May 23, 2010
MARKDOWNS ON Swiss Army Knives And Tools.
MARKDOWNS ON Swiss Army Knives And Tools.
GOOD GRIEF: So Dennis Blair is out as director of national intelligence, which is fine, but now President Obama says he has “more confidence” in John Brennan? This is the man who wants to go looking for moderates in Hezbollah, who do not exist, and promote them within the organization, which he could not do even if they were real. We can’t monkey with Hezbollah’s org chart any more than we can Al Qaeda’s or the Iranian government’s.
I’d have a little more faith in the Obama Administration’s foreign policy officials if they demonstrated more consistent knowledge of Middle East 101.
WALTER DURANTY COULD NOT BE REACHED FOR COMMENT: “The Pulitzer Board’s Mysterious Aversion To Rupert Murdoch And the Wall Street Journal.”
WONDERFUL. WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Hugo Chavez vows to continue financial crackdown in Venezuela.
TIMELESS ADVICE, DISPENSED BY MEN WITH VERY WIDE TIES: A time capsule 1970 edition of the David Susskind Show, with Mel Brooks, David Steinberg, and George Segal on “How to be a Jewish Son:”
POLITICS’ SAD LEXICON: Bill Kristol On “Marx, Keynes, Pelosi;” it’s sort of like Tinkers to Evers to Chance, except all the plays only bounce around the left side of the infield.
DON’T TRUST A CONGRESSMAN OVER THE AGE OF 50. Of course, the first four words of that sentence work also pretty well all by themselves.
US CIVILIAN TARGET NO. 1: “AQ Imam Anwar al-Awlaki calls for the killing of U.S. civilians. He is ID’d in the AP headline as a Yemeni cleric, but in fact he is a US citizen. So I say, good, if anyone’s going to kill U.S. civilians, let’s start with him. Because petard hoistmanship is fun!”
HELL ON THE MEDITERRANEAN: “An iron curtain of a strict theocracy is slowly descending on Gaza, but many human rights proponents still prefer to depict it as the embattled bastion of freedom fighters.”
NEWS FROM THE DIGITAL DISTAFF DEPARTMENT: “The 15 Hottest Conservative Women In The New Media.”
LIFE IMITATES ART? At Barcepundit, Jose Guardia writes:
MY LAW STUDIES are a bit rusty, but I’d say he’s got a strong case:
Author/filmmaker, J. Neil Schulman, today announced his intention to file a lawsuit for copyright infringement of his 1979 novel, Alongside Night, which tells the story of the collapse of the American economy due to massive government overspending and the issuing of unbacked money and credit to pay the interest on the national debt.
He plans to sue for plagiarism both the executive and legislative branches of the US government, the courts, plus the Federal Reserve Bank, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, and General Motors. Oh, and Greece.
“Just look at TV news or read a newspaper,” Schulman said. “Plot point after plot point is identical. In my 1979 novel I have General Motors go bankrupt — General Motors then files for bankruptcy. I have Europe issue a common currency in my novel called the ‘eurofranc’ — the European Union then goes and issues the ‘euro.’ In my novel I have a European Chancellor, based in France, accuse the U.S. President of having the monetary policies of a banana republic — then the President of the European Union — also based in France — slams U.S. plans to spend its way out of recession as ‘a road to hell’ and says President Barack Obama’s massive stimulus package and banking bailout ‘will undermine the liquidity of the global financial market.’ The copycat nature of all these plot points and dialogue” — says Schulman — “could not be more obvious!”
You can download the novel here if you’re fast (he’s giving away 100,000 copies, and so far 87,000 have been taken).
Meanwhile, this New York Times headline could easily be paraphrased as “Europe Bankrupt; Liberals, Progressives Hardest Hit.”
DARIUSZ TOLCZYK AT THE NEW CRITERION on Russia’s persistent unwillingness to fully face up to the mass murder of tens of thousands of Polish military officers and intellectuals in the Katyn forest by Stalin’s NKVD in 1940.
THE ALLURE OF A LIFE TRANSFORMED: “Few sentiments are at once as honest and as absurd as the one that moves us to declare: ‘Life would be perfect if I lived in that house.’”
PRICES RANGE FROM $21.50 to $360: “Hear the Dalai Lama Speak About Why He’s Marxist and Not Capitalist; Tickets on Sale Now!”
