The L.A. Times descends into civil war!

A mostly political Weblog.
March 25 2007 3:44 AM

The LAT Descends Into Civil War!

Why the best thing it could do is disappear.

This audio of Katie Couric's questions to the Edwards'--with their answers excised--would make a great soundtrack for a piece of conceptual art.  It certainly makes you want to throttle Katie Couric. ... [via Drudge ]10:49 P.M.

The Universal HuffPo "most popular" hed:

Never needs changing. Like a fluorescent bulb! ... 5:48 P.M.

Dissing the Disgruntled! Grazer-Gate Update: A summary of the L.A.Times' second-time-farce scandal is  here. The most recent at-bats ...

Resigned editorial page editor Andres Martinez says the paper's newly-arrived editor and publisher

caved to a disgruntled newsroom that is annoyed at [the paper's owners in] Chicago, annoyed at them and annoyed at the autonomy of the opinion pages.

The newsroom unrest, Martinez says, is partly "ideological" (the news pages presumably being more conventionally liberal than his editorial page), partly "a matter of bureaucratic culture," and

some of it a personnel matter (there are some embittered former editorial board members that Kinsley and Carroll sent off to the newsroom). "

Michael Kinsley, former LAT opinon czar who hired Martinez, also blasts "newsroom busybodies," but simulataneously chides Martinez for making a fuss about whether "a news editor once asked him to consider running an editorial in connection with some news-side series ..."

This Week's L.A.T. editor** Jim O'Shea disagrees with all of the above, saying the accusers who made a fuss about Martinez's alleged conflict-of-interest are "people with a passion for the news and this newspaper."

In steps the L.A.T.'s own Tim Cavanaughon the paper's opinion blog to .. side against editor O'Shea! Cavanaugh says

Nikki Finke puts a tremulous finger on the real infection: "Sanctimonious newsroom reporters and editors acting all holier-than-thou about journalism ethics ... "

Mystery #1: Who are these "holier-than-thou" newsroom twits? We don't have to take that wild a guess--Martinez actually names two LAT veterans:

I'm guessing the Henry Weinsteins and Tim Ruttens of the world will continue to conjure up the magical words "Staples Center" to wail against any innovation at the paper ...

kf notes: Placating a disgruntled, twittish newsroom was clearly part of the reason Kinsley was shown to the "guillotine"  by Last Week's Publisher, Jeff Johnson (who subsequently got axed himself).

Mystery #2: Why anyone good would be lured into coming to work for this paper now. Want to be Mayor of Ramadi? ...

The big winners: David Geffen and Ron Burkle, who didn't buy the Times and don't have to deal with these people. ... 

Conclusion that's now clearer than ever: Blogger John Gabree notes  that you need a strong local paper to have a strong local political culture. Los Angeles has neither. The Times was making progress under Dean Baquet. But the best thing it could do for the city now is to simply disappear, instantaneously if possible, and open up space for decent alternatives to operate without the legacy cost of 900 tantrum-prone staffers of variable abilities. ...

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** P.S.: It's not clear why the Times would need to recruit "guest editors"--they already more or less have them! In a relatively short period they've run through John Carroll and Dean Baquet and wound up with O'Shea, who in turn doesn't look like a promising candidate for extended editorial tenure after helping co-produce this week's humiliating events. ..

Backfill: Steyn and JPod and Drum and Patterico  pour it on. ... 2:15 A.M. link

Saturday, March 24, 2007

"Truly hideous": That's how a teaser mass email from Business Week's Jon Fine describes the New York Times' February revenue report.  Details here. ... Fine notes mounting "evidence that rising Web revenues do not cancel out falling print revenues." [E.A.] He points out that if we believe the Times ' own press release, then TimesSelect--the "fee-based product on NYTimes.com"--only has about 220,000 paying subscribers:

Assuming all of these people are paying full freight yearly subscriptions-- not guaranteed, that--that's $10.9 million in revenue.

Is it worth $10.9 million to the Times for it to wall off its columnists? You tell me.

1:48 A.M

Cathy Seipp  was not someone you wanted to get into a blog-feud with. Here's my favorite passage from her spat with Nikki Finke:

Nikki has long been dismissive of the blogosphere. She also, at least until fairly recently, has been ignorant of basic blogospheric knowledge that the IP addresses of commenters are easily checked. So for instance if you post once here under the name Nikki Finke, and then again pretending to be a lawyer threatening me with libel for insulting Nikki Finke, it might be better to post that second comment from someone else's computer. I guess that's inconvenient, though, if you rarely leave the house. I haven't seen Nikki in years, probably because these days she looks like Jabba the Hut, if you can imagine Jabba after he's said to hell with the diets already.

Gosh, I'm bitchy today ...

P.S.: This was a good sentence on Seipp  from Susan Estrich--

She came after me when I took on the Los Angeles Times for not publishing enough women writers (no preferences for her), but I decided that my mistake, and theirs, was not putting her name at the top of the list of whom they should hire.

Yes, it was. P.P.S.: Estrich made others, though! ... [Of course the LAT would never print bloggish cracks like the Jabba one--ed. People might read it! That would upset their whole business model (which seems to be based on the idea that people buy papers because of their rigid adherence to professional codes of ethics).] ... 12:43 A.M. link

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I guess Mark Halperin really did write most of  ABC's The Note. The site has lost about 90% of its character since he moved on. ... P.S.: Halperin's annoying, absurdly self-confident insiderism was the best reason for not reading The Note. It turns out it was also the reason for reading The Note. ... 2:09 P.M. link

Too Interesting! When there's a choice between publishing something Columbia Journalism Review ethics police won't cluck at and something its readers might actually want to read, the sinking, hapless L.A. Times instinctively knows what to do:

1) It has sidelined its best political reporter--maybe anybody's best political reporter--because he's married to a McCain staffer. Why not have Ron Brownstein disclose his connection and let him write?**  It's not as if he's the only person covering the campaign. The Times seems to have the approved guild mentality: We are all credentialed professionals here! We have many other qualified staff members who can do Brownstein's work. ... No you don't!

2) It kills a section guest-edited by Hollywood producer Brian Grazer, because the Times editor who dreamed it up is dating one of Grazer's p.r. people.  I think the idea of having various local bigshots guest-edit an otherwise-unread Sunday thumbsuck section is promising. Let's see if Burkle's op-eds are better than Geffen's! I wanted to read Grazer's section before I learned of the salacious goings-on in the background. I certainly want to read it now. ... P.S.: In the process, the Times has lost a lively opinion editor, Andres Martinez, who's radically improved his pages and who apparently disclosed everything to his bosses. No doubt the paper's future editorial commentary will avoid creating this, or any other kind, of controversy.  ...

