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Contrarian Watch

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The blog has gone dark for a few days while I’ve been reporting a feature story in the Dallas area for the magazine.

I’ll be back with regular posts tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s some suggested reading.

If you haven’t already seen it, Frank Rich had a wonderfully contrarian take on the health care debate and the Obama administration in yesterday’s New York Times. This is one of Rich’s better pieces:

It’s a measure of how out of touch G.O.P. leaders like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are that they keep trying to scare voters by calling Obama a socialist. They have it backward. The larger fear is that Obama might be just another corporatist, punking voters much as the Republicans do when they claim to be all for the common guy.

Here’s one for the policy geeks. The Congressional Budget Office looks at paying for preventive health care and finds that it might be worth the cost in the long run.

And finally, if you didn’t read Louis Black’s column this week in the Austin Chronicle – and those of you outside Austin probably didn’t — it’s great fun. Mr. Black is one of the paper’s founders and his column celebrates the Chronicle‘s 28th birthday (congrats, by the way.)

Now, there’s an unwritten rule in journalism that you don’t criticize someone else’s writing in public. But, hey, I’m contrarian, so I’m going to flagrantly break it.

Here’s a paragraph from Mr. Black’s lead. How many metaphors can you find in this one graph? I count at least six:

In a sense, this is the story of a card game that’s gone on for 28 years, while in so many other ways, it is the memory of a silent film. It is a catalog of lives lived, histories told, and nearly three decades of art/culture (theatre, music, film, poetry, fiction, comedy, performance, photography, etc.) as an unending, durational theatre piece in an endless hall of mirrors.

With that, I bid you adieu, until tomorrow.

Dave Mann has been with the Observer since 2003. Before that, he worked as a reporter in Fort Worth and Washington, D.C. He was born and raised in Philadelphia. He thinks border collies are the world’s greatest dogs, and believes in the nourishing powers of pickup basketball.