POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: OUR BEST SHOT.Annreports on the debate over making the HPV vaccine mandatory for all sixth-grade girls. Missing from too much of the discussion, Ann says, is the question of funding; this vaccine is most important for low-income girls, but if states pass laws mandating the vaccine without ensuring the revenue to pay for its distribution, those are precisely who could miss out. Take a look.
I therefore inaugurate the Obama Messiah Watch, which will periodically highlight gratuitously adoring biographical details that appear in newspaper, television, and magazine profiles of this otherworldly presence in our midst.
What a wonderful idea! I'm sure that Noah had a similar Messiah Watch feature about John McCain. You know, the maverick. The last honest man. The man Noah described like this:
PEE-WEE ARGUMENTS.Jonah Goldbergloooves hypocrisy arguments. It's his very favorite thing. Get into an argument with Goldberg on a given substantive issue, and nine times out of ten he will turn it promptly into a discussion of how different liberal X made the same argument he was making on different topic Y � so Q.E.D., or something. Hypocrisy arguments have their place, of course. It's just that, inherently, they don't advance any actual substantive argument. They don't lead to a conclusion on any actual subject. They're as intellectually productive as Pee-Wee and Francis's argument over the latter's bike.
In response Matt admits to "actually knowing nothing about the historical record of Lindbergh" but seems to take offense to the comparison nonetheless -- even though I pretty clearly don't buy the conventional mythology of Lindbergh as a virulent anti-Semite (nor, I would like to think, would any fair-minded reader interpret me as calling Yglesias an anti-Semite of any kind).
SENATORS AND THE PRESIDENCY.Robert Geilfuss smartly shreds the idea that Senators are obviously disadvantaged as presidential candidates because their voluminous vote records present some sort of near-insurmountable problem:
ONLY IN ITALY. In a perfectly Italian story, the wife of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi had La Repubblica, a paper hostile to Berlusconi, publish a front page letter to her husband demanding a public apology for his shameless and shameful flirting with other women. This has not only become an encompassing political story, it's triggered an apparent national yearning for the madcap eccentricities of Berlusconi's tenure, which was considered more authentically Italian than the dull, technocratic administration of his successor. Meanwhile, Berlusconi sent out his own letter for publication.
TOMCAT SUNSET. The United States Navy no longer flies the F-14 Tomcat, not because the plane isn't combat capable (it remains an excellent platform) but rather because the maintenance costs are very high compared to the F/A-18. Consequently, the Navy now has a vast surplus of spare F-14 parts. DoD is in the habit of selling surplus parts on the open market, and had plans to begin selling F-14 spares before long.
CONDUCT UNBECOMING. Last month, I spoke on the phone with a former army officer, S.P., who told me he had been invited to Fort Lewis, Washington, by Lt. Ehren Watada. Watada, as you may recall, became a minor media celebrity last summer when he refused to go to Iraq because he did not support the war. (He said he�d go to Afghanistan instead, but the army said no.) Watada could be sentenced to up to four years for "missing movement" and "conduct unbecoming a gentleman" (in his case, that means criticizing the Bush administration), and he had hoped S.P. would speak in his defense at the court-martial in Fort Lewis.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: ORGANIZATION MAN. The SEIU's presidential primary-related programs; Americans Against Escalation; They Work For Us. Even with Change to Win something of a fizzle, Andy Stern remains liberalism's most innovative architect. Haroldmakes the case.