• Moving Day

    As you can tell, we're still having design issues. I've put two "real" posts up right under this so you've all got some content to look at that isn't me plaintively asking for html help. I've also tweaked the html a bit so if it's working for you and it wasn't before, let me know in comments. If you're an html whiz and think you know what's going on, also put it in comments (or e-mail me). Otherwise, I'll be back in a bit.
  • The "New" Bush Plan or A Summary of the Ball Plan

    From what my conservatives friends have said recently, it seems that George W. Bush has settled on two main goals with Social Security, making it more progressive and fixing the shortfall. I'm all for it. But the Pozen plan isn't an efficient way of doing that. It hurts the middle class, reduces benefits, etc. So I'm going to help the president out, I'm going to tell him how to fix the shortfall in a progressive way. Ooh Mr. President, you're going to love this! • First, raise the cap on earnings subject to the payroll tax so 90% of all income is included, That, after all, was Ronald Reagan's magic number. What the Gipper failed to foresee was that the earnings of the rich would spring forward, laughing maniacally as the rest of the country's income tried and failed to catch up. Because of that, 15% of earnings are outside the tax. So increase the earnings cap by 2% more per year than we would otherwise and, by 2043, we'll hit the magic 90%. Not only that, but you'll cut the program's...
  • Talkin' Bout Wal-mart

    What's that you say ? Now there's a decision to be made here. People need to either say out loud that they're willing to pay more in Wal-Mart so the workers there can make more (and be willing to put their money where their mouth is) or they need to shut up. Until or unless they are willing to do so, something they have proven unwilling to do in the case of Mom and Pop, they don't have anything to say about this. This is between Wal-Mart and its employees, and none of anyone else's business. So it's not the business of us taxpayers paying billions each year to subsidize Wal-Mart's "Always Low Wages, Always"? Why? And does McQ still not understand that the way Wal-Mart functions effectively chokes off, then kills the competition? For most, it's not a choice of where to spend your dollars. You have to go to the retailer still operating in your town. And, after Lee Scott's store comes in, the others have a strange propensity to stop operating. One thing I never understand about these Wal...
  • Redesign Update

    Is it fixed? Remember, it should look like this . Safari users, I'm looking at you.
  • Redesign Problems

    Seems that Safari is smushing the left sidebar into the banner, and somehow denying other portions of the code from being recognized (i.e, the sidebars are the old color, the right one is the old size, etc). Now why would it be reverting back to portions of the old template when I've published it into this new one? Anyone have any ideas what could be going on? And why's it working in Firefox and IE but only some Safaris? Remember -- it should look like this . The internets are hard.
  • Redesign

    So things should be looking a little different round these parts. If they're not, hit reload. The amazing, wonderful, phenomenal, and brilliant Shakespeare's Sister has been helping me with the redesign (read: she did it, and I had editorial input) and here's the result. We've got some color, we've got a tagline (the winner of a contest I had back in my Pandagon days), and we've got a third column. Why a third column, you ask? In order to sate this site's unending appetite for content, I read an enormous amount of news, blogs, op-eds, and think-tank reports in the course of a day. And, during my online travels, I find a lot of interesting, well-written, edifying stuff that I don't have anything to say about and thus can't build a post around. The choice then becomes taking up space with a throwaway "check 'er out" or ignoring an article of legitimate interest. Since I don't like to fill the page with pointers, most of it gets ignored. The third column should end all that. What we've...
  • Paging John Edwards

    Back when Matt Singer and I blogged on Not Geniuses, he wrote a helluva post on hate crimes that spurred Dave Neiwert to blast out an even more excellent essay on the subject. At the time, Matt said that certain posts exist merely so some smarter guy will pick up the ball and knock it into orbit. John Rogers, responding to a post of mine from a few days back, does just that with " Learn to Say 'Ain't' ". Head over there and watch it fly. As background here, John was a stand-up comedian for awhile and his post distills lessons learned in bars and clubs into teachings applicable to presidential politics. But it also brings up a pretty basic flaw in our political system: The path to the presidency is best walked by a showman. Reagan, Clinton, JFK, FDR -- popular presidents are those able to make their media persona instantly appealing and trick a nation into investing itself in their success. But we try not to pick actors to run for president -- at least not too often. We still believe,...
  • Care Not Cash

    Long before SF mayor Gavin Newsom became a liberal darling for decreeing gay marriage constitutional, he was a hated sleaze-ball with a too-perfect coif and a penchant for "DLC'ing" the poor. Evidence came through his signature initiative, Care Not Cash , which ended San Francisco's policy of handing checks to the homeless and plowed the savings into low-cost transitional housing offering an array of psychological and substance-abuse services. Most suspected the housing wouldn't work, wouldn't come online, or wouldn't be used, and the end result would simply be savings for the city and a worse lot for the poor. The suspicions provoked an outcry, and the outcry drove a strong Green Party challenge that almost denied Newsom the mayorship. It was one of the more interesting intra-Democratic battles of recent years, very much akin to Clinton's welfare reform, though not done while held hostage to a Republican Congress. That meant Newsom had room to implement his policy as he wanted it and...
  • E-mail Lists Ain't All They're Cracked Up To Be

    Heh indeed. Update : Sigh. Just can't leave it at that, can I? Vestigial e-mail lists aren't always an asset, in fact, I have a hunch they're a net negative. Many of the people on the list will no longer be interested in the candidate, and many of those who might, in some world, retain some sympathy for them will have so totally conditioned themselves to junk the e-mails that they're effectively empty inboxes by the time the next campaign rolls around. Those very same people, conversely, will open e-mails from new candidates because they're not used to trashing them on sight. So it seems to me that Kerry's e-mail list is going to be less effective per person and, because so many are already on it, harder to grow. Other candidates can build their lists and enjoy much higher rates of click-through and participation from much lower numbers of people.
  • Of Heat and Hydrogen

    I'm not sure why Matt thinks liberals should stick to environmental arguments when advocating for an end to fossil fuels, nor why he thinks that it necessarily leads to hydrogen, but I have to disagree. Making the environmental case against carbon is only really convincing from a global warming standpoint, and the right's ability to demonize and confuse that case is considerable (for more on this, see Chris Mooney's piece in the new Mother Jones). Last week, Dennis Miller took over the Daily Show with one of his now-tiresome rants, which included a nice little line about how his grandchildren are hardy enough to deal with a temperature increase of 1.5 degrees. Global warming, because it's complex, weird, and arguing for massive impacts stemming from minor climate changes, is hard to sell on its own. But even if we could, that doesn't make the case for hydrogen, mostly because hydrogen can't yet make the case for itself. As a fuel source, it's simply not technologically mature enough...