Ezra Klein

High-Risk Blogging

Wow. This LA Times op-ed is quite brave. It's from an Iranian blogger who spent 36 days in jail for criticizing the regime on her website. Having confessed to her sins, she's now awaiting trial, which probably won't go well for her either. With all that swirling around her, publishing this critique in a major American newspaper (which the American-obsessed Iranians surely keep tabs on) seems like a bad idea, but no one can doubt its courage. Make it worth her while and read the piece.

Second Term Econ

Remember that time when the Bush administration silenced an actuary and lied $100 billion off the cost of Medicare reform so Congress would pass it? That was fun, even quaint. But this is a brave new second term world, baby! And $100 billion bucks ain't shit to these guys, so now they're saying they lowballed by $670 billion. Yowza! That's second term economics for ya! Bam!

Opposite Day

Sam Rosenfeld, talking about Republicans playing the race card, says:

Koufax Awards

The semi-finals are ending this week. I'm up for "Best Writing" and if you feel like throwing me a vote, I won't hold it against you.

The Red Scare

This was written about a month ago, after I was commissioned to write an article on California's dying Democrats only to find the meme had no truth but the LA Times had no scruples. I wrote this as an op-ed for the Times but they, unsurprisingly, passed. A few days ago, a friend mentioned the same fear to me, so I figured there are a few people who'd still gain from reading this. So enjoy:

It Does?

Brad Plumer did a nice job of smacking down an errant peer yesterday:

So Brooksian

Brooks's latest column is so, ugh, Brooksian. Billed as a short history of Deanism, it tries and fails to connect Howard Dean to the breakdown of fraternal orders. Or something. I'm really not sure, but I do know that PZ Myers did an excellent job gutting it:

Not So Honest

Sam Rosenfeld has a very persuasive rebuttal to my recent post on Bush's farm subsidies. You should read it. I should add, by the way, that I agree with him, but my post was less about the President's conviction in supporting subsidy reform and more about the total lack of conviction that publicly supporting it displayed. As such, color me unsurprised that his support is totally disingenuous -- he's a flip-flopper either way.

Competing Discourses

In context of a post on post-war Japan, Steve Clemons writes:

Bush needs to be careful of trumpeting too much about our experience democratizing Japan -- as we were frequently on the side of the anti-democrats. To some degree, Japan democratized despite our promotion of a profound model of structural corruption there -- and the Japanese public and civil society institutions deserve credit. But Bush, as of late, has been warping this history.

Do You Want More?

I probably shouldn't admit this, but the Linkin Park/Jay-Z mashups are really much better than they have any right to be. Every time I listen to Numb/Encore I either have to write a polemic or punch someone in the face. Fear of jail time is probably going to mean more posting this week.