Archive for January, 2008

January 29, 2008

BROCK YATES: Car and Driver fired me. Now he’s blogging at The Truth About Cars.

January 29, 2008

THE MEDIA, STILL TRYING TO martyr Obama? And it used to just be the occasional blog-commenter making Vince Foster jokes. I remember in one of Bruce Sterling’s cyberpunk novels, the way you killed people was to get unstable nuts to go after them. Is this what the media is doing with Obama, putting ideas in people’s heads? Isn’t that kind of irresponsible?

UPDATE: Related thoughts from Tom Maguire.

January 29, 2008

NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: The Foresight Institute and Battelle unveil A Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems.

January 29, 2008

URBAN GARDENING TIPS.

January 29, 2008

SOME INTERESTING NEW AGING RESEARCH.

January 29, 2008

A SCIENCE FAIR book roundup.

January 29, 2008

DAVID HARSANYI: Billary is just embarrassing. They don’t seem to be working together well.

January 29, 2008

BILL BRADLEY IS POSTING continuously updated reports from Florida, including firsthand reports from blog-correspondents around the state.

January 29, 2008

IN THE MAIL: Steven M. Teles’ The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement: The Battle for Control of the Law. Favorably blurbed by both Robert George and Jack Balkin!

January 29, 2008

IS TECHNOLOGY TRULY ADDICTIVE? I think that yammering on about addictions is the habit that some people need to kick . . . .

January 29, 2008

MICHAEL YON EMAILS: “Major offensive has begun in Mosul. This is likely Al Qaeda’s last real stand in Iraq. Surely they will continue to murder people for a long time, but they are running out of places to hide. Just arrived Kuwait. Should be in Iraq tomorrow and will be in the middle of it.” I look forward to the reports.

January 29, 2008

THOUGHTS FROM TIGERHAWK on why Bush seemed happy, including a rather positive assessment of the Iraq/Iran situation from Stratfor.

January 29, 2008

IS SNOPES pushing adware? I looked on Snopes and it said it was just an urban legend . . . .

January 29, 2008

THE SOCIOLOGY OF CAMPUS HOOKUPS.

January 29, 2008

MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE EVEN ALAN KEYES’ SUPPORTERS can’t spell his name right.

January 29, 2008

AT SAMIZDATA, a leaked document on Britain’s plans for implementing national ID.

January 29, 2008

LIFT A TON AND A HALF, with a bicycle pump.

January 29, 2008

THE FLORIDA PRIMARY: Continuously updated coverage at PJ Media.

January 29, 2008

A “NO GROWTH” BUDGET in Tennessee.

January 29, 2008

DANIEL GLOVER ON THE POWER OF PORKBUSTERS:

I’ve been tracking the power of the blog here at Beltway Blogroll since June 2005, and as my days at National Journal come to a close this week, I can say unequivocally that Porkbusters is the most successful demonstration I have seen of that influence. It is also the one with the greatest staying power.

It’s true that pork is still a problem and will remain one as long as Americans choose to elect panderers rather than statesmen. As I noted in November 2005, it’s next to impossible to catch the greased pig in Congress.

But you simply can’t deny that pork is a prominent policy issue now because of Porkbusters. Until bloggers across the political spectrum started ranting about pork after Hurricane Katrina, nobody outside of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, television broadcaster John Stossel and groups like Citizens Against Government Waste seemed to care — and all of their outrage went unheard by Washington’s powerbrokers.

Now the president is tackling the issue in the State of the Union. That is blog power, my friends.

We just need to keep after them on this issue.

January 29, 2008

FIRST, THEY CAME for the gays.

January 29, 2008

TWO ECONOMIC BIRDS, one government stone.

January 29, 2008

SOME AMAZING SHARK PICTURES.

January 29, 2008

A LOOK AT the algorithms of love.

January 29, 2008

THOUGHTS ON TECHNOLOGY AND HUMAN ENHANCEMENT, from Sonia Arrison.

January 28, 2008

JOHN MCCAIN KERRY: I think McCain is overplaying the Vietnam vet thing. Who does that remind me of?

See, manly modesty is the way to go. Make too much of your military record, and you diminish it.

January 28, 2008

DON’T DROP THE SOAP: A side of Kathleen Sebelius I was unfamiliar with.

