meme orandum
Fresh brewed news plus stewing views
Archive Edition for   Thursday, December 30, 2004Go to Current Page
Web News

memeorandum presents an automated hourly synopsis of the latest online news and opinion, combining weblog commentary with traditional news reports.   (More)

Site Notices

Subscribe:   XML   (Help)
  •Add to My Yahoo!
  •Add to Bloglines

Recent archives:

Quoted in this edition:

Ace of Spades HQ
The American Street
  Jeff Alworth
American Thinker
  Gary Farber
  Steven @AndrewSullivan
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
  Sir George
Associated Press
  Chris Brummitt
  J.M. Hirsch
  David Ammons
  Dusan Stojanovic
  Steve Leblanc
Asymmetrical Information
  Jane Galt
Backcountry Conservative
  Jeff Quinton
Balloon Juice
  John Cole
Begging to Differ
  Kriston @BeggingToDiffer
  Gregory Djerejian
Betsy's Page
  Betsy Newmark
The Blogging of the President
  Simon @BOPNews
Boston Globe
  Donovan Slack
BrothersJudd Blog
  Orrin Judd
The Buck Stops Here
  Stuart Buck
Burnt Orange Report
  Byron LaMasters
  Jeff Jarvis
Captain's Quarters
  Captain Ed
Cato Institute
  David Schoenbrod
  Tully @Centerfield
Chicago Boyz
  Jonathan Gewirtz
Chris C Mooney
  Chris Mooney
Christian Science Monitor
  David R. Francis
The Claremont Institute
  Richard Reeb
  Tom Karako
  Bruce Sanborn
The Corner
  Jonah Goldberg
  Mark Krikorian
  Lambert @Corrente
Crescat Sententia
  Beth Plocharczyk
Crooked Timber
  Henry Farrell
  Eszter Hargittai
Daily Kos
  Kos @DailyKos
  Daniel Drezner
  Eugene Oregon
  Michael Froomkin
Dynamist Blog
  Virginia Postrel
  Steve Antler
  Ed Driscoll
  Ed Cone
Editor and Publisher
  Greg Mitchell
the evangelical outpost
  Joe Carter
  Medium Lobster
Fox News
  Radley Balko
Fraters Libertas
  Saint Paul
Front Page Magazine
  Roger Kimball
  Sidney Blumenthal
Happy Furry Puppy Story Time with Norbizness
Hit and Run
  Julian Sanchez
  Brian Doherty
Houston Chronicle
  R.G. Ratcliffe
  Hugh Hewitt
Informed Comment
  Juan Cole
  Glenn Reynolds
  Phillip Carter
International Herald Tribune
Ipse Dixit
  C. D. Harris
  Joanne Jacobs
Lean Left
  Kevin Raybould
The Left Coaster
  Larre @LeftCoaster
  Soccerdad @LeftCoaster
Little Green Footballs
  Charles Johnson
Los Angeles Times
  Edmund Sanders
The Mahablog
  Barbara O'Brien
Mark A. R. Kleiman
  Mark Kleiman
Matthew Yglesias
  Matthew Yglesias
MaxSpeak, You Listen!
  Max B. Sawicky
Michael J. Totten
  Michael J. Totten
Michelle Malkin
  Michelle Malkin
Minneapolis Star Tribune
The Moderate Voice
  Joe Gandelman
  Jerome Armstrong
  Nathan Newman
The National Debate
National Review
  John Derbyshire
New York Sun
  Benny Avni
  Jacob Gershman
New York Times
  Robert Pear
  John Markoff
  Eric Schmitt
  David E. Sanger
  Amy Waldman
  Douglas Jehl
  Steven R. Weisman
Not Geniuses
  Joe Drymala
Off the Kuff
  Charles Kuffner
Oh, That Liberal Media
  Dave Huber
One Hand Clapping
  Donald Sensing
Opinion Journal
  James Taranto
  Peggy Noonan
  Claudia Rosett
Outside The Beltway
  James Joyner
  Jesse Taylor
  Ezra Klein
  Pejman Yousefzadeh
The Peking Duck
  Richard TPD
  Jayson @PoliPundit
Power Line
  Jay Rosen
  Greg Ransom
  Steve Bainbridge
Questions and Observations Blog
  Jon Henke
  Maria Castro
  Caren Bohan
The Rittenhouse Review
  James Martin Capozzola
Roger Ailes
  Roger Ailes
Roger L. Simon
  Roger L. Simon
  Jamie Lyons
Seattle Times
  Ralph Thomas
Secular Blasphemy
  Jan Haugland
Seeing The Forest
  Dave Johnson
Shot In The Dark
  Mitch Berg
The Sideshow
  Avedon Carol
Silent Running
  Wind Rider
Silflay Hraka
skippy the bush kangaroo
  Dana Stevens
  Jack Shafer
  Christopher Hitchens
Steve Clemons
  Steve Clemons
Steve Gilliard's News Blog
  Steve Gilliard
Suburban Guerrilla
  Susan Madrak
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire
  Taegan Goddard
the talking dog
  Talking Dog
  Jeralyn Merritt
  Radley Balko
This Is London
  Andrew Gilligan
Tim Blair
  Tim Blair
  Ogged @Unfogged
The Volokh Conspiracy
  Eugene Volokh
  Jim Lindgren
  Orin Kerr
  MB Williams
The Washington Monthly
  Kevin Drum
Washington Post
  Evelyn Nieves
  Christopher Lee
  Mike Allen
Washington Times
  Bill Gertz
Weekly Standard
  Hugh Hewitt
White House
Winds of Change.NET
  Discarded Lies
  Kevin Aylward
World O'Crap

Bush 'Undermining UN with Aid Coalition'
  By / Scotsman   —   Permalink 
United States President George Bush was tonight accused of trying to undermine the United Nations by setting up a rival coalition to coordinate relief following the Asian tsunami disaster.
The president has announced that the US, Japan, India and Australia would coordinate the world's response.
Sir George: Short should get back on the Short Bus — Clare Short accuses Bush of undermining the UN relief efforts.
Michael J. Totten: Now Clare Short is laughably accusing us of trying to help unilaterally.
Betsy Newmark: Here is one critic: "But former International Development Secretary Clare Short said that role should be left to the UN.
Captain Ed: British Minister: UN Only Body With "Moral Authority" For Relief — This statement by British minister Clare Short has...
Charles Johnson: Anti-American Tsunami Riders — Another appalling outburst of acrimony towards the United States, in what will probably...
McQ: Capt. Ed tips us to another wacko who speaks and for some reason her assinine comments are reported: "United States...
Also: Bill Hobbs, Orrin Judd, JD @SouthernAppeal

