• Six Things You Probably Didn't Know About the Rather Commission

    Final Update: So I spent some time tonight reviewing the end of the Killian scandal and looking into CBS's report myself. My conclusion, for what little it's worth, is that Goodall's article (which I summarized in the post) was misleading, if not wrong. Anyway, my original piece follows the jump, so you can read it there. Goodall's analysis is interesting as a review of CBS's report itself, but not reliable as a guide to the controversy over the documents.
  • Well Time-Warner

    That's quite a list of holdings.
  • New Block, Old Kids

    Have you visited Big Brass Blog yet? Why not?
  • Divide My Government. Please.

    Last night, over an extraordinarily good Italian dinner , a buddy of mine explained to my girlfriend and me why ideology doesn't matter, only partisanship. His point was a Kossian one, that the party need not bother itself worrying about conservative Democrats and liberal ones, just whether they're committed to the cause. And at this juncture, that's probably true, the Bush administration's interest in Democratic opinion hovers between "not there" and "are you fucking kidding me". But it presents a pretty large problem: this country, so long as its political parties remain in the state of flat-out warfare they're in, is screwed. Because so long as a single party controls all levers of power, there's no reason for the minority party to negotiate, only to obstruct. Worse, the majority party need never look for counsel, as their inclination is to round up their votes and pass the most ideologically pure legislation they can pen. Caught amidst those dynamics, any issue that Americans care...
  • Bah!

    So Pete's just sold the last multigrain scone. And it wasn't to me. Those things are like crack! Denied my fix, I have no idea what to do with my Sunday morning. Should probably blog. Or study for finals. Or...bah.
  • A Progressive Idea for CAP

    Regular readers know how much I appreciate the Center for American Progress's work -- the tax plan, Think Progress, the Progress Report, Campus Progress, etc, all are excellent examples of what a progressive think tank should be doing. But the one thing a progressive think tank should not be doing is calling itself a progressive think tank. Head on over to CAP's homepage -- once you get past the campaign boilerplate in the banner ("progressive ideas for a strong, just and free America"), you immediately see the topmost (right) sidebar button, a bright orange box direction you to "Progressive Priorities". If you don't click on that, your eyeballs are fairly destined to settle on the facsimile of a Social Security card that rests in the middle of the page promising a "Progressive Guide to the Social Security Debate". Jeez, I wonder which side of the aisle they're on? One lesson Republicans quickly learned was that you get farthest by couching ideology in empiricism, which is to say you...
  • That Brutality-Lovin' Volokh

    Justin Logan says everything that needs to be said on the subject.
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Wal-Mart's Fine

    That Nathan Newman sure knows how to drive home a point : Prosecutors announced they were dropping all criminal charges against Wal-Mart for its use of contractors employing undocumented workers in exchange for paying an $11 million fine, a hefty sounding amount but a pittance for a company with $288.2 billion in sales last year. Let's put it this way-- this is an equivalent financial hit to an average person making $50,000 per year being hit with a $1.90 fine for illegal activity. Wow. I mean, really, Wow. I don't make enough in income to even be taxed, but I spent too long getting books from my room today and got a $40 parking ticket. Let's say, for argument's sake, that I make 20,000 a year. My parking ticket comes to .2% of my imaginary income. Not a whole lot, but remember, all I did was dawdle a bit while my car was in a loading zone. Wal-Mart, having employed illegal workers at wages barely above indentured servitude, was hit with a fine equalling .0038% of their income...
  • Speak Loudly and Carry a Big Camera

    The huge fuss the GOP is making over Terry Schiavo would be understandable, if not respectable, if they could marshal some poll numbers that showed, like on gay marriage, that the issue was a political winner for them. But it's not . 65% of Americans think Schiavo's husband should have the final say on her care, and 87% would not want to be kept alive in her condition. 87%! So in case you were wondering, this isn't cynical, lowest-common-denominator politics being played by the right. This is, instead, more proof that a small band of nuts has the party by the balls, and the leadership is happy to embark on the most insane and quixotic of quests in order to please them. Why the Democrats aren't fanning out into the media repeating the simple refrain that this is none of the government's goddamn business I'll never know. And why they're allowing the GOP to pass legislation making a state court decision eligible for review by a federal court is even stranger, this is exactly the sort of...
  • Stick With Your Intuition

    If I were Joe Lieberman and highly-respected economist Paul Krugman was criticizing me on misrepresenting a fiscal matter, I think I'd assume his exhaustive understanding of the issue trumped my experience as AG of Connecticut and leave the matter there -- who reads and remembers Paul Krugman anyway? But I am not Joe Lieberman and the guy who is Joe Lieberman clearly believes different tactics are in order. So he wrote in to the New York Times to explain why he was right and Krugman wrong. And that was where it stood until highly respected economist Brad DeLong took up the issue and explained to Lieberman exactly where he was wrong and why his statements made no sense.