August 20, 2006
VIDEO: Lieberman on Kerry.
VIDEO: Lieberman on Kerry.
“FAKE BUT ACCURATE:” ANN ALTHOUSE responds to Larry Tribe’s defense of Judge Taylor’s opinion.
MACACA UPDATE: James Joyner says the Washington Post is gunning for George Allen, and offers a psychological explanation: “One gathers the Post is more offended by the insinuation that inside-the-Beltway elites aren’t part of ‘real America’ than about the ‘racist overtones’ of the Macaca incident. Perhaps Allen’s remarks hit a wee bit close to home?”
Nah. It’s all just misdirection to let them report the real damaging news that Allen is half French. . . .
JOE GANDELMAN looks at Republican pundits deserting Bush, which does seem to be a phenomenon. Bush — who, as I’ve said before, has always been politically weak, just stronger than Kerry or Gore — is in the “sweet spot” on the war, fighting hard enough to anger the antiwar folks but not hard enough to please the prowar folks. This might argue that Bush is getting it right, but I suspect not. If you’re going to fight a war, you should probably fight it full bore or not at all, raising the troubling possibility that both sets of critics are right simultaneously. But perhaps a nuanced approach is called for.
On the other hand, the Hotline Blog suggests that Bush-bashing has gone too far, asking, “What’s next, blaming Bush for ATM fees?”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Related thoughts here.
JAMES PINKERTON wonders if AIDS has “pushed planetary politics to the right.”
And colonialism isn’t entirely out of style: “I heard a torrent of sex-drenched verbiage from white people, all aimed at browbeating mostly non-white people into changing their traditional ways.”
IS THE ANGLICAN CHURCH splintering? My Nigerian relatives are Anglicans, and my sense is that the Nigerian church is far more conservative than the American or English versions.
SOME INTERESTING DATA ON PODCAST AUDIENCES, from Nielsen:
More than 6% of U. S adults, or about 9 million web users, have downloaded podcasts in the past 30 days, according to The Economics of Podcasting, a report released today by Nielsen Analytics, part of VNU’s Media Measurement & Information Group.
In a first quarter 2006 study, conducted by Nielsen Analytics at Nielsen Entertainment Television testing facilities in Las Vegas, more than 1700 participants were surveyed on their podcasting usage. About 6% of respondents described themselves as regular podcast downloaders – more than 75% of whom were male. The findings show that a significant percentage, approximately 38%, of active podcast downloaders say they are listening to radio less often.
“The incredible popularity of podcasting is the latest demonstration of consumers’ willingness to take control of their media experiences,” said Larry Gerbrandt, general manager and senior vice president of Nielsen Analytics. “While essentially still in nascent form, podcasts offer free audio and video content that is inexpensive to create, easy to access and on a portable platform that has already reached mass distribution. This exciting new medium has only just begun to stretch its legs.”
Judging by the numbers they give for popular podcasts, the Glenn and Helen Show is doing awfully well, though as with all Web stats its hard to be sure that you’re comparing apples and apples. In the same spirit, I don’t think that Nielsen will learn anything useful by sampling the habits of 400 iPod owners. First, most people listen to podcasts on computers, not iPods. (Even most people who listen on portable players tend to listen on other brands than iPods.) Second, Apple users tend to be disproportionately left-leaning, and while that’s probably less true for iPod owners than it is for Mac owners I think it probably injects some potential bias. And finally, given the vast diversity of offerings out there, 400 listeners isn’t nearly enough. Even 4000 would be a pretty coarse measure.
UPDATE: Reader Douglas Winship takes me to task, which, er, provides me with a great opportunity to showcase the self-correcting nature of the blogosphere:
I am curious about your assertion that Apple users as a whole tend to lean left. I know it is a common assumption, and Apple certainly has a tendency to lean left in the culture it uses in its advertising, but have there actually been studies on this? Could you cite one, just for grins?
I am curious, because my own experience does not support this. I know plenty of users who range from full-blown BDS sufferers, to California Libertarians (OK, there may not be a difference there….), and a bunch of moderate to conservative Republicans like myself. Now, I am aware that we all gravitate socially to like-minded people, but I find it hard to believe that Mac users gravitate that significantly Left.
