Does China Want to Buy GM?

Does China Want to Buy GM?

Does China Want to Buy GM?

A mostly political Weblog.
July 23 2005 2:59 AM

Does China Want to Buy GM?

Plus--the Madrassa Myth Myth

Ann Coulter now has barbed little items on the right side of her site. The first step down a steep, slippery slope at the bottom of which is ... a blog. Or something like it. ... Today she gets in a good cheap shot at Sullivan's predictably antiheteronormative Edward Heath obit. ... Kf says: Go ahead, slip. ...  11:47 P.M.

They Mean to Win Wimbledon! Was China's currency revaluation really just a diplomatic concession to U.S. pressure? Snarksmith has another theory. He notes that every 2% upward revaluation makes it 2% easier for Chinese firms to buy struggling American consumer brands, with all the name recognition and retail networks that come with them (a strategy Slate's Dan Gross has described in more detail).... And what's the most famous American brand that's struggling right now? Not the L.A. Times. (Sorry, Chicago. The Chinese aren't that stupid.) General Motors. A Chinese outfit, Snarksmith notes, could pick up GM for a mere $20 billion. Make that $19.6 billion. Then they could start selling Chinese-made vehicles alongside U.S.-made vehicles in U.S. dealers! I'm not sure American consumers would mind. They buy plenty of well-made Chinese products at Wal-Mart. ... P.S.: China, as a socialist country, would surely act only in the interests of Detroit's unionized workers! ... P.P.S.: Actually, of course, a GM bid would set off a giant defensive political reaction. But why are we assuming that the Chinese are trying to cool tensions? ... 11:13 P.M.

Supreme Court nominee John Roberts appears to driveChrysler PT Cruiser. This may be the scariest thing I've heard about him. ... An ugly, immature attempt at returning to an earlier era! Is that what the Constitution will look like after Roberts is through with it? Probe this issue thoroughly, Sen. Schumer! 12:10 P.M.


Carroll Ankles:

CW on John Carroll's departure from the L.A. Times: Editor of Pulitzer-winning paper tragically steps down because budget cuts and layoffs imposed by the paper's Chicago owners threatened his ability to produce quality journalism! (See, e.g.,  here  and here.)

Kf's alternative perspective: Carroll made the LAT a better paper--or, rather, he made it a paper and not a cargo cult going through the motions of putting out what it thinks is a paper! To his credit, he realized it sucked when he took it over. And he hired Kinsley. But how conventional and dumb (and paleoliberal) is it to judge a newspaper by the amount of "resources" devoted to it? A smart editor, faced with a giant bureaucracy  filled with pleasantly plodding holdovers, would have realize that layoffs are his friend. Massive layoffs, preferably! Get rid of the soul-killing middle management mediocrities--you have a good excuse, "the evil Chicago people made me do it"--and you could rebuild the place with fresh talent and make it great.   ...

P.S.: In today's NYT, incoming editor Dean Baquet comes off like a bit of a Chicago-pleasing opportunist for saying (in Katharine Seelye's paraphrase)

that perhaps 70 percent of what he wanted to accomplish could be done without more money.

This actually seems like a refreshing sign that Baquet may be focused on output and not input. ...

Personal Angle #1: Baquet's Beggars! Circulation at Carroll's Times has been falling rapidly (6-8 percent in a single year). The paper has become less oddly compelling as it's gotten better--a B+ NYT. The day before Carroll quit, I got a call from an LAT telemarketer informing me that even though I'd cancelled my subscription they were "going to start" delivering the paper on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (and maybe Thursday, I forget) for $1.50 a week. I said no, I didn't want that. They said 'OK, just Sunday then," or words to that effect. I said no, again, louder this time. There was a click. First time I've ever been hung up on by a telemarketer. They may be desperate, but at least they're rude.


Personal Angle #2: I learned the LAT was a gold-plated bureaucracy in the mid-80s when a friend who worked there wondered if she should take her son in to the company infirmary to get a free flu shot. On a Sunday. ... I'm sure plenty of fat has been cut since then, but it seems quite possible there's just a bit left. ...

