Thursday, September 6, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Idris Elba, 40. Hoping to get to Luther sometime in the next few months.

I'd get to it quicker if there wasn't so much good stuff:

1. Ezra Klein on Bill Clinton: The "Wonk-in-Chief." I have to say: a fair amount of Clinton's speech sounded as if he's been reading the liberal policy bloggers -- Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, Harold Pollack, Paul Krugman, Stan Collender, Kevin Drum, etc. etc. etc. -- and jotting down all their best arguments (while polishing them into something that really works in a speech) and saving them up for a good chance to use them. See also Dan Larison.

2. All of them. Sarah Kliff: "Bill Clinton's prepared remarks: 3,136 words. Bill Clinton's remarks as delivered: 5,895 words (counting audience cheers)." At one point, he started listing the popular programs that Romney/Ryan would have to cut to keep their deficit promises, and for a second I thought he'd go through every single one of them. Including where the field offices are that would close in the battleground electoral college states. And the names of the caseworkers who would be laid off when that happened. And their children. Including names, grades, and teacher's names.

Granted -- Bob Dole, for one, knew that stuff as well as Clinton did, and perhaps better, and certainly didn't need the prepared text. But Dole couldn't set it to music like that.

3. Digby: "You don't have to talk to people as if they're children with no capacity to understand complicated issues. They yearn for it." What I'd add is that they may yearn for it even if they don't understand the complicated issues; they appreciate a demonstration that the people who they elect to office do understand this stuff.

4. Moving on...what you want to know about whether negative ads work.

5. And more on that knife fight between all the presidents which I think I've linked to before (if not, here it is, via John Sides, who notes that the comments are worth it).


  1. I just started watching the first season of Luther and really like it. (Its a BBC cop show where Elba plays detective John Luther, a emotionally unstable and at times extremely violent man recovering from a nervous break down who is both trying to solve some of London's most heinous crimes, reconcile with his wife that he's separated from and deal with a suspected mass murderer who is also his closest confidant). Anyway its great to see Elba has so much range. I feel like there has been a slew of very good, very bleak and depressing shows to come out of Britain in the past couple years (the "Red Ridding" trilogy comes to mind) that might have something to do with the economic woes of that country. Anyway, Elba is great.

  2. That Larison piece is pretty devastating.

    1. Unfortunately his points against Romney/Ryan probably give an indication of how the GOP and its base will react if their ticket loses. They'll dig in their heels in terms of radical policy and simply complain that the Ryan/Romney handlers prevented the candidates from really explaining all their policies.

  3. I've been enjoying Slate's new daily feature of giving a visual rundown of newspaper front-pages:

    A window into local coverage, even as that seems more and more outmoded.

  4. Pretty notable that Romney has now gotten a bunch of "realist," big-name prior GOP Secretary of States on board with him:

    1. I think it is notable also that after taking on all the old G W Bush neo-cons as foreign policy advisers during the primary season, he picked Robert Zoellick to head up the transition team to pick people for actual positions in the administration. Zoellick was also part of the Bush administration, but he's really not part of that gang. The neo-con pundits were outraged, as if it were an act of treason. It could be yet another piece of evidence that Romney doesn't believe any of the stuff that he says. That, of course, still leaves open the question of what, if anything, he does believe.


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