iOS app Android app

Chris Ladd

Entries by Chris Ladd

Facing the Legacy of the Iraq War

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2013 | 2:28 PM

The Iraq War is the bastard child of American politics. Ten years after it was launched there are few major political figures who can honestly disavow responsibility, but no one wants to step up and own it.

More than 4,000 American servicemen were killed along with 30,000 wounded. The number...

Read Post

Obama's Minimum Wage Gambit

(3) Comments | Posted February 25, 2013 | 3:52 PM

The president's proposal to raise the minimum wage is as politically clever as it is economically meaningless. The proposal is pointless in practical terms since it can't become law and wouldn't help the economy if it did. It is only significant because of what it says about President Obama and...

Read Post

Politics, Gun Control, and Psycho Killers

(2) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 10:36 AM

In the wake of the killings at Sandy Hook it appears that we're going to have a fairly serious debate about gun rights. In recent years we've shown little skill in handling such complex policy matters. If we're going to address firearm regulation in a coherent way, we need to...

Read Post

How Tony Bourdain Rescued Travel Television

(5) Comments | Posted September 4, 2012 | 10:44 AM

Once upon a time travel shows were the only form of television entertainment more unapologetically dishonest than the Glenn Beck Show. No matter where they went or what they experienced, the hosts gritted their teeth, looked into the camera, and told you how fabulous it was. The insight and doubt...

Read Post

Economics Is Broken

(7) Comments | Posted August 29, 2012 | 2:25 PM

"We really do not know how this system works." -- Alan Greenspan, 1999

There's a reason we place more value on astronomy than we do on astrology. Your astrologer can tell you that maybe, perhaps, this is a good day to do something very vague like "start a...

Read Post

The Difference Between Republicans and Democrats

(2) Comments | Posted August 8, 2012 | 1:33 PM

Peel away all the advertising and you can think about the difference between the two parties, and the way that gap has changed, by envisioning a simple allegory.

Imagine that the public needs a box moved from point A to point B. Nothing more politically or culturally interesting than that,...

Read Post

Chick-fil-A, Gay Marriage and Your Grandchildren

(17) Comments | Posted August 6, 2012 | 10:06 AM

It's hard to read about the Civil War or the civil rights movement without playing a game of "what would I have done?" That's a particularly pointed exercise for a white Southerner whose cherished ancestors placed themselves so consistently and even courageously on the wrong side of history. Ultimately, of...

Read Post

Justice Roberts' Extremely Conservative Obamacare Opinion

(4) Comments | Posted June 29, 2012 | 10:49 AM

Perhaps, like me, you were surprised that the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Perhaps you were even more shocked to learn that the opinion was written by Justice Roberts. But the greatest stunner of all was the fundamentally conservative argument the Chief Justice crafted to support...

Read Post

It's the Housing Bubble, Stupid

(3) Comments | Posted June 14, 2012 | 3:47 PM

Caroline Baum at Bloomberg summed up economists' bafflement with our economic stagnation in an article last week titled "Why Can't Anyone Explain This Economy?" We just finished our second straight year of record corporate profits, yet employment is stalled and overall growth is anemic....

Read Post

Libertarian Until Graduation

(45) Comments | Posted June 11, 2012 | 9:27 PM

The images of college students thronging to Ron Paul campaign events inspire a nostalgic twinge in me. Once I upon a time, I, too, needed nothing more in life than to be left free to achieve. I was oppressed by forces all around seeking to impose mediocrity, stymie the producers,...

Read Post

Lugar and Dewhurst Test the Power of the Tea Party

(1) Comments | Posted May 7, 2012 | 1:44 PM

The catastrophic performance of this year's Tea Party-endorsed presidential candidates has inspired some to imagine that the movement is dead. That kind of optimism is only possible by ignoring red state politics. The growing power of the Tea Party is apparent all up and down the Republican primary...

Read Post

Who Still Supports the Drug War?

(24) Comments | Posted April 27, 2012 | 11:06 AM

Last month Pat Robertson, televangelist and long-time icon of the religious right, announced that it's time to legalize marijuana. The firestorm of shock and indignation from all sides ... never materialized. Not a whimper.

Who still supports our prohibition strategy in the War on Drugs?

You won't find...

Read Post

A States Rights Compromise on Health Care

(13) Comments | Posted April 23, 2012 | 2:42 PM

Supreme Court arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act have liberals worried. The ACA is a vast Rube Goldberg contraption built around the individual mandate. Without the mandate, Obamacare falls apart. The collapse of Obamacare need not be a legislative nightmare. Here's an alternative approach that could meet...

Read Post

Republicans, Democrats and the "Crazy Gap"

(35) Comments | Posted April 9, 2012 | 12:02 PM

The Tea Party Movement was a surprise to nearly everyone, especially to the people who set it loose. It began in mundane fashion. A far-right interest group funded by the Koch brothers initiated protests in the wake of the Obama inauguration and coordinated coverage of the...

Read Post

The Voodoo Math of the GOP Nomination

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2012 | 11:37 AM

Right now it appears that the most likely winner of the GOP delegate race may be no one.

There will be 2286 voting delegates at the convention in Tampa in August, meaning it takes 1144 to win. Of the 810 delegates awarded so far, Romney has won

Read Post

From Organized Religion to Disorganized Religion

(15) Comments | Posted March 5, 2012 | 11:03 AM

Anyone who has traveled to Europe may have experienced surprise at finding the pews of its beautiful, ancient churches occupied only by tourists. Europeans are commonly regarded as living in a 'post-Christian' age, contrasted with the relative religious enthusiasm of their American cousins. However, the thundering roar of American Bible-thumping...

Read Post

Food Science, Climate Science and Politics

(36) Comments | Posted February 27, 2012 | 5:18 PM

As I kid I liked to get up early with Grandma and sit with her in the kitchen while she cooked breakfast. She'd give me coffee, southern-style -- thin, sweet and creamy. It was a treat because it was so wrong. Coffee, as any medical professional could have explained at...

Read Post

Let Santorum Win

(3) Comments | Posted February 16, 2012 | 10:13 AM

The reason Mitt Romney seems so ideologically elusive is that he is striving for ideological elusiveness. He is a sane, reasonable guy trying to win over a pack of political cranks without isolating the plurality of sane, reasonable folks he imagines he's going to lean on once nominated.

We've seen...

Read Post

How the GOP Lost Its Mind: Rule and Ruin

(3) Comments | Posted February 15, 2012 | 11:37 AM

In her fiery CPAC speech this year Sarah Palin accidentally outlined the thesis of the fantastic new book, Rule and Ruin, by Geoffrey Kabaservice. Palin awkwardly demanded that the party's presidential nominee be someone who always 'instinctively turns right.'

Nothing could better define the dysfunction that plagues...

Read Post

Attack of the Vampire Mortgages

(1) Comments | Posted February 14, 2012 | 3:09 PM

The U.S. Attorney General has unveiled a joint state and federal settlement with banks aimed at "righting the wrongs" of the housing bubble. It's a start -- a start that comes after the battle has mostly ended. The reality is that the window of opportunity to address this...

Read Post