Archive for January, 2010

January 31, 2010

IT’S AN EMBARRASSED SILENCE, THOUGH: U.S. Media Silent As Climate Scandals Continue. But yeah, The Times of London is eating their lunch. And dinner, breakfast, and bedtime snack.

January 31, 2010

AT AMAZON, outlet deals.

January 31, 2010

A REALITY CHECK FOR A LAME WASHINGTON ESTABLISHMENT TALKING POINT: From the comments to my Tea Party column in the Washington Examiner:

And how many times did you take to the streets to protest the deficit during the Bush presidency? I’m guessing zero.

You see this kind of thing pop up in comments a lot, and sometimes even out of the mouth of the less-honest variety of pundit. Which means, of course, that once again it’s time to roll out this graphic:

Notice anything? Like maybe how Bush’s deficits are dwarfed by Obama’s? And maybe how the deficit was falling throughout Bush’s second term? Until the very end, when TARP — hardly popular with the Tea Party crowd — rolled out. The “Bush was as big a spender as Obama” line is just a flat-out lie, which the apologists for the powers that be hope you’ll buy because . . . well, because a lie is pretty much all they’ve got at this point.

Related: The White House will predict a record budget deficit in the current fiscal year and more big shortfalls for the next decade in its upcoming budget proposal, a congressional source told Reuters on Sunday.

January 31, 2010

NO, I DIDN’T WATCH THE GRAMMYS. Didn’t even vote when I got my ballot this year. Just not that excited by the choices. Watching Holmes on Homes at the moment. Vindicates my home-looking technique of checking the main electrical service for neat connections. . . .

January 31, 2010

HMM: Obama’s Religious Supporters Jumping Ship?

January 31, 2010

UH OH: Swiss warn UBS bank could collapse.

January 31, 2010

CHANGE: Michael Barone: Democrats fall as fast as Nixon Republicans in 1974. “The victory of a Democrat in the special election to fill Vice President Gerald Ford’s House seat in February 1974 was a clear indication that the bottom had fallen out for the Republican Party. Brown’s victory last week looks as if something similar has happened to the Democratic Party. Many people ask me whether the Democrats are in as much trouble as they were in 1994. The numbers suggest they are in much deeper trouble.”

January 31, 2010

KING BANAIAN: What’s the matter with you Americans?

January 31, 2010

RUBE ALERT: Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to be a multi-year process?

UPDATE: Related thoughts from Cynthia Yockey. “I think Obama is telling gays, ‘Bite me!’”

January 31, 2010

CLIMATEGATE — THE HITS KEEP COMING! London Times: UN climate panel shamed by bogus rainforest claim.

January 31, 2010

PROFESSOR BAINBRIDGE ON OBAMA AND THE BCS:

One day shortly after the Second World War ended, Winston Churchill and Labour Party Prime Minister Clement Attlee encountered one another at the urinal trough in the House of Common’s men’s washroom. Attlee arrived first. When Churchill arrived, he stood as far away from him as possible. Attlee said, “Feeling standoffish today, are we, Winston?” Churchill said: “That’s right. Every time you see something big, you want to nationalize it.”

I’m reminded of that story by news that President Obama plans to regulate the college football playoff system. . . . With the government already running the banks and the auto industry, and trying to take over the health care industry, however, one might have hoped that sports would escape the ravening maw of Leviathan.

But I guess Attlee and Obama are kindred spirits.

Well, let’s hope that Obama doesn’t do for America what Attlee did for Britain, though that does seem to be the goal . . . .

January 31, 2010

“COME THE REVOLUTION, WE’LL OWN THAT PLACE.” And then?

The UAW turned the lodge into a stunning and sprawling $33 million complex, adding another 200 acres and a $6 million golf course rated among the best 100 public courses in the nation.

Although it bills itself as an education center, it is actually a world-class resort, long a favorite spot for the union’s leaders to unwind. Reuther, who made the place his personal retreat, died in a plane crash on his way to Black Lake in 1970. His ashes are scattered on the grounds.

But today a “For Sale” sign hangs from the resort, which has required more than $25 million in subsidies from the union’s depleted treasury over the past five years. The UAW’s membership has fallen to roughly 430,000, from a peak of 1.5 million in 1979.

