- Jay Cost, “Michael Steele Makes the Case for Party Reform” – from the article: So these state parties – even though most Republicans in most states have nothing to do with them – are empowered to elect the RNC. And the RNC has two jobs of significance. The first is to wield the imagery of Republicanism – “the Elephant” – to attract donations, which are then distributed strategically to state parties and candidates, again to exploit campaign finance law loopholes. They are also in charge of putting on the Republican National Convention, although for practical purposes the party’s nominee gets to make all the important choices about the speakers, the message, the platform, and so on. The question I would ask is this: is the organization of the RNC designed for the task of money laundering in a maximally effective way? I would say no. The big problem is the state party organizations, which are anachronistic holdovers from days long gone by. They lack broad popular mandates, in that Republican voters tend not to participate in their activities. They also are not directly involved in setting the national party agenda, which comes out of Congress and the White House. So why should their organization be entrusted with control of the party imagery and the job of raising tens of millions of dollars?
- Brent Orrell, “The Coming GOP Tsunami” – I have mixed feelings about this. I want my party to win; I disagree with the current President and Congress on quite a bit. But there are enough nutcases who will come to power in this “tsunami” that I’m concerned about that, too.
- Bill Ardolino, “More Taliban ‘need to die’ before fighting ends: Musa Qala police chief” – from the article: While the Afghan police are generally regarded as tactically inferior and more corrupt than the Army across wider Helmand province, and in certain areas are viewed by citizens as a worse option than the Taliban, in Musa Qala their status is different. Here, the police are local Pashtuns, they generally do their jobs, and they exhibit low levels of corruption and rarely mistreat citizens, according to American advisors. This combination of factors grants the ANP singular legitimacy as a security force in the district. Above all, their relative competence stems from the will of one man, District Police Chief Haji Abdul Wali, who is more commonly known as “Koka.”
- Mark Bauerlein, “Clay Shirky’s Optimism” – from the article: We’ve had the Web now for two decades, and Millennials have never known life without it. Are they following the pattern? Shirky’s prime example of wasteful consumption is TV. Here is what Nielsen said recently in a report on How Teens Use Media: “Teens are NOT abandoning TV for new media: In fact, they watch more TV than ever, up 6 percent over the past five years in the U.S.” And for the population at large, the same trend is occurring. The American Time Use Survey charts TV watching as increasing every year for the past four years.
- Megan McArdle, “Is Bellesiles At It Again?” – a follow-up on an article linked to in the last “Links” post.
- Via Megan McArdle, “New Civ 5 Screenshots” – Some of you know I’ve played Civ IV pretty extensively, and read nearly every article on civfanatics in order to improve my game (it worked, btw – worked really well, actually). Learned a lot about how to interpret the information the game gives you and increase effectiveness when implementing a strategy.