Archive for March, 2008

March 31, 2008

MARSHA BLACKBURN on McCain’s short list for VP?

March 31, 2008

THE IMPACT OF VIRAL MEDIA: An email from a former student of mine in the UK:

It has been a long time since I e-mailed you.

Anyway, my wife and I have been living in the UK since early 2000 and have been experiencing the US political scene from a distance since then. I watched the anti-Obama videos you linked today with some interest. I have always been a conservative so I would not vote for the Democractic nominee in any event, but I haven’t been an enthusiastic McCain guy. He seemed too much like Bob Dole the Sequel to me. He came to London and I could have met him, but I couldn’t be bothered at the time even though I deeply respect the sacrifices he made during his captivity.

Now I have watched Obama’s commercial to “slow down” the development of weapon’s programmes and more importantly saw the “Man in the Arena” ad linked on YouTube. I have to say that now I am a convert. I am not like the fake Republicans that the NY Times seems to find that support whatever liberal agenda the Times is pushing at the moment. There is a lot I would not like about a McCain Presidency. On the other hand, I love my country and, notwithstanding what Mickey Kaus thinks about having a president with dark skin somehow deterring a potential terrorist, it does us no good if Obama throws away our real defences. I can never see Obama saying or even thinking that “Do not flinch. Stand Up. We’re Americans and we will never surrender. They will.” That is the most important issue for me. It must trump all others.

I must say that now I will have to donate to the McCain campaign. I was going to sit this election out (except for voting), but now I see I need to do everything I can to help. I am a father. How could I not do as much as I can to make the world safe for my little girl? Anything less is negligent.

That one commercial made me a reluctant convert to the McCain campaign.

McCain has to hope that this will happen a lot between now and November.

March 31, 2008

ANDREA HARRIS could use some help. If you’ve enjoyed her blogging in the past, consider hitting the tipjar. I did. (Via Bill Quick).

March 31, 2008

A SHORTAGE OF O’DOUL’S: Of the nonalcoholic beers that I’ve tried, the Old Milwaukee NA is surprisingly the best, given that I don’t like regular Old Milwaukee all that much. I should try a side-by-side tasting. Or not.

March 31, 2008

ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS:

Got that? The New York Times reporter was an officer in Saddam’s army. Nice. By the way, officers were not drafted (that’s how the enlisted ranks were filled). Officers had to be selected and regularly vetted for loyalty and effectiveness. So Saddam decided that he could trust our intrepid correspondent and so did the New York Times. . . . This is Seinfeld reporting—“news” about nothing.

As for the New York Times, one wonders why they didn’t embed a reporter with the Iraqi forces streaming south. Like Dr. Zaius, were they afraid of what they might find?

Ouch. (Link was bad initially; fixed now.)

UPDATE: A journalistic shell game.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Sadr’s triumphant surrender: “The media appear to be unanimous: by getting his butt kicked, surrendering control of Basra, and being mocked as an Iranian catspaw Sadr has… succeeded. . . . I haven’t seen the media swoon this hard over a militant anti-American in decades. Is Sadr the new Che?” Well, Che was an incompetent buffoon who was a media hero, so . . . .

MORE: Heh.

STILL MORE: A lengthy defense from Damien Cave of the New York Times. I’ve known Cave as an honest reporter since before he went to the NYT, and his reporting on Iraq has been good. It’s a bit lengthy, so click “read more” to read it.

March 31, 2008

YOUTH CRIME in Britain.

UPDATE: Related item here. And interesting discussion in the comments at the link above.

March 31, 2008

YOU AND YOUR RACIST FRIENDS. This is where the Party ends. . . .

March 31, 2008

I EAGERLY AWAIT THE HOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTER BASED ON THIS REPORT: EU Soldiers Accused of Torturing Civilians in Congo.

UPDATE: Too snarky? Sorry, but no. Snark is called for when dealing with rank, self-righteous hypocrisy.

March 31, 2008

REZKO TRIAL: Partying at the Purple Hotel. Was Eliot Spitzer invited?

