• Tafted

    Political Wire reports that Bob Taft has the lowest approval rating of any governor in the nation . His approval rating is 19% , which is remarkably, terribly awful for a governor in a state where he has no major scandal, no major initiatives, no major...anything. He's crossed the boundary from nonentity to nega-entity. The fact is that Taft is just...well, a pointless politician, if such a construction makes sense. He's a conglomeration of three branches of Ohio Republicans - the religious, the economic, and the gun. The problem is, he's not really motivated by any one of those branches. If the Republican majority is held together by skillful interweaving of seemingly disparate goals without their subsequent accomplishment, Taft's leadership is viewing that network, the power it holds and its ability to accept failure through ideological eyes...and then heading off to the can to finish up the latest James Patterson novel. For four years.
  • You Read, I Work

    Campus Progress just posted an article of mine exploring those home-schooled, deeply religious youngsters who keep getting publishing contracts and syndication deals despite a lack of noticeable talent (save maybe Ben Ferguson, who seems reasonably on top of things). I'm pretty happy with the piece, which also covers Michelle Malkin, Ward Connerly, and all the other conservatives who get trotted out in front of the cameras when their skin tone is needed to to sell a policy. Go read it. Speaking of talentless youngsters getting ahead in life, this morning, The American Prospect offered, and I accepted, their fellowship position. There's no doubt that the main reason I got the job was this blog and all you folks who read it. So thanks very, very much. It's a hell of a birthday present. (and come out to the bar tonight! Details below!) (and read my CP piece ! It's got a money back guarantee!)
  • Blog Night at the Bar

    For LA readers, Jesse and I will be hanging at Maloney's in Westwood tonight, starting at about 9. C'mon down if you're interested. The address is: 1000 Gayley Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90024 You can find a map here . E-mail me if you have any questions.
  • Fila-Bust-A-Bus

    Bill Frist is setting up to use the nuclear option on Priscilla Owen, according to the Washington Times . The entire judicial nomination fight is an example of insider politics taking over real-world consideration - Democrats haven't paid for opposition to or obstruction of judicial nominees, largely because the nominees held back are in positions that have little to no direct relevance to most Americans' political understanding. They're not high-profile in a publicity sense, and after they're confirmed, they're about as likely to be seen on TV again as Cop Rock . Frist, on the other hand, is playing really bad politics to attempt to score a much, much larger pragmatic victory - but this handful of judges isn't permanent, even if the appointments are lifelong, nor are they the sole determinant of federal interpretation of law. For what he gets, the seventh-grade-civics realization that Republicans just killed some old and not-really-understood portion of the government doesn't quite...
  • First DeLay, Now Ney

    So it looks like Tom DeLay may just be the first scalp Jack Abramoff can hang on his jail cell's wall. According to the Prospect , Bob Ney was on the take as well. Interesting stuff. If the Republicans were smart, they'd create the toughest, sharpest-toothed Ethics Committee the House has ever seen and turn the suckers loose on anyone with a whiff of scandal. Because if Ney goes the way of DeLay, the media is going to smell blood in the water, and soon enough everyone's lobbyist ties and shadowy junkets are going to be front page news. Republicans, were they smart, could kick out DeLay, get their new majority leader to go on a public offensive against corruption, make sacrificial lambs out of a few Republicans (promised golden parachutes in return for their complicity, of course), and clo0se the whole thing down. As it is, the scandal's simply widening... Props, by the way, to the DLC's Marshall Whittman, who, months ago, said the Abramoff scandals had the potential to bring all these...
  • Stupid Jews

    So speaketh Dennis Prager, in part XII of his written-for-eventually-remaindered-publication book, "Judeo-Christian Values". Now ask any Jew, religious or secular, "What is the Jewish mission?" and the most likely response will be: "What do you mean?" Most religious Jews rarely talk about a Jewish mission. Rather, they are preoccupied with survival: of the Jewish religion (observance of religious laws) and of the Jewish people. Most non-religious Jews who identify as Jews are preoccupied with survival of the Jewish people. And most Jews with a weak or no Jewish identity identify with no Jewish mission or with a secular one. In fact, the only large body of Jews with a mission are the Jews with the least Jewish religiosity. Such Jews have been disproportionately involved in secular ideologies such as Marxism, socialism, feminism, environmentalism, gay rights, animal rights and every other ideology of the Left. You gotta love the juxtaposition of causes - let's start with Marxism and...
  • I Care for Health Care

    QandO shows us what being a libertarian is all about: Let's talk about health care for a minute. Health care is certainly a need, but it is not a right. And all the high sounding rhetoric in the world that says otherwise is baloney. And just like that, the right to health care is disproven. Except, in Western Europe, health care actually is a right, no matter what QandO says. It's a right because the citizens and government have decided it's a right, easy as that. Whether McQ and his libertarian brethren are so callous as to keep a straight face while denying the transcendental importance of health care is their own issue, but this flip dismissal of "high sounding rhetoric", which is to say, compassionate speech, is simply, obviously, wholly, wrong. From there, McQ argues for taking health care away from employers and out of the government's purview: The immediate benefits of making health insurance an individual responsibility? 1. Portability. It now no longer matters where you work...
  • Where's My Liberal Conspiracy?

    I'm not one to buy into the smug pronouncements Jonah Goldberg hands down venerating the deep philosophical roots of conservatism and the Vulcan mind-meld each young Republican performs with Burke and Kristol, but, if nothing else, it's certainly true that the conservative ideology is treated as a topic more worthy of study than its liberal counterpart. While browsing Amazon last night, I stumbled upon a whole galaxy of books detailing the movement's intellectual evolution: The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America , The Right Nation, The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot , A Time for Choosing , and so forth. Believe me, that's barely a partial list. Meanwhile, nothing similar seems to exist for the liberal side of the divide, with the closest analogue I could find being James Weinstein's lonely exegesis of American socialism, The Long Detour . So what's going on here? Rawls, Dewey, Niehbur, Schlesinger, Locke...there's a plenty long development to track, but nobody seems...
  • Are Magazines Obsolete?

    Over at the new Huffington Blog, which is working well as a salon although could stand to be a bit less self conscious, Cable Neuhaus , former editor of Entertainment Weekly, has a post lamenting the inevitable and irreversible death of magazines. Can't we have both -- a vibrant Internet and a rosy-cheeked magazine community? Very possibly not. Someone's gonna feel the hurt, and we already know who that is. The balance of power and influence is tipping, perceptibly, to the Web. This is true for both consumer magazines (the glossies) and trade titles. ... [T]here are few things magazines do that the Web can't do better or faster. Sure, you can't role up a Web page and tuck it into your pocket on the way to the beach, as you might with a mag article, but you can print the piece from a Web site and take it with you. You can probably interact with its writer. You can enlarge the art and examine it more closely. You can call up related video clips. You can instantly link to additional info...
  • God Bless This Mess

    I have to say the thing that leaps out at me most about this report is that Geena Davis is, in fact, still acting. It's like finding out Coolio is releasing a new album. Drudge (and the Drudgekateers ) are declaring that this is "attempting to get us ready for Hilary in '08", although as is usual, the power of Hollywood's social conditioning is vastly overrated. After all, West Wing got the Democratic got the Democratic got Peggy Noonan a paycheck. Dammit. You do, however, have to love the unironic link to the Newsmax summary of the Joe Klein article in which Klein points out that it might be a bad idea for Hillary to run because publications like Newsmax will go batshit crazy. What power has she, this Clinton ? I believe it to be...REAL ULTIMATE POWER. And godless Hollywood lesbianism, which is much the same thing.