URLs du Jour

2012-09-27

  • LIberty is Hope 2 color David Kirby at Cato has an interesting analysis of how small-l libertarians voted in past elections, and how they're polling for this one.

    Among these likely libertarian voters, the presidential horserace currently stands:

    Romney 77%
    Obama 20%
    Other 3%

    Romney’s share of the libertarian vote represents a high water mark for Republican presidential candidates in recent elections.

    In addition, adding Gary Johnson into the polling mix takes away about equal percentages from Romney and Obama, turning a 77/20 split for Romney into 70/13.

  • Speaking of Gary Johnson...

    For some reason lost in the mists of history, I have a subscription to the Atlantic. It's mostly painful, but occasionally interesting. The latest issue contains a small profile of Gary Johnson. "Key" (heh) quote, describing a D.C. campaign stop:

    A Malian woman in an embroidered purple gown and headdress talked to Johnson about her country’s troubles, then asked to take a picture with him. Johnson, who is a better listener than the average politician, heard them all out, while his volunteers circulated petitions and distributed packets of rolling papers bearing his likeness. A stout blond blogger-activist in a bright-blue dress and pearls said Johnson could raise his profile through civil disobedience. “Get arrested,” she told him firmly. “Ralph’s mistake”—she was referring to Ralph Nader’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns for president—“was he didn’t get arrested.”

    Johnson chuckled, putting one hand on his hip and scratching his head with the other. “I’ll bet if I took off my clothes right now and ran around the circle, I could get arrested,” he said, “but I don’t think it would do me much good.”

    The rolling papers bit caught my eye. (They are pictured in a funny post here.) I didn't notice them at his recent UNH appearance but I could have missed it; I tend to walk fast and not make eye contact in political situations.

    The Atlantic article, by the way, is illustrated with an unrecognizable caricature of Johnson running nude through a field of (I'm pretty sure) marijuana. <sarcasm>Clever!</sarcasm>

  • But speaking of the Atlantic: Yesterday, James Taranto put his finger on why the magazine can often be a tedious slog for anyone with a Y chromosome (last item, "Plenty of Fish in the Atlantic"):

    Every issue of the venerable magazine seems to feature a disquisition on distaff difficulties by someone like Hanna Rosin or Kate Bolick or Anne-Marie Slaughter. (Rosin, it should be said, affects a chipper enthusiasm about it all.)

    Then follows a short, funny, takedown of a recent article from Sandra Tsing Loh. Taranto concludes:

    Perhaps these Atlantic pieces are assigned and written with only women in mind, and this columnist is the only heterosexual man who finds them interesting enough to read all the way through. Another possibility is that the magazine's actual editorial mission is to disabuse bachelors of any notion that it might be nice to be married.

The Enemy

[Amazon Link] Number Eight in Lee Child's series of novels featuring Jack Reacher, and it's a bit of a departure. Set in 1990, Reacher is still an MP in the Army. The Berlin Wall has fallen. Reacher has been recalled from Panama, where Noriega's still at large, to an Army base in North Carolina.

He's only been there a few days when a General, supposedly en route from Germany to California, turns up dead in a sleazy motel adjacent to a strip club. Evidence points to a clandestine assignation. He's not the victim of foul play, but … his briefcase is inexplicably gone missing. As Reacher struggles with trying to clear up this one niggling detail, other bodies are discovered, ones that definitely are homicide victims.

Lots of globetrotting, from Germany and France to the California desert. A twisty plot reveals a vast conspiracy, with heavy emphasis on Reacher's dogged detective skills. His battles are not only with the bad guys, but also an Army bureaucracy that seems to want to cover up embarrassing details.

Since it's sent in "the past", we get to meet folks that are deceased in the "present": Reacher's brother, Reacher's mom (!), and Reacher's mentor, General Garber.

Can Tom Cruise play Reacher convincingly on the big screen? I have my doubts; I keep seeing Kiefer Sutherland instead.


Last Modified 2012-11-11 8:49 AM EST