2) On writing "simply" vs. "incomprehensibly." A very good post, not least because it reminds me of all of those annoying occasions in high school where some teacher would in effect scream, "No, Isabel! Big words BAD!," while I protested delicately, "Yes, but sometimes they are useful.
3)This site -- showing the hidden architectural history of New York -- is addictive. Would that there were one for familiar places in D.C. (or not, as it would distract me even further from productive endeavors...)
4)I like Megan McArdle a lot, but I'm not sure her last couple of paragraphs are right here. Isn't public employment due process case law mainly an issue for people already employed by the government? And isn't due process pretty minimal for people who are just applying for jobs? Especially with a jobs corps program like this, where the government would take pretty much all comers? Also, wouldn't the anti-discrimination law issues with this program also be pretty minimal, again because you're basically taking everyone who applies? I suppose there might be some fun ADA compliance stuff with respect to creating reasonable accommodations for disabled people who want to participate in the corps, but still.. I do suspect she's right generally about how the proliferation of federal law would make it hard to create an effective jobs stimulus, though.
5)More argh. I suppose I should just kick this to Gene Healy -- much as #1 should probably be kicked to Randy Barnett, him having the comparative advantage here and all -- but let me just state for the record that no, having a big government Republican run against a big government Democrat does not a true clash of competing visions make.