* Sent on by Dara: how to make a schadenfreude pie. Much appreciated, since she knows how much I enjoy Schadenfreude.

* A long time coming: the normblog profile of Karl Marx

* Speaking of Marx, let's apply a little class analysis here: "You would think that when a progressive, a paleocon, and a moderately hawkish realist partisan of western civilization all agree on an issue like this, it would represent the clear consensus in America." Actually, I'd expect two people pursuing graduate degrees and one who writes on politics for a living to have reasonably similar views, what with their being intelligentsia and all. Ideology is epiphenomenon! Minus snark now: I have once or twice commented on the odd fact that interventionists and non-interventionists can be found on both sides of the political spectrum: I, conservative, have more-or-less the same view on intervention as Allen Buchanan, definitely not a conservative; and I'm closer to Christopher Wellman than, say, Dick Lugar, though there's a reasonable chance the last will be voting for the same guy for president as I will, and Wellman and I would likely get into fisticuffs over the welfare state. In part this is because ideological affiliation blinds as much as it illuminates, and in part because the moral premises that underlie political orientations can be vastly different. My suspicion would be that Larison, Yglesias and Poulos all agree because they share at least some of the same premises.

* Have to agree with the sentiment here on The Office's season premiere: the Pam-Jim relationship has been treated at the right level of seriousness, and, most importantly, there's been no real attempt to manipulate the audience. They love each other and get along well, and if it were real life, that'd be quite enough. It's unusual (and good) that they get this level of respect.

* Jacob Levy gives a good thought I'll try to employ from now on:

For some time now I've been joking that the world ended several years ago and we've all been living in post-apocalyptic times; it makes each little outbreak of philistinism or cultural depravity easier to face. (Sure, there's a 90210 sequel show on the air, but, hey, zombies didn't eat my brain today, so really, that's better than could reasonably have been expected.)

He's right on his larger point, too. As I remarked to a friend today, "I'm glad I'm not planning to retire anytime in the next 20 years." I maintain the optimism that nothing catastrophic will happen, though the pace of change should be worrying to any conservative (or libertarian). On the one hand, if nothing gets done, it could get a lot worse. On the other, we're making a lot of important decisions in a very short period of time and not spending too much time thinking about the implications of those decisions, which appear to not be just some policy outcome but a fundamental restructuring of how economic life in this country happens. When it was just Bear Stearns, it was one thing, but this is quite another.

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