Half-empty: It sure looks as if Stephen Glass' famed powers of invention have failed him just when he could use them. ... If David Kirkpatrick's NYT account is accurate, Glass' fictional effort displays about as much imagination as my own half-finished novel. (Sample critique: "You've got to learn how to create realistic characters. You've got this one character in here, all he cares about is sex and welfare reform. There's nobody like that! Give him some real, human qualities!") ... So Glass writes non-fiction and it's fiction, and he writes fiction and it's non-fiction! The man's a transgressive genius. Subtly subverting all Western literary categories! I'd say the "it's all performance art" defense is still open. ... Glass must be playing a deep Kinbote-like game. The book can't be as flat and cheesy as it sounds. ... 12:10 A.M.
Assignment Desk--Evil Web Sites Torture Tweens! One of the participants at the Yale blog conference last year described some of the bad things that come with access to Web at very young ages, including adolescents posting cruel gossip about each other, even "doppling" --creating fake Web sites that look like they're created by a classmate but actually ridicule him or her. I didn't know at the time whether to take this seriously or not. But here's an ABC story that suggests there might be something to it. ... A surefire ratings winner! Lawsuits and proposed regulations to come. Assigned to: Steven Levy of Newsweek, Ann Hulbert, author of Raising America, for that historical perspective. ... P.S.: But think of a better name than "cyberbullying." Even "cyberbaiting" and "cyberslandering" are better. There must be a hip-hop term to steal. ... 11:41 P.M.
Based on an original story by J. Stossel: Patrick Ruffini claims to have already pitched a season's worth of post-Sorkin West Wing plots, in the process confronting the thorny dilemma of how to dramatize Republicans who just sit around blocking misguided liberal initiatives and don't want the government to do anything. I'm not sure he solves it:
1.15. Health and Safety. Prescott comes to the defense of a shelter for battered women in Atlanta that was shuttered due to OSHA regulations.
That'll grab the crucial 18-49 demographic! ... 8:01 P.M.
Cries of pain are being heard from D.C. readers confronted with WaPo's three-part series on the Nature Conservancy. ... I guess those long back-in ledes don't work so well in the Web era. People want to get to the damn point! ... Piteous calls for a SkippingTM will be taken under advisement by the kausfiles executive committee. ... 1:08 A.M.
Monday, May 5, 2003 More armchair showrunning: An alert kf reader embedded in Hollywood e-mails:
Monday, May 5, 2003
More armchair showrunning: An alert kf reader embedded in Hollywood e-mails:
Your proposal for rejuvenating The West Wing overlooks an obvious
Give it some reality cred! Have a season of campaigning, and then let the
viewers vote for the new administration. It could be bigger than "American Candidate" ... and it'd give people a chance to bond with the new characters. If they don't bond, they lose and they don't have to be picked back up. Added benefit: A great make-work for political/pop culture writers who can analyze the stunt for the New York Times Arts & Leisure section.
[Snappy kicker?--ed. Um... it would be better than the real campaign! C.J. could look for a husband on "The Bachelorette"! Never mind.] 10:10 A.M.
The Blair crash: Plenty of white journalists have done what Jayson Blair, the NYT reporter who recently resigned, is alleged to have done. Nor can anyone say for sure that in a completely color-blind newsroom Blair would have been weeded out or set straight before last week. Does the Blair case, then, have anything to do with affirmative action? I think so. Here's my analogy:
Suppose in an effort to promote commerce in isolated Utah, the government announced relaxed safety standards on trucks from that state. Utah trucks were safe, the public was told. Many were even safer than trucks from other states. But they wouldn't be inspected as often or as rigorously.
Now suppose a Utah truck got in an especially big, prominent, messy crash when its brakes failed. Would the politicians, the press and the public say "But non-Utah trucks crash all the time!" or "You haven't proved a direct causal connection between the Utah-preference program and this crash"? No! There would be a instant hue and cry about how the preference for Utah trucks should be ended -- and how Utah trucks should be held to the same standards, etc. And those making the fuss would be right. Why should we have to worry about whether or not the relaxed standards for Utah might have led to this or that particular crash? Just apply the same tough standards across the board. Safe, well-run Utah trucking companies, to save their reputation, would be leading the pack in lobbying to end their special preference.
