It's the most shocking "Reliable Sources" ever! Kausfiles' special NEXIS Alternative UniverseTM service has come up with a partial transcript. ... 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.
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.
Why Joe Lieberman and John Edwards Love Howard Dean: TNR'sestimable Ryan Lizza notes,
Just as Kerry is threatened by Dean in Kerry's must-win state of New Hampshire, Gephardt is threatened by Dean in Gephardt's must-win state of Iowa.
So Dean could knock off two big Dems before expiring on cue in the conservative South. That's the plan, anyway. ... 3:23 A.M.