March 31, 2008

ROSS DOUTHAT ON LIEBERMAN DEMOCRATS: “Lieberman is factually correct: The Democratic Party has shifted leftward over the last decade, on the fronts he mentions as well as others. Moreover, among many of Lieberman’s left-liberal foes, this leftward shift is viewed as a great achievement, which suggests that they would be better served treating his comments as a compliment than as a calumny. It’s fair to pillory Lieberman for failing to change with the times; it’s a little strange to pillory him for merely pointing out that times have changed.”

March 31, 2008

BOY, YOU CAN’T SLIP ANYTHING BY Stephen Green.

Yeah, I know, dog-bites-man. But still . . . .

March 31, 2008

QUESTION: Is Barack Obama a centrist, or not? Based on evidence so far, I’d say he has the manner of a moderate, but not the underlying views. Or maybe it’s the adrenal glands of a moderate . . . .

March 31, 2008

THE TOP 5 APRIL FOOL’S DAY PRANKS you can build in the office.

March 31, 2008

HILLARY CLINTON’S 3 A.M. Call of Duty: Mission Bosnia. “I’m goin’ in — cover me, Chelsea!” Because it takes a village — to take a village . . .

March 31, 2008

FEARS, CERTAINTY, WHATEVER: Zimbabwe on a knife edge as fears deepen that result is being rigged. This should end with Mugabe and his lieutenants either fleeing the country or strung up. We’ll see how it actually goes.

March 31, 2008

BETTER FUEL CELLS via nanotechnology.

March 31, 2008

DO SOME DEMOCRATS hate Hillary more than they love the Democratic Party?

March 31, 2008

OUCH: “The professor gazing at rows of laptops in her classroom is gazing at a roomful of witless celibates.” That doesn’t actually seem to be true, however, from what I can observe.

March 31, 2008

OVER THE WEEKEND, I mentioned J.D. Johannes’ Outside the Wire Iraq documentary project. You can buy ‘em via his site, but you can also get ‘em via Amazon if you prefer. I’m sure he gets more money if you buy directly from him, though.

The trailer is here.

March 31, 2008

OBAMA: LIFE IN A COCOON: “Today he got into a bit of a back and forth with a reporter over his Iraq position. What strikes you is that he’s not very good on his feet, hemming and hawing about what forces he would leave there and for how long. (He then resorts lamely to John McCain’s ’100 years’ comment, feigning ignorance about using the comment out of context.)”

March 31, 2008

IS THAT A BULLET in my blackened catfish? “Shh! Be quiet or everybody will want one.”

Amazingly, this didn’t even make the top 5 food-related threats list. Stephen Colbert, however, is #2.

March 31, 2008

AT TAXPROF, a comparison of law schools’ reputation with their overall U.S. News ranking. Unsurprisingly (since the U.S. News rankings are budget-driven), Tennessee does better in reputation than it does overall (though since reputation is a major component of the overall ranking, it’s hard to diverge too much). But if you look at scholarly impact, via SSRN, we’re currently at #16, much higher than the U.S. News rankings. (SSRN link may require login, so I’ve put a screenshot below).

Picture 16.png

All of these rankings are (highly) imperfect approximations of the “real” worth of a school, of course, even if that term has meaning. But this won’t stop schools from trumpeting the ones where they do best!

March 31, 2008

FOREIGN GIFTS to U.S. colleges.

March 31, 2008

COLUMBIA NOOSE INVESTIGATION TAKES A TWIST:

A Manhattan grand jury has subpoenaed the university records of the controversial black Columbia Teachers College professor who found a noose hanging from her office door – signaling that the investigation is broadening to examine possible links between the teacher, her closest friends and the racially charged incident, The Post has learned.

According to sources, the subpoenas obtained recently by the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force and prosecutors demanded the college hand over a laundry list of records pertaining to embattled professor Madonna Constantine, whose colleague found a 4-foot hangman’s noose on her office doorknob last October.

The incident happened at the height of the school’s probe of plagiarism charges against her.

(Via JWF, who offers a prediction).

March 31, 2008

STEVE GILL: Is Al Gore about to make his move?

March 31, 2008

TODAY IN ALTERNATIVE HISTORY: A look at what would be happening in Iraq today if Obama had gotten his way.

