May 7, 2006
PODCASTING FROM THE DOLLYWOOD EXPRESS: Are there twin mountains?
PODCASTING FROM THE DOLLYWOOD EXPRESS: Are there twin mountains?
A MAJOR UPDATE at The Truth Laid Bear.
(Bumped to top)
Contact information for the Egyptian embassy:
The Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
3521 International Ct. NW
Washington DC 20008
Phone (202) 895 5400
Fax (202) 244 5131
(202) 244 4319
As TigerHawk says, “release the hounds!”
UPDATE: Global Voices has more.
BLACKFIVE TV appears on the scene. Be very afraid.
PHOTOBLOGGING at The Itinerant Angler.
OUCH: “Salon’s interstitial ads confront would-be users with the message ‘Good commercials are as rewarding as the Salon journalism they support,’ with which they must choose to ‘Agree’ or ‘Disagree,’ leaving the user in a desperate Tron-world binary conundrum of surely unintended ironies in which disagreement loops back around to agreement.”
“DRAFT HOLLYWOOD:” Read the whole thing.
MORE SCANDAL IN FRANCE:
A burgeoning political scandal of alleged dirty tricks involving the cabinet’s two top ministers has tainted the entire French government, pushing it to the brink of paralysis and collapse in the final year of President Jacques Chirac’s administration, according to government officials and political analysts.
Not surprising, but unfortunate, as France could actually use an effective government at the moment.
OF WINDS AND WHIRLWINDS: Now that the Muhammad-cartoon precedent has been set, we’ve got Christians calling for censorship of stuff that offends them. No surprise, there.
UPDATE: Chuck Pelto emails: “they won’t be as effective as their Islamic counterparts ….until they start sawing off people’s heads with dull knives.” That’ll come, if people keep caving to the Islamists. Fanatics learn by example.
MORE ON Kerry’s fake quote problem. Good advice: “someone in the Kerry campaign should monitor the blogs more to prevent his recycling already debunked urban myths, such as the plastic turkey story and the Jefferson quote.”
Jefferson didn’t say that either. But I think that’s only because he never heard Kerry speak.
At least Michael Dukakis just went away.
IT’S STILL PLEDGE WEEK over at Protein Wisdom.
REPUBLICANS SEEM TO BE UNHAPPY WITH HAYDEN as CIA Director, and Captain Ed wonders why the White House didn’t run this by them first.
GEORGE WILL SAYS IT’S OUR CIVIC DUTY to see United 93, and makes a point I’ve made here a time or two:
The message of the movie is: We are all potential soldiers. And we all may be, at any moment, at the war’s front, because in this war the front can be anywhere.
The hinge on which the movie turns are 13 words that a passenger speaks, without histrionics, as he and others prepare to rush the cockpit, shortly before the plane plunges into a Pennsylvania field. The words are: “No one is going to help us. We’ve got to do it ourselves.” Those words not only summarize this nation’s situation in today’s war but also express a citizen’s general responsibilities in a free society.
Indeed. What’s interesting are the pans from lefties in the audience reviews. It’s like that idea is offensive, somehow. Happily, however, people in general have learned the lesson. And learned it rather well.
MARKOS IS DOWN ON HILLARY CLINTON:
Hillary Clinton has a few problems if she wants to secure the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. She is a leader who fails to lead. She does not appear “electable.” But most of all, Hillary has a Bill Clinton problem. . . . Hillary Clinton leads her Democratic rivals in the polls and in fundraising. Unfortunately, however, the New York senator is part of a failed Democratic Party establishment — led by her husband — that enabled the George W. Bush presidency and the Republican majorities.
Tim Blair figures that this means Hillary has the nomination all sewn up. But Kos is certainly right about this:
While Republicans spent the past four decades building a vast network of small-dollar donors to fund their operations, Democrats tossed aside their base and fed off million-dollar-plus donations. The disconnect was stark, and ultimately destructive.
Unlike Kos, however, I don’t see many signs that the Democratic party is moving in a more constructive direction, or that the influence of those big-money donors is waning. But I could be wrong.
And, as John Kerry’s continued fake-Jefferson-quoting demonstrates, we could do worse!
Me, I think that Hillary might just turn out to be “the most uncompromising wartime President in the history of the United States.” After all, she’s already argued that President Bush had “inherent authority” to go to war against Saddam without any new Congressional authorization.
If she promises to make Atrios Secretary of State she just might get my vote, but some people might be frightened by such a warlike approach.