Update: Jonathan Weber on Carroll's alibis and the paper's destructive and distracting quest for national prizes--and East Coast approval--even before Carroll arrived with his Pulitzer obsession. ("[J]ust entering the damn contests was practically a full-time job.") 12:42 A.M.

The news lede from Wonkette's recent Los Angeles  Zocalo talk concerned a conversation she said she had with Sen, John McCain, in which the latter offhandedly suggested we were in fact losing in Iraq. ... P.S.: I've always mentally contrasted Sen. Chuck Hagel's pessimism on Iraq with the non-pessimism (on TV chat shows) of his friend McCain. But maybe Hagel is functioning as McCain's Deep Throat, voicing the views a GOP presidential contender can't affford to articulate himself. ... 11:00 P.M.

The Madrassa Threat is a Myth! Oh, Wait: On June 15, Peter Bergen and Swati Pandey wrote a NYT op-ed,  "The Madrassa Myth," mocking the denunciation of fundamentalist Islamic schools in Pakistan by then-Secretary of State Powell and Defense Secretery Rumsfeld. "While Madrassas may breed fundamentalists who have learned to recite the Koran in Arabic by rote," Bergen and Pandey declared, "such schools do not teach the technical or linguistic skills necessary to be an effective terrorist." The authors noted that of 75 terrorists studied "a majority of them are university-educated, often in technical subjects like engineering."

While madrassas are an important issue in education and development in the Muslim world, they are not and should not be considered a threat to the United States. [Emph. added]


Hmmm. How did this bit of punditry hold up over the next, say, four weeks? Since the op-ed was written, the London subway has been bombed and it's been reported that at least one of the four bombers  visited a madrassa in Pakistan. (Two of the other three also visited Pakistan, though it's not clear from news reports what they did there). Now the suspected ringleader of the plot has reportedly been arrested a) in a madrassa b) in Pakistan c) with "explosives and a large sum of money." I would say Bergen and Pandey have a bit of backpedaling to do. ...

P.S.: They could argue that terrorists may have been Western-educated people who visited madrassas but they haven't been graduates of the madrassas. That might well be true--for now. Bergen and Pandey's whole approach is an exercise in reification--the fallacy that the way things are is the way they will stay. Sure, of the current crop of 75 terrorists, most may be educated in the West. That doesn't mean that the next generation of terrorists won't be churned out by the madrassas. If the 7/7 London terrorists felt compelled to visit Pakistani madrassas and apparently seek refuge there, that surely makes Powell and Rumsfeld's fears about the future reasonable. ...

Update: Reader A.S. adds:

"I'm not entirely sure I get the point in arguing that because madrassas don't teach the technical skills of becoming a terrorist (if that's true) that they aren't a risk. Isn't it at least an equally large part of the threat where terrorist learn the mindset that allows them to commit terrorist acts as where they learn the tradecraft? If madrassas are teaching students that terrorism is a good and holy thing then don't they bear much of the responsibility for what results ..."


Right. What if students go from madrassas (where they learn to hate the West) to engineering school (where they learn 'technical' skills)? The first necessary-but-insufficient school seems as important as the second. ... 4:09 P.M.

Maybe Dan Neil was right about Bob Lutz: Despite the wildly successful  GM "employee discount" promotion, Pontiac sales managed to fall 14%  in June. Yikes. Wasn't the new G6 sedan supposed to be picking up steam in the marketplace right about now? ...  [Like John Carroll of the L.A. Times, Lutz has been tasked with turning around a huge, ossified self-protective bureaucracy. It takes years.-ed. Good point. And you don't see Carroll giving up in frustration! ... Oh.] ... Lutz Damage Control #66: OK, so current GM products are less than inspired. As if to make the case for Lutz,  Danny Hakim of the NYT recently ran a little box previewing the exciting "Lutzmobiles" that are on the way. Of the four cars featured, two are forthrightly dreary (the bland Buick Lucerne, the tired retro Chevrolet HHR), one looks OK (Saturn Aura), and only one is genuinely exciting (the limited-volume Pontiac Solstice). I hope the models GM sneak-previewed to credulous Business Week  were more impressive. ... 10:31 A.M.


