yes but why so blatantly?

There’s a fairly wide consensus building that the Iranian election results were fraudulent.  Much speculation exists regarding the who, why, etc.  John Holbo wonders why the apparent fraud was so crudely done.  It’s a good question.  Why not make the results more believable?

what’s next

It has to be said: we are probably not going to see a democratic revolution in Iran. There is every reason to believe Ahmadinejad will remain in power in the near future. That wouldn’t mean that the current activity is useless or unproductive. But it leads, I suspect, in a terrible direction. This civic unrest…

Blame Congress

So here’s Bill Maher doing this thing and directing it at Obama.  I think it’s good that Obama get some real criticism from his left, but still I just have to my roll my eyes on this one. Particularly with the whole “this isn’t what I voted for” schpeel.  Bill Maher should have done his…

Sunday Poetry Series

El Hombre by William Carlos Williams It’s a strange courage you give me ancient star: Shine alone in the sunrise toward which you lend no part! Nuances of a Theme by Williams by Wallace Stevens i Shine alone, shine nakedly, shine like bronze, that reflects neither my face nor any inner part of my being,…

plea for the green

Please, please let this often well-meaning but always clumsy democracy have the wisdom and the foresight to show restraint, to have the deft touch we have so often lacked. Please. Iran has many, many people who are desperate for democracy, who are progressive, who believe in the liberal tradition, who want to reduce the role…

co-ops, socialized medicine, and deregulation

Ezra Klein has an interview up with Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota. In it they discuss the Senator’s health care reform proposal to implement federally chartered, non-profit cooperatives to compete against private insurers.  Now, when it comes to most-things-co-operative – small farmers, brewers, natural health food stores, bookstores etc. – I am typically a…

conservatives for socialized medicine?

I still think taking the health care debate out of politics would be good for conservatism in the long run, even if it did mean one more government entitlement.  Then again, I think the real thing to fear from government isn’t welfare services but the rise of a police state of some form or other,…

Making Sense

Partially dissenting from the Paul Krugman column on right-wing hatred, Jon Henke makes some good points about guilt-by-right-or-left-association charges in general.  He concludes with “two ironies” that are pretty relevant: The Left strenuously objects to connecting President Obama to socialists and William Ayers; meanwhile, they want to lump all conservatives in with militant radicals.    Meanwhile,…

A Couple of Thoughts On Executive Pay

Via Politico: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Wednesday that the Obama administration will take several new steps to reform the ways executives are paid on Wall Street — and he argued that pay packages were partly to blame for the epic Wall Street crash of 2008. “There were clearly some areas of compensation that contributed…

the big hate

Paul Krugman worries about the main-streaming of ultra-right-wing nuttery vis-a-vis the likes of Glenn Beck.  I mentioned this a while back actually.  Things will get worse before they get better.

Free Advice to Released Uighurs

If you are headed to Palau–where I spent 1 week of my life, 3 days of which was in a small to medium range typhoon, 2 other days of which I spent on the can–good luck.  It’s a beautiful place.  The people are also beautiful (especially the women) but tend to be a bit cold…

bringing schools back into our communities

Setting aside the voucher debate for a minute – because Kyle is right, to some degree it can’t hurt to at least try these various ideas out – I’d like to visit briefly the concept of the school itself as an essential part of one’s community.  Because it seems to me that the “public” school…

Elaboration on Vouchers

Kyle at Vogue Republic gets what I was trying to do with my post on vouchers the other day, even though he admits to being “lukewarm” on the value of vouchers.  The whole post is fantastic and he takes my arguments to a higher level while adding a bunch of his own good thoughts and…

NoKo Strategery

On the new AmConMag blog Post-Right (which you should really read), Jack Ross writes: I’d like to offer a theory about Kim Jong Il’s behavior – that he’s clumsily trying to imitate the shrewd moves of Ahmadinejad…Kim, by imprisoning these two women and conducting new missile tests, is aping Ahmadinejad’s tactics at provoking the U.S.,…

the civilizational tango

I have described progressive and conservative politics as existing in a sort of necessary “civilizational tango.”   This is often the vantage point from which I’m operating when I consider such things as the importance of both political and economic decentralization as well as the very definite need to provide some form of universal health care,…

Respecting the Founders

The response to the “America is a Christian nation” meme is usually to argue that the Founders were deists, which results in an intractable debate about the Founders’ actual religion.  Transplanted Lawyer, however, takes a different approach: Their writings and speeches are all over the map and certainly do not conform to contemporary standards of…

great diavlog with Lindsey and Frum

Brink Lindsey and David Frum are a couple of guys who I disagree with a lot, and who would think little of me or my opinions if they were ever exposed to them. But they’re both very bright guys, and this diavlog is among the best that Bloggingheads has to offer. Great for a big…

thoughts on socialized medicine

I like Yglesias’s idea: I actually think there’s a very strong case on the merits for a limited form of socialized medicine. Which is to say that I think it would be smart for the government to directly provide a certain class of relatively cheap, not-very-interesting preventive services. You would have clinics in neighborhoods where…

Foreign Affairs Reporting Pet Peeve

This NyTimes article on a local Pakistani villager uprising against the Taliban in NorthWest Frontier Province refers to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas as “lawless tribal areas on the Afghan border.”  Could we stop with this lawless bit?  There are definitely laws out there.  They do not involve a nation-state with formal courts, juries, and…