I have received many comments about what is going on in our markets and my posts on that topic. One problem is that the media has generally done a poor job of educating us on exactly what some of the problems are. Not always, and I’ll highlight a few really good ones for you.A good start is to try and get all of us a good understanding of exactly what a CDO is. Go
Bits and Pieces 7-29
I agree with Megan, we will not do away with some sort of program to provision for the poor. As McQ pounds over and over, we don’t want the government controlling health care. So what to do? I think she is on the right path. Bonus: a nice fair minded analysis from Brad Delong, and even better, a great quote from Adam Smith!The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be
Don’t piss off the wordsmith
It isn’t just that this is funny-or so devastatingly literate, profane and lovingly crafted- and all over the removal of the indefinite article "a". Nor is is just that Giles is so absolutely correct to be so exercised over the removal of the indefinite article "a."What I find so wonderfully amusing is that it is so perfectly English. I can’t imagine an American writer producing anything li
Bits and Pieces 7-26- Updated
Is Hayek still relevant? Amy Peterson takes up the cudgel, as does Ilya Somin on behalf of Hayek. By the way, Amy is now in S. Korea.Jewish neo-cons, black "Uncle Toms," and conservative marginalization. David Bernstein  
Crony Capitalism and the Liberal Left
Cross posted at A Second Hand ConjectureOne of the more entertaining howlers of contemporary liberalism, is the outraged caterwauling about "Crony Capitalism" and the Bush administration. Not because the charge isn’t true, it certainly is. No, the problem is when it comes to crony capitalism the Democratic party is where its at, and always has been. It is just
Labor Force Drops: Women Hardest Hit
Yet more reasons to distrust the NYT (as if you needed any).
Podcast for 27 Apr 08
In this podcast, Bruce McQuain and Dale Franks discuss discuss the Democratic primary results in Pennsylvania, as well as this week’s military personnel changes at CENTCOM and in Iraq.The direct link to the podcast is here. The intro and outro music is Vena Cava by 50 Foot
Built-in Tourniquets
Presented for your ooh-ing and aah-ing: The Integrated Tourniquet System. The tourniquets are built right into the clothing – four in the pants and four in the shirt sleeves. They are being marketed to the US military, of course, but also to police forces, military contractors, and even hunters and industrial workers, according to NPR.(Listeni
Baltimore Schools: Motivations and Assessments
The City of Baltimore has a plan for raising student scores on the statewide High School Assessment tests, which are a requirement for graduation beginning with the class of 2009:Baltimore students who have failed at least one exam will earn $25 for improvi
Save it up for a Rainy Forest
From The Economist:FOR rent: 830,000 hectares of pristine tropical rainforest. Rich in wildlife, including forest elephants and gorillas. Provides a regionally important African green corridor. Price: $1.6m a year. Conservationist tenant preferred, but extractive forestry also considered. Please apply to the Cameroonian minister of forestry…Ngoyla-Mintom is thus turning into an interesting tes
Grave Question
Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution writes:Dead people don’t count in the social welfare function.A little background on what specifically Cowen is talking about:Vladimir Nabokov requested in his will that his unfinished novel, The Original of Laura, should be destroyed on his dea
Hugo steals food
I’m not sure what else you could call it:Venezuela’s top food company has accused troops of illegally seizing more than 500 tonnes of food from its trucks as part of President Hugo Chavez’s campaign to stem shortages.The leftist Chavez this week created a state food distributor and loosened some price controls, seeking to end months of shortages for staples
Nurse Ratchet lives on
MK Hamm does a little remix of what Charles Krauthammer called the "worst debate in Western history" thanks to its moderator and an appropriate movie character.
Duke victims settle their first civil suit
Duke University has settled with the Duke lacrosse 3. The terms were not disclosed, naturally, but it appears they didn’t have to fight Duke very hard to get a settlement. I think Duke was probably more sensitive to the bad publicity that would stem from a civil suit than the City of Durham or Nifong himself would be. One down, two to go.
I’m crushed...
Cindy Sheehan:This is my resignation letter as the "face" of the American anti-war movement.I don’t know how we’ll make it, but we’ll just have to endure it somehow.
QandO - Bringing you the latest, and greatest, in conspiracy theories
Now it is a Global Hawk which hit the Pentagon:My guess? Flown from a console located in Dick Cheney’s office. But did he hav
A peek at things to come
If you happen to have Windows Vista installed on your PC*, here’s a cool site to look at. It was created by the British Library, and it gives you the opportunity to turn the pages of some of the greatest books in history, virtually speaking of course.For example, you can flip through one of Leonardo’s notebooks or Jane Austen’s journal, by flipping the pages with a mouse. You can zoom in
How to ruin your own business in one easy step
The Internet has changed many things, but we’re still in a period of lag when lots of people don’t yet understand just what those changes mean. Exhibit A is from my hometown of Nashville. JL Kirk and Associates is a firm that claims to help people find jobs - for a very stiff fee. A Nashville blogger who visited this firm posted about her experiences, and she wasn’t very complimenta
What would Churchill do? That’s the question, among others, that the editors of Investor’s Business Daily are asking vis a vis the kidnapping of 15 British Sailors by the Iranians.Britain’s response to Iran suggests the British lion now keeps its teeth in a jar. Would Winston Churchill have responded to the kidnapping of British sailor
I had such high hopes when I read the headline
Here’s the headline:McCain Warns Against Spread of SocialismHere’s the first paragraph of the article:Republican presidential candidate John McCain warned on Wednesday against the spread of socialism in Latin America and pledged to give the region renewed U.S. attention if elected.I rather hoped that McCain was
Guess who’s doing it and where
I saw a headline this morning:Men-free tourism island plannedNow, for the test. Where in the world do you think it is to be located, and who do you think are the sponsors?After making your guess, check here for the full article.
Transmission from an Alternate Universe – Episode 2
My quantum uncertainty radio came on again this week, as it did a couple of years ago. Here’s the transcription of what I received from some alternate universe. January 11, 2007. At a news conference in Washington, DC, the Speaker of the House is discussing her position on Iraq and the “surge” just proposed by President Bush in his speech earlier in the week.
Antarctica: no anthropogenic global warming signals to be found
Interesting (link):A new report on climate over the world’s southernmost continent shows that temperatures during the late 20th century did not climb as had been predicted by many global climate models.This comes soon after the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that strongly supports the conclusion tha
I believe it’s quite possible that climate changes within our lifetime are the result of natural variation.I believe it’s preposterous that the US federal government was involved in 9/11. I believe Scientology is creepy.I believe Ohio voted for George Bush in 2004.I believe all forms of creationism, including intelligent design, are nonsense."Blucher!"
Steynian Reverberations
I’m a big fan of Mark Steyn. He’s one of the very few political writers that I read and think “I wish I could write that well.” He is thought provoking, funny, and has a pretty good batting average when it comes to predictions. Via The Corner this morning, I saw two articles that have connections to Steyn. First, an explicit connection, in the form of  
Bush’s "bullying"
The New York Times editorializes today that:Given America’s bitter experience in Iraq, one would think that President Bush could finally figure out that threats and brute force aren’t a substitute for a reasoned strategy. But Mr. Bush is at it again, this time trying to bully Iran into stopping its meddling inside Iraq.And just in case you missed that t
Time for a John Kerry Retrospective!
Given the announcement that McQ discussed here, I think it’s the perfect time for a Kerry retrospective. Call it "John Kerry’s Greatest Hits", featuring "Seared, Seared into my Memory", "Like Jen-jiss Khan", the ever-popular "I Voted for it Before I Voted Against it", "I Still Have the Lucky Hat", and his latest hit, "If You Don’t Study Hard, You’ll End up in Iraq".We’ll
Podcast for 08 Oct 06
In this podcast, Bruce McQuain, and Dale Franks discuss the concept of the "Libertartian Democrat’, the political fallout from the Foley Mess, and what we might expect from a Democratic House.For those of you who
Draft Post
PLEASE do not delete this post. recent Treasury Dep
Free speech in New Jersey
John Feder is a police Sergeant in West Orange New Jersey, with a 22-year record of sterling service. Unfortunately, that record of service to the community is in danger of being flushed down the toilet.Sgt Feder, you see, performs—free—as a stand-up comedian. And his politically incorrect act may now cost him his job.[O]n the local comedy circu
The Alito Hearings
Thanks to XM radio, I’ve been able to listen to Judge Alito’s confirmation hearings on C-SPAN. Below are some observations from today’s events.Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) asked a question based upon an exceedingly foolish comparison. Sen. Specter noted that, in 1973, Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote a scathing criticism of Miranda v. Arizona, but, by 2000, Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote an
Children’s Literature
Sen. ted Kennedy (D-MA), will be releasing a new childrens’ book. Called, My Senator and Me: A Dogs-Eye View of Washington, D.C., the book will be released in May by Scholastic Press.According to Scholastic, Kennedy’s book "not only takes readers through a full day in the Senator’s life, but also explains how a bill becomes a law." Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, w
New Podcast
Here is the first podcast of 2006, as we ramp back up to our weekly show with McQ and I discussing various things.For those of you who prefer it, the direct link to the podcast is here.
OK that was a championship game
Wow!I enjoyed every snap in the Rose Bowl tonight. For once a really well played and well contested national championship game.Congratulations to Texas - National Champs.And Vince Young is the man!
The difference between responsible and irresponsible dissent
I’ve made the case in the past that responsible dissent is as American as apple pie but that irresponsible dissent, at least to me, isn’t acceptable in a time of war.Note I didn’t say that you have no right to be irresponsible in your dissent, I just said I don’t find it to be an acceptable form of dissent when the country is at war. Those who engage in it, in my opinion, hurt the war effort by giving the enemy support whether the
Iran’s latest missile purchase
We recently discussed Iran’s purchase of the Russian TOR-M1 anti-missile system from Russia. According to the German press, that’s not their only recent purchase of missiles:Iran has bought 18 BM-25 missiles from North Korea which the Islamic Republic wants to transform to extend their r
"a triumph for the idea of freedom and democracy"
The War on Terror has often been compared to other various historical conflicts—e.g., the Barbary Coast War, WWII, Vietnam, etc—with varying degrees of accuracy. It’s also been compared, in terms of geopolitical strategy, length and scope, to the Cold War. Interestingly, the War on Terror is being waged on some of the same grounds—the superiority of democracy and of our values—on which we waged the Cold War. All these years later, it&rsquo
You need me on that wall
President Bush has taken the stand to explain why he ordered the Code Red...As president, I took an oath to defend the Constitution, and I have no greater responsibility than to protect our people, our freedom, and our way of life. ... To fight the war on t
I wish I’d written that...
The Belgravia Dispatch...God forbid, should there be a major terror attack that kills tens of thousands, we will see a chorus of complaints that Saint McCain helped spur on the massacre because of his too coddling approach to detainees. This is bunk. As McCain has said, if there is a real ticking time bomb scenario, the gloves will come off, but the interrogator will be responsible for his actions. In th
A Simple Plan
A Simple Plan—The Democrats’ plan for Iraq isn’t complicated at all: LoseI don’t think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing...— Ted KennedyDemocrats – unable to reconcile their strategic positions on Iraq with p
Hearts and Minds
Go. Read this entire story. I’m only going to tease it, but if you end up being able to get through it with out a tear in your eye, you have better emotional control than I do.During our last patrol through the shantytowns a young mother waited patiently outside the bustling throng of children hopping back and forth between our vehicles. I don’t remember seeing her arrive, she just suddenly appeared on the outskirts of the roiling flock of childre
The trouble with free societies
The "trouble" becomes evident when reports such as this surface. The "trouble"? An old tradition of open debate about issues that concern the nation are used by enemies of freedom to paint a less than flattering picture.Of course most of us realize that is the price of freedom, something of which the present state of Iran knows little:In a letter to the
Reality meets the "My Precious" crowd
Sometimes the best insight as to why there are certain problems can be found in letters to the editor. In this week’s issue of US News and World Report a professor responds to a story about why so many high school students don’t do well once they begin their college education:From my perspective of many years as a professor, emeritus dean of a medical school, and emeritus
The politics of comparing and contrasting
Victor David Hanson examines the two dominant and popular themes depending on which side of the political spectrum you fall:Theme one:For some time, a large number of Americans have lived in an alternate universe where everything is supposedly going to hell. If you get up in the morning to read the New York Times or Washington Post, w
One Small step for the President, one giant leap for Big Brother
How do free societies become unfree societies? One step at a time. For "security". Like this...Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants
Torturing the Law
The Bush administration does not condone torture...The White House and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) reached agreement today on a measure that would ban torture and limit interrogation tactics in U.S. detention facilities, a provision that the Bush administration had strongly resisted but that received broad support in Congress. ...for much longer, anyway.
So this is Georgia in Decembrrrr huh?
You know, one of the lovely things about living in Georgia is, while we get a bit of winter, we really only get enough to know it’s winter, but not enough to dred winter like many places in the north of the country. But then we have days like today:
Some questions for the Pentagon and Congress
I don’t like this:Pentagon officials said yesterday they had ordered a review of a program aimed at countering terrorist attacks that had compiled information about U.S. citizens, after reports that the database included information on peace protesters and others whose activities posed no threat and should not have been kept on file.
The Next Big Step
Today’s election in Iraq is a monumental step, but it’s not the end. The big question going forward will be whether the ethnic and sectarian conflicts within Iraq will be managed politically or violently; whether Iraq can be a pluralistic society. I believe that, one way or another, it can. In that belief, I have bipartisan support...I categorically reject arguments that this
The line up, the process and the vote in Iraq
From various sources, a primer on the who, what, when, where, why and how of the Iraqi vote:Iraq has 15 million eligible voters who are going to be voting for a new parliament called the Council of Representatives. They will vote for "lists" which are coalitions of political parties which have submitted candidates (a total of 7,700 through out Iraq on all lists) for the parliament. Voters from each province will pick from these lists for a ce
Gridlock: better than the alternatives
Well, we gave the Republican Party a shot at the whole "limited government" thing. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out. Shame, really, because it was a really good idea. Still, here we are, stuck with two parties, neither of which have the least interest in limited government. So, what’s next? Matt Yglesias has two suggestions... <
More on Maye
Sebastian Holsclaw has a very good commentary on the Maye case.UPDATE: A comnenter asks what’s the big deal about the Maye case? He got a fair trial. Why not a hangin’?:My point, or rather my question, is: if the process that was put into place by the State of Mississippi is not inherently flawed and was followe
Deja Vu all over again?
From a young soldier who won the Silver Star in Iraq (and has been nominated for the Medal of Honor), we see, in his conclusion to an article he wrote The Buffalo News, that he has figured out the proper comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam:Each day, the Iraqi war veteran grows closer to the embarrassing disrespect of the Vietnam warrior. Each da
Iranian President: Holocaust a myth
And people wonder why Israel is properly (and in my opinion, justly) concerned about their survival if Iran does indeed produce nuclear weapons:Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad escalated his anti-Israeli rhetoric Wednesday, calling the Holocaust a "myth" used by Europeans to create a Jewi
Jane Fonda: Back at it in a new war
Yes, the woman who best epitomizes the morale busting anti-war left of the Vietnam era has now began working on a new war in earnest:"Hanoi Jane" Fonda is claiming that ever since Vietnam, U.S. troops have been trained to commit atrocities against innocent civilians as a matter of military policy."Starting with the Vietnam War we began training soldiers diffe
Iran: Trying to influence the vote in Iraq
We’ve spent some time talking about the threat of Iran in its attempt to influence the vote in Iraq. Tangible evidence seems to have been intercepted on its
Iraq: Getting the Whole Picture
Ben Conable, a Major in the US Marine Corps asks a couple of familiar questions:How is it, then, that 64 percent of U.S. military officers think we will succeed if we are allowed to continue our work? Why is there such a dramatic divergence between American public opinion and the upbeat assessment of the men and women doing the fighting?
New at The New Libertarian
A Simple Plan—The Democrats’ plan for Iraq isn’t complicated at all: LoseI don’t think you can be a success at anything if you think about losing...— Ted KennedyDemocrats – unable to reconcile their strategic positio
Justice For Cory Maye
Being away last week, I didn’t notice this story from Radley Balko about Cory Maye, a black man who sits on Mississippi’s death row for a "crime" for which he shouldn’t even have been prosecuted, if Balko’s account is true.Mr. Maye lived in a duplex, and his next door neighbor was a known drug dealer. Police, serving a "no-knock" warrant at midnight,
Iraq: the growing problem in the south
Finally the problems in the south of Iraq are gaining the necessary visibility for coalition forces to begin to take the action necessary to foil the Iranian effort to infiltrate the Iraqi Interior Ministry. The situation came to the attention of coalition forces during a series of raids on Interior Ministry prisons:The Iranian-backed militia the Badr Organizati
National Interests
One of the central problems in the Global War on Terror is the ineluctable disparity between US national interests and those of the nations with which we must deal. The national interests of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, et al, are simply inimical to our own. The result of this disparity is that cooperation must be forced or bought at almost every step. Certainly, Saudi Arabia will cooperate in combating Al Qaeda—they share our national interest in stopping them, at least within Saudi Arab
The Failure of Inner Cities
Joel Kotkin asks—and answers—a question I’ve wondered about for years: Why is it that inner cities, most of whom exemplify the left-wing model of government, happen to be the worst-performing sectors of American government?The truth is that, rather than improving conditions for average residents of their cities, many urban politicians and interest
Keeping Amtrak Alive
Neal Peirce declaims in the Seattle Times:The United States needs strong regional passenger-rail systems, linked across the country to provide alternatives to highway grids already choked by autos and fast-growing fleets of freight trucks.It should be a matter of simple common sense, patriotism and high priority.Uh...
Tookie Williams Clemency denied
Breaking.Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has denied clemency for convicted murderer Tookie Williams:California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger denied clemency today for convicted killer Stanley Tookie Williams, saying the facts of the case do not justify blocking his scheduled execution. Williams, a convicted killer and co-founder of the Crips gang, is due to die
November recruiting exceeds goals
It may be that recruiting is beginning to reflect a belief by the military that there is a light at the end of the tunnel as it pertains to Iraq:Both the active Army and Army National Guard continued reversing a springtime recruiting slump, exceeding their November goals at 105 and 110 percent, respectively, defense officials announced today. The active Navy,
The price of good intentions
Reality visits Duluth MN:Since 1983, the city of Duluth, Minn., has been promising free lifetime health care to all of its retired workers, their spouses and their children up to age 26. No one really knew how much it would cost. Three years ago, the city decided to find out.
Back to business as usual for the PA
You’d think Yassar Arafat was still alive:The head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has approved a new law, providing monetary grants to the families of suicide bombers.Abbas gave his approval just six days ago, a day before a suicide bomber struck the HaSharon Mall in Netanya, killing five Israelis and wounding scores of others.The le
Elections in Iraq
Democracy Arsenal sums up the stakes going into the Iraqi elections...We all know this week’s elections for a permanent Iraqi parliament are important, but what tea leaves are worth focusing on to determine whether this will be a watershed for democracy, another halting and ambivalent step in Iraq’s tortured transition, or the beginning of the end of Iraq as a unitary state.
An interesting change from the January vote
In January of this year, Sunni insurgents threatened Sunnis and demanded they boycott the Iraqi national referendum then being staged. What a difference a year makes:Saddam Hussein loyalists who violently opposed January elections have made an about-face as Thursday’s polls
The New Libertarian
Currently at The New Libertarian..."Bringing Back the Lower Case: Re-examining Libertarianism", by Tony Woodlief.Today I begin a series on the topic of libertar
Israel told to prepare for strike on Iran Nukes
The Sunday Times is reporting that Ariel Sharon has given the Israeli military a warning order to be prepared to strike at secret Iranian uranium enrichment sites.The order came after Israeli intelligence warned the government that Iran was operating enrichment facilities, believed to be small and concealed in civilian locations.No doubt they know
RIP Richard Pryor
Richard Pryor, one of my favorite comedians when I was growing up has passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 65 from complications due to multiple sclerosis.Yeah, Richard had his share of problems and yeah, he got hooked into some nasty drugs and all, but I’ll always remember his comedy and style fondly. He made me laugh ... a lot.
Some interesting quotes about Joe Lieberman
Reading through an NY Times article about the stand Sen. Joe Lieberman has taken on Iraq and in opposition to much of his party I was struck by (see Dale you’re not the only one who get’s struck by stuff) some thoughts on the matter:Much of the open criticism has been from libe
The worm turns
In this case the worm is turned in:The terrorist known as "the Butcher of Ramadi" was detained today, turned in by local citizens in the provincial capital of Iraq’s Anbar province, U.S. military officials in Iraq reported.Amir Khalaf Fanus—listed third on a "high-value individuals" list of terrorists wanted by the 28th Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team—was wanted for criminal activities including murder and k
Crowley: Conservative blogs more effective
According to Editor and Publisher, Michael Crowley, a writer for The New Republic, makes the argument in the upcoming NY Times Magazine that conservative blogs are more effective than liberal blogs. The money paragraph from the E&P story is as follows:In fact, Crowley admits that his argument for conservative bl
Real Wages, Total Compensation and related Statistics
Matt Yglesias at TAPPED responds to my recent point that the labor force is not growing by 150,000/month as is often claimed. Essentially, he agrees, observing that, while the population is growing more quickly, the actual labor force is only growing at about 110,000/month. Given all that, disputes about the unemployment rate can get a little metaphysical. The best thing to focus on is proba
Pomeroy to Dean: "Shut up"
I think Earl Pomeroy gets it right:North Dakota Rep. Earl Pomeroy is accusing Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean of overstepping his bounds, saying the former presidential candidate should not give up on the war in Iraq.On Monday, Dean likened the war in Iraq to Vietnam and said, "The idea that the United States is going to win the war in Ira
Who’s interviewing whom here?
An interesting exchange between Donald Rumsfeld and Jim Lehrer in an interview on PBS’s "News Hour":JIM LEHRER: Does it bother you—I looked at the public opinion polls the last, recent ones that mention you. And you don’t come out very well in terms of the public. I couldn’t find one where the public had approved of the job you were
Powell talks about Iraq
In an appearance at Wilkes-Barre PA, Colin Powell had a few words about Iraq:In his only critique of the Bush administration, Powell said there should have been more troops on the ground when the Iraq war began."We should have swamped the place.... stopped the insurgency," he said.Knowing what we know now, I can agre
Iran’s solution for Israel: Move it
Seems the "civilized world" is upset with a suggestion by the President of Iran:"If European countries claim that they have killed Jews in World War II... why don’t they provide the Zionist regime with a piece of Europe," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Iranian television."Germany and Austria can provide the... regime with two or three provinces for this regime to est
6 days till the Iraqi election
Mohammad at "Iraq the Model" has some indepth election analysis which is a pretty good read. The money paragraph:The new and interesting thing in this election is the large-scale participation of Sunni parties for the first time. These parties think they have a good chance to win many seats in the parl
Howard Dean on the Iraq War
In light of Howard Dean’s most recent eruption—"we can’t win"—John Judis writes in The New Republic about all the many ways Howard Dean has been right about the war in Iraq...During the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq, and during the invasion and occupation, Dean has been almost consistently correct in his statements. He has been the Democrats’ and the nation’
Why isn’t Afghanistan’s security force not ready for prime time?
I mean, if, per some of the Democrats, the Iraqi army should be ready to take over the duties of coalition forces (and thus we can pull our troops out now), why isn’t that also true for Afghanistan’s army? After all, they’ve had almost two more years more time to prepare them for that duty, haven’t they?The first challenge for U. S. and coalition
"Debate is the death of conversation."
Ezra Klein makes a very important argument in this post. Excerpts with my own comments...I always fear, particularly in the blogosphere...that the incentives are all aimed at mercilessly mocking the most pathetic arguments to emerge across the aisle. Tearing them apart is funny, safe, and a sure way to attract some hits. But, in the end, all we engage with is idiocy from from maniacs...
Science and the religion of global warming
Prepare yourself for a wave of newstories about the imminent threat of global warming and man’s disasterous role as the UN’s 11th “Conference of Parties” kicks off in Montreal.Roy Spencer writes about his experience among global warming glitterati via Tech Central Station
Quick Hits
George Will is priceless today on the subject of our newfound "entitlement to digital television"...If you think America is suffering an entitlement glut, you may have just hurled the newspaper across the room. Pick it up and read on, because this story illustrates the timeless truth that no matter how deeply you distrust the government’s judgment, you are too trustin
Will China eclipse the US by 2020?
Martin Jacques, writing in The Guardian, certainly thinks so:A number of factors lie behind this new global perception of China: its continuing staggering growth; the recognition that China is a major factor in the rise in oil prices; the fact that Chinese oil majors have become players in countries such as Sudan and Iran; the (unsuccessful) attempt to take
December 7th, a day that will live in infamy
As Charles Nugent reminds me, today is a day that shouldn’t go unnoticed.On Dec. 7th, 1941 the Japanese attacked the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor Hawaii and began a war with the United States which they eventually lost.I’m always reminded of Admiral Yamamoto’s prescient quote at the time on learning of the success of the Jap
The Labor Force Growth Myth
Bob Somerby takes a whack at Morton Kondracke’s statement that "on Bush’s whole watch it’s been 1.8 million jobs net created", noting that 1.8 million is "a figure which falls well short of what it takes to keep up with growth". While I’m not particularly keen on the constant insinuation by whichever side benefits that the President has a significant short-term impact on job growth, Somerby’s is still
Exit Strategies for Iraq
The Council on Foreign Relations recently put to four military experts the question: What Should Be The U.S. Exit Strategy From Iraq? The answers are interesting...William Nash, General John W. Vessey senior fellow for conflict prevention and director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations:
I kept wondering about this
Seriously. I couldn’t imagine Marines bunching up like they would have to be to have had 10 killed and 11 wounded. Not in a combat situation. They are much too well trained to do that. According to Reuters, they weren’t in a combat situation:Ten U.S. Marines killed near the Iraqi city of Falluja last week had been at a promotion ceremon
Howard Dean on Iraq
In keeping with what one commenter says is my obsession with Howard Dean (actually, as you’ll see, it’s more of an obsession with blatant stupidity), I present the following:Saying the "idea that we’re going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong," Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean predicted tod
Wesley Clark on Iraq
Wesley Clark has a pretty good op/ed on Iraq in today’s NY Times (and as regular readers know, I’m not a Clark fan). I think he points to a valid area of weakness in the current plan (at least as I’ve seen it articulated by the administration and the military).We need to keep our troops in Iraq, but we need to modify the strategy
Murtha: wrong and confused
Kaus observes Rep. Murtha’s confusion:Murtha vs. Murtha: Rep. Murtha on the prospects of an Iraqi civil war: "[T]here’s a civil war going." [ABC’s This Week, 12/4/05]"why should I believe that there’s going to be a civil war?" [same show, a few moments later] Rep. Murtha on whether the Iraqis will throw us out:<
F for Effort
Boy, it sure is a good thing the Bush administration and Congress are on top of things...The federal government received failing and mediocre grades yesterday from the former Sept. 11 commission, whose members said in a final report that the Bush administration and Congress have balked at enacting numerous reforms that could save American lives and prevent
Outting Politicians
Of all the disgusting partisan politics over the past few years, I think this kind is the most disgusting..."Outing" can change votesWhat is interesting is that Crain acknowledges that the outings have been able to change voting patterns of some of these folks, which validates the controversial work of Mike Rogers over at BlogActive. ... Remember, most of the people w
American Soldiers are Terrorizing Iraqi Children
Or so says John Kerry (on CBS’s Face the Nation).SCHIEFFER: All right. Let me shift to another point of view, and it comes from another Democrat, Senator
Journalism’s new ethics
Ralph Peters, in his own no-holds-barred way, discusses a phenomenon which I’ve often thought about over the years:A specter is haunting journalism: the specter of Watergate.Three decades ago, two young reporters became the story and crippled American journalism.Budding yuppies who avoided inconvenient service to the state needed heroes they
Did anyone else doubt this?
Sometimes I wonder about the news media. This has been known for how long?Iraqis, rather than foreign fighters, now form the vast majority of the insurgents who are waging a ferocious guerrilla war against United States forces in Sunni western Iraq, American commanders have revealed.Their conclusion, disclosed to the Sunday Telegraph in interview
2008 campaign starts in Virginia
I’ve been saying this for awhile now, and I think it’s going to be a theme for quite some time: pay attention to Virginia over the next 18 months. Virginia politicians are going to play a major role in the 2008 Presidential elections, and the intervening period will be spent building organizations and establishing credibility. First,  
Blog Notes
The Ecosystem has been upgraded, and NZ Bear explains...In the past, the raw link count seemed a good measure of blog’s relative success and popularity, but in recent times, the blog world has grown more complicated, with more intricate patterns of linking that can distort such a ranking system —- sometimes deliberately, sometimes simply as a consequence of th
New Podcast
Here is yet another new podcast, in addition to the one from two days ago. This is a full-scale podcast, with Jon, Bruce, and I discussing the war in Iraq, the prospects for success, and the administration’s mistakes—both in Iraq and, politically, here at home.Podcast 
How about the 600,000 murdered since ’76
I’m not much of an advocate for the death penalty, but I’ve been surprised (well not really given the gruesome death count the media continues with KIAs in Iraq) at the supposed milestone of 1,000 executions being such a big deal ... at least in the media:A convicted murderer was put to death Friday in the nation’s 1,000th execution since capital punishment resumed in 1977. K protests newspaper layoffs
Why does this strike me as fairly typical of a lot of thinking on the left? has launched a petition drive to protest job reductions at the Los Angeles Times and three other Tribune Co. newspapers — cutbacks that the liberal activist group says threaten the papers’ ability to deliver "strong watc
New podcast
We didn’t have a podcast for you earlier this week, because of the holiday weekend. So I felt I owed you one. So, here it is. And in this podcast, the subject’ll have to listen and find out. I can tell you, however, that it’s recorded as a big, 18MB, hi-fi MP3, instead of the low, voice-quality MP3’s we usually produce.Intrigued? Then listen! 
Kaus on Economics
Mickey Kaus weighs in on yesterdays unintentionally hilarious New York Times front-pager.The article notes several positive economic trends, including lower gas prices, but then warns darkly that... as always with the
You want numbers, here they are ...
Much whining has been heard from certain spheres about the lack of metrics in measuring success in Iraq, about unquantifiable goals and vague strategies. Well, one of the lynchpins to the strategy in Iraq is building a security force which is able to take over from the US and secure Iraq while fighting and defeating the "insurgents". Some numbers (and dates) have now been put to
The Greatest Delusion
Instapundit writes....The problem is that corruption is bipartisan. The Republicans seem worse now, but that’s because they’re in power, and power provides more opportunities. Of course, if the government had less power, there would be less corruption. Or at least, the corruption in question would matter less. Oliver Wil
The Middle Eastern anti-missile race
Under the category "Russia is not our friend" (as we’ve mentioned a number of times on this blog) we find that Putin and the boys have decided that it is to their advantage to  
Bombing and border correlation
Homicide bombing was down in November, although AP is quick to point out that, of course, doesn’t mean US losses were down:Suicide bombings fell in November to their lowest level in seven months, the American military said Thursday, citing the success of U.S.-Iraqi military operations against insurgent and foreign fighter sanctuaries near the Syrian border.
Congressman Murtha still getting it wrong
I heard Congressman Murtha on NPR yesterday and the performance was very strange—intemperate and conspiratorial. I’ll transcribe from the audio at NPR:MURTHA: Military commanders talk to me all the time privately and what they’re saying privately is not what they’re saying publicly. NPR: Why do you think that is? Why do y
Labor shortage?
Farmers are complaining they can’t get anyone to pick their crops in CA and AZ:California and Arizona farmers - producers of half the nation’s citrus and 90 percent of its vegetables and nuts - are struggling with an acute labor shortage. The situation, worsened by crackdowns on illegal immigration since 9/11, also extends to other states and is no longer just a matter
Tookie Must Die!
Debra Saunders has a few things to say about Tookie Williams, and the last-ditch effort to keep him alive.Lies so pervade the campaign waged to "save" convicted killer Stanley Tookie Williams that Williams and company don’t even bother to cover their tracks when they say things they know aren’t true. So in an interview Monday with MSNBC’s fat
"... but who can tell for the future?"
The strange story of the female Belgian bomber who blew herself up in Iraq:Stunned Belgians are starting to get a clearer picture of the Belgian woman identified as a suicide bomber killed in Iraq last month.La Derniere Heure newspaper published a photo of the woman it said was the bomber, and interviewed her mother.The paper says she is Muriel Degauque,
Right, for the Wrong Reasons
Anatol Lieven writes in The Financial Times that the United States is too weak and decadent to perform tasks like those we are currently undertaking in Iraq. He thinks we should just give it all up and bring our troops home.The basic reasons why the American empire is bust are familiar from other imperial histories. The empire can no longer raise enough taxes
How far we’ve come
There are massive obstacles remaining in Iraq and it’s still an open question whether the US and Iraq can overcome those problems within the political process. Still, while we’re travelling that road, it’s important to remember that, despite what critics said... "They can’t have an election right now. Bush’s not getting the job done." —John Kerry [ 
The MSM’s reaction to Iraq Strategy
Some interesting comments among the newspapers of note in the US concerning the Bush strategy for Iraq. Note again, as Jon pointed out, this isn’t new. However it is now, with the level of visibility given the issue in the last few weeks, not something that can be further ignored.The
Not on the same page
At a Pentagon press briefing, he Chairman of the JCS, Marine General Peter Pace, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, had a little disagreement.When UPI’s Pam Hess asked about torture by Iraqi authorities, Rumsfeld replied that "obviously, the United States does not have a responsibility" other than to voice disapproval.Bu
Reaction to the Strategy
Sen. John Kerry:"The truth is that the president draws a false line in trying to make his case to America. The troops don’t belong to his point of view, they belong to America..." Well, and I don’t want to presume to tell a sitting Senator his business, but I seem to recall Article II, Secti
Your UN at work
It always heartens me to see stories like this. It makes it that much easier to continue to make the point that the UN has become absolutely useless:Despite enormous wealth and various federal and social welfare schemes at work, the United States is failing to help millions of its people trying to get out of poverty, according to an independent United Na
A paean to socialism
E.J. Dionne waxes nostaligic for the days of old when big labor was a significant force in politics and business and signalled the evolution of a system which was just better than the raw capitalism of the past. He sees the GM layoffs as an important point in American history:
Iraq: Do you want a Strategy or Tactics?
He keeps using that word. I do not think it means what he thinks it means...Meanwhile, it’s plain that there’s no actual strategy here. The document calls for "building democratic institutions" and eventually "providing an inspiring example to reformers in the region." But the administration has no idea how to do that stuff.Well, tha
A Gathering of Heroes
Need some advice and/or feedback.Blackfive and I are batting around an idea to do for those who’ve been awarded for their valor in combat what has been done for other themes. This is an outgrowth of the "Project Hero" posts I’ve been doing for the last couple of weeks (and which will continue even if what we’re co
A Strategy For Iraq
All things old are new. Again. Having not noticed the strategy before, The New York Times reports that...President Bush today is putting forward for the first time a public version of what the White House calls a comprehensive strategy for victory in Iraq. The Washington Post call
"Its like trying to build an airplane in flight while being shot at..."
That’s how LTG David H. Petraeus, former head of the Multinational Security Transition Command in Iraq described the job of training up Iraqi troops to a level in which they can take over the job themselves. He also said that metaphorically the job could be likened to a cattle drive: "The metaphor for this effort is the cattle drive," he told Tribune editorial writer Jim Beamg
Is this really a matter for the Senate?
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) has apparently decided that, all other pressing national problems having been permanently solved, the Unitede States Senate should oversee the employment practices of the Philadelphia Eagles, vis a vis Terell owens.Sen. Arlen Specter accused the National Football League and the Philadelphia Eagles of treating Terrell Owens unfairly and said he might refer the matter to the antitrust subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee,
Stupid Moments in Punditry
Virginia Governor (and, I’m tellin’ ya, 2008 Democratic Presidential Candidate) has granted clemency to Robin Lovitt, who "would
Beer: the new cancer fighter
Hot damn!Who says there isn’t a reason to have a beer or two?A compound found only in hops and the main product they are used in - beer - has rapidly gained interest as a micronutrient that might help prevent many types of cancer.I’m going to have to work up a good preventive medicine campaign, I can see that."W
Bush’s immigration speech
Immigration. The big speech. What were it’s main points?President Bush primarily stressed the importance of securing the border and stopping illegal immigration in the beginning. It is about time. We’re into our 4th year since 9/11 and we finally get a serious policy speech about the importance of securing our border and stopp
Quick Hits
A few things I’ve been meaning to get to...Tim Worstall has put out a new book, entitled "2005 Blogged: Dispatches from the Blogosphere". It’s available at Amazon [UK]."2005: Blogged" provides a complete round up of the way the blogging community covered the major events of
Duke Goes Down
Well, I’m out one Congressman. Randy "Duke" Cunningham is—or rather was—my congressman. Now, he’s resigned, so I guess it’s another special election to fill his empty slot.I’m not impressed by his possible replacements, either. Sorta wish I could run for the office myself.
Saving Tookie?
What is it about murderers that so capture the interest of the Hollywood community in specific, and progressives in general, Jack Dunphy wonders. The current cause celebre, of course, is Tookie Williams. Tookie, in case you didn’t know is in prison for being a very bad man.On February 28, 1979, Stanley "Tookie" Williams and three other men drove in two cars to a 7-
Crafting a Successful Withdrawal Strategy
Peter Brookes writes on how to craft a successful withdrawal strategy in Iraq. While military efforts to bring security to the populace is important, there are other key factors as well.The next big political milestone in Iraq comes in just over two weeks - the national elections on Dec. 15. These should establish Iraq’s first democratically-elec
The Speech Bush Should Give
James Q. Wilson present the speech that George W. Bush should be giving.My fellow Americans: We are winning, and winning decisively, in Iraq and the Middle East. We defeated Saddam Hussein’s army in just a few weeks. None of the disasters that many feared would follow our invasion occurred. Our troops did not have to fight door to door to take Baghdad. The
Critcizing Wal-Mart’s Critics
Sebastian Mallabytakes a closer look at Wal-Mart’s business, and opines that the opposition to the retailer is a bit silly.Wal-Mart’s critics allege that the retailer is bad for poor Americans. This claim is backward: As Jason Furman of New York University puts it, Wal-Mart is "a progressive success story." Furman advised John "Bened
An Iraq Strategy: Reinventing the Wheel
David Broder thinks he detects "Signs of an Iraq Policy" from the Democrats...It has taken a long time, but the Democrats finally have come close to defining a sensible common ground on the issue of Iraq. ... [The] outlines of such a position emerged last week in speeches by two respected Democratic members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joe Biden of Delaware an
This and that
I think this particular race may end up being one of the more interesting races in ’06. First the Democratic primary: A wounded female veteran with no political experience (but backed by Rahm Emanuel and the DCCC) and Christine Cegelis, anti-war Democrat (and former Democrat nominee in ’04). The DCCC doesn’t think Cegelis can win.But the female, disable
Biden, Iraq and the counterinsurgency battle
Apparently the "insurgency" is wearing a little thin for some Iraqis (the Shiites, obviously).Iraq needs a more aggressive approach to win the fight against insurgents, the head of a powerful Shiite political party said in an interview that criticized the U.S. approach as mistaken, the Washington Post reported on Sunday."The more freedom given to Iraqis, the
Dropping all pretences
Ted Rall apparently has decided to come completely out of the closet and declare he not only doesn’t support the war in Iraq but he hasn’t much use for the troops either.My reaction?
Iraq: The Manipulation of Intelligence
At Washington Monthly, Kevin Drum is compiling a list of actual examples of apparently manipulated intelligence. I think this is a much more useful path forward in the debate about pre-war intelligence than continued repetition of the now-standard "Bush lied!" "No, you lie!" dialogue. Perhaps it was intentional deception. Perhaps. I’m inclined to believe that
10 things we take for granted that may be gone by 2040
Ah yes, the new year approaches and the predictions begin. Actually, these are fun sometimes.Peter Singer thinks the sanctity of life will be passe:During the next 35 years, the traditional view of the sanctity of human life will collapse under pressure from scientific, technological and demographic developments.
Hooray for Hollywood!
For Thanksgiving this year, we went up to LA to spend a few days with The Lovely Christine’s family. This is becoming our regular tradition since, a few years ago, my mother decided that she hates and despises The Lovely Christine, and so she no longer issues Thanksgiving invitations to us, or for that matter invitations of any other kind. But that’s a whole ’nother story.Anyway, after being sated with a truly excellent barbecue grilled turkey, we decided that it
Libertarian VS Liberal
Matt Yglesias captures my fundamental problem with liberal political philosophy in just a few words...Via Alex Tabarrok and Cory Doctorow a re
The political reality of troop withdrawals
Apparently the MSM is bound and determined to give war critics a lion’s share of the credit for upcoming and planned troop withdrawals from Iraq. Although they are calling it a "convergence" of opinion (a nice way to word the timing of this I guess, don’t know why they avoided "opportunism"), the LA Times also talks about relieving the "eno
The American Dream
Seems every Thanksgiving you can count on someone telling us how lousy we have it, or how lousy we’ve become. This Thanksgiving, predictably, is no different. This time it’s David Ignatius:When I lived abroad, Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday. It was a chance to scrounge up a turkey, gather foreign and American friends,
UFO’s are real and Bush is trying to start a galactic war
No, really:A former Canadian Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister under Pierre Trudeau has joined forces with three Non-governmental organizations to ask the Parliament of Canada to hold public hearings on Exopolitics—relations with “ETs.”By “ETs,” Mr. Hellyer and these organizations mean ethical, advanced extraterrestrial civilizations that
Learning from his mistakes?
Well if anyone could point out planning and execution mistakes and errors pertaining to disaster relief, maybe Michael Brown, aka the FEMA fashion god, may be the best man for the job:Former FEMA Director Michael Brown, heavily criticized for his agency’s slow response to Hurricane
Happy Thanksgiving
I hope everyone had a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.Speaking of blessed I have 4 grandsons ranging from 9 to 2. They’re the apple of my eye, and I treasure every single moment with them.Today I was talking with the oldest one and he was telling me about something that happened in school. He said the teacher had ask a hypothetical question and then ask how they might act after they heard whatever it was the teacher said.My grandson answered that he
"Steel Curtain" ends
Operation "Steel Curtain" has ended in western Iraq:U.S. and Iraqi forces have killed more than 700 suspected insurgents in less than two months during operations in western Iraq, the U.S. military said on Wednesday, calling the result "very successful".Major General Rick Lynch, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq, said that as well as those killed, 1,500 suspect
The New Libertarian
Recent articles at The New Libertarian:Warring Against the Drug Warriors, by Tim Worstall.
Ed Koch takes on both sides of the aisle
Ed Koch levels criticisms, appropriately in my estimation, at both sides of the political isle in his op/ed:We can argue every day about whether the war was a wise choice. With the benefit of hindsight, everyone now agrees that the intelligence provided by our security agencies was just plain wrong. There is no question that while Iraq had weapons of mass destructi
Still whining about tax cuts
This time its E.J. Dionne. That’s not to say that within his column he doesn’t have a point or two. When speaking of the recently passed $50 billion dollar "spending cuts" he says: Not a single Democrat was willing to vote for the budget because there are far better ways to cut the deficit. Rep. Jim Ramstad, a Minnesota Republican who dissented from
Steyn distills the essence of "cut-and-run" as well as the results
To call it a ’home run’ is to resort to cliche, admittedly, but Mark Steyn does indeed express the repercussions of the US leaving Iraq before the job is done quite well:In war, there are usually only two exit strategies: victory or defeat. The latter’
France: Whistling past the graveyard
Well, it seems France is "back to normal" according to its ambassador. I’d equate more to being back in denial:He said mostly teenagers had acted out of social and economic hardship. "It was not about the role of Islam in France," he said."We never saw any link, direct or indirect," the French diplomat said. "Religion played no role."<
Defending Congressman Murtha
Via Outside The Beltway, evidence that Representative Schmidt wasn’t just being "the messenger" when she said Colonel Bubp had "asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, marines never do."a spokeswoman for the colonel, Danny R. Bubp, said Ms. Schmidt had m
Scotland: More guns, more violence
I have to admit, I’ve never, ever understood the reasoning which is routinely used by some to claim that more guns automatically equals more violence. It makes even less sense when the guns being talked about would be in the hands of police:THE routine equipping of police with firearms could trigger a wave of violence on Scotland’s streets, the country’s most se
Iraq Withdrawal: So, let’s plan it and do it
And as I pointed out, it appears it’s already being done. Since the Iraqis are now officially calling for it to be done, I say we oblige them based on their own timeline:Reaching out to the Sunni Arab community, Iraqi leaders called for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces
"X" Marks the spot
Apparently, per Drudge, CNN is trying to make a visual editorial statement about VP Dick Cheney:At 11:04:45 AM ET Monday CNN was airing Vice President Dick Cheney’s speech live from the American Enterprise Institute in Washington—when a large black ’X’ repeatedly flashed over the vice president’s face!The ’X’ over Cheney’s face
More support for the troops
Seattle, Washington ... love to visit, but based on this story I’d hate to live there:When military recruiters march into any Seattle high school, they could find themselves in a war of words. Under new district guidelines, schools must allow anti-military groups to "counter-recruit" right next to them"There might be good reasons to die for things, but there&rs
Finger firmly raised, Clinton senses the wind changing direction
One of the more endearing [/sarcasm] and dependable qualities of Mr. Clinton:Former President Clinton said yesterday that the United States should wait until after mid-December parliamentary elections in Iraq to decide whether to set a timetable for troop withdrawal.Clinton offered a lengthy assessment of the Iraq war as pa
Movie: "Edge of America", Showtime 8PM tonight
Ok, regular readers are probably wondering, why the podcast with Delanna Studi (QandO is not regularly an "entertainment blog") and why the pushing of the movie "Edge of America" tonight at 8 on Showtime?Full disclosure: As was revealed in the podcast DeLanna is Wes Studi’s neice. And, well, she’s also mine. I’m very proud of DeLanna&rsqu
Is Howard Dean the guy the DNC really needs?
They may be wishing they had Terry McAuliffe back. A quick comparison of the RNC and DNC in the fundraising arena, the area that Dean was supposed to be such an asset. The RNC reports:The Republican National Committee filed its report covering 10/1/2005-10/31/2005. The committee reports $7,576,417 in receipts and $7,255,026 in disbursements. Cash on hand totals $34,391,493.Whereas the DNC r
Iraq Withdrawal: Dealing with consequences
You might say Ralph Peters went on a little rant today:QUIT. It’s that simple. There are plenty of more complex ways to lose a war, but none as reliable as just giving up.Increasingly, quitting looks like the new American Way of Wa
A Framework for the Iraq Debate
I don’t claim any unique insight into The Truth of the debate about pre-war intelligence, but I do want to lay out some of my guiding assumptions, tendencies and beliefs. I’ll probably dissent from a great many people on both sides of the fence in the course of this post. That’s fine. I’ve been laying back on a lot of the questions surrounding the war, pre-war intelligence and exit strategies because I find the main arguments put forth by Republicans and Democrats int
Is this all about impeachment?
Michael Barone entitles his article "The (Very) Big Lie".Of course he’s addressing who knew what concerning pre-war intelligence. He, like I, have come to the conclusion that the Democrats are simply pushing the "big lie" believing that if they repeat it often enough and forcefully enough they can convince a majority of Americans it is the truth. If you&rsq
Meanwhile on the Mexican border
Indicators of what many of us have been concerned about for quite some time as concerns border security:An al-Qaida operative who was on the FBI’s terrorist watch list was recently captured near the Mexican border, housed in a Texas jail and turned over to federal agents, Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, said on Friday."A confirmed al-Qaida terrorist, an Iraqi
New Podcast
This week’s podcast is up, with all three of us discussing the weeks big stories.For those of you who prefer it, the direct link to the podcast is here.
We can only hope ...
Is Zarqwai dead?U.S. forces sealed off a house in the northern city of Mosul where eight suspected al-Qaida members died in a gunfight — some by their own hand to avoid capture. A U.S. official said Sunday that efforts were under way to determine if terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was among the dead.In Washington, a U.S. official said the identities of the te
Mark Warner running For President in 2008
Recently, Democrats have been toying with a new slogan...House Democratic leaders are holding a closed-door meeting with members of their caucus this afternoon to discuss a new slogan for the 2006 midterm elections: "Together, We Can Do Better" or "Together, America Can Do Better," according to Democratic sources. In what seems to b
The plan to pull some troops out of Iraq on Rumsfeld’s desk
And of course you know who is going to try to take credit for this. But one has to remember this plan has been in the works since about June of this year as we pointed out here and here:The top U.S. commander in Iraq has submitted a plan to the Pentagon for withdrawing troops in Iraq, according to a senior defense official.Gen. G
Apparently Jordan doesn’t buy Zarqawi’s claim
Sounds as though Jordanians aren’t in the mood to suffere the pathetic rationalizations al Queda’s Abu Musab Zarqawi offered about the bombings of three hotels in Jordan. Then Zarqawi really jumped the shark when he threatened to behead Jordan’s King:At least 200,000 persons demonstrated yesterday against the recent bombings of three luxury hotels, while
Spinning the spin
It’s always fun to trip around the blogsphere after an event like the troop withdrawl resolution in the House last night and take a gander at the spin.Calling it the "Fake Hunter Bill" Armando at the Daily Kos apparently doesn’t understand the first vote:The vote on the rule to bring the Fake Hunter Resolution to the floor for a vote passed 210-202, b
Chat Room Update
Jon emailed me yesterday to tell me that the chat room was giving some trouble, due to some odd change that parachat has made.I have replaced the parachat chat room with a new IRC-based chat system on the chat page. Instructions for using the new chat system are on the chat page. I hope you find this works better.
Troop Withdrawal Resolution down in flames
The vote has been taken on the resolution to withdraw the troops from Iraq. The House voted 403-3 with 6 voting "present" and 14 not voting, to reject the resolution.The breakdown was 215-0 (6 NV) among Republicans and 187-3 with 5 voting present (8 NV) among the Democrats. Surprisingly, at least for me, the only Republican voting for the resolution, or at least this is what was reported, was John Linder a Georgia Republican and my Congressman.
How would Harry Reid know?
Harry Reid has made a career of claiming that the prewar intelligence used to go to war was "manipulated and manufactured" by the Bush administration, intelligence which was presented in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) produced by the CIA.But, based on the following quote, one has to ask how would Harry know?At a November 15 press conference, I asked Reid
Krauthammer on ID
Charles Krauthammer doesn’t have much respect for Intelligent Design.Let’s be clear. "Intelligent design" may be interesting as theology, but as science it is a fraud. It is a self-enclosed, tautological ``theory’’ whose only holding is that when there are gaps in some area of scientific knowledge—in this case, evolution—they are to be filled by God. It is a
The politics of the situation
The situation: Rep. John Murtha says we ought to pull our troops out of Iraq now. The reaction: Mixed. Democrats hail him as a hero. Republicans say he’s aiding and abetting the enemy.The plot: The majority Republicans seek a way to turn a  
Dear Rep. Murtha ....
Do yourself a favor and quit this:Murtha, a Marine intelligence officer in Vietnam, angrily shot back at Cheney: "I like guys who’ve never been there that criticize us who’ve been there. I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war, and then don’t like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done."
Murtha urged leaving Iraq 18 months ago
The "shocking reversal" of John Murtha’s position concerning the war in Iraq is being played to the hilt as the final tipping point in the crumbling support for that war.Well, not so fast. It appears Murtha’s "shocking reversal" happend about 18 months ago if Carl Limbacher has this all correct:In fact, Murtha began advocating a cut-and-run strategy
1.77 Metric Tons of Nothing
This story was all the rage a week or so ago...In a secret operation on June 23, 2004, U.S. forces seized 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium—the kind used to make fuel for atomic bombs—in a nuclear facility in Iraq, according to BBC News.The story—most prominently reported originally at the BBC
Echoes of the ’60s
Read this email and understand that this isn’t a new attitude just one that’s been suppressed because much of the extreme left has felt this need to be seen as "patriotic" in their dissent, unlike during Vietnam. Apparently those who are of this mind on the left aren’t feeling the need to hide it anymore.This is an email from a professor at Warren Community College to a s
Clean up duty
(1) You know how good military recruiting has been lately? Yeah, well...The military is falling far behind in its effort to recruit and re-enlist soldiers for some of the most vital combat positions in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a new government report. The report, completed by the Government Accountability Office, shows that the Army, National Guard and Marines signed up a
Modern Science—Shades of the Scholastics
Debra Saunders writes that the global warming orthodoxy in science is getting increasingly intolerant.A Tuesday Open Forum piece in The San Francisco Chronicle, written by a UC Berkeley journalism professor and a UC Berkeley energy professor, provides a perfect example of this odd view that all scientists ascribe to a common gospel: "The Intergovernmental Panel on
The Old Iraqi Army...Good Riddance
Dan Senor and Walter Slocombe note that the criticism that George Bush shouldn’t have disbanded the Iraqi Army is a bit foolish.To explain this requires a bit of history. When the American-led coalition "disbanded" the Iraqi Army in May 2003, it was simply recognizing the fact that the army had long since dissolved itself - in the Pentagon’s jargon, "self-demobil
Texas Justice
Tom Bevan at RealClearPolitics hasn’t let the Tom DeLay indictment fade away. He’s wondering what, exactly, is going on in Ronnie Earle’s office.We already know Earle misfired badly on the first indictment and then tried to paper over the blunder by going to a second grand jury two days later and frantically asking it to return a ne
Can you say "Whig"? I Knew You Could.
George Will notes that the results in the Dover, Delaware school board election, in which the "Intelligent Design" controversy played such a large role, should sound a cautionary note to what are euphemistically called "social conservatives".Dover’s insurrection occurred as Kansas’ Board of Education, which is controlled by the kind of conservatives who
No Torture Allowed—Although Some Members of Congress Should Probably Be Slapped Around a Little
Rich Lowry opines that the John McCain anti-torture proposal is just political grandstanding.According to McCain, it is necessary because the U.S. maintains that the prohibition against cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, which it agreed to in the Convention Against Torture, doesn’t apply to foreigners held overseas. Indeed, Congress was careful to include this caveat when it r
Bob Woodward’s Odd "Reporting"
Jack Shafer is nonplussed about Bob Woodward’s revelation yesterday that he knew about Valerie Plame’s identity—apparently long before anyone else did—and kept silent about the whole thing for two years.That Woodward learned Plame’s name and employer—but not that she was covert—in mid-June 2003 changes the arc of the story by making Woodward one of the earliest, if n
McCain: Senate aiding and abetting enemy
Now tell this: is he questioning their patriotism? From John McCain’s New York Post op/ed "Aiding and Abetting": At home, the American people wish to see us succeed in helping bring freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people, but express increased uncertainty among the way forward. Now is the last time we should send a message that withdra
It’s all bad
It’s been fun watching the poll watchers of a particular political persusion gloat over Bush’s low approval numbers (Harris Poll).But hey, as many have said, Bush isn’t running in ’06 or ’08. However Congress is. Well that’s true, they say, and weak presidents have a tend
208 Silver Stars
Silver Stars, as in the award for valor. It’s the third highest award for valor. Did you have any idea that there had been 208 of them awarded for action during Afghanistan and Iraq?I’m sure, however, that you know within 10 or so how many of our soldiers have been killed there, don’t you? With the relentless body count from the media it’s rather hard to miss.But the other side of that, the bravery, the heroes? Well a
"Will work for food"
Shock therapy? Hit the link and read the caption.Personally I love it. Sometimes a little public humiliation goes a long way in a kid’s life (I certainly had a few examples of such therapy in my life, even a couple from my parents which, btw, I richly deserved).Of course there are those w
Facts are optional
As everyone who reads this blog regularly knows I love irony and I love to point out situations in which irony is present. Today’s example comes from Richard Cohen and his column ironically entitled "Ignoring The Facts". Speaking of ignoring facts:For example, the insistence that Hussein was somehow linked to the terrorist
Open Source Media
I’m not sure I get the general antipathy on the Left towards the new Open Sou
Rewriting history
Seems that both sides of the political spectrum are now throwing out charges of the other rewriting history as it pretains to the Iraq war. Focusing solely on the pre-war intelligence portion of the issue, Sen. Harry Reid claims the administration "manipulated and manufactured intelligence" to support its desire to go to war. The Democrats also claim that had they known the truth about Iraq
Some things you have to see to believe
Seriously. Hit the link, look at the picture, read the caption. Then wonder: "Is this messed up or what?"
Don’t miss our latest podcast
An interview with Delanna Studi who stars in a movie being released on Showtime Nov. 21st called "Edge of America".
"Setting a date is a loser."
Nah, this stuff doesn’t effect the troops. They don’t pay any attention at all:A top American commander in Iraq on Wednesday denounced calls by some U.S. senators and others for a deadline on withdrawal from Iraq, calling that "a recipe for disaster" for the 2 -year-old war."Setting a date would me
Taxpayer blood from the Federal Stone
Well, I thought we had a genuine Porkbusters victory with the defunding of the Bridges to Nowhere, but Radley Balko points out it’s just "smoke and mirrors"...It’s a cheap stunt by the GOP to deflect public criticism that doesn’t really change
The foul odor of Vietnam wafts through the Senate
The weak knees in the Senate are addressed by Tony Blankley rather well:Little good comes when Congress grabs control of American foreign policy and war-fighting strategies from the hands of a scandal-weakened White House. Of course it is always possible that there are 51 forward-leaning, shrewd, patriotic, non-partisan senators assembled to make the tough, unpopul
UN Internet Summit agrees to status quo
The worldwide summit concerning the internet called by the UN and being held in Tunisia has come to a preliminary agreement to essentially leave the control and regulation of the internet as is:Negotiators from more than 100 countries agreed late Tuesday to leave the United States in charge of the Internet’s addressing system, avert
Torture by Iraqi Ministry alleged
OK, this sucks:Iraq’s government said Tuesday that it had ordered an urgent investigation of allegations that many of the 173 detainees American troops discovered over the weekend in the basement of an Interior Ministry building had been tortured by their Iraqi captors. A senior Iraqi officia
Saving you a little time
The New York Times editorial claiming the Bush White House did as Harry Reid claims and "manufactured and manipulated intelligence" (er, lied) about Iraq here.The White House response here.Read them both ... tell me which is more believable.UPDAT
New Podcast
In this podcast, we take a little break from politics, in order to interview DeLanna Studi, whose award-winning performance in the movie "Edge of America", can be seen on Showtime on 21 November, 2005.Hope you enjoy it.
It’s a War, Not a Courtroom Drama
The editors of the New York Times note that Congress is trying to limit the ability of Guantanamo detainees to access the federal court system, much in the same was as they did for former Confederates in the reconstruction era, in response to the McCardle case.The ghost of the McCardle case was brought to life last week when the Senate, by a vote of 49 to 42, approved an amendment to
Shocked—Shocked I tell you!
Dennis Prager notes with interest the Arab response to the Jordan bombings.Jordanians are shocked that Islamic terrorists would blow up families, including families celebrating a wedding. They are so shocked that for the first time in history, Muslims have taken to publicly demonstrating against Islamic terror.And why are they shocked? Because the terrorists blew up Jordanians. As
"Bush Lied. He’s Bad. We’re just fools. That’s different."
