New Times probe, in a fog of doubt, is as urgent as it is unpredictable! It looks as if the L.A. Times is still investigating Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Daily Californian reports on a talk Times political writer Mark Barabak recently gave to University of California students:
While the campaign may be over, Barabak said, the story of Schwarzenegger's past is not. He said the Times is investigating potentially more damaging charges against the governor-elect. [Emph. added.]
Do reporters usually say they are investigating damaging charges before they are proven? It seems permissable to me--but if a Times reporter announced that the paper was investigating unspecified 'potentially damaging' but unproven charges against, say, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, I suspect the editors of the Times might come down somewhat hard on him. ... It's a double standard, I tell you! ... P.S.: Alert kf readers may remember Barabak as the author of what may be the most memorably fatuous lede in years (nine days before the recall vote):
California's extraordinary election — the first gubernatorial recall in state history — is ending much as it began, in a fog of doubt that makes these last campaign days as urgent as they are unpredictable.
Update: Reader J.N. notes the Daily Cal could have misparaphrased what Barabak said. The key words are not in quotes. ... [Note: The initial version of this item erroneously had Barabak writing that lede two days before the vote instead of nine.] ...10:48 P.M.
What's wrong with the Democratic Party, on one convenient page. ... P.S.: Alert reader A.B. notes that "you can't accuse them of pandering to the Jewish vote." Update--Not so fast! I withdraw that last slander. You can accuse them after all. ... 2:00 P.M.
I predict that within five years Steve Bartman will be a beloved figure in Chicago. My reasoning: the Cubs' image as a cursed team is much more precious to the city than a mere World Series appearance. You win the NCLS or even the Series, you get to party for a couple of days--and then you're just another team like all the other teams that have had one good year. You're Anaheim. But not having won a World Series since 1908? Priceless. ... Winning, for the Cubs, would be like Susan Lucci winning an Emmy. They'll be naming bridges after Bartman. ....[Susan Lucci did win an Emmy, in 1999-ed. I knew that. You thought I didn't know that?] 3:20 A.M.
The quiet victory of 'neoliberalism:' At a breakfast in the spring of 1985, Paul Kirk, then chairman of the Democratic National Committee, suggested "means testing" big government benefit programs--in essence, shaving the benefits of the affluent--as a way to save money. Kirk was forced to eat his words by lunch. ("I should not have mentioned the subject of a means test.") ... We've come a long way. Now House and Senate conferees have reached a "basic philosophical consensus" to apply a type of a means test, based on income, to Part B of Medicare. Nobody has been forced to eat any words--yet. ... P.S.: "Means testing" was a key plank in the platform of "neoliberalism," the philosophy my old boss Charles Peters championed at the Washington Monthly. Today's news on Part B is but another example of why this neoliberal tendency, once exciting and heretical, is now less compelling than it once was: It's less compelling because it's won. ...Psst! Just don't tell them in Iowa, OK? ... Update: WaPo's Amy Goldstein has more on the history of proposals to means-test Medicare. ... Impolitic thought: Of course, if it's OK to means-test Medicare, why not Social Security too? ... Now we're talking about enough savings to start funding national health insurance. Senator Kennedy? ... 2:13 A.M.
Wednsday, October 15, 2003
Inside the Liberal Cocoon I: Here's American Prospect executive editor Michael Tomasky from a small festival of wishful thinking he published back on August 13: