Monthly Archives: March 2006

Moronic and bizarre

That’s how Quin Hillyer describes the Senate Republicans’ reluctance to push judicial nominees. Hillyer is being charitable. Confirming stalled and new appeals court nominees should be the Senate’s highest priority. First, the window for confirming conservative nominees (some of whom have been waiting for years) may well be closing. It’s far from clear that Republicans will have a majority in the Senate after this year, and it’s unlikely that they »

A Moment of Churlishness

As you no doubt know, journalist Jill Carroll was released by her kidnappers in Baghdad last night. We are, of course, glad that she is alive, unlike so many others who have been taken hostage in Iraq. No doubt her joy at being freed overwhelms all else, and it is probably churlish to critique her public comments. Nevertheless, I want to register a small protest against her statement, widely quoted »

Stalking Scalia

Ronald Cass is the former dean of Boston University Law School. In a powerful column for RealClearPolitics today he writes regarding the media assault on Justice Scalia: The game now is to find a way of making it seem that Scalia’s personal life and conduct commit him to positions on important legal issues in a way that interferes with his ability to decide matters impartially – not because Scalia has »

Israel’s choice

Oxford Professor Emanuele Ottolenghi turns a gimlet eye on the Israeli election results: “Apathy & inconclusiveness.” This is the best column I have read so far on the election results. PAUL adds: This is indeed a very perceptive column. One of its central insights is this: “What we know now is that once Sharon left Kadima, the Israeli public lost its appetite for change.” In my opinion, this loss of »

Remembering Bernard Siegan

I attended the Temple Beth El nursery school in Fargo; the great Mrs. Mullenbein was the nursery school teacher. The only one of my classmates whom I recall is Maimon Schwarzschild, even then the smartest guy in the class. Maimon is now professor of law at the University of San Diego and a blogger with several of his colleagues at The Right Coast. Yesterday NRO posted a column by Maimon »

The verdict, take 2

Last night John rendered his “Verdict: The New York Times blew the story.” The “story” was the testimony of five federal judges — Magistrate Judge Allan Kornblum and four former FISA court judges — on Senator Specter’s proposed reform of the FISA statute. According to yesterday’s New York Times story by Eric Lichtblau: In a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the secretive court, known as the Foreign Intelligence »

Dafydd Casts a Reptilian Eye…

…on the Democrats’ “Real Security Plan to Protect America and Restore Our Leadership in the World,” which was unveiled yesterday. We’ll have more to say on the Democrats’ long-awaited alternative to Republican leadership in the war on terror over the course of the day; in the meantime, Blog of the Week Big Lizards dissects–ridicules, really–the Democrats’ “plan” here and here. I especially like the part about how the Democrats are »

Next Up, Achilles?

For me, anyway, the most interesting items in the news have nothing to do with politics. Frequently, the subject is archaeology, like this morning, as a Greek archaeologist claims to have discovered the home of the Greek warrior Ajax on the island of Salamis. The photo below shows the central palace complex: Actually, the article never explains what ties the discovery to Ajax, but no doubt there is a plausible »

Verdict: The New York Times Blew the Story

Yesterday, five former judges of the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the subject of the amendments to FISA that have been proposed by Senator Arlen Specter. Earlier today, we noted a remarkable contrast in the reporting on the hearing by the Washington Times and the New York Times. The Washington Times headlined its story, “FISA Judges Say Bush Within Law,” and reported: A panel »

Don’t Shake Up the White House On My Account

Dick Polman of the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain has a column on Andy Card’s resignation that I assume has run in a number of papers. The column’s theme is that the replacement of Card by Josh Bolten isn’t much of a change and won’t satisfy those who have been calling on President Bush to clean house. Polman contrasts Ronald Reagan’s 1987 staff shakeup with Card’s replacement: Reagan’s shake-up is prominent in »

Someone’s Misreporting This Story

Yesterday, five former judges of the FISA court testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the National Security Agency’s international terrorist surveillance program. Some observers have alleged that the NSA program is illegal to the extent that it includes surveillance conducted without a FISA court order. Here is how the Washington Times reported the judges’ testimony, in a story headlined “FISA Judges Say Bush Within Law”: A panel of former »

Iraq-Libya Nuclear Connection?

As we noted last night, one of the recently-released audio tapes from Saddam Hussein’s office makes clear that by the mid 1990s, portions, at least, of Iraq’s nuclear weapons program had been moved outside that country: Sir, where was the Nuclear material transported to? A number of them were transported outside of Iraq. The tape does not say where the nuclear materials went. But two readers have suggested that it »

Inside higher ed

Monday’s Inside Higher Ed carried a good recap of the publication of “The Israel Lobby” paper by University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer and Kennedy School Dean Stephen Walt: “War of words over paper on Israel.” The article reports: In a phone interview, Walt said that the authors stood behind their work and looked forward to scholarly discussion of it, but he also declined to respond to specific criticisms being »

The last helicopter

The most important column in the papers this morning by far is Amir Taheri’s Wall Street Journal column: “The last helicopter.” Taheri writes: To hear Mr. Abbasi tell it the entire recent history of the U.S. could be narrated with the help of the image of “the last helicopter.” It was that image in Saigon that concluded the Vietnam War under Gerald Ford. Jimmy Carter had five helicopters fleeing from »

More From Saddam’s Archives

A reader calls our attention to another of the audio tape recordings from Saddam Hussein’s office. This one is ISGQ-2003-M0004667, and appears to have been recorded around 1996. Like most of the audiotapes, it is rambling, confusing and often incoherent. The ambiguity of most of what Saddam and his henchmen say is maddening. However, there are some interesting nuggets. This one suggests that the Russians have been paid off: We »


E.J. Dionne seems crushed by Senator McCain’s lurch towards conservatism. Oh, Dionne understands that conservatives have more power in Republican primaries than does “McCain’s old base among reporters and pundits.” Still, Dionne and McCain have been through so much together. Like the time Dionne enlisted McCain on John Kerry’s behalf (so it was a threesome) to respond to the outrageous notion that Kerry helped our enemy when he accused American »

Preliminary thoughts on the Israeli election

With 95 percent of votes counted in Israel, it looks like Kadima will win 29 Knesset seats. Labor is next with 20. Likud appears to have won only 12 seats. Turnout is said to have been low. Kadima’s showing isn’t very impressive, but with the help of Labor it may well be able to put together a center-left coalition that can govern without the help of the Arab parties. I »