Saturday, November 22, 2003

Keith Burgess-Jackson looks at Krugman and Bush-hatred. (link via Bob Hessen)
Stephen Pollard writes in the Telegraph about British condescension to Americans.
What really offends about George Bush is that what you see is what you get, and what you see is a genuine American who makes no effort to be anything else. We can put up with Americans who seem ashamed to be American. Woe betide them, however, if they are proud of it. They will have to put up with our weapon of choice: the condescending sneer.
R. Emmett Tyrrell looks at the different ways the media has treated Richard Mellon Sciafe and George Soros. Of course Tyrrell's magazine, The American Spectator, is one of the groups that Sciafe gave money to which Tyrrell forgets to mention. But the points he makes are valid comparing how Sciafe funded mostly think tanks while Soros is putting his money into defeating Bush.
This was going around last year, but if you haven't seen this list of French military defeats yet, it is quite funny.
Did you know that C.S. Lewis died the same day as President Kennedy was killed?
Several liberal religious groups have gotten together to form a political interest group to try to elect someone other than Bush.
The Boston Globe notes that there is a definite difference in going on the Letterman or Leno shows. Letterman is a tougher interview.
The New York Times looks at how Dean got a medical deferment for the draft for a back condition that apparently didn't stop him from spending 10 months skiing.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Gosh, the European Union are such weenies. They commissioned a study on anti-semitism and then decided to shelve it because it showed, big surprise, that Muslim and pro-Palestinians were behind most of the attacks. Forget the truth. They just need to be politically correct.
ESPN has the do's and don'ts of sports taunting. The Cameron Crazies at Duke win out hands down.
Students in France are on strike. They don't want tests standardized to European standards. See, the French want the EU to standardize everything except when it involves the French having to change something.
John J. Miller looks at the political lessons of Dr. Seuss.
The Pulitzer Prize board won't revoke Walter Duranty's Pulitzer. What a shame.
Gephardt is airing an ad in Iowa that uses Dean's own words against him. It sounds like an effective ad.
Bob Seger just got inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He hasn't done anything in a long time. I wonder if he's just living off his "Like a Rock" royalties.
Apparently, in Canada, politicians can be awarded money if someone compares them to Hitler. Think how much money Bush could get if we didn't have more freedom of speech here.
Poliblogger has updated his Toastometer. Dean is Wonder Bread and Kerry is French Toast, of course.
OTB notes an eerie and scary Separated at Birth.
In case you're interested, here is a list of Bill Clinton's favorite books.
Lileks is plenty steamed about those who still blame the West for terrorism. And he, as I am, is shocked that Nightline would have chosen to cover Michael Jackson rather than the President in England. And he has a great reply to Iraqi Salan Pax, the Iraqi blogger who is upset that the Americans haven't cleaned up all of Iraq yet.
More people are marching today against Gerhard Schroeder than marched against Bush in London. (Link via Instapundit)
Hitler didn't have the atom bomb. I guess the Allies lied about their need to develop our own bomb. (link via Lucianne via Instapundit)
Human Events has a list of the 10 biographies everyone should have read about American history. I'm ashamed to say I haven't read any of them.
People are reading way too much into a BC cartoon.
Kerry is shifting strategy in New Hampshire. Sounds like too little, too late.
Bush is starting to air his own commercials in Iowa in order to combat the attacks that the Democrats are making against him.
Charles Krauthammer thinks that humans can still beat computers. And somehow, WWI comes into the tactics.
David Broder says that the GOP have gotten better at running Congress. Unfortunately, that involves two bills that really are turkeys.
Amir Taheri highlights what the results of the President's trip to England were.
The demonstrations are thus unlikely to have a lasting impact on Anglo-American relations. Once the dust has settled, Bush's visit may well be remembered for two things only.

The first is Bush's speech at Whitehall, in which he repeated his earlier linkage between U.S. national security and the spread of democracy in the Middle East with greater clarity.

It is interesting that much of the British media decided to treat it as nothing more than a clever speech to impress an audience of foreign-policy buffs. And yet the idea that the democratic nations cannot be safe for as long as there are tyrannies that sponsor and shelter terrorism is beginning to attract the attention of the average British voter.

The slogan "war against terrorism" told only half the story. Bush's idea of putting the spread of democracy at the top of the agenda tells the other half. Now the average Briton knows that he is not asked to fight only against something, but also for something.

This is a position that the traditional anti-American forces of the totalitarian left, and their new Islamist allies, will find increasingly hard to challenge.

The second thing that the Bush visit is likely to be remembered for is that it helped draw a clear distinction between two visions of the world.

One vision belongs to those who blame the Western democracies for all the ills of mankind and hate the United States for a variety of reasons. These are people who never protested when Saddam was filling all those mass graves in Iraq or when the Taliban were massacring the Hazara in Bamiyan. You will never see them demanding the release of political prisoners in Cuba itself, but find them crying their hearts out for the al Qaeda operatives held in Guantanamo Bay.

Another vision is defended by those who believe that fighting against tyranny and terror is the fundamental political duty of all human beings, and that the most noble principles are ultimately meaningless unless defended by force if and when necessary.

