June 10, 2007
I’M GUESSING THAT BILL HOBBS WILL WIN THIS POLL, but I rather doubt the editors of The Tennessean will be moved.
I’M GUESSING THAT BILL HOBBS WILL WIN THIS POLL, but I rather doubt the editors of The Tennessean will be moved.
NIDRA POLLER REPORTS on the French parliamentary elections.
WHAT DID THE CIA TELL PRESIDENT BUSH ABOUT IRAQ?
SORRY, BUT THE FOOTNOTE MAKES JUDGE WALTON seem like an ass. And a biased one, at that.
BLOGPOST TITLE OF THE WEEK: “Gaydar Love.”
JOHN PODHORETZ ON THE IMMIGRATION BILL:
It’s a defeat for Bush, because Bush wanted the measure and couldn’t work his will on his own party.
But there’s something else notable here – something that should gladden the hearts of libertarians and all those who are suspicious of big government.
The takedown of this bill is a template for future actions against major pieces of legislation. And like so many templates for action these days, it was made possible by the Internet.
Read the whole thing. Advantage: Bill Quick.
THIS IS RATHER AN OVERSTATEMENT: ” In the world today, there is no truth being told except in the right-wing blogosphere.” It should bother the trad-media that there are so many who feel that way, though, particularly as they’re likely to continue to feel that way regardless of political events over the next few years.
Of course, the “whole picture” doesn’t just include the bad news as well as the worst. Even the presentation of bad news is lazy, inaccurate, and largely useless in making or evaluating policy.
UPDATE: Well, yeah. That’s my point.
HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN: Well, when you turn yourself into a party organ, this happens.
BOYS ARE SMELLY!
LOOKING AT Jihadi ideology.
ED DRISCOLL looks at news media objectivity.
IF YOU LIKED THE DANGEROUS BOOK FOR BOYS, you might like Tony Woodlief’s latest, Raising Wild Boys Into Men: A Modern Dad’s Survival Guide. I haven’t read it, but I’m a fan of Tony’s work, so I expect it’s worth your time.
RICHARD RORTY HAS DIED: I never knew him, but he and my dad were close.
Al Gore, the environmental activist stung by criticism over his house’s energy efficiency, says renovations are nearly complete to make it a model “green” home.
“This plan has been in the works for a long time,” the former vice president said in an interview Friday with The Associated Press. “The only thing that has changed is that we’re more public about it because of the misleading attack by a global-warming denier group.”
Earlier this year, a conservative group criticized Gore, citing electric bills that were far more than the typical Nashville home. Utility records showed that the Gore family paid an average monthly electric bill of about $1,200 last year for its 10,000-square-foot home.
UPDATE: EcoTotality also had this economic analysis of what Gore’s doing. Conclusion: “Economically, Goreâ€™s solar panels are a bad investment. . . . Politically, though, Gore pretty much has to put the solar panels on his roof.”
IS PROSPERITY A problem for the Democrats? “Democrats cannot end the war (actually, they can but won’t), but they can send their tax agenda to the president and dare him to veto it. They can, but they won’t. Do you wonder why?”
A PARLIAMENTARY SWEEP FOR SARKOZY? Fausta Wertz has the scoop.
LIEBERMAN: Bomb Iran. “I think we’ve got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq.”
UPDATE: Iranians respond with bluster. You know, if we had been firm in 1979, they wouldn’t think they could get away with these kinds of threats. If we responded firmly now, we’d get less of that in the future.
But we probably won’t, because our political culture makes a firm response to threats almost impossible. Which is why we get so many.
THEY’VE ALREADY USED AMBULANCES, so why should anyone be surprised when Palestinian terrorists use a car labelled “TV” to stage an attack? It’s all upside for them — no significant outrage now, and maybe it’ll lead the Israelis to accidentally shoot up a truck full of real reporters, which will then cause worldwide condemnation. Of the Israelis.
UPDATE: TigerHawk comments:
And when it happens that condemnation will be outrageous precisely because it is so predictable. Palestinian strategists understand the objective, which is to put the Israeli military in an impossible situation. Everybody else also understands the objective, and — this is the big point — everybody understands that the Palestinian strategists understand. It is one giant cesspool of known-knowns, so those who condemn Israel when it happens will be, yes, collaborators.
That’s why it’s hard for me to even pretend to take moralizing in this area seriously.
