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.
ONLY BIRTH PANGS. The last time I pointed out that Iran's evil dictators were offering sound criticism of U.S. foreign policy, The Weekly Standard took me to task, but still when you're right, you're right. Ali Khameneisays: "The U.S. is following a policy of creating insecurity, crisis, and war in the region. It must know that the more it expands insecurity, the more it will arouse the anger of nations against it and make the world insecure for itself." This is true, is it not? The theory that Iran stands "alongside all oppressed nations" seems less plausible.
That's what the headlines should have read after Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's speech in New York on Tuesday. While the fact apparently escaped the attention of the reporters covering the testimony, Mr. Paulson effectively endorsed continued large trade deficits when he announced his support for a strong dollar. In the non-voodoo economics world, a strong dollar means a large trade deficit.
The logic here is straightforward. A higher dollar makes imports cheaper for people in the United States. That means we buy more imports. It also makes U.S. exports more expensive for people living in other countries. That means that they buy fewer U.S. exports. If we import more and export less, then we get a larger trade deficit � pretty simple stuff.