September 30, 2009
JENNIFER RUBIN: Wolf vs. Holder.
JENNIFER RUBIN: Wolf vs. Holder.
YOU DON’T SAY: “Whoopi Goldberg is facing a fierce backlash after saying that film director Roman Polanski didn’t commit ‘rape-rape’ when he had unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl.”
DAVE KOPEL: Does a ban on handgun carrying in churches violate the First Amendment? “The morality of using deadly force when necessary to protect innocent lives is a strongly debated topic among various denominations. The early Christians disagreed on the topic. Historically, the standard Jewish and Catholic view was that self-defense was a right and defense of others was often a duty. Some Christians, particularly since the 20th century, take an opposite view. . . . In effect, the statute privileges pacifist denominations over non-pacifist ones, by forcing the non-pacifist religions to obey pacifist standards of conduct in their own houses of worship.”
BUT THE PRESS DID ITS BEST TO MAKE SURE WE NEVER HEARD ABOUT IT: Freaky-deaky Edwards love child scandal even freaky-deakier than thought. Because that didn’t fit the preferred narrative.
But, you know, as with the Polanski story, this illustrates that there really are two Americas. So Edwards has that going for him, anyway. . . .
OBAMA VOTER ANN ALTHOUSE: Why Slam Those Of Us With Great Health Care Benefits? We worked for it. We earned it. And we’re the middle-class people Obama said he wasn’t going to hurt. Otherwise known, I believe, as “suckers.”
FRIENDS OF THE WORKING MAN? Not so much. “Coal mining in West Virginia provides more than 50 percent of the nation’s electricity, but left-wing donors like the Tides Foundation and the Rockefeller Family Fund have funneled thousands of dollars to groups fighting construction of needed new coal-fired power plants and favoring cap-and trade limits on carbon dioxide emissions while showing little regard for coal miners’ jobs.”
LIVING without a pulse. No, it’s not about the Senate Ethics Committee . . . .
THE WIZARD OF OZ turns 70 years old.
LIFE MAGAZINE on Google Books. Thanks to Hiawatha Bray on Facebook for the link.
A GENERAL ELECTRIC PAYOFF?
JOE PAPPALARDO: The Air Force’s 4 Biggest Fears.
DOUBLE STANDARDS AGAIN: WaPo editorial writer gives Alan Grayson a pass.
Remember how angry the press got over Sarah Palin’s “death panels” and Rep. Joe Wilson’s verbal outburst? Well, don’t expect a similar outpouring of indignation over Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson’s assertion on the House floor that the Republican health plan is for people to “die quickly.” You see, Grayson’s comments were funny (he was just joking, you know!) and besides, no one has ever heard of him.
The most distressing section of the appended video is the clip in which Washington Post editorial writer Jonathan Capehardt voluntarily raises his hand when host Mika Brzezinski asks who is giving him a pass.
Double standards abound. But now that the Legacy Media is — pretty much openly — just an arm of the Democratic Party, why should anyone be surprised, or care?
HSUT AWAY FOR A LONG TIME: Ex-Dem fundraiser sentenced in NYC to 24 years. “Former Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu was sentenced Tuesday to more than 24 years in prison by a judge who accused him of funding his fraud by manipulating the political process in a way that ‘strikes at the very core of our democracy.’”
TOO LITTLE VITAMIN D, TOO MUCH FRUCTOSE linked to high blood pressure.
A 1080P HD eyeglass camera.
FUTURE DEEP SPACE MISSIONS threatened by plutonium shortage.
ROMAN POLANSKI’S ARREST IS HIS OWN FAULT: “He has his celebrity entitlement to blame.”
PROCUREMENT: The military, the iPhone, and the troops.
AT MICHAEL YON’S PLACE, another dispatch from Afghanistan.
FROM SUSANNAH BRESLIN, advice on “how to date a tall chick.”
THE HILL: Lawmakers worry about losing Internet influence in new bill. “The U.S. will lose influence over the Internet due to a new agreement expected to take effect Wednesday. The deal, which appears to give foreign governments more say in how the global network is run, has come under criticism from lobbyists for U.S. business and lawmakers who want to preserve U.S. oversight over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).”