Maybe there's something I'm missing that's obviously wrong with this analogy. But I can't think of it . .. What's the preference program in this case? The NYT apparently has run a minority internship program that has the effect--since the internships routinely lead to job offers--of hiring minority reporters right out of college, without the customary years of seasoning at smaller papers. Blair seems to have been hired by the Times (after an internship) before he even graduated from college. ... I'm not saying there are no countervailing benefits to race preferences in journalism -- there are even benefits, such as ability to get stories white reporters can't get, that might not exist in other professions. I'm just saying that people should also acknowledge that there are costs, and that one of those costs is almost certainly a) more cases of African-American reporters who screw up, and b) uncertainty about whether a program of no special-preferences might have averted any particular screw-up before it turned into a credibility- and career-damaging incident. ... There's also the distinct possibility that the costs outweigh the benefits even for the intended direct beneficiaries such as Blair. In the long run, the NYT doesn't seem to have done him any favors--not to mention the effect on other African-American reporters who now have to unfairly labor under the sneaking suspicion that they are potential Blairs. ... 3:11 A.M.
The final blow to liberalism -- Bartlet's party booted from office! One obvious possibility opened up by Aaron Sorkin's departure from his show, The West Wing, as suggested below: increasingly schlocky, promotable plots, in the self-contained, tied-up-in-an-hour packages the stations that air reruns prefer. But there's another equally obvious, yet obviously risky, possibility: The party of President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) could now actually lose a fictional election (something the liberal Sorkin would presumably never bring himself to permit). ...Then, if the show's renewed for 2005, a whole bunch of new conservative staffers could take over!That would (assuming Bush wins reelection) end the "alternate universe" problem said to have bedeviled WW since Bush's presidency began (and especially since 9/11). ... The problem, of course, is that this scenario flies in the face of the conventional wisdom that viewers tune in to a long-running series because they've bonded with the characters. Why get rid of the beloved Toby, Leo, Josh, Donna, C.J.? .... The answer is you wouldn't have to get rid of them, at least not anytime soon. First, you have a season of campaigning. Then several episodes about the wrenching transition. We follow Toby et al. as they clean out their desks, say stirring farewells, endure marital breakups, and migrate into hack holding-pattern jobs at Hill and Knowlton and Fannie Mae! Some even move to Hollywood to help write hour-long dramas about life in the White House. (Meta!) ... Meanwhile, a whole slew of GOPers are becoming beloved, at least to red state viewers. (They could call back Emily Procter from C.S.I. Miami to reprise Ainsely Hayes.) ... I'm sure the folks at Television Without Pity are way ahead of me on this one. [Update: Bizarrely, they're not!] But, at the very least, the possibility that the Republicans might win should inject suspense into the coming seasons. ... 2:26 A.M.
Sunday, May 4, 2003
Worthwhile California Initiative: According to Robert Novak, California Congressmen Devin Nunes is thinking of ginning up an initiative to un-gerrymander the California legislative boundaries set after the 2000 Census. ... Initiatives have fallen out of respectable favor, but if ever there were an issue that should be settled by an initiative, as opposed to the state legislature, you'd think this would be it. a) The question is how the democratically-elected legislature should be structured. To have that decision made by a legislature structured in a particular way jumps the gun, in effect, assuming the answer to the question you're asking. b) When the legislature draws boundary lines, isn't that the old, un-reapportioned legislature that does the drawing--a legisltature that by definition is out-of-whack with the most recent census results and hence with one-man/one-vote principles? In contrast, when the voters directly approve or disapprove an initiative, one-man/one vote strictly prevails; c) At any one time, all sitting legislators have a personal interest in thwarting democracy by choosing a boundary scheme that protects all incumbents (by packing their districts with voters who favor of their own party). This, in fact, is what California's legislators have done. The result is that most voters have virtually no chance to vote out their current represenative--i.e. virtually no chance to change their government. If the voters feel they've lost control of their government that's because they have, thanks to gerrymandering. .... P.S.: Gerrymandering also encourages extremism on both sides. More legislators represent solid-GOP or solid-Dem districts, fewer represent moderate swing districts. And why compromise when you're not going to be punished for failing to pass a bill -- after all, you can't lose your seat anyway! ... P.P.S.: Note that even a partisan gerrymander designed to maximize the number of Democratic legislators(or, conversely, the number of Republican legislators) would be preferable to the current protect-all-incumbents gerrymander. Maximizing the Democratic majority in the state's Congressional delegation, for example, would require creating maybe 36 seats that Dems would probably win as opposed to 33 seats they'll certainly win. "Probable" seats in Congress, or in the state legislature, would at least allow the voters a chance to rebel and send a message if things go very wrong (as they've gone wrong with California's budget). ... 3:31 A.M.