DEMOCRATIC TALK OF IMPEACHMENT AND INVESTIGATIONS: Shoring up the GOP? I think it very well may come to the Republicans’ rescue. Bush’s biggest problem is in the unhappiness of the GOP base — see below — and nothing will push them back into the fold faster than Democratic politicking of this sort.
THE CARNIVAL OF THE RECIPES is up!
HOMELAND SECURITY IS STILL A JOKE, and Jonathan Rauch writes on how the government let down its guard by passing on an innovative security approach:
Hiring people to stand guard full-time over all but the most sensitive sites would be prohibitively costly and cumbersome. Walker’s solution was what he calls distributed surveillance. HomeGuard posts webcams on the peripheries of no-go zones around critical sites. Cameras, of course, are old hat. Here is the innovation: Regular people, not high-priced security professionals, monitor the sites over the Internet. If a camera detects motion, it transmits a picture to several “spotters,” ordinary Web users who earn $10 an hour for simply looking at photos online and answering this question: “Do you see a person or vehicle in this image?” A yes answer triggers a security response.
The details are ingenious, and you can read about them in my 2003 column on HomeGuard. Suffice to say that, in principle, the system is cheap and almost infinitely scalable. In practice, however, the system needed field-testing before private industry could consider it. Having built a prototype, Walker Digital approached the government in the spring of 2003.
On the recommendation of Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., Walker and his staff met with a series of officials, first at the White House and then at DHS, where they spoke with people from then-Secretary Tom Ridge on down. They were not selling anything. “We were very clear we would give it to a contractor in a heartbeat,” Walker says. “We were reluctant to build a field trial. It’s not our thing. We’re systems designers.” Having designed the system, they were trying to give it away.
It didn’t happen, though. Too bad, as it seems like a real Army of Davids approach.
VARIOUS PEOPLE ARE WONDERING why the New York Times felt compelled to stick up for Zarqawi.
I’LL BE ON MICK WILLIAMS’ CYBER LINE radio show in a few minutes. You can listen live here.
WELL, DUH: “Angry conservatives are driving the approval ratings of President Bush and the GOP-led Congress to dismal new lows, according to an AP-Ipsos poll that underscores why Republicans fear an Election Day massacre.”
Plus, Robert Novak reports: “Republican National Chairman Kenneth Mehlman went to Capitol Hill last Tuesday to warn the party’s House and Senate campaign staffers of dire consequences unless Republicans break the current legislative deadlock. Mehlman stressed the necessity to pass a budget resolution and an immigration reform bill, dealing with two issues that seriously concern the Republican base.”
UPDATE: Over at Ankle Biting Pundits (permalinks not working for some reason, but at the moment it’s the top post), some skepticism about the poll’s demography, with some support. And Professor Bainbridge has related thoughts.
IRANIAN NUKES, U.N. SANCTIONS, AND MORE: Austin Bay has a roundup of news and analysis.
In an attempt to “seek novel solutions for mission challenges from non-traditional sources,” according to a press release, NASA has announced yet another public competition, this time to create a lunar landing “analog.” With a $2.5 million prize purse at stake, this is the twelfth such event to be announced in the past year under the space agency’s Centennial Challenge program. This new challenge is co-sponsored by the X Prize foundation, and will be held in October at the X Prize Cup Expo.
According to X Prize, the competition will be divided into two “levels.” Level one, with a $350,000 first place prize, a vehicle to take off, fly to150 feet (50 meters) altitude, and then to hover for 90 seconds before landing precisely on a landing pad 100 meters away. Level two, which stipulates a hover of 180 seconds and a landing on a rocky, simulated moon surface, comes with a $1.25 million first place prize.
This was announced at the International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles yesterday. Dale Amon has been blogging from that conference over at Samizdata — just keep scrolling.
GIULIANI IS GEARING UP FOR 2008: In the Ruffini & Hewitt straw polls, he’s done best among InstaPundit readers, with Condi Rice a close second.
What is this Workspace all about? Well, if you’re one of those people who does most of your work as an independent, and works primarily from home, or at cafes, then Workspace is for you. Bill is renovating a big bright 4th floor space in Gastown (that picture to the right will click you through to a great set of photos by the talented Kris Krug) with a fabulous view of the North Shore. Members will pay monthly for access – half-day, full-day, or evenings. Click here to watch a lil’ videoblog about the idea. There will be dedicated meeting rooms available for booking (no more having to meet with clients at cafes or at their office!), wifi (of course), a cafe (for in-house caffeination), and…tentatively… yoga. !!!
Can I call ‘em, or what?
THE UN-SILENCED BILL HOBBS has a postmortem on the Maine blog libel case, and interviewed Lance Dutson, the blogger.