TWEET OF THE DAY: “Mr. Gibbs, Obama is the top recipient of British Petrolium PAC & individual money over the past 20 years. Dispute these facts.”
LOOK WHO’S COMING TO THE TEA PARTY: Andrew Cuomo ditches his old man’s rhetoric and legacy, and attempts to impersonate Chris Christie in his bid to become Empire State emperor.
No word yet on when Frank Rich, Maureen Dowd, Charles Blow, Roger Ebert, Janeane Garofalo and Joan Walsh will declare him a racist, though.
UPDATE: The Blog Prof has a reminder of Cuomo’s past that he’d like to keep buried in the Memory Hole: “Will the paper of record remember? Will New Yorkers?”
YES VIRGINIA, THERE IS A CULTURE WAR.
ONTARIO BANS DAN AYKROYD’S SKULL-SHAPED VODKA:
The clear-glass skull gazes out from the liquor shelves with a decidedly un-cadaverous smile. Save for the inch-long spout and knobby cork that protrude from its pate, Crystal Head Vodka’s distinctive bottle shape looks remarkably life-like, a curiosity you’d expect to see in a droll chiropractor’s office.
Or maybe that should be remarkably death-like, because that’s the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s interpretation. And human remains do not convey the most tactful marketing message when your goal is to be a virtuous vendor of beverage alcohol.
Evidently, only the state is allowed to associate vice with death-related imagery.
Meanwhile, south of the 49th parallel, “What was it the hippies said? Never trust anybody over 30? Advice to DC women: Never trust anybody over 30 who expects the government to buy his condoms.”
BEWARE OF BORDERS: Three American hikers arrested last summer for crossing into Iran from Iraq are now being called spies by the Iranian government. They aren’t, of course. Our intelligence agencies are too sophisticated to send people in country that way, but Tehran finds them useful and is now proposing a prisoner swap.
Years ago I walked right up to the Iranian border from the Iraqi side with a colleague, and we retreated the instant we sensed we were within grabbing distance of Iranian border guards. In hindsight, getting even that close may have been a little too daring.
JOB CREATION, OR THE LACK THEREOF: Lying with Statistics Again.
PARTISAN SENATE NOMINEE FLAILS ON MEET THE PRESS: Rand Paul? No, the other partisan Senate nominee, Hugh Hewitt writes:
Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nominee Joe Sestak turned in a horrible, halting and dissembling performance on this morning’s Meet The Press, even though host David Gregory let him get away with a simple acknowledgment of a job offer from the Obama Administration to get out of the primary he won against Arlen Specter and a stonewall on the details of who offered what to the Congressman. There is a very good argument that the offer is itself a crime, and it is hard to imagine Gregory and the MSM refusing to force answers out of a GOP nominee for senate in 2008, 2006, 2004 or 2002 who had been offered such a deal by President Bush or Karl Rove.
Sestak’s hard left record and agenda will dominate much of the commentary around the November race against Pat Toomy, but the MSM’s lay down on this story is an amazing example of the double standard that dominates Beltway media when it comes to covering the Obama Administration.
Once the dust settled on the 2008 race, these sorts of double-standards ceased to be amazing, and become the accepted coin of the realm in MSM land, sad to say.
UPDATE: More at Hot Air.
IT’S A BIT LATE FOR THAT: “Obama Tries to Inoculate the U.S. Against Contagion from Euroland.”
Euroland inculcated at least half of America quite some time ago.
I SURE HOPE HE’S WRONG: Christopher Booker says of the Euro crisis, “We have still scarcely begun to wake up to the gravity of the crisis now upon us, not just for the eurozone but also for us here in Britain and for the entire global economy.”
THE ULTIMATE RUBE REMAINS SILENT: “Still Waiting For Keith Olbermann To Condemn Obama’s Assassination Program…”
NFL FILMS’ LOST TREASURES: Football junkies rejoice! Around the beginning of the year, Hulu added a whole boatload of NFL-related videos, including lots of material from NFL Films, the league’s in-house film division. NFL Films began in their early ’60s, and in the early naughts, put together a fascinating 40th anniversary retrospective called “Lost Treasures” that ran for a while on ESPN, and then disappeared. Fortunately, now they’re back, albeit online.