On Nov. 2, GOP Got More Bang For Its Billion, Analysis Shows
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
In the most expensive presidential contest in the nation's history, John F. Kerry and his Democratic supporters nearly matched President Bush and the Republicans, who outspent them by just $60 million, $1.14 billion to $1.08 billion.
Kos @DailyKos: Shrum's $5 million — Shrum, who is 0-8 in presidential elections and yet is still rumored to be in line for the Corzine...
Dave Johnson: Privacy — The blogs are writing about today's Washington Post story comparing Democrat and Republican election tactics.
Taegan Goddard: GOP Got More Bang for Buck — Despite their fundraising success in the last election, Democrats "simply did not spend...
Jerome Armstrong: Campaign Reform — Page 1 today of the WA Post shows the need for reform of how Democratic candidates run their media...
Lambert @Corrente: Losers — There's a lot of Inside Baseball stuff in this article about how the Republicans and the Democrats used their...
Orrin Judd: "OUT"ING THE DEMOCRATS (via GraniteProf): On Nov. 2, GOP Got More Bang For Its Billion, Analysis Shows (Thomas B. Edsall...
Also: PoliPundit

In Ads, AARP Criticizes Plan on Privatizing
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 - AARP, the influential lobby for older Americans, signaled Wednesday for the first time how fervently it would fight President Bush's proposal for private Social Security accounts, saying it would begin a $5 million two-week advertising campaign timed to coincide with the start of the new Congress.
Kriston @BeggingToDiffer: THANKS, OLD PEOPLE — Good news for good people*: AARP has signaled that they aren't taking lightly President Bush's...
Mark Kleiman: AARP blasts Social Insecurity — Two readers point me to this New York Times story reporting that AARP will vigorously...
Kevin Drum: AARP WEIGHS IN...Good news: it looks like AARP is planning to fight back against President Bush's Social Security...
Matthew Yglesias: AARP Steps Up — As has been widely rumored, the AARP is going to play for the good guys in the Social Security debate instead of reprising their Medicare performance from 2003.
Richard TPD: Geezer Power to the Rescue — Great news — the AARP is going head to head with Bush's inane, insane plan to "privatize" Social Security.

Are We Stingy? Yes
  NYT   —   Permalink 
President Bush finally roused himself yesterday from his vacation in Crawford, Tex., to telephone his sympathy to the leaders of India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia, and to speak publicly about the devastation of Sunday's tsunamis in Asia.
Steve Clemons: It sickens me that Fox News is wrapped up in whether it was appropriate or not for a United Nations official to call American aid levels stingy.
James Martin Capozzola: (0) DISCUSSION | WHO YOU CALLING STINGY? U.S. The New York Times in an editorial today, "Are We Stingy?
Paul: Those were all from yesterday... In today's NY Times we get this.... ...Mr. Egeland was right on target.
Jeff Jarvis: The Nation joins The New York Times in editorializing against and excoriating America for its "meager" response.
Larre @LeftCoaster: Increase in aid to tsunami victims promised by Bush after impliedly being called stingy - $20 million.
Daniel Drezner: Virginia Postrel has kindly requested a comment from me on the kerfuffle* — fueled today by the New York Times...
Also: Avedon Carol, Barbara O'Brien, Edward _, Jesse Taylor, Jeralyn Merritt, James Joyner, KJL

2004: The Good News
  By / Fox News   —   Permalink 
Every year as we approach the end of December, major media outlets compile lists of the year's top stories.
Television news stations compile poignant montages of the past 12 months.
Avedon Carol: Ruminations — Krugman is still on vacation, most of the news seems to be about the tsunami (and whether Bush is...
Pejman Yousefzadeh: IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR — Radley Balko reminds us what we have to be thankful for in 2004.
Glenn Reynolds: RADLEY BALKO writes that there was actually a lot of good news in 2004. There's a lot of it, and the column is a must-read.
Jan Haugland: Good news from 2004 — Easy to forget in these troubled times: the world is gradually becoming a better place.
C. D. Harris: Freer, Healthier, Cleaner, Richer, And Safer 2004 was actually a pretty good year. <Via Instapundit>
Radley Balko: The Good News — My new Fox column takes a year-end look at the good trends happening under the radar.

Gregoire declared governor-elect, but Rossi wants new vote
  By / Seattle Times   —   Permalink 
Democrat Christine Gregoire was officially declared Washington's new governor-elect this morning by Secretary of State Sam Reed.
Reed, a Republican, certified the results of a statewide manual recount which Gregoire won by 129 votes.
Steve Bainbridge: Here's another "unstatesman-like" comment: [quote] "In the same breath, Dino Rossi says a drawn-out process would hurt...[end quote]
KJL: WASHINGTON REVOTE? that's what Rossi is urging.
James Martin Capozzola: Democrat Christine Gregoire today was officially named the state's governor elect, that after two recounts and a delay of 58 days following Election Day.

Bush Says America Will Lead Global Relief Effort
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
CRAWFORD, Tex., Dec. 29 — President Bush said Wednesday that the United States will spearhead a worldwide effort to provide financial, military and humanitarian assistance to the Asian nations devastated by one of the world's deadliest natural disasters.
Daniel Drezner: "Compared to other OECD countries, no. President Bush was correct in pointing out that the U.S. is the largest provider..."
Max B. Sawicky: THAT'S MORE LIKE IT What he should have said three days ago. Advantage, Norway!
Barbara O'Brien: Several Days Late, Many Dollars Short — Peter Wallsten and Edwin Chen write in today's Los Angeles Times

Into the Tar Pits
  NRO   —   Permalink 
Dinosaurs either evolve or die.
There was a time when the political lines about foreign policy were well drawn. Those on the Left felt that American democracy and global capitalism did not necessarily offer the rest of the world a much better alternative than either Soviet-sponsored Communism or third-world thuggery.
Charles Johnson: Evolve Or Die — Another great column from Victor Davis Hanson, who offers some helpful advice to the Left: Into the Tar Pits.
Ed Driscoll: Jurassic Left — Victor Davis Hanson writes, [snipped quote]. He's got some excellent suggestions that would bring them somewhere towards the middle—if they're willing to listen.
Jesse Taylor: Only Paleontologists In The Political Sense — Shorter V.D. Hanson: whereas The Left used to be racist, stupid, and...

Internet Use Said to Cut Into TV Viewing and Socializing
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 29 - The average Internet user in the United States spends three hours a day online, with much of that time devoted to work and more than half of it to communications, according to a survey conducted by a group of political scientists.
Joe Gandelman: Actually, I seem to waste more time deleting all of those spams telling me I need an "enlargement" (and how did they...
James Joyner: Internet Use Said to Cut Into TV Viewing and Socializing — Internet Use Said to Cut Into TV Viewing and Socializing...
Hugh Hewitt: And the New York Times reports on a new study of internet usage. (HT: K-Lo.) Surprise: It is sky-rocketing.
KJL: INTERNET USE REPLACES OTHER ACTIVITIES — How about a study on how much time is wasted on studies on the obvious?

A Top Kofi Annan Aide Insults Israeli Leader
  By / New York Sun   —   Permalink 
UNITED NATIONS - Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman, yesterday urged that Secretary-General Annan fire his top adviser, Lakhdar Brahimi, for his anti-Israel tirades.
Charles Johnson: UN Adviser Goes Nuts — Kofi Annan's top adviser, Lakhdar Brahimi, is getting a little too honest about his hatred for Israel: A Top Kofi Annan Aide Insults Israeli Leader.
Betsy Newmark: Here is today's reason to despise Kofi Annan. One of his top aides is spewing more anti-Israeli bile.
McQ: Inept, corrupt and incorrigible — Another reason Annan should go: [snipped quote] I wonder if Mr. Brahami understands...
KJL: ANNAN AIDE fires off insults toward Israel, natch.

