Archive

  • THE ADMINISTRATION'S ENERGY...

    THE ADMINISTRATION'S ENERGY POLICY. Last night on Larry King 's show, George W. Bush offered the most succinct explanation of his approach to global warming yet: We have done a lot to deal with greenhouse gases by advancing new technologies. I campaigned against Al Gore. I said we're going to spend money for clean coal technologies and we're in the process of doing that and one of these days people are going to look back and say, well, thank goodness the Bush administration made these investments because we'll be able to have electricity from coal that won't pollute.[...] But we're the ones -- my administration started the hydrogen initiative. Spent over a billion dollars for research in the hopes that we'll be able to power our automobiles by hydrogen, which would be an amazing advance in -- in -- in -- in -- in cleaning the environment. We've done more on ethanol that any administration. We've got a great record and -- but this town is full of politics. People just say what they...
  • HOW IT'S DONE....

    HOW IT'S DONE. If you missed last night's Lieberman / Lamont steel cage match, you'll find no better blow-by-blow than the Hartford Courant 's recounting . Remember when Lieberman delivered the death elbow off the ladder? Or when Lamont dropkicked off the turnbuckle? Me neither. But all of the stuff I do remember is in the Courant piece, a model of informative debate coverage that quickly dispenses with the political positioning to offer a detailed recap of the actual issues at hand and how the two candidates addressed them. It puts the Reuters and Associated Press coverage to shame. --Ezra Klein
  • WHAT, INDEED? Alex...

    WHAT, INDEED? Alex Massie takes a look at the Connecticut Senate primary and wonders, "What on earth is all this about?" I wonder myself sometimes. I wonder especially why pro- Lamont forces get so indignant whenever someone suggests it's about what it appears to be about -- the war. That, to me, would be a perfectly reasonable issue for a vigorous primary campaign in a safely blue and anti-war state. The war is, if I may say so, a big deal and Lieberman 's views on it are ridiculous. What's more, insofar as the primary becomes a referendum on the war, Lieberman is bound to lose since his views on it are very unpopular among Democrats. But friends of Ned become, as I say, indignant if you characterize the race this way and want it to be seen as about . . . what, exactly, I couldn't quite say. The implication that the real issue here is that Lieberman once sort-of kissed Bush seems equal parts silly and inexplicable. Why can't the campaign be about the war? --Matthew Yglesias
  • WOMEN AND HILLARY....

    WOMEN AND HILLARY. Some interesting data in the update at the end of Scott Winship 's post on Hillary Clinton 's electability : I've tabulated some evidence from the 2004 National Election Study. Women, but not men, rated Clinton higher than they did Kerry on a "thermometer" scale where 0 equals very cool feelings and 100 equals extreme warmth. The average for Clinton was 59, versus 54 for Kerry. Men rated both between 50 and 51. So Carville and Penn seem correct here. On the other hand, Clinton's boost among married women was no larger than her boost among married men, and much smaller than among single women. Married women rated Clinton 53 and Kerry 50, compared with 48 and 46 for married men and 66 and 59 for single women. Among Republican women, there was no boost, and she was barely any more popular than among Republican men. The average score for Clinton was 31, compared with 32 for Kerry. The figures for Democratic women were 80 and 73; for Republican men, 28 and 29. Finally,...
  • ON THE OTHER...

    ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SHUT WINDOW. Nir Rosen on how America missed the window of opportunity when withdrawal might have improved the situation on the ground in Iraq -- and why it should leave, anyway : I supported a withdrawal certainly until 2005. In my articles, I was saying that an American withdrawal would prevent a civil war from happening and would force Sunnis and Shia to step up and take responsibility and to co-operate. And it would allow Sunnis to participate in the government. But now that I think the civil war is sort of open and intense, I don't think an American withdrawal would make much difference and it's possible that an American withdrawal would actually make things worse because there will be nobody patrolling the borders and would allow even more foreign fighters to come into the Sunni areas. It would allow greater intervention from Iraq's neighbours which will only increase the civil war. I think the Americans should leave. The Americans shouldn't be here...
  • PRIZES FOR POVERTY....

