When I was in college, during Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America," I had a classmate who is the person I always think of when I try to imagine the young George W. Bush. (Although the comparison is terribly unfair to this person, since unlike Bush, he has considerable accomplishment to show for his first 45 years on this planet.) This guy had a little motto, typical of the privileged-punk campus conservatism that was then just taking hold, and that would dominate the next two decades: "U.S.A!," he would declare, pumping a fist in the air, "We're five and one in major wars!"
GIULIANI -- "MELLOWER THAN MCCAIN?" As a New Yorker for most of the Rudy Giuliani era, it's hard for me to see him as anything other than a vain and dangerous authoritarian. This goes back to his years as a prosecutor, when he invented the "perp walk" by which he shamed the minor Wall Streeters he indicted by bringing in cameras to watch them handcuffed at their desks and dragged to court.
STOP! NO MORE HEALTH CARE PLANS! I have not yet read John Edwards's health care proposal. I'll trust Ezra that I would basically like it. And I'm very happy that he was willing to talk about raising taxes. But let me go public with the one sure thing I learned from my own miserable six months working on a presidential campaign -- Do Not Put Out A Health Care Plan.
"WHAT MAKES OBAMA RUN?" That's the title of an article I was e-mailed yesterday. But it didn't refer to Obama's presidential hopes. The dateline on the article was December 8, 1995. It appeared in the Chicago Reader. at the time Barack Obama was first running for state senate in Illinois.
THEY WORK HARD FOR THE MONEY, SO YOU BETTER TREAT 'EM RIGHT. I didn't have any luck getting anyone to join my last crusade, and I've given up on it myself, so here's another, inspired by the Tyler CowenTimes op-ed on inequality that J.flagged this morning: