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Archive Edition for   Saturday, December 18, 2004Go to Current Page
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Quoted in this edition:

Ace of Spades HQ
Alas, a Blog
  Ampersand @Amptoons
The American Street
  Echidne @AmStreet
  Kevin Hayden
  Jude Nagurney Camwell
American Thinker
  Andrew Sullivan
Associated Press
  William Kates
  Maura Kelly Lannan
  Leigh Strope
  Rebecca Cook
The Australian
Backcountry Conservative
  Jeff Quinton
Betsy's Page
  Betsy Newmark
Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal
BrothersJudd Blog
  Orrin Judd
Burnt Orange Report
  Jim D
  Jeff Jarvis
Captain's Quarters
  Captain Ed
  Tully @Centerfield
  Rickheller @Centerfield
Chicago Sun Times
The Claremont Institute
  Ken Masugi
The Corner
  Jonah Goldberg
  Andrew Stuttaford
  Jonathan H. Adler
  Cliff May
  Tom @Corrente
  Jason Van Steenwyk
Crooked Timber
  John Quiggin
Daily Kos
  Armando @DailyKos
  Kos @DailyKos
  Damian Penny
Dean's World
  Joe Gandelman
  Eugene Oregon
  Michael Froomkin
  Ed Driscoll
  Noam Scheiber
Harry's Place
  Gene @HarrysPlace
Hit and Run
  Matt Welch
  Nick Gillespie
  Hugh Hewitt
  Brian Viner
  Glenn Reynolds
  Tom Maguire
Knight Ridder
  Mark Mcdonald
The Left Coaster
  Mary @LeftCoaster
  Soccerdad @LeftCoaster
Little Green Footballs
  Charles Johnson
Los Angeles Times
  Jonathan Chait
  Greg Miller
  Michael Gorman
The Mahablog
  Barbara O'Brien
Matt Welch
  Matt Welch
Matthew Yglesias
  Matthew Yglesias
Michelle Malkin
  Michelle Malkin
Mudville Gazette
  Jerome Armstrong
  Chris Bowers
National Review
New York Newsday
  Dan Janison
New York Times
  Stephanie Strom
  Douglas Jehl
  Edmund L. Andrews
  Scott Atran
  Paul Krugman
  Kate Jones
No More Mister Nice Blog
  Steve M.
NY Daily News
Opinion Journal
  Daniel Henninger
  Adrian Karatnycky
Outside The Beltway
  James Joyner
  Robert Tagorda
  Pejman Yousefzadeh
  Jayson @PoliPundit
The Poor Man
  The Poor Man
Power Line
  The Big Trunk
  Greg Ransom
  Steve Bainbridge
Questions and Observations Blog
  Dale Franks
  Cori Dauber
  Rebecca MacKinnon
  Gene Healy
The Right Coast
  Tom Smith
The Rittenhouse Review
  James Martin Capozzola
the road to surfdom
  Tim Dunlop
Roger L. Simon
  Roger L. Simon
Sadly, No!
  Sadly @SadlyNo
  Joe Conason
  Perry de Havilland
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  Chris McGann
Seattle Times
  Ralph Thomas
Secular Blasphemy
  Jan Haugland
Seeing The Forest
  Dave Johnson
The Sideshow
  Avedon Carol
skippy the bush kangaroo
  Cookie Jill
  Jack Shafer
South Knox Bubba
  SK Bubba
Stars & Stripes
Steve Clemons
  Steve Clemons
Steve Gilliard's News Blog
  Steve Gilliard
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire
  Taegan Goddard
Talking Points Memo
  Josh Marshall
  Matthew Yglesias
  Nick Confessore
Tech Central Station
  Ronald Bailey
  Pejman Yousefzadeh
  Jonathan Petre
Tim Blair
  Tim Blair
  Jeff Jacoby
USA Today
  Jill Lawrence
  Rick Hampson
The Volokh Conspiracy
  Orin Kerr
War and Piece
  Laura Rozen
The Washington Monthly
  Kevin Drum
Washington Post
  Tom Shales
  David Ignatius
  Jonathan Weisman
  Charles Krauthammer
Washington Times
  Jerry Seper

A.C.L.U.'s Search for Data on Donors Stirs Privacy Fears
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
The American Civil Liberties Union is using sophisticated technology to collect a wide variety of information about its members and donors in a fund-raising effort that has ignited a bitter debate over its leaders' commitment to privacy rights.
Cori Dauber: Extensive and sophisticated data mining from the ACLU to learn all it can about members and donors. Oh, well.
Tom Smith: Your ACLU dollar at work — Is nothing left that one can believe in? Now even the ACLU wants to be big brother.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: THE EVIL JOHN ASHKKKROFT — My goodness, his influence was pernicious! He even made the ACLU into Big Brother!
Orin Kerr: According to The New York Times: "The American Civil Liberties Union is using sophisticated technology to collect a...
McQ: Yes, but there's money involved ... so to hell with principles: "The American Civil Liberties Union is using...
Tully @Centerfield: Look Who's Watching You! A.C.L.U.'s Search for Data on Donors Stirs Privacy Fears Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Also: Orrin Judd, Clayton Cramer, Glenn Reynolds, KJL

Obama lands $1.9 million book deal
  Chicago Sun Times   —   Permalink 
Leveraging his best-selling memoir, Sen.-elect Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is poised to sign a three-book deal landing him a $1.9 million advance.
The package includes a $200,000 payment for a children's volume that will be donated to charity.
James Joyner: Barack Obama Lands $1.9 Million Book Deal — Obama lands $1.9 million book deal (Chicago Sun-Times) [snipped quote] I...
Andrew Stuttaford: HMMMM — Well, that didn't take long, did it? "Leveraging his best-selling memoir, Sen.-elect Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is...
Dave Johnson: Obama lands $1.9 million book deal: [snipped quote] It just stinks. We fought the battle for campaign contribution limits.
Kos @DailyKos: Obama gets fat book deal $1.9 million, 3-book deal: [snipped quote] Money problems out of the way, Obama can focus on being the best Senator in D.C.

  By / Knight Ridder   —   Permalink 
FRIAZINO, Russia - The man who saved America — and probably the world — is living out his days on a measly pension in a dank apartment in a forlorn suburb of Moscow. He has a bad stomach, varicose veins and a mangy spotted dog named Jack the Ripper.
Hindrocket: Mark Mcdonald of Knight Ridder says, maybe so: [snipped quote] It's a fascinating story, and one I'd never read before.
Tim Blair: GOOD CALL, STAN — Are you alive? Well, then maybe you should thank Stanislav Petrov: [snipped quote] Read on. It's fascinating.
Orrin Judd: NEARLY? : LOST IN THE FALLOUT: In 1983, he likely saved the world. Where is he now?

Here's my plan to end the red-blue rift
  NY Daily News   —   Permalink 
I thought that in today's column I would heal the nation. The nation suffered a wound during the recent presidential election as a result of the rift between the red states - defined as "states where 'foreign cuisine' pretty much means Pizza Hut" - and the...
Jayson @PoliPundit: Mending the "Red State"/"Blue State" Rifts — Dave Barry has various suggestions for how to heal this "bitterly divided" nation of ours.
Ed Driscoll: A Modest Proposal — Dave Barry has a few ideas that might just bridge the divide between the red, blue and Samoan states.
Steve Bainbridge: "(Link)"
McQ: Healing the Nation, Dave Barry style — Dave Barry has taken it upon his self to heal the red-blue state rift this weekend.

44% in poll OK limits on rights of Muslims
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
Nearly half of all Americans surveyed said they think the US government should restrict the civil liberties of Muslim Americans, according to a nationwide poll.
Orin Kerr: Here is the summary from the Associated Press: "Nearly half of all Americans surveyed said they think the US government...
Pejman Yousefzadeh: There is a lot of alarm over this report which tells us the following: [snipped quote] Now if nearly half of Americans...
Cori Dauber: Well, this is kind of annoying — Here's this survey that supposedly says a large plurality of Americans would favor...

Rudy undeterred by Kerik mess
  By / New York Newsday   —   Permalink 
Despite a national fiasco surrounding his close friend and associate Bernard Kerik, ex-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is sending signals that his consulting business and political role will thrive.
Joe Gandelman: But Newsday reports this: "Despite a national fiasco surrounding his close friend and associate Bernard Kerik, ex-Mayor...
Josh Marshall: Rudy Giuliani, as quoted on the Giuliania Partners website, explaining 'accountability', one of 'six...

Poll finds many Americans would limit Muslims' rights
  AP   —   Permalink 
Nearly half of all Americans say the U.S. government should restrict the civil liberties of Muslim Americans, according to a nationwide poll.
The survey conducted by Cornell University found that Republicans and people who described themselves as...
Jan Haugland: Poll: Half of Amercians will limit Muslims' rights — Almost half of all Americans say that the US government should restrict Muslims' civil liberties.
Jason Van Steenwyk: The poll found that 44 percent favored at least some restrictions on the civil liberties of Muslim Americans As...
Hindrocket: One of today's big news stories, which probably appears in most American newspapers, is headlined in the Minneapolis...

Pentagon Seeks to Expand Role in Intelligence
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 - The Pentagon is drawing up a plan that would give the military a more prominent role in intelligence-collection operations that have traditionally been the province of the Central Intelligence Agency, including missions aimed at terrorist groups and those involved in weapons proliferation, Defense Department officials say.
Soccerdad @LeftCoaster: The Military and Intelligence — An article in the NYTimes by way of Steven Clemons Does everyone remember our favorite Christian soldier Lt. General William "Jerry" Boykin?
Steve Clemons: Today, the New York Times reports that Boykin, who is Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, is "drawing up...

Survey finds support for restricting Muslim-Americans' freedoms
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
Nearly one in two Americans believe the U.S. government should restrict civil liberties for Muslim-Americans, according to a nationwide Cornell University poll on terrorism fears.
TChris: The sad and frightening news: 44 percent do not.
Digby: Crusaders For Freedom — Via Talk Left I see that 44 percent of Americans think that we should limit the civil liberties of American Muslims.

