By this logic, Howard Dean is responsible for Cynthia McKinney’s ravings.
Under the category of “news reports that we wish were April Fools’ jokes but aren’t," a few of the day’s pickings:
This started with the idea of finding a few funny items. Pity none came up.
In her official statement on the confrontation she had with a police officer last week, Cynthia McKinney contended, “Throughout my tenure in Congress, I seem to evoke memory loss, especially from certain police officers who claim not to be able to recognize my face while I go to work everyday, representing the people of Georgia’s 4th Congressional District.”
Recent Reason hire Dave Weigel, however, has put forward a theory for this “memory loss” outside of racial profiling: A potato-and-cake diet. Check out the pictoral evidence here.
Yes — if we’re all federalists. The predictable groans emanate from the predictable mouths, but Massachusetts has spoken loud and clear:
“The laws of this commonwealth have not endowed nonresidents with an unfettered right to marry…”
“Only nonresident couples who come to Massachusetts and intend to reside in this commonwealth thereafter can be issued a marriage license.”
Federalism — it’s so crazy, it just might work. This is how social experimentation is supposed to happen. And with another feather in the cap of Mitt “We don’t want Massachusetts to become the Las Vegas of same-sex marriage” Romney, the ‘06/’08 plot thickens…
Somehow or other, a Boston Globe reporter got their hands on a list of Grover Norquist’s donor list and wrote up a story on the incongruities and political/philosophical fence-straddling it hints at. It’s an interesting read, though not a surprising one for anyone who has spent time on the edges of the D.C. political hustle bustle. Consistency in the heart of Leviathan? Surely ye jest! On a side note: Why does it seem these days wherever there is smoke there’s an Indian casino?
For obvious reasons, the story uses “Norquist’s largest individual donor: Richard ‘Dickie’ Scruggs, a Democratic Mississippi trial lawyer, who contributed $4.3 million” as the recurring peg of the story. Who this information will to hurt more—Norquist in conservatives’ eyes or trial lawyers in liberals’ eyes—is not clear. Apparently Scruggs wanted Norquist to help stop a Republican proposal to put a ceiling on legal fees trial lawyers could take home, which makes for the following priceless bit towards the end of the story:
Given that trial lawyers are major donors to the Democratic Party, Scruggs saw the attack on their fees as a Republican effort ”aimed at essentially de-funding the Democratic Party by penalizing trial lawyers.”
That’s hardly the best press Democrats could get out of an article going after one of the most recognized men in the Republican establishment. Now Scruggs wants to play victim, feigning shock at the very idea that Norquist might have spent some of his money on Republicans. “That is the opposite motivation for which I contributed to them,” Scruggs said. “I would never have done it.” Grover Norquist helping Republicans??! The very idea comes, literally, out of nowhere. Or maybe out of Reagan National Airport. Whatever.
“I paid a lot of money,” Scruggs said. ”I thought that was the way the game was played.”
Hmm. Well, the proposal was defeated and you did get to keep the $1 billion fee from the tobacco lawsuits, Scruggs, no? I’d say that’s a pretty fair indication that you played the game just fine and came out on top to boot.
Or, to paraphrase the Gipper, you can dig but you can’t hide. Buried in the news yesterday was a report that will rock Las Vegas. Literally.
In about three months, the boys and girls will be testing a new device at the Nevada test range on Nellis AFB near Las Vegas. Normally, that wouldn’t cause anyone’s dice to jump, but in this case the new device is a 700-ton — yep, you read that right, 140,000 pounds if my math is right — weapon called “Divine Strake.” It’s a penetrator that is designed to go very deep and then destroy whatever its explosive charge can reach. And that will be very deep indeed. (Strake, by the by, is an archaic term for the planks or plates at the very bottom of a ship’s hull going from stem to stern).
This is clearly being developed with the Iranian nuclear weapons program in mind. I asked my favorite RSG and FNC senior military analyst Lt. Gen. Tom McInerny about Divine Strake. He said:
The DTRA test on a 700 ton warhead is designed to penetrate deeply buried bunkers and nuclear facilities that our adversaries are building. We are using conventional explosives with very advanced penetrating warheads to penetrate hardened granite or concrete targets. Although the penetrating distances are classified they are very impressive.
