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Archive Edition for   Wednesday, February 16, 2005Go to Current Page
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Quoted in this edition:

American Enterprise Institute
The American Street
  Jude Nagurney Camwell
Angry Bear
  Roger Kimball
Associated Press
  Mark Sherman
  Laura Meckler
  Barry Schweid
  Nancy Benac
Backcountry Conservative
  Jeff Quinton
  William J. Dyer
Betsy's Page
  Betsy Newmark
The Big Picture
  Barry L. Ritholtz
Body and Soul
  Jeanne D'Arc
Brad DeLong's Website
BrothersJudd Blog
  Orrin Judd
Captain's Quarters
  Captain Ed
Cato Institute
  Will Wilkinson
CBS News
  Arthur Chrenkoff
Chris C Mooney
  Chris Mooney
City Pages
  G.R. Anderson Jr.
CJR Campaign Desk Home
  Paul McLeary
  Brian Montopoli
  Susan Q. Stranahan
Clayton Cramer's BLOG
  Clayton Cramer
The Corner
  Jonah Goldberg
  K. J. Lopez
  Ramesh Ponnuru
  Jonathan H. Adler
Crescat Sententia
  Will Baude
The Daily Ablution
  Scott Burgess
Daily Kos
  Kos @DailyKos
  Armando @DailyKos
  Damian Penny
  Daniel Drezner
  Eugene Oregon
  Arnold Kling
  Ed Driscoll
  Ed Cone
  Noam Scheiber
Financial Times
  Edward Alden
Fraters Libertas
  Chad The Elder
Gut Rumbles
Happy Furry Puppy Story Time with Norbizness
Harry's Place
  Harry @HarrysPlace
Harvard Crimson
The Hill
  Alexander Bolton
Hit and Run
  Tim Cavanaugh
  Nick Gillespie
  Kerry Howley
  Julian Sanchez
  Jesse Walker
  Jacob Sullum
HLS Federalist Society
  Eric Soskin
  Bill Hobbs
  Hugh Hewitt
  Glenn Reynolds
  Joanne Jacobs
  Tom Maguire
Kesher Talk
  Judith Weiss
Las Vegas Review-Journal
  Erin Neff
Lebanon Daily Star
  Rami G. Khouri
The Left Coaster
  Steve Soto
Little Green Footballs
  Charles Johnson
Los Angeles Times
  David G. Savage
  Robert Scheer
The Mahablog
  Barbara O'Brien
Matthew Yglesias
  Matthew Yglesias
MaxSpeak, You Listen!
  Max B. Sawicky
The Media Drop
  Tom Biro
Media Matters for America
Media Notes Extra
  Howard Kurtz
Michael J. Totten
  Mary Madigan
Michelle Malkin
  Michelle Malkin
The Moderate Voice
  Joe Gandelman
Mudville Gazette
  Chris Bowers
National Review
  Tim Graham
New York Magazine
  Kurt Andersen
New York Observer
  Joe Hagan
  Joe Conason
New York Post
New York Sun
  Meghan Clyne
New York Times
  Tim Weiner
  David D. Kirkpatrick
  Sara Rimer
  Adam Liptak
  Paul Krugman
  Rick Lyman
  David Brooks
  Hassan M. Fattah
  Marc Humbert
No More Mister Nice Blog
  Steve M.
  Norm Geras
Obsidian Wings
  Edward _
  Hilzoy @ObsidianWings
Oh, That Liberal Media
Oliver Willis
  Oliver Willis
One Hand Clapping
  Donald Sensing
Opinion Journal
  Terry Teachout
Opinions You Should Have
  Tom Burka
Outside The Beltway
  Robert Tagorda
  James Joyner
  Jesse Taylor
  Pejman Yousefzadeh
The Peking Duck
  Richard TPD
The People's Republic of Seabrook
  Jack Cluth
  Steven Taylor
Power Line
  The Big Trunk
  Greg Ransom
  Steve Bainbridge
protein wisdom
  Jeff Goldstein
Questions and Observations Blog
  Jon Henke
  Cori Dauber
  Andrew Cawthorne
The Right Coast
  Tom Smith
  Maimon Schwarzschild
Right Wing News
  John Hawkins
Rocky Mountain News
Roger Ailes
  Roger Ailes
Roger L. Simon
  Roger L. Simon
Sadly, No!
  Sadly, No!
Scripting News
  Dave Winer
Secular Blasphemy
  Jan Haugland
Signifying Nothing
  Chris Lawrence
skippy the bush kangaroo
Slant Point
  Scott Sala
  Jai Singh
  Lee Smith
  Michael Young
South Knox Bubba
  SK Bubba
Southern Appeal
  Nathan Hallford
  Steve Dillard
  Mark Trapp
  James Frederick Dwight
Steve Clemons
  Steve Clemons
Suburban Guerrilla
  Susan Madrak
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire
  Taegan Goddard
Talking Points Memo
  Josh Marshall
  Jeralyn Merritt
  Sam Rosenfeld
  Matthew Yglesias
  Jeffrey Dubner
Tech Central Station
  Glenn Harlan Reynolds
  James K. Glassman
  Francis Harris
  Radley Balko
This Modern World
  Tom Tomorrow
  Nancy Gibbs
Times of London
  Jonah Goldberg
Unqualified Offerings
  Jim Henley
USA Today
  Sharon Jayson
  Julie Appleby
  Stephen Green
War and Piece
  Laura Rozen
Washington Examiner
  Meghan Cox Gurdon
The Washington Monthly
  Kevin Drum
  Amy Sullivan
Washington Post
  Howard Kurtz
  Shankar Vedantam
  Griff Witte
Washington Times
  Charles Hurt
Weekly Standard
  Thomas Joscelyn
  Irwin M. Stelzer
Will Wilkinson / The Fly Bottle
  Will Wilkinson
Winds of Change.NET
  Kevin Aylward
  Jay Tea
World O'Crap

The CBS Three Won't Slink Off; Hiring Lawyers
  By / New York Observer   —   Permalink 
On Jan. 10, when the 224-page report on the investigation into CBS News' 60 Minutes Wednesday memo scandal arrived, CBS president Leslie Moonves issued a statement dwelling on the failures of the employees involved in producing the disputed segment.
Charles Johnson: CBS Three Refuse to Resign — Here's the New York Observer article by Joe Hagan (previewed by Drudge yesterday), about...
Eason: Dont go their, girlfrend. Dont go their. Update: Well, i gess I could have used this news last week. Crap.
Jeralyn Merritt: The New York Observer reports that Josh Howard, Betsy West and Mary Murphy, the producers asked to resign after the...
Michelle Malkin: CBS: MORE MSM MELTDOWN NEWS — You've seen the NY Observer piece on CBS's meltdown.
Captain Ed: CBS News Faces Legal Nightmare — The New York Observer reports this morning that CBS may be facing the nightmare it hoped most to avoid.
Roger L. Simon: It's the Lawyers, Stupid — When I read Joe Hagan's piece in today's New York Observer on the continued CBS Rathergate...
Also: Scott Sala, James Joyner, Paul @Wizbang, Brian Stelter, Ace, Bill @INDCJournal, The Big Trunk, Kevin Aylward, Glenn Reynolds

UN inspectors 'spent their days drinking'
  By / Telegraph   —   Permalink 
UN inspectors in Iraq spent their working hours drinking vodka while ignoring a shadowy nocturnal fleet believed to be smuggling goods for Saddam Hussein, a former senior inspector told the US Senate yesterday.
Scott Sala: The trail of Oil-For-Food keeps stretching out, spanning not just corrupt UN officials in charge of the program, but now...
Captain Ed: UN Inspectors Drinking On The Job: Telegraph — In a further demonstration of the folly of a UN sanctions regime that...
McQ: For instance: "UN inspectors in Iraq spent their working hours drinking vodka while ignoring a shadowy nocturnal fleet...
Charles Johnson: UN Inspectors: Drunken Dopes — According to a former senior inspector, the life of a United Nations inspector in...
Roger L. Simon: Kojo's Mojo — Apparently Kojo Annan's company Cotecna was in the crossfires again yesterday of the Senate investigation...
Michelle Malkin: Update: Meanwhile, in Iraq, U.N. inspectors spent their days boozing... Update II: More Congo coverage at Strategy Page.
Also: Pejman Yousefzadeh, Stephen Green