Christopher Hitchens takes a look at the "Bush Lied" meme and is unimpressed. He also notes a little odd language in the way that Dana Milbank frames the issue.Is it true, as the president claimed in his Veterans Day speech, that Congress saw the same intelligence sources before the war, and is it true that independent commissions have concluded that there was no willful misrepresentation? Top form was reached on t
Sen. Stevens Resignation Watch
When we last saw Senator Stevens [R-AK]"I don’t kid people," Stevens roared. "If the Senate decides to discriminate against our state . . . I will resign from this body."Well now Drudge points us to
"staying the course in Iraq is not an option"
So says Harry Reid, and he’s proud to announce he’s finally convinced the Republicans of that, or so he claims: Twenty-five of the Senate’s 44 Democrats, including both Reid and Levin, voted with Republicans. ``Both amendments propose to clarify and recommend changes to United States policy in Iraq,’’ Levin said.Re
Condemned to repeat it
Why Democrats object to discussing foreign policy in the ’02 elections I have no idea—well, I do have some suspicions—but EJ Dionne has a solution to the pesky problem of history. Change it! The big difference between our current president and his father is that the first Presiden
Timeout for stupid political tricks
Meanwhile back in the "high school" portion of politics:Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean—who previously ducked questions about the propriety of racial attacks on Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele—yesterday disavowed such campaign tactics."I oppose any effort to make an issue of a candidate’s ethn
Logan’s Second Run
Captain Ed points to a remarkably underreported claim by Senator Rockefeller:I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq, that that was a predetermined set cour
Killing the revolution?
James Robbins of NRO points out that Zarqawi may have inadvertantly become al Qaeda’s worst enemy with the Jordanian bombings because of the effect on public opinion:Attacks like this are not only criminal, they are foolhardy. They rarely benefit the terrorists, and often harm their cause. Recent history makes the case. The 9/11 attacks unified and motivated our
Chirac’s "malaise" speech
Do I hear echoes of Jimmy Carter coming out of France?"These events bear witness to a deep malaise," Chirac said. Referring to the problems of youths in the suburbs, he added: "It is a crisis of meaning, a crisis of reference points and an identity crisis."I actually agree with Chirac. The events do bear witness to a deep malaise. Unfortunat
From the Files of Politician Squad
"I promise you; whatever scum did this, not one man on this force will rest one minute before until he’s behind bars."SENATOR CARL LEVIN [D-MI]: The war against terrorism will not be finished as long as [Saddam Hussein] is in power."Now, let’s grab a bite to eat."
I Have to Share
I’ve been swamped by a variety of personal and professional obligations that have prevented me from doing much blogging. But, sometimes, there are things you have to share. In this case it’s a picture I took at the motocross track with my new Canon Eos 20D digital SLR that I reviewed at 3:00AM Sunday Morning. The thunmbnail below is linked to the full-sized, high-res 8 megapixel JPEG image (4MB download). Exc
Hugo smacks Mexico (and I don’t mean the hurricane)
El Presidente Hugo Chavez has managed to damage relations between he and another leader. This time he’s after Vincente Fox, President of Mexico.Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accused Mexican leader Vicente Fox on Sunday of disrespecting him and his close ally the Argentine president, warning Fox: "Don’t mess with me."[...]"President Fox left bleeding from his wound,
Adopting young orphans to make them fighters
These sorts of things come as a shock to civilized people:Children orphaned by the Kashmir earthquake are being “adopted” by terrorist groups that hope to train them to fight in the jihad, or holy war, writes Dean Nelson.Pakistan’s leading human rights organisation, the Ansar Burney Welfare Trust, said jihadi groups fighting the Indian government were takin
Bring back the Declaration of War
Arguing for the necessity of Declarations of War, Kevin Drum:There’s no reason we should have to guess about this. If the president wants to go to war, he should get a declaration of war. Not an "authorization of force" six months before the fact, but a declaration of war a few days before the invasion. Not only is that what the constitution requires, but it also means that member
The "right" to watch TV
If its not a new-founded, backdoor right, what do you call this:The federal government wants to pay for some U.S. residents to be able to watch television—the only question is how much. [...]The subsidy would go to pay for converter boxes, which would take the digital signal from the broadcasters and convert it so t
Another Carter lament
Jimmy Carter has again lashed out with an op/ed. While mostly unsupported by facts it is long on lament and the misrepresentation of issues and positions.Examples:At the same time, our political leaders have declared independence from the restraints of international organizations and have disavowed long-s
Who IS lying about Iraq?
That’s the question Norman Podhoretz is asking today. I particularly like his characterization of the "Bush lied" meme:What makes this charge so special is the amazing success it has enjoyed in getting itself established as a self-evident truth even though it has been refuted and discredited over and over again by evidence and argument alike. In this it resembles nothing s
"Natural" Law
I’m not terribly interested in the abortion debate, but it does tie into a few important questions: Life; Liberty; Property—at precisely what point is an entity entitled to each? i.e., At precisely what point is a fetus/baby/etc entitled to "life"? Is anybody obligated to provide him with the requirements of life? At what point/age/condition is a person entitled to ownership of self (i.e., liberty)? How does a person justify the coercion
Author drops us a note
Last week I mentioned the pirates off the coast of Somalia in a post. John Burnett left a comment in the comments section. Burnett has a book out entitled "Dangerous Waters: Modern Piracy and Terror on the High Seas".Here’s his take on the Somalian pirates:Piracy off Somalia has been serious f
On the menu: Blue Dog Sausage
Republican Representative Marsha Blackburn spills the beans on why the current budget reduction bill in Congress has been put on hold. First she makes the inevitable comparison to sausage being made. But then she gets more specific:I will tell you that the vast majority of the Republican conference wants this bill, thinks that $53.9 billion in savings out of a yearly $2.4 trillion budget is the least we c
The White House Counter Attack begins
Having been called upon for weeks to "hit back" and to counter the spin the Democrats are trying to lay on prewar intelligence and the administration, it appears the much desired, and anticipated, counter attack is beginning:Bristling from fresh assaults on its justification for war, the White House dispatched national security adviser Stephen J
4 Iraqis were the homicide bombers in Jordan
Apparently reversing the flow of foreign terrorists blowing themselves up in Iraq, 4 Iraqi nationals were the homicide bombers who murdered 56 in Jordan, according to al Qaida:A husband and wife were among four Iraqis who bombed hotels in the Jordanian capital Amman on Wednesday, according to a statement from the militant group, al-Qaida in Iraq."A group
Time for a little "shores of Tripoli" action?
A little reminder of the origins of this verse in the Marine Corps Hymn:One of the unpleasant realities that the young and still untested United States had to face at the turn
McCain on Iraq
McCain is sounding presidential. Here is his take on Iraq:Despite the daily bombings and attacks, the terrorists have not achieved their goals. They have f
And people wonder why the US has no interest in the ICC
Because the people who would most likely make up the court would come from countries like Holland and jurists like this:A Dutch court has ruled that the defence ministry is responsible for psychological damage to a former Dutch soldier at Srebrenica in 1995.Dutch UN peacekeepers, or Dutchbat, were supposed to be protecting the Bosnian Muslim enclave, which was overrun by
Palestinian reaction to Jordanian Bombings
Interesting reaction by Palestinians to al Qaeda’s Jordanian bombings:In this Palestinian village, the Akhras clan mourned 17 relatives killed by a suicide bomber in Jordan — he first time Palestinians have been a target in a suicide attack."Oh my God, oh my God. Is it possible that Arabs are killing Arabs, Muslims killing Muslims
October Recruiting Goals
I can only wonder if this will get any coverage tomorrow:October was a good month for recruiting, with all active-duty components exceeding their recruiting and retention goals, officials said here today.This was particularly good news for the Army National Guard. In October, the Army Guard had a goal of 3,970 recruits and accessed 4,050—102 percent of
Medicare for All
Weighing in on the Kevin Drum/Tyler Cowen health care debate, Matt Yglesias claims...As far as I can tell, the Democratic Party is not in favor of a single-payer health care system. Dennis Kucinich proposed one ("Medicare for all!") in the 2004 primaries and, as you’ll reca
Veteran’s Day
Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day. And in a time of war, it is as important a holiday as we celebrate.People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. -George OrwellWhen one finally distills all the flowery verbiage down, that’s the essence of the military and its mission. We enjoy what we have because those "rough men" are there 24/7 and are willing to defend, if necessary
More Election Analysis
The post-mortems on the Tuesday elections are still coming in. First off, the Wall Street Journal calls this election a wake-up call for the GOP. But there’s something odd about the Journal’s analysis, which they use the deliver another statement about their favorite hobby-horse, "immigration".In Virginia, Democrat Tim Kaine’s
ANWR is out thanks to the Sir Robin Republicans
Of course you have to be a Python fan to understand the title, but not much of one when you read the following:Oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) was stripped from the House version of the budget bill last night as GOP leaders sought support from centrist Republicans for the difficult vote today.The concession came during a meeting of the House
Thoughts on a Neolibertarian Foreign Policy
When we were laying out the underlying principles of Neolibertarianism, Dale Franks characterized Neolibertarian foreign policy in these terms...* A policy of diplomacy that promotes consensual government and human rights and opposes dictatorship.* A policy of using US military force solely at the discretion of the US, but only in circumstances where American interests are directly affected.
France: Capitulation?
David Warren, writing for the Ottawa Citizen, hasn’t much good to say about what’s going on in France, especially the government’s reaction:I see Dominique de Villepin—the French prime minister who, as foreign minister, was so generous with advice to the U.S. and Israel—has now prepared the rewards package for the rioters. Lot
The Virginia Gambit
Seems the pundocracy is bound and determined that Virgina either means the political world has changed or it means nothing.On the "political world has changed" side"E.J. Dionne Jr:Show</td>
          <td class= 
An interesting little nugget or two
For your information:Canada lags behind the United States when it comes to clamping down on air pollution, says an environmental watchdog.Pollution Watch says the United States reduced air pollution emissions by 45 per cent between 1995 and 2003, while Canada reduced air pollution emissions by 1.8 per cent over the same period.
The New Libertarian
New articles at The New Libertarian:Sun Tzu and the Art of Judicial Nominations, by Dan McLaughlin of Baseball Crank. 
Frist warns Democrats about Alito filibuster
Sen. Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, has thrown down the gauntlet concerning any contemplated use of the filibuster by Democrats to block the Alito Supreme Court nomination. In an op/ed in the Chicago Tribune, he makes it abundantly clear a filibuster won’t be tolerated: When considering legisl
Serious about Cutting the deficit?
Mort Kondrake has an article entitled, "It’s Clear That No One Truly Wants To Reduce Deficits". If Washington, D.C., politicians were serious about fiscal discipline, especially to prepare for the baby boom retirement crisis, they’d raise taxes and cut spending. But they aren’t serious.As the debate on budget reconcil
Comprehensive Election Results, Analysis
It’s probably too early to draw grand conclusions about yesterday’s elections—and, in fact, they may be indicative of nothing but local issues—but here’s a election-by-election take on what happened yesterday:VIRGINIAGOVERNOR: Democrat Tim Kaine (52%)  
Latin America’s future and the ideology of failure
I think Carlos Alberto Montaner has it figured out:President Bush learned two lessons at the failed Summit of Mar del Plata: the visceral hatred that the ideas inspired by Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez have for the United States, and the profound division that afflicts Latin America.The devastating protest was not surprising, however. After the fall of th
Don’t Buy Sony
A word to the wise: If you buy music CDs and play them on your computer, then you’d better be very careful about buying any product from Sony BMG Music.Sony is spying on thousands of listeners who buy and play its music CDs on their computers, a leading computer security firm said yesterday.Com
Throwing it All Away
Bruce Bartlett notes that even Republicans have now decided that Oil Companies are fair game for bashing.On Wednesday, two Senate committees will hold a joint hearing on energy prices and corporate profits. Executives from the leading oil companies have been summoned so that senators can publicly berate them for greed, price gouging and anything else th
Mary Mapes: Hooked on Semantics
You have to wonder what it will take to break Mary Mapes out of the stage of "denial" into which she seems to have permanently wedged herself:In her first interview since being fired, former CBS News producer Mary Mapes maintains that her controversial "60 Minutes II" story on President Bush’s National Guard service was "true" and that "no one ha
Cheney Should Go
Few things here are as controversial as the torture debate, but I want to weigh in on this recent story and address it from a slightly different angle...The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement. ...
US Troops used "Poison Gas" in Fallujah documentary claims
Have you heard this one? We allegedly used poison gas on Iraqi civilians in Fallujah according to a new documentary. No, really, that’s the story:Powerful new evidence emerged yesterday that the United States dropped massive quantities of white phosphorus on the Iraqi city of Fallujah during the attack on the city in November 2004, killing insurg
France: Just the beginning?
As Ralph Peters notes, these riots will eventually sputter out, not because the French government will have any effect, but because rioters will simply tire of the activity.But that brings the pregnant question: what next? While its eventual end will give France a short pause and a period upon which to reflect on the "why" of this explosion, will it give them the time to fix the problem? Peters is of the opinion that’s simply not possible because
Quick Hits
Presented without comment...Georgia House of Representative member Cynthia McKinney (D) has introduced House Resolution 4210, a new bill that calls for the United States government to release all documents it has collected on slain rapper, Tupac Shakur. ... In Sept. 2005, McKinney announced her plan for the Tupac Shakur resolution at the Congressional Black Caucus’ Annual
Podcast Reminder
Yes, we managed to pull it off and actually get all three of us together at one time and, well, listen and see.Link to podcast post.The discussion centered around three topics:1. The Democratic Senate campaign to tag the Bush administration with the "manipulated and manufactured intelligence" theme and their attempt to resurrect Joe Wilson to do so.
Using Bad Intelligence
The New York Times reports:A top member of Al Qaeda in American custody was identified as a likely fabricator months before the Bush administration began to use his statements as the foundation for its claims that Iraq trained Al Qaeda members to use biological and chemical weapons, according to ne
Don’t Just Take it
Allan H. Ryskind comments on the whole "Bush Lied" meme.The White House, as the Democrats would now have it, had virtually no evidence that there were weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq, but the President, Dick Cheney and their gang were so intent on removing Saddam from power they invented facts. And when critics such as Joe Wilson spoke truth to power, the “Scooters”
Steyn Predicts Correctly...Again
Mark Steyn looks at the Situation in France, and sees it as a confirmation of his past predictions.Ever since 9/11, I’ve been gloomily predicting the European powder keg’s about to go up. ’’By 2010 we’ll be watching burning buildings, street riots and assassinations on the news every night,’’ I wrote in Canada’s Western Stan
Leave Alito Alone
Eleanor Clift, of all people, advises Democrats not to try and filibuster the Alito nomination.Democrats should mount a tough fight and expose Alito and his conservative cheerleaders so the voters know what they’re getting. Highlight the ruling where Alito said Congress has no power to regulate machine guns under the commerce clause of the Constitution. Play the abortion card&md
What’s up with the CIA?
Victoria Toensing seems to think something is fishy about the whole CIA/Joe Wilson deal, and she’s got some questions about it.• The CIA sent her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, to Niger on a sensitive mission regarding WMD. He was to determine whether Iraq had attempted to purchase yellowcake, an essential ingredient for unconventional weapons. However, it was Ms
Those Darn Special Prosecutors
Jeffrey Rosen is the legal affairs editor at The New Republic, and he writes that the indictment of Lewis Libby is a bit of an odd practice by prosecutors.Contrary to Fitzgerald’s claim, charges of perjury, obstruction, and false statements are relatively rare in federal criminal prosecutions. In 2004, federal prosecutors launched 80 perjury cases out
Cocaine in the Thames
I’d heard, years ago, that just about 85% of all paper money, if tested, would show traces of cocaine. Well now it appears that rivers around certain major cities do the same:So much cocaine is being used in London that traces of the white powdered narcotic
The Pre-war intelligence investigation
The New York Times has an interesting backgrounder on the forthcoming prewar intelligence investigation/debate. On the one hand...With Democrats stepping up their attacks over prewar intelligence on Iraq, the Republican leader of the Senate Intelligence Committee said on Sunday that the panel’s initial work had found no evidence of "political manipulation or pressure" in the use of such i
Sometimes you want to be anti-war so badly you lie - or print them
Read the article. My disgust should be fairly evident without having to rant about it. Apparently Sheehan and Massey are about as good as the anti-war crowd can get:For more than a year, former Marine Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey has been telling anybody who would listen about the atrocities that he and other Marines committed in Iraq.In scores o
Can Chirac save France?
If so, one has to ask, "when?" Rioters fired shotguns at the police in a working-class suburb of Paris on Sunday, wounding 10 officers as the country’s fast-spreading urban unrest escalated dangerously. Just hours earlier, President Jacques Chirac called an emergency meeting of top sec
Yet Another New Podcast
Finally! A podcast with a John, McQ and, I, all talking together about politics.It’s taken us a month to get this together so that it actually works, and I think it turned out great. This is one you should really listen to. This is the typ
Curiouser and curiousier
Yesterday I posted remarks carried by WorldNetDaily from MG Vallely concerning his claim that Joe Wilson outed his wife to Vallely on numerous occassions.Of course Oliver Willis wandered over and his only attempt at refutation was to deny the credibility of the media source (apparently George Soros wouldn’t approve). But as I noted, I used the story because it was a named source who was specific
Stray Voltage
Headline in the San Francisco Chronicle:Will voters deem S.F. no-guns-allowed city?Well they may, but will the criminals?I’m very impressed with the insight of Theodore Dalrymple concerning the problems we now see
Wilson discussed Plame’s job publicly a year before Novak
Many of us are still wondering why Joe Wilson has been ressurected by the Democrats in their latest political gambit when his crediblity was shot through and through by not one, but numerous committees, who’ve already investigated prewar intelligence.But there he is, the resurgent poster-boy for the Democrat campaign to prove that the Bush administration "lied" us into war and "manufactured intelligence" to fit the war. It’s the latter where
This will drive you nuts
What has it been now? 9 days of riots, burning and looting in and around Paris and it’s what? It’s Sarkozy’s fault?!Days of arson attacks also put the authorities on fire. The French Communist Party on Friday urged Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy to step down, saying his policy is "a total failure.""The interior minister’s poli
New Podcast!
A new podcast is up!In this edition, I deliver a fisking to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) comments at the Democratic press conference today, announcing the Phase II investigation of the administration’s use of Iraq Intelligence prior t
Stepping down the road to energy independence
Or so says Ted Stevens of Alaska.The Senate yesterday narrowly approved a plan to allow oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, paving the way for energy exploration in an environmentally sensitive region that has been closed to developers for more than four decades.’’We’re
Hugo’s big day
I fully expect to have to weather the usual assault from those who will question my reason for going after a wonderful man like Hugo Chavez who simply wants to have his people share in the bounty of his country.Well these aren’t the words of a man who has that as his first priority. These are the words of a man who is looking for a fight:Hugo C
The B.S. is free. The truth you have to pay for!
Mickey Kaus takes Nicholas Kristof to the woodshed over his handling of the Plame affair and his half-hearted attempt to correct the record.My favorite part, however, was Kaus’s rip at "TimesSelect", the NYT pay-for-view site where only those who paid the $49.95 a year were able to see Kristof’s "correction:"Kristof may have hit on the marketing breakthrough that will save TimesSelect. Call
Why Paris is burning
In 2002 Theodore Dalrymple wrote an essay for City Journal entitled "The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris". In it he describes for all the world, to include the French, the explosive problem which was building up in their neglected ghettos (known as cités). It’s an extremely well written and prescient article which is a must read for those trying to understand why, "suddenly", France has these problems. As you’ll discover, there’s nothin
Cuba whines about the embargo while buying elections in Brazil
Fidel’s boys are upset that the Bush administration is supposedly tightening the embargo on the island nation:"This is the 10th administration to carry over the blockade measures against Cuba it is certainly the most aggressive and the most explicit about it," ambassador Rene Mujica Cantelar, said in an interview, calling the U.S. steps "economic warfare."
Jimmy do us all a favor - hush!
Tirade time. It’s friday, I don’t feel good and this yahoo just deserves it.Jimmy Carter has opened his fat yap again and as usual has hit a special button on my BS meter. For the worst president in my memory to lecture anyone on foreign policy after his miserable presidency is laughable on its face. But that doesn’t stop J
Kinsley: How to defeat Alito
Michael Kinsley has a very interesting article in Slate concerning the Alito nomination and the choices the left has for successfully opposing it. In effect, he says, they really have only two ‘weapons’:Only two, really: the filibuster and the power of persuasion. And the filibuster—because it seems (and is) unfair and anti-democratic—will backfire unless people are persuaded that it is
Smoldering resentment in Paris
Running as almost an undercurrent to the news of the day are the spreading riots and violence in France. The New York Sun reminds us of the French reaction to the LA riots about 15 years ago:Back in the 1990s, the French sneered at America for the Los Angeles riots. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported in 1992: "the consensus of French pundits is that something on the scale of the Los An
Review of Right Wing Blogs
I wrote a post about liberal blogs back in August, and some commenters asked me to do the same for right wing bloggers. So, since there seems to be far too little cross-pollination between the Left and Right wings of the blogosphere—and at the risk of alienating some of our peers—here’s a Review of Right Wing Blogs. [Note: if you dislike my list, write your own] [Note II: this is not a ranked list]
Blogger Laws
I’ve seen a few of them lately, so perhaps it’s time to do a roundup of some of the more useful Bloggers Laws (well, useful rules of thumb, really) that various bloggers have proposed. Jane’s Law: The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.  
McCain 2008
Guess who’s running for President in 2008? John McCain, that’s who. How would conservatives and libertarians react to McCain winning the GOP nomination? How should they react? Will the Right hold their nose and vote for him, or will his betrayals be too much to stomach? I ask, because I really can’t tell.
Updated Presentations
I have updated the US Military Insignia presentation I created a few months ago. It’s now in Flash Player 8, and I’ve redone all the enlisted chevrons, so they are in 3-D, and look a bit better.In addition, I’ve created a brand new presentation that shows all of the US Military Ribbons and devices (includng the Coast Guard), in order of precedence.I hope
Why is anyone listening to Joe Wilson?
Max Boot discusses the problem with Joe Wilson’s credibility, and, by extension, the faulty reasoning behind Harry Reid’s senatorial temper tantrum yesterday. Joe Wilson is the poster child for the "Bush Lied, People Died" meme, which is ironic, considering that Joe Wilson himself is, not to put too fine a point on it, a big fat liar himself.
Reforming Free Speech
John Stossel has been on a roll this last week. This time it’s politicians who come under his fire.To squeeze more money from voters, Washington’s legislature passed a 9.5-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase. To their annoyance, Washington law permits another lawmaking process: Citizens can petition to put an initiative on the ballot, which the public can
Fight, Fight!
After almost two years of procrastination on the second half of the Iraq Intelligence investigation, the Democrats have decided to call the Republican hand...Democrats invoked a rarely used rule today that sent the Senate into a two-hour closed session, infuriating Republicans but producing an agreement for a bipartisan look at
In other news
For the non-Alito post of the day, a few other things going on in the world:The Village Voice says the Greens want Cindy Sheehan to run for President, or the Sentate:Already, the Libertarian Party, the Green Party, and the Progressive Democrats of America have begun casting about for a challenger. Some envision the perfect candidate as an anti-war Iraq veteran,
Who Cares About Precedent?
George Will comments:When Reid endorsed Scalia for chief justice, he said: "I disagree with many of the results that he arrives at, but his reason for arriving at those results are (sic) very hard to dispute." There you have, starkly and ingenuously confessed, the judicial philosophy—if it can be dignified as such—of Reid and like-minded Democrats: Regardless of constitutional reaso
Not Quite Scalito
Jonathon Adler notes that "Scalito" might be a cute name, but the reality is a bit different.A Justice Alito may vote with Justice Scalia on many issues, but they would hardly march in lockstep—and when they disagree we would be treated to an intellectual debate of the highest order. One area we may expect to see differences between the two is on the First Amendment. Judge Alito’s record suggests
Humorous Aside
Marie Cocco whines in Newsday:But that is, after all, why there is ecstasy among social conservatives about Alito’s proposed ascent. They are confident he will go their way—legal precedent, common sense and the constitutional requirement of an independent judiciary be damned.Yeah! That’s outrageous! Only Justic
The Worm Turns
Jack Kelly analyzes the state of the Bush Administration, and concludes that it’s better than it appears at first glance.Mr. Bush’s job approval ratings have plunged to the lowest level of his presidency (a level still higher than the low points of his seven immediate predecessors), chiefly because of the dismay of many conservatives at the nomination of Ms. Miers, whose judicial p
In comments to this post, the complaint is made that Breyer and Ginsburg were just good liberals continuing the work started by previous liberal courts, while Alito really is a radical...Alito was nominated precisely because the right wants to up-end settled law. ... Alito literally wants to destroy the foundation on which our society is built. ... By contrast, Ginsburg and Breyer were and are no threat
Scalito’s Way
[Former federal prosecutor Larry Lustberg] "Make no mistake: [Samuel Alito] will move the court to the right, and this confirmation process is really going to be a question about whether Congress and the country wants to move this court to the right."[ 
Dump the special prosecutor law
Thomas Sowell points out a pretty important fact that is all but lost in the hubris and politics of the Libby indictment:It is not uncommon for a prosecutor to charge someone with a crime that did not even exist when the prosecutor’s investigation began. In other words, the crime was created during the course of the investigation.
A hill to die on?
That’s what Republican senators have to decide concerning the nomination of Sam Alito—is his nomination that hill?The left’s battle plan is fairly transparant given the press releases from the likes of Ted Kennedy, Howard Dean, Chuck Schumer and Patrick Leahy. David Corn pretty much lays it out in The Nation:There is no question that Alito is
Caller/Interview Segment for the Podcast
If anyone—and I mean anyone—would like to take part in a call-in segment for the QandO podcast, let me know. I can’t promise I will agree with you, but I do promise I will be civil to you. After Wednesday, I will be able to take call-ins or make calls to you—whichever you prefer—at whatever time is convenient for both of us, and those calls can make up part of the podcast. I especially extend this invitation to our
NEWS FLASH! Howard Dean opposes Alito nomination
Ok, Ok, I couldn’t help myself. No surprise here. Nor is it much of a surprise to see Dean using the death of Rosa Parks to score cheap political points ala Chuck Schumer: "President Bush shouldn’t try to use the nomination of an extreme conservative to distract from the ethical problems his White House is facing. Three days after a top White House official was
Alito on abortion, searches
Planned Parenthood v. Casey. This may be the premiere issue in the Samuel Alito confirmation battle, and it’s being ably handled elsewhere, but let me comment on the issue for our readers, too. Specifically, I want to respond to this post at Rox Populi: (via  
Harry Reid: Alito "would create lots of problems"
As expected, Harry Reid set the stage for the upcoming Supreme Court battle by warning the Bush administration against Sam Alito’s nomination:With the announcement of a new Supreme Court nominee expected as early as Monday, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, warned President Bush on Sunday not to pick one
Bush nominates Samuel Alito to Supreme Court
Various sources are indicating that Bush will announce the nomination of Samuel Alito this morning at 8am. President Bush will nominate Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, rebounding from a stinging rebuke over his first choice by tapping a conservative federal judge to replace retirin
Goodbye, Little Guy
It was a bad morning. I had to put one of our little pets to sleep today.Last Christmas, when we were on vacation in Albuquerque, we had to put our ferret, Londo, to sleep because he had cancer. Londo’s passing was a shock, but we were spared a lot of stress from putting him to sleep because he was already hospitalized at the Vet’s, and they found the cancer during surgery, and I gave the permission over the phone to put him to slee
The banners, they are flown in the next war
Former Clinton counsel Lanny Davis writes the post-indictment article everybody needs to read...The indictment against Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, by the special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald presents a challenge in political-crisis management not just for the White House, but for the Democrats as well. And based on recent evidence, both are falling into the same old
The Podcast for 29 Oct 05
A new podcast is up, and you can download it by right-clicking the link below, and selecting "save Target As..." from the pop-up menu. That seems to be the easiest way to get the whole podcast on the first try since the 8MB file doesn’t stream well, unless you’ve got a really high-speed connection. Otherwise, you may have to refresh the screen to get the whole 15 minutes of the podcast to play. 
Forbes on Blogs: There oughta be a law...
Glenn Reynolds points to what he calls a "rather unfair Forbes article about blogs". Some of the more interesting insights in the Forbes article, along with some insights of my own....Blogs started a few years ago as a simple way for people to keep online diaries. Suddenly they are the ultimate vehicle for brand-bashing, personal attac
The Fitzgerald Indictment: questions unanswered
Tom Maguire notes a few open questions that need to be answered in the Plame Affair...Who was Novak’s source?Was national security harmed by the leak of Ms. Plame’s identity?Will there be other charges against other officials?[...]Libby’s general story - he learned about Plame from reporters - was daft. Libby had multiple conversations w
Coming soon to a TV in your home: More of the same
The NY Times is reporting the next nominee the president puts forward will most likely spark a judicial armageddon between the Republicans and Democrats. I only hope that finally, the Republicans will act like the majority party and deploy their nuclear weapons:As he picks another nominee -
OK, I’m going to be up on Yahoo! Messenger this evening, trying to see if it can work for conferencing and recording for podcasts. My yahoo! ID is "alphamale1", in case anyone is interested in calling up, and maybe getting recorded for a call-in portion of the next podcast. Maybe Jon and McQ can join in, too.We had to skip a week of podcasting, because I was having serious Internet connectivity issues, but they’ve been resolved now, and thin
Scooter Libby Indicted
But Karl wasn’t:A federal grand jury today indicted Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, after a two-year investigation into the leak of a CIA agent’s identity but spared—at least for now —President Bush’s top political strategist, Karl Rove.Libby was indicted on charges of perjury,
The price of wandering off the lefty plantation
Things like this always surprise me, but I guess, given the hypocrisy seen daily among members of the extreme left, it shouldn’t.Hit the link and consider the price of being an uppity black and wandering off the plantation. This is responsible dissent? It is, however, from the "reality based" community who likes to tout their fondness for di
World reaction to Iranian President’s words
Yesterday the Iranian president’s remarks calling for Israel to be "wiped from the map" were highlighted here. Today the reaction is rolling in. More than anything, the reactions are indicative of why little gets solved in a world where tin pot dictators and petty tyrants feel free to threaten other countr
Governing from an assumed position of weakness
With the withdrawl of Harriet Miers from her nomination to the Supreme Court, the second guessing and analysis has begun. Not being averse to second guessing or analysis myself, but always being short on time, I scanned the columns today to find one which best matched my take on the subject or would give me the platform from which to launch it. It comes from  
Hillary reverts to form
Newsmax claims Hillary Clinton has reverted to form, at least when it comes to energy, by recommending increasing taxes on gasoline:2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said yesterday that she backs a plan to hike gasoline taxes through the roof.Speaking to a group of alternative energy investors in Washington, D.C., Clinton proposed to sock oil companies with $20 billion in new fees that would be used to fund research on clean energy -
Cry Me a River, Hugh
It’s all sour grapes over at Hugh Hewitt’s place. I mean, Jebus, what a whiner. I was just gonna let the Whole Miers thing die a simple death until I saw this:I think Ms. Miers has been unfairly treated by many who have for years urged fair treatment of judicial nominees.Was it unfair to point out her dearth of experience, or lack of writ
Tax Reform...Not
Alan Reynolds writes that results of the President’s Tax Reform panel don’t look very impressive. There are two plans forming, and both of them are no great shakes.In reality, Plan A is mainly about capping or eliminating individual tax deductions and eliminating the lowest tax rate, while leaving other tax rates more or less unchanged. In e
The French WMD Connection: "If the Trickery Continues..."
Say Anything and Austin Bay point to this story of French weaselry...The Italian businessman at the centre of a furious row between France and Italy over whose intelligence service was to
Harriet Miers withdraws
It’s done. Harriet Miers is withdrawing her nomination. No real links yet, but the New York Times has an alert up.Bush’s Embattled Nominee to Supreme Court WithdrawsCNN reports...President Bush "reluctantly" accepts Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers’s request to withdraw her nomination.
Another form of terrorism
You have to watch having when using the term "terrorism" because it could become the catchall phrase for everything we don’t like. But in reality there are differing forms of terrorism, and not all of them have to do with advancing the cause of a recognized religion or national group. Some terrorism is focused in other areas and while the cause’s adherents may not resort to physical violence, there tactics are no less terroristic than those of muslim fa
Read My Lips: No New Souters
In comments here and on blogs elsewhere, opponents of Miers have been asked to give good reasons why we oppose Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court. Supporters of Harriet Miers have it logically backwards, though. The real question is not "why shouldn’t I support Harriet Miers nomination", but "why should I support Harriet Miers nomination".Leave aside the anecdotal evidence of Miers’ Constitutional confusion, the lifelong avoidance of any constitutio
Iran: Fanning the flames of violence
In what Aljazeera is calling it a "major change" as the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is openly calling for the destruction of Israel. His term, or should I say, one he’s borrowing from the thankfully dead Ayotollah Khomeini, is Israel should be "wiped off the map"."The establishment of the Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic wor
Back at Hugh
In return for Hugh Hewitt’s "hard questions" to Harriet Miers’ detractors, Baseball Crank asks some questions to her supporters in return.And they’re good questions.
Revisiting Griswold
Commenter Mithras asks:If you view Griswold as a bad decision (which I might, I’m not yet well-educated enough to have an informed opinion), would you support the creation of an explicit Constitutional right to privacy?My position in Griswold v Connecticut, is actually fairly complex and nuanced. The main problem with Griswol
Data vs Information
In our Blogosphere email discussion group [sign up by sending an email to:], Adam Gurri pointed out his dismay with sensationalist, misleading media narratives. He’s not alone.  
Rosa Parks: RIP
Rosa Parks passed away yesterday in Detroit:Rosa Parks, who died Monday in Detroit, symbolized the unsung heroines who kick-started the Southern civil rights movement. Ever quiet and unassuming, Mrs. Parks passed decades in near-anonymity before her single act of civil disobedience on a segregated city bus in 1955 Montgomery, Ala., came to be widely celebrated by American socie
Answering the "Tough" Questions
Hugh Hewitt continues to press for the nomination of Harriet Miers by asking some tough questions of her detractors. At least, he thinks they’re tough. I think the answers are blindingly obvious.The responses to arguments from the anti-anti-Miers crowd is to dodge the hard questions, which for the sake of brevity, I will list here:Does George W.
The Trouble with Second Terms
Steve Chapman comments on what has so far been a troubled second term for George W. Bush.Re-election tends to breed hubris, and pride, as the Bible attests, goeth just before you step on a banana peel. Two days after defeating John Kerry, Bush was riding high at a news conference where he vowed to reform Social Security, curb "frivolous lawsuits" and overhaul the tax c
Roe and Politics
Doug MacEachern makes an interesting point in the Arizona Republic about the Religious Right.Religious conservatives only became a force in American politics after Roe vs. Wade became law. They don’t seek much intellectual justification for policies. They just want a Supreme Court decision to be overturned.It strikes me a
Lawrence Wilkerson II
Jon mentioned this briefly a bit earlier, but I wanted to add my 2 cents in here on the Op/ed Piece. Lawrence B. Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, when that worthy was Secretary of State, offers his negative assessment of the White House’s policy machinery under President Bush.In P
Lawrence Wilkerson
Democrats and Iraq war critics are touting a recent speech by former Powell Aide Lawrence Wilkerson, in which he claims there "was a cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made". He expands on that with a column in  
Details on the Hotel Bombings in Iraq
Primarily, given the number of car bombs, the amount of explosive material and the number of people staying in the hotels, why wasn’t there more destruction and more deaths?Well, because those who were guarding the area did their jobs and, given this report, did them pretty darn well: Military officials today released more details about the three car bo
E J Dionne: Getting it all wrong
EJ Dionne is trying his hardest to muddy the waters concerning the appointment of Ben Bernanke to replace Alan Greenspan at the Fed. And Dionne get’s it all wrong.His contention, with which I agree, is that the chairman of the Federal Reserve shouldn’t be an ideologue. And, of course, since Bernanke served on the Bush team as chairman of his Council of E
Democrats: "Palestinians" of American Politics?
Yesterday I opined that the Republicans may be in trouble during the ’06 mid-term congressional elections because of their profligate spending. Ryan Sager, in a Tech Central Station article, disagrees slightly and puts the Waterloo at the ’08 date.His reasoning has to do with the Democrats
Iraqi Constitution officially ratified
Good news from Iraq today:Iraqi electoral officials announced today that a new constitution had been approved by voters, enshrining a legal foundation for the future governance of the country and paving the way for elections for a full-term go
4 to go and Cindy can’t wait
The ghouls are gathering:Cindy Sheehan, the military mother who made her son’s death in Iraq a rallying point for the anti-war movement, plans to tie herself to the White House fence to protest the milestone of 2,000 U.S. military deaths in Iraq."I’m going to go to Washington, D.C. and I’m going to give a speech at the White House, and after I d
Ben Bernanke named to replace Alan Greenspan at FED
And the dollar went higher after the announcement:he dollar turned higher on Monday in a second-wave reaction in the wake of U.S. President George W. Bush’s nomination of White House economic adviser Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chairman to replace Alan Greenspan
Howard Dean: Liar
Howard Dean throws bombs..."I’m tired of the ayatollahs of the right wing," Dean said.Howard Dean, for whom comparing social conservatives to "ayatollahs" is fine, but being compared to Newt Gingrich is "beyond the pale":"[I] am deeply saddened that [Gephardt] has chose
Meet the New Party, same as the Other Party
David Brooks speculates about the New Conservatism:Bush hasn’t abandoned conservatism; he’s modernized and saved it. ... Almost single-handedly, Bush reconnected with the positive and idealistic instincts of middle-class Americans. He did it by recasting conservatism more significantly than anyone had since Ronald Reagan. He rejecte
The War on Drugs: More news from the front
Last week I wrote about the need to stop the War on Drugs. This article caught my attention today:Women made up 7 percent of all inmates in state and federal prisons last year and accounted for nearly one in four arrests, the government reported Sunday.What is the primary reason women now make up 2
Why the Republicans are in trouble in ’06
The reason is really fairly simple. USA Today notes that there was a hot session on the old Senate floor last week:But national survival wasn’t what had legislators inflamed last week. Instead, the rhetoric became overheated when Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., violated an unwritten rule. He dared to advance a measure to trim some of his colleagues&rsq
This was only a matter of time
You remember when GEN Tommy Franks said "we don’t do body counts" back in the early days of the Iraq war?Well, now, apparently we do.Eager to demonstrate success in Iraq, the U.S. military has abandoned its previous refusal to publicize enemy body counts and now cites such numbers periodically to show the impact of some counterinsurgency operations.The revival of body counts, a practice discredited during the Vietnam War, has
Corruption allegations in Iraq
Large scale corruption in Iraq which involves the American adminstration there and rivals the UN’s Oil-for-Food scandal?That’s what Philip Giraldi is reporting in the American Conservative. The fact that it was reported in this particular magazine is what caught my eye and caused me to continue reading. A sample of what Giraldi charges (you need to RTWT):<
Blog Notes
There are two new articles posted at The New Libertarian, including... The Supreme Last Straw, by Billy Hollis—"Just as the left hates Bush in large measure because he’s the symbol of their failure, the right is losing heart because Bush was the symbol of their dreams. And he’s let them down so many times, they can’t
George Bush doesn’t care about white people
Tennessean: "Watching newscasts of the people hardest hit — mostly African-American or already poor people — waiting for government help forced many to question whether this same situation would happen if they had been white and/or wealthier." Glad you  
Harriet Miers: Denial before withdrawl?
Interesting article in the Washington Times:The White House has begun making contingency plans for the withdrawal of Harriet Miers as President Bush’s choice to fill a seat on the Supreme Court, conservative sources said yesterday. "White House senior staff are starting to ask outside people, saying, ’We’re not discussing pulling o
Skype Me!
If you’d like to be part of a talk radio portion of the QandO Podcast, then I will be standing by on Skype at 8:00 pm Pacific Time to accept Skype calls from people who’d like to ask questions, or make comments. If you’d like to contact me and talk for a bit, my Skype user name is "franksed". I know this is short notice, and a Friday night, but I’ll be hanging out waiting for Skype calls if anyone’s interested. And if no one calls...Oh
Repackaging Miers
OK. I gotta ask. Who, besides pro-administration hacks like Hugh Hewitt, can still honestly support Harriet Miers nomination when stuff like this keeps happening?:Harriet Miers—whose courtesy calls with senators in their Capitol Hill offices have been more chaotic than courteous—has finished the tour, the White House has told congressional aides.
Anti-State v. Anti-Left
Jonah Goldberg comments on the fractures in conservatism by pointing out that there are two main division of conservatism.Within conservatism, however, there are enormous philosophical arguments about the proper role of the state. This debate isn’t merely between libertarians and social conservatives. It’s also between conservatives who are "anti-left" v
Overzealous Prosecution
A Spanish High Court Judge, Santiago Pedraz, has issued murder indictments to three US soldiers for their actions in Iraq, which led to the death of a Spanish reporter and his Ukrainian cameraman. The result of the US homicide investigation cleared these soldiers of any criminal charges. In the wake of this new indictment, the editors of Investors Business Daily
Towards a New Libertarianism (II)
In The New Republic, Ryan Lizza produces some very troublesome numbers...Recently, pollster Tony Fabrizio has been asking Republican voters whether their most important goal "is to promote individual freedom by reducing the size and scope of government and its intrusion into the lives of its citizens" or "to promote traditional values by protecting traditional marriage and the life o
Denying judicial activism a chance
I’ve been trying to find a way to address the law limiting the liability of gun manufacturers recently passed by Congress and awaiting the signature of the President with a good analogy. An editorial in the Waterbury CT Republican-American saved me the effort.After buying a car from a dealership, a motorist gets liquored up and kills a pedestrian. Should the auto manufact
Oiling up the Handcuffs? II
The New York Times reports:As he weighs whether to bring criminal charges in the C.I.A. leak case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special counsel, is focusing on whether Karl Rove, the senior White House adviser, and I. Lewis Libby Jr., chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, sought to conceal their actions and mislead prosecutors, lawyers involved in the case said Thursday.Among
Usually, when I get home from a hard day at work, I have a Black Russian, and, if I’m feeling in particular need of relaxation, two Black Russians. (My recipe is 75ml of Starbucks Coffee Liqueur, and 100ml of Stolichnaya Vanil)This evening, as I was preparing my cocktail, I took notice, for some reason, of the label on the neck of the Stoly Vanil bottle. It says "Genuine Russian Flavored Vodka".I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my vodka
A Good Line
Here in San Diego, there is a local morning talk radio show called "Dave, Shelley & Chainsaw" that is quite amusing. The headliner of the show, Dave Rickard, is a hilarious guy, who really comes up with some great one-liners. This morning Dave was complaining that he needed to do something manly, because last night, he had a chick movie night with his family (all women, of course), and the movie was sad.
Miers, in her Own Words...Unfortunately
Harriet Miers’ questionnaire for the Senate Judiciary Committee has been released. It’s a marvelous little document. Several bloggers have commented on this passage, for example:My experience on the City Council helps me understand the interplay between serving on a policy maki
Roe v. Wade: It’s not just a bad idea, it’s bad Con Law
Has Richard Cohen swallowed the pro-life Kool-Aid? Well, not exactly, but he makes an excellent point about Roe v. Wade, and probably unintentionally, about constitutional adjudication in general. Conservatives—and some liberals—have long argued that the right to an abortion ought to be regulated by states. They have a point. My gue
The Price of Government
The editors of the Rocky Mountain News are trying to but the best face they can on the President’s Tax Reform Commission. It’s a tough job, but they attack it manfully.Income tax brackets would shrink from six to four with the great majority of taxpayers, 75 percent, in the lowest 15 percent bracket. The Alternative Minimum Tax would be eliminated. The welter of tax-sheltered savings accounts would be reduced to just three. Low-income taxpayers could le
The Miers Confirmation hearings
Robert Novak explains just how nasty the Miers Confirmation hearings might get, and the reason has very little to do with Ms. Miers. The possibility of the Lottery Commission controversy being the subject of confirmation hearings is even more daunting for the White House. The story now is only being printed in alternative publications, such as the Dallas Observer of Oc
Steve Chapman writes on California’s Proposition 77 which would remove legislative redistricting from the hands of the legislature, and put it in an independent, nonpartisan commission of judges.Partisan gerrymandering has been around for centuries, but in recent years, thanks to computers, it has been refined to a virtually infallible science. Last year, 402 Hou
Goring some Social Security Oxen
Matt Yglesias is getting a lot of attention for making this point...Remember the Social Security crisis? Isn’t it a bit, um, interesting that the president suddeny stopped t
Along with energy prices, concern about inflation has been spiking on news that the Consumer Price Index increased by 1.2% in September; meanwhile, the Producer Price Index rose 1.9%.Those are very significant numbers. Keep that up for awhile and we’ll be calling Paul Volker again to see if he has any plans for  
Fair Warning
Ralph Peters provides us with a preemptive attack on the media, based in what he is sure to be an exploitation of death on a scale we’ve not seen for a while. And make no mistake, Peters sees the presumed event as nothing more than "Exploiting the Dead", or so he entitled his article:We’ll soon reach a total of 2,000 dead American troops in Iraq. You won&rsqu
Stop the Drug War
In this war, I take the anti-war side.That’s also the message of a group representing Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of about 2000 former and current law enforcement officers, as well as judges and legislators:Today, at 74, [Robert] Owens is an outspoken proponent of ending America’s drug war, which has been waged for
Talking Turkey
Turkey used to be the model secular state in an Islamic country. So secular, and sophisticated, in fact, that it wanted to join the EU. In recent years, though, disturbing things have been happening.Back in June, Turks did a double-take when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan began his monthly television address. Rather than speak before the traditional backdrop of the Tur
The Invasion of Syria?
Former Ambassador Dan Simpson writes that Iraq is more like Vietnam than we know.As I suspected six months ago, U.S. military and Bush administration civilian officials confirmed last week that U.S. forces have invaded Syria and engaged in combat with Syrian forces.An unknown number of Syrians are acknowledged to have been killed; the number of Americans—if any—wh
The Relevance of the Second Amendment
John Stossel quotes Judge Alex Kozinski on the Second Amendment.Alex Kozinski, a federal appeals judge and an immigrant from Eastern Europe, warned in 2003, "the simple truth—born of experience—is that tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people." "The prospect of tyranny may not grab the headlines the way vi
Mediocrity and Indifference to Constitutionalism
Robert Bork writes that President Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers shows him to be indifferent to constitutionalist legal values.The administration’s defense of the nomination is pathetic: Ms. Miers was a bar association president (a nonqualification for anyone familiar with the bureaucratic service that leads to such presidencies); she shares Mr. Bu
Price Mechanism for government
Ezra Klein writes that "intellectuals were able to justify the war in Iraq through arguments that wouldn’t have stood for an instant outside their self-consciously Platonic community", and links to this Matt Yglesias commentary. Matt argues that...Nobody who was actually being asked to put themselves on the line
Myth busting key to Democratic wins?
In 1989 a team of political analysts wrote a paper entitled “The Politics of Evasion” which was enormously helpful in shaping Bill Clinton’s successful run for the presidency. That same team of William Galston and Elaine Kamarck have now released a new study of the political landscape entitled “The Politics of Polarization” [in pdf ] in which they identify some pervasive myths und
Quick Hits
Economics at work...The rising cost of health care has American workers changing attitudes and actions in an effort to cope. [...]As a result, the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2005 Health Confidence Survey shows 79 percent of those asked are choosing generic drugs. Another 71 percent say they’re taking better care of themselves. However, 40 percent are delaying
The dumbing down of the judiciary
Or, as John Lott entitles his article, "Why judges aren’t smarter". Simple explanation? It’s harder to get seemingly smarter judges through the process of confirmation.The less sterling a candidate’s record, the more likely Congress is to confirm.And, per Lott, in terms of a chance for confirmation, Bush could hard
Volker: Tie UN dues to reform
Frankly, it’s a good idea but it has about as much chance of happening as John Kerry winning the presidency.But before we get into Paul Volker’s idea, he’s also wrapping up his investigation of the oil-for-food scandle and he has some new figures:Mr. Volcker said his investigators estimate that Iraq earned about $12
Oiling up the Handcuffs?
It’s called the "perp walk". Speculation abounds early this morning that someone—or someones—in Dick Cheney’s office is about to take it.As the investigation into the leak of a CIA agent’s name hurtles to an apparent conclusion, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has zeroed in on the role of Vice President Cheney’s office,
In Aaron Broussard’s world FEMA is good for one thing
And that would be paying for ads in which he defends himself for abandoning the pump stations which might have prevented his parish from flooding:Facing a steady barrage of criticism and now a lawsuit from owners of flooded property, Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard
The UN ... again
I swear, when it rains it pours. Earlier I noted the politicizing of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization meeting by the likes of Robert Mugabe.Well now we have a report declaring the UN is doing a hell of a job. Yes, thanks to the UN, global violence is down:Armed conflic
Chertoff promises Immigration Reform
This is huge: Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department aims without exception to expel all those who enter the United States illegally."Our goal at DHS (Homeland Security) is to completely eliminate the ’catch and release’ enforcement problem, and return every single illegal entrant, no exceptions. From this, we can conclude a few
Is the Zawahiri letter a fake?
Stephen Ulph, a Senior Fellow at The Jamestown Foundation, seems to think it may be:This letter presents a number of problems. To date there has been no clarification as to how the letter was intercepted, and despite high official confidence of its authenticity, verified by "multiple sources over an extended period of time," there is little in the way of independent corrobora
Another reason the UN is useless
Because it gives an international platform to dictators and tyrants like Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe:Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe yesterday railed against President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, calling them "international terrorists" bent on world domination like Adolf Hitler.Mr. Mugabe departed from his text at a
Why Blog When You Can Podcast?
Why, indeed?
Podcasting is On
After discussing it quetly amongst ourselves, we’ve decided to jump into podcasting. I’ve created a podcasting RSS feed, which you can access down there on the sidebar on the left side of the page. Additionally, I’ve also submitted our new podcast to several podcast aggregating services, including iTunes.Interestingly, as part of that process, I was required to make a podcast promo. If you want to listen to it, you can find it  
Steps to Limited Government
In 1994, Republicans were swept into office on a promise of "the end of government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public’s money". How’d that work out? About as well as public choice theory predicts it would...Today, a few Republicans are reconsidering that 4th hel
Poisoning the well: demagoging Illegal immigration
Phil Kerpen (policy director of the Free Enterprise Fund) provides us with a piece of demagogary disguised as an op/ed piece about immigration in the San Diego Union Tribune. He uses half-truths, mischaracterizations, inflammatory and emotional rhetoric to brand those who are championing immigration reform a
Judith Miller’s Testimony: a whole lot of nothing
Just read through the article by Judith Miller in the NY Times. After reading all the speculation about who is going to be indicted and why, I can only say it won’t be because of Miller’s testimony. Unless I missed something, her tale is pretty much a non-story, albeit one of the most anticipated non-stories in quite some time.Your take on it would be appreci
Initial results from Iraqi Vote
AP is reporting initial results, where known, of the Iraqi constitutional vote. Of the results in 10 provinces, only one voted down the constitution: Anbar province in western Iraq (where Fallujah is located), a mostly Sunni province. Per the report the vote against was pretty overwhelming. In the other 9 provinces, the vote for the constitution was equally as overwhelming.The re
Broussard tries to remove critic
The saga continues.As you recall, we highlighted the fact that Aaron Broussard, the President of Jefferson Parish, had removed essential pump station personnel from their posts and evacuated them to an area 100 miles from the parish. The flooding of the parish is now blamed o
Podcast Questions
So, after the podcast experiment from this weekend, I’m wondering:1) Would you, as a QandO reader, like to hear regular podcasts? 2) If so, what would you like the podcasts to cover? 3) What features would you like to see?4) What length would be best?5) Do you prefer MP3 or Real Media as the streaming audio format?I’ve done some testing, and I&rs
The WTF Corner
WTF? [WorldNetDaily White House correspondent Les Kinsolving] Q Presuming that the President is grateful that Oprah Winfrey is giving $100,000 rewards for assisting in the capture of child molesters, could you tell us whether the White House has seen any evidence of support for Oprah’s action from the nation’s many homosexual organizations,
Harriet Miers: Why credentials matter
In a recent piece discussing a Wm. F. Buckley article about the Harriet Miers nomination, I pointed out that I believed the function of the Supreme Court was confined to a very specific and narrow function, that of deciding if laws were unconstitutional. It does not have the mandate or the charter to determine whether or not laws are “good” or “bad” in terms of morality, a point Buckley makes as
Our First Podcast
So, I’m sitting around the house this evening, and I decided to try something new. So, I made up a QandO Podcast. I figured, what the heck, everybody else is doing it, so why don’t I give it a try?It was pretty much unscripted. I knew basically what I’d talk about, but didn’t know what I’d say until I opened my mouth. And I don’t have a high-tech recording studio at home. Still, it was an interesting experiment, an
The world is upside down
Just in passing, I note this headline from the GOPUSA website:"Conservative Media Distort Miers’ Record"OK, let me point out, once again, that’s the title to an article on the GOPUSA website. Now that’s not to say that it isn’t correct or the author doesn’t have a point, it’s just the i
Pumping air
You remember Aaron Broussard, the loud and provacative President of Jefferson County who blamed all the ills visted on his Parish on everyone but himself and God? Well apparently, according to a Times-Picayune editorial of the 12th, only God is left blameless now:Lots of people in Jefferson Parish are furious over Parish President Aaron Broussard’s decision to evacuate more than 200 pump station workers as Hurricane Katrina loomed in the Gulf of Me
Flu developments: not good news
Right now the first line of defense against a possible flu pandemic brought on by the asian bird flu (more technically known as the H5N1 strain of avian influenza) is Tamiflu ( an antiviral drug known generically as oseltamivir invented by Gilead Sciences and made and marketed by Swiss drug giant Roche Holdings).Problem number one, based on a case in Vietnam, seems to show that it has developed strains which are resistant to the vaccine:They found so-called resistant stra
Islamist attack in Russian Federation
As I’m sure you’ve heard, from the Moscow Times:Scores of armed Islamist militants carried out near-simultaneous attacks on police, security and military sites in the Kabardino-Balkaria capital of Nalchik on Thursday morning, killing at least 12 servicemen and 12 residents.The attacks sparked fierce fighting that stretched into the evening, with hundre
Mistakes were made...
Peggy Noonan chimes in with her own opinion about the Miers nomination.I think I know what White House aides are thinking.They’re thinking: This is the part of my memoir where we faced the daily pounding of our allies. They’re thinking: This is the "Churchill Alone" chapter. They’re thinking: He was like a panther in the jungle night. For five
Davis Bacon Act suspended; replaced by supply and demand
(via Tim Worstall) Bob Herbert is angry at people who have the temerity to believe free markets (capitalism! ha!) could be a good economic system...Mr. Bush is the standard-bearer par excellence of his party’s efforts to redistribute the bounty of the U.S. from the bottom up, not the ot
A Taxing problem
A commenter at John Cole’s Balloon Juice blog makes an interesting point.The only revenue-neutral way to implement a flat tax would hose the shit out of the low and middle incomes without affecting the lives of upper incomes perceptibly. If you want a simple tax, super. I could write a workable progressive taxation scheme on one page.The problem is that congress has line-ite
Judith Miller Free to Report...But Won’t?
Being on the west coast, I get to see tomorrow’s editions of east coast newspapers before I go to bed. (Which reminds me, QandO will have evening posts for you east coasters, because I have had to switch my blogging to a nighttime schedule.) So, I note with interest this Wall Street Journal story for tomorrow (or, f
More Bad News
John McCaslin addresses two important issues in his column.House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says there is a "culture of cronyism" in the Bush White House, but she’s not talking about the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.Pelosi and fellow Democratic Rep. Henry A. Waxman, like other members of their party, don’t appear as upset as conservativ
Miers: It gets worse
Just when you thought the Miers nomination couldn’t get any more does: "Harriet Miers’ religious beliefs figured into her nomination to the Supreme Court". From a Whitehouse transcript<
Warring Against the Base
David Frum comments on the the First Lady’s imputation of sexism to Harriet Miers’ opponents.There has not been a moment since October 3 when I have not felt sick and sad about this Miers battle, but today may have been the worst day yet. This morning, the president mobilized Laura Bush to join him on national television and accuse critics of the Miers nomin
Evangelical Exodus?
Hugh Hewitt proposes a fantastic argument here and here for Harriet Miers’ nomination. And, by "fantastic", I refer to the literal meaning of the word. Apparently, in Mr. Hewitt’s world, there are dancing teddy bears, streams of hot, sweet chocolate fudge, the sun is a hu
Read My Lips: No New Taxes...Unfortunately
Well, we’ve been waiting what seems like forever for the president’s tax panel to unveil their bold new plan for completely revamping the Federal tax system, and finally, Bloomberg reports they’re just about ready to do so, and the changes amount to...nothing much.The panel decided not to endorse a national sales tax in its final recommendations a
Free Markets
John Stossel. Read him now.
The Irrelevance of Religion
Linda Chavez, a former Bush cabinet member, by the way, isn’t impressed with the Harriet Miers nomination. She’s especially unimpressed with the argument that Mr. Miers will be a reliably conservative justice because she’s all, you know, Christiany and stuff.We conservatives can’t have it both ways. We didn’t want Chief Just
The Extinction of Economic Dinosaurs
Thomas Bray comments on the bankruptcy of auto parts giant Delphi.Around Detroit, the bankruptcy of giant auto parts maker Delphi Corp. is seen as a precursor of what’s in store for the entire American auto industry. More fundamentally, it confirms the bankruptcy of the industrial welfare state. The powers of denial ensure it may be some time before o
Shying Away From Real Solutions
Ruben Navarrette looks ahead at the Bush Administration’s plan for dealing with illegal immigration.What’s good is that the president will likely call for more Border Patrol agents and more spending on technology to help agents detect border-crossers. It’s also good that the plan will probably include a hefty fine—perhaps as much as $2,000&mdas
A Deal for the Sunnis
There’s a deal...Four days before Iraqis are to vote on their country’s proposed constitution, Shiite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish power brokers reached a breakthrough late Tuesday that revived hopes of winning Sunni support for the charter and defusing the Sunni-led insurgency by political means, Iraqi political leaders said. Great news? Well, maybe.
New Orleans is dry
That according to a press release from the DoD:Sections of New Orleans that had been under water after levee-system failures following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are now dry, a U. S. Army Corps of Engineers spokeswoman said here today."As of today, the city of New Orleans is dry," said Lauren Solis of the Corps’ Task Force Hope that labored to dewater the Crescent City.
