Archive for April, 2008

April 30, 2008

PW: How the establishment media has smeared black churchgoers.

April 30, 2008

“SHE HASN’T PUMPED HER OWN GAS IN YEARS:” This could have been turned into a story like the George H.W. Bush supermarket scanner story. “Clinton hopped out of the truck without incident and joined Wilfing at the pump. She seemed very interested in the actual set up, acknowledging later that she hasn’t pumped her own gas in years.” And then there’s the coffee machine video.

April 30, 2008

THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST.

April 30, 2008

ROBERT SAMUELSON: Start drilling.

It may surprise Americans to discover that the United States is the third-largest oil producer, behind Saudi Arabia and Russia. We could be producing more, but Congress has put large areas of potential supply off-limits. These include the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and parts of Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. By government estimates, these areas may contain 25 billion to 30 billion barrels of oil (against about 30 billion barrels of proven U.S. reserves today) and 80 trillion cubic feet or more of natural gas (compared with about 200 tcf of proven reserves).

What keeps these areas closed are exaggerated environmental fears, strong prejudice against oil companies and sheer stupidity. Americans favor both “energy independence” and cheap fuel. They deplore imports — who wants to pay foreigners? — but oppose more production in the United States. Got it?

Read the whole thing.

April 30, 2008

MICHAEL TOTTEN: Postcards from the Balkans.

April 30, 2008

I’VE BEEN SAYING FOR YEARS THAT HOMELAND SECURITY IS A JOKE, but this isn’t funny: “Federal Air Marshals (FAMs) familiar with the situation say the mix-ups, in which marshals are mistaken for terrorism suspects who share the same names, have gone on for years — just as they have for thousands of members of the traveling public.”

April 30, 2008

WSJ: Weinstein Reversed Again, This Time in NYC’s Suit Against Gun Makers. Mayor Bloomberg is unhappy, so I’m pleased.

April 30, 2008

CONFLICT AMONG THE NETROOTS: The Messianics vs. the Menopausals.

April 30, 2008

MICHAEL MOYNIHAN OFFERS A HISTORICAL CORRECTION to Jeremiah Wright:

I’m largely uninterested in this never-ending Jeremiah Wright controversy, and I’ll leave the debunking of his nutty National Press Club rant to others in the blogosphere. But there is one minor point that deserves a correction. According to Wright, his “congregation stood in solidarity with the peasants in El Salvador and Nicaragua, while our government, through Ollie North and the Iran-Contra scandal, was supporting the Contras, who were killing the peasants and the Miskito Indians in those two countries.”

I’m not sure I would be trumpeting my “solidarity” with the foul dictatorship of Daniel Ortega, but I suppose that’s a matter of taste. It should be noted, though, that it was the Sandinista government that famously massacred truculent Miskito Indians, who then responded by fighting a prolonged guerilla war against the very government supported by liberation theologists like Wright.

Is anything Wright says true?

April 30, 2008

MORE ON THE rebounding cougar population. I’ve heard several reports of cougars in East Tennessee, but there’s no official confirmation.

April 30, 2008

JUST WATCHED HILLARY ON O’REILLY, and what struck me most was how much both of them seemed to enjoy the interview. O’Reilly had it right — they’re both “polarizing figures,” and they’re both okay with that.

UPDATE: Reader Jody Green emails:

I watched the Bill and Hill show as well and what struck me was how tough she plans to be on those evil corporations. She will lower gas prices by taking the profits away from American Oil Companies???? How are old Chavez and Mugabe doing with those evil corporate profits they took away? Prices sure seem to be lower, eh?

Yeah.

April 30, 2008

ZIMBABWE UPDATE: Mugabe beaten in presidential vote, says government source. By so much they couldn’t even fake it, I guess.

April 30, 2008

YESTERDAY’S POST on the motorcycle GPS unit produced several emails that I quoted, but today I got this from Marc “Armed Liberal” Danziger:

Glenn, we’ve got one – I got it because Tenacious G (my wife) rides really well, but navigates less well, and we found that the stress of trying to navigate on the fly on a motorcycle tends to degrade her riding skills – making her less safe.

I’ve used it on my motorcycle, and found it not to be overly distracting at all (plus it plays MP3′s via Bluetooth).

Highly, highly recommended.