Lieberman: Iraq Election Must Go Forward
  ABCNEWS   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON Dec 30, 2004 — Sen. Joe Lieberman, traveling in the Middle East Wednesday, said there is strong support in Iraq for the Jan. 30 election, and postponing it would only be a victory for the insurgents.
James Martin Capozzola: (0) DISCUSSION | DON'T WAKE ME YET Sen. Lieberman Pushes the Envelope of Irrelevancy The Associated Press reports: ...
KJL: LEIBERMAN OPTIMISTIC ON IRAQ AP: [snipped quote] Hat tip.
Jayson @PoliPundit: A "Dissenting Viewpoint" About Iraq — Democratic U.S. Senator, Joe Lieberman, says that much in the way of progress is being made towards peace and democracy in Iraq.

Pentagon ousts official who tied Russia, Iraq arms
  By / Washington Times   —   Permalink 
A Pentagon official who publicly disclosed information showing Russian involvement in moving Iraqi weapons out of that country has been dismissed.
John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security and formerly an...
Ace: Pentagon Official Ousted For Trying to Help George Bush Politically — Wonder if Josh Marshall will begin scandalblogging this outrage?
Roger L. Simon: Not OUR Pooty-Poot... I don't know what to make of Bill Gertz's report today that John A. Shaw—the Pentagon official...
Tom Karako: Today, the Washington Times reports that John Shaw has been forcibly removed from office, after he refused to resign.

Tsunami death toll tops 116,000
  CNN   —   Permalink 
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (CNN) — The death toll from Sunday's tsunamis has jumped sharply to over 116,000 after Indonesia reported nearly 80,000 people were killed in that country alone.
Bigwig: An Uncomfortable Equation — One Southeast Asian Tsunami + Thousands of Relief Workers = The Increased Possibility of An...
Jeralyn Merritt: Death Toll Exceeds 116,000 — The death toll now stands at 116,000. Indonesia reports that over 80,000 were killed in that country alone.
Joe Gandelman: The Toll Climbs Higher — Just try to imagine a fatality cut off figure and the Indian Ocean earthquake constantly...
James Joyner: Tsunami Death Toll Tops 116,000 - India Warns of New Wave — Tsunami death toll tops 116,000 (CNN) "The death toll from...

A state of chaos
  By / Guardian   —   Permalink 
The transition to President Bush's second term, filled with backstage betrayals, plots and pathologies, would make for an excellent chapter of I, Claudius. To begin with, Bush has unceremoniously and without public acknowledgement dumped Brent Scowcroft, his father's closest associate and friend, as chairman of the foreign intelligence advisory board.
Avedon Carol: Sidney Blumenthal has a piece in the Guardian that makes the administration look like a bunch of doped-up morons.
Jeralyn Merritt: Bush's Second Term: No More Holdovers From His Father — Sidney Blumenthal writes in The Guardian about Bush's second...
Soccerdad @LeftCoaster: According to Sidney Blumenthal Brent Scowcroft has unceremoniously and without public acknowledgement [been] chairman of the foreign intelligence advisory board.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  By / Opinion Journal   —   Permalink 
From an article in yesterday's New York Times by Jennifer 8. Lee, on a nest of Manhattan birds:
"It was like a belated Christmas gift," said Amanda Tree, a Brooklyn actress and singer-songwriter who had waited, bundled up with wool hat and rainbow scarf, since 9 a.m. to see the hawks.
RCox: Who knew? James Taranto at weighs in on Mitchell and Neuharth [Conventional McWisdom, 4th item down].
Ed Driscoll: Meanwhile, back from Christmas vacation, James Taranto has a prediction: [snipped quote] We'll see.

Requiem for a Cop
  By / Slate   —   Permalink 
Amid the ever grimmer news about the Asian earthquake, I'd like to spare a few words for the wonderful actor Jerry Orbach, who died last night. After a long and successful stage career and a string of character roles on film, Orbach spent 12 seasons playing the wisecracking Det.
Ogged @Unfogged: Lennie, And Friends — There's another nice article about Jerry Orbach in Slate, with lots of good links.
Beth Plocharczyk: UPDATE: Slate remembers Jerry Orbach and links to two articles concerning Law and Order's addictive properties.
Ed Driscoll: "They Can't Tear Me Down" — Dana Stevens has a nice obit for Jerry Orbach in Slate. As does The Gothamist blog, which also has a fine collection of links.

Who's Afraid of Hezbollah TV?
  By / Slate   —   Permalink 
Secretary of State Colin Powell didn't ban Hezbollah's satellite TV station Al-Manar from the United States when he added it to the federal Terrorist Exclusion List on Dec. 17. But the edict took on that appearance when it coincided with the decision of station's satellite provider in North America to unplug it.
McQ: 1st Amendment and incitement to violence — Jack Shafer has an article in Slate in which he asks "Who's Afraid Of Hezbollah TV"? and answers "not me".
Julian Sanchez: I Hear They're Worse than Fox... Writing at Slate, Jack Shafer argues against a ban on the Hezbollah-backed Al-Manar satellite TV station.

Tsunami Death Toll Rockets to 114,000
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) - The death toll from last weekend's earthquake-tsunami catastrophe rose to more than 114,000 on Thursday as Indonesia uncovered more and more dead from ravaged Sumatra island, where pilots dropped food to remote villages still unreachable by rescue workers.
Jeff Alworth: The Governator, to California Dems Numbers 1200 - US troop deaths in Iraq, 2004 (through 23 Dec) 42 - Percent who still...
Kos @DailyKos: Help — Update [2004-12-30 11:4:1 by Armando]: Deathtoll Rises To 114,000 [snipped quote] Link.
Captain Ed: AP: Tsunami Toll Now Over 114,000 — The AP now reports that new estimates of deaths in Sumatra has pushed the aggregate...

Ukrainian PM's appeals rejected
  BBC   —   Permalink 
Ukraine's Supreme Court has rejected all four complaints against the conduct of the presidential election lodged by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.
The Central Election Commission also rejected his appeal over Sunday's vote, which was a re-run of the second round.
Jan Haugland: Ukraine Supreme Court rejects election appeals — The four complaints brought to the Ukraine Supreme Court by losing prime minister Viktor Yanukovych have all been rejected.
Captain Ed: UPDATE: He's 0-for-4 now: "Ukraine's Supreme Court has rejected all four complaints against the conduct of the presidential election lodged by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych."

Falloujans Get an Unsettling Look at Their City
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD — Yasser Abbas Atiya swore he'd sooner sleep on the streets of his beloved hometown of Fallouja than spend another night in the squalid Baghdad shelter where his family had been squatting.
Thirty minutes after he returned home this week, however, Atiya had seen enough.
Joe Drymala: Just Wondering... Reading an L.A. Times article (via Jesse at Pandagon) about How Falloujans Live Now, this sentence struck me: [snipped quote] Public gatherings are illegal?
Jesse Taylor: Community Gardens With Land Mines — Why did the LA Times not interview the Fallujah Rotary Club, or, in fact, anyone...

