Ezra Klein

Hold It

WaPo calls bullshit on the President's budget:

Making His Move

One more time, let's have no question of what Edwards is staking his next run on:

In what appeared to be an early start for the 2008 campaign cycle, John Edwards told New Hampshire Democrats on Saturday that poverty was "one of the great moral issues of our time," and he pledged to help fight it.

"It may seem like an impossible goal to end poverty, but that's what the skeptics said about all of our other great challenges," said Mr. Edwards, the former vice-presidential candidate. "If we can put a man on the moon, conquer polio and put libraries of information on a chip, then we can end poverty for those who want to work for a better life."

"I Actually Voted For the Farm Subsidies Before I Voted Against Them"

5/13/2002:

President Bush on Monday signed a 10-year, $190 billion farm bill that promises to expand subsidies to growers.

"This bill is generous and will provide a safety net for farmers, and it will do so without encouraging overproduction and depressing prices," Bush said at a signing ceremony. "It will allow farmers and ranchers to plan and operate based on market realities, not government dictates."

Stop Fronting

Kristof is rightfully getting slammed for his op-ed arguing Democrats need to spend less time obstructing Bush's efforts to eviscerate Social Security and more time offering responsible plans of their own. As so often happens with these things, Kristof seems to have drawn his column from some collective press mind, as the same daring idea was popping up in pieces all weekend long (although the Post certainly gets the award for silliest literary device in service of the editorial).

Good To Hear From You, Buddy

My good buddy John Edwards just sent me an e-mail with his plans for the next couple of years. Figured you guys might want to know them too:

I am very proud to say that I will be joining UNC to launch its new Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, which will examine innovative and practical ideas for moving more Americans out of poverty and into the middle class. The fact that millions in this country go to work every day and still live in poverty is wrong and unacceptable. This is personal to me, and I believe that it is one of the most important moral issues of our time.

Rebutting the Rebuttal

Crowley's analysis of the Democratic SOTU response is spot-on, even as it's in-line. While his criticisms of the speech are the best I've read (and you should read them), it's general awfulness and ineffectiveness seem well accepted. The calls are already coming for the tradition to be scrapped, for the minority retort to be let out of its misery.

No.

There's something nicely, idealistically American about guaranteeing the opposition party airtime to respond to the President's address. Just because they don't do it well (and that goes for Republicans and Democrats), doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. What it does mean is that it needs to rescued from irrelevancy.

How To Do Social Security

Note to Dems -- It's like this and like this and like that, and uh.

Just One?

Quoth Taegan Goddard:

With yet another article on President Bush's infatuation with Natan Sharansky's The Case for Democracy, I'm beginning to think this is the only book he's ever read.

Heh. Indeed.

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