He Played Dido: Has the New York Times Magazine now written enough puff pieces about L.A. public radio d.j. Nic Harcourt? To Rob Walker's 760 words in January they've now added Jaime Wolf's 4,271--this for a man with barely enough on-air personality to sustain a prepositional phrase. Like the L.A. Times, Harcourt's KCRW empire of the "semipopular" is a Southern California institution that seems terrific to gullible East Coasters who don't have to live with it every day. Harcourt's scared to rock. His interviews are painful and formulaic. He doesn't provide "a subtle connective tissue, contextualizing the listening experience byond just a handful of songs." He puts you to sleep. He's a menace to highway safety. ... I was going to call Harcourt's dreary parade of breathy, self-absorbed, suffocating pop "yuppie shopping music," except that if stores actually played Harcourt's synapse-numbing choices the economy would grind to a halt! ... Three consistent motifs of L.A. stand-up comedy are plastic surgery, traffic, and how lame KCRW's music is. ... Yes, Harcourt "was the first in America to play Norah Jones." I like Norah Jones. But do you want to listen to the kind of DJ who'd be the first to play Norah Jones? I don't think so. . ... P.S.: Wolf finally flicks at some of these criticisms in a to-be-sure graf about 3,700 words into his piece, but he glosses over one obvious potential explanation for the poverty of the Harcourt experience: "Harcourt rarely pays attention to lyrics." After all, nobody who listens to singer-songwriters cares about lyrics! ... P.P.S.: Wolf portrays Harcourt as not corrupt. Better he should be. That would at least provide an explanation. ... Listening to his show, it sure sounds like he's wearily paying off a series of polite social obligations to various artists and promoters. Maybe if he were getting a suitcase of cash under the table he could work up some enthusiasm. ... P.P.P.S.: Have I mentioned that I don't like this guy's taste in music? ... 11:59 P.M. link
He Could Be Right! On election night, when Democrats started to worry that the exit polls indicating a Kerry victory might not hold up, someone at a party I attended called up Lawrence O'Donnell for reassurance. Don't worry, we were told--O'Donnell says it's all under control because Kerry will win the key swing states! That's when I knew Bush had been reelected. ... O'Donnell is a brilliant pundit because he picks a clear, intriguing, contrarian position and sticks to it. But he's almost always wrong. Which is why I'll believe his report that "Karl Rove was Matt Cooper's source"--headlined "Rove Blew CIA Agent's Cover"--when it's confirmed elsewhere. ... Which it pointedly isn't, quite, in Newsweek. ...
Update: In a HuffPo update, O'Donnell accuses Rove's lawyer of choosing his words carefully when saying that Rove "never knowingly disclosed classified information." [Italics added.] But O'Donnell also seems to be choosing his words carefully. He says of Rove:
He does not say in so many words (at least in any quote I can find) that Rove was the one who outed Plame as a CIA agent, though he seems happy to leave this implication, and he fooled the headline writers at HuffPo and Drudge, who both used the phrase "Rove Blew CIA Agent's Cover". [That incautiously worded HuffPo headline has now been dropped, though it's available here and will still be recorded here when the Huffington people wise up and take it down.] In fact, there seems to be less disagreement between O'Donnell and Rove's lawyer than O'Donnell's huffing suggests--maybe no disagreement at all. Both say Rove talked to Cooper. That presumably means Rove was a source that Cooper was protecting. Neither says that Rove outed Plame, and O'Donnell doesn't think that would be a crime anyway.** So what's the fuss about? Maybe not what Rove told Cooper but what Rove told the grand jury, and whether it was truthful. But O'Donnell doesn't offer any evidence that Rove committed perjury. ...
P.S.: Of course it's possible Rove did blow Plame's cover, even if O'Donnell doesn't claim he did and Rove's lawyer denies it. ... Or maybe Rove confirmed what Cooper already knew. ... Tom Maguire leads an expedition into the weeds. ...
P.P.S.: If, as Rove's lawyer told told Newsweek, Rove "signed a waiver authorizing reporters to testify about their conversations with him," how could he be "the" source Cooper was "protecting" at risk of going to jail? Cooper apparently did talk to the prosecutor about Cheney aide "Scooter" Libby after Libby gave Cooper permission. ...
