Today on television! I interview Newsweek's Jonathan Alter on the octopus-like bloggingheads.tvnetwork about his lively new FDR book. ... The interview is mainly a Bush vs. Roosevelt grudge match, but I do get around to asking Alterwhy we should be exalting the New Deal when the whole point of neoliberalism was that the New Deal isn't working anymore. Didn't Dem rethinkers proclaim "The New Deal is dead" after the 1972 demolition of the Pruitt-Igoe housing project in St. Louis? Alter's response surprised me, but it's clarifying. ... P.S.: I'd still argue the biggest problem with the New Deal's legacy wasn't the Democrats' rigid adherence to FDR's means but an inherent and ultimately short-circuiting ambiguity about ends (specifically, was the Democratic goal social equality or "more" income equality). 12:09 P.M. link
I Wouldn't Have Put It That Harshly Dept.: Former New York Times "public editor" Daniel Okrent, interviewed in New York Magazine, on the NYT's emailin' machine (and author of incomprehensibly angry and misguided award-winning pieces about the auditing of the Earned Income Tax Credit)
The only person you really single out in the intro is business reporter David Cay Johnston, who started a campaign against you for being on a corporate board.
Yeah, he was very single-out-able. I didn't mention this in the book, but when I had my troubles with Johnston, one of the senior editors said to me, "There are three things you must understand about Johnston: He's a Pulitzer Prize winner, he's a unique talent, and he's an asshole." I'm convinced that at least two of those are correct.
Note to Johnston: If you have a reply of the same length, I'll print it. All responses on the record. Special rule for you! If you aren't willing to see it published, don't send it. ... 10:51 A.M. link
When the MSM is Pravda: Today's go-to site for the irresponsible Porter Goss speculation in which all responsible observers must now engage. ... Update: But see JPod's sensible caveat ... and Wonkette's alternative explanations. ... P.S.: Those links are from the excellent roundup at SFPH, via Instapundit. ... Maguire places his bet. ... This is also a case where the speculation is almost certainly more fun than actually knowing the truth, even if the truth turns out to be salacious. Don't spoil it, Hosikoff, with all your "journalism." ... Update: The New York Daily News thinks it has the fun-spoiling salacious answer. When the official pro-administration spin is that everyone hated him and he'd had his balls cut off, you do have to wonder what the unofficial, anti-administration story is. ... Headline still up for grabs: "No Great Goss!" ... Also: "Gosserdammerung!" ... 12:25 P.M.
Sending bricks in the mail to Congress to indicate support for a border wall--now that seems like potentially a highly effective bit of political theater. ... Here's a site organizing the stunt. ... Remember, a wall or fence is not necessarily a "conservative" solution. (See below.) It seems less disruptive--to illegal workers, especially--than other methods of border enforcement, including "interior" enforcement by requiring employers to check documents. And the better the wall, the easier it is to eventually legalize those on this side of it. ... 12:01 A.M.
kf Swoons: On RCP, Democratic former House member Brad Carson makes a reasonable, sophisticated argument that limiting illegal immigration should be a Democratic issue. Carson sneers refreshingly at the "misplaced fantasies" of Democrats who hold out education as a cure for the stagnation at the bottom of the labor market. And he adds a political angle:
TODAY IN SLATE
The Irritating Confidante
John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.
My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee
Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?
Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?
Driving in Circles
The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.