Bill Moyers Gets In the Last Word
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Bill Moyers has always taken the high road, but it got a little lonely up there. In a country where political discourse grows ever more shrill, his voice was more and more easily drowned out. Last night, at the age of 70 and on the eve of his 50th wedding anniversary, Bill Moyers took the high road home.
Deacon: The void not left — Washington Post television critic Tom Shales will miss Bill Moyers.
Orrin Judd: LEFT BEHIND: Bill Moyers Gets In the Last Word (Tom Shales, December 18, 2004, Washington Post) [snipped quote] So if you...
Cliff May: (Yeah, and ... oh, supply your own ironic comment here.) Read it for yourself.

Poll shows U.S. views on Muslim-Americans
  AP   —   Permalink 
ITHACA, N.Y. - Nearly half of all Americans believe the U.S. government should restrict the civil liberties of Muslim-Americans, according to a nationwide poll.
Tbogg: More American Idiots — Just when you thought you couldn't be any more embarrassed to be an American... Nearly half of...
The Poor Man: You Can Stop Hating Us For Our Freedom Now — [snipped quote] Imagine that.

Poll Shows Seniors Back Medical Marijuana
  AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly three-fourths of older Americans support legalizing marijuana for medical use, according to a poll done for the nation's largest advocacy group for seniors.
More than half of those questioned said they believe marijuana has medical benefits, while a larger majority agreed the drug is addictive.
Skippy: armando's dkos diary tells us that a recent aarp survey shows that [snipped quote] there's two fallacies that the...
Armando @DailyKos: Does the survey show a regional divide? Does this hurt us in the South?

Bush speechwriter rushed to hospital
  AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — President Bush's chief speechwriter was taken to the hospital today with symptoms of blocked blood flow to the heart but was treated and is recovering, the White House said.
Betsy Newmark: Best wishes to Michael Gerson, the President's chief speechwriter, for a speedy recovery.
Andrew Sullivan: GET WELL, MICHAEL: Very sorry to hear of Michael Gerson's health problem.

Herbert Lom: The odd fellow
  By / Independent   —   Permalink 
Herbert Charles Angelo Kuchacevich ze Schluderpacheru was wise to change his surname to Lom. It is one of many wise decisions he has made in his long life. Another was to emigrate to England, from his native Czechoslovakia, in January 1939.
Roger L. Simon: An Actor with a Brain — In this era when actors spout off to look like "good guys" in the face of terror, Herbert Lom...
Deacon: Lesson learned — Roger Simon links to this excellent portrait of 87 year-old actor Herbert Lom in the Independent.

Charles fights death penalty for converts
  By / Telegraph   —   Permalink 
The Prince of Wales is brokering efforts to end the Muslim death penalty on converts to other faiths, The Telegraph has learned.
He held a private summit of Christian and Muslim leaders at Clarence House this month to explore the centuries-old Islamic law under which apostates face persecution and even death.
Perry de Havilland: Judging from this article it appears that when faced directly with the realities of what is done in the name of their...
Andrew Sullivan: He is unfairly maligned in my opinion. His recent effort has been to encourage Muslims not to execute apostates.

White House Predicts Slower Growth in 2005
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 - The Bush administration predicted on Friday that economic growth would slow next year but still be strong enough to reduce unemployment slightly.
Kevin Hayden: Rosie Sennaireeo, 2000-2005, RIP — The truth is inevitably worse than this administration projects, so it's worrisome...
Matthew Yglesias: Assumptions, Assumptions — When Bushies talk about the budget they say: [snipped quote] But if productivity continues to...

First Amendment Chicken Little
  By / Slate   —   Permalink 
From where I type in downtown D.C., the First Amendment seems pretty safe. But just blocks away, Washington Post op-ed columnist E.J. Dionne senses such a chill on our press freedoms that he's taken to composing his pieces in a parka, mittens, and Uggs.
Deacon: E.J. Dionne's big chill — For this week's critique of E.J. Dionne's Friday column, I enlist Slate's Jack Shafer.
Orrin Judd: GETS? HE WAS BORN THAT WAY: First Amendment Chicken Little: E.J. Dionne gets hysterical.

Making A Federal Case Out of Almost Everything
  By / Reason   —   Permalink 
"Don't make a federal case out of it," we used to tell people who blew things out of proportion. But that phrase is quickly losing its bite as the federal government expands its jurisdiction to every area of American life.
Matt Welch: 'Roids, 'Tutes, and National Security: Cato's Gene Healy: "Moreover, a federal government focused on everything from...
Jayson @PoliPundit: Yeah, it is High Time to Put the Federal Genie Back Into its Bottle — Gene Healy discusses the over-federalization of our legal system.