HERE’S AN INTERESTING LOOK at Lulu, Blurb, and the whole personal book-publishing phenomenon.
WHAT HATH KELLER WROUGHT:
San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, who wrote a book about Barry Bonds’s alleged steroid use, were subpoenaed yesterday to testify before a federal grand jury regarding court documents they used in their articles, the newspaper reported. The subpoenas called for the authors to turn over their copies of grand jury transcripts from the 2003 investigation of a steroid distribution ring based at the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, according to the Chronicle. They also were asked to provide the identity of the person or persons who leaked the secret documents to them.
Reaping the whirlwind, to coin a phrase.
TIM WORSTALL is metablogging.
ANOTHER PLAGIARISM SCANDAL:
Raytheon directors punished the chief executive, William H. Swanson, by taking away almost $1 million from his 2006 compensation yesterday because he failed to give credit for material that was in a management book he wrote. . . .
The similarities between many of the rules in Mr. Swanson’s book and the 1944 text was uncovered by a San Diego engineer, Carl Durrenberger, who then posted his observations on a blog he maintains.
Reader Jeff Barr, who sends the story, also sends this link to the blog entry in question.
PLEASE SEND YOUR PRAYERS AND GOOD WISHES to Ramona Dixon, who’s in that unenviable condition of hoping it’s benign.
IT’S PLEDGE WEEK at Protein Wisdom.
ANOTHER ARGUMENT FOR CHEAP COFFEE MAKERS: “A plain Proctor Silex. We’ve used the same one at work for three years. We run at least five pots through it everyday. No one cleans it. Ever. And yet, it carries on making delicious coffee. It is the Cal Ripken Jr. of coffee makers.”
Porkbusters having an effect?
I forwarded the list of the senators who had voted three times against pork to my senators, Chambliss and Isaakson, and asked why their names weren’t on the list. Just now I received a call from Rich in Senator Chambliss’ office. Rich said the senator wanted me to know that he voted against the budget bill this morning. I’m registered as a Republican but have never been active in politics since my days in the Jaycees many years ago. The only thing I get from this is that the GOP is finally understanding that voters are upset. Go Porkbusters!
If you hear anything from your Senators or Representatives, let me know. Please put “porkbusters” in the subject line to help make sure I don’t miss it.
UPDATE: Stephen Lalley has heard from Sen. Patty Murray. Click “read more” for the results.
Porkbusters having an effect?
I forwarded the list…’ »
DARFUR UPDATE: “The government of Sudan and the largest rebel faction fighting in the conflict in Darfur signed a pact today to end the carnage there.” But don’t pop the champagne just yet.
THE REAL HONOR IS BEING NOMINATED, but it’s nice to be number one on the National Journal Blogometer poll of bloggers’ favorite blogs. Thanks.
MAINE BLOG LIBEL SUIT UPDATE: “Moments ago, lawyers for the advertising agency suing MBA Member Lance Dutson filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal in U.S. District Court in Maine.”
The Media Bloggers Association has sent out a statement:
The decision to withdraw the lawsuit comes on the heels of a withering media campaign orchestrated by the Media Bloggers Association on behalf of MBA Member Lance Dutson. Hundreds of bloggers responded to the MBA’s call to arms and were joined by media outlets around the world in highlighting the heavy-handed tactics of the state contractor.
“As it should be, the story of ‘Warren Kremer Paino and the Maine Blogger’ is now a cautionary tale”, said MBA President Robert Cox, “future potential plaintiffs would do well to consider WKP’s experience in attempting to silence a blog critic through the Federal courts. Our message is simple: ‘Don’t Mess with the Bloggers’”
A big round of thanks is in order for the lawyers who volunteered their time on Lance’s behalf including MBA General Counsel, Ronald Coleman of the Coleman Law Firm, Greg Herbert of Greenberg Traurig and private attorney Jon Stanley.
“This demonstrates precisely what we have said all along,” said Coleman, “Suits like this are premised solely on the anticpation that there will be no push back from the little guy. Here, there was.”
UPDATE: Ed Cone has it right:
Let’s be serious: There will be successful suits against bloggers who violate copyright laws, or commit libel, or do other bad things. Being a blogger doesn’t give you magic protection powers.
And as Seth Finkelstein pointed out in a comment here not too long ago, no individual blogger out of the millions who publish can count on the MBA or a national blogstorm coming to their rescue in a given instance.
But the lesson is still clear: bully bloggers at your own risk. They have rights, and they are networked, and the big media pay attention to them.
Find a better way of dealing with them, and maybe a better way of doing business.
