Archive for November, 2007

November 30, 2007

ISLAMIC LAW IN NORTHERN NIGERIA has traditionally been on the mellow side. That was changing, but now things seem to be changing back. Part of the reason: “Many early proponents of Shariah feel duped by politicians who rode its popular wave but failed to live by its tenets, enriching themselves and neglecting to improve the lives of ordinary people.” Shocking.

November 30, 2007

POLL: Does the Second Amendment give individuals a right to arms? So far it’s leaning very hard toward “yes.”

November 30, 2007

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER ON BUSH AND STEM CELLS. I disagreed with Bush’s position, but I also thought at the time that it amounted more to sandbagging of pro-lifers than to standing in the way of research, and that still seems to be the case.

November 30, 2007

“I’M GOING TO MOVE ON.”

November 30, 2007

THE FROG AND THE scorpion.

November 30, 2007

CLINTON HQ HOSTAGE SITUATION resolved.

Eric Scheie is googling the hostage taker.

UPDATE: More from Tom Maguire.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More, including video.

November 30, 2007

REFLECTIONS ON RECOVERING FROM SURGERY from Ilya Somin.

November 30, 2007

CUTTING GREENHOUSE GASES ON THE CHEAP: Since most of these changes would save money and energy anyway, they — like most practical greenhouse responses — are worth doing whether or not you believe in global warming.

November 30, 2007

THE DEATH OF ENVIRONMENTALISM? Questions for Ted Nordhaus and Michael Schellenberger (and Newt Gingrich!)

November 30, 2007

THE TRIAL BAR ON TRIAL: The Wall Street Journal is gloating. I’ll just note that I know a lot of trial lawyers, and their lives and practices don’t have much in common with the high fliers like Dickie Scruggs. They have actual clients that they try to help, as opposed to megabuck litigation factories.

November 30, 2007

TOTAL TIME SPENT ONLINE: Up 24.3% from last year.

November 30, 2007

YEP: “Congressional Democrats are reporting a striking change in districts across the country: Voters are shifting their attention away from the Iraq war. . . . One House Democratic aide summed up the challenge for the leadership, and admitted that it may be a smart move for Democrats to focus on the economy since they haven’t been able to deliver on Iraq.”

November 30, 2007

GADGET HEAVEN: Just got a box from Sony with a teeny-tiny VAIO UX490 PC, in a kit with a bluetooth GPS unit and a bunch of other goodies. It was so small that when I opened the box, I couldn’t figure out which of the small wrapped objects was the actual computer at first. No, I didn’t buy it. I’m reviewing it, along with several other little computers, for Popular Mechanics. I love stuff like this . . .

November 30, 2007

EDUCATING JOE BIDEN on the Constitution.

November 30, 2007

COLOR ME UNSURPRISED: “One in five carbon credits issued by the United Nations are going to support clean energy projects that may in fact have helped to increase greenhouse gas emissions, environmental group WWF said on Thursday.”

Okay, actually I’m a bit surprised. Only one in five?

November 30, 2007

BOMB SCARE at a New Hampshire Clinton campaign office. Hostages taken. “A young woman with a 6-month or 8-month-old infant came rushing into the store just in tears, and she said, ‘You need to call 911. A man has just walked into the Clinton office, opened his coat and showed us a bomb strapped to his chest with duct tape.’” Coverage is live on Fox; CNN is covering a train accident in Chicago.

November 30, 2007

MORE ON THE DISASTER THAT IS ZIMBABWE, but with what might actually be good news: “Zimbabwe’s neighbors are increasingly worried about spillover violence and economic damage from Robert Mugabe’s self-made war zone.” Given that Zimbabwe’s neighbors don’t seem to care what happens to the people of Zimbabwe, this kind of worry may be the only thing that produces any action.

November 30, 2007

FEMALE CIRCUMCISION: Now becoming multiculturally correct!

November 30, 2007

DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL — CNN’s policy on debate questioners!

November 30, 2007

HARVARD CRIMSON: Repeal the Second Amendment.

