Archive

  • DICK MORRIS IS...

    DICK MORRIS IS RIGHT!! He has this column in The Hill saying that Lieberman should forego the Democratic primary entirely and just run as an Independent, and that if he did so, he would win �overwhelmingly.� Alas, I�m afraid that I suspect this is entirely correct. Consider: First, voter enrollment in Connecticut looks like this (PDF; scroll down to page 12 of 14 for totals). You have roughly 700,000 Democrats, 450,000 Republicans, and 930,000 �unaffiliateds� (i.e., independents). Second, think about turnout in a dead-of-August Democratic primary (it�s August 8). Let�s be generous and assume a primary turnout of 25 percent. That�s 175,000 voters. Let�s say Lamont beats Lieberman 55 to 45. That�s 96,250 votes. That�s not a huge base on which to build for a general election that will probably include 1 million voters (the total state enrollment is 2 million; assume general election turnout of 50 percent or so). Assume also a fairly weak Republican, as seems to be the case -- a bloke...
  • JUST POSTED ON...

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: THE FROG IS US. Ok, so apparently a frog won't actually stay in a bowl of water that's slowly brought to a boil. But it's still a damned good metaphor! Jim Sleeper takes a look at the mainstream media bowl and sees too many frogs drifting listlessly in the rising heat. --The Editors
  • ACTUAL CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINES:...

    ACTUAL CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINES: ALSO BAD. This Jonah Goldberg post on Linda Hirshman is really pretty revealing. And I'd like to say, for the record, that contra Jonah, I think her arguments should be taken seriously because they deserve to be taken seriously and not as part of some marketing ploy. At any rate, Jonah writes: [Hirschman] says that unless women work, they aren't fully human beings. We're supposed to take this seriously? I thought feminists were supposed to be champions of personal choice, self-empowerment, constructing their own inner-narratives, defining "me" on my terms, not seeking standards in the "male paradigms" of the partiarchal eurocentric capitalistic system yada yada yada yada, blah, blah, blah. This is the whole point! Hirshman is arguing that feminists shouldn't be champions of personal choice. She's arguing that, instead, feminists should be champions of equality and that getting from the status quo to an egalitarian world will require people -- men and...
  • MAGAZINE BLOG FEUD:...

    MAGAZINE BLOG FEUD: NOW WITH POLICY SUBSTANCE. I'm afraid the Lawrence Kaplan post on Kerry and Iraq that Ezra mentioned below is actually way, way, way worse than Ezra's post would lead you to believe. The thing of it is that the article Kaplan links to is a clear-cut piece of evidence against his basic view of the Iraq War and a strong piece of evidence in favor of the Spencer Ackerman line that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq is a "prerequisite for success." Read the lede: Eleven Sunni insurgent groups have offered an immediate halt to all attacks � including those on American troops � if the United States agrees to withdraw foreign forces from Iraq in two years, insurgent and government officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The upshot of this article is, of course, that the United States should agree to a timeline for the withdrawal of forces. The Kaplan Perpetual War plan is, in other words, totally wrong, as is the series of posts he's written recently mocking Democrats...
  • The Post Doesn't Think That Mexican Voters Care About the Economy Either

    Here's the proof. --Dean Baker
  • Do Mexican Voters Care About the Economy?

    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. For those who care about such mundane things as economic growth, the cumulative per capita GDP growth in the first five years of the current president has been approximately 2.0 percent . By contrast, Mexico's per capita GDP grew 4.0 percent annually over the years from 1960-80. In other words, in 5 years under the current president, Mexico's economy grew as much as it typically did in 6 months over the period from 1960-80. As a general rule, weak economic growth will mean weak job creation and few gains in reducing poverty, and this appears to have been the case in Mexico. This weak...
  • WHEN THE LEFT...

    WHEN THE LEFT HAND DOESN'T KNOW WHAT THE FAR RIGHT HAND IS DOING . A couple days ago, TAPPED contributor Ben Adler noticed 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. As Adler noted, this is what liberals bristle against in TNR : not their willingness to "grapple" with conservative ideas, but their penchant for publishing ideological conservatives and other travelers -- Kaplan is some species of neo-conny quasi-liberal who voted for Bush and blasted liberals for, literally, hating America -- who evince a robust contempt of the left. Today, Kaplan struck back at Ben with a contemptuous* post asserting his dislike for Bill Frist . Fair enough. Unfortunately, it sits atop another Kaplan post explaining that Kerry -- and those who support his withdrawal resolution -- are even less moderate on Iraq than, yes, the Iraqi insurgency...
  • REPUBLICANS FAIL TO...

    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.... Ten of the committee's 23 Republicans did not show up for the vote. The committee will try again tomorrow. --Garance Franke-Ruta
  • THE LOGIC OF...

    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. What is the end goal here? All I can see is the logic of war. To make people suffer until they give up. Obviously, the stated motivation is the rescue of Cpl. Gilad Shalit and retaliation for his capture. But the bigger goal of what Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called "extreme action" is clearly to make the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip suffer mightily, breaking the back of their support for Hamas or terrorism by creating extreme desperation and fear of further attack. An editorial in The Jerusalem Post today makes that plain : if necessary, Israel must be prepared singlehandedly to raise the price of attacking us to prohibitive levels.... Israeli...
  • WAL-MART RECONSIDERED. ...

    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. But enough history. While Furman's take was daring and important when it first emerged, he's ridden it to a level of dogmatism that appears unwise. To read these debating points, he seems to allow no chance that Wal-Mart could do more than it currently does to help their workers, and comes off almost...

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