Archive for July, 2004

July 27, 2004

HMM — THIS IS INTERESTING:

A major American Muslim charity and seven of its officers were charged Tuesday with providing millions of dollars in support to Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist organization blamed for dozens of suicide bomber attacks in Israel. . . .

The indictment names the foundation along with its president, Shukri Abu Baker; chairman, Ghassan Elashi; executive director, Haitham Maghawri; and four others. The charges include conspiracy, providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, tax evasion and money laundering.

No real surprise, but I’m sure some people will question the timing. (Via Michelle Malkin, who has much more information).

UPDATE: Bill Hobbs notes that the Holy Land Foundation controls Iraq’s internet domain, which is quite odd. Evidence that all these guys work together?

July 27, 2004

ABORTION AND CLASS: Earlier, I noted how Ann Althouse critiqued Barbara Ehrenreich’s invocation of “grubby lower-class” lifestyles in her piece defending her abortion. Likewise, this widely-derided piece by Amy Richards about aborting two of her three triplets famously invoked similar concerns: “When I found out about the triplets, I felt like: It’s not the back of a pickup at 16, but now I’m going to have to move to Staten Island. I’ll never leave my house because I’ll have to care for these children. I’ll have to start shopping only at Costco and buying big jars of mayonnaise.”

I’m pro-choice, and I don’t think that superficial-seeming reasons for exercising one’s freedom are necessarily arguments against that freedom. (I think you should be able to have an assault weapon or an abortion, regardless of whether others think you need one.) But the snippy upper-middle-class tones of both Ehrenreich and Richards say something about the pro-choice movement, and the larger women’s movement. Something about a kind of economic aspiration, coupled with snobbery, that seems rather unattractive, and largely unexamined. Considering bien pensant attitudes toward snobbery and economic aspiration among, say, Republicans, that’s kind of interesting.

It turns out that there are other interesting factors — and perhaps even economic ones — regarding that Times piece.

UPDATE: A reader suggests reading this from Slate, too.

July 27, 2004

AN EX-GIRLFRIEND TURNED INSTAPUNDIT CORRESPONDENT (yeah, I’ll recruit ‘em any way I can) emails this report:

I took these photos at today’s Kerry rally in Norfolk, and no, I haven’t turned into a Democrat. I was accompanying one of my young workers – he’s a Kerry fan. Just because you’re my former sweetie, I am sending you the first pic. Look closely at the foreground in the first photo – they inadvertently set the platform up in front of the French flag!!!

There’s a lot of that inadvertence stuff going around.

UPDATE: Or is it the French flag? Close examination shows that it’s flying from a flagpole on the left, but then the colors are wrong — it should be blue, white, red from left to right. Reader Wallace Winfrey, who’s been trying to find it on Google, emails: “It’s the mystery flag!” Go figure. Meanwhile my Norfolk correspondent sends this update:

The Norfolk rally was so poorly executed, it’s hard to believe it’s leading up to the convention. There was almost no advance work done – obviously stage placement was off, there was a cheesy-looking fake plant at the podium, the speeches leading up to Kerry were looooong and boring, the crowd was fairly sparse and wasn’t inspired to cheer much – they threw a few t-shirts from the stage to try to rev them up. That worked for a couple of minutes. The Bush supporters were loud for their size, and appeared to be more enthusiastic. It was really kind of a bust, considering that the convention is going on this week.

It’s shocking: Apparently, the Kerry advance team handled things so badly that they screwed up the French flag! That’s not going to do much to heal the transatlantic rift. . . .

ANOTHER UPDATE: Several readers say that it’s the signal flag for the letter “T” or “Tango” — and it does look right. But why would they be flying that flag at a Kerry rally, even if it is on a Naval base? Is there a French connection somewhere?

The answer comes from No Caliban: “The easiest mnemonic for the flag was, of course, Last Tango in Paris.” Makes sense to me! Another mystery explained in record time, thanks to the miracle of the blogosphere!

MORE: The information keeps coming. A reader informs me that it wasn’t actually on a naval base:

The event wasn’t actually held on any of the military installations in the area – that’s actually prohibited by law (overt political campaigning -if an incumbent can wrangle a legitimate function at a military base, that’s a whole nother story). This rally was at a place called Nauticus (link), a maritime themed museum in downtown Norfolk (actually, not too far, but on the other side of some water, from the PETA main HQ building…).

From the Instagirlfriend picture, it looks like they set up the stage between the Nauticus facility building and the battleship, parked right next to it. The ship which, while still on the US Naval registry of ships, is not on active status. It’s pseudo-carefully mothballed – the public isn’t allowed to climb through it, just on the main deck and through a couple of carefully selected outer areas. From the looks of it, they were down in the little unused ‘no-man’s land’ – it’s actually a pretty cramped little space – the USSS guys probably loved it because it is hidden from view by just about everything. Not a lot of room though – it’s barely wider than a good sized alley, but it does have the advantage of offering camera angles that include the tips of 16 inch Naval Guns. The fact that the ship is still an official US Navy vessel (unlike, say, the USS Alabama in Mobile) is probably why the rally wasn’t on the ship itself, which offers a LOT more space on the fantail than the little alleyway where Kerry actually was.

From my recollection of the overall size of the area, I’d be surprised if the overall spectator head count for the event was over 2-300 people – there just isn’t any room for more than that. I’ve noticed looking through the Google/Yahoo news photos of the event that there aren’t any wide angle crowd shots – probably because there wasn’t much of a crowd. I also noticed that none of the shots give a clear indication, like the one you got hold of, about how dinky the venue they used really is (overall size wise). She mentions the ‘cheesy plant’ – and ‘cheesy plant’ appears in a lot of the ‘candidate on the stump’ pix. Another indication of how small the place is, if one frikkin plant is good enough for camouflage!

Yeah, if you look at pictures like this one you get a very different sense of the locale. Well, here’s another picture she sent, with a panoramic view. (Click it for a bigger version). I’d guess it’s more than 2-300 people, but not a lot more. And it’s Insta-ex-girlfriend, as we haven’t been an item since some time in the Reagan administration. But as I’ve mentioned before, I stay in touch. The old boys’ network has nothing on the old girlfriend network!

STILL MORE: Reader Will Roden — who clearly needs a hobby — emails:

I count 105 people in the picture, not including the sniper on the roof or the man walking by the news trucks. It looks like a good portion of the attendees are blocked from view by the tree. Based on the density of the crowd, I’ll guess that there are no more than 70 people behind it. I wonder how many in the crowd are media and other campaign staff.