Boomer mythology tends to smash cut from the days of Camelot straight to Woodstock, but there’s a reason why it was called the counterculture. Something like watching a real life Mad Men episode, or flipping through James Lileks’ archives, the episodes of “Lost Treasures” give a real sense of the game in the 1960s, and the primary culture in which it existed.
Plus the innocence of seeing a very small Army of Davids (to coin a phrase) armed with 16mm cameras and reel-to-reel tape recorders makes for quite a contrast with the sprawling operation of its modern-day equivalent, whose Mt. Laurel, NJ facilities I toured a few years ago, after interviewing their principals for Videomaker and TCS Daily.
“SO THE RED WIRE GOES TO THE BOTTOM SCREW? YOU’RE SURE?” Pakistani Army major “had cellphone contact with Faisal Shahzad just before the bombing attempt” according to the LA Times.
ALAN DERSHOWITZ: We are not done with Goldstone.
JOBPOCALYPSE NOW: “This week, the Senate is expected to extend jobless benefits to more than 5 million Americans through the end of the year. It is the sixth time in nearly two years that they’ve expanded or extended unemployment benefits — putting off, again, a day of reckoning our political leaders seem unwilling to face. With the national unemployment rate at 9.9% — and 9.8% here in New York City — officials are afraid of what will happen to our cities, our welfare rolls and our struggling economy if these long-term unemployed are no longer given government assistance.”
RELATED: Not Evil, Just Stupid.
ELENA KAGAN SITS “with her legs ajar.” Why point that out? We’re grasping at any clues about the nominee’s activism or restraint.
Markdowns on car electronics for Dad.
IN THE MAIL: A new and updated edition of John Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime.
IS OPEN SOURCE BIOLOGY the solution to bioterrorism? In the Economist’s world, white-hat biologists quickly cure any disease the bad guys dream up. I can see why biologists like that solution; it means more funding for them. But haven’t we already tried outcompeting the black hats in the world of computer malware? How’s that working out?
Libertas, which was originally launched in 2005, went dark in 2008 while promising a rethink and a reboot. In the meantime, it lost its most resonant voice — that of writer John Nolte when Big Hollywood launched and tapped him as its editor. Libertas’s founders and editors, Govindini Murty and Jason Apuzzo, are still running it, but when it relaunched May 19 they promised “a different emphasis from” the original Libertas. They say the former site “spent most of its time critiquing the ideological content of Hollywood entertainment — much of which is still inimical to freedom.”
The new site promises to:
“[Promote] films that celebrate freedom, democracy, and the dignity of the individual [by featuring] short films, webisodes, movie clips and trailers, podcasts, as well as news and reviews of pro-freedom films that are currently in theaters or are available on DVD. … Libertas’ goal is to show our readers movies they can enjoy — not just to warn them about movies to avoid.
This last sentence seems to imply that competitor sites are joyless and negative — but if the web has proved one thing in the last ten years, it’s that loathing can be entertainment. How many sites — cultural, political, economic, whatever — are devoted partly or mainly to appalling the reader? High dudgeon is a valuable commodity. I enjoy a little outrage with my morning coffee. If you’re on this site, maybe you do too.
Based on that last paragraph by Boot, it sounds like Libertas may be returning to life with something of the same pugilistic tone with which they started. Say what you will, it’s likely not to be dull.
WELL, HERE’S A REASSURING HEADLINE: “Dow Theorist Richard Russell: Sell Everything, You Won’t Recognize America By The End Of The Year”
(H/T: Maggie’s Farm, which adds, appropriately enough, “Yikes.”)
DJOU HEAR ABOUT THIS? Via Matt Drudge:
As the San Francisco Chronicle notes though, “Djou will have to run again for a full, two-year term in November’s midterm elections:”
Maryland Representative Chris Van Hollen, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, on May 20 predicted his party would probably lose the special election because of a vote split between Case, 57, a former House member, and Hanabusa, 59, president of the Hawaii state Senate. Neither would agree to yield to the other as the campaign progressed and Djou, a member of the Honolulu City Council, took a lead in polls.
Faced with the Case-Hanabusa standoff, Van Hollen’s committee earlier this month ended television commercials it was financing that sought to keep the seat Democratic.
The DCCC spent more than $300,000 trying to prevent a Republican win before terminating the ad campaign, according to Federal Election Commission.
