Re: EK

1

"The columnist who he feels achieves this platonic evenhandedness best is The New York Times's David Brooks." To this I say, in my most erudite and considered fashion: Vom.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 10:26 AM
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Simple and unpretentious, heebie-geebie (a folk blogger from interior Texas) does not let wordy analysis or over-intellectualization get in the way of her simple, direct style.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 10:26 AM
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local boy makes good

He also appeared in the Times crossword last week.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 10:28 AM
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I kinda want to learn to write weekend crosswords, but it's really hard. Either you need to be very very good at writing crosswords by hand, or you need to be very diligent about maintaining a fresh word list full of new words like EZRAKLEIN. Either way it's a lot of work of a very different sort than themed crosswords.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 10:33 AM
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I find it not so much fawning as snippy. And again, the key differentiator to Klein is not his paeans to Broderite bipartisanship (and related things like his apparently genuine fondness for Paul Ryan) but the fact that he knows enough about policy to figure out when someone is attempting to snow him about budget issues and is willing to say so. That immediately puts him above 90% of writing about Washington politics and 99% of writing about Washington politics that's coming out of the Post.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 10:33 AM
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Klein was a good double act with Jesse Taylor, but these days he's just this journalist, it seems to me. Still, I suppose he's rich. Does that count for something?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 10:35 AM
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The Taylor/Klein Pandagon was so good.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 10:38 AM
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It was sad seeing Saiselgy described as the "closest thing [to] a rival" that EK had.

I think of Saiselgy as Margo Channing to Ezra's Eve Harrington.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 10:38 AM
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6: Not just rich, he's also famous. What else is there?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 10:43 AM
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To this I say, in my most erudite and considered fashion: Vom.

That was my reaction, too. But upon reflection, I think Ezra is onto something. Note his explanation: "In the course of a pretty short column, he is able to convey the other side's positions back to them in a way they would recognize." Ezra has reverse engineered the recipe for Brooks' cross-over appeal to NPR-liberals, and he's trying to do the reverse on conservative-leaning moderates.

The difference is that when Brooks inevitably pivots back to "The reason the conservative position is right..." in the latter half of the column, he relies on rhetorical gloss and clever prose stylings to make the case, whereas Ezra brings the quantitative analysis. (I would add that another difference is that Klein does a better job of conveying the other side's position without caricature; Brooks typically sneaks his planted axioms past the reader's defenses by way of a very subtle caricature.)


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 10:43 AM
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"Ezra is an incredible operator," says one prominent Washington editor. "He is always looking upward at things. You only have to watch him work a party. He moves right to the most important people there."
This, from the article, is fairly damning. It also was exactly my impression from when I met him briefly at the Flophaus.
Posted by: J-mo | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 10:44 AM
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Maybe that was small-minded of me.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 10:46 AM
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Or him.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 10:47 AM
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11-12: Jonathan Bernstein calls bullshit.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 10:51 AM
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I think I stopped reading Klein regularly about the time that he took on all the cob-loggers, whose writing I find a little duller than his.

I slowed down reading him when he switched to a comments platform that limited the arguments and/or made it harder for me personally to comment from work, and stopped reading him entirely when he went to the Post, which both gives me commenting problems and loads really slowly. Nothing against him, but keeping up with him wasn't worth dealing with that.

It makes me realize how stupid my office's computer setup is. IE, the security systems, all of it. It doesn't keep me from wasting time online or doing indiscreet things, it just keeps me from certain kinds of things, like the WaPo and parts of Slate. The wrong kinds of things, really. TV Tropes and Reddit and Unfogged are not more work-related than Ezra and Matt Yglesias, but they are less educational. Um, no offense.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 10:59 AM
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I agree with 5(b), which is such a low bar as to be very faint praise.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:05 AM
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15last -- I think this is pretty competitive, day by day, if not word by word.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:07 AM
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3?? In the acrostic maybe? I did the regular puzzle last week and don't remember that. Good Mel Ott sighting though, as regular as death and taxes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:09 AM
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Shorter 5.last: Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:09 AM
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WTF is that font that TNR now uses? I can't read that on my screen.
I always thought of Spackerman as the foreign policy equivalent of Ezra- Young upwardly mobile blogger (Yumby) but haven't heard much cross-talk about him lately.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:10 AM
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5 seems to me to get it right. 11 is IMO a quality of essentially all successful people, which is why essentially all successful people are assholes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:11 AM
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20.last: He's still working the counterinsurgency beat.