January 28, 2008

IN DEFENSE OF THE MINIVAN: “The minivan gets a bad rap in this country–it is almost universally reviled as a symbol of dweebish parenthood and mindless suburbia, a scarlet letter attached to soccer moms’ chests. . . . The minivan’s job is to haul people and cargo in as comfortable and efficient a manner as possible, and it fulfills that mission admirably.” (Bumped).

January 28, 2008

WHAT DID CONGRESS GET FOR ITS PURCHASE OF CARBON OFFSETS? Nothing, basically.

I could have saved them a lot of money!

January 28, 2008

BEST LINE OF THE NIGHT: “Others have said they would personally be happy to pay higher taxes. I welcome their enthusiasm, and I am pleased to report that the IRS accepts both checks and money orders.”

January 28, 2008

JIM DEMINT OFFERS THE CONSERVATIVE RESPONSE to the State of the Union. Which in itself is kind of bad for Bush . . . .

January 28, 2008

THOUGHTS ON THE Challenger anniversary.

January 28, 2008

BUSH ON IRAQ: Video.

UPDATE: Some not-entirely-positive thoughts from Don Surber.

January 28, 2008

WATCHING BUSH WALK OUT AFTER THE SPEECH, I’m struck by how happy he looks. Other Presidents have looked beaten-down by this point. Not him.

January 28, 2008

TALKING GLOBAL WARMING on Reason TV.

January 28, 2008

OKAY, I HAVE TO GLOAT JUST A BIT: Bush led off with earmarks. His actions aren’t as bold as I’d like, but still — back in 2005 when PorkBusters started, nobody in Washington cared and members of Congress were bragging about pork. Now the State of the Union leads of with an attack on earmarks, to thundering applause. Yeah, a lot of it’s a sham. But hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, and this kind of hypocrisy indicates that the anti-earmark momentum is growing.

UPDATE: Liveblogging the SOTU here. Also here. For the full prepared text of Bush’s speech, click “read more.”

January 28, 2008

THE PROBLEMS OF MOVIE DISTRIBUTION: Will the Long Tail bring a Big Fix? Somebody ask Roger Simon!

January 28, 2008

GEOTHERMAL POWER in Alaska.

January 28, 2008

I MAY NOT MANAGE to watch the State of the Union, but Jules Crittenden and Rick Moran will be covering it for PJ Media.

January 28, 2008

CLAUDIA ROSETT: The amazing, disappearing Pentagon profile.

January 28, 2008

RAND SIMBERG OBSERVES THE ANNIVERSARY of Bush’s “Sixteen Words.” Here’s more background on those from FactCheck.org: Two intelligence investigations show Bush had plenty of reason to believe what he said in his 2003 State of the Union Address.

January 28, 2008

A NEW YORK TIMES PROXY FIGHT! “Investors Plan to Name Their Own Slate of 4 Directors at N.Y. Times Co.”

January 28, 2008

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER’S HEALTH CARE PLAN has been rejected.

In a way, this was foreshadowed in Daniel Weintraub’s book, which coincidentally just came out.

January 28, 2008

OUCH:

Rev. Al Sharpton on the ABC show “The View” today told former President Bill Clinton to “shut up”. While not identifying any individual statements, Sharpton said Mr. Clinton should end the “race-tinged rhetoric”.

When Al Sharpton is outraged by your race-baiting, well . . . .

January 28, 2008

A STATE OF THE UNION preview.

January 28, 2008

I’M SHOCKED AT THIS ACT OF POLITICAL INFIDELITY: “The New York State chapter of the National Organization for Women attacked Ted Kennedy for his endorsement today with some real heat. . . . ‘Women have just experienced the ultimate betrayal. Senator Kennedy’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton’s opponent in the Democratic presidential primary campaign has really hit women hard.’”

January 28, 2008

KILL HILL?

January 28, 2008

MORE ON THE BENEFITS OF exercise and booze.

January 28, 2008

OUR ORWELLIAN CLASS.

January 28, 2008

TAKING THE X-PRIZE APPROACH TO A NEW LEVEL: Billion-dollar prizes for big problems.

