Ten Second News (Beta)

“Taking responsibility” again.

Conor Friedersdorf has posted another entry in the “sprawling, muddled debate about the state of the right, the role dissident conservatives should play, and the wisdom of attacking talk radio hosts” that’s been playing out recently, with Conor and Rod Dreher on one side, and fellow Gentlemen Freddie, Mark, and E.D. on the other, with…

Libertarians and Diversity (or lack thereof)

The forthcoming issue* of Reason features an exceedingly thoughtful essay by Kerry Howley, in which she argues that libertarianism would be well-served by widening its scope and paying far more attention to infringements on liberty that are the product of cultural forces.  It’s an argument familiar to those of us versed in sociological or anthropological…

Poverty guidelines and the costs of health care reform

The Census Bureau reported Tuesday that 15.8 percent of Americans lived in poverty last year, using an alternative method to analyze their numbers provided by the National Academy of Sciences.  This is significantly higher than the 13.2 percent official poverty rate the agency released last month. Since a great deal of the estimated cost of health care…

Reform Conservatism, Not Conservatives

It’s clear to me that Conor and to a lesser extent Rod don’t understand what Jamelle, Freddie, E.D., and myself have been driving at in our various critiques of reform-minded conservatism.  Conor’s misunderstanding is made apparent in this statement from his interview with Scott: Perhaps we’re getting at what puzzles and galls me so much…

You can go your own way

Many readers are undoubtedly suspicious of self-indulgent exercises in libertarian wankery, but this excellent dialogue from Reason raises some interesting questions about the nature of governance, freedom and culture. As someone who grew up in a pretty liberal milieu, I instinctively found myself nodding along to Kerry Howley’s comprehensive vision of cultural libertarianism. But I’m…

Things you can do/Some can’t be done

In his column today, David Brooks makes an error which I think is pretty common of conservative commentators who look to Great Britain for political inspiration.  But first, Brooks: The Conservatives have treated British voters as adults for a year now, with a string of serious economic positions. The Conservatives supported the Labour government bank…

Conflicts of interest

James Joyner points us to this bit of union badness from Mickey Kaus: I knew they’d find a way to punish Ford: The new UAW contract with Ford apparently does not give America’s surviving non-bankrupt automaker parity with GM and Chrysler, reports Bloomberg: “The plan doesn’t include cuts to retiree benefits, such as vision coverage, that were granted to GM…

Connecting Dissidents and the Base

Jamelle’s post yesterday stimulated some thoughts in my head, not only about the question of why movement conservatives need to recognize that the Bush Administration’s failures are attributable to conservatism, but also about how Republicans can more quickly return to being a competent governing party. The other day, I struggled to think of a single unifying characteristic…

Deep Inside of a Parallel Universe

Reihan doesn’t think that we should dismiss Republican intransigence as irrational or nihilistic (via Andrew Sullivan): Among Democrats and liberals, there is a belief that Republican opposition to the various Democratic proposals represents a kind of “nihilism,” and that because Baucuscare resembles proposals offered by liberal and moderate Republicans in the 1990s, today’s opposition is…

Our National Drug of Choice

No one is above the outrage cycle. We have now, in our culture, synthesized the two worst elements of pre-9/11 and post-9/11 media: the pre-9/11 obsession with meaningless bullshit; and the post-9/11 obsession with filling every story with apocalyptic portent and over the top, tween-girl-at-a-Jonas-brothers-concert hysteria. We still care too much about J-Lo’s dress and…

Conservative Fusionism Is To Blame

In his response to Freddie, Conor writes: This is sloppy reasoning. It treats conservatism as though it is indistinguishable from the Republican Party and the Bush Administration — as though a political philosophy and an American political coalition are the same things — and it proceeds to make a rather stunning implicit assertion: that if…

But What Are You For? The Death of Modern Movement Conservatism

I had the good fortune yesterday afternoon to attend a panel discussion on the future of conservatism featuring Ross Douthat, David Frum, Daniel Larison, and Virginia Postrel.  It was a rather enlightening discussion, but at the same time also a discussion that drove me to the conclusion that we are a long way from seeing…

Turn It Down

It’s not Obama’s fault that the Nobel Committee decided to award him the 2009 Peace Prize. Really, it’s not. In fact, I almost feel bad for Obama – he probably doesn’t deserve the resentment that this announcement will inevitably provoke. Unless the Administration actively lobbied for recognition – something I find implausible, if only because…

Net Neutrality, Libertarianism, and Free Information

Publius/John Blevins at Obsidian Wings has written quite a bit over the years about the issue of net neutrality.  For the most part, I’ll admit, the discussion has largely made my eyes glaze over and hasn’t much interested me.  Then I saw that in Publius’ Clark Kent persona, he recently filed an amicus brief on…

How do those Northern Europeans do it?

Responding to Ross Douthat’s latest column, Jamelle raises an interesting question: And finally, I wonder how Douthat explains away Northern Europe’s high economic growth rates and robust welfare states? I’m no economist, but I think this has something to do with the fact that government in Northern Europe, while large, is effectively limited and rather…

Bobby Jindal strikes an impressive blow for dishonesty

I’m embarrassed to say that I once had a little bit of respect for Bobby Jindal.  I mean, his retrograde social views notwithstanding, he seemed to be exactly what I was looking for in a Republican: intelligent, articulate and comfortable with public policy.  Granted, I would never vote for him, but it is critically important…

Prospects for Reclaiming Intellectual Conservatism

I read Steven Hayward’s article on intellectual conservatism with some interest, mainly because I thought Hayward – as a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute and frequent contributor to The Weekly Standard – would have enough movement credibility to convincingly argue that talk radio populists aren’t conservatism’s best standard bearers. The substance of this critique…

Another (predictable) liberal defense of Rep. Grayson

Justin, a Friend of the Blog, isn’t terribly happy with the language Rep. Grayson (infamously?) used to describe the Republican health care alternative: There is no sense in which the Republicans want people to die.  Nothing even approximately close.  Republicans have their reasons for disagreeing with health care reform, many of which I think are…

Hayek on Health Insurance

I don’t know how, during the long months of this health insurance debate, this quote from Road To Serfdom slipped my mind, but it certainly bears re-emphasis: “Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few…

That Horse? It Left the Stable Long Ago. We Called Him Seabiscuit

David Rivkin and Lee Casey take to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to claim that any individual insurance mandate would “likely” fail to pass Constitutional muster under even a modern understanding of Constitutional law and the commerce clause.  Whatever my thoughts on the value of an individual mandate, this is a shoddy piece of legal commentary…