Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Favorite Waste of Time, Volume 400
I have pretty much given up on any form of broadcast media other than sports talk radio until Ronald Reagan is safely in the ground. Dan Rather's solemn narration of the hearse's departure from the funeral home was the last straw yesterday (a scene repeated on most of the channels--Wonkette has a hilarious transcript from Fox News); this morning it was NPR's visit with people standing in line to walk past Reagan's casket. As the week goes on, I get the sense that many broadcast outlets are deifying Reagan so as not to be accused of liberal bias. Out here in the blogosphere, of course, we're under no such restriction. And the great thing about the Internet is that you can Just Say No to stories you don't want to read by not clicking on them. However, I'd suggest you click this post from Billmon's Whiskey Bar, which is as fine a retrospective on Reagan and his impact as I've seen yet. (On another subject, Billmon has a tremendous post analyzing the March 2003 memo Donald Rumsfeld sought setting up a legal justification for torture--one that would immunize the torturers and their superiors up to and including President Bush. It's the kind of stuff I would like to do if I had a longer attention span.)

Recommended Reading: I've always admired the work of William Greider. Last spring, he wrote a piece in The Nation called "Rolling Back the 20th Century," to which I've linked three different times now because it's the best piece I've read anywhere about the potential long-term historical implications of the Bush Administration. In the current edition of The Nation, Greider shows how the open-ended War on Terror has transformed everything from the American military to political debate to the way Americans think about themselves. It's familiar subject matter--I've read lots of pieces along the same lines in the last couple of years--but coming from Greider, it's worth your time. (Greider has his own website, although it doesn't look as though it's been updated since last fall. But I'll add it to my links list anyhow, if only as an easily-reached archive of his stuff.)

Self-Promotion Department: I doubt that this matters to anyone but me, but what you are now reading happens to be the 400th post I've made to this blog since moving to Blogspot last October. (I need to find another hobby.) A fresh bit of my work is also posted elsewhere this morning: "Fox News Presents: Ronald Reagan, 1911-2004" is the lead story on Democratic Underground today. It was actually posted at this blog for about two minutes on Sunday night, until I decided to see if I could find a broader audience for it. I'm happy to have succeeded.

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