I also asked Tom about the Iran wargames coming up. His view is that they will provide us with a lot of valuable intel about how the Iranian military operates. They have two separate military establishments, and each has its own army, navy and air force. It will be fascinating to see how they work together, and how well.
Larry: Possible, but very unlikely. Tehran doesn’t want to start anything until they’re able to deplloy nuclear weapons. They’ll try to provoke, maybe even send some aircraft toward our ships in Dubai. More than that, and they know they’ll be going too far. But the point will be made. They have the ability to close the Strait of Hormuz and starve us of oil. This confrontation is coming. And they’re not the only ones preparing for it. (See Nota Bene, Mahmoud, above).
In one of Tom Clancy’s novels, a belligerent Japan uses a supposedly peaceful war game with the U.S. to start a real conflict. Any chance Iran could use their war game scenario to make a real strike at the Straits of Hormuz?
Funny how former Sen. George Mitchell is now heading Major League Baseball’s belated steroids investigation. He must not have been encouraged by the results of this trolling for work with other athletic endeavors.
We hear Mitchell was one of the first in line to beg outgoing National Football League commissioner Paul Tagliabue for an opportunity to fill his very large shoes. After all Mitchell thinks he brokered peace in Northern Ireland, he figures he can broker anything. But Mitchell’s star is somewhat tarnished by his role as a board member at the Walt Disney Company, which was detailed in joyously brutal detail by Jim Stewart in his “Disney Wars” book.
Given Mitchell’s desire for the spotlight, it’s doubtful Tagliabue would be looking to him as a reasonable replacement, and the 32 egos in NFL ownership wouldn’t like him much, either.
So the NYT thinks Josh Bolton is going to shake things up on the economic and Congressional fronts. Now there’s a news flash!
Bolton is probably going to do more than that. This is a man who famously keeps longer hours than Andy Card does, and drives his staff perhaps harder than any other senior White House official.
In terms of bringing in legislative help, we’re hoping the name won’t be former Sen. Dan Coats, who may make a great Supreme Court nominee sherpa, but has gained the reputation since leaving office of being lazy. As U.S. ambassador to Germany, he was famous for spending more time on the golf courses in Europe than in-country, and was a major reason for the breakdown in the U.S.-Germany relationship. Relations between Congress and the White House are bad enough, we don’t need Coats to help things along a bit more.
Our pick would be a someone from outgoing Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s staff. With a year to go before he retires, he could probably “lend” the White House a strong legislative mover and shaker with the relationships on both sides of Congress to ease relations.
There’s no need to wait thirty days for the Iranian response to the UN’s demands. They’ve already rejected complying with UN requirements to stop enriching uranium. And now,
The revolutionary guards corps navy and air force in collaboration with (Iran's regular) army, navy, (the volunteer militia) Basij, and the Iranian police will start a manoeuvre from 31 March until 6 April in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman…The exercise will cover an area stretching from the northern tip of the Persian Gulf all the way to the port city of Chah-Bahar in the Sea of Oman extending 40km into the sea.
Hmm. According to my maps, that’s about 300 miles from the
Iran is dragging its coat at our doorstep. The conflict with
Dave: One curious note in that “plan.” The Dems say they will “eliminate” Osama bin Laden. Not that I wouldn’t personally pull the trigger (more than once) given the opportunity, but does this mean that the Dems would annul EO 12333? As I recall, that’s the one that prohibits assassinations. I wonder what “eliminate” means in the Dems lexicon. Would they go so far as to exclude him from the amnesty being granted illegal immigrants? I doubt Hapless Harry would ever be that harsh, judgmental or exclusionist.
Even the L.A. Times’ Ron Brownstein is underwhelmed: “…leading Democrats on Wednesday released a plan that promised to strengthen America’s security but offered few details about how they would achieve their sweeping goals.”
