Ezra Klein

A Miracle?

I had no idea that one man fixing his faucet could so perfectly parallel the evolution/creationism debate!

They All Have Kids and They All Get Checks

We're not gonna get those goddamn polygamy queens off welfare until we get a good, God-fearin' Christian heading the HHS. Too bad Bush's nominee ain't the guy.

The Dean Machine

Continuing his historical habit of accumulating surprise endorsements, Dean got the nod from Harold Ickes this morning. Ickes, of course, is cleaved to the Clintons, and his emergence at Dean's side effectively ends all speculation that Hillary is standing athwart his candidacy yelling "Stop!". Here's the money quote or, more to the point, the money leak:

Ickes, who heads the political action committee of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., said the endorsement was his alone and "does not reflect Sen. Clinton's opinion."

Backs Patted, Arms Tired

Jack Shafer's decided to take on the dicks who tout the blogs and I, as a blogger, could not agree more:

When the Times' Abramson asked rhetorically if the conference bloggers had any idea how much it cost to maintain a news bureau in Baghdad, the supreme confidence of a couple of bloggers fractured into petty defensiveness.

"That's a silly question!" snapped Winer. "Asking bloggers what this costs is silly. If you want to tell us what it costs, that's fine. ... But there are bloggers in Baghdad! That's your competition; that's what you have to deal with."

Speak It, Brother

Clinton has some wise words on Iran:

He called Iran a far more formidable foe than Saddam Hussein's Iraq and a "perplexing" country split between "two governments": a hard-core minority that controls security forces and a reformist, pro-Western majority. A hasty and bloody military strike might alienate that majority, he said.

The Whine and Cry Faction

So Republicans are complaining that Times piece on Chile's privatize Social Security system was biased against privatization. They're shrieking about robocalls telling constituents that so-and-so wants to privatize Social Security. They're picking up, abandoning and then demonizing terms so quick that copy editors are left in the corner with a martini and tears.

Swift Vets for Electoral Gain

Jerome Corsi, coauthor of the SwiftVets book, is moving to Massachusetts to challenge Kerry in 2008. And I can't imagine how sweet it will feel for Kerry when he electorally crushes this lying carpetbagger.

Bayh The Way

Evan Bayh voted against Rice? Seriously? He might as well have printed up "Bayh '08!" stickers and plastered the Senate podium with them.

The "Purple Nurple" Theory of International Relations

I agree with Justin that Israel's brinksmanship towards Iran has some US backing behind it. We're a bit tied up at the moment, so they're providing the promise of force that our people, and resources, won't allow. But the Bush Administration is making the same mistake with Iran that they've made everywhere else. Bush himself, by turning himself into a hated figure, has sabotaged our foreign policy by making it popular to oppose him. Thus, when we've got an unpopular priority it makes domestic sense for other countries to deny us our wish. Using Israel to threaten Iran creates the same scenario.

"The Red Light Means Time, Not Kill"

The Washington Post has a great article on Democracy training in Iraq. While most commentary is focused on macro issues like ethnic tensions, tribal loyalties and the whims of the insurgency, it's easy to forget about the basic glitches, like the fact that none of these candidates have ever run for office before. And it's nice to see that our election institutions, unlike the Pentagon and their soft-money problems, are playing no favorites. When the Communist party is ecstatic at the quality of American training and help, we're doing something right.

Bush's Chilean Fiction

The Times, unwilling to buy Bush's idealization of Chile, has run a stake through the heart of that comparison. The article on the failings of Chile's privatization system is excellent all around, but this is the money quote: