September 16, 2007
SOME BARBECUE-BLOGGING from Les Jones.
SOME BARBECUE-BLOGGING from Les Jones.
FRANK CAGLE: “Iâ€™ve never understood why good-government types hate democracy, but I suspect itâ€™s because voters often elect the wrong candidates.”
FROM “TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE” TO Hsu for the price of one: “NBCâ€™s Andrea Mitchell: Hsu Scandal Makes Bill Clinton a Drag on Hillaryâ€™s Campaign.”
UPDATE: Reader Vernon Conaway emails:
I think I see a pattern emerging, and I’d be interested to know if you agree. First, Hillarycare wasn’t really Hillarycare, but Billcare, and Hillary took the fall for him once it proved unpopular. Now Hsu is only a problem for Hillary! because it reminds people of Bill and his administration’s troubles with Chinese donations seeming to buy our sensitive nuclear secrets. So is the new Hillary! campaign going to throw even Bill Clinton under the bus to try to keep the Hillary! name clean?
Whatever it takes, is the usual political approach.
MORE ON the French and Iran.
SLATE: It’s a Hsu-nami!
Plus, in the L.A. Times, Sweet Hsu: “Associates describe the disgraced Democratic fundraiser as charming and self-effacing, but deceptive.” And, in the New York Times, Eager Hsu Please: “Norman Hsu was desperate for invitations to glitzy Democratic Party galas in California and private political dinners in New York. But once he got in, Mr. Hsu, a 56-year-old apparel executive, seemed awkward and out of place, almost astonished to be posing for pictures with former President Bill Clinton, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and other big-name Democrats. . . .He was a compulsive name-dropper who even took time to befriend campaign workers, pulling strings to get them reservations at tough-table restaurants like Nobu in Manhattan.”
MISMANAGEMENT IN MICHIGAN.
LIVING IN THE FUTURE, and discovering the downside.
SOME OF US LIVE THIS STORY EVERY DAY: The Sea of Trolls.
O.J. SIMPSON ARRESTED on multiple felony charges.
GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS, in Iraq.
FROM VANESSA WILLIAMS TO VANESSA HUDGENS: Are nude photos just no big deal anymore? Seems to me that when half the country is posting their own nude pics to Flickr, celebrity nude photos just aren’t going to be that big a deal.
THE BIONIC WOMAN: A blast from the past. Where do people get this old video?
A COMBINATION HD-DVD/BLURAY PLAYER: Verdict: Excellent.
MORE ON MORPHINE: “Although opium was one of the chief exports of British India and the country still produces more for the legal morphine industry than any other country, few Indians benefit. They end up like millions of the worldâ€™s poor â€” spending their last days writhing in agony, wishing death would hurry.” The problem isn’t money — morphine is cheap — but drug-war regulations.
IF THE DOCKSIDER FITS. Though I’d call him for a Topsider man, myself.
A LEGACY OF THE DUKE CASE: Concerns about prosecutors: “Some observers see a potential sea change in US attitudes over prosecutorial power.” I’d say it’s time.
UPDATE: Link was bad before. Fixed now. Sorry!
MORE: Reader Rob Ives thinks I’m too hard on prosecutors:
Well, as a guy who has been tossed from office three times (no kidding) by the voters, I think I am fairly expert on checks against a prosecutor’s power (the first part really is true, but that is a joke). . . .
I don’t think mainstream press reports are a good place to find out what is happening in the criminal justice system and I have never seen any statistical evidence that would support what I take to be your position.
I know there is one thing we almost certainly agree about: the drug war has been very hard on the justice system. I am unquestionably libertarian at heart, and your position on this bothers me largely because I strongly agree with you about issues such as the drug war, guns, and search warrant errors. However, you make me nervous when you express a desire to apply the tort system as a solution to a problem. I despise the american tort system. Put in loser pays, and maybe we can talk.
Well, “loser pays,” if you believe in it, should apply here — defendants found not guilty, or convicted on significantly lesser charges, should be able to recover their expenses from the government’s purse. But it’s not just the news media — when I was a law clerk we had a case in which federal prosecutors actively concealed evidence of innocence from the defendant and the court. And I’ve seen enough of this sort of thing — and enough evidence of prosecutors’ power to damage even those who are never charged — to think that we need more checks and balances. And fewer criminal laws to start with.