Hamas May Give Peace a Chance
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
Ramallah, West Bank — TWO unlikely factors - the maneuverings of Hamas, a group the United States considers a chief sponsor of terrorism, and a widespread fear of chaos among Palestinians - are combining to create some hope in the runup to next month's election to choose Yasir Arafat's successor as head of the Palestinian Authority.
Charles Johnson: Better send the guys with the white coats and butterfly nets over to the New York Times, where Scott Atran (of the...
Orrin Judd: Hamas May Give Peace a Chance (SCOTT ATRAN, 12/18/04, NY Times) [snipped quote] People need to reconcile themselves to...

Dems Want Answers From Rumsfeld on Armor
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
CHICAGO - The incoming deputy leader of Senate Democrats demanded answers Saturday from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as to why U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan lack protective equipment for themselves and their vehicles.
James Martin Capozzola: [Post-publication addendum (December 18): See also "Dem[ocrat]s Want Answers From Rumsfeld on Armor," by Maura Kelly...
Hindrocket: UPDATE: A day late and a dollar short as usual, the Dems have jumped on the armor hoax with both feet.

Bush: Social Security Plan Has Safeguards
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON - President Bush said Thursday the Social Security investment accounts he is proposing would have rules to prevent workers from gambling away their retirement money. He appealed for congressional action to shore up the system and said lawmakers supporting him wouldn't be risking their seats.
Avedon Carol: Bush plans to convince people that destroying Social Security is safe by wasting a lot of money artificially inflating the stock market.
SK Bubba: Social Security scam — As I predicted on November 4th, Bush has Social Security in his crosshairs.
Steve Gilliard: What's to prevent private accounts from being manipulated in the same way?

Singing the Norwegian Blues
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
"Importance: High We need to hire a junior lobbyist/PAC manager. Attached is a job description. Salary is $85-90K. Must be a male with Republican stripes.
"If you know of anyone who might be interested in interviewing for this position, would you please let me know?
Rickheller @Centerfield: Al Kamen takes issue. [snipped quote] I don't doubt that the missle defense system will be deployed, whether or not it is functional.
Echidne @AmStreet: Need A Job? Need A Job? There is a good one going in Viacom's government relations department!
Ampersand @Amptoons: Must be a male with Republican stripes — From a column in today's Washington Post: [snipped quote] Remember, this sort...

Christian pair guilty of racial hatred
  By /   —   Permalink 
AN evangelical Christian group incited hatred and severe ridicule of Muslims when it called them demons, liars and terrorists, a tribunal ruled yesterday.
In the landmark ruling, Catch the Fire Ministries pastors Daniel Nalliah and Daniel Scot were found...
Charles Johnson: Thoughtcrime Laws Claim First Victims — Australian readers: please do something to stop Victoria's incredibly insidious...
Damian Penny: Where speech is a little less free — While Britain debates proposed legislation to criminalize "religious...
Tim Blair: PEOPLE MOCKED — Those concerned about the UK's proposed religious hatred bill may be interested in the result of an...
Andrew Stuttaford: FREE SPEECH... ...finished in Australia, it seems.
Greg Ransom: FREE SPEECH takes a hit in Austrialia.

Iraq through Iraqis' eyes
  By /   —   Permalink 
A year after Saddam Hussein was captured, how goes the liberation of Iraq?
If a phrase like "the liberation of Iraq" strikes you as ironic, chances are most of what you know about the situation there comes from the mainstream press.
Charles Johnson: Iraq Through Iraqis' Eyes — Jeff Jacoby puts it in perspective: Iraq through Iraqis' eyes.
Betsy Newmark: Jeff Jacoby gives us another way to look at what we accomplished in Iraq.
Greyhawk: Voices of Iraq — Jeff Jacoby reviews the film Voices of Iraq, which we introduced here.

In custody, Tariq Aziz ready to name names
  MSNBC   —   Permalink 
Former Iraqi deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz was the sophisticated, intelligent face of a thuggish regime. He was known for his elegant English suits and a fondness for Cuban cigars.
But photos, obtained exclusively by NBC News, for the first time show Aziz as he lives now, in custody.
Captain Ed: One Of The Chief Rats Abandon The Sunken Ship — Tariq Aziz, the Chaldean Iraqi that helped prop up the genocidal maniac...
Pejman Yousefzadeh: CANARY — It would appear that Tariq Aziz is going to be a fount of information for coalition forces in Iraq.
Cori Dauber: Tonight (and, credit where credit is due, this is from Lisa Meyers, not a reporter whose work I've been very...
Gene @HarrysPlace: Aziz names names — NBC News reports: U.S. officials say [former Iraqi deputy prime minister Tariq] Aziz already has...
Ace: I always knew this effete strutting fop would be the first canary to sing; why did it take him so long to realize that?
FrancoAlemán: QUITE A FEW GUYS all over the world (in Spain too) are going to have cold sweat when they hear that Tariq Aziz, the...
Also: Greyhawk, Jeff Goldstein, Orrin Judd

More Uncounted Ballots Found in Wash.
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
SEATTLE - With Washington state in the middle of a recount of its amazingly close governor's race, election officials in Seattle's King County entered a warehouse Friday and found a plastic tray containing 150 misplaced ballots.
Avedon Carol: Even more uncounted ballots have been found in Washington: A judge Friday granted a state Republican Party request to...
Hindrocket: If it is close, on the other hand, we can't help but be suspicious: "With Washington state in the middle of a recount...
Captain Ed: The AP reports now that King County, a Democratic stronghold, has discovered yet another batch of supposedly uncounted,...
Holden: looky here election officials in washington's (the state, not the district) heavily-democratic king county find a...