Gonzales Seeks to Reinstate Obscenity Case
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration said Wednesday it would seek to reinstate an indictment against a California pornography company that was charged with violating federal obscenity laws. It was Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' first public decision on a legal matter.
Richard TPD: Predictable: Bush & Co. cracking down on pornography — This could be the start of a showdown.
Susan Madrak: So first Alberto Gonzales acts to stomp out hallucinogenic tea, and now he's going to protect us from sex: [snipped quote] Oh, good.
Oliver Willis: Gonzales Seeks to Reinstate Obscenity Case [snipped quote] Gotta appease the far religious right, nevermind the first amendment.
Orrin Judd: BUCKING FOR A PROMOTION: Gonzales Seeks to Reinstate Obscenity Case (MARK SHERMAN, 2/16/05, Associated Press) [snipped quote] Somebody has his eyes on the Court.
Stephen Green: Global War on Porn — Alberto Gonzales is barely moved into his office, and already his priorities are out of whack:...

Dean: New York GOP chairman must apologize or resign
  By / Newsday   —   Permalink 
Howard Dean, just four days into his job as Democratic National chairman, called Wednesday for New York's state Republican chairman to apologize or resign over remarks linking Democrats to a civil rights lawyer convicted of aiding terrorists.
Chris Bowers: He actively opposes America. The New York State Republican Party is the party of the Lackawanna Seven.
Armando @DailyKos: Next from the NY State GOP Chair: "[T]he Democrats simply have refused to learn the lessons of the past two election...
Josh Marshall: Took a look, you'll see what I mean.
Joe Gandelman: GOP Foot-In-Mouth In NY — This time a GOPer put his foot in his mouth — and talking about the Howard Dean scream...
Orrin Judd: PUBLICIZING YOUR OWN NEGATIVES: Dean: New York GOP chairman must apologize or resign (MARC HUMBERT, February 16, 2005,...

Rep. Ford will run for Frist's seat
  The Hill   —   Permalink 
Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) is expected to announce next week that he will run for the Senate, seeking to replace Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) when he retires in 2006.
Chris Lawrence: F-Unit for Senate — The Hill reports that Harold Ford, Jr. will be running for the Democratic nomination in the...
Bill Hobbs: Senate Race: Ford Jr. Will Run — The Hill reports that U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. plans to run for the senate seat being vacated next year by Sen. Bill Frist.
Orrin Judd: SWITCH, THEN FIGHT: Rep. Ford will run for Frist's seat (Bob Cusack and Hans Nichols, 2/16/05, The Hill)
Kos @DailyKos: But if we must take him out, we will. Meanwhile, Rep. Harold Ford is running for Senate.
James Joyner: Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. to Run for Frist's Seat — Rep. Ford will run for Frist's seat (The Hill) [snipped quote] Ford is a...
SK Bubba: More Harold Ford, Jr. speculation.. An "informed source" says Ford is definitely in the race for Bill Frist's Senate seat.
Also: Taegan Goddard

A New Model Army Soldier Rolls Closer to Battle
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
The American military is working on a new generation of soldiers, far different from the army it has.
"They don't get hungry," said Gordon Johnson of the Joint Forces Command at the Pentagon. "They're not afraid. They don't forget their orders.
McQ: Robo War — The description of America's future soldier: [quote] "They don't get hungry," said Gordon Johnson of the Joint Forces Command at the Pentagon.[end quote]
Stephen Green: General Robbie/Admiral Rosie — I'd read the Army robots story already, but reader Todd Pearson highlighted a line I'd...
James Joyner: Robot Soldiers Close to Battle Roll-Out — A New Model Army Soldier Rolls Closer to Battle "The American military is...
Sadly, No!: Well, now we know why the scientists keep making them: "The American military is working on a new generation of soldiers, far different from the army it has.

Reid, Pelosi plan shake-up
  By / The Hill   —   Permalink 
Sen. Harry Reid (Nev.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), the Democratic leaders of the Senate and House, plan to shake up the Democratic political consulting community and break the grip that a small number of consultants have had on strategy and contracts, party sources say.
Chris Bowers: In Alexander Barton's article "Reid, Pelosi plan shake up," which ran today in The Hill, the following passage appears: ...
Taegan Goddard: Reid, Pelosi Plan Shake Up — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)...
Steve Soto: It looks like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are about to follow Amy Sullivan's advice, and the reinforced message from...
Sam Rosenfeld: While Amy Sullivan reports that Joe Hansen — the bete noire of her recent piece on the inbred Democratic consultant...
Josh Marshall: Just out from the The Hill: [snipped quote] Click here to read the whole thing.
Kos @DailyKos: Reid and Pelosi target consultants — Encouraging: [snipped quote] Moving in the right direction, though the article...
Also: Ezra Klein

Blast reported in southern Iran
  CNN   —   Permalink 
(CNN) — A large blast has been reported near the southern Iranian port city of Dailam, in the province where the country has a nuclear power plant, according to Iranian state television.
Kevin Aylward: That prospect seems unlikely, though if you see a story along the lines of this: babymilkfactory.jpg You can be pretty...
James Joyner: CNN: "Senior Israeli security sources told Reuters news agency that Israel's military was not involved in any blast in Iran.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: AND WHILE WE ARE ENGAGED IN INVESTIGATIONS . . . What is this?
Jan Haugland: Reported blast near Iranian nuclear facility — Dramatic report from Iran: A large blast has been reported near the...
Tom Maguire: Accidents Will Happen - II — North Korea - Iran - Smart Spears. 'Nuff said. MORE: No, it was not 'nuff. Just an accident?
Tom Tomorrow: Uh oh — [snipped quote] Story.

Cato Policy Report Vol. XXVII No. 1
  By / Cato Institute   —   Permalink 
In the spring of 1845, Karl Marx wrote, ". . . the human essence is no abstraction inherent in each single individual. In its reality it is the ensemble of social relations." Marx's idea was that a change in the "ensemble of social relations" can change "the human essence."
Arnold Kling: Evolutionary Psychology and Economic Behavior — Will Wilkinson writes, "What evolutionary psychology really helps us to...
Will Wilkinson: Capitalism and Human Nature — The new Cato Policy Report is out, and the lead article is something I've written on what evolutionary psychology can tell us about capitalism.
Radley Balko: Evolutionary Capitalism — Will Wilkinson's superb cover piece in the new Cato Policy Report glances off one of my...
Julian Sanchez: Will Wilkinson has penned a good survey of what evolutionary psychology can tell us about human nature and capitalism.

Iran, Syria 'form common front'
  BBC   —   Permalink 
Iran and Syria say they are to form a common front to face challenges and threats from overseas.
"We are ready to help Syria on all grounds to confront threats," Iranian Vice-President Mohammad Reza Aref said after meeting Syrian PM Naji al-Otari.
Colt: ; UN report on A-Q bases in Africa; and much more. read the rest! » IRAN Iran will aid Syria against challenges and threats.
Judith Weiss: . . And look, here come Iran and Russia, tentatively bluffing behind Syria. But the assassination has galvanized Lebanon.
Charles Johnson: Iran Backs Syria — Tension with Syria is escalating rapidly, as the mad mullahs of Iran vow to back the Ba'athist regime: Iran to aid Syria against threats.
Steve Soto: And Iran came out today and said it would assist Syria to defend itself against any attacks as well. Swell.
Jan Haugland: Now Iran, the preeminent state sponsor of terrorism in this world, has announced that Iran and Syria will form a common front against overseas "threats."

