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    The Republicans Aren't Tough Enough

    One day in high school, I casually infuriated one of the other boys. (We were all boys, and therefore the place was so full of adolescent macho boneheads that I didn't even notice I was one of them.) He had made a physically aggressive gesture toward me in the parking lot, and rather than simply ignoring him, as a mature person would have, I had responded with a calculated show of disregard, making it insultingly plain that I didn't take his threats, or him, seriously.

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    Not the Real Shakespeare

    Flavia has a post that makes me laugh. She recently went to see a Shakespeare comedy produced by a regional theater company, who staged it in modern dress, worked to keep the piece "accessible and appealing," and used some good, old-fashioned slapstick. In short, the production was straight out of the standard Shakespearean-performance playbook: faithful to the text but using costumes and set as an interpretive gloss.

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    The Ivy League/Wall Street Connection

    Ezra Klein recently tried to answer the question "Why is Goldman Sachs full of Ivy Leaguers?" by interviewing a Harvard/Goldman alum. (h/t to a righteously repulsed DougJ).

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    There Are No Republican Moderates in the Senate

    The Senate Republicans folded on their filibuster today. This morning The Hill ran an article with this headline:

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    The One-Two Punch of Wall Street Reform

    Some conservatives have accused President Obama of timing the Goldman Sachs lawsuit to make it easier to pass Wall Street Reform. It's not true, but the conservatives' anger at the alleged tactic is a sign of what a good idea that tactic is. It's the right general thing to do, and Obama should do a lot more of it.

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    The Arizona "Immigration" Law

    Let's be clear about one thing: the Arizona immigration law signed by Governor Janice Brewer this week is not about illegal immigrants. It is about arresting legal immigrants and about American citizens. Because it makes not having your documents on you a crime.

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    Patriots' Day Follow-up (Boston Marathon)

    2:05:52? You've got to be kidding me! 2:08:41 is only good for fourth place?

    That's amazing. Two American men run sub 2:10 marathons, and that gets them fourth and fifth? Tough, tough race.

    Let me say congratulations to Robert Cheruiyot the Younger for absolutely smashing the Boston course record set by his namesake, Robert Cheruiyout  the Slightly Older. That's an amazing achievement, and a great day for Boston and for sport. Congratulations are also in order for women's champ Teyba Erkesso, in her first Boston ever. Well done!

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    Defending the Constitution (from the Birthers)

    Today, as everybody who's ever lived in Boston knows, is Patriots' Day, the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. That means that it's a holiday in Massachusetts and Maine, and it means that today is Boston Marathon day. (Go, Meb and Ryan! Go!) My beloved Red Sox are playing a morning game in Fenway, and all is right with my world.

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    Why the Catholic Church Will Not Save Itself

    Every month, every week, the Catholic Church's scandal seems to deepen. Andrew Sullivan wants the Pope to resign. Christopher Hitchens wants the Pope arrested. Peggy Noonan has a brilliant column detailing the Catholic hierarchy's inability to grasp the problem and calling for "new blood" in the leadership. These are all reasonable desires. But none of that will happen.

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    Flat Worlds, Flat Earths, and Flyover States

    Julian Sanchez has a very smart argument about epistemic closure among conservatives, and folks around the blogosphere have been linking to it.

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    Role Models Don't Golf

    The public shaming of Tiger Woods is apparently never going to end. Too many people are drunk on the feeling of moral authority they get by scolding him.

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    Who Can't Get a Gun in This Country?

    Norman Leboon, who has threatened to kill Congressman Eric Cantor, has been found unfit to stand trial for psychiatric reasons. This is not a big surprise; last year Leboon was arrested for threatening to have the Archangel Gabriel kill his roommate.

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    Why Play with Fire? Four Explanations

    In my last post, I was worrying aloud about politicians who just couldn't seem to get it together to denounce violence and generally encourage the lunatic fringe to chill out. The intervening days, with the arrests of the "Hutaree army" and of the lunatic who threatened Eric Cantor on YouTube, make the question even more pressing.

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    Death Threats Aren't Politics as Usual

    Apparently, there are some Republican lawmakers and conservative pundits who feel that the worst thing about death threats and vandalism is that the politicians being threatened might gain public sympathy. Digby and Billmon both have brilliant analyses of the victim-blaming rhetoric being used here.

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    Didn't ESPN Know That Tiger Woods Was Cheating?

    After a televised statement, and then a very brief exclusive televised interview, Tiger Woods plans to give another press conference at the beginning of the Master's. All of these press availabilities are on the same subject: his admitted infidelities to his wife. And after each one to date, the media, especially the sports media, has the same verdict: Tiger hasn't said enough. He needs to be more "open." He needs to answer every question that crosses sportswriters' and sportscasters' minds. But the sports media have absolutely no right to ask for more.

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    The Media Changes Its Story (Not for the Last Time)

    I was watching cable news during part of the run-up to the House vote on health care reform (because I was at the gym, which is where I tend to watch cable news). And the most shocking but entirely unsurprising thing happened. Wolf Blitzer was suddenly pushing back on Republican talking points, which had seemed so reasonable to him for the last year and a half. In fact, when Democratic guests wouldn't push hard enough against the conservative talking points, the Blitzinator would call the Republican out himself.

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    The Logic of Electing Hypocrites

    Q. What do you call a conservative gay legislator who's in the closet?

    A. A safe vote against gay rights.

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    The Best Post in the World: Daniel Larison

    The best post in the world today is Daniel Larison, dismantling Ross Douthat. Douthat has whined in the times that the film The Green Zone condemns the Iraq occupation without appropriate "nuance." That's right. You read that correctly. Take it away, Dr. Larison:

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    The Business of Universities

    A lot of people who talk about reforming American universities like to say that they should be "run like a business." Those people seldom explain what they mean by that, because they take their "like a business" phrase as self-evident and self-explanatory. But American universities, even if they're non-profits, already run like businesses. In fact, they are businesses. The only question is what kind of businesses they should be.

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    "Down the Republicans' Throats"

    It's clearly an orchestrated Republican talking point that health care reform is being "rammed" (or jammed, or crammed) "down our throats." That talking point is silly and deceptive. (After bills passed the House and passed the Senate with a 60-vote majority, the vote to make the details of those bills match is undemocratic?) But I also admit, I find it hilarious.

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