Archive

  • JOMELTDOWN.

    JOMELTDOWN. Maxine Waters , Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have rushed to Connecticut to campaign for Ned 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? Hardly. Whatever black Democratic voters do in Tuesday�s primary, this much is certain: Long before Lamont was in the spotlight, it was national black Democrats who raised their concerned voices about Lieberman. Amid all the hype over the primary race, this fact seems to have been overlooked. Flashback to the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. When Al Gore announced Lieberman as his veep pick, most Dems swooned. But not folks like Waters. They were asking tough questions about Lieberman�s commitments to civil rights; his dressing-down of Toni Morrison �s black president, Bill Clinton ; and worrying aloud about Lieberman�s business-friendly profile. At the time,...
  • BUT HAS SHE...

    BUT HAS SHE SEEN LOVE ACTUALLY? Responding to news that Paris "the brain" Hilton doesn't know who Tony Blair is, Kathryn Lopez wonders 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. His seminal moment comes at the close of a weekend summit with the American president, a steely, country-fried nitwit played without remorse by Billy Bob Thornton , when he publicly shreds the arrogance and entitlement of the Bush stand-in. The setting was the weekend negotiations, where, as Bush has done, Thornton denies Grant any progress on his pet initiatives, any compromises on America's priorities, and, worst of all, sleazily hits on the staffer Grant has become somewhat infatuated with (okay -- we don't know that Bush has done that)...
  • JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: TAKE A PAY HIKE.

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: TAKE A PAY HIKE. Ezra makes the case for raising congressional salaries. --The Editors
  • WELCOME BACK, KANSAS....

    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. The standards for the teaching of science in Kansas have been revised three times since 1999, when right-wing candidates won control of the state-level school board and set about the work of discrediting the theory of evolution and other scientific theories regarding the origins of the cosmos. One can only hope that the fourth time will prove the charm. Now, before liberals, and others who believe knowledge to be a good thing to disburse in schools, go wild doing the happy dance, it is important to note...
  • EVEN THE SEDATE DAVID BRODER.

    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. Oftentimes the killers are wearing government uniforms , sometimes because they are government employees and sometimes because the uniforms are fake. And then you read about how "American soldiers from an Army combat unit that killed three Iraqis in a raid in May testified Wednesday that they had received orders from superior officers to kill all the military-age men they encountered." I think it's clear at this point that nobody inside or outside the government has any clue how to stabilize this situation. Our troops, despite their best efforts, aren...
  • ONLY BIRTH PANGS.

    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 Khamenei says : "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. --Matthew Yglesias
  • Paulson Supports Large Trade Deficit

    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. The press has printed a lot of nonsense on this issue, in which people blame the trade deficit on the budget deficit. There can be a connection between the two, but only insofar as the budget deficit is responsible for higher U.S. interest...
  • PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE.

    PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. Noam Scheiber has some smart remarks on my generation gap post from yesterday. Ed Kilgore also offers the reasonable rejoinder that one major failing of the "new school" tendency in progressive politics is some mistaken notions about the past. I think, though, that the crucial sub rosa divide isn't really about the past or the present, but about the future. Petey commenting on my initial post offered the observation that high levels of polarization have helped the right. I think that's correct. He then leaps, however, to a prescriptive analysis that I think is wrong -- high levels of polarization have helped the right and therefore the left should try to reverse the polarization dynamic . This doesn't follow. The invention of air conditioning has led to a relative economic decline of the Northeast vis-�-vis the Sunbelt, but the Northeast shouldn�t try and rid itself of air conditioners in order to boost economic development. My contention would be that the...
  • JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: IDEOLOGY, NETROOTS, AND LIEBERMAN-LAMONT.

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: IDEOLOGY, NETROOTS, AND LIEBERMAN-LAMONT. Two new pieces address debates and themes that have either been raised or reinvigorated by the Nutmeg State primary. Scott Winship of Democratic Strategist fame takes on the "netroots are partisan, not ideological" nostrum and says it's bunk; he makes an argument that is likely to be controversial. Meanwhile Ari Melber argues that a Lieberman loss would help to strengthen, not diminish, Democrats' credibility on national security. --The Editors
  • RUSS FEINGOLD SPEAKS,...

    RUSS FEINGOLD SPEAKS, YOU LISTEN? A couple weeks ago, surveying the poor press coverage greeting Pete Stark 's new health care proposal, I realized I should probably stop complaining about such superficial wire stories and use my position at a political magazine to actually, y'know, do something about it. Today comes the first attempt. I spent fifteen minutes chatting with Sen. Russ Feingold this morning on his new health proposal, which would offer a big pot o' money for a small number of states to create universal health programs. Better yet, I recorded the call and got ace editor Alec Oveis to stick it online. You can listen to it here . We'll try to get a transcript of it shortly. If you guys like it, I'll make this into a regular thing. So do let me know if it's informative. We in the blogosphere are always claiming that the press should do a better job allowing smart leaders to explain their plans for the country, but we all too rarely recognize that we can fill the void. If...

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