Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Morning Links

  • Mark Schmitt and Kos both have some interesting articles on the possible emergence of fusionist liberalism (not their term) among young American Democrats. Could the growth of people who care more about being liberal in toto revitalize Democratic politics which right now is very coalitional? A similar thing happened on the right through the auspices of Bill Buckley and Ronald Reagan during the 1970s. I think this is a real possibility, especially since blacks and hispanics seem to be moving toward becoming bipartisan groups. As long as Republicans continue their present strategy of toeing a fine line on immigration and don't cut spending, Democrats will need to make up the difference among upper-middle-class whites to remain viable.

  • At the Media Drop, Tom Biro recounts how MTV is one of those few corporate content providers who can't get their act straight on browser compatibility. It's funny how no one in control over there can see that the company has slowly been committing public suicide for about 10 years.

  • It's official. The "weapons of mass destruction" argument in favor of the Iraq war has basically been proven wrong. You'd think after the poor human intelligence we had during the Kosovo campaign (such as falling for the classic trick of decoy tanks) that the Bush admin would not have been so confident in assertions that the Saddam Hussein regime had chem or bio weapons. Kevin Drum hopes this doesn't turn into another grassy knoll. Pennywit rightfully urges everyone to stop attempting to assess the grand scheme of things in Iraq pro- or con, especially if you have no military training and have never even been there. I say wait at least two more years before rendering judgment.

  • New car from India promises super cheap transportation. Why does it have to look like the modern-day version of Inspector Clouseau's car? (Via Dean's World)

  • Henry Blodget at Slate on China's experiments in "capitalism without democracy." Um, it's called fascism, dude. It's unfortunate that most people fail to realize fascism is just nationalistic market socialism and can be a left/right/neither phenomenon. Especially in light of the anti-Japan furor the regime is whipping up, how can you not call the Chinese government fascist?

  • Neither one of us is Catholic, but I like Jimmie Bise's question about media coverage about the "divisive" new pope was just a tad off considering that polls are showing very high approval ratings (isn't that kind of an offensive thing to poll on?) for Benedict. "I think what we saw was a combination of two things: 1) reporters not getting very far out of their own echo-chamber to find out what Catholics were really thinking, and 2) massive ignorance about the Church and its members." It's possible, though that this support is shallow and meaningless in the long run but we'll see.

  • TVNewser tracks rumors of a new MSNBC prime-time show being launched. Seems unlikely to me considering that they have all the slots except 9pm filled. If the rumors are true, that would mean that either one of the existing shows is going to get canned, or the Tucker Carlson vehicle is stillborn. I don't understand why they just don't offer Bill O'Reilly double what FNC is paying him and then build a primetime lineup around him and Chris Matthews.

  • Sold: CNET (a subsidiary of Ziff-Davis) buys TVTome.com, a great fan-operated reference site for television. Smart purchase. The future of reference belongs to communities working on the web to accumulate and dissect information that matters to them. No search engine can come close to the value of a group of dedicated interested people. Related: Earlier article on troubles at Wikinews, which seeks to bring this principle to news writing.

  • Last night on Cartoon Network, they had a great promo for their DVD set of the show "Harvey Birdman" which spoofed those sleazy accident lawyer commercials that always seem to be daytime television. If I can't find a vid online, I'll try to put one up.

  • Bits: Karl Rove predicts Bolton confirmation, insists on judicial votes. Saudi Arabia almost in WTO. Using sheep to grow human organs. Virginia gubernatorial candidate accused of mocking opponent's accent. Are bumperstickers less popular nowadays?