DON'T CRY FOR MOM AND POP. The other day Jon Chait paid us a backhanded compliment, suggesting we're unduly predictable here at the Prospect. Then I see civil-rights-leader-turned-Wal-Mart-flack Andrew Younggetting the sack (with Jason Zengerle's apparent approval) for the following off-message take on why black people shouldn't care if big box stores drive out mom and pop businesses:
REASONING MATTERS.Glenn Greenwald is incensed at the Washington Post's blithe dismissal of yesterday's ruling that found Bush's wiretapping unconstitutional, and criticizes it for lacking in scholarly complexity. And he's right, the editorial is unbearably smug and self-satisfied, as if the issue at hand is subordinate to the procedural perfection of those evaluating it. But if the Washington Post's case is unconvincing, Publius's demolition of the ruling is much more convincing.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: STORM TROOPER.Addie Stanreviews the new book Through the Eye of the Storm, Cholene Espinoza's account of her time in a small Mississippi town ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. (Our own Tara McKelvey interviewed Espinoza here.)
NEW DARFUR RESOLUTION. In late July, Kofi Annan came up with a novel, next-best option for addressing the spiraling violence in Darfur. With no member state willing to commit troops to a peacekeeping force in Darfur, Annan proposed that the United Nations appropriate resources, such as communications and logistical assistance, and material items, like APCs and aircraft, to the African Union, which has 7,000 troops stationed in Darfur. In a letter to the Security Council on August 10, he urged that the Council to consider his recommendations.
WHERE ARE THE UNIONS? One more thing on the health care question: Nathan Newman accuses me of thinking that all the unions, "fair-share" advocates, consumer groups, and those fighting for expansion of the employer-based system are "dumb." What I actually said is that some unions have short-term goals which may conflict with longer-term goals, but that�s beside the point. What I would suggest is that Newman checks out whether all the unions really are standing lockstep behind him lately.
I HATE WORKERS.Nathan Newman, with typical subtlety and nuance, accuses me of "attacking the Chicago Retail Workers bill as a danger since it might actually improve the lives of Wal-Mart workers." What can I say? Nathan's got me. I'm a mean-spirited cur implacably opposed to any program that makes a worker's life slightly less miserable and any policy that leaves a cashier less likely to collapse into tears in the morning -- that's what I live to forestall. Also: Vote Bush!
ALWAYS MORE SHOES TO DROP. Most of what's gone wrong in Iraq was fairly widely predicted by invasion-skeptics before the event. Still, the doubters have hardly been clairvoyant. One of the most widespread predictions -- that Kurdish separatists would get embroiled in fighting with Turkey -- has really been the dog that didn't bark for years now. But this sounds like a bark to me: "Turkey and Iran have dispatched tanks, artillery and thousands of troops to their frontiers with Iraq during the past few weeks in what appears to be a coordinated effort to disrupt the activities of Kurdish rebel bases."
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: MY SUMMER READING JOURNAL. The president reads Camus and describes his existential journey to writer Julian Sanchez in a series of fascinating diary entries. This is a side of George W. Bush that few have seen before.
It is common for people to complain that politicians are using the Social Security surplus to hide the true size of the federal budget deficit. In fact, this is not possible. The media decide which budget numbers the public hears on the news and reads in the newspapers. If they believe that the appropriate deficit numbers include the money borrowed from Social Security, then it is a very simple matter to report this number, regardless of which deficit numbers politicians happen to use. Reporters don�t even have to do the simple arithmetic of adding two numbers together.