INFRASTRUCTURE AND JUSTICE. Highly trained moral philosopher Michael Walzer has a nice piece up at TNR that, conveniently enough, is in line with my take (which, in turn, is pretty much based on Walzer's book, so it all comes around) -- attacking Hezbollah rocket installations or stockpiles or what have you is fine, bombing Lebanon's civilian infrastructure is not fine, and firing rockets at random into Israeli cities is also not fine.
There is plenty of room to debate what the Federal Reserve Board's monetary policy should be, but the necessary prerequisite for a serious debate is the knowledge of how monetary policy works. Readers of the Post would be badly misled on this topic by an article in today's paper.
The article correctly reports that the Fed adjusts interest rates to prevent inflation from getting too high, explaining that "when inflation is a concern, it raises borrowing costs to cool economic growth, which weakens businesses' power to raise prices."
CHUTZPAH.Hartford Courant columnist Kevin Rennie thinks he's picked up on Joe Lieberman's coming message: Heads I win, tails I make you lose. Rennie writes that "[t]he theme of a Saturday conclave of Greater Hartford Democratic town committee chairs was that if Lieberman loses the primary he will hurt all other Democratic candidates by running as an independent in November. The message was clear: help him now or your favorites suffer in November." So vote Lieb, or the Democratic Party gets it!
The NYT had a good article this morning highlighting a new Brookings report that details how people living in inner city areas often pay far more for goods and services than people living in more affluent areas. The report is worth reading and the NYT gets credit for calling attention to it.
ASK AND YE SHALL RECEIVE. I've long responded to the steady stream of articles positing a Dean/Emanuel split with the hope that someone would take a breath from chronicling Emanuel's desire for more money and actually evaluate Dean's 50-state strategy. Finally, U.S. News' Dan Gilgoffdid exactly that.
FROM THE BLOGOFASCIST HIMSELF. If Markos Zunigas is the Mussolini of the anti-establishment, anti-incumbent movement known as blogofascism, Duncan Black -- better known as Atrios -- is its Giovanni Gentile, the in-house philosopher who laid out its norms and intellectual structure. So it's nice to see him repairing to the dead tree confines of the Los Angeles Times op-ed page to explain the animus against Joe Lieberman.
EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN. I'm rather taken with a point Matt made earlier today in the context of "progressive realism." He wrote that "I do, however, see the case for framing it as a new paradigm: Roughly, there's a sense that 9-11 made drama and novelty necessary parts of one's approach to national security, that Bush's efforts at drama and novelty have failed, and that now we need a new brand of drama and novelty." That's about right. It's also another reason why I don't actually mind all the "Big Ideas" talk humming through Democratic circles.
PROGRESSIVE REALISM: SO GOOD IT NEEDS A NEW NAME? I've been remiss in not linking to Robert Wright's curiously long op-ed in Sunday's New York Times making the case that "It�s now possible to build a foreign policy paradigm that comes close to squaring the circle � reconciling the humanitarian aims of idealists with the powerful logic of realists." He calls the paradigm "progressive realism" and lays out what it is. I endorse virtually everything therein with two petty caveats.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: STEMMED PROGRESS. As the Senate gets set to vote on a bill to expand federal funding for stem-cell research, CAP's Jonathan Moreno and Sam Bergerexplain how much our current federal policy stinks.