Archive

  • THE BLOGOSPHERE'S BEEF...

    THE BLOGOSPHERE'S BEEF WITH TNR . I think Marty Peretz 's Friday evening post on The Plank, in which he defended TNR from its left-wing blog attackers and excoriated their grammar, actually made a lot of fair points. TNR does effectively criticize the Bush administration and congressional Republicans on any number of issues, mostly domestic. And, I might add, they often do so more effectively than some of their more left-leaning counterparts precisely because their tone is less rigidly partisan and they are willing to grapple more seriously with conservative counter-arguments. [Full disclosure: I used to work there.] But here's the irony: Immediately below Marty's post is a prime example, courtesy of Lawrence Kaplan , of precisely what the bloggers find so maddening. And no, sorry Marty, it isn't because "TNR is a heterodox institution, a concept Kos surely cannot fathom." It's because TNR is an institution that gives space to the conservative -- not moderate -- rantings of liberal-...
  • BETTER IN '06...

    BETTER IN '06 THAN '08. The fight between TNR and Daily Kos made the hop to the mainstream media over the weekend, and both news outlets had their single most blogged-about days this year, according to Technorati. Having gone "berserk" mid-week with his declaration of war against TNR , according to this Newsweek profile, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga appears to have thought the better of it and decided to try and capture some of the controversy-driven traffic by highlighting a welcome to the first-time readers. Most other responses on the site are now tending toward satire or works with lighter touches, while TNR , for its part, renounced one of the e-mails it had published, citing sources who misled its reporter. So perhaps both sides are stepping back from the brink. Conservative blog Reihl World View has the best round-up of all the facts at issue, which, even controlling for the writer's obvious agenda, are rather devastating, and by and large news to me. All I can say is: Far better...
  • MINUTEMEN EXPLAINED. The...

    MINUTEMEN EXPLAINED. The New York Times has inadvertently explained the recent resurgence in xenophobia. The explanations that I gleaned from their big story on immigration today are: 1) there are too many retirees with nothing better to do, and 2) there are too many suburbanites not used to diversity and allergic to the common good. Both these qualities were perfectly captured in the story's leading man on the street, Patrick Nicolosi of Elmont, New York. When reading profiles of the Minutemen and such, I am constantly struck by the high proportion of retirees among them. In this piece Nicolosi, 49, who retired prematurely from his delivery truck driving job, tsk-tsks as he sees two immigrant children board a local school bus. Lacking gainful employment to occupy his time, he has the energy to get worked up over this, and some of his neighbors think him a busybody because of that. Furthermore, since he lives in the suburbs, where schools are heavily financed by property taxes, the...
  • WDJD? WHAT...

    WDJD? WHAT DID JEROME DO? It's worth being clear, too, on what exactly the charges against Jerome Armstrong are. The SEC believes that he took stock at below-market prices and then sought to hype the stock in order to increase its prices without disclosure . That last bit is the problem. He can push whatever stocks he wants (well, not after the investigation, but before); the wrongdoing came in his lack of transparency. Raging Bull readers who scanned his posts had no way of knowing he was possibly a paid flack rather than an honest broker. Fast forward to the present, where Armstrong is a consultant to Mark Warner . Indeed, he's a decidedly public employee of Warner, certainly one of the best known and most widely publicized consultants of the 2008 campaign thus far. Where the stock malfeasance turned on Armstrong's hidden relationship, allegations of wrongdoing here are all based on his public relationship. Given that the job of a consultant is to hype and help his candidate, Jerome...
  • P4P PASSES. ...

    P4P PASSES. In politics, the battle lines over health care are drawn atop access. The quality of our care is granted, the only question is how more folk can reap the benefits. In academia, however, the question is as often care. Our surgeons may be on the cutting edge (thanks folks, I'll be here all week), but stepping back a bit from the frontier, the vast majority of care is either inefficiently delivered or simply forgotten. Studies show that we receive only about 55 percent of the recommended treatments for most serious complaints -- and we're not talking CAT scans here, but easy lifesavers, like aspirin and beta blockers after a heart attack. America offers the world's best care for the most exotic and complicated problems, but if you're unlucky enough to suffer something more mundane, you're better off in a host of other hamlets. The policy response here is something called pay For Performance medicine, or P4P. At base, the incentives in our system are to offer treatments,...
  • KOS/ARMSTRONG/ZENGERLE FOLLOWUP. All...

