Tuesday, March 13, 2007
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. ...