Rand Simberg calls it “sophomoric,” adding: “But perhaps it’s forgivable, since it was probably written by actual sophomores.” He also notes that calls for the repeal of the Second Amendment are implicit admissions that the Second Amendment is an actual barrier to gun control. Indeed.

UPDATE: Reader Thomas Baker emails:

I read the article calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment in the Harvard Crimson. While poorly reasoned, it is a huge leap forward in intellectual honesty for the gun control movement as it impliedly acknowledges an individual right.

However, the authors obviously believe that the right was initially thought necessary because of foreign threats. As I’m sure you are aware, the primary purpose of the Second Amendment was to protect the citizenry from tyrannical government here at home. That students at a top university are so ignorant of their nation’s history is disturbing.

I wonder if I currently enjoy any other constitutionally guaranteed rights that the editors of the Harvard Crimson believe I no longer need? I wonder how bold they would be in trying to strip them away after confiscating my firearms? Scary.

To you. They no doubt believe that Harvard grads will be among the strippers, not the stripees. Which I’ll admit is more likely, if the rest of the populace weren’t armed.

November 30, 2007

I HAVE NOT YET BEGUN to give up.

November 30, 2007

SAVE THE DEBATE, ditch CNN.

November 30, 2007

INDIANA JONES with a particle accelerator.

November 30, 2007

OUCH: “Leopard is the new Vista, and it’s pissing me off.” I haven’t upgraded yet. Maybe I’ll wait a bit longer.

UPDATE: A more positive take.

November 30, 2007

MORE ON THE CNN PLANT SCANDAL, from the Union Leader. “This is bad journalism.” And read this, too.

November 30, 2007

IN THE MAIL: The new Halo novel, Contact Harvest, by Joseph Staten. Staten was writer and cinematics director for Halo, Halo 2, and Halo 3.

November 30, 2007

THE MOST BUSTED NAME IN NEWS.

November 30, 2007

WHY PUTIN DOES IT: Because he can:

Vladimir Putin does not want to win the upcoming Duma Parliamentary elections. He does not want to win big. He wants an overwhelming victory. He wants to annihilate the opposition. And Putin probably will get what he wants.

Furthermore, Putin feels no need for any “seal of approval” from the West. He so circumscribed election monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe that they can’t do their job, so they’ve withdrawn.

And most Russians, with no great enthusiasm for political freedom in their national character, are okay with that.

November 30, 2007

SPOTTING CANCER AND ALZHEIMER’S long before you get sick.

November 30, 2007

SEND ONE TO GARRY KASPAROV: “Polonium Pen a Pocket-Sized Must-Have for Anti-Putin Russians.”

November 30, 2007

ADVICE TO HOMEOWNERS: I’ve long thought this, but my recent plumbing-problem experience restated its importance — always own a wet-dry vac. Mine broke a couple of years ago, and I don’t use it much, so I hadn’t gotten around to replacing it. As my toilet overflowed, I wished I had. I was (barely) able to contain the leakage before it got to the carpeted areas using towels and a mop, but I was really wishing I’d replaced the wet-dry vac sooner. I immediately ordered one — they’re cheap — and it’s my fond hope that I won’t need it again. But it’s good to have one.

Also, know where your water shutoff valve is and have the necessary wrench to close it, and know where your sewer cleanout is, and have the necessary wrench to open it to relieve the pressure in backups.

UPDATE: Reader Bob Bonsall emails:

In regards to your advice to homeowners, let me also point out that any home renter should follow the same advice. We have had a double wammy of a leaking water heater and a clogged drain in our cellar stairs recently, and there’s nothing worse than trying to keep carpets dry that are getting flooded from both sides. My top priority is to get a wet dry vac so I don’t have to again enjoy the thrill of soak-wash-dry-repeat with towels at 1 am.

Indeed. And in my experience, once carpets get really soaked, they’re never the same.

And while I’m at it — know where to turn off your electricity and gas, too, and have the wrench for the gas shutoff.

MORE: Another good reader suggestion:

All good ideas, but, here’s one important idea to add to the list: have the wrench needed to turn off the gas supply hung close to the shut off valve.