The Intellectual Dishonesty of Paul Krugman
Paul Krugman in 1997, explaining what an "honest advocate of smaller government" would do... ...the U.S. government is now mainly—yes, mainly—in the business of taxing the young and giving money to the old. [...] [Grandmother] almost surely lives better than people of her age ever lived before, supported by Social Security checks that will greatly exceed the value of the contributions she and h
Darfur and the UN
A Reuters report says that John Bolton is calling for action against Sudan, not just talk:U.S. Ambassador John Bolton blocked a U.N. envoy on Monday from briefing the Security Council on grave human rights violations in Sudan’s Darfur region, saying the council had to act against atrocities and not just talk about them.My first reaction to the lead was,
Tax the rich
Apparently it’s "let’s discuss taxes" day at QandO.Bruce Bartlett deals with the "tax the rich" crowd by citing a few statistics that pretty much sinks their argument that the Bush tax cuts were only "tax cuts for the rich":Another IRS report decomposed the top 1 percent and found that the top 10 percent of the top 1 percent (the top 0.1 percent
Split developing among jihadis
Bernard Haykel brings us news that there appears to be a split developing and deepening withing the jihadists about the use of suicide bombers targeting Muslims.Just as we remember the effect of the pictures from Abu Ghrab had throughout the west, it appears the same effect is being had within the community of Salifis - those who primarily support the jihad. Pictures and vi
For the "let’s pay more taxes" crowd
You might want to take a look at this:Governments in the United States take approximately 40 percent of the country’s total income in taxes. In other words, nearly half of all the income generated each year is sent to governments to spend.The good news is that a growing number of people pay no federal taxes at all. According to a recent Tax Foundation
Muddying the Tax Cut Waters
This is technically accurate, but wildly misleading: New York Times:Economic growth is crucial to reducing poverty, but the effect of tax rates is less clear. In 1993, President Bill Clinton raised taxes on upper-income families, the economy boomed and poverty fell for the next seven years. In 2001, President Bush cut taxes deeply, but even with eco
More Gaza News
Last week the report was that Hamas now controlled Gaza.This week, more good news. Reportedly, a new resident has taken root in the zone formerly controlled by Israel:Has al-Qaida started operating in the Gaza Strip? A leaflet distributed in Khan Yunis
Just in time for Columbus Day
Interesting article in the Washington Post about the now adjusted etemology of the presumed pejorative "redskin". You’ll have to excuse me as I indulge in a little more of the history of all of this than is probably necessary to make my point at the end. But this sort of stuff fascinates me.According to Smithsonian Institution senior linguist  
Bill Keller’s excellent NY Times adventure
Jon Fine has an interesting article in Business Week Online about remarks by New York Times Editor Bill Keller about the state of the Times, blogging and his competitors. As Fine notes, he has very little to say about the Judith Miller affair:There’s the situation with reporter Judith Miller, who recently spent 85 days in jail
Full Frontal Lunacy
Both parties have their kooks—remember "B-1" Bob Dornan?—but few can hold a candle to Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney [D-Outer Space]. A post-Katrina speech McKinney gave (or attempted to give) on the floor of the House of Representatives provides plenty of examples.Exhibit A — Various
The line between governance and freedom
States’ rights have traditionally been seen as a ’conservative’ issue, because the intent of states’ rights is to limit the scope and power of the federal governement. But an interesting thing happened on the way to the Supreme Court. Liberals have apparently discovered them and found them to be "good". Well at least in the advancement o
Redefining Success in Iraq
Zbigniew Brzezinski has weighed in with his opinion of recent American foreign policy and the results and effects of the war in Iraq.I’ll not bore you with his litany of "failure" as he sees Bush’s foreign policy endeavors. Former National Security Advisors, especially those who have opposing politi
Medicare for All
It’s a theme that Senator Kennedy and Paul Krugman have sounded before. Now, Kevin Drum ponders the Medicare for all approach to health care...I’m not sure that "Medicare for all" is the best answer, but
Not a fan
I take it this blogger isn’t a big Hugh hewitt fan.
Bad Arguments 101
Robert Musil makes a big mistake with this argument in support of Harriet Miers.Personal feelings matter. The liberals who so savagely and personally attacked Clarence Thomas did the conservative movement a great favor: They sealed off any reasonable chance that Justice Thomas might be led to views more like those of his critics through the back door of personal relationships. Tho
Miers OK with the Canaries in the Coal Mine
Apparently the aptly named "Gang of 14" have considered the Harriet Miers nomination and find nothing worth filibustering:Emerging from a meeting at the offices of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said, “This nomination didn’t set off any alarm bells with any of us.”[...]“I think it’s highly unlikely there woul
Chavez and Bush to meet
Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall for this meeting?Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a frequent critic of the Bush administration, said Wednesday he is looking forward to sitting down with the American leader at a summit in Argentina next month.Both leaders plan to attend the Summit of the Americas, and Chavez said he understood they would be sea
Al Qaeda’s four stage plan
A week ago I posted" target="new">Gen. John Abazaid’s opinion on Al Qaeda’s long term objectives. Today, per the Washington Post, we have them from the horse’s mouth. Portions of a letter captured in Iraq were released by DoD which purportedly outline those goals precisely. The 13 page letter was suppo
An argument for elitism
Charles Krauthammer makes the argument concerning the Miers nomination:To serve in Congress or even the presidency, there is no requirement for scholarship and brilliance. For good reason. It is not needed. It can even be a hindrance, as we learned from our experience with Woodrow Wilson, the most intellectually accomplished president of the 20t
Buckley on Miers and the Supreme Court’s role
William F. Buckley weighed in on the selection of Harriet Miers a couple of days ago with what many of us have tried to articulate here, voicing our problem with the apparent cronyism of the nomination. More interesting was the featured closeness of Ms. Miers to the president. Unquestionably, before the grilling of her is done, the objection will be raised by some
Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Income Inequality
David Cay Johnston (previously discussed here and here) is back and trying again to incite a little class warfare.After falling for two years, the share of income going to the richest slice of Americans - the top tenth of 1 percent - grew significantly in 2003 wh
Bush’s incoherent governing philosophy
Everybody and their brother is linking to the George Will column, but the Robert Samuelson piece is where it’s really at. Is compassionate conservatism (a) a genuine governing philosophy or (b) merely a clever sound bite?Five years later, we kno
Under the category "none of your business"
Seems an Indiana legislator has come to her senses and dropped a bill which would have barred gays, lesbians and single people in Indiana from using medical science to assist them in having a child.She, of course, was a Republican. This is what I mean when I say Republicans want to be your daddy. For some unknown reason they seem to want to tell you who you can sleep with,
Al Gore on the Public Forum
At an event organized by The Media Center yesterday, Al Gore gave a speech bemoaning the loss of the "marketplace of ideas"...Whether it is called a Public Forum, or "Public Sphere" , or a marketplace of ideas, the reality of open and free public discussion and debate was considered central to the operation of our democracy in
Harriet Miers: Just Say No II
In my previous post on Miers, this comment seems to encapsulate the disagreement with the post.So if we have a court that is packed with people who have years of constituional [sic] study it will yield "good" and "proper" results? An analysis of cases cases [sic] going back through the beginnings of the Republic (Dread Scott, "separate [sic] but equal", there is a long list) will show your argument is specious. E
The Democrats 5 point plan for America
This last Sunday, Rahm Emanuel was on “Meet the Press” and floated a 5 point Democrat plan for the coming elections. Per Emanuel, Democrats want to:“One, we make college education as universal for the 21st century that a high school education was in the 20th.”“Second, we get a summit on the budget to deal with the $3 trillion of debt that’s been added up in f
The ironic hyperbole of Mary Mapes
I know that Dale has covered this previously, and I also know the Mary Mapes is hyping her soon to be released book, but I found this statement of hers to be too good to pass up: "Within a few minutes, I was online visiting Websites I had never heard of before: Free Republic, Little Green Footballs, Power Line," writes Mapes in the first chapter of her new book about the reaction to
The shifting Black vote
Everyone remembers when Howard Dean admitted the Democrats had taken the black vote for granted. But he also made another statement which is just as important:"The truth is there’s a whole new generation" of black voters that Democrats have to speak to".The "black vote" is no longer a dependable voting bloc for the De
Harriet Miers: Just Say No
I’m wondering how much crack you have to smoke to produce the article that Thomas Lifson wrote at The American Thinker about Harriet Miers.This president understands small group dynamics in a way that few if any of his predecessors ever have. Perhaps this is because he was educated at Harvard Business School in a legendary course then-called Human Behavio
Clooney’s rendezvous with the cluebat
I got a huge laugh out of this:Ocean’s Eleven star George Clooney is urging his fellow Hollywood stars to keep quiet when it comes to politics, because he fears celebrity endorsements could wreck their favourite candidates’ chances of victory.Democrat Clooney and a number of screen stars have recently come under attack for voici
President Bush and The Matter of Trust
Since the nomination of Harriet Miers, I’ve gone from angry to confused to...confused about just how angry I should be.While Patrick Ruffini assures us that "conservatism is sitting pretty at this hour" because Miers is "a conservative Texas lawyer with rock-solid beliefs on life, strong religious convictions, and a modesty that should allay fears of a renegade Justice determined to re
WiFi and pseudo-rights
Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco, is of the opinion that access to information is a fundmental and universal human right. It follows logically, therefore, that the technical means to that end must also be a right. Think about it, can you have a fundamental human right to something without also having a right to the means necessary
France: Let U.S. carry the fight in Afghanistan
Interesting little blurb in Reuters today about Afghanistan and France’s opposition to combining the NATO effort and the US led effort there:France said on Tuesday it opposed combining NATO-led forces and U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan under one command, putting it at odds with visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai.Karzai, who is in France until Wednesday, told Fre
Zimbabwe, Supreme Court and Kelo
As if to underscore the extreme importance of getting the right people on the court, we have this little beauty brought to us via Sharp As A Marble and Science Daily:Officials of a poor, predominantly black Florida town plan to relocate about 6,000 residents to make
Politics, Cronyism and Federalist 76
Randy Barnett in the WSJ reminds us that the founders weren’t too hip to cronyism and hoped their system would discourage it. From Alexander Hamilton’s pen we have Federalist 76. In this particular part he talks about the Senate’s role in the process, especially that of checking "favoritism", aka, cronyism:"To what purpose then require the co-operation of the S
Do you trust this man?
President Bush on Vladimir Putin:I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country. President Bu
QandO Chat (temp post)
Reminder: The QandO Chat Room is usually populated from the early morning until early/mid-afternoon, as a few of us keep it on in the background while we work in order to trade links, etc. Join us.Also: Check out for various Neolibertarian articles, and joi
Judging Miers
Opinion on Harriet Miers’ nomination to the Supreme Court is all over the map today, and that’s just on the Right side of the blogosphere.Hugh Hewitt, always a reliable cheerleader for the Bush Administration, thinks it was a good effort by the president:Harriet Miers isn’t a Justice Souter pick, so don’t be silly. It is a solid,
The Principled Pacifism of the Quakers
Filed under learning something new.A few day ago I introduced you to a piece on the neo-neocon blog about absolute pacifism ala Gandhi. Today neo-neocon discusses the version of Quaker pacifism which I would characterize as principled but pragmatic
Happy New Year!
To our Jewish readers, happy Rosh Hashanah. For those wondering a little Judaisim 101.
The hollow core of the anti-war movement
Presented as an observation with which I pretty much concur, Lawrence Kaplan does a nice take-down of the current version of the anti-war crowd in this week’s New Republic [subscription only]. His opinion: pretty much every thing there but an anti-war movement:Part thirty-fifth college reunion and part flea market for the disaffected, where
Republican ship heading toward an iceberg in ’06?
John Fund thinks it might be.With Rep. Tom DeLay’s forced departure as majority leader, Newt Gingrich says, the Republican Party stands at a crossroads as important as any it has faced since nominating Ronald Reagan for president in 1980. "It must decide if it is going to be a party that fundamentally reforms government or one that merely presides over existing institutions
The Media: Credibility sinks in Katrina’s wake
Some opinion pieces are now coming out about how badly the media failed in its Katrina coverage vs. the initial reports which praised it as having it’s "finest hour" and rediscovering "confrontational journalism" (or as one wag said, "finding its spine").So why was the media so open to accepting and reporting what it heard? One theory from Dan Gainor:<
Bush Nominates Harriet Miers to Supreme Court
Breaking News: "Bush picks Harriet Miers for Supreme Court"We’ll update this post as events transpire. Comments are welcome in the meantime.UPDATE: NBC is reporting (no link) that Harriet Miers will be the choice. [UPDATE: it’s now being reported by ABC and  
The New Libertarian
We’ve moved The New Libertarian from a monthly .pdf ezine format to its own website at Inter alia, current articles include: Social Security Blanket by William WestmillerThe Health of Nat
Quick Hits
John Hawkins has a "Blogger Poll On The Supreme Court", asking various bloggers three questions: [my answers at the link, and in brackets below] Who do you think Bush will chose as his nominee for the Supreme Court? [Edith Brown Clement, Michael W. McConnell]If you were given the opportunity to make the pick, who would you choose? [J
What, white isn’t a color?
Things like this amuse me as they show the absolute lunacy which now exists in some areas of our society. From Northeastern University:After originally advertising for "women of color only," the Women’s Studies and Graduate Consortium’s first "Breaking Bread: Women of Color Dialogue" was forced
Dionne defends DeLay
E.J. Dionne, although he certainly didn’t intend to, becomes Tom DeLay’s pithiest defender in his Washington Post column today.DeLay and two associates are accused of raising $155,000 from six corporations for a special political action committee he established, Texans for a Republican Majority. The PAC, in turn, wrote a che
The deeper corruption
Jonah Goldberg takes a look at the Tom DeLay imbroglio and derives a larger point from it. At the heart of the DeLay matter, you see, is that corporate contributions went to DeLay’s PAC. Corporations are deeply involved in lobbying politicians, and, to be blunt, trying to buy them off, if possible, too. It’s important to understand why that might be.
Those sophisticated Europeans
Victor Davis Hanson writes about the tension between Europe and the United States on NRO today. He observes:Hurricane Katrina was often offered as proof of American environmental, class and racial chaos. Yet by any fair token, we are recovering pretty well. A mammoth hurricane overwhelmed a city below sea level, on a stormy co
Getting Inside Your Mind
Much has been made by commentators about Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s statement after Chief Justice Roberts confirmation hearings that she was disappointed that her questions were answered judiciously by the nominee, rather than "as a son, a husband and a father." David Gelernter writing in the Los Angeles Times today t
Banning books is good for you
Apparently author Katharine DeBrecht has written a children’s book that has the left side of the spectrum all up in arms:Liberals all over the country are up in arms over a new children’s book that portrays cartoon versions of left-wing icons Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy taxing and regulating a lemonade stand.Oh my.“Help! Mom! There Are Li
Fighting for control of the internet
Dale pointed out the UN’s attempt to usurp internet governance a few days ago.Now the EU’s letting it be known it too wants a peice of the internet governance pie:The European Union insisted Friday that governments and the private sector must share the responsibility of overseein
Ted Kennedy’s deep devotion to principle
Now that the Roberts confirmation dance is past, let’s review Ted Kennedy’s devotion to principle. Recall that Ted Kennedy once said..."It is offensive to suggest that a potential justice of the Supreme Court must pass some presumed test of judicial philosophy. [...] The disturbing tactics of division and distortion and discrimination practiced by the extremists of the new right have
Meanwhile in Gaza ....
It appears a terrorist enclave is being established:The worst fear of politicians, military officials and Israeli civilians regarding Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza has become a reality – the volatile coastal strip is now the private domain of Islamic terrorism, led by the infamous Hamas organization.On Friday, Ha’aretz quoted an unnamed US officia
One Marine’s view
Yes, it’s anecdotal, but I also think it is representative of a great many within the military at large in terms of how they view the protests against the war, and why most are simply not very sympathetic or supportive of the anti-war view. The marine in question is a reservist and a colonel. He’s recently returned from Iraq. His name is Jeff
Al Qeada’s objectives
Most news hounds and blog readers already have a pretty good idea of the long-term objectives of Al Qeada, but in Senate testimony, Gen. John Abizaid reiterated them and we understand them:"They believe in a jihad, a jihad to overthrow the legitimate regimes in the region," he said. "In order to do that, they first must drive America from the region."The top
The Power of Editing and Music
If you’ve ever wondered why the trailers for movies are often so different than the movie itself, then look no further. The power of music and editing is a powerful force, as this new trailer for the Jack Nicholson movie, The Shining.Apparently, its the charming story of the relationship between a kid and his dad.(H/T:  
Responsibility and Authority
Peggy Noonan has some very important thoughts on authority and responsibility.No one took responsibility [after Hurricane Katrina], but there was plenty of authority. People in authority sent the lost to the Superdome and the Convention Center. People in authority blocked the bridges out of town. People in authority tried to confiscate guns after the looting was over
The Sleeper Issue
James Pinkerton writes that illegal immigration may be the sleeper issue of the next election. For the past couple of decades, both the left and right, supported the concept of open borders. The left liked the newer, more liberal voters, and the businesspeople on the right liked a large pool of immigrant labor that could be depended up
California Ballot Roundup
Now, this entry is mainly for Californians. After all, I have to do some California politics stuff sometimes, in order to keep some small measure of street cred as a member of the Bear Flag League. But, for those of you who aren’t Californians, you might find this interesting as well, because what happens in California—a state with about 1/7 of the US population—often eventually wends its way through the legislatures of other states as well.
Pacifism in the face of evil
Facinating piece about pacifism and the ramifications of absolute pacifism in the face of implaccable evil at the Neo-neocon blog.Essentially the writer points out that an absolutist approach to pacifism can only work where those who the pacifist are opposing have at least some semblance of a compatible morality. She contrasts the success of Gandhi
Iraqi Civil War
Tom Friedman lays out some cold, hard truths...Maybe the cynical Europeans were right. Maybe this neighborhood is just beyond transformation. That will become clear in the next few months as we see just what kind of minority the Sunnis in Iraq intend to be. If they come around, a decent outcome in Iraq is still possible, and we should stay to help build it. If they won’t, then we are wast
Journalists and troops: There’s a war going on
Reuters has its boxers in a bunch about the conduct of US troops in Iraq and journalists:The conduct of U.S. troops in Iraq, including increasing detention and accidental shootings of journalists, is preventing full coverage of the war reaching the American public, Reuters said on Wednesday.In a letter to Virginia Republican Sen. John Warner, head of the Senate A
Fear and loathing in Dem circles
We have Bush bashed by Hurricane Katrina and poll ratings in the thirties. We have Frist being looked at for possible insider trading, and there’s DeLay, indicted for alleged campaign financing irregularities.And the Democrats? Well according to Howard Fineman, they’re still afraid of their own shadow. And Fineman asks "Why can’t the Democrats capitalize on the Republican
Texas v. DeLay
I don’t hold any particular brief for Tom DeLay, but after having read the indictment, and even with the understanding that any half-way competent prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, as the saying goes, I’m still not sure exactly what Tom DeLay is supposed to have done. Usually an indictment against an individual lists some crime he’s committe
Wondering about Old Media
It occurs to me that over the last couple of days, we’ve seen something about the media, once again that raises an important question. First, of course, is the Mary Mapes’ new Rathergate book which has brought up the whole memos fiasco again. And, over the last week, we’ve seen that all of the tales of death and mayhem at the New Orleans Convention Center and the Superdome have turned out to be bunk. No children with their throats slit
Fanning the Flames of Homophobia
Oh, look! Private sex lives are back on the
Whacky Washington
On my recent trip to DC, I took many pictures. But some of them ended up looking...odd. Most of the buildings in Washington DC are pretty impressive. The White House, though, is just a wierd building. When Harry Truman rebuilt the White House, I think they just screwed it all up.Something was a little odd at the Vietnam War Memorial, too.

The UN-ternet
Carlos Ramos-Mrosovsky & Joseph Barillari warn that the UN is grumbling that regulating the Internet should be a UN job.Yet even those sympathetic to the idea of an internationally controlled Internet are skeptical of WGIG’s proposals: John Palfrey, a Harvard Law School professor and executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society,
I wanted to know how Judge Roberts would feel as a father...
CBS’ Dick Meyer isn’t impressed at all by what passes for judicial reasoning among members of the Senate.To my mind, it’s astounding that Feinstein and Cohen are explicitly demanding that Roberts perform that kind of phony-baloney, I-feel-your-pain political theater that the American BS-meter detects with the precision of a laser. If he had jump
Posse Comitatus Problems
Dan Simpson isn’t sanguine about President Bush’s idea to relax the Posse Comitatus act in order to allow the military to help out more with disaster relief.First, there is little question that military organization and skill and speed in deploying resources would probably have been superior to what FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security mounted in the e
The other shoe: DeLay indicted
I can’t say this comes as a particular surprise:A Texas grand jury on Wednesday charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, forcing the House majority leader to temporarily relinquish his post.DeLay attorney Steve Brittain said DeLay was accused of a criminal conspiracy along with two associates, John Colyandro, former ex
Incipient racism in reports of SuperDome rumors
More and more is being noted about the myths reported as fact during the post-Katrina SuperDome situation. Let me share a few paragraphs with you from the LA Times:The New Orleans Times-Picayune on Monday described inflated body counts, unverified
Quote of the day from Ed Koch
He hits on a point seemingly lost on much of the left in this country. His article talks specifically about Sheehan and the war protesters, but as can be seen by the quote, he broadens that to take in most of the current political left:Those who rail against the United States have simply failed to sell their message to the public at large. They keep losing elections, l
A Not-Very-Libertarian Idea
For kicks and grins, here’s an only half-serious policy proposal. It’s not in keeping with libertarian ideals, except insofar as it would probably result in less spending than we might otherwise see. To date, the war on terror has been quite expensive for the United States....close to $200b for Iraq alone, and much more when you include domestic and Afghanistan-related spending. Rather than continuing to sanction, threa
Israel: Strikes in Gaza
I remarked a day or so ago that I thought it was a mistake to unilaterally give up Gaza. Many commenters were of the opinion that it was a win-win situation for Israel. It could pull its people behind the wall they had built and better protect them while giving the IDF free reign to take on terrorists and such a move would be supported by the rest of the world.I’ve always bee
Fake But True
Mary Mapes, the disgraced CBS News producer behind the National Guard memos story that led to Rathergate—and her subsequent dismissal from CBS—Is now telling her side of the story. And her side, frankly, doesn’t make her look good, with excerpts like the one below, which details her immediate reaction to rumblings that there was something not quite kosher about the me
14 in a row
I’ll admit it. I’m a huge Braves fan. Chop and all.I just watched them clinch their 14th division title in a row.Pretty remarkable. Now I’m not a recent fan. I’ve been a fan since 1977 when I moved to Atlanta. I remember games in the old Fulton County Stadium, back when the Braves stunk (I know some of you aren’t old enough to remember that ... heh), where there’d be maybe 3,000 fans and 2/3r
Cooing at babies: A human rights violation?
Yesterday I blogged about "health enforcers" who would be circulating in Scotland, charged with getting those who don’t look healthy to their GP whether the allegedly unhealthy looking person wants to go or not.Today we have another Orwellian bit out of the UK concerning health care.
Setting a bad precedent
Maybe I’m just missing something here:After weeks of prodding by Republican lawmakers and the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said yesterday that it will use taxpayer money to reimburse churches and other religious organizations that have opened their doors to provide shelter, food and supplies to survivors of h
Reporting Rumor as fact
I’m not sure how the MSM will manage to explain this away (well actually I am), but not long after Katrina hit New Orleans, we began to hear reports of anarchy, murder, rape and assaults in the Louisiana Super Dome among evacuees stranded there. It was reported live on Fox and CNN, carried in most major news papers and even Oprah got into the act.QandO posed a question asking i
Louisiana’s Rectitude Problem
John Fund is willing to say something that needs to be said about Louisiana.In just the past generation, the Pelican State has had a governor, an attorney general, three successive insurance commissioners, a congressman, a federal judge, a state Senate president and a swarm of local officials convicted. Last year, three top officials at Louisiana’s Office of Emergency Prepa
Christopher Hitchens isn’t impressed by the "anti-war" credentials of the organizers of this past week’s protest in Washington.To be against war and militarism, in the tradition of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, is one thing. But to have a record of consistent support for war and militarism, from the Red Army in Eastern Europe to the Serbian ethnic cleansers and the Taliban, is q
Good Riddance
The world is a slightly better place.FOX News has confirmed that Abu Azzam, who was believed to have been in charge of the financing of terrorist cells in the war-torn country [of Iraq], was killed during a raid in Baghdad early Monday morning Iraq time. Azzam is thought to be the top deputy to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Iraq’s most wanted terrorist.<sarcasm>I’m gonna miss that guy...</sarcasm>
Meet the New Boss. Same as the Old Boss.
Mark Steyn hits the nail on the head about the "party of limited government".Big-time Republicans tell me Bush’s profligacy is doing a great job of neutralizing the Dem advantage in the spending-is-caring stakes. This may have been true initially—in the same sense as undercover cops neutralize a massive heroin-smuggling operation by infiltrating it. But, if th
New TNL Articles
There are some new articles up at The New Libertarian, so be sure to stop by and give them a read. William Westmiller makes the case that Social Security is both a security blanket and a Ponzi scheme. And Max Borders reviews Jared Diamond’s new book, Collapse.
Towards a New Libertarianism
With the recent upsurge in Right wing criticism of the Bush administration—and of Republican priorities in general—I’ve seen a lot more of the kind of complaint made here by David Earney: I have found myself ever drawn away from my courtship with the [Libertarian Party], and drawn back, to the Republican Party ... [but] I can’t go back to a Party that is dominat
Less Spending is Heresy in the GOP?
That’s Robert Novak’s take as he tells the story of Mike Pence (R-IN) and his close-door confrontation with the GOP leadership last week. Pence heads the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC). Apparently the conservative values espoused by the RSC have somehow become heretical:He has tried hard to cooperate with the regular House Republican le
Orwellian Health Care
The latest twist in the National Health Care system in the UK: "Health Police":A scheme which will involve "health enforcers" patrolling deprived areas and urging unhealthy people to visit their GP was greeted with scepticism last night.Scottish ministers want special "case-finding" teams of health workers to go into deprived areas on the look-out for residents most
Iraqi Democracy
David Ignatius writes about progress and expectations in Iraq. He tells of how the transition from the US taking the military lead in security operations to the Iraqis taking the military lead is going. All in all, it seems to be going well. One paragraph, however, struck me as the most interesting, because it is something I’ve been thinking about la
Virginia Politics
The in the Richmond Times Dispatch (print edition only) features an "in their words" Q&A with Virginia Lieutenant Governor candidates Bill Bolling [R] and Leslie Byrne [D] today. Due to Byrne’s stances on gay marriage [pro], the death penalty [concerned about implementation problems] and the privatization of ABC (liquor) stores [pro], I’m inclined to vote for Leslie Byrne...the Democrat in the race. (which will probably get me
The New New Libertarian
As many of you may have noticed, there was no issue of The New Libertarian this month. Part of the reason was that professional obligations on our part made it impossible to put out an issue. My ability to do anything, blogging included, for the past several weeks has just been severely constrained. Although, hopefully, things will be lightening up for me soon. The other reason was a growing concern about whether the PDF magazine format was the best way of doing TNL. Doing a PDF f
So, Bill Frist is "facing questions from the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission about his sale of stock in his family’s hospital company one month before its price fell sharply". And now, to add to that, it also turns out that Frist "was updated several times about his inves
The price of unilateralism
Israel recently completed what many feel was a foolish move. They ceded strategically important terrain to an avowed enemy in the hope (note the word) that a reciprocal token of peace would be extended by that enemy.Instead, the enemy has taken advantage of Israel’s unilateral move and is now attacking Israel from the very land they ceded.Israel Air Force je
Why "any woman won’t do" on the Supreme Court
Those are Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s words, but I echo them, and also take them further by saying in reality Ginsburg won’t do either.Why? Ginsburg said the following at a lecture in New York in her honor last night:There are "some women who might be appointed who would not advance human ri
Polarization and the Blogosphere
Andrew Sullivan points to this commenter at Daniel Drezner’s blog....What’s changed is that after five years of presidency, the elections are finally over. It is now safe to criticise Bush, because such criticism can’t possibly matter any more - it can&
Hurricane Relief: Spelled as "lap dance"
Yes, we’re doing a world of good with most of those $2,000 debit cards which are being handed out like candy in an Iraqi village. Or so we hope. But really, is it going where it needs to go? Ask the strippers at Baby Dolls in Houston:Many people think conservatives, especially the American kind, are a mean-spirited, selfish bunch of misanthropists, irredeemab
The Speech Police: Blogging and the FEC
In between the bookend hurricanes, the FEC still has bloggers in its focus:Political bloggers who offer diverse views on Republicans and Democrats, war and peace argued on Thursday that they should be free of government regulation.The notion was echoed by some members of the government agency trying to write rules covering the Internet’s reach in
Alternative energy
We’re all accustomed to hearing the constant screech about a need for alternative energy.A little history:No new nuclear power plant has been ordered in the United States since 1973 and interest soured after the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in Pennsylvania in 1979. That could be changing:Tennessee Valley
Stepping up in Iraq
It seems that the recent Tall Afar offensive in Iraq has been mostly an Iraqi affair, and they’re stepping up rather well:The Tall Afar offensive, which began Sept. 2, is the largest urban military operation in Iraq since November’s siege of Fallujah. Unlike many previous joint offensives, however, it is the Iraqi army that has the m
Prepare for higher gas prices
Hurricane Rita, if it continues to head toward the Texas coast, is going to see to that:"If it hits the refineries, and we’re short refining capacity, you’re going to see gasoline prices well over $3.00 a gallon at the pump," Greehey said in a Tuesday night interview.
In Defense of Markets (PT 2)
Brendan Nyhan takes a couple odd shots at free markets...After their free market dreams didn’t quite work out in post-Saddam Iraq, conservatives are turning to the Gulf as the newest laboratory for half-baked Heritage Foundation policy proposals. I’m not sure how he means "their free market dreams didn’t quite work out in Iraq". To be sure, we wer
The usual suspects with the usual panacea
I’ve been on a tear here lately about the apparent abandonment of principle by the GOP in terms of less spending and smaller government. I’ve also been accused of being a closet GOPer because I usually take the side of the GOP in fiscal as we
Rita now a Cat 5
The storm of the month (year? decade? century? ... we’ll see), Hurricane Rita, has now attained Category 5 status:Hospital and nursing home patients were evacuated and as many as 1 million other people were ordered to clear out along the Gulf Coast on Wednesday as Hurricane Rita grew to a Category 5, 165-mph monster that could pummel Texas and bring more misery to New Orleans by week’s
If Ted didn’t see it, it doesn’t exist
Another apologist for the dictators of the world, Ted Turner had this to say to Wolf Blitzer when Blitzer noted the brutality of the North Korean regime.WB: But look at the way he’s treating his own people.TT: Well, hey. Listen, I saw a lot of people over there. They were thin, and they were riding bicycles instead of driving in cars. But I didn’t see any brutality in t
The Clinton Legacy
Leave it to China to finally and definitively nail the Clinton legacy:A Chinese company is honoring ex-president Bill Clinton by naming a new line of condoms after him - along with a companion line of condoms that will be named after his ex-girlfriend, Monica Lewinsky.Reports Britain’s Sky News: The Guangzhou Haokian Bio-science company has registered their names as trademarks for the contraceptives.The condoms will display C
"Don’t get stuck on stupid, reporters."
Words spoken by LTG Russel Honore to reporters who he apparently felt weren’t doing their part of the job in preparing for Hurricane Rita.Read the whole interview over at Radio Blogger. It’ll make your day.There’s something to be said for a no nonsense military type in times like this. Diplomacy? That’s for ... well, you know.UPDATE [J
Roberts and the Dems: Setting up the next one
Well we have Harry Reid saying he just can’t find it in himself to vote for John Roberts to be the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.There’s a reason for that, and it has nothing to do with John Roberts.It has to do with the next Bush nominee. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) declared yesterday that h
Bad Appointments
You’d think the Bush Administration would learn. It’s only been a week since the administration was on the grill over the apparent incompetence of FEMA director Michael Brown, whose qualifications to run FEMA seem, in retrospect, to have lacked some important experience. Mr. Brown, of course, is now "seeking other opportunities" in the private sector.Now, the administration
Meanwhile in Afghanistan ...
President Karzai is calling for an end to major foreign led military operations:President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday challenged the need for continued U.S.-led military operations in Afghanistan such as air strikes and house searches.Instead, he recommended that foreign governments should "concentrate on where terrorists are trained, on their bases, on the supply
Status Quo in Germany
Mark Steyn analyzes the results of the German election.Back in the summer, I was reprimanded by a couple of Euro-grandees for my gloomy assessment of the Continent. Just you wait, they chided me; Mrs Merkel was "Germany’s Thatcher" and this chap Sarkozy was "France’s Reagan" and in a year’s time the entire political scene w
Incompetence, Not Racism
Richard Cohen writes that, whatever the sortcomings of the Bush Adminsstration’s response to Hurricane Katrina, President Bush’s "racism" wasn’t a factor.If you told me that George W. Bush is a dummy, I would argue with you but understand why you thought so: all those idiotic statements. But if you told me, as some have been implying, that Bush is a racist
Let’s hear it for France
Always willing to tell the world how uneducated Americans are when it comes to such things as history or geography, France now has a Foreign Minister, Mr. Philippe Douste-Blazy, who has one-upped America:...during the visit of French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy to the new Holocaust museum in Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem on September 8, he asked - while perusing maps of E
Who Said this?
Make your guess in the comments section before hitting the answer. If you’ve seen it, don’t ruin it for others:Bush, in his dealing with ... the devastating Hurricane Katrina, which revealed to the entire world the great helplessness in dealing with the destruction caused by this hurricane, because of the tremendous attrition of the American army’s resources in Iraq and Afghanistan. This hurricane has once again brought to mind the manifestations of racial discrimi
Speaking of set-asides to pay for Katrina
I guess today is federal spending day and the Republicans are in the roaster.For instance, we have Rep. Don Young, R-AK:The New York Times: "Surely Rep. Don Young, the Alaska Republican who is chairman of the transportation committee, might put off that $223 million ’bridge to nowhere’ in his state’s outback. It’s redundant now—
Kerry: Quote of the Day
Leave it to John Kerry to find irony in the darndest places:Kerry also charged that the administration is pursuing politics as usual in its prescription for rebuilding. "The plan they’re designing for the Gulf Coast turns the region into a vast laboratory for right-wing ideological experiments," he said, citing private-school vouchers, sub
I wish I’d written that...
Via Pejman and Samizdata, this quote...For centuries, philosophers and poets have tried to understand what happiness is, and what might contribute to it. In recent decades, scientists have started to come up with the answers. Happiness is electric
Cindy unplugged
Literally, not figuratively:Cindy Sheehan may be the Rosa Parks of the anti-war movement. But that didn’t stop members of the New York Police Department from marching into the crowd of about 150 people gathered in Union Square Monday to hear her speak and yanking away the microphone.The NYPD pulled the plug just as Sheehan was calling on the audience n
Asking the pregnant question
And that question, which we sort of batted around yesterday, is quite nicely framed by Brendan Miniter in the WSJ:What we’re seeing in the wake of Katrina is that despite all the winks and assurances to the contrary as they passed the energy and transportation bills, Republicans in Congres
Cat Fight
Well, not much of one, but a little bit of levity is a nice way to end a day;Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq, last night brought her campaign to end the war to New York, where she accused Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of not doing enough to challenge the Bush administration’s Iraq policies.Speaking in front of more than 500 supporters in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, Ms. Sheehan, speaking of Senator Clinton, sai
Is Al Queda having recruiting problems?
If this story is true (and it appears to be), yes, it may very well be having some problems finding people who want to blow themeselves up:A suicide bomber captured before he could blow himself up in a Shiite mosque claimed he was kidnapped, beaten and drugged by insurgents who forced him to take on the mission. The U.S. military said its medical tests indicated the man was telling the tr
Friends and Allies
In what may be the most ironic post in blogosphere history, Duncan Black (Atrios) cites this story from USNews with the journalist-mocking title "A Free and Independent Media"..The [Friends and Allies] project, started by the Republican National Committee in the 2004 re-electio
Who’s in charge!?
Where were the buses?In a story out of Baton Rouge, we get the following concerning the buses for evacuation:Hours after the hurricane hit Aug. 29, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced a plan to send 500 commercial buses into New Orleans to rescue thousands of people left stranded on highways, overpasses and in shelters, hospitals and homes.<
Can "Conservatives" actually cut spending?
That’s the question Ryan Sagar asks. And then he responds with some facts that make one pine for the relative fiscal responsiblity of Bill Clinton, for heaven sake:In fact, it’s a virtual certainty. Bush has midwived the largest expansion of the federal government since the Great Society. His No Child Left Behind law doubled federal spending on educ
Hoisting the Race Flag
Shorter Paul Krugman: "I’m not saying the Republicans are actually racists...I’m just implying it. (wink wink, nudge nudge) That’s different." Longer Paul Krugman:By all accounts Ronald Reagan, who declared in his Inaugural Address that "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem," wasn’t personally racist. But he ... launched h
You can pay me now, or you can pay me later
Of course no one can see into the future, but the history of flood control in the New Orleans area is indeed an interesting one.Yesterday, based on the discovery of an internal email from the Justice Department, some immediately concluded that the Bush admi
If you were on the Orleans Levee board ...
What would be your job?You’d think it would have something to do with keeping the levee system around New Orleans up to speed, wouldn’t you?NBC’s Lisa Meyers took a look:The unveiling of the Mardi Gras Fountain was celebrated this year in typical New Orleans style. The cost of $2.4 million was paid by the Orleans Levee Board, the state agency whose main j
Occupied New Orleans
Yeah, you know who’s at it again. Now she’s an expert in disaster relief.This time its about Occupied New Orleans. Can bumper stickers and t-shirts be far behind (or a cameo appearance by Jane Fonda and John Kerry)?:One thing that truly troubled me about my visit to Louisiana was the level of the military presence there. I imagined before that if the
Various Reflections
At last! My seemingly endless trip the nation’s capitol is nearly at an end! I say "nearly" because, as you all read this now, it is at an end, but I happen to be writing this on the plane, and I’ve still got about an hour to go to land. Traveling to Washington DC is always a mixture of the good and the bad. The bad, includes the fact that easterners, God love ’em, can’t drive. I see more incompetent buffoonery of the highways of Virginia in one
Conclusion jumping 101
First read the story:The federal government is trying to find evidence of any past efforts by environmental groups to block work on New Orleans’ levees, according
30,000 volt man shocks Australia
Static, the superhero, lives:Victorian authorities believe a man built up at least 30,
Why the levees failed
There’ve been a lot of questions about why the levees failed. This article gives us an idea what actually appears to have occurred.Of course there’ve been the conspiracy theories and the pronouncements by certain fringe individuals that "reliable sources" told them that they were dynamited. But the real reasons, g
New Orleans Convention Center: The story begins to emerge
This is a long article which you need to read. It tells a pretty harrowing and brutal story. But it also points to indifference, incompetence and plain old stupidity on the part of local authorities.It also gives us some answers to the question asked of the state: Where was the National Guard?But even without those numbers, what h
Oh yeah? Well, take this...
A lot of Democrats are touting a new Chris Mooney b
Syria: The Middle East Wildcard
An editorial in the Financial Times suggests that there’s a "wiff of regime change" in Syria. It’s being driven by two events. The murder of Rafiq al-Hariri, the former prime minister of Lebanon, and Syria’s apparent inability (whether real or feigned) to stop foreign terrorists from entering Iraq.Addressing the latter, the Financial Times off
Question of the day
Heather Mac Donald poses the question of the day, after first providing us with a fact to consider:The Katrina donations—$788 million.That’s $788 million by Americans, not government. That’s an amount that dwarfs the huge outpouring of donations for Tsunami relief.And the question?If the government’s failure to get help instantly to Katrina victims reflects American racism, why have the images of thousands
Katrina Relief: The Buck Stops at the state level
Newsbusters carries links to ABC’s Dean Reynolds report at the Astrodome where, in the wake of the President’s speech, reaction was solicited from evacuees there. Suffice it to say, it probably wasn’t what they expected (or wanted). Take a look at the interview:
It’s good to be the President
The always-interesting Brad Plumer points me to this interview with Bill Clinton:[Q] From president to president, do you pass along a list of secrets - you know like where’s Jimmy Hoffa? What really happened at Roswell? Without giving away any state secr
Katrina: The story that’s being missed
Gerard Baker, of the Times, points to the story which is being missed in all the heated rhetoric and finger pointing concerning the government’s relief effort:Grand conclusions have been drawn about the (flawed) nature of American society. I’ve done a bit of that too. But little has been said about what the response of ordinary Americans — not mayors or governor
The Tehran Project: Iran to share nuclear knowledge
Remember AQ Kahn, the Pakistani scientist who headed an international proliferation network, covertly working with North Korea, Libya, (potentially) Al Qaeda, and Iran to spread nuclear know-how. Washington Quarterly described his efforts as "enormous damage to efforts aimed at stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, to U.S. national security, and to international peace and stability". Well, imagine that network opening up shop again, operating openly and thumbing their nose at in
Is a Recession coming?
For some time now, there’s been some rumbling about a potential return to recession in the near future. Most recently...Economist Tucker Hart Adams says it’s not a question of if the U.S. economy slips into recession - it’s just a matter of when.  
Race exploiters deserve no respect
Star Parker makes an essential point:“The charges of racism-inspired foot-dragging isn’t just nonsense. It’s pernicious nonsense.”This is how the New York Daily News called it regarding charges, from the usual circle of black leaders, that the rescue efforts in New Orleans were slow because the victims were black. The Da
So now they’re concerned
I love this stuff, I really do:But a new theme is surfacing in the confirmation hearings for John Roberts, and it’s coming from those in both parties: a concern that courts are usurping the role of legislators, especially the US Congress.Really? So when did the "rock of the obvious" fall on this crew? Others have been saying that for years ... decades at le
The attempt to kill Iraq begins in earnest
Abu Musab Zarqawi has declared war on the shiites, in the name of the sunnis and thus begins an attempt in earnest to split the two sects irrevocably and ignite a civil war.Zarqawi kicked off his campaign with a series of coordinated car bombs in Baghdad which have killed 150 plus. The "war" was announced in an audio recording purported to be m
Judge: No "under God" in pledge
You know, I’m sorry but I just can’t get that excited about this:A federal judge declared the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools unconstitutional Wednesday, a decision that could put the divisive issue on track for another round of Supreme Court arguments.I’d simply advocate that each individual use his First A
Broussard apparently lied on Meet The Press
Or, if you prefer, embellished quite liberally.Lance, one of our frequent commenters who lives in the same area as Broussard, called Broussard a liar days ago and essentially said he wouldn’t trust much of what the man said at any time. Seems he may have had him dead to rights. did a little digging, and like much of New Ore
"Kill the Claw"
No really, that’s what the insurgents in Iraq want to do:"A few months ago, spray-painted graffiti began appearing on Baghdad walls," reports Defense News’ Greg Grant. "’Kill the Claw,’" it read in Arabic.The message was aimed at a new vehicle called the Buffalo, a thickly armored mine disposal truck that seeks out and disposes of deadly
Delay declares victory on budget fat
You’ve got to be kidding me: House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said yesterday that Republicans have done so well in cutting spending that he declared an "ongoing victory," and said there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget. Mr. DeLay was defending Republicans’ choice to borrow money and add to this year&rsq
OK, this you can lay at the feet of the fed
It’s called "sense of urgency" and apparently it was lacking in at least one aspect of the Katrina disaster:The federal official with the power to mobilize a massive federal response to Hurricane Katrina was Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, not the former FEMA chief who was relieved of his duties and resigned earlier this week, federal documents reviewed by Knight Ridder show.Even before the storm struck the Gulf Coast, Chertoff could have ordered feder
A whole bunch of nothing
Stirring the pot, John Conyers has released a Congressional Research Service report on the Hurricane Katrina tragedy which he claims essentailly absolves Governor Blanco of Louisiana and places the blame for the "sluggish" relief response at a federal level. (I went to the CRS website but haven’t found the report.)
Nothing to make a fuss about
Meanwhile in cosmopolitan and civilized China, we learn that cosmetics marketed in the West are made from skin harvested from executed prisoners:A Chinese cosmet
Katrina after-math: Inclusively a federal failure
We’ve been debating the proper allocation of blame for the post-Katrina problems lately, and it seems a lot of people don’t think the Federal Government and FEMA has much, if any, share of that blame. The argument usually rests on the assumption that locals fouled up—that locals failed to request help—and that FEMA simply couldn’t act on their own; that, ultimately, the locals and not FEMA were the authors of the mistakes.I’d certainly agree that
Caption Contest
Being out in the Washington DC area this week, despite being an inconvenience I would’ve preferred to avoid, did give me the chance to hang out with Jon after work this evening, and, hopefully, tomorrow as well. Max Borders might also show up tomorrow, which should make for an interesting evening, like some sort of libertarian Algonquin Round Table (I plan to play the part of Dorothy Parker).One of the things I wanted to do was to go to Monument Bo
Expanding the limits of the barf factor on "Spaceship Earth"
To do so, all one has to do is read today’s selection from Gloria Steinem entitled "I’m a hopeaholic. There’s nothing George Bush can do about it"Now there are all kinds of prefixes I could append to "...aholic" when speaking of Steinem, but "hope" is not one of them. Look, I’m not going to bore you with the shibboleths
Roberts confirmation: Dems Holding Back?
Dan Balz of the Washington Post thinks so:The confirmation hearings are now only partly about Roberts and what he thinks about the law. Instead, they have become a prelude to the coming battle over President Bush’s as-yet-unnamed successor to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and a forum with broader political implications for a debate abo
Katrina cools the oil panic
Black cloud, silver lining?Oil prices steadied amid an easing in demand for global energy, though it did not prevent political leaders in Europe from voicing deep concerns over the current cost of crude.New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October fell by three cents to 63.31 usd per barrel in electronic deals.In London, the price of Brent
Blogs and such
John Hawkins of "Right Wing News" lists his candidates for the 20 most obnoxious Hurricane Katrina quotes. See if you agree.Arthur Chrenkoff calls it a day and retires from blogging.
Supreme Court: Based in law, not emotion
Thomas Oliphant engages in an emotional argument against the John Robert’s appointment to the Supreme Court. Per Oliphant, Roberts, in effect, has no real soul. His interests are only in the cold, hard facts of the law:To illustrate, I have no doubt that his encyclopedic knowledge of constitutional history includes a detail
Quick Hits
Never teach a man to fish, when you could just feed him for a day:Diane Shamis, of United Progressives for Democracy , says military recruiters are going after hurricane Katrina victims in the Astrodome Wednesday. ...Talk about preying on the victims! Absolutely disgusting. Yeah. Offering good jobs with good job secur
Venezuela: Echoes of Zimbabwe
It seems, undeterred by such catastrophic failures as Zimbabwe, that Hugo Chavez is determined to ignore the lesson and its economic implications:State governors and the rural poor are moving quickly to implement President Hugo Chavez’s vision of a social revolution, carving up and redistributing large landholdings and threatening to take
Blame FEMA
As a counterpoint to McQ’s post below, let me point to this post at Washington Monthly, where Kevin Drum has compiled "a tentative collection of FEMA’s failures". A few examples:
Your relief money at work
Yes, dear, there is a Santa Claus:Profiteering ghouls have been using debit cards distributed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina - intended to buy essentials for evacuated families - in luxury-goods stores as far away as Atlanta."We’ve seen three of the cards," said a senior employee of the Louis Vuitton store at the Lenox Square
Are you sure it isn’t FEMA’s fault?
Just wondering:Utility workers connected the wrong wires and caused a blackout across major portions of Los Angeles on Monday afternoon, trapping people in elevators and snarling traffic at intersections, authorities said.I mean, who else, according to a certain segment’s ’conventional wisdom’ is so inept? Where was the
Doctors killed Patients in NOLA?
If so, that’s pretty disturbing:Doctors working in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans killed critically ill patients rather than leaving them to die in agony as they evacuated hospitals, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.With gangs of rapists and looters rampaging through wards in the flooded city, senior doct
Another lousy recruiting month for the active military
OK, I lied. For August:Army................Recruited: 9,455..Goal: 9,250..102%Navy................Recruited: 5,057..Goal: 4,897..103%Marine Corps..Recruited: 4,211..Goal: 4,141..102%Air Force..........Recruited: 2,905..Goal: 2,793..104%The Army is at 90% for the year and al
Quote of the Day
Sunburned, hoarse and exhausted, Pass Christian MS police sergeant Bryan Deem had this to say about the 80% destruction of his town:"I lost everything, but I’m still alive," he said. "When this is all over, I’ll probably go back to what’s left of my home, cry a bit and drink a beer. Then I’ll come on back. "God bless ’em, every
Krugman: Old habits die hard
You know like exaggeration to put it kindly (better known as a "falsehood" if you’re not in a kindly mood). Paul Krugman, today:The lethally inept response to Hurricane Katrina revealed to everyone that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which earned universal praise during the Clinton years, is a shell of its former self.
Iraq: Short memories about going to war
Interesting column in the Washington Post today by Robert Kagan. It addresses the apparently short memories of some of the political players today as concerns Iraq. Kagan specifically addresses a particular column which contends that the war in Iraq is all Bush’s idea. Kagan disagrees, in my opinion, rightfully so:That’s not the w
The Confirmation Hearings: quotes to remember
With the confirmation hearings beginning for Supreme Court Chief Justice nominee John Roberts, I think it’s time to revisit three very relevant quotes...Senator Ted Kennedy, declaring judicial philosophy and "single issue" positions off-limits during Sandra Day O’Connor’s 1981 confirmation hearings."
I hate to keep hammering this ...
But it’s absolutely necessary.One of the only passable ways in or out of the Superdome and Convention Center area in New Orleans after the the levee breaks tuesday (and perhaps the only obvious one) was via the Crescent City connector into Gretna. So why wasn’t it used? Because local Gretna law enforcement officials had locked it down and wouldn’t let any
Why haven’t we heard about "failure" in Mississippi?
Because this is how it is supposed to work:The day before Hurricane Katrina came ashore in Mississippi on Aug. 29, the Mississippi National Guard had already been planning for the likelihood of a disaster. "During hurricane season our operations personnel are constantly monitoring storms in the Atlantic," Mississippi Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Tim Powell
Smaller government and self-reliance
Why? Because the product of government is what?Bureaucracy. And what normally happens to any bureaucracy? It ossifies. It becomes a series of petty kingdoms all focused on their survival and expansion, but not necessarily the purpose for which they were created. David Brooks talks about the superb plan the City of New Orleans had, and the fact that it simply didn’t come close to
Notable Quotes
I have very little to add to these quotes, but they deserve your attention.Rod Dreher, getting it... It would be very wrong, I believe, to let the ignominious Michael Brown be the scapegoat for FEMA’s sins. Check out  
Katrina: Blow back on "Bush hates blacks"
It appears not everyone is buying the Sharpton/West/Jackson/Mckinney "Bush hates blacks" mantra (not that I assumed they would):Some in the black community are beginning to question what happened to the black leadership during the Hurricane Katrina disaster, especially in the city of New Orleans. While a few black leaders, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, th
Market Failure
Well, a little controversy over market failure got kicked off in the comments section of a previous post a few days ago. I would’ve commented on it earlier, but I’ve been snowed under by business, and by preparing for a trip back to Washington DC next week (during which, by happy chance, I’ll get to have a face-to-face with Jon). But, now that I have some spare time, I though
Continuity is Hard
So, I’m watching Battlestar Galactica on Sci-Fi. I like BG. This new version, with Edward James Olmos as Commander Adama is much more complex, much darker, and much more fascinating than the original series.The thing is, the humans in the series aren’t from earth. They have their own religion, which worships the Lords of Kobol, who, interestingly, are named Zeus, Hera, Athena, Apollo, etc. So, apparently, the deal is that the lost
Iraqi President: Total US withdrawl in 2 years
I can only say I hope so:Iraqi President Jalal Talabani urged the United States on Friday not to withdraw hastily from Iraq and said U.S. forces should be reduced gradually over the next two years."For those who call for an immediate pull-out of American troops, we say that we honor the sacrifices the United States has made," Talabani said in a speech at a Washin
Devastation and the dauntless American spirit
I excerpt a lot of articles here because, well, there’s a lot of junk in between the excerpts. But this article by CPT Steve Alvarez, the whole article, is really something. Read it. He says it well:Words In Katrina’s WakeBy Capt. Steve Alvarez, USAAmerican Forces Press Service OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. , Sept. 9, 2005 – I’m a prof
Quote of the Day
It comes from Tony Snow, who blasts the extremists of both the left and right who’ve done their level best this past week to be as divisive as possible in the face of the greatest natural catastrophe our nation has ever suffered. And, he points out, while all the bile, venom, nonsense and hate was flying around the airwaves, normal, everyday Americans all but ignored
Brown Out
I wonder what effect this will have on the baying of the wolves. Increase or diminish it?Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown is being relieved of his command of the Bush administration’s Hurricane Katrina onsite relief efforts, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced Friday.He will be replaced by Coast Guard
Colin Powell: Iraq, New Orleans and the rest
Fascinating exerpts from an upcoming Barbara Walters inteview with Colin Powell.On New Orleans:"I think there have been a lot of failures at a lot of levels — local, state and federal. There was more than enough warning over time about the dangers to New Orleans. Not enough was done. I don’t think advantage was taken of the time that was available to u
"An army of truth-tellers"
Remember when the Right criticized Kerry for voting against an $87 billion dollar bill to fund the troops in Iraq. The Republicans ran campaign commercials accusing John Kerry of voting "against funding our soldiers." The Left was outraged, accusing Bush of misrepresenting Kerry’s vote, and accusing him of opposing the troops, when, in fact—
Katrina: Politics, the law and the federal military
Bobby Jindal makes the "el supremo" argument below where he states that in the future, the fed should provide "a single strong leader" to take charge in all future disaster situations. Frankly, that’s a dumb idea for a number of reasons. But let’s examine  
Red Tape and common sense
Bobby Jindal, a congressman from Louisiana, points to some of the problems he’s heard about in the wake of the Katrina disaster:This is not the only story of red tape triumphing over common sense. After so many years of drills and exercises, we were still unprepared for Hurricane Katrina.• A mayor in my district tried to get supplies for his constituents, who were
Always More Government. Always.
Robert Solow said that everything reminds Milton Friedman of the money supply. Similarly, everything reminds me of Paul Krugman. See if you can spot the problem...In a column from December ’04: Decades of conservative marketing have convinced Americans that government programs always create bloated bureaucracies, while the private sector is always lean and efficient.
Apportioning Blame
Byron York writes that the public appears to be taking a balanced view on the issue of responsibilities for the leadership failures in New Orleans.First, a Washington Post/ABC News poll asked respondents, “How much blame, if any, do you think Bush should get for the problems in the federal response to the situation — a great deal, a good amount, only some or none?”Thirty
Big Trouble in the Big Easy
New Orleans native Thomas Lipscombe is scathing about the political "leadership" in his home city and state. His take on Mayor Ray Nagin:Having been prodded on Saturday into ordering an evacuation by President Bush and the head of the Hurricane Center and then delaying it for seventeen crucial hours until well into Sunday, Mayor Nagin is directly responsible for the AP picture of o
The Moving Finger blames
Howard Dean: "Now is a time for leadership not partisanship."And here are the titles of DNC Press Releases about Hurricane Katrina: Bush’s FEMA Turns Natural Disaster Into Bureaucratic DisasterDean Statement on Administ
Quick Hits
[adapted from a comment I left to a recent post] Honestly, I don’t think any of us—-me included—-know even remotely enough to assign blame with any real degree of confidence at this point. I can offer some perspective here and there—-or basic information for those simply looking to score points—-but I don’t know jack about the complexities on the ground, the bureaucratic tangles of FEMA, or the attempts to coordina
How Iraq can be analogous to Vietnam
Peter Kann does an admirable job of stating how we can make Iraq like Vietnam:It is inevitable that every war leads to historical comparisons. Much as some of us would prefer to see the current Iraq war through the lens of our own Revolutionary War and the framing of our Constitution that followed it, it cannot be surprising that the antiwar—or perhaps just
How it is supposed to work
Over the week we’ve seen much of the left rise up in indignation and proclaim, without much to support their proclamations, that the federal response to Hurricane Katrina has been a resounding failure.Without getting into that subject in particular (I ran a thread about some of that yesterday with interesting results), I thought it might be useful to consider how this is suppose
The FCC Screws me
So, I finally got my call sign from the FCC for my GMRS radio license. And it turns out my call sign is WQDI700.WTF?I mean, how can you make a good, easy call sign out of that?All I know is, is that I’m India 7-0-0-actual.
In Defense of Markets
A lot of people have been touting the merits of big government after the Katrina disaster....moments before complaining about the actual big government already in place. "If only we were in charge", both sides have been saying from time immemorial. Via Billy Beck, I find Walter Block writing a good defense of the alternative:
The Disaster effort: How do we grade it now?
Tom Bevan at Real Clear Politics issues a "Katrina Report Card". I agree with some of it and disagree with other parts of it.Mayor Nagin:Honestly, I admire Nagin’s intensity and understand his frustration. It’s too bad he didn’t show the same sort of urgency in ordering and organizing the evacuation last week, because things might ha
Flood Budgeting
I know a few other blogs have picked up on this, but I just saw it at Econopundit, and I find it remarkable. In recent days, the New York Times editorial board has criticized Congress for "slashing the budget for correcting some of the gaping holes in [New Orleans] flood protection".But j
Blog Stuff
Check out the Neolibertarian Network blog for a lot of good stuff. (e.g., Left V Right libertarianism; Supreme Court drama; Econopundit’s thoughts on Empire and more)And check out The Blogosphere—an email discussion group for bloggers and blog readers to exchange interesting links, spread the word about your own work, and generally discuss thing
The Doomsayers
Economist Noel Sheppard is ticked off at the predictions of doom and gloom for the economy that is following in Katrina’s wake....[I]n some of the poorest coverage of this issue, The Washington Post chose to largely ignore the strong labor numbers, and instead ran this heavily negative article by Nell Henderson on the cover of its Business section:“Hurrica
Gilligan Has Left the Island
Comic actor Bob Denver, who is, of course, best known for his role on the 60s sitcom Gilligan’s Island, has passed away at 70 years of age.For my take on the destructive cultural nihilism that was Gilligan’s Island, see this article.
Centralized planning and the abdication of local responsibility
John Tierny writes a good article in the NY Times about the "Magic Marker Strategy". Speaking about emergency planners in coastal Virginia, Tierny notes the following:In coastal Virginia - which, by the way, has a large black population and plenty of Republican politicians -
In case you missed it
Apparently Katrina was an act of God, but not for the reason you might believe:On the official "Southern Decadence" website (, it states that the annual event brought in "125,000 revelers" to New Orleans last year, increasing by thousands each year, and up from "over 50,000 revelers" in 1997. This year’s 34th annual "Southern Decadence" was set for W
Super Dome violence: urban legend?
It may be:There were two babies who had their throats slit. The seven-year-old girl who was raped and murdered in the Superdome. And the corpses laid out amid the excrement in the convention centre.In a week filled with dreadful scenes of desperation and anger from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina some stories stood out.But as time goe
Of plans or lack of plans, of leadership or lack of leadership
More from the CNN transcript:S. O’BRIEN: There are people who say your evacuation plan, obviously in hindsight, was disastrous.MAYOR RAY NAGIN, NEW ORLEANS: Which one?Uh, this one:Conduct of an actual evacuation will be the respons
Katrina relief effort: The salient questions
From a discussion on CNN aired yesterday:M. O’BRIEN: Bob, let’s talk about this federalization of this whole effort. Clearly, the federal government is the entity that can best afford and handle this kind of a scope of a problem. We know the president asked the governor of Louisiana, apparently has been in some talks with the governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour. Is that going nowhere
So apparently New Orleans is safe and secure?
Everyone has been rescued and its time to wrap it all up?A day after two police suicides and the abrupt resignations or desertions of up to 200 police officers, defiant city officials on Sunday began offering five-day vacations - and even trips to Las Vegas - to the police, firefighters and
The eloquence of a loggie
For those who don’t know a "loggie" is a logistics type. Someone who procures and distributes the beans and bullets in the military. In the army he or she is usually found in the staff position of S4 or G4. It’s both an art and a science. It is also an underappreciated art and science except by those who are pros and understand that in many ways it’s the loggies who really win wars. 
USS Bataan: the dog that didn’t bark?
Kevin Drum writes...Asked why Northcom hadn’t reponded to Hurricane Katrina more quickly, [Lt. Commander Sean Kelly, a Pentagon spokesman for Northern Command] accidentally told the truth:Northcom started planning before the storm even hit....We had the USS Bataan sailing almost behind t
Plumbing the depths of hate
I have to admit, reading this just flat has me seething. Is this what it has come too?I did not stop to help a * supporter today.I had no idea how deeply my hate for that man ran. My lack of an interaction, with a * supporter is still haunting me a couple of hours later.I was on my home and was on the ramp getting of
Speaking of blame at all levels ...
