BUILDING A BRIDGE TO THE 19TH CENTURY. Boy, George Allen is really into this wanna-be Southern secessionist thing. A tipster informs me that the junior senator from California, I mean Virginia, didn't just cotton to the rebel flag, he's also dressed up in the uniform of the old slave states in film. According to this 2003 CNN story, Allen played the role of a Confederate officer in 2003's Gods and Generals.
POLLACK ON IRAN. Since Ken Pollack seems to have re-emerged as a figure of controversy, I thought it might be worth noting what his actual views on Iran are. He thinks we ought to invade just like in Iraq engage in some diplomacy. Or to quote from his essay "A Grand Strategy for the Middle East" in the Progressive Policy Institute's book, With All Our Might: A Progressive Strategy for Defeating Jihadism and Defending Liberty, "It is crucial that the United States engage with like-minded states to develop a multilateral approach that would impose graduated economic sanctions on Iran if its intransigence continues.
BACK IN THE DAYS OF AWESOME. I figured I�d wait until cubiclemate Sam left the office for lunch to launch a brief rebuttal. As one of his commenters pointed out, there is much more to rock criticism than parsing through lyrics. And what makes Neil Young�s Living With War magnificent is the album�s coarse and hard-driving edginess. Layered on top are some brilliant lyrics that astutely capture the mood of liberals in the spring of 2006.
Take for example, the lyrics to the track �Shock and Awe.� In the parlance of our Supreme Leader, I�d say this epitomizes zeitgeisty.
PERMANENT BASES. Now here's a real sign of the President's burgeoning lame duckedness: The Senate actually approved an amendment from Joe Biden preventing the administration from using funds from the Iraq supplemental appropriation for the construction of permanent bases.
CAPTURE THE FLAG.Ryan Lizza's just posted a devastating follow-up to his TNR cover story on Virginia Senator and likely presidential contender George Allen. The take-home: Allen's love affair with the slave-holding past was no youthful affectation. Writes Lizza:
I plead guilty to the same sort of sloppiness I have noted elsewhere. Earlier this week I commented on the coverage of Commerce Department's release of data for March on consumer spending and prices. I then noted that the consensus forecasts for first quarter productivity growth appeared to be too high. I based this on the fact that the hours data reported in the monthly employment reports indicated that hours were growing at close to a 4.0 percent annual rate in the quarter. As it turned out, hours growth was reported as 2.5 percent. What went wrong?
REGARDING STALINIST AESTHETICS. Of course Noam Scheiber's all wrong about Stephen Colbert's performance on Saturday, but his invocation of "Stalinist aesthetics" provides the pretext to discuss another burning politico-cultural issue: Neil Young's new album.
MEXICO'S NON-DECRIMINALIZATION. You may have heard that Mexico is legalizing drugs. Certainly, I've seen that reported in the press. The thing is, this is apparently not true and much less is changing than most people think. Mark Kleimanexplains.
The New York Times has run many excellent articles over the years describing various forms of corruption in the pharmaceutical industry. (The latest describes the battle over monitoring the prescribing practices of individual physicians.) The one thing missing from these articles is any economic analysis.