• Links of the Day: Gas Tax Edition

    Good discussion on this stuff over at Tapped and Eschaton. Here's Matt , then Atrios , then me , then Atrios , then me again.
  • Polls

    It's worth noting that Bush is now at 34 percent approval and Cheney's sunk down to 18. So I guess that settles it, then. Americans hates America. We have met the enemy, and it is us.
  • You, Sir, Are No Bode Miller

    I can't agree with Tom Watson's Bode Miller-George W. Bush comparison. Miller, after all, is a spectacular talent (albeit quite a jerk ) who just endured an ignominious implosion. But he was, then and now, an athlete's athlete, a golden boy who spent enough time on the slopes and hours on the lifts to hone what was god-given into what appeared unbeatable. He took grace and added grit, and even if he lost, it wasn't because he was undeserving of the opportunity. The comparison would be Clinton, had Clinton's personal failures succeeded in destroying, rather than merely impeding, his presidency. But not Bush. Bush was no talent, no hard worker, no Greek tragedy. He's done bad things to the country, sure, but mostly through his own ineptness and ideology, not by exhibiting brilliant promise only to dim before the spotlights. Bush exhibited no talent, failed upwards, and was never punished, because an aptitude for the presidency is not the same as an appetite for the campaign. No, George...
  • I'm With Andy

    Send Clinton.
  • Canada Middling, America Mediocre

    Mahablog did a very good job , but I should probably address the New York Times article on the "deterioration" of the Canadian health care system. For those requiring a refreshed course on how CanadaCare operates, head back to my series on the subject. Here's the summary: Canada has a mediocre health care system that's a bit better than ours (Ranked #30 vs. America's #37). It's fully government run, with no allowance for private care of any sort. And what you get is about what you'd expect when a finite government budget is all that powers the system: average care for all, superb for none. Think of it this way: America has a bipolar health care system that chooses its mood swings based on income. If you're rich, you can get the best knee transplant in the world, and you can do so about three hours from now. If you're poor, you will never, ever get a knee transplant. Ever. Canada, which doesn't allow for that segregation by class, averages the two out: you have to wait a couple months...
  • Attention Campus Leftists

    By Neil the Ethical Werewolf When the College Republicans have an anti-affirmative-action bake sale, they really want you to complain to the administration. If you do, they will achieve free speech martyrdom. David Horowitz will then admit them to paradise, where they will find 72 virgins who look suspiciously like Ann Coulter. Don't play into their hands. Instead, follow Morbo's advice. (Via Battlepanda .)
  • Bipartisan Maverick Destruction Advice

    By Neil the Ethical Werewolf I think George Allen is a more likely 2008 Republican candidate than John McCain, but it doesn't hurt to have a plan for every possibility. And given my mad Edwards love, I'm itching to put this bit from the latest Marist Poll where everybody can see: Senator McCain has a strong lead against all the top Democratic presidential contenders except for John Edwards. When posed in hypothetical match-ups against the leading Democrats, John McCain breaks fifty percent against Al Gore, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton and outpaces each by double-digits. Senator McCain’s lead is fueled by the majority support he receives from independent voters in each of these contests. McCain would face a more competitive race against John Edwards. McCain receives the support of 47% of registered voters compared with 41% for Edwards. Previous polls have shown similar results , with Edwards outpacing other Democrats against McCain. Gore and Kerry, by the way, each lose by a...
  • RIP Don Knotts

    Don Knotts has died at age 81. He was Barney Fife, he was Ralph Furley, and he was Dubya . But for me, he’ll always be Theodore Ogelvie from The Apple Dumpling Gang . -- Shakes
  • Don't Feed the Regionalism Monster

    By Neil the Ethical Werewolf Atrios is talking about boycotting South Dakota in light of their near-total ban on abortions. Roxanne and Amanda don't think that's a good idea. I'm with the ladies on this one -- as they point out, a boycott would harm lots of poor hard-working women, and it's very unlikely that it would accomplish anything. The point I'd like to add here is that one of the least-understood forces causing trouble for progressives everywhere is red-state regionalism. Making the abortion issue look like some kind of battle between left-wing coastal elitists and ordinary Americans from the flyover states will make it even harder for us to fix things in the Dakotas and elsewhere. Here I want to quote one of the best comments from my personal blog, which my Nebraska ex-roommate posted shortly after the 2004 elections:
  • Poverty

    Since there's an energetic argument on the Great Society whirling in the Will thread, it's probably time to note that my poverty feature is unlocked and ready to read. Here's the beginning, which is rather relevant to the conversation below: "It was 1988, Ronald Reagan’s final state of the Union. The previous eight years had been good to the Gipper. The word “liberal” had been rendered radioactive, much on the conservative wish list had been checked off, and Reagan himself had stomped two successive Democratic challengers. So you might think he would have been content to ride quietly into the sunset, a conservative legend retiring athwart a horse named History. But that night, Reagan stuck a final knife in the battered, bloodied carcass of liberalism. As was his wont, he did it with a grin: “My friends,” he said. “Some years ago, the federal government declared war on poverty, and poverty won. [Laughter.] Today, the federal government has 59 major welfare programs and spends more than...