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  • OY. Here we...

    OY. Here we go again. Abu Ghraib, Haditha, and this : Five U.S. Army soldiers are being investigated for allegedly raping a young woman, then killing her and three members of her family in Iraq, a U.S. military official said Friday. The soldiers also allegedly burned the body of the woman they are accused of assaulting in the March incident, the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.... a U.S. official close to the investigation said at least one of the soldiers, all assigned to the 502nd Infantry Regiment, has admitted his role and been arrested. Two soldiers from the same regiment were slain this month when they were kidnapped at a checkpoint near Youssifiyah. The official told the AP the accused soldiers were from the same platoon as the two slain soldiers. The military has said one and possibly both of the slain soldiers were tortured and beheaded. The official said the mutilation of the slain soldiers stirred feelings...
  • TIME OUT OF...

    TIME OUT OF MIND. So, just to take a clear stand against the rising tide of overt Young Fogeyhood around these parts, I wear baseball caps, okay? My current one comes from Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky. I wear them for comfort and for style, and because several centuries of Hibernian breeding left me with skin that is well-nigh translucent. I also wear them so that, when I read something like this , I have something handy I can throw across the room besides the obvious cursewords. Who dealt this mess? I mean, a group of important someones at Time freaking Magazine need an essay on the lessons to be learned from TR 's politics, and they all decide to hire a goon who should be kept away from elections for the same reasons we keep Charlie Manson away from the cutlery. And not only that, but a goon who spent a flat year hanging one of Time 's own reporters out to dry. Karl Rove is not a historian. Karl Rove is not a political theorist. Karl Rove is not any combination of the two. He's a...
  • CREDIT WHERE IT'S...

    CREDIT WHERE IT'S DUE. As The Weekly Standard reports , homelessness really is plummeting across the country. Some of it is due to the inevitable effects of a sustained economic expansion and the restoration of balance (and cash) to previously-strapped state and local governments. But some is due to Bush administration policy. Their "Housing First" program has sought to restore the low-cost residences that cities effectively zoned out of existence over the past few decades. To be sure, these aren't palatial accommodations, but some roof is better than none, and it offers a base upon which to begin treating other problems. This approach comes from a radical reevaluation of how to deal with social problems -- treating not the easy cases in the middle, but the hard cases on the fringe, and doing so without the array of preconditions and punishments that so often boot these subjects out of treatment. It's a remarkably nonjudgmental approach, and effective, too. Keep folks on the street...
  • Getting Tough on Immigrants Seeking Health Care

    To paraphrase my friend Brad DeLong, "why oh why do newspapers have to use meaningless numbers when it is so easy to provide information." Today's example is a Washington Post article about a new rule that requires people to show proof of citizenship before they can be covered by Medicaid. The article includes much useful information and comments from both proponents and opponents of the rule. Then it tells us that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that this rule will save Medicaid $735 million over the next decade. Great, everyone realize how much money that is? Okay, we know the Washington Post has an educated readership, but virtually none of their readers has any idea how important $735 million over the next decade is to the budget or their pocketbooks. Let's suppose the reporters had taken a moment to look at projected spending for this period. CBO projects total spending over the next decade at $33.3 trillion, or approximately $111,000 per person. The potential savings...
  • AGAINST OBJECTIVITY. I...

    AGAINST OBJECTIVITY. I guess I appreciate what the Supreme Leader is getting at in his column when he says that "any civil society needs institutions in every realm of life -- in business, the law, the arts, what have you -- that take as their presumptive raison d�etre not ideology but its opposite, impartiality." On the other hand, does it really follow from that that we need The New York Times ? After all, England, France, and -- as far as I know -- pretty much all European countries seem to get on just fine without a broadsheet that aspires to American-style neutrality. Obviously, if the Times were to just vanish tomorrow, that would be bad, but if it were to transform itself into a feisty Guardian -style paper and prompt the creation of a counterpart rightwing national broadsheet, I think that would be good. After all, ideology need not be the enemy of quality. No liberal is going to approve of The Economist 's politics, but it's still a way better magazine than Time or Newseek ...
  • JUST POSTED ON...

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE. The Supreme Court handed down a number of important decisions this week. Tracie Powell assesses the ambiguous implications of the Court's Texas redistricting decision for interpreting and enforcing the Voting Rights Act, while Deborah Pearlstein explains why the extraordinary Hamdan decision will affect far more than the U.S.'s policy for trying Guantanamo detainees. --The Editors
  • VIEWER'S GUIDE: JUNE...

    VIEWER'S GUIDE: JUNE 29 -- INFINITY. I link to this only to point out that The Food Channel is likely to be the only place in the cable universe where this gentleman is not discussed for the foreseeable future. You can almost hear Sean Hannity 's blood boiling, O'Reilly 's in full loofah, and Rush probably isn't going to need his little helpers for a while. On a brighter note, Ward Churchill is probably off the hook. --Charles P. Pierce
  • JUST POSTED ON...

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: KELLER MUST STAY. Prospect supreme leader Mike Tomasky boldly flip-flops on the "fire Bill Keller ?" question, in light of the current right-wing jihad against The New York Times sparked by the bank-records story. Liberals understand the need for institutions in society that at least strive to be impartial and non-ideological. The modern right believes no such thing, and that's why the Times , and its beleaguered editor, need defending. --The Editors
  • $1 BEEELION DOLLARS....

    $1 BEEELION DOLLARS. I don't find myself agreeing with Republican representative Dan Lungren very often, but this strikes me as a great idea. He's sponsored legislation offering a $1 billion prize to the first American automaker able to create, market, and sell 60,000 cars that get 100 mpg. He explains, "[c]ompetition for a prestigious prize is far more likely to get results than government programs aimed at anticipating and funding 'winners.' Although occasionally effective, federal subsidies are paid before an industry proves it can achieve what it set out to do, and all too often such subsidies are given to the politically influential, not the meritorious. But prize money is paid out only when the goal is achieved." Quite right. I'd quibble with leaving this to American automakers -- if the intent is to popularize the car rather than subsidize politically influential corporations, other companies should get to play. Maybe the prize can be limited to the first company that develops...
  • SIEGELISM. Matt...

    SIEGELISM . Matt says he agrees. But it's easy to agree that all these young kids and their insouciant fashion statements make you mad. Matt's 25 now, and I'm sure in three years, I'll agree, too -- there appears to be a schedule for these sorts of opinions. For that reason, the question isn't whether he agrees with Siegel's banal crankiness, but his proposed remedy. "When I see someone wearing a baseball cap in a movie theater," Siegel writes , "I want them to bring back the guillotine." Siegelism in action -- take a mundane point (I don't like bloggers or baseball caps) and go for the wild overreach (they're fascists or we should execute cap wearers). When agreeing with Siegel, the question isn't the underlying opinion, but the overlay of nuttiness. --Ezra Klein

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