The Monday Morning Teaser

Because I want the Weekly Sift to be a counterweight to the mainstream media, I try not to pile on to stories that are already getting way too much attention. So last week, I just acknowledged the Petraeus scandal without saying anything about it. This week, it’s still making headlines and I still don’t care who slept with who.

Then I saw the Onion’s Nation Horrified To Learn About War In Afghanistan While Reading Up On Petraeus Sex Scandal and realized that while Petraeus’ sex life still isn’t news (by my lights), it does provide a good hook to start talking about some important or interesting things. So the main article this week, “Shadows Cast By the Petraeus Scandal”, will look at how easy it is for the FBI to invade an American’s privacy, the non-sexual moral issues Petraeus’ career raises, how Petraeus got such a larger-than-life image to begin with, and the “spiritual fitness” program that channels so much of the Pentagon’s money into Christian evangelism.

Last week I gave a one-word explanation of how the Republicans could hold the House of Representatives while getting fewer votes than the Democrats: gerrymandering. This week I look at how that works in theory, and then how it worked in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, both of which returned Republican majorities to Congress while voting Democratic.

Finally, I review ESPN’s brilliant documentary “Ghosts of Ole Miss”, which follows the 1962 University of Mississippi football team through an undefeated season that is remembered mainly for James Meredith, the lethal riot against integration, and the 82nd Airborne’s invasion of campus. The narrator, a white Mississippi native, artfully traces the boundary between nostalgia and shame.

The articles should start coming out soon, and I’ll have everything up well before noon.

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