Reviews | The Power of Lies in the Age of Political Fiction


I’ll save the prose for other articles for next week.

First up: Maureen Dowd’s column on the Supreme Court. Absolutely many of you love but you cited various salient facts, including this one: “Samuel Alito’s Antediluvian Draft Opinion is the Puritans’ greatest victory since they expelled Roger Williams from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. At another point, Maureen wrote that it is “scandalous that five unelected, irresponsible and relatively unknown political operatives posing as impartial jurists can so profoundly alter our lives”.

She also noted that Chief Justice John Roberts “lost control of a lost majority”, adding: “To borrow an image from the great Mary McGrory, Roberts looks like a little man trying to walk a big dog. At this point, he can’t even see the end of the leash.(Thanks to Ricca Slone of Chicago, Sarah Charlock of Newport News, Va., and Mark Weinberg of Wilmington, Del., among many others, for naming Maureen’s sentences.)

Another favorite from last week’s newsletter readers was Joe Drape’s vivid account of Rich Strike’s victory against the odds in the Kentucky Derby. (If you haven’t seen the aerial view of the Thoroughbred’s late burst in the lead, here’s a tweet from the sequence of NBC Sports it is Good worth watching.)

Joe described this flurry, maneuvered by Sonny Leon, this way: “Leon began guiding his horse through the pack, weaving like someone late for work on a busy Manhattan sidewalk.” Joe also savored the sweetness of a triumph from a competitor whose attributes and patronage were less gilded than those of his equine rivals: their vaults and paying whatever it took to secure a royal-bred horse which, hoped they, might run a hole in the wind. (Jeanie Camp, San Diego, and Pete Browne, Kansas City, Mo., among others)

Ticking off the surprising wins of Real Madrid’s magic football season, Rory Smith mentioned the “return against the scintillating array of Instagram influencers arranged in the vague form of a Paris Saint-Germain squad”. (Charles Kelley, Alexandria, Virginia, and Sheila Bourke Tagliavia, Perugia, Italy, among others)

In that same article, Rory wrote that it’s not “too flowery, too ethereal, to suggest that Real Madrid don’t so much beat teams at football as they overwhelm them by harnessing elemental force.” . He went on to add, “Sometimes it feels like a form of alchemy, the transformation of a succession of base metals – a handful of garlanded veterans, a couple of raw hopefuls, a coach with an expressive eyebrow and a easy charm, a team without a recognizable and compelling plan beyond an all-pervading sense of one’s own destiny – into something valuable. (Paul Oliver, Washington, DC, and Eugene Hunt, North Andover, Mass.)

Finally, Jeff Maurer’s guest essay on what he perceives as the Democratic Party’s “image problem” focused on the vulnerability of Democrats to some negative criticism regarding the cancellation of student loans.


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