Archive for September, 2006

September 25, 2006

MEGAN MCARDLE says that things are getting better for working people in lots of measurable ways.

And people will start measuring them, as soon as there’s a Democrat in the White House.

September 25, 2006

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: Bill Clinton has managed to get everybody talking about him again. Welcome back, Bill!

I think this is likely bad for the Democrats, but I think he likes being the center of attention.

UPDATE: “Now that I’ve seen the reaction on the left, I’m convinced that Clinton went on the show planning to act the way he did.” Is Hillary at risk?

September 25, 2006

JOHN TAMMES takes after his father.

September 25, 2006

MARY KATHARINE HAM rounds up stories of female self-defense.

September 25, 2006

AIR TRAVEL SUCKS: So now I’m stuck at the airport with a flight that’s delayed until 5. I nearly drove to DC instead of flying, and I’m already wishing that I had. . . .

September 25, 2006

QUESTIONING THE TIMING of pre-election CIA leaks.

September 25, 2006

EN ROUTE TO DC for the National Press Club event on partisanship and politics. I’ll also be at the White House for tomorrow’s Porkbusters bill signing. I’ll report on all of that but blogging may be light for a bit as I travel.

September 25, 2006

ABC NEWS: “Dozens of Foreign Pilots Training Illegally at US Flight Schools.”

September 25, 2006

THE ALLEN CAMPAIGN is calling foul on Salon.

September 25, 2006

PATRICK HYNES WRITES that conservatives did not distinguish themselves during the torture debate.

September 25, 2006

HOW WRONG WAS JOSH MARSHALL? A Plame-affair retrospective.

UPDATE: Some related gloating from Tom Maguire.

September 25, 2006

IN THE MAIL: Jennifer Weber’s Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of Lincoln’s Opponents in the North. Seems very interesting and relevant.

September 25, 2006

HEH: “Bin Laden apparently died after eating E.coli tainted spinach that had been given to him as part of a cunning assassination plot spearheaded by the CIA. While the CIA won’t publicly take credit for Bin Laden’s death there has apparently been much celebration in Langley.”

September 25, 2006

EFFORTS TO ESTABLISH A RANKING HIERARCHY FOR LEGAL SCHOLARSHIP have reached a logical end-point.

September 25, 2006

TIME ASKS if the Netroots have hit their limit. I’d say no, but we’ll have a good empirical test of Netroots power in November.

UPDATE: Dean Barnett says that Time has missed the story: “The Netroots attempt to set the Democratic Party’s agenda, and their effectiveness is only growing. This is something that pleases both me and Markos, albeit for quite different reasons. . . . The fact that not a single Democrats has pursued his (or her) Sister Soldjah moment at the Netroots’ expense is rather telling.”

September 25, 2006

MORE CLINTON-FLAP FALLOUT: Howard Kurtz calls it “Clinton’s finger-wagging moment.” And Mickey Kaus fact-checks and observes: “Clinton was winning before he plowed on into paranoia about Rupert Murdoch and Fox.”

I know that people think this is some sort of clever strategic move by the Clintons, but it seems to me to be another such effort that has backfired.

September 25, 2006

PLUG-IN HYBRIDS: Good for reducing oil dependency, but only marginal in reducing overall pollution. We could fix that, though, if we got more electricity from nice, clean nuclear plants.

September 25, 2006

ADVICE TO HOWARD DEAN from Kevin Drum: “Know your audience. This is Persuasion 101. Can’t anybody play this game anymore?”

It’s good advice.

September 25, 2006

MARK STEYN: “It may be news to the Council of Foreign Relations types and the Dems, but the U.N. demonstrated this last week that it is utterly incapable of reform. Indeed, any reforms would be more likely to upgrade and enhance the cliques of thugs and despots than of the few states willing to stand up to them. The most sensible proposal this week came from Chavez, who demanded the U.N. relocate to Venezuela.”

September 25, 2006

DEFENSE TECH’S David Axe is going back to Iraq.

September 24, 2006

TIM BLAIR deplores racism at the polls. It was obstructing minority voters, too.

September 24, 2006

TIGHTENING IMMIGRATION LAWS in Switzerland. I think we’ll see more of that across Europe.

September 24, 2006

OVER AT THE COUNTERTERRORISM BLOG, Andrew Cochran writes on the New York Times’ reporting of leaked excerpts from the National Intelligence Estimate:

The American people deserve to know, to the maximum extent possible, the actual findings and conclusions in this NIE and not depend on partial reports and leaks, which could be driven by all sorts of hidden agendas. The White House and DNI Negroponte should ask the members of the 9/11 Commission to independently review the NIE and release an unclassified version or summary of the report as soon as possible.

Hidden agendas? Surely not.

September 24, 2006

RALLYING AGAINST HEZBOLLAH in Lebanon.

