In November I introduced a periodic blog feature called “Language Cop” to “keep track of unacceptable words and catchphrases that enter the political dialogue.” In that column I exiled the terms “optics” and “inflection point.” Earlier this month I inveighed against “pivot,” and last week I suggested this euphemism be replaced with a new term, “shake,” in deference to America's first multiplatform gaffe.
In response to my item yesterday about a totally unworkable proposal to reform NFL overtime, which overwhelmingly favors the team that wins the coin toss, reader David Leonhardt sent his 2005 article about a much more feasible (and interesting plan): A bolder, and fairer, idea comes from two fans, Andrew and Chris Quanbeck, engineers who have sent their proposal to N.F.L. teams. William S.
With Wikileaks's most recent release of official U.S. documents, I experienced again one of the best things about having left government service: I don’t have to read State Department “telegrams” anymore. This is not to say that such cables are of no value. Foggy Bottom traffic has its virtues.
Andrew is the biggest mensch on the internet.
Ben Dolnick writes in to point me to this, from Megan McArdle, circa March 3rd: I have never seen conservatives and liberals so divided . . . in beliefs, not values. On the one hand, there are people like the TNR crew, and Jonathan Bernstein, Andrew's guest-blogger, who seem to think that this it's the next best thing to a done deal. Meanwhile, all the conservatives and libertarians I know think that it's pretty much hopeless, because Pelosi can't get it through an increasingly rebellious House.
Yesterday, Jonathan Bernstein wrote a post entitled "Health care: Done Deal?," which he immediately followed up by writing, "I suspect that's too strong, but it sure looks as if this is really going to happen." In response, I commented: I'm not quite this optimistic. You're still talking about the Democratic Party. Some small thing could go wrong and make them all start panicking again.
A little more on Andrew and the charge of anti-Semitism. In my response to Leon, I wrote: I don't think that Andrew's transformation from overwrought hawk to overwrought dove is driven by, or has brought about, a different view of Jews. It seems instead to be the shattering of a brittle worldview and its replacement by a new worldview, equally brittle. Andrew replies: I have no different view of "Jews" than I have ever had. Having any view of "Jews" is silly. I guess I didn't write that as precisely as I wanted to.
Sunday, February 7, 3:28 p.m. Among the convention’s several last-minute saves—opening the conference to media, replacing one speaker who fell ill and another who dropped last minute—was bringing on Andrew Breitbart. Convention spokesman Mark Skoda knew the conservative media mogul through their mutual friend Mike Flynn, who manages the Breitbart site BigGovernment.com, and when Marsha Blackburn and Michele Bachmann backed out, Breitbart swooped in to help. At first, Breitbart himself was just supposed to introduce Sarah Palin. But to no one’s surprise, really, his portfolio grew.
Andrew provides a good preview of the mentality that we're probably going to see a lot more of following tomorrow's special election: I suspect serious health insurance reform is over for yet another generation. Even if Coakley wins - and my guess is she'll lose by a double digit margin - the bill is dead. The most Obama can hope for is a minimalist alternative that simply mandates that insurance companies accept people with pre-existing conditions and are barred from ejecting patients when they feel like it.