Ezra Klein

Best Wishes

to both Glenn Reynolds and his wife . - Chris R

The Self-Correcting Blogosphere

I'm sorry that so many of my posts this weekend seem to be nothing more than blog navel gazing. In my defense, it isn't my blog, I don't blog, so it isn't my navel I'm gazing at. But let's examine this remark by Hugh Hewitt: HEWITT: Well, I've been a broadcast journalists for 15 years. I've worked in print and television and radio. And the blogosphere is by far the most accurate and the most objective in terms of accountability. Because the moment you make a mistake, you get jumped on by your colleagues and your adversaries in the blogosphere. Dan Rather got brought down by bloggers. Did the blogs bring down Dan Rather? I'd like to think Rather and his reporters played a role in that, as well. Perhaps they highlighted the incompetence of CBS' vetting of the National Guard memos. But let's go to Mr. Hewitt's statement that blogs are more objective and more accurate than radio, television and print and use the "Kerry intern" rumors floated on Drudge as a case study on blog accuracy. On...

Lack of posts

Sorry for the lack of posts, but I'm working on a post which will settle the hockey labor dispute. Oh, and it will also cause us to travel in space. Not really, of course. But I always wanted to do one of those Josh Marshall teasers. - Chris R

Random Thoughts

Sorry to do a Larry King on you, but I'm just going post some random thoughts until I hit an optimal caffeine level: * What happens if you are a political movement based on outrage, but you control all three branches of government? For the right-wing, some are now outraged at, um, graffiti . (By the way, generally a bad idea to do a victory dance in the other side's back yard... I once lived in DC and was told that if you weren't wearing green in the upper deck of the Vet during an Eagles loss, you don't value your life nearly enough). * Saw Guckert/Gannon on CNN last night. I would say it was obvious he was lying when he nose grew during the interview, but, given the circumstances, I think I might be referring to the wrong part of his anatomy. * I own a Sirius radio now, so I can listen to Air America when I want. I mostly like Air America, but I'm a little disturbed by the fact the advertisements for hypnosis and sexual enhancement might be the wrong image for a political party...

My case for cynicism

To follow up and respond to Ezra's previous post concerning Gannon/Guckert. Does this story have greater significance than McCllelan's credentialing? Potentially, yes. I disagree with Ezra here. There are potentially significant issues involved which should be answered, as well as tactical opportunites to exploit here. As much as I really don't want my first substantive post to disagree with Ezra and risk being a very bad guest, here goes:

FAQ's for a Guest Blogger

Q: Who are you, anyway. A: My name's Chris Rasmussen. I've previously blogged here and here (all of my posts at that site have been scrubbed due to my calls for a mass suicide in the event Bush was re-elected). I'd like to thank Ezra, who I have admired for some time, for providing me this opportunity to make a fool of myself for 48 consecutive hours. Q: Is that your real name or is it a psudeonym like "Jeff Gannon"? A: It is my real name. The only thing I have in common with Mr. Gannon/Guckert is that we have a shared hobby in creating web sites for escort services. Q: What are your qualifications for blogging? Do you have expertise in any area? A: Much like Ezra, I suffer from a life-long physical disability rendering me unable to button a shirt. I also have thoughts and opinions and, unlike many non-bloggers, also have access to a computer. I do not, however, have the academic brilliance of a Matt Yglesias , as I spent much of my college years quite drunk. I also do not have any...

Give A Warm Welcome

As I've alluded to a couple times, the last two weeks have been crazy/insane for me. Applications, midterms, book reviews...it was a perfect storm of deadlines. As of this morning, the craziness is over. Nonetheless, I'm going to take the weekend to chill out and conduct a Harding-esque return to normalcy. Your host here will be Chris Rasmussen, a longtime commentor and all around smart guy. He also, incidentally, sent the e-mail suggesting I review Hewitt's book, so blogging during my recovery is his penance. But be nice to him anyway.

