• Posts You Should Really Read

    Need a reason to reject the parental consent law that'll be on the California ballot this Fall? Here you go. Via Neil.
  • Eat The Old

    You know what? I want to work forever. I do. No, I mean it. I want to be 93, with big coke-bottle glasses and an out of style suit (because, come age 93, I don't expect to give a fuck), striding into my office. Okay -- at 93, I probably won't stride much, but I'll do the best I can. And I want to greet my many young colleagues, make old Jewish guy jokes as I wind my way to my desk, sit down at my holographic laptop (which will now be a hopeless relic compared to the Cornea Computers others will use), and blog for a bit. Then I'll work the phones for awhile, trying to figure out what my next column will be. Then I'll blog a bit more. Work phones. Have lunch with somebody interesting. Go out with my wife to dinner. Etc. Yes, I want to work forever because what I want to do sounds like it'll be fun forever. Maybe it won't be, of course, but David Broder is nearing 130 and he's still at it, so there seems to be a chance. Now. I would really not like to work forever if I was a tailor. I...
  • Free Work, Emphasis on the Work

    The New York Times clocks in this morning with a superb article on the Heritage Foundation's attitude towards its Summer interns. Rather than the wageless servitude ambitious, affluent kids generally go through, Heritage offers a $2,500 stipend, palatial living quarters (at least by intern standards), intellectually rigorous work, and a lunch series where interns trudge through the conservative philosophical canon. Sweet deal. And not just for the interns. These kids, due to the living quarters, will network with each other. These kids, due to the work, will actually have the opportunity to prove themselves. They'll be further indoctrinated into conservative ideas and exit the Summer with a tidy little sum. The Heritage internship program, in short, is a perfect inversion of a normal program: for Heritage, it's about serving the interns, not the other way around. It's certainly tilling no new ground to exclaim over the conservative movement's attention to its young and their devotion...
  • It's Just Bad Form

    Why don't phishers proof read their e-mails? If you're trying to defraud me out of my Paypal cash or hijack my Citibank log-in or transfer money from my Washington Mutual account, the least you could do is run spellcheck. Jesus. Kids today.
  • Clinton Care in 1,000 Words or Less

    Jon Cohn's post on Clinton's health care plan is essential. I can't think of any lesson so misremembered, warped, opportunistically used, and wrongly interpreted as the one Democrats have drawn from that battle. In it, the special interests whom the plan was designed to win over (big business and the insurance industry) sat out and the Democratic constituencies (labor, liberals) who needed to play ball walked off the field. But this isn't, as many Democrats seem to think, an inevitable outcome of health care reform, it's a lesson on what happens if you assume good intentions where none exist. Business wasn't ready to help, the insurance industry didn't want to help, labor was pissed off about other things, and liberals wanted single-payer. Worse, Whitewater hit, [House Ways and Means Chairman] Dan Rostenowski was defeated, and Senate leader George Mitchell retired, throwing Democratic politics into disarray. Clinton's strategy of preemptively vetoing anything that didn't provide...
  • Book Club

    Over at TPM Cafe, Josh has had some cool threads with readers suggesting favorite books in a genre. I'm going to copy him. This week, finals end. When they end, I'm going on a week of vacation (but, if all goes well, you folks will have some sweet guest bloggers keeping you entertained) that, if I have my way, will be about as unpolitical as possible. With that in mind, what're your favorite nonpolitical nonfiction books? I'm talking quirky history books (though not epic, governments-and-wars history), sociology studies, biographies (nonpolitical ones, though), and so forth. To get things started, I've always loved Jeffrey Schwartz's The Mind and The Brain , but best recent read has to go to Jon Ronson's Them: Adventures With Extremists . Your turn. Incidentally, on the off chance this conversation gave you a burning desire to set me up for the Summer, my Amazon wish list is right this way .
  • Medicare For All

    I've been trying to decide whether or not to link to Krugman's column today. On the one hand, it's a nice restatement of the liberal position on health care. On the other, it's pretty simplistic -- you guys have heard this before. But it does inadvertently make a point that needs to be said louder. Some single payer advocates think the very idea is simple enough, that just bringing it out into the world will give us a comprehensible and broadly supportable strategy. Not so -- single payer is actually quite odd The idea of a government takeover in health care turns folks off, at which point we have to explain that no, the government isn't taking over health care, just all forms of health insurance, and no, that won't change health services, and no, nothing will be different in this wholly new structure where everything is funded differently and there are no more insurance companies. It's all quite counterintuitive. That's why Medicare-for-All is such a great banner. Medicare happens to...
  • Hillary Haters

    In one of the weirdest stories I've ever read, Matt Drudge is reporting that Ed Klein's upcoming, hatchet-job-to-end-all-hatchet-jobs alleges that Bill Clinton raped Hillary to conceive Chelsea. Huh. Putting aside the fact that Hillary was one of the most liberated women of her generation and would be about as likely to accept forcible assault as step out of a moving plane sans -parachute, this story is still weird. After all that's been written on Bill, on Hillary, on Billary, on their relationship, on their lack of a one has found this? I've got my doubts. In any case, this sort of thing is one of Hillary's great strengths. Ed Klein may be strenuously objecting to the term right-winger, but so long as he's going to publish weird screeds about the Clintons, that's where he'll end up. More to the point, this all sounds hysterical, over the top, insane. It'll be inhaled by a right hungry for evidence that Clinton is as bad or worse than they believe. It, and the other...
  • Pointer

    You guys should all check out Mnemosyne's Playground . She was one of the best commentors at Pandagon, and her blog is shaping up just as good.
  • Parochial Concerns

    I couldn't disagree more with Matt's casual acceptance of voucher schools as a way to increase funding for parochial schools. He seems to present it as an issue of choice -- this lets parents choose what sort of school to send their children to. But that's not exactly true, it's the subsidization of certain choices over others. How many Buddhist voucher schools are there? Jewish? Hindu? Muslim? Not that many I'd expect. If the government wants to make it avowed policy to support a buffet of religious schools, that's fine -- they can subsidize all manner of institutions and implement the transportation options that'd allow children to attend them. But insofar as vouchers mainly fund schools operated on the basis of one faith (and the many denominations within it), that's too close to state sponsored religion, and I can't accept it. This is not to say that we're dealing with an explicit discrimination against other faiths -- we're not, it's a numbers question. But even so, the...