DEPLORABLE. It is deplorable -- deplorable, my friends -- that political parties might use illness or the misfortunes of others to score political points, and it is exploitative -- exploitative, my friends -- that they would use videotaping equipment to bring this deplorable exploitation into our living rooms. And how do we know they're not faking it? It's either one, my friends. Why, if we let something like that happen, then who knows?
WHAT AL-QAEDA WANTS.Peter Bergen, who probably knows more about al-Qaeda than just about anyone else alive, argues in today's New York Times that withdrawal from Iraq would, indeed, be giving the terrorist group what they want. Al-Qaeda's aim, he argues, is to acquire a slice of territory that they can control. The likeliest spot is in the Sunni-dominated areas of central and western Iraq. To pull out would be essentially ceding those spots to al-Qaeda, and would fit the group's master narrative of American weakness.
Other developments were not encouraging, such as the bombing of the U.N. Headquarters in Baghdad, the fact that we did not find stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, and the continued loss of some of America's finest sons and daughters.
CONFIRMED. So they gathered them all up from radio studios across this mighty land this week, and they threw them across the White House grounds. To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, never has there been such a concentration of worthless bloviation collected in that hallowed place since the last time Warren Harding dined alone. Anyway, you just knew it would be a treasure trove of pure distilled wingnut poteen.
THE COMING COUNTERMOBILIZATION ARGUMENT. In the wake of the decision of the Supreme Court of New Jersey that same-sex couples are entitled to the same benefits as heterosexual married couples (although not necessarily under the rubric of "marriage"), we're bound to hear a lot of speculation about how this will affect the upcoming election (which I'm sure will be forgotten should the Democrats take the House and pick up seats in the Senate.) As I have previously explained here on TAP, I think the effect of these decisions is often overstated, and there's no evidenc
SELF-HATING LIBERTARIAN. Julian Sanchezposes an interesting question, in response to my earlier post on the nasty comments of Rep. Barbara Cubin (R-WY) to her wheelchair-bound Libertarian opponent Thomas Rankin ("If you weren't sitting in that chair, I'd slap you across the face.") I asserted that Cubin's obnoxious remark was evidence that Republicans have it in for the disabled, as also demonstrated by various policies they promote. Julian responds:
THE MINIMUM WAGE. Every once in awhile, I like to reengage the minimum wage debate. It's such an article of faith on the right that minimum wage increases lead to widespread unemployment, and such an intuitive argument, that society would have to be a pretty bizarre place not to abandon the wrongheaded policy altogether. Except for the fact that, intuitive as the argument may be, and faithful as its rightwing advocates may prove, there's just not much evidence that minimum wage increases have a measurable effect on unemployment.
GEORGE WILL, MAKING SENSE. Say what you want about George Will, he's always taken a rational approach to analyzing the business side of sports, and his column today on college football is no exception. Will beats the usual dead horses about what's wrong with Division I-A men's college football and basketball: they're run for business rather than educational purposes, with their high television revenues and coaches salaries, and their low graduation rates. But he comes at it from a fresher angle, asking if universities should lose their tax-exempt status for these commercial rather than educational activities(George Will favors more taxes?