April 8, 2007
AMBIVALENCE ON IRAQ, at the Huffington Post.
AMBIVALENCE ON IRAQ, at the Huffington Post.
MOVING beyond carbon offsets.
MICKEY KAUS is “eerily prescient.”
MEASURING “LAW STUDENT QUALITY” with the LSAT: but not well.
BIZZYBLOG ON THE TRIBUNE CO. SALE: “I believe that the sale of The Tribune Company last week to investor Sam Zell is an unrecognized low-water mark in the newspaper publishing business. In fact, after subtracting the value of the Tribuneâ€™s non-newspaper properties from the deal, what little value remains indicates that the value of having access to a newspaperâ€™s readers is a mind-boggling 70% less than it was a mere seven years ago.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: William Beutler: “Not only does Zell have no idea what heâ€™s talking about, he has no idea what heâ€™s doing.”
This consensus almost made the contrarian in me want to bet on Zell. But only until I read the interview.
ADVICE ON HOW TO CHOOSE A LIGHT BULB from the Washington Post. (Thanks to reader Silvio Florito for the tip).
I continue to be happy with the fluorescent bulbs described here. I’ve now replaced something like 20 bulbs in the house, and continue to replace the old incandescents as they fail. I’ve used both the 75-watt equivalents and the 100-watt equivalents. So far, none have failed.
ZERO TO SIXTY IN 3.1 SECONDS in an electric-powered race car.
PREGNANT ST. PAUL WOMAN OKAY, after fending off robber.
THIS SEEMS RIGHT TO ME: “Speaker Pelosi’s adventure in Damascus has cost her a lot of political capital.”
But not with the Angry Left that dominates the Democratic party today.
N.Z. BEAR: “It is one thing to have an opposition party (call them ‘loyal’ or not) who is actively opposing the particular strategies that the administration in power is taking to achieve victory for America’s goals. It is quite another thing entirely when the opposition becomes fully and totally invested in failure. That is the choice that the Democratic leadership has made, and regardless of what the outcome in Iraq and in the 2008 elections turn out to be, the country is worse off because of it.”
CARL LEVIN VS. HARRY REID ON THE WAR: “We’re not going to cut off funding for the troops. We shouldn’t cut off funding for the troops.”
AN EMAIL FROM BAGHDAD.
1235 MILES IN ONE DAY: The longest drive I ever did was Amarillo to Knoxville, which is just over 1100. I suppose I could have driven further, but I was extremely happy to be done when I got home.
ERIC SCHEIE IS standing up for secularism.
A STORY OF HEROISM DROPPED because the BBC found it “too positive.”
The corporation has cancelled the commission for a 90-minute drama about Britain’s youngest surviving Victoria Cross hero because it feared it would alienate members of the audience opposed to the war in Iraq.
That says it all, doesn’t it? (Thanks to reader Amit Singh for the link).
UPDATE: Eugene Volokh isn’t sure about the Telegraph’s sourcing on this story — a fair point — but adds “appalling, if true.”
LESSONS OF HEART DISEASE: Learned and ignored. “Medical research has revealed enough about the causes and prevention of heart attacks that they could be nearly eliminated. Yet nearly 16 million Americans are living with coronary heart disease, and nearly half a million die from it each year. . . . In many ways, scientistsâ€™ hard-won and increasingly detailed understanding of what causes heart disease and what to do for it often goes unknown or ignored.”
DEFINING STALINISM DOWN: Eugene Volokh notes a rather silly remark from Rush Limbaugh.
APRIL SNOW in Richmond. I don’t think it’s really Al Gore’s fault, though.
Does this cold weather disprove global warming? Nope. And hot weather this summer won’t prove its existence, either. For that matter, no particular spell of weather proves or disproves any climate theory — something that press reports tend to miss. Hence the fun in posts like these!
MORE: Apparently Al Gore’s mysterious powers are shared by others. Can anyone acquire the coldening mojo? If so, a solution is in sight!
And here are some further thoughts on how the press handles the topic. In a word, badly.