10 minutes of studying this picture, and I still haven’t found Waldo.

I haven’t verified this count myself, and don’t plan to. . . .

July 27, 2004

UH-OH — looks like the Evil Empire might be back.

July 27, 2004

HERE’S A ROUNDUP ON STEM-CELL POLITICS — an issue on which the Democrats are clearly superior, in my opinion, to the Republicans. And they seem to think so, too: “In the runup to the US presidential election in November, the Democrats are positioning themselves as the party of stem cell research.”

July 27, 2004

MORE CONVENTION-BLOGGING:

Had a Boston taxi driver yesterday from Iraq. He’s going back home to visit his parents in a few weeks. He was none-too-pleased with the Democrats. He believes that Democrats hate his country and want Saddam to be back in power. He was adamant that things are much better in Iraq than the media is saying … and he’s at a loss as to why all of these media types won’t tell the truth.

I can’t imagine why that would be.

Meanwhile OxBlog’s Patrick Belton — as part of a long tick-tock account of yesterday — observes:

I discuss the hidden messages being conveyed by all of the veteran symbology with the delegate next to me. We decide the message transmitted by all of the invocation of veterans is:

Vietnam=Iraq
mendacious government at the time of Vietnam = Bush
speaking the truth to power = veterans, Kerry, and RFK

This, of course, puts the Democratic back on the solid and successful footing of the Chicago convention of 1968.

Ouch. He calls Clinton’s speech “brilliant,” though, and notes that many delegates wish Clinton could run again. And James Taranto calls Gore’s speech “probably the best speech he’s ever given.” Clinton/Gore in ’04!

MORE: Several readers think that I’m reading Taranto wrong, and they may be right. Here’s the quote:

Gore’s speech was almost as levelheaded–though nowhere near as memorable–as his Dec. 13, 2000, concession, probably the best speech he’s ever given.

On second reading, I think they’re right, and he’s saying that the concession speech was the best speech he’s ever given, which would make this the second best speech.

Hey, that’s not bad. In the words of Buzz Aldrin from The Simpsons: “Second comes right after first, you know!”

July 27, 2004

A KERRY IRAQ VIDEO? Where could they have gotten that idea?

July 27, 2004

CHRIS MUIR’S DAY BY DAY would make a nice counterpoint to Doonesbury on editorial pages. I hope he gets a syndication deal, though I suspect that they’re not going to want to give him a lot of exposure before the election.

July 27, 2004

NETWORK RATINGS ARE IN “FREE FALL” over convention coverage. Bloggers have been watching. I wonder if blog traffic is up?

July 27, 2004

MY PLEASURE-READING has been somewhat constrained lately, as I’m reading a lot more for work. But I enjoyed Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon — a sort of cyber-noir story — very much, so I ordered the sequel, Broken Angel, though so far (I’m only about 50 pages in) it’s not quite as good. It’s also dedicated to John Pilger, though the bad guys are the U.N. — depicted as an institution run by greedy moneyed interests who foment violence for their own nefarious purposes. Not entirely implausible, actually. . . .

July 27, 2004

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Running scared? Maybe.

July 27, 2004

ANOTHER REASON TO SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE: “France annuls first gay wedding:”

The mayor, Noel Mamere of the Green Party, was suspended for a month after defying government warnings that he would be breaking the law when he wed the two men in the town of Begles.

Justice Minister Dominique Perben had already declared the wedding invalid.

The prosecutor in the case said that the marriage was not in compliance with French law.

I guess Karl Rove’s right-wing influence has been felt even across the Atlantic. . . .

July 27, 2004

SAY IT AIN’T SO, JON! Jonathan Adler suggests that state attorneys general are showboating peddlers of dubious legal arguments.

July 27, 2004

HEH. And without even Photoshopping.

July 27, 2004

SANDY BERGER UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal editorializes:

We’ve all had experience with the office Oscar Madison. Yet notwithstanding Bill Clinton’s transparently insincere effort last week to laugh off the docs-in-socks scandal as a testament to Sandy Berger’s sloppy ways–that Sandy!–the precision with which the former National Security Adviser zeroed in on one specific document in the National Archives suggests focus, not absentmindedness.

Which raises the obvious question: What was in that document that Mr. Berger so badly wanted to keep under his hat, er, trousers? The only way to answer that question is for the Justice Department to release it.

The document itself may, of course, be too sensitive to release in its entirety. But I’d sure like to know what Sandy was trying to remove. Or, perhaps, insert.

July 27, 2004

MICKEY KAUS: “Do you think that NPR and the rest of the organized press would have made such a huge fuss about the 9/11 Commission report if they’d known the result would be this: An improving economy and the handover of authority in Iraq are among the likely factors influencing these [more favorable voter assessments of Bush].

July 27, 2004

HMM, THIS IS INTERESTING:

When the Bush administration took over the Pentagon’s beleaguered inspector general office in 2002, officials found something startling: The director’s office, at some point, had been electronically bugged. . . .

Mr. Schmitz finally came on board a year into the Bush administration. He set out to right a ship dogged by charges of corruption and cronyism. But he also had to deal with an electronic bug apparently left over from eight years of the Clinton administration.

I wonder whose bug it was? According to the story, at least, we never found out.

July 27, 2004

BILL CLINTON gets a good review — but not from everyone.

July 27, 2004

CATFIGHT!

July 26, 2004

MULTILATERALISM: Russian divisions to Iraq? “Russian support for US occupation forces would make scorched earth of Senator John Kerry’s attack on the Bush administration’s foreign policy, namely its failure to form effective alliances. For Russian President Vladimir Putin, the chance to make scorched earth of Fallujah is even more tempting.”

Color me skeptical.

July 26, 2004

MATT WELCH:

But these songs, no matter how interesting individually, say something quite different when placed together consciously by a political party itching to, in Jimmy Carter’s words tonight, “restore the judgment and maturity to our government.” You can imagine that Democrats want to identify themselves with the more thoughtful and edgy protest pop of the sixties generation that produces all their political stars. But, much like the Party’s incoherent foreign policy approach, these songs only know what they’re against, not what they’re for. . . .

Note what’s missing here, and the rest of Gore’s speech — any sense of what a Democratic president might do with Iraq, or Iran, or Saudi Arabia; any sense of just whatever happened to the Al Gore who tried to convince Americans in 1998 that putting the military squeeze on Saddam Hussein was one of the world’s most urgent priorities, and any position whatsoever on the Middle East democratization project.