** Q.: What's the difference between Brownstein's conflict of interest with the McCain campaign and Howie Kurtz's WaPo conflict with CNN? A.: Kurtz owes more to CNN! ... 12:27 P.M. link

Cathy Seipp, an unintimidated voice and friend--and a scourge of the L.A. Times--died yesterday, having fought off lung cancer for five years. See Amy Alkon and National Review (also here and here).Some brief video comments are here. ...  6:14 A.M. link

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Flicker: I recently bought a compact fluorescent bulb, the GE brand recommended by Instapundit. I hate it. It flickers constantly. When it's not flickering it fills the room with a depressive, dulling haze. Maybe this is what happened to Courtney Love! It gives me a headache to look at it. ... I've consoled myself with the thought that I'll replace it with a regular bulb when it burns out. Then I realized it won't burn out for five years. I'm replacing it tomorrow. If John Edwards can be  live in a 28,000 square-foot mansion, I can have a 100-watt bulb. Populism! ... Update:  Reynolds and Kevin Drum and Jonathan Rowe suggest the flicker's caused by the dimmer switches my landlord has installed. Could be. But some commenters on Drum's vigorous Packwood-Diary-like thread report flicker without dimmers. It all has to do with the "relaxation rate of atomic transitions." I suspected as much! ... P.S.: Note the hectoring get-with-the-program, you're-an-idiot-if-you-flicker, there-is-no-more-debate tone of some of the Fluorescers. ... Non-hectoring advice here. ... Apparently some people are more sensitive to the flicker than others. And there are "health effects." ... P.P.S.: Why do I think the same people who are righteously denouncing us sensitive types today would have been righteously denouncing unhealthy lighting in the corporate "indoor environment" fifteen years ago? ... Reynolds, who got me into this mess, has a  sensible response. ... [Thanks to reader M.P.] 

[Update:How are the comments on Drum like the Packwood Diaries? I thought they were all about sex?--ed They were all about midrange audio devices! ]2:39 A.M. link

Adam Nagourney,NYT, liberal bias, 'He's no Ron Brownstein,' etc. You know the drill. But it's worth noting the relatively subtle ways in which Nagourney's recent front pager--on McCain and immigration--embeds the respectable Times-WSJ view favoring "comprehensive" reform (and sneering at the yahoos who oppose it). [Emphasis added below]:

#1: "The Republican field of presidential candidates includes Representative Tom Tancredo, a Colorado Republican who has based his campaign on an anti-immigration message ..." 

It's easy to imagine a real "anti-immigration" candidate who depicts foreigners as an inherently corrupting and impure influence on American life and culture. I don't think even Tancredo--who wants to both stop illegal immigration and  reduce legal immigration to "allow the newcomers to assimilate"--fits that bill. He's for immigration. He just wants less of it! And it's quite possible to oppose legalizing existing illegals while favoring an actual increase in legal immigration. If it's too much for Nagourney to type the word "illegal" before "immigration," surely he can come up with a better word than "anti-immigration."  "Restrictionist" might work for genuine quota-cutters like Tancredo. "Enforcement-first" could describe those who merely oppose McCain's conditional-legalization plan.

#2: "As he left Iowa, Mr. McCain said he was reconsidering his views on how the immigration law might be changed. He said he was open to legislation that would require people who came to the United States illegally to return home before applying for citizenship, a measure proposed by Representative Mike Pence, Republican of Indiana. Mr. McCain has previously favored legislation that would allow most illegal immigrants to become citizens without leaving the country."

But the Pence Plan is a scam--a fake compromise. Illegal immigrants would symbolically leave the country only because their rapid readmission would be effectively guaranteed by their U.S. employers. That's a huge advantage that would-be immigrants who obeyed the law and stayed home will never get.  The dream of the "comprehensive" camp is that their opponents--sorry, the "anti-immgration" forces--can be conned into accepting the Pence proposal as a "compromise." (It's "a way we can get some stuff," says McCain.)  Nagourney keeps that dream alive by presenting Pence's scheme as an embarrassing cave-to-the-base concession by McCain.

#3: "Mr. McCain's suggestion that he might be open to Mr. Pence's legislation requiring most workers to return home risks alienating business ... " 

No it doesn't. The spokeswoman for the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition ("service industries") says they "haven't ruled out a Pence-like" plan. That's negotiator-speak for "We'd take it in a heartbeat." Nagourney, characteristically, goes along with the Kabuki. [Cluelessly or cynically?--ed Tough one.] 

#4: "Mr. McCain has found himself particularly identified with this battle in no small part because he is from a border state that is deeply divided over immigration."

Huh? Mr. McCain has found himself particularly identified with this battle because he chose to become the Senate's leading proponent of a plan that would legalize immigrants currently here illegally. If he were from Kansas he'd be just as conspicuous. 

#5:  "Republicans have a tougher view than the general population on whether illegal immigrants should be deported, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted this month. In that poll, 49 percent of Republican respondents said illegal immigrants who had lived in the United States for at least two years should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for citizenship; 45 percent said they should be deported immediately."

By associating the anti-McCain view with not only deportation but immediate deportation, polls like the one cited by Nagourney reinforce the idea that massive deportation of millions of illegals is the only alternative to McCain's "comprehensive" approach. In fact, the most intense opponents of McCain's plan--such as Tancredo or Mark Krikorian  of Center for Immigration Studies--favor a slow strategy of "attrition," not mass deportation. And it's quite possible to envision a less harsh alternative to McCain-Kennedy that involves no additional deportation--like the alternative of simply not passing McCain-Kennedy (and living with the status quo). Or just building a border fence, which would keep illegal immigrants from entering the country but do nothing to kick out those who are already here.  Or requiring U.S. employers to actually check (as opposed to pretend to check) the immigration status of new hires but not of their existing workers. 

Differences of opinion on deportation may be a good proxy for differences of opinion on the McCain-Kennedy bill.  But opinions on the McCain-Kennedy bill are also a good proxy for opinions on the McCain-Kennedy bill. Why not just poll on that? Because it wouldn't ... [fit the hegemonic MSM agenda of demonization?--ed make the bill's supporters look reasonable.] 2:10 A.M.  link

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Brownbacksliding? Eli Lake on the return of Sen. Brownback to the pro-surge camp:

When asked last month why he was voting for a nonbinding bipartisan resolution opposing the surge, he said he was in favor of a "political solution," whereby Iraq was divided into three ethnic provinces under a loose federal government. He had spoken with Iraqi leaders and General Petraeus, who, at least when he headed Fort Leavenworth in Mr. Brownback's home state, had never told the senator that he favored more soldiers. The general commanding the rescue of Baghdad, the senator seemed to be suggesting, was against it before he was for it.

So is Mr. Brownback.

Lake offers both unprincipled and principled reasons for Brownback's un-backslide. Unprincipled: He's running for president and "[t]he people who will show up in New Hampshire and Iowa to pick the Republican nominee are victory voters." Principled:

What happened last week is that the senator abandoned his flirtation with the notion that a retreat from Baghdad would spur Iraqi leaders who had encouraged the city's ethnic cleansing to seek the political solution. On the floor of the Senate when it counted, he conceded that Iraq's reconciliation is impossible without a military presence to counter the sectarian murderers.

P.S.: Regarding the surge, Omar of ITM's latest report from Baghdad seems almost implausibly hopeful:

You look around in Baghdad now and see hundreds of men working in the streets to pick up garbage; to plant flowers and paint the blast walls in joyful colors. Many of Baghdad's squares are becoming green and clean. The picture isn't perfect, but it's a clear attempt to beat violence and ease pain through giving the spring a chance to shine.

Nights in Baghdad now are far from quiet, but the sounds cause less anxiety for me than they did before. I recognize the rumble of armor and thump of guns and they assure me that the gangs and militias do not dominate the night as they once did.

More surprisingly, Simon Jenkins, a persistent war critic writing on HuffPo, also says of the surge:

The "surge" programme initiated last month by General Petraeus in Baghdad is the first intelligent thing the Americans have done in four years. By swamping neighbourhoods, monitoring entry, patrolling streets and giving personal protection to residents and tradesmen troops are able to restore some order to portions of the city. Petraeus is replacing vigilantes, militias and corrupt police with his own soldiers. He cannot reverse the ethnic cleansing that is fast partitioning Baghdad into Sunni and Shia quarters, but he can stabilise what has occurred. He can fortify the ghettos.

Jenkins thinks the "surge" comes "too late." But then he sketches a scenario as implausibly rosy as Omar's:

Economies recover, the more quickly the sooner they are left in peace. The hoodlums and gangsters now rich on American aid will harness the oil exports and eventually find a vested interest in protecting infrastructure and utilities. Religious segregation will enable the ghettos to feel more secure. Business will emerge from the bottom up and doctors, teachers and merchants start to move back from Amman and Damascus, once they hear that their old homes are safe and the Mahdists and Badrists are confined to barracks. Economic activity will return to the streets, as it has done to Beirut.

Jenkins claims all these good things will happen when U.S. troops leave--like many on the anti-surge left he has an almost Rumsfeldian faith in the ability of order to spontaneously generate in a power vacuum.  But it's hard to reconcile his declaration that U.S. troops "brutalise all they touch" and can't possibly "ensure that 'things get better'" with his earlier recognition that the "surge" is ... making things better. Why can't the surge bring temporary stability that allows "parlays between local commanders, sheikhs and religious leaders, neighbourhood alliances, deals and treaties"? Don't we want to strengthen the hand of relatively tolerant leaders and weaken the bargaining position of the killers? How is Petraeus hurting the situation?

One can imagine reasons: By naively moving Sunni families back into vulnerable mixed neighborhoods we may be setting the stage for more bloody sectarian cleansing in the future. More implausibly, maybe any deals can only be struck in conditions of radical insecurity, when the deal is the only thing that will stop ongoing slaughter (though you'd think if that were the case they would have been struck by now, no?).

Jenkins doesn't make these arguments--he just falls back on the HuffPo dogma thatU.S. troops are the problem (a "humilation and a provocation"). He seems lost somewhere between the Old Brownback and the New Brownback. ...

Update: Answering a query from Huffington, Jenkins says the problem with Petraeus' surge is "he will leave. And then what?" Wait. I thought the problem, according to Jenkins, was that U.S. troops weren't leaving. Now I'm all confused. ... Leave. Don't leave. What's the HuffPo party line again? ...

More: With Bob Wright's help, I try to figure out an argument that might support Jenkins here. (Short version: Groups won't cut deals when they are uncertain of their military position--i.e. it's weakness. They'll never be certain until the U.S. withdraws and fighting starts. Better version: In anarchic conditions, groups won't cut deals until their more rejectionist and violent member are willing to cut deals. By tacitly threatening more negotiation-prone leaders, these violent holdouts exercise effective veto power. And they won't agree to cut deals until they are certain of their position's weakness, which they won't be until the U.S. withdraws.) ... I don't think I agree with this argument--when fighting starts, isn't the result likely to be a lot more fighting, not a Sunni-Shiite deal? But it seems plausible. ... 1:47 P.M. link

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sullivan Re-unhinging Watch: In January, President Bush announced the 'surge' of "more than 20,000 additional" troops. One main worry at the time, voiced by critics including Andrew Sullivan, was that the troop increase wasn't enough. General Petraeus assured skeptics that if he thought he needed more troops, he'd ask for them. Now he's asked for them--an additional brigade--bringing the total "surge" to near 30,000. Andrew Sullivan's reaction: "Another Bush Lie." ... (via Elia) 3:57 P.M.

Wherein lies the greatness of Sen. Fred Thompson? Just asking!All I remember is he was given custody of an important set of hearings--into China and campaign finance--and screwed them up. ... He sounds good--in his John Fund interview  he says lots of sensible things (especially about civil service protections). But ideally a presidential candidate has accomplished something--even if it's only governing a state without steering it conspicuously into disaster. Obama hasn't accomplished much, but he's only been in the Senate for two years. Thompson didn't accomplish much in two years plus a full six-year term, no?. ... I'd love to be wrong on this. Please tell me why. ... P.S.: He's a bad actor! I never believe he's the character he's playing (even when the character is essentially Fred Thompson). ... P.P.S.: "Ronald Reagan wasn't Laurence Olivier either."  But he was better than Thompson! He met the threshhold test of believability. Anyway, Thompson's acting chops aren't the issue. That was a snarky aside. The problem is ... well, Reagan had governed California for two terms.  Giuliani saved New York City. McCain has championed a lot of legislation and passed some of it. What's Thompson done? ... 1:53 P.M. link

Patterico vs. Kaus on the Carol Lam firing. I don't have a dog in this fight--only a brother. ... Update: Also Kinsley vs. Cox. ... 11:29 A.M.

