February 10, 2008
CHUCK SIMMINS REPORTS on a mass casualty incident in Rochester.
CHUCK SIMMINS REPORTS on a mass casualty incident in Rochester.
OBAMA, TONY REZKO, and other potential casualties of “Operation Board Games.”
PAIRED HEADLINES ON DRUDGE:
You almost feel sorry for Pelosi. Almost.
UPDATE: Herschel Smith says that Pelosi should read this. She should read something.
ONCE AGAIN, Ford sells a cool car in Europe that Americans would be happy to buy, if allowed.
MORE PROBLEMS FOR Hugo Chavez. “Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in an effort to deal with food shortages nationwide, threatened today to expropriate farms and raised the price rice producers are permitted to charge. . . . It was at least the fourth time this year that Chavez’s government has threatened to use expropriation to deal with shortages of milk, rice, cooking oil and other price-controlled basic foods. The decision on rice prices was another in a series of increases this year, following boosts in the prices of beans, cheese and ultra-pasteurized milk.” Chavez blames hoarders and wreckers.
SO I JUST TURNED ON THE TV and caught a rather zombie-like Amy Winehouse doing Rehab via satellite for the Grammies. It was . . . emblematic.
CASSANDRA OFFERS thoughts on love and marriage.
ANOTHER BAD INFORMANT:
Wes Ballard is trying to put his life back together after serving 10 months in jail because of lies told by an informant who was handled by a federal agent now facing multiple investigations himself.
Ballard and 25 other people were arrested in a sting meant to clean up the drug trade in Mansfield, about halfway between Cleveland and Columbus. Many of those arrested were convicted.
Now, though, prosecutors are asking a federal judge to dismiss charges including conspiracy and cocaine trafficking against most of the defendants, even some who pleaded guilty.
BILL CLINTON: Obama’s white half won Maine. â€œI told you he won South Carolina because heâ€™s black, like Jesse Jackson. So, to be consistent, Iâ€™d have to say he won Maine because heâ€™s white like Michael Dukakis.â€ Be sure to read the whole thing . . . .
WELL, DUH: Poll finds plummeting support for the Taliban, Osama bin Laden. Generally, once they start blowing up fellow-Muslims, their support plummets. And whatever else you say about the Bush Administration’s strategy, it seems almost as if it were tailor-made to produce this result.
IT’S JUST NICE not to have people saying this about East Tennesseans for a change:
A government minister has warned that inbreeding among immigrants is causing a surge in birth defects – comments likely to spark a new row over the place of Muslims in British society.
Phil Woolas, an environment minister, said the culture of arranged marriages between first cousins was the â€œelephant in the roomâ€. Woolas, a former race relations minister, said: â€œIf you have a child with your cousin the likelihood is thereâ€™ll be a genetic problem.â€
This should generate a PC kerfuffle.
I’M SURE THIS WILL PROVE ENTIRELY UNCONTROVERSIAL: “In a major policy shift aimed at reducing a ballooning immigration backlog, the Department of Homeland Security is preparing to grant permanent residency to tens of thousands of applicants before the FBI completes a required background check.”
UPDATE: Meanwhile, we’re cracking down on airline security to the discomfiture of the Europeans. Not sure what I think of that, though — with the exception of the air marshal bit — I doubt it’ll do much good.
IMPOTENT RAGE from Hugo Chavez.
ANONYMITY IS HARD TO COME BY: “During a week of attempting to cloak every aspect of daily life, our correspondent found that in an information age, leaving no trace is nearly impossible.”
MATT TAIBBI is unhappy with Congressional “Chicken Doves.” What, you were expecting them to be brave?
VITRIOLAGE: Everything old is new again, though in some parts of the world this never really went away . . . .
HEH: “They told me that if George W. Bush were re-elected, certain racial, ethnic, religious, and gender groups would be grossly underrepresented on campus. And they were right!”
BUT HE ONLY SAID “FAIRY,” NOT “PIMP:” “The nation’s first elected black governor said Saturday he is not ready to excuse comments former President Bill Clinton made about Barack Obama.”
