• Gregg Easterbrook is Out of Touch

    Oh Gregg:

    Total global spending on this is now estimated at around $500 billion annually, more than the United States defense budget. Roughly two percent of global GDP is dedicated to this purpose. What is it? Parking, and I don't mean the kind done by giddy teenagers on country lanes.

    When asked for comment, the Fonz said "Heeeeyyyy", then turned to watch a leather jacketed Easterbrook on water skis jump over a shark pen.

  • Frist's Lament

    Lost among Pat Robertson's quasi-endorsement of Rudy Giuliani for president and his insane comments on religious litmus tests for judges, Pat Robertson made another unexpected move last Sunday: He cut Bill Frist loose.

    Bill is a wonderfully compassionate human being. He is humanitarian. He goes on medical missions. He's a delightful person. I just don't see him as a future president. I think he's said he didn't want to run for president. Maybe I'm putting words in his mouth.

  • Responding to Democracy

    Wesley Clark's contribution to the Washington Monthly's Democracy in the Middle East forum is a great, great read, much better than the title made it sound. On one level, the essay is the surprisingly adept effort of a 2008 presidential candidate to account for hopefully signs in the Arab world. Clark does so by leveraging his Reaganite past and demanding humility from the Bush administration:

  • Nominating Our Worst Nightmare

    When researching George Allen yesterday, I saw him regularly described as the Democrats' worst nightmare. Not so. Our worst nightmares aren't nominated in Republican primaries, but in our own. To understand that, a more critical look at John Kerry is in order. So for those who haven't absorbed Thomas Frank's latest 21-gun salute to populism, there's no time like the present. His election retrospective in the latest New York Review of Books is certainly one of the best I've seen, and even if he hits the same notes he always does, he's done a much better job constructing the rhythm to match the election's ebbs and flows.

  • Gore 08?

    This isn't exactly a novel observation, but I'm pretty impressed by Gore's recent actions. The amount of liberal goodwill he gets bathed in every time he delivers a stemwinder under MoveOn's auspices is really quite impressive, particularly for a candidate so damned by faint progressive praise last time he ran. It's nothing less than a reinvention. Now, I don't know if Gore's thinking of running in 2008 -- I've heard some rumors for and some against -- but he'd start in a really interesting position: an established, mainstream, well-known candidate with a deep base among liberals and a reputation for saying what others only think.

  • PBS: Fair, Balanced, and Funded

    Jesse, incensed by PBS's new effort to imbue their network with that "fair and balanced" goodness, is offering cookie-making robots to anyone able to force the media into "screw balance" week. Sounds like a plan. But before getting to the baking AIBO's, it's worth looking a nit closer at the PBS situation.

  • Google Bomb Me

    Is there anyway to Google bomb my own site? When you search me on Google you get, in order, Brad DeLong talking about me, Pandagon, and my original blogspot site. This site doesn't show up for pages, I haven't even gone far enough through to find it. So is there any way to change that, to make it so searching my name will find my current home on the internets? I don't really know how Google works, but I've heard about metatags or something. Anyway, help appreciated.

    Update: The title was just a joke, though many thanks to those who actually did Google bomb me. Turns out Typepad was hiding the site from the google bots, and now, thanks to some intrepid html sleuths who helped out in comments, that's over with. You all rock.

  • Treating an Oil Addiction

    John Cole's got a sensible post on the need for a new energy strategy, but I think he forgets that he doesn't have a sensible party:

    It never ceases to amaze me how silly many on the left are about the prospect of drilling in ANWR. Any reasonable solution to our dependence on foreign oil should include:

  • George Allen

    Ever since the National Journals Insiders Poll -- a poll of various Washington bigwigs, heavyweights, and wise men -- reported that George Allen is the favored 2008 nominee of the Republican establishment, I've been trying to get a feel for what he's about. This isn't, by the way, the first time I've heard of him. A buddy of mine who's a pretty astute political observer has been talking up his danger for a few months now, arguing that he's a more genial, more authentic, and smarter incarnation of the Bush formula.

  • How John Brown Helped the Terrorists Win

    The latest New York Review of Books offers up an excellent essay on John Brown's legacy. Excellent, at least, until page four, when it jukes you out and begins dashing off in the oddest direction an essay on a long-dead abolitionist can run in. After spending three and a half pages vividly recapping Brown's life, the Harper Ferry raid, and the war it led to, the author, James McPherson, deploys the only rhetorical weapon that could possibly make John Brown's story more dramatic: 9/11.