• Better Digs for Sheehan

    Oh, this is brilliant . Fred Mattlage, a Crawford neighbor of Bush and an army veteran, is opening up his land to Sheehan and her encampment, a move that'll give them more space and bring them closer to the President's ranch. I still think Sheehan should be careful about letting this change from a woman's quest to get an answer into a massive antiwar rally where she's just a featured speaker, but either way this'll help the cause.
  • Fight Smart

    Greg's admonishment on Michelle Malkin is exactly correct. And, before the usual suspects rear up to accuse me of softness and appeasement and DC-ness and weakness and giving aid to Republicans and whatever else, remember: it's not attacks that are the problem, it's stupid attacks that backfire on us and do us damage that are the problem. There should be full court press against Michelle Malkin's repulsive smearing of Cindy Sheehan, her little foray into Sheehan's marital status should be plastered over the talkshows as proof of conservative cravenness. This is the time for JuJitsu, letting their poorly aimed, grossly inappropriate attempts at character assassination become the story, destroying the characters of those responsible and making Cindy look even more sympathetic. Instead, we call Malkin a whore, start making fun of her surname, leave threatening messages on her answering machine, and do a thousand things that, if put on O'Reilly, would make us look just as bad as her. You...
  • HSA's for the Poor

    Sam Rosenfeld has a fantastic, highly-comprehensive post on Republican efforts to gut Medicaid and turn it into a capped, "consumer-driven" program at exactly the moment when its expansion and full-funding are most needed. Read it . But remember too that liberals shouldn't be reflexively against certain forms of consumer-driven health care, particularly health reimbursement accounts (or donut hole accounts), where employers/government place X dollars in an account at the beginning of each year, folks spend that money on basic care, once it's exhausted they have a deductible to cover, and then catastrophic kicks in. What Sam's going against is South Carolina's bastardized version, where the amount placed in the account is based on a Risk Assessment, which means each individual is theoretically given a first-dollar infusion in proportion to their health risks. Unfortunately, we have no effective way to calculate risks and, in any case, the amount of bureaucracy, lawsuits, and general...
  • Comparable Worth is Not Equal Pay for Equal Work

    Everyone who thinks John Roberts was inveighing against Equal Pay for Equal Work in those Reagan memos needs to read Sebastian Holsclaw's post on the subject. I very much hope that some Democratic senators ask him about Equal Pay because, as of now, we have no idea how he feels about it. All we know from the memos is that he, like most of us, thinks comparable worth theory is a bad idea.
  • 1787 With Fewer White People

    Harold Meyerson has a very good op-ed on Iraq in today's Washington Post: It looks increasingly as if President Bush may have been off by 74 years in his assessment of Iraq. By deposing the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, Bush assumed he would bring Iraq to its 1787 moment -- the crafting of a democratic constitution, the birth of a unified republic. Instead, he seems to have brought Iraq to the brink of its own 1861 -- the moment of national dissolution. It's true. I was thinking about this the other day: we like to imagine Iraq's current Constitutional Convention as an analogue, at least of sorts, to the one attended by our own Founding Fathers. But that's a bit off the mark. It's more as if our Found Fathers had to also deal with powerful, represented contingents of newly freed black slaves and politically empowered Native Americans. Could they do it? It's one thing to create a democratic republic of basically similar white people, but quite another to deal with ethnic groups who...
  • The Keystone Kops Go To New York

    Could someone please explain to me why the Democratic primary for mayor of New York is turning into such a slapstick, amateur affair? Not that I have anything major against Bloomberg, but Christ, Democrats need to be muscling into these feeder positions, particularly the ones where the electorate is overwhelmingly on our side. Governor of CA/NY, mayor of NY...we can't keep ceding all this to the other side.
  • Things Are Not All As They Seem

    Hoo boy. Not to make light of it, but Scotland Yard has some 'splaining to do.
  • Target: You

    Great point on the upcoming, Target-sponsored issue of the New Yorker : In high school, I read a book called Subliminal Seduction, an early "expose" of the psychological techniques used by advertisers to market to unwary consumers. The most thrilling passages described sinister exercises in which the word "sex" would be almost imperceptably airbrushed onto the ice cubes in a photograph of a glass of whiskey. This effort was somehow meant to push the viewer one step closer to alcoholism. How exactly this process was intended to work (particularly in view of the fact that the glass, encoded ice cubes an all, was usually photographed in the hands of a woman with mammoth breasts and spectacular cleavage) was always unclear to me. But the idea that ad agencies were skillfully imbedding secret messages in product photography had immense appeal to my inner 14-year-old conspiracy theorist; it also explained why I was always so darned horny. The all-Target New Yorker is the product of more...
  • Slick Oil

    Jamie Court has a good point here : What's remarkable is that neither leading Democrats nor Republicans are discussing the oil company profiteering behind the jump at the pump? Maybe that's because both parties are feeding at the same well of campaign contributions and the federal energy bill that gushed from it failed to deal with the cause of the sky high prices. July financial statements show oil companies making new world record profits on top of last year’s banner world record profits. Exxon Mobil’s second quarter earnings jumped 35 percent over last year, Royal Dutch Shell rose 34%, ConocoPhillips shots up 51%. Poll after poll has shown that Americans are desperately worried over our oil situation. John Kerry's single best-received line was his acceptance speech swipe against the House of Saud -- the numbers spiked up. Maybe that's why, in fear of attracting supporters, he stopped using it. But there's no reason the Democratic Party shouldn't be hitting hard on this subject,...
  • PLAN

    Disagreements with the guy aside, David Sirota's (and Matt Singer's) Progreessive Legislative Action Committee sounds like a really exciting project, just the sort of thing we need. For years now, the Christian Right and the anti-tax zealots have focused on the state and local elections no one else was interested by, and it's been key to their consolidation of power. I'm very glad to see Democrats building counter-institutions to fight at the micro level, and I'm happier yet to see Sirota and Co. leading it: state governments don't declare war, and so once there, it really is a straight question of populism and culture, and this group is as authentically populist as the Christian Right is culturally regressive. Should make for some interesting fights. Anyway, go read Sirota's statement, it's good stuff.