Here's One Use Of U.S. Power Jacques Can't Stop
  By / Opinion Journal   —   Permalink 
We see where a curator at France's Pompidou Center says his museum is opening a branch in Hong Kong, because "U.S. culture is too strong" there, and "we need to have a presence in Asia to counterbalance the American influence." With the Pompidou Center?
Jan Haugland: Daniel Henninger writes about the power of communication technology, and how it affects the world.
Tom Smith: French culture on the marchay — This is fun. It just goes to show you, moral superiority is never enough.
Rebecca MacKinnon: They include Jay Rosen, Chris Lydon, and Dan Henninger in this WSJ op-ed. The group is now collectively writing a manifesto.
Steve Bainbridge: Here's the invaluable Daniel Henninger's latest column for "We see where a curator at France's...
Jeff Jarvis: The real revolution : Dan Henninger, deputy editorial-page editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal, spent last...
Orrin Judd: EVERY STROKE LIKE A COFFIN TAP: Here's One Use Of U.S. Power Jacques Can't Stop: "American influence" is the great white whale of the 21st century.
Also: Glenn Reynolds

Whitman Warns Against Catering to Right
  AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON - Christie Whitman, the former New Jersey governor and Bush environmental official, says in an upcoming book that Republican moderates must speak up or the party could move so far to the right that it will lose its influence and strength.
Joe Gandelman: More Cracks In GOP Unity: A Call For Moderates To Be Assertive — A former Bush admininistration cabinet official is...
KJL: OH, HOW DISAPPOINTING — Gee, I had thought Christie Todd Whitman was with us for so long. How shocking.
Ed Driscoll: More Shark Jumping — AP reports that Christie Whitman "Warns Against Catering to Right". Of course.

The Kyoto Protocol is Dead
  By / TCS   —   Permalink 
BUENOS AIRES — The Kyoto Protocol is dead — there will be no further global treaties that set binding limits on the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) after Kyoto runs out in 2012.
Roger L. Simon: Apropos of our "Crichton Envy" discussion... ... below... is this excellent article—The Kyoto Protocol is Dead— by Reason's Ron Bailey.
Greg Ransom: RONALD BAILEY — the Kyoto Protocol is dead: "History will record that the COP-10 Buenos Aires Climate Change...
Glenn Reynolds: REPORTING FROM BUENOS AIRES, Ron Bailey says that the Kyoto Protocol is dead.
McQ: Sound the funeral dirge ... ... and prepare the proper eulogy.
Jonathan H. Adler: It seems that Kyoto is dead, and something positive might come out of this UN confab after all.

Torture begins at the top
  By / Salon   —   Permalink 
Renewed exposure of prisoner abuse, torture and even murder by American military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan is widening already deep divisions between the Pentagon and the intelligence community — and creating an untenable situation for Donald Rumsfeld, the beleaguered secretary of defense.
Tim Dunlop: America too. But this torture stuff in Iraq is a blight. The more we find out, the worse it gets.
Mary @LeftCoaster: Update: From Joe Conason we find that the ACLU was able to force the government to cough up more documents on the topic of torture for public scrutiny.
Avedon Carol: Conason in Salon says Torture begins at the top: A recently disclosed FBI memo indicates that "marching orders" to...
Barbara O'Brien: Today in Salon, Joe Conason writes that "A recently disclosed FBI memo indicates that 'marching orders' to abandon...

Keystone Kops
  By / TCS   —   Permalink 
Whatever one's preferences in the Presidential election, it seems clear that George W. Bush's political team was far more skilled and competent than John Kerry's. This is evidenced by Bush's win, of course, but a detailed inside look at the 2004 Presidential campaign shows many instances in which Bush's team outwitted and outmaneuvered Kerry's.
Joe Gandelman: Pejman Yousefzadeh makes the case that Bush and his team are now all political thumbs.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: MY TECH CENTRAL STATION COLUMN IS UP — This article discusses the need for the President's political team to find their "A" game and to bring it back.
Hugh Hewitt: Pejman worries that "the vaunted skills of President Bush's political staff have deserted him."
Steve Bainbridge: Bush Blunders? Pejman thinks the Bush team is slipping: [snipped quote] He's got a point. Go read the whole thing.

