$1 BEEELION DOLLARS. I don't find myself agreeing with Republican representative Dan Lungren very often, but this strikes me as a great idea. He's sponsored legislation offering a $1 billion prize to the first American automaker able to create, market, and sell 60,000 cars that get 100 mpg.
SIEGELISM. Matt says he agrees. But it's easy to agree that all these young kids and their insouciant fashion statements make you mad. Matt's 25 now, and I'm sure in three years, I'll agree, too -- there appears to be a schedule for these sorts of opinions. For that reason, the question isn't whether he agrees with Siegel's banal crankiness, but his proposed remedy. "When I see someone wearing a baseball cap in a movie theater," Siegel writes, "I want them to bring back the guillotine." Siegelism in action -- take a mundane point (I don't like bloggers or baseball caps) and go for the wild overreach (they're fascists or we should execute cap wearers).
STICKING UP FOR LEE SIEGEL. A lot of bloggersIrespect are slagging on anti-blogofascist Lee Siegel's tirade against baseball caps, but let me say that flaws in Siegel's other writing notwithstanding, I totally agree with him about this.
FOOL'S GOLD. Folks may remember the newly declassified discoveries of WMDs being touted by Rick Santorum, Curt Weldon, and others. The haul amounts to about 500 munitions which include sarin and mustard gas components and they are very, very scary. At least if you're a common household insect. That, at least, is the opinion of folks who actually know what they're talking about. Salon's Michael Schererwent by the congressional hearings meant to ascertain the potency of these armaments. The testimony, if it weren�t disproving the lies that led us into war, would've been funny. David Kay, the nation's top weapons inspector, explained that:
WHEN IN DOUBT: FIND AN EXILE. Ah, excellent. Farid Ghadry, part of the Syrian exile group Reform Party of Syria, says that the recent operation where Israeli jets buzzed Bashar Asad's house "is very encouraging to the Syrian opposition." Let me go on record as sharing Justin Logan's skepticism. Appearing to be working in collaboration with the Israeli Defense Forces has not, historically, been a great method of gaining popular support in Arab countries.
That's the word from the Washington Post when it comes to the WTO negotiations. Today's article on the prospects for the Doha round asserts that "unlike previous negotiations with similar aims, this set of talks has an ambitious twist: The main goal is to change rules that have put poor countries at a disadvantage in the global marketplace." Yes, and we know that because...
The Times had one of the most convoluted articles yet on demographics. Apparently, China's slowing population growth may lead to a shortage of cheap labor, no kidding the headline is "As China Ages, a Shortage of Cheap labor Looms."
JONAH GOLDBERG RESPONDS. But not very convincingly. Here's the nut of it:
I think Ezra is desperate to misconstrue my point so that he can wag his finger and whine about mean and dishonest conservatives. My point was simple. The American economy depends on fossil fuels and the world depends on the Amerrican [sic] economy.
THE CASE AGAINST READER MAIL. In response to the proposition that people should sometimes "make some decisions which are different from the ones dictated by narrow self-interest in a social context deeply shaped by the enduring legacy of sexism," reader J.R. remarks that my views are "simply fascism with a velvet glove." But I wrote them in a blog post, making it "hard fascism with a Microsoft face" in a velvet glove, which is really bad. Seriously, to coin a phrase, everyone needs to stop being such wankers about this. People make judgments about the prudential or ethical merits of others' life choices all the time -- that's not "fascism," it's functioning in human society.
BODY POLITICS. The July/August print issue of the Prospect has a three-article package on abortion politics that is now available online, and worth a look. Helena Silverstein and Wayne Fishmanassess the Supreme Court's swing voter on abortion, Anthony Kennedy, while Allison Stevensreports on a crucial shortcoming in the choice movement's strategy.