September 24, 2006

TRAVELLING TO DISCUSS GLOBAL WARMING via Lear Jet.

September 24, 2006

JAKE TAPPER corrects Bill Clinton’s history.

Plus, Chris Wallace’s questions for Rumsfeld.

September 24, 2006

LARRY KUDLOW says that Bush is turning things around for the Republicans. It does look that way now, but there’s still lots of time before the elections.

UPDATE: John Wixted has a somewhat-related post on Bush and the economy.

September 24, 2006

MARTIN LINDESKOG wants advice on affordable digital cameras.

I’ve been partial to the small Sonys. My current pocket camera of choice is the Sony DSC-W7, though you could cut down to the 5-megapixel W5 model without sacrificing much. Ann Althouse has the DSC-T9, which adds optical image stabilization, something I wish my camera had. (And as her blog illustrates, she gets excellent photos out of it.) On the other hand, my camera uses AA batteries, which means that you can use alkalines in a pinch. Any other suggestions for Martin? He’s taking comments.

One thing that’s worth looking at in a digital still camera is video capability. For example, I shot this video, both above and underwater, using digital still cameras and the quality was entirely adequate for the Web. That’s very convenient.

September 24, 2006

RADLEY BALKO’S REASON ARTICLE ON CORY MAYE is now available on line and you should read the whole thing. But here’s a bit on how no-knock wrong-house raids go wrong and the double standard in prosecuting innocent citizens who respond appropriately to having their doors kicked down by unidentified strangers:

In 2000 drug cops in Modesto, California, accidentally shot 11-year-old Alberto Sepulveda in the back of the head at point-blank range during a botched raid on the boy’s home. In 2003 police in New York City raided the home of 57-year-old city worker Alberta Spruill based on a bad tip from an informant. The terrified Spruill had a heart attack and died at the scene. Last year Baltimore County police shot and killed Cheryl Lynn Noel, a churchgoing wife and mother, during a no-knock raid on her home after finding some marijuana seeds while sifting through the family’s trash.

There are dozens more examples. And a botched raid needn’t end in death to do harm. It’s hard to get a firm grip on just how often it happens—police tend to be reluctant to track their mistakes, and victims can be squeamish about coming forward—but a 20-year review of press accounts, court cases, and Kraska’s research suggests that each year there are at least dozens, perhaps hundreds, of “wrong door” raids. And even when everything goes right, it’s overkill to use what is essentially an urban warfare unit to apprehend a nonviolent drug suspect.

Criminal charges against police officers who accidentally kill innocent people in these raids are rare. Prosecutors almost always determine that the violent, confrontational nature of the raids and the split-second decisions made while conducting them demand that police be given a great deal of discretion. Yet it’s the policy of using volatile forced-entry raids to serve routine drug warrants that creates those circumstances in the first place.

Worse, prosecutors are much less inclined to take circumstances into account when it comes to pressing charges against civilians who make similar mistakes. When civilians who are innocent or who have no history of violence defend their homes during a mistaken raid, they have about a one in two chance of facing criminal charges if a policeman is killed or injured. When convicted, they’ve received sentences ranging from probation to life in prison to, in Maye’s case, the death penalty.

It’s a remarkable double standard. The reason these raids are often conducted late at night or very early in the morning is to catch suspects while they’re sleeping and least capable of processing what’s going on around them. Raids are often preceded by the deployment of flash-bang grenades, devices designed to confuse everyone in the vicinity. While narcotics officers have (or at least are supposed to have) extensive training in how to act during a raid, suspects don’t, and officers have the advantage of surprise. Yet prosecutors readily forgive mistaken police shootings of innocent civilians and unarmed drug suspects while expecting the people on the receiving end of late-night raids to show exemplary composure, judgment, and control in determining whether the attackers in their homes are cops or criminals.

This is wrong. It’s not only a reason why no-knock raids should be banned except in life-or-death situations, but it’s also an example of how unfettered prosecutorial discretion is unfair and dangerous. In cases like this, there should be much more accountability for decisions to prosecute, or not to prosecute.

I’d also like to see federal legislation — justified under Congress’s 14th Amendment section 5 powers — limiting such raids and providing for legal remedies, including money damages without the shield of official immunity for officers, supervisors, and agencies.

I think such legislation would be fairly popular, but I suspect that the power of the interests involved is sufficient to ensure that it doesn’t ever happen.

And Jim Henley gives Radley Balko a much-deserved pat on the back for his excellent work on this case.

September 24, 2006

“YEAH, YEAH, EVERYTHING YOU SAY. FILL IT UP, BOY!” An amusing cartoon from Venezuela.

September 24, 2006

CLINTON ON CHRIS WALLACE: “You read the transcript yesterday. You saw the clip. Now, you’ve seen the whole interview.”

Actually, I was on a weekend trip to the mountains with family (rainy but nice) and didn’t see the interview. But the clip is online here.