Gunning for Gannon

Digby says : As I sit here listening to two congressmen on Inside Politics drone on about how we must restore civility to politics (now that the GOP controls all branches of government) I'm experiencing one of those rare times when I truly understand why people become Republicans. It's because they have political instincts and we don't. If you are a political animal that is a very compelling trait. ... Paraphrasing a comment I read somewhere yesterday (apologies to the author) "pay no attention to the naked gay conservative male prostitute sitting in the middle of the family values white house living room." Goldberg affects a jocular dismissiveness for a reason. He knows what a real story is and he knows how they work. And he is trivializing this one because it is actually quite dangerous. Meanwhile, on the left we have much handwringing by commenters over this not being a "gay" story and how we should concentrate on the national security angle and how it's really about access etc,...

The Power of Christ Compels You

The world is apparently facing a critical shortage of exorcists. Not even kidding you. So does this make Constantine a current events film?

The Wheels on the Bus Go Flying Off, Flying, Off, Flying Off...

With Bush publicly considering a payroll tax hike, we're starting to get "wheels come off" stories on Social Security privatization. The LA Times, for instance, has a nice one centering on conservatives furious at the president for considering tax hikes. Considering that many Republicans were simply looking for a way out of supporting the bill, they just got their "get-out-of-jail" free card, complete with Grover Norquist's stamp of approval on it. Bush, for his part, clearly thought mentioning a tax increase would bring Democrats rushing to the table, but the ghosts of Charlie Stenholm and Max Cleland seem to have kept them in their seats. But the man is not just failing to convince Democrats, he's failing to convince everybody: That point was underscored in a national survey, published Thursday, showing that public support for Social Security overhaul has slipped since Bush began campaigning for private accounts. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that Americans supported...

Medicaid

Been wondering what Medicaid is and what the issues around it are? Plumer's got you covered .

We're Fair and Balanced Too!

MSNBC is hosting a panel discussion on Social Security, specifically the president's new coupling of private accounts and a payroll tax raise. The panel is: • Joe Scarborough, host and former Republican Congressman; • Hugh Hewitt, conservative radio host/blogger; • Dennis Prager, conservative writer; • Rachel Maddow, host on Air America. That's a 3 to 1 conservative advantage and, I wouldn't say this if it weren't true, Maddow is wiping the floor with them. She nailed the fiscal irresponsibility of privatization so hard that Hewitt was forced down to justifying it on the grounds that black people die sooner. Scarborough's response? "You're worried about blacks. I'm worried about blacks. But I'm worried about all Americans, and I don't want to see their taxes raised." Not only is MSNBC fair and balanced, they're humanitarians, too.

Finally

My opinion on this is the same as my reaction to finding that Reid was creating a Democratic War Room: Great, but we didn't do that before!? For those who don't like following links, the move is simply the DNC granting the DCCC and the DSCC access to Demzilla, the massive computer voter database. Previously, the three had jealously competed for voters and data. Someone must have written a memo defining the terms "same team" and "one party rule" for them.

Hewitt Continues

Rick Perlstein e-mailed this morning to say that he too trudged through a Hewitt book for the good of his readers. Not only do I sympathize, but I'm a great believer that authorial sacrifices like reading Hugh Hewitt mandate long-lasting rewards. So go give his review the half-life it deserves, I'm sure it'll aid his recovery greatly. For those wondering, I'm about 110 pages into the book, and it's now changed from lying a lot to talking about history a lot. In the last 30, it's morphed again and is making bizarre assertions about blog power. My favorite thus far: The blogs will move much more quickly, and with much greater authority, than the MSM. They will make or break the nominee. [P]erhaps future presidents ought to put three or four names out for collecting blog vetting before a final choice is made. The White House Counsel's Office and the Department of Justice are staffed by fine lawyers with great capacity for research and analysis. But their number and energy are finite. He'...

Lebanon

I haven't said anything on the Lebanon/Syria situation because I don't know anything about Lebanon or Syria. I do, however, know enough to recommend Praktike's comments on the matter. And by the way, are you reading Liberals Against Terrorism ? Cause if you're not, you should be. Even Haggai's hanging out there now.

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