DON SURBER WONDERS WHY THE PRESS doesn’t write about “the popular death penalty”?
SALENA ZITO looks at Reagan Democrats and 2008.
Apocalyptic thought: It’s all the rage in some quarters. Which doesn’t make it necessarily wrong.
For Rachel Carson admirers, it has not been a silent spring. Theyâ€™ve been celebrating the centennial of her birthday with paeans to her saintliness. A new generation is reading her book in school â€” and mostly learning the wrong lesson from it.
If students are going to read â€œSilent Springâ€ in science classes, I wish it were paired with another work from that same year, 1962, titled â€œChemicals and Pests.â€ It was a review of â€œSilent Springâ€ in the journal Science written by I. L. Baldwin, a professor of agricultural bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin.
He didnâ€™t have Ms. Carsonâ€™s literary flair, but his science has held up much better. He didnâ€™t make Ms. Carsonâ€™s fundamental mistake, which is evident in the opening sentence of her book.
DO HIGH CIGARETTE TAXES fund terrorism? Read this post by Wretchard.
A LOOK AT Judy Garland, and what might have been. Plus, James Lileks’ experience with a lap-sitting Munchkin.
As I mentioned a while back, Larry Lessig had some thoughts on it, too.
UPDATE: Terry Heaton has reviewed Keen’s book, too.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Dan Gillmor has a review, too. I don’t think the book is being well-received.
PUDDLES on Mars?
SO I SAW THIS PICTURE OF BOB GELDOF, and at first I thought “Angela Merkel has lost weight.”
A NOVEL DEBATE PROPOSAL gathers steam.
WHO SAID THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION WASN’T KEEPING AN EYE ON THE BORDER:
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Friday that Washington is taking steps to address Mexican concerns the U.S. is not doing enough to stop illegal weapons from being smuggled across the border and into the hands of brutal drug gangs. . . . “The firepower we are seeing here has to do with a lack of control on the (U.S.) side of the border,” Patricio Patino, Mexico’s top anti-drug intelligence official, said last month.
Maybe they could build a fence, or something . . . . Really, you can’t make this stuff up.
REASONS TO LIKE BILL RICHARDSON:
He owns a 12-gauge Browning over-and-under shotgun, which he has used for hunting birds, including quail and dove. Richardson also owns a 9mm semiautomatic pistol, which is not for hunting, but he has a state permit to carry it concealed. He has borrowed rifles to hunt big game such as elk, deer and the oryx. . . .
While a congressman, the Democrat voted against a ban on assault weapons and opposed a seven-day waiting period for handgun purchases. As governor, he backed and signed legislation allowing New Mexicans to carry concealed weapons.
His space-related record is good, too. (Via Alphecca). I don’t like what he says about the war, though like all the candidates, what he says now is one thing, what he’ll do once actually in office in 2009 is another.
U.S. military officials say they are making progress in negotiating with tribal leaders in a turbulent region north of Baghdad, using a formula that helped reduce violence in western Iraq. . . .
Anbar province, once among the most violent regions in Iraq, is held up as an example of how local politics can reduce violence. “A year ago we were about to write off Anbar province,” Everett said. “We have turned it completely around.”
A key part of the turnaround was an effort to work with tribal leaders. A growing number of the leaders, sometimes called sheiks, have joined with U.S. forces and turned against al-Qaeda militants. The average weekly attacks in Anbar province dropped from about 250 last year to about 100 last month, according to the U.S. military. This year 12,000 Iraqis volunteered for Iraqi security forces in Anbar, up from 1,000 in 2006, Odierno said.
“Anbar could be a microcosm of what could happen in the rest of country if the right elements come into play,” said Army Col. Ralph Baker, a former brigade commander who served two tours in Iraq and now serves at the Pentagon.
Goins said he has used the example of Anbar when meeting with tribal leaders. He said he has met regularly with them since arriving in Iraq last fall.
Diyala differs significantly from Anbar. Anbar is almost entirely Sunni Muslim and influenced by tribal leaders. Diyala is split between Sunnis and Shiites and has 25 major tribes and more than 100 minor groups or offshoots. “The melting pot of tribes in Diyala makes it problematic,” Goins said in a telephone interview from Iraq.
Let’s hope they can pull it off.
AUSTIN BAY LOOKS AT Putin, missiles, and Russia’s problems.
ANTIGUN CONGRESSMAN FORCED TO GIVE UP HIS RIFLES AND SHOTGUNS: Heh.