Clear Channel Rules the World
  By / City Pages   —   Permalink 
Take a tour around downtown Minneapolis,and at various points you're going to come across something related to Clear Channel Communications. Flip on your car radio, and you'll probably tune in one of seven radio stations it owns.
Tom Biro: Clear Channel's Twin Cities "roots" — City Pages' G.R. Anderson, Jr. gives Clear Channel Communications a thorough...
Barry L. Ritholtz: Source: Clear Channel Rules the World G.R. Anderson Jr. City Pages Media, February 16, 2005 bank/26/1263/article12961 . asp

Yep, life'll burst that self-esteem bubble
  By / USA Today   —   Permalink 
Andrea Sobel shudders at those oh-so-positive messages aimed at boosting kids' self-esteem.
No sense of entitlement: Andrea Sobel gives her twins chores to do around the house.
Jay Tea: Teaching the wrong lessons — USA Today has an article about a study that the big push towards boosting children's self-esteem of the 80's wasn't such a good idea, after all.
Joanne Jacobs: The self-esteem bubble — When the going gets tough — in college or on the job — young people with inflated self-esteem fall apart, says a USA Today story.
Orrin Judd: THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY—EARN IT (via mc): Yep, life'll burst that self-esteem bubble (Sharon Jayson, 2/15/05, USA TODAY)...

CIA Conspiracy Theorist
  By / Weekly Standard   —   Permalink 
MICHAEL SCHEUER has uncovered "the most successful covert action program in the history of man." Or, at least that's what he told an audience at Council on Foreign Relations in New York City on February 3.
James Joyner: Thomas Joscelyn has a piece today at the Weekly Standard website about a recent appearance by Imperial Hubris author Michael Scheuer at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Roger L. Simon: Power Line's Deacon Read My Mind... ... when he commented this morning on Thomas Jocelyn's article on Michael Scheuer.
Cori Dauber: Hubris Indeed — Some important comments about the author of Imperial Hubris.
Deacon: No longer anonymous but still goofy — Thomas Joscelyn for the Weekly Standard has an excellent piece about something that caught my eye a day or two ago.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: MICHAEL SCHEUR IS A BIZARRE MAN — As this article reinforces.

When Good News Feels Bad
  By / New York Magazine   —   Permalink 
After the blizzard and before the fashion shows, you may have heard, the elections in Iraq went off extremely well. Remember? Or, like most New Yorkers, perhaps you let that fact slide from your consciousness as quickly as possible . . .
Tom Smith: NY liberals are in a bind and I don't care — If New Yorkers are so smart, why aren't they smart enough to figure out that they aren't any smarter than most people?
Donald Sensing: Well, I told you so — Kurt Andersen has a piuece in New York Magazine titled, [snipped quote] [snipped quote] Read the whole thing.
Norm Geras: Conflicted New Yorkers — There's a terrific piece in New York Metro by Kurt Andersen. You should follow the link and go read it all.
John Hawkins: Author Kurt Anderson in the New York Metro starts off (after a short intro), explaining how liberals think they're...
Glenn Reynolds: INTERESTING PIECE FROM NEW YORK MAGAZINE by Spy founder Kurt Andersen on the new liberal guilt: [snipped quote] Read the whole thing.

CIA issues warning on China's military efforts
  By / Financial Times   —   Permalink 
The director of the US Central Intelligence Agency has warned that China's military modernisation is tilting the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait and increasing the threat to US forces in the region.
Richard TPD: And now we come at last to China.
Robert Tagorda: The Growing Chinese Threat — CIA Issues Warning on China's Military Efforts (FT) "The director of the US Central...

Lebanon unites in show of grief and anger at Hariri's funeral
  Telegraph   —   Permalink 
Lebanon, for so long a symbol of bitter division, joined in a moving display of national unity yesterday as Rafik al-Hariri, the murdered former prime minister, was buried before hundreds of thousands of mourners in Beirut.
Captain Ed: Hariri Funeral Unites Lebanese Factions — Against Syria — Whether or not Syria plotted the carbombing that killed...
Betsy Newmark: If Syria was behind the assassination of Rafik al-Hariri, the former President of Lebanon, they probably didn't expect...

For Democrats, Rethinking Abortion Runs Risks
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 - In their search for middle ground on the subject of abortion, Democrats are encountering a mixture of resistance and retreat from abortion rights advocates in their own party.
Noam Scheiber: Still, I didn't appreciate just how vulnerable anti-abortion groups were on this point until I read the following in today's New York Times: [snipped quote] Takes no position?
Steven Taylor: The Democrats and Abortion — The NYT has an intersting piece on abortion and the Democratic Party this morning: For...
Nathan Hallford: The Dems and Abortion: The NYT reports Democrats are trying to rethink their stance on abortion, in some instances, by...
Orrin Judd: THE BIKE PATH TO HELL IS PAVED WITH DEAD BABIES: For Democrats, Rethinking Abortion Runs Risks (DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK,...

James Roosevelt Jr: Hume's "outrageous distortion" of FDR "calls for a retraction, an apology, maybe even a resignation"
  Media Matters for America   —   Permalink 
MSNBC host Keith Olbermann and former Social Security associate commissioner James Roosevelt Jr. examined how FOX News Washington managing editor Brit Hume and other pundits distorted a quote by Roosevelt Jr.'s grandfather, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in order to claim that the former president would have supported privatizing Social Security.
Kevin Drum: QUOTING FDR...FDR's grandson, James Roosevelt, was on Keith Olbermann's show last night to say that Fox News anchor...
Oliver Willis: FDR's grandson on Brit Hume's malicious distortion of his grandfather's words: [snipped quote] Video here.
Atrios: Now we have Brit Hume clearly deliberately distorting something FDR said, and several other Foxmonkeys following suit.

  New York Post   —   Permalink 
February 16, 2005 — DETHRONED New Jersey Poet Laureate Amiri Baraka proved to be his lovable blasphemous, inflammatory self at the Town Hall New Federal Theater celebration. "We cannot be tricked by the recurrent minstrel show," the former LeRoi Jones told adoring listeners.
Baldilocks: Well, it could have happened. Why else would he be so rabid?
Jeff Quinton: Ex-N.J. poet laureate at it again — Page Six [snipped quote] More on his previous activities at LGF
Michelle Malkin: AMIRI BARAKA MOUTHS OFF AGAIN — Via the NY Post and Jeff Quinton, we learn that "poet" Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones has...

Outside View: Betting on the Band-Aid?
  UPI   —   Permalink 
FAIRFAX, Va., Feb. 15 (UPI) — Welcome to 2005, the International Year of Microfinance. At least, that's how the United Nations is billing it. That's right. This is the year that all eyes and all checkbooks will be focused on beefing up microfinance programs around the world.
Will Wilkinson: Microfinance and Institutions — Steve Daley and Brian Hooks, my former colleagues at the Mercatus Global Prosperity...
Arnold Kling: Capital vs. Institutions — Stephen Daley and Brian Hooks write, [snipped quote] For years, development economists believed that the problem with poor countries was lack of capital.

'Liberal' Media Silent About Guckert Saga
  By / New York Observer   —   Permalink 
Proof that "the liberal media" is but a figment of right-wing mythology has now arrived in the person of one James Guckert, formerly known as Jeff Gannon. Were the American media truly liberal—or merely unafraid to be called liberal—the saga of Mr. Guckert's short, strange, quasi-journalistic career would be resounding across the airwaves.
Steve Soto: As Joe Conason and Digby point out (here and here), this same media and the same GOP that had no problems going on...
Skippy: all gannon all the time the best place to find any news about jeff "mandate" gannon now is the right hand sidebar on...
Joe Gandelman: Joe Conason has a piece in the New York Observer that recounts the controversy in great detail, offering his perspective...
Steve Bainbridge: Crunching the numbers — Joe Conason writes: [snipped quote] I decided to check it out.
Atrios: Conason — Heh Imagine the media explosion if a male escort had been discovered operating as a correspondent in the Clinton White House.
Ed Cone: But colorful details aside (along with speculation on the uproar had "Gannon" been a Clinton White House familiar), this...
Also: Glenn Reynolds, Kos @DailyKos

Iran TV: Suspicious blast likely accidental
  AP   —   Permalink 
TEHRAN, Iran - Iranian state television reported Wednesday that an explosion near the town of Deilam, about 60 miles from a nuclear facility, may have been caused by a fuel tank dropping from an Iranian plane.
Jan Haugland: Also check out MSNBC): State-run television then quoted a top security official as saying the blast was caused during the construction of a dam, The Associated Press reported.
Tom Maguire: 'Nuff said. MORE: No, it was not 'nuff. Just an accident? Uh, huh.
Damian Penny: The Iranians say an "unknown aircraft" fired a missile at an area near one of their nuclear power plants this morning.
Glenn Reynolds: HMM: [snipped quote] — UPDATE: Now they're saying it was a fuel-tank drop.

