Archive

  • Wild for Guy

    Campus Progress has a superb article profiling Guy Benson, an up-and-coming attack poodle still finishing up college. The piece is great, a must-read both on an intellectual level and as a simply enjoyable piece of reporting. I do, however, want to highlight this quote: I spent a lot of my time with Guy trying to figure out how he got so good. He doesn’t go to a conservative school, his family is only moderately Republican (his mother is a straight-ticket Republican, but she doesn’t think about it much; his father, an executive at a multinational financial-services company, says he’s “much, much more politically moderate than Guy”), and, most important, he’s only 19 years old. Then it came to me: like others on the right, he’s better at messaging because he’s been forced to spend every second of his college career arguing with liberals. So he and his friends pool their resources and hone their arguments and become virtually unbeatable. The same thing doesn’t happen for liberals at...
  • The Answer

    I think Matt (Singer) gives Joe Klein and the Moose too much credit on this one. The answer to a radical right challenge is to fucking crush it . Seriously. I try to be reasonable and even-tempered here, but this is an ideological invasion. The way to repel it is not to run some mushy centrist campaign with vouchers and "personal accounts" and empiricism, it's to detonate the extremist philosophy underpinning the fools. Look -- I'm a moderate. I probably agree with Joe Klein on lots of things. I'm a big fan of growth and market forces and lots of other stuff that regularly shows up in DLC dispatches. But you know what? Americans don't want to hear about our plans for better management of electrical grids or more equitable distribution of Medicaid spending. They want us to do those things, but they're going to vote us in or out based on our strength, our conviction, and our self-confidence. Which means they're going to vote us in when we speak like this again: The thing that makes me...
  • Election Day

    It's election day, folks. Only most of you don't know it. Here in LA, we're picking which of the 5 mayoral candidates are going to advance into the runoff, at which point they can bludgeon each other senseless in a one-on-one air war. But, unlike the unrelenting disappointment that has been national politics, LA's election is an all-Democrat affair, which means the issues are subordinate to personal rivalries, ethnic tribalism, and good media strategy. In other words, it's a lot of fun. So here's your guide to the hopefuls: Richard Alarcon : Think Kucinich. He's a good guy who makes great sense, but he's polling in low single digits, and has actually been going in the wrong direction numbers-wise. So long as Villairagosa is in the race, Alarcon's got nothing. As things stand, he's a progressive gadfly, upping his name recognition and bringing otherwise ignored issues to the fore. Jim Hahn : Son of legendary supervisor, Hahn is the incumbent, and surprisingly vulnerable. Last time...
  • In Defense of the DLC

    There's been a lot of talk about the DLC's increasing marginalization lately. From Digby's terrific post on what drove him from their side to Kenneth Baer's article on how they can revive themselves (become reformers and modernizers), the 20th anniversary of From's organization is garnering the same sort of props that the founders of New Coke must enjoy yearly. But while the DLC's brand of split-the-difference, find-the-middle politics might be archaic in the era of DeLay and Rove, we still need them there trying. Alright -- deep breath -- this is going to bring me in for a lot of criticism, but I disagree with Matt's much-lauded post on the excessive factionalization of the Democratic party. Democratic rhetoric is overly factionalized, but our politics are not. We're in a tough spot here. Republicans are strong among majority blocs -- white males, Christians, etc. Democrats find their support among minority groups, be they ethnic, economic, or religious. This has a habit of coming...
  • The Pink Revolution

    Has anyone else found it a bit odd that every single magazine cover lauding Lebanon's march towards freedom has personified the uprising in hot women? Newsweek did it (and here ), as did The Economist , and US News and World Report, and the Weekly Standard , and, if I had a copy of Time, I'm sure I'd find the same. It's not that I have any particular problem with the idea, but is there some archetype I'm unaware of that paints Democracy as a slim, 5'4"-5'8" women with curly hair and soft features? Are the schools segregated and only the female institutions are offering their charges the day off to protest? And, more to the point, isn't this emphasis a tad counterproductive? I'd be interested to see what imagery the Arab media is using (paging Abu Aardvark ), as nothing seems quicker to instigate a fundie backlash than painting the movement as a girls-only uprising. Speaking of which, it does seem that the fundie backlash is beginning, in the form of Hizballah-led peaceful rallies...
  • Gladwell review

    As I mentioned a few days ago, I spent Saturday night watching Malcolm Gladwell read from his new book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. The reading was at The Hammer, a terrific museum just blocks from my house. He packed it. Their 250 person auditorium became standing room only and, when that ran out, overflow seating was set up near speakers outside. Gladwell's an effective, entertaining speaker. He's a short, slight guy with a rapidly-receding hairline and an enormous afro . He's clearly comfortable on the stage, and he needed no notes nor, in fact, any books. Rather than read from Blink, he told stories from it. And that was the problem. See, Blink does not seem to be about rapid cognition at all. A better name foor the book would be Overload: How Too Much Information Clouds Our Conclusions, or Bias: How the Wrong Information Perverts our Conclusions. I guess those titles didn't focus group as well, but Gladwell didn't change the content along with the name. As it...
  • I Don't Walk Alone

    Has anybody else noticed that, in the video for Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (First stanza: I walk a lonely road/The only one that I have ever known/Don't know where it goes/But it's home to me and I walk alone; Chorus: I walk alone/I walk alone), the lead singer is not, in fact, ever walking alone? He moans it through the whole song, but every scene has him walking with two guys I assume to be his bandmates. Seems like the sort of thing someone in storyboard should have picked up on. Visual incongruities aside, the song is damn catchy, but that doesn't excuse the sloppiness of the video.
  • Reality? Meet The Corner.

    I don't know if this merits a blog post, but Rich Lowry is either a liar or a simpleton. Regarding a segment on yesterday's Meet the Press, he says: Both Mike Allen and Paul Krugman talked about the “opportunity cost” of the war in Iraq with regard to Iran and North Korea. This is such an opportunistic argument. Would Krugman, for instance, support invading Iran or North Korea but for the fact that the US military is tied down in Iraq? Of course not. The Democrats dissent from Bush's Iran and North Korea policies because they think we should be doing more negotiating (and offering of economic and diplomatic carrots), which you can do regardless of how your military forces are occupied. So on the Democrats' terms there has been no real “opportunity cost” to the Iraq war. But lets go to the tape : MR. ALLEN: Yeah. I think one place you may see the Democratic argument go is the opportunity cost of Iraq as you see problems in North Korea and Iran. $300 billion has been spent before on...
  • Weekend Blogging

    Thousand thanks go out to Shakespeare's Sister and Michael and Heather for their weekend blogging prowess. You should be visiting their places if you're not already.
  • Later

    Well, Kleiniacs, it's been fun. Thanks for listening to our ramblings. If you feel like seeing what we say during the week, feel free to drop by . You can read more about the continuing saga of Powerline, Ann Coulter, and other assorted right-wing liars. Always a barrel of laughs. -- Michael and Heather

Pages