Former Secretary of State pushes for new vote
  By / Seattle Times   —   Permalink 
Former Secretary of State Ralph Munro, a key supporter of Republican Dino Rossi during the contentious recounts in Washington's race for governor, says it may be time to toss out all of the votes and do the election over.
Captain Ed: The frustration from these miraculous apparitions has the GOP seeing re-vote in Washington, as Michelle Malkin noted...
Greg Ransom: In Seattle's King county, of course. Former Sec. of State Ralph Munro calls for a revote.
Michelle Malkin: A DO-OVER IN WASHINGTON STATE? What a mess. Update: Emcee has posted the Washington GOP's lawsuit documents here.
Jerome Armstrong: The GOP smells a loss coming on, and are now on the path to sue in order to keep people's votes from being counted, and...
Taegan Goddard: In Washington, Re-Vote May Be Needed — Former Washington Secretary of State Ralph Munro, "a key supporter of Dino Rossi...

Stem cells from fat used to repair girl's skull
  AP   —   Permalink 
Surgeons have used stem cells from fat to help repair skull damage in a 7-year-old girl in Germany, in what's apparently the first time such fat-derived cells have been exploited to grow bone in a human.
Orrin Judd: SADIE HAWKINS DAY COMES EARLY: Stem cells from fat used to repair girl's skull: Doctors report damaged bone grew back...
Glenn Reynolds: THIS SEEMS LIKE GOOD NEWS: [snipped quote] These are "adult," not embryonic, stem cells.
Tom Smith: More bad news — While this may seem like good news, it is actually just one more attempt to undermine a woman's right...

It's time to pass torch, younger Dems say
  By / USA Today   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — They are opining, organizing and running for party chairman. A wave of young Democrats is demanding not just to be heard but to take charge.
"This generation is looking for ways to participate because we're tired of losing," says Jamal...
Jerome Armstrong: I noticed a photo of Simon Ronsenberg in USA Today, along with some good quotes from others: [quote] "There's not enough energy and new blood in the Democratic Party."[end quote]
Taegan Goddard: They are opining, organizing and running for party chairman," USA Today reports.
Jim D: The Young and The Restless — No complaints about this here: "They are opining, organizing and running for party chairman.
Jayson @PoliPundit: The self-perpetuating circular firing squad, otherwise known as the "Democratic Party," apparently is forming a new schism: The Vietnam-era liberals. vs. The Reagan-era liberals.

Scrapbook: Battle for free-market agenda is only half won
  The Australian   —   Permalink 
IN the almost six decades since the end of World War II, intellectual opinion in the US about the desirable role of government has undergone a major shift. At the end of the war, opinion was predominantly collectivist.
Glenn Reynolds: MILTON FRIEDMAN: "After World War II, opinion was socialist while practice was free market; currently, opinion is free market while practice is heavily socialist.
John Quiggin: Milton Friedman on social democracy — Milton Friedman has a piece in the Hoover Digest, reprinted in The Australian...
Matt Welch: The Socialism/State Paradox — Milton Friedman notes an interesting dichotomy: [snipped quote] Link via Crooked Timber.
Jan Haugland: The era of big government never ends — Legendary economist Milton Friedman points out an interesting paradox: after...
Matthew Yglesias: Oh Man... ...I had this idea for a piece about well, this and that, but apparently Milton Friedman and John Quiggin are already on the case.

How Iran Is Winning Iraq
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
If you had asked an intelligence analyst two years ago to describe the worst possible political outcome following an American invasion of Iraq, he might well have answered that it would be a regime dominated by conservative Shiite Muslim clerics with links to neighboring Iran.
Sadly @SadlyNo: Shorter David Ignatius — How Iran Is Winning Iraq [snipped quote] Shorter concept stolen from busy, busy, busy.
Matthew Yglesias: The Washington Post's David Ignatius writes "How Iran is Winning in Iraq": "If you had asked an intelligence analyst...
Laura Rozen: Taking on a bit of columnist-amnesia-itis at the Washington Post, Matt Yglesias makes a good point here: "The...

Still Crazy After All These Years
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
Not having listened to the entire thing, I can't say for sure that every single word uttered at the White House economic conference this past week was nonsensical. But I do know that when I tuned in Wednesday morning, it was only a matter of seconds before I was treated to a piece of pure hokum.
Avedon Carol: Talking bollocks — Jonathan Chait on crackpot economist Martin Feldstein's recent appearance at Bush's "economic...
Matthew Yglesias: UPDATE: It's also worth noting that the man whose course I didn't take is, as Jon Chait writes an egregious hack.
Tom @Corrente: Jon Chait on conservative economist Martin Feldstein's discredited spiel about taxes at W's lame "economic summit" about the "financial challanges" we face today.
Kevin Drum: TAX CUT JIHADISM....Jon Chait on conservative economist Martin Feldstein: [snipped quote] — Sadly, we don't have to imagine.

Cracked Icons
  NRO   —   Permalink 
Why the Left has lost credibility.
There is much talk of post-election reorganization and rethinking among demoralized liberals, especially in matters of foreign policy. They could start by accepting that the demise of many of their cherished beliefs and institutions was not the fault of others.
Dale Franks: Get Serious — Victor Davis Hanson writes that, until the Left is willing to criticize some of it's own cherished icons...
FrancoAlemán: A GREAT, superb, magnificent article by Victor Davis Hanson on what the left has to do to regain its lost credibility: ...
Laura Rozen: Victor Davis Hanson gets an important fact wrong, writing: [snipped quote] But Milosevic was not taken out by the US military.