March 31, 2008

MAKE WAY FOR A FRESH CROP OF DAILYKOS DIARISTS: “The staff of Newsweek will shrink dramatically, after 111 staffers on its news and business sides accepted a buyout last week.”

UPDATE: Rebel Without a Kos. Heh.

March 31, 2008

WAS JOHN MCCAIN rescued by the blogosphere?

March 31, 2008

IN THE MAIL: Robert J. Sawyer’s Rollback.

March 31, 2008

JEREMIAH WRIGHT vs. The New York Times. Related item here.

March 31, 2008

A LOOK AT Clinton, Obama, and the racial divide. “The Democratic race is heavily racialized, and is perhaps becoming more so. Party leaders and pundits may be uncomfortable with that fact, but it’s a fact nonetheless.”

March 31, 2008

GOOD NEWS FOR FREE SPEECH: LiveLeak brings back Fitna.

March 31, 2008

EZRA KLEIN ON PRISON RAPE. “Prison rape occupies a fairly odd space in our culture. It is, all at once, a cherished source of humor, a tacitly accepted form of punishment and a broadly understood human rights abuse. . . . Although it would be unthinkable for the government today to institute corporal punishment in prisons, there is little or no outrage when the government interns prisoners in institutions where their fellow inmates will brutally violate them. We won’t touch you, but we can’t be held accountable for the behavior of Spike, now can we?”

UPDATE: Related thoughts from Ed Morrissey.

March 31, 2008

IT’S COME TO THIS: “Crop Rot Watch” at Kausfiles.

March 31, 2008

SHE IS STRONG, SHE IS INVINCIBLE: Hillary won’t be bullied by the big boys.

March 31, 2008

VIDEO: Joe Lieberman on the Democratic Party.

March 31, 2008

MICHAEL YON posts a new dispatch from Iraq, with many cool photos.

If you were away from the computer over the weekend, you may want to check out this phone interview I did with Michael. And his book will be out soon, but you can order an advance, signed copy and those will ship out starting today. (He’s also got a deal with his publisher where he gets more money for these advance sales, so if you want to help him stay in the field it’s not a bad way of doing it.) If you prefer, however, it’s also available via Amazon, though you’ll have to wait a few weeks. And check out the note from the publisher.

March 31, 2008

DAVE HARDY’S SECOND AMENDMENT DOCUMENTARY will have its film-festival debut this Saturday in Los Angeles.

March 31, 2008

POLITICO:

During his first run for elected office, Barack Obama played a greater role than his aides now acknowledge in crafting liberal stands on gun control, the death penalty and abortion– positions that appear at odds with the more moderate image he’s projected during his presidential campaign.

The evidence comes from an amended version of an Illinois voter group’s detailed questionnaire, filed under his name during his 1996 bid for a state Senate seat.

Late last year, in response to a Politico story about Obama’s answers to the original questionnaire, his aides said he “never saw or approved” the questionnaire.

They asserted the responses were filled out by a campaign aide who “unintentionally mischaracterize(d) his position.”

But a Politico examination determined that Obama was actually interviewed about the issues on the questionnaire by the liberal Chicago non-profit group that issued it. And it found that Obama – the day after sitting for the interview – filed an amended version of the questionnaire, which appears to contain Obama’s own handwritten notes adding to one answer.

Busted. (Via Hot Air, which notes “Those positions won’t even fly with a large number of Democrats, let alone in a general election. The Hillary Clinton campaign has already begun making the argument to superdelegates that Obama holds extremist views so out of touch with the American electorate that he can’t possibly win in November. The questionnaire will bolster that argument, especially on guns, where the Democrats had tried to soften their stance since Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee in 2000.”) This also underscores Obama’s disturbing tendency to scapegoat his own staff rather than take responsibility, something he’s demonstrated on more than one occasion.

March 31, 2008

porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Lawmakers tight-lipped on pet projects.

Congressional budget leaders are sifting through tens of thousands of requests submitted this week by House members seeking taxpayer money for projects back home.

These earmark requests are conducted in secret, reaching the light of day only when they are likely to get funded.