GRAND ROUNDS IS UP!
SECOND AMENDMENT UPDATE: Supreme Court grants cert. in Chicago case. “It chose one of the Chicago cases — McDonald v. Chicago (08-1521) — a case brought to it by Alan Gura, the Alexandria, VA. lawyer who won the 2008 decision for the first time recognizing a constitutional right to have a gun for personal use, at least in self-defense in the home (District of Columbia v. Heller).” Interestingly, they’re asking about Privileges And Immunities, too. Some background here.
IN THE MAIL: From James Wesley Rawles, How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times.
NOTING THE HUFFINGTON POST’S DIFFERING TREATMENT of Roman Polanski and Mark Foley. “But unlike Foley, Polanski is not a Republican. He’s simply wanted in L.A. on a child rape charge.”
Related: Applebaum blames the victim for the rape. Plus, an interesting development: “The vast majority of French people feel the same way about Polanski as the vast majority of Americans. In both countries, sympathy for a child rapist seems isolated to the entertainment elite and the media sycophants who love them.” And the tax-and-financial advisors at ACORN, I suppose . . . .
UPDATE: Related thoughts here.
ANOTHER UPDATE: From Ann Althouse, a shred of sympathy for dumb celebrities:
I think these people are not really very politically savvy, though they want to look engaged and good. They’re surrounded by people who tell them what views to reflect and they got a clear message that made them think this was another easy one. And now, the backlash comes. Oh, poor celebrities! They just tried to say what their all-encompassing environment made them was good to say. Have a little compassion. It’s not like they raped a kid.
Nope, just excused it. Which tells us a lot about that “all-encompassing environment.”
WOODY ALLEN backs Roman Polanski. Well okay then.
SPACE TOURISM UPDATE: Cirque du Soleil founder, station crew blast off.
THAT WAS FAST: Byron York: Has the Liberal Moment come and gone?
JEWEL WONDERS what the hell is wrong with the arts community.
THE MUDVILLE GAZETTE: “The world loves us now. I’d like to believe that. I’d love to see it demonstrated some day. . . . And as attractive as a brief respite from all that soldiering on might seem – regardless of your political persuasion, exactly how much are you willing to bet on this?”
ALFONZO RACHEL: Battle Hymn of the Messiah.
REMEMBERING THE OLD DAYS: Gay Talese: New York Times Was Drunker Than Mad Men.
In a new video from Big Think, aptly titled “Getting Drunk at The New York Times,” Talese acknowledges that the old stereotype is true: many great writers were also very heavy drinkers. There was “a celebration of alcoholism almost within the creative arts, even in journalism,” he explains in the clip. The spirited old-timer goes on to describe his first time in the City Room at the Times, and watching a man “whose head fell on his typewriter” from a few too many midday trips to the cabinet. . . . That show Mad Men, Talese says, was nothing: “The drinking that went on in journalism was beyond that.”
I’d say find out what they were drinking, and send some to the Times’ current staff . . . .
SOON THEY’LL BE SERVING “FREEDOM FRIES” AT THE WHITE HOUSE AGAIN: Sarkozy Sees Obama As Incredibly Naive & Grossly Egotistical.
REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D-FL): The GOP “wants you to die.”
THE NEW SENATE DOCTORS’ SHOW: “Tom Coburn and John Barrasso Talk about the ‘Public Option’ and Medicare.” With a Huffington Post appearance.
STARBUCKS TAKES ON Town Hall Protesters.
L.A. TIMES: Former ACORN worker details blackjack voter registration bonuses. “On Tuesday, a judge began considering whether Edwards’ former supervisor, Amy Busefink, and the Assn. of Community Organizations for Reform Now will stand trial on 13 low-level felony charges of compensation for registration of voters. The evidentiary hearing will resume this morning.”
SARAH PALIN’S BOOK TITLE, Going Rogue, kind of reminds me of “I Aim To Misbehave.” I would’ve liked that one better. . . .
But she’s already #5 on Amazon, so I guess it’s working.
UPDATE: Er, make that #3 on Amazon, now.