Was L. Ron Hubbard a Satanist? L.A. Metroblogger David Markland says "no"  after investigating this "urban legend"--but it's one of those debunking exercises that does a lot of bunking too.  Hubbard does seem to have been involved, at some level--along with  Jack Parsons, the co-founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory--in the "black magick" of Aleister Crowley and his Order Templi Orientis.

[T]he major flaw here is that while while the O.T.O. may be heavily involved in "black magick", it isn't Satanism, although the Satanism that was popularized by Anton LaVey in the late 60s was based heavily on the O.T.O.

Well, alright then!

P.S.: According to a quotation from Paul Young cited by Markland, "Hubbard based his own religion, Scientology, on some of Aleister Crowley's writing including specific symbols, his grading system, his use of hypnotic implants, and the concept of the OTO."  I'd say the best parts of this urban legend are undebunked. ... [via L.A. Observed] 11:23 A.M.

Friday, March 16, 2007

I probably deserved this. 4:36 P.M.

The Philandering Politicians' Protection Act: Michael Ledeen reports on a troubling new Italian law that would seem to require a Putin-like control of the Internet to completely succeed. Unless I read wrong it penalizes even accurate reporting on the "sexual sphere." ... In unrelated news, Bill Clinton announced he was moving ...  [Isn't there a Ron Burkle joke in here somewhere?--ed  I think! But I'm actually scared of getting Slate sued--proof that press laws like this can have a big effect. Just run it past the lawyers--ed At 4 in the morning? It wasn't that funny a joke. Good thing the New York Times can't be intimidated. They'd never go soft on a guy like him.--ed Um ...  OK, I missed that interview. But they owed it to Burkle after that "zipping around" line.-ed] ... Update: Maybe this is one of the new EU "privacy laws" Heather Mills McCartney has in mind to promote, just as soon as she's finished Dancing With the Stars. ... Bonus Yent-a-Matic: Heather and Ron! EHarmony could not do better. ... 1:34 A.M. link

U.S. military deaths in Iraq have apparently declined by about 20% since the "surge" began. It would be a caricature of MSM behavior if the New York Times, instead of simply reporting this potentially good news, first constructed some bad news to swaddle it in, right? From today's Times:

The heightened American street presence may already have contributed to an increase in the percentage of American deaths that occur in Baghdad.

Over all, the number of American soldiers killed in Iraq from hostilities since Feb. 14, the start of the new Baghdad security plan, fell to 66, from 87 in the previous four weeks.

But with more soldiers in the capital on patrol and in the neighborhood garrisons, a higher proportion of the American deaths have occurred in Baghdad — 36 percent after Feb. 14 compared with 24 percent in the previous four weeks. Also over the past four weeks, a higher proportion of military deaths from roadside bombs have occurred in Baghdad — 45 percent compared with 39 percent. [E.A.]

Soldiers presumably get attacked where they are, not where they aren't. If we deploy more soldiers in Baghdad more soldiers will presumably be attacked, and killed, in Baghdad. I don't see why that in itself is bad news, or even news news, if the overall casualty level is declining. ... There will probably be genuine bad military news to report from Baghdad soon enough. Does the NYT have to make some up before then? [Yes, if Congress is voting on Iraq this week--ed Don't be a raving paranoid. It's like you're giving voice to some irresponsible blogger's dark id! Next you'll be saying that agenda-driven mid-level Times editors might have shaped those paragraphs.] ...

P.S.: If "gunmen" ambush the mayor of Sadr City, wounding him and killing an Iraqi military officer, that doesn't seem like a good thing. But are we sure that it "Hinders Antimilitia Effort," as the NYT headline says. Couldn't it easily help the antimilitia effort if people in Sadr City resent the attack and turn on the gunmen? (When Americans attack popular figures it can backfire on us quickly, right?) ... The Times story itself doesn't tell you one way or another. But it doesn't support up the anti-surge hed. [There's a vote on!-id Down, boy.] ...

P.P.S.: I've been relying heavily on Iraq the Model for news of the battle in Baghdad (in part because I went to see the brothers who blog on ITM talk when they visited the U.S., and I have a clear sense of their good faith). But commenter "piscivorous" at bloggingheads helpfully suggests some other Iraqi blogs to look at, if for some reason you don't completely trust the NYT's version of how the "surge" is going. ... 1:24 A.M. link

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A cry for help. 11:21 P.M.

Nobody said blogging was pretty:Kos gets points for leaving this post  up. ... 6:36 P.M.

What's the early California primary really all about? State legislators were eager to pass the bill moving up the state's primary to February because they also placed on that ballot a measure to allow them to stay in office longer (before they hit their term limit). The February vote will let incumbents beat the March filing deadline. But Gov. Schwarzenegger has also included an anti-gerrymandering measure. ... Scott Schmidt objects, noting that the package of changes would give incumbents "four more years in their safe legislative districts." In the long run, though, it seems like a good deal, assuming the whole package passes. Anti-gerrymandering reform is very hard to get and worth bribing incumbents with a couple more years in office. And if California takes up the anti-gerrymandering cause, it could start a national trend, no? ... See also New West Notes and Boi From Troy. ...

P.S.: But if, as Boi and George Will  suspect, independents won't be able to vote in the early presidential primary, how many will bother to show up at the polls? And aren't they the logical supporters of the anti-gerrymandering measure, and the logical foes of relaxing term limits? Is it now possible that, without a turnout of independents, the state's safe-seated, mainly Dem legislators will get their dream outcome: The relaxed term limits measure passes, so they get more years in office, while the anti-gerrymandering measure fails, so they don't have to face any competition? ...