Bob: I think we should be grateful to the Senate Dems who blocked the nomination of John Bolton to the UN ambassadorship. The fact that the president used a recess appointment to get him into the job increased his influence rather than decreased it by showing the Turtle Bay crime family that Bolton has the president’s confidence.
That confidence was not misplaced, as Bolton proved yesterday with his tough words on the Iran nuclear program. Not only did he say that we expect full compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but he pushed aside the Chinese attempt to put the UN’s position in the hands of the feckless IAEA and proliferation apologist el-Baradei. Bolton said we were prepared to be back to the Security Council on the 31st day if Iran wasn’t completely forthcoming. The clock is ticking, and — fortunately for us — the official timekeeper’s name is Bolton.
Jill Carroll was released today.
Belatedly, here is my full take on the “shake-up” at the White House: It’s a good thing that there is a mild, evolutionary change there, and it would have been bad if there had either been no change or a huge, revolutionary change. (The Post, by the way, used the evolutionary/revolutionary contrast in its headline, but I had already used it in my interview with the Post’s Peter Baker and other interviews yesterday.) Andy Card was not the problem, but having him step aside, after good and faithful service, might be the beginning of solving the problem. Aside from Card’s rumored responsibility (in large part) for the Miers nomination fiasco, I know of no other reason to believe that he was anything other than an honest broker who was well organized (although EVERYBODY’S competence was called into question by Katrina) and well liked.
So why is it good, then, that Card is leaving? Because this White House DOES deserve its reputation for arrogance and insularity, at least in some areas, and because ANYthing that changes top staff who deal with the president every day has the potential to open up the White House to new ideas/perspectives/approaches. For all I know, Josh Bolten and Andrew Card might check the same box 100 straight times on a list of policy choices, but that doesn’t mean Bolten will present the ideas/issues to Bush the same way that Card did, and it doesn’t mean that Bolten wouldn’t mention other ideas or outside suggestions to Bush that Card never heard of. Every time there is a change in personnel, there is a change in the interpersonal dynamics around the Oval Office and the West Wing generally — as happens in just about every office situation in America. So, even without being at fault for anything in particular, Card may have fallen into routines or habits that, by the unpredictable alchemy of personal relationships, might not any longer serve the president as well as will Bolten’s routines or habits. It is therefore no knock on Card to say that his departure can help the White House get out of the doldrums.
And make no mistake: This White House needs help. Its relationships with Capitol Hill have been poor, its relations with the conservative movement have been spotty, and its communications to the American public at large have been ineffective.
So why, then, would it not be better to have an even BIGGER shake-up than a mere change from insider Card to insider Bolten? Because this isn’t, overall, a failed White House, but it is a hobbled one. In some ways, operationally, this White House works well — indeed, its discipline, while it is arguably taken to lengths so great that it becomes stifling and thus counterproductive, is nevertheless a virtue that many previous administrations (esp. Clinton’s) would have almost sold their collective souls to achieve. So what was needed wasn’t a revolution to upset every apple cart in the West Wing (to fall into cliches, unfortunately; please forgive me), but instead a turnover to a new chief who is nevertheless already familiar with the president’s personality, desires, rhythms, etc.
All of which is to explain why I really meant to say “good riddance” to Card, in that it is good that this overworked public servant is leaving, but only in a “friendly” way, as in “You’ve done your job well; now go get some rest so others can carry on.”
By the way, all four print reporters who interviewed me yesterday are almost certain to confirm that this is what I told them, too.
Finally, let me say that I do hope other small but significant changes at the White House are in the offing as well. Obviously, I have been a critic of its Katrina response, its spending habits, and often its communications. But its heart and mind both are largely in the right place, and a pint or two of new blood might go a long way towards making the whole body of the administration more effective at carrying out the intentions of its heart and mind.
The folks at Media Matters are mad at employees for leaking internal emails to Wonkette. How do we know? Because of an internal email leaked to Wonkette.
