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Monthly Archives: September 2002


September 30th, 2002 - 12:42 pm

What I want to know is, which Democrat was given the thankless — but vital — job of reading Torricelli the riot act, and what, exactly, did they tell him?

At this level of politics, people don’t quit of their own free will. Goldwater had to tell Nixon to resign. LBJ had to stare disaster in the face in Vietnam and New Hampshire before electing not to run for re-election. Not even the Battle of Nations was enough to deter Napoleon. He still required Waterloo and exile in St. Helena before he was really, truly done.

Big offices — big egos. They do not go quietly into that good night. So who delivered the news to the Torch, and how was it delivered?

We may never know, but my guess on who is Bill Clinton. As to how? I’m not sure I want to know. It couldn’t have been a pretty scene.

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September 30th, 2002 - 10:51 am

My bride is looking for a tea called “Wildkirsch Superior.” So far as we know, it’s only available in Germany.

And in an improbable first, none of our military friends are currently stationed there.

Anyone at Ramstein or Bad Kreuznach or somewhere want to lend a hand? We pay well.

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September 30th, 2002 - 10:26 am

Busy day — prepping the bar area and the kitchen to lay down new linoleum. Light to moderate posting, with a 30% chance of afternoon showers.

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September 27th, 2002 - 4:04 pm

David Hogberg makes the case that Iowa Senator Tom Harkin might be in more political trouble than most people think. New details. Read it.

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I’ll Take Two

September 27th, 2002 - 3:42 pm

Dave Trowbridge has a cool find, from JC Penny of all places.

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Election Day Comes Early

September 27th, 2002 - 12:53 pm

Spoons is running a new poll, and I’m winning. Or losing. Really, it depends on how you look at it.

Besides, it’s an honor just to be nominated.

No direct link — it’s over on the righthand column. Just click over already.

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Take One Down for Me

September 27th, 2002 - 12:42 pm

Reader Daryl McCullah writes:

That’s what Gore was doing. Clinton *did* take action against Al Qaeda,
and Bush *didn’t* prior to 9/11. It took 3000 deaths before Bush got
serious about Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda was a high priority for Clinton at the end of 2000. Of course
it wasn’t as high a priority as it became for Bush after 9/11. But it
was a higher priority for Clinton than it was for Bush, prior to 9/11.
It hardly makes sense to compare Clinton’s responses to Bush’s responses
after 9/11. A fairer comparison would be Clinton’s response to terrorism
to Reagan’s response to the 1986 Berlin disco bombings. In both cases,
we bombed the people we thought were responsible. In neither case did we
succeed in killing him.

Perhaps in light of 9/11, American Presidents will in the future always
respond to any act of terrorism by invading a country and overthrowing
the government.

Have at it, kids.

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September 27th, 2002 - 12:23 pm

Scalzi weighs in on the file-sharing debate, and finds that the recording industry isn’t exactly a bunch of hep cats, wired in to the stoopid fly scene where they can really dig it, frood.

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Scary Stuff, Kids

September 27th, 2002 - 12:03 pm

Alternate pre-history, from Eugene Volokh.

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September 27th, 2002 - 11:46 am

Victor Davis Hanson explains why the Iraqi army will neither fight nor rain down WMDs on us:

It is not an easy thing for a madman to pull down the world with him. Too many lackies are not willing to share a Fuhrer’s fiery G

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There He Goes Again II

September 27th, 2002 - 11:25 am

Another disgusting lie from Arab News cartoonist Kahil.

The proof that the United States isn’t overly fond of killing Arabs is that there are still Arabs. More, in fact, today than there were before this war began.

For good or evil (opinions vary), Americans are quite skilled at killing enemies. We didn’t flinch from leveling Hamburg or burning Dresden. We dropped not one, but two nukes on Japan. Two million North Vietnamese died to 58,000 Americans.

We want to like you. We want you to have all the nice things we have, such as Lexus luxury sedans, new Buffy every Tuesday night, and the chance to speak your mind without getting a hand chopped off.

But until we can help you get those things, please, please don’t push us too far.

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Army and Air Force Still Don’t Get Along

September 27th, 2002 - 10:54 am

Valuable lessons learned from the air war in Afghanistan.

