A four-story building on Madison Avenue in Manhattan has collapsed after a very loud explosion was heard that reverberated around the neighborhood. CNN's Larry King, who was staying in a hotel nearby, is quoted as saying he has never heard such a sound. With amazing rapidity, the White House has ruled out terrorism. Maybe they're right, and maybe they already have irrefutable information that rules terrorism out as a cause, but the announcement seems more than a little over-eager to me. It seems to indicate that our top priority is not offending the enemy.
The Spectacle Blog
That headline, being so appropriate to so many occasions, isn't 100% accurate today. The French lost the World Cup Soccer match to Italy with a lot of help from the amazing Italian team. But however valiantly the Italians played, it was the French being themselves that was determinative.
Zidane - whose name we'd never heard before today and will likely never hear again - is (was?) the best of the French players. And he performed perfectly, head-butting an Italian player and earning ejection from the game. It's all too sweet. Viva Italia!
Check out the superb op-ed by Charlotte Allen in today's LA Times, "Liberal Christianity is Paying for Its Sins," here. Concluding graf:
"So this is the liberal Christianity that was supposed to be the Christianity of the future: disarray, schism, rapidly falling numbers of adherents, a collapse of Christology and national meetings that rival those of the Modern Language Assn. for their potential for cheap laughs. And they keep telling the Catholic Church that it had better get with the liberal program - ordain women, bless gay unions and so forth - or die. Sure."
Regina Owens of the Washington Citizen Action group complains about the new ID requirements for signing up for free health insurance, aka Medicaid:
Starting this month, when you apply for Medicaid, take your passport along with you. Thanks to federal legislation passed in February, if you need health insurance, you're going to have to work hard to prove you're a citizen.Boo hoo. The fact is that the taxpayers subsidize Medicaid, and it is reasonable to ask recipients to endure a few more minor inconveniences to ensure that our tax dollars are going only to people who are here legally.
This represents a big change and a big burden. A passport costs almost $100, not a small amount for anyone. As an alternative, you can buy a birth certificate ($28) and a state identification card ($20) -- and bring along proof of your limited income.
Then there is this gem:
Kinsley's article is a self-parody of his third-way liberalism. He compliments pro-lifers "as that rarity in modern American politics: a strong interest group defending the interest of someone other than themselves." Be careful: when a columnist lays on such heavy compliments, he is softening his target for the sucker punch.
He delivers in the next sentence:
Hmmm. Maybe former Secretary of State Colin Powell is more conservative than he knows. Perhaps Powell got ill from something he ate with former President Bill Clinton. We'd like to think it was simply Powell's untapped conservative constitution's allergic reaction to being in the man's presence.
The New York Daily News report this morning about what appears to have been an al Qaeda supported plot to blow up the Holland Tunnel in New York in order to flood the Wall Street financial district is drawing a lot of attention in the blogosphere on the heels of the New York and LA Times' leaking of highly confidential intelligence tools that the U.S. was able to use to track terrorist financing. Why?
Because apparently al Qaeda had promised the purported lead plotter based in Lebanon financial support. Other plotters scattered around the world - some presumably in the U.S. - would have been in need of the funds to purchase explosives, to finance travel, etc.
We've been talking to a few folks inside DOJ, the FBI and Treasury this morning, and things are a bit unclear. But this what we're being told.
In the year since the
In contrast to what happened after the admittedly much bigger catastrophe in New York on September 11, 2001, there has been remarkably little panic. On this side of the Atlantic, we are perhaps more inured to terrorism. The bombers may do their worst but life goes on. Londoners, to their credit, have taken 7/7 in their stride.