The Marxist-Islamist alliance may well have done all of us a service this week in London. It has put the fight between open societies and their enemies into focus.
Howard Dean has already moved into a more national campaign mode. He is confident enough in Iowa and New Hampshire to start campaigning elsewhere.
Oh, gosh will we have to have wall to wall to coverage of Michael Jackson day after day now? I can't bear it. They covered his car on the highway, for crying out loud.
David Ignatius says that Bush's speech went a little bit of the ways to show Europeans that he doesn't totally fit the caricature that they have of him.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Well, my students can certainly feel superior. A poll by FIRE shows that only about 25% of undergraduates could name one of the freedoms listed in the First Amendment. Elevern percent of school administrators couldn't name any of the freedoms. How pitiful!. But my kids can do that without a problem.
Byron York reports that Republican polling is starting to show somewhat of an impact from the Democratic filibuster of Bush's judicial nominees. Independents don't like it. Of course, to make any gain based on that finding, the GOP will have to run some ads next year to drive the point home. (Link via Polipundit)
Seven of the nine Democratic candidates are blowing off a youth forum tonight in NH including an AP class from an inner city school.
Johnny Depp is People Magazine's newest Sexiest Man Alive.
This review of a new autobiography of Aleksandr Pushkin by T.J. Binyon makes it clear what a strange, vulgar, yet brilliant genius he was. It remindme of how much I used to enjoy his poetry back when I was a Russian student.
Suzanne Fields pays tribute to charter schools.
John Fund looks at how JFK actually lost the popular vote in 1960.
Vouchers for DC schools may make it by being rolled into the omnibus spending bill.
The LA Times profiles William Novelli, the powerful head of the AARP.
The New York Times covers how the Democrats are being hurt by the loss of soft money. Of course, they're compensating by having billionaires finance special groups.
Their Republican rivals have long been better at raising the smaller, limited "hard money" contributions favored by the law. Nine months into the first campaign under the new rules, national Democratic Party committees are being surpassed by Republicans, 2 to 1, in raising money.

Faced with decreased party fund-raising, and the threat of President Bush raising at least $170 million for his re-election, Democrats have responded by forming a handful of outside groups to collect large contributions from wealthy donors, an effort that provoked sharp attacks from Republicans this week.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

This is why the Senate is a silly institution. Any institution with rules like this is a recipe for disaster.
Richard Brookhiser unearths this description of British reactions to Abraham Lincoln. Sound familiar?
The Brits have snarled at Presidents greater than Mr. Bush: Young Henry Adams lived in London during the depths of the Civil War. "London was altogether beside itself on one point in especial," Adams wrote in his memoirs; "it created a nightmare of its own, and gave it the shape of Abraham Lincoln. Behind this it placed another demon, if possible more devilish, and called it Mr. Seward [William Seward, Lincoln’s Secretary of State—today, substitute Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld]. In regard to these two men, English society seemed demented. Defence was useless; explanation was vain … the belief in poor Mr. Lincoln’s brutality and Seward’s ferocity became a dogma of popular faith." Adams recalled running into the novelist William Thackeray, the author of Vanity Fair (today, substitute Graydon Carter), who berated him for the Union military blockade that had prevented a Southern lady friend of his from seeing her family before she died of consumption: " … Thackeray’s voice trembled and his eyes filled with tears. The coarse cruelty of Lincoln and his hirelings was notorious …. At that moment Thackeray, and all London society with him, needed the nervous relief of expressing emotion."

You may hate Ann Coulter's vitriol, but she is funny. Here she is knocking the Democrats (what else?) for exploiting family tragedies in their quest for the presidency. Everyone does it these days and it really is a noxious trend. I preferred Bob Dole when he didn't talk about his war injuries and Al Gore when he didn't exploit his sister's death and his son's near-fatal accident. Let's stipulate that tragedies are awful and people might even learn something about themselves and life after such sad events. But, having someone you love die does not qualify you for president.
You may hate Ann Coulter's vitriol, but she is funny. Here she is knocking the Democrats (what else?) for exploiting family tragedies in their quest for the presidency. Everyone does it these days and it really is a noxious trend. I preferred Bob Dole when he didn't talk about his war injuries and Al Gore when he didn't exploit his sister's death and his son's near-fatal accident. Let's stipulate that tragedies are awful and people might even learn something about themselves and life after such sad events. But, having someone you love die does not qualify you for president.
Larry Sabato has a new Theory of Political Relativity and predicts that Dean will get the nomination.
Politics US is in with its votes on the Yeas and Nays for the week.
Today is World Toilet Day in Singapore.
Larry Kudlow tries to explain why there have been so few generals to run for office since 1880 compared to the many who ran prior to 1880.
All told, twenty-one generals have run a total of thirty times for president. Ten have actually held the office. Between 1796 and 1880 there were only four presidential elections in which a general did not make a try for the office (1812, 1816, 1820, and 1854). Yet from 1880 to the present there have been only four elections that featured a general as a nominated candidate. Of these four candidacies only Ike was successful.

