CATASTROPHE KEEPS US FROM THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION. As someone who has long been a proponent of "Hillary Myth #2," I was very interested in the data adduced by Garance. I do think that Matt Yglesiasgets at a couple of possible limitations. First, I definitely agree that Clinton won't be perceived by Democratic primary voters as substantially more liberal than her reputation, but whether this will be true of the general electorate remains open.
MORAL CLARITY. Via Drum, I see that in his new LA Times column ("Iraq Needs a Pinochet") Jonah Goldbergargues that you can't make an omelet without throwing a few people out of planes, and that the baseline for measuring the quality of a country's leadership should be Fidel Castro.
BLAME CONGRESS. Glenn Greenwald and Lyle Denniston have excellent analysis of the decision of District Court Judge James Robertson to dismiss the habeas corpus claim of Salim Ahmed Hamdan. Under the circumstances, the decision is actually about as good an outcome for opponents of arbitrary detentions as could be expected.
WHY THE "PARTIAL BIRTH" CASE MATTERS: AN ANTI-REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM PERSPECTIVE.Hadley Arkes, one of the pro-life movement's most prominent intellectuals, has an article in First Things about the upcoming "partial birth" abortion decision. It starts off strangely, with the claim that "people on both sides seriously expect the Court will use its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade." My question -- such as who? I read as much as I can on the subject, and I certainly haven't encountered anyone saying this.
A (QUALIFIED) DEFENSE OF THE TRANS-FAT BAN. This probably won't help increase comity between progressives and our newly receptive libertarian brothers and sisters, but as William Saletan and Lindsay Beyerstein point out, the case for New York City's much-derided ban on trans-fats is actually very compelling. I tend to start from quite libertarian premises on such issues, and I certainly for the most part don't think that it's a legitimate role of state coercion to mandate asceticism or conformist aesthetic values. But this isn't what this ban will accomplish.