A better response for Clinton would seem to have been something like this: (Indulgent smile with slight look of boyish contrition, not carried to the lip-biting level) “Well, I admit we made some mistakes in the 1990s, and I’m sure President Bush has made some too. But the real question is where we go from here, and . . . ”

He knows that, too, I suspect. So why did he respond the way he did?

UPDATE: Some history, here and here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Clinton and bin Laden and the perils of citing Richard Clarke: “even a casual reading of Clarke’s book reveals that it was one of the more important sources for ‘The Path To 9/11,’ the ABC miniseries that so irritated the Clintonites. For that reason and many others, I wouldn’t want more people reading Clarke’s book if I were Clinton.”

MORE: Still more history here. Clinton is apparently forgetting his own Administration’s public positions, including those taken in the 1998 indictment of Osama bin Laden. Once again, I think his reaction was very unwise, and likely to harm Democratic prospects this fall.

MORE STILL: A different take on what Clinton was about:

What’s struck me most, in the context of these recent events, is just how extremely *protective* of Clinton liberals (e.g. blogs & blog commenters) have become. This isn’t surprising, and it’s not a negative thing per se: cf. the protectiveness of Bush on the right, especially when he’s being assailed (unfairly & dishonestly, in their view) by the media. The comparison is illuminating, of course, because Bush does very little public self-defending against his harshest critics (and never complains of being ‘victimized’ by the media)– though of course commenters on the right do that for him. Clinton, with these recent actions, is (I think) trying to tap into a similar dynamic– e.g. trying to tap into the (surprising– and surprisingly mainstream) surge of protectiveness & feeling for him during the impeachment saga. (And lest we forget, that was the origin of moveon.org, wasn’t it.) . . .

I do think it’s likely that his latest public acts are a kind of strategic gamble, specifically directed at the left (rallying it for Hillary, who can then do what she needs to do to convince the center)– (and the left is eating it up aren’t they, he’s playing them like a piano)— more likely than that this last outburst was an ‘accident’ (esp. when the questioning was *so* to be expected– he himself practically *asked* for it, in making such a big deal of the 9/11 movie).

Hmm.

September 24, 2006

I THINK JOHN COLE IS MISSING THE POINT WHEN HE WRITES:

The notion that the media somehow share some culpability in the murders, mayhem, and chaos that followed the Pope’s speech because they ‘willingly’ work with terrorists to ‘ambush’ the general public is so absurd that it shouldn’t warrant comment. Is the media to blame for the murder rate, because every night I check the television, and they cover it? . . .

But to suggest that the media covering jihadist tendencies and calls to arms by radical clerics is somehow working in concert with terorists is not just offensive, it is stupid.

Cole undermines his case a bit by admitting that there are cases where media people have “behaved inappropriately” — that is, faked news on terrorists’ behalf, but the bigger point, stressed in my post and in the Austin Bay article that I linked, is that media attention isn’t just neutral coverage — the way it generally is with, say, urban crime — but rather the actual goal of terrorists. In fact, it’s their lifeblood. Terrorism is an information war disguised as a military conflict, and media coverage is an essential part of the terrorist plan.

Media people know this, and even admit it, but don’t let it affect their coverage — though as Pam Hess of UPI admitted, they’re far more careful about being spun by the U.S. military — and one reason why they don’t let it affect their coverage is that terrorism gives them ratings. That’s what I meant by their mutually-supporting relationship. Terrorists provide ratings (and, as we’ve seen, often via staged news events) and news media provide the coverage that terrorists need. As I’ve noted in the past, news media are entirely capable of moderating their own coverage when they think the stakes are high — say, protection of confidential sources, or promotion of racial tolerance — but here they clearly don’t feel that way. If they applied as much skepticism and adversarialism to terrorist behavior as they do to the U.S. military, few of us would be complaining.

In his novel Soft Targets, Dean Ing suggested a media-based information campaign against terrorism. One of the many ways in which that novel is obsolete is that it’s now impossible to imagine the press cooperating.

UPDATE: More thoughts on terrorists and the media here, from a journalist. “So then, why does the media take such pains to avoid parroting, carrying water for or even vaguely reflecting the ideals of the U.S. military or the nation’s elected government yet so wantonly accept and even hire the terrorists’ spin?”

September 24, 2006

SOME FAQS ON BLOGGING from Dean Barnett, who’s becoming a master of that form.

September 24, 2006

ERIC SCHEIE: Was this a war against bin Laden? Or is it a war against jihad?

Personally, I think it’s the latter, which makes news of bin Laden’s painful and “pathetic” death — though welcome if true — only moderately important.

September 24, 2006

MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TRUSTWORTHINESS OF A.P. REPORTING from the Middle East, in the Boston Herald.