HEH: HuffPo Goes All In to Defend Polanski, Readers Revolt. Good for them.
L.A. TIMES: What Obama won’t say about the Afghan war today, at least publicly. “Signs are growing that Obama will seek to change the war goals, to redefine what is success and divert the discussion away from the more-troops measure. It’s not defeat in Afghanistan; it’s victory of a different kind. . . . Here’s the entire Obama transcript. But notice anything missing here? No more mention of the original 9/11 bad guys, the Taliban. No mention either of defeating them. And no more mention of making it safe for democracy to flourish in Afghanistan. Through such overlooked omissions are the political goals and measures of American victory in Afghanistan being subtly shifted without any notice or announcement by the Obama administration.”
WELL, THIS SUCKS: Tsunamis Devastate Pacific Islands. “A series of tsunamis has caused widespread death and destruction in the South Pacific. The waves were triggered by a powerful deep sea earthquake between Samoa and American Samoa. Scores of people are reported to have been killed. “
ON ROMAN POLANSKI, Ann Althouse challenges Bernard-Henri Lévy:
Bernard-Henri Lévy, you present yourself as a philosopher. I would like to honor philosophy. Back up your petition with a philosophical argument that we can understand and critique.
Won’t happen, because the real argument is that as one of the creative elite, Polanski is supposed to enjoy a sort of droit de seigneur — but if you come right out and say that, the peasants will get angry.
Related item here.
JENNIFER RUBIN: Not Sufficient to Let Holder Investigate Holder.
When we last left the saga of the Obama administration’s dismissal of the default judgment in the New Black Panther voter-intimidation case, the Justice Department had finally consented to an internal investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility while the independent U.S. Civil Rights Commission had decided to embark on a comprehensive study and produce a report on the decision and its implications for voting-rights policy. Attorney General Eric Holder to date has stiffed the commission—first ignoring its inquiries and then citing the OPR investigation as reason not to cooperate.
Rep. Frank Wolf, who was instrumental in raising the profile of the case and in demanding an explanation for the dismissal, isn’t satisfied. A spokesman in his office, Dan Scandling, explained to me that Wolf continues to press forward for a congressional hearing to get to the bottom of the issue.
Seems fair to me.
APPLECARE UPDATE: Okay, the DVD drive in my new Macbook Pro hasn’t worked right since I bought it. So I took it in today, they had the part, and they fixed it and sent me on my way within 20 minutes. No complaints on that service!
LOSER LOSES AGAIN: Appellate court tosses Dan Rather’s lawsuit against CBS.
WHO WILL SIGN POMPLAMOOSE?
JAMES PETHOKOUKIS: “Liberals are screaming over public option failure even tho WH says plan is no biggie. Someone has their story wrong.”
IN NEW YORK, Massive voter fraud linked to ACORN. I’m shocked, shocked to hear this.
SONJA SCHMIDT: How To Be A 21st Century Bigot.
JOSEF JOFFE: The Age of Nice — Or, Politics as Psychiatry.
It took Jimmy Carter until Christmas 1979, when the Soviets rolled into Afghanistan, to figure out that goodwill is not good enough. Let’s hope Mr. Obama learns faster how to shift from “good” to “will.” A reset, no matter how often, doesn’t change the reality inside a computer. The operating system remains the same.
ANALYZING CHINA’S 2008 EARTHQUAKE.
BACK UP YOUR BRAIN: By 2040 you will be able to upload your mind.
REVIEWING THE REVIEWERS: A roundup of book reviews from all over.
PROBIOTICS: Claims and reality. “So what health problems can probiotics really help? After gathering at a Yale workshop to review the available evidence, a panel of 12 experts concluded that there was strong evidence that several probiotic strains could reduce diarrhea, including that associated with antibiotic use. Several studies have also suggested that certain probiotics may be useful for irritable bowel syndrome, with the strongest recommendation for Bifidobacterium infantis 35624, the probiotic in the Procter & Gamble supplement Align.”
NORTHEAST MAY HAVE coldest winter in a decade.
STAR TREK MEETS MONTY PYTHON.
JAY LENO’S biodiesel-powered EcoJet.
