Archive

  • A QUESTION OF...

    A QUESTION OF TEMPERAMENT. Reading Linda Hirshman 's guest-blogging items over the past week, along with Judith Warner 's latest New York Times (Select) column on the terrible anxiety and stress of throwing a last-day-of-class kindergarten party, have really made me wonder how much of the writing about women, work, and motherhood is a reflection of reality and how much of it is a reflection of the unique temperaments of certain women writers. For example, this, from Warner : I arrived at the party feeling quite proud. I had managed that morning to 1) take a shower 2) work for the better part of an hour 3) remember to bring the cookies I�d promised and 4) arrive a few minutes early, which gave me the satisfaction of seeing Emilie�s face change from anxious anticipation to pure joy as she entered the room and saw me. In the previous 10 days, I�d been through three violin recitals, many half-days of school, a �biome presentation,� camp forms, doctor visits and an overnight trip to the...
  • AND NOW FOR...

    AND NOW FOR A SERIOUS POST. Pat Buchanan (and no, damnit, I'm not going to apologize) raises a series of under-considered questions in his column about the consequences of the aid cutoff to the Palestinian Authority in the wake of Hamas' election win. One is simply that the actual consequences in terms of human suffering provoked by this are going to be large: "Surgeons at Gaza�s biggest hospital," he quotes the Financial Times as reporting, "have suspended non-essential surgery for lack of sutures, laboratory kits and anesthetics." Obviously, one follow-on consequence of this is going to be increasing detestation for the United States among the Palestinian population and their sympathizers throughout the Arab world. Even worse, though, are the precise circumstances of this. Palestine is being punished for having voted Hamas into power. But the election in which that took place was only organized because the American government took the line that Israel shouldn't negotiate with the...
  • THE ENEMY OF...

    THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY IS MY ENEMY. Here's an important question for our friends on the other side of the aisle -- who to root for in Sunday's World Cup match between Mexico and Iran , the right's two most loathed countries? --Matthew Yglesias
  • THE NAME THING....

    THE NAME THING. One of the intriguing subplots of the post-9-11 era has been America's persistent inability to reach a consensus as to what to call the enemy. We've had "Islamism," "jihadism," the awful "Islamofascists," and now, courtesy of Tom Friedman , the even worse "Islamo-totalitarians." --Matthew Yglesias
  • AND A PONY!...

    AND A PONY! David Ignatius 's inspiring plan for post- Zarqawi Iraq: "Destroy his networks around the country. Peel off his supporters among the ex-Baathists and former regime loyalists; break his hold in towns such as Ramadi and Baqubah; get the Iraqi government out of the Green Zone and into the streets, where it can embolden ordinary Iraqis to believe that the republic of fear has ended." Good plan! How come nobody thought of that before? Maybe Superman will lend a hand . --Matthew Yglesias
  • WASHINGTON TIMES-INESS. If...

    WASHINGTON TIMES -INESS. If you're going to run an article under the headline "Democrats call Zarqawi killing a stunt," wouldn't it be good to include in the piece a quote from some Democrat actually calling the Zarqawi killing a stunt? UPDATE : Via KCinDC in comments, it appears the Times has updated the story and backed off the "stunt" claim. Damage is done, though. ANOTHER UPDATE: Only now do I see that Greg was on this at a freakishly early hour and has lots of links . -- Sam Rosenfeld
  • BYRON YORK MISQUOTES...

    BYRON YORK MISQUOTES ME. . And this, after I sat next to him all morning. I didn't, to be fair, recognize him till the session's end. I'd never seen York, and wasn't alerted to his famous bouffant ahead of time, so I hadn't known I was brushing such famous knees until I happened to catch sight of his nametag towards the morning's close. At which point, we had a real moment: "We're gonna give you some color," I laughed. He sort of grunted in reply. Sort of. The session was a CAP-run workshop on how to best comport yourself in front of television cameras. They spent an hour or so explaining how to sit, how to speak, how to stay on message, and then had folks cycle through a mock interview which was then replayed on a projector and critiqued by the instructor's. I've been doing a fair amount of TV and radio these days, so I volunteered for the public interrogation. My topic? Health care. I am, after all, here in Vegas to participate on a health care panel. My performance was brilliant,...
  • DOES STUDENT AID...

    DOES STUDENT AID WORK AFTER ALL? One of the more clever libertarian arguments I've heard is that federal tuition assistance doesn't make college more affordable -- if the government offers $X in assistance, colleges just respond by raising tuition commensurately. Or, as Neil McCluskey puts it today at the Cato blog, "Some people complain that tuition is too high and demand that politicians make college 'affordable.' Politicians, to get votes, provide student aid. Then schools, suddenly able to get more money, raise tuition. But wait, that makes college 'unaffordable' again! And so it goes�" But then in the next paragraph, he writes: "Indeed, aid has actually been increasing faster than tuition over the last ten years." And he seems to have the numbers to back that up. But if aid's been increasing faster than tuition, doesn't that mean that aid programs do, in fact, work as designed? After all, aid is supposed to grow faster than tuition and make school more affordable. Am I missing...
  • YEARLYKOS. Wondering...

    YEARLYKOS . Wondering why the magazines are a bit quiet? Possibly because large segments of their staffs are in Las Vegas, making a fishbowl of YearlyKos. In the rooms I've been in, attendees have barely outnumbered those writing about the attendees. A CAP-sponsored seminar on media appearances this morning saw the second row populated by The Weekly Standard 's Matt Labash , The National Review 's Byron York , and The American Prospect 's me. Also darting in and out of the session were The New Republic 's Ryan Lizza , Time 's Ana Marie-Cox , Salon 's Michael Scherer , a Chicago Tribune reporter, and Maureen Dowd . And this was not, mind you, a large room. --Ezra Klein
  • LINES IN THE...

    LINES IN THE SAND. The New York Times editorializes about the "ridiculous" push for a constitutional amendment to ban flag-burning -- "an issue that exists only for the purpose of pandering to a tiny slice of voters." Though the Times is correct that this is not a high-salience, top-priority issue for most voters, it should be noted that banning flag-burning actually commands majority support in opinion surveys (support for a constitutional amendment to do so is always lower, though usually still above 50 percent). The Times 's political advice to Dems: "Senator Harry Reid, the minority leader, should be rallying Democrats to join the small handful of principled Republicans so far willing to oppose the amendment." (In fact, Reid 's going to vote for it.) Now, I certainly agree that a constitutional amendment banning flag burning is bad and that the principled thing to do would be to oppose it. But I'm often perplexed by arguments like the one found in this Times editorial, wherein the...

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