September 24, 2006

SECRETS OF SOUTH PARK:

“That’s where we kind of agree with some of the people who’ve criticized our show,” Stone says. “Because it really is open season on Jesus. We can do whatever we want to Jesus, and we have. We’ve had him say bad words. We’ve had him shoot a gun. We’ve had him kill people. We can do whatever we want. But Mohammed, we couldn’t just show a simple image.”

During the part of the show where Mohammed was to be depicted — benignly, Stone and Parker say — the show ran a black screen that read: “Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network.”

Other networks took a similar course, refusing to air images of Mohammed — even when reporting on the Denmark cartoon riots — claiming they were refraining because they’re religiously tolerant, the South Park creators say.

“No you’re not,” Stone retorts. “You’re afraid of getting blown up. That’s what you’re afraid of. Comedy Central copped to that, you know: ‘We’re afraid of getting blown up.’”

Conveying an unfortunate message, and lesson, in the process.

September 24, 2006

MEGAN MCARDLE: “I’m not sure you could pay me enough to go back to 1973, in fact. I think I’d rather be a journalist living now than a multi-millionaire living then.”

Plus, some sensible thoughts on terrorism and civil liberties.

September 23, 2006

SOME PERSPECTIVE on the press and Hugo Chavez.

September 23, 2006

TRYING TO SAVE THE TRIPOLI SIX, who are being scapegoated for lousy Libyan infectious-disease policies. Darksyde emails: “Background– the Libyan was going to shoot some volunteer workers who helped out in a Children’s hospital. They’re accused of infecting kids with AIDS. In fact, it’s common in third world shitholes to reuse the syringes, and infections thus are easily transmitted. We have infectious disease profs and researchers who can back that up with plenty of documentation.”

Yes, syringe reuse is common, and disastrous. So is scapegoating.

September 23, 2006

OUCH: “He’s just another talk-radio host, really — only this time by way of Yale and Mensa.”

Plus, an amusing account of the origins of “Laphamization:”

There’s one column that’s conspicuously absent from this collection, and that’s the one from September 2004, which included a brief account of the Republican National Convention. Lapham wrote it as if the convention had already happened, ruefully reflecting on the content and sharing with readers a question that occurred to him as he listened; unfortunately, the magazine arrived on subscribers’ doorsteps before the convention had even taken place, forcing Lapham to admit that the scene was a fiction. He apologized, but pointed out that political conventions are drearily scripted anyway — he basically knew what was going to be said. By this logic, though, I could have chosen not to read “Pretensions to Empire” before reviewing it, since I already knew Lapham’s sensibility, just as he claims to know the Republicans’. But I dutifully read the whole book. And I discovered, with some ironic poignancy, that Lapham did have a point: some people never acquire any more nuance as they go.

Ouch, again.

UPDATE: More on Lapham here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Further thoughts on Lapham from Roger Kimball.

September 23, 2006

SENSITIVITY: “Bill Clinton has been injecting himself into the news a lot lately, and it inevitably gives his critics a new opportunity to go through the case against him. . . . He wants to be the mellow, above-the-fray ex-president, but he really can’t control the presentation. And now that he’s shown how raw and angry he is about the criticisms, it’s not going to get any easier.”

Count me as one of those bored with Clinton criticism — but surprised that he’s restarting it now. So is Tom Maguire, who wonders why Clinton is saying and doing things that ensure that the runup to the 2006 elections will be filled with unflattering looks at the Clinton Administration’s antiterror policies.

Tom Harkin isn’t helping the Democrats either. I blame Karl Rove’s mind-control rays. Democrats: Protect yourselves before it’s too late!

UPDATE: More thoughts here. And a related post, here. Those Rovian mind-control rays are powerful stuff!

September 23, 2006

EDIROL FOLLOWUP: In response to my post the other day, Dale Wetzel emails:

Have you ever used an external microphone with the Edirol? If so, what type, and why did you choose it?

Have you ever used an external microphone with the Olympus besides the stereo mic that you bought with it?

I’m interested in knowing if you’ve ever tried a handheld mic (omni or unidirectional) with either recorder, and if so, what you thought of the results.

I haven’t used external mikes other than the above, but I just ordered this one last week. I’ll report on its performance when it comes.

September 23, 2006

THE CARNIVAL OF CARS is up!

September 23, 2006

HOW MANY EMBEDDED REPORTERS are covering the Iraq war? Take a wild guess.

September 23, 2006

REPORTS THAT OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD: Gateway Pundit has a roundup. Dying of typhoid in a cave doesn’t sound very heroic.

September 22, 2006

THE LATEST ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY got covered on CNN tonight. Here’s the YouTube video.