Update: Apparently independents can vote in the Dem primary. They just haven't been able to vote in the GOP primary, though that might change. If it doesn't, the voters discouraged from showing up would be Republican-leaning independents--voters you'd think would especially fit an anti-gerrymander, pro-term limit profile. Discouraging them would be good for pro-gerrymander, anti-limit Dem incumbents, though there might not be enough of them in this Dem-heavy state to tip the outcome. ... But what if Dems also subtly signal to their voters that they don't really care if the anti-gerrymander measure loses? ... 4:32 P.M. link

Will the U.A.W. organize Toyota's Kentucky factory? I'd bet no, based on the union's inability to deliver on past boasts--assuming there's a secret ballot. But it would be a big deal. Here's the Detroit News' coverage, as discussed in Autoblog. .... P.S.:

While pay rates and bonuses at the non-union plant are approaching the level of UAW workers, the union bosses pointed out those wage levels are more volatile.

U.A.W. wage levels are nice and steady! It's the jobs that disappear. And maybe the companies. ... 2:23 A.M.

"I have seen the future of health care punditry and its name is Jonathan Cohn." I just got back from a talk at the Venice Family Clinic by TNR's Cohn. What Arcade Fire is to rock and Dana Vachon to yuppie lit, Cohn is to health care journalism--i.e., he can't possibly live up to expectations. But in this talk he did, at least for someone like me who is trying to catch up with the health care debate. ... Cohn's book seems to have real people in it--and their stories!--which could be a problem. But in PowerPoint mode he's funny, clarifying, and even wonk-charismatic. ...  [Sullivan has nothing on you in the suck up dept.--ed No, he was really good. I still think his so-called "strong defense" of neoliberalism was ridiculously constrained and condescending, especially compared to Yglesias'.] ... Backfill: Tim Noah launches  the Cohn campaign. ...1:44 A.M. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bed, Bath  & Beyond TimesSelect: Due Torre thinks TimesSelect's new "students and teachers" promotion--in which everyone with a ".edu" email address gets those premium pay-to-read New York Times articles for free--is a bigger hole in the TimesSelect dike than the paper lets on. ... Let Mike D at Due Torre explain why. (Key player: alumni associations!) ... P.S.: But is this giant loophole really unintentional? I'm not sure the Times really minds if every college graduate in the world gets TimesSelect without paying (though that's kind of a reverse Robin Hood marketing strategy). For one thing, it will make Thomas Friedman and Maureen Dowd happy. (They get a bigger audience.)  For another, it gives the paper a graceful way to effectively abandon its whole ill-conceived pay-for-opinions plan while maintaining it as a formal fiction--just as Bed, Bath & Beyond maintains the fiction that you only get 20% off if you have a coupon (even as it distributes coupons so freely that basically everyone has four or five lying on the floor of their car). ... Update: Ad Age follows up--

But the Times said it doesn't believe most alumni will cheat. "It's an honor system," said Vivian Schiller, senior VP-general manager, NYTimes.com. "And we're assuming that the alumni of this nation's colleges and universities have a thorough enough education in ethics to keep them honest.  [E.A.]

Web. Free content. Ethics. Funny! ...12:48 P.M. link

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bloggers: Forget your TTLB rank. Are you on the James Bennet 40? ... 12:11 P.M.

The  historic crossroads in history: Steve Clemons, who may be the only person who thinks Sen. Chuck Hagel had a good day yesterday, says Hagel now "may be less loyal to scripted party direction."  I didn't realize that was possible. ... Seriously, it makes perfect sense for Hagel to postpone his decision until later in the year. Like "E-mailer X,"  I'm convinced a successful late entry is possible. All the Russertesque pundit-talk about the need to raise millions ignores the emerging reality, which is that a late entrant only really needs to win Iowa and New Hampshire--then he or she will be able to sweep all the states that hold early primaries, Hart-84 style. But if you're going to postpone your decision to run you don't need to summon reporters to Omaha to do it. The whole incident reeks of some back-story explanation. He can't really be this much of a flake. ... P.S.: And if you're going to run as an independent, Unity '08 candidate, do you have your aides tell the NYT that you have "no intention" of doing it? ... P.P.S. As Influence Peddler notes, the non-announcenent speech was weak. Hagel fan Peggy Noonan wouldn't write an opening like "America stands at an historic crossroads in its history." ... Update: Emailer D.B. notes an eerie similarity to Woody Allen's "Speech to the Graduates". ...  2:03 A.M. link

Monday, March 12, 2007

Do we really need to toggle between Daylight and Standard time? Here's a sociological argument--validated by casual empiricism!--that keeping Daylight Savings Time year round would cut traffic  (and save a lot of the energy cars now spend idling during rush hour jam-ups). ... It's all about separating the Sun People from the Clock People. ... Update: Mounting  empirical support! ... BoiFromTroy reports rush hour has eased at the Precor machines at his gym! ... [But  the public rebelled when Congress started DST in January and February during the mid-70s energy crisis.--ed Clock people don't like it when they have to get up and go to work in the dark. But there are fewer clock people, and more people with flexible work hours (including the self-employed) than there used to be. People with flexible work hours can get up later with the sun--easing the morning crush. What didn't work in 1975 might work now.] ...8:58 P.M.

Radar shouldn't be embarrassed at its "unimaginative" editorial meeting (accidentally recorded and published on Page Six)--a point ETP's Rachel Sklar beat me to.  Good ideas come from bad ideas. Just like blogging! ... According to Page Six, Radar editor Maer Roshan runs meetings where "'[p]eople just blurt stuff out.'" Those are the best kind, no?  ... 8:10 P.M.

Don't Stop Now! Where's "Faggot-Guy"?  ...  It seems like only last week that Andrew Sullivan was calling me "faggot-guy" at every available opportunity. ("[F]rom now on ... on those few occasions when his name comes up, he will have a new appellation on this blog. ... How does it feel, Faggot-Guy?") He was sending me passionate emails. But today, nothing! Sullivan's brilliant running conceit has simply disappeared. ... Did he lose heart? Has he come un-unhinged? Did his new boss, David Bradley, decide that running around calling people "faggot-guy" might not be in the highest tradition of the venerable Atlantic? ... Update: The Cycle of Excitability is nearing its all-too-predictable end. He's back to calling me "Kaus."   He'll be sucking up again soon! [Don't think so--ed. It's his Darwinian  default mode.] ...    5:17 P.M. link

Is Neoliberalism dying--or only The New Republic? Just because Marty Peretz had to sell the New Republic  after its hectoring support for the Iraq War turned off its readership,** do they have to cooperate in presenting their marketing-move to the left as the "death of neoliberalism"? ...