GIVE THEM AN “A”: Students Save Law Prof’s Life.
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDEX drops in September.
NEW SCIENTIST: Europe’s Problems Will Grow As It Shrinks.
IN THE MAIL: Bruce Bartlett sends a copy of his Wrong On Race: The Democratic Party’s Buried Past. He suggests it’s particularly relevant to today’s political discussions.
CQ POLITICS: A GOP Challenge for West Virginia Rep. Mollohan. “West Virginia Democratic Rep. Alan B. Mollohan, who was unopposed in his last re-election campaign, has drawn a 2010 challenge from a Republican state legislator.” Personally, I think that no incumbent should run unopposed.
THE SILENCE OF Marcus the Lamb.
MICKEY KAUS: Did ACORN Elect Al Franken? “Maybe in pristine Minnesota even ACORN is clean. If so, the state would apparently be an outlier.”
MICHAEL TOTTEN: Hands Off Honduras! “The United States government, along with the rest of the Western Hemisphere’s governments, is so worked up about returning ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya to power that it hasn’t thought through the long- or even medium-term consequences of its threats and demands. . . . Reality will force the U.S. to back down for one simple reason–it will be possible for the U.S. to back down, while Honduras could only surrender to our demands by using a time machine. We might as well play ‘chicken’ with an inanimate object.”
Don’t give them ideas.
JIM LINDGREN: Good artists are not necessarily good people and bad people are not necessarily bad artists. “When Orwell says that even a reborn Shakespeare couldn’t get away with ‘raping little girls,’ he was either reflecting the mores of the times (1944) — or he forgot about Hollywood.”
MOE LANE: Schumer, Gillibrand, and the Wall Street Payoffs. It’s protection money. But they aren’t “honest politicians,” as they don’t stay bought. So watch out. . . .
HOT AIR: Hey, who’s up for another clip of kids chanting about Obama? “I’m honestly starting to lose count of how many of these there are. No ‘mmm mmm mmm’ in this one or creepy substitutions of The One for Jesus, but kudos to the teacher who came up with the ‘change has come’ drone. Reminds me of ‘one of us, one of us.’”
BENJAMIN WITTES CRITICIZES OBAMA’S DETENTION POLICY — AND SOME OTHERS: “The only point in Obama’s defense is that few political actors have given him reason to think he would have responsible partners if he did the right thing. Human rights and civil liberties activists are so keen to avoid legitimizing detention in legislation that they have treated as a victory the president’s decision to adopt the very policy they have spent the past eight years denouncing.” Or maybe it was just about attacking Bush, rather than “human rights,” all along. . . .
SUBPRIME UNCLE SAM: The FHA makes Countrywide Financial look prudent. You know, we may just find that all those “stuffy” and “uptight” traits that old-fashioned bankers used to be mocked for were actually a good thing. . . .
FRANK GAFFNEY: The Threat of a “Stealth Jihad.”
RON ROSENBAUM: Huge Intelligence Scandal: Will All the Pundits Who Relied on the Discredited 2007 NIE on Iran Now Admit That They Were Wrong? “Will the congressional intelligence committees demand to know how such a deliberately misleading report was being leaked and fed to the public by half-baked pundits even after (we now learn) they knew that some part of the ‘intelligence community’ knew — before the the NIE was issued — about the secret nuclear fuel facility we’re now reading about?”
Yeah, that’ll happen. The purpose of the N.I.E. was to paralyze us until after the election. It succeeded.
MORE ON THE Anne Applebaum / Roman Polanski conflict. You can tell a lot about a governing class from who it’s willing to cover for.
UPDATE: Col. Douglas Mortimer writes:
Well, let’s remember that in the book “Less than Zero,” the children of the Hollywood elite watch a 12 year old girl be bound, raped, and murdered at a party. That little nugget of joy didn’t make the movie, but the author obviously knew these people.
ANOTHER UPDATE: HOWARD KURTZ:
If Polanski was an ordinary Roman, and not an award-winning film director, we wouldn’t be having this debate. There is sympathy for him because he’s considered a great artiste. The Hollywood elite wouldn’t give Polanski the plumber the time of day if he had sexually assaulted an underage girl. And that suggests to me a stunning double standard.