September 22, 2006

SEEING THROUGH CHAVEZ, at The Huffington Post: “What galls even more is how hopelessly naive, and reductive, those of us are who suggest that being the victim of American imperialism somehow exempts one from being corrupt and imperialistic. . . . And, those of us who are ingenuous enough to think that one who is the victim of an imperialism will notthemselves, under the right set of cirumstances, become imperialists have allowed their preoccupation with nationalism, third world or otherwise, to obscure their understanding of human nature.” If Chavez can get the HuffPo crowd to stumble (part way) toward reality, he may have a future as an educator. . . .

September 22, 2006

SPEAKING BACK to Islamists. “Europe, she thinks, is invertebrate.”

September 22, 2006

porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: These guys just don’t give up, do they:

Over at my site earlier this week, I reported that Trent “Damn Tired of Porkbusters” Lott was holding up a bill to force Senate candidates to file campaign finance reports electronically (S. 1508). It appears he’s still doing it, and doesn’t want to tell anyone when he might quit quit bucking and braying and move the d*mn bill. Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn he is.

So is Mitch McConnell. Unlike some, I’ve got no problem with McConnell’s opposition to McCain-Feingold. But his opposition to legislation that merely promotes transparency about donations undercuts any free-speech resonance that his opposition to the dumb McCain-Feingold bill might have.

UPDATE: McConnell’s office says that, despite reports to the contrary, he does not have a hold on the campaign-finance transparency bill and has no objections to its coming to the floor.

September 22, 2006

ME, MARK STEYN, AND AUSTIN BAY on this week’s PJ Media Blog Week in Review podcast.

It’s now sponsored by Volvo, as is the Glenn and Helen Show.

September 22, 2006

A PACK, NOT A HERD: “In U.S. Capitol Police’s first confirmation of the events surrounding the arrest of Monday’s Capitol intruder, Capitol Police acknowledge that citizens — not police — were first to apprehend the suspect.” Employees from a flag shop, as it turns out.

September 22, 2006

ED LASKY LOOKS AT the Democratic Party and the Jews.

September 22, 2006

CALLS FOR MUSLIM RAGE AT THE POPE seem to be flopping in Iraq.

UPDATE: Actually, they seem to have flopped pretty much everywhere.

September 22, 2006

NEW YORK’S “HUMAN RIGHTS” COMMISSION goes after free speech. One of a seemingly unending list of reasons to oppose a Bloomberg Presidential run.

September 22, 2006

IN THE MAIL: Mark Moyar’s new book, Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965. The book, advertised as overturning orthodox opinion on the war, gets blurbs by a host of bigshots ranging from Max Boot to James Webb. Moyar has an Amazon blog on the page, too, where he explains where the book is coming from.

September 22, 2006

JOE GANDELMAN HAS A ROUNDUP on the detainee deal. Plus some valuable cautionary advice from Ann Althouse: “Plenty of people have lots of different motivations to make claims about this compromise. Don’t let yourself be spun.”

September 22, 2006

THIS SHOULD MAKE REPUBLICANS HAPPY: “Americans have become more optimistic about the economy, and President Bush is getting some of the credit, a new Times/Bloomberg poll shows.”

September 22, 2006

STRATEGYPAGE OFFERS A RATHER POSITIVE TAKE on what’s going on in Anbar province:

Coalition forces in Iraq have suddenly received the manpower equivalent of three light infantry divisions. They did not suffer any repercussions in domestic politics as a result, and now have a huge edge over al-Qaeda in al-Anbar province. How did this happen? Tribal leaders in the largely Sunni province on the Syrian border got together and signed an agreement to raise a tribal force of 30,000 fighters to take on foreign fighters and terrorists.

These leaders have thrown in with the central government in Baghdad. This is a decisive blow to al Qaeda, which has been desperately trying to fight off an Iraqi government that is getting stronger by the week. Not only are the 30,000 fighters going to provide more manpower, but these tribal fighters know the province much better than American troops – or the foreign fighters fighting for al Qaeda. Also, this represents just over 80 percent of the tribes in al-Anbar province now backing the government.

This makes an interesting counterpoint to the Bill Roggio post I linked yesterday.

September 22, 2006

JOHN TAMMES rounds up news from Afghanistan that you probably won’t see elsewhere.

September 22, 2006

A “CEAUCESCU MOMENT” for the BBC?

September 22, 2006

K.C. JOHNSON HAS THE LATEST on Mike Nifong and the Duke Lacrosse case.

September 22, 2006

THE GEORGE ALLEN CAMPAIGN is charging James Webb with dirty tricks and push-blogging. “Push-blogging?” I guess the days of innocence for the blogosphere are all in the past, now.

September 22, 2006

KIDNEYBLOGGER VIRGINIA POSTREL asks how many people medical ethicist Art Caplan has killed by blocking the creation of a market in donor organs.

September 22, 2006

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER:

“How dare you say Islam is a violent religion? I’ll kill you for it” is not exactly the best way to go about refuting the charge. But of course, refuting is not the point here. The point is intimidation. . . .