**: Here's O'Donnell on Hardball from September 30, 2003:
MATTHEWS: Lawrence O'Donnell, you're out here as well. Lawrence, what do you think of this? Give a meter on this.
O'DONNELL: Well, Chris, I think, on a 10 scale, it's about a six. And it is actually going to go down from there, after another month or so of going up, because, at the base of this is an unprovable crime. There will not be a criminal accusation, because if you read the statute, as I've been studying it today, one of the elements that's absolutely necessary is, the person who releases this information must know, actively know, that the CIA is very actively trying to protect and hide the identity of this person.
It will be very easy for amateurs in handling CIA information, like a Karl Rove or someone else at the media end of the White House, to say, I did not know that the CIA was trying to hide her identity.
By the way, I don't think, based on my reading of the statute and the news accounts so far, that this woman fits the definition of the statute either. So I don't think you're going to be able to connect the criminal elements in the case. [Emph. added]
Should judges follow their principles? Up to point, Lord Kinsley: Alert reader R.C. notes two editorials on the new, Kinsleyfied LAT editorial page showing some things have not changed at the paper yet:
[J]udicial philosophy means judicial philosophy. It does not mean political ideology. What's the difference? Judicial philosophy is about process: how a judge interprets the law to reach a conclusion. Political ideology is about the result: what policy gets implemented. A judge should have a coherent judicial philosophy and follow it even to a conclusion he or she would not prefer.
The positive side of O'Connor's pragmatic approach to judging is that it applied a brake to the ideologically driven conservative counterrevolution. No one engaged with real-world facts, for instance, could allow Roe vs. Wade to be overturned. [Emph. added]
In other words, judges should have a coherent judicial philosophy and follow it to the conclusions they would not prefer ... except for this one conclusion we really, really care about! ...
P.S.: When Kinsley was editor of the New Republic, if I recall, the official TNR position was that Roe was bad law, bad politics and should be overturned. ... Would it really be so terrible if Roe goes? Abortion would become a legislative decision again. Pro-choice forces would mainly win, with Democrats who wanted to preserve the option of abortion clobbering Republicans (and maybe retaking legislatures) all across the country. But Americans who oppose abortion would win a few points, and become part of the democratic dialogue--instead of being left to nurture resentment at the judges who exclude them and tell them there's nothing they can do about it. Good for democracy, good for Democrats, good for the rule of law--and OK for "choice." Would someone "engaged with real-world facts" have such a big problem with that outcome? Even if it meant they'd be accused of having a coherent judicial philosophy.
P.P.S.: Speaking of real-world facts, Conor Friedersdorf catches the LAT reporting on the front page about a legislative event--the approval of an anti-Sudafed provision in Riverside--that didn't actually happen. The paper then weaseled out of printing a correction. ... When I do that I get nasty emails! ... True, even diligent reporters can get it wrong. But was the LAT diligent? There are two bylines** on the initial story but not much evidence that either reporter actually attended the meeting at which the controversial law was voted on. ... Yes, it would be terrible for Southern California if we lost this valuable civic resource! ...
**: Four bylines if you count two more reporters listed at the end.
A conservative I'd like to see mentioned for the Supreme Court: Robert F. Nagel of the University of Colorado law school. I haven't followed his recent work, but he made mincemeat of Laurence Tribe and as a student wrote the greatest law review note ever, proving that the venerable constitutional doctrine allowing judges to strike down laws that don't have a "rational relationship" to a permissable legislative purpose is, to put it bluntly, a crock. ... [Any chance you would send [a] citation?-P.F. Note, Legislative Purpose, Rationality, and Equal Protection, 82 YALE L.J. 123, 128 (1972)] 3:17 A.M. link
"The New McCarthyism": E.J. Dionne sees "a kinder and gentler form of McCarthyism" in Karl Rove's "therapy" speech:
What gave McCarthyism its power was the fact that the senator from Wisconsin did not invent the danger posed to the United States by Soviet communism. The Soviet Union was a real threat, and there were real communist spies working in America.