Democrats hope to regroup and regain the seat in November, Van Hollen said in his comments on May 20.
“We’re looking at November in Hawaii,” Van Hollen told reporters in Washington. He said he could “confidently predict” that the district’s Democratic candidate “in November will get a majority of the vote.”
Well of course he would say that. For a look back at some of the the other elections earlier this week, check out the latest edition of PJM Political, online here.
IT’S A HAZARD OF THE PROFESSION: Al Qaeda big shot in Yemen blows himself up while tinkering with a bomb.
THE JOYS OF grilled duck breast.
LAW SCHOOL: THE POSTRADICAL GENERATION.
MISS ME YET? Old-school style.
A QUERY WITH A UNIVERSAL APPLICATION: “What The Hell Was He Doing On MSNBC?”
GORDON CHANG on Obama, the sinking of the Cheonan, and the failure of nuclear deterrence.
MARKDOWNS ON magazine subscriptions.
EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN: The rest of Europe began the 20th century unsure of how to handle its powerful German-speaking center. It’s starting the second decade of the 21st century with much the same unease, as Victor Davis Hanson writes from Munich.
(Related thoughts from Theodore Dalrymple here.)
UPDATE: “The euro has many flaws, but its weakest link is Greece, whose fundamental problem is that for years it spent too much, earned too little and plugged the gap by borrowing in order to enjoy a rich man’s lifestyle. It flouted EU rules on the limits to budget deficits; its national accounts were a moussaka of minced statistics, topped with a cheesy sauce of jiggery-pokery.”
MORE: Hitler posters in 21st century Italy? Hey, everything old in Europe really is new again.
RICHARD ARMITAGE: Who’s he?
A VERY DISTURBING, JOB-KILLING TREND: Courtesy of the EPA, which has long specialized in causing such trends.
FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON: If you missed it on Sirius-XM’s POTUS channel today, the latest edition of PJ Media’s PJM Political podcast is now online, featuring Steve Green, Jennifer Rubin, James Lileks, Steve Poizner, former Apollo astronaut Harrison Schmitt, and some guy named Ed. Tune in here to listen.
MICHAEL YON is still in Thailand and posting updates on his Facebook page. Things seem to have quieted down, at least for now. He has a few words of warning, though, about war tourism. “During the recent troubles some tourists came to the danger zone to see the action. This is incredibly dangerous. I read that a total of 85 people were killed and about 1,900 injured. If you’ve never been in combat you’ll probably have a very bad surprise if it kicks off. It’s not fun and it’s not a thrill ride and you literally can get your guts shot out.”
In the past, Professor Reynolds has mentioned his support for ending qualified immunity, the special protection from liability afforded to government employees. I agree with him. If anything, public employees should be held to a higher standard than the rest of us.
The story of Michelle Ortiz is an unfortunate example of qualified immunity in action. Ortiz was molested by a prison guard while serving a one-year sentence at a correctional facility in Ohio. When she reported the assault, prison officials did nothing. Later the same evening, the same guard raped her. When Ortiz reported the rape, prison officials ordered her to solitary confinement, and did nothing to punish the guard. A jury awarded Ortiz $625,000. But a panel for the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the verdict, finding that as state employees, the prison officials were protected by qualified immunity.
The Supreme Court will hear the case in the fall. The argument for qualified immunity is that we don’t want state employees hampered by fear of lawsuits when they’re making important decisions–be they policy decisions, or in the case of law enforcement, split-second decisions in emergency situations. The flip side of that, and what I find to be the more compelling argument, is that removing the possibility of liability (or at least making it very difficult for victims to win a lawsuit) is going to affect those decisions too. People tend to act differently when there’s less chance that they’ll be held accountable for their actions. That’s not a knock on government employees. It’s human nature.
Prison rape is another issue Instapundit has spoken out about. The current corrections culture that accepts prison rape as an inevitable part of hard time would change pretty quickly if we were to start holding prison guards, administrators, and wardens financially accountable for their negligence in allowing these rapes to continue.
AMERICA’S NEW CULTURE WAR: Free enterprise vs. government control.