MORE STILL: Ah, it is the “Gore Effect” at work, in a way, as the cold snap happened just as ABC News launched a series on global warming. If we can just harness this coldening power for good, who knows what we can accomplish?
STILL MORE: Global warming hits Cleveland.
ARE WE DOOMED? So the three top things that Amazon was touting to me when I visited their main page today were:
It’s like they’re reading Bill Quick’s blog, or something! I worry about this stuff. Of course, it’s when Larry Kudlow writes a book along these lines that I’ll really start worrying . . . .
IT’S BETTER THAN THIS WEEK! The latest Corn & Miniter Show is up!
A LOOK AT BMW’S HYDROGEN POWERED 7-SERIES HYBRID: And it can run on ordinary gasoline, too. Video at the link.
HILLARY’S INEVITABILITY vs. Obama’s audacity: “It may not be showing up in polls just yet. But the people who pay the most attention — the activists, the super-hyper-progressive bloggers who give money and encourage their friends to give money — certainly are gravitating toward Obama.”
IT WASN’T WARM AND SUNNY like when I visited them last Easter, but we attended the (much shorter, much colder, and much more bundled-up) neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt anyway. (Sorry, no picture of me with the Easter Bunny this time around, either). But here’s a picture of my lovely new niece Ojie as the Easter Bunny.
And below is a sketch of me by my 2-year-old nephew William. Not a bad likeness!
ANOTHER ZOGBY POLL CONTROVERSY.
MICKEY KAUS: “Why exactly was the resolution of the latest Iran hostage crisis a ‘success’ for Iran and a ‘humiliation’ for Britain, as the hawkish Charles Krauthammer argues (and Geoffrey Wheatcroft insinuates but doesn’t quite come out and say in his own voice, as opposed to John Bolton’s)? The hostages were released in a one-day propaganda stunt, maybe in exchange for the release of an Iranian we were holding and Iranian visitation rights for some others. But the Iranians were also looking at an awful lot of aircraft carriers steaming around their neighborhood. Didn’t they blink? If that’s humiliation, it’s not far from what a U.S.-U.K. victory in the crisis would look like.”
LADY VOLS FANS DEFEND RUTGERS from Don Imus’s slurs. I had missed Imus’s slurs, but then, I miss most of what Imus does.
UPDATE: More on Imus here.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Much more on Imus, from RadioEqualizer. Conclusion: “Had this been an isolated incident for Imus, who turns 67 this year, he might have a chance at salvaging his career. With one recent flap after another, however, it’s time for this over- the- hill talker to hang up his headphones.”
BILL FRIST COMMENTS on Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and national security.
UPDATE: Rand Simberg on Pelosi’s trip and suggestions that it might have been illegal: “It seems to me that if the Bush administration was clever, the president would magnanimously issue a preemptive pardon to Madam Speaker . . . . But, of course, the Bush administration isn’t noted for cleverness.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: More reactions to Pelosi here.
FRED THOMPSON IS POSTING AT REDSTATE.
I GUESS THIS WILL PUT A CAP ON THE OUTSOURCING-TO-BANGALORE TREND: India high-tech industry out of workers:
Nearly two decades into India’s phenomenal growth as an international center for high technology, the industry has a problem: It’s running out of workers.
There may be a lot of potential — Indian schools churn out 400,000 new engineers, the core of the high-tech industry, every year — but as few as 100,000 are actually ready to join the job world, experts say.
Instead, graduates are leaving universities that are mired in theory classes, and sometimes so poorly funded they don’t have computer labs. Even students from the best colleges can be dulled by cram schools and left without the most basic communication skills, according to industry leaders.
So the country’s voracious high-tech companies, desperate for ever-increasing numbers of staffers to fill their ranks, have to go hunting.
“The problem is not a shortage of people,” said Mohandas Pai, human resources chief for Infosys Technologies, the software giant that built and runs the Mysore campus for its new employees. “It’s a shortage of trained people.”
Lots of people in India. But not enough people with the right skills. Just like, well, everywhere.