They’re talking about what they care about. And what they care about is beating Bush.

July 26, 2004

REINVENTING THE CONVENTION: Jeff Jarvis has a manifesto.

July 26, 2004

THE CAMERA DOES NOT LOVE John Kerry — though this photo gave me a pang of geek-to-geek sympathy.

July 26, 2004

ANN ALTHOUSE is simul-blogging the Convention. Excerpt:

A little film about Carter. Carter in the flesh emerges. He served in the military, he informs us, and I slip back into my semi-coma, as it’s clear where this is going. He served under two Presidents, Truman and Eisenhower, who had themselves served in the military, and because of this they had the proper judgment about how to use the military, judgment that is sorely lacking now under Bush. And presumably under Clinton, but let’s not mention that. (And was Carter for Dole?) And let’s not even think about what we would say about this principle of military service if a woman candidate seeks the Presidency some time in the future.

Read the whole thing. For Carter, it’s just more of the same.

UPDATE: Here’s the text of Carter’s speech, which contains this self-contradictory bit:

[W]e cannot do our duty as citizens and patriots if we pursue an agenda that polarizes and divides our country.

Glad you’re not doing that, Jimmy.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More Carter-related thoughts here.

MORE: This hurts:

Jimmy Carter seemd unnatural in the role of doddering pit bull, the last guy in the room who should be yapping about North Korea’s “nuclear menace.”

Ouch.

STILL MORE: Jacob T. Levy: “Still, I’m curious to see whether the mainstream press actually buys the claim that last night wasn’t loaded with Bush-bashing. Even Clinton’s wasn’t hidden; it was just coated in his honeyed voice. Carter’s would have been astonishingly nasty, if I still had the capacity to be astonished by Carter.”

July 26, 2004

BILL CLINTON on how much gun control has cost the Democrats.

July 26, 2004

BRENDAN LOY has been blogging C-SPAN and has noted a lot of interesting tidbits.

July 26, 2004

ANOTHER CONVENTION BLOG that didn’t make the cut initially.

July 26, 2004

THIS PHOTO OF KERRY at the Kennedy Space Center is not very flattering at all.

Rand Simberg, meanwhile, has comments on what Kerry said.

July 26, 2004

EUGENE VOLOKH looks at yet another lame “Kerryism” at Slate. Eugene observes: “I’ve criticized Kerryisms many times in the past; maybe I’ve reached the point of diminishing returns. But it just galls me to see this sort of stuff — not substantive, not funny, just empty snideness descending into self-parody — in a magazine of Slate’s prominence and quality.”

I agree, and I’d think with Slate up for sale, they’d want to avoid this sort of thing.

July 26, 2004

LAST WEEK’S KETCHUP TASTE TEST, comparing Heinz ketchup with W Ketchup, led to some complaints that I was ignoring a worthy third competitor: Bush Country Ketchup.

Because this is a Fair And Balanced Weblog, I immediately ordered a bottle from their website. Today, I gave it the test, and included the W Ketchup again to make it a 3-way comparison. Once again, Heinz is the winner, but this time it was actually close. The Bush Country Ketchup is, like W, sweeter. But it’s got a rounder, more tomatoey, less processed flavor. The W ketchup came in third, though it actually seemed better than it was the first time around. Perhaps (as one reader suggested) it simply needed to breathe, like a fine wine. . . .

Anyway, Heinz is still the winner in the Ketchup wars. Any political conclusions you want to draw from that are entirely your own.

July 26, 2004

SEAN HACKBARTH is rounding up convention-related stuff.

July 26, 2004

ANDREW SULLIVAN is holding another pledge week.

I recommend that he appear on public radio — the tipjar donations poured in during and after my appearance on Brian Lehrer’s show today. No, really — go figure.

July 26, 2004

NOT WITH A BANG, BUT WITH AN eBAY: A political dream dies.

July 26, 2004

HERE’S LOADS MORE ON ORRIN HATCH’S DUMB COPYRIGHT BILL, from Ernest Miller.

July 26, 2004

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT REASON’S CONVENTION BLOG, which features Matt Welch and Tim Blair. And don’t forget Ken Layne, of course!

What’s the best way to kill the spirit after a fine three days of sunburn, booze, cruel yet majestic mountain hikes and campfire-seared steaks? Just turn on the NBC Nightly News, and feel the joy drain from your heart.

Sounds like Gray Davis isn’t the only dementor in Boston this week. Glad I stayed home!

July 26, 2004

ANOTHER CONVENTION BLOGGER WRITES:

Unbelievably, Gray Davis is here. He acts as a sort of dementor upon the gathering of otherwise happy delegates and media types. Some folks survive political smash-ups. There was a big party for George McGovern last night, for example, and all the Dems love him. He lost with –in their eyes– honor. But some, like Gray, had such bad exits that they ought to exile themselves for the good of the general mood.

Ouch.

July 26, 2004

THE BBC’S PRESENTATION OF ISRAEL is deemed dishonest: “[W]e find that the BBC is in persistent breach of its duties of fairness, accuracy and impartiality when it covers the Middle East.”

Can’t say I’m shocked to hear this.

July 26, 2004

TOM MAGUIRE is eagerly anticipating Christie Vilsack’s speech, and wonders if she’ll expand on her earlier comments regarding improper diction among some groups of Americans.

July 26, 2004

THE ECONOBLOGOSPHERE is well represented at this week’s Carnival of the Capitalists, which features business- and economics-related blog posts from all over.

July 26, 2004

I’LL BE ON BRIAN LEHRER’S SHOW on WNYC in just a few minutes. You can listen live here.

July 26, 2004

AS REGULAR READERS WILL KNOW, I’m no fan of Orrin Hatch. His latest draconian copyright bill doesn’t make me like him any more:

The Senate Judiciary Committee will consider a bill Thursday that would hold technology companies liable for any product they make that encourages people to steal copyright materials.

Critics say the bill would effectively outlaw peer-to-peer networks and prohibit the development of new technologies, including devices like the iPod. The Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act (S. 2560) was introduced last month by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), head of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The legislation would hold a company liable that “intentionally induces” a person to infringe copyright.

It’s a disgrace.

UPDATE: Reader Jim Breed emails: “Is Hatch out after Xerox? Sounds like it applies to photocopiers, as well as IPOD.”

Personally, I’m mystified as to why Republicans want to help the entertainment industry.

