Archive

  • THE W. CENTER...

    THE W. CENTER FOR POLICY EXPERTISE. Elisabeth Bumiller reports that George W. Bush wants to start a think tank along with his presidential library after he leaves office. I'll let commenters supply the appropriate jokes here as I finish my coffee. --Sam Rosenfeld
  • HANDS DOWN. Can...

    HANDS DOWN. Can I just say that my best moment as editor of The American Prospect came -- no-brainer here, dude -- when I parred the 16th at Rock Creek last summer. It�s a fierce Par 4 -- just a slight dogleg left, but a ribbon-thin fairway with dense spinach on both sides and a postage-stamp green that I nailed in regulation with a beautiful seven iron from the short cut. I�m a novice linksman, so any par is a small miracle. But to par the Rock Creek 16th -- well, just let me say it was a great moment for liberal journalism. --Michael Tomasky
  • Missing Fact on British Health Care

    The New York Times had an interesting piece on the poor state of the dental care provided by the British public health care system in its Sunday paper. The article reports that people face long waits for even emergency dental care, and that many now turn to private dentists or go to foreign countries for treatment. Readers naturally feel sorry for the plight of Britons with bad teeth and are thankful that here in the United States we have an efficient private health care system. The key fact missing in the story is that Britain spends less than 40 percent as much person for its health care as the United States. Whatever the relative merits of the British mechanism for providing health care and the U.S. system, it would be truly astonishing if the British system could best the U.S. in every category, spending just 40 cents to our dollar. (Britain does much better on life expectancy for its 40 cents.) This article is part of a long series of articles in the New York Times which could go...
  • THE POLITICAL IS...

    THE POLITICAL IS POLITICAL. This Time column by Caitlin Flanagan is, indeed, all kinds of bad . Amidst all the usual tropes common to the unfortunate "the party left me, I didn't leave the party" op-ed subgenre, there's a particular claim by Flanagan in here that's really comically disingenuous. Flanagan says her new collection of essays, To Hell With All That , is "not a book about social policy or alternative lifestyles or anything even vaguely political," but rather a series of personal ruminations for which she's now being unfairly pilloried. She herself has said publicly that the subtitle she had originally chosen for the book was "How Feminism Shortchanged a Generation." Nothing political to see here, folks� --Sam Rosenfeld
  • TAKE TWO. Let...

    TAKE TWO. Let me try to explain this again. I was quoting Concerned Women for America . They and other conservative groups have, in recent years, written extensively about why even "perfectly ordinary hookers" should be considered slaves, and they have hailed President Bush for his leadership on this issue. According to Elaine McGinnis of the Beverly LaHaye Institute at CWA : President Bush has stated in several speeches �� most notably in one at the United Nations �� that �prostitution is inherently harmful to women.� There has been a growing consensus on the cultural right that prostitution is never a victimless crime, and that even in the United States, it is mainly something that depends on the exploitation of vulnerable and abused young girls and women. In their effort to redescribe prostitution as a form of human slavery, cultural conservatives are in sync with a number of feminist anti-prostitution and anti-trafficking activists. Laura Blumenfeld wrote about this effort in The...
  • IT'S ONLY CORRECT...

    IT'S ONLY CORRECT IF IT'S TRUE. Well, no, I wasn't really kidding about not seeing why commercial sex adds wrongfulness to allegations of corruption. Stipulating that taking bribes is bad; I don't see why taking bribes in the form of free hookers is worse than taking bribes in the form of money. Nor do I quite understand what Garance is saying about prostitution being "a form of slavery." There definitely is some sex slavery going on in the world. At the same time, some of the world's agricultural laborers are slaves (and, historically, this has been the primary use of slave labor), but clearly working on a farm isn't a form of slavery unless you're actually working on a farm as a slave . As far as I know, there's no evidence that the women involved in this aren't just perfectly ordinary hookers trying to engage in a voluntary exchange of sex for money. --Matthew Yglesias
  • ROZEN HEARS THINGS....

    ROZEN HEARS THINGS. Folks will want to be checking out Laura Rozen 's blog right about now for the latest on Porter Goss . She's hearing things. --Sam Rosenfeld
  • WHERE'S THE BEEF?...

    WHERE'S THE BEEF? There is a lot of good material in The New Republic 's Darfur package and I don't want to sound churlish. But one of Mark 's points deserves some emphasizing. In eight articles dedicated to the subject and collectively dedicated to building the case for armed American action in Darfur, not one of them outlines, straightforwardly and at longer length than one or two sentences, an actual plan (or possible plans) for an American armed intervention in the Sudan that the magazine would endorse. I looked twice and couldn't find such a proposal. So let's lower our standards a bit: Do any of these articles even in crude or broad terms engage any of the second-step considerations and worries about intervening? Questions about what the end game would be here (occupation? partition of the country?) and worries about backlash and how another invasion of a Muslim country might be perceived by people in the Third World -- that kind of thing? Aside from Samantha Power 's astute but...
  • THE CORRECT PHRASE...

    THE CORRECT PHRASE IS SEXUAL SLAVERY. There�s lots of talk on the liberal blogs about Porter Goss 's sudden resignation as director of the CIA and whether it has anything to due with the burgeoning investigation into the prostitution/congressional corruption/homeland security contracting scandal centered around Brent Wilkes and deposed Congressman Duke Cunningham . ThinkProgress, as usual, has rounded up the relevant details and links. Earlier this week, Matt asked , "But though the hooker angle obviously sexes the story up for media consumption, what does it matter? Commercial sex hardly seems more wrongful than public corruption." Obviously, he was joking, but there's a lot more at stake in "the hooker angle" than just a sex scandal, if you think that prostitution is not a victimless crime. And a lot of evangelical conservatives, the heart and soul of Bush 's base, have come to believe that it is not. They believe that prostitution is, in the words of Concerned Women for America, "a...
  • HOOKERGATE'S FIRST VICTIM!...

    HOOKERGATE'S FIRST VICTIM! I have absolutely no evidence to support this, other than the fact that it involves the CIA, but since everyone else is speculating that Porter Goss 's resignation has something to do with the Wade/Wilkes/Cunningham/Foggo/limos/hookers nexus, why shouldn't I join the party, too? But instead of all this unwarranted speculation, how about tossing out a downright insane idea: Maybe George W. Bush is just clearing the decks for a major address next week in which he'll come clean about the WMD issue. Ah, Friday fun. --Matthew Yglesias

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