LEO STRAUSS, UNREHABILITATED. If you're in the mood for a bit of a high-minded intellectual detour from the hurly-burly of the blogosphere, take a gander at Scott Horton's fascinating pushback on recent efforts to rehabilitate philosopher and second-degree mentor to various neoconservative intellectuals Leo Strauss as a hero of liberal democracy. You've got some intellectual history here and also Horton's translation of a fascinating letter from Strauss to Karl L�with, another philosopher of the period who traveled in similar circles.
ANOTHER NO-SHOW.George Bush makes a habit of not making it a habit of speaking at NAACP conventions. Apparently, there is an opening in his schedule this week, and Chairman Julian Bond and President Bruce Gordon still hope Bush will drop by, since the meetings are in D.C.
THE PARTY OF BUNGLERS. Would you like the early line on the exact moment when the Democratic Party bungled the midterm elections this fall -- and, as an added bonus, People's Exhibits Q through Z why Rahm Emanuel and the folks at the DCCC would screw up a one-car funeral, even if you spotted them the hearse?
Well, this is it. This good, tough Internet ad gets pulled because some of the people who enabled the murderous lunacy depicted therein throw public hissy-fits. Almost immediately thereafter, Senator Mike DeWine (R-I'm-Not-Bob-Ney-Dammit!) drops a television spot using the people killed on September 11 as a cudgel on Sherrod Brown.
The NYT had a very good piece about how the shift of 6 million Medicaid beneficiaries into the Medicare drug benefit program may increase drug company profits in 2006 by $2 billion. According to the article, under the new program the drug companies get to sell the same drugs at higher prices. It doesn't get much better than this!
IRAN VERSUS THE ARAB STATES. An intriguing subplot I've overlooked so far in the Lebanon situation has been the attitude of the "axis of pro-American dictators" (to coin a phrase) which is extremely close to the main line of analysis we've heard from American and Israeli hawks. Take this reporting in The Jerusalem Post:
MY OH MY, WE DO HAVE A BETTER PRESS CORPS. Having already offered up an example of the press corps at its worst, let me now turn to how it looks at its best. Last week saw the release of data showing federal tax revenues far exceeding estimates. True to form, the Bush administration credited its tax cuts, arguing that they spurred the economy, generated massive growth, and proved Supply-Side Economics. Arthur Laffer lives!
A WARNING FOR PODHORETZ.John Podhoretz's attempts to use a single DailyKos diary to characterize the views of all the "Kos Kids" is illustrative of either mendacity or ignorance, but certainly one of the two. Given that he later makes a big show of being uninformed -- "I am not familiar with the posting rules and systems on Daily Kos, because I have better things to do than know them" -- I'll be charitable and assume he's just a really, really, really lazy commentator, and not a willful liar.
BLOCK THAT METAPHOR! Recently, at something called the Aspen Ideas Festival -- and how did Plato and the rest of them manage without having an Ideas Fest, I ask you -- Bill Clinton said the following concerning the situation in Iraq: "Once you break the eggs, you have a responsibility to make an omelet."
OUR FARCICALLY DISAPPOINTING PRESS CROPS. If I were crafting a parody of the political media's decline, I could hardly construct a better set piece than today's reportage. A live mic at the G8 Summit caught Tony Blair and George Bush talking privately about the conflict in Lebanon. Given the relative opacity of Bush's thoughts on the situation, the frank discussion offered a fair amount of insight and a couple nuggets of news, including that he was going to send Condi to the region (or possibly the U.N.
EQUALLY -- YES! I was really hoping that my claim that Israel's targeting of Lebanon's civilian infrastructure and Hezbollah's use of indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli cities were "equally indefensible" would bring forth an outraged condemnation of my "moral equivalence." It seems I'll have to settle for Jon Chaitsaying he doesn't "see how [I] could morally equate the actions of the two sides."