And this has got to hurt Bill in a way that few other statements would: “A time comes and a time goes. The president has had his time.” Maybe that’s what people mean when they say they want change.
BEHEADING IN LONDON. Someone might ask Rowan Williams what legal system should apply . . .
MCCAIN MAKES A PROMISE ABOUT JUDGES: Professor Bainbridge believes him. Plus, worries about Hillary or Obama nominating Harold Koh to the Supreme Court.
Write it down: The only way Hillary can win the nomination is if she steals it. She could conceivably do that by having the DNC â€œrehabilitateâ€ Michigan and Florida with their current results (BOOHOO will beat her like a drum in both states if the do-overs being considered are held), and by rolling and cajoling super-delegates. But if she steals it, she will ultimately learn that the damage done in doing so made the prize not worth winning.
Yes, Iâ€™m officially predicting that Hillary Clinton will not be the next President of the United States.
Hmm. Could we be at a tipping point?
IRAQPUNDIT: “There was a time, not so long ago, when the only news out of Iraq was bad news. Good news, if there was any the mainstream media thought necessary to report, would be tucked into the inside pages of the newspaper. What’s that old newspaper saying? If it bleeds it leads? Well, now it’s AQI that seems to be doing the newsworthy bleeding.”
THE CARNIVAL OF CARS is up!
DEATH THREATS for my University of Tennessee colleague Henri Grissino-Mayer, over tree-rings, climate, and violins.
HMM: “PRINCE Bandar Bin Sultan, the former Saudi Arabian ambassador to America, has been hit by a court order in effect freezing some of his US assets, as part of a class-action lawsuit over bribery allegations at British defence giant BAE Systems.”
Vladimir Putin has announced that if NATO does not act in a manner more to his likely in future negotiations, he will take action to let them know he is not to be trifled with by unleashing an arms race.
So Russia (GDP $2.08 trillion) is threatening the EU (GDP $14.44 trillion) and USA (GDP $13.86 trillion) with an arms race?
Who says Russians do not have a great sense of humour? They are famous for it, in fact and this is a case in point. In effect Vladimir Putin is saying “if you do not start respecting me, I will bankrupt my country by producing large quantities of the same weapons that the Israelis consistently turn into confetti using western military technology.” Oh saints preserve us!
A ROUNDUP OF science fiction and fantasy news.
BRAD ROURKE: White Men Can’t Talk.
MICHAEL YON: “These words come to you from South Baghdad, where signs of progress are unmistakable. I am with 1-4 CAV in an area that was among the most dangerous in Iraq during early and mid 2007. But a few days ago I walked down a roadâ€”wearing no body armor or helmetâ€”where just 7 or 8 months ago tanks and Strykers would have been in great danger.” But it’s not over yet — follow the link and read the rest. And if you like his work, consider donating. That’s how he gets paid.
ROGER SIMON POSTS AN INSIDER REPORT on the end of the writers’ strike.
AT MSNBC, a double standard on pimping.
INVESTING IN ROMANIA: Thoughts from the American Ambassador.
SKIP OLIVA’S VEEPWATCH.COM is a blog covering the vice-presidential contest.
IS BARACK OBAMA THE MESSIAH?
UPDATE: Reader Clyde Spicer emails: “I’ve seen this before, only the last time, the part was played by Roger Daltrey. The whole thing reminds me of the holiday camp scene in Tommy. Obama’s theme song should have been The Who’s I’m A Sensation.”
Hmm. I leave a trail of rooted people, mesmerized by just the sight. . . . I am the light. Sounds right to me! But Roger Daltrey had better hair.
A SUPERDELEGATE THREAT FROM CHRIS BOWERS:
If the institution that exists to resolve disputes within the American center-left does not operate according to democratic principles, then I see no reason to continue participating within that institution. If that institution fails to respect democratic principles in its most important internal contest of all–nominating an individual for President of the United States–then I will quit the Democratic Party. And yes, I am perfectly serious about this. If someone is nominated for POTUS from the Democratic Party despite another candidate receiving more poplar support from Democratic primary voters and caucus goers, I will resign as local precinct captain, resign my seat on the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee, immediately cease all fundraising for all Democrats, refuse to endorse the Democratic “nominee” for any office, and otherwise disengage from the Democratic Party through all available means of doing so.