He’s right to call me. You hear that about Apple users leaning left all the time, but I don’t have a study on that. Anybody know if I’m right, or just recycling commonly held stereotypes? I’m probably also wrong on the iPods vs. other players issue, as their market share (I looked this up myself) has risen to an astounding 82% of the retail market, and may be headed higher. Even allowing for the large base of preexisting players from other brands out there, iPods are probably an absolute majority of players in use. Also, interestingly, the percentage (not the number) of iTunes users subscribing to our RSS feed has dropped, as lots of people have started subscribing via Firefox and other agents. I assume those folks are listening on their computers, mostly, and certainly not on iPods.
I stand by my point about 400 iPod users not being a big enough sample, though.
YES, IT IS THE SILLY SEASON, and this is the best headline example yet: “Sex Change for JonBenet Killer?”
IT’S A CULTURE OF CORRUPTION UPDATE over at Ed Morrissey’s.
I’LL BE ON CNN’S RELIABLE SOURCES at about 10:30 Eastern this morning, talking about George Allen and related items.
UPDATE: Hot Air has video thanks to Ian Schwartz.
LEBANON UPDATE: Jules Crittenden offers translations from the French:
In recent weeks, France stepped forward to act as a broker of peace in Lebanon. “Act” is the key verb in that last sentence, as it now would seem that the only other verifiable part of the sentence is “in recent weeks.”
To correctly parse that sentence, one must understand that when France suggested it wanted to broker peace in Lebanon, it did not necessarily mean “broker” or “peace” or “Lebanon” in the way we might understand those words. The same is true when France further suggested it wanted to “lead” a “strong” “multinational” “force” there.
Read the whole thing.
Meanwhile, Judicial Watch has some new stuff on behind-the-scenes efforts along those lines in the Clinton years. Bill Clinton thought that gun control cost him the Congress in 1996, and there’s some evidence that Democrats have taken that lesson to heart, though as the party moves left I don’t know if it will stick.
UPDATE: Meanwhile, on the Darfur front, here’s a site that scores members of Congress on their efforts regarding the genocide there.
SOME MAP-READING ADVICE for the media: “Really with the ease and speed of web sources there is no excuse for reporters, or at least their editor when the reporter is in the field, to not check the web for correct locations, place names and other facts.”
British holidaymakers staged an unprecedented mutiny – refusing to allow their flight to take off until two men they feared were terrorists were forcibly removed.
The extraordinary scenes happened after some of the 150 passengers on a Malaga-Manchester flight overheard two men of Asian appearance apparently talking Arabic.
The two guys were likely entirely innocent, and didn’t deserve this, but this is the kind of thing that happens when people don’t trust the authorities to protect them. Over time, I fear that excessive political correctness on the part of governments will breed the reverse elsewhere.
UPDATE: Somewhat related item here.
PALLYWOOD: More fake imagery.
PETER ROBINSON HAS MORE on developments at Dartmouth.
DAVE WINER: “I wanted to live a brilliant life.”
AUSTIN BAY HAS THOUGHTS on confirming Ambassador Bolton.
HERE’S A ROUNDUP of advice to new law students.
A South African Aids campaigner has called on world leaders to speak out against the government of Thabo Mbeki, which he claims is responsible for the continuing but unnecessary devastation wreaked in his country by Aids. . . .
“This crisis has to be broken somehow. The African Union and the G8 and the EU have to speak out about it. The British government, who are silent on this question, have to find a way to intervene.”
I wonder if anyone will listen.
The Israeli-Hezbollah war has left many dead bodies, ruined towns, and wobbling politicians in its wake, but the media historian of the future may also count as one more victim the profession of photojournalism. In twenty years of researching and teaching about the art and trade and doing photo-documentary work, I have never witnessed or heard of such a wave of attacks on the people who take news pictures and on the basic premise that nonfiction news photo- and videography is possible.
I’m not sure, however, if the craft I love is being murdered, committing suicide, or both.
I’m voting for “suicide.” (Via Newsbeat1).