'OK, He'll Do. Now Back to Plame!' Roger Simon writes:

The last thing a wartime president needs at a moment like this is a divisive Supreme Court fight.

Hmmm. If the alternative to a divisive Supreme Court fight is returning the public's attention to a) the ongoing casualties in Iraq; b) a scandal involving the president's top aide and c) a highly unpopular Social Security plan, I'd say Bush's biggest fear is that Roberts isn't controversial or divisive enough. He might just sail through! ... 11:35 P.M.

[It's been 5 hours and you still don't have anything up on John Roberts!--ed. Deeply ashamed. But N.Z. Bear has a useful blog-tracking page on the subject.] 11:02 P.M.


That Was Fast: Last year Ford introduced its long-awaited new big car, the Five Hundred, and a wagon/minivan variant, the Freestyle (advertised in Southern California TV spots featuring Brooke Shields). Now, after only 10 months in production, Ford has decided to discontinue the Freestyle, according to news reports. In the automotive world--where it costs a lot of money to build the tooling for a new model--this is a stunningly rapid demise. It may be the first time in recent memory that a major Detroit vehicle has been killed off like a movie because it 'didn't open.' Faster Flops! I suppose that's progress of a sort. ... [link via Autoblog] 10:17 A.M.

Novak vs. Novak: Andrew Sullivan rightly draws attention to this paragraph from the Newsday of July 22, 2003:

Novak, in an interview, said his sources had come to him with the information. "I didn't dig it out, it was given to me," he said. "They thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it." 

That doesn't mean they necessarily wanted him to publicly identify Plame as a CIA empoyee, but it does not sit very comfortably with the account in Novak's later column on the subject:

During a long conversation with a senior administration official, I asked why Wilson was assigned the mission to Niger. He said Wilson had been sent by the CIA's counterproliferation section at the suggestion of one of its employees, his wife. It was an offhand revelation from this official, who is no partisan gunslinger. [Emph. added]

[It's too late for soft soap with Sullivan now--ed. But I can rip him off, no?] .. 8:08 P.M.

Solid gold: Ryan Lizza's written a definitive account of the comedic weaseling of Karl Rove's lawyer, the man who has snatched the yellow jersey from Floyd Abrams  in the race for least effective lawyer of the year. ... Even Lizza's hed is good. ... I find it hard to believe that Rove will lose his job over the Plame scandal. But with Robert Luskin on his side, you never know:

Luskin has, in fact, developed a whole new strategy based on the double super secret background nature of the Cooper-Rove interview, a strategy that rests on the fact that Luskin doesn't quite get Cooper's sense of humor. On Tuesday, the lawyer earnestly defended Rove in an interview with National Review Online. "Look at the Cooper e-mail," Luskin told reporter Byron York, ironically the same journalist who once trashed Luskin in a 1997 American Spectator piece. "Karl speaks to him on double super secret background." Call it the Dean Wormer defense.

One for the Patton Boggs clip packet! ... 5:30 P.M.

Does anyone actually want Alberto Gonzales on the Supreme Court except George W. Bush? Stuart Taylor has the impolite case against the Attorney General:

He was a journeyman partner in a big Houston law firm before meeting Bush. His Texas Supreme Court opinions are pedestrian and undistinguished. His public statements mix prefabricated talking points with vacuous platitudes. By many accounts, he typically says little or nothing during internal debates and discussions among administration lawyers. [Emphasis added.]

Being unpredictable, Taylor notes, isn't in itself necessarily a winning job qualification. ... But it's not clear, after reading Taylor's column, that Gonzalez really is unpredictable. He seems to have been entirely consistent--you just have to look for the right underlying principle.  Specifically, has he ever taken a position that might threaten his career? ... 4:09 P.M. 