What made McCarthy and his allies so insidious was their eagerness to level the "soft on communism" charge against even staunchly anticommunist liberals.
But surely Joe McCarthy isn't a widely-condemned figure because he accused people of being "soft on communism." He's a widely-condemned figure because he accused people of being Communists! ... If Cold War Republicans couldn't call Adlai Stevenson "soft on Communism," what couldthey do? 2:53 A.M. link
Two Smythe Items in a Row: Steve Smith discovers an intriguing correlation between robust housing prices and Democratic voting habits:
[E]very state (and the District of Columbia) that voted for John Kerry last year, without exception, was among the top 24 states in the country in terms of the increase in residential property values since 1980.
Do Democrats produce rising home values or do rising home values make people Democrats? (The latter seems implausible.) Are both phenomena related to high education levels and/or a large concentration of universities? And how does this correlation jibe with the much advertised GOP dominance in the fastest-growing states, which you'd think would be states with rapidly appreciating real estate? Explain it away if you can, Michael Barone! ... 2:26 A.M. link
Attention, Lipton Tea Company! Here's the MySpace entry of first round L.A. Laker draft pick Andrew Bynum. Hard not to like this guy. [via Smythe's World ] 1:53 A.M. link
"Yes, I am coming for the Bush amnesty program." That's what one illegal immigrant reportedly told a U.S. border patrol questioner in a survey the Bush administration understandably failed to complete. About 45 percent of those questioned "said that 'amnesty rumors' influenced their decision to cross the border illegally," according to Judicial Watch, which obtained the survey with a FOIA request. ... True, just because illegal immigrants try to get into the country in time to qualify for a proposed amnesty (or semi-amnesty) doesn't mean they'll still try to get into the country after the amnesty deadline passes and our official policy becomes "no more amnesty." But it does show they are responsive to the formal legal rewards and punishments they think await them in the United States. And I'd have more confidence in immigration reformers if they didn't ignore this obvious reality and say idiotic things like the following:
"People risk their lives to come for work and to feed their families," said Douglas Rivlin of the National Immigration Forum in Washington. "The idea that they come in response to political speeches is silly."
P.S.: It's impossible for me not to hear an echo here of the welfare debate, in which liberals scoffed for decades at the idea that anybody would ever bear children or travel across state lines because of the existence or nonexistence of welfare benefits. The main difference is that in the welfare case it was hard to find recipients who forthrightly told questioners, "Yes, I came to this state for its welfare program!" ... 10:36 P.M. link
"Areas of refuge" on every floor! You don't get that in the suburbs: Would you want to tell your employees that they work in the "safest skyscraper in the world"? Isn't that a bit like telling a paranoid, "I'm your biggest defender." ... P.S.: If you actually have some desire to work in this building, the creepy "East River Flyby" video on the semi-official Freedom Tower web site should scare you off. ... 10:11 P.M. link
Before you sigh with relief at the Army's apparent June recruiting success, remember that they seem to be at least fiddling with the standards, although they deny lowering them. Here is an explanation from an in-house Pentagon report, as quoted by Jack Army **:
"We aren't lowering our standards," [Gen. Peter J.] Schoomakaer said, referring to recent reports in the media that claimed standards were being loosened in order to draw more recruits.
What has changed is the waiver authority for minor offenses. The new policy delegates the waiver authority to a lower level but still requires a general officer to consider the applicant's packet and grant any waiver. Normally only minor infractions are waived, but with some demonstration that the potential recruit has matured and developed into a responsible candidate. Army policy still prevents convicted felons, and drug and sex offenders from joining. [Emph. added]
Hmmm. So the decision as to whether to waive a formerly-disqualifying (and possibly even non-minor) infraction is now being made by the same lower-down officers who are trying desperately to meet their quotas? Sounds like a lowering to me. ... See also Carter and West on the lowering of retention standards. ...
Toyota Pities You:
"Our main mission as a company is to contribute to a better society," [Toyota] President Katsuaki Watanabe, who took up his post last week, told a news conference on Monday held to introduce the company's new management team.
"We need to do much more in this field than we have been."
