SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
I just received an interesting email from a reader of this blog, who prefers to remain anonymous, and who writes:
Yesterday’s New York Times ran an article about John McCain having placed a call to major donors/fundraisers from the Senate cloakroom and reviewed the possibility that he broke the law in so doing. “Senate ethics rules expressly forbid lawmakers to engage in campaign activities inside Senate facilities,” the story said. “If Mr. McCain solicited campaign contributions on a call from government property, that would be a violation of federal criminal law as well.”
But the Times missed an equally problematic situation in its own reporting on July 11, when a front-page story began, “After months of mounting problems in his presidential campaign, Senator John McCain sat down with his two top political aides on Monday for what turned out to be a loud and acrimonious discussion in his Senate office. On Tuesday morning, as Mr. McCain stood on the Senate floor opposing a withdrawal from Iraq, his campaign announced that the two men were departing.”
The problem here is that it’s absolutely illegal to do any type of electioneering on government property, especially in a House or Senate office. Clearly, there’s a pattern here. McCain is Mr. Clean but plays by different rules. He’s using Senate resources for campaign purposes, while the rules clearly stipulate that congressmen and employees cannot do so.
This is not the sort of thing for which McCain should be shackled and led away to prison, but it does expose a certain hypocrisy on his part. It also suggests that his campaign really is in a state of chaos: providing information that acknowledges lawbreaking in the very first sentence of a New York Times story really isn’t smart politics.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”