Let me say publicly that DonBoy’s answer exudes a combination of intuitive genius and confidence that make me think DonBoy is going to do big things in his life. -- Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics blog)
Monday, September 29, 2003
Just a thought about the CIA

As the Plame affairs continues to snowball, I caught myself with the following thought: The Bushies are cooked, because, as the increasing level of this scandal shows, the CIA has figured out that this guy is a disaster, and they're going to bring him down, just like they did Nixon.

Which surprised me, because I didn't think I believed that the CIA brought down Nixon, but maybe I do. I can also put this together with my previous thought about the CIA to conclude that GHWB is in the process of pulling the plug on his own son.

Not that I do believe any of this. I'm just sharing.
Monday, September 22, 2003
A subtle distinction

From Slate's Emmy roundup:

Then there's Joe Pantoliano, who won Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for playing a guy whose head was cut off and stuffed into a bowling bag. As the actor repeatedly and with increasing impatience explained to reporters before and after the show, Ralphie wasn't "whacked"—a whack is a sanctioned mob hit—but merely "killed."

Sunday, September 21, 2003
OK, bad example

Glenn Reynolds give an approving link to this Michael Barone column, which contains this:
Those inclined to make straight-line extrapolations from the events of a few news cycles should read some history. Margaret MacMillan's Paris 1919 shows how the Allied leaders who gathered at the peace conference in Paris were largely clueless about how to reconstruct the defeated nations after World War I...

Yes, and look how well that reconstruction turned out -- or has conventional wisdom shifted on the disastrous Versailles treaty since I was in school? Barone's general point has some validity, but surely he could have found a better first example.
Friday, September 19, 2003
A Ninth Circuit that looks like America

Here is the entirety of an item at Volokh today:

Ninth Circuit agrees to rehear California recall case. The en banc panel will be Schroeder, Kozinski, O'Scannlain, Kleinfeld, Tashima, Silverman, Graber, McKeown, Gould, Tallman, Rawlinson.

It is, seriously, kind of inspiring.
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
New "Greatest Web Page Ever!"

Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire, now with visual aids. Seen at IvyJews.
Contrarian thoughs on Clark vs. Dean

I'm laying claim here to this theory: Clark's entrance into the race helps Dean, because Dean needs there to be a new storyline. "Dean as frontrunner" can't last for the next 6 months. If nothing else happens, something, somewhere, will be bad in its own right for Dean, and then the story becomes "The wheels are coming off of Dean's campaign".

Now, there's something new to talk about for a while. Dean still has to hope that Clark doesn't beat him in the long run, but my impression is that Clark's appeal right now is that he seems like a good idea, and good ideas for politicians aren't a lock over guys who have actually gotten people to vote for them in the past.
Monday, September 15, 2003
If you're not tired of that 'flypaper' business yet

Jim Henley has this argument-ender:

To see al Qaeda activity in Iraq and chortle, "See! They're tied down there." would be akin to observing the assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud on September 10, 2001 and chortling, "Silly al Qaeda dolts! All they do is mess around in Afghan politics. What a bunch of losers!"

Wednesday, September 10, 2003
A completely cheap shot against Al Franken, whom I support in all other ways

If you're appearing on, say, Jon Stewart -- where you frickin' killed with your suggested Kerry campaign ad which I will not spoil here -- plugging your book about lies and the lying liars who tell them, it would be better if your hair were more convincing.
Sunday, September 07, 2003
Goose and gander redux

One of Tom Delay's arguments in favor of his Texas redistricting scheme is that there's something wrong with the fact that Texas, a state with (now) more Republicans than Democrats, has a Congressional delegation that's the other away around. Against this, let's remember the result of the last Presidential election -- even ignoring Florida -- when we were assured, after the fact, that the disconnect between the popular vote and the Electoral College vote was just one of the many wonders that our wise founding fathers left us. (This despite the reported pre-election plans of the GOP for a media blitz against the EC had it gone the opposite way, but never mind that right now.) Given this anomaly in the system, sure the consistent thing would be for Delay to not only abandon the redistricting project, but call for an Electoral College system in the voting for Governor of Texas. After all, shouldn't the good people of Texas have the honor of experiencing a non-representative executive branch, like the rest of us?
Wednesday, September 03, 2003
The French News Network, or The Shitstorm Writes Itself

I can't wait to see how this is going to play in the meta-media:
Vivendi Universal SA and General Electric Co. agreed Tuesday to enter exclusive negotiations to merge Vivendi’s U.S. entertainment assets and GE’s NBC division, the French media and utilities conglomerate said.
Vivendi said the company that would be formed if a final deal is reached would be 80 percent owned by Fairfield, Conn.-based GE and 20 percent by Vivendi.

You think John Kerry "looks French"? Wait until NBC News comes up with anything remotely displeasing to the right. That 20% ownership by a French company is going to be the stick to beat them with. (The countermove is to stipulate that yes, perhaps the corporate ownership of media is relevant, and then point at major defense contractor GE.)

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