From sneer to smear. / Gage Skidmore
The Baffler,  January 20, 2016

Daily Bafflements

From sneer to smear. / Gage Skidmore
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• In the Palinian spirit of not pussyfooting too much, The Baffler has moved our print edition to a quarterly publication schedule—that’s right, we’re putting our spurtive past behind us, and being a bit more punctual. On the web we can offer you a little regularity, as well: two new columns, with another special surprise to come around Valentine’s Day. But for now, please enjoy senior editor Chris Lehmann’s “Jaundiced Eyeball,” which surveys the media landscape hawkishly each week and publishes on Thursdays. Natasha Vargas-Cooper, meanwhile, is on the “Bad Behavior” beat, and her crime column will continue to appear every second Tuesday.

• Speaking of bad behavior, since Vargas-Cooper’s column yesterday on the state of Texas’ unconstitutional foster care system, the state’s attorney general has disputed the judge’s verdict: “He said she used ‘anecdotal evidence’ of sexual and physical abuse.” Read the piece and decide for yourself how terrible Texas is at keeping kids safe.

• Today in billionaires: honestly, why does anyone care what rich people—from Reese Witherspoon, to Oprah, to Mark Zuckerberg, to Bill Gates—are reading? 

• On writing about Ted Cruz’s campaign manager, who knows a thing or two about smear: “He’s dangerous. Call your mom. Tell her you love her.” (Thanks, the New Republic!)

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Further Reading

 June 22

For the Atlantic, actual political agency, it seems, is a lesser virtue than the civic jolt proffered by a “mediating function.”