Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Me on African Politics (Or: There is No Love Like Self Love)

It's been a while since I posted. All of the usual excuses hold: Travel, family in town, laziness, the new semester is underway. Plus a new one: I am now President of the UTPB Faculty Senate, which has occupied an enormous amount of time already.

In any case, believe it or not I have been using my brain here and there. For example, I am quoted at length in an article in today's Christian Post about the Libya situation. Short version: we need to wait and see before we really know what it all means.

And ISN Insights has published my latest piece, "The ANC: Historical Irony on the Horizon?" In it I explore the current state of South African politics while wondering if President Jacob Zuma is going to face a bum's rush akin to the one that Thabo Mbeki faced in 2007-2008. Zuma was the greatest beneficiary of those events. Will he now find his presidency in jeopardy based on a similar wave of discontent?

Happy reading.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Presidents and Their Debts (dcat Mentors Watch)

A while back The New York Times' periodic "Room for Debate" feature addressed "Presidents and Their Debts: FDR to Bush," and of the eight featured debaters, two were my grad school professors at Ohio University, including Joan Hoff and my friend and mentor Lon Hamby.

Friday, August 05, 2011

We're Number One! (Work Hard, Play Hard Edition)

Well, dcat's alma maters have been on a roll lately. A hard working, hard drinking roll.

Forbes just released its college rankings list, which rates all colleges and universities in America irrespective of classification (ie: liberal arts, research university, Masters comprehensive, etc.) and the number one college in all of the land? That would be Williams College. Suck it Amherst (and Harvard, and Princeton, and Yale, and UT Austin!)

Meanwhile, Princeton Review has released its list of the top 20 party schools. Number One? Ohio University. Court Street is going to drink like, well, like it's a Friday night on Court Street.

The Little Team

You probably saw this on Deadspin, but if you didn't, watch it. It is just excellent.

Friday Sox Talk: AL East Battle For Supremacy

I suppose there is something apt about the Red Sox and Yankees being tied for first place on a weekend when the Yankees arrive in Fenway for a three-game series. Heading into these games that will decide first place, at least for the time being, in the American League East the Yankees have been absolutely mashing the ball. It seems like every time I look at the scores New York has put up a dozen runs on some hapless pitching staff. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have been stumbling a little bit and are coming off of a split against the Indians in which scoring was a chore.

But I'm not convinced that form going into these series really makes much of a difference to either team. The Sox in particular tend to play to the level of their competition and almost always rise to the occasion of a series against the Yankees or most any other good team. Plus they get Lester and Beckett in this series, which represents about as good as it gets for a pitching staff that has been blasted by injury. The trade deadline brought Eric Bedard who went last night and did not set the earth on fire on the Fenway mound. But Bedard's arrival is perhaps overshadowed by Buchholz going on the 60-day disabled list and quite possibly being done for the season.

I suppose that in the eyes of some the playoff format diminishes the meaning of these games to some extent. After all, barring meltdown both the Sox and the Yanks are going to the playoffs. But I doubt you'll be able to convince the fans of either team or the players on either roster that these games do not matter. The rest of the country can claim to be sick of Red Sox-Yankees. And then more of them will tune in to these games than to any other up to now this season. Because with first place on the line, and the Red Sox against New York, these games matter.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Hypocrisy Watch

Here is how it apparently works among the new wave of GOP debt-busters, with their supposedly fierce anti-earmark bona fides: If you do it, it's pork. If I do it, it's a project of vital importance.