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Afternoon News Roundup

Mr. December The Mitchell Report is out (you can read it here) and it seems like MLB has allowed George Mitchell to snipe at some big-game targets, execute the wounded, and eat the dead. The report appears serious and rigorous … Read More

By / December 13, 2007

Mr. December The Mitchell Report is out (you can read it here) and it seems like MLB has allowed George Mitchell to snipe at some big-game targets, execute the wounded, and eat the dead. The report appears serious and rigorous and claims many baseball players use (or have used) a lot of steroids. But, and correct me if I’m wrong, why is this such a big deal? The accounting fraud of Arthur Anderson and Enron, for instance, cost real people their pensions. It destroyed lives. Steroid use allowed a sporting enterprise to pull in more money from other corporations and enabled baseball fans to see more intense pitching rivalries and longer home-runs. Is steroid use corrupt and physically dangerous? Yes. Does it merit all this hand-wringing and moral outrage? Only if your sense of moral outrage is miscalibrated and things like this don’t leave you devastated and exhausted. That Whole “Governing” Thing Democrats leading the House and Senate are having trouble winning bicameral legislative victories, despite being in the majority, and they are even failing to keep morale and solidarity up among their respective intra-party coalitions. The latest example of this strife is evidenced by, what appears to be, President Bush’s victory on government spending for 2008. Hell, even when some of Bush’s main allies are held in contempt notable Republicans support the citation. Democrats can't even console themselves with a strictly partisan vote. Does Immigration Matter? The New Yorker features a piece by Ryan Lizza on immigration. Lizza, though thorough in his description of the immigration factions in the GOP, is implicitly uncharitable about the overall content of the neo-nativist position because he omits any examination of the extent to which the immigration issue seems to transcend right/left dichotomies. Working class Democrats and independents in places like Iowa, Ohio, and North Carolina seem to be just as hostile to “illegals” as many who are Tancredoists in the Republican Party. The Politico examines how the immigration debate is a two-party conundrum. Whole ’Lotta Love Here's the thing: due to circumstances completely beyond my control (i.e. "not-being" at that time) I never saw any of the titans of the '60s and '70s in their prime. I have the albums, I’ve read about the era, heard the stories, and, for some reason, it feels wrong to want to see a (Beach Boys/Sex Pistols/Stones/Who/Zeppelin) REUNION. It’s just not “Rock&Roll.” But then I read about how good Page and Plant sound, and that they may tour again, and think, “hmmm… I would like to hear Gallows Pole live.” Tapping a Vein Not that it really matters what gets nominated by the Golden Globes, but it is notable that the biggest enigma of American cinema this year, P.T. Anderson’s (now Globe nominated) There Will Be Blood, is gaining staunch defenders. Scott Foundas spits venom at haters. And those wonderful, hard-to-please snobs at Slant placed it atop one of their Best of 2007 lists. Camille Paglia Lovely and wonderful Camille dishes on the last 30 days of news. Fish on Politics: No More Integrity Common sense and Machiavelli. Refreshing.

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