Archive

  • JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE.

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE. Alex Rossmiller argues that the debate over Hillary Clinton 's refusal to apologize for her 2002 Iraq war vote misses the point; the crucial question for all the Democratic candidates is what have they actually learned from the war's failure. Meanwhile, Mark Leon Goldberg explains how the ICC investigation of Darfur offenders can be used as constructive inducement to Sudan's cooperation with international peacekeepers. (In this, he concurs with Council on Foreign Relations member Angelina Jolie .) --The Editors
  • THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S...

    THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S IMMIGRATION RECORD. Interesting graph from The Wall Street Journal tracking immigration enforcement over the last few years: As you can see, enforcement drops through the first few years of the Bush presidency. That is, in part, probably a function of the tax cuts. When you defund government, government has less money to do things like employ border enforcement offers and conduct workplace raids. Also interesting is the 2006 jump, as the Administration decides the base needs to be stroked and so they exponentially accelerate arrests. Quite the sound immigration policy they've got there. It's worth wondering what would've happened if, post-2004, Bush had used his "mandate" to push comprehensive immigration reform rather than Social Security privatization. The electoral landscape could, today, look a whole hell of a lot different. While I'm on the subject, the Drum Major Institute is releasing the second version of their Immigrant Principles report , which...
  • IT'S ALIVE

    IT'S ALIVE . I have seen the future of jazz 'n' soul, and her name is Alison Crockett . (Okay, okay; I couldn't resist. Apologies to Landau and Springsteen .) At a tribute on Friday to Keter Betts , Washington's late, great bass player, Crockett, a stranger to most in a room jam-packed with serious jazz fans, proved a deserving heir to Ella Fitzgerald , for whom Betts was the regular bass player -- not by channeling Ella's ghost, but by inviting the ancestress to guide her as Crockett brought a new sensibility to the straight-ahead form. It was a breathtaking tightrope act that Crockett performed before a not-so-young audience Friday night at Southwest D.C.'s Westminster Presbyterian Church , weaving together melodic scats with the sort of vocal technique that developed much later in such iconic but hard-to-define acts as Bobby McFerrin , Tuck and Patti , and Sweet Honey in the Rock . In a particularly daring feat, Crockett quoted (without parroting) a famous Fitzgerald scat, "How...
  • WANK 2 D XTREME.

    WANK 2 D XTREME. I'd be inclined to go a bit easy on Richard Cohen re. Al Gore , if only because some of the examples culled by Media Matters could generously be described as Cohen defending Gore in a singularly unhelpful and damaging way. But since Cohen is responsible for the craziest damned Gore/Bush column of them all , I'm, well, disinclined. --Sam Rosenfeld
  • GORE'S OBSTACLE.

    GORE'S OBSTACLE. Media Matters has a good response to Richard Cohen, who blames nameless "colleagues" for the interminable media smear campaign against Al Gore in 1999 and 2000, while conveniently forgetting his own frequent participation in said campaign. This does remind us of a point indirectly raised by Ed Kilgore . Not only is Gore exceptionally well-qualified for the office, he's somebody who can generate support in the Democratic Party from the netroots to Marty Peretz -- one would think that this would be a compelling reason for him to run. But even among people (like me) who would unquestionably be Gore supporters if he joined the race, there has to be serious concern about whether we'd be in for 18 months of Love Canal and Earth Tones and I Invented The Internet and God knows what other crap people would invent out of whole cloth. It is possible that the countless foreign and domestic policy disasters of the Bush administration may convince some people in the media that...
  • FIRST TIME AS...

    FIRST TIME AS TRAGEDY, SECOND TIME..., THIRD TIME...? There's a lot of long-form reading out there this week: Seymour Hersh' s article on the "redirection" of U.S. policy toward a war on Shiites -- even as we supposedly are on the side of the Shi'a government we installed in Baghdad -- is mind-boggling. As Josh Marshall wrote yesterday, at this point, we actually don't even know whose side we're on in Iraq. Imagine sending more American troops into a situation in which they are told their mission is to support a government that we are simultaneously wishing to be rid of! When you finish Hersh's article, though, make your way through the lengthy quasi-biography of Donald Rumsfeld by Roger Morris posted last week in two parts on the "TomDispatch" site now sponsored by the Nation Instititute. This is probably the longest piece of online writing I've ever read, but entirely worth it, capturing not just Rumsfeld's particular brand of lunacy, but the political and social milieu that created...
  • POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: A TALE OF TWO LOSERS.

    POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: A TALE OF TWO LOSERS. In his column this week, Mike assesses Tom Vilsack and Mitt Romney -- two candidacies whose rationales have a musty, outdated feel to them. --The Editors
  • STABBING BLINDLY.

    STABBING BLINDLY. Max Boot blunders into an interesting point . In denouncing our allies for being insufficiently militaristic, he manages to ask an interesting question. Here's the dreck: Britain is hardly alone in its unilateral disarmament. A similar trend can be discerned among virtually all of the major U.S. allies, aside from Japan. Canada is a particularly poignant case in point. At the end of World War II, Canada had more than a million men under arms and operated the world's third-biggest navy (behind the U.S. and Britain), with more than 400 ships. Today, it has all of 62,000 personnel on active duty, and its navy has just 19 warships and 23 support vessels, making it one-fourth the size of the U.S. Coast Guard. Indeed, in 1945 the Canadian military was much larger than it is today. It's possible that there was some kind of war on, although I'll have to check on that. In discussing the "unilateral disarmament" of our Allies, however, Boot fails to note that the U.S. has...
  • HIGH ANXIETY There...

    HIGH ANXIETY There was a bit of high anxiety at the courthouse today in the Scooter Libby trial. At the end of the day yesterday the jury sent the judge a note with a question, and the judge put off until this morning discussing it with the parties before responding to the jury. Nobody knew what the question was. Everything got started late today, and then the judge declared himself unclear on the jury's request for clarification and sent back to the jurors for clarification on their unclarity. Meanwhile, it turned out that the jury seems to have performed self-clarification and voided its question, which, it turned out, had to do with the nature of Count Three, the false statement charge bearing on whether Libby lied when he told investigators that he merely relayed Matt Cooper of TIME magazine on July 12, 2003 that all the reporters were telling the administration that Joe Wilson 's wife worked for the CIA and that he, Libby, did not know if it was true. As you can see, there are...
  • Is Ben Bernanke Ignorant on the Causes of Projected Deficits?

    Business reporters should ask him this question, since he keeps lumping in Social Security with Medicare and Medicaid as the drivers of large projected deficits in the decades ahead. Of course, the projections show that rising Medicare and Medicaid costs are the main problem, which in turn are driven by projections of exploding health care costs in the private sector. The projected increases in Social Security costs are relatively modest, m measured as a share of GDP, the rise in SS payments is less over the next quarter century than it was over the period from 1965 to 1980. So, why does Bernanke consistently get it wrong? Is this part of an effort to build political support to cut Social Security or is he just being lazy? Suppose that he had said the problem is the projected increase in the cost of Head Start and Medicare and Medicaid, or maybe the national park maintenance, Medicare and Medicaid. Would reporters just write down Bernanke's assertions and never examine their validity...

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