With the Atkins diet such a craze now, sales of bread are plummeting.
Here's a big duh!! story. Monica Lewinsky is saying that her past is hurting her love live.
Terry Neal takes a stab at explaining why different polls get different results about Bush.
What a beautiful story! Joanne Jacobs links to this story about how David Robinson thirteen years ago promised a group of middle school kids that if they finished high school, he would give them a college scholarship. Sadly, only about 30% actually took him up on the offer. One was Tyrone Darden who worked very hard and eventually got a graduate degee as a special ed teacher and then came back to teach at the same middle school. This story will make you feel good, yet sad.
Eliot Cohen looks at what would happen if we cut and run from Iraq.
A Boston Globe columnist points out how depressing the Democratic convention in Boston could be for Senator Kerry. (Link via Polipundit)
A lifetime ago, when John F. Kerry was the clear front-runner for the nomination, the Democratic National Convention was to be the ultimate homecoming for him, a wild victory celebration.

He lives so close to the arena that he could actually walk to it, and what a great network visual that would make. He knows the town so well that he could give driving directions to his Secret Service detail.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the nomination. Kerry collapsed. Howard Dean soared. Richard A. Gephardt found something of a voice. All of which means, if things stay as they are now, that one week in July may well be the most humiliating experience of Kerry's political career.

His epic downfall, which has taken him from the cover of news magazines early this year to an afterthought these days, has an almost Shakespearean quality to it. But if the campaign has been rough, the convention could prove downright cruel.
David Broder states the obvious that you can't keep the money out of politics and that McCain-Feingold did not accomplish anything like that.
Dick Morris thinks that Iraq may be neutralized as an issue next year.
It looks like the DC school vouchers plan will be put into an omnibus spending bill.
Harold Meyerson, a liberal, says that the Democrats need to pick a candidate who can win Midwestern states that Bush carried, particularly Ohio. He makes the obvious point that what is necessary to win a primary of Democratic voters is different from what it takes to win an electoral majority.
Tony Blankley makes the same point that I've been making about the three leaked memos.
In the remaining actual news gathering and reporting institutions (The Weekly Standard, the Washington Times, The New York Post, Fox News, Wall Street Journal Editorial Page, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh radio programs, et al.) those three leaked memos were substantively reported on and extensively quoted. For those of you who get your news from the WashingtonPostNewYorkTimesCBSetc., here is a summary of those three now half-famous memos: 1) Democrats on the Senate Intelligence committee had drafted plans to use and misconstrue classified intelligence data to politically undercut the president of the United States ("pulling the trigger" closer to the election); (2) The CIA and other intelligence offices of the government have identified 10 years of contacts between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden -- thus tending to dramatically justify our war against Iraq and contradicting one of the major Democratic Party criticisms of President Bush's Iraq policy; and 3) Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee were working closely with outside groups to block judicial appointments for the purpose of ethnic bigotry and unethical manipulation of court proceedings. In Senator Durbin's case, the memo advised that Miguel Estrada be blocked, as he is "especially dangerous because he is Latino." In Senator Kennedy's case, the memo advised to stall Judge Gibbons' appointment so she couldn't get on the bench in time to decide the pending Michigan affirmative action case. The memo questioned "the propriety" of such tactics, but nonetheless advised it. She was confirmed just two months after the landmark case in question.

The suddenly mature and responsible media elite did feel obliged to make a passing reference to these stories -- or their remaining readers and viewers might be embarrassed when the topic was brought up by the growing part of the public that gets its news from other sources. But in all three instances, the major media's articles on these explosive (and undenied) revelations led with a mature and responsible expression of shock at the questionable manner by which the memos were publicly revealed. They then respectfully quoted the embarrassed senators and government officials who were calling for a Justice Department investigation of the leak. The articles followed with quotes and analysis from non-government experts (usually former government experts from the last administration) who shared the embarrassed senator's view of things. Finally, before wrapping up their minimalist articles (not even a sapling died to print these nano-reports), they would quote the most benign and unnewsworthy sentence from the smoking memoranda.

Stephen Hayes looks at the Pentagon's response to the leaked memo concerning links between Al Qaeda and Iraq. Note what former CIA Director James Woolsey says about this memo.
James Woolsey, CIA director under President Bill Clinton, made reference to the Tenet letter in an appearance this past weekend on "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer." Tenet's enumeration of the links and the evidence in the Feith memo has Woolsey convinced.

"Anybody who says there is no working relationship between al Qaeda and Iraqi intelligence going back to the early '90s--they can only say that if they're illiterate. This is a slam dunk."

Adam Nagourney looks at how the Massachusetts decision on gay marriage could affect the campaign. Actually, it sounds like a lose-lose for both parties. I think it will be more of a spur to the interest groups on each side. Maybe, it will motivate each side's base and they'll cancel each other out.
Michelle Malkin takes on eco-terrorists.
Jay Bryant looks at Kennedy's remark that Bush's nominees are Neanderthals and ties that into the two ideologies.
Liberals hate conservatives and vice versa, but there's a difference in the way they view each other. Conservatives believe liberalism is a wrongheaded system of government. Many liberals, however, don't accept conservatism as a system of government at all. For them, conservatives are simply ignorant, or, alternately, greedy and self-serving people who refuse to countenance measures for the common good because they put their own interests above the common good.