Mark Steyn nails it as far as I’m concerned. Let me preface my cite by noting that I’ve felt this way for quite some time, basing my feeling primarily in the absolute lack of concern we’ve seen exhibited at a federal level concerning border security.Per Steyn, when you really get down too it,
Poll: Americans blame poor government response to Katrina at all levels
In an ABC News poll just released in which it was determined that 91% of Americans are paying close attention to the disaster and relief efforts, blame for poor governmental response seems to be pretty evenly spread at all levels, but more at a local and state than federal level:Americans are broadly critical of government preparedness in the Hurricane Katrina disaster—but far fewe
Bush nominates Roberts to fill Chief Justice slot
In a move that has surprised many (myself included), Bush has nominated a nominee (John Roberts) for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, following the death of William Rhenquist:President Bush announced this morning that he will nominate John G. Roberts as Chief Justice of the United States.The move, which was surprisi
Evacuation problem not new for New Orleans
In fact, it was highlighted in September 2004: Those who had the money to flee Hurricane Ivan ran into hours-long traffic jams. Those too poor to leave the city had to find their own shelter - a policy that was eventually reversed, but only a few hours before the deadly storm struck land.New Orleans dodged the knockout punch many feared from the hurricane,
Economic Illiteracy
The Washington Post reports that people still don’t understand basic economics:An overwhelming majority of Americans believe oil and gas companies are gouging consumers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina ... The survey conducted Friday night found that 72 percent of the respondents say oil companies and gas suppliers have taken advantage of
Back from Vacation
Well, after a week visiting family in Georgia, I’m back in Virginia. Boy, did I ever pick a bad time to take a 1500 mile car trip. On the upside, though, I did finally get to meet McQ. The meeting was far too short, but he was as friendly and interesting in person as I’ve always known him to be online. Like Dale, McQ has been a major influence on my life, my personal education and my intellectual development. I hope we’ll have more opportunities to meet in th
Louisana: No, we’ll handle it ...
Some clarity is beginning to emerge. Note that, to this day, the evacuation of New Orleans rests where? At the state level:Behind the scenes, a power struggle emerged, as federal officials tried to wrest authority from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D). Shortly before midnight Friday, the Bush administration sent her a proposed
Let the myths begin to take on life of their own
From the Independent: The President is now facing a political hurricane of his own, with gathering criticism, even from inside his own party, for failing to heed warnings of the city’s vulnerability, cutting spending on its defences to pay for the wars on terror and in Iraq, and responding sluggishly to the worst natural catastrophe ever to hit his country.
More on the National Guard response
Sharon Theimer of AP brings us some information as to why the National Guard response to the disaster was seemingly so slow:Several states ready and willing to send National Guard troops to the rescue in New Orleans didn’t get the go-ahead until days after the storm struck — a delay nearly certain to be investigated by Congress.
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, R.I.P
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, William H. Rehquist, has died at his home in Arlington, VA.After battling cancer for the better part of the past year, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist (search) died late Saturday evening, bringing to an end his lengthy time on the bench and opening another vacancy on the Supreme Court.Rehnquist, 80, was surrounded by his three children when he died at h
Katrina’s aftermath blogging
Short and to the point.[I’m going to continue to update this saturday ... see below]Blame for the flooding:The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday that a lack of funding for hurricane-protection projects around New Orleans did not contribute to the disastrous flooding
Krugman: Taking his pot-shots early
Let’s deal with a little factual reality first. Hurricane Katrina has left us with a 90,000 square mile disaster area.According to estimates, 50% of New Orleans is underwater. This is a unique disaster effort.Evacuation plans and enforcement are first the responsibility of the city, then the state, then the Fed. Local law enforce
The New Libertarian
It’s the first of the month and there’s not yet a TNL available.We’re sorry about that, but Jon is on vacation, and both McQ and I have been hip deep in alligators—professionally speaking—for the last several weeks. We do plan to release an issue this month, but it’ll be...delayed.
Channeling the Guru
Billy Hollis, who is a regular QandO reader and one of the country’s top experts on .NET software developement—at least, judging from his published output—writes:Since I don’t have a blog, I thought I’d suggest a couple of items you guys might want to consider putting up an item about.
The Neolibertarian Network
I hate to be snippy about this, but if you wish to submit to the Neolibertarian network, and you can’t figure out how to generate an RSS v2.0 feed, then don’t bother.I simply don’t have the time to hold your hand and walk you through the process of creating an RSS v2.0 feed. I wish I did. If I did, I’d be happy to help. But I can’t.As it is, if you can’t figure it out, and you can’t recognize the dif
Sometimes its better to keep your stupid pie hole shut
I mean really:It makes no sense to spend billions of dollars to rebuild a city that’s seven feet under sea level, House Speaker Dennis Hastert said of federal assistance for hurricane-devastated New Orleans.Democratic lawmakers from Louisiana were quick to disagree Thursday and Hastert sought to clarify the comment during the d
Compelling reading
Live blogging from New Orleans. Read it.
Sad State of Affairs
It is sort of hard, when you are the police, to control looters when you are one of the looters. Watch this video.
This just tickled me
Seriously, I couldn’t help it. I laughed out loud:Today I grabbed lunch with some friends at a mediocre “Chinese” buffet. On my way back to the bus stop, I ran across a table of socialists trying to hand out literature. And so I sauntered up, loudly exclaiming that I wanted to learn how our brutal capitalist society tramples upon the rights of the worker. There, on the table, were stacks of
Thanks for the ride Cindy, let’s do lunch sometime
Heh ... predictable? Yeah, I think so. I just didn’t expect it to happen this quickly:Powerful liberal advocacy groups such as are taking a less active role in Cindy Sheehan’s anti-war activities in the wake of criticism that they may have muddied her message. The groups, which played a major role in Mrs. Sheehan’s monthlong
Generous, as always
This is nice to see, but certainly not unexpected:Americans are pouring in millions of dollars in donations for disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, rescue organizations said yesterday.The Red Cross said it had so far raised $21 million, a figure comparable to the response for tsunami victims following the devastation in Asia earlier this year. Nearly $15 million of tha
Katrina: Cat 5 Hurricane plan for New Orleans was 25 years away
Reader and commenter JWG sends the following link to an article in "Riverside" which is a bi-monthly magazine published by the Corps of Engineers New Orleans District. The publication date of the following article is Sept/Oct, 2004, or about a year ago.I’ve put the whole thing up because its short but amazing. And prophetic. But it
I guess we deserved it
Canada’s "National Post" reports that all in all, Britons on the whole seem to think New Orleans and the US got what it deserved with Katrina, at least if you gauge their reaction by their comments:In fact, to judge by the reaction of some Londoners yesterday to Katrina’s rising death toll, Britons seem to feel the Uni
When the law fails
This is just .... dumb:Four Arab Israelis shot dead by a soldier opposed to the closure of the Gaza Strip settlements are not victims of "terror" because their killer was Jewish, Israel’s defence ministry has ruled, and so their families are not entitled to the usual compensation for life.The ministry concluded that the law only reco
Let’s can the "blame game" and all pull together
All Katrina, all the time ...That’s what appears to be on the news horizon for quite some time. And, for a while, deservedly so. I mean when’s the last time a major American city was to be completely and utterly evacuated?But we’re what, 5 days into it and already the carping and political pot-shots are beginning. Is there a utility in doing so that I’m missing? Or should we, as a nation, be pulling together and try
Protesting the "False gods of idolatry ..."
Ye gods, it gets wackier and wackier on the left.Seems even the Blue Angels aren’t immune to their nonsense:The Navy’s fighter demonstration team, the Blue Angels, returns to Brunswick [Maine] next month after a six-year absence, and standing nearby to protest the display of military power will be the nation’s most prominent peace a
Give ’til it Hurts
The devastation from Hurricane Katrina is not an issue of right or left, Democrat or Republican. Our fellow Americans need help, and here’s how you can do your part.Feed the children sends $7 of relief supplies to the affected area for every $1 you give. So give.Some of troops in Iraq have families back at home who were hit hard by
The Fair Tax...Again
OK, I don’t mean to become a one-note Johnny about the Fair Tax. I mean, look, nobody, at either the state level in the US, or at the national level at any of the other OECD countries, has ever been able to successfully implement a high-rate sales tax at rates over 12% without massive evasion. That’s a deal-breaker, as far as I’m concerned. Yoy can drone on about how a VAT is prone to some evasion, too, but there’s a reason why countries th
Pop Quiz
Name the country below which has officially offered assistance to the US in the wake of Katerina?Hint:"Please allow me to express my condolences to you and to the people of the United States of America on the loss of life and the terrible pain and destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina.As we all stand in awe at the great force of nature unleashed on the shores of the United States, please be rest assured that the people of _________ share your sorrow and exte
Those Darn Germans
The stakes in the upcoming German federal elections, as the editors of the Washington Post note, are high. At the moment, with two weeks left to go, the polls show that the current Bundeskanzler, Gerhard Schröder, is trailing his more conservative opponent, the Christian Democratic Union’s Angela Merker, by double digits.Per
Jude Wanniski R.I.P.
As you may already know, Jude Wanniski, the father of Supply-Side economics, died on Monday. James Glassman has a fine, honest obituary of the man.
Down in the Dumps
Tony Blankely writes that, in American politics, when one party is in a funk, the other party is usually pretty chipper about its prospects. Today, however, both political parties seem to be in a blue mood. The Republicans, for example, are trying to hover in the corner, looking small and inoffensive, in the hopes the electorate won’t notice them.I
When to Stand Down
Robert Robb makes an interesting point in the Arizona Republic.At this point, staying the course in Iraq remains the right thing to do. Although the United States has been excessively pushy and involved in the development of Iraq’s constitution, the U.S. commitment needs to remain steady while the constitution is voted on and, if approved,
It’s official: Casey died for oil
Or so says Cindy Sheehan in her latest at Huffington Post. It seems that Bush, in his 60th Anniversary of VJ day speech said this:"If Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks," Bush said
A true anti-war movement, or just the latest event?
I finally got around to reading Matt Taibbi’s "Rolling Stone" article about his trip to Crawford, TX. Interesting stuff. I have a tendency to agree with alot of his points. Taibbi’s not a war supporter:Iraq is an insane blunder committed by a bunch of criminal incompeten
Shouting "fire" in a crowded theater
Another tragedy in Iraq, this one brought on by a rumor:Up to 1,000 Iraqis died in a gruesome stampede today when rumours of an imminent suicide bombing attack sparked panic on a crowded bridge in Baghdad.The most deadly single incident since the Iraq war began two years ago saw hundreds trampled underfoot or drowning in the muddy Tigris - including childre
Cussedness and its price
Craig Hines of the Houston Chronicle addresses something I wonder about often. The people who ignore warnings about storms such as Katrina and stay. Recalling the devastation visited on Galveston in 1900 Hines reflects:Barely a century ago, in the Galveston hurricane-flood of 1900, the nation suffered its deadliest natural disaster in large part because of the government’s poor predictive and forecasting skills. More than 8,000 people died, includ
Politicizing Katrina
It shouldn’t come as any surprise to people that certain pundits, politicians and environmentalists couldn’t wait for the flood waters to recede from Hurricane Katrina’s devastating wake before they began exploiting the death and misery in New Orleans for their own political agenda. A couple of good examples come from Germany:The toughest com
More on the Fair Tax
I’m increasingly confused about some of the claims made by the Fair Tax advocates. Let’s take a look at the wage/price claims again. Again, the talking points at the Fair Tax web site explicitly say that the Fair Tax is a system that:* allows you to keep 100% of your paycheck, pension, and Social Security payments.* Dramatically reduces the cost of goods and services by 20% to 30%.First, let’s look carefully at the s
Is Helen Thomas still alive?
You know you’re on the wrong side of an issue when Helen Thomas is on your side. Seriously:It’s time for the Democratic Party to take a courageous stand and call for the withdrawal of troops from the senseless war in Iraq.[...]What is the logic of Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Joseph Biden, D-Del., and other so-called mod
Why Johnnie can’t read: British version
Really, you’d almost think this was an Onion entry or perhaps something from Scrappleface:A secondary school is to allow pupils to swear at teachers - as long as they don’t do so more than five times in a lesson. A running tally of how many times the f-word has been used will be kept on the board. If a class goes over t
Putting an Iraqi Face on it
An excellent article by Neil McDonald in the Christian Science Monitor about an Iraqi battalion taking over the security job in one of the provinces bordering the Sunni Triangle.Read the whole thing. Here, at least to me, was an excellent example of why this is important, and why it will be these folks, the Iraqis, who will defeat the insurgency, not the US military:
Alternative energy that runs on sunflower seeds
Important work:A 16-year-old boy invented a hamster-powered mobile phone charger as part of his GCSE science project.Peter Ash, of Lawford, Somerset, attached a generator to his hamster’s exercise wheel and connected it to his phone charger.Elvis does the
It’s Bush’s fault
No, not just the hurricane in LA, but "AIDs damage in Africa" according to a UN official.The charge:A senior United Nations official has accused President George Bush of "doing damage to Africa" by cutting funding for condoms, a move which may jeopardise the successful fight against HIV/Aids in Uganda.Stephen Lewis, the UN secretary general’s special envoy for HIV/Aids in Africa, said US cuts in funding for condoms and an emp
A blinding flash of the obvious is offical
Headline in the Washinton Post:"Study: Terrorists Exploit Immigration Laws"You don’t say?!And we’re just discovering this? We needed a study to tell us this? We were ignorant of this fact prior to today?Yes, reports Laura Jakes Jordan, it’s official. Now, I guess we can fi
Bolton: stirring up trouble or doing his job?
Well it appears that John Bolton’s efforts on behalf of the US as its ambassador to the UN don’t meet with the approval of the editoral board of the LA Times:After a year and a half of studies and negotiations, the United Nations recently came up with a draft proposal calling for extensive internal refor
Quaking in their boots
You’ve got to love this reporting. In a stark ultimatum, President Jacques Chirac of France warned Iran on Monday that it would face censure by the United Nations Security Council if it did not reinstate a freeze on sensitive nuclear activities under an agreement reached last November.My goodness alive, a "stark ultimatum" threatening "censure by the Unit
Incompetent: the administration or the media?
In the Cindy Sheehan era of claims that the majority of Americans are now against the war, Rasmussen publishes the results of a very interesting and telling poll:Seventy-nine percent (79%) of Americans say that it is important for "Iraq to become a stable company that rejects terrorism." That figure includes 59% who say that Iraqi stability if very im
"Hate the war, love the warrior", and other lies of the left
Can you name the era for this quote?“A woman on campus had apparently learned I might be a Marine. When I told her I was, she said, ‘You’re a disgusting human being, and I hope you rot in hell!’ ”Vietnam perhaps? I mean, given all you’ve heard about the era (and assuming you didn’t live through it), you’d label that as something
Advice for Republicans
Dan McLaughlin, also known as "Baseball Crank" blogs about "How A Social Moderate Can Win The GOP Nomination In Six Easy Steps". Over the months I’ve found Dan’s analysis of political issues to be extremely keen and have made reading his blog a must for me.I’ll give you the steps, but you need to head over to Baseball Crank to read the details:
Required Reading
Andrew Krepinevich writes in Foreign Affairs that defeating the insurgency in Iraq and building a stable society there is quite possible. But he have to do it right. His explanation of how to do that makes his article required reading.
The War in Iraq
Christopher Hitchens writes on the War in Iraq:"You said there were WMDs in Iraq and that Saddam had friends in al Qaeda. . . . Blah, blah, pants on fire." I have had many opportunities to tire of this mantra. It takes ten seconds to intone the said mantra. It would take me, on my most eloquent C-SPAN day, at the very least five minutes to say that Abdul Rahman Yasin, who mixed t
Gas Caps
A story that seemed to slip under the radar screen last week had to do with the state government of Hawaii putting a cap on the price of gasoline.Now I know this is an emotional subject for some. And the first thing that comes out of some mouths is "why doesn’t the government do something about gas prices"?! In fact, there are those out there who probably think this is a good idea.First, consider  
Republicans vulnerable in Senate in 2006
Robert Novak says the Republican effort to recruit viable candidates to run in the upcoming NY and MI senate races has been a total failure:Mired in August’s dog days, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) last week released a four-page opposition research paper on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York. The female Democratic senator deserving great
Sheehan: Gold Star moms are "Brainwashed murder and mayhem moms"
To those who haven’t seen it, Cindy Sheehan maintains a ’dairy’ at the Daily Kos (I know, that comes as a stunning surprise I’m sure). Under the label "everyone is brainwashed except me", comes Sheehan’s latest:I have been silent on the Gold Star Moms who still support this man and his war by saying that they deserve the right to their
Heading to Galveston
One of our Neo-Libertarian Network fellows is heading to Galveston to escape the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. Kenneth Greenlee of N.O. Pundit is heading away from the big blow while hoping that in reality Katrina is as big a flop as Ivan was.We hope so too Kenneth. God speed and be safe.
A view from the ground
I want you to take a moment and read this entire article. It’s not long and won’t take but a couple of minutes of your time.It’s from a colonel who’s been on the ground, in Iraq, for 18 months and who also has a son assigned there.This isn’t someone who just showed u
McCain to Hagle: Iraq not Vietnam
It’ll be interesting how the left will react to comments by John McCain about the comparison of Iraq to Vietnam. On CBS’s "Face the Nation", McCain threw Chuck Hagel a little bit of a rebuke (after, of course the obligatory "he’s one of my best friends in the Senate, yadda, yadda, yadda ..."):McCain said that in contrast to Iraq, South Vietnam "never had a
Riding the Pocket
Last Saturday and today, The Lovely Christine and I took loooong bike rides, which gave me a chance to put my new Catrike Pocket through its paces. Last week, we rode from Carlsbad to Encinitas, and back. This week, we rode on Coronado Island, and down the Silver Strand to Imperial Beach. In both cases, we’re talki ng about rides of more than 4 hours. A couple of observations.The pocket rides real
Virginia Blogging Summit
I’ve just gotten back from Charlottesville, VA where I attended the Sorensen Institute Summit on Blogging and Democracy in the Commonwealth. It was fascinating, of course, to meet other bloggers with whom I’ve corresponded, of whom I’ve heard, and whose blogs I’ve read. (really, we ought to do that more often, but less formally) It’s a
Not doing anything this weekend?
Drop by Crawford, TX:This one-stoplight town of 700 residents near President Bush’s ranch braced for thousands of visitors Saturday, most in a cross-country caravan for a pro-Bush rally and others to support Cindy Sheehan’s anti-war demonstration.More than 3,000 people were expected at the school football stadium for the culmination of the "You don&rsq
Fair Tax Fudging
You know, something else has struck me about the Fair Tax argument that doesn’t make sense. A freeper picked up on it just this morning, in fact.The Fair Tax people say in one breath that, by removing the tax costs from production, prices for consumer goods will drop by somewhere between 20% and 30%. Then in the next breath, they say that wages will rise because
Another jumps on the bandwagon
Quite frankly, it’s no surprise to see it though. Yes, Wesley Clark has his say:In the old, familiar fashion, mounting U.S. casualties in Iraq have mobilized increasing public doubts about the war. More than half the American people now believe that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake. They’re right. But it would also be a mistake
Blogging Advice
Via James Joyner, I see Simon World has some excellent tips on blogging. I know it’s been done a lot, but some of these bear repeating...and expanding upon:1. If you want to start blogging and have huge amounts of traffic instantly I can recommend one of three things: be an established journalist/opinion maker; be Glenn Reynold&rsquo
Another Reason Iraq isn’t Vietnam
And that is, as pointed out by Daniel Henninger, because there won’t be any supportive "Silent Majority" as there was during Vietnam who quietly supported the troops but didn’t speak out. It may be a "Quiet Majority", as Henninger labels it, but it won’t be silent. And, as he notes, they’re replacing rhetoric with deeds. A number of groups have emer
Sausage Making
Oliver Poole of the Telegraph breathlessly announces that "Iraq is on the verge of a meltdown".Really? Who knew that writing a constitution could take time, fray tempers, and have opponents of certain issues denouncing the entire process? Who knew it might push past deadlines, have deadlocked negotiations and h
How things have changed
Or perhaps they haven’t changed at all. Radley Balko notes:The Washington Post reports that in 1987, President Ronald Reagan vetoed a transportation bill passed by Congress because it had 157 "earmarks"— money set aside for Congress members’ pet projects that would ostensibly be considered too wasteful to pass as laws on their own merit.
"Maimed for a Lie"
You know, if you’ve read this blog for any time at all, I’m a sucker for this sort of story. I said a long time ago right here that I’d speak out whenever I saw the same sort of nonsense being perpetrated today by anti-war protesters which I saw 30 years ago during Vietnam, namely targeting troops for protest. I’m sure you’ve seen this story creeping around the net. 
More war comparisons
Today, for whatever reason, we have a spate of "Iraq is like" a bunch of different previous wars, or not.Jeff Jacoby has the "or not" piece. Per Jacoby, Iraq is not Vietnam. Why? For fairly obvious reasons:Yet in so many ways, Iraq doesn’t look like Vietnam at all. Vietnam was never the central battlegrou
Fair Tax Supporters: Whistling Past the Graveyard
Brad Warbiany responds to my concerns about the Fair Tax’s evasion potential, by telling me that they’ve already got that sewed up. Evasion won’t be a big problem at all.Allow me to act like Boortz for a moment. Boortz has the annoying habit, anytime someone brings up some false statement about the plan, wildly exclaiming “Sir, you don’t un
Where are Our Ideas?
Matt Yglesias is upset about the popular perception of a Republican/Democrat Idea Gap...Ah, yes, it’s the old "Democrats need more ideas" meme. Normally, my advice to such columnists is to visit a website or two... (8/19/05)Count me as among those who believe that Democrats must offer not only opposition to the Bush program, but also counter the perception that they lack new ideas. With tha
Standing up Iraq, standing down our troops
The operations officer for CENTCOM has confirmed what General Casey said last month: the plan is to withdraw significant numbers of US troops from Iraq within the next 12 months. And there’s a good reason to do so:Maj Gen Douglas Lute, director of operations at US Central Command, yesterday said the reductions were part of a push by Gen John Abizaid, comma
Once Upon a Time...
I’ll give war critics this much: there was certainly a great deal of strong, antagonistic rhetoric prior to the Iraq war. The Vice President, in particular, stands out.Prior to the war, he said of Saddam, that "tyrant remains firmly in power, resisting by every means the will of the international community. No wonder so many Americans ask themselves whether our victory over Saddam [in t
There’s little doubt that ongoing combat operations put a damper on military recruiting—a General recently noted that we will "fall short of our recruiting goal this year"—but it’s heartening to see that re-enlistment/retention is actually exceeding recruiting goals. While the crowd in Crawford insists we pull the
At last, someone who understands me
The Washington Times’Tony Blankley seems to know exactly what I’m thinking.Many of the strongest supporters of the president’s Iraq war aims are coming to suspect that the president has placed a limit on troop strength in Iraq for reasons extraneous to calculations of victory. It is hard to argue that the war is going optimally, and the administration argument
First you have to buy into the premise
If you don’t, you can’t say things like this by Gary Hart:The real defeatists today are not those protesting the war. The real defeatists are those in power and their silent supporters in the opposition party who are reduced to repeating "Stay the course" even when the course, whatever it now is, is light years away from the one orig
Speaking of Hijacking
It’s important that a distinction be made between a couple of organizations, one which has existed non-politically since 1929 and one which has hijacked the name of the first group for political reasons.The first is that of the Gold Star Mothers. They are an organization which provides a support group for those who’ve lost a loved one in service to the co
Selective Political Correctness, not free speech
You’ve probably heard something about the talk show host who was fired recently for things he said about Islam. No seriously, he was fired for things he said about Islam, and when confronted by management, he refused to retract them.Here’s what started it all:"Because of th
Quick Hits
Pejman Yousefzadeh—one of the very first bloggers I ever read, and still one of the very best—has moved off of Pejmanesque and on to his new Scoop-powered group blog: A Chequer-Board of Nights and Days. He’s invited me to contribute, so I’ll be popping up there from time to time, as well, along with a variety of other very good bloggers. Bookmark the  
Meanwhile in "Anti-War" world
The circus of the bizarre becomes even more bizarre. Cindy Sheehan speaks to an anti-war confab at San Francisco State University:Cindy Sheehan followed this act. Wearing a sweatshirt advertising the website for United for Peace and Justice, Sheehan was interviewed outside just before the meeting by an ABC-TV news reporter. Sheehan said then that military recru
The fight among Democrats
I don’t think it will come as any surprise that there is dissention within the ranks of Democrats on how they should present themselves. We have the Deaniac faction, the DLC faction and, of course, the Moore/ faction. All claim to have the answer. What is obvious is none have been able to convince the other factions of the truth of their claim:Liberal act
Text of Proposed Iraq Constitution
Based on translations from pictures taken of the document (which is in Arabic), the proposed Iraqi Constitution has been translated. Here are some high/low points worth attention:Article Two
Perusing Iraq’s Draft Constitution
The NY Times has highlighted some of the more interesting aspects of the proposed Iraqi Constitution.A quick scan seems to yield the foundation for a federal style government with Islamic ties. Of course, given the nature of the region and the religion, I’m not sure why the inclusion of Islam is a surprise to anyone, but there are some on the lef
You Rang?
I know I promised long ago to avoid name-calling, cheap shots and superficial insults. I intend to continue avoiding all such commentary, but this was just too good to pass up."[Democrats] don’t need some great lurch to the right or lurch to the left..." —- John Kerry, 08/19/05Yes, well....
Pop Quiz: Who said this?
It probably will suprise some, and others will just shake their heads as I did:There was a popular coup that overthrew him [Chavez]. And what did the United States State Department do about it? Virtually nothing. And as a result, within about 48 hours that coup was broken; Chavez was back in power, but we had a chance to move in. He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he’s going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the cont
The Asshats in New London
It’s not bad enough that the Kelo decision made it "constitutional" for a public entity to take private property for another private entity/individual. Now the winners have to act like asshats as well:The U.S. Supreme Court recently found that the city’s original seizure of private property was constitutional under the principal of eminent domain,
What would we do with out them?
The Washington Times today onerously tells us:The recently approved energy legislation excluded the biggest item that would have cut U.S. dependence on foreign oil as well as help lower record-high oil and gasoline prices: higher fuel efficiency standards for cars and sport utility vehicles.So, one has to suppose, people won’t demand more fuel effic
The Iraqi Constitution moves forward
Word is leaking out that a new Iraqi constitution has been hammered out. Iraq the Model reports...National Assembly member Bahaa Al-Aaraji just told Al-Iraqia TV that an agreement has finally been reached among the leaders of political bodies on the final draft of the constitution and that disputes over issues like federalism, distribution of resources and the role of Islam have been solv
Call it a Day...or Win
Former Deputy Defense Secretary Jed Babbin writes that if Iraq is looking like a Vietnam-style quagmire, it may be because the Bush Administration is making it so.As the Washington Post reported last Wednesday, "The day after burying their son, parents of a fallen Marine urged President Bush to either send more reinforcements to Iraq or withdraw U.S. troops altogether. &
Critic: Call It a Day and get out of Iraq
I thought an article by Andrew J. Bacevich in Sunday’s Washington Post provided a good example of what I consider to be the emerging consensus argument among some: the "we’ve done enough, let’s get out of Iraq" crowd. It rests on a very flimsy foundation. In fact, the premise is down right shakey.Bacevich, who authored the bo
It’s a plan, not a promise
Before the screech owls of the anti-war left get up to full volume, let’s take a look at what Gen. Pete Schoomaker said about our continued presence in Iraq:The U.S. Army is making plans to keep the current number of soldiers in Iraq—well over 100,000—for four more years, the Army’s top general said Saturday.In
Tax ’em till we’re prosperous
We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. —Winston ChurchillTrue, but don’t tell Zimbabwe. They’re enegaged in another in a long line of futile attempts, to once again buck economic theory:Zimbabwe’s finance minister has imposed a strin
A variation on the chickenhawk theme
Except this time it involves environmentalists, of the super-rich and liberal kind. Environmentalism is for the masses, it seems, and not those who can afford, for instance, to live on Martha’s Vinyard as Jonah Goldberg points out:The basic situation is that some environmentalists and a company called Cape Wind want to build 130 windmills way out in the ocean
Now he figures it out .... well almost
After spending the ’04 Presidential campaign essentially saying ’me too, but I’ll do it better’, John Kerry has discovered that Democrats probably don’t need to be Republican lite:Sen. John F. Kerry told state legislators Friday the Democratic Party doesn’t need to
Harry Reid suffers a stroke
I’m not a big Harry Reid fan, but I wish him well and hope he fully recovers from the stroke he recently suffered:Often called mini-strokes, transient ischemic attacks such as that suffered by Sen. Harry Reid can cause brief but frightening stroke-like symptoms.The good news: These attacks do no permanent damage to the brain.
Product Review: The Catrike Pocket
This afternoon, I finally got my Catrike Pocket (#175). The Pocket is a compact recumbent tricycle, with a "tadpole" design, i.e., two front steering wheels and a trailing drive wheel. It is made by Big Cat HPV in Winter Garden Florida. The frame is a TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welded space frame made of heat-treated, aircraft-grade aluminum. It has a 27-speed drive train (3 front and 9 rear chain wheels). The Pocket
Iraq: analysis
Kevin DrumSo: if you do believe we can win in Iraq, let’s hear what you mean by "win" and how you think we can do it, and let’s hear it in clear and compelling declarative sentences. "Stay the course" isn’t enough. What Bush is doing now obviously isn’t working, so what would you do that’s significantly different? I don’t know. It seems
The Problem with the Democrats
The Washington Post’s David Ignatius surveys the political scene.This should be the Democrats’ moment: The Bush administration is caught in an increasingly unpopular war; its plan to revamp Social Security is fading into oblivion; its deputy chief of staff is facing a grand jury probe. Though the Republicans control both houses of Congress as well as th
You Will Respect My (Moral) Authority!
Jonathan Chait, writing in the Los Angeles Times, observes that the Left’s increasing reliance on arguments from "moral authority" is just silly.
And you wonder why we need a John Bolton at the UN
I mean, how absurdly stupid can you be? Oh wait, we’re talking about the non-partisan UN, aren’t we?The United Nations’ funding of a Palestinian Arab propaganda campaign timed to coincide with Israel’s pullout from the Gaza Strip has increased tensions between the U.N. and American officials.
Mollifying Me
The guys at Holland’s Bikes called me to let me know that Catrike is FedExing a new mid-cage deraileur to me today, and they will install it tomorrow and deliver the trike to my house.Shortly before 9:am this morning, Catrike announced that they were changing the specs for the Pocket in order to replace the rear deraileur with one that has greater ground clearance.I’m very happy to see such a fast response to  
The Battle for Supreme Court Nominations
The lesson to be taken away from Supreme Court nominations is this: no matter who the President nominates—no matter how inoffensive, intelligent, and well-qualified the nominee— the opposition will work itself into hysterics trying to reframe him/her as a radical. The goal is not to ensure a fair judicial confirmation process, but to do two things: To frame the debate so that public perception of the political spectrum swings toward the side of the opposition par
Blogosphere Discussion Group
One of the most frustrating things about blogging is the difficulty of getting the widespread attention that particularly good posts deserve—and, the other side of that coin, having to wade through tons of other stuff to get to the really good stuff. It’s frustrating as a blogger and as a reader.So, for what it’s worth, here’s a new email list for bloggers and readers to share good
Sheehan doesn’t speak for many
In today’s Opinion Journal, Ronald Griffin makes note of many who’ve lost sons and daughters in Iraq who don’t agree with Sheehan at all. According to those who argue the absurd "absolute moral authority" canard, what about the moral authority of these folks?Frankly, I find myself agreeing with Griffin’s wife, Robin:My wife, Ro
ABA: Roberts "well qualified"
Given the ABA’s endorsement yesterday for Judge Roberts, its going to be interesting to watch how the left chooses to try to sink his nomination:The American Bar Association, the nation’s largest lawyers group, called Roberts "well qualified" on Wednesday, a day before the release of the documents from his tenure in the Reagan Whi
Cruella looks good
You probably remember, during the 2000 election fiasco, how Katherine Harris was pilloried as looking like Cruella DeVille. The heavy makeup, and all. But apparently, she’s had a makeover.C’mon. Admit it. You’d do her.
Edwards thumps Poverty drum
John Edwards, down but not out, wants to go back to Democratic roots to rebuild the party. He wants to jump on the poverty bandwagon again:Democrats can build the party’s national strength by pushing their policies in statehouses around the country, 2004 vice presidential candidate J
Meanwhile back at the border
We find that a rising number of legal Hispanics are troubled by the inability of the US to stop illegal immigration:More than 40 percent of Hispanic voters say the rising tide of illegal aliens is hurting the country, and more than one-third want the government to discourage additional legal immigration, according to a Democratic survey.Note the sourc
None shall pass!
For Python Holy Grail freaks —-Take the quiz: "Which Holy Grail Character Are You?"The (Invincible) Black KnightNone shall pass beyond your defended territory, which you will defend to the death and multiple amputation.Yes, that’s right. I scored as the Black Knight.Heh ... g
Administrative Note
Recently, we’ve had to reject a few submissions to the Neolibertarian netowrk, because the requestors haven’t provided us with an RSS 2.0 feed.Our submission guidelines for the NN specify an RSS 2.0 feed, and provide insturctions on how to generate one. As the guy who’s primarily responsible for adding new blogs to the NN, I simply don’t have the time to convert your feed to RSS 2.0 for you.I’m sorry, but if you can’t figure out how to
Wish in one hand, read the 9/11 report in the other...
I’ve long defended Clinton against the charges that he failed to extradite Bin Laden from Sudan, attack Al Qaeda when he could, and other somewhat unrealistic charges. His actions at the time were reasonable, given the political climate, what we knew of OBL and what we expected of Al Qaeda. We were wrong, but hindsight is a bitch.But when Clinton says  
A Question for Sheehan Supporters
Christopher Hitchens asks an interesting question to Cindy Sheehan’s supporters.Sheehan has obviously taken a short course in the Michael Moore/Ramsey Clark school of Iraq analysis and has not succeeded in making it one atom more elegant or persuasive. I dare say that her "moral authority" to do this is indeed absolute, if we agree for a moment on the weird idea that moral authorit
Reader Mail
I received the following email from a reader this morning, wanting some answers to some questions.1. As a Republican, I am wondering what it would take for you to stop supporting the Bush administration? What hypothetical situation can you think of would be your breaking point?As a Republican? That’s a bit of presumption. As it happens, I am currently registered as a Republican, so I can vote in primaries—and because
Neolibertarian Network blog
There’s something to enrage you, educate you and amuse you at the Neolibertarian Network blog today. Read, bookmark and blogroll.
Big-Government Conservatism
The editors of the Washington Post are looking askance at the "party of small government".Mr. Bush, who had threatened to veto wasteful spending bills, chose instead to cave in. He did so despite the fact that in addition to a record number of earmarks the transportation bill came with a price tag that he had once called unacceptable. The bil
Staying in Iraq?
Ronald Brownstein asks an interesting question in today’s Los Angeles Times.President Bush and his top advisors have never said the United States wants to establish permanent military bases in Iraq. But they have never ruled out the possibility either.Should they?
More "wisdom" from Howard Dean
Good grief:Howard Dean, the Democratic National Committee chairman who was the hero of his party’s anti-war wing before his gaffe-prone 2004 presidential candidacy crashed and burned in Iowa, still doesn’t think the Iraqis are better off with dictator Saddam Hussein out of power and in prison. Appearing on CBS’ "Face the Nation" yesterday, t
Iraqi Constitution Extention approved
The Iraqi Parliament approved a week long extention for the completion of the new Iraqi Constitutional draft.The Iraqi parliament voted today to extend the deadline for finalizing Iraq’s new draft constitution by seven days, until Aug. 22, U.S. State Department officials confirmed.The 275-member Iraqi National Assembly had been expected sign off on the
Neolibertarianism for beginners
Billy Beck"A two-party system needs two parties, both of which need to be competitive, and have broad-based support."Oh, yeah? If that’s true, then who in the world needs "Neolibertarians"? (sigh) Ok, for those who’ve just showed up and those who never paid much attention
Voice Recognition and the Doc
Was perusing "The Doctor Is In" blog. Dr. Bob did a post on something I’ve watched emerge as the "in thing" among physicians: voice recognition sofware which allows them to dictate their notes directly into the computer record. But its not without its problems leading to contextual swaps, some pretty humorous:What I said: The patient said
The politics of Sheehan’s protest
They’re becoming more and more obvious. Per Drudge:Anti-war protestor Cindy Sheehan, whose soldier son Casey was killed in Iraq, is calling for Bush’s "impeachment," and for Israel to get out of Palestine!"You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you’ll stop the terrorism," Sheehan declares.Sheehan, who is asking for a second m
Iraq’s Constitution
The deadline for submission of the Iraqi Constitution has arrived. Status?Early Monday, Shiite and Kurdish leaders signaled they were prepared to submit the draft to parliament Monday evening — even if they had to do so over Sunni Arab objections.That risked a backlash among Sunni Arabs, who fo
Demonstrating one of his fundamental problems, Krugman writes...In addition to misrepresenting his goals, Mr. Bush repeatedly lied about the current system. Oh, I’m sorry - was that a rude thing to say? Still, the fact is that Mr. Bush repeatedly said things that were demonstrably false and that his staff must have known were false. The falsehoods ranged from his claim that Social Security is un
The New Libertarian
If you haven’t yet read the 5th edition of The New should probably do so. And I’m not just saying that because I have two pieces in it. (sure, inclusively, but not exclusively) Download it, read it, print it out, pass it along to friends. Or get them to sign up for notification emails at the subscribe link under the banner at the top of the blog. <
Uparmoring trucks cuts casualties
You probably remember all the hell we raised here about not only uparmoring humvees, but also the transport trucks which ply the supply lines in Iraq. Well, apparently that’s been accomplished and  
Here’s a surprise ...
Oh yeah. Kennedy and Kerry agree with Cindy Sheehan:Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Sen. John F. Kerry yesterday each threw their support behind Cindy Sheehan, who has been camped outside Bush’s Crawford, Texas, home since Saturday, vowing not to leave until the president meets with her about the war. Sheehan’s 24-year-old Marine son, Casey, was killed five da
Cindy Sheehan
I’ve been hesitant to address a mother’s personal grief and her desire to speak up about it, but Cindy Sheehan has  
Of what? This would be funny if it weren’t so typical of what most believe about the level of discourse in much of the muslim world. Note also the country in which this occurred. From MERMI TV monitoring project.The following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian professor Abd Al-Sabour Shahin, which aired on Saudi Channel 1 on August 8, 2005.Shahin: Our ene
Mentioned in the News?
So far only by MSNBC, and the Seattle Post Intelligencer.From DoD a consolidation of their releas
Situational Libertarianism
Charles Krauthammer has worked up an idea he calls "situational libertarianism".Liberties should be as unlimited as possible—unless and until there arises a real threat to the open society. Neo-Nazis are pathetic losers. Why curtail civil liberties to stop them? But when a real threat—such as jihadism—arises, a liberal democ
Drugs. More dangerous than liberty.
If you have allergies, I’ve got bad news for you. The government is taking the war on drugs to your local pharmacy. And don’t even think about trying to stock up on allergy medications. If you do, you face an excellent chance of going to jail."Operation Meth Merchant" is the government’s way of making store clerks act as drug-enforcement agen
NARAL withdraws its ad
In a move that may surprise some, NARAL withdrew its ad with the usual "it was misconstrued" excuses:After a week of protests by conservatives, an abortion rights group said Thursday night it is withdrawing a television advertisement linking Supreme Court nominee John Roberts to violent ant
Kissinger on an Iraq Exit Strategy
Henry Kissinger has a detailed article in today’s Washington Post in which he discusses his concept of the conditions for the withdrawl of US troops from Iraq. Of course, given his intimate involvement at the time, he uses comparisons to Vietnam. On the most part, I agree with with his assessment, although there are details with which I disagree.
The Honorverse—Final Version
For those of you who have been keeping up with The Honoverse we site, it’s is finally completely finished. I just added the uniform insignia for the Republic of Alizon. So, it’s done.
Welcome to America. Don’t get too Comfortable.
Steve Chapman is looking askance at the proposed anti-terror laws that Tony Blair’s Labour government is pushing. The new laws would deport from Britain any non-citizen who justifies or supports the use of terror to accomplish political goals.
Senator Santorum and the Christian Socialists
It’s a good thing that Rick Santorum has already ruled out a 2008 Presidential run, because comments like this would make me seriously consider my first vote for a Democratic Presidential candidate...One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a libertarianish right. You know, the left has gone so f
Reforming Islam
Salman Rushdie, in a move I’m sure will further endear him to radical Islamic imams, has called for a reformation of Islam:Traditional Islam is a broad church that certainly includes millions of tolerant, civilised men and women, but also encompasses many whose views on women’s rights are antediluvian, who think of homosexuality as ungodly, who have little
Running out of terrorists?
That’s what a Saudi Arabian terrorist expert is saying. Or at least they seem to be running out of skilled terrorists: A leading Saudi security official said yesterday that the pool of terrorists plaguing the desert kingdom, and often targeting foreigners, has been seriously depleted. "We are reducing the level of terr
Keeping the poor poor
John Stossel explains how setting high wages keeps poor people poor.Note the word "setting". What he’s talking about is the Davis Bacon Act which requires federal contracters pay the "prevaling wage" to their workers if working on a federal contract. What does "prevailing wage" mean? Let Stossel explain:On government construction jobs, federal
FactCheck.Org: NARAL Ad about Roberts "False" had issued a release about a NARAL ad being run which opposes Judge Roberts nomination in which it flatly states the ad is "false" and misleading:An abortion-rights group is running an attack ad accusing Supreme Court nominee John Roberts of filing legal papers “supporting . . . a convicted clinic bomber” and of having an ideology that “leads him to excuse violence against othe
No Catholics Need Apply
Some guy named Christopher D. Morris writes in the Boston Globe that he’s come up with the perfect way to ensure Roe v. Wade never gets overturned. And it’s really simple, too. All we have to do is pass a federal law that requires Federal Judges who are Catholics to recuse themselves from any
The New Libertarian
If you haven’t yet read the 5th edition of The New should probably do so. And I’m not just saying that because I have two pieces in it. (sure, inclusively, but not exclusively) Download it, read it, print it out, pass it along to friends. Or get them to sign up for notification emails at the subscribe link under the banner at the top of the blog. <
The New New Deal
Niall Ferguson & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, writing in The New Republic, inform us that The New Deal is dead. And if it isn’t, it will be soon, because we can’t afford to pay for it in its present incarnation.Today, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits per retiree total $21,000. Multiply this by the current 36 million elderly, and yo
Pundit, Heal Thyself
In 1997, Paul Krugman wrote a hypothetical post-election column on the 2000 Presidential Election and on the hysterical, nonsensical economic punditry that (hypothetically) abounded in the media. Read it and note how closely it tracks to his actual performance leading up to the 2004 election. I highlight the particularly ironic portions and incorrect predictions. 
New Labor
Matt Miller pens a brief profile on Andy Stern, the union Leader who just walked out of the AFL-CIO, taking the Teamsters, the UFCW, and the SEIU with him, leaving the AFL-CIO a crippled, shattered wreck. (It was already that, really, but it’s even more so now after Stern’s move to split it up.) Miller writes that Stern is a different kind of trade unionist.
"Deferred Success"
Mark Steyn thinks he’s discovered the Democratic party’s new strategy: Almost Winning.The other day an official with a British teachers’ union proposed that the concept of "failing" exams should be abolished. Instead of being given a "failing" grade, she said, the pupil would instead be given a "deferred success."Oh, sure, you can scoff.
Number Fudging and Pessimism at the New York Times
Pessimists till the bitter end, the New York Times Editorial board searches for the dark lining in the silver cloud...With yesterday’s announcement that 207,000 new jobs were created in July - nearly 30,000 more than had been forecast - Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao took to the airwaves to repeat the administration’s mantra about the economy being "strong and getting stronger." But if you lo
Czech violence
In an apparently under reported story, blogger Taylor Buley at "Fresh Politics" gives us a in-depth look at an event in which police seem to have overreacted to a largely peaceful and legal event being held in the Czech Republic. A very interesting read. Is another "Velvet Revolution" necessary?
Disagreeing about Iraq
Disagreement one:Condi Rice is of the opinion that the insurgency in Iraq is losing steam."It’s a lot easier to see the violence and suicide bombing than to see the rather quiet political progress that’s going on in parallel," Rice said."If you
Taxonomy of Liberal Blogs
Recently, in a popular blog post, Mithras @ Fables of the Reconstruction presented a Conservative Blog Taxonomy. While midly amusing, it generally skipped the "funny because it’s true" angle, preferring instead outright snark and venom. In response, RightWingNutHouse put up his own "
Un-Intelligent Design
As much as I dislike the Creationism/Intelligent Design psuedoscience, I dislike ignorant partisan hackery even more. So I’m not going to let this pass...[Those on the Right] are amazingly backwards looking people who reject even the simplest tenets of science in favor of mythological constructs like “intelligent design”. In fact, very similar numbers of Republi
It’s over ...
I hope you’ll indulge me for a moment. A few days ago I posted a short article about my friend Marvin and his battle with pancreatic cancer. It ended with a Yogi Berra quote: "it ain’t over till it’s over".It’s over.Marvin had been fighting the disease for well over a year. Pancreatic cancer is a brutal and painful disease, but Marvin
Blogs, what are they good for!?
Seems, based on a trio of stories, that blogs aren’t what everyone would like to believe they are in terms of influence and readership, but there sure are a lot of them.This week, we had a story which touted the fact that a new blog is created every second. And that some 15 million of them exist.OK, so there are bunches of them. What does that mean? Well
The "Sandies", Favorites of the Left
Remember when the Sandinistas of Nicaragua were the darlings of the American Left? I do. In fact, as a young USAF Security Policeman—SPs are, in addition to being cops, the USAF’s infantry trigger pullers—I remember our regular deployments to Central America in the 1980s to, uh, do things the Sandies found...inconvenient. I also remember Democratic party pols like David Bonior and John Kerry going down to Managua to trade hugs with "El Commandant
The New Libertarian, Vol. 1, Iss. 5
Finally, this month’s issue of The New Libertarian is up! It’s a few days late, but better late than never.This month, TNL is just full of op/ed, libertariany goodness, and it spans the globe, from China, to Sweden, to Africa and the Third world, and even to outer space. Outer space! I mean, that’s far! 
Teaching Intelligent Design
The editors of the San Diego Union-Tribune are looking askance at the President’s musings about schools teaching intelligent design along with evolution. Now, there is no question that there are many phenomena so far unexplained by biology. But because evolutionary theory continues to be updated hardly means it is no more proven than ID. All theories are
Can you hear me now?
Thomas Friedman is working on a new political platform.I’ve been thinking of running for high office on a one-issue platform: I promise, if elected, that within four years America will have cellphone service as good as Ghana’s. If re-elected, I promise that in eight years America will have cellphone service as good as Japan’s, provided Japan agr
General Barry McCaffrey
In early June, Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey took a (CENTCOM-requested) trip to Iraq during which he "visited with both U.S. and Iraqi troops, security forces and government officials". After the trip, he briefed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on his findings. His report (pdf) is much more intere
Now he tells us...
A few days ago, I introduced you all to a new version of my Honorverse web site, which displays all of the rank insignia for the various nations portrayed in the Honor Harrington book series by David Weber.So, I’m reading my brand spanking new advance copy of the new Honor Harrington book, At All Costs, whe
The Culture of Spending
Jeff Jacoby notes sadly that the Republican Party has now become the Other Party of Big Government.[I]t might surprise younger readers to learn that spending discipline was once a basic Republican principle. Hard to believe in this era of bloated Republican budgets and the biggest-spending presidential administration in 40 years—but true. Once up
Remember, these were only "loans"
The media is always keen on corporate financial scandals. At least, they used to be. These days, though, not so much, as the editors of Investors Business Daily point out. At least not when the financial scandal, complete with criminal investigations, concerns Air America.New York City’s Department of Investigation is looking into charges that $875,000 from a Bronx nonprofit group an
Focus-Grouped Objections
Byron York notes that there’s an eerie similarity to the Democrats’ response to the Bolton appointment.Quick: What do you call President Bush’s decision to recess-appoint John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations?“Abuse of power,” says Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).“Abuse of power,” says Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).
Real implications or over analyzed?
Newt Gingrich completely disagrees with me about the implications of the vote yesterday in Ohio. He says:Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) warned fellow Republicans yesterday not to ignore the implications of the party’s narrow victory in Tuesday&r
So will Ted Kennedy Embrace Roberts now?
An interesting development in the ’outing’ of Judge Roberts previous legal work:Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. worked behind the scenes for gay rights activists, and his legal expertise helped them persuade the Supreme Court to issue a landmark 1996 ruling protecting people from discrimination because
Kelo sparking a rash of state laws preventing takings
In an interesting twist, states are now rapidly passing laws to block the ability of cities and municipalities to take private property from one person to give to another person for economic development. The twist? In many states, it was indeed common practice for this to happen prior to
Planning for Troop Withdrawls
Planning is underway to draw down US troop strength in Iraq if certain conditions (as we’ve repeatedly pointed out here at QandO) are met: A task force headed by U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad agreed yesterday on guidelines for the withdrawal of U.S. and other forces, with two key troop contributors planning major drawdowns b
A man of humor, dignity and courage
I just left the hospital where one of my very best friends was told today that his pancreatic cancer has won, and that they’re discontinuing treatment and calling in hospice.You have to know Marvin to understand how he took it. According to his wife Juanice, he asked the doctor, soon after he’d been told, "do you suppose you can get me well enough to go to church a couple more times?" The surprised doctor said, yes, he thought he could.
First Day On the Job
John Bolton has now been ensconced as the US Ambassador to the United Nations, despite much moaning an gnashing of teeth from the left. So, how did his first day go?Well, James Lileks has a diary of Mr. Bolton’s first day. 8:03—Security makes Bolton go through the metal detector six times, convinced he’s hiding brass knuckles somewhere. He leaves, grasping the detachable
For what it’s worth...
Back in May, during the Great Kidney Hell Month of 2005, a CT scan I underwent also found a small stone in my appendix. Apparently, the doctor tells me, these stones frequently lead to appendicitis. He recommended we go ahead and take it out. So, I’m going in for my appendectomy bright and early Thursday morning. I’m really not sure what to expect on the pain front, but I suspect I’ll be a bit medicated for most of the day Thursday and perhaps Friday, as well.
Of "Staff Pukes" and "grunts"
Apparently there’s a little bit of an uproar about some comments attributed to Rush Limbaugh yesterday, not that its my job to defend Limbaugh. But this is just silly.Roger Ailes says, about 14 Marines who were recently killed:Rush Limbaugh must be in heaven today, as fourteen pukes have given their meaningless lives for the g
Iran: The Next Big Thing?
Kevin Drum brings the warmongering innuendo:The CIA says that Iran isn’t as close to building a nuclear bomb as we used to think ... Expect the Michael Ledeen crowd to be furious over this. The CIA’s report concedes that "left to its own devices, Iran is determined to build nuclear weapons," but that won’t be enough to save them from the wrath of the mega-hawk crowd, w
Least Favorite on the right
John Hawkins of Right Wing News has listed his least favorite righties. No real surprises in my estimation, except, perhaps, where they ended up on the list:12) John Warner: A particularly embarrassing squish since he’s from a conservative state like Virginia.11) George Voinovich: Crybaby.10) Michael Savage: Like Ann Coulter except with
"America Coming Together" turns off the lights
Apparently the party is over.The dream:A year ago, the liberal group America Coming Together was on the cutting edge of national politics, spending tens of millions of dollars on a massive voter-mobilization project in every presidential battleground state.The dream was that ACT—heavily funded by billionaire George
Speaking of voter fraud
A new report out says neither party has clean skirts when it comes to voter fraud allegations but, per the report, Democrats have a much worse record in that regard than do Republicans:The American Center for Voting Rights Legislative Fund today released the most comprehensive and authoritative review of the facts surrounding allegations of vote fraud, intimidation and
Iraq war vet loses Congressional bid
A former Marine reservist who ran as a Democrat and blasted George Bush and the war in Iraq has lost his bid to become the first Iraq war vet elected to Congress:A Republican former state lawmaker claimed a seat in Congress on Tuesday by narrowly defeating an Iraq war veteran who drew national attention to the race with his military service and a series of harsh attacks on President Bush.With all precincts reporting, Jean Schmidt had 52 percent, or 57,974 votes, compared
Iran: 10 years from producing a nuke?
Please excuse the skeptic in me, but the WaPo is reporting:A major U.S. intelligence review has projected that Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years, according to government sources with firsthand knowledge of the new analysis.[.
If not in Iraq, then oragami?
The always interesting, informative and entertaining Jack Kelly asks what al-Queda is planning based on a report in the Debkafile:Debkafile, the private Israeli intelligence service, which is always entertaining but often in error, reports that al-Qaida is shifting more than 1,000 of its operatives from Iraq for terror offensives in Europe and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Is the light blogging over?
I’ve been busy as can be with a variety of professional obligations that accounts for the light blogging over the past few weeks. In addition, I’ve been working on a personal project I’m now happy to share with you all. And, for those of you who are fans of my Flash presentation of American military rank insignia, I think you’ll really like this. I’ve long been a fan of the Honor Harrington boo
Just Curious ...
... but since I don’t listen to Air America, I’m just wondering if they’ve been mentioning this on air? It’s the kind of outrageous story that would raise the hackles of talk-show host Al Franken: A government-funded agency serving the needy lends nearly $500,000 to a shaky political radio network and is never repaid.Except it involves Franken’s own Ai
Carter blasts Gitmo
In another indication that what we’re doing in Guantanamo (and Iraq)is probably the right thing to do, former President Carter blasted both while in Birmingham, UK: Former President Carter said Saturday the detention of terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay Naval base was an embarrassment and had given extremists an excuse to attack the United States.
Bolton appointed to UN Ambassadorship by recess appointment
In an unsurprising ’surprise’, President Bush has made a recess appointment of John Bolton as US Ambassador to the UN.Frankly I don’t blame him for doing so:President Bush sidestepped the U.S. Senate on Monday and installed controversial nominee John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations, saying
Lost Liberty Hotel Redux
It appears a move is underway to include the home of Justice Stephen Bryer in a Kelo approved taking as others are trying to do with Justice David Souter’s home:If the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire and its allies have their way, someday two stone monuments will stand on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer’s Plainfield property.Short of that, the Libe
Mexican Mercenaries offer bounty for US Law Enforcement Officers
Results of the drug war: A renegade band of Mexican military deserters, offering $50,000 bounties for the assassination of U.S. law-enforcement officers, has expanded its base of operations into the United States to protect loads of cocaine and marijuana being brought into America by Mexican smugglers, authorities said. The deserters, known as the "Zetas
Novak speaks out on Plame affair
Against the advice of his lawyers, Robert Novak is speaking out about the Plame affair:There never was any question of me talking about Mrs. Wilson "authorizing." I was told she "suggested" the mission, and that is what I asked Harlow. His denial was contradicted in July 2004 by a unanimous Senate Intelligence Committee report. The report said Wilson’s wife "s
King Fahd Dead
For better or worse, a new era in Saudi Arabian history is about to dawn...King Fahd, Saudi Arabia’s ruler since 1982, has died. Saudi state television announced that Crown Prince Abdullah had been named as King Fahd’s successor. It is, of course, far too early to know what this will mean for US/Saudi relations. The new Saudi Monarch, King Abdullah, is widely spo
Pakistan: All foreigners out of madrassas
First France moves to expell radical Imams and now Pakistan is expelling all foreigners studying at Pakistani madrassas.Gen Musharraf told foreign journalists in Rawalpindi: "They must leave. We will not issue visas to such people."We will not allow madrassas to be misused for extremism, hatred being projected in our society."No new visas will be iss
Porking up the so-called ’budget’
Not yet a lame duck and, unsurpriningly, still not conservative on spending:After years of partisan impasses and legislative failures, Congress in a matter of hours yesterday passed or advanced three far-reaching bills that will allocate billions of dollars and set new policies for guns, roads and energy.The measures
Fools on Parade
Via John Cole, who also notes the breathtaking stupidity of the comment, we see AmericaBlog mining previously untapped regions of foolishness...Tony Blair just caught all suspected London terrorists in one week, George Bush can’t catch any 9/11 suspects in four years Um...
France Gets Tough
Apparently France has seen and heard enough:The gulf between British and French treatment of preachers of hatred and violence was thrown sharply into focus yesterday when France announced the summary expulsion of a dozen Islamists between now and the end of August.A tough new anti-terrorism package was unveiled by
Bread and Circuses
For decades, Republicans, libertarians and assorted right-wing bomb-throwers have been accusing the liberals of using entitlement programs to make voters dependent upon the government...increasing the power of the Democrats who vote to (expropriate and) bestow such benefits upon the masses. Neal Boortz expressed such a view concisely here:The Democrats most certain DO have an agenda. It’s just not an agen
Blog Notes
Check out the Neolibertarian Network blog for useful stuff from around the blogosphere and elsewhere.The 4th Edition of The New Libertarian is available. Download and read it. The 5th Edition should be out early next week.
John Roberts is not the end of Roe V Wade
Ted Rall writes that now "is a superb time to get that abortion you’ve been putting off" and proceeds to be as correct as he is charming...Three facts indicate that Roberts’ confirmation spells the end of Roe v. Wade, the decision guaranteeing American women the right to an abortion. ... Federal abortion rig
The war no one can win?
A very interesting opinion piece by Phillip Blond and Adrian Pabst in the International Herald-Tribune. They flatly reject the argument that Islamic terrorists are a product of a twisted and perverted form of Islam:Most commentators argue that Islamic terrorism is a fanatical perversion of Islam which deviates from its true teachings. They call for a Western-st
American Muslims Condemn Terrorism
You ask for it, you’ve got it:Top U.S. Muslim scholars issued a "fatwa," or religious edict, against terrorism on Thursday and called on Muslims to help authorities fight the scourge of militant violence.The fatwa was part of efforts by U.S. Muslims to counter perceived links between Islam and terrorism and avert any negative backlash after
Global Struggle against Violent Extremism
Fred Kaplan writes a remarkably silly column...One question comes to mind while reading the New York Times’ report today that the Bush administration has decided to change the name of its counterterrorist campaign from "the global war on terrorism" to "the global struggle against violent extremism": Are these guys really this clueless?[...]It took four years for the president of the United States to realize
Iran: Agreement? What agreement?
In the political equivalent of "letting the other shoe drop", Iran has predictably gone back on its agreement of last November with European nations to stop certain nuclear activities:Iran said yesterday that it will restart some nuclear activities as soon as August and announced it has developed solid-fuel technology for its bal
IRA ends armed struggle
Sky News is reporting the following: The IRA paramilitary movement will put down its arms from 4pm today.A statement from the republicans said it would end armed struggles and work towards peaceful solutionsThe long-awaited pledge instructed all IRA members to "assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusive
Hollywood woes
Michael Medved is of he opinion that Hollywood’s box office woes are due to its liberal leanings:The standard entertainment industry reaction to Hollywood’s box office slump reveals the same shallow, materialistic mindset that helped create the problem in the first place. The left-leaning thinking that dominates the movie business follows a common liberal instinct to
Another Wake up call?
