Ezra Klein

Know Thy Enemy

Via Kriston, I see Doubleday is taking fire for their decision to publish an al-Qa'eda Reader. The book would consist of translations of tracts penned by the organization's leaders with all profits going to charity. Of course, the usual outcry is emerging, and it's only a matter of time till O'Reilly pops a blood vessel over it, but I'll be first in line to buy a copy.

Sucks For You, Now About My Offer...

Michael nails this one nicely. Generally, the US government works off a speak no evil policy where, if they're not talking about a problem, it doesn't exist. It's quite convenient, actually, appearing as less an oligarch's callousness than a child's sweet, blissful ignorance. The government couldn't have done anything, they didn't even know!

Duck Hunt

Nicholas Thompson's case for Chief Justice Scalia is persuasive, but a tad optimistic. While I agree that, given Scalia's predictability, intelligence, and symbolic value to the right, we'd benefit from a trade that put him in Rehnquist's place and filled his vacancy with a moderate, what in Bush's history or character makes Nick think such a trade is even within the realm of possibility? Is there any evidence that Bush is a political moderate held hostage by his association with the Christian Right? Is there any evidence that the Republican-held Senate won't vote to confirm a conservative nominee? Is there any evidence that Bush, having made this deal, wouldn't immediately renege on it or define "moderate" as arch-conservative?

Ding, Dong

Doug Feith has quit. Oh happy day! The prime incompetent amid a sea of pretenders, he distinguished himself as an omnipresent voice for incompetence, playing a crucial part in fucking up of the invasion, and occupation, of Iraq. To quote Suellentrop:

Clinton 2.0

Da Moose is right, Hillary is making the sweet moves. If Bill's enormous charisma and obvious potential gave him the credibility to cross liberals on key policies (or symbols), Hillary's position as bugaboo of the right and liberal icon is allowing her to assume unorthodox stances on issues where progressives desperately need some creative repositioning. And it's freedom she's taking, at least if her efforts to stake out consensus ground on choice and tougher, but fairer, positions on immigration reform are admissible as evidence.

Policy Pitfalls

Brad's got a good post on the ironically named Copenhagen Consensus, Bjorn Lomberg's blue-ribbon panel to determine the most cost-effective forms of environmental activism. His point -- that it'd all be well and good if governments would actually follow the recommendations rather than just use them to knock down spending on global warming prevention is well-taken, and one that's relevant far beyond Lomberg.

Suggestions?

Privatization.

Private accounts.

Personal accounts clearly have but a few days left before some forgetful pundits start getting Guantanamo'd for the term. And yes, we could just watch successive labels fall like manna from the lips of Luntz, but here at EK Inc., we like to stay ahead of the curve. So what's the next, next, next name for this kick in the New Deal's gut gonna be? Best answer gets a mention, and the transcendent joy that comes from seeing your label appear in my posts. Get crackin'.

Update: Matt's got a great idea...

Kramers

Sue reminds me of what impressed me most about DC -- the brilliant merging of the bar and bookstore. My drunkenness is seriously impeded by my nerdiness, hanging out with the books often wins over cracking open some beer. Usually, this inconveniences only my girlfriend*, who is stunningly tolerant of my poor life choices. Other groups of people, however, are less enthralled by periodicals and usually respond to my suggestions with a mix of derision and incredulity. But DC! There I can suggest going to the bars and sneakily lead to a bookstore. It's a dream come true.

What About Promotional Flashlights and S'mores?

I really like James Wolcott's idea for a weekly Air America show about Bush-based conspiracies. But it'd have to be done right. A shrill show with unlikely sounding tales repeated breathlessly by a too-dramatic host would be no good, it'd make liberals look nuts. But a show with a slightly incredulous host, who could deal with the theories in a skeptical but respectful manner could be very effective.

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