Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Daniel Radcliffe, 24.

Plus some good stuff:

1. Steve Kornacki on how Chris Christie may have a serious campaign finance dilemma in 2016.

2. Bruce Reed's political education.

3. Good Ezra Klein interview with This Town author Mark Leibovich. Actually, the good parts are mostly the questions, but worth reading for that.


  1. EK: One part of Washington that felt absent to me is, for lack of a better term, "good Washington." There are a lot of congressional staffers who work long hours for not that much pay because, rightly or wrongly, they think they're making the world a better place.

    EK: But they could change it. They could pass campaign-finance reform or something. And it's the same with Congress not working. Everyone there hates the fact that Americans loathe them and that they get nothing done, but not enough of them want to take the risks necessary to actually change it.

    Goo, goo!

    Ezra Klein translated: There are, like, all these great staffers who want to create more great federal programs and, like, we could totally fix politics if we only had, like, campaign finance reform! So why didn't you talk about the heroic side of new legislation, huh?

    Never forget that Klein produced the sleaziest, snarkiest, shittiest suck-fest in all of politics: Journolist

    1. Yikes, did it feel good to get that out of your system?

    2. Not really. JB recognizes on one day that goo-goo fantasizing is a problem and then seems to forget it the next. I think that some myths are just too powerful among his cohort. "Our Town" seems to focus on that which is most shallow and ridiculous in DC, but we're living through a time when the most politically powerful woman in America can say about the biggest expansion of gov power in a long time that we need to pass the bill to know what's in it ... to prog yawns, so it's a shallow and ridiculous time.

    3. Or: we're living through a time when partisans turn out-of-context quotes into talking points, and years later people repeat them as if they have Deep Meaning.

  2. OMG,

    TMZ has an article on Zimmerman's recent attempt to save the lives of the occupants of a rolled over SUV. Is TMZ now making fun of the prog obsession with black people? I can't tell.

    1. Comment at iSteve on Zimmerman's latest which TMZ reported on:

      Liberal villain: rescues family of four trapped in overturned vehicle.

      Liberal hero: leave 29-year-old woman to drown in sinking car.

    2. Liberals didn't hail Teddy because he killed Ms. Kopechne; they liked him in spite of Chappaquiddick, not because of it. Zimmerman is a hero to conservatives because he killed a "thug".

    3. Geoff G,

      Not being sarcastic here. To cons, the whole Zimmerman fiasco looks like a Sharpton and MSM prog race monster. Do you think that TMZ is merely trolling cons with that article, or is it something else?

    4. @backyard, since you're not being sarcastic, here's what the cons miss when they think the Zimmerman case is race hucksterism (the term I see most often).

      People concerned about this case don't want unarmed black people shot and killed and just a cursory or no investigation takes place. They also don't stop there--they think all shootings should be investigated. When the assailant is known, one expects charges and a trial to determine guilt or not. This doesn't seem particularly racial to me.

    5. George Zimmerman was damn near bald on the night he followed, search for, then found and killed Trayvon Martin. In order for Trayvon Martin to grab Zimmerman's bald head tight enough to slam his head into the sidewalk over a dozen times, some of Zimmerman's DNA would have gotten underneath Trayvon Martin's fingernails.

      Why is it assumed that Z found M?

      It's pretty hard to tell how many times you've been struck in the head, but Z may have exaggerated. Z could have minimized skin-breaks during several slamming attempts simply by tucking his chin and raising as much of his head and shoulders as he could (which is one of the things people do when their faces are being struck, etc..) Using fingertips would be stupid because it would be harder to control Z's head movements. Try it yourself. Plus, I don't think that there were any gouges to the sides of his head in photos, so why would the Kosite expect there to be blood?

      Regardless, neither seemed to know how to fight.

      So I strongly contend that it was right to try Zimmerman. I was surprised to find out that Zimmerman, or at least his lawyer, agreed that he should go to trial. His lawyer, Mark O'Mara, waived his right to a Stand-your-ground hearing, clearing the way to go to trial.

      So, among those who think Zimmerman should go to trial is Zimmerman's own lawyer. I guess that answers the question I started with. Do I get to say QED?

      Sarcasm? Do you know why he waived his right to a SYG hearing once he was charged with a crime that could lead to a potential life sentence?

  3. Actually, there's a surreal aspect to Ezra's questions, as they all more or less get to the idea that the Beltway is multidimensional chess, while media coverage focuses on the particulars, such as the ornate artistry on the king's bishop.

    It didn't make it to the final article, but one could reasonably imagine Ezra asking something like: "You know what would be really interesting? A forum on the internet accessible to only several hundred (self-interested) liberal-types, whose ironclad promise of bonhomie, plus the guarantee of security from the impenetrable fortress of the tubes, would surely result in harmless candor and useful speculation trying to peel back the surface layers of Washington life".

    If Klein said such a thing, it would be consistent with the thrust of the conversation, I guess it just didn't make it into the final copy.

  4. On the Kornacki piece:

    Um, really? He can't use a SuperPAC to get around that? (They aren't "candidate campaigns committees.") I dunno; I'm having a really tough time swallowing that this one rule is, somehow, the only rule in campaign finance that can't be skirted.

    1. I agree that Kornacki probably oversold his story, but it sounds like there's something real and worth noting, nevertheless.


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