January 27, 2008
SHE WHO CONTROLS THE PAST, controls the future?
SHE WHO CONTROLS THE PAST, controls the future?
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.
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.)
Then 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.
ANOTHER UPDATE: People want pictures of the InstaDad. Here’s one.
WHAT THE HECK IS TORCHWOOD?
HUCKABEE ISN’T MAKING MANY FRIENDS. But maybe he only needs to make one.
COMING SOON: Ill Bill?
HOW TO SURVIVE IN THE WILD for 72 hours.
MITT ROMNEY SCORES AN ENDORSEMENT from Ed Morrissey.
A BIG COMMERCIAL SPACE ROUNDUP from Dale Amon. There’s a lot more going on than most people have noticed.
TOM MAGUIRE defends Bill Clinton.
“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?
KATIE COURIC’S big mistake.
FORGET SOUTH CAROLINA: JWF was covering the really important stuff.
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.
JIM COOPER welcomes Hillary to Nashville.
ROGER SIMON HAS HAD IT WITH political bloodlines.
HOW BUSH decided on the Surge.
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.
IN THE MAIL: John Ringo’s Manxome Foe.
TIM BLAIR: “All is going very well.”
UPDATE: Reader Peter Ingemi emails: “Obamaâ€™s win may have rejiggered the race but your post has rejiggered the headline to ‘Obamaâ€™s win reshapes race’. The world is just too strange.” Heh. Indeed.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Magazine veteran Gerard van der Leun explains what went wrong at Time.
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 â€” Clinton, McCain, Obama or Romney â€” is going to be the next President. Itâ€™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. . . .
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.”
HOWARD BAKER endorses John McCain.
OUCH: “Lindsey Graham was on with Sean Hannity this evening and misrepresented Romney’s statement. Par for the course for this reprehensible politician. What post do you think a President McCain would offer Lindsey Graham? I’m guessing Attorney General or Supreme Court Justice. Maybe both, if McCain gets two terms.”
IN TODAY’S NEW YORK POST, I have a review of Tim Harford’s new book, The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World.
HITLER: Bloodthirsty dictator, die-hard Cowboys fan.
MEGAN MCARDLE ON FAT POOR PEOPLE:
There is little to no systematic evidence that poverty-linked undernutrition–malnutrition caused by too little food intake–is an actual problem in America. “Food insecurity” numbers batted around by the FDA do not mean that people actually went hungry; they mean that people worried about going hungry, or changed their diet–usually by altering the composition of the diet, not by forgoing food–to avoid going hungry. But of actual sustained hunger, there is no evidence.
There is, on the other hand, a lot of evidence of obesity among the poor; their obesity rate is estimated at 36%, and the obesity rate among poor children seems to be about twice the rate among non-poor children. The poor people are eating more calories than they need. Yet we propose to stimulate the economy by giving the poor money that can only be spent on more food.
But if you cede hunger as an issue, you lose political appeal.
UPDATE: Tom Maguire boldly defends food stamps.
CHINESE GIRL finds love in a kibbutz.
GAZA AND EGYPT: “If Israeli leaders had any p.r. sense and/or vision, they would use this opportunity to loudly ask why Egypt, which refused custody of Gaza when Israel returned the Sinai, is so adamant about refusing to do its part to relieve Palestinian suffering.”
PRAVDA: Yuri Gagarin was not the first cosmonaut.
Just the first who lived.
BILL BRADLEY POSTS SOME FINAL THOUGHTS ON SOUTH CAROLINA: “Bill Clinton may be responsible for Hillaryâ€™s wins in New Hampshire and Nevada. But in South Carolina, most voters said that his behavior was critical to their choice. And that proved to be a big negative.” Read the whole thing.
UPDATE: See also this post by Tom Maguire.
BEWARE THE CRASHING SATELLITE! “A large U.S. spy satellite has lost power and could hit the Earth in late February or March, government officials said Saturday.”
BILL QUICK’S ADVICE TO REPUBLICAN VOTERS: If you’re unhappy with the offerings, show your unhappiness by writing in Fred Thompson. “By doing so, you send a message that canâ€™t be mistaken or spun.”
JOE GANDELMAN IS UNHAPPY WITH how the Clintons have conducted this campaign.
