Monthly Archives: March 2004

Al Qaeda Behind English Bomb Plot

It’s no surprise, of course, but the Sun is reporting that several of the eight individuals arrested in England yesterday morning attended al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. On Monday, a computer specialist named Mohammad Momin Khawaja was arrested at the Canadian Foreign Ministry, where he worked, and charged with complicity in the British plot. It appears that he may have been the al Qaeda supervisor who coordinated the British »

Definition by mirror

This Washington Post piece by Dan Balz is called “Bush Scores Points By Defining Kerry.” It’s a worthwhile discussion of how Kerry’s popularity has eroded somewhat in the face of the Bush campaign’s “aggressive plan to define the senator before he could define himself.” I must say, though, that I have a problem with the notion that Bush has won a race to “define” Kerry, as though the Senator were »

Ms. found in a coffee shop

UPI reports on the notes left in the Dupont Circle Starbucks by Defense Department official Eric Ruff. The notes address the administration’s response to Richard Clarke’s allegations and were compiled for an early morning briefing of Donald Rumsfeld before his appearance on the Sunday morning talk shows. The UPI story is “Found notes may show Bush plan on Clarke.” The notes expose a shocking sanity rampant among the Bush administration: »

Burning down the house

Yesterday the Star Tribune carried Jon Bream’s excellent account of Al Green’s stellar performance at the Guthrie Theater on Monday night: “Al Green saves souls, sells new songs at Guthrie.” I was not aware of Bream’s account when I wrote about Green’s show yesterday morning. Accompanying Bream’s review was a terrific photograph (below) by Star Tribune photgrapher Jeff Wheeler of Reverend Green caught in the act. »

The melting of Tom Daschle?

Over at Daschle v. Thune Professor Jon Lauck has collected an impressive set of items suggesting that the internal contradictions of Tom Daschle’s representation of South Dakota in the United States Senate may be reaching McGovernite (losing) proportions: “Daschle foundering: Even the true believers have doubts.” UPDATE: Gary of Joe’s Blog writes to advise us that he has the perfect photographic accompaniment to Professor Lauck’s report: “Egg on his face?” »

Flower power

Reader Karen Clancy has kindly sent us another shot of John Kerry — this one of Kerry on his snowboard — wearing his flower power zipper. The photo caption for the AP/Elise Amendola photo reads: “Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry , D-Mass., right, snowboards followed by ski and snowboard instructor, Jim Grossman, left, at Sun Valley in Ketchum, Idaho Tuesday, March 23, 2004.” »

What do Dewey and Kerry have in common?

Tony Blankley sees the possibilty that John Kerry may place himself in the line of candidates including Thomas Dewey, Adlai Stevenson, George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis — classic flops. Blankley cautions that this is not a prediction — merely an assessment of some potentialities. Kerry seems to remind Blankley most of Tom Dewey. Like Dewey in 1948, Blankley asserts, his deepest flaw as a candidate is his sheer »

The highest court in the land

In “What’s wrong with this picture?” we noted the case of Osbaldo Torres. Torres is one of 52 Mexicans on death row in the United States whose execution the government of Mexico seeks to prevent, claiming the failure of state authorities to advise the Mexicans of their right to consult with consular officials taints their convictions. Torres’s execution has awaited further proceedings in the International Court of Justice at the »

A question for the nation’s editorial writers

Law professor Ronald Rotunda on why Justice Scalia made the correct decision in declining to disqualify himself from the Sierra Club’s case against his friend and (on one occasion) fellow duck hunting expedition member, Vice Preident Cheney. One of Rotunda’s arguments is this: “Judges do not divorce themselves from the world when they don their robes. They still are allowed to have friends, go on hunting trips, and live a »

A client list to die for

Quick, guess the nationality of the lawyer who will defend Saddam Hussein. Yup, it’s a Frenchman, and not just any Frenchman, but Jacques Verges, who has also defended Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie and Carlos the Jackal, and is said to have been a friend of Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge leader behind Cambodia’s genocide. In fact, Khieu Samphan, a former Khmer Rouge leader, says he has picked Verges to »


to the University of Minnesota women’s basketball team for reaching the final four. Since they played Duke tonight, I would have been pulling for the Golden Gophers even had I not read Rocket Man’s Heart of a Champion post about the team (but was it the sexist in me that made me feel compassion for the Duke team at the end?). Having read about Janel McCarville and Lindsay Whalen made »

Beyond tolerance?

John Derbyshire has written an important piece about the culture war in this country or, more precisely, how conservatives are losing it. The piece was prompted by a Peggy Noonan op-ed in the Opinion Journal in which she took the self-contratulatory position that “we have gone beyond tolerance in America; we have arrived at affection and sympathy and mutual respect. It has been beautiful to see, and I have seen »

A missed opportunity for moral clarity

Saul Singer in National Review Online shares my amazement at the broad consensus that eliminating a terrorist organization’s undisputed leader (Ahmed Yassin) “was counterproductive, if not downright idiotic.” He is also disappointed that the White House seems to lack the clarity to view the matter differently. Specifically, Singer finds that U.N. ambassador Negroponte’s pronouncement that Yassin’s demise doesn’t contribute to the peace process accepts the harmful paradigm that the jihad »

Bad News for Daschle

Over the weekend we noted problems developing for Tom Daschle among Native Americans in South Dakota. Russell Means came out for John Thune, and Tim Giago, publisher of the Lakota Journal, said he would oppose Daschle in the Democratic primary. Now, Giago has announced that instead of challenging Daschle in the primary, he will run as an independent in the general election. Daschle v. Thune is all over the story. »

Al Franken plays Baghdad

Warning: The following post reflects bad taste and vulgar language. Reader Glen Kissel writes: Al Franken’s brother, Owen, a ’68 MIT alum, has written a concise description of Al’s December USO trip to Iraq for the MIT alumni class notes (password protected, but I’m an MIT alum, so I’ve pasted it in below). Kissel notes the following regarding brother Owen’s account of Al in Baghdad: (1) Al joked about WMDs »

British Terror Bust

In England, police arrested eight suspected terrorists in a series of twenty-four raids. The arrests occurred in five separate towns. A half ton of ammonium nitrate, enough for a major truck-bomb attack, was seized. Scotland Yard’s deputy assistant commissioner said, “I must stress the threat from terrorism is very real and the public must remain watchful and alert.” »

Burning down the house

I first saw Al Green perform live at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in 1985. He had long since more or less abandoned soul music for the Church (he had bought the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church in Memphis and gone into preaching) and for gospel music. He was touring behind a newly released album of gospel music that he had recorded with producer Willie Mitchell, who had created the Al »