Maiello: Defeat the Press
Wolraich: Obama at the Gates of... Gates
Doctor Cleveland blogs about politics, education, literature, and the arts. His personal obsessions include live theater, Red Sox baseball, and powerful black coffee. He teaches college under another name, somewhere along America's glorious North Coast. While he blogs about the general academic life, he does not discuss his current institution, its students, or its employees on the blog. Nor does he use any university resources to blog. Any public statement he chooses to make about his employer will be made under his legal name.
Raymond Chandler’s legendary private eye, Philip Marlowe, will be back in bookstores next year. Chandler’s estate has authorized a new Marlowe novel from John Banville, alias Benjamin Black. But the real news is not that Banville gets to write the book. It’s that no one else is allowed to write one.
Last week the annual job list for college literature professors went live, in an annual ritual I've blogged about before. And it looks like the worst list for Shakespeareans in history.
Two years ago, I used this space to explain how the 2008 crash had killed the already far-too-small job market for new PhDs, and how poor the rebound was two years later: [Read more]
I was writing a post earlier this week, arguing that Romney was increasingly likely to panic as the election approached, trying to find a "game changer" to help him catch up with Obama, and that these gambles would put him further and further behind. But I held off, because I didn't want to post that kind of political horserace stuff on September 11. Then, before midnight on September 11, Romney had done it.
One thing that Barack Obama has done absolutely right for education is change the student loan program. Romney and Ryan have made it clear that if elected they will switch things back to the old way. This small policy difference demonstrates the larger difference between today's Democrats and Republicans.
Labor Day is a great day to remember some of the history of the American labor movement. Of course, our leading American newspaper is using the day to lionize Henry Ford without mentioning how fiercely Ford hated the labor movement. So, a little counter-programming:
I've been trying to lay off Clint Eastwood's surreal conversation with furniture, even as facebook friends urged me to blog about it. (King Lear also talks angrily to an empty stool, and my friends have suggested I blog about that.) But I do want to talk about what that incident reveals about Mitt Romney. It was the most revealing moment of the Republican convention. That Romney turned the mike over to Eastwood in prime time, with no script, tells us who Romney really is.
All that talk about how many years of tax returns Mitt Romney will release obscures the real question. It's not how many years he won't give us. It's which years.
What Romney doesn't want to give us, most of all, are his taxes from 2008 and 2009, the years of the crash and the bailout. Those returns tell us how Romney's personal fortune weathered those years, how much he might have lost, and how much he might have profited.
What is "civility?" The media daily bemoans its absence from our public discourse. How uncivil! How rude! On the other hand, people are allowed to libel certain public figures with impunity and no complaints.
This morning, Chris Matthews got tired of the pearl-clutching and accused RNC chairman Reince Preibus, who was bemoaning the "incivility" of the Obama campaign, of leading a party that's playing the race card at every hand. (Video below.) He did this because the Republicans have been playing the race card at every hand.
Well, it's that time of year. Fall classes are about to begin, or have begun, and I'm definitely sure I saw at least one batch of red leaves this week.
So, with that anticipatory autumn sadness in the air, my book recommendation this week is Paul Murray's novel Skippy Dies, set in an Irish high school. If the title hasn't spoiled it for you already, the title character meets his demise in the first few pages: