The New (And Improved?) Paul Ryan, Ctd

Jordan Weissmann responds to McArdle’s criticisms of his criticisms of Paul Ryan’s anti-poverty plan: If your overriding policy goal is to shrink federal spending over time, then yes, drastically redesigning an enormous chunk of the safety net in order to (maybe) move a relatively small group of people who seem to be stuck in intractable poverty toward work might make … Continue reading The New (And Improved?) Paul Ryan, Ctd

Why Do We Buy TV In Bulk?

Derek Thompson argues that, for the TV industry, “live sports is the keystone keeping the roof from collapsing”: Networks have recognized that sports has unique social currency in live viewing, and they’ve stormed the marketplace in the last few years, throwing egregious sums of money in exchange for exclusive deals. Those costs are trickling up. As Patrick Hruby explained, … Continue reading Why Do We Buy TV In Bulk?

Its Own Grave

Digg, the social news site, was just sold for a fraction of its former worth. Alexis Madrigal's take:

There is one clear lesson from Digg's sale: the technology that powered a once-massive social network is worth about $500,000. All the rest of the value derives from the people that use it. Though scaling is tough, any developer in the world can build some profiles and let people connect up. It's an act of genius — or an act of God, by which I mean luck — to design a site constitution that makes people want to build their online lives at your URL (or in your app). Social networking companies are not technology companies as much as they are community companies.

Adam Clark Estes says Digg was sold for more than most reports would have you believe:

News Feeding

by Zoe Pollock

John Hudson interviewed Gawker Media owner Nick Denton on his news habits:

I consume most of my news in email and (more recently) Facebook. I think Zuckerberg has created the personalized news engine we always dreamed of. …

To follow the daily or hourly news cycle is the media equivalent of day-trading: it’s frenzied, pointless and usually unprofitable. I’d much rather read an item which just showed me the photos or documents. And if you’re going to write some text, take a position or explain something to me. Give me opinion or reference; just don’t pretend you’re providing news. That’s not news.

Felix Salmon agrees on the latter part:

AIPAC For Kids! Ctd

Yaniv Reich comments on the "brilliant, must-see video" we posted yesterday:

What is most remarkable about this short satirical piece is how realistic it is. It can be considered satire, but it unfortunately reflects far too common thoughts that have infected Israeli critical thinking capacities. Like conservatives who can’t tell that Stephen Colbert is mocking them, I suspect a number of right-wing Israeli hacks will self-identify with this video. Maybe they’ll even try to redesign early childhood education around these innovative ideas.

The Heresy Of Mitch Daniels


As Dish readers know, Indiana governor, Mitch Daniels, seems to me the kind of man the GOP desperately needs: a real fiscal conservative, socially inclusive, open to serious tax reform and politically adult conversation to regain the center ground. Here's why the Dish loves him so:

Let’s raise the retirement age, he says. Let’s reduce Social Security for the rich. And let’s reconsider our military commitments, too. When I ask about taxes—in 2005 Daniels proposed a hike on the $100,000-plus crowd, which his own party promptly torpedoed—he refuses to revert to Republican talking points. “At some stage there could well be a tax increase,” he says with a sigh. “They say we can’t have grown-up conversations anymore. I think we can.”

David Brooks has hailed him as the "spiritual leader" of the new pragmatists in the GOP and the likeliest GOP nomineet in 2012. Ross Douthat likes him too, as Patrick noted here. Last Thursday he gave a speech that exemplified why he gives so many on the thinking right hope:

Daniels, once the Hudson Institute’s chief executive, described himself as an acolyte of [Herman] Kahn’s and marveled at the creative thinking evident in his 1982 book, “The Coming Boom.” Daniels recited from Kahn’s book: “It would be most useful to redesign the tax system to discourage consumption and encourage savings and investment. One obvious possibility is a value added tax and flat income tax, with the only exception being a lower standard deduction.”

But I'm not in denial about what the GOP now is – which is why I didn't buy David Brooks' prediction. Well, sadly, it appears I was right:

Giving Hackers A Way In

Bruce Schneier fears attempts to make all internet communication wiretap-ready: These laws are dangerous, both for citizens of countries like China and citizens of Western democracies. Forcing companies to redesign their communications products and services to facilitate government eavesdropping reduces privacy and liberty; that's obvious. But the laws also make us less safe. Communications systems … Continue reading Giving Hackers A Way In

The Daily Wrap

Today on the Dish, Alex Massie sized up the possibility of a hung Parliament, scrutinized the format of scheduled debates, noted the endorsement of Cameron by Mugabe, snickered at the cover of Tony Blair's new book, and guffawed at the victory of a kooky congressional candidate. Jonathan Bernstein took a long look back at the … Continue reading The Daily Wrap