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Crackpot Hack of the Day

[ 5 ] June 22, 2008 |

Maureen Dowd. (See also.)


We’re # 2876 #4456!

[ 0 ] June 22, 2008 |

Although perhaps owing to anti-French sentiments after 9/11, we’re down 1580 since 1990. We remain just ahead of “Hecht” and “Dong.” djw’s surname is the most common, coming in in the top 200. All LGM surnames in the top 5,000 are on the decline — read into that what you will…

[Via Movering.]

Nino’s Urban Legend

[ 0 ] June 21, 2008 |

The problem with apparently including cut-and-pasted segments from Sean Hannity transcripts to introduce your Supreme Court dissenting opinions is that your demagoguery may turn out to have a certain lack of factual basis.

A Test

[ 40 ] June 21, 2008 |

In re: perennial media darling Sam Nunn, Pierce says: “I thought I was rid of this walking blight a decade ago.” I’ll say this: I’m confident that he won’t, but if Obama picks him as a VP candidate I seriously, seriously misjudged him. The FISA cave is bad, but I never expect much from the Democratic leadership on civil liberties and in terms of choosing between the viable candidates in the Democratic primary it’s neither here nor there. But Nunn is appalling on the merits, and even if he could gain some votes in Georgia, in any election in which Georgia is close its electoral votes would be superfluous anyway. He shouldn’t receive more than a second’s consideration.


[ 13 ] June 21, 2008 |

A few months ago, I foolishly claimed that Pat Oliphant could never get away with open racism comparable to his misogyny. I was certainly mistaken. (Latter link via Ez.)

I Defend SATC!

[ 0 ] June 20, 2008 |

I have to give it this: the combination of its success and the California same-sex marriage ruling does seem likely to lead to much pleasure for connoisseurs of gold-plated wingnuttery. I assume that Caitlin Flanagan‘s article about the national menage a trois epidemic is forthcoming.

Until today, I was also blissfully unaware of the beloved wingnut phrase “stuck on stupid.” I think “idiotarian” was less irritating.

The I-Pod Candidate?

[ 34 ] June 20, 2008 |

Taking on Johnathan Cohn on his own terrain (and I think Cohn’s emphasis on presidential ability rather than short-term political tactics is sound), Brad Plumer makes a case for Sebelius as VP pick. This is the bottom line:

Sebelius’s biggest strength is the fact that she’s the most competent executive of any of the rumored Democratic veep candidates, save for possibly former Virginia governor Mark Warner (whom the Democrats need to win a Senate seat anyway). The fact that, as governor, she erased a $1.1 billion budget deficit in her first year of office without raising taxes, and later steered a large education-funding package through a fractious legislature, would suggest that she’s perfectly capable of heading up the executive branch–and doing it well.

There just aren’t a lot of people with both executive and foreign policy experience,and the person who best fits that profile (Richardson) has other weaknesses. The other thing to add is that I don’t think her less-than-inspiring State of the Union response should be much of an issue. Most people look bad giving them, and if making a dreary entrance on the national stage was a disqualifying factor the Dems would have been stuck with Paul Tsongas in 1992.

Democracy Works!

[ 36 ] June 20, 2008 |

Players vote Derek Jeter most overrated player in baseball. (Actually, the title is misleading, as while the #1 pick is unassailably correct, Slappy Rodriguez and Wright are bizarre choices, and J.D. Drew would be a better fit for a most underrated list.)

I’m surprised by the outcome, though. I think the biggest reason that explains the paradox of how Jeter is both at times annoyingly overrated and was screwed out of an MVP award in 2006 is the prejudice against on-base players as opposed to RBI men, but one suspects that the hard sell of the New York media — which, not content to celebrate the many virtues of a first-ballot HOFer, has invented a number out of whole cloth — alienated a lot of voters even as it attracts attention.


[ 13 ] June 19, 2008 |

This really is bad.

To Reiterate

[ 37 ] June 19, 2008 |

Since the first three comments manage to miss the point entirely, allow me to try this again:

  • Like any Democrat capable of winning a national election, Obama will make all sorts of compromises and advance suboptimal ideological positions. It is good for progressives to point his failings, although arguments that move in the “since he isn’t a social democrat, we might just as well have McCain in the White House” direction are where I get off the bus.
  • Such critiques that take the form “many [always unnamed and uncited, because where progressives of any influence are concerned they pretty much don’t exist] Obamabots think Obama is a God Among Men who Transcends Politics but, in fact, he’s a politician who is not about to turn the United States into Denmark singlehandedly! Haha, Obamabots are so stupid!” are incredibly irritating, and I for one will ignore any substantive points made in such frames 100% of the time.

This Is Payback?

[ 0 ] June 19, 2008 |

I dunno, if Rumsfeld really wanted to get back at McCain, wouldn’t he prominently endorse him and suggest that we’d see similar foreign policy under a McCain administration no matter what their conflicts have been?

A Point Endorsed

[ 20 ] June 19, 2008 |

Indeed. One of the most irritating aspects of blog discussion about the primary was the “See — Obama’s a politican, no matter what his supporters say!” / “Obamabots don’t understand that he will not suddenly make Republicans disappear!” talking points, along with similar assorted strawmen.

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