If gas is leaking, or in danger of leaking, you don’t want to have to rummage through your tools to find the right wrench – especially if the electricity is off and you’re in darkness.

Excellent point.

MORE STILL: Reader Ryan Kelley emails:

All that advice is great but the absolute most important thing to have is home/renters insurance. While not at home I had a ‘sewage backup’ in my apartment which basically ruined 3 seperate rooms (drywall,
carpet, etc.).

Prevention is great but had I not had that specific flood problem covered I would have been out $10k+. Make sure that all the man-made flood problems that can occur in your home are covered.

Oh and the vacuum you linked to looks fine but for flood/leak control people might want to consider one with more than 2 1/2 gallon space. This one has a 10 gallon tank but still works for most household things and gets very good reviews. Hopefully people can figure out what’s best for them but you have earned a lot of trust some might just buy it blindly (and probably be happy with it – that’s why you’re trusted!)

Yeah, good point. I went with the 2 1/2 gallon one myself — it came yesterday — because my house has three floors and it’s easy to carry around. My old one was a 5 gallon and seemed bigger than I needed — but of course if you had a really big flood, you’d want a bigger one. On the other hand, the big ones take up more space when you’re not using them, too. To each his own.

As for the insurance — absolutely! If you don’t have that coverage, you should have it. Sooner or later you’ll probably need it. My brother emails: “One of my new colleagues had a toilet line pop off while he and his wife were away for the weekend. Trashed their entire downstairs and basement… repairs will probably come to over $30k. They’ve had to move out while the place is rehabbed. Eeeeeeeeek.”

Eeeeeeeek, indeed.

November 30, 2007

SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT with Energy Trek! No Shatner jokes, please.

But hey, he’s one of those planet-destroying Canadians!

November 30, 2007

POLITICO: Murtha’s comments on ‘surge’ are a problem for House Democrats. Excerpt:

Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), one of the leading anti-war voices in the House Democratic Caucus, is back from a trip to Iraq and he now says the “surge is working.” This could be a huge problem for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders, who are blocking approval of the full $200 billion being sought by President Bush for combat operations in Iraq in 2008. Murtha’s latest comments are also a stark reversal from what he said earlier in the year. . . .

Pelosi, who is scheduled to speak to a Democratic National Committee event in Virginia on Friday, will surely face tough questions from reporters regarding Murtha’s statement on the surge.

“This could be a real headache for us,” said one top House Democratic aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “Pelosi is going to be furious.”

Read the whole thing.

November 30, 2007

SABBATICALS FOR SOLDIERS? Well, if professors need ‘em, soldiers probably do too, right?

Speaking of which, where’s my sabbatical?

November 30, 2007

SO I LOOKED AT EDITOR AND PUBLISHER and there’s nothing about the CNN planted-question scandal. There’s one story on the debate, but it’s a puff piece about a cartoonist getting his video in. Then I looked at Poynter and all I could find was this piece on covering the debates. But I’m not seeing anything about the planted-question scandal. I’m not seeing anything at the Columbia Journalism Review site, either. Journalism, cover thyself!

Well, actually I think they are covering . . . .

November 30, 2007

SOUNDS . . . MARKETABLE: “Scientists at Stanford have reversed the aging of skin in mice, making it look and act like new skin.”

Bring it on. I won’t have this baby face forever.

November 30, 2007

AT OVERLAWYERED, a roundup on the Dickie Scruggs indictment.

November 30, 2007

JOHN FUND EMAILS THIS on the CNN debacle. From OpinionJournal.com’s Political Diary:

Last week, CNN’s Anderson Cooper quipped in an interview with Townhall.com that “campaign operatives are people too” and that CNN wasn’t worried if political partisans posed questions at the upcoming GOP debate he was moderating. “We don’t investigate the background of people asking questions (by submitting video clips). It’s not our job,” is how he put it.