Is Toyota overdoing its condescending don't-worry-we-will-help-you-America act, or is it just that the press keeps asking the "backlash" question? Autoblog says the former. ... P.S.: I tend to think fears of an anti-Japanese "backlash" in the U.S. are overstated. Are Americans really going to resent Toyota for "luring customers away from General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. ..."? Twenty years ago, maybe it was easy to blame Japan, Inc. for its increasing U.S. auto market share--but that was before much of Japan, Inc. stalled while Detroit and the UAW blew repeated chances at turning the tide in their sector. ... What's really annoying now are Toyota's pledges to be gentle with us. ... 10:03 P.M. link
Too Presidential! It's good that despite the recent crescendo of doom 58 percent of those polled by ABC/WaPo think our troops should stay in Iraq "until civil order is restored." But it will be a surprise if Bush's speech this evening improves those numbers significantly. The address was too presidential and rhetorical, a view from 40,000 feet, when what was needed was humility and gritty detail, a cold-eyed view from the ground. I assume this will be the CW. ... Update--'Needs Additional Skills' Ex-speechwriter Walter Shapiro, calling the speech "uncharacteristically flaccid," mocks Bush's declaration that we've "learned that Iraqis are courageous and that they need additional skills." It's sort of condescending euphemism usually used to send "youth into job-training programs, not to describe potential allies," Shapiro argues. I say it sounds like what nonjudgmental liberal educators would use to replace the word "Fail" on a Pass/Fail report card. ... Wouldn't it have been better for Bush to have bluntly said "many of them don't yet know how to fight"? ...P.S.: Time for some CW about how the new Bush White House Team isn't up to the standards of the old Bush White House Team. Update: Right on schedule. "Where are yesterday's gods?"--Dick Morris. ...
Update--Surprise? According to Gallup, the speech did have an impact on the GOP-heavy audience that saw it, with support for "keep troops in Iraq until situation gets better" rising from 58% pre-speech to 70% post speech. ... 6:08 P.M. link
Are Dems for timetables or for breaking them? Today's Note suggests President Bush might argue:
Iraqis have been meeting important deadlines in the political process — including deadlines that some handwringers in the Senate (most of them know who they are) have suggested be postponed (elections and the transfer of sovereignty).
They know who they are, but do we? Whom could the Note be thinking of? Maybe Hillary Clinton, who visited Iraq in late 2003 and prompted the following news account:
As she has on each leg of her three-day trip, Clinton questioned the White House battle plan for restoring order and stability to Iraq and Afghanistan.
"It's going to take more time than has been allotted for the process to take hold," said Clinton, referring to the July deadline by which Bush aims to transfer power back to the struggling Iraqis.
"I don't think we should be setting artificial timelines as this is a very challenging undertaking and we need to work with our Iraqi counterparts and make sure that the steps that are being taken are going to work," added Clinton, who is due back in Washington today. [Emphasis added]
4:35 P.M. link
"They sound a little nervous," he said of Fox. "And guess what, they should be. Because we haven't even started trying yet."
Breyer Patch: According to Robert Novak, some Senate Democrats have threatened a bitter confirmation battle if Bush doesn't name a Supreme Court justice acceptable to them. How much of a threat is that? From a crude newshole-oriented perspective isn't a bitter confirmation battle what Bush needs right about now? It would a) buy him some time on Iraq by helping push the daily carnage out of the lead position and by giving ambitious Dems something else to attack him for; and b) allow everyone forget about the Social Security/private accounts fight long enough to let it be abandoned without too much embarrassment. It's the perfect palate-cleanser! The longer and more dramatic the better. Law-schoolish reporters and direct-mailish interest groups, already well-rehearsed and ready for a months-long theatrical run, will help Bush achieve this goal. ... P.S.: Under this theory, Bush doesn't want to appoint someone so wildly conservative that he or she would be the judicial analogue of invading Iraq or privatizing Social Security. But he certainly doesn't want to appoint someone so moderate that Democrats won't mount a massive, cacophonous blocking effort. ... An honorable, undiluted conservative with strong doubts about Roe but no Lochneresque private-property enthusiasms would seem to be what is called for. ... 3:42 P.M. link
Romenesko seems to be making so much money ($152,163 plus $17,024 in benefits, and that was two years ago) that if you didn't know he was a blogger you might think he was working for NPR![You seem competitive and bitter about all the liberals working for tax-favored non-profits who make more than you do--ed Bitter? Competitive? About fellow bloggers? I haven't even started trying yet!] 3:35 P.M. link
"In Lincoln's rise from poverty, his ultimate mastery of language and law, his capacity to overcome personal loss and remain determined in the face of repeated defeat - in all this, he reminded me not just of my own struggles ..." [Emph. added]
Not just of his own struggles.... Good to see Obama retaining his essential modesty. The danger for someone in his position is that he might let it go to his head! ... 1:13 P.M. link
On the Handcuffing of Vital Impulses: The NYT says it would be wrong if the "vital impulses represented by the arts are handcuffed in the name of freedom" at the controversial proposed Ground Zero International Freedom Center. Why is it controversial?