P.S.: The word "neoliberalism," at least in its domestic context, was coined by The Washington Monthly'sCharles Peters in 1978. (It didn't start, as David Brooks declared, with a Kinsley tax editorial in 1981). Recently, the editors and former editors of Peters' magazine, The Washington Monthly, had a dinner to celebrate his 80th birthday. Out of the approximately 45 Peters proteges there, how many had supported the Iraq War? My guess is no more than 8.  Peters himself certainly didn't support the war. Neither did Kinsley. Monthly alum James Fallows (who wasn't at the dinner) tried to stop it with cautionary articles in The Atlantic. The war's a New Republic thing--and a David Brooks thing--not a Washington Monthly thing.

It would be more accurate to say that Brooks' war killed Peretz's magazine.

P.P.S.: I'm not saying there isn't a large movement of bloggers, activists, etc. who (as Brooks says) want "a Democratic Party that fights" Republicans rather than attacks itself, who are substantively "further to the left"--concerned more about wage stagnation than the problems of adversarial unionism--and who regard neolibs like Joe Klein as contrarian Fogies. What I deny is that we Fogies have lost--that what Peters called neoliberalism deserves the smug, mutually-reinforcing obituaries from Jonathan and Ezra and Ben. More on this later. ...

**--And because David Brooks needed a column. 4:48 P.M. link

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Who Killed Premiere? I blame the aptly-named David Pecker, who cut off its journalistic balls. Per the L.A. Times:

Peter Biskind, who spent a decade at Premiere as executive editor under founding editor Susan Lyne and went on to write bestselling books about Hollywood, such as "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls," said one of the reasons the magazine was so good in its early days was because "we weren't beholden to the studios. That gave us a lot of freedom to do hard-hitting, in-depth reporting." ... [snip]

After Lyne's departure, [Chris] Connelly became editor in chief in early 1996, and [Nancy] Griffin was his deputy editor. But the two top editors abruptly resigned in May of that year after publisher Hachette Filipacchi's then president and chief executive, David Pecker, gave Connelly an order to kill Premiere's California Suite column about Planet Hollywood, a celebrity-themed restaurant chain that had ties to billionaire Revlon owner Ronald Perelman, who was half owner of Premiere.

The order was the last straw in a series of decisions that Connelly and Griffin felt compromised the integrity of the magazine.

These included a request to publish a picture of Revlon models in a page of Oscar party coverage and the placing of Perelman's then wife, Patricia Duff, on the masthead as editor at large. Pecker, in interviews at the time, denied the magazine was acting under any kind of pressure from Perelman. [E.A.]

After Connelly left, the publisher's idea was apparently to turn Premiere into more of a toothless fan mag. The failure of that approach is a small bit of evidence for the perennial readers-want-real-journalism argument--an argument I'd like to believe. ... By the time Premiere collapsed years later, of course, Pecker was off  pursuing  fresh failures. ... 8:07 P.M. link

Note that a Las Vegas Review-Journal's editorial--blasting the Democratic "netroots" for successfully pressuring Nevada Democrats to cancel Fox News' co-hosting of a Dem candidates' debate--essentially concedes and ratifies the (accurate) netroots view that Fox isn't "fair and balanced" but an organ of one side:

[F]ar-left Democrats have no comparable media outlet, nor any widespread national appeal, for their radical views ...[snip] So they attack their rivals' messenger with a reckless barrage of rhetoric that cuts down their own allies with friendly fire. [E.A.]

But isn't the Review-Journal right that it would have been smart for the Democrats to reach "conservatives and 'values' voters" by having Fox run their show? ... Update: Kevin at Bajillion suggests it's smarter to let Republicans stay in their self-deceiving Fox cocoon. ... 5:06 A.M. link

David Corn says the lies of which Lewis "Scooter" Libby  has now been convicted "didn't have anything to do with the election per se" because they began "11 months before the '04 presidential" vote.  Huh? People in the White House aren't thinking about a presidential election a year out? ... Corn seems to agree that Libby was protecting his boss, Vice President Cheney.  If Cheney had been dragged more directly into the Wilson/Plame story--even though it turned out that no law was violated--that could easily have cost the GOP ticket 1% of the vote in Ohio, no?  Libby did his job. ... Update: Maguire dissents. He seems to argue that Libby's lie makes no sense because a) he could have relied on grand jury secrecy to protect him and b) the fine print of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act would have protected him. But could Libby have been sure of those two things? Given the MSM's hostility to Cheney? ... 3:19 A.M. link

The ProudTradition of The AtlanticContinues! "Andrew@the atlantic.com sent you a link to content of interest,"says a recent message in my inbox.

"The sender also included this note:

Just for you, Faggot-Guy."

For the record: 1) I don't defend and haven't defended use of the ugly and offensive word "faggot." On Ann Coulter's remarks, I wrote that it's a "a toxic word that shouldn't have been used even in a joke--or anyway in that joke."  It's not a word I use or accept others using.  2) I've repeatedly and freely noted that I'm a friend of Coulter''s--see, e.g.. here and here and here  and here  and here.. ...P.S.: Boi fromTroy takes issue with Sullivan's claim to "know of no gay bars anywhere that exclude straight guys." See also BfromT's comments for an actual honest ventilation of this issue (i.e., without Sullivanish posturing). ... 1:10 A.M. link

Friday, March 9, 2007

Consumer Reports' annual Auto Issue plots 10 years of reliability data for the major manufacturers. All three Detroit makers have significantly worse records than Toyota (#1 for the ten years) and Honda (#2). But you knew that. The news is that one of Detroit's Big Three did significantly better over the long run than the other two. "Ford had fewer problems than Chrysler and GM for 3-year old and older vehicles." Indeed, Ford fell about halfway between its Detroit rivals (GM and Chrysler, essentially tied near the bottom) and Honda. ... GM's Bob Lutz predicts that one of the Big Three will disappear  soon, and that it won't be GM. Between Ford and Chrysler, I now know which one I'd pick to survive. ... 3:09 A.M. 

N-Word Escape: Bob Wright boasts about our society's successful stigmatization of the so-called "n-word"--we not only don't use it, but shame those who use it  and don't respect or associate with them (and maybe also don't associate with the people who do associate with them). But this formidable stigmatization machine has broken down shockingly** in the case of Paris Hilton. ...