July 26, 2004

MARK STEYN writes on Sandy Berger and war revisionism. Max Cleland is mentioned, too:

Take, for example, Max Cleland, Vietnam veteran and former Georgia senator. Last week, speaking in his role as Kerry campaign mascot, he said Bush went to war with Iraq because “he basically concluded his daddy was a failed president” and he “wanted to be Mr. Macho Man” so he “flat-out lied.”

Blistering stuff, huh? Would this be the same Max Cleland who voted to authorize war with Iraq in the U.S. Senate? Perhaps, as he’s so insightful about the president’s psychology, he could enlighten us as to his own reasons for wanting war with Iraq?

If I were planning the Republican Convention, I’d make sure that some of the nationally televised primetime was devoted to a video featuring clips of what Democrats said about the war then, and now.

July 26, 2004

CONVENTION BLOG-COVERAGE ROUNDUP: Here’s my MSNBC post on convention blogging. Here’s a link-rich item by John Fund. Here’s a big roundup post by Daniel Drezner, too. And don’t miss the MSNBC convention roundup page.

The Command Post election page has more, including a tip that the National Journal’s Early Bird is free (with registration) during the conventions.

I’ll be on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer show at about 11:20 am (ET) today, too.

July 26, 2004

PUTTING PROTESTERS IN A CAMP: Here’s what one convention blogger reports from Boston:

Rather than letting people protest near The Fleet Center, they are putting them in a camp….at least, that’s what it looks like. I walked through it this morning. The protester’s cage is about a block away, a maze of overhead netting, chain link fencing and razor wire will be the protesting area.

It’s more crushing of dissent!

UPDATE: More crushing of dissent here:

Organisers at the Democratic Party convention in United States have removed Aljazeera’s logotype banner from its skybox without assigning reasons. . . .

“We found that the banner disappeared for some reason,” Aljazeera’s Washington bureau chief Hafiz al-Mirazi said.

I blame John Ashcroft! Er, or did anyone see Sandy Berger hanging around, and think to check his pants?

July 26, 2004

“INSTAFUEHRER?” Ve haff vays of making you blog.

July 26, 2004

VIRGINIA POSTREL: “When I was in New York a few weeks ago, a friend in the magazine business told me he thinks the ferocious Bush hating that he sees in New York is a way of calming the haters’ fears of terrorism.”

UPDATE: Alex Bensky emails:

I happen to be a fan of Ms. Postrel–and of you, for that matter–but is her comment about hatred of Bush being a way of displacing fear of terrorism supposed to be some sort of keen insight? It’s been obvious and this is not the first issue on which this sort of defense mechanism has been used.

During the Cold War, whenever I heard someone talk about nuclear weapons causing fear and distorting our society, I would point out that the United Kingdom had a sizable arsenal and effective delivery systems for its nuclear weaponry. The UK could, if it wished, cause incalculable damage to the United States and there wasn’t a soul in the U.S. whose sleep was troubled by British atomic bombs. The problem wasn’t nuclear weapons; it was who had them.

I’m upset and scared too by the fact of an implacably hostile and maniacal Islamist movement that cannot be mollified, is not susceptible to negotiation, and since I am an American and a Jew has targeted me twice over.

I sure wish I could decide that the problem was George Bush and not millions of savage Islamists. I sure wish Lucy Lawless was about to ring my doorbell and ask if she could come up and get out of these wet things.

The point may be obvious, but it’s not often publicly stated. However — except for substituting Salma Hayek for Lucy Lawless — I agree with the rest.

July 26, 2004

ARTHUR CHRENKOFF has posted another long and link-rich roundup of good news from Afghanistan.

July 26, 2004

DARFUR UPDATE: Rajan Rishyakaran has his Sudan genocide update posted. Not a lot of good news there, I’m afraid.

UPDATE: More here.

July 25, 2004

ANOTHER WIN for Lance Armstrong. Some people were spitting mad about it.

July 25, 2004

HOWARD KURTZ NOTES SOME MEDIA SPIN:

Former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV’s allegations that President Bush misled the country about Saddam Hussein seeking uranium from Africa was a huge media story, fueled by an investigation into who outed his CIA-operative wife. According to a database search, NBC carried 40 stories, CBS 30 stories, ABC 18, The Washington Post 96, the New York Times 70, the Los Angeles Times 48.

But a Senate Intelligence Committee report that contradicts some of Wilson’s account and supports Bush’s State of the Union claim hasn’t received nearly as much attention. “NBC Nightly News” and ABC’s “World News Tonight” have each done a story. But CBS hasn’t reported it — despite a challenge by Republican Chairman Ed Gillespie on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” noting that the network featured Wilson on camera 15 times. A spokeswoman says CBS is looking into the matter.

Ed Morrissey offers a handy — and striking — chart of who’s covered what, and more importantly who hasn’t, and observes: “Either this demonstrates a severe liberal bias in the media, or a mass epidemic of attention-deficit disorder amongst American journalists.”

To quote Mickey Kaus: “Yoo hoo! Poynter people! Over here.” . . . Though they seem to be missing in action on this story, as well.

And Wilson’s missing, too — from Kerry’s website.

UPDATE: Rand Simberg suggests that Media Attention Deficit Disorder calls for a massive government program aimed at finding a cure.

July 25, 2004

SILENT RUNNING has its regular roundup of Sunday talking-head shows.

July 25, 2004

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL has interviewed some of the Convention bloggers and published the results. There are photos, too.

July 25, 2004

ROGER SIMON writes on the “Zabar’s zeitgeist.”

That explains it. I was always more of a Balducci’s guy. Either way, it’s a niche market.

July 25, 2004

SANDY BERGER UPDATE — very interesting plot twist:

Berger has acknowledged removing his handwritten notes taken during a review of classified documents. That’s a violation of National Archives policy. And he says he mistakenly took the copies of the aforementioned memo, different drafts written by Bush-bashing anti-terrorism coordinator Richard A. Clarke. Some of those copies remain missing.

But a new scenario has Berger, who only took notes on an initial visit last fall, placing material — again, related to the millennium terrorists threats — into the files on his second and third visits.

Plus, there’s this interesting development:

And adding an entirely new layer of intrigue to the story is word that telephone calls made by Berger during those latter two visits may have been monitored by an “unauthorized agency.”

Hmm. Who might that be, I wonder? (Via Dave J.)