ADAM LIPTAK in the New York Times: “Even legal experts who agreed with a federal judge’s conclusion on Thursday that a National Security Agency surveillance program is unlawful were distancing themselves from the decision’s reasoning and rhetoric yesterday. . . . Discomfort with the quality of the decision is almost universal, said Howard J. Bashman, a Pennsylvania lawyer whose Web log provides comprehensive and nonpartisan reports on legal developments.”
MICKEY KAUS has more thoughts on how the “K Street Strategy” is working for Republicans.
TODD ZYWICKI: “Dartmouth’s recent history on matters of free speech is lamentable and well-known.”
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS — Mayor indicted for traffic-camera bribery:
Mayor Shawn Brown was arrested by federal authorities Friday on a charge of soliciting and accepting $2,750 in bribe money from a company that wanted to install red light cameras in St. Peters.
The company is Redflex, which is also the contractor for Knoxville’s traffic cameras. More background here, and note that this isn’t the only bribery case of its type. My article on red light cameras for Popular Mechanics can be found here.
UPDATE: It’s in the linked story, but I don’t want to give the wrong impression, so note this passage too: “Redflex employees then alerted the FBI and cooperated with the agency in carrying out the alleged bribe, said Jay Heiler, a spokesman for the Scottsdale, Ariz., firm.” Thanks to reader Daniel Coyne for pointing out the possible confusion.
WILLIAM BEUTLER RESPONDS to Matt Stoller’s anti-Blogometer Fatwa.
IS BLOGGING JOURNALISM? Sometimes, says Cathy Seipp, but not as often as bloggers think.
Of course, much of what appears in newspapers isn’t journalism, either.
SO WE PICKED MY BROTHER IN LAW UP FROM CHEMO TODAY — hence the light blogging — and took him home. He was doing as well as anyone can do under those circumstances, but the hospital was, as usual, in hurry-up-and-wait mode, so we spent a lot of time on the chemo floor, which is pretty depressing.
But we got home to a “gift pack” from Amazon Grocery. Lots of snacks, coffees, and assorted other goodies, including a miniature flashlight. I don’t know if it’s some sort of blog-promotion gimmick or, more likely, something aimed at big Amazon customers, which we certainly are.
I wonder if this is in response to the investors’ concerns about the Amazon Grocery business that I mentioned a while back?
UPDATE: Looks like they’re casting their net pretty broadly, as quite a few other readers got this, too. Reader Kevin Hisel writes:
I am only a so-so Amazon customer (an order every month, tops) and I too got the goody box gift. I’m certainly not a well-known Internet figure.
So there you are.
WHEN SOCKPUPPETS ATTACK: Ed Cone reports:
Two comments at this blog were signed with the names of real people who comment here, but were not written by them. Both originated from the IP address used by Connie Mack Berry of the Rachel Hunter campaign, and both contain other information that links back to the campaign site.
UPDATE: Could sockpuppetry hurt the blogosphere’s credibility? Follow the link for a spirited debate . . . .
There’s YouTube video of the bridge, and much more, right here.
I hope that other people will post video and photos of pork projects in their areas. Let the sun shine in!
MARK TAPSCOTT RESPONDS to the PorkBusters critics.
ME, ERIC UMANSKY, AUSTIN BAY, AND TAMMY BRUCE on the events of the week, at the Blog Week in Review podcast.
ANOTHER U.N. PEACEKEEPER SCANDAL:
The United Nations is investigating a suspected child prostitution ring involving its peacekeepers and government soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the U.N. mission said on Thursday.
Among accusations being investigated is that pimps are using the presence of U.N. peacekeepers to lure vulnerable girls to go and work as prostitutes in areas of South Kivu where they are deployed, the mission said in a statement.
I’m sure that Lebanon will be a success. (Via Newsbeat1).
I’M SURE IT WAS THEIR INVASION OF IRAQ, or maybe their opposition to the Kyoto Protocol that led to this:
Two suitcases containing bottles of gasoline, propane gas and a detonating device that were found abandoned in German regional trains last month were bombs primed to go off and kill a “high number” of people, police said. . . .
The July 31 attempt “is likely to have a terrorist background,” Zierke said. Investigators found pieces of paper with Arabic letters and telephone numbers from Lebanon in clothes which were in the suitcases to pad the gas bottles, he said. They also found starch bags from Lebanon which were sold in a store in or around Essen, a city in North-Rhine Westphalia.