That’s what Tony Blair thinks:"September 11 for me was a wake up call. Do you know what I think the problem is? That a lot of the world woke up for a short time and then turned over and went back to sleep again," he said."We are not going to deal with this problem, with the roots as deep as they are, until we confront these people at every
Iraq and Women’s Rights
SemiRandomRamblings observes:Maybe I was wrong to complain about the lack of constitutional coverage, if this is how they’re going to cover it.Iraq Constitution May Erode Women’s Right
The battle for the soul of the Democrat party
Who knew that Hillary Clinton’s call yesterday for party unity within the Democrat party would fracture it even more?Come on, tell me? Who knew?It would seem, given the party’s almost total ineffectiveness (except in an obstructionist sense) that such a call would be welcomed and considered earnestly.The rea
Disorganized Labor
The editors of the Wall Street Journal are trying to offer some helpful advice to AFL-CIO big shots John Sweeney and Andy Stern. Those two gentlemen are on the brink of tearing the AFL-CIO in half due to their disputes, and the editors of the WSJ are viewing with alarm.Yeah, yeah, I know. When the Journal—generally regarded as the
The New Plan for war against "Islamist Extremists"
US News and World Report has an extensive report on the new strategy in the War on Terrorism which will be pursued by the Bush administration. One of the more significant points in the report is the expanded indentification of the enemy:The terrorist threat against the United States is now defined as "Islamist extremism" —not just al Qaeda. The Pentagon documen
Stray Voltage
Nothing like subsidizing bombers:Two fugitive London bombers have been living in Britain on state benefits, it emerged last night.Somalian Yasin Hassan Omar, 24, received £23,000 in housing benefit over six years while living at a flat in Southgate, North London, which was raided yesterday.Flatmate Muktar Said-Ibrahim tried to bomb a bus.
An Iraq Reminder
On December 8 1998, Sandy Berger gave a speech at Stanford University that bears repeating. I will excerpt important sections below, with notable parts highlighted:REMARKS BY SAMUEL R. BERGER ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR NATIONAL SECURI
The forgotten promise
Remember when the Republicans were all for limited government and less spending? Nothing is more emblamatic of the complete turn around the GOP has taken than the Department of Education’s continued existence.In the 1990s, the Republican party sought to abolish the Department of Education as an inappropriate intrusion into state, local, and family affairs. The GOP platform was clear: "The Federal government has no constitutional authority to be inv
And while Fonda is anti-war trippin’...
... on the Crisco Express, we have this going on in Iraq:In a mass ceremony the soldiers, sailors, and airmen, along with one marine and a navy medic, simultaneously raised their right hands and swore to "support and defend the constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, for
New Century, New City, Old Story
Well its now official. After having tried to retire her "Hanoi Jane" moniker, Jane Fonda will again embark on a mission to end the war and raise the morale of the troops in combat. One wonders if "Baghdad Jane" isn’t indeed appropriate:Actress and activist Jane Fonda says she intends to take a
Shorter Colbert King...
Elections Matter. All elections, not just presidential ones.
The answer is Originalism, not term limits
John Fund argues that time has come to limit the terms of SUpreme Court Justices.A seat on the high court is now so powerful and so heady that many justices stay long past their prime. Legal scholars have concluded that half of the last 10 retirees have been too feeble or inattentive to fully participate in the work of the court. While his health has improved and he rallied to oversee President Bush&rsquo
Wanting to have it both ways
Mark Steyn, writing in the Chicago Sun-Times makes a very powerful point about the Democratic Party’s inconsistent views about the Supreme Court.Leave aside, too, that it was the Democrats who were trying to "hang enough chads." The Republicans were happy to have the election decided on—what’s the word?—"votes." It was the Democrats who introduced us to the Four Ch
Can your home be far behind
Hey, in light of the Kelo decision, why not:Ashtrays have been disappearing in cars like fins on Cadillacs, and so could smoking while driving in New Jersey, under a measure introduced in the Legislature.Although the measure faces long odds, it still has smokers incensed and tearing int
Sick Hate
I don’t know how you react to something like this, but personally it makes me sick:American flags, lining the lawn of the mother- and father-in-law of fallen U.S. Army Pfc. Timothy Hines Jr., were heaped in a pile early Saturday and burned under a car parked in front of the home - less than 24 hours after Hines was buried in Cincinnati’s Sp
Regime Libertarians: a follow-up
My previous post in response to Lew Rockwell’s "Regime Libertarians" piece has elicited some interesting comments, and been updated, as well. If you haven’t read it, do so. Amazingly, though, even Lew Rockwell’s anti-politics stance wasn’t enough for some of the Paleos, and he was criticized by one Jim Davies
Health Insurance: Deregulate at the state level
Here’s a novel idea. Why not make health insurance more available and more affordable by getting government (specifically, state governments) out of the way? That’s the idea behind a bill by John Shadegg (R-AZ): "Allow Americans to buy health insurance from vendors in any one of the 50 states."Today’s WSJ Opinion Journal points out
The New Libertarian
The Neolibertarian Network blog has picked up a couple Neolibertarian contributors, whose input should gradually increase over time. In the meantime, be sure to check out the Neolibertarian Network blog for useful stuff....and feel free to pass on useful stuff when you write/find it.The 4th Edition of The New Libertarian is also available.  
Never take a knife to a gun fight
Under the heading "it serves the dumbass right" we have this story out of San Antonio:In the first incident, a woman on the 100 block of Baker Creek Loop in northwestern Guadalupe County answered the door to a man she recognized as an acquaintance of her son at about 12:30 a.m., Jordan said.He said the man put a knife to the woman&rsqu
Terrorist groups both claim responsiblity for Egyptian blasts
According to Fox News, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, which purports ties with al Queda, has claimed credit for the explosion in the Eqyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh which has killed at least 83 people.AP is reporting another group, the previously unknown Mujahedi Masr or "Holy Warriors of Egypt," has
You know its bad "art" if the French don’t like it
Can it be true? The French have found some "art" that even they can’t stand or condone? And its one of their own festivals to boot. Some of the published critiques are priceless. This one is certainly in the running for quote of the day or week:Communist newspaper L’Humanite said this year’s of
Begging bowl in hand, Mugabe goes to China
After having willfully and purposely run a once vibrant economy and self-sufficient (and fairly rich) nation into the ground, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has decided the next place to turn for help is China.Why? I do love this quote (it probably qualifies as the quote of the day at the
The Georgia Tin Foil Brigade
A couple of stories in the Atlanta Journal-Consitution caught my eye this morning. The first, not surprisingly, involves Cynthia McKinney. She’s holding "hearings" about the subject which helped her become an ex-Congresswoman not long ago:Revisiting the issue that helped spur her ouster from Congress three years ago, Rep. Cynthia McKinn
GIs not happy with Kennedy and Akaka
And apparently, if this report is correct, told them about it on a recent visit to Guantanamo Bay: Soldiers from Massachusetts and Hawaii who work at the U.S. military detention facility at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, gave visiting home-state senators a piece of their mind last week. Sens. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, and Daniel K. Akaka, Haw
"Regime Libertarians"
In a sign that they may be having an affair with reality, the Libertarian Party has released an actual proposal on Iraq, entitled "Iraq Exit Strategy":Our troops have completed their missions: the liberation of Iraq, the capture of Saddam Hussein, and the provision of security for the January 30, 2005, elections. American military personnel should be commended for accomplishing these difficult tasks and perfor
The 60s are over
So, this is what the revolution has come to:In the latest sign that capitalism inexorably marches on, founders of the Black Panther party plan to market a hot sauce called Burn Baby Burn. Once upon a time, this phrase conjured images of deadly inner-city riots and calls for revolution. Now it will promote a spicy condiment.Suggested Ad Slogans:It bu
The Unbearable Lightness of Robin Givhan
After criticizing Dick Cheney for dressing down, Robin Givhan writes a Washington Post article criticizing the "self-consciously crafted perfection" of Judge John Roberts’ family. It’s not the first time she’s criticized the White House for being too "perfect",
"Too Complicated"
Two years ago—and again a few days ago—Glenn Reynolds took a lot of abuse for calling the Plame Affair "’too complicated’ for me to feel I really understand it". More recently, Duncan "Atrios" Black took rather less abuse (none
The trouble with Islam
Speaking of the London bombings, Irshad Manji sees signs that moderate Islamic leaders are joining the fight against the terrorists with vocal denunciations of the murder and mayhem. But she also sees some inherent problems within Islam itself, with accepting any real responsibility for the crimes perpetrated by the terrorists in
Calling for quotas
Not surprisingly Anita Hill finds the selection of John Roberts to be a blow to diversity on the court. It’s ironic that the woman who did her best to torpedo court diversity during the Clarence Thomas hearings, is now such a huge advocate.Let’s review her assumptions:But was John Roberts chosen because
The usual stuff
AP headline: "Majority of Soldiers say Iraq Morale is Low".Paragraph one:A majority of U.S. soldiers in Iraq say morale is low, according to an Army report that finds psychological stress is weighing particularly heavily on National Guard and Reserve troops.OK. paragraph 6 we le
...Starring Karl Rove as Craig Livingston
Tod Lindberg makes and important point about the whole Rove/Plame/Wilson/Cooper/Miller/Niger deal:Now, that may be enough to get Washington all a bubble as of July 2005, but I would suggest that within a few years it will be as thoroughly forgotten as the question, "Who hired Craig Livingstone?" I say this as someone who tirelessly pressed that very question and who can no longer remember exactly why. It
Would the end of Roe be the end of the GOP?
Froma Harrop writes that, if a more conservative Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade, then Rupublicans may get a bad case of getting what they wish for.Roe v. Wade is the 1973 Supreme Court decision enshrining a federal right to abortion. If Roe went down, two bad things would happen to Republicans. One is that it would arouse America’s pro-choice majority. Religiou
Hey, look, a blog for people who hate freedom! Here’s how Uncapitalist describe themselves...Un•Cap•i•tal•ist 1. n. one who is suspicious of capitalism || one who critiques the excesses of capitalism and its forms of production || a person concerned about the subjugation of labor or other aspects of society by private capital or wealth 2. adj. of or relating to alternatives to unrestrained capitalism || critical or
London Bombings: Part 2
Again:Dummy explosions using detonators only have sparked the evacuation of three Tube stations and the closure of three lines, a BBC correspondent has said. One hopes that London is not becoming Tel Aviv. Incidentally, in much better news, the person behind the previous London bombing has been caught.
Roberts: The pundits begin to speak
The fight is shaping up. First up is EJ Dionne:Roberts was, in short, the shrewdest choice President Bush could have made to fill retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s Supreme Court seat. Roberts could move the court well to the right yet grin his way through the confirmation process. His advertising slogan might be: Staunchly on t
The Voice of Reason weighs in
MoveOn.Org has reacted to the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court.In nominating John Roberts, the president has chosen a right wing corporate lawyer and ideologue for the nation’s highest court instead of a judge who would protect the rights of the American people. Working for mining companies, Roberts opposed clean air rules and worked to help coal companies strip-mine mountaintops. He worked with K
Addressing Criticisms of the SCOTUS Nomination
In the comments to a recent post when we were still under the impression that Edith Clement would be nominated, liberal commenter Mithras wrote..."does anyone else find it rather annoying that this is the second Bush to essentially ratify the concept of the "quota chair"? Marshall —-"the black chair"—> Thomas, and now O’Conner ——"the woman chair"—-> Clement? I realize SCOTUS opportunities only come up every so o
Brave new words
The much mentioned refusal (except momentarily after London was bombed) of the BBC to call terrorists "terrorists" is pretty well known. It’s also, apparently, only the tip of the iceberg. Having learned nothing from their cousins in the US, it appears that the "my precious" syndrome, a device of the political correctness movement, continues to make progress  
Supreme Court Nominee John Roberts
As Darwin writes over at the Neolibertarian Network Blog, about "all you can say regarding Justice Roberts is that there isn’t much to say. Nobody can be sure whether he’ll stand for anything, but if he does, it will be in the least offensive manner possible."Indeed, since Roberts has spent so much time representing Clients and applying precedent, it’s fairly difficult to determine what
Chinese military looks beyond Taiwan
A Pentagon report to Congress has concluded: China is rapidly expanding its military capability, boosting its potential to strike beyond Taiwan and jeopardizing the balance of power in the region, the Pentagon said in a report to Congress.Of course this is being driven by the booming Chinese economy enabling much of this expansion.
SCOTUS nominee: John G. Roberts?
That’s the hottest rumor of the moment.If you’re curious, his bio is here.Me? I have no idea, but if this is right, you heard it here first. If wrong, it was just a rumor.UPDATE: Now the Washington Post is sayi
SCOTUS fact: announcement tonight
The fact? We’ll know who Bush’s nominee is tonight:President Bush has decided on his nominee to succeed Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court and will reveal it Tuesday night in a prime time address.The speech is scheduled for 9PM. It appears that Clement may indeed by the nominee ...White House offici
Scotus Rumors
Word is that the Bush Administration may announce as early as today, its replacement for the Supreme Court seat vacated by the retiring Sandra Day O’Connor. The rumor mill says that Edith Clement, who currently sits on the 5th Circuit, is the nominee.<
Horses? OK. But Sheep and goats may be a problem.
Under the heading of "Holy hobby horses, Batman" comes this rather sick and bizarre story:A Seattle man died after engaging in anal sex with a horse at a farm suspected of being a gathering place for people seeking to have sex with livestock, police said Friday.The horse involved in the incident was not harmed, and an autopsy of the unnamed man concluded that “the manner of death
Drug "War" Casualties
Innocent civilians who become casualties in war are euphemistically called "collateral damage". What do you call them in the "War on Drugs"?John Tierney visits just such a casualty, a man who suffers from multiple sclerosis and chronic pain from an automobile accident which damaged his spine and left him with pains in his legs which, as he describes them, seem intolerabl
Give Beldar some love
Beldar, the keen legal analyst/trial lawyer who runs the Beldar Blog has had a little heart attack. Man, I know how that goes, since it happened to me about 18 months ago. Let Beldar know that you love him. Love him with a deep, disturbing love.Hear attacks are a life-changing event. Like Beldar, I had put off a
Neolibertarian Network Update
If you are waiting to see your blog appear in the Neolibertarian Network, and it hasn’t shown up yet, blame me. I’ve got several obligations that are taking up a lot of my time. I will get to your blog, but I’ve got to try and slip it in as time permits, and, unfortunately, time hasn’t permitted much lately. Sorry, but I’m doing the best I can.UPDATE [Jon Henke]I should add that I’m trimm
Tancredo: "Nuke terrorism? Just bomb Mecca"
The uncontrolled tongue, or as my dad always told me, "engage your brain before you engage your mouth."Tom Tancredo, R-CO should have done so before he said this in answer to a question on a talk-show about how the US should or might respond if terrorists succeeded in setting off a nuclear device here:"Well, what if you said something like — if this happens in the Un
The Religion of Liberalism
Over the years, I’ve seen many ideologies become pseudo-religions, or in fact, substitute religions. The signs are usually pretty obvious. And I’ve seen much of it in ideologies which have a significant secular population (although those on the right of the spectrum, and I think you know who I mean, aren’t immune either). An example on the left, as provided by Andrew
Kissinger Speaks
Whatever you may think of his political past, Henry Kissinger is a scholar of international relations to whom attention must be paid. In this interview with the Council on Foreign Relations (link via GOPVixen), he makes worthwhile points. Consider this a Realist Briefing on foreign policy situations around the world...

Three Good Reasons to Despise the GOP
Reason #1: Spending:President Bush’s quest to rein in congressional spending is losing ground to Senate old-timers in his own party who understand the power of the purse and aren’t reluctant to use it.[...]Instead of enforcing cuts of almost 1 percent on domestic programs whose budgets Congress passes each year&mda
And now for something completely different
The predictable result of an ultra-egalitarian philosophy like the one which dominates Europe ... believing you’re owed something for nothing:They might have been congratulated for their "green" efforts in an area of heavy air pollution.Instead a group of French cleaning ladies who organised a car-sharing scheme to get to work are being taken
Gesture Politics and Displacement Activity
I was reading an article by John O’Sullivan in the NY Post when I came across an interesting description: Another litmus test was the meeting of European min
This is phenomenal
If you ever wondered how effective body armor is, watch this video. Then read the story, with its ironic twist, below:
Krugman: Irony Alert
Leave it to Paul Krugman to provide the quote of the day:What Mr. Rove understood, long before the rest of us, is that we’re not living in the America of the past, where even partisans sometimes changed their views when faced with the facts. Instead, we’re living in a country in which there is no longer such a thing as nonp
London Bombing’s al Qaeda ties
ABC is reporting a link has been established between the London terrorist who bombed the subway system and al Quaeda:Officials tell ABC News the London bombers have been connected to an al Qaeda plot planned two years ago in the Pakistani city of Lahore.The laptop computer of Naeem Noor Khan, a captured al Qaeda leader, contained plans for a coordinate
All is lost
Clinton-era Defense Secretary and DCI John Deutch writes in the New York Times that Iraq is a lost cause.I do not believe that we are making progress on any of our key objectives in Iraq. There may be days when security seems somewhat improved or when the Iraqi government appears to be functioning better, but the underlying destabilizing effect
Iraq: Constitution on Track
Reports from Iraq say the constitution is on track and should be ready per the timeline agreed upon. That means:Once a draft text emerges, it will be approved in an October referendum and form the basis of a new election around the end of the year.[...]"I don&
Novak Told Rove: The Death of a Crime
Before wading into the Plame Affair one more time, I’d like to note that I was discussing this issue back in September of 2003, noting that "it seems pretty damning for somebody in the White House, although it’s not at all clear whether this was a deliberate act, or a mistake". In the intervening time, I’ve maintained that 1) I suspect the Oops Theory—that the disclosure was
Chirac: Arrogant? I’m not arrogant
Jacques Chirac, for all his claims about French superiority in, well, just about everything, really does not appear to be to bright or saavy when it comes to politics. I mean, is it just stupidity or a natural by-product of his arrogance:He said: “I have a lot of esteem for the British people and for Tony Blair. But I do not think the British model is one that we should
So, then, what’s the point?
Joe Wilson, on CNN with Wolf Blitzer tonight, dropped this bombshell:My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity.Oh. OK. So, then...uh..what’s the point of the IIPA investigation? ’Cause now I’m just confused.BLITZER: So if—and this is the final question—if there are no charges
Rehnquist: "I’m not about to announce my retirement".
Or so he says after his release from the hospital where he had been admitted with a fever:U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist said on Thursday that he is not about to retire, despite widespread speculation about how much longer his health will allow him to stay on the nine-member court.
The Espionage Act of 1917, Part II
A commenter to my previous look at the Espionage Act of 1917 writes:If on September (the) 10th, 2001 a government official leaked to a reporter classified information concerning the attack the following day, and requested anonymity, would it be a threat to the freedom of the press and the first amendment to send that reporter to jail for refusing to reveal his or her source?Your answer to this will ex
China: LA or Taipei?
According to a Chinese general, that’s the choice the US will have to make if it wants to defend Taiwan:A Chinese military official says Beijing will use nuclear weapons against the U.S. if the Americans attack the Asian nation in a fight over Taiwan."If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition on to the target zone on China&
London and Oklahoma City
Anatole Kaletsky has a very interesting piece in The Times today. In it he says, considering the terrorists who bombed the UK were homegrown, that the proper analogy for that isn’t 9/11 or Madrid. Instead, it’s Oklahoma City:
Criminalization of Politics
The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen hits, I think, exactly the right tone about the whole Rove imbroglio in his op-ed piece today:The truth about that truth was contained in a Post story about the leaks. It quoted "a senior administration official" who said that the outing of Plame was "meant purely and simply for revenge." It
The New Libertarian
The Neolibertarian Network blog has picked up a couple Neolibertarian contributors, whose input should gradually increase over time. In the meantime, be sure to check out the Neolibertarian Network blog for useful stuff....and feel free to pass on useful stuff when you write/find it.The 4th Edition of The New Libertarian is also available.  
The Espionage Act of 1917? Not so fast, Lefty-Boy
So, now the Left, having realized that the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 might not work to put Karl Rove in prison, are scrambling to find something that will. They’ve lit upon the Espionage Act of 1917 as their new touchstone. Heh. Not so fast.The portion of the act, 18 USC 793 that would apply to Mr. Rove is as follows:
Hockey, Hockey, Hockey!
The NHL is back!
Media Admits Rove is Innocent
You probably won’t hear this anywhere in the mainstream media, so I might as well do it. I hate to beat this Rove thing to death with a stick, but, I’m seeing all these reporters at White House Press Briefings, and in the papers, and on TV all hinting—without actually saying it, but strongly implying—that Karl Rove is guilty. But what you may not know is that the legal position of the organizations they work for is that Karl Rove has committe
The Elegance of Science
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports today that, according to a new scientific study, 16% of scientific studies are contradicted by scientific studies.Subsequent research contradicted results of seven studies—16 percent—and reported weaker results for seven others, an additional 16 percent. That means nearly one-third of the original results did not hold up, according to the study in today’s Journal of the American Medical Assoc
Not that there’s anything wrong with that...
Photo: Reuters/Ray Stubblebine
That Khamenei cracks me up
Photo: Reuters
This can’t be a good sign...
Photo: Reuters/Larry DowningThis photo, by the way, is made a bit more relevant by this story.
Good to see this
I’d call this pretty darn unequivocal condemnation of the bombings in the UK:The leader of Britain’s Islamic community told Muslims yesterday that they had a duty to help to catch the perpetrators of the London bombings.Sir Iqbal Sacranie, the chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain, wrote to the imams of the country’s 1,200 mosques to denounce the
Rehnquist Hospitalized
Chief Justice Willaim Rehnquist has been hospitalized for "observation and tests" due to a fever.Meanwhile, over at the justice department, Alberto Gonzalez is surfing through to see if they have any of those black robes with the four gold stripes on the sleeves.
Iraq-Al-Qaeda Connections
Stephen Hayes, in a long and exhaustively-researched article in The Weekly Standard, writes that we are learning about a number of signifigant colaborations between Osama Bin Laden and the Iraqi Regime of Saddam Hussein.We know from these IIS documents that beginning in 1992 the former Iraqi regime regarded bin Laden as an Iraqi Intelligence asset. We know from IIS docume
The Rovian Chronicles
It has to be the next step, reminiscent of "The Clinton Chronicles". It’s preordained. Greg Gutfeld’s uncle saves us the trouble. Joined in mid-carrer (and mid-chronicle) we see a young Karl Rove begin his political work—with dire consequences:Rove continued to work for the Republican circles in very specific, but oft
SCOTUS rumor: and then there were three
Prof. Stephen Bainbridge, a UCLA law professor, has revealed the contents of an email from, as he puts it, "a reliable source" saying there’s the possibility that there may soon be three Supreme Court vacancies:I got an email today from a reliable source opining that Justice John Paul Stevens will retire this summer if, but only if, CJ Rehnquist steps down. Th
Examining Rove
Opposing viewpoints on Karl Rove take up a lot of ink in two of the nation’s premier newspapers this morning. I thought it might be interesting to take a look at them, because they are about as far apart on this matter as it is possible to be.The editors of the New York Times op
Politics: Democrats Need to Challenge Bush’s Iraq leadership
Andrew Levison makes that point in an article about a new Gallup poll that’s out concerning the public’s views on the war in Iraq. Per Levison, there’s an opportunity there for Democrats if they’ll just frame the argument properly:An extremely important new Gallup poll on Iraq (analyzed in a recent post by Ruy Teixeira) dram
What Wilson Found in Africa
I’ll address the Rove/Wilson/Plame issue in more depth when there’s sufficient information on which to form an opinion as to Rove’s knowledge, intentions and the effect of his disclosure. In the meantime, I’m bugged by some of the received wisdom that people are throwing about erroneously. For example...It was Wilson who was sent by the CIA to Niger to investigate int
Normality: Britain’s stiff upper lip
Alice Miles finds the bombers who did this to be ’4 pathetic young men’ and she wants no part in glamorizing the machinations of these "feeble manifestations of confused masculinity, too spineless to negotiate the 21st century".Good for her.But she also highlights British resolve in the face of this atrocity with a few well written paragraphs:
4 "friends" bomb UK
This story gets more interesting as the days pass. Now UK officials are saying that at least four of the bombings were done by suicide bombers, all of which were British citizens (although I’m still not clear if they’re naturalized or not) who were "friends. According to reports the 4 traveled together in a rental car to deliver the bombs on the transit system.:"
Rumor: Bolton to take recess appointment
After being the hottest topic in the news for some time, the Bolton nomination faded in the wake of Justice O’Conner’s retirement announcement and the 7/7 bombings in the UK. Now comes the strong rumor that Bolton will accept a recess appointment to be UN Ambassador:With neither the White House nor Senate Democrats showing an
An Orange Jumpsuit for Karl Rove?
Reading Byron York’s NRO piece on his conversations with Karl Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin, prompted me to look a little farther into exactly what sort of hideous legal ramifications we’re talking about. Judith Miller’s in jail, Matthew Cooper rolled over like a weasel to expose his softest parts, and Democrats are licking their chops at the prospect of Karl Rove t
Undersize me
Do you remember Morgan Spurlock? He made a "documentary" (I’m becoming weary and wary of what is classified a documentary anymore) called "Super Size Me" in which, well, let him tell you. From his web site:
"Inequality of Sacrifice"
Let me also follow up McQ’s post about Acel Moore’s Philadelphia Inquirer article by pointing out a base canard contained in the article:As I watched the Fourth of July celebrations and the raising of the American flag, my thoughts were on the war in Iraq and the inequality of sacrifice by Americans.<
Its not about patriotism, its about intellectual honesty
Let me make this abundently clear. What follows is not questioning of anyone’s patriotism. Patriots are going to disagree.Instead, I question one side’s intellectual honesty on the issue of supporting the troops. What brought this to my attention were a pair of articles. One by Acel Moore of the Philadelphia Inqu
"There are no Muslim Terrorists"
Islam, as the president of the United States constantly reminds us, is the "religion of peace". Still, Mark Steyn doesn’t seem convinced.Terrorism ends when the broader culture refuses to tolerate it. There would be few if a
Right Ruling, wrong reason
In Salt Lake City, a judge has ruled inadmissable the results of a swab from a outside doorknob leading into a house where methamphetamine was found.So far so good. Then there’s the reason:A doorknob is part of the private area of a residence and the officer should have gotten the search warrant before taking the swab, Kimball said.True, a doorknob is a part of
Yeah, they hate us ...
But apparently not as much as the Taliban:Afghan villagers sheltered a U.S. Navy SEAL wounded in a battle last month with the Taliban until they could get word to American forces to rescue him, a military official said Monday.The SEAL was part of a four-man reconnaissance team that went missing June 28 after calling for help during a firefight in the
This will make PETA happy
Researchers at the University of Maryland say that edible meat can be grown in the lab.Scientists know that a single muscle cell from a cow or chicken can be isolated and divided into thousands of new muscle cells. Experiments with fish tissue have created small amounts of in vitro meat in NASA experiments researching potential food products for long-term space tr
The British and their Memos
Well another memo has surfaced, this time talking about future plans:The United States and Britain are drawing up plans to withdraw the majority of their troops from Iraq by the middle of next year, according to a secret memo written for British Prime Minister Tony Blair by Defense Secretary John Reid.The paper, which is marked "Secr
Red Falcons: Remembering
As a young buck I spent two glorious years with the 82nd Airborne Division, specifically with the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 325th Infantry, also known as the "Red Falcons" (a part of the divison’s 2nd Brigade - the "Falcon" brigade). Jumping out of perfectly good airplanes for a couple of years makes you realize a lot of things, and I’ll leave it to the jokesters among us to provide the obvious. But one of the things I realized is that just
Schumer’s Supreme Court Demands
After being caught announcing on his cell phone that the Democrats were preparing to go to war over President Bush’s upcoming Supreme Court nominee, Sen. Chuck Schumer took the opportunity of a NY Daily News op/ed to say "give peace a chance" while laying out the Democrat talking points on the issue:First, before nominating a replacement, the Preside
The Complaints of Losers
E. J. Dionne begins his Washington Post column with an extraordinarily silly set of questions. Should a temporary majority of 50.7 percent have control over the entire United States government? Should 49.3 percent of Americans have no influence over the nation’s trajectory for the next generation? Well...yes. Th
Judicial Thrones
Amy White writes that the Framers appear to have had a much different concept of the power of the courts than what we have today.Alexander Hamilton, defending the Constitution in the "Federalist Papers," assured his compatriots that laws would be judged only according to the actual words ratified
So it was a big bluff
Lesson learned:The body of a missing U.S. commando has been located in eastern Afghanistan
Taking a swipe at the "living wage"
Dimitri Vassilaros takes on the "living wage", but first drops in a little background data:Mix voodoo economics and fuzzy math to justify a government-mandated "living wage" and you get a study that’s insightful in spite of itself.Henry Hazlitt, author of "Economics in One Lesson," distills the definition of a wage to its
Liberal Paternalism
It had to happen. Liberalism has moved from "Government out of our bedrooms!", to "Government into our kitchens!". Paul Krugman writes an ostensibly anti-obesity column which bears an awful resemblance to the arguments the religious right makes about anti-sodomy/anti-gay legislation: it’s for "the children/society/your own good".As Paul Krugman  
Bluff or brutal truth? Navy SEAL reported murdered by Taliban
Still no real confirmation available:KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — purported Taliban spokesman said Saturday that the group has killed a missing American commando, but he offered no proof and the U.S. military said it was still searching for the Navy SEAL.The commando is the last of a four-member elite commando team missing since June 28 in Kunar, near the Pakistani border. One of t
What has gone on, and is going on, at Gitmo
As usual, the administration has done a poor job in getting the word out about what it has been doing about the status of the enemy combatants we have incarcerated at Gitmo.Well, today, the Admiral in charge of the Administrative Review Board (ARB) briefed the media. I’m just wondering what, if anything, will show up in said media as a result. H
Bush’s court dilemma
Peter Baker of the Washington Post asks the requisite questions based on speculation that Chief Justice Rhenquist’s retirement from the SCOTUS is immenent:Twin vacancies would present Bush with an intriguing choice: Does he use the opportunity to appoint two reliable conservatives who would shift the court away from what he sees as impr
Thoughts on Left libertarianism
Some passing thoughts on an interesting discussion I’m having on "left libertarianism" in the comments section of another post. In essence the argument I’m making is left libertarianism is almost oxymoronic while some commenters are attempting to persuade me that the label has validity.I base my argument against left libertarianism being valid on the premise that in the co
The Marginal Cost of a War on Terror
To follow up on Dale’s post about the "extraordinarily foolish argument" that the war on terror "was supposed to have made us safer, and, instead, it’s creating terrorists where there were none before", I think some particularly foolish arguments on the Right need batted down, too. In the process, I’m going to take up the very distasteful task of defending George Galloway.Via
Very Bad Analysis
I’ve noticed a couple of commenters making an extraordinarily foolish argument, and it’s a very common argument on the Left, although I can’t, for the life of me, see how such an intellectually vapid premise could be mouthed by anyone who was willing to give it a moment’s thought. The argument is essentially this:The London bombings prove that the US British strategy on the war on terror is a failure. Because we’ve invaded Iraq, it’s gotten a lot
Is Garza the Next Justice?
Just looking over the futures markets this morning on the Supreme Court possibilities shows a bog movement towards Garza on the contracts. As an aside, the Tradesports people have launched a new futures site called Intrade, which concentrates on their political/economic/current event contracts. That makes it a lot easier to find the type of contracts we concentrate on here at QandO.Anyway, there’s been some big over
Tactical success, strategic loss
Ralph Peters points out that tactically, the bombings in London were a success. Once again, the terrorists demonstrated tactical skill, the ability to coordinate attacks against a carefully chosen series of targets. Reasoning correctly that Britain’s security apparatus would focus on the G-8 summit in Scotland, they saw a window of opportunity.They als
Hamas condemns London Bombings
But apparently, it’s ok in Israel:The Palestinian Islamist resistance group Hamas condemned the London bombings. "Targeting civilians in their transport means and lives is denounced and rejected," Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy chief of the group’s political bureau, said.The  
UK editorial opinion about the London Bombings
A sampler of editorials in UK newspapers concerning the terrorist bombings in London:The Times of London:There may be a few people inclined to make a link between the deaths in London and the intervention in Iraq. This is utterly flawed thinking. Al-Qaeda and its subsidiary branches began their sadistic campaign more than a decade ago and they did not requir
Quick Hits
Rumor has it that both Rehnquist and Stevens may announce their retirement today. If so, things will get ugly. Fast.UPDATE: Ok, it looks like we may have to wait for the u
Joseph Wilson: Halliburton Fables
Joe Wilson is a deeply foolish man...[Wilson] "Churchill once advocated and may have passed a law limiting profits of defence contractors in time of war to 10% to stop the war profiteering. Halliburton should welcome such a law here to put an end to the speculation about its role and unseemly profits at the expense of others. I am not holding my breath however." I bet Hallibu
Selling it
Now, I usually don’t say much about the ads over there on the right side of the page. I mean, you can already see them, right? In front of your face. So I don’t usually try to push a particular advertiser. But, I gotta tell you, that Plant Moron Blog is pretty freakin’ funny! Here’s a little taste on what’s there:Reporting on Live8:Nearly three ful
So much for "the comity of the Senate"
Well, that Senate deal to prevent a filibuster showdown certainly didn’t last long. The Republican and Democratic senators who in the spring negotiated a truce over judicial appointments appear at odds over what that agreement will mean for the upcoming Supreme Court confirmation fight.The group — k
London: Instant reaction from bloggers and photographers
WSJ has a link rich article about bloggers and photographers in the wake of today’s London bombings. Very interesting read.And via VodkaPundit, Northeast Intelligence Network has a developing story its featuring:
Who Knew ....
... that there were "libertarian communists?"As libertarian communists, we at deplore the horrific attacks on innocent people this morning in London. We express our deepest sympathy to anyone affected by the blasts. We condemn the use of violence against ordinary people and the perpetrators of the bombings whether they be Islamists or anyone else.Terrorist actions are c
China: G8 should live up to Kyoto promises
Of course China has none to which it must adhere since it is considered a "developing" nation. Naturally, that doesn’t stop them from lecturing others about pollution:Chinese President Hu Jintao renewed his backing for the UN Kyoto Protocol on climate change, urging Group of Eight nations to take the lead in reducing greenhouse ga
London Timeline
The BBC is keeping a link-rich running timeline on the terrorist attacks.
In the mood for a bargain?
Even on dark days, such as this, a little humor doesn’t hurt:A reminder: Big Sale in Paris today!
Tell me again about GITMO ...
In an announcment today, a spokesman for the Taliban said:The Taliban reiterated on Thursday that they are holding a U.S. commando who has been missing in Afghanistan for more than a week and vowed to kill him, but the U.S. military said it had no information to support the claim.Taliban sp
Al Qaeda claims to kill Egyptian
In a related story and tt the same time is was claiming responsiblity for the London bombings, al Qaeda claims to have killed the Egyptian envoy to Iraq:Al Qaeda group in Iraq said in an Internet statement on Thursday it killed Egypt’s top envoy to Iraq who it had kidnapped, claiming he represented a "tyrannical" government allied to the "Jews a
London Bombings: Terrorism
United States: September 11, 2001 Spain: March 11, 2004 England: July 7, 2005Two people died and large numbers of casualties were reported after at least six blast
Maybe Gonzalez Isn’t Acceptable...
Byron York reports that despite all the rumblings about Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez’s "moderation", it looks like pro-choice groups are preparing to lobby against his nomination to the Supreme Court.NARAL Pro-Choice America, which has taken a leading role in the fight against several of President Bush’s judicial nominees, has purchased the web addresses st
Reid: Gonzalez Qualified
In a clear case of begging for it, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) says that Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez would be a qualified Supreme Court nominee."Alberto Gonzales is qualified. He’s attorney general of the United States and a former Texas judge," Reid said. "But having said that he’s qualified, I don’t know if
Cooper to Testify
Time magazine has caved:Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper agreed Wednesday to testify about his sources in a government leak of a CIA agent’s identity, a dramatic about-face which came as he faced going to jail. "I am prepared to testify. I will comply" with the court’s order, Cooper told U.S. District Judg
Redefining "activist judge"
It would appear that an effort is afoot to redefine "activist judge" in the context of the upcoming Supreme Court nomination. Or at least that’s my interpretation of this by Paul Gewirtz and Chad Golder in today’s NY Times:When Democrats or Republicans seek to criticize judges or judicial no
Thompson Tapped to Recommend Next Justice
In a baffling move, President Bush has named popular movie and television actor Fred Thompson to head of the Administration’s search for a Supreme Court Justice to replace the retiring Sandra Day O’Connor. Some may question whether an actor like Mr. Thompson is qualified to recommend potential Justices of the United States Supreme Co
Supreme Court nomination: a matter of culture?
I’m not sure I agree with Robert Bork’s total assessment of the "wrongs" done by the Supreme Court, in terms of all of the results of cases he cites. But I do pretty much agree with his conclusion pertaining to the politics surrounding the Supreme Court and the fight ahead:Democratic senators’ filibusters of the president’s previous j
Zarqawi: Iraq’s army an enemy
Aljazeera is reporting that an audio tape of a speech carried on a web site is purported to be Abu Musab al-Zarqawi:The reputed leader of al-Qaida in Iraq has said the Iraqi army is as great an enemy as the Americans, brushing aside calls for him to abandon the uprising in favour of peace talks with the Iraqi government and the US.[...]
US Military Insignia III
Thanks to some advice from Lt. Col. Rich Reed (USAF), I’ve made some updates to the US Military Insignia page. As always, if you have any criticisms, leave them in the comments.And yes, I know the presentation doesn’t include the Coast Guard. I’m sorry, but really, you’re just gonna have to let it go.I have also added a brand new badge authorized by the A
Chuck Schumer—A Man Whose Time Has Come
Byron York writes that a vacancy on the Supreme Court is just what Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has been waiting for. For four years now, Schumer has been waiting for a chance to attack a judicial nominee explicitly on grounds of ideology.
Not good enough
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald says Matthew Cooper of TIME must testify or go to jail: In unusually blunt language, Fitzgerald told Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan that Cooper and Miller pretend that journalists have a broader right to protect confidential sources than lawyers, presidents and law enforcement officers.
Live8: Lipstick on a Pig
Timothy Burke makes an important point about Live8: Bob Geldof responds that at least he’s doing something, and that doing something is better than doing nothing.No. It’s not. Not when your concert
London lands the 2012 Olympics
I can only imagine what Jacques Chirac thinks of the awarding of the Olympics in 2012 to London instead of Paris. It has not been a good year for the French leader:London was awarded the 2012 Olympics on Wednesday, defeating European rival Paris in the final round of voting to take the games back to the British capital for the first time since 1948.After Moscow
Vice Admiral James Stockdale, R.I.P.
Vice Admiral James Stockdale has died at 81 years of age. In a life dedicated to the service of the United States, VADM Stockdale received 26 combat decorations, including the Medal of Honor. Speaking of which:Rank and organization: Rear Admiral (then Captain), U.S. Navy. Place and date: Hoa Lo prison, Hanoi, North Vietnam, 4 September 1969. Entered service at: Abingdon, Ill. Born: 23 December 1923, Abingdon, Ill..Citation: For conspicuous ga
What 70 years of communism will do for your thinking
I can’t say I’m particularly surprised:Representatives of the Moscow Patriarchy have suggested Russia should work out its own distinctive view on human rights, Itar-Tass reports.The West has been trying to thrust its own opinion of the issue on Russia, “an opinion that ignores values of state and society,” Father Vsevolod
TIME’s Dilemma
Sydney Shanburg of the Village Voice articulates precisely the problem and probably results for TIME and journalists in general with the decision by TIME to turn Matthew Cooper’s notes on the Plame affair to a federal prosecutor:The Time Inc. editor in chief, Norman Pearlstine, used noble language to try to disguise the damage he and the Time corpo
Judicial Nomination Wars
Dennis Prager writes that it doesn’t matter who the president chooses as a replacement for Sandra Day O’Connor. Whoever it is—unless, of course, the president picks a pro-life Democrat—the Senate Democrats will do everything they can to scuttle the nomination. [H]aving been unable to persuade the American public to adopt most of its poli
US Military Strategy Change?
For a couple of decades, the military has been structured to fight two separate conventional wars simultaneously. Now the Pentagon is wondering if that’s really the right configuration for the future. Debate is being spurred by the military’s current quadrennial top-to-bottom review of strategy.
Iraq: More good news than bad news
The good news:Several senior clerics of Iraq’s disaffected Sunni Muslim minority will soon issue a decree calling on followers of the faith to vote in upcoming elections and help write a new constitution, a prominent Sunni leader said Monday. The step could draw Sunni Arabs away from the insurgency and into a political process they have st
The "NeoDiplomacy" of Chirac
I guess when you’re pretty much assured that you’re political career is in the toilet you can practice "neo-diplomacy":The president, chatting to the German and Russian leaders in a Russian cafe, said: "The only thing [the British] have ever given European farming is mad cow." Then, like generations
A little experiment in Health Care litigation
Tort reform, massive jury awards, malpractice, and defensive medicine.All of those are related to the rising costs of health care. Tort reform is fought by malpractice attorneys. Trial by jury is demanded as a right. In order to avoid malpractice, doctors practice costly defensive medicine.There’s an intriguing idea being floated in Congress about establishing spe
The New Libertarian
The 4th edition of The New Libertarian is out, so take some time to download—print out, if you like—and read the latest release of The New Libertarian. This edition focuses on health care....The New Lib</td>
          <td class= 
The Supreme Court Fight: Strategy
Over the weekend, Dale and I had a conversation about the coming Supreme Court battle and possible paths forward. In the course of our conversation, three very interesting strategies occurred to us—very daring, high-risk strategies. Pay attention, this is interesting.First, some background: with Sandra Day O’Connor retiring now and another retirement in the near future not unlikely, Bush has an opportunity to swing the Supreme Court ever-so-slightly in a more
What if Thomas Jefferson had been a blogger? Bill Diamond gives us an idea of what it would have been like by posting a bit of the Declaration of Independence and some reader comments to it. My favorite comment: This post is so unbelievably amateurish it makes my eyes water just looking at it. First of all, when you state that “Men” have been endowed by “their Cr
Blogging is Dead
Bill Hobbs has ceased publishing his blog. We’re sorry to see his blog go. On the plus side, though, he has decided to replace it with an online magazine.His concern, of course, is that, since the FEC has decided to regulate blogs, blogging is now dead.We agree. For the same reasons, we have also decided to end blogging here. The QandO Blog, as such, is now de
A Pleasant Libation
The good people at Starbuck’s Coffee have created a new liqueur. Naturally, it’s a coffee liqueur, and it’s quite good. Unlike Kahlua, it isn’t cloyingly sweet, and it has a very noticeable dark-roast coffee flavor. It makes a wonderful adult beverage called the Martini Americano. Mix 1.5 parts of Stolichnaya Vanil (vanilla-flavored vodka) with 1 part Starbuck’s Coffee Liqueur. Drink. Relax. Repeat as necessary.
Man’s Best Friend
The World’s Ugliest Dog contest has ended. Despite stiff competition from a wide array of spectacularly aesthetically-challenged canines, a winner has finally been chosen. In the opinion of the judges, this is the Über-Antidog. The dog that most embodies the essence of everything that a dog should not be. The winner should not be a dog that’s "so ugly it’s cute". No, this should be a dog that’s so ugly, it’s just...ugly. After
Now, I’m Completely PO’d
Let me relate the story of Mike Z. He didn’t like it that I posted his email in order to reply to it on the blog. He immediately threatened to sue me for violating his privacy by posting his email without permission. I deleted his email pseudonym as a gesture of goodwill. Note: It was a pseudonym. It was not his name, not his email address, nor any other personally identifiable inform
Once upon a Time with Senator Kennedy
Once upon a time..."It is offensive to suggest that a potential justice of the Supreme Court must pass some presumed test of judicial philosophy. It is even more offensive to suggest that a potential justice must pass the litmus test of any single-issue interest group. The disturbing tactics of division and distortion and discrimination practiced by the extremists of the new right have no place in these hearings and no place in the nation’s democracy." —
Lawrence O’Donnell: Rove leaked Plame’s name
Heh ... if true, the political world is about to explode: Now that Time Inc. has turned over documents to federal court, presumably revealing who its reporter, Matt Cooper, identified as his source in the Valerie Plame/CIA case, speculation runs rampant on the name of that source, and what might happen to him or her. Tonight, on the syndicated McLaughlin Group politic
The New Libertarian, Vol. 1, Iss. 4
This month’s edition of The New Libertarian is now available. Download the PDF version by clicking here.
The preliminaries: defining the fight
Well the talking points have been issued and each side is remarkably on message:In the Blue corner -Harry Reid:The Constitution gives the President and the Senate shared responsibility to fill this vacancy, because the President may only act with the “Advice and Consent” of the Senate. At this critical moment, the President mus
Misunderstanding Originalism
Reader Mike Z. writes via email:You claim there is a litmus test by liberals against conseratives. But the same litmus test in reverese also applies. An Originalist, IMHO, is one who: 1. Gov’t must stop all abortions. 2. There is no right to privacy. 3. Gov’t must favor a certain religion over all others. See Scalia’s bullsh*t in the recent Ten Commandments decisions. Scalia finally said what he&rsq
The New Libertarian, Vol 1, Issue 4
Ah, it’s the first of the month, which means it’s time for a new issue of The New Libertarian, about which, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that it’s almost done. The bad news is that it might not be, you know, actually done until sometime tomorrow. Or rather, it’ll be done effectively tomorrow for most of you, since I’m on the West Coast, and by the time I finish it this evening, it’ll be too late for yo
Bryan Williams: Dolt
Another product of the public schools?In his newscast tonight, "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams compared America’s first presidents to the president-elect of Iran, alleged hostage-taker Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying they were "certainly revolutionaries and might have been called terrorists by the British crown."Yeah, that explains why George
The Shortlist
If you need to brush up on possible replacements for Sandra O’Connor, they’re all here.
Post-O’Connor Sniping
The war over a replacement for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has begun with sniper fire from the Senate’s minority leader, Harry Reid (D-NV).Above all, Justice O’Connor has been a voice of reason and moderation on the Court. It is vital that she be replaced by someone like her, someone who embodies the fundamental American values of freedom, equality and fairness.
I hate it when Howard Dean is right
Hey Howard, there was indeed vote fraud in the 2004 election.My apologies for doubting your word. From East St. Louis:A federal jury Wednesday convicted the head of this city’s Democratic Party and four others of scheming to buy votes with cash, cigarettes and liquor last November to try to get key Democrats elected.Jurors in the monthlong t
Let the games begin ...
Sandra Day O’Conner has announced her retirement from the US Supreme Court:"This is to inform you of my decision to retire from my position as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, effective upon the nomination and confirmation of my successor," she said in a one-paragraph letter to Bush.
More from the Quagmire/Vietnam Front
Richard Cohen, newly minted defeatist, is now trying to earn his bona fides within that circle by pointing out that he thinks Iraq is (gasp) like Vietnam.His first foray involves the Bush speech. It was, per Cohen, positively Johnsonian. Bush sounded downright
Reacting to Kelo on the Hill
Congress is considering legislation to limit and perhaps reverse the effect of the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision:Reacting to a recent Supreme Court decision, lawmakers are moving to make it more difficult for local governments to seize private property that stands in the way of shopping malls and other commercial development.The House approved by a 231
Ode to Defeatism
Another in a long line of "we’re doomed, we’re defeated, let’s leave" quagmire columns from Paul Krugman, both past and future. If you think this is the last time we’ll see this sort of thing from his pen you’re just fantasizing. Take the very first line for instance:A majority of Americans now realize that President Bush deliberately misled
I’ve previously posted (Starship Bloggers) on the sheer dishonesty of the "chickenhawk/101st Fighting Keyboarders" argument, noting that purveyors of the meme don’t actually believe in the principle...they just like the demagoguery.But let’s take the arguments made by Max Blumenthal in The Nation, and
Orwell would have loved Saudi Arabia
Per Aljezerra, it would appear Condi Rice pissed off a Saudi Prince or two on her last tour by being, well, a bit outspoken (and especially for a woman):US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has no right to speak about the case of three jailed activists whose cause she took up during a recent visit to Riyadh, says Saudi Interior Minister Nayef bin Abdel Aziz."It&rsq
The Kelo Tidal Wave begins
In case you were wondering, the beginnings of a tidal wave of Kelo takings are documented on the Institute for Justice website. Like I say, this is just a partial listing of what they’ve gathered. They have links to all the articles I’ve listed plus more.Cities’ Actions Since KeloFreeport, TexasHours after the Kelo decision,
Upon Reflection
I posted a feel-good piece today about some MEDEVAC pilots rescuing some Afghan kids, called "Dustoff, Dustoff, save my child". It brought a comment from a fellow Viet Nam vet which said what I’ve been feeling and have been saying in posts the last couple of weeks. The commenter signed himself "3rd World Dog", but his thoughts and reflections very ably and articulately mirror
1975 Redux?
James Pinkerton writes that American’s haven’t been too good at sticking with military tasks in recent decades. ’Americans have always held firm." So said President George W. Bush in his Iraq-war speech on Tuesday night.But in point of fact, Americans haven’t been holding firm in recent dec
Ward Churhill strikes again
Under the "here we go again" department, Ward Churchill has again slithered out from under his rock to inflict himself on us:Churchill, speaking at an anti- military forum in Portland, Ore., military remarks"Conscientious objection removes a given piece of the cannon fodder from the fray," he said. "Fragging an officer has a much more impactful effect."Of course
Poll: Republicans bad, Dems worse
If you’re a poll watcher you’ll find this one interesting:A poll on the political mood in the United States conducted by the Democratic Party has alarmed the party at its own loss of popularity. Conducted by the party-affiliated Democracy Corps, the poll indicated 43 percent of voters favored the Republican Party, while 38 percent had positive
Gee, thanks Canada ... I think
Must be slow north of the border:E-mail spam can be good for you if it comes as a steady stream of e-mails nagging about healthy habits, Canadian researchers said on Thursday.People who were spammed about healthy eating and keeping active, tended to exercise and lose weight, according to the researchers at the University of Alberta.Well
"Dustoff, dustoff, save my child!"
I don’t know why but we used to say that alot during the Vietnam era, especially when kidding around with Dustoff pilots. There are no braver pilots in the world in my experience, and they’re well respected and well loved by the troops they serve. For those who don’t know, Dustoff is a military euphemism for medical evacuation helecopters (MEDEVAC). There’s been many a grunt’s life saved by these brave folks bringing their unarmed airc
Iraq: A Real Timetable
I tend to agree with President Bush on the problems associated with a "timetable for withdrawal". As Dale noted previously, such calls sound suspiciously like the "Retreat. Withdraw. Surrender." so common among those who see the US military exclusively through Vietnam-colored glasses; and as McQ noted, "the timetable for withdrawl of our t
Recruiting goals met by Army
It should also be noted that it is only the Army which hasn’t met its recent recruiting goals. According to this report they actually exceeded it by 500. Additionally the Army Reserve made its monthly quota:For the first time since January, the Army met its monthly recruiting goal in June, but still faces what some senior Army officials say is
Down the Memory Hole
Ronald Brownstein, writing in the Los Angeles Times, presents his "analysis" of the President’s speech on Iraq earlier this week. The article’s title gives you a pretty good clue about Mr. Brownstein’s take—which is either dishonest or ignorant: "As War Shifts, So Does the Message". As Mr. Brownstein puts
How do you miss this badly?The Bush administration disclosed yesterday that it had vastly underestimated the number of service personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan seeking medical treatment from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and warned that the health care programs will be short at least $2.6 billion
Time Blinks
A recent refusal by the Supreme Court to review the case of Matthew Cooper of Time and Judith Miller of the NY Times, has left them both headed for jail for refusing to reveal their anonymous source in the Plame affair.Time, it seems, has decided to reveal the source, one guesses over the objection of the reporter:
Keeping the Feds busy
Good for Rhode Island: The Rhode Island legislature passed a bill yesterday allowing the use of medical marijuana, three weeks after the Supreme Court ruled that federal authorities could prosecute those who use the drug for medicinal purposes, even in states wi
What, no gulag?
Is Amnesty International getting soft?Amnesty International said Australia’s policy of indefinitely locking up asylum seekers who arrive in the country illegally was a violation of human rights, in a report.The rights group said the asylum policy was exacting "an appalling human cost, with children being kept behind razor wire
Scott Ritter: The war with Iran has already begun
Tehran Terry, OK, Scott Ritter, lets us in on a little secret through his new gig at Aljazeera ... token infidel columnist:The reality is that the US war with Iran has already begun. As we speak, American over flights of Iranian soil are taking place, using pilotless drones and other, more sophisticated, capabilities.The violation of a so
Try taking a bible to Saudi Arabia and see if they treat it with gloved hands
Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee CSM Anthony Mendez from the task force’s Joint Detention Group at Gitmo told the committee members how the US ensures the detainees are treated in terms of religious practices:A loudspeaker at the camp signals the Muslim "call to prayer" five times a day - generally at 5:30 in the morning, 1 and 2:30 in the after
The Heart of Darkness: "The Al Qaeda Manual"
If you’re interested in a peek inside the jihadi mind, and specifically the mind of a jihadist recruited for al Qaeda, you might be interested in the 28 page translation of "The Al Qaeda manual" by the FBI which is on the DoJ website. It was found by police during a raid in Manchester, England.It’s some fascinating stuff. It is described as the "military series" manual.What’s it all a
Mr. Durbin, was it like this?
James Warner, a former Marine Corps officer who spent 5 years and 5 months in captivity, wants to know if Sen. Durbin can tell him if the prisoners at Gitmo received the same level of love from the "Nazis" we had guarding them as Warner received from the North Vietnamese? In May 1969, I was taken out for interrogation on suspicion of planning an escape. I was forced to re
Iraq and 9/11
Well, great. This is just what we need. A Republican congressman from North Carolina told CNN on Wednesday that the "evidence is clear" that Iraq was involved in the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001."Saddam Hussein and people like him were very much involved in 9/11," Rep. Robin Hayes said. Told no investigation had ever found evidence to l
Green Politics and hypocrisy
Robert Samuelson does a nice takedown of the global warming argument (talk v. walk) in a piece entitled "Greenhouse Hypocrisy". Essentially his point is that politicians use global warming and their advocacy for doing something more as a means of burnishing their eco-credentials than to actually accomplish anything meaningful.Case in point, the
Freedom Tower design released for NYC 911 memorial
If you’re interested, an article describing the "Freedom Tower" and an interactive view of the structures can be found here.I really haven’t taken the time to look at it in detail, but it looks tall enough and imposing enough that my "in your face" desire is satisfied.
Take a deep breath, lady ...
Overreacting to a proposed vote in the Senate to pass a Constitutional amendment banning flag desecration, the editor of the Rockford Register Star, Linda Grist Cunningham has said:If the U.S. Senate follows its silly siblings in the House of Representatives and votes for a ban on burning the American flag, I’m going to burn one.
Hitchens on the "Chickenhawk" meme
Christopher Hitchens takes on the infamous "chickenhawk" meme so many on the anti-war left like to use as some sort of mechanism to stifle debate about the war in Iraq.Did I send my children to rescue the victims of the collapsing towers of the World Trade Center? No, I expected the police and fire departments to accept the risk of gruesome death on my behalf. All of them were volunteers (many of
Question: Is Iraq Like Vietnam?
Answer: Only if we leave before the job is done.
Liveblogging the President.
I’ve been busier than a one-legged man at a...uh..contest of physical prowess where two legs are considered the minimal complement of limbs. But, now, things are slacking off, and I can make up for my lack of blogging today by liveblogging the president in just a few minutes.The subject, of course, is Iraq. The Administration has done an abysmal job of explaining the policy in Iraq. Perhaps this is the first—and long overdue—step in e
2 Deaths: one a hero, one a traitor
In Britian today, two deaths were announced, both of the deceased from the WWII era, both in their 90s. We’re losing them at a faster and faster rate now. One’s death I regret. The other’s I don’t." target="new">First the hero. Sergeant Ray Holmes, an RAF pilot. You read about such people and you wonder if given the same situation, you would and could do what this p
WTF: American Prison Ships?
With the BBC rumor is now news:The United Nations says it has learned of serious allegations that the US is secretly detaining terrorism suspects, notably on American military ships.The special rapporteur on torture Manfred Nowak said the accusations were rumours at this stage, but urged the US to co-operate in an investigation.Serious allegations based in
The Lost Liberty Hotel
Poetry:On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter’s home.Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue an
Invade North Korea!
Paul Krugman almost manages to make it through an entire column without a partisan swipe at the Bush administration. Almost. But he can’t resist...If it were up to me, I’d block the Chinese bid for Unocal. But it would be a lot easier to take that position if the United States weren’t so dependent on China right now, not just to buy our I.O.U.&rsq
Harold Ford Endorses Kelo
A short note to voters in Tennessee (via if you value your home, read this:Harold Ford Jr., a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate from Tennessee, has endorsed the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. New London, allowing local governments to seize provate property and give it to another private owner for purposes of econonmic development and to inc
Welcome to club "Dumb Ass"
There isn’t now, nor has there ever been, any place for this sort of behavior in the military:The recruits of Echo Company stumbled off the bus for basic training at Fort Knox to the screams of red-faced drill instructors. That much was expected. But it got worse from there.Echo Company’s top drill instructor seized a rec
If they only worked this hard for the rights of citizens
I’m just saying:State Sen. Gil Cedillo is making his fifth attempt in seven years to enact legislation allowing illegal immigrants to get California driver’s licenses. This time he’s hoping to get a governor’s signature that will stick.
From Someone, unlike Durbin, who was there
Interesting article by an officer who was at Gitmo for a year.Some snippets.Religion:The Guantanamo detainees are clearly a dangerous and fanatical bunch. Yet during his year at the base, Hegseth never saw one treated with violence or disrespect. Quite the contrary. "We bend over backwards to conform ourselves to the detainees’ way of life," he say
Hangin’ out with the virgins in Paradise
Always nice to see a wish fulfilled as al Qaeda’s number two man in Iraq goes to his reward:A senior member of Iraq’s Al Qaeda branch was killed recently in a US crackdown on insurgents in the Iraqi town of Qaim near the Syrian border, a Jordanian newspaper reported yesterday.Khalid Sulei
US MIlitary Insignia II
Thanks for all the suggestions and corrections for the US Military Insignia presentation. The presentation has been updated. Also, a permanent link to the presentation has been placed on the sidebar, under the "Resources" section on the left.