THE HILLARYCARE MYTHOLOGY: Suddenly, we’re being told that Hillary wasn’t behind Hillarycare — it was all Bill’s idea!
The first lady was an active force in these discussions, but there was never any question that the president was in charge. We took our guidance from him. That, of course, was how it should have been (who else but the president ought to make such decisions?), except that many reporters and the public thought that Bill Clinton had handed over the policy to Hillary and that she would report back to him, which was not the case.
Presidents often downplay their own direct involvement in decision making to put some distance between themselves and policies that may eventually prove to be unsuccessful. Part of the job of cabinet members and advisors is to take the blame when things go wrong. Clinton’s appointment of his wife to chair the task force did not, however, create the necessary distance and deniability. Not only did the fiction of Hillary’s personal responsibility for the health plan fail to protect the president at the time, it has also now come back to haunt her in her own quest for the presidency.
Well, you know, tangled webs and all that. (Via Newsalert).
UPDATE: This, on the other hand, is just weird.
FRANCE: Prepare for war with Iran.
THE REAL IMPORT OF THE PETRAEUS TESTIMONY: An interesting take. “The military is the most respected institution in the country. By bypassing the political leadership (anyone seen Sec. Gates lately?) they are using that influence to make the war about them rather than the President. They’re saying ‘OK, so there was no WMD. The war was run badly by Bush and Rumsfeld. But now the professionals are running it and we’re starting to win. Let us finish the job. You don’t like them, but you respect us. Don’t let us down, like you did in Vietnam.’”
UPDATE: Susan Estrich says that the Democrats have a problem with Petraeus: “He was, to put it simply, good, a man who came across as brave, honorable, and true, and thatâ€™s the problem.”
MARIE CLAIRE DARES TO ASK THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: “Is anal bleaching for you?”
IS MARRIAGE THE NEW DATING?
IS BELGIUM splitting apart?
Kramer: “It’s a write off for them.”
Jerry: “How is it a write off?”
Kramer: “They just write it off.”
Jerry: “Write it off what?”
Kramer: “Jerry, all these big companies, they write off everything.”
Jerry: “You don’t even know what a write off is.”
Kramer: “Do you?”
Jerry: “No, I don’t!”
Kramer: “But, they do. And they’re the ones writing it off.”
THOUGHTS ON OSIRAK AND IDIOM, from TigerHawk.
IN THE MAIL: Douglas Mizner’s novel, Hartsburg, USA.
JEFF EMANUEL reports from Samarra.
ERIC SCHEIE: Will blog for oil.
DROPPING IN on Code Pink.
HSUT FIRST, ASK QUESTIONS LATER: That seems to have been the approach of Hillary’s fundraising staff:
To raise $850,000 for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign in just eight months, Norman Hsu tapped an eclectic group of donors that included wealthy investors in his apparel ventures, hotel shopkeepers, a 96-year-old in a Florida retirement home and an auto-body worker who mistakenly thought he would get a tax break for his political generosity.
The Clinton campaign has not yet released any information about the 260 donors whose contributions it is now refunding because they were credited to the prodigious fundraising of the former fugitive, but a detailed analysis of donors Hsu brought to Clinton shows that he tapped many Asian American donors in California and New York, including complete strangers as well as his relatives. He also raised political funds from people who had already invested large sums in his private business ventures.
As a fundraising bundler for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign, Norman Hsu collected donations from others. Some of the donors whose checks were credited under Hsu’s name said they had never met him.
Some donors among the nearly 100 identified this week said they never met Hsu and did not know that their donations had been credited to his fundraising. Others had trouble explaining why they gave the funds to Clinton or could not recall the circumstances in which they met Hsu. . . . The case of the mysterious bundler has become a major embarrassment for Clinton and an echo of the campaign finance scandals that surrounded her husband’s presidency in the 1990s. The campaign’s decision to return the money associated with Hsu followed his recent arrest on charges of trying to outrun a 15-year-old warrant, but many questions remain about Hsu’s fundraising tactics, the origin of the funds and whether they were all given legally.