July 25, 2004

THE MARRIAGE PROTECTION ACT doesn’t seem to do anything to, you know, protect marriage, despite the claims of its supporters. At least, I don’t think it’s making my marriage any safer. And I don’t see that it makes marriage as an institution safer, either.

I also think that it’s of dubious constitutionality, and even more dubious wisdom. I’m not sure that it’s even tactically smart from a political sense — but I suppose I could be wrong about that.

July 25, 2004

HUGH HEWITT’S NEW BOOK has risen onto the New York Times bestseller list. Quoth Hugh: “I’ll take #35 and a mention over #36 and anonymity any day. Print off a copy and take it with you on your book store hunt for the book.” He credits the blogosphere.

July 25, 2004

JOHN STOSSEL ON JOHN EDWARDS: Reportedly, Barbara Walters didn’t like this piece.

July 25, 2004

JOHN KERRY ON TERRORISM: “Oddly passive.”

July 25, 2004

SOME POTENTIAL FOREIGN POLICY LESSONS — first, this report on Arafat and The Wall:

Palestinian businessmen have made millions of dollars supplying cement for Israel’s controversial wall with the full knowledge of Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader and one of the wall’s most vocal critics.

A damning report by Palestinian legislators, which has been seen by The Sunday Telegraph, concludes that Arafat did nothing to stop the deals although he publicly condemned the structure as a “crime against humanity”.

The report claims that the cement was sold with the knowledge of senior officials at the Palestinian ministry of national economy, and close advisers to Arafat.

It concludes that officials were bribed to issue import licences for the cement to importers and businessmen working for Israelis.

No wonder he gets along so well with Jacques Chirac:

When French presidents invoke “the national interest,” often as not it means they’ve cut a deal they’d really rather not explain. But when Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan came courting President Jacques Chirac in Paris last week, hoping the ever-reluctant French would back Turkey’s bid to join the European Union, the cash-and-carry policymaking was right out front.

As one senior Turkish official told NEWSWEEK, the intention was to “spread a package of economic benefits” before Chirac that “France could not reject.” Sure enough, Turkish Airlines announced it would purchase 36 Airbus planes worth more than $1.5 billion. Erdogan also hinted he might be in the market for France’s big-ticket nuclear technology. And just as surely, after years of implicit opposition and fence-straddling, Chirac suddenly decided that support for Turkey’s candidacy suits “the national interests” of France.

Perhaps we should switch our foreign policy approach to a mixture of bribes and beheadings. It seems to work.

July 25, 2004

BY NOW, everybody in the blogosphere knows that Wonkette will be covering the Democratic Convention for MTV. Some people wonder how a blogger can rise so high, so fast, and some of them think it’s because Ana Marie Cox is more attractive than your average blogger. But me, I credit the much-coveted Cappozzolaunch!

July 25, 2004

“BOUNCED BLOGGERS” — a piece on bloggers who didn’t get to blog the Democratic Convention.

July 25, 2004

ERIC MULLER has more criticisms of Daniel Okrent’s apologia:

An unashamed product of the city whose name it bears? Since when is the paper called “The Manhattan South of About 120th Street Times?” The notion that the Times’s coverage (especially its cultural, fashion, and social coverage, which is mostly what Okrent writes about today) reflects the interests of most of the people who live in Northern Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, and damned near all of the people who live in Staten Island, is laughable. The truth is that the New York Times (in its cultural, fashion, and social coverage) is a newspaper that is an unashamed product of a segment of the city whose name it bears.

More comments on Okrent here and note Ed Morrissey’s observation:

If the Times merely represented itself as a city newspaper, I’d buy that. But the Times holds itself out as “The Paper of Record”, a national newspaper with national coverage and impact. If the Times truly wants to be that, then the editors need to quit relying on The Big Apple as The Big Excuse and position the paper to reflect its market. Otherwise, with Okrent’s admission, it can no longer claim to be the Paper of Record, but the Paper of the Liberal Mindset, analogous to the fine but overtly slanted London Guardian, the mouthpiece of the Labourites.

I think Okrent’s column may actually mark the first step toward such a move, perhaps as part of a downsizing and re-branding effort dictated by market forces. The New York Times as a paper that serves a niche market? It’s already become that. They’re just recognizing it.

I wonder, though, if the new version of the paper will be able to afford a subscription to Google?

UPDATE: Patterico, however, is praising Okrent’s piece and suggests that the Los Angeles Times could learn from his example.

July 25, 2004

THEY KNOW IT WHEN THEY SEE IT:

Michael Moore’s contentious film Fahrenheit 9/11 has opened in Poland, with some film critics likening it to totalitarian propaganda.

Gazeta Wyborcza reviewer Jacek Szczerba called the film a “foul pamphlet”.

He said it was too biased to be called a documentary and was similar to Nazi propaganda director Leni Riefenstahl. . . .

“In criticising Moore, I have to admit that he has certain abilities – Leni Riefenstahl had them too,” Mr Szczerba said in his review.

Ouch. Ann Althouse observes:

It is heartening to see that exposure to propaganda breeds resistance to it.

There are many huge differences between Moore and Leni Riefenstahl, though. Quite aside from the fact that she was working in support of Hitler and Moore is working against Bush (and Bush is no Hitler, despite some noise to the contrary), Riefenstahl would have snorted at the lack of artistry in Moore’s work.

No doubt.

July 25, 2004

BLOGGERS AT WAR: Porphyrogenitus survived basic training and offers some observations, though he’s now off at Advanced Individual Training.

July 25, 2004

ISRAEL CREATES an all-female combat air squadron — and there’s some interesting speculation as to its mission.

UPDATE: I don’t know if any squadron members are shown here.

July 25, 2004

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY LIBERAL DOCUMENTARIES, and so few conservative or libertarian ones? That’s a question asked in this article from the Washington Post.

One reason, of course, is lack of infrastructure — film festivals, distributors, and powers-that-be in general tend to give films that take the “wrong” stance a chilly reception. I don’t expect to see Michael Wilson at Sundance, for example.

But the article does ask: “why couldn’t there be, for example, a documentary about the rise of political correctness on American campuses? ”

Why, indeed?

UPDATE: Larry Ribstein thinks that the market for documentaries is inherently left-leaning. I’m not so sure about that.

July 25, 2004

MORE CRUSHING OF DISSENT: A controversial film that makes the White House look bad? Can’t have that, says the American Film Institute. We’re patriots!

July 25, 2004

TOM MAGUIRE notes a major factual failure at The New York Times. (“Too bad they don’t have Google – maybe the Times could spring for a subscription.”)