MISERABLE COLD THROUGHOUT THE REGION, explained. I figured it was something like that . . . .
ORIN KERR: “I also have some doubts about the second unzipping.”
Follow the link for evidence that the context of a quotation really does matter. . . .
A LOOK AT taxation and virtual worlds.
MORE WORLD WAR II STORIES FOR KIDS, at the Books for Kids Blog.
SENDING THE SWAT TEAM after tomato plants.
COOKWARE UPDATE: I mentioned a while back that we had gotten the George Foreman grill with dishwasher-safe removable plates, and so far it’s turned out very well: Easy to clean, and easy to use. The Insta-Daughter has put in the flat plates to make pancakes a few times, but otherwise we mostly use it as a Panini press. That’s easy, quick, and makes you feel like you’re getting something special. Tell the family you’re serving sandwiches for dinner and it sounds lame, but tell ‘em you’re making Paninis and it sounds fancy!
UPDATE: Dean Barnett emails: “Absolutely right! It also does a nice job on salmon steaks.”
ANOTHER BAD REVIEW FOR PELOSI, in Lebanon’s Daily Star:
We can thank the US speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, for having informed Syrian President Bashar Assad, from Beirut, that “the road to solving Lebanon’s problems passes through Damascus.” Now, of course, all we need to do is remind Pelosi that the spirit and letter of successive United Nations Security Council resolutions, as well as Saudi and Egyptian efforts in recent weeks, have been destined to ensure precisely the opposite: that Syria end its meddling in Lebanese affairs.
Pelosi embarked on a fool’s errand to Damascus this week, and among the issues she said she would raise with Assad – when she wasn’t on the Lady Hester Stanhope tour in the capital of imprisoned dissidents Aref Dalila, Michel Kilo, and Anwar Bunni – is “the role of Syria in supporting Hamas and Hizbullah.” What the speaker doesn’t seem to have realized is that if Syria is made an obligatory passage in American efforts to address the Lebanese crisis, then Hizbullah will only gain. Once Assad is re-anointed gatekeeper in Lebanon, he will have no incentive to concede anything, least of all to dilettantes like Pelosi, on an organization that would be Syria’s enforcer in Beirut if it could re-impose its hegemony over its smaller neighbor.
Read the whole thing. Meanwhile, Robert F. Turner thinks that Pelosi’s trip may have been illegal. Turner comments: “The administration isn’t going to want to touch this political hot potato, nor should it become a partisan issue. Maybe special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, whose aggressive prosecution of Lewis Libby establishes his independence from White House influence, should be called back.”
“UNTERMENSCHEN:” He’s right. That’s how they seem to think.
UPDATE: Reader Ted Clayton emails: “Perhaps you could specify who “they” refers to. ”
As you can see from reading the linked item, it refers to those allegedly-progressive Westerners who refuse to hold non-Westerners to the same moral standards applied to, say, America and Britain. That should be obvious to, well, anyone who’s paying attention.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Drew Kelley writes: ‘I am shocked, shocked, to find prejudice among our “best and brightest’.” The descent of the “progressives” into racist double-standards is an old story, but it’s still one that bears pointing out now and then.
GOOGLE LAUNCHES A FREE 411 SERVICE.
ABC NEWS WANTS TO HEAR your firearms self-defense story for an episode of 20/20 on guns and self-defense.
IN THE BLOGOSPHERE, it always seems to come down to the boobies.
HERE’S MORE on the Yale flag-burning case.
SOME PERSPECTIVE FROM MARKOS that I agree with: “No matter how much I care about progressive politics, at the end of the day, it’s my family and their well-being that’s going to come first.”
HAS AL GORE BEEN TO CINCINNATI LATELY? Because I’m visiting my brother here and drove the last hour or so through heavy snowfall. It’s freezing (literally) and it’s April. Ugh.
Greenhouse effect? Global warming? Faster, please.
A SCIENCE QUIZ at the Knoxville News-Sentinel. How do you think steel is melted?
IN THE U.T. LAW LIBRARY.