It’s as if the whole thing was a Hsam.
UPDATE: Reader William Casey asks: “Is it possible there is a Hsu-Trie connection?”
DOKTOR FRANK is living the East Bay dream.
JAMES LILEKS: Welcome to Mordor!
ADVICE ON FEDERALISM for Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani: “Giuliani and Thompson claim they want to reinvigorate discussion of the virtues of federalism. Terrific. But you canâ€™t argue that states should be free to make their own policies without federal interference â€” except when you happen to disagree with them. You can be a federalist, or you can be an ardent drug warrior. But you canâ€™t be both.” Indeed.
MATTHEW HOY LOOKS AT the news industry’s diversity problem and how it affects coverage.
My younger, 13-year-old sister is having a slumber party for her birthday, and invited three or so of her 13- to 14-year-old girlfriends to our house. Shortly after, “Sara’s” mother suggested that my sister’s party should be held at “Tammy’s” house. Why? Because Tammy has a single mother. Sara’s mother is concerned that my father will be in his house during the festivities. There is no reason to be concerned about my father doing anything inappropriate to any of the girls (all the parents have met each other), but she is just uncomfortable about the idea of her daughter sleeping in the same house with another nonfamily man. She has also convinced the other parents that a change of venue would be a good idea. Although Tammy’s mother is willing to host the event, my family is offended that the situation has come to this. Since when is it a crime to have a happy two-parent household?
Only when one of the parents is a man. Prudence’s response is excellent, though I’m not sure that anyone should even explain that they’re “sensitive to such concerns.” If this were a matter of race — or of gender prejudice against women — no one would be advising sensitivity.
UPDATE: Donald Sensing emails:
Glenn, regarding your post about the woman who objected to sending her daughter to a friend’s home for a sleepover because the friend’s father would be present, it’s worth considering that at least 20 percent of child sexual abuse is committed by children against other children. In fact, reports StopItNow.com, “As much as half of all child sexual abuse is committed by children under the age of 18 (Hunter, J.A., Figueredo, A., Malamuth, N.M., & Becker, J.V. (2003). Juvenile sex offenders: Toward the Development of a Typology. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, (2003) Volume 15, No. 1.).”
I think an appropriate response by the original hosting parents to that mother would be to say, “I am uncomfortable with the idea of sending my daughter to spend the night in another house where only one adult is present,” and put the shoe back on her foot.
Meanwhile, reader Richard Aubrey posits a PC meme-clash: “Suppose the husband/father in question were black. The SPIW (Self-Professed Incredibly Wonderful) would have a stroke trying to figure out which meme was stronger.”
A HUGE CHEMERINSKY ROUNDUP at the L.A. Times.
DAVID GELERNTER: Defeat at any price.
P.B.S. makes a correction.
ALAN KEYES to the rescue!
A RUN ON THE BANK in Britain. They’re doing the right thing in response: Shoveling out the cash. People will relax soon enough if that keeps up.
A ROUNDUP OF NORMAN HSU PUNS at Beltway Blogroll. Plus a poll!
My favorite: “Hsu-per California Donors Extradition Opus.” If you say it loud enough you’ll always sound precocious!
UPDATE: Reader Steve Galbraith emails:
I’ve seen this posted by several lefty posters – not bloggers – but posters. Apparently, your citation of puns on Hsu’s name is racist.
Because if he was a white American with the name of, let’s say, Gene Shue, apparently you wouldn’t have engaged in this wordplay. It’s only because he’s an Asian.
Methinks the real issue with these posters has nothing to do with the name but involves, let us say, other issues you and the Left have?
Just when you think you’ve seen everything on the internet…..
In Internet discourse “racist” — like “fascist” — is often a synonym for “someone who is winning an argument with a lefty.” It’s a term used with such abandon, and so little foundation, that it’s largely lost its original meaning.
THERE’S NOW A TRANSCRIPT UP, of our podcast interview with Jack Goldsmith.