The corruptions of power. Plus this: “Even in Michigan, the bluest of blue-collar states, union membership has dropped well below 20 percent, and there’s a growing drumbeat to get a right-to-work proposal on the ballot as a means of improving the state’s economic competitiveness.”

January 31, 2010

TEXANS’ CHEERLEADERS support troops overseas.

January 31, 2010

“WE ARE SO SCREWED.” “Perhaps more than anything else, failure to recognize the precariousness and fickleness of confidence-especially in cases in which large short-term debts need to be rolled over continuously-is the key factor that gives rise to the this-time-is-different syndrome. Highly indebted governments, banks, or corporations can seem to be merrily rolling along for an extended period, when bang!-confidence collapses, lenders disappear, and a crisis hits.”

January 31, 2010

I WANT ONE: The Artillery-Grade 600 mph Pumpkin Cannon. “Along with his friend and co-builder, John Gill, Arold’s favorite pastime is sending pumpkins—and other roughly spherical projectiles, including a bowling ball and a 12-pound frozen turkey—flying nearly 4,000 feet across Gill’s Hurley, New York, farm.”

January 31, 2010

TONY BLAIR: No Regrets For Removing Saddam.

January 31, 2010

VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS for him and for her.

January 31, 2010

FRANK RICH questions John McCain’s patriotism. I thought it was wrong to question people’s patriotism. I guess this is more of that “change” people were calling for.

January 31, 2010

IS DISMANTLING THE ONLY GPS BACKUP SYSTEM a good idea?

January 31, 2010

POLITICAL AD OF THE YEAR? It’s going to be hard to outdo this, all right, but the year is still young . . . . .

January 31, 2010

WILL COLLIER: When It Comes To Nuclear Power, Companies Should Think Small.

January 31, 2010

G.O.P. PLANS TO tie Democratic congressional candidates to Obama.

Plus this: “In the Obama era, no seat is safe for the Democrats, it seems.”

January 31, 2010

ANOTHER ONE bites the dust.

January 31, 2010

DON SURBER: States Obama Would Lose If The Election Were Held Today:

Those states are Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

According to Surber Math those states carried 167 Electoral College votes in 2008 (2012 totals won’t be known until after the April 1 Census). Added to the 173 Electoral College votes that John McCain had and my friends, you would have a new president.

But the 2012 election is a long way off. Right?

Yeah, nothing for the White House to worry about. Move along.

UPDATE: Related: Chicago Cools to Barack Obama, Its Hometown Boy. “Gordy’s is the gathering place in this rundown, mainly black district. The chief topic of conversation is President Barack Obama, who started his political career as a community organiser in the area and whose wife, Michelle, grew up nearby. Over the past year, Clay, known as Cee Cee, has watched his clients go from soaring enthusiasm to deep disillusion.”

Plus this:

“Obama came to power because the American people were suffering from a bad case of charismaphilia,” said Milt Rosenberg, a social psychologist who hosts a radio show in Chicago. “But after a year of profligate spending and programmes, the public really didn’t want, like healthcare, the bloom is off the rose.”

Charismaphilia is out? That must mean that “charismaphobia” is in! Hey, maybe that gives me a shot!

MORE: “What the Obama Administration needs to learn is that everyone has an alarm clock, even if they are set for different times… “

STILL MORE: Chicago reader Fred Butzen writes:

Living in Obamaville as I do, it was quite common up through last autumn to see people wearing Obama T-shirts and campaign buttons – just as people in other parts of the country wear crosses or crucifixes. But now the buttons have largely disappeared, and the tattered Obama bumper stickers aren’t being replaced. And I’ve heard hard-core Democrats complaining that Obama is pulling the entire party down. Remember, Chicago’s unofficial motto is, “Don’t make no waves, don’t back no losers,” and Obama has “loser” written all over him.

With red ink.

FINALLY: Questioning Surber’s analysis.

January 31, 2010

POPULAR MECHANICS: Rebel Engineers Sit With NASA to Chart Future of Manned Space.

January 31, 2010

WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Evolving Robots Learn To Prey On Each Other.

January 31, 2010

IN THE MAIL: From Eric Flint and Dave Freer: The Sorceress of Karres.

January 31, 2010

FROM ANDREW MARCUS, AN INTERVIEW WITH LECH WALESA, who warns that America is slipping into socialism.

