Scott Lemieux of Lawyers, Guns and Money is one of the better bloggers out there when it comes to law and political economy, but maybe less so rap music. Lemieux posted a brief item the other day dismissing an American Enterprise Institute piece on “The 21 Greatest Conservative Rap Songs Of All Time” as a patently absurd exercise. The piece may be absurd, but if it is it’s not patently so.
Conservative attempts to discern the hidden right-wing messages in movies/televisions shows/popular music/certain nineteenth-century presidents are irritating when they’re not completely idiotic. But in this instance the premise, at least, may not be entirely off base. Lemieux and the LGM commenters seem to think that rap and conservative ideas are oil and water, which is pretty clearly not the case. Continue reading
Lindsay Graham, a sitting U.S. Senator, just tweeted this about a U.S. citizen:
If captured, I hope Administration will at least consider holding the Boston suspect as enemy combatant for intelligence gathering purposes.
He also tweeted this:
The last thing we may want to do is read Boston suspect Miranda Rights telling him to “remain silent.”
On a completely unrelated note, Graham joined 43 of his colleagues on Wednesday in voting against cloture for a bill that expanded gun background checks – a bill supported by 88% of registered voters, and 85% of all people with guns in their households. Why? Because he wanted to keep tyranny at bay.
Admittedly, this is probably in bad taste:
“A campaign by leftists to push the song “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead” from “The Wizard Of Oz” up the charts as a rebuke to Thatcher and her Conservative legacy has split opinion between those who call the gesture “distasteful” and “inappropriate,” and others who still chafe at the mention of the “Iron Lady’s” name.”
Getting the munchkins to sing about a dead witch all over British radio the week after Margaret Thatcher passed away is bitter, petty, and mean-spirited. But it is also a reflection of how many people feel about the prime minister.
Conservative writer Joshua Trevino has been getting paid lots of money to do public relations work under the guise of journalism.
For nearly $400,000, Trevino has written columns and hired other conservative journalists to write columns defending the ruling party of Malaysia and criticizing a democracy activist. In 2011, when Politico asked him about reported payments from Malaysia to American bloggers at sites Trevino was affiliated with, Trevino got indignant and said that he was never on a “Malaysian entity’s” payroll and “I resent your assumption that I was.” The next year The Guardian hired Trevino as a conservative columnist opposite their new liberal writer, Glenn Greenwald. That lasted a little less than a week before The Guardian fired Trevino over potential conflicts of interest with unnamed Malaysian businesses.
Trevino is not just some random conservative hack; he is a fairly well-respected, widely published conservative hack. He writes for several websites and print publications, has thought important stuff for established thinktanks, and is an occasional guest on KCRW’s Left, Right, and Center. And he also gets paid to push particular views in American media. Continue reading
The conservative-leaning National Association of Scholars has issued a new report expressing dismay about the state of U.S. history instruction in Texas state schools, and by extension, the American university system. The report has caught the attention of James Grossman, the director of the American Historical Association, who recently responded to the NAS’s findings. Grossman is not impressed. The NAS report “is based,” Grossman and his co-author Elaine Carey write, “on readings of historical literature that are uninformed, tendentious, and shallow.” Worse than the NAS’s ideological angle and deliberate attempt at “unbiasing American history,” are the NAS researchers’ methods of aggregating data: they read through a bunch of course syllabi and engaged some of the classroom literature.
The report is ostensibly about how American history is taught at two universities. But the data are drawn only from syllabi, rather than from any engagement with what happens in the classroom. The authors neither attended classes nor spoke to instructors. They did not examine lectures, in-class activities, or audio-visual presentations; their report signals no knowledge of digital materials or discussions, take-home assignments, or in-class examinations. This is not a document about teaching in any broad sense of the word. It is a limited study of reading assignments—many of which the authors seem to have either not read or not understood.
The Obama campaign revealed its new slogan today – “Forward” – and conservative blogworld is apoplectic. Here’s the Washington Times, which is actually pretty well-respected by the standards of conservative media. Apparently “Forward” is a longtime socialist/communist/pinko slogan, that has a “long and rich association with European Marxism.”
It is also the official motto of the state of Wisconsin (see above). And Wisconsin is a swing state, one especially sensitive about red-baiting.
Random Tuesday morning thought: conservative blogger Mark Judge’s “white guilt” (which he apparently relinquished the day his bike got stolen) was never all that big in the first place. More here.
Oh, and for the loyal readers of this blog who enjoy reading and writing about hip-hop, you might have come across Judge before: he once wrote a hilariously ridiculous review of John McWhorter’s book All About the Beat.