Ann Althouse asks: “What’s morally wrong with following the rules that everyone knew all along? Parties aren’t morally obligated to use a purely democratic approach to picking a nominee. The Democrats set up a system with some delegates who were there because of their position in the party and not as representatives of people who voted in primaries or caucused. They were authorized to exercise their independent judgment about who the party should nominate, in what looks like a check on freewheeling democracy. Why should they now be told to subordinate their independent judgment?”
Speaking as a fellow professor of Constitutional Law, Althouse makes perfect sense to me. But this attitude is not going to be shared by many people who’ve spent the last nearly-8 years claiming that winning the popular vote is more important than winning the electoral vote.
A REPORT ON HOW THE Science Debate 2008 effort is going. There’s some useful advice from my Dewey Ballantine compatriot Tom Kalil: “The research community needs a more compelling message than ‘give us 7% more money than last year.’”
THE GROVEL CONTINUES: MSNBC airs an hour-long
campaign ad biographical feature on Hillary Clinton. “This pre-empts the regularly scheduled programming, a show called Deadly Encounter. Not joking.”
UPDATE: Jake Tapper reports that the Clintons don’t want Shuster fired after all. Of course not. Now that they’ve shown they can yank his chain whenever they want, it’s much better to keep him on the job, properly subservient!
BUT OBAMA DOESN’T HAVE TO SPIN: “The Hillary Clinton campaign is now, in a new press release, spinning away her losses in Washington, Nebraska, and Louisiana as ‘expected.’”
UPDATE: Reader Joseph Ingrassia emails:
I am in medical school now, but I remember when I used to watch the WWF (WWE as it is called now) about 10 years ago and I have to say Obama’s victory/campaign speech tonight in Virginia is utterly reminiscent of any “face” (good guy) speech as he arrived in the ring in a new town.
“My it’s good to be back to (insert city/state)…I’ll tell you you guys have the best (insert sports team/governor)…” the speech then goes on about being an underdog and more importantly winning against the odds et cetera, et cetera. The best part about it is that the crowd in both instances, fake wrestling and politics, always screams and applauds in the same spots and eventually breaks into chanting the hero’s name. I understand this isn’t a speech meant to unveil any type of policy specifics (when are his speeches ever about that really?) but the similarities were striking for about five minutes.
On another note, as a future doctor their health care plans SCARE me. I can’t wait to treat people that don’t have to pay a dime (directly at least) for care…you think I’ll be seeing a lot of people with the common cold and other such common illnesses that don’t need medical attention?
Now he’s promising to reduce the cost of living, eliminate poverty, create “millions” of new green jobs…maybe he can teach me to walk on water too.
The way people talk, you can’t rule that out.
OVER AT DAILYPUNDIT’S WEEKEND COOKING THREAD, the topic is favorite foodie mags, books, and TV Shows. At the moment, as it happens, I’m watching Giada de Laurentis tour the Greek islands in a variety of skimpy outfits, in HD. While I believe the Insta-mom is lukewarm on her cookbook, the TV show does not disappoint.
UPDATE: Now she’s drinking Raki, a grape-based jetfuel they distill on Crete. My brother used to bring it back when he worked there. When you get the good Raki, it’s really good. When you get the bad Raki, it tastes like carbueretor cleaner. And pretty much is. If you’ve got a really dirty carbueretor . . . .
OBAMA CHARGES election irregularities in Louisiana.
UPDATE: The Anchoress emails: “Doesn’t it strike you that this guy is utterly fearless in the face of the Clintons, and completely on his game, intending not to let them get away with a thing? I must say…I like the cut of his jib. Don’t think I like his policies…but there is a lot to admire there.” He’s brave where the Clintons are concerned. We’ll see how that works out for him.
