GLOBALIZING THE WOMB. Thanks to an eye-opening Los Angeles Times article yesterday, you can add "reproductive tourism" to the list of words you never thought you'd hear yoked together. It's not just call centers going to India -- now American couples are apparently turning to Indian women to act as surrogate mothers, and at a cost that's a fraction of what they'd pay in the U.S.
This is not a grand existential question; I am referring to the size of its economy. According to most news reports, China's GDP is approaching $2 trillion, rivaling Germany for the #3 ranking in the world, behind the United States and Japan. In fact, this figure grossly understates the size of China's economy. It is already far larger than Japan's economy and is likely to surpass the size of the U.S. economy in less than a decade.
MORE GLOBAL WARMING PESSIMISM. I wish I shared Matt's optimism. John Quiggin's post, and Matt's, largely focuses on the ease of heavily reducing CO2 emissions within America. And on that point, Quiggin's right: to paraphrase Rob Schneider's character in nearly every Adam Sandler movie ever made, we could do it!
CUTTING CARBON EMISSIONS -- FUN AND EASY. I don't think Ezra should be so quick to concede the infeasibility of big reductions in carbon emissions. The notion that this would require earth-shattering economic sacrifices is the product of an unfortunate conspiracy between regulation-averse right-wingers who don't want us to do anything about the problem, and the modernity-averse faction of environmentalism that wants us to overreact. See this post by John Quiggin for the long form of the argument. He concludes that the requisite changes would cost "between 1.5 per cent and 3 per cent of GDP.
PARTY IN SEARCH OF A NOTION. Our fearless leader Mike Tomasky wrote the new cover story for the May print issue of the Prospect, a piece that offers a lengthy rumination on the lingering "philosophy gap" between the left and the right and a prescription for closing it. Mike delineates the two basic liberal traditions -- one emphasizing individual rights, the other emphasizing collective obligations and the common good -- and argues forcefully for a revival of the latter strand as a means by which Democrats can win the country back.
A REAL WHITE HOUSE SNOW JOB. Unless President Bush wants to face headlines cracking jokes about "snow jobs" and "getting snowed" for the next three years, selecting FOX News' Tony Snow to be the new White House spokesman doesn't seem like the best idea. I don't particularly think the identity of the White House spokesman matters all that much given how the job is constructed under Bush, but I do think Snow would be flash-point for controversy, given his roots on FOX and his rather vehement, self-confident style.
COOL TO GLOBAL WARMING. I'm fairly puzzled by the emerging conservative line on global warming. Realizing they've lost the debate on whether it will happen, they've begun turning to the difficulties of stopping it. Pushing that line today is Ross Douthat, who's frustrated by Al Gore's insistence on energizing the issue and adamant that "the kind of economic reforms necessary to do anything significant about the accumulation of carbon dioxide would be immediately and decisively disastrous."
VOTER TARGETING VS. MOVEMENT BUILDING. One of the peculiarities of this moment in progressive movement building is the way progressive interest groups are being asked to put aside their interests in favor of building a smooth, unified political party that can win elections at the very moment that some rather compelling evidence has begun to emerge arguing for the enduring political utility of defending those interests. For example, Jonathan Singerargued over the weekend, the Republican assault on choice may well have begun to backfire in a way that opens up new opportunities for Democrats to win by defending it.