It couldn’t be part of an overall Islamist war plan or anything.
UPDATE: German blog MedienKritik observes:
This is yet another wake up call for all Germans who believe that terrorism at home can be averted through a policy of appeasement and pacifism at all costs.
I’m betting they’ll opt to hit the “snooze” button one more time.
FUTURIST AND LONGEVITY ACTIVIST AUBREY DE GREY is interviewed at Fast Forward Radio.
MICHAEL TOTTEN reports from Israel on Hezbollah’s harm. “If Hezbollah really did the best they could to avoid killing civilians with their inaccurate rockets (as their apologists claim) I would have set up shop in Kiryat Shmona. But the situation was exactly reversed. The exception was the town of Metulla, and the reason for that, presumably, is because it is immediately surrounded on three sides by Lebanon. With that exception in mind, the claim that civilian areas were safer places than military areas is terrorist propaganda.”
SMASHING SATELLITE DISHES IN IRAN: Kind of makes you wonder what the mullahs are anxious to keep their people from finding out.
BILL HOBBS has been blogging from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lots of legislators are blogging, and interested in blogs.
AN IMPENDING North Korean nuclear test? A distraction that’s part of the Iran/North Korea shell game, I suspect.
MISSING THE HURRICANES:
With the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall (August 29, 2005) rapidly approaching, who would have predicted that we would now be in the middle of a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season? Weren’t the global warming pundits’ predictions for this hurricane season that it would be just as bad — maybe even worse! — than last year?
I’m agnostic on global warming predictions, but year-to-year hurricane numbers don’t have much to do with global warming, and claims otherwise are mostly hype.
JACK SHAFER says that the press doesn’t need to apologize for its JonBenet Ramsey coverage. I’m guessing that few outside the press will find his arguments persuasive.
The obvious suspicion is that election-year politics precludes any dramatically increased deployment. But would it really hurt the GOPs in the November election if we sent an additional division to make the Baghdad plan work? Isn’t Bush unpopular in part because of his growing reputation for too-little-too-late adapatation to changing circumstances (Katrina, Iraq, ineffective tooth-pulling concessions on immigration, Social Security, etc.)? Voters might appreciate some decisive action instead of what seems to be an insufficiently alarmed drift. … Would Harry Truman have waited until after the midterms?
Truman’s probably a poor role model when it comes to war-related political competency, though . . . .
IT’S PLEDGE WEEK at DailyPundit.
TIM BLAIR: Green role model.
MICKEY KAUS and his evil ways. He’s subtle, our Mickey.
GARRETT EPPS, at the Washington Post’s “PostGlobal” blog:
The Chinese government, which already severely curtails free expression, is about to pass a law forbidding media in China from reporting “sudden events” such as industrial accidents, natural disasters or public health emergencies in any way that displeases local or national authorities. Americans may be tempted to dismiss the issue as simply a minor tweaking of a foreign authoritarian system, but this would be a grave mistake. All of us — investors, workers and consumers — have a stake in the Chinese media’s fight for independence.
I agree. Read the whole thing.
A MANUFACTURED OPPOSITION PARTY IN RUSSIA? Designed, apparently, to give the appearance of vigorous opposition while remaining generally ineffectual and self-defeating. If this happened here, could we tell the difference?
THE SUGGESTION, which doesn’t seem to be tongue-in-cheek though it’s not clearly serious either, that Cheney and Rumsfeld are sabotaging democracy in Iraq so that they’ll have a free hand to level Iran with no pesky nation-building, seems pretty out-there to me. Bush’s critics are one of his greatest assets, as C.J. Burch said a while back. After I referred to that the other day, Burch emailed: “If the left doesn’t shut up the Republicans will be able to continue acting like this and still get themselves elected…God help us all.” And that goes for Bush’s over-the-top critics on the non-left, too.
I know that conspiracy theory is all the rage now, but I don’t see how this leads to a healthy politics.
UPDATE: Check out this poll!
ANOTHER UPDATE: Where does the Neueschwabenland Campaign fit in? I’m guessing that Cheney had a finger in this pie.
