Monthly Archives: February 2007

Polk in the eye

The George Polk Awards for 2006 were announced on Monday by Long Island University. The awards seek to honor journalism in the tradition of George W. Polk, a CBS correspondent killed in 1948 covering the civil war in Greece. The New York Times carried a good summary of the 12 winners. Some of the winners seem deserving of recognition for excellence, some not. Among the winners was Spike Lee, who »

Remembering the indispensable man

Today is the anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Of all the great men of the revolutionary era to whom we owe our freedom, Washington’s greatness was the rarest, the most necessary, and, at this remove in time, the hardest to understand. Take, for example, Washington’s contribution to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Washington’s mere presence lent the undertaking and its handiwork the legitimacy that resulted in success. The »

Our Friends the Iranians

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour recently met with a “top government official” of Iran–identity, unfortunately, unknown–and reports that Iranian officials, at least those who don’t dare divulge their identities, are hungry for good relations with the U.S.: “Natural allies,” this official said. It was a surprising choice of words considering the barbs Washington and Tehran have been trading of late. “We are not after conflict. We are not after crisis. We are »

Gunning for Romney

The MSM has been trying to nominate a progressive/liberal/centrist/moderate/or maverick Republican presidential candidate since the days of Nelson Rockefeller — in other words, ever since the Republicans stopped doing it to themselves. The MSM hasn’t had much luck, though it made a decent run at it in 2000. But 2008 (including 2007) may well be the MSM’s year. That’s because the two leading Republican contenders, McCain and Rudy Giuliani, arguably »

Democratic Party Cage Match

So far, I haven’t taken Barack Obama very seriously as a Presidential candidate, mostly because of his lack of experience. I’ve suspected that his real objective is to be someone’s–likely Hillary Clinton’s–running mate. After today, though, that may be less likely. Maureen Dowd stirred the pot by quoting Hollywood tycoon David Geffen, who once raised $18 million for Bill Clinton, in her column. Geffen is now supporting Obama; he had »

Law Professor Cage Match

I wrote here about a column in the Rocky Mountain News in which law professor Paul Campos called fellow professor Glenn Reynolds a “fascist” and an “extremis[t]” for suggesting that the administration should consider selectively killing Iranian mullahs and nuclear scientists rather than planning for possible military action, and hinted that Glenn should be fired from his job at the University of Tennessee as an “accessory to murder.” The News »

The return of David Beckham, Part Two

The other day, I commented on David Beckham’s return from the wilderness, and the immediate dividends he paid his soccer club, Real Madrid, by scoring a goal and setting up the other in a 2-1 victory. But that was nothing compared to his contribution yesterday to Real Madrid’s huge 3-2 victory in a Champion’s League match against perennial powerhouse Bayern Munich. Beckham helped create all three Madrid goals, and was »

We’re From the U.N., and We’re Here to Protect You

What do Sissy Spacek, Jessica Lange and Jane Fonda have to do with asteroids? How does the United Nations come into it? And who has “absolute moral authority” to opine on risks from outer space? It all becomes clear on this entertaining thread at the Power Line Forum. »

“Absolutely, we could take her out”

On the front page of today’s Washington Post, we learn that “liberal bloggers” have made a “target” of centrist (sort of) Democratic Rep. Ellen Tauscher of California. This is the kind of story that some conservative bloggers used to argue shows the destructive influence of the liberal blogosphere on the Democratic party. But that was before some conservative bloggers started doing the same thing to Republican members of Congress. But »

The News War, cont’d

Part 2 of Frontline’s The News War aired last night. Part 3 airs next Tuesday (February 27) and part 4 concludes the series on March 27. If I understand correctly, parts 1 and 2 of the series can be watched online here. Series producer Arun Rath advises us that whatever of the interviews of John and me that they use will be included in part 3 of the series next »

The surge so far

We haven’t said much about how the surge in Baghdad is faring. That’s because it’s early days, and we’re not really in a position to assess the surge. However, things may have proceeded far enough to provide at least a sense of how our adversaries are reacting. The sense is that the Sunni insurgents (or at least elements thereof) are choosing to stay and fight, while the Shia militias are »

The limits of defeatism

These poll results suggest that, apart from the irresponsibility of their position on the merits, the Democrats’ defeatist approach to Iraq may not be a winning political strategy. In fact, the Dems’ approach may be a dubious political strategy precisely because of its weakness on the merits. According to the survey, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, 57 percent of Americans say »

John Edwards finds Israel the biggest threat to world peace

We’re used to seeing polls in which Europeans rate Israel as the biggest threat to world peace (or running neck-and-neck with President Bush for that honor). But according to this report, John Edwards made the same claim to a gathering in Hollywood, stating that the propsect that Israel might bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities is perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace. Edwards thus presented his Hollywood audience with perhaps »

Closing Out the Libby Trial

The lawyers delivered their closing arguments in the Scooter Libby perjury trial today. This Associated Press account isn’t especially coherent, but it gives a sense of the main points that were made. No surprises. Also not a surprise is that, as I predicted, and as the prosecutor pointed out in his argument, there never was any evidence about Libby being a “scapegoat” for the administration, as portrayed by defense attorney »

Wild card?

Mark Tapscott has a good piece on the Victory Caucus, which in only one week has become a very popular and often visited political web site. Mark believes that the Victory Caucus “has the look of the election wild card of the 2008 presidential campaign” in something like the way the Swiftvets were in 2004. The true wild card in the 2008 race is likely to be the way the »

Fascists Everywhere!

In a column in the Rocky Mountain News, Paul Campos called our friends Glenn Reynolds and Hugh Hewitt “right wing extremis[ts]” and suggested that they should lose their jobs; Glenn and Hugh, like Campos, are law professors. Campos suggested that calling Glenn and Hugh “fascists” would be pretty close to the mark: The use of propaganda to help bring about the murder of people you would like to kill has »

CAIR supports terror: A case study

After his acquittal of certain terrorism charges and a hung verdict on others, Sami al-Arian pleaded guilty to one count of providing financial assistance to a terrorist organization — Palestinian Islamic Jihad, of which al-Arian was the North American leader. Judge James Moody sentenced al-Arian to the maximum time on the charge and addressed a few choice words to al-Arian: You looked your neighbors in the eyes and said you »