The estimable Peter Baker of the Washington Post is a very solid reporter, but a story today on Andy Card stepping down, to which he contributed, had the effect of misrepresenting what I said. The problem is in the first line of the paragraph: Some conservatives are glad to see Card go. Quin Hillyer, executive editor of the American Spectator magazine, offered a “friendly good riddance” to the chief of staff. “This White House is justly criticized for its insularity, and this little bit of shake-up may help break up that insularity just a little,” he said. “Without saying anything bad about Andy Card, it’s a good opportunity for the White House to get a new start.”
I never said I was particularly glad to see Card himself go - so the juxtaposition of that line with my quote puts a completely different color to what I said. I said I was glad to see a mini-shake-up in general, and that completely apart from Card’s own performance it makes sense to have a new chief of staff because that’s the person who deals most directly day-to-day with the president, so any change there, even of personality, has the best chance to provide for new ideas/perspectives to reach the president. The “without saying anything bad about Andy Card” part of the quote, as well as the “friendly” part of the “good riddance,” is something I elaborated on at great length, in fact calling Card “by all accounts, a prince of a guy.”
To be quite clear, the words within quotes are absolutely accurate.
I think what probably happened is that the main reporter on this particular piece was Michael Fletcher, while Baker (who did another whole piece on the staff change) was one of two reporters merely listed as having “contributed” to the Fletcher piece. In such circumstances, it is very easy for the main writer or the editor putting the material together to get something slightly out of context because they weren’t the ones who actually did the interview. So this isn’t really a complaint about ANYthing Baker did, but only a clarification for the record, especially for Post readers who might be wondering what I have against Andy Card in particular — the answer to which is, of course, nothing at all.
Meanwhile, I also was quoted, absolutely correctly, in this article in the Houston Chronicle:
Quin Hillyer, executive editor of the American Spectator, a conservative-leaning national magazine, said Bolten’s new role is an opportunity for the administration to address the insularity some conservatives think is hurting Bush’s ability to be an effective leader.
“I want a little more openness to outside thoughts and a little less arrogance - not necessarily meaning Card, but from the White House in general,” Hillyer said. “And I would like somebody to push the president into vetoing bills, especially some spending bills.”
More on all this in a later post here on AmSpecBlog….
Behold Sir Tom Jones. As a song like “Sex Bomb” seems an increasingly quaint and embarrassing relic, so too does the title bestowed now upon the man who belted it. In Britain, pop celebrity has been the tube feed in the monarchy since “Goodbye England’s Rose” (turn speakers on). How long, in America, until celebrity itself needs life support? Not-quite-celebrity writer Kurt Andersen considers; I counter-consider here.
If you had any doubts that the Specter-McCain-Graham bill creates and amnesty for illegal aliens, listen how carefully its namesakes are parsing their words in support. And listen to the NYT editorial of today that says, of course it’s not amnesty. And then goes on to show how it is.
No matter how many smoke grenades Mr. McCain tosses - his arguments on tv have degenerated to “I can read the dictionary, and this isn’t amnesty by that definition” - he never address the main point. Illegal aliens now here are made qualified for US citizenship by this awful, destructive bill. No matter how many puffs of powder or coats of lipstick you put on this pig, it’s still a pig.
The guestworker programs we should have - instead of this monstrosity - would allow people to work here, even raise families here, pay their taxes and educate their kids. But it wouldn’t make them citizens or even eligible for citizenship. In order to become a citizen, you should have to enter the country legally — as tens of thousands do — stay, pay your taxes, and apply in due course. To say that the McCain amnesty bill is not amnesty is simply to tell an outright lie.
This is one of the issues that defines us as a nation. And defines our presidential candidates on both sides. Messrs. McCain, a sponsor, and Mr. Brownback, who voted for it, have both disqualified themselves from higher office. For McCain, it’s not the first time.
I just heard Chris Burns reporting from Paris on the vainglorious student protests for CNN. Burns fawning reportage suggests he’s gone native and may start chucking rocks at French police himself at any moment, but this bit caught my eye in particular.