AUSTIN BAY TURNS LITERARY CRITIC, and looks at fellow novelist Gunter Grass: “Grass has imposed a guilt-trip on the rest of us to mask his own guilty past.”
“MORAL VICTORY” IN SIGHT? “U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a three-term Democrat now running as an independent candidate, leads the man who beat him in last week’s primary vote by 12 points in a three-way race, a poll released on Thursday shows.”
RUDY GIULIANI IN SOUTH CAROLINA: Ryan Sager reports:
Addressing roughly 75 supporters of Republican congressional candidate Ralph Norman — a business-oriented, conservative state representative running to unseat a Democratic incumbent — Mr. Giuliani gave an instructive preview of how he might try to sell himself to skeptical Southern primary voters.
The 2000 election, Mr. Giuliani said, had taught him just how important politics really is. While the election had seemed a relatively frivolous one at the time, suddenly — on September 11, 2001 — it mattered a great deal who was in the White House. “Sometimes, elections are more important than we realize when we’re in them,” he said.
While he tied that argument to the 2006 midterm elections, the real message was clear: The coming presidential election isn’t about the Confederate flag, it’s not about Roe v. Wade, it’s not about whether New York’s former mayor has had some marital troubles — it’s about who will lead America in the War on Terror. Some conservatives might not see eye-to-eye with this Blue-stater on social issues, but this is a new world we live in.
Read the whole thing. (Link was wrong at first; fixed now. Sorry!)
UPDATE: Kaus has more thoughts.
A MAJOR DEFEAT FOR THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION in the NSA communications intercept case, as District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor finds the program unconstitutional. No doubt it will be appealed, but the Bush Administration, in its usual summer slump, doesn’t need any more bad news right now.
UPDATE: Eugene Volokh offers a somewhat skeptical take on the opinion. And several readers think that the timing is actually good for the Bush Administration, as it brings this issue front-and-center during the runup to the elections.
NABBED: “A senior al Qaeda commander allegedly tied to the London airplane bomb plot has been arrested in Pakistan, Pakistani intelligence and law enforcement officials have told ABC News. Matiur Rehman, one of the most wanted men in Pakistan, is known to have met with the alleged plot ringleader Rashid Rauf, according to the officials.”
THE INSTA-DAUGHTER STARTED MIDDLE SCHOOL THIS WEEK, and her grandmother gave her a copy of A Smart Girl’s Guide to Starting Middle School: Everything You Need to Know About Juggling More Homework, More Teachers, and More Friends, which comes from the “American Girl” people. Unlike most of their products, it’s reasonably priced. . . .
I looked through it and it’s good. (Hey, my mom’s a children’s librarian, so it should be). I wish they’d had books like this for boys when I was that age.
The Federal Communications Commission has mailed letters to the owners of 77 television stations inquiring about their use of video news releases, a type of programming critics refer to as”fake news.”
Video news releases are packaged news stories that usually employ actors to portray reporters who are paid by commercial or government groups.
The letters were sparked by allegations that television stations have been airing the videos as part of their news programs without telling viewers who paid for them.
This phenomenon isn’t new — in fact, Peter Morgan and I covered it in our 1997 book, in a chapter that you can read for free online here — but it’s worth keeping this in mind whenever Big Media folks criticize blogs’ journalistic standards.
PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: The Washington Post reports:
A coalition of odd bedfellows is trying to bring more transparency to earmarking by encouraging citizens to get involved in tracking who is trying to get what money for which special interest. And all of this will be online and available to the public.
The coalition includes the Sunlight Foundation, Citizens Against Government Waste, Porkbusters.org, Human Events Online and the Washington Examiner newspaper. They created a single database of earmarks, but each organization is presenting the database on its own Web site and asking the public to participate in different ways. Generally, however, they are asking citizens to investigate the earmarks that grab their attention, then report back. They plan to share their information with each other.
Nice to see that people are noticing. There’s more information here. Dig in!
PorkBusters is also trying to find out who’s behind the “secret hold” on the Coburn/Obama earmark reform legislation. I’m guessing that it won’t stay secret.