Did War of the Worlds screenwriter David Koepp really say that the Martians in the movie represent "American military forces," while Tom Cruise and the embattled Earthlings represent Iraqi civilians? Looks like he did. ... Meanwhile, director Steven Spielberg says it was about "Americans fleeing for their lives" in a 9/11-like situation. ... No wonder the film was so confused. ... Update: It seems to me that WOTW is  doing pretty well  commercially. But Dirty Harry disagrees, and he's got some stats. ...  How can dissent survive when a major-studio anti-imperialist statement only brings in $192 million? It's the New McCarthyism! ...2:07 A.M.

Test Scores Improving, NEA In Full Damage-Control Mode! Want to know what to make of those recent encouraging NAEP test score results, which the Bush Administration promptly hailed  as "proof that No Child Left Behind is working."  As usual,  Eduwonk  is the place to start. ... Anti-NCLB groups (e.g. the National Education Association) argue that since the NCLB had only been in effect for a year prior to the test, it can't be credited with the results. But as Education Week noted:

many states had already begun making such changes and focusing intensely on improving reading and math instruction after the 1999 national assessment and prior to the federal law's implementation.

There's a similar argument in the welfare debate: Why did all sorts of indicators (e.g., teen pregnancy, caseloads) start to improve in the years before the enactment of the 1996 federal reform? President Clinton attributed the results to state reform efforts that preceded the federal law. The case for a similar effect in education seems at least as strong, if not stronger. Weren't pre-NCLB state efforts to require more testing and accountability far more pervasive than pre-1996 state efforts to require more welfare recipients to work? ...

P.S.: The good news in education, of course, may in itself also be good news for welfare reform. One of the dreamier welfare reform theories, remember, was that kids whose parents worked (and who lived in neighborhoods in which more other kids' parents worked) would do better in school. Liberal writers have made big splashes by noting individual cases in which this dynamic did not seem to be at work, in part because welfare reform pushed poor single mothers to hold down jobs that took them away from their kids. All welfare reformers could say, in effect, was "Let's wait until we see how these big changes in neighborhoods play out across the whole population over many years." Well .... Certainly results like the NAEP's (which showed especially  big gains for black 9-year-olds) make it harder to argue that the 1996 welfare law, by requiring mothers to take jobs and leave their kids, has had a negative overall effect on kids' school performance. ... 12:48 A.M.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Here's a transcript of a short segment I did on Hugh Hewitt's radio show today. 11:06 P.M.

"Not many big blogs are as independent and non-partisan as this one."

Update: The sentence has now disappeared from Andrew Sullivan's blog. 5:00 A.M. link

Heard It Through the Grapevine: When John Podhoretz floated the idea that jailed journalist Judith Miller was a source , rather than the recipient, of the Bush White House's knowledge of Valerie Plame's CIA job, I was skeptical. True, I'd "heard that too," as Karl Rove might say. And the notion was entirely plausible, for three reasons: 1)Reporters tell officials information all the time. Why? Because officials tend to take the calls of reporters from whom they learn things! And because reporters and officials are often tacit partners in an idealistic conspiracy--to reform welfare, for example, or to avoid reforming welfare, or to encourage the administration to go to war with Serbia, or with Iraq;2) Judith Miller is a logical candidate to have been a tacit partner of Bush administration hawks in pursuit of that last goal; 3) Miller had written about WMDs and might well have run into Plame (a WMD expert) in the course of her reporting.

The problem with the Judy-as-source speculation, it has always seemed to me, is that it doesn't explain anything that can't be explained by other, less exotic theories. Why isn't Miller's case just like Matt Cooper's--she's someone whom an official said he (or she) spoke with, or who turned up on a phone log, and from whom the special prosecutor wants the other side of the conversation? Why wasn't Miller's refusal to cut a deal with the prosecutor exactly what she said it was--an act of conscience and a refusal to betray a source--or exactly what the cynics said it was--a First Amendment martyrdom too eagerly pursued? And if, say, Karl Rove or Lewis "Scooter" Libby first learned of Plame's CIA status from a reporter, why didn't they just say that and exculpate themselves?

