Monthly Archives: September 2006

Drive-By Reporting at the New York Times

Rush Limbaugh refers to the mainstream media as the “drive-by media,” a term that is all too often apt. This Editors’ Note in today’s New York Times reveals a case in point: A front-page article on Sept. 14 reported that the inspector general of the Interior Department had accused top officials at the agency of tolerating widespread ethical failures. The article said that the inspector general in a 2004 report »

Why let the facts stand in the way of a good slander?

Dafydd ab Hugh catches the demagogic Senator Leahy in what appears to be a gross misstatement of recent history. According to Daffyd, this is what Leahy said on the floor of the Senate: Even though they [the Bush administration] had him [Osama bin Laden] cornered at Tora Bora, they yanked the special forces out of there to send them to Iraq. But the Battle of Tora Bora took place in »

Blog of the Week: Atlas Shrugs

This week’s Blog of the Week is Atlas Shrugs. As always, the BOTW will be featured at the top of the blog RSS feeds on Power Line News, and we’ll link here from time to time as well. Pamela, the proprietor of Atlas Shrugs, writes: Western civilization hangs in the balance. Get your heads out of the sand and fight the great fight. For all citizens of the free world, »


Jay Nordlinger’s Impromptus column today is particularly hot, rounding up notable recent quotes with Jay’s own concise comments on them. Here are a couple of highlights: Donald Rumsfeld received a rare and prized endorsement on Wednesday when Jimmy Carter said, “I think he’s one of the worst secretaries of defense we’ve ever had.” That must be a relief to Rumsfeld. For, as they say, “consider the source.” Jay’s recent interview »

No Frist fence flakeout, Frist full of feck

In “Frist fence flakeout?” this past Monday I raised the question that Mickey Kaus posed after watching Senator Frist on one of the Sunday television gabfests. The post prompted a response from Stephen Smith, Senator Frist’s online communications coordinator, assuring us “that Senator Frist isn’t ‘flaking out’ and that he is committed to a cloture vote on the Secure Fence Act this week.” Yesterday Senator Frist fulfilled his commitment, securing »

Media Alert

I’ll be on Bill Bennett’s radio show tomorrow morning at around 7:00 central time. Rumor has it that Bill will take me to task for sullying this serious political commentary site with photos of pretty, scantily clad young women under the feeble pretext of handicapping beauty pageants. Scott was on Bill’s show this morning; click the play button below for his very entertaining appearance with Bill and Seth. »

What’s in a name? Part Two

The other day, I wrote: Intellectual honesty [for a blogger] cannot easily be defined, much less reduced to rules. At a minimum, however, it should preclude the use of the personal attack as a substitute for arguments. . . .And it should preclude knowingly making bad arguments. It probably also entails some obligation not knowingly to ignore good evidence and good arguments that cut against one’s point of view on »

Don’t Bet On the Macacacard

My friend Bob Cunningham points out that Intrade makes a market in political futures. Despite the smears that have lately been directed at Senator George Allen, the Intrade market now puts the probability of his winning in November at 69%. That number is up an astonishing eight points today, I’m not sure why. Meanwhile, the market rates the Republicans’ chances of retaining control of the Senate at 80%, and of »

Military Commissions Bill Passes Easily

The administration’s bill to authorize military commissions to try enemy combatants and to provide for interrogation of captured terrorists passed the Senate this afternoon on an easy 65-34 vote. Notwithstanding the wide margin by which the legislation passed, most news coverage I’ve seen has focused on the dissenters’ objections to the statute, not on the strong grounds for the act that gained it large majorities in both the House and »

Ex-terrorists of the best kind

AP reports that al Qaeda’s leader in Iraq, Hamza al-Muhajir (aka Abu Ayyub al-Masri) has produced an audiotape in which he says that 4,000 foreign insurgents have been killed in Iraq. According to the AP, the Arabic word al-Masri used indicated he was speaking about foreigners who joined the insurgency in Iraq, not coalition troops. Al-Masri also offered “amnesty” to Iraqis who have cooperated with coalition forces. Such cooperation has »

The Webb legacy

In 1994, Fred Thompson was locked in a Senate campaign against an increasingly desperate opponent, Jim Cooper. During a debate, in response to what Thompson thought was an unfair attack, the once-and-future actor said in his most authoritative voice, “Jim, it’s one thing to lose an election; it’s another thing to lose your honor.” Cooper seemed to shrink, and I could tell then-and-there that Thompson would be the one going »

Sabato’s sabotage, take 2

I wrote about Salon’s story on Senator Allen’s alleged use of a racial epithet while Senator Allen was a University of Virginia undergraduate in “The macaca offensive.” I sarcastically commented on what I thought was the weakness of the story. The following day I noted the personal attestation of Professor Larry Sabato on Hardball supporting the gist of the Salon story in “The macaca offensive, take 2.” On Hardball Professor »

Here to stay

I missed the anniversary of George Gershwin’s birth earlier this week. Is it too late to strike up the band? Below the Tommy Dorsey Band performs “Fascinatin’ Rhythm,” beginning with a quote from “Rhapsody in Blue.” Gershwin composed his first hit — “Swanee” — at age 21 and proceeded to a career founded on Broadway. Mostly with his brother Ira as the (perfect) lyricist, he wrote the show tunes that »

Miss World: The Climax Approaches

The finale of the Miss World contest is Saturday night, and the betting odds are starting to take shape. There is no clear favorite, but Miss Venezuela is the front-runner at the moment, no doubt because she won the Miss Beach competition, which automatically put her into the finals. That’s an impressive accomplishment, but frankly I don’t buy it. I still say it’s going to be a Caribbean final. (I »

Macaca, Part XII Or So

I’d never heard the word “macaca” before it was used against Senator George Allen, and it seems obvious that the Democrats’ current effort to tar him as a racist based on scurrilous, anonymous “recollections” by mostly-unidentified persons from decades ago–which the “recollectors” apparently forgot to mention during the many years in which Allen served as the Governor of Virginia, and then a U.S. Senator–is a joke, or worse. So it’s »

Pajamas at the Press Club, Part Two

Our friend Tom Bevan has a piece summarizing his fine contribution to the Pajamas get-together last night. One of the questions that came up, as it almost always seems to at these kind of affairs, was whether we need an institution or entity that presents the news in an unbiased manner — a true “newspaper of record” or an honest “that’s the way it is” newscast — or whether we »

Losing ground

Pat Cleary reports on a new study by the National Association of Manufacturers which finds that the U.S. suffers from a 32 percent non-wage “cost disadvantage” in relation to our major trading partners/competitors. The two main culprits appear to be our corporate tax rate (the second highest in the world, according to Cleary) and our tort costs (the highest in the world). Three years ago, NAM estimated our cost disadvantage »