“CELEBUTARD SAYS WHAT…?” Dave Matthews’ career is built upon tractor-trailers to carry his band’s stage equipment. Plus jets, buses, limos, and vans to get to concerts. Oh and his career involves selling millions of shiny plastic discs made of petroleum byproducts, and concertgoers driving to his concerts. But Dave wants you to walk to work. Or take a bike if you’re really feeling adventurous.
And he wants to raise “awareness” of global warming. Gee Dave, Earth Day was 40 years ago. The Beatles had only just broken up the same month that it occurred. Is there anybody out there left on either side of the argument, who isn’t aware of this issue, yet?
“EVERYBODY DRAW MOHAMMED DAY” IS BACK ONLINE AT FACEBOOK: Currently at the top of the page:
This page was removed two days ago, after one of our moderators had his email and skype hacked. His personal data was revealed. He then got scared and deleted the page, the blog and the emails. The rest of us, are now back without him after he backed out. This is another scare tactic from the Islamic extremists. We won’t fall.
Pictures you were unable to post on the 20th? Check the forums for interviews.
More details at Newsbusters. Meanwhile, in reporting on Pakistan’s apparently still ongoing ban on Facebook, AP quotes from the Seattle cartoonist who originally gave the day its name, who sounds like the real-life equivalent of Iowahawk’s parody this week:
The Facebook page encouraged users to post images of the prophet to protest threats made by a radical Muslim group against the creators of the American TV series “South Park” for depicting Muhammad in a bear suit during an episode earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris, whose satirical cartoon calling for an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” inspired the Facebook page, said in a post on her website that she meant her work only to be a commentary on the “South Park” controversy.
“I made a cartoon about the television show South Park being censored,” she wrote. “I never started a Facebook page. I apologize to people of Muslim faith and ask that this ‘day’ be called off.”
Other sites have also been affected in the country as officials scramble to block content related to the Facebook page. Wikipedia’s English-language site and the Flickr photo-sharing site were also sporadically unavailable Friday.
It was not the first time depictions of the prophet have angered Muslims. In 2005, cartoons of Muhammad appeared in a Danish newspaper, sparking protests and riots from Muslims around the world, including in Pakistan, where the protests turned violent.
There have been several rallies against Facebook in recent days.
Others — mostly members of the more secular, educated elite — accused the government of blocking freedom of expression and hurting small businesses that use Facebook for marketing. Many questioned need for the entire Facebook and YouTube sites to be blocked, instead of individual pages.
Note that that last paragraph — the last of a 15-’graph report — can easily be deleted by those newspapers who’d rather not even whisper a little Truth to Power.
“I JUST LIKE THE FACT THAT the face slap sound effect used in the Gantry trailer is the same face slap sound effect used in the Three Stooges.” Comic relief in a serioso comments thread — warning: another self-link — about the possibility that we’re all sinners/racists.
WISCONSIN ROOF STYLE:
ADDED: Animated for a look inside.
“THE FANCIEST-FIELDING FIRST BASEMAN I’ve ever seen, man or woman.” Dorothy “Dottie” Kamenshek of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League has died, at age 84.
SHOULD ELIN NORDEGREN SETTLE with Tiger Woods for $750 million if it includes “a lifetime ‘confidentiality clause’ that would prevent her from writing a book or doing any interviews about the split”?
ADDED: I can’t get the poll to display here. You’ll have to go over to Althouse if you want to vote. The options, for your amusement, are:
Yes. That’s so much money!
Yes. We’ll all be better off if that nasty material never sees the light of day.
Yes. Elin, you will be better off looking for the future and not dwelling on the past.
No. Tiger must pay for what he did and shouldn’t get anything back in exchange.
No. You need to explore and air this all out for your own good.
No. I want to read all about it! Come on! Dish it out!
IN THE MAIL: From Martin McPhillips, Corpse in Armor.
Home and garden markdowns at Amazon.
VULNERABILITY COMES CHEAP? There’s an increasingly open market in computer vulnerabilities. Crooks buy them to construct “zero day” exploits that haven’t been seen before and that are likely to escape most malware detection systems. Security firms buy the vulnerabilities to improve their detection programs.
So what’s the price of a new vulnerability? A very limited study found that most vulnerabilities sell for $5,000 or less. Some of the posters at Slashdot are pleased that vulnerability sellers, presumed to be unscrupulous researchers and hackers, “aren’t making much money at it.” But considering the lack of trust in any such market — the buyer doesn’t know the vulnerability is any good until it’s been clearly explained, and once the seller has clearly explained it, the buyer has no incentive to pay — $5,000 doesn’t seem all that cheap.
And if it is, should we celebrate? A low price for computer vulnerabilities tells us something about the supply of vulnerabilities: Plenty more where those came from. I don’t think we open champagne when the wholesale price of cocaine hits new lows.
Five Virginia teens are facing felony pornography charges for “sexting.”
This is happening far too often. I don’t quite comprehend the logic that says in order to protect minors from the dangerous consequences of sexting, we need to ruin their lives. Quote from the prosecutor:
It’s not clear what the consequences of the felony pornography charges might be but the chances of the students being convicted on the charges are as likely “as the moon coming crashing down tomorrow,” Commonwealth Attorney Cliff Hapgood said.
So why charge them in the first place?
I don’t think anyone would argue that it’s a good thing that minors are sending one another nude photos via cell phone. But the criminal justice system is a too clumsy a tool for this problem. In a lot of these cases, the most harmful part of sexting lies in what adult authorities do to these kids when they discover it.
AT YOUR THROAT OR AT YOUR FEET: Responding to a Washington Post report that “Corporate PACs shift giving from incumbents to GOP,” John Hinderaker of Power Line writes:
In today’s world, large companies are like Europeans of an earlier era, keeping various flags in their closets that they can fly, depending on which marauding army passes through their town. They are, for reasons of self-preservation, both a sensitive and a steely-eyed barometer. It’s good to see that they don’t share the Democrats’ conviction that voters are hungry for more far-left policies.
These corporations excepted, of course.
SMART POWER: “After witnessing Washington’s weak response to North Korea’s horrific act, we have to wonder if the mullahs think nuclear terrorism is a possible option for them.”
Fortunately, Homeland Security is redoubling its efforts in the wake of such international prevarications.
THE PARANOID CENTER: If you’ve never read it, Jesse Walker’s article in Reason from last fall is a must-see. However, calling today’s left “the center,” whether compared with conservatives, libertarians, or even liberals of the New Deal era seems to be a pretty big stolen base, albeit unintentionally by Walker — perhaps it was too good a title to pass up.
“WELL PLAYED, SIR. WELL PLAYED:” Yet another reason to love Michael Caine.
ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS: Mark Steyn on “Obama’s lazy tribute to Daniel Pearl:”
Like a lot of guys who’ve been told they’re brilliant one time too often, President Obama gets a little lazy, and doesn’t always choose his words with care. And so it was that he came to say a few words about Daniel Pearl, upon signing the “Daniel Pearl Press Freedom Act.” Pearl was decapitated on video by jihadist Muslims in Karachi on Feb. 1, 2002. That’s how I’d put it. This is what the president of the United States said:
“Obviously, the loss of Daniel Pearl was one of those moments that captured the world’s imagination because it reminded us of how valuable a free press is.”
Now Obama’s off the prompter, when his silver-tongued rhetoric invariably turns to sludge. But he’s talking about a dead man here, a guy murdered in public for all the world to see. Furthermore, the deceased’s family is standing all around him. And, even for a busy president, it’s the work of moments to come up with a sentence that would be respectful, moving and true. Indeed, for Obama, it’s the work of seconds, because he has a taxpayer-funded staff sitting around all day with nothing to do but provide him with that sentence.
Instead, he delivered the one above, which in its clumsiness and insipidness is most revealing. First of all, note the passivity: “The loss of Daniel Pearl.” He wasn’t “lost.” He was kidnapped and beheaded. He was murdered on a snuff video. He was specifically targeted, seized as a trophy, a high-value scalp. And the circumstances of his “loss” merit some vigor in the prose. Yet Obama can muster none.
Even if Americans don’t get the message, the rest of the world does. This week’s pictures of the leaders of Brazil and Turkey clasping hands with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are also monuments to American passivity.
At Commentary, Jennifer Rubin notes that during Obama’s signing ceremony, Pearl’s eight-year-old son and his father, Judea were essentially “props to adorn the Oval Office:”
They were not afforded the chance to speak. But now Judea gives an interview and expresses his views on Miranda rights and the KSM trial, among other issues. The interview is worth reading in full, and it’s clear why he was a silent participant in Obama’s stage show.