HMM: “A new study finds that when it comes to financial success, you’re better off being a moderately happy person rather than someone who’s chronically ecstatic.” Hmm. Well, that’s me. So where’s my great wealth?
WHY GOOD PEOPLE DON’T GO INTO GOVERNMENT: “Howard Krongard worked his last day at the State Department recently, having learned a hard lesson in the ways of modern Congressional ‘oversight.’ To wit, if you don’t follow Henry Waxman’s orders, he’ll try to ruin you. . . . Mr. Waxman doesn’t much care if any of this is true, because his larger goal is to send a message to every Inspector General in government: They answer to him.” Kind of like the Clintons and MSNBC. It’s too bad that it’s so easy to gin up fake scandals and “ethical” problems in the service of political witch-hunting. Somebody should write a book on that!
ALI ETERAZ WRITES opposing Sharia arbitration courts in the U.K. Rowan Williams probably should have touched base with him prior to mouthing off . . . .
PROFESSOR BAINBRIDGE: “What is it lately with Democrats and the Marine Corps?” But follow the link for the story he finds really disturbing.
ERIC SCHEIE: “I’m a bit concerned about the new president of Bryn Mawr College.”
“OR, YOU KNOW, there’s just more of us.”
DOING RIGHT BY our newest veterans.
SOME MOVING ADVICE from the Great White North: “Don’t ship things in plastic when it might be -40 outside. It cracks.” Brr.
CONTINUOUSLY UPDATED PRIMARY NEWS, here.
HOW TO blend an egg. Everything’s better when it’s blended!
A NEW MIDDLE EAST, after all. What hath Bush wrought?
MORE ON TOLEDO AND THE MARINES, from Roger Kimball. And a reader from Toledo emails: “The really rich part of this is that our downtown still has many vacant buildings. One of Carty’s ‘arts’ initiatives was to get artists to paint scenes that would be put up inside the windows of the vacant buildings so they wouldn’t look so ‘vacant’. Oh, and did I mention that the City and County were pleading with the Feds a couple of years ago not to move the local Air National Guard Base (and its jobs/payroll taxes) out of Toledo Express Airport? Pray for us.” This won’t help with that.
Meanwhile, at BlackFive they are not amused.
I.R.S. GETS PUSHBACK FROM COURTS over special treatment for Scientology.
BIOFUELS WORSE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT? That’s the gist of this report, and it’s no doubt correct as far as crop-based biofuels go. It doesn’t seem to address ethanol or methanol from waste biomass, though. Those should have a considerably more benign profile. Also, there are advantages to weakening OPEC even if there’s no environmental benefit from doing so.
GLOBAL WARMING JUJITSU.
PLOTTING IN the Internet age.
MORE ON SHUSTER’S GROVELLING: It’s the Clintons’ network. You just broadcast there.
UPDATE: From the comments: “This incident is a tool the Clinton machine is using to remind the media that, when they cover the Clintons, they are covering people who can destroy their careers. These reporters may as well be covering their bosses.” [LATER: Point expanded upon here.]
ANOTHER UPDATE: James Joyner: “Iâ€™m no fan of Shuster. Indeed, heâ€™s a total and utter hack and MSNBC should be ashamed they canâ€™t find a more serious journalist to put on their air. But these remarks arenâ€™t worthy of tut-tutting, let alone firing.”
MORE: A roundup at TV Newser includes this: “An NBC insider close to the situation is outraged at the suspension. ‘This is the second time in a month we’ve caved to a political campaign, kowtowing under pressure for what were basically legitimate observations,’ the insider tells TVNewser. ‘We’re not even pretending to be journalists anymore.’” It’s the Clintons’ network. You just broadcast there.
George Will delivered a powerful argument at last night’s CPAC banquet on behalf of conservatives sucking it up and being “happy warriors” on behalf of John McCain and the Republican presidential ticket. I listened and for the most part found myelf nodding, reluctantly, in agreement.
