Two Hail Marys.

A mostly political Weblog.
March 17 2003 5:56 AM

Two Hail Marys

Plus: WaPo wobbles, sort of, maybe.

(Continued from Page 4)

P.P.P.S.: Charles Krauthammer offers an intriguing alternate proposal  -- a one-sentence resolution that would say "The security Council finds Iraq in violation of Resolution 1441." The problem with Krauthammer's idea is that even this motion might lose, in which case we'd be in worse shape, legally, than if it had never been proposed at all and we simply claimed authority to enforce 1441 as a "subsequent relevant resolution" under the 1991 Gulf War grant. ...

[You seem to be taking the "proceduralist" position that almost everything hinges on the U.N.'s approval. Does this mean that if the Security Council does authorize an attack on Iraq, you're for it?--ed. Yes. If anybody cares!] 1:18 A.M.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

About What, Me Worry? I believe whatever Paul Krugman tells me, of course -- he's going to win the Nobel Prize, not me -- but I'm confused. It seems like  only two months ago he had me terrified that inflation was going to go down so low it would plunge into negative territory, as in Japan. Now, after reading today's column, I'm worried that the government will decide to "inflate away debt" and "interest rates will soar." ... In other words

[u]nless we slide into Japanese-style deflation, there are much higher interest rates in our future.

What I don't understand -- and I recognize I may be missing something -- is why we can't end up somewhere in between inflation so low that it's a crisis and inflation so high that it's a crisis. In other words, not in a crisis! If I'm wondering about this, I bet so are many other Krugman readers. Explanation, please! ... Note to Brad DeLong: This doesn't mean I support Bush's huge new tax cuts! I don't. I am more optimistic than Krugman is that they won't pass -- that they'll at least be substantially whittled down. ... 2:56 A.M.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Muskie II: I would say that Sen. John Kerry has joined the He's-Botching-It Hawks, except that would require divining enough about Kerry's war positionto clearly label him a hawk in the first place. ... I forgot. He's where the American people are! ... Here's a report on Kerry's commentsfrom the Des Moines Register:

Kerry said during the speech at the downtown Marriott Hotel that Bush has been impatient, which has cost the U.S. support from its allies.

"The greatest position of strength is by exercising the best judgement in the pursuit of diplomacy," he said, "not in some trumped-up, so-called coalition of the bribed, the coerced, the bought and the extorted, but in a genuine coalition." [Emphass added]

As Instapundit notes, for someone who's criticizing President Bush for undiplomatically alienating our allies, Kerry's language seems calculated to undiplomatically alienate our allies. Except, of course, Kerry's not speaking to our allies; he's speaking to Iowans. He's trying to seem anti-war enough for Iowa's Democratic caucus-goers in a way that would let him abandon the anti-war posturing after Iowa. (Those medals I threw over the wall? Oh, those weren't my medals! They were some other guys' medals! Why'd you think I threw my medals?) ... 7:46 P.M.

News video editors take note: Isn't Peggy Noonan right to identify Paul Simon's "Boy in the Bubble" as a good soundtrack for this period of our history? Simon's lyrics prefigure both the long-range terrorism and the human progress enabled by technology. They give a sense of global events spinning out of control. The music is appropriately ominous and martial, suitable for tearing across the desert in an armed Humvee. Here's a clip from the song  that doesn't quite capture what I'm talking about. (Turn up the bass if you can.)... It's certainly preferable, on diplomatic grounds, to "Rock the Casbah," the first tune U.S. Armed Forces Radio played during the 1991 Gulf War. ... 1:39 P.M.

Coalition of the Chilling: Josh Marshall has shifted from support of an Iraq attack to opposition. (He now apparently supports a delay of "several months," with a beefed-up inspection regime.) ... Meanwhile, the NYT's Thomas Friedman, who has been an anguished, escape-clausey war supporter ("But if war turns out to be the only option, then war it will have to be")  now says we "need to reconsider our options and our tactics" and ask our allies "How much time do we need to give you to see if inspections can work for you to endorse the use of force it fhey don't." .... Both balkenhawken seem to be assuming the U.S. and Britain will not get their second resolution through the U.N. Security Council. ...


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