School milk carton giving way to bottle
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
Yet another familiar school-days object may be going the way of the inkwell and the slide rule.
Encouraged by a milk industry study that shows children drink more dairy when it comes in round plastic bottles, a growing number of schools are ditching those clumsy paper half-pint cartons many of us grew up with.
Joanne Jacobs: Milked out — A bit of American heritage — those little milk cartons kids get in school — is being abandoned and EdWonk is happy.
Brian Doherty: Let Them Drink Malk — Latest sign of education and skill decline in public schools: kids apparently no longer competent...

Disturbances in the Earth
  By / Opinion Journal   —   Permalink 
The biggest story of the year happened just as big-thinking journalists went on vacation after filing their "Ten Biggest Stories of 2004" pieces. Life has a way of surprising us.
I thought the other day of Harrison Salisbury, and his response when asked what he'd learned after a lifetime as a reporter.
McQ: The Beat goes on — Peggy Noonan nails it in her piece today about the Bush critics and their use of the tragedy in SE Asia to score cheap political points.
KJL: 2004'S BIGGEST STORY — Peggy Noonan: [snipped quote] Read the whole thing here.
SLZoll: In this week's column, Peggy notes that the biggest story of the year, the tsunami that may have killed over 100,000...
Steve Antler: (It's a long story.) UPDATE: Here's Peggy Noonan on the fascination — and inapprpriate uses — of this story.

Pentagon Said to Offer Cuts in the Billions
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 - The Pentagon plans to retire one of the Navy's 12 aircraft carriers, buy fewer amphibious landing ships for the Marine Corps and delay the development of a costly Army combat system of high-tech arms as part of $60 billion in proposed cuts over the next six years, Congressional and military officials said Wednesday.
James Martin Capozzola: Somehow, amid massive cuts in long-term defense spending already under consideration by the Bush administration, I doubt it.
MB Williams: Well, now Olympia can make that leap.. I noticed this seemingly insignificant little tidbit in the second to last...
Orrin Judd: TRY $60 BILLION A YEAR: Pentagon Said to Offer Cuts in the Billions (ERIC SCHMITT, 12/30/04, NY Times)
McQ: Well this is one reason: "The proposed Pentagon cuts, which include sharply reducing the program for the Air Force's...
Phillip Carter: General, get your scalpel — Pentagon plans major budget cuts, including some to prized modernization and transformation...
Jesse Taylor: The Steady Coddling Of Fascism — Proposed billions of dollars worth of cuts in military spending at a time when our...

GOP's Soft Sell Swayed the Amish
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Early on a pale blue morning, a horse-drawn buggy clop-clopped along a farmland stretch of Route 340. A lone little Chevy compact came toward it at a Sunday pace.
Mark Krikorian: PLAIN VOTERS — More evidence that the cultural Left's takeover is a disaster for the Democratic Party: even the Amish came out to vote for Bush.
Betsy Newmark: I love the thought that the GOP were able to mobilize the Amish vote.

Fraudulent Charities Use Tsunami Pleas To Prey on Donors
  By / New York Sun   —   Permalink 
On eBay, sellers are hawking Pez dispensers, a gold necklace, a stuffed mouse, and a "hand-carved" Buddha statue with the promise that proceeds from the auctions will go directly to charities assisting the victims of the tsunami in Asia.
Captain Ed: The New York Sun reports today on a number of websites that have sprung up for fundraising in connection to tsunami...
Hugh Hewitt: The New York Sun covers the relief scams that are springing up. Stick with a reliable, experienced relief agency when donating.

Single Government ID Moves Closer to Reality
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Federal officials are developing government-wide identification card standards for federal employees and contractors to prevent terrorists, criminals and other unauthorized people from getting into government buildings and computer systems.
James Joyner: Single Government ID Card Closer to Reality — Single Government ID Moves Closer to Reality (WaPo, A25) "Federal...
Steve Gilliard: The One ID card — One ID card to rule them all Single Government ID Moves Closer to Reality High-Tech Cards Are...

NRO's 2005 Crystal Ball
  By / NRO   —   Permalink 
Iran will test a Bomb.
Mel Gibson will get an Oscar. (The Left, of which Hollywood is a wholly owned subsidiary, is desperate to get on speaking terms with those weird — what do they call themselves? — "Christians.")
Hugh Hewitt: 2005 predictions here. I participated last year, but wasn't invited back this year.
Betsy Newmark: You can compare the Corner's predictions for 2004 with what they think is in store for 2005.

Internet Sparks Increase in Quick Donations
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
Faced with searing images of suffering and grief in South Asia, Americans are finding an instantaneous way to reach out to tsunami victims: on their home computers.
Like never before, people are turning to the Internet to donate money, the latest step in a revolution that has altered everything from shopping to presidential campaigns.
Jan Haugland: Overwhelming online response to tsunami disaster — Online donation soars as people are rushing to aid the tsunami victims from their home computers.
Jeralyn Merritt: Donations for Tsunami Victims Pouring In Through Internet — The Washington Post on internet donations for the Tsunami...
KJL: More on stingy Americans.
Eugene Oregon: The include articles such as this [snipped quote] and this [snipped quote] There is no doubt that this is a massive...
James Joyner: Internet Sparks Outpouring of Instant Donations (WaPo, A01) "Faced with searing images of suffering and grief in South...
Jeff Jarvis: Connected charity : Witness the phenomenal response to Amazon's call for tsunami charity — $3.5 million at midnight —...
Also: Greg Ransom

G.O.P. to Make Ethics Inquiries Harder to Begin
  NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 - In the wake of back-to-back ethics slaps at the House majority leader, Tom DeLay, House Republicans are preparing to make it more difficult to initiate ethics investigations and could remove the Republican chairman who presided over the admonishments of Mr. DeLay last fall.
SLZoll: G.O.P. to Make Ethics Inquiries Harder to Begin Because there's a real need for fewer ethics in Congress?
Charles Kuffner: Meanwhile, via The Stakeholder and Greg, I see that Republicans in both DC and Austin are working hard to make sure that this sort of thing Never Happens Again.
Byron LaMasters: The New York Times reports: [snipped quote] Greg, like me, is outraged.
Gary Farber: YES, OF COURSE. G.O.P. to Make Ethics Inquiries Harder to Begin. Because once every few years is too many. Who could oppose this?

Thousands of Americans unaccounted for
  CNN   —   Permalink 
The U.S. State Department is working to find thousands of Americans unaccounted for days after powerful tsunamis struck countries bordering the Indian Ocean.
No exact numbers are available, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said, but "we're working at any given moment 2,000 to 3,000 names now that we're looking for."
Kevin Aylward: "Call Your Mother" — In case you were thinking that the tsunamis and the earthquake weren't having a direct effect on...
James Joyner: Thousands of Americans Unaccounted for After Tsunamis — Thousands of Americans unaccounted for (CNN) [snipped quote] Wow.
Jeralyn Merritt: Task Force Set Up for Missing Americans — The U.S. says thousands of Americans are still missing.