In today’s world, religious sensitivity is a one-way street. The rules of the road are enforced by Islamic mobs and abjectly followed by Western media, politicians and religious leaders.

Those who do not practice tolerance have no right to expect it in return.

September 22, 2006

HOSNI MUBARAK: Egypt will pursue nuclear energy.

I hope he means safe, clean pebble-bed reactors, but I’m a bit, er, concerned that he might not.

September 22, 2006

MICKEY KAUS: “You would think the NYT would have learned from repeat, bitter experience that playing up all the anti-GOP aspects of its polls often leads to bitter disappointment in November. You would be wrong.”

September 21, 2006

DANIEL DREZNER FINDS AHMADINEJAD “UNDERWHELMING:” I have to say I agree. I saw him as the latest manifestation of a long chain of anti-American losers: Nasser, Qaddafi, Noriega, Ortega, etc. Like them, he may do some harm before he shuffles off. But as Drezner says, ” Like Hugo Chavez, Ahmadinejad might be able to stoke his own supporters, but he seems to excel even more at creating and unifying his adversaries. Ahmadinejad too will pass.”

Not a reason to ignore or underestimate him. But a reason not to inflate him into more than he is, as some people seem to be doing.

UPDATE: “A one-man Axis of Crazy.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Matoko Kusanagi thinks it’s a case of short-man syndrome.

September 21, 2006

THIS SEEMS LIKE GOOD NEWS: “The Army is ending its best recruiting year since 1997 and expecting similar success in 2007 . . . . the Army will enlist its 80,000th soldier on Friday, reaching its goal for the year with eight days to spare. That is a considerable turnaround from last year when the Army missed its target for the first time since 1999 and by the widest margin in more than two decades.”

September 21, 2006

CORY MAYE UPDATE: Radley Balko reports:

Cory Maye will not sleep on death row tonight. Nor, for that matter, any night for the foreseeable future.

At the conclusion of the hearing today, Judge Michael Eubanks ruled on two of the defense team’s battery of arguments. Both rulings from the bench tonight dealt with Rhonda Cooper’s competence. Judge Eubanks found that Ms. Cooper was competent for the trial, but incompetent for the sentencing.

I have my quarrels with that ruling, obviously. But in the short run, it means that Cory will at the very least get a new sentencing trial. And until and if that happens, he will no longer be on death row, and for the moment is no longer condemned to die.

Judge Eubanks did not issue a ruling on any of the other defense arguments — and there were lots of them. It may be a month or more before we hear what he has decided. That said, I am cautiously optimistic.

Read the whole thing. And Radley’s piece on the case in Reason — alas, not available online yet — is really good. Alas, one thing he reports is that Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) won’t even consider clemency, which strikes me as a serious abdication of responsibility on Barbour’s part.

September 21, 2006

HAVE THE NETROOTS GONE INSIDER? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with lunching with bigshots. But it’s probably better not to gush about it quite so much.

September 21, 2006

THERE’S A DEAL on the detainee treatment dispute. Via blogger-spam from the White House, there’s a release on the substance in the “extended entry” area. Click “read more” to read it. Here’s a news story on the deal, too. Also, there’s lots of commentary at The Corner.

UPDATE: Marty Lederman thinks the Bush Administration rolled its critics, and is unhappy. Dan Riehl thinks the same thing, and is happy.

And Atrios comments: “McCain sold out the country and the Democrats look like crap.”

Tom Maguire sees Atrios’ point: “Since Dems have been hiding behind St. John on this issue, they will have a hard time announcing at this late date that McCain lacks the integrity and judgment to be trusted.” It’s almost as if McCain and the White House suckered them or something.

Continue reading ‘THERE’S A DEAL on the detainee treatment dispute. Via blogger-spam from the White House, there’s a…’ »

September 21, 2006

HOT RECORDERS FOR COOL PODCASTS: Larry Magid reviews three portable digital recorders, and likes the Edirol R-09 best. My review of the Edirol for Gizmodo is here.

Also, here’s my review of the cheaper, but entirely adequate, Olympus DM-20.

September 21, 2006

HUGO CHAVEZ and his friends. Tom Harkin?

September 21, 2006

A SPACE SCOOP LIVEBLOGGED FROM RAND SIMBERG:

Bigelow announced at lunch that he will be putting up a three-person space station in late 2009 or early 2010, about fifty percent bigger than an ISS module. He is putting up a destination in hopes that the transportation will come along (and in order to spur the transportation providers). Station will last for several years. Will be executing contracts in 2008 for transportation contracts to Sundancer. Expects between four and eight trips (people and cargo) per year, after six-month shakedown. Then trips will commence whenever transportation becomes available. 2012 will see the launch of another module providing 500 cubic meters of habitable volume. Will support sixteen launches a year for full utilization (again, cargo and people). Minimum three-week stay, but market limited at ten million, so wants to establish private astronaut program for other nations (this is not news). Make sixty instead of eleven countries with an astronaut corps. Could represent on the order of a billion a year in revenue. Launch estimates from fifty to a hundred million per flight. About time to take human spaceflight from the exclusive domain of governments. Will be changing that in the next half decade.