[French businesses] want to see someone proving their worth. However, I guess, if you put your mind in some of these youth’s minds…they study very hard for very long. They have a degree. And they would like to get a job. They would like to get a job with security. And what is being offered to them is a low-wage job with absolutely no security, no guarantee. The boss can fire them no questions asked in the first two years of that contract. That’s absolutely outrageous to a lot of these students who think it’s just an insult.
I don’t want to sound like anyone’s Dad here, but it seems to me a fair degree of job security can be obtained by working hard and being reliable. After all, who is going to fire a great employee “no questions asked”? Since these complaints are coming from perpetually-on-strike union workers and students who have enough time on their hands to spend the better part of a week hanging out in the streets, they’ll have to forgive me if I’m a bit skeptical that this is a mass movement to protect their right to work hard and be productive.
Which is worse for the rule of law: protesters who hurl rocks at cops or protesters who storm the freeways? L.A. and Paris have themselves a competition: is it easier for the USA to control its borders than for France to step an inch toward at-will contracts? The non spirit has gone establishment. The lesson to us — face your problems before it’s too late, I think.
I’m late for a meeting, but word just came that the great Caspar Weinberger, Reagan’s Defense Secretary, has died as well. I’ll write more on him later, but for now I’ll just say: His was a life well lived. The United States is in his debt. What a terrific man.
We’ll have more on this later today, I feel certain, but for now please let me put in my two cents mourning the death of, but celebrating the life of, loyal Reaganite and world-class character Lyn Nofziger. What a true conservative, what a wonderfully un-egotistical, what an approachable and authentic and principled man he was! As a college student in the early/mid 1980s I attended the Conservative Political Action Conference three straight years and always thought one of the highlights each year was whatever panel Nofziger sat on. He never pulled punches, never trimmed his sails, always gave his opinions unvarnished. He was entertaining, funny, irreverent, delightful. And later on he wrote a few western novels; I read the first one of them just two years ago. “Tackett,” it was called, and it was simple and fun, a great bit of old-fashioned storytelling. Tackett was a good man, and so was the author who created his exploits. May he rest in peace, as he rests always in our highest esteem.
I heard news of Andy Card’s resignation on NPR as I drove in. The commentator (Nina Totenberg, I think) promised more on “the shakeup” later in the day.
A shakeup? Not so fast. He’s been there five years. He’s reported to only sleep five or so hours a night. For any mortal, this is overdue. A shakeup would be welcome (especially in the Communications Office — ahem!), but one tired guy resigning does not a shakeup make.
The new White House Chief of Staff will be Office of Management and Budget Director Josh Bolten.
What’s with the “Jobs With Justice” signs at the Boston immigration protest? Jobs With Justice is a union project. That would make the Boston protest not-so-spontaneous.
Forgot to follow up on this one late last week: Sen. Conrad Burns did not pull out of his reelection race. In fighting spirits for his reelection campaign this year, he gave a “podium-pounding speech” Saturday night to rally supporters. It’ll be one long, hard road: He’s drawn three primary opponents. Three Democrats are vying for the chance to face him in the general.
As someone who who doesn’t believe the wrong of liberal bias in the classroom should be countered with the creation of conservative bias in others—the “what kind of sheep shall we raise” argument is not convincing to people such as myself who are not interested in herding any sheep—I was particularly interested in this bit from a fascinating Opinion Journal interview with Thomas Sowell.
Mr. Sowell may be an unabashed free-market adherent, but he’s proud to say that Professor Sowell left his personal views out of the classroom. In his 2000 memoir, “A Personal Odyssey,” he relates an episode in which some students approached him after taking his graduate seminar on Marxian theory. They expressed appreciation for the course but added, “We still don’t know what your opinion is on Marxism.” He took it as an unintended compliment.
“My job was to teach them economics, not teach them what I
happen to believe,” says Mr. Sowell, who adds that efforts by some
today to counterbalance the prevailing liberalism in academia with
more right-wing instructors is not only an exercise in futility but
a disservice to students. “Even if you succeed in propagandizing
the students while they’re students, it doesn’t tell you much
[about how they’ll turn out]. I suspect that over half [of the
conservatives at the Hoover Institution] were on the left in their
20s. More important, though, let’s assume for the sake of argument
that, whatever you’re propagandizing them with on the left or
right, every conclusion you teach them is correct. It’s only a
matter of time before all those conclusions are obsolete because
entirely different issues are going to arise over the lifetimes of
these students. And so, if you haven’t taught them how to weigh one
argument against another, you haven’t taught them
Hat tip: Paul Sands.