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There He Goes Again

September 27th, 2002 - 10:51 am

Which of Gore’s advisors is it who still allows his boss to speak in public?

Former Vice President Al Gore yesterday made his second attack this week on President Bush’s war on terrorism, accusing the administration of ignoring signs that al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden planned to attack the United States on September 11.

“The warnings were there” before the attacks, Mr. Gore said.

Which warnings, Al?

The Khobar Towers bombing in 1996?

The African embassy bombings in 1998?

The USS Cole attack in 2000?

Where was the Clinton/Gore response? What was done? Odds are, Osama bin Laden is dead, dead. It took at least four serious attacks on American and lives before he and his wholly-owned Taliban subsidiary were dealt with.

After the first three attacks, Clinton/Gore decisively blew up an aspirin factory, shot missiles at an empty camp, and filed some very harsh briefs.

One attack — one — under a new Administration, and Osama bin Laden is either dead, or so deep in hiding as to not be a danger for a good, long time.

If Gore wants a future in politics, he has got to either shut up, or develop some actual political instincts. Between this absurd statement and Monday’s idiot speech, he is absolutely killing himself.

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Friday Funnies

September 27th, 2002 - 10:25 am

Scott Ott, better known as ScrappleFace, knows how to take the politics out of the war debate –

Cancel the election.

Funny stuff.

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Time for Bed

September 27th, 2002 - 1:26 am

From CBS News:

The Justice Department is still unclear on how it happened, but somehow as many as 48 documents that officials now say should have been classified, were inadvertently turned over to terrorist suspect Zacarias Moussaoui as part of the discovery process in his upcoming trial. According to court records released Thursday, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, who is presiding over the case, called the ‘mistake’ a grave security breach.

And you wonder why I don’t trust the Feds with an entire department devoted to homeland security?

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Punchline Contest

September 27th, 2002 - 1:11 am

This is too silly not to comment on:

Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura and hundreds more Americans arrived in Cuba on the eve of a mammoth US agricultural show with the aim of whetting communist Cuba’s appetite for more US food.

Whetting Cuba’s appetite for food is like whetting:

… a mobster’s taste for pinstripes.

… Saddam’s taste for nukes.

… Charlie Sheen’s taste for hookers.

… a Saudi prince’s taste for pricey scotch and cheap blondes.

… Rosie’s taste for Tom Cruise in a skirt.

… a blogger’s taste for links.

… this site’s taste for cheap laughs.

What’ve you got?

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Ironic or Stupid?

September 27th, 2002 - 12:57 am

Thank Whomever Israel finally pulled out of southern Lebanon last year:

Hezbollah militants in southern Lebanon have amassed thousands of surface-to-surface rockets, including missiles with the range to strike cities in northern Israel, according to senior Israeli and Western officials.

Uh. . . what was I saying?

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September 27th, 2002 - 12:48 am

How’d I miss this one yesterday? From Indian Express:

US warplanes attacked the Basra airport in southern Iraq on Wednesday night, destroying its radar system, state satellite television reported on Thursday, quoting an official spokesman.

Don’t get too excited — we’re bombing stuff damn near daily in the No-Fly Zones over northern and southern Iraq. But the story does make me wonder what gave us cause to bomb a supposedly civilian radar site.

Oh, yeah — Saddam owns all the radars.

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Blank Czech

September 27th, 2002 - 12:41 am

Madeleine Albright thinks George Bush is overly eager for war:

Madeleine Albright, the US secretary of state under Bill Clinton, on Thursday accused some members of the Bush administration of an “irrational exuberance for this conflict” with Iraq.

Speaking before the Senate committee on foreign relations, Ms Albright said: “It is not an American trait to want war.

“And it is not a sign of sound leadership to understate the risks of war or to offer constantly shifting rationales – as this administration has – for undertaking such a venture,” Ms Albright said.

Now there

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Hello Ladies

September 27th, 2002 - 12:32 am

I had no idea until just now that I’d been linked (along with many other, more worthy bloggers) by Sweet Briar College’s Government and International Affairs department.

I’m flattered; thank you.

Now, is my understanding that SBC is a girl’s school correct? If so, let’s not tell the wife, OK? She still hasn’t forgiven me those comments I made about Debra Messing‘s pert little rear while we watched Will & Grace last night.

