Archive

  • Horrorwitz

    PZ Myers attended David Horowitz's lecture the other night. It was funny. And sad. But definitely funny. As for the kid who stood up at the end, made note of his service in Iraq, and called Kerry unAmerican for opposing the war (which Kerry, by the way, didn't do), I wouldn't worry about the round of applause he got. I've noticed that when a soldier stands up at any sort of campus political event and expresses any opinion, pro or con, smart or dumb, they get a wild round of applause. Students generally hold their battle-tested peers in a kind of awe, and the cascade of clapping has more to do with our guilt (there but for fortune...) than their opinions. Update : Speaking of shit that makes no sense, Berube found a pile .
  • Fighting Philosophies

    Mark Schmitt's got one of those posts that make all the bloggers breathlessly beg you to stop what you're doing and dive into his site. So imagine my heaving bosom (look to the upper right for a pictorial aid) as I send you over to his place to find out what the Social Security debate is really about. For those with a lazy clicker-finger, suffice to say that privatization isn't about advancing any particular Republican philosophy, but destroying the Democratic one. Mark doesn't quite go as far as I will here, but privatization probably won't end up that popular. All other countries that've tried it have found a mixed bag at best, and many have looked down to find their sack filled with manure and lit aflame. But if privatization does crash and burn, that's not going to hurt Republicans at all. The boomerang is going to whip back and smack Democrats in the head as irritated pensioners shake their heads and mutter about how the doggone government can't do anything right. This is...
  • Joe and Mike

    The Moose muses : It is interesting to the Moose that a film maker who suggests that the United States manufactured the war in Afghanistan to further oil interests is a celebrated figure to many in the Democratic party, while a respected Democratic Senator and former Vice Presidential nominee (who generally votes with the liberal mainstream of the party) is a primary target for a purge. The Klein avers that Michael Moore is a brash media provocateur who succeeds in his attempts to create compelling documentary films that force moviegoers to view controversial issues from unexpected angles. Joe Lieberman is a Democratic senator who is considering defecting from the party and providing bipartisan cover to a President whose plan would be bad for the young, bad for the old, bad for the deficit, and bad for the country. Joe Lieberman's "task" is to be a good Democratic senator who combines smart progressive ideas with long-term strategic thinking in ways that advance the Democratic party's...
  • The Continuing Greenspan Hackery Watch

    Kash takes Greenspan out to the woodshed and gives his absurd antitax jihad the what-for (read it in full). Anybody exclaiming that tax increases equivalent to those levied in 1993 would destroy our economy should be recognized as a Rayndian hack and no longer given the keys to the Fed. But with Alan descending ever-deeper into incoherent, party-line, hackitude, we can expect him to be around for a long, long time. As Paul Snow Paul O'Neill and Eric Shinseki will tell you, lock-step inxompetence is the quickest path to job security in the Bush administration.
  • Tricky, Tricky

    Poor Bill Frist. Caught between a Bush and a hard place. Now he's not even sure he can bring Social Security to the floor before 2007, which is congressional code for "never". That, as the Bush Administration surely realizes, is the problem with promoting a nobody who wants to be president. His first allegiance is to his ambitions and not your priorities. Not only would Frist rather not be identified with a stunningly unpopular plan that either fails to pass (still can be used against him, though!) or gets jammed down Congress's throat, but he'd also prefer not to preside over a midterm whupping, where his side loses a bunch of seats (thanks, again, to Social Security) and he, as Senate majority leader, gets to share in the blame. After all, he's only got to keep his stock up for a few more years and then he's on the campaign trail and can stop paying attention. That the president who promoted him is determined to go down in history as the guy who knifed the New Deal, probably...
  • Bloggy Blog Blog Blog

    Daniel Munz, who I've always found really excellent and thought-provoking, has got himself a new blog . Go say hi. And while you're there, tell him to make the banner atop the site smaller, it'd be nice to see a post or two when I first land on the page. On a related note, I've been thinking a lot about link hierarchies and new blog promotion. In comments, Brian Jennings made the point that it makes more sense for a few writer to put his energy into posting diaries at DailyKos, rather than stick his flag in some unknown backland in cyberspace. Kos's place boasts a huge audience who will look at your work and, if they like what you do, ensure more folks read it. At the top levels of diary promotion, more eyeballs will land on it than will see any other blogger that day, save Kos himself. That's a much more rational and direct reward system, particularly in the lefty blogosphere where our interest in promoting our brethren fluctuates between "nil" and "eh". Unfortunately, and I wish it...
  • Tierney

    The NY Times has chosen their new columnist, and the lucky winner is libertarian gadfly John Tierney (who looks shockingly like Regis Philbin. I'm serious, go look ). Via Julie Saltman , we've got Chris Mooney's extensive profile of the rhetorical agitator, and via Nexis, I've got a bunch of his columns from the past few years. If Mooney is to be believed, he's a fun-loving free-marketer who likes to inject himself into his pieces and use his experiences to tell a story. Kind of a Kristof without the humanitarianism, but with a whole lot more pranks. If the columns are to be believed, the guy's just kinda fluffy, with lots of multiple-choice tests and faux-awards ceremonies. Brooks on his intentionally funny days. All in all, not a particularly objectionable choice, but the Times probably could've found a more edifying voice to occupy the real estate. Also, unlike Matt , I don't think blogs are supplanting the op-ed page. Blogs, at least in their general, constantly updated forms, do...
  • Art Matters

    In the "that's a trip" category, construction crews are taking sanders to the beautiful Disney Center here in LA. Why? Beams of sunlight reflected from portions of the hall have roasted the sidewalk to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, enough to make plastic sag, cause serious sunburn to people standing on the street and create a hazard to passing motorists... "I will just appreciate not having the glare," said condo resident Jacqueline LaGrone, who said that her air-conditioning bill had doubled during summer months since Disney Hall opened and that the glare made it impossible to sit on her patio on hot days. "It's about time," added Sheila Nixon, a Department of Water and Power employee who regularly walks around the hall for exercise. "We feel like ants under a magnifying glass."
  • Battle Lines

    From The System : Had any part of the Clinton plan passed that Congress in any form, Gingrich and his closest conservative allies believed, their dreams for forging a militarily conservative future would "have been cooked," as a key Gingrich strategist later explained. It would have been the final nail in the coffin of the American marketplace resulting in a social-welfare state like Britain or Canada, creating greater public dependency on government and a government-run plan, and a stronger allegiance of voters to majority Democrats, who provided them their benefits. Only by controlling Congress with a new conservative Republican majority could the final goals of their "Republican Revolution" be achieved: to break the public dependency on Democratic tax-funded government programs; "defund the government" as they put it, and in so doing, destroy the liberal constituency groups; and permit the flowering of an antigovernment, antitax, entrepreneurial nation. All these aims were...
  • I Choose You, Hitchy-Poo!

    In a landslide vote, Hitchens (not to be confused with Will Smith's Hitch ) has won the Oscar for laziest column writer the Academy has ever seen: The return of politics to Iraq has had many blissful secondary consequences, one of them apparently minor but nonetheless, I think, important. When was the last time you heard some glib pundit employing the phrase ‘The Arab Street’? I haven’t actually done a Nexis search on this, but my strong impression is that the term has been, without any formal interment, laid to rest. Because you know what takes for-fucking-ever? Nexis searches. Judd's got your factual debunking of Hitch. All I'm going to say is that there were quite a few times during my high school career that I noticed women had decided en masse to end all intimacy with men. I didn't research it or talk to anyone and simply chalked it up to being a fat kid (which, at the time, I was). Turns out it was actually a cunning sociological observation that I should have written up for...

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