SPIN-FREE OVERSEAS: In audio obtained by Naked Emperor News, Paul Volcker explains to a London audience that Obama has raised spending to 25% of GDP and there must be a massive new tax to cover it.
What could go wrong? American voters can look to California, “The Frog in the Sub-Prime Frying Pan” to find out.
MEET THE MAN WHO WANTS TO BEAT PELOSI: Tracie Savage of PJTV interviews Republican John Dennis:
ROGER SIMON: “Time for Rahm Emanuel to bar mitzvah himself.”
RUSSIA will sell an advanced missile system to Iran despite sanctions.
THE ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTRY says thirty five tons of weapons seized last year on a plane from North Korea were bound for Hezbollah.
CROCODILE, KANGAROO, ANTELOPE, AND HIPPOPOTAMUS are all at the Beijing zoo — on the restaurant menu. Incredibly, some people are outraged, the theory being the zoo is where we go to learn “to be nice to animals.”
CRAZIEST CANNES OUTFITS. Don’t miss #1.
“ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO USED TO BE OPPOSED to the idea of unlimited executive power during the Bush administration … now seem to have embraced it during this administration.” Oh! The disillusionment, as Obama wins a case about detainees.
An appreciation of the vending machine.
A CHEERY TAKE FROM MATT RIDLEY: The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves. “Life is getting better—and at an accelerating rate. Food availability, income, and life span are up; disease, child mortality, and violence are down — all across the globe. Though the world is far from perfect, necessities and luxuries alike are getting cheaper; population growth is slowing; Africa is following Asia out of poverty; the Internet, the mobile phone, and container shipping are enriching people’s lives as never before. The pessimists who dominate public discourse insist that we will soon reach a turning point and things will start to get worse. But they have been saying this for two hundred years. Prosperity comes from everybody working for everybody else. The habit of exchange and specialization—which started more than 100,000 years ago—has created a collective brain that sets human living standards on a rising trend. The mutual dependence, trust, and sharing that result are causes for hope, not despair.”
BENJAMIN KERSTEIN on liberalism and Zionism.
How about Rep. Darrell Issa, R-CA, for House Bull Dog of the Year Award? He’s threatening to file an ethics complaint against Rep. Joe Sestak if the Pennsylvania Democrat doesn’t fess up to who in the Obama White House offered him a cushy federal job earlier this year in return for dropping his run against Sen. Arlen Specter. Sestak beat Specter Tuesday and Issa is steadily turning up the heat for the name (s).
I spent most of today as one of the instructors for the Heritage Foundation’s Computer Assisted Investigative Reporting Boot Camp program at the National Press Club. It’s all about the incredible explosion of data about government programs and how easy it is to download and analyze. It’s free, too, you just have to get to D.C. for a full Friday of rather intense learning (We don’t call it a “boot camp” for nothing!). All bloggers who want to nail bad guys and bad programs should take it. The scrupulously trans-partisan instructor team also includes folks from OpenSecrets.org and the Sunlight Foundation. Schedule is on the online enrollment page.
APOLOGY TOUR III: US Apologizes to Billionaire Added to Terror No-fly List
LEE SMITH says Lebanese-American Rima Fakih, this year’s Miss America winner, isn’t necessarily a fully Westernized Muslim just because she wore a bathing suit. She may well be what her admirers say she is, but to know for certain you’d have to look into her head and her heart, not at her body or clothes. The same is true for any other beauty pageant contestant, but there’s something else, too: Some bikini-clad women in Lebanon, believe it or not, support Hezbollah, just as a small number of Middle Eastern doctors perversely become terrorists.
I have already strongly recommended Smith’s book The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations, but I want to plug it one last time because everyone who wants to understand how the Middle East works needs to read this.
ONE NATION, UNDER A GRAPH: At Maggie’s Farm, “Our culture in graphspeak.”
Over at my place, I discuss the looming problem in public pensions. Frankly, at this point it’s not so much looming, as raising a giant foot to stomp us all flat.
THE QUINTESSENTIAL THOMAS FRIEDMAN: “Let’s say you think the world needs a parody Tom Friedman column. Dutifully, then, you set out to create one.” Maryland Conservatarian runs down all the essential elements you’ll need.