As long as we’re talking gadgets, we also got one of these – a Spot Messenger (http://www.findmespot.com/Home.aspx). It uses GPS and satellite communications to allow you to send emails with a Google Maps link to a designated list of people saying “I’m OK” or “I need help” and it also will page the GEOS rescue center for you. Makes those long rides through cell-phone-less back country just a little more secure…

That looks like a very cool gadget.

April 30, 2008

JAMES TARANTO:

So, was Obama sincere? Did he spent 20 years as an intimate of Wright and a parishioner of his church without ever having an inkling that the guy is a wacko hatemonger?

If so, can you think of anything more terrifying than sending such a naïf to the White House while there’s a war on?

Read the whole thing.

April 30, 2008

PROFESSOR BAINBRIDGE ON VOTER ID FRAUD: “Have Marty Lederman and Rick Hasen never heard of Mayor Richard ‘the Boss’ Daley?”

April 30, 2008

PROFOUND DESIRE NOT TO BE JUDGED.

April 30, 2008

LOUIS FARRAKHAN DIDN’T PUT CHAINS ON HIM: An interview with former Sudanese slave Simon Deng.

April 30, 2008

THE WEB IS FIFTEEN YEARS OLD TODAY. While still a fractious adolescent, it’s showing some signs of maturity . . . .

April 30, 2008

CHOLESTEROL HELL.

April 30, 2008

REPORTING ON THE WISCONSIN LAW SCHOOL sex toy controversy.

UPDATE: Worth quoting: “The enlarged pictures are NSFW, but I guess if the women put them up, then it’s not sexual harassment.”

April 30, 2008

CONSTITUTIONAL PROBLEMS AT THE BOARD OF PATENT APPEALS? All I can say is that if they’re being sued by Bob Long, they might as well surrender now.

April 30, 2008

OVER AT JOYSTIQ, a review of Grand Theft Auto IV.

April 30, 2008

FRED THOMPSON IS BACK ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL: For McCain.

April 30, 2008

EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON: Obama, Not Wright, Is Obama’s Worst Enemy. “Finally, and worst of all, no matter how much he protests that Wright doesn’t represent him or his thinking, the fact is he sat in his church for nearly two decades, called him a spiritual mentor and family confidant, appointed him to an advisory post in his campaign, and in his so-called race speech refused to disown his two decade experience and relationship with him. This instantly makes his Wright protest sound like the wail of a politician running scared, and who sees the long, arduous, time consuming and patient work he put into building up public trust in him as the nation’s great political hope fast washing down the drain.”

Related thoughts here: “You know who made this a racial thing? Not Sean Hannity. Not Fox News. Not Hillary Clinton. Barrack Obama made Jeremiah Wright a race thing. It was his big ‘race speech’ that transformed a singular black preacher into the living personification of the ‘Black Community.’”

April 30, 2008

FLOYD ABRAMS: Foreign Law and the First Amendment. A bad combination.

April 30, 2008

SCIENCE LEADS YOU TO KILLING PEOPLE? If this quote is accurate, Ben Stein has completely lost it.

UPDATE: Related thoughts at ChicagoBoyz.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Steve Poling emails:

You cited Derb’s quote by Ben Stein and suggest he’s lost it. I’d like to offer a brief apology (in the Socratic sense).

In the last century, we saw several governments adopt the notion that they, the government, were ultimate. Mr. Stein accurately identifies one of them, risking Godwin’s law. Meanwhile, Russian and Chinese governments were responsible for murdering millions of their citizens. The same century saw the Tuskegee experiment and other eugenics mischief under the banner of what Francis Schaeffer (franky’s dad) termed “Sociological law.” All these crimes were RATIONALIZED using science.

You’ll see this common theme running throughout Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism.” I disagree with Mr. Goldberg’s thesis, finding the common thread true of both Communist and Fascist and American Progressive mischief is a rejection of transcendent absolutes. “If there are no absolutes, then the state is absolute,” said Francis Schaeffer.

But the root problem has to do with human nature and Lord Acton’s dictum, power tends to corrupt. Since the people running the gas chambers in Germany were philosophically naturalists who dressed in lab coats while spouting pseudo-science, I don’t think Mr. Stein’s curse lands upon true scientists, but at relativists who see nothing larger than their own personal grasp on power and no transcendent checks upon its exercise.

The American Constitution is as close as this world is likely to see. I see it as a legacy of Deist and Christian framers who looked outside government for absolutes to serve as checks upon government. However, since all text is subject to interpretation, that legacy is endangered by judicial activism… Sorry to have wandered so far afield. Francis Schaeffer made the same mistake when he contemplated these things immediately after the Roe v Wade decision.