Hannity on Gannon: "a terrific Washington bureau chief and White House correspondent for Talon News"
  Media Matters for America   —   Permalink 
Conservative radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have cited Talon News, the online "news" organization that appears to be more of a Republican political advocacy group than a media outlet, and its former Washington bureau chief and White House correspondent, Jeff Gannon, as sources on their radio broadcasts.
Steve Soto: He was a good acquaintence and source for the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.
Digby: Update: Hannity was apparently very enthusiastic about Gannon's talents. Media Matters has the tape.

GOP operative accused of theft
  By / Las Vegas Review-Journal   —   Permalink 
The young Nevada man designated to chair the upcoming 2005 Young Republican National Convention in Las Vegas has been accused of embezzling registration fees from around the country to pay off bar tabs, personal loans and credit card debts.
Taegan Goddard: GOP Operative Accused of Theft — The chairman of the upcoming Young Republican National Convention in Las Vegas has...
Oliver Willis: GOP Starts 'Em Out Young — Republicans GOP operative accused of theft [snipped quote] (via PW)

Sally Satel, M.D.
  American Enterprise Institute   —   Permalink 
Sally Satel is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in the W.H. Brady Program in Culture and Freedom. She is also the staff psychiatrist at the Oasis Clinic in Washington, D.C. She serves on the advisory committee of the Center for Mental Health Services of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Nick Gillespie: Sally Satel is coauthor of the forthcoming One Nation Under Therapy: Why Self-Absorption Is Eroding Self-Reliance and author of PC, M.D.
Chris Mooney: An Advertisement — Well, I said I was going to take a break from blogging for the rest of this week to finish up all...

Real Social Security Reform
  By / TCS   —   Permalink 
While people are debating Social Security reform, I want to make a more ambitious proposal: Let's get rid of Social Security. And let's do it by making sure that people will live so long that the idea of "retirement" will become largely meaningless.
Steve Bainbridge: Why not deal with that problem directly? (Glenn Reynolds has a solution that goes somewhat in the other direction.)
Glenn Reynolds: REAL SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM: My TechCentralStation column is up.

Bush May Raise Taxes for Social Security
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - President Bush is not ruling out raising taxes on people who earn more than $90,000 as a way to help fix Social Security 's finances.
At the same time, he renewed his pitch Wednesday for Congress to approve an overhaul that would include Social Security private accounts for many workers.
Steve Soto: It was revealed a short while ago that Bush backtracked on his opposition to raising taxes to help pay for shoring up...
Josh Marshall: Phase-out by any other name is still phase-out: President Bush says he's open to a tax hike for upper-income earners...

Online Nude Photos Are Latest Chapter In Jeff Gannon Saga
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
The Jeff Gannon story is still bouncing around the Internet, and now there are pictures.
The kind you shouldn't open up in the office.
The X-rated twist has made for a lot of clandestine clicking in a town where Deep Throat conjures images not of a porn star but of a man in a parking garage.
Jude Nagurney Camwell: I have this to say to Howard Kurtz and Post editors: I'm sorry to be critical, but I have to be critical. I'm a blogger.
James Joyner: The Jeff Gannon/James Dale Guckert story and its counterpart, the Russell Mokhiber saga, simply don't do it for me either, nude gay Internet porn notwithstanding.
Richard TPD: Update: The story is picking up traction with that evil liberal media, which has until now been treating it with kid gloves.
Steve Clemons: The Scandal Makes it to the Respectable Press in Kurtz Column Howard Kurtz has a very long column today profiling Jeff Gannon/James Guckert.
Jeff Goldstein: Armed with the speculation he borrowed from John Aravosis' AMERICAblog entry and a quip from Wonkette, Kurtz proceeds to...
Roger Ailes: The Right to Privacy — Wingnuts find a right to privacy: [snipped quote] Ho.

Kyoto Treaty Takes Effect Today
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
The Kyoto treaty to reduce global warming goes into effect today after seven years of wrangling, harangues, and dramatic entrances and exits by Russia and the United States.
Paul McLeary: The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times all printed relatively thoughtful reports on...
Jonathan H. Adler: KYOTO IN FORCE — The United Nations global warming treaty known as the Kyoto Protocol enters into force today.

Falling Fuel Tank May Have Caused Iran Blast - TV
  Reuters   —   Permalink 
DUBAI (Reuters) - A fuel tank falling from an Iranian plane could have caused an explosion in Iran's Bushehr province, where the country is building a nuclear power plant, Iran state television said on Wednesday.
Kevin Aylward: Something going on in Iran...DUBAI (Reuters) - A fuel tank falling from an Iranian plane could have...
Damian Penny: Update: Iranian state TV says a fuel tank may have fallen from an Iranian plane, causing the explosion.
Laura Rozen: Iran confirms US drones story. Meantime, Reuters reports an unknown aircraft fired a missile near Bushehr, Iran.

Faculty lambast president for poor leadership, intimidating professors
  Harvard Crimson   —   Permalink 
University President Lawrence H. Summers will now face a battle to keep command of the Faculty—if not his presidency—after professors assailed him at yesterday's Faculty meeting for intimidating colleagues, tarnishing the Harvard name, and abusing his power.
James Frederick Dwight: The clearly lion-hearted Arthur Kleinman, Chair of the Anthropology Department put any such rumors to rest when he informed Summers, "We are not spineless!"
Greg Ransom: The leftist faculty at Harvard want President Larry Summers scalp: "University President Lawrence H. Summers will now...
Eric Soskin: But it appears that President Summers didn't learn anything from Eason Jordan — according to The Crimson, during...

Let Freedom Ring Hollow
  By / Slate   —   Permalink 
Europeans dismiss it as evangelical zeal, Arabs condemn it as blatant hypocrisy, and the Chinese see it as militant nationalism. But in Burma, dissidents living under the repressive military junta just love it when President Bush talks liberty.
Kerry Howley: Slate has a piece up about my favorite outpost of tyranny, and it's a fairly accurate roundup of the situation in Burma.
Jeanne D'Arc: What now? An interesting article at Slate suggests that some Burmese dissidents are taking Bush's rhetoric seriously.

Iran Will Know How to Build Bomb in 6 Months - Israel
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
LONDON (Reuters) - Israel said on Wednesday arch-foe Iran was just six months away from having the knowledge to build an atomic bomb, as Tehran accused the United States of using satellites "and other tools" to spy on its nuclear sites.
Charles Johnson: Iran's Manhattan Project Speeding Ahead — Israel's Foreign Minister says Iran will have all the knowledge necessary to build an atomic bomb within six months.
Laura Rozen: Reuters is also reporting that Israel's Silvan Shalom says that Iran "is six months away from having the knowledge to build an atomic bomb."
Joe Gandelman: If today's explosion damaged the nuclear plant in any way it could not come at a better time, from the U.S.'s perspective.

U.S. Recalls Ambassador to Syria as Suspicions Over Bombing Grow
  LAT   —   Permalink 
DAMASCUS, Syria — The U.S. ambassador to Syria was called back to Washington on Tuesday as anger swelled against Damascus after the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Daniel Drezner: Megan K. Stack and Rania Abouzeid have additional reporting in the Los Angeles Times. And Greg Djerejian has a post up on this at Belgravia Dispatch.
Orrin Judd: U.S. Recalls Ambassador to Syria as Suspicions Over Bombing Grow (Megan K. Stack and Rania Abouzeid, February 16, 2005,...