    KOS/ARMSTRONG/ZENGERLE FOLLOWUP. All right, a brief comment on this. The folks out there in the 'sphere alleging that Jason Zengerle deliberately fabricated the now-infamous Gilliard email ought to knock it off. There's no basis for saying that, it would be a ridiculous thing to do, and it's irresponsible to be running around making those kind of charges. To step back a bit, insofar as all that's being alleged by Markos ' detractors, here is something along the lines of "Markos' affections for candidates seems idiosyncratic and not driven by a consistent ideological worldview" that I heartily agree with and I think is a problem. TAPPED , like Max Sawicky , has generally taken the position that, contrary to the C.W., the trouble with the netroots is insufficient dogmatism and strident leftwingery. This is why I now and again have occasion to disagree with something he writes, at which point I genuinely express said disagreement in a blog post. On the other hand, it's hardly as if he's...
  • THE REAL ISSUES....

    THE REAL ISSUES. Jason Zengerle concedes that, as rumored in the blogofascistsphere over the weekend, the email he attributed to Steve Gilliard was inauthentic. He then pleads that we not "use this minor error to distract people from much larger issues," namely: Armstrong's troubles with the SEC; Armstrong's relationship with Moulitsas and Moulitsas's pattern of supporting politicians who hire Armstrong as a consultant; Moulitsas's attempts to silence liberal bloggers from commenting on these matters; the seeming acquiescence of so many of these liberal bloggers (including Greenwald) to Moulitsas's demands; and now, strangely, stuff like this . I have to say that I don't understand this at all . Frankly, I think Markos' views on Mark Warner are wrongheaded and I've said so in the past. That said, I have yet to see Zengerle or anyone else adduce a shred of evidence that Markos took money from the Warner campaign, that Markos took money from Jerome Armstrong , or that Markos threatened...
  • JUST POSTED ON...

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: THE BLOGOFASCISTAS. What is the nature of the blogofascist threat, and can liberals summon the will and the courage to face it down? Matt makes the case for putting anti-blogofascism at the center of a new liberalism for the age. --The Editors
  • BUSH AND ROOSEVELT,...

    BUSH AND ROOSEVELT, EMPIRE AND HISTORY. Karl Rove , it seems, thinks Bush 's foreign policy is modeled on Teddy Roosevelt 's. Ross Douthat sees irony : It's funny, because so far the military conflict that the Iraq War most resembles isn't Vietnam or World War II, but the TR-boosted Spanish-American War - a quick and painless military victory over a second-rate power, driven by a mix of idealism, jingoism, and power politics, that segued into a long and grueling counter-insurgency campaign . This is quite right, which is why everyone should read John Judis 's book . Speaking of which, I have some serious doubts about the Supreme Leader's thinking below. The upshot of all this analogizing is that, just as we were in Cuba and Puerto Rico, I think the current administration is really quite deeply committed to an enduring military presence in Iraq and to exercising considerable influence over the Iraqi government. If that can be accomplished in a manner consistent with drawing down 75...
  • OCCAM�S RAZOR EXPLANATION....

    OCCAM�S RAZOR EXPLANATION. I think, Ezra , it�s all simpler than that. They invaded Iraq. They didn�t expect a problem. They got a problem. Now they want out. But they want out provided two conditions are met in the process: 1. They can do it in such a way to make the Democrats look weak; 2. They can time it so as to maximize electoral benefit from announcement of withdrawal. Ezra and Matt are making the mistake of discussing substantive factors. You�ve surely learned by now that there is no substance with these people. There is only politics. We will start to get out of Iraq, bit by bit, this September and October. By the end of 2007, a plan will be announced to ensure we�re substantially out (i.e., a 75 percent draw down or some such) by October 2008. You can set your watch by it. Yardsticks of civic stability will be manipulated, just as intelligence was manipulated three and four years ago, to �prove� that Iraq is becoming a stable society at whatever moment the administration...

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