The New York Times apparently doesn't think so. In an article assessing the Mexican presidential campaign in its final days, there is no mention of the economic performance of the current administration. Since one of the two leading candidates is from the same party as the incumbent president, and pledges to continue the same policies if elected, the recent economic record would appear to be relevant.
WHEN THE LEFT HAND DOESN'T KNOW WHAT THE FAR RIGHT HAND IS DOING. A couple days ago, TAPPED contributor Ben Adlernoticed the contrast of a Marty Peretz post proclaiming his paper's strong, if occasionally heterodox, liberalism sitting atop a Lawrence Kaplan post sighing over "how deeply unserious" Democrats are about Iraq.
REPUBLICANS FAIL TO VALUE REPUBLICAN VALUES.This is kind of funny, until you realize that it�s more convenient, politically speaking, for the GOP to have their values agenda keep failing, so that they can keep running on it and against Democrats who allegedly oppose it:
House Republicans failed Wednesday to advance a bill protecting the words ''under God'' in the Pledge of Allegiance. Only a day earlier, the GOP had placed the measure on its ''American Values Agenda'' in hopes of bolster the party's prospects in the fall election.
But Republicans could not muster a simple majority on the issue in a committee where they outnumber Democrats by six....
THE LOGIC OF WAR. It's hard to know even what to say in response to this:
Israel turned up the pressure on Palestinian militants to release a captive soldier Wednesday, sending its warplanes to bomb a Hamas training camp after knocking out electricity and water supplies for most of the 1.3 million residents of the Gaza Strip.
WAL-MART RECONSIDERED. This week, Slate hosted an interesting debate between progressive economist Jason Furman and labor-liberal champion Barbara Ehrenreich. The topic was Wal-Mart, namely, Furman's contention that Wal-Mart is, in fact, a progressive success story, having driven down prices more than they've depressed wages. Attentive readers will know I've a certain amount of sympathy for Furman's argument, which I believe brought a level of empirical rigor and complexity to a debate that had grown contradictory and problematic for liberals. I�m most taken with his willingness to leave the corporate welfare state for dead and champion the usage and expansion of programs like Medicaid.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: BURN, BABY, BURN. Last night, the Senate narrowly defeated a constitutional amendment banning flag desecration. Free beers all around at the Flag Burners Club! Kirsten Powersreflects on the lunacy and stubborn durablity of the GOP's favorite non-issue issue.
WHEN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY KILLS. As DASnoted in comments below if you wanted to really do something difficult and dramatic to help Africa (mosquito nets being quick and easy) what you'd want to do is revisit the pharmaceutical patent issue. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, TRIPS, is the devil's own policy initiative and its entrenchment into the WTO multilateral process is one of the least-heralded, most pernicious things done policywise in my lifetime. But don't take my word for it.
IDEALISM IN ACTION. This is arguably a blogofascist position, but one thing I think would be a good idea would be for the United States government to find ways of helping suffering Africans that don't entail starting wars and killing people. For example, you've got all these people dying of malaria even though "there are medicines that cure for 55 cents a dose, mosquito nets that shield a child for $1 a year and indoor insecticide spraying that costs about $10 annually for a household."