It's Governor-elect Gregoire, but Rossi seeks 'do-over'
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
OLYMPIA, Wash. - The night before Washington's secretary of state was scheduled to certify Democrat Christine Gregoire as the governor-elect, her Republican rival Dino Rossi called for a complete re-do of the longest, closest governor's race in state history.
Jim Lindgren: Now Rossi is calling for a new election (tip to Kos). This is not the way to conduct elections.
Jon Henke: The Worm Turns — Ironic Post of the Day: Kos [snipped quote] Where to begin?
Kos @DailyKos: Someone tell GOoPer Dino Rossi that when you lose an election, you have to wait until the next cycle to run again: [snipped quote] There is no uncertainty.

Editorial: The stingy U.S./An appalling performance
  Minneapolis Star Tribune   —   Permalink 
Dressed in a somber black suit and subdued tie, President Bush should have called an impromptu news conference in Crawford Sunday afternoon. He should have reported to the American people and to the world that the United States stood with the suffering people of Asia and would do everything in its power to help them.
McQ: Because he didn't act in some preconceived manner to which only they are privy, he's insensitive.
Mitch Berg: Amid the fuss over yesterday's Nick Coleman rhetorical travesty, this fairly loathsome editorial nearly escaped notice.
Jeralyn Merritt: Original Post: From an editorial in the Minneapolis Star Tribune

It's About Aid, and an Image
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
CRAWFORD, Tex., Dec. 29 - As Asia suffers through a 9/11 of its own - a natural calamity instead of a man-made one, but at least 25 times more deadly - President Bush's response in coming weeks may well determine his success in repairing relations strained by three years of relentless American focus on terrorism.
McQ: You do the math. And then, if you're one of the critics, do us all a favor and STFU.
Jeff Jarvis: Speaking of dumb ideas, Sen. Patrick Leahy proposes redirecting money earmarked for Iraqi rebuilding to South Asian rebuilding.
Nathan Newman: When disaster hit Florida the US Government allocated $13 billion in aid to help the victims, but as the New York Times...

Bush Promises Long-Range Help as Impatience Grows in Region
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
MADRAS, India, Dec. 29 - World leaders, including President Bush, promised long-range help to Asian countries on Wednesday as impatience with the pace of relief efforts rose along with the estimated toll from the week's disaster, which officials said now surpassed 80,000 dead.
Phillip Carter: Give to those in need — I'm still stunned by the scale of the disaster unfolding in Asia in the wake of the earthquake-driven tsunami.
Gregory Djerejian: Amidst all our clamoring for something to be done, however, it's worth noting that it appears a real outpouring of aid...
James Martin Capozzola: What bothers me still is that President Hey We Seen Floods in Texas, Too couldn't take himself away from clearing brush...

FBI Probes Laser Beam Directed at Cockpit
  AP   —   Permalink 
CLEVELAND (AP) - Authorities are investigating a mysterious laser beam that was directed into the cockpit of a commercial jet traveling at more than 8,500 feet.
The beam appeared Monday when the plane was about 15 miles from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, the FBI said.
Michelle Malkin: BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG RESPONSIBILITY — Following up on those weird laser beam stories, I note that at least one online retailer has now stopped selling high power green lasers.
KJL: IS THERE ANY REASON these laser cockpit stories (here and here) shouldn't freak people out? (Hat tip:Drudge)
Donald Sensing: Humor so subtle — Michelle Malkin reports briefly on the story of a commercial airliner being laser tracked at 8,500 feet for several seconds on Monday.
Glenn Reynolds: LASER ATTACKS ON COMMERCIAL JETS? Quite possibly.
Wind Rider: Lightshow — I'd seen articles like this before, but it kind of clicked when I spotted this item, pointing to these gadgets.

Early data on Asian quake went unnoticed in Vienna
  IHT   —   Permalink 
PARIS Early on Sunday morning, powerful computers in a Vienna office building received seismic data on the earthquake that spawned the devastating tsunamis across south Asia - information that might have saved lives in the hours between the quake and the waves hitting the coasts of Sri Lanka, India and several other countries.
Joe Gandelman: According to a {Paris-dated story in the International Herald Tribune: "Early on Sunday morning, powerful computers in...
Tim Blair: USELESS INFORMATION — The International Herald Tribune reports: [snipped quote] There were other barriers to using that information, as you'll find if you read the entire piece.

Romanian, 67, pregnant with twins
  BBC   —   Permalink 
Romanian doctors say a 67-year-old woman is seven months pregnant with twin girls after fertility treatment.
If the pregnancy comes to full term, it is believed that Adriana Iliescu, an author and academic, will become the oldest recorded mother.
James Joyner: 67-Year-Old Romanian Pregnant with Twins — Romanian, 67, pregnant with twins (BBC) [snipped quote] Intellectually, I'm...
Steve Gilliard: 67 and already pregnant — Adriana Iliescu says she expects to live for many years yet Romanian, 67, pregnant with twins [snipped quote] Has she seen a four year old in action?
Joe Gandelman: Hey, Mom: Don't Let This Give You Any Ideas... ...PLEASE: "Romanian doctors say a 67-year-old woman is seven months pregnant with twin girls after fertility treatment.
KJL: FOR THE THIS-IS-PROGRESS? FILES Romanian woman pregnant at 67 with twins.

Delegation Running Riot
  By / Cato Institute   —   Permalink 
(Yale University Press, 1993), 260 pp.
After a single preambulatory sentence, the Constitution of the United States begins with this simple proposition: "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States." What does it mean?
Stuart Buck: As Kerr points out, exactly one conservative-leaning person — D.C. Circuit judge Douglas Ginsburg — used the phrase...
Orin Kerr: As best I can tell, the phrase "Constitution in Exile" originally appeared in a book review by D.C. Circuit Judge...

29 Die in Insurgent Ambush of Iraq Police
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Insurgents lured police to a house in west Baghdad with an anonymous tip about a rebel hideout, then set off explosives, killing at least 29 people and wounding 18 in the latest in a series of deadly strikes against Iraqi security forces, police said Wednesday.
Juan Cole: Clashes in Mosul, Samarra — The massive bomb in Baghdad that killed 30 persons and wounded 25 the night of Tuesday- Wednesday turns out to have been an ambush.
Skippy: uk guardian: "insurgents lured police to a house in west baghdad with an anonymous tip about a rebel hideout, then set...

