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Monthly Archives: November 2002

Rim Shot

November 7th, 2002 - 4:56 pm

From MSNBC:

The United States and France came to a last-minute agreement Thursday on a tough U.N. resolution giving Iraq a last chance to disarm or face war, making a vote Friday fairly certain. It was still not clear whether Russia

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And the Winner Is?

November 7th, 2002 - 4:44 pm

OK, so who has that screenshot?

NOTE: Whoever owns the IP address 209.223.61.###, and racked up 94 hits in just over 14 minutes, I have some bad news for you. We’re counting unique visits here, not total hits. The first one counted — the other 93 were a waste of your time and my bandwidth. No soup for you.

Same goes for whoever you are on Verizon, scoring 23 hits in 22 minutes.

I told you there would be no cheating. Heh.

UPDATE: No one has yet emailed to claim their fabulous prize. I’d love to show you in advance what’s behind curtain number one, but Melissa tells me that’s grounds for divorce here in Colorado.

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Sorry We Cranked the Bass Again Last Night

November 7th, 2002 - 3:42 pm

Our neighbors want to install one that destroys 500-watt DTS stereo amplifiers.

(“Cranking the Bass” would be an excellent name for a fishing show.)

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Wanna See My Hemi V-10 of Love?

November 7th, 2002 - 3:25 pm

The Turn of Phrase of the Day Award (bet you didn’t know we had one of those) goes to Anna Bunny: “We need cheap gas because the supercharged lowrider of freedom is thirsty.”

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Well I’ll Be Darned

November 7th, 2002 - 3:22 pm

Meryl Yourish caught this shocker at CNN:

Islamic militant group al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the bomb attack on a Bali nightclub in which more than 180 people died.

The group said it had targeted “nightclubs and whorehouses in Indonesia” in a Web site message which also boasted of its aim to hit inside Arab and Islamic countries which are part of a “Jewish-Crusader” alliance.

Remember, kids — all this barbarity will stop if we just stop defending ourselves.

Well, if we do that and stop breathing.

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Some damn funny mean-spiritedness from Orrin Judd.

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Contest Day In the Blogosphere

November 7th, 2002 - 3:03 pm

Michele has a contest going for the best pro-war song.

Scroll through the comments to read some very funny entries. Feel free to add your own, but feel even freer to ignore my feeble effort.

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Milestone, Millstone, Whatever

November 7th, 2002 - 2:54 pm

Sometime this afternoon or this evening, VP should get its 500,000th hit. If you’re the one, snap a screenshot and send it my way — there could be fabulous prizes!

And no cheating.

NOTE: Thanks to Arthur and Chris for both alerting me.

UPDATE: Kids, can someone please teach Joe how to do a screenshot? (And, yes, we’re still shy of a half million, and, yes, there’s still no cheating allowed.)

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Substitute Teacher

November 7th, 2002 - 2:34 pm

Since the Prof is off junketing in NYC today, it’s up to me to cover Slate for you.

First, we have Will Saletan on Dick Gephardt leaving his post to pursue the White House:

Let’s recap. The old, hamstrung Gephardt was forced to fight for a losing agenda of health care for all, world-class education, secure retirement, and a secure America. The new, authentic Gephardt will fight for an exciting agenda of health care for all, world-class education, secure retirement, and a secure America.

Failing upward was a popular career track in the late ’90s. A CEO could mismanage his company, tinker with the books, and move on to a new company before the mess was exposed. Those days are over in business. They’re over in politics, too.

It was craven of the CEOs, and it’s craven of Gephardt. I still think the Dems will select a relative unknown for ’04. It worked in ’92 against another man named Bush, although the political climate has obviously changed since then.

We also have Christopher Hitchens making the anti anti-war case:

Saddam Hussein is not going to survive. His regime is on the verge of implosion. It has long passed the point of diminishing returns. Like the Ceausescu edifice in Romania, it is a pyramid balanced on its apex (its powerbase a minority of the Sunni minority), and when it falls, all the consequences of a post-Saddam Iraq will be with us anyway. To suggest that these consequences

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We Have Met the Enemy

November 7th, 2002 - 2:10 pm

The barbarians are attacking freedom again today, reports Arthur Silber.

Oh, did I forget to mention this time they’re from the Department of Justice?

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Pundits On the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown

November 7th, 2002 - 2:03 pm

I don’t know how else to say this, but Eric Alterman has gone screaming apeshit.

Click and scroll and grin and cringe, kids.

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Taunting

November 7th, 2002 - 1:16 pm

Dan has some encouragement for Democrats, while Steve provides some helpful tips on how to avoid terrorists and State Department officials.

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Yeah, That Kind of Libertarian

November 7th, 2002 - 1:02 pm

Brink Lindsey says:

Let me make clear that I’m not wild about calling myself a libertarian. First, I have to clarify that I’m a “small-l” libertarian — i.e., I have no affiliation with the Libertarian Party, which I consider to be a cringe-inducing embarrassment. Second, I’m not a hard-core ideologue, as many self-described libertarians are. I think anarchism is absurd, and I don’t believe that the so-called “minimal state” is an intellectually tenable construct. I’m interested in expanding the frontiers of real-world liberty, not spinning utopias.

I wish I’d said it.

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Send In the Marines!

November 7th, 2002 - 12:59 pm

She’s a cute little thing, but don’t tread on her.

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Going Back to Cali

November 7th, 2002 - 12:58 pm

Lloyd Albano, a favorite reader and commenter here, forwards this George Neumayr article in The American Prowler:

California Republicans find themselves in the same position as Democrats outside of California: they either renew their fundamental principles or face further oblivion. The only good news for California Republicans is that a backlash will undoubtedly accompany four more years of one-party governance. Californians’ mood for dramatic change is going to intensify as the state’s debts and taxes rise.