Friday, May 2, 2003
Friday, May 2, 2003
Lower court opinions in big cases are usually the most overplayed stories in American journalism. Today's three-judge campaign-finance reform decision is a partial exception, because until the Supreme Court acts it may determine the conditions under which the 2004 election is conducted. Still, it's the Supreme Court that will decide what the law is in this area, and when it does my guess is the lower court's opinion will have an influence on their thinking approaching zero. ... When I clerked for a state Supreme Court, the decisions of even the intermediate appeals courts, much less the lower trial courts, were certainly not given a lot of weight. We thought we were smarter! ... A lower-court opinion is mainly important if it introduces some particularly brilliant or insidious new line of reasoning. ... According to Rick Hasen, for example, the three-judge panel appears to have completely screwed up the "issue advocacy" provisions--perversely broadening them way beyond Congress' intent until they arguably ban any union and corporate political advertising whether or not it falls within the final two months of a campaign. If that's what the opinion says, I don't think it's going to survive. ... P.S.: I don't yet know yet whether the three-judge court's expanded ban would also apply to incorporated non-profits such as the ACLU and Sierra Club. ... The huge, and desirably Grand Canyonesque loophole for unincorporated groups remains, I assume. ... More when I know more! ... P.P.S.: Prof. Volokh says lower court opinions can be important for their factual findings. But here the facts are also apparently disputed by the various judges on the panel, so even that influence seems to have vanished. ... 5:15 P.M.
Does the Unified Rumsfeld Critique ("Enough troops to win the war; not enough troops to win the peace") apply in Afghanistan too? This Daniel Drezner post suggests it does. [Link via Instapundit]... 4:15 A.M.
Smart hire of the month: D.C. lawyer Greg Craig, who helped Fidel Castro get Elian Gonzalez back, has flipped, and will now represent jailed Cuban dissident poet Raul Rivero, according to Lloyd Grove's WaPo column. This could change the dynamic of Castro's crackdown--Craig knows how to command media attention, he's got a great reputation, and he's earned obvious credibility as someone who isn't an anti-Castro fanatic. ... Dumb hire of the month: Scott Peterson's reported decision to retain talking-head attorney Mark Geragos, who represented a) Susan McDougal, b) Gary Condit, and c) Winona Ryder. Geragos went to trial in the Ryder case and his defense was ... what? I don't remember one. The other two celebrity clients may actually have been innocent! That's justice, not lawyering! What kind of credential is that? ... 2:04 P.M.
Is returned Iraqi exile Kanan Makiya OK? He hasn't written his diary for The New Republic in two weeks. ... It's more important that he do his work, I agree. But one worries. ... Just let us know you're all right! That's all we ask. ... Update: A correspondent of Makiya's, who heard from him on 4/25, e-mails to say "I'm sure he's fine. He's just swamped right now." ... 1:50 A.M.
This may be the biggest news of the day: a breakthrough that could allow a test of school vouchers in the District of Columbia, in exchange for more federal money for public and charter schools. ... Vouchers, of course, are the rare domestic issue where Democrats are highly vulnerable, because a) a crucial, loyal constituency (urban blacks) is potentially sympathetic to vouchers, while at the same time b) the Dems are unable to accommodate that sentiment and move toward vouchers because of an even more crucial constituency (teachers' unions). ... Since, as WaPo makes clear, most of the vouchers would probably go to Catholic schools, maybe Catholic voters are partly in play here also. ... An out-party blocked from adjusting its position is an out-party that won't be able to get back to a 50-50 Nation, much less 51-49 in its favor. Expect Bush to press his advantage. ... (Maybe all this is obvious -- move over, Howard Fineman! But it's still a big story.) ... Gratuitous note on Fineman: I worked with him at Newsweek. He's aware of all sorts of non-obvious, up-to-the-minute nuances and is viciously, cynically funny. But it doesn't often come across on TV, where he dumbs himself down. He needs a blog! ... 1:11 A.M.
Thursday, May 1, 2003
Will Aaron Sorkin, who is apparently leaving the show he created--The West Wing--claim he was "Dixie-Chicked"? My guess is no, but there were some suggestive moments when he moderated an enjoyably raucous panel "discussion" last Sunday at the L.A. Festival of Books. Sorkin complained that while the country was basically divided between Republicans and Democrats 52-48
suddenly the 48 are having record albums banned and Disney and ABC are taking them off the air.
