To follow up on Glenn Reynolds’s impeccable logic, I would like to announce that, as someone with impeccable credentials as a Nelson Mandela Republican, I have no choice but to cross party lines and endorse Jim Martin. I can assure that it’s painful to abandon my long-standing party loyalties like that, but sometimes you have to put principle ahead of partisan interests…
Author Page for Scott Lemieux
I hope you’ve all read David Barstow’s very important (if depressing) story. It is, first of all, the tale of a truly shameless hack. But that’s not the most damaging thing; probably not many people have the integrity to turn down large amounts of money for undemanding work; it’s just that most of us aren’t in a position to be asked. The bigger story is NBC’s apparent belief that it should be able to put paid shills on to serve as objective analysts because, after all, the anchor and the shill have a “close friendship.” (Well, I’m convinced!)
But there’s an even deeper scandal here — the extent to which the McCaffreys and Williamses of the world form part of the military-welfare-queen complex. In a time period with immense strains on the public fisc, all military spending remains essentially beyond criticism. In this remains true even though as a description of the relationship between much of the spending and national security “diminishing returns” is a gross understatement.
Robert Stacy McCain unleashes some spittle-flecked outrage about something called the “Historic Victimhood Narrative” that is allegedly taught in American schools. For example, some history courses might suggest that race had something to do with the murder of Emmett Till. Why, they might even suggest that the acquittal of his murderers after a perfunctory show trial had something to do with the murder taking place in an apartheid police state! For shame — I can’t believe history has become so “politicized.”
Via Megan Carpentier, Patricia Meisol has a very interesting article about the small number of medical practitioners who choose to become aboriton providers. One factor is the fact that the skills are not easily acquired at many medical schools (“Even in Maryland, where about 61 percent of voters approved a referendum guaranteeing abortion in 1992 and which has the fourth-highest abortion rate in the country, abortion is not taught in any formal lectures at the state’s flagship medical school.”) Another important factor is the lingering effects of the terrorism directed at abortion clinics in the 80s and 90s:
Regardless of specialty, doctors who perform abortions sign up for a lifestyle unlike any other in medicine, a subculture replete with drawn blinds, shredders, and security guards at professional conventions. Violence against abortion providers has declined markedly since the 1980s and ’90s, when several doctors were killed or injured in shootings across the country and scores of clinics were torched or bombed, according to abortion federation data.
Myron Rose, a longtime College Park abortion provider who spoke at the seminar Lesley attended, wept as he described the difficult search for new office space after his clinic was firebombed in 1984. But that, he assured Lesley and the other medical students, was “antique times.”
Even so, those involved with abortion remain extremely cautious. Doctors take cover in the anonymity of large hospitals and debate whether to take their spouses’ surnames and how best to protect their children. Some avoid speaking publicly about abortion.
It is true that the legislation passed during the 90s was very effective at curtailing violence, but the precautions that abortion providers still have to take continues to have a chilling effect on the number of doctors willing to provide the service. Somehow, I’m inclined to think that the ongoing effects of this much more recent and successful terrorist campaign is more relevant to contemporary politics than Bill Ayers.
Yglesias commenter “hupcapiv” is making sense:
I’ll bail out out [any] writer who promises not to use the tiresome Friedman-esque phrase “it’s not X, it’s X on steroids.”
I continue to endorse this idea. Some other fine choices here, although were he to write it today I’m sure the Editors would include “under the bus,” “close the deal [at least in political context],” and “game changer.”
Krugman on the Citigroup bailout. Or perhaps “weak, arbitrary, [and] incomprehensible” is the better phrase. The fact that Citigroup’s shareholders are apparently not even going to get much of a haircut (let alone the wipeout that should be the no-questions-asked starting point for any bailout of this magnitude) is particularly appalling. Is there some sort of “Queens’s only skyscraper” exemption to representing taxpayer interests that I’m unaware of?
And, of course, this provides stark evidence about how much damage Bush will be able to do in his last lame duck months.
I’m fairly agnostic about the merits of the appointment — I’m inclined to defer to Obama’s judgment given the quality of his campaign and Clinton is certainly a person of substantial ability, but there are some real policy concerns here. Still, I have to admit the fact that it will make people like Our Lady of the Dolphins just a little bit crazier makes me feel better about the whole thing…
Congratulations to Henry Burris and the Calgary Stampeders on winning North America’s most important football championship…