What to do about the torturers?

My new favorite blogger is Political Scientist Jonathan Bernstein.  He's got a really nice post here explaining why pardon plus a truth comission is the most sensible approach to dealing with the war crimes of the Bush administration.  He's got me convinced.

 

The stimulus worked

It's somewhat depressing that I even have to explain to a good (though not particularly well-informed) Liberal Democrat like my wife, that, indeed, the stimulus worked.  Of course, as her small business, like many others, goes through really tough times, it's hard to see that.  I'm pretty sure I blogged about this a while ago, but today's buzz in the liberal blogosphere would seem to suggest that Dave Leonhardt has written the ultimate stimulus defense.  Here's the catchy beginning:

Imagine if, one year ago, Congress had passed a stimulus bill that really worked.

Let’s
say this bill had started spending money within a matter of weeks and
had rapidly helped the economy. Let’s also imagine it was large enough
to have had a huge impact on jobs — employing something like two
million people who would otherwise be unemployed right now.

If that had happened, what would the economy look like today?

Well,
it would look almost exactly as it does now. Because those nice
descriptions of the stimulus that I just gave aren’t hypothetical. They
are descriptions of the actual bill.

Of course it doesn't help that Republicans keep claiming it didn't work despite all evidence to the contrary and the media just repeats their claims as if they have some validity. 

Quick Hits (Chait Edition)

1) The big Republican talking point on health care reform is that you should be able to purchase it across state lines.  This is, of course, utter folly, but it sounds good.  We'd quickly end up with something similar to the consumer disaster that is the credit card industry.  Jon Chait does the best job of spinning out the policy logic that I've seen on this issue.  You should read it to rebut those GOP claims.  [Update: Ezra Klein takes this and runs with it, spinning out the logic even more.]

2) Harold Ford is an idiot, who's really not worth my time to blog about.  I'll just say, man, I hope I never get on Chait's bad side.  His takedown of Ford is much like a great critic reviewing a bad movie.  

DADT

Interesting McClatchy story describes the lack of resistance to DADT among actual troops.

Indeed, since Mullen appeared on Capitol Hill earlier this month and
told a stunned Congress that in his personal view, gays and lesbians
should be allowed to serve, the response among members of the military
has been little more than a shrug.

This actually jibes what I've been hearing from my students in the military (I teach a Distance Ed class which typically has active duty service members in the class, or at least several who have very recently served).  I suspect there is still plenty of resistance among front-line infantry units, but the truth is that is just a tiny portion of the overall military.  The Airman working in an air traffic control center or refueling jets has very little reason to care whether the person next to him is gay or not.  When all is said and done, I think people will be surprised how little difference a change in policy will make (except, of course, to gay soldiers who would've otherwise been booted out).

 

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