HAPPINESS IS A WARM ELECTRODE:
At his signal, two volts of electricity, enough to power a wristwatch, course through the wires and radiate outward from the tip a few millimeters in every direction. Millions of neurons bask in the electricity, and the effect is fairly immediate. Hire feels warm at first, a bit flushed.
And then it happens. The room looks brighter to her. The faces, the big, circular lights overhead, the ceilingâ€”they all seem clearer. Malone asks her how she feels. “I’m really happy,” she replies, clearly surprised. “I feel like I could get up and do all sorts of things.” But even more telling than her words is the look on her face. For the first time in 20 years, with a halo bolted to her head and two freshly drilled holes in her skull, Hire smiles. . . . When I meet with her six months after the surgery, she doesn’t look like a person who spent 20 years trapped in a dark mental cave. She’s energetic. She shakes my hand firmly and looks me straight in the eyeâ€”something she says she simply wouldn’t have been able to do before. She laughs often (and my jokes aren’t even really funny). She now walks 50 miles a week, talks to her family constantly, chats with strangers at the post office. And her smile is a regular, everyday thing, not a freakish, fleeting appearance in a crowded operating room.
Read the whole thing.
Mr. Greenspan, who calls himself a “lifelong libertarian Republican,” writes that he advised the White House to veto some bills to curb “out-of-control” spending while the Republicans controlled Congress. He says President Bush’s failure to do so “was a major mistake.” Republicans in Congress, he writes, “swapped principle for power. They ended up with neither. They deserved to lose.”
Hmm. That sounds kind of like my GOP “premortem,” doesn’t it? (“Add to this the GOP leadership’s failure to follow through on promised ethics reforms, and its addiction to pork-barrel spending, and you’ve got lots of reason to think that they don’t stand for anything except stuffing their pockets.”) Haven’t read the book yet, but it sounds interesting. It’s currently #2 on Amazon, so I guess a lot of people think so.
FREE IPHONE UNLOCKING FOR DUMMIES: Well, that’s the kind I’d need, if I owned an iPhone.
HYPOCRITICAL? OR REALIST? Google calls for Web privacy laws.
MICKEY KAUS: “Maybe Murdoch Bid on the Wrong Company: New York Times stock falls below $20 a share, down from $50 in 2002. … Soon even Ron Burkle will be able to buy the place!”
UPDATE: Reader George Zachar emails:
Shareholder equity in the New York Times company is roughly $825 million. That’s about the value of the Times’ interest in its new headquarters tower opposite the bus terminal. The implicit value of the Times newspaper and other properties is therefore zero.
I blame excessive ad-discounting.
GIVING A NEW MEANING to the term “breast exam.”
A SHOCKING AYN RAND DEVELOPMENT: “An article in the New York Times about Rand and Atlas Shrugged that is notable for the absence of the expected condescending sneering.”
IN THE MAIL: Aubrey de Grey’s new book, Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime. Bring it on!
ANOTHER dumb McCarthyish political decision at the University of California. “After a group of UC Davis women faculty began circulating a petition, UC regents rescinded an invitation to Larry Summers, the controversial former president of Harvard University, to speak at a board dinner Wednesday night in Sacramento.” First Chemerinsky, now this. People are going to be a lot slower to accept invitations from the University of California in the future, I think. To paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, I could carve a better backbone out of a banana.
MASSACHUSETTS DECIDES THAT ROADS NEED more cowbell. Well, doesn’t everything?
‘I do not think that abrogating Second Amendment rights is a good idea,” the Republican said at the Versailles restaurant in Little Havana.
CALL IT THE HSU SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH: Arkansas returns Hsu money, but New School doesn’t. “Bob Kerrey — head of the New School — is considering a run for Senate in 2008. He ought to have the good sense to have returned the money already.” Maybe he’s not sure who it actually belongs to . . . .
JIM MORAN DOES IT AGAIN: â€œThere are only so many mistakes he can make before itâ€™s fair to call him an anti-Semite.â€ Are we there yet?
And this advice: “How should Democrats deal with this guy? Hereâ€™s a proposal: Ask Mark Warner.”
WHY DO SOY BURGERS TASTE SO AWFUL?
CANCER-RESISTANT MICE? Let’s hope we can do the same thing with people.
