is not well in Texas. Texans are asking “Is the Pentagon Messing with Texas?” (The story was written by

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The Wednesday Curator – 4/29/15

April 29, 2015

The Virtual Candidate by Ryan Lizza will appear in the May 4 issue of the New Yorker, later this week. Its subtitle is “Elizabeth Warren isn’t running, but she’s Hillary Clinton’s biggest Democratic threat.” Senator Warren (D-Mass.) is a former Harvard Law professor and bankruptcy specialist, and a rock star for progressives. She’s adamant about not being a candidate in 2016. I take her at her word, but also think efforts to push the likely candidate for Democrats leftward will only benefit that candidate. So, go Senator Warren! (Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will begin his campaign for the Democratic Party nomination on Thursday. Senator Sanders is a 73-year-old Jewish Socialist, who would be 75 if he was inaugurated on January

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The Wednesday Curator – 4/22/15

April 21, 2015

Jessica T. Mathews wrote The New Deal for the May 7 issue of the New York Review of Books. The piece smartly analyzes the Iran nuclear deal. Its subheading on the home page—Consider the alternatives—speaks most loudly about why the deal makes sense. (For a more entertaining and still very thorough analysis of elements of the Iran nuclear situation, watch The Jon Stewart Mysteries Presents: The Case of the Iranian Agent!)

One hundred years ago there was genocide in the Ottoman Empire, with Turks wiping out a huge number of Armenians. Raffi Khatchadourian wrote Remembering the Armenian Genocide for the New Yorker today.

James Fallows is a terrific writer. Here’s a two-parter from The Atlantic in the last few

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The Wednesday Curator – 4/15/15

April 14, 2015

The Wednesday Curator cannot let the passage of 150 years since Abraham Lincoln’s passing go unnoticed. Godspeed, Mr. Lincoln. You were more, far more, than we deserved, and I can think of no American whose life has had a bigger impact on more people.

In honor of Tax Day we’re leading with Kansas’s Failed Experiment (Russell Berman wrote the piece for The Atlantic on April 9) and Arthur Laffer has a never-ending supply of supply-side plans for GOP by Jim Tankersley of the Washington Post, also on April 9. Mr. Laffer drew the infamous curve that just might be the modern-day version of Original Sin. (Mr. Laffer’s curve, per Mr. Laffer, shows the virtue of tax cuts, forever and ever

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The Wednesday Curator – 4/8/15

April 7, 2015

Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse than You Think was written by Nicholas Fitz for Scientific American, and published on March 31. Mr. Fitz identifies three separate studies, each of which helps explain why, collectively, we’re clueless about the divide between rich and poor. Short, easy to read, and important!

And for those who want to delve deeper, here’s Christopher Jencks’ review of Legacies of the War on Poverty, edited by Martha J. Bailey and Sheldon Danziger. The Jencks review was written for the New York Review of Books, and is titled: The War on Poverty: Was it Lost? The review is dense—the book is apparently much denser—and the conclusions are unexpectedly upbeat. Then there’s Thomas

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The Wednesday Curator – 4/1/15

March 31, 2015

In the Sunday New York Times, on March 22, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz posed the question Just How Nepotistic Are We? In the political context, his answer is a sad and infuriating VERY! At the non-presidential level the numbers are stunning and, with the next election 588 days away, the two people most likely to be our next President of the United States are a former First Lady and the son/brother of two former presidents.

Collaboration, from the Wright Brothers to Robots was written by Michael Schrage, a research fellow at MIT Sloan School’s Center for Digital Business, for the Harvard Business Review on March 23. It’s short and informative, and anyone who thinks he or she can succeed, alone, needs to

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The Wednesday Curator – 3/25/15

March 24, 2015

Wednesday again! Out of the box, there was a tempest in Maine a few days ago. Governor Paul LePage—a Republican and the only major elected politician in the nation who makes Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.) seem like a nice fellow—claimed Stephen King—yes, that one—and others supported tax increases and, then, left that state. FaithGardner for DailyKos has Stephen King calls BS on Maine Gov. LePage, tells him to ‘man up and apologize’. Very funny!

Here from Talking Points Memo is Geography Fail: Tom Cotton Warns of Iranians’ Control of Tehran. Tom Cotton, the newly elected Senator from Arkansas, needs to learn the important lesson I shared on March 13 in 47 Again – The Letter to Iran:

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