The Wall Street Journal

Obama On Epistemic Closure
May 03, 2010

Did anybody notice that President Obama, during his Saturday commencement speech at the University of Michigan, waded into the great epistemic closure debate? Today’s 24/7 echo-chamber amplifies the most inflammatory soundbites louder and faster than ever before.  And it’s also, however, given us unprecedented choice.  Whereas most Americans used to get their news from the same three networks over dinner, or a few influential papers on Sunday morning, we now have the option to get our information from any number of blogs or websites or cable news shows.  And this can have both a good and bad

The Republican Sprint Away From Sanity
February 19, 2010

Because Congress failed to adopt a bipartisan deficit commission on its own, President Obama created one through executive order on Thursday. This comes as a disappointment to members of both parties who had endorsed the Conrad-Gregg bill: that proposal would have forced the Congress to vote on the commission’s recommendations, while the administration’s initiative does not. The failure of Conrad-Gregg was surprising as well as troubling. By last December, the bill had garnered almost three dozen cosponsors across party lines and seemed to be gaining momentum.

Post Apocalypse
February 04, 2010

On July 2 of last year, Politico broke a startling story: The Washington Post was planning to host off-the-record salons at which sponsors would pay to mingle with D.C. eminences and Post writers. The dinners--the first of which had been advertised in Post fliers as an “exclusive opportunity to participate in the health-care reform debate among the select few who will actually get it done”--were to take place at the home of Katharine Weymouth, the Post’s publisher. Weymouth, granddaughter of legendary Post owner Katharine Graham, had only been on the job for a year and a half.

January 12, 2010

--Josh Green asks if George W. Bush doomed Mark McGwire --Chris Orr's hilarious summary of the year in American film --The Wall Street Journal looks at which occupations have lost the most jobs. Record stores rank high. --Jeffrey Goldberg, following up on Abbas Milani, takes apart the Leveretts' unconvincing defense of going soft on the Iranian hardliners --Noam likes his NBA stars armed and dangerous

November 05, 2009

For anyone who fears he or she may hold Hollywood studio executives in insufficiently low esteem, the Wall Street Journal offers this trend story: Soon to be starring in his own feature-length film with Universal Pictures: Stretch Armstrong, the pliant, muscle-bound doll whose roots go back to the 1970s. Big Wheel, the plastic tricycle, has its own TV show in the works. Even the board game Risk has a deal for a film, to be co-produced by star Will Smith.... John Fogelman represents the likes of Courteney Cox, Whoopi Goldberg and director J.J.

Two Out Of Five Ain't Good
November 04, 2009

Every once in a while I like to fact check the Wall Street Journal editorial page just to see how unbelievably low the intellectual standards on that page are. On today’s page, John Steele Gordon argues that "the liberal paradigm [does] not even come close to agreeing with the social and economic reality on the ground today." What is that reality? Gordon offers up a handful of facts: [T]he rich are still looked upon by liberals as enemies of the poor and disadvantaged, even though Mr.

Everything You Need To Know About Tonight's Election Spin
November 03, 2009

I don't usually re-publish emails straight from political parties, but this collection of quotes following the 2001 elections, emailed by the DNC, is pretty telling. NRCC Talking Point: “The 2001 Off-Year Elections Have No Bearing On Next Year’s Mid-Term Elections. These Races Revolved Around Local Issues And Local Candidates. There Were No Discernable National Trends.” NRCC Talking Points: “The 2001 off-year elections have no bearing on next year's mid-term elections. These races revolved around local issues and local candidates.

Beware this Republican Narrative
November 03, 2009

With the House set to vote on a full health care reform bill as early as this week, Republican leader John Boehner has announced that the GOP leadership will introduce a formal alternative of their own. The proper response, I suppose, is "Are you kidding?" By my count, it's been more than eight months since President Obama announced that health reform would be his top domestic priority, signalling that it would be the dominant issue of 2009. Republican leaders had countless opportunities to step forward with a proposal to hold up against the Democratic approach.

The Case For Eating Fluffy
November 02, 2009

At the risk of seeming like I’m kissing up to the boss’s family, I have to flag this great essay by Jonathan Safran Foer in The Wall Street Journal making the Swiftian case for eating dog. After all, pigs are just as smart, but there’s nothing keeping most of us from firing up the spit-roaster. And of course, throughout history many people have taken to canine cuisine. It’s worth pointing out a few highlights from his essay. Here’s the best plank of his argument, the environmental reason for putting Fido on the dinner menu: Three to four million dogs and cats are euthanized annually.

Pipeline Politics
November 02, 2009

As the world tries to cut its carbon emissions in the next few decades, natural gas will become increasingly crucial as a stopgap fuel, since it produces less CO2 pollution than coal or oil. At least, that's what the EIA thinks will happen. And the geopolitical implications of this trend are interesting.