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September 27th, 2002 - 12:26 am

In six words, Peggy Noonan deftly sums up everything I

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Back to Kristof by Popular Demand

September 27th, 2002 - 12:20 am

Nicolas Kristof wonders if Americans are too casualty-averse to fight Iraq:

Is America really prepared for hundreds of casualties, even thousands, in an invasion and subsequent occupation that could last many years?

Really, spilt blood is not at all Kristof

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We Get Blogs With a Little Help from Our Friends

September 27th, 2002 - 12:12 am

Mike Daley sends enough leads to this site to qualify as a one-man, email-based Drudge Report. Yesterday, he got a little scoop.

Remember the little dust-up when Senator Diane Feinstein told a Knight-Ridder reporter she was

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Gnawing on Bones

September 27th, 2002 - 12:07 am

You knew Krauthammer was going to go after Gore

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Friday Recipe

September 27th, 2002 - 12:01 am


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More on censorship, this time for Reason‘s Jesse Walker.

Who’d have though something so scary could be so funny? I mean, if you’re open-minded enough to appreciate a homoerotic deconstruction of Green Eggs and Ham.

Required Reading.

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Eine Kleine Gore Bashing

September 26th, 2002 - 4:12 pm

(Sorry, but there’s just one last little detail that got stuck in my brain.)

As Vice President, Al Gore supported the Pentagon’s Two War strategy — that the US could fight, and win, two simulataneous regional campaigns. Under President Bush last year, the unrealistic plan was downgraded to a Fight-Hold-Fight plan. We’d hold’em in one place, win in the other, than go back and win in the first.


These ideas were the backbone of White House nationally security planning for years.

So now Gore says we can’t fight one medium-sized campaign against Iraq, while engaging in a small, light-unit semi-occupation-in-force, at the same time.

And this while spending more on defence than Clinton ever asked for.

Which is the sham, Al — your old boss’s budgets or your claims from Monday?

Or both?

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Hard Day’s Night

September 26th, 2002 - 12:48 pm

PC Magazine‘s John Dvorak has words of warning for the recording industry:

When Edison first released his prerecorded cylinders, they sold for $4 each. With mass production, he eventually brought the price down to 35 cents, nearly a 90 percent reduction. If the same ratio held true with $16 CDs, the cost of which has been perpetually propped up by price fixing, they would cost $1.40. Since it costs less than 25 cents to mass-produce a CD, $1.40 is reasonable and profitable.

Of course, the industry would need to adjust from extravagance and sloppiness to frugality and normality. Less Dom Perignon, for starters. And it’s not as if record companies and artists won’t make money. 45-rpm singles used to cost 50 cents each, and it was a big deal to sell a million of them. Elvis Presley led a good life, it seems to me, by leveraging his career with those old profit margins. Heck, he was giving away Cadillacs.

It’s a matter of competition. A manufactured CD for $1.40 can compete with a bootleg copy: Manufactured CDs generally play better and come with nice packages and liner notes. The industry can still make millions of dollars, just not billions. And many artists can go back to making money the old-fashioned way

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Shop Talk

September 26th, 2002 - 11:24 am

Joel Mowbray on the interesting possible outcome of the Missouri Senate race:

Since the Talent-Carnahan race is a special election, Talent would become senator immediately upon winning, instead of in January like other newly elected members. The Talent addition would put the GOP back into the majority (with 50 senators and Vice President Cheney) for any lame-duck session at the end of the year, regardless of which party controls the Senate come January.

While I doubt this enticing (to Republicans) possibility will change Bush’s Congressional strategy in regards to a war authorization, it does offer up an interesting strategem. If Daschle doesn’t get moving, and soon, on the authorization, a Jim Talent victory gives the benefit of delay to the Republicans.

You know I’m not in favor of postponing this vote any more than is strictly necessary to hold a real debate on something more than a Congressional carte blanche to crater everything between Cairo and Karachi. But Dashcle isn’t even holding the debate — so put his feet to the fire already.

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Or Maybe a Bit Better

September 26th, 2002 - 10:58 am

New Brink, just as good as any of the old Brink.

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