However, the absolutes vs relativism question seems to lie underneath Mr. Stein’s remarks. If just want to make him a straw man, and find an excuse to ignore everything else he says, you can frame his remarks as mere obscurantism. However, if you want to constructively engage the problems which have nettled this world for the last century or so, you might want to consider relativism’s baleful influence on Western Culture.

Auschwitz was not conceived as science, nor was it impelled by science, or scientists. The Holocaust was not a scientific endeavor, but had its roots in the Nazis’ unscientific loathing of the Jews. The Nazis did try to dress up that loathing in scientific dress, but that was a propaganda move, not science. (Indeed, Nazi science, for the most part, was dreadful science, made up by people to suit their preexisting beliefs without actual resort to the scientific method.) One can argue quite compellingly against moral relativism without engaging in raw intellectual dishonesty. Stein’s approach, however, seems more worthy of a Michael Moore. And in this spirit, do read what Jay Manifold has to say at the ChicagoBoyz link above. And here’s a somewhat related post from a while back.

MORE: Ed Morrissey comments: “I found a lot to recommend about Expelled, but this leaves me wondering if Ben Stein missed the point of his movie. Science does not lead to Dachau; ideology perverting science led to Dachau.. . . How could Stein say this without a hint of irony? The best themes in Expelled take Academia to task for the same destructive sin.”

STILL MORE: In the comments at ChicagoBoyz, David Foster writes:

I’ve enjoyed a lot of Stein’s writing, and it saddens me to see him descending to this nuttiness.

“the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed”…surely Stein knows that the concentration camps were run by the SS, 99% of whom were not scientists. While it is true that the Nazis employed chemists for nefarious purposes, it is also true that the Nazis employed musicians to help hide from inmates the true purpose of the camps. Would Stein also assert that music is evil?

Good point, exposing just how cheap Stein’s cheap shot was.

April 30, 2008

HEH: Berkeley College Republicans apply for same protest privileges as Code Pink.

Related: Military moms crash Code Pink dinner.

April 30, 2008

OOPS: Hillary blasts Bush for not stopping a project her husband approved.

April 30, 2008

VIDEO: A Top Gun weekend.

April 30, 2008

GAY PATRIOT REPORTS ON Pansy-Gate.

April 30, 2008

MILEAGE TEST: Diesel vs. Hybrid SUVs.

April 30, 2008

IN THE MAIL: David Runciman’s Political Hypocrisy: The Mask of Power, from Hobbes to Orwell and Beyond. Seems timely. But then, the subject is evergreen. . . .

April 30, 2008

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From the Gay Street viaduct.

April 30, 2008

OLIVER KAMM: “Even many supporters of his own Labour Party will be glad if London mayor Ken Livingstone loses Thursday’s election – and gladder if he departs public life altogether.”

April 30, 2008

STEVE GILL: Obama gets a do-over. I think he’s taken real damage, though.

April 30, 2008

GAIL HERIOT: “If you have ever wondered why colleges and universities seem to march in lockstep on controversial issues like affirmative action, here is one reason: Overly politicized accrediting agencies often demand it.”

She thinks the Education Department needs to rein in the American Bar Association. I don’t really understand why the ABA is in the accreditation business to begin with. (Via The Volokh Conspiracy). Here’s a question — and it’s a real question, because this isn’t my area of the law. If, as it seems, the ABA is pressuring schools to violate the law in the name of diversity, why isn’t it vulnerable to a civil-rights conspiracy claim? And couldn’t such a claim be brought by students who are not admitted to schools of their choice because of affirmative action? Is this more of a stretch than some of the other civil rights claims that are brought in the context of admissions, etc.?

April 30, 2008

HE’S CERTAINLY RIGHT: Obama says rivals Clinton, McCain pandering on gas tax.

UPDATE: Tom Friedman:

Good for Barack Obama for resisting this shameful pandering.

But here’s what’s scary: our problem is so much worse than you think. We have no energy strategy. If you are going to use tax policy to shape energy strategy then you want to raise taxes on the things you want to discourage — gasoline consumption and gas-guzzling cars — and you want to lower taxes on the things you want to encourage — new, renewable energy technologies. We are doing just the opposite.

Read the whole thing.

April 30, 2008

CHINA WILL LOVE THIS: Ahead of Olympics, Congressman Pushes ‘Global Online Freedom Act’.