Yes, being a blogger doesn’t immunize you against libel suits. But on the other hand, the bullying approach doesn’t work very well.
MORE: I guess the coming legal superstorm against bloggers hasn’t arrived yet. But don’t get cocky, kids.
PORTER GOSS HAS RESIGNED as CIA head. He was always a transitional figure, there to clean up the Tenet mess, but I suspect there’s more to it than that because I don’t think that mess has been cleaned up. Regardless of the reasons for Goss’s departure, I believe that Bush will continue to regret not doing a major housecleaning in late 2001/early 2002 (and not just at the CIA), when he had the political mojo to do it. More here.
UPDATE: Josh Marshall says it’s all about the hookers. You’d think that someone with hooker issues wouldn’t pass the security clearance — but then, look at all the other people who’ve made it past the background checks.
Meanwhile a roundup of rumors and speculation here, with this observation:
Following so close to the McCarthy story makes this interesting. If it’s corruption then this is huge, if he’s being painted with Cunningham’s tainted brush and being linked to prostitutes when in fact he has nothing to do with the Watergate-redux than I’d say the CIA cabal theory of things becomes less a tin foil hat scenario than we previously thought.
Hmm. Well, stay tuned.
MORE: Here’s a roundup of reactions, leaning toward the “transitional” theory:
This isn’t a “staff change”, it has nothing to do with Rove. It was understood when he came in what he was coming in for. He did what he came to do.
He swept, now others will collect the dust.
Let’s hope. Seems to me that there’s more sweeping to do, but maybe the new broom will do it.
MORE STILL: “The leak-plugging bastard!”
STILL MORE: The Wall Street Journal reports:
The agency also has been drawn into a federal investigation of bribery that has sent former Rep. Randall “Duke” Cunningham to prison. Just this past week, the CIA confirmed that its third-ranking official, a hand-picked appointee of Mr. Goss, had attended poker games at a hospitality suite set up by a defense contractor implicated in the bribing of former Rep. Cunningham. Friday, people with knowledge of the continuing Cunningham inquiry said the CIA official, Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, is under federal criminal investigation in connection with awarding agency contracts.
Mr. Bush didn’t immediately name a successor to Mr. Goss. Current and former intelligence officials speculated that one likely candidate would be Frances Fragos Townsend, the White House homeland-security adviser.
When Mr. Goss took over the CIA in September 2004, officials said they hoped he would bring rigor to an agency that had suffered tremendous morale problems in the wake of intelligence failures before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the run-up to the Iraq war. But instead, problems at the agency seemed to multiply, as insiders criticized the rigid management style of the former CIA agent and Florida Republican congressman. Mr. Goss was thought to have hastened the brain drain at the agency by reassigning much of its upper echelon when taking over, installing a new crop of managers.
Current and former federal intelligence officials familiar with Mr. Goss’s thinking say the former congressman had become disenchanted with his diminished role after Mr. Negroponte, a veteran national-security official, was appointed to run the new White House intelligence directorate, and had complained that he no longer felt he had the support he needed from the White House to turn the agency around.
Scandal, turf wars, or both? I’m betting both. If “insiders” were unhappy with Goss’s style, that seems to me to be a good thing, but I’m wondering if the CIA isn’t beyond repair. I also wonder if the Negroponte shop isn’t intended to gradually replace the CIA, relegating it to back-office status over time.
Time, meanwhile, says that Goss’s replacement will be Gen. Michael Hayden, and says that Goss’s resignation was the result of a turf war between him and Negroponte. Plus, “one House Democrat promises ‘a partisan food fight’ during the confirmation process.”
Nice to see some people handling national security matters with their customary degree of maturity.
COULD TECHNOLOGY AND ALT-MEDIA make a third-party candidacy in 2008 more successful than past efforts? Some thoughts over at GlennReynolds.com.
JOE KATZMAN has a big future-of-Europe roundup.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: “When Iran’s mullahs acquire their coveted nukes in the next few years, the number of Jews in Israel will just be reaching 6 million. Never again?”
Given the Iranians’ words and actions, I think that Israel is legally and morally justified in launching whatever sort of preemptive strike it chooses.
