Lightning Round: Isn't "Triangulation" Just Another Way of Saying "Makes Political Deals?"

  • No one knows what impact Ron Paul will have as the incoming chair of the House Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee, but this is one of those moments where it would be nice to have a consequence-free political test environment where one could do things like abolish the Fed and see the actual results. Unfortunately, we live in the real world, and if Paul is successful at converting Austrian School economic theory to public policy there will be consequences, and bad ones at that.
  • Like David Broder, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Andrew Malcom, I'm relieved that Barack Obama has learned his midterm lesson (center-right nation), is moving to the "center," and has thus locked down his re-election. But, my wise centrist friends, what does this mean for the Unity '12 ticket of Bloomberg/Trump and its promise to heal the partisan divide? I was so looking forward to ceding democratic accountability to a cartel of rich technocrats who would "solve problems." Now the dream is all but dead.
  • Tim Berners-Lee thinks the future of journalism lies in the ability to analyze data, which will be the only way to hold the powers that be accountable. He's correct, but as the article notes, courses in mathematics -- not even basic statistics -- are not yet part of the J-school curriculum. Ultimately, however, people who are big consumers of political news will seek out and find some blogger who knows how to handle the data, regardless if professionally-trained journalists have those skills or not.
  • Remainders: "The red-state, blue-state war is happening in the upper half of the income distribution"; I think the real reason there aren't many Republican scientists isn't hostility to science but rather hostility towards government funding of science; I remember when now-hack journalist Tucker Carlson was advising conservatives to emulate The New York Times; and I doubt that Obama's 2012 re-election chances will be determined by how awesome his SOTU speech is next year.

--Mori Dinauer