I blame the higher education system for this distinction. You cannot have gone to college during the past half century or more and not been exposed to - taught, actually - liberalism. You had to read the great documents of liberal thought. To come out of that experience and be a conservative, you had to consider liberal ideas and reject them.

But you could easily have come out of college with no acquaintance at all with the great documents of conservatism. To give just one example, I would venture to say that vastly more of you were, as undergraduates, required to read the writings of Karl Marx than were required to read those of Adam Smith, to say nothing of Ludwig von Mises.

So coming out of college as a liberal required no serious consideration whatsoever of the conservative alternative, and therefore no specific rejection of it.

Since it didn't exist in the curriculum, how were you to know that it existed at all?

Conservatives, thus, were simply those who were either uneducated, or who "didn't get it" when it was taught.

Looking at the world that way, a Ted Kennedy might easily think of a Janice Rogers Brown as an out-of-date ignoramus. Being himself ignorant of both the profound intellectual basis of modern conservatism and the latest paleontological research, he might even call her a Neanderthal.

But that's his problem, not hers.
Brendan Miniter says that the Democrats have been following a policy of permanent campaigning. And it doesn't work for them when the real question is governing not campaigning.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Conservatives have decided to go the George Soros route and start their own million dollar funds to combat the Democratic funds created to defeat Bush. Yup, we're in whole new era now with campaign finance reform.
The Christian Science Monitor looks at how Democratic consultants are worried about Dean.
The Hill reports on some more leaked memos. These memos detail the Democrats' plans to filibuster Bush's judicial nominations and shows how these plans evolved over the past year. It details the pressure put on senators who were reluctant to join in the filibuster. This is amazing stuff. Again, we have a leaked memo that should be major news, but really isn't appearing anywhere. My AP Government class is discussing the role of the media in politics this week. One of the key terms concerning the role of the media is their role as a gatekeeper to decide what becomes a big issue and what doesn't. These two very different memos are prime examples of the gate being shut. Add in the earlier leaked memo concerning Democratic strategy on the Senate Intelligence Committee and the scant attention it received and a pattern becomes visible. Leaked memos that make Democrats look bad aren't considered major news; leaked memos that call into question the administration are major stories.
Jack Shafer, who is no conservative or White House mouthpiece, has a good column wondering why more hasn't been made of the Weekly Standard's story by Stephen Hayes on a leaked Pentagon memo showing intelligence concering Saddam-Osama links.
A classified memo by a top Pentagon official written at Senate committee request and containing information about scores of intelligence reports might spell news to you or me—whether you believe Saddam and Osama were collaborating or not. But except for exposure at other Murdoch media outlets (Fox News Channel, the Australian, the New York Post) and the conservative Washington Times, the story got no positive bounce. Time and Newsweek could have easily commented on some aspect of the story, which the Drudge Report promoted with a link on Saturday. But except for a dismissive one-paragraph mention in the Sunday Washington Post by Walter Pincus and a dismissive follow-up by Pincus in today's (Tuesday's) Post pegged to the news that the Justice Department will investigate the leak, the mainstream press has largely ignored Hayes' piece.

What's keeping the pack from tearing Hayes' story to shreds, from building on it or at least exploiting the secret document from which Hayes quotes? One possible explanation is that the mainstream press is too invested in its consensus finding that Saddam and Osama never teamed up and its almost theological view that Saddam and Osama couldn't possibly have ever hooked up because of secular/sacred differences. Holders of such rigid views tend to reject any new information that may disturb their cognitive equilibrium. Another explanation is that the national security press corps gave it a bye because they found nothing sufficiently new in the memo—and nothing that hadn't been trotted out previously in other guises by the Bush administration. In other words, old news ain't today's news. Another possible explanation is that the press has come to discount any information from the administration camp as "rumint," a rumor-intelligence cocktail that should be avoided. (One willing victim of prewar rumint, the New York Times' Judith Miller, piped the allegations of Iraqi defectors into her paper for months and months before the war and suffered a nasty blow to her reputation as a conscientious reporter when her defectors turned out to be spewing crap.)

The Department of Defense evinced more critical interest in the leaked memo than most of the press with a Saturday, Nov. 15, press release, confirming the memo's authenticity but claiming—without naming Hayes or the Weekly Standard—that it had been misinterpreted: "The classified annex was not an analysis of the substantive issue of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaida, and it drew no conclusions."

The DoD objection is a bit of a red herring. Except for the Weekly Standard's grandiose title "Case Closed" (it should have been titled "Case Open"), the Hayes piece works assiduously (until its final paragraph, at least) not to oversell the memo. Hayes' ample quotations from the memo preserve much of the qualifying language that fudges any absolute case for the Saddam-Osama connection.

This doesn't prevent Pincus from letting his sources rip the memo. One anonymous "former senior intelligence officer" quoted by Pincus sniffs that the memo is not an intelligence product but "data points ... among the millions of holdings of the intelligence agencies, many of which are simply not thought likely to be true."