TENNESSEE SENATE RACE UPDATE: Out running errands just now, I heard a radio commercial for Bob Corker, who’s one of the three running for the Republican nomination for Bill Frist’s seat. The commercial called him a “conservative Republican,” stressed his “pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-traditional marriage” views and used the word “conservative” more times than I could count. Harold Ford is (now) the only Democratic candidate. I was going to blog about the commercial, but when I got home I also got an email from the Ford Campaign that provides some background. Excerpt:
From Charlie Cook in today’s National Journal:
Strange as it might seem, Democrats have a shot at an open Senate seat in the South. Their Tennessee nominee, Rep. Harold Ford, may be their strongest recruit of the cycle in terms of raw talent, political skills, and fundraising ability. Ford, though, will have to wait until August and the outcome of a three-way Republican primary before he will know what kind of general election contest he’ll have.
Former Rep. Van Hilleary, the GOP’s 2002 gubernatorial nominee; former Rep. Ed Bryant, a 2002 Senate candidate; and former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker are competing for the GOP nod. Hilleary and Bryant are vying for the conservative vote while attacking Corker as a tax-raising, abortion-flip-flopping, Democratic-primary-voting, disaster-of-a-mayor moderate.
Corker, on the other hand, argues that he has always opposed abortion rights and that he raised taxes and cut the size of the city’s government to erase a budget deficit and put Chattanooga on the road to financial stability. He acknowledges voting in two Democratic primaries. More important, Corker has vastly outraised each of his Republican rivals and, according to the latest FEC reports, had more than $4.2 million in the bank compared with less than $1.2 million for Hilleary and under $1.1 million for Bryant. Corker is the least well-known candidate, but his war chest can go a long way toward fixing that problem. He recently launched a six-week, $1.6 million advertising campaign.
The bottom line is that Hilleary and Bryant are likely to split the conservative vote, creating an opening for Corker to win the nomination.
While Ford is a strong candidate, he is not without obstacles. The first is that since Reconstruction the South has never elected a black candidate to the Senate. The second is that his politically connected family constantly attracts negative attention. An uncle who had to resign his state Senate seat after being indicted on extortion charges is set to stand trial in October. That certainly won’t help Ford’s chances.
Admirable of them to mention the family problems — the Fords are a sort of black Kennedy family for Tennessee. You can hear our podcast interview with Harold Ford, Jr. here.
CLAUDIA ROSETT: “Even the United Nations’ own employees don’t trust it to deliver justice. Just ask Cynthia Brzak, an American who has worked for the past 26 years at the U.N. refugee office in Geneva, Switzerland. Despairing of a U.N. system that operates immune to any normal jurisdiction of law, Brzak, who two years ago brought an in-house allegation of sexual harassment, is now going outside the institution to ask for a hearing at the U.S. Supreme Court.”
THAT MAINE BLOGGER LAWSUIT doesn’t seem to be working out very well: “A Maine legislator, Stephen Bowen, has written to the state tourism office to request the suspension of Warren Kremer Paino Advertising’s contract with the state.” I can’t say I’m surprised.
UPDATE: Ron Coleman proves that great minds think alike. Or something.
IRAN UPDATE: When going to Brussels is a crime.
RUSSIAN SPAMMERS behind the shutdown of TypePad and LiveJournal?
MORE ON COFFEEMAKERS: My earlier coffeemaker post generated so much email that it’s taken me this long to digest it.
The bottom line is that there’s a huge market opportunity here for someone, as lots of people are unhappy with their coffeemakers. The major problems are the ones I described: Flimsy construction even in the expensive ones, carafes that dribble — what’s with that, anyway? — poor temperature control, and various annoying “features” that get in the way of the basic task.
Various people even suggested that I go with a classic percolator (they do seem to be making a comeback) or a French Press, or an old fashioned Melitta pour-through. But I really like the convenience of setting up the machine the night before and waking to fresh coffee.
Several readers liked this Capresso, though it’s a bit pricey. Reader Ed Hack writes: “Yep, it’s expensive. However, my wife and mom say it makes great coffee. The latte attachment is a bonus and the carafe keeps it hot for quite a while. (I don’t drink coffee, but usually do the setup each night.)” You’re a good husband, Ed.
Reader G.L. Carlson recommends the DeLonghi Nabucco: “Try a DeLonghi Nabucco – it has controls for brew strength and time. When set up correctly (strong, double brew time), it makes a most puissant potion. The pot does dribble if you get the pour cap on off center, or if you pour too fast. Dribble pots are ubiquitous these days.”
Why is that? Isn’t getting the spout design right a matter of high-school physics?
A reader who works at Starbucks, meanwhile, recommends this machine, which they sell. It’s certainly handsome!
Going far downmarket in terms of price, a lot of people liked this cheap Black & Decker. The best coffeemaker I ever had was a Black & Decker. I liked it so much that I replaced it with one of their undercabinet models — which promptly leaked so much steam that the cabinet it was bolted under swelled up and looked terrible, requiring me to do unpleasant things with clamps and Elmer’s Glue to make it look OK again That kind of soured me on the brand, but maybe unfairly.