I thought Sorkin's whinge was bizarrely overblown at the time, and reminiscent of Lawrence O'Donnell's heartfelt complaint that the internal revenue system unfairly taxes those who make only $300,000 a year at the same rate as those who make over a million. Now, Sorkin's lament makes more sense. But it's still overblown! ... Sorkin was on firmer ground criticizing the shrill quality of the national debate, in which the 52 try to bury the 48 under waves of schoolyard vituperation, and the 48 try,far less successfully, to do the same to the 52. His argument: "It's impossible that half of us are out of our minds." Good point! ...
P.S.: Sorkin also claimed The West Wing has "no political agenda," and I suspect he really believes this. Just as NYT editors Boyd and Raines think what they are doing is simply "journalism," Hollywood liberals really think they are just "doing a show." The problem is that their political world-view is already completely embedded in what they think is funny, sad, touching, etc. ...
Update:One of kf's many well-placed Hollywood sources e-mails:
My not-for-attribution guess (and it's only that) about ... Sorkin goes something like this:--Sorkin was pushed. Didn't jump. (Wouldn't voluntarily leave the job of a lifetime, which guaranteed him a national megaphone.) On the other hand: much more lucrative if he gets another show on the air by himself, without having to divide the pie w/John Wells. Sorkin's agents may have been selling him on this angle.--If he was pushed, there was nothing remotely political about it.--If pushed, it was most likely because NBC recently paid a s***load in license fee increases for additional seasons of West Wing, with the added irritant that the money went to the same studio (Warner Bros) and the same Exec Producer (John Wells) to whom NBC paid s***loads of money, under nearly identical circumstances, only a few years earlier on ER. West Wing ratings then went south. Network must therefore want cheesier, more promotable episodes (A sniper targets the White House!), and probably thinks Sorkin won't be pliable. Plus he turns stuff in late. Plus he writes big and expensive. Plus he's a pain in the ass. So therefore: see ya!
Friends and supporters of Gary Hart, who is holding a fundraiser here in L.A. on Monday, tell me the same thing: Hart could be a valuable addition to the field if he'd throw caution to the winds and say what he really thinks. The problem is he won't do that -- I'd say he's incapable of doing that. He'll campaign as if he's the frontrunner and it's only a matter of time before the American people wake up and recognize his superior depth of understanding. If you don't agree with me, read his cautious, dull, Aspen Institutish blog. ...2:41 A.M.
The good news: The NY Post is finally running a series on Castro's crackdown! The bad news: It's on the comics page (in the strip "Mallard Fillmore").... 2:25 A.M.
Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Democrats aren't the only ones who indulge in pathetically wishful thinking. They just have more opportunities these days (and get more play from Adam Nagourney). But here's some fantasizing from the GOP side--an extravagantly unpersuasive op-ed explaining why "the White House has clearly decided" the state of California is "winnable." The piece was auspiciously published the day Bush's energy department decided to woo "winnable" California by opening the University of California's prestigious Los Alamos management contract up for bids from competing states. ... "Every now and then knock them down/They'll love you long and they'll love you strong." Why, it's right out of the Karl Rove playbook! ... (No, wait, that's an old anti-PC calypso song by Attila the Hun). ... 11:24 P.M.
Lehane/Kerry '04--Eliminate the Middleman! Alert kf reader R.S. suggests the Bill Clinton statement
"We need to be creating a world that we would like to live in when we're not the biggest power on the block."
does not mean the same thing as Howard Dean's statement that "We won't always have the strongest military." R.S. emails:
Like most of Mr. Clinton's pronouncements, it is somewhat ambiguous and lawyerly. He's saying that we ought to build a world as though we weren't the most
powerful nation in it, even though we are. I don't infer that he's saying that we necessarily may not be in the future ...
Nice try!! But I don't think it will fly. Clinton wasn't just saying we should behave according to some Golden Rule. He was saying our power will decline (in relative terms) at some point in the future, and we'd better prepare for it. My evidence? The same day he gave his "biggest power on the block" talk at the 92d St. Y in New York, Clinton spoke to union leaders in Washington, D.C.. Here's David von Drehle's summary:
As he often does, Clinton grew expansive in discussing the long-range ramifications of U.S. actions in Iraq. Given the rate of growth in the economies of some developing nations, the United States may not be the world's leading economic power by mid-century, he said. "And then we will be judged on how we behave now, at this moment," he said. [Emphasis added.]