January 31, 2010

FROM STEPHEN GREEN: The Week In Blogs.

January 31, 2010

MY WASHINGTON EXAMINER COLUMN IS UP: More impact is what’s next for the Tea Party movement. (Bumped).

UPDATE: “Do you hear me now?” Plus, further thoughts from Dan Riehl. “A combination of influences appear to be giving rise to an age in American politics in which the American people can finally be heard – and heard without the filter of the mainstream media.”

January 31, 2010

ROBERT GIBBS OPENS HIS MOUTH AND REMOVES ALL DOUBT: Gibbs: Accused 9/11 plotter likely to be executed. “Accused Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is likely to be executed after being tried and convicted, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Sunday.” This statement, from an official White House spokesman, seems a bit indiscreet. Certainly if the goal is to impress the rest of the world with the fairness of our civilian judicial system, official statements that treat conviction and execution as near-certain would seem to undercut the whole point of the exercise.

UPDATE: Power Line: The Holder Hangover — And Whence It Comes.

January 31, 2010

THE HILL: Dick Armey to House Republicans: Win Back The Tea Partiers To Win In November.

January 31, 2010

PATRICK MCILHERAN: Feingold In Play? That’s The Sound Of Terrain Shifting.

January 31, 2010

ANOTHER FUN PHOTO FROM THE WHITE HOUSE FLICKRSTREAM. I like the expression on Geithner’s face.

Here’s a closeup. Althouse is channeling Titanic here, but I disagree. To me, it looks more like something from The Godfather.

geithner013110

January 31, 2010

MICHAEL S. MALONE: Tablet Dreams. “Apple’s introduction Wednesday of its new iPad — the jokes have already begun about the name and feminine hygiene — was just the latest in what has been one of the most enduring obsessions in high tech history. I’m not sure exactly why tablets are so appealing. Perhaps it’s because they harken back to the natural human tendency to write and draw on the nearest flat wall or stone or scrap of wood. Or maybe it’s a kind of cultural memory from the days of cuneiform writing on slabs of drying mud, or marking with chalk on a piece of slate in a one room schoolhouse. Whatever the reason, the dream of a smart, interactive tablet is almost as old as electronics itself.”

January 31, 2010

THE HILL: Dorgan: President should have focused on jobs, not healthcare, last year. “Dorgan’s admission Friday that Democrats erred by focusing almost exclusively on healthcare reform in 2009 is sure not to sit well with the party’s leaders.”

Related: Rasmussen: Mass. Senate Race Fallout Continues.

January 31, 2010

ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL: Tea Partiers aim to remake local GOP. “They are doing it here by the hundreds by filing as candidates in the May 4 primary election for the office of precinct executive, the lowest rung of the political party structure. . . . It is a strategy that has worked elsewhere – Tea Party activists essentially took over the Nevada Republican Party earlier this month; and, in Florida, they were successful in forcing out a state party chairman who was seen as too centrist.” Ignore the bias — “too centrist” — and note the lesson. It’s often pretty easy to take over your local party apparatus with just a few hundred well-organized supporters, especially if that apparatus is hidebound and complacent. Heck, you might manage to take over both of ‘em. . . .

January 31, 2010

INDEED: Grassroots Vs. Establishment Battles Shape GOP Primaries.

January 31, 2010

RETRACTO, THE CORRECTION ALPACA serves notice on The Hill.

January 31, 2010

YESTERDAY I POSTED ON EDUCATION SECRETARY ARNE DUNCAN’S STATEMENT that Katrina was good for New Orleans education. Reader Wyman Duggan writes:

I’m a huge fan of yours, and no fan of the Obama Administration. But Arne Duncan Is right on the money with respect to the revolution that is occurring in New Orleans public education post-Katrina. I submit that it is highly desirable from a libertarian perspective.

And another reader who requests anonymity writes:

Though I almost never disagree with you, I have to agree with Arne Duncan that the hurricane was the best thing that could happen to New Orleans public schools.

The system was so atrocious before the storm that you actually had the valedictorian of a high school here who couldn’t pass the state exit exam. The public school system was as dysfunctional as you could find in the Western world – violence, corruption, and not much education.

The system is now improving and has the highest percentage (60%) of charter schools out of any school system in the nation.