But now CNN’s logo has egg splattered all over it, as it scrambles to explain how a co-chair of Hillary Clinton’s veterans’ committee was allowed to ask a video question on gays in the military at Wednesday’s debate and was also flown by the network from California to the debate site in Florida so he could repeat his question to the candidates in person. CNN claims it verified retired Brig. Gen. Ketih Kerr’s military status and checked his campaign contribution records, contradicting Mr. Cooper’s blasé attitudes. Still, they somehow missed his obvious connection to the Hillary campaign which any Google search would have turned up. CNN later airbrushed Mr. Kerr’s question out of its rebroadcast of the debate, indicating that it apparently doesn’t think “campaign operatives” are legitimate questioners at the network’s debates.

Now it appears that an amazing number of partisan figures posed many of the 30 questions at the GOP debate all the while pretending to be CNN’s advertised “undecided voters.” Yasmin from Huntsville, Alabama turns out to be a former intern with the Council on American Islamic Relations, a group highly critical of Republicans. Blogger Michelle Malkin has identified other plants, including declared Obama supporter David Cercone, who asked a question about the pro-gay Log Cabin Republicans. A questioner who asked a hostile question about the pro-life views of GOP candidates turned out to be a diehard John Edwards supporter (and a slobbering online fan of Mr. Cooper). Yet another “plant” was LeeAnn Anderson, an activist with a union that has endorsed Mr. Edwards.

It seems more “plants” are being uprooted with each passing day. Almost a third of the questioners seem to have some ties to Democratic causes or candidates. Another questioner worked with Democratic Senator Dick Durbin’s staff. A former intern with Democratic Rep. Jane Harman asked a question about farm subsidies. A questioner who purported to be a Ron Paul supporter turns out to be a Bill Richardson volunteer. David McMillan, a TV writer from Los Angeles, turns out to have several paens to John Edwards on his YouTube page and has attended Barack Obama fundraisers.

Given CNN’s professed goal to have “ordinary Americans” ask questions at their GOP debate, how likely is that it was purely by accident that so many of the videos CNN selected for use were not just from partisans, but people actively hostile to the GOP’s messages and candidates?

(Emphasis added). It makes it kind of hard to trust CNN.

November 30, 2007

AMY ALKON LOOKS AT domestic violence.

November 29, 2007

CANADIAN BEER DRINKERS THREATEN PLANET!

Sounds like a great plot for the next Bob & Doug MacKenzie movie!

I wish they’d make another Bob & Doug MacKenzie movie. But such genius strikes only once.

November 29, 2007

HELP IS on the way!

November 29, 2007

IT’S THE HIGHEST FORM OF PATRIOTISM! In Chávez Territory, Signs of Dissent.

November 29, 2007

SPEAKING OF MISSION CREEP: Googling now counts as stalking. Well, it does if you’re, um, crazy. Or just looking for something bad to say without regard to facts.

November 29, 2007

HOWARD KURTZ ON CNN AND THE PLANTS: Nice that he’s covering it. But Kurtz reports it in a way that gives a false impression about yours truly:

Conservative bloggers, some of whom deride CNN as the “Clinton News Network,” ripped the network yesterday. At Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds wrote: “Once again, CNN demonstrates an inexplicable failure to background-check pro-Hillary questioners.” Scott Johnson of PowerLine wrote that “CNN has shown itself unable or unwilling to act as an honest broker.” James Joyner, at Outside the Beltway, said: “If lone bloggers can vet these people in less than half an hour, surely CNN’s crack journalistic team should have been able to do so between the time they selected the pool of questions and the airing of the debate?”

I’ve never called CNN the “Clinton News Network.” (I’m not even a “conservative blogger” except in the sense that I’ve supported the war, but nowadays that’s all “conservative” means to most people). And there’s a bigger problem.

CNN’s problem isn’t just bias — it’s a failure of professionalism. Frankly, if bloggers ran some sort of event and were infiltrated in this fashion, the usual media-ethics suspects would be tugging their beards about blogger irresponsibility and praising the superior layers of editors and fact-checkers at Big Media outfits like . . . CNN.

