Today's Blogs

The Donkeys Crack the Whip

Bloggers cry boohoo about the proposed five-day workweek for congressmen. They’re mixed on Camille Paglia scolding Britney, and mourn the death of policy intellectual Jeane Kirkpatrick.

The donkeys crack the whip: The new Democratic-controlled House of Representatives will institute a five-day workweek starting in January. (Congressmen used to be able to skedaddle from Washington Thursday afternoon and stay away until late Tuesday.) Cyberspace reserves the bulk of its scorn for Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who opposes the new schedule because, “Keeping us up here eats away at families. … Marriages suffer. The Democrats could care less about families.”

Leftist Devil’s got the world’s smallest violin playing for Kingston: “Oh, and speaking of marriages and families, I wonder if Kingston and the other whiners on the Hill have given any thought to the effect being in Iraq for months on end is having on the marriages and families of our troops. Or how about all those minimum wage employees out there working 2 or 3 jobs to support their families–I bet a lot of them would give anything if they could afford to just work 5 days a week.”

At Thoughts of an Average Woman, a site devoted to policies harmful to working families, CE Petro writes: “Balancing family and work is an issue many of us deal with all year long, why the hell should you be an different, or better yet, why do you think you should be special? As far as I’m concerned, because you worked only 103 days this past year, I believe your salary, and by extension your pension, should reflect that, as it does many other working people in this country. You know, don’t show up for work, you don’t get paid. That should apply to all in Congress.”

In the comments section of lefty blog ThinkProgress, Curlew isn’t buying Kingston’s logic: “I just checked and there is no law prohibiting members of Congress from moving their family TO Washington DC after their election. In fact (gasp!) many members have already done so. Congressman Kingston is obviously more interested in keeping his Medallion status in Delta’s frequent flier program than he is in actually legislating AND he’s using his family as cover for doing so.”

Read more about the five-day House workweek.

Camille’s complaint: Contacted by Us Weekly to give her take on Britney Spears’ latest crotch-bearing scandal, feminist intellectual Camille Paglia said today’s female celebs are “cheapening their own image and obliterating all sexual mystery and glamour, which are the heart of the star system.” She also noted that Madonna—a longtime Paglia hero—planted the “kiss of death” onto Spears at the MTV Awards a few years ago. Bloggers don’t really want to take either side.

Brandon at Irrelevant Narcissism doesn’t know where to begin: “[T]he assumption implicit in Paglia’s statement [is] that a couple of paparazzi shots, which are admittedly in poor taste, are single-handedly setting back the feminist movement (or the fact that Paglia, who once said that if women ran the world we’d all still be living in grass huts could, with a straight face, accuse someone else of setting it back).”

New York-based gossip sheet Gawker asks: “[A] burning question has formed in all of our minds: what impact will the increased incidence of celebrity vagina-showing have on sex-positive feminism?” Paglia’s answer, according to Gawker, channels Saturday Night Live’s Amy Poehler: ” ‘Ladies, you need to cool it. Nobody wants to see your baby factory.’ “

M.J. Murphy at BigCityLib Strikes Back thinks Paglia’s being sexist by awarding Madonna bare-all bona fides: “[I]n Madonna’s case there is no need to skimp on the bare flesh in order to preserve her market viability. Paglia doesn’t give a scale–for example, ten million albums = the right to expose both tits–but apparently Madonna has moved enough units that she can go the Full Monty any goddamn time she wants and nobody has cause to complain. … [I]f [Neil Young] were to set up a grinding poll on stage at one of his concerts, get up there and wiggle his schlong to ‘Heart of Gold’, he’d be locked up, even though this would be at least as entertaining as watching Madonna shake her stuff.”

Read more about Paglia’s Britney criticism.

Neocon gone: Jeane Kirkpatrick, Reagan’s former U.N. ambassador and a guiding light of neoconservatism, has died at the age of 80. Even bloggers who didn’t share Kirkpatrick’s politics remember her as tough woman in the boys’ club of Washington.

Conservative Carol Platt Liebau eulogizes the former ambassador: “Her speech to the 1984 Republican convention that renominated incumbent President Reagan became famous for its candor and its moral clarity. The ‘Kirkpatrick doctrine’ helped in no small part to bring the end of the Soviet Union about. Jeane Kirkpatrick was a patriot to the core.”

Catholic blogger Miss Kellydidn’t share her politics.” Nonetheless, “[s]he was a smart, tough lady, firm in her beliefs and with sound logic to her arguments. The lady stood her ground. I watched her one morning in the early 80’s on a Sunday morning talk shows, where she was badgered and insulted by four men on the panel. She didn’t flinch for a second. She was composed, unwavering and thoughtful, in contrast to her belligerent attackers. Her deft parrying and verbal fencing was something to see!”

Read more about Kirkpatrick’s death.