Book of the Month

Orlando's picture

Courage, Republican-Leaning Districts, and the Matthew Shepard Act

I live in Indiana, in the 2nd Congressional district. It includes St. Joseph County, which routinely votes Democratic. It also includes a small town, where the grand poobah of the KKK lives. Or something like that. I can never quite get their leadership terminology down. 

My current congressman is Joe Donnelly, Democrat. I've never been all that thrilled with him, but if you believe the hype, the areas that are in his district but outside of St. Joseph County are pretty conservative. So, he often votes a different way than I would prefer. I've heard him address it. He's doing his best to represent all the people who live in his district, he says. He's doing his best to keep his job, I say. [Read more]

Orlando's picture

A Very Personal Book Review: Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Three nights ago, I started reading a novel that I wasn't sure I'd be able to finish. It caught my eye a while back, when I was browsing the local bookstore. That day, I put it down, but it stayed with me. So, a couple of months ago, I saw it again and bought it. But until last weekend, it remained in my car. I'm not sure what made me finally bring it into my house or what made me finally decide to read it. [Read more]

Orlando's picture

Arlen Specter: Welcome to the Party

I've always been a "the more, the merrier" type of person. So, I think Arlen Specter's decision to switch his party affiliation is a great. Sure, he's made the switch out of pure political survival: he can't win a Republican primary in Pennsylvania next year. But so what? We've got conservative Democrats already. They're a pain in the ass, but they're our pain in the ass.

Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly makes the case that from a policy and legislative perspective, Specter's move is far from earth shattering.  [Read more]

Orlando's picture

Hillary 2016


If Hillary had acted more like this in 2008, I wouldn't have voted for her. But I would have appreciated it. I walked around for almost a year being totally pissed off. Then, again, I'd been walking around since November 2000 like that, so I was used to by that point. 

My point is, she's clearly learning the Obama way. Be nice, but not merciful. [Read more]

Orlando's picture

I am a Monster

I don’t support torture. I think that the fact that the United States rationalized and engaged in torture is sad and disgusting. I wouldn’t mind seeing the so-called architects of these policies brought to justice.

However… [Read more]

Orlando's picture

Welcome to the Roland Burris Fundraising Jugger-NOT

When we last left our hero, Roland Burris had submitted amended testimony to indicate that he maybe did have those conversations about fundraising for Rod Blagojevich that he had previously adamantly denied. He got confirmed anyway and the people of Illinois moved on to bigger issues, like which shade of green to dye the Chicago River for Saint Patrick’s Day. [Read more]

Orlando's picture

Dear Dag Boys: Please Don't Make Me Tweet

Dear Dag Boys:

I am writing to express my concern with a new development that has very recently come to my attention. I am referring, of course, to the invitation for readers to follow Dagblog on Twitter. 

Being, as I am, ever so slightly behind the curve when it comes to internet advancements, I write to suggest--nay, implore--that you not require your bloggers to in any way engage in this new endeavor.

I believe that, should you make the tweeting an imperative, I would be able to master the techology. However, I simply do not want to. [Read more]

Orlando's picture

Civil War Redux? Glenn Beck Talks Secession

Steve Benen over at the Washington Monthly has an interesting piece today about some remarks that Glenn Beck has been making. Beck is apparently of a mind that the founding fathers would support state secession if the federal government were committing suicide, whatever that means.

Now, I happen to agree that we should not follow our leaders like lemmings. But I also happen to be fond, perhaps to a fault, of sound reasoning.

Exhibit A:

We should speak out, hypothetically, when our leaders do silly things like use false intelligence to start a war that costs billions of dollars and millions of lives.

Conclusion: Sound reasoning.

Exhibit B: [Read more]

Orlando's picture

Rachel Maddow and Ana Marie Cox Debate Discuss the Merits of Tea-Bagging

I feel dirty.

And also, somehow, proud of Rachel Maddow and Ana Marie Cox. Tonight on Rachel's show, they found the Holy Grail of double entendre. I wonder if Glenn Beck gets it.