But we learn that CNN did use Google:

He said CNN never spoke to Kerr and had Google, which owns YouTube, bring the retired general and about a dozen other questioners to the debate because their videos were likely to be used, although no final decision had been made.

Using Google for plane tickets is okay. But next time, try using them for . . . Googling. As a commenter at Kurtz’s observes: “What should be noted about this issue is that CNN probably has a whole army of interns and low-level producers who could vet the possible questioners. They ‘could spend hours Googling everybody’, while the top level hacks concentrated on choosing the ‘best’ questions.”

Meanwhile, I’ll just repeat what I said earlier: If Fox hosted a Democratic debate and many of the most pointed questions turned out to come from Republican activists, but Fox didn’t disclose that, do you think it would pass unremarked?

UPDATE: Roger Simon comments: The Presidential Debates are a National Joke.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Good grief.

MORE: Another line from Kurtz’s comments:

So let me get this straight… in the Democrat YouTube debates, the “undecided questioners” are Democratic activists and in the Republican YouTube debates, the “undecided questioners” are Democratic activists.

Well, at least they’re consistent.

Heh. Indeed. And a couple of readers note that the media is sometimes more fastidious about who’s asking the questions.

STILL MORE: “Because of the irony.”

November 29, 2007

ECONOMY INFLATING? NOT SURE. Weather inflating? Sure looks like it:

With another hurricane season set to end this Friday, a controversy is brewing over decisions of the National Hurricane Center to designate several borderline systems as tropical storms.

Some meteorologists, including former hurricane center director Neil Frank, say as many as six of this year’s 14 named tropical systems might have failed in earlier decades to earn “named storm” status.

“They seem to be naming storms a lot more than they used to,” said Frank, who directed the hurricane center from 1974 to 1987 and is now chief meteorologist for KHOU-TV. “This year, I would put at least four storms in a very questionable category, and maybe even six.”

Most of the storms in question briefly had tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 mph. But their central pressure — another measure of intensity — suggested they actually remained depressions or were non-tropical systems.

A lot of people seem to be interpreting this as global-warming hype, but it’s probably just bureaucratic mission creep. If you’re the National Hurricane Center, you need hurricanes to stay in business. If hurricanes fall off, you’re tempted to cook the books just a bit. Ditto for the rest of the weather establishment. Blizzards are okay, tornadoes good for a bit of quick fun, but hurricanes are the real money-maker, combining intense fearfulness with multiday longevity like nothing else.

November 29, 2007

ADVICE TO CNN: “Just stop digging.”

November 29, 2007

IF YOU MISSED IT ON XM RADIO earlier tonight, the latest episode of PJM Political is online now.

November 29, 2007

HELL FREEZES OVER: Murtha thinks the surge is working.

November 29, 2007

SO JAMES LILEKS’ NEW BOOK, Gastroanomalies, showed up today. I spent some time reading it and it’s great — the perfect Christmas gift for the foodies you know. If you liked The Gallery of Regrettable Food, you’ll love Gastroanomalies. My favorite so far — the “Everedy Bacon-egger,” a special skillet for cooking bacon and eggs at the same time! Though Earl Warren (yes, that Earl Warren) pitching “the California custom of the olive bowl” has got to be a strong second. But I’ve only made it to page 23 so these may be eclipsed by more favorites later on — up next is “The Wonderful World of Aspics!”

November 29, 2007

RADLEY BALKO defends public defenders. And rightly so.

November 29, 2007

THE MUDVILLE GAZETTE: How to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

November 29, 2007

DEFINING AWAY VICTORY: Hey, whatever it takes.

November 29, 2007

BLOGGING THE CARIBBEAN EARTHQUAKE: Dan Riehl has more.

November 29, 2007

THE ULTIMATE HD PACKAGE? A bit much for me, but some people think it’s laughably cheap.

UPDATE: Jonathan Gewirtz emails:

Wouldn’t you much rather have the .50 cal than the HD system? In ten years the M2 will be worth more than you paid for it while today’s fancy-shmancy television system will be obsolete junk. Also, TV is a waste of time but everyone can always use a good gun. This decision should be a no-brainer!

