How to Respond to Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson said something offensive and stupid, which is usually not the kind of thing I’m inclined to write about, because no one much will be surprised to hear I find the sentiments of a southern reactionary contemptible. But for the sake of setting the table, here he is, dropping science: I’m so used to…

Liberal NIMBYism

Via Grist’s Dave Roberts, I came across this piece from The Stranger on micro-housing in the city, which you might think sounds rather prosaic…until you remember the awesome and hideous power of NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard, for the uninitiated). The very quick and dirty version of the story is that Seattle is facing…

How to Write About Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann is retiring, which is the kind of thing that makes me feel weary just thinking of writing about. What’s there to say about Michele Bachmann, after all? She’s crazy. OK, sure. She’s bigoted. OK, sure. She’s weird. OK, sure. But unless you’re a ThinkProgress worker who lives off of the self-satisfied liberal traffic…

There Is No Conservative Reform Movement

I think it’s fair to say that, excepting those conservatives with a passion for solitude, these are not halcyon days for members of the center-right. On the political end you’ve got guys like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul that non-crazy cons have to passive-aggressively half-defend; and on the policy side you’ve got…well, it’s not so…

Jacobinning

I’ve got a new post up at Jacobin that y’all should check out. It’s a breezy piece on conflict-averse liberalism and its manifest shortcomings. A taste: I’ve never been in a real-deal, legit fight. I’ve seen a few, but I’ve never been in one myself. The ones I was witness to didn’t look particularly enjoyable,…

Go Ahead, Vote Your Identity

Give Jessica Valenti credit; she’s not afraid to be ahead of the curve. At least that’s one explanation for her piece at The Nation, “Why I’m Voting for Her.” We’re all to assume, as indeed we all do, that “her” is Hillary Clinton, and the voting in question is for the 2016 presidency. But Valenti’s piece…

New Labor Laws in Bangladesh

With the death-toll having passed four digits, it looks like the government of Bangladesh, responding to its people, has decided that at least in some cases it’s not OK for Bangladesh to have different safety laws than those in wealthy democracies: Bangladesh’s government agreed Monday to allow the country’s garment workers to form trade unions without prior…

Wonkblog’s Blind Spot

Its existence is a clear net-plus for American journalism, but I must admit I have a soft-spot for snarking on Ezra Klein’s technocrat fiefdom: Wonkblog informs us of the latest in poli-sci literature that ostensibly proves that politics pretty much has no meaning.  We already knew that it makes absolutely no difference what the president says (the…

Guatemala Makes History

Assuming the human race is able to stave off its evident death wish for a few generations more, what happened in Guatemala on Friday may one day be seen as a major historical event. For the first time ever, a former head of state has been convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity. Gen. Efraín Ríos…