**--rare non-ironic use of "shockingly." 1:58 A.M.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Andrew Sullivan has reached back beyond NEXIS to find an article I wrote in 1985** on Barney's Beanery, a West Hollywood hangout (made famous in an Edward Kienholz sculpture). It's the first piece I wrote that I came to believe was wrong very shortly after publishing. It's the piece I discussed in this post from 2003, during the Gregg Easterbrook/ESPN controversy:

What was he thinking when he made this moral error? I suspect he was thinking, "Hey, here's a neat argument. This will work." That's what I was thinking many years ago when I made a similar error, also in The New Republic. It embarrasses me now: I wrote that discrimination against homosexuals in West Hollywood bars was less outrageous than, say, discrimination against blacks in the South, because homosexuals in West Hollywood had acquired money and power. Neat argument, huh? Sort of leftish! After the piece was printed, one of TNR's top editors let me know he thought the argument was offensive, and I realized after some resistance that he was right. I wasn't fired, though. I was busted and I learned something. That's what's supposed to happen. (See Jeff Jarvis.)

It's also the piece alluded to here  (in point #1). The "top editor" who told me he didn't like it was Marty Peretz.  A good thing about Marty, I learned, is that you never have to worry that he's secretly mad at you. ... Aside from this one piece, of course, everything I've written has been right. ... P.S.: Andrew claims to "know of no gay bars anywhere that exclude straight guys. We have no issues with straight guys." But if I recall there was a big issue in West Hollywood with gay men's bars discriminating against women. ...

Correction: Originally said 1983, following Sullivan. Always a mistake! ...2:11 P.M. link

Bob Wright's point of maximum rage at me over my (not very effective) attempt to calibrate his condemnation of Ann Coulter comes right about here in our latest bloggingheads session. ... A dark secret about my friendship with Coulter is also revealed. ... 3:52 A.M.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Vet War: Bill Richardson's defenses against those "so far ... unfounded"  rumors:

1) "I shake hands a lot." (He just wants to connect to people!)

2) He was "vetted," in 2004, by the same man   responsible  for vetting   Fannie Mae's books!

Actually, it's more that Richardson says he was told he was vetted. ... He was also told he was drafted by the Kansas City Athletics! ...[via Lucianne] 9:26 P.M.

Aha!

"As celebrities go, the jury favorite seems to be NPR's Nina Totenberg"

--Libby Juror #9 Denis Collins' account on HuffPo.

11:54 A.M.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

A McLuhan for Our Time: Bob Kuttner boldy predicts that "in twenty-five years [newspapers] will be mostly digital." Wow. Apparently they are making some sort of transition to the Internet. This is why we need CJR. ... Why not fifty years? Or seventy-five? I guess there's no glory if you don't take risks! [He says "mostly"--ed That helps.] ... P.S.: Kuttner doesn't add much on the main issue, which is whether web-based papers can ever hope to generate enough ad revenue to fund the expensive reportorial functions formerly generated by print revenue. It's not looking good at the moment, is it?  11:50 P.M.

Here's Andrew Sullivan on "f-----" in 2001, basically saying what Ann Coulter says now:

There are similar problems with the term 'faggot.' In his early days, Eminem said he had nothing against gay people, just faggots. Just as not all gay men were faggots, not all black guys are niggers. The question is whether this is one step toward enlightenment or one step back toward bigotry. I'm inclined to think that, in the younger generation, the use of such terms need not be prima facie case of prejudice. It's quite common, for example, for high school kids to use the word 'gay' to describe anything they don't particularly like. It has no tangible reference to homosexuals - although it hardly bespeaks acceptance. But in general, the use of the term now is far less ominous than it would have been ten years ago. So let the linguistic waves roll and the racial, post-racial epithets mount. And let old Klansmen like Byrd look before they mumble. [Emphasis added.]

Busted by John Tabin. ... P.S.: I think the 2001 Sullivan isn't quite priggish enough, actually. I come down somewhere in between the 2001 Sullivan and the 2007 Sullivan. Maybe 2003. ... But there's always 2008! ... 11:04 P.M. link

Kathryn Jean Lopez makes a good point about the much-maligned 1/2 Hour News Hour. ... 5:14 P.M.

Libby: O'Donnell, bizarrely,  right. Seth Stevenson, right. Kaus ... even more bizarrely ... right! .... P.S.: Impeach Cheney or impeach Russert? Arianna must choose! ... 5:13 P.M.

Eli Lake notes that Al Gore has pointedly not called for withdrawal from Iraq. .... Radar has rumors of discontent in the McCain camp, with "several aides" quitting. "They're imploding ..." a ""top Republican aide" tells Radar. "We're imploding" would be more powerful evidence. ... 10:27 A.M.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Oddest carefully-crafted sentence of the still-young week:

"So far, rumors of personal pecadilloes are unfounded."--David Brooks, writing favorably about Dem. presidential candidate Bill Richardson.

The rumors are either founded or not, right? That shouldn't change over time. But, as a Slate colleague says, a word like "unproved" would have been "more of a challenge than a reassurance." ...Kf 's tip for reporters and others hoping to help the pecadilloes make the ontological transition from unfounded to founded: Ask around at Cafe Milano, D.C. ... 10:11 P.M.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Pushy Priuses: It used to be that Toyota Prius drivers were polite and methodical, almost Gandhiesque, as if they were trying to demonstrate the better world they sought. No more. As Priuses have proliferated from the do-gooder niche into the mainstream, their drivers have gotten as rude and aggressive as anyone else. Ruder, in my experience. I think they feel entitled because of their small carbon footprint. ... P.S.: And you can't hear them coming. ... 10:40 P.M. link

Not such a new Dem: Obama takes an important domestic policy position--no more transcending! Specifically, he pledges

"We will pass the Employee Free Choice Act. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. ... We may have to wait for the next president to sign it, but we will get this thing done."

The idea of requiring a union, without a secret ballot election, if labor organizers can obtain a majority of "cards" from employees seems like both a big idea and a bad idea.(See below.) If Republicans were smart and confident, wouldn't they make a big deal of this--drag the debate in Congress out to give it more prominence, highlighting Obama's support for this change which (more than any tax cut) would alter the very texture of the economy? Voters--even many socially liberal peacenik voters--traditionally worry that if Dems gain full power they will a) serve their special interests and b) cripple American capitalism in a fit of leftish nostalgia. This bill legitimately triggers both fears. ...