That’s assuming you don’t already own a machine gun, of course.

November 29, 2007

MICHAEL YON EMAILS: “Just returned from the Syria border back to Mosul. It would take a conspiracy to hide the progress in Iraq.”

He’s also got a new dispatch posted on his time with the British last year.

November 29, 2007

I LINKED MY LIBEL IN THE BLOGOSPHERE piece yesterday, and shortly thereafter SSRN went down for maintenance. It’s back up now, so here’s the link again if you missed it.

November 29, 2007

ADVERTISING AGE: “CNN seems intent on finding its few remaining Republican voters and driving them into the arms of Fox News.”

Plus, “At CNN, November is planting season.”

UPDATE: Bob Krumm: “This is crystal clear evidence that CNN has hired the New Republic to do its fact checking.” Ouch!

November 29, 2007

GRIM ECONOMIC NEWS:

The U.S. economy expanded at the fastest pace in four years during the third quarter, growing at a real annual rate of 4.9%, the Commerce Department said Thursday in making its second estimate of growth for the three-month period. . . . Real GDP has increased 2.8% in the past year, close to the economy’s long-run potential.

Well, it’s grim news for some people. Wonder how much attention it will get? (Via JWF).

UPDATE: More here: “I don’t expect this revision to break out of the business pages.”

November 29, 2007

IN THE MAIL: Shelby Steele’s new book, A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can’t Win.

UPDATE: Some thoughts from the Insta-Wife, who’s actually read the book.

November 29, 2007

50 NERDY PICKUP LINES. “If I was an enzyme, I’d be helicase so I could unzip your genes.”

November 29, 2007

DRUDGE’S CURRENT HEADLINE: BOOB TUBE: CNN ‘DUPED’ BY HILLARY PLANT AT REPUBLICAN DEBATE.

Message to CNN: It’s called Google. Use it.

November 29, 2007

“NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, get Kasparov.”

November 29, 2007

JOSHUA ZADER has thoughts on hatred, partisanship, and personal integrity.

November 29, 2007

FRANK WARNER: “The quietest November since Saddam was toppled.”

November 29, 2007

AN L. SPRAGUE DECAMP CENTENNIAL. This post, alas, focuses largely on fandom at the expense of his writing. His writing was excellent, and I’m told by science-fiction authors who knew him that he was a delightful person. And he’s the author of this sadly accurate statement: “After forty, it’s just patch, patch, patch.”

They seem to be reissuing his magic and time-travel stories. I’m glad to see that, as his work deserves to be preserved.

November 29, 2007

HOW SECURITY WHIZ BRUCE SCHNEIER protects his laptop data.

November 29, 2007

FROM VIRGINIA POSTREL, a look at science and objectivity. With some thoughts on journalism, too.

November 29, 2007

JUST HEARD A LENGTHY NPR STORY ON THE YOUTUBE DEBATE, with a live followup from Mara Liasson — and it omitted any mention of the planted question issue. Hmm. If Fox hosted a Democratic debate and many of the most pointed questions turned out to come from Republican activists, but Fox didn’t disclose that, do you think it would pass unremarked?

November 29, 2007

HANDS-ON TOYS: This looks like it would make a cool present for the right kid.

November 29, 2007

I REMEMBER WHEN THIS FIRST HAPPENED, but here’s the denouement: “Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., has entered a plea days before he was set for trial on assault and battery charges over allegations he pushed a United Airlines baggage employee at Dulles International Airport. As part of the deal he will write a letter of apology to the baggage worker.”

November 29, 2007

A ROUNDUP ON LAST NIGHT’S DEBATE from Stephen Green. Excerpt: “What we really saw tonight was CNN playing out its own agenda in front of a couple million viewers and seven or eight candidates, without anyone calling them on it.” Planted questions and all . . . .

November 29, 2007

STARSHIP TROOPERS gets closer.

