HAYDEN AGONISTES. On the question of how a more John Negroponte-influenced CIA under Michael Hayden influences the struggle over intelligence resources between that agency and the Defense Department, reports still differ fairly dramatically.
THE PARTY OF IDEAS. If there's any justice, today's New York Times article chronicling the intellectual vibrancy now on the left will finally kill the crusty charge that Democrats lack ideas. If you'll remember, that was the word shortly after Bush won reelection. It was the primary talking point during the GOP's aborted campaign to privatize Social Security, and even though their big, new idea proved an embarrassing failure, its implosion did nothing to dislodge the new swipe against the Democrats from the media's mind.
MORE CIVILITY.Ramsey Clark's obviously a bit 'round the bend, and I have a personal grudge against Howard Zinn, but at least here on the left we don't toss around unsubstantiated allegations of treason as a once-a-week rhetorical gambit against folks we don't like.
THE NEW COPYRIGHT. Warner Brothers is going to sell movies over the Internet, which seems sensible. Sadly, once you download one of their movies, you won't be able to burn it to DVD. Of course, it's the studio's right to sell a product that works that way if they're so inclined. But here's the rub. Suppose you wrote a program that converted the files to a format that could be watched on a standard DVD player. Well, as Tim Leeexplains, that would be a federal crime. Similarly, building a DVD player capable of playing the movie is illegal.
MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD IS MAKING SENSE. It's probably contrary to interest to point this out, but I think Iran's president is making a lot of sense in at least this portion of his letter:
If billions of dollars spent on security, military campaigns and troop movement were instead spent on issues including health and aid to the poor, he wrote, "would there have been an ever increasing global hatred of the American governments?"
TAP IN THE TIMES. Be sure to check out this charming front page profile today in The New York Times of Supreme Leader Mike Tomasky and the accompanying article about the debate heralded by his May cover story.
JON CHAIT'S GENERALIZATIONS ARE BENEATH HIM. I have a good deal of respect for Jon Chait, and I hope this time he'll show me -- not to mention his readers -- some in return by actually engaging my argument, instead of deliberately oversimplifying it to make it easier to knock down. In response to my contention that by describing Joe Lieberman foes as "fanatics" he was throwing down the gauntlet and being uncivil, Chait wrote:
THE NEW NEW LEFT? After reading two rather similar complaints from Richard Cohen and Jon Chait about, in essence, people on the internet being mean to them, it occurs to me that it might be worth pointing out that blogosphere luminaries like Duncan Black and Markos Moulitsas don't actually resemble their online personae Atrios and Kos all that greatly. For Duncan you'll sort of just have to take my word (or that of others who've met him, I doubt you'll see much disagreement on this).
Washington Post columnist Allan Sloan called for defaulting on the U.S. national debt, or at least a portion of it, in his weekly column today. Mr. Sloan pointed out that the Social Security trustees project that the program will begin drawing on the government bonds in its trust fund in just over a decade. He said that repaying the bonds in the trust fund will be a burden to the government, and that his children, as future taxpayers, shouldn't have to bear this burden.
A New York Timesarticle this morning, reporting that up to 4 million infants die every year for the lack of very simple medical care items, provides a classic example of reporting numbers out of context. The article informs readers that the Bush administration proposes to spend $323 million in 2007 on aid for maternal and child health care in developing countries, down from $356 million in 2006.