Diner is a great movie, worthy of the popular comparisons to Federico Fellini’s I Vitelloni, another coming-of-age film in which the male director turns a bemused, pitiless gaze on the behavior of young men who don’t get enough tail or for whom tail is no longer enough. James Wolcott remembers his favorite moment: the roastContinue reading

McCain the Socialist

At an October 2000 appearance on “Hardball,” before a college audience: Sarah Palin’s an even bigger egregious apostle of Marx, Hendrik Hertzberg reminds us: For her part, Sarah Palin, who has lately taken to calling Obama “Barack the Wealth Spreader,” seems to be something of a suspect character herself. She is, at the very least,Continue reading “McCain the Socialist”

Silly, but I’m a sucker for pastiche like this — in this case, Edmund Morris’ fictional recreation of how Theodore Roosevelt, John McCain’s political hero, might have said about the presidential campaign had he been a paid consultant on FOX News or MSNBC (fat chance). As author of one of the great multi-part biographies ofContinue reading

If I’m to believe Mom’s complaints, ACORN is this election’s bugaboo. Two of the best rebuttals to claims of voter registration and voter fraud — or, rather, the conflation of voter registration with voter fraud: Christopher Hayes himself votes twice (sort of); and Dahlia Litwick, who ignores now irrefutable evidence that the presidential election ofContinue reading

Should John McCain win in 11 days, he can’t credit his team, which has run the shallowest, most image-centered campaign since the 1988 presidential race. Robert Draper‘s excellent NYT Magazine story (published this Sunday) may have the same effect as Ron Suskind’s infamous Bush White House piece published shortly before Election Day. What emerges fromContinue reading

Pokey in spots, and Juliette Binoche’s dye job makes her look like she’s auditioning to play Courtney Love, but I rather loved The Flight of the Red Balloon, especially since the original film is oh-so-precious. Rewatching a scene in which Binoche and Song Fang gently argue over the acceptance of a gift in the former’sContinue reading

Ned and I had the same thought about the most important part of Colin Powell’s endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama: he emphasized the damage that repeated invocations of “Muslim” does to young men in Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Pakistan watching Al Jazeera: We have two wars. We have economic problems. We have health problems. WeContinue reading

Ross Douthat’s latest post is rather stunning, considering its source. Lacking the national profile of a David Brooks or George Will as the Liberal’s Favorite Conservative, he’s quietly plowed a steady, unnoticed furrow this last year, pointing to the upcoming GOP disaster all year with grace and insights. But now he’s had it. Specifically mentioningContinue reading

Just when you think the right can’t get any more desperate, it accuses William Ayres of ghostwriting Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father. Their argument? Since before the memoir’s publication Obama’s paper trail was thin, we have no way of ascertaining how Obama developed as a writer. Further: since Ayres’ own memor includes descriptive passagesContinue reading