USA TODAY ON THE PELOSI TRIP: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi crossed a line this week by visiting Syria, where she met with President Bashar Assad. She violated a long-held understanding that the United States should speak with one official voice abroad ï¿½ even if the country is deeply divided on foreign policy back home. . . . It’s not up to the speaker to unfreeze relations with Assad.”
Interestingly, I think that the more Pelosi acts like a wannabe President, the worse it is for Hillary. And I think that Pelosi knows that.
FRED THOMPSON UPDATE:
Fred Thompson, the â€œLaw & Orderâ€ actor and former senator from Tennessee, has moved beyond pondering a bid for the White House and begun assembling the nucleus of a campaign should he decide to run, according to people involved in the effort.
Thompson has not yet decided to seek the Republican presidential nomination. But â€œhe is getting more serious every day,â€ said an adviser familiar with Thompson’s plans.
Thompsonâ€™s coming-out as a candidate-in-waiting will be a May 4 appearance at the 45th annual dinner of the Lincoln Club of Orange County in the heart of Ronald Reagan country in Southern California. The invitation was widely sought by aspiring Republicans, and his advisers expect considerable media attention around the visit. But there are no plans now for an announcement then.
He’s probably better off waiting as long as he can, and letting people get tired of the candidates who are already hogging the newstime.
PUSHING FOR CORPORATE GOVERNANCE CHANGES, at the New York Times.
IT’S FOR A GOOD CAUSE: On April 20th, the Philip Fulmer Golf Classic will raise money for the Boys and Girls Clubs.
DOES ROSIE O’DONNELL want to get fired?
FUNNIEST AMAZON RECOMMENDATION YET: I’m invited to “be part of the man-scaping trend” with a Norelco bodygroomer. Plus, a video on why I should “shave everywhere!” The guy in it kind of reminds me of Troy McClure. Only less hairy . . . .
UPDATE: Yes, the visual effects are amusing, too, in a cheesy Troy-McClure sort of way.
JULES CRITTENDEN: “If itâ€™s wrong for the president to fire political appointees over their politics, doesnâ€™t that make it wrong for senators to oppose political appointees over theirs? Wait a minute. Iâ€™m getting confused. The president fired them over their performance, but the Senate only gave a damn about Foxâ€™s politics. So much crap flying around these days, its hard to sort out whatâ€™s what. But I think the Dem Cong might need to start holding hearings about itself.”
OUCH: “Anybody would want a second chance after having worked as an assistant to Jimmy Carter. But Zbig has been so marginalized that even the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies refused to give him a real professorship. So he haunts the corridors of power and whatever television shows will have him.”
This is unfair. The Olympic boycott was a masterstroke of strategy.
AN ELECTION ’08 PROTEST MANIFESTO from The Anchoress: “I resent like hell that these politicians – all of them, but I seem to recall it was Hillary who started early, forcing everyone else to do so, as well – began their stumping and fund-raising two years before an election. . . . Iâ€™m not participating in this, yet. Iâ€™m not going to allow myself to be suckered into paying attention to these people – and giving them either my money or my time – before I deem it practical and intelligent to do so, and that will be sometime around November of â€˜07.”
SOLDIER’S LIFE SAVED BY IPOD. In the old days, we had to use Bibles for that.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: “Iran has pulled off a tidy little success with its seizure and release of those 15 British sailors and marines: a pointed humiliation of Britain, with a bonus demonstration of Iran’s intention to push back against coalition challenges to its assets in Iraq. All with total impunity. Further, it exposed the impotence of all those transnational institutions — most prominently the European Union and the United Nations — that pretend to maintain international order. You would think maintaining international order means, at least, challenging acts of piracy. No challenge here. Instead, a quiet capitulation.”
Seeing the impotence of the EU and the UN demonstrated, however, is not entirely bad for the United States, or for the Bush Administration, whose critics often seem excessively enamored of those unimpressive institutions.
UPDATE: Impotence, corruption, whatever. No one in his right mind would rely on either institution to do anything against the immediate financial and political self-interest of its players, regardless of the stakes. The Mafia has more principles. And a longer-term perspective . . . .