January 28, 2008

READER RICK GIOVANELLI SENDS THIS STORY ON THE ECONOMY from The New York Times and observes, “Don’t you wish Vegas or the online markets would let you bet on things like the number of articles linking a weak economy to President Bush compared to the number of articles (approximately zero) linking him to the strong economy of the past 4-5 years?”

You don’t bet on certainties. But I’m reminded of a passage from Mark Penn’s book on how the media treated the economy in 1992:

I have found over the years that there is often a huge disconnect between belief about the economy and the true economic state of affairs. Until the statistics are actually published, people tend to assess the economy through the eyes of the national media. In 1992, when Bill Clinton won the presidency based on worries about the economy, the statistics that came out after the election showed that the period leading up to November had actually been a period of record growth. . . . In his 1996 State of the Union speech, President Clinton said we had the best economy in thirty years — a statement that sent a flurry of reporters to check actual statistics rather than popular political movements and sweeping, politically motivated statements. The more people looked at the facts, the more they agreed, and six months later, there was near-unanimity that the economy was in good shape. Had the economy changed? No, what had changed was knowledge about the true facts of the economy.

Hmm. Regardless of the data, we get bad economic “news” when there’s a Republican in the White House., and good economic “news” when a Democrat is running for reelection. Perhaps that New York Times headline — “Echo of First Bush” — is more accurate than I first thought . . . .

January 28, 2008

porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Bush announces the order:

On Tuesday, President Bush will issue an Executive Order directing Federal agencies to ignore any future earmark that is not voted on and included in a law approved by Congress. This will effectively end the common practice of concealing earmarks in so-called report language instead of placing them in the actual text of the bill. This means earmarks will be subject to votes, which will better expose them to the light of day and help constrain excessive and unjustified spending.

The Executive Order will provide that with regard to all future appropriations laws and other legislation enacted into law, executive agencies will not commit, obligate, or expend funds on the basis of earmarks from any non-statutory source, including requests included in congressional committee reports or other congressional documents, or communications from or on behalf of Members of Congress, or any other non-statutory source, except when required by law, or when an agency itself decides that a project or other transaction has merit under statutory criteria or other merit-based decision-making.

Good for him. If he’d done this in 2005, of course, the GOP might have kept its majority. But this is still the right thing to do.

UPDATE: Mark Tapscott calls it an empty gesture because it applies only to future bills. Not quite empty, but not enough.

January 28, 2008

LEONARD DAVID notes some planetary defense lessons from recent asteroid flybys.

January 28, 2008

FROM ROGER KIMBALL, thoughts on being an idolatrous infidel.

January 28, 2008

THE TRUTH ABOUT JENA: “Why America’s black-and-white narratives about race don’t reflect reality.”

January 28, 2008

TOOLMONGER is a blog that’s — I guess this is no surprise, given the name — all about tools. Here’s their Top 5 List for this week.

January 28, 2008

IMMIGRATION PUSHBACK FOR HILLARY: “Immigrant-rights advocates and some Latino leaders are voicing concern at Senator Clinton’s campaign-trail rhetoric about swiftly deporting immigrants with a criminal past.”

January 28, 2008

ARTHUR CHRENKOFF analyzes news coverage from Iraq.

January 28, 2008

BREAKING OPEC: Bob Zubrin has an oped in The Rocky Mountain News. Read it!

January 28, 2008

BAD NEWS FOR OBAMA: Tony Rezko has been arrested.

January 28, 2008

porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: A 12-step program for Earmark Withdrawal? This sounds promising:

As every reformed addict knows, the road to recovery is long and hard. So it is for Republicans who became addicted to spending “earmarks” while running Congress, lost their majority in large part because of it, and are now struggling with mixed results to dry out.

Their latest halting effort in what appears to be at least a 12-step recovery plan will come tonight, when President Bush uses his State of the Union address to lay down his toughest anti-earmarking pledge to date. We’re told he will tell Congress that he will veto any fiscal 2009 spending bill that doesn’t cut earmarks in half from 2008 levels. He will also report that he is issuing a Presidential order informing executive departments that from now on they should refuse to fund earmarks that aren’t explicitly mentioned in statutory language.

Read the whole thing. It’s progress. Too bad he didn’t do this years ago. But still, it’s progress.

January 28, 2008

ISSUES FOR THE TRUSTEES of large, wealthy universities.