Buying Into Failure
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
As the Bush administration tries to persuade America to convert Social Security into a giant 401(k), we can learn a lot from other countries that have already gone down that road.
Information about other countries' experience with privatization isn't hard to find.
Avedon Carol: Paul Krugman says that falling for the Social Security privatization scam is Buying Into Failure: "Decades of...
Steve Gilliard: Social Security Lotto place a bet Buying Into Failure By PAUL KRUGMAN Published: December 17, 2004 [snipped quote] This...
Chris Bowers: In countries where Social Security has been abolished, senior poverty is skyrocketing.
Tom Maguire: However, the scope of the problem can be exaggerated: "Decades of conservative marketing have convinced Americans that...
Jonah Goldberg: Krugman says that one of the two biggest problems with social security privtatization is that it leaves retirees in poverty.
Kevin Drum: Today Paul Krugman picks up the baton and runs another lap with it. It's not a pretty story.
Also: Orrin Judd, Susan Madrak, The Poor Man, Sam Rosenfeld, DeLong, Greg Ransom

Cell phones in the air: Convenience or curse?
  By / USA Today   —   Permalink 
Just when air travel seems to have become our national gripe, along comes a possibility to make us appreciate flight as we now know it: A cabin full of people talking, loudly and simultaneously, on their cell phones.
Steve Bainbridge: Blogosphere Beats MSM ... Again — A couple of days late, USA Today finally wakes up to the horror: "Just when air...
Orrin Judd: CURSE: Cell phones in the air: Convenience or curse?
Cookie Jill: ustoady" "a 79-year-old retiree who tussled with a man half his age over the man's foul language in a restaurant was...

Gregoire trails by 74 with 3 counties left
  By / Seattle Post-Intelligencer   —   Permalink 
OLYMPIA — Christine Gregoire shaved Dino Rossi's lead in the governor's race back into double digits yesterday with a 44-vote gain in Snohomish County.
With just King, Pierce and Spokane counties left to report, Gregoire trails by just 74 votes in the closest gubernatorial election in state history.
Steve Bainbridge: Now we learn that they've also discovered: [snipped quote] Is the rule in Washington that King County just gets to go on "finding" ballots until a Democrat gets elected?
Taegan Goddard: Meanwhile, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer notes that with just three counties "left to report and the hand recount...
Jerome Armstrong: Right now, she trails by 74 votes, with 3 counties left.

Grand jury probes Rich-Saddam link
  By / Washington Times   —   Permalink 
A federal grand-jury investigation of pardoned financier Marc Rich's role in the U.N. oil-for-food scandal has focused on whether he helped Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein reward the families of Palestinian bombers who carried out suicide attacks in Israel, sources said yesterday.
Deacon: Bedfellows — A grand jury investigating pardoned (by Bill Clinton) financier Marc Rich's role in the U.N. oil-for-food...
Jayson @PoliPundit: Maybe Clinton Should have Prospectively Pardoned Himself — A federal grand jury now is investigating whether there were...

Clamor Grows in the Privatization Debate
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 - Introduced as a "single mom" from Iowa, Sandra Jaques was cool and confident as she praised President Bush's plan to partly replace Social Security with private savings accounts.
"I have a daughter at home.
Matthew Yglesias: Edmund Andrews' otherwise excellent write-up of George W. Bush's astroturf privatization tactics winds up letting a...
Josh Marshall: Now that's more like it. Edmund Andrews in the Times today ... [snipped quote] 'turf galore! Read the whole piece.

After three decades, Bill Moyers calls it a career
  AP   —   Permalink 
'I was just in the editing room, working on the last piece," Bill Moyers said. " I thought: 'I've done this so many times, and each one is as difficult as the last one.' Maybe finally I've broken the habit."
Hugh Hewitt: If today's MSM had covered the Battle of the Bulge... Bill Moyers goes gently into the night, and just in case no one noticed, he's telling everyone that he mattered —a lot!
Orrin Judd: W OUTLASTS ANOTHER: After three decades, Bill Moyers calls it a career (Associated Press, December 17, 2004)...
Jude Nagurney Camwell: We'll Miss You, Bill Moyers — As a blogger, I want Bill Moyers to know how he has inspired people like me.

What They Believe
  By / Opinion Journal   —   Permalink 
Ukraine's Orange Revolution (named for the color adopted by the country's reformist opposition), is a broad-based movement that brought millions of citizens into the streets to press for free and fair elections. Now it is on the verge of a dramatic victory.
Hugh Hewitt: There is a religious dimension to the Ukrainian democracy movement, as OpinionJournal's Adrian Karatnycky reports, but...
Robert Tagorda: What They Believe (Wall Street Journal) [snipped quote] This is unsurprising, given the role that religion has played in other freedom movements, like the one in Poland.
Orrin Judd: GLORY TO UKRAINE: What They Believe: The religious dimensions to Ukraine's protests and passions.

