Archive

  • The New Guy

    Hello, fellow Klein enthusiasts! I'm Daniel A. Munz, and I run things down the road at Politics and War . Continuing his admirable experiment in editorial altruism, Ezra has given me run of the place for the weekend. I am, as they say, pleased as punch. I've admired Ezra's writing for a sight longer than he's known about mine. I'm looking forward to posing some questions that have been on my mind to you, his predictably insightful cabal of commenters; there's nothing more instructive than arguing in front of an audience. I'm going to start in very poor form, however, by issuing a bleg: Does anyone know where to get transcripts of Senate committee hearings? (Specifically, the Senate Armed Services Committee.) The normally mild-mannered Jim Talent said something on C-SPAN the other day that just about turned my milk sour, and paraphrasing just wouldn't do it justice. Anyhow, thanks very much for having me. I hope I will vindicate Ezra's generous belief that I'm worth listening to. -...
  • Weekend Backup

    Daniel Munz will be pitching in this weekend. I'll be posting as well. Enjoy the show.
  • Fighting Bolton

    Steve Clemons, who's playing doing the Josh Marshall thing and becoming your one-stop shop for anti-Bolton organizing, has an action alert today: Please immediately call the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (Majority Staff) office at 202-224-4651 and state that while you are not opposed to the Bolton Hearings themselves, you are asking Senator Lugar NOT TO ANNOUNCE THE DATE OF THE HEARINGS TODAY . The committee staff is now aware that this is a matter of contention. If Lugar does not announce the Bolton Hearings today -- then they cannot be held next week. The first opportunity would then be during the week of April 4th. This is important. Please call today -- Friday -- TODAY. 202-224-4651. Quick background -- the right is trying to fast-track the Bolton hearings, which'll mean there's no time for the opposition to mass and thus no opportunity to make Bush pay for nominating an anti-UN ideologue. Considering America is broadly supportive of a good relationship with the UN, and even...
  • Labor's LA Mistake

    Nathan's wondering why labor is spending a boatload of cash in LA to oppose the candidate they backed four years ago. A bit of background -- Villaraigosa, the current challenger (and favorite) who lost in the runoff last time around is a former union organizer, the guy bleeds labor. Hahn is a progressive dude, but didn't have the same history, so Villaraigosa got the endorsement in 2001. So four years ago, Labor went all-out for one of their own and lost. Hahn proved himself a pretty good friend to Labor in the aftermath, though, so Labor really didn't pay for the defeat. Fast forward a few years and, despite all the challengers massing to take a shot at the incumbent, the smart money was on Hahn's easy survival. And so Labor, stung from their recent misjudgement, took the good odds. But their endorsement was delivered in an almost ironic fashion, with federation head Miguel Contreras cautioning that he couldn't guarantee the rank-and-file would follow the recommendation. Everybody...
  • Can't Follow Privatization Without a Program

    I have to imagine that a large portion of blog readers want to jump off a cliff every time a new Social Security post pops up. It seems, at least it did to me, that one day Matt, Kevin, and Brad awoke, having undergone a Matrix-style download of Social Security data ("I know kung-fu bend points."), forcing the rest of us to read a slew of killer-dull material on the subject. But for those who haven't and are still a bit lost, this NY Review of Books article by Krugman is far and away the best introduction I've seen to the subject. Read it and feel caught-up.
  • Thanks, Big Guy

    No wonder the Founding Fathers were so into God...
  • Bipartisan Crises

    August Pollack thinks my suggestion that whichever party controls the Oval Office during a national crisis can use it to massively enhance their image on national security is implausible. His counter-argument, basically, is that if 9/11 happened in 1998, Republicans would have mauled Clinton over it: They would have brought up Waco, clearly making subtle allusions that Clinton had faced previous failures in combating hostile anti-governmental militias. They would have screamed that Clinton had allowed terrorists to attack the same building twice during his presidency. And they most certainly would have suggested that the attacks were a result of the missle strikes on Sudan a year earlier, which he clearly only ordered to Wag the Dog on the Lewinsky testimony. That an embattled Clinton- who was even higher in the polls than Bush was on 9/10/01- would have faced equal complacency from the opposition Senate leadership- is fantasy. Maybe so, but remember, post-McVeigh, Clinton's job...
  • DLC, 1985-2005?

    WIth Matt joining the call ( Atrios , Digby , Me ) for the DLC to Sister Souljah the bankruptcy bill, it seems the left has reached consensus on this. Except that means the DLC can no longer do it. The whole point of a Sister Souljah is that it's an unexpected action that preemptively proves you or your organization independent from a too-powerful constituency. To release a grudging condemnation after political pressure, or at least moral pressure, mounts for you to do so destroys the point. That's why Marshall Whitman's charges of GOP hypocrisy (which only glancingly touch the bill) and Ed Kilgore's throwaway line of condemnation, both of which came after the fact, really don't do the trick. What would have sent the message is the New Dem Dispatch, the latest of which hit my mailbox at 2pm yesterday. But instead of addressing the bankruptcy bill, it was some boilerplate about "Generation M", and how we need to regulate the media watched by our kids. Thanks guys. The DLC is already an...
  • The Politics of Crises

    Reacting to Matt's TAP column , Brad Plumer writes : Maybe Bush's democracy agenda will be so successful that foreign policy if off the table in 2008 or 2012. And Democrats can then swoop in with their unbeatable economic/cultural message. Fine. But the price of all that is that Republicans further enhance their long-standing image as the reliable foreign policy party. The fall of the Soviet Union did a good deal of enhancing in 1989; as did the liberation of Kuwait in 1991; as did, I think, some of Nixon's successes. These are all somewhat contingent events (i.e. Democrats could have accomplished similar things), but they helped build the Republican mystique. And eventually, foreign policy will come back to the fore in elections. It always has and it always will. But if Republicans and only Republicans can take credit for successes past (i.e. Bush's foreign policy, assuming it succeeds), they'll be instant winners at the polls once more. Maybe. But probably not. The only way for a...
  • Stuff

    I spent from 3AM to 9:30AM driving up to Santa Cruz, so I'm pretty wiped. Posting today will be light. In any case, all will be normal tomorrow. Use this as an open thread to tell me what to write on, as I'm a bit too tired to trawl through the blogosphere for inspiration. But if inspiration were to come to me, well, how could I pass it up? Before I put head to pillow, though, here's some stuff you should be reading: • The House Democrats' Report on Republican abuses of power (warning: PDF). • Daniel Munz on the PA Senate primaries. • This analysis (also PDF) of the top 40 blogs (20 on left, 20 on right) during the election season. I find it particularly interesting, as it tracks me-era Pandagon, along with a bunch of others. I find the graphic tracking links a bit odd because, as much as I love Digby and Tapped, neither one received the majority of citations from Jesse or I. DailyKos I can buy, mostly because of linking to his poll numbers. In any case, I probably need to read the...

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