School scores are improving and there is now hope (oh, how that word has been forever tainted by the Obama) that things can change (another word that was sullied) for the better.

It really did take a nearly-destroyed city to mostly remove the stranglehold that the teachers unions had on the local system. Sometimes good things do come out of disaster!

This is reminiscent of what Mancur Olson says in The Rise and Decline of Nations about the power of wars and catastrophes to promote growth by breaking the power of the “web of special interests” that inevitably arises in democracies. Which makes Duncan’s statement a true “Kinsleyan gaffe,” where a politician accidentally tells the truth . . . .

UPDATE: Chris Kobus emails:

If our educational system has been so corrupted that it can’t be fixed without a natural disaster to literally blow it out of the water, then we are in big trouble. Disorder cannot be destroyed (2nd law of thermodynamics), but order can be created by removing the disorder somewhere else. Problem is, that takes a lot of focused effort. Far more than the political class is willing to put in these days.

I would like to see each school compete on its own. No school districts and no monopoly. Monopoly power always seems to lead to corruption that trickles right down to the politicians and back again in a vicious cycle.

Yes. The presence of public schools of varying quality with geographically defined districts also distorts the housing market in ways that are underappreciated.

January 30, 2010

AT AMAZON, a bunch of warehouse deals.

January 30, 2010

THE PROBLEMS WITH food globalization. I’m willing to trade a certain amount of efficiency for robustness, though not so much for ideology.

January 30, 2010

A CRISIS AVERTED in Iraq?

January 30, 2010

MORE THOUGHTS ON THOSE “Gay” Pashtuns.

January 30, 2010

HERE’S MORE ON THAT Amazon vs. MacMillan Kindle-book Price Dispute. “Macmillan CEO John Sargent said he was told Friday that its books would be removed from Amazon.com, as would e-books for Amazon’s Kindle e-reader. Books will be available on Amazon.com through private sellers and other third parties, Sargent said. . . . Macmillan and other publishers have criticized Amazon for charging just $9.99 for best-selling e-books on its Kindle e-reader, a price publishers say is too low and could hurt hardcover sales.” So is Amazon being a bully here, or standing up for consumers?

UPDATE: Reader (and author) C.J. Burch emails: “No sympathy for publishers from me.” Well, many authors view publishers this way, but on the other hand, royalties are computed based on price, so . . . .

On the other hand, many authors feel that the publishers kinda fail to pass along as much as they should.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Eric Klien writes: “Amazon is being a Walmart-type bully and trying to get the best possible deals for its customers.”

MORE: A reader emails: “I only read Kindle books now. However, I refuse to pay more than $9.99/book. Despite the publisher’s ‘listed price’ of $24, bestsellers on Amazon typically cost $13-15. I’ve seen Kindle versions cost more than the hardcover yet there is no material costs and the delivery model should cost less. Is the publisher even paying the delivery costs for e-books? Is anyone paying the listed price for a book these days?”

I’ve heard that Amazon doesn’t really make any money on Kindle books. If that’s so, then the publishers should be making out like bandits at these prices, but I confess the whole model isn’t clear to me. Or to others, it seems.

January 30, 2010

THE HILL: Rep. Hensarling fires back at Obama in the rumble over deficits.

January 30, 2010

SPAM/VIRUS ALERT: I’m suddenly getting email from people I know with no subject and a bare link to an iffy-looking url. I’m guessing that this is some new virus or spam tactic. I advise caution if you receive such.

January 30, 2010

A BLOG REPORT FROM TODAY’S Chicago Tea Party Rally for Adam Andrezejewski.

UPDATE: Related: Formerly Obama-friendly Republican changes tune: “What I pointed out a couple of years ago was that when the president served in Springfield, he had a record of bipartisanship and I wonder where that bipartisanship is in Washington today.”

January 30, 2010

CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: New Yorkers Are Wussies?

January 30, 2010

KATIE GRANJU IS underwhelmed by the Apple iPad.

January 30, 2010

ANDREW KLAVAN: Fantasy vs. Reality: Can You Spot The Difference?

Klavan013010

January 30, 2010

POLITICO: Report: Nearly 100 misconduct allegations in 2009. “Nearly 100 allegations of senatorial misconduct were made in 2009, and 13 preliminary investigations over potential breaches of Senate ethics rules were launched, according to a report issued Friday by the Senate Select Committee on Ethics.” Roughly one per Senator.