Changing for the Better -- or Worse?
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Throughout a two-day conference on the economy, President Bush and his allies extolled the virtues of his tax cuts and "pro-growth" policies, which they said have lifted the nation from recession and propelled it well above its international economic competitors.
Eugene Oregon: The Contradicting Economy — Via the Carpetbagger, I came across this Washington Post article that notes that Bush's entire economic program is based on contradictions.
Noam Scheiber: HEIGHTENING THE CONTRADICTIONS: Jonathan Weisman has a nice piece in today's Post laying out the contradictions at the...
Nick Confessore: Today's piece in the Washington Post on President Bush's economic summit is about as humorous as a news article about fiscal policy can be: [snipped quote] Read the rest.
Michael Froomkin: Changing for the Better — or Worse?.
Orrin Judd: GOOD, MAKE IT BETTER: Changing for the Better — or Worse?
DeLong: Jonathan Weisman Pulls His Punches — Jonathan Weisman pulls his punches as he says that Bush is engaged in a "delicate...

Bin Laden Urges Strikes on U.S., Allies in Mideast
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — A new audiotape attributed to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden praises the attack on a U.S. Consulate in Saudi Arabia this month and encourages militants to mount strikes to prevent the United States from obtaining Middle Eastern oil.
Mary @LeftCoaster: This audiotape praises the attack on the US Consulate in Saudi Arabia and asks Muslims to continue to wreck havoc where ever they can.
Matthew Yglesias: It's clear, meanwhile, that Osama bin Laden uses our ties to these hated regimes as the key organizing principle of his efforts to recruit and inspire his followers.

Just Leave Christmas Alone
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
"Holiday celebrations where Christmas music is being sung make people feel different, and because it is such a majority, it makes the minority feel uncomfortable."
"You want my advice? Go back to Bulgaria."
Avedon Carol: "So they are all leaping up to defend it, of course."
Deacon: Just leave Christmas alone — So pleads Charles Krauthammer. I couldn't agree more.
Steve Bainbridge: Christmas in the Public Square — Just one more reason I'm a Krauthammer fan: [snipped quote] Do go read the whole thing.
Ken Masugi: Krauthammer on the Need to Celebrate Christmas — While making standard arguments against the ACLU dominating the...
Betsy Newmark: Today, he is writing about the people who get their knickers all knotted up about references to Christmas in the public square.

Google and God's Mind
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
The boogie-woogie Google boys, it appears, dream of taking over the universe by gathering all the "information" in the world and creating the electronic equivalent of, in their own modest words, "the mind of God."
Kevin Drum: The LA Times features an op-ed today by one Michael Gorman, president-elect of the American Library Association.
James Joyner: Information Isn't Knowledge — American Library Association president-elect Michael Gorman has an interesting piece in today's LAT entitled, "Google and God's Mind."

Rumsfeld to personally sign all condolence letters
  Stars & Stripes   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will begin personally signing condolence letters sent to families of troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, after receiving criticism over his use of mechanical signatures.
Steve M.: SUPPORT THE TROOPS — From Stars & Stripes we learn that, until now, Rummy couldn't be bothered to sign every letter to...
The Poor Man: Rumsfeld Passes The Turing Test — [snipped quote] Bad press does not compute.

The sound of stealing
  American Thinker   —   Permalink 
The late Chicago columnist Mike Royko often told a story about election night 1960 in Illinois, and the Presidential contest between then-Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon.
Betsy Newmark: Richard Baehr details the horrifying shenanigans that are going on in Washington State in the so-called recount of the governor's race there.
PoliPundit: WA The Washington state recount saga has degenerated into obscene farce.

Harrison Ford signs for Iraq war film
  Guardian   —   Permalink 
Harrison Ford is to star in what will be Hollywood's first feature about the current Iraq war.
Producers Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher have bought the option for No True Glory: The Battle for Fallujah, a non-fiction written by Slate reporter Bing West.
Ace: Hollywood Finally Makes Film About War on Terror; Title Will Be, Shockingly Enough, "No True Glory" — Wooden robotic...
Jeff Quinton: Harrison Ford in Fallujah Movie — Guardian Unlimited "Harrison Ford is to star in what will be Hollywood's first feature about the current Iraq war.

Swift Boat Vets To Get Courage Award
  AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — For one night only, it'll be spitballs and Swift Boats (search) together on the same stage — a who's who of Sen. John Kerry (search) bashing.
Dave Johnson: OK, here's today's prize-winner: "Swift Boat Vets To Get Courage Award": "The American Conservative Union on Thursday...
The Big Trunk: Men of the year — Ladies and gentlemen, we proudly present the men of the year: "Swift Boat vets to get courage award."

Cropp, baseball refuse to budge
  Washington Times   —   Permalink 
D.C. Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp yesterday said she will not reopen legislation next week requiring the District to include private funds to build a ballpark in Southeast, effectively killing the deal negotiated between Mayor Anthony A. Williams and Major League Baseball.
McQ: Good for her — There are very few things Democrats do lately, which find me applauding, but the exception to that would be D.C. Council Chairman Linda Cropp.
Nick Gillespie: Whole Times story here.