Archive

  • I'll go ahead and make sure you get another copy of that memo

    Ezra's already mentioned the Beinart, Tomasky, vanden Heuvel roundtable , and I thought Ezra's idea about how make lemonade out of lemons is interesting, and possibly the only good thing one can do with that kind of epidemic of mistatement. But while several people have pointed out that Beinart repeats that incorrect republican talking point about Bob Casey, my problem with Beinart overall is that everything he says seems designed to reinforce republican talking points of one sort or another. Not that I think he's ill-intentioned necessarily, but to those of us who are either fully or partially Lakoffian in our strategic thinking, this kind of thing is very disappointing: Liberals need to look at how they grew estranged from large numbers of Americans in the post-Vietnam period. And I think another estrangement has occurred since 9/11. Many Americans have questions about the degree to which liberals are willing to defend the country. You can just hear Sean Hannity saying "see, even...
  • The Curse of "Freedom"

    In a radio address today, President Bush said : [T]he trend is clear: In the Middle East and throughout the world, freedom is on the march… The women of Iraq might beg to differ (hat tip Green Knight ): The women at Nasar's beauty salon were Christian and Muslim, Sunni and Shiite, but they spoke with one voice on an issue that worries them all. "I'm sure they will form an Islamic government and our freedom will be gone," Suzan Sarkon, 30, said as she settled in to get her long black hair trimmed. "We've never lived freely in Iraq, and now I think we never will." Such a comment makes my blood boil. That the administration seeks to declare a victory of democracy in a country whose women are fearful that will never live freely is indicative of a sexism that knows no shame. Freedom means everyone. It is notable that in the same address, the president also stated, “ Freedom is the birthright and deep desire of every human soul.” Every human soul. That means women, too, dammit. As Iraq...
  • Sticking it to the working man, Santorum-style

    As if the Senate's proposed bankruptcy legislation isn't awful enough, compassionate conservative Rick Santorum is looking to attach a tasty amendment to the bill. His proposal is a response to the amendment submitted by Sen. Kennedy, which would raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 over the course of two years...a nice idea considering the minimum wage hasn't changed since 1997. 1997 . Think about how long ago that was. In 1997 , Clinton was starting his second term, O.J. was still being tried in civil court, and that godawful song "MMMBop" was on the radio every 15-20 minutes. That was a long time ago. Santorum proposes a $1.10 hike in the minimum wage over a period of 18 months. Better than nothing? Well...there are a few catches. A report issued by the Economic Policy Institute offers a few highlights: WEAKENING FLSA COVERAGE: Employees of businesses with revenues of more than $500,000 and all workers who engage in interstate commerce now have important protections under the...
  • Don't Blink

    Tonight I'm heading out to hear Malcolm Gladwell (yes, he of the hair ) read from his new book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. The book tries to prove that your instant, gut reactions are actually more intelligent than your considered analyses. The problem, however, is that my instant, gut reaction is that the thesis is clever bullshit, which means that actually reading the book would be a wholehearted repudiation of its argument. We'll see if he can prove himself wrong and convince me to ignore my quicker instincts tonight. -- Ezra
  • Lies for Truth

    Reacting to the recent liberal magazine editor roundtable (which I'll be saying more about later), Digby and Atrios are nailing Beinart for bringing up the "snubbing" of Bob Casey, the anti-choice governor of Pennsylvania who was denied a speaking slot at the 1992 convention. Now, Casey lost his spot because he didn't endorse the ticket, not, as the story goes, because he was anti-choice. But while Beinart is repeating a canard, he's repeating one that has crystallized into truth for many, many voters, and so long as the tale enjoys that kind of belief, simply ignoring it and condemning those who mention it does us no good. The reason the story has stuck -- a politically active and progressive friend repeated it to me mere days ago, and I'd be entirely unsurprised if Beinart actually thinks it's true -- is because there's a very real perception of the Democratic party as entirely intolerant to anti-choice views. And until that perception dies, the story will continue to live. It...
  • Why do conservative bloggers lie?

    That's not a rhetorical question, I really want to know. No, they don't all lie, and no, not all lefties tell the truth all the time, but we've really seen an epidemic of lies, and un- or half-truths on the right recently, and it's hard to fathom. Bet you didn't know Jimmy Carter was a traitor till Powerline told you. Bet you didn't know that David Corn supported Jeff Gannon till Instapundit cherry-picked sentences from Corn's column. Bet you didn't know that the left hates gays till Andrew Sullivan told you . Some of you might have seen over at my place that I took Powerline to task for reprinting Ann Coulter's patently false allegation that the NYTimes op-ed page was outing the gay children of prominent conservatives. I wrote to Powerline twice and presented them with evidence; I asked them to retract their statement; they didn't, nor did they write back. My question, quite simply, is: why? Why would you intentionally advance a falsehood? If I received an email like that, I'd...
  • Hello

    Greetings fellow Kleiniacs. Ezra has once again exhibited his astonishingly poor judgment and turned over the keys to someone else this weekend. We have promised not to wreck the car or raid the liquor cabinet, but we'll see. You never know what those crazy bloggers will do. OK, let's get the blog plugging out of the way. We are the two co-conspirators who sometimes ramble angrily on Here's What's Left . A word about the name. It's a pun. It both expresses a slight resignation about the world, as if to say, "*sigh* here's what's left."; but also, we're lefties, so literally, "here, on our blog, are things that are of the left." See, that's funny, right? We say only because sometimes people get it wrong in interesting ways. The other day some guy linked to something we had written referring to us as "Here's What They Left." But then that fellow also said that we accused the US military of being baby killers; so he appears to have had reading comprehension problems. So it'll be us, and...
  • Weekend Stuff

    As you can see from the quality piece below, Shakespeare's Sister is back minding the house. Keeping her company will be Michael and Heather from the excellent Here's What's Left . I'll be around this weekend as well, and will probably pop in with pieces of my own as the mood strikes. It's going to be a party.
  • Terrorism 101

    Remember Afghanistan? We had a war there once. Not too long ago, in fact. It was, as I recall, because the government was suspected of harboring this guy , who was responsible for the tragedy we call 9/11. Soon after toppling that evil regime and bringing democracy and freedom to the Afghanis, we all but left, because we had to move on to our next stop on the Freedom Express, Iraq. Here’s the problem (hat tip Crooks and Liars ): Afghan heroin production represents an "an enormous threat to world stability" and the country is "on the verge of becoming a narcotics state," the U.S. State Department said in a report released on Friday. Despite steps by the Afghan government and foreign donors, the U.S. International Narcotics Control Strategy Report found the Afghan "narcotics situation continues to worsen" more than three years after U.S.-led forces toppled the Taliban regime. […] The most dramatic conclusions in the report, an annual survey of the world drug trade, were about...
  • Get Me The Smelling Salts

    What? The blogosphere is not really self-correcting ? Shock! Awe! Shame! And this from Time Magazine's blog of the year ? My innocence knows no solace!

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