Help me! Many a reporter has hitched a ride onto Page One with the leak of intelligence much rawer than the stuff in Feith's memo. You can bet the farm that if a mainstream publication had gotten the Feith memo first, it would have used it immediately—perhaps as a hook to re-examine the ongoing war between the Pentagon and CIA about how to interpret intelligence. Likewise, you'd be wise to bet your wife's farm that had a similar memo arguing no Saddam-Osama connection been leaked to the press, it would have generated 100 times the news interest as the Hayes story.

It really is noticeable how little attention the major media has paid to this story when they spent days talking about Rumsfeld's memo and the Niger yellowcake story. Shafer goes on to say that this is big news if it's true and it's also big news if it isn't true.
In an example of how the media can cover a subject so poorly, USA Today reports on controversy concerning climate change and whether or not the 20th century was as hot as some climatologists claim. All the story does is throw in some quotes from both sides. Since they claim diametrically opposed theories, the reader has no way of judging which is right. Wouldn't it be more helpful to give an outline of the major arguments on both sides? I know this is a terribly complex and technical issue, but without some context and information, the story is basically useless. So much of media coverage is like that.
Colorado is considering abandoning the 12th grade and adding in preschool instead. What an absolutely dumb idea.
Andrew Sullivan has a good essay in defense of Bush and answering his British critics. He concludes
So I hope the protestors enjoy their days of rage. Dictators have come and gone in London - from Assad to Mugabe in recent times - and the protests have been minor and sporadic. But a man who, for all his faults, has actually liberated more Muslims from terror and oppression than any human rights group on earth, will be pilloried, attacked, booed and maligned. He'll be fine. So will Blair. Both are idealists - one in favor of turning Iraq around for liberal internationalist reasons, the other a reconstructed conservative with a "neo" now fastened to his front. But for differing reasons, they have both arrived at the same conclusion: to have their eyes not on the passing hysteria of crowds or the snap judgments of pundits, but on the difficult acts of responsibility and persistence that history eventually judges. And judge it certainly will.
The Guardian, which is a liberal newspaper in Britain, did a poll on what the British think about Bush and the war in Iraq. The results might surprise you.
HBO puts an end to K Street. Even a politics junkie like the myself found the show boring and unwatchable. It was enough for me to see Howard Dean being fed a line about Trent Lott on K Street and then have him actually use that line in a real debate. That was too postmodern for me.
Rich Lowry looks at the comparisons between Bush and Herbert Hoover.
The fact that Bush is not facing any primary opposition may be an indicator that he'll win next Fall.
Since the presidential primary system became influential in 1952, an incumbent president has never lost a reelection bid if he did not face significant opposition in the primaries.

This is no nugget of political trivia. Political strategists and historians say an incumbent president's lack of primary opposition is a measure of how much support he has from his base of core supporters -- and therefore how much leeway he has in appealing to the political center, the key to general election victory. Of course, historical patterns do not always repeat themselves, but Bush's strength among his base means the Democrats will have extraordinary difficulty dislodging him from office.

The pattern has repeated itself perfectly. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton all ran for reelection without major challenges from within their own parties -- and all easily won second terms. Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush faced primary challenges while seeking reelection -- and all were ousted in the general election.

....Democrats, naturally, dispute these indicators. But neither side can deny that history has been kind to presidents who have unified parties -- a point Bush's main political thinker, Karl Rove, observed long ago. "That was one of Karl's primary things: Avoid a primary challenge at all cost," said Charlie Cook, a political handicapper. "Not being forced to do things to curry favor with your base before an election is very important. It means they're not distracted, and they can single-mindedly focus on the other team."

This sounds like it comes right from my AP Government's class's discussions in the unit we just finished on elections.
Thomas Sowell answers readers' questions about the pricing of pharmaceuticals.
More evidence that special interest groups are already driving trucks through the loopholes in the campaign finance reform act. how predictable was this?
Richard Cohen wants to take the money that we spend on agricultural programs and steel support and forgive all income taxes for teachers. As a teacher I think that is wonderful. However, as a citizen, I don't believe that we should separate people by their careers. Wouldn't firemen and policemen also deserve such a bonus? Should all teachers get it? What about lucky teachers such as myself who teach at a great school with awesome administration and bright kids?
Once again, the Democrats are embarrassed by leaked memos showing them playing politics with important issues and all they can complain about is who leaked the memos. These new memos show that Kennedy delayed voting on a judge so as to make sure that the 6th Court of Appeals would vote to uphold Michigan's affirmative action program.
Staffers for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat and senior member of the Judiciary Committee, sought to delay one of President Bush's nominees to the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals based on concerns that the new judge might strike racial preferences as unconstitutional, according to the memos obtained last week by The Washington Times.

"The thinking is that the current 6th Circuit will sustain the affirmative action program, but if a new judge with conservative views is confirmed before the case is decided, that new judge will be able, under 6th Circuit rules, to review the case and vote on it," staffers wrote in an April 17, 2002, memo to Mr. Kennedy advising him to slow the confirmation process for Tennessee Judge Julia S. Gibbons.
Will this be another leaked memo that the media avoids talking about?
Ralph Peters looks at why Europe's left hates Bush.
All we'll hear from the streets is that Bush is bad.