Neumayr is right. Simon ran the kind of campaign in California that many Democrats ran in the rest of the nation. That’s not to say Davis ran a Republican 2k2-style effort; he didn’t. But people like to vote for something, and Simon gave them little to vote for. With Davis’ huge incumbent advantages, it was a losing effort from the start.

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No Ambiguous Language Here

November 7th, 2002 - 12:02 pm

Bush is speaking right now, and he’s made it official — the UN will vote tomorrow on the Iraq resolution.

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Still Free, and Still Worth Every Penny

November 7th, 2002 - 11:55 am

It’s not your browser — Blogspot is having issues again today, so all those nice blogger.com links may or may not be working.

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The Loseiana Way

November 7th, 2002 - 11:43 am

Down in Louisiana, Democrat Senatorial Candidate Mary Landrieu thinks she can win by running against the national party:

“Landrieu’s a micromanager who doesn’t listen much to advice, and she and her team

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Whew

November 7th, 2002 - 11:35 am

On Fox, just saw a small private plane make a safe belly landing in Georgia.

Everybody walked away — and that’s a good landing.

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Plausible e-Deniability

November 7th, 2002 - 11:21 am

Jim Dunnigan explores the world of semi-official Chinese hackers in the Shadow War:

So far, none of the Chinese attacks, as far as anyone can tell, were much more than a nuisance. But year by year, the attackers have shown more skill. Now it is pretty certain that the Chinese are formally organizing some of these “patriotic hackers.” By maintaining the myth that these young Internet users are operating independently, the government can unleash these kids on any nation without being tagged as a warmonger. This deception won’t stand much scrutiny. American hackers have been able to back track some of the Chinese attacks to Chinese government computers. If the Chinese were on the ball and well organized, they would not have allowed hackers to use government computers. Or at the very least, they would have made sure the hackers knew how to cover their tracks.

The Pentagon is finally getting serious about computer security — but also about having a credible computer deterrent. We’re more vulnerable than China, because our military is a lot more wired than theirs.

But that’s changing, and I doubt Beijing wants to be on the receiving end of what our “kids” could do.

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Bada Bing

November 7th, 2002 - 11:06 am

Radley Balko finds libertarian themes abound in the new season of The Sopranos.

Great show — and a great piece by Radley.

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Olympian Ideal?

November 7th, 2002 - 10:51 am

James Morrow doesn’t want his old home town to suffer the fate of his new one. Here’s money shot from his new aritcle in ReasonOnline:

New York is already a world capital of everything from finance to fashion. Does it really need a billion-dollar boondoggle like the Olympics blowing through town, leaving its architectural detritus around the five boroughs and beyond? I doubt it. And considering that they already have to endure the United Nations, with its scofflaw diplomatic-plate parkers and corrupt feel-good internationalism, it’s pretty clear that New Yorkers are already doing enough for global understanding.

There’s more. Read the whole thing, as our blog-free Prof would say.

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Today’s Obscure Insult

November 7th, 2002 - 10:46 am

Thank Whomever it isn’t on his toes.

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An Open Letter to the Republican Party

November 7th, 2002 - 12:05 am

Hey, kids!

Bravo on the whole election thing Tuesday. Good effort, historical first, well done, and all that. You hustled more than the other guys, you picked some smart candidates, you spoke out when you needed to, and, more importantly, for once you kept quiet when quiet was called for. All of us out here got a little tired of yelling after that Wellstone thing, ya know?

Anyway

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VodkaPundit: Still Not Burned Out!

November 6th, 2002 - 11:02 pm

Coming after midnight, an open letter to the Republican Party.

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Not Again!

November 6th, 2002 - 5:15 pm

Dick Morris in today’s NRO:

Bush will likely win the war on terror. But he’ll win it in 2003. What will he do for 2004? By then, he’ll have run out of countries. Bush has no real domestic agenda beyond his tax cuts which are already part of the law and unlikely

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As Expected

November 6th, 2002 - 4:22 pm

Dick Gephardt (Drudge, above the mast) won’t seek his party’s Minority Leader position in the House, setting the stage for his presidential run in 2004.

But as I said last night, new Democrat weakness and Bush’s strength could likely result in some relatively unknown Dem to win the nomination in ’04.

UPDATE: Here’s the story from Boston.com.

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Last Call on the Election

November 6th, 2002 - 2:12 pm

Megan McArdle nicely sums up the lessons of last night.

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Money

November 6th, 2002 - 1:50 pm

While I was off doing the important business of showering and shaving and getting a haircut, the Fed cut the overnight rate a half point.

Wow.

Not because I think it will prove a great stimulant to the economy — I don’t. Consumer credit is reaching a saturation point, and so is the housing market, even with cheaper money.

Less certainty — a, ahem, certainty during war — means more savings, and that’s mostly what people will do with lower credit card bills or mortgage payments. Better to put some money aside for tomorrow, instead of using those smaller monthly payments to rack up yet more debt. And without extra consumption, business will remain wary of increasing capacity (already glutted) or employment rolls (declining again).

Not even increased Pentagon procurement can make much of a difference in aggregate demand.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the economy is doing OK (but just OK) now. What I worry about is next year, when there’s a small but real chance that things could be worse. The federal funds rate is already at a mere 1.25%, which means that if a real recession comes, the Fed can repeat today’s cuts only two and a half more times.

In other words, the Fed might just have used their biggest gun too early in the battle.

On balance, I’m still an optimist on the amazingly resilient American economy. But I’ll be keeping a strong cash position, just in case.

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Free Winona!

November 6th, 2002 - 11:41 am

Or at least heavily discounted. Verdict expected in about 30 minutes.

UPDATE: Heavily discounted, indeed — Winona is one-third off.

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