Thursday, March 29, 2007
Anti-Gerrymander Watch: Two-thirds of California "likely voters" support a plan to turn over redistricting to "an independent commission of citizens." That seems to be slightly higher than previous polls. [Via Bill Bradley's New West Notes ]. We'll see if Bill Clinton moneybuddy Stephen Bing and Nancy Pelosi can find a way to block reform this time. (They'd have a good chance. Initiatives typically need a huge advance lead to even have a prayer of passing, given the power of anti-initiative TV campaigns.) ... P.S.: One of the non-party-line positions taken by now-ex LAT opinion editor Andres Martinez was support for an anti-gerrymandering initiative in 2005. Too interesting! ... 11:17 A.M.
"Los Angeles Times Continues Editorial Transformation"! The paper has announced "several editorial changes designed to meet the evolving needs of readers." The "Current" section, which used to be called "Opinion," will be called "Opinion" again! And the Times Ed board will have a "blog." It will be "updated throughout the day"! ... They actually put out a press release with this news. Now that their editorial department has more or less melted down in humiliating public warfare with sanctimonious critics in the paper's newsroom, they're seizing the PR initiative! Pathetic. ... [Emphasis added] 1:18 A.M.
Kabuki Watch? Here's a question: If it's
a) in the Congressional Democrats' interest to try but ultimately fail to use their funding power force a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq (it shows the antiwar left Pelosi is trying without giving Dems responsibility for a messy Iraq outcome),
b) in the Bush administration's interest to have Congressional Dems' try but ultimately fail to use their funding power to force a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq (it lets Bush continue the "surge" while giving him the threat of a Dem-forced pullout with which to pressure the Maliki government),
c) isn't it true that what probably will happen is that the Congressional Dems try but ultimately fail to use their funding power to force a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq?
Just asking! ... 12:42 A.M.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Has National Review gone wobbly on immigration? The magazine recommends that Senator McCain fall back on a proposal of Sen. Johnny Isakson, which would
prohibit granting legal status to any illegal alien until border-security measures were fully operational. ... Only when the current chaos is under control would a guest-worker program go into effect
NR calls this "a welcome compromise between the border-security and amnesty camps." Not really.
There are two big obvious problems with the Isakson plan. 1) Who would decide when "the current chaos is under control"? If it's a President like Bush, would we trust him? No. 2) It promises that if you manage to sneak across the border in the next few months or years, you'll get some sort of amnesty in the future--in other words, it sets up conditions for an illegal-entry stampede to get in under the wire. ... Does National Review really endorse this plan, or only think McCain should endorse this plan? NRO contributor Andy McCarthy is puzzled. ...
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.