MICKEY KAUS: “Now that Bill Clinton has explicitly belittled Obama’s South Carolina victory by comparing it to Jesse Jackson’s, how does Obama’s share of the white vote compare with Jackson’s in 1988?”
UPDATE: More here: “The determining factor in how people voted was race. Not that this is a good thing â€” and really, I can’t see how any liberal would prefer Clinton to Obama â€” but that’s the way it went down today in South Carolina among Democratic voters.”
MORE: Obama in a Rout: “Clearly, Edwards needs to remain in the race so his message will be heard.”
Meanwhile, some Democratic pundits have figured things out.
And Dave Kopel says that Barack Obama sounds like a President.
And Mark Steyn thinks Obama is “Kennedyesque.”
TRAINING TO DEFEND AGAINST SMALLPOX ATTACKS: “However, it is considered unlikely that a terrorist organization would use smallpox, because it would probably quickly get back to impoverished Islamic countries, where treatment and vaccination would be much less likely. Thus, Islamic terrorists using smallpox would end up killing far more Moslems than Christians. But, then, terrorists have never been noted for their heavy use of logic.” Indeed.
OBAMA WINS SOUTH CAROLINA.
Stephen Green has been drunkblogging the coverage and reactions.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Video and more.
MORE: Eric Scheie:
I Just finished watching Obama’s speech. Once again, I have to say that he is a great orator, a speaker with the ability to inspire. The best rhetorician I have seen (my B.A. is in Rhetoric and I say this as a compliment) since Ronald Reagan. His appeal is wide ranging, and his sincerity is obvious. While I am skeptical that he can overcome the entrenched Clinton machine, anything is possible.
I’m very impressed at his ability to go for the jugular in a respectful manner. He nailed the Clintons on their bullshit, and their racializing, yet he did so without a hint of an ad hominem attack.
I like that: “his ability to go for the jugular in a respectful manner.” We need more of that . . .
INTELLIGENT THERMOSTATS: Back during the brouhaha over California’s proposal — since withdrawn — to require that all thermostats be centrally controlled with no user control at all during a power emergency, I should have thought to check out Lynne Kiesling’s blog. She’s got a great post, pointing out that “Programmable Communicating Thermostats” that can take signals from the network are a great idea, but that thermostats that are centrally controlled, without user consent, are a terrible idea. Excerpt:
The PCT is the most cost-effective and forward-looking way to break down the monopoly that the distribution utilities currently have in providing retail electricity services to end-use customers. Without the PCT, a lot of dynamic pricing, product differentiation, and other market-based contracts and mechanisms are impossibly costly or simply not feasible. In conjunction with the two-way communicating meters (AMI) that the distribution utilities in California are installing, PCTs open the door to the type of retail choice and price-responsive end-use technologies that I discussed last week in my post about the GridWise Olympic Peninsula Project. Being able to program the thermostat to respond to signals, especially price signals, is a good thing. . . .
We do not yet have the evidence to indicate whether that responsiveness is likely to be enough to avoid most service interruptions, but that is no reason to resort to the use of such coercive force. If anything, the 2006 experience of one Stage 2 alert is an upper bound on the expected magnitude of the problem, and increased technology and voluntary participation in differentiated retail contracts will reduce that incidence even further.
Furthermore, from a marketing perspective, mandatory direct load control is a sure-fire way to make sure that consumers look at smart grid technologies with suspicion. Even if it were only on that grounds, I would oppose such a provision, because it taints all of the hard smart grid work that the GridWise Architecture Council and other groups have been doing.
There’s a lesson here. People should keep control of their gadgets. Lots of folks would enable this kind of thing in exchange for a break in their electric rates anyway, but making it mandatory gets their back up and makes people want to cheat just to stick it to the man. It also creates — as California found — a huge groundswell of opposition.
UPDATE: A reader emails:
Perhaps, at some not too distant point in the future, we’ll have “intelligent” menus in restaurants, where we’ll only be offered the food that fits our health profile (as determined by the nanny state, of course). A little overweight? You get one set of offerings. High cholesterol? You get another. Diabetic? There’s a third set.
After all, with the state paying for health care, it has every right to keep an eye on what you eat. Ordering off someone else’s menu would, of course, be a crime.
As usual these days, reality runs ahead of satire.
