Ezra Klein

LET'S ABOLISH THE WORLD'S GREATEST DELIBERATIVE BODY.

By Dylan Matthews

I hesitate to self-promote too shamelessly on Ezra's turf, but I have a new piece up at Campus Progress building on a guest-post I wrote here a few months ago. Basically, I want to get rid of the US Senate, and asked a number of constitutional law experts how one would go about doing that. Long story short, no one agrees on anything, least of all about whether the Senate is even capable of being abolished. An excerpt:

PUTING THE POLITICS INTO POLITICS.

By Dylan Matthews

TAP's Tim Fernholz has an outstanding profile of former IMF economist and administration critic Simon Johnson today. You should really read the whole thing, but this in particular is a critical point:

Unfortunately, Johnson posits, the economic specialty that deals with business cycles and recessions -- short-run macroeconomics -- hasn't yet acquired the tools to assess the influence of political interests on their policy proposals. Perhaps unsurprisingly, finance specialists have.

"WHO IS GEORGE PATAKI?"

By Dylan Matthews

You know, I usually love it when Hari Sevugan goes off on somebody, but sometimes you just feel bad for whoever the victim du jour is (via Ben Smith).

WE HAVE OUR FACTS, AND WE'LL MAKE YOU SAY YES.

By Dylan Matthews

Even given what we already know about the Bush administration's distortions about a supposed link between Iraq and al-Qaeda, and what we already know about its torture policy, this, via Matt Duss, is absolutely appalling:

A former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld demanded that the interrogators find evidence of al Qaida-Iraq collaboration.

A BEAUTIFUL ANIMAL, A DESTROYER OF WORLDS?

By Dylan Matthews

Conor Friedersdorf had a good post on torture the other day which included this interesting tangent on the issue of whether al-Qaeda (or Islamic militancy more generally) constitutes an "existential threat" to the United States:

REINHARDT'S BARGAIN.

By Dylan Matthews

This wouldn't be Ezra's blog without health care wonkery, so I figured I'd note this interesting proposal by Uwe Reinhardt, flagged by Jon Cohn. Reinhardt suggests that, instead of running a new public plan like Medicare, or trying to limit its advantages in an attempt create a level playing field with private insurers, a new public plan should strike a deal with health care providers. I'll let Cohn explain:

AMBASSADOR OREN.

By Dylan Matthews

For those of us with a weird obsession with knowing who contenders are for various Deputy Assistant Secretary of State posts or senior directorships on the NSC, Laura Rozen's The Cable has been like crack ever since it launched in January. However, as the administration has filled up, the wonk gossip has gotten quite limited. Thankfully, Israel also has a new government, which means there's a whole new set of appointments for Rozen to report on. First up, the ambassadorship to the US:

THINGS VENEZUELA HANDS SHOULD PROBABLY KNOW.

By Dylan Matthews

First off, thanks to Ezra for having me over again. It's always a treat hanging out with you guys.

So former ambassador to Venezuela/Assistant Secretary of State/chief Bush administration filibuster Otto Reich isn't pleased about Obama's Latin America policy. And when writers at The Corner find a foreign policy approach they disagree with, you know what analogy's coming:

MONTANA-BOUND.

Apologies for the light posting today. I'm en route to Missoula, Montana, where I'm going to be giving a talk at The Badlander tomorrow night at 5pm. In the meantime, Dylan Matthews will be taking holding down the blog. He's smart. You like him. You know how this works.I'll be back on Thursday.

Right now, however, I'm sitting on the tarmac at Dulles watching the rain collect on the window of my (currently grounded) plane. Very meditative. Among other things, it's leading me to contemplate the possibility that I will miss my connecting flight.

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