I’ll be subbing for Hugh again tonight. Tune in. You’re not going to want to miss John Fund on the Taliban at Yale, Michael Barone on this year’s elections and a whole bunch more. 6-9 EST on the Salem Radio Network.
My heart doesn’t well with joy at this sight.
Icarus Fallen noticed a classic Scalia moment. As he left the Red Mass in Boston yesterday, a reporter asked “if he fends off a lack of flak for publicly celebrating his conservative Roman Catholic beliefs.”
Justice Scalia replied with a gesture with his fist under his chin. “That’s Sicilian,” he said, “It’s none of their business.” Hear, hear!
For the Spectator’s impressively strong contingent of New Hampshire readers as well as those who admire the state from afar, here’s a great new blog dedicated to all things Granite State.
I must admit I was more than a little bit surprised to see the following headline on the front page of this weekend’s Boston Globe: Drug tally shoots down a racial myth. Kudos to them for not burying this story on page B12:
A new report by the Boston Public Health Commission explodes the myth that drug abuse is centered in the city’s minority communities, indicating that while whites make up half of city residents, they comprise two-thirds to three-fourths of those who have died from drug abuse in recent years.
The gap between whites and minority group members in drug-related deaths persisted over the five years studied, although the size of the difference fluctuated. Death rates rose for all racial groups studied: whites, blacks, and Hispanics.
Check out the rest here. So does this mean we might possibly be nearing the point where those who die from drug abuse can be considered drug addicted individuals rather than racial conglomerates only useful in the statistical aggregate? It seems to me this would be a healthier and more effective way to approach the problem.
Harris Miller, a Democrat primary candidate for the U.S. Senate, is aiming for the Republican incumbent rather than his primary opponent. Miller called on Sen. George Allen to resign today. The call was based on Allen’s comment in yesterday’s New York Times that the Senate “is too slow for me.” He ends up looking like a job hunter, so Miller argues that Allen is too focused on a presidential run to campaign credibly for reelection.
Whether or not Miller makes a good case, he can’t help but looking like he’s shying away from a fight.
I knew this legal battle was pending, but Apple v. Apple goes to court this week.
What’s in a name? It was easy for Apple Computer to promise Apple Corps (the Beatles’ label) early on that it wouldn’t get into the music business. After all, what business would they have there? Some serious creativity and convergence later, and Apple is peddling music with a majority of the market share.
The legal particulars of the case aside, Apple Corps is likely missing out on serious money — whether in sales of Beatles songs on iTunes or in royalties. They’d be wise to open their catalog to the market and cash in.
As an editorial on this page recently asked: “Anyone out there have a better idea” than the Bush administration’s policy of high-profile democracy promotion in the Arab and Muslim worlds as a means to fight terrorism? Well, yes, there is one. That better idea consists of separating the struggle against radical Islamism from promoting democracy in the Middle East, focusing on the first struggle, and dramatically changing our tone and tactics on the democracy promotion front, at least for now.
The essential problem with the administration’s approach is that it conflates two issues that are separate. The first has to do with violent, antimodern radical Islamism (on display both in the reaction to the Danish cartoons and in the mosque bombing in Samarra); the second concerns the dysfunctionality of political and social institutions in much of the Arab world.
As I said before, we need to regard the establishment of democracy in the Middle East as a collateral goal. The measure of victory in the war against terrorism is, in fact, the defeat of the state sponsors of terrorism and the ideology of the radical Islamists. Fukuyama has it about right. “Democracy promotion should remain an integral part of American foreign policy, but it should not be seen as a principal means of fighting terrorism.” Now all we gotta do is get W on board.