P.S.: I don't think this is an endorsement Obama had to make for political reasons. As Dick Morris says, he's sitting pretty--he can be anything he wants to be. He could be a lot more Gary Hartish! He must want to be an old-fashioned unionizer. [But he has to win the Iowa caucuses, dominated by unions--ed Teachers' unions! They're already organized. They don't need no stinking card-check.** As for New Hampshire--look what the unions did for Mondale in 1984. ... And if Obama doesn't really believe in the card-check, wouldn't it still be smart for the GOPs to make him pay a price for selling out to the unions? That's a lot more important sign that he's a business-as-usual pol than his failure to repudiate David Geffen for taking some heartfelt shots at the Clintons.. ... ] ...

**--Update: Ryan Sager emails from NY: "NYC's [United Federation of Teachers chief] Randi Weingarten would be interested to hear teachers unions don't want card check. It's how they plan to destroy the charter school movement here." Good point. But is that also true in Iowa?

Supplemental reading: Ford is one example of how the Wagner Act unionism Obama wants to spread really can undermine the economy--according to this Friday WSJ report [$], the company has begun a belated round of attempts to wrest concessions from UAW locals in an attempt to eliminate the $250/vehicle disadvantage currently imposed by union-backed work rules.  Remember that the majestic layering of work rule upon work rule was once considered the glory of the Wagner Act, back in the 1950s. The rules served to protect not a special interest, but special interests within a special interest--e.g. skilled job classifications within the UAW  whose members didn't have to pitch in and sweep floors, etc. with everyone else. The rules just weren't very good at creating efficient factories, at least compared with Japanese plants where change was continuous and there was only one job classification: "Production." ....

Without Wagner Act unionism a) these rules wouldn't exist in the first place and b) if they did, Ford wouldn't have to engage in a  too-little-too-late teethpulling exercise only when it stood poised on the brink of bankruptcy (as consumers bought cars where the $250 has gone to improve the quality of materials in the interior). .. ... Nor does the WSJ piece convince you that Ford will be successful even now:

Some work-rule changes remain beyond reach for Ford. At the Dearborn Truck Assembly factory, for instance, if the company wants to bring in an outside company for specialized repairs to its assembly equipment, it must also pay the same number of company repairmen to work.

There's one problem Toyota doesn't have. ... Why would most of Toyota's American workers choose not to unionize? Must be their employer's unfair labor practices. ...

P.P.S.: Kevin Drum demands that opponents of extending unionization "propose an alternative" means of boosting stagnant wages. That assumes unionization is an effective method, which I would dispute. (During the 1980s, for example, powerful unions did succeed in protecting their members. They didn't succeed in protecting the general mass of workers from the resulting stagflation and loss of competititiveness.) But since Drum asks, here's an alternative:

1) Continued economic growth: Drum claims the idea that "tight labor markets" increase median wages is "pie in the sky." Except  in the late '90s, when they worked bigtime, and last year, when the post-2001 expansion had finally gone on long enough for them to start working again. I recommend David Leonhardt's January 3 NYT analysis.

2) Control immigration so unskilled immigrants don't undermine the bargaining power of workers in the tight labor market; and

3) Universal health care--which would in effect be a big wage increase, and a bigger increase in peace of mind and ability to switch jobs.

In short, Clintonism--plus 'don't forget border control'. ... 2:15 P.M. link

Do It Once, Do It Late ... : Playing its traditional role, the LAT comes in with a long thorough, diligent report on the Geffen-Clinton relationship that serves to kill off any further interest in the subject. ... What passes for a juicy bit: A Clinton aide calls Geffen a "whiner." That's it. ...[Also Geffen was "intrigued by [Clinton's] mix of Arkansas informality, wonkish fluency and political shrewdness."--ed . Well, that's that then. Nothing more to see here. ...] .. 1:34 P.M.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Coulter-Nagourney Papers: Here is the text of a recent email exchange between the NYT's Adam Nagourney and Ann Coulter concerning this controversy:

[Nagourney] The three Republican presidential contenders denouncing you….Do you want to do any response?

[Coulter] C'mon it was a joke. I would never insult gays by suggesting that they are like John Edwards. That would be mean.
Did any of these guys say anything after I made the same remark about Al Gore last summer?Why not?  What were they trying to say about Al Gore with their silence?

Nagourney's blog about the controversy,--which contains a brief reference to Coulter's e-mail-- is here. ...

Update: Nagourney's print piece  is up. He quotes more of Coulter's email than he does on his blog (which is odd since it's usually the other way around).  He also makes it clear he solicited Coulter's response....

More:  Andrew Sullivan wonders what I was "trying to say" in the above item. I thought I was letting readers know about an accurate document (an email exchange) that related to a controversy of the day.  What does Sullivan do if he gets a hot doc? (A 'blog hot' doc, anyway.)... The scoop value of this particular doc, I concede, was radically diminished when Nagourney published his print account and quoted more of Coulter's defense. It will be diminished further when Coulter herself goes on TV and defends herself in a few minutes.  It always ends badly when I attempt journalism. ... 

I think Nagourney was fair to Coulter, more than fair, maybe, in his print piece. He could easily have slanted it more against her if he'd wanted to. More evidence for the thesis that there is actually a secret, perhaps subconscious affinity  between gay reporters and Coulter. ...

What do I think of Coulter's comment? I think a) she obviously wasn't saying John Edwards is gay; b) she equally obviously doesn't think Edwards is gay; c) she picked the word "f-----" because she wanted to make a joke about what that Grey's Anatomy star said that resulted in him going into rehab; d) hard as it is to believe, it seems as if she doesn't realize how offensive that word is to people--she thinks it's a very strong, non-boring word that basically means someone with the effeminate traits stereotypically associated with homosexuals; e) it's worse than that, a toxic word that shouldn't have been used even in a joke--or anyway in that joke; f) she's not, in fact, a homophobe. She's not even really what Mike Kinsley would call a "closet tolerant" because I don't think she's in the closet about it. It's worth noting what she did not say in response to Nagourney, which is any suggestion that gays are sinners going to hell, etc.--i.e. what the stereotypical liberal would expect the stereotypical Christian conservative to say ... 

Note: The first part of this item as it originally appeared--available here--has been modified for clarity. ... 6:41 P.M. link

82_horizontal_rule

Bloggingheads--Bob Wright's videoblog project. Gearbox--Searching for the Semi-Orgasmic Lock-in. 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. Gawker--It's come to this. Eat the Press--Sklarianna & Co. are like Gawker if Gawker actually believed in something. ... [More tk]

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