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Monthly Archives: December 2002

Bad Example

December 18th, 2002 - 12:06 am

Richard Nixon was a liar and a cheat. But in the end, he showed a measure of honor by resigning.

Trent Lott won

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Personal Note

December 18th, 2002 - 12:00 am

The people who bid on the house we

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It Does a Body Good

December 17th, 2002 - 9:26 pm

Has Lileks been eating my patented Sun-Ripened Mayonnaise?

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Get Out More

December 16th, 2002 - 9:58 am

You “Wobbly Watch” people really ought to read something more that just the New York Times and Washington Post. Try StrategyPage — you’d know we’re already at war in Iraq.

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Home for the Holidays

December 16th, 2002 - 9:39 am

The VodkaCondo went on the market yesterday — and we have yet to put in the new linoleum or ground floor carpet. So if you’ll excuse me, I have to go do, um, everything.

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It

December 15th, 2002 - 8:13 pm

The Independent says the Iraq Phase of the current war will take less than a week.

I told you so.

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Not That I’m Complaining

December 15th, 2002 - 8:07 pm

What is it about the Reynolds Boys that they get to marry such talented, good-looking women?

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How Sweet It Is

December 13th, 2002 - 9:30 am

Drudge (above the mast, no story link) says Trent Lott will hold a press conference today at 5:30 Eastern. Since that’s too late to be on anything but the weekend news cycle, I expect him to announce he’s stepping down from his leadership role.

UPDATE: I’m told Lott won’t be annoucing his resignation. Who was it that picked next Wednesday in the betting pool?

FURTHER UPDATE: Looks like my first call might be correct, after all. A reader writes to tell me Josh Chafetz’s sources tell him this will be a resignation announcement. Shoulda gone with my gut.

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Doonesbury Revisted

December 13th, 2002 - 2:20 am

I think Trudeau was trying to insult Bush, but his shot went wide.

So I’m not sure which is funnier — the comic strip, or GT’s bad aim.

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Gone By Monday

December 13th, 2002 - 1:23 am

Peggy Noonan bunts.

It is hard to believe that Trent Lott meant to suggest that segregation was OK. It’s hard to believe any modern American would think that. But he left his remarks open to that interpretation.

“Open to interpretation”? Peggy, it’s nice of you to conclude by saying you think Lott should step aside, but that phrase of yours is (un?)characteristically wiggly.

Lott said, quite plainly, that the US would have far fewer troubles if Strom Thurmond — running on the issue of permanent segregation — had been elected in 1948. How many interpretation is that open to? (Er, to how many interpretations is that open?) Especially given Lott’s well-documented life-long flirtation with Confederate and white supremacist groups?

Yes, Peggy, Lott has got to go. Along with him, let’s toss out Republican prevarication on race, shall we?

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Wishful Thinking

December 13th, 2002 - 1:07 am

Also in today’s Washington Post, David Ignatius thinks that the EU’s new Eastern members will save it from itself:

“Look East” should be the motto of this united Europe. For the 10 new members, far from being a burden, can bring a needed energy and dynamism to the union. They can blow apart the bureaucratism and welfare-state culture that still hobble much of Europe, if the core 15 will let free markets function the way they should.

When it comes to free trade, Paris thinks Washington is a sucker. When it comes to free political expression, Berlin (how odd, even now, not to say “Bonn”) compares Bush to Hitler. What makes Ignatius believe that the Franco-Prussian (er, Franco-German) cabal that runs the EU will give more weight to Warsaw or Prague or Budapest’s sensibilities than they do ours?

Slovakia won’t liberate the EU any more than Hong Kong will liberate China.

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Inch By Inch (Millimeter By F-ing Millimeter)

December 13th, 2002 - 12:58 am

Jim Hoagland writes to Saddam:

This is the week you sealed your fate. Your 12,000-page whitewash on weapons of mass destruction you have known and loved gives the Bush team a decent shot at securing a second Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force against you. Having to defend that mess of a report should embarrass even the Russians and the French.

Yes, we’re going to go back to the Security Council. Yes, we’ll prostrate ourselves before the SC, so they can give us permission we don’t need to do what needs to be done to salvage their reputation (along with our security). Yes, the process will be overly long, demeaning, and beneath our status as both the hyperpower and the injured party.

Yes, it’s going to be as frustrating as a sober prom date determined to keep her virture.

But that’s the road we’re on, and, like it or not, we’re unlikely to find a reasonable shortcut. The final destination, however, remains the same.