April 30, 2008

IS IT A TREND? Another professor sues students, though at least this time it’s not over course evaluations. Still seems unthinkable — but, then, so did the idea of students suing professors, until recently.

UPDATE: Ann Althouse: “Suing students! It seems unthinkable. But this is the direction we head when free speech and academic freedom lose their grip on us.”

April 30, 2008

AN INTERVIEW WITH LIBERTARIAN TRANSHUMANIST (though he doesn’t like that word) philanthropist Peter Thiel.

April 30, 2008

AT IOWAHAWK, advice to the lovelorn.

April 30, 2008

WHILE EVERYONE WAS TALKING ABOUT JEREMIAH WRIGHT YESTERDAY, John McCain was unveiling his health care plan.

Megan McArdle was on the conference call and observes: “The plan’s heart is mostly in the right place: break the link between employment and health care, make the plan revenue neutral (ish), change Medicare reimbursement so that we pay for results rather than procedures.” But, she observes: “The senator is proposing one thing that I think is a terrible idea, pharmaceutical reimportation. Naturally, this is the part of his health care plan with the highest probability of passage.”

April 30, 2008

THOUGHTS ON THE NEED TO increase oil supplies. But while some are taking the issue seriously, Congressional Democrats (and, as we can see from the item below, some Republicans) are not. I’d like to think that they’re just down with the Malcolm Forbes plan, but I kind of doubt their motivations are that sophisticated.

April 30, 2008

YOUR CONGRESS HELPS MAINTAIN HIGH GAS PRICES:

In an interesting tussle, a virtually unnoticed clause was added almost at the least moment to a US energy bill that bars the government, in particular the Department of Defense, from using Alberta crude because it is deemed unconventional and too dirty.

A provision in the US Carbon Neutral Government Act incorporated into the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 act effectively bars the US government from buying fuels that have greater life-cycle emissions than fuels produced from conventional petroleum sources.

The United States has defined Alberta oilsands as unconventional because the bitumen mined from the ground requires upgrading and refining as opposed to the traditional crude pumped from oil wells.

California Democrat Representative Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Republican Tom Davis added the clause.

Thanks, guys. I’ll remember you whenever I fill up. Some cynics might suspect a corrupt motive:

Wihbey underlines Saudi Arabia and Canada were direct competitors for the biggest customer: the US. David Kirsch, head of Oil Markets PFC Energy, says that “In the US mid-continent, the penetration of oilsands crude is deep, they are increasingly competing with the long haul crude from the Middle East. Until recently we saw a Saudi domination, but now it is becoming a Canadian affair.” And that’s why the Saudis are starting to play hardball, claimed Wihbey.

“They’re playing hardball … then all of a sudden this legislation pops in, literally a month after these statements were made in November,” noted Wihbey.

But I’m sure it’s just a sincere concern for the environment. I had missed this story, and I suspect most people did. Via Jerry Pournelle, who observes:

The easy way to make ethanol is to import sugar from Brazil and use that. Of course we don’t and won’t do that.

The easy way to bring oil prices down is to drill offshore and on the North Slope. Of course we don’t do that.

The easy way to bring electricity prices down (you can make fertilizer with electricity) is to build nuclear power plants, expensive but cheap compared to wars. Of course we won’t do that.

And why won’t we?

UPDATE: Environmentalists are indefatigably trying to block this new source of energy:

Alberta’s oilsands came under fire in Washington, D.C. yesterday, with environmentalists protesting the visit of deputy premier Ron Stevens and demanding a ban on “dirty oil” be enforced.

The National Resource Defense Council, which claims 1.3 million members across the U.S., [NOTE: I think they mean the Natural Resources Defense Council] bought an ad in the widely read Capitol Hill Roll Call newspaper, featuring a Maple Leaf oozing oil.

If we really do see seven-dollar gas by 2012 as some are predicting, we’ll know who to blame. On the other hand, here’s some good news:

Alberta expects a U.S. working group to classify the province´s oilsands fuel as a conventional resource to exempt it from tough new restrictions on imports, provincial envoy Gary Mar said Tuesday.

It certainly should.

April 30, 2008

LOSING WEIGHT with a treadmill desk. Some jobs already feel that way. . . .

April 30, 2008

COMMON GROUND: “We’re all law professors: me, Glenn, Obama…”

April 30, 2008

HAPPENINGS AT BERKELEY: Muller scoops Leiter! With exclusive pic!

April 30, 2008

TIGERHAWK: “American society has made process as important as outcome, and it is sucking the energy out of us.”

