The Message Machine

Birth of a Pundit: Reprint of a Chicago Reader profile by Christopher Hayes of a 19-year old aspiring right-wing demagogue at Northwestern University. As Hayes points out, it sheds light on the ways in which the conservative movement shapes the terms of political discourse in the country. (Campus Progress)

Hell in a Handbasket?

You don’t think this is the decline and fall? It just stuck me suddenly as I scanned the five top articles in the New York Times this morning:

  1. Two prisoners who died in U.S. custody in Afghanistan were beaten by soldiers in sustained assaults that caused their deaths.
  2. A man on trial for rape shot and killed the judge in his case, a court stenographer and a sheriff’s deputy in a courthouse rampage.
  3. Blood Ties: 2 Officers’ Long Path to Mob Murder Indictments
  4. Insurers, working with the F.B.I., said they have broken up an elaborate scam in which doctors filed more than $1 billion of fraudulent insurance claims.
  5. Drinking Game Can Be a Deadly Rite of Passage: The “power hour” tradition involves 21-year-olds going to a bar at midnight on their birthdays and trying to down 21 shots in the hour or so before the bar closes.