He also announced that he and Lockmart have a joint agreement to study what it will take to human rate the Atlas V for commercial passenger transport.

Read the whole thing.

September 21, 2006

CATHY SEIPP ON COLLEGE TODAY:

One of the biggest changes, by the way, between college now and then is that Maia already has dozens of new friends and aqaintances through Facebook, some of whom she’s already met in person here in L.A. this summer. This is in stark contrast to my first year at UCLA almost 30 years ago, where in the pre-Internet days it really was very hard entering a giant university not knowing anyone.

Ah, technology.

September 21, 2006

DON SURBER looks at election fraud and its supporters. As I’ve noted, it makes no sense to go on about untrustworthy voting machines while opposing efforts to fix the voter registration and identification process. Garbage in, garbage out.

September 21, 2006

DAVID BERNSTEIN:

Who in a position of authority at Columbia would daft enough to invite Holocaust denier / genocidal maniac / most notorious and powerful anti-Semite of the current age / etc. Ahmadinejad (who, by the way, I saw on t.v. claiming today claiming that the 35,000 people who protested his speech at the U.N. were actually one hundred paid Zionist stooges) to speak?

Columbia, however, seems to have reconsidered.

September 21, 2006

BRINK LINDSEY looks at people who are poor-mouthing prosperity.

September 21, 2006

DEMOCRATIC LEADERS took their smart pills today.

Some pundits, not so much.

UPDATE: Apparently, the smart pills are in short supply. And yes, I realize that Yglesias was goofing, as was I. These people, alas, seem to be entirely serious.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More shortages.

MORE: Is one man’s terrorist another man’s freedom fighter? Not so much. But one man’s “sweet hipster style” is another man’s “aging high school chemistry teacher.” And when “another man” is The Manolo, I know which side I come down on . . . .

September 21, 2006

porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Over at TPM Muckraker, Justin Rood notes that a Democratic victory in the House elections won’t do much to end pork and corruption:

Washington has witnessed a storm of “pay-to-play” corruption scandals in Congress over the last year, both admitted and alleged. And on the campaign trail congressional Democrats are charging the GOP with creating a “culture of corruption” on their watch. Yet if they win, they are poised to hand a much-abused spending post to a Democrat with a long reputation for porkbarrel politics and “back room” deals.

If the Dems take control of the House in November, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), now lauded by Democratic activists for his tough stand on Iraq, is poised to retake the helm of an appropriations panel charged with spending hundreds of billions of dollars on defense-related projects, which he last chaired in the early 1990s. He may even ascend to be Majority Leader in a Democratically controlled House.

Yet Murtha — who U.S. News and World Report once called “one of Capitol Hill’s most accomplished masters at the art of pork” — presides over a tightly connected network of favored lobbyists, former staffers and major campaign contributors that bears a striking resemblance to those maintained by some of the tarnished Republicans he would likely replace.

Read the whole thing, which is full of interesting specifics. This is a bipartisan issue, as the “culture of corruption” is not the culture of a party, but the culture of a political class.

September 21, 2006

I HAVEN’T DONE MUCH MOWER-BLOGGING in quite a while, but here’s a post on “Extreme Mowing” for anyone who’s feeling lawncare-deprived.

And, of course, who could forget this classic?

September 21, 2006

NICK GILLESPIE: “Please don’t confuse the voters with facts.”

Apparently, Adam Nagourney is following that advice. Tom Maguire offers further Nagourney-roasting.

September 21, 2006

ANOTHER blog-related firing.

Much more here.

September 21, 2006

MORE ON THE POPE AND ISLAM, from Michael Novak.

September 21, 2006

IN THE MAIL: Alice Randall’s new book, My Country Roots: The Ultimate MP3 Guide to America’s Original Outsider Music. Looks pretty cool.

September 21, 2006

LOSING ANBAR? Bill Roggio writes:

I’ve received plenty of questions about the intelligence report that claims Anbar province has been lost. I’ve talked to several sources in the military and intelligence who have actually seen the entire report (and not been fed excerpts). They are angry over the media’s characterization of the report. Basically, the report indicated that the situation in Ramadi is dire, and that the political situation in Anbar as a whole as a result is in danger because of this.

Ramadi has been a problem for some time, but the major problem there has been the Iraqi government’s lack ofpolitical will to act over the course of the last year. Even ceding the security situation to the tribes is a form of passing the problem on to the locals.

Since my sources were unwilling to go on the record, I chose not to address this directly. If the military community is unwilling to step up to the plate and defend itself, except in vague terms, about the situation in Ramadi then they will have to deal with the backlash of this decision. Good work has been and continues to be done in Anbar. The military has a problem with public affairs, plain and simple, and fails to realize that the impact on remaining silent on this report far outweighs the need to keep the information classified.

