PRACTICALITY. I recommend that folks read Garance's sharp analysis of Mark Warner's impact at YearlyKos. Most interesting to me was news that the famously pragmatic, nonideological Markos is scornful of a potential meeting with Team Hillary. When a Hillary staffer reached out to him a year ago, Markos ignored the invitation. Indeed, he offers a willingness to take it a step farther, saying that if Clinton requested a meeting today, �I�d probably say no � I don�t think she has anything to say to me.�
UNFOUNDED CONFIDENCE. Responding to claims that America's apathy towards soccer adds to international irritation with us, Jerry Taylorwonders whether the world would really be happier "if America took this game seriously and, as a consequence, cut through their footballers like a hot knife through butter?"
BUT WHAT WILL BE THE CAUSE OF DEATH? I spent this morning at a Brookings/New America Foundation event on the future of employer-based health care. The consensus? The system, captain, she canna' take anymore!
IDEALISM AND SUCH. Writing like this from Richard Just makes me suspicious. Ostensibly, the argument is that "there are plenty of ways short of military action that America can oppose tyranny in Iran and elsewhere" and that we should do so. The post doesn't, however, name any such ways, cite any arguments that such ways would be effective, or debunk any counterarguments against any such proposals. Instead, the actual weight of the post is just dedicated to bashing liberals. I'd be interested in hearing about what these ways are -- really!
THE WAR: IT'S HERE, IT'S REAL, GET USED TO IT. Yesterday's scummy GOP political stunts over Iraq were, of course, scummy. At the same time, though, Democrats are paying the price for the ostrich-like attitude they've taken to the war ever since the 2004 election. There's been this persistent hope that either the Bush administration would declare victory and go home, or else that the mounting casualties, costs, and unpopularity of the venture would somehow allow a bipartisan truce to prevail letting Democrats wage a campaign that's all about ethics and prescription drugs.
BEN-GURION REDUX. All right, on this David Ben-Gurion business, I was trying to be provocative and maybe should have just gone with Menachim Begin whose Irgun is less controversially considered a terrorist group. That said, the different pre-independence groups did work together before the King David Hotel bombing, and Ben-Gurion's group was involved with "kidnapping of British officials in Palestine and sabotaged the British infrastructure in Palestine."
Laurent Guerby made a post on the prior topic about European-U.S. unemployment comparisons, I was just at a conference sponsored by the OECD where exactly this issue came up. The basic point is that proponents of the U.S. model want to add people in employment training programs and disability roles in Europe to their official unemployment rates for purposes of international comparisons.
OF COURSE I THINK THE MEN SHOULD STAY HOME WITH THE BABIES. But just in case the guys are too busy and are thinking of using a little outside help, this week, New York Times business columnist David Leonhardttrumpeted the results of a 2005 economics study of Canadian child care, which concluded that �across almost everything we looked at, the policy led to much worse outcomes for kids.� Leonhardt fails to mention that the study, which was promoted by the ultra-conservative C.D.
THE MOST EFFECTIVE DEMOTED TERRORIST. Following up on Matt's item below, it's worth noting this Eli Lakereport yesterday that a move was afoot to lower the price on Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's head before he was killed because of a somewhat different assessment of his importance on the part of U.S. forces:
Even as American and Iraqi soldiers were closing in on Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the commander of the American forces in Iraq was trying to get Washington to lower the terrorist leader's importance and profile.