ANOTHER TERROR BUST: “A suspected international arms dealer was arrested yesterday in Spain and charged with conspiracy to sell millions of dollars in weapons to a State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization in Colombia to kill Americans.”
THE CARNIVAL OF CARS is up!
WAS THE IMMIGRATION BILL COLLAPSE A DEFEAT FOR BUSH? Yes, but:
On the other hand, the immigration compromise was almost universally disliked and threatened to split the GOP coalition. Maybe its death was a blessing for the president.
Unless he’s dumb enough to bring it up again, which I predict he will be.
MORE ON THE WINKLER CASE.
PARIS HILTON: Victim of society! And George W. Bush!
It’s a fair cop.
WAS PATRICK FITZGERALD’S APPOINTMENT unconstitutional? Some big names on the brief.
IS IT “CASTLE DOCTRINE” DAY IN TENNESSEE? Actually, I think that every day is.
MICKEY KAUS: “I’d never work for an organization that would botch a big story as thoroughly as the Washington Post Company’s flagship has botched this year’s immigration bill coverage! … Oh, wait.”
UPDATE: Hey, it’s not the only story they’re blowing!
Maybe we could make a shorter list of reporting that doesn’t contain massive factual errors induced by beltway spin?
A LOOK AT what’s a hate crime, and what isn’t, using the Channon Christian / Christopher Newsom murders as a springboard.
SO IS THIS GOOD NEWS OR BAD NEWS?
The U.S. trade deficit narrowed more than forecast in April as a weaker dollar pushed exports to a record and demand for imports waned.
The deficit fell 6.2 percent, the most in six months, to $58.5 billion, from a revised $62.4 billion in March, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The gap declined even as the shortfall with China widened.
The dollar’s drop and expanding economies in Europe and Asia are fueling demand for American-made goods and the deficit is retreating from a record $67.6 billion in August. The gain in exports may also help economic growth accelerate after the slowest quarter in more than four years.
Good news, I think. Am I wrong?
It took confidence for Brink Lindsey, of the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, to venture onto this well-plowed ground with â€œThe Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed Americaâ€™s Politics and Culture.â€ This constantly stimulating book vindicates that confidence. His thesis, stated ironically with Karl Marxâ€™s categories, is that in the second half of the 20th century, America left the â€œrealm of necessityâ€ and entered the â€œrealm of freedom.â€ Americans â€œlive on the far side of a great fault lineâ€ separating them from all prior human experience. . . .
Lindsey rightly says that â€œtodayâ€™s typical red-state conservative is considerably bluer on race relations, the role of women and sexual morality than his predecessor of a generation ago.â€ And â€œthe typical bluestate liberal is considerably redder than his predecessor when it comes to the importance of markets to economic growth, the virtues of the two-parent family and the morality of American geopolitical power.â€ In â€œthe bell curve of ideological allegiance,â€ the large bulging center has settled, for now, on an â€œimplicit libertarian synthesis, one which reaffirms the core disciplines that underlie and sustain the modern lifestyle while making much greater allowances for variations within that lifestyle.â€ If so, material abundance has been, on balance , good for us, and Lindseyâ€™s measured cheerfulness is, like his scintillating book, reasonable.
As I mentioned a while back, I read Brink’s book and thought it was very good.
GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER: “After hearing more than four hours of testimony and attorney arguments today, a McNairy County judge sentenced Mary Winkler, who shot her preacher-husband to death last year, to what amounts to a week in prison and 60 days in a facility where she can receive mental health treatment. . . . Winkler, 33, was charged with first-degree murder after shooting Matthew Winkler in the back with a shotgun on March 22 last year as he lay in bed.”
UPDATE: More here.
MORE EVIDENCE that your tax dollars are wasted.
CULTURE OF CORRUPTION.
THEY TOLD ME THAT IF GEORGE W. BUSH WERE REELECTED, prudishness would dominate the airwaves. And they were right!
JFK TERROR UPDATE: “The investigation into the thwarted plot to bomb Kennedy International Airport is widening beyond the four men in custody, with more suspects sought outside the U.S. for their suspected roles, a law enforcement official said Friday.”
Meanwhile, here’s a suggestion that the terrorists’ plan was poorly conceived.