Readers Want to Lock Up Al Neuharth (and Me, Too)
  By / Editor and Publisher   —   Permalink 
Unless you've been living in a bubble the past few months, surely you know that the partisan divide in this country has grown wider with each passing minute and that growing numbers of Americans hate or at least distrust the press.
Norbizness: Some old USA Today guy gets angry letters.
Betsy Newmark: UPDATE: Blogger Jazz thinks I'm hypocritical for implying that only liberals use hate speech and cites as examples the...
Tbogg: That must have been some mandate... Atrios has the link to The Shrill-Americans, but here is my favorite from the...
Avedon Carol: The blogosphere isn't the only place for morons, but a lot of idiotic and hateful letters to the editor actually start there.
RCox: Greg Mitchell Squeezes in Record Fifth Neuharth Column — Apparently bereft of new ideas, Greg Mitchell is once again...
Radley Balko: The Brainwashed Masses — Lovely responses to USA Today founder Al Neuharth's call for withdrawal from Iraq.
Also: Atrios

Nick Coleman: 'Blog of the Year' goes to extremes
  Minneapolis Star Tribune   —   Permalink 
The end of the year is a time to bury the hatchet, so congratulations to Powerline, the Twin Cities blog that last week was named Time magazine's "Blog of the Year!"
Now let me get a new hatchet.
These guys pretend to be family watchdogs but they are Rottweilers in sheep's clothing.
Henry Farrell: The blogging two-step — The perennial issue of mainstream media bias and the superiority of blogs is undergoing a minor...
Joe Carter: Whether it was due to frustration or a desire for negative attention, Coleman decided to use his latest column to...
Bruce Sanborn: Nick Coleman's Star Tribune column shows that demagoguery remains part of politics.
Saint Paul: The Same Old Song — I have perused the avalanche of Nick Coleman commentary from the blogosphere, including this...
Eugene Volokh: Weak Attack on Blog by Journalist: The Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Nick Coleman has a pretty poor attack on the PowerLine...
Roger L. Simon: The opinion meister lets the proverbial cat out of the bag in his year end column (tedious registraton required).
Also: Avedon Carol, Mitch Berg, Deacon, Glenn Reynolds, Captain Ed, Hindrocket, The Big Trunk, Jay Rosen, McQ, Betsy Newmark, Pejman Yousefzadeh, Charles Johnson, Mindles H. Dreck, Chad The Elder

Group holds fast to Kerry cause with Beacon Hill vigil
  By / Boston Globe   —   Permalink 
The election is long over. A new year is starting, and even most of the more ardent liberals are moving on. But in Louisburg Square this week, one determined group isn't quite ready to let go. About a half dozen supporters of John Kerry are holding vigil in front of his house, still hoping for a Kerry presidency.
Sir George: Warm Thoughts for the Holidays — With New Year's Eve fast upon us let your heart be warmed by this story, already noted by Tim Blair.
Orrin Judd: BITTER ENDERS: Group holds fast to Kerry cause with Beacon Hill vigil (Donovan Slack, December 29, 2004, Boston Globe) [snipped quote] A: Everyone else.
Jayson @PoliPundit: The Inmates Still Want to Run the Asylum — If you're one of those apathetic, fickle conservatives that often deigns to...
Pejman Yousefzadeh: And just out of curiosity, does anyone think that Kos will tell these people that "no one likes a sore loser"?
Tim Blair: KERRY FANS RALLY AT ONE OF HIS FIVE HOUSES — Wonkette on the now-concluded Ohio recount: [snipped quote] Presumably...

Ramsey Clarke to defend Saddam
  Aljazeera   —   Permalink 
Former US attorney-general Ramsey Clark is to join Saddam Hussein's defence team, a spokesman for the ousted Iraqi president's lawyers says.
Ziad Khasawna said on Wednesday that Clark, who held the office of attorney-general under US president Lyndon Johnson, had "honoured and inspired" the legal team by agreeing to help defend Saddam.
Joe Gandelman: Sadaam's Bad Choice — Sadaam Hussein will hang in the morning...guaranteed...du e to this: "Former US attorney-general...
Jan Haugland: Now he is part of Saddam Hussein's defense team. Why in the world would Saddam have Clarke on board?
Tully @Centerfield: Ramsey Clarke to Defend Saddam — Ramsey Clarke to defend Saddam What more is there to say?
Charles Johnson: Ramsey Clarke to Defend Saddam — Former US attorney general Ramsey Clarke, best friend of dictators and mass murderers...
Jonathan Gewirtz: No Surprise — Former US Attorney General (and current anti-American publicity-hound) Ramsey Clark has joined Saddam Hussein's legal defense team.
KJL: RAMSEY CLARKE to Saddam's defense.

Susan Sontag
  By / Slate   —   Permalink 
Between the word "public" and the word "intellectual" there falls, or ought to fall, a shadow. The life of the cultivated mind should be private, reticent, discreet: Most of its celebrations will occur with no audience, because there can be no applause for...
Richard TPD: Anyway, there is is some hope of balance with Christopher Hitchens' superb obituary of Sontag, which puts her dumb...
Virginia Postrel: But his appreciative obit does balance Kimball's jaundiced view.
Greg Ransom: More on Sontag here, here and here. UPDATE: Christopher Hitchens remembers "An Intellectual Hero".
Avedon Carol: Christopher Hitchens on Susan Sontag in Slate isn't bad, although he is still in denial about what 9/11 most emphatically was.
Gary Farber: Christopher Hitchens gets Sontag exactly right.
Ed Cone: Susan Sontag eulogized by Christopher Hitchens.

Not a fair fight
  American Thinker   —   Permalink 
Oh Boy! Just when you thought the legacy media might have wised-up in the wake Dan Rather's career crash, along comes Nick Coleman, the worst columnist at the Worst Major Daily Newspaper in America. The old adage is that when you find yourself in a hole, you should stop digging.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: Let's instead turn the megaphone over to Thomas Lifson, who blows Coleman away with this article, which simply should be...
McQ: UPDATE: Here's Powerline's response. UPDATE II: Thomas Lifson has an intriguing take on the Coleman article.
Glenn Reynolds: STILL MORE: Thomas Lifson says it's a case of career suicide by blogger: "We have an extended holiday weekend coming...
Mitch Berg: Thomas Lifson has an intrigueing premise about Nick Coleman: "... I do see an analogy to a well-known practice of some of those bent on extinguishing their own lives.

A Unified Theory of the Old Media Collapse
  By / Weekly Standard   —   Permalink 
IF OLD MEDIA—the "legacy media" of the big papers and old networks plus the newsweeklies—was a city and not simply a set of gasping institutions, it would look like Stalingrad circa 1944. Parts of most of the virtual buildings are still standing, but the devastation is pretty complete.
Bigwig: Apparently he's gotten a fair amount of negative feedback for what seems to me to be a fairly innocuous list of...
Jay Rosen: Hugh Hewett at the Weekly Standard: A Unified Theory of the Old Media Collapse: (Dec. 28) "By the time the new...
Captain Ed: Why The MSM Has Run Aground — Hugh Hewitt writes a companion piece to his new book in today's Weekly Standard column,...
Richard Reeb: Stalwart friend Hugh Hewitt rightly celebrates the skewering of Old Media figures by conservatives (including himself)...
Steven @AndrewSullivan: (The phrase belongs to Hugh Hewitt, who applies it to the "old media."
Ed Driscoll: Stimulus And Response — On Monday, Tech Central Station posted my top ten list of Blogosphere moments of 2004: "The...
Also: Betsy Newmark, Greg Ransom, The Big Trunk, Hugh Hewitt

