Archive

  • Not So Fast

    Ron Brownstein's article on the net's potential to facilitate a successful third-party ticket is going to break the buzz-meter, as it plays on everyone's favorite fantasies. But every few years there's a reason the third-party's will finally prove ascendent, be it Perot's personal funds or the net's ability to raise cash or the increasing similarities between the two major parties (not a view I subscribe to, by the way). But it never works. And Dean is a good example of why. Dean for America followed the Brownstein strategy almost perfectly. It ran against the establishment and used the net to rake in cash from electrified supporters nationwide. It exploited recently developed online organizing tools to unleash a veritable army of foot-soldiers on unsuspecting towns nationwide, and then on suspecting towns when the Iowa caucus was happening. Entering the primaries it had more money and more volunteers than any other campaign, and by a large margin. But it still lost. There's a...
  • I Wouldn't Throw That Rock

    Armando is all Kossack-gone-wild on this article detailing The Atlantic's move to DC, and DC's efforts to be more intellectual. He mocks the district for being disconnected from reality (more than anywhere else in the world, apparently), for having a dull-as-dirt press corps, and for generally not being the cosmopolitan culture capital that the piece portrays it as. Huh. As disconnected as DC might be, at least there are Republicans there, by which I mean to imply no place can be more disconnected from reality than the lefty blogosphere (and all points go for the righty libertarian-o-sphere, just swap in the appropriate names and theories). I'm serious about this, and I include my site in the calculus, but remember our pre-election triumphalism? Remember how Kos and MyDD and, for that matter, me, have called each of the last two elections? Ever taken a look in our comment threads? Ever noticed the massive proportion of readers certain the election fell through thievery and the war was...
  • What's The Worst That Could Happen?

    I, too, apologize for today's dearth of posts. The Munz household spent most of the day consumed with Passover-Related Program Activities, and between the four questions and the thing with dipping your pinky in the wine ten times, I didn't have time to make it to the keyboard. As a parting shot, I want to direct everyone's attention to this characteristically fabulous Slate piece by Dahlia Lithwick, concerning the fate of one Zacarias Moussaoui: What's truly distressing about this turn of events is that Moussaoui may just have decided to accept the bizarre government position in this case: that he should be executed for being a poster boy for al-Qaida. Whether he now hopes to become a martyr, or to fast-track his case to the Supreme Court, or whether he's finally been beaten down by everyone else's unremitting craziness, remains to be seen. I'm trying to muster some cogent legal commentary here, but I think Dahlia just about covers that. Instead, I want to offer a brief observation-...
  • Gracie

    Thanks to the weekend's guest-bloggers. Be sure to check them out at their own places, Dan at Politics and War and Angelica at Battle Panda .
  • Alan Greenspan: Maestro or Hack?

    [First of all, an apology to all for falling down on my guest-blogging duties today. It was just one of those warm spring days made for walking the ol' faithful schnauzer in the dappled shade, watching baseball , eating chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven...you get the picture. But now it's time for one last post while I'm still hogging Ezra's eyeball, as it were.] Alan Greenspan. Maestro? or Hack? On the face of it, this seems like a ridiculous question. Don't I remember his hacktacular green-lighting of the Bush tax-cuts in 2001? Surely his belated and weaselly admission that <i>maybe</i> mistakes were made and taxes should go up after all shouldn't absolve him (though DeLong cuts him some slack ) of his disingenuously cryptic approval back in 2001. Isn't he trying to eat his cake and have it -- to push through the tax cuts on one hand, <i>and</i> escape blame for the consequences on the other? ...Greenspan had warned then in congressional testimony...
  • God, Guns, and Gandhi

    My new practice of regularly reading NRO’ s Corner is paying off in spades. Today, Andrew Stuttaford manages to stop bitching about Cameron Diaz long enough to make this bold assertion : And as, for those ‘spiritual’ values that Diaz purports to find in picturesque hellholes such as Bhutan, I suspect that, given the chance, most of those bowers, scrapers and chanters would be pleased to junk their shamans, temples and priests in favour of running water, electricity and decent education. And they would be right to. Huh, okay. Let’s try that quote again, this time replacing a few words: And as, for those ‘traditional’ values that Diaz purports to find in picturesque hellholes such as Brownsville, TX [which has a 45.5% child poverty rate], I suspect that, given the chance, most of those bowers, chanters and singers would be pleased to junk their bibles, churches and priests in favour of health care, job security and decent education. And they would be right to. So, setting aside your...
  • Stuff to Read

    I think Brad Plumer gets Ann Coulter just right . Also, he owes Chris Chamberlain an apology. - E to the Z.
  • The Incredible, Bendable Frist

    Matt, celebrating an apparent breakdown in GOP message discipline, notes in passing that: Bill Frist has taken this up as his pet cause in a clear effort to become the candidate of the James Dobson crowd. A lot of Democrats, I think, are rooting for Frist to get the 2008 presidential nomination. He’s a lightweight, wishy-washy moderate, they say - the Republican John Kerry. But statements like this from Matt make me think that Frist could just be the Dems’ worst nightmare. Before the name “Terri Schiavo” hit the airwaves, did anyone think of Bill Frist as “the candidate of the James Dobson crowd”? I sure didn’t. But after a mere four weeks of X-Treme Political Makeover, no less a hardened intellect than Matt Yglesias is regarding him as a crazed bible-thumper on the order of Santorum or Coburn. That kind of transformation takes a special talent. The thing about Frist isn’t that he’s actually moderate but can act like an extremist, or that he’s actually an extremist but can act...
  • Does mine eyes decieve me?

    Daniel Gross at Slate is incredulous that Americans are actually paying down their credit card debt in response to increasing interest rates. Could it be? Consumers actually responding to changes in incentives as if they make their financial decisions with some semblance of rationality? I must say you can also color me surprised, if pleasantly so. Like witnessing a pack of lemmings preternaturally change directions at the ragged edge of disaster . -- Battlepanda
  • Showing Deficits Some Love

    The latest Democracy Corps poll found: Requiring Congress to forego a pay raise in any year the government runs a deficit or raids the Social Security trust fund, and requiring that any future benefit cuts to Social Security should apply to congressional pensions as well. Matt doesn't like the idea because civil servant salaries are tied to congressional salaries, and this'd hurt them too. But if we can reformulate how salaries are calculated so this'd only hurt congresscritters, Matt says we should give the people the "wacky populism" that they want. I disagree. It's all well and good to nail Bush for his huge and irresponsible deficits now, but Democrats really shouldn't be in the business of making moderate deficit spending impossible, or at least really, really unlikely. Fact is, we're the social program folks, and once this weird administration with its big-budget conservatism heads back to Crawford, and once our fiscal house is put in a bit better order, there are going to be...

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