I wonder if this is connected to Okrent’s admission?

July 25, 2004

ED DRISCOLL notes a Daniel Okrent admission. “Okrent’s admission has repercussions throughout virtually all of America’s media.”

July 25, 2004

GUINNESS ICE CREAM? Why not?

July 24, 2004

ANOTHER ITEM FROM THE ONION turns out to be eerily prophetic.

I think I remarked a while back that The Onion wasn’t as funny as it used to be. Maybe it’s not their fault. Maybe the world has just gotten too bizarre for parody. . . .

July 24, 2004

HORSE. BARN. DOOR:

Officials at the National Archives were so concerned about Samuel R. Berger’s removal of classified documents last year that they imposed new security measures governing the review of sensitive material, including the installation of full-time surveillance cameras, government officials said Friday.

The new policy, issued March 31 to security officers at the archives, lays out toughened steps for safeguarding research rooms used by nongovernmental employees who are given special access to classified material. And it demands “continuous monitoring” of anyone reviewing such material.

The restrictions were put in place as a direct result of the Berger episode, said a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity surrounding the continuing investigation. . . .

National Archives officials have reached no judgments on Mr. Berger’s motives in removing the documents, and one law enforcement official said, “We don’t know what he was thinking when he did it.”

Nonetheless, officials at the National Archives viewed the episode as troubling enough that they reviewed their security procedures and issued new guidelines for dealing with nongovernmental researchers like Mr. Berger.

Wouldn’t want any more of those inadvertent losses, I guess.

July 24, 2004

DAVID BROOKS NOTES that the 9/11 Commission is echoing the blogosphere:

We are facing, the report notes, a loose confederation of people who believe in a perverted stream of Islam that stretches from Ibn Taimaya to Sayyid Qutb. Terrorism is just the means they use to win converts to their cause.

It seems like a small distinction – emphasizing ideology instead of terror – but it makes all the difference, because if you don’t define your problem correctly, you can’t contemplate a strategy for victory. . . .

We’ve had an investigation into our intelligence failures; we now need a commission to analyze our intellectual failures. Simply put, the unapologetic defenders of America often lack the expertise they need. And scholars who really know the Islamic world are often blind to its pathologies. They are so obsessed with the sins of the West, they are incapable of grappling with threats to the West.

We also need to mount our own ideological counteroffensive.

He’s right.

UPDATE: Reader M. Simon emails:

It actually started a long time ago. It was recently articulated by an Iraqi. “Democracy, whiskey, sexy.”

Brooks is too smart by half.

OTOH you can’t fool me because I’m too stupid. i.e. The Emperor has no clothes.

Our very being is our best advertisement, offensive, and counter offensive all rolled into one.

Have you forgotten why they hate us?

No. It’s occurred to many other readers that if Saudi oil weren’t in Saudi hands, it would make a big difference, too.

This post by N.Z. Bear from 2002 anticipates Brooks’ point — which doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth making again.

July 24, 2004

ANN ALTHOUSE CORRECTS BARBARA EHRENREICH: “Being lower middle class doesn’t make you dirty or despicable.”

July 24, 2004

MORE CRUSHING OF DISSENT! “Dems bar Nader from Convention.”

July 24, 2004

SLATE IS FOR SALE, but what I found most interesting was this bit: “Slate drew 4.6 million unique visitors last month.”

I’m not sure how they count it, but some blogs — including this one — aren’t too terribly far behind that number.

July 24, 2004

DO FREE DOWNLOADS HURT SALES? Well, the 9/11 Commission Report is number one on Amazon even though it’s available for free online.

Not dispositive, I suppose, but interesting.

July 24, 2004

COLBERT KING writes that Sandy Berger is a test case for governing-class accountability:

Keep the focus where it belongs. Did Sandy Berger violate the rules regarding the protection of classified information entrusted to him, and if he did, will he be held accountable for his actions? . . .

Well, I don’t know Berger or even love him except as my neighbor, in accordance with the Scriptures. But I do know that there are men and women in service to our nation who have paid a dear price for their mishandling of classified materials. They, too, were presumably known and loved by others. Nonetheless, their failure to properly safeguard sensitive information landed them in trouble with their government. Should Sandy Berger, because he is connected, be given a pass for taking classified materials out of the National Archives without permission? . . .

The question is, was Sandy Berger’s violation due to negligence — at best — or was it deliberate — at worst? And should he be held accountable for his actions? Or is he too important and well-connected to be treated like everyone else? What’s the answer, Washington?

What, indeed?

July 24, 2004

VALERIE PLAME BREACHES SECURITY? Tom Maguire notes a rather odd defense of Joe Wilson. (Read this post from Maguire, too.) They seem to be getting more and more strained.

Add that to Peter Beinart’s on-air crackup over Sandy Berger and this stuff isn’t a very auspicious sign for the Democrats.

Perhaps they need to take a hint from this poll.

The Kerry Campaign seems to have figured things out, though — the Joe Wilson “RestoreHonesty.com” website is gone from the Kerry page. And — as Nick Queen notes — searches for Wilson on the Kerry site now turn up nothing.

Wilson’s been airbrushed, which seems like an admission that those who have been defending him were wasting their time. (For those interested in history, here’s a preserved copy. Reportedly, they’ve even cleared the Google cache on this one! [LATER: Google cache found here.])

UPDATE: Rand Simberg observes: “Somehow, I suspect that, even after getting rid of Berger and Wilson, he’s still got a lot of ballast to dump if he wants to win this fall, and he won’t be able to do it without alienating the base. And his judgement (or lack thereof) in embracing them in the first place is one of the reasons that I’ll have to hold my nose and vote for Bush this fall.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Wow, there’s lots of airbrushing going on over at the Kerry site.

But Wilson’s still speaking at the Democratic convention!

And he’s still signed on for the Salon cruise!

You know, for the people who don’t care about credibility. But for those who do, you can always search the web for RestoreHonesty.com and find the truth right at the top.. . . .

July 24, 2004

I’M SUPPOSED TO BE ON CNN at 3:00 Eastern today, talking about weblogs and politics.

UPDATE: Short, but not bad. It’ll air again Sunday at 5, if you missed it.

ANOTHER UPDATE: This story from the CNN website contains some additional quotes from the interview.

July 23, 2004

IT’S BEEN A WEEK OF TERRORISTS, STOLEN DOCUMENTS, and other disturbing news — I think it’s time for some catblogging. This is our other cat, Precious, as photographed by the Insta-Daughter. Happy Friday night!