RASMUSSEN ON WHY THE IMMIGRATION BILL FAILED:
The reality is much simpler and has nothing to do with legislative tactics. The immigration bill failed because a broad cross-section of the American people are opposed to it. Republicans, Democrats, and unaffiliated voters are opposed. Men are opposed. So are women. The young donâ€™t like it; neither do the no-longer-young. White Americans are opposed. Americans of color are opposed.
The last Rasmussen Reports national telephone poll found that just 23% of Americans supported the legislation.
Bill Quick adds: “I have to say that the right blogosphere as a whole did an excellent job of revealing and mobilizing this sentiment. . . . Ten years ago, this bill would have been passed and signed by the president before most Americans were even aware that it existed. Those days are over.”
J.D. JOHANNES offers predictions for this summer in Iraq. Excerpt:
If the Anbar Awakening works, AQIZ is in trouble and will be seen as losing not only the war against the U.S. but of losing support among their core constituency–Sunni Muslims.
Baghdad will be increasingly violent because if the surge shows even some signs of success, it will be extended and therefore deny victory to those who profit by chaos and a U.S. departure.
The best way for AQIZ and Jaysh al Mahdi puppet masters to derail the surge and the awakening is through spectacular violence–truck bombs, suicide vest bombs, suicide attacks on coalition bases and increasingly violent ways to carry out the sectarian murder campaigns.
The spectacular generates news media coverage and ratings points that drown out all other facts and progress leading public opinion to an ill informed conclusion–that the whole project should be abandoned because it cannot be won.
As the summer wears on expect more spectacular and more frequent attacks.
I also predict the Anbar Awakening will not remain isolated to Anbar. The Sheiks of Anbar are already reaching out to other Sunni provinces. These Sheiks will embrace the Anbar model of local neighborhood watches, check points and an IP that works with the coalition.
The Sheiks of Anbar will also be sending more ‘qualified men’ to Sunni suburbs in Baghdad.
Read the whole thing.
SO AS I MENTIONED A WHILE BACK, I set up the weather radio that’s supposed to warn you if there’s a tornado warning or other threats. Then, of course, we immediately got the calmest spell of weather we’ve had in ages. But today we had a Severe Thunderstorm Warning and though no alarm sounded (I silenced it for most alerts, as we get a lot of those, and I don’t want to be awakened for something like that) it lit the little “warning” light and “Severe Thunderstorm Warning” scrolled across the display. So I guess it works!
GOODBYE TO TOTINO’S. There’s actually a Totino’s Restaurant behind the famous “Party Pizza?” Weird. That’s like hearing that your dad used to date Mrs. Filbert.
TERRORISM BY THE NUMBERS.
MICKEY KAUS has a roundup on the immigration bill’s failure.
A LOOK AT politics and Roe v. Wade.
WINNING BY LOSING in suing Gateway. Or is it losing by winning?
MICHAEL MOORE WOULD BE JEALOUS: A look at Russian film history.
ANOTHER PHOTO ESSAY from Michael Yon.
I PREDICT THAT THIS WILL DO WELL: The Fred Factor: How Fred Thompson May Change The Face Of The ’08 Campaign.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll found that among all Americans, only 29 percent approve of the way Bush is handling the immigration issue. Thatâ€™s the lowest Bush has ever been on the issue in the survey.
Note, too, that overall approval ratings of the Democratic majority in Congress are even lower than those of the president.
Clearly, most Americans donâ€™t approve of promise breakers.
But that’s what we keep getting.
A NEW BOOK BY MICHAEL BARONE: Our First Revolution: The Remarkable British Upheaval That Inspired America’s Founding Fathers. (Via, er, Michael Barone.)
ACE OFFERS IMPORTANT THOUGHTS on leering and feminism. “Weird. Feminists continue insisting that it’s empowering to f*ck everything that moves, except your actual husband, who must be sexually punished as a state-sanctioned enforcer of The Oppressive Patriarchy.”
Old, Hateful, Barbaric Rule: Women must keep their eyes averted when speaking to their superiors, men
New, Empowering, Enlightened Rule: Men must keep their eyes averted when speaking to their superiors, women
Upside: On looking at Jeri Thompson’s actual age, as opposed to that originally imagined by feminist bloggers, I’m now declaring the Insta-Wife to be the “Insta-Trophy-Wife.”
UPDATE: Alex Bensky emails: “Hey, Glenn, why not consider the possibility that you’re Helen’s trophy husband?”
Good point! Yeah, that’s the ticket!