UPDATE: Reader Thomas Enright emails:
I was “polled” last night via telephone regarding our local congressional race. Republican incumbent Joe Knollenberg is taking on Democrat Nancy Skinner. I was presented a series of issue and asked if the candidates” stand on that issue would make me less, more or leave unchanged the likelihood that I would vote for him or her. I was asked about abortion, tariffs, etc. but included in there was “Joe Knollenberg voted to fund the ‘bridge to nowhere.’ Would this make you less likely, more likely to vote for him? Or do you have no opinion”
Now, I know all about the bridge because I have the good sense to read instapundit, however, the average voter? If they go to the trouble to include such a question it must be assumed to have some impact.
Interesting. Anybody else getting questions like this?
ANOTHER UPDATE: Here’s more on “Earmark Forensics,” from Marketplace.
HURRAY FOR HOLLYWOOD:
NICOLE Kidman has made a public stand against terrorism.
The actress, joined by 84 other high-profile Hollywood stars, directors, studio bosses and media moguls, has taken out a powerfully-worded full page advertisement in today’s Los Angeles Times newspaper.
It specifically targets “terrorist organisations” such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine.
“We the undersigned are pained and devastated by the civilian casualties in Israel and Lebanon caused by terrorist actions initiated by terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah and Hamas,” the ad reads.
“If we do not succeed in stopping terrorism around the world, chaos will rule and innocent people will continue to die.
“We need to support democratic societies and stop terrorism at all costs.”
Indeed. (Thanks to Jules Crittenden for the link).
ALAN BOYLE reports on a new lunar race developments. “Four teams say they’ll be competing for $2 million in the NASA-backed Lunar Lander Challenge at the X Prize Cup rocket festival in October. Two of those teams are already well-known, while the other two are dark horses in this race. ”
CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: The New Orleans gun confiscation was halted by a federal court, but victims are still suing the city:
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier denied a motion by the city of New Orleans to dismiss a suit by the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation. The gun-rights groups sued Mayor Ray Nagin and New Orleans Police Chief Warren Riley over the confiscation of guns following Hurricane Katrina.
The city asked the judge to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction, saying “the states, and by extension their political subdivisions, are free to proscribe the possession of firearms.”
The court rejected the motion, ruling the city did nothing to back up “the brazen assertion” that the second amendment did not apply.
“I’m delighted to see that the second amendment still applies in Louisiana,” said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA.
The suit says that during and after the Aug. 29 storm, “Mayor Nagin ordered the New Orleans police and other law enforcement entities under his authority to evict persons from their homes and to confiscate the lawfully possessed firearms.”
By pursuing it, the NRA hopes to prevent any such action in the future, LaPierre said. The organization also hopes the court will order police to return guns in their possession to the rightful owners, he said.
BLOGOMETER REPORTS on the latest PorkBusters effort:
8/16 is yet another example of the trend as a broad coalition of conservative bloggers and other established institutions join forces to promote an anti-pork spending project that, since the GOP’s in power, ought to bring embarrassment to GOP lawmakers in the midst of a tough cycle. With their current belief in partisanship at all costs (see CT SEN), would lefty bloggers ever put forward such an effort that had the potential to hurt so many Dems?
In a word, no. The Sunlight Foundation, however, is not on the right, but the left, lest anyone be confused.
UPDATE: Randy Walker emails: “What? After Joe just lost a primary? What are you smoking (can I get some)? Exactly how many Republicans have been kicked out of office because of Pork Busters? When it comes to political pressure on your own party, I believe the score is left 1, right 0. I love pork busters but your are way out to sea on this one.”
Hmm. Well, that’s fair, I guess — except that the Blogometer point, and mine, was not about individual elections, but rather about things that give one side or another a structural advantage. As Josh Marshall and Mickey Kaus noted on Bloggingheads.tv, the “K Street strategy” seems to be working for the Republicans, but a lot of GOP-leaning bloggers are still attacking it. That’s a bit different from trying to replace one Democrat with a different Democrat.
