Monthly Archives: November 2009

The soccer story that won’t die

Last week, France qualified for the World Cup with a goal, scored in overtime, via a clearly intentional handball by French super-star Thierry Henry. The reaction to that goal fascinates me because it is quite unlike what I think the reaction would be to a comparable instance of cheating in American sports, with the exception of golf where the cheating would not have occurred. Let’s start with Henry’s reaction. He »

The French gambit

One unfortunate byproduct of President Obama’s foolish attempt to make his mark on the Middle East by pressuring Israel to abandon all settlement construction is this: Obama’s failure appears to have brought French President Sarkozy back onto the stage. Anxious to make his mark in international relations, and probably hoping to show-up Obama for whom he seems to have little regard and more than a little envy, Sarkozy has offered »

“One of the worst U.S. presidential visits to Beijing in memory”

Saturday Night Live isn’t the only unusual source of criticism ot President Obama’s trip to China. Max Boot notes that some Democrats were less than impressed. For example, Liz Economy of the Council on Foreign Relations stated: It was, optically, one of the worst U.S. presidential visits to Beijing in memory. … Lots of talk, little action — just the way the Chinese like it. Although I’d like to back »

Sports Story of the Year?

It could be: Brett Favre’s return from his second retirement to quarterback the Minnesota Vikings. Of course, that may be a parochial view. But it’s been a long time since I was much of a pro football fan, and I’ve never really been a Vikings fan even though I live in Minnesota. For just about anyone–even my wife!–the story of a 40-year-old Hall of Fame quarterback’s return to greatness is »

If Obama’s Lost Saturday Night Live, He’s Lost…

…I dunno, maybe Jon Stewart comes next. I don’t accept the proposition that liberal comedians who aren’t funny are somehow arbiters of popular culture, let alone public policy. Still, the fact that Obama’s actual policies (not his failure to be a liberal messiah) were lampooned in this vulgar, sometimes-funny skit on SNL last night does seem significant: “I am noticing that each of your plans to save money involves spending »

Who’s the Narcissist?

Barack Obama’s narcissism has frequently been commented upon, but Glenn Reynolds makes an interesting and potentially important observation: I think Obama’s “charisma” was based on voter narcissism — people excited not just about electing a black President, but about themselves, voting for a black President. Now that’s over, and they’re stuck just with him, and emptied of their own narcissism there’s not much there to fill out the suit. If »

Crazy, Or Left-Wing? Is There Still A Difference?

Venezuela is sponsoring an international conference of socialist parties in Caracas, which it pretentiously labels the Fifth International. Socialists from 40 countries, representing 50 political parties, are attending. On Friday, Hugo Chavez addressed the conclave. He praised Carlos the Jackal as a hero, describing him as “one of the great fighters of the Palestinian Liberation Organization….They accuse him of being a terrorist but Carlos really was a revolutionary fighter.” Likewise, »

Here We Go

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his confederates are gearing up for a media spectacle: A lawyer for one of five men facing trial for the Sept. 11 attacks says the men plan to plead not guilty and use the trial to express their political views. Attorney Scott Fenstermaker says his client Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali and the others will not deny their role in the 2001 attacks but will tell the »

An awakening in Afghanistan?

Dexter Filkins reports from Afghanistan that “American and Afghan officials have begun helping a number of anti-Taliban militias that have independently taken up arms against insurgents in several parts of Afghanistan, prompting hopes of a large-scale tribal rebellion against the Taliban.” Filkins notes that “the plan echoes a similar movement that unfolded in Iraq, beginning in late 2006, in which Sunni tribes turned against Islamist extremists.” The Taliban proved itself »

The Louisiana Purchase

Mary Landrieu announced today that she will vote for cloture on the Democrats’ government medicine bill tonight. The Democrats now have 60 votes and will be able to pass their version of government medicine. UPDATE: Well, I suppose we shouldn’t jump the gun. The Democrats will need 60 votes once more. It’s remotely possible that one of the wavering Senators who voted for cloture today–Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson–might go »

When In Doubt, Delete

One of the hacked East Anglia emails that has gotten considerable play on the web indicates that several alarmist scientists deleted emails that were subject to a Freedom of Information Act request rather than produce them. That’s true; here is the context. On May 27, 2008, David Palmer, who is in charge of “data protection” at the University of East Anglia, wrote to Tim Osborn about a Freedom of Information »

The Alarmists Do “Science”: A Case Study

A fascinating, hot-off-the-presses story emerges from the emails that were hacked yesterday from the University of East Anglia’s Hadley Climatic Research Centre. It is one of many exchanges that shed light on the priority that the global warming alarmists give to politics and career advancement over science. The story began when Steve McIntyre, the same researcher who was largely responsible for destroying Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” graph purporting to show »

Clueless in Kabul

We’ve noted the Obama administration’s penchant for bullying America’s allies and kowtowing to its adversaries. This Washington Post story presents another case-in-point — our treatment of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. As Afghan presidents go, Karzai makes a good mayor of Kabul (in a bad year). Nonetheless, right now the U.S. needs Karzai and Karzai needs the U.S. Thus, in the words of one senior administration official, “it’s not sustainable to »

Global Warming Bombshell

The biggest news story of the day is one that has barely begun to break and will continue to reverberate for months or years to come. Someone hacked into a computer at the University of East Anglia’s Hadley Climatic Research Centre, one of the main centers of anthropogenic global warming research. The hacker downloaded over 200 megabytes of data from the server, consisting of around 1,000 emails and a variety »

The Obama administration — ask it no questions, it will tell you some lies

Even congressional Democrats are disgusted with the Obama administration’s phony accounting of what the stimulus plan supposedly is accomplishing. Earlier this week, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey lambasted the government’s flawed data purporting to show that $160 billion in stimulus spending has created or saved at least 640,000 jobs. In response to reports that the administration has been forced to delete 60,000 jobs from its list and that it »

A hack argument

There’s a stock column appearing in left-liberal MSM outlets all over the country, The author varies, but the main point is the same: Republican Senators are guilty of “hypocrisy” for attempting to filibuster one of President Obama’s judicial nominees after having criticized Democrats for filibustering a host of President Bush’s nominees a few years ago. This piece by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post is an example of the genre. »

Geithner on the Hot Seat

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner appeared before the Joint Economic Committee today. One striking feature of Geithner’s testimony was how partisan it was. In keeping with the Obama administration’s mantra, he repeatedly tried to cast blame on the Bush administration while failing to acknowledge that when the financial crisis developed, he was the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and as such one of the most influential figures »