A ROUNDUP OF Milblogger interviews with President Bush.
CHEMERINSKY UPDATE: “Right-wing bogeymen” still unaccounted for. And possibly fictional, though that raises further questions.
THOSE LAYERS OF EDITORS AND FACT-CHECKERS fail again: “A former consultant to ABC’s investigative unit admitted yesterday that he put his name on a purported interview with Barack Obama that he never conducted.”
And there’s more here: “The French Defense Ministry on Friday debunked the credentials of a former ABC News consultant who claimed to have worked as an adviser to the ministry, saying the man was just an intern for five months.”
AL GORE VISITS MINNEAPOLIS:
Brrr. Not complaining; just noting. Flower-slaying frost expected, which really is too soon. All that work, and they perish in a night.
I mean, I don’t actually know if Al was in Minneapolis today, I just kind of assumed.
GOOSE CREEK UPDATE:
PVC pipe filled with homemade “low-grade explosive mixture” and a videotape instruction for turning a remote-controlled toy car into a detonator were among the items found in the car driven by two University of South Florida students arrested in South Carolina and now facing federal explosives charges, according to a federal prosecutor. . . . They also found a laptop computer in the men’s car. On the laptop they found a 12-minute video on which a man shows how to turn a radio-controlled toy car into a remote-controlled detonator, Hoffer said.
Mohamed admits that it is him in the video, although you cannot see his face, Hoffer said. In the video, Mohamed said that he was showing how to make such a device “to save one who wants to be a martyr for another battle,” Hoffer said.
Mohamed also makes reference to a toy boat in the video.
The FBI seized a toy remote controlled boat in a box from Megahed’s home.
The plot thickens. (Via Michelle Malkin).
UPDATE: A cautionary note. The point is well-taken. I suspect that If CAIR weren’t defending them, people might be slower to assume their guilt. But given CAIR’s track record, that’s not entirely irrational.
MICKEY KAUS: “Thanks to a recent election that gave Mayor Villaraigosa’s allies a majority on the L.A. school board, a large, poor-performing inner-city high school–Locke High–is being turned over in toto to a charter organization. Why isn’t this the equivalent, for the education world, what the dynamiting of the Pruitt-Igoe towers was for New Deal public housing projects? Here is a unionized ghetto high school so beyond salvation by the traditional ed bureaucracy that a majority of its own teachers vote to go charter!”
RUDY GIULIANI gets the MoveOn discount. Advertising Age has the backstory.
THE CHEMERINSKY SCANDAL: A novel solution:
Victor David Hanson says UC Irvine Law School should re-hire Chemerinsky.
Personally, I think they should re-hire him, and then re-fire him, just for kicks. It’ll be like George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin for the ivory-tower set. Fun times all around!
Who says sports don’t build character?
UPDATE: More here: “Can anyone explain why Drake should not resign? After nine months of searching for a dean and recruiting a man who is highly respected throughout the law school community, he turned around and fired him in a way that has undercut the whole project of founding a law school at UCI.”
Or maybe it’s all a cunning effort at sabotage.
MORE ON THE MICROSOFT stealth update issue. “I know that this is a bitter pill for Microsoft to have to swallow, but no matter what spin is being put on the PR, updating files on systems where users have specifically stated they want to have the final say on whatâ€™s installed is a serious betrayal of trust, and this isnâ€™t the first time.”
DANNY GLOVER ON THE BLOGOSPHERE:
A-list bloggers who rose to prominence by fighting the establishment are quickly becoming the new establishment — and as such they are being forced to do battle with a new generation of intraparty peasants with pixel-forks.
The Blogway Elite versus the New Netroots (need a better name for them): It’s all very interesting to watch.
IF MOVEON HAD EXISTED 65 YEARS AGO.
SENATOR KEN SALAZAR PRODUCES the world’s quietest Sister Souljah moment, by denouncing the MoveOn “Betrayus” ad, but in a newspaper with a smaller readership than many political blogs.