Christo's 'Gates' Emerges as Political Issue
  By / New York Sun   —   Permalink 
Mayor Bloomberg's enthusiasm for Christo's "The Gates" has won him kudos from aficionados of modern art, but the traffic-cone orange display has evolved into a political matter, drawing fire from critics on both the left and the right who see the exhibit as a symbol of flaws in the mayor's governance.
Scott Sala: On this note, I must point out Thomas Ognibene, the man trying to take on Bloomberg on the Republican ticket, was...
The Big Trunk: "Orange schmattes on sticks" — The New York Sun's Meghan Clyne suggests that Mayor Bloomberg may experience "The Gates"...
Steve M.: If only the same could be said of other neo-oppressionist schemes... In The New York Sun, Magnet elaborates: "The fact is, this is not progressive.

Iranian TV Reports Explosion Near Deylam
  AP   —   Permalink 
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian state television reported Wednesday that an explosion near the southwestern town of Deylam, about 110 miles from a nuclear facility, may have been caused by a fuel tank dropping from an Iranian plane.
Armando @DailyKos: Iran and Syria — The reports of explosions in Iran this morning immediately sent alarm bells off around the world.
Steven Taylor: Via the AP/NYT: Iranian TV Reports Explosion Near Deylam [snipped quote] I would be most surprised if this was actually some sort of attack.

Professors at Harvard Confront Its President
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Feb. 15 - President Lawrence H. Summers of Harvard was confronted at a meeting of his own faculty on Tuesday by some of the university's most influential professors, who expressed strong dissatisfaction with his leadership and charged that he was damaging the institution.
Eric Soskin: There's more coverage at the Times and Globe. Caution: You can probably guess with which side the reporters are likely to be sympathetic.
K. J. Lopez: CURIOUS — From the NYTimes on Larry Summers's faculty meeting yesterday: [snipped quote] Isn't open debate what he was...
The Big Trunk: The New York Times account of Harvard's faculty meeting yesterday demonstrates that surrender and self-abasement are not enough: "Professors at Harvard confront its president."

'Dogs Playing Poker' sell for $590K
  CNN   —   Permalink 
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Two "Dogs Playing Poker" paintings cleaned house at Doyle New York's annual Dogs in Art Auction, fetching a staggering $590,400, the auction house said.
Steve Bainbridge: But I would not pay over a quarter-million dollars for this painting: Coolidge_boldbluff Yet, somebody just paid...
Orrin Judd: REAL ART (via Bryan Francoeur): 'Dogs Playing Poker' sell for $590K: New York auction house says two paintings set world record for the 1903 series.

Net gains
  Guardian   —   Permalink 
On, the World Economic Forum web log, there is a link to a site called Ohmynews, "where every citizen is a reporter". Rony Abovitz is one of those citizens.
Scott Burgess: Gary Younge relates the story of the blog-driven resignation of CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan, who "claimed that...
Dave Winer: The Guardian joins the NY Times as a lynch mob of salivating morons.

Now Iraq has tasted democracy, the Arab tyrants are shaking in their shoes
  Times of London   —   Permalink 
AN ELECTION that was not supposed to happen because the so-called resistance in Iraq — and its sympathisers in the West — did not want it has produced results that the doomsters did not expect.
First, the massive boycott of the polls did not take place.
Norm Geras: Which is why Amir Taheri can finish the way he does in this excerpt from an article in yesterday's Times (via Mick...
Arthur Chrenkoff: Amir Taheri: [quote] "The supposed total exclusion of the Arab Sunnis from the National Assembly did not happen, either.[end quote]
Pejman Yousefzadeh: THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THE ELECTIONS IN IRAQ — As always, Amir Taheri has perceptive commentary to share

Dean has Custer's swagger
  The Hill   —   Permalink 
"Is Howard Dean crazy?"
That's not a question I'm asking, but it's a question serious journalists and Democrats have asked since Jan. 19, 2004. And now there's an additional question that must be asked: "Are the Democrats crazy to make Howard Dean their leader?"
McQ: And David Hill in The Hill makes that comparison in an article aptly named "Dean has Custer's Swagger", in which he takes on both of our commenter's contentions.
Orrin Judd: THEN SOMEDAY LEAVE ME FOR SOMEBODY NEW: Dean has Custer's swagger (David Hill, 2/16/05, The Hill) [snipped quote] Which...

Left-Wing Activist Poses as Reporter At White House Press Briefings   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON —The media watch-group Accuracy in Media charged today that a liberal activist and associate of Ralph Nader has been obtaining access to White House press briefings while claiming to be a legitimate news reporter.
Brian Montopoli: In other news, conservatives are looking for the "Jeff Gannon" of the left, and they think they've found him in Russell...
Captain Ed: Now Men's Wear Daily reports on Russell Mokhiber, an associate of Ralph Nader and a political activist, who also manages...
Matthew Yglesias: Anti-Gannons and Anti-Semites — Readers will note that I haven't done any blogging on the Jeff Gannon or Eason Jordan...
Jesse Walker: On that ground, Accuracy in Media has finally dragged him into the debate.
Max B. Sawicky: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BAD PUBLICITY Some wingnuts are trying to puff up a left-wing version of the Gannon story by...
Jesse Taylor: Gannon Out Of My Head — So, the right's on the search for the new liberal Jeff Gannon.
Also: James Joyner, Jim Henley

Gannons to the Left of Me
  By / NRO   —   Permalink 
Stunned by the liberal mini-tempest over Talon News reporter "Jeff Gannon" (real name: James Guckert) asking a softball question to President Bush on January 26, leaders of the White House Correspondents Association met with Bush press spokesman Scott McClellan Tuesday to discuss tightening up the press-credentialing process.
Glenn Reynolds: For some more serious journalism, here's an analysis of softball press conference questions that names names and quotes transcripts.
Jeff Goldstein: BECAUSE OF THE HYPOCRISY, 2 — Great piece by the NRO's Tim Graham examining this sudden desire, on the part of...

The rise of the bike path left
  By /   —   Permalink 
When Howard Dean was still on top of the world looking down on the Democratic presidential nomination, the indispensable columnist Mark Steyn, writing in the Wall Street Journal, dubbed the good doctor the figurehead of the "bike path left."
Orrin Judd: THE ILLOGIC OF A PARTY OF INTERESTS: The rise of the bike path left (Jonah Goldberg, February 16, 2005, Townhall) "When...
PoliPundit: The Bike Path Left — Jonah Goldberg on the rise of the Bike Path Left: "When Howard Dean was still on top of the world...

Appeals Court Says Reporters Must Testify or Go to Jail
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
Two reporters who have refused to name their sources to a grand jury investigating the disclosure of the identity of a covert C.I.A. agent should be jailed for contempt, a three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in Washington unanimously ruled today.
Howard Kurtz: The New York Times: "The judges disagreed about whether evolving legal standards reflected in lower-court decisions and...
James Joyner: Appeals Court Says Reporters Must Testify or Go to Jail — Appeals Court Says Reporters Must Testify or Go to Jail (NYT...
William J. Dyer: Beldar's scorecard on the DC Circuit's Plame decision today: Prosecution 34, Journalists 0 — Credit where due: Adam...
Jesse Taylor: Talk To The Reporters — Judy, Judy, Judy: "That is scary, Ms. Miller said.

Unfading commitment
  Guardian   —   Permalink 
Anti-war protesters gather on London's Embankment in February 2003. Picture: Stefan Rousseau, PA.
The day itself has now become history. Two years ago today, somewhere between one and two million people marched in central London to protest against the impending war in Iraq.
Norm Geras: One of the things Jeffery slips into the piece is this: [snipped quote] You see.
Harry @HarrysPlace: Missing link — The Guardian website has a long profile of the Stop the War Coalition entitled Unfading Commitment, which should give you a clue to the tone.

Beirut Blowback
  By / Slate   —   Permalink 
I just returned from Lebanon, where I spent the last month enjoying the nightlife, the good food and wine, the historical sites like Baalbek, and the temperate Mediterranean weather. It's not yet clear whether Syria, which has spent more than a quarter of a century in that beautiful country, will be leaving soon, too.
Matthew Yglesias: Lee Smith writing in Slate operates under no such constraints and is happy to state — entirely without evidence, mind...
Arthur Chrenkoff: An interesting perspective on the assassination of Lebanon's Rafik Hariri, courtesy of Lee Smith at "Slate": "The place...