HILLARY’S MANEUVERS DON’T IMPRESS Josh Marshall. “The Clinton camp really needs to be shut down on this new gambit of theirs to muscle the party and the other candidates into seating the Michigan and Florida delegate slates.”
TUITIONS ARE HIGH, and people aren’t buying administrators’ stories: “To a certain degree, suspicion and distrust of colleges and universities are problems of the higher education sectorâ€™s own making. . . . The dominant meme describes American colleges and universities as institutions driven by their own self-interest rather than by the interests of students or of society.”
BILL BRADLEY IS REPORTING FROM SOUTH CAROLINA, with new posts as the day goes on.
10,000 PEOPLE SIGN UP FOR CHEVY VOLTS. That and more at this week’s Carnival of Cars.
SOUTH PARK on the two party system.
HOW TO UPDATE YOUR Blu-Ray and HD-DVD firmware.
THOUGHTS ON THE TEN-YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the Monica Lewinsky affair. Would anybody have thought, then, that Bill Clinton would still be wagging his finger for the 2008 elections? Plus this: â€œEvents raise the question, if Hillaryâ€™s campaign canâ€™t control Bill, whether Hillaryâ€™s White House could.â€
THE SOUTH CAROLINA DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY: A huge roundup by PJ Media, which will be updated as the day goes on.
THE TESLA ROADSTER is now street-legal.
THE EVER-EXPANDING pickup truck logo.
DIGITAL CAMERAS GALORE: Gizmodo’s coverage of the 2008 PMA show.
A NEW TREND IN CAR DESIGN: Vanishing ashtrays and cigarette lighters.
GETTING PAID for losing weight.
HMM: “The newly launched Knoxville startup aims to be a family-friendly Web site by allowing users to block their accounts’ access to books. If enough customers are blocking a certain book, Abunga.com removes it from the site entirely.”
Can’t say I’d want to shop there, but for those who don’t like it there’s always Amazon.
A NEW TV AD FROM THE MARINES:
OBAMA’S PROBLEM with white women. Is Oprah the cure? Not so far.
SHOW AND TELL FOR RICH UNIVERSITIES: “Now that the Senate finance committee has requested – the New York Times said ‘demanded’ – that the nation’s wealthiest colleges and universities supply detailed information about their endowments and financial practices, it seems clear that college cost is emerging as a long-running, popular and bipartisan issue.” One might ask why this is any of Congress’s business, but universities are, at this point, in a poor position to raise such objections.
OUCH: “Here’s how to deal with a recession: A federal government which is already spending more than its income should borrow even more money, so as to give lots of people a tax rebate. This is the bipartisan plan of President Bush and Congress. They are taking a leaf from the presidency of Jimmy Carter. . . . But the 2008 tax rebate brings us full circle back to 1980, as the final year of the Bush administration increasingly resembles the final year of the Carter administration– including national malaise, getting tough on Israel but not on Palestinian terrorists, support for the DC handgun ban, the Olympics hosted by a communist regime with contempt for human rights, and a consensus that the current adminstration is lacking in competence.” I guess it’s Sucking in the Seventies: The Sequel. Oh, goody.
THE SWIFT VETS: Hollywood’s greatest CGI triumph?
CYBERWARFARE in international law.
THE THREE POTENTIALLY OFFENSIVE PIGS: What’s amazing is how people are willing to make fools of themselves to avoid imaginary offense. Nobody worries that much about offending me.
CARVILLE AND BEGALA BOOTED FROM CNN due to complaints from Obama? “One wonders as well whatâ€™s going to happen in the general election if Hillary Clinton is the nomineeâ€¦will CNN continue to ban Carville, Begala, and Zimmerman so that they canâ€™t play shenanigans against the Republican candidate?”
FROM KOSOVO TO COLD WAR:
The Kosovo war isn’t over. At the moment, Serbian ballots take precedence over bullets; democratic electoral politics are a blessing in Serbia and Kosovo, just like they are in Iraq.
But make no mistake: Sunday’s first-round 2008 presidential vote in Serbia was another battle in the Kosovo War, and it will not be the last. . . . The process has brought Vladimir Putin’s muscular Kremlin into open conflict with Germany, Great Britain, France and the United States.
