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Blog Profile / Kevin Drum

Filed Under:Politics / US Politics
Posts on Regator:6428
Posts / Week:33.4
Archived Since:February 16, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Poverty Keeps Getting Worse and Worse for Working-Age Adults

The Census Bureau released its annual poverty report today, and the headline number shows that the official poverty rate declined from 15.0 percent to 14.5 percent. This decline was driven entirely by a drop in the number of children living in poverty. This gives me an excuse to make a point that doesn't get made often enough. Show More Summary

The Endless Rabbit Hole of Secession, Shetland Islands Edition

Following a string of links from an Atrios post, I came across this paragraph from a piece a few months ago about the possibility of Scottish independence: As for Mr Salmond’s fantasies about oil revenues: stocks are dwindling, fracking...Show More Summary

No, Ronald Reagan Was Not Just a More Amiable Version of Barry Goldwater

Jacob Weisberg is critical of Rick Perlstein's The Invisible Bridge, the third volume in his history of movement conservatism from 1958 to 1980. The first two books covered Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon; the third spans the period from 1972 through 1976, which encompasses the end of Nixon and the rise of Reagan. Show More Summary

Quote of the Day: Maybe Bill Clinton Needs a Minder

From Ed Kilgore, commenting on the latest "gaffe" from Bill Clinton: The idea of a former two-term President of the United States having to get his remarks vetted by some campaign operative who was in high school when Clinton was negotiating with the Israelis and Palestinians may seem humiliating. Show More Summary

Chart of the Day: Fox's Benghazi Obsession

The good folks at Media Matter have taken on the soul-crushing task of tallying up coverage of Benghazi on Fox's prime-time evening shows, and they report that Fox has aired nearly 1,100 segments in the 20 months since the attacks. In...Show More Summary

Assignment Desk: How Does the Media Deal With Domestic Violence?

I have an assignment for an enterprising reporter or intern with access to a telephone. I'd like a survey done of a dozen or so major media outlets, including but not limited to ESPN, CNN, the New York Times, CBS, Fox, the Nation, and National Review. Show More Summary

It's Hard to Say It, But US Policy Toward Terrorist Ransom Demands Is Probably Right

Rukmini Callimachi's story in the New York Times today about the anger and frustration of James Foley's family over their treatment by the US government is heartbreaking. Foley was among dozens of hostages being held by ISIS, but one of the few to be murdered. Show More Summary

Americans Are Refreshingly Realistic About the ISIS Threat

Paul Waldman draws my attention to a new Pew poll with an interesting result. Hawkish Republicans have been running around for the past month insisting that ISIS terrorists are a direct threat to the United States, and therefore we have...Show More Summary

Madam Secretary? Seriously?

I may be off my rocker for wondering about this, but here goes. You've seen the ads for Madam Secretary, right? (Aside from those of you who shun TV as unworthy of your attention, of course.) Téa Leone stars as a smart, tough, engaged,...Show More Summary

Obama Has Indeed Learned Some Foreign Policy Lessons, Just Not the Ones the Establishment Likes

Over at FP, David Rothkopf has a long and critical examination of President Obama's foreign policy. Unfortunately, it starts with a biting assessment from "one of America's most dependable Middle Eastern allies," which is almost single-handedly enough to disqualify it as serious analysis. Show More Summary

Here's the Defense of Unsalted Pasta Water That Darden Won't Make Itself

Over at Vox, a virtual water cooler for the world's most pressing problems, Matt Yglesias tells us that Darden is fighting back against charges that it has mismanaged Olive Garden. But he's unimpressed with their PowerPoint deck: The entire Darden counter-presentation has nothing to say about salting the water. Show More Summary

Maybe Obama Can Change the Way We Think About War

Over the weekend, Peter Baker wrote a story about President Obama's cautious, calculated approach to the fight against ISIS. It is, Obama says, a reaction against the frenzied buildup to the Iraq War in 2002-03: In his own way, Mr. Obama...Show More Summary

There's an Easier Way to Get Rid of Plastic Bags

Katie Rose Quandt explains why banning plastic bags is no panacea: Although plastic bags' manufacture is relatively energy intensive (according to the Australian government, a car could drive 36 feet with the amount of petroleum used to make a single plastic bag), other kinds of bags use even more fossil fuel. Show More Summary

How Should the NFL Handle Domestic Violence Cases in the Future?

I was browsing the paper this morning and came across an op-ed by sports writer Jeff Benedict about Ray Rice and the NFL's problem with domestic violence. After the usual review of the league's egregious mishandling of the Rice incident...Show More Summary

Friday Cat Blogging - 12 September 2014

A few of you have written to ask if we plan to get another cat. The answer is probably yes, but not immediately. And what does "not immediately" mean? There's no telling. A new cat could walk into our lives tomorrow, or it might take a little while longer. Show More Summary

If You Want Good Workers, You Need to Pay Market Wages

Today the Wall Street Journal is running yet another article about the inability of manufacturing companies to attract good employees. And Dean Baker is annoyed: If employers can't get enough workers then we would expect to see wages rising in manufacturing. They aren't. Show More Summary

Quote of the Day: Salt Your Pasta Water, Capiche?

From Starboard Value LP, a private investment firm critical of Olive Garden's current management: If you Google "How to cook pasta", the first step of Pasta 101 is to salt the water. How does the largest Italian dining concept in the world not salt the water for pasta? Quite so. Show More Summary

Surprise! Our Arab Allies Aren't Really Going to do Anything to Help Us Fight ISIS

Here is the least surprising story of the day: Many Arab governments grumbled quietly in 2011 as the United States left Iraq, fearful it might fall deeper into chaos or Iranian influence. Now, the United States is back and getting aShow More Summary

A Wee Question About That Residual Force Everyone Keeps Blathering About

Here's something I don't get. Republicans seem to universally hold the following two opinions about Iraq and ISIS: President Obama is to blame for the military success of ISIS because he declined to keep a residual force in Iraq after 2011. In the fight against ISIS, we certainly don't want to send in combat troops. Show More Summary

Not-Quite-Supermoon Blogging - 7 September 2014

I didn't actually get around to hauling out my camera for Monday's supermoon (how many of these things do we get every year, anyway?), but I did snap a few pictures on Sunday. So in the spirit of better late than never, here's one of them. The clouds and the colors were kind of interesting, even if the picture itself is so-so.

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