Orlando's picture

The Blame Game: It's Your Fault that America is on the Road to Ruin

These days, everybody is blaming someone. The democrats blame the republicans, who blame them right back. The rich blame the poor. The poor are ordering pitchforks.

New York blames Detroit. Detroit blames the labor unions. Labor unions blame Walmart. 

George Bush blames Osama bin Laden. DickCheney blames President Obama.  Evangelical Christians blame San Franciso values. Gays in California blame the Mormons (although, let's face it, when blame is launched, it can sometimes hit the target spot on). [Read more]

Orlando's picture

Should Free Speech Protect the Japanese Video Game RapeLay?

RapeLay is a Japanese video game that has been around since 2006. You can read about the details in an incredibly disturbing review at Although the game has never been for sale in the United States, it's existence became news last month when an individual put a copy for sale on  After receiving complaints, removed the game from it's Web site and eBay followed suit. [Read more]

Orlando's picture

A Nice Dream, Memories, and the Brutality of Alzheimer's Disease

My mother has been suffering from Alzheimer's Disease for about 15 years, and for each of them, I could write for days about the horrors of insurance, or lack thereof, about doctors and nursing homes that forget that for every patient there is a story and that, for the family that story involves real and raw pain, and about my visceral reaction to losing my mother, over and over again, for almost my entire adult life. But the one thing that I couldn't write about was my memory of her.  [Read more]

Orlando's picture

The Vatican Issues a Special Message in Honor of International Women's Day: Ladies, Love your Maytag

There is a vast amount of stupidity in this world and an even vaster amount of self-righteous and willful ignorance. So, congratulations to the Vatican for releasing perhaps the most monumentally ridiculous statement of the decade. With Republicans running amok, that is some accomplishment. Says the (all male) Vatican:

Nothing has contributed more to the emancipation of women than the washing machine. [Read more]

Orlando's picture

Around the World in 80 Songs: Argentina


When you think about music and Argentina, do you immediately think tango?

You’re not alone. Argentina is known for unleashing the sexy style on the world in the early twentieth century. Over almost a hundred years, the tango has been an obsession of many, even leading to an explosion of tango-themed vacation tours. [Read more]

Orlando's picture

A Powerful Noise is a Powerful Film

In honor of the upcoming International Women’s Day (March 8th), last night the documentary film A Powerful Noise was screened simultaneously in 450 theaters nationwide. A panel discussion followed the film, and included five individuals involved in some capacity in aide work. They were Helene Gayle, President and CEO of Care; Natalie Portman, actress and activist; Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist and author, Christie Turlington Burns, model, businesswoman, and CARE advocate; and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. [Read more]

Orlando's picture

Penguins and Dragons and Reason, Oh My: A Visit to the Creation Museum

Because of distance and three adorable and energetic kids, my best friend and I rarely have the luxury of spending time alone. But last Friday, we had the pleasure of spending an entire afternoon together. After lunch, we found ourselves at the Cincinnati Art Museum, and after wandering the galleries for about a half-hour, I asked an innocent question about other museums in the area. With a mischievous grin, my friend informed me that the Creation Museum was just a short drive over the state line into Kentucky. [Read more]

Orlando's picture

2009 Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actor



And the nominees are:


  • Josh Brolin in Milk;
  • Robert Downey, Jr., in Tropic Thunder;
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt;
  • Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight; and
  • Michael Shannon in Revolutionary Road.

  [Read more]

Orlando's picture

2009 Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actress

We're in the homestretch now! Only three days left and, frankly, on Sunday night, I'm going to be more concerned with whose dress is pretty than who actually wins. But for now, let's soldier on.

The nominees for Best Supporting Actress are: [Read more]

Orlando's picture

2009 Oscar Predictions: Best Actress


So we've covered Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Song. Now, it's time to turn our attention to Best Actress. And the nominees are:

  [Read more]

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