Friday links! Daze of future passed edition

Two thousand and six

Remember like 14 years ago? We were all so innocent then. A new President Bush had just discovered secret proof that we were about to discover weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. A new housing market was revitalizing American cities by adding value to what people owned already. A new kind of publication, the blog, invigorated public discourse with its jaunty tone and periodic slander. Everything seemed fresh and exciting, which is weird, because 2003 is actually old. There’s just no way to argue that it’s still happening now. Yet one cannot ignore the feeling that we remain mired in the last decade: fighting the same wars, smugly denouncing a president who could only appeal to idiots, and putting skulls on everything. Today is Friday, and everything old is not so much new again as stubbornly still here. Won’t you survey the leftovers with me?

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“We don’t know what we don’t know”

Thomas Nast's famous cartoon depicting the Tammany Ring

The foregoing quote comes from Ellen S. Miller, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, speaking to the New York Times about Super PAC donors. Tuesday did not just give us the primary that sealed the Republican nomination; it was also the day that various super PACs disclosed their funding, sort of. America’s bold experiment in calling money speech has yielded roughly eleventy gajillion dollars for both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, although Romney seems to have netted slightly more. A lot of his donors are whom you’d expect:  a coal company, a lobbyist for Altria, Haley Barbour’s nephew. Others are a little trickier, including a quarter million dollars from a corporation “with a post office box for a headquarters and no known employees.” Thomas Jefferson must be rolling over in his slave grave.

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