Why the Democrats' top strategist

Joe Klein: “This rather sour ideology [populism] did have one fleeting moment of high-mindedness a hundred years ago. The Populist Party promoted several programs—the progressive income tax, a central banking system with control over the money supply, antitrust regulation—to provide needed controls over an emerging national economy. These were embraced by Theodore Roosevelt's Republicans and implemented by Woodrow Wilson's Democrats. But the pure strain of populism has always been a bit too harsh, and too easily hijacked by demagogues, to be very successful politically.”

World's Shortest Joke

Noam Chomsky: “Three short steps in [a] led in by three alphabetically consecutive consonants [k,l,m], occlusive, liquid, labial, respectively (that is, progressing from posterior to anterior buccal cavity), act as a ladder, rising to the highest note in the English register [u], which slides in on us over the glistening parquet of the soft sibilant [z], puckering up the mouth in gentle mockery of itself.”

Find Your Library

Find your library MeFi thread: “Books remain my first love -- and the library remains a way for me to test-drive new authors before shelling out $30 for a mediocre hard-cover. The stacks in my college library were also the scene of an unsolved murder -- someone jumped a female graduate student (in the 1960s, I believe), stabbed her, and left. Her body was discovered after a few days. So research always had that extra kick.”

The Search for Answers in Jenin

William Saletan: “Israel and its critics can't agree which facts to find. The mystery of the Jenin investigation—namely, why a country with nothing to hide would resist a search for truth—dissolves when you realize how much of the battle for public opinion takes place not between truth and falsehood, but between one truth and another. To control the answer, you must control the question. That's the game Israel is playing-and its opponent, the United Nations, is winning.”

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