April 30, 2008

MICKEY KAUS keeps bringing up the John Edwards / Rielle Hunter story. Does he think there’s a chance Edwards might get back in the race?

April 30, 2008

JEREMIAH WRIGHT: Once Obama’s “spiritual adviser,” and “mentor,” now a guy he’s barely met!

April 29, 2008

OUCH: Franken pays $70,000 in back taxes and penalties in 17 states. No rest-room groping charges yet, though, so I’m not sure he’s ready for the U.S. Senate.

April 29, 2008

IT’S FINAL EXAMS AT THE LAW SCHOOL, and I’m already grading. Luckily, I only have papers — no exams — this semester. Grading papers is much less of a chore than grading exams. Students are studying, as you can see.

Click “read more” to see photos.

April 29, 2008

PROFESSOR THREATENS CIVIL RIGHTS LAWSUIT AGAINST STUDENTS, for criticizing her in course evaluations. That’s gonna make people more willing to pony up the big-bucks Dartmouth tuition . . . .

April 29, 2008

HEY, MAYBE PHOTO ID REQUIREMENTS REALLY DO HURT MINORITY VOTERS: Reader Matt Szekeley sends this about the Texas Democratic Caucuses. Local Obama supporters get tripped up by the Texas Two-Step:

One bitter point of contention involved the verification process. Each participant needed to provide photo identification and a stamped voter card, proving that they’d cast a ballot in the Democratic primary. Attempting to follow the guidelines in the packet, Gonzalez pointed out that anyone in line without a stamped card needed to be marked “Provisional.” If the person in question supported Clinton, Gonzalez says she’d find herself bombarded with complaints from Clinton volunteers.

But it all evens out: “Perhaps because the caucus system worked so well for Obama at the statewide level, campaign reps don’t seem too eager to investigate local irregularities.”

April 29, 2008

WELL, YES: “An international group of food scientists says countries should not use food crops to produce biofuels during a world food crisis. . . . Instead of using grains, the international group is calling on the U.S. and other countries to shift biofuels production to nonfood crops such as switchgrass.”

But, actually, as some critics are trying to tar all biofuels as if they are made from corn, this is a point worth stressing. Crop-based biofuels are just votebuying from farmers, but others are worth pursuing.

UPDATE: In response to questions, switchgrass grows on marginal lands that aren’t really suitable for food crops. And Bob Zubrin says it’s possible to make enough ethanol and methanol to replace OPEC’s output using only agricultural waste.

April 29, 2008

NEGATIVE COATTAILS: Obama looking like a down-ticket drag?

April 29, 2008

IF YOU’RE READING THIS, YOU PROBABLY NEED THESE: Exercises To Avoid Pain While At Your Computer.

UPDATE: David Chappell emails: “Actually I’m reading it on my phone on the DC metro.”

I did say “probably.”

April 29, 2008

OKAY, THIS GADGET LOOKS PRETTY COOL: But wouldn’t it be a distraction, on a motorcycle?

UPDATE: Most readers say no: “Lots of riders are using GPS these days. It’s a wonderful tool when exploring, and a lot easier to use on the fly than a paper map. It’ll also show you where to find gas’food, and how to get back where you came from if you’ve just picked roads at random.”

“BMW is a big fan, offering these as an accessory to their M/Cs. And as a former M/C rider, I can assure you having a Garmin read directions into your ear would be a lot less distracting than checking a paper map on your tank bag as you drive down a country lane…” You could come to a stop, you know.

“Personally, I use the Garmin StreetPilot 2610, but do not use the audio inputs to my helmet. I find the visual cues to be sufficient. I ride without the use the audio inputs which I find distracting. Still others have employed elaborate communication systems wherein they normally listen to either an iPod/MP3/Satellite radio but the navigation system has priority for ‘turn-by-turn-navigation.’ For the people that I ride with, the emplyment of the Garmin/music mix doesn’t seem to be any more distracting to them while they’re on a motorcycle than it is when they’re in their cars, and none of them impress me as bad vehicle drivers. I think it really comes down to an individual case. Some of my friends seem not to be distracted by the additional input, I can’t handle the ‘distraction’.”

April 29, 2008

RICK MORAN on the Obama press conference. “Obama has credibility issues with Wright as well as his other problem associates Ayers and indicted Chicago political fixer Tony Rezko. In each and every case, Obama has first downplayed his connections to these political hot potatoes. Wright was a ‘crazy uncle.’ Ayers, a ‘neighbor.’ Rezko, just ‘one of thousands of contributors’ to his campaign. Only when these associations have reached a critical political mass has Obama tried to put out the fire.”

