Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Odds and Ends

Here are a few items collected from the Internet about which I have nothing in particular to say or add except that I found them of some interest:

On Political Biographies

Van Dyk's heroes are traditional, policycentric Democrats, men like Tsongas, Humphrey, McCarthy, and Mondale. He's less happy with the marquee names. Lyndon Johnson comes off as exactly the petty jackass that you'd expect—if he didn't wind up in politics, he probably would've murdered somebody for dinging his car in a parking lot. Nixon is the kind of monster who'd negotiate a way to extend the Vietnam War to stay in office. Jimmy Carter seems like an oddly vengeful robot and Van Dyk considers Bill Clinton a snake-oil salesman who gave up on the nation's poorest citizens to remain in everyone else's good graces. He even has a few nasty things to say about Seattle politics in general and Greg Nickels in particular.

A Talented Life Interrupted I feel very sad about this young actor's death. I've seen him in "Brokeback Mountain", "Casanova", "Monster's Ball". I didn't realize how young he really was when he made these movies. A rare talent.

Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday at a downtown Manhattan apartment, naked in bed with sleeping pills nearby, police said. The Australian-born actor was 28. It wasn't immediately clear if Ledger had committed suicide.

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