U.S. recalls ambassador from Syria
  MSNBC   —   Permalink 
BEIRUT, Lebanon - The United States recalled its ambassador to Syria on Tuesday, expressing "profound outrage" amid growing suspicion that Damascus was involved in a massive bombing in Lebanon that killed Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Jesse Taylor: Five Years, Same As Debt — If I had to predict the next front in the War on Not-War, I'd say we're leaning closer to Syria than to Iran.
Jan Haugland: The US has recalled its embassador to Damascus, a very strong diplomatic "signal", as they say. The killing of Hariri can hardly be ignored.
Laura Rozen: Washington recalls its ambassador from Syria.
Joe Gandelman: The United States recalled its ambassador to Syria yesterday, and both the UN and Lebanese governments have issued...
Jim Henley: Second Verse, Same as the First - Does anyone really believe the US government has the faintest idea whether the Syrian...

America's pension challenge
  Economist   —   Permalink 
HE IS on the march again—this time, at home. In recent weeks, George Bush has tirelessly promoted his plan to reform America's biggest and most popular government programme, the Social Security pension system; and he has kept to that message, despite overwhelming opposition from Democrats and much naysaying from Republicans.
Kevin Drum: THE ECONOMIST ON SOCIAL SECURITY....Brad DeLong is right to be annoyed by the Economist's latest foray into Social Security analysis.
DeLong: The Economist Praises George Bush? (Department of "Huh?")

  NRO   —   Permalink 
We live in a time of democratic revolution.
Has there ever been a more dramatic moment than this one? The Middle East is boiling, as the failed tyrants scramble to come to terms with the political tsunami unleashed on Afghanistan and Iraq.
Jan Haugland: While you're at it, read Michael Ledeen's article hailing the new democratic revolution, and encouraging a referendum on Mullacracy in Iran.
Greyhawk: For insight, foresight, and commentary from people for whom facts aren't elusive, we turn away from the Washington Post and look to Roger L Simon and Michael Ledeen.
Chad The Elder: There's Somethin' Happenin' Here — The momentum for change in Iran appears to be gathering steam as support for the referendum movement grows.
Charles Johnson: Tear Down the Mullahs — Michael Ledeen calls for a historic referendum against shari'a and for democracy in Iran: Our...
Roger L. Simon: Referendum in Iran - A Proposal for Bloggers — My friend Michael is telling us that the Battle of Fallujah was more important than we have been led to believe by the media.
Hindrocket: Roger has a post tonight about Iran, in which he links to an NRO article by his friend Michael Ledeen.

The ramifications of Hariri's assassination
  By / Lebanon Daily Star   —   Permalink 
The assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in a massive bombing in central Beirut on Monday sends a loud and deadly message - but the nature, origin, destination and intent of the message all remain painfully unclear to many observers.
Daniel Drezner: Rami G. Khouri, writing in the Beirut-based Daily Star, agrees on the tectonic political shifts uinleashed by the...
Captain Ed: Rami Khouri attempts to make sense of the assassination of Lebanon's former prime minister, Rafik Hariri, in a massive carbombing on Monday.
Orrin Judd: FERTILE SOIL THAT SHI'A CRESCENT: The ramifications of Hariri's assassination (Rami G. Khouri, February 16, 2005,...
Joe Gandelman: Indeed, the Lebanon Daily Star notes that there have been fingers pointed at varying suspects and it underscores a grim...
Steve Soto: The Syrians were quick to deny their involvement, and the Lebanese opposition to the current pro-Syrian government was...

Why Millions Say, Softly, God Bless America
  Forbes   —   Permalink 
Democracy has many enemies, and the terrorist is only one of them. It also has many hypocritical and humbugging pseudosupporters, which is one of numerous lessons to be drawn from the situation in Iraq.
Jan Haugland: The democracy gospel — Well-renowed historian Paul Johnson sees through the chaff and in his column Why Millions Say, Softly, God Bless America.
Jesse Taylor: Freedom For Me, None For Thee — The power of freedom allows me to call anyone who thinks differently than me a coward.
Greg Ransom: HISTORIAN Paul Johnson rips Europe and says, "God Bless America": [snipped quote] (ht Baldilocks).
Baldilocks: Speaking Softly — British Historian Paul Johnson takes a considerably large stick to leftists and Anti-Americans abroad...
Orrin Judd: END TO END: Why Millions Say, Softly, God Bless America (Paul Johnson, 02.28.05, Forbes) [snipped quote] Folk have...

The Fighting Moderates
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
"The Republicans know the America they want, and they are not afraid to use any means to get there," Howard Dean said in accepting the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. " But there is something that this administration and the Republican Party are very afraid of.
Scott Sala: Dean as a 'Fighting Moderate' — Paul Krugman frames Howard Dean as a "fighting moderate" in yesterday's post.
Barbara O'Brien: Update: "The Republicans know the America they want, and they are not afraid to use any means to get there." Must read.
Roger Kimball: But then I read his piece today in The New York Times informing us that Howard "Mr. Scream" Dean represented the sane, moderate wing of the Democratic Party.
Chris Lawrence: (Link) Which is precisely the Democrats' problem.
McQ: He starts with a Dean quote: [quote] "The Republicans know the America they want, and they are not afraid to use any means to...[end quote]
Jesse Taylor: Repetitive Repetitive? I was thinking about this sort of thing in another context last night, but it still applies here.
Also: Curt Matlock, Frederick Maryland, Oliver Willis, Orrin Judd, Susan Madrak, Ed Cone, Kevin Drum, Dave Johnson, Mathew Gross

Trying to Strengthen an 'I Do' With a More Binding Legal Tie
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Feb. 14 - In front of more than 5,000 cheering constituents in a North Little Rock sports arena, Gov. Mike Huckabee took the former Janet McCain to be his lawfully wedded wife Monday night, just as he did nearly 31 years ago, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death do them part.
Steve Dillard: Trying to Strengthen an 'I Do' With a More Binding Legal Tie: An interesting piece in the NYT on covenant marriage (something I strongly support).
Jacob Sullum: Choosing to Be Bound — According to a New York Times story about "covenant marriage," an option that makes divorce...
Will Baude: Given this, I have always had a hard time explaining my own uneasiness with the covenant marriage movement, featured in the New York Times today.
Orrin Judd: ONE BITE AT THE APPLE SEEMS AMPLE: Trying to Strengthen an 'I Do' With a More Binding Legal Tie (RICK LYMAN, 2/15/05, NY...
Jesse Taylor: When the governor of Arkansas enters into legal super-marriage, great for him!
James Joyner: Convenant Marriage Movement at a Standstill — Trying to Strengthen an 'I Do' With a More Binding Legal Tie (NYT rss)...
Also: Jan Haugland, Ann Althouse, Shawn @LiquidList

Bush Tries Luck Again With Judicial Nominees
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
Following through on a promise he has made repeatedly since his victory in November, President Bush yesterday renominated 12 candidates for federal appeals court seats whose confirmations were blocked by Senate Democrats during his first term.
Tom Burka: Every year, the President explained, whoever is President will nominate Judge William Pryor, Judge Priscilla Owen, and...
Armando @DailyKos: The Republicans are going to the mattresses: "Following through on a promise he has made repeatedly since his victory...
Hilzoy @ObsidianWings: The Return Of The Repressed — From the Washington Post: [snipped quote] I'd like to explain why I think that two of these nominees should be rejected.
Joe Gandelman: Bye Bye Filibuster — It's clear more than ever that Senate Republicans are poised to do away with the filibuster if you...
Orrin Judd: Bush Tries Luck Again With Judicial Nominees (Michael A. Fletcher and Charles Babington, February 15, 2005, Washington...
Susan Madrak: TAKE THE GUN, LEAVE THE CANNOLI — So they want a fight, do they?
Also: Eugene Oregon

States Mull Taxing Drivers By Mile
  CBS News   —   Permalink 
(CBS) College student Jayson Just commutes an odometer-spinning 2,000 miles a month. As CBS News Correspondent Sandra Hughes reports, his monthly gas bill once topped his car payment.
"I was paying about $500 a month," says Just.
Joe Gandelman: Taxing Driving By The Mile: Orwell Is Smiling — If you ever get the feeling that government is intruding more and more...
Clayton Cramer: This article talks about how California is considering taxing drivers by the mile, because hybrids and other cars that...
Stephen Green: CBS News reports that college student (and heavy commuter) Jason Just's hybrid car is hurting the Golden State's roads:...
Jesse Taylor: The solution the states are putting forward? Tax-by-mile.
Bill Hobbs: And their proposed solution is a very, very, very bad idea It's a plan to put a government-monitored GPS system in...