ANGEL FLIGHT: Alan Boyle looks at financing new commercial space ventures.
MICHAEL MALONE WRITES that working at home isn’t as glamorous as you might think:
There’s a video of me, when my kids were young, sitting in a rented house in Oregon on vacation. Barney is on the television, my boys are having a pillow war all around me, my wife is vacuuming, and I am on the couch with my laptop writing a New York Times column, oblivious to the noise, flying objects and general chaos around me. Somehow, over the years, I learned how to focus — despite almost having flunked out of college because I was incapable of studying while wearing music headphones. Can you do that?
Read the whole thing. But the photo accompanying his article is certainly glamorous! Oh, wait, he addresses that: “In truth, real life working at home is to those glamor stories as real life home offices (empty coffee cups, magazines on the floor, overstuffed waste baskets) are to the photos that illustrate those articles.”
JAMES PETHOKOUKIS looks at what (Fred) Thompsonomics might look like.
A LOOK AT FRED THOMPSON’S FUNDRAISING RESULTS so far.
A LOOK AT IRAN’S “secret cells” in Iraq, from Bill Roggio.
ANOTHER MYTH BUSTED? “Heâ€™s the ultimate symbol of radical chic but was Che Guevara really a homophobic, racist square who personally ordered the jailing and executions of innocent men, women and children?”
“GREEDY LITTLE PIMPS’ EYES:” It does seem to be a transatlantic phenomenon.
INTERNET CENSORSHIP IS SPREADING, partly because big companies are collaborating. Perhaps some shareholder pressure is in order.
GUNS ON CAMPUS: Law enforcement officials are split on the subject.
AND THAT’S A BAD THING: “The story according to which politically connected industries block economic developments that would be beneficial overall but redound to the detriment of the big players is one expounded mostly by cranks in the U.S., but is commonly accepted in Europe. This results from the fact that in Europe, this kind of thing happens.”
Of course, the United States is not immune to politically connected efforts to block new technologies.
TAUNTING ME with Kegerator blogging.
BATTERED COLUMNIST SYNDROME.
QUESTIONING THE TIMING of questions about the timing.
UNSECURE SECURITY AT THE F.B.I. Homeland Security remains not ready for primetime.
PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: David Obey is getting home-state flak:
In six months David Obey has gone from hero to villain.
Late last year the Wisconsin Democrat who heads the powerful House Appropriations Committee helped to spark an effort to save taxpayers billions of dollars by reining in pork-barrel spending.
But Obey is now dodging the very reforms he helped to generate. . . . He announced that because more than 30,000 earmark requests had been made so far this year, it was impossible to determine which had merit.
His solution was to wait until the end of the lawmaking process, where earmarks would be submitted in closed-door sessions of the committee that negotiates the differences between House and Senate versions of bills.
With this maneuver, Obey would enhance his own power but prevent the public and most lawmakers from questioning earmarks until it is too late.
Read the whole thing. Especially if you’re Obey, or live in his district.
HAPPY SUMMER VACATION: E. Coli in beach sand.
IN THE MAIL: Dr. Grattan Woodson’s The Bird Flu Preparedness Planner.
A couple of other avian flu items here and here. As I’ve noted before, regardless of whether avian flu ever becomes a deadly human pandemic, the likelihood is fairly high that we’ll see some sort of deadly pandemic in the next decade or two. And most flu preparations will also help in the case of some other dangerous disease outbreak.
Also, on a not entirely unrelated subject, Paul Collier’s The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It. Overall, the world is getting richer, even most of the world’s poor. But there are still a lot of dirt-poor people out there, and that raises the risk of disease outbreaks.
SPEAKING OF FLOATING ADVANTAGEOUS RUMORS: “A man has sued the maker of the health drink Boost Plus, claiming the vitamin-enriched beverage gave him an erection that would not subside and caused him to be hospitalized.”
What do you think: Does this hurt Boost sales or help them?
PROFESSOR BAINBRIDGE looks at pirates and the law.
STUCK IN virtual reality. Didn’t that plot start with Tron?
TURNING SKIN CELLS INTO STEM CELLS: “In a surprising advance that could sidestep the ethical debates surrounding stem cell biology, researchers have come much closer to a major goal of regenerative medicine, the conversion of a patientâ€™s cells into specialized tissues that might replace those lost to disease.”
Bring it on!
BILL ROGGIO TAKES A LOOK AT the state of Iraqi security forces.