NEW YORK TIMES: In Europe, “socialism’s slow collapse.” But it’s doing okay here . . . .
UH OH: The Next Federal Bailout: ‘Great’ Public Universities? By “Great,” I suppose they mean “in blue states and unwise with their money.”
My advice: Try living within a budget.
UPDATE: On the other hand, look at Berkeley, where the authors are from.
OUCH: “You know things are bad when Obama’s squishiness as commander in chief is too much for Richard Cohen to bear.” Martin Peretz isn’t very happy, either. . . .
CHANGE: World Bank Head Sees Dollar’s Role Diminishing. “The president of the World Bank said on Monday that America’s days as an unchallenged economic superpower might be numbered and that the dollar was likely to lose its favored position as the euro and the Chinese renminbi assume bigger roles.” That’s what happens when the political class lacks self-discipline.
STANLEY KURTZ: Patrick Gaspard, ACORN, and Obama: “With the revelation that White House Director of Political Affairs, Patrick Gaspard, has close ties to Bertha Lewis and to ACORN, Matthew Vadum and Erick Erickson appear to be onto something significant.”
UPDATE: The Spectator quote from Rathke on Gaspard having worked for ACORN is accurate, but apparently Rathke is not to be trusted.
ROBERT SAMUELSON: Health Care As An Exercise in Ego Gratification:
What’s driving the great health debate of 2009 is not a popular clamor for universal insurance. “Many Americans are balking again at the prospect of health care reform,” writes pollster Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center. A new Wall Street Journal poll found 41 percent of respondents opposed to President Obama’s proposals and 39 percent in favor (the rest were undecided). The underlying driver is politicians’ psychological quest for glory. . . . Americans worried about this legislation may not know its details or may even be misinformed. Still, their skepticism is justified. Grandiose rhetoric obscures unflattering reality. The proposals don’t force the major structural changes in the delivery system that might curb uncontrolled health spending, which is the central problem. The bills Congress is now considering might marginally improve Americans’ health but would worsen the federal budget outlook and squeeze other public and private spending. Whatever bragging rights result will quickly erode in the face of the health system’s continuing problems.
Yeah, my prediction is that if it passes it’ll be like the Iraq war — in five or ten years most of the people who voted for it will be pretending otherwise. Hell, they’ll probably find a way to blame Bush . . . .
FREE SPEECH: Only for members of officially recognized aggrieved groups.
MEGAN MCARDLE ON ROMAN POLANSKI: “You would think we’d busted him for unpaid parking tickets. The guy drugged a thirteen year old girl in order to rape her. Perhaps the French have some sophisticated, European point of view on these things that I, with my puritan ancestry, simply cannot rise to.”
Or they could just be miserable shitheels. Related item here: “Let’s keep in mind that Roman Polanski gave a 13-year-old girl a Quaalude and champagne, then raped her.” Just remember: If he weren’t a member of the politico-artistic elite, he’d have done hard time already.
But, since he is, we get this: Hollywood Unites To Defend Polanski. “If his unspeakable deed doesn’t meet the standard, what exactly would Roman Polanski have to do in order to become a pariah in this town … I mean, besides vote for Sarah Palin?”
UPDATE: Reader Michael McElwee smells a rat:
Isn’t it obvious this arrest – out of nowhere – is a political move by Obama’s minders?
What better to keep Greta and America distracted for a week or so?
Don’t be silly. That would suggest that the justice system was entirely politicized.
HOW BROKE IS THE FDIC? THIS BROKE: FDIC expected to ask banks to prepay $36B in fees. “The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. may take the unprecedented step of ordering banks to prepay about $36 billion in premiums to replenish the deposit insurance fund that has been severely depleted by a rash of bank failures.” Can you give me an advance on my salary? I’m a little short this decade.
EARTH FARE RESPONDS on the “all men are pigs” incident. Good for them; they’re obviously using blogs as a source of useful information on their own operations.
LLOYD MARCUS on setting the rules.
WHAT IF WE ACHIEVED SUCCESS IN IRAQ and nobody noticed?