• Red Eye DeLay

    It's becoming a bit trite to accuse Tom DeLay of snapping his tether to reality, but I'm not going to stop noting it until Tom stops doing it. Yesterday, he gave a short presentation to the GOP Senate caucus, where he unveiled what should be called the "Stoner Defense", a combination of "chill out" sentiment and massive paranoia: As DeLay left a 90-minute luncheon with his party's senators, he told reporters that his basic message was "Be patient; we'll be fine." Giving a preview of the approach he is likely to take when he appears before reporters this afternoon, DeLay dismissed questions about his travel and his relationships with lobbyists as "the Democratic agenda." Attendees said DeLay, in extremely brief remarks, told the senators that, if asked about his predicament, they should blame Democrats and their lack of an agenda. The attendees said DeLay thanked Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) for supportive comments on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. Yeah man, it's like, nothing. So stop...
  • Poor Headlines in the WoT

    Headlining the New York Times today was a little ditty they like to call " Sharon Asks U.S. to Pressure Iran to Give Up Its Nuclear Program ", and it goes something like this: Spreading photographs of Iranian nuclear sites over a lunch table at the Bush ranch in Texas on Monday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel urged President Bush to step up pressure on Iran to give up all elements of its nuclear program, according to senior American and Israeli officials. Mr. Sharon said Israeli intelligence showed Iran was near "a point of no return" in learning how to develop a weapon, the officials said. However, Mr. Sharon gave no indication that Israel was preparing to act alone to attack Iranian nuclear facilities, a prospect that Vice President Dick Cheney, who was at the lunch, raised publicly three months ago. In a conversation lasting more than an hour, Mr. Sharon argued that European nations negotiating with Iran were softening their position and may be willing to allow it to hold on...
  • Chasing the Wind

    I'm tired of invading Iraq for oil, encouraging coups in Iran for crude, futzing around in the Middle East for petroleum. Every time we do it it's the same old map on CNN, the same old cartoons about swarthy dictators, the same old sandy landscapes. Why not be a little inventive? Which is why I'd like to be the first to advocate invading Guatemala for its precious, precious, wind . I mean, that's not really why we'll invade -- it'll be weapons of mass destruction or human rights abuses or something -- but, mmmm, 7,000 megawatts of wind power. Truly, we can't let that fall into the hands of the terrorists.
  • Blogger's Paradox

    Drezner writes : Will I still be blogging in five years? I honestly don’t know, but my suspicion is that if I do, there will be plenty of sabbaticals thrown in. One undeniable effect of having a successful blog is the inculcation of a sense of duty to keep up regular posts. Even the thought of blogging on a regular basis for half a decade exhausts me. However, the thought of not blogging about the interesting ideas or information that comes my way bothers me even more. The will-I-be-doing-this-in-a-decade thought experiment is a favorite parlor game of mine and I have to say, Drezner gets it exactly right. Blogging -- particularly solo-blogging -- is an intense sport, and I have trouble imagining this level of output stretching off into the future. But the trouble I have with that absolutely pales in comparison to the cognitive disruption I get when I try to imagine not blogging at all.
  • Constructive Scolds

    You're probably wondering where I come down on the Amy vs. Matt cultural cage match. Admit it. You're desperate to hear my penetrating insights on whether we should attack over-the-top culture (a la Amy) or leave it alone (a la Matt). Well, I'd like to offer some but it'd be redundant because Daniel Munz wrote what should be the definitive post on the subject. Read it -- it's glorious*. Beyond Munz's contribution, I think Matt's spending too much time reiterating the data showing that GTA don't hurt nobody when that, unfortunately, is worlds away from the question. Were scores of 14 year-olds taking to the streets to carjack cops and whip old ladies with Playstation controllers it'd be a different story, but the absence of anarchy has little bearing on whether or not GTA (or Sin City, or whatever) is evidence that kids can't -- and shouldn't -- negotiate the media world they're increasingly being left to. And the place for the party in that discussion isn't throwing around crime...
  • Something Hilarious

    Via Atrios , the Ultimate Warrior -- yes, the guy who choo-choo'd around wrestling rings while pumping his hands in the air and wearing bicep tassles -- has actually retired into a more ridiculous old age. Go read his attempts to sue Something Awful, they're hilarious.
  • BlogAds

    So as you can see on the right, I'm starting up with BlogAds. Rates are pretty low, $25 a week or $80 a month, so, as an uninterested financial advisor, I highly suggest you place some. My hits, by the way, are about 3,400 visits from smart people desperate to click on your ad every day, so not too shabby. E-mail me if you have questions. As a sidenote, any of you bloggers out there have advice on the BlogAds thing? Do you wait for advertisers to contact you, or do you try and sell yourself to advertisers? I've never done this before so I'm flying a bit blind.
  • Man Dates

    This man date thing strikes me as way overblown. Lee's article basically says that casual acquaintances feel a little weird doing things traditionally reserved for dates. Well, yeah. I go to movies and museums and nice restaurants constantly with my friends without a hint of embarrassment, but I wouldn't invite a guy I just met in my class to a candlelit dinner. It's not because I'm afraid of looking gay so much as the setting is incongruous for the interaction, the expectations don't fit what we're going to do. I also wouldn't invite a girl I barely knew to the opening night of a Broadway play. My choice of event wouldn't fit the context of my interaction, and we'd both feel off-balance. Lee's piece, to me, is no different than arguing that showing up at operas dressed in jeans and an undershirt makes people uncomfortable -- social events have certain norms, and when you step out of them you, feel a bit odd. If Lee wanted to write an article on that, I wish her the best. But saying...
  • The Paris Hilton Benefit Act

    EJ Dionne's firing on all cylinders today with a blistering column on the Paris Hilton Benefit Act, otherwise known as the estate tax. You guys probably know Bush's tax cuts eliminated it, but they just shoved it in an overstuffed closet and it's slated to pop back out, strong as ever, in 2009. So tomorrow, Republicans are sitting down to reform -- read: eliminate 00 the tax permanently and ensure that all those rich heirs will never pay a dime on their estates. Time for the left to call bullshit. Dionne argues for explicitly tying the tax to the Social Security shortfall. According to the CBO, even a reduced estate tax would cover fully 1/2 of the program's deficit, which means Republicans are going to have to decide between protecting Paris Hilton's inheritance and paying Grandma Millie's Social Security check. Democrats should be all over that choice, making sure it's made as publicly as possible. Go git' em. Update : Heh .
  • Progressive Econ

    Brad Plumer's thoughtful, Galbraith-inspired post on the Democrat's lack of economic vision deserves a response and, indeed, a discussion. So I hope the blogosphere's economist-kings (bet Plato never saw them coming) will pick up on it. Until they do, I will. To start, I think Brad's got two things going on here. One is the need for an economic vision, and the other is a need for a set of policy principles that get us there. And I thin, at times, that Brad conflates the two. As I read Neoconomy, conservatives want to keep growth roaring along and prices stable because the advancement of business is an end in and of itself. So pro-growth policies aren't the vision, they're the means. That's because the right sees an almost Platonic good in productivity increases, unending innovation, higher profits, etc, etc. So the success of business, for them, is the end. The opposite would be the so-called "European Dream", which prizes quality-of-life far above efficiency of business and has...