That said, I hope that by 2008 — it’s too late for this election cycle, alas — we’ll see anti-pork forces supporting anti-pork primary challengers.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Oops, I gave Randy Walker too much credit. Reader Kurt Dykstra emails:
Um, perhaps Joe Schwarz (MI-7) counts? At least the Club for Growth
(www.clubforgrowth.org) folks — which is identified as among the group of “Other Porkbusters” on the porkbusters.org website — seem to think it had something to do with this incumbent’s loss in the Republican primary . . .
That had slipped my mind, somehow.
MORE: Randy Walker follows up:
Thanks but I had missed Joe Schwaz too. Lets see, left wing Sunlight Foundation working the same soil as right wing Pork Busters, incumbents on both sides getting defeated in primaries, cats and dogs living together…..
If I did not know any better I would swear something big is going on. From now on I am going to be very suspicious of anybody who tries to spin this election in terms of “left vs. right”. This is “us vs. them”.
I’d like that to be true. I hope it is.
IN THE GUARDIAN, HAROLD EVANS ON BRITAIN, MUSLIMS AND TERROR:
The civil rights lobbies are working from a passé play book. They are blind to the lethal nature of the new Salafist totalitarianism. They won’t recognize that we are facing an irrationalist movement immune to compromise and dedicated to achieve its ends of controlling every aspect of daily life, every process of the mind, through indiscriminate mass slaughter. It is a culture obsessed with death, a culture that despises women, a culture devoted to mad hatreds not just of Americans and Jews everywhere, but of Muslims anywhere who embrace a less totalitarian, less radical, more humane view of Islam. These Muslims are to be murdered, and have been in their thousands, along with “the pigs of Jews, the monkeys of Christians” and all the “dirty infidels”.
Nor is the repellent language of hate limited to recognized terrorist groups like al-Qaida, Hizbullah and Hamas. It is in the school textbooks in Palestine and in the schools of our “ally”, Saudi Arabia. They promised to clean them up but a recent Washington Post investigation showed the books still tell the young they have a religious obligation to wage jihad against not only Christians and Jews but also Muslims who do not follow the xenophobic Wahabi doctrine. . . .
These are historic fault lines. The right tolerated fascism in the thirties, the left Soviet Communism in the fifties. Of course these two earlier totalitarian movements were different in nature and our response when it came was not always well judged – the tendency is to think first of the excesses of the right typified by the witch hunts of the odious McCarthy, but we should remember, too, that the Democratic party in the immediate postwar years of Henry Wallace would have abandoned Europe just as the left in the eighties would have left Europe at the mercy of the new Soviet missiles.
The apologists for the Islamo-fascists – an accurate term – leave millions around the world exposed to a less obvious but more insidious barbarism.
It’s only less obvious if you’re not paying attention. (Via Jeff Jarvis).
NELSON ASCHER WRITES on the uses of anti-semitism. “Instead of trying to understand ‘why they hate us’ and why they (and many others) hate the Jews (something I hope we’ll be discussing for several generations), what we have to understand right now is: what is anti-Semitism good for? . . . Hatred of the Jews and of Israel is the loaded weapon the Jihadis are putting in the hands of a civilization that’s willing (again) to commit suicide.”
A LOOK AT Mexico’s next government.
ANN ALTHOUSE: “At what point do you stop romanticizing another culture and start to see child abuse and plain violations of compulsory schooling laws? Surely, a Christian private school that dispensed with academic study (or threw in two hours) would catch hell.”
IN THE MAIL: Arianna Huffington’s new book, On Becoming Fearless . . . in Love, Work, and Life.
THE DEBUNKING 9/11 MYTHS book that Helen and I featured in our last podcast is also the subject of a column by Austin Bay. Bay calls it “a handy antidote to the conspiracy theorists’ more noxious rhetorical poisons.” And James Lileks writes: “I read the entire book. Sane, logical, unemotional, sensible, comprehensive. There: I’m now officially part of the conspiracy. My membership card should arrive in two weeks. I understand we get 10% off at Denny’s.” Well, yeah.
And note that the book has its own blog.
YES, MCCAIN-FEINGOLD IS PROPERLY DESCRIBED as an “incumbent protection act.” And I think it’s one reason why McCain is polling the way he is in the blogosphere.
DEREK LOWE on Ray Kurzweil.