Aid Grows Amid Remarks About President's Absence
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
The Bush administration more than doubled its financial commitment yesterday to provide relief to nations suffering from the Indian Ocean tsunami, amid complaints that the vacationing President Bush has been insensitive to a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions.
John Cole: First, the accidental occidentalist claims that we dropped the ball in the war on terror because Bush is not a statesman...
Susan Madrak: [quote]Sure, sure, we're gonna see him today, when he holds a "teleconference" and make a "brief appearance" from the ranch,...[end quote]
Juan Cole: As John F. Harris and Robin Wright of the Washington Post cannily note, US President George W. Bush has missed an important opportunity to reach out to the Muslims of Indonesia.
Barbara O'Brien: Clink here for links to organizations accepting money for disaster relief. kinglouie.jpgUpdate, December 29: In today's...
Kevin Aylward: Washington Post Taps Kerry Confidant For Bush-Bashing — Here's the first paragraph from a front page article on...
Glenn Reynolds: Not that that has stopped people from bitching about the United States' response. It's almost as if they're determined to find fault no matter what.
Also: McQ, Betsy Newmark, Captain Ed, Charles Johnson, Avedon Carol, Steve @BeggingToDiffer, Ed Driscoll, Rimjob @DailyKos, Kos @DailyKos, Christopher Kanis, Steve Gilliard, Tresy @Corrente, Lambert @Corrente, David Cohen, Cookie Jill

'Law & Order' Star Jerry Orbach Dies
  ABCNEWS   —   Permalink 
NEW YORK Dec 29, 2004 — "Law & Order" star Jerry Orbach has died of prostate cancer at age 69, a representative of the show said. Orbach announced last month he had been diagnosed with the disease.
Joe Gandelman: Jerrry Orbach Leaves Us — Orbach2 Veteran character actor Jerry Orbach, best known for his role in Law & Order has died of prostate cancer at age 69.
James Joyner: 'Law & Order' Star Jerry Orbach Dies 'Law & Order' Star Jerry Orbach Dies (ABC-AP) [snipped quote] A shame.
Mitch Berg: Start Canvassing — Jerry Orbach, dead at 69.
Jeff Quinton: Jerry Orbach dies of Cancer AP [snipped quote] Some of the best ensemble casts for L&O have all included Jerry Orbach in my opinion.
Jane Galt: Say it ain't so! Jerry Orbach, longtime mainstay of Law and Order, has died.

Nations pledge aid after Asia disaster
  Reuters   —   Permalink 
LONDON, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Aid teams are beginning to reach Asia's tsunami devastated villages and resorts where more than 68,000 people have been killed as an international humanitarian relief campaign swings into gear.
McQ: The result? 2 million Euros. He had to cut his vacation short for that? And France? Well how does a $140,000 sound?
Captain Ed: Thanks to Reuters Foundation AlertNet, those figures are now available to us (via Instapundit): Australia: $26M, plus...
Tim Blair: That French figure seems impossibly low, but it checks out here and here (100,000 euros = $A177,000 = $US135,400).
Ezra Klein: Though advancing America's interest amid the tsunami's devastation isn't the best thing to do, there was an obvious way...
Glenn Reynolds: Meanwhile, Tim Blair notes that France has sent $177,000: "That French figure seems impossibly low, but it checks out here and here (100,000 euros = $A177,000 = $US135,400).

C.I.A. Deputy for Analysis Is Being Removed
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 - The head of the Central Intelligence Agency's analytical branch is being forced to step down, former intelligence officials say, opening a major new chapter in a shakeup under Porter J. Goss, the agency's chief.
Discarded Lies: Meanwhile The CIA's epic purge of George Tenet's team continues as the Deputy Director of the Analysis branch has been given the pink slip.
James Joyner: C.I.A. 's Chief Analyst Fired — C.I.A. Deputy for Analysis Is Being Removed (NYT) [snipped quote] I missed this move when it occured Monday.
Hindrocket: CIA Housecleaning Continues — Now it's the agency's deputy director for intelligence, Jami Miscik, who has been forced out by Porter Goss.
Glenn Reynolds: THEY'RE ACTUALLY FIRING PEOPLE FOR POOR PERFORMANCE AT THE CIA: [snipped quote] This should have been done three years...

President Discusses Support for Earthquake and Tsunami Victims
  White House   —   Permalink 
For more information on US Humanitarian Assistance and how you can help . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Laura and I and the American people are shocked and we are saddened by the terrible loss of life from the recent earthquake and the tsunamis in the Indian Ocean.
Barbara O'Brien: In his remarks yesterday, President Bush said that his administration had established a "regional core group with India, Japan and Australia to help coordinate relief efforts.
Chris Mooney: "I Am Not a Geologist, As You Know" — From Bush's press conference today: [snipped quote] Dear George W. Bush: The nation does not expect you to be a geologist.
Gary Farber: Hearing this, you emerge from your house, and indignantly announce: [snipped quote] Meanwhile, at least five of your...

Mass. Governor to File Death Penalty Bill
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
BOSTON (AP) - Hoping to bring capital punishment to Massachusetts, Gov. Mitt Romney is preparing to file a death penalty bill early next year that he says is so carefully written it will guarantee only the guilty are executed.
Jeralyn Merritt: He's trying to get it passed in his state which does not have a death penalty. The Mass. legislature is controlled by Dems.
Jesse Taylor: Mitt Romney: [snipped quote] This alongside his series of children's books which he swears are in no way double...
Orrin Judd: SEPARATION OF DEMOCRATS AND VOTERS: Mass. Governor to File Death Penalty Bill (STEVE LeBLANC, December 29, 2004,...

Jerry Orbach dead at 69
  CNN   —   Permalink 
(CNN) — Actor Jerry Orbach, best known for his long-running role as New York police detective Lennie Briscoe on "Law & Order," has died. He was 69.
Orbach died of prostate cancer Tuesday night, a spokesman for the program confirmed Wednesday.
Avedon Carol: Jerry Orbach is dead at 69. We'll miss you, Lennie.
Eszter Hargittai: Jerry Orbach dies — Jerry Orbach, star of Law & Order for many seasons, died last night of prostate cancer.
Norbizness: Lennie Briscoe, 1893-2004 — I don't remember that episode.
Ogged @Unfogged: What An End To A Year — Susan Sontag, though her true prominence was before my time, and Jerry Orbach, who I watch just...

Tsunami Death Toll Rises to 76,700
  ABCNEWS   —   Permalink 
Pyres of victims who were killed by tidal waves burn on the beach at Alappad, in the southern Indian state of Kerala, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2004. More than 55,000 people have been killed across south and southeast Asia following a massive earthquake close to Indonesia on Sunday, which triggered devastating tsunamis.
Avedon Carol: The Guardian Newsblog says bloggers got out ahead on the story of the tsunami because the news orgs were standing down during this normally slow news period.
James Joyner: Tsunami Death Toll Could Top 100,000 — Death Toll Rises to 76,700 Tsunami Victims in Asia; Red Cross Says Dead Could Exceed 100,000 (ABC) [snipped quote] Mindboggling.
Joe Gandelman: The death toll is now: 76,000 and climbing....and officials now believe it'll EXCEED 100,000 by the time the searches have ended.
Skippy: tsunami death toll tops 76,000 the asspress tells us the red cross thinks it could get even worse: [snipped quote] this is rapidly turning into the worst disaster in human history.

