25 November 2012

The Nightstand (Nov 18th)

Starting this week, I am going to start putting something, anything other than politics at the top of The Nightstand.  The election's over and any more navel-gazing on this particular front is just unseemly at least for the next little while.


How to Live Without Irony (Christy Wampole, NYT)

Dying for a Pro-Life Cause (E.J. Graff, The American Prospect)-- More strongly worded in places than I would personally care for, but it bears saying nonetheless.

What Do Animals Want? (Marian Stamp Dawkins, Edge)

No More Magical Thinking (David Remnick, The New Yorker)

One secret reason Petraeus had to resign (Marc Ambinder, The Week)-- See also With Petraeus, echoes of that other warrior David (Daniel Burke, Religion News Service).  Valuable context is provided by both articles.


The Best of the 'Mormon Moment' (Ben Park, Juvenile Instructor)-- I am proud to note that I posted most of these at the time of their original publication.  It's been a good couple of months, and this is the part that I hope will continue for many years.

A Mormon Reporter on the Romney Bus (McKay Coppins, Buzzfeed)


Stuff White People Like (Jonathan Cohn, The New Republic)-- See also Land of the 'Free Stuff,' Home of the Brave (Paul Waldman, The American Prospect)

Romney and the 0 Percent (Harold Meyerson, The American Prospect)

Want Less Inequality? Tax It.  (Liam Malloy, John Case, The American Prospect)

The Party Next Time (Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker)

Finding compromise between the GOP and evangelicals (Robert Jeffress, WaPo)-- Yes, please.  Try this.  Just do it.

Putting Faith in the Conservative Creed (Amanda Marcotte, The American Prospect)

Is the Voting Rights Act doomed? (Nathaniel Persily, NYT)

Changing Times (Linda Greenhouse, NYT)

How to cut the charitable deduction without hurting charities (Dylan Mathews, WaPo)

18 November 2012

The Nightstand (Nov 11th)

Election Post-Mortems

The End of Political Truth? (David Corn, Mother Jones)-- see also The Real Loser: Truth (Kevin Kruse, NYT)

We Need a Little Fear (Jonathan Haidt, NYT)

What Romney Lost (Garry Wills, NYRB)

A Victory Over Suppression (Elizabeth Drew, NYRB)

Are Conservative Media Only Hurting Conservatives? (Paul Waldman, The American Prospect)


The Election and Why Millennials are Leaving the Church Margins (Kerry Pimblott, Religion in American History blog)- I file this under the Mormon heading, not because it specifically applies to Mormonism on its own terms but because I think many of the same pressures are present.

Virtual Religion: Not So New (Susanna Morrill, Peculiar People)

Why Romney's Loss is Good for Mormonism (Patrick Mason, Peculiar People)

Why Romney's Loss is Good for Mormon Studies (Patrick Mason, Juvenile Instructor)-- No, I did not accidentally post the same item twice.  There are two different essays by the same author, with slightly different but related themes.

The Mormon Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Jackson Learns, The New Republic)-- Excellent review essay of several recent books.

The Mormonizing of America (Stephen Mansfield, Huffington Post)-- I'm not sure I am convinced by the thesis-- it seems to me that, unlike Jews (another small group that is historically over-represented in American institutions), Mormons have not been able to insinuate themselves into major media or cultural organizations in a way that has enabled them to prosper and perpetuate their message and "peoplehood."

Seizing the Mormon Moment (Rachel Lu, First Things)-- Certainly one of the more bizarre takes on the Mormon Moment.

Heavenly Mother and Paradoxical Embodiment (Rachael Rose, The Mormon Worker)

Don't Talk to Me About Coffee and Sex (nat kelly, Feminist Mormon Housewives)-- A plea for priorities.  Highly recommended.