THE SUPREME COURT GOES NUCLEAR:
The irony is that the beneficiary of Monday’s ruling won’t be wind power, solar power, or any of the other renewable technologies favored by the Green establishment. Their economic and technological limitations are too severe for them ever to occupy more than a small niche in the American energy economy. Instead, one of the winners from Massachusetts v. EPA just may be something that many of the environmentalists who brought the suit have long abhorred: nuclear power. Like renewables, nuclear power generates electricity with no pollutants or greenhouse gas emissions. But unlike renewables, nuclear is capable of generating reliable power on a massive scale, which is what our country’s future energy demands will require.
Nuclear power is on the verge of making a comeback in the United States. Thanks to several favorable provisions in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, as well as a streamlined licensing process, it is possible we could see the construction of new plants start within several years. The economics for new plant construction are still being worked out, particularly with regard to financing and federal loan guarantees. But there can be no doubt that federal efforts to hamstring coal can only help nuclear. Moreover, any future regulatory scheme allowing nuclear power plant operators to earn credits for generating emissions-free electricity would enhance nuclear’s attractiveness to investors.
Building more nice, clean, greenhouse-friendly nuclear plants seems like a good thing to me.
PROTESTING AGAINST AN EXTREMIST MADRASSA, in Pakistan.
AN UNFORCED ERROR at ABC.
ISLAMIC RADICALS BEATEN by a bunny!
SOME THOUGHTS ON THE importance of compromise.
VETERANS AND HARRY REID.
CLAUDIA ROSETT: Nuts in Damascus.
CONFUSION REIGNS: “So, Bush invaded Iraq to steal the oil from what could possibly be the 4th largest producer of oil in the world, trailing the United States, which, last time I checked, Nancy Pelosi was president of.”
There is a major disconnect in the 2008 Democratic race for the White House.
While all the top candidates are vying for the black and Latino vote, they are completely ignoring one of the most pressing issues affecting those constituencies: the failed War on Drugs, a war that has morphed into a war on people of color.
The “Drug War” is a colossal disaster, and it’s even undermining the real war. The unwillingness of candidates in both parties to oppose it is a disgrace.
PLACING THEIR SEVERED HEADS on those bamboo poles would seem a preferable response, but I suppose you can’t have everything. Still, it wouldn’t take much of that to nip this in the bud, I imagine.
A LOOK AT secular piety and the new age orthodoxy.
MICKEY KAUS: “Larry King is only 73?”
DEAN BARNETT ANSWERS READER QUESTIONS. Though his answer about the Harry Reid land deal is excessively cynical. Isn’t it?
THE DOWNTOWN GRILL AND BREWERY: A nice place.
JOHN STOSSEL ON THE “FEAR-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX:”
Newsrooms are full of English majors who acknowledge that they are not good at math, but still rush to make confident pronouncements about a global-warming “crisis” and the coming of bird flu. . . .
Here’s another example. What do you think is more dangerous, a house with a pool or a house with a gun? When, for “20/20,” I asked some kids, all said the house with the gun is more dangerous. I’m sure their parents would agree. Yet a child is 100 times more likely to die in a swimming pool than in a gun accident.
Parents don’t know that partly because the media hate guns and gun accidents make bigger headlines. Ask yourself which incident would be more likely to be covered on TV.
Media exposure clouds our judgment about real-life odds. Of course, it doesn’t help that viewers are as ignorant about probability as reporters are.
Read the whole thing. I like that “fear-industrial complex” tag. It’s certainly apt. As Stossel concludes: “Instead of educating people to real dangers, we scare them about things that hardly matter.”
And here’s evidence for Stossel’s point about coverage of guns vs. other causes of death.
PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Opposition to the Bridge to Nowhere, even in Alaska:
But all is not well in a city that looks on the new bridge with growing skepticism. Citing the projectâ€™s costs and risk to a local economy whose benefits are â€œcontingent, speculative and not significant,â€ the cityâ€™s planning commission unanimously recommended against going ahead with the project.
