Ezra Klein

Minutemen

Can we spell recipe-for-total-fucking-disaster? As impressed as I am by retired accountants forming militias to patrol the border, it's not exactly the best idea. The first time they meet with a coyote expedition and start shooting at the fleeing smugglers will be the last time the gangsters who run the coyote operations forget to bring heavy arsenals along for the journey.

Set Phasers on Mock

Can I just say how excited I am to read the critiques of this "wherefore art the female intellectuals" piece? It's going to be great fun.

Who Triangulates?

Over at The Washington Post, Dan Balz has a slightly alarmist article on the leftward drift that Dean's chairmanship, and the party's new reliance on grassroots donors, might provoke. Standard stuf, to be sure, but he makes an interesting strategic point midway through:

As Dean takes the helm as party chairman, Democrats now face a competition between what might be called the Dean model and the Clinton model, between confrontation and triangulation. This amounts to a contest between a bold reassertion of the party's traditional philosophy that fits the polarized environment of the Bush presidency vs. a less provocative effort to balance core values with centrist ideas that proved successful in the 1990s but has since produced a backlash within the party.

"W" Is For Women (When Convenient)

You owe it to yourself to read Riverbend's wrenching post on what the constitutional codification of shari'a law means for Iraqi women:

“And is Iran so bad?” He finally asked. Well no, Abu Ammar, I wanted to answer, it’s not bad for *you* - you’re a man… if anything your right to several temporary marriages, a few permanent ones and the right to subdue females will increase. Why should it be so bad? Instead I was silent. It’s not a good thing to criticize Iran these days. I numbly reached for the bags he handed me, trying to rise out of that sinking feeling that overwhelmed me when the results were first made public.

"Democrats"

Does anybody else think Ben Nelson sounds like he's one close election away from switching parties?

Would you ever consider becoming a Republican?

Somebody said not long ago that people don't always leave the party; the party leaves the people. So, recognizing that you never know what the future's going to hold, what might happen, you never say never. But am I considering it right now? No.



If you run for re-election in 2006, then, you're absolutely committed to running as a Democrat?

I have every intention, if I run again, to run as a Democrat.

Brilliant!

Yes, that's smart Republican strategy -- enrage AARP:

Taking its cues from the success of last year's Swift boat veterans' campaign in the presidential race, a conservative lobbying organization has hired some of the same consultants to orchestrate attacks on one of President Bush's toughest opponents in the battle to overhaul Social Security.

Off With His Head!

Garance Franke-Ruta gets this exactly right:

Succumbing to faculty pressure, Harvard University president Larry Summers finally released the transcript of his controversial comments on women in the sciences, made at an MIT conference in January, proving rather conclusively that those who gave him the benefit of the doubt about the nature of his remarks were mistaken in so doing.

Read the rest of her post. I thought Summers was ham-handed and wrong before, now I believe he should resign.

Sign Me Up For The Fainthearted Faction

As Kevin noticed last week, there are two magazines packed into every issue of The Economist. There's the smart, savvy magazine that doesn't let its ideology get in the way of informing you, and then there's the magazine that talks about George W. Bush. That magazine, in stark contrast to its world-weary housemate, views the president with a combination of excited optimism, twice-burned shyness, and more excited optimism! This, from last week's issue, was simply too good not to quote:

Last post

This is Ezra writing -- thanks to Chris for doing such a wonderful job in my absence. He gets 50 blog points, redeemable for poorly constructed prizes at the counter.

Well, it has been fun.  I want to thank Ezra for the opportunity to make a fool of myself for fourty eight hours.  And, like every bad house guest, I stayed longer than expected, made a lot of long-distance calls and drank all the liquor.  Thank you, Ezra, and I'm sorry again for ever recommending you read Hugh Hewitt's book so you can make fun of it.

It's Not The Sinner But The Sin

Matt Yglesias and Julie Saltman are having words over whether or not George W. Bush is a real live homophobe or a closet, opportunistic, tolerant. I'm going to throw in with the latter view not only on instinct, but on evidence from Lanny Davis, former counsel to Bill Clinton and classmate to George W. Bush (the LA Times article it originally appeared in is offline, this comes from Kevin Drum's excerpts):

Is it profitable to inform, part one

I think the current debate concerning the mainstream media entirely misses the point.  And yes, I’m about to channel Howard Beale.  I’m going to break this in three sections.

Is it profitable to inform, part 3

What’s missing?

We no longer have news coverage that actually informs our citizenry. 

McDonalds Bathroom Attendant

Yep.  This is incredibly brilliant stuff.

Am I the only one who hasn't heard of these folks? 

- Chris R

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