Yes, Clinton said "economic power," not military power. But he's clearly thinking in terms of long-term relative U.S. decline. He's not simply saying we'll always be strongest yet should nevertheless be nice because it's the good, Rawlsian thing to do. [Update: The Dean blog has another Clinton quote that seems to sealsthis point.] ... Economic and military power aren't exactly unrelated, as my Slate colleague Robert Wright pointed out when reviewing President Bush's grand national security document last fall:
Mr. Bush is right to champion free trade and global prosperity, since an economically integrated world will be a more stable one. And he is right to hope that China in particular stays on the free-market path. But if China, with its 1.2 billion people, does keep up its brisk economic growth, won't the day come when it can match America's defense budget without breaking a sweat? How can America then afford to keep its military so potent as to "dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States"?
Apparently the administration is counting on China to undergo a kind of spiritual transformation. "In pursuing advanced military capabilities that can threaten its neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region, China is following an outdated path that, in the end, will hamper its own pursuit of national greatness. In time, China will find that social and political freedom is the only source of that greatness." Meanwhile, the United States will somehow escape this particular epiphany, and will follow the outdated path of pursuing advanced military capabilities that can threaten its neighbors ...
P.S.: Of course, if Howard Dean, and not Clinton, had said "the Unites States may not be the world's leading economic power by mid-century," Kerry spinner Chris Lehane would still be all over Dean like a cheap high-tech hack, raising 'serious questions about Dean's capacity to steer the nation to prosperity in the 21st century,' etc., etc. ...
P.P.S.: Who's the candidate here, Kerry or Lehane? It's getting hard to tell! ... Maybe they've got the ticket upside down! ...
P.P.P.S.: Media Whores Online and kausfiles, together again! ...
More: Clinton, tracked down by WaPo in Mexico City, fudges annoyingly on whether he meant the U.S. won't be the biggest military power or only that it wouldn't be the biggest "political and economic power." But in at least one quote, repeated in the story, he quite explicitly says "military." ... Clinton wouldn't come right out and falsely deny something like that, would he? Doesn't seem like him! ... 3:36 P.M.
Wherein lies the greatness of Chris Lehane? Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean surely committed a "Kinsley gaffe"-- accidentally telling the truth--when he said:
"We won't always have the strongest military."
''Howard Dean's stated belief that the United States `won't always have the strongest military' raises serious questions about his capacity to serve as commander in chief."
Lehane doesn't really believe a word of this, of course. ... But wait a minute. Didn't Bill Clinton make virtually the same point as Dean a few weeks ago? He did! At the 92d Street Y on March 13. Here's the N.Y. Daily News quote:
"We need to be creating a world that we would like to live in when we're not the biggest power on the block."
Does Lehane think Clinton was unfit to serve as commander in chief? ... Does kf have to do Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi's work for him? ... Note to Joe: Can't help you on the draft-dodging rap! ....Bonus Question: Which country is most likely to one day have a stronger military than ours? ... Hint: What looks good on a white tablecloth! ... Backfill: Turns out Slate's Will Saletan beat me to the Web on this issue, with even more extensive Lehane abuse! ... See new kausfiles motto, in subhead above. ... 2:45 A.M.
But Is It Good for Karl Rove? Powerful Jewish lobbying groups (e.g., AIPAC) have been weighing in against the so-called "road map to peace." Now some big Jewish philanthropists (e.g., Edgar Bronfman) have bridled, and written a letter supporting the initiative as a "distinct opportunity to escape the bloody status quo." WaPo reports on a potentially important split. ... ... 1:02 A.M.
Tuesday, April 29, 2003
They stumbled onto the kausfiles credo:
"Procrastination should be used for the embarrassing and serious status. That is necessary and urgent."
-- Hussein regime officials, in internal documents before the war, on how to counter demands that they account for missing and possibly-executed Iraqis.
Monday, April 28, 2003
The Feiler Faster Thesisis being written into black-letter law as states scramble to move their filing deadlines closer to Election Day (the better to accommodate the GOP's late, late convention, which will end in early September). ... Will there be a problem with having a whole presidential general election crammed into two months? Of course not! The electorate can now process the necessary information even faster than that. You could probably fit the whole thing easily into two weeks. ... Have I made this point already? ... Meanwhile, the primary campaign, from now until the summer of 2004, will seem absolutely endless, a lifetime, with as much drama seemingly packed into a week of The Note as the whole Making of the President, 1960. ... 11:04 A.M.
