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Dealing With Political Blind Spots

Ezra Klein had a great rundown yesterday on a psychological phenomenon called motivated skepticism: On the simplest level, American politics presents us with an incentives problem: McConnell — like most minority leaders — is an avowedly reflexive opponent of the president’s reelection. The president’s reelection campaign depends on an improved economy. That a rational actor working…

Dealing with the DPRK

Image via Wikipedia Given that I’m very far from an expert on East Asian politcs — and that North Korea is the most opaque nation on the planet — I recognize a certain need to tread very carefully when it comes to commenting on the state’s recent behavior. But just arguing for the opposite of…

Trig-onometry

Due respect to Andrew Sullivan, but this is overparsing: The other untruth is that I have “advance[d] conspiracy theories that she is not the biological mother of Trig.” I would ask Labash to explain what conspiracy theory I have advanced. Who have I claimed is the real mother of Trig? How have I argued such…

A “Total Miscarriage of Justice”

Image via Wikipedia That’s how incoming House homeland security chair Pete King described the Ghailani trial. Ghailani (pictured) was, of course, found guilty on only one of the 285 charges brought against him, and consequentially got off with a light slap on the wrist: twenty years to life imprisonment. So why did the prosecution wind…

If You Can’t Win the Argument, Pretend it Doesn’t Exist

Spencer Ackerman on the Obama administration’s legal justification for drone strikes: In March, the State Department’s legal adviser gave a speech asserting that the strikes are legal, not demonstratingwhy they are. The closest that Harold Koh came to articulating his case was to say: The administration doesn’t intentionally kill civilians (“…attacks [are] limited to military objectives and…

Another Undeclared War

Spencer Ackerman’s latest piece for Wired is pretty chilling. Especially this part: White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan didn’t say it on the Sunday chat shows, but there’s a plan gaining momentum within the Obama administration to expand the CIA’s “operational control” over “U.S. hunter-killer teams” from the Joint Special Operations Command tracking al-Qaeda’s Yemen-based…

In Defense of Hypocrisy

Since attention, good and bad, is exactly what Gawker was looking for when they started sniffing around Christine O’Donnell’s dirty laundry, I’m hesitant to reward them with more of it. But I do want to highlight Scott Lemieux’s response to the exceedingly thin justification Gawker offered up for their sleazy gossip mongering: Once you start…

The Rational Irrational Voter

Yesterday, guestblogger E.C. Gach asked: So the question I leave to you is, are Americans driven to crappy prime time sitcoms to escape the mess that is our national politics, or is our national politics a mess because Americans cannot spare a night of crappy sitcoms to deal, even superficially, with the political issues facing…

Swimming in the Shallows

Cover via Amazon I’m a little hesitant to jump into another discussion about Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows, since I’m self-conscious about the fact that it’s in my top 3 Books I Somehow End Up Writing About Despite Never Having Read Them. But as unqualified as I am to critically assess Carr’s book as a whole,…

Whose Fault is Generation Me?

Hey all, I’m Ned Resnikoff. Along with Barrett Brown, I’m part of the latest batch of dewy-eyed greenhorns to start contributing regularly to this blog. A little bit about me: I’m a recent NYU graduate, and a current researcher at Media Matters for America.* In the past, I’ve contributed to Campus Progress, Cracked, Spencer Ackerman’s…