- Cathleen Kaveny: “What Women Want: Buffy, the Pope, and the New Feminists”. I will admit that I checked this out primarily because the teaser (“Buffy and Pope John Paul II share a lot in common when it comes to “new feminism”) struck me as particularly bizarre, but it turns out to be a thoughtful look at the roles various brands of feminism have offered to women, and realistic ways Buffy the Vampire Slayer acknowledges the complexity of life. To my surprise, I found very little to disagree with, but even if you do it’s still worth thinking about. (via Simon Fraser)
Nicholas Confessore: “Welcome to the Machine”. Describes the increasing Republican dominance over Washington’s lobbying groups (known collectively as “K Street”). While past lobbyists have had to butter up Democrats and Republicans in order to get things done, the current Republican control over the Presidency and the Congress has freed them to align with their natural allies, and the Republicans are doing what they can do ensure that won’t change even if the Democrats come back into power.
“Democrats, along with the press, have watched in mounting disbelief as President Bush, lacking either broad majorities in Congress or a strong mandate from voters, has enacted startlingly bold domestic policies—from two major tax cuts for the rich, to a rollback of workplace safety and environmental standards, to media ownership rules that favor large conglomerates. The secret to Bush’s surprising legislative success is the GOP’s increasing control of Beltway influence-peddlers. K Street used to be a barrier to sweeping change in Washington. The GOP has turned it into a weapon.” (via Nick Confessore)
- Ed Cone: “The Marketing of a President”. A look at Howard Dean’s campaign, particularly its use of the internet as a way of self-organizing. Interesting stuff, even if (like me) you aren’t sold on Mr Dean as a candidate. (via David Weinberger)