Ezra Klein

Forging Reality

I'm always amazed at the twisted logic, or at least outcomes, of Bush administration policies. When pushing policies that have no relation to reality, they change reality so it relates to their policies. They mismanage government finances and blow through a budget surplus creating what they call a "crisis" in Social Security, propose a plan that'll further explode deficits without helping the program, but then make that plan vaguely reasonable by warping the economy so we might have a heretofore unknown future of high stock returns and minimal wage growth.

The Hungry Man Theory of International Relations

Steve Clemons brings up a good point:

Iran and North Korea know that America's bark is loud but bite is probably pretty soft right now. And the Europeans are doing their best to take on a global strategic dilemma -- their very first -- without the U.S. in the lead.

Money Makes the World Go Round

As Justin Logan notes, Kerry's comment that we really had a "coalition of the bribed, the coerced, the bought and the extorted" turned out to be spot-on, with the newly elected Bush administration no longer even bothering to hide the payoffs:

Never Forget An Anniversary

It was 16 years ago to this day that the Ayatollah Khomeini issued his fatwa against Salman Rushdie. And, thanks to a kind reader who used my wish list, I actually found the offending tome, Satanic Verses, in my mailbox this morning. I can't think of a better way to celebrate the anniversary of Khomeini's outrage.

Rove's Future

I hadn't understood why Rove was promoted to deputy chief of staff, seemed like codifying what he already had, which would make no sense. Of course, I was looking for devious reasons when the actual rationale was obvious and mundane. Andrew Card is going to retire soon. When he does, the deputy chief of staff will become the actual chief of staff. And that'll be Rove. And no one will be able to argue because he was already the deputy. Duh.

Let 'Em Gloat

I hear that the weekend saw Eason Jordan resign? Really? Wow, I take a few days off and you guys totally drop the ball.

The Passion of the Keyes

Maya Marcel-Keyes, daughter of Alan Keyes, has publicly come out of the closet. In response, her parents have stopped speaking to her, thrown her out of the house, and cut off payments to her college. You know, like good Christians.

But What Will I Do With All These Goats?

Like everyone else in blogland, I set aside a few minutes each day to sacrifice a goat to Google. But despite the enormous bloodletting conducted in their names, I often find them reasonably useless when I'm looking for very targeted information sets. Maybe I'm just not good at searching, but googling has served me better when trying to confirm information or find related data than when I've got an objective in mind. Sucks, I know, but what else is there?

Arnold Impresses

Nixon might have gone to China a time or two, but Arnold's practically taken up residence. His persona has left him essentially invincible on questions of toughness, and he's used the freedom for pretty progressive ends. It wasn't long ago that he signed into law a needle-exchange program that Gray Davis, afraid of being demagogued by the right, vetoed thrice. Now he's reforming California's shameful prisons by shunning the all-powerful prison guards union and forcing a move towards rehabilitation. Next up? Redistricting.

Back to the Grind

So back to this blogging thing, huh? I'm 4,000 words into my Prospect critique and I think it's going well, but we'll see what the folks at the magazine think when the 8,000 word behemoth crushes their desks. In any case, many thanks to Steve for holding down the homefront. Seems like things were hopping here during the weekend. We'll see if I can keep up the pace in between bouts of criticizing my betters.

P.S -- Happy Valentine's Day! That goes for you peeps in blog land, but especially for my girlfriend in banana slug land...

Thank you

Since Sunday is now coming to an end and therefore the weekend is soon over, I will no longer be posting. Ezra returns tomorrow, Monday, and I return to the comments section. After a weekend off, I'm sure he'll have much to say.

But first I'd like to thank Ezra for inviting me to experience blogging. I had a lot of fun and I learned more in the last two days than I have in a long time.

Also, I'd like to thank everyone out there who took time to read what I wrote and especially to those people who chose to comment. You guys and gals are the ones who made this experience fun and enlightening.

Thank you. I'll be in the comment section.

-- Steve Cieslewicz

My last post: horses and cocaine use

I'm a Chicago guy so that explains the Tribune referencing. For my last post, I'd like to suggest that everybody reads this article about testing race horses for cocaine.