    PRIZES FOR POVERTY. The Wall Street Journal has an interesting report on the anti-poverty innovation sweeping the nation: Prizes. According to the paper, "[i]ncentive-based programs have sprung up in recent years in large part because they are more politically palatable than traditional welfare benefits, and because advocates say such programs offer a better chance of changing some of the behaviors tied up with poverty. But incentives aren't safety nets. And even if they work for specific tasks, it's not clear whether they are enough to prompt meaningful long-term changes in those most firmly entrenched in poverty." The incentives in question work much like the magazine subscription contests you participated in as a kid: attend PTA meetings, get points; cut down school absences, get points; pay your rent, get points. Eventually, you can redeem your points for cool prizes like a DVD player. It's skiball mixed with the Puritan work ethic. Which is not to say it's a bad program,...
  • BUSH FLIRTS WITH...

    BUSH FLIRTS WITH LIEBERMAN. One of the more puzzling moments in George W. Bush 's interview on Larry King last night was when he was asked whether he would endorse Joe Lieberman for Senate should he lose the Democratic primary and run as an independent. Bush dodged that as follows: G. BUSH: First, the Democrats have to sort out who their nominee is going to be, and that's going to be up to the Democrats. And the rest of it's hypothetical. KING: But he said he would run as an independent, if he were... G. BUSH: He also has said he's going to win his primary. KING: I know you like him. G. BUSH: You're trying to get me to give him a political kiss, which may be his death. KING: You hugged him before the State of the Union, right? No, I know you generally... G. BUSH: The Democrats are going to figure it out. They'll figure it out. KING: So you would not make a decision on that. G. BUSH: Well, I'm not going to wade into a Democratic primary in the state of Connecticut. Now this is just...
  • LAST NIGHT'S SHOWDOWN....

    LAST NIGHT'S SHOWDOWN. Gee, kids, let's not play in front of old Joe Lieberman 's house any more. Gosh, what an old grouch. The Connecticut senatorial debate featured one guy who seemed to still be wearing the shrink-wrap and an 18-year incumbent doing a one-man impersonation of The Old Radley Place. Was politics ever fun for Joe Lieberman? If he's winning, he's burdened ever so by High Moral Purpose. If he's in trouble, which he is right now, he's beset on all sides by ingrates and mountebanks. It must be difficult to remain biblical if you cast yourself as Job AND Jehovah. And while Ned Lamont 's most fervent acolytes occasionally seem to be writing for Tiger Beat , last night he was cool and precise and extremely disciplined. I don't know what kind of senator he'd make, but I wouldn't go into a business deal against him without body armor. Still, for those of us outside The Land Of Steady Habits, there was a little too much about the Greenwich Town Council and submarine bases and...
  • MORE FOR CHUCK...

    MORE FOR CHUCK TO CHEW ON. Earlier this week, I noted in a post that Chuck Schumer had benefited from Democratic post-primary unity in New York in 1998 when his defeated opponents rallied to his side, and he went on to beat Al D�Amato . The idea is that now, as head of the DSCC, Schumer should learn from his own example and that the party ought to rally around the primary winner in, to pick a random state, Connecticut, let�s say. But an old friend writes in to tell me there�s a far better precedent for Schumer to follow, and it, too, involved D�Amato. It was 1980, and D�Amato was running against Jacob Javits in the GOP primary. Javits, like Joe Lieberman , was the party�s incumbent. D�Amato, like Ned Lamont , was the insurgent challenger. The GOP establishment had backed Javits in the primary. But when the Fonz won the September 9 primary, the GOP faced a dilemma, because Javits announced that he would continue to run in the general election on the Liberal Party ballot line, which he...
  • The Washington Post's Front Page Editorial on Mexican Elections

    The lead headline of the Washington Post this morning was "Mexico Vote Tally Gives Free-Trader a Narrow Victory." Wrong! Felipe Calderon, the candidate who is now ahead in the vote tally to be Mexico's next president is not a free-trader. He has supported increasing copyright and patent protection and shown no special interest in removing protectionist barriers that obstruct free trade in the services of highly paid professionals (e.g. doctors, lawyers, accountants). The Washington Post does not own the term "free-trade." If they want to identify Calderon by his trade position, they can call him pro-NAFTA. It is more accurate and saves 2 letters. --Dean Baker

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