Supreme Court: Internet access
I believe the SC got this one right (although I’m not sure I agree with their reasoning). The way the lead is written, though, you’d be sure it was nothing more than a win for the big corporate buddies of George Bush:The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that cable companies may keep rival Internet providers from using their lines, a decision that will limit compet
Burning the Flag
Mark Steyn writes that, when you think about it, you really don’t want an anti-flag burning amnemdment to the constitution. The flag is tough enough to take it.Banning flag desecration flatters the desecrators and suggests that the flag of this great republic is a wee delicate bloom that has to be protected. It’s not. It gets burned because it’s stro
Recalling Lincoln
Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) recalls Abraham Lincoln, and muses about how Abrham Lincoln’s ideas eventually led to Mr. Obama to the very Senate Seat that Lincoln lost to Steven A. Douglas. It’s a nice article, and one with which I have few quibbles. The following passage prompted a few thoughts however.For when the time came to confront the greatest m
Churchill was Right
As he was about so many things, Winston Churchill was right when talking about the Germans. "The Hun," he mused, "is always either at your feet or at your throat." As Ralph Peters writes in today’s New York Post, we’ve apparently entered the "at your feet" portion of the cycle, as the Bundeskanzler, Gerhard Schröder come hat in hand to Washing
Pew: Study of Media shows changing landscape
The Pew Research Center has found that despite all the noise about the loss of credibility by the press, it still enjoys a mostly positive place in the minds of America. That’s not to say there hasn’t been a decline in the public’s perception of the press or that there aren’t some questions about some aspects of its reporting:Public attitudes towa
The Exit Strategy: a sustainable Iraqi democracy
McQ is right to call this point "critical"..."There’s only one way for the insurgents to win: that’s to drive us out before the Iraqis are ready to assume the battle space," General Abizaid said Sunday on the CNN program "Late Edition." "If that’s what happens, they could win. But it&rsquo
Egypt: US needs to stay the course
Apparently Egypt, voicing sentiments which are shared among other ME states, is concerned an early US pullout from Iraq could spark a civil war: Egypt warned Sunday against an early withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, saying it could lead to civil strife in the violence-torn country. Foreign Minister Ahmad Abul Ghait told reporters the co
The life-cycle of an Insurgency
In an article breathlessly entitled: "Rumsfeld: Iraq could face insurgents for 12 years", AP quotes the SecDef as saying:Rumsfeld, addressing a question about whether U.S. troops levels are adequate to vanquish the increasingly violent resistance, said, "We’re not going to win against the insurgency. The Iraqi people are going to win against the insurgency. Th
The New Libertarian
We’re currently putting together the 4th Edition of The New Libertarian. In the meantime, I’d encourage you to check out our previous editions of our Journal of Neolibertarian Thought. Issue 1 — Practical and Philosophical arguments for a practical, political libertarian movement. 
Partisan Hemlock
Consider the standards employed by Oliver Willis: Karl Rove "should apologize or resign. Preferably both."The Democrats, on the other hand, "need to stop apologizing" Or consider these:Oliver, writing on attacks
Argumentum ad Dean
I love this argument, by Howard Dean, in an obviously preverse way because, well, you should expect better from someone eveyone touts as being such a bright guy:"Let me remind those Republicans,’’ he said, that the Bible mentions helping the poor "3,000 times. I have not yet seen gay marriage mentioned in the Bible. That is a Republican issue.’’Someone should rem
Chavez: Pay up "big oil"
Hugo Chavez, our pal running Venezuela, has decided that ’big oil’ hasn’t been paying enough. Time for "reform". Reform, in socialist government lingo, means "put up your hands".Until a few months ago, Big Oil was nice to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Its top executives would visit him in the presidential palace and declare themselves ’’enthusi
Iran: Empty polling places?
Unlike Iraq, if the report (and pics) at Publius Pundit are accurate, it appears there may have been a massive boycott of the Iranian election.Of course not a peep from the MSM. Instead, AP is reporting:Nearly 28 mil
Aid: Africa’s leaky begging bowl
You may remember a remarkable PBS interview I highlighted here in which African professor George Ayittey pointed out that the problem with Africa isn’t too little aid from Western democracies, but the mismanagement of that aid by corrupt African governments:And also we all know the big elephant in the room. The big elephant in the room is African governments. Africa has been t
Stirring the old cold draft pot
AP tells us that most Americans don’t want a return to the draft.Well, duh.And who has said they did want it or should return it, beside Charles Rangel (D-NY)?Even the mili
Is the template set?
I read another blog yesterday which alleged that the "template" for media coverage of Iraq is set and that which doesn’t fit the template isn’t reported.I wish I could remember the blog (and I’m sure an alert reader will let me know soon enough), but it was an interesting point which I was mulling last night as I watched the question and answer portion of Rumsfeld and the general’s testimony before the Senate Armed Services committ
Gut-check time, America
So, what’s it going to be?’When I look back here, at what I see is happening in Washington, within the Beltway, I’ve never seen the lack of [public] confidence greater," [General John] Abizaid told the Senate Armed Services Committee ...[...]’’I can tell you that when my
Blow up a GI for 10 Euros
Who’s helping fund the jihadis, terrorists and insurgents in Iraq?Well, according to the US News and World Report, leftist Europeans:Turns out that far-left groups in western Europe are carrying on a campaign dubbed Ten Euros for the Resistance, offering aid and comfort to the car bombers, kidnappers, and snipers trying to destabilize th
More Rove
Tom Bevan at RealClearPolitics has it exactly right:I’ll grant that Rove’s parting shot about the "motives of liberals" was over the top. Still, for about five years now liberals (by which I mean most Democrats) have been running around the country with a big, broad brush calling conservatives (by which they mean most Republicans) evil, extremists, cro
NYTimes Op-Ed Roundup
Scanning the NYtimes Op-Ed Page while I can still do it for free...Paul Krugman, prominent Economist and expert on Trade issues, writes a column Downing Street Memo, Iraq and his desire to forfeit the game at halftime...Let me explain. The United States will soon have to start reducing force levels in Iraq, or risk seeing the volunteer Army coll
Technical Note
For those of you who are members of the Neolibertarian network, I have a small request. The link to the Neolibertarian network does not go to It goes to Originally, was a secondary domain name for QandO. But, we’ve broken that off into a separate web site to host the new Neolibertarian Blog. So, all of those links that used to come here, to QandO, now go to the other w
SCOTUS Shortlist
Everyone’s favorite web magazine, Slate, has a rundown of the bush Administration’s likely judicial picks if, as is widely expected, Justices Rehnquist and/or O’Connor announce their retirement next week.At the top of the Slate list is Michael Luttig, who would be my first pick for a Supreme Court Justice. My second pick would be Mike McConnell, I think, be
Eminent Domain
This is Treason against the entire spirit of the Constitution as defined by the Framers.—Adam BernayDale has already addressed this quite well, and Instapundit has a lot of reaction and
Flag burning amendment? No thanks
Seriously. No thanks. The power, symbolism and majesty of the flag of the United States isn’t found in the legal ability to restrict, by force, its desecration. It’s found in holding the right of free speech, even symbolic speech, to be sacrosanct, especially speech we don’t like. I didn’t serve 28 years under that flag to see i
So you want a "living Constitution"?
Yesterday, probably 5 minutes after I got in my car for a long day on the road, came the news that the Supreme Court, for all intents and purposes had just changed the definition of "public use". I want to blog on this at a later date in some detail, but wanted to register my impression first. I have to admit that when I heard the ruling which fundamentally changed the way property is considered, I thought it worthy of a court in Mugabe’s Zimbabw
Karl Must Go!
Democrats are taking exception to a speech given by presidential advisor Karl Rove last night.White House adviser Karl Rove should either apologize or resign for saying liberals responded to the Sept. 11 terrorist strikes by wanting to "prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Democrats said Thursday... Rove, Bush&
Kiss your property rights goodbye
The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision has ruled in Kelo v. New London that the government can condemn your property, take it, and then transfer it to another private party. The dissenters were Justice O’Connor, who wrote the dissent, and the usual suspects, i.e. Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices Scalia and Thomas.In the
Oriana Fallaci: Going down fighting
The Wall Street Journal draws our attention to an interview with Italian journalist and writer Oriana Fallaci, conducted by the Journal’s delightfully named Tunku Varadarajan. It’s kind of odd, really, to see the Journal given over to such a glowing portrait of Ms. Fallaci, since she’s stood for practically everything the Journal has
Government control for thee, but not for me
The American Medical association is famously resistant to the idea that medical care should be controlled by the government. On the other hand, they appear to think that you should be. As Steve Chapman writes:The United States has a severe shortage of kidneys, livers, lungs and other human organs needed by patients awaiting transplants. The AMA thinks we mi
Still whining about Ohio
All I can say is thank goodness the Democrats seem to have finally let 2000 go (well, except the guy in AZ who died from it ... and I guess he has let it go when you think about it), not that the latest bit of whining is much beter:Democratic Party officials
Failing Insurgency 101
Max Boot takes us through the reasons the insurgency in Iraq is bound to fail:The rebels lack a unifying organization, ideology and leader. There is no Iraqi Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro or Mao Tse-tung. The top militant is Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian who has alienated most of the Iraqi population, even many Sunnis, wi
Ivory Tower Guilt: Blame shifting
Richard Cohen gets it completely wrong:The late writer John Gregory Dunne was my friend. Around 1990, though, he wouldn’t have anything to do with me. I found this out by inviting him to dinner. He wouldn’t come, he said, and when he asked if I wanted to know why, he told me I was a hypocrite.The proof of my hypocrisy was my support
It’s a helluva thing, killin’ a man
Tucson artist Cory Zimbleman has died, and, if you veer off toward the right side of the political spectrum, then you are, in some small way, responsible. As his obituary notes:He had strong political opinions and followed Amy Goodman’s radio broadcast "Democracy Now." Alas the stolen election of 2000 and living with right-winged Americans finally brought him to
Ending Confirmation Stalemates
The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto has come up with an interesting solution to the problem with presidential appointments, albeit one that would be hard to pass, since it would require a constitutional amendment.Why not a constitutional amendment that would go something like this:Section 1. The President’s power to fill vacancies during a recess of the Senate shall app
Wonderfully Snide
Rob Long, in the upcoming print edition of National Review—Sorry, no link—offers us a brief portion of a hypothetical interview with Michael Jackson on Larry King Live:CALLER: "Um, I’m a 14-year-old boy, and I was wondering if I could maybe take a bus to Santa Maria and see the Neverland Ranch . . ." LARRY KING: "I’m cutting you off, caller. Does that happen a lot, Michael? Even after the trial?" MICHAEL JACKSON: "Larry, I’m
Yes, Virginia, there was a Postwar Plan
Kevin Drum uses early/mid 2002 memos to prove—prove!—that the Bush administration didn’t plan for the Iraq postwar phase...Tonight I want to summarize what they
US Military Insignia
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a large project to compile as complete a presentation as I can of the military insignia of the United States’ Armed Forces, including rank, branch, and occupational insignia, as well as qualification badges. As of this morning, that project is now more or less complete. So, we now have here a fairly comprehensive guide to all of the common insignia worn by the members of the various US Armed forces.I’ve left out some t
Planned troop reductions
Yesterday, Gen. Vines comments were covered in detail here and here on QandO. Today, the Washington Post weighs in with an article entitled "Little Change in Troop Levels Expected Soon". It could have as easily be
And the beat goes on
More examples from Iraq on successes in the fight against the insurgency:In the Baghdad area, Iraqi and Task Force Baghdad soldiers seized 12 suspected terrorists
Hitchens, the Downing Street Memo and Leftist fantasy
Christopher Hitchens manages to distil the nonsense surrounding the so-called Downing Street memo in three relatively short paragraphs:I am not one of those who uses the term "conspiracy theory" as an automatic sneer of dismissal. Conspiracies do occur. I spent a lot of my life at one point trying to show that William Casey of the Reagan-era CIA had made a private deal with the Iranian h
Neolibertarian Blog
Lots of good stuff at the Neolibertarian Network Blog. Previous New Libertarian articles at the top, and the blog underneath. Click, link, bookmark, and pass along the Neolibertarian ideas.
Durbin finally apologizes
Under the category, "it’s about time" we file Dick Durbin’s apology for his earlier remarks comparing those Americans at Gitmo with Nazis, Pol Pot and those who ran the Soviet gulags:Under fire from Republicans and some fellow Democrats, Sen. Dick Durbin apologized Tuesday for comparing American interrogators at the Guan
Red on Red
An interesting development observed by our Marines in Iraq:Late Sunday night, American marines watching the skyline from their second-story perch in an abandoned house here saw a curious thing: in the distance, mortar and gunfire popped, but the volleys did not seem to be aimed at them.In the dark, one spoke in hushed code words on a radio, and after a minute
Gen Vines: Insurgency is 4 broad groups
LTG Vines, commander of the multi-national force in Iraq, outlined the insurgency today in a news conference as consisting of 4 broad groups:There are four broad groups, I think, within this insurgency, and the insurgency, quite honestly, is quite narrow. The level of support for violence is pretty narrow. The jihadists or the Zarqawi elements—sometimes refer
Some Iraqi Deputies call for foreign troops to withdraw
In a letter released to the media 82 members of the of the 275 member Iraqi Parliament have called for the withdrawl of "foreign" troops from Iraq.Apparently, unlike many in this country, they feel it is going so well there that now is the time to have the foreign troops withdraw. Some have even calle
Spin Report: Center for American Progress
The Center For American Progress writes this today:NEW PRIVATIZATION PLAN WOULD EXPLODE FEDERAL DEFICIT: The Wall Street Journal claims that the proposal (which it calls "political jujitsu") would "create no new debt for the government." That’s not true. Right now, money that is collected from Social Security payroll taxes that is not needed to pay curr
Bush Kills Federalism
Former Bush Administration Justice Dept. official John Yoo takes his old boss to task in today’s Los Angeles Times. Sure, he writes, the Supreme Court seems to be a fair-weather friend of federalism. But the Bush Administration doesn’t seem to be a friend at all.Consider its position on these is
PETA Kills Animals
Everyone knows that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) are big advocates of Animal Rights. They’re the ones who are always going on about how animals have just as much right to live as human beings, that eating animals is murder, that killing millions of chickens for America’s dinners is equivalent to the holocaust, etc. The message is clear. PETA doesn’t want us to kill animals.Apparently, that’s because they pr
Kofi Annan: There’s Progress in Iraq
No friend of America, and particularly the Bush administration, even Kofi Annan (unlike the defeatists in America) can see the progress in Iraq. He lays it out in an op/ed in the Washington Post.Some of the highlights:Elections were held in January, on schedule. Three months later the Transitional National Assembly endorsed the tran
Bolton: Recess appointment?
You may remember back at the beginning of the month, we pointed out that Bolton may become a recess appointment.Well it appears that
Sam Donaldson: Network News is Dead
I have to agree. "I think it’s dead, sorry," Donaldson said during a panel discussion at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas last April. "The monster anchors are through."While 30 million viewers still tune in to the nightly newscasts offered by the erstwhile Big Three - NBC, ABC and CBS - Donaldson and others cite dropping viewership num
The world’s smallest violin
I’m sorry but I just can’t muster up much sympathy for Senator "Exalted Cyclops" Robert Byrd’s rendition of his "foolish mistake".In his 770 page autobiography (and this is about as close as I’ll ever get to reading it), he states that his Klan membership was a mistake:The Ku Klux Klan is the central paradox of Robert C. Byrd’s life – "an extraordinarily foolish mistake" that has haunted him for 40 years but the v
What’s Up With the Economy?
Don’t expect an economist to be able to answer that. As Robert Samuelson writes, economists are just as confused as anybody else.For decades, disposable income and consumption spending advanced in lock step. Americans spent a bit more than 90 percent of their after-tax income and saved about 8 percent to 10 percent. In 1959, consumer outlays were 92 of disposable incom
Fools, money ... soon parted
Nothing like a little chimp art to quicken your art collecting pulse:Monkey business proved to be a lucrative pastime Monday when paintings by Congo the chimpanzee sold at auction for more than 14,000 pounds (US$25,620; euro20,917).The collection of three tempera paintings — all abstract — were auctioned at Bonhams in London along
Oh yeah, we’re doing so much better with security
If it wasn’t so serious it would almost be laughable:Sixteen foreign-born construction workers with phony immigration documents were able to enter a nuclear weapons plant in eastern Tennessee because of lax security controls, a federal report said Monday.Controls at the Y-12 weapons plant have since been tightened and there was no evidence the workers h
Saddam Tortured by Americans: No Cheetos
You heard it. In an interview with a number of Americans in charge of guarding Saddam, we find out that they tortured him by denying him his Cheetos. Ok, in reality they were out of them, and that made Saddam very ’grumpy’.But all is well, they substituted Doritos and Saddam was quite happy.*Sigh*Thanks goodness. One can only imagine to what Dick Durbin w
For the Defeatists among us
Rich Lowrey did a well researched article for National Review in May entitled "What Went Right: How the US began to quell the insurgency in Iraq". Amidst all the calls for a ’withdrawl strategy’ coming from the certain members of Congress, I thought I’d share the final paragraphs of that story with you:The administration’s strategic scheme f
About that "Downing Street Memo"
The Rocky Mountain News pooh-poohs the idea that the Downing Street Memo is of any signifigance.So British Prime Minister Tony Blair met with aides on July 23, 2002, one of whom wrote a memo recording the gist of what was said. It seems that Sir Richard Dearlove, an intelligence official, "reported on his recent talks in
Guantanamo Bay Tribunals
One of my longstanding beefs with the Bush administration has been their utter ineptitude at presenting their own case. Today, via Michelle Malkin, we find evidence that the ineptitude has plumbed new depths. Just days after Bill Clinton, in a fair and cogent analysis of the problem, notes that Gitm
Apology unnecessary: welcome home
Former hostage Douglas Wood of Australia, apologized for remarks he made about the withdrawl of US and Australian troops while in captivity.Wood apologized to President Bush and Prime Minister John Howard for some of the things he had said while in captivity.For me, no apology is necssary. Most rational people understand that coercion will caus
Biden on the prowl for assurance
Joe Biden has decided he should be the one to next lead the country:"My intention is to seek the nomination," Biden said on CBS’s "Face the Nation." "I know I’m supposed to be more coy with you. I know I’m supposed to tell you, you know, that I’m not sure. But if, in fact, I think that I have a clear shot at winning the n
..And Crazy, too
Richard Baehr observes that Democrats appear to have collectively lost their minds.In the past few weeks, the obsessive hatred of President Bush by the left has led to some extraordinarily stupid and vicious comments by Illinois Senator Richard Durban and DNC Chairman Howard Dean, among others. Dean claimed that Republicans do not need to work (62 million trust f
The Michael Moore Disease
Ari Melber, a former national ataff member of the Kerry Campaign, shows that some Democrats still "get it" when it comes to national security. Unfortunately, he does so by showing that and increasing number of Democrats don’t.Most Democrats today are increasingly skeptical of using military force — even against terrorists. No wonder the public thinks the party
"Disconnected from Reality"
And now we have another Senator speaking like a defeatist:Republican Senator Chuck Hagel slammed the George W. Bush administration’s Iraq policy as "disconnected from reality" in some of the harshest comments to date about the war from a member of the president’s own party.Hagel, a top Senate Republican said to h
McCain says Durbin owes apology
You know the jig’s up for the left when John McCain comes down on the other side:"I think that Senator Durbin owes not only the Senate an apology ... but an apology because it does a great disservice to men and women who suffered in the gulag and in Pol Pot’s killing fields," McCain told NBC’s "Meet the Press."No kidding. My point exactly.Th
Looking for a Supreme Court Nominee
The AP gives us a list of some of what it considers the most likely Supreme Court nominees should Chief Justice Renqhuist decide to retire.They are:Samuel A. Alito, 55, a judge on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.Emilio Garza, 58, a judge on the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Homework for Dick Durbin and his apologists
Dear Dick,Please read the following article. Then answer the following question as best you can:Which homocidal totaltarian regime do the actions in the article best represent. (Hint: we’re not talking about the actions of the Marines). A. Nazi
Making an Ace of Myself
My birthday is coming up this month, and as a special gift, The Lovely Christine got a me an ait-to-air combat flight with a local outfit called Barnstorming Adventures in Carlsbad, California. They take you out over the ocean, turn the controls over to you, and let you fly three air combat passes against another aircraft. Both aircraft are Varga VG21s, which used to be used as flight trainers for the Navy.I’ve really been l
Myths and realities: winning on the battlefield and losing at home
So what does this tell us?U.S. Marines said Saturday that about 50 insurgents have been killed so far in the American military’s latest campaign to stop foreign fighters infiltrating Iraq from neighboring Syria. About 100 insurgents have also been captured in the operation that began Friday in Karabilah, about 200 miles west of Baghdad.The campaign was being wag
Good for Howard Dean
Credit where credit is due:A handful of people at Democratic National Headquarters distributed material critical of Israel during a public forum questioning the Bush administration’s Iraq policy, drawing an angry response and charges of anti-Semitism from party chairman Howard Dean on Friday."We disavow the anti-Semiti
Durbin’s appalling historical ignorance
David Gelernter, in the LA Times, makes the important point about the reason Dick Durbin’s remarks about Gitmo were so appalling. It seems his supporters suffer from the same problem:Ignorance of history destroys our judgment. Consider Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill), who just compared the Guantanamo Bay detention
Iraqis stepping up
Austin Bay comments on a definite increase in the use of Iraqi forces in current operations:The current chief of operations gave us a briefing in the Corps’ Joint Operations Center. I’ll comment on the difference in operational emphasis at a later date– but it’s clear the Iraqis are taking on a larger share of the operational burden. After the ops briefing we talked with the current corp
Sunnis accept compromise for writing consitution
Another step forward:Iraqi political leaders broke weeks of deadlock on Thursday, with Sunni Arabs accepting a compromise offer to increase their representation on the Shiite-led parliamentary committee that is to draft a constitution.The agreement was a significant step forward in Iraq’s political process, which has been mired in arguments
Been there, seen this, don’t like it one bit!
Same old tune, same generation, but now they’re in the Senate and House, writing on newspaper staffs, and teaching in universities. [Full disclosure: I’m pissed off. The more I see of this crap the more pissed off I get. You want a parallel to Vietnam ... THIS is it! Consider this my friday rant.]Appr
Blog Stuff
Forgive the meandering post. It’s been an awfully strange week for me. Last Saturday, exactly one month to the day after I first went to the hospital, my gestation finally ended, and the blessed event occurred: I passed my kidney stone. I think it was about the size of a large grapefruit—perhaps a smallish watermelon&mda
Durbin’s duplicity, the left’s silence
By now everyone and their brother is familiar with the Dick Durbin remark from a couple of days ago. As I told Dale in a phone conversation, I was pleased, to this point, that we’d managed to ignore it. After all, its only another Democrat calling our soldiers and Republicans "Nazis". "Dog bites man" just isn’t much of a story. But then Durbin issued an nonapology apology in w
The Kyoto Turkey comes home to roost
They whined, they cried, they vilified. But still the US refused to become a party to Kyoto. Seems New Zealand is having second thoughts as well:Taxpayers will be at least $1 billion worse off under revised Government estimates of the costs of the Kyoto treaty to combat global warming.National’s environment spokesman, Nick Smith, says the party, if
The Super-Rich, Round II
Pulitzer Prize-Winning journalist David Cay Johnston is not happy with my critique of his class article in the New York Times, which I fisked here a few days ago.Let’s get the important stuff out of the way, first.Franks does not even manage to spell my name correctly.I spelled it "Johnson" in the original post, instead of "Johnston". Well, I imagine th
The British Memos: Analysis
Having laid out all the relevant, notable passages from the Downing Street and assorted other British Memos, I want to address some of the inferences and allegations being drawn from them. I’ll take the allegations made by Think Progress:CHARGE #1: British Knew Iraqi WMD Were Not a Threat:MEM
Old Media - Still Not Getting It.
Yesterday, QandO was mentioned once again on Judy Woodruff’s Inside Politics on CNN. It’s not really worthy of mentioning here, except for one thing. They managed to report that my post on Randy "Duke" Cunningham said precisely the opposite of what I wrote. ABBI TATTON, CNN
Journalism and the Internet
The Archbishop of Canterbury feels we denizens of the Internet are a bit dangerous:The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has criticised the new web-based media for “paranoid fantasy, self-indulgent nonsense and dangerous bigotry”. He described the atmosphere on the world wide web as a free-for-all that was “close to that of unpoliced conversation”.
This is the way it should work
Whether you’re a fan of the Patriot Act, or not, this is the way this process should work:In a slap at President Bush, lawmakers voted Wednesday to block the Justice Department and the FBI from using the Patriot Act to peek at library records and bookstore sales slips.Th
Valedictorian is a singular word
I’m no english major as anyone who reads this blog knows. I’m not much of a speller either, though lord knows I try. But I do know, and have known all my life that "valedictorian" is a singular word. In fact when you look up the word on-line, it is defined as:The student with the highest academic rank in a class who delivers the valedictory at graduation
On the other hand ...
Nancy Pelosi and I disagree about this:San Francisco Rep. Nancy Pelosi, leader of the House’s minority Democrats, raised the stakes on the debate over the war in Iraq on Tuesday by introducing a resolution that if enacted would set the stage for the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.Pelosi’s proposal, which
Nancy Pelosi and I
Agree. That’s right, Nancy Pelosi and I are in agreement about something: "Mr. Speaker, this amendment is especially timely, coming on the heels of the Supreme Court decision last week in Gonzales v. Raich. The Court’s decision makes clear that federal regulatory and statutory changes are needed, and I strongly support Mr. Frank’s proposed legislation that
Bad Day for Blogging
Sorry for my lack of input today. I’m under the weather from some kind of bug. I started feeling bad last night, and felt like complete crap this morning. I’m feeling a bit better now, though still slightly iffy. Hopefully, I’ll be back in the saddle tomorrow.
On Iraq
Thomas Friedman—one of the few pundits willing to admit that he doesn’t already know how the Iraq war will turn out—writes an important column on that very topic. To start, however, he throws bombs...Ever since Iraq’s remarkable election, the country has been descending deeper and deeper into violence. But no one in Washington wants to talk about it. Conservatives
Pick your battles wisely
A "libertarian" was arrested yesterday for refusing to identify himself and refusing to allow his person to be searched before boarding an aircraft in New Hampshire:A Keene Libertarian who tried to board a flight carrying nothing but a Bible and a copy of the Declaration of Independence was arrested yesterday at Manchester Airport.Russell Kanning, 35,
CBS Is Back!
Viacom’s board has just approved a split into two companies. The company said the separation will be made through a tax-free spinoff, meaning that holders of Viacom shares will receive shares of a new company called CBS Corp., which will include the CBS and UPN networks, a group of TV stations as well as a major radio and outdoor advertising group.The
The Super-Rich (Those Bastards!)
Jon emailed me today with some correspondence he’s been exchanging with Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist David Cay Johnston. I’ll let Jon fill you in on the substance of that correspondence, if he so chooses, but the matter has drawn my attention to Mr. Johnston’s recent contribution to t
The Downing Street and British Memos
In order to provide a bit of clarity to the Downing Street/British Memo issue, I’ll provide a balanced look at the notable—and relevant to the current discussion—passages from the Memos in question. If I leave out a passage of note, please let me know in the comments.
Those San Diego Politicians
Well, so far, we’ve had a Mayor run out of office like some kind of poison troll, city councilmen on trial for accepting bribes from strip-club owners, and city pension fund officers indicted for mismanaging the SDERS pension fund. Now, it appears that one of our Congressmen—my congressman, actually—made a suspicious house sale. Let’s just say that Randy "Duke
Let Howard be Howard
DeWayne Wickham argues that Democrats shouldn’t be trying to muzzle Howard Dean. They should be liberating him to fight!Instead of muzzling Howard Dean, Democrats should give him a bullhorn. Rather than urging him to retreat from his attack on Republicans, party leaders ought to send him off to a political war college — preferably the one the late GOP strategist Lee At
More memos: Kofi and oil-for-food
Seems to be the month for memos surfacing. Yesterday, a memo which seems to quash the interpretation of the Downing Street memo most favored by the left. Today we have the latest involving Kofi Annan and the oil-for-food contract
Africa: The Elephant in the Room
I stumbled across a very interesting transcript of an exchange on PBS’s New Hour. The host is Ray Suarez. The two guests are George Ayittey, an economics professor at American University and president of the Free Africa Foundation. His most recent book is "Africa Unchained: The Blueprint for Development", and Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute and professor
The 1st Amendment. It was nice while it lasted.
Nick Schulz, the editor of TechCentralStation, interviews FEC Commissioner Brad Smith, and the news for the Internet in general, and blogging in particular, doesn’t look good. A couple of things of note follow.Well, to say nobody wants to "shutdown" blogs, that’s a pretty extreme standard if that’s the standard we are using for whether people should be concerned or not. And one of the prob
The New libertarian - Article Submissions
As a reminder, it’s already the 13th of the month. If you’re planning on submitting an article to The New Libertarian, time is running out. All submissions must be received by 25 Jun 05.The New Libertarian accepts unsolicited submissions of formal op/ed or book review articles for publication. Each article you submit must be between 750-1200 words, and, again, must fall within the Neolibertarian ideological framework. Acceptable article subjects will b
For the Downing Street Memo crowd: memo wars
We now have an new memo:A memorandum written by Prime Minister Tony Blair’s cabinet office in late July 2002 explicitly states that the Bush administration had made "no political decisions" to invade Iraq, but that American military planning for the possibility was advanced. The memo also said American planning, in the eyes of Mr. Blair’s aides, was "vi
Finally, this will drop off our TV Screens
Jurors in the michael jackson case have reached a verdict. Everone will no doubt be racing to court to broadcast the verdict announcement live.I’m reminded of a line from an old Doonsebury cartoon: "Certainly, we don’t want to prejudge the man, and everyone is entitled to a presumption of innocence. But an objective analysis of the evidence could reasonably lead one to conclude that he&rsquo
Note to Ted Kennedy...
You may want to hold off on any more speeches about how great Canada’s health care system is. Especially since even the Canadian Supreme Court says it sucks.Call it the hip that changed health-care history. When George Zeliotis of Quebec was told in 1997 that he would have to wait a year for a replacement for his painful, arthritic hip, he did what every
Immigrants Wanted
William Frey, a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, writes in an immigration policy paper that we need more immigrants. Indeed, we need them badly.If any part of the country needs to be worried about elderly support, it will be a projected "Grey Belt" spanning Montana through to New England, which will come to resemble the more
Okrent Substantiated: Krugman caught
Well, this is pretty cool. NRO had a contest to offer substantiation for the Daniel Okrent allegation that Krugman was "shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers". Unfortunately, Daniel Okrent dropped the ball, but there were plenty of good catches found in various places, including this by yours truly:Our next Jayson is for the category Worst Prediction. And the winner is … Jon Henke
More Contrarianism on China
Weighing in on whether the "Asian Century" will be a Chinese or an Indian Century is Mark Steyn, who predicts that China will have a rougher time becoming an economic powerhouse than most analysts imagine.The internal contradictions of Commie-capitalism will, in the end, scupper the present arrangements in Beijing. China manufactures the products
Foreign Policy: Principles
We’ve had quite a bit of discussion over the proper formulation of a Neolibertarian foreign policy over the past year and change—read McQs TNL article on why "Isolationism is not an Option", Dale’s formulation of some basic Neolibertarian Foreign Policy outlines, or my own contemplation on the issue of  
Iraq: think Okinawa, not Vietnam
While many journalists struggle to use Vietnam as an analogy for Iraq and are looking for the Iraqi version of Tet to declare the war an utter failure, Jack Kelly, of the Pittsburg Post-Gazzette, says another example of war past is more apt:Those who have studied military history think a more apt historical parallel is with the battle of Okinawa, which concluded 60 years ago this m
The Sickness Continues
You want irresponsible journalism? This is irresponsible, perhaps criminal, journalism...Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton turned furious and considered legal action after learning bestselling author Ed Klein would allege in a new book: Bill Clinton raped her—resulting in the conception of daughter Chelsea Clinton![...]The explosive charge comes in THE TRUTH ABOUT HILLARY: WHAT SHE KNEW, WHEN SHE
Sunday Photoblogging
This week, The Lovely Christine and I went to see the B-36, a Cold War-era Soviet diesel-electric attack sub that’s currently on display at the San Diego Maritime Museum. Very cramped quarters inside the boat, but it was an interesting chance to see a relic of modern history. As always, the images are linked to the full 8 megapixel originals.Forwa
Guess who just made Ken Mehlman’s Christmas card list?
Yup, you’re right:Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean said Saturday that positive responses from key supporters have reinforced his determination to keep talking tough even though some congressional Democrats have suggested he should tone down his rhetoric."People want us to fight," Dean told the national party&rsqu
Foreign Policy: China
(via Praktike) Henry Kissinger weighs in on the problem of China:China’s emerging role is often compared to that of imperial Germany at the beginning of the last century, the implication being that a strategic confrontation is inevitable and the United States had bes
Harry Reid: A true enigma
The never happy Harry Reid is whining about how too much time is being spent debating judicial nominees which is holding up other business:Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Thursday criticized the Senate’s lengthy debate on judicial nominees, stating that the defense authorization bill should be a priority."The Armed Services Committee reported it ou
Vigilantes or heros?
What do you do when your government won’t do what it should do and ignores an apparent threat to the safety of the nation?Well, the "Minuteman Project" has decided it should do something ... again.Volunteers in the civilian-led border watch group known as the “Minuteman Project” are called vigilantes, or worse, by their critics—patriots or heroes by their supporters. R
PBS: Earn your own way or go away
In a word: "good".A House subcommittee voted yesterday to sharply reduce the federal government’s financial support for public broadcasting, including eliminating taxpayer funds that help underwrite such popular children’s educational programs as "Sesame Street," "Reading Rainbow," "Arthur" and "Postcards From B
Another reason the Libertarian Party is going nowhere
If you think the various immigration reform programs—which are really amnesty proposals for illegal aliens—put forth by the Democrats and Republicans are daft, consider the proposal these members of the Libertarian Party:The audience found some areas of agreement with two San Diego area Libertarians who spoke Thursday night at the meeting of the People for the USA. However, the speak
The New Libertarian - Style Evolves...Again
So, after looking at your comments from the previous style post, I’ve gone back and made some major changes—again—to the layout of The New Libertarian. I’ve uploaded this new layout scheme, and it incorporates many of your comments. Once again, let me know what you think.
Is this terrorism?
Twilight Zone alert:The environmentalist group Greenpeace has gone on trial in a Copenhagen court as the first organization charged under new Danish anti-terror laws introduced after the attacks in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001.Greenpeace was charged under the new legislation last month following a protest by a group o
The Amtrack Business Model
Or, how to piddle away taxpayer money without even trying:Riders on Amtrak may think that the $3.25 hot dog and the $1.50 bag of chips in the cafe car are no bargain. Neither does Amtrak. It is spending just over $2 for each dollar of food it sells on its trains, according to auditors.But the financially beleaguered railroad said at
The Alternate Explanation for Dean’s Rehtoric
It’s provided by Anne Kornblut in the NY Times:Past chairmen of both parties have unleashed cutting remarks against their opponents: the former Democratic chairman Terry McAuliffe in particular was known for off-the-cuff slams about his Republican counterparts. And although Ken Mehlman, the current Republican chairman, is far more cautious than Dr. Dean, he also has th
Approval rating perspectives
You might look at this and say ...When it comes to public approval, President Bush and Congress are playing "how low can you go." Bush’s approval mark is 43 percent, while Congress checks in at 31 percent, an Associated Press-Ipsos poll found. Both are the lowest levels yet for the survey, started in December 20
Flacking for ’08
Maybe you’ve noticed the increase in stories about the "inequality of income distribution"? The NY Times ran a series this past week called "Class Matters" where it revived the quintessential leftist device of class warfare. And Jon touched on the Krugman treatment of the subject today.So, you ask, wh
The cost effectiveness of hybrid autos
Relatively speaking, the cost of gasoline is quite high. You’d think that now might be the perfect time to spring for the hybrid car you’ve been thinking about. With gasoline this high, it has to be a cost savings over a regular car doesn’t it?Well, no ... unless one of two criteria are met:He said that the study found, for example, that gas wou
Strict Constitutionalism
The other day, in the wake of the latest Supreme Court ruling on medical marijuana, I said that what I wanted to see was the following:Take us back to the days when women and men of character such as James Madison, understood that what was written in the Constitution in plain language was what it meant.Want a ’living Constitution’? Then amend it ... that was th
In today’s NYTime column, Paul Krugman returns to the "robber baron" complaint—believing, inexplicably, that having your own money taxed at a marginal rate of 35% is "stealing". Well, that’s hyperbole of the highest order, as Straight Dope noted last year....
VRWC - Version 2.0
The word that immediately came to mind when I read this was "laughable".The No. 2 Democrat in the Senate yesterday blamed "the right wing" and elements of the press "in service to it" for repeating Howard Dean’s remarks about Republicans and inflating them out of proportion. "I think we all understand what’s happening with you all," said
Starship Bloggers
I’m just about fed up with people who should know better pulling this kind of nonsense debate tactic..."most of...the 101st, who don’t e
The New Libertarian - Style Evolves
Over the last month or so, I’ve become dissatisfied with the page layout of The New Libertarian. So, after playing around with it, I’ve come up with a new layout. I’ve replaced the current month’s version with the new layout. Take a look, and let us know what you think in the comments to this post.
Which "Asian Century"?
There’s a lot of talk about how the next century will be the "Asian Century". That may very well be true. But, as Jim Hoagland writes in the Washington Post today, some of our assumptions about the Asian Century may be wrong. Chief among them, is that the Asian Century automatically means a century in which China is a dominant economic power. But, he asks, what ab
Neolibertarian Network
Check out the Neolibertarian Network Blog, where you’ll find we’ve made some additions. Now, in addition to the daily blog (for items of interest to Neolibertarians), you can also find a selection of articles that have been in previous editions of The New Libertarian. They’ll be linked at the top of the page, with the blog underneath. Click, read and pass them around.
Rhetorical Excesses
Peggy Noonan wonders about the way Democrats speak about Republicans, and what it means.[L]et’s do a thought experiment. Close your eyes and imagine this. President Bush is introduced at a great gathering in Topeka, Kan. It is the evening of June 9, 2005. Ruffles and flourishes, "Hail to the Chief," hearty applause from a packed ballroom. Mr. Bus
Foreign Aid
Two recent op-eds demonstrate what I think is the most naive—and ultimately destructive—aspect of liberalism. First, in the Washington Post, Marcela Sanchez wrote:For all the talk around the country of border enforcement, guest-worker programs, employer sanctions and driver’s license restrictions, the sad fact is that none of these "solutions" ad
Breaking the "Hyperbole Meter"
You know, my "hyperbole meter" gets pegged pretty regularly these days by the likes of Dean, Pelosi and Reid. But setting a new high (or low, depending on how you look at it) today is Charles Rangel in remarks made on a radio show interview. It seems that Rangel, in an effort to make the "Downing Street Memo" relevant, has characteristically resorted to the most tortured and inappro
Securing the Borders
OK, so, you’re guarding the US Canadian border, and you see this guy approaching you.Photo: APNext, let’s assume you didn’t automatically draw your weapon and point it at him, just on the general principle that crazed-looking whack jobs need guns pointed at them.
Revolutionary Originalism
This Washington Post Editorial gets it exactly wrong:THE SUPREME COURT’S decision Monday in the case of Gonzales v. Raich is a defeat for advocates of the medical use of marijuana, because the court ruled that federal drug laws can be enforced against patients even in states that would permit them to light up. But the true importance of Raich has nothing to do with dr
Can you make any sense of this?A 19-year-old accused of causing his teenage girlfriend to miscarry two fetuses by stepping on her stomach was convicted Monday of two counts of murder. Gerardo Flores received an automatic life sentence because prosecutors did not seek the death penalty, which was available under the state’s 2003 fetus protection law.Erica Basoria, 17, acknowl
Who needs the FDA
John Stossel wonders why the FDA has such iron-fisted control over the drug market.Why must we give big government so much power? Couldn’t FDA scrutiny be voluntary and advisory? Companies that want government blessing would go through the whole process and, after 10 or 15 years, get the FDA’s seal of approval. Those of us who are cautious would take
Are politicians liars, or are they just idiots? Or Both?
Judging from the quality of argument presented in the New York Times op/ed article by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the Times is apparently opening up its op/ed page to contributions from the developmentally disabled. Both senators are apparently rigid with fright over the nefarious practices of the heathen Chinee.Dismayed
The New Deal Legacy within the Supreme Court
The WSJ today points to the history of the beginning of the Supreme Court’s use of the commerce clause to regulate whatever it wishes, and to usurp the power of the states is to be found in the liberal wet dream of the New Deal. Its legacy has led to profound changes in the SC’s view of the Constitution and its application:Hence the 10th Amendment, whi
Signs of electoral trouble for Robert Byrd
Dick Morris is reporting that we may be seeing the last of the so-called "conscience of the Senate" if polls in West Virginia are right:He’s up for election in 2006, and the latest polling in West Virginia indicates that an attack of sanity and judgment may, at last, be hitting an electorate that has routinely elected the 87-year-old Byrd to the S
Fun With Kidney Stones
Almost a month ago, I blogged about getting a kidney stone. Spent a day in the hospital and a few days loaded up on medication to deal with the pain. Gradually, though, the pain receded, and I was told that the stone would pass in no time. Usually, it took just a few days. One month later...nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true. There’s still pain. Plenty of pain. It&rsqu
More Dems distance themselves from Dean
According to The Hill, all is not well in Dr. Dean’s world at the moment:House Democratic leaders yesterday distanced themselves from Howard Dean’s fiery rhetoric, saying that the outspoken Democratic Party chairman’s recent controversial statements do not speak for them.[...]House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) yesterday said Dean was no
A bang-up job at the TSA
Christopher Hitchens isn’t impressed by the crack profresssionals who run the airport screening line.The time elapsed between Sept. 11, 2001, and today’s writing (1,364 days) is only slightly less than the time between Pearl Harbor and the unconditional surrender of Japan (1,365 days). And airport security is still a silly farce that subjects the law-abiding to collective punishmen
PETA and Al-Jazeera
You have to appreciate the black humor in this:Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based Arab television network famous for airing images of beheadings and mutilated bodies, rejected a 30-second commercial from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals showing abuse of Australian sheep.Of course the reason it was rejected has nothing, really, to do with the violence visited o
What has free trade ever given us?
Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Paul L.E. Grieco answer that question for the Washington Post’s readers today.Using four different methods, we estimate that the combination of shrinking distances—thanks to container ships, telecommunications and other new technologies—and lower political barriers to international trade and
Universal health care
Ezekiel Emanuel and Victor R. Fuchs present their vision for universal health coverage in the Washington Monthly. Their plan is called Universal Health Care Vouchers (UHCV), and is explained in some detail in the rather lengthy excerpt.  
Law professor Jonathon Turley writes that PFC Lyndie England’s Court Martial follows a well-known military tradition: Scapegoating enlisted servicemen while officers go free. 
TiVo Tricks
If TiVo has changed the way you watch television, Jim Aspinwall offers a few ’tips and tweaks’ to do even more with your DVR. Give it a read. And note, tonight this old dog will be trying to learn some new tricks. A report later on whether the old saying really is true.
How to lose friends and influence nobody
At Pandagon, Amanda Marcotte writes:I already covered Rick Perry’s pathetic pandering to the American Taliban by signing a parental consent bill and a bill to get a ban for gay marriage on the ballot at a Christian school...How do you even respond to somebody this far gone? If you don’t believe that marriage should include same-sex couples, and do believe that parents sho
Jury Nullification
Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision effectively erased any pretext of state’s rights, at least with this court. The ruling concluded that the federal government had the right to overrule the will of the people of the states in the use of medical marijuana. As  
Pope Blasts Gay-Marriage and Abortion
I’m not sure why this is news. Wouldn’t it really be news if he didn’t?Pope Benedict, in his first clear pronouncement on gay marriages since his election, on Monday condemned same-sex unions as fake and expressions of "anarchic freedom" that threatened the future of the family.The Pope, who was elected in April, also
Kerry Military Records: Nothing substantially new
Per the Boston Globe, they’ve seen the now released "full record" and there’s nothing newsworthy.So the question remains, if there was nothing damaging in his military records, why did John Kerry continue to refuse to sign an SF 180 until it did him absolutely no good?The lack of any sub
No Doobage for you, Cancer-boy
The Supreme Court has spoken. Apparently, growing medical marijuana in your own back yard for personal, medical use, after having it prescribed by a doctor, can be prosecuted, because Congress can ban it under their Interstate Commerce powers. Just because it isn’t used in commerce,
Goodbye G3s
Apple Computers today announced that their computers really do suck, and everybody would be happier with Intel machines.Apple will begin moving its systems to Intel processors by June 2006 and will finish the transition by June 2007, Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, said in a keynote address at the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco.Job
Fascinating article by the authors of "Freakonomics" in the NYTimes yesterday. Apparently, our monkey cousins are sufficiently capable of rational thought to grasp the concept of currency...The essential idea was to give a monkey a dollar and see what it did with it. The currency Chen settled on was a silver disc, one inch in diameter, with a hole in the middle—’’kind of like Chinese
What does the Supreme Judicial Court of Sierra Leone have to say to us?
Profesor Kenneth Anderson has a fascinating article that reviews the Supreme Court’s decision in Roper v. Simmons, and criticizes the practice embodied in that decision of using foreign court rulings as precedent in American court cases.The central problem of that practice is expounded as follows:Justice Breyer and others on the Court may believe that
My side, right or wrong....
At QandO, we have occassional commenters who seem congenitally incapable of criticizing Republican misdeeds. Nixon’s impeachment? An unfortunate result of pressure by Democrats and the liberal media! US soldiers behaving illegally?’ll just give Democrats and the liberal media more ammunition! The US, oops, lets valuable dual-use materials in Iraq slip into unknown hands? It’s just proof that the liberal media was lying when they told you Iraq didn&rs
The immigration problem
Robert Samuelson presents some common sense on immigration.Americans rightly glorify our heritage of absorbing immigrants. Over time, they move into the economic, political and social mainstream; over time, they become American rather than whatever they were—even though immigrants themselves constantly refashion the American identity. But no society has a boundless capacity t
Death Knell of the Extremist Taliban?
A very interesting development in Afghanistan:A crowd of 600 Afghan clerics gathered in front of an historic mosque yesterday to strip the fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar of his claim to religious authority, in a ceremony that provided a significant boost to the presidency of Hamid Karzai.The
The Amnesty Backpeddle
After reading this, what is the first question you’d ask?The American head of Amnesty International admits his group did not pick the best analogy when it compared detainee conditions at Guantanamo Bay to the Soviet-era "gulag" forced-labor system."There are only about 70,000 in U.S. detention facilities, and to the best of our knowledge, they are not in
Coming Home to Roost
Howard Dean’s chickens are coming home to roost in terms of criticism from inside the Democrat party and among some of its leaders:Dean "doesn’t speak for me with that kind of rhetoric and I don’t think he speaks for the majority of Democrats," [Joseph] Biden, the top Dem
All is not well in Germany:In the wake of the Dutch and French votes against the European constitution, the Germans have decided they want to scrap the euro and bring back their mark.A people who once enthusiastically embraced Europe’s common currency now feel swindled by it.
Sunday Photoblogging
This weekend, The Lovely Christine and I took a photo safari to the shores of the exotic Salton Sea. The Salton Sea is California’s largest lake, and is a salt-water lake in the middle of the Imperial County desert. It’s about 35 miles long and 20 miles wide. We drove around the entire perimeter of the lake, stopping at various marinas and recreation areas.I expected the lake to be filled with beachgoers, boats, people enjoying water recrea
Border Patrol: Can we give you a ride to the bus station?
You’re an illegal immigrant from a country other than Mexico. You’re at the Rio Grande and you set out across the river into the US. Once you get across, what’s the first thing you do?You look for a US Border Patrol agent and surrender yourself.In the silvery-blue light of dusk, 20 Brazilians glided across the Rio Grande in rubber rafts propelled by Mexican
Missing Weapons Equipment
Aha! See, they had the stuff to make WMDs after all! U.N. satellite imagery experts have determined that material that could be used to make biological or chemical weapons and banned long-range missiles has been removed from 109 sites inIraq, U.N. weapons inspectors said in a report obtained Thursday.Let’s not get stupid, people.
Four fingers pointing back....
Media Matters thinks they’ve caught Rush Limbaugh being....well, I’m not sure. But they seem to think it’s worth exposing...Nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh declared that the Democratic Party’s plan to make Election Day a national holiday, outlined by Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean at the June 2 "Take Back America" conference, won’t "help them that m
Then and Now
Bill Clinton on Mark Felt:"I think Felt believed that there was a chance that this thing would be covered up," Clinton said, referring to the break-in and Nixon administration’s cover-up. "Ordinarily, I think a law enforcement official shouldn’t leak to the press because you should let criminal action take its course."But there was some reason to believe he was right. He always felt amb
The Direct Approach
Grandfather picture blogging.My youngest grandson, Devon at his brother Kaelan’s 5th Birthday party. Teaching table manners to an 18 month old is a lost cause. The cake’s on a plate in front of him, and by gosh he has two hands so:The grab 
Italy: Bring back the Lira
In another sign that all is not well in EU land, an Italian minister has called for bringing back, at least temporarily, the lira:Italy’s labor minister called for a referendum to see if Italians want to temporarily bring back the lira after widespread popular discontent over
The forgotten fight in Afghanistan
Interesting article in the NY Times International about the fight that continues in Afghanistan between US forces and the Taliban. It seems that the Taliban is supported not so much by the Afghanis, but by Pakistanis who keep refilling its ranks when fighters are killed. You’ll also note, if you read the article, that their treatment of Afghani villag
The New Libertarian
For those of you who haven’t downloaded it yet, check out the 3rd edition of The New Libertarian. Just click on the image to download this month’s magazine (PDF), which contains thought-provoking articles on... ...the reforms already happening in the UN, and those that need to happen......a great "transmission from an alternate universe" in which CBS learned their lesson. ...artic
Last Chance to Comment on the FEC
Today is the final day of public comment to the FEC about the regulation of the internet. Make your voice heard!Tell the FEC to keep their grubby paws off the Internets. Although, you have to say it a lot nicer than that.
Joo Janta 2000 Peril Sensitive Chromatic Sunglasses
Thomas Friedman writes that Old Europe’s people, who seem addicted to a more...uh..genteel work life, are headed for a rude awakening.It was extremely revealing traveling from Europe to India as French voters (and now Dutch ones) were rejecting the E.U. constitution - in one giant snub to President Jacques Chirac, European integration, immigration, Turkish membe
A couple of good reasons why Dean’s bad for the Democrats
At the annual Democrat spit-ball tournament yesterday, known as the "Take Back America" conference, Howard Dean let loose with what can charitably be called a line of BS:Dean sought to broaden the debate over Bush’s proposal to restructure Social Security to include the issue of private pensions, citing Labor Department statistics estimati
My passing brush with the MSM
A few weeks ago I got a nice email from Fox News saying they’d read my post about blogging and the FEC. I was requested to give my opinion on a couple of questions and I responded by email.Cool. How and when it would show up was anyone’s guess. But show up it did - yesterday.Blogge
A blinding flash of the obvious
Trudy Rubin of The Philadelphia Inquirer (via the San Diego Union Tribune) has taken all this time to come to the following stunning conclusion:A recent NBC/Wall St. Journal Poll found that 53 percent of Americans would like to see the number of troops in Iraq cut; 40 percent want to maintain the current number.Let me suggest a different way of loo
Slavery Apology necessary to do business in Philly
Will someone explain the reasoning behind this sort of thing?IN THE 1700s, Revolutionary War financier Robert Morris and another merchant purchased an indigo plantation in Mississippi, and with it, "a number of Negroes."In 1791, Morris and Thomas Willig used their profits from the slave trade to fund the establishment of the historic Bank of North Ameri
Dan Rather: Mein Kampf
In a rather remarkable interview on CNN’s Larry King Show, Dan Rather of "Rathergate" fame attempted to spin his side of the story. He begins by paraphrasing Carl Bernstein:We’ll say this, that—Carl Bernstein used the phrase, which is popular among journalists and I think is apt, that you get the best obtainable version of the truth
Krugman: "shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers"
I’ve waded briefly (but effectively!) into the fight over Daniel Okrent’s comments about Paul Krugman’s habit of "shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers". Now I think it’s time to do something more comprehensive. Herewith, a roundup of instances of Krugman "sh
Self-inflicted wounds
At a time when recruiting is at an all time low and the military is in crisis mode, it just doesn’t make sense to do things like this:An Army sergeant from Ohio who was wounded in Iraq and wanted to remain in the military as an openly gay soldier was officially discharged, according to an advocacy group.Sgt. Robert Stout, 23, was a
Hello Jacques, this is George ...
Approval numbers like this make Bush look postively loved:President Jacques Chirac’s popularity plunged to a record low following the May 29 defeat of the European Union constitution in a national referendum, a TNS-Sofres poll showed.Chirac’s approval rating fell 8 points to 24 percent this month, according to a survey of 1,000
Now, That would be an interesting telethon...
Ross Mackenzie finds the following quote from Sen John McCain (R-AZ) about his deep, burning desire to pcome president of the United States:You know what (the late former Arizona Congressman) Mo Udall would say: ’Presidential ambition is a disease that can only be cured by embalming fluid.’Heh. Were I a jaded, cynical observer, I would
And the prosecution rests
Jeff Goldstein, in his own unique way, distills the closing arguments in the Michael Jackson trial:Closing arguments in the Michael Jackson trial, abridgedProsecution: “He’s a forty-six year old man who sleeps with little boys. Drunk little boys. With porn next to the bed, and more in a secret room. His best friend is a monkey.”Defense: “Fine,
How to sink the lone Super-power in one easy lesson
One of the more interesting theories, found mostly on the left, is that it is dangerous to have only one super-power, even if it’s the United States. Now it would be foolish to argue that the theory doesn’t have some truth to it, especially if the lone super-power was a nation such as Red China or the former USSR. But it loses most of its appeal when the lone super-power happens to be a democratic nation, such as the US. The aspect of “danger” just doesn’t seem as
Cheap Credit
Hey, how, bot those interest rates, huh? 30-year fixed mortgages are at 5.7%. That’s one-tenth of a point lower than they were last year, before the fed began raising short term rates from 1% to 3%. Having esy acces to credit has really been a boon for the economy, right?Well, as Robert Samuelson writes, maybe not so much.
Blame Germany
Jane Galt notes:There is a rumour going around, based on a report by the German magazine Stern, that the German government’s new electoral strategy is to blame the euro for all the nation’s economic woes.Well, it wouldn’t be the first time Germany tried to pin the blame for poor economic performance elsewhere. Last year, it was " 
Happy Belated Memorial Day
With the torture and abuse discussion (ok, argument) taking up most of the time and effort here on monday, we forgot to mention Memorial Day and what it means. It obviously means honoring the dead who have given us, through their service and death, the opportunity to live in the best country in the world.But its also a good time to say thank you to the veterans of the armed services
When pigs fly
They can now. Well sorta if you consider catapulting them to be making them fly. And if you consider little plastic pigs to be pigs. And ... well let Tipper at Tipperography explain.
EU: Why the rebellion?
You have to wonder, after the French and Dutch no votes on the EU Constitution, what’s going on over there?The EU dream has been a constant for years and it was assumed, by most political observers, that for all intents and purposes, the sales job was over. All that needed to be done was cross the "t’s" and dot the "i’s". Obviously the political advisors were wrong.So why the rebellion and why now?  
The ’06 Senate Races: by the numbers
The Baseball Crank offers a unique look at the upcoming Senate races:There’s been a lot of talk, more than usual this early in the election cycle, about the 2006 Senate races and the odds of either party picking up seats and changing the dynamics in a Senate now perennially deadlocked over judicial nominations and other business. In fact, much partisan strategy over these battles will, as always, be shaped by the prospects for the next election - wh
Congressional Black Caucus: Show me the money!
Last week, Howard Dean admitted that for some time now, Democrats had taken the black constituency for granted:"African-Americans are annoyed with the Democratic Party because we ask them for their votes four weeks before the election instead of being in the community now and that’s a mistake I’m trying to fix," he said. "There&rs
The New Libertarian
It’s the 1st of June, and that means that the new edition of The New Libertarian is up!This month, we take a closer look at the United Nations, kicking it off with Prof. R. J. Rummel’s look at UN reforms. In other articles, Bruce McQuain d
Turner to CNN: No more pervert of the day
No matter his politics, I’ve always loved Ted Turner in a loony, nutball, "Capt. Outrageous" kind of way. It’s and Atlanta thing, you wouldn’t understand.Turner can always be counted on for a quote or two and he didn’t disappoint today:"I would like to see us to return to a little more inter
Number 97
Well, since no one else is gonna mention it, I might as well. Today, for the first time, QandO broke through number 100 on the TTLB Ecosystem. For, today, at least, the blog is a Playful Primate, coming in at #97.Also, according to, QandO has risen into the top 100,000 web sites in the world.
Sith Happens
Finally, my review of The Revenge of the Sith is done, and I can turn it over to you all for your perusal. Be advised that the review does contain minor spoilers. At least if you’ve been living under a rock since 1977, and don’t know anything about the story arc.So, if spoilers upset you, then just scroll down to the post below, where McQ presents a story about corruption in the US Border Patrol that appears to have been treated wit
Tell me this isn’t a leadership problem
In a report to Congress and the President, the US Office of Special Council reports that allegations of widespread kickbacks to Border Patrol agents first reported to the agency in 2000 were essentially ignored. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel, an independent agency created to protect government whistle-blowers, said in the report that the c
EU Constitution, Strike 2
The natives of my old stomping ground in the Netherlands, have voted on the EU Constitution. Or, more precisely, have voted against the constitution with a resounding "Nee".An exit poll broadcast by state-financed NOS television said the constitution failed by a vote of 63 percent to 37 percent, an even worse defeat than the 55 percent "no" vote in France’s referendum
Our Precious Little Darlings
Christina Hoff Summers says, enough already with this idea that our children are such delicate flowers.It seems that many adults today regard the children in their care as fragile hothouse flowers who require protection from even the remote possibility of frustration, disappointment or failure. The new solicitude goes far beyond blacklisting red
French EU Vote: Loony left to the rescue
David Carr of Samizdata thanks certain groups of French voters for voting down the EU Constitution noting that while they may have done so for the wrong reasons they ended up producing the right result:To all French crypto-communists, syndicalists, marxists, trotskyites, leninists, stalinists, national socialists, socialist nationalists, primitivists, Trade Union dinosaurs, stud
Democrats: Whither the middle class?
What was once the party of the "average Joe", the "little guy", the "blue collar worker" and the "working man" seems to be hemorrhaging these sorts of folks faster than it can sign them up.A new study has found that it appears the middle class has come to prefer the Republican party over the Democrats:A report released yesterday by Third Way says suppo
Social Security Poll
I hate to disappoint supporters and critics of the new poll on public support for Bush’s Social Security reform....Most likely voters continue to support President Bush’s prop
Electoral Fantasies
Terry Golway writes in the New York Observer that the Democrats seem oddly fixated on buying electoral snake oil. This time, the salesman is Berkely prof George Lakoff.Mr. Lakoff is a professor of linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, and were it not for the fact that this space demands 800 words, I would have been inclined to stop here, because what more
Bolton: Recess Apppointment?
NRO contends that given the Democrat shenanigans (or if you prefer, the contention that they acted in bad faith after getting their deal on the filibuster) on the Bolton nomination, that perhaps the President should do an end around and do a recess appointment of Bolton:In these circumstances, the best option is a recess appointment. John Bolton deserves to serve a
Bush Dynasty?
If the elder Bush gets his way:George Bush, the president’s father, would like to see another Bush in the White House someday, saying on Tuesday that he would want his son Jeb to run for president when the timing is right.Florida Governor Jeb Bush has repeatedly said he does not plan
The Neolibertarian Network
Things are shaping up nicely. We should release the latest edition of The New Libertarian a bit later today, so check back for the announcement...or simply sign up for a notification email here. In the meantime, if you haven’t read the first two editions, you can access them both—no password required!—here. I think you&rsq
Social Security: Take a lesson
A new poll concerning Social Security is out today and says that if explained in a way that voters understand the benefit of private accounts, they give the proposed change a large margin of support.Most likely voters continue to support President Bush’s proposal to let younger workers invest some of their Social Security payroll taxes through personal accounts,
Be careful what you wish for ...