July 23, 2004

GIRLIE MEN T-SHIRTS? I prefer the Security Mom ones myself. . . .

July 23, 2004

JAY ROSEN has thoughts on national greatness journalism.

July 23, 2004

LINDA RONSTADT GETS WALKED OUT ON AGAIN:

LIVERMORE – Linda Ronstadt’s political message sent close to a hundred concert-goers home early Thursday evening.

What had been a mellow evening at Wente Vineyards, with the crowd even serenading her with “Happy Birthday” at one point, turned into a rush for the exits by some fans angry by her encore tribute to filmmaker Michael Moore.

“She just had to do it,” one fan steamed as he headed for the parking lot. “It was good until the end,” another yelled to TV crews waiting outside the concert.

Sheesh.

July 23, 2004

DAVE WINER HAS SET UP CONVENTIONBLOGGERS.COM, collecting blog posts from all the bloggers at the Democratic convention — including blogging delegates.

July 23, 2004

LANNY THE LEAKER? He’s not denying it.

UPDATE: Now he is.

July 23, 2004

WAS IT SOMETHING WE SAID? Gerard van der Leun notes that New York Times stock is at a one-year low. He wonders if that’s why the Times seems so gloomy about the economy.

UPDATE: Ed Driscoll has more thoughts.

July 23, 2004

NEW PRIVATE SPACEFLIGHT LEGISLATION is ready to move, and it doesn’t sound bad:

The bill — known as the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004, or H.R. 3752— lays out the definition of a suborbital space passenger vehicle, solidifies the process for licensing such vehicles, and allows paying passengers to fly into space at their own risk. . . .

The months-long holdup had to do primarily with language defining suborbital space vehicles, which fall under the oversight of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation. The definition is considered important because any vehicle that doesn’t fit the description might have to go through the far more stringent licensing process for commercial aircraft, which is managed by a different part of the FAA. . . .

In addition, the licensing process would become more streamlined, and for the first time, private companies would be allowed to fly paying passengers into outer space — as long as the would-be passengers signed forms acknowledging that they were flying at their own risk.

I think this is a significant step forward. And as I’ve written before, I think that space tourism is an essential driver for lowering costs in human spaceflight.

July 23, 2004

ON THE OFFENSIVE: Bush poses questions for black voters at the Urban League speech:

Does the Democrat party take African American voters for granted?

Is it a good thing for the African American community to be represented mainly by one political party?

How is it possible to gain political leverage if the party is never forced to compete?

Have the traditional solutions of the Democrat party truly served the African American community?

Does blocking the faith-based initiative help neighborhoods where the only social service provider could be a church?

Does the status quo in education really, really help the children of this country?

Does class warfare — has class warfare or higher taxes ever created decent jobs in the inner city?

Are you satisfied with the same answers on crime, excuses for drugs and blindness to the problem of the family?

I doubt this will pay off big in this election cycle, but it’s very interesting to see.

July 23, 2004

BERGER UPDATE: DRUDGE is flashing a New York Sun item on Sandy Berger. The bottom line:

“In his meeting with Tenet, Berger focused most, however, on the question of what was to be done with Bin Ladin if he were actually captured. He worried that the hard evidence against Bin Ladin was still skimpy and that there was a danger of snatching him and bringing him to the United States only to see him acquitted,” the report says, citing a May 1, 1998, Central Intelligence Agency memo summarizing the weekly meeting between Messrs. Berger and Tenet.

In June of 1999, another plan for action against Mr. bin Laden was on the table. The potential target was a Qaeda terrorist camp in Afghanistan known as Tarnak Farms. The commission report released yesterday cites Mr. Berger’s “handwritten notes on the meeting paper” referring to “the presence of 7 to 11 families in the Tarnak Farms facility, which could mean 60-65 casualties.”According to the Berger notes, “if he responds, we’re blamed.”

On December 4, 1999, the National Security Council’s counterterrorism coordinator, Richard Clarke, sent Mr. Berger a memo suggesting a strike in the last week of 1999 against Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan. Reports the commission: “In the margin next to Clarke’s suggestion to attack Al Qaeda facilities in the week before January 1, 2000, Berger wrote, ‘no.’ ”

In August of 2000, Mr. Berger was presented with another possible plan for attacking Mr. bin Laden.This time, the plan would be based on aerial surveillance from a “Predator” drone. Reports the commission: “In the memo’s margin,Berger wrote that before considering action, ‘I will want more than verified location: we will need, at least, data on pattern of movements to provide some assurance he will remain in place.’ ”

In other words, according to the commission report, Mr. Berger was presented with plans to take action against the threat of Al Qaeda four separate times — Spring 1998, June 1999, December 1999, and August 2000. Each time, Mr. Berger was an obstacle to action. Had he been a little less reluctant to act, a little more open to taking pre-emptive action, maybe the 2,973 killed in the September 11, 2001, attacks would be alive today.

It really doesn’t matter now what was in the documents from the National Archives that Mr. Berger says he inadvertently misplaced. The evidence in the commission’s report yesterday is more than enough to embarrass him thoroughly.

(Emphasis added.) Ouch. The Sun is right to stress that this doesn’t make Berger responsible for the 9/11 attacks, of course. But it does suggest that he was the wrong man to hold the job he held under Clinton, and that he was a poor choice as senior foreign policy adviser for the Kerry campaign. As Martin Peretz said, “He clearly still has McGovernite politics, which means, in my mind, at least, that he believes there is no international dispute that can’t be solved by the U.S. walking away from it.”

I hope John Kerry doesn’t share those instincts, which proved tragically wrong in this case. But then why did he choose Berger as an advisor?

UPDATE: Especially with this track record, which I had forgotten about until a reader sent me this BBC story from 1999, found via Newsfeed:

President Clinton has defended his National Security Adviser, Sandy Berger, against demands for him to resign over the alleged theft by China of US nuclear secrets.

Eighty opposition Republicans earlier wrote to Mr Clinton saying they wanted Mr Berger to resign.

“Mr Berger has failed in his responsibility as this nation’s national security advisor by not properly informing you of the most serious espionage ever committed against the United States,” the lawmakers said in the letter.

They said he knew of concerns about Chinese espionage, but delayed taking action.

What is it with this guy and secrets? And delays in taking action, or telling his boss?

