It’s an apparent sea of prosperity amidst New England’s economic gloom. What’s the deal?
To just make a brief point The New York Times seems to have overlooked, while sockpuppetry is bad, being an ass to Ezra Klein not to be approved of, and the “blogofascism” episode absurd, the genuinely problematic thing Lee Siegel did as a blogger was repeatedly smear someone as a pedophile utterly without evidence. I’m not sure whether or not what he was doing amounted to libel, but it certainly seemed close to me.
“Some ID Theft Is Not for Profit, but to Get a Job” — but why do they want these jobs? For profit, no?
Number of lives lost since 2001, in an “epidemic of global terrorism.”
I don’t think the case Sebastian Mallaby makes here against public policy measures aimed at increasing unionization makes very much sense, especially since he himself concedes that “the case for unionization appears better than it has in a generation.” Nevertheless, he’s still quite right about what he says about taxes — lurking beneath the mildly progressive structure of the income tax code is a series of shockingly regressive tax deductions. Eliminating or reforming them would be a good idea.
On inequality more broadly, I have a take vaguely along the lines of what Max Sawicky says here. The challenge isn’t to try and devise some one specific good anti-inequality policy initiative. Probably there is no such initiative. Probably if you pushed hard enough on any one lever to singlehandedly reverse the trend, you’d break the machine. The decisive issue is one of political will. Were it the case that there was mass concern with inequality — the fact that someone as rightwing as Mallaby is writing about the topic is a good sign — then the dynamic would be different. How?
Realclimate.org has an important post correcting a flawed news article making the rounds on the blogosphere.
An Australian article claims, “The world’s top climate scientists have cut their worst-case forecast for global warming over the next 100 years.” This is based on a misreading of the draft Fourth Assessment Report of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The article has confused the projected temperature rise from a doubling of preindustrial levels of carbon dioxide concentrations (the so-called “climate sensitivity”), which the draft report says is 2°-4.5°C, with the projected temperature rise from whatever level of carbon dioxide the world actually ends up with in 2100, which could be considerably above a doubling (or below–if we act soon).
As I have noted previously, confusion about future temperature rise is common. The issue is even more confused here because, as realclimate.org explained previously, the climate sensitivity doesn’t even include crucial feedbacks and vicious cycles in the carbon cycle that could further boost warming. And, of course, the report is only at a draft stage, so perhaps the media should wait until the report is filed early next year before reporting, or misreporting, its conclusions.
The numbers are, in any case, nothing to be sanguine about, since any sane society would want to do everything possible to avoid warming beyond 2°C.
Kofi Annan says Iran is happy to negotiate about its nuclear program but, rather sensibly, isn’t willing to concede everything in advance by suspending uranium enrichment as a condition for having the talks. Meanwhile, one two three silly UN-bashing posts from Marty Peretz at the Plank. I’m told he’ll be getting a blog of his own soon, to help replace the dearly departed Lee Siegel.
My fellow liberals in town keep assuring me that there’s not going to be a war with Iran. It’s just not possible, it’s too crazy, etc. I don’t know. They could be right. Their argument makes sense. But I’m not so sure. Certainly, most of the relevant people are acting like they’d like to start a war with Iran. And the relevant people inside the government haven’t exactly been known to let “X would be a really bad idea” stop them from doing X. I’d be worried. I’m especially worried that our progressive leaders don’t seem to be worried. Clearly, there are people out there agitating for war. If the people who don’t want a war don’t take them and the threat they pose seriously, that only makes it more likely that they’ll get their war.
On September 10 and 11, ABC is planning to air a “docudrama” called “Path to 9/11,” billed as “an objective telling of the events of 9/11.” In fact, the film was written by an unabashed conservative who twists the facts to blame President Clinton.
The show’s official blog attracted many comments from the public criticizing the film for its inaccuracies. In response, writer Cyrus Nowrasteh and director David Cunningham posted a number of strikingly defensive blog posts. Some excerpts:
1) This is not a documentary…
2) This is not a right wing agenda movie…By the way, we are also being accused of being a left wing movie that bashes Bush.
Wed, Aug 30, 2006 22:01
This movie is well-supported and well-documented. But everyone should be aware, and we say so upfront in a long legend — “The following dramatization…has composite and representative characters and incidents, and time compressions have been used for dramatic purposes.”
…Whoever wants to write and talk about this movie is free to do so, and we’ve been very open in talking to them. We can’t control who writes what…
Fri, Sep 1, 2006 16:59
Even Further Clarification
…The redundant statement about Clinton and the emphasis to protect his legacy instead of trying to learn from the failures of BOTH administrations smells of “agenda”.
…Watch the movie! Then let’s talk. If you haven’t seen the movie with your very own eyes – don’t castigate the movie out of ignorance.
Sat, Sep 2, 2006 16:48
Apparently, ABC is no longer interested in hosting a discussion about Path to 9/11. On Sunday, without announcement or explanation, ABC took the blog down. (The URL now redirects to the show’s homepage.) We’ve saved a copy of the full contents HERE.
UPDATE: Without explaination, ABC brought the blog back online sometime Tuesday.
Terrorism prosecutions have fallen back to pre-9/11 levels. A new report notes, “In the eight months ending last May, Justice attorneys declined to prosecute more than nine out of every 10 terrorism cases sent to them by the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other federal agencies.”
Tough job market for the nation’s 45 million young workers: “Entry-level wages for college and high school graduates fell by more than 4 percent from 2001 to 2005, after factoring in inflation.”
More women are returning to work. “Among women age 20 and older, 60.8% were working or looking for a job in July. That’s close to the all-time peak of 61% that occurred in April 2000 and again in June 2003.”
Yesterday, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said African Union troops must leave when their mandate expires on Sept. 30. Today, a presidential advisor softened that position and said the AU troops can stay if their mandate is renewed. But Sudan continues to resist a U.N. peacekeeping force. U.N. officials warn Darfur “is on the brink of a return to all-out war.”
Most news stories are reporting that U.S. and Iraqi forces have captured the No. 2 leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. But one military official notes that while Hamed Jumaa Faris Juri al-Saeedi was a “top-tier guy,” he’s not “ready to put a number on him.” Read more