BACK TO BUSINESS AS USUAL AT THE AIRPORTS. The Department of Homeland Security may claim that the nation's airlines are still taking additional security precautions because of the "elevated threat" of terrorist attack. Yet I just accidentally took both a reasonably sharp set of scissors and a five-inch tube of hand-cream through airport security here at Boston's Logan Airport, without incident.
THE CAMPAIGN MONEY FALLACY. I'm inclined to agree with Duncan that the campaign money fallacy should be taken out back and shot. There is not, in fact, a finite amount of funds each progressive donor gives to a candidate, and there's no real reason to believe that their donations to Lamont will, in some sort of zero-sum fashion, detract from their donations to Webb.
WAL-MART SPEAKS, YOU LISTEN. Over the past couple of weeks, I've talked about Wal-Mart's near-monopsony powers, and why the perfectly rational and understandable decisions of the company may not, in fact, be in the wider interests of the country. Today, in The Wall Street Journal, there's a concrete example of they use the powers:
FROM KATRINA TO 9-11. It seems I've returned from New Orleans just in time to be called, in the tradition of Nazi sympathizers, an appeaser to the evil forces in the world. This campaign on the part of the Bush administration -- to tar critics of the Iraq War with a brush worthy of the abdicating Duke of Windsor -- builds each day as the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks approaches in this midterm election year.
Lurching from memories of one catastrophe to the next, I asked myself, now, what do these two events have in common? Why, it's the contractors, silly.
FINALLY. It looks like someone tipped off The Washington Post to the existence of a major primary in Rhode Island, as they sent Ruth Marcus to cover hyperconservative Stephen Laffey's attempt to dethrone Lincoln Chafee. Most polls show him within spitting distance of succeeding -- a far more significant act than anything Ned Lamont pulled off, as a Laffey victory will almost certainly flip the seat to the Democrats. But the Laffey campaign isn't fueled by blogs, and Markos Moulitsas has nothing to do with it, so Chafee's looming defeat has attracted nearly no media attention.
WHERE'S THE MONEY FOR WEBB?Michelle Cottle's great profile of Jim Webb in this week's New Republic reminds me of a point Alecraised last month, during the Connecticut primary: Wouldn't the fundraising energy the bloggers lavished on Ned Lamont been better spent funding challengers seeking to defeat actual Republicans? Come November 8th, would they rather see Joe Lieberman looking hangdog or George Allen staring shellshocked?
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: DON'T LOOK BACK.Mattweighs in on some of the issues being hashed out in this week's Rose-Mishel debate, and argues that the question in dispute is the wrong question to be debating.
ROLE PLAYING. Every now and again I give the president the benefit of the doubt, try to see things from his side, walk a mile or so in his manly brush-clearing workshoes as it were. So, I'm George W. Bush, right? I have launched a war that I have repeatedly said is a critical response to an existential threat to Western civilization that is as serious as were those of Nazi Germany and the Soviet empire. Things have not gone well. And most of the country doesn't trust me when I tell them why I'm doing what I'm doing. (Most of the country doesn't trust me if I tell them the sun rises in the East, but that's a whole 'nother mile in them workshoes.) Nevertheless, the threat is real and it is growing and I can't get the country to see it.
AHMADINEJAD JOINS STUDENTS FOR ACADEMIC FREEDOM. What do Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and David Horowitz have in common? Hint: It's not their views on Israel. Give up? They both want to fire liberal, secularist professors perverting the fragile minds of college students. According to AP:
Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Tuesday for a purge of liberal and secular teachers from the country's universities, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported in another step back to 1980s-style radicalism.
OH YEAH? YOU AND WHAT ECONOMY? Because TAP loves you and wants you to be rich, we're hosting an argument between eminent economists Larry Mishel and Steve Rose over whether the economy is eleven types of awful or seven styles of awesome (all numbers gleaned through counting bullet points). Mishel is arguing that the economy is getting worse, while Rose is declaring that, for the median American, it's still pretty good.