A change is gonna come/ Like Sam Cooke sang in '63
Did something else happen tonight?
Link due to: Eric.
Yglesias, “My plan, I suppose, is that the Obama administration should threaten corporations with indefinite detention without trial if he doesn’t like their political contributions. That would presumably get the Supreme Court engaged with this civil liberties problem.”
While it's not the main topic Yglesias is talking about in that linked post, I should say something about Citizens United now, I suppose. It's not a big deal. The role money plays in elections and access to political power is a big deal, but I've been convinced of the hydraulic theory of money, which says that like water, it finds its way through. In which case the argument for Citizens United being a disaster rests on drastically overstating the effectiveness of the previous regulatory regime under BCRA.
Down in parade, people running like a masquerade
Anyway, after Brown won, Barney Frank and Jim Webb, two people whom I have positive feelings towards, put out statements which strongly imply that health care is dead. Carolyn Maloney also said earlier in the day that a Brown win meant reform was dead.
Which brings me to my final point. I really don't care about, or put much stock in, speeches. But Barack Obama needs to give a major policy address, and he needs to do it as soon as possible. And in that speech he has to take a risk, by publicly recommitting himself, and the Democratic party which he leads, to passing a health care bill as soon as possible. He has to do this because the main thing House Democrats need to understand is that not passing health care legislation will only decrease their chance of holding their seat this coming November, and Obama giving such a speech will actually tie the Democratic party's fortunes more closely to the passage of the health care bill, and should thereby prevent defections from the voting coalition. Josh Marshall makes the same point, but other than drawing a clever analogy between Bush doubling down with the surge in Iraq after the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006 and a potential Obama move now, I don't think there's much to take away from his post.
One point of disagreement with O'Hare's second post, where he writes:
“White man’s burden” movies like the Indiana Jones series play this message out: the cookie-cutter plot is that a bunch of brown people are having a terrible time and can’t do anything about it until a white guy comes into town and saves them (I haven’t seen it, but have the impression Avatar follows this template).It's exceedingly strange to use the Indiana Jones series as your example of white man's burden movies, he accurately describes part of the plot of Temple of Doom, but nothing in Raiders or Last Crusade resembles that, and I don't think Crystal Skull does either, though I haven't seen it. I don't know enough to take a side in the debate on culture as a determinant of growth, but I'll be damned if I let a confused film reference by me.
Back on the sort of unifying topic for this post, I suppose Jim Manzi v. Jon Chait and Paul Krugman (with a large supporting cast on each side) on growth rates and wealth in Europe compared to America was reasonably similar to the days I'm nostalgic for, so maybe I'm just complaining it's own sake.
Posted while I try to ignore Scott Brown's impending election and the attending chaos (doom?) it will bring for health care reform in the United States.
A Brave New Post
Also potentially of interest: Yankees/D-Backs/Tigers trade evaluated.
A quiz on U.S. Presidents by V.P.
C'est la vie, you never can tell what will motivate me to post
* Unrelatedly, though not surprisingly if you've read this site, I'm a single issue anti-Bloomberg voter for term limit extension reasons. It'd be almost impossible for Thompson to lose my vote or Bloomberg to gain it.
The Magnifecent Seven Year Itch
Seriously, American culture is increasingly food-focused
Also, I hold it against them that they're part of the backlash against Shake Shack's popularity. Yes, the line is obviously annoying, and the fact that the line is one reason people go there (seeing that it's popular and wanting to be part of the popularity) is even more so. But the burger is actually excellent, and I don't know why they'd pretend otherwise. The real mistake is to think it's name is making a stronger claim than it is and go there just for a shake, which is not worth braving the line for.
I'll gladly pay you tomorrow
Remember when I totally ducked John Fund?
Referents in that sentence could probably be a little clearer, I guess.
And, while I'm frequently deliberately obscure with the connection between a post and its title, or even have no connection in mind, here's the reference for this post title, and why I'm thinking about that post while writing this one.
The guarantee, iv. Or, a tonal mis-mash.
Let’s say this slowly: the Bush administration wanted to use 9/11 as a pretext to invade Iraq, even though Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. So it tortured people to make them confess to the nonexistent link.True, and very serious. I have nothing serious to add, but in the spirit of not publishing posts in which I just quote other people, I'll note that “it's evil” is not one word and that his post is therefore mis-punctuated. It should either not include the “it's” after the colon, or not use a colon there at all.
There’s a word for this: it’s evil.
All About the Hamiltons
But then I read this Michael Tomasky post about how Hamilton is being smeared for having written things he didn't write, favoring worshiping Allah over worshiping Jesus Christ, in an opinion on Indiana state legislative prayer, which I thought was a pretty interesting story, including this update, and worth passing on.
I read the penal code, part ii; Or: Don't jostle me, man
A person is guilty of jostling when, in a public place, he intentionally and unnecessarily:
1. Places his hand in the proximity of a person's pocket or handbag; or
2. Jostles or crowds another person at a time when a third person's hand is in the proximity of such person's pocket or handbag.
Jostling is a class A misdemeanor.
2. Paragraph 3 of this inauguration day post is hereby incorporated by reference, specifically with regard to the portion of the memos excerpted by Hilzoy.
A Tax Day Present
On a totally separate topic, but because I just heard it happen, if Yankees announcer Michael Kay never describes as “jeterian” again it'll be much too soon.
UPDATE: I don't think I was emphatic enough about how much I like the tone matrix. It's not just some web-thingy (seriously, that's the best description of the category it's in) that I'm doing a blog post about, it's the best web-thingy ever, I just wish there was a better way to avoid the problem of it getting repetitive than clearing the one you've made and making a new one.
Does Spielberg think Lawrence of Arabia is monstrous?
The telegraph wires are humming
The second is on how he learned a lot of real world lessons about dealing with piracy by playing some video game I've never heard of from Civilization creator Sid Meier. It's, what're the words I'm looking for, really good.
On the topic of Yglesias writing too much, Jim Henley's April 1 post was awesome, and I agree with every word he says on the topic of Yglesias in it.
Monday grammar blogging
The Cult of the Lizard King
I'm a fan of: the above video of Knicks forward-center David Lee and an animated reptile. No human being has yet explained to my satisfaction why it exists (David Lee having signed a deal of some sort with The Electric Company is barely even the beginning of an explanation), but what ever the reason for it, it's pretty great.
I'm not a fan of: Obama and his Department of Justice's continued reliance on the state secrets privilege to block law suits investigating Bush administration illegal surveillance, which is essentially a way of both taking political ownership of the surveillance program and promising to make the same illegitimate claim of a privilege to block entire cases on the President's say-so when actions of his administration are the one's being investigated.