Read the whole thing. And somebody should ask Bill Clinton if this is all according to plan.
GOVERNMENT: AN ITALIAN PERSPECTIVE:
ME: There’s no government?
ME: So what are we going to do?
Barman: God willing it’ll last until January and we won’t pay taxes…
But how likely is that, ever?
A WAVE OF SOCIALISM IN LATIN AMERICA? Not so much, says Raphael Rosen.
MCCAIN-FEINGOLD: No barrier to endless spending on commercials attacking Bill Clinton!
A PETITION TO SUPPORT CUBAN DISSIDENTS, from Lech Walesa.
WELL, THIS IS COMFORTING: “At the current rate of progress, Chinese military technology will match that of the United States in a decade or so.”
EGYPT BEGINS CLOSING GAZA BORDER, FUELING TENSIONS: It’s part of their genocidal plan to conquer the Gaza Strip and . . . oh, wait, that’s only when the Israelis do it.
THOUGHTS ON LAST NIGHT’S REPUBLICAN DEBATE from Rand Simberg.
AND THE TUITION IS RIDICULOUS, TOO: “The provost has now provoked arguably the largest crisis in faculty/administration relations in the history of Brandeis.”
UPDATE: Reader Jonathan Guest emails: “In cases where professors are hauled up on the flimsiest of evidence and effectively pilloried for their very defensible words, why don’t they have a pretty strong defamation case against a university?”
Yes. I would certainly have little compunction about suing both the university administration and the complaining student in such a case. And I think that false charges of racism aimed at a professor today are like false charges of unchastity or “loathsome disease” aimed at a woman in 1890 — libelous per se. Those who make such charges should certainly be held accountable when they’re flimsy or false. Plus, I imagine that the discovery process would turn up lots of interesting information.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader George Hamid emails:
Maybe the powers that be at Brandeis should heed the words of that University’s namesake, Justice Louis Brandeis:
â€œExperience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s [academiaâ€™s] purposes are beneficial. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.â€
A HORRIFYING THOUGHT: “It just occurred to me that one of these jokers â€” Clinton, McCain, Obama or Romney â€” is going to be the next President.”
LARRY KUDLOW: “I just have to smile when a billionaire like Bill Gates turns a cold shoulder to the blessings capitalism bestows.”
I threw up in my mouth, a little bit.
DRIVING THE TESLA ROADSTER.
WELL, DUH: Earmarks didn’t drop under Democrats.
A CAUTIONARY TALE for post-Apartheid South Africa.
THE NEW YORK TIMES ENDORSES HILLARY CLINTON — and, because they must want to do him harm, John McCain. (No, really — Rudy’s people are even pointing out the endorsement.)
ROBERT REICH: “I write this more out of sadness than anger. Bill Clintonâ€™s ill-tempered and ill-founded attacks on Barack Obama are doing no credit to the former President, his legacy, or his wifeâ€™s campaign. Nor are they helping the Democratic party.”
MICKEY KAUS ON BILL CLINTON AND RON BURKLE: “Focusing on economic conflicts–as if the Burkle-Clinton partnership were all about making millions–might be a distraction. With Clinton the general rule is not ‘follow the money’.but ‘follow the nookie.’”
DISAPPOINTING DOZENS, Dennis Kucinich quits.
TIGERHAWK IS liveblogging the Republican debate.
UPDATE: So is Rand Simberg.
Also, Stephen Green is drunkblogging. I tuned in long enough to see Romney answer a question on the Second Amendment and . . . well, it was a good Massachusetts answer. That was all I could take — surely there’s a Girls Next Door rerun or something.
HACKER GROUP declares war on Scientology.
A CORRECTION ON “SWIFTBOATING.” Good point. Media spin notwithstanding, it was Kerry, not the swiftboaters, who had to retract falsehoods.
TAX REBATES FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T PAY TAXES? Bill Quick breaks the code.
BREACHING STUDENT CONFIDENTIALITY at the University of Georgia. This seems disgraceful.
JOHN PODHORETZ WRITES: “We’ll be liveblogging the debates tonight at Contentions. I predict Ron Paul will oppose the Iraq War.”
GET YOUR OWN FULL-SIZED LOST IN SPACE ROBOT. Embarrassingly, I kind of want one. . .