Archive | June, 2006

Dick Cheney is a One Percenter

29 Jun

laws-of-fear.jpgNo, not that type of one percenter. (I do accept that all three of you neither understood the reference, nor found it funny).

What is the One Percent Doctrine? Dick Cheney described it thusly (quoted from Ron Sunkind’s book by the same name, via Cass Sunstein):

“We have to deal with this new type of threat in a way we haven’t yet defined. . . . With a low-probability, high-impact event like this . . . If there’s a one percent chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response.”

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War, Liberalism, and the Future of American Foreign Policy

16 Jun

the-good-fight.jpgWhat should a liberal foreign policy look like?  Humanitarianism or security?  Intervention or realism?  Of course, these concerns aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, but they do represent some of the tensions between competing foreign policy visions.  The New Republic's Editor-at-Large Peter Beinart has written a new book called The Good Fight that outlines his vision of a liberal foreign policy, one which he ties to the history of Cold War liberalism and its challenge to the threat of Communism.  Beinart, and his magazine, supported the war in Iraq but have since argued that supporting the war was a mistake, though America needs to finish what it started in Iraq, lest the country fall into civil war.    Continue reading

The Superman Question

7 Jun


Tyler Cowen has a thought experiment over at Marginal Revolution:

Let's say we had an altruistic and incorruptible Superman, how should he allocate his efforts to improve the macroeconomy?  He is really strong, he can fly very fast, leap tall buildings at a single bound, has incredible vision, and somehow he is immune from Einstein's theory of relativity and time dilation at near-light speeds (his most impressive achievement, if you ask me).

Even though Prof. Cowen gives us the caveat that our Superman is "altruistic and incorruptible," there are some deep ethical and political quandries that a macro-meddling Man of Steel poses. Continue reading

Gerrymander Away!

7 Jun


Think clever and partisan redistricting will keep the incumbents in Congress?  Think again, say John Friedman and Richard Holden in an article at The New Republic online.  Based on their recent study, they argue that the Voting Rights Act constrains the most egregious types of gerrymandering, while other factors like campaign spending, a polarized elecorate, and media penentration all conribute more to the high rates of incumbancy than convential wisdom about redistricting would have you believe.