Procrastinating on February 22, 2016

From the Archives: From a Decade Ago

  • Stupidest Man Alive: Allan Hubbard

  • The Best Weblog Post Ever!

  • I'll Stop Calling This Crew "Orwellian" When They Stop Using 1984 as an Operations Manuael: Orin Kerr has an 'Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia' moment from John Yoo...

  • Jim Brady of the Washington Post: A Case for Professional Help?: I would advise Jim Brady of one more thing: As long as his thumbnail summary of the money flows from Jack Abramoff is the sentence 'Abramoff directed campaign contributions to both political parties,' I will interpret him not as being in the let's-inform-the-readers business but as in the I'm-playing-an-obscure-corporate-political-game business. That's a very awkward position for a journalist to put themselves in.

  • How Close Are We to Full Employment?

  • : Covering the Economy: Budget: What Do You Do When Officials Lie?: So I called Michael Duffy, who strongly disagrees. He thinks that it would have been unprofessional of him to send any signal in that story that McClellan's statements were false. He had a duty to his readers. He had a duty to Time's confidential sources to protect their identity. And the duty to the sources trumps. Sending a signal that Time knew that McClellan was wrong when he said that Rove was involved--'remember, he still has not been charged,' Duffy said--would have revealed that Rove was one of Time's confidential sources...

  • Fearless Freelance Intellectual John Podhoretz Speaks!: "Ten years ago I made a blanket rule that I would not appear on TV opposite professional Democrats because I am not a professional Republican but rather a working journalist..."

  • : Time for the Washington Post to Retire Robert Samuelson (Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?): People at the Washington Post periodically ask me why I don't presume that the employees of the Washington Post are people of good will, trying hard, who occasionally make mistakes. Here's one reason why: Robert Samuelson...

  • Ken Macleod on the Liberalism of Fools

  • Rhiannon of the Birds, Rhiannon of the Horses...

  • : The Cloud Minders of Stratos Visit "The Valve": Does anybody know where I can find David Gerrold's original treatment for the Star Trek show that became episode #74, 'The Cloud Minders'? As performed, it's a quick technological fix for deep social injustice. As originally written, it was much more... Dickensian.

  • : Somebody Is Unclear on the Concept...: Somebody is very unclear on the concept. Either the donors don't understand that what they have purchased with their contributions is Kathy Hutchins's brain to think about the issues and not pieces that propagandize for their interests, or Kathy Hutchins doesn't understand that her bosses have promised the donors that she will write pieces that propagandize for their interests. I wonder who?...

  • Credibility Gaps (Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?): Tim Lambert catches this one: "Deltoid: Iain Murray, comes out with an article in the American Spectator in favour of pundit payola..."

  • Life and Fate...: We in the west have still done far too little to repay our debt to the soldiers of the Red Army and to the workers of Magnitogorsk for what they did and suffered in those years.

  • In Favor of Human-Animal Hybrids (Why Oh Why Are We Ruled by These Evildoers?): Kevin Drum writes: "The Washington Monthly: MAD SCIENTISTS AND PIG MEN....I know that I wasn't the only one mumbling 'WTF?' when George Bush talked about banning 'human-animal hybrids' last night, but apparently it was just a garden variety shout out to the religious right. PZ Myers provides an example of what's really going on in our nation's labs: 'It's pure political calculus. He throws away the mad scientist and pig-man vote, and wins the religious ignoramus voteā€¦and we know which one has the majority here. But guess what? Creating chimeras is legitimate and useful scientific research; it's really happening...'"

  • Calling Bush's Lies Lies (Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?): Note what Glenn Kessler tries to do: He tries to signal--in as many ways as he can--that Bush is telling lies 'Historically misleading', 'contradictory pledges', 'omitted context', 'rhetorical claims that are open to question', 'did not use the word 'spending'', 'subject to intense debate', and so forth. This is Mike Allen's dictum that you write so that a sophisticated, careful reader understands who is lying--in this case, Bush. The White House, however, is not to unhappy to Glenn Kessler's story. It thinks that the overwhelming bulk of readers will think: 'The President made his case, and partisan Democrats are sniping at him. Who knows who is right?'"

  • More Journamalism from the New York Times: I know, and Bruce Bartlett knows, and Scott McClellan knows that 'nonsecurity discretionary' spending is 15% of the total budget. I know, Bruce Bartlett knows, and Scott McClellan knows that the other 85% of the budget is running wild and free: 'undisciplined.' Elizabeth Bumiller, however, is anxious not to point out--anywhere in the story--that a claim by Scott McClellan that 15% of the budget is 'disciplined' is not a refutation of Bruce Bartlett...

  • John Dickerson: "You Can't Have a Press That Works, or Functions, without Anonymous Sources"

  • We Need a Professional Linguist, Stat!: So, let's summarize: Eisler showed the emails to the ThinkProgress reporter, and is now upset because the reporter reported on them. Eisler assumed--based on his past experience with reporters--that the ThinkProgress reporter would not report what he saw, but would at most hint and shade his paragraphs in a pro-Abramoff direction. Moreover, reporter Jim VandeHei does not find this at all strange--that Eisler and Abramoff feel betrayed because a reporter actually reported, and thus violated their expectations (based on lots of experience) that you can show something very interesting to a reporter and count on that reporter not reporting it...

  • Some Highlights from Larry Summers's Resignation Letter

  • Dan Ziblatt Has Finished His Book