"i Have Real Work To Do"
April 06, 2007

Last week, I blogged about the decision by American gay rights activists to not make use of the State Department's annual human rights report regarding the treatment of gays abroad. The activists in question say they refused to publicize the report because Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay have made any research compiled by the United States on human rights morally dubious. The debate is outlined here (with a heavy dose of opinion) by Doug Ireland (who, perhaps hoping to rile some feathers, calls TNR, "neo-liberal") in New York's Gay City News.

L'etat C'est Moi
April 02, 2007

by Linda Hirshman Cass Sunstein has done us all his usual good service by bringing some old-fashionedcivic republican analysis to the newer phenomenon of the blogosphere. That similar trends have been observed in satellite TV and radio reflects, I fear, that the blogosphere at most, reinforces the polarization of the society.

Supreme Court And Climate Change
April 02, 2007

by Cass Sunstein Just out: The Supreme Court has ruled against the Bush administration in the climate change case. It is too soon to know whether this is a major development in terms of climate change, but it is a remarkable outcome in terms of the law. The plaintiffs faced several serious obstacles: It was not clear that they had standing, it was not (entirely) clear that EPA's decision was reviewable under the ordinary standards, and it was not clear that the EPA's decision was inconsistent with the Clean Air Act.

Feckless Fleet Street
March 30, 2007

I've been in London for 24 hours and already I am reminded wistfully of how much better--broader and deeper--the American press is than the British. Now, I don't much like the Guardian's editorial line. But its reporting is, save for the Financial Times, superior to all its competitors.

Krauthammer's Martian
March 30, 2007

Charles Krauthammer bashes Democrats who call Afghanistan the site of "the real war" on terror. I'm sure it's true that Democrats prefer talking about Afghanistan to Iraq because it's an easier moral case. But Krauthammer's argument is built around an awfully glib view of Afghanistan's strategic value. Thought experiment: Bring in a completely neutral observer -- a Martian -- and point out to him that the United States is involved in two hot wars against radical Islamic insurgents.

History Historians Don't Do
March 29, 2007

by Eric Rauchway Further to the question, posed by Darrin McMahon, of where the economic historians are, two replies to my post on the subject give two very different pictures. Tyler Cowen writes with his usual cheer that economic history is alive and well in economics departments, and lists the new hires that his university, George Mason, has made in the field. On the other hand, Mark Thoma writes, I wish I could reassure Eric that economic history is alive and well within economics departments generally. I cannot, and that's a loss for our profession.

Edwards And The Internet
March 28, 2007

I think many hardened cynics assumed that Elizabeth Edwards's cancer was going to make fundraising more difficult for the Edwards campaign. As one such cynic explained to me, big-time donors were going to be reluctant to give money to a campaign that--despite the Edwards's pledge to carry on--might very well have to fold tent before the first primary vote. But I think these cynics forgot about the Internet.

Left, Left, Left-right-left
March 28, 2007

My TRB column about converts to conservatism has prompted some grumbling on the Corner. Jonah Goldberg complains that, while my piece criticizes leftists to make a point against conservatives, I rarely criticize them on their own terms: Today's Chaitian liberals aren't radical leftists, to be sure, but they're far more offended by conservatives who make a big deal about radical leftists than they are by the radical leftists themselves. They don't seem to mind that the academy is overrun by leftwingers.

Europe, Economics, And Historians
March 27, 2007

by Darrin McMahon Earlier this month, Eurochambres, the pro-market lobbying group representing European chambers of commerce to the EU at Brussels, published a follow-up to its 2005 "Time Distances" study comparing the U.S. and European economies. Some of its findings are particularly startling: · The current EU productivity level was achieved by the U.S. in 1985 · Both the current levels for EU employment and R&D investment per capita were reached by the U.S. in 1978 · The current level of EU income was reached by the U.S. in 1985 Think about that first stat again.

The Consultant Racket
March 27, 2007

When I die, I'm hoping I can come back as a Democratic consultant. Tim Dickinson describes the nifty little racket they have going in a long Rolling Stone article: The party's campaign strategists operate under contracts that would make Halliburton blush. While their GOP counterparts work for a flat fee on presidential campaigns, Democratic media consultants profit on commission, pocketing as much as ten percent of every dollar spent on TV ads. It's a business model that creates "an inherent conflict of interest," concedes Anita Dunn, who served as a strategist for Bill Bradley in 2000.