Every neighborhood organization that has spoken to the project has recommended against the bridge or demanded guarantees that no Anchorage neighborhood would be harmed in its construction and city funds will not be used to build or maintain the bridge. . . .
The bottom line is that KABATA is completing a final Environmental Impact Statement while watching nervously over Beluga whales in the inlet and trying to sell a bridge that too many Anchorage residents simply donâ€™t want.
But it’s enriching politically connected contractors.
THE U.S. TRADE BALANCE WITH CHINA: Some surprisingly positive news. Does Lou Dobbs know about this?
BING WEST AND OWEN WEST REPORT FROM ANBAR: Read the whole thing.
“MUDDLE DIPLOMACY:” It’s “stupid and vacuous.”
AN ARMY, NOT A MILITIA: Michael Totten embeds with the Peshmerga. Remember that his work is supported by reader donations, so if you like it, hit the tipjar.
NO DELL WORKERS WERE HARMED DURING THE MAKING OF THIS BLOG POST: Jeff Jarvis has drinks with Dell.
I should note that after I put up this post, somebody from Dell emailed me to get my service tag number so that they could give an attaboy to the support guy I talked to. So obviously they’ve started paying attention to blogs.
LESSONS FROM THE FREE KAREEM STORY, and comparisons with Tunisia.
One difference is that I’ve gotten a lot of emails from Kareem supporters, and none on the Tunisia story. I don’t know if that goes to organization, or what. But that kind of thing is essential. Like most bloggers, I’m happy to help out when a blogger is persecuted, but I have to know about it first.
THE ANTI-ROBERT-BYRD: Fred Thompson doesn’t want a road named after him.
IN THE MAIL: Michael S. Malone’s new book, Bill & Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World’s Greatest Company. Looks very interesting, and it sports one of the most impressive collections of blurbs I’ve ever seen.
UPDATE: Plus, thoughts on technological progress in book-writing. Ain’t it the truth!
GENERAL PETRAEUS ON MCCAIN’S TRIP TO IRAQ:
UPDATE: Be sure to read this post by IraqPundit, too, which contrasts media treatment of McCain’s trip with media treatment of Pelosi’s travels.
ANOTHER UPDATE: HERE’S MORE ON MCCAIN IN BAGHDAD, from Max Boot, who’s there now:
Hereâ€™s the perspective the press isnâ€™t providing: We are in the middle of a tough, bloody war in Iraq. Throughout 2006, the war was going very badly, especially in Baghdad. Large chunks of the city were subject to a bloody campaign of ethnic cleansing, murder, and terrorism. Sunni families fled. Markets closed. Normal life ground to a halt. Those perilous trends have been stopped in the past few months and are beginning to be reversed. This is due to an increased deployment of Iraqi and American troops, and especially to the fact that Americans are no longer staying on their giant forward operating bases. They are patrollng more intensively from joint security stations and small combat outposts located in the middle of the city.
Though only three of the five extra brigades scheduled to be deployed have yet arrived in Baghdad, the offensive has already paid big dividends. A semblance of normality is returning in some neighborhoods, markets are reopening, sectarian murders and ethnic cleansings have been dramatically reduced. The situation still isnâ€™t great, but at least the downward trend has been stopped. There have been a few big suicide bombings lately that obscure this improvement, but most of these have been outside Baghdad, where the current security operation is focused. Needless to say, coalition forces canâ€™t magically pacify the entire country overnightâ€”and that canâ€™t be the measure of success or failure.
The fact that McCain was able and willing to walk around the Shorja market indicates that things are getting better, even if Iraq remains a war zone. Of course McCain had heavy security; heâ€™s an especially attractive target for insurgents. But the market was functioning normally while he was there, and he wasnâ€™t surrounded by bodyguards. He walked around freely without a helmet (though he was wearing body armor), and mingled with Iraqis. So did the other members of his delegation, as well as General David Petraeus, the senior U.S. commander in Iraq.