January 28, 2008

A LOOK AT AMERICA’S first criminal domestic violence court. Back in 1946.

January 28, 2008

PREVENTING OVARIAN CANCER, with birth control pills.

January 28, 2008

I DIDN’T REALIZE THAT AL GORE was visiting China.

January 28, 2008

THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION ON female genital mutilation.

January 28, 2008

THE FINAL MISSION: Michael Totten posts a new report from Fallujah.

January 28, 2008

BILL QUICK: “A McCain-Huckabee ticket? That’s a guaranteed write-in for Fred Thompson from me.”

Yeah. Unlike Bill, I can handle McCain. But not Huckabee. He’s Jimmy Carter all over again, though admittedly without the cat-killing.

January 28, 2008

MORE ON CHEAP, CORN-FREE ETHANOL: Bring it on.

January 28, 2008

MICKEY KAUS: “McCain seems to have conned a lot of Republicans into thinking he’s transformed his position on immigration.”

January 28, 2008

BRUCE THORNTON: An Epistle to the Muslims.

January 27, 2008

SHE WHO CONTROLS THE PAST, controls the future?

January 27, 2008

HEH: “If they were trying to keep their affair a secret, you’d think they’d find someplace where political reporters wouldn’t be walking by.” Yes, if they were, you’d think they would.

January 27, 2008

ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY: Economist Daniel Klein has analyzed all of Paul Krugman’s columns from 1997-2006 and found them wanting. (Full report in PDF form here.)

January 27, 2008

SO I VISITED MY BROTHER THIS WEEKEND — it was his birthday — and you can see his blues duo 46 Long playing at a party below. (Shot with my tiny Sony — not bad video and sound for a camera the size of a deck of cards with a microphone the size of a matchhead.)

bradsmall.jpgThen we went to Southgate House, where the Cincinnati Blues Society was having a big to-do. 46 Long played again, and I met a bunch of my brother’s bluesman and blueswoman friends, only some of whom wore porkpie hats. One of them was Jon Justice, pictured below, who’s a really excellent guitarist, reminiscent of Roy Buchanan or a young Stevie Ray Vaughan, and with a fine singing voice as well. There were lots of other very talented and nice folks, though, and the Southgate House — birthplace of the man who invented the Tommy Gun (no, really) — was an extra-cool location.

It was a swell time, and my other brother, Brad — his band is here — came along too, and so did my dad, meaning that the greater Cincinnati area was briefly overrun with Reynolds men. They seem to have survived, and we certainly had a good time. We don’t all get together in one place all that often, given all of our various travels and responsibilities, but it’s always fun when we do. And it wasn’t even my birthday! I hope there are many more celebrations like this.

Jon Justice Band

UPDATE: Here’s another 46 Long video. And here’s a Jon Justice video.

ANOTHER UPDATE: People want pictures of the InstaDad. Here’s one.

January 27, 2008

WHAT THE HECK IS TORCHWOOD?

January 27, 2008

HUCKABEE ISN’T MAKING MANY FRIENDS. But maybe he only needs to make one.

January 27, 2008

COMING SOON: Ill Bill?

January 27, 2008

HOW TO SURVIVE IN THE WILD for 72 hours.

January 27, 2008

JONAH GOLDBERG’S LIBERAL FASCISM is now up to #3 on the New York Times bestseller list. What’s next, a Pulitzer?

January 27, 2008

VIDEO: More on SpaceShip Two.

That’s Michael Belfiore, author of Rocketeers, which I reviewed here. And Rand Simberg’s review is here.

January 27, 2008

MITT ROMNEY SCORES AN ENDORSEMENT from Ed Morrissey.

January 27, 2008

A BIG COMMERCIAL SPACE ROUNDUP from Dale Amon. There’s a lot more going on than most people have noticed.

January 27, 2008

TOM MAGUIRE defends Bill Clinton.

January 27, 2008

“STOMPING THE FLOOR,” with Hillary.

Meanwhile, Mickey Kaus observes:

On TV they’ve been confidently talking about Hillary’s call for seating the Michigan and Florida delegations as if that will be her trump card at a contested convention. She’ll almost certainly win the Florida vote next week, and she’s already won in Michigan. But I don’t see how the convention can fairly award Hillary the delegates from those states after the DNC got her competitors to pledge not to campaign in those states’ primaries. Doesn’t that discredit those primaries? Or should Obama and Edwards be punished because they obeyed their party?