Death of a Salesman
  By / Slate   —   Permalink 
BEIRUT, Lebanon—Outside Rafik Hariri's home Monday evening there was no doubt in the minds of mourners—most from the former Lebanese prime minister's Sunni Muslim community—who had committed the crime. "Syria out," they cried.
Jan Haugland: If Syria should be forced to withdraw, it would put a serious damper on Iran's and Syria's chances at disrupting the...
Tim Cavanaugh: Reason Writers Around Town — At Slate, Michael Young assesses the aftermath of Rafiq Hariri's assassination.
Orrin Judd: Syria does seem exactly this stupid. MORE: Death of a Salesman: Was Rafik Hariri's assassination a Syrian hit?

Do Deficits Matter?
  By / Weekly Standard   —   Permalink 
WHEN DICK CHENEY SAID, "Deficits don't matter," economists took that as proof of the economic illiteracy of the Bush administration. But it turns out there is a case to be made that Cheney was onto something.
Hugh Hewitt: (HT: Buzzmachine.) Irwin Stelzer's calm look at the deficit deserves a read.
Orrin Judd: NON-ISSUE: Do Deficits Matter? : It depends on where you sit—and on which type of deficit you're talking about.

White House Turns Tables on Former American POWs
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — The latest chapter in the legal history of torture is being written by American pilots who were beaten and abused by Iraqis during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. And it has taken a strange twist.
Chris Lawrence: Saddam torture victims denied compensation—by the USA — Marc Cooper is rightly outraged that the Bush administration...
Greyhawk: Torture Victims Suit — LA Times presents a dilemma [snipped quote] I can say I'm glad I'm not judging this one, but it will certainly be an interesting story to watch.
Jeralyn Merritt: U.S. Blocking Reparations to Gulf War I Hostages — The LA Times has an update on the Bush Administration's attempt to...

Back From Battle
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
This was going to be a column exclusively about a trans-Atlantic security conference that took place in Munich last weekend. But on the way back, the U.S. delegation stopped for refueling at Shannon Airport in Ireland.
Mary Madigan: What happens in America stays in America.. According to David Brooks, when some American politicians go to Europe, they...
K. J. Lopez: CONCENTRATING THE MIND — David Brooks writes as an American in Europe today.
Matthew Yglesias: David Brooks, having established that he's "no Europhobe," decides to engage in some gratuitous, factually challenged...
Roger L. Simon: Brooks is at His Best Today... ... which is very good indeed.

Court: Reporters Must Testify in Plame Case
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a ruling against two reporters who could go to jail for refusing to divulge their sources to investigators probing the leak of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame's name to the media.
William J. Dyer: Wapo's much shorter article isn't bad either; although more superficial, it also gets the basics right.
Amy Sullivan: Guest: Amy Sullivan — UNDERPRIVILEGED...Word came down yesterday from a U.S. Appeals Court that Judith Miller and our...
Kos @DailyKos: Plame journalists threatened with jail — You know those fantasies we all have of Judith Miller rotting in a jail cell...

Campos: Freedom unused is abused
  Rocky Mountain News   —   Permalink 
Over the past few days I've been bombarded with e-mails regarding the Ward Churchill scandal. Many have expressed astonishment at how someone like Churchill could have been hired in the first place, let alone tenured and made chair of a department.
Maimon Schwarzschild: The Affirmative Action Scandal — Paul Campos, law professor at the University of Colorado, is eloquent about the Ward...
Greg Ransom: I COULDN'T have said it better myself — Paul Campos: [snipped quote] My best guess is that Churchill actually wasn't an...
Glenn Reynolds: UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO LAW PROFESSOR PAUL CAMPOS has more on the Ward Churchill story: [snipped quote] Read the whole thing.
Clayton Cramer: Here's an article by another Colorado University professor who supports affirmative action, but agrees that Churchill is...
Jonah Goldberg: An excellent whack at Ward Churchill and the affirmative action ethos which got him hired in the first place, from CU...

AARP Invests in Hypocrisy
  By / TCS   —   Permalink 
The President has made fixing Social Security his number-one domestic objective, but the fight won't be easy — in part because of fierce opposition by the AARP, the seniors' lobby, with 35 million members.
The AARP is using an old strategy: trying to scare the wits out of old people.
Ed Driscoll: Investing In Hypocrisy — James Glassman of Tech Central Station says that AARP needs to make up their mind when it...
Ramesh Ponnuru: AARP goes "gambling."
Steve Bainbridge: AARP — Glassman on AARP's anti-Social Security reform ads: [snipped quote] Do read the whole thing.

The media kerfuffle
  Washington Times   —   Permalink 
Add "salivating morons" to the mainstream media's growing canon of stupid things to say about the ever-vigilant bloggers. Steve Lovelady, managing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, the self-styled flagship of journalism, said this in the fallout of CNN...
Captain Ed: First, in its unsigned editorial, the Times scolds the Wall Street Journal for its reaction to bloggers and their role:...
Betsy Newmark: The Washington Times editorial page takes on the Wall Street Journal's editorial page in defense of bloggers.
The Big Trunk: Look back in pride — The Washington Times runs a gracious retrospective on the Eason Jordan affair that singles out bloggers by name for honorable mention: "The media kerfuffle."
Pejman Yousefzadeh: BLOGGING AND ITS IMPACT — The Washington Times celebrates palliative effects of blogging regarding the Eason Jordan...
Hindrocket: We haven't spent much time responding to these over-the-top attacks, but today's Washington Times has some sensible...
Greg Ransom: BETSY NEWMARK — THE NEW WORLD OF JOURNALISM: "I think it is becoming more and more clear that journalism is not a...

Lawmakers Told About Contract Abuse in Iraq
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
A government contractor defrauded the Coalition Provisional Authority of tens of millions of dollars in Iraq reconstruction funds and the Bush administration has done little to try to recover the money, an attorney for two whistle-blowers told Democratic lawmakers yesterday.
Norbizness: Fair enough; it's a $1 billion judgment, and some of the money probably should be used in unaudited reconstruction...
Sam Rosenfeld: They seem to be doing well so far — witness the write-ups on yesterday's hearing on waste and fraud in Iraqi...
Susan Madrak: PARTY TIME — Think of it more as party favors and it makes a lot more sense: [snipped quote] UPDATE: World O'Crap has more.
SLZoll: For today's lesson, let's review the Washington Post's "Lawmakers Told About Contract Abuse in Iraq" (hey, it's not...
Roger Ailes: Grand Old Police Blotter: Battles of Bulls**t Run Edition — A Republican civilian contracting firm, Custer Battles,...

The obvious - More valuable than you think
  By / Washington Examiner   —   Permalink 
Some years ago, my friends Amy and Charles had a marriage breakthrough. Amy's mother had slipped her a heavily thumbed copy of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus," the 1992 blockbuster by John Gray that sought to explain to the mystified why spouses behave the way they do.
SLZoll: And speaking of Meghan, she had a little piece in the Valentine's Day edition of the Washington Examiner (which can be...
K. J. Lopez: REEDUCATING WOMEN IN COMMON SENSE — Meghan Gurdon had a very funny, smart Valentine's piece in the D.C. Examiner on chick-lit advice books: [snipped quote] More here.

