1) Does the DNC stripping Michigan and Florida of their delegates (to punish them for too-early primaries) make a brokered, or at least contested, convention more possible by creating a large overhanging pool of uncommitted delegates that might conceivably be counted later? ... Between them, Michigan and Florida would seem to have almost 15% of the delegates a candidate would need to win the nomination. ... [Thanks to alert non-reader D.J.P.]
2) Obama and Huckabee lead their respective races in Iowa. Suppose those two actually win their parties' nominations. Wouldn't an Obama vs. Huckabee race be so quirky it would have a good chance of attracting potential third-party or independent candidates? Candidates more experienced and less of a semi-revolutionary "stretch" than Obama, less "socially" conservative than Huckabee, more fiscally conservative than either of them, and maybe less filled with Broderesque compassion for illegal immigrants? Candidates who are more boring? ... P.S.: Suddenly, Unity '08 doesn't look irrelevant. ...
12:39 A.M. link
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Brendan Nyhan on the Carteresque silliness of Obama's idea of providing (in the NYT's description) "live Internet feeds of all executive branch department and agency meetings." ... For a good example of how idealistic "open meeting" laws can gum up government by forcing officials to endure hours of for-show public meetings with grandstanding interest groups before actually getting down to business, read Lynn and Whitman's terrific account of Carter's welfare-reform failure. ... P.S.: How about live internet feeds of all Obama staff meetings? The voters of Iowa deserve no less! ... 11;42 A.M.
Friday, November 30, 2007
I hesitate to bring this up, but isn't the unremarked-on wild card in the debate over Social Security's solvency ... immigration? I've always been told by defenders of the system that one of the main safety valves, should it begin to look insolvent, was the ability to let in more immigrants-- increasing the crucial worker-to-retiree ratio. But to the extent the current immigration debate unexpectedly chases FICA-paying illegal immigrants away, and discourages admitting more legal immigrants, mightn't it by the same token make Social Security less solvent than currently projected? ... kf's solutions:a) If the number of illegals actually falls dramatically, that's what will make it possible to eventually get public support for a reasonable increase in quotas for legals; b) Find other ways to make the system solvent--like reducing the benefits of the affluent. If we have to raise taxes or cut benefits a bit more to make up for controlling the borders, it's worth it. ...
Why we love Matt Welch: You raise an issue that maybe cuts against your side, and all of a sudden you're a "goalpost-shifting ... restrictionist weathervane." And I've pledged $100 for this guy's going away party? Worth every penny! ... 8: 28 P.M.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
How Movies Like Contagion and Outbreak Distort Our Response to Real Epidemics
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
Everything You Should Know About Today’s Eclipse
An Unscientific Ranking of Really, Really Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.