Ted Gideon, another Black & Decker fan, has this on going cheap and why he likes his low-end model:
All it does is make coffee, keep it hot, and stand up to the neglect I visit on it (in terms of preventive maintenance) year after year.
My experience with the German brands (Krupps, Braun, etc.) is that, without exception, small appliances from der vaterland are overpriced and underwhelming. . . . On the other hand, if you buy cheap and the product doesn’t meet your needs, you are not out that much and can try another budget special or two and still pay less than for the trendy yupster machine.
That’s true, though for some reason I hate to have to replace a coffeemaker, when I’d spend a similar amount to replace some other appliance without a second thought. I’m not sure why.
Several readers are big Mr. Coffee loyalists, and a few point out that they’re not ugly anymore (this one is certainly attractive). Attractiveness isn’t everything, of course, but you’d rather something that sits on your kitchen counter look nice, or at least not bad.
And reader David Ward says I should give the Cuisinart I mentioned earlier another chance: “I’m a coffee machine buying nut and the Cuisinart, which I bought 6 months ago, is excellent. It beeps about 4 times when its done which doesnt seem to me to be as big a drawback as it is to you. I’ve gone through 3 or 4 coffeemakers that didnt beep but did make crummy coffee so my advice is to deal with the couple of beeps. Its not like a freakin car alarm is going off in your kitchen. Plus if you program it, the coffee making and beeping will be done just as you finish putting on your shoes and heading downstairs.”
Hmm. I’m going to research this further and report on my results. Stay tuned.
(Hey, it’s no worse than ketchup-blogging!)
UPDATE: And the mail just keeps coming. James Lileks emails:
Perhaps you want the Cuisinart DCC-2000:
It solves the dribble-glass carafe problem – by eliminating the carafe. Voila!
I’ve had one for almost a year, after going through three machines in 12 months (including that stylish Mr. Coffee, which lost its will to live after six months.) The DCC-2k makes two fine pots per day, and I am satisfied. I also expect it to break within the year, but that has less to do with the Cuisinart brand than the general end of the era of immortal appliances.
Yes, appliances did used to be pretty much immortal, but not now.
GATEWAY PUNDIT LOOKS INTO THE BACKGROUND of a Rumsfeld heckler. This reminds me of Matt Welch’s old project of googling antiwar people to discover how many (quite a few) had been apologists for Slobodan Milosevic’s genocidal efforts. Why don’t the Big Media do this kind of thing?
MY MENTION OF THE SHANGRI-LA DIET produced a wave of email from people saying they’d lost a lot of weight on it, painlessly.
I’m . . . well, not exactly skeptical, but unpersuaded. That’s because whenever I mention any diet I get email like that. People say that diets don’t work, but that’s a half-truth: in fact, pretty much every diet works, if you stick to it. It’s the sticking to it that’s hard.
I follow the “eat less, exercise more” diet, and that works pretty well, as long as I stick to it. I’ve been reading the book, though, and it looks fairly sensible. For me, exercise is key: Not only is it good in itself, but I tend to eat better when I’m exercising regularly.
BECAUSE THERE’S A BELIEVER BORN EVERY MINUTE? Lee Harris wonders why socialism hasn’t died.
BRING IT ON: A look at the upgradable you.
J.D. JOHANNES offers video of an IED attack.
LAPDOGS? STEPHEN SPRUIELL fact-checks Eric Boehlert.
BACKLASH UPDATE: Gateway Pundit has a roundup of polls on immigration, and the protests seem to have produced less support for amnesty, rather than more.
PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Dennis Hastert says the Senate spending bill is dead on arrival:
As it’s currently drafted, the Senate’s $109 billion emergency spending bill is dead on arrival in the House. President Bush requested $92 billion for the War on Terror and some hurricane spending. The House used fiscal restraint, but now the Senate wants to come to the table with a tab that’s $17 billion over budget. The House has no intention of joining in a spending spree at the expense of American taxpayers.
Good. Bill Frist doesn’t like it much, either, though only a few of his colleagues joined him in voting against it.
The CDC is conducting a campaign to prevent antibiotic resistance in healthcare centers that consists of four main strategies: prevent infection, diagnose and treat infection, use antimicrobials wisely, and prevent transmission. However, federal officials have paid little attention to the flip side of the problem: the shortage of new antibiotics. Twenty years ago, approximately a half-dozen new antibiotics would appear on the market each year; now it’s at most one or two. For decades we’ve relied largely on new variations on old tricks to combat rapidly evolving pathogens: Most antibiotics in use today are chemically related to earlier ones discovered between 1941 and 1968. During the last 37 years, only two antibiotics with truly novel modes of action have been introduced — Zyvox in 2000 and Cubicin in 2003, the latter of which is used only against skin infections.