But a growing group of lawmakers and the three major presidential contenders are making earmark reform a campaign issue. More than 40 members of Congress have rejected these parochial projects outright, while at least 66 are voluntarily divulging what earmarks they are fighting for.

More, please. And consider contacting your own representatives and finding out whether they plan to disclose their earmark requests. If you hear anything interesting, let me know and I’ll post it.

March 31, 2008

A LOOK AT THE DNC credentials committee contest.

March 31, 2008

FROM ZOMBIETIME, a photo report from the pro-troops rally at the Berkeley Marine recruiting office.

March 31, 2008

DAVID BERNSTEIN NOTES a dubious speaker at George Mason law school.

March 31, 2008

BARACK OBAMA as Pierre Trudeau?

March 31, 2008

RARE MEDIA PRAISE for President Bush.

March 31, 2008

ZIMBABWE UPDATE: “Zimbabwe’s justice minister lost his seat on Monday and first election results showed the opposition level with President Robert Mugabe’s party, but counting delays fuelled opposition suspicions of rigging.” If by “suspicions” you mean “near certainty.” If you’re following it, be sure to check out the This is Zimbabwe blog, too.

UPDATE: More from Ed Morrissey.

March 30, 2008

WHILE THE GOVERNMENT FIDDLES WITH THE BALLOTS, here are the numbers on Zimbabwe’s meltdown. They’re pretty grim.

March 30, 2008

OUCH: “Clinton Pushes Housing Market Fixes As Campaign Manager Sits on Board of Bankrupt Lender.” Do read the whole thing, as it explains a lot.

UPDATE: A McCain connection, too.

March 30, 2008

BLOGGER CLAYTON CRAMER is running for state senate with an Army of Davids approach.

March 30, 2008

SO I WONDERED why the Vatican was pushing the story that Muslims outnumber Catholics. But then I saw this column by Spengler and it started to make sense.

UPDATE: Related item here.

March 30, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO show-and-tell.

The lights on the suspension cables of the western side of one of the busiest bridges in the world are just for decoration, not for navigation safety or whatever. They sure make a big difference to the look of San Francisco at night when they are turned off.

Question: Turning off these decorative lights for an hour saves enough electricity to power Al Gore’s house (his actual house, not his San Francisco condo SOMA that’s visible on the right) for how many minutes?

Answer: About 13 minutes. Let’s work on that math, after the jump.

Amusing.

March 30, 2008

DAVE HARDY: “Who’d ever have dreamed that someday the two leading Democratic presidential candidates would be claiming they supported the Second Amendment individual right? . . . I’ve been involved in this issue for decades, and so have a long term view. It’s been steadily downhill for the other side.”

March 30, 2008

BITES FROM THE APPLE: A roundup of Apple news. Mac Minis as substitutes for Apple TV, MacBook Air as a Windows machine, and replacing those boring flag lapel pins with Apple-key lapel pins!

March 30, 2008

SCARY MCCAIN.

March 30, 2008

AND YET THE PLAN SEEMED FOOLPROOF:

A pizza deliveryman told Des Moines police that he shot a man who robbed him at gunpoint when he delivered a pie late Thursday to a south-side address.

The alleged assailant, Kenneth Jimmerson, 19, was taken to Mercy Medical Center in serious condition. He was charged this morning with first-degree robbery and will be taken to Polk County Jail when released from the hospital, police said.

Melanie Stout, 18, the woman who placed the order for the pizzas, was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery.

Pizza delivery guys are doing God’s work. People who try to rob them deserve to be shot. Meanwhile, Pizza Hut has suspended the driver.

UPDATE: Thoughts from Dr. Weevil.

March 30, 2008

MORE ON OBAMA’S SELF-INVENTION: Obama keeps bending space and time regarding his biographical details, which is a problem for a guy who’s made his biography such a centerpiece of his campaign.

March 30, 2008

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Women Push Back in Support of Clinton: “Amid mounting calls from top Democrats for Clinton to step aside and clear the path for rival Barack Obama, strategists are warning of damage to the party’s chances in November if women – who make up the majority of Democratic voters nationwide, but especially the older, white working-class women who’ve long formed the former first lady’s base – sense a mostly male party establishment is unfairly muscling Clinton out of the race.”

