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June 02, 2005

Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Yet Another National Review Edition)

I suppose that this is Jonah Goldberg trying to be nice. But that still doesn't keep it from being painful to read:

The Corner on National Review Online: "SOCIAL SECURITY [Jonah Goldberg]Because I'm so cool, I watched a big chunk of some Senate hearings on Social Security on C-Span last night. It seemed to be a Democratic deal -- there were no Republican Senators asking questions when I tuned in and the panel seemed to be wildly overstocked with opponents. There was a woman who barely said a word (so I don't know if she's pro or con). And there was an economist from Yale, the Brookings gu, Peter Orszag, and Brad Delong the blogger and economist. The only outspoken witness in favor was my old friend Derrick Max. I thought Derrick did a great job, especially given the odds. But I have to say that I thought the liberals made some very strong arguments, including DeLong (who, to date, has never had a kind word for yours truly). I'm still in favor of reforming the system and I'm still in favor of private accounts, but I thought the arguments were pretty persuasive that there are serious downsides to the idea too. I'd get into specifics, but that would give Ramesh all weekend to sharpen his scalpel. So, I'll keep pondering and start in again on Monday.

Yes, in a *Democratic* Policy Committee Hearing the senators doing the questioning will be Democrats. The fact that it is apparently news to Goldberg that people like defined-benefit pensions, and that it's hard to make private accounts with a 3% real interest rate clawback a good deal for beneficiaries--that's depressing.

So this doesn't make me more predisposed to say kind words about Goldberg. Especially when you combine it with last week's Exhibit A, Jonah Goldberg's insightful comments on stem cell creation via replacement of the egg nucleus:

I HOPE [Jonah Goldberg] Dr. Woo Suk Hwang didn't go to high school in the States. That'd be one hard name to carry around.

And with last week's Exhibit B:

ATTENTION... [Jonah Goldberg] Gun nuts, second ammendment enthusiasts, military tech-geeks and keepers of the faith that the arsenal of democracy could always use a little more oomph: The DREAD weapon system:

DREAD WEAPON SYSTEM: Devastating, Jam-Proof, and Silent: Imagine a gun with no recoil, no sound, no heat, no gunpowder, no visible firing signature (muzzle flash), and no stoppages or jams of any kind...

The phrase "no recoil" is the giveaway. From elementary school physics we know that there is no such thing as a "no recoil" projectile weapon in any universe in which Newton's Third Law of Motion holds. And we do have good reason to believe Newton's Third Law holds in *this* universe.

Nevertheless--in the absence of anyone who knows any elementary school physics--it becomes a topic of heated debate at the National Review:

THE DREAD WEAPON SYSTEM [Warren Bell]: France just surrendered...

DREAD: IT'S REAL [Jonah Goldberg ]: I feel sorry for the French. It must be like doing calisthenics what with the posts saying it's real and then it's not real. Each time they hear it's real they gotta drop to the ground in surrender. Anyway, stay down Frenchies. It's real. Here's the Patent.... Here's an explanation how it works from a reader...

DREAD [Jonah Goldberg]: Email is split so far... from a military guy: "Military.com is a reputable site. I cant vouch for the artists conception of the weapon but for the most part they are too savvy to be duped by scammers."

DREAD: ARGGGHHH [Jonah Goldberg]: I've been inundated with email from physicists. I really don't want to be the clearinghouse for this....

Remember: Newton's Third Law: Gun initially stationary. Bang. Projectile moves forward. Gun moves back.

Posted by DeLong at June 2, 2005 12:22 PM