UPDATE: Elizabeth Edwards is criticizing MoveOn too but I don’t think it counts as a Sister Souljah moment, even a quiet one, when it’s your wife doing the criticizing.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Gary Harmon of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel emails:
Prof. Reynolds: Here I sit, damned with faint praise re Salazarâ€™s Sis Souljah? Did you have to mention the size of the readership? Now I feel like the freshman on the first day in the locker room with the seniors. Again.
Actually, we wonâ€™t apologize for the size of our readership. Itâ€™s actually growing and not many can say that in this business. What is interesting is that the comments were made in a phone conference involving almost all Colorado media, including the big dailies and AP.
That it made it to our paper might explain why weâ€™re growing and, well, theyâ€™re not.
As Webb Wilder says: “You’re never too small to hit the big time!”
When Bill Clinton received an award at a gala dinner honoring the late Robert F. Kennedy last year, the former president expressed his thanks before an audience that included a Nobel Prize winner and a glittering array of show business celebrities and Wall Street titans. Yet the second sentence of his remarks expressed special gratitude to a man almost no one there had heard of: “our friend Norman Hsu.”
The story of Hsu, the major Democratic fundraiser who turned out to be a fugitive from justice, is a tangled one that stretches back more than 15 years. But more recent developments in the world of campaign finance helped create the environment in which a man like Hsu could be welcomed into the company of people like the Kennedys and Clintons.
Thanks, campaign finance “reform”! (Via NewsAlert, which notes: “To Bill Clinton Norman Hsu was a bundler of joy.”)
MORE WRONG-HOUSE RAIDS IN PHILADELPHIA: And the cops even admit that they weren’t sure they had the right house, and broke in anyway.
We need federal legislation stripping sovereign immunity in these cases.
INDEED: “It is the view of this column that the Times should be able to sell ads to whomever it wishes under whatever terms it wishes. But we live in an era of heavy regulation of campaign speech, thanks in part to the persuasive efforts of the New York Times. It does not seem too much to ask that the New York Times Co. adhere, with transparency and integrity, to the high standards its editorialists seek to impose by law on everyone else.”
UPDATE: A message convergence. “But I think the real lesson here is for MoveOn: sure, you got a great discount, but if you’d waited a day you could have gotten the same message out for free.”
PRESIDENT BUSH meets with milbloggers.
WHEN POLICE OFFICERS DRIVE DRUNK.
MORE ON S.U.V. HYPOCRISY, from Arthur St. Antoine.
SO I FINISHED JOE HALDEMAN’S The Accidental Time Machine last night. It was okay — not in his top tier, but reasonably amusing. As one of the reader reviews says: “pleasant, although shallow.”
BUY A SPORT-UTILITY VEHICLE: It’s for the children! “America’s car culture may be giving childbearing a big boost. Dragging a child around a city, even a family-friendly Canadian or northern European city, is a major hassle, especially since after you get home, all worn out and cranky from the expedition, chances are your urban apartment forces you to be in closer proximity to your child than is ideal for maintaining an even temper.”
UPDATE: Note this comment, too.
MAKING THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP LOOK LIKE A BUNCH OF BLOWHARDS: The new Corn & Miniter Show is up!
DAVID BERNSTEIN: “Anyone who is reasonably familiar with the history of U.S.-Israel relations knows that the pro-Israel community (and the organized Jewish community writ large, for that matter) has despised Brzezinski for at least thirty years. And it wasnâ€™t just Brzezinskiâ€™s policies, deemed by many to be anti-Israel, it was the way he promoted them, and the way he interacted with Jewish community activists who sought to engage him.”
THE REAL MEANING OF “no war for oil.”
OUT-TRUTHING THE TRUTHERS: Mary Katharine Ham at Ground Zero.
HSU-LEATHER EXPRESS: Well, he’s already demonstrated that he’s a flight risk: “A Colorado judge set bail at $5 million in cash for Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu on a grand theft charge, but that wasn’t enough to satisfy a prosecutor who had asked for an unprecedented $50 million bail.”
ARNOLD KLING ON order, disorder, and markets.
MORE ON L’Affaire Chemerinsky.
CHINESE PIRATES PRODUCE AN IPOD NANO CLONE, and get this stiff warning: “Just remember guys, you’re taking food off of Steve Jobs’ table… which is made of diamond-studded platinum.”