March 30, 2008

IF TRUE, THIS IS UPSETTING: Amazon Insists Publishers Use Their On-Demand Printer. More here.

We’re certainly seeing Amazon move outside its traditional role as distributor and retailer.

Much, much more on this subject at The Daily Brief.

March 30, 2008

LAST WEEK WHEN I POSTED ON LAWYER THREAT LETTERS AS EXTORTION, I should have linked to this post at Simple Justice, too.

March 30, 2008

ZIMBABWE UPDATE: Mugabe apparently faces major defeat in Zimbabwe. Only if he runs out of fake ballots.

UPDATE: “Robert Mugabe’s Defeat Cannot Be Covered Up.” Plus, in South Africa, “Our Silence Is Deafening.” And, from The Guardian’s Chris McGreal in Harare: “Mugabe clings on despite election defeat.”

March 30, 2008

HILLARY: Not quitting.

March 30, 2008

A DIARIST AT MYDD IMAGINES general-election attack ads against Obama. “If we choose Obama as our nominee, we are locked-in to this narrative. There is no going back, no bogus NBC polls to save the day. No Anderson Cooper softball interviews or phony charges of racism that will rescue us.” Their mashup doesn’t quite ring true to me, but I suspect it will create a stir among Democrats.

UPDATE: Editorial suggestions.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Ed Morrissey: “It’s interesting to note that MyDD employed 9/11 footage that even the networks haven’t used for years — namely, the people jumping to their deaths in the minutes before the collapse. We finally get to see that again, and only in the context of one Democratic blogger attacking a Democratic candidate. . . . The ‘GOP will use it’ argument simply serves as a dodge for an attack on Obama over the Wright Stuff.”

MORE: Via the comments at the MyDD post — where the Obama backers are quite upset — here’s another homemade anti-Obama ad, though I’m not sure of its provenance. But it’s already gotten 439,000 views.

STILL MORE: An email from a guy who says he’s the MyDD diarist. Click “read more” to read it. And a reader sends this bit of lefty unhappiness with Obama, too.

March 30, 2008

EDWARDS PRAISES BOTH CLINTON AND OBAMA: Interesting photo. (Via Internet Scofflaw).

March 30, 2008

THIS IS A BIT AWKWARD: “The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit confirmed Thursday the entire Detroit office has been recused from the Al-Hanooti case, but officials would not say why. The case is instead being handled by government lawyers from Washington, D.C. The indictment alleges that an ex-Iraqi Intelligence Service officer asked a former official with the Life for Relief — Muthanna Al-Hanooti — to publicize the damage of U.S. sanctions. As part of that, the indictment alleges, Al-Hanooti helped organize a trip to Iraq by a congressional delegation. Al-Hanooti allegedly received a potentially lucrative oil contract from Saddam’s regime in return for his services.”

March 30, 2008

A MICKEY KAUS NIGHTMARE? Only if the shirts are designed by Chris Bangle.

March 30, 2008

A MISTAKE:

A boy in his mid-teens learned Wednesday afternoon that it is not a good idea to try to rob a former U.S. Marine at knifepoint, even if the former Marine is 84 years old, police said today.

Santa Rosa police Sgt. Steve Bair said that’s what happened around 2 p.m. in the 1600 block of Fourth Street. The elderly man was walking with a grocery bag in each arm when the boy approached him with a large knife, Bair said.

The boy said, “Old man, give me your wallet or I’ll cut you,” Bair said. The man told the boy he was a former Marine who fought in three wars and had been threatened with knives and bayonets, Bair said.

The man then put his bags on the ground and told the boy that if he stepped closer he would be sorry. When the boy stepped closer, the man kicked him in the groin, knocking him to the sidewalk, Bair said. The ex-Marine picked up his grocery bags and walked home, leaving the boy doubled over, Bair said.

Perhaps this will divert the young man from a life of crime.

UPDATE: Okay, the story says he’s a Marine, but this video has him as an alumnus of the 101st Airborne. Since he’s wearing a Screaming Eagles hat, I think that’s likely to be right. Do reporters not know the difference?

