Frist, Do No Harm!

A mostly political Weblog.
May 31 2005 6:02 AM

Frist, Do No Harm!

Plus--McCain saves The Palm; CNN saves Thunder.

Highly useful situationer from the well-informed William Bradley on how Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to avoid Chiracification from his proposed "complex and highly contested" ballot initiatives. ... P.S.: Contrast Bradley's calls for compromise deals on Schwarzenegger's proposals with Warren Beatty's stubborn Democratic conventionalism. Beatty gives Schwarzenegger credit for nothing, particularly annoying in the case of the Governor's anti-gerrymandering initiative (which would put the drawing of district lines in the hands of a panel of retired judges). "What is the need for an initiative on reapportionment when there is basic agreement in the legislature" [to shift to a nonpartisan system after the next census], Beatty argues. But gerrymandering wouldn't have even been an issue in the happily-safe-seated Dem-controlled legislature if Schwarzenegger hadn't brought it up and threatened his initiative. There would have been agreement, yes--agreement to preserve the status quo. ... Does Beatty like gerrymandering? If not, why not give Schwarzenegger some reformist props? ... What would Gary Hart do! ... 12:10 A.M.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Sullivan in full-Jekyll mode: 

It's a Bush administration meme. If you screw up, you get promoted, as long as you're a team player. If you really screw up, you get a Medal of Freedom.

That's easy to say if you ignore the most obvious counterexample. 1:34 A.M.

"Not Now"--Venn: If you drew a Venn diagram of the market niche targeted by the NYT's new TimeSelect service, it would require three circles.

1) Dems Desperately Seeking Cocooning Content

2) So rich they can pay $49.95 a year for it.

3) So poor they can't afford to subscribe to the NYT's paper edition (which includes TimeSelect).

I suggest that the area of overlap between these three circles is not huge. ... [You've said this before--ed This is clearer. ... But maybe  Circle 3 is really "'online people' who wouldn't even think of subscribing to a paper edition"--ed. Those people seem too young to be rich enough for Circle 2. Same result ... Are you going to subscribe?-ed Yes. ... I thought you always generalize wildly from your own personal experience--ed I have special needs! I want the archives.] ... Update: John Tabin would add a fourth circle, 'Too impatient (or unsavvy) to find the op-ed pieces elsewhere on the Web for free.' He argues the NYT won't change its op-ed syndication policies. I'm not so sure. ... 12:32 P.M. link

kf'sForward Lean: Can the  press' credibility withstand another damaging episode? Probably. But we'll find out, because there is at least one more damaging episode scheduled for imminent processing--Alan Feuer's potentially scandalous account of MSM reporting from Baghdad. ... Maybe Feuer will answer what seems to me the great mystery of the press in Iraq: Why American reporters, almost to a man, had a more pessimistic view of the war than seems to have been warranted. I don't think you can simply say they were blindered by anti-war or anti-Bush ideology: these are conscientious, smart, experienced people of varying political stripes and they virtually all seemed to predict a greater disaster than transpired.  That goes for the private, unprinted predictions of those few I encountered in person. ... P.S.: I'm not saying the war is already great success. Even our own top commanders admit we might lose it and the blowback from Abu Ghraib, etc. will last generations. But it seems a much, much, greater success, so far, than you'd have thought possible reading the dispatches from Baghdad in major papers. ... 10:31 P.M. link

Sunday, May 29, 2005