Monthly Archives: August 2007

The lighter side of Baghdad

Stories like this one in the Washington Post tempt me to give up partisan blogging and devote my efforts to “La Comedie Humaine.” Several House Democrats are complaining that when they visited Iraq this summer, military personnel had been given thumbnail biographies containing, among other things, their publicly expressed views about the situation in Iraq. In particular, the bios stated how the members had voted on legislation requiring the withdrawal »

Bad Karma

I use the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport more than just about anyone, and I’ve always considered it a cheerful place. Lately, though, it’s been the scene of some seriously bad vibes. From the arrest at the airport of would-be terrorist Ali Mohamed Almosaleh to the detention of a woman carrying over $100,000 destined for Middle Eastern terrorists to taxi drivers refusing to transport people carrying alcoholic beverages to the charade put »

Wind reduction in the forecast

Senator John Warner of Virginia has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2008. This means that the Senate will be losing one of its biggest windbags, and that the Republican caucus will be losing one of its least steadfast conservatives. Warner generally voted as a conservative, but on big ticket items he seemed to believe it was statesmanlike (or at least made for good sound-bites and good press) »

Hating the “pig” but loving the pork

Congressional Quarterly reports that the House of Representative’s most outspoken critics of what they say is unnecessary military spending are nonetheless attempting to secure nearly half a billion dollars in the defense appropriations bill for programs in their districts that the Pentagon does not want. CQ explains: Sixty-seven Democrats who voted in March for a Progressive Caucus amendment to the budget resolution (H Con Res 99) that would cut defense »

A Pete Seeger update

In an excellent essay for City Journal, Howard Husock called Pete Seeger “America’s most successful Communist.” Today’s New York Sun brings Ron Radosh — Seeger’s former banjo student — providing a somewhat surprising update: “Seeger speaks — and sings — against Stalin.” I noted Radosh’s earlier criticism of the Seeger documentary that led to today’s story in “Waist deep in the party line.” »

Reaching out to the ununindicted co-conspirators, part 3

The Islamic Society of North America is one of the principal actors among the unindicted co-conspirators named by the government in the government’s prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation. The Holy Land Foundation provided financial support to Hamas until the government shut it down in the aftermath of 9/11. This weekend, however, the Department of Justice will be sponsoring a booth at the ISNA convention in Rosemont, Illinois. The HLF »

Just Read the Headline; Don’t Ask Any Questions

When Marines were accused of committing atrocities at Haditha, Mad Jack Murtha and many others rushed to convict them. We have followed the story as those accusations have fallen apart, and one Marine after another has been exonerated. Now, at least two of the cleared Marines have either sued, or stated their intention to sue, Mad Jack for defamation. The mainstream media don’t seem to have noticed that the Haditha »

War as bean counting

John’s points about the GAO’s report on Iraq are well-taken. It’s also important to remember that (1) the GAO analysis is tied to benchmarks set by a Democratic Congress and (2) these benchmarks are not terribly germane to judging our progress in this war. Consider what Congress did not include. There’s no benchmark relating to driving al Qaeda out of Anbar province or for enlisting Sunni tribesmen in the fight »

Another Useless Report

Legislation enacted last May directed the Government Accountability Office, which reports to Congress, to report on whether Iraq is meeting various security and political benchmarks. GAO’s report is now circulating in draft form, and both the White House and the Pentagon are objecting to it: In a draft report circulated this week, the Government Accountability Office concluded that at least 13 of the 18 political and security goals for the »

“I don’t do these kinds of things”

The Washington Times has posted the audio of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Police Sergeant Dave Karsnia’s interview with Senator Craig here and posted a related story here. The men’s room was apparently Senator Craig’s favorite at the airport. I believe that the last words on the recording belong to Sergeant Karsnia: “Embarrassing, embarrassing.” JOHN adds: For your convenience, here is the audio. It’s actually pretty interesting: Not everyone hears the »

20 percent left behind

The public schools opened in the District of Columbia this week. On the second day of school, 20 percent of those enrolled did not show up. »

The eagles have landed

As luck would have it, our departure gate at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport took us past the Northwest Crossing men’s restroom that Senator Craig made famous. We waited until our arrival at Midway to use the facilities. Off to the panel on Dred Scott at 150. JOHN adds: I passed through the airport this morning, too. I’m still not clear on what rest room they’re talking about, so I »

The next AG, Part Three

I’m hearing that the White House presented three names in its consultation with Sen. Specter, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committtee. They were Ted Olson, Larry Thompson (the number two man under John Ashcroft), and George Terwilliger. Specter preferred Olson, whom the White House also views very favorably, and he likely will be the nominee. »

Doing that wudu that they do so well

Yesterday’s Washington Times included Andrea Billups’s excellent story on the installation of footbaths for Muslim students at the University of Michigan Dearborn. Billups reports that the footbaths “were requested as an accommodation by a Muslim Student Association’s task force.” The object of the demand for footbaths is to secure the expenditure of public funds to support Islam. The phenomenon is insidious. A little background on the MSA should provide a »

Coming soon: Live from the APSA

I’m leaving this morning for the annual convention of the American Political Science Association, where I’ve attended the panels sponsored by the Claremont Institute approximately every other year over the past 20 years with Claremont chairman Bruce Sanborn. It’s been a great education, although it took at least ten years before I began to have any idea what they were talking about. Bruce is chairing a panel this year on »

The next AG, Part Two

The Washington Post reports that “Bush May Fight for New Attorney General.” By that, it means that Bush may nominate the person he wants for the position regardless of whether his selection appeals to liberal Democrats. The Post identifies five individuals said to be under serious consideration — Ted Olson, Paul Clement, George Terwilliger, Michael Mukasey, and Laurence Silberman. I made my case for Olson and Clement here. Terwilliger is »

Friendly rivals. . .this week

Everton fans enjoy “hating” our arch-rival Liverpool. However, the rivalry is purely a sporting one. It has no religious dimension (unlike the Glasgow rivalry between Rangers and Celtic); no political dimension (unlike the rivalry between Roma and Lazio or the one between Barcelona and Real Madrid); and no geographic dimension (unlike Barcelona-Real Madrid and Paris S.G-Marseille). That’s why it’s common for members of the same family to hold different loyalties, »