November 29, 2007

HORTICULTURE JOURNALISM 101 — a gallery of CNN/YouTube plants. “Abortion questioner is declared Edwards supporter . . . Log Cabin Republican questioner is declared Obama supporter; lead toy questioner is a prominent union activist for the Edwards-endorsing United Steelworkers.”

Other than that, they were just “ordinary Americans.”

November 29, 2007

HMM: Old Allies Abandon Chávez as Constitution Vote Nears. But he’s still got some friends.

November 29, 2007

AUSTIN BAY: Al Qaeda’s emerging defeat.

November 29, 2007

CONSIDER THIS A Christmas hint.

No, not really. I couldn’t afford the ammo.

November 29, 2007

FISH, BARREL: Fact-checking Helen Thomas.

November 28, 2007

HILLARY’S WEAKNESS: Bill.

November 28, 2007

RON PAUL: He’s just terrible, even when — which is often, once he’s off the subject of the war — I agree with him. His voice is too high, he can’t remember who the Kurds are, and he often comes off like a crazy old man in a bus station.

But that’s good news, in a way. Paul’s doing better than anyone expected. It’s abundantly clear that he’s not doing it on charisma and rhetorical skill. Which means that libertarian ideas are actually appealing, since Ron Paul isn’t. Paul’s flaws as a vessel for those ideas prove the ideas’ appeal. If they sell with him as the pitchman, they must be really resonating. I suspect Paul himself would agree with this analysis. Er, except maybe the bus station part.

November 28, 2007

JEFFREY TOOBIN JUST MADE A FOOL OF HIMSELF by saying that Huckabee needed to explain what he meant by abolishing the IRS. Actually, as Toobin should know if he’s going to opine on this stuff on CNN, this isn’t some wild idea of Huckabee’s but the subject of a bestselling book and a national grassroots movement. That’s not to say that it’s necessarily a good idea, but it’s certainly not something new that Huckabee just made up. The audience knew this. And if this was like earlier debates, there were probably hundreds of Fair Tax demonstrators outside. Toobin should have known it, too.

November 28, 2007

JONATHAN ADLER: Why the public shrugs at global warming.

November 28, 2007

READER DAVID RICE EMAILS:

I’m hardly one of McCain’s people. Before tonight, I could only vote for McCain, Ron Paul, or Mike Huckabee. But tonight, it was clear to me that McCain impressed the most.

And of course, the most dynamic moment tonight was the homosexual 40 year veteran asking whether gays in the military should be condoned by the Republican candidate.

Dynamic, yes. But also a planted question, it appears. Once again, CNN demonstrates an inexplicable failure to background-check pro-Hillary questioners.

UPDATE: Some advice for CNN.

ANOTHER UPDATE: It’s not just Hillary: “Oh, my tireless colleague Avi Zenilman back at Politico World HQ does an insta-search on Kerr and discovers he was on the Steering Committee of ‘Veterans for Kerry.’”

This — like the Hillary connection — doesn’t undercut the question. (I’m in favor of gays in the military). But it does make CNN look bad for failing to disclose easily-available information about this guy.

MORE: An on-air apology from Anderson Cooper, saying that CNN didn’t know that Gen. Kerr was on Hillary’s steering committee: “If we had known that we would have disclosed it before using the question, if we used the question at all.”

Suckered by Hillary, again. Try Google, next time. It’s not that hard!

November 28, 2007

MOST REVEALING BIT: Fred Thompson on the Vice President’s responsibilities. The person he described sounded a lot like . . . Fred Thompson. That doesn’t surprise me.

I do think that Giuliani/Thompson is probably the strongest GOP ticket.

November 28, 2007

MCCAIN’S PEOPLE are certainly doing the best at bombarding me with emails linking good reviews of McCain’s performance. And they’ve got quite a few. Here’s one.

November 28, 2007

GLOOM FROM BRUCE FEIN: “The United States culture is decaying, growing steadily less capable of supporting a republican form of government.”

UPDATE: Reader John Schwab points out that Fein confuses Petrarch and Plutarch. Proving Fein’s point about the lack of classical education today!

