MORE PARTY OF DEATH. The liberal media's sinister conspiracy of silence regarding Ramesh Ponnuru's Party of Death continues apace, but diehard rightwinger John Derbyshire got a review copy and is even less impressed than Peter Berkowitzwas.
ANOTHER BORING POST ABOUT IRAQ. After reading it, Al Gore's actual statement on Iraq strikes me as significantly more open-minded and conciliatory than Garance's gloss below or the one ABC News gave to it made it sound. By which I mean that, as a member of the anti-war base, I find Gore's take on this to be annoying and something I hope he'll change his mind about, while I've found, say, Hillary Clinton's comments to be more along the lines of infuriating.
GORE SHOWS HIS ROOTS.ViaMickey Kaus, Al Gore raised questions about setting a deadline for withdrawing from Iraq during his This Week appearance yesterday. Some will say that this puts Gore to the right of likely '08 presidential contenders John Kerry, Russ Feingold, and, after his recent comments, perhaps even Evan Bayh, but I'd disagree. Gore has always been a sensible centrist, and his opposition to the invasion of Iraq was a manifestation of his steady understanding of the dangers of pre-emptive war at a time when too many people were seduced by the chest-thumping and martial rhetoric of the right, and not of any native dovishness.
DEMOCRATS 'O6: CATCH THE 'BETTERNESS.' It looks like Harry Reid has begun ending his e-mails with the Democrats' dreaded 2006 catchphrase: "Together, America can do better." Without some better wordsmiths, though, the Democrats apparently can't. I'm reminded of Geoffrey Numberg's riff on the line from his forthcoming book, Talking Right:
KRISTOL ON HADITHA.This article is rather repugnant, but I think it contains a pearl of accidental wisdom: "Liberals may want to win a war on terror without fighting, and are shocked that in a war, crimes and abuses occur. But here's the hard, Trumanesque truth: In war, terrible things happen, including crimes and abuses and cover-ups."
THE DISTRIBUTION'S THE THING.Conservativespuzzling over this weekend's New York Timesop-ed on "Freakoutanomics" would be well-advised to stop focusing so obsessively on growth numbers and begin paying a bit more attention to the distribution of growth numbers. That's basically the point of the op-ed, which argues that the 1870's saw a strong macro-economy that obscured a large class of economic losers.
ENFORCEMENT FIRST.Tyler Cowen makes a valuable point in the immigration debate, noting that the seemingly commonsense principle that "at least we should enforce the law" is actually a bit odd. Lots of laws are very imperfectly enforced and this isn't necessarily a problem. The police deliberately downplay the level of resources they dedicate to solving burglaries in order to focus on the more serious crime of murder. But they don't completely cease trying to arrest, prosecute, and jail burglars just because not every murder gets solved.
WHY WE CAN�T "ALL JUST GET ALONG." I am the author of "Homeward Bound" (The American Prospect, December 2005), where I argued that women quitting their jobs to stay home are making a mistake, work in the public and market world is more likely to produce a flourishing life, and, if men did more domestic work, women could do more public work. On June 12, my book, Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World, will be in the bookstores.
THE ESTATE TAX.The Washington Post has a nice set of dueling op-eds on the estate tax today. They've matched up Sebastian Mallaby with doltish Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, which is a bit like setting a monkey in intellectual combat with his banana. It's proof, no doubt, that the editorial page's overlords treasure the estate tax, and are seeking to discredit its repeal by choosing an incompetent opponent.
Folks, I am off for a weeklong vacation. I will not be back at my blogging duties until Monday, June 12th. In the meantime, my colleagues at CEPR, Heather Boushey, David Rosnick, John Schmitt, and Mark Weisbrot will be intermittently filling in.
I should also warn that there may be somewhat more delay before your comments get posted. Comments to the blog are moderated, and I can't guarantee the pace at which items get posted in my absence.
I am sorry to leave in the middle of a lively debate on the Social Security trust fund. I am sure that there will be no difficulty reaching consensus on this issue in my absence.