WHICH IS BETTER? “Tax benefits,” or “tax incentives?” The future of America hangs in the balance . . .
A LIBERTARIAN PURGE? “Splitters!”
UPDATE: No, I don’t think that “libertarian Mona” is a Glenn Greenwald sock puppet. Though I can see why people would wonder!
STRATEGYPAGE ON LEBANON:
The success of the ceasefire in Lebanon hinges on a condition that Lebanon and Hizbollah both insist will not happen. Hizbollah is supposed to disarm, but says bluntly that it will not do so. The Lebanese government says it will not force Hizbollah to disarm. So what’s going to happen? . . .
The Israeli strategy appears to be to allow the UN deal to self-destruct. If the UN peacekeepers can disarm Hizbollah, fine. If not, Israeli ground troops will come back in and clear everyone out of southern Lebanon. At that point, it will be obvious that no one else is willing, or able, to deal with the outlaw “state-within-a-state” that Hizbollah represents. Hizbollah will still exist after being thrown out of southern Lebanon, and it will be up to the majority of Lebanese, and the rest of the Arab world, to deal with Hizbollah and radical Shias.
Read the whole thing.
A MASSIVE DELL BATTERY RECALL: I’m happy to say that mine’s not affected, but you can follow the link if you own a Dell to see if you’re as lucky.
MORE PLAME FALLOUT? “A federal judge told two San Francisco Chronicle reporters they must comply with a subpoena and tell a grand jury who leaked them secret testimony of Barry Bonds and other elite athletes ensnared in the government’s steroid probe.”
COFFEE AS A HEALTH DRINK: No, really.
THE GUARDIAN reports that the British terror plot was stopped, in part, by information extracted via Pakistani torture. Karol Sheinin thinks that’s okay. So does LaShawn Barber, suggesting that the “bellicose woman” demographic is still around. My less-bellicose thoughts on the subject can be found here and here.
UPDATE: Orin Kerr notes the real lesson of the London terror plots.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Ace dismisses my concerns: “frankly, he’s a law professor. That’s the sort of thing they say.” Ouch!
MICHAEL TOTTEN posts more reporting from the Israeli/Lebanese border.
We talk to David Dunbar and Brad Reagan, editors of Popular Mechanics’ new book, Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts. But are we just part of the vast conspiracy? Listen and find out . . .
You can listen to the file directly (no iPod needed!) by clicking right here, or you can get it via iTunes here. There’s a lo-fi version right here, and you can see an archive of previous podcasts at GlennandHelenShow.com.
Music — “You’re on the Hit List” — is by The Opposable Thumbs.
Browser-friendly flash player, here.
TALKING TO THE TROOPS, at Hot Air.
JAY ROSEN LOOKS AT PORKBUSTERS and sees the beginning of an era of networked journalism.
ROBERT COX thinks that Joe Lieberman may be onto something.
IS THE GEORGE ALLEN CAMPAIGN IN TROUBLE? If so, the fault is George Allen’s.
UPDATE: Dan Riehl say reports of Allen’s remarks are distorted.
Jeff Taylor: “George Allen does not have the wattage to man a deep fryer support line in Bangalore, let alone serve responsibly in the U.S. Senate.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: I have to say that I don’t agree that the Webb campaign was engaging in a “dirty trick” by sending a volunteer to videotape all of Allen’s events. What’s dirty about that? Seems like good guerrilla campaigning.
Meanwhile, TigerHawk writes: “I don’t know whether George Allen’s campaign is in jeopardy, but I do know that I very much hope the Republicans do not nominate him in 2008.”
MORE: Advice for Allen: “Get a blog.”
JUST GOT BACK from visiting my brother-in-law, who’s undergoing another round of chemo. He’s doing pretty well — his appetite’s good enough that he’s complaining about the hospital food, so we took him a pizza from the Mellow Mushroom — but the unpleasantness of the hospital setting just reminded me of this column from last year.
I’ve pretty much quit blogging family health developments, because I think it gets old fast. But they’re ongoing alas, on a number of fronts. If people have wondered about slower email response times or occasional interludes of light blogging, that’s usually the reason.
LAMONT/LIEBERMAN: “Deep down, it’s shallow.”