ANOTHER UPDATE: Kerry supporter Brendan Loy has thoughts: “I have to admit, at first blush, this (if true) gives even me pause about Kerry’s choice of advisers. After all, if you want to judge a man, one thing you need to do is look at the type of people he surrounds himself with.”

July 23, 2004

LEON KASS is big on the idea of disgust as a moral touchstone. Julian Sanchez interviews Martha Nussbaum, who isn’t.

I just got her new book, Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law, today, and so don’t have much to add about it beyond what’s in the interview.

Two books I have had a chance to look through, though are Hugh Hewitt’s and Maureen Dowd’s. The Insta-Wife read Hewitt’s book and liked it a lot; it looked pretty good to me, too, though it’s an interesting mixture of big-picture and grassroots rolled into one.

Dowd’s book is, basically, a bunch of her columns sorted by topic. If you like her columns, you’ll like the book. If you don’t, there’s not much value-added.

July 23, 2004

BLOWBACK IN BOSTON: A minor embarrassment for the DNC.

UPDATE: More here.

July 23, 2004

INTERESTING FIND in the 9/11 Commission report:

In this sense, 9/11 has taught us that terrorism against American interests “over there” should be regarded just as we regard terrorism against America “over here.” In this same sense, the American homeland is the planet. But the enemy is not just “terrorism,” some generic evil. This vagueness blurs the strategy. The catastrophic threat at this moment in history is more specific. It is the threat posed by Islamist terrorism —especially the al Qaeda network, its affiliates, and its ideology.

As we mentioned in chapter 2, Usama Bin Ladin and other Islamist terrorist leaders draw on a long tradition of extreme intolerance within one stream of Islam (a minority tradition), from at least Ibn Taimiyyah, through the founders of Wahhabism, through the Muslim Brotherhood, to Sayyid Qutb. That stream is motivated by religion and does not distinguish politics from religion, thus distorting both. It is further fed by grievances stressed by Bin Ladin and widely felt throughout the Muslim world—against the U.S. military presence in the Middle East, policies perceived as anti-Arab and anti-Muslim, and support of Israel. Bin Ladin and Islamist terrorists mean exactly what they say: to them America is the font of all evil, the “head of the snake,” and it must be converted or destroyed.

It is not a position with which Americans can bargain or negotiate. With it there is no common ground—not even respect for life—on which to begin a dialogue. It can only be destroyed or utterly isolated.

(Emphasis added). This language was found by Wizbang, which notes that the Washington Post seems to have missed the significance of this statement.

UPDATE: Related thoughts from Cathy Seipp — though the discussion in the comments soon degenerates into requests for Cathy to wear fewer clothes when appearing on television.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Interresting comments here: “After reading some of the reactions from around the sphere, it’s clear that the report really is a Mirror of Erised in pdf form – most people don’t see the truth, but what their hearts desire.”

And Reid Stott says it’s all about Congressional priorities:

They say their legislative agenda is so full of such important things, things apparently more important than protecting America from future attack, it’s highly unlikely any of the commission’s dramatic recommendations will even be considered by Congress before the election.

The election. You know, the one they claim will probably be preceded by an Al Qaeda attack. Can’t deal with this, until after that.

At which point we’ll have to create a new commission, call it the 11/1 Commission. In three years, we’ll get their recommendations. If there’s anybody in Congress left alive to give them to. . . .

Indeed.

July 23, 2004

THE FLIGHT 93 ENDGAME:

Once the hijackers were in control, they knew that passengers were using cell phones and seat-back phones to call the ground “but did not seem to care,” according to the report. Yet clearly what the passengers learned in those phone calls inspired their counterattack on the cockpit. . . .

“It might not have occurred to him that they were certain to learn what had happened in New York, thereby defeating his attempts at deception,” the report said. . . .

The report does not clarify whether the hijackers’ goal for Flight 93 was the White House or the Capitol, but indicates that the hijackers tuned a cockpit radio to the frequency of a navigation beacon at National Airport, just across the Potomac River from the capital, erasing any doubt about the region of their intended destination.

At three seconds after 10 a.m., Mr. Jarrah is heard on the cockpit voice recorder saying: “Is that it? Shall we finish it off?”

But another hijacker responds: “No. Not yet. When they all come, we finish it off.”

The voice recorder captured sounds of continued fighting, and Mr. Jarrah pitched the plane up and then down. A passenger is heard to say, “In the cockpit. If we don’t we’ll die!”

Then a passenger yelled “Roll it!” Some aviation experts have speculated that this was a reference to a food cart, being used as a battering ram.

Mr. Jarrah “stopped the violent maneuvers” at 10:01:00, according to the report, and said, “Allah is the greatest! Allah is the greatest!”

“He then asked another hijacker in the cockpit, `Is that it? I mean, shall we put it down?’ to which the other replied, `Yes, put it in it, and pull it down.’ ”

Eighty seconds later, a hijacker is heard to say, “Pull it down! Pull it down!”

“The hijackers remained at the controls but must have judged that the passengers were only seconds from overcoming them,” according to the report, which seems to indicate that the hijackers themselves crashed the plane. “With the sounds of the passenger counterattack continuing, the aircraft plowed into an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 580 miles per hour, about 20 minutes’ flying time from Washington, D.C,” according to the report.

Seems like this article by Brad Todd holds up pretty well, almost three years later.

July 23, 2004

SABOTEURS: Amir Taheri writes on the U.N. role in Iraq.

July 23, 2004

THE 9/11 COMMISSION AND “TERROR IN THE SKIES” — both discussed over at GlennReynolds.com.

July 22, 2004

A SURPRISING REAGAN / CLINTON CONNECTION: Or maybe it’s an essential quality for being re-elected. . . .

July 22, 2004

JAMES LILEKS:

A while ago I noted that I had ceased to rely on my paper for international and national news. The web’s competitive advantage is overwhelming. Now I turn straight to the Metro section, because the web can’t yet match the resources and reach of a newspaper. If I were king of the forest, I’d turn the A section into the Metro section. For most papers beside the big swingin’ Johnson dailies, the A section is a lost cause; its lunch has not only been eaten but digested and excreted, and most newspapers think it’s still on the plate with its garnish intact. Newspapers to me no longer look like great sober edifices inscribing the details of history as the parade clatters past. They just look like group blogs. Without the honest admission of bias.

Yep.

July 22, 2004

REPORTING ON TERRORISM BEFORE 9/11 comes in for criticism.

July 22, 2004

DAVID WARREN: “No matter who is President after November, it appears the U.S. and Iran are now on course for another history-making collision.”