January 30, 2010

RUSH LIMBAUGH CUTS LOOSE. I caught a bit of Limbaugh asking the Miss America interview questions to Clinton Kelly last night. It was a surreal moment.

January 30, 2010

SARAH HOYT: Let’s Talk About Political Correctness. “Political correctness deliberately – IMHO – conflates race and culture so you can’t point at cultures as dysfunctional and so that anyone criticizing a foreign culture can be called racist. This is nonsense.”

January 30, 2010

MORE FROM ANN ALTHOUSE ON President Obama at the GOP Retreat. “It’s way too late to talk about some kind of ‘absolutely essential’ process that the Democrats never even considered following back when they thought they had an invincible supermajority. Republican support is a necessity now, but not because of some dialectical ideal of policymaking proceeding by debate. You need the votes now, and you didn’t then. The people reacted and are continuing to react to what the Democrats did with their supermajority. The objection isn’t to discord and obstruction. The objection is to the rule of a single party rule that has seen fit to ram through policies people don’t want.”

January 30, 2010

I’M NOT SURPRISED: Laws banning cellphone use while driving have no effect: study. “As state legislators across the United States enact laws that ban phoning and texting while driving, a new study is showing no reductions in crashes after hand-held phone bans take effect. Comparing insurance claims for crash damage in 4 US jurisdictions before and after such bans, The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) researchers find claim rates are comparable with nearby jurisdictions without such bans. ‘The laws aren’t reducing crashes, even though we know that such laws have reduced hand-held phone use, and several studies have established that phoning while driving increases crash risk,’ says Adrian Lund, president of HLDI.”

January 30, 2010

SO MUCH FOR THAT FIERCE MORAL URGENCY OF CHANGE BUSINESS: Guantanamo eyed for 9/11 trial.

January 30, 2010

MY COLLEGE FRIEND MARTHA BOGGS BOUGHT OUT THE BISTRO AT THE BIJOU, and here’s a report on the new place. I plan to check it out next week.

January 30, 2010

CAR LUST: Remembering the Rambler/AMC Marlin.

January 30, 2010

WELL, THAT’S WHY HE GETS THE BIG BUCKS: Nick Gillespie Makes Libertarianism Look Pretty Good.

January 30, 2010

BYRON YORK: A Setback For the Drive To Punish Bush-Era “War Criminals.”

One cherished goal of legal activists on the left is to punish the “war criminals” who helped shape terrorist interrogation policies during the Bush administration. Some of those activists now work in the Obama Justice Department and have been hoping the Department would find two Bush-era lawyers in particular, John Yoo and Jay Bybee, guilty of professional misconduct — a move that would likely result in both men facing disbarment proceedings.

The activists are sure to be disappointed in a new report by Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, who say a still-unreleased report from the Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility “clears the Bush administration lawyers who authored the ‘torture’ memos of professional-misconduct allegations.”

The Newsweek story is here. Meanwhile, I wonder what vulnerabilities Obama Administration lawyers face over TARP and bailout-related actions, and whether that had anything to do with the treatment of this issue. . . .

January 30, 2010

IT’S MISERABLY COLD, SINGLE-DIGIT WEATHER IN MICHIGAN, but they had a Tea Party rally anyway. Here’s a report.

January 30, 2010

PRIORITY-SETTING: Justice Dept.: Obama administration may take action on BCS. “The Obama administration is considering several steps that would review the legality of the controversial Bowl Championship Series, the Justice Department said in a letter Friday to a senator who had asked for an antitrust review.”

Reader John Lucas writes:

Here are two (related) questions some reporter should ask Robert Gibbs at the next press briefing: “Is there any aspect of our lives that the President will say is off-limits to federal regulation? Is there anything that he will unequivocally promise not to try to control?”

If they try to control how much sugar I drink in sodas and how college football is played, I can’t think of anything they would not try to control.

And, Orrin Hatch is equally to blame. His role lends credence to the idea that the “old guard” Republicans are equally unprincipled.

Indeed.

January 30, 2010

WELL, THAT’S PRETTY MUCH HOW THEY’RE RUNNING THE COUNTRY, TOO: Reid raises $2M, spends it all. “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) raised an impressive $2 million in the fourth fundraising quarter, but spent $2.1 million — even more money than he brought in — much of it on campaign advertisements designed to improve his profile.” And yet his popularity has plummeted. I’ll bet he’ll find the next $2M a bit harder to come by.