But I noted that Will did not talk about the one issue on which the Washington Post columnist might be expected to be most concerned: Would President McCain be as aggressive an advocate of campaign finance reform regulation as Senator McCain was? There are four things to consider on this issue.
Read the whole thing.
WELL, IT’S A DUMB LAW: National Parks gun ban under fire.
BILL QUICK’S AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE PARTY SITE is up and running in fullbore Drupal mode.
YES, THERE ARE MORE PRIMARIES TODAY: Roundup here.
PFIZER, TURNABOUT, AND FAIR PLAY: Pfizer, which played an unfortunate role in the Kelo case, is now finding itself bitten by dubious eminent-domain practices. Ilya Somin cautions that two wrongs don’t make a right – which is true, but on the other hand sometimes they make the practitioner of the first wrong more aware of its wrongness. . . .
BERKELEY EAST? Toledo to Marines: Get Out.
UPDATE: Reader Ryan Kelley thinks this is unfair:
There’s a huge difference between Berkley giving Code Pink a parking spot in front of a recruiting center and the mayor of a city which has been hosting Marine training since 2004 getting miffed because -he- wasn’t informed that they were going to train. The rest of the City was perfectly fine with it.
This is Ohio – not California. That kind of behavior towards our armed forces isn’t tolerated. Unfortunately the ignorance by Ohio city leaders on display in Toledo is tolerated.
True, this seems to be more about petty personal pique on the Mayor’s part. Several readers also noted that this is a Name That Party scenario, and that, unsurprisingly, the Mayor turns out to be a Democrat.
PIMP MY RIGHT: Extreme Mortman wonders why Keith Olbermann never got the Shuster treatment.
DO DEPARTMENT STORES have a future? “I canâ€™t help wondering if the decline of local brands didnâ€™t sever some psychic bond people had formed with the very concept of department stores. In the short run, Iâ€™m sure they made money streamlining the brands, but in the end they made them interchangeable and rootless.” Yeah, when Proffitt’s in Knoxville turned into a Belk’s, I found I liked ‘em less.
HERE’S A FRIENDLY HEADLINE: Old Friends Say Drugs Played Only Bit Part in Obamaâ€™s Young Life.
Plus, flip-flops on drug decriminalization.
BARACK OBAMA, in Being There.
WHY PAPER CUTS hurt so much.
FRED THOMPSON ENDORSES JOHN MCCAIN.
IN THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE David Sirota notes that Obama is the corporate fave: “Though Obama certainly is less industry-owned than Clinton, the Washington Post noted last spring that he was the top recipient of Wall Street contributions. That cash is hush money, contingent on candidates silencing their populist rhetoric. . . . Obama, who was schooled by the same organizing networks as Cesar Chavez, is being endorsed by hedge fund managers.” Actually, that makes me feel better about him . . . .
IF HE WERE A REPUBLICAN, this would be a bigger story.
IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, Dick Cheney has signed a pro-individual-right amicus brief on the D.C. gun ban case that was joined by a majority of both the House and Senate.
THEY TOLD ME THAT IF GEORGE W. BUSH WERE RE-ELECTED, TV News correspondents who angered the First Family would be booted by network brass afraid of offending the powers that be. And they were right!
CONGRATULATIONS TO ACE, who won the CPAC Blogger of the Year Award.
A BUNCH OF CPAC PODCAST INTERVIEWS, over at Captain Ed’s.
HMM: “As the late Yusuf Bey built Your Black Muslim Bakery into an empire of wealth and influence, he also orchestrated a systematic welfare fraud scheme at his Oakland compound, three of his former wives have testified. By the wives’ sworn account, Bey directed many of the 100 women whom he considered his wives to make fraudulent applications for government aid programs intended to assist poor families, then diverted the benefits to himself.”
A POST-TRAUMATIC Presidency.
TENFOLD HEALTHY LIFE EXTENSION in nematodes.
VICE PRESIDENT SARAH PALIN? “How can you not like the idea of a Vice President who looks comfortable bagging a deer?”
WHY JOHN MCCAIN just might win.
STILL NO LINK between cellphones and cancer.