It's the most shocking "Reliable Sources" ever! Kausfiles' special NEXIS Alternative UniverseTM service has come up with a partial transcript. ... Howie Kurtz confronts his dark nemesis, as his CNN conflict-of-interest finally becomes too big to ignore! ... 3:12 A.M
The dirty little secret of pop music. ... I had no idea. ... Next, they'll come up with a "pitch correction" device for blogs -- it will position kausfiles automatically and electronically in perfect equipoise between left and right. (Turn up the anger knob to 11 and you get Pat Caddell!) .... 12:09 A.M.
Sunday, April 27, 2003
Moynihan still wrong! One of the very minor reasons to lament the premature passing of Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan is that we missed watching him eat the incredible amount of crow he'd have had to eat over his wildly non-prescient stance on welfare reform. Basically, the black anti-marriage trend he thought couldn't be stopped appears to have been reversed by the welfare reform he vehemently opposed. The latest confirming report appeared at the bottom of page A-13 of yesterday's NYT, though the Times did run a front-pager two years ago when the first hints of the turnaround became evident. Saturday's story says:
The portion of black families headed by single women continued to decline. It was 43 percent last year, one percentage point lower than 2000 and four points lower than in 1996. [Emphasis added.]
That was the year welfare was reformed, of course.. .. There has also been a less dramatic, but steady, increase in the percent of black families headed by married couples. "The six-year increase equals about 520,000 families," says the AP. ... The plodding, unconvincing liberal party line--advanced by the people with hyphenated last names who work at liberal think tanks and get quoted in AP stories--is that reversal doesn't have much to do with welfare reform. Rather, the economy did it! True, blacks did make huge economic strides in the booming job market of the late 1990s, and it's hard to believe that wasn't a factor. But the economy has boomed and busted before--and before the mid-1990s the family trends for blacks moved relentlessly downhill for decades ... I doubt that honest liberals such as Wendell Primus (and careful government analysts like Richard Bavier) think that welfare reform wasn't also a major part of the cause. The smart liberal party line, I'd argue, is that we now know that welfare reform and a healthy economy will boost marriage and reduce illegitimacy--so why, exactly, do we need the Bush administration's vague and oversold "marriage initiative"? We're winning without it. ...
P.S.: Moynihan isn't alive to eat crow, but maybe those Washington pundits he conned into pessimism about welfare reform--e.g., George Will and Al Hunt--will eat it for him.
Major Note of Caution: An AP story last year (by the same reporter) trumpeting a pro-marriage trend among teenagers turned out to be a bit shaky--in part because it compared two different surveys (one of which may have, for example, included more early-marrying immigrants). So other welfare reformers should probably wait longer than I did to gloat about this particular report. Send it to Aberdeen for testing! ...If I could find the actual Census data on the Web I'd feel a lot more confident. ... The general trend is still proving Moynihan wrong, however. ... 9:41 P.M.
Drudge Report--80 % true. Close enough! Instapundit--All-powerful hit king. Joshua Marshall--Escapee from American Prospect. Salon--Better click fast! Andrew Sullivan--He asks, he tells. He sells! Washington Monthly--Includes "Tilting at Windmills" Lucianne.com--Stirs the drink. Virginia Postrel--Friend of the future! Peggy Noonan--Gold in every column. Matt Miller--Savvy rad-centrism. WaPo--Waking from post-Bradlee snooze. The Liberal Death Star--Registration required. NY Observer--Read it before the good writers are all hired away. New Republic--Left on welfare, right on warfare! Jim Pinkerton--Quality ideas come from quantity ideas. Tom Tomorrow--Everyone's favorite leftish cartoonists' blog. Ann "Too Far" Coulter--Sometimes it's just far enough. Bull Moose--National Greatness Central. John Ellis--Forget that Florida business! The cuz knows politics, and he has, ah, sources. "The Note"--How the pros start their day. Romenesko's MediaNews--O.K. they actually start it here. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities--Money Liberal Central.. Steve Chapman--Ornery-but-lovable libertarian. Rich Galen--Sophisticated GOP insider. Man Without Qualities--Seems to know a lot about white collar crime. Hmmm. Overlawyered.com--Daily horror stories. Eugene Volokh --Smart, packin' prof, and not Instapundit! Eve Tushnet--Queer, Catholic, conservative and not Andrew Sullivan! WSJ's Best of the Web--James Taranto's excellent obsessions. Walter Shapiro--Politics and (don't laugh) neoliberal humor! Eric Alterman--Born to blog. Joe Conason--Bush-bashing, free most days. Lloyd Grove--Don't let him write about you. Arianna--A hybrid vehicle. Tom Paine.com--Web-lib populists. B-Log--Blog of spirituality! Nonzero--Bob Wright explains it all. [More tk.