The Rundown

August 16, 2007
  • Steven Stark at RCP argues that Obama and Edwards are their own worst enemies in the debate format. I don’t disagree.
  • Former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta has some advice for the Bush Administration on how to avoid lame-duckery. I’d bet good money Podesta is wasting his time here.
  • Don Rumsfeld actually resigned the day before the election. How about that.
  • The Democrats really should make a point of passing the South Korea – US free trade pact. They won’t, but they should.
  • Especially not if this is any indication. Please, Democrats, please stop doing this. I want to vote for you. I really do.

Rudy Scares Me

August 15, 2007

Wow. I never was a big Giuliani fan, but I am less of one every day. Apparently, the problem with George Bush’s foreign policy is that it hasn’t gone far enough. As Yglesias says:

Rudy, though, has another problem. He’s got a kinda unconservative record on God, guns, and gays, to say nothing of the baby-killing or his past stances on immigration. Can he really afford wiggle room? Maybe not. That kind of political calculation combined with a gut-level love of confrontation and years of association with the strange faction that is New York City-based conservative intellectual life has produced a striking decision to double down on neoconservative foreign policy.

Wow. Heaven help us all if we elect this man.

UPDATE: Slate’s Fred Kaplan discusses the piece. I blow a fuse in my brain every time I try to think hard enough about it to write anything, but he does a better job than I would have anyway.


The Rundown

August 15, 2007
  • Two big names have recently proposed reforming the farm subsidy system. One wants to retarget subsidies to family farms. The other wants to do away with subsidies altogether. The two people are John Stossel and John Edwards. Guess who proposed what.
  • Could Superfund survive a cost-benefit analysis? Almost definitely not. I am not sure what we should do about it.
  • Big media is out to screw the little guy. I know, that’s not really news, but on the other hand, it is.
  • Fred Kaplan weighs in on the draft at Slate.
  • Robert Samuelson calls for more clear-headed reporting on global warming, and makes the alarming and probably true assertion that we really don’t know how to solve this one. We probably shouldn’t do nothing though. Meanwhile, Matthew Yglesias critiques Michael Gerson’s global warming hand-wringing.

The Rundown

August 14, 2007
  • Matthew Yglesias asks an important question — Would Rudy Giuliani Bomb Iran? (I’ll give you a hint: the answer is “yes.”)
  • In other scary war news, there have been murmurs about the draft again in recent weeks. Steve Levitt of Freakonomics fame makes a pretty persuasive argument against. Fortunately, the Pentagon’s official line is still that the draft is off the table.
  • Via Brad DeLong, Abu Aardvark points out that a Petraeus/Crocker report might, due to the nature of their respective positions, be somewhat schizophrenic.
  • Jesus Christ, why does Chuck Schumer want anything to do with copyrighting fashion designs?
  • The Democratic Strategist thinks election reform is a good idea. So do I. I’d like something even more radically than what the author would like, but anything is better than what we have now.

The Rundown

August 9, 2007
  • More good writing on the Minnesota Bridge Disaster by Michael O’Hare.
  • Via Crooked Timber, a good Boston Review article on the sociology of American prisons.
  • Cal Thomas, with whom I rarely agree, makes a pretty good case that we should vote for competence over ideology next year.
  • Bruce Bartlett, not exactly a tree-hugger, writes a guest entry over at Andrew Sullivan’s blog criticizing a less-than-accurate Drudge headline on global warming. A Drudge headline, shrill and wrong? Shocking, I know.
  • In other poorly written news news, Matthew Yglesias is outraged at a NYT article which doesn’t bother rebut the Administration’s charges of Democratic tax shenanigans.
  • Finally, Freakonomics hosts a high-profile discussion of street charity. Still hate the term “quorum” for these posts, though.

The Rundown

August 8, 2007
  • Here is a pretty good, reasonable, level-headed analysis of the entire Scott Beauchamp controversy over at Slate.
  • Speaking of level-headed analysis, here is Mark Kleiman on No Child Left Behind.
  • Ruben Navarrette of the San Diego Union-Tribune defends Obama’s much-maligned foreign policy prescriptions. TPM’s Reed Hundt has more.
  • Paul Sonne argues for Foreign Policy that the IOC should do a better job of selecting Olympic sites.
  • Things continue to heat up between Russia and Georgia.

The Rundown

August 7, 2007
  • Tyler Cowen presents a really interesting argument about the nature of poverty, based on a book by Charles Kareli.
  • Foreign Policy‘s Mike Boyer points to the fact that Grist (and other environmental organizations) tend to ignore conservative environmentalists.
  • A pretty entertaining Freakonomics Q&A with Columbia sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh about gang life.
  • Over at Salon, Juan Cole calls the latest surge of good news on the surge “a surge of phony spin.” Surge.
  • Also at Salon, Glenn Greenwald interviews Chris Dodd. I have found myself increasingly impressed by Dodd. It’s a shame he’s such a long-shot.
  • MD Governor Martin O’Malley and DLC Chair Harold Ford argue for Democratic centrism in the WP. Steve Benen is not impressed.