UPDATE: “I never had sexual relations with that pastor.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: “Obama on Wright: He Really Means It This Time.”

April 29, 2008

AMY ALKON NOTES a choice bit of idiocy.

April 29, 2008

ADVICE TO OBAMA SUPPORTERS, from Michael Silence: “Quit splitting hairs. You’re only making the story drag on. Most of us will not be basing our votes on who the candidate’s preacher is/was. We will, however, be basing our votes on a candidate’s forthrightness and candor. And the latter has taken a beating lately.”

April 29, 2008

LARRY KUDLOW: Bush Whiffs on the Dollar. But how much can Bush really do?

April 29, 2008

MORE DUMB DOOR-CRASHING BY POLICE:

Brooklyn Park police were looking for a meth lab, but they found a fish tank and the chemicals needed to maintain it.

And a few hours later, when the city sent a contractor to fix the door the police had smashed open Monday afternoon, it was obvious the city was trying to fix a mistake.

Read the whole thing. If it were me, I’d not only sue the police, but the “informant” who thought the smell of vinegar meant drugs.

April 29, 2008

BOLD ACTION on clean energy? Well, possibly.

April 29, 2008

RUNNING TO FEEL YOUNGER! Er, or something: “I’m now hobbling like an old man. Every part of my lower body hurts.”

April 29, 2008

IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T VISITED IN A WHILE, Freeman Hunt is back to regular blogging.

April 29, 2008

MENACING THE IRANIAN MULLARCHY with Barbie, Harry Potter, and Spider Man.

Plus, leaving George Clooney in the erotic dust.

April 29, 2008

WAS THE JEREMIAH WRIGHT APPEARANCE arranged by the Clinton camp? Or not?

Barbara Reynolds is no relation.

UPDATE: I can’t get away with anything: Why is Glenn Reynolds going out of his way to deny that he is related to Barbara Reynolds? Photos on blogs don’t lie!

April 29, 2008

ERIC SCHEIE: “We hear a lot about ‘choice,’ and we tend to think of it as an individual thing. At least, I’ve always thought of it that way. I’d hate to think that choice is being redefined as a choice of herds.”

April 29, 2008

OBAMA “OUTRAGED AND SADDENED” about Jeremiah Wright: “His comments were not only divisive … but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate . . . . Whatever relationship I had with Reverend Wright has changed as a consequence of this.”

Too little, too late, and too lawyerly (“whatever relationship I had”?). And as I said yesterday, I don’t see that Wright has changed. People are just noticing. But is Obama just now noticing?

UPDATE: Jim Geraghty: “You buy that?”

ANOTHER UPDATE: TalkLeft: “Obama throws Wright under the bus.”

And here’s more on the “too lawyerly” front. And, from the comments: “Discussion of this issue might abate, and Obama’s supporters might confuse that for successful management of the problem, but the reality is, the damage has been done and it can’t be undone.”

MORE: Somebody’s polling Wright in North Carolina.

STILL MORE: Here’s a transcript of Obama’s remarks.

MORE STILL: Obama’s statement was good enough for Andrew Sullivan: “It makes me want to see him succeed more than ever.” (Via Political Wire).

April 29, 2008

THE NEW CAFE RULES STINK, according to AutoBlog: “A company that sells more large footprint vehicles would have a lower hurdle to jump. One that sells predominantly smaller cars would have to get better mileage. As a result a company like Porsche or Ferrari who sell relatively small sports cars would have to meet a higher standard than Ford or General Motors who sell more large trucks. The entire premise of this rule is absurd.”

Plus, why the whole enterprise is dumb anyway: “The only saving grace here is that, overall, as fuel prices continue to climb, buyers are likely to migrate to more efficient vehicles regardless of the footprint.” Indeed.

April 29, 2008

MORE PROTEST AGAINST FOX’S NEW SHOW, BAD DADS.Bad Dads singles out fathers for shaming, when U.S. Census data shows that noncustodial fathers are more likely to pay their child support than noncustodial mothers.” But women are the ones who watch TV and buy things from advertisers.

April 29, 2008

THERE’S NO BUSINESS like race business.

April 29, 2008

THE LATEST GRAND ROUNDS IS UP!

April 29, 2008

MORE ON THAT DNC AD from J.D. Johannes.