March 30, 2008

JOE LIEBERMAN: “I say that the Democratic Party changed. The Democratic Party today was not the party it was in 2000. It’s not the Bill Clinton-Al Gore party, which was strong internationalists, strong on defense, pro-trade, pro-reform in our domestic government. It’s been effectively taken over by a small group on the left of the party that is protectionist, isolationist and basically will –and very, very hyperpartisan. So it pains me. I’m a Democrat who came to the party in the era of President John F. Kennedy. It’s a strange turn of the road when I find among the candidates running this year that the one, in my opinion, closest to the Kennedy legacy, the John F. Kennedy legacy, is John S. McCain.”

Related thoughts here.

March 30, 2008

STOP-LOSS ORDERS: Saving vets from the hellish civilian economy!

March 30, 2008

“A DAD IS MORE THAN A PAYCHECK.” Indeed.

March 30, 2008

porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Jacob Sullum writes:

On Friday March 21, a House Appropriations Committee Web site was so overwhelmed by legislators’ wish lists that it crashed, forcing the committee to extend the deadline for earmark requests until Monday. Most members of Congress seem to think the problem with earmarks is like the problem with the committee’s server: not any particular person’s demands, just all of them together. . . .

On the face of it, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, and the two remaining contenders for the Democratic nomination, Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, take a different view: All three supported a one-year moratorium on earmarks that the Senate recently rejected by a wide margin. But only Mr. McCain has taken a principled stand against the pet projects that legislators love to slip into spending bills.

“We Republicans came to power in 1994 to change government,” Mr. McCain told the Riverside, Calif., Press Enterprise last year, “and the government changed us. That’s why we lost the election: We began to value power over principle.”

Well, he’s got that right.

March 30, 2008

FIVE WEB RESOURCES FOR TRAVEL.

March 30, 2008

JERRY POURNELLE thinks that things are going to get tougher for writers:

Borders is up for sale, and Barnes and Noble are in trouble. Just the kind of news one needs to hear. The independent book stores have been pretty well finished off, with very few left and those mostly in trouble. Now the giants which have been in ruthless competition. And there’s still a great deal of fallout from the Sears / Kmart debacles.

We do live in interesting times. Authors may well have no choice but to build a stable of loyal Patrons/subscribers to assure themselves of enough income to be able to do large projects. Or be born with trust funds. In the 40′s, a sale to the Saturday Evening Post brought Stuart Cloete enough money — $4,000 for a short story, think about $35,000 now or what a short TV script brings — to let him write a novel. But that was back then when the Post was important. Now there’s nothing like that except in TV and you don’t get in over the transom.

Book advances keep falling. There’s still money in journalism and general science, but the computer magazines are thinner every issue.

Well, book advances aren’t falling for everybody. Politicians seem to do fine, as Deval Patrick just scored a $1.35 million book advance. People used to write books to advance their political careers. Now, it seems, you become a politician to ensure a hefty advance for your writing. . . .

ANOTHER UPDATE: Various readers think I’m not being obvious enough in pointing out that fat book contracts can be a way of circumventing campaign finance laws, etc. Yes they can! And reader Lee Willis emails:

I remember reading once that many science fiction authors like writing short stories, but it was difficult for them to find a market to sell them. One either has to package a collection of short stories as a book, or get the short-story published in a magazine.

This may no longer be true, b/c of the Amazon Kindle. You can buy individual short stories from Amazon for a buck or two. This may create a new market for short stories, which don’t have to bundled with a book or magazine.

Good point. I don’t know how much you get per reader via the Kindle, but an author with a following could self-publish and keep it all, I imagine.

March 30, 2008

SHEILA JACKSON LEE booed by Obama backers.

