Monthly Archives: August 2006

Bill Frist for President?

I spent part of the day today with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. He is, of course, a very impressive guy: a physician, a heart and lung transplant surgeon, an upstart politician, a hands-on doctor in places like Sudan and New Orleans, and one of the most powerful people in our government. Despite those obvious accomplishments and Frist’s skills as a legislator, I’ve always felt that he lacks the executive »

Deranged and dangerous

This letter from Iranian president Ahmadinajad to German chancellor Merkel has to be read to be believed (and disbelieved). It begins with the world’s longest run-on sentence and concludes with a plea for an Iranian-German alliance in order to “end the present abnormalities in international relations, the type of order and relations that are based on the impositions of the victors of the World War II on the defeated nations.” »

Richard Posner on Terrorism and the Constitution

I usually don’t plug anything until I’ve had the opportunity to read/see/hear it, but this is an exception. Today has been a hectic day, and I haven’t yet had an opportunity to listen to Glenn and Helen’s podcast of their interview with Judge Richard Posner, on Posner’s book Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency. Nevertheless, I unhesitatingly recommend that you listen to the podcast. »

The Israeli war effort — a mixed picture

Yaakov Katz in the Jerusalem Post takes a look at what went wrong and what went right in the war with Hezbollah. The primary subject of the inquest is, as it must be, the delay of a large-scale ground invasion. Prime Minister Olmert has attempted to shift blame for the delay to the military by claiming that the first time he saw a plan to invade Lebanon with tens of »

Reuters Missile Attack, Updated

A reader points out that this photo, which is said to be of the interior of the Reuters vehicle that ostensibly was hit by one or more Israeli missiles on the night of August 27, shows a cracked windshield: Whereas this photo, also alleged to be of the Reuters vehicle that was hit by the Israeli missile(s), does not: No doubt someone will say that the windshield is made of »

Chris Matthews, raw and unhinged

Jonathan Chait on Chris Matthews’ “nerd theory of history”: Also working through his emotions toward the Middle East right now is Chris Matthews. In a recent broadcast, Matthews declared, “[President Bush] didn’t have any philosophy when he went in, and they handed it to him–these guys with … you know, the guys you used to make fun of at school, the pencilnecks, the intellectuals, the guys you never trusted.” So »

“Dishonesty in the Reporting Out of Lebanon”

Those were the blunt words of Australia’s Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, in addressing a group of journalists: In an address to the National Newspaper Publishers Conference, Downer denied media claims his ministry had been slow in providing assistance to thousands of Lebanese-Australian passport holders, The Australian newspaper reported. “What concerns me greatly is the evidence of dishonesty in the reporting out of Lebanon,” he said. He gave as examples the »


My friend Peter Swanson comments on the story of the blackballing of the outstanding Minneapolis law firm that represented the plaintiffs in the cases brought against the University of Michigan challenging the university’s race-based admissions programs: “Black, white and red-handed.” »

Hatin’ at the haters’ ball

Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt had a kind of coming out party with the terror front group CAIR this afternoon in Washington at the National Press Club. Fresh off his fundraising appearance for Keith Ellison in Minneapolis on Friday, CAIR’s Nihad Awad introduced Mearsheimer and Walt at the haters’ ball this afternoon. Behind the bloopers, the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank noticed a certain thematic unity to the event: Yesterday, »

Pallywood on parade

In her Jerusalem Post column today, Caroline Glick comments on the blockbuster Hamas production featuring Steve Centanni, Olaf Wiig and Ismail Haniyeh as well as the purported Israeli missile strike on the Reuters vehicle: “Terrorist theater tricks.” In the course of her column, Caroline takes note of our own efforts and those of many others in the blogospohere who are trying to sort out fact from fiction in the media »

Wish I’d said that

The best line of the day comes from the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto. In a piece called “Eternal Plame,” Taranto writes: “The only winner in this whole deal is Joe Wilson’s ego–and think of the toll it’s taken on his poor little superego.” »

Whose boots on which ground?

One of the key passages in William Stuntz’s excellent piece about fighting to win in Iraq (see the post immediately below) is this one: [T]here is a sure-fire test of whether or not victory truly is impossible: See whether a rising number of American soldiers in a given city or neighborhood tends to produce more violence or less. If the answer is more, then it is pointless to send more »

Why we should fight to win in Iraq

Our friend William Stuntz has a brilliant piece in the Weekly Standard urging the U.S. to fight to win in Iraq. Here’s a key excerpt: The Iraq war is different [from the war in Vietnam] in every relevant respect. American soldiers are responsible for ousting a murderous monster and allowing Iraqis to elect their leaders after a generation under the monster’s heel. For three-and-a-half years, those soldiers have fought a »

“Reuters Missile Attack” Update

Yesterday, we posted on the alleged Israeli missile attack on a Reuters “armored vehicle” in Gaza. If you haven’t already read it, you should start by reading that post and looking at the photographs; this is an update. As I said yesterday, the photographs that have been published of the Reuters vehicle do not seem to correspond to the attack described in news reports. That’s a layman’s view, but several »

Advantage Hezbollah

David Schraub landed an exclusive interview with his neighbor Thomas Friedman. He has posted the first part of the interview, which focuses on Lebanon. Friedman is among those who believe that the recent war was a significant defeat for Hezbollah. We have addressed all of Friedman’s arguments in favor of that belief before, and will not do so here. For an assessment that I consider more realistic than Friedman’s, readers »

My opening farewell

In August 2002 I went to see Bonnie Raitt perform at the Minnesota State Fair. I’d previously seen Raitt perform in St. Paul at the Ordway Center in the late ’80s, I think, but she was obviously drunk on that occasion. ZZ Top was performing at the St. Paul Civic Center that night, and Raitt kept saying: “Man, ZZ Top. They’re playing next door; I can’t believe you’re here,” or »

What’s wrong with this picture?

Among other things, Steve Centanni had this to say upon his release yesterday at the love-in with the Hamas leader and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister: I just hope this never scares a single journalist away from coming to Gaza to cover this story because the Palestinian people are very beautiful, kind-hearted, loving people who the world need to know more about and so do not be discouraged. Come and tell »