Like the thing we saw from David Brock’s independent expenditure group, I think this is pretty good but it’s almost too easy. I’d like to see some early advertising taking on McCain’s perceived strengths, especially on national security. I suspect, however, that part of the problem is that while either Clinton or Obama would have similar criticisms to make of McCain on the economy, they would probably come at the security issue in different directions which makes it hard for an outsider group to know exactly what to say.
“Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice mocked anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr as a coward on Sunday, hours after the radical leader threatened to declare war unless U.S. and Iraqi forces end a military crackdown on his followers.” Spencer Ackerman remarks, “So Sadr is a coward for making threats from Iran… and Condoleezza Rice is a stateswoman for blustering Sadr into making a move that carries the potential of killing American soldiers.” And VetVoice’s Brandon Friedman comments that this echoes Bush’s “Bring ‘em on” declaration.
Wow. I wasn’t particularly planning to watch the Pistons-76ers series — nice upset. This will be more grist for Dave Berri’s mill as he tries to convince the world that Andre Miller is better than Allan Iverson.
Two pros give you the inside scoop Monday, April 21 at 11:30am.
Energy, global warming, and environmental protection will be major issues during the 2008 election campaign. Recent polls determined that voters believe that energy is the third most important issue after the economy and the Iraq war. The public’s desire to know about the presidential candidates’ records and positions is higher this year than ever before.
On the eve of Earth Day, please join two experts in the field of energy and environmental policy and politics. They will provide information about the records and policies of the three remaining major party candidates. They will also highlight key energy and environmental issues.
HOW TO LISTEN IN: Phone: 888-387-8686, Passcode: 5869246
WHO: Gene Karpinski, President, League of Conservation Voters, and Daniel J. Weiss, Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy, Center for American Progress Action Fund
For reasons I can’t quite comprehend, even some pretty hardened TNR-haters seem to see Leon Wieseltier as making a positive contribution to the world. Certainly, some very good stuff appears in the back of the book over there, but the man’s own work is a kind of writing-as-thuggery. Anyways, it seems I have to add my colleague Andrew Sullivan to the ever-growing list of people TNR deems motivated by hatred of Jews. The context — Bill Kristol sitting in his partisan hack armchair and determining that Barack Obama’s Christian faith is insincere:
And now for the grossly undialectical bit. The ink on the Times was not yet dry when Andrew Sullivan rushed to the defense of his idol, I mean Obama. When one types all the time, sooner or later everything will be typed, and so Sullivan, in his fury against Kristol, typed this: “A non-Christian manipulator of Christianity is calling a Christian a liar about his faith.” Ponder that early adjective. It is Jew baiting. I was not aware that only Christians can judge Christians, or that there are things about which a Jew cannot call a Christian a liar. If Kristol is wrong about Obama, it is not because Kristol is a Jew. So this fills me with a certain paschal wrath. Nice little blog you have there, Obama boy. Pity if frogs or locusts should happen to it. Let my people be!
Um . . . really . . . noting the irony of Kristol’s attack is now “Jew-baiting”? We seem to be defining our problems down here. But in Wieseltier’s view, this is the equivalent of enslaving the entire people of Israel. And Wieseltier himself is, I guess, Moses? How preposterous. And this isn’t a blog post — Wieseltier has, nominally, an editor who ought to be able to engage in some quality control.
There’s a small-but-interesting story in the Times about how military commanders want to conduct more strikes in Pakistan but the Bush administration is forcing them to exercise more constraint out of deference to Pakistani sentiments. I’m not sure who’s right on the underlying merits here, but the fact that this situation could arise helps illustrate how fatuous the Bush/McCain “We Must Do What Petraeus Commands” theory of Iraq is.
No President — not even the one articulating the theory — would actually behave in the manner Bush is suggesting. When formulating policy toward military operations in Pakistan you of course need to ask the military commanders what they think, but you of course don’t just follow them blindly. There are other considerations in play and it would be absurd to blindly follow any one person’s advice.
So the next president should start a $20 billion-a-year program (financed by a pullout from Iraq) to develop new energy technologies, backed by a carbon tax and cap-and-trade system.
No, no, a hundred times no. First off, why on God’s green earth would you have both a carbon tax and cap-and-trade system? One of the main reasons to do something as complicated as an economy-wide cap-and-trade system is that the simple approach, a tax, is a political nonstarter in this country. If you could get a tax, why would you add all the complexity of a cap-and-trade system? Pick one and stick with it. Please.
Here’s a look at the Appalachian coal mining that powers the DC area. It’s an very ugly business wreaking some horrible environmental effects even before you start talking about the climate issues. The interest of the mining communities in the coal-related jobs is, of course, understandable. On the other hand, though, one looks at the economic history of this part of the country and becomes skeptical that coal mining has really provided much of a path to prosperity.
On ABC’s This Week today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) embraced ABC News anchor Charlie Gibson’s cocktail-napkin economics and claimed that “every time you cut capital gains taxes, revenues have increased”:
MCCAIN: Sen. Obama says that he doesn’t want to raise taxes over, on anybody over, making over $200,000 a year. Yet he wants to nearly double the capital gains tax, nearly double it, which a hundred million Americans have investments in. Mutual funds, 401ks, policemen, firemen, nurses, he wants to increase their taxes. And he obviously doesn’t understand the economy because history shows every time you cut capital gains taxes, revenues have increased, going back to Jack Kennedy. So, out of touch, yes.
As Center for American Progress Action Fund senior fellow Robert Gordon points out, “cutting these taxes may lead to a temporary spike in revenue,” but “over the long term, the biggest owners of stock—the wealthiest Americans—will mostly save what they will save, regardless of fluctuations in the rate.” The Congressional Budget Office notes:
Rising gains receipts in response to a rate cut are most likely to occur in the short run. … Thus, even though the responsiveness of realizations to a tax cut may not be enough to produce additional receipts over a long period, it may do so over a few years. The potentially large difference between the long- and short-term sensitivity of realizations to tax rates can mislead observers into assuming a greater permanent responsiveness than actually exists.
Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, says “evidence that a capital gains tax cut raises revenue is rather dubious.” But it shouldn’t come as a shock that McCain would use such “dubious” rhetoric when he embraces economic theories that are “beyond the reach of economic science.”
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities thoroughly explains how Gibson and McCain’s claims “are seriously misleading.”
I believe we can proclaim this one the “best film directed by the brother of a major blogger.” Blogs aside, it’s damn funny on its own right. As we now expect from Apatow-circle movies, the gender politics here are kind of problematic, but it certainly didn’t stop me from laughting.