No protesters will chant about the Iraqi families sundered, the fathers tortured and shot, the daughters and wives raped, the use of poison gas against the Kurds or the million-and-a-half Iraqis, Iranians and Kuwaitis who died in Saddam's wars.

Bush is worse than Saddam, you see, because he refused to look the other way. His resolve is an embarrassment.

American wars of liberation humiliate the complainers on the left. We've seized their professed ideals and made them a reality. We fought for freedom, while they only chattered. Their protests are the result of wounded egos.

During the Cold War, America was mocked for its ill-judged support of dictators because they were "our dictators." Now our government has left the distortions of the past behind and returned to America's traditional role of championing freedom. And look how the tables have turned.

Europe's left so hates America and all it stands for that the dictators have become "their dictators." Of course, European intellectuals supported Stalin, too. But it can only amaze anyone who believes in elementary human rights that America is pilloried for putting an end to a murderous regime.

John Podhoretz summarizes what Rush said on air yesterday.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Gosh, I so love Mark Steyn. He writes with wit, wisdom, and wonderful word wizardry. Here he is on the Europeans all up in arms and ready to protest Bush's visit. And this was probably written before the Mayor of London decided Bush was worse than Hitler, Stalin, and Bin Laden.
If the anti-war cause is so just, it seems odd that it has to be so risibly "sexed up" by Medact and the rest, but the post-9/11 grand harmonic convergence of all the world's loser ideologies, from Islamic fundamentalism to French condescension, is untroubled by anything so humdrum as reality or logic. There's "no connection" between Saddam and al-Qa'eda, because radical Islamists would never make common cause with secular Ba'athists. Or so we're told by pro-gay, pro-feminist Eurolefties who thus make common cause with honour-killing, sodomite-beheading Islamists, apparently crediting Saddam with a greater degree of intellectual coherence than they credit themselves.

The fanatical Muslims despise America because it's all lapdancing and gay porn; the secular Europeans despise America because it's all born-again Christians hung up on abortion; the anti-Semites despise America because it's controlled by Jews. Too Jewish, too Christian, too Godless, America is also too isolationist, except when it's too imperialist. And even its imperialism is too vulgar and arriviste to appeal to real imperialists: let's face it, the ghastly Yanks never stick it to the fuzzy-wuzzy with the dash and élan of the Bengal Lancers, which appears to be the principal complaint of Sir Max Hastings and his ilk. To the mullahs, America is the Great Satan, a wily seducer; to the Gaullists, America is the Great Cretin, a culture so self-evidently moronic that only stump-toothed inbred Appalachian lardbutts could possibly fall for it. American popular culture is utterly worthless, except when one of its proponents - Michael Moore, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon - attacks Bush, in which case he or she is showered with European awards and sees the foreign-language rights for his latest tract sell for six figures at Frankfurt. The fact that the best-selling anti-Americans are themselves American - Moore, Chomsky - is perhaps the cruellest manifestation of the suffocating grip of the hyperpower.

Too Christian, too Godless, too isolationist, too imperialist, too seductive, too cretinous, America is George Orwell's Room 101: whatever your bugbear, you will find it therein - for the Continentals, excessive religiosity; for the Muslims, excessive decadence; for Harold Pinter, excessively bleeding rectums.

So be it. This is a psychosis so impervious to reason that on Thursday those in the most advanced stage will pour into the streets to re-enact the toppling of Saddam's statue with Bush on the podium. The 40 per cent of Britons who merely think the President "stupid" will cheer from their sofas.

Two years ago, NBC held a discussion on the growing alienation of the Muslim world: the al-Munaif family who, after the Kuwaiti liberation, had "slaughtered sheep in tribute to one President Bush", were now disenchanted and had named their newborn son "Osama". While the Arabists on the NBC panel chewed over the problem thoughtfully, on this page I was more insouciant: there's no point trying to figure out which way a guy who sacrifices sheep will jump. That's the way I feel about this week's polls and protests. The Min of Ag has already sacrificed all the sheep, but, that detail aside, much of Britain is now about as rational on America as the al-Munaif family. My advice to Bush is: make sure you know where the exit is and try to avoid eye contact.
If only we could ignore all these people, but unfortunately, I expect they'll be all over TV for the next few days.
George Will posits that Howard Dean could become an independent candidate if he lost the nomination. I doubt that he would take such a suicidal path, but then what would he have to lose? He can always return to Vermont and get reelected as governor. Does anyone, outside of Vermont, even know who the present governor is? Would Dean really want to do his most to reelect Bush? I think this is just George Will having a little daydream. I think Nader is more likely to run if Gephardt is the candidate. And that could spell trouble for the Democrats. They may regret having been so nasty to Ralph.
Many Democrats, who believe that running against an abrasive tax-raising, antiwar New England liberal is George W. Bush’s dream, consider Dean’s nomination their worst nightmare. They have no knack for nightmares. It is possible that the worst Democratic disaster would result from not nominating Dean.

