Archive

  • More Miers

    RedState is displeased : Me, the sources, everyone it seems was wrong. We've all heard the rumors, but not a one could believe the President would do that. Where is our Scalia/Thomas. I think I'll let the President fight this battle himself, for now. It appears, for what it is worth, that George W. Bush was the ultimate stealth nominee. He has acted like a true-blue conservative, talking the talk and walking the tax cut walk. But, he has expanded government, spent the future, and now nominated she who has the potential to be a female Souter. Let's hope I'm wrong, but right now I'm not impressed. I'm liking her more by the minute.
  • Harriet Miers

    I wrote this a couple days ago, but it seems worth returning it to the top: Behold Harriet Miers, the current leading name for O'Connor's vacancy and so complete a sycophant that David Frum thinks her an apparatchik... Harriet Miers is a capable lawyer, a hard worker, and a kind and generous person. She would be an reasonable choice for a generalist attorney, which is indeed how George W. Bush first met her. She would make an excellent trial judge: She is a careful and fair-minded listener. But US Supreme Court? In the White House that hero worshipped the president, Miers was distinguished by the intensity of her zeal: She once told me that the president was the most brilliant man she had ever met. She served Bush well, but she is not the person to lead the court in new directions - or to stand up under the criticism that a conservative justice must expect.
  • I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement ...

    By Pepper of the Daily Pepper I don't want to live in my parents' basement. It's a nice basement, and it's where they keep the liquor and the stereo. But I still have no plans to live there. And my parents, as cool as they are, certainly don't want me down there. Due to the dip in consumer confidence, an economic outlook growing bleaker by the day, rising health-care costs, and a government completely unwilling to roll back tax cuts, I have a funny feeling that the world is conspiring to put me in the basement. Most conservatives probably fantasize about all children winding up in their parents' basements maxing out their credit cards. Charge it, baby!
  • The Ancient Wisdom of Refundable Tax Credits

    By Neil the Ethical Werewolf One of the coolest things about this blog is its emphasis on making complex policy issues accessible to those who never had a chance to learn Tiger-Style Wonk Fu from the ancient masters. As my duty to Ezra's dojo, I here present a list of three things that one can do to reduce people's taxes -- giving them refundable tax credits, giving them nonrefundable tax credits, and giving them tax deductions. I've listed these from best to worst, in order of how much they do to help the poor. What are they, you ask? And why does anyone need to know about them? Patience, Grasshopper: look below the fold and you shall understand.
  • Why You Should Never Believe Polls in June

    Posted by Nicholas Beaudrot of Electoral Math While the rest of the country has only their municipal elections to worry about this year, Virginia and New Jersey. The New Jersey contest will be something of a walk, though Jon Corzine seems to be doing his best to make things interesting. It's Virginia that has the real action this cycle. Lieutenant Governor Tim Kaine (D) Attorney General Jerry Kilgore (R) are locked in a dead-heat in the race for governor. The funny thing is, it hasn't always been this way. If you look at polls taken over the last six months , you'll see Kaine steadily gaining on Kilgore. And if you had looked at the polls in April, you might have given up on Kaine alltogether. This is all a way of saying that it's far, far too early to get excited about Bobby Casey's big lead over Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania, fret about Sheldon Whitehouse not getting enough traction against Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island, or wonder why Jon Tester hasn't taken Montana by storm. Most...
  • "Throwing a Tattoo on a Sexpot Makes… a Tattooed Sexpot"

    By Jedmunds Remember when Walt Disney made the here-to-fore seedy carnival safe for children? Or how about when Vince McMahon did the same with professional wrestling in the 1980's? The recent attempts to do something similar with porn by Suicide Girls is being exposed as the rank facade it is. Not that they were trying to make porn safe for children as such, but an attempt to market Suicide Girls, not as something seedy and exploitative, but empowering and alternative, with an almost wholesome fondness for the excessively pierced, tattooed hipster punk rockeress next door. I never really got into the Suicide Girls thing, myself. It seemed too image conscious to be the kind of true amateur porn with which my druthers lie. But compared to the cold sterility of the spread- eagled blonde of plastic proportions in an anonymous drably-lit studio, it seemed like a step in the right direction for mainstream porn, and if not aesthetically, than at least ethically. As it turns out, holding...
  • All Apologies

    By Pepper of the Daily Pepper Has anyone else noticed the sudden burst of "the media exaggerated Hurricane Katrina conditions" stories? On Thursday, "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer" wasted a large chunk of time debating whether or not journalists made too much hay out of the chaos at the Superdome and Convention Center. The repugnant Hugh Hewitt was invited as a panelist, which is an indication that PBS is rolling right over in response to those who are saying they're too liberal. Among the many gems of the show, Hewitt said that the week of Katrina coverage "was one of the worst weeks of reporting in the American media.... How can we trust the American media in Iraq? We really can't." ( Powerline absolutely adored those kinds of statements and huzzahed Hewitt's comments.) A message to anyone who says, "The media exaggerated the death toll. It's not so bad": Try telling that to a relative of someone who wasn't injured by Katrina but who went hungry waiting for help. Try telling that to...
  • On Senators

    By Ezra As addendum to my Don't Draft Krugman argument below, it's worth saying that, contrary to the energy we put into senate races, individual senators can really do remarkably little. Think of last cycle's great hopes -- Ken Salazar and Barack Obama. Heard from either lately? The most waves Obama's made have been in the form of a recent rebuke to the blogosphere! And as for the powerhouses? Kennedy, Clinton, and so forth? The closest you get to a recent accomplishment there is Kennedy's cosponsorship of No Child Left Behind. The US Senate is a numbers game. If you have more guys than the other team, you can do a fair amount. If not, it really doesn't matter how many brilliant minds populate your side, they're going to be powerless. And then, when you regain control, those brilliant minds still find their awesome intellects subordinate to the leadership team's agenda and the President's priorities. Indeed, the only place where individual senators make a difference is in election...
  • Don't Draft Krugman 05!

    By Ezra As the nascent call for a Krugman Senate appointment gathers steam , it's worth playing contrarian for a moment and arguing against. What the Democratic party needs is not more folks willing and able to be Senators, we''ve got plenty of cleft-chinned do-gooders happy to take a free Senate-appointment and work diligently to be another smooth cog in the machine. No, what we need are more folks willing and able to effectively project the Democratic message out across an oft-hostile media. Krugman, through his perch at the New York Times , is able to argue the progressive case with neither interruption nor distortion multiple times a week in a paper with huge penetration throughout the rest of the media. That's valuable. As are his frequent appearances in other magazines, books, periodicals, and published venues. On the other hand, Krugman is mediocre as a television personality, which is really the only form of communication open to Senators. Small, fidgety, and high-voiced, his...
  • Strategic Redeployment

    Over at CAP , Larry Korb and Brian Katulis have released a new plan for withdrawal from Iraq, what they call Strategic Redeployment. The plan itself is well presented, fairly intuitive stuff. During Bush's tenure terror attacks have increased, Iraq has gotten worse, our allies have been bombed, and all the rest. From there, it should be clear that the current strategy isn't working, a new approach is needed. Hence, redeployment rather than withdrawal. Korb's plan is presented as a way to enhance our effectiveness in the War on Terror by changing our troop focus and mission priorities, an approach that strikes me as a smart cooption of Bush's conflation of Iraq with the War on Terror. The redeployment itself would: • Take 80,000 troops out of Iraq during 2006; • Demobilize all Guard and Reserve troops so they could focus on Homeland Security; • Take two active brigades (which means up to 20,000 troops) and use them as reinforcements for Afghanistan and African/Asian counterterrorism...

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