March 30, 2008

SADR BLINKS: “Six days after the Iraqi government launched Operation Knights’ Charge in Basrah against the Mahdi Army and other Iranian-backed Shia terror groups, Muqtada al Sadr, the Leader of the Mahdi Army, has called for his fighters to lay down their weapons and cooperate with Iraqi security forces. Sadr’s call for an end to the fighting comes as his Mahdi Army has taken serious losses since the operation began. . . . Since the fighting began on Tuesday 358 Mahdi Army fighters were killed, 531 were wounded, 343 were captured, and 30 surrendered. The US and Iraqi security forces have killed 125 Mahdi Army fighters in Baghdad alone, while Iraqi security forces have killed 140 Mahdi fighters in Basra.” But it’s likely a blink, not a major defeat.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey: Remind me again — who’s losing in Basra? “Did our media give anyone this context? No. They reported it as some kind of spontaneous eruption of rebellion without noting at all that a nation can hardly be considered sovereign while its own security forces cannot enter a large swath of its own territory. And in the usual defeatist tone, they reported that our mission in Iraq had failed without waiting to see what the outcome of the battle would be.” No surprise there — that’s what they do every time.

MORE: Heh: “The speed at which the MSM went from ignoring Iraq to proclaiming that we were losing was actually pretty impressive. I didn’t know they could move that fast any more. But when they had to back up their narrative of our loss with facts like ’230 people have died in Iraq because of this latest battle’ (not saying where those 230 people were or which side they were on) I knew that the good guys were winning.” It’s like deciphering coverage in the old Soviet newspapers.

BATTLING EDS: Ed Cone says Ed Morrissey is wrong about the media coverage. But one of Cone’s commenters disagrees. The NPR coverage I’ve heard was of a similar tone, though I do remember thinking the other day that if this was an effort to stage a Tet it was failing, because NPR spent more time on a story about contaminated Mozzarella in Italy than on the fighting in Iraq.

STILL MORE: Media criticism from Abu Muqawama.

MORE STILL: The Mudville Gazette: “Few have noticed that this round of fighting – the heaviest occurring in Basra and reportedly with flare ups primarily in the Iraqi-controlled southern provinces – is a fair approximation of what both Democratic Presidential candidates (and most everyone else in America from the President on down) desire for a future US military role in Iraq – providing a support function to Iraqi combat troops. Within the next week we’ll have some idea of how close to reality that goal is.”

Plus, comments from Dean Esmay.

AND MORE: Reader Thomas Wictor suggests that this video explains why Sadr backed down:

Intense firefight in Sadr City in a raid conducted by Iraqi and Coalition special forces. It appears that most of the vehicles and troops are Iraqis.

Don’t let all the pundits and analysts fool you: the JAM is now seriously outgunned by the Iraqi security forces.

Given this level of firepower, do you really think Maliki would “cave in” to al Sadr the way the media is spinning it?

The whole video is shot in Infrared, and it’s interesting how you can see the targeting lasers all over. Michael Yon was just telling me about that the other day, but this is the first time I’ve seen it.

March 30, 2008

DARFUR UPDATE: “The Arab League is under increasing pressure from Moslem organizations, to pressure Sudan to stop the atrocities in Darfur. The Arab League has defended Sudan to the world, accusing critics of being anti-Moslem. But many Moslems know better, and are appalled at the suffering of the Moslem victims of Sudan’s ethnic cleansing program in Sudan.”

March 30, 2008

IT’S HARD TO ARGUE: “Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday branded Zimbabwe’s president a ‘disgrace’ to his people and to Africa, and expressed concerns about verifying whether the country held free and fair elections.”

March 30, 2008

IN THE MAIL: Jack Bauer for President: Terrorism and Politics in 24.

March 30, 2008

CASH-FLOW MANAGEMENT at Hillary’s campaign: “Hillary Rodham Clinton’s cash-strapped presidential campaign has been putting off paying hundreds of bills for months — freeing up cash for critical media buys, but also earning the campaign a reputation as something of a deadbeat in some small business circles.”

March 30, 2008

PROPERTY LAW in The Lord of the Rings: “Sadly, literary critics have neglected this crucial aspect of Tolkien’s masterpiece for too long.”

March 30, 2008

GORE-MENTUM BUILDS! Senior Democrats mull Al Gore’s nomination.

UPDATE: Brendan Loy notes a snarky response: “You know you got a problem if the answer is Al Gore.”

March 30, 2008

“KILLING FIELDS” PHOTOGRAPHER Dith Pran has died.

UPDATE: A Dith Pran slideshow.

