As the list of Republicans who are officially With Her seems to lengthen daily, the world awaits word from Donald Trump’s immediate predecessor as Republican candidate for President.
Back when it still appeared Trump might be stopped, Mitt Romney famously dedicated an entire speech to encouraging other Republicans to oppose him. At the time he gave that speech, Romney was not willing to endorse Hillary Clinton:
Continue reading Ready for Romney to be Ready for Hillary
It’s been a while since I opened this tab and started writing. And the people deserve answers. Luckily, it’s all quite simple. I decided to take a break while studying for the bar exam, but not because I was too diligent in my studies or didn’t have enough time. (I did, after all, blog right through final exams in early May.) Instead, in the event I failed the bar, I did not want to leave a trail of breadcrumbs announcing the creative non-studying uses to which I had put my time. In other words, I wanted to preserve at least the potential for sympathy.
But I took the bar in July. I found out I passed four months ago tomorrow.* There’s obviously a bit more to the story. So here goes:
Continue reading Why I haven’t written in seven months
Earlier today, Barack Obama suggested that he would not quickly forget the Israeli Prime Minister’s pre-election remarks concerning the viability of a Palestinian state:
Continue reading Why is Barack Obama acting like he doesn’t know how politics works?
As previously noted, I often fall tremendously behind in my reading. This winter “break”, I’ve taken that proclivity to new levels by working my way through a stack of TIME Magazines published in 2008.
Before you suggest I choose something more relevant to current events, allow me to note that I am quite happy having recently read reviews of WALL-E, the original Kindle, and some book or other by Jim Webb (who recently became the first official Democratic contender for the 2016 Presidency). And one particular article I came across today struck me as especially timely:
Continue reading Mitch McConnell’s theory of economics actually explains everything (and anything)
There’s one particular idiom I find exceptionally irritating: “sea change“, when used with no sea shore in sight. Use that phrase, and I will judge not only your writing — I will judge you.
But this post does not represent an effort to explain my (perhaps irrational) dislike for “sea change”. I write instead to identify one particular instance in which an author’s desire to properly use this most improper of phrases led directly to the displacement of one object of my (perhaps irrational) affection — a pun:
Continue reading A new way for me to resent my least-favorite idiom
After VP Joe Biden accused Turkey of having supported many of the forces fighting Bashar al-Assad — including ISIS — that country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan angrily responded, “Turkey has never given even the smallest kind of support to any terror organization.”
That’s the punchline.
Continue reading The President of Turkey just told a hilarious joke
While some are looking to tomorrow’s special event as some sign of apocalypse, I’d be the first to admit that I’m pretty excited for the coincidence of Thanksgiving and Chanuka. What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than by encroaching upon its native turf? (Zing.)
This post was prompted by a recent email that turned up in my inbox, with a deceptively-simple subject line — one word: “Thanksgivikah.” I didn’t think much of it as I got to typing my reply, but the moment I pressed send, I noticed something a little off. You see, I had concluded my email in kind, by wishing the recipient a “Happy Thanksgivvukah!” and couldn’t help but do a double-take at my own spelling of the word: Two v’s? That couldn’t possibly be right.
Or could it?
Two years ago, this blog thoroughly covered the debate over the proper spelling of Hanuka/Chanuka/Hanukah/Chanukah/Hanukkah/Chanukkah/Hanukka/Chanukka in a post titled Google’s War on ‘Chanuka’. One of the highlights of that post was Avidan Ackerson’s deterministic finite automaton that helped define all of the possibilities (for Google to declare war against).
This year, Avidan and I have again teamed up to compile all the possible spellings of the seemingly-simple but deceptively-diverse portmanteau of Thanksgiving and Chanuka. Behold, DFA v2.013:
Continue reading Complete guide to spelling the holiday
By now, you’ve seen — or at least heard about — the Dove ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ campaign that made the rounds a few weeks ago. In case you didn’t, the following video is what the rest of this post is about, so check it:
[Editor’s note: above is the full, six-minute version. There is also a three-minute version, with over ten times as many hits as of the time of this writing. I included the six-minute version for the sake of completeness.]
After watching the video for the first time last Thursday [it got lost in a sea of open tabs/general apathy], I knew something about the ad bothered me. I did a few googles to see if anyone had quite put a finger on what rubbed me the wrong way, and when they turned up nothing, I decided to write it up myself. And so, I proudly present my personal contribution to a long line of Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ campaign critics.
To get you caught up, here’s a distilled sample of what other people didn’t like about it [every word in that sentence links to a different critical article]:
Continue reading The most annoying thing about Dove’s “Real” Beauty Sketches
Last week — would you believe it, with Passover just two weeks away! — a plague of locusts struck the Middle East, leaving behind a trail of agricultural destruction and countless news editors to argue over whether the plague was indeed Biblical in its proportions:
Jewish Press: Eighth Plague – Locusts – Invade Israel
New York Times: A Locust Plague, Shy of Biblical Proportions, in Israel
NBC News: Locust swarm of biblical proportions strikes Egypt, Israel before Passover
Algemeiner: Israel Escapes Locust Plague in Advance of Passover
TIME: Locust Swarms Descend on Egypt Like Biblical Plague
Naturally, the other plagues felt somewhat left out. So it was that today’s headlines brought us this story:
Continue reading In which I play the role of Old Testament prophet
I don’t hesitate to call out terrible and misleading posts on respected publications like Wonkblog, nor do I hesitate to call out terrible and misleading graphs in respected magazines like TIME or 34th street. So it’s only appropriate that in this post, I call out Wonkblog for unfairly calling out a graph that I don’t think was all that terrible or misleading.
You may have guessed from the title of this post that I’m here to defend “The worst chart about Canadian drinking” Wonkblog complained about on Friday [selection bolded for emphasis]:
Continue reading “The worst chart about Canadian drinking” actually makes some sense