January 30, 2010

A CUNNING PLAN: Talking Down To The Public Will Surely Work.

January 30, 2010

DOPPELGANGER? I don’t even know ‘er!

January 30, 2010

REX MURPHY: So, Whatever Happened to Copenhagen?

January 30, 2010

REALCLEARPOLITICS: Obama’s Stunning Admission.

UPDATE: PETER SUDERMAN: Nevermind All Those Opposition Solutions; Obama’s Opposition Has No Solutions!

The second point, though, is that it’s more than a little irritating to see Obama speak so well of Ryan’s plan and say that it’s the sort of thing that deserves “serious discussion.” Problem is, throughout the health care debate, Obama didn’t want to have that discussion. He didn’t want to talk about any plans to significantly reduce entitlement spending, or severing the links between insurance and employment.

Indeed, not only did he make almost no effort to incorporate opposition ideas into his legislation, he wasn’t willing to recognize the existence of legitimate opposing ideas at all. Instead, he chose to caricature his opponents as having “no solutions.” That’s not true now. It wasn’t true then. But Obama’s approach to most policy and political debates has been to reiterate the notion that his way was not simply the best way, but the only way—or at least the only legitimate, acceptable, reasonable way. His conversation today with Rep. Ryan, I think, is a tacit admission that that’s just not the case.

Indeed.

January 30, 2010

APPLE’S iPAD AND The Flash Clash. “This latest iPad beef isn’t about the device’s frequently mocked name or any surrounding trademark concerns; rather, it’s about the iPad’s apparent lack of Flash support. Product demos and statements from Adobe suggest the device is not Flash-friendly — but Apple’s promotional materials paint a very different picture.”

January 30, 2010

ON THE OCCASION OF J.D. SALINGER’S PASSING: Holden Caulfield In Middle Age.

January 30, 2010

IN THE MAIL: From Mark Teppo, Lightbreaker.

January 30, 2010

BOSTON GLOBE: What’s the story behind the brown coat? Reader Matt Edens writes: “I take it Beth Teitell wasn’t a Firefly fan.”

January 30, 2010

RETRACTO, THE CORRECTION ALPACA is still on Arianna Huffington’s case.

UPDATE: You can see all of Retracto’s work — a fairly impressive body already — right here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Wayne Wren writes: “I have admired Breibart but until now had not recognized his brilliance. He turned what could have been an embarrassing, guilt by association moment into another successful attack on the creditability of the MSM, putting it on the defensive and shooting the legs out of the story.” Yep. You can seldom go wrong by taking advantage of their sloppiness, bias, and excessive self-regard.

January 30, 2010

CLIMATEGATE COVERUP? London Times: Climate chief was told of false glacier claims before Copenhagen. “Rajendra Pachauri was told that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment that the glaciers would disappear by 2035 was wrong, but he waited two months to correct it. He failed to act despite learning that the claim had been refuted by several leading glaciologists. The IPCC’s report underpinned the proposals at Copenhagen for drastic cuts in global emissions. . . . Dr Pacharui has also been accused of using the error to win grants worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.”

The Times coverage of this has been terrific, which is more than you can say for pretty much any mainstream American media outlet, most of which are still trying to pretend there’s no story here. It’s — again — a complete abnegation of journalistic responsibility.

January 30, 2010

UH OH: Climategate: NOAA and NASA Complicit in Data Manipulation.

January 30, 2010

TALKINGPOINTSMEMO: Sen. Webb Challenges Obama On Key Initiatives At Critical Juncture For Democrats. “As I reported two years ago, Webb’s friends told me privately on the campaign trail in fall 2006 that he had expressed interest in the presidency.” Hmm. Primary challenge?

January 30, 2010

RASMUSSEN: Deficit of Trust: Most Voters Don’t Believe President’s Assertions About Economy.

January 30, 2010

ACCOUNTABILITY: Obama’s 2011 budget will include phantom cap-and-trade revenue.

January 30, 2010

BLUDGEONING MARC AMBINDER: “There’s a lot of enthusiasm about Obama’s appearance at the GOP retreat — enthusiasm among Obama supporters.”