More on our upgrades around these parts: In addition to our snazzy new Digital Spectator, we’re helping sate your hunger for Ben Stein.
If you don’t subscribe to the mag, you may not know that Ben also authors one of our most popular monthly features, “Ben Stein’s Diary.” Have Ben’s Diary delivered to your email inbox for $1.95 per month for every month we publish (ten times per year). Sign up by March 31, 2006 and get a bonus Diary free with your subscription.
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What’s happened to the Sport Illustrated jinx? It was put to the test this past week when the magazine when with six “regional covers” in time for the NCAA Sweet 16 showdown. The cover boys represented Gonzaga, Wichita State, Bradley, Florida, George Mason and Boston College, respectively. Only two of those schools survived. A 67 percent attrition rate suggests the jinx remains pretty much in tact.
As the spouse of a George Mason Law School alum, I can claim a genuine affinity to this local school that of a sudden has become the darling of the entire Washington area — not bad for a basketball program whose home games attracted an average of 4,500 viewers to the 10,000 seat Patriot Arena. Has there ever been a bandwagon more overloaded?
If you can’t beat your (hopeful) opponent, ask him to resign. That’s what Democrat Harris Miller will do today in a conference call. Via press release:
U.S. Senate candidate Harris Miller will hold a conference call for reporters today at 1:15pm to address comments by Senator George Allen in yesterday’s New York Times.
Based on those comments, Miller will be calling on Senator Allen to step down.
WHAT: Harris Miller will address comments made by Senator George Allen and call on Allen to resign.
WHERE: Via conference call…
WHEN: Monday, March 27th
Presumably, Miller means Allen’s frequent comment that the Senate “is too slow for me.”
We’ll let you know what he says.
So the Wall Street Journal this morning and other papers are focusing on the potential Allcatel-Lucent merger that has been in the news for the past week. And once again, there is talk about foreign ownership of an American company. Never mind that most Americans don’t know what Lucent does, builds or sells: Democrats and some short-sighted Republicans are again sounding the alarm à la Dick Gephardt in his heyday.
Tom Friedman’s “Flat Earth” book gets things mostly right when it comes to globalized trade. It doesn’t matter where a company is based nowadays. When it comes to national security and national defense, yes, special steps must be taken and national interest must be given higher priority.
All of this, though, including the Lucent deal, reminds us that the Dubai World Ports deal is still an ongoing operation. There are still people in Washington working furiously to make sure something comes of it. Shouldn’t the media being looking into this? Perhaps asking who’s still involved, and what they are doing?More later.
Digital Spectator subscribers can now access the April issue, “Curious George.” Also, we’ve added February 2006 to our new and improved digital files — December/January is next.
Haven’t subscribed yet? You’re missing out. This month has articles assessing the Bush presidency by Bob Novak, RET, John Fund, Quin Hillyer, Stephen Moore, Angelo Codevilla, and Bill Rusher, and much more. Subscribe today to the Digital Spectator for $19.95 a year.
(India): Sohela Ansari told friends that her husband Aftab had uttered the word “talaq,” or divorce, three times in his sleep, according to the report published in newspapers on Monday.
When local Islamic leaders got to hear, they said Aftab’s words constituted a divorce under an Islamic procedure known as “triple talaq.” The couple, married for 11 years with three children, were told they had to split.
The religious leaders ruled that if the couple wanted to remarry they would have to wait at least 100 days. Sohela would also have to spend a night with another man and be divorced by him in turn.
And we thought America’s $300 no-fault divorces were easy? Also: Is the best new beginning for a couple that actually didn’t want to get divorced to send the woman to “spend a night with another man and be divorced by him in turn”?
John: Welcome aboard. We need to do something about Iran, and waiting makes it tougher to accomplish. Please remember me as defining my position by these additional points: (1) we don’t have the means to, and shouldn’t want to regardless, mount a ground invasion of Iran; (2) we cannot and should not mount airstrikes against their nuclear facilities without simultaneously striking the same way at the regime itself. Were we to do the former without the latter, it would ensure the Middle East in flames for decades, affecting Iraq, Israel and more. If we do both, what would otherwise be the mullahs’ political advantage will be a disadvantage to them, and many others in the region will learn from it; and (3) the end state in this war is not defined by democracies rising. I don’t care who rules these nations, so long as they don’t threaten America.
