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The column formerly known as grab bag | Ana Marie Cox October 28, 2011

I’ve been dipping in and out of the comment community, trying to figure out the best way to harness the hive mind without getting stung by it (this may be impossible). One suggestion that’s stuck out has been the idea that there should be at least some “whatever” in a blog that’s about “politics and … whatever”. I agree! I have interests beyond Herman Cain! (You are going to suffer through that book club with me, though. I AM DOING IT FOR AMERICA, you know.)

For a while, we were throwing link collections up and call them “grab bags” but maybe something more specific, and more fun, is in order. “Hanging Chads” captures the “here’s some stuff left over from my surfing” part of the process. “Down Ballots” is sort of fun. “Super Pack”? “Third Rails” is my current favorite – though it does imply that my non-politics interests are somehow dangerous. Keep in mind that this how it would look – the title, with a description of that day’s link collection following: “Third Rails: Kittens, the Star Wars Trilogy and Training for Triathlons.”

Whatever we call it, here’s today’s, and please speak up in the comments about this pressing issue of international importance.

• It’s true, Zachary Quinto has brought weirdly believable creepiness to “American Horror Story”, the weirdest show ever to feature Dylan McDermott’s rear-end-parts.

• The truly shocking thing about how 28% of television programming is “LGBT-inclusive” is that it’s only 28%.

• Or maybe this is why I like American Horror Story: “If we have a relatively calm, uneventful lifestyle, we seek out something that’s going to be exciting for us, because our nervous system requires periodic revving, just like a good muscular engine.” (This should not prevent show makers from showing more naked Dylan.)

• And at least we’d get Austin: “IF AMERICAN LAND WAS DISTRIBUTED IN THE SAME WAY AMERICAN WEALTH IS.”

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The daily grab bag #4 | Ana Marie Cox October 7, 2011

• Joe McGinniss chooses country before self: “I’ll gladly sacrifice a few sales to have the country rid of Sarah Palin forevermore.”

• Get ready for a long campaign. “The strategy is to: ‘win ugly.’ This may be the president’s best option, because as he demonstrated this week, it’s impossible to give a satisfying answer to the question Ronald Reagan posed in 1980: Are you better off?”

A favorite Jobs obit, and why he matters to you, personally, dear reader: “And by making devices an extension of ourselves, he helped change our understanding of media; it would no longer be just a system you got information from, but a system you contributed information to.” (Also, I just bought this.)

• Unfortunately, Zombie Hank Williams Sr is not on Stereogum’s list of “10 Possible Monday Night Football Replacements for Hank Williams Jr”.

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The daily grab bag #3 | Ana Marie Cox October 1, 2011

• Helmets are for tools of the state! (Ron Paul puts his tiny noggin at risk on a bike ride.)

• Remember how Rick Perry said his ideal candidate (that isn’t him) would be a Cain/Gingrich “blend”? And Romney said he wouldn’t be able get that image out of his head? For Mitt: how to get the taste of vomit out of your mouth.

• “I now pronounce you Marine and Marine.” Military chaplains to perform same-sex unions.

Reporter finds Twitter does not replace reporting. I feel like I read about that somewhere.

Hot men and cats.

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The daily grab bag #2 | Ana Marie Cox September 30, 2011

Petulant Floridians join irritated New Hampshire residents in thinking Michele Bachmann should pay more attention to them, because she needs them to win the nomination. They are totally going to not sit next to her at lunch.

• Congressional members can’t stop poking each other.

Here is a picture of a Chia Pet in the likeness of Rick Perry.

Rick Santorum recently compared Fox News’ obsessive Perry coverage to “a dog following the squirrel” (the guy has a dog thing), leaving out the lucrative role he’s played as a part of Fox’s kennel.

Dunkin Donuts survey suggests correlation between coffee consumption and sitting in front of a computer monitor. I assume the scientists on this list are working on an IV.

• “Nothing good comes from hitting ‘Reply All’”, and other words of wisdom.

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The daily grab bag #1 | Ana Marie Cox September 29, 2011

• This list of Christie “liabilities” (he doesn’t hate gay marriage, he thinks sharia law alarmists are “crazies”) makes me like him a little more.

Trust in government is at an all-time low; former OMB director Peter Orszag proposes a novel solution: make it even less transparent. You can’t harbor doubts about what you don’t know is happening! (I believe “stealth democracy” was the platform Darth Vader ran on.)

• Not unrelated: some constructive criticism of the Occupy Wall Street protests and what I call the “giant puppet school of activism” in general. “I want to know what democracy looks like, not what it smells like.”

Florida moving its primary to January may put Christie speculators out of their misery.

• Spoon fork bacon. All that’s missing is ice cream.

• “Here we are now, entertain us.”

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