''First there were concerns that this was going to be jingoistic and now there's this attack that we're a creature of the left. Neither are true,'' says [Freedom Center chairman] Tom Bernstein. ''That's not the soul of the institution."
But this isn't an institution we need in the first place. Do the 9/11 attacks have to become the occasion for the creation of yet another well-upholstered non-profit boondoggle for public intellectuals and granstmen, and the NYT culture critics who write about them? There are already plenty of institutions in Manhattan where the "vital impulses represented by the arts" can and do express themselves. The hollow, pompous rhetoric already generated by the Freedom Center's defenders--"nurture a global conversation about freedom in our world today"--demonstrates that it is a highly unpromising venue for this expression.
Visa Express: My favorite tidbit in Timothy Naftali's excellent, evenhanded history of U.S. counterrorism describes the State Department's reaction to warnings of an impending Al Qaeda attack in the summer of 2001:
Concerned that a terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy in Riyadh would kill hundreds of Saudis waiting in line at the consular office, the department established a Visa Express program so that Saudis could obtain visas at travel agencies, dispersing the applicants, though at the same time making it easier for terrorists to enter the United States.
At the time, of course, even Richard Clarke--the one with his "hair on fire" about the bin Laden threat--assumed an attack would probably occur abroad. (Clarke also "believed that the U.S. government had the luxury to implement a multiyear strategy to eliminate al Qaeda.") 8:55 A.M. link
I wrote a book urging Democrats to adopt social equality, rather than income equality, as their underlying goal. But is social equality really such a fundamental value? Isn't it in large part an American affectation? Aren't our brains wired by evolution to make invidious status distinctions? Major doubts arise. Then comes a news item, like the NYT's report explaining Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's popularity in Iran:
On election day, Mr. Ahmadinejad waited with average citizens before casting his vote.
"All through my life I have never seen a presidential candidate standing in a queue like ordinary people," said Seyed Mohammad Shekarabi, 75, who broke into tears when he saw Mr. Ahmadinejad take his place in the line.
P.S.: I'm not trying to spin on Ahmadinejad's deeply troubling victory. And this is just one anecdote. Still, it's evidence of something. ... P.P.S.: Rumors that losing candidate Rafsanjani habitually jumped queues while declaring "Do you know who I am?" could not be confirmed at press time. ... 8:42 P.M.
Two reporters--Josh Gerstein of the N.Y. Sun and Chicago Sun-Times contributor Thomas Lipscomb-- have been suspiciously pursuing the John Kerry-Form 180 story. Gerstein appears to have reached a dead end now that he's successfully used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain copies of the Form 180 request itself (which releases a "one time " copy to only three reporters). But where's Lipscomb? ... Update: He's still out there. ... 11:30 A.M.
What's more concerning about the ever-evolving Hillary Clinton is that no one really knows who she is. In quintessentially Clintonesque fashion, she's whoever you need her to be. Like her husband, she is a master of mirroring - of reflecting back to others a complimentary and complementary image of themselves.
... Obviously, some of this is just politics and common sense. You check the temperature of a room before entering and adjust your shtick accordingly. But with Hillary, there's something more, a something-else that puts people on edge, something they distrust without knowing its name. It is, I think, rage.