And that’s probably what’s so goddamn frustrating about the whole useless process — having to jump through other people’s hoops in order to get their approval to do what they secretly want us to do, anyway.

NOTE: Bonus points to whichever geeks can identify from where I stole the headline to this post.

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Personal Blathering

December 13th, 2002 - 12:47 am

A little over three years ago, I lost my best friend to leukemia.

I think of Dave tonight, because I just spent the last ten minutes playing with one of his old foils, which we used for Midnight Drunken Sidewalk Fencing. No, really. At some point after the third or fifth bottle of wine, we’d go outside and show off for our girlfriends by engaging in a little after dinner en garde. A moral victory was when I lost three touches to two — Dave had serious training; I just had some half-remembered lessons from summer camp.

(For the record, Midnight Drunken Sidewalk Fencing is not how I got that quarter moon scar between my eyes. That’s another Christmas story, involving my old pickup truck, radio buddy Tim Farley, some brandy laced with coffee, a redwood tree, and. . . well, I’ll save the rest for another Friday.)

Melissa borrowed the sword from Dave’s nephew Jay for her Sexy Pirate Chick costume on Halloween (ask Matt or Tim how she looked), and I haven’t yet had the heart to return it.

Maybe it’s because of the cheap red wine I opened during Will & Grace. Maybe it’s because the foil is right here next to my desk. Maybe it’s because Dave is the guy who taught me enough about wine, food, and romance to win a woman like my bride, who I just tucked into bed.

Whatever it is, right now, I really miss you, my brother.

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Friday Recipe

December 13th, 2002 - 12:00 am

At long last, here

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Inch By Inch (Millimeter By F-ing Millimeter)

December 12th, 2002 - 10:58 pm

Jim Hoagland writes to Saddam:

This is the week you sealed your fate. Your 12,000-page whitewash on weapons of mass destruction you have known and loved gives the Bush team a decent shot at securing a second Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force against you. Having to defend that mess of a report should embarrass even the Russians and the French.

Yes, we’re going to go back to the Security Council. Yes, we’ll prostrate ourselves before the SC, so they can give us permission we don’t need to do what needs to be done to salvage their reputation (along with our security). Yes, the process will be overly long, demeaning, and beneath our status as both the hyperpower and the injured party.

Yes, it’s going to be as frustrating as a sober prom date determined to keep her virture.

But that’s the road we’re on, and, like it or not, we’re unlikely to find a reasonable shortcut. The final destination, however, remains the same.

And that’s probably what’s so goddamn frustrating about the whole useless process — having to jump through other people’s hoops in order to get their approval to do what they secretly want us to do, anyway.

NOTE: Bonus points to whichever geeks can identify from where I stole the headline to this post.

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The Beste

December 12th, 2002 - 5:07 pm

The Left has met the enemy, and he is, um, them.

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Welcome Back

December 12th, 2002 - 4:59 pm

In response to this post from a while back — ages ago, in the Era Before the Last Election — I recieved a lovely email from former Missouri Congressman Jack Buechner.

Strangely enough, I’d praised Presidential Classroom in that post, and it turns out Jack is now running the thing. Nice show, Jack. I’m sure it’s better than ever.

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Catching Up

December 12th, 2002 - 4:00 pm

While I was gone, Will Warren put away his quill, but Sasha and Ian are getting hitched.

Will, you’re already missed. Sasha & Ian. . . I couldn’t be happier for the two of you. Congrats!

UPDATE: Oh, and those hot & brainy Capitalist Chicks started a discussion board. It’s almost a blog, but with tight white t-shirts.

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Whoa

December 12th, 2002 - 3:52 pm

Double Instalanche. Thanks, Prof — it’s good to be back.

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Let Freedom Ringsk

December 12th, 2002 - 3:42 pm

Kim du Toit has some sage advice for Eastern European leaders:

You might not want to bet on the EU horse for a while. If the Euros don’t want to play with you except on their own restrictive terms, why not wait a while, see how things shake out in the EU, all the while trading with the United States?

Kim is right, of course. The EU admission rules for the former Soviet bloc (bar what was once East Germany) do little more than turn those lands once-oppressed by Moscow into lands oppressed by Brussels. Farming rules alone are basically economic colonialism dressed up in the fancy language of multilateralism.

Fears of mercantilism aside, does Poland really want France as their economic model? High unemployment, high taxes supporting not only a welfare state, but uncompetitive industries, too. Zero growth combined with dictats from the EU is hardly the way for Eastern Europe to shrug off the last vestiges of, well, fifty years of zero growth and dictats from the USSR.