Democrats know that if Ralph Nader had not siphoned votes away from Gore—in Florida, especially, but in some other states, too—they would hold the White House today. They are heartened by the fact that there is as yet no sign of a significant independent candidacy that would splinter liberal voting. That could change if Dean does not win the nomination.

The arc of his candidacy, which already was impressive, has been up sharply in recent days. Because of his success in raising record amounts of money—largely thanks to his prescient use of the Internet—he opted out of public funding of his campaign, and has suffered no noticeable political cost. Two large, politically active unions have endorsed him. He has a large lead in money raised and in the demonstrated ability to keep raising it. He and his supporters will be bitter if he is beaten.

His true believers, with the steadfastness that comes from monomania, are energized by anger about the war. Gephardt, the likely nominee if Dean isn’t, voted for the war. If Gephardt wins, will disappointed Deanites bravely smile and sweetly say, “Jolly good. Beaten fair and square. Let’s all rally ‘round Dick. Never mind that he is one of the Washingtonians that our hero calls ‘cockroaches’ “?

Not likely. Many will go looking for an alternative candidate. Someone as much fun as the feisty Dean. Someone fueled by contempt for Democrats he considers morally squishy. Someone with national name recognition, a seasoned campaign staff, well-honed campaigning skills, a large cadre of true believers and an up-and-running money machine.

So, who might be the formidable independent candidate to win the votes of liberals disaffected from a Democratic Party that does not nominate Dean? Dean
The GOP think that liberal interest groups will raise up to $420 million dollars to defeat President Bush. And that's all legal under McCain-Feingold. I'm so glad that we got the money out of politics.
Talk about speaking truth to power!
Schools Chancellor Joel Klein Monday denounced long-embedded contract work rules for custodians, principals and teachers as snags that get in the way of providing a "first-class education."

"The meddlesome, wasteful rules in the existing contracts protect the incompetent while shackling the hands of the many skillful teachers and principals in our system," Klein told the City Council's education committee.
Here are some statistics on media bias from a study by two researchers. Just in time for my AP Government class which is discussing the media this week.
For instance, during the 102nd Congress, the Times labeled liberal senators as "liberal" in 3.87% of the stories in which they were mentioned. In contrast, the 10 most conservative senators were identified as "conservative" in 9.03% of the stories in which they were mentioned, nearly three times the rate for liberal senators. Over the course of six congressional sessions, the labeling of conservative senators in the Washington Post and New York Times occurred at a rate of two, three, four and even five times as often as that of liberal senators (see chart nearby). It appears clear that the news media assumes that conservative ideology needs to be identified more often than liberal ideology does.

The disparity in reporting was not limited to numbers. Times reporters often inject comments that present liberals in a more favorable light than conservatives. For instance, during the 102nd Congress, Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa was described in Times stories as "a kindred liberal Democrat from Iowa," a "respected Midwestern liberal," and "a good old-fashioned liberal." Fellow Democrat Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts received neutral, if not benign, identification: "a liberal spokesman," and "the party's old-school liberal." In contrast, Times reporters presented conservative senators as belligerent and extreme. During the 102nd Congress, Sen. Jesse Helms was labeled as "the most unyielding conservative," "the unyielding conservative Republican," "the contentious conservative," and "the Republican arch-conservative." During this time period, Times reporters made a point to specifically identify Sen. Malcolm Wallop of Wyoming and Sen. Robert C. Smith of New Hampshire as "very conservative," and Sen. Don Nickles of Oklahoma as "one of the most conservative elected officials in America."

We have detected a pattern of editorialized commentary throughout the decade. Liberal senators were granted near-immunity from any disparaging remarks regarding their ideological position: Sen. Harkin is "a liberal intellectual"; Sen. Barbara Boxer of California is "a reliably outspoken liberal"; Sen. Paul Simon of Illinois is "a respected Midwestern liberal"; Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York is "difficult to categorize politically"; Sen. Kennedy is "a liberal icon" and "liberal abortion rights stalwart"; and Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey is a man whose "politics are liberal to moderate."

While references to liberal senators in the Times evoke a brave defense of the liberal platform (key words: icon and stalwart), the newspaper portrays conservatives as cantankerous lawmakers seeking to push their agenda down America's throat. Descriptions of conservative senators include "unyielding," "hard-line" and "firebrand."
You can't make this stuff up. Al Gore has found a new product to be a spokesman for.
FOR Al Gore, a politician so famously interested in both the environment and technology, the offer to serve on the advisory board of Falcon Waterfree Technologies must have been hard to resist.

"He is very concerned about the world water situation and the crisis that the U.N. is predicting — that by 2026, the world demand for water will outstrip the world's supply by 56 percent," said James Krug, president of the company's international division.

And so he signed on to be a rainmaker, so to speak, for Falcon's marquee project — the waterless urinal.

Mr. Krug said Mr. Gore was urged to join the seven-member board last summer by Marc Nathanson, a lead investor and a Clinton appointee to the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Mr. Krug said Mr. Gore, who is not being paid but receives stock options, had so far "encouraged us to be very active politically to get our message out there, because it's such a compelling technology."