Well, now both Rove and Libby have done exactly that, as reported in an anonymously-sourced scoop that the New York Times inexplicably treats as hurting the administration. According to the NYT's source, Rove says that when Robert Novak called him he heard Plame's name from Novak, and "had heard parts of the story from other journalists." [Emph. added] As for Libby, Susan Schmidt of the Washington Post already reported  back in late 2004 that Libby

has told the prosecutor he heard about Wilson's wife's employment from someone in the media, according to lawyers involved in the case. [Emph. added]

What's more, according to Schmidt, Time's Matt Cooper backed Libby upon that question:

Time reporter Matthew Cooper has told prosecutors that he talked to Libby on July 12 and mentioned that he had heard that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA, a source knowledgeable about his testimony said. Cooper testified that Libby said he had heard the same thing from the media. [Emph. added]

[Update (7/17):Cooper's Time article  denies that Libby told him he'd "heard about Plame from other reporters." Cooper is 100% honest, in my experience. So his denial also casts doubt on just how "knowledgeable" the knowledgeable sources are in the following 7/15 WaPo account of Libby's testimony, which would otherwise be a major advance for the press-as-leaker theory [emphasis added]:

Sources who have reviewed some of the testimony before the grand jury say there is significant evidence that reporters were in some cases alerting officials about Plame's identity and relationship to Wilson -- not the other way around.

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, has also testified before the grand jury, sayinghe was alerted by someone in the media to Plame's identity, according to a source familiar with his account. Cooper has previously testified that he brought up the subject of Plame with Libby and that Libby responded that he had heard about her from someone else in the media, according to sources knowledgeable about Cooper's testimony.]

This reported testimony of Libby and Rove--even though the latter could be coming from a suspect pro-Rove leaker, like his weaselly lawyer--surely makes it more plausible rather than less that "the media did it." And it's prompted the estimable Tom Maguire to join those broaching the Judy-as-source theory.

I'm still skeptical. It's been argued to me that the Judy-as-source theory--or, perhaps more precisely, the Judy-Told-the-White-House Theory--explains why Fitzgerald would pursue her testimony with such ferocity. Perhaps. If Fitzgerald believes Rove when Rove says he heard it from journalists, and if Miller is one of the journalists suspected of telling him, Fitzgerald could be trying to discover where Milller, in turn, got the info that she then passed on. If Fitzgerald disbelieves Rove, he could be trying to catch him out. Still, maybe Fitzgerald is pursuing Miller simply because he pursues everyone listed on a phone log with ferocity.

Likewise, it's possible Miller is protecting the source who originally told her rather than protecting any White House sources such as Rove or Libby. And it's possible she's foolishly trying to prevent what she assumes would be an embarrassing disclosure of her own actions--specifically, perhaps, her adoption of the press' common non-passive, idealistic role in the great conspiratorial Washington scoop-swap. But maybe she's just protecting a White House source after all.

I'm sure I could be missing something, but unless Libby or Rove has named Miller,** or she cracks, I don't see a way to disprove or prove the Judy-told-the-White-House theory. I do know, however, that this theory is what many MSM journalists, who know more about the case than I do, are worried about. ...

**--Of course, if Rove is in fact Miller's ally, and Miller was his source, he might conveniently not recall who his journalist source was. 

Update: WaPo reports that "Rove has said he does not recall who the journalist was." ... P.S.: The Post's account is sourced to a "lawyer [who] who has knowledge of the conversations between Rove and prosecutors," which certainly sounds like Rove's lawyer. [Links via JustOneMinute ] ... 2:57 A.M. link

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Isn't this an obvious point that hasn't been made about Joseph Wilson and the Rove/Plame controversy: If you accept an assignment to investigate possible WMD-related activity in Niger on behalf of the CIA, and your wife works at the CIA,shouldn't you think before you make your CIA mission the subject of a high-profile New York Times op-ed piece  that there might be the eensiest weensiest chance that in the course of the ensuing controversy your wife's CIA connection might come out in public? How could Wilson not have expected his wife's job to become the buzz of Washington in fairly short order? ... However serious her outing was--and there are those eight redacted pages to worry about--doesn't Wilson bear some substantial responsibility for it as well as whoever in the administration eventually "outed" her to reporters? ... You can't have it all, we are often told. When you marry a covert CIA agent, maybe there are some things you have to give up. Like going on Meet the Press to talk about the CIA! ...

