This is the kind of backhand that uses the hand that wears the most rings. Because chipping a tooth is the goal.
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) May 28, 2014
Ezra Klein, an analyst, columnist and pundit who runs The Washington Post’s Wonkblog, will leave the newspaper, taking two of his colleagues with him, according to an internal memo sent on Tuesday.
Mr. Klein is “looking to start his own news organization,” according to the memo, but his destination was not identified. He declined to comment on the matter when reached by email on Tuesday, but said he had not “signed anything with anyone.”
More to the point: why did you think that Jeff Bezos was going to give you at least ten million dollars?
Mr. Klein, who quickly ascended into the ranks of the Washington media establishment with a multiplatform blend of policy nuance and number-crunching on Wonkblog, approached Katherine Weymouth, the Post’s publisher, in recent weeks, the people said.
After consultation with the newspaper’s editor, Marty Baron, according to one of the people, he put forward a proposal with detailed revenue projections to build a new website dedicated to explanatory journalism on a wide range of topics beyond political policy. It would have been affiliated with The Post, the person said, but would have been a separate enterprise. The investment he sought, the person said, was in eight figures.
Ms. Weymouth and the paper’s owner, Jeff Bezos, declined to support the project.
Because I refuse to believe that he’s this dumb:
If these people aren’t up to the most important tasks of Obama’s second term, why haven’t they been fired and replaced by people who are?
These people being Kathleen Sebelius, Rob Nabors, and Miguel Rodriguez: three executive branch officials who have utterly screwed up their jobs, even by the generous standards of the Obama administration*. But, fine: I’ll play along. The reason why Barack Obama has not fired these people is because Barack Obama built his career by stroking the guilty egos of people like Ezra Klein. Obama based his career on being, well, perfect. (more…)
And not a particularly romantic war, at that. This is tantalizingly half-promising to end up being a real blood-and-filth-in-the-mud, Thirty-Years-War-style kind of conflict.
Why did Obama promise people could keep their health insurance? Blame Bill Clinton. http://t.co/yrqQusehsE
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) November 13, 2013
Wonder who will end up being on which side.
PS: Although surely the grownups in the room will keep the two wings of the Democratic party – and may God forgive me for using this term – ‘elites’ from savaging each other too deeply.
Well, here’s something ironic for you. Ezra Klein, after writing this laudably honest admission about policy responses to atrocities like the Newtown mass murder:
I’ll tell you what scares me: I don’t think we know how to prevent a tragedy like the Newtown massacre. The more information that emerges on the killings, the less effective any of the potential policy remedies appear to be.
…and listing some of the most common rhetorical arguments, pros and cons, Klein then promptly brings up the thought of seeing if there’s a way to restrict handgun purchases… despite the fact that nobody at Newtown was murdered with one. In fact, he’s pretty explicit in trying to come up with a way to generalize a response to the aforementioned atrocity. And they wonder why pro-2nd Amendment folks don’t trust anti-gun Democrats…
PS: We will have no consensus on what to do about awful events like Newtown until we come to a consensus on what constitutes ‘sick,’ ‘crazy,’ and ‘evil.’ Sorry to say that, but that’s how I see it.
Or: Why Johnny Can’t Drive.
Washington Post’s Ezra Klein’s substitute writer Brad Plumer got the unenviable job of having to admit that the government’s infamous Cash-for-Clunkers stealth auto dealership bailout – in which people traded in still-useable cars in exchange for trade-in money for a new car – didn’t particularly stimulate the economy, didn’t improve US car manufacturer’s market share, and “increased average fuel economy in the United States by just 0.65 miles per gallon.” The trigger event for this admission was this Resources For the Future report that is fairly damning, in its somewhat dry and equation-laden way: of course, we on the Right were all yelling about this issue right from the start, but it’s still nice to see some math backing us up.
Still, Klein’s substitute doesn’t consider another economic factor: what happened as a result of taking used cars off of the market. You see, there’s a considerable demand for almost worn-out cars: poor people, young people, and/or urban minorities can maintain them well enough to be cost effective – if the price is low enough. And what happens, class, when demand remains the same but the supply decreases? (more…)
…as it should, because it was an incredibly stupid thing to say – even considering that it was said on MSNBC, which means that almost nobody saw it anyway. For those without video access, Klein (in the process of sneering at the GOP’s plan to start the 112th Congress with a reading of the Constitution*) rather bravely admitted that he has a learning disability which makes it difficult for him to read English properly:
The issue with the Constitution is not that people don’t read the text and think they’re following it. The issue with the Constitution is that the text is confusing because it was written more than a hundred years ago.
At least, I assume that’s what he’s admitting. Because the alternative is to take seriously his notion that there really is something difficult to comprehend about a document so simple and straightforward that its mere existence argues strenuously against the notion that nothing well-written ever comes out of committee.
As you might have guessed, I am not taking seriously Klein’s notion.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
The question of where Europe ends and Asia begins has troubled many people over the years, but here’s a rule of thumb: if someone can pose as an expert on the country in question without knowledge of the relevant language, it’s part of Asia.
– Quoted by The New Ledger’s Christopher Badeux, as part of his elegantly savage takedown of crypto-Durantyites* Ezra Klein and Matthew Yglesias. Mind you, I don’t agree with everything Myers writes in that article… but it’s nice to read an Atlantic article where the author has no subconscious need to proactively wince over the magazine’s unseemly fascination with Sarah Palin’s uterus.
*This was almost ‘neo-Durantyites,’ but I thought that I’d save that sneer for the first really hardcore apologists for Tienanmen Square.
‘…the soft sophistry of low absolutism.’ – Matt Welch, in the process of eviscerating Ezra Klein for, among other things, holding up as a model the state-run newspaper industry of a minor European country with no meaningful defense budget and a GDP comparable to that of North Carolina’s. (Via Jim Treacher‘s Twitter.)
I’d comment further, except that I’m doing a quick check for the thens, so forths, after alls, insofars, and especially of courses that apparently cause Matt to get that funky Hulk-pupil effect going. I haven’t decided yet whether to banish them from my language, or save them up for the next Reason shindig…
Crossposted to RedState.