Reporters may think this was like a Sunday stroll in Central Park, but that wasnâ€™t the view of the U.S. embassyâ€™s security coordinator, who refused to sign off on McCainâ€™s visit because he thought it was too risky. The Senator thought otherwise, and he made an important point with his visit.
Read the whole thing.
JOHN TIERNEY: “Ordering the E.P.A. to address global warming may be a legal victory for environment groups, but it will probably just slow progress against global warming. The Environmental Procrastination Agency, as I like to call it, has a hard enough time taking action against routine pollutants. Itâ€™s in even worse position to deal with something as complicated as carbon dioxide, because the agency was founded on a fantasy: that scientific experts can transcend both politics and economics. . . . It took the agency 15 years to deal with pollution from leaded gasoline, which was a trivially simple problem compared with global warming.”
Tierney recommends David Schoenbrod’s book on politics and the environment, which I mentioned here a while back. It’s worth reading.
THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN LAW SCHOOLS turns out to be acting like a monopolist. Go figure.
BIG BUCKS BARACK: “This is a guy who was an Illinois state senator just over two years ago, who didn’t so much as hint he was running until late last year, who had no national infrastructure, and who isn’t married to a former president. And yet his $25-million haul in the first quarter nearly matched Hillary’s 26 mil.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) offered an excellent demonstration yesterday of why members of Congress should not attempt to supplant the secretary of state when traveling abroad. . . .
The really striking development here is the attempt by a Democratic congressional leader to substitute her own foreign policy for that of a sitting Republican president. Two weeks ago Ms. Pelosi rammed legislation through the House of Representatives that would strip Mr. Bush of his authority as commander in chief to manage troop movements in Iraq. Now she is attempting to introduce a new Middle East policy that directly conflicts with that of the president. We have found much to criticize in Mr. Bush’s military strategy and regional diplomacy. But Ms. Pelosi’s attempt to establish a shadow presidency is not only counterproductive, it is foolish.
Indeed. If Bush and Cheney were really evil, they’d both resign and stick the Democrats with a Pelosi Presidency for the next two years. The Democratic Party would never recover. Alas, neither would the country.
MICKEY KAUS: “And here I thought I was just bitterly lashing out because Krugman called me a Rhinoceros!”
FRED THOMPSON UPDATE: Writing in the New York Sun, Jim Geraghty says that Thompson would fill a void in the GOP offering.
WHY DO THEY HATE
US HIM? Al Qaeda targets the Dalai Lama. But I thought they were only mad at us because Bush wouldn’t ratify Kyoto or something?
THOUGHTS ON INFLATION at The Economist:
It is possible to argue that inflation targets are unnecessary, provided that the central bank has a credible reputation as an inflation fighter. True enough, but inflation targeting gives bankers an instant measure of credibility, because markets know exactly what to expect. They also relieve bankers of some of the political pressure they inevitably receive to loosen up the money supply. . . .
Speaking of which, this recent piece from our Finance and Economics section highlights what happened back when central bankers did give into the political pressure to inflate the money supply: a little fast growth early on, and then a whole lot of misery later. In America, it took the deepest recession since the 1930′s to finally quiet inflation down again–and it’s really only now that American and British interest rates are finally settled back to their natural levels from the non-fiat currency days.
Inflation is highly damaging, and also highly tempting to governments that want to avoid short-term pain, or get rid of troublesome debt by inflating it away. Neither approach is worth it in the long run.
A LOOK AT THE SUNLIGHT FOUNDATION’S WORK in promoting open government and fighting pork.
GREEN-CONS — that’s kind of like crunchy-cons, I guess. I saw this Prius in Washington yesterday.
ANOTHER PICTURE from Market Square.
HAROLD KOH FOR SUPREME COURT? Professor Bainbridge doesn’t like the idea. Neither does David Bernstein (“by all accounts a nice guy, a good fundraiser, and beloved by his students, but is also a highly partisan liberal Democrat under whose tenure as dean conservative and libertarian students have felt increasingly uncomfortable”).
I share at least some of their concerns, but the worry seems a bit premature.