Update: Alert reader J.B. notes that, at the time of Wilson's op-ed, Plame was apparently identified by name as his wife  on at least one Web site. That means anyone who dealt with Plame abroad (or wanted to call into question the loyalty of a foreigner who dealt with her) could Google her name and discover that she had a husband who--Wilson's op-ed revealed--had undertaken an assignment for the CIA. Not exactly great cover, even before the controversy the op-ed generated. ...

Backfill: Here's an amicus brief that blames the CIA  for letting Wilson write the op-ed piece, if exposing Plame was such a big deal. ...

Update 7/18: Jerry Pournelle argues that "it was inevitable that it would come out, and both she and Joe Wilson must have known that." He makes at least two other sound observations: 1) Wilson is the "sort of man who clearly thinks he ought to be more important than he is;" 2)

One can make up a lot of plausible scenarios about what happened, including the simplest, that it was common knowledge and no one even thought about her being a covert employee of the Agency .

[via Instapundit] 3:40 P.M. link

Double Super Secret Balkanization? Maybe I've missed something, but as far as I can see the New York Times still hasn't gotten around to giving its readers any taste, in its news pages, of the actual content of Matt Cooper's email in the Rove/Plame case. Isn't that odd? The LAT's done it. WaPo's done it. But if you search for the words "double super secret background" in the NYT, you won't find them. This is four days after Newsweek disclosed  the content of the email. ... I know NYT readers live in a cocoon. But I can't quite figure out why Times newseditors would want to deny them this juicy information. ...P.S.: In general, very few news stories quote the part of the email that undercuts the anti-Rove line--boosted in today's NYT--that "the White House was trying to retaliate against [Plame's] husband," Joseph Wilson, as opposed to simply discrediting Wilson's report. ...  Here's the semi-exculpatory part of rhw email Cooper sent to his Time colleagues:

not only the genesis of the trip is flawed an[d] suspect but so is the report. he [Rove] implied strongly there's still plenty to implicate iraqi interest in acquiring uranium fro[m] Niger ...

The LAT's Simon and Schmitt do write that "Cooper noted in the e-mail that Rove was trying to raise concerns about the credibility of Wilson's report." But WaPo and the NYT news pages don't even paraphrase, as far as I can see. (There is also  this NYT editorial, which both quotes and paraphrases--oddly enough providing a less selective and slanted account than the paper's news coverage). ... According to NEXIS, when it comes to MSM newspaper news stories, the actual, semi-exculpatory text of the email has only been printed in right-of-center outlets (e.g., Washington Times). This is pretty solid evidence of print-MSM balkanization, it seems to me. Here's a puny little email, which could easily be reprinted in its entirety. Everybody's writing about the controversy it generated--but only conservative news editors  actually  publish one of the key bits of evidence. ... 1:04 P.M. link

Tom Maguire has praised a 2003 Web article by Howard Fineman  so often he finally pushed me into reading it. It's good--too good to actually publish in Newsweek, apparently! Mainly it describes the conflict between the CIA and the White House that provides the backstory for of the Wilson/Plame affair. ... That history explains--in a way yesterday's WSJ editorial misses--why the White House might have considered it more significant than it first appears that Wilson's wife works for the Agency. ... It's why, for example, Harold Meyerson is wrong when he writes that

Bringing up Plame, after all, did nothing to discredit Wilson's central findings. It was a distraction, an ad hominem attack.

If you think that CIA is a bunch of blindered Saddam-protectors, as (according to Fineman) the neocons did, then Plame's employment would do a lot to discredit Wilson's findings.

P.S.: And you could do worse than bet that Fineman's two-year old money quote will hold up:

I am told by what I regard as a very reliable source inside the White House that aides there did, in fact, try to peddle the identity of Joe Wilson's wife to several reporters. But the motive wasn't revenge or intimidation so much as a desire to explain why, in their view, Wilson wasn't a neutral investigator, but, a member of the CIA's leave-Saddam-in-place team.

1:30 A.M. link


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. 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. 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. 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]