TAPPED

KARL ROVE'S IMMINENT...

KARL ROVE'S IMMINENT FROG-MARCH? Atrios and Think Progress have both noted that the Plame grand jury met this morning, and a frisson of excitement has rippled through the liberal blogosphere at the prospect that Karl Rove might be indicted. In that regard, a few things are worth keeping in mind:

HOLY IMPATIENCE. Yesterday,...

HOLY IMPATIENCE. Yesterday, we buried Reverend William Sloane Coffin, Jr. One year ago, I read his biography, Holy Impatience, and it gave me what I haven�t gotten from the left in my lifetime -- in the words of Johnny Cash, �gravel in your gut and spit in your eye.� Rev. Coffin challenged those who misused power and that got him into a lot of fights. But they were a lot of fights he relished.

KLEIN V. KLEIN....

KLEIN V. KLEIN. You've really got to read Digby's excerpts from Hugh Hewitt's interview with Joe Klein. Klein desires -- aches really -- for Hewitt's approval, and it leaves him a quivering mass of eager-to-please. The interview primarily consists of Klein parading all his points of agreement with George W. Bush and proudly bragging about his White House nickname -- Mr. Faith-Based, in case you were wondering -- which he hastens to add is just "one of Bush's nicknames for me." It's pathetic.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST....

COMPARE AND CONTRAST. Joe Klein thinks the "left wing of the Democratic Party" doesn't "respect the military sufficiently." Meanwhile, in recent weeks a lot of generals have put forward the idea that America's current military policies are serving the country poorly. Uber-hawk columnist Charles Krauthammer accuses them of laying the groundwork for a coup d'�tat and/or opening the United States to foreign subversion in the course of comparing George W. Bush to Abraham Lincoln.

FEAR THIS DEFICIENCY...

FEAR THIS DEFICIENCY WE HAVE CREATED. Like Matt, I haven't finished John Halpin and Ruy Teixera's article. And like Matt, I'm going to comment anyway. And like Matt, I think progressives disagree on a bunch of stuff, and it's tough to achieve clarity of message when you're tangled in disagreement. Or at least it should be.

BUT DO WE...

BUT DO WE KNOW? My first thought was that I shouldn't comment on "The Politics of Definition" until it was, you know, fully published so that I could actually read the whole thing. But on second thought, this is a blog so who needs due diligence. I have concerns about the idea that the essay's soi disant straightforward thesis: "Progressives need to fight for what they believe in -- and put the common good at the center of a new progressive vision -- as an essential strategy for political growth and majority building," is actually all that straightforward.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING....

TIMING IS EVERYTHING. Buried deep in some bureaucratic catacomb, some pencil pusher has a smile on his face today. Yesterday, the FDA rejected claims of marijuana's medicinal usefulness, courageously contradicting a major study by the Institute of Medicine, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, the highest scientific body in the nation. You show those pointy-heads, FDA! The ruling was even bolder considering that the FDA actively discourages research into marijuana's biochemical effects, routinely rejecting proposals by researchers to conduct gold-standard studies on the subject. As Dr.

WHEN CROOKS GO...

WHEN CROOKS GO DOWN. This hasn't gotten much attention, but Silvio Berlusconi is refusing to admit defeat in the Italian election. In this, he has the support of seemingly none of the relevant legal institutions in Italy. What's more, all of the democratic world's left-of-center governments have already congratulated Romani Prodi on his victory. Then again, all of the democratic world's right-of-center governments have done so as well. All, that is, except for George W. Bush's here in the United States of America. This aligns Bush with Vladimir Putin's Russia and, well, nobody.

MORE COMMON GOOD!...

MORE COMMON GOOD! Over at TAP Online, we�ve posted the first portion of a major study by John Halpin and Ruy Teixeira of the Center for American Progress Action Fund (and other affiliations, in Ruy�s case) called �The Politics of Definition.�

WAR IS PEACE!...

WAR IS PEACE! Whoah . . . there's some crazy stuff lurking behind that TimesSelect subscription wall, notably Paul Kane's notion that "President Bush and Congress should reinstitute selective service under a lottery without any deferments." Why?

WHEN LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANTS...

WHEN LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANTS GO BAD. Representative Jo Ann Emerson experiments with a bolder, "straight-talk" approach to constituent correspondence. (Thanks to reader S.M..)

--Sam Rosenfeld

MAYBE WE NEED...

MAYBE WE NEED A DRAFT. Props to TNR's editors for calling bullshit on "The Mommy Wars." Whatever pitched warfare is raging between mothers who choose to stay home and raise their children and those who decide to work is a minor skirmish, important only because it distracts attention from the real fight -- the one being quietly waged against middle-income families where both parents must work. This is where Republicans show that business profits trump all family values. Bill Clinton's accomplishment, the Family and Medical Leave Act, allows a mere 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth of a child or the wreckage of illness.

ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE ON...

ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE ON MCCAIN. Daniel McKivergan offers his view on the John McCain issue:

TENN DOESN'T CARE....

TENN DOESN'T CARE. It can rarely be said enough, but Tennessee governor and occasional media darling Phil Bredesen is a pretty loathsome sort of Democrat. Having dismantled and tossed 225,000 people off of TennCare -- which provided serious health insurance for the poor, sick, and young -- he's replacing the laudable progam with a cheap rip-off. Cover Tennessee, Bredesen's new idea, will offer insurance to 185,000 folks (I'm still waiting on an explanation for the missing 40,000), but not the ones covered by TennCare. These will be richer, healthier applicants; people who could buy into private insurance but want a cheaper, barebones option.

THE GLOBALIZATION OF...

THE GLOBALIZATION OF ICK. After my own mind was blown by this "reproductive tourism" business, I got down to some serious thinking. The main engine of globalization is exploiting gaps between average productivity in a given nation (which drives its wage rates) and industry-specific productivity, which drives the potential for employer profits. Countries like India and Pakistan have very large, very unproductive rural economies that keep overall wages quite low.

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