January 30, 2010

STUPID REDSTATE BIGOTS! Oh, wait: Hawaii Kills Same-Sex Unions. “Hawaii lawmakers declined to vote Friday on a bill that would have allowed same-sex civil unions, effectively killing the measure. The state House of Representatives decided to indefinitely postpone a decision on whether to grant gay and lesbian couples the same rights and benefits the state provides to married couples.”

UPDATE: A reader emails: “You might want to note that Hawaii is a one-party state; the state house of reps is 45-6 Democrat-Republican and the state senate is 23-2. Yes, your family has more members eating together at a breakfast than the Hawaii senate minority.”

I’m somewhat surprised to see that neither Andrew Sullivan nor his “underbloggers” have mentioned this yet.

January 30, 2010

DANIEL INDIVIGLIO: The Significance Of Apple Sticking With AT&T For The iPad. “While it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that we could still get an announcement later this year that Apple is opening up its next generation iPhone to other service providers, I don’t see that as terribly likely given that the company has stuck with AT&T for the iPad.”

January 30, 2010

SUCCULENT CONTAINER GARDENS. At the moment, with snow and ice on the ground, only the indoor variety look viable. But that’ll change soon!

January 30, 2010

MEDIEVAL REPRESSION IN VENEZUELA, exposed via Twitter.

Plus, There is no brutal repression going on here… please move along. Warning: Graphic photos of injuries from non-repression.

January 30, 2010

COUNTERINSURGENCY HAS ITS DIFFICULTIES: “As if U.S. troops and diplomats didn’t have enough to worry about in trying to understand Afghan culture, a new report suggests an entire region in the country is coping with a sexual identity crisis. An unclassified study from a military research unit in southern Afghanistan details how homosexual behavior is unusually common among men in the large ethnic group known as Pashtuns — though they seem to be in complete denial about it.”

January 30, 2010

DID THE GHOST OF ISAAC ASIMOV write the SOTU?

I’ll note that both Newt Gingrich and Osama bin Laden are supposed to be Foundation fans, for whatever that’s worth . . . .

January 30, 2010

JEFFREY GOLDBERG: “Multistakeholders” and Other Davos Orwellianisms.

January 30, 2010

MORE REPORTING FROM Team Rubicon in Haiti.

January 30, 2010

GAFFE OF THE WEEK YEAR: Education Secretary Arne Duncan: Katrina Was The “Best Thing” for New Orleans School System.

January 30, 2010

JOHN FUND: Scott Brown: ‘People Aren’t Stupid’ — ‘And leaders should figure out they’re better informed now than ever.’

You know, somebody should write a book about that principle.

January 30, 2010

SOTU-PHOTO-INTERPRETATION.

January 30, 2010

TOBY BUCKELL: Is Amazon refusing to sell Kindle versions of Macmillan books as a strong arm tactic?

January 30, 2010

MEGAN MCARDLE: “Apparently, the administration has issued rules requiring parity for mental health treatment with other illnesses. They’ll take effect July 1st. If you want to know why health insurance costs keep marching upward seemingly uncontrolled, this is why: mandating new benefits is always popular, and the government doesn’t have to pay for them. I am very sympathetic to the plight of the mentally ill. Unfortunately, most of the people who will tap the benefits are not severely ill people who need intensive care; they’re people who are unhappy. Unhappiness is not a condition for which psychotherapy, or antidepressants, have been shown to be very effective.”

January 30, 2010

MORE ON Lech Walesa at the Chicago Tea Party Rally.

UPDATE: More here.

January 29, 2010

MARC THIESSEN: Pelosi stopped one CIA operation. So why not waterboarding? Because she was for it before she was against it.

January 29, 2010

SUSANNAH BRESLIN on “heightism” in dating.

January 29, 2010

AT AMAZON, it’s the Friday Sale.

January 29, 2010

REPORT AND VIDEO: Lech Walesa At The Chicago Tea Party.

January 29, 2010

“JODY SAID IT’S MINE BUT YOU CAN HAVE IT FOR SEVENTEEN MILLION:” Ownership battle brews over Virginia meteorite.

January 29, 2010

CHANGE: China mulls setting up military base in Pakistan.

January 29, 2010

BRIAN FAUGHNAN REPORTS from the House GOP retreat.