On the new 007, Daniel Craig. First we had him being scared by the Royal Navy fast boat delivering him to a press gaggle. Next he announced he hated handguns. Then he foreswore booze. Now, according to the Beeb, he’s promised us a “fallible” James Bond. What’s left? Will he condemn fast cars for all time? Will 007 trade the Aston Martin for a Toyota Prius?
Look, Craig. Bond is a hip-shooting, hard-drinking, fast-car-driving tough guy. Deal with it, or clear out. If the world wanted to see Woody Allen as 007 (which we did in the unmercifully awful first “Casino Royale”) he’d have kept the part. Ever wonder why he didn’t?
Jed ruled the other day that “it’s no longer possible to sit on the fence,” so I’ve given it some thought, and here’s where I am: As I’ve mentioned, I’m somewhat sympathetic to Robert Kagan’s view, that bombing Iranian nuclear facilities (as Jed advocates) might be counterproductive, because in the aftermath of such a campaign we won’t know what we’ve accomplished, we could be handing the Mullahs a political victory, and we might not be prepared to deal with Iranian retaliation. Kagan advocates various ideas, all of which I support, oriented toward regime change. He adds:
But we shouldn’t delude ourselves. Efforts to foment political change won’t necessarily bear fruit in time to prevent Iran from acquiring a bomb. That may be the risk we have to take. But if this or the next administration decides it is too dangerous to wait for political change, then the answer will have to be an invasion, not merely an air and missile strike, to put an end to Iran’s nuclear program as well as to its regime. If Iran’s possession of a nuclear weapon is truly intolerable, that is the only military answer.If it were both militarily and politically feasible, I’d be calling for an invasion of Iran ASAP. But I don’t think that it is. And there’s always Israel to consider: From Jerusalem’s perspective, risking an Iranian bomb is a really bad idea. Jed has argued that A) An Israel-only strike would be less effective than one that involves American firepower and B) The US would take political heat for Israel’s actions even if we didn’t directly participate, especially since the Israelis would probably request overflight rights in US-controlled Iraqi airspace. I don’t think it makes sense to effectively intervene against Israel on Iran’s side by denying overflight rights, so if there’s going to be a strike, I think the US should probably participate. I’m not completely thrilled with that conclusion, but there it is.
Abdul Rahman’s case was dismissed Sunday for lack of evidence. Since he’d boldly proclaimed his Christianity, the court appears to have buckled under pressure. Let’s hope the press and diplomats keep the heat on Afghanistan for some legal reform.
James: There was a letter in the Washington Post’s “Free For All” section yesterday disagreeing with your very point. While only Warren Harding and JFK went directly from the Senate to the White House, Mr. Frank Morra of Washington wrote, let us not forget that former senators Truman, Johnson, and Nixon also made it to 1600 PA.
Meanwhile, for you Hillary worriers out there, a letter writer in today’s New York Times Magazine blasts Mrs. C. as the second coming of McGovern and Dukakis. It’s not so much her being a senator that exposes her weakness as the fact that she chose to carpetbag to blue, blue New York instead of running as a “‘favorite son’ from her home states Arkansas or Illinois,” writes L.S. Cohn of Westfield, New Jersey.
Worried about Hillary? Uninspired by McCain? Fear not. Modern Senators — over the past 12 decades — have almost never won the horse race to the White House. And those that did have had rather a tough go…
The Yale Daily News has a great piece on the continuing scandal of Rahmatullah Hashemi, former Taliban flak and now Yale student here. Tune in tomorrow to the Hugh Hewitt Show. I’ll be subbing for Hugh again and we’ll have a lot on this.
As of tomorrow, it will have been thirty days since the story broke, and we’ve yet heard anything from Yale prez Richard Levin. Maybe you can get a better response:firstname.lastname@example.org and 203-432-2550.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?