WHAT IS HEZBOLLAH?Tim Cavanaugh's reply to Robert Pape's op-ed is interesting. Pape, the author of a book on suicide bombers, argues that Hezbollah is a territorial organization, staffed and sustained by anger over Israeli incursions. Cavanaugh, however, has done some more recent work with the organization, and found them a centrally structured, highly sophisticated group.
It is fashionable in many circles to warn of the impending bankruptcy of the federal government (see USAToday). Be warned � this is not a story about the evils of Bush�s tax cuts for the rich. These tax cuts are just a footnote. The real villain in the bankruptcy story is the projected explosion in the cost of Medicare and Medicaid. This cost explosion is not due to aging; Social Security costs inch up in these projections � just like they have been doing for the past seventy years. Medicare and Medicaid costs explode in this story because the U.S. health care system is broken and the projections assume that we never fix it.
WHAT WILL THE NETROOTS WANT? I'm both fascinated and unconvinced by Scott Winship's essay on the netroots' ideology. Scott argues -- convincingly -- that whether or not the netroots are ideological in nature, they are liberals. No argument there. The problem comes in the next step of the analysis, the effort to decide whether or not this personal liberalism is incidental or fundamental to their actions, which is to say are the netroots actively seeking to create a liberal party or a merely robust one?
JOMELTDOWN.Maxine Waters, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have rushed to Connecticut to campaign forNed Lamont. Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus who had initially pledged to support Joe Lieberman have reportedly backed out at the last minute. A newfound black wariness of Lieberman, you say?
BUT HAS SHE SEEN LOVE ACTUALLY? Responding to news that Paris "the brain" Hilton doesn't know who Tony Blair is, Kathryn Lopezwonders whether Hilton's brain cells could be jogged, awoken, or possibly created by mentioning that Blair is like Hugh Grant's character in Love Actually. Only...he's not. At all. Grant's character in the film looks like Blair and is clearly a liberal, but he also represents a full-throated rejection of the toady Brit.
WELCOME BACK, KANSAS. My prayers, and those of other heathens like me, have apparently borne fruit, for, on Tuesday, the great State of Kansas rejoined the reality-based community when two opponents of the theory of evolution were effectively ousted from the Kansas Board of Education. The results appear to have tipped the board in favor of teaching science in the science curriculum of the Kansas public schools, in lieu of a faith-based explanation of the origins of the human species.
EVEN THE SEDATE DAVID BRODER. Has had just about enough: "Can we think about the costs of carrying on, without an end in sight, against Hezbollah and the insurgents in Iraq?" I'm not even sure "carrying on . . . against . . . the insurgents" describes what we're doing in Iraq at this point. The reporting has gotten so thin that it's hard to tell what's happening. Lots of people get killed every day, but it's hard to know by whom or why.