Market forces and regulatory costs have exacerbated the antibiotics drought. Until about a decade ago, all the major pharmaceutical makers had antibacterial research programs, but they have dramatically trimmed or eliminated these efforts, focusing instead on more lucrative drugs that treat chronic ailments and other issues. Think Lipitor and Levitra, for example. Whereas antibiotics cure a patient in days, and may not be required again for years, someone with high cholesterol or erectile dysfunction might pop expensive pills every day for decades. Moreover, drug development has become hugely expensive, with the direct and indirect costs to bring a drug to market now averaging more than $800 million.
Read the whole thing.
POLITICAL DISCOURSE: In the gutter?
PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Mark Tapscott observes:
In other words, the conferees appointed by the Senate’s Republican and Democrat leadership to negotiate with the House voted in favor of earmarks twice as often as they did against earmarks. Of the 28 conferees, 13 voted for earmarks every chance they had. The only conferee who voted against earmarks at every opportunity was Kohl.
Of the 23 votes cast by conferees against earmarks, 11 were by GOP senators, the other dozen by Democrats. That apparent balance is a bit deceiving, however, as there were 8 GOP senators who voted against earmarks every time, compared to five among the Democrats.
I’d like to see a lot of incumbents voted out.
I’M SUPPOSED TO BE ON NBC NIGHTLY NEWS in a little while, talking about blogs and the media.
UPDATE: Well, I watched it, and I don’t want to be rude to the NBC people, who were quite pleasant. But jeez, that was a 2002 story. If you hadn’t heard of blogs before, I guess it was news. Otherwise, not so much. But I guess there’s not a lot you can do within the confines of a roughly 2 minute news story.
Ian Schwartz has the video, if you’d like to watch.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Rick Lee emails:
Well… these stories are still needed. It seems that most of the people I come in contact with either have no idea what a blog is or they are only vaguely aware but don’t read them. The word itself is very off-putting to most people. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked about blogs with somebody who struggles to get the word out and then giggles after saying it… as though they had just said “poop” or something. Blogs are still far, far from mainstream in this country.
THOUGHTS ON COLBERT AND COMEDY, over at GlennReynolds.com.
TIM WORSTALL: “Something stunningly sensible has just occurred in the field of climate change research.” I like his title.
A ZARQAWI BLOOPER REEL: This’ll wow ‘em at the fan conventions.
UH OH: Will the election be decided by Lou Dobbs voters?
UNO DE MAYO is a new film by Stuart Browning on the less-savory participants in Monday’s marches. You can see it online here.
Boy, those marches sure have launched a lot of web videos.
OVER AT HOT AIR, a video interview with Ramesh Ponnuru. I’m not on board with his whole Party of Death approach, though I share his disregard for bioethicists. The Hot Air video interview setup is really well done, too, and offers a look into the future of web video.
UPDATE: Or maybe this is the future. . . .
ANOTHER UPDATE: Jim Bennett emails on the “Party of Death:”
Isn’t that the one with Leon Kass in it?
THIS WEEK’S BLOG WEEK IN REVIEW PODCAST is up, over at PJ Media. I’m on, and so are Austin Bay, Eric Umansky, and Tammy Bruce.
It’s been an historic week in the U.S. Senate as Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, used an obscure parliamentary move dubbed the “clay pigeon” amendment to force votes on nearly two dozen earmarks slipped into the emergency appropriations bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Gulf Coast hurricane recovery.
There have been some victories and more defeats, but Coburn has succeeded in putting before the American people as no politician has before him in the modern era the magnitude and fundamental dishonesty inherent in so much of federal spending.
By standing up by himself in the beginning and then persevering through the insults, counter-attacks and tirades of the old bulls of the Senate, Coburn has given the country a vivid demonstration of genuine political courage. One result has been that many more Members of the Senate have begun to vote with him instead of against him.
But there is another aspect of Coburn’s demonstration that bears comment and that is how he has also provided a demonstration of the tremendously salutary effects of term limits.
I think we should term-limit some folks this November, but he’s right. The argument against going ahead on term limits was that electing Republicans would fix things. It didn’t.
IN THE MAIL: Seth Roberts’ The Shangri-La Diet. It’s billed as the “The No Hunger Eat Anything Weight-loss Plan.” And I thought that required tapeworms!