(Make sure you read the first comment, too.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:13 AM
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Halford said what I was going to say about 11. The people I know like that are all hugely successful. (And, well, whether or not they're asshole, one sure does feel "handled" around them.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:15 AM
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Glad to read the link in 14, and the Brad DeLong post it links to. Embarrassed at how manipulable I am; I was completely buying the negative slant of the TNR article until I read DeLong's reiteration of what should have been the focus. Less substantively: amused by the circular nature of how DeLong links to an old Unfogged post and extensively quotes the comment section.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:17 AM
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I am predisposed to believe reports of EK's collegiality since my sole interaction with him was that I sent him copies of a couple of mix cds to bring to the first meet-up.

That proves absolutely nothing, but I did appreciate that he was willing to act as a courier for me.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:23 AM
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24: I don't know whether the author of the TNR piece is right or wrong, having never met Ezra, but I sure don't trust the authority she cites: an anonymous "prominent Washington editor", i.e. someone likely to have an axe to grind with the young whippersnapper, and also likely (given his job) someone who exhibits exactly the same trait he decries in (or perhaps projects onto) Ezra.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:25 AM
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11 is IMO a quality of essentially all successful people

Yes on this, but no on:

The people I know like that are all hugely successful.

There are definitely people who are like that but not good enough at it to become successful.

To 18, it was last Friday's puzzle.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:29 AM
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26: Oh, sure, I realized some bits were probably out of context. "Was completely buying the negative slant" was exaggeration.

And OTOH, AFAIK it's entirely possible that Ezra really is a complete dick. But a dick or not, he's exactly right that the media is too focused on personalities and not enough on policies and results. Could TNR really not have spared a hundred words for Wonkblog rather than Ezra himself?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:37 AM
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A friend of mine who knew him in high school endorses the "kind of a dick" theory, IIRC.

The last thing I remember in any detail was Klein's insistence that the looming financial crisis was way too complex for anyone to understand or foresee, so we were right to ignore then, and ignore now, those who foresaw it. I may be slightly misremembering his exact argument.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:39 AM
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28: What are you talking about? Isn't TNR part of the media?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:41 AM
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27.middle: Heh. True.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:42 AM
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I think if we secretly replaced all newspaper/newspaper-ish American political reporting on domestic issues with Folger's crystals a) Wonkblog for policy discussion and b) Daily Kos Elections* for horserace discussion, the polity would be no worse off, even after dustbinning people like Nate Silver and Dana Priest who add value. Which is to say what 16 and 19 said.

* Which really is a fantastic resource; incredibly in-depth coverage from an obviously partisan but very reality-based set of posters.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:43 AM
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Not just rich, he's also famous. What else is there?

I was going to say handsome, but that may have just been that one photo. In other photos, he's about as goofy looking as any other journalist.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:48 AM
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Seems to me he has correctly reverse-engineered the formula for making his gig work. Good on him, I guess. I have trouble getting excited, but then I'm not a journalist. Plus, I enjoy snark.

"Mama said, wonk you out." was a great line.


Posted by: Grumbles | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:50 AM
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The non-front pages of the Post (as of the mid -1990s) used to have excellent* reporting from longtime beat reporters who covered the more mundane but important details of the federal agencies. I don't read the Post anymore so I don't know if those people are still there or if EK and friends are supposed to be their nonunion Mexican Internet equivalents.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:54 AM
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I was going to say handsome, but that may have just been that one photo.

I was just reminded of a time that I was wallowing in envy of a guy I used to know (not Ezra), someone incredibly brilliant, head-turningly handsome (as in, we would walk into a restaurant and girls out to dinner with their boyfriends would crane their necks to watch him pass), ambitious, successful, etc.

Fleur, in an effort to cheer me up, said "Maybe he has a small dick." In what must have been a tone of despair, I told her, "No, I've him naked, it's huge!"


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:56 AM
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^seen


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:57 AM
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36 is missing a "had" or possibly a "caressed".


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:58 AM
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Re: "Glad to read the link in 14, and the Brad DeLong post it links to. Embarrassed at how manipulable I am; I was completely buying the negative slant of the TNR article until I read DeLong's reiteration of what should have been the focus. Less substantively: amused by the circular nature of how DeLong links to an old Unfogged post and extensively quotes the comment section." Snort...


Posted by: gnoleddarb | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:58 AM
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Damn it.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:58 AM
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Gnoll Eddarb is a pretty good commenter name. Perhaps a flind.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:59 AM
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22: I love the comparison of Hoth to Tora Bora.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 11:59 AM
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Ezra Klein is a bore.


Posted by: Hattie | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 12:06 PM
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Ezra Klein is a boar.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 12:09 PM
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Ezra Klein is a Boer.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 12:10 PM
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Ezra Klein isra Bora.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 12:12 PM
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44 s/b "Ezra Swine".


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 12:13 PM
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My mistake, he's a rat, I was off by a year.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 12:13 PM
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I was going to say handsome, but that may have just been that one photo.

