Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Ellis Burks, 49. Not quite a HOFer...but a lot closer than you might think, and better than quite a few guys who made it. Terrific late hitting second peak, ages 34-37, but only about 250 PAs after that.

Plenty of good stuff:

1. Excellent new TNR feature: Isaac Chotiner tries to interview Barney Frank, receives abuse (via a Chait tweet).

2. Three good ones from the folks at Mischiefs of Faction. First, Greg Koger's analysis of the Congressional vote on Syria is useful, whether or not there is a vote.

3. Then Jennifer Victor, also on the Congressional vote.

4. Also: Richard Skinner on why Republicans have flipped on foreign policy.

5. I like Kevin Drum's sentiment here about contemporary news cycles, but it's almost certainly hopeless; the best we can do is to remember that at worst things will seem messier in progress, but that doesn't mean that they'll now seem messier in retrospect.

6. And LGM asks the question: what photo should they put on their (hypothetical) annoying pop-up ad for themselves? Lots of excellent choices...but more to the point, who or what should Plain Blog have on our even more hypothetical annoying pop-up ad? I can think of a lot of good ideas, but even though it's not in good shape, I might well go with this one.


  1. On Drum, I think it's a little early to be putting Syria in the same list with Iraq and Iran-Contra.

    For what it's worth, here's my take on the situation Obama faces there:

    "President Obama’s seemingly muddled position on Syria is less a reflection of his personality than a reflection of the muddled reality. The potential outcomes that he really must try to avoid include: getting sucked into a new, pointless Middle Eastern war; new precedents for the use of chemical weapons; Assad losing control of his chemical weapons; Assad winning; Islamist rebels winning; Assad losing followed by civil war among rival rebel groups; and, of course, general chaos in the Middle East. As much as pundits criticize him, no one has come up with a more viable solution than Obama’s vaguely pressed idea of forcing the Assad regime into a negotiated power transfer."

  2. 6. Some of those gifs folks dancing. How about Sisko in a baseball uniform flanked by Nixon and Boehner?

  3. How about a modified version of this art deco poster from the 20's:

    Just change the last part to "Modern Washington is served by A Plain Blog About Politics"

    Or if we want to be silly we can just have a picture of Nixon scowling.

  4. why Republicans have flipped on foreign policy

    I'm pretty sure that it has something to do with the fact that a Dem is in office.

  5. You know that David Miller uses the Lorinzetti fresco to organize his Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction? Unfortunately, the Oxford series only has black-and-white pictures, and I never got around to looking it up.

  6. "Terrific late hitting second peak, ages 34-37, but only about 250 PAs after that."

    So, which did more to inflate his numbers, Safeco or BALCO?

  7. 'Bad Government' - wonderful choice!

  8. Not to mention that guy Bernstein's new article on the problems ensuing from ignoring the fact that Bush II ordered torture.

    There's an important point that I feel you didn't emphasize enough. The war criminals in the previous Administration will always oppose the current Administration. They have to. By setting themselves up as the partisan opposition, they mute the possibility of criminal allegations or investigations. If investigations are brought to bear by the current Admin, they could then be portrayed as a partisan witch hunt. It's the only shield they have.

  9. .....who or what should Plain Blog have on our even more hypothetical annoying pop-up ad?

    Maybe James Madison studying a spreadsheet?

  10. I suggest this:


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