I guess it’s another example of the Flounder Principle at work! Of course, as I suggested before, if Hillary wins via trickery it’s likely to backfire in November.

January 27, 2008

KATIE COURIC’S big mistake.

January 27, 2008

HEH.

January 27, 2008

FORGET SOUTH CAROLINA: JWF was covering the really important stuff.

January 27, 2008

ANALYZING THE CANDIDATES’ TYPOGRAPHY: (“The Hillary type palette is far from fresh and colorful; it is begging for legitimacy instead of demanding respect. . . . Huckabee has the most inexplicable selection of typography and graphics, from the six floating stars to the white stripe seemingly stolen from the Coca-Cola logo.”) I did this back in 2004. Kerry won.

Meanwhile, since we’re talking graphics, the Globe piece is confusingly laid out and doesn’t even include all the images it describes. What’s with that?

UPDATE: Alas, this election is unlikely to allow me to blog about ketchup as I did last time around. That’s too bad. I like ketchup.

January 27, 2008

JIM COOPER welcomes Hillary to Nashville.

January 27, 2008

ROGER SIMON HAS HAD IT WITH political bloodlines.

January 27, 2008

HOW BUSH decided on the Surge.

January 27, 2008

MORE SCRUTINY FOR HIGHER EDUCATION: “Expanding their scrutiny of spending and other financial practices in higher education, leaders of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on Thursday asked the 136 colleges with the largest endowments for a wealth of data and analysis about how they set tuition prices, mete out financial aid, and manage their endowments.” A proper response to such a request is “none of your damn business,” but as I’ve noted before, universities have put themselves in a poor position for that.

Here’s the letter (PDF) from Sens. Max Baucus and Charles Grassley.

January 27, 2008

IN THE MAIL: John Ringo’s Manxome Foe.

January 27, 2008

TIM BLAIR: “All is going very well.”

January 27, 2008

AN UNFORTUNATE TURN OF PHRASE AT TIME MAGAZINE. Alert the P.C. Police! (Via Grand Old Partisan).

Picture 10.png

UPDATE: Reader Peter Ingemi emails: “Obama’s win may have rejiggered the race but your post has rejiggered the headline to ‘Obama’s win reshapes race’. The world is just too strange.” Heh. Indeed.

It’s still alive at Yahoo! for the moment. And Tom Maguire joins the fun. “This portends a long day at The Onion and at Scrappleface as they strain to keep pace with the new competition.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Magazine veteran Gerard van der Leun explains what went wrong at Time.

January 27, 2008

THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY will be monitoring the Internet. Richard Fernandez has thoughts.

January 27, 2008

P.R. GENIUS AT WORK! A web promoter helpfully copied me in on this email:

You asked why we do not submit to Instapundit. Actually, we do. And as recently as yesterday — the series on energy dependence. That site, seemingly a one-man show, is hard to fathom. Today, it is all the South Carolina primary; apparently there is no other subject of consequence in the world. Yesterday, when we posted the energy dependence piece, Instapundit ran such items as “Digital Cameras Galore”, “A NEW TREND IN CAR DESIGN: Vanishing ashtrays and cigarette lighters” (really important). And they (or he) somehow thought the following observation deserved our attention:

A Random Thought
Posted by Stephen Green on 24 Jan 2008 at 09:13 pm

It just occurred to me that one of these jokers — Clinton, McCain, Obama or Romney — is going to be the next President. It’s almost enough to make one pine for the old days of Bush v Gore.

Our piece is long for this crowd, maybe beyond the attention span of Insta’s audience. It seems to feature short items, and a lot of them frivolous.

Well, you can scroll down and decide for yourself whether this is an accurate characterization of the site. But was copying me on this email a smart PR move? Doesn’t seem that way to me. . . .

January 27, 2008

TERROR IN EUROPE: “Islamist extremists were planning attacks across Europe, especially against public transport, before their arrests in Barcelona last weekend, a Spanish paper reported on Saturday, citing a would-be attacker’s testimony.”

January 27, 2008

HOWARD BAKER endorses John McCain.