As Best of the Web puts it
If he joined last summer, how come it's only being reported now? We guess they tried to hold the information in, but it was bound to leak sooner or later.
BTW, if you're not already subscribing to Best of the Web to have it mailed to you every day, you're missing out on some of the funniest stuff out there in the world of politics.
How could any Mayor of London, a city devastated by Hitler's bombing in the Battle of Britain and the V-1 attacks in 1944 actually say this?
Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, launched a stinging attack on President George Bush last night, denouncing him as the "greatest threat to life on this planet that we've most probably ever seen".

When will these people learn that they doom themselves to sideshow jerks with their hyperbolic gaseous comments?
Some moral relativists argue that no culture is better than any other should read this horrifying story about a Palestinian woman who killed her daughter because her sons raped the girl and the girl became pregnant and refused to commit suicide. Apparently, such honor killings of women who apparently have had their honor "sullied" are on the rise among Palestinians.
Fred Barnes thinks that the reason Bobby Jindal lost in Louisiana is that he lost the Bubba vote. He might have polled better than his actual votes since some voters are reluctant to appear that they're voting against a person of color. I think Rod Dreher's explanation is a little more believable. Perhaps it was a combination of the two.
Howard Kurtz profiles Chris Matthews' Sunday show on NBC which is more lowkey than his MSNBC show.
The Supreme Court has refused to hear an Affirmative Action case based on a Denver program that gave females and minorities preferences in winning city contracts. It does seem that this contradicts previous Supreme Court decisions on the Supreme Court.
Well, that was quick. John Allen Muhammed, the DC Sniper, has been found guilty of murder.
Lowell Ponte goes through the key points from Stephen Hayes' Weekly Standard article about links between Saddam and Osama.
Rod Dreher explains why Jindal lost in Louisiana. It sounds like it was his election until the last few days. It also shows that negative ads work, particularly in the last few days of a campaign. He'll be back, I hope. Perhaps for Breaux's seat.
Robert Novak gives some of the behind the scenes information on what is going on in the Senate Intelligence Committee and the partisanship.
Jonah Goldberg takes on the fallacy of CNN's Rock the Vote debate and the planted questions. Not only was the Macs or PCs question planted, but so was the one about whom the candidates would like to party with? It's all because CNN thinks that these are the types of questions that would appeal to a young audience.
But where CNN really messed up was in buying into this youth politics junk in the first place. The premise of groups like Rock the Vote is that young people are somehow united politically as an identity-politics group, that being young is like being black or poor or gay.

First of all, this all nonsense. Young people are not members of the Coalition of the Oppressed, and, save for a few specific issues like Social Security reform, there's no issue that remotely speaks to the interests of all young people everywhere.

There are dumb young people and smart ones, poor and rich; the only thing that unites them as a group is that, as a group, they've got longer to live and more to learn than old people. Generational stereotypes are nothing better than a form of secular astrology appealing to the vanity of people who can't find a more substantial ideological allegiance.

As the late, great, social scientist Carl Ladd once observed: "Social analysis and commentary has many shortcomings, but few of its chapters are as persistently wrong-headed as those on the generations and generational change. This literature abounds with hyperbole and unsubstantiated leaps from available data."

Oscar Wilde was pithier. "In America," he observed, "the young are always ready to give those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience."

What's funny is that those who fetishize youth in politics consistently complain that young people are stereotyped and not taken seriously, even as they appeal to young people by stereotyping them.

Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack says that Dean needs to prove that he's tough enough to deal with terrorists.
John Leo takes up on Brian Anderson's argument that conservatives are not losing the culture wars anymore.
Wesley Clark has found out that he has a step brother whom he never met. Although it doesn't seem like much of a secret since the brother was mentioned in his stepfather's will. Lucianne points out that there must be something in the water in Arkansas that its top guys have unknown brothers.
If you haven't already, you must read this article by Stephen Hayes in the Weekly Standard on a leaked memo from Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith to Senators Pat Roberts and Jay Rockefeller, the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. It details suspected ties between Saddam and Al Qaeda. DoD says that this was a list of unfiltered information. Read Andrew Sullivan on why this news should not be allowed to die out. Of course, Sen. Rockefeller had this information since July and still has been going on shows pooh-poohing any sort of link between Iraq and Al Qaeda.
John Kerry's campaign is so weak now that he has to use his supposed Jewish ties. Then he said that he'd know better what to do as president since he wouldn't have a learning curve that a governor would. Hmmmm. Using that logic, wouldn't the incumbent president have even less of a learning curve? Just wondering.
I missed blogging and appreciate those who came to the site anyway. I'm back now, but also a weekend behind on school work so I don't know how much I can blog. For those of you interested in what social studies teachers are learning about teaching you can check out the site of the conference, complete with their noxious slogan "The Power of One." Sounds like that failed army recruitment campaign for "An Army of One." There are lots of dedicated, hard-working teachers out there. The emphasis in many of the workshops was on jargonized methods. There were many workshops devoted to making kids into good and involved citizens. I didn't go to that. To me, that's simply a by product of teaching a good class that teaches them about American history.