How Slow-Moving is GM? According to an auto industry blog, GM is reconsidering its imbecilic, self-abnegating decision not to build a new generation of rear-drive sedans. Unfortunately, even if this apparent trial balloon floats, the new cars won't come out until 2010. ... Let's see, the successful Chrysler 300 rear drive sedan came out as a 2005 model. What's a five year time lag these days? It's not as if things are moving faster with computers and everything. GM's taking the long view! ... Suggestion: Use the existing "Sigma" platform (currently underpinning the Cadillac CTS) to cobble-up a quickie rear-driver for, say, 2008. ... [Via Autoblog] 4:02 P.M.
LAT's Ron Brownstein on why General Motors' troubles show we need "national action" to control health care costs:
There's no silver bullet for controlling medical costs. The inability of even a massive consumer like GM, with its vast bargaining power, to hold down its bills belies the simplistic suggestions from Bush and conservative thinkers that transferring more of the cost to individuals will significantly reduce costs by making patients smarter consumers. [Emph. added]
Note to Ron: GM is maybe not your best example of the ineffectiveness of "transferring more of the cost to individuals," since GM has not even instituted the obvious deductible and co-pay measures with its hourly workers. The deductible for UAW workers at GM is ... zero.
UAW workers at GM and retirees don't pay monthly premiums or deductibles for health care, but white-collar workers and retirees pay both. GM says union employees pay 7 percent of their health-care costs and white-collar employees 27 percent. ( Chicago Tribune)
Is your health care deductible zero? Mine's $2,000. ... P.S.: The key question, for Brownstein's cost-control argument, is whether the overall health care costs of GM's white collar workers are any lower than the costs for the zero-deductible hourly workers (forgetting, for a moment, the share of those overall costs paid by the workers).In other words, do the white collar deductibles and copayments actually discourage unnecessary doctors' visits, etc.? Presumably the answer is yes. If so, "Bush and the conservative thinkers" have a point--about GM, at least. ... 3:36 P.M.
Your editor returned to Iraq in April and May of 2005 for another embedded period of reporting. I could immediately see improvements compared to my earlier extended tours during 2003 and 2004. The Iraqi security forces, for example, are vastly more competent, and in some cases quite inspiring. Baghdad is now choked with traffic. Cell phones have spread like wildfire. And satellite TV dishes sprout from even the most humble mud hovels in the countryside. [Emph. added]
Zinsmeister may turn out to be right, and I think the press's coverage of Iraq has been overpessimistic. I would just suggest that, in the kind of war we are fighting, the proliferation of cell phones and other means of fast communication may not be an unalloyed good--e.g. if the cells are used to efficiently spy and coordinate bomb attacks and while dishes are used to instantaneously transmit pictures from Abu Ghraib. ... Update: Instapundit disagrees, arguing cells on balance help the anti-terror majority report on unpopular jihadists. He cites a StrategyPage post addressing this very issue:
While these improved communications have aided the terrorists, it has hurt them more. People reporting terrorists via phones or Internet, often get a very swift response. As more Iraqis die from terrorist attacks, more phone calls are made reporting terrorist activity. There have been cases where terrorist gangs have tried to seize all the cell phones used in a neighborhood where their hideout was.
Drudge Report--80 % true. Close enough! Instapundit--All-powerful hit king. Joshua Marshall--He reports! And decides! Wonkette--Makes Jack Shafer feel guilty. Salon--Survives! kf gloating on hold. Andrew Sullivan--He asks, he tells. He sells! David Corn--Trustworthy reporting from the left. Washington Monthly--Includes Charlie Peters' proto-blog. 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. Keller's Calmer Times--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--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's Huffosphere--Now a whole fleet of hybrid vehicles. TomPaine.com--Web-lib populists. Take on the News--TomPaine's blog. B-Log--Blog of spirituality! Hit & Run--Reason gone wild! Daniel Weintraub--Beeblogger and Davis Recall Central. Eduwonk--You'll never have to read another mind-numbing education story again. Nonzero--Bob Wright explains it all. John Leo--If you've got political correctness, he's got a column ... [More tk]