The Nightstand (September 30th)

Politics and the 2012 Election

The American Dream’s Empty Promise (Robert Samuelson, WaPo)– This seems like an appropriate time to reiterate that my listing an article on the Nightstand does not necessarily (though sometimes) imply either endorsement or agreement.  I think that Samuelson makes some solid points here and I am in agreement with the overall thrust that the “American Dream” is, and always has been, largely a fiction, never truly available to everybody (no matter how hard-working) at any given time.

Brown v. Warren: Choosing Between Automatons and Leaders (David Sirota, In These Times)

The Unraveling of Government (Mickey Edwards, NYT)

This Presidential Race Should Never Have Been This Close (Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone)– I think Taibbi’s estimate that most Americans share the politics of the 99 vs. 1 percent dynamic pushed by the Occupiers is wrong, but that’s mostly the fault of the lies put forward as the American Dream.

Legislate First, Ask Questions Never (Leonard Goodman, In These Times)

The League of Dangerous Mapmakers (Robert Draper, The Atlantic)

We Never Liked You Anyway (Paul Waldman, The American Prospect)– Since a couple of weeks ago, when the race started turning in a significant way for Obama, this is the scenario that I have envisioned.  Consider the following: Romney was the choice of his party only because the other candidates seemed to be refugees from the Island of Misfit Children, they have never fully trusted him, he has no current political position to fall back on (e.g. Senator) if he loses, and he has no natural constituency within the party.  Not to mention the empirical fact that he has run a disastrous general election campaign, at least up until this point.  The blame for this will fall completely on his shoulders and he will be tossed to the wolves at a moment’s notice.  I mean, don’t feel too sorry for the guy, he has $250 million in the bank, and all the potential in the world to make a great deal more during the rest of his life.  He’ll be fine.

Mitt’s Stake (Benjamin Wallace-Wells, New York)– I have read a couple of stories like this, with genuinely moving and admirable vignettes about Mitt Romney’s service as an LDS church leader.  And I have zero, ZERO doubt that they are factually accurate.  But what I cannot escape is the bewilderment of, “If Mitt Romney did those things, who the hell is this guy that keeps showing up on my TV saying these ridiculous and callous things?”

The Decay of American Democracy (Shadia B. Drury, Council for Secular Humanism)

Mormon Issues

Romney, Mormonism, and a Concern for the Poor (David Bokovoy, Worlds without End)

Gender and Priesthood (Nate Oman, Times & Seasons)

DC Third Ward Mormons would welcome Romney, even if most are Democrats (Michelle Borrstein, WaPo)

The Veil: Thick and Thin? (Dave Banack, Worlds without End)- “My suspicion is that, most of the time, we are on our own.”

Mormon Modesty: We have to do better (Lisa Butterworth, Feminist Mormon Housewives)– This is so important, I could repost it every week until my daughters leaves YW (which is approximately 18 years from now).

Sex


Spreading the Word (and Pictures) on ‘Real’ Sex (Cara Buckley, NYT)

The moral case for sex before marriage (Jill Filipovic, The Guardian)– This seems like the appropriate time to reiterate (for the second time in the same week) that a link does not imply either endorsement or agreement.

Other

Reinventing Ethics (Howard Gardner, NYT)

The Myths of Muslim Rage (Kenan Malik, Pandemonium)

Is Sweden awesome because it mooches off the US? (Dylan Mathews, Wonkblog)

Fighting Over God’s Image (Edward Blum and Paul Harvey, NYT)

The Roberts Court Takes on Racial Justice (David Cole, NYRB)

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