GORE SPEAKS. Around the time Al Gore's movie came out, a number of conservatives criticized the film for not advocating for a carbon tax. By obscuring the necessity of that policy choice, he was making his case look too easy and the solutions artificially simple. But whether or not he acknowledged it the film, Gore has long been a lover of carbon taxes, and today he came out in favor of one (and basically every other pro-renewable policy you can think of) in a major speech at NYU.
FLACK WATCH. If ever a blog cried out for a snarky, anonymous author, it's this one. But, alas, the new Potomac Flacks blog, dedicated to the "comings and goings of D.C.'s spokesguys and spokesgals" and penned by former Joe Lieberman '04 spokesguy Adam Kovacevich, maintains the decorum one would expect from the Assistant Vice President at Dittus Communications, the title that Adam now holds. With an open comment policy, however, I suspect the snark won't be far behind...or hard to find.
YOUR LIBERAL MEDIA.Real Clear Politics has entered a content deal with Time magazine, and will now have their blog hosted on Time's servers. "TIME.com hosts a diverse chorus of political voices," said Josh Tyrangiel, the editor, "and we're excited to add the Real Clear Politics blog to the mix."
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: SCHOOL'S OUT. You may have caught the new round of debate over the efficacy of homework. Conor Clarkeexplains both why the homework critics may indeed be correct, but also why this debate, just like most other arguments over education policy as such, matters less than one might think.
WHY DO THEY TORTURE?Ron Suskind, writing in last week's Time, details the path of the al-Qaeda 14, the captured terrorists whom Bush based his appeal for torture on, and provides a good look into the politics of torture within the Bush administration. As he tells it, there were two operating paradigms in the immediate aftermath of Afghanistan. The first belonged to the FBI, which had found "al-Qaeda members assumed their jailers would dismember them. When instead the interrogators presented a tough but very human face, the detainees were confused.
THE TRUE SPIRIT OF '94. Over the weekend, the Post began its (premature) obituary for congressional Republicans with an electoral advisory issued by none other than Joe Scarborough. I�m happy to give Joe credit for showing, both in the Post and in his Washington Monthlypiece, the courage to wonder aloud about how the supposed revolution swept in by the 1994 election has so quickly collapsed, as he did in the opening sentences yesterday:
THE BULLY IN CHIEF. Back in the 1990s, we were treated to all manner of stories regarding how Bill Clinton, his wife, their marriage, and his presidency were all coming unglued at once. When they were sourced at all, they were sourced as well as the average story concerning Ferris wheels on Mars. The crack pipes on the White House Christmas tree. The tossing of the vase -- or was it a book, a globe, or a bust of Grover Cleveland? Inquiring minds wanted to know.
A DIFFERENT TYPE OF IMMIGRATION.Sebastian Mallaby has a good column arguing that lax immigration policies are one of the better developmental strategies open to wealthy countries. As he argues, if rich countries opened their borders to allow in the equivalent of three percent of their workforce, it would be equal to an extra $300 billion in developmental aid -- and it would be more effectively directed, too, going through remittances rather than Third World bureaucrats. Better yet, many of those who would train in wealthy countries would later repatriate, bringing new and more globally marketable skills, methods, and ideas back to their homelands.
With the annual meetings of the IMF-World Bank in Singapore, there has been another round of stories about how certain fast growing countries are getting an increased voice at the IMF to correspond with their growing importance in the world economy. As I noted in prior posts, Mexico is one of the four rabbits on the list (along with China, Turkey, and South Korea.)
As I pointed out in my prior post, Mexico has no business being on this list because it is not a fast growing economy. Starting from before the NAFTA slump, it's per capita GDP has risen by just over 1.0 percent annually. It's growth rate has actually lagged the world average.
GOREWATCH. Obviously no one is saying Al Gore is going to run. Obviously no one is insinuating Al Gore is running. Obviously no one is suggesting that his decision to write The Assault on Reason for Penguin Press and publish it next May is in any way motivated by an impulse to keep testing the field at the precise moment speculation will be highest. Obviously no one is pointing out that a high-profile book tour on a Serious Subject in May 2007 will make Gore look even more attractive while the other candidates hang out at fish frys and chili cookoffs.