March 30, 2008

ANN ALTHOUSE LOOKS BEYOND the Obama “law professor” controversy. “So, the ‘law professor’ puffery is something on its own. Not all that much, but something. Now, consider the other 9 items, and judge for yourself whether the Clinton campaign has made its point.”

UPDATE: A reader emails disagreement: “Hey, there is a lot to Obama presenting himself early on as a Chicago law professor. It might pass as just an embellishment now, but a year ago it carried some gravitas. To this layman, anyway, being a professor meant that at some point it was a full time job. So my first take on Obama was a law professor who was also politically active, especially in less privileged areas of the community. And that was cool. And that was not true. First appearances matter. But it did help get him in the door. Now I’m watching him try and get the super duper new vacuum working on the carpet and Hilary’s outside with the encyclopedias screaming about how I should never have let him in.” Hmm. Hillary and Obama as competing door-to-door salesmen. Sounds like an I Love Lucy episode — SNL writers take note!

March 30, 2008

AN ELECTION REPORT FROM ZIMBABWE:

Lines were long at the polling stations here well before morning had unscrolled its first light. And when the doors did not open exactly at 7 a.m., voters in the impoverished township of Warren Park rushed the schoolyard gate, most of them desperate to cast a ballot to oust the man who has been president for most of their lives, Robert Mugabe. . . . Still, Mr. Mugabe is so often accused of stealing the last presidential election that many Zimbabweans scoff at the very notion of a fair vote. In 2002, reported results had challenger Morgan Tsvangirai piling up a big lead. Then, suddenly, the announcements stopped. When they resumed, hours later, Mr. Mugabe was well ahead.

At the moment, the opposition is claiming an early lead, but don’t hold your breath. But there’s lots of coverage, including reports of the various swirling rumors, at the blog This Is Zimbabwe.

UPDATE: More here: “Zimbabwe’s opposition said on Sunday it had won the most crucial election since independence, but President Robert Mugabe’s government warned premature victory claims would be seen as an attempted coup.”

March 30, 2008

THE CARNIVAL OF THE LIBERTARIANS IS UP, over at The Line is Here.

March 30, 2008

MORE ON EVENTS IN IRAQ, from Bill Roggio.

March 30, 2008

IMMIGRATION IDIOCY, from Michael Totten.

March 30, 2008

TEACHING ABOUT RESPONSIBLE DRINKING. Unsurprisingly, the bluenoses turn out to be wrong.

March 30, 2008

MOHAMMED FADHIL: Whither Sadr and the Madhi Army?

March 29, 2008

EXTREME MACHINES: Wild Wheels.

March 29, 2008

ATTACKING EPILEPSY PATIENTS via computer exploits?

The incident, possibly the first computer attack to inflict physical harm on the victims, began Saturday, March 22, when attackers used a script to post hundreds of messages embedded with flashing animated gifs.

The attackers turned to a more effective tactic on Sunday, injecting JavaScript into some posts that redirected users’ browsers to a page with a more complex image designed to trigger seizures in both photosensitive and pattern-sensitive epileptics.

Good grief. That’s just tacky.

March 29, 2008

A CTHULHU SIGHTING in Knoxville?

March 29, 2008

BEER YOU CAN LISTEN TO! Er, or something like that. It’s Craft Beer Radio.

March 29, 2008

MORE RESVERATROL NEWS: “Mounting evidence shows red wine antioxidant kills cancer.”

Drink up!

March 29, 2008

NORM GERAS ON Zimbabwe’s “elections.”

March 29, 2008

ANGELA MERKEL will boycott the Chinese Olympics.

March 29, 2008

OBAMA’S LATEST CAMPAIGN AD. Plus, James Pethokoukis on Obama and the budget.

March 29, 2008

THADDEUS TREMAYNE RAGES AGAINST the dying of the light. From the comments: “GOOGLE was black today, in honour of the Coming Dark Age.”

But resistance, apparently, is not futile.

March 29, 2008

A BUNCH OF INTERESTING PODCASTS, at Loquitur.

March 29, 2008

BETWEEN EAST AND WEST: Michael Totten in The New York Times.

March 29, 2008

WAS OBAMA A “REAL” LAW PROFESSOR? I don’t think that this dispute will swing many votes even within the legal academy. . . .