Besides, if the EU truly wants to rival us as a counterbalancing Great Power, what better way to cut them off (early and painlessly) than by promoting a US-led Eastern Europe Free Trade Area?

NAFTA is working for North America, and EEFTA (fun to say!) would do wonders for our friends beyond the Oder-Neise Line.

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Paging Patrick

December 12th, 2002 - 2:06 pm

Patrick Ruffini is my go-to guy on all things political. So where is he on Lott?

C’mon, man — I’m back from my break, so don’t you go take one now.

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New-ish Math

December 12th, 2002 - 1:18 pm

During Bill Clinton

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One More Lott Comment

December 12th, 2002 - 12:46 pm

Taking a stand before the Friday-afternoon-to-Monday-morning news brownout, President Bush had some harsh words for Trent Lott:

Any suggestion that the segregated past was acceptable or positive is offensive and it is wrong… Recent comments by Senator Lott do not reflect the spirit of our country. . .

Fiery words — but with how much real heat? Bush never called for Lott to step down as Senate Majority Leader-designate, and rightly so. That’s a matter for Senate Republicans to decide. But had Bush simply said, “it’s up to his conscience and his fellow Senators to decide if my friend Trent Lott remains Majority Leader,” then the message “Lott must go” would be made loud enough for even Trent to understand.

The President’s words today will partly cover Republican asses — including his own — in 2004. But he should have gone that one sentence farther.

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No Joke

December 12th, 2002 - 11:27 am

Today’s Doonesbury is worth a chuckle or three. Really.

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Castle Anthrax

December 12th, 2002 - 9:31 am

Is Iraq really a distraction from the real Terror War, as some would have us think? Here’s the latest from StrategyPage:

The latest authoritative (from usually reliable sources) Anthrax rumor from Washington points out that only three nations (U.S., Britain and Iraq) capable of making the kind of Anthrax spores used in the 2001 attacks.

Unless Martin Sheen or Harold Pinter got their hands on some military-grade anthranx spores last year, I’m putting my money on Iraq.

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Whole Lott-a Lovin’

December 12th, 2002 - 8:14 am

This headline must be the Fat Lady stepping up to the mic.

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Not My Bellyache

December 12th, 2002 - 12:19 am

Letting the So San drop off its SCUD missiles in Yemen is not the end of the world. It is not a diplomatic, military, or intelligence failure. It is not a setback in the Current War, nor is it a sign of wobbling in the White House.

You carpers — and I’m speaking directly to certain bloggers here — are either using rhetoric to whore for hits or, at best, just aren’t seeing the whole picture.

First off, let’s be frank: The SCUD is a perfectly shitty missile. Under ideal conditions, even the SCUD-D variant has difficulty hitting the major metropolitan area it’s aimed at — assuming it doesn’t break up in flight.

As a terror weapon, however, you could always argue that. . .well, you could only argue that it’s even worse. Sure, Saddam launched some into Israel back in ’91, accomplishing zip. But those were conventional warheads, you say? So what. Would Saddam, even if he managed to build a nuke, risk losing (er, using) it on a missile unlikely to hit its target, even if it got there? Chemicals, then? Notoriously overrated.

But, what’s that, some of you are griping, what if. . . ohmygod, what if al Qaeda got one? Or a dozen! Let the kids sleep and don’t phone the neighbors. Ever seen a SCUD launcher? It’s like trying to hide an oversized semi-truck. A big, green, military-looking semi. With — duh! — a hulking missile strapped on it.

So what happened yesterday? The Alliance showed that even smaller players like Spain have some teeth. The United States showed that it won’t needlessly embarrass a mostly-cooperative ally over a piddling point. Most importantly, American intelligence showed North Korea that we know much more about their goings on than the Dear Leader should really be comfortable with.

Take a deep breath, wipe the spittle off your monitor, and write about something important, OK?

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Should He Stay Or Should He Go Now?

December 12th, 2002 - 12:01 am

(or

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Notice

December 11th, 2002 - 10:38 pm

Yes, I’m actually working on something for tomorrow.

And who knows — someday, I might catch up on email.

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Buh-Bye

December 11th, 2002 - 1:41 pm

I’m listening to Trent Lott on Sean Hannity’s radio show, via Fox News.

Lott has said everything but “some of my best friends are black people,” — but the interview isn’t over yet.

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