• Infinite Horizon

    Apropos of nothing save my annoyance, I did a little research on the "infinite-horizon" modeling today. "Infinite horizon" projections are where we get numbers like Social Security's supposed $11 trillion deficit. It's a way of forecasting costs off into the great beyond. It's also a load of crap. President Bush's tax cuts, if judged via an infinite horizon projection, would cost us $20 trillion, and his Medicare plan would be coming to your house to eat your children.

  • Gonna Party Like It's 1994!

    Grassley's admission that privatization probably won't happen -- indeed, that no bill is likely to move forward -- drives that stake nice and deep into the privateers' heart. This is like Moynihan's reluctance to push Clinton's health care bill and his public disparagement of its chances, the combination of which did much to kill the plan. Go Grassley!

    Update: The reason this is such a big deal, which I forgot to mention, is that Grassley, as chair of the Finance Committee, is charged with writing the bill and bringing it to the floor. He's the guy. And the guy thinks there'll be no bill.

  • Bad Matt, Bad Dean

  • Pro-Bucks

  • Dean Don't Speak

    Speaking of Dean -- and freaks who read the blog from the bottom-up will know I am -- anyone else a bit surprised at the Chairman's decision to treat the press like he's a groundhog and they're his shadow? The rationale for making him chair rested pretty heavily on his facility in front of the cameras, but the reality of his chairmanship has been a continuing race away from the glare. So while I'm glad he's doing the grassroots thing and encouraged by his focus on local press, which is basically the only kind he's talking to, I fear this is less strategy than phobia.

  • Testify!

    Brad Plumer's post comparing religiously-motivated candidates with candidates attempting to appear religiously-motivated is all sorts of good, read it. But it touches on a personal crusade of mine, that "religious" is nothing more than a heuristic for moral. For Dean to strut on stage and begin talking about the Sadducees is a bit insane -- does he really think red-state voters are just waiting for him to reference an obscure Jewish sect that sought to restore the dominance of the High Priest? Worse, Dean's doesn't need religion, Kerry does. That's because we're not actually talking about religion here, we're talking about conviction.

  • The End of DeLay

    And the Bugman's Shakespearian fall continues. Now it's the Wall Street Journal unsheathing the knives. The Wall Street Journal!

  • Now He Tells Us

    Well, kids, it has once again been real, but it's time for me to go. As always, your comments were thoroughly enlightening and a blast to read. Thanks for putting up with me. Here's hoping Ezra rocked some ass in that pillow fight deal he had going on. They have things like that here in NYC, except instead of pillows, we use hookers.

    Anyhow, since you've all been so indulgent of my every rhetorical whim, here's one more. I've written a short, one-act play, and I'd like to share it with you. I entitle it "Now, He Tells Us!" Make some popcorn, grab a loved one, and enjoy:

    Now, He Tells Us!
    A Short, One-Act Play By Daniel A. Munz

  • Honesty Is Job One

    Dan Drezner takes issue with Richard Clarke’s NYTimes piece on Iran. Says the Drez:

    would think that this would be the right moment for Clarke, a genuine
    expert on this question, to introduce his own thoughts on the matter.
    Instead, we get a “national dialogue” cop-out. That’s a close second
    behind “mobilize political willpower” on the list of Grand and
    Meaningless Policy Proposals.

  • Hold Ourselves Accountable

    This is discouraging:

    Despite recommendations by Army investigators, commanders have decided not to prosecute 17 American soldiers implicated in the deaths of three prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004, according to a new accounting released Friday by the Army.

    Investigators had recommended that all 17 soldiers be charged in the cases, according to the accounting by the Army Criminal Investigation Command. The charges included murder, conspiracy and negligent homicide. While none of the 17 will face any prosecution, one received a letter of reprimand and another was discharged after the investigations.