House Democrats are finding that the "travel scandal" knife cuts both ways. Intent on derailing Tom Delay, the House Dems made his travel a focus of inquiry. But, it seems, that many of them have quite a number of unreported or unfiled travel reports linked to trips with special interests:Scrutiny of Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s travel has led to the belated disclo
The Globalization Game
Clyde Prestowitz should know better than to write stuff like this:To maintain global growth, the United States must consume and borrow ever more while foreign banks buy ever more US Treasuries so their producers can export ever more.America has long been ambivalent about this situation. Consumers love the low imp
Nader: Impeach Bush!
It’s as though Rip van Nader woke up from a long nap and then, not understanding he’d been asleep for years, offers his reasons for invoking the "I" word:The president and vice president have artfully dodged the central question: ’’Did the administration mislead us into war by manipulating and misstating intelligence c
Promoting Democracy
Lawrence Kaplan writes in The New Republic that, while the claims for Bush enthusiasts that he is single-handedly delivering democracy to the world, the simple fact is that without such a policy, there will be no pressure for democratization. As Kaplan puts it:There is a lesson here, and a reminder, for a nation chastened by the war in Iraq: When it comes
Who is Dominique Villepin?
For one thing, he’s the new Prime Minister of France (following the EU Constitution "non" vote debacle). But what can we expect now that he’s in that office? The BBC offers a little hint.In terms of "down memory lane":France’s new Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin, is best known for leading the charge against US policy in the run-up to the invasion
The Great Okrent/Krugman Debate of 2005
Paul Krugman responds to Daniel Okrent’s comment on Krugman’s "disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers". Some aspects of his response seem to have merit, while others are simply table-pounding rhetoric. Naturally, those " 
In case you missed it, Deep Throat is ...
... Mark Felt"I’m the guy they used to call Deep Throat," he told John D. O’Connor, the author of Vanity Fair’s exclusive that appears in its July issue.Felt, now 91 and living in Santa Rosa, Calif., reportedly gave O’Connor permission to disclose his identity.Meanwhile Woodward and Bernstein are still mum:Carl Bernstein, who with Bob Woodward broke the story as Wa
Torture: A Primer
In case my own rundown of the evidence was insufficient, please see this excellent and authoritative piece (by, among others, Phil Carter) at Slate. In great detail, they describe.... How and where torture and abuse has been authorized up and down the chain of command.T
It’s not all fuzzy kitties in ’06 for Dems
Recently, Jon postulated that 2006 might shape up to be a good year for the Democrats, election-wise. Maybe that’s so in the house, but as Ronald Brownstien notes in the Los Angeles Times, the Senate is a whole ’nother kettle of fish.
The McCain Myth
Brendan Miniter, of the WSJ, takes a look, and a shot, at the McCain myth. The emerging conventional wisdom seems to believe that to win a presidential election, one must run to the center as a moderate. We see Hillary Clinton’s turn toward the middle as proof of that as a perceived political truth. The McCain twist is to be a bit contrarian (one would assume to show an "independent streak") as wel
The Grim Truth about (Civilized) Warfare
Last November, Dale Franks wrote a post on the incredible demands we put on our troops in response to a then-current issue in the news. In light of the discussion on torture and the problems of war, I think his post is very relevant again. This is why the torture, the abuse, and the failures up and down the chain of command cannot be brooked...[By Dale Franks]You kno
More Picture Blogging
Some more pics from the Cherokee National Forest and environs:Tennessee Farm - just a beautiful settingLoved the sunlight on the
Situational Ethics and the argument for torture
Last week I talked with Dale, and subsequently with Jon, after they’d again expressed their opinions about torture and abuse of prisoners in our custody by members of the US military. I believe my question was, after a quick chuckle, “are you boys having fun?”As usual, the mention of torture and abuse by members of our military brought responses from both sides of the political spectrum, but particularly from those who lean to the right. Many of the c
The Bush Doctrine: Hidden on the Internet
Atrios demonstrates his deep, deep lack of understanding of current US foreign policy....has anyone else noticed that our media allowed the "Bush Doctrine" to magically evolve from "pre-emptive war against anyone who might want to hurt us" to "spreading freedom and democracy throughout the world" without blinking?Actually, both components are well-ensconced within the
Sunday Photoblogging
The Lovely Christine and I took the afternoon off for a photo Safari in the local area around our house. Here’s a couple of shots from the day. The shots below are linked to the high-res originals. And I do mean high-res. The high-res photos are JPGs of the 8-megapixel originals, so, be advised.B
Torture: The Case Against, and Prescription for.....
Recently, it was suggested that I lay out the actual case for widespread torture, and present a solution to it. That’s a good idea, though I find that Dale Franks largely beat me to it. Still, I want to be a bit more explicit, so I’ll start by repeating what Dale wrote because it’s damned well worth repeating. Then I’ll give some specifics:
France says ’non’ to EU Constitution
You knew it was coming and it has. In a crushing repudiation of Jacques Chriac French voters have rejected the EU Constitution:France overwhelmingly rejected the European Union’s constitution in a referendum on Sunday, pollsters’ projections showed, plunging the EU into crisis and dealing a possibly fatal blow to a pact designed to make it run smo
Danica Patrick Takes 4th in the Indy 500
Gutsy perfromance, became the first woman to lead the Indy 500 and led into the last 8 laps of the race. Made a couple of rookie mistakes during the race but proved to all she belonged on the track. Her team took a chance and tried to make it on remaining fuel. She led the pack for a while, but fuel pressure began to tell (she was starving out in the turns) and she ended the race in fourth, in a yellow and out of fuel on the last lap.Great race, she ave
US and RAF bombing raids on Iraq
It’s remarkable what passes for news these days:THE RAF and US aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war, new evidence has shown.This part—"The RAF and US aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq in 2002"—is co
UPI reports King Fahd of Saudi Arabia Dead according to ’reliable sources’
Sounds suspiciously like the Yasser Arafat "he’s alive, he’s dead, he’s alive" tango. Per UPI:Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May. 27 (UPI)—Reliable sources in the Saudi capital Riyadh said Friday King Fahd is dead, reports the Saudi Institute.In fact, according to these ’reliable sources’, the old boy’s been dead since Wedne
Punishing Chirac: Why the French will Vote ’No’
CNN European Political Editor Robin Oakley gives us a little insight as to all the particulars wrapped up in the looming EU Consititutional vote in France. It’s not all about the Constitution. As Oakley points out, many times referrendums like this end up not being about the question asked, but instead about those asking the question. It appears, in France, Chirac is
Picture Blogging
From the road, in and around the Cherokee National Forest in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina:Near Twentynine, TNHave you driven a</td>
          <td class= 
Danica Patrick: Can she take the Indy 500?
She’s not the first woman to race in the Indy 500 and will probably not be the last, but she may be the first to have a real chance at winning it. Janet Guthrie, the first woman to qualify for the Indy 500 had this to say about the difference for Patrick:"She’s the
Stay Tuned
I am taking a vacation day, to stretch out the long Memorial Day weekend. As part of the day’s relaxation, chris and I will be going out this afternoon to catch a matinee of the new Star Wars movie.I will, of course, be writing a review of the movie, as I did with Episode I and Episode II. So keep watching this space.
Can we use it till we need glasses?
Viagra may cause blindness?Oh, how nice:U.S. health regulators on Friday said they have received more than 40 reports of a type of blindness in men taking impotence drugs, mostly involving Pfizer Inc.’s Viagra.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it has received about 38 reports of the rare
When is a ’non’ a ’oui’?
When France’s Jacques Chirac wants his political way:President Chirac of France is preparing to throw Europe into confusion and put Britain on the spot by backing moves to keep the European constitution alive if it is rejected in Sunday’s referendum.French diplomats say that M Chirac is expected to urge other countries to proceed with ratification be
Republicans: Be afraid, be very afraid
Yes its early. Yes its a poll. Yes, yes, yes. But it’s still noteworthy:For the first time, a majority of Americans say they are likely to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton if she runs for president in 2008, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday. Fifty-three percent of poll respondents say they’d probably
UK: Ban those long pointy thingies
You know, knives. In the ultimate appeal to the Nanny-state, the editorial board of the British Medical Journal is calling for knife reform in the UK. Its those sharp points that have them concerned:The authors of an editorial in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal have called for knife reform. The editorial, "Reducing knife crime: We need to ban the sale of long, p
Freedom of Expression, unless you’re in High School
Buy ’em books, send ’em to school and what do they do? They learn about freedom of expression:Posters that depicted President Bush with a Groucho Marx-style mustache and cigar were ordered torn down at a high school after a student complained.Theater students, who had created the posters to advertise a satirical play, co
Meanwhile the war against Shiites expands beyond Iraq’s borders
Murder and mayhem as peace loving members of Islam strike in Pakistan:A suicide bomber set off explosives Friday in the midst of Shiite Muslims reciting the Koran, killing at least 20 and wounding dozens gathered for a religious festival at a shrine near the capital. The motive was not immediately clear, but there are frequent sectarian
Fiddling while Rome Burns ....
The WSJ comes out swinging, editorially, at the do-nothing 109th Congress specifically and the Congressional Republicans in general:Americans have learned to expect little from Congress, and by that standard the 109th version, controlled by Republicans, has met expectations. On the other hand, anyone who hoped that the GOP would make something of its historic governing opportunity is bound to
Meanwhile, the Koran is unflushed ... again
In the toilet. Out of the toilet. Back in. Now back out:The Guantanamo detainee who told an FBI agent in 2002 that U.S. personnel there had flushed a Koran in a toilet retracted his allegation when questioned this month by military investigators, the Pentagon said on Thursday."We’ve gone back to t
By what right ...
Really, I’d like to know. Just as importantly, by what law?An Indianapolis father is appealing a Marion County judge’s unusual order that prohibits him and his ex-wife from exposing their child to "non-mainstream religious beliefs and rituals."The parents practice Wicca, a contemporary pagan religion that empha
So much for "Comity"
It only took 72 hours for the Senate’s newfound comity and bipartisanship to break down, resulting in a filibuster on the nomination of John Bolton to the UN as ambassador.Democrats say that they aren’t filibustering. They just are voting against cloture, which is, like, totally different. Besides, the deal was on judicial nominees, anyway, so go suck it.<
Cartoon Outrage III
So, now I’m wondering, is it ever acceptable to criticize the torture and murders that have been committed by our military personnel? Or is that just unfairly tarring the military? Do our brave troops just get a pass from such criticisms?Would you extend the same pass to police officers, who might sweep you up—inadvertantly, of course—in a dragnet and then beat a "confession" out you in an alley while you "resist arrest"?
Good Question
Max Boot asks:At a time when the Army and Marine Corps are struggling to fill their ranks, many conservatives are determined to limit the ability of women and gays to contribute to the war effort. Are they more concerned with winning culture wars at home or winning the war on terrorism abroad?15-month e
American "Gulag"
Amnesty International has declared the US treatment of enemy combatants to be the "gulag of our times".In response, the Washington Post gets it exactly right, saying:Like Amnesty, we, too, have written extensively about U.S. prisoner abuse at
European Disenchantment with the EU
Anatole Kaletsky writes that the European electorate’s growing dissatisfaction with the new EU constitution—including what is looking to be a probable French "non" in a few days—may have much more to do with economic collapse than opposition to the idea of a united Europe.The people of France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands may be angr
Recruiting Dilemma
The US Army is facing a recruiting crisis. New enlistments are down sharply, so much so that the Army’s minimum enlistment has now been reduced to 15 months, the lowest enlistment time in history. Robert Novak writes that former Army Lt. Col. Charles Krohn is saying the problem has serious strategic implications."Consider the implications of being unable to f
Iran Agrees to Stop pursuing Nukes
Apparently, if one is to believe the LA Times, Iran has agreed with the European powers (Britain, France and Germany) with which it was negotiating, to stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons for certain incentives and aid in economic, technical, security and politial areas."Proposals were made by both sides," said Hassan Rowhani, Iran’s chief nuclear ne
"Eurarabia" and Freedom of Expression
The reason I used the term "Eurabia" for Europe is because that’s a term writer and journalist Oriana Fallaci has used to describe the evolving Europe, a continent which is slowly becoming Islamic.How bad has it gotten? Well the cradle of the Enlightenment is now taking people to trial because they may have offended a religion. Seriously:A
Cartoon Outrage II
As expected, posting the cartoon yesterday provoked arguments from the usual suspects who, for whatever reason, seem entirely uninterested in the fact that our troops are killing prisoners in their custody. For those who are counting, the death toll currently looks like this.Not that you care.In brief, the situation, as it has develo
86’d in ’06: why the next election might be the Democrats ’94
I wouldn’t be too confident about ’06 if I were Ken Mehlman. It seems the public is ready for a regime change...or at least some new faces on Capitol Hill. In a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll taken May 20-22, people were asked: "Do you think the country would be better off if the Republicans controlled Congress, or if the Democrats controlled Congress?"Republicans: 36%—Democ
The Daily Howler wants examples, the Daily Howler gets examples
I find this very frustrating...What a truly amazing flyweight is departed Times public editor Daniel Okrent! ... Okrent goes after his troubling poster boy hard—but he doesn’t cite a single specific example of the gentleman’s troubling conduct! ... According to the exercised editor, Krugman “has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers.” Beyond that, Krugman is
Indictment for Wilbanks
Jennifer Wilbanks, the "runaway bride" who got cold feet and secretly ran off to Vegas, launching a massive nationwide manhunt, has been indicted by a Georgia grand jury. She faces up to 5 years in prison if convicted on the felony charge of making false statements.Legal analysts say that the consequences for Ms. Wilbanks might have been worse. Fortunately for her, though,
Owen Confirmed
Dangerous right-wing extremist Priscilla Owen has been confirmed by a vote of 56-43 in the Senate, after a brief confirmation period that lasted only four years. Immediately after the confirmation, Owen announced her retirement from the bench due to age.
The last gasp of Conservatism?
Howard Fineman wonders if the Bush Presidency will be the high water mark of conservatism.American public life moves in cycles. A generation ago, Lyndon Johnson trounced Barry Goldwater. But Goldwater’s 1964 crusade unleashed energy and ideas that inspired the New Right-Republican movement, which eventually reached its zenith in George W. Bush. He unified the libertarian, rel
The Housing Bubble
The Angry Bear reports:A recent report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that 23% of all homes nationwide were bought by investors. Another 13% of homes were purchased as second homes. In Miami, it was reported that 85% of "all condominium sales in the downtown Miami market are accounted for by investors and speculators". This is clear evidence of speculation.
Cartoon Outrage
Michelle Malkin is peeved.Oh yeah, there it’s poisonous dose from Pulitzer Prize-winning liberal cartoonist David Horsey at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:Horsey Cartoon 
President RIce?
US News reports that SecState Condoleeza Rice might be interested in The Top Job.Political associates of Secretary of State Condi Rice are stirring the 2008 presidential pot on her behalf. While she takes the high road, they’re pushing her name out there. "She definitely wants to be president," said one. But, the friend added, R
Lightsaber injuries on the rise
Repeat after me: Lightsabers are not real. The technology to make them does not exist. You cannot create them with common household objects. Above all, do not try to make lightsabers by filling fluorescent tubes with gasoline. Bad things will happen.
Notes on the Filibuster Deal
Reaction is mixed. The editors of the Los Angeles Times don’t like it.As this page has argued, the filibuster is essentially a reactionary tool that unduly empowers obstructionist minorities. Due to its disproportional representation — California (population 36 million) and Delaware (populatio
Non-nuclear fallout
Dan Balz of the Washington Post provides a succinct summary of the result of last night’s Senate compromise on the filibuster:The deal brings mixed results for President Bush. It means that at least three of the nominees who have been blocked for years will make it to the appellate courts, while at least two will not. Beyond that, without
Libertarian Revolutionaries
Reader—and new blogger—David Aitken directs me to this troubling passage in the Libertarian Party platform...Until a global triumph for liberty has been achieved, we support both political and revolutionary actions by individuals and groups against governments that violate rights.The LP supports "rev
Senate Reaches Deal on Judges
The Senate has reached a deal that will avert the nuclear option, at least for now.Under the deal, the Democrats have agreed not to filibuster the nominations of Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen, and Bill Pryor. Oddly enough, this leaves in limbo the nominations of Henry Saad and William Myers.It seems to me that this belies the DNC talking points on these judge
India: Death and free trade
Chez Roberts sends along" target="new">an article which is quite interesting (and remarkable) to read. It seems that the Christian Aid charity has concluded that the 4,000 suicides in India’s Andhra Pradesh state are the result of policies inspired by the IMF and World Bank as well as the UK’s Department for International Development (referred to as “Dfid”). 
"To the Mattresses"
It looks like it’s gonna be a long day in the Senate today.Photo: AP Photo/Dennis CookCapitol staffers are setting up the beds in the senate cloakrooms and offices. It looks like the filibuster fight is now on.
Schroeder’s Social Democrats crushed in state elections
Gerhard Schroeder got his political heinie spanked yesterday (ok, ok I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t help myself) in state elections. What made it particularly notable was his defeat in North Rhine-Westphalia, a state which has been friendly to Schroeder’s party for over 40 years. Critics point to his failure in that state as representative of the growing problem the Social De
As part of a class I’m taking, I was required to read a hideous little book, Who Moved My Cheese, by Spencer Johnson and Kenneth H. Blanchard. To be perfectly honest, I thought this book was perhaps the most utterly banal piece of writing it has ever been my misfortune to read. The framing story is about 4 college friends who get back together at a reunion to talk about thei
In praise of "Sweat shops"
In certain spheres, the common wisdom states that any factory located in an under developed country is there simply to exploit the workers and is of little or no benefit to the region or the people. Not true. And Barbie is here to help with an example. Barbie says "Economic growth isn’t so hard to understand" (but math still is):"Ku Tsue
Bob Herbert
I don’t use the word often, but in his latest column Bob Herbert is just dishonest. The crux of his argument is this:The insurgency in Iraq appeared to take Mr. Rumsfeld completely by surprise. He expected to win the war in a walk. Or, perhaps, a strut. [...] A senior American officer, quoted last week in The Times, said that while he sti
Is it a health care problem or a market problem?
Do we really have a health "insurance" crisis.No, and as Wayne Dunn points out, for the same reason we don’t have a car insurance crisis:Just imagine if politicians res
Europe’s failing social model
One of the constant refrains from the left in this country is that we ought to look to Europe as a model for the US. The basic premise is that government intervention at most levels of our lives is appropriate since such intervention "guarantees" a certain level of existence for all. In essenence its socialism with democratic institutions (or Social Democracy), in which the government extends cradle to grave assurances of a minimum lifestyle.That’
The Neolibertarian Blog
Well, it’s still being built—sidebars, blogrolls and various other things are still missing—but I’ve begun the next phase of the Neolibertarian Network: The Neolibertarian BlogThe Neolibertarian Blog is a link-oriented blog, dedicated to linking Neolibertarian ideas, and ideas of importance to Neolibertarians....and, naturally, other stuff of interest. Consider it an Instapundit for the Neo
Your tax dollars at work
Not that this should particularly surprise anyone:Scores of convicted rapists and other high-risk sex offenders in New York have been getting Viagra paid by Medicaid for the last five years, the state’s comptroller said Sunday.Audits by Comptroller Alan Hevesi’s office showed that between January 2000 and March 2005, 198 sex offenders in New York received
Road (picture) Blogging
Click on the pictures below for a high-res version:A field near Cleveland, TNHaiwassee, GA 
The New Libertarian
A reminder: Both the first and second editions of The New Libertarian are now available for download without the password. Of course, we’d love for you to sign up to get an email notification of new editions, but we hope you’ll read the first two editions. Indeed, I find it more enjoyable to read a print out of the magazines.Vol. 1, Issue 1: What Is Neolibertarianism?<
Paul Krugman
While I have some serious problems with his hyperpartisanship and tendentious way with facts in his post-2001 punditry, I’ve always believed that Paul Krugman was an enormously capable economist, whose politics were generally center-left. I may have to amend that assumption. While at a seminar in Bangkok on Thailand in the global economy, Paul Krugman made the following statemen
You might want to put a little ice on that ...
I guess today is environmental day. And of course, as mentioned below, that means global warming day. That is the cause of all things bad. For instance the ice is melting in Antarctica:Increased snowfall over a large area of Antarctica is thickening the ice sheet and slowing the rise in sea level caused by melting ice.A satellite survey shows that between 1992 and 2003, the East Antar
Land Rover killing Peruvians
Just as on the political side "George Bush" is the answer to the question "what’s wrong with the world" for a significant portion of the population, on the issue of the environment, global warming fills that role. If its a problem, it must be because of global warming. And if there’s global warming, it must be because of human brings this  
Hitting them hard
Eleven million minus sixty is what? A very small first step:Sixty illegal immigrants employed as contract workers at industrial plants - including refineries, power plants and an air cargo facility - were arrested as possible threats to homeland security, officials announced Friday.The suspects "had access to sensitive critical infrastructure locations
The coming "religious" battle
You can almost smell it brewing, especially after the 2004 election. Religion has become a hot button item for both the left and right. But instead of the secularists of the left vs. the “religious right”, the left has again discovered its religion and is learning how to use it in the political arena. It will emerge in the ’06 elections and be huge in the ’08 presidential elections. The warming up has begun.An example of the sort of warfare we can expect to see was highlighted by
More Free Wallpapers
Once again, it’s time to offer some more free Desktop wallpaper for your computer. All the pictures are taken from my personal photography. 
Terrorist or "Freedom Fighter?"
You know the saying: "One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter." Depending on ideology and citizenship, the terms are relative.We’ve had this discussion many times. Arguments over who is or isn’t a terrorist have raged. So it’s with interest that I cite this story:Ever since it was learned that
The Baud Squad
In an attempt to sway public opinion on the internet, China has developed a novel approach (completely in line with a totalitarian regime which has been forced to pay some lip-service to human rights and thus can’t be crassly overt in this undertaking) to do so:China has formed a special force of undercover online commentators to try to sway public opinion on controversial issues on the Inte
Straight Talk
Thomas Friedman writes we should be dealing with the Arab World with some straight talk.The fact that the White House spokesman Scott McClellan spent part of his briefing on Tuesday excoriating Newsweek - and telling its editors that they had a responsibility to "help repair the damage" to America’s standing in the Arab-Muslim world - while not offering a single
Judge Priscilla Owens
Judge Owens is a "radical, activist", says the Center for American Progress. But I think they need a better hook than this...According to Texas Watch, since her election to Texas’s top court in 1994, Owen has sided with business interests over the victims in every single one of 175 cases in which the court decided against consumers. In the 68 cases in which the court ruled in fav
Santorum, Hitler and little history
First, it was Senator Byrd comparing the end of judicial filibusters to Hitler...unfavorably. Now, Senator Santorum steps up to the Stupid Plate...I mean, imagine, the rule has been in place for 214 years that this is the way we confirm judges. Broken by the other side two years ago, and the audacity of some memb
Dean becoming a pariah?
That’s certainly what the NY Post is suggesting. The Post reminds us of a recent Dean uttering and juxtaposes it with an earlier one:Last week, Dean told the Massachusetts Democratic state convention, "I think Tom DeLay ought to go back to Houston, where he can serve his jail sentence."Pretty strong stuff — even allowing for political hyperbole. After all, DeLay hasn’t even been
Brand Clinton
Greg Sargent has an interesting article in “The Nation” in which he discusses the branding of Hillary Clinton. He starts with outlining the two most common “Hillary narratives” available, and depending on which side of the political spectrum you sit, both are mostly accepted as gospel:The first (courtesy of Dick Morris and company) is that Clinton has given herself a moderate makeover designe
Door to the past?
For the bizarre story of the day, maybe this will unlock a few Doors:Here’s news that will light the fire of Jim Morrison fans: A filmmaker claims The Doors’ frontman is alive and raising horses on a ranch in southern Oregon.Rodeo photographer Gerald Pitts insists Morrison didn’t die in July of 1971 and he has current photographs and film footage of the rocker to prove it.Pitt
The List of reality rules every kid should hear at least once
I’ll save it for my 4 grandson’s when they become the appropriate age and I begin to hear the usual noises. You could call it the 14 rules of reality. Sort of a transitional list that takes you from a self-indulgent, me-centered kid into adulthood. Of course for those steeped in pseudo self-esteem, these rules could come as a rather rude shock. Via Boortz who got them from Charles J. Sykes book
Step two
Step two is what the Iraqi prime minister ask of Syria today:Iraq’s prime minister called on Syria (search) on Thursday to block the infiltration of foreign fighters trying to start a civil war.Obviously an important step, but best done after step one:Who are the
America’s FInest City II
Last week, I wrote about the hideous scandal with San Diego city councilmen and the "no-touch" rule in what we’ll euphemistically call "Gentlemen’s Clubs". That was, of course, a follow up to the hideous mayoral election. Well, now, it appears the problems that led to the mayoral election debacle have
Outrage, or the lack of it
Jeff Jacoby is outraged! Outraged, I tell you!The Muslim riots should have been met by outrage and condemnation. From every part of the civilized world should have come denunciations of those who would react to the supposed destruction of a book with brutal threats and the slaughter of 17 innocent people. But the chorus of
America’s unbounded optimism
Some intereresting results to a recent survey:82 percent of Americans ages 18 to 24 feel optimistic about their futures; 82 percent of those ages 25 to 44 do so as well; and 75 percent of those ages 45 to 64 and 64 percent of those 65 or older agree. Only 15 percent to 22 percent of the respondents say they have grown more pessimistic over the past five years.Heh ... my guess is
No Principle, only Power
This will end badly...The Senate today renewed its intense partisan struggle over the fate of stalled federal court nominees and the governance of the institution itself as the two parties locked in a debate over the right of the minority to prevent votes on a president’s judicial candidates.Make no mistake, this didn
The American Dream
I wasn’t able to get to this yesterday due to time constraints, but Alan Reynolds’ Wall Street Journal piece requires a closer look.This last week, the subject of income distribution has been featured in the press, and the conclusions being made are...questionble.Major newspapers are in the throes of Mobility Mania: who "makes i
Legal Threats to Blogs
Glenn Reynolds, on his MSNBC blog, points out that bloggers might see themselves subjected to "dirty tricks" as a result of their blogging. Hugh Hewitt takes it a step further, weighing in, as a Con Law professor is wont to do, on the First Amendment implications, and the tortious liability blogers might face. His comments are par
The New Libertarian - Open Source Version
Pursuant to our editorial decision to be the anti-New York Times in terms of the openness of our editorial content, we are now offering The New Libertarian to all comers. To see the past issues, the links are as follows:Vol. 1, Issue 1: What Is Neolibertarianism?Vol. 1, Issue 2: Why Freedom?So, now, everyone has access to the c
OK, I know several of you are gonna want to flame me, but...
Anne Applebaum has it exactly right in today’s Washington Post.Now, it is possible that no interrogator at Guantanamo Bay ever flushed pages of the Koran down the toilet, as the now-retracted Newsweek story reported—although several former Guantanamo detainees have alleged just that. It is also possible that Newsweek repo
The New Libertarian
Having had some time to evaluate things, we’ve reached a conclusion: from here on, all editions of The New Libertarian will be available as a simple download. No need for a password, etc. We’ll (soon) do the reverse engineering necessary to make available the first two editions of TNL, too. Of course, if you sign up with your email, you’ll get the notice as soon as new editions go up, so I’d still encourage you to sign up unde
"Dogs and Cats Sleeping Together"
In yet another sign of the Apocalypse, the editors of the Los Angeles Times are calling for Senate Majority Leader Dr. Bill Frist (R-TN) to kill judicial filibusters. In fact, they’re calling for the filibuster to be eliminated completely.The filibuster is an inherently reactionary instrument m
What to do about Uzbekhistan?
Lee Harris has a very thoughtful piece about Uzbekistan in TechCentralStation today.If the Bush administration has failed to denounce the massacre in Uzbekistan, it is not because Bush and his advisors are hypocrites, but because the Uzbek uprising has offered a profound challenge to the administration’s policy of bringing democracy to Muslim societies, such as Uzbekistan.
The Colonial Office
Oh, sure, we won’t call it The Colonial Office, but that’s what it is. The Defense Science Board is calling for it in a new study, noting that since the end of the Cold War, the US Military has been engaged in stabilization or reconstruction missions every 18-24 months.The Defense Science Board study tracks arguments mad
And, while we’re on the subject of Koran-flushing...
Kathleen Parker makes an interesting point in her column today:First, we all can agree that flushing a Koran down a toilet, if physically possible, would be both insensitive and rude, though Westerners generally have a higher tolerance threshold for such offenses. Put it this way: You could flush a Bible down the
Cognitive Dissonance
Something odd strikes me about today’s column from Thomas Friedman in the New York Times.Mr. Friedman contrasts the huge outrage in the Muslim world over the now-retracted Newsweek story about Koran-flushing at Gitmo, with the singular lack of outrage at Muslims killing Muslims.It is hard not to notice two contrasting stories that h
Real Ethical Reform
Via Oliver, I see the Democrats are proposing new ethical standards.* Ban Members from accepting any gifts from lobbyists. * Ban
Frist prepares for Senate showdown
Bill Frist, in an op/ed piece in USA Today says:It is time to vote. As Senate majority leader, I have tried for more than two years to find common ground with my Democrat colleagues. I have offered to guarantee as many as 100 hours of debate for every judicial nominee, far more than has ever been necessary for any nominee in the past. I have offered to guarantee that no nominee ever bec
In case you were wondering
The stat for appellate court nominees approved by each of the last number of presidents is as follows:The following list shows the percentages of presidential appellate court nominees who were eventually confirmed by the Senate: Harry Truman 100% Dwight Eisenhower 92.3% John Kennedy 77.3% Lyndon Johnson 96.2% Richar
New York Times to charge for Op-Eds
This is gonna leave a mark:The New York Times announced today that it will start charging for some online content, beginning in September. The new, premium level of membership will be called TimesSelect, and participants will have exclusive access to Op-Ed and news columnists on, easy and in-depth access to the paper’s online archives, and early acc
One small step for womankind
As many experts have said, reform, while necessary, will come slowly in the Middle East. A good example of that is found in Kuwait:Parliament extended political rights to Kuwaiti women Monday, but religious fundamentalists who opposed women’s suffrage succeeded in attaching a clause requiring future female politicians and voters to abide by Islamic law.
Newsweek retracts Koran story
Well, well ..."Based on what we know now, we are retracting our original story that an internal military investigation had uncovered Koran abuse at Guantanamo Bay," Newsweek Editor Mark Whitaker said in a statement, a day after apologizing for the report.Now in my book, a retraction is a fairly final journalistic act. Its the big bomb. It means "we
How does Europe Love the French ...
... let me count the ways.An interesting survey reveals how loved the French are by other Europeans:They are crazy drivers, strangers to customer service, obsessed by sex and food and devoid of a sense of humour.But it doesn’t stop there, boasting a breakdown, nation by nation, of what in the French irritates them.
Playing at politics ...
You have to wonder what’s going through Bill Frist’s mind right now as he contemplates a vote on the judicial filibuster:Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) speaks out against plans to close the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard during a rally held at the shipyard in Kittery, Maine, May 16, 2005.Support for the nuclear option. Shipyard. Support
Speaking of holes ...
... guess who just emerged from his?Anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr came out of hiding Monday for the first time since his fighters clashed with American forces in August, delivering a fiery speech demanding that coalition forces leave Iraq and that Saddam Hussein be punished.[...]"I demand several things, including punishing Saddam and calling on the Iraqi government, religious mov
Clark on, well, everything
On the base closings:Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark said Saturday that the Pentagon’s plan to close military bases around the country and reorganize troops will isolate the military from the American people and the rest of the world.Clark said the plan to pull U.S. forces back home from abroad and centralize bases takes jobs away from smaller towns.Ah, got it. Per
Blog of the Year!
John Hinderaker at Powerline writes of Frank Rich:The New York Times’ Frank Rich isn’t the country’s worst columnist—that distinction belongs to Paul Krugman—but he may be the weirdest. Rich is a former drama critic who, for reasons no one remembers, was given a political column by the Times some years ago.A drama critic? Given a political column? Ye gods, no! Anythi
Cultural Barriers
Sometimes, Japanese culture is just completely impenetrable to outsiders. Take this for example. It’s a toy that is basically Russian Roulette for kids.I mean, what is going through your mind to even think of a toy like this?(H/T:  
Cold War II
Robert Kagan writes that any hope we have of "manging" China’s ascent from Third World despotism to First World Democracy is probably futile. Two cases in point are the rise of Japan, which led to two sets of war, one with China and Russia at the beginning of the 20th Century, and with the US in 1941. The Rise of Germany, and Europe’s reaction to it, was Similar, leadi
German Spam Update
From Robert MacMillan at WaPo:The technological details come courtesy of Australian IT reporter Chris Jenkins: "A spokeswoman for e-mail filtering group Message Labs said the e-mails had been propagated by the ’Sober.q’ variant of the Sober worm, the first generation of which appeared in 2003." Jenkins reported that the people who mounted the camp
Is this the week for going "Nuclear"?
The Senate’s Majority Leader, Dr. Bill Frist, (R-TN)writes that, very soon, the judicial filibuster issue will come to a head in the Senate.Currently, the schedule for voting is to do the Highway Bill, the Bolton nomination, then bring the judicial filibuster to a head with the Priscilla Owen nomination. If that schedule holds true, then we might see the Owen nomination come up b
What are the insurgents thinking?
No one seems to know the answer to that question. And, as James Bennet reports in the New York Times. if there is an answer to that question, it’s not immediately apparent from insurgent operations.The insurgents in Iraq are showing little interest in winning hearts and minds among the majority of Iraqis, in building international legitimacy, or in articulating a governing prog
Europe’s Death Spiral
Brian Carney asks a fundamental question about the "European Model" of economic...well, I was gonna say "economic growth", but clearly, that would be the wrong term.Given that Europe’s streak of economic underperformance can now be measured in decades, perhaps a better question to ask is: Why does anyone think that a system of generous welfare benefits, high taxes and harsh restricti
Newsweek and a Curveball
Jonah Goldberg @ The CornerSomething tells me that if the White House made a mistake which resulted in riots, deaths, etc there’d be a just a smidgen more outrage than we’ll hear about this.Sweet. Merciful. Crap. Yeah, because the White House has never relied on the testimony of a single source as the basis of erroneous information that
Passing the test ... now more important than actually demonstrating that you’ve learned anything ... at least in the UK:Skool xams definitly aint what they used to be. Concern about the nation’s spelling abilities may have spawned a best-selling book and a television series, but for today’s pupils, ignorance of "i before e except after c" is n
We’re kind of proud of this ....
HundredPercenter has issued a study of blog traffic for the first quarter of ’05 (Jan - Mar) of 100 blogs (including QandO) and has found a healthy blogsophere with overall traffic up 13.7%. But what was really rewarding was to see this:BIGGEST % INCREASE IN TRAFFIC(MINIMUM 100,000 VISITORS) 1. MICHELLE MALKIN (417%) 2. BYRON CRAWFORD (257%) 3. REDSTATE
Newsweek: False but Plausible (no, really)
Andrew Sullivan is taking some heat for  
Dean does it again
Howard Dean seems to never know quite where the line is:Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Party, said yesterday that the US House majority leader, Tom DeLay, ’’ought to go back to Houston where he can serve his jail sentence," referring to allegations of unethical conduct against the Republican leader.You know its
Zarqawi reportedly seriously wounded
Meanwhile in Iraq, which, btw, has had no riots concerning the alleged Koran desecration story, it has been reported that al Queda’s top terrorist in that country may have been badly wounded recently:IRAQ’S most wanted terrorist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has been seriously wounded, according to a doctor who claims to have treated him last week. The doctor told an Iraqi reporter in the western
"People are dead because of what this son of a bitch said."
That’s a quote from Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita after he found out that the Newsweek source on the alleged "Koran flushing" incident was backing away from his story.Evan Thomas, of Newsweek online says:The brief PERISCOPE item ("SouthCom Showdown") had reported on the expected results of an upcoming U.S. Southern Command investigation into the abuse of prisoners at Gitmo. According
You should have a blog ....
David Greenberg writes a great piece for the NYT about blogging ...or in his case guest blogging. During his tenure as a guest blogger on Dan Drezner’s blog, he found out that, even for a writer, its not quite as easy as it may look:But as I discovered, blogging is no longer for amateurs or the faint of heart. Blogging - if it&rsq
German Spam (a lot)
I’ve seen a lot of bloggers complaining about an influx of German spam over the weekend. Perhaps not coincidentally, I’ve been seeing a lot of "DELIVERY FAILURE:" bounces returned to my email account with German websites and messages in the body. (Also includes stuff like "User e_smtp ( not listed in public Name & Address Book") Oddly, almost all of it is going to "" email addresses, though I actually recognize the names of the oc
The Best and Worst of the Blogosphere
You’ll find it all here in this little progression:1: Republicans catches Evil Lefty Senator Reid doing something Very Bad.Republicans charged yesterday that Minority Leader Harry Reid was wrong to mention on the Senate floor "a problem" he said is in a Bush nominee&rs
Paging Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton
This one is tailor made for that duo:Mexican President Vicente Fox called recent U.S. measures to stem illegal immigration a step back for bilateral relations on Friday and said Mexican migrants do jobs "that not even blacks want to do.""Not even", Vincente? "Not even?"Nice job, oh foxed up one.
Remote control death
Can "Robot Wars" be far off?A senior al Qaeda operative was killed by a missile fired from a CIA Predator aircraft on the Pakistani side of the remote area near the Afghan border earlier this week, U.S. intelligence officials told ABC News.The CIA refused to confirm or deny any operational matter.Haitham al-Yemeni, a native of Yemen known for his bomb-making skills, had been tra
Koran flushing incident
Riots in Afghanistan and inquiry by Saudi Arabia are the result of a Newsweek story about an alleged incident of flushing the Koran down a toilet at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.The alleged incident was perpetrated, according to this story, by interrogators at the confinement facility located there.However, the Washington Times reports, no corroboartion of that all
Forcing the Issue
And meanwhile in the Senate:California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown and a Texas judge were named Friday as the federal judicial nominees who will be considered by the Senate next week, a move expected to trigger a long-awaited showdown with Democrats.The announcement Friday by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) propels
Trying too hard
Yikes.I actually thought David Corn was better than this. From a Corn entry at Huffington Post in which he condescends to discuss a dinner that "conservatives and lobbyists" held for Tom DeLay (I assume his point in including "lobbyists" with an emphasized ’and’ was that liberals don’t have dinners which include lobbyists) the best he could com
Stones, glass houses, etc.
More fun stuff from Huffington Post. Harry Shearer has fun with the word "fact" and Sean Hannity:Found Object—Sean Hannity fact-checksIn fact, here is Mr. Hannity, who is in fact in Pinellas Park, Florida, and in fact he is "reporting" on a decision by the US Supreme C
CBS: Release the tape
There’s been a minor kerfuffle the last couple of days over what was said in a Ken Starr interview with CBS’s Gloria Borger. It was apparently begun by Rush Limbaugh in reaction to an email from Ken Starr denying the context in which quotes from him were supposedly presented. Mickey Kaus is all over it.Per Kaus, Limbaugh is of the opinion that Borger edited the tape to give the quotes a different con
What’s wrong with this picture?
Ron Brownstien of the Los Angeles Times, writes today about the narrow Bush Administration vicotry on getting the Bolton nomination to the Senate floor. In what is really a forgettable analysis article, one sentence jumped out at me."This is their style of governing," said Marshall Wittmann, a former aide to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) wh
Jobs for life
Victor Davis Hanson is wondering why college professors have jobs for life.The standard rationale is that the stuff of higher education is unfettered inquiry. Only by enjoying shelter from the storm of politics can professors be bold enough to take up the tough task of challenging young minds to question orthodoxy. McCarthyism is evoked as the
BRAC -A Personal Odyssey
Well, I’ve now learned that the newest BRAC list will affect me personally. The DoD organization for which I work as a contractor, providing custom software, is, at the moment, scheduled to be relocated from San Diego to the Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey. Details are a little nebulous right now, because there are still some unanswered questions about what it all means, but, essentially, although my organization is not slated for closure, it is slated for complete relocation.
Not liking Bolton
H.D.S. Greenway is a bit upset that the nomination of John Bolton as UN Ambassador is going to the senate floor. The most serious charge against Bolton is that he tried repeatedly to twist intelligence to fit his ideological convictions by trying to force analysts into gross exaggerations on Cuban and Syrian weapons of mass destruction programs. The evidence
May 17th ... mark your calendar and set the TiVO
It will be an interesting day.Why?Ever hear of George Galloway of the UK? Here, let Mona Charen provide the introduction:You may remember George Galloway of Great Britain. He is the former Labor member of Parliament who compared U.S. and British troops in Iraq to Nazi occupiers of France during World War II and defended the "right" of the terrorists in Iraq to "resist fo
The Base Realignment and Closing (BRAC) commission has issued their report about closing 180 military installations around the country. Naturally there’s been the usual political uproar about the report with pols of all stripes taking the opportunity to jump in front of a camera and tell the world how "unfair" it is to close the base in their
Things have turned nasty in Afghanistan
Protests against the US are now being staged in 10 of the 34 Afghanistan provinces. But before we get our panties in a bunch and assume that it all has to do with Gitmo and alleged desecrations of the Koran, a caution from the Carlotta Gall NYT article:Islamic fundamentalist political parties, remnants of the former Taliban gover
Border Patrol told to stand down
If, to this point, you’ve refused to acknowledge that both sides are playing politics with the border and security issue (i.e. pandering to the Hispanic vote), then consider this from the Washington Times:U.S. Border Patrol agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens along the section of the Arizona border where protesters patrolled last month because an inc
John Bolton
So, John Bolton takes the next step forward, having been voted out of committee "without any endorsement". Republican holdout Senator Voinovich "said Bolton was a sometime bully whose short fuse would have gotten him fired in the private sector", though I’m not exactl
Revaluing the Yuan
David Francis writes in the Christian Science Monitor that currency traders, economists, and import/export firms are all asking the same question: When will China Revalue the yuan?It takes 8.28 yuan to buy one American dollar. China has kept it at that value for more than a decade by buying up dollars on the foreign exchange market when demand for the dollar is too weak. Most big nations allow
Those Darn Socialists
Howard Dean has a problem. Not nationally, but locally. It seems Bernie Sanders wants to be a Senator from Vermont. He also wants candidates from the "Progressive Party" which he helped found, to be a US Representative and Lt. Governor.The problem? Splitting the vote with the Democrats. You see, its obvious, at least to Dean, that Sanders will probably win the Senat
Road Blogging
In my other life, I cover a part of 5 states for a manufacturer who supplies the printing industry in the prepress and press areas. That means a bit of travel (like most tuesdays, wednedays and thursdays). I’ve been doing it for almost 30 years and wouldn’t have any other life. But keeping yourself amused by pursuits other than those which can ruin your health and your marriage isn’t always easy.One of those "good pursuits", however, is finding good resturaunts,
I’ve been offline for most of the past 24 hours, but for very good reason. Tuesday, I went to my doctor to find out the cause of some abdominal pain I’ve been having. Since I have a history of prosatitis (despite being only 30), we assumed it may be a recurrence of that. He gave me a prescription, but when I tried to pick it up, the pharmacist told me it would be $277...or I could wait till Wednesday, when they would check with my doctor to find out if there were less expensive m
The "Marble" 1 year old today
Robb Allen’s "Sharp as a Marble" blog hit the one year old mark today. Robb runs a great blog and has been a frequent and valued commenter here as well.Congrats and may the Marble have many more ...
America’s Finest City
San Diego glories in the title, “America’s Finest City” but that title doesn’t necessarily imply that it’s America’s best-run city. It’s been quite an interesting few months. First was the whole, horrific mayoral election debacle. Finally, after several months, it was decided that the incumbent, Mayor Dick Murphy would stay on as mayor. At least we though it was decided. Unfortunately, the br
How not to be poor
Walter Williams provides a common sense formula for success that crosses all racial and ethnic lines:Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school. Second, get married before you have children, and stay married. Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage. And, finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior.
Darn, we missed it!
Put it on your calendar for next year:Sex rarely makes the news in Brazil’s conservative Northeast — until a small town declared an official Orgasm Day on Monday.Espertantina Mayor Felipe Santolia endorsed the May 9 holiday, which he said was intended to improve relationships between married couples."We’re celebrating orgasm in all it
The value of polls
David Hill of "The Hill" delivers the line of the day:Reading the latest public polling on filibusters convinces me that media polling is becoming something like blogging, only without the wit and delightful cynicism.Funny, but I’ve come to basically the same conclusion.And why is that so?The only point that Newport makes convinci
Stick with Sports, Jim
Sports guy Jim Lampley dabbles in politics with this post on the Huffington Post.At 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Election Day, I checked the sportsbook odds in Las Vegas and via the offshore bookmakers to see the odds as of that moment on the Presidential election. John Kerry was a two-to-one favorite. You can look it up.People who have lived in the sports world
Photo (and Pet) Blogging
Finally, I got a decent diffuser for the hot shoe flash for my Digital Camera, the Sony DSC-F828, (which I also review here, and which, by the way, is now $250 cheaper than it was when I bought it). Very nice. The light from the flash is now very nice and even, with none of the harsh effects you get fro
1,000,000 and counting
I know that Site Meter notoriously undercounts hits and I know that in the big scheme of things this doesn’t mean much, but QandO went over a million today.Thanks to all our readers from whatever side of the political spectrum you come. You’re always welcome here.
On the other hand, maybe they could take out Riyadh while they were at it
This brief on Iran’s nuclear program is the kind of stuff that explains why I no longer give money to the Cato Institute any more."Iran is considered a long-standing nemesis. But that doesn’t automatically make it a grave threat," argues Charles Pea, Cato’s director of defense policy studies, in "Iran: Isolation or Engagement." "Efforts to convince the Iranians t
Paying for conservation
Ah, the tax man. Always on the lookout to keep those revenues rolling in. Brendan Miniter reports that the state of Oregon, keen to keep fuel tax revenues high, are looking at a new tax, directed at drivers of fuel efficient hybrid cars and the like.As gas prices continue to top $2 a gallon, all those drivers of fuel-efficient cars may not have reason to gloat
But it’s not activist...
Michael Schwartz, a partner in the law firm of Wachtell Lipton, comes up with a novel approach to nominating federal judges, and leaving the filibuster rule intact.It is readily demonstrable – on "plain language" interpretive grounds—that the Constitution does not require anything more than a simple majority of the Senate to confirm the President’s nominee to t
Hollywood worried, "Kingdom" a dud
Sharon Waxman of the NYT tells us that Hollywood is worried about the recent decline of box office sales:Now Hollywood is starting to get worried.The poor box-office performance last weekend of the first major film of the summer, "Kingdom of Heaven," released by 20th Century Fox, made for 11 weeks in a row of declining movie attendance and revenue compared with last year, adding up to the lon
Kennedy-McCain on immigration
Like it or not, at least it will start a much needed debate on illegal immigration: Some of the millions of illegal immigrants living in the United States would be able to apply for renewable three-year visas under a plan being pushed by U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. Kennedy is teaming up with GOP maverick Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to launch the massive immigration r
Reid: "Can’t we all get along, Losers?"
You have to love this guy. Its like he’s a goose and wakes up in a new world every day:Reid returned to the Senate floor Monday with a more conciliatory tone and what he called "a gesture of goodwill," calling for the first time for the confirmation of one of Bush’s appeals court nominees that Democrats blocked in the last Congress."Let’s try
Health Care Values
I usually hesitate to disagree with people I like, so.....wait, no I don’t. In fact, I rather enjoy it, so let me wade into the ongoing dispute between McQ and Ezra Klein. (and McQ again) First, the quibble. McQ writes that "Health care is certain
Arianna’s New Blog
Nikki Finke of the LA Weekly doesn’t like Arianna Huffington’s new Huffarific Megablog, the Huffington Post.Judging from today’s horrific debut of the humongously pre-hyped celebrity blog the Huffington Post, the Madonna of the mediapolitic world has gone one reinvention too many. She has now made an online
The Cherry-picking left on health care
Ezra Klein "cherry picks" my post on medical insurance with a partial quote in order to set up a false premise :QandO shows us what being a libertarian is all about: Let’s talk about health care for a minute. Health care is certainly a need, but it is not a right. And all the high sounding rhetoric in the world that says otherwise is baloney. And just like that,
Wilbanks coverage due to racism?
Douglas MacKinnon, Bob Dole’s former press secretary, says enough already with the "missing white female reporting". Per MacKinnon, such obsessive reporting is hurting the credibility of news services.Well, yeah, if they report that over and above stories with much more importance. But let’s get real here ... with the advent of 24/7 news channels,
Job or benefits? Public or Private?
I’m of the opinion that olutions to healthcare and retirement belong with individuals and the private sector, and not the public sector. Per the LA Times, the trend is in that direction, and they don’t like it. Reading the article, they believe exactly the opposite should happen:Across all these fronts, Bush and other Republicans are looking to lim
What does Pat Buchanan think?
I’ve often wondered what Pat Buchanan thinks. More, precisely, I’ve wondered how he thinks. How does he come to his conclusions? Today, in an odd little article, he’s got me wondering again.Mr. Buchanan, it seems, is peeved. That’s not unusual for a man who’s primarily known for peevishness, but I’m a little confused a
Check this out
I’ve always been fascinated by what some folks can do with Photoshop and the like. Check this out for some before and after on a model’s face if you want to see what a true digital artist can do to make someone look younger and better (put your mouse pointer over the photo to see it transformed into the "before" shot). It should also be a fairly obvious warning to us, living in a digita
Blog America
Why do I have the sneaking suspicion this may go the way of Air America? Could it be the cast of characters, er, "bloggers" that have something to do with that suspicion?The essence of blogging has been the one-man band, the big mouth in the basement, the pajama-clad pontificator taking on the media establishment.Now Arianna Huffington, who knows something a
Fat Tax?
A trial balloon? The beginning of a movement by the nanny state to exert more control over what you eat? Or business as usual with revenue hungry cities and states looking for anything to tax?Would you like fries with that? Either way, the Detroit city treasury would like a bite. Faced with a $300 million budget hole, Mayor K
The man who would be king: remake 334
I sometimes wonder why the voters of Massachusetts continue to put up with Kerry’s Senate nonperformance, but then they also return Teddy to the Senate term after term, so I don’t wonder about it too deeply.Kerry, it seems, still wants to be your president, and, according to the Boston Globe, the quintessential Washington insider has no
Jon’s Trip West [UPDATED]
As you may know, Jon and his wife came out to San Diego this week. We spent a couple of days doing some sightseeing.Here’s one of Jon, getting dangerously close to nature, tempting the wrath of the vicious harbor seal.And, here’s one of Jon and I together.We really enjoyed having them out here.UPDATE [Jon Henke]—And my wif
Reid: Bush a "loser"
What a wonderful man Harry Reid must be:Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid called President Bush "a loser" during a civics discussion with a group of teenagers at a high school on Friday."The man’s father is a wonderful human being," Reid, D-Nev., told students at Del Sol High School when asked about the president’s policies. "I think this guy is a loser."Yeah, wonderful Ha
Anti-Christ discounted
Oh no:Satanists, apocalypse watchers and heavy metal guitarists may have to adjust their demonic numerology after a recently deciphered ancient biblical text revealed that 666 is not the fabled Number of the Beast after all.A fragment from the oldest surviving copy of the New Testament, dating to the Third century, gives the more mundane 616 as th
UN Sets a new Record
Not that its a record it would probably want to have engraved on a plaque and have hung in the UN’s entrance:The number of allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation made by and about United Nations personnel in 2004 was more than double the number reported in 2003, a development that is deeply distressing, even though contributing factors include clearer reporting procedures and n
Talking the talk
But will he and others actually try to walk the walk:House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) delivered an emotional homily yesterday on the need for greater humility in public servants, declaring himself a sinner before a largely Christian audience and warning that pride has brought down leaders throughout history."Just think of what we could acc
Oh those sophisticated Swedes
So what’s new in the most secular country in the world?A government commissioned study has found that more than 200 animals, mostly horses, have been sexually abused in Sweden since the 1970s.The Swedish Animal Welfare Agency collected its information based on responses received from 1,600 questionnaires sent to veterinarians, animal welfare inspectors and police agencies across the countr
FAIR Tax Questions
I received an email today from a reader who is presumably a staunch proponent of the FAIR Tax, which is the leading proposal for replacing the Income Tax with a National Retail Sales Tax. Rather than answer privately I thought I would answer publicly.1. Do you have vested interest in the present code?Well, yes, I do. I pay about $10,000 a year in Federal income taxes. I think that gives me all the vested interest I need to
The ignored story: Tax receipts swing Fed from deficit to surplus
Michael Wade asks (via email) "why isn’t anyone talking about this?Good question:The Treasury Department this week reported there would be a $54 billion swing from projected deficit to surplus in the April-to-June quarter, after an unanticipated gush of tax payments poured into the Treasury before the April 15 deadline. That prompted private forecasters to
This ought to be interesting
Google has applied for patents on technology to rank stories on its news site based on the quality of the news source.Google’s search engine now automatically scours some 4,500 news sources and highlights stories, typically by popularity and timeliness, although Google does not disclose full details of its ranking system.Google News site gathers article from dispar
Is Global Warming the result of clean air?
Could be. Or it is at least enhanced by that per a new article in Nature:Our planet’s air has cleared up in the past decade or two, allowing more sunshine to reach the ground, say two studies in Science this week.Reductions in industrial emissions in many countries, along with the use of particulate filters for car exhausts and smoke stacks, seem to have reduced the amount of dirt
The Wilbanks Statement
In case you haven’t seen it or heard it, below is the Jennifer Wilbanks statement to the press yesterday. It was read by the family’s pastor:"At this time, I cannot explain fully what happened to me last week. I had a host of compelling issues which seemed out of control — issues for which I was unable to address or confine."Please, may I assure you that my r
The Democrat election strategy, British version
Max Boot makes a good point in the LA Times today:How can you tell if a political party is brain-dead? Easy. It spends an entire campaign denouncing the incumbent as a smarmy, good-for-nothing liar, rather than outlining its own agenda. The Republicans tried it against Bill Clinton in 1996, the Democrats tried it against George W. Bush in 2004, and now in
TNL Article Submissions
Just as a reminder, we are accepting article submissions for the June Issue of The New Libertarian. Our submission guidelines can be found here. Please be advised that the latest date for your article submission to be considered will be 20 May 05.
The NRST: An idea whose time will never come
I know that a good portion of our readership is attracted to the idea of a National Retail Sales Tax like the "Fair Tax". But, as Bruce Bartlett writes there are simply too many problems with it to make it a realistic alternative to the income tax. Bartlett summarizes several of the key problems with the concept:1. There is no reason whatsoever to think that t
Interest-Group Conservatism
For years, Republicans have been claiming that they are the party of smaller and less intrusive Federal government. The Democracts, they claimed, were just too tied to interest groups, and had to pay them off with all sorts of Federal pelf. But, as Jacob Weisberg writes in Slate, the Republicans seem to have plenty of public-money-sucking special interests of their own.When
Speaking of the Religous Right...
The Christians have apparently taken a break from their agenda of religious oppression, at least where presidential politics is concerned. As John Avlon writes, a lot of the Fundamentalist Theocrats seem to view the potential nomination of pro-choice adulterer Rudy Giuliani with some equanimity.That’s why a comment by the founder of the Christian Coalition,
The Theocrats Are (Not) Coming!
Repeat after me: There is no theocracy in America. I don’t know what the deal is with so many on the Left these days, but this whole idea that there is some growing move on the religious Right to turn the US into a theocracy is just a load of utter crap.Yesterday, former New York Times reporter John McCandlish Phillips picked up on this t
More Grudging Attribution
I’m actually heartened by these sorts of articles, in which a foe of the war in Iraq steps back and at least makes an attempt at a fair judgment of what has happened and where we are at the moment. Max Hastings of the Guardian is the latest to do so:The greatest danger for those of us who dislike George Bush is that our instincts may tip over into a desire to see his foreign policy object
Rove on the political world as he sees it
Interesting article by Robert Robb in the Jewish World Review concerning an interview he had with Karl Rove. After the obligatory lauditory "architect of the Bush wins" comments and a little background as to how both victories were accomplished, Rove talks about how he sees the electoral lay of the land in the upcoming elections:For example, he does not believe that the country is destined for a period
Rationing Health Care
QandO has, at various times past, made the point that regardless of the health care system, some method of rationing will occur. While "universal" health care, or "single payer" or any of a number of alternatives which would purport to cover everyone sound great on paper, in reality they simply can never meet their promise.It has to do with infinite demand meeting a finite supply. There are only so many hours in the day and doctors and nurses practicing medicine. IOW, there are in
Minding Wal-Mart’s business
The love-hate relationship with Wal-Mart continues with activists now trying to force Wal-Mart to pay more:With most of Wal-Mart’s workers earning less than $19,000 a year, a number of community groups and lawmakers have recently teamed up with labor unions in mounting an intensive campaign aimed at prodding Wal-Mart into paying its 1.3 mi
Reforming Islam and a Free Iraq
Thomas Friedman has an interesting take on the evolving struggle in the Muslim world.My friend Raymond Stock, the biographer and translator of Naguib Mahfouz and a longtime resident of Cairo, argues that we are seeing in Baghdad, Cairo and Riyadh the modern incarnation of several deeply rooted and interlocking wars. These are, he said, the war within Islam between Traditionalists and Rationalists, w
Security, the law and potential voters
Thomas Sowell points out that the dithering by both parties concerning border security comes as a result of politics and the desire not to offend America’s now largest minority ... hispanics:Now that Hispanics are the largest minority in the country, and with the country closely divided politically, neither party wants to risk alienating the Hispanic vote by enforcing immigration laws.
State’s rights or federal security?
The NYT is reporting that Congress is contemplating new strict requirements for states issuing driver’s licenses which would require the issuing state to determine whether the person applying is in the country legally:A House and Senate conference now taking place has included the requirements, which apply to all 50 states a
FEC and paid blogging
Brian Faler reports in the WaPo that there’s a movement afoot to have the FEC require bloggers who are paid by candidates to blog for them to disclose the payment and amount.
France’s "counterweight" pipe-dream in jeopardy
Tod Lindberg of the Washington Times notes that the majority of the French are, at this time, opposed to ratifying the EU Constitution (that 70,000 word document that is such light reading). The implications for France, of course, are the death of what Lindberg calls the "the neo-Gaullist vision of Europe as a counterweight to the United States".
Overwhelming our courts
The LA Times sheds light on a little know but very important problem. Immigration cases are overwhelming our appellate courts:Immigrants fighting to stay in the United States are flooding the federal appellate courts with cases, creating huge backlogs and fundamentally changing the character of the second-highest courts in the nation.The deluge reflects
The Wilbanks saga continues
Well, she ran away, ended up in New Mexico and now everyone is mad at her.OK. I can understand that. A lot of emotional capital was spent on her, with most of us assuming a tragic end. And imagine how her fiance feels today.Yes, instead of being abducted and raped like we all thought, she got on a bus and went to Nevada.Now we have the DA from Gwinnett County (where I live) and the mayo
"For the want of a spine ...."
Jack Kelly takes the Republicans to the woodshed for their seeming eternal gutlessness. He claims that because of said gutlessness, they’re being handled like a minority party by, well, the real minority party. I can’t disagree: 
Blogging Schedule
Unless McQ really pulls out all the stoips, I’m not sure how much blogging is gonna get accomplished the next two days. Jon is out here on this end of the country this week, and my chick and I will be taking him and his chick around to see the sights.I’ll be back to a regular schedule on Wednesday. Until then, keep writing, McQ!
Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble
That heady "freedom brew" is still bubbling in Egypt:The rebellion erupted last month in the sober, stolid quarters of the Alexandria Judges’ Club: 1,200 magistrates publicly demanded judicial independence from an all-powerful president, and threatened to refuse to certify fall elections if they didn’t get it.The rare ultimatum has
Same charge, different war
The anti-war rhetoric has been, given the mood of the majority of the country, thankfully rather subdued. But you can see it simmering below the surface in a number of things. One example is this Bob Herbert column. Its about a National Guardsman who allegedly became so disgusted with the behavior of his fellow soldiers that he became a conscientious objector and was discharged from the army. Herbert first
Jennifer Wilbanks found alive
Jennifer Wilbanks, the 32 year old bride-to-be who dissappeared tuesday night from Duluth, GA while out for a jog has been found alive in New Mexico.Per reports she was "let go" by a couple who "approached her from behind" on tuesday night in Duluth and abducted her. They also allegedly cut her hair. If you have been following this story, and I have since it was a local one, you’ll recall that a clump of cut hair was found near her home in Duluth during a subsequent search.
A Tale of Two Writers
I happened to read an Eleanor Clift column about last night’s Bush news conference right after I read a William F. Buckley column addressing the same event.An interesting, if not enlightning, experience. Enlightning in the respect that it shows how the power of the premise under which a writer operates colors his or her whole worldview in a manner in which they may not be aware. Now that’s nothing new nor unknown. Its just interesting to see the dynamic at work sometim
The Darth Side
By the way, via Pejman, I note that Darth Vader has a blog. Sure, Vader is supposed to the embodiment of all that is evil. But here, we get to really see inside the man. To get a glimpse, if you will, of the hidden Anakin.And he’s not a totally bad guy. Why, after the failure to destroy the Rebels on Hoth, caused mainly by Admiral
Those Venerable Senate Traditions
Robert Robb writes in the Arizona Republic that the judicial filibuster shows that the Senate is a dysfunctional institution. That’s not exactly news. In truth, the Senate has always been dysfunctional. Indeed, when hearing all the talk from the Democrats about the Senate’s tradition of "comity", the first thing I thought of was that the fl
Popping the Housing Bubble
Recently, there’s been a lot of discussion in economic quarters about the housing market. One of the most hotly debated questions is whether housing prices are in a "bubble", i.e., if speculation is driving housing prices higher than fundamental economic conditions would predict.According to Steve Liesman, who  
So it’s welfare, then...
Weird. For four years, the Left has been complaining that the Bush Administration was 1) letting the deficit spiral out of control, and 2) constructing every policy to make the rich richer. So, last night, Bush makes a Social Security reform proposal that
Hey, you! Yeah, you, the ignorant religious bigot! Vote for Me!
Professor David Gelernter writes in the Los Angeles Times that the Democratic Party’s philosophy can be summed up in one sentence: You’re too stupid to make your own decisions. What you need. more than anything, is for the wise and beneficent Solons who serve in the government to make all the hard dec
Of wet dreams and DC insiders
You’ve got to love this. From a poll of what are described as "Washington insiders", the dream list of candidates for 2008.Those polled were:Participants in the poll, who included members of Congress, consultants, activists, and party officials, were asked by National Journal to predict the five candidates in the two major part
Sometimes it’s just better to be quiet
And I assume someday politicians will learn this basic lesson (heh ... yeah, right).But in the case of Harry Reid, well, he’s just not there yet:Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid raised a few eyebrows yesterday on the Senate floor when he said it would take a "miracle" for Democrats to win enough races next year to take back the Senate. "I would like to think
Prepare for a "casket" orgy
The Pentagon has finally released photos of flag draped coffins arriving at Dover AFB as has been demanded by the anti-war side since the beginning of the Iraq conflict."This is an important victory for the American people, for the families of troops killed in the line of duty during wartime and for the honor of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country,"
Open Thread for TNL subscribers
If you’re a subscriber to The New Libertarian, and would like to discuss some of the articles and ideas found in the newest edition, this is an open thread in which to do so.If you’re not a subscriber, the subscription is free. Just click here. You’ll receive an email with the password for the pub
"Cuts" in Medicaid
Every year its pointed out and every year the "journalists" out there do it again.Headline from AP: "Congress Passes Budget That Cuts Medicaid"Well two slight problems here. A) Congress did not pass a budget and B) Congress didn’t cut Mediaid.Other than that, the headline is precisely right.In fact, in the their lead
Liveblogging the Press Conference
The president is holding his fourth press conference in 5 years. I thought I would liveblog it.Staring off with Gasoline:—Doing everything we can to lower prices. No gouging, etc.—Must address root causes, which is mainly that we use too much oil. 1. Gotta use technology. 2. Gotta use more efficient types of energy` 3. Gotta have high tech stuff like hydrogen. 4. Gotta think about making the
Quick Hits
T. Norman Van Cott writes:Late in 2001 and early in 2002, America’s economic mercantilists (who tend to ascribe domestic economic difficulties to all things foreign) were complaining about cheap foreign steel in the U.S. economy. No sooner had the Bush administration slapped higher tariffs on foreign steel than the mercantilists started spinning sky-is-falling tales about Asians selling computer software and medical tec
Libertarian Foreign Policy
Pejman continues the conversation with Justin Logan about Realist and Libertarian foreign policy:Logan objects to the term "libertarian minimalists" and to its connected claim of "isolationism." He points out that when it comes to trade, diplomacy and the war on terror, libertarians are anything but isolationist. As I mentioned in my article, I don&rsqu
Losing it
Howard Fineman writes that the president seems to have lost his political touch, starting with the acerbic observation:You’ve got to hand it to the PR geniuses at the White House. There’s nothing like back-to-back Texas photo ops with Crown Prince Abdullah and Rep. Tom DeLay to give Americans a visceral sense that the Boss is on top of the gas-price situation and desperate to
A Whiff of Bigotry
Morton Kondracke writes in Roll Call that the Democrats still are clearly unable to find a way to connect with religious voters. Case in point is the controversy over Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist having the temerity to speak at a Christian video.Kerry declared before Frist had said a word that he would "appeal to religious division" and
Zimbabwe’s misery
Zimbabwe’s free fall into poverty and starvation has been appalling to watch (and watch is what the world has done), but, unfortunately, not a surprise, given the absurd racist and anti-capitalist policies of dictator Robert Mugabe (wait, did Jimmy Carter declare their elections "free and open" or am I thinking of Venezuela?). Having essentially destroyed the farming industry in what was once a lush and self-sufficient farming state, Mugabe is left with  
The New Libertarian
The May Issue of The New Libertarian is now available to subscribers. If you’re not a subscriber, you’ll miss a lot of very interesting and thought provoking content, so subscribe right now! All we need is an ema
Inaccurate, but fake
Instapundit catches the New York Times in an outright lie today. And it even contradicts the NYT’s own reportage.
That relationship with the Saudis is close
Photo: AFP/Jim Watson
The "Conventional Weapons Option"
Dick Morris actually has some interesting advice for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Instead of killing the filibuster rules for judicial nominations, actually have a real filibuster.Frist should bring up a judicial nomination of little consequence for the nation — say Charles Pickering — and let the Democrats explain, at tedious length,
The Progressive Effective Tax System
Kevin Drum, Duncan Black (Atrios) and Media Matters accuse the Wall Street Journal of dishonesty, after the WSJ claims "overall tax burden grew more progressive from 1979 to 1999". They also object to the WSJs failure to menti
Bob Dole weighs in on the judicial filibuster
We’ve heard Robert Byrd’s version of the history of the filibuster. Now Bob Dole puts his more recent version of that history out there for our consideration:But let’s be honest: By creating a new threshold for the confirmation of judicial nominees, the Democratic minority has abandoned the tradition of mutual self-restraint that has long allowed the Senate to function as an institu
The New Libertarian, Vol 1, Issue 2
The first of the month is coming up, and that means it’s time to publish issue 2 of The New Libertarian! We’ll be releasing it to subscribers—and only to subscribers—sometime in the next 24 hours. If you haven’t subscribed to the magazine yet, you can do so by clicking the subscription link at the top of the page.This second issue incorporates some new design changes, but that’s just eye candy. Still, it’s nice eye candy. 
Britian’s election rhetoric
We all remember the election rhetoric here which became more and more superheated as the election of 2004 approached.Britian is now suffering the same sort of rhetorical nova with the likes of Richard Gott’s venemous piece in the Guardian about how much he "loves" Tony Blair.Like Chamberlain in the 30s, Blair is an appeaser of a dangerous global power. He should be in prison, no
The politics of Defense
The Navy wants to build a next generation destroyer called the DD(X). But of the original 24 it wanted, it now seems it may only be able to afford 5. Shipbuilding costs "have spiraled out of control," the Navy’s top admiral, Vern Clark, told Congress last week, rising so high that "we can’t build the Navy that we believe that we need in the 21st century."And China, eyeing Taiwan, says "thank you."So why is this all so? Old school politics and a
The Traveling Congress
With the flap going on about Congressional travel and who’s paying for it, an interesting website holds a great deal of info in that regard. According to Political Moneyline in many cases the original sponsors of many Congressional trips are not disclosed:Of the $16 million in privately-funded travel of Members of Congress (2000-Winter 2005) almost $8.8 million (55%) was from tax-exempt and other organizations who r
Filibluster on the Nuclear Option
I’m uncomfortable with the Republican "nuclear option" to reduce to 51 the number of people needed to end a filibuster for judicial nominees....but then, I’m uncomfortable with a lot of things about judicial nominations. I’m uncomfortable with the notion that a minority can block a nominee who would win the Senate’s consent; I’m uncomfortable with the notion that a nominee can be blocked in committee; I’m uncomfortable with the notion that an political litmus
More Nukes!
Amity Schlaes writes that the environmental movement, with its staunch anti-nuclear power phobia, has shot itself in the foot.It takes four tons of coal to provide the power needs of one inhabitant of Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive for a year. A few ounces of uranium could cover the same need.There is also the damage to the
Comparing Pensions
New York Times columnist John Tierney traveled down to Chile, to see his old friend, Pablo Serra, and compare pension plans. Chile privatized its pension system in the 1980s, while, here in America, we kept Social Security running. How’d it work out? After comparing our relative payments to our pension systems (since salaries are higher in America, I had contributed more), we extr
Blame the Heathen Foreigners
Once again, some interesting news is popping up about America’s poor rate of savings, its relationship to the Current Account Deficit—the broadest gauge of foreign trade—and how that forecasts the possibility of instability in the US economy. We’ve talked about this before, and if necessary, you can bring yourself up to speed by reading this, this
The Death Penalty
A couple posts from the always-valuable Brad Plumer has gotten me thinking about the Death Penalty.Before going into this, I should note that 1) in most cases, I have no moral problem with applying the death penalty to murderers, but 2)
Are the days of obstruction numbered?
Even the LA Times is tired of the obstructionism the Dems are playing in terms of judicial nominees. In an editorial today:At the risk of seeming dull or unfashionable for not getting our own intellectual makeover, we still think judicial candidates nominated by a president deserve an up-or-down vote in the Senate. We hardly see eye to eye
Yes, Minister
Most of you who come here regularly are politics junkies of one sort or another. I have learned today that the best political sitcome ever, and one of the best comedy shows ever, is now available on DVD. The BBC comedy Yes, Minister, and the successor series, Yes, Pr
That was Then. This is Now.
Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-TX) web site dug up an interesting quote:"I have stated over and over again on this floor that I would refuse to put an anonymous hold on any judge; that I would object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported; that I felt the Senate should do its duty. If we don’t like somebody the President nominates, vote him or her down."
...And, sometimes, correlation is causation
The Houston Chronicle trumpets the headline: Crime rate down, but prison population on the riseThis is, apparently, cause for surprise by some, who act as if lower crime rates, and putting bad people in prison, are only tangentially related.
The Populist Issue for 2008?
I think so.The issue?In Washington, Colorado, Virginia and elsewhere, grass-roots organizations are forming to pass initiatives and pressure politicians into enacting laws denying benefits to illegal immigrants. There are already groups in seven states and more are expected by the end of summer. One congressman may even run for president
The Theocrats are losing
In an email conversation, a reader has been asking me why I’m not as critical of the "religious right" as I am of Democrats. That’s a very good question, and I think the answer is important. Simply: I think we’re in more danger from the loss of economic liberty, than we are from the loss of social liberty.I’m simply not persuaded by the argument that there is a burgeoning "Theocracy" in the United States. You can tell the Social Conservatives are losing
Defacto state ownership?
We’ve discussed the problem of pharmacists who don’t want to fill perscriptions which violate their conscience or moral beliefs.Dale went into it in some depth here. Dale changed his mind on the right of a pharmacist to refuse to fill those sorts of prescriptions when presented with the argument that in essence, pharmacists enjoy a state established monopoly:In the current situation, the
Those Darn Austrians
I received an email from Jon this morning, asking me what I thought of this article by Ludwig von Mises in regards to Say’s Law and Keynesianism.It was different with the "new economics" of Lord Keynes. The policies he advocated were precisely those which almost all governments, including the British, had already adopted many years before his "General Theory" was published. Keynes was not an innov
The Food Pyramid
Gerry Daly put an interesting question to a few bloggers on Friday, and I’ve been unable to take it up until now. With my apologies for the delay, I want to address it. Daly noted the $2.5 million spent by the Federal government to design and promulgate the new food pyramid, and wonders "if things like this are an effective use of taxpayer money" and "if there is anyone who actually thinks that our money sho
Filibusters and Judicial (and Other) Nominees
Watching the controversy over judicial confirmations has been interesting, if irritating. The Democrats are pushing the line that the filibuster over judicial nominations is constitutional, because the Constitution gives the Senate the power to set it’s own rules, one of which is the rule about filibusters.The Constitution, though, doesn’t end right after granting the Senate to set its own rules. It contains lots of other stuff that restricts the Senate’s ability to set rules. For
View Porn at work and Make $40,000
When is a company no longer in charge of its destiny?When it no longer has the ability to determine what is and isn’t allowable on the job and to fire those who do what isn’t allowable:Norway’s Supreme Court supported decisions refusing Conoco Phillips the right to fire two workers who surfed the Internet for pornographic images on company time.The two worke
The shoe and the other foot
Well we’ve heard the charges against Tom DeLay and questions about who paid for certain trips he took. Now we have the same sort of questions being aimed at Nancy Pelosi:The Washington Times reported earlier this week that Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Ohio Democrat and member of the House ethics committee, listed a registered lobbyist as the trip’s sponsor. House rules prohibit regist
"The goofy fruit of the ha ha bush"
Now and then, my faith in humanity is dashed against the rocks... Is the Virgin Mary really slumming it, lately...or are people just so desperate for something, any
The War for the Judiciary
As I noted below, Republicans seem to be losing the will to move their judicial nominees along in the confirmation process by invoking what is popularly known as the "nuclear option".Control of the judiciary looms as an issue in which both sides are heavily involved. Both want judges on the bench who are favorable to their issues and agenda. Dale wrote about the  
Polling for courage
In the world of hard-ball politics the Republican’s are shopping for a spine:Private Republican polling shows scant support for a plan to stop minority Democrats from blocking judicial nominees, officials said Thursday, as two of President Bush’s most controversial appointments advanced toward a possible Senate confrontation.These officials, spe
Dean: Reshaping the Abortion Issue
"I think we need to talk differently about abortion," the blunt-spoken physician and former Vermont governor told several hundred supporters of the Minnesota affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union at the Minneapolis Convention Center.That should be interesting. Howard Dean is of the opinion that abortion, as the debate is presently framed, is a loser for the Democrats.
"Maine. The Way Life Should Be."
If you want to read a feel good story, try this one. Its one of those that always make me feel proud to be a part of this great country:Tired and bleary-eyed, Marines of the 1st Battalion, 7th Regiment, based at Twentynine Palms, Calif., were finally back on U.S. soil after seven months on the front lines in Iraq.But they were still many mil
The Pope and HIV
Per Richard Cohen, the new Pope is not his "cup of tea". Too conservative for him.OK. Cohen says that some differences he has with Benedict XVI and the Church are really things in which he has no personal stake, being a non-Catholic and all. Things like the ordination of women and the church’s stance on homosexuality.But, on the other side of that, he see&rsq
Adapting and overcoming
Very interesting article in the LA Times in which Max Boot gives us an inside view of the adaptation the US Army has gone through to turn the tide in Iraq. From an institution that didn’t want nor show much interest in nation building to one which is intimately involved in it, the way they have adapted their training to meet the new standard is truly p
Suck it up, Nancy-boy
George Will writes that the rise of therapeutic culture is turning us into a bunch on whining ninnies.Because children are considered terribly vulnerable and fragile, playground games such as dodgeball are being replaced by anxiety-reducing and self-esteem-enhancing games of tag in which nobody is ever "out." But abundant research indicates no connection between high self-esteem and high
Resolved: Peace!
[via AtlanticBlog] NeoCon-adians...Canada’s government said Tuesday it would beef up its military, bolster its diplomatic corps and overhaul its foreign aid in a bid to reverse the country’s diminishing influence in global affairs. [...]"You cannot have a robust foreign policy i
Carville: What’s wrong with Democrats
James Carville and Paul Begala have reached the conclusion that based on the last election and what should have happened, given their intepretation of what existed at the time of the election, Democrats do indeed have a real problem:But today, too many leading Democratic strategists deny that the party we love has a problem. When you lose to an unpopular president with a soft e
Speaking of China and Protectionism...
As an addendum to my earlier post, I see that those wild-eyed Free-Traders at The New Republic have an editorial about the Bush Administration’s hypocrisy on free trade.The White House and the Republican-led Congress, perhaps with the 2006 midterms already in mind, are apoplectic over trade—and not without
Budgeting is hard
Robert Samuelson writes, that the Big-Brain Boys of Brookings got together to figure out how to balance the budget. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look their attempt worked out too well.Oh, it starts out good. It describes the hideous budget problems the federal government is facing.Let me say that, in many ways, "Restoring Fiscal Sanity 2005" is a swell report. It&rs
Tom DeLay is Kind of a Whack Job
What to make of this from Tom Delay (R-TX):"We’ve got Justice Kennedy writing decisions based upon international law, not the Constitution of the United States? That’s just outrageous," DeLay told Fox News Radio. "And not only that, but he said in session that he does his own research on the Internet? That is just incredibly outrageous."Doing res
Few things over the last election cycle annoyed me as much as the tendency for Democrats to claim the Bush administration was "questioning their patriotism". Especially when those same Democrats took every opportunity to explicitly question the patriotism of the Bush administration. There’s Howard Dean, who said: "I am tired of having [conservatives] lay a claim to patriotism..."
War with China
Larry Kudlow asks why the US threatening economic war with China. Yes,, he acknowledges, it’s true that the Chinese are being a little bellicose, but why are we making things worse?The U.S., however, isn’t helping matters by threatening to launch a currency- and trade-protection war against China. The U.S., Japan, and the rest of the G-7 nations are putting the heat on China to revalu
Reforming the Democratic Party
Jim Carville and Paul Begala write that the Democratic Party needs to change its direction.Sure, we’d like it if Democrats were seen as the party of faith, family and the flag. And we’d like it if Democrats would fight corporate interests more and take their special interest money less. But the biggest problem the Democrats face is not that they’re seen as
May Day! II
In a comment to McQ’s post from yesterday on Air America, a commenter writes:The media have a liberal bias? Really? So General Electric, Walt Disney, Viacom, NewsCorp, etc. are purveyors of liberal clap-trap. Why would they do that, hmm? As they are clearly profitable, capitalist enterprises, I think one of two things must be true:1. They do it because it enhances their bottom line, i.e., it’s p
Glass Houses and such...
Atrios links to First Draft, which issues a "Jeebus" and an "Onward Christian Soldiers Airmen" in response to this story about bigotry and violenc
And they wonder why they’re having trouble with the religious voters...
"We need to talk about Christian values and how they’re Democratic values."—Howard DeanDemocrats are going to continue having trouble connecting to the religious voters so long as their grassroots continue to be openly hostile to religion. A brief glance around prominent net-roots sites finds stuff like this rampant in the comment sections....Commen
Requiem for Network News
Sam Donaldson seems to have figured out what most of us have known for quite some time—Network news is dead.Former ABC News reporter/anchor Sam Donaldson is ready to say the last rites for network news because it will soon lose its dominant position as Americans’ primary source of news. "I think it’s dead. Sorry," he said during a breakfast panel Tuesday at the National Association of Broadcas
The Hyperventilating Begins
he hyperventilating over the selection of Cardinal Ratzinger has already begun. The New York Times couldn’t even get past the fourth paragraph in their story on his election without saying:As the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
A Living Constitution
John Hinderaker writes in The Weekly Standard:Last Weekend, Yale’s chapter of the American Constitutional Society sponsored a conference at Yale Law School titled "The Constitution in 2020." The stated purpose of the conference, at which some of America’s best-known liberal law professors appeared, was to work toward a "progressive" consensus as to what th
The Intellectual Collapse of the Left
Hugh Hewitt points to three peices of opinion and reportage about religion and/or faith. All of them are fundamentally deficient as argument or explanationThree pieces, all having to do with faith, none of which touches on the the central issue presented by each subject. This is what passes for argument on the left these days, and it tells us that the left is out-of-gas when it comes to the debates that matter. Cliches
Really Bad Analysis
Brendan Miniter writes that a U.S. pope is out of the question—and that says something damning about America’s Catholic Church. There is something else at work here, and it is much to America’s shame. The United States is unquestionably leading the world in nearly every field. Militarily the U.S. has no rival in tactics, equipment and new weaponry. Economically, no other na
Habemus Papem
The Conclave of Cardinals has elected Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to become the new pope. He will be known as Benedict XVI.Biography: Born in Marktl am Inn, in Bavaria, Germany, Ratzinger entered a preparatory seminary in 1939. In 1943, at the age of 16 he was, along with the rest of his class, draf
A Suicide Pact
John Podhoretz writes that the Democrats appear to be committing themselves to perform a very messy and public act of seppuku if the Republicans change the Senate rules on judicial confirmation votes.Minority Leader Harry Reid put it very frankly back in December: "If they, for whatever reason, decide to do this, it’s not only wrong, they will rue the day they did it, because we wi
If you subsidize it....
After a lot of annoyingly anecdotal data, this NYTimes piece gets very interesting...After adjusting the figures for the different purchasing powers of the dollar and euro, the only European country whose economic output per person was greater than the United States average was the tiny tax haven of Luxembourg, which ranked third, just behind Delaware and slightly ahead of Connecticut.
May Day! May Day!
On the anniversary of Air America’s launch Brian C. Anderson wonders in the LA Times why liberals and fellow travelers aren’t able to build the type of talk radio network that conservatives and Rush Limbaugh have?Wait a second, you say, didn’t I read that Air America has expanded to more than 50 markets? That’s true, but
A Little Daylight Fails to Filter Through
Reader and blogger Nick Rogers points me to lefty blogger Shaula Evans, who runs a blog with the unpronounceable name of Tsuredzuregusa. In a post called Tech Savvy Virginia Politics, she demontrates that her "Tech Savvy" leaves a little bit to be desired.
The first vote at the Conclave of cardinals is over, and no pope has been chosen. The next ballot will be tomorrow morning.
Those Darn ChiComs
Fred Hiatt takes a look at the threadbare excuse for anti-Japanese riots last week in China.Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao explained last week: "Japan needs to face up to history squarely." After another weekend of anti-Japanese protests and riots in China, China’s foreign minister yesterday amplified that "the main problem now is that the Japanese government has done a series of thing
Surrealist Vesments
I’m wondering about a sentence in this FoxNews story that contains the following line:The cardinals took their assigned places behind their name placards, with a copy of the conclave ritual on their desks. They then placed their red, three-cornered square birettas on the tables, leaving only their crimson skullcaps on their heads.A biretta is a type of hat. Apparently, a cardinal&rsqu
Paul Krugman today proves, once again that every silver lining has a cloud, when it comes to the Bush Administration’s economic policy.Mr. Krugman’s big concern today: Stagflation.Last week fears of a return to stagflation sent stock prices to a five-month low. What few seem to have noticed, however, is that a mild form of stagflation - rising inflation in an economy still
Compromise on Judicial Nominations
Law Professor Jonathon Turley writes in the Los Angeles Times that Democrats should back down on filibusters against most of the held-up nominees, and President Bush would withdraw the remaining ones.Hostilities should cease. Democrats disinclined toward apocalypse should confirm Brown, Griffith, Griffin, Kavanaugh, McKeague, Neilson,
The Joy of Taxpayer Money [Pt 2]
Kevin Drum makes perhaps the least surprising observation ever...This paper includes some survey data about how satisfied people are with their country’s healthcare system ... here are the percentages of Americans who say they are "fairly or very satisfied" with their own health system: Poor: 45%Elderly: 61%Everyone else: 34% T
The Joy of Taxpayer Money
Want to visit the library? Get your hair done? Work out in the gym?Cool ... visit LA’s newest homeless shelter:Opening Monday and trumpeted proudly by city officials is the Midnight Mission - and one of the nation’s plushest homeless shelters. The $17 million state-of-the-art facility boasts a full-sized gymnasium, library, playroom, hair salon, education center, and professional
Simpsons Satire
A very funny line in tonight’s episode of The Simpsons caught my attention. Bart and Lisa are looking into their future, watching as Bart’s girlfriend is trying to make love to him on prom night. When Bart expresses some reservations, his girlfriend replies, "Bart, having sex on prom night is as American as our fifty-first state, Saudi Israelia!"Now, there’s a vision to keep up at night, shaking.
Advertising on QandO
If you glance to the right side of the screen, you’ll notice that we now have banner advertising on QandO. Click on the link to see the excellent, handcrafted work of Curious Workmanship. With Mother’s Day coming up, this site should come in handy. If you’re
Republican Stupidity
Via Talkleft, there’s news of H.R. 1528, an update to the Controlled Substances Act. Talkleft calls it an assault on freedom, and they’re right. Here’s few of the bills provisions:—Creates a new three-year mandatory minimum for parents who witness or learn about drug trafficking activities, targeting o
Chavez: A Chinese connection?
Hugo Chavez’s military buildup has the editors of the Miami Herald a bit concerned.How far is Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez going down the road to military dictatorship, and how far does Latin America want to travel along with him? These are important questions for other Latin American governments whose democracies emerged after painful periods of military rule.Unfortunately
The Estate Tax
With the Estate Tax set for permanent cancellation—actually, set to be replaced by a cap-gains tax" would be more accurate—debate is raging, again. Of the moral argument, Glenn Reynolds writes...Now much of the government’s taxing-and-spending is about transferring money from one group to another. The "give
Foreign Policy "Realism"
Victor Davis Hanson recounts the now almost forgotten warnings of the Foreign Policy "realists".Brent Scowcroft predicted on the eve of the Iraqi elections that voting there would increase the risk of civil war. Indeed, he foresaw “a great potential for deepening the conflict.” He also once assured us that Iraq “could become a Vietnam in a way that the Vietnam war never
The Democrats’ Myth Machine
Wendy Long punctures the myth-making the Democratic Partry is trying to use to oppose the president’s judicial nominations to the appeals courts.Myth No. 1:Filibuster of judges is a
McCain: I’ll be voting with the Democrats
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was interviewed on Hardball by Chris Matthews this afternoon. In the interview, ho confirmed that he will vote against any attempt to remove the filibuster rule for judicial nominations.John McCain is a great American, and his heroic service to our country should be respected, indeed, revered. But his endless movement to the left should finally disqualify him from any claim to being a "Reagan Republican". He’s a beltway guy now, pure and simp
Ein Deutscher Papst
If Tradesports’ futures market is correct, it’s beginning to look strongly like the next pope will be Josef Cardinal Ratzinger. His currenct contract price is 19.4, as opposed to 10.1 for his nearest competitor, Francis Cardinal Arinze.
Marty Peretz, Editor-in-chief of The New Republic, writes that the Democrats’ unwillingness to credit George W. Bush with progress in the Mideast is nothing more than the "politics of churlishness". Right up to the moment Bush became president, I was convinced that his mind, at least on matters Levantine, belonged to his father and to James Baker III, whose worldview seemed to be
We’re all safer now
The Department of Homeland Security can now stop worrying about nuclear terrorism. The United Nations has made it illegal.The 191-member U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday unanimously approved a treaty outlawing the use of nuclear weapons by terrorists and their supporters. The Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism is the first anti-terrorism treaty to
But the AARP always rejects effective solutions
Photo: AFP/File/Brendan Smialowski
It’s not really that kind of election
Photo: AP Photo/Susan Walsh
On this week’s episode of ’Ask the Experts’...
Photo: AP Photo/Mike Derer
Watch out for the robots
Interesting article in the Guardian in which 10 scientists are asked for their opinion of the biggest danger to the earth and their assessment of the chance that it will happen.What you’re going to note is many of them somehow interpret this to mean threat to people (not the earth). Anyway its fun and there’s plenty to argue about which makes for good blogging. BTW, here&rsqu
Wanted: a straight story
The New Editor finds (gasp) misleading rhetoric from calls the Democratic Party on its blatant misrepresentation of the facts regarding private accounts. ... Here is what found...Democrats have been using a web-based ’calculator’ to generate individualized answers
Popestakes Update
This is interesting. There’s been some significant movement in the Tradesports futures market on the identity of the next pope. Josef Cardinal Ratzinger has jumped from 5th place to 1st, while former favorite Dionigi Cardinal Tettamanzi has dropped to 3rd.The top contract prices are now: 
Power Corrupts...
David Ignatius thinks that the Democrats have a golden opportunity to steal a march on the Republicans, and reclaim a governing majority. The Republicans, he writes, are starting to look arrogant, and swollen with pelf.Life as the governing party has been as corrosive for the GOP as it was for the Democrats during their era of dominance. That’s the real import of the Tom DeLay cas
Or, as some call it, "The Littlest General"
Photo: AP Photo/Leslie Mazoch
There’s always a pessimist
Photo: Reuters/Jorge Silva
The Holy Sprit begins to move
Photo: AFP/File/Andreas Solaro
Hopefully, business will pick up soon
Photo: AP Photo/Peter Dejong
Bill Clinton: The gift that keeps on giving
Photo: AP Photo/Richard Drew
"But enough about me. What do you think about me?"
Photo: Reuters/Jeff Christensen
And they say the UN is irrelevant...
Photo: AFP/File/Timothy A. Clary
Eternal Vigilance
Tom Friedman is getting worried about another spectacular terrorist attack occuring in the US. Not because we’re losing, but necause we’re winning.The reason things may be getting more dangerous now is that the formation of a freely elected government in Iraq may signal that the Baathist-Jihadist insurgency is being gradually defeated. The U.S. may even be able to withdraw some troop
The VAT is Coming
Froma Harrop writes that, whether you like it or not, we will be getting a national Value-Added Tax. Since that is so, she expends some time writing about how a VAT works, and why we’re going to get one.She’s probably right. I’d love to replace the Income Tax with the VAT, but in all likelihood, we’ll end up with both. We’re about to learn exactly how much all
The Nuclear Option
Richard Bond writes that Robert Byrd (D-WV) condemning limitations on the use of the filibuster by Republicans is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.What do the deregulation of natural gas, the attachment of legislative amendments to appropriations bills, a defense authorization bill and the nomination of a U.S. ambassador to El Salvador have in common?Answer: They all
Instead of "Dont’ Ask, Don’t Tell", How About "Don’t Care"?
The editors of the Washington Post note that when it comes to rooting out the danger that homosexuality poses for our troops, the Army is on the job.Army Sgt. Robert Stout received a Purple Heart after an exploding grenade in Iraq last May left shrapnel in his face, arm and legs. He would like to remain in the military, and he said in an interview that he would reenlist were it
Mr. Fox’s Man in Washington
Harold Myerson charges that, when it comes to Mexico, the Bush Adminsitration’s comittment to democracy has been inconsistent.The government had not murdered the opposition leader, Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador; it merely proposed to imprison him—and thereby disqualify him for the presidency—because someone in his city government disregarded a court orde
Objecting to Judges
In reference to my post on judicial filibusters yesterday, a commenter described why several of the Presidents judicial nominees are being filibustered. It’s worthwhile to look at those arguments.Charles W. PickeringCharles W. Pickering has been a vocal opponent of Women’s Rights and The Equal Rights Amendment and vocally critical of the Civil Rights amendment of 1965. Though I do not know the circumstances, I do know he has intervened in a case he had n
Up in the polls
USA Today says that President’s Bush’s approval rating is back up to 50%.President Bush’s approval is back at 50% in a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll, up 5 percentage points from the same poll conducted March 21-23. His 45% approval rating in that poll was his lowest in his presidency.Gallup said the low might have related to Bush’s attempted intervention in
Atheists for Islam
It seems its much more serious offense to "defame" a religion than for adherents of that religion, using it as a reason for action, to kill people. At least that seems to be so in the topsy-turvey world of the UN Human Rights Commission.The United Nations Commission on Human Rights on Tuesday condemned what it called the “campaign of defamation” against Muslims in the West’s war on t
Quick Hits
Do you remember a wrestler called "The Ultimate Warrior"? Neither do I. Somebody did, though, and they linked his website, characterizing him as a "crazy racist" on the basis of a comment he’d made. (told a student from the Middle East to "get a towel")So, naturally, Mr Warrior decides the appropriate course is....lawsuit! Or, more accurately, "bluster about a lawsuit", followed by "run away!" Rea
Nicholas Kristoff is upset that no one trusts him, or his peers in the news media.Since 1973, the National Opinion Research Center has measured public confidence in 13 institutions, including the press. All of the other institutions have generally retained a good measure of public respect, but confidence in the press has fallen sharply since 1990.Those of us in the press tend
The Metrics for Iraq
Positive signs...Two years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, the American-led military campaign in Iraq is making enough progress in fighting insurgents and training Iraqi security forces to allow the Pentagon to plan for significant troop reductions by early next year, senior commanders and Pentagon officials say.I draw your attention to the short-term metrics for success I laid out in
"Constitution on the Brink"
Apparently, there’s some worry about the Republicans in the Senate eliminating the judicial filibuster. People for the American Way have started a full-court press to stop any such recission of the filibuster for judicial nominees. Not that the Republicans have the guts to force the issue anyway.Oh, by the way, some of the more leftish commenters have mentioned that the president
The Moral Authority of the United Nations
Peter Dennis is a student at NYU Law School. He also worked for the Foundation for International Dignity in the refugee camps surrounding Kenema, Sierra Leone, in 2003. What he saw there, while shocking, is not, unfortunately, surprising. We all know about the reports of sexual abuse, but Dennis writes that’s only the beginning.In fact, abuse at these camps went beyond sexual viol
The New York Daily News has an interactive flash presentation to help handicap the selection of the next pope, as well as an in-depth profile of Dionigi Cardinal Tettamanzi, Archbishop of Milan, who is currently considered to be the front-runner for the papacy.Mea
Our friends, the police
Here’s another thing I’m conflicted about.Right now, two New York City girls, both 16, have been detained and accused of plotting to become suicide bombers. If there is a real reason to believe that charge, officials are obviously right to have acted. But so far, they have said little about the evidence against the girls, and the girls’ friends and families have offered accounts that
Wages, Benefits, and Consumer Spending
Jon’s reference to this story brings up some interesting points that go beyond simple wage/compensation comparisons."Healthcare has eroded the wage base," said Janemarie Mulvey, chief economist with the Employment Policy Foundation, a business-funded think tank in Washington. "In the long run, we can’t conti
Enforcing Immigration Laws - unfunded mandate?
Speaking of illegal immigration and the fact that the federal government seems to have little desire to enforce the law, some of the states most effected are considering legislation to enforce those laws themselves.In Arizona:Saying that Arizona has become a haven for undocumented immigrants, state Republican lawmakers on Monday revived a bill giving police offic
Wages Down, Compensation Up
This will be the big economic story for awhile....Even though the economy added 2.2 million jobs in 2004 and produced strong growth in corporate profits, wages for the average worker fell for
Dean, guns and the Jesus factor
The strategy is forming so all of you Christian southerners out there, take heed. John Brummett tells us that Howard Dean is calling and he’s talking about Jesus:Howard Dean called the other day and started talking about Jesus. Yes, that Howard Dean. Yes, that Jesus.Dean is the doctor and former Vermont governor who now is chairman of the Democratic National Committee
Intelligence Reform Reform
Mark Steyn writes that a new report on US Intelligence points out some key reforms that need to be made to our intelligence capability, in order to reform the key reforms that were made to our intelligence capabilities last month.There was a new report calling for reform of U.S. intelligence last week. It contradicts the last report calling for reform of U.S. intelligence. The last one wanted to
Demonstration successful .. now what?
The Minutemen have been at it on the US-Mexico border for about 11 days now.Results: Minuteman Project volunteers, manning outposts along a 20-mile stretch of the Arizona-Mexico border, have managed to block a major corridor used by migrants headed north. Those intent on illegally entering the United States, however, found new routes east and west of here.
And the check is in the mail ...
President Robert Mugabe’s Government is to compensate hundreds of white farmers whose land was seized under Zimbabwe’s land reform program, a state-run newspaper said."Government has completed fixing compensation for 822 farms compulsorily acquired under the land reform program," The Herald said yesterday.The Government has said it would pay money for buildings, dams and "any improvements" on the farms but not for the land itself.The da
Jesus Saves, we don’t
Thomas Britt, filling in for Djerejian at The Belgravia Dispatch, takes note of Paul Volckers recent trade deficit warnings, and worries...So the imbalance, or disequilibrium, or whatever one wants to call the cir
The man who can’t shut up
Sen. John Kerry can’t help it. He still can’t believe he lost to George W. Bush. Oh he says he accepts the results of the election and that any voting irregularities there might have been weren’t enough to change the outcome. But saying that and meaning it are two different things. If all of that is true then why is he making claims about voter intimidation and trickery now? "Last
The AP’s Amazing Mental Powers
The Associated Press is really on top of the confirmation hearings for John Bolton. I mean, they are on it. Just read the lede for this report by AP Diplomatic Writer Barry Schweid, which is headlined "Democrats Grill U.N. Nominee John Bolton":Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton faced tough questioning Monday from Senate Democrats on his nomination to be th
Why are they defending Tom Delay?
Steve Sturm at Thoughts on Line is becoming disenchanted with the "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" defense of Tom DeLay by Republicans. He says it reminds him of why he lost respect for most of the Democrats during Clinton’s administration:I also become disenchanted with his enablers and apologists. Whether it was to keep their jobs in a Democratic Administration
Krugman on Government Intervention
Paul Krugman (correctly) notes that Health Care is a bigger problem than Social Security, and examines ways to fix it. Unfortunately, his policy prescriptions represent an abandonment of a lifetimes work.... To get effective reform, however, we’ll need to shed some preconceptions - in particular, the ideologically driven belief that government is always the problem and market competition is
The Demand Curve for Liberty
Patri Friedman at Catallarchy links to this David Brin commentary in Liberty. It’s worth serious consideration...
More Anarchy!
Some other Anarchist questions and answers, brought forward from the comments of the previous post.Tip here, guys. If your goal is to bring people under the big tent, this kind of thing: "Tha abolishment of the State is a Utopian pipe dream. ...If you want to see what an anarchistic state looks like, Somalia provides a salutary example. ... Anarchists are just as foolish as the communists were if they
Photoblogging and more Wallpapers
Chris and I went out today on another photo safari, which is our idea of a good time. First stop was Carlsbad, where we went to the flower fields. There is a commercial flower company that has a whole hillside filled with flowers. Below is a picture of some of the workers tending the flowers.We got some nice pictures here, including this one: 
Questions From an Anarchist
A libertarian anarchist in Austin TX, who goes by the name "Drizzten", and runs a blog called "Magnifisyncopathological" has some questions for me..1. Is your ultimate political goal the abolishment of the State or is it similar to minarchism’s "night watchman state"?Tha abolishment of the State is a Utopian pipe dream.
Free Stuff!
As some of you may know, photography has long been a hobby of mine. Periodically, I offer some of my pictures as Desktop wallpapers. Each of the thumbnails below links to a 1024x768 wallpaper, in JPG format. Please feel free to download and use any you wish. ImageTitle
Moles among us
Lest we forget, we have others out there trying to spy on us, not all of which are our "enemies".Because the US has reached such lone, superpower status, government officials say, at least 90 countries - in addition to Al Qaeda - are attempting to steal some of the nation’s most sacred secrets. It’s not only foes, like members of terror groups or nations that are adversaries of
John Bolton: UN Skeptic, Saviour
The New York Times Editors search desperately for a reason to oppose John Bolton’s nomination to the UN.[John Bolton is] unqualified for the post to which he’s been named. At a minimum, the United States representative to the United Nations should be a person who believes it is a good idea. Mr. Bolton has never made secret his disdain for the United Nations, for multilaterali
One of those days
Well, I’m just having one of those days when nothing seems interesting enough to rise to the level of blogging. Looking over the op/ed pages...ho-hum. The pope is still dead. John Bolton shouldn’t even be allowed to go to New York City, much less the UN building. Robert Mugabe is an ass. Tom DeLay has ethical problems.Maybe I should’ve saved my evening blogging from yesterday for today.I did s
Handshakes heard round the world?
Will this seemingly insignificant but none the less surprising occurrance (although, in reality, its not insignificant at all to those who understand how these things work) blossom into something much more significant? Ironic isn’t it, that it should take place at the funeral of a man dedicated to peace?Israel’s president said he shook hand
"Full Faith and Credit"
The editors of the New York Times are affronted that the president would have the temerity to expose the sham that is the "Social Security Trust Fund" by demonstrating that the trust fund consists of IUOs from the government to the government.In his speech, Mr. Bush went on to acknowledge that future generations would have to make good on
Supply-Side Quackery
As regular QandO readers know, I’m not a Supply-Sider. And, when I read things like this from Larry Kudlow, it doesn’t help to convert me. In a long article in which he declares, categorically, that lower tax rates increase economic growth, he sticks this in:President Clinton, you might recall, raised taxes in his first term, but lowered them in his second term, contributing to a burst of investme
Liberty or Compulsion
Steve Chapman takes a look at the Illinois case of the pharmacist who, on moral grounds, refused to fill prescriptions for morning-after birth control pills. This has Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich incensed. He’s issued an emergency regulation that requires pharmacies, regardless of the wishes of their pharmacists, to dispense abortifacients. And he’s getting support from the Media Bigs, too.
A War for Oil
Morton Kondracke notes that, despite the fact that the economy and foreign affairs seems to be going better under President Bush, his poll numbers keep dropping. Why, Kondracke asks, could this be? One answer:Polls indicate that the reason for the economic unease is gasoline prices, which jumped to $2.16 a gallon last week and are likely to surge even higher because of rising world oil prices.
Chalabi’s doing OK
Max Boot writes that Ahmed Chalabi’s boot to the head by Washington may have turned out to be the best thing for him.But don’t worry about Chalabi. Unlike [Former US Labor] Secretary [Raymond] Donovan, he’s done just fine. Contrary to CIA reports that he had no constituency, he has positioned himself at the center of Iraqi politic
How to use QandO Comments
Apparently, many of our commenters come out of the world of online forums, where HTML features like hyperlinks are set of by brackets, like this: [url][/url]Our comments section is not a forum. It uses HTML tags, not special set-offs like the above. That means that to create a hyperlink, you have to use the A tag in HTML. An example:<a href="">Link Text</a>Even easier, you can just highlight th
More on the Schiavo Memo
A reporter for the Washington Times contacted us to inform us that, while the Washington Post is getting the credit for breaking the Schiavo memo story, the actual legwork was done by the Times’ Capitol Hill reporters, Brian DeBose and Stephen Dinan. DeBose and Dinan canvassed every single senator to try and track down where the memo came from. Dinan and DeBose reported their results in the Washington Times in Wednesday morning’s edition. The sto
It wasn’t a matter of "if", but "when"
And "when" is today. The Minuteman Project has run into its first bit of controversy (over and above that of its members just being on the border). The stated goal of the group was to "monitor" the border. That was explained to mean, watch and report, but no, none, nada, zip, zero confrontation and certainly no restraining of illegals. In fact, from their  
In the "Life’s a Bitch" category ...
... we have a visibly upset Saddam watching the election of a Kurd to the presidency of Iraq:It was galling viewing for Saddam, according to Bakhtiar Amin, the human rights minister, who said the former dictator had chosen to view the recording of the parliamentary vote."He was clearly upset. He realised that it was over, that a democratic process had taken place and that ther
Testing it out in Mosul
An important test begins in Iraq:The two dozen Iraqi soldiers marched in formation into downtown Mosul, streets emptying in their path. The men trained their rifles on potential bomb threats: a donkey-drawn vegetable cart, a blue Opel sedan, a man with a bulge beneath his tattered gray coat.Less than a month ago, U.S. forces patrolled these dangerous streets. But on this humid mo
Democratic Peace
One of the most notable Blog "finds" I’ve had in quite awhile is Democratic Peace, written by a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Hawaii, and Nobel Peace Prize nominee RJ Rummel. Dean Esmay was kind enough to tip me to his blog, and RJ Rummel has since joined our Neolibertarian Network, and agreed to cont
I don’t know about you, Bubba, but I like the Butt Paste car
Sponsorship is life in NASCAR and like good capitalists drivers and teams festoon their cars with their sponsor’s logos. The bigger the sponsor the bigger the logo. And the biggest sponsor usually sees the car called by its products name. The "Budweiser car", the "Dupont car", etc.Enter the "Butt Paste car".Yes, that’s right, Buttpaste. That would be Kim Cros
And speaking of stupidity ...
... it seems the GOP (or at least a GOP staffer) was indeed the author of the Schiavo memo, despite their vociferous denials: The legal counsel to Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) admitted yesterday that he was the author of a memo citing the political advantage to Republicans of intervening in the case of Terri Schiavo, the senator said in an interview last night.Brian
The Schiavo Memo Denouement
Turns out the "Schiavo Memo" originated from the Office of Republican Senator Mel Martinez. Well, that’s barely interesting. You may recall I remained agnostic on the provenance of the Schiavo memo. I did so for a simple reason: despite the rancor it created, the memo simply was neither unique nor offensive. As I wrote...P
Polls and the Schiavo aftermath
Zogby has released a full poll on the aftermath of the Schiavo affair. It seems, upon cursory reading, to contradict reported polling which claimed 80% of the American public favored leaving the feeding tube out and allowing Schiavo to die:A poll completed after the controversial death of Terri Schiavo finds that eight-in-ten (80%) likely voters say that a disabled person who is not terminally ill or in a coma,
Misrepresentation by GOP
I’ve read this story three times now. Once when I found it, once to insure it said what I thought it said and the third time just because it seemed so blatantly fraudulent:The good news reached the Jamestown, N.Y., office of Dr. Rudolph Mueller in a fax from a congressman in Washington. Mueller had been named 2004 Physician of the Year."My secretary came running in and said, &
If anyone would know about ’mixed legacies’... would be Bill Clinton (via Drudge):En route to Rome, Clinton told reporters the pope “centralized authority in the papacy again and enforced a very conservative theological doctrine. There will be debates about that. The number of Catholics increased by 250 million on his watch. But the numbers of priests didn’t. He’s like all of us - he may have a mixed legacy.”Yup, just
Annan hires criminal lawyer
Does the name Greg Craig ring a bell?Impeachment?Bill Clinton?Yes, Greg Craig was Bill Clinton’s criminal attorney during the impeachment procedings.And now he’s Kofi Annan’s criminal lawyer according to NewsMax.NewsMax has learned that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has privately retained the services of celebrated Washington criminal d
Question to Spammers
If I see an email from someone named "Transmuting O. Evenest", do you really think I’m interested in opening it?UPDATE [Jon Henke]—From my spam trap: "Excoriation O. Forethought".I think I went to elementary school with him.
The College of Cardinals has set the 18th of April for the beginning of the Conclave to elect a new Pope.Meanwhile, looking at the futures markets, Tradesports has open contracts on the leading contenders to replace Pope John Paul II.1. Dionigi Tettamanzi:
A Big-State Governor
Say what you want about Hillary Clinton, But I’m telling you: Watch Ed Rendell.
Another Sign of the Apocalypse
Bruce Batlett is now on record as supporting a national VAT, and he announces it on the pages of the New York Times.It goes back to my previous post below. We’re killing—or will be killing—the budget with Social Security and medicare. And that will require tax increases. Massive ones.I am no deficit hawk. For decades I have argued that the negative effects o
Meanwhile at the Master’s ...
... the NYTimes reports that the protesters are missing in Augusta as it opens. Martha Burke, trying to put the best face she can on her failure said:"I wouldn’t go near a golf course. I am so disgusted with what I learned about the way corporate America uses golf and how women a
No Hard Choices, Ever!
Robert Samuelson writes that the rising costs of government benefits, mainly Social Security and Medicare in an aging society, threaten to kick off an economic and political death spiral. And even President Bush’s Social Security "reform" proposals are merely an attempt to sidestep this reality. Read the following passage very carefully.The facts are hiding in plain sight. The
A Mexican Dilemma
There is a development in Mexico which bears close watching as a Washington Post editorial points out. It appears to be a bit of political maneuvering by the ruling party of Vincente Fox to keep a popular lefist opposition leader out of the upcoming presidential race:Five years after Mexico established itself as an electoral democracy, its Congress faces a decision that could undermine that
Passports and terrorism
An unfortunate product of the fear of terrorism ... or not:Starting December 31, U.S. citizens will need a passport to get back into the country from the Caribbean, Central and South America. Flights and ships from Mexico and Canada will be phased in next year.By 2008, all travelers, including drivers will need a passport to cross the border. Travel Consultant with National Travel Systems in Lubboc
President Jalal Talabani
Iraq has an interim President...As Saddam Hussein watched from a television in his cell, Iraq’s national assembly today appointed one of his most tenacious opponents to the office of president, taking a significant step in forming a new government and breaking a poli
The Dog That Didn’t Bark
So, I see a report in the Washington Times about this CNN/ABC Gallup Poll.Public opposition to "marriages" between homosexuals is at an all-time high, according to a poll released yesterday. When asked whether they thought same-sex "marriages" should be recognized by the law as valid and come with the same rights as traditional marriages, 68 percent of the respondents in the
Wet Work
Arnaud de Borchgrave recaps in the Washington Times the 1981 plot to kill the pope. It has long been thought that the Bulgarian secret service pointed Mehmet Ali Agca toward the pope at the behest of the KGB. De Borchgrave not only looks as the old evidence that this was true, but also relates some brand new evidence:Last week, Corriere della Sera, Italy’s most influential daily,
The utility of approval ratings
My first reaction to "2nd term approval ratings" is ’who cares?’ That’s my first reaction.President George W. Bush’s approval rating has plunged to the lowest level of any president since World War II at this point in his second term, the Gallup Organization reported today."All other presidents who were re-elected to a
The indoctrination will proceed as planned
Last week Howard Kurtz cited a study which told us, surprise, that college teachers and professors are overwhelmingly liberal.By their own description, 72 percent of those teaching at American universities and colleges are liberal and 15 percent are conservative, says the study being published this week. The imbalance is almost as striking in partisan terms, with 50 percent of the faculty me
Another Chavez
Mexico is heading towards another presidential election, and A.M. Mora y Leon warns that the potential outcome could be disastrous.So what do you do if you are a Mexican voter, soon to be offered a choice of three candidates for election, one from the old discredited PRI that ruled and ruined Mexico for 70 years, one from the disappointing new third-way PAN that openly wants you to flee your homelan
The Cornyn Speech
The Left side of the ’sphere is terribly upset about this comment by Senator John Cornyn:"I don’t know if there is a cause-and-effect connection, but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. . . . And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters, on some occasions, where judges are making political decision
Intelligence or the lack thereof
The Chicago Tribune ran an editorial yesterday about the present state of US intelligence using the presidential commission’s report that came out last week as its source.The panel makes it clear there are still huge shortcomings in the nation’s efforts to gather and act on useful information about our many enemies. Worse st
The Party of Big/Little Government
Bill Quick:There are many others, but these will do for starters. The Republicans are no longer the party of small, limited government, fiscal sanity, states and individual rights, and the Constitution. In their own way, they have become as bloated, hypocritical, invasive, and spendthrift as much of the worst the Democrats have to offer."And yet", Democrats compl
Pragmatism and Principles
This whole libertarian purity deal irks me. One of the commenters adds, more in sadness than anger,I’m a business guy. We do things pragmatically all the time, but we do so within the framework of very strict business principles. True, we don’t necessarily instruct our clients in what our explicit business principles are (unless it pragmatically helps us make a sale), but they are there nonetheless.What I mean is that there’s place for both, and I don’t think all of one
Minuteman Update
In case you were wondering:Adame, of the Border Patrol, said the [Minuteman] project reported its first group of undocumented immigrants, totaling 18 people, about 4 p.m. Saturday near Borderline Road."They just kind of kept an eye on them and pointed a finger and said, ’There they are.’ "I wonder what their final count will be when they head ou
Modernizing God
One of the most interesting—if irritating—features of the coverage surrounding the death of John Paul II has been the more or less constant harping by the media about the pope’s “failure” or “resistance” to modernizing the church’s doctrine. The editors of The Economist are quite typical in this regard. While I am not Catholic myself, I have a passing familiarity with Christian orthodoxy, and thought It might be useful to take a look at their arguments from another point o
To nuke or not to nuke, that is the question
Interesting comment in "The Note":Sen. Bill Frist will at some point soon formally and publicly offer Democrats his "compromise" to avoid what Dems call the "nuclear option" and what Republicans call the "constitutional option" — seeking a rules change to allow cloture (or debate stoppage) with only 51 votes. The Democratic leadership in the Senate is likely to reject the "compromise," but both sides ac
"Libertarian" purists lash out
Among them, my old friend Billy Beck:A commentor at Hit & Run puts Jon Henke in his proper place: "One of the problems libertarians have had is the "purity" issue. I’ve never seen a group of political activists so determined to kick people off the team." Jon, your analogy is wanting. If you are willing to compromise the principles of libertarianism (and libertarianism is n
Sleight of Hand at the New York Times...
The New York Times editorial board draws trends from a data point...It was back to a glum future for job seekers in March, as the economy added only 110,000 new jobs, the worst monthly showing since last July and only about half the number economists had expected.My, but the NYTimes is certainly quick to call the future "glum" on the basis of one marginal month. It’s worth noting that
Bolton is plus 2 in the endorsement game
Last week we had 62 critics send a letter to the Senate committee ( Foreign Relations Committee) charged with "advice and consent" concerning the Bolton nomination. They charged that Bolton "is the wrong man for this position." They also criticized Bolton for his "insistence that the UN is valuable only when it directly serves the United States."Today we have  
Hit (and hit) and Run on Neolibertarianism
Friday, Reason Magazine’s Hit and Run blog was kind enough to link The New Libertarian, and a QandO discussion of Neolibertarianism. They were kind to extend us the link, but the comment section was, er, less kind. Some of the comments, however, were worth passing along, responding to...Good points amusing observationsEric II:
The Necro-Heckler
[via Instapundit] The Pope passes on, and Christopher Hitchens—with his charming sense of time and place—sees fit to kick a man when he’s dead. Is Hitchens courageously going against the flow? Standing up for truth? Bravely saying what "no one else will say about John Paul II"? No, no - nothing so noble. Christopher Hitchens is just
The Lovely Christine and I went to the beach today, where I met a new friend.Chris demurred from any snake handling, by the way.
The Iron Fist of Capitalism
Capitalism...or die!...Modern humans may have driven Neanderthals to extinction 30,000 years ago because Homo sapiens unlocked the secrets of free trade, say a group of US and Dutch economists. [...] Trading would have allowed the division of labour, freeing up skilled individuals, such as hunters, to focus on the tasks they are best at. Others, perhaps making tools or clothes or gathering food, would give th
Pope John Paul II has died
The Washington Post is reporting the Pontiff has died. Pope John Paul II, an obscure Polish prelate who became the supreme pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, has died in the Vatican at the age of 84. A statesman who helped bring down communism, he was also a defender of the faith who insisted that the church confront the sins of its past to prepare it for the third millenn
Gee whiz, G-men!
I remember a time when I thought that the epitome of law enforcement was the FBI. Nothing got by them. They were almost perfect, checking every lead, searching for every clue and nothing, absolutely nothing escaped them.Well that was then, this is now. I guess I began to have serious doubts about the agency and its abilities when Ruby Ridge happened. Subsequently we’ve found out that they’ve
Uncle Abu Wants You!
We’ve expounded at length, as have many others, that the key to Iraq’s eventual success is to be found in the country’s eventual ability to provide security for itself and its citizens.As I see it, the following is a very important net positive development in that regard:A group of Sunni Arab clerics,
Il Papa
Rev. Thomas J. Reese, S.J., editor in chief of America, the Catholic weekly magazine, has the complete rundown on papal sucession. It is fascinating and informative, and, of course, timely, as Pope John Paul II appears to be near the very end of his papacy.
Really Not an American Taliban
On the left, there’s another way of looking at the Religious Right. And, in it’s own way, it carries the same whiff of crankery that the American Theocracy idea has. In this case, the proponent of the idea is Jonathon Chait. Of course, knowing that it’s Mr. Chait making the analysis, should automatically raise red flags about its correctness, but we’ll leave that aside for now. Oh, and it’s also in the Los Angeles Times, which raises a whole ’noth
Like an American Taliban...but not
Writing in the Times of London, Gerard Baker opines that there’s a little too much worry about the influence of the Religious Right.More important, conservatives may have scored some political successes in the past 25 years but the idea that they have been the driving force in American politics is grotesquely overdone. By most hard measures conservatives have failed to shift American law and society in their direction since they became a political force 40 years ago. A
Cold Fusionism
Via Instapundit and his own blog, I see Ryan Sager has a new TCS column on the potential libertarian/Republican balkanization.
Taiwan’s Bane
The Guardian’s Simon Tisdall writes from Taiwan that the ROC Deputy Defense Minister, Michael Tsai isn’t sanguine about the ChiCom threat. Beijing may make all the right mouth noises about peaceful reunification, but Mr. Tsai is convinced the threat of military action is real and growing.
Dying is for everyone
Dick Morris correctly points out that a lot of topics such as abortion and gay marriage find the majority of America on the sidelines with a vague philosophical, moral or political interest in the subject, for most of us we don’t have a "dog in that hunt". We’re too male, too old or too straight to really have it touch our lives.Not so with dying. We’re all goin
Blog Note
Slower than usual day here at QandO, so let me take this opportunity to plug a few things.If you like the look of QandO, you can use the same blogging platform - .Blog It was developed by Dale Franks, and can be had for far less than comparable blogging tools. You can check here for more details, or email Dale. You can find our email
Dowd doesn’t care for WMD Report, makes up her own
Here’s what I assume today’s Maureen Dowd column looked like as a rough draft: I went to see a Woody Allen movie. Um. Hey, how about that Iraq Intelligence Investigation? That didn’t turn out at all like I expected. I’m just gonna assume that the unanimous report from a panel of Democrats and Republicans was a partisan conspiracy to cover
Dumbest NRO Article Ever, Redux
Following up on Dale’s "Dumbest NRO Article Ever" post about the comparison of the US government to a computer (or something), a friend sends me an alternate view. He writes...Ah, but there was a point to the computer analogy; and an insidious one to boot (no analogy intended). It is contained in this paragraph: But an operati
The Imperial Judiciary
ert Brandenburg writes in Slate that there is a movement afoot to limit the power of the Judiciary. But, he says it like it’s a bad thing. He notes that the Schiavo case may be seen as a watershed for the movement to restrain the judiciary.  
The Paranoid Style of Paul Krugman
In his famous 1964 essay "The Paranoid Style of American Politics", Richard Hofstadter wrote...I call it the paranoid style simply because no other word adequately evokes th</