He guest hosts for Rachel Maddow (and Laurence O'Donnell) on occasion, and frankly, he's attractive, smart, articulate, and so on, for a full hour, talking to you. He brings a lot of the Wonkblog. Weirdly, the first time I saw him guest hosting, I hadn't seen the intro to the show, and within 10 minutes was asking myself, "Huh, is that Ezra Klein? It seems like it might be Ezra Klein."

I'm not a major fanboy (though he is attractive, no denying) -- the Maddow guest hosting raised him quite a bit in my estimation. Haven't read the TNR profile.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 12:13 PM
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Der Eber von Ezra ist Klein.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 12:14 PM
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I find it not so much fawning as snippy.

Clearly you missed the backstory.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 12:14 PM
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I think I find EK too non-partisan to be interesting to read anymore. If you're not willing to say "republicans are the problem" about almost everything, then what else are you dealing with dishonestly. The republican party really is a morally bankrupt stain on our country whose main goal is sabotaging our country from the inside.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 12:20 PM
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36: I look at these people and think ``No developmental insults at all'' (when my ability to think switches back on). Lots of them at the juggling/circus hangouts of math & physics meetings.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 12:21 PM
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52: It's still possible that even though he's not interesting to read for someone aware of the republican party's nature, he offers reality-based feedback for the Broder types.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 12:26 PM
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54: That's a good point. I should try to get my dad, who thinks Brooks is oh-so-reasonable, to read Ezra.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 12:40 PM
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If you're not willing to say "republicans are the problem" about almost everything, then what else are you dealing with dishonestly.

That's a little unfair. Ezra isn't reiterating in every third post that Republicans Are the Problem, the way Greg Sargent does, but he also doesn't pretend that Both Sides Are to Blame, the way the sages of the op-ed pages do. Without saying it in so many words, Ezra's posts usually lead the reader ineluctably to the conclusion that Republicans Are the Problem, without taking the conclusion as axiomatic. That's an important public service, for the reasons I give in 10. Brad Delong, who long ago lost any compunction about saying Republicans Are to Blame, appreciates Ezra for that, and so do I.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 1:21 PM
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Without saying it in so many words,

I think this is why I got bored. It's not so much that I need my daily ration of invective against the right, although I enjoy that sort of thing. But because I'm simpleminded and easily distracted, the kind of policy writing I find useful has a large helping of "this is why I, the writer, thinks this matters -- look at how it fits into a larger narrative." I can agree or disagree with it, but I find the fitting of whatever information I'm being given into the writer's policy agenda very very helpful in processing it.

Klein's being discreet about that kind of thing, so as to look evenhanded, and it leaves me drifting off, bored.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 1:32 PM
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Spackerman is now running a symposium on The Battle of Hoth:

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/02/hoth-symposium/all/


Posted by: gnoleddarb | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 2:04 PM
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Spackerman was on NPR recently, so I've had him mentally categorized as "achieved national prominence".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 2:06 PM
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Did we ever resolve the question of why nobody comments on Spackerman posts? Even this nerdbait post on Wired has all of two comments.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 2:42 PM
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58, see 22.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 2:43 PM
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@60 - because Spackerman simply covers the issues he covers too well to leave much room to comment? That's normally how I feel after reading something he covers. He seems close to being a Taibbi, but without the Hunter S. I don't know enough about the topic to disagree, and damn, is he convincing.


Posted by: Grumbles | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 5:23 PM
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|?

Dylan Matthews at Wonkblog on O's min wage proposal

A lot depends on your definitions, but economist Adam Ozimek makes a smart point. According to a 2007 study by the CBO, an increase in the minimum wage to $7.25, like that eventually passed that year, would increase wages by $11 billion, of which $1.6 billion went to poor families.

By contrast, increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit for large families (as happened in the stimulus bill) and for single people would cost $2.4 billion, of which $1.4 billion would go to poor families. The EITC option costs one fifth as much to society but does about as much good for poor families. That suggests that if you want to help families escape poverty, wage subsidies are a more cost-effective option than the minimum wage.

"cost one fifth as much to society" not taxes, or gov't, but the macroeconomy. Not that where it comes from matters much to me

I just can't understand this kind of thinking. Where the fuck does Matthews think the difference, an increase in wages of whatever $8 billion, goes...up lower middle class butts? Burned for warmth? Rolled for doobies?

Increased wages are fucking spent on consumption, with a fucking good multiplier, a better multiplier than investment or tax cuts.

I mean a fucking clue is who sponsored the EITC, someone apparently much smarter than Matthews or Klein or Clinton or Obama or most other liberals, picture at the linked article.

Motherfucking Senator Russell Long. Racist evil.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 5:23 PM
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||

While I'm at it:

Thoma Link to Krugman for the better comments, including "anne's historical charts

A 'Sinkhole for Purchasing Power'

Corporate Cash Hordes ...decent from Yggles, nice connection of Fed policy to corp profits

Corporate Cash Puzzle ...Noahopinion, Noah Smith, a real economist gaining popularity.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 5:36 PM
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I think I stopped reading Klein regularly about the time that he took on all the cob-loggers, whose writing I find a little duller than his.