It’s an information war, too. Meanwhile, another province is being turned over to Iraqi military control

Also, StrategyPage looks at the declining fortunes of the Taliban.

September 21, 2006

GAYS WHO WANT TO SERVE IN THE MILITARY: Seems admirable to me. Why not let ‘em? (Via Ed Cone.)

September 21, 2006

BRIAN MICKLETHWAIT:

But still, you can feel the Western brain cells being rubbed together. . . . The idea that the West’s response to the Islamic challenge will only ever consist of the first hasty and opposed responses to 9/11, which were entirely what people already thought – “We all ought to get along better”, “We are provoking them”, “They must become more democratic”, and so on – is very foolish. The West – a vague label I know but it will serve – is the most formidable civilisation that the world has yet seen. It has faced down several recent and major challenges to its hegemony, and it will face down this one, I think, with whatever combination of sweet reason and cataclysmic brutality turns out to be necessary to get the job done. This challenge now seems bigger than the earlier ones. But they always do at the time, don’t they?

Indeed. Plus, “Be not afraid:”

The question that keeps popping in my mind – after the response to the Danish cartoons and now after Pope Benedict’s recent comments – is: why are we so afraid?

Culturally and religiously we are on the defensive in this War on Terror. And it makes no sense to me. We accept immoral expressions of outrage by Muslims across the world and yet fail to have any of our own justified moral indignation at their actions. Instead we apologize for causing their reactions. Perhaps I should apologize to my four year old for his little temper tantrum this morning and for the time he slugged his sister in the face with a toy.

We hold the high ground – we believe in individual liberty, we believe in religious tolerance, we believe in women’s rights, we believe in a narrow window for the just use of war – and we should not be afraid to stand tall and to express our outrage at the insane reactions we are seeing across the Muslim world. In fact their actions prove the point made previously in Danish cartoons and the quote from Pope Benedict. It is all well and good to be sensitive but it is quite another thing when Muslims actually manifest what we criticize. It is quite another thing when there is lack of reciprocity in Muslim treatment of Jews and Christians. They have yet to practice what they preach.

Read the whole thing.

September 21, 2006

G.M. ROPER posts with some good news about his cancer. Or lack thereof.

September 21, 2006

TOO MUCH HOMEWORK.

September 21, 2006

ELECTION TECHNOLOGY UPDATE:

A week after the primary election was plagued by human error and technical glitches, Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) called yesterday for the state to scrap its $106 million electronic voting apparatus and revert to a paper ballot system for the November election.

“When in doubt, go paper, go low-tech,” he said.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Does this make us both liberals?

September 21, 2006

IF 35,000 PEOPLE HAD MARCHED AGAINST BUSH OUTSIDE THE U.N., it would have gotten a lot more coverage. But 35,000 against Ahmadinejad? Not so much.

UPDATE: Blog-reporting, with photos and video from the protests, can be found here. Once again, scooping the Big Media on their very doorstep. (Via Freeman Hunt).

September 21, 2006

RICK LEE photographs something remarkable.

September 21, 2006

FRANK WARNER looks at “the increasingly popular Iraq war.” I didn’t realize it had moved up in the polls — somehow that hasn’t gotten much attention. Judging from Frank’s survey of Big Media reporting, I’m not alone.

September 20, 2006

INDEED: “Wow. With one speech, eagerly applauded, Hugo Chavez did more today to show what’s wrong with the United Nations than some of us have managed in years of gumshoe reporting.”

September 20, 2006

LIKE GREG PACKER. Well, sort of.

September 20, 2006

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: “One thing is rather frightening: the political pendulum in Europe always swings much more widely and quickly than here. Unless these legitimate worries about radical Islam are addressed by EU politicians, a frustrated public—note the recent elections in Germany—will address them on their own in ways that are historically scary in their own right. When I go to Europe, I am always struck how at odds the average European’s talk is from what one reads in the newspaper or hears on the television. That degree of frustration and cynicism will only get worse unless there is some honest talk about the dangers Europe faces.”

September 20, 2006

IT’S JUSTIFIED:The New York Times has a rule about presenting opinions in its news columns: Henceforth, they must all conform to the left.”

September 20, 2006

HEY, MAYBE ANDREW’S RIGHT AFTER ALL: I just saw Harold Ford, Jr. on Kudlow & Company, speaking in support of public displays of the Ten Commandments.

He also said he supports a ban on flag-burning, and that he’s closer to the President than to McCain on interrogations.

September 20, 2006

THOU SHALT NOT CRITICIZE LEFTY BLOGS if you want to work at The American Prospect.

UPDATE: Stephen Spruiell has more thoughts on the Nyhan defenestration.