Blast in Lebanon May Have Been Suicide Bomber, Officials Say
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
BEIRUT, Lebanon, Feb. 15 - Initial investigations into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri indicated that the enormous blast could have been set off by a suicide car bomber, Interior Minister Suleiman Franjieh said today.
Joe Gandelman: And now — surprise — investigators believe the blast may have been the bloody handiwork of a homicide bomber.
Matthew Yglesias: Former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, a key figure in that country's post-civil war politics who lately was...
Steve Soto: After the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri yesterday in a suicide car bombing, the Bush...

What We Don't Know About 9/11 Hurts Us
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
Would George W. Bush have been reelected president if the public understood how much responsibility his administration bears for allowing the 9/11 attacks to succeed?
The answer is unknowable and, at this date, moot.
Barbara O'Brien: You'd think nothing else was going on in the world — no Social Security debate, no North Korean plutonium weapons...
Patterico: More Scheer Fiction — The always poisonous and frequently less-than-honest Robert Scheer contends in his latest column:...
Jon Henke: Scheer Nonsense — Robert Scheer: "Would George W. Bush have been reelected president if the public understood how much...

Parents Behaving Badly
  By / Time   —   Permalink 
If you could walk past the teachers' lounge and listen in, what sorts of stories would you hear?
An Iowa high school counselor gets a call from a parent protesting the C her child received on an assignment.
Susan Q. Stranahan: Newsweek's Judith Warner, mom and author, writes of "women who had surrendered their better selves — and their sanity — to motherhood.
Joanne Jacobs: Parents vs. teachers — Parents Behaving Badly is Time's cover story. (You must be a subscriber to read the whole thing online.)

Democrats probe alleged mismanagement in Iraq
  CNN   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Democrats held a hearing Monday to probe concerns raised by whistleblowers, saying Republican leaders refuse to act on calls to investigate alleged U.S. mismanagement of resources in Iraq.
Jeffrey Dubner: And it should be noted that for a newborn effort, it's attracting exactly the headlines Democrats are hoping for.
PGL: But if it involves ongoing misappropriation of U.S. taxpayer dollars by our current government, why bother.

Budget cuts FDA safety checks
  By / USA Today   —   Permalink 
The Food and Drug Administration's proposed budget for next year includes cuts to nearly all its inspection programs, from checks on imported food to reviews of overseas plants that make prescription drugs bound for the USA.
Howard Kurtz: Ditto for Patricia Smith and Mike Barnicle at the Boston Globe, Jayson Blair at the New York Times, and Jack Kelley at USA Today.
Jeffrey Dubner: I don't know how operationally significant the dollar values are here, but cuts are cuts: "If Congress approves [the...
Steve M.: If Congress approves, the number of domestic food safety inspections made next year would fall by 5%, foreign drug plant...

Kerry Backs Bush's $81.9 Bln War Spending Plan
  Reuters   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic Sen. John Kerry, whose baffling explanation of votes on Iraq war funding hurt his 2004 White House bid, said on Tuesday he would back President Bush's new $81.9 billion request for Iraq and Afghanistan.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: BEFORE HE DECIDES TO VOTE AGAINST IT — Senator John Kerry has decided to vote for President Bush's newest war spending...
Stephen Green: For Now — John Kerry - remember him? - is in the news again today: [snipped quote] Don't worry, he still has plenty of time to vote against it now that he's voting for it.

The Great Pretender
  By / Opinion Journal   —   Permalink 
NEW YORK—The bells tolled for Arthur Miller all weekend long—but most of them were made of tin. The Chicago Tribune, for instance, led with a two-liner so flat it could have closed out of town: "The man who wrote 'Death of a Salesman' died Thursday.
Deacon: Those interested in a serious look at Miller should read this piece by Terry Teachout.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: "THE GREAT PRETENDER" — Terry Teachout does not think much of the legacy of Arthur Miller: [snipped quote] Read it all.
Orrin Judd: AFTER THE BURBLER: The Great Pretender: Arthur Miller wasn't well-liked—and for good reason.
Betsy Newmark: Terry Teachout looks at the overblown reaction to Arthur Miller's death. "For me, that was his biggest flaw.
Ed Driscoll: "The Great Pretender" — Terry Teachout comes to bury Arthur Miller, not to praise him: [snipped quote] Read the rest.
Ed Cone: Terry Teachout comes not to praise Arthur Miller but to bury him: "He pretended to have big ideas and the ability to...
Also: Tim Graham

  New York Post   —   Permalink 
Hoops star-turned-accused rapist Kobe Bryant is set to be hauled before a jury in Michael Jackson's upcoming kiddie-sex trial — as a defense witness — Jacko's lawyer revealed yesterday.
Howard Kurtz: The New York Post is all over the Michael Jackson witness list: "Hoops star-turned-accused rapist Kobe Bryant is set to...
Orrin Judd: DEFENSE? (via Jim Siegel) KOBE FOR JACKO (DAVID K. LI and KATE SHEEHY, February 15, 2005, NY Post)
Joe Gandelman: On Michael Jackson's Famous Character Witnesses — So now the question is: will jurors in the Michael Jackson child...

U.S. Withdraws Ambassador From Syria
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON - The United States has recalled its ambassador to Syria amid rising tensions over the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri of Lebanon.
Jack Cluth: Greetings from Hell — Beirut bomb kills former prime minister Ex-Lebanese PM Hariri killed in Beirut motorcade blast...
Edward _: Opportunism or Secret Intelligence — The Bush administration has pounced on the assassination of Lebanon's ex-Prime...

Bush resends judicial picks
  By / Washington Times   —   Permalink 
President Bush officially resubmitted to the Senate yesterday 20 judicial nominees, including seven U.S. Circuit Court nominees whom Democrats filibustered in the last Congress.
Mark Trapp: What A Moron — Senator Reid, you are an idiot. This Washington Times story confirms it.
Eugene Oregon: Staying on Message — From a Washington Times article on Bush's renominated judges [quote] "To replay this narrow and...[end quote]

Study: Unlikely lobsters feel pain in boiling water
  AP   —   Permalink 
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A new study out of Norway concludes it's unlikely lobsters feel pain, stirring up a long-simmering debate over whether Maine's most valuable seafood suffers when it's being cooked.
Acidman: I feel better now, thanks to the indefatigable research pissing around on the internet that this guy does when he's not busy playing with handguns while drunk.
Orrin Judd: EVEN GOD HATES THEM (via Bryan Francoeur): Study: Unlikely lobsters feel pain in boiling water (AP, 2/15/05)...

Ex-Aide Questions Bush Vow to Back Faith-Based Efforts
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
A former White House official said yesterday that President Bush has failed to deliver on his promise to help religious groups serve the poor, the homeless and drug addicts because the administration lacks a genuine commitment to its "compassionate conservative" agenda.
Kos @DailyKos: Bush stabs "faith-based" gullibles in the back — It's not me saying it: [snipped quote] I don't expect Religious Right voters to ever grasp how fully they are used by Republicans.
Steve Soto: Faith Based Initiatives Lose Out To Millionaire Tax Cuts With Bush — A new voice has come forward to claim that when...

Dean Ready to Take Charge of Democrats
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — There is a sort of swagger to Howard Dean's smile. Here he is, poised to take charge of the Democratic Party, a striking comeback after his flameout a year ago in the presidential race. He is savoring the moment, yet displaying a new sense of caution.
Scott Sala: But while he used his forum in front of the African American group to lay the groundwork for his platform, he also...
Kevin Aylward: Edition [snipped quote] Howard Dean during a meeting with the Democratic black caucus Feb 11, 2005. Reported by AP.

Judge: Jackson admitted to emergency room
  CNN   —   Permalink 
SANTA MARIA, California (CNN) — Jury selection of pop star Michael Jackson's child molestation trial was put on hold Tuesday after Jackson was taken to a hospital emergency room when he became ill on his way to the trial, Judge Rodney Melville told the court.
Joe Gandelman: UPDATE: Jackson was rushed to a hospital emergency room fater getting sick on the way to his trial. No reports yet on his condition.
James Joyner: Michael Jackson Admitted to Emergency Room — Judge: Jackson admitted to emergency room (CNN) [snipped quote] Yet another detour in this bizarre case.