April 29, 2008

THIS MIGHT BECOME A CAMPAIGN ISSUE: “Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has requested nearly $2.3 billion in federal earmarks for 2009, almost three times the largest amount received by a single senator this year. The Democratic presidential candidate’s staggering request comes at a time when Congress remains engaged in a heated debate over spending federal dollars on parochial projects.”

April 29, 2008

AMERICA’S MOST OVERRATED PRODUCT: The Bachelor’s Degree?

As long as they’re not saying “law degrees.” I sell those.

April 29, 2008

MARY KATHARINE HAM: How Obama and McCain Keep Sister Souljah-ing the Wrong People.

April 29, 2008

ARMED CITIZEN SHOOTS ROBBER:

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- There was a deadly gunfight at a liquor store in Inglewood Saturday night. An armed robbery suspect was gunned down, after trying to rob the place. But it wasn’t a police officer who took action.

None of the clerks in Sinkers Wine and Spirits had a gun to protect themselves, but they said they’re thankful one of their customers did. . . . Baxter believes the customer and the suspects exchanged about ten gunshots. The would-be robbers tried to flee, but one of the men collapsed at the scene and died shortly after. Police said the citizen had a valid carry permit, and a right to protect himself.

“A citizen just like a police officer has the right to defend themselves or others, if they’re in fear of death or serious bodily injury and that right extends to using deadly force,” said Capt. David Imhof with Metro Police.

Indeed. Plus this lesson learned: “As for the workers at Sinkers who were unarmed at the time, they said they have plans to protect themselves in the future.” (Via Truman Bean).

April 29, 2008

NOW YOU’RE TALKING: A MacBook Air with internal EVDO.

April 29, 2008

JONATHAN KAY: The Canadian Islamic Congress tries for a ceasefire — but they’ve already lost the war. “Come to think of it, it’s fair to say that the Maclean’s imbroglio has been one of the biggest shots in the arm to Canadian conservatives in general.” You don’t tug on Superman’s cape.

April 29, 2008

IS BREATH-HOLDING HAZARDOUS TO YOUR BRAIN? Personally, I think that before deciding to descend to depths of more than 500 feet on a single breath, people must already have something wrong with their brains . . . .

April 29, 2008

FOLLOWING UP ON THIS WEEKEND’S GRILLBLOGGING, here are some grill recommendations and grilling tips from the folks at Popular Mechanics.

April 29, 2008

A DNC AD that shows U.S. soldiers being blown up. Remember when they were complaining about politicizing the war? What’s more, the clip comes from Fahrenheit 9/11.

UPDATE: Questions about the networks’ willingness to run this ad: “Are these the same television networks that put heavy restrictions on showing imagery from the attacks of 9/11 because they might be disturbing and (unstated) send the wrong message (e.g. retribution) to the American public?”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Happily (see the update to the post at top) they weren’t actually blown up. It just looks that way.

MORE: “Inappropriate and unacceptable.”

April 29, 2008

IN THE MAIL: Arianna Huffington’s new book, with a lovely picture of Arianna on the cover. She seems to look better with every book, but my favorite is likely to remain Pigs at the Trough. She was ahead of the curve on that one.

April 29, 2008

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ANOTHER INTERIOR SHOT, from the last Kay’s Ice Cream shop, on Chapman Highway.

April 29, 2008

FABIUS MAXIMUS looks at worldwide food prices and has some useful observations, including these: “Panic by government and large corporations can easily exacerbate the hysteria. . . . Governments react to inflation not by tackling the monetary causes – which is painful – but by attempting to mute the price signal (price controls, export bans). This is self-defeating, as such measures have many bad effects.”

April 29, 2008

A.C. KLEINHEIDER: Superdelegate Bredesen leaning toward Clinton?

UPDATE: Michael Silence observes: “Bredesen is a pragmatist. He’ll go with Clinton.”

April 29, 2008

porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Friends of the earmark make themselves heard:

The hottest document on Capitol Hill is an anonymous six-page white paper that defends, of all things, earmarks — those much-maligned home-state projects that lawmakers shoehorn into spending bills.

Doesn’t it say a lot that they’re afraid to make themselves heard, except . . . anyonymously?

A growing number of politicians have decided to just say no to earmarks. Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has vowed to veto any legislation that contains “pork-barrel spending.” And several Democrats, including Rep. Henry Waxman (Calif.), have promised not to request earmarks anymore.

