In the World
Steve Thorngate on public life and culture
Here are some things I read recently but didn't get around to blogging about.
The Pentagon: Women can serve in more, though still not all, critical combat roles than before. Rick Santorum: "I do have concerns about women in front line combat. I think that could be a very compromising situation where - where people naturally, you know, may do things that may not be in the interests of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved." John Potter: "I can't be the only one who thought of" 30 Rock.
As many of you have noticed, the Century no longer has links to Amazon on its website. To explain this, I took to the magazine.
Are Protestants more in line with the Catholic bishops on contraception than Catholics are? Or is it just that there's some correlation between being Protestant and being politically inclined to oppose most any proposal that starts with "Employers should be required..."?
I don't have much to add about Mitt Romney's assertion that he doesn't need to worry about the very poor on account of the safety net he aims to dismantle and the Democrats he aims to unseat. Except that you really should read Gail Collins.
My problem with the National Prayer Breakfast isn't simply a secularist one, i.e. government officials should avoid any event with a smack of sectarianism. What I object to is the political exploitation of the importance of prayer in American life.
Weeks ago I ranted about Fox News's absurd piece on how the new Muppets movie is out to turn children into free-enterprise-hating liberals. Now the film's about to come out in the U.K., and naturally Kermit and Piggy are doing press around the release. Turns out they're perfectly capable of defending themselves on their own.
It's not what the headlines are highlighting, but Mitt Romney's 2010 tax return includes one impressive fact: his charitable contributions amounted to $7 million. I know, this hardly put him at risk of losing one of his houses and ending up out on the street till his driver could pick him up and take him to one of his other houses. Still, giving away almost a third of your income is nothing to sneeze at.
Among those of us who maintain that not everything the federal government does should be either privatized or eliminated, it's common to point out that income tax rates are a lot lower than they used to be, especially but not only for the rich.
Here's the ad Newt Gingrich has been running in South Carolina since Monday night's debate.