Josh Patashnik

Helping Ex-cons Find Work
December 13, 2007

Brad's post below on the re-entry of newly released prisoners into mainstream society touches on an important issue that was a subject of much discussion at a fascinating Brookings Institution panel yesterday on facilitating and rewarding work (see here for their solid policy recommendations). Bruce Western, a sociologist whose work focuses on the social effects of incarceration, gave a talk in which he recommended, as Brad does, that states adopt incentives for employers to hire newly released prisoners. The panel discussion following Dr.

Violence In Iraq, Algeria, Lebanon...blame Israel!
December 13, 2007

Four decades ago Alastair Horne wrote a book on the Algerian Civil War.  The volume is called Savage War for Peace.  It has recently been republished with a new and telling preface by its author, now Sir Alastair.  The Algerian rebels were not in any substantial sense then fighting for Islam, although of course they were fighting against the French.  The FLN (National Liberation Front) understood that it could not engage the French army and its many Algerian soldiers and supporters (Algeria was, after all, a regular departement de la patrie).  So it initiated an irregular war against the civil

No More 'war Room'; Huckabee Hates Energy
December 12, 2007

Somebody Tell Howard Wolfson [Tom Maguire, Just One Minute]: "Enough with the 'war room' metaphor.  It was cute in 1992 when the Cold War was over and the messenger was baby-faced George Stephanopoulos but this is 2007 and we are a nation truly at war, a point your team would do well to remember."   The Not-So-Clever Futures Markets [Brendan Nyhan]: "Have the odds of Obama winning the race actually increased by nine percentage points in the last seven days?

Cuban: Tax Me!
December 11, 2007

Warren Buffett isn't the only highly successful, fabulously wealthy entrepreneur who wants a more progressive tax code. So does outspoken blogger (and Dallas Mavericks owner) Mark Cuban: It makes absolutely no sense that [Buffett], or I should pay a smaller percentage of our income than those who go to work 8 hours a day and have to save as much as they can to afford a vacation every year and stress out about whether or not they can pay their rent, mortgage or college for their kids.

Wanted: A Torture Commission. (without James Baker.)
December 11, 2007

Torture is a repugnant practice, and especially so if it becomes a habit.  It may have become that, although I don't know.  No one outside the alleged practitioners does.  But, believe me, I'm not trying to shrug the matter off.  Andrew Sullivan has persuaded me of its centrality to a humane society.Still, we would be better off as a society if we had clarity on what is and is not torture, and then put it under the interdict of "cruel and unusual practice."  Here the constitutional originalists have no standard to which to cling.  This would have to be a joint enterprise of judicial figures, d

So Why The Cape Wind Holdup?
December 11, 2007

According to a dispatch from Bali in Monday's FT, the U.S. and U.K. have filed with the World Trade Organization a list of environmentally friendly products--in particular, wind turbines--that they ask be tariff-free.  Funny, isn't it?  Because in New England the federal bureaucracy has done everything possible to prevent Cape Wind from a wind farm in Cape Cod Bay.

Economists Prove What You Already Know!
December 11, 2007

Via Greg Mankiw, Brian Knight and Nathan Schiff of Brown University find that...voters in early primary states are disproportionately influential! Two Brown University economists have, for the first time, quantified the substantial effects of winning early in the race for the presidential nomination.

Malkin Goes Ballistic! Huckabee Stays Hot.
December 11, 2007

HuckaWHAT?! [Michelle Malkin]: "Yeah, you read it right–the founder of the border control group, the Minuteman Project, is endorsing open-borders-turned-expedient enforcement convert GOP candidate Mike Huckabee."   She Oughta Know Better! [Matt Stoller, OpenLeft]: "Despite her deep understanding of the right-wing noise machine, Clinton is still embracing Fox News. …Why choose a right-wing forum with an extremely limited audience, thereby validating another one of Rupert Murdoch's properties?"   Everyone Likes Edwards? Why?!

Torture Works? Ban It
December 11, 2007

Brad's post below highlights the disagreement over the extent to which torture (specifically waterboarding) was useful in extracting valuable information from Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah. But it's worth pointing out that even if former CIA agent John Kiriakou is right when he maintains that torture was helpful, this isn't a very good argument against the bill working its way through Congress that would ban such interrogation techniques. Kiriakou, in voicing his opposition to torture, describes the incident as "an ugly little episode that was perhaps necessary at that time.

Another Durban Conference: A Political And Moral Disaster
December 10, 2007

The whole idea of Durban 2 is a nightmare come true.  A conference against racism became almost wholly a conference against Zionism and the Jewish State.  The Ford Foundation finally repented its financial support for the sewer which the project had become.Now there's an appropriation before the United Nations to appropriate money for a second conference which, if the activities of the U.N. Human Rights Council is any precedent, will be another jamboree of hatred towards Israel.  Apparently U.S.