November 28, 2007

TRIAL LAWYER — and Trent Lott’s brother-in-law — Dickie Scruggs indicted for conspiring to bribe a judge.

November 28, 2007

HEH.

November 28, 2007

LIVE-BLOGGING THE REPUBLICAN YOUTUBE DEBATE at Ann Althouse’s place.

And more from David Weigel.

UPDATE: Much more at RedState. And rare praise for McCain at The Corner.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Live-videoblogging at Team Thompson.

MORE: Liveblogging at the Bitch Girls, where the gun questions went over well.

STILL MORE: Dan Riehl thinks Huckabee is now in the top tier.

Say, didn’t the Huckabee surge start shortly after he did this interview? Yeah, that’s it. . . .

And here’s McCain video.

MORE STILL: D’oh! Stephen Green has been “drunkblogging.” How did I miss that?

STILL MORE: McCain gets off another one: “If we’d done what the Democrats wanted to do six months ago, Al Queda would be telling the world, ‘we beat America.’”

And SayUncle emails:

Line of the night from Fred Thompson on guns: I own a couple but I’m not gonna tell you what they are or where they are.

That’s an indication Fred knows guns.

It was better than Romney’s “I didn’t inhale” answer, too.

EVEN MORE: SayUncle follows up: “I was impressed that Giuliani really did his homework on Parker/Heller. He still seems to think there’s some urban exception to the Second Amendment. He didn’t convince me but he knew his stuff.”

And I love the Mars question.

FINALLY: Hillary manages to plant a question! Shockingly, it slipped past CNN’s google abilities.

And lots more observations from Bob Krumm.

November 28, 2007

HMM. I MENTIONED A WHILE BACK that the Houston police were secretly testing an unmanned aircraft. Now it turns out that the same aircraft is reportedly being used in Iraq.

UPDATE: Drones in Miami.

November 28, 2007

“KLUB KLIP” OR “CARRY-IT CLIP”? Explanation, and a poll, here. Klub Klip sounds more marketable, but I’d just market the same thing under each name to different demographics . . . .

November 28, 2007

WEIGHT LOSS AND the importance of puttering.

November 28, 2007

STEPHEN GREEN CONTRIBUTES YouTube questions for the Republican debate.

November 28, 2007

CRACKING THE CODE OF THE ZOMBIE. Zombies seem to be everywhere, but I mind this kind less than most . . . .

November 28, 2007

PADMA LAKSHMI: Tangy, tart, hot and sweet. And in the accompanying photo she looks to be all of those things herself . . . .

Plus, the joys of abandoning vegetarianism!

November 28, 2007

THE MAKERS OF TASER respond to the United Nations torture committee.

November 28, 2007

MICKEY KAUS: “The trouble for Hillary is that when it comes to sex rumors she and her husband (unlike, say, John Edwards and his wife) have no credibility. They threw that away when the philandering charges they righteously denounced in 1992 and 1998 turned out to be basically true.”

November 28, 2007

CAN’T ANYBODY PLAY THIS GAME? “The head of the federal agency investigating Karl Rove’s White House political operation is facing allegations that he improperly deleted computer files during another probe, using a private computer-help company, Geeks on Call.”

November 28, 2007

A LOOK AT Hillary’s managerial experience. Plus, Fabio on politics and diplomacy!

November 28, 2007

AIR AMERICA:

The Air Force is looking for a few good men and women like Ms. Fauci: flight attendants who staff Air Force One and 16 other luxury planes that ferry government dignitaries around the globe.

It’s not as easy finding recruits as one might think. The 150 members of the Andrews-based group and about 70 others stationed elsewhere — all Air Force enlisted personnel, trained in survival skills, aircraft emergencies and the culinary arts — take on duties that would make commercial flight attendants want to pull the rip cord.

For security and historical reasons, it’s up to them to plan menus, buy food and supplies, prepare meals, load luggage into the cargo hold and then, dressed in understated navy suits, tend to powerful and demanding passengers on trips that can last weeks.

I wouldn’t want that job.

November 28, 2007

FOR THE U.N., “humiliation” over Darfur.