13 Articles of Health Chastity (Lisa Butterworth, Feminist Mormon Housewives)

Banishing the Cross: Emergence of a Mormon Taboo (Michael Reed, Worlds without End)

Politics and Policy

Why Not an Income-Based Affirmative Action? (Richard Kahlenberg, WaPo)

Freedom & Diversity: A Liberal Pentagram for Living Together (Timothy Garton Ash, NYRB)

The Permanent Militarization of America (Aaron B. O'Connell, NYT)

You Are Not a Loan (Rebecca Burns, In These Times)

The Nightstand (Nov 4th)- The "Sweet Moses, It's Almost Over" Edition

Going Beyond Cultural Kid Stuff with a Wary Sense of Adventure (Dwight Garner, NYT)-- Our kids are currently 4,2 and -4 months so this has not come up for us yet, but it certainly will, probably sooner than we are prepared for it.

The Case for Obama: Why he is a Great President. Yes, Great. (Jonathan Chait, Daily Intel)-- Not sure about the title, but this is an effective summary of all the good reasons to vote for Obama, and a refutation of all of the bad reasons not to vote for Obama, if one is so inclined.

Nate Silver, Artist of Uncertainty (Samuel Popkin, The American Prospect)-- I followed Silver's 538 blog in 2008 and thought it was incredible.  I am probably one in the minority who thinks that he has been hurt (relatively) by his association with the NYT, even though it gives him a much broader audience and he continues to produce stellar analysis.  (See also Noam Scheiber's review of 'The Signal and the Noise' at NYT and Deadspin's coverage of the criticism of Nate Silver here)

Mormon Theological Ethics- Obedience to Authority (Seth Payne, Worlds without End)

Obama and the Politics of Race in the 21st Century: On Ta-Nehisi Coates's 'Fear of a Black President' (Carl Pedersen, U.S. Intellectual History Blog)

What Can Jeremiah Wright and Joseph Smith Teach Us About the American Presidency? (Max Perry Mueller, Religion and Politics)

What Happens When a Frankenstorm Hits the Madhouse (Charles Pierce, Esquire)

A New Right to Vote? (Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker)

The Case of the Mormon Historian (David Haglund, Slate)

Barack Obama, Pro-Life Hero (Eric C. Miller, Religion Dispatches)

What Do Mormons Pick and Choose from the Bible? (Jana Riess, Religion News Service)

Sandy's Closing Argument (Matt Miller, Washington Post)

Subsistence: The privilege of modern life (William Deresiewicz, The American Scholar)

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Origins of the Book of Mormon (William L. Davis, Los Angeles Review of Books)

Why We Can't Solve Big Problems (Jason Pontin, MIT Technology Review)

Why Do White People Think Mitt Romney Should be President? (Tom Scocca, Slate)

I Was Ayn Rand's Lover (George Saunders, The New Yorker)-- I was reading this while lying next to my sleeping wife, trying desperately not to guffaw loudly and shake the bed with my giggles.

Duck Beach to Absurdity (Rosalynde Welch, Patheos)

I'm Right (For Some Reason): Why Partisans Can't Explain their Views (Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach, NYT)

Best-ever thing you can read on climate change and the American press (Jay Rosen, Quote and Comment)

03 November 2012

The Nightstand (Oct 28)


The Lost World of George McGovern (Josh Garrett-Davis, NYT)

The Moral Clarity of George McGovern (Bruce Miroff, NYT)

The Politics of Jesus (Patrick Mason, Peculiar People)

The Voter Fraud Myth (Jane Mayer, New Yorker)

The War We Aren't Debating (Michael Massing, NYRB)

America Forgets the World (Jonathan Freeland, NYRB)

What's wrong with lesser evilism (Editorial, The Socialist Worker)

Journalism in the Obama age shows the real media bias (Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian)

Stiffed (David Runciman, London Review of Books)

Romney and Romero (Kate Savage, The Mormon Worker)

News Flash: This Was Always Going to Be a Close Election (Steve Erickson, The American Prospect)


Religion, Race and Double Standards (Andrew Sullivan, The Dish)-- Its damning because its (mostly sort of) true.  Joanna Brooks' take here.

Mormon Boundaries (Dave Banack, Worlds Without End)

Spencer W. Kimball and the Complexities of Mormon Political Theology (Matt Bowman, Political Theology)

Mitt Romney and Mormon Theology (Jon Pahl, Religion in American History blog)

Foreign Affairs

Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader (David Barboza, NYT)-- Capitalism for me, socialism for thee...