Susan Sontag: An Obituary
  By / Front Page Magazine   —   Permalink 
When a friend called me yesterday morning with the news that Susan Sontag had died at the age 71, just about the first thing I thought was, "well, we'll have a huge, hagiographical, front-page obituary tomorrow in The New York Times." Check to see if I am correct.
McQ: Quotes shamelessly lifted from a wickedly good Sontag "obit" by Roger Kimball.
Virginia Postrel: Professor Postrel, whose job conveniently provides health insurance for his self-employed spouse, suggests that the...
Simon @BOPNews: I think it's worth keeping the debate alive, after the fire and brim of the right ("a lifelong devotion to the...
Dave Huber: They "don't redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world;" wrote that "America is a cancerous...

House Ethics Panel Chief May Be Replaced
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert is leaning toward removing the House ethics committee chairman, who admonished House Majority Leader Tom DeLay this fall and has said he will treat DeLay like any other member, several Republican aides said yesterday.
Gary Farber: They might want to remove staunch Republican conservatives from power! Honest politicans like Rep. Joel Hefley (R-Colo.) might be in trouble under the Democrats.
Byron LaMasters: Via the Stakeholder is today's Washington Post story: [snipped quote] Democrats have a great opportunity to assert ourselves as the party of reform.
Charles Kuffner: The DeLay Rule wasn't lenient enough — The Stakeholder points to this WaPo article which shows just how seriously the House Republican leadership takes its ethics.
Roger Ailes: The Vermin Guarding The Bughouse — The Washington Post reports on Republican politics as usual: [snipped quote] Yes, Smith has the procedure down cold.

Irate Over 'Stingy' Remark, U.S. Adds $20 Million to Disaster Aid
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 - Rejecting a United Nations official's suggestion that it had been a "stingy" aid donor, the Bush administration on Tuesday announced another $20 million in relief for victims of the Asian earthquake and tsunamis and dispatched an aircraft carrier and other ships to the region for possible relief operations.
Matthew Yglesias: On the intergovernmental level, which is typically most important for longer-term recovery rather than immediate relief,...
Simon @BOPNews: Budgets in the news US tsunami disaster relief: $35 million. (source NYT) Bush inauguration party: $40 million. (source NYT via Free Republic) from edge of nowhere.
RCox: New York Times Holiday Fun: Lying with Headlines — The headline goblins at The New York Times have been particularly...

New York Gang Member Faces Trial as Terrorist
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Every time Lourdes Morales watches the TV news and sees a story on terrorism, she weeps.
Family members have stopped trying to console her, but they, too, cannot understand why Edgar Morales, the family's youngest son, will see the new year arrive in prison where he is waiting to be tried as a terrorist.
Joe Carter: In New York they are all considered terrorists groups.
Atrios: Everything's Terrorism Now — Yes, prosecute the bad guys and this guy (if guilty) is a bad guy, but here's where we're...
Steve Gilliard: New York Gang Member Faces Trial as Terrorist By Maria Castro [snipped quote] If the judge lets the charge stand at trial, it is likely to be tossed on appeal.

Lawmaker's wife to go on active duty in the Legislature
  By / Houston Chronicle   —   Permalink 
AUSTIN - As Melissa Noriega prepares to serve as a surrogate in the Legislature for her husband, state Rep. Rick Noriega, the toughest thing is knowing she will have to leave her 7-year-old son behind in Houston.
Byron LaMasters: The Houston Chronicle reports: "Melissa Noriega, 50, is a special projects manager for the Houston Independent School District.
Charles Kuffner: Melissa Noriega — Meet Melissa Noriega, wife of State Rep. Rick Noriega (D, Houston), who will be filling in for her husband while he is on active military duty in Afghanistan.

One man's retirement math: Social Security wins
  By / Christian Science Monitor   —   Permalink 
At the heart of President Bush's plan to sell Social Security private accounts is a simple notion: You're always better off investing your retirement money than letting the government do it.
Michael Froomkin: Social Security Outperforms Dow Jones (Sometimes) Via of all places the increasingly irrelevant Wonkette, this item from...
Avedon Carol: Smart Investor — David Francis at The Christian Science Monitor writes about a San Diego man who did the math: [snipped quote] But it's all about timing.
Lambert @Corrente: Someone does the math: Social Security outperformed the market — Heh. [snipped quote] Astonishing?

Tsunami death toll nears 68,000
  CNN   —   Permalink 
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (CNN) — The latest death toll from the Asian tsunami has increased to nearly 68,000 as relief workers and supplies begin to reach some of the most devastated areas.
Talking Dog: Words are pretty much inadequate to describe the after effects of the monstrous earthquake and tsunami that has killed...
Susan Madrak: "Meanwhile, the sea keeps vomiting up the dead. The bodies will yield disease. And this long holiday season of suffering goes on."
Kevin Raybould: According to the latest news, the USA is going to give 35 million dollars in aid.

Blue: The Next Orange?
  By / Opinion Journal   —   Permalink 
UNITED NATIONS—The advance of liberty and its attendant institutions can be a rough business, provoking stiff resistance by those who find their interests most threatened: the dictators, cronies and retinues of careerocrats who have already have made their compromises of conscience.
Jayson @PoliPundit: Regime Change Begins at Home — The great Claudia Rosett says the leadership of the UN(ron) needs to be swept aside.
KJL: THE U.N. needs regime change.
Betsy Newmark: Claudia Rossett calls for regime the United Nations.

Bush Vows More Aid for Victims of Tsunami
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - President Bush said on Wednesday a $35 million U.S. pledge for victims of the Asian tsunami was only the beginning and any suggestions America was stingy were "misguided and ill-informed."
It was Bush's first public statement since the tsunami struck on Sunday.
Betsy Newmark: This helpful translation service will help you read Reuters' report on Bush's announcement that, contrary to the...
Ed Driscoll: More Bias In Tsunami Reporting — First there was the "it's global warming's fault" story in Reuters.

Death toll reaches 100,000
  By / This Is London   —   Permalink 
The death toll in the tsunami disaster soared past 100,000 today - and is set to climb higher.
A total of 50 Britons are now confirmed dead and at least 100 are unaccounted for after tidal waves swept away resorts in Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and around the Indian Ocean.
Ace: The Tsunami — I find it hard to post about disasters like this, claiming more than 60,000, perhaps even 100,000,, more than half of them children.
Jonah Goldberg: WORDS FAIL — The death toll is heading past 100,000.
Roger L. Simon: UPDATE: At first I thought Drudge was inflating the death toll, but every time I think that, it continues higher. 100,000 is the latest figure.

Jerry Orbach, Star of 'Law and Order,' Dies at 69
  NYT   —   Permalink 
Jerry Orbach - who won fame on the New York stage as one of the last bona fide leading men of the Broadway musical and global celebrity on television as a New York detective on NBC's "Law & Order" - died on Tuesday night. He was 69.
Medium Lobster: Just days after the death of Susan Sontag, whom all right-thinking Americans will remember and denounce for the crime of...
Ogged @Unfogged: Damn. Update: NYT Obit for Orbach.