I've always liked Brad Plumer.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 6:04 PM
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||

Oh. And while I'm trolling.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica moved to my #1 this week. I would link to the feminist discussion but it is hard to avoid spoilers. Shoujo ai to the moon and not one male worth pissing on. Not a spoiler, but the mix between regular animation and stop-motion paper cut-out is not just trippy but perceptually important. 12 episodes, 4 hours, a masterpiece.

Oh grimdark. But magical girl with quotes from Goethe in German.

"Don't forget.
Always, somewhere,
someone is fighting for you.
--As long as you remember her,
you are not alone." - ending sequence.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 6:12 PM
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Didn't really realize the extent of wonkblog's success. Fairly cheering.

I've always liked Brad Plumer. He's the only part of wonkblog I read regularly, via his Twitter.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 7:41 PM
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Hey, remember all that stuff about drones? Still just a rumor: http://legaltimes.typepad.com/files/doj-cia.pdf


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 7:52 PM
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Reading the NYT* profile of Ed Hugh a couple of years ago was kinda weird.

* and simultaneously a bunch of other places. That's weird too, how those things work.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 7:53 PM
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I've always liked Brad Plumer.

Don't forget Sarah Kliff. *Swoon!* In my fantasy, we sit together under flickering florescent lights, intently studying the latest notice of proposed rulemaking from HHS. Her dark eyes flash with passion as she detects a federal preemption of state insurance regulation. Afterwards, we gently tease one another by plugging our salaries into the Kaiser Family Foundation ACA subsidy calculator. "You're over 400% FPL!", she says, wagging her finger at me impishly. "No refundable premium tax credit for you!"


Posted by: Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 8:16 PM
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... Klein now says that he will not write a negative book review. ...

This is ridiculous.

When I asked Yglesias, who now works at Slate, if he had any funny stories about Klein, he stopped to think. After a while, he said, "You know, Ezra's not really a funny guy. He's super-controlled." ...

I guess Yglesias is being politic too as I thought this incident was pretty funny.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 02-13-13 8:20 PM
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Re: "In my fantasy, we sit together under flickering florescent lights, intently studying the latest notice of proposed rulemaking from HHS. Her dark eyes flash with passion as she detects a federal preemption of state insurance regulation. Afterwards, we gently tease one another by plugging our salaries into the Kaiser Family Foundation ACA subsidy calculator."

You do realize that this (not with Sarah Kliff) is **married** **life** in my household?


Posted by: Brad DeLong | Link to this comment | 02-14-13 5:28 AM
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72: Awwwwww. Seen in that light, it's a shame that state exchange declarations to HHS are coming out the day *after* Valentine's Day.


Posted by: kermit roosevelt, jr. | Link to this comment | 02-14-13 5:53 AM
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Nice to see you, Kermit.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-14-13 6:00 AM
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For the record, I am the deceased presidential appointee, not his son, the still-living law professor.


Posted by: Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. | Link to this comment | 02-14-13 6:15 AM
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I didn't know there was an extant Kermit Roosevelt.

My strongest association with the object of your pseud is with overthrow of democracy in Iran. My, didn't that one come back to bite us in the ass.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-14-13 6:24 AM
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A sexy, sexy bite in the ass.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-14-13 6:39 AM
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75: I need this clarified like 3x per thread. as to the book reviews, perhaps ezra can strategically pass things on to LB?


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02-14-13 6:39 AM
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I don't actually like writing negative reviews. It just kind of happens sometimes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-14-13 6:46 AM
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If this is the politics thread, from Wayne LaPierre's latest paranoid rant "After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia." to the abusive Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, I was struck this morning by how many TPM stories were about the right-wing gobshites run amok; but this one takes the red velvet cake:

Last year, the tea party-affiliated group FreedomWorks recorded a promotional video that featured a fake panda performing oral sex on a woman impersonating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to a report published Thursday by Mother Jones' David Corn.
Two female interns were chosen to participate in the video, according to the report, one wearing the panda suit and the other dressed as Clinton. The video was created ahead of the group's FreePAC conference, which was held in late July 2012, and it was intended to be shown at the event.
They've really gone to special place. I blame David Broder.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-14-13 6:47 AM
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79: I don't actually like writing negative reviews.

Now, awkward reviews ...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-14-13 6:48 AM
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"After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia."

Yes, gun prohibitionists want everything to be flooded and destroyed by wind. Also the 31% reduction in the crime rate during the week following the storm was nice. Or "hellish", depending on your perspective.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-14-13 8:05 AM
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