The trend worries many lobbyists (and some lawmakers), and they are beginning to fight back — in other words, to lobby. Although a publicist initially told the Washington Post otherwise, the Ferguson Group acknowledges that it helped persuade three mayors whose cities it represents to praise earmarks in a Post op-ed Saturday.

But the widely read white paper — “The Fairness of Congressional Earmarking in American Democracy” — is the biggest counterattack so far. The only question: Who wrote it?

My guess was that it was written by some lapper-at-the-public-trough, and sure enough, it turns out I’m right.

UPDATE: Reader John Schwab makes an excellent point:

I think you should be clearer in your response to that white paper. it’s a straw man – I don’t know of anyone who would say that earmarks can serve no purpose whatsoever. It’s out-of-control anonymous earmarks that must be eliminated, especially those that double back to benefit a congressman’s family. Indeed, if earmark abuse is not addressed Congress may lose the power to use earmarks that make sense.

Don’t let them re-frame the debate. If an earmark is such a good idea why won’t they take credit for authoring it?

Heck, they won’t even put their names on the memos defending them.

April 29, 2008

MEGAN MCARDLE ON PLAGIARISM:

Avoiding minor plagiarism is an occupational hazard of writing. There are only so many ways to say “Trichet told a press conference that monetary policy would continue to be tight for the rest of the year”; if you weren’t at the press conference, you’re going to end up using some close variant on a phrase that probably appeared in half the copy filed about it. To whom do you attribute it, if anyone?

This, however, is not minor, and also, not hard to avoid. I’ve very much enjoyed some of Joseph James Twitchell’s work, and now it’s clear why; he stole large chunks of it from some of my favorite writers, like Virginia Postrel and Grant McCracken.

Some lengthy thoughts of mine on plagiarism, from The Appearance of Impropriety, can be found here.

April 29, 2008

SO FIX ‘EM: Deplorable conditions at Fort Bragg.

April 29, 2008

ATHEISM AND SCIENCE: A debate between David Berlinski and John Derbyshire.

April 29, 2008

HERE COME THOSE SANTA ANA WINDS AGAIN: Worries about more fires in California.

April 29, 2008

DEGREE-OLA: “The provost of West Virginia University told deans Sunday that he would resign because of his role in the improper awarding of a master’s degree to the governor’s daughter.”

April 29, 2008

REVIEWING THE REVIEWERS: A roundup of book reviews from this weekend’s newspapers.

April 29, 2008

JENNIFER RUBIN: McCain’s soft offensive against Obama:

While Obama was fending off stories about his flag pin and his wife’s comment that she had never been proud of America, McCain was reveling in nostalgia over his family’s military service and the sacrifices he made in service of “a cause greater than [himself].”

While Obama deals with question after question about his spotlight-dwelling mentor Reverend Wright, McCain introduced us to his salt-of-the-earth English teacher who, McCain says, influenced his character and values. The implicit message is that the other guy has Wright’s invective and McCain has Mr. Ravenel’s honor code.

As Obama suffered defeat in Pennsylvania, losing many rural areas by thirty points, where was McCain? In Inez, Kentucky, extolling the virtues of coal miners, and discussing Obama’s “bitter” comments in front of a cheering crowd heavy with religious, gun owners.

The tours may be the best solution for the dilemma that plagues the McCain campaign: they desperately want to refight the culture wars but have a candidate who doesn’t want to get his hands dirty. The tours provide him with venue after venue to make the arguments about character and values which will form a key portion of his campaign message.

And while it gets McCain plenty of local TV in key areas, it keeps his national-media profile low so as not to distract from the Democrats’ self-inflicted wounds.

April 29, 2008

WHERE THE BOSTON GLOBE SEES Hillary Strangelove, I see someone who just might be the most uncompromising wartime President in U.S. history. And the L.A. Times wonders if the Globe really means it: “If Clinton ends up the Democratic nominee, will the leading journalistic voice in one of the nation’s most liberal states endorse Republican John McCain?” That’s looking more possible, so let’s keep an eye on this question. It’ll certainly be awkward for them . . . .

April 29, 2008

THOUGHTS ON THE FLAG PIN: “If John McCain wore a confederate flag lapel pin, very few of these people would be saying ‘it’s just a lapel pin.’”

April 29, 2008

GEE, I WONDER WHY? Obama dread turns to glee for the GOP.

April 29, 2008

I GUESS IT’S A GOOD THING IT WAS BLOWN UP, THEN: Syrian site could have produced fuel for 2 weapons.