Interesting Freakonomics endorsement.
PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Over at the Porkbusters site, there’s a report card of how Senators are voting:
Listed below are Senators, grouped by how many times they voted to support one the three Coburn anti-pork amendments that have come to a vote: the CSX Railroad relocation in Mississippi (Coburn lost 47-50); the “seafood promotion strategies package” (Coburn won 51-44), and the Northrup Grumman bailout (Coburn lost 48-51).
More details to come as we continue to monitor the Senate’s progress…
You may want to let your Senators know how you feel about these and related votes.
MORE VIDEO FROM THE MAY DAY PROTESTS, by Andrew Marcus and Evan Coyne Maloney.
HOWARD KURTZ: “But seriously, folks, has Congress become something of a joke?”
TENNESSEE’S BUDGET SURPLUS is “surging.” The un-silenced Bill Hobbs has more on the ensuing scramble to spend more money. I think across-the-board salary increases for law professors at Tennessee law schools make sense! Big ones!
Will this bolster Phil Bredesen’s presidential prospects? Er, probably not, if he goes with the law-professor-salary thing.
RAISE CAFE STANDARDS? A negative take at The Truth About Cars.
INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM at Iowahawk.
MARY KATHARINE HAM wrote the other day that Trent Lott hasn’t recognized yet that he has a problem. I’m not sure that kleptomania is quite the right word, though.
PEGGY NOONAN thinks that Moussaoui should have gotten death:
Excuse me, I’m sorry, and I beg your pardon, but the jury’s decision on Moussaoui gives me a very bad feeling. What we witnessed here was not the higher compassion but a dizzy failure of nerve.
From the moment the decision was announced yesterday, everyone, all the parties involved–the cable jockeys, the legal analysts, the politicians, the victim representatives–showed an elaborate and jarring politesse. “We thank the jury.” “I accept the verdict of course.” “We can’t question their hard work.” “I know they did their best.” “We thank the media for their hard work in covering this trial.” “I don’t want to second-guess the jury.”
How removed from our base passions we’ve become. Or hope to seem.
Read the whole thing. I confess that I’m more interested in seeing the deaths of people who are still in a position to harm us, but she nonethless makes a good point. Paul Mirengoff’s lawyerly take is here.
AS I’VE NOTED BEFORE, though it’s more obvious among Republicans there are splits on immigration in both parties. Here’s a Democratic argument against illegal immigration.
WAGNER JAMES AU EMAILS on “the ever-declining returns on anti-Bush hysteria:”
2004: “Darn you mainstream media, you’re ignoring a US ambassador whose visit to Niger exposed Bush!”
2005: “Darn you mainstream media, you’re ignoring a UK official whose memo to 10 Downing exposed Bush!”
2006: “Darn you mainstream media, you’re ignoring a comedian whose performance at a press roast exposed Bush!”
Heh. I guess next year will be about muppets.
DEATH RAY!! AAAHHHH!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! Or not.
USING LAPTOPS TO STEAL CARS: “The expert gang suspected of stealing two of David Beckham’s BMW X5 SUVs in the last six months did so by using software programs on a laptop to wirelessly break into the car’s computer, open the doors, and start the engine.”
NO DEATH PENALTY for Moussaoui.
WELL, I DRIVE A HYBRID, but I don’t think I’m part of the group he’s talking about . . . . But I think their silence does them credit, really.
ED DRISCOLL INTERVIEWS ALVIN TOFFLER in this TCS Daily podcast.
FIGHTING KEYBOARDISTS get a CentCom endorsement. Heh.
Meanwhile, here’s a podcast interview with blogger Bill Roggio, who’s on his way to an embed in Afghanistan. Roggio is interviewed by Richard Fernandez of The Belmont Club.
UPDATE: Judging by this Michael Yon report from Afghanistan, Bill will have a lot to report on, much of it bad.
KC JOHNSON OFFERS ADVICE FOR THE DUKE FACULTY:
Indeed, far from needing a more “progressive” campus culture, the lacrosse scandal suggests that a considerable portion of the Duke faculty and student body need to reread the Constitution and consider the accused — regardless of their group identity — innocent until proven guilty. Moreover, if, as Duke officials have claimed, Brodhead seriously desires to use this event as a “learning opportunity,” he needs to explore why voices among the faculty urging local authorities to respect the due process rights of Duke’s students seemed so overpowered by professors exhibiting a rush to judgment.
DR. TONY REPORTS on a day without immigrants that wasn’t.
AN IMMIGRATION BACKLASH?